The Confederacy of Independent Systems, also known as the Separatist Alliance, was a collection of star systems and corporate titans that left the Republic and fought for independence against the Republic’s clone armies and Jedi Knights. The charismatic former Jedi Count Dooku was the Alliance’s political leader, while its military power came from credits and assets donated by powerful galactic trade groups. No one suspected that the Alliance was actually a tool of Darth Sidious, who had engineered the Clone Wars as part of a Sith plot to rule the galaxy.
One of the wealthiest corporate organizations in the galaxy, the Trade Federation controlled most of the interstellar shipping passing through the Rim territories. The Trade Federation was headed by Viceroy Nute Gunray, and even had its own representative in the Republic Senate to lobby for even greater power. On the orders of Darth Sidious, the Trade Federation sent its battle droids to invade Naboo to create a government crisis. During the Clone Wars, the Trade Federation secretly signed on as a member of Count Dooku's Separatist organization, though representatives in the Senate tried to deny this.
Rather than use flesh-and-blood warriors, the Separatists prefer mindlessly loyal soldiers that are easily controlled. The soulless ranks of their armies are dominated by tall, thin B1 battle droids built as mechanical imitations of their Geonosian designers. Battle droids can be controlled by centralized command centers such as the Trade Federation’s enormous Droid Control Ships, or programmed for independent action. They often suffer programming glitches that manifest as personality quirks. Battle droids are dim-witted and no match for clone troopers or Jedi, but they weren’t designed to be smart – they were designed to overwhelm Republic civilians through sheer numbers, something they do very effectively.
Unlike the spindly battle droids, whose humanoid builds allow them a degree of versatility, droidekas are designed with one sole function in mind: the complete annihilation of their targets. Slung at the end of heavy arms are immense twin blasters, which unleash destructive energy at a pounding pace. The destroyer droid can completely envelope itself in a globe of protective energy via its compact deflector shield generators, though at the expense of its mobility. Although slow and awkward on its three-legged gait, the droideka can transform into a much speedier, disk-shaped form.
A resourceful astromech droid, R2-D2 served Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker in turn, showing great bravery in rescuing his masters and their friends from many perils. A skilled starship mechanic and fighter pilot's assistant, he formed an unlikely but enduring friendship with the fussy protocol droid C-3PO.
A harsh rocky world less than a parsec away from Tatooine, Geonosis is a ringed planet beyond the borders of the Galactic Republic. Its uninviting surface is made up of harsh, rocky desert, and the creatures that evolved on Geonosis are well equipped to survive in the brutal environment. The most advanced lifeform are the Geonosians, sentient insectoids that inhabit towering spire-hives. The Geonosians maintain large factories for the production of droids and weapons for the Separatist cause in the Clone Wars.