Neimoidians are known for their business skills, but Nute Gunray, Viceroy of the Trade Federation, was more cutthroat than most. It was Gunray who conspired with the Sith Lord Darth Sidious to launch the blockade and subsequent invasion of Naboo. Once the planet was under siege, Gunray attempted to force Queen Amidala to sign a treaty that would legitimize the occupation. Amidala escaped, and returned to infiltrate her own palace and blast through Gunray's protectors. Arrested by Republic officials, Gunray was carted off to answer for his crimes, but evaded imprisonment and kept his post.
To hear Lott Dod tell it, the actions of Nute Gunray did not reflect the true intents of the Trade Federation, which remained loyal to the Galactic Republic. Sure, the Separatist Alliance did use Trade Federation starships and battle droids as part of their fighting forces in the Clone Wars, but this was equipment legitimately purchased in the open market. The Trade Federation was committed to commerce across the entire galaxy, and had no interest in getting caught up in territorial wars, Dodd would say. In truth, the Senator received a healthy income to ensure both sides of the war stay well equipped.
An idyllic world close to the border of the Outer Rim Territories, Naboo is inhabited by peaceful humans known as the Naboo, and an indigenous species of intelligent amphibians called the Gungans. Naboo's surface consists of swampy lakes, rolling plains and green hills. Its population centers are beautiful -- Naboo's river cities are filled with classical architecture and greenery, while the underwater Gungan settlements are a beautiful display of exotic hydrostatic bubble technology.
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.
Count Dooku was a menacing Sith Lord and central figure in the Clone Wars. Once a Jedi -- trained by Yoda -- he became disillusioned with the Jedi Order and thirsted for greater power. Dooku voluntarily left the light side behind and became Darth Sidious’ dark side disciple, taking the secret name Darth Tyranus and leading the Separatist army. Dooku advanced Sidious’s secret plot to take over the galaxy, but forgot that betrayal is the nature of the Sith.
A cowardly Neimoidian official, Rune Haako had no shortage of despair during the Trade Federation blockade and invasion of Naboo. As lieutenant to Viceroy Nute Gunray, Haako was privy to his superior's plans and knew of the mysterious Sith patron who was the true mastermind behind their bold maneuvers. Haako, when beyond Sith earshot, openly questioned Gunray's judgment in striking this terrifying alliance. When Queen Amidala retook her capital of Theed, Haako and Gunray were captured and sent to Coruscant for trial and punishment.