- "Supreme Chancellor, delegates of the Senate, a tragedy has occurred, which started right here with the taxation of trade routes, and has now engulfed our entire planet in the oppression of the Trade Federation!"
- ―Senator Palpatine[src]
The Trade Federation was a very powerful Republic commerce guild, trade cartel, megacorporation, and lobbying group that was founded in 350 BBY as an association of business and trade groups with its own commercial trade fleet.
It grew to dominate entire star systems and all major trade routes, and possessed a formidable private military. Toward the end of the Republic, it would become increasingly dominated by the commerce-savvy Neimoidians.
In 350 BBY the Trade Federation was founded in the Colonies by many species, including Neimoidians. The Trade Federation became a shipping corporation and cartel. It made deals with Baktoid Armor Workshop and the Xi Char in order to form its own private military to accomplish their Sith-influenced aims. It was originally controlled by a directorate, which was led by a commanding Viceroy.
Neimoidians were very influential in the leadership of the Directorate, though the Federation only became a Neimoidian monopoly in 33 BBY, when six other members of the Trade Federation Directorate were murdered, leaving only Viceroy Nute Gunray. He proceeded to fill up the vacancies with his Neimoidian puppets (some of whom later comprised the Occupation Council that took control of Theed City after the Naboo invasion).
When Alaris Prime was discovered, a droid army under the leadership of Nute Gunray settled on the forest moon to begin stripping its resources and establish a base in the strategically located system, struggling against the moon's native Gundarks. Unaware of the Trade Federation's presence, the Wookiees legally brought colonists to Alaris Prime under the leadership of Attichitcuk, his son Chewbacca, and their friend Shoran. With the help of a Jedi force, the Federation left the moon.
After procuring the necessary resources on a number of planets, including Alaris Prime, Esseles, and Eos Sidious had approached Gunray and commanded him to use his cheap-and-dangerous army on the prosperous, distant and naïve planet of Naboo, who would fall to the Federation's will without the unsuspecting Republic's immediate aide or sympathy.
The Trade Federation protested the taxation of the Free Trade Zone by the Galactic Senate. As a daring example to other planets, Nute Gunray started a blockade to stop trade in Naboo. He was manipulated by Darth Sidious, who ordered him to invade Naboo. Two of the Trade Federations member species—the Caarites and the Filordi—felt this blockade would destroy the Federation, so they split off to form the Metatheran Cartel and forced the Federation out of the Cularin system.
The Trade Federation's fleet was largely made up of converted Lucrehulk-class freighters. The Executive Board was unwilling to spend more credits (being the thrifty businessmen they were), and chose to convert their enormous commercial freight carriers into formidable, two-mile long warships, complete with shields, turbolasers, and military grade communications arrays. Also, the Trade Federation struck deals with numerous species, like the Colicoids and the Xi Char, to construct massive armies for the Federation.
In addition, even in the long awaited and profitable enterprise of battle, the Trade Federation warcraft were still manufactured inexpensively. Unwilling to spend more money on droid brains, the Trade Federation Executive Board proceeded to control their massive armies from a single central control computer aboard a Lucrehulk-class Droid Control Ship.
Following the Invasion of Naboo, the Federation began diversifying its fleets, with new destroyers and cruisers using the modular core ships as control cores. In addition, Pammant Docks provided the Trade Federation with massive Providence-class carrier/destroyers, such as the Invisible Hand.
The Neimoidians who ran the Trade Federation received their organizational skills from running mass hives and fungus farms on their homeworld of Neimoidia and the Neimoidian purse worlds like Cato Neimoidia, Deko Neimoidia, and Koru Neimoidia.
The Trade Federation maintained a sizable monopoly on interstellar trade and held considerable sway in the Galactic Republic, even managing to gain a seat in the Senate on the same level as a member world, represented by Lott Dod.
In particular, they held maps of hyperspace routes closely rather than sharing them, enabling them to cement their hold over trade routes. Only the Jedi and the Office of the Supreme Chancellor were able to maintain maps of similar quality. The Federation had many planetary protectorates throughout the galaxy, often using the ceremonial halls inside their core ships to sign protectorship agreements.
Around 24 BBY, Count Dooku began rallying various systems and corporations to form the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Nute Gunray agreed to pledge the Trade Federation's resources to said cause in exchange for the death of Padmé Amidala, as revenge for the fiasco on Naboo. Unfortunately, a botched attempt on Amidala's life by Zam Wesell resulted in Obi-Wan Kenobi tracking a bounty hunter to Geonosis, where Gunray and the other various members of the CIS had gathered. Kenobi was captured, but this merely resulted in Anakin Skywalker and Amidala setting out to rescue Kenobi.
Eventually, these events spiralled into Mace Windu leading a Jedi attack on the arena where the prisoners were about to be executed, much to Gunray's dismay. Upon Yoda's arrival with a large clone army, it descended into a full scale battle, starting off the Clone Wars between the Confederacy and the Republic. The Trade Federation was unable to break off now, and soon Federation automata formed much of the CIS army.
With Nute Gunray's death at the hands of former Jedi Anakin Skywalker, now Darth Vader, the Trade Federation fell. Acting Viceroy Sentepeth Findos was forced by stormtroopers to sign a peace treaty with the Empire the day that the Clone Wars ended, giving all of the Federation's resources to Palpatine's disposal to help him build the Galactic Empire. Trade was nationalized by the time of the Battle of Yavin.
- "The Trade Federation cannot function without its head. Neimoidians don't think for themselves. Without the Viceroy to command them, they will cease to be a threat."
- ―Padmé Amidala[src]
- ===Notable members===
- B-series battle droid
- Beetle droid
- E4 baron droid
- OOM-series battle droid
- Trade Federation probe
- Turret droid
- Armored Assault Tank
- Armored Scout Tank
- Bio cannon
- Droid transport carrier
- Heavy Armored Assault Tank
- Heavy Artillery Gun
- Heavy Single Trooper Aerial Platform
- Mechanized Assault Flyer
- Multi-Troop Transport
- Multi-Utility Transport
- MVR-3 speeder bike
- Neimoidian trader
- OX9 labor droid
- Single Trooper Aerial Platform
- Speeder platform
- Trade Federation troop carrier
- Trade Federation pummel
- C-9979 landing craft
- Lucrehulk-class LH-3010 cargo freighter
- Lucrehulk-class LH-3210 cargo freighter
- Lucrehulk-class tanker
- Neimoidian transport
- Sheathipede-class transport shuttle
- Trade Federation bacta ship
- Trade Federation cargo hauler
- Trade Federation Dropship
- Trade Federation escort cruiser
- Trade Federation Freighter
- Trade Federation ship
- Trade Federation shuttle
- Trade Federation Superfreighter
- Trade Federation transport
- Droch-class boarding ship (rumored)
The Trade Federation may well be modeled after the British East India Company, which possessed an amazing amount of political power in the Western world in the nineteenth century. The Company was so influential, it was actually able to dictate where Great Britain—the most powerful country in the world at the time—sent her troops.
The Trade Federation's creation date was speculation of Michael Potts. He chose the date of 350 BBY in his timeline, based on available information, and was pleasantly surprised when his fellow Star Wars Fanboy Association member Ann Margaret Lewis used Time Tales as a reference point when writing The Essential Guide to Alien Species, and therefore established this date within continuity.
Note that the logo connects two capital letters of Roman alphabet rather than the aurebesh ones.
- The Trade Federation has repetitively returned to compete for control of the galaxy since the MSN Groups days, they are controlled by Alex_X