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|“||I never risk my own skin if I don't have to.||„|
|~ Nute Gunray|
Nute Gunray is the Viceroy of the Trade Federation and a recurring antagonist in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, being the secondary antagonist of Phantom Menace, the quaternary antagonist of Attack of the Clones, the quinary antagonist of Revenge of the Sith and a supporting antagonist of the Clone Wars.
Gunray was the Viceroy of the Trade Federation and later became a high-ranking officer of the Confederacy of Independent Systems as the head of the Separatist Council. He was one of Darth Sidious' first, and most important, pawns in his plan to attain ultimate power. Following the deaths of both Count Dooku and later General Grievous, Gunray became the de facto leader of the CIS. However, he was ultimately killed by Darth Vader along with the other members of the Separatist Council on Mustafar at the end of Revenge of the Sith.
Gunray was portrayed by Silas Carson (who also portrayed Ki-Adi-Mundi in the prequel trilogy and also voiced The Ood in Doctor Who) in the prequel trilogy, and was voiced by Tom Kenny in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom MenaceNute Gunray was the viceroy of the Trade Federation when, while secretly taking orders from the shadowy Sith Lord Darth Sidious, he ordered an illegal blockade of the trade routes to and from the planet Naboo. Using an army of powerful and merciless Battle Droids, Gunray's forces invaded the planet. During the Trade Federation's occupation, Gunray set himself up as de facto ruler, even taking the Queen's throne room for his own. He seemed to take pleasure in the suffering his actions caused the people of Naboo and used it as leverage to try to force Queen Amidala into signing a treaty that would legitimize the Trade Federation's presence on the planet. When the queen, with the aid of a pair of Jedi, led a group of freedom fighters to end the occupation and take the planet back from the Trade Federation, Gunray was arrested.
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the ClonesIn the 10 years follwing the Naboo invasion, the Supreme Court attempted to try Gunray four times, but corruption was rampant in the waning days of the Republic. Each time, Gunray was able to avoid conviction and retain his position as viceroy of the Trade Federation. Gunray saw new opportunity in the Separatist movement led by former Jedi Count Dooku and threw the support of the Trade Federation behind the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Dooku knew that war was on the horizon, and the Separatists desperately needed the Federation's battle droids. However, Gunray had one condition: Padme Amidala, senator and former Queen of Naboo, must be killed. After a failed assassination attempt by the bounty hunters Jango Fett and Zam Wessel, Padme was eventually captured by the Separatists on the planet Geonosis and was slated for execution. Gunray's hopes for watching the senator die, however, were dashed when Padme and her Jedi companions managed to hold off their executioners long enough for help to arrive. As Republic gunships, laden with clone troopers and Jedi, descended from the sky, Gunray fled. The Battle of Geonosis would prove to be the first skirmish of what would come to be known as the Clone Wars.
Star Wars: The Clone WarsDuring the Clone Wars, Nute Gunray was appointed as leader of the Separatist Council. At some point during the Clone Wars the swamp planet Rodia was on the brink of starvation as the Rodian Supply Ships were destroyed by pirates. In response, Senator Onacconda Farr desperately turned to Gunray for help. When Gunray arrived, he allied himself with the Rodian senator, and promised him supplies for him and his people in exchange for capturing Padme Amidala. When Padme arrived and spoke to Farr about his dealings with Gunray, Battle Droids surrounded the senator and took her hostage, but she managed to escape before the viceroy arrived.
Gunray was later informed by his droids that a Jedi was interfering with his operations and the viceroy ordered his droids to eliminate both Padme and the Jedi. Gunray's droids were also able to capture a protocol droid named C-3PO, but not before the droid managed to send a distress signal to the Republic of Gunray's presence on Rodia. When the viceroy met up with Farr, Gunray revealed his true intentions of allying with Rodia: to capture it and bring it under Separatist control. Gunray and his droids found Padme and Threepio, but before he could order his droids to execute them, the Jedi, who was really representative Jar Jar Binks from Naboo in disguise, emerged from the water on a Kwazel Maw that began attacking the droids. Gunray attempted to flee in the ensuing chaos, but the Kwazel Maw knocked his ship into the swamp and the senators held the viceroy at gunpoint, as Republic gunships containing clone troopers arrived and arrested Gunray.
After his arrest, Gunray was incarcerated in the Republic warship the Tranquility while the ship headed for Coruscant for trial. Meanwhile, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine informed Farr that he has sent supply ships to Rodia, much to Farr's relief. On board the Tranquility, Gunray was placed under the watch of Jedi General Luminara Unduli, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano, Clone Commander Gree, and Senate Commando Faro Argyus. While on board the Tranquility, Ahsoka and Luminara interrogated Gunray about Separatist secrets. When the viceroy refused, Ahsoka threatened him with her lightsaber. However, the Jedi were informed that an army of droids led by Count Dooku's assassin Asajj Ventress, who had been sent to the Tranquility by Dooku to rescue Gunray, had breached their defenses and the Jedi left to confront Ventress. Meanwhile, Argyus, who was bribed by Dooku, released Gunray and knocked out Gree. The viceroy and the traitorous commando met up with Ventress and escaped in a small ship, where the Dark Acolyte killed Argyus when he tried to discredit her.
After his rescue, Gunray schemed with Dooku to trap Jedi Master Kit Fisto and his Padawan Nadhar Vebb in General Grievous's fortress on the third moon of Vassek by tricking them and leading the Jedi to believe Gunray was on the moon of Vassek. When Kit and Nadhar reached where Gunray was supposedly located, they destroyed his battle droids and revealed a hologram of Gunray who welcomed them to their doom and left. Dooku then appeared and told the Jedi he used the Republic's tracking beacon to lure them to the moon, where the Jedi soon confronted Grievous, who killed everyone part of the search group except Kit, who escaped to Coruscant after defeating the cyborg general.
Later, Darth Sidious hired the bounty hunter Cad Bane to steal the Jedi holocron from the Jedi Temple to unlock its secrets and kidnap future Jedi and turn them into Sith operatives of Dooku. After Bane successfully stole the holocron, Gunray contacted him and angrily scolded his mercenary for losing four of his warships and demanded repayment, but Bane informed the viceroy of Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano's presence on board his frigate and switched his communications off to confront the Jedi. After escaping the Jedi while heading for the hangar, Bane contacted Gunray and informed him of his success. Gunray then told the bounty hunter to transmit the codes to him, but Bane told Gunray he would hand it to him personally and turned his hologram off. The Jedi foiled Gunray's plan and eventually recovered the holocron, but Bane himself fled in an escape pod.
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Growing weary of the war, Nute Gunray began to question the leadership of the Separatist Movement, but Darth Sidious continued to promise that peace was on the horizon. When the Separatist leaders were moved to the planet Mustafar, following the deaths of Count Dooku at the hands of Anakin and General Grievous at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Gunray was relocated along with the rest. The end of the war was near, but Gunray would not live to see the peace he had been promised. Sidious, having been recently declared emperor of a new Galactic Empire, no longer needed the Separatists. He ordered his new apprentice, Darth Vader, to dispose of the Separatist leadership. Vader obliged, and upon arrival on Mustafar, Vader began cutting down each member ruthlessly with his lightsaber, saving Gunray for last. As the last one standing, Gunray begged for mercy, but there was none to be had from the young Sith apprentice, who was none other than Anakin himself. With nothing more to be said, Vader slashed and killed Gunray with his lightsaber, the viceroy becoming a victim of his own greed.
Nute Gunray is a Neimoidian, a grey humanoid creature with clammy skin and snake-like eyes. Gunray's assistants are Neimoidians as well. He is very cowardly for a leader, although most Neimoidians are known to flee from action.