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Nute Gunray is a fictional character in the Star Wars galaxy who plays a significant role in the prequel trilogy. He is a Neimoidian, a humanoid species known for their cunning and business-oriented approach towards life. Gunray serves as the Viceroy of the Trade Federation, a powerful commerce guild that seeks to expand its influence and interest across the stars. He is responsible for various villainous acts, such as the invasion of the peaceful planet of Naboo in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
This action results from the manipulation of the-then Senator Palpatine, later revealed to be the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Palpatine uses Gunray's desire for power and wealth to orchestrate the Trade Federation's invasion of Naboo as a means to solidify his own rise to power. As the Viceroy, Gunray employs mechanized battle droids to wage war against the Naboo citizens, triggering a conflict between the Federation and the Galactic Republic.
Nute Gunray is characterized by his greed, ambition, and cowardice. He frequently appears paranoid, distrusting of others, and overly reliant on the protection offered by the Trade Federation's droid armies. Throughout the prequel trilogy, he displays considerable contempt for any kind of opposition, including Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, as well as Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo.
After the invasion of Naboo fails and the droid army is defeated by the combined forces of Naboo and their newfound Gungan allies, Gunray is arrested and put on trial by the Galactic Republic for his crimes. However, due to the intervention of his Sith allies and the corruption within the Republic's legal system, he manages to avoid conviction. Freed from charges, he returns to the Trade Federation and continues plotting against the Galactic Republic and its Jedi protectors.
Ultimately, Gunray joins forces with Count Dooku and the Separatists, taking part in the creation of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. This Alliance seeks to overthrow the Galactic Republic and establish a new government to rule the galaxy. Gunray's ambition, greed, and need for power make him an easy convert to their cause. He plays a key role in the ensuing Clone Wars, where the Separatists use battle droids and their vast military might to wage war against the Republic.
Nute Gunray's story comes to an end in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. After years of fighting, the Separatists are on the verge of defeat, and Gunray and other Separatist leaders are given refuge on Mustafar by Darth Sidious. However, this sanctuary is short-lived, as Sidious sics his new apprentice, Darth Vader, on them. Vader slaughters all the Separatist leaders, including Gunray, marking the end of The Clone Wars and the rise of the Galactic Empire.
Nute Gunray is an intriguing character whose ambition, cunning, and weakness make him a perfect pawn for the dark side to manipulate. His actions further the goals of the Sith, while his ultimate downfall offers proof of the self-destructive nature of evil in the Star Wars universe.
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