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"The Neimoidians. Unique species. Their brains are wired for calculation. Everything is an instinctive risk assessment to them. Some call it cowardly. I think it's a strong survival instinct, percentages and risk."
Dexter Jettster[8]

Neimoidians were a humanoid species native to the planet of Neimoidia, while also settling wealthy colonies they named Purse Worlds, such as Cato Neimoidia. They had smooth noseless faces, mottled green-gray skin, and large red-orange eyes. In the waning years of the Galactic Republic, they ran the Trade Federation, a vast consortium of business interests. As such, they ended up joining the Confederacy of Independent Systems and helped start the Clone Wars. Neimoidians were related to the Duros species.

Biology and appearance[]

"The path to Neimoidian prosperity is through peaceful negotiation, not bloodshed. We know this. Our brains are wired to calculate this."
―Neimoidian Royal Guard Ruug Quarnom[8]

Rune Haako, a typical Neimoidian

The Neimoidians were a sentient species[1] of humanoid[2] with two arms, two legs, a torso, and a single head. They had smooth, mottled green-gray skin and large, red-orange eyes with a pupil that split it horizontally.[1] Some Neimoidians had a beige skin[3] and the color could evolve over the years.[9] For example, Nute Gunray had a gray skin at the beginning of the Clone Wars[10] before turning green at the end of the conflict.[9] Adult individuals were known to be tall,[1] ranging from 1.9[11] to 2.11 meters.[12] Neimoidians had long, bony hands with five pointed fingers, one of which was an opposable thumb.[1] Although many Neimoidians were lean, obese individuals were not unheard of.[12] They looked very similar to the Duros because the two species were genetically linked. In fact, the Neimoidian homeworld of Neimoidia was discovered and colonized by Duros. Over the millennia, the Duros of Neimoidia evolved because of the more humid atmosphere and heavier gravity of their planet.[13]

The Neimoidians spent the first seven years of their life as "grubs," maggot-like larvae that were forced to compete with each other over a limited food supply.[14] It was possible that they never emerged from their maggot state because of a lack of food and became drones.[15]

Society and culture[]

Education and way of life[]

"The Neimoidians have a severely overblown opinion of themselves and their capabilities."
Nevil Cygni, to Admiral Thrawn[16]

The beginning of a Neimoidian's life was particularly brutal. For their first seven years,[14] Neimoidian larvae were confined to huge hives[5] where there was little food. The Neimoidians were forced to compete for food, and the greediest were usually the ones who survived.[14] This education explains the species' affinity for trade and organization, but also their tendency to be dishonest, greedy and cowardly.[17] A racist cliché about the Neimoidians was to portray them as a devious and obese plutocrat, fattened by his greed.[18]

Neimoidians were naturally gifted at calculation, a skill that defined most of their culture. They evolved to rationalize all choices based on thorough risk assessment. While this was often perceived by outsiders as stereotypical Neimoidian cowardice, to the Neimoidians it was a proud facet of their society, a survival skill that set them apart from other species.[8] In any case, many Neimoidians were regarded as being paranoid. Those who served aboard starships rarely left the command bridge to avoid another colleague gaining more power.[15]

Neimoidians were obsessed with status. A high ranking Neimoidian had to show off his wealth. Simple doors could be a sign of prestige, and they were usually finely crafted.[15] Their status and wealth were also reflected in a combination of clothing and headgear.[19] Possession of a mechno-chair[20] or a Sheathipede-class transport shuttle was also a sign of prestige for the wealthiest Neimoidians.[21] Corruption was particularly common among this species.[22]

Neimoidians relied heavily on droids for many manual tasks, especially those that could be dangerous.[14] Likewise, it was virtually impossible to see a high-ranking Neimoidian without being surrounded by battle droids or bodyguards.[5] But not all Neimoidians were cowards. For example, the Neimoidian Royal Guards were military units composed of Neimoidians.[9] These guards were intensely loyal to their people and sought to protect them through whatever means necessary.[8]

Society and ethics[]

"It sounds like you are not satisfied with the Neimoidian involvement with the Trade Federation."
"Ah. That's a very…binary view of things. […] With the Trade Federation, Neimoidians finally have a voice. History shows the Republic barely acknowledged our existence until the Trade Federation. The way governments operate, though, that always changes."
―Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Neimoidian Royal Guard Ruug Quarnom[8]

Neimoidian society was built on a vertical model: the richest had luxurious palaces on high ground and the poorest had to make do with the often hostile soil of the Neimoidian planets.[23] Furthermore, living on Neimoidia was far from being an honor for the Neimoidians, as most preferred to move to one of the Purse World. The Neimoidian people were ruled by the Trade Monarch and his government from Neimoidia.[13]

The Neimoidians were also a species that had no qualms about resorting to slavery, as they did with the Narquois.[5] The Neimoidians practiced enslavement within their own species. Those who could not break out of their larval status, the Neimoidian drones, were employed in administrative tasks. Supervised by overseers, these drones were kept on a strict diet so as not to emerge from their larval state. To increase their efficiency, they were put in competition and the winners could devour the losers.[15]


"Remember, it's all numbers to them. It's what got them where they are. See, all of the Republic types think it's their ideology. That's shortsighted. It's a strategy, not politics."
―Dexter Jettster on why Neimoidians avoided taking sides in galactic politics[8]

A Neimoidian guard during the Clone Wars.

The Neimoidians hailed from Neimoidia, a planet centrally located in the Colonies region of the galaxy. They colonized several nearby worlds, which were referred to as "Purse Worlds."[5] One of those colony planets was the fog-covered Cato Neimoidia.[6] In ancient times, they occupied the planet of Narq and enslaved its natives, the Narquois.[5]

In the last decades of the Galactic Republic, the Neimoidians were at the helm of the Trade Federation, a wealthy and influential commerce guild. Toward the end of Finis Valorum's mandate as Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, the Viceroy of the Trade Federation, a Neimoidian named Nute Gunray, allied himself with a mysterious figure known as Darth Sidious. The resulting crisis led to the election of Senator Palpatine—who was in fact Sidious' public persona—as the new chancellor.[1] Ten years later, the Neimoidians of the Trade Federation had joined the Confederacy of Independent Systems, an alliance of solar systems that wanted to secede from the Republic.[10]

However, the Confederacy was eventually defeated at the end of the devastating Clone Wars.[9] Many Neimoidians became resentful of the Republic's successor, the Galactic Empire. In particular, one colony of refugees was discovered by the Chiss Mitth'raw'nuruodo shortly after the war, and the group attempted to persuade the Chiss to bring the Chiss Ascendancy against the Empire and restore the Republic; this plea, however, was rejected.[16]

Neimoidians in the galaxy[]

"To the Republic, we are a monolith. A people of business. A people of greed. A people of deception. Perhaps…not even a people."
―Cato Neimoidia minister of defense Alluv Eyam on Neimoidian prejudice[8]

Because of the way they were educated, Neimoidians made effective merchants. The other side of the coin was that many other species despised them for their selfishness.[5] Indeed, stereotyping against Neimoidians was rampant throughout the galaxy, particularly among worlds contained within the Galactic Republic. Beliefs that the people were solely motivated by greed and cowardice were so invasive that many Neimoidians felt they were treated as second-class citizens. Propaganda played a negative role in promoting Neimoidian culture, often downplaying their contributions to art and music.[8] Other examples played into prejudices against the people, such as the poster Taxation Without Federation, a HoloNet News piece that was accused by many as perpetuating the "fat Neimoidian" stereotype.[24]

Behind the scenes[]

Neimoidians first appeared in the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, the first installment of the Star Wars prequel trilogy.[1] The Neimoidians were originally envisioned as organic versions of the B1-series battle droids, but such complex and fantastic design was ultimately simplified with the decision to portray the characters with actors wearing animatronic masks rather than through CGI.[25]

The head design of the Geonosians was taken from unused original concept art for the Neimoidians before it was decided that they would be played by actors wearing masks.[26]


Non-canon appearances[]


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Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  2. 2.0 2.1 StarWars-DatabankII.png Neimoidian in the Databank (backup link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Doctor Aphra 11
  4. Ultimate Factivity Collection: Star Wars
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Star Wars: Aliens of the Galaxy
  6. 6.0 6.1 StarWars-DatabankII.png Cato Neimoidia in the Databank (backup link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Build the Millennium Falcon.png Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 31 (Guide to the Galaxy: Visiting Cato Neimoidia)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Brotherhood
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  10. 10.0 10.1 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  11. StarWars-DatabankII.png Lott Dod in the Databank (backup link)
  12. 12.0 12.1 StarWars-DatabankII.png Lok Durd in the Databank (backup link)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Build the Millennium Falcon.png Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 52 (Guide to the Galaxy: The History of Neimoidia)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Star Wars: Complete Locations
  16. 16.0 16.1 Thrawn
  17. Ultimate Star Wars
  18. Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
  19. Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
  20. Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
  21. Build the Millennium Falcon.png Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 54 (Starship Fact File: Sheathipede-class Shuttle)
  22. AltayaCite.svg "The Beginning of the Clone Wars" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
  23. Star Wars: Complete Vehicles
  24. Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
  25. Star Wars: The Making of Episode I The Phantom Menace
  26. StarWars.com Much to Learn You Still Have: 8 Things You Might Not Know About Geonosians on StarWars.com (backup link)

External links[]