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"We should not have made this bargain."
―Rune Haako[3]

Rune Haako was a male Neimoidian and the Settlement Officer of the Trade Federation, as well as a lieutenant to Viceroy Nute Gunray in the years leading up to and through the end of the Clone Wars. He replaced Hath Monchar as Gunray's second-in-command not long after the Eriadu Trade Summit, and disapproved of his superior's fraternization with the clandestine Sith Lord, Darth Sidious. Around this time, Gunray and Haako had to deal with the desertion of Monchar, who, it was believed, would leak Federation secrets. Upon Haako's recommendation, Gunray hired the bounty hunter Mahwi Lihnn to hunt down and kill Monchar. Eventually, both Monchar and Lihnn were killed by one of Sidious's agents, Darth Maul. In 32 BBY, Haako served as advisor to Gunray when the Viceroy brought about the Blockade of Naboo—the Trade Federation's way of protesting the Galactic Senate's new taxation of trade routes. Tensions escalated when the Galactic Republic dispatched two Jedi Knights to negotiate with the Federation, which ultimately brought about the Invasion of Naboo.

Naboo's monarch, Queen Amidala, and the Jedi in turn, were able to break the Federation's occupation, and as a result both Gunray and Haako were arrested. The pair evaded any significant punishment due to the Federation's still-considerable influence, and were able to return to their offices within the Federation. Ultimately, the Federation joined Count Dooku's separatist movement, the Confederacy of Independent Systems, which aimed to break away from the Galactic Republic altogether. Haako continued to serve as Gunray's lieutenant, and the Viceroy became a key figure on the Confederacy's Separatist Council. Ten years after the failed Naboo blockade, in 22 BBY, Haako and Gunray were present on Geonosis when now-Senator Amidala, along with two Jedi Knights, were arrested by Confederate agents and sentenced to death. In turn, the Confederacy's actions provoked an invasion of the planet by the Galactic Republic, sparking the beginning of the Clone Wars. Over the next three years, Haako and Gunray continued to serve the Confederacy, as they were shipped from system to system in order to evade the clutches of the Galactic Republic. They were kept under the protection of one of Dooku's generals, Grievous, and by 19 BBY, the Council sought refuge on the planet Mustafar. As the Clone Wars drew to a close, Haako, Gunray, and the other Separatist leaders were summarily assassinated by another agent of Sidious's, Darth Vader.


Early career[]

"One ship and a treasure box. If our benefactor really is who he claims to be, such losses are meaningless. And if he is, he is a thing to fear, not to delight. And how can we be certain, in any case? What proof does he offer, Viceroy?"
―Rune Haako[5]

In the final decades of the Republic Classic era, Rune Haako was employed by the Trade Federation, as a legal advisor[6]—or cohorta in Pak Pak[7]—to Viceroy Nute Gunray. When Gunray decided to ally himself with Darth Sidious in order to further his position in the Federation, Haako expressed his grave concern. There was no proof of Sidious' power, to Haako's mind, although during a holo-conference, he suspected that the shadowy Sith Lord had connections in the Galactic Senate. Sidious ordered Gunray to commission a droid army, in spite of Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum's threatened taxation of trade routes. Simultaneously, Sidious arranged the deaths of the Trade Federation Directorate at the Eriadu Trade Summit, allowing Gunray and his allies to assume control of the organization. Meanwhile, Haako helped oversee the formation of the new droid army, negotiating and dealing with the various contractors, while still holding his reservations about the goings on.[5]

Haako was promoted to his position after fellow Neimoidian Hath Monchar betrayed the Trade Federation. In the hopes of preventing Monchar from betraying any Federation secrets, Haako suggested that Gunray enlist the services of hunter Mahwi Lihnn to reel him in. Monchar was eventually slain by Sidious' apprentice, Darth Maul, who also felled Lihnn, much to the concern of the Neimoidians.[8] Following the incident Haako served as the Trade Federation Settlement Officer, meaning that his primary duties were to act as a diplomatic attaché and legal counsel to the viceroy. He was widely known for his jurisprudential acumen, but when confronted with real threats, he reacted with the sort of pessimism that was typical of his species.[9] Despite this, he would still be called upon to lend an air of credibility to any of the Trade Federation's more dubious activities, due to his skill as a manipulator.[10]

Invasion of Naboo[]

"Captain, we've searched the ship and there is no trace of the Jedi. They may have gotten on one of your landing craft."
"If they're down here, sir, we'll find them."
―Rune Haako and OOM-9[3]

Haako in 32 BBY.

In 32 BBY,[11] Haako was at Viceroy Nute Gunray's side when the Trade Federation decided to blockade the peaceful planet of Naboo, as a response to the taxation of certain trade routes. He was one of the few people, besides Gunray and Daultay Dofine, who knew that the Darth Sidious was the one who had devised the idea of the blockade. Haako was, like Gunray, cautious of Sidious, and later lamented his superior's choice to "bargain" with the Sith Lord. When the Galactic Republic dispatched two Jedi ambassadors, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, to settle the dispute, Gunray panicked when they arrived on his flagship at the time, the Saak'ak, and contacted Sidious via hologram. Much to the Neimoidian's surprise, Sidious ordered the execution of the Jedi and the commencement of the invasion of Naboo. Gunray dispatched a squad of B1-Series battle droids to kill the Jedi even as he filled their waiting room with Dioxis gas and had their Consular-class cruiser, the Radiant VII, destroyed; these were actions that, as Haako predicted, would prove to be ineffective. Haako was not surprised when the Jedi survived Gunray's assassination attempts which included sending droidekas after the Jedi, and proceeded to inadvertently remind Gunray of his encounters with them during the Stark Hyperspace War.[3][12]

Gunray was then contacted by Queen Amidala, who assured Gunray that the blockade would not last much longer. Haako was fearful that she suspected the impending attack, and suspected that she might try to contact Coruscant. Gunray promptly ordered OOM-9, the invasion forces' commander, to attack the small towns of New Centrif, Parrlay, and Vis. The attacks disrupted all interplanetary communications to and from Naboo.[13]

Shortly thereafter, OOM-9 won the First Battle of Theed and captured the Queen. Gunray and Haako visited the Theed Royal Palace, savoring their victory. Upon their return to the Saak'ak, the two officers received news that the Queen had escaped the planet with the aid of the Jedi that they had earlier failed to destroy. This failure incurred the wrath of Sidious, who appeared to be extremely displeased. Sidious revealed his apprentice, Darth Maul, the killer of Haako's predecessor, Hath Monchar. Sidious assured Gunray and Haako that Maul would find their "lost ship". Whether or not the sight of Maul was meant to be a veiled threat or if it was perceived as such, Gunray and Haako were both badly shaken. When the holo-conference was over, Haako expressed his fears about their alliance with the Sith to Gunray.[3]

Rune Haako with Nute Gunray and Darth Sidious's hologram on Naboo in the Theed Royal Palace.

The Neimoidians then moved to the Royal Palace, making it their permanent residence during the occupation of the planet. Gunray ordered OOM-9 to eliminate the Gungans that he had heard rumors about, in order to more fully and effectively control the planet. With the help of Darth Maul, Federation forces attacked and routed the Gungan Grand Army at Lake Paonga. However, OOM-9 only partially completed his goal, an oversight that would soon come back to haunt Haako and the Federation.[13]

Defeat on Naboo and arrest[]

"Meanwhile, the Queen had invaded the palace. She tricked Rune and Nute by using a decoy. Just remembering this makes me feel weary. I could always count on Neimoidian stupidity, but usually it worked to my advantage."
―Darth Sidious[14]

The Queen eventually returned to Naboo, a move that not only surprised Haako and Gunray, but Sidious as well (as the Sith Lord, at least, led them to believe). OOM-9 and Darth Maul's previous attempts to destroy the Gungans had obviously not been a total success, as the Queen contacted the survivors and raised a Gungan army to fight back. Through an elaborate plan, she was able to have the droid armies deactivated, and Gunray and Haako captured, in a stunning reverse-coup d'etat in which she used her decoy-handmaiden Sabé at the last moment to help her accomplish that.[3][15][16] When the Battle of Naboo was concluded, Haako was formally arrested along with Gunray, and the two were transported to Coruscant for trial.[10] After several trials, however, Gunray was never formally punished for the Naboo incident and maintained control over the Trade Federation,[17] and due to the Federation's still-considerable power, Haako was able to avoid any real punishment.[10]

Clone Wars[]

"Our purse worlds now belong to the Republic. Our only hope is to find sanctuary in the Outer Rim. Otherwise, this ship will have to serve as our home—and perhaps our final resting place!"
―Rune Haako[18]

Haako would later serve at Gunray's side within the leadership of the Confederacy of Independent Systems throughout the Clone Wars. He accompanied Gunray to the Separatist summit on Geonosis, and viewed the opening stages of the Battle of Geonosis directly from Petranaki arena, when an army of Jedi Knights and Republic clone troopers invaded the planet. Retreating with Gunray into the CIS war room, Haako advised the Viceroy that they should flee the planet. The pair then escaped aboard Gunray's shuttle, Lapiz Cutter, to the orbiting Federation fleet.[17]

Haako, Gunray, and Dooku on Geonosis.

After the Battle of Geonosis, Haako continued to follow Gunray everywhere, and was present with the viceroy in Koto-Si on Neimoidia.[19] In the later stages of the war, Haako, along with Gunray, was caught up in the Battle of Cato Neimoidia. In the panic of evacuating their homeworld, they left behind the mechno-chair, which had been equipped with a holotransceiver that contained the communications signals and codes that was used by Darth Sidious to communicate via hologram to Viceroy Gunray. The pair lived in constant fear that General Grievous would find out, as they were shuttled, along with the rest of the Separatist Council, from safeworld to safeworld. Although at first, they were able to keep the loss of the mechno-chair a secret, Grievous soon found out. Despite the fact that the general was livid, both Neimoidians escaped his wrath alive.[18]


"Stop! No!"
―Haako's last words[2]

Haako begs for mercy from Darth Vader, moments before his death.

After General Grievous's failed attempts to capture the Supreme Chancellor at Coruscant, the Separatists began to retreat to the Outer Rim. They were first moved to Utapau, where they were kept in check by Grievous, now Head of State of the CIS. Sidious, through Grievous, then ordered the Separatist Council to relocate to Mustafar. Haako and the other Separatist leaders were sent to the lava planet to orchestrate their armies' operations and eventual shutdown from there.[2]

When Grievous was killed on Utapau by General Kenobi, the very same Jedi who had been a thorn in the Federation's side thirteen years prior, Gunray became the de facto head of the CIS. Sidious contacted Gunray one final time, assuring him and the rest of the Council that they would be "taken care of" by his new apprentice. When Darth Vader was sent to kill the Separatist leaders on Mustafar, Rune Haako was present and futilely demanded that Vader stop the slaughter. As Vader killed Poggle the Lesser, Rute Gunnay and others, Haako escaped to the conference room of the bunker with Techno Union foreman Wat Tambor. Haako attempted to hide, but Vader strode in and ended the Neimoidian's life with a single slash across the chest before proceeding to kill Tambor and Gunray, destroying the Confederacy of Independent Systems.[2]

Personality and traits[]

"I want droidekas up here at once!"
"We will not survive this."
―Nute Gunray and Rune Haako[3]

In many ways, Haako was a typical Neimoidian—constantly paranoid and devoutly greedy. He was less brash than his superior, Nute Gunray, who would often jump to conclusions and act without thinking. Haako's advice would often help avoid or save a "situation" from occurring or getting out of hand, and his constant warnings helped keep Gunray in check. Haako was also persistently pessimistic and ever wary of the Sith, possibly more so than Gunray.[3] It was possible that Haako's personality grated on Sidious, who always looked forward to the day that he could be rid of the Neimoidians.[8] His wariness and pessimism could be mistaken for typical Neimoidian cowardice but in all likelihood it was more cautiousness and common sense of Haako's part as by the end of the Clone Wars, he courageously tried to order Vader to stop his massacre of the Separatist leaders, rather than blubber mercy pleas like most of the other council members.[2]

Haako was also known to be a skilled manipulator, who was at his best when sitting at a conference table conducting negotiations. This was more than likely why Gunray trusted his advice when dealing with the stubborn Queen Amidala. It was not known whether Haako had any political ambitions of his own.[9] At some stage in his early life, Haako was struck with palsy. It effectively crippled his left arm and leg, leaving them virtually useless. Haako would continue to limp until 32 BBY, but the ailment was clearly gone by 22 BBY.[5][3][17]

Behind the scenes[]

Concept art of Rune Haako

Rune Haako was played by Jerome Blake and voiced by James Taylor in The Phantom Menace.[3] In Attack of the Clones, he was played by Alan Ruscoe and voiced by Chris Truswell (despite the credits identifying him as Lott Dod),[17] and played by Sandy Thompson in Revenge of the Sith.[2] He was voiced by Hamilton Camp in the game Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds.[13]

Throughout the several Revenge of the Sith adaptations, Haako's death was depicted differently. In the Revenge of the Sith video game, Rune Haako dies when he is cornered by Vader. "I am asking you for mercy," he pleaded. "You won't kill me. It's not allowed for a Jedi Knight." Vader replied, "There is much you fail to understand," before killing him.[20] In the Revenge of the Sith comic adaptation, Haako appears in his Phantom Menace costume, unlike in the film.[21] In the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, Rune Haako falls over and attempts to scurry away from Vader, surrendering and saying that its not allowed for a Jedi to kill an unarmed enemy. Vader casually replies "You fought a war to destroy the Jedi, congratulations on your success" before stabbing Haako through the face.

Haako's death is never shown on screen; however, Ben Burtt's editing places another character's death right after we see him on camera, leading us to believe it was him dying at that particular moment. We do see him saying "Stop, No!" (that was definitely him) but right after that the editing cuts to another character being struck down. That character was Aruteous Gunnay. Haako's body can later be found in the conference room.[2] Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary erroneously labels a picture of Aito Laff as Rune Haako.

Confusion over Attack of the Clones appearance[]

Haako in Attack of the Clones

Rune Haako's mask was lost shortly after The Phantom Menace finished filming. The production crew gave Daultay Dofine's mask to Alan Ruscoe instead, and for a time it was thought that this "new" Neimoidian would become a separate character, and he was given the name Gilramos Libkath, after Gillian Libbert and Kathryn Ramos.[22] However, despite being called Gilramos Libkath in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The Visual Dictionary[23] and being credited as Lott Dod in the credits of the movie,[17] the official LFL explanation, as stated by Leland Chee, is that it is in fact Haako,[22] despite his different appearance and much deeper voice than in The Phantom Menace[3] and Revenge of the Sith.[2] Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary also establishes Haako being at Geonosis, not Libkath.[24] However, this did not stop Libkath from being established as a different character that looks and dresses similar to Haako in Attack of the Clones.[17] To add to the confusion, the official site's Databank claims that Haako appears in only Episodes I and III, supporting the Libkath theory.[9]

It should also be noted that the Attack of the Clones Neimoidian wears a purple drape similar to the supreme representative mantle worn by Lott Dod in The Phantom Menace. Since there is no mention of Haako becoming a Senator between the two movies (and lacks the garb in Revenge of the Sith), this would appear to support the "Lott Dod with a facelift" theory.[17]



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Notes and references[]

External links[]

Members of the Separatist Council
Dooku · Grievous · Nute Gunray
Council members
Passel Argente · San Hill · Shu Mai · Po Nudo · Poggle the Lesser · Wat Tambor · Tikkes · Rogwa Wodrata
Sun Fac · Aruteous Gunnay · Rune Haako · Denaria Kee · Cat Miin · Nank Tun