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"Haor Chall Engineering Sheathipede-class transport shuttle. Design is based on the soldier beetles. Upraised stern, bow ramp, clawfoot landing gear."
―A clone commando[1]

The Sheathipede-class transport shuttle, also known as the Neimoidian shuttle or the Separatist shuttle, was a craft manufactured by Haor Chall Engineering[1] and used by high-ranking officials of the Trade Federation to visit potential clients and marketplaces.[2]


An automated Neimoidian shuttle without cockpit.

They were shaped like soldier beetles, and their clawfooted landing legs could only settle down on hard surfaces. This was due to the businessmen's distaste for dealing with poor, underdeveloped worlds.[2]

These shuttles often had their cockpits removed and replaced by automated pilots, so that cabin space could be increased. The Sheathipede-class shuttle was a short-range ship, used only for planetary travel or to ferry passengers to and from an orbital space station or starship.[2]

The personal shuttle of Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray was named the Lapiz Cutter. This ship had no weapons, although it was protected by powerful deflector shields.[2]

A distinct variant of the Sheathipede had several laser cannons and a seat for a gunner next to the pilot, thus widening the cockpit. Due to the additional armament on the dorsal fin, the communications antenna was shortened.[4]

The shuttle bore a resemblance to the larger Neimoidian trader,[5] the Maxillipede shuttle[6] and the Class type B.


Sheathipede-class shuttles were used by Neimoidian officials to land on Naboo after they had invaded the planet.[7] 10 years later, when the First Battle of Geonosis appeared to go in favor of the Republic, the Neimoidian representatives took off in one of these craft.[8]

Count Dooku maintained an armed shuttle onboard his personal frigate. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker used it to shoot his solar sailer down over Vanqor, though the Sith Lord escaped.[4] During the Battle of Tirahnn, the Separatist spy Braxus Lyn attempted to transport the Zygerrian Zolghast off Tirahnn in one.[9]

A Sheathipede model armed with laser weaponry.

General Grievous used a shuttle to escape Saleucami when his landing craft crash landed on the planet. Another shuttle was used by Anakin Skywalker, his Padawan Ahsoka Tano and the clone troopers to escape Cad Bane's Munificent-class star frigate just before it exploded. Mother Talzin and her Nightsister tribe also had a shuttle which they used to travel to Dooku's palace on Serenno. How they acquired it is unknown, although it may have been a gift from the Count.[10]

Nute Gunray used his personal shuttle along with Rune Haako to escape Cato Neimoidia at the end of the Clone Wars in 19 BBY.

General Grievous also used one of these shuttles to land on the planet Utapau following the Battle of Coruscant.[11] His shuttle had an unaltered cockpit, due to the General's distrust of automated systems.[2]

After the Clone Wars ended, few Neimoidians would venture outside their systems unless on business trips. When doing so, they still used Sheathipede-class shuttles.[12] Bail Organa used an "antique" model of the shuttle on several missions prior to the Corellian Treaty.

About 1 year prior to the Battle of Yavin, Starkiller was chasing Baron Merillion Tarko on Cato Neimoidia, at one point he damaged a landing platform and a ship of this class (possibly Tarko's personal transport) slid off the platform and plunged to the planet below. Later on, Starkiller also saw a hologram of a Sheathipede-class.

Behind the scenes[]

In the Wii/PSP/Playstation II version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, after Galen Marek rescues Senator Bail Organa from a corrupted Maris Brood on Felucia, the Senator has a Sheathipede-class transport shuttle waiting for him. Organa later uses it to travel to Corellia where he, Senators Garm Bel Iblis and Mon Mothma, Jedi Master Rahm Kota, and Marek create the Alliance to Restore the Republic. In the Xbox/Playstion 3/PC version, he instead uses a Lambda-class T-4a shuttle.

LEGO made a set of a Sheathipede-class transport shuttle called 8036 "Separatist Shuttle" from June 28, 2009. It included Nute Gunray, Onaconda Farr, an OOM pilot battle droid, and 2 B1-Series battle droids. A miniature version was included in 9509 Star Wars Advent Calendar, released August 2012.

In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith video game, the shuttle is armed with missile launchers and a beam cannon.

The shuttle's cockpit resembles that of the AH-56, a real life 1960s canceled attack helicopter. It also is similar to that of the AH-64.

The shuttle was created for its first appearance by ILM employees Larry Tan and Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame.[13]


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Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]