Nute Gunray was a Neimoidian male who served as the Viceroy of the Trade Federation and a high-ranking member of the Separatist Confederacy of Independent Systems and chairman of the Separatist Council. Gunray led the Trade Federation through its invasion of the planet Naboo, at the behest of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious—who was secretly Sheev Palpatine, the Senator of Naboo, and who had engineered the conflict to be elected Supreme Chancellor. The Federation invasion was repelled and Gunray was arrested, but he avoided punishment after four trials in the Supreme Court.
Ten years later, Gunray had become a member of the Separatist Alliance, pledging Federation military support for the impending war against the Galactic Republic. After the outbreak of the Clone Wars, Gunray was an important member of the Separatist leadership, and attempted to bring the world of Rodia into the Separatist cause. By the end of the Clone Wars, which had been manipulated by Darth Sidious from both sides, the Separatists were in disarray following the death of their political leader, the Sith Lord Count Dooku, and the death of the cyborg Supreme Commander of the Droid Army, General Grievous. The surviving Separatist council members, led by Gunray, sought protection on Mustafar, where they and Gunray were killed by Darth Vader at the behest of Darth Sidious. Gunray was the last council member to be killed by Vader’s lightsaber, which ultimately brought an end to the Clone Wars and fragmented the CIS into various Separatist holdouts, in which they were represented by various ununited warlords across the galaxy.