|“||Our friends from the Trade Federation have pledged their support. And when their Battle Droids are combined with yours, we shall have an army greater than any in the galaxy. The Jedi will be overwhelmed. The Republic will agree to any demands we make.||„|
|~ Count Dooku to the Separatist Council.|
The Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS for short), also known as the Separatist Alliance, the Separatist Movement, the Separatist State, but most often as the Separatists, is the main antagonistic faction of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. It is a government and separatist movement led by Darth Tyranus (and secretly controlled by Darth Sidious) who had motives to leave the Galactic Republic. This government consists of about 35 members.
There were numerous reasons planets joined the Confederacy; some were frustrated about how corrupt the Republic had become, others left the Republic because the Republic failed to help them in war aftermaths, famines or other disasters. But the Separatists did help those planets recover, grateful for their help, so the planet always swore loyalty to the Confederacy.
They serve as the main antagonistic faction of both Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, as well as the main antagonistic faction of both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and much of the Star Wars prequel trilogy as a whole.
Rise of the Separatists
Decades prior to the Clone Wars, there were many people how had seen the Galactic Republic has a failing government plagued by corruption and mindless bureaucracy that stifled the voices of many constituents represented in the Galactic Senate.
During the period following the aftermath of the Invasion of Naboo, the commerce guilds and trading corporation had become disillusioned with the Republic after they had passed a law placing taxation on all trade routes throughout the entire galaxy.
Into this critical situation stepped in Count Dooku, a former Jedi Master who had also become disillusioned with the Republic and the Jedi Order as well. The charismatic leader had stirred up anti-Republic sentiment all across the Republic and this soon lead to a rebellion against the government.
As a result, a loose affiliation of separatists was formed with Count Dooku being appointed as their leader and began pushing for a new government to replace the stagnant Republic. The group soon grew and quickly established themselves as the Confederacy of Independent Systems, an organization that was formally opposed to the Galactic Republic.
Members of the CIS had included corporations such as the Trade Federation, the Techno Union, the InterGalactic Banking Clan, the Corporate Alliance, the Commerce Guild, the Hyper-Communications Cartel, and the Quarren Isolation League.
Although the Republic had recognized that many of their worlds were in active rebellion, they refused to recognize the Confederacy as their government, deeming that the CIS would be legitimized if they did. Unknown to the Republic, Count Dooku was a Sith Lord, Darth Tyranus, and was the apprentice to Darth Sidious, who sought to recreate the galaxy in their own image and Sidious had posed as Chancellor Palpatine of the Republic.
Outbreak of the Clone Wars
The Confederacy had soon marshaled their armed forces to their cause and rallied many to serve them as their soldiers with the ultimate goal of overthrowing the Republic and to take their capital, Coruscant. The Trade Federation, commanded by the Republic to shrink their droid armies, had instead decided to expand their droid armies and have them to serve the Confederacy as their main army.
Adding millions to battle droids to the Separatist arsenal and steadily growing with input from other factions like the Techno Union. Foundries and factories on planets like Geonosis, Hypori, and other worlds had created billions of battle droids to help grow the Separatist army while Count Dooku recruited new start systems to join the Separatist cause.
However, the CIS would soon lose their advantage of the element of surprise when Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi had tracked down the bounty hunter Jango Fett and arrived at Geonosis where he secretly saw the gathering of the Separatist leaders and the formation of the Separatist Alliance in general. Obi-Wan alerted the Chancellor but was interrupted by a Droideka and was soon captured. Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala had soon arrived at Geonosis to rescue him but were captured to and were planned to be executed in a public stadium. Thankfully for the Jedi, Mace Windu had arrived with a small army of Jedi and rescued them and soon, the newly formed Clone Army had arrived and a battle erupted on Geonosis which instigated the Clone Wars.
Fighting the Clone Wars
Over the next 3 years, the Confederacy and the Republic would engage each other in brutal conflict going across the entire galaxy. Countless soldiers and citizens on both sides would die and suffer brutal casualties and losses as both sides waged war across entire planets and star systems unknown that the entire conflict was a secret plot instigated by the Sith as a means of regaining control over the galaxy. For the first part of the war, capturing whole planets despite losses on Muunilist and Dac. Despite many early victories, the Confederacy had begun to suffer defeats and get pushed back which lead to the instigation of the Outer Rim Sieges. During the war, the Confederacy had committed numerous atrocities during the war, especially by their military leader General Grievous. Many superweapons were also used by the Separatists such as the Dark Reaper and the Malevolence ion pulse cannons.
Ultimately the war climaxed in the Battle of Coruscant, a massive sneak attack against the Republic's capital world led by Count Dooku and General Grievous. The battle was a calculated gamble by the Confederacy but it ended in failure: not only was much of their fleet destroyed, but Count Dooku himself was killed in a lightsaber duel aboard his ship with Anakin Skywalker.
Grievous and the Separatist Council retreated to Utapau but were followed by Kenobi leading another army group of Clone Troopers. There Grievous was himself killed in a duel with Kenobi, but just after he had already arranged to send the Separatist Council to a more secure location on the planet Mustafar, where they continued to direct droid armies across the galaxy. After Dooku's death, Grievous briefly became the Confederacy Head of State, but not long after, Grievous was eliminated by Kenobi during the battle of Utapau, granting the title of Confederacy leader to the Viceroy of the Trade Federation, Nute Gunray.
The entire rise of the Separatists and the outbreak of the Clone Wars had been nothing but a ploy by Darth Sidious/Chancellor Palpatine. However, to trick the Senate into giving him dictatorial powers and oppressive abilities. With Dooku and Grievous dead, the Separatists had outlived their usefulness to him. Moreover, immediately after Grievous' death, the Jedi Order became aware of his true Sith identity, leading Palpatine to launch Order 66 - a secret command programmed into every Clone Trooper via an organic chip in their brains to kill their own Jedi commanders across the entire galaxy.
Meanwhile, he also turned Anakin Skywalker to the dark side as his new apprentice Darth Vader. Thinking that Sidious was still on their side, the Separatist Council welcomed his new apprentice Vader into the heart of their command center on Mustafar - where he promptly massacred all of the Separatist leaders single-handedly, then used the equipment in their command center to send a shut-down order to every droid army still fighting a losing war across the galaxy, bringing the conflict to an abrupt end.
The Confederacy had a long-lasting impact following the end of the Clone Wars. After its dissolution, the corporations and other entities were imperialized and absorbed into the newly formed Galactic Empire. Many Separatist worlds were absorbed into the Empire as well with many races enslaved as well though Trandosians did align themselves with the Empire and thus avoided being enslaved. The droid armies were effectively shut down and many battle droids were also absorbed into the Imperial Military and Imperial Battle Droid were formed while some droids units fell in the hands of smugglers, pirates and other organizations, most notable the Rebel Alliance. The Death Star, a superweapon originally designed by the Separatists, was taken by the Empire and was constructed and eventually finished and would be used as a symbol of fear and might of the Galactic Empire.
The participation of CIS in the Clone Wars also bred animosity between humans and aliens since several alien species had fought on the side of the Separatists. While several aliens had fought on the side of the Republic, this sentiment gave rise to a xenophobic culture within the Empire that was primarily ruled by humans. Besides, the use of a droid army led to an increase in anti-droid propaganda across the galaxy, with people seeing droids with negative eyes.
Although the Confederacy was dissolved and its armies deactivated, many Separatist homeworlds had refused to surrender and continued to fight. After the Clone Wars, many Confederates would become part of the Rebel Alliance, another reform-minded organization with goals similar to those of the Confederacy, albeit sans the ulterior motive of a Sith puppeteer and ultimately driven by the desire to restore the Galactic Republic rather than leaving it.
Following the victory of the Rebel Alliance over the Empire, the Alliance was reorganized into the New Republic. The New Republic took steps to avoid repeating the mistakes of the Galactic Republic in its twilight. Steps such as rotating the capital and keeping it off Coruscant convinced a number of former separatist worlds to join the New Republic.
The Confederate Army was mostly made up of Battle Droids that were commanded by a commander droid, who served under a living commander. Native armies from planets the Confederacy controlled were also happy to help the droids in certain battles, some of them were just as good as the Republic Clone Troopers.
Above the battalion level, vanguards sat between battalions and regiments in size and were designed to break through heavy defenses. They were composed of 1,232 battle droids and support droids and consisted of eleven MTT companies and a squadron of 18 repulsor tanks. Regiments consisted of 4,368 droids and support troops in 4 battalions and a single vanguard and were the total number of troops and vehicles carried aboard 1 C-9979 landing craft. Divisions consisted of 21,840 droids in 5 regiments, while corps consisted of 109,200 droids in 5 divisions. The largest tactical unit was the army, composed of 218,000 battle droids and support droids in 2 corps, and represented the total surface force carried aboard a Lucrehulk-class Battleship.
The generals of the Confederacy were proud of their robotic troops who won many battles during the war, although the incompetence of some of the droids also leads to defeats. The most brilliant commander was General Grievous who could wield four lightsabers at a time, slaying many Jedi during the war. Other notable military officers included Asajj Ventress, Admiral Trench, and General Kalani.
The Confederacy had a Head of State and civilian parliament called the Separatist Senate or Separatist Parliament. The Separatist Capital was on Raxus Secundus, a lush world where some of the Republic's enemies were, in fact, decent people with forthright political beliefs, but it was mostly ruled by corrupt businessmen, the Separatist Council, who ignored the Senate. As leader of the Separatist Senate, Dooku had a powerful and respected voice. He led Senate sessions via hologram since he was off-world most of the time. The worlds that have moved from the Republic have a Parliament on Raxus, where the senators discuss matters of the Clone Wars with Dooku, whose words are highly valued.
As a result of the Seperatist Council/Sith influence, the Confederacy committed numerous war crimes such as environmental disasters and civilian casualties. The CIS also relied on slavery to fuel the economy. Most Confederate civilians were unaware of the war crimes committed by their government due to brilliant propaganda and the good welfare the CIS gave to its own people.
The CIS had a mostly alien population due to the belief that the Galactic Republic made aliens second-class citizens and gave more rights to humans. Ironically when the Galactic Empire rose to power, it enlisted in all of those xenophobic policies when Darth Vader executed the CIS leaders. When the Galactic Civil War began, many surviving generals and senators of the CIS joined the Rebel Alliance. As a result, much of the early Rebel fleet was made of CIS ships.
Although the Republic had recognized that many of their worlds were in active rebellion, they refused to recognize the Confederacy as their government, deeming that the CIS would be legitimized if they did. Unknown to the Republic, Count Dooku was the Sith Lord, Darth Tyranus and was the apprentice to Darth Sidious, who sought to recreate the galaxy in their own image and Sidious had posed as Chancellor Palpatine of the Republic.
The Confederate Navy was a force to be reckoned with and had many powerful ships. The Providence-class carrier/destroyer was perhaps the most well known capital ships in the CIS' arsenal. They were the command ships of the navy and the most notable one was the Invisible Hand, Grievous' personal flagship. Other large ships included the Munificent-class star frigate, the Lucrehulk-class battleship, the Recusant-class light destroyer, and the most notorious and largest: the Subjugator-class heavy cruiser.
Early on in the Clone Wars, General Grievous was the commander of the infamous starship, Malevolence, a Subjugator-class heavy cruiser that was capable of firing large ion bursts from both the port and starboard sides of the ship. In the Malevolence's days of glory, it had destroyed possibly hundreds of Republic warships and Republic fleets, including Plo Koon's fleet in the battle of Abregado. Its primary target was a Republic Haven-class medical station, the Kaliida Shoals Medical Center, where they attempted to destroy the station, along with the 60,000+ Clone Troopers that were being treated inside.
Three-quarters of the Confederacy Navy was destroyed in the battle of Coruscant, including the Invisible Hand, but they managed to destroy thousands of Republic warships in the process.
The Separatist Council consisted of ten leaders with their own people who follow his/her decisions. The Council consisted of:
- Darth Sidious - Secret Leader of the Separatist Council / Dark Lord of the Sith
- Dooku/Darth Tyranus - Founder / First Head of State / First Public Leader of the Separatist Council / Count of Serenno / Dark Lord of the Sith
- General Grievous - Supreme Commander of the Separatist Droid Army / Second Head of State / Second Public Leader of the Separatist Council / Warlord
- Nute Gunray - Viceroy of the Trade Federation / Chairman of the Separatist Council
- Poggle the Lesser - Archduke of Geonosis / Head of Geonosian Industries / Warlord
- Wat Tambor - Senator and Minister of Skako Minor / Foreman of the Techno Union / Executive and Leader of the Baktoid Armor Workshop / Former Emir of Ryloth
- San Hill - Chairman of the InterGalactic Banking Clan
- Passel Argente - Senator of Kooriva / Magistrate of the Corporate Alliance
- Shu Mai - Presidente of the Commerce Guild
- Po Nudo - Senator of Ando / Chairman of the Hyper-Communications Cartel
- Tikkes - Senator of Mon Cala / Founder and Head of State of the Quarren Isolation League
- Some people believe that the Confederacy of Independent Systems is the secondary antagonistic faction of the Star Wars prequel trilogy behind the Sith. This isn't true, however, as the Confederacy posed a more direct threat towards the Jedi Order whereas the Sith were pulling the strings behind the scenes, thus making the Sith the overarching antagonistic faction of the prequels.
- The Principality of Zeon from Mobile Suit Gundam bears many similarities to the Confederacy of Independent Systems, as both were an aggressive Separatist faction that waged war on their respective governments for independence. Like the newly formed Galactic Empire did to the Galactic Republic following the dissolution of the CIS, the Titans task force corrupted the Earth Federation after the defeat of Zeon.