|“||What you are proposing could be construed as treason.||„|
|~ Shu Mai, in Gossam, to Count Dooku|
Shu Mai was a female Gossam native to the planet of Castell and was around during the waning days of the Galactic Republic. She was the President of the Commerce Guild before and during the Clone Wars. She grew up on Castell where she was one of the millions of Gossam who suffered a massive economic depression and would be saved by the Commerce Guld which she later joined. During the Separatist Crisis, she supported secession and would later on join the war effort against the Republic and became one of the leading members of the Confederacy of Independent Systems serving as a member of the Separatist Council.
She first appeared in the Star Wars novel The Approaching Storm and would later appear in the prequel trilogy in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith both being in minor roles and has a more expanded story in the expanded universe.
Depression on Castell
Shu Mai was born on the Gossam home world of Castell, a planet in the Colonies region in the galaxy which was not that far from the Core Worlds. She had light blue skin and a thin, spindly body with pairs of long and elegant arms and legs. Due to much of Gossam culture being shaped around physical appearance alone, Shu Mai ended up using oil-based gels and creams to mold her hair into a wave at the back of her head and was known for wearing very elaborate clothing, usually red.
During the Trade Federation blockade and invasion of Naboo in 32 BBY, Shu Mai suffered a massive ten year long economic depression that ravaged Castell that hit both Shu Mai herself and millions of other Gossam hard. The depression was a result of high taxation over trade routes and the routes becoming more expensive which lowered the costs and demand of Castelian goods and services. Things got so bad that Gossam began murdering each other over food, water, and even passage off world and the planet would've fallen into complete disaster had the Commerce Guild not step in and saved Castell and its inhabitants.
Joining the Commerce Guild
After the Commerce Guild intervened, the planet was saved after a series of big investments kick started the Castelian economy and brought it back to new life. Gossam began joining the guild and worked hard within the organization with Shu Mai being one of the Gossam to join. Due to her hard work and loyalty to the Gossam workforce, she rose quickly through the corporation's ranks until she became the Chief of Property and Resources.
She was determined to get her people out of the economic slump they'd been in for over a decade and through her negotiation tactics and occasional illegal activities, she became instrumental in the planet's eventual economic recovery. Mai eventually was able to purchase Castell and by doing so, her people would benefit with low costs and rents and so she did but, she only bought her homeworld for her own personal reasons as after she purchased Castell, she rose rents and costs on the planet and forced the Gossam to pay for these large costs. Her superiors were so impressed by her actions that her guild peers eventually promoted her to the rank of President.
President of the Guild
Growing the company
After assuming the title of President, Shu Mai greatly expanded the scope and power of the Commerce Guild across the galaxy as she grew the company to the point of it being necessary for certain goods that the galaxy required for the goods to be bought from the guild. The organization also conducted numerous criminal and illegal activities which helped grow its size and power as well. Usually, Mai ordered that the guild bribe corrupt Republic officials and Senators to prevent them from taking action later on against her company and to control the markets with huge tariffs. Many of the smaller competing companies and businesses were aware of the guild's tactics and were usually targets for Mai as she had the companies absorbed and annexed into the Commerce Guild and she got away with this by operating outside of Republic jurisdiction.
Shu Mai would often force many planets and worlds to become members of the Commerce Guild and even went as far as to deploy the company's droid army against other worlds and invade them to force them into becoming guild members. Following the outbreak of the Separatist Crisis, she had the company take over other businesses that were lucrative and weren't being produced by the Republic. After her ascension, the guild got into a vendetta with the Trade Federation lead by Nute Gunray who had tried to assassinate her multiple times. Prior to 22 BBY, the guild had been responsible for niobarium pollution on Vorian IV though, Mai was able to cover it up. Sometime during the Separatist Crisis, Shu Mai met with Sullustan Beolars Bribbs who was elected the president of Sullustan Council and the CEO of the SoroSuub Corporation, a large company that had big influence over the Commerce Guild. Bribbs was elected and won and Shu Mai supported him and she was applauded for her speech supporting him.
Contact with Count Dooku
In 22 BBY, Shu Mai was eventually approached by Count Dooku of Serrano, a former Jedi master and the public leader of a movement of planets that defected from the Republic called the Confederacy of Independent Systems. At first, Mai declined to join knowing that her supporters wouldn;t appreciate it but, she soon learned of Dooku's master, Darth Sidious and she found out that she wasn't the only one who was contacted by the Sith lord. Others were contacted such as Nute Gunray of the Trade Federation, Wat Tambor of the Techno Union, San Hill of the InterGalactic Banking Clan, Passel Argente of the Corporate Alliance, and Geonosian Archduke Poggle the Lesser amongst many others. Each of them was given a Xi Chair mechno-chair for communication with the Sith lords and Mai found herself changing her mind and began to join the new separatist movement.
Midway through 22 BBY, Shu Mai had set her sights on the Mid Rim planet of Ansion where she attempted to instigate the planet's official withdraw and secession from the Galactic Republic. After analyzing star maps of trade routes that run through Ansion, Mai came to the conclusion that if she could convince Ansion to secede, then other systems would fall and leave as well and give the Commerce Guild the chance of capturing and/or purchasing these systems. Ansion was forgotten and ignored by the Galactic Senate and its population was mostly nomadic and lacked any real industry but, it had many trade routes and alliances and its secession from the Republic would force up to forty other systems to leave as well giving the guild more and more power.
Knowing that forcing the backwater world to leave would draw attention and could end up in a situation like the one on Naboo with the Trade Federation, Mai didn't pursue such actions and instead pressured the native population to make up their own minds. She was able to convince the Ansionian Senator Mousul to withdraw from the senate and eventually campaign for the planet's secession entirely. The Commerce Guild would then reward the separatists on Ansion with riches though Mai was indifferent about becoming the leader of these planets.
Mission to Ansion
During the secession movement on Ansion, Shu Mai had contacted and employed a Hutt named Soergg Vosadii Bezhin to attempt to influence the politics on the planet however, the Jedi High Council had quickly gotten wind of the possible secession on Ansion and sent four Jedi Knights on a diplomatic mission to the planet to keep the planet in the Republic and gain favor with the Ansionian people. Mai had tasked Soergg with killing the Jedi but, his attempts had failed and this angered the guild president and with the secession plan's chance of succeeding diminishing, her financial backers began to doubt her and had these faithless backers killed. Her mission on Ansion failed however as the Jedi succeeded and Ansion remained in the Republic but, Dooku convinced her that the setback was minor and that she'll succeded in the grand scheme of things.
The Clone Wars
Joining the Confederacy
In 22 BBY, Mai was inviting to the planet of Geonosis in the Outer Rim Territories for a meeting with Dooku and the other Separatist leaders where they had re-pledged their allegiance to the Confederacy. Shu Mai had done so, albeit reluctantly knowing that she and the others would be charged with treason for their actions. In the end however, the profits that Mai and the other Separatist leaders would gain from the war effort were too big to turn down and they all joined the Confederacy and defected from the Republic. She pledged the support of the guild's military to the Separatist Droid Army along with the other resources of the guild and became a member of the Confederacy's leading governing body, the Separatist Council but, she was the only known Separatist to have lingering thoughts about Dooku.
During the meeting of the Separatist leaders on Geonosis, Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi was tracking down the Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett and came across the Separatists but, he was captured before he could leave the planet and his apprentice Anakin and Padme were both captured as well while trying to save him. Mai appeared at a Geonosian court with Gunray, Rune Haako, and Dooku where they oversaw Padme and Anakin being put on trial by Poggle and had the three of them sentenced to the arena for execution. The Jedi Order found out about the planned execution however and sent 212 of their warriors to save them but 179 of them were killed during the ensuing battle in the arena. The surviving Jedi would later be rescued by the Grand Army of the Republic who engaged the droid army on Geonosis and began the Clone Wars. Shu Mai fled to the Separatist Council war room on the planet and oversaw the battle but, seeing how the Confederacy was suffering too many losses, she and the other Separatist leaders fled Geonosis and led the Confederacy in the new war against the Republic.
Nine months into the war, Shu Mai was involved in a plot where she helped establish a Separatist communications network across the galaxy. The network was called Shadowfeed and it would operate in a way similar to that of the Republic's HoloNet and would broadcast Separatist propaganda across the galaxy. One such example is where she had broadcasted Separatist propaganda on Republic-aligned planets such as Bassadro where she made a broadcast claiming that the Clone Army was slaughtering entire mining villages and conducting numerous massacres. She then said that the CIS had surrendered the planet to the Republic to make the Confederacy look good in the eys of the citizens of the galaxy despite Shu Mai having no concern for any citizen killed by the Clone Army and the same was for the other members of the Separatist Council.
To componsate for the losses, the Separatists helped relocate several minor quotes to other producer worlds. Using shadowfeed once again, Mai used it to address the hundreds of shareholders of the Commerce Guild from the Inner Rim planet of Moorja. Due to the poor weather conditions and ion storms that the planet had suffered, the CIS was unable to deploy battle droids so instead, they deployed organic soldiers such as the Gossam Commandos, the Koorivar Fusiliers, and Neimodian Gunnery Battalions to fight off the Republic forces. She would later comment on how the use of organic Separatist soldiers was most effective on the planet and was cost-effective as if the Separatists deployed their standard battle droids, the shareholders would spend more money dampening them with ion-resistant technology.
Visit to Zygerria
Sometime during the war, the planet of Zygerria had joined the Confederacy under the leadership of its queen, Miraj Scintel, and Shu Mai traveled to the Outer Rim world with Emir Wat Tambor to attend a slave auction that was being held on the planet. At the auction, captured Torgutan colonists from Kiros were presented to be bought and purchased for slave labor. Mai and Tambor watched the even fold out but, the event was interrupted when Queen Scintel had decided to present captured Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi to the Zygerrian people which had caused great concern for Tambor as he knew what the Jedi were capable of. Scintel had assured Tambor and Mai that there wasn't anything to be worried about but, Anakin Skywalker had revealed himself along with his Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, 501st Captain Rex and R2-D2 where they interrupted and crashed the slave auction. With the emir's worries confirmed, the two Separatist leaders fled the planet in fear.
End of the War
Retreat to the Outer Rim
As the Clone Wars dragged on, Shu Mai remained on the Separatist Council and lead the Confederacy throughout the three year conflict. In 19 BBY towards the end of the war, Shu Mai and the other Separatist Leaders had regrouped and met with General Grievous, the Supreme Commander of the Droid Armies and the Separatist Military Leader. She and the other council members stayed with the general as he provided protection for them while many of the council members' home worlds and other Confederate purse worlds were under siege by the Republic military and the Separatists had to fall back to the Outer Rim. The Gossam female and the other councilors all gathered in the Invisible Hand where Grievous had told them that the purse worlds were under siege and they couldn't go home so, they needed to stay with him but he was yet to find a suitable world and headquarters for them.
During this time, Shu Mai expressed her anger with Count Dooku who told her that the fall of Castell was all part of the plan. She was mad that her company appeared to be expendable to the Sith Lord and that the Gossam colony of Felucia was also under siege by the Republic as well. Using her mecho-chair, Mai was later told that the planet of Belderone was chosen to be a suitable world and she accepted to go there but, the Separatist forces were ambushed upon arrival and were forced to retreat. The Republic had been waiting for them as Nute Gunray left his mecho-chair behind during his escape from Cato Neimodia and used it to track them down. This infuriated Grievous who now had to continue his search for a suitable world.
Relocation to Utapau
Eventually however, Grievous was able to find a suitable world for the Separatist Council and found it to be the sinkhole world of Utapau which was quickly invaded, conquered, and subjugated by the Separatist forces. With Utapau now under Separatist control, Shu Mai and the other councilors got off the Invisible Hand and made it to the planet where they would be stationed at for the last months of the war. Shu Mai later appeared with her fellow council members where they oversaw the Separatist invasion of Coruscant and celebrated after the Supreme Chancellor, Palpatine, was captured and a Separatist victory seemed inevitable but, the celebrations died down when the Chancellor was saved by her rivals, Anakin and Obi-Wan, and the Confederate Head of State, Dooku, was slain onboard the Invisible Hand over the planer.
Mai was exhausted and lost faith in Grievous along with Nute Gunray though, Poggle the Lesser and San Hill still had faith in the general. Gunray was outraged and she even suggested that he take command and start making orders. She then waited on Utapau as the general eventually returned to the planet after the failed invasion and was addressed by Darth Sidious who ordered him to evacuate the Separatist Leaders to Utapau and Grievous assumed control as the new head of state.
Evacuation to MustafarFollowing the Separatist retreat from Coruscant, Grievous had gathered the Separatist Council to a meeting where he addressed the council members, including Shu Mai, where he sent them all to the Outer Rim world of Mustafar to avoid being captured by the Republic. Mai and other councilors were outraged with Gunray being the most vocal but, Grievous sited the eventual Republic assault on Utapau and he had them sent to Mustafar regardless and all of them, including Mai, obeyed the general and fled to Mustafar moments before the Republic invasion. Mai eventually arrived on Mustafar and went into the Klegger Corp Mining Facility where the new headquarters for the Separatist Council was at. There, she and her fellow councilors would oversee the last moments of the war.
Betrayal on Mustafar
For the last waning hours of the Clone Wars, Shu Mai and the other Separatist leaders oversaw the final campaigns that the Confederacy was conducting across the galaxy. After the news got out that General Grievous was killed on Utapau, the Separatist Council took over the Confederacy and the council leader, Nute Gunray, was made the new head of state. Mai and the other councilors were eventually addressed by Darth Sidious where he had promised to reward them for their loyalty to him and that he'd be sending his new apprentice, Darth Vader, to "take care" of them. She then waited for Vader's arrival and he eventually came after destroying the Jedi Order during Operation Knightfall on Coruscant. When Vader came in, Mai was relieved like the other councilors but, Vader soon locked them in and began to cut them down one by one. Mai was horrified and said that she was promised a handsome reward to which Vader replied snarkily, "aren't I handsome" and proceeded to cut her down and kill her along with the other Separatist leaders.
After Shu Mai was killed along with the other Separatist leaders, the Confederacy had been dissolved after Vader activated the shut-down command and deactivated all active units of the Separatist Droid Army during the end of the war. The Commerce Guild soon dissolved following her death and all of its resources and assets were annexed into the newly formed Galactic Empire after the dissolution of the Republic by Sidious. Mai was known for expanding the size and power of the Commerce Guild and her role in joining and leading the Confederacy would lead to the eventual fall of the Republic, the destruction of the Jedi, and the return of the Sith to the galaxy as its rulers.