Queen’s Hope and Brotherhood change how Star Wars fans see Neimoidians

Star Wars: Brotherhood. Image courtesy StarWars.com
Star Wars: Brotherhood. Image courtesy StarWars.com /

Warning: This article contains spoilers from Queen’s Hope and Brotherhood

Thanks to Queen’s Hope by E.K. Johnston and Brotherhood by Mike Chen, Star Wars fans will never see Neimoidians the same way again. Since their introduction in The Phantom Menace in 1999–where they were depicted through Nute Gunray and the Trade Federation–Neimoidians have been portrayed unfavorably.

Nute Gunray and the Trade Federation work with the Sith to set up a blockade and invade Naboo, oppress the planet’s people, and try to force Queen Padmé Amidala to sign a treaty against her will. When Padmé brings these crimes to the Senate, Neimodian Senator Lott Dod denies that the crimes ever happened.

After Nute Gunray’s failure in in The Phantom Menace, he continues to work with the Sith and the Separatists as they commit many heinous crimes, including trying to kill Padmé numerous times. The Neimoidians are seen working with the villains and often cower behind them. With the wise and usually open-minded Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn saying, “These Federation types are cowards,” fans saw Neimoidians as a simply cowardly and greedy species.

Queen’s Hope begins to change the way that fans see Neimoidians when Padmé is contacted by a Neimoidian named Oje N’deeb toward the end of the novel. Padmé is initially distrustful and cynical toward N’deeb . This is understandable given all the horrors Neimoidians have inflicted against Padmé and her people.

Padmé has as much of a reason to hate Neimoidians as anyone, but her distrust and cynicism begin to soften when she listens to N’deeb. He admits that while he and the group he represents did not participate in the invasion of Naboo a decade earlier, they also did nothing to stop it. He now wants to make amends for the actions of the Nute Gunray and the Trade Federation.

N’deeb explains how he is using his business to help planets under attack by Separatist forces and those sympathetic to the Republic. Unlike his competitors, he is also not using the outbreak of the Clone Wars to exploit those in need and making his goods more expensive.

In addition to his business ventures, N’deeb confides in Padmé that he wants to replace Lott Dod in the Senate with a more ethical leader who will better represent the Neimoidian people. This is where Padmé comes in as he needs the help of a Republic senator to convince the Senate that this is a serious initiative. Instead of letting hatred guide her actions, Padmé agrees to move forward and work with N’deeb.

Related Story. Queen’s Hope gives Padmé, her handmaidens the stories they deserve in trilogy’s conclusion. light

With the majority of the story taking place on Cato Neimoidia and with the Neimoidian Ruug being a point of view character, Brotherhood does even more than Queen’s Hope to change fans’ perceptions of Neimoidians. The reader learns that most Neimoidians consider Nute Gunray and his faction of the Trade Federation to be extremist.

Most Neimoidians are just trying to live their lives and conduct their business, but this is more difficult than ever given the actions of Nute Gunray and his faction. Even worse, countless Neimoidian lives are lost in a bombing orchestrated to further tension that will extend the Clone Wars.

The novel also explores how the Republic has a history of dismissing and mistreating Neimodians. This hits home the hardest when the Neimoidian Ketar explains how his parents were cruelly mistreated when they went to present their art at Coruscant’s Festival of Stars, and how his parents were killed by pirates when traveling through Republic-protected hyperspace lanes.

It is Ruug who does the most to redefine Neimoidians, though. She repeatedly risks her own safety and security to pursue the truth behind the bombing on Cato Neimoidia. Even though it would be much safer and easier to for her to hate Obi-Wan Kenobi and help frame him, the Jedi, and the Republic for the bombing, she chooses to work with and trust Obi-Wan.

She sees that Obi-Wan is a good man who like her is interested in truth, justice, de-escalating conflict, and ending a cycle of violence. Ruug and Obi-Wan grow to genuinely respect one another and are still helping one another even by the final page of the novel.

Another important thing that the novel explores is the danger of making assumptions about other cultures. One telling instance of this is when the Jedi characters believe there is something amiss about the fact that the infirmaries full of injured Neimoidians have been left unguarded.

Jedi Initiate Mill Alibeth later realizes that the infirmaries have been left unguarded because the Neimoidians want to give their injured a more restful space to heal. What was initially perceived as potential negligence is actually an example of how Neimoidians deeply care about their people.

Both Queen’s Hope and Brotherhood do an excellent job of reframing Neimoidians without invalidating the abhorrent actions of Nute Gunray, Lott Dod, and the Trade Federation during the prequels and The Clone Wars. These novels teach vital lessons about the dangers of stereotyping a group of people and dismissing them based on the actions of others.

Both novels show that with some open-mindedness and trust from both sides, there is a way forward for better understanding and to heal wounds. Padmé and N’deeb demonstrate this in Queen’s Hope and Rugg and Obi-Wan demonstrate this in Brotherhood. Thanks to these books, Star Wars fans will never see Neimoidians the same way again.

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