Poggle the Lesser (?-19 BBY), Archduke of Geonosis, is a fictional character from the Star Wars universe. Poggle was leader of the Geonosian weapon masters serving the Confederacy of Independent Systems and served on the Separatist Council until the end of the Clone Wars. In the films he was created with computer-generated imagery. Although Marton Csokas is credited with his voice, how much of his voice made it into the final, digitally altered voice is open to debate. He first appeared in .
[Spoiler warningSpoiler warning]: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Poggle the Lesser is the Archduke of Geonosis as seen in Attack of the Clones. As planetary leader of the Geonosians and member of the Techno Union, Poggle controls the vast droid factories found on his planet.
Originally, Poggle was a member of the Geonosian lower caste, hence his surname 'The Lesser.' He sought the position held by then-Archduke Hadiss the Vaulted and organized a revolt against him, which seemed to be of little concern to Hadiss, who easily dealt with the rebels.
That was until the Sith Lord Darth Sidious came to Poggle's aid, however, and secretly funded his revolution. Over time, Poggle's rebels finally seized power and Poggle at last became Archduke of the Stalgasin Hive Colony, the ruling hive of Geonosis, and Hadiss was executed in the Geonosian arena.
Poggle the Lesser is human-sized and insectoid like all Geonosians, but his frame is slightly larger than his servants and he has a set of fleshy, beard-like tendrils growing around his mouth, as well as a prominent head-crest. At full height, Poggle stands almost as tall as Count Dooku. He carries with him a command staff which is rumored to be made from the bones of a murdered political rival — possibly a grim trophy from the execution of Hadiss the Vaulted.
Once Poggle the Lesser was in power, Darth Sidious' intentions became clear: he wanted control of the droid factories to supply battle droids to the Trade Federation for an invasion of Naboo. Poggle, grateful for Sidious' help, gladly struck a deal with the Trade Federation. That Poggle and the Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray hated each other but still worked together is greater testament to the influence of the Sith Lord.
Shortly after Gunray was humiliated at the Battle of Naboo, Poggle was approached by the rogue Jedi Count Dooku, revealing himself as Darth Tyranus, apprentice to Darth Sidious. Dooku formed a partnership with Poggle; Poggle would ensure that Geonosis was among the founding worlds of the Confederacy of Independent Systems and manufacture a large supply of the Confederacy's battle droid army. In return, Poggle would be paid large sums of money for his trouble and Geonosis would earn a place on the high order of the new Confederacy. This partnership was lucrative; Poggle even took the liberty to create a new super battle droid for the Confederacy. In addition to this, Poggle and the Geonosian weapon masters were given the contract to build a vast superweapon.
Nearly ten years after their initial meeting, Poggle the Lesser hosted the first meeting of the Confederacy in the Stalgasin Hive. The Geonosians captured Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Senator Padmé Amidala soon after this meeting, and Poggle himself presided over their trials, charging them with espionage and sentencing them to execution in the Geonosian arena. Senator Amidala warned Poggle that to execute three officials of the Republic was an act of war; Poggle scoffed that as a builder of weapons, he was more than prepared for it.
The execution did not go as Poggle planned, but despite the prisoners managing to outwit the arena beasts (and Nute Gunray's constant complaining), Poggle was satisfied by the display, until Mace Windu and several Jedi arrived to rescue them. Poggle's battle droids outnumbered the Jedi and victory seemed sure—until the Army of the Republic arrived. Poggle and the Separatists retreated to a war room and watched helplessly as the Republic Army, suddenly manned by squadrons of clone troopers, slaughtered their droid army. Poggle ordered his soldiers to retreat and hide, but before he joined them, he turned over plans to the Death Star to Count Dooku and erased all data from his computers.
In , Poggle the Lesser remained with the main Separatist Council during the final stages of the Clone Wars. Geonosis was the primary contractor for the construction of the Death Star, with hundreds of thousands of Geonosians employed in the project. While the Council Leadership, under the protection of General Grievous, became anxious when the war was turning in favor of the Republic, Poggle tried to reassure his colleagues that they only needed to hold out until the Death Star was completed, although he knew as well as the others that it would take years. Poggle did not live to see its completion, however, as he was slain by Darth Vader in the Separatist stronghold on Mustafar.
Poggle the Lesser has been described as "analytical and pitiless, but also pragmatic... reasonable." Poggle was among the few Council members who knew that Darth Sidious was in charge of the Confederacy, even before Dooku revealed him. Like Jango Fett, Poggle also knew that Dooku was Darth Tyranus. What Poggle didn't know, however, was the true identity of Lord Sidious or that the very clones used to attack him were commissioned by Sidious and Tyranus. Though not the most intelligent or diplomatically-versed being in the Star Wars universe, it is notable that the Sith placed a great deal of trust in him, and that he and Count Dooku respected each other mutually (despite the latter's misgivings about non-humans), even if he was, for the most part, unaware of their true intentions.When his death scene in Revenge of the Sith is played frame by frame, Poggle can be seen unsuccessfully trying to ward off Darth Vader with his cane, which is cut in two moments before Poggle himself is killed. This makes Poggle the only Separatist leader to make any sort of attempt, as futile as it was, to defend himself.