The queen of Naboo was not actually an Amidala…
Star Wars Inside Intel is a StarWars.com feature where Lucasfilm Story Group member Emily Shkoukani, whose job is to know as much about a galaxy far, far away as possible, explores obscure facts about Star Wars lore and continuity. In this inaugural installment, Emily brings to light some details about Padmé Amidala in honor of International Women’s Month all March long.
Padmé Amidala is most notably known, of course, as the queen of Naboo. Throughout the prequel trilogy and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, we learn a lot about this fierce, young leader. When we first meet her, Padmé is the young queen of her planet and is faced with handling a terrible crisis, as the Trade Federation forms a blockade around her homeworld. Padmé risks everything to get her people the aid they need, and this determination is what characterizes Padmé in her life; she will never give up no matter who or what tries to stop her. But although fans know Padmé quite well, there’s always more to learn.
Starting with her name, Amidala is not Padmé’s true surname -- rather, it was a name she used during her time as queen of Naboo. This was to protect her true identity, and the identity of her family. Being a young queen at only 14 years old, it was prudent to keep her surname secret for safety concerns, however, this was also a Naboo tradition. This name would live on with her as she closed out her final year as queen and later moved on to become Naboo’s senator, as detailed in E.K. Johnston’s novel, Star Wars: Queen’s Peril, and seen in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Even after death, the name “Amidala” was one that inspired the same tenacity Padmé had. Her former handmaidens, security detail, and others loyal to her in life formed a resistance group in her name called the Amidalans. Featured in Greg Pak’s Star Wars: Darth Vader: Dark Heart of the Sith, the Amidalans believed that their former queen was murdered and they pledged to find the one responsible for her death.
So, if Amidala was her regnal name, what was her family name?
Naberrie. Padmé Naberrie was born to Ruwee and Jobal Naberrie on Naboo 14 years before we met her in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. She was one of two children born to Ruwee and Jobal, having an older sister named Sola. The Naberrie family was of humble beginnings, but it didn’t take long for Padmé to establish herself as a rising philanthropist, which would set her on a path to become Naboo’s queen. Padmé’s family can be seen attending her funeral on Naboo at the end of Revenge of the Sith, although they were originally intended to be featured in Attack of the Clones until their scenes were cut. In these deleted scenes, Padmé and Anakin visit the Naberrie family for dinner. In the midst of the ensuing mystery and danger, it's a moment of relief as Padmé reunites with her family. And they don’t hesitate to call out the obvious attraction and connection that Anakin and Padmé have for one another. It’s important to keep these deleted scenes in consideration and as a source material to understand characters and relationships better. Without them, we wouldn’t know as much about Padmé and her family!
Did you learn something new about Padmé and the Naberrie family? Check back bi-weekly to learn something new about the Star Wars galaxy!