- "You were right about one thing, Master. The negotiations were short."
- ―Obi-wan Kenobi to Qui-Gon Jinn after escaping the Federation's ambush.
In 32 BBY, the Jedi ambassadors sent to resolve the Trade Federation blockade of the planet Naboo were forced to escape from the Lucrehulk-class LH-3210 cargo freighter Saak'ak. The Trade Federation had been manipulated into blockading Naboo by the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, framed as a process of the taxation of trade routes enforced by Prop 31-814D by the Galactic Senate. Galactic Republic Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum sent two Jedi, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, to negotiate with the Trade Federation and end the dispute. The Jedi traveled to the Naboo system aboard the Consular-class space cruiser Radiant VII, piloted by Captain Maoi Madakor and Antidar Williams of the Judicial Forces. After reaching the Saak'ak, the Jedi were greeted by the protocol droid TC-14, who informed Viceroy of the Trade Federation Nute Gunray that the Republic's ambassadors were Jedi.
Gunray was terrified and contact Sidious in response. The Sith Lord ordered Gunray to execute the Jedi and accelerate the invasion. The Trade Federation destroyed the Radiant VII with a concealed turbolaser turret, and Gunray flooded the meeting room with Dioxis gas before sending a group of B1-series battle droids to ensure the Jedi had died. Jinn and Kenobi survived however, and began cutting down the droids and made their way towards the Saak'ak's control room. As Jinn cut through the blast doors with his lightsaber, Gunray sent two droidekas, which caused the Jedi to flee down to the ventilation shaft. They exited near the Trade Federation's invasion force and decided to sneak in to separate landing crafts to land on Naboo.
- "With all due respect, the ambassadors of the Supreme Chancellor wish to board immediately."
"Yes, of course. As you know our blockade is perfectly legal, and we'd be happy to receive the ambassadors."
- ―Captain Maoi Madakor transmitting to Viceroy Nute Gunray
To fulfill the centuries-old Sith Grand Plan, the Sith Lord Darth Sidious gained the influence of the leadership of the Trade Federation, which included the Neimoidian Viceroy Nute Gunray. Following the passage in the Galactic Senate of the Republic of Prop 31-814D, which made Free Trade Zones eligible for taxation, the Trade Federation began a blockade of the planet Naboo at Sidious's behest. Naboo was the homeworld of Sidious, who represented it as a senator in his public persona of Sheev Palpatine. The blockade involved a series of Lucrehulk-class Battleships positioned in orbit around the planet for a month including the Saak'ak. The blockade caused the Naboo people to starve, and while the Senate endlessly debated on the alarming issue, Republic Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum secretly sent two Jedi, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi as ambassadors to resolve the blockade.
Jinn and Kenobi traveled to the Naboo system aboard the Radiant VII, a Consular-class space cruiser, which was piloted by Judicial Forces Captain Maoi Madakor and Antidar Williams. Once in the system, Jinn asked Madakor to inform Gunray that they wished to board immediately, which Gunray agreed to over a transmission, in which he also claimed that the blockade was legal and that the Trade Federation was willing to negotiate. Jinn and Kenobi disembarked the Radiant VII and where greeted by the protocol droid TC-14, who led the Jedi to a meeting room. The droid instructed them to wait and make themselves comfortable before leaving to retrieve her masters. Now alone, Kenobi discussed an unpleasant feeling he had, an elusive feeling unrelated to their mission. Jinn asked his Padawan to focus on the present and avoid focusing on his anxieties. They also discussed how Gunray would respond to Valorum's demands for peace, with Jinn assuming that the cowardly nature of the Trade Federation would lead to short negotiations.
Meanwhile, TC-14 informed Gunray and Trade Federation captain Daultay Dofine that the Republic's ambassadors were Jedi Knights. Dofine was terrified and refused Gunray's instruction to distract them, sending TC-14 back to the meeting room instead. The protocol droid provided refreshments to the Jedi, at which point Jinn sensed through the Force that there was an unusual amount of fear present for a small trade dispute. Gunray contacted Sidious via hologram, where Dofine immediately claimed that the plan had failed due to the involvement of the Jedi. Sidious ordered Gunray to keep the "stunted slime" out of his sight, and stated that the Jedi's involvement meant they had to accelerate their plans and begin the landing on Naboo. The Sith also assured Gunray that he would make alterations to ensure the invasion was legal. Gunray inquired what was to be done with the Jedi, and Sidious ordered their execution.
- "The Chancellor should never have brought them into this. Kill them immediately."
- ―Darth Sidious ordering Nute Gunray to kill the Jedi
In the Saak'ak's hangar a turbolaser turret opened from the roof and fired on the Radiant VII, destroying the ship and killing Madokar and Williams. Jinn and Kenobi sensed the attack and immediately drew their lightsabers. The meeting room immediately began flooding with poisonous dioxis gas, which Jinn identified. Both Jedi held their breaths and switched off their lightsabers. A group of ten Trade Federation Droid Army OOM-series battle droids were sent down to the room by Gunray, who assumed the Jedi were dead and ordered the droids to destroy their remains via hologram. The droids opened the doors to the gas-filled room, from which TC-14 emerged first and apologized to the battle droids. As the droids took their steps into the meeting room, the Jedi ignited their lightsabers, prompting the droids to begin firing with their E-5 blaster rifles. The Jedi deflected their shots and moved out of the meeting room, cutting down all of their attackers. The Neimoidian pilot Tey How reported to Gunray that they had lost transmission from the droids, causing the viceroy to order that the bridge be sealed up and droidekas be deployed. Settlement Officer Rune Haako commented that they were not going to survive.
Jinn and Kenobi ran to the door to the bridge, cutting down four battle droids near it. Jinn began cutting through the door with his lightsaber, prompting Gunray to order the blast doors be sealed. Jinn was still able to slowly cut through, terrifying the Neimoidians, while Kenobi destroyed another battle droid that approached them. Just after Haako, impatiently exclaimed for the droidekas, two of them rolled down to the hallway near the Jedi and began firing. Jinn and Kenobi deflected their shots but were unable to pierce their shield generators. Jinn knew they were caught in a standoff, and so the Jedi used the Force to dash away from the droidekas, escaping to the Saak'ak's ventilation shaft. Jinn and Kenobi emerged to see a large force of battle droids loading into Multi-Troop Transports in preparation for the Invasion of Naboo. The Jedi were surprised to see the army, with Jinn considering it an odd move for the Trade Federation. Jinn knew that they had to warn the Naboo and inform Valorum, instructing his Padawan that they would hide on separate C-9969 landing crafts to land on the planet's surface. Kenobi joked that his master had been right earlier about the duration of the negotiations.
- "We're ambassadors for the Supreme Chancellor."
"Your negotiations seem to have failed."
"The negotiations never took place."
- ―Qui-Gon Jinn and Sio Bibble after the former rescued Queen Amidala
Gunray and Haako received a transmission from Queen Amidala, the Monarch of Naboo, who claimed that the boycott had ended under the belief that the ambassadors had been received. Gunray denied their presence and rejected Amidala's warning, assuring that they would not act without the Senate's approval. After Haako queried whether the Naboo would expect their attack, Gunray was unsure but gave the order to disrupt their communications. As the Trade Federation Droid Army landed on the planet, a holographic transmission between Amidala's retinue and Senator Palpatine was disrupted, with Governor Sio Bibble realizing that the invasion had begun. Gunray contacted the battle droid OOM-9 on Naboo's surface to inform him that the Jedi had boarded their landing crafts, and OOM-9 responded that the droids would find them. Jinn and Kenobi encountered two B1 battle droids riding Single Trooper Aerial Platforms, but were able to destroy them before making their way to Theed, Naboo's capital. The Trade Federation captured Theed with little resistance and took Amidala hostage. However, Jinn and Kenobi rescued the queen, identifying themselves as the ambassadors and explaining that they had been ambushed. The Jedi escorted her to the galactic capital Coruscant with the intention of sharing testimony of Naboo's plight to Chancellor Valorum and the Senate.
Behind the scenes
- "While the Congress of the Republic endlessly debates this alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy, to settle the conflict…"
- ―The opening crawl of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (First appearance)
- Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace
- The Phantom Menace Golden Book
- The Phantom Menace Read-Along Storybook and CD
- Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy – A Graphic Novel
- The Prequel Trilogy Stories
- Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings
- Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures – "Obi-Wan Kenobi" (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars: Geektionary: The Galaxy from A - Z
- (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga: The Official Collector's Edition
Notes and references
- Queen's Peril
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, which included the escape from the Saak'ak, in 32 BBY.
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars: Complete Vehicles 2018
- *Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Antidar Williams (★))