- "GALACTIC CITY, CORUSCANT - The skies over the Naboo Embassy were filled with flames, debris and tragedy when Senator Padmé Amidala's cruiser was destroyed in a massive explosion. According to satcam footage, as the Naboo cruiser touched down on its hovering multi-lobed landing pad, escorted by three Naboo N-1 starfighters, an explosion tore through the gleaming silvery craft. Hurling debris destroyed an accompanying fighter. At least seven people were believed killed in the blast."
- ―HoloNet News Vol. 531 56
The plot to assassinate Padmé Amidala was a scheme to assassinate the Senator from Naboo, Padmé Amidala. The plot was carried out by Clawdite bounty hunter Zam Wesell on behalf of Jango Fett, who was following orders from Count Dooku, leader of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. It was also part of Darth Sidious' plot to ensure the passing of the Military Creation Act, of which Amidala was one of the leading opponents. The first attempt initially appeared to be a success, but Senator Amidala was found alive. The second attempt, however, was foiled by Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. In the aftermath of the second attempt, Zam Wesell was silenced by Jango Fett before the two Jedi could fully question her.
The first attack
- "Milady, I'm so sorry. I've failed you, Senator…"
- ―Cordé and Padmé, before the former's death
The assassination did not claim the life of Senator Amidala thanks to the foresight of Captain Gregar Typho, Amidala's head of security. He had Amidala replaced by her handmaiden Cordé, while Amidala flew in a N-1 starfighter. A massive explosion prepared by Wesell took the lives of Cordé, fellow handmaiden Versé, and four members of the Royal Naboo Security Forces, including lieutenant Theomet Danlé. Ironically, the explosion occurred just a few seconds after Typho began to think there was no danger after all. The explosion ultimately managed to mortally wound Cordé, with her weakly apologizing to Amidala as she tended to her side for "failing" her, with Amidala, while holding back tears, desperately assuring her she didn't fail at all before the handmaiden drew her last breath. The nearby Naboo Embassy then had security and medical workers rush to the scene.
Although Amidala survived the attempt on her life, it was nonetheless initially reported that she was among those who were killed, with an obituary even being reported on her life afterwards. Her survival was not publicly revealed until she arrived right in the middle of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine's eulogy for her. Partisan bickering ensued with Twi-lek senator Orn Free Taa proposing that they defer the vote to the next day, with it growing into gasps upon Amidala speaking up. Amidala, a staunch opponent towards the passing of the Military Creation Act and the leader of the opposition to the act's passage, cited that she as well as the security apparatus of the Republic had been the target, and implied that whoever was responsible for the attack had the passage of the Military Creation Act as their motive. Despite her survival being confirmed, Palpatine deferred the vote to the next day regardless, in order to do security reviews. This led to the pro-Military senators accusing the latter of overstepping his boundaries as Supreme Chancellor by even delaying the vote in the first place, with one senator, Candabrine Bu of Lansono, implying that Palpatine had no intention of passing the law at all. Amidala as the session was adjourned then pled for the senators to reconsider the Military Creation Act, citing that the Separatists would only show violence in return.
The attack was later tracked to disgruntled spice miners from the moons of Naboo, though Amidala suspected Dooku. Afterwards, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine requested the Jedi Council to place Senator Amidala under the protection of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. Kenobi and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker were assigned for the task, though Skywalker was frustrated the investigation was not part of their mandate. Kenobi and Skywalker's protection prevented a second assassination attempt from succeeding.
The second attempt
Following the first failed attempt, Wesell was sent by Fett to terminate the life of Amidala a second time. Fett, saying that a more subtle attempt would be more desirable, gave Wesell two kouhuns, a type of venomous arthropod capable of easily killing adult Humans. He then warned her that they could not afford to make any mistakes this time, as Fett's client was getting impatient. Wesell placed the kouhuns in her ASN-121 courier droid and sent it to place the kouhuns in Amidala's bedroom. Although the Kouhuns initially made enough noise to put R2-D2 out of standby mode, they quickly blended in with the bed frame and eluded the astromech droid's scanning the perimeter until it shut itself off.
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, from outside the bedroom while in a heated discussion, sensed the danger, however, and Skywalker burst into the room and killed the kouhuns. Kenobi then grabbed onto the ASN-121. Skywalker, instead of jumping out the window with his master, attempted to find another means to follow him. Scaling various rooftops, and disabling several security droids in the vicinity, eventually went to a Senator parking garage several meters down from Amidala's apartment to access an airspeeder, ultimately opting for an XJ-6 airspeeder since it was the only one that had a convertible design. Meanwhile, Wesell, seeing this, was forced to shoot her own droid down, knowing full well that if she tried to shoot Kenobi directly, the autopsy would find the bullet in his body and thus trace it back to her, and that the Jedi Knight's fall would seem less suspicious. However, Anakin, via an airspeeder that he had "borrowed" from a senator, rescued Kenobi at the last minute. The two Jedi then pursued Wesell by airspeeder through the Coruscant skylanes to the CoCo District. During the pursuit, Wesell attempted to use various tricks to her advantage in an attempt at deterring her pursuers, including forcing them to pass through smokestacks bellowing smoke, as well as shooting power pylons to generate electricity potent enough to induce heart attacks for non-Force users. Eventually, after the craft stalled, Anakin hovered some distance above Zam Wesell's craft, let his body drop the intervening distance through the air, then latched a firm hand-grip to its rear canopy handle. He ultimately was forced to let go when she shot at him, although not before getting a good look at her, wherein he deduced that Zam was not only a female, but also a changeling (he'd briefly glimpsed Wesell's true form when she looked up). Wesell was likewise forced to crash her vehicle shortly afterward, with Skywalker then supplying pursuit, with his also being forced to slow down somewhat due to the criminal element constantly harassing him, though he ultimately lost her trail by the time he reached the Outlander Club. Skywalker reported his earlier discovery about Wesell to Kenobi when they had reconvened. After the Jedi duo caught up with the bounty hunter at last and had literally disarmed her, Fett was forced to fatally shoot Wesell with a toxic saberdart just as she was about to reveal her employer's identity to the Jedi.
The saberdart proved to be Jango Fett's undoing; Kenobi brought the dart to his friend Dexter Jettster, whose knowledge of the dart's origins led the Jedi to the mysterious planet Kamino. On Kamino, Obi-Wan uncovered Fett's existence, and, pursuing him to the planet Geonosis, his ominous role. There, Kenobi discovered that the Confederacy of Independent Systems was constructing a droid army. Fett was later killed on Geonosis by Mace Windu, minutes before the explosive start of the Clone Wars.
According to a HoloNet News poll, 55% of its readers believed the Separatists were behind this renewed attempt on Amidala's life, while 11% voted for pro-military loyalists, 6% for disgruntled space miners, and the remaining 28% voted "Others".
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Non-canonical appearance)
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones (First appearance)
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones GBA game
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones junior novelization
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Movie Storybook
- (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Indirect mention only)
- Outward Bound (Mentioned only)
- Labyrinth of Evil (Mentioned only)
- Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows (Mentioned only)
- The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The Illustrated Companion
- (Indirect mention only)
- The Essential Atlas
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Zam Wesell)
- Star Wars: What Makes a Monster?