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"I guess I was wrong. There was no danger at all."
―Gregar Typho, to Padmé Amidala, immediately preceding the first attempt on the latter's life[1]

The plot to assassinate Senator Amidala was carried out at the height of the Separatist Crisis when the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Trade Federation plotted to assassinate Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo. Amidala, a leading opponent of the Military Creation Act that proposed the creation of an army for the Galactic Republic, was targeted when she arrived on Coruscant for a vote on the measure as part of Darth Sidious' plot to ensure the passing of the legislation. The attempt was carried out by Zam Wesell, a partner of bounty hunter Jango Fett who himself following orders from Count Dooku, leader of the Confederacy of Independent Systems so that it could gain the backing of Nute Gunray and the Trade Federation under the condition that Amidala was killed. The attempt failed, though it claimed the life of some of Amidala's associates. As a result of the attempt, the Jedi High Council assigned Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, to protect the senator.[1]

Wesell attempted another assassination later that evening using venomous kouhuns dispensed by the droid ASN-121, but it was foiled by the two Jedi, who chased Wesell on Coruscant before she was killed by Fett; the bounty hunter killed her to prevent her from revealing their secrets. This set in motion an investigation that led Kenobi to Kamino, where he discovered a clone army that had been secretly created for the Republic. This army became the Grand Army of the Republic and was used during the First Battle of Geonosis, which sparked the Clone Wars.[1]


Formation of a grudge[]

Padmé Amidala, a human native of[3] the Mid Rim[4] planet Naboo,[3] had only recently been elected Queen[5] when her homeworld was threatened by the Trade Federation over new taxation rules implemented by the Galactic Republic[3] via Prop 31-814D.[6] The Trade Federation blockaded and invaded Naboo after attacking the two Jedi ambassadorsJedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi—sent by Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum to attempt to peacefully resolve the issue. Jinn and Kenobi assisted Amidala and a party of her guards and handmaidens in escaping to Coruscant, the Republic's capital, where Amidala petitioned the Galactic Senate for assistance.[3]

The Senate was gridlocked, and Naboo's representative in the Senate, Senator Sheev Palpatine, persuaded Amidala to call a Vote of No Confidence in Chancellor Valorum. Subsequently, however, Amidala returned to Naboo accompanied by her entourage and the Jedi, determined to free her world herself. Forming an alliance with Naboo's native Gungans, led by Boss Rugor Nass, Amidala spearheaded a three-pronged attack. In the ensuing Battle of Naboo, Amidala personally arrested Trade Federation leader Viceroy Nute Gunray inside Theed Royal Palace with the assistance of Captain Quarsh Panaka. Palpatine was elected Supreme Chancellor in the chancellery election Amidala had sparked,[3] and Gunray was placed on trial by the Galactic Republic.[1]

The events caused Gunray to develop a personal grudge against Amidala. He went on trial multiple times,[1] repeatedly being found not guilty for the invasion, as Naboo kept filing appeals. Amidala's reign ended[7] in 28 BBY[8] after two terms in office. Her successor, Queen Réillata, asked Amidala to become the Chommell sector's new Senator, succeeding Oshadam, who had succeeded Palpatine upon his election as Chancellor. Amidala accepted the offer, heading to Coruscant with three new handmaidens, Cordé, Dormé, and Versé, as well as a security team headed by Captain Mariek Panaka and Sergeant Gregar Typho, Quarsh Panaka's wife and nephew respectively.[7] Typho would eventually rise to command Amidala's security detail himself.[1]

Weeks into Amidala's tenure, near the end of her orientation session, she was the target of an assassination attempt. Her assigned NON protocol droid, NON-3, was reprogrammed to lead her into an area of the Galactic Senate Building scheduled for demolition that day. Suspecting something was amiss, Amidala had elected to go in disguise while Cordé, who had been recruited to serve as a body double, tested out her impersonation of the Senator for the first time. Amidala and Cordé were saved from death by the fortuitous intervention of Alderaanian Senator Bail Organa, who had seen Amidala's speeder travelling below the safety limits and followed it. Organa ordered NON-3 to report for maintenance, after which none of the Naboo delegation saw the droid again. News outlets, particularly the Trade Federation-connected TriNebulon News, reported on the incident in a fashion which painted Amidala in a bad light, with only a few early reports from more reputable outlets even mentioning the malfunctioning droid. Knowing of the Trade Federation's affinity for droids, Amidala and her retinue suspected their hand in the assassination attempt.[7]

The Sith conspiracy[]

"We will watch your career with great interest."
―Palpatine, to Anakin Skywalker[3]

The Invasion of Naboo had secretly been part of a conspiracy far more sinister than the Trade Federation and tax-free trade zones. Viceroy Gunray and his cronies had carried out their blockade and occupation at the behest of Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith. The Sith, an order whose members wielded the dark side of the Force, was an ancient enemy of the light side-wielding Jedi Order, but they had been believed destroyed at the end of the final conflict[3] in 1032 BBY.[9] In secret, they survived and plotted their revenge against the Jedi and Republic. Sidious was in fact none other than Sheev Palpatine, and he had orchestrated the invasion of his homeworld specifically to get himself elected Supreme Chancellor, which succeeded.[3]

The Jedi had become aware of the continued existence of the Sith during the Naboo crisis because Jinn and Kenobi had encountered Darth Maul, Sidious' apprentice, engaging him in a duel during the Battle of Naboo. Maul had killed Jinn, but was in turn defeated by Kenobi, who was promoted to Jedi Knight in the aftermath. Jedi Master Mace Windu and Grand Master Yoda, aware of the Sith Rule of Two which dictated their numbers, knew there had to be one other Sith in existence after Maul's defeat, but had no clues as to their potential identity, or even whether Maul had been the apprentice or the Sith Master. Kenobi took on Anakin Skywalker, a Force-sensitive former slave Jinn had discovered on the planet Tatooine during their journey from Naboo to Coruscant, as his Padawan. Palpatine, however, also took an interest in the boy.[3]

The Separatist Crisis[]

Palpatine's ultimate goal was to establish an Empire with himself as its Emperor,[10] and he intended to do this by starting a galaxy-spanning war. The apprentice who succeeded Maul was Darth Tyranus, birth name Dooku, a former Jedi Master[1] who had taken up his birthright as Count of Serenno upon leaving the Jedi Order.[11] Sidious and Dooku began plotting to tear the Republic apart at its seams through a civil war which would benefit the Sith's plans.[1]

The war that the Sith planned had already been foreseen by Sifo-Dyas, a former member of the Jedi High Council who had been removed from his position after arguing that the Jedi needed to raise an army in order to prepare for the conflict. Undeterred, Sifo-Dyas contacted[12] the Kaminoans, a species from the remote extragalactic planet Kamino who specialized in cloning, and ordered an army, pretending he was acting on an official request from the Jedi and Republic.[1] Shortly thereafter, the Jedi Master was murdered by the Pyke Syndicate on the orders of[12] his former friend[11] Dooku, who subsequently took over the project while presenting himself as a Jedi to the Kaminoan government.[13] Dooku hired a bounty hunter named Jango Fett to serve as the clone template. Although the clone troopers were designed to age at twice the rate of a normal human, it would take a decade for the army to be ready, setting a timetable for the next stage of the Sith plan.[1]

Dooku began fomenting anti-Republic sentiment in the Outer Rim Territories,[14] at one point leading an organization called the Independent Movement for Self-Determination.[6] The Jedi remained unaware of Dooku's fall to the dark side, believing him to be merely a political idealist.[1] In 24 BBY,[15] Dooku commandeered a HoloNet relay in the Raxus system and delivered the Raxus Address, denouncing the Republic as being hopelessly corrupt and favouring the Core Worlds.[14] Following the speech, Dooku officially founded the Confederacy of Independent Systems, beginning the Separatist Crisis.[16] Although possessing a parliament,[17] the Confederacy was actually led by Dooku and the Executive Separatist Council, which contained representatives from various galactic megacorporations, including the Trade Federation.[1]

Palpatine's term as Chancellor was extended in order to handle the crisis, as thousands of star systems seceded from the Republic to join the Separatists. Amidala became a member of the Loyalist Committee, a group of Senators charged with advising the Chancellor on the crisis, which dragged on for the next two years. Eventually, a bill called the Military Creation Act was raised in the Senate, proposing the creation of a full Republic Military, which had not existed for more than a millennium. Amidala was a prominent opponent of the act.[1]

Nute Gunray, who had become a member of the Separatist Council, still sought Amidala's death, and as the Separatists began preparing for war, he demanded the Senator's assassination as a condition of the Trade Federation's loyalty to the group. Dooku had used Jango Fett for various jobs since initially hiring him to be the clone template, and sent the bounty hunter to Coruscant to carry out the task. Fett decided to subcontract the job to an associate of his, the Clawdite Zam Wesell.[1]

Wesell's attempts[]

Platform bombing[]

"Milady, I'm so sorry. I've failed you, Senator…"
―Cordé and Padmé, before the former's death[18]

Similar to the attempt six years prior,[7] the assassination did not claim the life of Senator Amidala thanks to the foresight of Captain Gregar Typho, now Amidala's head of security. He had Amidala replaced by her handmaiden Cordé, while Amidala flew one of the three escorting N-1 starfighters. Tempting fate, Typho began to admit there might have been no danger after all when, just a few seconds later, a massive explosion prepared by Wesell destroyed the barge while its occupants were disembarking. The explosion took the lives of Cordé, fellow handmaiden Versé, and six members of the Royal Naboo Security Forces, including Lieutenant Theomet Danlé and Mett Habble. One of the barge's astromechs, R2-H7, was damaged by debris and one of the N-1 starfighters was additionally knocked off the platform as well. Mortally wounded, Cordé weakly apologized 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.[1]

Afterwards, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine requested the Jedi Council to place Senator Amidala under the protection of Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. Kenobi and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker were assigned for the task, though Skywalker was frustrated that the investigation into the bombing was not part of their mandate. Kenobi and Skywalker's protection prevented a second assassination attempt from succeeding.[1]

Apartment infiltration[]

"I hit the ship, but they used a decoy."
"We'll have to try something more subtle this time, Zam. My client is getting impatient. Here, take these. Be careful—they're very poisonous. Zam, there can be no mistakes this time."
Zam Wesell and Jango Fett[18]

Following the first failed attempt, Wesell rendezvoused with Fett on the balcony of a Trade Federation office tower 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 from the jungle planet of Indoumodo 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 courier droid, ASN-121, and sent it to place the creatures in Amidala's bedroom.[1]

Flying to the Senate apartment complex, ASN-121 bypassed the defensive shield on Amidala's bedroom window,[19] cutting through the glass and releasing the arthropods. 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 he shut himself off. Kenobi and Skywalker, from outside the bedroom while in a heated discussion, sensed the danger, however. Mere seconds before the kouhuns could bite Amidala, Skywalker burst in and swiftly bisected both creatures with his lightsaber, startling the senator awake.[1]

Noticing the courier droid still at the window, Kenobi defenestrated himself through the broken window and grabbed onto ASN-121 as it went to escape. Skywalker, instead of jumping out the window after his master, left Amidala under R2-D2's watch and attempted to find another means to follow them. On a parking bay balcony several floors down, Skywalker found and hotwired a convertible airspeeder (an XJ-6 airspeeder owned by the Vorzyd sector's Senator Simon Greyshade) and began pursuit.[1]

Speeder chase[]

"Where are you going? He went that way!"
"Master, if we keep this chase going any longer, that creep is gonna end up deep fried. Personally I'd very much like to find out who he is and who he's working for. This is a shortcut... I think."
―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker[18]

Aware of the Jedi Knight clinging onto it, ASN-121 attempted to knock Kenobi off of it, first trying to scrape him against the side of the passing Champalan Embassy before opting to let him dangle in front of incoming traffic. Kenobi managed to hold on, avoiding hitting speeders (including one with Senator Bogg Tyrell and her guest Seboca, and another stolen by Magaloof) until they approached the Trade Federation office tower. Seeing the Jedi on her returning droid, Wesell pulled a KiSteer 1284 projectile rifle from her Koro-2 all-environment Exodrive airspeeder and shot her own droid down, leaving Kenobi to plummet to his death as opposed to being directly killed by a slug that could be traced to her gun. Fortunately, Anakin flew into Obi-Wan's path, catching his master on the XJ-6's trunk. Wesell started her own speeder and began her getaway with the two bickering Jedi in pursuit.[1]

In attempt to loose them, Wesell sharply nosedived into the Corusca Circus, weaving through intersections and going kilometers down into Coruscant's depths. Narrowly avoiding the Ultimo Vista, Skywalker tailed the bounty hunter into industrial airspace, weaving through the burning exhaust vents of a Kerdos Company recycling plant and into the neighboring Greth Lan-Dwu Corp. electrical power-generating plant. There Wesell drew her KYD-21 blaster pistol and shot a set of power couplings behind her, causing electricity to arc between and shock the two Jedi as they got caught in it. Having distanced herself a bit from her pursuers, Wesell steered into a skytunnel passing through a Huosnoughow Foundation skyscraper, which Skywalker decided to bypass in a shortcut. Stopping at the opposite end of the tunnel and where Wesell had seemingly got away, Kenobi began to criticize his padawan's decision making when Skywalker jumped out of the speeder, falling and catching onto Wesell's speeder, whose pilot by this point had relaxed and removed her veil.[1]

Startled by the padawan clinging to the roof of her Koro-2, Wesell slowed on her brakes, flinging Anakin forward on the speeder's left mandible where she tried to shoot him off. Anakin managed to swing over the the right side of the speeder, prompting Wesell to speed up and slide him off, however he held onto the canopy handle again, catching a glimpse of the Clawdite's disguise faltering in her surprise. Drawing his lightsaber, Anakin stabbed it through the windscreen trying to destroy the speeder's guidance systems until Wesell started firing through the roof, making him drop it the wind only for it to caught by Obi-Wan, who was now driving the XJ-6 closely behind. Weaponless, Anakin continued by reaching through and wrestling Wesell for her blaster pistol, the struggle of which forced her to misfire into her speeder's control pipes. With its propulsion systems on fire, Wesell's speeder quickly began losing altitude, plummeting to Vos Gesal Street. Skywalker fell off shortly above the sidewalk and tumbled into a set of crates, just before the speeder skidded against the duracrete until it collided into the base of a statue, crumpling the mandibles. Surviving the crash-landing, Wesell scrambled out of the wreck and ran into the crowd of shocked pedestrians, with Anakin following after her through the Uscru Entertainment District.[1]

Obi-Wan landed the XJ-6 and reconvened with Anakin, who had tracked Wesell to the Outlander Club and shared with his master his deduction that Wesell was not only a female, but also a changeling. Entering the club, the two began looking for their suspect amongst the patrons, the Jedi Master stopping by the bar as the padawan walked through a crowd of nightgoers, both with their lightsabers at the ready. Shortly after persuading the Balosar Elan Sel'Sabagno to reconsider life as a slythmonger, Kenobi sensed Wesell sneaking up behind, getting ready to shoot him pointblank in the back. Before the bounty hunter could fire, Kenobi spun around and ignited his lightsaber, cutting off Wesell's right hand. Skywalker dissuaded the shocked patrons from nosing into the Jedi's business, leaving them to their drinks as Kenobi slung the wounded bounty hunter over his shoulder and the two escorted her out the club's side entrance.[1]

Setting their detainee down in the alleyway, Kenobi began questioning Wesell. She confessed that she knew she was hired to kill a senator from Naboo, but was reluctant to identify her contractor. After Skywalker demanded for an answer, Wesell began to identify Fett but was cut short when a toxic saberdart struck her under the chin, fired by Fett who had followed in case he needed to silence her. The two Jedi turned to see the beskar-clad bounty hunter jetpack away from a neighboring building, turning back to see the poisoned Wesell's human disguise quickly deteriorating into her natural Clawdite morphology. In her dying breath, Wesell cursed the "sleemo," leaving Fett unidentified.[1]


"Track down this bounty hunter you must, Obi-Wan."
"Most importantly, find out who he is working for."
"What about Senator Amidala? She will still need protecting."
"Handle that your padawan will."
Jedi Masters Yoda and Mace Windu instructing Kenobi and Skywalker[18]

Following the two failed attempts and newly cut ties, Jango Fett retreated from Coruscant, taking the Slave I back to Kamino to lay low in Tipoca City. Simon Greyshade's XJ-6 airspeeder was returned to its designated parking spot undamaged, leaving the senator unable to press charges of theft or property damage against the Jedi peace officers, and the official inquiry into the vehicle's brief disappearance was cut short.[19] The furthering events of a second assassination attempt and a larger mystery convinced the the Jedi High Council to divide Knight Kenobi and Padawan Skywalker with their own missions: Kenobi tasked with investigating Wesell's assassin and their contractors, and Skywalker to continue guarding Senator Amidala by himself on Naboo.[1]

Kenobi was able to track Fett down using the weapon of Wesell's murder. Initially unable to identify the saberdart using the Analysis Rooms (as everything about Kamino had been expunged from the Jedi Temple's archive by Dooku a decade prior), Kenobi only had the dart identified as Kaminoan in origin by his friend Dexter Jettster, a Besalisk with a long life full of colorful stories. Triangulating the lost planet's location from Jettser's directions to outside the Rishi Maze and the holes there in the Jedi Archives' star maps, Kenobi would embark for the home of fabled cloners and discover not only Jango Fett's identity, but the creation of an army of clones of suspicious commission that would bring about the Clone Wars.[1]

In order to convince Senator Amidala to hide on Naboo, Mace Windu permitted Skywalker to recruit Chancellor Palpatine to assist in convincing the senator, to which the Chancellor agreed. Amidala, Skywalker, and R2-D2 took public transport from Port District to Theed, traveling clandestinely on the Jendirian Valley under the guise of refugees. The three would remain in hiding with the Naberrie family in the Lake Country until Skywalker led them to Tatooine to check on his mother, Shmi, who Anakin saw in peril through Force visions.[1]


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59 1.60 1.61 1.62 1.63 1.64 1.65 1.66 1.67 1.68 1.69 1.70 1.71 1.72 1.73 1.74 1.75 1.76 1.77 1.78 1.79 1.80 1.81 1.82 1.83 1.84 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  2. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  4. Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
  5. Queen's Peril
  6. 6.0 6.1 Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Queen's Shadow
  8. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace to 32 BBY. Queen's Shadow, which begins with the end of Padmé Amidala's reign, is stated to occur four years later, dating the end of Amidala's reign to 28 BBY.
  9. The Star Wars Book dates the supposed destruction of the Sith to 1,032 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which corresponds to 1032 BBY in the dating system used by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  10. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dooku: Jedi Lost
  12. 12.0 12.1 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "The Lost One"
  13. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Conspiracy"
  14. 14.0 14.1 Tarkin
  15. Rise of the Separatists states that the Raxus Address occurred two years before the First Battle of Geonosis, which is dated to 22 BBY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. Therefore, the Address must have occurred in 24 BBY.
  16. Rise of the Separatists
  17. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Heroes on Both Sides"
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  19. 19.0 19.1 Star Wars: Complete Location