- "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
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.
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.
Formation of a grudge
Padmé Amidala, a human native of the Mid Rim planet Naboo, had only recently been elected Queen when her homeworld was threatened by the Trade Federation over new taxation rules implemented by the Galactic Republic via Prop 31-814D. The Trade Federation blockaded and invaded Naboo after attacking the two Jedi ambassadors—Jedi 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.
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, and Gunray was placed on trial by the Galactic Republic.
The events caused Gunray to develop a personal grudge against Amidala. He went on trial multiple times, repeatedly being found not guilty for the invasion, as Naboo kept filing appeals. Amidala's reign ended in 28 BBY 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. Typho would eventually rise to command Amidala's security detail himself.
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.
The Sith conspiracy
- "We will watch your career with great interest."
- ―Palpatine, to Anakin Skywalker
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 in 1032 BBY. 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.
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.
The Separatist Crisis
Palpatine's ultimate goal was to establish an Empire with himself as its Emperor, 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 who had taken up his birthright as Count of Serenno upon leaving the Jedi Order. Sidious and Dooku began plotting to tear the Republic apart at its seams through a civil war which would benefit the Sith's plans.
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 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. Shortly thereafter, the Jedi Master was murdered by the Pyke Syndicate on the orders of his former friend Dooku, who subsequently took over the project while presenting himself as a Jedi to the Kaminoan government. 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.
Dooku began fomenting anti-Republic sentiment in the Outer Rim Territories, at one point leading an organization called the Independent Movement for Self-Determination. The Jedi remained unaware of Dooku's fall to the dark side, believing him to be merely a political idealist. In 24 BBY, 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. Following the speech, Dooku officially founded the Confederacy of Independent Systems, beginning the Separatist Crisis. Although possessing a parliament, the Confederacy was actually led by Dooku and the Executive Separatist Council, which contained representatives from various galactic megacorporations, including the Trade Federation.
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.
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.
- Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings
- Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy – A Graphic Novel
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones (First appearance)
- Attack of the Clones Golden Book
- Attack of the Clones Read-Along Storybook and CD
- Queen's Hope (Indirect mention only)
- Brotherhood (Mentioned only)
- Obi-Wan Kenobi – "Part I" (In flashback(s))
- Thrawn: Alliances (Mentioned only)
- Thrawn: Alliances audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Darth Vader (2020) 3 (Indirect mention only)
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Exit from Endor" (In flashback(s))
- LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Notes and references