- "This is my decoy, my protection…my loyal bodyguard."
- ―Padmé Amidala, introducing Sabé to Rugor Nass
Sabé (pronounced /sɑ'beɪ/), formerly known as Tsabin, was a human female who hailed from the planet Naboo during the late era of the Galactic Republic. Serving as a handmaiden in the Royal House of Naboo, Sabé was duty-bound to protect Queen Padmé Amidala—the elected ruler of the people of Naboo—against any threat. As such, she impersonated Amidala during the Invasion of Naboo in order to keep her safe from the Trade Federation.
Sabé continued to act as a decoy queen after the Jedi ambassadors Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi rescued the true Amidala as well as her royal retinue. Upon returning to Naboo from Coruscant, the capital world of the Republic, Sabé was introduced as Queen Amidala to the Gungan people. Hoping to forge an alliance between Gungans and the Naboo, the real Amidala identified herself to Boss Rugor Nass—leader of the Gungans—and thereby revealed Sabé's true role as the queen's handmaiden, decoy and loyal bodyguard.
Sabé continued to wear her disguise during the Battle of Naboo. Storming the Royal Palace in Theed, the decoy caught the attention of Viceroy Nute Gunray, who ordered his battle droids to pursue Sabé, believing her to be the real queen. As a result, Amidala and Captain Quarsh Panaka were able to secure the throne room and capture Gunray. Ultimately, the battle concluded in victory for both the Royal Naboo Security Forces and the Gungan Grand Army.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
Tsabin was born on Naboo around 46 BBY, into a family of hallikset players. As per family tradition, she was sent to study music at the Theed Conservatory, a school known for training traditional musicians, as her older brothers had studied there, although she strongly disliked it. In 32 BBY, the year she turned fourteen and was expected to take up an apprenticeship, Tsabin was approached by Captain Quarsh Panaka of the Royal Naboo Security Forces, who asked her to hold off on accepting an apprenticeship until after the upcoming election, although he provided no details. Tsabin, looking up the candidates running for queen, discovered that she had a strong resemblance to one of the candidates, Padmé Amidala, and suspected what Panaka might have in mind. After Amidala won the election, Tsabin accepted Panaka's offer to become her body double, being introduced to Amidala and becoming the Queen's first handmaiden. Two weeks after Amidala's election, Panaka presented four other girls, Rabene Tonsort, Eirtama Ballory, Suyan Higin and Sashah Adova, to her as potential handmaidens as well, and the Queen took them to her apartments in the Theed Royal Palace to discuss things. There, the girls decided what roles each would have in Amidala's service and, at Tonsort's suggestion, changed their names to match Amidala's given one for privacy, some prestige, and so that Amidala going undercover as one of her own handmaidens would be less noticeable. The last to pick her new name, Tsabin became Sabé.
Naboo Crisis[edit | edit source]
- "Viceroy! Your occupation here has ended."
- ―Sabé, as Queen Amidala
Sabé was one of five handmaidens that served Queen Amidala during the Trade Federation's blockade and subsequent invasion of Naboo. When Federation forces captured the Theed Royal Palace, Sabé switched roles with the queen, who posed as a simple handmaiden, going by her less commonly known name, Padmé. Sabé, pretending to be the queen, rejected Viceroy Nute Gunray's efforts to have her sign a treaty that would make the invasion legal. She and the rest of the royal retinue were then escorted by battle droids to a separate holding facility.
On the way, they were rescued by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi. Proceeding to a nearby hangar, Jinn insisted that the queen be taken to Coruscant to plead her case to the Galactic Senate. After conferring with her handmaiden Padmé, the real queen, Sabé agreed. She subsequently left Naboo aboard the Royal Starship with the Jedi, taking Padmé, Panaka, as well as Eirtaé and Rabé, with her.
They eventually managed to get through the Federation blockade and leave the Naboo system. Sabé—as the queen—commended R2-D2 for maintaining their ship during its escape, and ordered Padmé to clean the astromech droid. However, the Royal Starship's hyperdrive was heavily damaged. Forced to land on the desert planet Tatooine, Sabé remained on the starship while Jinn and Padmé sought a new T-14 hyperdrive generator.
When they reached the galactic capital of Coruscant, Sabé was presented as the queen to Supreme Chancellor Valorum and Senator Sheev Palpatine, who represented Naboo in the Galactic Congress. She then switched back with the queen, and attended to Amidala before she went to speak to the Senate.
Sabé once again switched places with Amidala when they sought help from Gungan forces, and began negotiations with their leader, Boss Nass. However, Padmé quickly revealed the deception as a confidence-building measure, and the two parties finally agreed to work together in order to free their planet from the Trade Federation. Despite being exposed, Sabé remained disguised as Queen Amidala during the mission to reclaim the palace. When Padmé was captured, she played an instrumental role in deceiving Viceroy Gunray. Showing up suddenly at the door to the throne room, Sabe proclaimed the Viceroy's occupation over and blasted two of his droids before fleeing with her group. Gunray ordered his troops to follow Sabé, believing she was the real queen. This provided Padmé the opportunity to retrieve her blaster and take the Neimoidian into custody, liberating the planet.
Sabé was later present when the queen welcomed Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and the Jedi Council to Naboo, and at the parade celebrating the freedom of Naboo and the reconciliation of its human and Gungan populations. After Amidala left the throne, Sabé was the only handmaiden to remain in her service. Among other tasks, Amidala sent Sabé back to Tatooine in an effort to free slaves. Although Amidala had specifically requested that Sabé locate Shmi Skywalker, the handmaiden could not find her. She brought the slaves she did free to a new life on the planet Karlinus.
The Death of Padmé Amidala[edit | edit source]
- "It doesn't make any sense! She wouldn't just die. And an empire? Headed by Sheev Palpatine? Nothing about this makes sense!"
In 19 BBY, the Clone Wars came to an end after Sheev Palpatine transitioned the Republic into the First Galactic Empire. As a result of her husband Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side, Amidala lost the will to live and died after giving birth to her children, Luke and Leia. The Funeral of Padmé Amidala took place in Theed shortly after, which was attended by Sabé and Padmé's other surviving handmaidens. Every handmaiden, including Sabé, barely spoke during the procession, as their grief was profound and difficult for outsiders to understand.
Following Amidala's funeral, Sabé went home to be alone with her thoughts. However, she was eventually startled by a knock on the door. Although she initially believed it might be one of her many enemies, she soon realized that it was Captain Tonra of the Naboo Royal Security Forces, a dear friend of Sabé's. After letting Tonra in, Sabé finally let her emotions flow freely, conveying anger and confusion at Amidala's death and the formation of the new Empire. After her outburst, Tonra asked Sabé what she would do. Sabé thought to herself that if Tonra's question had come from her parents they would've been asking what Sabé would do without Padmé, however considering how well Tonra knew her Sabé understood that he was asking what she would do in Amidala's memory.
After consideration, Sabé told Tonra that she was going to investigate what had happened to Amidala, starting on Coruscant. She believed she couldn't merely relax on Naboo now that so many of her friends were dead. Tonra, wanting the same thing as Sabé, asked if he could accompany her on her journey. Considering their previous compatibility in the field, Sabé agreed to Tonra's request but warned him that they would have to change their identities and make sure there was no indication they were from Naboo. The pair began immediately organizing for their trip. Tonra informed Sabé that he could get them a ship or at least a journey off-world and requested that Sabé create the false IDs while he packed her bag. In return, she told him that he should call in any untraceable favors he was owed, as they would need every bit of help they could get in their investigation.
Sabé went to her workstation and briefly glanced over the files she had been looking over. A majority of these files were pertaining to the many years of work Amidala had put into improving the galaxy, as well as the policies she never had the chance to petition. As she looked them over, her emotions began to swell, and she sought to know more then ever why Amidala had died. Her contemplation was soon interrupted by her comm chiming, although Sabé decided not to answer it. Tonra answered it and insisted that Sabé talk to the caller. Sabé relented and accepted the call, which was being sent by Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan. Sabé asked Organa what he wanted.
Shortly after Padmé's funeral, Sabé and her allies broke into Padmé's Apartment on Coruscant and stole the chamber's security recordings. Believing there could be a clue on the recordings, Sabé attempted to decrypt the footage. However, before she could do so the Empire showed its true colors, and Sabé went to fight in the rebellion. She hid the recordings on Naboo where they would be safe until Sabé could continue the investigation.
Encountering the Dark Lord[edit | edit source]
Meeting on Vendaxa[edit | edit source]
- "I am Padmé Amidala…Queen…Senator…Daughter of Naboo…back from the dead to haunt you to your grave."
- ―Sabé to Darth Vader
During the Galactic Civil War, sometime after the Duel on Cloud City in 3 ABY, Sabé and her team were in a base on Vendaxa when the facility was breached by the local Vendaxan land squids. Her team were swiftly massacred by the creatures. The last of Sabé's soldiers, a Gungan, requested that she evacuate the base. Sabé refused, as she didn't want to leave without the crew, and as such had to watch as the Gungan soldier was also killed by the land squids. When it seemed as though Sabé would be overrun, a dark figure entered the facility with a lightsaber in hand. The man dressed in black used his lightsaber to make quick work of the land squids, clearing the immediate vicinity of the creatures. Upon seeing Sabé, the man spoke the name "Padmé" in disbelief.
Sabé, who had her blaster trained on the man, demanded to know what he had just called her and who he was. A forensics droid that was accompanying the man remarked on the resemblance between Sabé and the deceased Padmé and introduced the man as Darth Vader, an agent of the Emperor. In response to the revelation that the dark figure was a servant of the Empire, Sabé immediately fired on Vader. However, the Sith Lord merely deflected the laser with the Force and telekinetically disarmed Sabé, leaving her defenseless against him. Vader inquired the identity of Sabé, who informed Vader that she was in fact Amidala back to haunt him from the grave. Angered by Sabé's response, Vader used the Force to lift and choke the rebel. However, after a short while, Vader, who was secretly the former Jedi Anakin Skywalker, released her after experiencing memories of his deceased wife Amidala.
Sabé grasped her blaster and fled deeper into the facility, where the land squids still remained. When Vader followed, the squids attacked him, although he was still able to defeat them with relative ease. Hoping that the land squids could defeat Vader with enough numbers, Sabé opened a gate in the facility that led into the main nest. Vader soon caught up with her and used the Force to prevent her from escaping. Vader again demanded to know Sabé's true identity, assuring her that she didn't have to be afraid of him. Once again, Sabé avoided the question, simply telling Vader that she was angry not afraid. Fortunately for her, Vader came to the realization that Sabé must be one of Amidala's former Handmaidens.
Joining Vader[edit | edit source]
- "They were good soldiers…who walked with me at Padmé's funeral. And they will be mourned. Not like you, Lord Vader. And not like me. Now come…so you can serve your Emperor…and I can have my vengeance."
- ―Sabé to Darth Vader
With this new information, the forensic droid accompanying Vader managed to identify her as Sabé. Vader queried Sabé on why she had broken into Padmé's apartment on Coruscant years ago and what she had learnt from the investigation. Sabé asked Vader what kind of game he was playing, as she was under the impression that the Emperor had killed Padmé. The droid took note of the fact that Sabé was not entirely sure if her accusation towards the Emperor was true or not, and introduced himself as ZED-6-7. As the droid began to ramble, Vader ordered him to stay silent and revealed to Sabé that someone had stolen Padmé away shortly before her death and that the person/persons responsible were considered enemies of the Empire.
Vader asked Sabé to join his investigation into Padmé's death, as he knew that she too wanted revenge against those responsible for the Senator's premature demise. Sabé, seeing a Vendaxan land squid approach Vader from the opened gate, blasted the squid and agreed to help him. Sabé and Vader then fought side by side against the mass of land squids emanating from the main nest. After every squid was dead, Vader complemented Sabé on her fighting skills and urged her to follow him.
As they exited the facility, Lord Vader informed the death troopers waiting outside that they would leave the planet immediately. However, Sabé refused as she wished to bury the corpses of her deceased crew before leaving. Vader allowed it, and tasked ZED-6-7 with assisting her at Sabé's behest. After the burial was completed, Sabé solemnly remarked that they had been good soldiers who had walked with her during Padmé's funeral. She then remarked to Vader and the other Imperials that it was time to leave and boarded Vader's shuttle. On the shuttle, Sabé informed Vader that she and her allies had indeed broken into Padmé's apartment after the funeral and stolen the chamber's security recordings, although she was never able to decrypt them, and so hid them on Naboo.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
- "Padmé. Clean this droid up the best you can. It deserves our gratitude."
- ―Sabé, as Queen Amidala
Sabé was loyal to Queen Amidala, serving as both her bodyguard and decoy in crisis situations, despite the considerable risk of injury, capture, or even death that this posed to her. As a member of Amidala's royal retinue of handmaidens, Sabé was handpicked to aid the Queen of Naboo. Like all Naboo handmaidens, she learned self-defense and was also trained to remain vigilant against all threats to her monarch. When impersonating the Queen, Sabé and Amidala, who disguised herself as a handmaiden, relied on a system of subtle signals in order to secretly communicate without undermining the deception of their switched roles.
Sabe was loyal to a fault. She had loyalty to Padme, and she knew Padme could not return the same care.
Like Amidala, Sabé was a human female who stood at 1.65 meters. She had brown hair, brown eyes, and light skin. She carried a standard ELG-3A blaster pistol like the queen and her fellow handmaidens and was a capable markswoman, taking off the head of a battle droid at one point with a single shot.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Sabé first appeared in the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, portrayed by English actress Keira Knightley. Sabé was originally going to be filled by a stand-in, until casting director Robin Gurland came across Knightley, who bore a striking resemblance to Natalie Portman, who portrayed Padmé Amidala in the film. Knightley's role was kept quiet by The Phantom Menace's marketing department in order to heighten the surprise of there being a decoy queen when the film was released and the queen's costumes were specifically designed to hide any height and shape differences between Portman and Knightley, so much in fact that even Portman's own mother couldn't distinguish between the two on set.
When asked if she would ever reprise the role of Sabé, Knightly responded by asking whether she had played Sabé or Padme, confused which character was actually hers. She quickly shut down any possibility of her return saying she "hopes [Sabé] lived a long and happy life somewhere in a planet far, far away."
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Queen's Peril
- Queen's Peril audiobook
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (First appearance)
- The Phantom Menace Golden Book
- The Phantom Menace Read-Along Storybook and CD
- Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy – A Graphic Novel
- Star Wars Battlefront II (Painting only)
- Queen's Shadow (First identified as Tsabin, simultaneous with Queen's Shadow audiobook)
- Queen's Shadow audiobook (First identified as Tsabin, simultaneous with Queen's Shadow)
- Darth Vader 1
- Darth Vader 2
- Darth Vader 3
- Darth Vader 4
- Darth Vader 5
- Darth Vader 6 (Appears in flashback(s))
Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
- Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, New Edition
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- (Picture only)
- (Picture only)
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Queen's Shadow
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Queen's Peril
- Darth Vader 3
- Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Darth Vader 2
- Darth Vader 1
- "Appearing Knightley (and the Women of Star Wars)"—Star Wars Insider 75