Headscratchers / The Phantom Menace

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    Reactor core 

  • Was that place that Maul, Obi-Wan, and Qui-Gon fight in built specifically for them to fight in? I mean seriously, what kind of architect puts catwalks with no railings, and laser death gates that go off every 30 seconds for no reason?
    • The kind that knows that it's a power facility that will only have engineers running around with hover-belts attached or droids.
    • Yeah but what purpose did those laser gates serve? Even if the facility was meant to have droids walking around, what was with the gates that would evaporate anyone who walked into it.
    • Who knows what the power system needs? It's not like people are supposed to be walking around there normally with the generators online.
    • The Expanded Universe says it comes from a Naboo superstition about gates holding back chaos. They are turned on during high power output phases.
    • Hey, don't bad-mouth that architect! The power core on Naboo was just one of many startlingly innovative projects he worked on, such as the vast central ventilation shaft at Cloud City, the trash compacting systems on Death Star I, and the landing pads on the floating cities of Kamino. Spending $0 on safety measures was the signature of his architectural style.
    • What that whole chamber was was a plasma harvesting operation. That plasma the Gungans use? Naturally occurring within Naboo. Extract it and refine it and it becomes a potent weapon and fuel source. Those tubes are channeling the plasma into processing vats, kinda like an oil rig. The laser gates are there to burn off any excess energy, to prevent damage.

    Destroying emitters 

  • Here's a better question, how come the Jedi and Maul never think to simply run their blades through those emitters and clear a path for themselves? Especially Obi-Wan who could not reach Qui-Gon in time because of these things? We've seen lightsabers slice through three layers of blast doors, nobody questions this?
    • It took the saber a long time to get through the blast doors because they were so thickly armored. Worst case scenario, they try to slice out the emitters only for it to take ages, and when the laser gate shuts off their saber is stuck in the wall while the guy on the other side is rearmed.
    • Remember they're fighting in a giant power plant. If they started cutting up machinery that produces energy gates there's probably a good chance some of it could explode in their faces.
    • Qui-Gon is also taking the time to rest. Maul and Obi-Wan clearly aren't to differing degrees.

    Tatooine slavery and Jedi 

  • Why didn't Qui-Gon Jinn tell the Council that Tatooine still had slavery and send Jedi there to free the slaves?
    • Because they're peacekeepers and not an army that's going to take over a whole planet, occupy it, and force it to change its economic system.
    • Plus, Tatooine isn't part of the Republic - it belongs to the Hutts. The Hutts have been slaveholders for millennia and are extremely unlikely to change their practices just because the Jedi tell them to, and if the Jedi occupied the planet and forced it to change, that's what we call an act of war. Now, the Republic would probably win a war against the Hutts, but it's still something nobody wants.
    • Also remember that the Republic was essentially demilitarized at this point, while the Hutts were probably rather well-armed, what with being gangsters and all. A war would have started out badly for the Republic, even if they won eventually.
    • Even considering the above points, you'd think that Obi-wan and Anakin would return secretly and just free Shmi. The loss of one slave wouldn't start a war, and in the meantime Anakin would get to grow up with a mother! Heck, you don't even need to break any rules. Just get the friggin Queen of Naboo to send an envoy to Tatooine so he can buy Shmi outright. It's not as if Padme is strapped for cash! The whole planet is indebted to Anakin for blowing up the Federation control ship; paying for his mother's emancipation is the least they can do!
      • But Jedi aren't supposed to have personal attachments. Honestly, there's a whole discussion about whether Anakin actually having his mother around would have made things turn out any differently, but as far as the Jedi were concerned? Once Anakin becomes a Padawan, that's it. His mother isn't significant to them. It's part of their growing failings that they're always focusing on the bigger picture. As to the general point about why the Jedi don't step in to free the slaves, people often tend to forget that it's much more difficult than anyone just trotting up and saying "Oh yeah, slavery's bad so...you can't do it anymore, mmkay?" If you're going to change anything on that scale, you need to have a solid plan on what to replace it with and you'd better be ready to implement the new system instantly if you don't want everything to just go to hell. Even slavery on earth took centuries to disappear and a new system to take its place, and we still haven't completely finished the job yet. The Jedi sure as heck aren't going to devote the time and energy and manpower needed to involve themselves in attempting to completely alter the economical system of some planet in the middle of nowhere that's not even controlled by the Republic.

    Shmi virgin birth 

  • If Shmi Skywalker is around forty years old in the first movie, how did she go her entire life without ever having sex? Yeah, I get it: this is never stated outright, and the movie's aimed at kids and they can't mention sex. Still...a woman getting unexpectedly pregnant and not knowing who the father is isn't that unusual (sadly). But in Real Life, you'd think the woman would have at least some idea of who the father might be, or would at least have something to say about it other than a mystified "There was no father! I can't explain what happened!"
    • You're reading this all wrong, you know. As deleted scenes and EU material make clear, Shmi was absolutely telling the truth. Anakin's birth was the product of Darth Plagueis and Palpatine messing around with Midi-Chlorians in an effort to produce an artificial, ultrapowerful force-sensitive whom they could then train into a weapon. As for the idea that Shmi would assume a given man might be the father, while Shmi may possibly not have been a virgin, it's very much plausible that a mistreated slave on an alien planet might not have had sex with anyone in the past year or so.
    • Plenty of people go their whole lives without having sex. Also she could have had sex, just not nine months before Anakin's birth.
    • She didn't have to go her whole life without sex. Simply not having any in the year before Anakin was born would be enough.
    • The fact that she's a slave would give good reason for her not to have sex. She might be beaten for being less efficient by being pregnant, her child might be sold away from her, or she could be outright forbidden to do so. Sure, her owner seemed like he wasn't the type to do that, but she might want to err on the side of caution or she might have had a different owner before she had Anakin.
    • Shmi was owned by Gardulla the Hutt at the time Anakin was conceived, and she would've been a lot more likely to sell the child than Watto.

    Jedi believing virgin birth 

  • In Real Life, you'd think the Jedi would be at least a little skeptical about this explanation before jumping to the conclusion that the child was "conceived by the living Force!" So... apparently, they don't teach sex-ed at the Jedi academy. But no one even considers that maybe Shmi just got knocked up and forgot about it. Or, more sadly: she's a slave...she could have been raped by a previous master and blocked out the traumatic memory.
    • Jedi can probably sense when someone's lying, and it seems they didn't here.
    • That wouldn't help if she genuinely believed it.
    • Blocking out rape memory isn't a terribly realistic possibility. Even the idea of blocking traumatic experiences is scientifically controversial.
      • There are documented cases of people blocking out traumatic memories, so there's no controversy that this sort of thing can happen. The controversy is just a question of how often it happens.
    • Well, her son has more force power than really anyone else ever, so that's evidence for her theory.
    • It's fully explained in Star Wars: Darth Plagueis. Plagueis and Sidious/Palpatine tried to alter midi-chlorians so that they could conceive a being of their own creation. The Force says 'Screw you' and counters with Shmi's progeny.
    • I thought the implication in Star Wars: Darth Plagueis was that they had succeeded in using midi-chlorians to conceive said being and that it's Anakin.
    • That may be what's so clever about it. Their attempt to create a person to be the ultimate weapon for them instead gave them that, but with the twist that he'd eventually get wise about it and bring the more manipulative and arrogant of the two, and essentially their way of life, down.

    Changing credits 

  • So, here's Qui-Gon Jinn on Tatooine, and he's just found out that the guy who's got the starship part he needs won't take his money. Jedi mind tricks don't work. What does he do? Find a weak-minded money-changer who *will* take his Republic credits, get some of the local currency and go back? No. Instead, he enters a pre-teen boy in a suicidal death race driving a makeshift hot-rod the kid built himself. No wonder the Jedi were having trouble....
    • Qui-Gon does not believe in coincidences, and likely sensed Anakin being force-sensitive the second he met him. He likely took it as a sign; the Force telling him, "You're supposed to be here, and you're supposed to find this kid."
    • That actually makes a surprising amount of sense, really. Doesn't necessarily preclude him changing the money and just buying Anakin, but if we view the race as a test of his abilities it at least moves it from "suicidally stupid" to "risky, but made sense at the time." Yay for tropeage!
    • Yeah. It's not like there was a political crisis happening, or that Qui Gon was risking other people's property on dangerous bets. The kid is clearly top priority here. I'm sure the Jedi Council and the Senate would understand the delay and gambling.
    • Qui-Gon's just the Jedi version of The Last DJ. Think of Captain Kirk getting promoted to admiral despite being a loose cannon who thinks the rules are beneath him. Well, I imagine Qui-Gon has reached the "Admiral Kirk" stage of his career where he's become a widely respected Jedi Master and everyone sort of grudgingly tolerates his unorthodox ways. In other words, he did it because he's just Crazy Awesome like that.
    • Here's the confusing part: Why exactly doesn't the Jedi Mind Trick work on Watto? He claims it's because he's a Toydarian, but since all beings in the galaxy are connected to the Force, it wouldn't make sense for this one species to be exempt. Jabba didn't fall for Luke's mind trick, but that's because he's much sharper than say, Bib Fortuna, whereas Watto seems like he's not all that bright. (Proof: he let himself get suckered in a rigged bet with a Jedi.)
    • It's a biology thing. Toydarians are naturally immune to Jedi Mind Tricks simply by being Toydarians. Hutts are immune for the same reason.
    • There is no real evidence to suggest Hutts are immune. Obi-Wan states that it works on the weak minded in A New Hope, and Jabba calls Bib Fortuna weak minded when it works on him. This really only suggests that Jabba himself is resistant, due to being strong minded. If this is true for all Hutts or not is never detailed.
    • Qui-Gon spends a lot of time in the film talking about "The Living Force," which is generally assumed to mean "right here, right now, what's right in front of you." Supported by him telling Obi-Wan to "keep your focus in the here and now, where it belongs." Qui-Gon is very sensitive to those subtle nudgings, and really just follows the path he believes the Force lays out for him. In this case, the Force laid a path straight to Anakin Skywalker.
    • The original trilogy was clear in that the Jedi mind trick only works in "weak minds" (how do you define what is one, is another matter) which is probably why doesn't work on Jabba and probaly Watto (they are bad people, but not dumb at all), later the EU made some biological mombo-jombo explaining that Hutts are all inmune to it, but how canonical is that, who knows? Point is, the mind trick was never intended to work with everyone everytime, otherwise would be too much of a Deus ex Machina, it was obviously intended to work only in dumb mooks.

    Maul's death 

  • I have a problem with the way Darth Maul died. He clearly showcased that he was a stronger and more agile warrior than either Obi-Wan or Qui-Gon as he takes on both of them with no trouble at all, mortally wounding Qui-Gon and disarming Obi-Wan and knocking him down a cliff. Instead of finishing Obi-Wan off as he easily could have he just stands there and gives Obi-Wan a decisive glare so as to mock him and flails his lightsaber around like a child. This showboating gives Obi-Wan enough time to jump out of the hole he was in, retrieve his lightsaber and cut Maul in half. Maul does nothing to stop this. At all. It just seemed like the plot called for Maul to be stupid for those precious few moments so that Obi-Wan could be guaranteed to survive into the Original Trilogy. What makes it even worse is that over a decade later Obi-Wan has the nerve to say that having the high ground automatically equals a victory in a fight as a means to get Anakin to stand down when clearly that isn't true as Obi-Wan himself proved against Maul.
    • Higher ground is never a guarantee of victory. It is, however, a major advantage. Obi-Wan, in a last act of compassion toward his former apprentice, was just warning Anakin that he had a much better advantage, and that Anakin shouldn't be foolish enough to push his luck. Obi-Wan won the fight with Anakin because he had the advantage of higher ground and his guard was up. Maul lost because he was dumb enough to lower his guard.
    • Yes but that doesn't change the fact that Maul could have easily finished Obi-Wan off by using a simple Force push, which we saw him use to knock Obi-wan into the pit. Instead, he just takes his time when before he was shown to be an impatient warrior (pacing while Qui-Gon meditated) and is killed as a result.
    • Possibly exerting his powers to perform that Force Push left Maul slightly out of it for a few seconds? He's supposed to have been rather weak in the Force, as that's the flaw that made him suitable for Palpatine's apprenticeship.
    • He could have reached down and cut Obi-Wan's hands with his lightsaber. or when Obi-Wan jumped up, cut him in half instead of standing there. Or just keep him around for the rest of the prequel trilogy.
    • Maul supposedly really liked killing Jedi. He finished Qui-Gon off quickly because he still had Obi-Wan to contend with, but once Obi was hanging in the shaft, it didn't really matter and Maul could screw around as much as he wanted. The Villain Ball trope exists for a reason, and the reason is, people do that.
    • This also plays into the common problem with Pride in villains. He wanted to toy with him for awhile.
    • Still makes him look like an idiot. Sure, Obi-Wan may be disarmed, but it's not like Jedi don't have some way to grab weapons from a distance.
    • Remember, Obi-Wan is an apprentice. Maul just took out Qui-Gon Jinn. He doesn't think that it's possible for a relative rookie to be able to do that.
    • The simplest explanation is that the creators think Viewers Are Morons and made the scene overly slow, segmented, and deliberate so that everyone could clearly tell what exactly Obi-Wan did. I like to imagine he actually quickly executed a jump in the blink of an eye (like Luke jumping out of the carbon freezing chamber in Episode V - he jumps faster than a non-force-assisted jump, not just farther) and Maul was confused why he was jumping over him while weaponless, and Obi-Wan then pulled Qui-Gon's saber over and slashed Maul through in one rapid fluid motion while Maul was still in the split-second decision of whether he should stab or take a defensive stance.
    • That's how the novelization describes it. It even says that Maul was still spinning around to face Obi-Wan as the lightsaber reached Obi-Wan's hand.
    • Maul was so focused on intimidating Obi-Wan that he simply forgot that Qui-Gon's lightsaber was still laying on the ground where he dropped it. Chalk this one up to Evil Gloating.
    • And one should never forget that an essential part of the Sith's very existence is mocking the Jedi. The reason they use lightsabers is basically to say "we're better than you because we don't have your high and mighty Jedi training but still beat you at your own game!" Maul is no exception. There is a reason pride is some thing the Jedi aren't to keen on.

    Maul's lightsaber 

  • Where does Darth Maul's lightsaber go?
    • This is kind of an addendum to the above discussion about how Darth Maul foolishly taunts Obi-Wan instead of killing him and gets chopped in half because of his negligence. When Obi-Wan slices Maul in half, we see him fall backward into the pit, still holding his lightsaber (well, half of it, because Obi-Wan chopped it in half during the fight, but whatever). In the next shot, we see Maul's body falling down into the pit, with his upper body separated from his legs. His lightsaber is no longer in his hand. Did he drop it? We don't see it falling alongside his body. When the camera cuts back to Obi-Wan, we see he didn't drop it on the edge of the pit. It just ... vanishes somehow.
    • It could just be that the lightsaber was hard to see in that shot, or, as suggested above, he let go of it. It's not hard to fathom the idea of the lightsaber not being easy to see in that lightless chasm. Or it could just be an error on the prop team's part or something of the like. It really is such a small object after the saber itself was cut in half.
    • He dropped it with him. Savage retrieves it in The Clone Wars when he finds Maul.

    Blockading planet 

  • How the hell do you blockade a planet? How are they not self sufficient, so far as food and such is concerned?
    • Depends on the population size and the amount of food actually produced on the planet, as well as whatever other products are/are not manufactured on the planet. And you cut off access to spaceports/unloading facilities or just plain shoot down anything that pops into the local space (there is a limit to how close to a gravitational body a ship can get in hyperspace before the gravity well pulls it out to prevent unfortunate meetings of star/planet/Interdictor Cruiser and ship). However, on Naboo, which has at least one entirely self-sufficient population (the Gungans), it does seem odd. Then again, if the guys up in space blockading your planet are willing to shoot down anyone trying to get in, what's stopping them from turning those lasers on the ground?
    • Naboo doesn't have Tibanna gas that powers blasters, so that's at least one thing they need. There's probably other fictional elements they need, but can't be produced on Naboo. Also, it didn't look like a simple blockade, as they had ground troops as well, and given multiple references that her people were dying, it looks like the Trade Federation declared all out war on Naboo.
    • The blockade probably was a military strategy as much as anything. Naboo's military doesn't seem all that robust, so the blockade was enforced to keep ground reinforcements out and let the droids do their thing unimpeded.
    • The blockade was both land and space based. If you take over a planet and prevent food shipments from reaching cities from farms and the like, you're going to cause mass starvation. Simple.
    • No food lines or mobs roving about to be seen in Theed, though.
    • 'Cause most of the population got moved into internment camps.
    • Not seen before the invasion, either.
    • Leaving aside the practicalities of blockading a planet - which have already been touched upon (not all starships being equipped to land outside spaceports and similar landing areas, there existing resources which Naboo doesn't have, such as Tibanna gas, etc) - the idea might not have been to hurt Naboo much - remember, the Trade Federation's spin was that it was a show of force related to the taxation of trade to worlds along Outer Rim trade routes, and Naboo is presented as being in or near the Outer Rim. That it left the Trade Federation in an excellent position to launch an invasion was a nice bonus.
    • Well, if you forbid the import of luxury goods, such as cars, computers, glass, everything other than food, assuming Naboo has a fairly small population (not more than a few million), they would still be greatly affected.
    • Plus, in Star Wars most FTL travel seems to be done via designated hyperspace travel routes. Blockading the planet could be as simple as blocking access to those routes.
    • To me, it seems less like a blockade, and more like a besieging. It seemed like the blockade was more an attempt to keep people on Naboo from getting off world. Apparently, the plan was to besiege the planet from space to block anyone (particularly the Queen) from getting off world, and then land a ground army to occupy the planet and force the queen to sign a treaty that would legalize the occupation. After all, they certainly wasted no time trying to blow the queen's transport into space dust when it tried to leave Naboo.

    Sending Padme away 

  • You're the last free agent of your planet's government, so you've disguised yourself as a handmaiden and have a decoy in place. Fair enough. Why is this decoy sending you away to clean a droid far, far away from where any briefings or emergency news might be taken? Verisimilitude has it limits.
    • I was under the impression that they keep switching places (yes, I know that one is Natalie Portman and the other is Keira Knightley).
    • I came up with two possibilities. First option: it's a game. Padme and Sabe do the switch places relatively often and whenever they do they each leap at the chance to assign the other to some sort of manual labour (normally handmaidens wouldn't spend their time cleaning things anyway). This is just the continuation of the game. Second option: Padme wants to do it. She's tired, she's stressed and the chance to spend a bit of time doing something useful with her hands that doesn't require any mental effort is actually pretty relaxing for her.
    • It's actually a brilliant piece of misdirection. A woman who's Queen of a whole population isn't going to soil herself cleaning a droid, a servant's going to do that. If you watch closely, you can see that Padme just goes off and stands in a corner, and everyone ignores her because she's officially been "dismissed." She can listen to what the plan is, and probably even cue Sabe in on what she wants done, and no one's paying any attention to her. It also further distracts people from saying "Hey, you know, you and the Queen look an awful lot alike. . ."

    Padme real name 

  • What I want to know is, if she's supposed to be in hiding as a decoy, why does the "queen" still call address handmaiden-Padme by her real name? I remember when I first saw Episode 1 I thought Amidala was a first name, and Padme was a completely fake name, but then she kept being called Padme throughout the series! Are you saying that during her rule nobody knew her first name?
    • How likely is it for anyone off Naboo to know the Queen's first name? To them, she'd just be "Queen Amidala," and Padme remains anonymous.
    • I took it to mean that Padme's team of handmaidens and Panaka knew what she was doing, and were just expected to play along. It doesn't explain why none of the Jedi ever manage to figure out that she is actually the Queen - especially when Qui Gon and Padme keep on having disagreements.
    • Qui-Gon does know. Pay attention to the scene where Padme says she's going to come along with them into town. Qui-Gon's expression and tone of voice clearly say "'Handmaiden', huh? Right, pull the other one." He just chooses not to argue with her because he probably realizes it's not worth it.
    • I get the feeling the writers went back and forth on deciding if Qui-Gon actually knew, since half of their fights end up with Qui-Gon telling her the Queen is on his side. Which...makes no sense if he knows she's the Queen and she's telling him flat-out his idea is stupid, or she doesn't agree with him. On the other hand, other scenes seem to imply he knows who she is and he isn't bothering to tell anyone.
    • Him telling her the queen would agree with him is him basically calling her bluff — he's having a little fun with her, and basically getting her to do what he wants by playing dumb about it. Basically saying, "I know you're the queen, but I can tell you what to do because you're pretending not to be."

    Padme entering the city 

  • Why are you going with the Jedi (who has no idea who you really are) into the hot-as-hell, crime-ridden slum city? And why didn't your security chief stop you? Remember, you are the only elected official who has managed to escape. There is no one else the Trade Federation doesn't have under their thumb. STAY IN THE SHIP.
    • The problem here is that the ship could be traced (Maul catches up in a few hours), so sticking close to the Jedi Master actually seems like a pretty smart move on Padme's part. If anyone from the Trade Federation captures the ship (lying defenseless in the desert), it'd be easy for just her and Qui-Gon to find transport to Coruscant.
    • In the novelization Panaka tries to stop her but she pulls rank and ignores him. Obi-Wan also objects to her presence but feels he can't argue with Sabé/Amidala.
    • For better or worse, it's in Padmé's character not to care about her own safety. In Attack of the Clones, she was the one insisting they rescue Obi-Wan after the Council ordered Anakin to stay on Tatooine. As for why the security chief didn't stop her... maybe he's not in on the decoy thing?
    • The Security Chief should be the one person who is in on it. How else is he going to guard the queen properly if she's in disguise and he's off guarding some other random person?
    • The situations aren't equivalent. In AotC, she's a senator of a free planet that has an extra senator kicking around back on Coruscant. In PM, she's among the very last hopes of a captive people in danger of mass genocide. There is no excuse whatsoever for her to go traipsing out into their galaxy's version of Juarez. And supplementary materials indicate that Captain Panaka was aware of her true identity-in the movie, after she goes off with Qui Gon, he hesitates for a second before going back to the ship, which was meant as extremely subtle/nearly non-existent foreshadowing.
    • The foreshadowing is actually quite prevalent earlier. When Panaka first tells Qui-Gon that "The Queen insists you take her handmaiden with you," he's clearly not happy, and even leans a little bit on the word "handmaiden." He's fully aware of what's going on, doesn't like it, but is following his Queen's orders.
    • Which might be part of the reason for why they never told anybody about the swap: as much as anyone else knows, the Queen is back onboard the ship, and nobody seems to know it beyond the inner circle. So therefore if Padme was lost, they would simply continue the ruse that the imposter is the true queen. After all: who in the know would *care* that it wasn't the case, since they have bigger fish to fry? So while it is still risky, fundamentally they don't really lose the whole "last hope".

    Padme not telling the Jedi 

  • You don't let the Jedi know who you are? You know, the ones protecting you? Some stray laser blasts, some coming at you, the handmaiden, and some coming at the decoy Queen-who are the Jedi going to protect? They might be among the small, tight-knit group you want to be in on the secret, but then again, if they knew they wouldn't have let you go into that slum you really, really wanted to see.
    • She was doing this to ensure her safety, and the Jedi seemed to have come right the fuck out of nowhere (if memory serves). So, even though they were keeping her safe, she probably didn't want to take the chance of her and her decoy getting found out by telling the Jedi. What if one of them slipped up, or got tortured, or had Jedi mind tricks used on them? Anything could happen. It may not have been a risk she wanted to take.
    • Another issue is that the Jedi had absolutely no proof they were on the good side. Her land has been taken over and two men in Jedi uniforms just happen to save her. Could easily have been some elaborate plan so not instantly trusting them and giving the information would make some sense — though this idea is never discussed so...
    • Honestly her going with them is not a bad idea. If they are who they claim to be, she's safest with two Jedi who have proven they're capable of taking out battle droids easily and can hold their own in a fight. But if they're not, and they've purposefully grounded her on Tatooine, it makes sense that she'd want to know and monitor their activities, and since Qui-Gon is limiting comm activity the fastest way to find out if he's not on her side is to see and hear it herself.
    • An elaborate plan to do what exactly? To kidnap the queen who has already been captured? Even if she was paranoid enough to not tell them on Naboo by the time they were on Coruscant it should have been rather obvious that these were who they said they were. Did she want to risk a scheduling mix up getting one of her maids forced to make serious political decisions with everyone assuming that the queen was making the decisions?

    Padme's wardrobe 

  • Do you keep your wardrobe on your spaceship, or are all those clothes just a backup? Why do you have a wardrobe to rival and surpass that of Elizabeth I when you're a democratically elected official? Does the Naboo Seamstresses' Guild fashion ten thousand new outfits made to fit the new monarch each time one is elected, or do they modify the old ones? What of earth do the Kings of Naboo wear? (Kilts, I hope.)
    • Simple: buying or commissioning them like anybody else who can pay for them (one way or another) can. And as for why they'd do that? A combination of prestige-raising spectacle and good old-fashioned peacockery. It's worth remembering that the Old Republic isn't quite as uniformly democratic as the real life West, so it's quite likely this would impress the more autocratic leaders more than a plain jane queen would (and by extension display the power and prestige of the Naboo on the galactic stage better, which is especially important because they can't do so militarily).
    • Speaking of Kings of Naboo...where the hell are they? Do they even "have" Kings?
    • Presumably they'd have a King of Naboo if a boy won the election.
    • Padme's predecessor was one King Veruna, so yes, they can and do have kings. During the timeline of the movies, they've just had a string of queens.
    • If Jabba is any indication, the Hutts like their female slaves to wear skimpy outfits, not elaborate dresses.
    • In addition, there's a lot of meaning and duality connected to the outfits.

    Elected monarchs 

  • If they were elected, they wouldn't be kings or queens. The English language does not work that way. Also who elects a fourteen year old? Presuming these people are regular humans there's no reason why they let kids vote let alone become ruler of an entire planet! Evidently only a fourteen year old would be stupid enough not to have kind of proper military (Felix the Cat all over again...) and do they have the same legal rights as adults? If there was a military would they serve in it? What about education? Actually considering they're all so insane over there to allow a fourteen year old to control the planet then it makes sense that she's quite comfortable to go into the dangerous city when she is her planet's only hope. Conclusion: Naboo is full of crazy people and really they should have died to save the universe.
    • Even ignoring the whole "your definition of Kings is not the 'verse's definition" copout, Elective monarchies existed for centuries in Europe and to a lesser degree elsewhere, with examples like the Visigothic Kingdom of Spain before the Muslims invaded. Indeed, part of the reason for Heredity monarch (and especially Absolutism) catching on in Europe was because it remedied some of the worse problems some of these societies had: namely the inevitable Succession Crisis they tended to have, and the backstabbing, bloodshed, and general instability that came along with them. Of course, it's worth noting that the candidates (and in real life the only people who could do the "electing") were drawn from a few elite families, so it wasn't like Juan Doe could go and Run for King. This comparatively exclusive starting point would actually finish off a lot of your problems about how they'd interact with society at large (since their birth would make them considerably more protected and privileged than a normal John Doe). In short: Truth. In. Television.
    • Generally those elective monarchies had voting done by hereditary elites and other major figures without term limits. That isn't much of a democracy and it doesn't address how a teenager was given real executive power. The best answer for it is that they wanted to appeal to kids and so used a character supposedly in her teens and made her be a queen.
    • Maybe she doesn't have real power? The elite nobility chose her as a puppet figurehead, but now that they're out of the way, she gets the chance to actually use her power. There have been successful teenage monarchs in real life.
    • It's pretty clear that the elected monarch of Naboo has strong political power, otherwise the Trade Federation wouldn't have been so concerned with finding her and forcing her to sign a treaty. If she were just a puppet figurehead, the Federation would have just had collaborating nobility pick a new puppet to sign the treaty.
    • England actually had an elective monarchy until the Normans abolished it. So, clearly the English language can work that way. And besides that, most elective monarchies throughout history have been essentially nominal, so a 14 year old getting elected makes perfect sense. But anyway. Divine right of kings is newer than elective monarchy by a wide margin. So its not really weird. Just needs explanation.
    • Naboo has an elected ruler, they just call that ruler a King/Queen instead of a President/Prime Minister/Chancellor/Grand High Poobah. All the "royal" trappings are part of the office, not the person. The US actually has a very similar setup, with a "royal palace" (White House), "royal guards" (Secret Service), "royal ship" (Air force One), and loads of amenities that come with the job.
    • For the 'real world' answer, given that George Lucas's rejected treatment for Episode Seven apparently involved making the protagonists "very young teenagers" and that Wordof God is for Raidersofthe Lost Ark his intent with Marion's "I was a child! I was in love!" indicated she was FOURTEEN to Indy's 24 when they had an affair, extremely young protagonists just seems to be his thing.

    Sensing the queen 

  • How does Qui-Gon not sense that Padme is actually the queen in disguise and believe that he has the queen's confidence when Padme constantly challenges him? The brilliant thing about that may be that he always knew and went along with it to appease her and help her feel more confident and in control so she could better assert her authority. In other words, he had her confidence by doing what he needed to so as to make her feel stronger. Plus, people could have been led to believe that the queen's full name was Sabe Amidala (or some other first name). Padme's action figure for this movie (her Tatooine one, not her Queen Amidala one of her after the reveal and during the Battle of Naboo) had her labeled as "Padme Naberrie," so clearly she had an alias of her own.
    • Who said he didn't? Look during the scene where she reveals herself; he's clearly enjoying himself.

    Senate not believing Naboo 

  • On a related note, why did the Senate not believe that Naboo was under attack? The whole planet has been blockaded, and suddenly there's a communications breakdown, and the Queen shows up to say they've been invaded. She has dozens of witnesses with her, including two Jedi who had been entrusted as diplomatic envoys to end the blockade. Yet there is no proof? How long does it take to send a small cruiser to Naboo, take some satellite photos and report back (since instantaneous communication is possible, as evidenced by Senator Palpatine's hologram conversation with the council)? What power does the Senate have to end the invasion anyway, since it won't have an army until the next movie?
    • I assumed the Federation representatives were denying that it was their droid army that was occupying Naboo, not that an occupation was happening. It's not like the droids were painted with the Trade Federation logo or anything.
    • Did you forget that they had a hologram telling them about the attack or the 2 Jedi?
    • Also, why didn't the Jedi Council take more of a hand? You send two of your people as peace envoys and they're almost killed repeatedly, not only by the people they're meant to be envoys to, but also by a living example of your "extinct" mortal enemies, whilst protecting the legitimate ruler of a conquered planet...and you send the same two envoys back with no backup whatsoever? They didn't even send a memo to the Senate to beef up their envoys' credibility! These are the protectors of peace and justice in the galaxy after all!
    • There are two forces are work here: the inherent bureaucracy of the Republic and the increasing corruption of it. Those who are on the queen's side face an uphill battle dealing with it if they wanted to (A blockade of a planet ain't the only thing going on in the Galaxy, so take a number), and the other half know that this is going on and are actively trying to impede any sort of resolution (i.e. the Trade Federation, the Congress of Malastare, etc). The reason why everyone in the Senate rallied around Queen Amidala's No Confidence vote was not necessarily because they wanted to do something about the invasion, but because it's an opportunity to shake up the leadership in their favor.
    • HISHE made this exact point: [1]
    • The Clone Wars later has Lott Dod claim that Gunray is an extremist and a splinter faction, so it's possible this came into play here.

    Queen's Cruiser unarmed 

  • Why isn't the Naboo Queen's Cruiser Armed? Yes, the Naboo want to show they're peaceful, but in galaxy full of crooks it seems stupid. Furthermore, why didn't the fighter pilots pilot the fighters in the beginning? Why did they go in the Queen's cruiser?
    • In real life we do see people in peaceful societies who become skilled at arms. They do it for their own pleasure, or because it is traditional in their society, or because they have a secret hankering to be fighters in a world grown safe. Sometimes situations arise when they get their wish.
    • It might have been completely unintentional but the movie does point out that a pacifist planet is only viable if every other state and organization is peaceful or if the planet's security is guaranteed by a more powerful outside force. Absent that you're going to get results like a megacorp taking over. Of course it doesn't make much sense that a pacifist planet would train its monarchs in how to use guns in combat or keep a space fighter force but not bother with basic defenses for the monarch's ship.
    • Same thing definitely applies. We see the ship again when it lands on Coruscant in Attack of the Clones. It has a contingent of silly yellow fighter ships surrounding it.
    • Because the Presidential limo doesn't have two machine guns strapped to the front; bringing a heavily armed ship to a peaceful negotiation (probably the ship's main role) would be pretty bad for relations, not to mention that it'd be hypocritical; you can't claim to be trying to bring about peace when having death rays strapped to your ship.
    • The Presidential limo isn't armed, but as a general rule neither are the vast majority of limos assuming any were ever; plus, the limo itself might not be armed, but it is typically accompanied by armed secret service personnel, regardless of where the President is going or if they are on a mission of peace. The Queens' Cruiser is not really comparable to the Presidents' limo anyway; the closest real-world equivalent would be a ship, and then you would have to factor in that every "country" (ie. planet) is divided by vast expanses of sea and ocean and is physically impossible to police in any complete way, in an age were piracy, corruption, and megacorps with private armies exist (even before you learn they are out to get you)...suddenly, arming your ship makes a whole lot of sense, and the vast majority of ships in the SW universe that we see have at least minimal offensive capabilities anyway (remember, the Millennium Falcon isn't a battleship but a freighter, and a very small one at that- Han Solo is the space equivalent of a trucker). The Cruiser is probably armed just in case pirates or other rogues attack your ship along the way.
    • The pilots also remain to ensure that Naboo has some protection, and they are likely part of the mentioned resistance on the planet.
    • Worth noting, the Millennium Falcon is a small, armed freighter, but it is also one featured during an active civil war, and Han is the type of businessman to be doing business in rather unsafe places anyways. The Queen of Naboo is much more likely to be traveling between relatively secure places in a time period implied to be somewhat more peaceful. One might compare it to many Real Life executive transports such as Air Force One or the The Sacred Cow, both of which are/were unarmed even during wartime.
    • As for why the pilots didn't take off in their fighters when the Queen made her getaway, the fighters probably didn't have hyperdrives. Note that the starfighters the Jedi use need to dock with special rigs to travel in hyperspace. Fighters with integrated hyperdrives are implied to have only come around the time of the last prequel film, and those were large three-man fighters.

    Cleaning R 2 

  • Why exactly did Padme's double order her to clean R2 after they escaped? Wouldn't that both be disrespectful and a pointless activity for a head of state who should really be thinking about her next move?
    • They seem to enjoy assigning each other menial tasks. See just about every time they switch.
    • In the novelization at least, Padme notes that the double (Sabe?) seemed to be enjoying ordering her around a bit too much and planned to have a word with her about it later.
    • One thing it's important to remember about Padme and her double is that Sabe isn't just her bodyguard; she's her best friend. They've just come through an extremely stressful situation (one in which they were very nearly captured and either tortured or killed), they can't risk contacting anyone until they reach Coruscant anyway, and Padme—as the Queen—is under even more stress than any of them, because it's her people suffering. Having a little bit of fun with her in a way that doesn't place her in danger, and also temporarily takes some of the pressure of essentially sitting around in strict formality unable to act is, ultimately, a harmless indulgence. And at the end of the day, they're both still just teenagers who are thrilled to be alive.
    • Doing menial tasks like cleaning droids could be part of the ruse. Alternatively, Padmé has OCD and seeing all that dirt on R2 triggered her compulsions. (Not serious.)
    • It's a brilliant piece of misdirection. No one would suspect that the menial servant just ordered to scrub a filthy droid would be the real power in the room. Watch how Padme just walks off to a corner and stands there, completely ignored, because she's officially been "dismissed." She can still listen in on the briefing, probably even clue Sabe in to what she wants to have happen, and no one will notice.

    Jar-Jar and Tatooine 

  • For what reason did Qui-Gon even consider bringing Jar-Jar with him to Tatooine? Jar-Jar clearly isn't good with machinery, isn't a good negotiator, has no specialized knowledge about Tatooine (or any knowledge about Tatooine) and admitted to being so clumsy that he got banished. Even worse, he's an amphibian on a visibly wet planet with no known deserts. Shouldn't taking him out of the relative safety of the ship be tantamount to murder?
    • It probably wasn't Qui-Gon's decision. Remember, Jar Jar was stuck on the whole life-debt thing, so he probably insisted on going with Qui-Gon. Plus, seriously, he's not that fragile. You're acting like him just stepping out of the ship should have killed or crippled him instantly.
    • It might very well have had those consequences. Qui-Gon clearly had little to no knowledge of Gungans before he met Jar-Jar, Jar-Jar isn't exactly a source of wisdom and so far all they've seen is that Jar-Jar is native to a very wet environment that includes spending a good deal of time underwater. Considering that Jar-Jar isn't wearing any protective clothing and hasn't had any time to acclimate (which strangely isn't a problem for anyone else either) it wouldn't be out of the question to worry that the heat could be fatal for him.
    • It might not actually be that hot. You're right, the heat doesn't affect anyone else, and nobody seems to be put out by it at all. "Desert" just refers to the amount of precipitation—there are places on Earth classified as deserts that are frozen most of the year. It might just be that Tatooine's temperature is fairly moderate, it's just really dry.
    • Who's to say that it isn't what he wanted to happen? Oops...Sorry about the heat.
    • In regards to the temperature of Tatooine, did we see anybody wearing sweat-soaked tank-tops, driving air-conditioned speeders, and drinking lots of water to avoid heat stroke? Or do we see them wandering around in baggy long-sleeved outfits while speeding around in open-topped vehicles? It's dry, it's sandy, it's got twice as many suns as most places do, and the wind is a bit of a killer too. But we never see much indication that it's hot.
    • If it's dry, it would be cool. With very little water in both air and soil, there's nothing to effectively hold the heat. The Atacama Desert - the driest desert on Earth - is very far from being scorchingly hot, and the temperature rarely exceeds the moderate range.
    • It was also an economically depressed area with very little industrialization, they probably make most of their own clothes themselves, the speeders are that way because the wind is probably cheaper than air conditioning, and how would they get that water to be drinking constantly the planet is so dry that moisture farming became a viable industry.
    • Qui-Gon does this sort of thing all the time, apparently. Obi-Wan certainly reacts to it like it's something he's been putting up with for awhile. Qui-Gon probably has a habit of finding down-on-their-luck individuals and letting them tag along on some adventures until they find a better situation for themselves. Considering Jar-Jar winds up becoming a general, and then a senator, because of tagging along with Qui-Gon, it worked.
    • As to why Qui-Gon actually took Jar Jar into the desert with him, that's explained in the novel. In a space port such as this they'll draw far less attention to themselves if their group is diverse. Having a human, a droid and a Gungan would be far less conspicuous than a group of just humans. They look more like traders this way. Add Padmé and Qui-Gon looks like a guy who makes business with his daughter, has a Gungan employee and just happens to have an astromech droid.

    Leaping and Shmi 

  • Two things bug me about this movie. First, when Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are battling Darth Maul, how do they manage to leap from a platform onto another one about twenty feet below, land on their feet, and not break any bones? Does the Force make that possible? Second thing...when Shmi tells Qui-Gon that her son had no father, why does he calmly accept this without checking it out? Surely this is an extraordinary claim (unless children are routinely conceived by midi-chlorians), so why doesn't Qui-Gon appear the least bit skeptical? You'd think he would want at least a little more information about this incident.
    • I hate to pick nits, especially because I'm new to the whole Star Wars fandom. But being a believer doesn't make you stupid. I know belief can strongly predispose someone to accept an unusual explanation for any given incident, and I'm sure that a prophecy would carry a great deal of weight for Qui-Gon. But still...we have only one example in history of a child born with no father. The news was first heard by people who'd lived in the shadow of prophecy all their lives and were nothing if not believers. And, to attach credence to this report, at least two supernatural visions were needed. So it still doesn't make sense that Qui-Gon just nods and, with his trademark deadpan expression, simply accepts it on the force of one or two sentences and a blood test.
    • Really?? Immaculate Conception is less far-fetched than that Shmi was mistaken somehow? Oookay.. On a related but separate topic, which is really more of a question about how the Star Wars universe works, I guess: Wouldn't Shmi have had a super-duper midi-chlorian count, too? I always assumed that Jedi-ness was inherited since Anakin and his two kids were all Force-compatible or whatever. Also, her being ..knocked up by midi-chlorians must mean that she had a bunch of them ..right (God that sounds dumb and awful)? So, anyway, shouldn't Qui-Gon or the other Jedi have been at least a little more interested in rescuing her? Is it because she was too old?
    • "Immaculate conception" is not the term you're looking for.
    • I think in the novelization Qui-Gon can feel she's Force-sensitive too but not nearly to Anakin's degree, causing him to ask about the father thing.
    • Oh, who cares about breaking bones? How about this: early in the film, both Obi-War and Qui Gon use super speed dashing to escape two heavy robots. So... why didn't Obi-Wan do a super speed dash to join Qui-Gon while fighting Maul? Even using the film's own reality, it manages to shatter suspension of belief.
    • Because then this would have happened.note 
    • Using the Force to pull a metal lightsaber hilt into your hand should also logically hurt like hell, but maybe the Force cushions it somehow. And to answer your question, yes, logically the reason Jedi can fall from great heights and survive must be using the Force to cushion the impact somehow. Although they can't survive a fall from a much greater height and therefore Mace Windu is definitely dead.


  • Seriously, why is it called "The Phantom Menace"? All of the other movie titles make some degree of sense, except this one.
    • Palpatine. He's a menace, but nobody knows it.
    • Well, this is super nitpicky but what the hell: Wouldn't that make Palpatine the exact opposite of a phantom menace? A phantom (metaphorically and in actuality if you believe in ghosts) is something that appears substantial and threatening but in fact is not. The soon-to-be emperor appears benign and even benevolent when he is in fact the most dangerous man in the galaxy. Seems like they were going for something like "The Unseen Menace" or "The Secret Menace" but wanted to use the word "phantom" for some reason...
    • ^ No, a phantom is something which is difficult to see. Nearly all ghost are depicted as see-through if not outright invisible. And they are dangerous, even if you can't see them or aren't aware of them. The description fits Palpatine exactly. (Well, it fits his secret evil side.)
    • Whoa, I just got it! The phantom menace was the Trade Federation! Palpatine was using them (and continues to use them in the other films) to create a diversionary "menace" to allow him to consolidate power. Now the name makes sense. It's still pretty darn clunky though...
    • "Phantom" has different meanings — another is something elusive and hidden. Frankly, the film's title is the least of its troubles.
    • Another possible interpretation is that Qui-Gon is the eponymous menace. His actions are what kick off the rest of the prequel trilogy and ultimately bring about the collapse of the Jedi. And he never knows it.
    • Seriously? "Phantom" refers to the Sith, people. A "long dead thing that returns from the dead to cause problems" = Phantom. And the movie is, very obviously, about the return of the Sith to the galaxy after a thousand years when they were thought to be extinct.
    • Maybe it refers to Anakin?
    • Darth Sidious is seen as a hologram throughout the movie (not counting his public appearance as Palpatine), and only once is he seen in the flesh with his apprentice. The hologram is like specter, a ghostly figure that isn't really there. And what word fits that definition?

    New hyperdrive 

  • This has bugged me ever since I saw the movie as a little kid; why do they need a new hyperdrive? This is clearly a universe with large amounts of space travel, and it has been established that the Hutts rule multiple planets from the planet they are on. That means that lots of ships probably travel to and from this planet, and the world they need to go to is pretty much the centre of the galaxy. Are there really no ships going there? Surely, if the queen's clothing (highest quality, designer clothing) is not enough to buy the equivalent of 6 plane tickets, they can still sell the ship itself to Watto (royal yacht that he already knows he has the right repair materials for). Are there no ships for hire? No IN SPACE! equivalent of taxis or buses?
    • We see the IN SPACE! equivalent of a bus in the next movie, when Padme, Anakin and R2-D2 go to Naboo in secret. Because her life was much more under threat in that movie, she could allow herself to slum it and keep a low profile.
    • What makes no sense is that a ship that size wouldn't have a backup hyperdrive, or at least the means to repair it. If cars can carry jumper cables and spare tires, then large starships can carry the Star Wars equivalent of those things. What if the hyperdrive fails between systems? We see the hyperdrive in one scene, even, and it isn't that big. There would be plenty of room for a backup drive on board.
    • A spare hyperdrive for your ship isn't like having a spare tire for your car. It's like having a spare engine. And hey, maybe the ship did have a backup hyperdrive, but it got damaged in the battle.
    • And besides, during their escape they didn't really have time to pack a mechanic into the Nubian's engine room. And Obi-Wan, while knowledgable enough to know what is wrong with the thing doesn't know how to fix it. He's a trained pilot, not a mechanic (which the red band on his braid tells us).

    Padme's name 

  • Why is the disguised Padme using her real name? In the following movies, she is referred to as "Padme" and "Senator Amidala." But she freely admits while she's supposed to be playing the handmaiden that her name is Padme. Anybody in the United States knows that "Barack" is President Obama's first name; while the Jedi and Jar Jar may or may not have known the queen's first name, it seems really stupid to just go around telling people her name is Padme.
    • Some supplemental materials indicate that while disguised as a handmaiden, she goes by her real name, "Padme Naberrie", rather than her more widely-known royal name, "Padme Amidala" (presumably, the ceremonial title is held for life, which is why people still call her "Senator Amidala" when she isn't the Queen anymore). So, she at least made an effort to disguise her name, even if it was a pretty flimsy one. Maybe "Padme" is just a common first name in the Star Wars universe. It could be somewhat akin to President George W. Bush going by the fake name "George W. Smith". Having the first name "George" wouldn't be a big cause for suspicion.
    • She doesn't use the name Padme as queen, just Amidala (many real life monarchs also use only one name). She only goes by Padme Amidala after becoming a senator, where using the name of the resourceful queen who defeated the Trade Federation could give her additional political weight.
    • Alright, so she assumed the single name Amidala for her reign as Queen, that makes sense. But...she was elected Queen. When she was running to become Queen against other candidates, how did people vote for Padme Naberrie to be the next Queen, if they didn't know her name? This seems less like Bush going around as George W. Smith, and more like if Pope Francis were to go undercover...as Jorge Bergoglio (his real name, and the name the cardinals knew him by when they elected him Pope).

    Taking Anakin into the fight 

  • So the heroes are going to the massive battle, all prepared... and they take Anakin with them... okay... why? Qui-Gon does say "watch me fight" as non-training "training" but then his first command is to hide and therefore not be able to see any of the Jedi skills. They don't send the kid Jedis out to fight do they? They can defend themselves (like in the third one) but that's no reason to bring an untrained kid into a war zone. Then again, Qui-Gon has been making odd choices throughout the whole film... but really? Nobody questioned bringing a child to a war zone!
    • As much as I hate to defend anything about this movie, this is probably the one thing that didn't really bother me. Think about it for a moment: What should they have done with the kid? Left him in the Jedi Temple, with a bunch of stodgy old-heads that don't want him there? With Palpatine, who is busy gearing up for his campaign to be elected chancellor (and being secretly evil)? Or on the starship, which was found within minutes of their arrival? Or maybe with the Gungans, who are about to make a suicidal charge against an enemy they know full well they can't defeat?
    • "Left him in the Jedi Temple, with a bunch of stodgy old-heads that don't want him there?" Yes, this one. As much as they didn't want Anakin around, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that spending a week as an unwanted guest of the Jedi Council was infinitely preferable to being shot at hundreds and hundreds of times.
    • ^ Exactly. I would much rather hang out with crabby old men than go into a war zone.
    • The Jedi refused to train Anakin. They wanted nothing to do with him and probably wouldn't have let him stay there even if Qui-Gon asked them to. Therefore, Qui-Gon decided to bring Anakin with him because he had nowhere else to go, except back home to his mother. Still doesn't explain why they took him with them into the palace instead of letting him stay in the ship or something, though.
    • Why not? Just because the Jedi aren't willing to train someone in the Force hardly means that they're going to kick the kid out onto the streets. In fact, having him stay as a very temporary guest until he can either be sent to live with a new family or enrolled in some program both sound far kinder than leaving him in the care of a Jedi being sent to what's going to be a war zone.
    • It's a dumb move on Qui-Gon's part for sure, but being a Jedi (an order that has kids not much older than Anakin fighting battles as part of their standard procedure), may have given Qui-Gon a more "little adults" mentality towards children. Plus, he genuinely believed Anakin to be the chosen one, and may have figured shielding him from conflict in any way could stifle his development. Again, flimsy reasoning, but Anakin's the main character and has to participate in the climax.
    • Qui-Gon is taking Anakin so that Anakin can have the most exposure to Jedi training, and all that it entails. Do remember the kind of bloke Qui-Gon is.

    Naboo's location 

  • So when traveling from a Republic planet to the Republic capital, our heroes somehow manage to end up far away from the Republic in a place where the Republic has no influence and its credits are worthless. What route were they taking?
    • The first one they were able to that kept them from being shot.
    • And, Tatooine being in Hutt space is important because "the Trade Federation has no presence there." Going to any Republic planet in the hyperdrive's range runs the risk of being spotted by Trade Federation assets, and having to fight off an attempt to recapture the Queen. Of course, that happened anyway.
    • It's also well established that Tatooine is fairly close to Naboo.

    Republic credits 

  • Why exactly are Republic credits worthless on Tatooine? It's a form of currency, Tatooine is controlled by organized crime and not anti-Republic zealots and it's rather common to have money changers at a black market. Tatooine has spaceports and employment for smugglers so clearly they do plenty of trade off-world. It can't be fears of someone tracking the credits or Qui-Gon wouldn't have offered them. It can't be due to the credit being too weak against whatever currency they use on Tatooine, the Republic seems to be where most of the rich developed planets are. Have the people of Tatooine never heard of exchange rates?
    • I think the problem was the amount. 20,000 credits is probably somewhat hard to change, especially with a total lack of non-criminal government. The exchange rates are probably too unpredictable since the local currency is not the Republic credit and there is probably no actual bank to make exchanges. Watto probably knows most people he does business with do not use Republic credits, so he refuses to use them as well. His business is made up of himself, a nine year old, and the nine year old's mother (never mind that the latter two are slaves). It is highly doubtful he goes into Republic space regularly.
    • Put it this way: A store in, say, Texas might be willing to take a handful of Canadian dollars if that's all a patron had to spend on something small, like a meal or a candy bar or something. But a car dealership in Texas probably wouldn't take $20,000 in Canadian cash.
    • Also, remember that they were trying to be inconspicuous. Walking into a bank with $20,000 in cash and trying to do a currency exchange is a really quick and easy way to draw attention to yourself.
    • Maybe Republic currency was not very valuable at the time.
    • Watto said that they should get "something more real", which may imply that Hutts still operate on something like the gold standard or other precious materials while the Republic operates on fiat money (it has value simply because the government says it does) and it is also implied that the Republic is in fact in an economic recession.'
    • They do. The novelization (and other sources) indicates the Hutts use a gold currency (wuipiupi, truguts, peggats).
    • As with so much else, this only gets made worse in the next movie. Geonosis, an industrialized world that was part of the Republic until joining the Separatists, was only about a parsec away from Tatooine. Thus the Republic border is not very far away at all. Tatooine seems to have little-to-no production of trade goods, which is why the economy is so heavily dependent on smuggling and organized crime. Somebody would have to have a use for Republic credits! Or, barring that, they could have just done what Obi-Wan did in A New Hope and hired a charter ship to take them to Coruscant — where the pilot of said ship would have been able to spend the credits freely!

    Point of Maul 

  • What is the point of Darth Maul? I don't mean to sound petty, but I really have no idea why Maul needs to exist from a story perspective. One of the WMGs even works on the premise that he doesn't exist. If we want Qui-Gon Jinn to die (and there is a fair argument that QGJ doesn't need to exist either, but at least there's a half-decent counterargument), why can't Sidious kill him himself? He doesn't need to unmask himself in the process, and it would make the title less confusing. I can see the argument that it isn't Palpatine's style, but if he wanted to use someone else, why not introduce Count Dooku earlier (and keep him masked to prevent ruining the mystique of the next movie)? Maul does literally nothing else in any of the movies. I know he is explained a bit more in EU materials, but why not just keep him there instead of bringing him into the main franchise to complete a job anyone else could do? The cynical answer is marketing, I guess, but I'm trying to give Lucas the benefit of the doubt here.
    • In the EU, Dooku didn't leave the Jedi until after Qui-Gon's death. Sidious converted him to the dark side in the decade between the two movies.
    • Lucas's intention was that Maul represents what Darth Vader could have been (minus the extra power) if he had not been a Dark Lord on Life Support. A younger and ferocious apprentice. He is your usual significantly dangerous Sith that the Jedi have fought thousands of years ago. Groomed from birth and trained in the arts of the Dark Side. When Darth Maul is seemingly killed, Darth Sidious needs a new apprentice replacement soon to continue his plan, and he doesn't have time to raise another Sith from youth. Thus he had to turn to disillusioned Jedi such as Dooku for recruitment. Count Dooku's role in the sequel requires him to be a Fallen Hero and a Villain with Good Publicity, something that Maul cannot be. Additionally, Qui-Gon would have recognised his old master's fighting style and that would ruin the notion of Dooku being a noble character.

    Palpatine's plan 

  • What exactly was Palpatine's original plan? He wasn't expecting Amidala to escape the planet and assumed the Jedi would be killed. What would he gain from his home planet being taken over and his queen eventually being forced to sign an agreement with the Trade Federation making it legal? How would this do anything to increase his power? If anything you would expect anyone who didn't know that he was a Sith to assume that he was much weaker as a result and give him less credibility.
    • If Chancellor Valorum dithers and a rescue and relief effort fails to come in time, Palpatine can engineer a motion of no confidence (he doesn't have to call it himself as he holds Valorum's trust, he'd just use his agents to manipulate other senators into doing so). If the effort does come in time, he can provide the Trade Federation with superior intelligence and cause them to crush the effort, which would allow him to both engineer a motion of no confidence and accelerate the militarization of the Republic (by calling for a properly maintained sector defense force for his and neighboring worlds), providing him with a useful and decent sized army to assimilate into the future Clone Army. He sets things up so he can win no matter what. As it happened he didn't expect Padme to return and beat the invasion force, no, but he still got elected and managed to turn the angry and defeated Federation into the seeds for the CIS, something which also serves his goals.
    • At any rate, the Battle for Naboo was supposed to start the Separatist sentiment, showing off the Republic's incompetence and the Jedi's ignorance/apathy towards it. Padmé needed to lead her own effort against the blockade with her own people and a couple of Jedi while the Republic's Chancellor was deposed and new elections had to be called in the middle of a economical and political crisis. Padmé was the Unwitting Pawn for Palpatine all along, along with Nute Gunray. The Sith's Grand Plan included turning the Jedi into Heroes With Bad Publicity and sabotaging the Republic slowly until it crumbled under its own decadence and corruption. The Trade Federation's blockade and invasion was simply one Xanatos Gambit in a Xanatos Pile Up.

    Toydarian resistance 

  • This has bugged me for a while. I'm interested in the Expanded Universe, and while I've read very little material, I did play KOTOR. In KOTOR 2, I believe, when you dock on Nar Shadaa, you get into an argument with a white Toydarian, who you can mind trick into letting you dock. Cut to 4000 years later where Watto, a Toydarian, cannot be affected by the JMT, why is that?
    • Actually, that does not work so well. When I've tried that in-game he says "tricked you, you owe me money" or something to that effect. You have to pay him to continue, so, apparently Watto was right.

    Reason for the fight with Maul 

  • I'll admit its been a little while since I've watched the prequels but RedLetterMedia raises a good point about the Darth Maul fight at the end and I was too distracted by the fight choreography to notice. What was at stake in that fight other than the lives of the participants? What were Qui Gon and Obi Wan on their way to do specifically when Darth Maul intervened? Or were they hunting Maul? And if so why? To stop him from what?
    • Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were assisting Padme and her troops in retaking the palace and capturing Viceroy Gunray. Darth Maul got in their way. The Jedi engaged Maul so he could not slaughter Amidala and company. The fight continued because both Jedi and Sith were trying to kill each other and keep each other from attacking their respective allies. With Maul out of the way the Viceroy would be captured easily. With the Jedi dead Maul could easily butcher all of Padme's troops before forcing her to legalize the Federation's occupation of Naboo. Not knowing the battle was over the Jedi and Sith continued to fight with those two objectives in mind, hence why the fight ended in Maul's death rather than his retreat.
    • That's slightly wrong. The Jedi were specifically assigned to keep protecting Padme on the hope that it would draw out Maul, so they could confirm whether or not he was a Sith (that confirmation, sadly, was Qui-Gon's dead body.) Qui-Gon explicitly states that "I can only protect you, I can't fight a war for you." The Jedi were basically just following Padme until Maul showed up, at which point their investment in the Naboo conflict was over. Maul was there to force Padme to sign the treaty (exactly how is probably best left unresolved), and he couldn't do that while the Jedi were protecting her. . . but let's face it, he pretty obviously really wanted to kill himself some Jedi.
    • Yeah, this part bothered me on rewatch; Maul seemed a little too willing to allow Padme and the others to "take the long way" and thus be far, far out of Maul's personal reach, considering that Padme was Maul's original mission. It seems unlikely that Maul couldn't do a little more to focus on Padme rather than the Jedi, even with the latter as obstacles. Indeed, I'm pretty sure at various points in the fight Maul was the one who had the Jedi cornered; he could have easily left the fight to catch up with the others. But I suppose it makes sense if Maul is a bit more focused on fighting Jedi for its own sake than his assigned mission. Despite one line of Vader's lines in Ep VI, obedience may not be one of the Sith apprentices' stronger virtues.
    • If Maul killed both Jedi then he could simply make his way back to the throne room, slaughter all the guards since he's a beast in combat and force Padme to sign the treaty. Even though the control ship was destroyed Maul could either wait for another to be sent or just drag her off to his ship to keep her safe until the Trade Federation came in with their now legal occupation.
    • I can't cite my source, but Maul was sent to capture Anakin for Palpatine and Plagueis, and the two Jedi who would protect him, plus whose deaths would be a strong push to the dark side, were best to kill first. The treaty was of no consequence to Palpatine anymore, because the crisis was well under way and the controversy they needed was manufactured.
    • Do remember that Maul hates the Jedi. "At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge." Qui-Gon has already escaped from him once, so that's extra incentive.


  • Darth Maul says to his master that they will have their revenge against the Jedi. Or maybe the Republic. That part isn't so clear. Revenge for what? Speaking of revenge indicates they feel they were wronged in the past by them somehow. What was that?
    • As someone who has no idea about anything in the EU, I believe that the Jedi had a hand in the Sith (almost) dying out since there seem to be so few of them running around compared to the Jedi. Or they brought order to the galaxy and the Sith want disorder to make it easier to function or further their own personal goals. Who knows what kind of propaganda Palpatine was filling his head with?
    • The Jedi and Sith are mortal enemies, so it's safe to assume (even without the EU, which backs up this interpretation) that the Sith were on the losing side of a conflict between the two that might have lasted for millennia as far as we know. At the end of it, the Jedi believed they had eradicated the Sith and didn't know that at least a couple of them had survived. The Sith then spent a thousand years in hiding, waiting for the opportunity to exact their revenge by wiping out the Jedi. In Episode III, they do just that, killing nearly all of the Jedi and taking over the galaxy.
    • It's been stated a few times that other than the general Jedi/Sith conflict the Sith had another major problem: infighting. It was almost a custom for a Sith apprentice to kill his/her master once there was nothing more to teach. Over time this would have resulted in the Sith's numbers being decimated until almost none were left and then the Jedi swooped in and finished the job. So the Sith basically finished themselves off but because the Sith are...well Sith, they blame the Jedi who just took advantage of their own idiocy.

    Gungan capital and the Naboo capital 

  • Here's one. The Gungan capital is said, in both supplementary material and more or less hinted in the film, that it is on the other side of the planet from the Naboo capital. Going through the core of the planet implies that the Naboo capital must be on some other part of the planet than the Gungan capital. Now, Naboo looks to be a planet slightly smaller than Earth. So, how did the Gungans manage to move an army of at least several hundred Gungans (on foot) as well as all of their large, slow moving animals halfway around a planet to fight the Trade Federation in what seems to be less than a couple days? Considering that the Trade Federation probably had some technology to locate Amidala really quickly after she landed on Naboo, the Gungan army would have had about two days to move their entire army halfway around a planet. Yeah.
    • Through the planet's core again? They possibly might have larger submarines to transport armies.
    • Perhaps the Gungan bolt hole they ran to after the invasion was closer to the capital.
    • The "planet core" isn't actually the core. It's a series of interconnected underwater tunnels and caverns in the crust. Likely, it was fairly close to Theed, as the Trade Federation invaded the swamps outside it before reaching Theed.

    Sidious' voice 

  • Darth Sidious always covers his face with his cowl when communicating with the Trade Federation to hide his Palpatine identity. So why doesn't he disguise his very distinctive voice too?
    • He kind of does. Sidious speaks differently than Palpatine in a kind of Batman voice. Not as effective as a voice modulator, but that would mess with his deep resonant villain voice.
    • Trust the word of a fan who watched the prequels as a kid; he's different enough. I thought Sidious and Emperor Palpatine were two different Sith, having never heard of a cast list in my youth.

    Child pilot 

  • I'm not sure how big of a headscratcher this is, but did none of the Naboo pilots at the end of the film question why they have a pilot among them that sounds like a small child? They seem to hear him cheering via their comms and smile/nod in approval/agreement. I'll accept that the euphoria of liberating their planet trounced any questioning they had regarding this mysterious pilot that just showed up out of nowhere.
    • Do they hear him cheering? He never talks to them at all during the fight and I took it as them cheering that the ship was blowing up. As for why they never questioned it, it doesn't appear that any of them noticed Anakin was up there before the ship exploded (because they were all busy dogfighting), so they likely decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth.
    • Novels also suggest that they do indeed not hear him on the comms; only realizing that he's a child when he gets out of his starfighter.
    • And even if they did hear him, they might have just assumed his signal was being distorted due to a damaged radio or some kind of interference.


  • A minor thing, but remember how Qui-Gon and Padme are invited to Skywalker's' house for a dinner. There is a large basket of apples on the table. Apples. So, a single mother and her little kid, both in servitude of a stingy owner of a ramshackle mech shop in the official arid asshole of the galaxy can afford fresh fruit on their table without any special occasion? What the hell?
    • Simple. Watto's nice for a greedy slave owner and allows them to keep their own food.
    • He does seem to relax a lot toward Anakin when out of the public eye.
    • Both of them were specialists (Anakin with his tech skills and racing skills and Shmi was, if I remember correctly, an accountant). The slaves with special skills were considered to be a significant investment and in many cases were enjoying a higher living standard than the poor or even middle classes of free men. Also the cruel treatment of slaves is inversely proportional to the size of the local supply of slaves. In fact in our own history, it is speculated that the Spartacus rebellion occurred in a time period when the value of slaves was at an all-time low thanks to Rome being flooded by enslaved Carthaginians as a result of their successful wars there.
    • And let's not forget that Anakin was popular with the local merchants, probably because of his willingness to do repairs for them. Perhaps the apples were compensation for Anakin fixing something for a fruit merchant?

    Buying Shmi 

  • Isn't it strange that in the end of Phantom Menace, Padme didn't think of buying Anakin's mother and freeing her? The boy helped save her planet, surely an idea to reward him would come around naturally. Moreover, Padme was there to see the dismal conditions Shmi lived in, surely she couldn't just forget about her completely.
    • I imagine Padmé is the type who doesn't believe in special treatment. While she could get Shmi freed, it wouldn't be fair to the other slaves. I imagine Padmé would be more likely to try and make motions in the Senate to get all the slaves freed at once. I wouldn't be surprised if she tried to do just that between TPM and AOTC, but once the issue of the Separatists came up, she had other things to focus on.
    • First, it's not "special treatment" (whatever the hell that is) - it's a reward. These are supposed to be special. Second, what other slaves? She knew none of them like she knew both Shmi and her son. Rule of empathy shall not be denied! Finally, your and my ideas are not mutually exclusive. I totally sympathize with Padme dedicating her career in Senate to abolishing slavery among other good things - I just don't see how that prevented her from freeing one woman and making one boy (who, I'd like to reiterate, helped saving her freaking planet) happy right there and then. You know, saying: "I'll either make everybody happy or nobody!" is just a lame and mean excuse not to help anybody.
    • Yes, she "just" happened to be a mother of a kid, who helped her regain her throne. Is our beloved queen an ungrateful bitch? The Jedi hesitated to take Anakin in, because he was "old", not because of the connections. And what does it matter anyway? She'd be free, safe and living in a nice place - that's what matters. As for "happy as a slave"... no. Just... no.
    • Money can't have been the problem; there have to be currency exchangers somewhere in the galaxy, or she could barter something valuable in a pinch (or else sell it in exchange for whatever money they use in Tatooine).
    • And Watto wasn't exactly in a good financial position after the pod race. He'd just "lost everything," so he would have been in the right frame of mind to sell his slaves.
    • What planet to rebuild? The Federation never ransacked the place, by the end it looks pretty pristine. Other things sure, but she's a queen! She has people to delegate such menial tasks. And I'd like to reiterate, this kid helped her retake her throne. Is our beloved queen an ungrateful bitch?
    • Except of course, that Qui-Gon was perfectly willing to trick Watto into accepting useless currency, i.e. rip him off. In comparison to that, using Force (or just good old force) to free a slave is downright heroic. And no, heroes do not and should not respect cruelty or injustice simply because it takes the form of a law or custom. Something about the whole "rebellion against evil empire" thing.
    • Which is why the question is, why didn't someone do it later when they were in a good position to free Shmi as well?
    • Someone like Cliegg Lars, who did exactly that?
    • Yes. Someone like him, but who could also provide her with a nice and safe place to live.
    • Perhaps it's possible that Padme or another character tried to free Shmi, but she didn't want to leave the planet where she spent most of her life on (and didn't want to burden Anakin with the past or something). Then Cliegg Lars came along who could provide her a life free from slavery while allowing her to stay on her home. Lars may have even received financial support from Naboo to be able to do this.
    • Burden him with the past, the hell? She's his mother! And that place was horrible, nobody in their right mind would prefer to live there if given a choice. And Lars obviously didn't receive any support, because when Anakin finally decides to go and save her, Padme has no idea what happened to her.
    • Perhaps I may have forgotten some detail, but was slavery ever referred to as a bad thing within the Star Wars films? It's a universe where the good guys may engage with controversial things such as monarchy, cloning, death duels, religious indoctrination of small kids, and even plain terrorism. So, none of the good guys thought about liberating Shmi because of Values Dissonance.
    • Padme does point out that the Republic had long since abolished slavery and the ones engaging in it operate on planets run by crime lords. Also you can't seriously compare monarchies and cloning to owning another person as property.
    • Well, yeah, actually, cloning is a LOT like treating another person as property, depending on your view of what constitutes a person. Did anyone ask any of the clones (who demonstrate they think and behave like individual beings) how they felt about being programmed cannon fodder in a war (never mind the control chips to make sure they don't question things like Order 66)? The Jedi have a weaksauce excuse for not thinking of these sorts of things as the notion of not being able to forget emotional attachments seems alien, but Padme knows darn well that slavery is illegal in the Republic, wrong, and as mentioned many times, this is the mother of the kid who helped save her planet.
    • It doesn't make sense. Shmi should have been set free. If the writers wanted her out of the picture, they should have had Shmi purchased by someone else just before Padme (or whoever) gets around to it. And nobody knows who the buyer is, so they can't find Shmi. And it turns out this whole thing was orchestrated by Palpatine as part of his long plot to turn Anakin to the dark side...but of course that's not canon.
    • What does it matter if slavery is illegal in the Republic? Tatooine is not subject to Republic jurisdiction, so there is no legal mechanism to prevent it, only the mechanism of bartering slaves until an altruistic buyer decides to emancipate them. Also, don't underestimate the serious work Padme and her staff went through in the interim decade between the movies. Yes, she has to rebuild her homeworld! Don't just take this film's depiction of the invasion's damage, look at supplemental works, it was substantial and Naboo's economy was fragile enough as it is. And being caught up in the judicial proceedings against the Trade Federation may have taken many months too. After all that's done? Why, then she has to serve the rest of her term as queen and fight an election campaign to be planetary senator. Then she gets embroiled in her attempts to rid the Republic of bureaucracy and corruption, and fight for other causes important to her- namely by the following movie getting swept up in the Separatist crisis and deciding to oppose the Military Creation Act. Whether if she had the idea of freeing Shmi on the backburner or if sadly it just slowly slipped from her mind over the years, either way, she honestly and pragmatically got distracted with more important matters.

    Battle droids shutting down 

  • Okay... so why exactly do all the battle droids shut down when the control ship is destroyed? They're not getting energy from it—just instructions. If C-3PO and R2-D2 can make at least functional decisions on a battlefield without the assistance of a super-control station, why can't all those battle droids?
    • I'd guess that the battle droids' "brains" were on the ship; unlike R2 and C-3PO, they can't function on their own.
    • Yeah- the battle droids are all wired into the central computer so that they can't rebel against the Trade Federation (that's a big part of why they use droids in the first place, rather than living soldiers). R2 and 3PO are independent droids unconnected to any central mainframe in the first place. Notably, however, later versions of the battle droids fix the problem, as outlined in the RotS novelization- as opposed to shutting down, losing contact with the control ship's computer causes them to default to a list of standing orders, allowing them to continue to fight, albeit at reduced efficiency.
    • "Standing Order Number One was, apparently, 'Kill everything that moves.'" - Commander Cody on battle droids' thought processes after the main control system is knocked out and the droids revert to a series of standing orders.
    • So Anakin can be the hero and so the good guys don't get slaughtered.
    • I think those instructions include their consciousness.
    • Supplemental material indicates these battle droids were made on the extreme cheap, and this is borne out in the film with how fragile, inaccurate, stupid, and generally useless they are. From the Trade Federation's perspective, it was a lot cheaper to buy a single big droid brain, mount it on a battleship, and have it control the droids remotely than to buy and install hundreds of thousands of individual droid brains in what were ultimately completely disposable soldiers. Supplemental material for Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith indicate that they rethought this practice after the Battle of Naboo, and either retrofitted the battle droids with backup droid brains, or shifted them completely to individual droid brains.


  • Why didn't the Trade Federation give their battle droids personal shields like the droidekas had?
    • Because they're more expensive and limit their mobility. Note that there's rarely more than two droidekas fought at a time, and they don't activate the shield until they're standing still. Battle droids are designed to be cheap and expendable. Droidekas are Elite Mooks.
    • Fair enough, but what about those big ones from Episode 3? In fact why not go for smaller armies of more hardy machines instead of things that are, in the words of Lucas himself, useless?
    • The Trade Federation relies plenty on intimidation. A big army looks more intimidating than a small but skilled army. It wasn't until the Clone Wars that they needed to step up their game due to fighting an equally powerful army, thus having to make more specialized and intelligent droids.

    Large Trade Federation ground army 

  • Why did they have such vast ground forces in the first place?
    • The army was initially to fend off pirates but gradually turned into an intimidation asset to force higher payments and reimbursing of debts. The Trade Federation's army wasn't fully revealed to the Republic until the Battle of Naboo, though. It wasn't exactly legal.
    • They used to have a perfectly legal defense force that had actual people of various species in it at one point in time according to the EU. These guys actually did their job. This was when the TF was a protector of businesses rather than a business itself. The complete size and armament of the Trade Federation's 'security' forces was probably not openly advertised, though.

    Army landing far away from the capital 

  • And why did they land so far away from Theed?
    • For the Evulz? Honestly, I've no idea about this one.
    • Theed wasn't the only city on Naboo. Maybe they were going to disperse from there and take the whole planet (or the populated parts of it, anyhow) or maybe they were trying to stealthily approach the capital, although their vehicles were so large and noisy that doesn't seem to be a viable plan. Anyway, think of it this way: during Operation Overlord, the Allies didn't parachute right into Berlin. They landed on Normandy and fought their way there.
    • Except that the trade federation plan is to make the queen sign the treaty so why would they waste their time conquering other cities?
    • Because you don't put all your eggs in one basket. Plus, getting the queen to sign the treaty is easier if you can say, "Look, we conquered you, we basically own this planet now anyway."

    Transformation is a free action 

  • When the Gungans and droids were meeting in the fields to fight because "why not" why didn't the Gungans attack the droids during their ludicrously long deployment process?
    • ...Good question. Maybe they had this idea that it was dishonorable to attack an enemy if they're in a prone position.
    • Maybe their energy balls couldn't go through the shields and they couldn't drop the shields because of the tanks.

    Droid bombers 

  • Why didn't the Trade Federation send down those droid fighters to bomb the Gungans and get it over with quickly? It's not like they were trying to intimidate anyone.
    • They were too busy with the Naboo fighters shooting at them.
    • The fighters appear to be designed for fighting against other fighters rather than bombing ground targets (or to put it in modern terms; they are pure air-to-air craft rather than having both air-to-air and air-to-ground).
    • Yep. This is why we see the Hyena class bombers in The Clone Wars.
    • Well, the Battle For Naboo game does depict the Trade Federation fielding bomber variants of the droid fighters, and IIRC other media do too. Chalk it up then to Naboo pilots engaging them while their comrades went after the control ship.


  • Their orders were to "wipe them out. All of them." So why were the droids taking prisoners?
    • Interrogation ("Where are the rest of you? Where's the Queen? Are there any other attacks planned?"), followed by execution. Even the most bloodthirsty armies will at least put in a token attempt of extracting information from the enemy before finishing them off.

    Gungans evacuating 

  • Why did the Gungans have to evacuate their cities? We should at least be treated to a scene of the bubble city damaged from Trade Federation attack if that was the case.
    • And if it was under attack why would the Trade Federation have brought underwater attack droids to a city? Why even attack them in the first place? They're total isolationists!
    • The Gungans were attacked because they were not under the Trade Federation's control. Its that simple. Why leave any loose ends, no matter how minor?
    • Even if they weren't attacked, they might have seen what happened to the Naboo and knew they were next. So it was a precaution, maybe.

    Gungan air bubbles 

  • Why do the Gungans live in air bubbles? The only people who could bother them are on the opposite side of the planet!
    • Because they need to breathe air? I don't think it was ever told or demonstrated that they could breathe water.
    • This raises the question of why they would put it underwater in the first place though. And if Jar-Jar couldn't breathe water he was holding his breath for an awfully long time during the swim when he led the Jedi to the city.
    • From what I understand, the Gungans are amphibians, like frogs, which can hold their breath for insanely long periods of time but still need to breath air.
    • It could also be that their boomas (their energy ball weapons) don't function in water. Maybe Otoh Gunga and other Gungan cities used to be on the surface but, as relations with the Naboo deteriorated, they moved them underwater so as to provide an extra defense in case of attack. Any invasion would likely try to enter through their designated gates like how Jar-Jar and company did, giving them a choke point.

    Gungan surface cities 

  • When the Gungans went back to the surface to go chill in the forest waiting for the Naboo to ask for help why didn't they have more proper ruins or something to go back to? Were they just going to sit around in the clearing until droids found them or what?
    • What makes you think they have proper ruins on the surface?
    • Jar-Jar also mentions that they went to a sacred place.

    Droid pilots 

  • Why did they need droids to pilot the tanks? Why not just give them AI like the fighters?
    • Maybe it was cheaper. Also, if the AI on the tank craps out, it's useless, but if the droid malfunctions or something, it can easily be replaced.

    Shmi trusting Qui-Gon 

  • Why would Shmi trust a total stranger (Qui-Gon) with her son's life an future? For all she knew, Qui-Gon could've been a scam artist, a slaver, etc.
    • Those tend not to have a lightsaber and Jedi powers.
    • As Qui-Gon said, he could have killed a Jedi and took his lightsaber. And when did he demonstrate any Force powers whatsoever?
      • When he talks about how Anakin must have Jedi reflexes and then immediately displays them himself. Plus he did free her son from slavery, was nothing but above board in his dealings with her and does demonstrate he knows what's going on.
    • Anakin is already a slave. Pretty much everything is a preferable alternative.

    Jar-Jar's promotion 

  • Don't know if this one's been asked before but why on Earth did Boss Nass make Jar-Jar, an exile and a klutz with no military experience, a general of a rather important battle?
    • A distraction battle. Gungans weren't expected to win - just stall the droids. And such operations tend to cost a lot of casualties, and a prominent figure, like a general, would be a prime candidate to be one of them...
    • Gungans value courage and honor over practical skill. Jar-Jar demonstrated plenty of both by bringing the Naboo and Gungans together in peace to fight a common foe, something both sides had considered impossible up until that point. So Jar-Jar is rewarded with a rank and title, because he did actually do an amazingly good thing for the Gungan people in general.
    • Or y'know, Boss Nass is being a massive Troll.

    Distracting battle 

  • Speaking of which, what was the point of that distraction? Jedi and Amidala were leading a covert operation - they weren't going to fight the bulk of the droid army anyway, were they? And once they infiltrate the palace, it all falls to the pilots to disable the droid control centre in the orbit, so even they needed to remove the excessive droids from the capital, the window they needed was rather narrow, so what was the need for the Gungans to fight a desperate battle?
    • The covert operation goes loud pretty quickly since they do need to engage in combat to breach the hanger and send the fighters off. If the gungans weren't drawing the Trade Federation away from the capital then they would be literally drowned in droids before they could get to the hanger.

    Trade Federation's motivation 

  • What does the Trade Federation want with Naboo anyway?
    • Ostensibly, they are enacting absurdly predatory trading practices. In actuality, Sidious has threatened/bribed them into making this move for reasons they don't know, the true intent being to help Palpatine make his power grab.
    • What's the planet's importance to Palpatine?
    • It's his home planet, which he also represents in the Senate.
    • Why does he want his own planet invaded?
    • To become Supreme Chancellor. The whole plot was to engineer a vote of no confidence then run for the office. Having his own home planet invaded gives him the sympathy vote and allows him to hide his true motivations for running better (he runs on a platform of freeing his home planet and ridding the Senate of the corruption that allowed the invasion to happen, hiding the fact that he wants the position for the power and is using the corruption in the system to get elected).
    • Palpatine doesn't care about anyone, just what he can use to his advantage. He was born on Naboo so what better place to invade than that to place himself into the running for some real power? The deaths of his fellow kin is ancillary to anything he was working towards.
    • And in addition, it would make him a less likely suspect if it ever came to that.

    Jedi Council on Naboo 

  • Why did the entire Jedi Council need to be on Naboo after the battle. I can understand them perhaps wishing to pay their respects to Qui-Gon but why on earth did they stay an additional few days (it takes awhile to plan a parade) just to see a parade? Surely they were needed on Coruscant.
    • Why would they be needed on Coruscant? They have instantaneous communication between planets, they don't really answer to anyone and the head of the government they work with also happens to be on Naboo. If anything comes up they can respond to calls from Naboo, so in the meantime they're probably trying to piece together what they can about Maul.
    • Which leads to another headscratcher: why couldn't the Council have come a little earlier, like maybe to actually help with the invasion? Darth Maul would have been curb-stomped had there been more Jedi present and with the advantage of numbers they would have had better odds of actually capturing him. It would have also given the impression that the Republic was actually prepared to do something about the invasion of Naboo rather than making it seem as though membership in the Republic just means paying taxes but getting nothing in return.
      • Yet again, because that is not what the Jedi do. They do not involve themselves in every single dispute or armed conflict and side with whoever they think is right. They will fight a war, and reluctantly, if the entire Republic is beset, but they do not get involved in anything less, especially with what was, at the time, an internal Republic dispute. Whether you think this is right of them to do or not doesn't really matter, it's their established modus operandi.


  • Why is "Viceroy" the title for the head of the Trade Federation? A "viceroy" is generally someone who represents a monarch, often governing a realm over which the monarch is sovereign, but does not reside in, on the monarch's behalf. I believe that the Governors-General of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand meet the definition of "viceroy", being the Queen's personal representatives in those places, taking her place as head of state in her absence, though their title is not "viceroy". So what's up with there being a Viceroy of the Trade Federation?
    • Same reason Naboo has an elected Queen. It's a title of leadership and sounds cool; what it really means in our language is irrelevant.
    • Given that they are dealing with a Queen, and likely other planets with monarchs like Toydaria for example, it's possible that this means that this is Gunray's de facto job within the Federation; become the representatives of these worlds.

    Legal blockade 

  • How is it legal for a business concern to blockade a peaceful world by encircling it with battleships and threatening to shoot to destroy any ships that, without attacking the Trade Federation ships, would try to run the blockade (which by extension would mean murdering everyone aboard those ships)? Also, how did Gunray avoid punishment for the murders of the two Republic officers aboard the ship that brought the Jedi to negotiate with the Federation or the attempted murder of two Jedi? How did he avoid punishment for launching a war of aggression against a peaceful planet, which in international law here on earth is considered to be the most heinous of all crimes, because it is from that crime that all the other evils of war emerge (e.g. war crimes, crimes against humanity), as well as for attempting genocide against the Naboo and the Gungans, various war crimes and crimes against sentience? How the heck did he not get executed for this, or at least get sentenced to life without the possibility of parole? Was Gunray above the law?
    • I doubt the Trade Federation to start with was shooting down ships, more likely they used their blockade to lock tractor beams on anyone who tried to run it and "convince" them to turn back. As for how he avoided the rest, the sequel points out that Gunray had gone through four trials by that point and somehow avoided conviction each time, most likely due to Sidious' influence (bribing/threatening/mind raping the right people) ensuring he still had a pawn handy for the Clone Wars. Remember by this point the Republic was hopelessly corrupt and very inefficient at doing anything towards maintaining democracy across the galaxy.

    Naboo and Gunray's capture 

  • In the novelization, it's stated that when the Naboo have blockaded the door to the Throne Room and have Gunray at gunpoint that Gunray says he's confident he can stall until his droids break though to rescue him. Here's the thing, why would the Naboo just let him bring more droids in? I would think that if they did start to hear droid activity outside the door, then Padme would say to Gunray, "Call off your droids," then she lifts her blaster and points it at Gunray's face, and continues, "or we shoot to kill." As Gunray has wrongfully invaded their planet and the droids are basically Gunray's personal weapons, if the droids do start breaking through, then that can be interpreted as Gunray himself mustering lethal force against the Naboo in the room; therefore, the Naboo in the room in such a situation responding with lethal force against Gunray would constitute legitimate self-defense. So, basically, Gunray's idea of stalling doesn't make much sense and Padme didn't buy it anyway.
    • Maybe they both view it as kind of Mexican Standoff, as even if she shoots the Viceroy the droids will still attack her and her comrades? Even a cretinous coward like Gunray can rationalize that. She had to hope that the control ship was nearly out of commission to be guaranteed safety, as in fact it was.

    Padme's evidence 

  • When Queen Amidala spoke before the Senate, why didn't she present evidence of the invasion and testimony from witnesses, which included the two Jedi? The Trade Federation Senator's objection was that there was "no proof," but it appears the Queen should have been able to produce evidence, like perhaps video from her ship of the Trade Federation firing on her ship, trying to destroy it with her on board, as it attempted to run the blockade and the Sith Lord who confronted Jedi Master Jinn, to the message Governor Bibble sent her, to testimony from the two Jedi, her handmaidens, her chief of security, and the pilots who were captured. Perhaps, too, once she landed on Naboo, she could have hired people to take images of Naboo's surface (like how satellite images from the Rebels were taken of the Death Star's destruction of Alderaan), showing the presence of Trade Federation tanks, landing craft, bases, and droids all over the surface and in all the towns and cities. Considering the advanced technologies of those days, taking images of the surface of a planet should have been quite possible in excellent resolution from long distances. That, too, could have been been presented as evidence, enough to convince the Senate to take action immediately instead of creating a commission. Chancellor Valorum could have taken over at that point and been like, "There is proof, so we will order the Trade Federation to be disbanded and the immediate deactivation of the droid armies of the Trade Federation; we will also commission a joint investigation with the Jedi into the possible reemergence of the Sith." That would have returned great strength to Valorum. Of course, Senator Palpatine wouldn't have been too happy about that.
    • The burden of proof is to show that it was the Federation's army, not that there was an army there in the first place.
      • Well actually, any' hostile army would be a threat to Naboo. Since Naboo is part of the Republic, the Republic ought to help out. Like, imagine if a random army showed up and invaded Montana. Even we didn't know whose army it was, we'd definitely'' send out our own army to get rid of the invaders. You can figure out the enemy's leadership later on.
    • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: Doesn't matter video or images the Queen of Naboo produces; it could all be faked, a way of painting the Trade Federation (who are blockading her planet) in the worst possible light; testimony from the Jedi is just as questionable as they returned to Coruscant with her and aren't to be automatically trusted just because they are Jedi (especially since one of them has a habit of not following orders). The Federation control the space around the planet and can manipulate, control or destroy any satellites used to take any images, or intimidate or bribe anyone the Republic sends to investigate (or even make sure the people sent work for them in the first place; given how corrupt the Senate is supposed to be, and that the Federation suggested a committee in the first place, this is the most likely outcome). Meanwhile as Amidala waits for all this to happen, for all she knows the Federation are committing atrocities on her home planet. It is even possible that even if they did have proof, the Federation would find a way to drag things out and weasel out of it (with the help of Sidious in the background and anyone they control themselves).

    Launching from somewhere else 

  • As the blockade of Naboo was located primarily around the equator, why didn't the Queen and her entourage try launching up from, say, the north pole?
    • Because where she was was not at any of the poles, and thus they would have to get to the poles, which would be difficult to do undetected when their enemies have orbital superiority and thus could potentially track them and send waves of fighters to intercept?

    Maul and reinforcements 

  • When Obi Wan and Qui Gon go back to Naboo at the end of the movie, they're specifically told to be looking out for Darth Maul. Why didn't the Jedi Council send like two or three or four or even five Jedi Masters along with them? This guy just may be a Sith, and if you present an overwhelming amount of force you increase your odds of capturing him exponentially. Why did not a single other Jedi go with our heroes to face the villain? Are they all that invested in the outcome of the vote of no confidence against Chancellor Valorum? It would have been a hilarious moment if Darth Maul had opened the door and did his slow look up in that "I'm a badass pose" and seen like twelve lightsabers ready and waiting for him.
    • They specifically mention that they need to draw out Maul from hiding when the Jedi accompany the Queen. If there was more than five Jedi with the Queen, it is quite likely that Maul would not dare to come out and instead abandon the Trade Federation to save himself. If there were just two Jedi, Maul might think he has a chance of winning and thus appear. There's also an implication that the Jedi Council has become a bit arrogant in past millennia as they have voiced their disbelief that the Sith could possibly return without them knowing.
    • One Riot, One Ranger (plus his apprentice).
    • The Council don't seem particularly convinced that Maul is a Sith instead of just an assassin for hire with a bit of force training, it took Qui-Gon's death to convince them otherwise. If they had believed there was a Sith Lord running around they might have taken more drastic measures.
    • It's also possible that the Senate have their hands tied, and now that they're onto Valorum/he's being deposed, his authority to send more Jedi is kinda screwed. The Jedi sending themselves out might not be possible without a Chancellor mandate.

    Selling the queen's dresses 

  • How the hell were the queen's dresses considered worthless when they were considering what to sell for harder currency? By their looks they are quite possibly unique artisan work which is something the hutts would probably desire since they seem to revel in showing off their wealth and power and before you say that they can't obviously wear them consider a buyer boasting that he can afford to dress his slave girls in the dresses of the Queen of Naboo.
    • The dresses weren't said to be worthless. They were probably worth quite a bit, but they weren't worth enough to sell and get the amount of money needed to buy the parts needed to repair the ship.
    • And that's a plot hole. Unique clothing being less expensive than a used drive core (even one somewhat less common) that even a small-time scrap dealer has. I would understand Qui-Gon rejecting selling those clothes to avoid alerting the Hutts to a fugitive Queen's presence, but treating the value of that wardrobe as the same as the value of basic generic supplies is a gaping plot hole.
    • Clothing, no matter how unique or fancy, is not universally valuable. Life is not a console RPG where you can sell everything, everywhere, for the same price. You can only sell something if someone is willing to buy it, and we don't see anyone in Mos Espa that seems like they're in the market for expensive royal clothes. They're worthless to sell because nobody's going to buy them.
    • True. But as mentioned in the original post the Hutts would probably buy those as they revel in showing off their wealth and status and parading your slaves in a royal wardrobe while boasting that you can afford it is something quite in character for Hutts.
    • Which brings us right back to the point of them not wanting to advertise that they have royalty with them.
    • Look at the Hutts. Look at what they wear. Look at how they decorate their homes (e.g. Jabba's palace.) Is there any evidence that they appreciate royal Noobian fashions? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all. In the eye of a Hutt, maybe the queen's wardrobe is ugly.
    • That's not likely true. Value is in the eye of the beholder in this case. How often do people wear things they personally find hideous simply because it's fashionable. Likewise, it's common to collect items simply because it makes you look impressive to have them. We only ever see Jabba's palace, who clearly prefers an intimidating look to his decor. Nothing suggests there aren't hutts to like to decorate more extravagantly. However, I go with the above suggestion that selling the queen's clothes may arouse unwanted attention, as well that trade value on Tatooine is very different (two slaves are worth more than an obviously expensive starship). Besides, Padme might simply not be willing to sell after all.

    Senate's functioning 

  • How does the Galactic Senate function, exactly? I understand that Queen Amidala was present to ask the Republic for help after the Trade Federation invaded Naboo, but then she turns around and calls for a vote of no confidence against Chancellor Vallorum. How can someone not part of the legislative body propose ANYTHING during a session of that body?
    • It appears that the Galactic Senate functions more like the UN than an actual legislature, so the senators are there by appointment rather than election. There might be some democratic process in appointment, depending on the system they represent, but with Palpatine, it's pretty clear that he is there at the pleasure of Queen Amidala to represent the interests of Naboo. In that case, it might be the rule that if the head of state that appointed a senator comes to the floor at the invitation of that senator, then the head of state's motion is treat the same as if it were made by the senator.
    • Palpatine was the one who gave the queen the idea to call for a vote of no confidence. And Palpatine had yielded the floor to the queen, so she was effectively speaking for him. And, as mentioned previously, Palpatine had been manipulating matters to this end for a while. More is added to it in the novelization: The Queen, speaking for Palpatine, moves for a vote of no confidence in the Supreme Chancellor. The Senator from Roona (likely in Palpatine's pocket), seconds the motion, putting it on the floor. And, given the "Vote now!" chant that ensues, Valorum was unpopular enough, even amongst the senators that weren't under Palpatine's influence, that he was quickly voted out.

    Rule of Two 

  • How does Yoda know about the "Rule of Two"? I can't be the only troper who noticed this plot hole. During Qui-Gon's funeral Mace comments to Yoda that Darth Maul must have been a Sith to which Yoda replies, "Always two there are. A master and an apprentice". At this point, the Jedi think the Sith have been extinct for a thousand years. Darth Bane obviously managed to institute the rule and keep the new Sith Order secret from the Jedi for TEN CENTURIES, yet we're supposed to believe that Yoda knew about the one inviolable rule of the new Sith despite the fact other Jedi Council members doubted their very existence earlier in the film?
    • The Sith have been gone for a thousand years, but in ROTJ Yoda mentions that he's over 900 years old. So when he was young, the Sith hadn't been gone for very long (comparatively speaking). He knows about the Rule of Two because he remembers people talking about it 850 years ago. (Presumably, no other member of the Order is nearly as old as Yoda.)
    • The OP's question has some merit, though. The whole reason the Sith were able to go underground and survive was because the Jedi had thought the whole order had gone extinct, and so the Rule of Two must not be general knowledge, because otherwise the Jedi would have been on the lookout for a constantly-iterating pair of two Sith over the entire millennium. Perhaps rumours of the Rule were known to senior Jedi such as Yoda and Mace, but this was not made general knowledge to the Jedi Order to avoid paranoia/fear, not to mention the risk of it leaking out to the wider galaxy and eventually to the Sith themselves?

    Force vs droidekas 

  • Droidekas are always played up as really problematic and they usually earn their keep, being very difficult to beat in a straight fight for any of the heroes. However, surely they must still be susceptible to the Force. It can't be so difficult to capture one and throw it aside with telekinesis. I give them credit where it's due but at the same time they shouldn't be the end-all of a battle either when a Jedi is involved.
    • Worth noting is that something like this happens in the Revenge of the Sith novelization. A droideka gets knocked over (either because of the Force or screwy gravity on the ship), and its energy shield mistakes the floor for an attacking projectile and spends so much energy trying to destroy it that the droideka shorts out.
    • Two things: a) When a Jedi is defending against incoming laser fire, coupled with the fact that when they deflect it at the source it dissipates and perhaps sometimes rebounds further against the energy shield of a droideka in this case, the concentration mustered just to maintain that effort and survive doesn't leave much to be able to call on the Force for telekinesis. b) Assume a Jedi is engaging in ideal, stacked odds conditions. They come up from behind the droideka, which is firing on other targets, and they take a strategic position behind cover. The Force still may not be useful as it is an energy field being weaponised against... an energy shield. This is supported by Battlefront games and other works in the expanded universe, a Force user must usually find a way to stop the shield emitter before destroying the now-vulnerable droideka. So expect the telekinesis effect to also be deflected by these shields. Now, if the Jedi were cunning enough to weaponise nearby objects in the environment (some of which may have explosive potential), or crush a ceiling on top of the enemy, or even jerry rig a jail cell around the droideka with anti-laser materials, any of those Force-assisted plans might work.

    Droid slavery 

  • So, according to this movie, slavery is supposed to be illegal in the Star Wars universe. What about the droids? Aren't they essentially slaves? Why is it okay to enslave them, but when it's a cute little kid it's suddenly a problem?
    • Because they're purpose-built machines. Them developing personalities is an unintended quirk.
      • This dovetails well with how the clone army is considered okay - they were purpose-grown soldiers and socialised entirely to be an army, so developing personalities was an unintended quirk. Republic morality presumably considers it wrong to make free people slaves, but okay to grow/build people specifically for slavery right from day one. (Seriously, once droids start developing personalities, the good characters should free them.)
    • Also, most "good" people treat droids as friends, or at least beloved pets. "Bad" people treat them as ambulatory tools.
      • "Friends, or at least beloved pets"? Owning someone as property is not how you treat a friend - and many/most droids are sapient, so treating them as beloved pets is similarly awful.
    • You are coming at this from an empathetic, woke point of view and as an Earth-dweller. The Republic is progressive enough to have outlawed sentient being slavery, but non-goverment systems haven't, and neither has outlawed the usage of droids.

    Padme calling for vote 

  • Kind of a small thing but... why is it Padme who calls for the vote of no confidence in the Supreme Chancellor? She is the Queen of Naboo, not the Nubian senator (at that point), technically she shouldn't have any official part to play except for serving as a witness to the Trade Federation's actions. Calling for the vote should have been Palpatine's responsibility.
    • Perhaps as the queen, she acts as an honorary senator?
    • She's speaking on behalf of her people, not as a member of the legislative body. She suggests a vote of no confidence and the Senate follows through.
    • Palpatine invites her to "speak on our behalf," effectively ceding his Senatorial power to her for that session. He'd already suggested the vote of no-confidence, so she knew he wouldn't be mad at her for using his authority to do that. On the other hand, since he suggests that she could call for the vote, maybe the politics of the Republic are so Byzantine by this point that Senators don't have that power, but planetary leaders do.
    • It was a public relations ploy. Who better to appeal and get people motivated to do something than the young leader of her planet who had been heroically rescued by the noble Jedi, barely escaped with her life, and was determined to go home and fight whether the Senate agreed to help or not?

    Qui-Gon going around Watto 

  • So Watto apparently isn't weak-minded, so Qui-Gon's Jedi mind trick doesn't work on him. No sale. So rather than a somewhat convoluted and risky plan to get the parts they need, why not try one of the other scrap dealers, who could be persuaded to accept Republic credits? It's explicitly stated that no one else has the parts they're looking for, but surely they could obtain something which they could trade with Watto for the parts they do need.
    • Chances are none of the other merchants in the area would take credits either. Given that Qui-Gon just let slip that they only have credits, and just openly tried to mind-trick Watto into accepting the credits, suddenly coming back with a bundle of parts to barter with would be rather suspicious.

    Buying Shmi 

  • After it was all over, why the heck did nobody think to go back to Tatooine and buy Anakin's mother? She would probably have sold for less than the cost of one of Amidala's fancy dresses; it would seem like a small price to pay to reward the kid who saved their world. (Why? Because without Shmi dying horribly several years later, there's no Darth Vader, that's why.)
    • But...they didn't *know* she was going to die and turn Anakin into Vader. Or if they somehow did, wouldn't that give them extra incentive to go rescue her?
    • Even without the foresight of her death it still seems like a dick move to forget about Shmi and have Anakin be chastised every time he confesses to worrying about his mother. Even if he never got to see her as often, knowing that she was safe and not a slave probably would have made Anakin less of an angry jerk and more of the noble Jedi that he was supposed to be. That way, Anakin's story can actually be tragic when the character isn't a jerk.
    • Actually, none of it would have mattered. Shmi wasn't killed because she was a slave- she had been freed and was married at that point. While it still would have made sense to free her at the time as a reward for helping save Naboo, her being a slave ultimately had nothing to do with being kidnapped by Sand People.
    • But if she wasn't on Tatooine, she wouldn't have been kidnapped and killed by the Sand People. Problem solved, series over.
    • Yes, I'm sure Palpatine would have allowed her a long and happy life and not manipulate one of Anakin's strongest emotional ties to push him towards the dark side. It wouldn't surprise me to learn he was behind her ultimate fate anyway.
    • To be a Jedi is to live an ascetic life and completely devote one's life to the Force. That means letting go of one's family and forgoing intimacy. No doubt there have been countless Jedi before who have had to leave family behind with no certainty of their survival. One of Anakin's problems is that he can't fully let go of those passions and while it was exacerbated by this guilt over leaving his mother, his training would probably have been further retarded by his inability to let go of her. Shmi Skywalker was glad to have her son move on to something better than Tatooine even if it meant staying behind. On top of that, who's to say he wouldn't feel guilt about leaving all of his friends behind to live in slavery? He did say that he dreamed of becoming a Jedi and freeing all the slaves.
    • Except...unless you go back thousands of years, there aren't Jedi who've had to leave family. Anakin is "too old" for the Council...at NINE. By most standards, the only thing he's a bit old for is potty-training and kindergarten. Jedi children are taken from their families to the temple when they're literally too young to remember anything about where they came from. And this actually contributes to the Jedi's complete and total incompetence dealing with Anakin's crises—first over his mother, then over Padme. They seem to have absolutely no protocol in place for dealing openly with the kind of emotional stress he's under. Anakin doesn't even feel he can talk about any of it openly without risking discipline (we don't know exactly what, but possibly up to and including being expelled from the order.) The operating assumption is that Jedi just never have these problems, here's some vague platitudes, now stop having these feelings. Yoda can't in fact be anything BUT vague as treating it entirely as a discipline question means Anakin's holding back critical information. They reluctantly take this kid on from a horribly traumatic background and they never remotely consider that it might mean there are special issues that Standard Jedi Instructions won't be able to deal with.
    • The Jedi were completely unequipped to deal with a member who didn't conform to their training model. They acknowledged that Anakin was too old and throughout the prequels called him arrogant, dangerous, untrustworthy, yet never altered how he was trained. In a deleted scene of Ao TC, Qui-Gon was fondly compared to Dooku by someone because they were independent thinkers and didn't fit the mold, and Obi Wan's concerns about Anakin being off-world and alone with Padme are brushed off by Mace as "we'll have to trust he'll do the right thing." Um, have you ever met teenagers Mace?

  • Since Queen Amidala was going back to Naboo, and she only had a few security guards, handmaidens, and pilots, two Jedi, a droid, a Gungan, and a nine-year-old boy on hand, wouldn't it have made more sense to get some back-up? Since Qui-Gon Jinn mentioned that they had at least 20,000 Republic credits when they were on Tatooine, why didn't Amidala try hiring anyone else to help her? Coruscant is the center of the Republic, so those credits would definitely work. If the Senate or the Jedi Council wouldn't back her up, surely someone could've tried to contact a mercenary group that could help them liberate Naboo. Or at least a dealer that could set them up with better weapons that their group could use for their mission.
    • Mercenary groups are only reliable as long as you're the highest bidder - unless Padme and co got extremely lucky and found some of the most loyal guns in the galaxy, all the Trade Federation would have to do is offer the mercenaries higher pay than what Padme could offer. And much like with the "Why doesn't Qui-Gon go around Watto" guess, odds are that if Watto wasn't willing to accept Republic Credits, no mercenary group on Tatoonie would either.
      • How much of the post did you read? I wasn't talking about Tatooine. I was talking about Coruscant. They weren't trying to go back to Naboo when they were on Tatooine, they were trying to go to Coruscant. They weren't considering going back to Naboo until they already arrived on Coruscant. Republic credits may not be worth bantha dung on Tatooine, but they are 100% valid on Coruscant, and there are plenty of seedy locations like the Outlander Club they could've visited for new recruits. And if mercenaries weren't trustworthy enough, why didn't they just buy some military-grade weapons for the people they did have with them so that they would be more properly-equipped to take on the droid army?

    The Shields do nothing 
  • The droid army opens up an artillery barrage onto the Gungans' shield. None of the plasma bolts were able to penetrate. So, if a bombardment couldn't break the force field, how come the droid troopers simply walked through it, as if they were stepping through a shower curtain?
    • That's a common property of Star Wars shields. Large, slow-moving objects tend to be able to pass through the shields without trouble, while fast-moving objects and/or energy blasts are deflected. For example, see the X-Wings attacking the Death Star in ANH, where they passed through the outer deflector shield before moving to attack speed, or the AT-A Ts in ESB which had to pass through the edges of the planetary shield that would deflect the Star Destroyers' bombardment to attack Echo Base.
    • Ever heard of STF materials? The more shear applied to them, the tougher they get. Punch them and they turn solid, run you fingers gently through them and they're liquid. So this principle exists in the real world, too. And guess what? They've been been applied to armour theory, though without much result yet.
    • Also, consider what would happen to the ground if shield interactions destroyed/repelled everything that came in their path.

    Gungan statues 
  • Why are there statues of human heads in the Gungan sacred place?
    • The Gungans and the Nubians have been living on the same planet for centuries. It could be a relic from when they had better relations... or it could be a sacrificial totem or something.
    • Actually they're not humans, the statues are mean to be 'Elders', a race of reptilian humanoids that colonised and later driven off the planet by the Gungans before the humans came along.

    Droid Commands 
  • The Trade Federation droid army is controlled by a central computer on a ship in orbit. Why would the droids need to give verbal commands to one another when they are all being controlled by one computer? I can understand they might have the ability to understand verbal orders coming from the Trade Federation leaders, but there is no reason the computer has to send a signal down, transmit it as an audio command, listen to that command with another droid and send it back up into space.
    • The droids are independently brained. The control signal is just to keep them running, like the Star Wars version of DRM. There's a cutscene in Attack Of The Clones where they blow up the core ship again, and the droids shut off... only to reactivate immediately.
      • Yes, but the Attack of the Clones droids are improved versions from the earlier ones. They had both the new gray droids as well as the improved tan colored ones. The expanded universe states that they learned from their mistakes and made them more independent. Remember in the Phantom Menace, they did not reactivate when the control ship was destroyed. Also, if they reactivated anyway, wouldn't this render the DRM ineffectual? The expanded universe suggests the ship in episode I does actual information processing and isn't just a safety switch (though I admit some sort of DRM scheme would have made the most sense in this story).
      • ...but they didn't reactivate. I was explaining why they communicate with each other. The control signal keeps them running, but all the calculation is done on-site. It's not implausible that the main computer does some overhead calculation too... which would explain why latter generation models are so stupid. They aren't designed to run completely independently.
    • Related to "verbal commands," above, why bother having the droids speak to one another at all? It's an incredibly slow and easily-overheard-by-enemies form of communication. They could have just as easily used coded radio transmissions or even high speed, ultra-sonic blips that couldn't be heard or translated by unauthorized observers. Instead, you get: "Oh no! It's a Jedi! We've got to—" (decapitated)
      • Maybe people are just paranoid about what the droids could be saying in electronic transmissions. You know, like real life people sometimes get offended for some reason if people speak a language they don't know around them. Probably thinking they are talking behind their back, or planning to murder them in their sleep and start a rebellion or something.

    Why bother with the Gungans? 
  • Why did the droid army engage the Gungans? At the point the droid army was activated, Padme and the Jedi were already Storming The Castle. Shouldn't it have been obvious by then that the battle was a diversion? What did the Federation hope to gain by defeating Gungans in the middle of nowhere while the real battle was taking place at the palace?
    • The Gungans were still a significant military presence on the planet, and still needed to be dealt with. Plus, it's been said/hinted that Palpatine is prejudiced against non-humans.
      • I understood he doesn't give a damn about species when it comes to exploiting people. It's just there is a large enough population of manipulatable human-supremacists that he used them.

    Where did the trace come from? 
  • Scene one, Naboo guy contacts the ship. He demands they contact him and Obi-Wan says it's a trap and tells the Naboo people not to send any transmissions. Scene two, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon chat about this and agree it's probably a trap to establish a trace. Scene three, Sidious and Maul are talking about how the trace placed the Queen on Tatooine. Where did the trace come from? Did the Naboo people send a transmission behind Obi-Wan's back?
    • Yes, the Queen ignored Qui-Gon and sent a transmission anyway.
      • You mean the decoy? Because the Queen is Padme and she was in Anakin's hovel at the time.
    • If the HoloNet functions at all like the real life cellular network does, then the Naboo would have had to login to the network simply to download the message. That act, in and of itself, would have briefly registered their location to the network. Palpatine knew that the Queen's ship escaped Naboo and with his political influence it would have been fairly easy to get somebody to check the access logs. He wouldn't have even needed to be very discreet about it since a Senator trying to locate his head of state during a crisis is a very normal sort of thing to do.

    Why bother with the treaty? 
  • Why does Sidious/Palpatine go to all the trouble of sending Darth Maul out to capture Queen Amidala and bring back to Naboo to sign the treaty? His scheme to sympathy-vote himself to the Chancellorship works just as well if not better with Amidala pleading her case on Coruscant. When the Neimoidians told him Amidala escaped, he should have just said, "well, I guess you guys are screwed" and then let Amidala make it to Coruscant. As Palpatine he could have even speeded up the process by convincing Valorum to send people to Tatooine to rescue Amidala so that they wouldn't have to bet on Anakin in the pod race.
    • Amidala had already refused to sign the treaty when he had thought she would say yes. Clearly she was harder to manipulate than he imagined, so the best course of action was to have Maul grab her and make her sign by force. Once she got through to Coruscant however, he decided to make the best of a bad situation and try a more subtle manipulation. Luckily for him, it worked.

    R2's award 
  • Why does Padme present an award to R2 for fixing the shield? As established below droids aren't sapient and aren't considered citizens of the republic - that would be like the President giving a medal to a Predator Drone for taking out a terrorist.
    • The claim that droids are not sapient is debatable, they can clearly make judgements beyond just following orders and according to The Other Other Wiki only the fifth degree labour droids (R2-D2 is second degree) are non-intelligent. As for their legal status, from the same page as above "The Naboo considered higher level droids equal as fellow sentients". Finally, how an individual views droids varies from person to person, Obi-Wan treats them like any other machine, whereas Luke treats the droids like humans. Padme may simply be closer to Luke's end of the scale.
    • Actually it'd be closer to the President decorating a TALON unit for saving his and his staff's lives.

    Two Sith 
  • "Two there are, no more, no less." I understand no more than two, but no less? There very easily could've been less. In fact, there was less than two when Yoda said that, because Obi Wan just killed one. For all they knew, Darth Maul could've been a Master (they didn't know if he was apprentice or master) who'd had his apprentice killed in unrelated matters.
    • I don't think it's meant to be taken 100% literally. It means that the Sith always strive to have two members. If one dies, the survivor will immediately be looking for an apprentice. So even though Maul was dead, Yoda knew that a replacement would be in place soon enough.
      • Which is exactly my point. How do they know that Maul was one of two? For all they knew, Maul could've just killed his master, making him the only one. Or Maul could've been a master with a dead apprentice.
      • Historically (going by the Darth Bane novels, which are the sort of definitive source on the rule of two) it was traditional for the apprentice to find an apprentice themselves before killing the master. The search for an apprentice while still an apprentice was a plot point in one of the novels.
      • Basically Yoda's just saying "don't get your hopes up". Even though one Sith is dead, it's almost 100% guaranteed that there's still another one out there. Maul could have been the only one had he killed his master and hadn't found his own apprentice yet, but they weren't willing to bet on unlikely odds.

    Why does the Trade Federation rebel? 
  • This is never once explained during the movie except for some vague taxation dispute. Taxes? Really? Why would a Trade Federation have an army anyway? And then, why do the Separatists want to leave the Republic? Again, their motivations, political ideology, and major complaint with the Senatorial system is never explained, or even given a single second of thought in anything I read in any of the Star Wars things. The reasons why a war is being fought sounds important to me, at least. In the original series it was just Evil Empire vs. Plucky Rebels, that's simple. You don't really need any politics, its good vs. evil. But here, things are much more confused, and nothing is ever explained.
    • The thing is, Palpatine is basically running the show, and he 'wants' a war, so he manipulates everyone he can so that he can get it.
    • I think the Trade Federation is Lucas' idea of capitalism run amok. You know, with corporations having their own private armies and stuff.
    • As I understand it the original opening crawl of Menace was several times longer and gave a much more detailed explanation, but was pruned for being too wordy. Personally, I think the first two episodes are far too bogged down in political and economic detail as it is, and the last thing we need is more.
    • The taxation dispute is just an excuse for the Trade Federation to be pissed and thus ripe for Palpatine's manipulation. The movie doesn't go into any more detail about it because (a) it would be boring, and (b) it has no other bearing on the plot.

    "A communications disruption can mean only one thing. Invasion." 
  • Why does Sio Bibble immediately jump to that conclusion rather than considering that it may just be a technical malfunction?
    • One of the first things that an invading army will do is shut off comm lines. It's safe to assume that Sio Bibble had tried other methods - if it was just one method that was having disruptions but others were fine, he probably would've assumed it was just a malfunction.

     Legal invasion 
  • Treaty signed or not, is there ever such thing as a legal invasion?
    • A treaty changes it from an invasion to a legal movement of resources (i.e., troops) and acquisition of agreed upon territory. So, an invasion in all but name.

     “There is no logic in the Federation’s move here.” 
  • How exactly did Qui-Gon deduce that the invasion of Naboo was unusual for the Trade Federation, and therefore there was something else behind it?
    • Because the Federation had absolutely no reason to need to invade. Simply surrounding/besieging Naboo would have been enough (especially given Neimodians are supposedly cowardly and risk averse) so for them to suddenly raise the stakes means something is up.