The Naboo Handmaidens appeared in all three Star Wars prequels films. Handmaidens were chosen to protect and support their monarch. Women who were chosen as handmaidens at times looked similar to the queen (so they could serve as decoys) and also acted as overall aides and confidants. Handmaidens may appear to be silent and meek servants to the queen, but they are ready, willing, and, able to come to her defense – even if that means endangering their own lives. Here are all of Padmé Amidala’s handmaidens from the three prequel films.
The Phantom Menace
In The Phantom Menace, Queen Amidala had five main handmaidens: Sabé, Rabé, Eirtaé, Saché, and Yané. It’s challenging in many scenes to ID these women in screenshots, but it’s mostly easy to find Sabé who serves as a decoy to the queen throughout large sections of the film. In the screenshot below Sabé is on the far left and the true queen, Padmé Amidala, is second from the right. I believe the other handmaidens (left to right) are Rabé, Saché, and Yané.
Sabé (played by Keira Knightly, pre-Pirates of the Caribbean fame) can also be spotted in regular handmaiden attire in the celebration scene at the end of The Phantom Menace (below left).
Here’s Sabé, again dressed as the Queen’s decoy, in the Prequel Trilogy Graphic Novel (which is overall quite lovely if you haven’t seen it).
Sabé also appeared in several young readers books that came out during the release of The Phantom Menace including The Queen in Disguise where Sabé, Padmé, and several other handmaidens do some training. (It’s as wonderful as you might imagine it would be.)
Rabé and Eirtaé
Rabe and Eirtaé, along with Sabé, are the three handmaidens that accompany Queen Amidala to Coruscant midway through The Phantom Menace. Amidala’s other two main handmaidens, Saché and Yané, are only seen in the Naboo scenes. Eirtaé was played by actress Friday “Liz” Wilson and Rabé was played by Cristina da Silva.
Here’s Eirtaé (below left) in Theed Palace on Naboo.
Rabé (below right) is one of the rare handmaidens who has a few lines of dialogue in the prequel films.
It’s much easier to identify handmaidens without their hoods on (which intentionally obscure their identities). From left to right – Rabé, Eirtaé, Anakin, Sabé (as the Queen’s decoy), and Padmé (in disguise).
Eirtaé (with brown hair) and Rabé also make appearances in the young readers book Queen in Disguise as well as several other books from The Phantom Menace.
Rabé fans can also try and get their hands on this action figure.
Saché and Yané
Saché and Yané are two of Queen Amidala’s main handmaidens in The Phantom Menace. They are the hardest to find in the film because they do not accompany Queen Amidala to Coruscant mid-way through the film with Sabé, Rabé, and Eirtaé. Because Saché and Yané stay in Naboo, there are fewer scenes to find them in, and in most of these scenes their faces are partially obscured.
I believe that the women in the screenshot below (left to right) are Sabé, Rabé, Saché, Padmé, and Yané.
Sofia Coppola played Saché and Candice Orwell played Yané in The Phantom Menace. Coppola is now known more for her directing (Lost in Translation, The Beguiled) than her acting. The Phantom Menace is the only credit, acting or otherwise, for Orwell on IMDB.
It’s very difficult to spot Yané in the film, but you can get a fairly good look at her from this Battle of Naboo card from the Young Jedi Collectible Card Game.
Yané also gets some love in the Young Readers book Queen in Disguise.
Saché can be spotted in the screenshot below seated on the right.
Saché was also a character in Star Wars Galaxies, a MMORPG game.
Wookieepedia has more information about both Saché and Yané. The photo of Saché from Star Wars Galaxies is from her Wookieepedia page (the only one I could find) and both pages for Saché and Yané include a list of all of the books and comics where they make appearances.
Fé and Dané
If you’ve never heard of the Naboo Handmaidens Fé and Dané you’re not alone. Fé only appears in one shot at the very end of The Phantom Menace and Dané did not appear in the film at all. I’m including them in this project to shine a light on how pick-up shots (filming done after principal photography has ended) can change a film and how new characters are created for games based on large film franchises.
Let’s take a closer look at the scene below where Amidala and a group of four handmaidens welcome Palpatine home before the big Naboo celebration.
In the first screenshot below you can see three handmaidens.
A fourth handmaiden to their right is revealed in this next screenshot.
A third screenshot shows a handmaiden on the far left that looks like the one who is on the far left of the first screenshot. But who is the handmaiden to the right of her? It sure doesn’t look like any of the other four handmaidens. This handmaiden is Fé played by actress Fay David. She stood in as a handmaiden at some point and it appears got a Star Wars character named after herself (well done). She even has her own Wookieepedia page.
The shot above is all we get of Fé as she seems to have disappeared in the following shots.
I was going to guess that some of the handmaidens in yellow in this sequence might be Eirtaé or Yané but I think it’s likely that these are all different actresses who filled in for pick-up shots.
Here’s a photo from Star Wars Year by Year A Visual History in a section that describes five days of pick-up photography done for The Phantom Menace that was needed to clarify action and expand on new ideas. These four women look to be the same four women in the above screenshots (notably without Fé who must have filmed her scene at a different time).I also found this Lisa Lloyd autograph for sale (she was credited as a film extra on The Phantom Menace) here.
If some of the handmaidens from this scene don’t have names I officially want to recommend Saffé, Romé, Elsé, and Amé as possible names as a fun reference to my daughter, my favorite cat, my niece, and myself.
The story of Dané is much more straightforward. She was a character created for the game Star Wars: Invasion of Theed Adventure Game, a roleplaying game released in 2000.
I’m not sure why a brand new handmaiden was created for this game, but she seems to have had a very full life serving as a handmaiden, mercenary, and assassin at various points in her life. Read more about Dané on her Wookieepedia page.
Attack of the Clones
Cordé and Versé
Versé and Cordé both served as (now) Senator Amidala’s handmaidens in Attack of the Clones.
In the beginning of the film, we see a woman who looks like Padmé Amidala.
But this is not Padmé, it’s her handmaiden Cordé serving as her decoy. As Cordé walks down a ship ramp there’s another woman right behind her that you can barely see (circled below). This is Padmé’s handmaidens named Versé.
As the women are walking down the ramp there’s an explosion that kills both Cordé and Versé. Padmé and Cordé (played by Veronica Segura) are able to exchange a few words before Cordé dies, but we never see any more of Versé. I couldn’t find any records of the name of the actress who played Versé.
Here’s the same scene in the Prequel Trilogy Graphic Novel.
Dormé had the largest handmaiden role in Attack of the Clones. She appeared in several scenes and had a few brief conversations with Senator Padmé Amidala.
While many of the previous handmaiden scenes in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones focused on the decoy/protection part of the handmaiden job, Dormé’s scenes gave us a look at the handmaiden as counselor and confidante to Senator Amidala. She’s as close as we got in the prequels to Padmé having a conversation with a female friend.
Dormé appeared in the Prequel Trilogy Graphic Novel but the best comic version of Dormé appeared in Issue #1 of the Attack of the Clones comic. In the scene below you truly get a sense of how close Padmé and Dormé’s relationship was.
Dormé didn’t get an action figure but she did get a few trading cards.
Teckla Minnau is a handmaiden introduced in Attack of the Clones after Cordé, Versé, and Dormé. You can barely see Teckla in the film though. She appears briefly serving Padmé and Anakin some food during the Naboo lake sequence.
The majority of Teckla’s Star Wars scenes occurred in two episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
In the “Pursuit of Peace” Teckla talks with Padmé about war’s effect on everyday people.
In “An Old Friend” Teckla accompanies Padmé to Scipio and sadly loses her life during an attempt to recover important Banking Clan files.
I couldn’t find the name of the actress who played Teckla in Attack of the Clones, but Ashley Moynihan voiced her in both episodes of The Clone Wars.
It was great to see more interactions between Padmé and one of her handmaidens in these two episodes of The Clones Wars and I think it was overall a fun choice to decide that she was the same handmaiden who briefly appeared in Attack of the Clones.
You can learn more about Teckla Minnau on her Wookieepedia page.
Revenge of the Sith
Moteé and Ellé
Moteé and Ellé were two of Padmé’s handmaidens in Revenge of the Sith. Moteé (Kristy Wright) appears in only one scene, sitting behind Padmé Amidala in her Senate box. Ellé sadly cannot be seen at all in the film. The best look you’ll get of Ellé (played by Chantal Freer) is from the publicity photo above.
It’s hard to find signs of any handmaiden in Revenge of the Sith. I talked about this topic and how the lack of handmaidens in the film affected Padmé’s character development in this breakdown of female roles in Revenge of the Sith for FANgirl.
The Revenge of the Sith Visual Dictionary notes that both Moteé and Ellé knew about Padmé’s secret marriage to Anakin and facilitated meetings between the two by serving as decoys. But this relationship between Anakin, Padmé and her handmaidens was never seen on the screen. Padmé is seen as scared and alone throughout large sections of Revenge of the Sith – a far cry from the strong and decisive Queen of Naboo from The Phantom Menace. I wonder how the inclusion of female allies to Padmé may have changed the overall feel of many of Padmé’s scenes.
Here’s a full screenshot of the scene where Moteé appears in the film sitting behind Padmé.
In the Revenge of the Sith Comic #4 it looks like both Moteé and Ellé are in the Senate box. I went back to this scene in Sith and it’s possible Ellé was sitting on the opposite end of the box but we can’t see her because we never get a wide shot of the entire Senate box. However, Jar Jar Binks was definitely not in the film version of this scene in Revenge of the Sith.
Moteé also appeared in the Prequel Trilogy Graphic Novel as well as Star Wars: Republic Dreadnaughts of Rendeili, Part 3 which is pictured below.
Moteé and Ellé can also be spotted in the back of this deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith.
Padmé also makes a passing reference to Moteé and Ellé to C-3PO in Revenge of the Sith novelization.
It’s clear Moteé and Ellé were meant to have larger roles in Revenge of the Sith but ended up almost entirely on the cutting room floor.
Umé, Hollé, and Miré
Despite the fact that it’s nearly impossible to spot any of Padmé’s handmaiden in Revenge of the Sith, five handmaiden roles were created for the film. On Day 28 I took a look at Moteé and Ellé. The remaining three handmaiden roles were Umé, Hollé, and Miré.
Both Umé and Hollé can be spotted in Padmé’s funeral procession.
Umé (unknown actress) is standing to the left of Queen Apailana below.
Hollé (unknown actress – perhaps Holly Stringer?) is to the right of Jar Jar Binks in the screenshot below.
Miré (also unknown actress) did not appear in Revenge of the Sith. I don’t know if Miré even shot any scenes for the film. I believe this character only ended up with a name because she appeared in a few Star Wars reference books. Miré, Umé, and Hollé all appeared in Trisha Biggar’s prequel costume book Dressing a Galaxy. They all also appeared in the Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia.
If anyone has the names of these actresses (Holly Stringer is credited simply as “handmaiden” on IMDB – maybe she’s Hollé?) let me know! I’m also curious if Umé, Hollé, and especially Miré shot more scenes for Revenge of the Sith.
Check out the entire list of women in 365 Days of Star Wars Women in the Women in Star Wars Index. It includes highlights from each post plus notes which posts include new 365 interviews with actresses, writers, artists, and more.