Jul 192013

Diesen Beitrag gibt es auch auf Deutsch.

~Please also have a look at my Star Wars costume reproductions
(which is basically what my website is all about – costumes.) ~

Padmé or Amidala or Padmé Amidala or Queen Amidala or…?

Naming problems in Star Wars’ Naboo world

When going over my website’s statistics, I often find “weird” search terms.
Like, “Queen Padme”, “Senator Padmé Amidala”, “Queen Padme Amidala”, “Princess Amidala”, “Amidala Skywalker” and so on.
Weird not because they’re misspelled (that would be something like “quein amendala” – and yes, that’s an actual example of search terms people use to end up on my website, and I had to copy / paste it from my statistics because I would not be capable of that kind of misspelling…), but because they’re technically not correct.

So I thought I’d write a posting about how the lady portrayed by Nathalie Portman is actually called in the movies.

Padmé was born as Padmé Naberrie in the (Star Wars universe wise…) year 46 BBY (which means “Before the Battle of Yavin” – similar to our earth-wise “BC”, “Before Christ”) as the youngest daughter of Ruwee and Jobal Thule Naberrie.
At that point, she was neither a princess nor a Queen; just “Padmé Naberrie”.

Now, Naboo is a democratic royal state, which means they elect their Queens. This should clarify why Padmé wasn’t born as a princess, nor inherited any right to become one (let alone become Queen).

Padmé, from a young age, was very interested and active in politics.
At the age of 13 (33 BBY) she was elected Princess of Theed (Theed is the Capital of Naboo, by the way). This elected title is the equivalent of being the mayor of that Capital of Naboo.
Note that at that point, she was (and really just for a very short time) “Princess Padmé”. She was NEVER “Princess Amidala”.

The same year she was elected Queen of Naboo, at which point she took the regnal (or reign) name of Amidala. Yes, that’s right – Amidala is neither her birth name, nor was she ever called “Padmé Amidala”.
When she was Queen, she was Amidala.
When she was not – like before being elected Queen, or when being in her “handmaiden disguise”, she was Padmé.

Never ever, neither in the movies nor the books nor any other licensed material – you will find her being called “Queen Padmé”, “Padmé Amidala” or any other mix between her birth name Padmé, her title (Queen or, later, Senator) and / or her reign name Amidala, because that would be just wrong.

This is actually really similar to the naming of the Pope in our world.
Let’s take Pope Benedict XVI as an example – he was born as Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. However, when he was elected Pope, he became Pope Benedict XVI.
Can you imagine anyone calling him “Pope Joseph”, “Pope Ratzinger”, “Pope Benedict Ratzinger”, “(find any other combination of his birth name and his reign name)?
Or that any officials would call him “Joseph Ratzinger” while talking to or about him, save for his family and friends he had before becoming pope who would surely NOT talk about “Pope Benedict”, but “Joseph” when talking about him.
See, you can’t since that would be just wrong. It’s the same case with Padmé Naberrie and Queen / Senator Amidala.

The elected Queens of Naboo were only allowed to reign for two terms. In the year 25 BBY – eight years after she was initially elected as a Queen – her second term ended.

At that point she became Senator Amidala, appointed by the following – and also elected! – Queen Jamillia of Naboo. To be more precise, she became Naboo’s representative in the Galactic Senate.
Again, there was never a “Senator Padmé”. As a Senator, Padmé kept her reign name Amidala, which she had chosen as a Queen.

When she travels “in disguise” with Anakin – from Coruscant to Naboo – and when she’s with her family, again, you will never find anyone call her “Amidala”, except for Naboo officials like Queen Jamillia.
No, she’s “Padmé”, without any title – because Padmé Naberrie holds no titles.

Just when she marries Anakin, her name changes to Padmé Skywalker. Again, not “Amidala Skywalker” – Amidala is a reign name, not her real name.

So when you find someone calling her a combination of her birth- and reign name (like Padmé Amidala), laugh at them because they have no idea of Naboo’s title- and democratic system.
Same for “Princess Amidala” – someone with that title in combination with that name really never existed in the Star Wars Universe.

Hope you liked my short essay on the Naboo naming problem 🙂

~Please also have a look at my Star Wars costume reproductions
(which is basically what my website is all about – costumes.) ~

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