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Chosen One of the Day: Queen Jamillia from Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Contributed by
Nov 9, 2018

You might not remember Queen Jamillia of Naboo; she has about three minutes of screen time in Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones. The prequel trilogy downplaying nominally powerful women to the degree that a scene about Padmé founding the Rebellion got cut out of Revenge of the Sith? I don’t know what you’re talking about! But she warrants our attention and adoration for three reasons.

First, she immediately passes the Bechdel Test with Padmé upon being introduced, as the both literal and figurative queens discuss the threat of the Separatists to the Republic and Padmé's safety. Of course, Anakin’s only contribution to this discussion is: The Jedi? Investigate in this economy? SHUT UP ANAKIN THE QUEENS ARE TALKING.

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In fact, Jamillia and Padmé go way back; she's the one who encouraged Padmé to stay in politics by representing Naboo in the Senate despite no longer being a cool teen. Naboo loves teen politicians, it’s this whole thing. Which I guess makes Palpatine even more suspicious in hindsight as an old man politician? Ah, Star Wars.

Second, she’s the first queen of color that we see onscreen in Star Wars, portrayed by Indian actress Ayesha Dharker. (Leia’s adoptive mother, Queen Breha, is played by Rebecca Jackson Mendoza, an actress of Filipino descent, but she makes a nonspeaking appearance at the end of Revenge of the Sith.) Of course, she only features in one scene, but she will be making an appearance in E.K. Johnston’s upcoming Padmé novel, Queen’s Shadow, about her transition from Queen to senator, and I hope it’s an extended one.

And last but definitely not least, she rocks that 10-piece mother-of-pearl headpiece like no else in the galaxy. Padmé's a tough act to follow, both personally—the people of Naboo wanted to amend their constitution so she could rule forever, which is a lot—and sartorially, but Jamillia doesn’t skip a beat. Now that’s a Queen.

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