The Queen Trusts My Judgment

I’ve had a small, minor issue weighing on my mind for this past week.  (This makes me sound so lame that, yes, I have been thinking about this on and off for a week)

Did Qui-Gon Jinn know that Padmé was actually Queen Amidala?

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 6.24.58 PM

Okay, now, I know that according to the DVD commentary by George Lucas, Qui-Gon did know.   According to the Episode I novelization, Qui-Gon had a good suspicion.  I’ve done my research on this.  And whatever Lucas says is law when it comes to Star Wars, so I should defer to that.

“And yet, and yet I wonder…” (said in the voice of Roger from 101 Dalmatians)

This all came about when I was reading my new Insider last week and one of the authors talked about how cool Qui-Gon was, especially as he knew that Padmé was fooling everyone but he never let it on.  I guess I’m surprised, because as an 11-year-old watching TPM for the first time, I didn’t think Qui-Gon knew.  I thought he was just as duped as anyone else.

I am Queen Amidala obi wan qui gon

So let’s look at the facts and what actually happens within the movie.  In the end, it’s all irrelevant and inconclusive, but humor me please.

  • Qui-Gon pleads with Amidala to leave Naboo and her people, for fear the Federation will “destroy” her if she stays.  The decoy, Sabé, turns to Padmé and slyly asks for her decision under the guise that she is concerned for the welfare of her handmaidens.  As a viewer, we see what’s happening, but does Qui-Gon?  All we know is that he was directly speaking to the decoy in this instance.
  • Qui-Gon and Panaka are arguing on whether or not to land on Tatooine.  Qui-Gon says to the decoy, “You must trust my judgment, Your Highness.”  Here he is asking the decoy to trust him, but he does not give any recognition of noticing Padmé hanging out behind him either.
  • Panaka chases down Qui-Gon when he heads off to Mos Espa and asks that he bring her handmaiden along with him.  Handmaiden is Padmé, the real queen.  Here we see something interesting.   At first, Qui-Gon refuses to take the handmaiden.  Is it because he knows it’s really the queen and doesn’t want to be responsible should anything happen?  Or does he really think it’s her handmaiden and doesn’t want to deal with another tagalong?  Keep in mind, he’s also stuck with Jar Jar at this point so I wouldn’t want any extra annoyances with me either.
  • After Qui-Gon decides he is going to make a bet with Watto, we have the famous exchange between Jedi Master and Queen where she says “Are you sure about this?  Trusting our fate to a boy we hardly know?  The queen will not approve.”  With his reply, “The Queen doesn’t need to know.”  Then Padmé mutters, “Well, I don’t approve.”
    • The last line is a clear giveaway that she’s the queen.  He is still looking at her and hearing her when she says that, but he is wearing the same smile as when he said that the queen didn’t need to know.  I don’t see any real recognition.  Padmé just looks like she’s sulking and he is looking at her with amusement.  Amusement because he knows that it’s her or amusement because he’s going behind the queen’s back?
  • Before the podracing is about to begin, Padmé once more voices her doubts: “You Jedi are far too reckless.  The Queen…” in which Qui-Gon interrupts and says, “The Queen trusts my judgment, young handmaiden.  You should too.”  She replies, “You assume too much.”
    • This is a tricky one.  Here, Qui-Gon seems frustrated that she constantly doubts his decisions and honestly The queen trusts my judgmentsounds pretty annoyed.  Kind of like when you really want to go out somewhere but your dad won’t let you and the only explanation is because he said so.  Queen trusts me, end of discussion.  When I watched the scene again, he was looking her DIRECTLY in the eyes, and even leaned down a little further to her level to emphasize, “You should too.”  See, to me, that seems like he really does think that she is just a handmaiden, not the Queen.  Am I taking it too literal again?
  • They don’t seem to speak to each other for quite some time until Qui-Gon escorts the Queen back to Naboo.  It’s a brief scene where he says he’d be happy to continue to serve and protect her.  No signs.
  • The last time they speak is when Amidala is going back to Naboo and Qui-Gon tells her he cannot fight a war for her.  I believe he’s really speaking to Padmé during this scene even though when they leave the plane, she switches with her decoy.  This one’s always confusing, but I’m pretty sure it’s not her decoy he’s talking to.

And there we have it.  The two big scenes would be both scenes that take place on Tatooine.  Here it seems like Padmé makes it obvious that she really is the queen…but is that how I want to see it because as the audience, I know who is who?

We could also argue that since Qui-Gon has the Force, he is probably able to pick up more around him than the average citizen.  He is most likely able to sense which person he is talking to.

Yet, at the same time, would he really waste his time trying to figure out the details of this mess?  Or was it just this weird feeling of something not being right when he talked to Sabé?  Every time he exchanging lines with either Padmé or Sabé, there are other, more pressing matters coming in at him.

Interestingly, this has really forced me to view TPM a little differently.  I have hung onto the notion that Qui-Gon had no idea about the switcheroo, because that’s how I felt when I was younger.  Now that I’m older and can see things differently, I’m not sure.  Lucas obviously left it vague on purpose but I love how much new speculation it’s brought to me.

Let’s ignore what Lucas said on the commentary for a second.  When you guys saw the movie for the first time, what did you think?  Do you believe Qui-Gon knew about Padmé using a decoy the entire time?

I want your input as this has been bothering me for a week.

I am queen amidala



21 thoughts on “The Queen Trusts My Judgment

  1. To be honest, I haven’t seen the movie in *years*, so I’ll have to watch it again (very carefully) to form an opinion about this. Interesting thoughts!

    1. I don’t think Qui-Gon or Obi-wan knew. Sure, Jedi could use the Force to sense things about somebody if they really wanted to, but that could easily have been considered a mis-use of the Force by the Jedi order. And, while Qui-Gon didn’t follow the jedi code all the time and had an idealistic attitude like Dooku did, he wasn’t going to mis-use his powers in the Force. Now, had Qui-Gon been on the dark side, he could have forcefully found out that Padmé was the queen had he chose. Just one of the thigns you can learn if your a student of the dark side, forcefully extracting information from the minds of people even Jedi who are very powerful and wise and all that. But anyways…back to the topic at hand :). When Padmé shows herself as the true queen on Naboo, at least in the TPM book, she apologizes to Obi Wan, Qui Gon, and to Anakin, for misleading them.
      This proof in the book seems to prove on a scientificly unbreakable fact that the Jedi never knew, Anakin never knew, etc, no matter what Lucas might have said on the commentary (which by the way) I’ve never had the honor of listening to, so I can’t dispute that he did indeed say that Qui-Gon or indeed anybody else knew, but I have tended to always go by the events in the detailed TPM book.
      On another TPM-related note, I have to ask a visual question about Qui Gon’s on-screen movie profile.
      Did he have locks of hair that fell over his shoulders visually?
      Or, did his hair all flow out behind him?
      I ask this question, because I happen to have a six-scale 12-inch action figure of Qui-Gon done by Sideshow collectables, and in that case, his hair just flows down behind his back, minus any locks in front.
      And, I believe the artist who made the facial sculpt for Qui-Gon, didn’t fully follow the movie depiction on-screen, but instead, followed Qui-Gon’s description from the TPM book, which states “and his hair was worn long and tide back.” And other than a mention of the seen when Anakin comes up to Qui-Gon after Obi-wan storms off to the ship after the heated discussion between them considering Anakin, where the book mentions that wind blew strands of hhair around Qui-Gon’s face, it never mentions anything to make me visually imagine anything about hair falling over his shoulders.
      And, the book also makes the reference to Qui-Gon’s long hair being whiled, (just as the group of Naboo fighters are rushing passed the cocpit) where Anakin is hidden in, and also describes during one of the duels with Darth Maul that his hair flew out behind him, many times during both Lightsbaer duel moments in fact when comparing Darth Maul in contrast, and then in the second duel where Qui-Gon is pressing hard in the beginning of the fight wanting to put an end to the “combat quickly.”
      So, that’s why I believe the artist who made this face sculpt of Qui-Gon followed the TPM book instead.
      People who have reviewewed this figure have gotten bent out of shape about his hair, pus thefact that the artist had to use a separate plastic hair peace entirely.
      I don’t think the sculpt was or is, as bad as many people online reviewing this sculpt say.
      Nevertheless, I’m still curious about that small part of Qui-Gon’s appearance on screen.
      Thanks for reading!
      Have a good day, evening, or whatever it might be! Grin.
      May the Force be with you.

      1. Hi Keith-
        Qui-Gon’s hair is half pulled back in a small ponytail, and then the rest falls to his shoulders. So it’s half up, half down. When it’s down, it does come in front of his shoulders a little bit. There is no full ponytail. Hope that helps!

        Interesting that Padme apologizes for misleading them. I don’t remember that. That explains some, but it didn’t happen in the movie, so I’m primarily looking at that right now.

  2. Being a Jedi Master, I would think he would sense the deception.
    What really surprised me with the switcharoo is that the decoy is Kiera Knightley. It wasn’t till I was watching Episode I a few years later that I realized this. I believe if you go to the credits, she’s in there.

    1. Yeah I know! What’s even cooler is that I think she was only 12 to Natalie’s 19 or something like that. They did look so alike for a while, even though now I think they’ve grown into different looking people. Similar, but different enough.

      1. Actually, at the time of filming, Natalie would have been about 14, same as the the character. I saw her Biography and she was a freshman I think at the time, but by the time the movie came out she was almost 18 (I seem to recall production taking three years with filming being on the first year). The are four years apart though, which does make it amazing now matter what.

        1. Oh interesting, thanks for confirming that information! I can’t believe she was 14 at the time of filming…I actually thought she looked 16/17. So if she was 14 at filming, that would make Keira Knightley 10?! WOW.

          1. 14 or 15, so she could have had a birthday during. I remember the news outlets and stuff saying she had just graduated from high school when the movie came out, so given the time it took for them to film, and the date I found for her birthday and Kiera’s it would seem so. I also read that their own mothers had trouble telling them apart on set if they were both in full makeup, and Dressing a Galaxy says the outfits were designed to hide the differences between the two in height and size. Kiera did grow up to be quite tall and Natalie is quite petite. I saw one of her costumes from a different movie at an exhibit, and it cold have fit me and I’m 5 feet even!

  3. I don’t remember what I thought. But by the look on his face when it’s revealed, my mom and I figured he must have known but was playing along. In the last scene, it is the Queen. The switched back when on Couroscant.

  4. Yeah, I’m not sure. The facial expressions the Jedi have when she reveals in the swamp always kinda said to me “That confirms my suspicion” (Qui-Gon) and “Oh! It all makes sense now!” (Obi-Wan). So, my opinion is that Qui-Gon suspected something was up with the queen, but figured if she wasn’t going to play straight with him then he didn’t have to be straight with her.

    1. I know in the book anyways, Qui-Gon does seem to suspect that something’s up, but neither of them certainly told each other what was going on until Padmé finally decided to make it obvious she was the queen. But Qui-Gon did wonder (not outloud), but during particular moments in the book anyways what she was up to. Especially when he began to think back through his memories about Padmé’s support of the queen heading off of Naboo, for one. I would suggest anybody who hasn’t to go back and read the TPM book. Their are several facial expression moments where Qui-Gon seems to be possibly wondering what Padmé is up to, more than once. However, he doesn’t focus heavily on his musings in any case. It’s safe to say that QUi-Gon and Obi-wan didn’t outright know that she was the queen. however,did they suspect?I would say that for Qui-Gon, with such a connection to the Living Force, he most certainly would have suspected Padmé’s actions for sure and give him cause to wonder, but of course, he wasn’t going to openly say anything. I think the one thing that got him really suspecting Padmé however, at from within the book’s story anyways, is when he’s about to walk into the shop to begin discussing the pod racer and Padmé confronts Anakin being trusted with so much of what they’re up to to Qui-Gon. Her statement about her not approving might have just been a tad too obvious, however Qui-Gon didn’t allow this to interfear with his plans for Anakin. But he did clearly (again) through the facial expression in the book, wonder about the possibility, but you know Qui-Gon, gotta be doing this and that, no time to fully consider for any length of time too closely, unless she’s lying. Jedi and Sith alike can sense if somebody is lying or not through the Force in any case.
      Their are my thoughts, for what they’re worth.
      Now go and have fun discussing what I’ve written here.

    2. I was wondering what you thought! Thanks for participating. I definitely think Obi-Wan was more in the dark, if only because he didn’t spend as much time with Padme as Qui-Gon did. I’m beginning to lean towards feeling like Qui-Gon had a strong suspicion but couldn’t quite put his finger on it because he had heavier matters on his mind (Anakin/prophecy, Darth Maul, etc).

  5. I’d say he probably knew, because Jedi. And he was smiling as he said “The Queen trusts me and you should too” because he knew he was talking to The Queen. And, because he liked that as a Jedi he was above her concerns.

    1. Most people are in favor of him knowing. I wonder if I projected my own surprise onto Qui-Gon. I’m really going to have to watch this again from the beginning and see if I can pick up any new thoughts.

  6. Honestly, I think Qui-Gon was so convinced of his own superiority that it didn’t occur to him that the “Queen” might be pulling a trick of this magnitude. I’m convinced he had no idea but that Obi-Wan had figured it, due to his time spent on the ship with the handmaidens and “Amidala” (actually Sabé the decoy Queen). I think Qui-Gon thought that Padmé might have been getting above her station or too ambitious for her own good or that she had too much sway over a Queen who might have been too young for her role in his opinion, but that it never occurred to him at all to wonder if Padmé might actually be the Queen in disguise. Frankly, Qui-Gon comes off as an arrogant/self-centered jerk in both the film and pretty much every EU/Legends story he’s in, and, no matter what Lucas says, unless he actually wants to go back after the fact like he did with the OT and physically alter the film, canonically speaking, Qui-Gon does not know.

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