20

When Queen Amidala addressed the Senate regarding the Trade Federation blockade of Naboo, she was asked if she would allow a Senate committee to investigate her claims. However, she declined and instead asked for a vote of "no confidence" in Chancellor Valorum.

Why didn't she accept the offer to send a committee? The committee would have seen what was happening.


Note: the idea for this question came from http://www.moviemistakes.com/member354/title976

  • 11
    Because it would take too long. "I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee!" – Valorum May 15 '16 at 20:50
  • 10
    Why did Amidala cross the road? To get to the light side. – Valorum May 15 '16 at 23:44
44

She did not want to delay when the matter was so urgent

From the script* for The Phantom Menace:

AMIDALA : (angrily) I will not defer...I have come before you to resolve this attack on our sovereignty now. I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee. If this body is not capable of action, I suggest new leadership is needed. I move for a "vote of no confidence"...in Chancellor Valorum's leadership.

VALORUM : What?...No!

As to why she asked for a vote of no confidence, the proximal cause was Valorum's poor handling of the Naboo crisis. The actual cause, of course, was Palpatine's manipulation, with the ultimate goal of making himself Emperor.

*Script not final version.

  • 3
    Yes, because voting for new leadership is sooooooooooooo much faster than traveling to a planet at FTL speeds. – Ellesedil May 16 '16 at 19:50
  • 2
    @Ellesedil: the problem with traveling to Naboo isn't the traveling, it's the getting ready. Imagine a group of teenagers deciding what to do that evening, and raise it to the third power. As Amidala said, she doesn't have time to wait for the Senate to discuss the matter in committee. – Martha May 16 '16 at 21:27
  • 4
    @Ellesedil Imagine them deciding who is on the committee. Imagine the committee voting on whether to go. Imagine whoever goes writing a report. Imagine the committee reading the report. Imagine the committee debating the report. Imagine the committee voting on a recommendation. Imagine the committee writing a new report including their findings and recommendation. Imagine this report being distributed to the rest of the Senate. Imagine the Senate reviewing it and finally voting to do nothing. A bureaucracy's inability to act swiftly is a point that dictators can leverage to come to power. – jpmc26 May 16 '16 at 22:57
  • 1
    @Ellesedil: you are mistaking “investigations” for “travelling there and looking what’s going on”. If the Senate will start “investigations”, it means “building a committee which will send orders to executives to create exposés which will eventually lead to the executives delegating the work to someone who might travel to the planet, though it’s more likely that they will search for witnesses to interrogate them instead, which will lead to ask Amidala and the two Jedi, which are the only known witnesses”. Maybe they will also invite the Trade Federation to explain their point of view, etc. – Holger May 17 '16 at 10:28
25

First off, Valorum wasn't sending any help, he was only sending people to check if she was telling the truth.

VALORUM: Will you defer your motion to allow a commission to explore the validity of your accusations?

Palpatine had convinced her that Vallorum was incapable of acting in a timely manner to help them, saying bureaucracy and corruption limited the ability to act effectively and swiftly.

PALPATINE: There is no civility, only politics. The Republic is not what it once was. The senate is full of greedy, squabbling delegates. There is no interest in the common good. I must be frank, Your Majesty. There is little chance the senate will act on the invasion

AMIDALA: Chancellor Valorum seems to think there is hope.

PALPATINE: If I may say so, Your Majesty... the chancellor has little real power. He is mired by baseless accusations of corruption. - The bureaucrats are in charge now.

AMIDALA: What options have we?

PALPATINE: Our best choice would be to push for the election... of a stronger supreme chancellor... one who could control the bureaucrats... and give us justice. You could call for a vote of no confdence in Chancellor Valorum.

AMIDALA: He has been our strongest supporter.

PALPATINE: Our only other choice would be to submit a plea to the courts.

AMIDALA: The courts take even longer to decide things than the senate. Our people are dying, Senator. We must do something quickly to stop the Federation.

So, when she saw Valorum was only going to send people to check if there was a problem, rather than take real action to help Naboo, the Queen took this as proof Palpatine was right. She therefore felt a vote of no confidence, getting a new leader who could/would do something, was her only option left.

PALPATINE: now they will elect a new chancellor, a strong chancellor. One that will not let our tragedy to continue.

As it turns out, this all was part of his plan to

become chancellor and rule the galaxy.


All quotes from the film's script

  • 15
    What? Palpatine became the Emperor? Next you're going to tell me that Vader is Luke's father or something. – Rogue Jedi May 15 '16 at 21:20
  • 4
    Chewie and Han are brothers! Noooo!!! – RichS May 16 '16 at 7:09
  • 8
    Which ultimately means that Order 66, the Younglings, the destruction of Alderaan, basically everything bad that happened from Episode II onward, can be squarely blamed on Amidala stupidly allowing Palpatine to take control of the Senate. This is why you don't let 14 year-olds become queens of entire planets. – Darrel Hoffman May 16 '16 at 15:39
  • 7
    @DarrelHoffman Palpatine wouldn't have been able to do a tenth of the stuff he did if JarJar hadn't convinced the senate to grant him emergency powers... – Paul L May 16 '16 at 18:07
  • 7
    Don't let 14 year olds or frog-people become involved in politics full stop. Oh, and if you see a little kid destroy millions of credits worth of droid control ship, give him a clip round the ear instead of training him to be a Jedi. – GeoffAtkins May 16 '16 at 18:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.