enter image description here

In the beginning of Attack of the Clones, Senator Padmé Amidala's group of attachés arrived on Coruscant in a J-type diplomatic cruiser. Almost as soon as they landed on the triangular platform, the ship was destroyed in an explosion, killing a number of Naboo Security Force and Royal House of Naboo members. The offence was apparently never resolved, neither by the Coruscant police nor the Jedi Order.

Mace Windu: Our intelligence points to disgruntled spice miners, on the moons of Naboo.

How was the attempt on Amidala's life organized? How were the explosives planted on the barge? And when; before the departure from Naboo, or as late as at the landing platform? Or, was the ship shot at (with a missile or something); and if so, why wasn't it detected? And, how and why were the spice miners framed as criminals?

I only wish there was a story about this, even in Legends.

  • 2
    It was organized badly. – CHEESE Mar 7 '17 at 19:24

The plot (and how it was planned and executed) was addressed in The Official Star Wars Fact File #101. In short, the hit was paid for by Dooku and sub-contracted to Zam by Jango Fett. She used her shape-shifting skills to determine the Senator's schedule and (presumably) to get a small bomb onto the platform which she then detonated visually.


Jango Fett was asked to take on a particular contract by the man who had given him the job with the Kaminoans - a man Jango knew as Tyranus. The job was to arrange the death of a high-profile politician who had crossed one of Tyranus' business contacts. The fee was considerable, and Jango was happy to farm the job out to Zam Wesell. It seemed a simple enough contract.

The target was a member of the Senate - an individual who spent much of her time in the public eye. This made her extremely vulnerable to a clever assassin. However, the target was a former Queen of Naboo, a friend to the Jedi and a close associate of the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic.

The Official Star Wars Fact File #101 - Zam Wesell



Zam picked her moment carefully. The target was due to return to Coruscant for a critical vote, and her landing would be fairly predictable. Zam used her shape-shifting abilities to discover where and when the target be returning. Senator Padme Amidala of Naboo would die.

Through her usual guile and cunning Wesell was able to plant a bomb in the landing platform or which her target would land. Observing from a high building almost a kilometre away, Zam picked her moment perfectly. The silvery ship bearing Amidala touched down flanked by several fighter craft. The Senator came down the landing ramp and, as her feet touched the platform, Wesell detonated her device. There were few survivors, and the news networks were flooded with stories and pictures of Zam's success.

The Official Star Wars Fact File #101 - Zam Wesell

According to the old Star Wars databank Zam was able to learn the Senator's schedule from Theomet Danlé, one of the guards who ultimately died on the ship. His (unwitting) involvement in the assassination plot and vocal support for the Spice Miner dispute seems to be what led to the allegations against the Naboobian Spice Miners.

Unable to make a living with their trade [as Spice Miners], the Danlé family relied on Theomet's income, but it was not enough. Borderline poverty contributed to the death of Theomet's grandfather, which devastated the Danlés, and shook Theomet's loyalty and resolve. He questioned the policies of his monarch, and of the Senator who backed the Queen. One particularly bitter evening, Theomet turned to drink, and his venomous alcohol-fueled complaints in a crowded bar attracted the attention of Zam Wesell.

Disguised as a local journalist, Zam explained to Theomet that she planned to expose Padmé Amidala's hypocrisy to the public, but she needed access to the Royal Naboo Cruiser in order to plant a listening device. In a fit of bad judgment -- and perhaps beguiled by Zam's adopted form -- Theomet agreed. Little did he know he would be facilitating the planting an explosive charge that would destroy the cruiser and kill him in a fiery blast.

Star Wars Databank: Theomet Danlé

  • Excellent answer, as usual! Thank you. – Essen Mar 8 '17 at 3:59

Some of this is discussed in R.A. Salvatore novelization, where we learn that Zam Wessel (the assassin Obi-Wan and Anakin chase away from Padmé's apartment and who is killed by the Kaminoan dart) planted explosives on the landing platform:

Zam could hardly believe that the explosive charge she had managed to hide on the landing platform had not done the job, but she had taken that lesson to heart, had come to understand that the weaknesses of Senator Amidala were not easily discerned and exploited.

Attack of the Clones - Official Novelization Chapter VIII

We're not told precisely how she manages to do this but, seeing as she's a shape-shifting Clawdite, we can make an educated guess.

Likewise, there's no indication of what chain of evidence led the Jedi to suspect spice miners, aside from the obvious motive; the details of their investigation are never discussed.

  • 1
    "You know that we failed?” Jango asked, getting right to the point. “You told me to kill those in the Naboo starship,” Zam said. “I hit the ship, but they used a decoy. Those who were aboard are all dead.”" – Valorum Mar 7 '17 at 19:02

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.