Why did they try to kill Padmé with centipedes, when the droid could have just shot her once it had cut the window?

Is there any explanation beyond shoddy writing?

  • My guess. If the two Jedi weren't around, the centipedes would have killed Padme and the bounty hunter would have been long gone before anybody even knew.
    – DeeV
    Apr 6, 2017 at 16:37
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    Because they didn't want Padme dead. Padme is vital for Sith plan (Anakin's fall to dark side, and Jedi discovery of Kamino and Clone troopers)
    – rs.29
    Apr 6, 2017 at 17:17
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    @rs.29 - I don't disagree that Palpatine's all about the "plans within plans" but I think you're crediting him with omniscience.
    – Valorum
    Apr 6, 2017 at 17:35
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    @Valorum Palpatine is master of deception. Remember, he looks like weak old man, outside he is ardent supporter of Republic, in RoTJ he even allowed that plans of DS2 fall in Rebel hands. In Return of the Sith he purposely told Anakin he was Sith Lord in order to lure Windu and others to attack him, therefore creating legal reason for Order 66 and declaration of Empire.
    – rs.29
    Apr 6, 2017 at 17:44
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    @RobertF Since there was an assassination attempt on Amidala very recently relative to the kouhun attack, if she were to die it would be seen as an assassination even if the killer escaped and left no evidence. No one's going to think it was natural causes, especially considering that she was young and had no health problems. Apr 6, 2017 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


Jango thinks they're more subtle.

If Jango was having any similar thoughts about her, his helmet hid them. “We’ll have to try something more subtle this time, Zam,” he said without preamble as soon as she was close enough. “My client is getting impatient.”
I’ll bet, Zam thought, but she only nodded.
“There can be no mistakes this time,” the other bounty hunter went on. “Take > these. Be careful. They’re very poisonous.”

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones - Junior Novelisation

The Databank indicates that their venom is especially deadly to humans

Their venom is particularly deadly to humanoid species, which is why Jango Fett gave a pair of them to Zam Wessel in their attempt to assassinate Senator Padme Amidala.

Star Wars Databank: Kouhun

They're untraceable and can evade security

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"Zam uses two deadly kouhuns for her Senatorial assassination Job. Small, silent arthropods like the kouhuns of Indoumodo can evade even tight security. Unlike projectiles or energy weapons, they are virtually impossible to trace back to their users. Kouhuns are starved in advance, so they head straight for warm-blooded life forms when released, and use a fast-acting nerve toxin to kill their prey."

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones The Visual Dictionary

They're very reliable, very deadly and able to evade the most sophisticated surveillance equipment

Kouhuns actuolly have two separate toxin-delivery systems. The stinger on the end of their foil can deliver an excruciating venom that leaves the victim writhing in agony. Although this is not fatal, it allows the kouhun to employ its mandibles. These release a fast-acting toxin that can kill large animals in seconds. For those who have already been stung by the tail, the end comes as a welcome reprieve from the pain.

Another reason kouhuns are favoured by assassins is that they are expert stealth hunters. They are able to bypass the most sophisticated / security systems with an almost Force-sensitive awareness. The pair of kouhuns that almost killed Senator Amidala, for example, managed to scurry just a short distance in front of an astromech droid programmed to be on alert. If it had not been for the two Jedi standing guard outside the room, the kouhuns would surely have feasted on Naboo flesh that night.

Luckily for the Senator, kouhuns instinctively strike at the neck, even though a jab to a toe would be just as fatal. The time the kouhuns took to scurry up Amidala's body to her neck gave the guardian Jedi just long enough to kill the creatures. Even so, Amidala knew that she had stared death in the face.

Star Wars Fact File Vol 1. #124

It's noted that their behavious is highly predictable and, because of their sheer rarity, largely untraceable.

A small group of bounty hunters, including Jango Fett, were aware of a creature, native to the planet Indoumodo, that could be used as the perfect weapon. Kouhuns are sizeable carnivorous arthropods that use their lethal nerve toxin to fell larger animals and consume their flesh. When hungry, kouhuns become entirely one-track-minded and will head for the first organic form. This makes them highly useful for assassins, as they behave almost as predictably as a droid - but without the disadvantage of being traceable.

Assassins are always looking for new ways to dispose of their targets. The best methods allow for long-distance application and cannot be traced back to the user. With modern forensic science, it is possible to trace bullets, bomb debris and even blaster scorch marks back to the owners of the weapons. Other weapons, such as vibroblades and more primitive devices, require the assassin to get very close to the target.

Star Wars Fact File Vol 1. #124

You may wish to note that this supposed 'security through obscurity' is the same reason that Jango used a Kamino Saberdart instead of a more conventional weapon.

  • 8
    So they think that assassinating someone with a weapon that only a few people are known to use makes them harder to trace?
    – Ray
    Apr 6, 2017 at 21:54
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    My theory is that they were supposed to draw attention, and not kill Padme. She got Jedi bodyguards after the first attempt. Those bugs are living beings, and as such, can be sensed through the Force. Padme could be defended against them, as opposed to a blaster rifle or another bomb, or anything "instant". That way the Jedi took the bait, started the chase, were led to Kamino, then Geonosis, allowing the Clone Wars to start - which is what Jango's employers were aiming for.
    – Petersaber
    Apr 6, 2017 at 22:04
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    @Petersaber - Come and join us in the headcanon dooku/palpatine chatroom so that you may become enlightened about how wrong you are; chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/56686/…
    – Valorum
    Apr 6, 2017 at 22:14
  • @Ray - Damn good question. Apparently so.
    – Valorum
    Apr 6, 2017 at 23:26
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    @jpmc26 - I heartily agree that Palpatine's plan works out, but that's due to the robustness of the plan (that it can survive being brought forward as a result of Jango's ineptitude and the surprisingly effective Jedi investigation) rather than it being what he originally had in mind.
    – Valorum
    Apr 7, 2017 at 9:08

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