During the attack on Naboo, Padme used a decoy and posed as one of her own handmaidens. When she later reveals herself to the Gungans, Obi Wan looks genuinely surprised but Qui-Gon smiles.

Earlier in the film there are a few exchanges which indicates he either doesn't know (or perhaps he's teasing her?)

Padme - You Jedi are far too reckless, the queen will not...

Qui Gon - The queen trusts my judgement young handmaiden, and so should you.

Do we know for sure he's in the dark as much as anyone else?

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    Being a Jedi master implies at least being able to assume the "I have known it all along" face under any circumstances. Even human consultants can do that !
    – Tom Leek
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 19:57
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    The consensus of the Royal Handmaiden Society was that Qui-Gon certainly knew sometime before the scene in the Gungan swamp; how much before is still up for debate. Obi-Wan is a little iffier; my personal opinion is that Qui-Gon told him at some point, but Obi-Wan didn't believe it, so The Look in the swamp is basically "Told you so!" "So you did."
    – Martha
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 22:38
  • @Martha - The novelisation suggests that Qui-gon worked it out around the time of the R2D2 scene.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 23:36
  • George Lucas says Qui Gon knew in the EP1 commentary, I'd add this as an answer but I can't remember for sure if he said Obi Wan "looked surprised", but I don't think he looked surprised, bemused is more like it. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


The script makes it clear that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan both knew (or at least very strongly suspected):

PADME: I am Queen Amidala.

JAR JAR and ANAKIN are stunned.

PADME: (points to Queen) This is my decoy... my protection... my loyal bodyguard.

OBI-WAN and QUI-GON give each other a knowing look.

The Terry Brooks novelisation gives an indication of precisely when Qui-Gon Jinn first began to suspect that something was amiss;

Queen Amidala leaned forward, and a slender white hand came out to touch the droid's domed casing. "Thank you Artoo-Detoo. You have proven both loyal and brave." She glanced over her shoulder. "Padme."

One of her handmaidens came forward. Qui-gon Jinn, listening to the exchange with half an ear as he considered the problems that lay ahead on Tatooine, noticed that it was the young woman who had supported the Queen's decision to escape from Naboo. He frowned. Except, it hadn't been exactly like that . . .

"See to the cleaning up of this little droid." The Queen was speaking to the girl. "Artoo-Detoo deserves our gratitude." She turned back to Panaka. "Please continue with your report Captain."

and we have (canon) confirmation from Amidala herself that Qui-Gon definitely worked it out in Star Wars: Queen's Shadow

“You’re in select company, Senator,” Padmé told him. They paused to let a larger group pass them by. Several of them bade Senator Organa a good evening, but none of them overstayed their welcome. “Only a few people know the full lengths my most loyal bodyguards can go to, and only one other person has ever figured it out on their own while we were in the middle of a deception.”
“It was mostly chance, I think,” he said. “If I hadn’t caught you at just that moment, in that light, and with that expression on your face, it wouldn’t have occurred to me.”
“I am usually much better at controlling my expression,” Padmé admitted ruefully. “We were in a tighter spot than usual, though I suppose at least this time, the only thing at stake was my professional pride.”
“Who is the other?” Organa asked.
“His name was Qui-Gon Jinn, a Jedi,” Padmé said. As always, a feeling of almost overwhelming sadness threatened her when she thought of him. He had been patient and understanding of her, never asking for more than she was willing to give, and he had given all, in the end.

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    Not to mention that when they are going to look around Tatooine, Qui-Gon gets more upset when the 'hand maid' want's to come along than he has throughout the film to that point.
    – xXGrizZ
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 11:52
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    This is supposed to be a KNOWING look? Ewan, Liam, you're fired. youtu.be/RNEQ3y1qPAM?t=3m10s
    – Plutor
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 11:55
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    @Richard I think they knew the instant they met the double but were playing along because it was a good idea. It wasn't until the actual Queen started interfering and putting herself in danger that Qui-Gon had to say something. I could be wrong but the very first time I saw that scene I said to my self, 'he knows.'
    – xXGrizZ
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 12:00
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    @Plutor there's a bunch to hate in the movies, but you can clearly see them almost smirking/ holding in smiles. How much more obvious would an actor have to be? Tapping their noses and winking would hardly be how 2 ambassadors would behave during a diplomatic meeting!
    – Shisa
    Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 13:28
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    @TylerH I thought the surprise was because the Queen of the Naboo a) kneeled to ask for aid and b) kneeled to the Gungans, who, according to the movie, they hadn't exactly been friendly towards or considered to be equals. Given that happens a bit after Padme's identity reveal, it's a bit too late for the surprise to be identity based, isn't it?
    – Shisa
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 1:27

One would think that a Jedi Master would know via the Force - the ultimate hunch, if you will. The exchange you quote above is by no means conclusive proof that he didn't know - it sounds to me as if he is using the fact that he knows she is the Queen to end the argument, and also to warn the Queen that she is going to blow her cover by acting 'above her station' (as a handmaiden).

  • It is precisely this implied warning that gave me the same impression. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 14:51

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