Title: STAR WARS: QUEEN'S HOPE
(Star Wars Disney Canon Novel)Author: E.K. Johnston
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press
from the author of the New York Times best-sellers Queen's Peril and Queen's Shadow!
Padmé is adjusting to being a wartime senator during the Clone Wars. Her secret husband,
Anakin Skywalker, is off fighting the war, and excels at being a wartime Jedi. In contrast, when
Padmé gets the opportunity to see the casualties on the war-torn front lines, she is horrified.
The stakes have never been higher for the galaxy, or for the newly-married couple.
Meanwhile, with Padmé on a secret mission, her handmaiden Sabé steps into the role of
Senator Amidala, something no handmaiden has done for an extended period of time. While in
the Senate, Sabé is equally horrified by the machinations that happen there. She comes face to
face with a gut-wrenching decision as she realizes that she cannot fight a war this way, not even
And Chancellor Palpatine hovers over it all, manipulating the players to his own ends…
a call from Padmé would have sent her running for the holoprojector, eager to hear what her
friend wanted her to do. But something had changed. After Geonosis, Padmé had been
uncharacteristically reticent, hiding everything even from Sabé. She’d disappeared to the lake
house on Naboo and hadn’t contacted anyone for weeks. And yes, Sabé herself wasn’t always
easy to track down, but Padmé was a senator. If it was important, she found a way. And now
she needed Sabé again, and Sabé was alarmed to find she was a little bit resentful. What was
happening to them?
idea what time it was on Coruscant, and she wasn’t sure how long she’d have to wait for Padmé
to pick up, but someone would be on the other end of the line, and they’d tell her what to
“Sabé!” To her surprise, Padmé’s face appeared in front of her almost immediately. The
senator looked good, clearly having recovered from whatever happened to her in the droid
foundry, and her tone was normal. “Oh, I’m so glad to see you. I’ve missed you so much.”
“I’ve missed you, too,” Sabé said. And it was true. Missing Padmé was like missing the
sun, and she was currently on a planet with two of them.
ones I care about, are starting to trust us. We’ve already made a few offworld runs for them.”
“That’s good.” Padmé bit her lip. She was definitely going to ask Sabé to leave the
“Tonra suggested that it fits our cover if I disappear on a longer mission,” Sabé said.
Padmé’s relief was immediate. “He’ll keep the ship, but I can make it to Coruscant from the
transport hub here. When we’re done, I can return.”
“I’ll send Captain Mariek for you,” Padmé offered, happy to make everything as easy as
she could. “That will make your traveling a bit easier, and I won’t worry about you the whole
“What do you need me to do?” Sabé asked. She leaned back in her chair, almost relaxed
at how familiar this was.
“This one’s complicated,” Padmé said. “There’s a mission my faction in the Senate is
running, and it has to be me who goes. Only, I can’t disappear from the Senate, because people
will notice. I need you to come to Coruscant and be Senator Amidala.”
All thoughts of relaxation fled. Senator Amidala was so different. There was no makeup
to hide behind, no bulky dresses to use as a physical barrier. This wouldn’t be a normal switch.
She’d have to mimic Padmé on the floor of the Galactic Senate.
“Who knows?” Sabé asked.
That was a very short list, and the Chancellor wasn’t on it. “This is going to be
challenging,” Sabé said.
“On the bright side, I’ve just brought on two new handmaidens,” Padmé said. Her voice
shuddered a bit referring to the tragedy as a bright side. “You can switch out with one of them easily enough to relearn your way around the Senate, and then you and I can switch places for
a couple of days before I leave.”
Sabé was already mentally packing her trunk.
“I’ll meet Mariek on the transport hub tomorrow, if she can make it,” she said.
“I’ll make the arrangements,” Padmé told her. She hesitated, then smiled. “I am so glad
we’ll get to see each other again for a bit.”
“So am I,” said Sabé. It was the truth. “It’ll be just like old times. I’d better go pack.”
Padmé had been fully intending to tell Sabé the whole story, everything from seeing Anakin
again through the time at the Lars homestead and their captivity on Geonosis, including the
wedding. But then Sabé had said “just like old times,” and her resolve had crumbled.
Anakin hadn’t been able to see her when he’d returned to Coruscant. He’d only been on the
planet long enough to see the Chancellor, and to get his next assignment before he and Obi-
Wan shipped out to the front. They hadn’t yet set up a way to communicate surreptitiously,
and Padmé had no reason to contact him through official channels. She knew that sort of thing
was to be expected; it was why they had traveled separately back from the lake house, but it
still stung. She accepted that he would have a job to do, just as she would, but she hadn’t
expected reality to throw it all in her face quite so quickly. When she had a moment, she would
ask C-3PO if there was a way he could securely link to R2-D2.
This time with Sabé was exactly what she needed. She would use it to find her way
forward, balancing the old with the new. It would be like old times. They would learn to be each
other’s mirror again, something they hadn’t done in years and had never tried on this scale.
They would spend time together and it would be easy and fun, and they would have their work
to keep them busy. When they had to separate for Padmé to go on the mission, she would
know that Sabé would be waiting for her when she came back.
When Sabé arrived, Padmé greeted her with a smile. She introduced her to Ellé and
Moteé, and they all sat down with Dormé, Typho, Mariek, and the other guards for the Naboo-
style dinner Padmé had planned to welcome Sabé back. There were brightly colored stuffed
peppers and five-blossom bread, and berries from the Lake Country soaked in rum custard. As
she watched her friends eat, laughing and talking with one another, Padmé was happy.
She wished Anakin were here. That was the only thing that kept the night from being
perfect. She missed him, and not even Sabé could make her feel better. It was strange, to love
two people so much, so differently. She didn’t quite understand it, and she wasn’t sure how to
make it work.
Someday, she would figure out how to put both halves of her life together. Someday,
she would make the political and the personal more cohesive. Someday, she wouldn’t keep
them so divided. Someday, Anakin would sit at this table, too. There was a war on, and they
were always in danger from that, but there was no reason not to plan for an optimistic future,
where every person she had brought into her life was just as happy as everyone else.
learned anything, it’s that things turn out weird sometimes, and there’s not a lot you can do
about it. Well, that and how to muscle through awkward fanfic because it’s about a pairing she
likes. You can follow her on Twitter to learn more about Alderaanian political
theory than you really need to know, on Tumblr if you’re just here for the pretty
pictures, or online at ekjohnston.ca.
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