Title: Letters to a Senator
Summary: Letters written to Padmé during her life were compiled into a book. Long years later the volume surfaces in an exhibit in a museum.
Disclaimer: Star Wars is the property of George Lucas. No disrespect is intended.
Notes: This is a piece of humorous fluff I've had rattling about my brain recently. Hope it's enjoyed!
Letters to a Senator is a rare volume of letters written to Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo and collected by former Amidala Handmaiden Eirtaé. The original volume was compiled at the request of Amidala's niece Ryoo. It was later added to by Ryoo's granddaughter and Amidala namesake, Padmé, to include her grandmother's notes and materials that had been edited from the original book. The volume only partially displayed here in this exhibit is on loan from a private collection and is only one of three surviving. No first editions remain.
Adallia Verron, Curator
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The compilation of this (by no means exhaustive) volume of letters was a labor of love for me on behalf of Padmé Amidala's niece Ryoo. Sadly, however, many of the letters Padmé had kept were destroyed in a fire in the years after her tragic death. What remains were generously contributed by both Ryoo and her sister Pooja from the family archives.
As a girl, I was honored to serve as a Handmaiden to Padmé when she was the Queen of Naboo. What memories I have of those days! Even at a young age, she was gracious and kind, sensitive to injustice, and of quick mind. She was a multi-faceted lady, at home both in the Senatorial Chambers and playing with her nieces in the dirt. She was courageous and fiercely loyal, never hesitating to take up the cause of the right and just. But those things were not all of Padmé Amidala. She was so much more, always growing, always expanding, always adding to her wide circle of acquaintances.
She was a prolific letter writer and while sometimes she had to dictate her replies for the sake of time, Padmé Amidala always replied to each letter. For her, taking the time to reply was like taking the time to chat with a friend. It was welcome and never a duty. I recall that clearly from my days in her employ.
I have tried to organize the letters chronologically, though in some cases I could only guess as dates were not given. The apparent timeframe is the months leading up to the Clone Wars right through to her death.
I am grateful to Ryoo for the chance to re-live memories and revisit friends now long gone (through natural circumstances and others). Many thanks and I hope this volume pleases.
It should be noted that this volume is now intact and as my grandmother wished it. The first printing was heavily edited through no fault of her own or of Eirtaé's due to the political views of the time. Such a work was possibly incendiary and was naturally edited. It is a small wonder that it was printed at all. In my declining years, I decided it was time to share the entire bulk of letters. Those involved are long gone and while some names still have a bit of notoriety, they are now simply historical figures and cannot be embarrassed by any matter contained within. I have searched for family of those mentioned and the few I did find gave their consent for their ancestor's letters to be included.
History buffs will recognize the Organas of Alderaan, the then Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and more. My namesake had a wide circle of acquaintances.
I am pleased to have been named after such an amazing woman. I hope that in some small way, I am like her.
My dear Senator Amidala -- Might I mention how lovely you looked at our meeting the other day? A true shining jewel brightening the Senate Chamber. You have absolutely blossomed and are certainly in your element!
Now, I feel we must have a committee to look into that trade matter. It does not sit well with me at all. Such slippery folk. Have you a course of action you wish to be introduced? I would be pleased to discuss a compromise or any other action. We must present a united front on matters you realize. I have time for a late dinner meeting this evening if your schedule would allow it.
Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
Padmé -- I saw you on the HoloNews. Your hair looked frightful! Whoever the girl is doing your hair needs to go back to school for it. Fire her and hire someone new who can at least give you a 'do that suits your lovely features. I swear I could not concentrate on your speech while looking at the horrible twisted mass of hair across your brow. Not that they showed much of your speech, but still. The hair was distracting.
When are you coming home? Remember, it's always acceptable to bring a friend.
Senator Amidala -- Thank you for your recent order. We are certain you will be pleased with your new clothes from our 'Casual and Playful' and 'Romantic and Feminine' lines. As always, it was a pleasure to assist you in making your fabric and design choices. Our staff is available at all hours for clothing emergencies. Don't hesitate to call on us.
Sincerely, Acirt Raggib Sacul
Owner, Egroeg Clothiers
Serving Naboo and Coruscant for 75 years
Padmé -- You need a vacation, sis. Seriously. I know they keep you busy, but too busy to come for a weekend? Two days away from Coruscant would do you a world of good.
Mom's driving me nuts. Does Padmé have a 'friend' she asks, though we both know what she means by that. Boyfriend. I can't even tell her yes or no because I don't know myself. So do you? Don't try and tell me that paunchy old diplomat I glimpsed a holo of you with at some official party is your boyfriend. He's not cute at all. He's not even handsome in a halfway distinguished fashion, not to mention he's too old for you. I have a friend you should meet, by the way. He's a colleague of Darred's and he's very nice. This one doesn't live with his mother and he has a good job. He can even cook I'm told.
Ryoo and Pooja want to see you. Oh, and Padmé? Please don't bring them anymore of that paint when you do come home. They egged each other on and decided to paint a mural on one of the walls. The paint won't come off. I've had to cover the area with a tapestry until I can decide what to do about it. Where do you find these things, anyway? Bizarre toy shops in the underbelly of Coruscant? I can just see poor Typho, Cordé, and Dormé hunting down some object for you so you can send it to my children to annoy me. I'll get you back for that some day, just you wait. One day you'll have kids and it'll be my turn to be the Aunt.
Senator Amidala -- My wife Breha will be on Coruscant at the end of the week and I know how much she enjoyed your outing together the last time she was here. We would be pleased if you could dine with us one evening. Sheltay has the full details if you are available.
Padmé -- I'm so glad we took the time to meet for lunch when you were back on Naboo. Too, too much to catch up on. We must do this regularly.
I tell you, you really need to live a little on your hours away from the office if you think the new art gallery was a good time. It might have been a good time with a cultured man by your side to laugh with you about the bad art, or just a man at all. Your brother-in-law doesn't count. He's both taken and oblivious to any woman save your sister.
And to answer your question before you ask it, my love life has ceased to be exciting. Unfortunately. The zealous suitor I told you about has developed 'intimacy issues' or something ludicrous like that. I tried to tell him I only want his exercised buff body, but he told me not to joke about serious issues. He wanted to have this chat about commitment and how marriage was not in his future, so he couldn't continue to string me along. It wouldn't be right.
I swear, men just don't listen. Slap them upside the head and they'll still do whatever they want without acknowledging you've done anything at all. Long story short, I'm single once more. No more clandestine meetings on Coruscant and wherever else we two will be. My heart is not broken however. I shall soldier on and wade out once more into the dating pool.
Dear Aunt Padmé -- We miss you. We need more paint. Bring some please.
Love, Ryoo and Pooja
Dear Senator Amidala -- I greatly enjoyed escorting you to the Florturillian Diplomatic Ball. You were lovely and as gracious as ever and I must apologize for how the evening turned out. I am very sorry for the way my security guard treated your Handmaiden. I had no idea he would grab her like that! Nor did I think he would be the type to pursue a maiden when she has most certainly said no. Apparently, I have misjudged him. Dreadful, dreadful. Your lady Cordé is fine? No delayed reaction? I would be mortified if it is so. My guard will be severely reprimanded when he can understand what is happening, I promise. He is recovering from the ensuing events and doctors believe he will still be able to sire children in the future. They assure me he will regain consciousness soon. I do not blame your lady. Such a sensitive woman!
Sincerely, Baron Molgloglol
Dear Padmé -- Thank you so much for the gift! The embroidery and beading on the scarf is lovely. I shall treasure it. Gifts given by new friends are always welcome, so please do not be anxious that you have presumed a closer acquaintance than what we do share.
I shall be on Coruscant this weekend to shop for Bail's birthday gift and make final plans for his surprise party. Would you still be able to assist me? We always seem to have a wonderful time together and I'd love to see Dormé and Cordé again as well. I'll have Morena and Aliana with me this trip. They wish to see Cordé and Dormé regarding an official Handmaiden matter. They are considering planning a Handmaiden convention for all Handmaidens in the galaxy.
Personally, I think the idea is wonderful. They could hold it over several days and share experiences and techniques, among other things.
I hope this weekend is agreeable for you.
Senator Amidala -- I must present a formal apology to both you and to your Handmaiden Cordé. I was out of line. Is there any way I can make amends?
Skipping entries. Please wait.
Our lady Padmé -- We were all saddened to hear of Cordé's death, but we are consoled by the thought that she died nobly, performing her duty. She will be missed. We have heard that together she and Dormé were a force to be reckoned with. Our condolences. If you need anything at all, please contact any one of us.
Your faithful Handmaidens,
Sabé, Saché, Eirtaé, Rabé, Yané
Senator Amidala -- I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me. I have enclosed the listing of further references and qualifications you requested. I hope all meets with your approval.
Dear Padmé -- In regards to your query, Moteé's references are rather impressive. However, she was not being presumptuous. Her name really is Moteé. Apparently a family name. It was pure coincidence (and a funny one I think in the end). I spoke to her previous employer like you requested and my recommendation is to snap her up before she's taken. She's very good and the high words of praise are genuine. Don't wait too long to decide. I hear that the Organas are considering her for a position with Queen Breha.
Also, I met a man. I'll tell you all about him the next time we chat.
Milady -- I did not wish to disturb your slumber. You were so very tired this evening. This note is only in case you wake up while I am gone. Moteé's transport had a malfunction and she is late getting in. Typho and I are meeting her and I will brief her on the way back. We will be ready on time tomorrow morning to attend sessions with you.
Dear Padmé -- I am well. Obi-Wan is well. There is little going on save the war and I'm sure you've already heard reports. It was good to spend time with you.
Padmé -- I trust you are not suffering any ill effects from our adventure on Geonosis? Me either. Anakin has bounced back with his usual youthful vim and vigor. His new arm has not slowed him down any, though I'm not certain why that should surprise me.
We are indeed quite well, despite what Anakin refers to as 'appalling conditions that are even worse than the scorching sandtrap that was Tatooine on a blistering summer day'. He does exaggerate, you know. It's nothing like Tatooine. There's only one sun and not nearly as much sand. And contrary to what he might say, we do have a change of clothes that are clean. They just aren't with us and haven't been for the past eight days. Nevertheless, we are in good health and I at least am in something of a decent mood.
I do hope that you and Dormé are faring well? I was pleased to read in your letter that your search for a second and third Handmaiden is nearing an end. Good. It isn't right for one individual to shoulder the load of full security all of the hours of the days and days of the week. One cannot be on duty so long and not suffer consequences. And, reading my own advice, I shall hie myself off to rest while Anakin teaches some of the clones a dirty drinking song he learned somewhere. Now that I think about it, he might have heard it from me at some point, for I do recognize the tune. I believe it's the one I overheard Qui-Gon singing once or twice.
Take care of yourself. It will be best for you to have two or more companions at your side as the war continues. Please pass on a greeting to Dormé.
My regards to all,
Padmé -- Come home and bring that friend of yours. Anakin, was it? A nice boy. We had a good chat together. Your mother says she washed the sheets on your bed so they're clean and ready for you.
Dear Padmé -- We are sending Elora to you. She is now officially known as Ellé and is bringing a gift to you from all of your former Handmaidens. She should be arriving no later than mid-week. You were right, by the way. She looks amazingly like you!
Oh, and that man I mentioned? He's definitely interested. We're having dinner tomorrow night. Was it the green you said I should wear? Or the orange?
Dear Padmé -- I am fine. Obi-Wan is fine. I enjoyed our brief visit. It was all too brief.
Milady Padmé -- I am still waiting for my exam. They are behind schedule. I'll return as soon as possible.
Padmé -- So sorry to have bothered you the other morning. I had not considered that you would still be sleeping. I again apologize and when Anakin did reappear, I gave him quite a scolding for performing yet another disappearing act. I should be used to it by now, but I still worry about him. He claimed to have been visiting friends, yet I fear he gets into mischief. It is inevitable, you realize. Mischief is part of him. I had naturally assumed he'd called on you for perhaps a mid-morning tea since you've become good friends. I am so sorry for waking you. I simply cannot apologize enough for disrupting your sleep.
Ellé sounds like a delightful young woman. I look forward to meeting her sometime in the future. Extend my well wishes to Dormé. And Ellé and Moteé, of course.
Dear Padmé -- Thank you so much for recommending Dormé to me. She is certainly a treasure and I understand about her health issues and situation as well. These things do sometimes happen. She will have an easy time 'recuperating' here on Alderaan and a good home with us as long as she wishes to remain. I've arranged for her to have increasingly light duties as the months continue.
Did you receive the statue? You admired it so much on your visit that I thought it would be a lovely birthday gift.
Padmé -- So sorry to read that Dormé has left your service. I must admit to being surprised by the news, since I was aware how much she enjoyed working with you. Would you send her my greetings and forward my contact information to her? Or perhaps send me hers? I should like to keep in touch.
Milady Padmé -- Alderaan is beautiful! Thank you for your concern regarding my condition. Milady Breha has been most generous about my care and about appropriate duties. I had not expected as warm a welcome as I received. I look forward to making a life here, at least for awhile.
Thank you as well for Obi-Wan's contact information. Yes, he is rather concerned about my condition. He's very sweet. He agrees that Alderaan will be the perfect place to recuperate. He has made several sensible suggestions regarding future arrangements and plans to visit as often as his leave will allow.
The dress you sent was lovely. It's just what I need now that my current clothes are becoming somewhat snug in the waist. I do like the embroidery. I agree that a few simple pieces are truly all I need -- pieces that will allow for expansion. I am beginning to look forward to the coming days despite the war.
The convention plans are moving forward, albeit slowly. Sabé has volunteered to handle the Naboo end and I am taking the Alderaan one for now. We have already planned several panels and have speakers willing to commit. It won't be long until registration can begin. I believe it shall be a success!
Your support has made a world of difference.
Dear Padmé -- Dormé is pregnant??? I didn't know she was even seeing anyone. She never mentioned it that I heard. Obi-Wan says hello. We're fine. That chat you and I had was fun. I had a terrific time. It was nice to reminisce.
Dear Aunt Padmé, the bestest aunt in the whole entire wide, big galaxy -- Can I come visit your office for a day? I have to do a career project for school. We could have lunch or ice cream. I'd prefer ice cream. Mom says lunch is more appropatriot.
Love, your niece who loves you very, very much, Ryoo
Padmé -- I'm glad to hear that my child behaved herself for you all day. I had horrible visions of her throwing a tantrum during a meeting with Supreme Chancellor Palpatine or something. It's a relief to know she was on better behavior than I imagined. She thoroughly enjoyed her solo weekend with her Aunt Padmé. I'm still hearing about Moteé's magic trick and Ellé's funny faces. While she was with you, Darred and I left Pooja with mom and dad and used that gift account you gave us for our anniversary.
Oh, Padmé, it was lovely! It was a true vacation. However did you find that delightful retreat? And in the middle of Coruscant no less! Chocolates on the pillows, complimentary massages. It was like a second honeymoon.
Milady Padmé -- Thank you for the baby shower. I was certainly not expecting it! I'm sure my surprise must have been all over my face. The baby basket of goodies will be put to good use, believe me, and the 'mommy basket' still makes me cry a little. You have been so good to me, milady. I do miss you.
I was pleased to have a visitor not long after your party left Alderaan. Obi-Wan managed a few hours of his leave to see me. His visit cheered me greatly and I am happy that he and Anakin are both in good health. He helped me with a few more decisions that I'd put off and I now feel my future is well in hand.
Padmé -- Dormé gave birth to quite the little beauty, did she not? The girl is adorable and so tiny! Dormé is adapting I see and I rather enjoyed our chat. She is a strong-willed woman, like someone else I know.
Anakin is being moody lately. He's run out of dirty drinking songs to teach the troops and they've run out of dirty drinking songs to teach him. We're at a stalemate. It's horrible, truly horrible. I'm hoping something exciting happens to snap him out of it.
Yes, I'm being dramatic there. We are being kept busy and sometimes I'm not even certain if the clothes I'm wearing are the clean ones or the dirty ones. Don't stand upwind of any of us. Days can go by in the barest blink of an eye.
Watch yourself, Padmé. I can't help but feel that something is going to happen.
Dear Padmé -- Our visit the other day was stimulating. I enjoyed it a lot. I am in good health, though Obi-Wan calls me grumpy sometimes. He's the grumpy one. I can always tell when he's not getting enough sleep.
Skipping entries. Please wait.
My dear Senator Amidala -- I'm so sorry to hear that you are feeling poorly. Of course I'll take a 'raincheck' as I've heard the youth call it. The dinner meeting was nothing more than preliminary strategy. Think nothing of it. We can't have you of all people falling ill. It simply will not do. We'll reschedule.
Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
Padmé -- I saw you on the HoloNews last night. Your face is looking a little full, dear. Are you watching what you eat at all of those Senatorial affairs? They always serve such ridiculously rich food at those parties. All things in moderation remember. Though perhaps it was just your hairstyle now that I think about it.
Much love, Mom
Also -- bring a friend when you come home!
Padmé -- Mom's driving me crazy. Have time for a sisterly visit? I'm escaping the husband and kids for a few days and treating myself at Mimi's Day Spa on Coruscant. It's near your section, so I thought we could lunch or something. I'll be there the day after tomorrow if you have the time. I'll treat you to a facial, though your skin doesn't need it. I swear, even under those harsh lights they use in the Senate chambers you were just glowing the other night during your speech! You must share your secret with me. I could use that glow these days.
My dear Senator Amidala -- I'm so sorry you were taken ill during our breakfast meeting. I wasn't aware you had an allergy to the nuts in the muffins. My apologies. Allergies are dreadful. Get well soon. We need you.
Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
Padmé -- I'm very concerned about your health. Your face is staying awfully round dear. Believe me, I know water retention can be horrible -- I had it so badly when I was pregnant with Sola that I looked like a balloon -- but if it doesn't recede at all, you need medical care. It's not normal in a young woman your age except in the case of rare diseases and pregnancy.
Also -- Come home soon and bring a friend!
Tell your mother the truth or I will and have that friend of yours contact me.
Dear Padmé -- I am very cross with you still young lady! Water retention indeed. However, I have sent a package of very nice velvet to your personal seamstress, along with suggestions for using it. A cloak perhaps, or a dress? It's a pretty green that will look beautiful against your skin.
Your father says to find out where your friend is stationed so he can write him a nice letter. Why don't you come home this weekend for a visit? I'll make your favorite dishes and show you some articles I found this morning.
Dear Aunt Padmé -- We're sorry we said you were getting fat. Mom grounded us for it.
Love, Ryoo and Pooja
Padmé -- Honestly, you'd think my children had no manners whatsoever! I did raise them to be tactful, though apparently it isn't taking. Mom's shopping like maniac, hitting every sale she can find. Your room will look like a junkshop in no time. Remember how she was with me? Anything cute she buys. She never thought she'd see the day and hopes you'll give up politics and settle down with us. Dad just shakes his head and continues to work on some letter he's writing. He's on about the fiftieth draft and keeps muttering that he 'has to set the right tone' or something.
My dearest Senator Amidala -- I do hope your illness is not serious. First allergies and then extended flu symptoms. You simply must rest until you feel better. I would be pleased to refer you to my personal physician. I want you to have the best care available during this time.
Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
Dear Padmé -- Are you eating right? You know how important it is. Make sure you're eating right, sleeping when you need to, and not doing too much. Let the others take care of political things. You concentrate on yourself. Should I come to visit? I can take a couple weeks away if you need me to. Let me know.
Much love, Mom
Padmé -- I'm sorry our schedules just won't allow for a get together. Maybe I can squeeze in a trip to see you in a couple weeks? It'd have to be a weekend. Perhaps we can hit that day spa your sister likes for a facial and tea?
I heard about that crash on Coruscant. Anakin Skywalker was all over the HoloNews. Were you anywhere near there? I imagine the noise was dreadful.
Milady Padmé -- I was glad to see in the HoloNews that Anakin and Obi-Wan were all right. When I first heard the news my heart just leapt into my throat and Ilranya would not stop crying. Even playing with the toy Obi-Wan sent her would not calm her. Perhaps my anxiety rubbed off onto her. She's such a sensitive child, you know. I was certain something dreadful was going to happen. I still have the feeling. It will not leave me. I know I'm being fussy, but please take care, milady. Don't take any unnecessary chances. The galaxy has become a horrible place. I believe it will only get worse from here.
Yes, I believe I am safe on Alderaan and will remain here as long as the Royal family needs me. But should you need me, Breha has said I should go to you. Don't argue, please. If you need me, don't hesitate.
Dear Padmé -- Your friend still has not contacted me. You have talked with him?
Padmé my love,
Your loving husband
Endnotes (Written by Ryoo and published in the second edition along with the additional content that had been edited)
The final letter I must admit is something of a curiosity to Eirtaé and myself. My mother found it tucked into a large bouquet of flowers at my Aunt's gravesite some months following Padmé's death. I do not recall my aunt marrying before her death and a search has recovered no legal documents verifying a marriage. However, I cannot search every village and town. A marriage could have occurred anywhere in the galaxy.
My aunt obviously had a close male friend since her condition at her death was the late stage of pregnancy. My mother and grandmother speculated as to the man's identity, though I do not believe they ever really knew the truth. Who was the last letter from? Was it her husband by law? Or was it her close friend who felt in his heart he was her husband? I do not know.
I do have vague memories of a friend of hers who visited us and sometimes, I think it was him. He was very sweet to all of us. I believe the man I remember died during the war however, so I suppose I'm wrong. The mystery will remain.