If you’ve never heard of the Naboo Handmaidens Fé and Dané you’re not alone. Fé only appears in one shot at the very end of The Phantom Menace and Dané did not appear in the film at all. I’m including them in this project to shine a light on how pick-up shots (filming done after principal photography has ended) can change a film and how new characters are created for games based on large film franchises.
Let’s take a closer look at the scene below where Amidala and a group of four handmaidens welcome Palpatine home before the big Naboo celebration.
In the first screenshot below you can see three handmaidens.
A fourth handmaiden to their right is revealed in this next screenshot.
A third screenshot shows a handmaiden on the far left that looks like the one who is on the far left of the first screenshot. But who is the handmaiden to the right of her? It sure doesn’t look like any of the other four handmaidens. This handmaiden is Fé played by actress Fay David. She stood in as a handmaiden at some point and it appears got a Star Wars character named after herself (well done). She even has her own Wookieepedia page.
The shot above is all we get of Fé as she seems to have disappeared in the following shots.
I was going to guess that some of the handmaidens in yellow in this sequence might be Eirtaé or Yané but I think it’s likely that these are all different actresses who filled in for pick-up shots.
Here’s a photo from Star Wars Year by Year A Visual History in a section that describes five days of pick-up photography done for The Phantom Menace that was needed to clarify action and expand on new ideas. These four women look to be the same four women in the above screenshots (notably without Fé who must have filmed her scene at a different time).I also found this Lisa Lloyd autograph for sale (she was credited as a film extra on The Phantom Menace) here.
If some of the handmaidens from this scene don’t have names I officially want to recommend Saffé, Romé, Elsé, and Amé as possible names as a fun reference to my daughter, my favorite cat, my niece, and myself.
The story of Dané is much more straightforward. She was a character created for the game Star Wars: Invasion of Theed Adventure Game, a roleplaying game released in 2000.
I’m not sure why a brand new handmaiden was created for this game, but she seems to have had a very full life serving as a handmaiden, mercenary, and assassin at various points in her life. Read more about Dané on her Wookieepedia page.
Coming up tomorrow is a look at two of the handmaidens in Attack of the Clones.