Study Guide

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Captain Panaka (Hugh Quarshie)

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Captain Panaka (Hugh Quarshie)

Captain Panaka is the leader of the Naboo security forces. He is characterized by his unheeding loyalty to Queen Amidala and his realistic take on any situation.

When providing the Queen counsel, he tells it to her like it is. When the possibility of a Trade Federation invasion becomes likely, Panaka doesn't sugarcoat it to spare Amidala's feelings or out of a sense of unrealistic patriotism. He straight up tells her,

"Our security volunteers will be no match against a battle-hardened Federation army."

Later in the film, when Amidala has decided to return to Naboo to fight, Panaka again provides a voice of reason: "There are too few of us, Your Highness. We have no army."

Despite his misgivings, Panaka remains loyal and follows orders. When Amidala announces her plan to share the fate of her people, Panaka doesn't balk at the command to ready the ship. He just readies the ship.

He also personally joins Padmé on the mission to siege the castle and capture Viceroy Gunray. As a reward for his service, Panaka gets to personally hand over Viceroy Gunray to the Galactic Senate and quips, "I think you can kiss your trade franchises good-bye."

Sure, he's no John McClane in the quip department, but maybe he just needs practice.

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