Naboo Military

This commentary is concerned with the armed forces of the humble homeworld of Emperor Palpatine.


This page will be concerned with the military structure, operations, equipment and uniforms of the Naboo military forces. This topic is interesting as an example of military organisation on the level of planetary governments within the Galactic Republic/Empire.

Naboo also holds special historical interest as the homeworld of Emperor Palpatine. In the years leading into the Clone Wars, Naboo leaders appear conspicuous for their effusively utopian buzzwords and pronouncements. This is probably symptomatic of a widespread blindness that made Naboo an ideal base for the ascent to power of a manipulative Sith Lord. Utopianism is the surest route to tyranny; coercion follows naturally from well-intentioned idealism. The Naboo military represents a pragmatic part of what often appears to be a sanctamonious and pampered society. It is therefore interesting to ponder the collateral or background roles that these loyal personnel played in the rise of the Galactic Empire.

Thanks are due to, in alphabetic order:


The officers and non-commissioned personnel of the Naboo security forces show very little in the way of military insignia. The costumes seen throughout most of the movie presumably are plain battle-dress, but the uniforms seen during the final celebrations are no different. Perhaps the insignia of the Naboo are muted because their armed forces are small enough for personnel to recognise all of their immediate superiors and subordinates by their faces.

The novel of The Phantom Menace [p.321] describes Captain Panaka as having gleaming metal insignia on his epaulets during the victory parade, but these were not visible in the movie. The only visible distinction observed to date is on the skirt-like cape of the army officers. Captain Panaka has a pair of burgundy-coloured horizontal stripes near the hem of this garment. Other officers of presumably equal rank also have twin stripes. A larger number of lower officers have just a single stripe, whilst the largest number of personnel in this uniform have no stripe at all. The men with single stripes must be Lieutenants. Those without stripes may be Second Lieutenants, however the way in which that they stood in ranks and columns, separate from security troops and palace guards, suggests that they may be enlisted personnel of another kind.

The two distinctive types of enlisted men seen so far are the palace guards, with blast helmets, brown armour and red cloth; and the security troops with brown armour, yellow clothing and caps that resemble the caps of Panaka and his officers. Neither type of troops has any obvious insignia. (Terrestrial traditions suggest that the best places to look for insignia would be shoulder epaulets on the officers and the upper sleeve for non-commissioned personnel.) Viewing the movie alone, there are two main ways of regarding the Naboo military uniforms collectively:

  1. If the zero-stripe Panaka-like uniforms are the non-commissioned personnel of Panaka's service, then we have up to three ground services: Panaka's type; the yellow/brown security troops; and the palace guard (who may be a differently equipped elite subset of one of the other groups).

  2. If the zero-stripe Panaka-like uniforms are second lieutentants or higher non-commissioned officers then their corresponding troops must be either the palace guards or the yellow/brown troops. The similarity of between officer caps and the security troops' caps suggests that they may be connected, with the palace guards being separate.

According to Episode I: Visual Dictionary, the officers belong to Naboo security, corresponding to the yellow/brown troops. Thus it seems that the similarity of the crests on the caps of the officers and security troops takes precedence. It remains to be determined whether the palace guards are a separate branch of service with their own officers and distinctive officer uniforms, or whether their officers are identical to the regular security officers. The latter theory seems more likely, since Captain Panaka appeared to command the palace guards in the movie.

Uniform of a Naboo officer of captain's rank, as shown in the Visual Dictionary.

* *
Captain Panaka, from the trailer with a close view of his officer's cap. Departing Senator Palpatine's apartments, with his officer stripes visible.

* * * * * * *
Assembled ranks of Naboo security officers and troops in the Theed plaza: the lowest rank have no stripe (second lieutenants or NCOs); some less common first lieutenants have a single stripe; captains (like Panaka) have two stripes and are rarest.


Return to Military Insignia.
Return to TPM Topics.
Return to STAR WARS Technical Commentaries.
Return to Curtis Saxton home page.
Original content is © copyright Dr Curtis Saxton 2002.
Online since 14 June 1999.
Last updated 1 August 2002.

This page was constructed and is maintained by Curtis Saxton <>.
This page is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by Lucasfilm Ltd.
Images included in or linked from this page are copyright Lucasfilm Ltd and are used here under Fair Usage terms of copyright law.
This site is kindly hosted by