Keira Knightley Can’t Remember Who She Played in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

"Was I not Padmé?," Keira Knightley asks. It's a fair question.
"Was I not Padmé?," Keira Knightley asks. It's a fair question. / © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM

Before Keira Knightley played Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise—or Elizabeth Bennet in 2005's adaptation of Pride & Prejudice—she appeared in 1999's Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace as Sabé, a body double for Natalie Portman's Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo, who is used to throw those who would harm the queen off her trail. It was a small role, but hey, it’s Star Wars, so it gave Knightley some early experience in big budget moviemaking—not to mention a bit of exposure.

But apparently, making the movie wasn’t the most thrilling experience for the then-12-year-old. Earlier this year, Knightley admitted to nodding off during production, since she was in the background of so many shots doing nothing. Now, when reminded her that her character survived the prequel trilogy while Padmé did not, it seemed Knightley didn’t remember the difference between the two. “Wait a minute. Who did I play? Was I not Padmé?” She continued:

"Do you know, I saw the film once. I think I was 12 when I did it and it came out and I saw it the year after. And I’ve never seen it again. So, I played Sabé and she didn’t die? OK!"

Hey, it’s nice to get good news, however late it comes!

Of course, since she’s a Star Wars character, Sabé has an extensive backstory and has gotten up to quite a lot in the extended universe, but she was pretty much just a prop in The Phantom Menace, so we can understand why a pre-teen Knightley wasn’t overly interested. also asked Knightley if she has ever had a request to return to the character. “Reprising the character I can’t even remember the name of? No, there hasn’t,” she laughed.