Monday, April 23, 2012

The Phantom Actress

In 1999 George Lucas brought a galaxy far, far away closer to us once again, courtesy of The Phantom Menace. As any Star Wars fan knows, Natalie Portman played the role of Queen Amidala. What may not be common knowledge to those who aren't immersed in all that is Star Wars is that Keira Knightley played the part of Sabé, a handmaiden who also happened to be the queen's decoy.

Knightley's role wasn't a big one, but it was a pivotal one. In the end credits, however, her first name is misspelled. Instead of Keira we get Kiera. It's an unusual name, sure, but there is no way to justify it being incorrect in the credits. I may not be as wise as old Obi-Wan Kenobi, but I have a few theories as to why this error exists:

  • It was Knightley's first role in a Hollywood blockbuster and came four years before she'd gain worldwide fame as Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, so the spelling blunder went unnoticed.
  • It's not an error. Keira Knightley has a secret twin sister named Kiera, and it was the latter who played Sabé.
  • The person who wrote the end credits was simply following the "i before e except after c" rule.
  • One of George Lucas' CGI editing sessions got out of hand, and the closing credits suffered collateral damage.
  • Jar Jar Binks did it.


  1. You missed the most obvious reason for the "error". It is actually Keira Knightley's decoy in the movie...and that is actually the correct spelling of her decoy's name!!!!

    Chirs B (Chris B's decoy)

    1. The most believable explanation, sadly, is that Lucas introduced the error while tinkering with CGI. (Long live the original theatrical versions!) But your theory does have merit, Chris, er, Chirs. I wonder if other actors and actresses have decoys. Is there a Bard Pitt? A La Pacino? A Slyvester Stallone? A May Adams? An Emam Stone? A Reees Witherspoon? Hmm…