Royal Handmaiden Society

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Website
Name: Royal Handmaiden Society
Owner/Maintainer: Qui-Gon's Padawan (creator), Saché of Naboo (webmaster)
Dates: 1999-2012
Type: Fansite, fanfiction archive
Fandom: Star Wars
URL: http://www.royalhandmaidensociety.org (Wayback link)

LiveJournal Community

Tumblr
Homepage, circa 2012.
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The Royal Handmaiden Society was a fansite and community for fans of Queen Amidala's five royal handmaidens.

The Royal Handmaiden Society's main goal is to bring light to the forgotten characters of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the Royal Handmaidens. They are young women who follow Queen (and later Senator) Amidala of Naboo everywhere she goes to assist and protect her. They were chosen by the Queen herself upon her election for their courage, intelligence, fitness and resemblance to her.

Princess ban06.jpg

Site History

The Royal Handmaiden Society started as a discussion thread on the Jedi Council Forums on TheForce.net.

The precise moment of origin of the R.H.S. in that setting cannot be determined; it emerged organically, as a matter of course in the post-TPM hubbub. Still, two threads definitely laid the foundation for the R.H.S.: "FAN POLL: Which handmadien [sic] name from Episode One do you like the best?" by user Rebel Operative, and "Does Anybody Find it hard not to think about Saché?", by user Hernalt.
The course of discussion in both these threads inevitably turned to the quintessential query that would create the R.H.S.: the want to know more about those five female human characters centered around Natalie Portman's "Queen Padmé Amidala" -- "Sabé", "Rabé", "Eirtaé", "Saché", and "Yané". They had an allure to them; they were mysterious and tacit, exquisitely elegant yet demonstratively powerful and capable. They presented an intrigue comparable to the Bounty Hunters of The Empire Strikes Back: who were they? What was their origin, and what will be their fate? What's the deal with the "é" in their names, and how do you thus pronounce them?? And, in Real Life, who are the equally intriguing actresses that portray them? [1]

The first RHS website was created by Qui-Gon's Padawan in late 1999.[1] After running out of free hosting, the site was transferred to its current location in 2002, under management of NabooPop. A sister LiveJournal community was formed in 2005, [2] and a Tumblr account in 2018.[3]

Site Contents

  • Information about the three Star Wars Prequel movies, its characters, and its actors
  • Fanfiction, meta essays, fanart, poetry and jokes
  • Image galleries, icons and wallpaper
  • Archived copies of RHS discussion threads from Force.net.
Why the handmaidens?
If you have to ask that, you're at the wrong site. Kidding aside, the handmaidens are strong and interesting characters, but are often overlooked by Lucasfilm and the fans. They don't have Force abilities. They aren't CGI characters. They don't wear skimpy costumes. They're just a group of brave women doing their job. Never grabbing the spotlight, but willing to put their lives on the line for the cause. [4]

Archived Discussion Threads

After several host changes, updates, and technological changes on TheForce.net's discussion forums, the original RHS discussion threads were broken or missing. This led to RHS archiving and saving copies of subsequent discussion threads on the RHS website.[5]

Archived threads include:

  • The Original R.H.S. Thread, Aug. - Sept. 1999: "FAN POLL: Which handmadien [sic] name from Episode One do you like the best?"
  • The Second R.H.S. Thread, Oct. 1999: "The The [sic] re-convening of the Royal Handmaiden Society!"
  • The Third R.H.S. Thread, Oct. 1999: "The Royal Handmaiden Society Hall Mk. III"
  • The Fanfic Expansion Thread, Oct. 1999 - March 2000: "The Official RHS at JC.N Handmaidens Fiction Thread"
  • The Fourth R.H.S. Thread (take 2), Oct. 1999: "The Royal Handmaiden Society Hall v4.1"
  • The Fifth R.H.S. Thread, Oct. 1999 - Jan. 2000 (officially Archived at JC.N): "The Royal Handmaiden Society Version 5.0"
  • The Sixth R.H.S. Thread, Jan. - April 2000: "The Return of the "Star Wars: Royal Handmaiden Society" - Millennium [sic] 2000 Edition"
  • The UBB portion only of the Seventh R.H.S. Thread, April - June 2000: "The Royal Handmaiden Society VII: "We are brave--and hopeful--your highness!""
  • The Eighth and current R.H.S. Thread, April 2002 - present: "The Royal Handmaiden Society: Episode 8: A New Hope"

Editorials by Lieutenant Piett

The following essays were archived on the RHS homepage:

  • "Sabé could turn A***a S**g into Orange Goo on an Off Day with her Weak Hand's Pinky," circa 2000.
  • "In Memoriam: Cordé," unknown date.
  • "The Essence of Handmaidenology," unknown date.
Imagine: you're like, fourteen to sixteen years old. You live a pretty peaceful, opulent life. Then one day it all gets shot to h*ll and you have to leave the planet and then come back and help save it. Shoot straight and it's not target practice this time. And oh yeah, make sure your Sovereign leader doesn't die.

Do you buckle under? Run home crying to mommy & daddy? Sulk? Pout? NO. You do your duty and you see it through. Stick it out...and don't let 'em see you sweat. Let the hyperactive frog-child throw his mindless tantrums; you're cooler than that. Let the Jedi get perforated by their ancient foe the Sith; your concerns are much more in the Here and Now, where they belong. Let the Queen get all bent out of shape by some itchy precocious lil' sand rat from Tatooine; you've got Battle Droids blocking your path, and you've got to teach them a lesson called Don't *&!# with Naboo.

Such is the life of a Handmaiden; one of succinctness, subtlety, stealth. One of sharp perceptions here in the present moment. On the lookout, ready to respond, when Duty calls. [6]

Fanfiction

Fans could submit their fanfiction to the Society website, provided it was rated PG-13 and under.[4] There is no mention of content requirements.

  • Yes, Mother by bobill. A little veggie madness-- Just how much influence does Dormé have on the Senator?
  • Rabé's Journal by Courtney Megaro. Rabé's thoughts during the events of Episode I.
  • Episode 1 Journal: Yané by Handmaiden_Yané. Episode 1 through Yané's eyes. Just what DID Yané and Saché do when they were left behind, anyway?
  • Sabé's Secret Funeral by Handmaiden_Yané. The death of a handmaiden.
  • Sabé's Journal by Jazzy Jedi. The events prior to and during Episode 1 from Sabé's point of view. Obi-wan/Sabé Alt Reality Romance.
  • Choice by Jazzy Jedi. A sequel to "Sabé's Journal."
  • Conspiracy by Jazzy Jedi. A companion piece to "Sabé's Journal" and "Choice." During a night on the town, Saché uncovers a disturbing plot against the queen.
  • Sabe's Daughter by Lelaina Nuruodo. Inspired by the events in Jazzy Jedi's Sabé's Journal and Choice stories. Alternate Universe sequel.
  • Last Line by Maren Jensen. Events of TPM as viewed through the eyes of Sabé the Decoy Queen, including the unexpected friendship she develops with Obi-Wan.
  • Eirtaé's Story by Obi Anne. Eirtaé's thoughts and feelings during the events of Episode I.
  • Mistaken Identities by Seribaba. An Episode II handmaiden adventure.

Staff

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Royal Handmaiden Society History (Wayback link). (Accessed 7 September 2019)
  2. Royal Handmaiden Society on LiveJournal (Accessed 8 September 2019).
  3. Royal Handmaiden Society on Tumblr (Accessed 8 September 2019).
  4. 4.0 4.1 The RHS FAQ (Accessed 7 September 2019).
  5. RHS discussion thread archive page (Wayback link). (Accessed 7 September 2019)
  6. The Essence of Handmaidenology (Accessed 7 September 2019).