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In Star Wars: Queen's Shadow, Padme, the former queen and the current senator of Naboo, has returned to her home planet after a visit to Breha. Note that Palpatine is the previous senator for Naboo, and Reillata is the current Naboo queen.

First, though, there was her meeting with the queen. Réillata had been quite gracious in her response when Padmé informed her of the invitation to visit Breha, but she knew that the Queen of Naboo was even more eager to speak with her than the Queen of Alderaan had been. Padmé understood. Her relationship with then-Senator Palpatine and his successor had been calm, save for the Invasion of Naboo, but whenever they returned to the planet, she was always ready to hear their reports.

Now it may seem that "Her" in the last sentence refers to Padme; but I think it's more logical to refer to Reillata, because Padme herself is the Palpatine's successor as the senator of Naboo, right?

If so, why did the author use "but" in the last sentence, where's the contrast here? Is "calm" more like "stagnant", so he highlights the difference between this general stagnation and excitation when they returned to the planet?

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    The contrast might be because there's no need for reports as the relationship was calm. But it's hard to be definitely sure. One guide would be whether the narrator focuses on Padme's thoughts and reactions or typically includes those of other characters.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Feb 10 at 14:36

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Structurally, the reasonable antecedent to "her" is Padmé. If the author wanted it to be Réillata, they really should have repeated the name instead of relied on a pronoun, since the most recent noun was Padmé. The subtext seems to be that Padmé might have feared that Réillata would have been upset that Padmé visited Breha before speaking with Réillata, but that the queen had been "gracious," and Padmé understands this dynamic because she had always been eager to hear from Naboo's representatives, but didn't let this eagerness disturb her "calm." In my opinion, "calm" is an odd choice of word here, and makes for awkward and static writing.

According to Wookipedia, two other people served as senator for Naboo between Palpatine and Padmé. Perhaps their obscurity is why the author doesn't provide a name for the "successor."

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