Great Scenes Of The Prequel Trilogy: Anakin & Padmé’s Dinner Date

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Another one of those quiet scenes that seems to fly under the radar, the scene where Anakin and Padmé are having dinner at the lake retreat is one of my favorites. Sure, I’m a diehard A/P shipper but I always liked the simplicity of the scene and the ease of interaction between the two before things get really uncomfortable a moment later as Anakin’s spilling his guts (that one’s for another day).

What’s interesting is that after their first kiss and Padmé tries to set boundaries, those boundaries quickly come down again, first with the picnic romp, then with this dinner. Padmé is sitting on the far end of the table opposite of Anakin but they are still flirting. She’s sitting there smiling and listening attentively as Anakin talks about aggressive negotiations, something she must’ve found charming since she brings it up later on during the Geonosis battle. Anakin can’t stop smiling either. Padmé is still covering up the goods but it’s still a sexy black dress. Then he says, “If Master Obi-Wan caught me doing this, he’d be very grumpy.” Oh you bet he would. He floats a piece of Naboo pear over to her and she takes a bite, sort of a reverse of Eve offering Adam a bite of the fruit, a symbol of temptation from the Book of Genesis. He’s already committing a “sin” by using the Force frivolously to attract a girl’s affections.

This scene is beautifully shot and framed. The scene is at twilight, sort of the last innocent flirting between them before Anakin tries to take things further in the next scene, leaving the scene with a beautiful golden/orange-y glow. It’s almost the same kind of scenario to their wedding scene at the end of the film. There’s a gentle old-fashioned feel to the scene, from Padmé’s “dressing for dinner” (she’d fit right in with the Granthams at Downton Abbey) to the reserved yet relaxed way they are speaking with one another. I think Natalie and Hayden hit those notes just right. John Williams’s “Anakin and Padmé” gives the moment a magical air.

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3 Responses to “Great Scenes Of The Prequel Trilogy: Anakin & Padmé’s Dinner Date”

  1. peacetrainjedi Says:

    The score, so elegant and beautiful fits the scene like a glove. Yes, John Williams makes this scene (like he does for almost every memorable scene, in most every movie he’s composed for). Honestly, I think he’s the main reason why I love the movies so much, and his involvement is definitely what I’m looking forward to most in Episode VII. Just watched Empire of the Sun the other day, somehow it had flown under my radar as I guess it’s one of Spielberg’s less-well-known films. But, from the opening note of John Williams score, his perfect adaptation of Suo Gan and the tone of the film, it just made it more powerful than it ever could have been on its own.

    And this scene is often forgotten when Episode II is discussed, perhaps because it’s dismissed as one of “those scenes” with Anakin/Padme. Every time I watch the film, this little tidbit catches me by surprise and I almost forget about the other threads of the film because it’s so day-to-day – eating food and conversing. And I think it helps that, as you say, Anakin’s “using the Force frivolously” is something an everyday person would do if they could call upon the Force – simple things like that add so much to the texture of the film and help set it apart from the more “world-building” of Episode I and the “world-destroying” of Episode III.

  2. PrinceOfNaboo Says:

    There is a lot of great stuff about that scene, yet allpeople ever talk about is the “CG apple”…granted, Padmé’s “bite” is a bit strange, but who cares???

    I’ve always wondered whether it was a conscious choice that these two (two = couple) pillars on Anakin’s side are illuminated (because he’s open about his feelings for Padmé) while those on Padmé’s side are in shadows (because she more or less hides her feelings).
    It also plays with Padmé being “an angel” (at least to Anakin) with that dreamy sunlight behind her.

    The whole scene in general is very playful and relaxed, which is also underlined by the circling camera. There are no close-ups, it’s just a lax scene without any burden.

    I’ve always liked Anakin/Padmé scenes in AOTC.

    • Keith Palmer Says:

      Some people are as obsessed with clinging to negativity and finding something to be consumed in a hostile light as others may be in being positive, I suppose. Anyway, the discussion here is pleasant, informative, and interesting.

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