Great Scenes Of The Prequel Trilogy: “I Killed Them…”

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This scene from AOTC is another one of my favorites. After Anakin wipes out the entire Tusken Raider village and brings home his mother’s body, the audience can still see the anger on his face. Padmé goes to him in the Lars garage to bring him some food, blue milk, and comfort. But after Anakin has another meltdown over his mother’s fate, he confesses to something shocking and unthinkable. He admits to killing everyone in the village, even women and children, out of pure hatred. Then he collapses and (in the DVD/Blu-Ray cut) as Padmé comfortingly tells him being angry is being human, Anakin says he knows he’s supposed to be “better than this.”

What impresses me the most about this scene is Hayden Christensen’s display of Anakin’s dark side. He’s full of fury, sorrow, and guilt. All Padmé could do at first is stand there in silent shock just as the audience is sitting there in silent shock. We knew Anakin killed a few of the villagers at first, but they were males. But women and children too? It sets up what Anakin does later on in ROTS but that time to his fellow Jedi.

This scene is controversial as well because of Padmé’s reaction. But at this point Padmé is already in love with Anakin and she loves him unconditionally, red flags or not. As the symbolism of the wedding scene at the end of the film shows, Padmé accepts all of Anakin, even that monstrous side of him.

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12 Responses to “Great Scenes Of The Prequel Trilogy: “I Killed Them…””

  1. Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

    This is one of those 180 scenes where at first it didn’t grip me but now I can see is one of the most beautifully shot and acted scenes in the Saga.

    It just proves too many people didn’t get Anakin at first.

  2. PrinceOfNaboo Says:

    Seriously (without trying to put down the OT), I don’t see a single scene in the OT that’s equally compelling, emotional, character-driven, well-acted, meaningful and honest like this one.

    Typically, since there was really no believable way to complain about acting/writing/emotions etc. in this scene, haters suddenly jumped on Padmé’s reaction for their bashing!

    It’s pathetic.

    • Frida Nyberg Says:

      Yes. And also the insensitive turds who say “Anakin is just whining so Padmé will feel sorry for him.” I mean WHATTHELIVINGFUK. ._.
      He got separated from his mom at age 9, has nightmares about her being tortured and dying ten years later, finally gets to see her but she dies in his arms, he was too late.
      And people seriously think he’s “crying (faking it) so Padmé will feel sorry for him”? People are just unbelievable.

      I think much of the prequel/Anakin (it’s often one and the same) hate has to do with emotions. Those people can’t *stand* emotions, they can’t stand Anakin/Padmé’s sappy love-talk, Anakin mourning his mother, or even get the end of RotS. I have even heard them bash LUKE in RotJ because he started to empathize with Vader. O_o “Feelings? Yuuuck.”

      They’re like 10-year olds. Unusually immature 10-year olds.

  3. PrinceOfNaboo Says:

    Just another thing: It’s scenes like this that make Episode II my favourite Star Wars film. AOTC is unique combination of serious human drama (unseen in any of the other five films) and unashamed charming SW silliness with hidden meaning.

  4. Eduardo Vargas Says:

    This scene in particular brings to mind how judgmental fans are of Anakin and Padme (even folks who like Episodes I-III) and it’s truly sad how misunderstood they are, and how overly critical fandom is without seeing the many good things of their relationship.

  5. M. Marshall Says:

    I think this scene showcases Lucas’ brilliance on so many levels. By choosing a species notorious for a bad reputation, we see an interesting moral conundrum: had Lucas chosen a more likeable species, Padme’s behavior would’ve REALLY seemed questionable. I don’t condone Anakin’s behavior, but I don’t blame him for what he did either. After all Shmi didn’t deserve that kind of treatment. She didn’t do anything to those people and we don’t know if the women and children in that village even intervened or stood up for her (they probably didn’t). Also fantastic racism plays a part in this: Padme kept hearing Cliegg’s negative descriptions of these “monsters” and she starts to believe it, because racism is taught (let’s also keep in mind that 10 years earlier two Raiders shot at Anakin’s podracer). Years before she had to get over her prejudice of Gungans by befriending Jar Jar but there were no friendly Tusken Raiders to make her change her mind. And last, but not least, Padme doesn’t know about the Jedi code, she might’ve thought that Anakin killed in self-defense but she wasn’t there to see what really happened – and neither were we.

    • Nobody Says:

      Well, let’s be clear here– the women and children are innocents caught in the crossfire. They’re not empowered in Tusken society (I’m assuming for the women, granted), so there’s nothing they can do. They’re collateral damage to Anakin’s rampage. What’s great about the scene is that everybody’s tainted by it– Padme tries to placate Anakin, but he doesn’t give up the heavy burden of his guilt. It’s a great omen of what’s to come in ROTS, and probably one of the best presentations of mythic hubris and its connection to a hero’s tragic downfall imaginable.

  6. peacetrainjedi Says:

    Yet another classic, strongly acted scene in which John Williams’ chilling score makes it approximately 1000x more awesome.

  7. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    For all of those who believed Hayden couldn’t act, this scene alone was an example of how good he can be. I was amazed at how he managed to convey Anakin’s anger, guilt and grief in one scene so effortlessly.

    Anakin never hinted that he had killed the Tuskens in self defense. And I suspect she knew this. This might not be a good reflection of Padme’s character, but I suspect that deep down, she felt that the Tuskens got what they had deserved. She didn’t know them. She knew Shmi from years ago. And I think she was revolted at how the Tuskens kidnapped Shmi and tortured her to death over a period of a month. I believe that she shared Cliegg Lars’ views of the Tuskens . . . that they were monsters.

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