Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: “You Are So Beautiful”

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Sure this scene gets some stick from some quarters, but I don’t care! I love this scene not just because I’m an unapologetic Anakin/Padmé fan, but also because I say it’s one of the most poignant scenes in the entire film. Maybe even the saga.

Why? It’s the last happy scene between the two of them. Every following scene with Anakin and Padmé is filled with conflict, angst, or sorrow. This is the last time they will simply enjoy being together and in love after a long separation.

It is also poignant because Padmé speaks about a future for their bab(ies) that we know will never happen. Maybe I’m nuts but the first time I saw the movie I thought, “Aw, Luke and Leia were supposed to grow up on Naboo.” Alas the twins were cheated, especially poor Luke.

Underscoring this poignant moment is John Williams’s string score.

The Coruscant cinematography is gorgeous. Everything is in shades of blue, contrasted against the lights of the Coruscant nightline. It emphasizes the hidden nature of Anakin and Padmé’s relationship yet here they are, not making much of an effort to keep it a secret anymore either. They’re both standing around on a balcony where anyone whizzing by can see them. This is also the first scene of the film where we can see Padme’s baby bump. Good thing the galaxy far, far away doesn’t have Earth’s paparazzi!

I always say that I’d pay Hayden to look at me for 10 seconds the way he looks at Padmé in this scene. It’s kind of adorable how she could still make Anakin awkward and at a loss for words even if he is the hero of the galaxy. I know people have complained about how Natalie wasn’t lit well during this scene but to me it just looks like she doesn’t have makeup on. In any case, Padmé is touched that even though she’s lugging a big tummy and apparently isn’t at her 100% most luminous, Anakin still thinks she’s the most beautiful creature in the universe. Natalie also gets the prophetic line, “So love has blinded you?” In Anakin’s case, it most certainly has, or at least his obsessive need to hold on to those he loves at all costs.

As the kids on Tumblr say, “all the feels!”

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33 Responses to “Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: “You Are So Beautiful””

  1. peacetrainjedi Says:

    I hadn’t thought about this scene being a standout in ROTS, but I suppose that’s the point. It’s simplicity is part of its beauty. It’s one of those rare moments in the films in which the characters just “breath” and can be themselves in a non combat/fate-of-the-galaxy situation. I too love the Williams’ score. I also smile every time I see Natalie and Hayden smile in this scene. I absolutely love it when characters from Star Wars smile, from our heroes smiling after Boss Nass’s “Maybe wesa being friends” speech in Phantom all the way to everyone smiling during the Victory Celebration at the end of Jedi.

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

    Anyone who says this is unrealistic has never been in a real romantic relationship in their lives. My wife and I go through something like this at least three times a day.

  3. Chris N. Says:

    I love the Prequel Trilogy, and not only are they great movies but perfect examples of cinematographic excellence. But there’s one thing that I feel could have been avoided/done better and slightly takes me out of these movies: re-shoots. In AotC, Ewan’s make up (hair and beard) doesn’t mesh well with the original scenes. In RotS, it’s Natalie, who was already preparing/shooting for V for Vendetta and had a drastic weight loss, which this scene shows (fortunately I don’t recall another scene with her like this). I guess I will never fully appreciate this scene because of that, but that’s on me.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Yeah. That scene was shot in early 2005, just as she was preparing to do V For Vendetta but before she shaved off her hair. Eh, what are you going to do?

      • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

        The weird thing is that at the time, and I only remember this now that you’re mentioning it, I thought her emaciated look in that scene was foreshadowing some kind of illness that would ultimately kill Padme.

  4. piccolojr1138 Says:

    Did you read that ?

    http://nymag.com/news/articles/reasonstoloveny/2014/mike-nichols/

    Natalie Portman : “Star Wars had come out around the time of Seagull, and everyone thought I was a horrible actress. I was in the biggest-grossing movie of the decade, and no director wanted to work with me. ”

    Unsurprisingly, some medias already jumped on the occasion to diss the prequels again 😀

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I did see this and I was going to address it as part of a bigger issue.

    • maychild Says:

      Spoiled brat. And it’s not even true. She received work steadily after the PT started coming out. But of course, since she’s talking about the prequels, everyone jumps on it and sobs their hearts out for this poor pampered sheltered rich girl — some even say that she “could have lost everything” due to the prequels. Including her Harvard education and the $$$ she earned from being in the “life ruining” prequels?

    • Nobody Says:

      She also did crap like “Somwhere in the Heart” and “Anywhere But Here” around the time of the Seagull. Maybe that had something to do with it, too?

    • Hunk a Junk Says:

      I think Portman is talented and smart. I think her performance in the PT is good, but by her own admission was never really enthusiastic about being in Star Wars in the first place. She signed up when she was 15, so I can’t blame her for not quite understanding what she was getting into. Her personal tastes seem to veer more toward prestige projects and I suspect she likes being considered an elite commodity among actors. So for her, it’s important to maintain critical “street cred.” The idea that “no one would cast me” after Star Wars is nonsense. She was attending college. She was doing movies. I think her comments are nothing more than distancing herself from movies she never quite “got” in the first place and which she knows get a lot of sneering hate online. Basically, she’s saying, “Hey, it wasn’t me.” The only problem I have with it is I don’t see her complaining about the paychecks. Star Wars set her up financially for LIFE. For that kind of cash and security, ya shut yer yap, be an adult and just say, “I enjoyed working on them and I hope people enjoy them.” That’s it.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I’ve discussed this with maychild before, but if you ask me, she had a much easier time staying in the saddle while she was in school than Claire Danes did. Danes was another hot teen actress who went to Yale and found out the hard way everybody forgot about her. She had to rebuild her career from scratch and now she’s on “Homeland.”

      • M. Marshall Says:

        And what’s ironic is that the only film she worked on when she was in college was AOTC. That’s how she stayed relevant.

      • Dave Says:

        I think the people that criticize her performance in TPM don’t get Star Wars. It’s a parallel of Leia in ANH. Padme speaks differently when she is in situations as the Queen than when she is interacting with characters on Tatooine. Leia does the same thing in ANH. She uses a more formal voice when talking to Vader and Tarkin than when she’s with Luke and Han.

  5. lovelucas Says:

    I love this scene, too and for the reasons you cited. And the way it’s approached, zeroing in from a distance -even if that environment was in miniature, Padme’s verandah and apartment exist. I believe this scene was added after primary shooting had wrapped. That’s why Natalie looks so different here – she had lost weight and her head was shaven at some point for “V for Vendetta”. And LP has indeed seen the article in NY Mag – it’s really unfortunate that Natalie chose to address this issue at this time – or any time. I wonder why she did? This distancing from the powers that be certainly clarifies why Hayden and his brother decided to form their own production company. He undoubtedly went through and continues to go through the same thing. Natalie has much more experience including having worked with Mike Nichols previously who then put her in “Closer” so TPM didn’t hurt her rep with him. She received the Golden Globe for that performance and there obviously were no longer doubts about her ability as an actress. It’s backfiring a bit – her comments here. By putting the prequels back on a negative front burner she has also put herself up for the haters to jump all over her acting etc. It never ends, does it?

    • Branislav Marček Says:

      It’s possible that Natalie Portman doesn’t even know about the hate towards Lucas and episodes I-III.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Nope.

      The context of the article was a tribute to the late Mike Nichols, who died recently but yeah, kind of crummy timing, isn’t it? Not to trash anyone but for someone so bright, she’s long had a problem with saying some cringe-worthy stuff.

      But as I posted on my FB, she’s not the only person who got hit by the backlash bus though in her case, it was more like sideswiped.

      • maychild Says:

        She may be book-smart but I don’t know how much common sense she has. Mostly I think she’s so sheltered she really isn’t aware of much that goes on outside of her own rarefied circle.

        That and everyone in showbiz has kissed her pampered little ass ever since “The Professional,” and cut slack for her when she turns in a meh or bad performance. The prequels are the main whipping boy and “excuse” for her “failure to live up to her potential.” The press and critics are STILL going there, even though she won a frickin’ Best Actress Oscar (and a pile of other awards too). No one stops to think that maybe that “potential” was really all she ever had, or that she simply does not have as much talent they attributed to her after her debut.

        I never liked her that much, but her inability to open her mouth without choking on her foot (heck, her whole leg) doesn’t help.

        And I feel the issue must be addressed: if she wasn’t so pretty — and pretty in such a refined, elegant way — would critics, et al still be so firmly on her side even after she’s shown, repeatedly, that she’s an okay actress who can be good but is mostly fair-to-middling-to-bad — regardless of the material, director, screenwriter or other actors?

  6. M. Marshall Says:

    It kinda makes sense that Anakin would still think she’s beautiful. Besides being her husband, it’s a common belief among many people that pregnant women are beautiful.

  7. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    Why are some of the comments toward Portman so bitter? Harrison Ford had spent years trying to distance himself from his Han Solo role . . . until professional necessity led him to do Episode VII. But I have never come across this same kind of reaction toward him that I have toward Portman.

  8. maychild Says:

    Oh, I’ve never let Ford off the hook. I’ve criticized him plenty, and been blasted for it by his fans. I criticized him for his refusal to appear at the premiere of ANH: SE alongside Lucas, Hamill and Fisher, and would have none of the excuses his fans leaped to provide him…in no small part because when asked why he didn’t go, he snarled, “I’m done with ‘Star Wars!'”

    This, of course, was before he had his nearly unbroken string of critical and commercial flops, not to mention his very expensive divorce. Funny how his perspective changed after those things happened.

    • M. Marshall Says:

      To be honest, I always thought that Ford had limited range… and so does Portman.

      • maychild Says:

        He does have limited range, but he’s quite good within that range…or at least, he was, for a long time. His weaker moments were smoothed over by his charisma and sex appeal, but once those two things began to fade…well, his general lack of liveliness became more apparent. Ironically, he’s had to return to the two roles that he complained had “limited” him — Indiana Jones and Han Solo — to regain a bit of his glory days.

        I agree that Portman has limited range too, but I don’t think she’s especially good within that range. She can be good, but mostly she’s eh.

  9. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    But why? Portman and Ford cannot help how they feel about these movies. I guess for them, working in STAR WARS movies were merely jobs. Their opinions should not have any impact upon how we feel about these films.

    • buick runner Says:

      Alec Guinness also had a low opinion of Star Wars. It should not be a surprise that actors are not always fans of movies they work in. People give the opinions of celebrities way too weight in everything from films to politics. Ford also hates Blade Runner, one of his more popular films.

    • M. Marshall Says:

      We still love their characters and films, we just don’t always like the actors. I like “The Adventures of Robin Hood” but I don’t like Errol Flynn, who played the title role, in the least bit.

    • maychild Says:

      I’m not asking for them to like the movies. I’m just asking that they be a bit more appreciative of them. It wouldn’t have killed Ford to show up at the ANH: SE premiere, or at least, not to have snarled about it when asked why he didn’t attend. And it wouldn’t kill Portman to be more judicious when she talks about the prequels. Maybe she DID go through a period when directors didn’t want to work with her because they thought she couldn’t act…but she could have put it in more general terms: “Mike Nichols helped me out during a difficult time in my life and career,” instead of bringing up the lightning rod of the prequels.

  10. Wizardman Says:

    I think some of you may be responding too harshly to these actors.

    From what I read from Natalie Portman, it looks like her statement was self-deprecating. She’s not referring to Star Wars overall; she’s referring to her performance. I thought she did a good job, personally, but she may feel differently or she may just be referring to some of the hateful speech about the prequels that’s been out there for the last 15 years, no matter how well she thought she did. :/

    Harrison Ford: I’ve read/watched interviews in which he says he appreciates Star Wars and its mythological underpinning and such, but that he didn’t like Han Solo and thought he was a bit pointless at the end. Again, not anti-Star Wars overall.

    Alec Guinness: I’ve read/watched interviews in which Mr. Guinness also expresses a fondness for Star Wars and its mythological underpinnings. His problem was his concern that his role as Obi-Wan would overshadow everything else that he’d done. Not anti-Star Wars overall.

    Have I missed something in all these cases? :/

    • slicer87 Says:

      Alec considered Star Wars to be “fairy tale rubbish” in his own words. Guinness stated, “What I didn’t tell Lucas was that I just couldn’t go on speaking those bloody awful, banal lines. I’d had enough of the mumbo jumbo.” He went on to say that he “shrivelled up” every time Star Wars was mentioned to him.

      In the final volume of the book A Positively Final Appearance (1997), Guinness recounts grudgingly giving an autograph to a young fan who claimed to have watched Star Wars over 100 times, on the condition that the boy promise to stop watching the film, because, as Guinness told him, “this is going to be an ill effect on your life.” The fan was stunned at first, but later thanked him (though some sources say it went differently). Guinness is quoted as saying: “‘Well,’ I said, ‘do you think you could promise never to see Star Wars again?’ He burst into tears. His mother drew herself up to an immense height. ‘What a dreadful thing to say to a child!’ she barked, and dragged the poor kid away. Maybe she was right but I just hope the lad, now in his thirties, is not living in a fantasy world of secondhand, childish banalities.” Guinness grew so tired of modern audiences apparently knowing him only for his role of Obi-Wan Kenobi that he would throw away the mail he received from Star Wars fans without reading it.

      Though I can see how he was concerned about “secondhand, childish banalities” with the current state of some segments of the SW fandom (what he describes sounds alot like the internet hateboys). I disagree with most of his opinions about SW, I still like him as an actor anyway. People will never agree 100 percent of the time and if other people, including actors in my favorite films have differing opinions from mine, then so be it. As I said before, people give too much weight to the opinions of celebrities. Being a celebritiy does not make one’s opinion anymore right or wrong. The only thing that gets me upset is hateboys using the opinions of actors to validate their opinions as being “correct”, something I think Alec would probably disapprove of as being childish and he warned the fan against.

      • Wizardman Says:

        Well, damn….

      • lazypadawan Says:

        There are times when I think Sir Alec had a point, too. I don’t believe he’d think much of today’s geek scene or the proliferation of superhero movies. It reminds me of JRR Tolkien’s disdain for some of his hippie weirdo fans; he referred to them as despicable cultists.

        I give Alec Guinness some slack. It had to have been bizarre for an actor born between the Titanic’s sinking and WWI to find himself in the middle of a phenomenon like that. He said that people wrote him asking for advice and I’m sure he got lots of other weird mail.

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