Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: Jedi Don’t Have Nightmares

After Padmé friend zones Anakin, he suffers through nightmares about his mother Shmi. He is seen the next morning standing on a balcony with his hands clasped behind his back, staring off at clouds obscuring the sun and blue sky as he is lost in his thoughts about what to do next. The visuals signal his confusion and conflict between his assigned duty and his urgency to go to his mother, who might be in trouble.

Padmé emerges from her bedroom and is about to leave him, figuring she is interrupting his meditation or something but he asks her to stay. She tells him she heard his nightmares even though he denies it. Anakin reveals he is troubled about his mother’s fate and he has to go to her. Padmé, because of course she loves him in spite of what she’d told him, volunteers to travel with him.

This is another one of those quiet moments but there is a lot happening here. The nightmare is the catalyst for what happens with Anakin and Padmé’s arc for the rest of the film and leads to Anakin’s first surrender to the Dark Side. Anakin’s vision is “clouded” because he’s torn between what he feels he has to do and his duty on Naboo. He has no one to turn to for guidance; Obi-Wan is off on his own adventure. He has to make a choice and given his age and his attachment to his mother, of course he’s going to choose going to Tatooine. He’s no different from Luke deciding to run off to Cloud City to save his friends.

Many have noted the way Anakin is standing in the shot on the balcony is exactly the same way Darth Vader stands at various times during the OT. It’s a testament to both Hayden Christensen and George Lucas that they were thinking of keeping a character’s quirks consistent throughout the series.

What doesn’t get discussed as much is the intimacy between Anakin and Padmé in this scene. There’s no kissing or anything like that and Padmé is wearing a robe, but for a couple absolutely determined Not To Fall In Love, Anakin isn’t uncomfortable wearing a see-through shirt around her and you can tell Padmé’s nightgown is a little sexier than the one she had on earlier in the film. She doesn’t try that hard to make sure it’s absolutely covered up. Watch Padmé’s eyes as she is initially talking to Anakin; she is looking him up and down. Then she insists on going to Tatooine with Anakin instead of demanding he remain on Naboo with her or asking the Jedi Council to send somebody else. They’re in love all right.

The beauty of the scene, the on-beat performances, and the use of visuals to express the characters’ emotions make it a memorable one.

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6 Responses to “Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: Jedi Don’t Have Nightmares”

  1. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    That was an unusually sensual scene, especially for one with no declarations of love or kissing.

  2. Frida Nyberg Says:

    Wouldn’t you say he was… Jedi-zoned?

  3. Brian47 Says:

    I always like how Anakin was really trying to appear unmoved by the nightmare, basically wanting to appear unemotional when confronted by Padme about something very personal and Padme is completely unconvinced. He’s not able to keep that emotional wall up around her at all!

  4. Jacobesico Says:

    Very beautiful scene. How can you not love this?

    I remember seeing one of the featurettes on the AOTC bonus DVD and it was raining when they were shooting this scene. George said that it was gods way of making this scene work.

    The Naboo location footage was breathtaking in AOTC. George Lucas gave us such stunning visuals in that movie.

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