Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: Padmé’s Ruminations

Arguably the best scene in ROTS, arguably the best scene in the saga. Certainly one of if not the most effective Star Wars scenes shot to date.

Part of me absolutely loves this scene because I’m a diehard Anakin/Padmé shipper. That silent expression of connection and love is amazing as Anakin is once again torn between doing what he was ordered to do (remain in the Council chamber) and doing what he wants to do (make sure nobody kills Sidious so that he’s able to save Padmé). They’re not able to see each other but Anakin gazes toward the tower where she is and she is gazing back at the Jedi Temple through her window. I think Padmé is aware through the Force of something troubling Anakin but doesn’t know quite what it is. Anakin’s awareness of whatever it is he is sharing with Padmé just emphasizes his need to save her. The only dialogue in this scene is either Anakin remembering Palpatine telling him it’s the only way to save her or Sidious putting the words into his head through the Force. Either way, Anakin tearfully makes his choice and leaves the chamber, then the moment ends, breaking off their connection.

Part of me absolutely loves this scene because it’s just awesome filmmaking. Usually Lucas saves his silent sequences for the end but in this case, he puts one right at the moment Anakin makes his pivotal decision that causes the whole galactic house of cards to come crashing down. The film cuts seamlessly and effortlessly between Anakin and Padme, temple and senatorial suite. Here, without dialogue, is where Lucas is the most understood…I think everybody got that scene and what it means. Lucas is definitely a silent movie guy at heart. Emphasizing the impending tragedy is the red-orange sunset enveloping Coruscant. The light is dying out brilliantly and darkness will soon fall. It also symbolizes the turmoil of Anakin’s feelings and the passion Anakin and Padmé feel for one another. The acting is subtle but very well done. I find it interesting that for the most part Anakin is the more openly emotional of the two but from this point forward, Padmé becomes very emotional herself.

Capping it off is John Williams’s score for this scene that’s sad and ominous, especially with the vocals. The first time I saw the movie I wondered if it was Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance but it isn’t. Sounds like her though. Williams must’ve seen a few Russell Crowe movies.

All in all, a perfect scene.

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19 Responses to “Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: Padmé’s Ruminations”

  1. Kim Says:

    One of my favorite scenes, too. Just so beautifully done in every respect.

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

    I find it interesting how it’s specifically called “Padmé’s Ruminations” when the focus seems to be on Anakin’s conflict and struggle. Further emphasis on how she is the root of everything?

    • Keith Palmer Says:

      The title comes from the back of the RotS soundtrack, and I can imagine by that point they were trying to be coy and not give too much away. Nevertheless, the scene’s impressed me from the moment I first saw it (although it certainly helped I’d started hearing some positive comments about Lucas “emphasizing the visuals.”)

  3. Žiga P. Škraba Says:

    Possibly my favourite scene of the entire saga. Just perfect in every way.

  4. susanbowes Says:

    This was one of the most moving scenes in Revenge and one can’t help but feel Anakin’s inner turmoil having to choose between his loyalty to the Jedi, or assisting Palpatine in order to save Padme. As Anakin’s tears fell, so did mine.

  5. Brian47 Says:

    It’s scenes like this that are so wonderful poetic in purely visual & audio terms that make me angry when people dismiss Lucas’s accomplishments as a filmmaker.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Me too. Far better than most people give him credit for.

      • susanbowes Says:

        I totally agree that Lucas hasn’t been given the credit due him. He created an epic saga that has already survived two generations and is already adding a third generation of Star Wars fans – and probably a fourth, and fifth… and on, and on, and on… How many other filmmakers can claim that accomplishment?

  6. bansheegun Says:

    Some prequel love coming to Minecraft.
    http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/10/23/star-wars-prequel-skins-coming-to-minecraft

  7. lovelucas Says:

    Such a powerful scene – it’s like the world has stopped. This also made me believe some sort of Force connection is going on – even though Padme is not suppose to be Force-sensitive this scene tells you otherwise. Really sets up the impending tragedy and throws you against the wall (which originally Anakin does to Padme on Mustufar) emotionally. Such a bizarre and unique choice by Williams for that haunting music. Everything is a slam dunk here – the lighting, the music, the editing, the alternating focus….even the sad fade away. IMO best scene to refute those who can’t stop hating.

    • bansheegun Says:

      Isn’t there a theory that Padme gained a greater connection to the force while she was pregnant with Luke and Leia? Would give great context to this scene!

      • lovelucas Says:

        Wish George would spill.

      • susanbowes Says:

        That would explain how Leia “knew her mother” before she died. (Luke’s scene in ROTJ where he asks Leia if she knew her mother.) Personally, that scene always bothered me after finding out that Padme died while giving birth in Revenge. Most people assume that Leia “sensed” her mother’s sorrow through the Force, but I never brought that idea. Luke said he couldn’t remember his mother at all. If Leia could sense her mother’s pain, why couldn’t Luke sense his mother’s presence at all?

        Another point I’d like to make… if Leia could sense her mother, and assuming Luke could too, but only in his sub-conscious (which explains why he couldn’t remember her) why couldn’t either of them sense that Darth Vader was their father? You’d think that both children, being Force sensitive, would have at least sensed that before Yoda told Luke the truth.

      • PrinceOfNaboo Says:

        Leia “rememered” Padmè’s feelings (sad etc.), Luke subconciously her last words (“There is good in him.”).

        Just a fan theory, but the one I like the most by far.

      • susanbowes Says:

        A fan theory I can’t accept. Re: my reply to bansheegum’s post…

        “Most people assume that Leia “sensed” her mother’s sorrow through the Force, but I never brought that idea. Luke said he couldn’t remember his mother at all. If Leia could sense her mother’s pain, why couldn’t Luke sense his mother’s presence?”

        “Another point I’d like to make… if Leia could sense her mother, and assuming Luke could too, but only in his sub-conscious (which explains why he couldn’t remember her) why couldn’t either of them sense that Darth Vader was their father? You’d think that both children, being Force sensitive, would have at least sensed that before Yoda told Luke the truth.”

    • susanbowes Says:

      I agree that this scene should prove to the haters that Hayden did not ruin Star Wars. It takes a very good actor to portray the inner turmoil Anakin was suffering at the time, and all without uttering a word. We all felt his pain.

      In the book “Revenge of the Sith,” the author had Anakin’s mind breach the gap between the buildings and enter Padme’s body, actually becoming a part of her, body and soul. However, I don’t believe Padme gained force sensitivity through Anakin’s probe of her.

      It’s unfortunate you can’t fully relate Anakin “becoming a part of Padme” on film, (though Lucas did try) nor know exactly what the character(s) are feeling at the time – not unless there’s a narration provided, which of course would’ve ruined this scene.

  8. darth66zannah Says:

    This is one of the best scenes in the saga…it’s very important that a film’s characters “take a moment” to reflect and feel…builds drama and tension…very few films do that these days and this scene did it well…very powerful…this movie is Shakespeare in space…in addition, I just want to say I love this site! It’s the only Star Wars site where people actually like Star Wars LOL! Every other site is about criticsm and negativity…

    • susanbowes Says:

      I agree – Revenge is Shakespeare in space. It’s the story of Romeo and Juliet, but worse because Anakin goes on living knowing his wife’s death is his fault. So sad. 😥

      I also love this site. Too many haters out there and it’s great to be able to share our love of the prequels. ❤

    • Shamari Stewart Says:

      Isn’t it great??? I love this scene also, as well as the whole movie. So much emotional tension.. UGH

      And yes this site is very refreshing, while everywhere else people would be bashing and making fun of this scene to no end I’m sure

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