“The Case For Padme”

Power To The Prequels is back again at RetroZap, this time with an essay celebrating Padme, a character who doesn’t get the proper respect in fandom or in the media:

Padme’s stubborn refusal to lose all hope in the face of overwhelming despair and her steadfast loyalty to a man who has physically abused her is often used as evidence of her weakness as a character. And yet doesn’t Luke do the same thing in Return of the Jedi when he discards his weapon in the presence of the most powerful Sith in the galaxy and the abusive father who cut off his hand and kicked the crap out of him? How can Padme’s sacrifice be written off as weak, while Luke’s is bravery? They are the same thing. Luke is Padme’s child. Her spirit, her fearlessness and her loyalty live on in him.

Let me just add something here, not about the essay per se but about the things I link. If I don’t like a piece for whatever reason I don’t bother linking to it at all. If I think the piece makes a lot of good points, I do link to it even if I don’t agree with everything that’s in the piece. This particular one does have a little bit of a partisan POV and it’s not one I’m necessarily endorsing. Read Rules of the House on that issue.

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25 Responses to ““The Case For Padme””

  1. Nariel Says:

    Great essay, I don’t completely agree with the author’s view of Anakin’s and Padmé’s relationship, but still I think it’s an excellent defense of Padmé’s character.

    • Keith Palmer Says:

      I have to admit I was tempted to try and make a joke of “the view of Anakin and Padme’s relationship” being the controversial subject. Anyway, while I can understand where that opinion comes from, I can also imagine “counterfactuals” where Palpatine had intended solely for Anakin to be frustrated by Padme’s close yet unattainable presence (although I first picked up that idea from an old essay). Maybe this just has something to do with how I can get gooey and sentimental about “official fictional pairings” even as others wish very much for their own theories that just sort of bounce off me.

      • Nariel Says:

        This part of the article was certainly the most controversial for me, although I suppose LP meant the references to current events? I’m not a native speaker of English, so I get confused at times 🙂 Regardless, I’m the same way about my favorite fictional pairings, and especially this one.

  2. joe Says:

    padme gave birth to two of the main heroes of nthe original trilogy she desrves more love

  3. joe Says:

    correction deserves

  4. senatorbinks27 Says:

    Three things:

    1. I see nothing “partisan” about this, though I do disagree with his notion that they don’t belong together.

    2. I agree with most of the rest of this article.

    3. I will be resuming a more active roll in commenting and moderation after a long, impromptu personal absence – if LazyPadawan will still have me, that is.

  5. joe Says:

    correction novel empire’s end

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I dropped your original comment and two responses because I am not spoiling the book prior to its release on Tuesday in case there are people here who plan to read it. I’m aware the “spoiler” is out there but it’s out of courtesy to other fans.

      Besides, this is thread jacking. Please stay on topic with the posts. Read the rules of the house.

  6. Hoggle Says:

    There can be many cases with Padme about a great deal of many things.

    One of those, her death can be interpreted 3 ways is how i see it.

    1) Died of a broken heart.

    2) Palpatine magic

    3) Galactic cosmic magic.

    In the overall construct of the PTs, the one thing i never initially really understood dramatically was Padme’s death, but just accepted it as option 1. I now go for option 3.

    To option 1, i think there’s a echoe of the deleted scene of Obi with the anit-septic driod room searching for information about the cyber dart, it is of no known culture to their galactic databanks. For reasons they can’t explain, Padme is dying in RotS. (Also in deleted lines of final post production full script, Padme is clearly struggling ‘against’ something).

    Padme dies silmultaneously to birth of Darth Vader. When it is over, the emperor knows. How? It is Vader who feels the absence of Padme in the force. The emperor will have read Vader’s fears about situation last time he saw Padme.

    Anakin is the prodigy of the galaxy’s manifestation of a cosmic consciousness that creates life (yes, i realise that’s too much plot/detail for OT fanatics right there). Padme is pre-eminently involved in the galactic duel of the fates happening in the galaxy at this time across all 3 films. She is the living force character of episodes 2 & 3. Her and Anakin are madly in love with each other. The death of Anakin as he is totally overthrown in becoming a Darth, causes a cosmic reaction or rejection that Padme has no control over.

    Option 2 doesn’t really have any groundwork with the reaches of Palpatine’s powers in the PTs to me.

  7. Logan Says:

    While I think that Padme and Anakin were a great couple, I am glad to see some love for Padme. I’m tired of people pretending she isn’t important because she wasn’t in any action scenes in Ep. 3. She was
    A. A senator
    B. Pregnant.
    Of course she wasn’t going to fight. She isn’t a soldier. She may fight when she has to like on Geonosis, but she doesn’t necessarily have to fight in the war in battles.

  8. ReuniclusBlob Says:

    why do mainstream geek sites ignore all the deep aspects of the prequels when you take a look the prequels characters were more developed than OT ones

  9. Moose Says:

    In my mind Star Wars is a fairy tale and not a novel (or worse, a documentary). Padme is the Goddess who falls in love with the Hero, whose death coincides with the beginning of the Dark Times, whose offspring save the universe. It does not matter what she likes in her coffee of if she can or cannot drive a stick-shift.

  10. joe Says:

    sorry about that i guess i wasn’t thinking clearly i’m still new to this at least i won’t have to see my spelling mistakes

  11. joe Says:

    and yet some people are okay with breaking up han and leia so much for happily ever after i don’t get these people

    • princesselwen Says:

      I didn’t like that, either. Some people thought it was realistic, but I never really though Star Wars was supposed to be about realism. It didn’t fit the fairy-tale nature of the story. Living happily ever after does. Dying tragically does. Breaking up the main couple . . . doesn’t. And the story would have pretty much gone the exact same way if it hadn’t happened . . .

      • lazypadawan Says:

        That was the one thing I objected to the most in TFA. It really cheesed me off the more I thought about it because I came to the same conclusion; it wouldn’t have changed the movie at all had Han been out getting gas for the Falcon instead of being a douche to his wife. That they killed off Han and Carrie passed away in real life just makes it that much more of a horrible mistake.

    • LadyJediScientist (@LJediScientist) Says:

      I prefer the EU over the Disney AU: Leia & Han experience heartache as a couple, but they stay together.

  12. joe Says:

    ironic since the franchise is now owned by disney

  13. LadyJediScientist (@LJediScientist) Says:

    The article does makes some good points and I’m always glad to see praise for Padme.
    Without delving into the matter too much, I don’t agree with the author’s political perspective. The “regulated to nagging wives or one-dimensional eye candy” bothered me more than a little. Has the author never heard of Katherine Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, or Maureen O’Hara?

    But back to the main point, I’ve always thought Padme was more multidimensional than Leia, even though I like Leia. She placed in more complex situations than Leia and at a much younger age. Leia is more in line with the current narrative in popular media: female empowerment. Leia is more forceful in her personality, particularly in A New Hope, than Padme and therefore, is perceived as being an empowered woman. Padme is a diplomat and her role in the Prequels reflects this. She is an intelligent, strong and capable human being, but because she is not covertly aggressive in her manner (like Leia or Rey), she isn’t considered empowered. Her station, that of queen, never figures into the argument.

    On one last note, Padme marrying Anakin was not a weakness of character or a mistake. The most obvious reason being her children- if Padme hadn’t married Anakin, then there would be no Luke or Leia. Additionally, it’s Padme’s relationship with Anakin that ultimately saves him in the end. She takes a chance marrying him and while the immediate consequences are very tragic, her faith in Anakin is rewarded in the end.

    • Hoggle Says:

      These are good points LJScientist.

      To me, both are galactic leaders of the mutually beneficially approach as oppossed to the zero sum approach (one is characterised by inclusiveness, the other exclusiveness). Padme is attached to the traditions of the republic at the time in contrast to Leia though, or anotherway of putting it is that Padme is an absolutist in terms of form to the approach, where as Leia is an absolutist in terms of the concept.

      For fun, in my fan fic sequel trilogy, that is why i made her Empress (not that she was particularly planning on becoming Empress), in polarity to Palpatine’s Emperor (who was).

  14. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    I realize that I have said this before, but I agree with the assessment that Padme had died of a broken heart. One, it is possible. Two, I believe that Anakin and Padme’s relationship was based upon the concept of courtly love, something that many modern moviegoers are not familiar with. And three, Padme was in a state of despair at a time when she was in the process of giving birth to twins – a dangerous and stressful moment for her physical condition.

    Was Padme being weak when she allowed herself to succumb to despair and death? Yes. Why is this hard to accept? She was not the only major character that gave in to personal weakness in some form. And I’m not just talking about the Prequel Trilogy. Even Leia gave in to weakness in “The Empire Strikes Back”. However, her weakness had manifested in anger.

    I realize that the “Retro Zap” articles are supposed to be pro-Prequel, but I must confess that some of its contents do leave me scratching my head – including the portrayal of Anakin and Padme’s relationship as abusive. Anakin had attacked her once in his life and lived to regret it. Yet, Mr. O’Connor’s article seemed to indicate that Anakin had abused Padme more than once. Or perhaps I am reading it wrong. I don’t know. But this is not the first time that one of his articles had left a slightly bad feeling within me.

    • Nariel Says:

      I don’t think the article necessarily implies that the abuse happened more than once, but I understand where you’re coming from, Lady Lavinia. I also disagree with his assessment of their relationship.

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