SATPT: What’s The Attraction?

It’s been a while since I’ve done an entry for the Sex and the Prequel Trilogy series…the previous installments were about Anakin and Padmé as individuals.  This time, I’m addressing them as a couple.

It’s obvious why Anakin falls in love with Padmé.  When he first encounters her as a young boy in TPM, she’s probably the first girl he’d ever met who wasn’t a dusty peasant, a slave, or something shady.  She takes him under her wing when he leaves home and given that not a lot of people have been very kind to Anakin while growing up and not a lot of people have shown him much affection since his training started, he never forgot her.  When he meets her again in AOTC, his affection for her quickly develops another dimension and that is a sexual attraction to her.  No longer in her early teens, she has blossomed into a beauty that he can appreciate.  Plus she remains as kind and as wise as he’d remembered her.

But a lot of fans have wondered, “Why is Padmé ever attracted to Anakin?”   He’s younger, less mature in some ways, and oh yeah there’s that dark temper of his.  There’s the obvious answer:  Anakin grew up to be a handsome devil.  Padmé can see, you know!  But what about the rest of it?

Being on adventures together and undergoing life-or-death situations have a curious way of pulling people closer.  But I think people have overlooked that Padmé and Anakin are much more alike than unalike.  There is a tendency to focus on their differences in age, social status, temperament, etc. than on what they have in common.

For one thing both are prodigies.  Padmé’s childhood got cut short when she was recruited into the world of politics.  According to background info that may or may not still be canon, she was Princess of Theed at age 12, and in TPM a planetary ruler at 14.   Anakin had his gifts with the Force and the potential of becoming the most powerful of all of the Jedi even though he wasn’t yet a decade old.   He also had to leave home at an early age to take on greater responsibilities.  I think Anakin and Padmé understand that about each other; she warns Anakin not to grow up too soon for a reason.

Another thing is Padmé has as much of a reckless streak as Anakin does.  Typho grumbling, “I’d be more worried about her doing something than him” isn’t just there for the hell of it, it describes her accurately.  She might not be as impulsive or as quick-tempered as Anakin but there a lot of times she throws caution to the wind, breaks the rules, and gambles big.  In TPM, she not only returns to Naboo against everyone’s advice, she retakes her planet and puts herself in danger.  She puts herself at risk by coming to Coruscant at the beginning of AOTC and resents being told she has to hide out on Naboo.  Later in the film she enables Anakin to go to Tatooine even though they both  know they are supposed to remain on Naboo and it was at her insistence they go to Geonosis just after Anakin was ordered to remain on Tatooine.   In ROTS, she puts herself in danger by going to Mustafar.  In TPM, AOTC, and in TCW, she never hesitates to get into the thick of things, always at great personal risk.  Padmé is no throne-sitter and prefers action to being parked behind a desk.  It’s natural she would be attracted to a man of action who also doesn’t hesitate to put himself at risk.

Most significantly, they share a strong passion for making a difference, serving something bigger than themselves, and crusading for galactic justice.  They may each have their own way of accomplishing those things but they are common motivators nonetheless.  I don’t see Padmé genuinely loving anyone as deeply as a man committed to the same things that are closest to her heart.

Even where there are differences, those differences can compliment each other.  Padmé’s calmer temperament can balance out Anakin’s fiery nature.  Her maturity and knowledge balances out Anakin’s youth and inexperience in the world of galactic politics.  Her calm can soothe his fears and anxiety.  He offers her someone she can always trust, a confidant, someone who doesn’t want anything from her but her love.

A lot of fans have theorized Padmé views Anakin as a wounded bird she can heal.  I think there is some truth to this because Padmé seems naturally drawn to the vulnerable.  But I think there is more to that.  She knows Anakin’s potential and it ties into what I said about their having a common drive for making the galaxy a better place. In her eyes there’s no one more dazzling than a heroic knight who can save a universe in turmoil.

As someone I read on Tumblr recently, people seem to think a girl who is intelligent, educated, and a tough cookie when need be is incapable of being a romantic (and vice versa).  Padmé is all of those things.  In fact it’s hard to imagine someone into saving the galaxy who isn’t a romantic.

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12 Responses to “SATPT: What’s The Attraction?”

  1. TheLivingForceOfOne Says:

    I don’t believe she was ever a princess. As stated in the film, she was elected.

  2. joe Says:

    well said now can you answer why some morons think it’s creepy that anakin and padme’s relationship starts when their both young namely the five year age difference? are people that stupid?

  3. joe Says:

    checked the wookieepedia and her being princess of theed is no longer canon and i hope i didn’t confuse you with what i said about their relationship in tpm their romantic relationship began in atoc of course they were just friends in tpm of course you know that but why are people creeped out by their interactions in tpm? sorry for being a bother that’s all i have to say about the matter may the force be with you

  4. Nariel Says:

    Great post! I think it’s a very good point that people tend to focus more on the differences between Anakin and Padmé than on their common qualities, and you have described them very well.

  5. TheLivingForceOfOne Says:

    I was always under the impression that on Naboo, a Queen was more akin to a President or Prime Minister than the kind of Monarchs we have here on earth. In what EU stories does it mention that she was a Princess first?

    introduction time: Hello my fellow Star Wars fans, I am definitely what most of you guys would consider one of the “good guys” as Star Wars and yes, most definitely the prequels, are some of my favourite films of all time.

    I’ve been following this blog for a long time and have even reached out to LazyPadawan privately on numerous occasions. I don’t get the hate at all for these films like most of you and have defended them since ’99.

    Anyways, live long and prosp… oops, wrong franchise;)

  6. jayoungr Says:

    I really enjoy the “Sex and the Prequel Trilogy” series, and I’m very glad to see another installment!

    I hope one of your future topics will include speculation on what the years of Anakin and Padme’s secret marriage might have been like.

  7. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    It’s interesting that the critics of the Anakin/Padme romance failed to realize that Anakin made Padme feel something that no one else could. And that she did the same for him. After all, how can one analyze something as emotional and chaotic as love?

  8. andywylde77 Says:

    When I see people whine about the Anakin and Padme romance, it really shows how many don’t really understand what is going on around them. The fact that some folks don’t realize that these are 2 young INEXPERIENCED individuals in the ways of love. But the detractors of the romance I am sure would have loved for Anakin to be like some street pimp, because you know he does become Vader and the “cool” factor makes a difference to simpletons.

    Just like how in TPM some people wanted a young Anakin to be a space version of Damien Thorn! Things like this train of thought illustrate just how clueless these people are when it comes to the story and characters of the SW universe. It becomes a problem though when these same people lay claim to be SW fans or experts. But their suggestions seem to say otherwise. I mean Anakin in the PT went through some pretty intense character development. So if Anakin started out like the kid in Problem Child with the bow tie, how could Vader be seen as a TRAGIC HERO?

    As far as the romance is concerned, it was made explicitly clear through dialogue about what exactly was going on. But wait for all the,

    “how can she be in love with a murderer?”

    Well that question could be asked for real life people as well. Some folks seem to not be aware that a love between 2 individuals is a personal thing and really not to be understood by others. Even if one does understand, it still not meant for others. It is like Anakin and Padme’s romance was supposed to be a paint by the numbers one. It irritates me how some folks let their own bias and clouded judgement ruin a story or parts of a story. To me the romance was done well and I feel it accomplished what it set out to do.

  9. joe Says:

    is everything alright? there hasn’t been a post in over a week in relation to the post lucas has said that the acting in the prequels is from the 30’s i’m sure you’ve heard that before anyway people seem to forget that if anakin and padme never fell in love luke and leia would never have been born

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