AOTC Star Words: “I Can’t Breathe”

Matril covers the crucial fireplace scene from AOTC:

Is this scene romantic? That’s a matter of opinion. If tortured angst is your preferred flavor of romance, then maybe so. Not so much for me — I like happy romance, so the first kiss and the meadow picnic are far more to my taste. But that isn’t to say that this scene is unimportant to me. It’s crucial in providing an insight to Anakin’s viewpoint, a flawed viewpoint that will lead to great pain.

He’s tormented by the possibility of unfulfilled desires. Well, that’s not too unusual, not for any impassioned young person. Lots of teenagers feel like if their crush doesn’t return their feelings, it’s the end of the world. He’s also focused almost entirely on a selfish expression of love, of how it affects him, how much pain he is in. Again, perfectly common for a young person who’s still learning how to think outside of his own limited experience. The problem is that Anakin’s situation doesn’t offer a lot of space to learn and grow out of this mindset, as a well-adjusted teenager should. The Jedi forbid attachment, but it appears that they don’t know what to do with someone who already formed attachments before he entered their Order at all. They don’t offer any resources for Anakin to manage his feelings and learn that selflessness they’re so fond of, because the very fact that he has such feelings is foreign to them.

And though Padmé has some advantage in age and experience here, she’s not really all that different.


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