Ruminations on Padmé

I have finally come to accept the fact that I really can’t go anywhere without thinking about Star Wars.  Such was the case this past weekend when I went to a baby shower.

Two thoughts struck me on Padmé and her storyline throughout ROTS.

First: how many people actually knew that Padmé was pregnant?

After some browsing online, where people think OF COURSE the Jedi knew and they just didn’t let it on, and OF COURSE Obi-Wan knew but didn’t tell, and OF COURSE Palpatine knew the whole time, and OF COURSE…blah blah blah.  There are a lot of strong feelings on this if you surf the Internet enough.  The only theory I can somewhat believe is that C-3PO and her handmaidens knew that she was pregnant.  You’ll notice that Threepio actually hung out with Padmé most of ROTS so he would have had to know.  Though we don’t really see any handmaidens of Padmé’s in ROTS, there are references to them in the script and some cut scenes, which implies they were not around much.

But if we look at her style, it has drastically shifted since Episode I.

Padmé as herself (not queen) in TPM:

 

Padmé in AOTC:

 

Padmé in public gowns (not what she wears around the apartment) in ROTS:

Her gowns becomes  larger, there is more flow, and less shape.  It is clear that she is trying to hide her growing belly.  Definitely not as tight as the outfits in AOTC, where her outfits consisted of bare midriffs and leather (rawr! But seriously, why?).

Sure, we could argue that style on Coruscant is always changing, but common sense has not really changed.  Human beings and other aliens found on the planet are not dumb.  I’m sure people picked up that she was pregnant.

This brings me to my second thought.  Let’s go out on a limb and presume that some people in the course of 4-9 months after she got pregnant asked her about her pregnancy.  How would she have responded?

After going to this baby shower and seeing the love, joy, and excitement surrounding a new baby, I just felt a lot of pain for Padmé and her inability to really share this moment.  She couldn’t tell anyone who the father was, and if she had any normal preggo symptoms, she had to share them with…Threepio.  Really?  Ugh, that is the worst.  He is probably one of the last beings in the Star Wars universe that I’d want to share 9 months of pregnancy with.

Anakin was there occasionally and helped some, but their relationship at this point was growing more and more distant.  He was wrapped up with the Jedi Council and his internal warring feelings over Palpatine and Padmé’s looming death.  She was torn between loyalty to her husband who supported Palpatine and the Republic, and her new group of political allies who were thinking of breaking from their once beloved government.  So really, she didn’t have much help when it came to her pregnancy.

Do you remember her reaction even as she told Anakin she was pregnant?  Fear was all over her face, and Anakin looked like he was struggling to keep optimistic about the situation.  He was reassuring her that this was the “happiest moment” of his life, but it seemed like he was really making an effort to be happy about it.  The first moment of telling someone big news is crucial, because it predicts how it will be played out in the future.  If he can’t bring himself to be excited and ecstatic, you bet Padmé is just going to fear the ramifications of her pregnancy even more.  Now she knows she cannot share the news outside of her and Anakin, and hides it.

I see a different side to Padmé now.  I have a lot of conflicting feelings about her that have constantly changed over the years.  On the one hand, she is a strong, political leader.  On the other, she lost the will to live and died of heartbreak.  They never really matched up in my head.  But this put a new spin on how I look at her character.

This is supposed to be a woman’s greatest achievement and one of her greatest moments, despite how uncomfortable it may be.  As a couple, you’re heading into the unknown like never before.  You are taking on the responsibility of raising another human being, and Padmé really didn’t get to share this with anyone.   It was a pregnancy confined by silence, with rare moments of joy with Anakin.

For these reasons alone, I think Padmé is much stronger than I ever gave her credit for.  Nine months of fear and silence, war, a distancing relationship, and finally finding out that her husband massacred hundreds of Jedi and has become a Sith Lord might do it for me too.  The betrayal on top of everything else lends me to be a little more sympathetic to her situation and manner of her death.

padme what have i done

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10 thoughts on “Ruminations on Padmé

  1. This a great, sympathetic look at Padme. I always wondered if anyone commented on it. Perhaps, with future technology, no one questions if a senator ends up pregnant. However, I really doubt people would not notice Anakin hanging around her and her apartment all the time.

    • Actually, what really began this thought process was how I thought it was great that her pregnancy didn’t factor into conversations. But then I thought about how sad it would be not to talk about it. Not because no one cares, but because you can’t…and then I started writing.
      However, I don’t think anyone did notice Anakin. He lurks in the shadow’s a couple of times, is gone for many months at a time, and seems to only be there around dusk/nightfall. So I don’t think people noticed, personally. They are both extremely busy and I doubt Anakin could just pop over there whenever he wanted.

  2. I always kind of figured that since she was no long queen and no longer a key player in the political games of the worlds, that it was quite easy for her to just slip away and hide for a few months…
    But, I also always assumed that Obi-Wan knew.

    • Interesting that you thought Obi-Wan knew. What made you think that?
      I mulled it over this morning while drinking my tea. Just by basing it off the movies, I don’t see how he would know she was pregnant. He does not see her until the very end of the movie. To me, it makes it seem like he has not seen her since AOTC days. The only argument I can think of is the one deleted scene where he does go to see her to ask for her help with Anakin. Great scene, but not in the final movie. And in this scene, he only talks about how he knows they are both in love, not that she is pregnant. Perhaps George cut it so the ending realization that Padme and Anakin had children in secret would be a lot stronger, and a lot more dangerous. By having Obi-Wan in on the secret, it takes away the heaviness of the later moments.

      • Can’t say one thing or another in particular… just that he was jedi… and they know things.
        I guess there was a war going on, or something, that was probably keeping everyone busy… making it easier for her to stay hidden, keep the pregnancy a secret.
        I don’t think he knew that Anakin was the father until he met with her looking for him. But, he knew to go to her to find him, so he knew something was going on, right?

  3. Her handmaidens would have to have known. You can’t be a ladies maid and not know your mistress’s secrets, and be able to keep them (Anna Bates, I’m looking at your, girl!). C-3po may have known, but considering he can’t be trusted to keep quiet, I don’t think so. Palpatine, maybe, but probably thinks she died before giving birth. We know Obi-Wan figured it out since he figured out Anakin was the father, but she didn’t spend a lot of time with other Jedi so I can see him figuring out she is pregnant. Even during the Clone Wars series the Jedi she interacted with where mostly Obi-Wan and Anakin.

  4. Jedi are not all knowing, all seeing nor infallible. Remember this line:

    Anakin: You’re a Jedi Knight, aren’t you?
    Qui-Gon Jinn: What makes you think that?
    Anakin: I saw your laser sword. Only Jedi carry that kind of weapon.
    Qui-Gon Jinn: Perhaps I killed a Jedi and took it from him.
    Anakin: I don’t think so. No one can kill a Jedi.
    Qui-Gon Jinn: I wish that were so.

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