This scene is cinematographically beautiful. I love the visual image when Padmé and Anakin hug goodbye. It represents yearning, a little bit of hopelessness, and love. There’s this enormous expanse of stark, desolate desert with two lone figures in a tight embrace, with their shadows elongating behind them. The sun is setting on the Anakin we knew and rises with someone drawn to the dark side. It’s almost like she knows that something bad will happen, she knows that he is full of dark emotion and that he shouldn’t be leaving, but it’s all unsaid.
You notice that Lucas wrote Padmé’s one line in this scene as “Anakin…” with an ellipsis at the end. Not “Anakin?” as a question or “Anakin.” as a statement, but it’s written as if she had more to say. Instead, she leaves so much hanging that I can only speculate what was going on in her mind.
Could Padmé have stopped Anakin from what he was going off to do? As the one love left in his life, could she have perhaps prevented the massacre of the Tusken Raiders? Could she have convinced him to formulate a better plan for rescuing his mother? I believe that she knew the rage that was threatening to spill out of him and instead of helping him fight it and overcome it, she resigned herself to it. Her hug is almost an acceptance of what is battling within him.
The ellipsis that Lucas put in at the end of Padmé’s line is frustrating me. What was she going to say?
EXTERIOR: TATOOINE, HOMESTEAD, MOISTURE FARM – LATE DAY
ANAKIN stands looking across the desert. PADMÉ comes running out of the homestead after him. ANAKIN turns to PADMÉ.
ANAKIN: You are going to have to stay here. These are good people, Padmé. You’ll be safe.
PADMÉ hugs him. ANAKIN walks over to OWEN’S speeder bike, which is standing close by.
ANAKIN: I won’t be long.
ANAKIN swings onto the bike. The engine fires. He takes off across the desert. PADMÉ watches him go.