I always loved Queen Amidala. She got me through some tough times as a bullied pre-teen as I saw her as a strong, dominating figure. There are two scenes in particular that I think often goes unnoticed by fans, and I’d like to bring our attention to it.
GO AMIDALA. She is the only character to have that victory over Palpatine. In the course of the entire saga, I don’t see anyone else really thwarting or stalling Palpatine. Think about it. Most events that happen were masterfully planned by him. He wanted that damn treaty signed and he thought that the young queen would be an easy person to persuade. WRONG.
Another significant scene that I love is also when they are in Coruscant amid the heavy political debates, and Amidala decides to go back to Naboo. I swear (and this may just be my own interpretation) that Palpatine panicked for a minute. It may be the only time we really see this happen, other than when Vader destroys him in ROTJ. But in ROTJ, it was just pure shock. In TPM with Amidala, he has a moment of panic. I mean, Palpatine never panics. But something is not going right here, dammit!
I always loved that moment where she turns to Palpatine and says
“Senator, this is your arena. I feel I must return to mine. I have decided to go back to Naboo. My place is with my people.”
And Palpatine has a slight loss of control and begins stammering about being unrealistic. His brain then quickly begins working and thinking about how he can turn this to his advantage (I think he hoped she would be captured or killed and then make the Federation occupation very easy and legitimate), but I honestly think that he was surprised she would return to her planet when the Federation had control of it. He’s a quick thinker, but I still believe he had a moment of panic.
Amidala ruled Episode I. It’s too bad that her relationship with Palpatine the rest of the saga was more like this: