It’s a long time since I’ve talked about Padmé. I feel she’s been slightly forgotten with the addition of TFA to the saga. Rey has taken over as the new, evolved, wonderful main female protagonist and Leia has been thrust back into the spotlight because of TFA as well. So Padmé has been pushed aside.
Without Padmé, we wouldn’t have Leia, Luke or Kylo Ren (I still think Rey looks so much like her that I believe she could also be a Skywalker). I know that goes without saying, but it’s something to remember as we head into this new era of Star Wars. I wonder if we’ll see the future directors looking back at Padmé and using some of her traits to guide Luke, Leia, and Kylo’s actions. I feel Abrams actually did that strongly with Kylo Ren and his temper tantrums. They were so similar to Anakin’s that I’d like to believe it was deliberate, though Abrams has been known to shun the Prequels.
Though I didn’t love Bloodline, I did love this one section where Leia referenced going back into records and finding out as much as she could about Padmé so she could understand her birth mother.
Padmé is an amazing character. She was queen of an entire planet at 14. SO young. What was I doing at 14? I was a freshman in high school. I had my first boyfriend who was a year older than me and we talked every day on the phone (he didn’t go to my local high school). I hung out with the punks, one guy had pink hair and one had a bright green spiked Mohawk. I only hung out with them because they were different and I was trying to find my group…I didn’t remain friends with them as high school continued. Needless to say, my daily stresses only included getting homework done and trying to maintain a relationship that was cute at best, it didn’t have any substance (though I can’t imagine telling my 14 year old self that…I would not have taken that well).
Padmé was ruling an entire planet, and on top of that, ruling a planet when it was in a crisis. The Trade Federation had formed the blockade and she had to escape the planet to plead her case to the senate. Oh, and her ship’s hyperdrive broke while escaping. She had to make a large decision to leave the safety and security of Coruscant to return to Naboo and befriend the Gungan race whom had previously ignored each other.
When she ended her stint as queen, she gravitated towards politics and became a senator. By the time she met Anakin again at 24, she was a full-fledged senator of Naboo, weighing in on issues that effected the entire galaxy and her planet. When I was 24, I had been married for a year. The biggest stress I had was making sure we made enough money to save some and also pay all our bills. Okay, that’s a pretty big stress, but I can’t imagine also having to make and participate in decisions directly effecting Massachusetts and the United States at that age.
So how can someone so smart not see that Anakin was turning to the dark side?
I went to an all-women’s college, Mount Holyoke, and while I loved the college and would go back in a heartbeat, it was sheltered in some ways. A lot of the women went to a same sex college with the sole purpose of devoting their time completely to their studies with no distractions from men.
I imagine Padmé’s track a little similar…she focused so much on her career and politics that she may have not been completely attuned to the romantic part of life. She hadn’t sharpened that gut feeling of when something is not right with your partner. Sure, she had boyfriends (actually we only know of one other boyfriend other than Anakin) but like my 14 year old relationship, they were not substantial. Her first serious boyfriend was Anakin, whom she later married.
I think a lot of critics and fan dismiss Padmé because she died of a broken heart. But by doing that, you negate her amazing life and intelligence prior to her death. I believe Padmé could have been smarter than Leia and Rey, though they are both quite intelligent. But when it comes to book smarts, Padmé and Leia were probably on the same page, with Padmé inches ahead of her.
I hope that we see some homage to her in the upcoming movies because she is quite a woman and quite a character.