Let’s Talk About Star Wars: Padme and Anakin

A Star Wars “love” story…

by Matt Voss

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… What the dickens was Padme thinking picking Anakin Skywalker? Her parents must have been about as disappointed as the parents from that town in Footloose. How does one of the most intelligent, selfless, and empowered women of all time throw away a heroic career in the Galactic Senate and ultimately her life for a whiny, emo kid from the Outer Rim?

Not only does she tank her career over this nitwit, but she gets so distraught over losing him that she completely “los[es] her will to live” just moments after giving birth to two beautiful little twin reasons to live. Yeah, he murdered a bunch of kids and stuff, but c’mon, Senator, where did you think it was all headed? Let’s talk about that.

How big of an age gap is too big?

There’s one I hope my daughter never asks me. The rule on the streets is to never date anyone less than half your age plus seven, but I guess that only applies to western culture, and only in the last few centuries, and only when you’re not Woody Allen, whose wife is 35 years younger and was once an adopted step-daughter.

I could probably manage to gloss over the fact thatYoung Anakin Skywalker Anakin is 6+ years Padme’s junior if they had met a little later in life. As it was in Episode I: The Phantom Young Padme AmidalaMenace, young Padme was into her teens and already the Queen of the entire Planet of Naboo.. and getting schmoozed by a second-grader, albeit about as awkwardly as it sounds. He even pulled the “are you an angel?” line with which this author can personally claim a 0% real-world rate of success.

The angel line apparently planted a seed in the Queen’s subconscious that miraculously began to germinate over the next ten years while they were apart. When Anakin was finally reunited with her, he wasted no time in letting his feelings erupt in a geyser of teenaged pheromones, and with them, the brilliant come-ons.Anakin Skywalker laughing

“Anakin, you’ve grown,” says she.

“So have you; more beautiful, I mean,” says he.

Few on-screen romances have been so unintentionally groan-worthy as that between Padme Amidala by Anakin Skywalker. I guess that’s to be expected having been written by an authentic, romantically challenged nerd like George Lucas.

Let’s talk about the math

Let’s try to apply the ‘never date anyone less than half your age plus 7’ rule on these two. If, when they met, Padme was 14 and Anakin was 9, that would age gap equation lets talk about thatmean that Anakin was too young by 5 years, which breaks down to almost 30% of Padme’s entire life.

Let’s extrapolate that: if Padme were 29 years old and Anakin were 30% younger, they wouldn’t be able to grab a drink in the Mos Eisley Cantina together. If she were 40, he’d be 28. If she were 60, he’d be just 42. So it’s getting less weird as the ages grow, but remember that when they met, they were 14 and 9. That’s weird.

Okay, I know what you’re going to say: but they didn’t start their weird romance/dating thing until 10 years later and they were way older then and more mature and yadda yadda! While you’d have a point, it would be a flimsy one at best and here is why: if Padme were 24, half of 24 is 12. Add 7, and you’ve got Anakin’s exact age of 19, so according to the rule, Anakin is “old enough” if only by a matter of months. I hope it works out for you, Padme.

Even after accepting that Padme would ever entertain the idea of dating a guy that is, according to the internet, only barely socially acceptable to date, it’s still hard to imagine that at least a part of Padme wouldn’t always see Anakin as that little boy back on Tatooine.

I think I can make a pretty good case for that, especially after hearing Padme use those very words in Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Let’s peek in on how Anakin’s little “only more beautiful” plan played out:

“Anakin, you’ve grown,” says she.Anakin Crying

“So have you; more beautiful, I mean,” says he.

“Oh Anakin, you will always be that little boy I knew on Tatooine.”

If it were me, I would have marched straight home to nurse that wicked burn. I’m not Anakin Skywalker though; instead, he proposed and she said yes.

Why him?

I can see how a woman of poise, character, and otherworldly grace would be attractive at any age. Real beauty that comes from the inside out doesn’t have an expiration date and actually gets finer with age. What I don’t get is how a woman like Padme Amidala would fall for and enter into a long-term romantic relationship with a too-big-for-his-britches kid like Skywalker.

She easily spikes a 10 on the gumption scale; she is the type that would leave the comforts of her Senator’s chambers on glittering Coruscant in favor of a P.O.W. camp on Naboo so she could suffer alongside her people. She is a leader that consistently puts the needs of others before her own; why she would be attracted to an openly insubordinate Padawan learner is beyond me.Coruscant

He is a brooding, emotionally turbulent teen with mommy issues and occasional open contempt for his Master’s authority, questioning Obi-Wan more than a time or two.

I don’t know what I would do if one of my students talked to me like Anakin talked to Master Kenobi, but it makes me wonder if The Force can turn people inside-out. Maybe that’s why Master Windu isn’t returning my calls..

How (not to) to pick a guyAnakin Skywalker is a murderer!

Padme, with all she had going for her, picked herself a dud of a dude.

He threw out the Jedi code in favor of dating her. Some would say that’s romantic in the line of Romeo and Juliet, but let’s not forget that Romeo and Juliet was a tragedy where a lot of people died as a result of their inability to keep their hands to themselves and where they only ended up together after death by poison.

If Padme were as mature in her man-picking as she was in her discernment, diplomacy, and leadership of Naboo, she would have immediately shut that braid-wielding Padawan down.

Although she’s a part of the Star Wars Universe, it wouldn’t surprise me if she was a Star Trek fan; I think she would have taken to heart Spock’s sentiment that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. (Yes, you’re allowed to love both Star Wars and Star Trek.)live long and prosper Spock Ster Trek

 

Sith happens

In the end, Skywalker thoroughly threw in the towel on his fight with right and turned to the Dark Side. He betrayed his friends, cut off his boss’ hand, murdered some younglings, and suspiciously quickly devoted his life to thelet's talk about Sith eyes Order of the Sith. To cap off this bad-decision spree, he even managed to Force-choke his pregnant wife to blackout. That’s a real winner there.

True to Murphy’s Law, Padme’s babies decide right then that it’s time to rock and roll. Padme gives birth to the twins, but barely has time to name them Luke and Leia before her vitals bottom out. The med-droid delivering the babies tells us that although the new mama should be fine, “she’s lost the will to live.”

That’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s shoddy writing to expect the audience to accept that much change to happen that quickly in such a strong female character. “I just popped out a couple of babies, but hubby’s a Sith now, so, you know, no thanks.”

Theories abound on the interwebs about “what really happened” there. Some say that the Emperor killed Padme when he used the Dark Side of The Force to channel some of her moxie into Anakin’s failing, burned and dismembered robo-body. Others say that Jar Jar Binks was secretly a Sith Lord, so, clearly, anything goes in the online forum world.

I’ll leave all that to the interwebs. All I’m saying is that Padme could and should have done a lot better, and that her quitting life after twice giving it makes about as much sense as Greedo shooting first#hanshotfirst #letstalkaboutthat.

#Hanshotfirst #letstalkaboutthat

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