By Kayleena Pierce-Bohen
The relationship between Anakin and Padme is the foundation of the Skywalker Saga, but what do most fans not know about the Star Wars couple?
Whether Star Wars fans love or hate Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala's torrid affair in the Skywalker Saga, there's no denying that its an epic love story that matches the scope and vision of George Lucas's space odyssey. It starts into motion events that would forever alter the fabric of galactic history, and resultsin the creation of one of the most powerful Force dynasties the galaxy has ever seen.
The entire course of Anakin Skywalker's life as the Chosen One is altered by the meeting of Padme Amidala,and the Queen -and then Senator- of Naboo must rethink her momentous responsibilitiesto her people after knowing the Jedi hopeful. It's only fitting that, as tragically secret as thestar-crossed lovers had to keep their story, there would be things many Star Wars fans don't know about their relationship.
It Was Based On Looks
Fans never knew that beneath Vader's terrifying helmet lurked the scarred face of a teen idol, but after Hayden Christensen was cast as Anakin Skywalker inStar Wars: Episode II- Attack of the Clones,they could see how the roguish Jedi Knight could steal the heart of Naboo's senator.
In the "Love Featurette" for the movie's DVD commentary, actress Natalie Portmanexplained why Padme fell in love with Anakin, and much of her primary reasoning seemed to involve his physical attractiveness. Other aspects included that heencouraged her to be less serious, and that his "sullen darkness" made him an alluring "bad boy".
It Was Almost A Teen Love Story
In an interview with Empire magazine from 1999, George Lucas got candid about the love story between Anakin and Padme that began inStar Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace,acknowledging the fans' issues around the fact that Anakin was 9 years old when he met Padme, and she was 14.
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Lucas knew that the fans with the most to say about their relationship would be in their 20s and 30s, but he stuck to his convictions and made the film for everyone. "I knew if I'd made Anakin 15 instead of nine, then it would have been more marketable. If I'd made the Queen 18 instead of 14, then it would have been more marketable." he said, making salient the point that Anakin needed to be that age he was so that the separation from his mother would be more impactful.
It Was Based On Romeo & Juliet
The theme of Star-Crossed Lovers has been present in dramatic storytelling since the dawn of Greek theater, from which William Shakespeare drew heavily from. His famous play "Romeo and Juliet" influenced the forbidden romance between Padme and Anakin.
In the same "Love Featurette" for the DVD commentary ofStar Wars: Episode II- Attack of the Clones,the writers explain how the timelessness of Romeo and Juliet's love story reflects in the separation ofAnakin's position in the Jedi Order and Amidala's role as a diplomat for theRepublic.
Lucas Knew Fans Wouldn't Like It
In the same interview, Lucas went on to explain that the concept of the "love story" was important to the Prequel Trilogy,even though he knew that fans probably wouldn't like it. He knew fans could have a myopic view of the movies, and might not appreciate a love story dominating an adventure saga, but to him, "Star Wars [is] made up of different themes. It's not just a single theme.".
Though he has always made Star Wars "for children", he acknowledged that they might not like "the yucky stuff" of Anakin and Padme falling in love, so had to find a way to make it that would be satisfying for children and adults alike.
Training As An Older Padawan Made Anakin Attached To Padme
Anakin participates in a cardinal offense againstthe Jedi Order is concerned; forming attachment. In the DVD commentary forStar Wars: Episode II- Attack of the Clones,Lucas explains that this was possible because he was trained as a Jedi much later than he should have been.
“If he’d have been taken in his first year and started to study to be a Jedi, he wouldn’t have this particular connection as strong as it is and he’d have been trained to love people but not to become attached to them." Lucas iterates, acknowledging the part of Anakin still capable of attachment transferred it from his mother to Padme.
The Jedi Order Didn't Forbid Them From Being Intimate
While the Jedi are forbidden to become attached to anyone out of the Jedi fear of it leading to possessiveness, Lucas was very clear about separating the Jedi Order's views on love versus its perspective on the intimacy a Jedi might experience with another person.
“Jedi Knights aren’t celibate," he explained in a BBC News interview from 2002. "The thing that is forbidden is attachments - and possessive relationships". This makes Anakin's deception all the more torturous; technically, he could have always told Obi-Wan Kenobi, who had a reputation for being shrewd but open-minded.
Obi-Wan May Have Known About It All Along
Throughout the Prequel Trilogy, Anakin isn't exactly subtle about his feelings for Padme, and his thoughts betray him to his master. Obi-Wan Kenobi seems hardly surprised inStar Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sithwhen he finds out that Anakin is the father of Padme's child, and there might have been precedent for that.
In the final season ofStar Wars: The Clone Wars,Obi-Wan nearly barges in on a private holovid conversation between Anakin and Padme. Captain Rex prevents him, but Obi-Wan knows his apprentice and the senator have been regularly communicating. He tells Anakin, "I hope you at least told Padme I said hello",implying that he knows about their budding relationship.
AhsokaDefinitely KnewAbout It
Over the course of her apprenticeship to Anakin, Ahsoka Tanogot hints about his relationship with Padme at various times. There were plenty of episodes ofStar Wars: The Clone Warsthat confirmed this, such as "Blue Shadow Virus", when she saw how much Anakin was terrified of losing Padme to a deadly virus.
In the web seriesStar Wars Forces of Destiny,she got her suspicions confirmed. In the episode "Unexpected Company", Obi-Wan sent her to accompany Padme and Anakin on a mission that was supposed to give them some alone time together. Instead, Ahsoka was a third-wheel that got to see Anakin and Padme embrace.
It Was Born Of Selfishness
By the time Anakin's feelings are rekindled for Padme inStar Wars: Episode II- Attack of the Clones,he's made a "commitment to the Jedi Order, a commitment not easily broken" according to his master Obi-Wan Kenobi. He also knows that he must honor the faith put in him by Qui-Gon Jinn, who believed him to be the Chosen One.
Padme has similar responsibilities and obligationswhich develop her character, and according to actress Natalie Portman it's really a struggle for Padme. "Can she be selfish? And fall in love myself when I have all these aspirations and things I need to accomplish".Actor Hayden Christensen also said his devotion to the Jedi coupled with his passion for Padme created similar conflict, as well as confusion, anger, and anxiety.
It's Continued In The Darth Vader Comics
In the fourth issue ofDarth Vader,the Sith Lord returns to Naboo, the planet where he spent several glorious months protecting Senator Amidala in their youth. He looks for the truth about Padme's death and the fate of his "unborn" children, and finds nothing but painful memories of the past.
His quest to "stop people from dying" couldn't save Padme, but he continues to use the power of the dark side to resurrect her. In theStar Wars: Darth Vaderseriesfrom 2017, he eventually builds his castle on Mustafar, and uses a Sith from the Old Republic to help him channel the power to open a doorway into the netherworld. Vader opens the portal in an attempt to bring Padme back to life.