‘The Clone Wars’ Does a Way Better Job of Showing How Strong Padmé Is
People’s feelings toward the Star Wars prequels is basically a tale as old as time. But regardless of your feelings about that chapter of the Skywalker saga, they were important to understand the overall story of Star Wars. One of its major faults, however, is how Padmé Amidala’s character was treated. Despite being a major player in the story, she was underdeveloped and underused, especially in Revenge of the Sith. Her strengths that we saw in Episode I: The Phantom Menace were completely gone by then.
While imagination is needed in order to save her character, and not leave her as just a damsel in distress or broken-hearted wife, The Clone Wars revitalized Padmé. For six seasons, the Senator was portrayed as someone more than just Anakin’s love interest. And The Clone Wars’ Padmé did what she did best: negotiated and fought for a fair democracy.
The show highlights why she was such a popular Queen and Senator of Naboo
Padmé is many things, but first and foremost, she’s a politician. Not your typical government official, who might not have the interests of the people as their number one priority. Senator Padmé Amidala cared for her people on Naboo and in the Republic, and she also sympathized with Separatists. It’s on display in her canon novel Queen’s Shadow, but The Clone Wars exhibited it too.
Padmé sees good on all sides of a conflict and made speeches all the time that showed her political prowess. In the prequels, viewers see this a lot in The Phantom Menace, but it goes away bit by bit after that. The public asked her to stay on as Queen for two terms and she agreed. She took on the role of Senator almost right after when the next queen asked her, too. She is the epitome of what was good about the Republic, and even she knows that the Republic isn’t always in the right.
It also shows how scared Palpatine was of Padmé’s sway in the Senate
Padmé doesn’t let anyone steamroll over her or diminish her contributions. She often goes on missions alone to fight for democracy. She’s also kind to her core, which unfortunately leads a lot of people to try and deceive her or have her killed. On top of her kindness, her words were able to persuade a lot of change within the Senate, which often had Palpatine annoyed, behind closed doors.
She posed a risk against his ultimate plans, which is another reason she was in harm’s way. Padmé also might have been the only person Palpatine feared, politically. But even though those risks are prominent, she never quit. The Clone Wars reminds everyone how good of a fighter she was and brings back Padmé’s fierceness.
Padmé and Anakin are more equal in their relationship
On an equally important note, Anakin and Padmé’s relationship is so evolved in the series. For one, they are equal partners. One isn’t just there as the other’s love interest or object of affection. They both have their own roles in the show, as well as in each other’s lives. Just like Padmé putting Anakin in his place in Attack of the Clones, she doesn’t shy away from telling him when he’s wrong or needs to think through something further in The Clone Wars.
Not to mention, they each save each other a lot. In The Clone Wars movie, Padmé makes it a mission to help delegate Anakin’s innocence on Tatooine with Jabba the Hut’s son. And Anakin uses his muscle and skill to save Padmé in the instance of the Malevolence arc. The series shows how much of a team they are, which makes their love story all the more beautiful, and tragic.
Padmé Amidala is just as important to Star Wars as any of your favorite Force-wielders. And even though she’s not given much time to shine in the later prequel stories, The Clone Wars knows how to do the Senator of Naboo justice.