The Newest ‘The Clone Wars’ Episode Deepens Anakin and Padmé’s Relationship Even More so Than Before
A central relationship throughout The Clone Wars is Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala’s secret marriage. While the movies introduce their romance and show its tragic end, it doesn’t get into it as much as it could have. There’s only so much a movie can do in its allotted time and after Attack of the Clones, Anakin and Padmé’s relationship wasn’t the main focus. The Clone Wars series is able to add more depth to their connection, and in Episode 2 of Season 7, it does so much in just one scene. Spoilers for Season 7 of The Clone Wars ahead.
Anakin and Padmé’s relationship isn’t as secret as they’d like to think
The first scene in “A Distant Echo” shows Anakin urging Rex to help him with this thing. Even though Rex would rather get straight to the mission, he agrees to help him. To no surprise, Anakin had a date set up with Padmé over holochat and Rex had agreed to stand watch. As they’re having as quick of a talk as they can, Rex is nervously standing guard when Obi-Wan Kenobi walks up looking for Anakin.
Rex stutters through some half-truths and lies, and Obi-Wan easily sees through it. Anakin cuts his call short and comes out, a much better liar than Rex. But Obi-Wan isn’t stupid. And he’s never been when it comes to Anakin’s relationship. This episode shows that Anakin and Padmé’s “secret” relationship wasn’t actually a secret.
This isn’t new information, per se. Throughout all of The Clone Wars and the prequels, Anakin’s feelings for Padmé are very obvious. The only time it’s laid out that Obi-Wan knows in the movies is when he knowingly asks Padmé if Anakin’s the father of her child. And in Season 6 of The Clone Wars, Obi-Wan is very forthcoming. He tells Anakin that he suspects something is going on between them but leaves it open so that Anakin can come to Obi-Wan with the truth if he wants to. Obi-Wan doesn’t want to pry, and it looks like Anakin almost tells him. However, that doesn’t happen.
So, while audiences have always known that those closest to the Chosen One and the senator suspected their romance, this episode solidifies that Rex definitely knew and that Kenobi willingly turned a blind eye the whole time.
Their relationship is in a good, healthy spot here, which shows how the Dark Side mangles it
This scene is also important because it shows this healthy point that Anakin and Padmé are at in their relationship. They’ve had their issues, most notably in Season 6 where Padmé talked about separation, but they’ve worked through it. Here, Anakin is so open with his wife and doesn’t hold back what’s bothering him when she asks. This is a major contrast to their relationship in Revenge of the Sith when he’s hiding things and letting his fears fester.
As we can see in this scene, Padmé gives good advice about Rex, which ultimately helps him later in the mission. She reminds Anakin that Rex is always there for him and that this time Anakin has to be behind Rex. Even if Rex’s personal feelings about his brother Echo are involved in the mission. If only Anakin had opened up to Padmé in Episode III more. We might not have had the outcome we got.
No, this Padmé appearance doesn’t retcon ‘Revenge of the Sith’
This scene was shown in the trailer, where Padmé is noticeably pregnant. Some thought that was a retcon since Anakin doesn’t find out about the baby (babies) until Revenge of the Sith. But it’s obvious that Anakin can’t tell from his vantage point that she’s pregnant. He also doesn’t mention it, ask about it, or allude in any way that he knows.
This doesn’t create a plothole or retcon. Instead, it places this episode in a timeline for the audience. Padmé is much more heavily pregnant by Revenge of the Sith’s opening, whereas here she’s just barely showing. So she probably knows, but Anakin doesn’t until he comes back to Coruscant from the Outer Rim sieges (which they talked about).
While the writers notably took away the Padmé nose art scene that shows the Bad Batch has pinup artwork of the senator on their ship, fans of the couple will gladly trade that for this secret rendevous anytime.