Is Padme and Anakin's relationship believable?

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by inkswamp, Oct 22, 2004.

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  1. inkswamp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2004
    star 3
    I'm reposting something here that I posted to the "The Little Things That Anoy You" thread. This is somewhat off-topic there anyway, and it's something I would like to hear other opinions on. Many people posting there cited the relationship between Padme and Anakin as the thing that annoys them most about AOTC. Some people cited apparent bad acting. Some people cited the lackluster dialogue or awkward scenes, lack of chemistry, or whatever.

    I'm very definitely in the minority here, but I don't find the romance bewteen Padme and Anakin terribly hard to believe at all. Strange, yes? Hard to relate to? Yes. But it is believable when you keep in mind a) who these people are and b) the fact that they already have a thing for each other but refuse to admit it. You don't watch them fall in love in AOTC. You watch them drop the pretense of NOT being in love.

    As I remind people from time-to-time, the OT was about a ragtag band of misfits and the PT concerns the power struggles between the upper crust of the Old Republic. These characters exist in a totally different strata and behave as such. There won't be any Leia and Han-style romance here with arguments, smart-alecky dialogue and sloppy kisses. This is a romance between a warrior and a queen/politician.

    Now, do I think the romance is one of the best scripted ever? No. I think it could have been better, but I think the basic idea is that we have two people whose lives are bound up in very high-minded activities and duties and who secretly have been lusting after each other from very early on. However, they both retain this pretense of "we're not in love and we both know it" which we see gradually breaking down. Padme is better at maintaining it (possibly because she senses Anakin's dangerous side.) Anakin, not so much. There is very little emotion evident in their scenes but that's who those characters are. I think over-the-top emotional love scene moments would be totally out of character for these two.

    When Anakin explodes and rants about killing the sandpeople and bemoans the death of his mother, Padme gets a rare moment of seeing Anakin with all those pretenses gone and she sees actual emotion pouring out (good or bad) and thus, it tips the scales and she lets go of the pretense.

    Odd? Certainly, but I find it fairly believable if you bear in mind who these people are supposed to be.
  2. SkottASkywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 4
    Is Padme and Anakin's relationship believable?

    Yes. Never had a problem with it. Not with the story. Not with the execution.
  3. Malikail Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2004
    star 4
    i only had one problem with it, and that is the lack of character development for padme.

    she is exactly the same as she was when TPM started.

    she hasn't grown up, she hasn't matured, she hasn't suffered.

    she's static.

    then all of a sudden she moves in this direction.

    makes me shake my head.

    it's not the dialog nor the individual scenes bettween the two i have a problem with, but the fact that i don't understand why from her perspective this happened.

    it probably was in the many cut scenes, damb over editing hehe.
  4. inkswamp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2004
    star 3
    That's probably one of the few valid critiques I've heard on this topic. She is somewhat static in terms of character development (at least what you see on the surface) and you're right that she doesn't have any obvious reason to move in this direction.

    My idea that she fell in love with him at the start could explain it (i.e., that she was already very much in love with him but it took a while for the pretense to evaporate.) Her character is one that has given over much of her life to public service and leadership and she would presumably admire selflessness in others. Remember that Anakin's big moment in TPM was his willingness to race for the benefit of others, a selflessness that was epitomized in his comment to his mother along the lines that the worst thing in the galaxy is that nobody helps anyone else. I always assumed that she was attracted to the selflessness and the willingness to help which carries on in his desire to becoming a Jedi.

  5. Malikail Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2004
    star 4
    thank you, even if it's an effort for me i'm always going to view their relationship in the way you said:

    that she was already very much in love with him but it took a while for the pretense to evaporate

    i have always had a hard time accepting it till now, at least if i look at it like that it's acceptably believable.

  6. The_Nameless_One Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2002
    star 4
    I had no problem with it at all :)
  7. I-poodoo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2001
    star 4
    "that she was already very much in love with him but it took a while for the pretense to evaporate"-Inkswamp

    I hadn't considered this, but now that you mentioned it it makes some sense to me.
    So all the scenes in TPM where Jake Lloyd hit on her was the two of them falling in love but holding up pretenses that was torn down in AOTC-makes sense in a certain kind of way.
    It will certainly help me believe in their relationship from now on a little better.
  8. Darth_Sacrilicious Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 30, 2003
    star 2
    one thing also to consider is how their relationship plays out in ROTS. After they have dropped pretenses, how do they act together. What are they like after being together for a few years?
  9. NeoBaggins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2003
    star 5
    "Is Padme and Anakin's relationship believable?"

    If you can believe a little boy can dream about a girl he met once for 10 years, yeah. Very believable.
  10. Angela_Russell Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 6, 2004
    star 4
    The story is believable. The only problem is that the script and acting isn't which is what brought the whole romance thing down.

    Ciao!
  11. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    No it's not believable.

    First off, the premise that they've "always been secretly in love with each other" doesn't even make since. Neither of them have even hit puberty at the time of their first meeting. Perhaps it's plausible that Anakin continued to dream about her, but to say that the opposite is true seems rather ridiculous.

    How many young children develop serious infatuation (with sexual overtones) of someone that is half their age? That's essentially what we're talking about in TPM.
  12. Super_Secret_Mario Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 1
    "Neither of them have even hit puberty at the time of their first meeting."

    I would think Padme has considering she was 14.

    "How many young children develop serious infatuation (with sexual overtones) of someone that is half their age?"

    Not many but I'm sure it has happened before (besides it isn't technically half her age since Anakin was 9 not 7).
  13. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5

    First off, the premise that they've "always been secretly in love with each other" doesn't even make since.

    I've never heard anyone express this premise before your post. Where did it come from?

    Perhaps it's plausible that Anakin continued to dream about her, but to say that the opposite is true seems rather ridiculous

    OK, maybe it's just me, but I don't get this sentence.
    It's not only plausible he dreamed about her, we know according to the film he dreamed and obsessed about her. (Is it possible? Yeah! Just ask Jodie Foster if men can be obsessed with women from afar.) His obsession with her is part of what's wrong with him...holding on when he should let go. And to say the opposite, that she obsessed over him in the same way IS ridiculous because we have zero indication in the film that she did this.

    I've never seen or heard ANYTHING indicating Padme' was obsessing with Anakin for 10 years. That was all on Anakin's part, not Padme's. Padme had moved onto other boys (she talks about a boyfriend)and it's only when Anakin re-entered her life that their relationship got serious. Before that, he was just that little boy on Tatooine. But when she sees how he's grown...yeah, it kicks in.

    I think the scene of Padme's family home that ended up on the cutting room floor hurt the film tremendously.
    Some people said it wasn't very "Star-Wars-y", but I thought it warmed up Padme' tremendously. We had a window into her world we hadn't seen before.
  14. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Anakin and Padmé had a special connection from the day they first met in Watto's shop. Anybody can see that. It was love at first sight. Not sexual love, but they cared for eachother(as they said on the journey to Coruscant).
    When they met again in AOTC, the caring, the love, was rekindled in the heart of Padmé. From that moment on, she died a little bit each day because she knew she couldn't have him. When Anakin confronted her on Naboo, her heart was in turmoil, but she nevertheless decided not to give in, even though her tongue slipped when she hinted at her feelings for him. Only when it became clear to her that they might actually(and would probably) die on Geonosis did she give in to the power of love. She couldn't bare the thought of not having done that before she and/or Anakin died.
    Anakin, for his part, had thought about Padmé every day for ten years. He'd been in love with her for so long that he probably didn't remember what it felt like not to love her.

    I don't know about you, but to me, this love story makes perfect sense. I believe in it.
  15. Obi_Frans Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2003
    star 4
    Yes.

    She cares deeply for Anakin in TPM, he cares for her too - for him it grows into love.

    When she meets him again in Clones - he proves to her that he's not a little boy anymore ('you've said it yourself')

    Throughout the movie he's like no other man in her life (from conversing with Jedi to being threatened by politicians, he's the only one that approaches her as if she's actually a woman)

    She falls in love with him.

    Now, what's not to believe there ?
  16. SkottASkywalker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 4
    I believe in it.

    =D= And it can be as simple as that.
  17. BobaFrank Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2001
    star 5
    I always felt the love story in AOTC was very presumptuous. Anakin slaughters the Tuskens, admits to Padme he killed the women and children too, shows his anger, expresses his love to her at the fireplace with atrocious dialogue, and the audience is supposed to buy all of that? Sorry, but Padme is either the dumbest girl in the galaxy or we fans are for accepting it.
  18. BombadGeneral Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2004
    I believe in it, technically.

    I just don't feel it.

    I really want to, and I try, but beyond the obvious sexual heat that Anakin radiates (and the tender, quiet and childlike moments between them) I don't feel any real connection.

    On the other hand, I'm starting to wonder if that's on purpose. It's not your typical love story, and we all know how it's gonna end. Perhaps I'm approaching it wrong.

    (If I am, then this isn't really the kind of love story I want to see. But that's my problem and not George's.)
  19. Moleman1138 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2004
    star 6
    It's more believable as they age. 14 and 9 are a lot different than 24 and 19. If they lived longer in their thirties or fourties, then it would make more sense. They need each other. He needs her support and she need him so that she can live an actual life.
  20. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    I think this ties in with the topic of whether or not we view Anakin as a sympathetic character. I think we must sympathise with him before we can accept the love story. I have already found my sympathy for him, so it all works nicely for me.
    All you need to do is watch AOTC through the eyes of one who doesn't know what's going to happen. Then you will forget all the foreknowledge you have about Anakin going to the dark side and he won't seem so murderer-like for killing the tuskens. He will just be a hero character who makes a terrible mistake. Padmé understands that it was all a mistake, not something that he meant to do. It's not far fetched at all that she falls in love with him. Especially since she already did that in the beginning of the film.
  21. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Not many but I'm sure it has happened before (besides it isn't technically half her age since Anakin was 9 not 7).

    But we're asking about plausibility here, as in, is it believable. Not has such a thing ever happened before in history. Of course whate happened was possible, but it just doesn't seem very plausible/likely/believable. And your saying "not many I'm sure" doesn't really help change that opinion.

    I've never heard anyone express this premise before your post. Where did it come from?

    It's all within this thread. From inkswamp I quote:

    My idea that she fell in love with him at the start could explain it (i.e., that she was already very much in love with him but it took a while for the pretense to evaporate.)

    The idea is heavily praised throughout this thread, including this endorsement from I-poodoo:

    So all the scenes in TPM where Jake Lloyd hit on her was the two of them falling in love but holding up pretenses that was torn down in AOTC

    That's where I got them from.

    "It was love at first sight. Not sexual love, but they cared for eachother(as they said on the journey to Coruscant)."

    Well Lars, as much as "love at first sight" is a convention of romantic productions, it is not, in fact, very believable in that it hardly aligns with any real person's experience with love. Further, you don't provide any explanation as to why their love jumped from a kind of brotherly love/compassion for each other into something with sexual implications. That just doesn't happen automatically over time, or else there would be a whole lot more incest and homosexuality in the world.

    "Throughout the movie he's like no other man in her life"

    Maybe within the movie Obi-Frans, but that statement is clearly not true for Padme's entire life. She refers to having previous relationships. So certainly she's been "approached as if she were actually a women" before. Which is really the problem with all this. Why would someone whose been in several relationships before fall that hard and that quickly for someone (even if we stretch it waaay out, AOTC couldn't have took more than a month. Who do you know that basically meant from meeting each other to getting married in that short of a time span? Becuase frankly, lets be honest, the events of TPM were only a few days long, and since that time they both grew and changed into completely different people).

    "Then you will forget all the foreknowledge you have about Anakin going to the dark side and he won't seem so murderer"

    This is true, Lars but the biggest problems with the love story come even before the Tsuken slaughter. What reason did she have to fall in love with him at all, bearing in mind she's had boyfriends before? Just because he was a man, and he was around her for a few days? Come on.
  22. Obi_Frans Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2003
    star 4
    Maybe within the movie Obi-Frans, but that statement is clearly not true for Padme's entire life. She refers to having previous relationships.

    She's referred to one boy when she was 12 years old, BEFORE she went into politics.

    I just take it from what we see in the movies, politicians threaten her, Jedi fuede with her over authority, Palpatine manipulates her, she gets taken captive multiple times, threatened and sentenced to die.

    Whereas Anakin tells her she's the most beautiful being in the world, he wants to be with her, he wants to look at her, he's desperate for her, he even tells her in so many ways his love for her is unconditional.

    He's an anomaly in her life, we never see someone beside Anakin act that way with her. With Leia we saw Luke, Han and Lando (and Jabba).

    We(i) see why he's special in her life.
  23. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    That just doesn't happen automatically over time, or else there would be a whole lot more incest and homosexuality in the world.

    You're reading into things too much, IMO. And for the record: Either you are homosexual or you're not. It's not something you can become.

    I have experienced love at first sight myself, so I can assure you that it's not a made up thing. I had a very happy romantic relationship which lasted 5 months.
    I think that love at first sight is mostly doomed love. That's why it's there with Anakin and Padmé.
  24. Obi_Frans Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2003
    star 4
    Well Lars, as much as "love at first sight" is a convention of romantic productions, it is not, in fact, very believable in that it hardly aligns with any real person's experience with love.

    It happens to both Luke & Leia, they immediately "connect" with each other - Luke mistakes it for love and realizes it's deeper than that. Whether Leia was "in" love with him at one point i doubt, but she cares for him very quickly.

    With them it grows into a brotherly/sisterly relationship.

    With Anakin/Padme it grows into a sexual love relationship.

    And it has sort of happened to me, wouldn't say it was love but with my girlfriend i definitely felt something when i first started talking with her.
  25. inkswamp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2004
    star 3
    But this concept of love at first sight is really irrelevant, whether it can happen or not.

    Anakin and Padme didn't experience love at first sight. I think Anakin had an immediate infatuation with her ("Are you an angel?") and she could relate to the selflessness she witnesses later. Throughout the rest of the film, I think his infatuation grows and her curiosity about him simmers. (And remember, too, that they are together at the end of the film. He has already become a padawan and so her interest in him might be stoked a bit more given her admiration for public service. We don't know what happens after TPM.)

    By the time we reach AOTC, it has bloomed into full blown love for Anakin in a conscious way whereas Padme (always the more self-controlled of the two) obviously feels something but has a hard time acknowledging it. When she meets him, sees that his selflessness has further translated into public service in the form of active Jedi training, I think she starts to realize that she might be in love with him. The rest of the first hour of the film is sees her figure this out.

    Again, to reiterate, I think it could have been scripted a little more deftly, but the way it unfolds is certainly believable when you consider who these people are.
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