I think Portman is triumphant in the role of Padme Amidala. You guys are forgetting that these movies are boy's fantasies, where guys fight monsters, dragons, get into swordfights, etc. Natalie embodies the beautiful, yet resourceful female heroine. What are you expecting? The first time we see her in TPM I think is one of the greatest introductions of a character ever. Most of her lines are great: "I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to war". It could have been much worse; Lucas could have made her into a damsel in distress always screaming and begging for someone to save her. Her glorious coup in TPM is a perfect example of how powerful she is.