Padmé as a role model for girls - uh, not so much

Discussion in 'Revenge of the Sith' started by ~ô¿ô~, May 31, 2005.

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  1. Greedo_forever Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Everyone keeps on griping that she didn't even try to live for her children.

    Anyone stop to think that maybe she forced herself to live long enough to GIVE BIRTH TO THEM?

    That she was maybe going to die anyway- but willed herself to last long enough to see them, and to name them?
  2. Greedo_forever Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    But she wasn't just dumping her babies in a trash can or a back alley. She was with Yoda, Obi-Wan and Bail Organa: ALL people she trusted deeply to take care of her, and her children. She also knew that she had other family members on Naboo and tatooine.

    She wasn't alone; her children were GOING to be taken care of. Are you BLIND?
  3. NeoBaggins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2003
    star 5

    "Everyone keeps on griping that she didn't even try to live for her children.

    Anyone stop to think that maybe she forced herself to live long enough to GIVE BIRTH TO THEM?

    That she was maybe going to die anyway- but willed herself to last long enough to see them, and to name them?"


    The short curcuit Doctor killed that when he gave his diagnosis. And I think the names were already picked out.

    "But she wasn't just dumping her babies in a trash can or a back alley. She was with Yoda, Obi-Wan and Bail Organa: ALL people she trusted deeply to take care of her, and her children. She also knew that she had other family members on Naboo and tatooine.

    She wasn't alone; her children were GOING to be taken care of. Are you BLIND?"


    So many days of posting opinions on topics without the barbaric reduction of insults when one doesn't agree. I knew it couldn't last. And no, I am not blind. Weather or not Padme has baby-sitters isn't the point. Her will to live is. The birth of your newborn TWINS should be enough for will power.


    Stevie Wonder

    Ray Charles

    Stick

    Three blind Mice

    Dare Devil

    Neo
  4. Greedo_forever Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    I think that you're reading too far into this. Star wars isn't supposed to be realistic- it's a space Opera. People do dramatic and drastic things in these kinds of stories.

    Do you HATE Guinevere for her disloyalty to Arthur?
  5. NeoBaggins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2003
    star 5

    I didn't notice it. I had a bootleg and scenes were missing. I havn't gotten around to getting a retail version. What does HATE have to do with it though?
  6. Greedo_forever Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Nothing.

    EDIT: Yeah, you're right. I get WAY too carried away with some of these threads. I apologize for the "blind" thing. But I still think that people are making a mistake analysing this film by comparing it to harsh, cold reality.
  7. Darth_Gorman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2005
    However, the fact remains that everything she worked so hard to build has been destroyed. In AOTC, I recall her saying something like 'the war will destroy everything we have worked so hard to build.' She did become too emotionally attached. The republic, Anakin, and the Jedi, her three most important ideals and loves were destroyed. Her life's work was destroyed with them through the rise of the emire. She was unable to take care of her children by the end of ROTS. Many mothers give their children up for adoption so the children can have better lives. That is one of the most selfless acts mothers commit. Padme ensured the safety of her children by sacrificing herself for them, because the emperor and vader were going to after them like Obi said in the OT.

    Padme's role in the first two movies is that girls should fight for what they believe in. In ROTS her role switches to that of a mother, she shows that giving her children up so they can have a better life is better then living a half-life, a life in hiding and on the run.

    Padme is the ultimate role model for girls. Her ways of showing them were just put in the backseat to further the storyline (Anakin's fall).
  8. MoistureFarmer Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2003
    When I first saw ROTS I agreed with a lot of what has been said here about Padme's death being a weak ending for her. It's not in Padme's character (or most parent's character) to have a baby and then die of a broken heart. I didn't buy the sacrifice theory either. My wife however, immediately put it all together: It was another of Palpatine's manipulations. If he can use the dark side to control the senate, cloud the abilities of the entire Jedi order, how hard would it be to push Padme over the edge. No matter how strong she may or may not be, she is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. Its not too much of a reach to think Palps would give her an extra nudge to finish her off.

    It plays well into what we see on screen. Palps knows for a fact that she's dead, without having seen her or directly being told of her situation. Also, he can't start his new Empire with his right-hand man having divided loyalties, and needs to force Ani/Vader to take that last step to the dark side. Crying over killing seperatists on Mustafar shows he wasn't completly there yet, he needed this last bit of dark news to seal the deal. Just notice Palpatines twisted enjoyment of Vaders destructive reaction to her death.
  9. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Yet another story of dying of a broken heart. "Giselle", the story of a nobleman who falls in love with a peasent girl, who is exposed as a liar by the gamekeeper, who is also in love with the girl. She dies of a broken heart at the end of the first act. Literature, plays, films, television are all rife with women dying of a broken heart. So Padme dying of a broken heart comes from such mediums.

    I can't buy the "sacrifice" deal. She could have tried to live to see that her children make it to safety. If she thought she would endanger them, she didn't have to be around them. The core of all this is that she didn't fight to live for them. She didn't consider their fate. A Mothers natural instincts would be to survive and protect her young. It is that way with humans as it is with animals. A Mother isn't detoured from the love of her children because of imperial plots and the loss of a husband gained through a rushed marriage. None of this should be enough to make her roll over and die. She was primed for such political tragedies and treason. Why would she be so shocked now, and to death no less. She practically fell in love with Anakin over night and it oblitorated her judgment then on. She becomes dingy and clingy

    Not all mothers have that natural instinct. Some ignore it all together. How else do you explain abortions, adoptions, child abandonment, child abuse and so on? There may not be Imperial entanglements, but there are other factors in real life that detour from the love of her children.
  10. Greedo_forever Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    I kinda think that one is NOT supposed to look up to these kinds of tragic characters. Bear with me a second:

    Often (as is in classical or medieval stories - ie, Antigone, Oedipus Rex, and of course Arthurian legends) the tragic characters are the primary catalysts to their own demise- they had chances to turn back or to do things differently, despite knowing better.

    Padme was in trouble the moment she let herself fall for Anakin. It was doomed from the start. She knew it was WRONG to get involed- jedi aren't supposed to fool around. She put herself into a scandal.

    There's nothing wrong with characters showing signs of weakness in a tragedy, by the way- Obi Wan admits he "failed" in raising Anakin, Yoda goes off into self imposed exile, Mace Windu's stubborn mistrust puts him in a bad place, and Anakin murders children with tears in his eyes.

    We are supposed to admire and look up to the heroes in TPM, when things were good (esp. Padme!!)

    Rots is a dark, sad film, depicting the fall of not only the jedi order, but of our beloved heroes.
  11. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Anakin: "I thought you said that we couldn't fall in love. That it would destroy us."

    Padme: "Our lives are already about to be destroyed."


    She wasn't whistling dixie.
  12. Greedo_forever Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Riiiiiight... I forgot about that.

    Okay, nevermind what I just said in the above post.

    Dumb idea trying to rationalize things with classic literature.
  13. FRANKTHERABBIT Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2004
    star 4
    I agree with Neo Baggins 100 per cent! :)

    Padme became so ineffectual. Alarm bells should have been ringing earlier in the saga, much earlier. The fact her husband is worrying so badly over a dream he had that she was going to die, consumming him so fully is not healthy, even by jedi standards. The Padme that we saw in TPM and AOTCs was a fighter - sure, people may say that the reason this disappears off later in ROTS is due to the tragic direction of her character, and that this portrayal is entirely suitable, apt and fitting - however, I don't buy it. It came across as stilted, and cumbersome. I find her lack of intuition and reluctance to investigate things for herself to be a failure - although, I give her the credit for heading to Mustafar to find her husband, that was the only well-written piece of direction in Padme's role, the only consistent element to carry-over from the previous two movies.

    The tragedy of Anakin Skywalker should have been just that - his demise of character, not hers. Her strength of character would have made an excellent foil - a stark contrast - to his lack thereof, or his fatal flaw - in this case, his fear of losing Padme.

    Padme is barely a role-model to fictional movie characters, let alone a viable role model for any real-life context or frame of reference.

    Even Clegg Flintstone provides a stronger, more consistent character than Padme ever attained in ROTS.

    :)

    EDIT:

    "Not all mothers have that natural instinct. Some ignore it all together. How else do you explain abortions, adoptions, child abandonment, child abuse and so on? There may not be Imperial entanglements, but there are other factors in real life that detour from the love of her children." unquote.

    Some of your examples are problematic - issues of Abortion, adoption, etc... do not quantify levels of so-called "natural instinct". I suppose you might lump under than rather broad umbrella, "3-day blues", a condition that follows many mothers following the birth of a child, in which the mother, often three days after birth, becomes seemingly depressed, sad, melancholic due to the hormonal shift that occurs when the mother begins to produce milk for the child. This "shift" can result in some mothers crying for the duration of a day, while the body chemistry adjusts to this new phase. Often "3-day blues" is mistaken for Post-Natal Depression, and sometimes, external onlookers have a hard time understanding the nature of this phase - however, it is perfectly natural and is just another aspect of the birth process.

    In Padme's case, we see no evidence of any inherent lack of maternal instinct or disparative seperation of this facet from her demeanor. There is no evidence to suggest, even at the point of birth, that she has no maternal instinct, or natural instinct, as its been termed by many on these boards. With no evidence of a lack thereof, it is conjecture to speculate that Padme was lacking this. However, the problem arises out of the way in which she dies - giving up the will to live - a choice, not a fatal certainty, as she has nothing wrong with her, physically. What makes this even more problematic is that it is suggested in very vague terms, and seems completely at odds with Padmes' fighting instinct, which defines her will throughout the PT.

    :) I don't care if her hubby has turned to the darkside. Padme's and Ani's "love" was never set in concrete. It surprises me that as soon as it seemingly goes to custard, she gives up on living - they do not share a symbiotic relationship - no evidence to suggest this, so I don't buy her demise. It not only defies her character, but it also seems rather cumbersome.

    :) My two cents...

  14. DARTHCLANDESTINE Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2005
    star 3
    She practically fell in love with Anakin over night

    Yes, in Ep. II maybe but in Ep. III she's with his kids. She gives up her own life, but lets the kids live, with Obi Wan by her side. "im not afraid to die", "and the baby?". "Obi Wan cares about us".

  15. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    The Tusken Raiders are a hideous race of murderous creatures that deserve to die(In my honest opinion).

    I don't think Padme would agree with you there, and in hindsight her willingness to forgive Anakin for the slaughter in AotC was the first sign of her being blinded by love. Remember that in TPM, she reached out to the gungans when no one else believed they were capable of doing anything to help. Most people seemed to think the gungans were barbarians or somehow inferior to the other residents of Naboo, even Qui-Gon, but Padme had faith in them. She seems to be someone who cares about all forms of life, and I doubt she would agree that Tuskens are animals who deserve to be slaughtered.

    ((Padme's the opposite of a role model, really. She's a tragic figure from the same mold as some of the women in Shakespeare who are destroyed because of the men in their lives.))

    Exactly...while factoring that the men in their lives were also destroyed, LIKE Darth Vader and Padme.


    Yeah, that's true. It occurs to me that in some ways, the PT is very Shakespearian. Anakin and Padme's romance kind of reminds me of Romeo and Juliet's, a love affair rushed into too hastily by young people overwhelmed by lust. They also remind me of Macbeth because we start out with a very strong-willed woman, but over time she fades away as she experiences doubts and sees what a monster she's made of her husband.

    Anakin was hardly a wife beater who came home every night, calling Padmé a fat ho and smacking her if she didn't bring his beer fast enough. He turned on her only once and that was a) after he had become Darth Vader and b) because he thought Padmé betrayed him. It's not a justification of his actions, but he was not the same guy anymore at that point.

    That's a great mental image, Anakin slouching on the sofa screaming at Padme to bring his beer faster because he's had a long day slaughtering Jedi children. :p

    Seriously, I agree with you that Anakin was a very different person by the end of RotS, but I also think there were some warning signs that Padme unfortunately missed. Anakin's "have faith, my love" speech creeps me out every time I hear it, and if I were Padme, I would have stopped right then and said "Who are you, and what did you do with my Anakin?"

    Not everyone feels the way most mothers do for their children. There are mothers who place themselves over their children, time and again.

    Yes, but is Padme supposed to be one of those people? She even says in AotC that she's always wanted to have a family. She really cares about her children and was looking forward to giving birth - hence her dialogue in the hairbrushing scene in which she says she wants to go early to fix up the baby's room. She's never before showed a willingness to abandon her work on Coruscant for anything, so we know this is important to her. Hell, she was willing to give up her career for her kids!

    Take the droids "will to live" line out, give Padme an actual physical threat to her life, then have her die, but not before fighting to live for her Children. Everything makes sense, her character comes full circle to when she had a spine, the scene is now dramatic, and the story remains on the same path.

    I completely agree. I understand that Lucas wanted to add a mystical aspect to her death by having the droid say there was no physical reason for it, but it does mess up her character really badly. If she had been badly injured but struggled to survive long enough for them to induce labor, most of us in this thread would probably be praising her.

    Edit:

    When did she stand by him when he became evil? He hadn't turned evil when he killed the tusken raiders

    Uh, so then why was Qui-Gon yelling "no" and Yoda so disturbed by what he sensed?
  16. DARTHCLANDESTINE Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2005
    star 3
    Yoda so disturbed by what he sensed

    He sensed Anakin in pain.
  17. NeoBaggins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2003
    star 5

    Incredible posts, Frank and Mara. And Frank, there is a good portion of your comments in that post that can only be discribed as profouned. Wow.

    "Yeah, you're right. I get WAY too carried away with some of these threads. I apologize for the "blind" thing. But I still think that people are making a mistake analysing this film by comparing it to harsh, cold reality."

    Don't sweat it. Being cool enough to apologize is infinitely honorable in my book. Comparing these aspects to harsh reality is something that the story has already asked us to do. Among the Wookies, Lighsabers, and PodRacers- there is betrayal, love, hate, anger, deception, death, murder, and vengence. These are elements of harsh realism, and Lucas' intent is to convey his human tragedy through actual human traits. So, saying that Padme has abandonned her Children is something that Lucas should have considered ( if he cares about this particular reaction ) before inserting realistically serious themes then all of a sudden presenting a children's book theme. He can't turn Padme into Sleeping Beauty after displaying the dark elements that lead up to this moment. He must realize what losing her will to live may look like.

    "Not all mothers have that natural instinct. Some ignore it all together. How else do you explain abortions, adoptions, child abandonment, child abuse and so on? There may not be Imperial entanglements, but there are other factors in real life that detour from the love of her children."

    Well, aparently, in this case, the reason is that Padme held her love/obsession for Anakin in higher regard than she does her children. You mention "child abandonment" as a real life factor, and Lucas has inserted real life themes into his films, so on some level, we DO agree.

    "She wasn't whistling dixie.'

    She was refering to what was immediately about to happen to them. She was refering to the execution attempt in the arena. Nothing more. If anything, seeing that the clonewars had started and many Jedi had been lost, her position at the fireplace should have been re-enforced by these events making her see that a relationship with Anakin was definitely unwise. She chooses to marry him at the most critical point in both their careers against all that she had previously said. This is the begining of a decline in the characters rationale and dignity.

    "I don't care if her hubby has turned to the darkside. Padme's and Ani's "love" was never set in concrete. It surprises me that as soon as it seemingly goes to custard, she gives up on living - they do not share a symbiotic relationship - no evidence to suggest this, so I don't buy her demise. It not only defies her character, but it also seems rather cumbersome."

    Exzactly.

  18. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Well, aparently, in this case, the reason is that Padme held her love/obsession for Anakin in higher regard than she does her children. You mention "child abandonment" as a real life factor, and Lucas has inserted real life themes into his films, so on some level, we DO agree.

    In a sense, yes. It does seem rather harsh, but Lucas wanted to get across that Padme was the bad mother. Something that we were told back when AOTC was being made, which was that there's a good mother and a bad mother. The good mother is Shmi and it seems the bad mother is Padme, in a sense. She sucumbs to her emotions, only it destroys her in a different way than it does Anakin. Hence Leia has to redeem Padme's memory, but showing that she can love and not fall apart. She comes close to losing it when Luke reveals everything to her. She starts to fall apart emotionally, but she doesn't go all the way. She pulls back and becomes detached enough to avoid her mother's fate.

    "She wasn't whistling dixie.'

    She was refering to what was immediately about to happen to them. She was refering to the execution attempt in the arena. Nothing more. If anything, seeing that the clonewars had started and many Jedi had been lost, her position at the fireplace should have been re-enforced by these events making her see that a relationship with Anakin was definitely unwise. She chooses to marry him at the most critical point in both their careers against all that she had previously said. This is the begining of a decline in the characters rationale and dignity.


    Lucas said that their marriage would ultimately destroy them, which is why he had those lines in AOTC. He was foreshadowing their eventual fates, which are connected to their inappropriate relationship.
  19. NeoBaggins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2003
    star 5

    I guess we agree then. I didn't know that this was Lucas actual intent with Padme's character (the bad Mother) and it is certainly the way it comes across onscreen to me. So I don't see what the confusion is about when it is said that she was weak for not choosing life. I guess Lucas felt "the will to live" element gave the character the appearence of choice needed to display just how cowardly she really was. In light of that, showing her fight to live for her children would have went against trying to convey the bad Mother image. I guess it's official then: Padme had become just as selfish for obsessed love as Anakin, then she chose death and child abandonment when love was lost.
  20. Jedi-Queen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2005
    star 4
    I think there's a big diff b/w choosing death and no longer having
    the strength to fight for life. As much as I didn't like the whole
    lost the will to live thing I don't think she made a conscious choice
    to die. I think we're supposed to see she just didn't have any fight
    left in her. If it wasn't for that one stupid line from the med droid
    we'd all assume her injuries and diff birth did her in.
    I wish GL had of left that line out.
  21. NeoBaggins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2003
    star 5

    Yeah. The loss of will implies choice and control over her condition, wich is nonexistent according to the robot. Saying that nothing is wrong with her doesn't help this aspect much either. Who knows, Lucas may plan to tincker with the prequel trilogy and remove the robots Dialog or change it. But then he might lose the bad Mother quiting aspect if that's what he was going for. I wish I had the DVD, well, the official DVD so I can hear the commentary on this.

    It was funny seeing ROTS with a friend of mine who is pretty much a casual movie-goer in general; He doesn't know Mustard from Mustafar. Near the birth scene he leaned over to me and said "Awe, man, She's going to die... HE killed her." I didn't say anything and kept watching. When the droid comes out and gives his diagnosis, he goes "What!?", and the lady in front of us started laughing. I thought only the fans would pay attention to that. It was funny to see a non-fanatic respond like that. I figured people that wern't huge fans would accept pretty much whatever happened in the film.
  22. am-pm Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2005
    star 1
    As much as some people have given pretty good arguments about Padme being heroic and unselfish and whatnot, I just don't see it. It is stated that she lost the will to live, that is not ambiguous!

    I think her character is very weak. She is not the only person that has lost everything. Obi-Wan lost everything. He lost his entire life's work, all of his friends, including his best friend, his master, his home, his entire reason for being and did he lay down and cry and give up? Um, no. He gathered up his strength and did what had to be done, despite his own heartbreak. He faced his best friend for the greater good. He took her child and watched over him, waiting for the time when he could take action, while SHE died. She is the one who actually had something to live for, her two children and the husband that she sensed good in. But, it was all too hard for her and she bailed. I don't see any sign of her "sacrificing" anything, she just gave up and relied on the others around her to carry on.

    Surely, she could have realized that the BEST hope of ever turning Anakin back, presuming he could be turned which she believed, would be her?

    Anyway, my opinion no Padme is not a role model for anyone to emulate, then again, thats fine because I don't think she is supposed to be. Girls don't have to look up only to girls as role models either, they can look up to any heroic character. And there are only two heroic truly characters in Star Wars...Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  23. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
  24. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Padme was having a soul crushing few days. Remember, the events that transpire in ROTS last less than two weeks. In that time she finally reveals she is pregnant to Anakin, He starts "acting funny" and she feels he's not being entirely honest with her about how he feels. When she talks politics with Anakin, there is this growing tension brought on by their differing views.

    Then suddenly the Jedi Temple is under attack, and Anakin shows up to tell her the Jedi tried to take over the galaxy and he had to help wipe them out.

    Then Obi-Wan shows up to tell her Anakin has gone to the dark side, that Palpatine, the guy she helped put in office way back in TPM, who she confided in the whole time, was the Master Sith himself.

    Her whole life she had been a pawn. Palpatine had used her unending desire to help her people to undermine the democracy of the Old Republic, to put an end to everything Padme believed in.

    She sees Anakin who has turned into the personification of everything she was against, in a setting that could pass for hell.

    Check Please!
  25. Darth-Natas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2006
    I completely agree that both Leia and Padme are strong female characters, but I take the position that they are also both good role models for women in today?s world.

    I disagree about your suggestion that she has a hormonal meltdown because she is pregnant?what Anakin did was very little different from infidelity. When 2 people establish a life and family together (which they most certainly were doing), infidelity (whether by man or woman), pretty well turns that world upside down overnight.



    I agree that she died of a broken heart; but the other side of that coin is that Anakin is turned fully to the dark side by Sidious?s suggestion that he?d killed her (which though true, is not exactly like he presented the idea)?and essentially, Anakin turns fully to evil by breaking his own heart as well. You don?t see that in classic or modern mediums generally, and suggesting that women dying of broken hearts is somewhat cliché within our culture is a little misogynistic I think.

    I also disagree about your suggestion that Padme is portrayed as a mad mother. First of all, all she actually is, is a pregnant mother?very little mothering skills to work with on that one. It isn?t like she?s a drug addict or street walker or anything, and she is genuinely happy to be carrying her true loves children.

    To the contrary, Padme is portrayed as the quintessential successful modern woman: strong, confident, successful, and diplomatic?also very feminine and nurturing?not an easy assortment of qualities to wrap up into one package, to be sure. In contrast, Shmi represents more of a classical and traditional woman from societies' past?she?s even portrayed as a Virgin Mary sort of character, but poor and helpless. I think the implications of that on modern women is quite deliberate. Likewise to Padme, Leia is her mother?s daughter...also representative of the kind of self-independence and strength that provide modern women with an appropriate sort of role model for today?s day and age.

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