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. SHAD0W-JEDI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 3
    This debate... and others like it, in the sense that they deal with the nature of the Anakin/Padme romance... have been going on for a LONG time here, and I don't have any illusions that my perspective brings something unique to the table. That being said, I would like to take the opportunity to weigh in for a bit...

    I think Lucas did a LOT to "redeem" Padme in ROTS. And yes, I am among those who think she needs redemption.

    ...Not for falling in love with Anakin - although I DO think that is hardly the traditional romantic story. Anakin is one VERY troubled young man, and Padme sees his temper, his need for control, his resentment of the Jedi, and his volcanic rage, quite clearly... and overlooks it, excuses it, and rationalizes it. In fact, she, sadly, CONTRIBUTES to Anakin's fall by making it easier for him to rationalize his failures and shortcomings, to avoid them rather than confront them, to avoid the immediate consequences of them rather than face them. While Anakin himself KNOWS he should be better than this, Padme offers excuses. However, people fall in love despite their rational selves, quite often. Men and women DO fall in love with people who are bad for them. Who are, for that matter, just plain BAD. It is not a trait that is especially comforting, and it is not one that I think we should defend as admirable in any way, but it IS hardly unique to Padme. So... for falling in love with Anakin, I think we can, perhaps, not judge Padme TOO harshly. Perhaps.

    Not do I think Padme needs redemption for letting Anakin KNOW that she HAD fallen in love, although this is clearly the moment that lets the genie out of the bottle for good, that opens Pandora's Box. The confession was one that was brought forth only when she truly felt they were both about to die. It is easy, I think, for the fans (including me) to forget that when Padme was about to enter the arena on Geonosis, it was entirely reasonable for her to believe she and/or Anakin were NEVER going to come out of there alive. We "know" they survive, and I think that colors our perspective somewhat. Padme believes, with good reason, that death is moments away. She can see no harm in this deathbed confession (although I think we can make a case that she is not entirely correct in this thinking...what if Anakin was to survive the arena, while Padme did not?)... and for this, I think we can reasonably temper judgment.

    But for agreeing to MARRY Anakin... here, finally, is Padme's time to face the music. To make the fateful choice. This, for me, is a moment close to Anakin's moment with Mace and Sidious. The time when finally, one must CHOOSE. Choose right or wrong. And Padme make the wrong choice. Not simply the INCORRECT choice, but the morally wrong choice. And she KNOWS it. Even if she can put aside the Tusken slaughter (which is a HUGE "something" to put aside!), Padme KNOWS that when she chooses to ALLOW an ongoing romance with Anakin... let alone a marriage... she is choosing a path that CANNOT end happily for either of them. She clearly, and correctly, notes as much herself, in AOTC. This is a relationship grounded in deceit. It can only end badly. Worse, by indulging Anakin in this, she - inadvertantly or not! - is fueling and strengthening one of his most dangerous flaws... his desire... his lust... to have it ALL his way, on his terms, to NOT choose, but to have everything, his way. This is a terrible choice, and it echoes her choice to excuse the Tusken slaughter, in that it strengthens and supports what most needs rebuffing in Anakin's character. It is very hard to see Padme as a woman of principle and strength once she makes this choice.

    In ROTS, however, Padme is allowed some redemption, in that she begins to reassert some moral center, to begin to draw at least SOME lines. When Padme finally refuses to accept what Anakin has become, the political AND personal choices he has made, she shows the kind of strength and character that I think a lot of us expected from her when we saw her in TPM. But then... IMHO... the story betrays her. If
  2. Selina_Moonfire Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2005
    star 1
    I have really tried to understand Padme's character, but have never quite gotten it.

    Personally I think Padme had few maternal instincts. I'm not saying that she wouldn't protect her babies or she'd beat the twins. I'm thinking more that if everything had happened "Happily Ever After" the family still would have been broken. I think that Anakin and Padme would have been so wrapped up in their love for each other that the kids would have barely registered in their lives. There would have been a nanny and a housekeeper and a kiss on the cheek as they were tucked into bed, but nothing would have distracted Anakin and Padme from each other.

    One thing that really bugged me about Padme in the films was how she really didn't act like a pregnant woman. There are little gestures that women make when they're pregnant. Protecting the tummy type reactions. This rarely happened.

    To me, it felt like her pregnancy was an afterthought needed to get Luke and Leia into the Galaxy.

    Overall, I think Padme was a poor character so I can't say if she was a good role model or not. I thought her romance with Anakin is highly disturbing. There was no depth to the relationship other than romantic obsession and infatuation. And her actions were confusing at best.
  3. Golwen Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    I think that Padme as well as Anakin were emotionally immature, which was partially to their environments. Padme and Anakin both grew up in these high strata environments where emphasis was placed on duty and the need for mature emotional relationships was downplayed. A a result, Anakin and Padme don't really know how to handle themselves in a "normal" marriage. They're two people who were physically and emotionally unprepared to have a child.

    Anakin and Padme unlike Han and Leia who were to follow them give themselves wholly to love. They are both incredibly emotionally people. While Anakin is prone to immature, effervesent displays of affection, Padme is not much better. She is a type of person who gives and gives of herself and is trying to "save" Anakin, hoping that through her love she can heal his emotional wounds, as women are known to do. Foolish women like Padme marry men like Anakin all the time in the Real World.

    Padme's focus is so much on Anakin that it would be difficult to give that kind of attention to Luke and Leia. Personally, I believe that if Anakin and Padme were to live together like a normal family trying to raise two children serious cracks would have developed in their relationship.

    Padme married an unstable man based on a fantasy and suffered the consequences
  4. Darth-Natas Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2006
    LOL, reminds me of McDonalds
  5. Lyvia Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2005
    star 2
    Anakin's immaturity I can buy but not Padme's, the girl was a queen at age 14 and should no the way the world works. I do beleive that Anakin and Padme would be bad parents(worse than they already are) The way Padme gave up and only cared about Anakin in the end could be an indication of what type of mother she would be; there are some mothers out there who put men in front of their children and I think Padme would be one of them. As for her not clutching her belly, its not like she could do that alot seeing as how she is trying to hide the pregnancy. Ill say it again Padme is not on the role model level as Leia though if I remember Leia wasnt the best mother but atleast she would do anything for her kids.
  6. Greedo_forever Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    I agree- Padme is not a good role model for girls in ROTS.

    But there isn't ANY indication that she SHOULD be.

    WOULD you want to admire Oedipus? Or Guinevere? Or Judas?

    No, of course not. Maybe in their days in the past when they were good and were not being pulled around by the tragic winds of fate.

    Padme is a tragic character. Admire her for what she WAS, not for what she became. That's part of the tragedy.
  7. Greedo_forever Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Just because someone is enrapt into a position of power and politics at an early age does not necessarily mean that they are adept at relationships or motherhood. We don't know how much "free" time Padme had. I mean, yes, she was queen at 14. That must have been a demanding job. A teenager with so much responsability obviously cannot devote lots of time to other life situations. This is all assumption, however. We do not know *exactly* what the woman went through.

    Most people here think that she "gave up" on her kids. I think that she willed herself to stay alive long enough to give birth to them. At least that was the impression I got when I saw the film the first time.

    I guess its because I'm a 24 yr. old male, but I did not get any ideas of "George Lucas doesn't understand women- he is a chauvinist" or "George Lucas wants women to be stay at home mothers- KKKonspiracy!!!". :rolleyes:
  8. warriorqueen Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2003
    star 1

    I don't know anything about conspiracies, but I do not ever want to become the passive little wifey that Padme does. She seems to subjugate her personality. In the novel, it comes across even worse. Marriage may be about compromise, but it is not in my opinion about subverting your personality for the other person. Frankly, her whole relationship with Skywalker seems to me more pathetic than romantic. The only place I recognize the previous version of Padme is when she says Skywalker is going down a path she can't follow.
  9. RebelScum77 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2003
    star 6
    I disagree with a lot of the people who are dogging on Padme, but where is it written that they had to have a perfect relationship? That Padme would be the perfect mother? The perfect role model? As it was said above, the point is that she started off that way, same as Anakin started off a good person. But they're both tragic figures. No one in any of these films are perfect people, not even Obi-Wan or Yoda. Padme isn't a role model any more than Anakin is. They are tragic people who started off heroes, but then degenerated into shells of their former selves. It's up to their children to "make up for their sins."
  10. CJedi72 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 4
    AOTC 2007 SE (new dialogue as Anakin answers Padmes jab that he is this little boy from.....)

    "Padme, you'll always be that quitter who lost the will to live from Naboo"
  11. Get_in_Gear Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2004
    star 5
    I know - imagine Padmé's character actually changing.
    People don't change - how silly.
    I mean; would the Emperor's loyal right hand man - Darth Vader: the embodiment of pure evil in ANH - transform over the course of two movies to the extent that he would get all loved-up over his son and toss his Master down a reactor shaft?
    The very thought...

    :rolleyes:
  12. CJedi72 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 4


    She still had two kids, and there is no excuse for losing the will to live. I have always said, if she was not pregnant, and everything happened the same with her & Anakin, I would have no problem with her losing the will to live, that would be understandable, cause that is the only close person in her life.

    Once she had kids, and lost the will to live, especially twins, no mother does that. That is my whole problem with that storyline, and Lucas dropped the ball on a good character arc that he established for 3 movies.
  13. warriorqueen Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2003
    star 1
    Padme can change all George Lucas wants her to, but I don't have to admire the change or respect it. I think she comes across as a bit pathetic in ROTS and her relationship with Skywalker as completely pathetic. But that's my opinion. No doubt there are those who see it as the love story of all time :), while I think it :rolleyes:
  14. Get_in_Gear Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2004
    star 5
    Sadly, that statement just isn't true.
    People do lose the will to live.
    People do dump kids in hospitals, on doorsteps and in far worse places.
    And people who seemingly have everything to live for... give up and die.
  15. CJedi72 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 4


    Thank you, cause I wanted you to answer it that way. So if you are comparing those to Padme, is she still a role model?
  16. jasperjones Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 4
    Lucas stuffed up with the lost the will to live line. If you edit that out then the problem is solvede. For reasons they cannot explain, ie destiny, she is dying. I actually like Padme in ROTS becasue I thought that the way she act, is in denial etc is actually quite likely, up until she has kids but she has lost the will to live. I call BS on that too as it seems completely contradictory to the character GL had created. It's a shame because otherwise the whole tragic death story line is fairly perfect for me.
  17. Greedo_forever Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Did ANYONE read my last post?

    NO, in ROTS, she isn't a role model- hardly ANYONE is a role model in that film. Padme is to be admired for who she WAS, not what she became due to tragic circumstances.

    By the way, I saw it as she willed herself to stay alive long enough to give birth to her children. She could've just jumped into a lava pit back on Mustafar.
  18. CJedi72 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 4


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hey, I wasn't arguing with you, but we agree she is a not role model.
  19. CJedi72 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 4


    Very true, if we never knew how she died, I think very few would have a problem. We could always debate: From Anakins choke? From losing the will to live? From complications of preqnancy? From head trauma hitting the concrete on Mustafar? The one time Lucas gives us an answer, we still can't agree as fans!
  20. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    No one in ROTS is. That's where everything changes from the other films. People are seen in a new light and it makes you realize how messed up things are.
  21. CJedi72 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 4


    Actually, I would disagree, I think ObiWan comes out huge after the PT. I loved Alec Guiness, but McGregor's portrayal reafirmed that he was the most loyal jedi, not turning to Dooku in AOTC, trying to kill Anakin while Luke couldn't do it. This is guy ended up being the ultimate jedi, and I don't blame him for Anakins failure, I blame Anakin. Kenobi to me is a role model.
  22. Get_in_Gear Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2004
    star 5
    No - check my contribution to this thread.
    It is the two posts you have just read, and nothing more.

    I don't know who thinks Padmé is supposed to be a role model, but she was never billed as such, and she was never supposed to be one.
    There are apsects of her character which are admirable.
    And there are those aspects whih lead to her own downfall.

    In TPM she is the plucky, obstinate young senator who has the best interests of her people at heart.
    She is devoted to preserving the democracy and freedom of an entire galaxy.
    By AOTC, she is falling in love.
    In itself, not a bad thing, of course, but she goes to great lengths to explain herself - it is a forbidden love which she absolutely must not allow to flourish.
    By the end of that film she has caved in, and is marrying Anakin.
    In ROTS she sees her two pillars of strength tumble down - the husband she is devoted to, and the Republic she once believed in are shown to have become the very things she is actually fighting against.
    Her world is turned upside down.
    And she just can't adapt...

    She's not a bad person.
    She's not a role model.
    She's just... a tragic person.
  23. TrueJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2000
    star 5
    No offense but you have alot of living to do. Many women are so tied into their men and vice versa that a loss factually shortens their life span and will to live. I know of one situation where a woman so desperately wanted her husband to be there during the birth of her first child that she purposely held back delivery on the baby thus causing irrepairable brain damage to the child.

    What goes on between a man and a woman is so powerful and yet so mysterious that we fully don't understand the emotional connection between the link. Padme became everything a soon-to-be-mother becomes at 9 mos. And that is, focused on her baby and her future life with her family. That becames the prevailing issue in her life and nothing can change that. Anakin's sweep to the Dark Side was so counter to the plans, dreams, and hopes of the future of her family that it severed the link connecting her children with the father of her children. Also, remember, we are dealing with an idealized situation here and much like Padme's declaration of love before entering the arena in AOTC (anyone who wasn't moved by that moment simply hasn't felt love on that magnitude), the effect of what Anakin becomes runs counter to everything for which she had hoped and dreamed.
  24. RebelScum77 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2003
    star 6
    This is really important. Her entire world has crumbled around her very rapidly. Everything she believed in, everything she loved was gone in an instant, but the most terrible thing of all was she that helped bring it about. She married Anakin and was his catalyst to the dark side. She believed Palpatine and helped get him into power originally. Part of her may not feel worthy enough to care for the children herself. But I don't think there was that much thought. The trauma just shut her down.
  25. Greedo_forever Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    ^^^
    Exactly! She COULD have just jumped into a river of lava on Mustafar, but NO: she stuck around long enough to give birth to her children.

    Tat is NOT a despicable or selfish act.
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