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Symbolism of the scenes between Padme and Anakin

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by SmoovBillyDee, Aug 30, 2002.

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  1. SmoovBillyDee

    SmoovBillyDee Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 2, 2002
    I have always believed that there is heavy symbolism in the Star Wars films and the scenes between Anakin and Padme while on Naboo are just some of them.

    What we have here, in the process of going from the meadow scene to the love confession scene, is a symbolic representation of Padme and Anakin's adult relationship (I say adult to filter out their meeting and coversations for TPM).

    First, we start with the way that they act towards one another. The is an air of lightness and carefreeness (is that a word?) in that scene. They talk, joke and flirt. Anakin tries to ride one of the creatures to impress his love. This is the beginning of it all, when nothing else interferes or matters.

    We then have the dinner scene. A touch more somber. It is basically Anakin showing off and dominating the conversation. While he still is fixed on Padme, everything is about him from his lines about "agressive negotiations" to how to manipulates the fruit. This is the start of the downfall.

    Then the fireplace. Very intense. Eventually, the two end up arguing and Anakin basically leaves. Although they still love one another, there is a rift.

    We also have the lighting effects. Notice how we start off in a well lit area. Things are bright to start off. Sunny. Clear skies. We then move to a sunset, darkening, representative of the beginning of the end.

    The darkness of the fireplace scene finishes it. There is only a tiny bit of light left of what used to be bright. However, that small light never goes out. That's the driving force.

    To do this so wonderfully is a testament of how well Lucas thought these scenes out.
  2. Vortigern99

    Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 12, 2000
    Good post, SmoovDee! I personally agree with your observations, and I thank you for bringing them to my attention. Though I feel the dinner scene to be the weakest in the whole film, your take on its poetic meaning will keep me occupied the next time I watch AOTC.
  3. RangerPrincess

    RangerPrincess Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 23, 2002
    Aye, I never thought of that before! :)
    Indeed, it speaks how their relationship will end, darkness but with a little bit of light. :_|
    Interesting, I had never thought of that.
  4. PadmeLeiaJaina

    PadmeLeiaJaina Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 23, 2002

    I posted this in the 5 great scenes directed by GL thread- but it fits perfectly to a T here.

    Vortigen- check out my interpretation of the dinner scene- you will change your mind ;)

    Naboo is Paradise. It stands for everything that the future Empire is not. It is democratic, fertile, peaceful, organic, and luscious. Even the planet core is water based instead of Molten lava. There is nothing turmultuous about Naboo.

    The sheer blissful beauty of Naboo, that seems to always be in bloom, is what brings out the love and the woman in Padme. This is her home. She is a creature of this land. It is the place Anakin saved from destruction, and a place he thinks of as Paradise as well (taken from the novel.) The buildings on the planet, seem to sprout up from the land, they do not appear to be constructed, mostly as a means to enjoy the natural settings they sit around. Even the Gungan's city floats in the waters, it does not pollute the water, or harm the ocean floor below.

    When A&P arrive at the Capital, Padme is glowing, she is in her element. We've known from practically her first scenes in TPM that she passionately loves this planet "I will NOT condone a course of action that will lead us to war!"

    By the time she has finished her official business, Senator Amidala has disappeared. Gone are the tightlaced, stiff backed uncomfortable gowns she wears in her everyday dealings w/ politicians. With each passing scene, she even seems to let more of her hair down. She has become one with the beauty around her. The first gown she wears is filled w/ the soft colors of the rainbow. She floats into the scene, enhancing the beautiful land around her, and amazingly manages to outshine it. It's partly why Anakin is so speechless. Her choice of backless gown fully indicates, whether she wants to admit it or not, that she wants, desires Anakin to kiss her. It's why she doesn't flinch when he timidly caresses her back, and leans in for the first kiss. However, she is still fighting with the old practical Padme which is why she pulls away.

    Hayden deliver his sand line perfectly. It's not a pickup line, it's just a nice wonderful insight into Anakin, it reminds the viewers of where he came from, and how far he has travelled in 10 years. Yet for all that he's worldly, the little boy inside of him still exists, hoping for approval, looking for love. You can almost hear Anakin's voice shaking, as he realizes this may be the moment he's dreamed of his whole life. And when Padme doesn't move, he keeps watching her, afraid she will pull away before he kisses her, ever mindful that she may stop him before his dream can be fulfilled. If you listen carefully, you can even hear the 2 breathing hard as he gets in closer to her. The music fills the air, then wonderfully, abruptly ends as she pulls away, signifying the dance of love has begun.

    The meadow with the rushing waterfalls behind them is the perfect place for a picnic. There isn't another human around for miles, they are totally secluded. It is as if they found their own little spot of Paradise, where there is no danger. Neither Senator nor Jedi really has to worry about work. They can just play. It is also one of the brightest, most gloriously lit scenes in the whole film, however there are storm clouds on the horizon, blanketing the far off hills.

    In the scene, Padme gets to devilishly tease Anakin w/ her tale of Dreamy Paulo, and Anakin gets to torment her by admitting that he thinks dictatorship isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's quite lovely, because each person knows exactly what the hot-spots are in each other. The gentle teasing adds tension, but it shows a deepening familiarity between the 2, that maybe we were not allowed to see displayed on screen (removed Padme's family scenes.)

    Padme's running in the field is the first time we see her doing ANYTHING that remotely resembles having fun, ever! She is light, laughing, her gown covered in tiny flowers that helps make her appear again to have sprouted from the field. As Anakin rides the Sh
  5. PadmeLeiaJaina

    PadmeLeiaJaina Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 23, 2002
    And here's my take on the fireplace scene:

    To me this is the best scene in the love story, because it initially accomplishes what it's supposed to do, but if you watch it more and more, you find that the scene is brilliantly acted, directed. However, it is a crucial point in determining Anakin's destiny, the scene is ....

    Forget the dialogue completely.

    Initial reaction from fans, critics and the general public is that the fireplace scene is uncomfortable, painful, and wretched to watch. Poor Anakin, he pours his heart out to Padme, and she dumps him! She doesn't say a word, and when she does she gives him next to no real encouragement. It's awful to watch.

    The fact that people continue on and on about the scene shows the sheer majestry and perfection of it. It is MEANT to feel uncomfortable. These 2 people have no business falling in love, Anakin is completely forbidden to do so, and practical Padme should know better. First viewing you watch it from Anakin's standpoint, and he is acting the perfect knight, spilling his heart out, and Padme shuts him down. He is deflated and defeated. It's horrible.

    The beauty of the scene, and why it works so well, is if you pay attention to the actors body lanuguage, and especially if you pay attention to Padme.

    From when Anakin starts talking, she subtly starts moving away, she is listening intently, but conversely is highly distracted. Watch her, she looks deep into his eyes, then looks down, then looks longingly at his lips. She is dying for him to kiss her again.

    She then finally snaps to attention and bolts off the couch. She then decides to take control of the situation again the only way she knows how to, which is to treat it as a political debate. She rattles off every rational reason on earth the 2 should not be together, since Anakin is past the point of seeing anything clearly "You're asking me to be rational, which I cannot do" she needs to play the devil's advocate. Yet Padme's weeping eyes should tell Anakin that her heart thinks differently than what her mouth is saying.

    Anakin has no experience with courting, he doesn't see the startled expression she gives as he walks away. Her look says, "Don't give up!" But Anakin, being the perfect gentleman finally conceeds and ends the discussion defeated and in pain.

    The scene is riddled with sexual tension. Maybe that's partly why people are so uncomfortable with it. It seems out of place in the SW universe. But really it fits brilliantly into the Anakin story. The firelight also seems to bring out exactly what each character is feeling in his/her heart. Their eyes are in turmoil.

    Padme's dress, black and medieval in design, again signifies Lucas' favorite theme of all, black equating the Dark Side. Padme's love is the one thing that Anakin wishes to possess and have more than anything in the world. Padme is the one thing Anakin the Jedi is forbidden to have, a wife and a lover. Even her heavy rattling necklace resembles chains, she is chained to her emotions. Because Padme wears black, she herself has become a willing partner in this forbidden dance. And aftewards, she starts pursuing him. When he cannot see her signs, she has to finally confess her love to him.

    The scene is also crucial because it opens the door for Anakin to pursue his nightmares and go after his mother. Padme, unlike Obi-Wan would never stop Anakin from trying to help his mother. She is compassionate and does not wish to add in any further pain Anakin must be feeling.

    The scene may not be the most elegant and graceful of love scenes, but it is one of the most complex scenes I've seen on film. GL did a brilliant job w/ the actors to make them say one thing, but have their bodies, and body language say something entirely else. To me it is the best scene of Natalie's in the whole film, she's fantastic. You can see the conflict brewing inside of her. Hayden is wonderful, because Anakin becomes a man in that scene, the boy is gone. Which is also why Padme is so uncomfortable.

    When are the only times so far that fire has bee
  6. SmoovBillyDee

    SmoovBillyDee Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 2, 2002
    Wow, PadmeLeiaJaina! Those are some excellent posts! You've expressed some very well thought out ideas. Thanks for sharing those with us and perhaps more...hopefully more.
  7. KosmicKnine

    KosmicKnine Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 31, 2002
    PadmeLeiaJaina, I don't think I've yet read a post of yours that doesn't impress me. Recently, I've been wondering if my coming to this forum was worth my time since a new fight seems to spring up so frequently; however, having read your two posts above just reminded me of what being a Star Wars fan really means. Thank you for being so kickass!

  8. Anakin_Skywalker20

    Anakin_Skywalker20 Jedi Master star 5

    Nov 16, 2000
    I agree! wow. :) Its soo dark in that scene... wow... :)
  9. celera

    celera Jedi Youngling star 2

    May 13, 2002
    Wow, I never noticed that. I loved the post about the fire and pheonix.
  10. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 4, 2002
    PMJ, as usual a briliant post, and thankfully, somewhere other than the "evil thread" where one must tread so lightly if you are not a member of the status quo...

    (*bitter? No just fed up*)

    Your thoughtful insight about fire and the significance there of brought to mind a chillingly poetic idea of how Lucas might POSSIBLY portray the birth of the twins... (and still keep his PGish rating too)... I see it done in fire lit shadow... possibly switching between the birth of the children (all one sees is the shadows on the wall... possibly in a hut... just the imagery...) and the "Birth" Of Vader, the "firelight" would be the dancing lights of macheinery... both a play of light and shadow WHICH (she rambles on) would ALSO fit in with Lucas's hints (about the transformation of Anakin to Vader) from interviews past. "It's in the...... (*brain freeze* I'm going to say, diolgue... the actual quote is all over the place) of the films of the 30's and 40's. (That film Noir feel)... shutting up now and going to hide from the flames...

    DARTH_CHINA Jedi Master star 5

    Dec 31, 2001
    SmoovbillyDee and PadmeLeiaJaina that were beautiful explanations. I never thought about it, but I guess you're right. Atmosphere is very important in Star Wars. Keep going the good thinking :)
  12. Leia_Solo

    Leia_Solo Jedi Youngling star 1

    Aug 17, 2002

    Very impressed by this, so many different views, but yes, I agree, as to why the scenes were put up make more sense now. :)

    Maybe some people can understand GL ;)
  13. PadmeLeiaJaina

    PadmeLeiaJaina Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 23, 2002

    Ohhhh I hadn't thought of that idea, that Padme could be giving birth in firelight- would be the complete out of the ashes comes hope idea.... me like!

    To everyone else- takes a deep humble bow- thank you all for your kind words. I love those posts of mine that I wrote a while ago. I'm very happy to share them again to those of us who completely love these films.

    The bashers seem to be out in force recently. I will wander off and try to find more uplifting things to add around here- as anyone knows who've ever wandered into the Official Love Story Thread - I am the champion of light for this tragic duo.
  14. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 4, 2002
    Ahh thank you PLJ, that REALLY genuinly means a lot to me as I have OODles of repsect for your ideas... Nice to feel like I've contributed something! :D

    Makes me wish I'd thought of it SOONER so to speak as it would have made things easier in many respects... (Darth Writer's Block in a way... more like Darth Writers Dam as there are a lot of events I need to deal with in the next chapter and they all want to be "first" LOL)

    Ahhh, alas.. the scourge of writing by the seat of your pants... LOL
  15. SmoovBillyDee

    SmoovBillyDee Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 2, 2002
    I don't think that we'd see Padme giving birth since that would probably be a bit inappropriate for a PG movie. However, I do like the idea of somthing happening with her and the twins in the light of a fireplace in conjunction with Anakin being forged into the Vader suit.

    There is some very deep symbolism that happens between Padme and Anakin, and in turn, with their children. That's part of what makes their relationship mean so much. Even their outfits can have a meaning.

    Going back to the scenes that I had previously mentioned, look at Padme's attire. We move from light colors in the field to black by the fireplace. This helps to add even more depth to what we see take place.
  16. pandawan

    pandawan Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jul 12, 2002
    Does showing a birth in some edited form really disqualify you from a pg-ish rating? how obscene that would be, if you could officially show be-headings like we saw in AOTC and not a birth! I mean, I know that saber-wounds leave no blood, but still...

    PLJ, I don't think I had ever seen the full version of the above post of yours before...truly lovely it is!

    I hope that I will be convinced on subsequent viewings that Natalie conveys all you have her conveying in those scenes..
    I once was highly skeptical about HC's performance in the fireplace scene (or at least of the words he had to utter there), but your viewing hints helped me see it in a new 'light' as it there's hope perhaps for my view of padme...

    I love all the fire reference--and what a great scene Darth_breezy imagines! yes, yes, that would be nice to see the twins born in firelight...hiding out on tatooine, I guess it would have to be, no?

    so, PLJ, you think there was any way for Paradise to *not* be lost for these two? maybe I should ask this of you on the love story thread instead, but it doesn't follow from what's been said there recently...
  17. Master Chbel

    Master Chbel Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 6, 2000
    Wow...I now want to see the movie again even more (but since it isn't here, I guess not).

    Babies can be born in G movies--we see Padme grasp her stomach and collapse, then focus on her sweaty face, then Obi-Wan and Jar-Jar nervously pacing outside Yoda's hut, some screams...And nice clean babies when we finally see them.
  18. SmoovBillyDee

    SmoovBillyDee Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 2, 2002
    OK, I agree with that take on the birth. If it's more implied than shown, then it would be fine. The actual birth is much too intense in my opinion. But having her start into labor then cutting to another scene where they're born is fine and dandy.
  19. Moriarte

    Moriarte Jedi Knight star 5

    Aug 17, 2001
    I heartily agree with your observations of the scenes involving Anakin and Padme. They seem, and frankly are, labor intensive in what the colors of clothing represent, the transition of atmosphere/tone(progressivley getting darker, and more serious), and most importantly the interaction, both bodily and verbally, between the two.
    I am a strong student in literary analysis, and there is always this one question that knaws at me, no matter what I read, that being:
    At which point is the author intentionally dropping clues to common themes in mythology i.e. ressurection, a Chosen One, a hero's destiny, heroes trials etc., providing symbolism i.e. dark clothing suggesting the darkside, or pointing us to future events a la Anakin's sleeveless Jedi Robe and dark leathers mirroring Vader? When are things intentional, and when are we reading too far into things? Or in other words, how far did Lucas think into these things, and which things just happened?
    "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar"-Sigmund Freud
    You thoughts, PadmeLeiaJaina, are anxiously awaited.

    Ciou-See the Sig
  20. tDR

    tDR Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 12, 2002
    excellent thread! also about body language, towards the end of the scene anakin is looking down and says:
    "your right, it would destroy us"
    then he looks up and stares into Padme's eyes.
    IMO this shows Anakins true feelings for Padme, and his obsession (too attatched)
    he looks up into padme's eyes meaning that he doesnt care if it will destroy them, he wants her, thats all there is too it..
  21. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 4, 2002
    But bit but.....
    Notice how he act twords her AFTERWARDS...
    No longer is she "Padm'e"... she is "Senator", he becomes formal and aloof, distancing himself from her. Just as she had told him too in so many words. Notice that after wards also, SHE is always the one who goes to him... On Tatooien, outside of the homestead, she runs to him and embraces him before the tuskan slaughter and afterwards, during the Confession... he set himself down against the wall and guess who goes to him again... Once she rejects him, Anakin backs off compleatly and Padme' activly persues him....
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  22. PadmeLeiaJaina

    PadmeLeiaJaina Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 23, 2002

    I have a degree in English. I went into English for the exclusive emphasis of Creative Writing, not studying literature. When the creative writing classes were impacted, I got my degree in literary critique instead. And frankly, I hated looking for symbolism in novels. I thought it was annoying and a ridiculous waste of time, because I highly doubted the authors ever put that much thought into what they wrote.

    Ironically, those same tools I despised in college, are now what I've been using while studying AOTC. I have spent a large part of my summer reading works by Joseph Campbell, specifically, "The Hero with a Thousand Faces," a book that greatly helped to influence Lucas when he wrote ANH years ago. I've found it fascinating that it practically spells out everything that is happening in the films, it's almost a guideline for how the story is unfolding before our eyes.

    Do I believe Lucas intentionally put all of these symbolic things into the film, or are they just coincidence?

    I don't believe they are coincidence. Lucas is a very cerebral, intelligent man. He'd have to be to be the head businessman of what? 5 companies that are worth several billion dollars combined?

    Lucas had nearly 20 years to plan out the PT. To me, Clones is the most mythic of all the entire series, so far. He's also a visual storyteller, always has been. It's the sort of thing that if you saw one of his films in a foreign language, you'd still understand what was going on by how the scenes look.

    The costumes, the color choices, even the clouds were intentional for adding extra elements and meaning into the story. The fireplace scene dress is one that Lucas himself designed. The man who showed the world that BLACK=Evil White=Goodness in ANH, no doubt knew what he was doing when he designed Padme's dress.

    Do we read too much into things? Possibly. He might not have thought about Padme's necklace as being chains- but I think he probably did. Even Queen Jamilla, and Jar-Jar had similar clanging jewelery hanging off of their costumes, again to symbolize how they are tied to a dying institution of the Old Republic.

    All I can say is that these simple observations help to show that Lucas has managed to do much more than create a simple children's story, he's created another installment into a fabulous modern myth, and that it is a shame that a lot of people listened to the idiotic critics and stayed away from the film this summer. I think when they finally see it on DVD, they will wonder, as most of us around here do, what the hell all of those critics were smoking.

    AOTC has managed the impossible for me- it has made me view the OT differently (I no longer view Vader as evil- and can see and hear Anakin under all of that metal- that is mostly thanks to HC's brilliant performance) and the film has even managed to find itself as ranking as my favorite of all SW films, a feat I would never have thought possible, for I am a diehard OT fan. And the Love Story is the reason for this ranking for me. It's not because I'm a girl who loves mushy love stories. I love the depth, the tragedy, the symbolism, and the great amount of care that went into creating these two amazing characters. Anakin is Lucas' Hamlet, and Padme his Ophelia, if you will. Or his Romeo and Juliette. I just can't wait to see how Ep 3 is going to play out....
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  23. PadmeLeiaJaina

    PadmeLeiaJaina Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 23, 2002

    Excellent point! ;)


    Absolutely. Not only that but even Padme herself is victim to the informality between the two of them. In the throne room scene, Padme says "Oh Anakin's not a Jed yet, he's still a Padawan learner," she calls him Anakin in front of the Queen, instead of Padawan Skywalker, or some other name that would distance them. She's so hooked on him!
  24. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi

    Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 31, 2002
    Well, I can say I have never seen the symbolism and imagery in the "love scenes" in this movie. As a writer, I was focused on the dialogue, not the imagery. I am not a film-maker.

    However, since GL has repeatedle stated that "these are movies for kids," I think you are overanalyzing these scenes, IMO. I don't think all the lovely things you and PLJ have seen in these scenes would be noticed by the 7 to 17 yr old boys who seem to make up the majority of the audience and who go to SW movies to see the lightsaber duels and the space ships, etc.

    However, since I am not a kid, the next time I see the movie, which, unfortunately will be when it is available on DVD, I will watch these scenes more closely and focus less on the dialogue and more on the visuals.

    The birth scene with the firelight, etc., being cross-cut with the duel scene sounds intriguing. Yes, there are ways to show birth on-screen in a PG manner.
  25. PadmeLeiaJaina

    PadmeLeiaJaina Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 23, 2002
    I don't think all the lovely things you and PLJ have seen in these scenes would be noticed by the 7 to 17 yr old boys who seem to make up the majority of the audience and who go to SW movies to see the lightsaber duels and the space ships, etc.

    Well I know that personally when I was a child I didn't notice anything symbolic about the SW films. In fact my favorite film was ROTJ because I loved all of the action in it. That's the joy of these films. You can love the fun of them when you are a kid, then view them on a different, deeper level as an adult.

    With age comes wisdom and an eye for understanding the SW universe on a grander scale. GL wrote these films for children to enjoy. TPM was the epitomy of children's movies- however at its heart and core lay the foundations for the grand myth for Lucas to build upon. Then in ATOC the story got darker and he beautifully blended darker themes, imagry, and symbolism into the film. Children will not like AOTC and Ep 3 all that much, because they are scary- they will like the action though. However when they get older they will learn to love them for their depth and the grandness in the storytelling.

    I know that as an adult I found a whole new appreciation for ESB, in which as a child, although I loved Yoda, I thought was dark and scary.

    To concentrate only on the dialogue in the SW films is to miss the entire point of GL's films, as I mentioned before, Lucas is a visual storyteller- you have to take everything from set design, costume design and imagry to truly appreciate the film as a whole. Unfortunately, That's not what the critics did, and is why they didn't enjoy or understand the films. If you take in the imagry, and the mythic undertones that run throughout the film, you'll realize the true brilliance of Clones.
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