Characters Warrior Queen, Gentle Lady - NEW DISCUSSION TOPIC Is Padmé a Mary Sue?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by leia_naberrie, Sep 10, 2004.

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  1. leia_naberrie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2002
    star 4
    Welcome to the character workshop thread for Padmé Amidala Naberrie Skywalker in all her many incarnations - daughter, Senator, Queen, wife and mother.

    Mission Statement: To provide support for writers and readers of Padmé by deconstructing her character - her origins, her principles, her weaknesses and her flaws. And we want to have fun! :D


    NEW DISCUSSION TOPIC
    From ida_dida: Is Padmé too good to be true? Could she be a Mary-Sue? She is depicted as completely selfless and devoted to duty. Yes, she falls in love with a Jedi but she self-sacrificingly asks him to continue and stay in the Order. She also seems to keep falling into the pattern of needing to be rescued. Does she fit the profile of Mary Sue? Why or why not?


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    #1: 'Senator, did you dream of politics when you were a little girl?' What made Padmé go into politics at such an early age?

    #2: How do you think the events of Episode 3 - Anakin turning, being seperated from her children, the Republic transformed to a dictatorship - will change Padmé's character? Will they break her?

    #3: What kind of love life would Padmé have had if she had never cross paths with Anakin Skywalker, all other things remaining equal? What are the real possibilities of Obidala and other non-A/P ships?

    #4: Dark Padmé. Nobody is an angel - no matter what Anakin thinks! So under what circumstances would Padmé Amidala feel justified to join sides with Dark forces or corruption in canon? Are there dark elements to her personality?

    #5: Post-Prequel Padmé. Let's pretend Padmé survives the events of RotS and lives beyond the PT? ... what next?

    #6: Ice Queen no more - How much has her relationship with Anakin Skywalker changed Padmé?

    #7: Growing up in Naboo - How was the Academy of Juniour Legislature like? The rather unusual education system in Naboo... The experiences of the young people in the accelerated learning system... The teachers and all the possible role models that contributed to what Padmé Amidala turned out to be.

    #8: The Best of Padmé: Her potrayal in the nominees of the Winter Awards

    #9: First seeds of romance: The genesis of the A/P love story - TPM.

    #10: What does everyone else think about the representation of Padmé in the Clone War cartoon series?

    #11: Palpatine - snake or Godfather : what exactly was the relationship between the Chancellor and his so-called protegee?

    #12: Revenge of the Sith spoiler discussion

    #13: Was Padmé an enabler?

    #14: Before the Prequels, what were your ideas of Padmé?

    #15: Amidala, Padmé and handmaidens.

    #16: Planning for RR 'Warrior Queen, Gentle Lady: Padmé Amidala biography.

    #17: Discussing Padmé in profic and fanfic.

    #18: RotS Padmé: matyr or coward?

    #19: 'The Smart One' Padmé: What else can she be if she's not almost-the-youngest Queen ever elected and she's not almost-the-youngest Senator ever? How can a writer keep her character out of public office and still keep Padmé - Padmé?

    #20: Dark Padmé. What seeds of darkness exist within that could turn Padmé the angel into a Bad Person? How does a writer make such a 'turn' convincing? (An old topic revisited.)

    #21: Is there a Padmé story you would like to read but have never seen anyone post?

    #22: Padmé's portrayal in the new Clone Wars series.









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  2. Knight-Ander Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2002
    star 4
    Great idea for a thread, l_n. :)

    it should have Winama in one form or the other

    What's a "Winama?" :confused:
  3. obaona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2002
    star 4
    AHA!

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one. :p I asked leia_naberrie about that, and she kindly explained. :p Winama is apparently Padme's grandmother, introduced in Queen Amidala's journal. :)

    I don't think Padme made a totally conscious decision to go into politics. I think opportunities came to her and she took them because she wanted to help people, and that seemed the greatest avenue to do so. It was that drive to help others that just ended up leading her into politics, she never actually sought to get into politics purely for, well, politics. :p Actually, I think in hindsight she regrets getting into politics - at least as early as she did. :) That's the way I tend to read it. [face_thinking]
  4. bobilll Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2002
    star 4
    I'm trying to imagine myself at 12 yrs old... I guess at that age, you don't really realize that you're young, and just that you have so many ideas, and you want to share it with the world. When you're as educated as Padme was, then I could see that feeling being tenfold, as there's so much she knows that her peers might not know (in terms of facts anyways). Winama, I'm guessing, also had some political influence in her life, so it could be her who urged Padme to be passionate about her ideas, and encourage her to put in 100% into public service. I wonder if it was a grandmother I-love-you-Padme-and-I-want-you-to-succeed thing or more We-need-a-good-monarch-and-I-think-you'd-be-good sort of thing.

    It's hard for me to imagine, though, why she, at twelve, might be more qualified than Bibble at 50 or so.
  5. MissPadme Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    Yay, the thread is finally up and running! I bet you stayed up all night thinking of that title, leia_naberrie ;). It's a good one!

    When's the challenge due?

    As for why I think Padmé went into politics, I know from living in Washington, D.C. for 13 years that there are people who are practically born policy wonks. But I don't think Padmé is one of them. I think she was recognized at a young age as someone with the potential to be ruler and Naboo culture dictates that this is an honor one does not refuse. Padmé consistently chooses duty over her own personal needs and desires (except when it came to a certain bad boy Jedi) and I wonder if this is a Naboo thing or a family thing or both. She also has an altruistic streak. The background material I've read says her father was some refugee-helping do-gooder and in one of the deleted scenes from AOTC, Padmé mentions that as a child she also helped refugees. I can see that she would view politics as a way to help people. But what sets her apart from the Palpatines of the galaxy is that she has no self-aggrandizing ambitions. In other words, she's not in it just for power's sake.

    --MissPadme
  6. Reihla Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 3
    Exciting thread topic! I'm looking forward to all the discussions and challenges it will inspire. :D
  7. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    I'm so glad this is up!!! Padme reminds me so much of her daughter. You can tell where Leia got her inherent sense of "nobility". In AOTC, we see that Padme almost seems to be hobbled by her sense of duty. She's been a servant of the people so long, she forgotten how to be "just a person". From the stories I've read, Winama is Padme's inspiration. Another strong woman who is guided by her responsible nature and strong character. Aside from the refugee movement, politics would be almost the only choice for Padme. Although like Leia, she naively believes that all politicians do it for the good of people, like herself. We know that's not true. :(

    Will you be putting up a thread in Saga or do we post entries here?
  8. Sara_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    What's a "Winama?"

    Good question!
  9. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Now, what's Princess of Theed's specific role? I know in one fic, lando was elected prince and was basically mayor.
  10. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    As for why she went into politics, I agree pretty much with the assessment of a bright, socially conscious girl who accepts any opportunity to make a difference and gain experience. I think two things in AOTC make this clear: 1) her comments on why she became a senator. She feels that she should have waited because she hadn't been ready and when she was ready, she couldn't refuse the opportunity to serve. 2) Palo and her. Both started out the same, he went on to a different kind of service--art.
  11. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    Winama is Padme's grandmother and her mentor, so to speak.
  12. leia_naberrie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2002
    star 4
    knight-Ander and Sara_Kenobi:

    What's a "Winama?"

    [face_mischief] As oba said. :D

    :D this is great! you guys have really got the ball rolling here.

    MissPadme:

    When's the challenge due?

    It's a monthly challenge so it is due from now until the first week of October.

    rhonderoo:

    Will you be putting up a thread in Saga or do we post entries here?

    Mmmm... What would you guys prefer? Some of the stories will defintely enter Before the Saga timeline... What do you guys think?

    The background material I've read says her father was some refugee-helping do-gooder and in one of the deleted scenes from AOTC, Padmé mentions that as a child she also helped refugees. I can see that she would view politics as a way to help people. But what sets her apart from the Palpatines of the galaxy is that she has no self-aggrandizing ambitions. In other words, she's not in it just for power's sake.


    I can definitely see that too. She seems to see politics as a means to an end - not the end in and of itself.

    Actually, I think in hindsight she regrets getting into politics - at least as early as she did.

    It seems that way certainly. She said as much in AotC to Anakin.



  13. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    l_n: I would create a thread in each category linking to this one. You'll get more entries, discussion, IMO. That's what we're doing with her other half. :)
  14. Knight-Ander Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2002
    star 4
    Probably one in the Before the Saga Forum and another in The Saga Forum. You could ask for a moderators' opinion, too.
  15. leia_naberrie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2002
    star 4
    :D Thanks people! :D I just created the challenge thread for the Before the Saga board. You can find it here. I am really looking forward to seeing those stories.
  16. Jedi_Bant Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2004
    star 1
    What a useful thread. Padme is usually mischaracterised in fandom and I would like to participate in anything taht will help her be more understood. I am not a good sw fan fiction writer, I like my Buffy/Spike stories too much, but I enjoy fandom discussions so therefore....


    Discussion Topic #1: What made Padmé go into politics at such an early age?


    Well I agree with everyone who said that she went into it because she wanted to use her political power to make a difference but I will go ahead to add that perhaps a little bit of corruption also entered her while she was there. Part of what made her return as Senator was her desire to help people, true but she could have done that, couldn't she, as anything other than a political office holder? She could have started working fully in a relief organisation, or become a person of influence with her history as Naboo's former Queen without necessarily holding an office herself. I get the impression, but please this is just my personal opinion, I am not trying to rag Padme just shed more light on her character... I get the impression that Padme got *used* to the powers of her office, so although she left the Throne 'with relief', when she got home she was edgy and restless and only until she returned to another role of power and responsibility was she happy. Well, like I said that's just my opinion, anyone can dispute with it as they please...
  17. Hananiah Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 15, 2003
    star 4
    Naboo's culture seems to reflect a view of since they are so well off they want to help other people.
    I think the comment about Padme becoming used to being into politics is correct, being a former queen is something that you don't just fall out of and become a housewife, I think Padme's ideals from her grandmother and father spur her into thinking she can change the republic and yes her restlessness, Padme cares about many things, amongst most democracy, I can't see her just sitting down and allow someone else to fight for what she believes in so passionatly.
  18. Jedi_Bant Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2004
    star 1
    That;s the word I was thinking of - restless. Padme is restless. She *says* she would prefer to have lived liek Sola with her husband and daughters but I don't think Padme would have been ready to kick of her shoes and make a kitchen career for any length of time. To start with, it's not easy to leave the life of a Queen - no matter how altruistic her reasons for joining were, she has got used to a new lifestyle for better or for worse. She is used to bossing people around... she's used to *worlds* paying attention to her... she is used to being in control 100%. see how angry she was when she was told to leave Coruscant for her own protection, she really hated that someone was taking away her powers of decision making from her... remember the way she washed Anakin down in front of Jamilla?

    Sorry, I got carried away there! Like I said before, this all my opinion though.
  19. MissPadme Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 4
    She was angry about having to leave because she knew she was needed to vote against formation of an army. She was leading a group of senators against it; the bad guys tried to have her whacked for that reason. Being sent home put the vote in jeopardy and it lets the people out to get her know they've won even though they didn't kill her. It's not as though Jar Jar shared her savvy either ;).

    I'll agree Padmé is a restless person and she is a tad bossy ("the Queen will not approve!") but I think she is driven more to make a difference than to keep her cushy lifestyle. She is an ideologue and by being in the Senate she is able to act on those ideals in a significant way. She's not interested in just hanging on Coruscant and living la dolce vita. Otherwise she'd take every safe position (i.e. what Palps wants), accept bribes to keep buying those fabulous clothes, snort a lot of spice, and think of ways to increase her power.

    Leia is very much the same way. She's a princess, quite used to her position and knows how to use it to get things done. But she's not out to become Empress either.

    --MissPadme
  20. Jedi_Bant Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2004
    star 1
    ---I'll agree Padmé is a restless person and she is a tad bossy ("the Queen will not approve!") but I think she is driven more to make a difference than to keep her cushy lifestyle.---

    I won't call her a snob entirtely but I think that for better or for worse, she is used to having a certain amount of power, authority and even luxury. She *does* have an extensive wardrobe. Did you see how many suitcases she carried to Naboo with her?
  21. leia_naberrie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2002
    star 4
    She *does* have an extensive wardrobe. Did you see how many suitcases she carried to Naboo with her?

    Padme and her inexhaustible boudoir? That could be looked at both ways. So she tends to be a clotheshorse [face_mischief] but she's also very strong - I will be the first to admit that she can be very bossy - and devoted. I think she's a good feminine mix of beauty, brains and brawn.
  22. bobilll Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2002
    star 4
    I see what Bant's saying... despite being compassionate, she's also very strong-minded, and bossy. It makes you wonder if she's really good at seeing both sides of every argument... after all, the novelization shows that the Seperatists had good reason to want to break away, and her stand on the Military Creation Act can be viewed as foolish, considering the power of the Seperatist movement.
  23. geo3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2002
    star 4
    I?d like to backtrack a bit ? back to the discussion topic, which I think I read differently from others. I read "going into politics" as Padmé making the decision, at age 12 or so, to enter a particular track of education and service, as provided by the unique and in some ways inexplicable educational/employment system of the Naboo.

    Appearances aside, the Naboo can?t be much like us. They can?t, and still choose to have a system where young teenagers run their world! So I?ve chosen to exercise Suspension of Disbelief and to assume that the Naboo mature far earlier than we do, both intellectually and emotionally, and to think about how their system might work.

    From what little we know, it sounds as though all children on Naboo are educated together up to a certain age (maybe 12), and then they are separated out into various ?tracks? based on their personalities, skills, and personal inclination. That ?tracking? system implies a great deal of observation of children on the part of the educators and parents, and probably a lot of assessment of various kinds. Most likely the children?s own interests and inclinations are taken into account, but I can?t imagine this whole process happening with MAJOR intervention and guidance on the part of parents and educators. So a child like Padmé (I?ve always imagined her a s a very serious and very precocious child, even for a Naboo) may have been steered into a certain track ? politics, in this case - based on her capabilities. I mean, in a society where the Queen is invariably a very young person, the whole society must be on a major talent search all the time, seeking out the best. Padmé clearly was among the best. And as a serious-minded child, imbued with the values of her culture from an early age, she surely accepted this path knowing that her future was to be in politics.

    After her successful tenure as Queen, it?s very easy to see that the move to Senator as a logical and almost inevitable one. She would have been asked to run, and then elected by a popular vote ? in other words, once again being asked to serve. How could she turn down the call of the people? And by this time she was so experienced in the ways of Galactic politics that no one could have been expected to do a better job.

    I?m certain Padmé didn?t have any illusions when she was elected to the Senate. As Queen she had seen first-hand how corrupt it had become. I can?t imagine that she looked forward to the role with great joy and delight. But I also cannot imagine her making a different choice.

  24. GunraysLawyer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2003
    star 4
    I find this conversation exceedingly interesting. I also find the assumption that all Naboo Monarchs are pre-teens and teenagers interesting due to the fact that there appears to be little evidence for it. The films are silent, except for the idea that the Trade Federation thought her young and weak.

    We know from EU (The Cloak of Deception, primarily) sources that Padme's predecessor was King Veruna and that he left office under pressure when scandels erupted during his term. There is nothing to indicate that he was not an adult. Though to counter my own argument, in the same novel, Palpatine notes that Padme is not the youngest monarch of Naboo ever.

    This is interesting, because it reinforces Padme's exceptionalism. She is the tragic heroine of a tragic epic and needs to be larger than life. Being elected at 13.5 or 14 years old, if unusual, makes that point far better than her being one of a line of unbelievably talented teenagers.


    As to her personality...As mentioned earlier, she is an ideologue. In fact, in AOTC, she is a quite blind one for much of the film. We don't hold it against her because it is an ideology based in compassion and service, even at irrationally high personal cost, but it is a blindering ideology none the less.

    More later....
  25. geo3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2002
    star 4
    GunraysLawyer I had a counter-argument for you on the topic of the general youthfulness of Naboo's rulers, but then I realized that it might veer into the illicit territory of EPIII spoilers, so I can't - at least not in this venue.

    I remember reading "Cloak of Deception," but I don't remember much about King Veruna and I know so little about the EU that I can't really argue with you there.

    I'm with you on the "Let's agree that Padme was exceptional" thing, though.
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