PT Padmé Amidala MEGAthread - Don't look at her that way. It makes her uncomfortable

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Ganesh Ujwal, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. icqfreak

    icqfreak Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 7, 1999
    Yea her white jumpsuit look seems to be used the most for costuming. I'd say her first appearance red outfit with crazy hair is the most iconic though.
  2. heels1785

    heels1785 JCC/PT/New Films Manager star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Dec 10, 2003
    Padme megathread.
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  3. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005
    It all becomes memorable if you watch the movies enough. :p
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  4. ezekiel22x

    ezekiel22x Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 9, 2002
    Hard to pick just one Padme look as the most definitive. Really a credit to both the costume design as well as the range of characterization on display throughout the trilogy. I agree that the regal gown from TPM is special as far as being the most immediately Star Warsy. Instantly slid in alongside Vader and Tatooine Luke as iconic silhouettes. Pretty much anything from Clones is standout--the battle suit has been mentioned and I agree with that, but I also like the picnic look (Padme's own word "dreamy" applies) as well as the Tatooine outfit she's wearing when she embraces Anakin before he goes off to find his mother. I like that one because it almost makes Padme blend in with the peaceful backdrop of the sky. In a some ways that moment with Padme is Anakin's final moment of serenity until Luke pops his mask in Jedi. And appropriately her looks in Sith are more muted but still dignified.
  5. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005

    Arresting picks. I mean, sort of standard picks; but they'd probably be mine, too.

    It's just so hard to deny the raw and contrasting impact of those looks; and, as you also point out, the range of characterization.

    Something to really dig about Padme's first regal gown (assuming you mean the royal-red dress she first appears in) is the strong Asian aesthetic it imparts on the saga. The Asian influences obviously permeate all the movies, but Lucas makes it formal and official with Padme's provocative, pivotal first appearance. What is Star Wars, or the prequel trilogy, if not a samurai epic -- or abstract costume drama: a jidaigeki -- in space?

    I also love that first appearance for conveying some other core themes and motifs of TPM, including a nature theme ("Beware, Viceroy"), a blood-and-needle or suctioning theme, the concept of the Third Eye, a critical theme of phantoms and decoys (also rather Kurosawa-esque), and a theme of slavery and oppression (Amidala's head crest blatantly links her to the donut-shaped TF ships blockading her planet). Amidala, in a way, is adorned with the various motifs of the movie. She is like a walking mandala; or, indeed, an "Amidala".

    The purple-velvet dress she sports when she storms the palace is probably my favourite, however. That, and her taut hair, and her chrome gun. See, that's what I call a look; especially when you add in the iconic Jedi accompanying her and her security detachment. The starkly face-painted Maul would have to reveal himself in that same sequence; what with everyone else looking as fabulous as they do.

    Her Clones apparel is also beautiful (of course). I'll give a special shout-out to the fireplace dress, however, because never does Naboo's femme fatale wear something more sleekly seductive; and George had a strong hand in designing that one himself. That said, her nightgown dress is a stunning (and perhaps slightly underrated) follow-on; and Anakin's own wispy, mustard-coloured shirt in that same scene is a beautifully stripped-down, sensual "response". Tatooine dreams in a feminine paradise.

    All the dresses Padme has on Naboo in Clones are something else. Natalie Portman even manages to look pretty queen-like in Padme's refugee clothing. That wonderful headpiece. She truly is Anakin's Moon Maiden.

    Also, credit to George, Gavin Bocquet, and Trisha Biggar for that quasi-"battle suit" dress Padme has on when she's packing to leave Coruscant. If ever there was proof needed that Padme wears particular things a particular way to instil a mindset in herself and others, this would be the one, I think.

    Another cool thing about Padme's inner Tatooine garment (and yes, I love the Emperor-ish cloak she wears before she "settles" in safer surroundings, albeit barely, with the Lars) is that she discloses her belly button for the first time as she takes a seat at the table in the "navel" of the world; well, the homestead must be the navel of the SW universe, at least.

    The white battle suit at the end of the movie (before the gorgeous wedding dress: two times over looking spectacular in white or cream) perfectly fits the rather feline misadventure Padme gets herself involved with in the final reel -- losing her poncho after falling into the droid factory in something of an echo of Luke losing his black cloak when he falls into Jabba's dungeon. It's also a strong way of visually tying Padme into the all-white clone army, which she is the first to notice descending from the heavens to "rescue" them from an early curtain call on Geonosis. Then she becomes a white thing lying in the sand, a white thing shooting at retreating ships, and a white thing disappearing into a hangar and practically giving her attachment to Anakin way in front of leading Jedi figures.

    Overall, her dresses and appearances in ROTS are a bit tamer and convey less immediate "storybook" impact, but her blue nightgown dress is very fetching; and I love the squash blossom look she has when she greets Anakin in the shadows. Finally, there is another reversion to white at the end of the movie; right before her anti-wedding dress "drowning" costume on Naboo, which appears for all of about ninety seconds in ROTS (versus taking up about 50% of the storytelling environment in TPM). A dense costume and character odyssey.
  6. ezekiel22x

    ezekiel22x Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 9, 2002
    Well I wouldn't say all my picks were standard (although my attempts to expound on them probably were compared to your efforts). Very nice post as usual. You always have a way of making me want to go back and watch the prequels again!
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  7. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005
    Ha! I thought that quip might get me in trouble. :p

    Obviously, not really a "quip"; but more of a random, not-too-thought-out remark.

    Yeah, perhaps there are no standard choices when it comes to Padme's lavish attire. I just figured that everyone likes that first look you mentioned (the royal dress); and if they don't like the meadow dress, there must be something wrong with them that no amount of hasty shaak-riding can fix.

    Thanks, ezekiel! I had intended to get to your post a little earlier. Perhaps it allowed my thoughts to brew a little by deferring.

    Thank you a second time -- though I think we can really thank George Lucas and Trisha Biggar (primarily) for giving the prequels an ornate sense of the spectacular that makes them worth talking about and revisiting.
  8. xezene

    xezene Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 6, 2016
    It's so true. Lucas and his team lit her beautifully the whole trilogy. She's already a beautiful woman, but the care they took with the lighting, with shadow, makes her stunning -- and not only that, it adds a lot of nuance to Portman's performance, which is often quite subtle but effective body acting in the prequels.

    Regarding her acting and how Lucas used it in the film, and what he was going for, Ingram_I made a great post (as is generally the case!) about this. I quote:
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  9. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005
    Much agreed.

    She also (*sigh*) looks strongly like a girl I recently knew and had a bit of a yearning for. I should have known the prequels were again warning me.

    The "looking down at Anakin" (without looking *down* at Anakin; if you catch my meaning) is also repeated, or reformulated, in the garage scene, after Anakin sinks to the floor following his slaughter confession. I don't quite know how to describe the subtlety of Padme's visage in the scenes, despite the theatrical lighting and performance aesthetic; but there's something that suggests a mixture of bitterness and sympathy -- as if Padme truly feels Anakin's frustration and imagines that being her in an alternate universe; as if she is at least peripherally aware she is looking at (and attempting to comfort) an essential aspect of herself. Some wonderful direction and visual storytelling, in particular, in AOTC, I think.

    Ingram never fails to nail it.

    As to his last line: "She might seem strangely blank or unaffected in some moments (which I actually think adds a certain something) but always physically poised."

    Poise and grace are two attributes I certainly think Natalie brings to her character in all of her scenes; even at her most surly, aggressive, awkward, or weepy. She is always (to me) that bit more "dignified" than the other character leads, for want of a better description.

    But I also wanted to ponder a bit on the "blankness" mentioned above. Yes, it's there, and in what seems like a variety of shades, from her firm-yet-distant gaze on the viewscreen in her first appearance confronting the Trade Federation, to some of these piercing stares she gives at pivotal moments in Anakin's journey; like when her gaze seems to be "burning" into Anakin's vulnerable body from behind in the meditation scene on Naboo, to the long city stare when she "unknowingly" returns Anakin's gaze in the Jedi Temple, before Anakin turns to "help" Palpatine and Padme looks down in a state of sombre distress.

    A most fascinating character portrait, in my opinion.
  10. MarcJordan

    MarcJordan Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 17, 2014
    Well....if this is not a woman's empowerment I don't know what is :D

    Wait for it....

    Obi Wan - Helpless :rolleyes:


    Anakin - Helpless :rolleyes:

    Padme.....Get's to work!!! [face_love]



    She's got a PLAN. (Leia her daughter excelled in that too, and the men? Pathetic. :p)


    GL, was already ahead of his time, in more ways than thought!

  11. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    That was one of my favorite Padme scenes, if not my favorite overall. Way to be a go-getter.
  12. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 20, 2005

    Indeed. I know we can argue ROTS in the case of Padme, and maybe ROTJ, too, in the case of Leia, but I don't know what Disney are pushing in the case of Star Wars "finally" getting some strong female leads. *ppppsstttttt, Disney* It's always had 'em.
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  13. ewoksimon

    ewoksimon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Oct 26, 2009
    I've come to realize that in some ways, Padme was chronologically the very first person to rebel against Palpatine. He was her most trusted advisor in The Phantom Menace, and her arc stems from learning to trust her own judgement and to take matters into her own hands. She defies his plans to keep her on Coruscant, thus returning to Naboo and liberating the planet. Then in Attack of the Clones she is the most vocal opposition to creating the Army of the Republic, and by Revenge of the Sith she openly doubts whether she's on the right side of the war, and ultimately declares "This is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause" at the creation of the Empire. Had she survived, Padme might have been the primary leader of the Rebellion, and its amazing to consider that the genesis of her journey of rebellion began when she was only 14. What a character.
  14. {Quantum/MIDI}

    {Quantum/MIDI} Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2015
    I agree Cryo....I agree...

  15. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    If Padme is the original rebel, I'm a dutchman. She called a reactionary vote of no confidence on Valorum, because the TF said "No we haven't.", and the response was split in the senate. If the senate is so split on reacting to the incident, why would there be a majority willing to elect the senator from Naboo? Padme begs- senate says no. Padme says sack the chancellor and make my man the top dog - senate votes yes.

  16. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Sep 2, 2012
    Palpatine's popularity is a separate issue from the Naboo blockade - Palpatine has been in the Senate for a while, and gotten a reputation as being a tool that the Senators can make use of.

    Plus, as Palpatine says, "Valorum is mired in (baseless) accusations of corruption" - the Senators want him gone - all they needed was an excuse.
  17. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    That means that the senate are prepared to ignore the crisis and the TF's hostility (and the Jedi to boot) and jepoardise the planet's safety and independence simply to punish Valorum for perceived corruption. With the intention of promoting a senator who is about to lose his constituency if the TF gets its way.(which is also the senator's plan) [face_dunno] How is the Republic supposed to be seen by its members as crumbling if the Senate are empowered to do that? What part of the Republic isn't corrupt?
  18. Mostly Handless

    Mostly Handless Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 11, 2017
  19. Ancient Whills

    Ancient Whills Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 12, 2011
  20. Jester J Binks

    Jester J Binks Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 19, 2016
    Yes. A very realistic look at government.
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  21. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 10, 2011


    Yes, a large part of the Senate is full of self-serving politicians willing to turn a blind eye to the abuses of giant corporations while engaging in short-sighted political actions intended merely to spite a chief executive whom they irrationally loathe. Ooh, how unrealistic.

    How is the Republic supposed to be seen as crumbling? What do you mean? What part of that doesn't denote a crumbling institution?
  22. Master_Lok

    Master_Lok Force Ghost star 6

    Dec 18, 2012
    I'm warming up to Ms. Portman's performance beyond TPM and bits of AoTC and RoTS. Watching the Prequels again over two weekends made me look at the characters rather than the actors, so it's been nice to be a bit less pouty about that.

    Some very good observations here. I utterly love her costumes (the Asian styles and Middle Ages attire) really serve the character well as she transitions from one phase/role into another.
  23. boonjj

    boonjj Jedi Knight star 1

    Jan 21, 2016

    DARTH-FURBABY Jedi Master star 2

    Apr 9, 2004
    Now, there's a hint in the movie that there was a Sith lord who had the power to create life. But it's left unsaid: Is Anakin a product of a super-Sith who influenced the midichlorians to create him, or is he simply created by the midichlorians to bring forth a prophecy, or was he created by the Force through the midichlorians? It's left up to the audience to decide. How he was born ultimately has no relationship to how he dies, because in
    the end, the prophecy is true: Balance comes back to the Force.

    That Sith Lord was Darth Plagueis the Wise. He could "use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life". "He had
    such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying". - Darth Sidious
    His apprentice learned all his secrets before he killed him. Darth Sidious/Palpatine was that apprentice. He was behind all the attempts to kill Padme in AOTC. He finally did so in ROTS. He used the Force to influence the midichlorians to go from Padme to Anakin. Hence, Padme "dies in child birth".
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  25. ss640

    ss640 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Dec 28, 2017
    Does anyone know when they usually announce YA Novels? Padme's novel is slated for release in 3 months and there's been no announcement or known information or even who the author is. I really hope the Padme novel does get released since it's what im looking forward to the most.