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PT Was Padme/Anakin ever a healthy relationship?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Jedi Knight Fett , Dec 22, 2019.

  1. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Host, PT Interview Thread star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Feb 18, 2014
    I have been thinking about how in starwars out of the 3 major relationships only one is not abusive at any point.

    do you guys think the relationship was ever healthy?
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  2. cubman987

    cubman987 Your Friendly Neighborhood CT/PT/Saga Moderator star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 7, 2014
    I'm not sure any relationship that has to be kept a secret is "healthy".
  3. DarthVist

    DarthVist Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 20, 2019
    I don't think Padme and Anakin's relationship was healthy, since Anakin did seem like he was a bit obsessive over her.
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  4. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 7

    May 18, 2017
    not really. It's kind of a crazy, possessive love and those never end well.
  5. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Host, PT Interview Thread star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Feb 18, 2014
    True but I don’t think one that ends with someone choking their wife is healthy either
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  6. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 7

    May 18, 2017
    or having your legs chopped off and falling into lava.
  7. yodaman_reborn

    yodaman_reborn Jedi Master star 2

    Feb 7, 2009
    The name Padme was representative of the Buddhist chant "Om mani padme hum," which translates as the jewel is in the lotus. Padme therefore translates directly as the lotus flower which is the symbol of compassion in Buddhism. Of course the lotus flower is a pure white flower that rises through the mud and muck of the earth. It represents transcendence through this compassion. And compassion literally translates as the meaning "to suffer with." Her representation is therefore the idea that she would choose to participate in the suffering of the world. She made the choice to suffer for her people, and she also made the choice to suffer with Anakin.
    That is where the dichotomy of the relationship lies is in that Anakin is afraid to suffer.
    Despite that he knows this logically he can never fulfill that knowledge emotionally. We see that Anakin is the opposite of her where he becomes afraid of suffering, particularly after the death of his mother. Instead of willingly participate in the suffering of the world, he attempts to avoid suffering at all costs, even to his very own soul. Where Padme is the representation of the lotus flower, Anakin is the opposite. The irony is that it isn't until the end of his life, when he sees his son willing to suffer with him, that he truly understands the nature of compassion and unconditional love. And at that point, instead of having fear of suffering, he gladly participates in the suffering with his son at the expense of his life. The tragedy is that Anakin could not see the jewel in the lotus the whole time he was with her, but he eventually recognized her strength through their son. I don't know if one would describe this as a healthy relationship, but it is a relationship.
  8. ThisIsTheWay

    ThisIsTheWay Jedi Padawan star 1

    Nov 24, 2019
    I don't think any relationship under similar circumstances could ever truly be considered a healthy one.

    With that said, had they been given (or allowed themselves depending on how you chose to view it) a chance to actually be a couple, I do believe that it eventually could develop into a healthy one.
  9. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

    Oct 30, 2015
    Agree. If anything was "unhealthy" in the relationship it's circumstances that made it so, same with Romeo & Juliet or other tragic love stories. Besides, "healthy" is a point of view.
  10. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 19, 2019
    I don't believe that the relationship between Padme and Anakin was a healthy one nor do I feel that George Lucas intended the audience to perceive it as one. His portrayal of the relationship between Padme and Anakin convinced me that he saw their relationship as tragic, unhealthy, and at the end even abusive rather than as some ideal romance people should strive to emulate. Tragedies in general don't tend to feature happy and healthy couples and the PT to me was a modern, space fantasy take on tragedy. Shakespeare probably didn't write Hamlet and Ophelia to be a happy, healthy couple (I saw a post on this forum that once made a great comparison between Padme at her funeral and Ophelia in the river surrounded by flowers that I thought was a powerful parallel). In the same way, I don't think that George Lucas wrote Padme and Anakin to be a happy, healthy couple, and I don't really have a problem with that since I think it can be important, worthwhile, and meaningful to explore unhealthy, unhappy couples as long as it is done with the knowledge that it is indeed an unhealthy, unhappy couple being explored rather than a healthy, happy couple that we should idealize and emulate. That is the key and valuable distinction for me.

    To be more specific about the unhealthy aspects of Anakin and Padme's relationship, I do get a sort of Freudian vibe from it. (Anakin in general for me is a character who is fascinating to consider in psychoanalytic and Freudian terms.) By Freudian, I mean that I think Anakin finds in Padme the comforting mother figure he has lost. For example, in TPM, she consoles him on the Naboo cruiser after he has left his mother behind and wraps him up so he won't be cold in space. It's a very maternal scene from Padme's end, but at the same time there is the hint of childish crush on the part of Anakin who gives her the necklace he made. Romantic attachment on Anakin's end mingled with a soft, nurturing instinct on Padme's side. Then in AOTC when Shmi dies, Padme comes to comfort him just like the mother he has lost would have, and she offers that sort of unconditional love associated with the mother in psychoanalytic terms. She forgives him for the slaughter of the Tusken Raiders, assuring him that to be angry is to be human and encourages him not to blame himself. In ROTS, then there is the endpoint of this unhealthy association between Padme and the mother figure who has always been associated with loss in Anakin's life because Anakin has nightmares of Padme dying just like he had nightmares of losing Shmi and he is determined to stop her from dying in a way that he couldn't save Shmi. Padme then to me is associated with the mother figure because the mother figure is the person that Anakin can't bear to lose, the person from which he seeks unconditional love.

    There is also the more traditionally tragic angle to their relationship in the sense that the destruction of their relationship is rooted in prophecy--specifically, the prophecy of Anakin's nightmares of Padme dying. In tragedy, prophecies are always agents of devastation for tragic heroes. The tragic hero may fall because he puts too much stock in prophecy or because in trying to prevent a predicted doom he ironically brings about the very disaster he fears. This is the stuff of Greek and Shakespearean tragedy in terms of its dramatic inspiration.

    There is also the unhealthy strain on the relationship by having to live a lie that as they discuss in AOTC will destroy them, the obsessive aspects of Anakin's feelings for Padme, and Anakin's inability to deal with the idea of losing Padme even though she herself has never been afraid to die.

    All that being said, I don't think that Anakin becomes abusive to Padme until Mustafar when he is Darth Vader and has fallen to the Dark Side. I also never really blamed Padme for setting off after her husband since even Obi-Wan had trouble believing that Anakin had fallen to the Dark Side and went on a rampage through the Jedi Temple with the benefit of video footage. Padme didn't get the video footage, so to me, she was, of course, going to try to reason with Anakin and see what had happened. I even have the impression that Obi-Wan knew and was counting on that since he was obviously planning on following her to wherever Anakin/Vader had gone. I also thought that it was pretty clear cut and unambigious that Anakin/Vader choking Padme was an abusive, Dark Side act that viewers were intended to find horrifying and twisted rather than romantic in any way. In ROTS, we see how abusive and unhealthy relationships end in destruction, not happily ever after. Therefore, I don't have a problem with the abusive and unhealthy relationship being explored in a way I find meaningful because I do not feel that the abusive or unhealthy relationship is being idealized.

    All this is my two cents, of course. I do know some might see AOTC and in a more romantic light than I do, and that's okay. What's truly important is that everyone is able to identify Anakin/Vader's truly abusive act of choking Padme on Mustafar as just that: truly abusive and inexcusable. Nobody thinks it is romantic or some ideal happily ever after to strive to attain in the real world.
  11. innocence and experience

    innocence and experience Jedi Knight

    Dec 23, 2016
    I think it was less the relationship and more the circumstances. Anakin was a slave when Padme, a Queen, first met him. Years pass and he was now in a order that forbade romance of any kind, and he was absolutely terrible at flirting with her because he didn’t have the social skills to really pull it off. Even if she was put off because of that a couple of times, she still found solace in him because he was so open about everything compared to her usual environment where everybody holds their cards to their chests.

    It was a fast romance and the entire duration of it was really during a war, they could have died at any moment (Anakin fighting in the Wars, Padme being a repeated target for assassination attempts) and they had to keep it secret otherwise Anakin would have been kicked out of the council and Padme might have suffered some sort of scandal to her reputation.

    Of course Anakin was also very frightened that she would die too like his mother, and the end result of him trying to prevent that was definitely unhealthy. In normal circumstances, if Anakin wasn’t a Jedi and there wasn’t a war going on they probably would have went through what any other couple goes through in wondering if they really were for one another or not. I believe they would have been, but their backgrounds and experiences really shaped their whole romance in playing out the way it did.
  12. Princess_Tina

    Princess_Tina Chosen One star 6

    May 10, 2001
    For obvious reasons, no.

    I'm not sure we can ever know that full extent to which Palpatine may have manipulated their relationship even above and beyond what is shown in the movies. Obviously he wanted to have something to use as leverage to push Anakin to the Dark Side. There's no doubt young Anakin was already prone to anger and anxiety to begin with, and the cold shoulder from the Jedi Council made him even more susceptible to Sith manipulation.

    Then there's also the extent to which Padme may have been acting as an enabler.
  13. Deliveranze

    Deliveranze Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 28, 2015
    Out of curiosity, what was the non-abusive relationship? If you refer to Han/Leia, I am not sure a lot of the elements primarily seen in ESB are "healthy" in 2019.

    "You could use a good kiss."

    I think all 3 romantic relationships are unhealthy to some degree. At least with Anakin/Padme, you can make the case that it was always gonna be problematic even before the PT existed.

    "Wife hides children from father who becomes enforcer for Imperial regime" isn't gonna be a "healthy" relationship by default.
  14. Glitterstimm

    Glitterstimm Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 30, 2017
    There's an old truism: The most exciting part of an affair is not the sex, it's the lying.

    Padme and Anakin both loved each other, but they also relished the enjoyment of something they weren't allowed to have, a romantic relationship that would normally disqualify their elite social standing. They liked the feeling of being entitled to special privileges that others were not, and justified it by telling themselves they were better than everyone else.

    A lot of people say it was out of character for Padme to so quickly forgive Anakin for killing the Tuskens. Actually, I think it illustrates a central element of her character, she is an elitist who believes some people are better than others, even though she knows her liberal ideology is designed to moderate that belief. She and Anakin both believed they were better than everyone else, and should be allowed to break societal norms because of that.
  15. Prisic Duskleap

    Prisic Duskleap Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 24, 2014
    Controversial viewpoint here I'm sure. I think any relationship can be argued to be "unhealthy" from other points of view. We all see the world through our own eyes.

    In the case of Anakin/Padme yes there was a strong attachment. But any true relationship has that. But they still had their individual identity's. Padme still was in politics. And Anakin was still able to pursue his goals as a jedi.

    The problem was never the relationship. It was anakin's fear. That's what destroyed the relationship in the end.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2019
  16. jakobitis89

    jakobitis89 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 27, 2015
    No it wasn't, but I don't think either of them realised it fully. Which is to say that if either of them ever had doubts or conflicted feelings they truly thought that it was just part of the perfectly normal ups and downs of a relationship.
    As said though, I'm pretty sure this is intentional. Lucas may have fumbled the actual romance but the pressure cooker/unhealthiness of it was fully planned IMO.

    SHAD0W-JEDI Jedi Grand Master star 3

    May 20, 2002
    I agree that the onscreen relationship was darker, weirder, more troubling than healthy. What was weird was how chirpily upbeat and "fairy tale" the marketing tried to make it seem. That was always very discordant, even kind of dishonest, and creepy (esp some of the marketing I perceived as aimed at girls!)...
  18. Krishna

    Krishna Jedi Youngling

    Jun 7, 2019
    The Dark Side doesn't hurt people. Neither do Lightsabers. Neither do Death stars, or those blasters calibrated during Order 66 to hide the Jedi that were never really actually killed.

    For example, Lightsabers send Spiritual Force Energy throughout the body making it seem like a limb has been cut, but it later physically or Spiritually regenerates (as with Anakin's and Luke's arms) to what it was before or greater with the power of The Force implanted by the Lightsaber and Force throughout. Though Lightsabers have the power to send villains to their next life or to the Spiritual World as well. Sometimes a villain may think they have been hurt or killed to realize they have been fully Spiritualized by a Lightsaber. And most of the time you can notice, they don't cause pain. As for Dark Side powers, if you fully respect The Force you will have to understand that Dark Side Force Powers also don't hurt others. When a Jedi seemingly chokes someone with The Force, they usually give the person they connect to's body something they need but make it seem like they are hurting them to people on the outside, when within they are really teaching them about the ways of The Force. That is why there are so many Dark Side Initiates as time continues on. But beware, once you start out on the Dark Path, Forever will it dominate your Destiny.

    As for Death Stars, they are powered by Kyber Crystals, full of Force Energy, and like Lightsabers they do not destroy. They move planets and cities to other times and locations while creating Force illusions as if they were destroyed. If you don't beleive in Force illusions remember the cave on Deggobah and the watery cave Rey went to on Luke's Island with the Jedi Temple, or that clear Force Vision when Rey first touched Luke's Lightsaber. And not just illusions, for the Force is the True Ultimate Power in the Universe that heals and protects worlds, and it knows how to give living beings good things.

    The reason behind the so-called fight between Dark and Light is to stop the wars. The Sith are Dark Jedi that control large armies that would otherwise be entirely evil without the Sith's command. The Sith tend to work in ways that let the Light Side Jedi win, while configuring their armies and battle fleets in ways where the demons are often unaware of the Sith's plot to help the Jedi, or even better, they themselves turn to good.

    As to why this isn't very obvious in the Star Wars Movies, the answer lies in the Proverb: "Silence is Golden." Perfect Silence means to only work for and talk about the Spiritual, and even the Darkest Jedi like Shiv Palpetine are doing this to save The Galaxy, you just have to find the meaning between words.

    Anakin Skywalker was always pure, even as Darth Vader. When he hit those younglings with his blue Lightsaber he put them into a deep trance so they could later be rescued. If you don't think you are being watched in this fallen Universe, think again.

    Any amount of Love, for anyone, is a Perfect Use of The Force. Anakin's and Padme's Love wasn't only healthy, it was always Perfect and continues on to this day. He did end up saving her by deep Force powers. She never died, and the Funeral was a mock Funeral. You can even notice they pretended she was still pregnant to hide the children that were born.

    To understand Star Wars and how it was made, as well as the deep workings of The Force throughout, one must understand The Force, and The Force is True Love, and there is no Higher Love than what is experienced between Anakin and Padme. May The Force Be With You.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
  19. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Host, PT Interview Thread star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Feb 18, 2014
    Your right. But I mean compared to Rey/Kylo and Padme/Anakin it is miles ahead. Also it wasn’t supposed to be unhealthy back in 1977-1983
  20. Deliveranze

    Deliveranze Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 28, 2015
    I agree, in the long run, yes, Han and Leia's relationship is healthier given they are both good people who remain good. That being said, I think there are elements of ESB that are ignored because it is part of the OT/considered the best SW film. If were going just by the films, I find more overt problematic aspects in the movie compared to AOTC. Plus, I agree comparing 1977 to 2019 isn't fair, but neither really is comparing 2001-2002 to 2019 necessarily fair either.
  21. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 10, 2011
    It obviously wasn't a perfectly healthy relationship, but it also wasn't an entirely toxic one. As if often the case, it was something in between. A doomed romance between two people who loved each other for some very noble reasons, but also for some very dangerous reasons.

    At the end of the day, it was a relationship that probably never should have happened, but nevertheless something good and pure ended up resulting from it. It wasn't all tragic.
  22. Anakin Generation

    Anakin Generation Jedi Youngling

    Dec 26, 2019
    Whatever you decide to beleive, beleive in Love. It is the Only thing that can ever save you. Trust Love and nothing else, that is the True Way to discern reality and emancipate yourself from this world, to go back to the Home of the Spiritual World, where we all belong. If you don't beleive in Love, you are already lost.
  23. ConservativeJedi321

    ConservativeJedi321 Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 19, 2016
    I think there is something to be said about the fact that their relationship is a secret making it stressful for both of them.
    One thing I noticed throughout TCW is it seems every time one of them makes time for the other, the other cannot escape from their duties. This leaves a lingering bitterness, each one openly admits that their obligations to the Republic and the Jedi comes first, and yet whenever the other points that out it rings fairly hollow to the other.

    This may also lend itself to some sort of possessiveness, there is a natural level of concern when it comes to your loved ones safety, but I certainly question the sanity of Anakin's behavior around Clovis for example.

    But I would not use Vader as a reflection of Anakin. The dark side is not a persons true self, it is a twisted distortion of reality that is for all intents and purposes a split persona.

    I think they genuinely cared for each other, and I find the Anakin and Padme's relationship one of the more compelling romances in the saga. They have their challenges, as all people do. But their undoing was ultimately their decision to keep it a secret, and try to keep the best of both worlds when they knew it to be impossible from the start.
  24. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 7

    May 18, 2017
    a relationship based in sand can never last.
    Iron_lord and Emperor Ferus like this.
  25. Empress Shatterpoint

    Empress Shatterpoint Jedi Master star 2

    Jan 5, 2013
    The "whirlwind" aspect as well as Padmé glossing over the Tusken incident weren't wise. But other than that, despite some cringeworthy romantic lines, I didn't see anything inherently unhealthy in their relationship. They were shown respecting each other ;I appreciated Anakin not pulling a patronizing Peter Parker and knowing Padmé could decide to fight and do what she wanted in the Geonosis battle, and they enjoyed good banter (aggressive negotiation, etc) and times in AOTC.

    In ROTS, we were "teased" with domestic scenes. Like Anakin being overjoyed Padmé was pregnant, them fondly lingering in Padmé's apartment "You are so beautiful"/"Because i'm so in love with you"/"So love blinds you"/"N-no, not what I meant!". I think these scenes were deliberately put in there to show us what Padmé and Anakin could have had post-war had Anakin done the right thing and not given in to his fear of loss and become a Sith.

    But instead, as the movie goes on, we see Anakin becoming unhealthily self-absorbed in his fears of Padmé dying, in his distrust of Obi-Wan & the Council/Order. He isolates himself from his loved ones, Obi-Wan, and Padmé, and greedily leans on Palpatine/Sidious for support/selfish power to save people from dying. He eventually goes full in and becomes Darth Vader, kills younglings in cold-blood and irreparably sells his soul to get something he won't have anyway. At that point, even before he chokes her, he's made himself unworthy of Padmé and her democratic ideals. And their relationship take a point of unhealthy non-return when he chokes her obviously. Showing how possessive Anakin has become towards her; he now only wants her as a darksider wife he can control in his quest to take over the galaxy.

    Anakin is fully deserving of the "slap-in-the-face" decision of Padmé to not bothering living with him as the monster he's turned into. He's deserving of the suit he now wears and the power he doesn't get. I think the unhealthy descent of their relationship is all beautifully crafted in the PT and shows us that Anakin doomed their relationship with his actions. At any point of time, he could have chosen to be a better person by letting go of his fixation on loss. By not letting that rule him. But he didn't and doomed them.