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PT Why some people hate "Padme dying of Sadness" ?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by antitoxicgamer, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. antitoxicgamer

    antitoxicgamer Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2020
    I really don't get the hate for this idea. Because in real life this has happened to some people.(Like Carrie Fisher's mother whom died because of sadness.)

    It was also a good way to show the consequences of Anakin's turn to dark side.(Other than getting his body burned.)
     
  2. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    May 27, 1999
    I've never had a problem with it. Given the physical stresses of her pregnancy and the attack by Anakin, and the psychological stresses of having pretty much everything she believes in collapse around her, and the very limited amount of time she gets hit with all of this, her losing the will to live and dying of a broken heart works. Plus, the saga is basically a fairy tale with spaceships and zap guns, so it fits in that way, too.

    I find it interesting how some fans object to the midichlorian concept as de-mystifying the Force, but absolutely insist on a clear, medically-proven, purely-scientific cause for Padme's death.
     
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  3. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    Padme's death is one of the PT criticisms that I can actually understand and with which I can sympathize at least to an extent (when people use it as an excuse to completely discount Padme's character or her agency as one, that tends to be when I disagree). My biggest issue with it is to me it doesn't fit with Leia's memories in ROTJ. In ROTJ, Leia seems to remember her mother as kind and beautiful but sad. That would be an awful lot for her to grasp as a newborn, so to me it would have made more sense for Padme to have survived her pregnancy and gone into hiding on Alderaan so that Leia could've had some secret contact with her on Alderaan as Leia was growing up that she couldn't have with Luke (explaining why Leia remembers her but Luke does not). I do think it would have been better if Padme had survived childbirth (because really I think deaths in childbirth in a galaxy far, far away with more advanced medical care than we have in our world would be astronomically rare) and been the one to decide not just the names of her children, but where they should be hidden from the Empire.

    I also wouldn't have minded if ROTS went even darker and had Anakin/Vader explicitly kill Padme rather than just indirectly kill her by being the cause of her sorrow. It would have been very compelling to see Padme establish the Rebel Alliance with Bail and Mon Mothma, and that be the reason for Anakin choking her to death but that might be a bit hard to reconcile with the timeline of ROTJ.

    So, yeah, I can understand why some people aren't a fan of Padme's death especially because it is something of a cliche to have mothers die in childbirth that can get annoying especially in the context of an otherwise very medically advanced society[face_dunno]

    Now, does it destroy Padme as a character for me? No, she is still a favorite character of mine. Does it ruin ROTS for me? Nope, ROTS is my favorite Star Wars film of all time.

    But is it the one thing I'd change about ROTS if I could and probably about the PT as a whole? Yes.
     
  4. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    May 27, 1999
    I figure we could explain Leia's memories of her as Force visions that she misinterpreted as memories.
    Before seeing ROTS, I also figured that perhaps she survived. Given the tragic nature of the story, I thought she'd end up in hiding on Alderaan. She'd pretty much be utterly shattered, rocking Leia to sleep with a "please kill me now" expression. But, on reflection, I think that would be going too tragic, and that Ani actually killing her would be even worse, leaving no real hope for redemption. Besides, Lucas arguably went too far in having him kill the kids; no need to go even further.
     
  5. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @Kenneth Morgan I think a person could explain Leia's memories as Force visions she misinterpreted as memories, but that isn't really an explanation given by the movies themselves and that wasn't the interpretation most would've had from seeing ROTJ for the first time especially prior to the release of the PT. So, I think an explanation like that is going to feel like a retcon to many of the people who have an issue with Padme's death in childbirth in ROTS and going to feel like an area where the puzzle pieces of the OT and the PT don't fit together perfectly. To me, it is fair to acknowledge that is the case and a factor in some of the criticism Padme's death receives.

    For me, the PT works best as a tragedy, and I'm not sure anything in it could have gone too tragic for me especially if we still have the hope of Luke and Leia being placed with their adoptive families (which to me is the promise of a restoration of order that many tragedies offer at the end). Definitions of what is too tragic will likely vary from person to person. To me, the more tragic the better typically. That's why many of my favorite plays are tragedies. Macbeth. King Lear. Othello. Hamlet. All some of the best drama ever created for me, and not too tragic.

    What would leave room for redemption is also open to individual interpretation. For me, Anakin/Vader's worst act that we ever saw on screen was him holding Leia back and watching as Alderaan was destroyed. To me, millions or possibly even billions of children were killed when Alderaan exploded, and Vader/Anakin was fine with that--didn't speak a single word against that or indicate any moral qualm about that--so I didn't think that Lucas went too far with having Anakin slaughter the Tusken Raider children and the younglings at the Jedi Temple. To me, he was just showing how Anakin/Vader got to the point where he was morally fine with blowing up an entire planet and millions or billions of innocent children in the process. Like to me the worst and most unforgivable thing Anakin/Vader did came in the OT (hard to top standing by while a planet is blown up and not voicing a moral reservation to me) and the PT worked because it provided the tragic backstory and context for that downfall.

    I think this just shows that what people like about the PT differs. For me, my favorite aspect of the PT is the tragedy of it all, so I don't have a problem with more tragedy.
     
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  6. Guidman

    Guidman Skywalker Saga Mod and Trivia/Book Host star 6 Staff Member Manager

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    Dec 29, 2016
    I wouldn't say I hate it but I wish there would have been another cause. I'll admit I'm one of those people looking at the medical standpoint of if someones "completely healthy", can't really understand how they just suddenly die from losing the will to live. I'm willing to bet you would have a near impossible time finding the cause of death listed on a certificate as sadness. To me, there has to be some other underlying cause outside of a state of emotion.

    And yes, I fully understand that this is a universe where people come back from being cut in half and exploding.
     
  7. LedReader

    LedReader Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 24, 2019
    I’ve never understood the “controversy” either, but it’s the first thing I thought of when I was reading Catch 22 because
    Major Major Major Major’s mom loses the will to live when she finds out that her husband named their child Major Major Major.
     
  8. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview & Teh Mole Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

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    Feb 18, 2014
    They think it’s lazy writing. You can die of sadness but it’s usually really old people.
     
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  9. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

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    Oct 30, 2015
    To be honest I don't really like the idea. I think it's more like some kind of metaphor.
    Has it? Did actual doctors verify this? Then what's the medical explanation? As I said, "dying of sadness" is just a saying to me. It sounds kind of poetic but I don't see how it's scientific. If it were an actual cause of death many people would die of depression. But I never heard of that. But maybe I'm too much of a realist. It's possible that sadness/depression can over time cause heart conditions that might eventually lead to heart failure. But I haven't ever read that in medical sources. But OK, SW is fictional and I can accept that lots of things aren't realistic.
     
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  10. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 18, 2009
    What do you mean by "lazy writing" exactly?

    Padme "losing her will to live" could've been replaced by "her vital organs being crushed after the force-choke", just changing one line of dialogue. Lucas preferred the more poetic fairy-tale version rather than the realistic-medical version.

    As @Sith Lord 2015 says, it's really more of a metaphor, but you can substitute it with a more realistic version in your head. It's just one line.
     
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  11. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager Needs Wine star 10 Staff Member Manager

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    Mar 4, 2011
    I had an issue with it because it was such a regression from her character in TPM. She could rule a planet when she was 14, but she can’t handle her man turning evil? Her identity is so wrapped up in his that she can’t stay alive without him being what she thought he was? What happened to her independence and leadership? Her survival skills? Her emotional strength? The pregnancy isn’t an excuse, pregnant women are not wilting flowers, that’s a Victorian idea that doesn’t belong in Star Wars.

    TBF I didn’t want her dying from Anakin’s Force choke either; prior to ROTS I envisioned her being injured in a late-TCW attack or battle, succumbing to her injuries later, and Anakin blaming the Jedi for her being hurt—and that being the final straw for him.
     
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  12. antitoxicgamer

    antitoxicgamer Jedi Knight star 2

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    Sep 9, 2020
    Why do you hate women that are too dependent on their husbands ?

    Not every female character in Star Wars has to be strong independent.
     
  13. ScreamingWoman2019

    ScreamingWoman2019 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2018
    'For reasons we can't explain' says the droid.

    For reasons we can't explain, ghosts exist in SW. Because of the force: but the force itself is no reason, just magic.

    Lucas said Obi-Wan's death was a metaphorical death. He was too noble. He couldn't die. Hence the ghost. Part of a new hope.

    Padme was too deeply in love, she had to die. Tragedy. Anakin died -metaphorically- the same day.

    TROS has a variation of this, with Leia/Ben = Anakin/Padme. Four deathbeds, with life as a part of them (The low angle shot of Rey when Ben dies is similar to that of Obi-Wan when Padme died. Was Ben reborn somehow, metaphorically? Was Anakin involved? 'Is it possible to learn that power?')
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
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  14. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Padme's regression is a nice paralel/metaphor to how the galaxy evolves through the PT: from peaceful democracy to a militaristic dictatorship; from the strenght of the alliance between races and nature to the dehumanization and technification of the society.

    Padme was a strong leader back when there was democracy, peace, freedom, humanity. Watching the galaxy spiral downwards, all her efforts to avoid war in vain (and being, partly, responsible for the war) was more than enough to make her lose any hope she had in goodness. Her reaction to Palpatine declaring the First Galactic Empire (the very man she helped into power), unable to do anything, watching "how liberty dies"... that's what makes her a passive character in ROTS.

    So, in my opinion, is not just Anakin's turn what makes her lose her power to life. It's also the loss of everything she onced believed in: democracy, freedom, justice and kindness.
     
  15. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager Needs Wine star 10 Staff Member Manager

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    Mar 4, 2011
    —Because women characters have always been written that way, to the point where many in our society think that it’s natural for women to be that way or that women are supposed to be that way, although we could argue a chicken or egg scenario about whether the societal narrative came first and the stories just reflected it—either way it needs to disappear. I come to Star Wars to escape that garbage. George Lucas took heat in 1977 for not making Leia “nicer.”

    —I disagree. And it is really disappointing because Padme was a character that I liked and respected.

    The notion that being too dependent on their husbands is supposed to be a positive, or beautiful, or even acceptable, is blatantly dangerous in the real world and I can’t turn it on its head and pretend it’s great in a story.

    The best I can say about Padme’s storyline in ROTS is it does show the consequences of trying to fix a man turned evil through romance, instead of pretending that it can actually be done and is worth attempting.
     
  16. antitoxicgamer

    antitoxicgamer Jedi Knight star 2

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    Sep 9, 2020
    I think from Episode 6, Padme was supposed to die because of sadness based on Leia's dialogue about her mother in episode 6:
    "She was... very beautiful. Kind, but sad."
     
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  17. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager Needs Wine star 10 Staff Member Manager

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    Mar 4, 2011
    I didn’t take from that that she would just wither away like a wilting flower. I took from it that she was sad that her husband had turned and joined the Empire. Which is understandable. The codependent “I literally cannot live without him” is not.
     
  18. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

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    Jun 19, 2019
    Remembering your mother as sad doesn't mean she died of sadness.

    Leia's ROTJ memory at least should mean that Padme survived childbirth and lived long enough for Leia to remember her.

    So, I wouldn't cite that conversation in support of the ROTS depiction of her death. More in contradiction to it and a person to me would have to do some mental gymnastics to try to fit both together.

    Which, again, is one of the reasons why I do think criticisms of Padme's death are valid for a variety of reasons.
     
  19. starfish

    starfish Chosen One star 5

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    Oct 9, 2003
    I thought it was a dumb and lazy decision to have Padme die that way
     
  20. Nehru_Amidala

    Nehru_Amidala Force Ghost star 6

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    Oct 3, 2016
    It was a bit melodramatic.

    I think it would have made more sense for Padme to have died from complications in childbirth due to asphyxia brought on Anakin's force choke, trauma to the lungs and (other internal organs?) her body shutting down because of sudden shock.
     
  21. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

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    Jun 19, 2019
    Yeah, I would've been more inclined to accept a medical explanation for Padme's death like you describe @Nehru_Amidala. That would've made a lot more sense.

    I will say that Padme's death from sadness becomes harder and harder for me to accept in the context of a medically advanced universe where Maul apparently survives getting stabbed by a lightsaber and falling into a void; Sidious somehow survives falling into a void and a Death Star explosion; and Darth Vader himself survives multiple maimings and a dump in a lava flow. All those deaths get to be explained around, but somehow we can't come up with a way to have Padme survive childbirth because she is sad. Sadness is somehow a bigger obstacle to life than an exploding Death Star, a fall into a seemingly bottomless void, or a dump into a lava flow.

    If Star Wars took place in a quasi-medieval society with medieval medicine, I'd accept death in childbirth due to sadness as an explanation and just assume that a complication occurred in childbirth that medieval people didn't understand. In a world more advanced than ours, I'd expect Padme to be hooked up to a machine that can breathe for her and whatnot until she regains the will to live or whatever. Not for the medical droids to do the equivalent of shrug and be like, "Ah, well, nothing we can do, because she's sad and lost the will to live. Can't try hooking her up to an oxygen machine or something. Just going to let this person that we've just determined has nothing medically wrong with her expire right before us." Like can droids be sued for medical malpractice in a galaxy far, far away because that is a pretty sad attempt at keeping Padme alive in a universe that seems more medically advanced than our world?
     
  22. Nehru_Amidala

    Nehru_Amidala Force Ghost star 6

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    Oct 3, 2016
    Those are really great points.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  23. Huttese 101

    Huttese 101 Sam Witwer Enthusiast star 6

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    Jan 19, 2016
    I would have much preferred a medical explanation too. Dying from complications from Anakin choking her would have made sense, and it was implied that that would happen... before the medical droid directly told us "no, forget everything you knew about biology and strangulation, actually she is completely healthy but she's still dying because we said so." But this is Star Wars, and virtually anything can be explained away with "it was the will of the Force" or "Palaptine did it."
     
  24. Samnz

    Samnz Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Sep 4, 2012
    As much as I understand criticism of Padmè's death, I think it would have been infinitely worse ìf she had died from physical injuries as a consequence of Anakin's attack.

    The whole point of a self-fulfilling prophecy is the idea that someone unwittingly causes the exact result they wanted to prevent by their actions and I think Anakin more or less killing Padmè consciously would have hurt that idea. I mean the point behind everything is that there are some things in life you cannot control and you have to live with, so having Anakin directly kill her and therefore control over it is beside the point. It also kills the tragic aspect of Anakin's turn. If you go for a self-fullfilling prophecy (what Lucas did), you have to add something unexpected that results in the very thing that was tried to avoid and that is Padmè not playing by Anakin's rules and not going along with him. Something (in his pride and possessiveness) he couldn't foresee.

    He breaks her heart, but she still had the strength to withdraw from him and save the kids. I do agree that losing the will to live probably took it a little too far (at least verbally) as I would have preferred to leave it open to interpretation ("Medically she is completely healthy. We can't explain what happens.") and I get those who interpret it as Padmè becoming "weak" (although I disagree). But the thing makes thematical sense and is clearly in Lucas' tradition of citing mythology (also see @oierem).
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
  25. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    May 27, 1999
    As I've posted elsewhere, I don't see it as Padme becoming "weak". It's a case of her getting absolutely pummeled, in one way or another, over a very short period of time. The democracy she served had turned into a dictatorship. The man she trusted as a wise leader is revealed as a evil despot. The Jedi she supported are either dead or on the run. The man she loved is now an unrepentant murderer, who has said he's not done yet. And he did it for her, to protect her (in his eyes). And then he accuses her of betrayal (thanks to Obi-Wan's ill-timed entrance) and attacks her. Now, what's left? She's basically got a huge target painted on her, since Palpatine is sure to order her killed. Her family is under threat, as a way to get to her. Her children may end up dead or, worse, following in their father's footsteps. And, in her eyes, it's all her fault; she helped cause all of it.
    If even one of these things is removed from the equation, or if it happened over a longer period of time which allows her to absorb the shock and adjust, she'd probably have survived. But she got hit in all of her vulnerable spots, one after another, over a rather brief span. Even Job would have a tough time with this. Thus, I find it completely understandable that she'd give up, feeling that she can't take any more and the world would be better off if she was gone.
    Outside of the saga's fantasy setting, I know for a fact that people can just give up, even when they have things to live for. The stress and pressure of events can be overwhelming for anyone, no matter how strong they seem.