She remained true to her values in the darkest of times
The Star Wars prequel movies did the world a favour by introducing us to the badass mum of our original trilogy heroes Leia and Luke. Finally it was clear where the Skywalker siblings got their stubborn idealism and loyalty from. Padme is depicted in the first two prequels and The Clone Wars series as a strong-willed, idealistic public servant and friend of the Jedi, firstly serving as the sovereign of Naboo, and then as a galactic Senator. Unfortunately her character doesn’t fare well in Revenge of the Sith, appearing ineffectual, and eventually dying to serve Anakin Skywalker’s story arc. Despite the grim events of the third prequel story she remains hopeful and idealistic in the face of her crumbling marriage, desperate to see the best in Anakin and maintain her belief in the rule of democracy, strongly in denial when faced with the truth.
Padme is inspirational to me for lots of reasons. She is clearly super intelligent, just seeing her being endlessly capable on screen is awesome. She is able to speak confidently in public about the issues she cares about and sway others to her cause. She is deeply invested in Love and spreads it wherever she goes. She is compassionate and speaks out against war and suffering. She is able to stand beside the Jedi and handle herself in dangerous situations. She works cooperatively with others, to achieve her aims. She appears comfortable and confident in her skin. She keeps her cool in some really challenging situations. She is quite a serious person, some would say earnest, which I relate to. And did I mention her incredible outfits??!!
In short, this is a woman who is living her values, her actions follow directly from what she feels is right, when she is impulsive it is for noble reasons. Undoubtedly much of Padme’s self confidence comes from her privilege, a background Anakin does not share. Nonetheless she remains an inspiration to me.
I feel sad her character was short-changed in the prequel films, but for all those problematic moments there are dozens of awesome stories centring her positive traits in The Clone Wars. I am not the only one who would love to see her character developed further in the medium of books and comics, and am especially looking forward to her appearance in Forces of Destiny.
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