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Padmé Amidala
Amidala.png
Position Queen of Naboo, Senator of The Chommell Sector
Homeworld Naboo
Species Human
Gender Female
Affiliation Galactic Senate, Galactic Republic, Rebel Alliance, Jedi Order
Portrayed by Prequel trilogy:
Natalie Portman
Star Wars: Clone Wars:
Grey DeLisle (voice)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
Catherine Taber (voice)

Padmé Naberrie better known as Padmé Amidala Skywalker, is a fictional character in George Lucas's space opera saga Star Wars. She first appeared on film in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) as the young queen of the planet Naboo. In subsequent prequel trilogy films, Padmé represents Naboo in the Galactic Senate. She is featured in the animated miniseries Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003–2005), Star Wars: The Clone Wars and in Star Wars literature. Padmé is the secret wife of Anakin Skywalker and mother of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa. She is portrayed as a very kind, sweet caring person.

Born in a mountain village on Naboo 46 years before the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), Padmé Naberrie is known successively by her Name of State as Queen Amidala and Senator Amidala. She is a key politician in the Galactic Republic who holds on to the principles of democracy and rule of law.

Initial drafts of Star Wars written by Lucas in the 1970s do not explain the role which the mother of Luke and Leia plays in the saga. Vague references are made to her in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983), but the character was not fully realized until the prequel trilogy of films that debuted between 1999 and 2005. Padmé Amidala was portrayed by actress Natalie Portman in the trilogy, and an elaborate wardrobe was tailored for the character by costume designer Trisha Biggar.

Contents

Appearances

As a principal character in Star Wars, Padmé Amidala plays a prominent role in the prequel films. Apart from the films, she appears in the Expanded Universe where her role in the Star Wars galaxy outside the films is explained. Padmé is the main protagonist of two Star Wars books.

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Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

The mother of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa is first alluded to in the 1983 film Return of the Jedi, but she is not named. While in the Ewok village on the forest moon of Endor, Luke informs Leia that she is his sister and that the Sith Lord Darth Vader is their father. When asked if she remembers her "real mother," Leia says that she recalls "images" and "feelings" of her. Leia explains, "She died when I was very young" then later when Luke asks more of her memories, she says, "She was very beautiful... Kind ... but sad." Luke confesses that he has no memories of her and the discussion ends as he leaves the village to confront Vader.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Padmé Amidala makes her first appearance in the prequel The Phantom Menace set 32 years before A New Hope. Padmé is introduced as the 14-year-old democratically elected Queen of Naboo, dedicated to ending the planet's occupation by the Trade Federation. She attempts to deal directly with Federation viceroy Nute Gunray (Silas Carson), but he tries to have her assassinated. Padmé escapes with the help of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), but they are forced to land on the desert planet of Tatooine. Padmé—disguised as a handmaiden—meets nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) and his mother Shmi Skywalker (Pernilla August). Anakin gives her a hand-carved charm on a leather necklace. She witnesses Anakin win his first pod race at the Boonta Eve Classic and secures his freedom.

Padmé Amidala's first appearance in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Arriving on Coruscant, Padmé consults with Senator Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who encourages her to appeal to the Senate to resolve Naboo's dispute with the Trade Federation. He persuades her to make a motion in the Senate to have Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum (Terence Stamp) removed from office; Palpatine is elected in his place. Unaware to anyone even Padmé, Palpatine is Darth Sidious a Sith lord who is manipulating the Trade Federation in order to take control of the Republic. Padmé returns to Naboo to fight for her planet's freedom even though her band of soldiers are fewer than the Trade Federation's droid army surrender is no option. Amidala enlists the aid of Jar-Jar Binks' gungan warriors. As the Queen attempts a peace bargain between Naboo and the Gunguns the handmaiden Padme intervenes and its revealed that while Padmé affects the appearance of a servant, her look-alike bodyguard, Sabé (Keira Knightley), poses as the queen in her place. The Gungans agree to help and offer a diversion to lure the droid armies away from the palace. Once in the palace Padmé's forces storm the throne room and capture the viceroy, ending the trade blockades of Naboo once and for all. A celebration is then held to announce the unity between Naboo and the Gungans.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Padmé Amidala makes her second film appearance in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), set a decade after The Phantom Menace. She represents Naboo in the Galactic Senate and leads a faction opposed to the Military Creation Act, which would create an army of clones for the Republic. While the galaxy is threatened by a growing Separatist movement, Padmé is a target for assassins hired by the Trade Federation. Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen)—now Obi-Wan Kenobi's padawan— is assigned to protect her. Palpatine sends Padmé into hiding on Naboo, where she and Anakin struggle to maintain a platonic relationship despite their obvious mutual attraction.

When Anakin has a horrific vision of his mother in danger, Padmé accompanies him to Tatooine in a failed attempt to rescue her from a band of Tusken Raiders. Anakin returns with his mother's body, and tearfully confesses to Padmé that he slaughtered the entire tribe. Padmé is troubled by what he has done, but forgives him.

They receive a message from Obi-Wan, who has been captured by Separatist leader Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) on the planet Geonosis. Padmé and Anakin rush to his aid only to be captured themselves and condemned to death in a Geonosian coliseum. They declare their love to each other and are saved at the last minute by Jedi Masters Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and Yoda (Frank Oz), who lead an army of Jedi and clone troopers. This battle marks the opening salvo of the Clone Wars. Afterward, Padmé and Anakin are married in a secret ceremony on Naboo witnessed by the droids R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) and C-3PO (Anthony Daniels).

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Padmé Amidala makes her third appearance on film in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), set three years after the events of Attack of the Clones. After Anakin returns from a battle, she informs him that she is pregnant. Padmé watches with increasing suspicion as Palpatine becomes a dictator, using the Clone Wars to amass vast emergency powers and gain control over the Senate and judiciary. Palpatine later declare martial law, transforming the Republic into the Galactic Empire and naming himself Emperor. As the Senate cheers for Palpatine, Padmé tells Senator Bail Organa "So this is how liberty dies: With thunderous applause."

Meanwhile, Padmé detects changes in Anakin after he has dreams about her dying in childbirth. Although she is dismissive of his visions, Anakin's fear for her leads to his conversion to the dark side of the Force and transformation into Darth Vader; Palpatine corrupts Anakin by promising him the power to prevent Padmé's death. After Palpatine seizes absolute power, Obi-Wan informs her that Anakin, now Vader, has become a Sith and killed everyone in the Jedi Temple, including the children. She refuses to believe him, but travels to the volcanic planet Mustafar with Obi-Wan stowed on board her ship to learn if Anakin has indeed turned to the dark side. She confronts him, and begs him to flee Palpatine's grasp with her. However, Vader is mad with power and refuses, instead saying that he plans to overthrow Palpatine so they can rule the galaxy together. Padmé recoils in horror, realizing that Anakin has indeed changed and helped Palpatine destroy the Republic and the Jedi. Just then, Obi-Wan emerges from the ship. Vader accuses her of betraying him, and uses the dark side to choke her into unconsciousness.

After Obi-Wan defeats Vader in the ensuing lightsaber duel, he brings Padmé to Polis Massa, a secret asteroid base. Despite the efforts of medical droids, Padmé died after giving birth to twins Luke and Leia, having lost the will to live. Her final words are, "Obi Wan...There's good in him. I know ... I know there's still ...." In the novelization Padme would have gone to Tatooine with Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Padmé's body, altered to appear still pregnant, is returned to Naboo and given an elaborate funeral ceremony; in her hands is the leather necklace and its carved charm made by Anakin when they first met on Tatooine. The twins are separated, and are hidden from the Emperor and their father; Luke is brought to Tatooine to be raised by Anakin's stepfamily, Owen and Beru Lars (Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Maree Piesse, later Phil Brown and Shelagh Fraser), and Leia is adopted by Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) of Alderaan and raised as a princess.

Padmé's death would haunt Vader for the rest of his life. Despite the supremely evil being that the Sith Lord would become, he was never able to shake himself of the emotional agony caused by his wife's passing and the presumed death of their children.

Some scenes featuring Padmé Amidala, aka Queen Amidala, were deleted from the prequel films. In another deleted scene, this one from Attack of the Clones, she introduces Anakin to her parents, Ruwee and Jobal Naberrie, and informs him of her charitable work with the Refugee Relief Movement, a galaxy-wide disaster relief and resettlement organization. In Revenge of the Sith, Padmé is seen as a dissenter in Palpatine's government during the Clone Wars and an early constituting member of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, later known as the Rebel Alliance, along with senators Bail Organa, Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly), and others, though the group's name was not yet disclosed until after the film's end; Organa's order that C-3PO's memory be degaused stems from his service at those meetings.

Star Wars: Clone Wars series (2003–2005)

Padmé Amidala appears in seven chapters of Star Wars: Clone Wars, a series set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith that aired on Cartoon Network from 2003 to 2005. The character was voiced by Grey DeLisle. In the series, Padmé is secluded on Coruscant and maintains a correspondence with her somewhat secret husband Anakin Skywalker, who is fighting in the Clone Wars, while avoiding assassins hired by Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray. She worries about Anakin's safety despite the assassination threats, but is thrilled by his victories and graduation from padawan to Jedi.

In one chapter, Padmé travels with Yoda aboard her ship when he senses a disturbance in the Force coming from the ice planet Ilum. Despite the protests of security officer Captain Typho, she accompanies Yoda to the world and helps rescue the Jedi Luminara Unduli and her padawan Barriss Offee (who had just completed her training before the temple she and Luminara were in was nearly destroyed). In the Clone Wars, Padmé is a source of diplomacy in the waning Republic. During the Outer Rim sieges, she and Typho travel to the planet Bri'ahl to persuade the natives to join the Republic's fight against the Separatists.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars film

Padmé Amidala makes her fourth appearance on film in the movie Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In the film, While Anakin and his new Padawan learner Ahsoka Tano, were searching for Jabba the Hutt's son, Rotta on Teth, Amidala went to meet with Jabba's uncle Ziro at his palace on Coruscant. Her objective was to convince Ziro to side with the Jedi, and let her contact Jabba, himself, who incorrectly believed the Republic had orchestrated the kidnapping of Rotta and had subsequently executed him. Unfortunately Ziro had no interest in what she had to say, and had Padmé forcebly removed from his throne room. However, the always resourceful Senator escaped her IG-unit guard and eavesdropped on Ziro during a communication with Count Dooku himself.

While listening to this conversation, Amidala discovered that Ziro had allied himself with the Separatists, in exchange for becoming the ruler of the Hutt clans, and had thus concocted an elaborate scheme to kidnap Jabba's son, frame the Jedi for his murder and force Jabba to attempt revenge for this; an act that would surely result in his death, leaving Ziro as the sole ruler of the Hutts. Unfortunately, Amidala was discovered eavesdropping and locked away, with Count Dooku suggesting that Ziro collect the bounty placed on her head by Nute Gunray.

Taken to the detention level, battle droids confiscated Amidala's comlink and blaster, however the Senator outwitted them and tricked one into activating her comlink as C-3PO was attempting to contact her. She quickly explained her predicament before a droid smashed the device. Because of this, Ziro planned to have her disposed of in an "accident", but at the last moment, C-3PO led a squad of Coruscant Guard troopers to rescue her. They destroyed all of his droid guards, and captured Ziro. Amidala then contacted Jabba, just as he was about to execute Anakin and Ahsoka for allegedly kidnapping Rotta. However, Amidala forced Ziro to confess his betrayal to Jabba, who promised swift punishment in return.

With Anakin and Ahsoka saved, Amidala proceeded to negotiate an alliance between the Republic and the Hutts, which would allow Republic warships to use unknown Hutt hyperspace lanes, an advantage the Separatists did not have.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars series (2008–2009)

Padmé Amidala has appeared in seven episodes in the first season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the series follow-up to the 2008 film of the same name.

Star Wars literature

Padmé's background prior to her appearance in the prequel films is revealed in Star Wars novels and comics. In Terry Moore's comic "A Summer's Dream" printed in Star Wars Tales 5 (2000) and set a year before the events of The Phantom Menace, Padmé is the Princess of Theed, Naboo's capital city. A young man named Ian Lago falls in love with Padmé, but she places her duty to the people over her personal happiness and rejects him. Lago is the son of an advisor to King Veruna, the reigning monarch of Naboo.[1][2]

In the novel Cloak of Deception (2001) by James Luceno, King Veruna is forced to abdicate the throne following accusations of corruption. Padmé is elected Queen of Naboo and contacts Palpatine to inform him that Veruna had been mysteriously killed. She and Palpatine discuss the events that lead to the Trade Federation blockade of Naboo. She admits to him, "Naboo can scarcely afford to become embroiled in a dispute that pits the Republic against the Trade Federation."[3]

Star Wars literature focuses on Padmé's career as ruling monarch of Naboo. The young adult novel Star Wars Episode I Journal: Queen Amidala (1999) by Jude Watson focuses on Padmé Amidala's early career as queen and narrow escape from the Trade Federation.[4] Another book, The Queen's Amulet (1999) by Julianne Balmain narrates the close friendship between Amidala and her handmaiden Sabé immediately before the events of The Phantom Menace.[5] Erik Tiemens's comic "The Artist of Naboo" details the story of a young, unnamed artist on Naboo who becomes captivated by Padmé's beauty. The artist features her in a series of paintings and later risks his life to save her. The comic was printed in Star Wars: Visionaries (2005) by Dark Horse Comics.[6]

Padmé's role in the Delegation of 2000—the senatorial resistance movement to Palpatine's growing absolutism—is discussed in James Luceno's Labyrinth of Evil (2005). The Delegation of 2000 is primarily concerned with Palpatine's calls for public surveillance and restrictions on freedom of movement and action. Still, Padmé is confident that Palpatine will relinquish his power when the crises is over: "He's not stubborn," she tells Bail Organa. "You just don't know him as I do. He'll take our concerns to heart."[7]

The novelizations of the Star Wars prequel films introduced material about Padmé Amidala that was not included in the films. Terry Brooks' Phantom Menace (1999) includes a discussion between Qui-Gonn Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Qui-Gonn describes the Queen of Naboo as "something of an unknown" before the Trade Federation blockade.[8] In the Attack of the Clones (2002) adaptation by R. A. Salvatore, there is a detailed conversation between Padmé and her sister Sola Naberrie shortly after Queen Jamillia appoints her senator. Sola chides her for ignoring her personal life: "What about Padmé Amidala? Have you even thought about what might make your life better?"[9] Matthew Stover's Revenge of the Sith (2005) elaborates upon Padmé's role in the formation of the Rebel Alliance. Stover narrates Darth Vader's reaction to the death of his wife: Vader thinks to himself, "You killed her because, finally, when you could have saved her, when you could have gone away with her, when you could have been thinking about her, you were thinking about yourself ..."[10]

Padmé appears in novels and comics set after the events of the original trilogy as holograms and flashbacks. In Troy Denning's The Joiner King (2005), book one of the Dark Nest Trilogy and set 35 years after the events of A New Hope, Luke Skywalker discovers a 54-year-old hologram recorded by R2-D2. The image is of Anakin Skywalker informing Padmé of his vision of her death in childbirth. This is the first time Luke sees his mother.[11] Another hologram discovered in R2-D2 chronicles a conversation between Padmé and Obi-Wan. Luke and Leia hear their mother's name for the first time and it "shot an electric bolt of excitement through" them.[12] In the final novel of the trilogy, The Swarm War, Luke and Leia see their mother's death and their own births.[13]

Characteristics

Padmé Amidala is depicted in Star Wars fiction as beautiful and graceful. In Cloak of Deception, she is described as having "a slight figure and a lovely, feminine face. She was remarkably solemn for one so young. It was clear that she took her responsibilities with the utmost seriousness."[14] Terry Brooks details the alien Nute Gunray's reaction to her appearance: "She was considered beautiful, Gunray had been told, but he had no sense of human beauty and by Neimoidian standards she was simply colorless and small-featured."[15] Still, Brooks writes that she is "young, beautiful, and serene."[16]

The Star Wars Databank describes her as "one of Naboo's best and brightest"[2] and "interested in public service".[17] She demonstrates a devotion to the disadvantaged and deprived beings of the galaxy. Her childhood and adolescence is sacrificed to public service. In the Attack of the Clones novelization, Padmé's sister Sola Naberrie tells her, "You're so tied up in your responsibilities that you don't give any weight to your desires."[18]

Padmé relies on diplomacy to resolve disputes, often appearing as a pacifist. She is not, however, an advocate of appeasement, as she is willing to use "aggressive negotiations" to preserve democracy.[19] The Star Wars Databank notes, "Despite her initial objections to a Republic army, Padmé nonetheless fought alongside the newly created clone troopers against the Separatist droid forces."[17] Film critics Dominique Mainon and James Ursini classify her as a "modern Amazon," a reference to the warrior women of ancient Greek mythology.[20]

As a ruler and politician, Padmé is distrustful of bureaucracy, opposed to corruption, and attached to the ideals of democracy and the rule of law. She tells Anakin, "Popular rule is not democracy .... It gives the people what they want, not what they need."[21] According to Mainon and Ursini, "she tried to preach compromise and reason, [but] the disarray within the [Republic] ... led her to doubt the senate's effectiveness."[17] Her loyalty remains with the Republic until she suspects that it no longer represents the democratic principles she espouses. In the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, Padmé advises Senator Bail Organa and Mon Mothma, "Be good little Senators. Mind your manners and keep your heads down. And keep doing ... all those things we can't talk about."[22]

Padmé is sometimes mysterious and deceptive. She is described in Brooks' The Phantom Menace novelization as a "chameleon of sorts, masking herself to the world at large and finding companionship almost exclusively with a cadre of handmaidens who were always with her."[23] Her concession to quietly marry Anakin and secret discussions with other senators about Palpatine add to the character's duplicity.[17] Paul F. McDonald of Space.com observes, "Amidala ... embod[ies] many of the dualities that inform Episode I— war and peace, queen and commoner, form and substance. Unlike other characters, whose personalities are divided and usually warring against one another, her dual nature works to her advantage." He explains, "Amidala can be cold and commanding when she needs to be, or warm and loving as Padmé."[24]

Concept and creation

Padmé Amidala was first mentioned in Return of the Jedi (1983) as the mother of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa. The character, however, went unnamed until The Phantom Menace. An extensive wardrobe was designed for the character by Lucasfilm concept artists and costume designers. Like Leia Organa one of the inspirations for Padmé was the Flash Gordon character Dale Arden.

Character creation

In initial drafts of the Star Wars story, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia's mother was not well developed. According to Dale Pollock, Luke Skywalker was originally Luke Starkiller and "Leia is the daughter of Owen Lars and his wife Beru and seems to be Luke's cousin—together they visit the grave of his mother, who perished with his father on a planet destroyed by the Death Star.[25] In an interview, Lucas answers a question about the development of characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke, and Leia; their mother was not a factor:

The first [version] talked about a princess and an old general. The second version involved a father, his son, and his daughter; the daughter was the heroine of the film. Now the daughter has become Luke, Mark Hamill's character. There was also the story of two brothers where I transformed one of them into a sister. The older brother was imprisoned, and the young sister had to rescue him and bring him back to their dad.[26]

Film historian Laurent Bouzereau reports that the second draft of the Return of the Jedi screenplay contained dialogue where Obi-Wan Kenobi explains to Luke that he has a twin sister. She and their mother were "sent to the protection of friends in a distant system. The mother died shortly thereafter, and Luke's sister was adopted by Ben's friends, the governor of Alderaan and his wife."[27] Lucas is quoted in Star Wars: The Annotated Scripts (1997) as saying

The part that I never really developed is the death of Luke and Leia's mother. I had a backstory for her in earlier drafts, but it basically didn't survive. When I got to Jedi, I wanted one of the kids to have some kind of memory of her because she will be a key figure in the new episodes I'm writing. But I really debated whether or not Leia should remember her.[28]

Revenge of the Sith does not explain how Leia remembers her "real mother." Film critic Peter Travers of Rolling Stone applauds Lucas's attempt to link the two trilogies in Revenge of the Sith's final scenes, but says, "It's too little and too late." He explains, "To hail Revenge of the Sith as a satisfying bridge to a classic is not just playing a game of the Emperor's New Clothes, it's an insult to what the original accomplished."[29] Official Star Wars sources gloss over the perceived plot hole. For example, the Star Wars Databank states without explanation, "Leia has few memories of her true mother, Padmé Amidala. All that Leia can recall is that she was beautiful, but sad."[30]

When Lucas drafted the script for The Phantom Menace, he envisioned a "link between Padmé and Princess Leia, the daughter who follows so closely in her footsteps."[31] According to Natalie Portman, "It definitely did come into play how strong and smart a character Carrie Fisher portrayed, because I think that a lot of that is passed on from parent to child. I think George wrote Amidala as a strong, smart character, but it helped to know that I had this great woman before me who had portrayed her character as a fiery woman."[32] Paul McDonald notes that there are "inevitable comparisons" between the two characters: "both develop soft spots for rogue pilots, and both have a knack for slipping into and out of stilted British accents."[24] Despite being diplomats, each is also the best marksman of her respective trilogy, rarely missing.

Natalie Portman

George Lucas, Rick McCallum, and casting director Robin Gurland auditioned over 200 actresses for the part of Padmé Amidala.[33] They chose 16-year-old actress Natalie Portman to play the role. According to The Phantom Menace production notes, "The role required a young woman who could be believable as the ruler of that planet, but at the same time be vulnerable and open." Portman's performances in The Professional (1994) and Beautiful Girls (1996) impressed Lucas.[34] He stated, "I was looking for someone who was young, strong, along the lines of Leia [and] Natalie embodied all those traits and more."[35]

Portman was a unique choice in that she was unfamiliar with Star Wars. "My cousins had always been obsessed with the films, yet I hadn't even seen them before I got the part," she says. "When it all happened for me, my cousins were exclaiming, 'Oh, my God, you're in Star Wars!'"[36] She told a CNN interviewer, "I really wasn't aware of how big a deal Star Wars was ... and when I saw the films, I really liked them, but I still didn't really understand how many ... were passionate fans of this film."[37] Portman was, however, enthused over being cast as the Queen of Naboo, a character she expected to become a role model: "It was wonderful playing a young queen with so much power. I think it will be good for young women to see a strong woman of action who is also smart and a leader."[36]

In The Phantom Menace, Portman had to portray a character younger than herself. In Attack of the Clones, however, her character had aged 10 years. Portman had aged only three years between the two films. She remarks, "[Lucas] wants to make sure I seem older than Anakin in [Attack of the Clones], so it's believable that I can be bossing him around, and he's a little intimidated. She looks at him as a little boy—at least for the first half of the film."[38]

Portman signed a contract to play Padmé in the three prequel films. Reactions by critics to her performances were mixed. James Berardinelli called her acting in The Phantom Menace "effective,"[39] but Annlee Ellingson of Box Office Magazine said "Portman's delivery is stiff and flat, perhaps hindered by the gorgeous but cumbersome costumes."[40] Mike Clark of USA Today complained about Portman and Hayden Christensen, claiming, "Both speak in monotone for doubly deadly effect, though when not burdened by his co-star, Christensen often finds the emotion in his limited intonations."[41] A Revenge of the Sith reviewer for The Village Voice accused "computer-generated characters like wheezing cyborg baddie General Grievous and blippeting fireplug R2-D2" of "emot[ing] more convincingly than either Natalie Portman or Hayden Christensen."[42] Nonetheless, Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle described Portman's performance in the third episode as "decorative and sympathetic."[43]

Critics have blamed Portman's performance on Lucas's direction and script. Roger Ebert, for example, charged that in Attack of the Clones "too much of ... the film is given over to a romance between Padmé and Anakin in which they're incapable of uttering anything other than the most basic and weary romantic clichés, while regarding each other as if love was something to be endured rather than cherished."[44] He offered a similar critique for Revenge of the Sith: "To say that George Lucas cannot write a love scene is an understatement; greeting cards have expressed more passion."[45] Todd McCarthy of Variety likewise lamented that "Lucas's shortcomings as a writer and director of intimate, one-on-one scenes" hampered Portman's performance.[46]

Costumes

Traditional Mongolian royal fashion (left) and the Senate Gown (right) inspired by such fashion

Padmé Amidala's wardrobe in The Phantom Menace was designed by concept artist Iain McCaig and costume designer Trisha Biggar; concept artist Dermot Power joined McCaig and Biggar in the design process of Attack of the Clones.[47][48] Biggar worked as costume designer on the three films.[49] Many costumes were inspired by the historical royal fashions of different cultures. For example, in The Phantom Menace, the dress which Padmé wears when addressing the Senate is based on Mongolian imperial fashion worn by Grand Empress Börte, wife of Genghis Khan, and other monarchs into the early 20th century. Padmé's travel gown in Attack of the Clones is based on 17th century Russian fashion photographed on Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna in 1903.[50]

The costumes of the prequel trilogy are purposefully more elaborate than those of the original trilogy. Lucas asserts that galactic society in the prequels is much more sophisticated.[51] Commenting on the disparities between the two trilogies, Carrie Fisher mused, "Harrison Ford wears the same outfit for three flicks, and I was complaining that I wear, like, six outfits. And my mother—Natalie Portman—she wears three million. She walks through a doorway and there's another outfit. It's like the Liberace of sci-fi changing of clothes."[52] Trisha Biggar reveals that originally there were only three costumes planned for Queen Amidala in The Phantom Menace, but "[Lucas] decided that every time we saw the Queen she was going to have a different costume."[53] Lucas explains, "Someone of that stature would automatically be changing their costumes to fit the occasion."[51]

Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia (left) and the Travel Gown (right) inspired by Russian fashion

Aesthetics aside, the wardrobe was designed to reflect key plot developments. In Attack of the Clones, Lucas wanted Padmé's wardrobe to mirror the romantic elements of the film. He suggested that her costumes be more "sultry in nature."[54] Trisha Biggar notes that Lucas wanted her to appear "sexy, gorgeous, and young in skimpy clothes."[55] Portman laughs, "I got over the hump of 18 so I'm allowed to show tummy now, I guess."[56] For Revenge of the Sith, Biggar says, "We knew that Padmé was going to be pregnant through the whole film, and nobody in the outside world could know that. Because she's pregnant, I wanted a soft quality to be apparent in the fabrics that were used."[57]

Some of the costumes created by Biggar's staff did not appear in the final version of the films. In Revenge of the Sith, for example, a multi-colored "Peacock Gown" and a "Green Cut Velvet Robe" worn by Padmé in scenes featuring the Delegation of 2000 were deleted during post-production. Biggars remarks that the Peacock Gown had been one of her favorite designs and that much time and money had been invested in these particular costumes.[58]

Many of Padmé's costumes in The Phantom Menace were featured in the Japanese magazine High Fashion in 1999 and the Attack of the Clones costumes were in Vogue in 2002. The costumes were on display in the 2005 exhibit Dressing A Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles.[59] Trisha Biggar won a Saturn Award for Best Costumes in 2000 for The Phantom Menace and in 2003 for Attack of the Clones.[60][61] She was nominated in 2006 for Revenge of the Sith, but lost to Isis Mussenden, costume designer for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005).[62]

See also

References

  1. ^ Terry Moore, "A Summer's Dream," in Star Wars Tales 5 (Dark Horse Comics, September 2000), ISBN 1593072864.
  2. ^ a b Padmé Amidala, Expanded Universe, at the Star Wars Databank; last accessed August 5, 2006.
  3. ^ James Luceno, Cloak of Deception (paperback; New York: Del Rey, 2002), p. 323, ISBN 0345442970.
  4. ^ Jude Watson, Star Wars Episode I Journal: Queen Amidala (New York: Scholastic, 1999), ISBN 0590521012.
  5. ^ Julianne Balmain, The Queen's Amulet (New York: Chronicle Books, 1999), ISBN 0811824624.
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Further reading

  • Biggar, Trisha. Dressing a Galaxy: The Costumes of Star Wars. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2005. ISBN 0810965674.
  • Hanson, Michael J., and Max S. Kay. Star Wars: The New Myth. Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2002. ISBN 1401039898.
  • Luceno, James. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary. New York: DK Publishing, 2005. ISBN 0756611288.
  • Reynolds, David West. Star Wars Episode I: The Visual Dictionary. New York: DK Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0789447010.
  • Reynolds, David West. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones: The Visual Dictionary. New York: DK Publishing, 2002. ISBN 0789485885.
  • Wallace, Daniel. The New Essential Guide to Characters. New York: Del Rey, 2002. ISBN 0345449002.
  • Wallace, Daniel. "Republic HoloNet News Special Inaugural Edition 16:5:24." Star Wars Insider 84 (September 2005).
  • Wallace, Daniel. "Tatters of the Republic." Star Wars Insider 86 (December 2005).
  • Wallace, Daniel. "Who's Who in the Delegation of 2000." Star Wars Insider 85 (November 2005).
  • Wallace, Daniel, and Kevin J. Anderson. The New Essential Chronology. New York: Del Rey, 2005. ISBN 0345490533.

External links


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