Jun. 29th, 2017

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One of my favorite aspects of the Padmé/Anakin relationship is that it doesn't start with sweeping romance, longing looks and smoldering stares. It starts when they're children. So the foundation isn't built upon physical attraction (notwithstanding Anakin's admiration of her angel-like resemblance); it's built upon friendship and a mutual admiration of each other's desire for goodness and kindness. That's why my favorite Episode I scene between them is this one.

"My caring for you will remain."

It's a challenge, actually, to limit myself to only one line from this scene. Each one carries an important note of foreshadowing, character development and deepening of their friendship. So I'll go ahead and put the entire exchange of dialogue here. Why not?

Padmé: (Noticing Anakin huddling in the corner) Are you all right?

Anakin: It's very cold.

Padmé: (Bringing him a blanket) You come from a warm planet, Ani. A little too warm for my taste. Space is cold.

Anakin: You seem sad.

Padmé: The queen is worried. Her people are suffering...dying. She must convince the Senate to intervene, or...I'm not sure what will happen.

Anakin: (Gives her the japor pendant) I made this for you. So you'd remember me. I carved it out of a japor snippet. It'll bring you good fortune.

Padmé: It's beautiful. But I don't need this to remember you by. (Considers) Many things will change when we reach the capital, Ani. But my caring for you will remain.

Anakin: I care for you too...only I...

Padmé: Miss your mother.

Two people, scared and feeling out of control, seeking comfort in each other. I love how Padmé offers the physical warmth of a blanket as a sort of symbol of the emotional warmth she represents to him. And then there is the strange wistfulness hiding beneath the simple words "Space is cold."

I love that Anakin, miserable as he is, still notices her pain and tries to help with a simple trinket. There's a ton of foreshadowing here. "So you'd remember me." Years later, Padmé will still have this pendant, and she'll still remember him. She'll carry that memory to her grave. Good fortune? That's harder to say. Terrible pain and suffering will come, but ultimately it will be Anakin's connection to Padmé, through their children, that will save him from his darkness.

And Padmé must navigate carefully between the wish to prepare Anakin for her "disappearance" on Coruscant and the need to hide her true identity as the queen. "Many things will change. But my caring for you will remain" as we see when she tells him later as Amidala, "We are sure her heart goes with you." And that caring will continue, till death.

Lastly, we see the beginnings of Anakin's anguish at being separated from his mother. Padmé is deeply empathetic, the one person who understands. Which will make it all the harder when her loss is at the center of Anakin's fears in Episode III. But for now, this exchange establishes a sweetness and gentleness that lies at the core of their relationship.

Next, some ironic words from Palpatine.

But in the meantime, if I can work up the nerve, I might post a video which I've been working on for over two months. It's quite silly, but I've put quite a lot of time into it. (It's nearly an hour and a half long. Yeah.) I assumed I had achieved peak fandom with Les Starwarbles, but now I may have exceeded myself. We'll see...


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