In 1999, George Lucas made his return to the Star Wars universe with the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. The movie made a ton of money, but was met by an underwhelming fan reaction, as it lacked any resemblance of a throughline. However, the film did introduce Anakin Skywalker, the boy who would eventually become Darth Vader, father of Luke and Leia Skywalker. Although the character was only nine years old in the film, fans already started to speculate who the mother of Luke and Leia would turn out to be. All the signs pointed towards Natalie Portman’s character, Padme, despite no romantic interaction between her and Anakin (aside from nine-year-old Anakin asking 14-year-old Padme if she is an angel).
It wasn’t until 2002 that Lucas fully dove into the love story between Padme and Anakin in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. The movie engages in an interesting narrative structure with each scene switching between the young couple’s love story and Obi-Wan’s noir-style mystery. This structure presents a very difficult task -- it must depict both the anger in Anakin that the Jedi council warned him about and create a bond between him and Padme. Unfortunately the film leans so hard into the angsty teenager trope that the courtship is both unbearable and barely believable. Eventually, by Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Anakin becomes Darth Vader and in the process breaks Padme’s heart. It is a difficult plot thread to weave and sadly leaves a number of holes. In this list we break down 15 things that make no sense about Padme and Anakin’s relationship.
15 NOBODY KNOWS ABOUT THEM
Why can’t anyone notice or sense the intense feelings Anakin has towards Padme? The Jedi council are able to sense when he misses his mom, but later they can’t sense that he has agonizing fear of his secret wife dying.
We realize that it is mentioned in the film that the Jedi’s vision is being clouded, but what about Obi-Wan? He has to know something is going on. At one point Anakin tells Obi-Wan he wants to dream about Padme because being around her is intoxicating. Obi-Wan tells him to settle down, but then never speaks of it again. It seems like the celibacy rules of the Jedi aren’t too strict.
14 ANAKIN GUILT TRIPS PADME OVER A KISS
There is a moment in Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones when Anakin leans in to kiss Padme as she takes in the beautiful scenery of her home planet, Naboo. Padme briefly receives the kiss, but then quickly puts a stop to the young Jedi’s advances.
Later, as Anakin is professing his love to the former Queen, he explains that the kiss is tormenting him and blames her for allowing it to happen. This intense guilt trip he puts on Padme is unprecedented and does not make any sense. It is clear that Anakin is the one to initiate the kiss, without warning. The young Jedi Apprentice should take some responsibility before pinning the cause of his angsty agony on his “true love”.
13 ANAKIN DOESN’T LEAVE THE JEDI ORDER
We understand that Anakin is supposed to be the “chosen one” and we see his excitement when Qui-Gon decided to train him as a Jedi. However, if Anakin’s love of Padme is causing him so much agony, then why doesn’t he leave the Jedi Order to be with her?
The franchise leans heavily on the “forbidden love” trope, but it is only forbidden because of a character’s choice in career. There is pressure on Anakin to bring balance to the force, so perhaps this is what happens when you put those expectations on a child. Anakin should break free of the Order to become a mechanic on Naboo with Padme -- they could have had a happy life and a lot fewer people may have perished.
12 ANAKIN’S SAND PICK-UP LINE
There have been so many memes and jokes made about Anakin’s infamous line “I don’t like sand” that some fans have forgotten he turned it into a pick-up line. After describing how coarse and irritating sand is, he looks at Padme and says “Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth.”
The part of this interaction that makes no sense is that Padme would enjoy this comment. She had just shared a fond memory with Anakin and instead of acknowledging her, he aggressively made the conversation about him and turned it into a gross pick-up line. We have no idea how this conversation turned into a building block for their entire relationship.
11 ANAKIN’S OBSESSION MAKES PADME UNCOMFORTABLE
There are a number of moments in the beginning of Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones when Padme tells Anakin to stop looking at her with lustful eyes because it makes her uncomfortable. At one point in the movie she has cameras set up in her room for her protection and she asks Anakin not to look at them while she is sleeping, even though he is assigned to protect her.
These do not sound like the requests of someone in love. Anakin does not change his male gaze throughout the entire film, but somehow by the end Padme welcomes his piercing, brooding eyes.
10 ANAKIN IS CLOSED OFF TO PADME
At the end of Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Anakin and Padme are secretly married. In Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, Padme shares the news that she is pregnant, another thing they must keep a secret.
Since Anakin is able to secretly be with Padme we would think his angst would be gone, but unfortunately it is not. He is closed off to Padme and unable to express himself to her. She is constantly begging him to open up, yet he still will not tell her what is going on. This doesn’t make much sense because Anakin claimed that his internal agony was from not being with Padme. However, even with her he remains emotionally immature.
9 MATERNAL RELATIONSHIP IN THE PHANTOM MENACE
It is hard to imagine a romantic relationship forming between Anakin and Padme after watching their interaction in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. In the movie, Anakin is a child and Padme, at age 14, comes across as his babysitter.
This maternal-like relationship obviously does not portray any romantic energy and when the two are reunited after a 10-year absence, Padme tells Anakin he will always be a “little boy” in her eyes. Anakin does not do himself any favors to appear more grown up. He continues to act like a child who pouts when he doesn’t get his way. We don’t understand it, but somewhere along the way Padme must stop seeing him as “that little boy from Tatooine”.
8 ANAKIN HATES WHAT PADME IS
In the romantic fields of Naboo, Anakin tells Padme he doesn’t like what she does and that a dictatorship is the correct way to run a galaxy. Padme, who has been elected to be both Queen and the prominent figure of a planet, outwardly conveys her displeasure regarding his distorted opinion.
This short scene is clear evidence that they should not be a couple. First of all, Padme is a key figure and she stands for a free world. Her strong stance is such a core characteristic that it is hard to imagine she or Anakin would leave this conversation in love with the other.
7 PADME LIKES A BAD BOY
It does not shock us that Padme would be interested in a bad boy. Maybe she has a rebellious side that didn’t get a chance to break free in her teenage years because she was elected Queen of a planet at the young age of 14. Perhaps, now that she is 24, she is attracted to the dangerous type.
However, the point of the movie where she finally allows herself to fully commit to the relationship with Anakin is right after he confesses to destroying an entire village of Tusken Raiders. That news should scare her, not excite her. We do not understand why she is all over him in this scene. He’s not a simply “bad boy”, he’s a bad person.
6 PADME’S LOVE LIE
When Anakin and Padme are about to be carted into an arena on Geonosis, Padme explains that she has loved Anakin since the day he came back into her life, but there is no evidence in the movie that this is true. As explained in a few other entries, earlier in the movie she repeatedly says that he makes her uncomfortable and that he will always be a little boy in her eyes.
Yet, moments before she thinks they will die, she confesses her long-lasting love for him. Surly the movie was not trying to convey in the earlier scenes that she loved him, so why would she lie in this moment? We guess only George Lucas knows the answer to that one.
5 NO MENTION OF PADME IN THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY
Anakin’s strong emotions, both positive and negative, are at the core of his transformation into Darth Vader. At the end of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, it is clear by his yell that the demise of Padme also marks the end of Anakin and birth of Darth Vader.
If Padme was so important to him, why isn’t she mentioned in the following three movies? Especially in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, when Luke takes off Vader’s helmet. That seems like a good time for Vader to tell Luke that his mother was the most amazing person in the galaxy. However, there is no mention of her in this moment or any other moment of the original trilogy.
4 ANAKIN DOESN’T RESPECT PADME’S AUTHORITY
In Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Anakin and Padme visit her home planet of Naboo. While Padme (the former Queen of Naboo) is discussing with the current Queen where to hide, Anakin takes this public moment to throw a tantrum by constantly interrupting her and undermining her authority. Padme did hurt his feelings during this conversation, but he should have dealt with it in private instead of like a child.
He also doesn’t respect her authority as a person. She repeatedly tells him to stop making advances and he refuses to accept this request. We think these moments are supposed to come off as will-they-won’t-they banter, but in reality it comes across as toxic.
3 PADME’S FRIDGING
“Fridging” is a story trope that occurs when a female character is used as a plot device to create anger or angst in the main character to motivate him/her. This is usually accomplished by causing the female character harm.
At the beginning of Anakin and Padme’s relationship she is a Queen and arguably the main character of the first movie. By the end of their relationship, she simply loses the will to live. Her demise is used as a plot device to crush Anakin’s soul and fully turn him to the Dark Side. This narrative is problematic and it makes little sense that Padme’s character would become merely a reason for Anakin to get in the Vader armor.
2 PADME CONFESSES HER FORBIDDEN LOVE
In the moment on Geonosis, when Anakin and Padme are potentially facing their end, Padme confesses her love for Anakin. This confession is everything the young Jedi has been dreaming of since he reunited with her. However, instead of accepting her admission of love he responds by saying they already agreed not to be together because it is forbidden.
Nothing is good enough for this kid. Anakin needs to do a better job of sensing the moment. The woman he is obsessed with, who thinks she is about to perish, is telling him how she truly feels... get a clue and reciprocate the sentiment!
1 PADME'S BROKEN HEART
In potentially the worst moment of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, the film implies that Padme literally passes away from a broken heart. The medical droid cannot figure out what is wrong with her; he believes she is losing the will to live. She just finished saying that she thinks Anakin still has good in him and she just had two babies.
Why would she lose the will to live if she still had hope for Anakin and just birthed his children? It makes no sense and it is a rotten way to treat your leading female character. In a film franchise where the main characters have as many lives as a cat, Padme is greatly mistreated.