Queen. Senator. Humanitarian. Aggressive Negotiator.
Twenty years ago this week, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace introduced Star Wars fans to the young Queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala. Padmé moved from a position of royalty to the role of a politician through the years, always working tirelessly to help others in need. Along the way she fell in love with Anakin Skywalker, adding wife and mother to her long list of roles in Star Wars stories.
Whether you’re a new fan just discovering the Queen of Naboo or a long-term admirer, here are some of Padmé’s finest moments in Star Wars stories over the last 20 years.
1. Refusing to back down.
In The Phantom Menace, Padmé (here Queen Amidala) is immediately put to the test by the Trade Federation, who have blocked essential shipments to her homeworld of Naboo. Padmé refuses to back down and sign the Federation’s treaty — in her very first scene in the film.
2. Putting her people ahead of her pride.
Later in The Phantom Menace, Amidala sheds her disguise as a handmaiden in front of Boss Nass and the Gungans in an attempt to win their cooperation in a fight against the Trade Federation’s invading army. Many people in a position of royalty would be too prideful to kneel in front of a fellow leader, begging for help, but Padmé wisely knows that Naboo will be stronger if all of its citizens work together as equals.
3. Saving herself.
Padmé had already survived multiple assassination attempts by the time she and Anakin are carted into a Geonosian arena to the delight of Count Dooku and his fellow separatists in Attack of the Clones. The Jedi are tasked with protecting her, but Padmé isn’t the type of person who waits for someone to come to her rescue. While Anakin and Obi-Wan bicker about their dire predicament, Padmé has already detached her handcuffs. She spends the rest of the Battle of Geonosis fighting right alongside Anakin, Obi-Wan, and the many Jedi Knights who come to their aid.
Bonus saving herself moment: In the Age of Republic – Pamdé Amidala comic one-shot, Padmé’s life is once again threatened by an assassin. But rather than try and merely escape with her life, Padmé outwits and captures the would-be assassin to bring them to justice.
4. Persistent politician.
When a seismic event destroys the water supply on Bromlarch threatening planet-wide starvation in E.K. Johnston’s book Queen’s Shadow, the Senate initially votes down a bill to assist them. It would have been easier for Padmé to move on to the next political issue with the rest of her fellow senators, but she refuses to turn her back on a world in distress, especially when the Trade Federation attempts to take advantage of their dire situation.
Padmé succeeds in helping the people of Bromlarch by putting her negotiation skills to the test. Her efforts lead to the passage of a motion that brings together over 12 different systems that simultaneously frustrates the power-hungry Trade Federation, as well as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.
5. Champion for peace.
During the Clone Wars, Padmé warns the senate about the dangers of a bill that would lead the Republic deeper into war in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “Pursuit of Peace.” After Bail Organa is injured by forces who are trying to sway the vote, Padmé once again risks her own security to give an impassioned speech in front of the full senate. She puts the focus of the debate on how the war is negatively affecting average citizens, such as the family of one of her own handmaidens, and successfully convinces her fellow senators to vote down the bill.
6. Choosing the light over dark.
The love between Padmé and Anakin plays a large role in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, The Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. At the start of Revenge of the Sith, Padmé has been hiding her marriage to Anakin for three years. She now has an even bigger secret and attachment to Anakin — she’s pregnant with his child.
Padmé’s devotion to Anakin remains steady throughout the film, which makes her break from him after his turn to the dark side that much more impactful. Padmé flies with C-3PO to the volcano planet Mustafar to try and talk some sense into her husband after Obi-Wan tells her that Anakin has turned. Padmé isn’t about to give up on anything she cares about — especially someone she loves.
It’s brave of Padmé to try to save Anakin from himself in this scene — and one her best moments when she refuses to join him in ruling the galaxy. The cost is simply too high and any other choice would have undermined everything in which she believed.
Amy Richau is a writer, lifelong Star Wars geek, and diehard Denver Broncos fan. You can find her on Twitter @amyrichau and more of her writing on FANgirl Blog.
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