First off, I need to admit that I’m a huge fan of the Star Wars prequel triology. They weren’t perfect movies, but the characters, music, fight scenes, and world-building makes them pretty great, in my professional opinion. As a young girl interested in politics, Padme Amidala was, by far, my favorite character. I can’t help but feel imense disappointment every time someone tells me they don’t consider the prequels to be a part of the Star Wars saga. By herself, Padme is enough of a reason to watch all three movies.
Padme first appears in The Phantom Menace, pretending to be a handmaid to the Queen Amidala. No one knows until later that she is secretly the queen in disguise (for her own protection). Despite being so young on screen, Padme kicks ass. She befriends the young slave, Anakin Skywalker, and his mom. She gets in the middle of a gun fight while trying to protect the freedom of her people. She sneaks off the planet to plea for help from the Galactic Senate and when they refuse to take action, makes a motion to take the current chancellor out of power. So yeah, she’s kind of amazing.
In the second movie, Padme really encompasses how women can be feminine, romantic, politically savy, and badass. She wears amazing outfits, rants about the importance of democracy, shoots more guns, and falls in love (despite the relationship being kinda cringy). For a young girl growing up, it’s amazing to see a character like this on the big screen. She literally can do it all while still embracing her feminity.
It’s so important for girls to see that women can be strong without having to be masculine. Feminity can be strong and powerful too. Padme is polite, well spoken, and smart, but she isn’t afraid to fight for what she believes in. She can be hot-headed, strong-willed, and still able to get up when she’s knocked down (literally). How could anyone hate a gal like that??
What a lot of people don’t realize is the Padme walked so that Leia could run. Padme was a part of a group of senators that opposed the war and Palpatine’s increasing control. While some people claim she was a weak damsel in distress during Revenge of the Sith, she was actually laying the groundwork for the rebellion alongside Bail Organa. Even while pregnant, she makes speeches against the most powerful man in the galaxy. Not only that, but she looks gorgeous doing it. She challenges the validity of the very institution that gave her power simply because she feels like it is failing the common citizen.
Long story short, Padme deserves better and you can’t change my mind. Images courtesy of Star Wars