Revenge of the Sith: Can Anakin’s assault on Padmé on Mustafar be classified as domestic abuse?


[CAUTION: This article contains sensitive material]

Revenge of the Sith explained how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. It was  dark, gritty, and full of angst for the Jedi Knight who had everything to live for. What fans might not realize is how dark the character became once he turned to the Dark Side. Let’s take a glimpse at the scene on Mustafar where Padmé confronts him.

George Lucas’s time as a director ended in 2005. However, he left a parting gift; the final prequel film, Revenge of the Sith. Revenge of the Sith became memorable for many scenes though there is one that doesn’t get as much attention.

Just before Obi-Wan and Anakin’s fight on Mustafar’s lava banks, Padmé gets severely injured by her husband’s rage.

More from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

We’ll go over whether Anakin’s assault on Padmé could be classified as domestic violence.

Scene in question

Anakin’s heavily pregnant wife arrives on Mustafar to confront him in Revenge of the Sith. Unbeknownst to her, Obi-Wan hid away on her ship. The distressed senator tells her tormented husband that Obi-Wan knows about them about the paternity of their child. She attempts to talk him into leaving with her, to raise their child in safety.

Anakin tells her they no longer need to hide away and that he can overthrow Palpatine so they can rule the galaxy together as a family. Padmé realizes the man she loves and the father of her child isn’t the man he once was.

The moment takes a dramatic turn when Anakin sees Obi-Wan emerge from the ship. He accuses Padmé of betraying him and starts Force choking her. Obi-Wan tells him to let her go and after a few tense seconds, he does, but the damage is done.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Breaking down Anakin’s mental state before Revenge of the Sith

Fans often recall Anakin as an unstable being. In a deleted scene from The Phantom Menace, Anakin gets into a scuffle with Greedo after being accused of cheating in the Podrace. Remember he was just a kid. All kids get into fights before they turn 13.

In Attack of the Clones, Anakin was fueled with grief and anger when his mother dies at the hands of Tusken Raiders. He confesses his dark deed of killing the Tusken Raiders to Padmé.

During the Clone Wars, Anakin became renowned for being a hero. However, if you’ve seen The Clone Wars series, you’ll know he was prone to anger whenever he didn’t get the answers he wanted. For example, when Ahsoka didn’t get to Jabba’s Palace with Rotta when she was meant to, he accused Jabba doing something to her.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Jealous streak

Anakin developed a jealous streak during the war. When Padmé’s ex-lover Rush Clovis resurfaces, Anakin takes offense. Padmé hadn’t mentioned him and Anakin becomes convinced Clovis is trouble.

When Padmé tries to get to the datachip from Clovis, she forces herself to leap into Clovis’s arms, which Anakin walks in on. At first, he’s green with envy, but when Padmé produces the datachip behind Clovis’s back, he relaxes.

Toward the end of the war, Clovis resurfaces and tries to win Padmé back. He tries to kiss her and Anakin almost kills him with his bare hands, but Padmé pulls him away. She tells Anakin she’s afraid of him and wants him to stay away because she no longer stays safe around him.

After Anakin almost killed Clovis, the senator sacrifices himself when Anakin isn’t strong enough to pull both him and Padmé to safety after a balcony collapses. In that moment, Padmé realizes Anakin only tried to keep her safe and takes him back.

Joy turns into a nightmare

Another aspect of this examination is how Anakin’s joy of pending fatherhood suddenly turns into an everlasting nightmare. Padmé’s pregnancy was unexpected to both Padmé and Anakin. It’s unknown if they ever spoke about raising a family, despite the obstacles they’d face. However, when we take Anakin’s nightmares and gift for prophecy into account, we can see he’s destined for another tragedy. This also means his temper would flare.

When we look at the Mustafar scene, we know Anakin’s thoughts are in two different places. He believes he can save his family, but he also has the insane belief he can overthrow Palpatine and rule the galaxy in his place. However, when he sees Obi-Wan on the ramp, he doesn’t listen to what Padmé has to say and throttles her using his Dark Side powers.

Anakin was a hard person to reason with. Obi-Wan and Padmé both knew it. His Dark Side abilities warped his mind and left him as a shell of a man. He thought he was saving the woman he loved when in reality; he was just a pawn in a much bigger game.

Photo Credit: Giuseppe Camuncoli & Charles Soule, Marvel Comics/Disney.

Remorse And Self-Pity?

He never meant to harm Padmé. He asks Palpatine if she was safe after he is put in his black suit. The new Emperor says Anakin’s anger killed his wife and thus killed their child.

For years, Darth Vader blamed himself for his wife’s death. Upon communing with Palpatine, Vader learns Luke is the offspring Padmé had carried. He’d spent twenty years blaming himself for his beloved’s death only to learn he wasn’t responsible. Also, the child she’d carried had survived his assault on her and had joined the rebels. Was he remorseful for what he did?

Of course, he was remorseful. Everyday of his life as Vader, Anakin was forced to relive his assault on Padmé in his mind. Her death haunted him until the day he died. If you stop and think about it, he was just as much a pawn in Palpatine’s plan for galactic conquest as the rest of the galaxy was.

Next. The Last Jedi: Justin Theroux and the almost bigger role. dark

Concluding Answer

To conclude this exposé, the answer to the question would be how you interpret the scene in Revenge of the Sith. Some people might say yes, others may say no. The film was made without domestic violence ever being considered. Also, Lucas didn’t have Padmé’s fate planned out until he wrote the prequel films. There needed to be a way to explain how Luke and Leia’s mother died and it’s explained as being a potentially broken heart.

However, Anakin’s actions shouldn’t be excused. He abused his power as a husband and father who tried to save those he loved without thinking of the consequences.

If you’re in a tough situation or you need to talk to someone, please contact emergency services.