In Star Wars, she served as a queen, senator, became the wife of the Chosen One and the mother of the Skywalker twins, but, did Sheev Palpatine plan Padmé Amidala’s death from the beginning?
Queen. Senator. Wife. Mother. These are only a few of the titles given to Padmé Amidala throughout her short existence in the Star Wars franchise.
At 27, she died after giving birth to the galaxy’s future saviors, Luke and Leia. The medical droids on Polis Massa told Obi-Wan, Senator Organa, and Yoda she’d lost the will to live, despite being healthy and they couldn’t explain why.
After Revenge of the Sith’s release, fans weren’t satisfied with the answer they’d gotten to their longtime question.
More from Emperor Palpatine
- 3 exciting elements from The Clone Wars Season 1 from a first time viewer
- New canon explanation of how so many Jedi survived Order 66
- Palpatine’s manipulation helped turn this Jedi to an Inquisitor
- Is Omega headed for the dark side?
- Meet the first people to ever play Emperor Palpatine
Instead, they developed a theory that fit better with the story. According to their idea, Padmé’s life force got sucked from her body during childbirth and transferred to Vader. They believe Palpatine used a Sith technique to kill the senator, unaware her unborn children lived.
Sith rising through the ranks
Sith Lord Darth Bane created the Rule of Two that saw the prevention of another Sith near-extinction. This law allowed only two Sith, one master, and one apprentice to exist at one time. After the slaughter of his master, Palpatine took Maul as his student.
A new queen of Naboo and meeting Anakin
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999). Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., All Rights Reserved
When it came time for Naboo to choose a new Queen, Sidious realized his chance to manipulate her. The new monarch was a 14-year-old Padmé Naberrie who took the name of Amidala as her regal name. The disguised Sith Lord caught sight of the young woman’s willingness to help her people and to reunite with the Gungan population.
Palpatine planted a seed of doubt in the monarch’s mind regarding Chancellor Valorum. This forced a vote of no confidence and the current leader was voted out with Palpatine coming in as his replacement.
With his newfound power, the secret evil doer met young Anakin Skywalker, the child who destroyed the droid command ship from the inside. He told the boy he’d watch his career with ‘great interest’.
Palpatine was trying to make a joke. Though, if we examine him as a character, we shudder at the thought of him he wanting Anakin to become his greatest weapon. He hadn’t witnessed the close bond between Padmé and Anakin, but he would have sensed it through the Force.
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002). Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., All Rights Reserved
For ten years, Palpatine had a front-row seat as Anakin’s career as a Jedi flourished. He became one of Skywalker’s biggest supporters and became a close friend to the boy. His agenda to get the troubled young man was underway.
By the time Anakin was 19, on the verge of his 20th birthday, his mind was filled of nothing but Padmé and his mother. Palpatine knew that Anakin’s feelings for Padmé would grow if they ever came into contact again. As the Chancellor, it became his job to pretend he cared if he wanted Anakin to join him.
Padmé’s return and a secret marriage
Dooku orders Padmé be assassinated and asks Jango Fett to hire someone. The bounty hunter orders Zam Wesell to kill the senator with no questions asked. When Obi-Wan and Anakin sense the threat, they go after the assassin but are too late to get answers. Sam is killed by Jango before she can expose him.
To ensure Padmé isn’t targeted again, the Jedi Council assigns Anakin his first assignment: to keep her safe. Obi-Wan goes looking for the assassin. When the Clone Wars begin, no one expected Anakin and Padmé to marry on Naboo.
Somehow, Palpatine discovered the union and used it to his advantage later in the war. Anakin’s fall becomes imminent after he has a dream of Padmé’s death. Palpatine confronts him about it and reveals he’s a Sith Lord. He promises Anakin he can save his wife but if he becomes a Sith. After careful consideration, Anakin joins Palpatine but kills Mace Windu.
Palpatine’s promise to save Padmé from death always felt empty. He told Anakin he could save his the mother of children but never said he would. The evil Chancellor wanted the Jedi Knight on his side so he wouldn’t be seen as a hero.
Did Palpatine drain Padmé of her life?
Photo credit: Lucasfilm/The Clone Wars
One theory amongst fans is the what if scenario that Palpatine stole Padmé’s life force and transferred it to Anakin.
In Legends, Palpatine possessed the ability of Transfer Essence, a Sith exclusive ability where the power transferred the life of one person into someone else. However, no concrete evidence is given to how the senator died in canon.
Transfer Essence is not a power in new continuity so we can’t explain Padmé’s death in this way.
What would Palpatine have achieved from Padmé’s death?
One question remains what the evil emperor achieved upon Padmé’s death. As a patient, cunning Sith, Palpatine’s end goal was to get Anakin to his control. The Sith Lord anticipated exploiting the young Jedi’s feelings to get what he wanted.
With his mother dead and his friendship with Obi-Wan erased, Anakin’s life spiraled into Palpatine’s hands. The young Jedi’s loyalty now laid on him. This gets confirmed by Vader during his conversation with Luke in Return of the Jedi.
To end this article, we need to ask the question once more: did Palpatine plan Padmé’s death? Since we don’t have an answer in canon, we have to settle on ‘maybe’. There isn’t enough information to conclude that Palpatine planned Senator Amidala’s death but not enough evidence to prove anything else.
If a book gets written about Palpatine, it would be worth mentioning how Padmé died in more detail.
Now, it’s your turn. What do you think? Did Palpatine plan Padmé’s death or did it happen naturally? Sound off in the comments below!