Natalie Portman’s portrayal of Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequels was unforgettable, or so we thought. A recent interview with Rolling Stone is making waves after Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi claimed he forgot that Oscar-nominated actress was previously part of the space franchise. When discussing what it was like working with Portman on Thor, Waititi tossed out the following anecdote:
"“Natalie said to me, what do you do next? And I said “I’m trying to work on a Star Wars thing. Have you ever wanted to be in a Star Wars movie?” She said, “I’ve been in Star Wars movies.” I forgot about those ones. [Laughs]”"
While many have taken to social media to express outrage over Waititi’s apparent blunder, it’s important to note this isn’t the only time in recent history the storyteller has sent fans into a frenzy. Just last week, rumors swirled about the future of his very own Star Wars film, fueled by Waititi’s statement to the New York Times that:
"“I’m trying to write the ‘Star Wars’ idea at the moment,” he said. “I’ve got to see how that goes, because once I submit it, that might determine when it gets made or if it gets made, even.”"
While promoting the recent runaway hit Our Flag Means Death, Waititi faced similar scrutiny. Speaking to Decider in March 2022 with costar Rhys Darby, Waititi described the kiss the two shared in the penultimate episode as “more awkward than anything.” Interpreting Waititi’s words as the kiss, which was a pivotal moment both for the characters and for queer representation in media, was unenjoyable fans were quick to express their displeasure online.
It is important to note that all of the above examples were derived from print interviews. Waititi typically has a dry, concise, and self-deprecating sense of humor, which is much more common in Aotearoa New Zealand than in the United States. While his spirit carries well through video interviews, it can be harder to extract his original intent through written interviews alone.
So did Taika forget Natalie Portman was once the mother of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa? It’s possible, but considering his involvement within the Star Wars universe past and present, it seems more likely it’s another example of classic Waititi humor.
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