Say what you want about Padmé Amidala’s fall and demise in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, but her legacy lives on mostly thanks to Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
It’s not the movie’s fault that Padmé’s character had to be reduced to a shell of her former self — it served the story, and at the very least, she went down fighting (until she lost the will to live, which we’re still trying to extract the true meaning of all these years later).
Revenge of the Sith was Anakin Skywalker’s story, the tragic tale of his fall to the dark side and his rise as Darth Vader. Her character served a very specific purpose in the film — to act as Anakin’s companion, at some points a senator trying to salvage a dying government, and then of course as the vehicle through which the galaxy’s future, light and hope were born. She served her purpose well, all things considered, despite that being the last thing she would have the strength to do, allegedly.
The Clone Wars completely made up for her sidelining in the prequel trilogy, and later allowed for her brilliant portrayal in several prequel-era books. In this show, Padmé returns to her roots as a complex, dynamic character who wears many hats (literally and figuratively) and wears them well (also literally and figuratively). She is a devoted romantic partner, a friend, a senator. A diplomat. A rescuer. Someone who cares. Someone who would die along with the galaxy as she knew it as long as she knew it would end up in good hands …
Okay, so maybe even more than saving her, The Clone Wars show actually made her death in Revenge of the Sith meaningful. Despite being pushed to the side so that Anakin’s tragedy could remain front and center, she still died with dignity — because somehow, she knew that her children would finish what she started and make the galaxy whole again.
All episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars are available to stream exclusively on Disney+.
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