Something about Padmé Amidala rubbed me the wrong way in the prequels. Her attitude, lines like “Hold me like you did on Naboo, Ani-wani-Vaderkins” (okay, I improvised a little), and her lack of spunk left me disappointed. Notice that I do not include her multitude of outfits. I understand that being a queen and then a senator does require more than three changes of attire. Anyways. I felt like we had an opportunity to meet another incredible, strong female character like Leia. Instead, we got only the barest hint of Padmé’s strength. I felt that it was there, hovering just under the surface. We saw glimpses during moments like the Battle in the Geonosis Arena and when she made difficult decisions as the young Queen of Naboo. The potential for so much more was there though.
One of the many reasons I love The Clone Wars is that it gives us a chance to spend more time with characters like Padmé. We have another on-screen chance to see what she’s really made of. I’ve begun to look at her differently. Sure, she throws dinner parties. With great political power comes great responsibility for social frivolities. Since important connections are made and votes are swayed at these events, how frivolous are they though? Important transactions can happen among rounds of nuna drumsticks and jogan fruit cake. I see now that it’s unfair to translate these obligations into weaknesses. Politics shape the war, right to the front line battles. She is not the type to be swayed with threats, and she states everything she believes to be true and right. She does this even when she knows that severe repercussions could follow. She doesn’t act selfishly though. She weighs the good of the many against the good of the few. Spock would be proud.
She leaves the Senate halls whenever she thinks she can make a difference. When she has the opportunity, Padmé doesn’t hesitate to pick up a blaster. I mean, she took Aurra Sing down with a stunner. That’s no small feat even if the bounty hunter was cornered. We’ve seen Sing get out of situations tougher than that one and usually her opponents end up dead. She helped corner smugglers on Mandalore. In more than one situation, she has come across as fearless.
Now I get it. In The Clone Wars, we see that Padmé is a fighter. She’s a little girly too. She needs wardrobe options, but I sense that she likes the dresses. She seems to enjoy throwing dinner parties. But you know what? She can be both. After all, I get defensive about the fact that yes, I can like pink and still enjoy playing D&D. Though Leia might have been the more soldierly of the pair, she still managed to sport more than one impossible hairdo when a ponytail or bun would have been far more practical.
While I am not saying that Padmé is as awesome to me as other female characters like Leia or Aayla Secura, I do respect her now. I see her as more than Anakin’s girlfriend, and that wouldn’t have happened without The Clone Wars.