Padme Amidala | The History Of A Queen
'So This Is How Liberty Dies…With Thunderous Applause'
One of the most unsettling scenes for me, and I’m sure for many others, in the Star Wars saga was the death of Padmé Amidala during the events of Revenge of the Sith. The cause of her death has remained an active topic of debate and speculation among fans for a long time. However, in the movie, it was stated that Padmé had “lost the will to live” and died of a broken heart. In her own words, Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the dark side broke her heart.
Padmé was left utterly devastated knowing that under the pretext of saving her life, Anakin, the love of her life and her husband, was choosing the ways of the Sith. As hard as it is to wrap one’s head around the idea that a person could die of heartbreak, Padmé’s death is not all that surprising if one analyses what she stood for all her life, what drove her to work tirelessly as a queen and later as a senator.
“I would try a thousand times, even if I only ever saved one being. I would try ten thousand times.” - Padmé Amidala in “Queen’s Shadow”
From a tender age, Padmé dedicated her life to the welfare of the galaxy. She was born in a family of modest means as Padmé Naberrie in 46 BBY. Her father, Ruwee Naberrie, was the President of the Refugee Relief Movement (RRM) that had been formed to improve the lives of the lower-class inhabitants of Coruscant. Her mother, Jobal Naberrie, also worked at RRM’s galactic headquarters. When she was but a child, Padmé served as the youngest volunteer at the RRM and accompanied her father to several missions. At the age of seven, she was a member of the relief group that travelled to the Outer-Rim planet, Shadda-Bi-Boran, to relocate its population before its decimation by a supernova. Unfortunately, the refugees could not adapt to other planets and were wiped out. This incident left a permanent mark on Padmé and drove her to public service, putting the welfare of individuals first in every situation.
Padmé was resolute and focused on her political pursuits from a very young age. She was only eight when her strong devotion to public service led her to join and later serve as the junior senatorial adviser at the Apprentice Legislature, which was an organisation for politically-inclined youth formed under the Galactic Republic. Padmé continued her training in political leadership at the Royal Academy of Theed. At the age of twelve, she participated in the Legislative Youth Program and also started a mandate as the supervisor of Theed. Two years later she campaigned to be elected as the Queen of Naboo. By now she had gained popularity among the people of Naboo through her incessant public service and was considered a bright and gifted young girl. Her efforts bore fruit and at a mere fourteen years of age, Padmé Naberrie, under the regal name, Padmé Amidala, was coronated as the Monarch of Naboo.
This was only the beginning of what would be a long pursuit of peace in the galaxy. Padmé Amidala’s first term as Queen began with the invasion of Naboo by the Trade Federation. Amidala’s bias for action and her humility in uniting with the Gungans helped turn the tables and free Naboo. From making diplomatic pleas and negotiations in the Senate to wielding a blaster and fighting alongside the Jedi, the young sovereign did not leave any stone unturned to stand up for the people who had placed their trust in her. She was elected for a second term and served as the Queen of Naboo for ten years.
Soon after the completion of her term as the sovereign, Padmé accepted the newly elected Queen’s request to represent the Chommell Sector in the Galactic Senate. She was successful as a Senator. Her first motion presented to the senate, the Mid Rim Cooperation Motion, helped save millions of lives on Bromlarch. Senator Padmé was a fierce champion of peace and worked tirelessly to end the Clone Wars. Padmé, while being an idealist, had a compassionate heart and was kind and respectful to everyone she came in contact with. She did not shy away from passionately defending what was right in the face of all odds. She made many enemies while trying to defend democracy and survived several assassination attempts. However, this did not deter her from fighting against the dark side till her last breath.
During her time as the Senator, she fell in love with and married the Jedi Knight, Anakin Skywalker, an alliance that would change the fate of the galaxy forever. Padmé and Anakin worked together on many missions during the Clone Wars. However, a crestfallen Padmé helplessly watched liberty die with the rise of the Galactic Empire and the Sith Lord, Emperor Palpatine, at its helm. The realization that Anakin had aided Palpatine’s schemes further left her completely distraught. She had not only failed to save the democracy but also had to witness the loss of her beloved to the dark side. Her heart was shattered as was her will to live. Desolate and heartbroken, she died soon after giving birth to the twins, Luke and Leia.
Padmé Amidala was a true hero – valiant, determined, and kind. Her life was a message of hope and peace. She was one of the pioneers of what would later shape into the rebellion against the Galactic Empire and would be brought to fruition by her children.
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Written by Aditi Verma
Syndicated from Culture Slate