Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is often hailed as the least crappy of the three prequel movies. Like most people, after watching it, my reaction was, “Well, I guess that one wasn’t too embarrassing, right?”
Despite the movie not completely sucking, there was one plot point had always bothered me: Towards the end of the movie, Anakin Skywalker has turned to the dark side and gone on a bit of a killing spree. His pregnant wife Padmé Amidala is naturally a little disturbed about this and confronts him.
Quick side rant:
Anakin and Padmé have kept their marriage a secret because Jedi are forbidden to fall in love.
But Padmé is a member of the Galactic Senate. You’re telling me that a Senator – who most people assume is unmarried – turns up pregnant, and nobody asks any questions? Didn’t they have some equivalent of TMZ in the Galactic Republic?
So Anakin gets pissy when his wife tells him that it might have been wrong to go completely evil and kill a bunch of people. He goes all Ray Rice (too soon?) on her and chokes her with the Force. (And you just know he’d use that as an excuse: “I never laid a hand on her!”)
Obi-Wan Kenobi comes to her defense, which ultimately results in Anakin getting his arms and legs chopped off and being burned by lava. (Hey, Roger Goodell, if you’re looking for more severe ways to punish domestic violence, there’s an idea for you!)
The choking incident caused Padmé to go into premature labor, so Obi-Wan whisks her away so that she can deliver. The babies are healthy, but Padmé does not fare quite as well. The medical droid attending to her says that she has lost the will to survive.
When I first saw the movie, this seemed wrong. Over the course of three movies, Padmé had been presented as a strong character. And then all of a sudden, after giving birth to twin babies, she simply loses the will to live just because her husband turned out to be a bit of an a-hole?
If every woman followed Padmé’s example, we’d have a lot of motherless children out there.
It seemed like a really weak move by Padmé. She chose to die and abandon her children? Did she think that everything would turn out okay if she just allowed the twins to be raised by her murderous husband who has shown a recent tendency towards domestic abuse and murder?
Now that I’m the father of twins, I think I understand her motivation: Padmé didn’t lose the will to live because she was heartbroken. She did it to get revenge.
Padmé was probably super pissed about being choked, and decided that the best way to get even with Anakin was by leaving him alone to care for twin newborns. I think the cruelest thing Mrs. Cutter could ever do to me would be to leave me to raise these kids by myself.
In addition, her plan for revenge might have saved the people of the galaxy a great deal of misfortune. It’s pretty much a given that if I was the lone caregiver for the twins, I wouldn’t be able to carry out any evil plans I might have in store. (And rest assured, I have plenty!)
You think Anakin’s going to have time to carry out the Emperor’s orders when he’s busy raising twins? Heck no!
“Hi, sir. Yeah, I’d love to help you, but things are really busy with me. Yes, I know the Rebels are attacking our base, but – LUKE! No don’t put that in your mouth! How many times do I have to tell you: Daddy’s lightsaber is not a toy!
“Sorry about that. What were you saying? I’m sure somebody else can help oversee the Death Star constr- Oh no! LEIA! What are you doing! Did you just pee on the couch! Why would you pee on the couch?!?!
“I gotta go, boss. Good luck with that whole Rebel thing.”
Even if Anakin was somehow going to try to keep working, there is NO WAY he would be any good at his job. Using the Force takes high levels of concentration, and he’s simply not going to be able to muster that when he’s only sleeping for four hours each night. Dealing with that kind of fatigue, he would be lucky to last five minutes in a lightsaber duel against Obi-Wan.
So why did her plan to save the galaxy fail? I’ll give you one guess who screwed it up.
Once again, when given a chance to make a decision that could potentially save the people of the galaxy from years of pain or suffering, Yoda makes the absolute wrong choice: He decides to hide the existence of the twins from their father.
Unburdened by the responsibilities of fatherhood, Anakin is free to help enforce the Emperor’s evil rule over the galaxy for the next twenty years or so.
Sure, Anakin was eventually redeemed thanks to the love he felt for his son. You know what else might have redeemed him? Seeing his infant children and not being told that they died because he choked out their mother! I imagine that type of thing tends to mess with a guy’s mind a bit.
On the other hand, I’ll concede that trying to raise newborn twins on his own might have driven him completely insane. It’s possible that he could have easily snapped and just gone around with the Death Star blowing up any planet he came across.
Either way, it’s clear that there’s one character in the Star Wars universe who was wise, forward-thinking, and a bit of a hardcore bad ass…and it sure as heck wasn’t Yoda.