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Why We Need to Appreciate Padmé Amidala

In spirit of #SWisagirlthingtoo making its way around Twitter, I thought now would be the perfect time to make a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while. Star Wars up until recently has not given much attention to its heroines, perhaps with the exception of the iconic Princess and General Leia Organa. It is incredibly sad that it has taken this long for the franchise to realise that characters such as Leia, Padmé and Rey (as well as the many animated heroines we have met such as Ahsoka and Hera) have been and will forever continue to be definitive factors in the way many girls have and will grow up.

When it comes to Star Wars, I loved Leia and I love Rey, but they are both not the heroine I connected with. I connected with former Queen and then Senator Padmé Amidala from the highly criticised (although increasingly less so) prequels and then again in the animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Any Padmé fan knows that loving her as a character most often means you’ll often be told that in the end she did ‘nothing but cry over Anakin’ or is in no way comparable to her daughter, you’ll find it frustrating that no reference is made to her at all following Episode III and you’ll know that she has little to no presence in merchandising even when you are more than willing to throw coins down Disney’s way for her.

But Padmé deserves to overcome all of the above. Padmé constantly has to battle against both what people expected her to be (arguably a Leia clone) and the often restrictive and limiting definitions of what makes a “strong female character”, especially in pop culture. Regardless, here is why Padmé is such an underappreciated and amazing character.

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Star Wars music box
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Star Wars Force Theme cover music box
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There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.
—  John Lennon