revenge of sith

PadMay

Day 21: Favorite RotS Costume

The Funeral Gown

The last thing she is ever seen wearing. She and the dress are so beyond beautiful. She looks like an angel almost. The dress looks like she’s wearing a waterfall, and all those sequins catch the light in such a sparkling way. The flowers in her hair are beautiful too, looking almost like stars. The flowers and resemblance of water seem to represent the natural world, and is a stark contrast to what Anakin has become. Vader’s costume is dark, cold, and terrifying. He is a man-made machine, nearly devoid of life, where as Padme seems to represent things that grow and give life, despite the fact that she is the one that has died. 

The designer, Trisha Biggar, said the costume was meant to resemble the lakes of Naboo and symbolize her spiritual return to the lake. Natalie Portman once said the dress reminded her of Ophelia in that Padme looks like she’s drowning. I think these interesting ways to interpret the dress. And I’m so glad they decided to include the jappor snippet, calling back to her love for who Anakin once was.

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Choose or Lose

Although the Star Wars prequels, aside from perhaps Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, aren’t as wonderful as the original three films, one of the things I do like about them is that they include numerous references to said films. This includes each prequel film sharing some things in common with its counterpart film from the original trilogy. For example, in Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Anakin Skywalker, who is still an inexperienced Jedi student, engages in a lightsaber duel with a Sith (Count Dooku) and part of his right arm is severed. This is exactly like in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke Skywalker, also an inexperienced Jedi student, engages in a duel with a Sith (Darth Vader), and his right hand is severed.

One of the many parallels between the respective third films of both trilogies is that they both include a scene where Anakin/Vader makes an important decision of whether to help someone against Palpatine, or side with the latter. In both cases, the one who isn’t chosen dies. What happens in each of these films are, in essence, a complete reverse of one another.

In Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, on the Death Star, after Luke defeats Vader in their duel, Palpatine attacks and tries to kill Luke with Force lightning when the latter refuses to become the former’s new apprentice. Having tossed his lightsaber aside, Luke is completely defenseless against Palpatine. While this goes on, Vader is off to the side, watching what happens before him. Although he stands next to his master, he appears to be trying to decide between Palpatine and Luke. Ultimately, the sight of his son in pain becomes too much for Vader to bear, so he grabs Palpatine and throws him down the Death Star’s reactor shaft to his death. By killing Palpatine and saving Luke, Vader redeems himself and becomes Anakin once more.

In Revenge of the Sith, in Palpatine’s office, Anakin arrives at Palpatine’s office after Mace defeats Palpatine in their duel. The latter still tries to kill the former with Force lightning, but Mace manages to deflect it back using his lightsaber. As this happens, Anakin is off to the side, watching and trying to decide if he should help Mace or Palpatine. Believing that Palpatine holds the power to prevent death, which is what Anakin desires for Padmé, Anakin chooses to help Palpatine and cuts off Mace’s lightsaber hand. This leaves the latter defenseless against a new bolt of lightning, and Palpatine sends Mace plummeting out the window to his death. Although horrified that he helped to murder a Jedi, Anakin submits himself to Palpatine and finally becomes Darth Vader.

Based on all that I have just described in how both scenes are similar to and different from each other, I believe that the scene portrayed in Revenge of the Sith is meant to be a conscious echo of what happens in Return of the Jedi. The biggest difference of all is the fate of Anakin: in one film, he chooses Palpatine, helps kill Mace, succumbs to the dark side, and becomes Vader, but in the other film, Vader redeems himself when he chooses Luke, kills Palpatine, returns to the light side, and becomes Anakin again.

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This deserves more attention.

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PadMay Day 21. Favorite Revenge of the Sith Costume

In a way, this dress is the culmination of the other three costumes I chose. Like her handmaiden disguise in The Phantom Menaceit’s simpler than the senatorial gowns she wears in the film. While still clearly aristocratic, it’s a linen in a subdued color with minimal accessories and styling. Like her meadow dress in Attack of the Clones, it borrows from Arthurian fantasy silhouettes. The last image – which, incidentally, is probably my favorite Anidala kiss but I didn’t post it for Anidala Week as it does not actually happen in the film – could easily be rendered as a pre-Raphelite painting of Guinevere and Lancelot. And like her counselor dress in The Clone Wars, this is dark and heavy, with an air of sadness. And it has a very similar style.

I love the dark blue, that can read black, which hints at mourning and twilight and a galaxy and romance about to be consumed by darkness. 

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My Space Mom™