We need to talk about Padmé Amidala

aotc-senate padmeWe need to talk about Padmé Amidala. More specifically, we have to talk about the raw deal that Padmé gets. No not the one that she got in Revenge of the Sith with her entire political plotline being cut from the film and her less than ideal death. No, I’m referring to the tendency of people (fandom and otherwise) to write Padmé off simply because she was either in the Prequels or doesn’t fit their model of a Strong Female Character because it’s really getting to be a problem.

Prequel dismissiveness aside, I’ve seen a pretty disturbing trend lately of writers leaving Padmé off their lists of prominent women within the Star Wars universe. Usually, that list includes Leia, Rey, Jyn, Ahsoka, and sometimes Sabine and Hera from Star Wars Rebels. It’s a list that doesn’t include Padmé despite her being strong enough to lead the battle to retake her planet, often going headfirst into danger when she’s trying to do the right thing, and having some of the strongest convictions of any Star Wars characters. She is also undoubtedly the prominent female character from three films.

When people talk about Padmé, they often do so dismissively whether it be because of the Prequels or because of her death or because of her fantastic fashion sense or because she’s not the flashy Hero of the story or because they simply don’t like her. That’s not okay. Say what you will about the Prequels but give Padmé the respect that she deserves and don’t omit her from a list of prominent Star Wars women just because you have an axe to grind. (And Padmé certainly can fight, by the way. She’s one of the best shots in the films but that shouldn’t matter.) Continue reading

Tsar Wars: A New Naboo

You may have noticed that I have a weakness for all the royalty in Star Wars.  That’s why it made perfect sense to team up with Jay Shah from Eleven Thirty-Eight for a nice long chat about all the different monarchies we see across the Star Wars universe.  Part I covered how monarchy works and now we’re ready for a deep dive into the intricacies of Naboo.

Bria: I’d like to thank George Lucas and The Phantom Menace for giving nine year-old Bria the dream that she too could one day be elected Queen and get a crown to wear at state occasions.

Jay: I love Naboo so much — you know, it was my home world in Star Wars Galaxies and I never wanted to leave. I hung around Theed and De’ja Po–oh wait, we were supposed to be talking about the Naboo system of government, weren’t we? Sometimes it’s hard to get over how beautiful and awesome Naboo is.

Bria: Did I ever tell you that I went to the Lake House?  I mean, technically it’s called Villa Balbianello on Lake Como but it was the kriffing Lake House!

Jay: Yes, I still remember the day you told me and being eternally jealous. I lived vicariously through the photos, but oh my god it looked just like you had walked onto the set of the pier/balcony area.

Bria: Thankfully, no one was there to talk to me about how they hated sand but you’re right.  We digress.  Let’s get back to talking about how I’d like to be Queen of Naboo.  I mean how Naboo elects their monarchs.

Jay: I’d vote for you–I mean, I’d vote for an improbably young candidate who went through a legislative program and a crash course in politics. But then people would probably think I was crazy, so why is it that the people of Naboo feel so comfortable electing children to run their planet?

Bria: Do we actually know how old the youngest queen ever elected was?

Jay: Argh, I feel like it was something that came up in one of the reference books, perhaps Wizard’s of the Coasts Secrets of Naboo sourcebook but I can’t remember offhand. Man, and Naboo is like my second or third favorite SW planet. Nerd fail.

Bria: Let’s assume it was 13 or younger since Amidala was 14.  You knew me via the TFN boards when I was 14… would you have voted for me as Queen back then? Continue reading