Padmé Amidala, main heroine of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, will be the subject of a new canon young-adult novel to be released next year. The character was first introduced in The Phantom Menace, as the 14-year old Naboo queen leading her people in a fight against the Trade Federation's invasion. She was later revealed to be one of the most important figures in the lore, as she was the mother to twins Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, giving birth to them after husband Anakin had fallen to the dark side.
Though Natalie Portman's performance as Amidala didn't earn as much widespread adoration as, say, Carrie Fisher or Daisy Ridley, Padmé still has her fans, and Lucasfilm has made sure to include her in some of the non-movie materials that have come out. The character appeared throughout the Clone Wars animated series, which added context and much-needed depth to her relationship with Anakin. Amidala has also factored into the Forces of Destiny line, which shines a spotlight on the franchise's female players. Now, more information about the queen-turned-senator will be revealed in an upcoming book.
Jedi Bibliotek (hat tip Making Star Wars) revealed the news, saying the YA novel is set to be published on April 24, 2018. Specific details, such as the author and a synopsis, have not yet come out, but such information should be unveiled in the near future. After all, the book hits shelves in just a handful of months, so Lucasfilm has to have some idea of what it will entail. It'll be interesting to see what time period the book covers. The 10 years between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones have largely been untouched by the new canon, so there's potential there.
Some readers may balk at the notion of this novel being at the YA level, but some of the best Star Wars publications in the Disney era firmly fit in that category. Claudia Gray's Lost Stars and Leia: Princess of Alderaan were widely acclaimed and told compelling stories, so odds are the Padmé book won't just be an easy read for teens. Hopefully, there are some fascinating revelations in its pages, as Lucasfilm has used the novels and comics to flesh out the galaxy in many ways. For instance, Leia gave fans their first taste of Amilyn Holdo (played by Laura Dern in The Last Jedi), and the Aftermath trilogy touched on Han Solo's life debt with Chewbacca. The books are rarely (if ever) required reading, but they're usually interesting for longtime fans.
With her death in Revenge of the Sith, Padmé's time in the films is over. There's always an outside chance Portman returns for a Clone Wars-era spinoff, but with Rian Johnson developing an all-new narrative separate from the Skywalker saga, that seems unlikely. The Star Wars movies might be starting to move on from its legacy elements, but the studio isn't going to let those aspects go completely by the wayside until all of the storytelling possibilities are spent. Clearly, they feel there's at least one more tale involving Amidala, and it'll be fun to see what they came up with.
Source: Jedi Bibliotek
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019