Star Wars 9: Natalie Portman Denies Return As Padmé

Natalie Portman as Senator Padme Amidala in Star Wars Attack of the Clones

Natalie Portman denies rumors she'll reprise the role of Padmé Amidala in Star Wars: Episode IX. The actress, of course, was one of the stars of the franchise's prequel trilogy, appearing in all three films as the character. Beginning Episode I as the young Queen of Naboo, audiences watched Padmé evolve over the course of the movies to become an integral figure in galactic history. A deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith revealed Amidala was part of the group that spearheaded the Rebellion against the Empire. And, most importantly, she was wife to Anakin Skywalker and mother to twins Luke and Leia.

Padmé died in Episode III shortly after giving birth, and while other areas of Star Wars canon have looked to flesh the character and her history out (as evidenced by a reported YA novel and comics), she hasn't factored into the cinematic side of things since 2005. With the sequel trilogy decades removed from the events of the prequels, any connections or references between them have been minimal at most (like a jab about using a clone army), though that hasn't stopped wild speculation from happening. Some believe Portman's returning for Episode IX, but that's news to her.

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In an interview with BuzzFeed News, the Oscar-winner was asked about rumors concerning her possible Star Wars comeback. She seemed genuinely surprised as she gave her response:

"Really? I don't know anything about that. I'm guessing that's not true because I don't know about it yet."

Natalie Portman as Padme Amidala in Star Wars Attack of the Clones

Whenever a major tentpole like Star Wars is the topic of conversation, it's sometimes difficult to take answers like this at face value. Studios do everything they can to ensure their talent is media trained and know what they can and cannot tell the press. A veteran like Portman isn't going to reveal any spoilers well ahead of a film's release, so there's a (very) outside chance she's playing coy in order to preserve secrets. However, audiences can most likely believe her here, as there's so far been nothing concrete to indicate a Padmé return is in the cards. That shouldn't come as a surprise, seeing that the sequels' ties to the prequels are anecdotal and Episode IX has a plethora of storylines and characters to deal with. If there's a natural place for Padmé, then it would be fun to see Portman again, but it's hard to imagine how she'd organically fit into the story.

Unless there's a massive surprise in store for Episode IX, it would appear Portman's time with the Star Wars franchise is over. Once the sequel trilogy concludes, Lucasfilm appears to be moving on to fresh horizons, with projects like Rian Johnson's trilogy and David Benioff & D.B. Weiss' series taking place separately from the Skywalker saga. Perhaps Portman could be the star of her own Disney Plus series one day, but it doesn't sound like anything like that is in the pipeline right now.

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Source: BuzzFeed News

Key Release Dates
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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