The Star Wars franchise has sparked a lot of debate and tension over the last forty years, from wars between the Church of Han and the Cathedral of Luke, to criticism of Leia’s metal bikini in Empire Strikes Back, to socio-political issues in our own galaxy today. Fans argue about the details of the trilogy because they love it so much that they have developed strong opinions on the films.
Two decades later, the prequel trilogy also quickly became a center of contention, for slightly different reasons. The most notable criticisms of the prequels focus on its bad CGI, poor directing, wooden acting, nonsensical dialogue, and—of course—Jar Jar Binks. But the central relationship that propels the plot also has its fair share of problems, resulting in a thoroughly unconvincing dynamic between two of the most important characters in the franchise.
Padmé and Anakin are the star-crossed lovers whose forbidden and tragic love shakes the galaxy. The prequel tries to frame it as the ultimate love story, but even after setting aside the lack of chemistry and the cheesy attempt at courtship, so many things about it simply don’t make sense.
The list below is a compilation of just some of the odd details about the couple, and includes elements like plot holes and inconsistent characterizations. There are plenty of spoilers from the prequels and some from the TV show The Clone Wars, so if you’re not all caught up, you might want to proceed with caution.
Here are 20 Things That Make No Sense About Anakin And Padmé’s Relationship.
20 Anakin's Continuous Obsession
When the two lovebirds first meet in The Phantom Menace, Anakin is nine years old while Padmé is fourteen. Anakin develops a little crush on Padmé, asking her if she’s an angel because of how beautiful she is. It’s certainly not unheard of for little boys to get crushes on teenaged girls. What baffles us is how Anakin becomes more and more in love with (or obsessed with) Padmé without seeing her again over the course of a decade.
That means he’s gone more than half of his life without seeing her, and spending most of that time apart training to become a Jedi as conflicts loom over the horizon. Maybe things are a little different when your dad is literally the Force, but it’s rare for young boys to have a decade-long crush.
19 Anakin Changes A Lot, But Padmé Barely Ages
Anakin changes a lot during the ten years he spends away from Padmé. He’s more emotionally mature and has a much better grasp on how the Force works. He’s also changed drastically physically by the time he appears in Attack of the Clones. Padmé, on the other hand, barely changes over ten years.
It seems like they’ve got some amazing moisturizers and sunscreens on Naboo and Coruscant.
Sure, at the end of the day, it’s a practical casting decision to have Hayden Christensen replace the young Jake Lloyd. However, it’s one that can’t quite be justified within the Star Wars universe, unless an unusually high midi-chlorian count and being the Chosen One make you age differently.
18 Padmé's love timeline doesn't add up
In Attack of the Clones, Anakin and Padmé head to Geonosis when Obi-Wan gets captured. They also get caught, and the three of them are slated to meet their ends in the Petranaki arena. Just before Anakin and Padmé are carted into the arena, Padmé confesses her love for Anakin, which apparently had been growing ever since the day he first day he’d come back into her life.
There’s just one problem. When Anakin and Padmé prepare to leave Coruscant for Naboo, she tells him not to look at her with a creepily lovelorn expression because it makes her feel uncomfortable. Since there’s no indication that she’s lying to hide her feelings, we’re assuming that her imminent demise on Geonosis is making her view the past with rose-tinted glasses.
17 Padmé Stays With Anakin Despite His Crimes
Padmé proves time and time again that she’s a bright young woman with a strong intellect and an even stronger moral compass. She stands up for what’s right, even when it means putting herself in danger. So it’s odd that she seems chill with all of Anakin’s alarming behavior.
As they enjoy an idyllic picnic, talk quickly turns to politics and Anakin suggests having a dictator in place.
Apparently he does it as a joke, but it sure doesn’t seem like it.Of course, there's also his complete obliteration of a bunch of Tusken Raiders and of the younglings, both of which are horrific. Those are apparently not strikes against him in Padmé's book.
16 Anakin Chokes Padmé
Anakin begins to have nightmares in which Padmé doesn’t survive childbirth, and is particularly troubled because the dreams are reminiscent to the ones he has about his mother. In order to tempt Anakin to the Dark Side, Palpatine takes advantage of his fears and recounts the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the wise, a Sith Lord so powerful that he could prevent people from passing.
Then Anakin/Darth Vader promptly proceeds to Force choke Padmé on Mustafar as soon as he suspects she’s in cahoots with Obi-Wan and the rest of the Jedi Council. The main reason why Anakin turns is to prevent her passing, so why would he attempt to do the deed himself? By this point, his love is looking a lot more like obsession.
15 Padmé goes from Queen to Damsel in Distress
Many fans avoid the prequels due to its writing and poor use of CGI. Others, however, dislike the trilogy because of Padmé’s uncharacteristic—and frankly, sexist—transformation from strong young woman to babbling damsel in distress
The first two movies set her up as a powerful character, holding her own in the senate and on the front lines.
All of a sudden, she’s a helpless, emotional mess in Revenge of the Sith. As it turns out, Episode III had an alternate ending in which Padmé starts the Rebellion against Darth Vader. She even puts a knife up to his throat. Having Padmé be one of the co-founders of the Rebellion would’ve increased her presence in the original trilogy, but alas, she straight-up perishes of a broken heart.
14 Anakin Didn't Sense Padmé's Pregnancy
Anakin spends months away from Padmé between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Since communication isn’t necessarily secure across the galaxy, it makes sense that Padmé would conceal her pregnancy from him.
How does Anakin not sense her pregnancy when they finally reunite? When Padmé tells him the big news, he looks shocked and speechless, completely caught by surprise. Since the movie doesn’t convey the passage of time very clearly, we’ll give Anakin the benefit of the doubt and assume Padmé isn’t showing yet. Even if he can’t physically feel the baby bump when they hug, how does he not sense his kid(s) via the Force at such close proximity?
13 No Birth Control In Space
A major obstacle for Anakin and Padmé’s relationship is that it’s literally forbidden, and has to be kept a secret, since the Jedi prohibit attachments of the sort. This secret leads to a lot of angst, particularly on Anakin’s part. The situation gets even more tense when Padmé gets pregnant, and they have to hide the baby bump from everyone.
If they’re so desperate to keep their relationship a secret, why not use birth control?
Is there no birth control in the galaxy? Maybe there is space birth control, and Padmé’s pregnancy is one of those cases where someone gets pregnant in spite of consistent use. People recover from all sorts of injuries with astonishing ease in Star Wars, so it’s depressing that birth control doesn’t work better.
12 The Jedi Council Not Knowing
When Anakin arrives at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant for the first time, he’s brought before the Jedi Council for evaluation. Anakin passes Mace Windu’s test with flying colors, but the Jedi still have their hesitations as they sense the young boy’s fear.
How does the Jedi Council not sense that Anakin and Padmé are hiding a relationship later on?
You could argue that Anakin has gotten better at monitoring his emotions thanks to his training with Obi-Wan, but his mentor could easily tell that Anakin is on edge when he’s about to see Padmé again for the first time in ten years. Given how bad the couple is at being discreet, it’s a wonder that nobody finds out about them until much later.
11 Nobody Knows Padmé Is Having Twins
After Obi-Wan defeats Darth Vader on Mustafar, he rushes Padmé to Polis Massa, an asteroid field in the Outer Rim Territories. Padmé is sent to the medical center as soon as they land, where a GH-7 analysis droid reveals that— surprise!— Padmé has been pregnant with twins all along.
It might not come as a surprise for the audience, who already know about Luke and Leia, but apparently nobody within the Star Wars universe knows about the twins, not even Obi-Wan or Yoda. The medical droid is very nonchalant about the news, as if it were the most obvious thing in the galaxy, which makes it even harder to believe that nobody caught the twin situation before the droid.
10 No Space OB-GYN
The Clone Wars animated TV series shows more elements that factor into Anakin’s fall to the dark side, since the medium has more time to do so. In the movies, however, Anakin’s primary motivator is his fear of Padmé’s passing, which then begs the question: is there not a single OB-GYN in space?
Maybe the couple doesn’t trust a sentient being to keep their relationship a secret, but what about droids? There are multiple types of medical droids, including a midwife droid. If they’re worried about sensitive information getting leaked, Anakin could easily program a droid to suit their needs, given his proficiency with mechanics. Instead of looking for help from experts, Anakin does the logical thing and joins the Sith.
9 Padmé's Parents
Padmé is best known as Padmé Amidala, but she’s actually born to Ruween and Jobal Naberrie, and inherited their surname. In a deleted scene at the palace, Padmé tells Anakin that her parents we worried about her during her reign as the elected Queen of Naboo, and were relieved when her two terms were over. Clearly, they’ve been in touch even when Padmé was in office and love their child very much.
Do Padmé’s parents not know about her relationship with Anakin or her pregnancy?
Perhaps Padmé and Anakin decide to keep the Naberries in the dark to protect them, but then why not leave Luke and Leia in their care after Padmé’s passing? Sure, it was imperative to keep the twins’ identities secret, but it’s not like they bothered changing Luke’s last name anyway.
8 Jedi Dorms
The Jedi are based at the Temple on Coruscant, and they spend most of their time there regardless of their rank. The Padawans sleep there, as do the Jedi Knights and masters. When Anakin and Padmé are finally reunited, he spends the night at her apartment and ends up having nightmares about her childbirth.
If Anakin is supposed to spend his nights at the Temple when he’s on Coruscant, how does nobody realize he’s missing from his dorm the first night he returns in Revenge of the Sith? To be fair, the dormitories at the Jedi Temple are technically part of the Legends now, but it was decanonized after the prequel trilogy’s release.
7 Their Secret Wedding
Padmé and Anakin finally profess their love for each other on Geonosis, and they get married in secret at the end of Attack of the Clones. It’s a sweet moment, if a little sad since only C-3PO and R2-D2 are in attendance in order to keep the couple’s marriage hidden. If you think about it, how on earth do Padmé and Anakin sneak off for a secret wedding when both are such prominent figures, especially with a war breaking out?
They go all the way to Varykino, a lake retreat in Naboo’s Lake Country where Padmé used to spend the summers with her family.
They somehow find a way to go out there without getting caught, and people either don’t notice their absence or can’t find them.
6 Darth Vader Not Knowing Leia Is His Daughter
In what must be one of the biggest unresolved plot holes of the franchise, Leia tells Luke that she remembers their birth mother in Return of the Jedi, even though Padmé literally passes away moments after the twins’ birth. This could be explained by her Force sensitive, but what happens later makes no sense.
Since Vader isn’t around for their birth, it makes sense that he doesn’t know he’s got two biological kids. Yet at the beginning of A New Hope, he literally probes Leia’s mind with extra help from an IT-O interrogation droid, and he still doesn’t realize that Leia’s his kid. Yes, Leia withstands the mind probe and keeps the Rebellion’s secrets. but it’s hard to believe that as Vader’s digging through her brain, he doesn’t come across the memory she has of Padmé.
5 The "I Don't Like Sand" Moment
Often cited as a prime example of bad writing and hammy acting in the prequel trilogy, “I don’t like sand” has become one of the most recognizable quotes of the franchise.
What seems to have been intended as a poignant moment about childhood trauma is handled so poorly that it’s now immortalized as a meme.
If you put the moment back in context, however, the moment becomes even more bizarre. There Anakin is, mentioning his traumatic past to Padmé-- and then they share a kiss. First of all, the moment is creepy and awkward beyond words. Even if you put that aside, discussion of childhood trauma is hardly the most romantic thing in the world, and it’s honestly mind-boggling that they’d smooch right after that.
4 Anakin's Judgment Of Vos And Ventress
Although Quinlan Vos doesn’t appear in any of the movies, the Jedi Master has quite a storyline in The Clone Wars. Most notably, he partners up with Asajj Ventress, the former Sith assassin, in an attempt to take Count Dooku’s life. The two eventually fall in love with each other, and Anakin isn’t exactly impressed with their relationship, especially since Vos breaks his Jedi vows and is tempted to the Dark Side.
That's pretty hypocritical, isn’t it? Sure, Ventress’s track record has been less than stellar compared to Padmé’s, but Anakin can definitely afford to have more understanding for the two, especially since he also falls in love with someone he’s not supposed to, and even pursues the relationship.
3 Anakin's Jealousy Over Clovis
In The Clone Wars, the Jedi Council asks Padmé to spy on Senator Rush Clovis of Scipio, who is suspected of conspiring with the Separatists. Clovis in turn suspects that Padmé has a romantic relationship with Anakin, which Padmé denies. At one point, Anakin walks in on Clovis trying to kiss Padmé against her will.
Clovis’s actions are entirely reprehensible—Padmé is clearly uncomfortable and even explicitly tells him to stop. Anakin’s anger and desire to protect Padmé is also perfectly understandable.
Padmé literally tells him to stop, to which Anakin replies, “You don’t have a say in this.”
He lets his jealousy and possessiveness take over, severely beating Clovis and jeopardizing their mission.
2 Padmé Losing The Will To Live
Anakin loses a hand and gets an amazing prosthetic. He then gets burned all over and loses all of his limbs, but survives thanks to a life-support suit. Luke loses a hand, and also gets one hell of a prosthetic. Leia has her mind invaded and watches her entire planet get destroyed, and she apparently overcomes the trauma without a hitch. But no, Padmé has to go because she has simply lost the will to live.
It’s bad writing, it’s sexist, and it just doesn’t make any sense.
First of all, she’s just given birth to two kids. Second, she literally talks about believing that Anakin still has good in him, but somehow that hope isn’t enough to sustain her will to live.
1 Padmé's Lack Of Importance In The Original Trilogy
On the note of Padmé’s passing, it’s mind-boggling how little she’s mentioned in the original trilogy. Sure, George Lucas might not have anticipated the huge success of Star Wars, but there are ample opportunities to increase her presence by tying her to the Rebellion during the prequel trilogy.
If anything, Vader seems completely unbothered by the loss of his wife throughout the original movies, which is hard to believe given how torn up he is about her passing at the end of Revenge of the Sith. Questionable writing aside, the prequels frame Padmé and Anakin’s relationship as a love story to end all love stories, so it doesn’t make sense that she’d be essentially absent from the original trilogy.
What are some other things that don't make sense about Anakin and Padmé's relationship in Star Wars? Tell us in the comments!