The Dinglehopper

You've Probably Never Heard of Us

Star Wars Saturday: How Padme Really Died

Leave a comment

The Revenge of the Sith seemed like a relatively worthy film compared to the other two prequels, that is until the final scene of Padme dying of a broken heart and the newly anointed Darth Vader crying out in (cheesy) agony.

How I felt after hearing the "broken heart" diagnosis.

How I felt after hearing the “broken heart” diagnosis.

Padme died of a broken heart…really?

Lame sauce, Lucas.

Well, no. She didn’t. According to Joseph Tavano on RetroZap.com, I failed to put the pieces together to unearth the real source of her death.

Tavano argues that Palpatine killed her using a trick he learned from his master to siphon her life Force vampire-style and feed it to Anakin to allow him to live, albeit now as Darth Vader in a walking life-support suit. He goes step-by-step through the reasoning for this conclusion.

The full argument, which is worth reading for Star Wars fans who were disappointed by the hokey notion of her dying of a broken heart, can be found here.

But Tavano also comes back to defend this film as a classic, while I see the failure to make her death clear in the film just one of the ways that the prequels were confused messes of film-making.

While Tavano’s reasoning is sound, and I absolutely believe he’s right, the work he has to do to uncover this truth is outlandish. If Lucas had this source for her death in mind, it should have been a riveting emotional reveal. If we had simply gotten a few intercut shots of Palpatine concentrating and clearly siphoning her life Force out and rerouting it to Anakin, we would have been easily overwhelmed by the tension of the moment and the dramatic irony that the Jedi don’t know enough to save her PLUS the dramatic irony of Palpatine lying to Anakin that the blame for her death fell to him. Instead we’re left with the sentimental notion of dying of a broken heart and some cheesy screaming from Vader. It is an obvious mark of poor film-making, a missed opportunity for cinematic emotional impact.

revenge-sith-trailer-vader

Advertisements

Author: Erin Perry

I'm a high school English teacher specializing in AP Literature and Film Analysis. I'm interested in most things geeky, including superheroes, vampires, zombies, teen culture, postmodern philosophy, pop culture analysis, and combinations of the aforementioned. Follow me on Twitter @eriuperry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s