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.
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.
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.