This is pretty much how I think your face is going to look for the rest of this post:
Because frankly, my least favorite female character in the entire franchise is Padmé. And the things I am about to say about her will not please you if you are like even a small fraction of the people I’ve heard who have said Natalie Portman was the best thing about the prequels. Well, I love the prequels, and I’m here today to tell you that I hate her.
If women under ponds distributing weaponry is no basis for a system of government, then neither is a population willingly voting a minor into the most powerful position on the planet. There have been underage rulers in Earth’s history, of course, and some of them were quite great. However, they received the position through hereditary means. The population did not say, “Gosh, we’re tired of corrupt old people. Put a child on the throne. That ought to fix things.” I don’t care how mature a 14-year-old may seem. They are ill-equipped to rule a planet.
So, okay. Queen Amidala is a 14-year-old voted into the most powerful office in the land. Her parents apparently had no say over this. It takes ten years for Padmé to admit she doesn’t think she was old enough — while at the same time revealing the terrifying detail that the Nubians have elected younger females into this office before. (Another disturbing thing about Naboo: why does she have such a crack security detail with half a dozen body decoys when Naboo is so peaceful it doesn’t even have an army? And why do they continually elect very young girls to such a dangerous office?) And the movie in which she is a child queen in an overwhelming political wildfire is the one she is the most tolerable in!
In Episode II, she seems to have confused talking softly with maturity, though it’s nice when she pimp slaps Anakin a couple of times. But their childish bickering before the new Nubian child queen is embarrassing for everyone involved. Her concern, more than triple Anakin’s, when Obi-Wan is captured, suggests to me that she has some form of inevitable crush on him. And of course, by Episode III, she has almost completely morphed into a helpless pregnant female, twittering and fluttering; even the massively cut subplot of her messing around with the Senate didn’t do much to improve that impression.
Here’s the thing. Padmé has no real personality. Her affection for Anakin is abrupt and almost inexplicable, and there are hints scattered throughout the prequels that suggest she has a couple fellows on the side. We suppose that she is stubborn, headstrong, and intelligent, but there’s not much to back that up, and then she proceeds to die of a broken heart even while protesting Anakin is still good. If she really had all that might fighting spirit, she would’ve lived and found a way to redeem him. I just think Lucas handled the whole thing with Luke and Leia’s mother extremely badly. I think Natalie Portman is gross, Padmé is a whore, and the character development shabby and shallow. As I read on Cracked once: she is no more than a beautiful automaton. (And she’s not even that beautiful.)