Padme is a native of the planet of Naboo, one of the more influential planets in the inner rim. Her parents are Ruwee and Naberrie, and she is the third of three children. Children on Naboo choose their careers when they are young and Padme decided on a path in public service since a young age. One of her early prominent roles was as a member of the Refugee Relief Movement. She later joined the Legislative Youth Program, which established her on the path for a political career. When she was 13 she was voted Princess of Theed and by the age of 14 she was voted as Queen of Naboo. This position was designed to replace the previous system in which King Veruna had served essentially as a dictator. As part of her legacy from leaving public service she established the rule that the planetary monarch must be elected and that the position be filled by a teenage girl.
The character of Padme Amidala was created by George Lucas for his “prequel” trilogy of Star Wars films. Her appearances have primarily been linked to film tie-ins including her first appearance in the comic book adaptation on the first movie in Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace issue #0.5. Her appearance in this issue though drawn by Rodolfo Damagio is nonetheless heavily based on Natalie Portman, the actress that portrayed her.
Padme’s development as a character is much more closely in line with the film version of the Star Wars universe than almost any other characters. As her history is primarily linked with the movies there are fewer gaps to fill in for the character, and so outside of her depiction in the movies, her story as told in comics either fills in background details or provides small glimpses into other events in her life. The most defining aspects of her character is her love for Anakin Skywalker as well as a devotion to public life and the common good. This makes it that the events surrounding her life are chaotic when around Anakin, and relatively sedate otherwise. Towards the end of her life she lost faith in both of these beliefs which helped drive her life’s ambitions and goals.
Major Story Arcs
The majority of Padme’s comic book appearances are in comic book adaptations of the Star Wars films and thus the developments for the character mirror the films to a large degree. The film in which Padme had the most relevance was in the Phantom Menace. She is introduced as the perplexed Queen of Naboo, struggling to find a path forward as the Trade Federation has enacted an illegal trade embargo on the planet which they are using as a prelude for invasion. After the negotiations of Obi Wan Kenobi and Qui Gon Jin fail she finds a path towards resolving her situation, albeit an unconventional one as she joins the Jedi Knights as they decide to seek a political solution at the Galactic Senate on Coruscant. While escaping Naboo their spacecraft is heavily damaged (though saved from destruction by R2-D2) and is forced to travel to Tatooine where they are aided by a pair of slaves, Shmi Skywalker and her son Anakin. Anakin eventually decides to race in the pod races and Qui Gon wins a substantial bet on the race allowing them to purchase the needed parts for their spacecraft and flee. Qui Gon also arranges that Anakin be freed from slavery. The erstwhile group travels to Coruscant to argue for political intervention but the Senate is mired in power struggles (which Senator Palpatine later uses to assume to rank of chancellor.) The group returns to Naboo to lead their own rebellion against the new Trade Federation control and Padme forms an alliance with the Gungans, a group of amphibian humanoids with whom relations have generally been strained. After retaking the royal palace (in which the Jedi Knights were forced to confront Darth Maul) Naboo is returned to the control of the planet’s native inhabitants and the alliance with the Gungans continues.
At the beginning of the second film, Padme has assumed the post of Senator to the Galactic Senate as the representative of Naboo as she was forced to stand down as Queen due to the stipulations which she herself enacted and later had to enforce. The Trade Federation is still seeking revenge against her for her earlier actions on Naboo and numerous assassination attempts take place. She is assigned a pair of Jedi protector, Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. When Obi Wan is later drawn off by an investigation which leads him to Geonosis, Padme is left in the care of Anakin. They decide to travel together to Naboo, where a mutual love grows between the two. Anakin attempts to resist his feelings as it is forbidden to the Jedi to have close personal attachments, and Padme resists because of similar reasons. As Anakin is experiencing dreams about his mother he journeys with Padme to Tatooine to find that she has been kidnapped by Tusken Raiders. Anakin succeeds in rescuing his mother but she dies soon after. He and Padme soon respond to a distress call from Obi Wan on Geonosis and travel there together (along with C-3P0 who Anakin had built as a child). They are captured on Geonosis and are planned to be executed together in a public arena, but admit their love for each other first. While fighting back against the monsters chosen to devour the trio, a group of Jedi intervenes and later Jedi Master Yoda intervenes with the Clone Army. They are able to once again defeat the Trade Federation but Count Dooku manages to escape. Anakin and Padme are soon after wed to one another on Naboo.
Padme’s role in the third movie is more as a secondary character as the Jedi attempt to discover who has been manipulating the Republic behind the scenes. Padme reveals to Anakin that she is pregnant and later plots with other senators (including Bail Organa and Mon Mothma) which forms the basis for the later Rebellion against the Galactic empire as seen in episodes 4-6. Padme is also the main reason Anakin Skywalker felt to the dark side. In desperate attempt to make his wife, the one who loved the most, Padme, internal, and to keep her safe and well protected, he fell to the dark side. After Anakin’s descent to the dark side of the force she travels to Mustafar to try to reason with him and to save him before Obi Wan is successful in tracking him down and killing him. She is ultimately unsuccessful and suffers a physical breakdown. After the Sith have successfully taken over the Empire, Obi Wan, Yoda and Bail Organa attend to her, but she is in the process of dying. She first gives birth to and names Luke and Leia, though their paths would not be the same.
Powers and Abilities
Padme did not envisage that by joining a career path as a politician that her life would include so much danger and action, but despite this she has proven herself adept at surviving through difficult situations. For instance, during the Battle of Geonosis she was able to survive while many powerful Jedi died alongside her. She has proven to be adept with some weapons, most notably blasters, and she has been shown to be in peak physical condition. It is often suggested that she herself is somewhat in tune with the force, having given birth to two children who would later become adept with the force. In addition, she was able to deceive both Obi Wan and Qui Gon as to her true identity as she impersonated a handmaiden in her entourage so that she could gather information.
The character is best known for her appearances in episodes 1-3 of the Star Wars films. These are considered her canonical appearances though she has appeared in various other sources of Star Wars Media including video games and novels.
She has appeared occasionally in the animated series centered around the events between episodes II and III called the Clone Wars. She is voiced by Grey DeLisle, who also voiced Asajj Ventress and Shaak Ti.
In Star Wars, the Clone Wars, Padme is one of the main characters. Episodes featuring her frequently show her in the battle of politics, dealing with legislation and senators debating defection.