OK, we can all agree that the way Padme (AKA Queen Amidala of Naboo) died at the end of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith was pretty lame. I mean, giving up the will to live and dying from a broken heart?
Come on Lucas! Tell me you gave us lazy writing without telling me you “gave us lazy writing.”
Or was there more to it? How did the warrior’s heart pumping inside Padme’s chest suddenly become so weak? Did Palpatine have his sinister midi-chlorian manipulating paws involved?
Let’s explore this week’s Fan Theory Friday: Did Palpatine Siphon Padme’s Life Force To Help Anakin Cheat Death?
I will be the first to admit that this week’s topic could easily be more me wanting to believe the fan theory than me actually believing the fan theory, but lets follow the logic and see where it takes us.
Just to recap the scene: After having put all his proverbial Midi-chlorian eggs in the Anakin Skywalker basket, Palpatine seemingly had his Sith omelet burnt to a crisp when Obi-Wan Kenobi defeated Anakin and left him for dead on Mustafar in the closing act of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
When Palpatine found (what was left of) Anakin after the battle, he had to act fast, giving Anakin medical attention and cybernetic parts to keep him from expiring. While he did his best to manipulate Anakin into believing that he rescued him out of paternal love, the reality was that Palpatine’s heroics were self-serving because he needed a strong Sith apprentice to travel the galaxy and impose his will.
Palpatine had to do whatever he could to keep Anakin alive, at least until he found another apprentice he could manipulate into taking Anakin’s place. (This angle was explored pretty well in the under-appreciated and no-longer-canon James Luceno novel Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader)
We learned in the The Phantom Menace that a Force user’s ability to control the Force is actually governed by their Midi-chlorian count. Midi-chlorians were intelligent microscopic life-forms that lived symbiotically inside the cells of all living things. When present in sufficient numbers, they could allow their host to detect and manipulate the pervasive energy field known as the Force.
We also know from the prequel trilogy that Palpatine’s control of the Force was so masterful that he possessed the ability to manipulate Midi-chlorians to the point that he could actually “create life” form vast distances away. Hence the Immaculate Conception of Anakin.
So it stands to reason that in order to preserve Anakin’s life long enough to receive the medical treatment and mechanical enhancements he required, Palpatine needed to strengthen or increase the amount of Midi-Chlorians within Anakin’s body. What quicker way is there to produce any substance then to simply steal it from someone else?
Padme Would Have Had Some Of Anakin’s Midi-Chlorians Within Her
Without getting so graphic that we break the PG-13 rating, Padme, being pregnant with Anakin’s babies, would have had some of Anakin’s Midi-Chlorians inside of her at this time.
So if Palpatine needed a source to draw from to replenish Anakin’s Midi-Chlorian (I’m so sick of typing out “Midi-Chlorians” so from here on they will be referred to as “MC’s”) count to keep him alive, it stands to reason that he could easily have drawn those MC’s out of Padme. Hence draining her ‘life force.’
Since her children’s safety would have been a greater concern to her than her own health, Padme would have been pushing all her remaining energy, strength and life force into the well being of her babies.
Also, since she gave birth on Bail Organa’s ship and not a Jedi vessel, the medical droid assisting in the birth may not have had the ability or even the knowledge to check her MC numbers when it was administering aid.
The editing of this part of Revenge of the Sith supports this theory as well. We don’t see Darth Vader recovered enough to even stand up until after we see Padma expire.
Anakin Skywalker’s story would take on more of a Greek Tragedy angle if Darth Vader’s ‘birth’ was linked to Padma’s death this way as well.
In the obviously hastily written The Rise of Skywalker, we again saw Palpatine use that same power to manipulate life, in this case his own. This time we find out that he used this power to transfer his essence into a cloned body of himself after Darth Vader threw him down the reactor shaft on the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi.
This entire part of the story was obviously a last minute script rewrite in a desperate attempt at “fan service” after being written into a corner with the poor reception Star Wars: The Last Jedi received. Bringing Palpatine back completely rendered Anakin’s redemption arc at the end of Return of the Jedi utterly meaningless!
The canon confirmation that Palpatine created Anakin (making him Anakin’s father) combined with the bookend revelation of Rey being Palpatine’s granddaughter, means there no longer even is a “Skywalker Saga!” It has literally been retconned into the “Palpatine Saga!”
It is almost as if the writing team for The Rise of Skywalker were forced by the producers to pivot midway through the trilogy on who the main antagonist was supposed to be! They then were given an unrealistic Christmas release date from Disney and knew they weren’t going to get rehired for another Star Wars project anyway. So they just turned in some hastily written nonsense in order to receive their check and move on with their lives.
Kinda like when my 5-year-old needs to put his toys away before he can have his fruit snacks. He doesn’t put forth much care or effort to make sure things go back in the right places, he just wants to complete the assignment as quickly as possible to receive his reward , regardless of how disorganized the final result is.
BUT I DIGRESS…
Where was I…oh yeah…
It is possible that this fan theory that ‘Palpatine siphoned MC’s off Padme to save Anakin‘ is simply a way to retroactively improve what was probably hasty story telling in wrapping up Revenge of the Sith.
Related Article: Did George Lucas Write Horrible Dialogue In The Star Wars Prequels On Purpose?
But what do you think? Did Palpatine manipulate Padme’s MC’s to help Anakin cheat death? Or am I just seeing something that I want to believe was there?
Let me know in the comments!
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Make sure to check out some of our other Fan Theory Fridays: