By George Bate
The relationship between Padme and Anakin is at the heart of Revenge of the Sith, and comes to a devastating conclusion in the film’s final act. But their relationship went through several iterations in drafts of Revenge of the Sith, including one in which Padme attempted to kill Anakin.
Concept artist Iain McCaig revealed that George Lucas originally envisioned the final moments between Anakin and Padme on Mustafar differently.
In the final film, we see a troubled Padme arrive on Mustafar after Obi-Wan relayed to her the horrors committed by Anakin.
Padme is in disbelief and her love for Anakin blinds her to the truth: that her husband has turned to the dark side.
It isn’t until their final conversation that Padme realizes Obi-Wan was right, and Anakin’s rage takes over.
But this scene was originally viewed differently by George Lucas.
After being told that Anakin had turned to the dark side, Padme arrived on Mustafar with more certainty about her husband’s actions. Yes, she’s devastated by what Obi-Wan has told her, but she doesn’t come to Mustafar for reconciliation with her husband, or to clear up what Obi-Wan told her.
Instead, Padme makes an attempt on Anakin’s life, realizing the kind of man he has become. Storyboards show that when Anakin and Padme embraced on Mustafar, Padme would’ve approached Anakin with a knife, only to realize she was ultimately incapable of killing the man she loved.
For Game of Thrones fans, this will feel a little like the final moments between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen – the key difference being that, when Jon Snow realized the monster the love of his life had become, he was able to kill her.
The attempt on Anakin’s life aligned with Lucas’ original plans to depict how Padme gradually realized her husband was a monster throughout Revenge of the Sith. The Padme we see in the final film is largely in denial of this realization until her final moments with Anakin, whereas Lucas originally envisioned her recognizing her husband’s progressive fall to the dark side over the course of the film.
Regardless, it’s interesting to see the different ways Lucas conceptualized his characters and their relationships before arriving on the final version of the film.
Images courtesy of Disney+ and Lucasfilm