Love is an odd thing to be certain since we choose who we give it to and we choose to receive it, but there are some instances when love is an illusion to some and all that matters to others. To better explain this, the romance between Anakin Skywalker and Padme in the Star Wars prequels is apparently worth as much as Republic credits on Tatooine. Some fans have gone so far as to detail every relevant moment that has been witnessed happening between Anakin and Padme, and in some ways, it does make sense. To be fair though it does make the kind of sense that might be understood by someone that has the kind of cynicism that comes from being manipulated a few times in their life. But these explanations do manage to come up with ways to make a great deal of sense when it comes to explaining how Padme’s love was nothing more than the product of a Jedi mind trick that started the day she and Anakin met. It’s kind of a stretch, but it does pan out in some ways since the truth is that Anakin was strong in the Force from the moment he first appeared in the prequels.
But thinking about Anakin as a slave does bring to light the fact that he had the type of personality that could be giving, but he was also furtive and capable of keeping secrets since as a slave he was too used to having to hide the things he cared about so they wouldn’t be taken away. Unfortunately, his mother didn’t do much to negate this behavior since trying to remain strong for her son and raise him to be a decent person while being subjected to their lifestyle didn’t leave a lot of chances to balance him out. By the time he met Padme, Anakin had at least some inkling that he was different than others, but his use of the Force would have been instinctual and not nearly as reliable unless he needed it. For instance, during podracing, he needed to be sharp and could eliminate everything but what was happening at the moment.
When it came to his attraction to Padme though, something blossomed as he did his best to turn on the charm, and, as some would state, the Jedi mind trick started then and there. But it was unfocused, and whatever attraction and eventual love Anakin might have felt didn’t fully convince Padme at first, as she felt a need to care for the younger boy, but obviously saw him as curiosity and not much more. Years later in the second episode, Anakin is now grown and is on the threshold of becoming a man. Padme is an experienced and strong-willed woman by this time, and shouldn’t be as susceptible to mind tricks as she might have been as a young girl. And yet, for all her indomitable will, which she would eventually pass on to her children, she still had a soft spot for Anakin, even if she didn’t know why. The seed that had been planted years before was allowed to blossom and grow as Anakin, now focused and far more powerful, was brought into Padme’s orbit once again.
This time, however, Anakin was intent on making certain that Padme would be his, as the issues he had with letting go and making attachments had never been resolved throughout the years. In all fairness, Anakin had to walk away from the only caretaker he’d ever known, his mother and didn’t have the benefit of a master that would have been like a father to him. Obi-Wan Kenobi wasn’t a bad mentor, or at least he wasn’t a terrible one, but he wasn’t much older than Anakin to be fair, and was still figuring things out in his life as well. Plus, whenever Obi-Wan tried to teach Anakin, his young padawan’s arrogance and ignorance created a perfect storm that blocked his master out too often. Had Anakin’s desire for Padme been revealed, the galaxy might have been spared the threat of Darth Vader, or the Jedi would have been destroyed that much quicker. But Anakin and Padme’s love would have still been just as tainted since Anakin’s obsessive behavior and the need to keep Padme in his life would have likely continued.
Let’s be fair once again and say that Padme was still a strong-willed woman. She was still no match for a trained Jedi that knew how to use his powers to maintain the framework he’d worked on throughout the years to convince her that their love was real. Once he broke character and revealed that he was no longer the good person she’d believed him to be, the illusion was gone, but unfortunately, Padme was still convinced, and without Anakin’s solid presence to sustain her, Padme couldn’t find the will to live any longer and used the last of her energy to bring her twins into the world. Without the illusion, there was nothing worth living for. It’s sad, but keep in mind, it’s a theory.
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