In the latest issue of Star Wars: Age Of The Republic, Senator Padmé Amidala must rendezvous with the political leader of a neutral system in the hopes of ending the war.
Star Wars: Age Of The Republic – Padmé Amidala (2019) No. 1
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Cory Smith, Wilton Santos
Star Wars: Age Of Republic – Padme Amidala (2019) No. 1 cover (Credit: Marvel Comics)
Senator Padmé Amidala is on a diplomatic mission to a neutral system in an effort to convince them to join the Republic in Star Wars: Age Of The Republic – Padmé Amidala (2019) No. 1. She is keenly aware that the Clone Wars can be ended if the neutral parties of the galaxy can be won over.
But Padmé’s political agenda has made her a Separatist target, hence her rendezvous to meet the Clabronians is kept secret from everyone other than two handmaidens, Dormé and Moteé. With them by her side, Padmé believes they make a formidable team, but can she succeed in her mission when the Clabronians are already in turmoil?
Padmé Amidala was introduced to the world as a teenage queen with a stoic determination to protect her people on Naboo. She was also extremely smart, hoodwinking almost everyone around her into thinking that Queen Amidala and handmaiden Padmé were two different people. Though not spelled out in so many words, even the Jedi warriors in charge of guarding her, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, respected her enough to not reveal her true identity despite them clearly being aware of it.
Star Wars: Age Of The Republic – Padmé Amidala (2019) No. 1 successfully pulls in the many facets of Padmé’s characterization from the on-screen Star Wars properties – her dedication to public service, her foolhardy recklessness, as well as the Senator’s extreme kindness and ultimately doomed love for Anakin Skywalker. Padmé is a great leader, and she leads from the front because of all these attributes.
Bria LaVorgna’s afterword succinctly describes exactly why Padmé is such a beloved character from the Star Wars franchise. The fact that people consider Padmé as little more than Anakin’s love interest and mother of Luke and Leia is a surprise, however. Whatever flaws George Lucas’ prequel trilogies had, making Padmé a two-dimensional nobody wasn’t one of them.
Padmé isn’t the quintessential fists-first kind of hero; it’s her smarts that help save the day, even though her heart is the one that brings about her downfall. Off late, viewers and fans have been inclined to focus solely on how Padmé’s death in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith was a meaningless nullification of her character arc, but hopefully this issue and the concurrently released Queen’s Shadow will bring back the glory this character should always have been basking in.
Star Wars: Age Of Republic – Padme Amidala (2019) No. 1 (Credit: Marvel Comics)
In Star Wars: Age Of The Republic – Padmé Amidala (2019) No. 1, writer Jody Houser isn’t able to capture much of Natalia Portman’s spoken inflections, but that doesn’t impact the overall quality of the book. The central relationships that Houser is able to draw out in the installment are the best we’ve seen this series. Not only do we see the best of Padmé, but Dormé and Moteé come across as three-dimensional characters as well. The handmaidens weren’t given their due on screen, but this additional material is certainly doing them justice.
Cory Smith and Wilton Santos art is far removed from the look of the films; one could be looking at a completely different science-fiction book were it not for the names. Again, this isn’t necessarily a negative, but it is a bit jarring. The art in all the other issues so far have attempted to capture the faces of the on-screen actors in some way, but Star Wars: Age Of The Republic – Padmé Amidala (2019) No. 1 doesn’t. Java Tartaglia’s colors, though, are spectacular once again, giving the issue a vibrant feel that is beautiful to look at.
It took until the penultimate issue of Star Wars: Age Of The Republic to feature a female character because the prequels didn’t really try hard enough to bring gender parity to the galaxy far, far away. Thankfully, Padmé is given her due in this installment and hopefully a new generation of readers will consider her another hero to look up to.