Obsessive. Obsession. Obsessed.
These are not words that you want to describe your feelings toward or your relationship with a significant other, are they? And yet, they sum up the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala quite well. While most fans decry Anakin and Padmé’s relationship as being toxic, cringily written, and so on, there are some (me!) who look past all that mess toward what could have been—and toward what is, in fact, a sometimes-great couple. Still, even with my appreciation for Anakin and Padmé, I can’t deny they have issues. And most of those issues have to do with Anakin’s behavior toward Padmé. It’s the behavior of someone who is, yes, obsessed.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Though Anakin and Padmé’s story technically begins in Episode I, The Phantom Menace, we’re going to skip past that because the only thing Anakin’s obsessed with in that film is pod-racing. We’ll go straight to Episode II instead (Attack of the Clones). Our first scene with Anakin has him nervously excited to see Padmé after many years. Already, there lurks a problem. Jedi are not supposed to let their feelings overtake them, yet Anakin has been thinking about a girl for a whole ten years. He admits that he’s thought about her every day since they last saw each other.
Padmé seems distant to Anakin’s rather obvious (and rather creepy) interest in her. Throughout Episode II, they perform a kind of dance, with Anakin coming ever closer and Padmé staying just out of his reach. Anakin boldly confesses his love for Padmé, but she is the strong one, refusing to have a relationship with him because they would have to keep it a secret (since Anakin is a Jedi and he’s forbidden to marry). She takes the honorable route, but in a moment where all seems lost, Padmé confesses her love for Anakin. Because of that, once they escape from near-certain death, Anakin and Padmé secretly marry. And that’s where Episode II ends.
But that, unfortunately, is not the end of Anakin’s obsession.
Now he has married the girl of his dreams, she begins showing up in his dreams… and she’s dying. Anakin might have waved off the nightmares as just that—nightmares—except the last time similar dreams plagued him, they predicted his mother’s death. Anakin has Padmé, and refuses to lose her. His obsessive love for her morphs into an obsession with keeping her alive. Because Anakin bottles up his fears and allows his mind to mull over Padmé’s supposed death, he becomes a prime candidate for the subtle—and then not so subtle—machinations of a Sith lord.
And this is when Anakin’s obsessive tendencies take yet another turn. This time, those tendencies turn toward power itself. The power to keep Padmé alive, yes, but also something even darker. Power for the sake of power. Once he tastes the supposed delights of the Dark Side, Anakin can’t, won’t stop. Not even if it means Force-choking his pregnant wife in his rage over her supposed betrayal of him. (At that point, he was probably furious that he had gone to such lengths to save her, to the extent of selling his soul, only to have her ‘betray’ him.)
In the end, Padmé dies and Anakin becomes Darth Vader. It’s a horrible, tragic end to a young couple with so much life left to live. And the sad irony is, Padmé probably wouldn’t have died if Anakin had learned to control his obsessions… instead of letting them control him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eva-Joy Schonhaar is an aspiring author who has written several novels and hopes to be published some day soon. She’s a Christian fangirl who drinks insane amounts of coffee, thinks that chocolate chip cookies solve pretty much everything, and always uses the Oxford Comma. In her spare time she can be found geeking out over superheroes and reading The Hunger Games for the millionth time.