It’s been more than 10 years since Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith released in theaters. Fans’ attention has since moved on to Disney’s sequel trilogy, but Revenge of the Sith still holds a special place in our hearts. Widely considered the best of the prequels, Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side lent the film a brutal darkness and dramatic edge that only The Empire Strikes Back could top. Still, there were a few cringe-worthy moments, as in all of George Lucas’ prequels. One such moment featured the infamous line from Padme – “You’re breaking my heart.”
The overwrought dialogue was problematic enough, but the poor writing of Padme was even worse. Anakin’s choking Padme nearly to death was somewhat powerful dramatically, but it rendered Padme as a weak and ineffective character. As it turns out, there was originally a very different ending in store for her.
Star Wars character design and concept artist Ian McCaig recently sat down for a talk at the Academy of Art University, where he revealed a fascinating tidbit about Sith’s original ending. The film originally would have explored Padme’s attempts to kick start the Rebel Alliance, plotting the movement behind Anakin’s back. Some of this was filmed and made it onto the DVD’s deleted scenes, but Padme was not a key player. The real kicker though, is that in the original concept, Padme was planning to murder Anakin, believing him too far gone to save. Even more powerfully, Anakin was going to let her do it. McCaig’s full explanation follows:
“[Anakin] leaves. Moments later, in come the Separatists and right behind his back, [Padme] is starting the Rebellion to overthrow him. Because Padme can see the he is becoming a monster. At the end, on Mustafar, when she goes to see [Anakin], she has a knife in her hands. She gets off the ship with the knife, she runs up and throws her arms around him, and he lets her. She’s got the knife to the back of [Anakin’s] neck and she’s going to kill him. [Again], he lets her. But she can’t do it. She loves him too much to stop him, even when he becomes the monster.”
It boggles the mind why George Lucas decided against this. It would given Padme a much more active role in the movie, and the final scene between them would have been emotionally gut wrenching. It would have been an actual “heartbreaking” moment, instead of a cringe-worthy, throw away quote.
I suppose we’ll never know for sure why Lucas went in a different, more watered down direction. But it’s probably the same reason he wanted Greedo to shoot Han first. Lucas seems to get queasy whenever his Light Side characters try to commit murder. It’s the same black and white thinking that got the Jedi Order massacred, too rigid in their ways. I guess Lucas has more in common with the Jedi Knights than he realized.
Regardless of the reason, it’s fascinating that all these years after Revenge of the Sith, we’re still learning what could have been.
Source: YouTube (via ComicBook)