When Padme Naberrie, “Queen Amidala” of Naboo, steps down from her royal postition, she is asked by the newly-elected queen to become Naboo’s next representative in the Galactic Senate. Padme is unsure about taking on the new role, but ultimately cannot refuse the opportunity to serve her people.
Together with her loyal handmaidens, Padme leaves her idyllic home for the glistening capital world of Coruscant, where she must learn to navigate the treacherous waters of politics and forge a new identity beyond the queen’s shadow.
Paperback | 347 pages
Publisher: Egmont UK Limited (2nd May, 2019)
Read – 28th-29th April.
I wasn’t that into Star Wars as a kid, but as an adult I find myself fascinated by the world and all that has taken place in it. Since the lockdown started in the UK, I have chronologically (timeline not release date) watched the series 2.5 times. I spoke to one of my instagram friends (tattooedliteraryresearcher) who is a lover of Star Wars and I asked her, if I was to dip my toes into the world of Star Wars books, what should I first start with. She recommended this book to me and honestly, I found myself suddenly fascinated with Padme and what happened to her between her first and second film appearances.
I found this really easy to read. I don’t know if it is because I’ve been spending so much time recently in the Star Wars universe or not. I know that having watched the films so recently, it gave me a better understanding of things when I read. When I first opened the book it was quite late and I promised myself that I’d only read 1 chapter. I was on chapter 9 when I stopped reading…
I’d never spent much time thinking as Padme as anything more than what I’d seen of her in the films. Which I now believe is unjust to her because she was so much more than the love interest to Anakin. I mean, I did know that, she’s a powerful woman and character but I think I had forgotten how much of a character she was and just what she was capable of accomplishing.
I felt Padme’s character was fully explored here and I gained a better understanding as to the kind of person she was and why she acted in certain ways. It gave me a better understanding to more of the politics of the Star Wars Universe and helped me to fill in the gaps that I felt were missing in the film interpretation of her.
Padme is hard to sum up in a single word because there are so many sides to her character, and not just because she has many personas. I think at heart, she is a character who believes in the goodness of the universe. She strives to fight for the oppressed, the lost, sad, and lonely, the forgotten, the ravaged, the enslaved, etc. She wants to fix the universe and through the book we see how she has to adapt to the new political battlefield she is on and change how she acts to suit the needs she wants answered.
Joining Padme on this journey was enlightening. She became a person rather than a character I’d watched in a film. I understood more of what she stood for and I think if I were to watch the films again now, I would better understand the actions of her character.
The dead of Padme in the films always irked me. I class it as an unnecessary death, much like J.K. Rowling’s killing spree at the end of book seven. But I also understand why it happened.
Sabe was the other outstanding character of the book. Of course, there were many characters that made their mark while reading this book but if I listed them all, this review would never end! I admired Sabe’s persona, her loyalty and her unwavering desire to do what was right and just. The friendship between Padme and Sabe was inspirational. Sabe came across as such a selfless character, she was able to fully commit herself to Padme and remain loyal but still stay true to herself. I don’t think I could name a more selfless character.
Of all the characters mentioned, I felt like I got to learn a little about each of them individually. It was warming to be able to connect to every character I was introduced to.
I already knew what Naboo and Coruscant looked like. So, conjuring those two places up was easy. As for everything else, it was easy to imagine what people looked like and what the new places and scenes would look and feel like. I achieved this visualisation from a mixture of the films and the book details.
I really wasn’t sure whether I’d like this or not. As I said above, my interest in Star Wars as an adult has been a recent thing and up until a week ago, I didn’t even know there were books written in the Star Wars Universe. I felt like I was taking a big leap in buying this book but it came so well recommended and I just decided ‘why not’.
I’m glad I took the plunge because reading this felt magical some how. Padme is such a well-known character but as with a lot of films or TV series, you always end up feeling curious about what the character has done away from the screen. This helped to capture some of those moments. I understand Padme a little more now. I hear there is a sequel to this coming soon, so I look forward to reading more about the character.
With this being such a positive reading experience, I would stick my head out of the sand and dip my toe into more Star Wars books. I enjoy learning more about characters and finding out what makes them tick. I hope the books go into more detail about what happens between the films because I know I have some unanswered questions I’d prefer to have the answers to.
This captivated me in a ‘yearning’ sort of way. It was a journey I felt I had to take, like I’d be bereft somehow if I didn’t read it. It’s odd to describe. I suppose the feeling would be the same if J. K. Rowling suddenly came out with a series of books with Hermione Granger at the forefront, or Neville Longbottom, etc. Something that fills in the gaps between the main perspectives.
I enjoyed this far more than I expected. It was interesting to read and totally captivated my attention. It felt almost empowering to explore Padme’s life outside of the film franchise (does that make sense?) I’m really chuffed by how much I enjoyed reading this and it’s opened up a new door for books I wasn’t even aware of.