I'm really excited to have the lovely Sarah Dempster here today to share with us a rare and haunting moment between Leia and Padme from the comic series, Princess Leia. Sarah has been a fan of Star Wars since she was in preschool and has a soft spot for the Skywalker family. You can find her work on Eleven-ThirtyEight and follow her on Twitter.
In 2015, Marvel released a five issues comic series about Princess Leia (written by Mark Waid with art by Terry Dodson). Set immediately after the Battle of Yavin, Princess Leia is about Leia’s quest to save any and all remaining Alderaanians from the Empire. She’s accompanied by the rebel pilot (and fellow Alderaanian) Evaan as they travel to several planets in order to band together the survivors and preserve
what’s left of their culture.
The very first planet the pair visit is Naboo, and they begin by landing near Theed. As Evaan and Leia make their way into the city, they see a large portrait of a woman in profile, wearing a very familiar regal red gown. For a brief moment, the woman turns to look at Leia with a stoic yet somewhat sad expression…then in the blink of an eye immediately turns back into a static portrait. It’s clearly a vision in the Force; Leia, disbelievingly, asks Evaan if she saw the same thing (to which Evaan replies “See what?”).
It was a cool moment for a couple reasons. First, it’s a hint towards Leia’s latent Force-abilities, which is something I will NEVER get tired of. Furthermore, it’s Leia (unconsciously) tapping into her Force abilities in a way that connects her to her mother: Padmé Amidala. That’s pretty much the perfect intersection of my interests when it comes to Star Wars ladies, Skywalkers, and the Force. And it means so much because (so far) it’s so rare.
This brief moment is one of my favorite bits of Skywalker-ness in the whole of the new canon. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of the Skywalker family and an even bigger fan of Padmé Amidala. I’ve written before on how much I want Padmé to have a bigger presence in the Star Wars universe and this was really the first moment of the new canon where she was included. So it means a lot to me. As a child, Padmé was my second favorite Star Wars character (second only to Luke Skywalker) and it always frustrated me that we so rarely got to see her on her own, or get to explore her character the same way we explored Anakin, Luke, and Leia. Family is a big theme in Star Wars and the Skywalker family is at the center of the whole narrative. Padmé is part of that family too! She may not be Force sensitive, like her husband and children, but her legacy is important too!
While this moment of Force vision was just that (Padmé only appeared for that one panel), it certainly wasn’t the last time we’ve seen Leia interacting with her mother’s legacy. Claudia Gray’s Bloodline frequently has Leia reflecting on her mother’s memory. And hopefully it won’t stop there. After all, how does Luke feel about Padmé? Do you think Obi-Wan’s ghost told Luke that Padmé was the only other person to believe in the goodness left in Vader until the very end? It’s something I hope we’ll get to see explored. Padmé deserves that much.