Star Wars – How did Padmé Actually Die?

Before the climactic duel between Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and the newly-christened Sith Lord Darth Vader on Mustafar, Padmé Amidala was choked and knocked unconscious by her husband and would later go on to give birth to twins on Polis Massa before apparently losing the will to live and dying.

Upon the release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, many fans were rightly frustrated at the ambiguous nature of Padmé’s death, as she was a popular character and a great role model for girls who was seemingly brushed aside and disposed of as soon as her role in the story was completed.

Whilst this happened to several other characters in Revenge of the Sith, including Count Dooku, General Grievous, Mace Windu and the entire cast of Jedi, Padmé’s death was more difficult to accept for fans due to the bizarre excuse that is given for why she died. The medical droid tending to her explains that she is dying because she has lost the will to live.

Several sources in both Star Wars Legends and Canon have either implied or outright stated that Padmé’s death was a direct result of Palpatine’s actions, indicating that he either murdered her through the force or instigated some other scheme to ensure she would die as soon as Anakin accepted his new role as Darth Vader.

Fans have long speculated that Darth Sidious had something to do with Padmé’s sudden death, as he tells Vader that she is dead despite having no confirmation of the fact. This could be the evil Sidious manipulating Vader once again, or perhaps an indication that he knows something we don’t about Padmé’s demise.

Exactly why Palpatine did this is clear, as there were several reasons why he wanted Padmé out of the picture once Anakin had fallen to the dark side. The most obvious reason is that she represents a link to Anakin’s good side, the part of him that is still Anakin Skywalker even after he has become Darth Vader. Palpatine also secretly disliked Padmé because of her strong will and tendency to interfere with his plans. Indeed, if Padmé had not been a critical factor in manipulating Anakin, Palpatine would have likely had her killed long before.

Whatever his motivations, it is clear through implications in the dialogue and expanded universe stories from both Legends and Canon that Darth Sidious killed Padmé. It is unfortunate that many fans seem to take the medical droid’s confused diagnosis as fact when there is likely a much darker and more malevolent explanation lurking in the background.

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