Here’s a little oddity from the past: Brian Ashmore’s painting of Anakin Skywalker, his wife and baby Luke from 1993. Originally painted for Topps’ Star Wars Galaxy 2 card set, it may very well be the earliest depiction of the couple, for all it was pulled from the set by George Lucas himself. Here’s what Ashmore himself had to say about it back in 2008:
There are a couple things that I find interesting about the image. First, my depiction of Padme (I had no idea of her name at the time…this was 6 years before Episode 1) looks a bit like Natalie Portman. Second, Anakin’s shadow on the wall is in the shape of Darth Vader. I’ve always wondered if this image might have influenced Lucas even just a little tiny bit in his casting of Natalie Portman or even the decision to have little Anakin’s shadow be in the shape of Darth Vader in an early Episode 1 promo poster. Probably not, but I can dream. Can’t I?
I don’t know about the casting choice – Iain McCaig seems to be the culprit there – but the shadow? Stranger things have happened… In any case, the painting eventually saw the light as ‘The Skywalker Flame’ in the Star Wars Galaxy 5 set.
Clearly we’ve forgotten that Star Wars is aimed at boys! And that by asking for something as minor as a female characters whose functions include something other than being Big Bad Lady Cthulu or Confused Teenage Girlfriend makes us the sexist ones! For shame, ladies. For shame. Because we’ve never heard anything like this before.
I’ve never been much of a Padme fan. But there’s no denying that she’s an important part of the prequel trilogy, and Anika (aka @magnetgirl) makes some convincing points as to why — including her death — in The Queen’s Sacrifice.