Revenge of the Sith Almost Gave Padme a Much Different Ending
Amongst the wreckage that is the Star Wars prequel trilogy, there are a few notable moments that truly stand out as the worst. Jar Jar Binks tops the list, with Darth Vader's tortured 'Nooooooooooo!' and Anakin's sand speech not far behind. But also on this list is the death of Padme Amidala, who died of a broken heart. It wasn't always meant to be, though. And in the original Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith ending, George Lucas had something much better planned for the birth mother of twins Luke and Leia Skywalker.
Even though she is one of the most acclaimed actresses working today, and a huge fan favorite amongst genre nerds, Natalie Portman has never been treated fairly when it comes to her big geek franchises. Thor basically scrubbed her from existence, and in the Star Wars canon, the fierce leader was brought down by her emotions. Well, that wasn't always the cast. And if George Lucas had of kept his original plan intact, Padem would have at least gone down fighting, giving the much underused Portman a proper sendoff.
As the medical droid in Revenge of the Sith explains it, Padme simply 'lost the will to live' after the love of her life, Anakin Skywalker, went mad, turned to the dark side, and slaughtered a bunch of innocent children. Digital Spy recently uncovered an alternative ending for Sith that was hidden away in a presentation given at the Academy of Art university last year, by concept artist Ian McCaig.
At the time, McCaig revealed that the original plan was to have Padme actively turn on her then-husband Anakin Skywalker, as played in the movies by Hayden Christensen. She discovers that he has been consumed by the dark side, and thus sets out to stop him, taking the first much-needed steps towards setting up what would later become the Rebel Alliance. Though, that may have been a bit too ambitious for the final act of Revenge of the Sith, which had way too much going on.
In the original draft of the screenplay, Padme sets of for Mustafar, where she plans to confront and possible kill Anakin Skywalker. In the movie, when she reaches Anakin, she begs and pleads for Ani to reach deep down inside and find whatever goodness is left in him, only to be chocked and left unconscious for her efforts. But if the plan had played out as intended, she would have attempted to assassinate him instead.
Padme pulled a knife on Anakin in the original ending, and put it to his throat. Though, her love for him causes her to hesitate, and she can't quite complete the deed. Once Anakin has the knife, the rest of the movie plays out as intended, and the rest of the story trajectory is basically what fans saw play out on the big screen.
Though Ian McCaig didn't state otherwise, it is believed that Padme still died during childbirth in the original mapping of Revenge of the Sith, but her broken heart isn't what stopped her breathing. This, perhaps, would have satisfied fans more than the ending they got. Marvel Comics recently retconned Darth Vader's anguished 'Nooooooooo!' moaning at the end of Revenge of the Sith, giving him a darker, toned down Frankenstein revelation, attempting to fix the cinematic canon. Perhaps a new Padme Amidala comic could do the same for Natalie Portman's character? But then it's a little too late to make much of a difference at this point. Isn't it? We've included some of the concept art that shows Padme confronting Anakin with her knife.