Natalie Portman's Padme Amidala isn't returning for Star Wars 9. The Academy Award winning actress appeared in all three of the prequel installments and hasn't been involved with the Star Wars franchise since 2005, when Revenge of the Sith hit theaters. However, her character has been fleshed out quite a bit since then, thanks to comics and young adult novels, and many fans started to believe that Padme could be returning in the upcoming final installment of the latest trilogy.
In a new interview, Natalie Portman was asked about her involvement with Star Wars 9 and she genuinely seemed surprised by the rumor. Obviously, Portman is a busy woman and more than likely doesn't really have all of the extra time to read up on Star Wars rumors, even if they include her. With that being said, she immediately shot the rumor down. She had this to say.
"Really? I don't know anything about that. I'm guessing that's not true because I don't know about it yet."
Natalie Portman could be playing coy in an effort not to blow some huge Star Wars 9 secrets, but her reaction seems legitimate. Plus, Padme Amidala dies in Revenge of the Sith, so that would make her return a bit hard, thought the franchise has done some pretty crazy things over the years. Mark Hamill is confirmed for Star Wars 9 and he died at the end of The Last Jedi, so Padme, in theory, could return as well. But, J.J. Abrams already seems like he has enough characters to deal with for the time being. Bringing Portman back would be cool to tie everything together, but it seems even more unlikely now.
The original rumor claimed that Kylo Ren would have a scene with his grandmother, Padme Amidala, that was made possible through the Star Wars universe's version of time travel. Known as the World Between Worlds, this idea was first used in Star Wars Rebels, and allowed Ezra Bridger to save Ahsoka Tano from Darth Vader. In Star Wars 9, while stuck in the World Between Worlds, Ren allegedly sees Padme being chocked by Anakin Skywalker, he also sees her funeral on Naboo. Kylo Ren is said to be in possession of the Japor snippet necklace that Anakin made for Padme in The Phantom Menace. And that he gets to see the early stages of Darth Vader as Anakin is consumed by the dark side. These moments could still be in the film, with scenes from Revenge of the Sith repurposed and reused. To have Padme in the movie doesn't necessarily mean that Natalie Portman has to shoot new scenes.
A deleted scene from Revenge of the Sith features Padme Amidala as a part of the group that started the Rebellion against the Empire, which makes her a pretty important figure for the current trilogy and the original trilogy. Plus, she's also the mother of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. It's easy to see how a rumor about Natalie Portman's return to the franchise started to spread, but the latest trilogy has barely made reference to the prequel trilogy, which could throw an extra bit of weirdness into trying to stuff another character into Star Wars 9.
Star Wars 9 is officially one year away and the countdown has begun. J.J. Abrams still has a lot of work to do, and the pressure is on to deliver the final chapter in the Skywalker saga. Billy Dee Williams is back as Lando from the first trilogy and he reportedly has a lot of capes, meaning that there might not even be enough room for Natalie Portman on the set. While it seems like it's not going to happen, we'll just have to wait and see. You can watch Portman get asked about Star Wars 9 below, thanks to the AM2DM Buzzfeed Twitter account.