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During Padmé's funeral in Episode III she still appears to be very pregnant as her casket is drawn through the street, even though she had already given birth to twins before she died. You could perhaps make the argument that it is remaining baby weight, but judging from how thin she was before giving birth (to twins, no less) there wouldn't seem to be enough baby weight to make her still appear just as pregnant as before.

So that lead me to think that she was purposely made to still appear pregnant for her funeral, so that the Emperor (and/or Vader) wouldn't suspect that there were any little Skywalkers running around. There's no overt mention of this sort of ruse in the movie. Is there any other source that makes reference to Padmé being made to still appear pregnant for her funeral?

  • Are we sure that the Emperor wasn't aware of the twins until later? In Vader's case, the Emperor probably had him sequestered and shut off from the outside for a while while he "trained" him. – Xantec Dec 18 '11 at 15:59
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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novelization covers this:

"To Naboo, send her body..." Yoda stretched his head high, as though tasting a current in the Force. "Pregnant, she must still appear. Hidden, safe, the children must be kept. Foundation of the new Jedi Order, they will be."

With regard to the canonicity, the page lists this statement from author Matthew Stover:

Though I did not personally watch him do it, I received from LFL a Word document of Revenge of the Sith with Mr Lucas' edits, which was distinct from the edits I'd already gotten from Sue Rostoni and Howard Roffman and the rest of the LFL crew, and this document was edited in such a detailed fashion that even individual words had been struck off and his preferred replacements inserted, as well as some passages wholly excised and some dialogue replaced with the dialogue from the screenplay. If that's not line-editing, I don't know what is.

What's in that book is there because Mr. Lucas wanted it to be there. What's not in that book is not there because Mr. Lucas wanted it gone.

Period.

  • This was my line of thinking after seeing Ep III. If the public story was that Padme died before giving birth to her child(ren), then Luke and Leia are that much safer; there's no lingering question of who or where her child is. The fact that she had twins was apparently such a closely-held secret that it surprised even the Jedi. So, the Emperor didn't even consider the possibility of two Skywalker children, and as such Leia, despite the trouble she causes the Empire, is largely beneath the Emperor's notice. – KeithS Dec 21 '11 at 22:57
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It's not just a matter of added bodyweight - when a woman is pregnant, her uterus extends and her abdominal muscles are stretched. Neither of those things goes away immediately - generally, women continue to look pregnant for quite awhile after giving birth, and while I am not familiar with the ways in which rigor mortis affects those body changes, I can't imagine that it speeds up the process.

  • 1
    True, but Natalie Portman wasn't actually pregnant. Would the make-up and effects artists have actually considered all of the above in order to have her accurately appear to have a postpartum body? If the intent was to have her no longer appear pregnant, I expect they would have just gone with Natalie as-is (i.e. no make-up or effects at all). – gnovice Dec 19 '11 at 19:29
  • This answer is wrong - see the quote from novelization I edited into gnovice's answer. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 8 '13 at 3:53
  • You're wrong @gnovice. She actually got pregnant for the role. Such is her dedication to her craft. (Kidding) – Paul Apr 23 '17 at 20:12
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While I am inclined to agree with abcooper, I feel it only prudent to mention that there is a striking difference between the appearance of a woman who just gave birth and a women who is still very pregnant. This is doubly so if the person who is looking happens to be the husband.

My take on the film was that gnovice is at least partially right, they did augment things so that it was believable that she died on Mustafar.

6

This is very explicitly covered in the film's original screenplay. The bolded words were edited out of the final cut.

YODA: Pregnant, she must still appear. Hidden, safe, the children must be kept.

But made it into the various novelisations

“To Naboo, send her body,” Yoda said. “Pregnant, she must still appear. Hidden, safe, the children must be kept.”

Revenge of the Sith: Junior Novelisation

and

"To Naboo, send her body..." Yoda stretched his head high, as though tasting a current in the Force. "Pregnant, she must still appear. Hidden, safe, the children must be kept. Foundation of the new Jedi Order, they will be."

Revenge of the Sith: Official Novelisation


The Star Wars in 100 Scenes factbook (considered a canon source of information about the Star Wars prequels) outright states that she was made to look pregnant before her body was returned to the authorities on Naboo by Bail Organa.

enter image description here
"Padme goes to her grave made to look as if she is still pregnant - and holding the charm that Anakin made for her long ago."

And in the Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith - The Visual Dictionary we learn that Naboobian tradition is to not ask questions about the deceased person's private life. This evidently extends to the fact that she's inexplicably heavily pregnant.

The strong implication is that no-one is aware of the fact that she'd already given birth, even down to her family.

enter image description here

2

True indeed, a woman's pregnant appearance does not immediately go away. From experience, you do not start fitting into normal clothes or looking your normal self until weeks after giving birth. And this is without gaining a lot of baby weight. And let's remember, Padme was carrying twins, so the accuracy of her looking extra pregnant is correct.

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