Star Wars: Age of Republic – “Padmé Amidala”

Written by: Jody Houser
Art by: Cory Smith & Wilton Santos
Published by: Marvel Comics

Chronology Placement: Set in-between Season One and Season Two of “The Clone Wars” TV show

Set early on in the Clone Wars conflict, this one-shot comic adventure highlights just how much of a kick-ass heroine Padmé Amidala really is. Written by Jody Houser, Padmé is developed beyond her relationship with Anakin and the cliché position of a ‘damsel in distress’ and is given a sense of agency and independence. Houser’s script showcases Padme’s grit and determination as a hero of the republic, capturing her willingness to get her hands dirty and become involved in the conflict directly – traits seen in both “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones”. I particularly liked the characterisation of her handmaiden bodyguards, as they show discretion regarding Padmé’s illicit relationship with Anakin and experience the challenges in keeping the former Princess safe, when she is so willing to rush headfirst into danger.

Artists Cory Smith and Wilton Santos collaborate on this issue seamlessly and it is difficult to tell where the switch in artists takes place. Both artists manage to imbue the comic with a sense of frenetic energy that matches The Clone Wars animated series – something that Houser’s script also manages to evoke. It’s great to see Padmé given the spotlight here, and the issue feels tonally similar to episodes of The Clone Wars such as, “Destroy Malevolence” and “Blue Shadow Virus”, but without resorting to having Anakin ‘save the day’.

This single-issue storyline doesn’t reinvent the wheel or introduce any shocking revelations, but it does a great job at reinforcing Padmé’s persona as a fearless crusader for justice and proves that not all heroes in the Star Wars universe wield a lightsaber. Wonderfully well-written and extremely evocative of The Clone Wars TV show, this issue flawlessly captures the spirit of Padmé Amidala’s character and Natalie Portman’s excellent portrayal of her.

Score – ★★★ ½

Star Wars: Age of Republic – “Padmé Amidala” is available in a digital format from Comixology and Amazon, or collected in the trade paperback, “Star Wars: Age of Republic – Heroes“, which is also available from Comixology and Amazon.

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