Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Opinion: Knows About Anakin and Padme, Yoda Does


One of the big questions that gets raised about the prequels and The Clone Wars animated series is who knows about the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala.  We know that Palpatine/Darth Sidious knows, and it wouldn't be much of a stretch to suspect that Obi-Wan Kenobi knows.  But who else?  Specifically, does Yoda, grand master of the Jedi council, know about the chosen one's love life?  I would say yes!  Or at the very least he suspects there is more to that relationship than meets the eye.  

Looking at how Yoda handles Anakin having premonitions about the death of Padme versus how Yoda handles Ahsoka having premonitions about the death of Padme, there is a clear difference.  This signifies to me that Yoda understand the key distinction between the two situations.

In Revenge of the Sith, Yoda tells Anakin,

"Careful you must be when sensing the future Anakin. The fear of loss is a path to the dark side...Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is...Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."

However in the episode of The Clone Wars "Assasin", he tells Ahsoka,

Preminitions, telling something they are....So you begin to see the true power of the Force, visions they are.  Underestimate them you must not. Meditate.  To see clearly, more experience you need.  

Then later in the episode he adds,

"Choose you must, how to respond to your visions.  But remember always in motion is the future and many possible futures there are."

Those are two very different pieces of advice for what boils down to the same problem, both Anakin and Ahsoka are having visions that someone close to them will be killed.  Yet Yoda gives them such different advice.  He tells Ahsoka that it is the "true power of the Force" and encourages her to respond to the visions.  However, he tells Anakin to train himself to let go of everything he fears to loose.  Why the difference?  Because he knows he is dealing with two very different relationships.

I firmly believe that Yoda gives Anakin this advice because he knows the situation.  He knows that he's not just dealing with a good friendship, that there is a high level of attachment here that he only way to avoid such high levels of pain is the break off that attachment.  With Ahsoka, at worst she looses a friend at the hand of a deadly assassin.  While that's not an ideal situation, it's not the worst possible outcome.  If Anakin looses Padme, it is the worst possible outcome (not just for Anakin and Padme, as it turns out, but for the entire galaxy).  Yoda can clearly sense the amount of pain Anakin carries with him, and probably realizes that the loss of Padme, could be the event to push Anakin over the edge.  This explains why his advice essentially amounts to telling Anakin to break things off with Padme before they both get hurt.  

But how do we know that Yoda knows Anakin is referring to Padme in that scene.  The Clone Wars series gives us moments where Yoda seems to indicate that he knows there is something going on between the Jedi and the Senator.  One of these moments first comes from the season 2 episode "Senate Spy".  When being briefed by Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Mace Windu on the situation involving Padme's ex-lover and separatist spy Senator Rush Clovis, Anakin blurts out that he was unaware of Padme's history with Clovis.  This is met with a raised eyebrow from Obi-Wan, and the line "Personal matters of the Senator, there are.  Know them why would you?" from Yoda.  The way Yoda says this doesn't come across as if he's surprised, but rather amused that Anakin would say such a thing in front of three Jedi Masters.  This suggests to me, that Yoda is not challenging Anakin on his reasons for saying something like that, but rather hinting to Anakin that he needs to be more careful in what he says.

Yoda seems far too wise to miss the signs that something is going on between Anakin and Padme.  He also knows that Anakin carries a lot of pain with and him, and perhaps hopes that Anakin will outgrow his infatuation with Padme.   Or perhaps he see's this a potential learning experience for Anakin.  Or maybe, he's been questioning if the order is really doing the right thing by forbidding attachment, Yoda seems to know the Jedi are on the wrong path by the time of Episode II, and is curious to see how things work out between Anakin and Padme.

Regardless, one thing is certain, Yoda knows.

This article is an opinion piece and represents the views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization

You can follow Dominic on Twitter: @DominicJ25


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