The sabacc deck was stacked against Anakin Skywalker from the start. Born into slavery, fatherless, the young boy from Tatooine had but one loving influence in his life – his mother. Qui-Gon Jin changed that dynamic by whisking the boy away to be trained in the ways of the Jedi, however. Even Ki Adi Mundi could sense that Anakin’s separation anxiety and mommy issues would be problematic, but by then Anakin’s path was set. From there, there would be three major influences in his life, the pivotal one of the three being primarily responsible for his downfall. Yes, I’ll say it: Darth Vader was all Padme’s fault.

Padme; Darth Vader

The Mentor.

Anakin’s early life and teen development was guided by Obi-Wan Kenobi. There were few in the Jedi order purer and nobler of heart, or better suited to guide the orphan padawan. Obi-Wan did his best, with a kind and loving hand, but also a strict and stern one when needed. Anakin’s underlying issues always simmered, ready to bubble to the surface, but with Obi-Wan’s guidance he was able to keep them in check.

Anakin Speaks Droid; Kenobi
“Don’t… don’t ever speak droid to me again.” (Image: Lucasfilm)

The Enabler.

Enter Padme. She knew from her earliest encounter with him of Anakin’s adolescent crush. While she acknowledged the impropriety of it all at first, she’d eventually come to embrace it, and encourage it. (Some say Anakin unknowingly used the force to compel her affection, but’s a theory for another post.) It was Padme that nudged Anakin to act on his impulses to go to Tatooine. His admitting to mass murder should have been a full stop: at that moment Padme should have ended the relationship and gone to Obi-Wan. Had she done so, he’d have been expelled from the Jedi Order and likely convicted of his crimes. Instead, she concealed it, married him, and bore him offspring before admitting what she’d help him become. So… Padme’s fault.

The Manipulator.

Padme's fault

By the time Palpatine was able to exude any influence over Anakin, the die had been cast. Padme’s actions, and inaction, opened the door for Palapatine to seize on the young Jedi’s insecurities. It took little effort at all for the Dark Lord of the Sith to convince Anakin to embrace the darkness.

Thus, by encouraging Anakin to go to Tatooine, and then condoning his actions there, she allowed him to unleash his greatest fault; rage. There was no putting that genie back in the bottle. The rest is history; Darth Vader was all Padme’s fault.

Thanks a lot, Padme.