First Phantom Menace Draft Set Up An Anakin, Padme & Obi-Wan Love Triangle
Padmé and Anakin’s love was central to the SW prequel trilogy, however, a first draft of Episode I introduced Padmé’s romantic feelings for Obi-Wan.
Anakin and Padmé undoubtedly were the main couple of the prequel trilogy, but a first draft of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace hinted at a possible love triangle involving Anakin, Padmé, and Obi-Wan. While many events shaped Anakin’s (Hayden Christensen) path toward the dark side, the catalyst for his final turn to the dark side was his wish to protect Padmé (Natalie Portman) from harm. Indeed, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith had Anakin plagued by his nightmares where he saw Padmé dead, and he sincerely believed that knowing the ways of the Force’s dark side would help him protect her.
Star Wars’ prequel trilogy beautifully set up both Anakin and Obi-Wan’s (Ewan McGregor) friendship-mentorship and Obi-Wan and Padmé’s friendship. However, according to 1999’s The Episode I Insider’s Guide, Padmé supposedly had feelings for Obi-Wan in the first draft, making Anakin’s fear of romantic feelings between Padme and Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith canon. The Episode I Insider’s Guide revealed many changes between The Phantom Menace’s first draft and the final version, including Qui-Gon Jinn’s minor significance as a character compared to Obi-Wan, and Padmé’s crush on Obi-Wan as a result of his standing up to the Queen, which would’ve led her to give Obi-Wan “a long, adoring look” on Tatooine.
A Love Triangle Would Have Changed The Prequel Trilogy
Had The Phantom Menace’s final version included Padmé’s feelings for Obi-Wan, the Star Wars prequel trilogy would’ve looked quite different from what audiences saw. Even if Padmé’s feelings for Obi-Wan stayed small and lingering, they could have had an even bigger impact on Anakin turning to the Force’s dark side, as Anakin’s fears of losing Padmé were due to her conflicted feelings. Padmé’s feelings wouldn’t have necessarily meant she would ever act on them. Still, considering how Anakin’s worries and catastrophizing thoughts got worse based on minimal changes in Revenge of the Sith, they would have been even more heightened if there was a grain of truth in them.
Indeed, Padmé’s feelings wouldn’t have necessarily been reciprocated. The Episode I Insider’s Guide also reported that Padme’s glances at Obi-Wan were full of interest and respect, and made “Kenobi very nervous.” Even if Padmé’s feelings for Obi-Wan had remained into The Phantom Menace’s final version, Obi-Wan could’ve just ignored them, especially since the character wasn’t a Padawan like Obi-Wan ended up being in The Phantom Menace, but a full Jedi knight in the initial draft. Nevertheless, had Padmé’s feelings existed, it could’ve potentially made Anakin’s final turn to the dark side even worse because his fears would’ve been proved correct in his eyes.
A Prequel Love Triangle Would Have Been A Dark Mirror Of The OT
A potential love triangle including Obi-Wan, Padmé, and Anakin would have been wrong for the prequel trilogy because it would have mirrored Star Wars’ original trilogy too much. Han and Luke’s romantic interest in Leia made for interesting and shocking developments in The Empire Strikes Back. However, romantic feelings between Padmé and Obi-Wan would’ve felt too similar to Luke and Leia’s circumstances, especially if Obi-Wan didn’t reciprocate Padmé’s feelings.
Moreover, Revenge of the Sith is made better by Padmé and Obi-Wan only deeply caring for Anakin, without romantic feelings between the two. Indeed, the absence of romantic feelings between Padmé and Obi-Wan made Anakin’s turn to the dark side more tragic, as that way, his choices were only based on his unfounded fears rather than facts. While Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace could have had more mature themes had the final version included some of the first draft’s ideas, it’s better that it didn’t set up a love triangle involving Padmé, Anakin, and Obi-Wan.
Next: Star Wars: Why Obi-Wan Never Confronted Anakin About Padmé