fans often talk about how Palpatine "seduces" Anakin to the dark side, in the "lead astray" sense. His more subtle seduction of Padmé is no less fascinating. Here's an excerpt from an essay
at the Saga Journal:
For instance, in The Phantom Menace, Palpatine leads an unknowing Padmé astray as he maneuvers her into taking a critical step in his scheme to rule the Galactic Republic. His discussions with her upon her arrival to Coruscant are designed to lead her to the conclusion that a no-confidence vote is her planet's best chance of gaining the government's help with the recent invasion. During the session in the Senate chamber, Palpatine drives his point home with a few careful and well-placed words to Padmé, as she watches the Chancellor fail to act. The imagery of this scene evokes a clear image of the devil -- Palpatine whispers in Padmé's ear much as the devil, in the guise of a snake, whispers to Eve as she considers whether to eat the fruit in the Garden of Eden.
Another parallel: in the same way the devil makes Eve his intermediary to bring about Adam's downfall, Palpatine seduces Padmé first, and through her, Anakin. She is the reason they meet and the reason Anakin joins him. On the landing platform on Coruscant in TPM
, Padmé invites Anakin to follow her – and Palpatine, whom she is following to his apartment. And in Revenge of the Sith
, she is the reason Anakin joins Palpatine and the dark side ("I will do whatever you ask. Just help me save Padmé's life.").
I can't believe some people say that the prequels aren't deep or subtle or that they lack the timeless classical themes found in the original trilogy. Were they watching the same movies?