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Pet peeves - A Rant. - moonspinner
Pet peeves - A Rant.
One of my biggest fan fiction pet peeves is Canon!Seductive!Anakin/Canon!Innocent!Padme stories. You know the kind - the stories where all of Anakin's actions in AotC where the careful machinations of a lusty, skilled seductor bent on breaking down the vulnerable walls of an innocent, trusting, defenceless, virginal Padme. Gag me with a spoon, someone? If it were an AU fic with this Anakin as a 19-yr old Vader, I *could* buy it... But the idea that all the while in AotC, Anakin was really some Don Juan character and all the A/P missing scenes were filled with episodes of his hand finding its way up an unwilling Padme's skirt .... ?!£$!$&

The most common example of such a fic is usually the meadow scene. After the whole tumbling together on the grass, the fic writer usually takes the 'missing moment' that follows into the arena of lust, groping, careful seduction on Anakin's part, and eventually, apologies, and renewed resolve on Padme's part, and determination on Anakin's part. What gives? That was one of the best A/P scenes in the movie. I loved the childishness of them tumbling in the grass, the innocence, the pure joy. So maybe there was some heat later on, and probably Padme felt more than Anakin's lightsabre after sitting on him for a while. (Doesn't the scene continue in the novel, with them standing up awkwardly before getting on the shaak?) But it didn't degenerate into a Victorian romance novel!!!

I mean, if any of our beloved couple had lost his/her chastity between TPM and AotC, odds are that it was the woman: she's older, more exposed - politics doesn't seem to have any better a reputation in the GFFA than it does here, we know she's had a boyfriend so automatically she's more experienced. She has a wardrobe of seductive outfits - I don't think she took a little time out while hiding out in Naboo to go shopping for that leather outfit. [snark]Yep, she's got virginal written all over her. [/snark]. Anakin's a 19-yr-old kid who has spent the last decade of his life cloistered in the Jedi Temple and in love with the same woman. He falls over his own feet when he meets her. 'Far more beautiful... for a senator.' [snark]Yeah, lots of experience there. It's so obvious. How could we have missed it? [/snark]

I mean, I understand the appeal - but after a while it gets old.

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wendynat From: wendynat Date: January 18th, 2006 11:27 am (UTC) (Link)
Completely agree - luckily I haven't run into too many of these stories, but I'm wimpy about reading much Ani/Ami that isn't from someone whose work I'm familiar with. Far too many AU "he didn't really go bad, was his twin brother/all a dream/etc" fics that I ran into on ff.net cured me of reading random Ani/Ami stories ;)

But definitely, if either of them was experienced, it would have to be Padme. I mean, where does uber!seductive Anakin appear in AotC? When he talks so suavely about how sand is rough but she's not? Or when he starts talking about kisses becoming scars and not being able to breathe during that lovely fireside chat scene? Yeesh. She was the one in the leathe corset - he went and ruined the fling moment by getting all deep. Hardly the work of a grand seductor ;)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: January 18th, 2006 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
So glad someone agrees with me. The poor guy was all thumbs around her. It's not so much that I feel Padme was a 'Scarlet Woman' but geesh, I don't think Leia had a leather corset in her wardrobe! It's funny about your take on the fireplace scene. I also think that Padme had committed herself to some sort of fling that evening. She was all prepped up on that couch for some necking and maybe more when Anakin Ruined the moment by yakking on and on about - Scars! and Commitment! The easy going flirt in Padme was scared off big time. *g*
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: January 18th, 2006 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Agreed - this bugs the shit out of me too. In fact, a disagreement along these lines is part of why I no longer post on the AAEF list. (The core of this girl's argument was that there was no way Anakin could carry a devoted crush for so long without some calculated motive. She even argued he was using the Force to lightly nudge Padme towards 'giving in' to him and arrogantly insinuated I'd apparently missed every single 'clear' hint his bumbling routine was an act, which is where it got very ugly.) As my icon succinctly puts, there was really no way or place for Ani to've become 'experienced' in that area - AotC shows he'd probably have little trouble getting women (the nightclub scene) if he wanted, and I'm sure he found other girls attractive (he *is* a teenage boy)... but from age 9 he has a very clear idea of who he really wants, knows he'll be old enough for her eventually, and therefore has no need to pursue anyone else. Even if somehow he were being calculating with Padme, he doesn't have the experience to pull off an 'act' as flawlessly as people like the author I was arguing with claim. And there's no way something like his lines in the fireplace scene weren't completely spontaneous - they're almost brutal in their intensity, which is not what you do when you're calculatedly trying to bed someone. Ani is very passionate, but very simple in his emotions - he says what he feels, very plainly, and does not in any way like restraining how he feels. He couldn't bear to put on as prolonged an act as these people claim!

And his master was Obi-Wan, for cripes' sake. You almost can't find a more asexual being out there, so Anakin sure didn't pick up any tips from him.

While Padme is more likely the more 'experienced' of the two, I still don't think she was all that experienced; if she's gone this long without settling down, it's safe to say she doesn't 'give it up' easily. (For all we know Palo was the only boyfriend, and may have even been just a crush, and that was when she was just 12.) It's possible she might have casually dated a couple of guys, but she clearly found her work more important - Anakin was almost certainly the first she'd felt that intensely for, if her behavior (all those awkward backtracks and mixed signals) is any indicator. She really doesn't know how to handle how she feels about him. Either way, what happens between them in AotC is very unfamiliar ground for them both.

And as far as an 'unwilling' Padme - yeah, she looked pretty unwilling with all that letting him stroke her back, practically eating his face, tackling him in the grass, and wearing bondage outfits...
manicwriter1271 From: manicwriter1271 Date: January 19th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC) (Link)
And his master was Obi-Wan, for cripes' sake. You almost can't find a more asexual being out there, so Anakin sure didn't pick up any tips from him.


And exactly. I didn't know the AAEF list had gone in that direction. It's been at least two or three years since I posted there, but...geez. That's sad.
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: January 19th, 2006 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I left AAEF when it became more H/N fic than A/P, and turned into a doppelganger for the JC, topics suddenly going on and on about how horrifically GL had botched everything, including the romance. If these people apparently thought the love story was so thoroughly shitty - why waste so much time writing fic on it? (I made the mistake of trying to defend the movies/romance, and was soundly trounced on.) Actually, the disagreement I mentioned wasn't on AAEF itself, but here on LJ, with one of the AAEF listmoms - there're probably a few on my f-list who remember it. This all happened ages and ages ago, well before RotS; lazypadawan probably remembers, since I think she gave up on AAEF the same time I did.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: January 19th, 2006 09:46 am (UTC) (Link)
BTW, I love the icon.

And yes, it still blows my mind that there are A/P 'fans' who think that A/P is crap. Isn't that like a sentence oxymoron or something?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: January 19th, 2006 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
She even argued he was using the Force to lightly nudge Padme towards 'giving in' to him and arrogantly insinuated I'd apparently missed every single 'clear' hint his bumbling routine was an act, which is where it got very ugly.

???? Totally confused there. ANH was the very first Star Wars movie, and coincidentally, the first SW movie to state the universal truth - mind tricks only work on the weak minded. They don't even work on Trando---(sp?) like Watto for crying out loud. I know many people don't like Padme's character, but they can't honestly think she was really weak minded, can they?

While Padme is more likely the more 'experienced' of the two, I still don't think she was all that experienced

Oh, I agree with that. I was just pointing out in my post that if any one was playing experienced, calculating seductor, it was Padme. I think Amidala was inexperienced for her age and position. The mixed signals clearly showed a woman who didn't have any control of her feelings or what she wanted to do with them.

And his master was Obi-Wan, for cripes' sake. You almost can't find a more asexual being out there, so Anakin sure didn't pick up any tips from him.

LOL! 'Nuff said.

manicwriter1271 From: manicwriter1271 Date: January 19th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'm not sure where that line of thinking comes from--Anakin as the seductor? Huh? My response to that is the same as my response to the people who are complaining about how bad his lines are in the fireplace scene--who exactly was supposed to teach him about girls? Obi-Wan or Mace? If he were as suave as Lando, there'd be a problem.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: January 19th, 2006 06:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Now, Lando was suave and I could see someone like him trying - and failing badly - to teach Anakin the art of seduction. Anakin simply doesn't have that bone in his body. I mean, we see him try to hoodwink Padme at the end of RotS, but that is only sustained for as long as she wants to be hoodwinked... and in the end, it still failed woefully.
vanimy From: vanimy Date: March 9th, 2006 12:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh... This is really interesting. I've noticed this trend as well and I think I know the story you've referred to. I've always been appalled by this interpretation. I guess some people like the man to be a hunter and the woman to be a prey (I saw this repeated time and time again in some fics) and Anakin is supposed to be Vader, right? So he can't be nice or even *gasp* innocent. Add to that he's already 4 years younger than Padmé, which is something some had a hard time accepting, so they had to compensate with an aggressive Anakin almost raping Padmé. *shudders* And don't get me started on mind tricks... Is that how they define love? But it's the same people who claim it's not love but obsession between the two of them. When it's not just lust BTW. Anakin has to be a psycho anyway, since he's supposed to turn to the dark side... Even the innocent relationship they have in TPM and Anakin's sweet love for 10 years is turned into creepy stalker-ish tendencies.

To me, both Anakin and Padmé are inexperienced in AOTC and that's what makes it sweet in some sense. For reasons already exposed above, there's no way either of them would roam the dark streets of Coruscant to find casual partners. And if the AOTC scene shows women attracted to Anakin (well, duh! ;)) Anakin doesn't even seem to notice them. He doesn't give them a sultry look or anything. He's like Obi-Wan in that sense.

And good point about Anakin unable to be suave or keep an act. His compliments come straight from the heart and TW they're clumsy or too intense somehow. Even in ROTS he's still that way, the balcony scene, anyone? If it was all an act to seduce Padmé, why keep it up three years afterwards? And Anakin just can't lie. He didn't even attempt to lie to Padmé once she told him she knew about the younglings, and even pre dark side, remember the way he acted when he had to spy on Palps? He couldn't lie to him, he couldn't even disguise his feelings. That's Anakin, he's an open book.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 9th, 2006 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not just one story, several. *ticked off* I think they were some fics that came out soon after AotC was released. And yes, I believe the trend was mostly started by people who felt Anakin wasn't dark enough for their liking in the film. Or the whole PT for that matter. They wanted to see Vader and by damn, they'd get Vader.

And mind tricks - gag! It's enough to make you bang your head against the wall. Which part of 'they only work on the weak-minded' don't they get? Oh sure, they'd say he was only lying to trick her... then was Ben lying in the OT as well? Maybe *he* had designs on Luke? :p

indiefic From: indiefic Date: September 24th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't mind me for being 2 years late to the party ;P

I agree with a large part of what you said. I don't have any trouble buying Padme as the more experienced partner and I am NOT a fan of Virgin!Padme. Puh-leeze. I do not buy her for one second as the innocent victim of his advances. She damn well knew better.

You make a strong argument for Anakin being inexperienced, though I will give him the benefit of the doubt and blame Lucas's painfully awful dialog rather than the character. (hee!) Somehow I could believe that GL actually thought that was Anakin being suave. *cringe* I have read at least one Experienced!Padme and Virgin!Anakin that was exceptionally well done.

Personally, I like to think they'd both been around the block a few times. Given his looks, intensity and need for human attachment, I can't believe he saved himself for his wedding night. And with her age, profession and former love interest, yeah, she was so not a virgin. At least in my book ;)

moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: September 25th, 2007 11:05 am (UTC) (Link)
By all means, jump in! :D

Despite Lucas's lines :p I do tend to see Anakin as a frightfully inexperienced young man, but I have nothing against stories where he's been around the block and there are lots of those stories that I really like. It all depends on the strength of the story (and the writer by implication). However I will always make the exception for Don Juan! Anakin/ Blushing!Virgin!Padme fics. I don't care how 'well' (relatively speaking of course) written they are. I dislike them not only because I see zero basis for it in canon but because I Loathed the M&B, Harlequin romances that they're based on - Studly Male meets Innocent Belle, seduces her into his arms and they live happily ever after.

Ew! I always tended to see the poor girl as the manipulated, violated victim of her own stupidity that she was and it irritated me to BLAZES that Mr Macho was the male equivalent of a highly skilled courtesan (probably from sleeping around with several highly skilled courtesans) but he'd go bananas at the idea that Ms. Mouse had ever kissed another man. And of course, she was a virgin. She always was.

Arrrgh! Remembering those books is bad enough but remembering those Crazy fics where my beloved characters were forced into those Horrid Caricatures iis enough to get my blood boiling. <>
indiefic From: indiefic Date: September 25th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I do tend to see Anakin as a frightfully inexperienced young man

Like I said, I don't buy him as a wedding night virgin, but at the same time, I do think that Padme was an entirely different ballgame for him. He loved her. And he desperately wanted/needed her to return that love. So I think that he could have been sexually experienced and yet Padme was the first (only) woman who ever really had his heart. So his bumbling attempts at seduction work for me without me needing him to necessarily be completely sheltered. And I do think there is definitely a certain sweetness between them in AotC, especially the meadow scene, that hints that their relationship (though not necessarily sexuality in general) is new territory for both of them.

Studly Male meets Innocent Belle, seduces her into his arms and they live happily ever after.

I don't abhor all pieces written in that vein, but the ones I like are few and far between. (And of course, because it's me, he may be a man whore and she may be a virgin, but they're both so incredibly dysfunctional they can barely function)And I really, really don't think that particular dynamic should come anywhere near an Anakin/Padme fic. An AU Vader/Padme fic, maybe, but even then, like I said, I'm not a fan of innocent!padme.

Though just out of curiosity and possibly OT, what do you think of the characterization of Padme in AotC vs. RotS? I've been thinking about that a lot lately.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: September 25th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love the meadow scene sweetness! ::sigh:: That was one of the most endearing parts of AotC to me.

I guess it's just the feminist in me that really dislikes the Mr Macho/Ms Mouse pairing. I know it can be written well, even enjoyably but it's just not my cuppa. :D And like you said, that dynamic doesn't belong anywhere near SW PT (which is one of the reasons why I've never been a big H/L fan. I accept them as a canon couple and I don't think I'll ever pair Leia with anyone but I don't really 'heart' them as I do A/P).

Though just out of curiosity and possibly OT, what do you think of the characterization of Padme in AotC vs. RotS?

Ooh, that'll taken a long essay like answer from me! :D In a nutshell, though, I think there was a downward spiral but taken in context, it was in character and actually saved Padme from being a too-good-to-be-true person. Most importantly, it added an essential element to the audience's (i.e my) perception of her character. TPM and AOTC made her admirable. ROTS made her sympathetic.

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