Friday, October 17, 2014

101 Star Wars Variations 84: Queen of the Stone Age

Padme is used to formality.  Her whole life is full of it.  From a young age every moment of every day seemed to be planned, her destiny ordained.

She's spent most of her time wondering what would happen if this careful orchestration were disrupted.

On Naboo, the courtly atmosphere leaves everyone with stiff necks.  She's long wondered what it would be like to meet a Gungan.  In her stolen moments, with the valued assistance of confidential nursemaids, she's long amused herself with the old tales of the days when civilization was more integrated.  There were dark days, days when the ruling class held the Gungans in servility with justifications based on subjective interpretations of intelligence, but there were better ones, too, the heroic nobility of even the most common Gungan leading to breathtaking achievements that inspired the whole world.  What would happen if the two peoples of Naboo were reunited once more?  It would have to be a very careful accident indeed.

Who would have to be responsible?  An outsider.  There's a saying that there's no more perfect an outsider than a Jedi.  You don't have to be a daydreaming queen to know that.  Padme hears reports from many worlds throughout the Republic.  Whenever a Jedi is involved in a matter, it's the closest anything comes to the rigid structure she knows too well.  But what about a rogue Jedi?  What if some crisis were to visit Naboo, and just such a Jedi were to come.  Only a Jedi would be bold enough to break the divide of the Gungans, and a rogue Jedi wise enough to keep it that way.

But what are the chances?  Things would have to get really bad.  She can imagine the ambitious politicians around her sparking chaos, causing tumult behind the scenes that inevitably spreads, perhaps even to the point of galactic war, universal upheaval, a new order.  All around Padme is intrigue that never actually leads to anything, but if it did?  Things would become quite interesting indeed.

Life can be stifling when institutions have calcified.  Such moments breed revolution.  But those living in them find it hard to believe they'll themselves witness at the moment of change.  Change comes hard.  People crave stability.

People other than Padme, anyway.

Some day, all this will change, what everyone around her believes to be a golden age.  The system will break, chaos will ensue.  Things will improve.  But Padme is getting older.  She has been taught to appreciate the virtues of patience.  Patience was never meant to last a lifetime.  The only time she values is when she imagines the possibilities forever denied her.  Gungans running free.  Jedi run amok.  Maybe even love.

More and more of her time is spent this way.

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