Inside the head of a Queen, I’m not sure that’s a place I want to be!
Written By: Jude Watson
I haven’t come across many books in the expanded universe of Star Wars that are written from the first person perspective. Most Star Wars stories, no matter the medium, are told from either a third person perspective or a rotating omnipresent perspective. In that sense I found Episode I: Queen Amidala a refreshing read. Its prose is somewhat simple, but the perspective of the story and the style of the prose is not a common one and that added some flavor to the book.
The question becomes, is their merit in a story set inside of Queen Amidala’s/Padmé’s head during the events of Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The answer to that is not a simple yes or no, because as with most works within the expanded universe there are positive and negative attributes brought to the table by Episode I: Queen Amidala. There is value to be found in some areas that Episode I: Queen Amidala covers. At the same time other areas that Jude Watson’s young reader’s novel covers are quite superfluous.
Padmé’s thoughts are presented in a scattershot fashion, but that is not a bad thing. Her mind is in turmoil during this period of time and I appreciated the way the book handled that aspect of her inner thoughts. Miss Watson does a splendid job of conveying the conflict that exists within Padmé. She is a queen and a handmaiden, a pacifist and a warrior. These personas and ideologies do not gel together in a satisfactory fashion. Miss Watson threads the needle well when it comes to bringing the turmoil from Padmé’s mind to the written page.
Where Episode I: Queen Amidala falters is in its depth and breadth of focus. The book has somewhat large aspirations, but it repeatedly comes up short in terms of properly bringing the depth needed for those larger aspirations. I realize that Episode I: Queen Amidala is a young reader’s novel, but Miss Watson shows in how she handles some of the material that she has the chops to bring depth to the book. Yet, when it comes to all issues outside of Padmé’s inner conflict the book takes far too easy and broad of an approach.
It is inconsistent, but for the most part Episode I: Queen Amidala is an entertaining and interesting read. The book manages to get to the core of an issue that troubles its eponymous character. Episode I: Queen Amidala is lacking in adequate depth. However, that is not a terrible slight against the book but more of an agitating factor or an irritant. The idea of taking a trip inside the head of Padmé may not sound appealing but the end product is engaging and offers some new insight into a very important Star Wars character.