What did Padmé die of?
According to Star Wars: Episode III
MEDICAL DROID: Medically, she is completely healthy. For reasons we can't explain, we are losing her.
OBI-WAN: She's dying?
MEDICAL DROID: We don't know why. She has lost the will to live. We need to operate quickly if we are to save the babies.
Medically healthy humans don't die for no good reason.
So what did Padmé die of, and how did they even know she was dying?
it's a pretty common trope: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DeathByDespair
@IG_42 In other words, the exact opposite of Plot Armour.
Did anyone aside from me note that at the above citated statement obiwan had a knowing look on his face? As if he knew WHAT the reason is (not indicating that he caused it just that he seemed to have a good inclination what is causing her death)?
@Thomas - My answer makes reference to this. Obi-wan (in the novelisation clearly has an inkling of what's happening. Unfortunately, the narrator doesn't elaborate.
@richard yepp looked again and saw it. I take a huge guess the writer didnt get that info from lucas^^ but had the same incling as us there
@Thomas - My understanding is that all the novelisations were done with access to both the full screenplay *and* Lucas' extensive script notes.
@Richard I only wanted to indicate that lucas probably didn't mention it ANYwhere from what exactly she died (neither the notes nor the screenplay and thus the writer choose to not say exactly why)
@Thomas - We know from the Radio Plays that Lucas has written huge piles of notes about each of the films that he's never shared with the general public.
@sweeneyrod: She's dead in Episodes 4-6, which came out more than 30 years ago now, so I think the statute of limitations has passed.
But she didn't die, because when asked by Luke whether she remembers her real mother in Return of the Jedi, Leia recalls her as "beautiful, caring, but... sad" (re-translated from German, might not be the exact wording). Lucas really should have left the original trilogy alone...
@DevSolar - this was explained away by saying that Leia was remembering her adopted mother (Bail Organa's wife).
@Omegacron - I seem to recall reading something about "force memory" as a skill that would allow Leia to remember from birth. Frankly, it makes more sense to say that she's just delusional than to make up a back-story.
Yeah, unfortunately I don't write this stuff. I just watch the movie and cuss at the screen.
I've just come across another theory, that Palpatine (remotely) drained the life from her to keep Anakin alive. I'm not familiar with the novelisations though, and I haven't seen the film in a while, so I can't vouch for how legit this is.
@Richard: true. But the tags also reveal what the question is related to. And lets assume it will happen in the 3rd episode. I have to addmit (while I don't care too much) i was spoiled by this.
In the movie, the facility where she is being treated looks pretty dumpy. It's a small little habitat bubble on an obscure moon. Perhaps the droids treating her were substandard.
Medically healthy humans don't die for no good reason
But she wasn't "medically healthy".
She was suffering from - at the very least:
Twin birth. That's a pretty stressful thing to happen to a human body, especially if it was premature, possibly caused by, or at least correllated with ...
Injuries from Anakin force-choking her in a fit of jealous rage. She was unconscious at the end of it (when you lose consciousness, it can indicate Bad Things are happening in your brain):
Also, psychosomatic effects from pure psychological shock does have a capacity to cause major physiological issues.
To top that off, we don't know what the exact state of medical science/technology in TGFFA is. For all we know, they don't know how to help someone who's in cardiac arrest - meaning a heart attack could be written off as "broken heart, can't help here". Or, more likely, an aneurism (I didn't notice them scanning her brain at all).
Remember, you (well your question) just trusted the opinion of a medical droid that declared a woman who just gave birth to twins a clean medical bill of health.
Having said that, canon simply doesn't give an unambigous answer that would be scientifically plausible, anymore than it cares about lasers and ion engines making sounds in a vacuum, or the ability of midichlorians to somehow cause a virgin birth in absence of DNA from a male reproductive cell in a species emphathically NOT designed to work that way. So,
Complications from severe plot failure. She died of Lucas writing the scenario.
The droid explictly states that she's medically healthy. The novelisation seems to concur; "*“All organic damage has been repaired.” The droid checked another readout. “This systemic failure cannot be explained.” Not physically, Obi-Wan thought.*"
@Richard - see #4. G canon isn't terribly clear on just how much internal damage those droids can detect and repair.
@Richard - yeah, Palpatine generally tends to be 3 steps ahead technologically. Comes with the position. Also, if you keep pushing me, I'll change the answer to "Midichlorian Gom Jabbar" :)
Note: there may be more info here but I'm not sure if it has any hard info short of Vader parroting what Palpatine told him.
*5. Complications from severe plot failure. She died of Lucas writing the scenario.* Damn you Lucas... damn you. Must every tragedy in the SW universe be rooted in your incapabilities as a creative writer.
Midichlorian Gom Jar Jar what? Just what we need... Brian Herbert and Gorge Lucas to combine their world building skills to be a movie for J.J. Abrams....
About 4: there are many indications that medical technology in star wars is well ahead of ours: they have specific technology, such as bacta (roughly equivalent to automatic healing) or perfect protheses (implying they understand the nervous system pretty well), and also some generic technologies that would tremendously help our doctors (AI, 3-dimensional imaging). It would be very funny if they had developed all that without noticing that electric shocks can restart a heart. But maybe that's what 19th century people would say about our inability to use trepanation...
I think 3 is the most promising in combination with the pure stress her body had because of the twins. So could be it was just psychological breakdown that resulted in her death. Additionally I'm not sure though if it was ever stated it always seemed she and anakin were connected through the force and when he had chocked her he had turned away from her and that connection and that could have added to that (not sure if I'm correct about them being connected or not).
I've seen it suggested that Anakin used his bond to her through the Force to survive his own injuries, inadvertently killing her in the process. Of course, that's entirely made up. But it makes as much sense as anything Lucas actually wrote...
She died of complications from severe plot failure, and left more behind her when she died. If she had lived a few more years, they wouldn't have had to retcon Leia remembering her "real" mother.
@Zack And how would a self-fertilizing female under those circumstances produce male offspring? The point is Lucas doesn't care much for any of our fancy "science" or "logic" or "common sense".
@Richard - When was the last time Lucas deigned to explain his gaffes? Mind you, I'm not happy at all, but no information means no information. I'd tweet Leland Chee, but in my past experience it's futile to the infinity :(
@Richard - the problem is, of course, that "medically she is healthy" and "she is dying" are contradictory. ONE of those two statements is necessarily wrong by the semantics of the ---English--- Common language
@dvk - I don't disagree, I'd just like some kind of Word of God regarding her death. He's certainly made other statements about Jar Jar, for example/
@T.Verron - Electric shocks don't 'restart' a heart per-se, they stop it. Shocking a heart helps when the heart is beating irregularly - it stops the movement temporarily so when the impulses kick back in it should beat normally again. It does nothing for 'flatlining' patients, despite Hollywood's insistence of the contrary.
As she was phsically ok there are only 2 possibilities left anyway in that universe: a.) Psychological problems (aka dying of a broken heart) or b.) The force (either an action anakin accidently did through the force or the will of the force itself [if it can create live aka anakin it can diminish it also aka padme])
Just wanted to put this bbc article about parthenogenesis (virgin birth) here. I have some faith that the nececessary genetical intervention would not be that difficult for advanced nanobots (eh, I mean midichlorians).
This is good, because think if you were a robot programmed to calculate the best and most efficient way to save lives - pregnant woman comes in with minimal bodily harm about to have twins, do you A) preform extended scans of brain and arteries to possibly save one life when two others are in danger, or B) Save two lives with a high level of success rate knowing that the quick scans said the woman was more or less "ok"
@DVK I don't know how to break this to you, but giving birth to twins is not usually a fatal condition.