The Once and Future Queen: Jackie Meets Padme in this Regal Mash-Up

The parallels of Natalie Portman’s royal roles.
Jackie Portman Graves
By  · Published on December 8th, 2016

The Kennedys are the closest thing Americans have ever had to royalty, and Jackie was their Queen. Like any good queen, her reign was characterized by poise and grace, the likes of which most of us could never muster, especially under the scrutiny of the public eye. In casting her for the biopic Jackie, there really was no other choice than Natalie Portman. Like the former First Lady, Portman came to prominence under our collective watchful gaze, and in an industry where more child stars than not end up D-list at best or dead at worst, Natalie Portman has never faltered, she has never tarnished the pristine reputation she’s earned, and in fact has added to her esteem with each passing year. You could say she’s the Queen of American cinema (just don’t let Meryl Streep hear you say it).

But Jackie isn’t the first time Portman has portrayed “royalty.” In the second trilogy of Star Wars films, Episodes I-III, Portman was Padme Amadala, Queen of Naboo, lover of Anakin Skywalker and future mother to Luke and Leia. She too was a queen characterized by poise and grace, and she too suffered greatly in the public eye but never let her suffering interfere with her status as an emblem of hope and resilience for her people. Padme, of course, is not a real historical figure, which means those mannerisms, that poise, that grace – they’re all Portman.

In an inventive mash-up from an inventive essayist and an old friend of OPS making his FSR debut, Nelson Carvajal has combined these two roles – Jackie and Padme – into one regal performance. Using the audio from Jackie and images from Episodes I-III, Carvajal has created more than just a comparison of Portman’s roles, but a succinct look at what makes her an actress of uncommon elegance and royalty in her own right.

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