Lucas has proved to me in this film that he has no idea what to do with female characters, including bit parts, not that it hasn't been obvious before. Leia was the only female character that got to do anything it the original trilogy. But before I get into my full rant, let me start with a taster.
The Jedi are being hunted down. They are being killed by their own troops. We get to see one Jedi Master fight it out valiantly, then another. Both do their best but are overwhelmed. Then we get a female Jedi wandering through a garden area with her troops. They turn on her and she doesn't even get her sabre out! Why is it that she seems to turn to run? Why is it the one female Jedi we see is shot down like a dog, rather than going down fighting? Why is it that we aren't even allowed to see a poor defenseless female killed? They hide the shot!
Now, I wouldn't have minded this so much if he'd done something to make up for it. The ideal point (IMHO) would have been when the senator arrives at the Jedi complex in time to see a young boy desperately fighting against troops. He does a good job, but is killed. Why couldn't this character have been a girl?
Why is it that in all the films, (from memory) no female Jedi even gets a speaking part, let alone a moment of glory?
Then we come to Padme.
In the two previous films, she was a reasonably strong character. A leader, a fighter - very capable and able to handle herself. What's her character arc in this film? Padme is pregnant and happy, then she's pregnant and worried, followed by being pregnant and shocked and finally is pregnant and dying. She has no real point within this film except to be a walking incubator and a reason for Anakin to do things. Nothing she does as a person within this film has any purpose.
And why does she die? The inference is that she just gives up on life, that life without Anakin has no purpose.
What. The. Fuck?
This woman fought for her damned planet, both in the senate and on the battlefields. Her kids aren't enough of a reason to live? To want to try and bring her husband back from the dark side isn't enough of a reason to hang on? It's a sad end for her character, but not in the way that Lucas intended. To me the suggestion was that now she was pregnant, that was it. The be-all and end-all of Padme. She can't do anything. She doesn't fight, isn't strong - she needs to be protected by her big strong hubby because she has a bun in the oven and so obviously can't look after herself.
The boys get to battle it out with their big glowing cocks, but the girls get to die 'cleanly', offscreen or of a broken heart.
I like the film and will buy it eventually, but this aspect of the series will always annoy me.