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Old 12-02-2006, 08:21 PM   #2
SamR
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EXT. SENATE OFFICE BUILDING - LANDING PLATFORM - LATE AFTERNOON

The Jedi shuttle touches down on the landing platform just outside the massive office building’s high-altitude main entrance.

There are a DOZEN SENATORS waiting, including BAIL ORGANA, 40’s, strong build, polite. C-3PO is also there. Palpatine, R2-D2, and Anakin emerge from the shuttle. Obi-Wan stays in the shuttle doorway.

ANAKIN
(to Obi-Wan)
Are you coming, Master?

OBI-WAN
Oh no. I'm not brave enough for politics. I have to report to the Council. Besides, someone needs to be the poster boy.

ANAKIN
Hold on, this whole operation was your idea. You’re the one who planned it. You’re the one who reports to the Senate on missions like this. You have to be the one to take the bows this time.

OBI-WAN
Sorry, old friend. Let’s not forget that you killed Count Dooku, rescued the Chancellor, rescued me twice, and managed to land that bucket of bolts safely.

ANAKIN
All because of your training, Master. You deserve all those speeches of your greatness.

OBI-WAN
The endless speeches . . . Anakin, let's be fair. Today, you are the hero, and you deserve your glorious day with the politicians.

ANAKIN
All right . . .
(smiles)
but you owe me.

He leaves to join the others.

The Chancellor and the entourage of Senators (minus Bail Organa) that has formed around him approach MACE WINDU. Mace is still bald, tough and no-nonsense.

MACE
Chancellor Palpatine, are you well? Do you need medical attention?

PALPATINE
I am well, thanks to your two Jedi Knights. They killed Count Dooku, but General Grievous has escaped once again.

MACE
General Grievous will run and hide as he always does. He is a coward.

PALPATINE
That may be true, but with Count Dooku dead, he is the leader of the Droid Army, and I assure you, the Senate will vote to continue the war as long as Grievous is alive.

MACE
Then the Jedi Council will make finding Grievous our highest priority.

Bail walks with Anakin, as the crowd exits the platform and moves toward the Grand Hallway.

There to greet them is PADMÉ AMIDALA, now approaching 30 and more mature, having toned down the extravagant fashion somewhat.

PADMÉ
(smiles)
Anakin Skywalker, the Republic cannot praise you enough.

Anakin, Padmé and Bail enter the hallway.

ANAKIN
Thank you, My Lady. The kidnapping was a bold move by the Separatists, but it was a mistake that Obi-Wan and I were able to take advantage of.

R2-D2 and C-3PO follow behind the crowd.

C-3PO
It couldn't possibly be as bad as all that.

R2 BEEPS.

C-3PO (cont’d)
Well, there, I agree with you. In fact, I could do with a tune-up myself.

INT. SENATE OFFICE BUILDING - MAIN HALLWAY – SAME TIME

Anakin is at the back of the crowd of Senators, talking with Bail. Padmé has joined another conversation. R2-D2 and C-3PO scoot along ahead of them.

BAIL
The end of Count Dooku will surely bring an end to this war, and an end to the Chancellor's draconian security measures.

ANAKIN
I wish that were so, but the fighting is going to continue until General Grievous is spare parts. The Chancellor is very clear about that.

BAIL
I'll speak to Senator Amidala, and we’ll do everything we can.

Anakin looks to see that, with the crowd having moved on, Padmé has disappeared.

ANAKIN
Excuse me.

BAIL
Certainly.

Anakin stops, and Bail goes off after Palpatine and the others. Anakin goes behind one of the giant columns to meet up with Padmé. They embrace and kiss.

PADMÉ
I wanted to say thank goodness you’re back safe, and how worried I was, but that wouldn’t have been formal.

ANAKIN
I missed you, Padmé. It feels like we've been apart for a lifetime.

PADMÉ
I know.

ANAKIN
And it might have been . . . If the Chancellor hadn't been kidnapped, I don't think they would have ever brought us back from the Outer Rim sieges.

He starts to give her another kiss. She steps back.

PADMÉ
Wait, not here.

He grabs her again.

ANAKIN
Yes, here! I'm tired of all this deception. I don't care if they know we're married. Some of them are suspicious, anyway. I could sense it in Senator Organa. I’ve sensed it in Obi-Wan. I’m sure Master Yoda is. I’ve seen it in his eyes.

PADMÉ
But they’re not saying anything. They respect our privacy. What if someone, who doesn’t, learns of it? Someone in the Chancellor’s office, for instance . . . or Master Windu?

ANAKIN
I can handle Master Windu.

PADMÉ
Anakin, don't fool yourself. You're important to the Republic . . . to ending this war. I love you, but I won't let you give up your life as a Jedi for me.

ANAKIN
I've given my life to the Jedi order, but I'd only give up my life, for you.

PADMÉ
(playfully)
I wouldn't like that. I wouldn't like that one bit. Patience, my handsome Jedi . . . Come to me later.

Anakin embraces her then looks at her.

ANAKIN
Are you all right? You're trembling. What's going on?

PADMÉ
It can wait.

ANAKIN
You're frightened.
(a little angry)
Tell me what's going on!

PADMÉ
You've been gone five months. I’ve kept busy, but it's been hard. I never felt so alone . . . and now there's . . .

ANAKIN
Is there someone else?

PADMÉ
(peeved, angry)
No! You know me better than that, Anakin. Your jealousy upsets me so much. I do nothing to betray you, yet you still don't trust me. Nothing has changed.

ANAKIN
(sheepish)
I'm afraid of losing you, Padmé . . . that's all. You’re a powerful, desirable woman. The Senate envies you, and I fear some of them might want you.

PADMÉ
I know how to fend them off. I will never stop loving you, Anakin. I can’t lose you.

ANAKIN
It's just that I've never seen you like this.

PADMÉ
That’s because I’ve never been like this. Something wonderful has happened.

They look at each other for a long moment.

PADMÉ (cont’d)
Ani . . . I’m pregnant.

Anakin is stunned. He thinks through all of the ramifications of this. He takes her in his arms.

ANAKIN
That's . . . that's wonderful.

PADMÉ
What are we going to do?

ANAKIN
We're not going to worry about anything right now, all right? This is a happy moment . . . the happiest moment of my life.

EXT. UTAPAU - LANDING PLATFORM - DAY

A small Neimoidian shuttle lands on the platform deep inside a massive sinkhole, out of whose walls a city is carved. DROID TROOPS stand at attention, as General Grievous descends onto the platform.

INT. GRAND CHAMBER CONFERENCE ROOM – MINUTES LATER

General Grievous enters the conference room, presses a series of buttons on the table, and bows. A hologram of DARTH SIDIOUS appears.

GENERAL GRIEVOUS
Yes, Lord Sidious.

DARTH SIDIOUS
General Grievous, I suggest you prepare to move the Separatist leaders to Mustafar, at a time which I will indicate.

GENERAL GRIEVOUS
It will be done, My Lord.

DARTH SIDIOUS
You have done well, General. The end of the war is near, and I promise you, what would appear to have been a setback for us, will, in truth, make us victorious.

GENERAL GRIEVOUS
But the loss of Count Dooku?

DARTH SIDIOUS
His death was a necessary loss, which will ensure our victory. Soon I shall have a new apprentice . . . one far younger and more powerful than Lord Tyranus.

EXT. CORUSCANT – APARTMENT BUILDING – TWILIGHT

A luxury apartment complex stands about a kilometer from the Senate Office Building, which, at this proximity, dwarfs it and everything else in the vicinity. Both are situated along a major avenue, which carries both pedestrian and airborne speeder traffic.

INT. PADMÉ’S APARTMENT – LIVING ROOM - TWILIGHT

Padmé stands in the balcony, brushing her hair. The room in front of her is furnished with couches, a low table, and an abundance of Naboo plant life. Anakin leans against the wall, watching her lovingly.

ANAKIN
Every second, I was thinking of you. Protecting the endless, nameless Outer Rim settlements became a torture . . . the battles were easy, the longing became unbearable . . . I've never been so happy as I am at this moment.

PADMÉ
Ani, I want to have our baby back home on Naboo. I’ll arrange the schedule, so I can be away. Then we could go to the lake country, where no one would know . . . where we would be safe. I could go first and fix up the baby's room. I know a perfect spot, right by the gardens.

ANAKIN
That will be beautiful. You . . . are beautiful.

PADMÉ
It’s because I’m in love.

ANAKIN
No, it's because I’m in love with you.

PADMÉ
Then love has blinded you?

ANAKIN
Well, that's not exactly what I meant.
(approaches her)
All I want is to love and protect you.

PADMÉ
Protect me . . . Yes, you’re very good at that. Letting the hairbrush fall, she suddenly grabs and throws him to the floor. He lands on his back.

PADMÉ (cont’d)
But I’m good at protecting myself too, if you recall.

Anakin laughs. He reaches and, using the Force just a little, pulls her down on top of him. They roll on the floor and laugh in a mock struggle. They come to a stop, side by side, facing each other.

ANAKIN
I haven't laughed in so long.

PADMÉ
Neither have I.

They kiss.

INT. POLIS MASSA - MEDICAL CENTER - DREAM

The view is strangely distorted and disorienting. Padmé is on a table in an alien medical chamber. She is giving birth and is SCREAMING.

PADMÉ
Anakin, help me! Help, Anakin! Anakin, I love you. I love you.

She SCREAMS and dies.

INT. PADME'S APARTMENT – BEDROOM - NIGHT

Anakin awakens in a panic. He is covered in sweat.
He looks over in the bed and sees Padmé sound asleep next to him. He gets out from under the sheets and sits on the side of the bed. He is breathing heavily. He puts his head in his hands and weeps. He regains his composure and leaves the room down a set of stairs.

Padmé awakens and realizes Anakin is gone.

PADMÉ
Anakin?

She gets out of bed and goes downstairs to look for him.

EXT. PADME'S APARTMENT – VERANDA - NIGHT

Anakin walks down a flight of stairs onto the large veranda. The vast city planet of Coruscant, smoldering from the battle, is spread out before him. He is distraught. Padmé descends the stairs and joins him. She takes his hand. He doesn't look at her.

PADMÉ
What's bothering you?

ANAKIN
Nothing . . .

He touches the japor snippet, which hangs around her neck.

ANAKIN (cont’d)
I remember when I gave this to you.

PADMÉ
Anakin, how long is it going to take for us to be honest with each other?

ANAKIN
It was a dream.

PADMÉ
Bad?

ANAKIN
Like the ones I used to have about my mother just before she died . . . It was about you.

They look at each other. A moment of concern passes between them.

PADMÉ
Tell me.

ANAKIN
It was only a dream.

Padmé gives him a long, worried look. Anakin takes a deep breath.

ANAKIN (cont’d)
You die in childbirth . . .

PADMÉ
And the baby?

ANAKIN
I don't know.

PADMÉ
It was only a dream.

Anakin takes her in his arms.

ANAKIN
I won't let this one become real, Padmé.

They embrace.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CORUSCANT – DAY

The Jedi Temple stands in the f.g., beyond which buildings, damaged in the battle, are under repair.

INT. JEDI TEMPLE - YODA’S QUARTERS - DAY

YODA and Anakin sit on mats, deep in thought.

YODA
Premonitions . . . premonitions . . . Hmmmm . . . these visions you have . . .

ANAKIN
Every night, since I’ve returned. They are of pain, suffering, death.

YODA
Yourself you speak of, or someone you know?

ANAKIN
Someone . . .

YODA
Close to you?

Anakin’s expression confirms it. Yoda’s expression suggests he has guessed who it is.

YODA (cont’d)
Careful you must be when sensing the future, Anakin. The fear of loss is a path to the dark side.

ANAKIN
I won't let these visions come true, Master Yoda.

YODA
Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them, do not. Miss them, do not. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed, that is.

ANAKIN
What must I do, Master Yoda?

YODA
Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.

This clearly is not what Anakin wants to hear.

INT. JEDI TEMPLE – HALLWAY - DAY

Anakin hurries down a temple hallway, heading toward a Jedi briefing room. SEVERAL JEDI are exiting.

INT. JEDI TEMPLE - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY

Anakin rushes into the briefing room, as the last of the JEDI are leaving. Only Obi-Wan remains at the front of the lecture hall. He is shutting off some holograms and electronic charts and maps.

OBI-WAN
You missed the report on the Outer Rim sieges.

ANAKIN
I'm sorry, I was held up. I have no excuse.

OBI-WAN
Are you all right? You aren’t looking well.

ANAKIN
I’ve been losing sleep. I saw Master Yoda about it.

OBI-WAN
It seems to be going around. My rest has been affected, as well.

ANAKIN
Are the sieges not going well?

OBI-WAN
On the contrary, they’re going very well. Saleucami has fallen, and Master Vos has moved his troops to Boz Pity.

ANAKIN
What's wrong then?

OBI-WAN
The Senate is expected to vote more executive powers to the Chancellor today.

ANAKIN
Well, that can only mean less deliberating and more action. It will make it easier for us to end this war.

OBI-WAN
Anakin, be careful of your friend Palpatine.

ANAKIN
Be careful of him? What are you saying?

OBI-WAN
He has requested your presence. For what, he would not say.

ANAKIN
He didn't inform the Council? That's unusual, isn't it?

OBI-WAN
All of this is unusual, and it's making me uneasy. Something is out of place. You're probably aware relations between the Council and the Chancellor are stressed as of late.

ANAKIN
I know the Council has grown wary of the Chancellor's power . . . Mine too for that matter. Aren't we all working together to save the Republic? Why all the distrust?

OBI-WAN
The Force grows dark, Anakin, and we are all affected by it. Be wary of your feelings.

INT. SENATE OFFICE BUILDING - CHANCELLOR'S OFFICE - DAY

Anakin stands with Palpatine at his window overlooking the vastness of Coruscant. A brown haze hangs over the landscape.

PALPATINE
Anakin, the Senate is considering calling on me to take direct control of the Jedi Council.

ANAKIN
The Jedi will no longer report to the Senate?

PALPATINE
They will report to me . . . personally. The Senate is too unfocused to conduct a war. This will bring a quick end to things.

ANAKIN
I agree, but the Council may not see it that way. With all due respect, sir, they are in no mood for more constitutional amendments.

PALPATINE
Thank you, my friend, but there are times when we must all endure adjustments to the constitution in the name of security. This is just such a time. I have no choice but to act . . . this war must be won.

ANAKIN
On that, everyone can agree.

PALPATINE
Perhaps not everyone. My amendment has hit . . . shall we say . . . a stumbling block.

ANAKIN
How so? Your proposals have gone through easily before. What has made this time different?

PALPATINE
Oh, a small matter of a committee chairman’s jurisdiction, but I shall soon get around it. It’s nothing for you to be concerned about.

Anakin cannot hide his concern.

PALPATINE (cont’d)
Anakin, I've known you since you were a small boy. I have advised you over the years when I could . . . I am very proud of your accomplishments. You have won many battles the Jedi thought were lost . . . and you saved my life. I hope you trust me.

ANAKIN
Of course.

PALPATINE
I need your help, son.

ANAKIN
What do you mean?

PALPATINE
I fear the Jedi. The Council keeps pushing for more control. They're shrouded in secrecy and obsessed with maintaining their autonomy . . . their ideals . . . And the Senator whose job it is to oversee them, instead gives them free reign, while obsessing with other matters. I find this simply incomprehensible in a democracy.

ANAKIN
I can assure you that the Jedi are dedicated to the values of the Republic, sir. So is everyone I know in the Senate.

PALPATINE
Nevertheless, their actions will speak more loudly than their words. I'm depending on you.

ANAKIN
For what? I don't understand.

PALPATINE
As a temporary compromise, I’ve been authorized to appoint a personal representative to the Jedi Council . . . to be the eyes, ears, and voice of the Republic.

Anakin thinks about this.

PALPATINE (cont’d)
You won’t, for now, have the full authority I hoped to grant you with this appointment, but you will be a Master.

ANAKIN
Me? A Master? I am overwhelmed, sir, but the Council elects its own members. They will never accept this.

PALPATINE
I think they will . . . they need you more than you know.

INT. SENATE HEARING ROOM - DAY

It is a familiar-looking setting, except for more ornate architecture and their being MULTIPLE SPECIES both on the committee and off. Padmé, seated at the center of the long platform, consults a holographic document, turning a page with a hand gesture. TWO AIDES (former handmaidens ELLÉ and MOTEÉ) are seated behind her. Before her, in the witness seat, is a tall, slender being, a KAMINAN CLONER OFFICIAL (from Attack of the Clones). To one side of Padmé, a second hologram shows footage of burning ruins.

PADMÉ
(calmly)
I don’t doubt that the Clones are efficient. They blew the dome off, causing nearly every man, woman and child to die of asphyxiation. They retrieved their objective. Then, to make sure no one could have survived by putting on life-support, they razed the city to the ground.

She presses a switch on her console, and the second hologram deactivates.

PADMÉ (cont’d)
What I’m asking is does the Republic really need that kind of efficiency?

CLONER OFFICIAL
My Lady Chairman, please understand. The entire purpose of breeding a clone army is that they be single-minded; all dedicated to the same mission, and thorough in carrying it out. They’re conditioned to execute every order . . . with initiative . . . but without hesitation and without question.

Padmé is sitting there, looking like she can’t believe she’s hearing this.

PADMÉ
Perhaps, to go along with their initiative in carrying out orders, the Clones should be reconditioned to have some . . . critical thought.

INT. JEDI TEMPLE - COUNCIL CHAMBER - DAY

Anakin stands in the middle of the room. Surrounding him is the Jedi Council: Mace Windu, Obi-Wan, Yoda, SHAAK TI, and the holograms of PLO KOON and KI-ADI-MUNDI.

MACE
Anakin Skywalker, we have approved your appointment to the Council as the Chancellor's personal representative.

ANAKIN
I will do my best to uphold the principles of the Jedi Order.

YODA
Allow this appointment lightly, the Council does not. Disturbing is this move by Chancellor Palpatine.

ANAKIN
I understand.

MACE
You are on this Council, but we do not grant you the rank of Master.

Anakin reacts with sudden anger.

ANAKIN
What?! . . . How can you do this?! How can one be on the Council and not be a Master?! It’s outrageous! It's unfair! I'm more powerful than any of you!

Yoda reacts, but doesn’t say anything.

ANAKIN (cont’d)
Was I not chosen, by the will of the Force, to be the most powerful Jedi ever . . . to destroy the Sith and bring balance?!

The Jedi are stunned.

MACE
(sternly)
That hasn’t been decided. Don’t let it go to your head. Boasts and fits of anger will not bring balance to the Force.

ANAKIN
(calms down)
I’m sorry, Master. Forgive me.

MACE
Take a seat, young Skywalker.

Anakin goes and sits in one of the empty chairs. Everyone is embarrassed.

KI-ADI-MUNDI (holo)
We have surveyed all systems in the Republic, and have found no sign of General Grievous.

YODA
Hiding in the Outer Rim, Grievous is. The outlying systems, you must sweep.

OBI-WAN
It may take some time . . . we do not have many ships to spare.

MACE
We cannot take ships from the front line.

OBI-WAN
And yet, it would be fatal for us, if the Droid armies regroup.

YODA
Master Kenobi, our spies contact, you must, and then wait.

KI-ADI-MUNDI (holo)
What about the Droid attack on the Wookiees?

MACE
It is critical we send an assault force there, immediately!

OBI-WAN
He's right. That’s a system we cannot afford to lose.

ANAKIN
I know that system well. It would take us little time to drive the Droids off that planet.

MACE
Skywalker, your assignment is here with the Chancellor, and Kenobi must find General Grievous.

YODA
Go, I will. Good relations with the Wookiees, I have.

MACE
It is settled then. Yoda will take a battalion of Clones to reinforce the Wookiees on Kashyyyk. May the Force be with us all.

Anakin is disappointed.

INT. JEDI TEMPLE - MAIN HALLWAY AND ALCOVE - DAY

Anakin and Obi-Wan walk through one of the massive Jedi Temple hallways. Anakin is fuming.

OBI-WAN
Do you mind telling me what that was about?

ANAKIN
You know very well. I remember what was said of me, when I was younger . . . about not having a father. I researched it.

OBI-WAN
(resignedly)
So, you know.

They stop. Anakin turns to him.

ANAKIN
I know all of you are afraid of me. That’s why you humiliate me, by putting me on the Council but refusing to make me a Master. That's never been done in the history of the Jedi!

OBI-WAN
Calm down, Anakin. You’ve been given a great honor. To be on the Council at your age . . . It's never happened before. The fact of the matter is you're too close to the Chancellor. The Council doesn't like it when he interferes in Jedi affairs.

ANAKIN
I swear to you, I didn't ask to be put on the Council . . .

OBI-WAN
But it's what you wanted! Your friendship with Chancellor Palpatine seems to have paid off.

ANAKIN
That has nothing to do with this.

OBI-WAN
Anakin, regardless of how it happened, you find yourself in a delicate situation.

ANAKIN
You mean divided loyalties . . . Master, you of all people should have confidence in my abilities. I know where my loyalties lie.

OBI-WAN
I hope so.

ANAKIN
I sense there's more to this talk than you're saying.

OBI-WAN
Anakin, the only reason the Council has approved your appointment is because the Chancellor trusts you.

Anakin stares at him.

OBI-WAN (cont’d)
Anakin, look, I am on your side. I didn't want to see you put in this situation.

ANAKIN
What situation?

OBI-WAN
(takes a deep breath)
The Council wants you to report on all of the Chancellor's dealings. They want to know what he's up to.

ANAKIN
They want me to spy on the Chancellor? That's treason!

OBI-WAN
We are at war, Anakin. The Jedi Council is sworn to uphold the principles of the Republic, even if the Chancellor does not.

ANAKIN
Why didn't the Council give me this assignment when we were in session?

OBI-WAN
This assignment is not to be on record. The Council asked me to approach you on this personally.

ANAKIN
The Chancellor is not a bad man, Obi-Wan. He befriended me. He's watched out for me ever since I arrived here.

OBI-WAN
That’s why you must help us, while there is time. Padmé is holding out for the Council, but she may not be able to for very long.

ANAKIN
Don’t tell me she’s in this with you!

OBI-WAN
No, she isn’t, Anakin. I haven’t spoken to her about it. Padmé must have had her own reasons for the compromise she made. I suspect she’s is a difficult situation as well.

Anakin’s anger subsides, but he is troubled.

EXT. CORUSCANT - REPUBLIC AVENUE – EVENING

Flanked by her two aides, Padmé walks along the busy avenue, where airborne speeders WHIZ by, and steam vents from under parts of the sidewalk. She glances at the CLONE TROOPS patrolling the area. No real need for bodyguards here. Then she hears a CRASH o.s. and looks to see . . .

INSERT – PADMÉ’S P.O.V.

TWO CLONE SOLDIERS dragging a struggling NEIMOIDIAN out of a café, his only crime appearing to be that he is the wrong species.

BACK TO SCENE

Ellé and Moteé see it too. Padmé turns to them.

PADMÉ
You two can go on without me. I’ll see you in the morning.

ELLÉ
But My Lady . . .

PADMÉ
I’ll be fine.

She turns and starts following the Clones. Ellé and Moteé look on with concern.
MOMENTS LATER

Padmé continues following the Clones, just far enough back to keep from getting made. The Clones turn a corner with their captive.

EXT. SIDE STREET – CONTINUOUS

The Clones drag their captive up the nearly deserted street and past a NOISY STEAM VENT. Padmé turns the corner onto the side street and starts up it. The Clones and their prisoner disappear into an alley. Passing the STEAM VENT, Padmé approaches the corner of the alley cautiously and looks.

INSERT – PADMÉ’S P.O.V. – ALLEY

The Clones throw their prisoner against the wall and start inflicting shocks with their electric batons.

BACK TO SCENE

Distressed, Padmé looks around to see that no one else is near, then she enters the alley.

A MINUTE LATER

Padmé is helping the alien out of the alley and toward the major avenue, consoling him inaudibly, as they pass the STEAM VENT. The Clones step out of the alley and head off in another direction, as if nothing happened.

EXT. PADMÉ’S APARTMENT – VERANDA - NIGHT

Padmé walks slowly onto the veranda, looking out at the city lights, deep in thought. A shadowy figure moves toward her. She senses something.

ANAKIN (O.S.)
You missed the sunset. It was beautiful.

Padmé jumps and turns around.

PADMÉ
I didn’t know you were here. You startled me.

Anakin sits down on the bench.

ANAKIN
That’s unusual for you. How are you feeling?

PADMÉ
He keeps kicking.

ANAKIN
He?! Why do you think it's a boy?

PADMÉ
(laughs)
My motherly intuition.

She sits next to him and puts his hand on her belly.

ANAKIN
Whoa! With a kick that strong, it's got to be a girl.

They laugh.

PADMÉ
I hear the Council accepted your appointment. Anakin, I'm so proud of you.

ANAKIN
I may be on the Council, but they refused to accept me as a Master.

PADMÉ
Have patience. In time, they’ll recognize your skills. You’ll earn your place among the Jedi, without a Chancellor’s decree.

ANAKIN
They still treat me as if I were a Padawan learner . . . they fear my power, that's the problem.

PADMÉ
Anakin, I don’t think that’s it.

ANAKIN
Sometimes, I wonder what's happening to the Jedi Order . . . I think this war is destroying the principles of the Republic. We’re fighting among ourselves, instead of being unified against the Separatist threat . . . And your fighting the Chancellor only encourages those who are on the wrong side.

PADMÉ
Have you ever considered that we may be on the wrong side?

ANAKIN
(suspicious)
What do you mean?

PADMÉ
You’ve been out there. You’ve seen what’s happening. What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we have been fighting to destroy?

ANAKIN
I don't believe that. And you're sounding like a Separatist sympathizer!

PADMÉ
Anakin, above all, this war represents a failure to listen.

ANAKIN
Listen to who? Enemies of the Republic? Why should we? We’re winning. Eventually, we’ll wipe them out.

PADMÉ
(stands suddenly)
But at what cost?! Anakin, will you listen to yourself? Do you know what you’re saying? Do you know that I’m seeing and hearing, day after day, what “wipe them out” truly means?

Anakin looks down, embarrassed.

ANAKIN
I didn’t mean it that way, Padmé. I know the Clone Army’s done bad things. I’m not condoning them.

PADMÉ
Then you must do something . . .

She sits next to Anakin again and touches him softly.

PADMÉ (cont’d)
You’re closer to the Chancellor, now, than anyone. With Count Dooku dead and General Grievous in hiding, I think the Separatist Leaders will agree to fair terms. If anyone can convince the Chancellor of this, it’s you. Please, please ask him to stop the fighting and let diplomacy resume.

ANAKIN
(growing angry)
Don't ask me to do that, Padmé. Make a motion in the Senate, where that kind of a request belongs. I'm not your errand boy.

He gets up to go inside.

ANAKIN (cont’d)
I'm not anyone's errand boy!

Padmé looks on in dismay.

INT. PADMÉ’S SENATE OFFICE – DAY

It is smaller but better lit than the Chancellor’s office. Seated on couches are Padmé and her fellow Senators Bail Organa, MON MOTHMA, FANG ZAR, TERR TANEEL and GIDDEAN DANU.

PADMÉ
Chancellor Palpatine is one of my oldest advisors. He was Senator from my planet, when I was Queen. He taught me nearly everything I know about the Senate. So, it’s truly hard for me to believe it has come to this, but it has. I don’t know the Chancellor anymore. He’s going down a path I cannot follow, and taking the Republic with him, I’m afraid, to a very dark place.

GIDDEAN DANU
I agree. The Constitution is in shreds. Amendment after amendment, executive directives bordering on martial law, abuse of our citizens, appointment of Governors to oversee all the star systems.

FANG ZAR
When did this happen?

BAIL
The decree was posted just this morning.

TERR TANEEL
Do you think he will dismantle the Senate?

MON MOTHMA
Why bother? As a practical matter, the Senate no longer exists, and we let it happen.

PADMÉ
We can still do some things. For example, the Chancellor’s move to take over the Jedi Council has to get through committee first. I’m doing everything I can to slow it down.

MON MOTHMA
But not to stop it. That’s because you can’t stop it.
(to the others)
The Chancellor has played the Senators well. They know where the power lies, and they will do whatever it takes to share in it . . . Which leads me to wonder as to the true motives of our Lady Chairman here.

This catches Padmé off-guard.

BAIL
(to Mon Mothma)
Senator, please don’t be disrespectful.

PADMÉ
No, it’s all right. Everyone is free to speak their mind here.
(to Mon Mothma)
Please continue, Senator.

MON MOTHMA
With all due respect, Senator Amidala, you have shared in much of the Chancellor’s power yourself. You are the youngest ever to head what, in wartime, is the most powerful committee in the Senate. Your background on Naboo partly explains it. But your record, on what’s led to the crisis we face today, is mixed at best.

PADMÉ
I did oppose this war.

MON MOTHMA
And then you supported it.

PADMÉ
I supported the Army, when it went into harm’s way. I continued to oppose and work to change the policy. But, I agree it’s no longer enough.

MON MOTHMA
Then there are your past actions, which helped Palpatine. Was it not your call for a vote of No Confidence in his predecessor, which enabled Palpatine’s rise to Chancellor?
(before she can answer)
And was it not your appointment of the Gungan as your proxy, which led to the Chancellor being given the emergency power he now abuses?

PADMÉ
Are you finished, Senator?

Mon Mothma nods.

PADMÉ (cont’d)
Then my answer may surprise you.
(lowers her eyes)
Those were decisions that I regret to this day . . . which makes me more responsible than most for making it right.
(looks straight at her)
I’m not a perfect person. But are you familiar with what’s been said about making the perfect the enemy of the good? You need me, as much as I need you, if we are to stop the Chancellor’s power-taking from becoming absolute.

BAIL
(stands, to all)
Recriminations will get us nowhere. It is time to act. Senator Mothma and I, and now Senator Amidala with us, are putting together an organization.

PADMÉ
The existence of which must be kept in the strictest confidence, until it is ready. The Chancellor is very good at finding out things. We must proceed cautiously, so as not to tip his hand, before we can counter it.

OTHERS
(overlapping)
Agreed.

BAIL
That means no discussing this with anyone, without everyone in the group agreeing. Not even with family . . . those closest to you.

OTHERS
(overlapping)
Agreed.

PADMÉ
(lowers eyes)
Agreed.
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