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Old 12-02-2006, 09:23 PM   #3
SamR
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INT. CORUSCANT - GALAXIES OPERA HOUSE - NIGHT

Anakin enters Palpatine's box, where the Chancellor is sitting with his two AIDES (MAS AMEDDA and SLY-MOORE), watching the MAN CALAMARI BALLET doing "Squid Lake."

ANAKIN
You wanted to see me, Chancellor.

PALPATINE
Yes, Anakin! Come closer. I have good news. Our Clone Intelligence Units have discovered the location of General Grievous. He is hiding in the Utapau system.

ANAKIN
At last, we'll be able to capture that monster and end this war.

PALPATINE
I would worry about the collective wisdom of the Council, if they didn't select you for this assignment. You are the best choice by far . . . but they can't always be trusted to do the right thing.

ANAKIN
They try.

PALPATINE
Sit with me.
(to his aides)
Leave us.

The aides leave, as Anakin sits next to Palpatine. The Chancellor turns his head and leans over to Anakin.

PALPATINE (cont’d)
Anakin, you know I'm not able to rely on the Jedi Council. If they haven't included you in their plot, they soon will.

ANAKIN
I'm not sure I understand.

PALPATINE
You must sense what I have come to suspect . . . the Jedi Council want control of the Republic . . . they're planning to betray me.

ANAKIN
I don't think . . .

PALPATINE
Anakin, search your feelings. You know, don't you?

ANAKIN
I know they don't trust you . . .

PALPATINE
Or the Senate . . . or the Republic . . . or democracy for that matter.

ANAKIN
I have to admit my trust in them has been shaken.

PALPATINE
Why? They asked you to do something that made you feel dishonest, didn't they?

Anakin doesn't say anything. He simply looks down.

PALPATINE (cont’d)
They asked you to spy on me, didn't they?

ANAKIN
I don't know . . . I don't know what to say.

PALPATINE
Remember back to your early teachings, Anakin. "All those who gain power are afraid to lose it." Even the Jedi.

ANAKIN
The Jedi use their power for good.

PALPATINE
Good is a point of view, Anakin.
And the Jedi point of view is not the only valid one. The Dark Lords of the Sith believe in security and justice also, yet they are considered by the Jedi to be . . .

ANAKIN
Evil.

PALPATINE
From a Jedi's point of view.

ANAKIN
I thought only the Jedi knew of the Sith.

PALPATINE
It is my business to know also . . . to run the Republic. The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way, including their quest for greater power. The difference between the two is the Sith are not afraid of the Dark Side of the Force. That is why they are more powerful.

ANAKIN
The Sith rely on their passion for their strength. They think inward, only about themselves.

PALPATINE
And the Jedi don't?

ANAKIN
The Jedi are selfless . . . they only care about others.

PALPATINE
(smiles)
Or so you've been trained to believe. Why is it, then, that they have asked you to do something you feel is wrong?

ANAKIN
I'm not sure it's wrong.

PALPATINE
Have they asked you to betray the Jedi code? The Constitution? A friendship? Your own values? Think. Consider their motives. Keep your mind clear of assumptions. The fear of losing power is a weakness of both the Jedi and the Sith.

Anakin is deep in thought.

PALPATINE (cont’d)
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis "the wise"?

ANAKIN
No.

PALPATINE
I thought not. It's not a story the Jedi would tell you. It's a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life.

He lets that sink in. Anakin turns to him questioningly.

PALPATINE (cont’d)
Plagueis had such a knowledge of the Dark Side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.

ANAKIN
He could actually save people from death?

PALPATINE
The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.

ANAKIN
What happened to him?

PALPATINE
He became so powerful . . . the only thing he was afraid of was losing his power, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, then his apprentice killed him in his sleep.
(smiles)
Plagueis never saw it coming. It's ironic he could save others from death, but not himself.

ANAKIN
Is it possible to learn this power?

PALPATINE
Not from a Jedi.

EXT. KASHYYYK - DAY

A Wookiee Catamaran flanked by Wookiee Helicopters approaches the tree housing the hologram area.

INT. KASHYYYK - HOLOGRAM AREA - DAY

Yoda and various Jedi speak via hologram. The discus-sion includes Obi-Wan, Mace, Anakin, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Plo Koon, Shaak Ti and AGEN KOLAR.

KI-ADI-MUNDI (holo)
Palpatine thinks General Grievous is on Utapau. We have had no reports of this from our agents.

MACE (holo)
How could the Chancellor have come by this information, and we know nothing about it? We’ve had contact with Baron Papanoida, and he said no one was there.

ANAKIN (holo)
A partial message was intercepted in a diplomatic packet from the Chairman of Utapau.

YODA
Act on this, we must. The capture of General Grievous will end this war. Quickly and decisively, we should proceed.

INT. JEDI TEMPLE – COUNCIL CHAMBER – SAME TIME

OBI-WAN
Does everyone agree?

All the Jedi concur.

ANAKIN
The Chancellor has requested that I lead the campaign.

They all look at Anakin, a bit disturbed.

MACE
(peeved)
The Council will make up its own mind who is to go, not the Chancellor.

KI-ADI-MUNDI (holo)
Yes, this decision is ours to make.

Anakin is embarrassed and becomes sullen.

YODA (holo)
A Master is needed, with more experience.

MACE
Given our resources, I recommend we send only one Jedi . . . Master Kenobi.

ANAKIN
He was not so successful the last time he met Grievous.

Obi-Wan throws Anakin a dirty look.

ANAKIN (cont’d)
No offense, My Master. I'm only stating a fact.

OBI-WAN
Oh, no, you're quite right, but I do have the most experience with his ways of combat.

YODA (holo)
Obi-Wan, my choice is.

KI-ADI-MUNDI (holo)
I concur. Master Kenobi should go.

MACE
I agree.

Other Jedi concur.

MACE (cont’d)
Very well. Council is adjourned.

Anakin is angry.

INT. KASHYYYK - HOLOGRAM AREA – SAME TIME

Yoda gets out of his chair and walks to the edge of the platform.

CLONE COMMANDER GREE
The Droids have started up their main power generators.

YODA
Then now the time is, Commander.

CLONE COMMANDER GREE
Yes, sir.

EXT. KASHYYYK - BEACH HEAD - DAY

A WOOKIEE CHIEFTAIN lets out a ROAR, as the WOOKIEE ARMY rushes to face the DROID ARMY. CORPORATE ALLIANCE TANK DROIDS race across the water against the WOOKIEES and CLONE TROOPERS on the beach. DROID GUNSHIPS provide air support, while a SPIDER DROID emerges from the watery depths. A brave WOOKIEE places an explosive on a SEPARATIST TANK and jumps off just before the tank EXPLODES.

From the hologram area, Yoda observes the ongoing battle.

INT. CORUSCANT – PADMÉ’S OFFICE – DAY

Padmé is seated at her desk, working. A light flashes on her computer console’s comlink. She presses it, and a small hologram of Moteé appears over it.

MOTEÉ (holo)
Captain Typho is here to see you, My Lady.

PADMÉ
I wasn’t expecting him . . . That’s all right. Send him in.

The hologram disappears. CAPTAIN TYPHO (Padmé’s security chief from The Phantom Menace) enters the office.

PADMÉ (cont’d)
Captain, this is a surprise. Has something happened?

CAPTAIN TYPHO
Well, yes. I’ve been called back to Naboo temporarily, to conduct training for our new security personnel.

PADMÉ
That’s wonderful. You should enjoy that.

CAPTAIN TYPHO
Yes, My Lady, however . . . I’m concerned for your safety.

PADMÉ
Don’t be. There hasn’t been an attack on Coruscant, since the kidnapping of the Chancellor. Considering how it turned out, I doubt the Separatists will try anything like that again . . . It still puzzles me why they did it in the first place.

CAPTAIN TYPHO
It seems that the Queen shares your sentiment. Nevertheless, you should keep Ellé and Moteé close to you. And for emergencies, if I can’t get back in time, perhaps you should call on that Jedi who protected you before, Anakin Skywalker. You certainly should not be going off in the back streets of the city by yourself.

Annoyed, Padmé activates the comlink.

PADMÉ
Ellé, Moteé, would you come in here, please?

Her two aides enter the office.

PADMÉ (cont’d)
Word of my extracurricular activities gets around.

ELLÉ
We’re sorry, My Lady, but what you did was very dangerous. Those Clones might have killed you.

PADMÉ
You just have to know how to talk to them.

CAPTAIN TYPHO
This isn’t a joke, My Lady. You should be taking personal security more seriously. It isn’t just your unofficial activities, but your official ones that are endangering you. The next attempt on your life may not come from a vengeful Viceroy. My Lady, may I ask you a personal question?

PADMÉ
You may ask, but whether or not I answer will depend on what it is.

CAPTAIN TYPHO
Sabé’s death was a terrible loss, for all of us . . . but, I imagine, for you especially. How did you feel about what happened to her?

PADMÉ
(lowers her eyes)
She was like a twin sister to me. It was like . . . a part of me died on the landing platform that day . . . like it should have been me.

CAPTAIN TYPHO
Survivor’s guilt is common, but also misplaced.

MOTEÉ
That’s right, My Lady. Sabé was doing her duty, not just for you, but for our world.

PADMÉ
I know that. I just can’t help feeling that no one else should have to die in my place.

She looks up at the others and notes their worried expressions.

PADMÉ (cont’d)
But I’ll do as you ask . . . and don’t worry. I don’t plan on dying anytime soon.

INT. POLIS MASSA - MEDICAL CENTER - DREAM

The images are clearer this time. Padmé, her clothes bloody, CALLS OUT in pain. Obi-Wan, distraught and with burns on his face, is near her and softly speaks to her.

OBI-WAN
Save your energy.

PADMÉ
I can't . . .

OBI-WAN
Don't give up, Padmé. Don't give up . . .

INT. PADMÉ'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - EARLY MORNING

Anakin is seated on one of the couches, looking troubled. Padmé crosses behind him, tending the plants.

ANAKIN
I sense someone familiar . . . Has Obi-Wan been here?

PADMÉ
Not recently.

ANAKIN
Have you seen him anywhere?

PADMÉ
Since you and he got back? Only in official briefings. Why?

ANAKIN
Then it may be the future I’m sensing.

PADMÉ
(turns to him)
Anakin, you’re beginning to frighten me. What is it?

ANAKIN
It’s nothing.

Padmé sits down with him.

PADMÉ
Don't do this . . . don't shut me out. Let me help you.

ANAKIN
Very well. It’s about you. You’ve been reaching home later and later.

PADMÉ
You’ve been coming here early to check on me?

ANAKIN
I’m afraid for you and the baby, that’s all. You haven’t been looking well.

PADMÉ
I’m fine. It’s only that I have work to finish, before leaving for Naboo, as we planned.

ANAKIN
I thought we planned for you to start putting a hold on that part of your life . . . to begin distancing yourself from the conflicts in the Senate.

PADMÉ
I thought so, as well, but the Chancellor’s latest moves are making that impossible.

ANAKIN
The other night you said this baby was going to change our lives. Our lives are changing, but not the way I expected. You wouldn’t have me risk my life as a Jedi for you, but now you’re risking it, and, I fear, your own life and the baby’s as well. You don’t need to. I assure you, the Republic is in good hands.

PADMÉ
Need I remind you what happened the last time I went away assured the Republic was in good hands?

There is an uncomfortable pause. She embraces him.

PADMÉ (cont’d)
Ani, I know you don’t approve of me opposing Palpatine’s policies, but believe me when I tell you that it’s for us and our child.

ANAKIN
I believe that you believe that. And I know that, once you set your mind to something, I’d be a fool to try to stop you.

He grabs hold of her.

ANAKIN (cont’d)
But I’ve found a way to save you.

PADMÉ
Save me?

ANAKIN
From my nightmares.

PADMÉ
Is that what’s bothering you?

ANAKIN
I won't lose you, Padmé.

PADMÉ
You won’t. The best medical facilities in the Galaxy are right here on Coruscant. I’ll go, even though it risks exposure. I'm not going to die in childbirth, Ani, I promise you.

ANAKIN
No, I promise you! I’m becoming so powerful with my new knowledge of the Force, that I’ll be able to keep you from dying.

Padmé is stunned.

PADMÉ
You would use the Force in that way . . . Tell me . . . if your nightmares came true . . . if I were dying of something the medics couldn't cure, would you be able to cure it? Or would you just keep me alive?

ANAKIN
I don't know . . . Does it matter? You'll be alive, and you'll be with me.

PADMÉ
There’s something you’re not telling me.

ANAKIN
(low)
I sense there are things you’re not telling me.

Padmé breaks his embrace and gets up.

PADMÉ
Anakin, stop this! Something’s happening to you . . . something dark that’s making me afraid of you . . . Please . . . talk to me about it.

Anakin looks down, embarrassed.

ANAKIN
I’m sorry, Padmé. I didn’t mean to cause fear in you. I would never hurt you. I don’t know what’s happening to me . . . I feel . . . lost.

PADMÉ
Lost? What do you mean? You're always so sure of yourself. I don’t understand.

ANAKIN
I don’t know who I am anymore . . . or where I came from. I don’t think Obi-Wan and the Council do either. They don't trust me.

PADMÉ
They trust you with their lives. Obi-Wan loves you like a son. He can help us. We should confide in him . . . tell him everything.

ANAKIN
(stands suddenly)
No! Obi-Wan is a Jedi, first. He’d turn me over to the Council. It’s just the excuse they would need to have me expelled from the Order!

PADMÉ
Knowing what would happen if he did, Obi-Wan wouldn’t do that. We can trust him. I know we can.

ANAKIN
If you would stop obstructing the Chancellor, then we wouldn’t need to trust Obi-Wan. The Council wouldn’t be able to do anything to me then.

PADMÉ
True. But do you really think it would be fair?

ANAKIN
(looks down again)
No . . . Something's happening . . . I'm not the Jedi I should be. I’m one of the most powerful, but am not satisfied . . . I want more. I believe I’m destined for more, that I’ll need it to protect you and for you to continue loving me, even though I know it’s wrong.

PADMÉ
You expect too much of yourself.
(embraces him)
You don't need more power, Anakin. I believe you can protect me, against anything, just as you are . . . and . . . even if something were to happen to me, I’ll love you all the same.

They kiss.

ANAKIN
I won’t let anything happen to you, Padmé. By the Force, I won’t let you die. When my power is complete, you’ll see.

This leaves Padmé shaken.

EXT. PADMÉ’S APARTMENT – VERANDA – EARLY MORNING

Anakin TAKES OFF on his speeder bike.

INT. APARTMENT BUILDING – ELEVATOR – EARLY MORNING

Padmé descends in the glass elevator, watching the city rise before her, deeply troubled. She turns around, as the elevator comes to rest in an enclosed lobby.

INSERT - PADMÉ’S P.O.V.

The elevator door slides open. Directly in front of her, in the elevator lobby, Padmé’s two aides are picking someone up off the floor. It is Obi-Wan, whom they apparently subdued just moments before.

INT. ELEVATOR LOBBY - CONTINUOUS

Surprised, Padmé steps out of the elevator, as Ellé helps Obi-Wan to his feet, and Moteé hands his light saber back to him. Obi-Wan looks embarrassed.

PADMÉ
(laughs)
Sorry.

INT. PADMÉ'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM – MINUTES LATER

Padmé and Obi-Wan are seated on the same couch where Anakin was earlier. They are holding drink cups.

PADMÉ
How were they able to take you down?

OBI-WAN
I’ve fought everything from Battle Droids to Dark Lords, but never Naboo women. They took me completely by surprise.

PADMÉ
(softly)
I won’t tell anyone. Next time, announce yourself.

OBI-WAN
Thank you. I’ll keep that in mind.

Padmé drinks from her cup.

OBI-WAN (cont’d)
Has Anakin been to see you?

Padmé chokes on her drink and coughs.

PADMÉ
Several times . . . Excuse me . . . I was so happy to hear he was accepted on the Jedi Council, though I wish the circumstances were different.

OBI-WAN
I know . . . but you needn’t worry.
The Council holds none of it against you, and they appreciate everything you’re doing for them. Regardless of how Anakin was appointed, he deserves it. He’s impatient, strong willed, very opinionated, but truly gifted. He has made the meetings livelier.

They laugh.

PADMÉ
You're not just here to say hello. Something is wrong, isn't it? Something personal that couldn’t wait.

OBI-WAN
You should be a Jedi, Padmé.

PADMÉ
You're not very good at hiding your feelings.

OBI-WAN
It's Anakin . . . He's becoming moody and detached. He's been put in a difficult position as the Chancellor's representative . . . But I think it's more than that. I was hoping he may have talked to you . . . that he may have said something . . . unusual.

PADMÉ
(staring at him)
Are my feelings so transparent?

OBI-WAN (cont’d)
Neither of you is very good at hiding your feelings either. It’s obvious the two of you are in love.

Padmé sets her cup down next to a pitcher on the low table, stands and walks to the balcony in thought. Obi-Wan sets his down and follows partway.

OBI-WAN (cont’d)
I won’t say anything to the Council. We’re all friends here. You can trust me.

Padmé looks out over the city.

PADMÉ
Thank you, Obi-Wan. I know we can. I’m sorry we didn’t tell you originally. We would have, but we didn’t want to burden you with a secret.

OBI-WAN
That’s quite all right. I understand.

PADMÉ
You asked if he said anything unusual . . . He did. He sensed you had been here. You hadn’t, but you’re here now. Then . . .
(turns around)
He said that he’s developing a new power, which he believes he’ll have to use to save me from an untimely death.

Obi-Wan is stunned.

PADMÉ (cont’d)
I’ve never heard of the Jedi teaching anything like that. From where could he be learning it? From whom? . . . You don't have to answer. Just help him. He won’t let me.

Obi-Wan nods with troubled understanding.

OBI-WAN (cont’d)
I’ll be careful what I say to Anakin. The same for the Council.

He turns to leave then stops.

OBI-WAN (cont’d)
I once tried to dissuade Anakin from becoming involved with you, by telling him that you’re a politician, and politicians are not to be trusted. He told me you were different . . . He was right. I was wrong. You’re doing the right thing, Padmé. It’s not a betrayal.

PADMÉ
Obi-Wan . . . thank you. That means a lot to me.

EXT. CORUSCANT - CLONE LANDING PLATFORM - DAY

Anakin and Obi-Wan walk onto a landing platform overlooking a docking bay where THOUSANDS OF CLONE TROOPS and armored weapons, tanks, etc., are being loaded onto a massive Republic assault ship.

ANAKIN
You're going to need me on this one, Master.

OBI-WAN
Oh, I agree. However, it may turn out just to be a wild bantha chase.
(studies him)
Something else is on your mind.

Anakin lowers his eyes for a moment.

ANAKIN
Yes, Master, I've disappointed you. I have not been very appreciative of your training . . . I have been arrogant and I apologize . . . I've just been so frustrated with the Council. Your friendship means everything to me.

OBI-WAN
You are strong and wise, Anakin, and I’m very proud of you. I’ve trained you since you were a small boy. I’ve taught you everything I know. I’ve watched you become a far greater Jedi than I could ever hope to be, and you’ve saved my life more times than I can remember. I believe you may very well be the Chosen One. Just be patient, Anakin.

ANAKIN
I will be patient, Master.

OBI-WAN
And you must take great care. I believe what’s been happening to you is a symptom of something larger affecting us all. Remember my mentioning the Force growing dark? It is the growing imbalance, the change in the Force, that’s affecting us, each in our own way. Our strength with the Force is becoming our weakness. We are in danger, Anakin.

ANAKIN
I know we are, Master . . . from the enemies of the Republic.

OBI-WAN
But also from ourselves . . . including myself. I can feel it. A Jedi is not supposed to fear, but I fear for the Jedi Order. We must support and help each other, if we are to survive this. When I get back, let’s work together on it.

Anakin looks at Obi-Wan suspiciously.

ANAKIN
(feigns sincerity)
Yes, that is a good idea, Master. We will work on it.

OBI-WAN
In the meantime, may the Force be with you, Anakin.

ANAKIN
May the Force be with you, Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan turns and starts down the ramp. Anakin watches him depart.

EXT. CLONE LANDING PLATFORM – MINUTES LATER

The Republic Cruiser LIFTS OFF and heads for space.

INT. REPUBLIC BATTLE CRUISER – GENERAL’S QUARTERS – SAME TIME

Obi-Wan is strapped into his seat, during the LAUNCH. In the window behind him, the atmosphere gives way to space. Obi-Wan looks despondent.

OBI-WAN
(under his breath)
You have no intention of letting either me or Padmé help you.

He unstraps himself, leans forward, and activates the console.

INT. CORUSCANT – MEDICAL CENTER – SAME TIME

Padmé approaches the MEDICAL DROID at the front desk.

MEDICAL DROID
Can I help you?

PADMÉ
(hand in front of her chest)
Yes, please. I was hoping you could fit me in this morning for a long overdue checkup. My schedule is likely to become very busy and unpredictable for a while.

INT. JEDI TEMPLE – WAR ROOM – DAY

Mace and the holograms of Ki-Adi-Mundi, Yoda and Obi-Wan are seated at a large table. Above it is a holographic map of the war zones and troop movements amongst the star systems. Yet, at the moment, they are not talking about the map.

KI-ADI-MUNDI (holo)
(to Obi-Wan)
May we ask how you’ve come to know this?

OBI-WAN (holo)
That, I cannot say.

YODA (holo)
Sensed it, we all have . . .

Obi-Wan's hologram tenses up.

YODA (holo) (cont’d)
Too much under the sway of the Chancellor, young Skywalker is. Much anger there is in him . . . too much pride in his powers.

Obi-Wan's hologram relaxes.

MACE
It was mistake putting those two together. The boy can’t handle it.

OBI-WAN (holo)
With all due respect, Master, is Anakin not the Chosen One? Is he not to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force?

MACE
So the prophecy says.

YODA (holo)
A prophecy . . . that misread could have been.

MACE
(to all)
I sense a plot to destroy the Jedi. The Dark Side of the Force surrounds the Chancellor. If he does not give up his emergency powers after the destruction of Grievous, then he should be removed from office.

Obi-Wan's hologram looks sorry that he brought this up.

OBI-WAN (holo)
That could be dangerous . . . the Jedi Council would have to take control of the Senate in order to secure a peaceful transition. I do not like that idea.

KI-ADI-MUNDI (holo)
We should wait. Word has spread very fast that there’s an insurgent movement in the Senate that could make this issue moot.

MACE
There is. They just announced it today. But I’m not holding out any hope for politicians solving this crisis. We must be ready to act.

YODA (holo)
To a dark place this line of thought will carry us. Hmmmmm . . . great care we must take.

EXT. CORUSCANT – SENATE OFFICE BUILDING – LANDING PLATFORM - LATE AFTERNOON

A transport lands, and Chancellor Palpatine emerges with FOUR REPUBLIC GUARDS and Mas Amedda. The guards move off in another direction, as Palpatine greets Anakin, who has been waiting for him.

PALPATINE
Well, Anakin, did you see your friend off?

ANAKIN
He will soon have Grievous' head.

PALPATINE
We can only hope the Council didn't make a mistake.

ANAKIN
The Council was very sure in its decision.

PALPATINE
There are rumors in the Senate about Master Kenobi. Many believe he is not fit for this assignment.

ANAKIN
Excuse me, sir, but why would anyone think that?

They exit the landing platform and walk toward the building entrance.

PALPATINE
They say his mind has become fogged by the influence of a certain female Senator . . . the one he reports to as a Jedi liaison. It is said there is another kind of liaison going on between them.

This disturbs Anakin.

PALPATINE (cont’d)
Were it to be true, both of them would be having significant conflicts of interest.

ANAKIN
With all due respect, Chancellor, I don’t believe Obi-Wan would do such a thing . . . or Senator Amidala, for that matter, from what I know of her.

PALPATINE
Are you sure about that? Search your feelings. Haven’t you been sensing things about your friend?

This disturbs Anakin even more, as they enter the grand hallway.

PALPATINE (cont’d)
As for Senator Amidala, it would appear she’s been keeping us distracted with her hold on the Jedi Council, while, at the same time, engineering something else behind our backs.

ANAKIN
What do you mean?

PALPATINE
These are unstable times for the Republic, Anakin. Some see instability as an opportunity.

ANAKIN
An opportunity . . . for what?

They stop. Palaptine turns to Anakin.

PALPATINE
For power . . . for betrayal.

ANAKIN
Not Senator Amidala. I know you and she have differences, but they are honest ones. I don’t believe she would ever betray the Republic.

PALPATINE
Let us hope you are correct.

They continue on.

INT. CHANCELLOR'S OFFICE - SUNSET

Palpatine listens to a delegation, which includes Padmé, Fang Zar, and FOUR OTHER SENATORS. A holo-graphic document panel, showing a thick petition with multiple written signatures, lays near the edge of the desk. Anakin stands to one side of Palpatine.

PALPATINE
I understand your reservations completely, Senator, and I assure you the appointment of Governors will in no way compete with the duties of the Senate.

PADMÉ
May I take it then, that there will be no further amendments to the Constitution?

PALPATINE
I want this terrible conflict to end as much as you do, My Lady, and when it does, I guarantee an immediate return to democracy.

PADMÉ
You are pursuing a diplomatic solution to the war, then?

PALPATINE
You must trust me to do the right things, Senator. That is why I am here.

PADMÉ
That is hardly an answer, Chancellor.

PALPATINE
It is the answer, the way I see it. And you are treading on dangerous ground.

FANG ZAR
(alarmed)
Surely, you’re not suggesting-

ANAKIN
(interrupting)
The Chancellor means it would be dangerous for the Republic, were he to discuss, at this time, his plans for ending the war.

PALPATINE
(to Anakin)
Well said.

PADMÉ
(annoyed, to Anakin)
If, by that, the Chancellor means someone in this room would betray the Republic, by making such plans known to the Separatists, he should make the accusation himself.

PALPATINE
We must take every precaution.
(before she can reply)
In any event, I might be more amenable to your demands, if you would be more cooperative in the matter of control of the Jedi Council. Your apparent obsession with investigating the Clone Army has left my proposal hanging in orbit, shall we say.

PADMÉ
Where it will remain, until I receive better assurances than those you have given.

PALPATINE
I sense you may be feeling that I’m taking away something that is yours.
(aside)
And you may miss your regular meetings with your friend, General Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Anakin’s eyes react.

PALPATINE (cont’d)
But, My Lady, please understand-

PADMÉ
(interrupting, eyes narrow)
I’ve seen what the Army does under your direct control. Will the Jedi do the same?

She checks Anakin’s reaction. He doesn’t look at her.

PALPATINE
Let me make a suggestion. Were you to resume hearings on the Jedi, I think you would discover some of their ways to be far more dangerous to the Republic than a few rogue Clone units.

Padmé flashes Anakin a frustrated look then sets her eyes back on Palpatine.

PADMÉ
I hoped we could have come to an agreement, which could have avoided our forcing the issue in the full Senate. But, since you are obviously unwilling to negotiate in good faith, you leave us no choice.
(retrieves the document panel)
Our petition is going in immediately. Please change your mind . . . quickly.
(stands)
The Delegation of Two Thousand thanks the Chancellor.

She turns and leaves with the other Senators, who look at each other, a bit stunned.

PALPATINE
(after they’re gone)
And she and I used to get along so well.

Anakin looks at him strangely.
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