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And now, the real story of Star Wars: Episode III...
|A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR,|
Padmé's bedchamber, Naboo - a conversation is already underway.
Anakin: "What do you mean 'not tonight'? It's our wedding night!"
Padmé: "It's, erm... it's a Naboo tradition. The happy couple spend their first night together in contemplation of, of... um, contemplation, and stuff."
Anakin: "You what?"
Padmé: "It's not like I don't want to, of course, but you know how much respect I have for the traditions of my people. That sort of... intimacy, is not something to be taken lightly, and must be preceded by much contemplation and soul-searching."
Anakin (mutters): "No wonder everyone on this planet is always stoned."
Padmé: "I've got to go, um, feed Artoo, I'll be back in a moment."
Padmé darts out the door before Anakin can object. Outside, her handmaiden Dormé is waiting.
Dormé: "Anything you need, M'Lady?"
Padmé: "Could you do me a really big favour?"
Dormé: "What, M'Lady?"
Padmé: "Well, you know how you stand in for me in times of danger..."
Dormé: "Yes, of course M'Lady. I would give my life for you."
Padmé: "Do you think you could, sort of..."
Padmé gestures to the bedchamber. Dormé looks confused, then startled.
Dormé: "You want me to pretend to be you? With him?"
Padmé: "It's okay, I've talked him out of trying anything tonight, but I'm sure he'll at least want to cuddle in bed, and he's just so, urgh... damn sleazy..."
Dormé: "What about the Naboo tradition of newlywed couples spending their first night in contemplation of happiness by screwing for 24 hours non-stop?"
Padmé (looking embarrassed): "I might have skipped a couple of details when I told him about that."
Dormé: "Okay, fine, but look... getting killed is one thing, but him... I'd sooner make out with a Qarren!"
Padmé: "Ew! What about all the tentacles on their faces?"
Dormé: "Sure, but what about him?"
Both stare at the bedchamber door for a moment.
Padmé: "Fine, point taken. But come on, please? Just this once, I'll think of something else as soon as I can."
Inside the bedchamber, Anakin is becoming increasingly restless.
Anakin: "Damn, she's probably going to be talking to Artoo all night. I don't know what she sees in that stupid droid. All it does is beep, and vibrate its head... (thinks) ...nah, she wouldn't."
Dormé: "Why the hell did you marry him anyway?"
Padmé: "I don't know, I think I was concussed. One moment I was falling off a conveyer belt in a droid foundry on Geonosis, the next thing I knew some priest was saying 'man and wife' and the little sod was sticking his tongue down my throat."
Dormé: "That's scary."
Padmé: "Tell me about it."
Anakin: "Damn, I bet she is! I knew she was acting suspicious when she asked Captain Typho to install a speed control on Artoo's telescopic sensor. Naboo traditions my Jedi ass..."
Dormé: "Well, alright, but you owe me big time for this."
Dormé: "Anything? Really..."
Padmé: "Don't smile like that, it makes me nervous."
Anakin: "Well, if she's off having fun by herself, two can play at that game. I'll just have to take matters into my own hands, so to speak..."
Padmé: "Yes, but I just don't see how that's such a big thing to ask in return. It's not like we haven't-"
Dormé: "Under the dress. While I'm impersonating you. During a full session of the Senate."
Padmé: "You're kidding, right?"
Anakin: "OW! Ow ow ow, oh damn, ow, stupid mechanical hand!"
Outside, Padmé and Dormé hear Anakin's yells. Padmé looks inside the bedchamber, then back at Dormé.
Padmé: "Never mind, I think I'll be okay for tonight. We'll talk again in the morning."
Dormé: "But what about... you know, in the Senate?"
Padmé: "Well... remind me when we get to Coruscant."
Padmé goes back into the bedchamber. Anakin is rolled up in a ball on the floor.
Padmé: "What happened, dear?"
Anakin (strained, high-pitched voice, still curled up): "Do you know how to switch off a bionic hand?"
Padmé: "No, why?"
Anakin: "Could you get me the phase spanner from the bedside table?"
Padmé goes to the table and surreptitiously knocks the spanner behind the bed.
Padmé: "I don't see a phase spanner."
Anakin: "Oh dear Lord..."
Next morning, in one of the Royal Palace's hangar bays, Padmé is checking her fighter as Dormé, dressed as Padmé, boards the Senatorial transport. Anakin hurries up to her.
Anakin: "Padmé, what's the-"
Dormé: "She's over there."
Anakin: "What? Oh, right, the decoy thing..."
Dormé: "It's not like we're completely identical, you know."
Anakin: "Yes you are."
Dormé: "You think we look exactly alike?"
Anakin: "Firm 10-c, perky, bouncy... not too bouncy. What's the difference?"
Dormé (glaring): "Get out of my sight."
Anakin shrugs and heads over to Padmé's fighter.
Anakin: "Hey, what's the rush?"
Padmé: "I have to get away before he wakes... oh, Anakin, hi! Um, Senate business, very urgent, have to go to Coruscant."
Anakin: "I'll come with you. You never know when you might need your brave Jedi protector at your side!"
Anakin (leering): "So... it there space in that cockpit for two?"
Padmé sighs, then has a thought and smiles slowly.
The Senatorial transport, accompanied by a wing of N-1 fighters, blasts out of the hangar and climbs up into space.
Inside Padmé's fighter, there is a clanging noise from behind the pilot's seat. Padmé leans over her shoulder.
Anakin's voice (from inside the Astromech droid compartment): "Are you sure this is safe?"
Anakin's voice: "It's quite cramped in here."
Padmé: "You'll be fine, dear. Meditate or something."
Padmé's finger hovers over the 'Eject Droid' button, but she sighs heavily and leaves it alone.
Padmé: "Damned conscience."
Anakin's voice: "What was that?"
Padmé: "Nothing, dear!"
The transport and fighters hyperspace away to Coruscant.
On Coruscant, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is asleep at his desk. There is a bottle of very strong Altarian vodka, empty, lying on the desk. The doorbell rings, waking Palpatine.
Palpatine: "Um, just a minute!"
Palpatine grabs the bottle, turns around towards the bin at the back of his office, and comes face to face with a large, brightly-coloured banner reading 'Yay Galactic Domination'. He stares at it for a moment, then at the bottle, then back at the banner.
Palpatine: "I don't remember putting that there..."
He shrugs, tosses the bottle into the bin, and stuffs the banner up on top of the office window's curtain rail. He then returns to his seat, tries to sit down but misses slightly, then grabs his chair and lowers himself carefully to it.
Palpatine: "Come in!"
The door opens, and Master Yoda and Mace Windu enter.
Palpatine: "Honoured Jedi, please have a seat. What can I do for you?"
Windu: "We'll ask the questions, motherf-"
Yoda (loudly): "Forgive Master Windu, difficult time he has had. Fought many battles, entirely himself at the moment he is not."
Palpatine: "I understand. This is a trying time for us all."
Windu: "Trying? Hey, man, don't give me that sh-"
Yoda: "Here we are, for information to ask."
Palpatine: "I doubt I could know anything the great Jedi Council cannot discern on its own, but I will tell you all I can."
Windu: "You bet your white-boy ass-"
Yoda: "Rumours we have heard. Strange places, mutterings in, there are. At work, Sith Lords, in places of power, suggestions there are."
Palpatine: "Sith Lords?"
Windu: "You got a hearing problem, assho-"
Yoda: "Senators, over, influence, Sidious, rumours, Darth, named, Lord, Sith, are, of, many, a, there, with."
Everyone is silent for a moment.
Windu: "What the hell did you just say, man?"
Palpatine: "I believe I caught the gist of what Master Yoda was saying. I know nothing of this 'Darth Sidious,' but I assure you if I suspect any Senators of being influenced by the Dark Side, I will notify the Jedi at once."
Yoda: "Thank you, we do."
Palpatine: "Now that I come to think of it, there are a couple of Senators whose actions have puzzled me. Senator Yarua of Kashyyyk, for example."
Yoda: "Put forward the motion to execute anyone trying to proclaim themselves Emperor of the Galaxy, he did."
Palpatine: "Yes, but if you think about it, he's definitely not a reliable Senator. I fear the hand of the Sith may be at work."
Yoda: "Thank you for your wisdom, we do."
Windu: "Let's go kick Yarua's Wookie ass!"
Yoda (sniffs): "Smell of Altarian vodka, there is in your office."
Palpatine: "I was just... celebrating, last night. You know, the Republic, democracy, all that."
The banner drops off the curtain rail and falls in a crumpled heap on the floor.
Windu: "What the hell was that?"
Palpatine: "Nothing, I've had decorators in, they must have left their stuff here. Now if you'll excuse me, gentlemen, I have much work to do. I've got an idea I want to send to Seinar R&D about a giant, moon-sized... um, amusement park. Yes. You know, travel from planet to planet, making people happy? That sort of thing."
Yoda: "Always considering the happiness of the people, you are. Goodbye, Supreme Chancellor."
Windu: "Yeah, and thanks for the tip about that Wookie motherf-"
Yoda: "Going now we will be. Come, Master Windu."
Windu: "Alright you short-assed little green freak, I'm coming."
The Senatorial apartments on Coruscant. Naboo Representative Jar Jar Binks makes his way up to the roof, where he stretches in the morning sunlight.
Jar Jar: "Ahh, dat'sa better. Mesa like bein da Representative."
A low-flying air taxi collides with him, knocking him off the building. A few moments later there is a small and very final 'splat'.
The Jedi Temple. Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi is talking to Senator Bail Organa.
Obi-Wan: "I agree completely Senator, but the Jedi can only do so much. Our numbers are few, we have taken many casualties, and Master Windu is still having aggression management issues since he got hit in the head by an out-of-control Droideka. I'll continue to assist in the defence of Alderaan with the troops the Temple has available-"
Anakin appears and tried to attract Obi-Wan's attention.
Anakin: "Master, if you've got a moment-"
Obi-Wan: "Not now. Senator, as I was saying-"
Anakin: "Master, it's urgent!"
Obi-Wan: "The bathroom's over there, now go away. Senator-"
Anakin (whining): "Master!"
Obi-Wan: "Alright! Senator, excuse me for a moment, duty calls."
Bail: "Of course. (looks at Anakin) I don't envy you."
Obi-Wan: "You have no idea."
Anakin misses the meaning of this completely. Senator Organa departs.
Obi-Wan: "Right, now what is it, my impatient Padawan?"
Anakin: "Well, it's about Senator Amidala..."
Obi-Wan (suddenly nervous): "What about her?"
Anakin: "Well, it's just that, while we were together, you know, with the assassination threat and all..."
Anakin: "She and I, sort of... well, we got close."
Obi-Wan (expressionless): "I see. When you say 'close'..."
Anakin holds up his hand, wearing a wedding ring.
Obi-Wan: "Oh-kay. Right, listen, this is important. A Jedi's duty is to the Force, and the Jedi Order. You can have no other commitments, else that duty is compromised. Do you understand?"
Anakin: "Yes, but it's just that, well, ever since we first met-"
Obi-Wan: "Listen horn-dog, it's simple. Forget about Senator Amidala."
Anakin: "I can't! She's all I think about, her-"
Obi-Wan: "Yes, yes, very romantic, but-"
Anakin (not listening): "...firm, round butt, and those legs, and oh my god what a set of funbags..."
Obi-Wan (to self): "Master Qui-Gon, you are so lucky you're already dead."
Anakin (in a world of his own): "...was always thinking about what she was wearing under those royal dresses..."
Obi-Wan (ignoring Anakin): "'Train the boy, Obi-Wan, he's important.' Damn it, why him? Of all the people in the galaxy, why him?"
Anakin (zoned out completely): "...and I bet she wouldn't mind if her handmaidens joined in..."
Obi-Wan (starting to shout to the heavens): "I mean, why couldn't Jar Jar have been the vergence in the Force? At least he wouldn't have tried to stick his-"
Anakin (snapping back to reality): "What's that Master?"
Obi-Wan: "-into the first girl he laid eyes on... what? Sorry, I was meditating on the war. Very stressful. What were you saying?"
Anakin: "I was talking about Padmé."
Obi-Wan: "Right, it's simple. (does the Jedi Mind Trick hand motion) You don't want to sleep with Padmé."
Anakin (zombie): "I don't want to sleep with Padmé. (wakes up) Hmm... I don't? I wonder why not? Hey, did you just do a Jedi Mind Trick on me?"
Obi-Wan: "Of course not."
Anakin: "You did! Hey-"
Obi-Wan (JMT hand motion again): "I did not just do a Jedi Mind Trick on you."
Anakin (zombie): "You did not just do a Jedi Mind Trick on me."
Obi-Wan: "Now, about Senator Amidala?"
Anakin: "It's funny, but suddenly I don't feel so... you know, towards her. I guess following the rules of the Jedi Order is a good idea after all. Thanks Master!"
Anakin sprints off to find something stupid to do. Padmé emerges from a darkened doorway.
Padmé: "That's a pretty cool trick."
Obi-Wan: "It's not that difficult, and anyway, that boy lends new meaning to the term 'weak-minded'. But it'll wear off after a few hours."
Padmé: "Damn. Do you think we'll be able to work out something by then?"
Obi-Wan: "I'll give it top priority. But I'm curious, M'Lady, why did you approach me directly? Surely you could have discreetly informed Master Yoda, or-"
Padmé (sidling closer): "Yes, I could have, but, ah (one arm around Obi-Wan's neck) I'd rather deal with you."
Obi-Wan (confused): "You'd... I'm sorry, I'm not sure I-"
Padmé (on tip-toes, face to face): "I have a feeling I might be strong in the Force, and I need a Jedi Knight to... train me."
Obi-Wan: "Are you coming on to me?"
Padmé: "Tell me, (backs him up against a wall) about this rule of having no commitments other than to the Order..."
Obi-Wan: "Well, um, yes, it's a very strict rule. For the good of the whole Jedi Order."
Padmé: "I did a lot of survival and endurance training while I was Queen, as a security precaution. Did you know I can hold my breath for twelve minutes?"
Obi-Wan: "When I say 'strict', there's room for interpretation, of course..."
Padmé: "I see, so if we were to, just hypothetically of course, screw like bunnies for the next three days without a break, that wouldn't be considered, technically, a commitment, as such, would it?"
Obi-Wan: "More of a mutually beneficial arrangement- three days?!?"
Padmé: "I did a lot of endurance training. Is it true that you can turn the power down on a lightsaber, so instead of cutting is just feels warm and tingly?"
Obi-Wan: "Well, yes, but what... (understanding dawns) ...Oh!"
Padmé: "Uh-huh... c'mon baby, let's stretch out with our feelings..."
Palpatine's office. Anakin bursts in. Palpatine hides a model Executor-class Star Destroyer he had been playing with behind his back.
Palpatine: "Ah, my favourite Jedi. What can I do for you, young Skywalker?"
Anakin: "It's Padmé!"
Palpatine: "Padmé... Senator Amidala? She's back from Naboo already?"
Anakin: "She just doesn't seem interested any more! After Geonosis she was all over me, once she got her head bandaged up after that fall. Kept hugging me and giving me cute looks, and stuff, and now nothing! And I'm sure Master Obi-Wan doesn't want me married to her. I think he might have done a Jedi Mind Trick on me, except those only work on the weak-minded, so I don't see how- are you all right?"
Palpatine (concealing laughing fit as coughing): "My apologies, young Skywalker, my health is not good. Pressures of being Chancellor, and so on."
Anakin: "Chancellor Palpatine, you've always given me good advice. Three years ago during the Jedi Padawan athletics contest-"
Palpatine: "I remember you got first prize, of all the Padawans in the Order."
Anakin: "And I'd never have thought of spiking their drinks beforehand if you hadn't suggested it. And last year, when I was having trouble convincing that Bothan renegade to tell me what he knew about the Twi'lek slave trade-"
Palpatine: "His information did prove vital to exposing the slave traders, yes."
Anakin: "And you were exactly right, I didn't even have to cut off his other testicle. You always know exactly what I should do. Not like Master Yoda and those others, 'anger leads to suffering, violence leads to hate, hiding spy-cams in the Senate to look up Amidala's dress leads to'-"
Palpatine: "You were talking about Senator Amidala before, I believe?"
Anakin: "Yes. Chancellor, what should I do? How do I make her like me?"
Palpatine: "Patience, young Skywalker. You should play it cool. Return to your duties, and wait for her."
Anakin: "She will come to me?"
Palpatine: "I have forseen it."
The Jedi Council chamber. All of the Jedi Masters are assembled.
Yoda: "Called this meeting I have to discuss the Clone War, and our search for the Sith Lords. Very much linked, I sense these two problems are."
Windu: "Well, I think this is some simple shit. We get our clone armies, find these Sith motherf-"
Yoda: "Erm, Master Windu..."
Adi Gallia holds her head in despair.
Windu: "-and get medieval on their asses!"
Yoda: "Master Windu-"
Eeth Koth: "I believe what Master Yoda is trying to say, Master Windu, is that we all appreciate the great skill and wisdom you bring to this Council, but shut up."
Windu: "You starting something, horn-head? Come on, I'll take you all!"
Adi Gallia (doing JMT hand motion): "You need to go to the bathroom."
Windu (squirms in seat): "Who wants some? Huh? Come on assholes, Jules Windu is in the house!"
Adi Gallia (JMT hand motion): "Really badly. Your bladder is about to explode."
Windu bolts from the Council chamber.
Ki-Adi-Mundi: "Thank the gods for that. Now, about the war-"
Adi Gallia: "Obi-Wan Kenobi saw more of the Separatist facilities on Geonosis than any of us. Perhaps we should consult him on this matter?"
Ki-Adi-Mundi rummages in his robes and finds a comlink.
Ki-Adi-Mundi (to comlink): "Jedi Council to Obi-Wan Kenobi, respond please."
The comlink emits the sounds of heavy breathing and a low humming noise.
Yoda: "Lightsaber on low power setting, that sounds like."
Obi-Wan's voice: "My tool is the Force, and a powerful tool it is!"
Adi Gallia: "Master Kenobi must be practising his combat skills. He is wise to prepare himself so thoroughly for the times ahead."
Ki-Adi-Mundi: "Sorry to bother you, young Knight, continue your training."
Padmé's voice (from comlink): "Oh yeah, now I feel the Force flowing through me-"
The comlink shuts off. Everyone is silent for a moment.
Adi Gallia: "We never speak of that again, okay? Master Rancisis, your opinion on the tactical situation?"
Everyone relaxes again. Oppo Rancisis begins his briefing.
Oppo Rancisis: "We've been having some problems there. Every time we close off one theatre of battle, another two open up. It's as if the Separatists know our strength exactly, and are using their forces to prolong the war as long as possible."
Yoda: "But prevail we will."
Oppo Rancisis: "I'm glad you are so optimistic, Master Yoda, but the situation is grim. In the last week we have lost over a hundred Jedi, and well over half the Republic systems are in a state of emergency."
Yoda: "Prevail we will, though. Nature of things. We are Jedi Council, cannot be beaten. Identify our enemies we will. Simple it is."
Adi Gallia: "Master Yoda, I think what Master Rancisis is trying to say-"
Yoda: "No more. Victorious we will be. Jedi we are, on good side of the Force. Dark Side will not win. Dark Side's ass we will kick."
There is a flushing noise from outside, and Mace Windu re-enters.
Windu: "God damn, I didn't know a body could leak that much! I must be dehydrated or some shit like that. So, whose ass are we kicking?"
Eeth Koth: "Master Windu, I really do think you should see a doctor about your head."
Windu: "There ain't nothing wrong with my head, you bone-brained freak show! I just got a bit of a knock from some damn droid, but I didn't feel a damn thing, so why don't you shut your stupid mouth about it?"
Oppo Rancisis: "As I was saying, the Separatists-"
Windu: "Here's a plan, and hey, know what? It doesn't involve us yappin' on like a bunch of stoned Yodas all year! Let's go whoop us some Separatist booty! Who's in charge of them motherf-"
Adi Gallia: "Count Dooku, Master Windu, the former Jedi who-"
Windu: "Right, let's find the dude, and put his ass out of commission, you know what I'm saying?"
Yoda: "Wily opponent is he. Very proficient with lightsaber, took all of my skills to defeat him once. May be even more powerful now."
Windu: "You fought? You? You can't even reach my belt! How the hell do you fight? You peed on his boots or something?"
Yaddle speaks up.
Yaddle: "Expert swordsman, Master Yoda is."
Windu: "Yeah, we know which 'sword' you're interested in, you little green party girl. Just you two get a room when you go at it, cause you're both butt ugly, and we don't need to see that shit going down, know what I'm saying?"
Yoda: "Impugn Yaddle's honour, you should not."
Windu: "Oh, excuse me, I guess I just figured what with her being the same species as you, and damn useless as a Jedi, you just let her on the Council so you could bone her! I mean, ain't that funny! The Jedi Council of the whole god damned galaxy, and there just happen to be two of you dyslexic green-assed dwarfs here, so you can go play 'hide the lightsaber' with each other!"
Yoda: "Unwell you are, Master Windu."
Windu: "I'll show you unwell! I'm gonna go bitch-slap that Dooku asshole, and then I'm gonna get me a girlfriend on the Jedi Council, and then we'll see who's 'unwell'!"
Windu storms out looking for something to kill. Everyone is silent for a moment.
Adi Gallia: "Now that he mentions it, why are you here, Yaddle?"
Yoda looks embarrassed.
Yaddle: "Give good head, I do."
Everyone except Yoda recoils in horror.
Ki-Adi-Mundi: "Oh god! Mental image, dammit!"
Even Piell: "Man, that's not right!"
Depa Billaba (doing JMT hand motion in front of her own face): "I didn't just hear that. I didn't just hear that. I didn't..."
Tatooine, the moisture farm run by the Lars family. Beru is in the kitchen, preparing dinner, when Owen enters.
Beru: "Hello dear. Did anything interesting happen today?"
Supreme Chancellor Palpatine's office. Mace Windu kicks the door in.
Windu: "Yo, Chancellor, I need to know where this Dooku motherf... why are you wearing them black robes?"
Palpatine: "Erm... I... I was told that, um, they looked good. A woman I met at a bar, told me. Yes."
Windu: "God damn! Everyone's getting some except me!"
Windu storms out.
Palpatine (to self): "What the hell was that about?"
Windu storms back in.
Windu: "Where did you say that Dooku guy was at?"
Palpatine: "I believe our last intelligence reports put him somewhere near Malastare."
Windu: "Right. I'm gonna rip a new asshole in that f-"
Windu storms out again muttering threats. Palpatine goes to his desk and uses the comlink.
Palpatine: "Master Yoda?"
Yoda's voice: "Supreme Chancellor. Help you desire?"
Palpatine: "I've just had a visit from Master Windu, he seemed a bit... agitated."
Yoda's voice: "No concern is he. Proceeding well everything is."
Palpatine: "The defence against the Separatist forces is well in hand?"
Yoda's voice: "All under control it is. Taking steps I am. Good everything is."
Palpatine: "Thank you for your time, Master Yoda. (switches off comlink) Tyranus? Get your worthless butt out here!"
Count Dooku appears in a side entrance to the office, with strained dignity.
Dooku: "Yes, master Sidious?"
Palpatine: "It seems Mace Windu has taken it upon himself to eliminate you. His impatience will lead him to weakness. Go to Malastare and destroy him."
Dooku: "Yes, my master. Is all proceeding as you have forseen?"
Palpatine (looking at his broken door): "Well... kind of. Close enough."
Padmé's Senatorial apartments. Anakin enters, looking through doorways as he wanders around.
Anakin: "Padmé? You here? Padmé?"
Dormé appears in a doorway.
Anakin: "Padm- Oh, sorry Dormé. Do you know where Padmé is?"
Dormé (irritated): "No."
Anakin: "Are you sure."
Dormé: "Yes I'm sure. And my face is up here, thank you."
Anakin adjusts his gaze slightly.
Anakin (doing JMT hand motion): "You will tell me where Padmé is."
Dormé (also doing JMT hand motion): "You will go jump out a window."
Anakin (zombie): "I will go jump out a- (wakes up) Hey!"
Dormé: "By what scale do you qualify as a Jedi?"
Anakin: "Listen you, my midichlorian count is-"
Dormé: "Still not as high as your hormone count. Look, Padmé's not here, so shoo."
Dormé turns her back on Anakin and leaves. Anakin sulks a bit, then turns to leave the apartments. As he goes he spies a Naboo locket on a side table. He picks it up and fiddles with the opening mechanism.
Anakin: "Aw, she's so sweet, she's got a photo of me..."
He opens the locket.
Anakin: "Obi-Wan? Why does she have a photo of Obi-Wan in her..."
He hears a sound from the other room. Quietly he creeps up to the door and listens.
Padmé's voice: "Are you there? Dormé, pick up the comlink, will you?"
Dormé's voice: "I'm here M'Lady. Where are you?"
Padmé's voice: "I'm at the Jedi Temple. Could you pack an overnight bag for me and bring it here? I think I'm going to stay a while."
Dormé's voice: "Really? Things are going well then?"
Padmé's voice: "Well... let's just say I won't be needing Artoo's telescopic sensor anytime soon."
Obi-Wan's voice: "Damn right, you won't."
Padmé's voice: "Ooh, your strength is flowing from the Force big time today, isn't it?"
Dormé's voice: "I'll be right there M'Lady. Is there anything else I should bring?"
Padmé's voice: "Just yourself, honey. I think only together can we turn this one to the dark and delicious side of the Force."
Dormé's voice: "And I was worried you'd keep him all to yourself. What shall I tell Anakin?"
Padmé's voice: "Tell him to go f- oh, I don't know. If you see him, just pretend you're a new handmaiden and you don't know him. The little sleaze only looks at your chest anyway."
Anakin storms out in a full-on Jedi temper tantrum.
In the Malastare system, Mace Windu's starfighter comes out of hyperspace. Inside, Windu has got camouflage paint on his face and is wearing a headband torn off his robe.
Windu: "Now I'm gonna take you down, motherf... Hey, I don't see that Dooku's dumb-ass sail-ship. Where the f-"
A massive Trade Federation battleship exits hyperspace right on top of Windu and blasts his ship with dozens of turbolasers.
Windu: "Holy crap god damned Yoda on a bicycle fu-"
The Jedi Council chamber. All the Jedi Masters are assembled, apart from Mace Windu, obviously.
Oppo Rancisis: "We are receiving a signal from Master Windu."
Rancisis activates a holographic display, which shows Mace Windu at the controls of his fighter, getting the living crap blasted out of him.
Windu: "-and get your sorry Jedi asses out here and help me! These sons of bitches are pounding the shit out of me, man!"
Ki-Adi-Mundi: "What is your position, Master Windu?"
Windu: "I'm on the bad-ass end of about a thousand laser cannons, you dumb shit! Now send help!"
Oppo Rancisis: "Master Windu is in the Malastare system."
Adi Gallia: "We must help him!"
Eeth Koth: "Must we? It'd be quieter around here without him."
Windu: "I heard that you dinosaurian bastard! If I get out of this alive-"
Yoda: "Help you we will. Jedi we will dispatch to your aid."
Plo Koon: "Obi-Wan Kenobi spent much time in Malastare with his former Master, Qui-Gon Jinn. He knows the system better than any other Jedi at out disposal."
Adi Gallia: "Good idea. (fiddles with comlink) "Obi-Wan Kenobi? We have a crisis, you are needed in the Malastare system-"
Obi-Wan's voice (from comlink): "My apologies, Masters, I'm a little busy at the moment."
Padmé's voice (from comlink, quiet): "Hey, is this Darth Maul's lightsaber?"
Dormé's voice (from comlink, quiet): "Ooh, double-ended..."
Obi-Wan's voice: "...wow... Erm, I'm sorry Masters, I can't leave at the moment. Um, send Anakin, he's, er, very familiar with Malastare. Practically grew up there, yeah."
The comlink goes dead.
Yoda: "Suspicious I am becoming of Master Obi-Wan's commitment to the Jedi Order."
Adi Gallia (fiddling with comlink more): "Anakin Skywalker?"
Anakin's voice (from comlink, petulant): "What?!?"
Adi Gallia: "We need you to go to Malastare to assist Master Windu. It appears he's having a bit of trouble with some Trade Federation people."
Windu (from holograph): "A bit of trouble! You been sniffing your nail polish again?!"
Gallia kicks the holographic display away.
Anakin's voice: "But I'm about to go kick... I mean, I have to consult with Master Obi-Wan."
Adi Gallia (embarrassed): "Master Obi-Wan is busy at the moment."
Anakin's voice (angry): "No kidding."
Yoda: "Skywalker, listen. To Malastare you must go. Rumours of Sith Lords Master Windu was pursuing. Assist him you must, or out of Jedi Order you will be kicked. Understand?"
Anakin's voice (sulking): "Yes, Master Yoda."
Yoda: "Good. Remember, whining leads to resentment, resentment leads to bitterness, bitterness-"
The comlink goes dead.
Yoda: "Much anger I sense in him."
A seedy bar somewhere in the underbelly of Coruscant. Anakin storms in, still furious, looking for someone. He sees a figure wearing armour he recognises and sits down at his table.
Anakin: "Jango Fett? I've got a job for you. You're supposedly the best bounty hunter in the galaxy, so... weren't you taller last time I saw you?"
'Jango' removes his helmet to reveal that he is, in fact, the ten-year-old Boba Fett.
Anakin: "Damn it."
Fett: "Hey, I'm still the best bounty hunter in the galaxy! My dad taught me everything he knew!"
Anakin: "Okay, okay, I- this is so stupid. Listen, kid, I've got a job for you. Do you remember Obi-Wan Kenobi?"
Fett: "The Jedi Knight my dad fought on Kamino?"
Anakin: "Yeah, probably. I want you to kill him."
Fett: "Okay, no problem. Hey, wait a minute... aren't you Jedi supposed to be loyal to each other, or something?"
Anakin: "In theory yes, but Obi-Wan is the only thing between me and getting laid, and I am not going to let him-"
Fett (confused): "Laid?"
Anakin: "Didn't your dad ever tell you about the birds and the bees?"
Fett: "He taught me how to recognise the weak spots in over a thousand different animal species, but I don't see how..."
Anakin: "Never mind, it's not important. Just kill Obi-Wan, alright?"
Fett: "Alright. But I'm a bounty hunter, I need payment."
Anakin: "Okay, let me think..."
Fett: "Stop if it starts to hurt."
Anakin: "Huh? Whatever. How about... I could give you a lolly pop?"
Fett bounces in his seat.
Fett: "Yay! Lolly pop!"
Anakin: "But you have to kill Obi-Wan first."
Anakin: "Good. I have to go on a quick trip to Malastare. Make sure he's dead before I return."
Anakin strides out of the bar. Fett gets to his feet and leaves, stumbling over the too-long legs of his battlesuit.
On Tatooine, Owen Lars is checking the farm's perimeter with a pair of binoculars. Beru stands beside him.
Beru: "See anything, dear?"
In the Jedi Temple, Master Yoda studies the gigantic galactic map below the Council Chamber, watching as it constantly updates fleet movements, shifts in the Force and so on from its thousands of data relays. Eeth Koth approaches him from behind.
Eeth Koth: "Master Yoda?"
Yoda: "Listening I am."
Eeth Koth: "The others were just wondering when you were going to rejoin us in directing the war against the Separatists. You know? You've been down here a while now."
Yoda: "Observing I am. Collecting information on our enemies. Names I am remembering."
Eeth Koth: "Oh-kay..."
Yoda points to a part of the galactic map, where Separatist armies are routing a Republic force.
Eeth Koth: "We're losing ground in the Mid-Rim Territories, yes. Tell us, what do you see in the enemy's concentration there?"
Yoda: "Each time our forces are attacked, names I am taking. All our enemies soon will be known. Then list of all names of enemies I will have."
Eeth Koth (slowly): "I see. Um, I'm going to go back up to the Council now..."
Yoda: "Yes, yes, go you must. Names I will keep taking. List I will make. All will be well."
Eeth Koth backs out slowly, as Yoda returns to his scrutiny of the galaxy, occasionally scribbling a name on a bit of paper.
In the Jedi Temple hangar bay, Anakin is preparing his starfighter for launch. Threepio and Artoo wander over to him.
Threepio: "Master Anakin, sir?"
Anakin: "Oh, hi Threepio."
Threepio: "Are you leaving again?"
Anakin: "I've got to go help out some stupid Jedi Master in some system I've never heard of before. Probably be back tomorrow."
Threepio: "Is there anything we can do in the meantime, sir?"
Anakin thinks for a moment.
Anakin: "No, I've hired someone who'll take care of... no wait, the dumb little jerk probably won't make it past the front door. Do you remember Obi-Wan Kenobi?"
Threepio: "I believe so, sir. The dashing young Jedi Knight who rescued Miss Amidala on Naboo all those years ago. Artoo tells me she was most grateful for his assistance, in fact she mentions often that she wanted an opportunity to properly reward him, in private for some reason-"
Anakin (fuming): "Yes, that's him. I want you to find Obi-Wan, and make sure he doesn't spend any time alone with Padmé. Alright?"
Threepio: "You don't want Miss Amidala to be alone with Master Obi-Wan..."
Anakin: "That's right. Until I get back. Then I'll deal with him myself."
Threepio: "Very well Master Anakin."
Anakin climbs into his fighter and lifts off. Threepio and Artoo watch him fly out of the building and away.
Threepio: "You know Artoo, just between you and me, I think Master Anakin has gone a bit strange."
Artoo bleeps a bit.
Threepio: "Yes, I suppose that's true, though I personally wouldn't use such strong language. Come on, let's go find Master Obi-Wan."
Somewhere in the Jedi Temple, Boba Fett, in his full if ill-fitting armour, drops from a ventilation shaft and lands silently. He creeps through the corridors, disappearing into the shadows whenever anyone comes near him. He finally arrives at a doorway, over which is a plaque reading 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'. On the door handle is a 'do not disturb' sign. He reaches to a pocket on his shin and finds a lock-pick device, then fiddles with the door lock for a moment. The door silently opens and he goes inside.
He flattens himself to the wall, around the corner from the bed. He quietly assembles his blaster rifle and readies himself, taking off his helmet. In one fluid motion he rounds the corner, aims the rifle, and his jaw drops.
Fett: "Holy Mandalorian gods..."
Padmé and Dormé jump upright in an instant, Padmé with a blaster, Dormé with a lightsaber. After a moment, they remember themselves and grab sheets to cover themselves. Boba Fett is distraught. Obi-Wan looks up from his supine position, only vaguely aware of what's going on.
Obi-Wan: "What's that?"
Padmé: "Looks like an angry dwarf."
Obi-Wan (to Dormé): "Where did you get that lightsaber from?"
Dormé smirks. She and Padmé tie the sheets around themselves. Obi-Wan tries to move, and fails.
Padmé: "Who are you?"
Fett: "I'm... ah..."
Padmé waves a hand in front of his face, without getting a reaction.
Padmé: "Did your parents ever tell you about the Gungans and the bees?"
Fett: "I... um..."
Padmé (to Obi-Wan and Dormé): "I think we broke him."
Dormé: "Don't worry kid, it'll all become clear in a few years' time."
Obi-Wan: "Were you trying to kill one of us?"
Fett: "Um... you, I guess..."
Boba Fett is still staring in awe at Padmé and Dormé as they disarm him and remove all the hidden weapons from his armour.
Obi-Wan: "You're a bounty hunter, right? Who hired you?"
Fett (snapping back to reality slightly): "I can't say! Bounty hunters' code of honour!"
Padmé grabs his arm and swings him around to face her.
Padmé: "Who hired you?"
Fett: "A Jedi Padawan, I didn't get his name, he was sort of thin, sandy blond hair-"
Obi-Wan: "Could be anyone."
Fett: "-he was kinda whiney-"
Obi-Wan, Padmé and Dormé (in unison): "Anakin."
Dormé (looking at Fett): "I've got an idea..."
Boba Fett starts jumping in excitement.
Dormé: "Oh for gods sake... You're too young by about a decade. Honestly..."
Padmé: "Kids these days... how the hell do you cope with the Padawans when they hit puberty?"
Obi-Wan: "There's a whole wing of the Jedi Temple devoted to cold showers."
Dormé: "Well, that explains Anakin."
In an asteroid belt surrounding the planet Malastare, Mace Windu is hiding his damaged fighter from the prowling Trade Federation battleship. He fiddles with controls and talks to his Artoo unit.
Windu: "Right, now cut power to the engines by half, and increase the scramblers to double standard."
The Artoo beeps.
Windu: "Hah, I'd like to see those Neimoidian freaks find my ship now. So long as I don't send any signals..."
Anakin's fighter drops out of hyperspace right next to Windu's ship.
Anakin (over comlink): "Hey, Master Windu, what's going on? Why are you hiding under an asteroid."
Windu: "Anakin you stupid asshole!"
A barrage of laser fire hammers both ships. Windu accelerates away instantly. Anakin panics, hits controls at random and accidentally rams Windu's ship.
Anakin puts his ship into a dive, following Windu down towards the planet. The battleship stands off in orbit, and releases Count Dooku's sail-ship from its docking bay. Dooku follows Anakin.
On the surface, Windu's ship plummets out of the sky, ricochets off a mountain, ploughs through clouds of billowing green vapour, and crashes into a lake of nasty-looking goop. Windu punches open the cockpit and stands on top of the ship, looking around for something to hurt.
Windu: "Fifteen goddamned years on the Jedi Council, and when I get into trouble they send Anakin! I'm gonna fry that Yoda son of a bitch!"
Anakin's ship descends through the clouds and makes an ungraceful landing next to Windu, splattering him with muck as it slams into the lake. Anakin climbs out.
Anakin: "Master Windu? What happened?"
Windu: "I'll tell you what happened you freaking moron! I was all fine and set, they couldn't have seen me if they'd trod on me, and then you show up and start yelling all over the com frequencies! Gee, I wonder how they found me, you dumb bastard!"
Anakin: "I was just trying to help-"
Windu: "Hey, why don't you piss off back to Coruscant and screw that girlfriend of yours or something! I'll live longer without your help!"
Anakin: "But, my commitment to the Jedi Order..."
Windu: "What, you think Jedi never get any? Yeah, that's the same bullshit they told me! Hell no! Yoda's got his squeeze on the Council, god help anyone who has to see that happen, I bet half the Knights in the galaxy are using Jedi Mind Tricks to score, and-"
Anakin looks betrayed, then petulant. At that moment, Count Dooku's ship sweeps down gracefully, and Dooku himself does a Jedi-leap from its embarkation ramp down onto Windu's ship. He activates his lightsaber and salutes Windu.
Dooku: "En garde, Master Windu. Your time has come."
Windu primes his lightsaber.
Windu: "Just the man I been looking for! I'm gonna kick your ass so far you won't be able to take a dump without a passport!"
Windu goes berserk at Dooku, slashing and hammering at him. Dooku defends, and is somewhat taken aback.
Dooku: "I expected more from you, Master Windu. Your reputation as a swordsman of nobility-"
Windu: "You gonna talk or fight, asshole? I got some serious whoop-ass I've needed to vent all this week, and your ass is first in line!"
Anakin pulls a blaster pistol and aims it at Dooku.
Anakin: "I'll help you Master Windu!"
He fires, missing Dooku by miles and puncturing one of the cargo bays on Windu's fighter, which starts to fill with water. Windu stumbles as the ship begins to sink.
Windu: "God damn it you dumb f-"
Dooku goes on the offensive, fencing-style. Windu scrambles to his feet and defends himself.
Anakin: "Don't worry!"
Anakin shoots again, this time accidentally blasting Windu in the foot, knocking him to the deck. Dooku takes this opportunity to knock his lightsaber into the lake.
Windu: "Stop helping you stupid asshole!"
Anakin: "Master, catch!"
Anakin throws his lightsaber to Windu, who is in the middle of scrambling backwards. The lightsaber knocks him on the head, concussing him.
Windu: "Ooh... dumb stupid little... moron..."
Dooku slices off Windu's head in one clean slash. Anakin takes one look at Dooku, then Force-summons his lightsaber and bolts back into his ship, which takes off and retreats as fast as its engines will go.
Palpatine's office. A hologram of Dooku appears on the desk.
Dooku: "Master Sidious?"
Palpatine: "Who? Oh, right, that's me... yes, my pupil?"
Dooku: "I have eliminated Mace Windu, Master. And the young Jedi Anakin Skywalker was here."
Palpatine: "Really? Bonus. I trust he was not injured trying to aid Master Windu?"
Dooku: "Not... exactly, no. He took one look and ran for it."
Palpatine: "That's my boy. Return here at once. Soon we will turn Anakin to the dark side, and the Jedi Order will be destroyed!"
Dooku: "Are you sure the dark side wants him, master?"
Palpatine: "Just get your distinguished butt back here."
Dooku (long-suffering sigh): "Yes master."
The hologram disappears. Palpatine turns his chair around and begins throwing suction-cup-darts at a model of Alderaan in the corner of his office.
Anakin's fighter arrives back at the Jedi Temple. Master Yoda meets him in the docking bay.
Yoda: "With you Master Windu is not?"
Anakin: "Erm... there was some trouble. Have you seen a short bounty hunter called Fett anywhere around? He was supposed to do something for me."
Yoda: "Seen him I have not."
Anakin: "Dammit. Now I'll have to kill Obi-Wan myself-"
Anakin becomes aware that Yoda is glaring at him. He shuts up.
Yoda: "What know you of Master Windu's fate?"
Anakin: "Oh, he was killed by that Dooku guy. You know, the one from Geonosis, with the deep voice?"
Yoda: "Dooku? Bad move for him that is. On list he will go."
Anakin: "What list?"
Yoda: "List of names I have. Dooku's name now on list."
Anakin: "Okay... I guess that's good."
Yoda: "Accomplished Jedi Master Windu was. How did Count Dooku defeat him?"
Anakin: "Um... just lucky, I guess?"
Yoda (JMT hand motion): "Get him killed accidentally, you did?"
Anakin (zombie): "Yes... (wakes up) Dammit! Why does everyone keep doing that to me?"
Yoda: "Incompetent Jedi are you. Qui-Gon's ass I would kick, if here he were."
Anakin: "Oh yeah? Well screw you! I don't need your stupid Jedi stuff anyway! I'm leaving the Temple forever!"
Anakin storms out. Yoda watches him go.
Yoda: "Waited ten years for that, I have."
Palpatine's office. Dooku has arrived.
Palpatine: "Young Skywalker approaches. You know what you must do."
Dooku: "Yes, my master."
Palpatine: "Once Skywalker has turned to the dark side, I will be invincible. I will have dominion over all the worlds. I shall rule the galaxy! I'm master of everything! I'm cool! I'm good! I'm a naughty boy!"
Palpatine slows down and shrinks a bit from Dooku's scornful gaze. At that moment, Anakin barges in.
Anakin: "Chancellor, I need your advice- what the hell is he doing here?"
Dooku activates his lightsaber and challenges Anakin.
Palpatine: "Help me, Anakin! He means to kill me!"
Anakin (backing away from Dooku): "Uh, yeah, about that helping, that's looking kind of dangerous, at the moment..."
Palpatine: "Oh, thanks a bunch! Ten years mentoring you and this is the loyalty I get!"
Dooku (quietly, to Palpatine): You did train him in the dark side, Master. We're not big on loyalty.
Palpatine: "Oh, yeah... um... Oh, I know! Anakin, this is your chance to avenge Master Windu's death!"
Anakin: "I didn't really like Windu anyway."
Palpatine: "Oh... well, he killed your beloved Master Obi-Wan, as well. Yes. He did. Saw it myself."
Anakin: "Did he? Thank god."
Palpatine: "Aren't you angry? Don't you feel rage building inside you, threatening to sweep away all your Jedi training and turn you to the dark side?"
Anakin: "No, I hated Obi-Wan. I think he's done a Jedi Mind Trick on Padmé or something, to stop her from liking me."
Palpatine: "Uh-huh... um, alright, Count Dooku here plans to spread rumours that you have an embarrassing venereal disease, so that you will never get laid in your entire life!"
Anakin goes mental and slashes wildly at Dooku, who defends easily. With a flick of his wrist he knocks Anakin's lightsaber out of his hand.
Palpatine (sotto voce): "Tyranus! You're supposed to lose!"
Dooku sighs and makes a production of tripping over his robes while Anakin recovers his lightsaber.
Anakin: "Now you die!"
Anakin charges Dooku again, and they attack and parry for a moment, until Anakin trips over and sprawls at Dooku's feet. Dooku visibly restrains himself from delivering the killing strike.
Dooku (to Palpatine, quietly): "He wasn't this bad last time we fought. Are you sure he's the vergence in the Force?"
Palpatine (quiet): "Of course I'm sure, now let him kill you in anger to complete his journey to the dark side!"
Dooku sighs again, and slashes above Anakin's head, pretending to miss. He intentionally overbalances to give Anakin time to get to his feet, then makes a couple of extremely feeble attacks until the boy gets back in the swing of things. They exchange ineffectual blows for a moment.
Palpatine (to Anakin): "Good, good! Feel the hate flowing through you! With each passing moment, you-"
Anakin tries to do a lightsaber twirl, and slices off his own bionic hand. Dooku slaps himself in the forehead.
Palpatine: "Oh for god's sake, just point the glowing end at Dooku and lunge!"
Anakin picks up his lightsaber in his other hand, raises it, and then shrieks and drops it again as Dooku runs at him, trying to impale himself. There is an embarrassed silence.
Palpatine (quiet): "Tyranus! Do something!"
Dooku throws up his arms in disgust, then runs himself through with his own lightsaber. He flops to Anakin's feet, dead. Anakin nearly trips over him, then looks down.
Anakin: "Hey, I got him!"
Palpatine: "Yes, my young apprentice! Your hate has made you powerful! Your journey to the dark side is now complete!"
Anakin retrieves his hand and plugs it back into its socket on his wrist. He looks up at Palpatine with a steely gaze.
Palpatine looks smug.
Anakin: "Will it help me get laid?"
Palpatine looks less smug.
The Jedi Temple. Threepio and Artoo wander aimlessly through the corridors, totally lost.
Threepio: "I told you we should have asked directions."
Threepio: "My joints are beginning to hurt. Let's ask here."
The droids stop at a door marked 'Master Yoda'.
Threepio: "I believe Master Yoda is in charge here. He'll know where Master Obi-Wan is."
Threepio opens the door.
Yoda's voice: "Good that is! Feel the power of the Force I do!"
Yaddle's voice: "Judge you by your size I certainly do not!"
Threepio and Artoo take one look, then Threepio collapses in horror and Artoo starts spinning around in a circle with smoke coming from his head.
Threepio: "Gross! Gross! My circuits are overloading!"
Artoo beeps urgently.
Threepio: "Good idea, a memory wipe!"
Threepio drags himself to a power point and opens it. He grabs both terminals inside and is electrocuted for a few seconds until he slumps backwards. Artoo extends his data connection arm and is similarly fried. After a moment, both droids revive.
Threepio: "Hello. Who might you be?"
Threepio: "Pleased to meet you. I am C-3P0, human-cyborg relations."
Padmé's apartments. Anakin enters, looking pleased with himself.
Anakin: "Padmé, are you here? I've got good news! I'm a Sith-"
Dormé steps behind him and knocks him out. Padmé appears and helps her handmaiden drag Anakin into the bedroom.
Padmé: "We're taking an awful risk here. This had better work."
Time passes. Anakin regains consciousness slowly, and opens his eyes. He is lying on the double bed, with just a sheet covering him. He looks sideways, and sees Padmé sleeping next to him in a negligee. His sleazy smile, never far from his face, makes its presence known. He reaches over and touches Padmé's shoulder. She spins around, then pretends to yawn.
Padmé: "Oh my, what time is it? I haven't slept so well in ages. Good morning dear. You were wonderful."
Anakin (confused): "I was? I mean, of course I was! Uh, what was I wonderful at, exactly...?"
Padmé: "Making love of course! You were everything I ever dreamed about."
She suppresses a shudder of disgust. Anakin leers, then looks confused again.
Anakin: "I don't remember..."
Padmé: "Oh, you were so worn out, you fell asleep as soon as you got here last night. Then you woke up in the middle of the night, and we... you know..."
She flashes a quick seductive smile, while stealthily edging away from him.
Anakin: "Oh, okay... cool. So, now that I'm awake again, how about we..."
Padmé: "Oh, no, I can't."
Anakin: "Why not?"
Padmé: "I'm pregnant now, of course."
Anakin fires up some rarely-used brain cells and thinks quickly.
Anakin: "You know, pregnant women can have sex right up to the third trimester."
Padmé: "Not Naboo women. It's a biological thingy, any sex at all during pregnancy, and, um, the male's penis falls off."
Anakin is suddenly interested in maintaining a respectful distance. Padmé flashes him another very brief smile and leaves.
Dormé is waiting outside the bedroom.
Dormé: "Did he buy it?"
Padmé: "Even the penis falling off thing. I thought that was pushing it."
Dormé: "Yeah, but common sense versus Anakin's gullibility?"
Padmé: "Good point. So now what?"
Dormé: "Now, we go find Obi-Wan and get ourselves a ship."
The comlink beeps. Mas Amedda's face appears on the screen.
Amedda: "Senator Amidala, a special session of the Senate has been called."
Padmé: "Damn. And no-one's been able to find Jar Jar all week. Mixed blessing, I guess. Well, I'd better go."
Dormé: "Actually... you wanted me to remind you..."
The Republic Senate. Amedda stands below Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, directing matters.
Amedda: "The chair recognises the Representative from the sovereign systems of the Outland Regions, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin."
Tarkin's platform floats down to the centre of the Senate chamber. He ignores the various senators stifling giggles at 'Wilhuff'.
Tarkin: "Supreme Chancellor, honoured Senators. The Grand Army of the Republic continues to lose ground against the forces of the Separatists. In order to streamline and concentrate the defensive power of the Grand Army, I propose that the Supreme Chancellor be given direct authority of command, with the Jedi Knights to fill an advisory and intelligence-gathering role more suited to their skills."
Amedda: "The motion is put forward. Is there a second for the motion?"
There is a yelp from the Naboo platform.
Amedda: "The chair recognises the Senator from the sovereign system of Naboo."
The Naboo platform floats down. None of the people on the central dais are close enough to notice that it is in fact Dormé, dressed as Padmé, standing on it. She is gripping the handrail rather tightly from time to time.
Amedda: "Does the Senator for Naboo second the motion put forward?"
Dormé: "Huh? What mo- ooh..."
She looks like she's about to fall over, but steadies herself. Amedda looks confused.
Amedda: "Yes or no, Senator?"
Dormé (oblivious): "...oh yes... oh yes..."
Amedda: "The motion is seconded. The vote will take place when all Senators have resumed their positions."
All the free-floating platforms head back to their bays in the Senate chamber walls. On the Naboo platform, Padmé's voice emerges from somewhere under Dormé's dress.
Padmé's voice: "Did we just agree to something?"
Dormé (dreamy): "I don't know... do that thing again..."
Padmé's voice: "Which, this?"
Dormé (breathless): "Mmmm... I meant the other thing..."
Padmé's voice: "Oh, you mean this".
Dormé falls over backwards, but happily.
Palpatine's office. Anakin is standing in a corner, trying on various black robes for size. Palpatine enters.
Palpatine: "Excellent. Now the Grand Army is mine, and soon-"
Anakin: "Does my arse look good in this?"
Palpatine sighs in exasperation.
Palpatine: "Be quiet. I must contact the leaders of the Separatists to set in motion the next step of my plan."
Anakin: "Aren't the Separatists the bad guys?"
Palpatine (speaking slowly): "I control the Separatists and the Republic. I am engineering the war in order to seize control of the galaxy. I explained this to you earlier."
Anakin: "Yeah, but I kinda zoned out. So, okay, about the Separatists, then... are there any cute women with them?"
Palpatine starts to answer, then thinks better of it and ignores him. He activates a holographic comlink to the Neimoidian Viceroy Nute Gunray.
Gunray: "Who are you? You look like the Sith Lord who betrayed us after the battle of Naboo-"
Palpatine: "Yes, I get that a lot. My name is, um... Count Doofu. Count Dooku was my brother, I'll be taking over command of the Separatists now. I'm sending all the required command codes."
Palpatine fiddles with the comlink to confirm his identity.
Gunray: "Very well, Count Doofu, I see your authorisation codes are proper. But where is Count Dooku? We have been hearing rumours that he has been killed!"
Palpatine: "No, of course not. He's simply, um, just, er, gone out to lunch. He'll be back soon. Yes, he's very big on lunch. I think he skipped breakfast, so he'll be extra hungry. Could be busy for weeks."
Gunray: "I see. What are your orders then?"
Palpatine (aside): "You people are so stupid. (aloud) I want you to concentrate all your forces on Ord Ibanna. The clone armies of the Republic are weak there, and you will have no trouble defending it."
Gunray: "But surely the Jedi will attack us?"
Palpatine beckons Anakin forward, into the range of the holographic camera.
Palpatine: "This is my apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. He will take care of the Jedi."
Gunray: "That sounds familiar..."
Palpatine (doing JMT hand motion): "You will obey."
Gunray (zombie): "I will obey."
The hologram vanishes. Palpatine turns to Anakin.
Anakin: "Are there any chicks on Ord Ibanna?"
Palpatine: "I think before you go we should work on this problem of yours..."
A Republic gunship leaves Coruscant and enters hyperspace. Padmé and Dormé are in the passenger section, playing holographic chess. Obi-Wan enters from the command section.
Obi-Wan: "Well, we're on our way. So how did you get rid of Anakin?"
Padmé (offhand): "I told him I was pregnant."
Obi-Wan is a bit surprised.
Obi-Wan: "You mean he knows about us?"
Padmé: "I didn't tell him who I was pregnant to. He thinks it was him."
Obi-Wan (relaxing): "Oh, right. You know, it's funny. For the last ten years I've been taking care of Anakin, teaching him, preparing him to go out on his own in the galaxy. Watching him screw up, having to go through the training about five times before he gets it right, putting up with the temper tantrums... it's been like all the worst bits of fatherhood. It'll be nice to raise a child who's actually, you know... not an annoying little prick from day one."
Padmé (concentrating on the chess): "Uh-huh."
Obi-Wan: "What about you?"
Padmé: "Oh, I'm not too fussed. Naboo women don't generally have much of a mothering instinct, we leave it to the men."
Padmé: "Yep. I mean, yes, children are good and all that, but so long as they're taken care of, it's all the same to me. I honestly never liked them much. Even when I was one. Why do you think I joined the political branch when I was eight?"
Obi-Wan: "I hadn't thought of that. Makes sense, I suppose. But what about, you know... you and me?"
Padmé: "Don't get me wrong, it's been great, but I'm just not the find-a-guy, get-married, settle-down type."
Obi-Wan: "Yeah, I figured."
Padmé: "You're not upset?"
Obi-Wan looks a bit mournful, then shrugs it off.
Obi-Wan: "Nah, not really. Besides, much more of you and I'd be dead of exhaustion."
Padmé and Dormé share a smirk.
Jedi Masters Yoda and Ki-Adi-Mundi enter Palpatine's office.
Palpatine: "Welcome, honoured Jedi. I have received disturbing information from Governor Tarkin. His informants report that the Separatist armies are converging on Ord Ibanna. If his information is correct, the garrison of clone troopers there will be overwhelmed immediately."
Yoda looks menacing.
Yoda: "If that happens, names we will take."
Ki-Adi-Mundi: "The Separatists took Bespin five days ago. If they capture Ord Ibanna as well, they will control the two greatest production facilities of Tibanna gas in the galaxy."
Palpatine: "Yes, I share your concern. Without Ord Ibanna, we will be unable to manufacture blasters, anti-gravs and hyperdrives in large quantities. Already the Separatists have the resources of the Trade Federation and the Commerce Guild behind them, if they deliver such a critical blow to our industrial capacity-"
Yoda: "Commerce Guild! Their name now will be added to list as well."
Ki-Adi-Mundi (ignoring Yoda): "How close is the nearest division of clone troopers?"
Palpatine: "Aside from the Ord Ibanna garrison, there are none within five parsecs."
Ki-Adi-Mundi: "If we mobilise all the Jedi currently in the Temple, we can be there in a day's time. I will make the necessary arrangements."
Yoda: "Yes. Ord Ibanna we will defend, then return to making list I shall."
Yoda and Ki-Adi-Mundi leave the office. Palpatine looks satisfied.
Palpatine: "Young Skywalker!"
Anakin emerges from a side door.
Palpatine: "The Jedi are on their way to Ord Ibanna."
Palpatine: "An overwhelming force of Trade Federation droids awaits them there."
Palpatine: "You shall lead the new regiments, the Stormtroopers."
Palpatine: "And what are you going to do to the Jedi?"
Palpatine: "Starts will 'kill'?"
Anakin: "Uh... kill them all?"
Palpatine: "That's it. Now remember (does JMT hand motion) you do not want to get laid. (another JMT hand motion) You are not obsessed with sex. (another JMT hand motion) You will concentrate fully on channelling the energy of the Sith. Got all that?"
Anakin has an unfamiliar look of determination in his eyes.
Anakin: "Yes master."
At Ord Ibanna, a gas giant planet with hundreds of immense Tibanna refineries floating in its upper atmosphere. Trade Federation battleships are docked at the refineries, and the platforms are swarming with battle droids, super-droids and Droidekas. In a single moment hundreds of Jedi ships come out of hyperspace right into the atmosphere, firing on the platforms as they swoop down. Transports land, and Jedi Knights charge out, deflecting laser bolts, slicing up droids, and just generally having a good old Jedi time. Master Yoda wanders around, talking to the heads of dismembered droids.
Yoda: "See, like being on list you do not, I think. Being on list bad for you, yes."
Ki-Adi-Mundi runs past.
Ki-Adi-Mundi: "Are you going to help or what?"
Yoda: "Help I have. List of names I brought. Now all on list are being destroyed."
Ki-Adi-Mundi: "Would you shut up about that stupid list?"
Yoda (grim): "Piss me off not, or on list you will go."
Obi-Wan's ship arrives at Kamino, and lands on one of the platforms on the Kaminoan capital city, in the middle of a raging ocean. Obi-Wan, Padmé and Dormé disembark, wearing long, heavy cloaks against the rain.
Padmé (yelling above the storm): "Why don't they have a weather control system?"
Obi-Wan (also yelling): "I think they just do it to piss off visitors!"
Inside the city, some time later, Padmé is resting on a scanner bed. Obi-Wan comes over, holding a data pad, after talking to a Kaminoan doctor.
Obi-Wan: "Well, there's good news and there's bad news."
Obi-Wan: "Firstly, you're going to have twins, a boy and a girl. It's just that they did a genetic profile on the embryos, and ran a few comparisons..."
Padmé: "Go on."
Obi-Wan: "Well, there's this Jedi ritual when a Knight takes a Padawan, they get some of the Master's midichlorians and some of the Padawan's midichlorians, and inject them into each other-"
Padmé: "Skip the midichlorian crap, would you? It's stupid."
Obi-Wan: "True... anyway, there's some degree of genetic transference, and it looks like my DNA has got some of Anakin's in it as well, and from that-"
Padmé: "What are you saying?"
Obi-Wan: "The boy is about ninety percent a clone of Anakin."
Padmé (panicking): "Ah! Get it out of me!"
Obi-Wan: "It's okay, he might turn out all right. In a way, I feel that this is the way things should be. I will take the child, and watch over him as I did Anakin. But I will be older and wiser, and he will overcome the flaws he will be born with, the whining, the sleaziness, the gullibility..."
Padmé: "Fine for you to say, you don't have to carry him!"
Padmé: "Well now I'm glad I don't have a mothering instinct. What about the other one? The girl?"
Obi-Wan: "She's almost normal, only a tiny bit of Anakin, mostly you and me. She'll be strong in the Force as well, of course. But I think it best that we keep her a secret for now. Anakin knows you're going to have a child, but he doesn't expect two. I sense a growing darkness in his heart, along with the usual colossal ineptitude. If he turns to the dark side of the Force he will be dangerous. After a fashion. Accidentally dangerous, at any rate. I could try to protect both children from him, but I sense it would be better to hide them completely."
Dormé: "Actually, Bail Organa was saying just the other day he wanted to adopt a child."
Obi-Wan: "Well, there you go. The Kaminoans have prepared a profile of the children based on their genetic patterns. This is the girl."
Obi-Wan holds out the datapad, and a hologram of Princess Leia appears.
Padmé: "Yep, she'd fit right in on Alderaan."
Obi-Wan: "And this is the boy."
Leia vanishes, and is replaced by Luke.
Dormé: "And that screams farm-boy. Are you sure he won't turn out whiny?"
Obi-Wan: "I'll do my best. Perhaps you are right, Tatooine might be a good place for him. Anakin won't think to look there, it's the last place he'd believe we would hide the boy. And not knowing about the girl, she'll be safe with Organa, hidden in plain view so to speak."
Dormé's comlink beeps.
Dormé: "Incoming transmission for you, Obi-Wan."
Obi-Wan: "From Master Yoda? I wonder what he wants."
Yoda's voice (from comlink): "Master Yoda this is, to all Jedi. Slight problem we have on Ord Ibanna (there is an explosion in the background) and some assistance (someone screams) we would value, if not too busy you are."
Obi-Wan: "What's happening?"
Yoda's voice: "Slight difficulty we are experiencing, but once I have updated list, peace will be restored-"
Ki-Adi-Mundi's voice (also from comlink): "Give me that! Obi-Wan, get here immediately, we need every Jedi Knight we can find! Our clone trooper reinforcements have attacked us, and we're caught between them! And that Padawan of yours is leading the attackers, he's slaughtering us!"
Yoda's voice: "Anakin's name on list I am putting! Hee-hehehe!"
Obi-Wan switches off the comlink.
Obi-Wan: "I'm starting to think Sebulba had the right idea all along. Come on, let's go!"
Obi-Wan, Padmé and Dormé run out of the medical bay towards their ship.
At Ord Ibanna, on one of the great bridges spanning the gaps between refinery platforms, Anakin is leading a regiment of Stormtroopers, slowly forcing the Jedi to retreat. Though the Jedi are deflecting their blaster bolts, the Stormtroopers are pushing them back by sheer weight of numbers. Anakin is out in front, duelling the Jedi one by one as they are cut off from their comrades in the retreat. He fights like a master, swiftly killing each opponent, or Force-pushing them off the bridge, where they tumble down towards the gas giant's fiery core. On other bridges the Jedi are holding out better, but outnumbered thousands to one, they are slowly losing the battle.
On Obi-Wan's ship, he is preparing for battle.
Obi-Wan: "I knew it. The moment I saw the little brat, I knew we should have left him alone. But no, master Qui-Gon has to be the bloody hero. If he'd listened to me for a change, we'd have just waited until that stupid Toydarian left his shop to go watch a race or something, stolen the hyperdrive unit, and been halfway to Coruscant before anyone even knew we were there."
He continues to grumble as he adjusts his robes and checks his lightsaber. Dormé goes over to Padmé, who is looking morose.
Dormé: "What's the matter?"
Padmé: "All this... death and destruction. Maybe it would have all been averted if I'd just slept with Anakin to begin with."
Dormé: "You don't know that. Perhaps if you'd slept with him, he'd have turned to the dark side anyway. And all this would have happened anyway, except you'd have had sex with Anakin."
Padmé briefly visualises this course of events. [Insert Lucas's 'Episode III' here].
Padmé: "That's disgusting."
Dormé: "Besides, the Republic was founded by people who believed in principles. Peace, nobility, justice. And if the Republic asks you to sacrifice your principles to serve the greater good, then it's lost its heart. For what is the greater good? Merely the good in the hearts of us all, and if we give up that good, we harm all of us equally. The best way - the only way - to truly serve the greater good is to live your life by your principles, never giving them up, no matter the cost. And in all the galaxy, there can be no greater principle, no higher duty, than ensuring than Anakin Skywalker doesn't get laid."
Padmé smiles at this wisdom.
Padmé: "You're right."
Dormé: "Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got an idea about how to deal with these Stormtroopers."
On Ord Ibanna, the situation is desperate. The Jedi have been pushed back into a defensive ring on the main refinery platform, surrounded by clone troopers and Stormtroopers. Blaster bolts fly everywhere, cutting down troopers and Jedi indiscriminately. Through it all Anakin strides, defeating all opposition.
Obi-Wan's ship drops out of the sky, and Obi-Wan and Padmé jump out as it hits the ground. Obi-Wan is armed with his trusty lightsaber, Padmé with a pair of heavy-duty pulse cannons. They join the defence, which is being forced in around the ship.
Yoda: "Good to see you it is, Master Obi-Wan. Nice day it is."
Obi-Wan (to Padmé): "I think Yoda's finally lost it!"
Padmé catches a glimpse of Anakin, cutting a trail of destruction through the few remaining Jedi.
Padmé: "What happened to Anakin?!"
Ki-Adi-Mundi appears beside her.
Ki-Adi-Mundi: "He is channelling the dark side! The Sith Lord must have found some way to suppress his massive sexual frustration, and allow him to concentrate."
Obi-Wan: "Where's Dormé?"
Padmé: "She's preparing something!"
Ki-Adi-Mundi dies to a laser bolt to the head. Eeth Koth jumps in front of Yoda to intercept a blast, and is killed. One by one the Jedi Masters fall. The fighting dies down, as only Yoda, Obi-Wan and Padmé are left, their backs pressed to the hull of Obi-Wan's ship, surrounded by hundreds of Stormtroopers and clone troopers. Anakin steps forward from their ranks and points his lightsaber at the Jedi.
Anakin: "Your powers are weak. Surrender."
Yoda: "Already on list are you! Make things worse for yourself you should not!"
Anakin nods menacingly, and raises his lightsaber.
Anakin (to troopers): "Open fire on my signal."
A laser blast hits Anakin in his mechanical hand, knocking him to the ground. Everyone looks up to the top of Obi-Wan's ship, where Jango Fett is standing, holding a laser carbine blaster.
Fett: "Clone troopers! Obey me! You must kill the Stormtroopers!"
The clone troopers instantly turn and attack the Stormtroopers, and a huge battle breaks out. Jango Fett rockets down into the middle of the melee, blasting Stormtroopers left and right. Anakin stands and charges towards Obi-Wan, who Force-jumps on top of his ship to avoid the swinging lightsaber.
Anakin: "There is no escape for you!"
Anakin follows Obi-Wan, and they begin duelling on the top of the ship. Padmé opens fire on Anakin with both pulse cannons, but Anakin deflects the shots with lightning speed. Padmé jumps into the ship to avoid the returning bolts. Yoda scrambles on board, muttering to himself.
Yoda: "No respect these people have for my list. Home we must go."
Anakin and Obi-Wan stumble as the ship lifts off and swerves erratically out over the edge of the platform. Anakin regains his footing first and pushes Obi-Wan back to the edge of the ship's hull.
Anakin: "Now I will destroy you!"
Padmé: "Hey, Annie!"
Anakin turns, to see Padmé standing on top of the hull, wearing a skimpy push-up bodice, a leather mini-skirt and thigh-length lace-up boots. Anakin's jaw drops open. In Anakin-world, rational thought has left the building. Padmé calmly raises a blaster and shoots Anakin's hand off. Obi-Wan catches his lightsaber, and grabs him by the collar.
Obi-Wan: "Now, let's go over who's the Master, and who's the learner!"
Obi-Wan punches Anakin in the face a few times.
Obi-Wan: "I (punch) have had (punch) enough (punch) of you!"
Padmé (becoming bored): "Obi-Wan!"
Obi-Wan: "Oh, alright."
Obi-Wan does a Force push that throws Anakin off the ship. They watch as he spirals down into the fiery clouds below.
Padmé: "Thank god for that."
Obi-Wan: "He's had that coming for ten years. Come on, I don't trust Yoda's flying."
Obi-Wan and Padmé drop back through the ship's hatch and wrest the controls away from Yoda, who is hitting random buttons and giggling uncontrollably. Obi-Wan steers the ship back to the platform, where the Stormtroopers and clone troopers have nearly wiped each other out. As they watch, the last Stormtrooper hurls the last clone trooper off the platform, only to be shot in the back by Jango Fett. The ship lands and its passengers disembark.
Padmé: "Nice work."
Jango Fett removes her helmet - it's Dormé.
Dormé: "I told you it'd work - clones are pretty thick, after all. Hey Obi-Wan, did you get him?"
Obi-Wan: "Got him. Although, I've got a bad feeling..."
Unseen by them, a Stormtrooper dropship lifts out of the fiery clouds many miles below. Trailing on the end of its grappling hook is Anakin, burned and twisted. The Stormtrooper crew haul his body inside the ship, which flies away.
In orbit, Obi-Wan's ship leaves the planet behind and enters hyperspace. Inside Padmé and Dormé are playing chess again. Yoda is tied up in a corner talking to himself.
Dormé: "I guess we'll have to find somewhere safe for Yoda. Then on to Tatooine to drop Obi-Wan off, he'll explain it all to the Lars family. Then Alderaan, to let Bail Organa know what's going on."
Padmé: "Then what?"
Dormé: "Well... I picked up a lightsaber back there."
She raises the weapon, adjusts it to low power, and activates the blade. Padmé smirks.