ANNOUNCER: Star Wars – The Phantom Menace. Based on the screenplay by George Lucas. Chapter Eight. “The Politics of Betrayal.”
Music: Opening Theme.
NARRATOR: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there came a time of crisis, when a powerful Republic was attacked by enemies from within. Manipulating the divided Galactic Senate and the greedy Trade Federation, the enigmatic Darth Sidious has conquered the peaceful world of Naboo and is carrying out a genocidal massacre of the planet’s populace. Running for her life, Naboo’s ruler, Queen Amidala, is en route to the Republic’s capitol world of Coruscant, where she prays she will be able to convince the Senate to send help. At the same time, the newly freed Anakin Skywalker faces an uncertain reception at the Jedi Temple, where it is hoped he will begin training to become a Jedi Knight. And he is only just starting to learn the full extent of the difficulties facing him…
SCENE 8-1 INTERIOR NABOO SPACECRAFT – MAIN AREA
Sound: Ambient spacecraft noises. Jar-Jar clumsily imitates the marching of the battle droids.
JAR-JAR: (fading in) …so da maccanek sez “Wogerwoger! Shootin’ da Jedi and da Gungan!” And Obi-One and Quiggon startsa waving deysa lightsticks around, making maccaneks fall apart, so da Queen and my could get into da ship! And datsa how we left Naboo.
ANAKIN: (laughs) That’s a great story, Jar-Jar. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for the orbital battle.
JAR-JAR: Ohh, yousa miss nuttin. It wasa lotsa shakin’ and boomin’, and my berry skeered, and messin’ up da droid, and den Artoo save da day by fixin’ da ship.
ARTOO: WHISTLES NOT-SO-MODESTLY.
ANAKIN: I wonder what Mom would think of all this. I wish she was here…
JAR-JAR: Mesa sorry yousa had to leave her.
ANAKIN: I’m sorry too. (beat) So you think the Senate will be able to help your world, Jar-Jar?
JAR-JAR: My no know. My never met da Senate. My tink da Queen no has, eder.
Sound: A door opens. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan walk in.
QUI-GON: (coming up) How are you all doing?
JAR-JAR: Wesa all okeyday. My been tellin’ Ani about da trubbles on Naboo.
OBI-WAN: Well, you needn’t worry about that now, Anakin. When we land, you’ll be going to the Jedi Temple for testing, while the Queen and her group continues on to the Senate. With any luck, she’ll persuade them to help her.
ANAKIN: How long will the testing take?
QUI-GON: Not long. A few hours. Me and Obi-Wan will have some other things to take care of first, though, so you will have to wait a while.
ANAKIN: If I’m accepted, will I start training immediately?
OBI-WAN: Yes. You’ll be in training round the clock, since you have so much to catch up on. Not just the ways of the Force, but basic education. Can you read or write?
ANAKIN: Yeah. And I’m pretty good with numbers, too. My mom’s taught me everything she knows. And I’m very good at technical stuff.
QUI-GON: That’s good. But you’ll also need grounding in galactic history, advanced mathematics, planetary cultures. We’ll have time to work out a curriculum once the testing is complete.
OBI-WAN: It’s getting late. You’ll need plenty of rest for what you’ll be facing tomorrow. Has anyone worked out sleeping arrangements yet?
JAR-JAR: My can sleep here in dis chair. Disn cozy.
ANAKIN: Does this ship even have bedrooms?
QUI-GON: The Queen’s chambers, and crew quarters on the lower deck. But all the crew will be sleeping there. Me and Obi-Wan will be in sleeping bags in the forward hold.
ANAKIN: If you’ve got a spare sleeping bag, I can sleep out here in the main hold.
OBI-WAN: I’ll ask Captain Panaka for one. Oh -- Qui-Gon, can you look at something in the forward hold with me? I think the thrust relays are acting up.
QUI-GON: (beat) Sure, I’ll have a look. If you’ll excuse us?
ANAKIN: See you later.
Sound: Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan walk out of the room. Transition to forward hold.
SCENE 8-2 INTERIOR NABOO SPACECRAFT – FORWARD HOLD
Sound: Same ambient spacecraft noises. The door closes and seals.
QUI-GON: Let me guess. This is about Anakin?
OBI-WAN: I admit being able to win a Podrace is a considerable feat. He does seem to be very bright and kind. And he does seem to have some strength in the Force --
OBI-WAN: -- but the Jedi Code is crystal clear on matters like this. He is at least four years too old to be accepted for training. I can tell he’s already missing his mother. I don’t see what you hope to accomplish by having him tested.
QUI-GON: Possibly more than even I could hope, Obi-Wan.
OBI-WAN: What’s that supposed to mean?
QUI-GON: The Force brought me to Anakin…and him to me. He has a very special destiny ahead of him.
OBI-WAN: If it’s enough to have you paying attention to the Unifying Force, it must be special indeed. Care to let me in on it, Master?
QUI-GON: (beat) Tell me, Obi-Wan. When you think about the galaxy, what do you see?
OBI-WAN: You’re avoiding the question.
QUI-GON: Humor me here, please. Honestly. What do you think of our galaxy?
OBI-WAN: (thoughtful) A massive Republic, that spans nearly three-fourths of the galaxy. A stable galactic civilization that has lasted for twenty-five thousand years –
QUI-GON: Stable? Then how can you explain a galactic debt of around ten quadrillion dataries as of last year? How do you explain the increasing problem with pirates on the intergalactic trade routes? What of the rising cost of living, or the growing hate movements against non-humanoids?
OBI-WAN: Master, there are always problems in any society –
QUI-GON: Not like this. The last time the galactic economy was in the red was almost ten thousand years ago. Ten thousand. That’s the number of Jedi that exist in our galaxy today. Ten thousand, when we numbered a hundred thousand as recently as four centuries ago.
OBI-WAN: Master, what’s come over you?
QUI-GON: I’ve had…no. I want to say I’ve had a vision, but…the image has been in front of me all my life. And I’m just now starting to recognize the patterns.
OBI-WAN: You’re confusing me…
QUI-GON: Over the last century, graft, bribery, and scandal have risen sharply in the Senate. The debt has quadrupled over the last thirty years. The Republic military is little more than a ceremonial token force – we had much more trouble in the Stark Hyperspace War a decade ago than we should have had. Everywhere I look, I see the institutions that everyone else takes for granted breaking down…decaying right in front of my eyes. And now a black-clad warrior with a lightsaber comes out of nowhere and nearly kills me.
OBI-WAN: You’re saying it’s all connected? That this warrior is at the root of it all?
QUI-GON: No. That warrior, even if he’s the kind of person I think he might be, is just a symptom of an even larger problem. Have you tried looking into the future lately? To immerse yourself in the Unifying Force?
OBI-WAN: Not lately, no.
QUI-GON: I did, this morning. The future is murky and clouded, Obi-Wan. And darkness waited on the horizon, blocking the events of the far future from my sight. And what little I could see was conflict, tragedy, bloodshed. Everything in the galaxy, Obi-Wan – everything – was out of balance. The Force itself was losing its’ balance!
OBI-WAN: Wait a minute. You’re not talking about – th-that boy?!? He could –
QUI-GON: Yes. (whisper) Yes. I think… he could be the one.
OBI-WAN: (long beat) Master…I don’t know what to say. I love and respect you as I would a father, but…have you gone mad?!?
QUI-GON: Possibly. But if so, the Force shares the same madness.
OBI-WAN: The prophecy. You actually think that boy has something to do with the prophecy. That’s…ludicrous!
QUI-GON: Is it? You analyzed his midichlorian count yourself.
OBI-WAN: The results could have been false. I was working with a computer on a battle-damaged ship!
QUI-GON: And his mother? She claims no man sired her child.
OBI-WAN: I find that very hard to believe. She must have been raped years ago, and was so traumatized that she blocked the memory from her mind. That, or she simply lied to you.
QUI-GON: She didn’t.
OBI-WAN: You’re going to be humiliated if you bring this up to the Council. Getting them to accept the boy will be hard enough as it is. Mention the prophecy and they’ll likely reject the boy sight unseen.
QUI-GON: They know me to be impulsive, but not completely reckless. They know I would not make this claim unless I was certain I was right. They will give Anakin a fair hearing.
OBI-WAN: But the Code –
QUI-GON: The Code is merely a set of rules. And rules are –
OBI-WAN: -- made to be broken?
QUI-GON: (beat) No. But neither are they to be followed blindly.
OBI-WAN: (beat) Who would train him if he were accepted? Ki-Adi-Mundi? He’s the only Jedi on the Council who hasn’t taken an apprentice yet.
QUI-GON: We shall see when the time comes.
OBI-WAN: He’d have to receive basic training by Master Yoda before they could even consider assigning him a master. I doubt Yoda would accept a student this old – he prefers training the very young…
QUI-GON: One thing at a time, Obi-Wan. One thing at a time. I suggest we pull out our sleeping bags – we need our rest too.
Sound: Fade out.
SCENE 8-2a ANAKIN’S DREAM
Sound: The dream sounds from Chapter 1.
DARK MAN: (echoing) The journey has begun, Anakin. The journey to me.
ANAKIN: (echoing) Why do you still bother me?? I’m free now!
DARK MAN: (echoing) No you’re not. You’ve simply switched masters. And your mother is now all alone on Tatooine, and you can’t help her…
ANAKIN: (echoing) SHUT UP!!! SHUT UP!!!
SCENE 8-3 INTERIOR NABOO SPACECRAFT - MAIN AREA - NIGHT
ANAKIN: (SNAPS AWAKE, GASPING. HE GULPS AND SLOWS HIS BREATH DOWN.)
Sound: Ambient spacecraft noises – but toned down, to indicate nighttime. Jar-Jar snores and gibbers quietly to himself in a squeaking chair. A door opens, and some soft footsteps come up. Some buttons are pressed, and a holographic image buzzes into life.
BIBBLE: (on the holographic recording) Your Highness, the situation here is out of control…they’re working the people like animals... they say they’ll cut off all food supplies until you return...the death toll is catastrophic...They know your ship is damaged, and they want you to return to Naboo and surrender, or they’ll start executing our people – thousands every hour! We must bow to their wishes, Your Highness...Please tell us what to do! If you can hear me, Your Highness, you must contact me...
Sound: The holographic image derezzes out of existence.
PADME: (softly sobs)
ANAKIN: (quietly) Padme, I’m so sorry…
PADME: (surprised, voice shaking) Anakin?
ANAKIN: I watched that thing earlier. I wish I’d been there. I wish I were already a Jedi. I could have helped save your Queen and your people.
PADME: There were two Jedi there, and there was little they could do. (sniffs) It’s so unfair…
ANAKIN: (shivering) You think the Senate’ll help?
PADME: Gods, I hope so. If they don’t…I…I can’t think about that. Not without going mad. Why are you still up?
ANAKIN: I couldn’t sleep.
PADME: This has all been so much for you, hasn’t it? From a slave boy to a podrace champion to a Jedi candidate all in one day.
ANAKIN: Could be worse. I could be the Queen.
PADME: (sniffs again, chuckles) No, you couldn’t. You wouldn’t look as good in a dress.
ANAKIN: (chuckles, teeth chatters)
PADME: You all right?
ANAKIN: It's very cold. Must be the life support or something…I’ve been cold since I left Tatooine.
Sound: Padme walks over.
PADME: Here. Put this blanket over you. This’ll warm you up.
PADME: You come from a very warm planet, Ani. A little too warm for my taste. To me, cold is comfortable. (beat) When you think about it, space is cold. Cold and unforgiving.
ANAKIN: You seem sad.
PADME: That’s the understatement of the year. (chuckles, then serious) I’m worried, Ani. The Queen is worried. Her people are suffering, dying. She must convince the Senate to intervene, or...I'm not sure what’ll happen.
ANAKIN: I'm...I'm not sure what's going to happen to me either. I dunno if I'll ever see you again.
PADME: You might. Anything’s possible.
Sound: He gives something to Padme.
ANAKIN: I made this for you. So you'd remember me.
PADME: A necklace? With a… pendant. Carved?
ANAKIN: Mm-hmm. Made it this morning out in the back of my house, where you found me. I carved it out of a japor snippet. It’ll bring you good fortune.
PADME: I’ve already got a necklace – my father gave it to me when I moved to Theed.
ANAKIN: You don’t like it, huh?
PADME: No, no, I love it! It's beautiful, but I don't need this to remember you by. How could I forget my future husband? (giggles, then more serious) Many things will change when we reach the capitol, Ani. My caring for you will remain.
ANAKIN: (about to cry) I care for you too. Only I...I…
PADME: ...miss your mother.
ANAKIN: (voice shaking) yes.
Sound: Padme hugs him.
PADME: (softly) You were very brave to leave her, Ani. But your life is moving forward now. When we go forward, we miss the things we leave behind. That’s what makes our hearts so full.
ANAKIN: I’m gonna miss you too…
PADME: And I’ll miss you…
Sound: Music up for transition into Coruscant Theme.
SCENE 8-4 INTERIOR NABOO SPACECRAFT – COCKPIT – MORNING
Sound: The ambient sounds are back up to normal volume. The hyperdrive pitches down as the ship decelerates.
TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: (a little ticked) Does next week sound good enough for you? I’ve got my hands full dealing with Senate delegates, to say nothing of civilian traffic. Cool your heels and wait your turn, over.
QUI-GON: May I? (into the speaker) Traffic Control, this is Qui-Gon Jinn of the Jedi Order, requesting security clearance Alpha-Blue-Zeta-392534-G4. Over.
PANAKA: What did that do?
QUI-GON: You’ll see.
TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: (sudden barely-controlled panic) Stand by, switching to channel 834…
VALORUM: (beat) Master Jinn? Qui-Gon, is that you?
QUI-GON: Greetings, Chancellor Valorum.
VALORUM: Thank the Force you’re still alive! I was starting to fear the worst! What is your status?
QUI-GON: I am aboard a royal escort containing Queen Amidala. I need a landing platform as close to the Senate Chamber as possible.
VALORUM: You can use Platform 732, in Sector 4J. I’ll contact Senator Palpatine at once, and we’ll both meet you there.
QUI-GON: That shall do nicely, Chancellor. Thank you.
TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: Transmitting landing coordinates now, Zenda’s Dream. You are cleared for landing. Welcome to Coruscant.
Sound: The speakers go off.
RIC OLIE: Beginning final approach. Entering atmosphere…
PANAKA: (moving off) I’ll inform the Queen we’re landing…
Sound: As Panaka leaves, Anakin runs up.
ANAKIN: Wow!! That’s Coruscant??
QUI-GON: Yes, it is.
ANAKIN: It’s so bright…like a giant diamond in space.
QUI-GON: It’s home to over a trillion people. It has skyscrapers over ten miles high, extending just as many miles underground. Floating skyhooks – space stations connected to the planet below by tethers. Astrologically, this planet is very close to the center of the galaxy. For all intents and purposes…it is.
ANAKIN: So many little lights…it’s dazzling…
QUI-GON: I’ll leave you and Ric to the view. I’m going to check with the Queen.
Sound: The door opens and closes as he leaves.
SCENE 8-4a INTERIOR NABOO SPACECRAFT – COCKPIT
Sound: Brief transition in time but not in location. Several small ships can be heard buzzing around the Naboo spacecraft now.
ANAKIN: (awestruck) It’s so beautiful…
RIC OLIE: Coruscant. No other planet in the galaxy comes close, not Corellia, not Kuat…not even Alderaan or Chandrila. The capitol of the Republic...the entire planet is one big city.
ANAKIN: The whole planet?
RIC OLIE: Uh-huh. They call it “Galactic City.” A nice place to visit, but I sure wouldn’t want to live there. Barely enough room to swing a nuna. Hang on…here’s where it gets interesting…
Sound: Several small ships zoom VERY CLOSELY around the royal starship.
RIC OLIE: (chuckles) Sorry – didn’t mean to scare you. The skies of Coruscant are choked with air vehicles, of all shapes and sizes. They all follow programmed traffic lanes. I’m trying to avoid the heavier ones.
ANAKIN: What’s that huge domed building over there? Looks kind of like a big bowl.
RIC OLIE: That’s the Senate Chamber. Over two kilometers in diameter. Well over a thousand Republic representatives work there, running the government. That pyramid-like shape off in the horizon, with the five spires – that’s the Jedi Temple. That’s where I guess you’ll be going.
ANAKIN: This is making me dizzy. All these buildings, all these ships – I can’t even see the ground.
RIC OLIE: I’m not even sure there is a ground anymore.
RIC OLIE: You’ll get used to it. There we go – Landing Platform 732. There’s Chancellor Valorum’s shuttle. And look over there…Senator Palpatine is waiting for us.
ANAKIN: That’s the old guy in blue? Red balding hair?
RIC OLIE: Yep. Chancellor Valorum’s the silver-haired one in black. The Senate Guards are the blue-robed ones with helmets and staffs.
ANAKIN: I kinda guessed that.
RIC OLIE: Sorry – it’s not often I get to play tour guide. Anyway, head on in the back – we’re coming in for a landing…
Sound: The door opens and closes as Anakin runs out. The engines roar, crest, and die down as the ship lands with an audible thump. Gas hisses out of the sides.
SCENE 8-5 EXTERIOR CORUSCANT - SENATE LANDING PLATFORM - DAY
Sound: The hum of the passing-by airships are much louder now and provide a continual buzz around the landing platform. Several footsteps descend down the spacecraft’s ramp under the next lines of dialogue.