Star Wars: Episode III - Page Four





Star Wars Episode III

The Path of Darkness

page 4

 

EXT CORUSCANT - IMPERIAL PALACE - CONTINUING

The Imperial Palace casts a long shadow over the surrounding cityscape.

Anakin climbs out of a taxi onto a floating transit platform. He looks around, certain he is being followed.

Aurra Sing steps out of a transport bus a short distance away. The crowds separate she and Anakin, but she keeps a close watch on him.

Anakin descends a staircase and crosses a tunnel tube to the entryway.

INT CORUSCANT - IMPERIAL PALACE - ENTRYWAY - CONTINUING

Stormtroopers stand guard every few meters. Brightly dressed dignitaries cross the elegant floor. In stark contrast to outside, no alien banners hang inside.

Aurra Sing follows Anakin.

STORMTROOPER

Identification.

ANAKIN

I'm here to see the Emperor.

STORMTROOPER

I'll need to verify your identification.

Anakin hands a card to the Stormtrooper. Aurra Sing stands just in earshot of the conversation.

Anakin's identification clears. Two red cloaked Imperial Guards exit a turbolift.

STORMTROOPER

They will escort you to the Emperor's Throne Room.

Anakin follows the Imperial Guards into the turbolift. Aurra Sing watches events unfold, her keen eyes missing nothing. She fades into a group of tourists and exits.

CUT TO:

INT CORUSCANT - IMPERIAL PALACE - EMPEROR'S THRONE ROOM - CONTINUING

Anakin steps off the turbolift. The Imperial Guards take their posts to either side of the doors.

Palpatine sits atop his throne, his dark hood covering his face.

PALPATINE

Enter, Anakin Skywalker.

Anakin approaches the throne.

ANAKIN

I was told you had a holocron.

PALPATINE

A holocron is not a thing to be taken lightly. Are you prepared to unlock its secrets?

ANAKIN

I am ready.

Palpatine leads Anakin down a corridor and into a darkened room.

INT IMPERIAL PALACE - HOLOCRON ROOM - CONTINUING

The Jedi HOLOCRON sits atop a small pedestal. The Holocron itself is a pyramid shaped object, easily held in the palm of one's hand.

PALPATINE

The knowledge of the ages is contained in here.

ANAKIN

That's what I want to know.

PALPATINE

If you view this, you can never go back.

ANAKIN

Go back to what? The Jedi keep me in the dark. I want nothing to do with the Council.

Palpatine lowers his hood for the first time this meeting. His face is aged beyond his years.

PALPATINE

These secrets change a man.

ANAKIN

How?

PALPATINE

With great power comes the responsibility to use that power.

For the first time, Anakin realizes that Palpatine is force powerful.

ANAKIN

(awestruck)

The force is with you. Does the Council know?

PALPATINE

The Jedi Council is too caught up in their petty squabbles to realize anything outside its own walls. There is much that you have to learn, young Skywalker.

Anakin approaches the Holocron. He holds out his hand. The holocron activates itself, sensing the presence of the force.

A spectral being, cloaked in black, NIGUS ELE'AGAR, rises up from within the holocron.

NIGUS ELE'AGAR

Greetings, Jedi. I am Nigus Ele'Agar, master of this holocron. What do you wish to learn?

ANAKIN

Everything.

NIGUS ELE'AGAR

At the beginning of the Galactic Republic, the Guardians of Peace, as they were then called, had grown stagnant in their ways. One man challenged their traditions, seeking the guidance of the living force. This man was Vader Keskar.

Palpatine looks on; a slow smile spreads across his face.

CUT TO:

INT JEDI TEMPLE - TRAINING ARENA - NIGHT

Obi Wan Kenobi stands in front of a group of Padawans. They stand in seried ranks. A few of them wear armor under their robes.

OBI WAN KENOBI

You have trained well these past months. There is a need for you on the battlefront now.

Mace Windu, Yoda, and Vin Tiro enter. Obi Wan turns and acknowledges their presence.

OBI WAN KENOBI

Master Vin Tiro will lead you into battle. Every one of you is a jedi. Some of you are knights, others are still apprentices, but you are all Jedi.

Master Yoda steps forward.

YODA

Gone are the days of peace. Only you will bring them back. But beware the dark side. Many it will seduce. Many it will destroy.

Yoda looks up at Mace Windu. An expression of cold determination seems chiseled into his features.

MACE WINDU

The Force will guide you. Remember, "There is no emotion, there is peace; there is no ignorance, there is knowledge; there is no passion, there is serenity; there is no death, there is the force." May the force be with you all.

Vin Tiro steps forward to address his troops.

VIN TIRO

We leave in one hour for Alderaan. We will meet up with another troop there. Pay any last respects you need; we will not be back until this war is over.

CUT TO:

INT CORUSCANT - SKYWALKER RESIDENCE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Amidala, now nine months pregnant, gazes out the window. Rab and Shmi watch her carefully, for her time draws near.

Amidala rests her hand on her swollen belly. She smiles.

AMIDALA

He's kicking.

Shmi places her hand on Amidala's belly. She smiles proudly.

SHMI SKYWALKER

He is strong, just like his father.

Amidala bites her lip, holding back tears.

SHMI SKYWALKER

I'm sorry, Amidala. I miss him terribly.

AMIDALA

I want him to see the birth of his children.

RABE

I could go find him.

AMIDALA

I don't know where he is. He doesn't tell anyone.

The door in the main room opens. Anakin strides in. His once bright face is clouded in a perpetual frown.

AMIDALA

You're home. I missed you.

ANAKIN

I always come back.

AMIDALA

Obi Wan is taking a group to Alderaan. I thought that you might have gone with him.

ANAKIN

I have other things to take care of.

Anakin places a hand on Amidala's belly.

ANAKIN

The force is strong with this one. I do not feel the other.

SHMI SKYWALKER

Maybe you will have twin sons. That would make you happy, wouldn't it?

Anakin pauses before responding. After what seems an eternity, he answers.

ANAKIN

Yes.

SHMI SKYWALKER

Annie, we've missed you. All of us. Especially Amidala. She needs you right now, more than ever. Please stay here.

ANAKIN

I have business elsewhere.

AMIDALA

What could be more important than the birth of your children?

ANAKIN

That boy will change the galaxy. I have forseen it.

AMIDALA

How can he, if he doesn't know his father?

ANAKIN

I will train him as a Jedi. He will be powerful.

Amidala unconsciously steps backward. She holds her belly protectively.

AMIDALA

I don't know if that is a good idea.

Anakin softens.

ANAKIN

Of course it is. But nothing will happen until they are of age. I wouldn't think of doing anything against your will.

Anakin takes Amidala in his arms.

ANAKIN

You're my angel. As beautiful as the rings of Viego.

Anakin kisses her on the forehead. She sinks into his embrace.

Rab looks questioningly over to Shmi. Shmi doesn't return the gaze, just bites her lip.

CUT TO:

INT IMPERIAL PALACE - HOLOCRON ROOM - MIDNIGHT

Scenes of the early jedi knights play out in the air above Anakin.

Palpatine enters.

PALPATINE

Ah, my young apprentice. You are here late.

ANAKIN

This man, Vader Keskar, he changed the galaxy. He shaped the Jedi Order into what it is today.

PALPATINE

Vader was a visionary. He saw how things should be. He defied the very principles upon which the galaxy rested. But he instituted change. Some followed. Most resisted.

ANAKIN

In other words, things are the same now as they were then.

PALPATINE

The Republic has fallen seventeen times in its history. Each time, it has risen up from the ashes, stronger than before. This Empire that we have established is the strongest we have ever been.

ANAKIN

But there are still some that oppose you.

Palpatine sighs wearily.

PALPATINE

Yes. In their blindness, they cannot see what I am trying to accomplish. Under human direction, this Empire will reign for a thousand years. That is where all the other monarchies failed. They tried to incorporate everyone.

ANAKIN

Like Nigus Ele'Agar taught, "Conquer or be conquered."

Palpatine smiles at Anakin's grasp of the concept.

PALPATINE

That is what they cannot see. Peace only brings war. It is only by bringing our enemies into submission that we can coexist peacefully with them.

Anakin shuts off the holocron.

ANAKIN

The Jedi Council can't see that.

PALPATINE

They promote their ancient code. It blinds them to reality. "There is no ignorance ..." bah. They only stay in power by keeping you in ignorance.

Anakin takes everything in, believing everything Palpatine is saying. It hits him on all levels, ringing as truth in his ears.

PALPATINE

Perhaps it is time for a change.

ANAKIN

What do you mean?

PALPATINE

I foresee a time when you and your son rule the galaxy together. The Jedi Council will not let that happen. They want you to fight for them. They want you to die under the pretense of peace. Then they can corrupt another generation of Jedi Knights.

ANAKIN

I won't let that happen.

CUT TO:

INT CORUSCANT - SKYWALKER RESIDENCE - BEDROOM - DAWN

Amidala tosses and turns restlessly on her bed. Anakin enters quietly. He puts out a gently hand and calms her.

ANAKIN

It's all right. I'm here now. Everything is going to be better now.

INT IMPERIAL PALACE - HOLOCRON ROOM - DAWN

Palpatine sits in meditation. Darthine Jez enters.

DARTHINE JEZ

So, have you corrupted him yet?

The cowl casts a shadow over Palpatine's eyes. Only his mouth moves as he speaks. He makes no movement to indicate that he recognizes Darthine Jez' presence.

PALPATINE

Skywalker will bring balance.

DARTHINE JEZ

That doesn't answer my question.

PALPATINE

He is my apprentice.

DARTHINE JEZ

So teach him. Make him kill the Jedi.

PALPATINE

Patience, my servant. You will get your chance soon enough.

DARTHINE JEZ

How much longer do I have to kiss up to him? He's too devoted to that Amidala tramp.

Darthine Jez idly fingers her Chakram.

PALPATINE

When the son of Skywalker is born, she will be of no use to us.

CUT TO:

INT CORUSCANT - SKYWALKER RESIDENCE - BEDROOM - MORNING

Anakin packs a satchel full of clothing. Amidala sits on the bed, quite forlorn.

AMIDALA

I don't want you to leave me.

ANAKIN

This is for the good of our children.

AMIDALA

How can it be good if you're not with me?

ANAKIN

Our very freedom is threatened. If I don't go, our children may not ever know the truth.

AMIDALA

And what is the truth?

ANAKIN

We are a chosen family. I am chosen. You are chosen. The children ... We deserve the right to rule.

AMIDALA

Anakin, you're frightening me.

ANAKIN

Don't you see? I am the Chosen One. My children will rule the galaxy. And I will teach them.

Amidala starts shaking uncontrollably.

ANAKIN

(continuing; nodding slowly)

Yes. It will be wonderful.

Anakin slings the satchel over his shoulder and exits.

ANAKIN

I'll be back soon.

The apartment door closes behind Anakin.

AMIDALA

(whispering)

I won't be here.

CUT TO:

EXT CORUSCANT - FLOATING HANGAR - DAY

Amidala wears a simple travelling gown. Rabe and Shmi accompany her.

Obi Wan Kenobi waits for them at the entry ramp of his ship.

OBI WAN KENOBI

This comes as a bit of a shock.

AMIDALA

I don't want my children born on Coruscant.

OBI WAN KENOBI

But to travel in your condition-

SHMI SKYWALKER

She'll be fine.

Shmi and Amidala enter the ship.

RABE

How quickly can we get to Alderaan?

OBI WAN KENOBI

Is there a problem?

Rabe pulls Obi Wan out of earshot.

RABE

The children could be born at any time.

(looking around worriedly)

I don't want Anakin to find us.

Obi Wan nods gravely.

OBI WAN KENOBI

I'll stay with you for as long as I can.

RABE

Thank you.

CUT TO:

EXT MALASCHU'CKAR - CLONING FACILITY - DAY

An Imperial Shuttle lands outside the main facility. Mandalore approaches the shuttle, accompanied by an honor guard.

Darthine Jez walks down the ramp. She is followed by Silmus Wombar.

MANDALORE

You have no business here, pretender.

Darthine manages a tight smile, but keeps her composure.

DARTHINE JEZ

You think you've really got Palpatine fooled, don't you?

MANDALORE

My place in the Empire is assured.

DARTHINE JEZ

Nothing is assured.

SILMUS WOMBAR

You have the clones?

MANDALORE

They were all sent to Botham Caruz, as ordered.

Silmus Wombar pushes past Mandalore and heads toward the entrance of the cloning facility.

SILMUS WOMBAR

Then what do you have in here?

MANDALORE

We manufacture weaponry.

SILMUS WOMBAR

A likely story.

MANDALORE

There is a security system.

SILMUS WOMBAR

I can get by anything.

A shot lances out of the entrance and knocks Silmus Wombar backwards. His right arm hangs limply, smoking.

MANDALORE

That was a warning.

Silmus Wombar whips out his lightsaber and glares at the entrance.

MANDALORE

(continuing; to Darthine Jez)

You jedi have no patience.

Silmus Wombar heads back to the entrance, lightsaber at the ready. He deflects two laser blasts. Silence. He inches over to the door. Nothing.

From above, Mandalore's SECOND drops down and ducks underneath the backhanded lightsaber slash. He snaps out two quick punches, staggering Silmus.

SILMUS WOMBAR

What are you?

SECOND calmly rips the lightsaber from Silmus Wombar's hand and plunges it through his chest, killing him.

MANDALORE

Killing a jedi with their own lightsaber. I believe that even your Emperor would be impressed.

Darthine Jez narrows her eyes and says nothing.

MANDALORE

Go back and report that all is as it should be. We only await the Jedi attack.

Darthine Jez turns and enters her shuttle. The shuttle lifts off and screams back into space.

CUT TO:

EXT BOTHAM CARUZ - NIGHT

Anakin's ship orbits the planet. It plunges toward the planet, dropping through the clouds at breakneck speed.

EXT BOTHAM CARUZ - GEOTHERMAL GENERATOR - CONTINUING

Anakin lands outside the huge generator. Massive pipes descend into the planet's core.

Anakin pulls a hovering platform from the ship. It is piled high with dark boxes of explosives. He enters the facility.

CUT TO:

EXT ALDERAAN - DAY

Warships orbit the planet, offering sure protection against the Imperial Starfleet.

Obi Wan's ship approaches the blockade.

OBI WAN KENOBI

Jedi Transport Obi Wan Kenobi escorting dignitaries to the Royal Palace.

Five fighters drop in around Obi Wan's ship.

INT OBI WAN'S SHIP - CONTINUING

FIGHTER

(on intercom)

Do not deviate from your flight path. You are cleared to land in docking bay three.

OBI WAN KENOBI

Affirmative. Docking bay three.

Obi Wan's ship drops toward the planet.

Amidala holds her belly. Her beautiful face is drawn in an expression of worry.

CUT TO:

INT ALDERAAN - ROYAL PALACE - CONTINUING

Alderaanian Royal Guards accompany the group to BAIL ORGANA. He greets them politely.

BAIL ORGANA

Master Kenobi. Lady Skywalker. Handmaids. I welcome you to Alderaan.

OBI WAN KENOBI

We have much to discuss. Is there a place where Amidala ... Amidala's handmaid, Padme can rest? Her time is soon at hand.

LADY ORGANA enters. She immediately takes Amidala by the hand.

LADY ORGANA

My lady, it has been far too long.

BAIL ORGANA

(narrowly)

My wife will take care of her.

SHMI SKYWALKER

Is there a midwife available?

LADY ORGANA

I will send for one. We just had another birth this morning.

Rab turns back and gives Obi Wan a small smile as she exits the room.

OBI WAN KENOBI

Any news on the Mandalorian Clones?

BAIL ORGANA

The rumors say they are massing on Botham Caruz.

OBI WAN KENOBI

Botham Caruz? There's nothing there.

BAIL ORGANA

Not since the Holocaust.

OBI WAN KENOBI

Why would they go there?

BAIL ORGANA

Come with me.

INT ALDERAAN - ROYAL PALACE - WAR ROOM - CONTINUING

Bail calls up a holographic projection of the galaxy. He zooms into the middle rim. The BOTHAM CARUZ system is highlighted in green.

BAIL ORGANA

We have been monitoring transmissions and troop movements for the last year. The Jedi have retaken these systems. But we have lost these ones. The only reason I can see to move theMandalorian Troops to Botham Caruz is to force a corridor into the inner rim.

OBI WAN KENOBI

They've already taken Kashyyyk. That could be the end of their corridor.

BAIL ORGANA

They do have Kashyyyk. But why aren't they doing anything with it? The Wookies are strong workers. The Mandalorians have done nothing with them.

OBI WAN KENOBI

But the Empire is.

BAIL ORGANA

Exactly. With Palpatine's pro-Human sentiments, the Empire is enslaving all the other races.

OBI WAN KENOBI

But it begs the question, why would the Empire allow the Clones to take Botham Caruz?

BAIL ORGANA

I wish I had an answer.

CUT TO:

 

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