All we Ask for Here is your Heart
A Movie with Heart: City of the Sun (1999)
From Animation Magazine, January 2000


Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio are writers with many a hit under their collective belts, including this Holiday Season’s hit Disney animated film City of the Sun, which released in movie theaters in November. And for any readers who haven’t yet seen it, be warned, as we will be discussing some critical plot points. Ahead thar be Spoilers. Ye have been warned.

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= City of the Sun (If you can believe it!)

AM: Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, welcome to Animation Magazine. You got your start in Disney Animation back in the early 1990s where you worked with the late Howard Ashman to draft a screenplay and storyboards for his hit Aladdin in 1991. And that feature served as the genesis of what would, after a twisting story of its own, morph into City of the Sun.

TE: Yes, it’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade since we first started writing with Howard. He will be missed.

TR: Definitely. We, as in Disney, and we, as in Ted and Terry, still have a Howard shaped hole in our lives. But he did encourage us to pursue an idea that we had for Sinbad the Sailor, kind of hoping to follow in the footsteps of Aladdin and The Thief and the Cobbler. A sort of Arabian Trilogy in all but name.

AM: But you hit a brick wall.

TR: Well, I wouldn’t say “brick wall”, more like a velvet rope that sent us in a different direction. You see, Disney at the time was expanding globally, not just in terms of parks but in terms of representation and expanding its international audience. And they had plans in place for China, India, Africa, Native America, and, well, Latin America! Roy urged us to work with Tom Schumacher, who was working with Glen Keane on “the Latin film” as they were calling it. They jokingly called us “the three Ts” or “Ted, Tom, and Terry”. Tom gave us a selection of “Aztec, Mayan, or Incan” and Glen liked the Mayans as the most “peaceful and life-affirming” of the cultures, in his opinion.

AM: We imagine the notoriety of the Aztecs would be hard to fit into the Disney canon in a non-awkward way.

TE: (laughs) Ya’ think? And honestly, the Inca and Mayans weren’t pure as fallen snow. Nobody is, but anyway, we met with Glen and he liked our ideas for Sinbad, which we were reframing through the ancient Greek story of Damon and Pythias, and he said “Great! Mayan legend is full of stories of hero-brothers!”

TR: And the more that we dug into Mayan history and legend, the more we realized that the Aztecs and Mayans didn’t live in a vacuum. While not nearly as bloodthirsty as the Aztecs, the Mayans had some bloody legends and a history of human sacrifice themselves, though plenty of noble attributes to focus on. It seemed like the whole life-death, light-darkness, sun-moon duality of Mayan legend would work well, and we soon took the Damon and Pythias legend and reframed it onto a Mayan myth of The Legend of Chechen and Chacah.

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Artistic representation of Chechen and Chacah (Image source Chichenitza.com)

AM: And what is that legend?

TR: Well, it’s a time-honored near-universal story of two brothers, named Tizic and Kinich in this case, with opposite personalities, who both fall in love with the same woman, Nicté Há in this case, leading to tragedy. In the end, they fight for her love and kill each other, but beg the gods for the chance to still look upon Nicté Há even after death, so they are transformed by the gods into the poisonous Chechen tree whose sap burns the skin in savage Tizic’s case, and into the healing Chacah tree that can heal the injuries from the Chechen sap, in noble Kinich’s case.

TE: It’s a legend to explain why these two very real trees, one toxic and one helpful, are always found together. And while the legend-as-is would make a good short – and indeed Pete Docter made a CG short for us that told the true legend – for the feature we, of course, reframed it around Damon and Pythias. In some ways it was perfect. You had the hot-headed, plotting Tizic as the Pythias in the relationship, the noble Kinich as the Damon, and Nicté Há as the third point of a love triangle to add an additional twist.

AM: But then production got all mixed up and the “three Ts” were suddenly no more.

TR: Yea. (laughs) Glen got promoted by Jim and Roy into the Presidency of Feature Animation job that Tom, who’d been maneuvering his way up through the ranks since he came to animation from theater, had been coveting! Tom instead became the President of the Disney Theatrical Division. Another animation exec out for that job, David Stainton, rage-quit and got an executive job at DiC working for Katzenberg, just in time to produce the strangely-familiar-looking The City of Gold, we might add.

AM: And by extension Glen was now out of direction and active production and into executive production.

TE: Needless to say! We had to find a new director and producer. Mark Dindal had been doing animation effects work since the days of The Fox and the Hound and had recently been directing a lot of TV episodes and was looking for the chance to direct a feature. We asked Terrell Little, who did Kindred Spirits, but he was already in pre-production on Aida, so he suggested Kathy Zielinski over at the Skeleton Crew, and she was happy to co-direct and Tim, once he saw the storyboards for the villainess Xtabay and her Death God allies, signed on to co-produce, making it yet another Skeleton Crew collaboration and helping to justify the death imagery in the public mind.

TR: Kathy was the more experienced director at this point and look lead and Mark partnered with her as co-director. The animation would experiment stylistically, with hints of Mayan art.

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Xtabay Concept Art (Image source “animatedviews.com”)

TE: Kathy went crazy for Xtabay, the villainous High Priestess, who pretends to be a servant of noble Kukulkan, the feathered serpent, who rejects human sacrifice, but she really serves Cizin, the skull-faced death god. Originally, Xtabay had been this vain and bitter character who blamed the sun for her lost youth and thus wanted to wipe out the sun, assuming it would somehow return her youth, though Kathy and Mark gave the character to the great Carole Holliday, and she in turn reframed her a bit as a victim of prejudice, judged by her beauty and driven to extremism, adding nuance to the character that we hadn’t really envisioned, but it did make her a little more than just a scenery chewing villain of the Cruella mold.

TR: Though chew the scenery she most gloriously did!

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Cizin, lord of the Underworld (seems like a nice fellow…)

AM: Xtabay was voiced by the great Gloria Estefan, of course.

TE: Of course! Hell, she inhabited the character! She borrowed heavily from Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, leading us to slip in a joke about her being “ready for [her] close-up”. She also made Xtabay surprisingly sexy, particularly in her idealized Astral form, and Kathy and Mark had to actually tone her down in some takes! Gloria later complemented me on Xtabay, saying how much she could relate to her, and I (laughs) I had to steer her to Carole!

AM: The name Xtabay also appears, indirectly, in 1990’s Musicana, where the South America sequence has Yma Sumac’s “Voice of the Xtabay” as the central music.

TE: Yea, random coincidence. No real connection to the legend in that animation. No deliberate links [between the two features] intended. We took the name from the Mayan legend of “La Xtabay”, who is this beautiful supernatural spirit who lures men into the forest and to their deaths. Kind of the ultimate femme fatale vamp kind of gal.

AM: And for Cizin and the other Death Gods, you had Patrick Warburton, who’d also just starred in Bug Life, as Cizin along with his minions Hun-Came or “One-Death”, voiced by Harvey Firestein, and Vucub-Came or “Seven-Death”, voiced by Helena Bonham Carter as his assistants. They’re all very much Living Skeleton types, though with the scary softened by having them tend to have their bones fall apart in comedic ways or get stolen by dogs and the like.

TR: Yea, Kathy and Tim have a scary reputation, but they know how much scary their young audiences can take and don’t push things too far into traumatic.

TE: I’d originally wanted Tony Jay or Christopher Lee or someone with a deep, scary bass voice, but I have to admit, Patrick Warburton really can push the menace right to the edge of “oh [bleep]” but then almost immediately, and hilariously undermine the menace through some sort of “dumb jock” action. Sort of old-school-Skeletor in that regard.

TR: Helena too. Scary cackling witch one minute, funny cockney street girl the next.

AM: But the villains are just the start, the background menace trying to muck up the plans for all as part of the big plot to eat the sun and bring eternal darkness. No big deal. The central story is, of course, the tale of the brothers and the King’s daughter.

TR: Yea, so, as stated, we take the Damon and Pythias story and adapt it. Tizic, voiced by Antonio Banderas, and Kinich, voiced by Andy Garcia, are warrior-brothers from the city of Tikal. Tizic is this cocky, short-tempered, hot-blooded man who is a bit of a rogue and a scoundrel, while his brother Kinich is this centered, focused, honorable warrior-hero. Upon visiting the rival city of Chichen Itza and defeating the hoard of Ahuizotl monsters for its King Canek (Ricardo Montalban, of course), Tizic sees and falls in love with the King’s daughter Nicté Há, voiced by Salma Hayek. This, of course, offends her father, who though he thanks the brothers for besting the monsters, he does not trust the shady and argumentative Tizic. Instead, he sees the noble and honorable Kinich as the perfect husband for his daughter, and works to arrange that.

AM: The animation here was of particular interest to us. The Ahuizotl, who are these demon dog things with hands on their tails, look very much hand-drawn, but they really move like CG, particularly in the way that they behave as a group. I know that neither of you is an animator, but do you have any insight into the process?

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Concept Art of the fearsome Ahuizotl (Image actually by Caio Sales on “artstation.net”)

TR: Well, yes, not animators, but I did peek in on the project and while the art is quote “hand drawn” unquote it’s really all built in the AVE virtual engines that they used. So they have ways of taking digital wireframes and, as Mike put it, “projecting” 2-D from the 3-D behind it, so that they can blend the 2- and 3-D together. When done right, it’s awesome, but Mike did show me how it could slip into bizarre and distorted very easily, so it required a bit of editing in post. In the end, much of it was just hand-sketched into the computer 2-D through light pens and stencil pads. Carole actually places paper onto the stencil and draws right over it, so you get a hard and soft copy of the sketch.

AM: Collectors will be happy to hear about that. And now also seems a good time to mention the music.

TE: Yes, the great Selena and her brother A. B. Quintanilla. They spent a lot of time studying traditional Mayan music and then reframing it through a Tejano lens, so we had this sort of “Mayan Tejano Opera” aspect using traditional instruments in modern ways. They recorded both English and Spanish language versions and even some Yucatec Maya versions of some songs.

AM: And great songs they are! “City of the Sun” as the overture and introduction to the setting. “Brothers of the Heart” for when the odd couple of Tizic and Kinich defeat and chase off the Ahuizotl monsters, which gives us a good idea of the two brothers’ close but somewhat dysfunctional relationship. “One Look/Una Mirada” for the scene where Tizic falls for Nicté and Nicté falls for Kinich, marking a bit of a three-way “I Want”—four-way if you include Canek’s ironic response when he sees Tizic checking out his daughter. And of course, the crowd-pleasing “Gotta Make a Sacrifice” when Xtabay begins her plot.

TR: Yes, that last song is of course from where Xtabay bends the King’s ear and suggests that Tizic plans are not just to take his daughter, but to take his crown! King Canek is honorable, but his dislike for Tizic blinds him to the machinations of his High Priestess, who is of course conspiring with Cizin the Death God to eat the sun and restore her youth and seize Earthly power “under the eternal moon”. Cizin has used his dark magic to bring a drought to the lands, and Xtabay now convinces King Canek that only though a blood sacrifice to Kukulkan can the rains return, and that the dangerous usurper Tizic would be “exactly the right sacrifice”.

AM: And needless to say, since the noble Kukulkan does not accept human sacrifice. the sacrifice will in reality be to Cizin, giving him the strength to escape the underworld and eat the sun.

TE: Yes, but Cizin warns her, in verse, that Tizic, being of “dark and selfish heart”, is not sufficient. He needs a sacrifice that is “pure of heart” to reach his full power. So even as Canek has Tizic arrested and prepared for sacrifice, Xtabay sings lines directly to Tizic, relating the “pain and blood” of the sacrifice and starts to egg at his internal fears, which she can sense. And that’s where the fast-talking Tizic asks King Canek for a chance to return to his home city of Tikal to set his affairs in order, per Pythias, with his own lyrics for “Gotta Make a Sacrifice”. The honorable King Canek. of course. doesn’t trust Tizic, but then Kinich offers to stay behind as a hostage, which impresses Nichté, who appears to be falling for Kinich, as her father had hoped. Xtabay, realizing that the pure and noble Kinich would be exactly the right sacrifice, makes clear that if Tizic does not return by the next Full Moon, that Kinich is to be executed in his stead! She and Cizin are thus set to win if Kinich is sacrificed over Tizic, and thus she calls upon Cizin to ensure that Tizic never returns.

TR: And Cizin’s minions Hun-Came and Vucub-Came, are sent, communicating with Xtabay and Cizin through the astral plane, to disrupt Tizic’s journey. Xtabay’s astral form even serves as a looming menace in the background even as she can’t physically affect things.

TE: And tellingly, while Xtabay in the real world is an old woman, in the astral plane she’s a young, beautiful seductress, giving you an idea of how she sees herself vs. how others see her.

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Xtabay in Life (L) vs. the Astral Plane (R) (Image sources “adnreasdeja.blogspot.com” and Noah Stevens on Pinterest)

AM: But Nichté shocks everyone by sneaking into Tizic’s entourage in disguise in order to ensure that he fulfils his pledge to return and accepts his sacrifice, as she now hopes to marry the brave and honorable Kinich!

TE: And we’re set up for the fun and games to begin!

TR: So the journey to Tikal ends up being constantly bombarded by One- and Seven-Death, who cause rockslides and bridge collapses and encourage attacks by bandits and the like, all with the intent of delaying or killing Tizic outright so that Kinich, the preferred sacrifice, is the one whose heart is cut out for Cizin. But the story is ultimately about Tizic and Nichté as they have an acrimonious relationship and belligerent romantic tension, expressed by the song “Stuck Together”. Nichté here serves as an expression of Tizic’s repressed conscience, there to remind him of his oath, while the invisible, disembodied astral form of Xtabay represents his selfishness and repressed fears. The waning moon, which was full when they left, serves as a visual countdown and a symbolic slip into darkness. And as the challenges unfold, physical, mental, and emotional, sometimes Tizic’s bravery saves the day, but as often as not his foolish bravery and refusal to take advice gets them into greater trouble that Nichté’s intelligence and resourcefulness gets them out of. Naturally, when they reach Tikal, Tizic is given his Big Test where he is presented with the golden opportunity to stay in Tikal, as the King there will shelter him, and thus break his oath to his brother.

AM: And the pivotal song “Heart of Honor”.

TE: Yes, this is our Midpoint, where Tizic is faced with the choice of the easy way out that gets him what he wants, or the hard way back in, that earns him what he needs, which is to rediscover his honor and decency. We even have the moon now a waning half-moon, symbolic of his place in the journey and of the counting clock before his brother is killed in his place.

TR: And naturally, being the great warrior and man of honor that he is…he takes up the King’s offer and loafs in a fancy hut surrounded by beautiful women, leaving his brother to die, and coming up with excuses, mostly to himself as the moon continues to wane, finally to a completely black New Moon, as Xtabay and the Deaths celebrate. And thus, Nichté has to physically drag him out, setting up a more argumentative and accusatory reprise of “Heart of Honor”, outright calling him a coward. He consults with the priestess Jaaja of Kukulkan, voiced by Rita Moreno, who admonishes his cowardice and also his foolishness, for Kukulkan does not demand human sacrifice, though she does note that he is now honor-bound to fulfil his promise to King Canek, even if it means his death. He has his solo moment in a second reprise of “Heart Honor” until he’s basically forced to confront his repressed internal fears and make the right choice, much to Xtabay’s chagrin, and begins the return journey to Chichen Itza and to face his fate.

AM: And this seems a good time to call out the animation of the Cities of Tikal and Chichen Itza, all clearly built up in 3-D then converted into working backgrounds with gorgeous parallax. We hear that they used models of the actual ruins to build these.

TR: So we hear, and with some anachronism as some of the temples we show weren’t built yet in the rough timeframe where we set the story. Anyway, the visual are great, and all of the bright colors and the movement…Ted and I spent a lot of detail in the screenplay describing the dynamic lives of the cities with their floods of people in contrast to the mostly empty ruins of today, and the animators really did a great job in making the cities feel busy, bustling, and alive.

AM: We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. But back to the return journey. What did you hope to say about how different the two voyages are?

TE: This return journey is a voyage of honor, not a voyage of deceitful cowardice. Whereas the journey from Tikal was full of darkness and sad-faced cargo bearers, this one is lively, supported by an entourage of Chichen Itza’s citizens, warriors, and musicians. The moon is now waxing, the light symbolically growing while continuing to serve as a countdown. And this united, honor-driven caravan is thus able to overcome anything that One and Seven Death throw at them, with their life-affirming powers overcoming the death-powers of the minions. So instead, Xtabay and Cizin are forced to use more direct measures and arrange an Army of the Dead to block the road back to Tikal. Looking upon the deathly army together, and finding that they’re starting to fall in love, as witnessed by a more romantic reprieve of “Stuck Together”, they hatch a plan to avoid the army, protect the lives of their retinue, and thus manage to outwit the skeletal warriors and slip back into the city of Tikal on the night of the Full Moon just as Kinich is lain across the sacrificial altar and Xtabay is about to plunge the obsidian dagger home. Tizic yells for her to stop and tells his brother that he’s “in his seat” and assumes the position, ready to make his sacrifice for his brother. Xtabay, suddenly noting that Tizic’s return means that he has gained a noble heart, realizes that she gets what she ultimately wants anyway, and raises the dagger ecstatically, but now King Canek stops her. He is so impressed with the honor displayed by Tizic, that he commutes the sacrifice.

AM: And this in turn causes Xtabay to scream in rage, allowing Cizin to temporarily manifest through her in an attempt to take over the city, the army of the dead now attacking Tikal, forcing the final climactic showdown between good and evil.

TR: Of course! The warriors in the entourage of Chichen Itza join the warriors of Tikal to fight the undead minions. Jaaja appears in Astral Form and notably looks exactly the same as she does in life, since she is at peace with herself, and inhabits Nichté, who manifests as Kukulkan the Feathered Serpent. Nichté-as-Kukulkan defeats Xtabay-as-Cizin’s earthly form in a fun Kaiju-inspired fight, since that was all the rage at the time, and then, returning to human form, eyes still glowing, she confronts and fights the depowered Xtabay while the Hero Brothers Tizic and Kinich join King Canek in defeating One- and Seven-Death and their various undead warriors.

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Concept Art (Image source “disney.fandom.com”)

AM: And naturally the heroes emerge victorious. The “Kaiju fight” notably relies heavily on CG models, but still uses a lot of ancient Mayan art influence.

TE: Yes, Kathy and Mark wanted to take full advantage there of the latest technologies, and did a great job of mixing the computer and hand-drawn stuff, even though almost all of the “hand-drawn” work is done in computers now with stencils and the like. Beyond my area of expertise, you’d need to ask them.

AM: But the story isn’t over, even as Nichté slaps Xtabay to the ground and the angry hands of the dead pull Xtabay to hell with them.

TR: Oh no, it isn’t over until the Love Triangle is resolved! Kinich and Tizic now both love Nichté, who thought that she loved Kinich, but has grown instead to love Tizic. But she feels honor-bound to marry Kinich anyway, though he, being a man of honor, integrity, and insight, sees that her heart belongs to his brother, and thus releases her from her oath so that she may marry Tizic in an act of brotherly love and sacrifice.

AM: And that’s where the story went a bit off the rails for you, Terry.

TR: (sighs) Yea, a bit. I wanted to have Kinich give up Nichté, who loved them both equally, as the ultimate brotherly sacrifice, but Kathy felt that was “robbing Nichté of her agency” and making her into a “prize”. She instead had it where Nichté loves Tizic alone, and Kinich realizes this and thus tells her that he wants her to follow her heart. I still think it robs the narrative of the central brotherly love story, but Kathy, of course, vehemently disagrees[1]. (laughs)

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Traditional Mayan Wedding (Image source “alessandrobanchelli.wordpress.com”)

AM: Either way, Tizic and Nichté are married in a ceremony reportedly copied from known Yucatec wedding ceremonies and the chorus sings the reprieve of “City of the Sun” and happily ever after.

TR: The animators actually travelled to the Yucatan to witness real Mayan ceremonies, weddings included.

AM: And we hear there are some regional differences in the productions.

TE: Well, mostly in the various Mayan language dubs, where they change the names of the three protagonists. I guess consultants suggested that the Mayans themselves would react negatively to seeing the story of Chechen and Chacah changed, so they selected three common names in whatever Mayan language they were dubbing. China objected to some horror elements, though since it was classified as a “Mythic Romance” there was more leeway than in a film with a modern setting.

AM: Either way, critics are mostly positive and box office numbers are looking good, with the film already on the way to making back its $85 million budget. There’s already some awards-buzz, with Selena already being called out as a favorite for the Best Song Oscar. Perhaps a writing award?[2]

TR: (laughs) Don’t jinx us!

AM: Thank again to Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, the writers for City of the Sun, which is in theaters everywhere now.



[1] Rossio has expressed similar issues about a similar change made in Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. Others have pointed out what they see as unconscious bias or objectification of Marina as a “reward” for heroes rather than a character with depth and agency in the original draft.

[2] Will earn $368 million worldwide, with a solid turnout in Latin American countries but with notable competition from both Universal/DiC’s dualling The City of Gold and Columbia/Hanna-Barbera/Bluth’s The Velveteen Rabbit; a solid success but not a massive blockbuster by 1999 standards. Will be nominated for but lose the Best Animated Feature Oscar to The Velveteen Rabbit. Selena and A. B. will win a Best Original Song Oscar for “Heart of Honor”. Ted and Terry will get a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, but lose to Into the Woods.
 
City of the Sun looks like the kind of Disney film I'd enjoy ITTL, but I really want to say how, depending on who you ask, Hanna-Barbera won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. That has some large implications.
 
I absolutely love these South American inspired films. It is really nice to see the setting and culture actually incorporated into the final product (I love the Emperor's New Groove, but it does completely waste its Andean setting outside of some glorious landscape shots).

I also find it amusing how many Disney Villains have been based on Death or Death gods. Tim Burton's influence runs deep!

@Geekhis Khan I do have a question about the best animated oscar for 1999. In the post about the Incredibles it said that that movie got the oscar, but this one said that The Velveteen Rabbit actually won. I guess I'm asking which one of those wins is canon?
 
City of the Sun looks like the kind of Disney film I'd enjoy ITTL, but I really want to say how, depending on who you ask, Hanna-Barbera won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. That has some large implications.
Yes, technically Bluth co-produced and partially animated by HB, but yes, that's a milestone achievement for a company typically associated with TV.

I absolutely love these South American inspired films. It is really nice to see the setting and culture actually incorporated into the final product (I love the Emperor's New Groove, but it does completely waste its Andean setting outside of some glorious landscape shots).
ENG was a fun "Fix film", basically a last-ditch effort to save a failing feature. On YouTube, in pieces, there's a documentary named The Sweatbox that shows the whole ugly crapshow behind the scenes.

I also find it amusing how many Disney Villains have been based on Death or Death gods. Tim Burton's influence runs deep!
Well, there's King Yan and now Cizin. And Death in Mort if you consider him a "villain" (I'd call him an "antagonist" as he's opposed to the eponymous protagonist, but has no overt evil goals and is in fact trying to save reality).

So two, three depending on if you define antagonists as villains.

Otherwise Poseidon (Hades was an extra), Pearl Feather (served an evil god, but not a death god), alt-Scar, Font le Roy (Death God Baron Samedi was a heroic supporter!), Ursula, alt-Jaffar, evil caretakers, von Teuffel (demon), Ant Drones, alt-Sid, ignorant Dentist, Rattigan, no real villain in Bamboo Princess or Where the Wild Things Are...who am I forgetting?

@Geekhis Khan I do have a question about the best animated oscar for 1999. In the post about the Incredibles it said that that movie got the oscar, but this one said that The Velveteen Rabbit actually won. I guess I'm asking which one of those wins is canon?
Oops, I did it Again. (cue Britney). Edited, thanks!

The answer is Velveteen Rabbit because of course it's effin Velveteen Rabbit. Who does the Academy choose, the fun, meaningful, original piece that explores family and society and duty and the concept of Heroes, or the hella depressing tearjerker based on a classic tear-jerking novel that's been traumatizing kids for generations? Seriously, all Bluth has to do is not screw it up.

I went back and forth several times, actually, as The Incredibles originally was supposed to release in a different year, but as the TL evolved it ended up in the same year.

Admittedly I might have gone too far on showcasing Katzenberg being a a-hole though, that it might have left that impression.
I know the feeling. I really don't want to portray Katzenberg as a flaming asshole all the time. I try to find the sympathetic angle and humanizing angle. But it's honestly hard not to have him come across as a dick simply by showcasing how he comes across IOTL. Admittedly sources may be biases, so assume sources are biased here too.
 
Send in the Clones
The Original Star Wars, Episode II Film Treatment
From ScriptLeaks.net by poster Jedi-Mauk101, May 4th, 2000


I DID IT AGAIN!! I got a leaked copy of one of George Lucas and Frank Darabont’s original Film Treatment for Episode II!!! Once again most of what we saw in the finished film last year is there. I added in some notes and threw in some concept art and screen shots to break up the wall of text again. So, once again, enjoy, and May the Fourth be With You!

The film begins with the traditional opening crawl:


EPISODE II

THE HIDDEN ARMY


WAR!!!

Emboldened by
the Senate’s weakness,
a CONFEDERACY OF INDEPENDENT
SYSTEMS has initiated open revolt against the Galactic Republic.

As the Senate debates how to respond to this crisis, the JEDI COUNCIL, spread thin
by the galactic conflict, struggles to organize small planetary armies into a cohesive fighting force.
Unbeknownst to the Senate, the Jedi also search for the SITH LORDS that they suspect are behind this insurrection.

As casualties mount, many have begun to discuss the once unthinkable: the resurrection of the long disbanded GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC......​


tl;dr Synopsis

After starting in battle in media res, and witnessing a pair of Jedi overwhelmed and killed by a swarm of hundreds of Battle Droids, we WIPE to the Galactic Senate, where Senator Mon Mothma (Bronaugh Gallagher) is recommending to rebuild the long-disbanded Grand Army of the Republic while Bail Organa (Adrian Dunbar) openly opposes this and Padmé Amidala (Aleksa Palladino) instead pushes for fighting the corruption and dysfunction that fuels the revolt. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) struggles to retain order.

Observing from the mezzanine, Yoda (Frank Oz), Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and Baron Cetu Thorpe (Ian McKellen) debate the merits of this, Yoda remembering the “great day” centuries ago when the Army was disbanded and Windu suggesting that Mothma may be right about resurrecting the army “as a temporary measure”, which shocks Thorpe.

It then WIPES to the Battle of Yoshiro, where Obi-Wan (Kenneth Branagh) and Anniken Skywalker (Zachary Ty Brian) are in fighters, helping to lead an assault by Mon Calamari Cruisers against Separatist Battleships led by the heavily cybernetic Admiral Kreeg (voice of Christopher Lee). They win the battle, though Kreeg’s Droid Factory Station escapes, despite Kreeg’s desire to fight, which is stopped when Sith Apprentice Mauk Shivtor (Benicio del Toro) forces him to retreat by choking him.

But Anniken’s recklessness, though highly effective, gains the admonishment of Obi-Wan, who warns him that the Jedi Council only barely supports his continued training. They retire to meditate, whereby Obi-Wan has a vision of a hidden army of Storm Troopers on an oceanic world while Anniken bursts in, having had a vision that Padmé was in danger.

WIPE TO the Republic Capital Planet of Had Abbadon, where Padmé, Moog (Nathan Lane), Ba-Ba (Howie Mandel), and R2D2 are digging through evidence of yearly hidden expenses arranged by the non-existent “Senator Sio Dias” that lead back to the planet Atha, which has been purged from the galactic registry. Obi-Wan and Anniken arrive, the latter suddenly tripping over himself with nerves upon seeing Padmé, though he’s still in a rush to search for whatever dangers to her that he sensed. While he searches her suite for dangers, Obi-Wan and Padmé relate their mutual discovery of Atha and vow to find out what is going on.

Anniken and Obi-Wan remain nearby that night to help protect her from the danger Anniken sensed. Eventually, a hover car arrives outside of her window and fires an automatic laser into her room. Anniken cuts through a wall to save Padmé while Obi-Wan fights off the hover car, which flies off into the night. Anniken jumps out the window after the retreating car and Obi-Wan, sighing again about his Padawan’s impulsivity, jumps out after him. Padmé wonders if they’re both insane.

Anniken falls and lands on the roof of a hover van with a family of aliens and commandeers it to chase the black hover car while Obi-Wan lands safely on the streets below, uses the Force to calm a local protest that is about to turn into a riot, and then calmly enters a bar, asking for juice and a bus schedule.

While Anniken catches up to and battles the fleeing assassins, causing tons of chaos and property damage, Obi-Wan, using the bus schedule and his intuition, leaps from hover bus to hover bus until he arrives at the black hover car just as Anniken is on the black car and battling the assassin. Anniken subdues the assassin while Obi-Wan lands the hover car, but the assassin commits suicide before they can get her to talk.

WIPE back to the Jedi Council, where the Masters are very upset with Obi-Wan and Anniken’s recklessness. After a debate on what to do with the reckless Padawan, Mace Windu recommends that Anniken be tested in the Bardo, which causes a stir. The Jedi Masters universally support the test, though Thorpe seems upset.

Afterwards, Obi-Wan explains to Anniken that in the Bardo he will be subjected to the Dark Side and face representations of his fears and attachments that manifest as “demons”, which he must completely ignore save for one such phantom, which will be the representation of a real physical threat. Only three Jedi have ever passed the Bardo out of 25 attempts over the centuries. Obi-Wan recommends that Anniken go to Master Windu for training, which Anniken, who believes that Windu “hates” him, is reluctant to do. But Obi-Wan mentions that Windu is one of the three Jedi to pass the Bardo.

The story then divides into three subplots. While Anniken trains with Mace Windu to pass the Bardo, in tests that are arcane and often painful, Obi-Wan travels with Yoda to the Green Moon of Sicemon for special meditative training and Padmé leads Moog, Ba-Ba, R2, and Guard Captain Pataka (Tupac Shakur) on a heist caper in the Republic Archives, dodging sentry drones to access an old star map that reveals the location of Atha.

Obi-Wan on the Green Moon is led through rituals, and discovers that his deep platonic love and attachment to Anniken and Padmé is the greatest threat to his life as a Jedi, since “Love is strong in the light side of the force. Beautiful, love is. Grand. Joyous. But to a Jedi, dangerous… Love endangered too easily to fear leads. Love lost too easily to anger leads. Love betrayed too easily to hatred leads. A Jedi must emotional love forego, only the eternal love of the Force may we have.” He calls it “Ironic” that Jedi, as servants of love, cannot have it themselves. He then sends Obi-Wan to a clearing where he meets the Force Ghost of Quigon Djyn (Katsuhiko Sasaki), who warns him to let go of his need to control Anniken’s future.

Anniken, meanwhile, struggles with Windu, who promises only difficulty, challenge, and pain, eventually failing an exercise because he senses that Padmé is in danger again. But Anniken soon gets a minor reprieve when Baron Thrope invites him to the elegant Thorpe Tower for a private dinner.

Padmé and her crew, meanwhile, are leaving with the stolen star map when they are discovered by the Sentry Driods and must fight to escape. Pataka is injured and they seem cut off and surrounded on a bridge and must use a grapple gun to escape encirclement.

In Thrope Tower, Anniken is warmly greeted by Baron Thorpe, who tells him about the duty of the strong to not only protect the weak, but guide and even lead them. Thorpe, ever charming, seems shocked by the descriptions of Windu’s “old fashioned” teachings, openly warning Anniken that Windu “fears” Anniken and wants him to fail, and instead promises to show Anniken more special force skills that will help him defeat the Bardo “in [his] own way”.

Padmé and team barely escape the Droids and the authorities and escape into the night.

WIPE TO the Bardo Ceremony, where Anniken is put through an odd hallucinatory journey where manifestations of his fears, angers, and attachments appear and assault him, from the abuse of his old Master Gunray Pabucan, to the death of his mother, to the assault and mocking of Mauk Shivtor. He ignores them and they vanish, one by one. But the phantom of Padmé offering her love is an attachment that he can’t let go of, so he instead uses the Force to pull the phantom into himself, his eyes glowing orange for a second. Finally, a phantom image of himself, full of rage, attacks. This time, Anniken draws his laser sword and fights back…

…and the Bardo suddenly ends and his laser sword is locked with Baron Thorpe’s. He has passed the Bardo! All celebrate, even Windu bowing respectfully, though something is bothering Yoda.

WIPE TO the next morning, where Obi-Wan and Anniken are reunited with Padmé and the Roona and R2 and all get on a spaceship to Atha to investigate what they all sense is critical to the larger war unfolding around them.

As they fly off, Yoda and Windu look on, noting that the Archives of all curious places were broken into the other night with only an old map accessed and Windu is suspicious of why Obi-Wan will not reveal where he is going.

At Atha, a stormy ocean world, Padmé (with R2) assumes a disguise as “Secretary Lotess” representing Senator Sio Dias (the name behind the secret Atha payments, who does not exist) and Obi-Wan and Anniken as her guards and representatives of the Council, who apparently approved the secret transactions to Atha. Moog and Ba-Ba sneak past and slip into the water on a mission of their own.

A Atha’ana alien named Malana’sa takes them on a tour of the facility, briefly introducing them to Atha Prime, the CEO of the Clone Works, who is a very old member of the Atha’ana. Padmé and the Jedi are shown the Clone Army (Cliff Curtis as the adults, Beulah Koale as the children) that has been grown and trained over the past ten years using the money from the secret payments. They are also introduced to the “template”, Mandalorian Warrior Kaliss Fett (Curtis), who has numerous facial tattoos and recognizes Obi-Wan from the Battle of Nima, though Obi-Wan feigns ignorance.

Meanwhile, Moog and Ba-Ba try to avoid various dangerous sea creatures as they hack into an undersea cable and attach a security repression device.

R2 gets a signal when the device is attached and alerts Padmé, who asks for an office to “compile her notes” and then has R2 plug into the Cloneworks computer, working with the security repression device that the Roona installed to hack and download the corporate records.

Meanwhile, Kaliss Fett is back in his room and has a hologram communications meeting with his sister Djanga (Rena Owen) and young nephew Boba (Jason Momoa) where they discuss the “upcoming mission on Ttaz”. He then contacts his “employer” Sio Dias to ask why he was not alerted to the arrival of the “inspectors”. Dias mentions that they were not sent by him.

R2, meanwhile has completed the data download and they are about to board their ship to leave when Kaliss confronts them, revealing them to be imposters. A fight ensues where cannons destroy their ship, so while Obi-Wan and Padmé battle Kaliss, Anniken, using the leftover cable from Kaliss’s entanglement cable and Ba-Ba’s cable gun, establishes a bridge over the waves to where a Mandalorian ship, presumably Kaliss’s, is on another platform.

After a death-defying fight and escape, Kaliss is eventually sent careening into the ocean when his rocket pack is damaged, and the team manage to steal the Mandalorian ship and escape while Kaliss pledges revenge.

On the ship they look through the data, unable to determine who in the government is behind the deal (it shows the face of “Senator Sio Dias”, but the picture is of an unrelated long-dead Senator). But they do discover the Jedi Master that supported the deal…

WIPE TO the Jedi Council, where Obi-Wan is trying to discretely discuss the issue. Yoda wants there to be a small, private meeting to discuss this “sensitive subject”, but Anniken blurts out that “It was Master Windu!” causing pandemonium. Accusations fly and a fight between Jedi seems imminent as two go to arrest Windu. It is only broken up by Yoda raising his arms and knocking back both sides. Windu surrenders, admitting the crime but remaining convinced that he did what he had to, having “foreseen” the needs for the army and knowing that the council would never approve.

As he is taken away under arrest, having given up his laser sword, Thorpe, impressed by his “grand Padawan”, officially knights Anniken into a full Jedi, surprising all and disturbing Yoda, who did not approve this.

Now with Windu exposed, Thorpe recommends that the council put their whole weight behind Senator Organa’s peace mission with the Separatists.

WIPE TO space, where Baron Thorpe’s elegant flagship now leads a Peace Fleet to the neutral desert planet of Ttaz, where Senator Organa is leading negotiations with the Separatists on behalf of the Republic. Obi-Wan has a “bad feeling” but Thorpe makes it clear that he has set up the security himself and that “nobody lands without my permission.”

Thorpe also tells Anniken, separately, that he (Thorpe) is the last of the ancient clan of Thorpe, and has named Anniken as his inheritor of his estate and legacy as “the grandson that I never had”.

Obi-Wan, meanwhile, has a tough moment with Padmé where he essentially tells her that, due to his Jedi status, he cannot remain emotionally close with her, and becomes much more formal around her. Essentially, he has rejected her friendship for fear that it will become a dangerous attachment. She is hurt by this, taking it personally, and left emotionally vulnerable since she felt very familiar with Obi-Wan and Anniken.

On the planet, in a great hall, the different sides come together to discuss peace and all seems to be going smoothly. Suddenly Mauk Shivtor’s ship arrives at Ttaz. Using an access code listed as “Senator Dias”, he is let through the force field. As he lands, he attacks and kills the guards and unleashes two Spider Droids to hack the defenses.

Sensing the danger, Obi-Wan and Anniken react and rush to the scene.

In space, a Mandalorian fleet appears out of hyperspace and attacks the Separatists, destroying several ships. Certain that the Republic betrayed them, Admiral Kreeg orders the attack of the Republic fleet while the Mandalorians fly on to the surface just as Mauk’s spider drones lower the force fields.

The two space fleets engage one another, Kreeg’s ship using a “Deathbringer Cannon” reminiscent of the Death Star’s cannon to destroy the Republic flagship (Thorpe’s). Both fleets deploy ground forces and a full-on battle has begun!

The Mandalorians join Mauk in slaughtering both sides even as Separatists and Republic delegates attack each other, both assuming that they were the ones betrayed.

The Jedi engage Mauk, but Anniken, filled with rage, rushes in and gets his left foot and right arm severed. Obi-Wan, pulling Anniken’s laser sword to himself and using both weapons, engages Mauk, anger now in Obi-Wan’s eyes too.

Injured, Anniken pulls himself over to where Padmé is, and uses his Force powers to help protect her. Sure that they may die, Anniken confesses his love to Padmé, and they kiss, her still vulnerable from Obi-Wan’s rejection of her friendship.

Just as it seems that the Separatists are getting the upper hand, a new fleet arrives: the Clone Army. It is led by Jedi Master Mace Windu. The new fleet shatters both the Separatists and the Mandalorian forces, with Kreeg escaping again. On the surface Windu kills Djanga Fett in front of her son Boba, who rather than die trying to avenge her, acknowledges to Windu that he gave her an honorable death and instead retreats to fight again.

In a rage, Obi-Wan overpowers Mauk and is about to kill him when the disembodied voice of Quigon stops him. Instead, he demands, and receives, Mauk’s surrender.

Windu and the Storm Troopers fully chase away the attackers and rescue Anniken and Padmé. When Anniken asks, incredulously, who freed Windu, Chancellor Palpatine shows up and says that he freed Windu and authorized the use of the Clone fleet, saying that Windu’s actions, though done the wrong way, have “saved the Republic.” Windu then leaves to help finish the fighting.

Palpatine then sees the captured Mauk and is shocked that they’d spare such a “beast”, noting (where the obviously angry Anniken can hear it) that he’ll “surely walk free” again and that they should “put the beast down.” Anniken, eyes filled with anger, raises his hand and Mauk starts to choke! Obi-Wan interrupts this with the force and Anniken apologizes as Mauk is led away.

“I didn’t know that Jedi could do that,” says and impressed Palpatine.

Time skips ahead. With the battle over, Obi-Wan is talking with Windu, with both wondering where Baron Thorpe went, assuming that he must have been captured or killed. After Windu leaves, Obi-Wan notes to himself with irony that Thorpe didn’t have the control over security that he thought that he did.

Suddenly he has a revelation and steals a speeder bike and heads off in a rush into the desert.

In some old ruins, Thorpe is revealed to be fine, kneeling and speaking to the hologram of Lord Sio Dias. He reveals to Dias the Death Star plans that he secured from a Separatist contact. “You have done well, my apprentice,” says Dias, adding to “send them to me” and the hologram vanishes. Thorpe places the plans in a small hovering drone, which flies off just as Obi-Wan arrives and confronts him.

After talking around the subject, Thorpe admits that, yes, he’s working with Sith Master Sidious Morg (the first time the name is formally mentioned) but that Sidious, like Yoda, is in his opinion a fool and that he plans to overthrow both and establish a new order in the style of the pre-Jedi/Sith Ancient Ones who commanded “the Whole Force”, trying to convince Obi-Wan to join him in this quest. But Obi-Wan notes that the Ancient Ones were dangerous tyrants and refuses.

They draw laser swords and fight, with Thorpe using both his normal blue sword and a shorter red Sith one as well in a formal Fencing like style that Obi-Wan is having trouble defending against. Obi-Wan is soon disarmed by the more experienced Thorpe, but before he can be run through, Thorpe senses that others have arrived, and flees in his small sail fighter into the sky.

Windu arrives with Storm Troopers and calls in fighters to attack the “traitorous” Thorpe.

Thorpe is evading the fighters and cannons, and calls over the Comms asking his “Master” Sidious to call off the assault, but his Master does not reply.

Thorpe’s ship is hit several times, engulfing Thorpe in flames, and he plummets as Obi-Wan watches.

There is a brief Montage set to the Force Theme of Thorpe’s ship plummeting, Anniken getting cybernetic limbs as Padmé holds his hand, the hand of Sidious Morg, on Ttaz, reaching out to receive the flying drone with the Death Star plans, and finally Anniken and Padmé looking out as Ttaz disappears into the distance, Obi-Wan arriving and handing the melted remains of Thorpe’s blue laser sword to a heartbroken Anniken.

It then cuts to Obi-Wan discussing Thorpe’s fate with Windu, who mentions that only molecules of the Jedi Master were found. “Thus always to betrayers,” says Windu.

Windu then enters into a meeting room with Palpatine and Clone Officers, the door closing behind them as the Imperial March plays.

Another Montage to the Imperial March of Clone fleets gathering, Chancellor Palpatine receiving a heroic Triumph down the streets of Had Abbadon on a chariot-like hover carriage amid marching Storm Troopers, and Windu leading Storm Troopers onto landing ships ready to engage the Separatists. Anniken is excited, but Yoda upset

“Begun this…Clone War has. May the Force be with this Galaxy.”

The music ends and it WIPES to a mausoleum, where Obi-Wan visits a sad Anniken, who is visiting his mother’s grave, looking at a recorded hologram of her. He and Obi-Wan exchange sentiments, with Anniken wondering what happened to his father, whom he never met. Anniken then declines an offer to join Obi-Wan for dinner, because he must get to Thorpe Tower, which he inherited per Thorpe’s will.

After he leaves, Obi-Wan has a moment of insight and calls up Moog, asking him to search the Jedi database for any Jedi deployed to Utapau, where Shmi lived and met Anniken’s father, during the Hutt Wars, but Moog reports that no Jedi participated at the time.

It then CUTS to Thorpe Tower where Anniken sits alone in the dark, looking at the charred remains of Thorpe’s laser sword, strong emotions in his eyes. A lone clarinet plays the notes of the Imperial March in minor key as the film IRISES to Credits.

Full Synopsis

Following the opening crawl, we PAN DOWN to a red planet and continue to PAN DOWN through the atmosphere to the rocky ground, where two Jedi fight a group of Battle Droids. The Jedi are making short work of the Droids, effortlessly cutting them down left and right. HELICOPTER PAN BACK to reveal a long train of dozens of destroyed droids behind the Jedi, but also revealing a HUGE SWARM of HUNDREDS OF DROIDS. The Droid swarm slowly surrounds and envelops the two lonely Jedi. CONTINUE PAN until the Jedi are only two small figures in an ocean of enemy Droids. Eventually, the lasers of the Droids overwhelm the Jedi, intersect, and the Jedi FALL DEAD, their laser swords extinguishing.

WIPE TO...

The Galactic Senate on Had Abbadon, where young Senator Mon Mothma (Bronagh Gallagher) of Chandrila announces the latest defeat of Republic forces and causes a shock by calling for the resurrection of the Grand Army of the Republic. Senator Bail Organa (Adrian Dunbar) of Alderaan openly opposes this, suggesting that peace talks and compromise are the only answer. Senator Padmé Amidala (Aleksa Palladino) of Nima-Roona wants to go after the root causes of the Separatist movement: corruption and dysfunction, and is fighting to get her reform program out of committee. Crosstalk ensues and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) calls for order.

Watching from the mezzanine, Jedi Masters Yoda (Frank Oz), Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson), and Baron Cetu Thorpe (Ian McKellen) look on. Yoda laments how “Three hundred fifty four years it has been since disbanded the Grand Army was. A glorious day that was. Peace throughout the galaxy.”

Thorpe promises Yoda that peace will come again.

Then Windu shocks them both by suggesting that perhaps Mothma is right about resurrecting the Republic Army “As a temporary measure until peace can be restored, of course.”

They then talk about the ongoing Battle of Yoshiro, where Sir Obi-Wan and his Padawan are fighting.

WIPE TO…

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(Image source StarWars.com)

The Battle of Yoshiro, where Obi-Wan Kenobi (Kenneth Branagh) and Anniken Skywalker (Zachary Ty Bryan) are in fighters, engaging swarms of Droid Fighters. Anniken is flying erratically, and Obi-Wan is admonishing him for this, but Anniken notes that the “Drone Fighters are programmed to expect formation flying. The secret to defeating them is confusing their preprogrammed expectations.” The disagreements go further as they strafe a Separatist Battleship to take out its defensive guns, opening up the way for Republic Torpedo Bombers, whose large rocket-like Torpedoes blast a hole in the Battleship, but don’t destroy it.

Anniken suggests that they fly into the breach and take it out themselves, but Obi-Wan refuses, ordering him to fall back. But Anniken then ignores Obi-Wan’s orders and flies into the breach, compelling Obi-Wan to follow. They fly though the crowded internal infrastructure, dodging walls and conduits, until they reach the Core of the Battleship. Anniken fires two blasts, destroying it. They then outrun the fireball and escape as the Battleship explodes.

A Mon Calamari Cruiser (cameo by a young Lieutenant Ackbar as helmsman) then flies into the breach in the Separatist battleline left by the destroyed Battleship and engages the adjacent Battleships on either side with its side guns, taking heavy damage, but destroying the Battleships and opening the breach further for other Mon Calamari Cruisers to enter. This collapses the Separatist lines and opens the way to the Droid Factory space station that is the primary target. But the seemingly defenseless factory reveals hidden guns (Ackbar: “It’s a…” Fadiyah: “I know what it is, Lieutenant!”) and engages the Republic fleet.

In the factory, the highly cybernetic Admiral Kreeg (voice of Christopher Lee), whose lower half has six mechanical legs like a spider and whose nose and mouth are submerged in a green liquid that creates creepy bubbling sounds when he speaks, is excited for the fight, but Mauk Shivtor (Benicio del Toro) emerges from the shadows, admonishing him to retreat through hyperspace as “my master has plans for this factory elsewhere.”

Kreeg starts to refuse, but then starts to choke as Mauk raises his hand, causing the liquid to bubble, and Kreeg finally relents. The Factory flees into hyperspace and Anniken, his blood up, wants to pursue, but Obi-Wan orders him to stand down. The Factory, with Kreeg and Mauk, escapes.

Obi-Wan and Anniken land back in the lead Cruiser, where Obi-Wan admonishes his excitable young Padawan for his recklessness and warns him that “Your passions will be your undoing. The Jedi Council only barely supports your continued training.” He urges his Padawan to “take the rest of this evening to meditate, release yourself from your passions, and turn yourself fully over to the Force.”

Anniken relents and agrees.

Obi-Wan himself takes time to meditate in his chambers. His thoughts flash before us as he does: Quigon’s smile and death, Padmé’s smile, Mauk Shivtor. The visions expand: Obi-Wan on a verdant mountaintop with Yoda, Anniken in torment and crossing laser swords with a smiling Baron Cetu Thorpe, an undersea glass corridor, a Mandalorian stepping through a door, a marching line of Storm Troopers.

He’s broken from his visions by Anniken, who rushes in. “We must get to Had Abbadon, immediately!”

“Yes,” replies Obi-Wan, “I saw it too. A hidden army.”

“Padmé’s in danger!”

WIPE TO…

Had Abbadon, where Padmé, Moog (Nathan Lane), Ba-Ba (Howie Mandel), and R2D2 are looking through some finance records on computers. They notice a yearly 3.5 million credit expense, always for something different (park restoration on Bespin, moisture farm subsidies on Tatooine, etc.), which Moog and Ba-Ba, using R2, ultimately trace through Chandrilian banks to the planet Atha, which does not exist according to the Galactic maps. A Senator Sio Dias, who also doesn’t exist, is the approving authority. The Jedi Council apparently approved the deal, which seems highly unlikely.

Obi-Wan and Anniken arrive, and Padmé is very happy to see them again. Anniken is smitten, seeing her again, and starts to babble, but then remembers why he’s here, announcing that she’s in danger, so he runs around the apartment looking for dangers as Padmé and Obi-Wan look on incredulously. Chaos ensues as Ba Ba rushes to help, causing breakage and fallen lamps. Sighing, Obi-Wan then surprises Padmé by knowing about the hidden planet of Atha, which he saw in his vision.

Anniken then returns, having found no immediate threats and, ultimately, after some comic misunderstandings about his intentions, Anniken convinced Padmé to let him and Obi-Wan stay to protect her from the danger that he foresaw. Anniken grabs a spot for the night with Moog and Ba-Ba in an adjacent room to Padmé’s and Obi-Wan grabs a guest room further away.

That night, a menacing black hover-car appears outside of Padmé’s window. Anniken cuts through the wall and pulls Padmé to the ground just seconds before the lasers fly, blowing out the window and tearing apart the room. Obi-Wan arrives with his laser sword drawn and fights off the attackers, deflecting the blasts. As the black hover-car flies off, Anniken declares his intent to pursue and jumps out the shattered window, falling towards the streets below. Obi-Wan, saying “That boy will be the death of me!”, jumps out after him.

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(Image source Twitter)

“Those two are insane....” says Padmé, watching the two Jedi fall.

We follow a plummeting Anniken as he falls towards, and lands atop, a hover-van driven by a family of three aliens (scowling dad, nagging mom, bored kid). Anniken cuts open a hole in the roof with his laser sword and commandeers the vehicle in the name of the Republic, exciting the kid but terrifying the parents.

Down on the streets of Had Abbadon, two angry groups of protestors and counter-protestors line the street, a haggard line of Cops trying to keep them apart. Objects are thrown. A riot looks imminent. Obi-Wan lands on the ground in the middle of them with a loud bang, using the Force to ease the impact. He stands up and walks between the angry groups. He raises his hands and a wave of calm flows across both groups. The riot is averted. A protestor looks at a counter-protestor, who shrugs.

Obi-Wan walks across the street to a Dive Bar, and shocks the rough guests by ordering plain Grum Grum juice. A sketchy guy tries to sell him Death Sticks, but he waves his hand and the guy repeats his words that he will not sell him the sticks, but go home and reevaluate his life. Obi-Wan then asks if anyone has a bus schedule.

Back in the hover-van, Anniken flies recklessly through the flying cars, letting the Force guide him, until he finds the black hover car. The Assassin Droid inside the black car shoots at them, damaging the van, so Anniken gets on the roof and uses his laser sword to block the blasts, using the Force to steer the van.

Back on the streets, Obi-Wan walks casually out of the bar with a bus schedule and leaps impossibly high up to grab a passing hover car. He then, looking at the schedule, drops off of the car and grabs onto the side of a hover bus, surprising the passengers.

Back at the car chase, Anniken reflects the laser blasts back into the Droid, causing it to smoke, power down, and fall out of the hover-car.

Cut to a building where a young couple, the wife exhausted by the sweeping, discuss whether they should get a droid. The dead Assassin Droid crashes through their window, causing them to scream.

Obi-Wan, reading the bus schedule as he hangs from the hover-bus (“Okay, this is the 308. The cross-town should be coming through about......there. Right on schedule, for once....”) lets go and drops onto another passing bus.

Anniken steers the van up to the black car, gives control back to the relieved alien father, and jumps to the black car as the van flies off, the Alien Child waving excitedly. Cutting off the roof of the black car, Anniken grapples with the Assassin within, struggling with her, as the car veers into oncoming traffic.

Obi-Wan then lands on the car and takes control, Anniken asking him what took him so long. “The bus ran late.”

Anniken eventually cuts the hand from the Assassin with his laser sword and subdues her, demanding to know who sent her, but she tells him it was “Someone who would make my death far more painful than you ever could!” Poison gas shoots from her ring, which Anniken barely dodges, but it kills her.

WIPE TO…

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(Image source Colider)

The next morning, back at the Jedi Council, the Masters are admonishing Obi-Wan and Anniken for their recklessness and the property damage that they caused (“Your reckless actions last night endangered lives, caused millions of credits in damage, and have made the council liable to legal actions! You are JEDI KNIGHTS, not nerf wranglers!”). Anniken wants to argue, but Obi-Wan takes full responsibility for their actions. Yoda is disappointed and concerned. Windu is solid as a stone, but one can sense the displeasure beneath the stoic façade. Thorpe openly suggests that Anniken be taken from Obi-Wan’s apprenticeship and given to him to train.

But Windu has a different suggestion. “I motion that young Skywalker pass through the Bardo.”

This causes a lot of shocked discussion, but it is ultimately decided that Anniken must pass through the Bardo or be rejected from the Jedi Order.

Obi-Wan later explains the Bardo to Anniken: it is “the ultimate test of a Jedi’s connection to the force, Anakin. It is a complete exposure to the Dark Side. Your greatest fears, angers, and attachments will manifest themselves as phantoms and demons. These demons are illusions you must ignore as you pass through. Should you react to any of them, you will fail and be expelled from the Jedi Order.”

When Anniken says “So it’s all fake?”, Obi-Wan replies that one of the demons is the manifestation of a real threat that he must defend himself against. The biggest part of the test is knowing which of the threats is the true one and responding only to that. He notes that “Twenty four Jedi have faced the Bardo over the centuries. Only three have passed. I doubt I could pass. I doubt Quigon could have.”

Anniken asks Obi-Wan for help, but Obi-Wan tells Anniken that he can’t help him because their bond is too close and tells his Padawan that he (Obi-Wan) will be travelling with Master Yoda to the Green Moon of Sicemon for special training. Anniken will be alone.

Obi-Wan instead tells Anniken to go to Master Windu for training. Anniken is shocked at the suggestion, since Windu suggested the Bardo, insisting that Windu “hates” him. Obi-Wan replies that, quite to the contrary, Windu would never have suggested the Bardo if he didn’t have some measure of faith that Anniken could pass. He further reveals that one of the three Jedi to successfully pass the Bardo was Mace Windu himself.

CIRCLE WIPE to where Obi-Wan is preparing with Yoda for travel to the Green Moon, storm clouds gathering in the distance. Padmé approaches him and tells him that she and the Roona plan to gather some information to find the “missing planet”, but will not say how. He warns her that someone “very powerful” with connections in both the Senate and the Jedi Council wanted that information hidden. She says to trust her and then asks about Anniken, but Obi-Wan is reluctant to say more than “Jedi business”.

It then WIPES to the Jedi Temple where Anniken, standing in the pouring rain, approaches Windu’s door. He knocks once, gets no response, and reaches to knock again when Windu says “I heard you the first time, Padawan Skywalker.” Anniken stays longer out in the pouring rain before the door finally opens of its own accord. Inside Master Windu’s small, Spartan room is no larger or more decorated than a Monk’s cell. Windu tries to have a meaningful talk with Anniken, ultimately agreeing to train him for the Bardo, but warns that “I can promise you only pain, difficulty, and discomfort. The coming weeks will be the hardest you have ever experienced. But know that I do this honestly, wanting you to pass the Bardo, with no guarantees that you ever will. Do I make myself clear?”

“Abundantly, Master Windu,” Anniken replies with a bow, and the camera PULLS BACK out of the door and into the rain. The door closes behind Anniken, closing him in.

WIPE TO the streets of Had Abbadon in the pouring rain as shadowy figures wander the alleys around the dully rectangular Republic Archives building. CUT TO the figures to reveal that they are Padmé, Moog, Ba-Ba, R2D2, and Guard Captain Pataka (Tupac Shakur). Dodging hovering sentry drones, they break into the Archives by cutting a hole in an old magnetic message tube only a few inches wide. Ba-Ba bonelessly squeezes through the ridiculously small tube, holding a cable ejected by R2 with his toes. Slipping out of the tube into the building with a flop, he plugs in the cable to an inside console and R2 starts to hack the system as a hovering sentry drone approaches. As tension builds, R2 finally succeeds and a back door slides open. R2 ejects and rewinds the cable as the others slip in the door and the sentry drone approaches. The cable finally pops back out of the tube and rewinds back into R2, Moog spot-welds the removed patch of pipe back into place, and they slip in and shut the door seconds before the sentry arrives. Padmé breathes a sigh of relief inside the archives.

WIPE TO the Green Moon, where Yoda leads Obi-Wan through a crowd of day trippers. The two Jedi have backpacks. Yoda tells him that they are at the only patch of relatively unspoiled wilderness left in the system, and that “the closest to the Force for a hundred parsecs it is,” and “desperate, dangerous, these times are. In the darkness of these times shrouded the Force is” and “In a few days’ hike much quieter it will be.”

WIPE TO Mace Windu’s quarters, where Anniken meditates holding a glowing crystal with a large crack, scowling in seeming pain and discomfort. Windu tells him how a cracked Kyber crystal like the one he holds “will resonate with every dark thought, every fear, weakness, anger, regret, jealousy, or violent urge. The Dark Side will thus be reflected back into the holder and be experienced as pain.” The training will force Anniken to purge himself of such dark emotions, and thus purge himself of attachments and the dark side, and that this is absolutely necessary to make it through the Bardo. Anniken lets go after twenty seconds, which Windu calls “not bad for the first time” and admits to spending an hour every night holding the cracked crystal before his nightly meditations.

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Sentry Droids will resemble this guy as a tongue-in-cheek Easter Egg (Image source Disney Wiki)

WIPING BACK to the Archives, Padmé and the team slip through tall corridors and over high foot bridges past the film noir shadows of the empty Archives. They avoid sentry drones until they find the right archive. R2 hacks it, eventually revealing a hologram of the location of Atha. They start to slip out, but run head-long into a sentry drone, who says “Intruder alert” repeatedly and sets off alarms. “We, bo, dead,” says Ba-Ba. They run through the corridors, dodging laser blasts, in a firefight with the Drones.

WIPE TO the Green Moon where Obi-Wan, in a reflection of Luke on Dagobah, is meditating, balanced on a tree limb in a yoga-like pose[1], Yoda standing on his outstretched hand, rocks stacking themselves as if by magic around him. Yoda leads him with soft words of guidance: “Feel the Force within you flow. Let all conscious thought away drift. Let all hopes, dreams, fears, and misgivings away drift. Yourself you must lose. Only the Force there is.”

Obi-Wan continues the meditation, but suddenly images of Anniken in pain and Padmé in fear flash before his eyes. “Anniken…Padmé…” he says, loses focus, and he falls out of the tree along with Yoda and all the rocks. “Found yourself, you did,” grumbles Yoda.

Yoda and Obi-Wan have a discussion, Yoda warning Obi-Wan that his love and concern for his Padawan and friend are attachments that a Jedi may not have, and that are dangerous for him. Obi-Wan asks why.

“Love is strong in the force. Beautiful, love is. Grand. Joyous. But to a Jedi, dangerous… Love endangered too easily to fear leads. Love lost too easily to anger leads. Love betrayed too easily to hatred leads. A Jedi must emotional love forego, only the eternal love of the Force may we have.” He calls it “Ironic” that Jedi, as servants of love, cannot have it themselves.

He then tells Obi-Wan that an “old friend” wants to speak to him, and guides him to an alcove where the glowing form of his old Sen-nai Quigon Djyn (Katsuhiko Sasaki) awaits. Obi-Wan is shocked to see his old Sen-nai “alive”, but the ghost of Quigon tells him “not exactly” and that he is more the impression that Quigon left on the Force. “Every being leaves an impression on the Force, some more than others. A Jedi who opens himself freely to the Living Force will shape the nature of the Force itself, and in that way cannot fully die.”

Quigon then warns Obi-Wan that his love and fear for his friends will certainly endanger them all. He also expresses that he believes that Anniken will pass the Bardo. He leaves his old Padawan with a final note that he must choose his love for his friends or to pursue the Force, and that is a choice that only Obi-Wan can make.

WIPE BACK to the Archives where Padmé and her team are trapped on a bridge, with shooting drones all around. While Pataka and Moog give covering fire, to varying degrees of success, Ba-Ba uses a grapple-gun to set up a zipline to the floor far below, though Pataka is injured. They take turns evacuating each other down the line. R2 simply rolls off the ledge, engages some rockets, and flies down by himself. “Huh,” says Padmé. Finally, Padmé, the last down the line, sliding down it like a zipline, escapes to the floor, but now the drones are firing down on them and they rush to an exit door. It is locked.

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(Image source YouTube)

WIPE BACK to Windu’s quarters, where Anniken, eyes closed, is holding the cracked Kyber Crystal in one hand and his laser sword in the other. A Training Remote hovers near him and shoots at him variously with either harmless flashes of light or real zaps. Anniken, face distorted in pain, ignores the harmless flashes and blocks the zaps. Windu warns him on how attachments and dark emotions like fear block the force and slow the reflexes, and how “Our reliance on material things, our emotional reliance on others, these are the phantoms that hold back the force.”

Suddenly Anniken opens his eyes and says, quietly. “Padmé. Danger.” This time he only barely blocks the real zaps, but also blocks two harmless fake zaps, causing a BUZZ sound.

Windu says, “Release it, Skywalker! Something in there is hanging on, bringing the pain, bringing the suffering!”

Anniken manages to ignore the fake and block the real zaps, but his face is badly contorted with the pain from the Kyber Crystal.

Windu says, loudly, “The Force is life! Attachments are......death!!” Suddenly WIndu ignites his purple laser sword and swings it at Anniken’s face. Anniken swings to parry. He is too late.

Anniken opens his eyes. Windu’s laser sword blade is two inches from his face, just inside of his own blade. His frightened face glows from the purple light. He can feel the heat of the blade.

Windu turns off his blade, an inscrutable look on his face. “Better, Skywalker, but not nearly good enough yet. You continue to hold on to something that you cannot let go, and because of this, you will not pass the Bardo.”

He then informs him that Baron Thorpe has invited Anniken over for dinner, noting that “Knowing my friend’s tastes it will be very...exquisite; opulent even. Try not to let your senses overwhelm you and lead you to crave material pleasures, Padawan. You are quite close to finally putting them behind you.”

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(Image source Flickr)

CIRCLE WIPE TO the old-fashioned opulence of Thorpe Tower, which rises like the iconic tower of Lang’s Metropolis above the rest of the buildings of Had Abbadon. Thorpe warmly greets Anniken as the hover-limo drops him off and embraces him. He expresses his absolute confidence that Anniken will pass the Bardo and leads him past a series of old armor and weapons (“The arms of yesteryear. Only the strong survived while the weak perished”). Anniken looks on in awe, looking at a suit of ancient armor resembling Vader’s armor, his face briefly framed by its helmet in reflection on the glass case.

“Master Yoda says it is the duty of the strong to protect the weak.”

“Yes,” answers Thrope, “protect. Protect and guide...even lead! Now, let us head to supper! A feast awaits, the likes of which you have never experienced!”

WIPE BACK to the archives, where Padmé and the crew, Pataka badly injured, fight the drones as R2 attempts to hack the door. Finally, it rises two inches. Ba-Ba pushes his hand through the tiny crack, reaches up, and clicks something, allowing the door to open and the crew to escape into the night.

They run through the shadowy streets of Had Abbadon as alarms and searchlights cut the air and police hover cars fly up to the Central Archives. The Crew slip into a shadowy alley and the camera PANS UP through the buildings until we see the skyline of Had Abbadon, illuminated by the Green Moon. Most prominent in the skyline is Thorpe Tower. We ZOOM IN on the tower.

Inside, Thorpe and Anniken sit at a large, formal banquet table in a hall adorned with trophy animals and decorated in opulent, Old World elegance. An eagle-like animal stands regal on a perch over Thorpe while another is in mid swoop over Anniken, as if trying to snatch him up. The table is piled high with food. An army of Servant Droids moves around the table, bringing and taking dishes. Anniken eats as if famished, remarking how much better it is than the “gruel” that Windu feeds him.

Thorpe notes that Windu is “the last of the Order of Bendu, an ancient subset of the Jedi. Stoics and monastics who reject the comforts and pleasures of life believing that only through total absolution of all sense and emotion can one truly bond with the Force.” Anniken notes that Windu’s laser sword was different. He relates the training with the cracked Kyber crystal, which Thorpe finds “delightfully old fashioned.”

“Yes, that is how my friend would prepare. That is Bendu thinking. Old fashioned. But you, my grand-Padawan, are not like Windu. You must find your own way through the Bardo…Remember when you first came to Had Abbadon, a shaggy-haired slave boy? You were struggling with your training and I taught you a way to focus through your emotion.” Anniken remembers, noting that he “still uses it” on occasion.

Thorpe continues. “That, my friend, is the way through the Bardo. Not to deny the Demons, but to accept them for the truths they tell. After supper I will give you more advanced training in focusing the Force through you like a lens, not simply letting it wash you away like a leaf in storm waters.”

He then implies that Windu, whether he realizes it or not, is afraid of Anniken’s raw power, and is trying to hold him back. “You cannot rely on Master Windu...only on yourself.....and on me, of course! I will bring you victory over the Bardo. But you must trust me with absolute loyalty.”

Anniken agrees to trust Thorpe and his advice.

“Excellent!” Thorpe replies, raising his glass, arm outthrust. “Now, then! A toast: to victory over the Bardo! Hail!”

Anniken raises glass, arm also outthrust. “Yes. Hail...to victory!”

IRIS TO a Montage. The Force Theme plays softly:

Night. Yoda and Obi-Wan meditate on the Green Moon.

Night. Padmé and the Roona take an injured Pataka back to the Embassy of Nima-Roona. Nassai Baaza and a Medical Droid are there to greet them. Nassai crosses her arms and scowls.

Night. Anniken, a proud sneer on his face, holds the Kyber Crystal, easily blocking blasts from the training drone while Mace Windu looks on, face inscrutable as ever.

Sunrise over Had Abbadon. Force Theme crescendos.

Day. Yoda and Obi-Wan walk down the mountain path.

Day. Padmé, as Queen Amidala, argues silently in the Senate Chamber.

Day. Anniken, in ceremonial silk robes, walks confidently through the Jedi Temple grounds, Mace Windu to camera right, Baron Thorpe to camera left. Yoda and Obi-Wan stand ready to meet them.

CIRCLE WIPE TO...

The Bardo. An arcane ritual of glowing crystals, droning chants, and meditation. Anniken kneels across from Thorpe. He closes his eyes as the chants crescendo.

Suddenly, silence. He kneels alone in a dark realm of fog. Demons jump out to attack him. He ignores them all, knowing them to be false. Then, suddenly, a child crying: him as a boy. The giant form (as if from a child’s perspective) of Gunray Pabucan, his old master, yelling at him, raising his hand and threatening him. Anniken ignores it, and it vanishes. His mother appears, asking him desperately why he allowed her to die. He tries to walk away, but she stays in front of him, pleading with him to save her. Mauk Shivtor appears and cuts her down and taunts him. He hesitates…but then clears his thoughts and ignores them. They vanish.

He is assaulted by various phantoms of the people he knew, calling to him, yelling at him. Obi-Wan and Quigon admonishing him. Mace Windu yelling at him. Thorpe laughing. They vanish in succession as he walks past.

Then he faces Padmé. She smiles at him. Arms open, she says “Come to me, Anni! We can be together!”

He turns to ignore her, but cannot. She keeps staying in front of him. Focusing, he holds his hand out. She distorts, blurs, and is drawn into Anniken’s hand as a beam of light. His eyes glow orange for a second and he closes his eyes, and opens them. They burn with determination. He marches forward.

Finally, only one phantom remains: himself. Anniken faces his mirror image, the alt-Anniken’s face contorted in anger. Alt-Anniken draws his laser sword and runs at Anniken, screaming. Anniken blinks, unsure what to do. Finally, at the last possible second, he reacts, drawing his laser sword. He and the Alt clash swords again and again until one last screaming swing by Alt-Anniken, which is blocked by Anniken. They lock blades, lock eyes and......

.....the Bardo fades and Anniken is standing in the circle of Jedi, his laser sword locked with the laser sword of Thorpe, who stands in perfect simulation of the Alt-Anniken. Thorpe smiles, withdraws his laser sword, and laughs joyously and pats Annkien on the back.

Yoda is relieved, but also concerned. “Passed through the Bardo, Padawan Skywalker has.”

Obi-Wan, elated, grasps Anniken in celebration. Windu bows to him with admiration. Anniken has successfully passed the test of the Bardo, or so it appears.

WIPE TO…

Obi-Wan and Anniken, still elated after the Bardo, get onto a small Republic space ship, with Obi-Wan letting Anniken know that Padmé has found Atha, but wouldn’t tell him how. As they board, Yoda and Mace Windu watch from a distance. Windu mentions the Archives break in, with only an old star map accessed. “A Curious place, a robbery for,” Yoda says, noting that Windu suspects Obi-Wan’s involvement. Windu is uncomfortable that Obi-Wan won’t share with the council where they are going, though Yoda notes that “A reason for their caution undoubtedly there is.”

On the Yacht, Anniken is reunited with Moog, Baa-Ba, and particularly Padmé, whom he can’t stop smiling at, once again acting nervous around her. They take off and fly to Atha, hatching a plan along the way.

WIPE TO Atha, an ocean planet of perpetual waves and storms. The ship lands at a platform above the waves. They are greeted by Malana’sa, a fish-like Atha’ana, who greets them along with Atha Prime, an old Atha’ana male who appears much older than the Atha Prime we met in Heir to the Empire[2]. Padmé, R2D2 at her side, introduces herself as Secretary Lotess, the personal assistant to Senator Sio Dias, and the two Jedi as her escorts. Nervous, Obi-Wan stumbles on his name, ultimately simply calling himself “Ben” while Anniken cockily chooses the name “Kane Starkiller”.

Atha Prime greets them and quickly excuses himself, leaving them in “Malana’sa’s capable hands.” As they follow Malana’sa into the building, Obi-Wan whispers “Kane Starkiller”?

“Whatever, ‘Ben’,” whispers Anniken.

“Who is to protect me from my protectors?” whispers Padmé.

As they follow the Atha’ana, Moog and Ba-Ba slip into the raging waters on a mission of their own.

Padmé and the Jedi follow the Atha’ana through a glass tunnel underwater, fantastic fish swimming all around, including a giant Reticulated Rocktooth. A careful observer will see Moog and Ba-Ba swimming in the background. Malana’sa tells them that “You will find that the project is proceeding well within schedule, and I feel you will be pleased with the results. Our first class is ready for graduation and deployment right now.”

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(Image Source Wookiepedia)

CUT into the Ocean, where Moog and Ba-Ba swim effortlessly. In the background you can see Padmé and the Jedi walking along with the Atha’ana through the glass hallway and then through a door. The Reticulated Rocktooth fish turns and swims towards the two Roona. Two deep string bass notes play, reminiscent of the Jaws theme.

Cutting back inside the building, now each side of the transparent hall shows not fish, but large rooms full of identical Clones (Cliff Curtis as the adults, Beulah Koale as the children) of various ages from fetuses in jars to newborns to full adults. They perform various tasks such as studying at desks, lifting weights, doing calisthenics, practicing with various weapons or martial arts, eating, or sleeping.

Malana’sa explains how the Clones are engineered to grow to full size in a few years, how they are subliminally educated, and the extent of their physical and martial training, unencumbered by any personal pastimes, but also how they are engineered for blind loyalty. “The Clones live only to learn, fight, and obey.”

“The perfect warriors,” Obi-Wan replies, darkly, “Trained only for war with no family or morality to hold them back.”

“Exactly!” Malana’sa replies, completely missing the irony in Obi-Wan’s tone. “All the advantages of a droid army without the inherent limitations!” She then asks if they’d like to meet “the Template”.

CUT TO the ocean, where Moog and Ba-Ba, the Rocktooth still following, swim down to a large underwater cable and Moog starts cutting into it with a hand torch. He and Ba-Ba get into a little argument and Ba-Ba swims off and sulks against a mound of coral. As the Rocktooth swims menacingly towards him, the Jaws-like music in crescendo, he starts to scream as it descends toward him, toothy maw open wide.

MATCH CUT back to the building, where a door opens, revealing a Mandalorian in full armor. “Ah, Warrior Kaliss! Right on time!” says Malana’sa.

The Mandalorian, Kaliss Fett (Curtis), removes his helmet. He is identical to all the adult clones save that the left half of his face and neck are covered with elaborate tribal tattoos and there is a large scar across the right side of his face. His eyes burn with years of brutal existence. “Warrior Kaliss of Clan Fett, at your service,” he says with a bow. Anniken seems disturbed by his presence. Kaliss and Obi-Wan have a tense exchange about the complicated history of Jedi and Mandalorian. Kaliss asks if they have met, “the Battle of Nima, perhaps?” Obi-Wan denies being at the battle.

CUT TO the Ocean, where the Rocktooth descends on the screaming Ba-Ba, blocking him from our view, and bites. There is a loud CRUNCH and the screaming stops.

There is a second CRUNCH.

Ba-Ba pops his head up over the back of the Rocktooth, looks around, then swims TOWARDS CAMERA. As he swims OVER CAMERA, we PAN to see the Rocktooth take another crunching bite out of the coral.[3]

Inside, Melana’sa relays Kaliss’s qualifications. “Over two-hundred warriors and battle droids have fallen to my weapons,” he adds.

“Warrior Kaliss was carefully selected from among hundreds of candidates,” adds Melana’sa. “His physical and mental acuity are in the top percentile. His Clones, of course, have had those skills dialed back per the Senate’s request. You can never be too careful when your army thinks identically, after all.”

Outside, Moog and Ba-Ba complete their task, attaching a Device to the cable. Moog calls in to R2, calling the Security Repression Device “secured”, and R2 beeps. Padmé looks at her arm band screen, and says, “Well, I believe our inspection is complete. Malana’sa, I thank you. We have to get back to Had-Abbadon.”

Malana’sa dismisses Kaliss and escorts them back towards the ship, but Padmé asks for a small office to “finalize my notes to Senator Dias.”

Meanwhile the Roona start to swim away, but are attacked by a monstrous Septipus, which grabs them with its tentacles. They fight to escape, Moog’s hand torch doing little to harm the beast.

Meanwhile, Kaliss returns to his room and establishes a hologram comms link with an older female Mandalorian, his sister Djanga Fett (Rena Owen). She says, “We have been hired for an action on Ttaz and the Clan Master wishes you to lead the effort.”

He replies that would require him to abandon his current job, but that he will return soon.

She also mentions that her son Boba has completed his Trials and will fight in this engagement. He asks to see his nephew. Boba appears in the hologram, a young warrior of roughly nineteen (Jason Momoa). Only a few tattoos mark his young face. Kaliss asks about the trials, and Boba admits to coming in second, which angers Kaliss. “You must do better. I will see you as Clan Master and Emperor of Mandalore before I am reunited with the Ancestors, or I will send you to the Ancestors myself!”

While Moog and Ba-Ba continue to battle the Septipus, the two Jedi stand in a glass hallway, making awkward small talk, seemingly oblivious to the battle happening behind them in the distance. A shadow passes over them. Padmé and R2, in the office, proceed to hack into the building’s computer system, the device the Roona placed helping to repress security systems.

Back in Kaliss’s room, he now contacts his employer. The hologram of Sio Dias appears. “What is it, Warrior Kaliss?”

“Your representatives have finished their inspection, Lord Dias. Why did you not inform me of their arrival?”

“.....Representatives? Please tell me about these...representatives.”

Outside, just as Moog and Ba-Ba seem about to get crushed and devoured, a massive Atha Megalous Fish descends on the Septipus and crunches into it, freeing the Roona. “I guess there was a bigger fish, ba!” says Ba-Ba to an exhausted Moog.

Back inside, Padmé meets back up with the Jedi and Malana’sa. As the Atha’ana escorts them back to the landing platform, she gets an alert on her arm band, and says “just one more thing before you go. There’s been a slight discrepancy we need to clear up if you don’t mind.” Then a door opens and reveals Kaliss, armed and helmet on, with two guards. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to hand over your weapons and come with me.”

“Madam,” Padmé begins, “I am the aide to a very powerful Senator back....”

“There is no honor in continuing this charade,” says Kaliss. “You will come with me on your feet or in a box.”

“Sen-nai, is it time for enhanced negotiations?” asks Anniken.

“I’d say so, Padawan.”

Anniken and Obi-Wan raise their hands. Kaliss and the Guards are flung back and over the edge of the landing pad. The Jedi ignite their laser swords.

Alarms go off! Malana’sa goes to grab Padmé, who throws her with a Judo-style hip throw, sending her over the edge into the water too. A fight ensues as R2 hacks and closes the door. The Republic Ship fires up its engines, but defensive cannons rise up from the building and destroy it, trapping them. Moog and Ba-Ba return to the surface just in time to get caught up in the chaos.

Now a battle ensues as R2 fights to keep the doors closed while Padmé and the rest crowd near the door to stay out of the cannon’s firing arc. Obi-Wan stabs the door panel, locking the door. Kaliss flies up on his jetpack and engages them, using the pack to avoid Padmé’s blaster and any beams reflected by the Jedi. Behind them, Guards start to cut through the doors with a torch.

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(Image source YouTube)

Anniken runs to back Obi-Wan, but Kaliss shoots out a wire from a wrist that wraps Anniken’s arms around his torso. Then Kaliss shoots the other end of the line into the overhang of the platform. The line REELS Anniken UP, leaving him dangling high above them. Kaliss focuses his fire on Obi-Wan. Padmé starts shooting at Kaliss.

“Any ideas?” she asks.

“We have to get to another ship!!” says Obi-Wan

“Of course, wise and powerful Jedi,” she replies ironically. “Any ideas HOW?”

“What about that one, ba?” asks Ba-Ba, pointing.

They look to where a Mandalorian Landing Craft sits on another platform in the distance, across the waves. Moog and Ba-Ba take the grappling gun from the Archives heist and Ba-Ba runs to the edge, aims at the far platform, and fires. The grapple line flies out, farther and farther, as the line rips through the gun....and then flies out of the gun entirely. The line flies off into the distance, locks itself into the side of the far platform, and the loose end of the line falls down into the water leaving a big, linear splash, the remaining line dangling from the far platform, way out of reach. Ba-Ba stands, holding the empty grapple gun. “There’s not enough line, ba!”

Anniken is still dangling from the wire. Using his laser sword, he cuts the wire, climbs up it, and bangs at the reel until it releases, riding it back down to the platform. He runs to the edge, dragging the line, and hands the end to Moog, telling him to secure it through the docking ring on the platform. He closes his eyes and raises his hand. The distant grapple line starts to slowly lift itself out of the water. The far grapple line keeps rising up completely out of the water and pulls itself tight. Still concentrating hard to hold the far line, Anniken ignites his laser sword and, without looking, holds it to the end of the line Moog holds. Moog simpers as the blue glow of the sword blade hovers inches from his face.

Padmé and Obi-Wan continue to duel with Kaliss, ultimately cutting his carbine rifle in half. Kaliss uses hidden wrist guns, flame throwers, and other tricks which Obi-Wan struggles to counter while also protecting Padmé, who while a good fighter, is no match for a Mandalorian of Kaliss’s skill.

Meanwhile, Moog drops the hot glowing end of Kallis’s grapple, and Anniken moves his hand, sending the glowing end out to where Ba-Ba’s grapple hangs in the air. The two ends jam together and fuse into a single, long line between the two platforms.

Obi-Wan finally manages to hit Kaliss’s pack with a blast reflected by his laser sword, causing the pack to misfire and send the Mandalorian off into the air, smacking into the side of the building, and falling into the raging ocean.

They all rush to where the combined cable line links the two platforms. Ba-Ba is put into a harness and sent flying and screaming across the line to the far platform, bumping over the weld. Ba-Ba exits the harness and the harness returns and they send Moog next, the weld cracking slightly under his weight as he goes over it. The cannon takes shots at him as he goes by. Anniken says to Padmé “You’re next,” but Obi-Wan says that no, Anniken is next since he needs to destroy the cannon. But Anniken simply runs along the top of the line, jumping over the harness as it shoots back across. Padmé gets into the harness.

R2D2, meanwhile, rolls off the edge, and deploys two rockets, flying off to the far platform. “Huh,” says Obi-Wan.

Padmé, in harness, bumps over the cracking weld. It starts to break! The lines crack and fray! The line sags, leaving her stopped over the middle, dangling dangerously. R2 flies over, trying desperately to spot weld the fraying line.

On the far platform, Anniken leaps up and draws his laser sword as the door to the building opens and Guards appear and start shooting, reflecting their blasts back at them, killing some of them. He covers for the Roona, who use a device to hack the Mandalorian craft’s hatch.

Obi-Wan starts running down the line. The Guards finish cutting through the door on the original platform and flood out, firing at Obi-Wan as he runs, occasionally deflecting a blast behind his back. Padmé, still hanging, extends her hand and he grabs it, and runs along the line, crouching low, pulling her along in the harness.

Meanwhile, R2, dodging fire, tries to keep spot welding the sagging, fraying line.

On the far platform, Anniken takes down more guards as the hatch to the Mandalorian ship opens. Anniken notices the cannon turn to bear on the craft. He sprints at super-speed past the Roona, who are suddenly dodging lasers, and jumps in the cockpit, fires it up, and uses the tail guns to destroy the cannon before it can destroy the craft. The Roona run in, soon followed by Obi-Wan and Padmé. R2 rockets in just as the engines fire up and it starts to take off.

Kaliss Fett, treading water, watches coldly as his ship flies off into the distance. “This dishonor will not go un-avenged, Jedi,” he tells the retreating craft.

Inside the stolen Mandalorian ship, laughing with relief, the team take the time to look through the stolen records from the Atha Clone Works. Obi-Wan and Padmé start to share a moment of platonic intimacy, but Obi-Wan pulls back emotionally ever so slightly. Changing the subject, they search through the stolen records and manage to dig up the image of Senator Dias, but it’s the image of Senator Glurpdurp (George Lucas in alien makeup), who died twenty years ago. “Obviously fake.”

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The Late Senator Glurpdurp (Image source Wookiepedia)

“Now,” says Padmé, looking at the data, “as to the support within the Jedi Council, it appears to come from....oh no.”

Anniken, returning from the cockpit, leans in. “Who is it?”

“This is bad,” says Obi-Wan. “This is really bad.”

WIPE TO…

The Jedi Council. Storm clouds flash in the distance. The Jedi Council sit in their seats, live or in hologram form. In the center stand Obi-Wan and Anniken. The former looks nervous, sad. Anniken can barely contain a cocky smirk.

“Grave news indeed, this is,” says Yoda.

“A traitor in our own midst!” adds Kiai Mudi, in hologram form.

Looking shocked and nervous, Baron Thorpe adds “I never thought I would see the day...”

Mace Windu, still as stone, inscrutable, says “And you have the name of this individual? And the evidence to back it up?”

Obi-Wan, having trouble looking at him, says, “Yes, Master Windu, we do.”

“A terrible moment, this is,” says Yoda. “Act with caution we must. Dismissed the council will be, save for myself and Sir....”

Annakin, interrupting, says “It was Master Windu!!!”

PANDEMONIUM breaks out!!!! Obi-Wan stares at Anniken in shock and anger. The Jedi leap from their seats, yelling! Mace Windu jumps up from his seat! “Traitor!!” yells a Jedi.

“Arrest Master Windu!!” Says Mudi. Two Jedi draw their laser swords and run towards Windu, who draws his own. Screaming, they run towards each other!!

Master Yoda slips from his seat, walks between the charging Jedi and Windu, and simply holds up his hands. All three Jedi are thrown to the ground by the Force. The room goes quiet.

“Order, there shall be. Away your light sabers must go. Master Windu. Explain.”

Windu explains that a decade ago he had a vision. A great threat was coming and an army would be needed. He knew that the Jedi Council would never support the plan, so he proceeded on his own “for the greater good.”

“Come quietly, you must. The sake of the Jedi for.” Yoda holds out his hand. “Your light saber.”

Sadly, Mace Windu lowers his head and holds out his laser sword. Yoda lifts a finger and the laser sword hovers over to the Sergeant at Arms, who takes it. Yoda looks upon the weapon with distaste as it passes.

“Why, my friend?” asks a shocked Thorpe, but Windu turns away and is escorted silently away by two Jedi Guards. Yoda pulls himself into his chair, appearing infinitely older, ears drooping. “A sad day this is.”

“Yes, but there is a silver lining to this,” says Thorpe. “Padawan Skywalker, come forward!”

Anniken approaches, and Thorpe, to the surprise of all, relates all the things that Anniken accomplished, including revealing a traitor in the Jedi ranks. He then draws his laser sword and cuts the Padawan’s Braid from Anniken’s hair. “No time is there for the proper ceremony. Instead, you are now to join the full ranks of the Jedi Knights. Master Yoda, I believe it is time to throw the weight of this Council behind Senator Organa’s peace proposal and end this ghastly war!”

Yoda, distracted, clearly sensing that something darker than even the dark events of the day is afoot, says, “Yes. Support Organa’s peace we must.”

WIPE TO…

Space. A large fleet of Republic Space Craft fly through the stars. We ZOOM IN on the elaborate and decorative Excelsior, a ship pulled through space by massive Solar Sails. CUT to the opulently decorated Bridge where Baron Thorpe and Obi-Wan sit at large padded command chairs, sipping hot drinks. Thorpe considers it a “glorious day for peace” but Obi-Wan is distracted, unsure (“I have a bad feeling about this”). Thorpe assures him that he has personally taken care of security for the peace conference. “No one takes off from or lands upon this planet without my express permission,” Thorpe says. He asks Obi-Wan to fetch Anniken.

Obi-Wan leaves and walks up to where Anniken is bragging about his ascension to Knighthood to an impressed Padmé, even mentioning the Bardo, which bothers Obi-Wan, who admonishes him not to speak of Jedi affairs, but Anniken claps back, discussing that a new Jedi order is needed, more modern and appropriate to the times without “Bardos and cracked Kyber crystals”.

Obi-Wan mentions that they will discuss this later, and sends him to Thorpe. Padmé starts talking with him in their usual friendly, familiar manner, but Obi-Wan is acting distant. The events of the past few days have reminded him of Yoda’s and Quigon’s warnings about his attachment to her and Anniken, and so he tells a heartbroken Padmé that they can no longer be close friends, that he must stay formal and aloof. She is hurt and angered at this “nonsensical” approach. They have a small spat and she leaves, sad and angry.

Anniken, meanwhile, meets with Thorpe, who tells him that “after today a grand new era will dawn. The times change, and we Jedi must change with them! Soon Yoda will be stepping aside for a well-deserved retirement and it will be up to me to remake the Jedi Order....and I wish you to be my right-hand Jedi.” He talks of the great power and “destiny” in Anniken that even Yoda senses and notes, “I am an old man, the last of the ancient Clan of Thorpe. Five brothers and sisters I had. All fell to accident, injury, or violence. I am alone in my family’s tower. In the old way of the Jedi, I was compelled to set aside love and family for the Old Way of the Force. Now I have no son to inherit my family crest.

“Anakin...in my living will I have left the Thorpe Family Empire to you. Should anything happen to me, you must promise me you will carry on the quest for a New Order in the Galaxy.”

Anniken swears by the Force that he will see Thorpe’s will be done.

WIPE TO…

The planet Ttaz, a white desert world with a blue-white sun. The Separatist Fleet is already aligned on one side of the planet. The Republic fleet takes position across from them. Shuttles launch from both fleets and descend towards the planet below. They fly to the brightly lit but arid planet of Ttaz, a land of white sands and towering, windswept buttes and mesas, seemingly devoid of life, which sits beneath a large and blinding blue-white sun. Carved out of the living stone of a large mesa is the Grand Lodge of the Ttazia, a palatial structure with tall, cathedral-like windows cut from the cliff-side. The Shuttlecraft pass through a lowered force field and land in a bay just inside the structure.

We enter a huge, open, cathedral-like room with towering ceilings and ornate carved pillars and bas relief murals. In a long CONTINUOUS SHOT we PAN THROUGH the grand entryway, C-3PO is standing as a greeter and announcing the arrival of guests. The representatives and entourages of several species and factions wait to enter. (“Arriving: Representative Vurqlar-9-B of the Galactic Technology Union!! Arriving: Her Majesty the Senator Queen Amidala of Nima-Roona”). Padmé as Queen Amidala enters with an entourage of Handmaidens and R2. C-3PO attempts to refuse entry to R2, telling him that Astromechs can use the service entrance, but Padmé calls to R2, who follows and beeps smugly, to Threepio’s annoyance.

She is soon greeted by Senator Organa, who guides her through the room, catching snippets of negotiations between varying factions. He offers to help play peacemaker between Nima-Roona and their old Sha’anar enemies.

After a short montage of the sun passing across the sky, it is Sunset, which casts a greenish hue across the white sands. Padmé looks out at it and Anniken approaches. She finds that the green evening light causes the hills to remind her of the green fields of Nima. Anniken and her share a romantic moment that he ruins by trying, awkwardly, to flirt, and changes the subject. “So...um...how are the negotiations?”

“Ugh. Tedious! You have to sit there and be polite, never say what’s really on your mind but instead speak obliquely. ‘We don’t exactly see the issue the same way as our esteemed colleague...’ and all that when you really want to just call him the big, fat liar he really is.....”

“Wouldn’t it be nice just to tell them all what to do?”

Padmé laughs, and gestures broadly. “Yes! Obey your Queen or off with your head!!”

“All hail Queen Amidala!” he kneels, laughing.

Padmé is laughing loudly now. “You may rise, Sir Anni!! No...as nice as it would feel it’s not right. No one should have such power. Every viewpoint should be listened to and every voice heard.”

“Even the stupid ones?!?”

“Especially the stupid ones!” she laughs.

Anniken hesitates. “I’m not so sure. I mean, you’re intelligent, honest, clear headed. Some of the Senators, though...it’s like the fools on their planet elected whatever local thief promised them the biggest pod race!!”

“Unfortunately, that’s the dark side of Democracy. Yet despite all its lumps it’s still the best form of government.”

“Sometimes I wonder if that’s true....”

Padmé is now shocked. “Anakin! Really! Democracy and liberty are the cornerstones of the Republic!”

“Then maybe the Republic needs to change with the times!!” Anniken snaps.

Immediately he regrets his words. Padmé storms off to SCREEN RIGHT. Anniken turns to follow her, hesitates, sighs, and storms off himself in the other direction.

CIRCLE WIPE TO the next morning. Obi-Wan walks slowly along the hallway with Baron Thorpe. Obi-Wan looks concerned. Thorpe smiles calmly. “I’m telling you, Grand Sen-nai, there is a growing disturbance in the Force. We should go to silent alert.”

“And I assure you, grand Padawan, there is nothing to fear! I sense nothing and I dare say I’ve been in touch with the Force a bit longer than you have. Besides, we are secure here. As I said, nobody takes off from or lands upon this planet without my express permission! Now relax, and enjoy the peace we bring to the galaxy!”

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Something like this guy (Image source StarWars.com)

Thorpe walks up to a door, which opens, revealing the highly-cybernetic Vurqlar-9-B of the Galactic Technology Union. The Baron enters and the door shuts.

“....but I still have a bad feeling about this,” Obi-Wan says to himself.

WIPE TO the lodge Control Station, where two Controllers are tracking the arrival of a new, small craft. It CUTS TO the ship, which is Mauk Shivtor’s fighter. Mauk sends an access signal.

“I’m receiving the access code,” says Controller 1. “The ship is identified as carrying Senator Sio Dias of Mustafar. Lowering shields now.”

“Senator Sio Dias? Never heard of him,” says Controller 2.”

“There must be thousands of Senators. Can’t expect to know them all,” says Controller 1, but 2 convinces him that they should verify, so they request visual verification that it’s the Senator.

CUT TO where Obi-Wan is talking to C-3PO and R2 when suddenly he jerks upright, draws his laser sword, and starts to run, frightening many of the guests. “Oh my. Whatever got into him?” asks C-3PO

Mauk’s ship enters the landing bay, hovering, and turns towards the Control Room. Controller 1 asks “Senator Dias, would you please respond....?” again and again as the ship turns towards them.

Suddenly laser blasts RIP out of the Sith ship, strafing the Control Room, causing a huge EXPLOSION. The ship continues to strafe the Hangar Bay, killing and destroying all around it.

Alarms blare. Obi-Wan is running down the hall. Anniken joins him and asks what’s happening. “Danger,” says Obi-Wan.

The Sith Ship lands in the wrecked, burning Hangar Bay. The hatch ramp opens and Mauk Shivtor descends, one side of his laser sword drawn. Two Spider Drones scuttle along at his feet, then break off and scurry up to the control panels and interface them. A large door opens and Guards run in. Mauk easily slices his way through them and enters the hallway beyond. “Duel of the Fates” plays.

Back in the main room, Senator Organa is talking to the Sha’anar Trade Guild representative as the alarms blare. The Sha’anar cries “betrayal!” Organa denies it. Republic and Separatist factions take sides and draw hidden weapons.

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(Image source Reddit)

Mauk continues to cut his way through the Guards or toss them aside with the Force as he advances through the hallway to the Main Hall and then starts to massacre the mostly unarmed Guests. A door opens and Obi-Wan and Anniken rush in and face Mauk, who casts aside his cloak and draws the second blade of his laser sword, smiling with anticipation.

“Okay, Anakin, Mauk is fierce and skilled, but if we work toge.....”

“He killed my mother!!!” screams Anniken, rage in his eyes. Anniken charges Mauk, screaming. Obi-Wan sighs, and runs after. Anniken attacks Mauk with a fearsome energy, but Mauk easily parries each attack, falling back, keeping Anniken between himself and Obi-Wan.

“Anniken!! Fall back!!!”

“No!! He’s mine!!!”

Another screaming, wild swing by Anniken. Mauk steps aside, deflecting the blow. Mauk smiles and hooks Anniken’s left leg with a blade tip, cutting off his foot!! A swing with the other blade cuts off Anniken’s right arm above the elbow! Anniken falls, screaming, to the ground. Mauk prepares to stab with a killing blow.

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Sort of like this (Image source Quora)

Obi-Wan yells “NOOO!!!” and raises his arm and Anniken’s laser sword flies to his left hand. He ignites it and blocks Mauk’s killing thrust with the crossed blades of the two Jedis’ weapons. His eyes lock with the Sith’s, mutual hate between them.

CUT TO Space, where a Mandalorian Fleet emerges from Hyperspace and descends on the Separatist Fleet. Mandalorian Assault Ships dive on several Separatist Battleships, locking their cannons on them. They fire, destroying them!!

On the Separatist Command Ship, Admiral Kreeg screams, “Betrayal!!! Attack the Republic fleet at once!!! Deploy ground forces!! Fire the Deathbringer Cannon!!!”

The large, ellipsoid Ghurran Man-o-War accelerates towards the Peace Fleet. A circular indentation in its front, reminiscent of the Death Star’s Laser, energizes and fires, destroying the Excelsior in a single shot!!

On the Mon Calimari cruiser, Lt. Ackbar yells, “Admiral! An attack!!! The Excelsior has been destroyed!!”

“All, ships, engage and destroy!!!” yells Admiral Fadiyah.

The two opposed fleets immediately attack each other, starting a massive, deadly battle.

Back in the lodge the Spider Drones continue to interface with the controls. The Defensive Force Field drops as the Mandalorian fleet flies down to the planet below, ignoring the battle that they created. Several Landing Ships land and disgorge a small army of Mandalorian warriors.

Behind them, landing ships from both the Republic and Separatist fleets land and deploy forces, that attack each other, largely ignoring the Mandalorian mercenaries and they breach the blast doors of the lodge and rush in.

Obi-Wan and Mauk continue to duel, the Jedi’s two laser swords vs. the Sith’s twin blades. Obi-Wan screams, angry at this Sith who killed his Sen-nai and injured his Padawan. He fights with a ferocity more in keeping with a Sith than a Jedi. Swing by swing, the two clash, leaping over one another in acrobatic flips and spins.

The Separatists and Republic both blame the other for the attacks and draw weapons, a melee ensuing. Padmé and her Handmaidens arm themselves. “It seems that your peace talks have broken down, Senator,” Padmé ironically says to Organa as they take cover behind some statues.

Boba Fett and his mother Djanga lead a squad of Mandalorians through the halls, coldly killing everyone they encounter with brutal efficiency and precision.

Lasers from the battling representatives flash around Obi-Wan and Mauk as they fight, ignoring the blasts in their fury towards each other.

At the far end of the room a door BLASTS off the wall and the squad of Mandalorian Mercenaries enter, rocketing to fan out into the room. “Which side to we attack?” asks Boba.

“The orders are to kill them all,” says Djanga.

They start to attack and kill all who stand without hesitation or discrimination.

In Space the battle continues, the Man-o-War destroying another capital ship with its Deathbringer Cannon. Torpedo Bombers fly in formation towards the Man-o-War, assaulted by fighters, trying to take down the dangerous weapon.

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(Image Source Wookiepedia)

The land war continues on the surface, with heavy casualties on all sides.

The three-way battle continues in the Lodge. Padmé and the Republic side are sheltering behind the statues. Anniken drags himself up despite his missing foot and offers to help, using the Force to toss around broken pieces of stone or fling a flying Mandalorian into the ceiling, damaging hiss jet pack and causing him to plummet.

In the midst of the battle, he reveals to Padmé that he loves her and always has. “I refuse to hide my feelings for you any more, Padmé. I love you and can love no other! If I must die, then let me die here, beside you!!” He leans over, stealing a passionate kiss.

Back in space Admiral Kreeg has the Mon Calamari ship in his sights and is about to destroy it with his Deathbringer Cannon. The Torpedoes strike home, damaging the Man-o-War but not destroying it. Kreeg laughs when he learns that the Deathbringer Cannon is still active.

Just as he’s about to destroy the Mon Calamari ship, a new fleet emerges from Hyperspace: the Clone Amry! A hologram of Mace Windu appears on the bridge. ”Separatist fleet, you are to stand down and surrender immediately or face destruction.”

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Kind of Like This Guy (Image source StarWars.com)

Kreeg hits a button and ejects from the Man-o-War in an escape ship as the Star Destroyers of the Republic Clone Fleet engage, devastating and destroying the Man-o-War and turning the tide of the battle. Clone Landing Ships deploy and land on the surface. Now Clone Storm Troopers engage the Separatist forces. Jedi Master Mace Windu and several Jedi deploy with them. Mace advances towards the lodge, steel in his eyes.

Inside, rage in his eyes, Obi-Wan hammers at Mauk, wearing him down as Mauk tries to block the savage blows with his laser sword. Obi-Wan swings at the handle between the blades of Mauk’s twin laser sword, cutting it in half. The red laser blades flicker and extinguish. Obi-Wan kicks Mauk in the chest, knocking him down, and raises Anakin’s blade in a finishing strike. A look of terror crosses Mauk’s eyes.

“Obi-Wan, beware the Dark Side!” says the voice of Quigon Djyn in his ears.

Obi-Wan hesitates.

Quigon’s voice returns. “Stay centered. Mind the living Force!!”

Obi-Wan stands down, holding his own blade out, pointed at Mauk. “Sith Lord, you are hereby arrested in the name of the Jedi Council. You will be tried for your crimes under the laws of the Republic.”

Suddenly a force of Clone Storm Troopers rush into the room, firing at the Mandalorians. Several are hit by surprise and fall. Soon a battle erupts between Clones and Mercenaries with heavy casualties on all sides.

Mace Windu strides up between the Clones, purple laser sword drawn. Two other Jedi are with him. He begins to casually bat away the laser bolts from the Mandalorians. Boba Fett flies down and starts to shoot at Windu, who reflects a blast back at him, hitting his rocket pack. Boba falls to the floor, stunned.

Djanga lands in front of Boba, firing at Windu, who runs at her, deflecting each shot. With a spinning, swinging slice, he cuts off her head, which lands by the prone Boba. Boba looks at the head and starts to turn his weapon on Mace when a squad of Clones runs up, guns trained on him.

“There is no honor in suicide, young warrior.”

“You killed my mother,” Boba says, coldly.

“She died by the blade, facing the enemy with honor and bravery. She now fights with her ancestors in the Great Battle, does she not?”

Boba lowers his gun. “That is true. You did her an honor.”

“When this battle is over it may be time to rethink which side of this war acts in your people’s best interest, young warrior.”

Boba rises, salutes. “May you do honor to your ancestors, Jedi.”

Windu returns the salute with this laser sword. Boba Fett retreats with the retreating Mandalorians to fight again.

Windu then approaches an exhausted Padmé as the Clone Storm Troopers chase off the last of the Mandalorians, capturing the last of the Separatists. “Master Windu?!? Who released you?!?” says an incredulous Annakin.

“I did,” says Chancellor Palpatine, walking up. “If Master Windu’s subterfuge is to be admonished, then his ultimate actions are to be praised! He has saved the Republic!!”

“Chancellor,” says Organa. “The Senate would never have authorized this army!!”

“You forget, Senator,” says Palpatine, “the entirety of the Peace Faction was here at Ttaz! The majority of the remaining Senators voted in favor of reinstating the Grand Army of the Republic.”

“But how could they do that?!?” says Padmé, “Half of the Senate was gone!! That vote isn’t legal!!”

“I issued a State of Galactic Emergency. Quorum is no longer required.”

“I do not like this, Chancellor,” says Organa

Palpatine sighs. “Alas, neither do I. But desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Windu excuses himself to continue the fight. Obi-Wan then walks up with a handcuffed Mauk. Palpatine asks if this is the “rogue Jedi” from the Battle of Nima. Obi-Wan expresses surprise that he knew about the Sith. Paplatine reminds him that he’s not just the Supreme Chancellor, he’s from Nima. “I assume you are going to execute this beast?” he then says.

A very shocked and outraged look crosses Mauk’s face. He growls. Palpatine doesn’t even flinch.

“No, says Obi-Wan, “He will be properly tried by a court.”

Palpatine laughs. “What, the courts on Coruscant?!? Do you honestly expect him to see justice? Some shyster lawyer will have him back on the street in weeks!”

As he argues with Obi-Wan, Annakin takes the side of Palpatine. “He’s right! We can’t trust this to the courts!”

Obi-Wan attempts to argue, but suddenly Annakin holds up his hand and Mauk starts to choke.

“Annakin, Stop!” yells Obi-Wan, ultimately having to use the Force to throw Anniken back to save Mauk’s life.

“I didn’t know that Jedi could do that,” says Palpatine, impressed.

CIRCLE WIPE to where Obi-Wan, exhausted, leans against a railing. Mace Windu approaches.

They discuss the events. Mauk is in custody. The Clone Army has proven highly effective. But there is no sign of Baron Cetu Thorpe, whom Windu fears may have been captured, however unlikely that seems.

“Your secret army has served us well, Master Windu.”

“As I foresaw it would. In time even Master Yoda will come to see the wisdom of my actions. I hope that you and Sir Anniken will as well. May the Force be with you, Sir Obi-Wan.”

Windu leaves. Obi-Wan looks out over the blowing sands of Ttaz, deep in thought.

“Master Thorpe, where have you gone?” he says to himself. “Were you killed by the Sith? It certainly seems like your security measures weren’t quite as solid as you assured me they......”

Shocked realization dawns on Obi-Wan’s face. He runs OFF CAMERA.

Obi-Wan hops on a Clone Trooper’s Speeder Bike (“Hey!”) and jets off into the desert. He uses the Force to guide him.

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(Image source Inverse)

WIPE TO inside an ancient dwelling, where Baron Thrope is talking to a hologram of Sio Dias. Thorpe bows. “Master Sidious, I have the plans,” he says, revealing a Hologram of the Death Star. It is the first time the name Sidious has been said.

“Excellent, my apprentice,” says Sidious. “Send it to me immediately and travel to Coruscant to finish our mission.”

“It shall be done, Master.” He places the plans in a small Device, hits a button, and the Device hovers and flies off.

Obi-Wan continues on his trip into some rugged hills, ultimately leading him to some rocky outcroppings full of ancient ruins He finds Thorpe’s ruins and confronts him, noting how it was a shame that a Sith got through Thorpe’s careful security. “The Sith are very cunning,” says Thorpe.

“Yes. They are. They can fool even Master Yoda. Shall we drop the pretenses and speak honestly with each other?”

Thorpe admits that he arranged the events, calling it Obi-Wan’s “final test”, proud that he “destroyed that savage” Mauk, and tries to lure Obi-Wan to join him. He is shocked to learn that Mauk lives. Obi-Wan asks him why he betrayed the Jedi and serves the Sith. Thorpe laughs. “Sidious Morg is a fool! As big a fool as Yoda!! Two fools stuck in outdated thinking on the nature of the Galaxy. The future of the Force must move beyond such small thoughts!”

“You are playing both sides against one another!!” Obi-Wan draws his laser sword.

“Indeed, Grand-Padawan.” Thorpe draws his blue Jedi laser sword with his right hand, then draws a second, shorter red Sith laser sword with his left. He salutes Obi-Wan with the blue blade. “I serve only the Whole of the Force. Light and Dark are but illusions, two sides of the same universal power!”

“What do I call you, then? Jedi? Sith?”

Thorpe smiles. “Call me.... ‘Grandfather’”.

Thorpe attacks! Obi-Wan defends skillfully, but is taken aback by the Baron’s ancient, fencing-like fighting style: Jedi sword as rapier, Sith sword as dagger. As they fight, Thorpe speaks of the Ancient Ones, before the Jedi and Sith, who used the Whole of the Force. Obi-Wan dismisses the Ancients as tyrants. “They ruled by Right of Power!!!” counters Thorpe as they duel. “Above morality! They were Gods among mortals!!! Join me! You and Anniken! Together we can overthrow Sidious, slay that beastly Mauk, and bring a New Order to the Galaxy!!!”

“Never, ‘Grandfather’. I’ll never betray the Jedi.”

Thorpe scowls, disappointment apparent in his eyes. “Then so be it....Jedi.”

The fierce clash continues, and the more experienced Thorpe clearly has the upper hand. Obi-Wan is disarmed and just as Obi-Wan is about to be run through, Thorpe pauses and looks up. “It appears that we have more guests coming. We will have to continue this another time, Grand Padawan.”

The Baron salutes Obi-Wan with the blue blade and runs to his waiting ship. The hatch closes, the ship powers up, and it launches out into the sky just as a squad of Clone Troopers run in, firing futilely at the retreating ship.

Mace Windu walks in. “He won’t get far, Sir Obi-Wan.”

Obi-Wan simply stands, staring sadly at the retreating ship.

Thorpe’s ship flies away into the sky, chased by a squad of Clone Fighters firing at him. He jinks and dodges. Thorpe says into a Comm, “I come, Master. Call off the assault ships. (silence) Master? (continued silence) Answer me, please, Master!! MASTER?!?!”

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(Image Source Wookiepedia)

He reaches Space and deploys a Solar Sail and veers away from the planet. A huge swarm of Fighters greets him at the top of the atmosphere. Star Destroyers fire their deck guns. Thorpe’s ship tries desperately to dodge all the blasts, but there are too many! The ship takes several hits and bursts into flames. Inside, engulfed in flames, Thorpe screams.

The flaming ship’s sail burns away and the flaming ship plummets into the atmosphere.

A SILENT MONTAGE BEGINS

The Force Theme plays. Obi-Wan watches sadly as the flaming line of Thorpe’s burning ship streaks across the sky, then breaks apart into a hundred small, burning pieces. Windu rests a hand on his shoulder, pats it, then walks away.

Elsewhere in the desert of Ttaz, the hooded figure of Sidious Morg stands amid the blowing sands. He holds out his hand as the flying Device holding the Death Star Plans lands in his palm. He projects the hologram of the plans, turns it off, smiles darkly, and walks away.

A Medical Ship. Padmé sits by the side of Anniken’s hospital bed, holding his hand as Medical Droids attach a cybernetic arm and foot to him.

At the Jedi Temple, in the glow of the Green Moon, Master Yoda looks up, a look of dark portent crossing his face.

WIPE TO…

A Republic Cruiser. Padmé and Annaken stare out the bay window, holding hands, as Ttaz and its blue-white sun, eclipsing behind a large moon, retreats in the distance. Obi-Wan walks up to them. He holds out the burnt, melted remains of Thorpe’s blue laser sword. A sad, confused look crosses Annakin’s face as he takes it.

SILENT MONTAGE ENDS

WIPE TO…

A Cruiser hallway, where Obi-Wan speaks with Mace Windu, who indicates that “only molecules” of Cetu Thorpe were found. He warns Obi-Wan not to dwell on Thorpe (“Thus always to betrayers”) and to focus on the challenges of the battle ahead.

“Now see to your Padawan. His power will be a great asset in the coming war. I need him rested, clear headed, and unburdened by grief. Now, if you will excuse me....”

A door opens to a State Room. Chancellor Palpatine waits inside with a Clone General. The Imperial March starts to play. Windu walks in and the door shuts behind him.

CUT TO…

SILENT MONTAGE 2

The Imperial March continues. A massive Clone Fleet as it flies on through space, the triangular shapes of Star Destroyers stabbing through space like spear heads. Swarms Fighters zip by among them.

On Had Abbadon, a company of Clone Storm Troopers marches down the street to a ticker tape parade, lined by throngs of cheering crowds. Hover Tanks and other vehicles drive among them. The cheers grow louder as Chancellor Palpatine, riding a golden Hover Barge reminiscent of a Chariot, waves, Caesar-like, in triumph to the adoring crowds.

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(Image Source Reddit)

WIPE TO a star base on Had Abbadon where companies of Storm Troopers march in unison, following Mace Windu up the ramps into Landing Craft as others take off in the background. PAN BACK to where Yoda, Anniken, and Obi-Wan look on. Anniken looks excited watching this spectacle of martial might. Obi-Wan and Yoda show only dismay.

“Begun this...Clone War has,” says Yoda, sadly. “May the Force be with this Galaxy.”

“Fear not, Master Yoda,” says Anniken. “With this army we can crush the separatist rebellion and restore peace to the Galaxy!”

“Yes. That we may. But what next will happen? What kind of peace then the Galaxy will have?”

WIPE TO…

A Mausoleum. Camera PANS along a hallway at a memorial garden. To CAMERA LEFT are a row of support columns, which cast long shadows in the light of the Green Moon. To CAMERA RIGHT are, floor to ceiling, remains cubicles. We PAN past these solemn reminders, past a handful of Mourners, who touch the cubicles’ memorial plaques to project holograms of their lost loved ones. We PAN slowly up to Anniken, who sits in front of a cubicle near the ground, face glowing in the light of a hologram of his smiling Mother Shmi on endless loop in front of him. His expression is a complex mix of sadness, anger, regret, and reminiscence. Obi-Wan walks up to Anniken and kneels beside him.

“We could have saved her, Sen-nai,” says Anniken.

“No, my friend. We could not have. But her murderer is in custody. He will face justice for his many crimes, including her.”

Anniken looks at Obi-Wan, tears in his eyes. “Will he?!?”

“If the Force wills it. She would want you to let go, Anakin. Move on. You honor her memory every single day through your actions. Do you understand, Anakin?”

Anniken nods in silence, then says, “I always wish that I could have met my father,” and excuses himself. He notes that Baron Thorpe, as promised, left Thorpe Tower to Anniken in his will, and he plans to stay there tonight. The Sen-nai and Padawan hug and say their goodbyes.

As Anniken leaves, Obi-Wan has a thought. He calls up Moog on a Comm. “Run a scan of the Jedi Archives. Give me the names of all Jedi dispatched to Utapau nineteen years ago, during the Hutt invasion.”

“The search came back empty, ba. It looks like the Jedi sat that war out,” Moog replies. Obi-Wan scowls.

WIPE TO…

Thorpe Tower, at night. Camera PANS up the side of the looming Thorpe Tower and then down the long, dark, elegant entry hallway of Baron Thorpe’s residence. Servant Droids open the doors as we pass. We pass the suits of armor and into a sitting room of Old World opulence with a giant fireplace and mounted animals and into the Dining Room.

Here we see Anniken seated in the dark in the Baron’s chair, a fancy supper sitting untouched, Servant Droids standing ready. We ZOOM IN on the scowling Anniken, who holds Thorpe’s melted laser sword. A solo clarinet softly plays the opening notes of the “Imperial March”.

IRIS OUT

ROLL CREDITS
---

And BAM! Pretty close to what we got, right? Stay tuned, Nerfherders! I’m trying to score an early copy of Episode III, but no promises!



[1] Tree Pose, naturally enough.

[2] Backstory and episodes of the Chronicles of the Clone Wars animated series will reveal that Atha Prime is actually a “generational clone” who clones himself and moves his mind between the bodies every generation, and that the Atha Prime from Shadows of the Empire is a third generation Clone from the one we meet in Ep. II. It’s an idea that was originally developed for Lando Calrissian in the Leigh Bracket screenplay for her “Star Wars Sequel”.

[3] :winkytongue:
 
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The Original Star Wars, Episode II Film Treatment
From ScriptLeaks.net by poster Jedi-Mauk101, May 4th, 2000


I DID IT AGAIN!! I got a leaked copy of one of George Lucas and Frank Darabont’s original Film Treatment for Episode II!!! Once again most of what we saw in the finished film last year is there. I added in some notes and threw in some concept art and screen shots to break up the wall of text again. So, once again, enjoy, and May the Fourth be With You!

The film begins with the traditional opening crawl:


EPISODE II

THE HIDDEN ARMY


WAR!!!

Emboldened by
the Senate’s weakness,
a CONFEDERACY OF INDEPENDENT
SYSTEMS has initiated open revolt against the Galactic Republic.

As the Senate debates how to respond to this crisis, the JEDI COUNCIL, spread thin
by the galactic conflict, struggles to organize small planetary armies into a cohesive fighting force.
Unbeknownst to the Senate, the Jedi also search for the SITH LORDS that they suspect are behind this insurrection.

As casualties mount, many have begun to discuss the once unthinkable: the resurrection of the long disbanded GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC......​


tl;dr Synopsis

After starting in battle in media res, and witnessing a pair of Jedi overwhelmed and killed by a swarm of hundreds of Battle Droids, we WIPE to the Galactic Senate, where Senator Mon Mothma (Bronaugh Gallagher) is recommending to rebuild the long-disbanded Grand Army of the Republic while Bail Organa (Adrian Dunbar) openly opposes this and Padmé Amidala (Aleksa Palladino) instead pushes for fighting the corruption and dysfunction that fuels the revolt. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) struggles to retain order.

Observing from the mezzanine, Yoda (Frank Oz), Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and Baron Cetu Thorpe (Ian McKellen) debate the merits of this, Yoda remembering the “great day” centuries ago when the Army was disbanded and Windu suggesting that Mothma may be right about resurrecting the army “as a temporary measure”, which shocks Thorpe.

It then WIPES to the Battle of Yoshiro, where Obi-Wan (Kenneth Branagh) and Anniken Skywalker (Zachary Ty Brian) are in fighters, helping to lead an assault by Mon Calamari Cruisers against Separatist Battleships led by the heavily cybernetic Admiral Kreeg (voice of Christopher Lee). They win the battle, though Kreeg’s Droid Factory Station escapes, despite Kreeg’s desire to fight, which is stopped when Sith Apprentice Mauk Shivtor (Benicio del Toro) forces him to retreat by choking him.

But Anniken’s recklessness, though highly effective, gains the admonishment of Obi-Wan, who warns him that the Jedi Council only barely supports his continued training. They retire to meditate, whereby Obi-Wan has a vision of a hidden army of Storm Troopers on an oceanic world while Anniken bursts in, having had a vision that Padmé was in danger.

WIPE TO the Republic Capital Planet of Had Abbadon, where Padmé, Moog (Nathan Lane), Ba-Ba (Howie Mandel), and R2D2 are digging through evidence of yearly hidden expenses arranged by the non-existent “Senator Sio Dias” that lead back to the planet Atha, which has been purged from the galactic registry. Obi-Wan and Anniken arrive, the latter suddenly tripping over himself with nerves upon seeing Padmé, though he’s still in a rush to search for whatever dangers to her that he sensed. While he searches her suite for dangers, Obi-Wan and Padmé relate their mutual discovery of Atha and vow to find out what is going on.

Anniken and Obi-Wan remain nearby that night to help protect her from the danger Anniken sensed. Eventually, a hover car arrives outside of her window and fires an automatic laser into her room. Anniken cuts through a wall to save Padmé while Obi-Wan fights off the hover car, which flies off into the night. Anniken jumps out the window after the retreating car and Obi-Wan, sighing again about his Padawan’s impulsivity, jumps out after him. Padmé wonders if they’re both insane.

Anniken falls and lands on the roof of a hover van with a family of aliens and commandeers it to chase the black hover car while Obi-Wan lands safely on the streets below, uses the Force to calm a local protest that is about to turn into a riot, and then calmly enters a bar, asking for juice and a bus schedule.

While Anniken catches up to and battles the fleeing assassins, causing tons of chaos and property damage, Obi-Wan, using the bus schedule and his intuition, leaps from hover bus to hover bus until he arrives at the black hover car just as Anniken is on the black car and battling the assassin. Anniken subdues the assassin while Obi-Wan lands the hover car, but the assassin commits suicide before they can get her to talk.

WIPE back to the Jedi Council, where the Masters are very upset with Obi-Wan and Anniken’s recklessness. After a debate on what to do with the reckless Padawan, Mace Windu recommends that Anniken be tested in the Bardo, which causes a stir. The Jedi Masters universally support the test, though Thorpe seems upset.

Afterwards, Obi-Wan explains to Anniken that in the Bardo he will be subjected to the Dark Side and face representations of his fears and attachments that manifest as “demons”, which he must completely ignore save for one such phantom, which will be the representation of a real physical threat. Only three Jedi have ever passed the Bardo out of 25 attempts over the centuries. Obi-Wan recommends that Anniken go to Master Windu for training, which Anniken, who believes that Windu “hates” him, is reluctant to do. But Obi-Wan mentions that Windu is one of the three Jedi to pass the Bardo.

The story then divides into three subplots. While Anniken trains with Mace Windu to pass the Bardo, in tests that are arcane and often painful, Obi-Wan travels with Yoda to the Green Moon of Sicemon for special meditative training and Padmé leads Moog, Ba-Ba, R2, and Guard Captain Pataka (Tupac Shakur) on a heist caper in the Republic Archives, dodging sentry drones to access an old star map that reveals the location of Atha.

Obi-Wan on the Green Moon is led through rituals, and discovers that his deep platonic love and attachment to Anniken and Padmé is the greatest threat to his life as a Jedi, since “Love is strong in the light side of the force. Beautiful, love is. Grand. Joyous. But to a Jedi, dangerous… Love endangered too easily to fear leads. Love lost too easily to anger leads. Love betrayed too easily to hatred leads. A Jedi must emotional love forego, only the eternal love of the Force may we have.” He calls it “Ironic” that Jedi, as servants of love, cannot have it themselves. He then sends Obi-Wan to a clearing where he meets the Force Ghost of Quigon Djyn (Katsuhiko Sasaki), who warns him to let go of his need to control Anniken’s future.

Anniken, meanwhile, struggles with Windu, who promises only difficulty, challenge, and pain, eventually failing an exercise because he senses that Padmé is in danger again. But Anniken soon gets a minor reprieve when Baron Thrope invites him to the elegant Thorpe Tower for a private dinner.

Padmé and her crew, meanwhile, are leaving with the stolen star map when they are discovered by the Sentry Driods and must fight to escape. Pataka is injured and they seem cut off and surrounded on a bridge and must use a grapple gun to escape encirclement.

In Thrope Tower, Anniken is warmly greeted by Baron Thorpe, who tells him about the duty of the strong to not only protect the weak, but guide and even lead them. Thorpe, ever charming, seems shocked by the descriptions of Windu’s “old fashioned” teachings, openly warning Anniken that Windu “fears” Anniken and wants him to fail, and instead promises to show Anniken more special force skills that will help him defeat the Bardo “in [his] own way”.

Padmé and team barely escape the Droids and the authorities and escape into the night.

WIPE TO the Bardo Ceremony, where Anniken is put through an odd hallucinatory journey where manifestations of his fears, angers, and attachments appear and assault him, from the abuse of his old Master Gunray Pabucan, to the death of his mother, to the assault and mocking of Mauk Shivtor. He ignores them and they vanish, one by one. But the phantom of Padmé offering her love is an attachment that he can’t let go of, so he instead uses the Force to pull the phantom into himself, his eyes glowing orange for a second. Finally, a phantom image of himself, full of rage, attacks. This time, Anniken draws his laser sword and fights back…

…and the Bardo suddenly ends and his laser sword is locked with Baron Thorpe’s. He has passed the Bardo! All celebrate, even Windu bowing respectfully, though something is bothering Yoda.

WIPE TO the next morning, where Obi-Wan and Anniken are reunited with Padmé and the Roona and R2 and all get on a spaceship to Atha to investigate what they all sense is critical to the larger war unfolding around them.

As they fly off, Yoda and Windu look on, noting that the Archives of all curious places were broken into the other night with only an old map accessed and Windu is suspicious of why Obi-Wan will not reveal where he is going.

At Atha, a stormy ocean world, Padmé (with R2) assumes a disguise as “Secretary Lotess” representing Senator Sio Dias (the name behind the secret Atha payments, who does not exist) and Obi-Wan and Anniken as her guards and representatives of the Council, who apparently approved the secret transactions to Atha. Moog and Ba-Ba sneak past and slip into the water on a mission of their own.

A Atha’ana alien named Malana’sa takes them on a tour of the facility, briefly introducing them to Atha Prime, the CEO of the Clone Works, who is a very old member of the Atha’ana. Padmé and the Jedi are shown the Clone Army (Cliff Curtis as the adults, Beulah Koale as the children) that has been grown and trained over the past ten years using the money from the secret payments. They are also introduced to the “template”, Mandalorian Warrior Kaliss Fett (Curtis), who has numerous facial tattoos and recognizes Obi-Wan from the Battle of Nima, though Obi-Wan feigns ignorance.

Meanwhile, Moog and Ba-Ba try to avoid various dangerous sea creatures as they hack into an undersea cable and attach a security repression device.

R2 gets a signal when the device is attached and alerts Padmé, who asks for an office to “compile her notes” and then has R2 plug into the Cloneworks computer, working with the security repression device that the Roona installed to hack and download the corporate records.

Meanwhile, Kaliss Fett is back in his room and has a hologram communications meeting with his sister Djanga (Rena Owen) and young nephew Boba (Jason Momoa) where they discuss the “upcoming mission on Ttaz”. He then contacts his “employer” Sio Dias to ask why he was not alerted to the arrival of the “inspectors”. Dias mentions that they were not sent by him.

R2, meanwhile has completed the data download and they are about to board their ship to leave when Kaliss confronts them, revealing them to be imposters. A fight ensues where cannons destroy their ship, so while Obi-Wan and Padmé battle Kaliss, Anniken, using the leftover cable from Kaliss’s entanglement cable and Ba-Ba’s cable gun, establishes a bridge over the waves to where a Mandalorian ship, presumably Kaliss’s, is on another platform.

After a death-defying fight and escape, Kaliss is eventually sent careening into the ocean when his rocket pack is damaged, and the team manage to steal the Mandalorian ship and escape while Kaliss pledges revenge.

On the ship they look through the data, unable to determine who in the government is behind the deal (it shows the face of “Senator Sio Dias”, but the picture is of an unrelated long-dead Senator). But they do discover the Jedi Master that supported the deal…

WIPE TO the Jedi Council, where Obi-Wan is trying to discretely discuss the issue. Yoda wants there to be a small, private meeting to discuss this “sensitive subject”, but Anniken blurts out that “It was Master Windu!” causing pandemonium. Accusations fly and a fight between Jedi seems imminent as two go to arrest Windu. It is only broken up by Yoda raising his arms and knocking back both sides. Windu surrenders, admitting the crime but remaining convinced that he did what he had to, having “foreseen” the needs for the army and knowing that the council would never approve.

As he is taken away under arrest, having given up his laser sword, Thorpe, impressed by his “grand Padawan”, officially knights Anniken into a full Jedi, surprising all and disturbing Yoda, who did not approve this.

Now with Windu exposed, Thorpe recommends that the council put their whole weight behind Senator Organa’s peace mission with the Separatists.

WIPE TO space, where Baron Thorpe’s elegant flagship now leads a Peace Fleet to the neutral desert planet of Ttaz, where Senator Organa is leading negotiations with the Separatists on behalf of the Republic. Obi-Wan has a “bad feeling” but Thorpe makes it clear that he has set up the security himself and that “nobody lands without my permission.”

Thorpe also tells Anniken, separately, that he (Thorpe) is the last of the ancient clan of Thorpe, and has named Anniken as his inheritor of his estate and legacy as “the grandson that I never had”.

Obi-Wan, meanwhile, has a tough moment with Padmé where he essentially tells her that, due to his Jedi status, he cannot remain emotionally close with her, and becomes much more formal around her. Essentially, he has rejected her friendship for fear that it will become a dangerous attachment. She is hurt by this, taking it personally, and left emotionally vulnerable since she felt very familiar with Obi-Wan and Anniken.

On the planet, in a great hall, the different sides come together to discuss peace and all seems to be going smoothly. Suddenly Mauk Shivtor’s ship arrives at Ttaz. Using an access code listed as “Senator Dias”, he is let through the force field. As he lands, he attacks and kills the guards and unleashes two Spider Droids to hack the defenses.

Sensing the danger, Obi-Wan and Anniken react and rush to the scene.

In space, a Mandalorian fleet appears out of hyperspace and attacks the Separatists, destroying several ships. Certain that the Republic betrayed them, Admiral Kreeg orders the attack of the Republic fleet while the Mandalorians fly on to the surface just as Mauk’s spider drones lower the force fields.

The two space fleets engage one another, Kreeg’s ship using a “Deathbringer Cannon” reminiscent of the Death Star’s cannon to destroy the Republic flagship (Thorpe’s). Both fleets deploy ground forces and a full-on battle has begun!

The Mandalorians join Mauk in slaughtering both sides even as Separatists and Republic delegates attack each other, both assuming that they were the ones betrayed.

The Jedi engage Mauk, but Anniken, filled with rage, rushes in and gets his left foot and right arm severed. Obi-Wan, pulling Anniken’s laser sword to himself and using both weapons, engages Mauk, anger now in Obi-Wan’s eyes too.

Injured, Anniken pulls himself over to where Padmé is, and uses his Force powers to help protect her. Sure that they may die, Anniken confesses his love to Padmé, and they kiss, her still vulnerable from Obi-Wan’s rejection of her friendship.

Just as it seems that the Separatists are getting the upper hand, a new fleet arrives: the Clone Army. It is led by Jedi Master Mace Windu. The new fleet shatters both the Separatists and the Mandalorian forces, with Kreeg escaping again. On the surface Windu kills Djanga Fett in front of her son Boba, who rather than die trying to avenge her, acknowledges to Windu that he gave her an honorable death and instead retreats to fight again.

In a rage, Obi-Wan overpowers Mauk and is about to kill him when the disembodied voice of Quigon stops him. Instead, he demands, and receives, Mauk’s surrender.

Windu and the Storm Troopers fully chase away the attackers and rescue Anniken and Padmé. When Anniken asks, incredulously, who freed Windu, Chancellor Palpatine shows up and says that he freed Windu and authorized the use of the Clone fleet, saying that Windu’s actions, though done the wrong way, have “saved the Republic.” Windu then leaves to help finish the fighting.

Palpatine then sees the captured Mauk and is shocked that they’d spare such a “beast”, noting (where the obviously angry Anniken can hear it) that he’ll “surely walk free” again and that they should “put the beast down.” Anniken, eyes filled with anger, raises his hand and Mauk starts to choke! Obi-Wan interrupts this with the force and Anniken apologizes as Mauk is led away.

“I didn’t know that Jedi could do that,” says and impressed Palpatine.

Time skips ahead. With the battle over, Obi-Wan is talking with Windu, with both wondering where Baron Thorpe went, assuming that he must have been captured or killed. After Windu leaves, Obi-Wan notes to himself with irony that Thorpe didn’t have the control over security that he thought that he did.

Suddenly he has a revelation and steals a speeder bike and heads off in a rush into the desert.

In some old ruins, Thorpe is revealed to be fine, kneeling and speaking to the hologram of Lord Sio Dias. He reveals to Dias the Death Star plans that he secured from a Separatist contact. “You have done well, my apprentice,” says Dias, adding to “send them to me” and the hologram vanishes. Thorpe places the plans in a small hovering drone, which flies off just as Obi-Wan arrives and confronts him.

After talking around the subject, Thorpe admits that, yes, he’s working with Sith Master Sidious Morg (the first time the name is formally mentioned) but that Sidious, like Yoda, is in his opinion a fool and that he plans to overthrow both and establish a new order in the style of the pre-Jedi/Sith Ancient Ones who commanded “the Whole Force”, trying to convince Obi-Wan to join him in this quest. But Obi-Wan notes that the Ancient Ones were dangerous tyrants and refuses.

They draw laser swords and fight, with Thorpe using both his normal blue sword and a shorter red Sith one as well in a formal Fencing like style that Obi-Wan is having trouble defending against. Obi-Wan is soon disarmed by the more experienced Thorpe, but before he can be run through, Thorpe senses that others have arrived, and flees in his small sail fighter into the sky.

Windu arrives with Storm Troopers and calls in fighters to attack the “traitorous” Thorpe.

Thorpe is evading the fighters and cannons, and calls over the Comms asking his “Master” Sidious to call off the assault, but his Master does not reply.

Thorpe’s ship is hit several times, engulfing Thorpe in flames, and he plummets as Obi-Wan watches.

There is a brief Montage set to the Force Theme of Thorpe’s ship plummeting, Anniken getting cybernetic limbs as Padmé holds his hand, the hand of Sidious Morg, on Ttaz, reaching out to receive the flying drone with the Death Star plans, and finally Anniken and Padmé looking out as Ttaz disappears into the distance, Obi-Wan arriving and handing the melted remains of Thorpe’s blue laser sword to a heartbroken Anniken.

It then cuts to Obi-Wan discussing Thorpe’s fate with Windu, who mentions that only molecules of the Jedi Master were found. “Thus always to betrayers,” says Windu.

Windu then enters into a meeting room with Palpatine and Clone Officers, the door closing behind them as the Imperial March plays.

Another Montage to the Imperial March of Clone fleets gathering, Chancellor Palpatine receiving a heroic Triumph down the streets of Had Abbadon on a chariot-like hover carriage amid marching Storm Troopers, and Windu leading Storm Troopers onto landing ships ready to engage the Separatists. Anniken is excited, but Yoda upset

“Begun this…Clone War has. May the Force be with this Galaxy.”

The music ends and it WIPES to a mausoleum, where Obi-Wan visits a sad Anniken, who is visiting his mother’s grave, looking at a recorded hologram of her. He and Obi-Wan exchange sentiments, with Anniken wondering what happened to his father, whom he never met. Anniken then declines an offer to join Obi-Wan for dinner, because he must get to Thorpe Tower, which he inherited per Thorpe’s will.

After he leaves, Obi-Wan has a moment of insight and calls up Moog, asking him to search the Jedi database for any Jedi deployed to Utapau, where Shmi lived and met Anniken’s father, during the Hutt Wars, but Moog reports that no Jedi participated at the time.

It then CUTS to Thorpe Tower where Anniken sits alone in the dark, looking at the charred remains of Thorpe’s laser sword, strong emotions in his eyes. A lone clarinet plays the notes of the Imperial March in minor key as the film IRISES to Credits.

Full Synopsis

Following the opening crawl, we PAN DOWN to a red planet and continue to PAN DOWN through the atmosphere to the rocky ground, where two Jedi fight a group of Battle Droids. The Jedi are making short work of the Droids, effortlessly cutting them down left and right. HELICOPTER PAN BACK to reveal a long train of dozens of destroyed droids behind the Jedi, but also revealing a HUGE SWARM of HUNDREDS OF DROIDS. The Droid swarm slowly surrounds and envelops the two lonely Jedi. CONTINUE PAN until the Jedi are only two small figures in an ocean of enemy Droids. Eventually, the lasers of the Droids overwhelm the Jedi, intersect, and the Jedi FALL DEAD, their laser swords extinguishing.

WIPE TO...

The Galactic Senate on Had Abbadon, where young Senator Mon Mothma (Bronagh Gallagher) of Chandrila announces the latest defeat of Republic forces and causes a shock by calling for the resurrection of the Grand Army of the Republic. Senator Bail Organa (Adrian Dunbar) of Alderaan openly opposes this, suggesting that peace talks and compromise are the only answer. Senator Padmé Amidala (Aleksa Palladino) of Nima-Roona wants to go after the root causes of the Separatist movement: corruption and dysfunction, and is fighting to get her reform program out of committee. Crosstalk ensues and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) calls for order.

Watching from the mezzanine, Jedi Masters Yoda (Frank Oz), Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson), and Baron Cetu Thorpe (Ian McKellen) look on. Yoda laments how “Three hundred fifty four years it has been since disbanded the Grand Army was. A glorious day that was. Peace throughout the galaxy.”

Thorpe promises Yoda that peace will come again.

Then Windu shocks them both by suggesting that perhaps Mothma is right about resurrecting the Republic Army “As a temporary measure until peace can be restored, of course.”

They then talk about the ongoing Battle of Yoshiro, where Sir Obi-Wan and his Padawan are fighting.

WIPE TO…

delta-7-starfighter_fe9a59bc.jpeg

(Image source StarWars.com)

The Battle of Yoshiro, where Obi-Wan Kenobi (Kenneth Branagh) and Anniken Skywalker (Zachary Ty Bryan) are in fighters, engaging swarms of Droid Fighters. Anniken is flying erratically, and Obi-Wan is admonishing him for this, but Anniken notes that the “Drone Fighters are programmed to expect formation flying. The secret to defeating them is confusing their preprogrammed expectations.” The disagreements go further as they strafe a Separatist Battleship to take out its defensive guns, opening up the way for Republic Torpedo Bombers, whose large rocket-like Torpedoes blast a hole in the Battleship, but don’t destroy it.

Anniken suggests that they fly into the breach and take it out themselves, but Obi-Wan refuses, ordering him to fall back. But Anniken then ignores Obi-Wan’s orders and flies into the breach, compelling Obi-Wan to follow. They fly though the crowded internal infrastructure, dodging walls and conduits, until they reach the Core of the Battleship. Anniken fires two blasts, destroying it. They then outrun the fireball and escape as the Battleship explodes.

A Mon Calamari Cruiser (cameo by a young Lieutenant Ackbar as helmsman) then flies into the breach in the Separatist battleline left by the destroyed Battleship and engages the adjacent Battleships on either side with its side guns, taking heavy damage, but destroying the Battleships and opening the breach further for other Mon Calamari Cruisers to enter. This collapses the Separatist lines and opens the way to the Droid Factory space station that is the primary target. But the seemingly defenseless factory reveals hidden guns (Ackbar: “It’s a…” Fadiyah: “I know what it is, Lieutenant!”) and engages the Republic fleet.

In the factory, the highly cybernetic Admiral Kreeg (voice of Christopher Lee), whose lower half has six mechanical legs like a spider and whose nose and mouth are submerged in a green liquid that creates creepy bubbling sounds when he speaks, is excited for the fight, but Mauk Shivtor (Benicio del Toro) emerges from the shadows, admonishing him to retreat through hyperspace as “my master has plans for this factory elsewhere.”

Kreeg starts to refuse, but then starts to choke as Mauk raises his hand, causing the liquid to bubble, and Kreeg finally relents. The Factory flees into hyperspace and Anniken, his blood up, wants to pursue, but Obi-Wan orders him to stand down. The Factory, with Kreeg and Mauk, escapes.

Obi-Wan and Anniken land back in the lead Cruiser, where Obi-Wan admonishes his excitable young Padawan for his recklessness and warns him that “Your passions will be your undoing. The Jedi Council only barely supports your continued training.” He urges his Padawan to “take the rest of this evening to meditate, release yourself from your passions, and turn yourself fully over to the Force.”

Anniken relents and agrees.

Obi-Wan himself takes time to meditate in his chambers. His thoughts flash before us as he does: Quigon’s smile and death, Padmé’s smile, Mauk Shivtor. The visions expand: Obi-Wan on a verdant mountaintop with Yoda, Anniken in torment and crossing laser swords with a smiling Baron Cetu Thorpe, an undersea glass corridor, a Mandalorian stepping through a door, a marching line of Storm Troopers.

He’s broken from his visions by Anniken, who rushes in. “We must get to Had Abbadon, immediately!”

“Yes,” replies Obi-Wan, “I saw it too. A hidden army.”

“Padmé’s in danger!”

WIPE TO…

Had Abbadon, where Padmé, Moog (Nathan Lane), Ba-Ba (Howie Mandel), and R2D2 are looking through some finance records on computers. They notice a yearly 3.5 million credit expense, always for something different (park restoration on Bespin, moisture farm subsidies on Tatooine, etc.), which Moog and Ba-Ba, using R2, ultimately trace through Chandrilian banks to the planet Atha, which does not exist according to the Galactic maps. A Senator Sio Dias, who also doesn’t exist, is the approving authority. The Jedi Council apparently approved the deal, which seems highly unlikely.

Obi-Wan and Anniken arrive, and Padmé is very happy to see them again. Anniken is smitten, seeing her again, and starts to babble, but then remembers why he’s here, announcing that she’s in danger, so he runs around the apartment looking for dangers as Padmé and Obi-Wan look on incredulously. Chaos ensues as Ba Ba rushes to help, causing breakage and fallen lamps. Sighing, Obi-Wan then surprises Padmé by knowing about the hidden planet of Atha, which he saw in his vision.

Anniken then returns, having found no immediate threats and, ultimately, after some comic misunderstandings about his intentions, Anniken convinced Padmé to let him and Obi-Wan stay to protect her from the danger that he foresaw. Anniken grabs a spot for the night with Moog and Ba-Ba in an adjacent room to Padmé’s and Obi-Wan grabs a guest room further away.

That night, a menacing black hover-car appears outside of Padmé’s window. Anniken cuts through the wall and pulls Padmé to the ground just seconds before the lasers fly, blowing out the window and tearing apart the room. Obi-Wan arrives with his laser sword drawn and fights off the attackers, deflecting the blasts. As the black hover-car flies off, Anniken declares his intent to pursue and jumps out the shattered window, falling towards the streets below. Obi-Wan, saying “That boy will be the death of me!”, jumps out after him.

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(Image source Twitter)

“Those two are insane....” says Padmé, watching the two Jedi fall.

We follow a plummeting Anniken as he falls towards, and lands atop, a hover-van driven by a family of three aliens (scowling dad, nagging mom, bored kid). Anniken cuts open a hole in the roof with his laser sword and commandeers the vehicle in the name of the Republic, exciting the kid but terrifying the parents.

Down on the streets of Had Abbadon, two angry groups of protestors and counter-protestors line the street, a haggard line of Cops trying to keep them apart. Objects are thrown. A riot looks imminent. Obi-Wan lands on the ground in the middle of them with a loud bang, using the Force to ease the impact. He stands up and walks between the angry groups. He raises his hands and a wave of calm flows across both groups. The riot is averted. A protestor looks at a counter-protestor, who shrugs.

Obi-Wan walks across the street to a Dive Bar, and shocks the rough guests by ordering plain Grum Grum juice. A sketchy guy tries to sell him Death Sticks, but he waves his hand and the guy repeats his words that he will not sell him the sticks, but go home and reevaluate his life. Obi-Wan then asks if anyone has a bus schedule.

Back in the hover-van, Anniken flies recklessly through the flying cars, letting the Force guide him, until he finds the black hover car. The Assassin Droid inside the black car shoots at them, damaging the van, so Anniken gets on the roof and uses his laser sword to block the blasts, using the Force to steer the van.

Back on the streets, Obi-Wan walks casually out of the bar with a bus schedule and leaps impossibly high up to grab a passing hover car. He then, looking at the schedule, drops off of the car and grabs onto the side of a hover bus, surprising the passengers.

Back at the car chase, Anniken reflects the laser blasts back into the Droid, causing it to smoke, power down, and fall out of the hover-car.

Cut to a building where a young couple, the wife exhausted by the sweeping, discuss whether they should get a droid. The dead Assassin Droid crashes through their window, causing them to scream.

Obi-Wan, reading the bus schedule as he hangs from the hover-bus (“Okay, this is the 308. The cross-town should be coming through about......there. Right on schedule, for once....”) lets go and drops onto another passing bus.

Anniken steers the van up to the black car, gives control back to the relieved alien father, and jumps to the black car as the van flies off, the Alien Child waving excitedly. Cutting off the roof of the black car, Anniken grapples with the Assassin within, struggling with her, as the car veers into oncoming traffic.

Obi-Wan then lands on the car and takes control, Anniken asking him what took him so long. “The bus ran late.”

Anniken eventually cuts the hand from the Assassin with his laser sword and subdues her, demanding to know who sent her, but she tells him it was “Someone who would make my death far more painful than you ever could!” Poison gas shoots from her ring, which Anniken barely dodges, but it kills her.

WIPE TO…

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(Image source Colider)

The next morning, back at the Jedi Council, the Masters are admonishing Obi-Wan and Anniken for their recklessness and the property damage that they caused (“Your reckless actions last night endangered lives, caused millions of credits in damage, and have made the council liable to legal actions! You are JEDI KNIGHTS, not nerf wranglers!”). Anniken wants to argue, but Obi-Wan takes full responsibility for their actions. Yoda is disappointed and concerned. Windu is solid as a stone, but one can sense the displeasure beneath the stoic façade. Thorpe openly suggests that Anniken be taken from Obi-Wan’s apprenticeship and given to him to train.

But Windu has a different suggestion. “I motion that young Skywalker pass through the Bardo.”

This causes a lot of shocked discussion, but it is ultimately decided that Anniken must pass through the Bardo or be rejected from the Jedi Order.

Obi-Wan later explains the Bardo to Anniken: it is “the ultimate test of a Jedi’s connection to the force, Anakin. It is a complete exposure to the Dark Side. Your greatest fears, angers, and attachments will manifest themselves as phantoms and demons. These demons are illusions you must ignore as you pass through. Should you react to any of them, you will fail and be expelled from the Jedi Order.”

When Anniken says “So it’s all fake?”, Obi-Wan replies that one of the demons is the manifestation of a real threat that he must defend himself against. The biggest part of the test is knowing which of the threats is the true one and responding only to that. He notes that “Twenty four Jedi have faced the Bardo over the centuries. Only three have passed. I doubt I could pass. I doubt Quigon could have.”

Anniken asks Obi-Wan for help, but Obi-Wan tells Anniken that he can’t help him because their bond is too close and tells his Padawan that he (Obi-Wan) will be travelling with Master Yoda to the Green Moon of Sicemon for special training. Anniken will be alone.

Obi-Wan instead tells Anniken to go to Master Windu for training. Anniken is shocked at the suggestion, since Windu suggested the Bardo, insisting that Windu “hates” him. Obi-Wan replies that, quite to the contrary, Windu would never have suggested the Bardo if he didn’t have some measure of faith that Anniken could pass. He further reveals that one of the three Jedi to successfully pass the Bardo was Mace Windu himself.

CIRCLE WIPE to where Obi-Wan is preparing with Yoda for travel to the Green Moon, storm clouds gathering in the distance. Padmé approaches him and tells him that she and the Roona plan to gather some information to find the “missing planet”, but will not say how. He warns her that someone “very powerful” with connections in both the Senate and the Jedi Council wanted that information hidden. She says to trust her and then asks about Anniken, but Obi-Wan is reluctant to say more than “Jedi business”.

It then WIPES to the Jedi Temple where Anniken, standing in the pouring rain, approaches Windu’s door. He knocks once, gets no response, and reaches to knock again when Windu says “I heard you the first time, Padawan Skywalker.” Anniken stays longer out in the pouring rain before the door finally opens of its own accord. Inside Master Windu’s small, Spartan room is no larger or more decorated than a Monk’s cell. Windu tries to have a meaningful talk with Anniken, ultimately agreeing to train him for the Bardo, but warns that “I can promise you only pain, difficulty, and discomfort. The coming weeks will be the hardest you have ever experienced. But know that I do this honestly, wanting you to pass the Bardo, with no guarantees that you ever will. Do I make myself clear?”

“Abundantly, Master Windu,” Anniken replies with a bow, and the camera PULLS BACK out of the door and into the rain. The door closes behind Anniken, closing him in.

WIPE TO the streets of Had Abbadon in the pouring rain as shadowy figures wander the alleys around the dully rectangular Republic Archives building. CUT TO the figures to reveal that they are Padmé, Moog, Ba-Ba, R2D2, and Guard Captain Pataka (Tupac Shakur). Dodging hovering sentry drones, they break into the Archives by cutting a hole in an old magnetic message tube only a few inches wide. Ba-Ba bonelessly squeezes through the ridiculously small tube, holding a cable ejected by R2 with his toes. Slipping out of the tube into the building with a flop, he plugs in the cable to an inside console and R2 starts to hack the system as a hovering sentry drone approaches. As tension builds, R2 finally succeeds and a back door slides open. R2 ejects and rewinds the cable as the others slip in the door and the sentry drone approaches. The cable finally pops back out of the tube and rewinds back into R2, Moog spot-welds the removed patch of pipe back into place, and they slip in and shut the door seconds before the sentry arrives. Padmé breathes a sigh of relief inside the archives.

WIPE TO the Green Moon, where Yoda leads Obi-Wan through a crowd of day trippers. The two Jedi have backpacks. Yoda tells him that they are at the only patch of relatively unspoiled wilderness left in the system, and that “the closest to the Force for a hundred parsecs it is,” and “desperate, dangerous, these times are. In the darkness of these times shrouded the Force is” and “In a few days’ hike much quieter it will be.”

WIPE TO Mace Windu’s quarters, where Anniken meditates holding a glowing crystal with a large crack, scowling in seeming pain and discomfort. Windu tells him how a cracked Kyber crystal like the one he holds “will resonate with every dark thought, every fear, weakness, anger, regret, jealousy, or violent urge. The Dark Side will thus be reflected back into the holder and be experienced as pain.” The training will force Anniken to purge himself of such dark emotions, and thus purge himself of attachments and the dark side, and that this is absolutely necessary to make it through the Bardo. Anniken lets go after twenty seconds, which Windu calls “not bad for the first time” and admits to spending an hour every night holding the cracked crystal before his nightly meditations.

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Sentry Droids will resemble this guy as a tongue-in-cheek Easter Egg (Image source Disney Wiki)

WIPING BACK to the Archives, Padmé and the team slip through tall corridors and over high foot bridges past the film noir shadows of the empty Archives. They avoid sentry drones until they find the right archive. R2 hacks it, eventually revealing a hologram of the location of Atha. They start to slip out, but run head-long into a sentry drone, who says “Intruder alert” repeatedly and sets off alarms. “We, bo, dead,” says Ba-Ba. They run through the corridors, dodging laser blasts, in a firefight with the Drones.

WIPE TO the Green Moon where Obi-Wan, in a reflection of Luke on Dagobah, is meditating, balanced on a tree limb in a yoga-like pose[1], Yoda standing on his outstretched hand, rocks stacking themselves as if by magic around him. Yoda leads him with soft words of guidance: “Feel the Force within you flow. Let all conscious thought away drift. Let all hopes, dreams, fears, and misgivings away drift. Yourself you must lose. Only the Force there is.”

Obi-Wan continues the meditation, but suddenly images of Anniken in pain and Padmé in fear flash before his eyes. “Anniken…Padmé…” he says, loses focus, and he falls out of the tree along with Yoda and all the rocks. “Found yourself, you did,” grumbles Yoda.

Yoda and Obi-Wan have a discussion, Yoda warning Obi-Wan that his love and concern for his Padawan and friend are attachments that a Jedi may not have, and that are dangerous for him. Obi-Wan asks why.

“Love is strong in the force. Beautiful, love is. Grand. Joyous. But to a Jedi, dangerous… Love endangered too easily to fear leads. Love lost too easily to anger leads. Love betrayed too easily to hatred leads. A Jedi must emotional love forego, only the eternal love of the Force may we have.” He calls it “Ironic” that Jedi, as servants of love, cannot have it themselves.

He then tells Obi-Wan that an “old friend” wants to speak to him, and guides him to an alcove where the glowing form of his old Sen-nai Quigon Djyn (Katsuhiko Sasaki) awaits. Obi-Wan is shocked to see his old Sen-nai “alive”, but the ghost of Quigon tells him “not exactly” and that he is more the impression that Quigon left on the Force. “Every being leaves an impression on the Force, some more than others. A Jedi who opens himself freely to the Living Force will shape the nature of the Force itself, and in that way cannot fully die.”

Quigon then warns Obi-Wan that his love and fear for his friends will certainly endanger them all. He also expresses that he believes that Anniken will pass the Bardo. He leaves his old Padawan with a final note that he must choose his love for his friends or to pursue the Force, and that is a choice that only Obi-Wan can make.

WIPE BACK to the Archives where Padmé and her team are trapped on a bridge, with shooting drones all around. While Pataka and Moog give covering fire, to varying degrees of success, Ba-Ba uses a grapple-gun to set up a zipline to the floor far below, though Pataka is injured. They take turns evacuating each other down the line. R2 simply rolls off the ledge, engages some rockets, and flies down by himself. “Huh,” says Padmé. Finally, Padmé, the last down the line, sliding down it like a zipline, escapes to the floor, but now the drones are firing down on them and they rush to an exit door. It is locked.

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(Image source YouTube)

WIPE BACK to Windu’s quarters, where Anniken, eyes closed, is holding the cracked Kyber Crystal in one hand and his laser sword in the other. A Training Remote hovers near him and shoots at him variously with either harmless flashes of light or real zaps. Anniken, face distorted in pain, ignores the harmless flashes and blocks the zaps. Windu warns him on how attachments and dark emotions like fear block the force and slow the reflexes, and how “Our reliance on material things, our emotional reliance on others, these are the phantoms that hold back the force.”

Suddenly Anniken opens his eyes and says, quietly. “Padmé. Danger.” This time he only barely blocks the real zaps, but also blocks two harmless fake zaps, causing a BUZZ sound.

Windu says, “Release it, Skywalker! Something in there is hanging on, bringing the pain, bringing the suffering!”

Anniken manages to ignore the fake and block the real zaps, but his face is badly contorted with the pain from the Kyber Crystal.

Windu says, loudly, “The Force is life! Attachments are......death!!” Suddenly WIndu ignites his purple laser sword and swings it at Anniken’s face. Anniken swings to parry. He is too late.

Anniken opens his eyes. Windu’s laser sword blade is two inches from his face, just inside of his own blade. His frightened face glows from the purple light. He can feel the heat of the blade.

Windu turns off his blade, an inscrutable look on his face. “Better, Skywalker, but not nearly good enough yet. You continue to hold on to something that you cannot let go, and because of this, you will not pass the Bardo.”

He then informs him that Baron Thorpe has invited Anniken over for dinner, noting that “Knowing my friend’s tastes it will be very...exquisite; opulent even. Try not to let your senses overwhelm you and lead you to crave material pleasures, Padawan. You are quite close to finally putting them behind you.”

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(Image source Flickr)

CIRCLE WIPE TO the old-fashioned opulence of Thorpe Tower, which rises like the iconic tower of Lang’s Metropolis above the rest of the buildings of Had Abbadon. Thorpe warmly greets Anniken as the hover-limo drops him off and embraces him. He expresses his absolute confidence that Anniken will pass the Bardo and leads him past a series of old armor and weapons (“The arms of yesteryear. Only the strong survived while the weak perished”). Anniken looks on in awe, looking at a suit of ancient armor resembling Vader’s armor, his face briefly framed by its helmet in reflection on the glass case.

“Master Yoda says it is the duty of the strong to protect the weak.”

“Yes,” answers Thrope, “protect. Protect and guide...even lead! Now, let us head to supper! A feast awaits, the likes of which you have never experienced!”

WIPE BACK to the archives, where Padmé and the crew, Pataka badly injured, fight the drones as R2 attempts to hack the door. Finally, it rises two inches. Ba-Ba pushes his hand through the tiny crack, reaches up, and clicks something, allowing the door to open and the crew to escape into the night.

They run through the shadowy streets of Had Abbadon as alarms and searchlights cut the air and police hover cars fly up to the Central Archives. The Crew slip into a shadowy alley and the camera PANS UP through the buildings until we see the skyline of Had Abbadon, illuminated by the Green Moon. Most prominent in the skyline is Thorpe Tower. We ZOOM IN on the tower.

Inside, Thorpe and Anniken sit at a large, formal banquet table in a hall adorned with trophy animals and decorated in opulent, Old World elegance. An eagle-like animal stands regal on a perch over Thorpe while another is in mid swoop over Anniken, as if trying to snatch him up. The table is piled high with food. An army of Servant Droids moves around the table, bringing and taking dishes. Anniken eats as if famished, remarking how much better it is than the “gruel” that Windu feeds him.

Thorpe notes that Windu is “the last of the Order of Bendu, an ancient subset of the Jedi. Stoics and monastics who reject the comforts and pleasures of life believing that only through total absolution of all sense and emotion can one truly bond with the Force.” Anniken notes that Windu’s laser sword was different. He relates the training with the cracked Kyber crystal, which Thorpe finds “delightfully old fashioned.”

“Yes, that is how my friend would prepare. That is Bendu thinking. Old fashioned. But you, my grand-Padawan, are not like Windu. You must find your own way through the Bardo…Remember when you first came to Had Abbadon, a shaggy-haired slave boy? You were struggling with your training and I taught you a way to focus through your emotion.” Anniken remembers, noting that he “still uses it” on occasion.

Thorpe continues. “That, my friend, is the way through the Bardo. Not to deny the Demons, but to accept them for the truths they tell. After supper I will give you more advanced training in focusing the Force through you like a lens, not simply letting it wash you away like a leaf in storm waters.”

He then implies that Windu, whether he realizes it or not, is afraid of Anniken’s raw power, and is trying to hold him back. “You cannot rely on Master Windu...only on yourself.....and on me, of course! I will bring you victory over the Bardo. But you must trust me with absolute loyalty.”

Anniken agrees to trust Thorpe and his advice.

“Excellent!” Thorpe replies, raising his glass, arm outthrust. “Now, then! A toast: to victory over the Bardo! Hail!”

Anniken raises glass, arm also outthrust. “Yes. Hail...to victory!”

IRIS TO a Montage. The Force Theme plays softly:

Night. Yoda and Obi-Wan meditate on the Green Moon.

Night. Padmé and the Roona take an injured Pataka back to the Embassy of Nima-Roona. Nassai Baaza and a Medical Droid are there to greet them. Nassai crosses her arms and scowls.

Night. Anniken, a proud sneer on his face, holds the Kyber Crystal, easily blocking blasts from the training drone while Mace Windu looks on, face inscrutable as ever.

Sunrise over Had Abbadon. Force Theme crescendos.

Day. Yoda and Obi-Wan walk down the mountain path.

Day. Padmé, as Queen Amidala, argues silently in the Senate Chamber.

Day. Anniken, in ceremonial silk robes, walks confidently through the Jedi Temple grounds, Mace Windu to camera right, Baron Thorpe to camera left. Yoda and Obi-Wan stand ready to meet them.

CIRCLE WIPE TO...

The Bardo. An arcane ritual of glowing crystals, droning chants, and meditation. Anniken kneels across from Thorpe. He closes his eyes as the chants crescendo.

Suddenly, silence. He kneels alone in a dark realm of fog. Demons jump out to attack him. He ignores them all, knowing them to be false. Then, suddenly, a child crying: him as a boy. The giant form (as if from a child’s perspective) of Gunray Pabucan, his old master, yelling at him, raising his hand and threatening him. Anniken ignores it, and it vanishes. His mother appears, asking him desperately why he allowed her to die. He tries to walk away, but she stays in front of him, pleading with him to save her. Mauk Shivtor appears and cuts her down and taunts him. He hesitates…but then clears his thoughts and ignores them. They vanish.

He is assaulted by various phantoms of the people he knew, calling to him, yelling at him. Obi-Wan and Quigon admonishing him. Mace Windu yelling at him. Thorpe laughing. They vanish in succession as he walks past.

Then he faces Padmé. She smiles at him. Arms open, she says “Come to me, Anni! We can be together!”

He turns to ignore her, but cannot. She keeps staying in front of him. Focusing, he holds his hand out. She distorts, blurs, and is drawn into Anniken’s hand as a beam of light. His eyes glow orange for a second and he closes his eyes, and opens them. They burn with determination. He marches forward.

Finally, only one phantom remains: himself. Anniken faces his mirror image, the alt-Anniken’s face contorted in anger. Alt-Anniken draws his laser sword and runs at Anniken, screaming. Anniken blinks, unsure what to do. Finally, at the last possible second, he reacts, drawing his laser sword. He and the Alt clash swords again and again until one last screaming swing by Alt-Anniken, which is blocked by Anniken. They lock blades, lock eyes and......

.....the Bardo fades and Anniken is standing in the circle of Jedi, his laser sword locked with the laser sword of Thorpe, who stands in perfect simulation of the Alt-Anniken. Thorpe smiles, withdraws his laser sword, and laughs joyously and pats Annkien on the back.

Yoda is relieved, but also concerned. “Passed through the Bardo, Padawan Skywalker has.”

Obi-Wan, elated, grasps Anniken in celebration. Windu bows to him with admiration. Anniken has successfully passed the test of the Bardo, or so it appears.

WIPE TO…

Obi-Wan and Anniken, still elated after the Bardo, get onto a small Republic space ship, with Obi-Wan letting Anniken know that Padmé has found Atha, but wouldn’t tell him how. As they board, Yoda and Mace Windu watch from a distance. Windu mentions the Archives break in, with only an old star map accessed. “A Curious place, a robbery for,” Yoda says, noting that Windu suspects Obi-Wan’s involvement. Windu is uncomfortable that Obi-Wan won’t share with the council where they are going, though Yoda notes that “A reason for their caution undoubtedly there is.”

On the Yacht, Anniken is reunited with Moog, Baa-Ba, and particularly Padmé, whom he can’t stop smiling at, once again acting nervous around her. They take off and fly to Atha, hatching a plan along the way.

WIPE TO Atha, an ocean planet of perpetual waves and storms. The ship lands at a platform above the waves. They are greeted by Malana’sa, a fish-like Atha’ana, who greets them along with Atha Prime, an old Atha’ana male who appears much older than the Atha Prime we met in Heir to the Empire[2]. Padmé, R2D2 at her side, introduces herself as Secretary Lotess, the personal assistant to Senator Sio Dias, and the two Jedi as her escorts. Nervous, Obi-Wan stumbles on his name, ultimately simply calling himself “Ben” while Anniken cockily chooses the name “Kane Starkiller”.

Atha Prime greets them and quickly excuses himself, leaving them in “Malana’sa’s capable hands.” As they follow Malana’sa into the building, Obi-Wan whispers “Kane Starkiller”?

“Whatever, ‘Ben’,” whispers Anniken.

“Who is to protect me from my protectors?” whispers Padmé.

As they follow the Atha’ana, Moog and Ba-Ba slip into the raging waters on a mission of their own.

Padmé and the Jedi follow the Atha’ana through a glass tunnel underwater, fantastic fish swimming all around, including a giant Reticulated Rocktooth. A careful observer will see Moog and Ba-Ba swimming in the background. Malana’sa tells them that “You will find that the project is proceeding well within schedule, and I feel you will be pleased with the results. Our first class is ready for graduation and deployment right now.”

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(Image Source Wookiepedia)

CUT into the Ocean, where Moog and Ba-Ba swim effortlessly. In the background you can see Padmé and the Jedi walking along with the Atha’ana through the glass hallway and then through a door. The Reticulated Rocktooth fish turns and swims towards the two Roona. Two deep string bass notes play, reminiscent of the Jaws theme.

Cutting back inside the building, now each side of the transparent hall shows not fish, but large rooms full of identical Clones (Cliff Curtis as the adults, Beulah Koale as the children) of various ages from fetuses in jars to newborns to full adults. They perform various tasks such as studying at desks, lifting weights, doing calisthenics, practicing with various weapons or martial arts, eating, or sleeping.

Malana’sa explains how the Clones are engineered to grow to full size in a few years, how they are subliminally educated, and the extent of their physical and martial training, unencumbered by any personal pastimes, but also how they are engineered for blind loyalty. “The Clones live only to learn, fight, and obey.”

“The perfect warriors,” Obi-Wan replies, darkly, “Trained only for war with no family or morality to hold them back.”

“Exactly!” Malana’sa replies, completely missing the irony in Obi-Wan’s tone. “All the advantages of a droid army without the inherent limitations!” She then asks if they’d like to meet “the Template”.

CUT TO the ocean, where Moog and Ba-Ba, the Rocktooth still following, swim down to a large underwater cable and Moog starts cutting into it with a hand torch. He and Ba-Ba get into a little argument and Ba-Ba swims off and sulks against a mound of coral. As the Rocktooth swims menacingly towards him, the Jaws-like music in crescendo, he starts to scream as it descends toward him, toothy maw open wide.

MATCH CUT back to the building, where a door opens, revealing a Mandalorian in full armor. “Ah, Warrior Kaliss! Right on time!” says Malana’sa.

The Mandalorian, Kaliss Fett (Curtis), removes his helmet. He is identical to all the adult clones save that the left half of his face and neck are covered with elaborate tribal tattoos and there is a large scar across the right side of his face. His eyes burn with years of brutal existence. “Warrior Kaliss of Clan Fett, at your service,” he says with a bow. Anniken seems disturbed by his presence. Kaliss and Obi-Wan have a tense exchange about the complicated history of Jedi and Mandalorian. Kaliss asks if they have met, “the Battle of Nima, perhaps?” Obi-Wan denies being at the battle.

CUT TO the Ocean, where the Rocktooth descends on the screaming Ba-Ba, blocking him from our view, and bites. There is a loud CRUNCH and the screaming stops.

There is a second CRUNCH.

Ba-Ba pops his head up over the back of the Rocktooth, looks around, then swims TOWARDS CAMERA. As he swims OVER CAMERA, we PAN to see the Rocktooth take another crunching bite out of the coral.[3]

Inside, Melana’sa relays Kaliss’s qualifications. “Over two-hundred warriors and battle droids have fallen to my weapons,” he adds.

“Warrior Kaliss was carefully selected from among hundreds of candidates,” adds Melana’sa. “His physical and mental acuity are in the top percentile. His Clones, of course, have had those skills dialed back per the Senate’s request. You can never be too careful when your army thinks identically, after all.”

Outside, Moog and Ba-Ba complete their task, attaching a Device to the cable. Moog calls in to R2, calling the Security Repression Device “secured”, and R2 beeps. Padmé looks at her arm band screen, and says, “Well, I believe our inspection is complete. Malana’sa, I thank you. We have to get back to Had-Abbadon.”

Malana’sa dismisses Kaliss and escorts them back towards the ship, but Padmé asks for a small office to “finalize my notes to Senator Dias.”

Meanwhile the Roona start to swim away, but are attacked by a monstrous Septipus, which grabs them with its tentacles. They fight to escape, Moog’s hand torch doing little to harm the beast.

Meanwhile, Kaliss returns to his room and establishes a hologram comms link with an older female Mandalorian, his sister Djanga Fett (Rena Owen). She says, “We have been hired for an action on Ttaz and the Clan Master wishes you to lead the effort.”

He replies that would require him to abandon his current job, but that he will return soon.

She also mentions that her son Boba has completed his Trials and will fight in this engagement. He asks to see his nephew. Boba appears in the hologram, a young warrior of roughly nineteen (Jason Momoa). Only a few tattoos mark his young face. Kaliss asks about the trials, and Boba admits to coming in second, which angers Kaliss. “You must do better. I will see you as Clan Master and Emperor of Mandalore before I am reunited with the Ancestors, or I will send you to the Ancestors myself!”

While Moog and Ba-Ba continue to battle the Septipus, the two Jedi stand in a glass hallway, making awkward small talk, seemingly oblivious to the battle happening behind them in the distance. A shadow passes over them. Padmé and R2, in the office, proceed to hack into the building’s computer system, the device the Roona placed helping to repress security systems.

Back in Kaliss’s room, he now contacts his employer. The hologram of Sio Dias appears. “What is it, Warrior Kaliss?”

“Your representatives have finished their inspection, Lord Dias. Why did you not inform me of their arrival?”

“.....Representatives? Please tell me about these...representatives.”

Outside, just as Moog and Ba-Ba seem about to get crushed and devoured, a massive Atha Megalous Fish descends on the Septipus and crunches into it, freeing the Roona. “I guess there was a bigger fish, ba!” says Ba-Ba to an exhausted Moog.

Back inside, Padmé meets back up with the Jedi and Malana’sa. As the Atha’ana escorts them back to the landing platform, she gets an alert on her arm band, and says “just one more thing before you go. There’s been a slight discrepancy we need to clear up if you don’t mind.” Then a door opens and reveals Kaliss, armed and helmet on, with two guards. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to hand over your weapons and come with me.”

“Madam,” Padmé begins, “I am the aide to a very powerful Senator back....”

“There is no honor in continuing this charade,” says Kaliss. “You will come with me on your feet or in a box.”

“Sen-nai, is it time for enhanced negotiations?” asks Anniken.

“I’d say so, Padawan.”

Anniken and Obi-Wan raise their hands. Kaliss and the Guards are flung back and over the edge of the landing pad. The Jedi ignite their laser swords.

Alarms go off! Malana’sa goes to grab Padmé, who throws her with a Judo-style hip throw, sending her over the edge into the water too. A fight ensues as R2 hacks and closes the door. The Republic Ship fires up its engines, but defensive cannons rise up from the building and destroy it, trapping them. Moog and Ba-Ba return to the surface just in time to get caught up in the chaos.

Now a battle ensues as R2 fights to keep the doors closed while Padmé and the rest crowd near the door to stay out of the cannon’s firing arc. Obi-Wan stabs the door panel, locking the door. Kaliss flies up on his jetpack and engages them, using the pack to avoid Padmé’s blaster and any beams reflected by the Jedi. Behind them, Guards start to cut through the doors with a torch.

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(Image source YouTube)

Anniken runs to back Obi-Wan, but Kaliss shoots out a wire from a wrist that wraps Anniken’s arms around his torso. Then Kaliss shoots the other end of the line into the overhang of the platform. The line REELS Anniken UP, leaving him dangling high above them. Kaliss focuses his fire on Obi-Wan. Padmé starts shooting at Kaliss.

“Any ideas?” she asks.

“We have to get to another ship!!” says Obi-Wan

“Of course, wise and powerful Jedi,” she replies ironically. “Any ideas HOW?”

“What about that one, ba?” asks Ba-Ba, pointing.

They look to where a Mandalorian Landing Craft sits on another platform in the distance, across the waves. Moog and Ba-Ba take the grappling gun from the Archives heist and Ba-Ba runs to the edge, aims at the far platform, and fires. The grapple line flies out, farther and farther, as the line rips through the gun....and then flies out of the gun entirely. The line flies off into the distance, locks itself into the side of the far platform, and the loose end of the line falls down into the water leaving a big, linear splash, the remaining line dangling from the far platform, way out of reach. Ba-Ba stands, holding the empty grapple gun. “There’s not enough line, ba!”

Anniken is still dangling from the wire. Using his laser sword, he cuts the wire, climbs up it, and bangs at the reel until it releases, riding it back down to the platform. He runs to the edge, dragging the line, and hands the end to Moog, telling him to secure it through the docking ring on the platform. He closes his eyes and raises his hand. The distant grapple line starts to slowly lift itself out of the water. The far grapple line keeps rising up completely out of the water and pulls itself tight. Still concentrating hard to hold the far line, Anniken ignites his laser sword and, without looking, holds it to the end of the line Moog holds. Moog simpers as the blue glow of the sword blade hovers inches from his face.

Padmé and Obi-Wan continue to duel with Kaliss, ultimately cutting his carbine rifle in half. Kaliss uses hidden wrist guns, flame throwers, and other tricks which Obi-Wan struggles to counter while also protecting Padmé, who while a good fighter, is no match for a Mandalorian of Kaliss’s skill.

Meanwhile, Moog drops the hot glowing end of Kallis’s grapple, and Anniken moves his hand, sending the glowing end out to where Ba-Ba’s grapple hangs in the air. The two ends jam together and fuse into a single, long line between the two platforms.

Obi-Wan finally manages to hit Kaliss’s pack with a blast reflected by his laser sword, causing the pack to misfire and send the Mandalorian off into the air, smacking into the side of the building, and falling into the raging ocean.

They all rush to where the combined cable line links the two platforms. Ba-Ba is put into a harness and sent flying and screaming across the line to the far platform, bumping over the weld. Ba-Ba exits the harness and the harness returns and they send Moog next, the weld cracking slightly under his weight as he goes over it. The cannon takes shots at him as he goes by. Anniken says to Padmé “You’re next,” but Obi-Wan says that no, Anniken is next since he needs to destroy the cannon. But Anniken simply runs along the top of the line, jumping over the harness as it shoots back across. Padmé gets into the harness.

R2D2, meanwhile, rolls off the edge, and deploys two rockets, flying off to the far platform. “Huh,” says Obi-Wan.

Padmé, in harness, bumps over the cracking weld. It starts to break! The lines crack and fray! The line sags, leaving her stopped over the middle, dangling dangerously. R2 flies over, trying desperately to spot weld the fraying line.

On the far platform, Anniken leaps up and draws his laser sword as the door to the building opens and Guards appear and start shooting, reflecting their blasts back at them, killing some of them. He covers for the Roona, who use a device to hack the Mandalorian craft’s hatch.

Obi-Wan starts running down the line. The Guards finish cutting through the door on the original platform and flood out, firing at Obi-Wan as he runs, occasionally deflecting a blast behind his back. Padmé, still hanging, extends her hand and he grabs it, and runs along the line, crouching low, pulling her along in the harness.

Meanwhile, R2, dodging fire, tries to keep spot welding the sagging, fraying line.

On the far platform, Anniken takes down more guards as the hatch to the Mandalorian ship opens. Anniken notices the cannon turn to bear on the craft. He sprints at super-speed past the Roona, who are suddenly dodging lasers, and jumps in the cockpit, fires it up, and uses the tail guns to destroy the cannon before it can destroy the craft. The Roona run in, soon followed by Obi-Wan and Padmé. R2 rockets in just as the engines fire up and it starts to take off.

Kaliss Fett, treading water, watches coldly as his ship flies off into the distance. “This dishonor will not go un-avenged, Jedi,” he tells the retreating craft.

Inside the stolen Mandalorian ship, laughing with relief, the team take the time to look through the stolen records from the Atha Clone Works. Obi-Wan and Padmé start to share a moment of platonic intimacy, but Obi-Wan pulls back emotionally ever so slightly. Changing the subject, they search through the stolen records and manage to dig up the image of Senator Dias, but it’s the image of Senator Glurpdurp (George Lucas in alien makeup), who died twenty years ago. “Obviously fake.”

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The Late Senator Glurpdurp (Image source Wookiepedia)

“Now,” says Padmé, looking at the data, “as to the support within the Jedi Council, it appears to come from....oh no.”

Anniken, returning from the cockpit, leans in. “Who is it?”

“This is bad,” says Obi-Wan. “This is really bad.”

WIPE TO…

The Jedi Council. Storm clouds flash in the distance. The Jedi Council sit in their seats, live or in hologram form. In the center stand Obi-Wan and Anniken. The former looks nervous, sad. Anniken can barely contain a cocky smirk.

“Grave news indeed, this is,” says Yoda.

“A traitor in our own midst!” adds Kiai Mudi, in hologram form.

Looking shocked and nervous, Baron Thorpe adds “I never thought I would see the day...”

Mace Windu, still as stone, inscrutable, says “And you have the name of this individual? And the evidence to back it up?”

Obi-Wan, having trouble looking at him, says, “Yes, Master Windu, we do.”

“A terrible moment, this is,” says Yoda. “Act with caution we must. Dismissed the council will be, save for myself and Sir....”

Annakin, interrupting, says “It was Master Windu!!!”

PANDEMONIUM breaks out!!!! Obi-Wan stares at Anniken in shock and anger. The Jedi leap from their seats, yelling! Mace Windu jumps up from his seat! “Traitor!!” yells a Jedi.

“Arrest Master Windu!!” Says Mudi. Two Jedi draw their laser swords and run towards Windu, who draws his own. Screaming, they run towards each other!!

Master Yoda slips from his seat, walks between the charging Jedi and Windu, and simply holds up his hands. All three Jedi are thrown to the ground by the Force. The room goes quiet.

“Order, there shall be. Away your light sabers must go. Master Windu. Explain.”

Windu explains that a decade ago he had a vision. A great threat was coming and an army would be needed. He knew that the Jedi Council would never support the plan, so he proceeded on his own “for the greater good.”

“Come quietly, you must. The sake of the Jedi for.” Yoda holds out his hand. “Your light saber.”

Sadly, Mace Windu lowers his head and holds out his laser sword. Yoda lifts a finger and the laser sword hovers over to the Sergeant at Arms, who takes it. Yoda looks upon the weapon with distaste as it passes.

“Why, my friend?” asks a shocked Thorpe, but Windu turns away and is escorted silently away by two Jedi Guards. Yoda pulls himself into his chair, appearing infinitely older, ears drooping. “A sad day this is.”

“Yes, but there is a silver lining to this,” says Thorpe. “Padawan Skywalker, come forward!”

Anniken approaches, and Thorpe, to the surprise of all, relates all the things that Anniken accomplished, including revealing a traitor in the Jedi ranks. He then draws his laser sword and cuts the Padawan’s Braid from Anniken’s hair. “No time is there for the proper ceremony. Instead, you are now to join the full ranks of the Jedi Knights. Master Yoda, I believe it is time to throw the weight of this Council behind Senator Organa’s peace proposal and end this ghastly war!”

Yoda, distracted, clearly sensing that something darker than even the dark events of the day is afoot, says, “Yes. Support Organa’s peace we must.”

WIPE TO…

Space. A large fleet of Republic Space Craft fly through the stars. We ZOOM IN on the elaborate and decorative Excelsior, a ship pulled through space by massive Solar Sails. CUT to the opulently decorated Bridge where Baron Thorpe and Obi-Wan sit at large padded command chairs, sipping hot drinks. Thorpe considers it a “glorious day for peace” but Obi-Wan is distracted, unsure (“I have a bad feeling about this”). Thorpe assures him that he has personally taken care of security for the peace conference. “No one takes off from or lands upon this planet without my express permission,” Thorpe says. He asks Obi-Wan to fetch Anniken.

Obi-Wan leaves and walks up to where Anniken is bragging about his ascension to Knighthood to an impressed Padmé, even mentioning the Bardo, which bothers Obi-Wan, who admonishes him not to speak of Jedi affairs, but Anniken claps back, discussing that a new Jedi order is needed, more modern and appropriate to the times without “Bardos and cracked Kyber crystals”.

Obi-Wan mentions that they will discuss this later, and sends him to Thorpe. Padmé starts talking with him in their usual friendly, familiar manner, but Obi-Wan is acting distant. The events of the past few days have reminded him of Yoda’s and Quigon’s warnings about his attachment to her and Anniken, and so he tells a heartbroken Padmé that they can no longer be close friends, that he must stay formal and aloof. She is hurt and angered at this “nonsensical” approach. They have a small spat and she leaves, sad and angry.

Anniken, meanwhile, meets with Thorpe, who tells him that “after today a grand new era will dawn. The times change, and we Jedi must change with them! Soon Yoda will be stepping aside for a well-deserved retirement and it will be up to me to remake the Jedi Order....and I wish you to be my right-hand Jedi.” He talks of the great power and “destiny” in Anniken that even Yoda senses and notes, “I am an old man, the last of the ancient Clan of Thorpe. Five brothers and sisters I had. All fell to accident, injury, or violence. I am alone in my family’s tower. In the old way of the Jedi, I was compelled to set aside love and family for the Old Way of the Force. Now I have no son to inherit my family crest.

“Anakin...in my living will I have left the Thorpe Family Empire to you. Should anything happen to me, you must promise me you will carry on the quest for a New Order in the Galaxy.”

Anniken swears by the Force that he will see Thorpe’s will be done.

WIPE TO…

The planet Ttaz, a white desert world with a blue-white sun. The Separatist Fleet is already aligned on one side of the planet. The Republic fleet takes position across from them. Shuttles launch from both fleets and descend towards the planet below. They fly to the brightly lit but arid planet of Ttaz, a land of white sands and towering, windswept buttes and mesas, seemingly devoid of life, which sits beneath a large and blinding blue-white sun. Carved out of the living stone of a large mesa is the Grand Lodge of the Ttazia, a palatial structure with tall, cathedral-like windows cut from the cliff-side. The Shuttlecraft pass through a lowered force field and land in a bay just inside the structure.

We enter a huge, open, cathedral-like room with towering ceilings and ornate carved pillars and bas relief murals. In a long CONTINUOUS SHOT we PAN THROUGH the grand entryway, C-3PO is standing as a greeter and announcing the arrival of guests. The representatives and entourages of several species and factions wait to enter. (“Arriving: Representative Vurqlar-9-B of the Galactic Technology Union!! Arriving: Her Majesty the Senator Queen Amidala of Nima-Roona”). Padmé as Queen Amidala enters with an entourage of Handmaidens and R2. C-3PO attempts to refuse entry to R2, telling him that Astromechs can use the service entrance, but Padmé calls to R2, who follows and beeps smugly, to Threepio’s annoyance.

She is soon greeted by Senator Organa, who guides her through the room, catching snippets of negotiations between varying factions. He offers to help play peacemaker between Nima-Roona and their old Sha’anar enemies.

After a short montage of the sun passing across the sky, it is Sunset, which casts a greenish hue across the white sands. Padmé looks out at it and Anniken approaches. She finds that the green evening light causes the hills to remind her of the green fields of Nima. Anniken and her share a romantic moment that he ruins by trying, awkwardly, to flirt, and changes the subject. “So...um...how are the negotiations?”

“Ugh. Tedious! You have to sit there and be polite, never say what’s really on your mind but instead speak obliquely. ‘We don’t exactly see the issue the same way as our esteemed colleague...’ and all that when you really want to just call him the big, fat liar he really is.....”

“Wouldn’t it be nice just to tell them all what to do?”

Padmé laughs, and gestures broadly. “Yes! Obey your Queen or off with your head!!”

“All hail Queen Amidala!” he kneels, laughing.

Padmé is laughing loudly now. “You may rise, Sir Anni!! No...as nice as it would feel it’s not right. No one should have such power. Every viewpoint should be listened to and every voice heard.”

“Even the stupid ones?!?”

“Especially the stupid ones!” she laughs.

Anniken hesitates. “I’m not so sure. I mean, you’re intelligent, honest, clear headed. Some of the Senators, though...it’s like the fools on their planet elected whatever local thief promised them the biggest pod race!!”

“Unfortunately, that’s the dark side of Democracy. Yet despite all its lumps it’s still the best form of government.”

“Sometimes I wonder if that’s true....”

Padmé is now shocked. “Anakin! Really! Democracy and liberty are the cornerstones of the Republic!”

“Then maybe the Republic needs to change with the times!!” Anniken snaps.

Immediately he regrets his words. Padmé storms off to SCREEN RIGHT. Anniken turns to follow her, hesitates, sighs, and storms off himself in the other direction.

CIRCLE WIPE TO the next morning. Obi-Wan walks slowly along the hallway with Baron Thorpe. Obi-Wan looks concerned. Thorpe smiles calmly. “I’m telling you, Grand Sen-nai, there is a growing disturbance in the Force. We should go to silent alert.”

“And I assure you, grand Padawan, there is nothing to fear! I sense nothing and I dare say I’ve been in touch with the Force a bit longer than you have. Besides, we are secure here. As I said, nobody takes off from or lands upon this planet without my express permission! Now relax, and enjoy the peace we bring to the galaxy!”

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Something like this guy (Image source StarWars.com)

Thorpe walks up to a door, which opens, revealing the highly-cybernetic Vurqlar-9-B of the Galactic Technology Union. The Baron enters and the door shuts.

“....but I still have a bad feeling about this,” Obi-Wan says to himself.

WIPE TO the lodge Control Station, where two Controllers are tracking the arrival of a new, small craft. It CUTS TO the ship, which is Mauk Shivtor’s fighter. Mauk sends an access signal.

“I’m receiving the access code,” says Controller 1. “The ship is identified as carrying Senator Sio Dias of Mustafar. Lowering shields now.”

“Senator Sio Dias? Never heard of him,” says Controller 2.”

“There must be thousands of Senators. Can’t expect to know them all,” says Controller 1, but 2 convinces him that they should verify, so they request visual verification that it’s the Senator.

CUT TO where Obi-Wan is talking to C-3PO and R2 when suddenly he jerks upright, draws his laser sword, and starts to run, frightening many of the guests. “Oh my. Whatever got into him?” asks C-3PO

Mauk’s ship enters the landing bay, hovering, and turns towards the Control Room. Controller 1 asks “Senator Dias, would you please respond....?” again and again as the ship turns towards them.

Suddenly laser blasts RIP out of the Sith ship, strafing the Control Room, causing a huge EXPLOSION. The ship continues to strafe the Hangar Bay, killing and destroying all around it.

Alarms blare. Obi-Wan is running down the hall. Anniken joins him and asks what’s happening. “Danger,” says Obi-Wan.

The Sith Ship lands in the wrecked, burning Hangar Bay. The hatch ramp opens and Mauk Shivtor descends, one side of his laser sword drawn. Two Spider Drones scuttle along at his feet, then break off and scurry up to the control panels and interface them. A large door opens and Guards run in. Mauk easily slices his way through them and enters the hallway beyond. “Duel of the Fates” plays.

Back in the main room, Senator Organa is talking to the Sha’anar Trade Guild representative as the alarms blare. The Sha’anar cries “betrayal!” Organa denies it. Republic and Separatist factions take sides and draw hidden weapons.

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(Image source Reddit)

Mauk continues to cut his way through the Guards or toss them aside with the Force as he advances through the hallway to the Main Hall and then starts to massacre the mostly unarmed Guests. A door opens and Obi-Wan and Anniken rush in and face Mauk, who casts aside his cloak and draws the second blade of his laser sword, smiling with anticipation.

“Okay, Anakin, Mauk is fierce and skilled, but if we work toge.....”

“He killed my mother!!!” screams Anniken, rage in his eyes. Anniken charges Mauk, screaming. Obi-Wan sighs, and runs after. Anniken attacks Mauk with a fearsome energy, but Mauk easily parries each attack, falling back, keeping Anniken between himself and Obi-Wan.

“Anniken!! Fall back!!!”

“No!! He’s mine!!!”

Another screaming, wild swing by Anniken. Mauk steps aside, deflecting the blow. Mauk smiles and hooks Anniken’s left leg with a blade tip, cutting off his foot!! A swing with the other blade cuts off Anniken’s right arm above the elbow! Anniken falls, screaming, to the ground. Mauk prepares to stab with a killing blow.

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Sort of like this (Image source Quora)

Obi-Wan yells “NOOO!!!” and raises his arm and Anniken’s laser sword flies to his left hand. He ignites it and blocks Mauk’s killing thrust with the crossed blades of the two Jedis’ weapons. His eyes lock with the Sith’s, mutual hate between them.

CUT TO Space, where a Mandalorian Fleet emerges from Hyperspace and descends on the Separatist Fleet. Mandalorian Assault Ships dive on several Separatist Battleships, locking their cannons on them. They fire, destroying them!!

On the Separatist Command Ship, Admiral Kreeg screams, “Betrayal!!! Attack the Republic fleet at once!!! Deploy ground forces!! Fire the Deathbringer Cannon!!!”

The large, ellipsoid Ghurran Man-o-War accelerates towards the Peace Fleet. A circular indentation in its front, reminiscent of the Death Star’s Laser, energizes and fires, destroying the Excelsior in a single shot!!

On the Mon Calimari cruiser, Lt. Ackbar yells, “Admiral! An attack!!! The Excelsior has been destroyed!!”

“All, ships, engage and destroy!!!” yells Admiral Fadiyah.

The two opposed fleets immediately attack each other, starting a massive, deadly battle.

Back in the lodge the Spider Drones continue to interface with the controls. The Defensive Force Field drops as the Mandalorian fleet flies down to the planet below, ignoring the battle that they created. Several Landing Ships land and disgorge a small army of Mandalorian warriors.

Behind them, landing ships from both the Republic and Separatist fleets land and deploy forces, that attack each other, largely ignoring the Mandalorian mercenaries and they breach the blast doors of the lodge and rush in.

Obi-Wan and Mauk continue to duel, the Jedi’s two laser swords vs. the Sith’s twin blades. Obi-Wan screams, angry at this Sith who killed his Sen-nai and injured his Padawan. He fights with a ferocity more in keeping with a Sith than a Jedi. Swing by swing, the two clash, leaping over one another in acrobatic flips and spins.

The Separatists and Republic both blame the other for the attacks and draw weapons, a melee ensuing. Padmé and her Handmaidens arm themselves. “It seems that your peace talks have broken down, Senator,” Padmé ironically says to Organa as they take cover behind some statues.

Boba Fett and his mother Djanga lead a squad of Mandalorians through the halls, coldly killing everyone they encounter with brutal efficiency and precision.

Lasers from the battling representatives flash around Obi-Wan and Mauk as they fight, ignoring the blasts in their fury towards each other.

At the far end of the room a door BLASTS off the wall and the squad of Mandalorian Mercenaries enter, rocketing to fan out into the room. “Which side to we attack?” asks Boba.

“The orders are to kill them all,” says Djanga.

They start to attack and kill all who stand without hesitation or discrimination.

In Space the battle continues, the Man-o-War destroying another capital ship with its Deathbringer Cannon. Torpedo Bombers fly in formation towards the Man-o-War, assaulted by fighters, trying to take down the dangerous weapon.

View attachment 807556
(Image Source Wookiepedia)

The land war continues on the surface, with heavy casualties on all sides.

The three-way battle continues in the Lodge. Padmé and the Republic side are sheltering behind the statues. Anniken drags himself up despite his missing foot and offers to help, using the Force to toss around broken pieces of stone or fling a flying Mandalorian into the ceiling, damaging hiss jet pack and causing him to plummet.

In the midst of the battle, he reveals to Padmé that he loves her and always has. “I refuse to hide my feelings for you any more, Padmé. I love you and can love no other! If I must die, then let me die here, beside you!!” He leans over, stealing a passionate kiss.

Back in space Admiral Kreeg has the Mon Calamari ship in his sights and is about to destroy it with his Deathbringer Cannon. The Torpedoes strike home, damaging the Man-o-War but not destroying it. Kreeg laughs when he learns that the Deathbringer Cannon is still active.

Just as he’s about to destroy the Mon Calamari ship, a new fleet emerges from Hyperspace: the Clone Amry! A hologram of Mace Windu appears on the bridge. ”Separatist fleet, you are to stand down and surrender immediately or face destruction.”

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Kind of Like This Guy (Image source StarWars.com)

Kreeg hits a button and ejects from the Man-o-War in an escape ship as the Star Destroyers of the Republic Clone Fleet engage, devastating and destroying the Man-o-War and turning the tide of the battle. Clone Landing Ships deploy and land on the surface. Now Clone Storm Troopers engage the Separatist forces. Jedi Master Mace Windu and several Jedi deploy with them. Mace advances towards the lodge, steel in his eyes.

Inside, rage in his eyes, Obi-Wan hammers at Mauk, wearing him down as Mauk tries to block the savage blows with his laser sword. Obi-Wan swings at the handle between the blades of Mauk’s twin laser sword, cutting it in half. The red laser blades flicker and extinguish. Obi-Wan kicks Mauk in the chest, knocking him down, and raises Anakin’s blade in a finishing strike. A look of terror crosses Mauk’s eyes.

“Obi-Wan, beware the Dark Side!” says the voice of Quigon Djyn in his ears.

Obi-Wan hesitates.

Quigon’s voice returns. “Stay centered. Mind the living Force!!”

Obi-Wan stands down, holding his own blade out, pointed at Mauk. “Sith Lord, you are hereby arrested in the name of the Jedi Council. You will be tried for your crimes under the laws of the Republic.”

Suddenly a force of Clone Storm Troopers rush into the room, firing at the Mandalorians. Several are hit by surprise and fall. Soon a battle erupts between Clones and Mercenaries with heavy casualties on all sides.

Mace Windu strides up between the Clones, purple laser sword drawn. Two other Jedi are with him. He begins to casually bat away the laser bolts from the Mandalorians. Boba Fett flies down and starts to shoot at Windu, who reflects a blast back at him, hitting his rocket pack. Boba falls to the floor, stunned.

Djanga lands in front of Boba, firing at Windu, who runs at her, deflecting each shot. With a spinning, swinging slice, he cuts off her head, which lands by the prone Boba. Boba looks at the head and starts to turn his weapon on Mace when a squad of Clones runs up, guns trained on him.

“There is no honor in suicide, young warrior.”

“You killed my mother,” Boba says, coldly.

“She died by the blade, facing the enemy with honor and bravery. She now fights with her ancestors in the Great Battle, does she not?”

Boba lowers his gun. “That is true. You did her an honor.”

“When this battle is over it may be time to rethink which side of this war acts in your people’s best interest, young warrior.”

Boba rises, salutes. “May you do honor to your ancestors, Jedi.”

Windu returns the salute with this laser sword. Boba Fett retreats with the retreating Mandalorians to fight again.

Windu then approaches an exhausted Padmé as the Clone Storm Troopers chase off the last of the Mandalorians, capturing the last of the Separatists. “Master Windu?!? Who released you?!?” says an incredulous Annakin.

“I did,” says Chancellor Palpatine, walking up. “If Master Windu’s subterfuge is to be admonished, then his ultimate actions are to be praised! He has saved the Republic!!”

“Chancellor,” says Organa. “The Senate would never have authorized this army!!”

“You forget, Senator,” says Palpatine, “the entirety of the Peace Faction was here at Ttaz! The majority of the remaining Senators voted in favor of reinstating the Grand Army of the Republic.”

“But how could they do that?!?” says Padmé, “Half of the Senate was gone!! That vote isn’t legal!!”

“I issued a State of Galactic Emergency. Quorum is no longer required.”

“I do not like this, Chancellor,” says Organa

Palpatine sighs. “Alas, neither do I. But desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Windu excuses himself to continue the fight. Obi-Wan then walks up with a handcuffed Mauk. Palpatine asks if this is the “rogue Jedi” from the Battle of Nima. Obi-Wan expresses surprise that he knew about the Sith. Paplatine reminds him that he’s not just the Supreme Chancellor, he’s from Nima. “I assume you are going to execute this beast?” he then says.

A very shocked and outraged look crosses Mauk’s face. He growls. Palpatine doesn’t even flinch.

“No, says Obi-Wan, “He will be properly tried by a court.”

Palpatine laughs. “What, the courts on Coruscant?!? Do you honestly expect him to see justice? Some shyster lawyer will have him back on the street in weeks!”

As he argues with Obi-Wan, Annakin takes the side of Palpatine. “He’s right! We can’t trust this to the courts!”

Obi-Wan attempts to argue, but suddenly Annakin holds up his hand and Mauk starts to choke.

“Annakin, Stop!” yells Obi-Wan, ultimately having to use the Force to throw Anniken back to save Mauk’s life.

“I didn’t know that Jedi could do that,” says Palpatine, impressed.

CIRCLE WIPE to where Obi-Wan, exhausted, leans against a railing. Mace Windu approaches.

They discuss the events. Mauk is in custody. The Clone Army has proven highly effective. But there is no sign of Baron Cetu Thorpe, whom Windu fears may have been captured, however unlikely that seems.

“Your secret army has served us well, Master Windu.”

“As I foresaw it would. In time even Master Yoda will come to see the wisdom of my actions. I hope that you and Sir Anniken will as well. May the Force be with you, Sir Obi-Wan.”

Windu leaves. Obi-Wan looks out over the blowing sands of Ttaz, deep in thought.

“Master Thorpe, where have you gone?” he says to himself. “Were you killed by the Sith? It certainly seems like your security measures weren’t quite as solid as you assured me they......”

Shocked realization dawns on Obi-Wan’s face. He runs OFF CAMERA.

Obi-Wan hops on a Clone Trooper’s Speeder Bike (“Hey!”) and jets off into the desert. He uses the Force to guide him.

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(Image source Inverse)

WIPE TO inside an ancient dwelling, where Baron Thrope is talking to a hologram of Sio Dias. Thorpe bows. “Master Sidious, I have the plans,” he says, revealing a Hologram of the Death Star. It is the first time the name Sidious has been said.

“Excellent, my apprentice,” says Sidious. “Send it to me immediately and travel to Coruscant to finish our mission.”

“It shall be done, Master.” He places the plans in a small Device, hits a button, and the Device hovers and flies off.

Obi-Wan continues on his trip into some rugged hills, ultimately leading him to some rocky outcroppings full of ancient ruins He finds Thorpe’s ruins and confronts him, noting how it was a shame that a Sith got through Thorpe’s careful security. “The Sith are very cunning,” says Thorpe.

“Yes. They are. They can fool even Master Yoda. Shall we drop the pretenses and speak honestly with each other?”

Thorpe admits that he arranged the events, calling it Obi-Wan’s “final test”, proud that he “destroyed that savage” Mauk, and tries to lure Obi-Wan to join him. He is shocked to learn that Mauk lives. Obi-Wan asks him why he betrayed the Jedi and serves the Sith. Thorpe laughs. “Sidious Morg is a fool! As big a fool as Yoda!! Two fools stuck in outdated thinking on the nature of the Galaxy. The future of the Force must move beyond such small thoughts!”

“You are playing both sides against one another!!” Obi-Wan draws his laser sword.

“Indeed, Grand-Padawan.” Thorpe draws his blue Jedi laser sword with his right hand, then draws a second, shorter red Sith laser sword with his left. He salutes Obi-Wan with the blue blade. “I serve only the Whole of the Force. Light and Dark are but illusions, two sides of the same universal power!”

“What do I call you, then? Jedi? Sith?”

Thorpe smiles. “Call me.... ‘Grandfather’”.

Thorpe attacks! Obi-Wan defends skillfully, but is taken aback by the Baron’s ancient, fencing-like fighting style: Jedi sword as rapier, Sith sword as dagger. As they fight, Thorpe speaks of the Ancient Ones, before the Jedi and Sith, who used the Whole of the Force. Obi-Wan dismisses the Ancients as tyrants. “They ruled by Right of Power!!!” counters Thorpe as they duel. “Above morality! They were Gods among mortals!!! Join me! You and Anniken! Together we can overthrow Sidious, slay that beastly Mauk, and bring a New Order to the Galaxy!!!”

“Never, ‘Grandfather’. I’ll never betray the Jedi.”

Thorpe scowls, disappointment apparent in his eyes. “Then so be it....Jedi.”

The fierce clash continues, and the more experienced Thorpe clearly has the upper hand. Obi-Wan is disarmed and just as Obi-Wan is about to be run through, Thorpe pauses and looks up. “It appears that we have more guests coming. We will have to continue this another time, Grand Padawan.”

The Baron salutes Obi-Wan with the blue blade and runs to his waiting ship. The hatch closes, the ship powers up, and it launches out into the sky just as a squad of Clone Troopers run in, firing futilely at the retreating ship.

Mace Windu walks in. “He won’t get far, Sir Obi-Wan.”

Obi-Wan simply stands, staring sadly at the retreating ship.

Thorpe’s ship flies away into the sky, chased by a squad of Clone Fighters firing at him. He jinks and dodges. Thorpe says into a Comm, “I come, Master. Call off the assault ships. (silence) Master? (continued silence) Answer me, please, Master!! MASTER?!?!”

View attachment 807555
(Image Source Wookiepedia)

He reaches Space and deploys a Solar Sail and veers away from the planet. A huge swarm of Fighters greets him at the top of the atmosphere. Star Destroyers fire their deck guns. Thorpe’s ship tries desperately to dodge all the blasts, but there are too many! The ship takes several hits and bursts into flames. Inside, engulfed in flames, Thorpe screams.

The flaming ship’s sail burns away and the flaming ship plummets into the atmosphere.

A SILENT MONTAGE BEGINS

The Force Theme plays. Obi-Wan watches sadly as the flaming line of Thorpe’s burning ship streaks across the sky, then breaks apart into a hundred small, burning pieces. Windu rests a hand on his shoulder, pats it, then walks away.

Elsewhere in the desert of Ttaz, the hooded figure of Sidious Morg stands amid the blowing sands. He holds out his hand as the flying Device holding the Death Star Plans lands in his palm. He projects the hologram of the plans, turns it off, smiles darkly, and walks away.

A Medical Ship. Padmé sits by the side of Anniken’s hospital bed, holding his hand as Medical Droids attach a cybernetic arm and foot to him.

At the Jedi Temple, in the glow of the Green Moon, Master Yoda looks up, a look of dark portent crossing his face.

WIPE TO…

A Republic Cruiser. Padmé and Annaken stare out the bay window, holding hands, as Ttaz and its blue-white sun, eclipsing behind a large moon, retreats in the distance. Obi-Wan walks up to them. He holds out the burnt, melted remains of Thorpe’s blue laser sword. A sad, confused look crosses Annakin’s face as he takes it.

SILENT MONTAGE ENDS

WIPE TO…

A Cruiser hallway, where Obi-Wan speaks with Mace Windu, who indicates that “only molecules” of Cetu Thorpe were found. He warns Obi-Wan not to dwell on Thorpe (“Thus always to betrayers”) and to focus on the challenges of the battle ahead.

“Now see to your Padawan. His power will be a great asset in the coming war. I need him rested, clear headed, and unburdened by grief. Now, if you will excuse me....”

A door opens to a State Room. Chancellor Palpatine waits inside with a Clone General. The Imperial March starts to play. Windu walks in and the door shuts behind him.

CUT TO…

SILENT MONTAGE 2

The Imperial March continues. A massive Clone Fleet as it flies on through space, the triangular shapes of Star Destroyers stabbing through space like spear heads. Swarms Fighters zip by among them.

On Had Abbadon, a company of Clone Storm Troopers marches down the street to a ticker tape parade, lined by throngs of cheering crowds. Hover Tanks and other vehicles drive among them. The cheers grow louder as Chancellor Palpatine, riding a golden Hover Barge reminiscent of a Chariot, waves, Caesar-like, in triumph to the adoring crowds.

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(Image Source Reddit)

WIPE TO a star base on Had Abbadon where companies of Storm Troopers march in unison, following Mace Windu up the ramps into Landing Craft as others take off in the background. PAN BACK to where Yoda, Anniken, and Obi-Wan look on. Anniken looks excited watching this spectacle of martial might. Obi-Wan and Yoda show only dismay.

“Begun this...Clone War has,” says Yoda, sadly. “May the Force be with this Galaxy.”

“Fear not, Master Yoda,” says Anniken. “With this army we can crush the separatist rebellion and restore peace to the Galaxy!”

“Yes. That we may. But what next will happen? What kind of peace then the Galaxy will have?”

WIPE TO…

A Mausoleum. Camera PANS along a hallway at a memorial garden. To CAMERA LEFT are a row of support columns, which cast long shadows in the light of the Green Moon. To CAMERA RIGHT are, floor to ceiling, remains cubicles. We PAN past these solemn reminders, past a handful of Mourners, who touch the cubicles’ memorial plaques to project holograms of their lost loved ones. We PAN slowly up to Anniken, who sits in front of a cubicle near the ground, face glowing in the light of a hologram of his smiling Mother Shmi on endless loop in front of him. His expression is a complex mix of sadness, anger, regret, and reminiscence. Obi-Wan walks up to Anniken and kneels beside him.

“We could have saved her, Sen-nai,” says Anniken.

“No, my friend. We could not have. But her murderer is in custody. He will face justice for his many crimes, including her.”

Anniken looks at Obi-Wan, tears in his eyes. “Will he?!?”

“If the Force wills it. She would want you to let go, Anakin. Move on. You honor her memory every single day through your actions. Do you understand, Anakin?”

Anniken nods in silence, then says, “I always wish that I could have met my father,” and excuses himself. He notes that Baron Thorpe, as promised, left Thorpe Tower to Anniken in his will, and he plans to stay there tonight. The Sen-nai and Padawan hug and say their goodbyes.

As Anniken leaves, Obi-Wan has a thought. He calls up Moog on a Comm. “Run a scan of the Jedi Archives. Give me the names of all Jedi dispatched to Utapau nineteen years ago, during the Hutt invasion.”

“The search came back empty, ba. It looks like the Jedi sat that war out,” Moog replies. Obi-Wan scowls.

WIPE TO…

Thorpe Tower, at night. Camera PANS up the side of the looming Thorpe Tower and then down the long, dark, elegant entry hallway of Baron Thorpe’s residence. Servant Droids open the doors as we pass. We pass the suits of armor and into a sitting room of Old World opulence with a giant fireplace and mounted animals and into the Dining Room.

Here we see Anniken seated in the dark in the Baron’s chair, a fancy supper sitting untouched, Servant Droids standing ready. We ZOOM IN on the scowling Anniken, who holds Thorpe’s melted laser sword. A solo clarinet softly plays the opening notes of the “Imperial March”.

IRIS OUT

ROLL CREDITS
---

And BAM! Pretty close to what we got, right? Stay tuned, Nerfherders! I’m trying to score an early copy of Episode III, but no promises!



[1] Tree Pose, naturally enough.

[2] Backstory and episodes of the Chronicles of the Clone Wars animated series will reveal that Atha Prime is actually a “generational clone” who clones himself and moves his mind between the bodies every generation, and that the Atha Prime from Shadows of the Empire is a third generation Clone from the one we meet in Ep. II. It’s an idea that was originally developed for Lando Calrissian in the Leigh Bracket screenplay for her “Star Wars Sequel”.

[3] :winkytongue:
Gee I wonder who will be directing this /S
 
This article is a good summation of Lucas’s views and what he tried to convey


Basically the light side IS the way of balance, teaching that emotions can be good IF they’re properly controlled and guided. The dark side is “fuck restraint I’m gonna do what I want and damn the consequences.”

In fact the backstory of one dark sider in the EU (Kadann) is that he thought he could control both light and dark and ultimately fell. I think that might be a better thing for Thorpe….he arrogantly thought he could control both and fell.

If you’re not calling Sidious DARTH I think Lord Sidious is fine. The surname afterwards is kinda corny
 
Not gonna lie, I was a bit disappointed that the Clones are not the antagonists of the Clone Wars since that was kinda hinted at in the Thrawn Trilogy and/or Dark Empire (making it entirely different from OTL) but what happened next more than made up for that.

This is what a competent Episode II looks like. It just does so much for Anniken, Obi-Wan, Padme, and the rest of the cast that I'm so saddened that this didn't happen OTL.

That night, a menacing black hover-car appears outside of Padmé’s window. Anniken cuts through the wall and pulls Padmé to the ground just seconds before the lasers fly, blowing out the window and tearing apart the room. Obi-Wan arrives with his laser sword drawn and fights off the attackers, deflecting the blasts. As the black hover-car flies off, Anniken declares his intent to pursue and jumps out the shattered window, falling towards the streets below. Obi-Wan, saying “That boy will be the death of me!”, jumps out after him.
*cough* foreshadowing *cough*

But Windu has a different suggestion. “I motion that young Skywalker pass through the Bardo.”

This causes a lot of shocked discussion, but it is ultimately decided that Anniken must pass through the Bardo or be rejected from the Jedi Order.

Obi-Wan later explains the Bardo to Anniken: it is “the ultimate test of a Jedi’s connection to the force, Anakin. It is a complete exposure to the Dark Side. Your greatest fears, angers, and attachments will manifest themselves as phantoms and demons. These demons are illusions you must ignore as you pass through. Should you react to any of them, you will fail and be expelled from the Jedi Order.”
The Bardo trial was a stroke of genius, IMO. It peers into Anniken's deepest and darkest thoughts/fears while clearly exposing the only thing that will cause him to fall: Padme. We saw hints of this in the third film and in the Clone Wars miniseries/animated series but never to this level of detail in the Prequel Trilogy.

"Love is strong in the force. Beautiful, love is. Grand. Joyous. But to a Jedi, dangerous… Love endangered too easily to fear leads. Love lost too easily to anger leads. Love betrayed too easily to hatred leads. A Jedi must emotional love forego, only the eternal love of the Force may we have.” He calls it “Ironic” that Jedi, as servants of love, cannot have it themselves.

He then tells Obi-Wan that an “old friend” wants to speak to him, and guides him to an alcove where the glowing form of his old Sen-nai Quigon Djyn (Katsuhiko Sasaki) awaits. Obi-Wan is shocked to see his old Sen-nai “alive”, but the ghost of Quigon tells him “not exactly” and that he is more the impression that Quigon left on the Force. “Every being leaves an impression on the Force, some more than others. A Jedi who opens himself freely to the Living Force will shape the nature of the Force itself, and in that way cannot fully die.”

Quigon then warns Obi-Wan that his love and fear for his friends will certainly endanger them all. He also expresses that he believes that Anniken will pass the Bardo. He leaves his old Padawan with a final note that he must choose his love for his friends or to pursue the Force, and that is a choice that only Obi-Wan can make.
Considering the Tales of the Jedi comics and future material, the Jedi have a lot of examples of why love and connections can ultimately cause one to fall, though they can also redeem a person as well.

“Anniken...in my living will I have left the Thorpe Family Empire to you. Should anything happen to me, you must promise me you will carry on the quest for a New Order in the Galaxy.”
So Anniken gains the Thorpe Family Estate on Had Abbadon and his vast wealth? DAMN, now that's a will. Now if only he got ITTL Suranno as part of the deal.

What's funny is that Anniken will most likely view Cetu Thorpe positively thanks to his manipulation of the young man, his involvement in him becoming a Jedi Knight, and the family will. Maybe this will cause a rift between Anniken and Obi-Wan if he decides to reveal Thorpe's betrayal to the Jedi or speaks negatively of the man.

I wonder if Thrope will have an influence on him as Darth Vader considering all of the old knightly regalia and his view of the Dark Side.

Anniken approaches, and Thorpe, to the surprise of all, relates all the things that Anniken accomplished, including revealing a traitor in the Jedi ranks. He then draws his laser sword and cuts the Padawan’s Braid from Anniken’s hair. “No time is there for the proper ceremony. Instead, you are now to join the full ranks of the Jedi Knights. Master Yoda, I believe it is time to throw the weight of this Council behind Senator Organa’s peace proposal and end this ghastly war!”
WHAT?! He's already a Jedi Knight by Episode II? That changes a crap ton of things in future installments like the Multimedia Project or the Clone Wars series. Both dealt so heavily with him being a Padawan and his apprenticeship to Obi-Wan (you could say that his current development in Hensonverse Episode II is how he was during the Multimedia Project) that he will no doubt be different by the time of the actual Clone Wars and Episode III.

I'd imagine him to be a fusion of Legends Anakin and Disney Anakin during the Clone Wars, being much more independent and driven to succeed as a Jedi yet still emotionally impulsive, egotistical, and immature. That combination could make for some interesting moments in the miniseries or the Republic comics, especially when he is forced to lead Clones against Separatist forces without Obi-Wan or when they have to work together towards some goal as equals.

Considering Thorpe's influence and Anniken being surrounded by old regalia and artifacts of the ancient Force users, I legitimately think he will end up being like Jedi Lord Hoth, where he is driven not by prophecy (since it never existed in this continuity) but by personal ambition to singlehandedly purge the Separatists and the Sith in order to bring a new age of the Jedi Order into the galaxy as what Cetu Thorpe envisioned and become a hero in his own right. However, due to personal tragedy and Sidious's manipulations, he will not die a hero like Hoth did, but instead become the villain Darth Vader and a slave to Sidious Morg's will.

Thorpe notes that Windu is “the last of the Order of Bendu, an ancient subset of the Jedi. Stoics and monastics who reject the comforts and pleasures of life believing that only through total absolution of all sense and emotion can one truly bond with the Force.” Anniken notes that Windu’s laser sword was different. He relates the training with the cracked Kyber crystal, which Thorpe finds “delightfully old fashioned.”
I wonder if this means ITTL Windu won't be associated with something like the Grey Jedi or stuff that is seeped in the Dark Side like Juyo/Vaapad since the Bendu are far more neutral and seek to purge oneself in emotion in order to understand the Force. Also, it's nice to see the Bendu are still around, though perhaps future materials will hint at them as the founders of the Jedi in the ancient past and followed a similar philosophy.

Also, this probably means the purple lightsaber will be used by future writers for characters that are part of the Bendu Order, so ITTL Revan will most likely not have a purple lightsaber unless they explicitly mention them as part of the Bendu.

Thorpe admits that he arranged the events, calling it Obi-Wan’s “final test”, proud that he “destroyed that savage” Mauk, and tries to lure Obi-Wan to join him. He is shocked to learn that Mauk lives. Obi-Wan asks him why he betrayed the Jedi and serves the Sith. Thorpe laughs. “Sidious Morg is a fool! As big a fool as Yoda!! Two fools stuck in outdated thinking on the nature of the Galaxy. The future of the Force must move beyond such small thoughts!”
“Indeed, Grand-Padawan.” Thorpe draws his blue Jedi laser sword with his right hand, then draws a second, shorter red Sith laser sword with his left. He salutes Obi-Wan with the blue blade. “I serve only the Whole of the Force. Light and Dark are but illusions, two sides of the same universal power!”
I wonder if Dooku shared this same philosophy or if this is original to Thorpe. Regardless this is an interesting viewpoint of the Force that we rarely see others express IOTL.

He reaches Space and deploys a Solar Sail and veers away from the planet. A huge swarm of Fighters greets him at the top of the atmosphere. Star Destroyers fire their deck guns. Thorpe’s ship tries desperately to dodge all the blasts, but there are too many! The ship takes several hits and bursts into flames. Inside, engulfed in flames, Thorpe screams.
Such a shame to have Cetu Thorpe die since I thought his story was gonna go somewhere but perhaps Anniken will start to adopt a similar philosophy since he owns and will most likely use whatever Cetu Thorpe had at his disposal in his estate. If it does happen, then I can really see it becoming a focal point in the Clone Wars and Episode III, where he thinks he can contain and control his own darkness and use it for good (sort of like Mace Windu OTL) only for Sidious to take advantage of that and strip him of any sense of hope, leaving him to be consumed in the Dark Side. It would be a fantastic foil to Obi-Wan who tries to keep himself to the Jedi creed at all costs (as shown by him sparing Mauk) and keeps his connections away from him as a result (instead of embracing it like Anniken), much to his suffering.

At least we have Mauk around, and he is actually alive for a REASON (instead of Filoni fucking up the canon). Having Mauk do shit throughout the Clone Wars and ending up fighting Obi-Wan and Anniken in a climactic Episode III battle is going to be epic and one religiously watched by virtually every Star Wars fan to the modern day.

She also mentions that her son Boba has completed his Trials and will fight in this engagement. He asks to see his nephew. Boba appears in the hologram, a young warrior of roughly nineteen (Jason Momoa). Only a few tattoos mark his young face. Kaliss asks about the trials, and Boba admits to coming in second, which angers Kaliss. “You must do better. I will see you as Clan Master and Emperor of Mandalore before I am reunited with the Ancestors, or I will send you to the Ancestors myself!”
Thank god Boba is not a clone in this timeline. Plus he's played by Jason Momoa? That could be a really interesting segue into future installments where an adult Jason Momoa portrays/voices Boba in the post-LoTJ era.

The Mandalorians are also putting in work and finally get the respect they deserve as proud warriors. Don't let them become emasculated as they were during the Clone Wars animated series (what the hell were they thinking portraying them as pacifists???).

Here we see Anniken seated in the dark in the Baron’s chair, a fancy supper sitting untouched, Servant Droids standing ready. We ZOOM IN on the scowling Anniken, who holds Thorpe’s melted laser sword. A solo clarinet softly plays the opening notes of the “Imperial March”.
I'd never thought I'd say this, but this Anniken is so based.

I have always liked the Hensonverse version of Star Wars but Episode II has reinvigorated my interest. There's just so much potential in the Prequel Era that is left to be unlocked through the Clone Wars Multimedia Project and Episode III that I'm just so excited about it all. I can't wait to see how Anniken develops throughout the Clone Wars and how he ultimately falls in Episode III. The film cannot come out soon enough, Geekhis.

Here are my current thoughts about Episode II and the Clone Wars era:
  • I'm hoping Obi-Wan remains celibate in this timeline. If he's so touchy with maintaining a platonic relationship with Padme or with Anniken then it would be seriously out of character if he had a girlfriend like Satine Kryze.
  • I thought Anniken wouldn't get a Padawan but with him becoming a Jedi Knight early and having Thorpe's estate and knowledge at his disposal, it seems inevitable that Lucasfilm is going to do it purely to present a "knight and squire" narrative. However, with George Lucas around and no Filoni, the writers are DEFINITELY going to kill the Padawan off. Like there's no hope of that character surviving like Ahsoka and that is a good thing. They NEED to die for Anniken's character development.
  • The Clone Wars is likely to be bloodier and darker than in the Disney Canon, since it will most likely resemble the Multimedia Project and the Republic comics, which is fantastic since that's the narrative that the Prequel Trilogy is going for. A desperate struggle of the Light against the growing Darkness, only for the hero to fall and become the instigator of the Jedi's own destruction.
  • I'm really curious about Anniken's father and what will happen once he finds out about his dad and where he went. Maybe some kind of Jedi betrayal against Anniken's dad along with Padme's death is what will tip Anniken over the edge.
  • Who is the leader of the CIS without Thorpe/Dooku? It has to be Mauk, right?
If you’re not calling Sidious DARTH I think Lord Sidious is fine. The surname afterwards is kinda corny
I'm thinking Dark Lord ("Jen'ari") is what ITTL writers will go for to refer to a high-ranking member of the Sith without Darth.
 
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I'm not sure if it was intentional, but I love the reverse mirroring of Empire Strikes Back. Whereas in that movie it was a constant feeling of pressure, of stress and darker elements tinged with good comedic moments and ending with a faint but prominent burst of hope, here a lot of this movie seems to be going well, if slightly dark, before going to absolute shit in the last act and a very bleak ending.

It's interesting to see the various shades of grey that the Jedi are being portrayed with here. Anniken is still going to turn to the dark side, he's still going to become Darth Vader, he's still going to bring down the whole galaxy in the process. ....But on the other hand, the Jedi higher ups aren't exactly clean either. It was hinted at in Episode I but it becomes very clear here that there's major issues in the religion. Because while Mace is ultimately proved right in the sense that the Galaxy is growing grimmer and there needs to be an army he is absolutely playing straight into the enemy's hands and is being used as a tool. Definitely interesting to see that an approach of total detachment from the universe might have some slight drawbacks. And by contrast, while Thorpe is obviously leading Annikin down a dark path for his own religious reasons the fact is...his teachings did get Annikin past that tough as all hell test! It fooled Windu, it fooled Obi-Wan, it fooled Yoda! No one suspected a thing, so might there be something to this 'drop light and dark' stuff he talks about? And Yoda might have a point about Obi Wan's connections dragging him down but even the grand master is missing all the strings being pulled and if he does, he cannot see the puppetmaster.

I've often thought that, in response to critiques of how the Prequel Trilogy handled the Jedi Order, it's a phenomenally unfortunate and necessary rule of storytelling that of the 'thousand generations' Obi Wan talks about, it is inevitable that we have to follow the generations that failed. The nine-hundred and ninety-ninth if you want to get particular about it, the one's that could not help sowing their own downfall. The inevitable end result of being a Guardian of Peace and Justice in a system that has been in place so long it's starting to crumble out of entropy. How much of that is intended by Lucas and how much is a combination of fan-theory and Dave Filoni weaving in this narrative ion the small screen that inevitably became impossible to avoid in the present day is not something I really know. But here, there's definite meat to that theory.

I am moderately surprised that Thorpe ended up getting killed off, it makes sense given that the third movie is building up to Anniken vs Obi-Wan,but given how much of Palpatine's role from OTL's prequel appears to have been transferred here, part of me was wondering if there was going to be some surprise twist in the tale here. Part of me does wonder if we'll get some McKellen post-death appearance in Episode III.

Oh and that lost image of Annikin seething with rage as the Imperial March begins? Fascinating stuff!
 
Anniken is still going to turn to the dark side, he's still going to become Darth Vader, he's still going to bring down the whole galaxy in the process.
We all know that but it's just so much more than him inevitably falling to the Dark Side, it's the "how" and "why" that's gonna intrigue a crap ton of Star Wars fans, including myself.

Since Episode I, we know the prophecy is pretty much dead and was never thought of in the first place, so it is obvious to people that his fall to the Dark Side (and his eventual redemption to the Light) was his own personal choice. However, Episode II brings in so much more to explain how he could fall and why he would think to abandon the Light. I guess it was also obvious that Padme dying would cause him to fall but there's more to it.

There's been a recurring theme of attachments and personal connections that's been more emphasized in this Prequel Trilogy than OTL with the Bardo Trial, Obi-Wan's personal struggles with intimacy, Anniken, and the Jedi Order itself. I noted that Obi-Wan and Anniken are kind of foils in this regard as Obi-Wan strives to sever his personal attachments to even his closest friends and enemies while Anniken revels in them by kissing Padme, finding joy in Thorpe's teachings as a mentor, obsessing over his father, and seeking vengeance against Mauk over Shmi's death. Yoda argues that these attachments are what cause people to fall into the Dark Side, and he seems to be proven right in Episode II with Anniken.

What's interesting to me is how Anniken will evolve over the Clone Wars with Thorpe's philosophy in mind, which is something that I haven't predicted. Instead of trying to fear and shirk away from personal attachments and the Dark Side as I originally thought, what if he tried to embrace them instead, as Thorpe desired? In his mind, he will become stronger by taking on aspects of the Light and Dark to achieve a perfect whole, all while he is finding excuses as to why he continues to utilize his emotions toward the people he cares about to achieve his goals, even if it means falling into darkness. He'll try to be a hero, he'll try to become a better person, and he'll try to achieve the happy ending that he desires the most in his life. Only that's not gonna happen.

Palpatine will take away everything that he has ever loved and cherished in his life. Padme, the Padawan (if he has one, and they 100% HAVE to die), Obi-Wan, and so many more all the while assuring him that the Dark Side is what will grant him ultimate power to protect those who are still left. After hearing so much crap from Yoda and the others in the Jedi Order, he could believe that the Light Side totally failed him and is what's responsible for this feeling of weakness that caused Padme and the others to die. So in that moment of despair, he purges everything from the Light and embraces all of the power that the Dark Side provided him, becoming Darth Vader in the process.

Speaking of him falling, I actually want Anniken to know that Padme died before he turned to the Dark Side if only to make his confrontation with Obi-Wan even more impactful in the first place. Perhaps within his frame of mind, he is still the hero as he is going to kill Palpatine and bring on a new golden age of the Galaxy with him as sole ruler (due to his anti-democratic views and disgust for the Jedi and Republic's weakness against the Separatists). However, Obi-Wan's eventual crippling of Anniken prevents that plan from happening (at least until later when we get something like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed) and leaves him as a subservient pawn of Palpatine, until Luke shows up.

It's so ironic that Luke's personal attachment to Obi-Wan and his father is what ultimately saved him and led to his redemption. It shows that the Star Wars universe and the Force itself don't work in absolutes, and it's honestly a good thing.

Oh and that last image of Annikin seething with rage as the Imperial March begins? Fascinating stuff!
I'd never imagine Anniken as a badass chivalrous blood knight but I want to see that so BADLY. It's just so goddamn cool.
 
It's so ironic that Luke's personal attachment to Obi-Wan and his father is what ultimately saved him and led to his redemption. It shows that the Star Wars universe and the Force itself don't work in absolutes, and it's honestly a good thing.
Oddly enough, without intending to derail this thread, this is one of the things that I had running through my head reading this. If the 'Jedi share part of the blame' theory of the OTL prequels is wrong and incorrect (And without wishing to start a debate, not least because I'm terrible at them) then Lucas's take on the attachment thing is....I'm going to say 'curious' because enough hyperbole has been spilled on the man and his writing to last a lifetime. While I forget the exact nature of Episode VI IITL, I remember it being pretty clear that Luke brings his father back to the light somewhat. I imagine the argument of 'chronological vs real-life' airing arguments to be quite interesting because if you go by the latter you see Annikin deconstructing the nature of Luke's story-arc compared to the former which sees Luke reconstructing Annikin's ideals into a more sustainable method.
 
While I forget the exact nature of Episode VI IITL, I remember it being pretty clear that Luke brings his father back to the light somewhat. I imagine the argument of 'chronological vs real-life' airing arguments to be quite interesting because if you go by the latter you see Annikin deconstructing the nature of Luke's story-arc compared to the former which sees Luke reconstructing Annikin's ideals into a more sustainable method.
Yeah, I can see a lot of Star Wars fans seeing Anniken's descent into darkness in that light and they'll try to figure out why Anniken fell as opposed to Luke since they faced similar losses in Shmi and Owen respectively.

Fans might attribute this divergence to terms of their personality as Luke is humble and kind while Anniken is aggressive and even egotistical to the point (especially if we go by the interpretation that he tries to become the savior of the galaxy). Luke is willing to accept the pain and try to move on while Anniken would wallow in it and seek vengeance.

There's also Obi-Wan to talk about. I can see fans retroactively believing that Obi-Wan cared a lot more about Luke because he saw his aloofness towards Anniken as a reason why he fell in the first place. If he ignored Yoda and tried to reach out and help him instead of keeping his distance from his own fears, then he might have saved him from falling to the Dark Side.
 
We all know that but it's just so much more than him inevitably falling to the Dark Side, it's the "how" and "why" that's gonna intrigue a crap ton of Star Wars fans, including myself.

Since Episode I, we know the prophecy is pretty much dead and was never thought of in the first place, so it is obvious to people that his fall to the Dark Side (and his eventual redemption to the Light) was his own personal choice. However, Episode II brings in so much more to explain how he could fall and why he would think to abandon the Light. I guess it was also obvious that Padme dying would cause him to fall but there's more to it.

There's been a recurring theme of attachments and personal connections that's been more emphasized in this Prequel Trilogy than OTL with the Bardo Trial, Obi-Wan's personal struggles with intimacy, Anniken, and the Jedi Order itself. I noted that Obi-Wan and Anniken are kind of foils in this regard as Obi-Wan strives to sever his personal attachments to even his closest friends and enemies while Anniken revels in them by kissing Padme, finding joy in Thorpe's teachings as a mentor, obsessing over his father, and seeking vengeance against Mauk over Shmi's death. Yoda argues that these attachments are what cause people to fall into the Dark Side, and he seems to be proven right in Episode II with Anniken.

What's interesting to me is how Anniken will evolve over the Clone Wars with Thorpe's philosophy in mind, which is something that I haven't predicted. Instead of trying to fear and shirk away from personal attachments and the Dark Side as I originally thought, what if he tried to embrace them instead, as Thorpe desired? In his mind, he will become stronger by taking on aspects of the Light and Dark to achieve a perfect whole, all while he is finding excuses as to why he continues to utilize his emotions toward the people he cares about to achieve his goals, even if it means falling into darkness. He'll try to be a hero, he'll try to become a better person, and he'll try to achieve the happy ending that he desires the most in his life. Only that's not gonna happen.

Palpatine will take away everything that he has ever loved and cherished in his life. Padme, the Padawan (if he has one, and they 100% HAVE to die), Obi-Wan, and so many more all the while assuring him that the Dark Side is what will grant him ultimate power to protect those who are still left. After hearing so much crap from Yoda and the others in the Jedi Order, he could believe that the Light Side totally failed him and is what's responsible for this feeling of weakness that caused Padme and the others to die. So in that moment of despair, he purges everything from the Light and embraces all of the power that the Dark Side provided him, becoming Darth Vader in the process.

Speaking of him falling, I actually want Anniken to know that Padme died before he turned to the Dark Side if only to make his confrontation with Obi-Wan even more impactful in the first place. Perhaps within his frame of mind, he is still the hero as he is going to kill Palpatine and bring on a new golden age of the Galaxy with him as sole ruler (due to his anti-democratic views and disgust for the Jedi and Republic's weakness against the Separatists). However, Obi-Wan's eventual crippling of Anniken prevents that plan from happening (at least until later when we get something like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed) and leaves him as a subservient pawn of Palpatine, until Luke shows up.

It's so ironic that Luke's personal attachment to Obi-Wan and his father is what ultimately saved him and led to his redemption. It shows that the Star Wars universe and the Force itself don't work in absolutes, and it's honestly a good thing.


I'd never imagine Anniken as a badass chivalrous blood knight but I want to see that so BADLY. It's just so goddamn cool.
It wasn’t his attachment though. It was his compassion. He saw that Vader secretly hated himself and wanted to make amends, and wanted to help Vader not suffer.

Again, you’re using the western definition of attachment. In Buddhist terms attachment (a desire not to be separated from someone or something because of how it makes you feel) is only ever harmful.

Lukes love was selfless. Anakin’s wasn’t
 
I wonder why other Jedi went with Mace to fight despite Mace being kicked out

I still think that Thorpe was Anakins father

With the Clones shown to be completely obedient I doubt any show wil have them develop personalities like otl

Also when and in what form are Owen and Beru going to show up?
 
Finding the Balance
Chapter 5: Planning a Prequel Trilogy (Cont’d)
From Star Wars: The Phantom History, by Ben Camino


George Lucas was taken aback by the mixed reviews of Episode I, but even more taken aback by the negative reaction to it by many in the fandom. For two decades he’d been practically worshiped, but now he was the subject of angry fan rants and nasty letters. The experience soured him to his earliest and most beloved franchise, taking away much of the child-like glee that he had applied to Episode I. He all but removed himself from the day-to-day production of Episode II, now named The Hidden Army in an indirect reference to Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress that had been a major inspiration for Star Wars.

Particularly galling for Lucas was the praise that he received for the addition of the Mandos to the third act of A Darkness Rising, an addition that he’d resisted but that Darabont and Henson had talked him into, and by contrast the hate mail that Henson in particular received over the Roona, a species that he’d created.

“Fans ironically condemn Lisa for the Roona and praise George for the Mandos,” said Darabont, “when in reality she’d insisted on the Mandos and he’d insisted on the Roona.”

And fan art on the internet of Ba Ba being executed by Mauk Shivtor or even Obi-Wan appalled Lucas most of all, seeing as how he always connected the character to his son Jett.

“It’s all yours!” he told writer Frank Darabont and Episode II director Bob Zemeckis before angrily storming off one day[1]. Lucas would emerge on occasion to choose a character or set design from a series of choices from the production team or give his blessing on a script adjustment or editing choice, but otherwise remained quite hands-off.

By this point Darabont had already written a draft screenplay based on the earlier treatments, and saw little reason to make big changes[2]. Despite Henson suggesting that the fan-hated Moog and Ba Ba be “left on Nima-Roona”, he’d already created a subplot for them on the ocean world of Atha and gave them critical plot roles in other set pieces. That said, he decided to troll the audience, introducing the Reticulated Rocktooth fish, which at one point appears to eat Ba Ba with a sickening crunch, just to reveal that the hated Roona was unhurt, as the fish instead ate the coral he’d been sitting on, essentially being an oversized parrotfish. This caused a minor controversy when Ba Ba loving young children in the audience screamed in panic at the scene, with one mother suing Lucasfilm and Fox for “mental anguish” in what the press dubbed “Mama V. Ba Ba” (a judge threw the case out, citing the PG rating as “ample warning that non-child-friendly scenes were present”).

Even though Lucas was largely absent, Darabont, producer Rick McCallum, and director Bob Zemeckis had ample production notes to work from. For example, where Ep. I was largely a “medieval fantasy”, Lucas had insisted that Ep. II be “a Film Noir”. Thus, the plot would center on a mystery of “who tried to assassinate Padmé?”, setting off a narrative filled with betrayals and double-crosses. From the drive-by shooting and the aerial chase though the city (Darabont and Zemeckis also added in “Buddy Cop” tropes between Obi-Wan and Anniken) to Padmé’s break-in at the Central Archives to the caper on Atha, the film was part noir mystery, part crime caper tale, part seduction to darkness. The dark and rainy streets of Had Abbadon worked well for the noir feel, with Zemeckis and the designers deliberately quoting Lang, Wells, and Wilder. Even the brightly-lit halls of the Cloneworks of Atha and the Great Hall at Ttaz were marked by noir angles, shadows, and lighting, and in Ttaz’s case the set was deliberately evocative of Casablanca.

They also had to determine what the “Clone Wars” even were, with older merchandise and novelization notes being somewhat vague and often contradictory. At one point, Lando Calrissian was supposed to be a Clone, the latest in a long line of identical genetic Clones inheriting the family fortune from each other and retaining their “pure bloodline” through the generations[3], though that idea was abandoned during production on Ep. V. The Shadows of the Empire animated series had introduced the idea of “cloning pods” and a villain in the masked, manipulative “Clone Master” Atha Prime, himself a “generational clone”, but at Lucas’ insistence the series had revealed very little about the Clone Wars or the original Clone Army. Lucas ultimately told the production team that the clones were “the forerunners to the Storm Troopers” and envisioned them as “a better army than the droid armies that the Separatists prefer.”

It was decided early in the planning sessions, even before Ep. I started filming, that one of the Mandos would be the genetic “Template” that the clones were based on. The character of Kaliss Fett, ultimately played by Māori[4] actor Cliff Curtis, was quietly slipped into Act III of Ep. I, where he was named in the screenplay but never named on-screen. In an act of fan service, Kaliss was made a part of the Fett Clan that included the popular Boba, who was introduced as a young warrior portrayed by model/actor Jason Momoa of Lysia of Amazonia fame. The Mandos of Clan Fett would likewise make an appearance in Act III, hired by a mysterious “unknown party” to attack the peace process on Ttaz and guarantee that peace would fail and that war would become inevitable.

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Original Buck Rogers comic, which helped inspire the Clone Trooper design (Image source Fine Art America)

Design-wise, these first Storm Troopers would resemble the Mandalorians in ways both subtle and overt. Their armor would take direct cues from the iconic Mandalorian armor, but also cues from 1930s-era science fiction, resembling Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon in small ways that hearkened back to the deliberate retrofuturism of the design (such as the wing-like “aerials” on their helmets). And yet they also took small visual cues from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany to foreshadow the Empire. Even the buildings themselves were subtly changing, with the Galactic Archives building and Atha’ani Cloneworks showing more Fascist Neoclassical design elements than the art deco inspired rest of Had Abbadon.

The Clones themselves also played with the themes of the organic versus the industrial: literally mass-produced people, as artificial as the battle droids that they fought even though they were sentient beings, flipping the “organic versus the mechanistic” themes of the original trilogy on their head. And having the Clones ultimately fighting alongside the heroes, rather than against them as most fans had suspected, served as a clear storytelling element that, as with the hiring of the Mando Mercenaries in Episode I, our heroes were on the wrong path, symbolically continuing to embrace the implicit Fascism of the Mandos via a mass-produced army of them.

And yet while those events settled the plot, the story would surround Obi-Wan learning, through hard lessons of darkness and betrayal, that his idealized view of the galaxy, the Republic, and the Jedi was naïve at best. Padmé would similarly learn more and more about the darkness just beyond her sight, with her erstwhile “ally” Chancellor Palpatine shown to be a rather more amorally pragmatic leader in contrast to her idealism, one who is openly happy to manipulate the law to ignore the will of a majority of the Senate in order to hire the Clone Army “for the greater good”. Meanwhile, Anniken would learn a similar lesson, but more darkly, his anger and violent impulses slowly ripping away his humanity as physically symbolized by his new cybernetic parts, foreshadowing his future as Vader.

“We had three people, drawn together by fate,” said Darabont in an interview. “Each was presented with a chance to stare into the abyss, and each would react differently. Obi-Wan and Padmé would turn away from it, but Anniken would be drawn closer.”

And three Jedi Masters would reflect these diverging stories. “Early on, our three friends are pulled apart into separate narratives,” Darabont continued. “Anniken’s recklessness would lead him to be tested in the Bardo, a test that we devised from an afterlife concept in Buddhism. And this would pull him back into the orbit of his ‘binary suns’ of Mace Windu and Cetu Thorpe. One would be his potential savior and the other his corrupter, though we waited until the third act to reveal which was which even as we dropped plenty of hints. And yet even then both were bricks in the wall as it were, with Windu’s own repressed anger leading to coldness that alienated Anniken, leaving him vulnerable to Thorpe’s flattery and psychological seduction.

“Windu, meanwhile, is revealed to have succumbed to his fear, sensing a dark threat on the horizon and taking pragmatic steps to prepare for it, but in doing so made a Faustian bargain with an unknown benefactor in the Senate. Thorpe, meanwhile, has fallen to something arguably even darker than fear: hubris, believing that he alone is stronger than the duality of the Force. It cost him dearly.”

And the back-and-forth reveals of the two Jedi Masters each having betrayed the Jedi council in some way, though one arguably for the “right reasons” even as eventually his betrayal will prove the one that seals the fate of the galaxy, show how even the Jedi council is losing its way and starting to factionalize.

By contrast, Obi-Wan finds council in the kindness and compassion of Master Yoda and even his old Sen-nai, Quigon Djynn, now a Force Ghost. And yet he too is learning bad lessons, learning to distance himself, reject all emotional connections, even positive ones, and to thus partially cut himself off from his humanity, becoming more robotic in nature, and less organic. As such, the gentility and compassion that he learns are effectively closed off, and thus he’s finding a hard time connecting with his Padawan, whom the dark side has already touched. And yet even here Obi-Wan fails, letting his anger at Mauk overtake him in a parallel to Luke’s showdown with Vader in the throne room in Episode VI, but ultimately, like Luke, he chooses compassion over anger.

And yet of the three, it is Padmé who is arguably the strongest. Despite lacking the raw Force powers of Obi-Wan and Anniken, she alone is finding balance between her passions and her compassion, using her passion to guide her morality and her compassion and idealism to guide her actions. Of the three, it is ultimately her example that will carry the day and defeat the empire, though long after her time. Yet she too has a fatal flaw: a sense of tragic romanticism and rebelliousness born of her privileged and isolated upbringing as royalty. As such, while she is probably the best able to see that the greatest danger to the Republic is from within, none of her emotional defenses is able to protect her from star-crossed love.

Another question became how to portray the younger Yoda, though “younger” is a relative thing in a creature already well over 800 years old at the time. Would he have hair? Would he still use a cane? Should he use a light saber? Some test footage of the little green Jedi hopping and bouncing along proved a favorite among the design team, though writer Frank Darabont found it “denigrating” for a character he’d reportedly based upon Old Master tropes. “As I saw it, Yoda would have long since put aside the sword,” he told Swords and Spaceships. Instead, Darabont was introduced to the martial art of Aikido, which had a philosophy of ending confrontations quickly and without injury through using an attacker’s momentum against them. Darabont’s research also introduced him to Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba, who reminded him quite a bit of Yoda, being a 5’ 1” tall highly spiritual being with amazing ability and a deep spiritual connection to the world around him. Watching footage of Ueshiba and reading accounts, he wrote Yoda as one whose head was “on another plane” and connected to the universe “on a profound level” that ironically made him less able to foresee the growing danger around him. After long talks with Lucas, Henson, and Zemeckis, Darabont won out, and the crazy flipping Yoda light saber fighting style was set aside, eventually to be used in an animated TV episode that flashed back to Yoda’s younger days centuries earlier. Instead, Yoda’s unquestioned mastery of the Force became his most potent weapon, able to simply raise his hand and knock back any opponent, which he demonstrated when intervening in the Jedi Council fight when Master Windu nearly engaged with another Jedi in light saber combat. His skills would be shown even more in depth in Episode III.

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Alas this bit of Crazy Awesome will have to wait for an animated series in this timeline (Image source Pinterest)

For the technically-oriented director Robert Zemeckis, rather than use the puppet like they had with Episode I, he insisted on pushing the boundaries, developing an all-digital Yoda and animating him via digital puppetry, giving Frank Oz a chance to perform the character on-set and have the master puppeteer’s performance directly translate to the digital character rather than try to have the actors speak to a tennis ball on a stick or digitally rotoscope the puppet. This made Yoda the first fully-digital “live action” character despite numerous prior animation uses of the technology, marking a sea change in CG effects. Moog and Ba-Ba would also be rendered fully digitally rather than the hybrid approach used for them in Ep. I, with the animatronic heads used mostly for closeups. In fact, Lucas was so impressed by the digital performances that he would later digitally insert an all-CG Yoda over the puppet and all-CG Roona over Moog and Ba Ba in Episode I, a move that divided fans.

For Anniken Skywalker actor Zachery Ty Bryan, the role was a heady experience and a challenge, requiring a range of emotions that he had not yet expressed on screen as an actor, at once both humbling and glorifying. He was experiencing fame playing the role, his bad boy charm making him popular with groupies and resented by young men, with a certain subset of the male fandom despising him as much from jealousy as from any difference of opinion on how Anniken should be portrayed. His face covered magazine racks and toy aisles alike. Episode II gave him more screen time, more action scenes, and more time opposite Aleksa Palladino and Kenneth Branagh.

For Palladino, she too was thrust into the spotlight, but while Bryan basked in it, she shied away. She’d originally taken the job on her agent’s recommendation, but in truth she feared that she’d be typecast, having wanted to play more dramatic roles. She and Bryan managed to get along with good screen chemistry, and even dated briefly before deciding that they loved each other’s characters more than the person behind it. Still, she made the effort to display her acting potential, particularly in the dramatic moments, something which proved far easier with the emotionally-minded Spielberg than with the technically-minded Zemeckis. She received a measure of praise for her performance, though muted, which she reportedly blamed on the melodramatic dialog and Zemeckis’ direction.

Kenneth Branagh, meanwhile, was the star of the show, but feeling increasingly overlooked as Bryan continued to command the attention in the media and behind the scenes. Branagh reportedly felt threatened by Bryan’s growing fame, and grew to dislike the young actor. Rumors of an affair between Branagh and Palladino were unfounded, but reportedly Branagh did show a certain protectiveness or possessiveness over Palladino when Bryan was on set, which perversely translated well on film into the not-quite love triangle aspect that formed a core part of the trilogy. With Branagh’s marriage disintegrating following a rumored affair with a younger woman, the tabloids ran wild with speculation, with Palladino occasionally falsely accused of being a home wrecker, which added to her desire to withdraw from the public eye. Little did the tabloids know that they would soon get more red meat out of the franchise than they’d ever hoped.

For Kaliss Fett and Clone actor Cliff Curtis, who’d technically first appeared as one of the Mandalorians in Episode I, named in the screenplay though never name-dropped in the film, the role was his big Hollywood breakout. “I wish I’d negotiated to be paid by face time,” he joked to Jay Leno, given that his face appeared hundreds of times as the many Clone Troopers[5]. He also helped the makeup team design Kaliss’ facial tattoos, which were specifically designed after his Māori clan’s ancestral ones. “I basically play two characters,” he said. “Kaliss Fett, the cold-blooded mercenary, and ‘the Clone character’, where I play an almost robotic, yet ironically innocent and childlike character in what is effectively a child soldier in an adult’s body.”

For Mauk Shivtor star Benecio del Toro, Episode II would prove his least-favorite film, as he had the least to do, mostly appearing only at the tail end of the film, and had the fewest lines. Where he’d had a few good quips and one-liners in Episode I and been able to tempt Obi-Wan to the Dark Side, here he mostly just engaged in combat. “I had only about two weeks of actual time on the set for closeups and exchanges,” del Toro recalled. “Ray [Park] handled the rest.” Darabont and Episode III director Ron Howard would make it up to him in the next film.

For Palpatine/Siddeous actor Ian McDiarmid, however, there was lots of good screen time, in particular appearing at the end to urge the murder of his own apprentice, Mauk. “For the first time we got to see both sides of the character at the same time,” said McDiarmid. “We see Palpatine as Palpatine, but also openly showing his manipulative nature and openly abusing his power, supposedly for ‘the greater good’.”

Samuel L. Jackson reprised his role as the strict and stoic Mace Windu, giving Anniken more of his harsh, demanding tutelage as he prepares him for the Bardo, tutelage which is shown to be nominally well-meaning, giving us a hint that he’s not really against Anniken per se, but he is still rightfully fearful of his anger and power, and likely externalizing his own buried emotions. “People call [Mace Windu] my ‘least emotional portrayal’,” said Jackson in an interview with People. “In fact, it was one of my most emotional. Windu is seething with buried anger and a fear of inadequacy. He’s so hard on Anniken because he sees what he hates about himself in the young Jedi. I thought of him as a giant dam holding back the weight of his emotions, using the Jedi equivalent of self-flagellation to keep them in line.”

And then there was Baron Cetu Thorpe, a fan favorite for his layered character. At once both a loving, encouraging father-figure and a manipulative corruptor, actor Ian McKellen was able to seamlessly flip back and forth between the “loving father” and “manipulative would-be tyrant” poles to a degree that surprised his co-workers[6]. “I always thought of Thorpe as the puppet who thinks that he’s the puppet master,” said McKellen. “In his hubris he believed that he could manipulate both Yoda and Siddeous at the same time, and that he could somehow control both the Dark Side and the Light at the same time.”

Writer Frank Darabont also invented the idea of the “Ancients”, pre-Jedi force users who made no distinction between the Light and Dark sides of the Force, for Thorpe to attempt to emulate. Many fans took exception to this, as there had never been a prior hint of such beings in existing Star Wars lore, but such protean Force Users appealed to Lucas’ evolving concept of balance in the Force and the galaxy’s long and arcane history. “The Ancient Ones discovered the Force, mastered the Force, and, essentially, broke the Force in their attempts to control it,” Lucas told Swords and Spaceships. “This recklessness fractured and unbalanced the Force, creating the Dark Side.” And this appeal to a misunderstood and romanticized past also fit well with the Fascistic nature of the coming Empire, given that appeals to a non-existent idealized past are one of the cornerstones of Fascist and other authoritarian right-wing movements. “Fascism pretends to look forward,” said Lucas, “while in reality it looks backwards.”

Building off of their slightly flawed understanding of Medieval Ring Theory, Episode II was to mainly be a reflection of Episode V, and Anniken’s journey in particular would again reflect Luke’s, as would Obi-Wan’s. Anniken would train with a demanding master and ultimately fail a trial (the Cave from Dagobah retroactively becoming a Bardo-in-miniature). Obi-Wan would have parallel interactions on the Green Moon of Sicemon to Luke’s training on Dagobah. But where Luke would ultimately learn from his failure and reject Yoda’s and Obi-Wan’s admonishment against acting on his love for others, Anniken would seemingly avert failure through effectively using the Dark Side tricks that he learned from Thorpe in order to cheat the Bardo. Meanwhile Obi-Wan would take the lessons against acting on love to heart, and thereby miss an opportunity to save his Padawan from the Dark Side. Thus, Luke retroactively becomes the synthesis between the compassion of the Jedi and the passions of his father, his love for his friends the power that ultimately saves both him and Anniken from the grip of the Dark Side.

Similarly reflecting Ep. V, the final battle on Ttaz would deliberately take stylistic cues from the Battle of Hoth, the white sands and stone of the planet visually resembling the ice and snow of Hoth. Walkers would even be deployed by the Clone Army.

And in an inverse of the Death Star scenes in the odd-numbered original films, Anniken would, in an opening set piece, have his “Death Star moment” and destroy the Separatist battleship from the inside. But rather than be praised for his accomplishment and following his instincts (going where the Force was guiding him), he’d be admonished for his recklessness. Once again, the connection he needs to another being after the hard life of a slave and the loss of his mother, and thus his hopes for love and acceptance, are denied. Instead, the fear of rejection and failure will grow in him and get amplified by Windu’s harsh tutelage, making the siren’s call of the Dark Side via the externally amicable Baron Thorpe all the more enticing. And the continued denial of connection will in turn leave him vulnerable to the very sin that the Jedi hoped to prevent in him: Attachment (in the Buddhist sense) in the form of his unhealthy, obsessive, possessive infatuation for Padmé that he and she mistake for love.

“Episode II is really the story of human connections,” said Lucas in an interview after the fact. “How we connect to each other, how we connect to ourselves, and how these connections can break down or be manipulated.” Ironic, considering how increasingly disconnected that he was feeling from his fans and his franchise as it was being made.

Director Robert Zemeckis was also a noteworthy change from Episode I director Steven Spielberg. Much more technically-inclined and less concerned with the emotional performance of his actors, Zemeckis gave Episode II a much faster, free-wheeling feel than Spielberg’s Episode I, which as noted made some of the actors feel a little ignored compared to Spielberg’s in-depth coordination with the actors. Focusing on the effects and the action, Zemeckis shined in scenes where Anniken and Obi-Wan leapt through traffic or battled Droids, but was more direct and to-the-point in the emotional scenes. In many ways it resonated with Lucas’ original direction in Star Wars in this respect. While usually relegated to short, fast cuts to accelerate the flow, Zemeckis, in a nod to Spielberg and as a way to keep some cinematic visual continuity with the prior film, included a few Spielbergian tricks, like long “oners” (the scene in the Ttaz Lodge) or the Dolly Zoom when Obi-Wan realizes that Thorpe was the inside traitor.

The action-heavy Episode II performed well and tended to get good reviews from critics and fans alike, which further alienated Lucas since, much like Episode V, he’d had little direct involvement in the day-to-day production. However, with a box office of $634 million[7], it made notably less money that Episode I, likely due to a combination of fan anger over Episode I and a lack of an “event” feel surrounding it (much as The Empire Strikes Back failed to make nearly as much as the “sensation” that was Star Wars in 1977).

Complaints certainly arose from the fans, usually quibbling on details or disliking the direction taken with the Clone Wars, having envisioned something different. Some found the Fett connection to the Clones to be too campy or contrived. Many were confused by the Bardo scene, not exactly sure what had happened, with Lucas or Darabont having to explain in interviews again and again how Anniken essentially “cheated” on the test.

“The goal of the Bardo is to purge one’s self of fear and attachment,” said Lucas, “but Anniken instead holds on to his attachment, in this case his possessive love for Padmé, using the dark side to pull it further in. Since he has seemingly ‘removed’ the attachment from the Bardo, he appears to have passed, but has, in fact, failed and failed badly. Yoda suspects that something is amiss, but can’t quite say what because the shadow of the Dark Side has clouded his judgement.”

As with Ep. I, Lucas received praise, often for decisions that he didn’t make, while Henson, who’d had little to do with the film, being distracted by the many aspects of her job, received an undue share of the blame.

But for the final film, and the most critical one since it would need to formally connect everything and set up the events of the Original Trilogy, director Ron Howard was begging Lucas to be more involved. “Don’t let the hate get to you, George,” he said. “We all love you here, and we need you to be a part of this.”

Thus, setting aside his hanging anger over the fandom, Lucas agreed to work much more intimately with the crew for the ultimate film in the prequel trilogy, a film whose events he’d drafted as background long ago in a world far, far away both culturally and technologically.

And finally, after decades, the Sith would have their Revenge.



[1] Lucas reacted with similar shock to the negative reaction to The Phantom Menace, and mostly retreated from production on Episode II, which lacked a complete script until days prior to principal photography. Much of Attack of the Clones appears to have been effectively “written” by the production team as they desperately tried to keep things on schedule despite a lack of leadership from a largely absent Lucas, which may be a reason for how disconnected and meandering the film can feel for many.

[2] Since Darabont already wrote all three screenplays back-to-back-to-back, there’s already an effective shooting script available from the start, so production will go much more smoothly than Episode II in our timeline.

[3] The Leigh Bracket screenplay had Lando as a Clone.

[4] I have no idea if the Clones of the Clone Wars were always the forerunners of the Storm Troopers in Lucas’ mind or if he came up with that later, and the facts surrounding it are hazy and full of deliberate distortions. The Māori connection to the Mandos was not exactly preordained (original Boba Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch likened them to the Vikings), but when you are giving an ethnic face to a warrior culture just as Māori filmmakers and actors were making themselves known in the industry, it seems a likely second order butterfly and an allo-hat-tip to the Māori Star Wars actors in our timeline.

[5] Unlike in our timeline where all Clone Troopers were fully digital and no Clone Trooper armor exists other than that made later by fans, the effects team will build a small limited series of Clone Trooper armor for close-ups and in-person performances and use digital effects to duplicate them into hundreds or thousands.

[6] Imagine him flipping between our timeline’s Gandalf and Magneto.

[7] A Hollywood “Rule of Thumb” is that a sequel will typically make around 2/3 of the box office of the original, and Star Wars in general sees about this big of a drop between the first “event” film (Ep. 4, 1, and 7) and the immediate sequel (Ep. 5, 2, and 8) with almost uncanny precision.
 
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