And now, we get to the last part of our virtual movie pitch. No time to waste, let’s get right back to it. If you need to read the other parts, they’re here and here.
Episode 3 – The Fall of the Jedi
(we’re changing the title, you’ll see why)
Our opening title crawl tells us the war we saw beginning in Episode 2 has bloomed into many great battles, epic victories and grand tragedies. The Separatists have laid siege to dozens of systems, and Republic forces have been reeling. Even the great Jedi have fractured in this conflict, with many striking out against Separatists in guerrilla skirmishes, while the Jedi Council sits deadlocked, along with the Senate as to what the best course of action is.
We follow a crashing ship from space through the atmosphere of Naboo, where it crashes about 200 meters from OBI WAN KENOBI. Promoted to General now, he leads Republic Forces along with his friends CODY and REX trying to reclaim the planet that started this awful conflict in the first place. The war has left its mark on him: his hair is grey, his beard is longer, creases ripple his face. He is old before his time. Long gone is the reckless youth, now a deliberate and wily veteran of conflicts. Cody and Rex have been promoted to Commanders, and their force of 10,000 Republic soldiers is a mix of all species from across the galaxy. When we see them. Kenobi is personally leading the charge on a Separatist artillery emplacement. The fighting is intense, as proto-X-wings and proto-Tie Fighters dogfight overhead. Soldiers lob detonators into bunches of clones. Clones use heavy blasters to shred through people. War is intense.
Kenobi Force leaps up from his crouch and drives his lightsaber down into the targeting computer for the battery. The guns fall silent, and Republic Forces swarm it like ants. The day is nowhere near won, but it’s improving, for a minute.
Kenobi opens his communicator and relays the information. On the other end of the call, and the other end of the battlefield, his Padawan and friend, ANAKIN SKYWALKER is leading Republic Forces to take an airstrip. Anakin is pleased by Kenobi’s success and leads a charge of his men towards the strip. Whereas we saw Kenobi move deliberately, Anakin leads from the front, lightsaber and Force at his command. He scatters clones like leaves on a breeze, and buckles guns with a flick of his wrist. And that’s not counting how many blaster shots he deflects or how many clones he eviscerates along the way. He seems nigh invincible. The enemy knows it. He knows it. And we know it, based on the smile on his face that never leaves as he routs his foe. With the airstrip under control, he tells Kenobi that he’ll order their ship to land and Naboo’s forward base can start purging the capital city. Both Jedi are cheered by this news, though Kenobi does not know how to explain this to the Jedi Council.
Cut to the Jedi Council, where YODA, MACE WINDU, and ALAMA listen to QUEEN PADME AMIDALA, now nearly 20, talk about how the Jedi must join the war directly, or be lost as casualties. All three Jedi Masters urge caution and peace, saying how they’ve got good reasons to be cautious. Padme grows frustrated and leaves the chamber. Alama meets her in the hall, and says she knows that Padme can send word to Anakin, and if she could, have Obi Wan travel to KORRIBAN, that he might continue the search for DARTH MAUL, while Anakin can return to Coruscant. She believes Maul to be on Korriban, “thanks to her extensive study of the Jedi Archives”, and then excuses herself for another appointment. Padme leaves to go send word to Anakin.
We follow Alama as she heads across Coruscant to CHANCELLOR PALPATINE’S office, where, ahead of many waiting Senators, she’s immediately brought in. Palpatine has his back to her when she enters, and tells her to sit. She does, silently, almost robotically. She stares straight ahead as Palpatine pulls his Sith hood over his head. With a hand gesture, Alama’s eyes glow red at the edges, a bit of Sith sorcery.
“Tell me everything.” he says to her, and she does.
When she finishes, he asks, “Did you send him to Korriban?” She explains she did, and he is pleased. Lastly, he orders her to return to the Jedi Temple, and remember none of this. She does as instructed.
Palpatine taps a communicator on his desk and Maul’s face appears in hologram. “My Apprentice,” he says, “Be ready, for your prey is coming to you. Have you reached the Temple?” Maul replies that he has, and he is waiting.
We quick cut to Korriban, a rocky inhospitable planet, with half-submerged pyramids and obelisks breaking through uneven terrain. Maul is shirtless, his body a mass of tattoos and scars. He kneels at an altar that glows purple and black.
We cut back to Anakin, receiving news from Padme to head to Korriban. He hops on a speeder and rockets to Obi Wan, who is waiting with Rex and Cody at a field hospital. Many Republic soldiers were wounded today, and they’re grateful to see Kenobi spending time among the troops.
Anakin arrives, explaining Padme’s message. When Obi Wan mentions how they’re due to check in with the Council, Anakin says they can do it from their ship. Obi Wan tells Rex and Cody to oversee the setup of another hospital, and that he’ll be back when he can.
Anakin has some troops prep their ships, and he leans against the bulkhead when Obi Wan arrives. The Master is stern with his Padawan, he worries that Anakin’s emotions are running too wild, that this is reckless. Anakin counters that bold strokes are only bold because of belief, and that for men to be decisive some decisions come with emotion. Obi Wan expresses his doubts as Anakin says he’s returning to Coruscant but they’ll rendezvous on Korriban soon. They wish each other will with a large hug, and depart in separate ships.
We wipe to Padme standing on the patio of a penthouse, her father SENATOR BAIL ORGANA seated behind her, lost in paperwork. The war has bloated the bureaucracy further, and getting things done becomes all the harder when there are forms for everything. Padme says she’s worried about Leia, and Bail says she’s fine on Alderaan, that Coruscant is too well fortified and Alderaan too remote for it to be an issue. Padme expresses concern for Naboo, but word from C3-P0 that Skywalker and Kenobi were successful brings much relief. Bail pauses, having signed the last document, rubbing his tired face.
“I just authorized the shut down of all cloning facilities from here to the Outer Rim. We’ll mobilize some battalions to make sure they’re dismantled.”
Padme isn’t listening, her thoughts are of Anakin.
We cut to Anakin, his ship out of hyperspace and landing on Coruscant. He hastily disembarks and snags someone’s speeder to make a beeline for the Organa Penthouse. Within minutes he’s there, and up a lift, and then, standing on the patio, framed in fading light, before he embraces Padme. Bail excuses himself as the pair are very happy to be alone with each other.
They share some breathy words, they kiss, and they are happy to be together.
We cut away from them as things escalate physically, to Obi Wan landing at Korriban, or at least a flat stretch of rock that seems like a not bad place to park. He exits and communicates to the Jedi Temple. His transmission is garbled, but Windu and Yoda share a look when they hear the word “Korriban.” Kenobi says it will take some time to find Maul, but he’ll look.
We cut back to Padme and Anakin, clothes rumpled in a heap. Anakin climbs from bed and dresses. Padme rolls to his side of the bed and says, “My Jedi Master, did you only travel all this way for me?” He replies, “I would travel anywhere for you.” They kiss again, and he departs, leaving Padme laying in bed.
We follow him to the Jedi Council, where the three Masters officially promote him to Jedi Knight. He accepts and pledges to continue doing what he can to restore peace and order to the galaxy. The Jedi Council warn him that those tasks may be costly, and Skywalker says all conflicts have costs. They chew on this, and are interrupted by a young Jedi who informs the assembly that the Chancellor would like to see Skywalker immediately.
We wipe to the Chancellor’s Office. Palpatine sits, not hooded, and invites Anakin to sit with him. Anakin shares the results from Naboo, they talk about the war, Anakin relates his promotion to Knight, and the Chancellor congratulates him. It’s a much more emotional response than he got from his own Jedi Council, and Anakin is pleased. Then with a heavy sigh, the Chancellor begins speaking:
“Anakin, do you know what the worst part of war is, aside from the loss of life?”
Anakin doesn’t know.
“The loss of trust,” the Chancellor continues, “especially in these days, with clones and these acts of terror, it’s just impossible to know who you can rely on, who you can believe. Do you know what I mean?”
Anakin speaks a bit on how he wishes the Senate would take bold strokes, how the Jedi should take action, how there should be someone strong leading the cause of peace. Palpatine agrees.
“I have something to show you” Palpatine says, and keys up something on a desk display. It’s a footage of a number of clone prisoners being interrogated, not all of them civilly. Anakin’s face hardens at this – it’s tough to watch.
“You see, Anakin, these captured clones have revealed that within this very Republic there exist traitors and agents who would undo all we’re fighting for.”
“Spies?” asks the Jedi.
“Rebels. Anarchists. People with secrets. Secret agendas. Secret plans. Secrecy erodes trust, and without trust, how can we work together?”
This makes sense to Anakin.
“Tell me, do you believe the Jedi have secrets?” Anakin is sure they do, and says so.
“For instance,” Palpatine says, “that man who attacked you on Kamino, did you know he was Master Yoda’s Padawan?”
This news chills Anakin. He doesn’t believe it. “No no your Excellency, he was a Sith, he had to be, a Jedi would never betray the Code.”
“Anakin, what we believe depends on our point of view.” These words echo something he’s head Obi Wan AND Yoda say. They’re familiar.
“And the Jedi Code says you’re not to feel emotion, yes? So you shouldn’t be happy to have become a Jedi Knight, you shouldn’t feel anger at these Separatists, you shouldn’t feel things like love, yes?”
Love. The word sticks in his head. Palpatine sees he has Anakin on the hook, and presses forward.
“How can there be that clarity I’ve heard the Jedi speak of, if they deny their feelings? If they’re to keep the peace, shouldn’t they feel compassion?”
Anakin stirs at these words. “What are you saying, Chancellor?”
Palpatine rises and looks out at Coruscant. “I’m saying that here, on Coruscant, and throughout the galaxy, we have discovered plans of insurrection. Rebels who seek to use this clone war to overthrow the Republic. Secret keepers and conspiracies abound, and so long as I’m tied up in the Senate, no one seems to be able to do anything.”
Anakin rises, and joins him at the window. “What could someone do?”
Palpatine smiles. “If someone truly loved freedom and the Republic, they’d seek more answers. They’d trust their heart and protect all that they love. Even if that meant more fighting. Even if that meant risked their life to protect us all. They’d find these spies and eliminate them.”
Anakin nods, agreeing. The two men stand for a long time, staring out at the cityscape.
We cut back to Obi Wan, having followed a trail of broken droids to a large clearing, the entrance to great stone building marked in glyphs. He takes a slow deep breath, and ignites his saber just in time to avoid …
The first strike from Maul. They fight wildly, covering terrain and distance, running and swinging and jumping and cutting. As their two sabers clash for the twentieth time…
We cut back to Padme, she’s out of bed, and Anakin is with her in the penthouse. Anakin confesses his love for her, and she her love for him. They embrace again, and Anakin describes how love shouldn’t be a bad thing for a Jedi. He echoes Palpatine, but in his own words. Padme is excited at his passion. They embrace again and she tells him to do what he feels is right. He departs, heading back to his ship.
And that’s when sirens scream all over the city. A Separatist ship has broken Coruscant airspace, and clone troopers are dropshipped throughout the city. Soon another ship arrives, then another, then another. Soon troops fall like rain. Anakin rallies a few Republic guards and fights some clones off, making his way to his ship. There’s a tense battle as Anakin, a good pilot, navigates the bombardment and barely makes it to hyperspace, vowing that he’ll do all he can to keep Padme safe.
We cut back to Obi Wan, who has chased Maul into the Sith Temple. They stand at either side of a chasm, Maul hurling rocks at him. Both men are fatigued, wounded, and need rest. They catch their breath. Kenobi receives word that Anakin is inbound and locked in on his location. Kenobi tells him Maul is here, and it’s dangerous, but Anakin has already begun his landing sequence. More rocks get Force hurled by Maul.
We wipe to other planets: Tatooine, Endor, Corellia, Alderaan, where clone troopers are invading. Sometimes they’re met with resistance, other times they go unopposed. The Republic appears to be losing ground.
We cut back to Coruscant, to the Chancellor’s Office. He’s waiting for someone, and Master Alama enters. Once she’s inside, Palpatine uses his Sith sorcery to compel her to ignite her saber and duel him. He lets her land a few glancing blows, but even without a lightsaber, he’s able to keep her at bay with Force lightning and Force push. Eventually he tosses her through the window he previously looked through, then as she falls to her death, he takes some of the glass and fakes a few injuries. He coughs a bit, sounding wounded, and then uses the communicator on his desk to contact the Jedi Council. He explains to them that there’s been an attack, and that they should lock themselves down. Then he calls Anakin, and when Anakin answers, he fires a blaster against the wall and makes it sound more desperate than it is. The Chancellor says that part of the Rebellion were within the Jedi Council, how he doesn’t know who he can trust, but for now he’s okay. Wounded, but okay. He plans to speak before the Senate.
As the communication ends, we’re back on Anakin, who’s landed on Korriban. He makes his way through the temple with far less effort than Obi Wan, since there’s enough anger coursing through Skywalker to destroy walls. Anakin finds Kenobi and tells him about the Chancellor, about Coruscant, about the attacks. Kenobi looks back and sees Maul is gone from his side of the chasm. The two men make their way out of the Temple to Anakin’s ship.
Where Maul is waiting.
And then three men duel. It’s epic. It reaches a peak when Obi Wan gets knocked to the ground and Anakin can either use the Force to keep the ship from crushing Kenobi or strike at Maul. But Anakin has other ideas.
Like throwing the whole ship at Maul. Like snapping pieces of the ship apart and hurling them at Maul until the Sith Marauder is skewered and dead. Anakin is relentless in his fury. It takes Obi Wan a considerable amount of time to calm him down after. But unlike before Anakin doesn’t break down. He goes cold. The two men walk back to Obi Wan’s ship.
We cut to Padme and the droids, locked down in the penthouse. Clone troopers are advancing on the building, and Padme searches for a blaster to defend herself. She finds her fathers papers, the things he was signing earlier, and sees them not as Senatorial paperwork but are in fact drafts of speeches and memos to “The Rebellion.” She orders R2-D2 to contact Anakin.
News of Coruscant and the other systems reaches the Jedi on their ship, and Kenobi gets a message from Rex and Cody that they’ve taken a few thousand men to safety, en route to the Outer Rim rendezvous point. Skywalker puts the craft into hyperspace and explains what Palpatine told him about the Rebellion. Skywalker believes it should be crushed, and asks Kenobi for help. Kenobi says the priority should be helping people, and Anakin counters that saving the Republic IS helping people.
There’s another dogfight once out of hyperspace, but the pair make it back to Coruscant. They part company, promising to meet up at the Jedi Temple. Obi Wan goes there straightaway, Anakin goes to retrieve Padme. Kenobi asks his friend if he loves her, and he doesn’t reply. Kenobi tells him to be careful.
Which is when clone troops descend on them. Anakin, with a single wave of his hand, eliminates the first thirty of them. He slips further towards the Dark Side, and Kenobi leaves him once a path is cleared. Anakin continues decimating the clones until he reaches the penthouse.
But while Skywalker was out killing clones, Obi Wan has contacted Padme, to warn her about Anakin, to protect herself, to get herself to Alderaan and her father and safety. Padme asks Kenobi if he knows anything about the Rebellion, and when he says he doesn’t, she says her father plays a part in it. Kenobi begs her to keep that to herself.
Skywalker enters the penthouse, leaving a trail of bodies behind him. He’s overjoyed to see Padme alive and safe, and she’s horrified at how much he destroyed. He professes his love, he professes that he’d be lost without her, and she begs him to get her to Alderaan. He says he will, and she starts assembling some kit to take with her. When R2 enters the room, she tells the droid to broadcast a message to Obi Wan that she’ll have Anakin take to Alderaan and that Anakin is scaring her. She also says that if things go wrong, to get himself to safety. She suggests the Outer Rim, far away from the Republic.
Meanwhile, Palpatine is addressing the panicked Senate, revealing how members of the Rebellion nearly killed him. He urges the Senate to look past their arguments and bureaucracy and invest him with the imperial powers to stop all the warring and insurrection. The Senate quickly agrees. Palpatine pledges that this new Empire will restore order in this dark times.
We wipe to a clone trooper, disguised, entering the Jedi Temple, and planting some paperwork in a few rooms – Kenobi’s chamber, the Jedi Council chamber, and in the Archive. Once that task is done, he communicates his success to Palpatine, who smiles.
We’re back to Padme, the droids and Anakin. They’re aboard a ship, ready to go to Alderaan, but Anakin isn’t coming with. He’s staying behind, that he has to meet up with Obi Wan, and he’ll come to Alderaan the minute he can. He watches the ship and his ladyfriend grow small as it flies away before taking a speeder to the Jedi Temple.
Where he finds Kenobi battling his way inside. Anakin throws more clones around, and the two Knights enter the Temple. They get separated, but Palpatine contacts Anakin to relay that he’s received information about the rebels. That it’s Bail Organa. Windu. Yoda. Kenobi. Anakin begs to know how the Chancellor knows this, and gets show a hologram of papers – similar to those planted in the Temple. Anakin cannot believe the Jedi, or Obi Wan, would lie to him like that. He asks the Chancellor what to do.
Palpatine says, “For the good of the Republic, I deputize you to do all that you can, and all that you must to protect this Empire from Rebels.” His path to the Dark Side is nearly complete.
Anakin blazes a trail of destruction, carving up Jedi and clone alike, until he reaches the Jedi Council. Windu is there, and he orders Skywalker to help defend the Temple. Anakin offers to help, saying that the Temple is a valuable resource and asset. That it’s rich with history. Rich with power. Rich with secrets. When Windu asks what he means, Anakin mortally wounds him. He stands over the Jedi Master’s body as the man dies, asking, “You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor, so you must die.”
We cut to Palpatine, in his office, communicating orders to clone battalions to open fire on everyone: civilians, soliders, and Jedi alike.
We are shown planet after planet of clone troops obeying. Tens of thousands of people die. We watch many lightsabers clatter to the ground.
We move to Master Yoda, who has met up with Obi Wan. The little green Jedi tells Kenobi he must evacuate, and they will meet again. Kenobi explains Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side, and Yoda sighs. “Saw this coming, we did not.”
“Yoda,” Obi Wan says, “What am I to do?”
“What you must.” And with that, the little green Jedi boards a ship and departs.
Skywalker catches up to Obi Wan, and asks about Yoda. Obi Wan tells Skywalker he’s gone, and the two men do their best, one last time, to work together to eliminate clone troops. Once they’ve made it to a ship, they set a course for Alderaan.
Kenobi and the pilot confer for a moment, while Anakin heads to the cargo hold to clear his mind. While meditating, he hears the voice of QUI-GON JINN, and the voices of so many people screaming, then being silenced. He cries, his feelings consuming him.
They reach Alderaan, and due to the clone presence, are forced to land in an industrial plant. They’re led by Organa’s House guards to the Organa homestead. There, they find Bail, Leia, and Padme around a table making plans to leave. Padme leaves the room, saying she has to pack.
The door closes behind her, and Anakin asks the assembled trio of Leia, Bail, and Kenobi what they plan to do, as Rebels. As the people who have brought clones to the gates of the Republic, as the people who have undone all the peace. He ignites his lightsaber and marches across the room. A tiger stalking prey.
Kenobi ignites his own saber and bars Skywalker’s path. Anakin, fully Dark Side now, hurls Kenobi against the wall. Organa pulls a small blaster from under a cloak and fires. Anakin deflect the bolt, and it strikes Leia. She crumples to the ground, dead.
And that’s when the door opens and Padme returns. She sees Leia dead from a blaster, her father holding a blaster, Obi Wan unconscious and Anakin holding his lit lightsaber.
So she runs. Bail chases her, and Anakin after Bail. They race back to the factory. Towards the Jedi ship.
Padme won’t stop, she won’t hear reason, and as the ship’s hatch opens, Bail is pleading for her to listen. Anakin catches up to them, and begins choking Bail. Padme pleads for her father’s release, and Anakin sees her fear, so he lets the elder Organa go. Skywalker goes on to explain that these people are all Rebels, they’re responsible for all this destruction and death, and this is how he can restore peace to the Galaxy. Padme screams at him. He can only watch in shock as the ship flies off. He can still hear her screams in his ears as he Force lifts Bail off the ground and begins beating the hell out of him. Ribs cracked, nose broken, blood spilled. Bail is in bad shape. Anakin leaves him there, presuming him dead.
Obi Wan has regained consciousness, and has caught up to the scene. They share a moment of disbelief, where Anakin says he trusted Kenobi with his life, that he pledged himself to the Order, but not if the Order kept secrets, not if they won’t let themselves have feelings. Kenobi is dumbstruck, saying that emotions are a path to the Dark Side, and that’s when Skywalker attacks.
“How is love wrong?!” he screams, saber in hand. The fight is on. Anakin is rage against Obi Wan’s best efforts. Throughout this fight, the two talk about peace and the Jedi Code, and each time Anakin punctuates the words with either a sword swing or destroying something. He finally claims himself more powerful because of his feelings. Obi Wan says that feelings cloud his judgment, and the battle begins anew.
They fight until the edge of a catwalk, and Bail Organa, not dead, returns, blaster in hand. Bail fires, but Anakin is far too quick, and the blaster shot strikes a smelting furnace. Molten melt spills down.
Kenobi tells Organa to get to safety. Organa collapses, and before Anakin can lift the body and presumably drop it into the furnace, Obi Wan Kenobi is back in the fight. The two duel, both oblivious to the fact that a shuttle has landed behind them. It’s Palpatine and his now red-robed private guard. They look to charge into the factory, but Palpatine holds them back. They watch the fight, and you can see Palpatine basking in Anakin’s palpable hatred.
We cut to Yoda being piloted to Dagobah. He gets dropped off in the middle of nowhere, a backpack over one shoulder. He walks off into the swamp.
We cut to Padme, sobbing on the ship. A droid asks her where to go, and she says “Anywhere.” She’s numb and sad.
We cut to Rex and Cody and a few Republic troops, now all disguised, making their way across Tatooine. They stare up at the two suns, which cuts us back to …
The hot smelting furnace, and the two Jedi fighting. Organa is unconscious, and Kenobi keeps him out of the fight. Finally, Anakin grows arrogant, trying to pull the whole furnace down at the exact moment Obi Wan takes a swing. Anakin loses an arm. He staggers, and that breaks the hold he has on the furnace. It showers him with molten metal.
“I hate you!” Anakin screams before pain and liquid metal swallow him.
“I loved you.” says Obi Wan, carrying Organa out of the factory. He scoops up Anakin’s saber. A weak Bail says, “There’s a private hangar not too far away.”
The clone troopers move in and rescue the destroyed almost-corpse of Anakin Skywalker. Palpatine orders him taken to the Star Destroyer in orbit and the troops comply.
Kenobi pilots the small shuttle with the wounded Organa off-world. He sets a course for the Outer Rim, when he hears from Rex and Cody. Happy they’re alive, Kenobi breaks down as the ship hits hyperspace.
On the Star Destroyer, medical droids labor over Skywalker’s body. They tend wounds, they sedate him. They numb him. Though barely conscious, his rage is so intense it destroys a few droids in the process. Palpatine watches and orders the droids to suit him up. The droids protest but obey.
We watch Anakin Skywalker become Darth Vader.
Regaining consciousness, breathing through a respirator, Anakin asks, “Where am I?” Palpatine tells him how the Jedi and the Rebellion nearly killed him and Palpatine barely escaped. They’re aboard a Republic ship, and he’ll do everything he can to help Anakin. He’ll leave no stone unturned. He’ll look at Jedi teachings. He’ll consult Sith holocrons. He’ll lay the whole of the galaxy at Anakin’s feet if it will help. All Anakin needs to do is say he’ll help. Help Palpatine extinguish the Rebellion. Help Palpatine restore order.
Skywalker asks about Padme. Palpatine says he’s not sure, but they can look for her, reassure her, and they can be together again.
The next few shots are montage. Once Anakin Skywalker agrees to help Palpatine, we see planet after planet being stormed by Vader and some troops. Jedi die, people surrender. The Empire marches on. Time marches on. Months fly by.
We end the film with a very pregnant Padme standing at a memorial stone for her sister Leia. Bail is there, crippled now, but alive. He places his hand on her belly.
We see Rex, Cody and Kenobi sitting around a hearth in a small hut. Unpacking boxes.
The last shot of the film is Anakin’s lightsaber being tossed on some robes in a trunk.
So what did you think?
FiYoShiMo continues tomorrow. See you then.