Star Wars
According To Jack

Episode I
The Phantom Menace

Scene 18: Padawan

In the embassy guest suite, Jar-Jar Binks sits on the floor with his arms around his legs, listening wide-eyed to Threepio.

"Anso de biggum galatic bombad super boss wassum booed by deesin odders..." Threepio speaks the dialect as fluently as any native Gungan, including randomly generated grammatical violations of the native Gungan dialect. He is, after all, the best the galaxy has to offer in protocol droids. "...and de Naboo galatic made de bombad super boss. But dem Queen Amidala no be trustin by den galactics, anso ebben da Naboo bombad super galatic boss hassa no helben furden Naboo. Ohwohno!" With a small jerk, he raises his metal hands to his face.

"Ohwohno!" Jar-Jar concurs, mimicking Threepio's action. "Wat den? WAT DEN?"

"Deesin baddum Federation hassa mekaneeks ollorda Naboo. Daysum say, 'Dissa planet awrds!'"

"Gungans no be goin witoudda fight!" Jar-Jar insists. "Weesa hab grand army!"

"But dey worsen part, Jar-Jar! Dey worsen part!" Here even Threepio has to pause to process how he could possibly describe this in Gungan. Finally he takes a shortcut by emulating the sound of a lightsaber, raising his arms in the air and shouting, "AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!"

Jar-Jar throws up his arms and and shouts "AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!" in agreement.

Threepio continues. "Nobody knowen deesin Sith wit lightstik, but dem bombad--Master Jedi! What a coincidence, I was just about to mention you!"

The door to the suite opens, and in walks Qui-Gon Jinn.

"Where is Anakin Skywalker?" the Jedi Knight asks without emotion.

"He's in the bedroom. Poor thing, he's slept all morning."

Qui-Gon enters the bedroom without saying anything else, so Threepio turns back to Jar-Jar. "Where was I? Oh yes. Dem bombad Master Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn..."

"Wake up," Qui-Gon says sternly to the tangle of sheets and sleeping boy. Anakin stirs. "Come on, now, it's time for you to start your training."

Anakin rubs his eyes. "But...Master Mundi..."

"Master Ki-Adi-Mundi is recovering and will survive. He looked where he should not have, and paid the price."

Anakin's eyes pop open. "So I got accepted into the Academy?"

"Not quite...the Council is not prepared to train you at this time. I will train you. You are now my padawan."

"Oh..." Anakin says, somewhat crestfallen. "What's that?"

Qui-Gon seeks to put this delicately, without laying his philosophical conflicts with the Jedi Council at Anakin's feet during his first lesson.

"Padawan learning is the ancient way of training Jedi. Millennia ago, before Head Master Yoda founded the Jedi Order and opened the Academy, those who sought training in the ways of the Force would apprentice themselves to a single Master. They were called padawan, and they would obey their Master in all things, and in return the Master would train them, until the day came when they would set aside the name of padawan and become Masters in their own right."

"So now...I'm your padawan learner?"

"That is correct."

"And I have to do everything you say?"

"Only if you want to live." Qui-Gon sees the panic his words instill, and stoops to comfort. "Anakin, do you believe you could learn from watching me?"

Anakin thinks honestly about the people he has already hurt when using his powers. He nods.

"Then you may stay by my side and watch. We will go into danger, but so long as you do what I say, I promise you will be safe, and you will learn what you need to know. That is why a padawan must obey his Master. Otherwise I couldn't in good conscience let you follow me. Do you understand?"

"Uh-huh," says Anakin. "I mean--yes, Master Qui-Gon."

"Very good. Now, go wash up. There is much to be done today. And don't forget to blub your teeth!" Anakin rolls out of bed and slouches towards the bathroom, shutting the door behind him.

Qui-Gon turns to find Obi-Wan in the entranceway. "Have you had a listen to that?" asks Obi-Wan, gesturing back toward the main chamber. "It's fascinating, the perspective you can get from hearing modern politics explained in Gungan!"

"Good afternoon, Master Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon says curtly.

Sensing Qui-Gon's displeasure, Obi-Wan says, "Look, I'm sorry about the Council's reaction. I did my best to convince them to train Anakin, but...well...the boy is dangerous. They all sense it. Why can't you?"

"The boy's fate is uncertain, not dangerous," says Qui-Gon, sitting himself cross-legged on the bed. "Many on the Council seem to forget the difference. They've grown so powerful that they fear what they cannot control."

"And you think YOU can control him?"

"No, but I can teach him, and hope that whatever he does, he does with wisdom. This is all we can do for any sentient being, Master Obi-Wan. It is all I can do for Anakin, and it is all I can do for the Council."

"Hmmmm," says Obi-Wan, hiding his emotions. He looks to the bathroom door. "I don't suppose he can hear a thing we're saying right now?"

"With the poisons the Council gave him, that does seem unlikely."

"Does he know?"

"I have not told him; that is your trespass to confess."

"Perhaps it is better, for the moment, for him to believe his powers have limits," says Obi-Wan, but Qui-Gon has shut his eyes in meditation and says no more. Obi-Wan returns to the main chamber of the suite. Neither Jedi notices Artoo in the corner, silent but operational.


Meanwhile, in orbit around Naboo...

"You have doomed ussss!" Newt Gunray shouts at the shrouded holographic figure standing in his private quarters on the Federation flagship. "You asssured usss your apprenticcce would kill the Jedi, and yet they essscape! You asssured usss you control the Ssssenate, and yet Palpatine isss now Chancccellor!"

"So it would seem," chuckles the image of Darth Sidious.

"You DARE laugh at me?" Newt gasps. "I will exposssse you to the galaxy! Thisss world isss lost, but I can ssstill ssssave the Federatttion and my own ssskin by telling everyone about the real menaccce--the Ssssith!"

The chamber doors rush open, and Newt turns to face Darth Maul as he strides into the room.

"And YOU!" Newt seethes. "I'm not afraid of you anymore! Go ahead and kill me if you want. I've got all the evidenccce I need againssst you ready to be ssssent to every sssstation of the Galactic Newssss Network the minute I go missssing!" Maul just glares down at him impassively through bloodshot eyes.

"Well, Lord Maul," croaks Sidious, "He does seem to have us in quite the bind. What would you...suggest?"

"You're angry," sneers Maul.

"Damn right I'm angry!" says Newt.

"And you want to direct your anger..." says Maul.

"I want to direct my anger!" says Newt.

" those who deserve it."

" thossse who dessserve it." Newt clenches his fists.

"We support your rule here, we are your allies," Maul says, beginning to slowly circle the Viceroy. "Crush the dissidents on Naboo, gather up those who oppose you and destroy them."

"Gather up the disssssidentsss," Newt says, "and dessstroy them."

"Palpatine is a politician," adds Darth Sidious, "He will not oppose you if the only people left on Naboo are voting in your favor."

Newt simply stands there entranced.

"And you will not reveal the Sith," growls Maul.

"I will not reveal the Ssssith."

"Now leave us."

Viceroy Gunray leaves his own quarters, and Darth Maul grins broad.

"Well done, Lord Maul," says Sidious. "You are beginning to learn the more subtle powers of the Dark Side."

"I could have ripped out his heart and feasted on his intestines."

"Instead, he shall serve you thousands. A slave is more valuable than a corpse."

"Yes, Master."

"And will you atone for your failure to slay the two Jedi?"

"I will confront them again, and remove their snide heads from their bodies."

", not yet. You have lost the element of surprise. You are not ready to face them again."

Maul kneels before the hologram. "Lord Sidious, I will do what you ask to prove myself worthy."

"Good! Good! You are near your proving ground. Now tell me, Lord Maul..." Beneath the shadows of the hood of his cloak, Sidious can be seen to smile. "Have you ever heard the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?"

Next Scene: A Concise History of the Gungan People