Star Wars
According To Jack

Episode II
Attack of the Clones

Scene 16: The Jedi Archives

Padme sits on the prow of the Academy, meditating. The ship drifts on an ocean of featureless clouds, a vast white sheet extending out of sight and blending seamlessly with the misty morning sky. She loses herself in its blankness, letting ten thousand years of worry evaporate into its undifferentiated calm. When the sun's light finally breaks through and dissipates the fog, she feels refreshed, renewed and at peace.

Beside her, Master Plokoon rises, takes her hand and helps her to her feet.

"Thank you again, friend," Padme thinks, "You have taught me greater wisdom with your silence than I found in millennia of political advisors."

Plokoon replies with a warm embrace.

Padme carries the feeling all the way back to her quarters, where she finds Artoo and Threepio waiting eager as pets by the door.

"Miss Padme," says Threepio, "Artoo just stopped by to ask if today would be the day you bring me to visit the Jedi archives? And...can he come, too?"

"Yes, I think we can do that today," Padme says, "Let's see what the Jedi can teach a droid."

"Oh..." says Threepio, quivering with a highly unusual impulse of excitement, "...oh BOY!"

Artoo beeps with satisfaction.


Lucasite, the crystal at the heart of a lightsaber, has many other useful properties as well. By pressing a lucasite alloy into flat sheets, a properly trained Jedi Librarian like Master Jocasta Nu can use the Force to realign its crystalline structure to record information within it, information that can then be read later by a simple scanning device. The Jedi archives contain row after row of these bound sheets, blue shimmering stacks that bear the memories of the Jedi stretching all the way back to the earliest years of the Republic. Master Jocasta has added to this, one page at a time, since she herself was a student here, and now she is far from young.

She senses frustration and hears mumbled curses echoing from within the stacks, so she drags her old bones away from her desk to investigate.

"Are you having a problem, Master Kenobi?" she asks with a whisper when she sees him standing in the midst of the stacks, banging his scanner against his hand.

"I think it's broken," he mumbles back, trying to keep his voice down. "It's not returning any results for my search."

"Let me see," she says, taking the device from him. "It appears to be in working order, despite your abuse. What are you looking for?"

"I'm trying to find a planetary system called Kamino. It doesn't seem to show up on any of the archive charts."

"Kamino? It's not a system I'm familiar with. Let me take a look..."

Instead of using the scanning device, she places her hand directly on the stacks and shuts her eyes in concentration. She frowns a little, then opens her eyes.

"Are you sure it's real?" she asks.

"Absolutely," replies Obi-Wan, "It should be in the Beta Quadrant somewhere, just south of the Rishi Maze."

"Those sound like the sort of directions you'd get from a street tout, some old miner or Furbog trader."

"All three, actually."

Giving him a skeptical look, she reaches out to investigate again, and Obi-Wan waits patiently. After a long search, she opens her eyes.

"I hate to say it, but there is no mention of a planet named Kamino in the memory of the Jedi. It looks like the system you're searching for doesn't exist."

"That's impossible," says Obi-Wan. "Perhaps the archives are incomplete."

"Well," she says with a small amount of indignation, "by all means, Master Obi-Wan, I do hope you will share with me anything you learn of this planet. I am always glad to add to our knowledge, and there is always more to learn. But the archives are totally secure. One thing you may be absolutely sure of--if a system does not appear in our records, the Jedi have never been there!"

Obi-Wan sighs. "Well, thanks anyway."

Moments later a different voice echos through the library.

"Miss Padme! Miss Padme!" Threepio calls out, "We're ready to go now!"

Obi-Wan hears a startled gasp from the next row over, and sees Padme walk from the stacks to her droids, who have been processing information at a desk in the corner. She keeps her eyes on her droids, and tries not to look like she's seen Obi-Wan there, but clearly she was listening in.

"Excuse me, Master Obi-Wan," Master Jocasta sighs, "I believe I must go teach a protocol droid to be quiet in the library."

Obi-Wan slinks back into the stacks as the librarian walks away, moving out of sight from Padme. He is tempted to confront her about this, to learn all that she knows about the planet Kamino, but he weighs the logic of this in his head. It's clear that she knows that he knows, and at this point she even knows that he knows that she knows that he knows. She is evading him politely for now; if confronted, the evasion might become divisive. He decides to let Padme come to him in her own time, and in the meantime he'll continue learning what he can without her.

He remembers Dex's words:

"It ain't what's there that gives it away, it's what ain't there..."

Inspired, he reattaches his scanner to the stacks and programs it to perform a gravitational assessment of all known star systems.

Next Scene: Lesson Learned