Star Wars
According To Jack

Episode II
Attack of the Clones

Scene 17: Lesson Learned

In Master Yoda's classroom, the younglings practice butterfly form, a series of fluttering lightsaber moves. It is one of the easiest of many forms they will learn in their years at the Jedi Academy, and they repeat it with concentration until they get it right. Anakin, on the other hand, has already mastered all of the canonical forms, and so Master Yoda instructs him to practice stone form: to stand, unmoving, as if the fate of the galaxy depends on it. Suffice to say, Anakin is very bored.

"Younglings! Younglings!" says Yoda. "Enough. A visitor we have. Welcome him!"

The students stand at attention and in unison say, "Good afternoon, Master Obi-Wan."

"Good afternoon, younglings!" Obi-Wan says cheerfully, winking at his pouting padawan. "I am sorry to disturb your class, Head Master."

Yoda brushes the apology aside. "What help to you can I be, Master Obi-Wan?"

"I'm looking for a planet described to me by an old friend. I trust him. But the system doesn't show up on the archive maps." He hands a mapping datasphere to Yoda.

"Lost a planet, Master Obi-Wan has! How embarrassing!" says Yoda, playing it up for his smiling students. "Liam, the shades shut, please. Gather around the map reader, younglings. Clear your minds, and find Obi-Wan's wayward planet, we will."

Yoda places the sphere in the map reader, and the galaxy flickers into view around them in the darkened room. The younglings smile with delight, and a few of them reach up to try and touch the nebulae and stars. Obi-Wan turns the sphere with his mind until he's zoomed in on the sector that concerns him.

"It ought to be here," he says, pointing, "but it isn't. Gravity is pulling all the stars in the area towards this spot. There should be a star here, or at least a record of a destroyed star or something that would cause the gravitational anomaly, but there's just nothing."

"Most interesting," says Yoda, speaking to both Obi-Wan and his class, "Gravity's silhouette remains, but the star and all the planets, disappeared they have. How can this be? Younglings, in your mind, what is the first thing you see? An answer? A thought? Anyone?"

"Master?" says one student with a raised hand, and Yoda nods for him to speak. "Because someone erased it from the archive memory?"

Obi-Wan looks surprised; Yoda chuckles.

"Truly wonderful, the mind of a child!" he says. "The Padawan is right. Go to the center of gravity's pull, and find your planet you will."

"Thank you, Head Master," says Obi-Wan, pulling the map sphere back to his hand with the Force.

"Younglings, your forms resume," says Yoda, "While privately with Master Obi-Wan I speak." He looks directly at Anakin as he adds, "Perform them without error, I think you can."

The youngling sabers return to spinning and Anakin resumes his unmoving stance as Yoda and Obi-Wan step out into the hallway.

"Master Yoda, who could have erased information from the archives?" Obi-Wan asks, baffled that this is even being suggested. "That's impossible, isn't it?"

Yoda frowns. "Dangerous and disturbing this puzzle is. Only a Jedi could have erased those files. But who and why, harder to answer. Related to the attacks on Amidala, this planet is?"

"Yes, I believe the bounty hunter that attacked her comes from there. And..."

Could Padme have erased the files? Obi-Wan holds his further thoughts back; Yoda doesn't seem to notice.

"Hmm," grumbles the Head Master, "Go there you must, and report to the Council all that you learn. Make haste, Master Obi-Wan. The Dark Side clouds much surrounding these attacks; unravel the hidden future you may."

"Yes, Master Yoda."

"One more moment stay," says Yoda, holding up a hand, "for this moment, the future remains clear..."

"What do you mean by that?" asks Obi-Wan.

In answer to his question, screams surge from the classroom.

Obi-Wan runs back inside to find Anakin suspending a Togrutan youngling in the air with the Force as the other younglings cower away from him.

"Anakin, what in the galaxy are you doing!" Obi-Wan shouts.

"Master, I can explain!" Anakin says, setting the youngling down gently. "Ashla drifted in her form, she was about to slice Liam's leg off! All I did was stop her, I didn't hurt anyone!"

"Is that all?" asks Obi-Wan, folding his arms.

"PADAWAN!" Yoda chastizes as he walks in, and the entire room falls silent. "Failed in your form you have. No more will I teach you today. Leave, you should, to contemplate your failure."

Anakin opens his mouth to protest, but from the look on Obi-Wan's face, he knows he won't get support from his master. Infuriated, he storms out of the room.

Obi-Wan follows. "Anakin, wait!"

Anakin spins to confront him. "Wait! Wait! That's all I've been doing!"

"I know," says Obi-Wan sternly, "And right now you're doing a lot to explain why."

"What was I supposed to do, just let Liam lose a leg?"


"I can't believe you really think that! That's just wrong! It's...evil!"

"Padawan, listen to me," says Obi-Wan, "Real danger is part of the training. You've spent your life training in the field by my side, you've often been in danger and so I've never had to put you there on purpose."

"But you would protect me, when you could see that I was about to be injured! You didn't just stand by and do nothing. I couldn't stand by, either."

"Can you see the future so well to know that losing a leg today would not prevent Liam from losing his life when he's a Knight? Or that the hurt Ashla caused would not teach her to take greater care when she bears more power than a child's saber? Or that letting it happen won't prepare you to tolerate the existence of real evil when it's necessary to do any good at all? Master Yoda sees deeper into the future than any of us, and I can think of many possible reasons he would have expected you to remain still."

"Maybe I can't know for sure," argues Anakin, "but that still doesn't make it right to do nothing."

"Then I'm afraid Head Master Yoda is correct, and you have failed to learn the one lesson he put before you."

Anakin scowls. "Yes, Master."

"I am leaving for another mission. I don't know how long I'll be gone, but I expect you to have grasped this lesson by the time I return. Just do what Master Yoda says, alright?"

"Yes, Master."

Anakin walks away in a huff.

Obi-Wan turns to see Yoda standing in the hallway, observing the conversation.

"He still has much to learn," Obi-Wan says. "His abilities have made him arrogant."

"It is a flaw more and more common among Jedi," agrees Yoda, "Too sure of themselves they are. Even the older, more experienced ones."

Obi-Wan glances down at the Head Master, not sure how to take that.

"Remember, Obi-Wan," says Yoda, "If true the Gungan prophecy is, restore balance to the Force your padawan will."

"Yes, yet the tricky thing about restoring balance is that it all depends on what's out of balance to begin with."

Yoda gives a low grumble but says nothing more, hobbling back to his class.

Next Scene: The Picnic