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A Thousand Generations: The Star Wars Prequel Mini-Series

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One major issue I had with the prequels is that it did not feel like there was enough story material present to occupy three feature-length films. With that in mind I propose the solution of telling the prequel story as a trilogy of hour-long episodes.

Broadly speaking ATG tells the story of the joining and separation of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Padme Organa, making it as character-centered as the OT. The plot cribs from elements of Legends EU and the existing prequels that I find interesting.

There are some ground rules I must lay down before brainstorming or outlining any further…

  1. No overly complex conspiratorial plots. I get that Palpatine is the perfect character for this, but the extent to which he Rube Goldberged the fall of the Republic in TPM/AOTC/ROTS felt like a nine-year-old’s idea of what a political thriller should look like, where if it is complicated enough then the audience will think the writer must be very smart. Palpatine’s rise should instead portrayed as the actions of a wily opportunist who steers conditions of chaos towards his end of seizing ultimate power.

  2. There are only a few Jedi in existence. I am not sure exactly how many it should be, but it’s definitely less than 50 individuals. The Jedi in this version operate similarly to Marvel’s Avengers, in that there’s only a handful of them and they all look and act very differently from each other. I toyed with the idea of there not being a central base of operations for the Jedi, but then I decided it would be neat if they held ad-hoc meetings in the swamps of Dagobah. It makes a lot more sense (to me) for the Jedi to convene in a lush, natural setting rather than in a bustling metropolis such as Coruscant. It also makes Yoda’s final moments in ROTJ that much more significant; after almost a millennium of training Jedi on Dagobah, he passes the torch to his final student.

  3. The clones fight against the Republic rather than for them. They come from a mysterious Outer Rim world and are commanded by Atha Prime, a dictatorial cyborg. More to come on this part later.

  4. Proficiency in the Force is kind of like proficiency in a musical instrument. There are certain individuals with an innate talent for it, but in any case Force abilities must also be honed starting from a relatively early point in a person’s life. It is possible to inherit Force talent, but there is no guarantee. That being said, there are full-fledged Knights who were not “born talents”. It just took them some extra training to get to that point.

  5. The Republic has a different origin story. The galaxy was ruled by the bloodthirsty Sith aristocracy, until a gang of slaves learned the Sith’s secrets of the Force and used them for good instead of evil. In other words, the Sith Lords existed long before the Jedi Knights, and it was the Knights’ crusade against the Sith which proved integral to the creation of the Republic. How the Sith return to the galaxy after so many millennia is a key part of the tale told in SW:ATG.

As the sequel trilogy is only about halfway done, there is no conceivable way I can try to incorporate them into these stories without unknowingly setting up irreconcilable contradictions. Thus this is an OT-only prequel trilogy rewrite.

Shorty treatment of Episode I coming up soon.

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AveKender said:

The Republic has a different origin story. The galaxy was ruled by the bloodthirsty Sith aristocracy, until a gang of slaves learned the Sith’s secrets of the Force and used them for good instead of evil. In other words, the Sith Lords existed long before the Jedi Knights, and it was the Knights’ crusade against the Sith which proved integral to the creation of the Republic. How the Sith return to the galaxy after so many millennia is a key part of the tale told in SW:ATG.

That’s a damn good inversion of the Jedi/Sith backstory. I’m jealous I didn’t think it up myself. 😉

My Episode I re-write.
My Episode II re-write.
Dreams of a Randy Git-Fiend
Tribune Entertainment + Kevin Sorbo + Bob Engels = 1 Unholy Trinity

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In deep space, a signal outpost on a lonely planetoid falls under devastating bombardment. The fleet of deadly Utapauan dreadnoughts makes way for its next kill under the command of Miat Alpha, chief lieutenant of Atha Prime.

The Republic loses contact with its distant member world of Alderaan. In response, the Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, good friend of Alderaan’s reigning monarch King Bail, boards the next outbound freighter from Coruscant to investigate. He meets the pilot, one Anakin Skywalker, a young man in whom Kenobi senses tremendous potential in the Force. During the journey Obi-Wan casually mentions that he comes from the desert world of Tatooine.

The freighter reaches Alderaan and the two men encounter Padme with her droid ZeeGee and King Bail at the royal palace. Anakin takes his first step on the path of the Jedi under the guidance of Obi-Wan and also takes an interest in Princess Padme. He loads up his ship with a cargo of precious jewels only found on Alderaan.

The next day they meet an ambassador from Utapau only to find out that a bomb is hidden inside the ambassador’s cybernetic body. The bomb explodes in the heart of the royal palace and kills most of the royal family. Obi-Wan barely manages to protect Bail and then sees Utapauan dreadnoughts overhead laying siege to the planet.

Anakin is in for more than he bargained for, so he decides to high-tail out of there. Padme tells him she needs to return with him to Coruscant in order to summon the Republic fleet using a recording of the bombing she kept inside ZeeGee. The Utapauans damage Anakin’s ship’s hyperdrive with blaster fire. He uses his supernatural reflexes to weave through the invading fleet and jump to hyperspace. One of the ships that Anakin passes by runs its scanners on him and detects the valuable jewels in his cargo hold.

Because of their damaged hyperdrive, Anakin and Padme are forced onto nearby Tatooine where Obi-Wan told Anakin his brother Owen still lives.

Amidst the ruins of the royal palace, Miat Alpha steps out of his personal shuttle and revels in the conquest. Bail and Obi-Wan meet up with the surviving royal guardsmen in the forest; theirs is now a guerrilla war.

Episode I to be continued.

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Miat Alpha commands his clones through the process of constructing “the Machine” amidst the ruins of the royal palace. He is met with his fearsome ally, Fenn Shysa, the heavily-armored mercenary from Mandalore. Miat must tie up any loose ends if construction of the Machine is to proceed smoothly, and that means eliminating young Padme. He tells Fenn of the precious crystals hidden in the escaping freighter, and Fenn obliges the offer. He boards his Firespray-class interceptor and blasts off from Alderaan’s besieged surface.

Anakin, Padme, and ZeeGee land their damaged freighter at the Tatooine spaceport of Mos Eisley. You know what it’s like there if you are reading this so I will dispense with the descriptions of the alien bazaars and cantinas.

They reach the junkyard where Obi-Wan told them to go and find that a scruffy young Owen Lars is the owner. They tell him that his brother Obi-Wan is marooned on Alderaan, which has fallen under clone occupation.

Owen tells Anakin and Padme he does not wish to get wrapped up in the war. However he agrees to help if it means his brother will be alright, though he still does not approve of Kenobi’s idealistic, crusading ways. It is through Owen that Padme learns the location of Tatooine’s only interstellar transmitter.

Anakin wants to return to Coruscant to sell the crystals, but Padme wants to transmit the message inside ZeeGee to the Fleet and return to Alderaan to liberate her people. If Padme gets her way, Anakin cannot get to Coruscant because the Republic will have placed the planet under mobilization lockdown. If Anakin gets his way, more of Padme’s people will die at the hands of the clone army.

Owen agrees to fix Anakin’s ship in exchange for some of the crystals, but it will take some time.

On Alderaan…

Obi-Wan undertakes a recon mission to the site where the Machine is being constructed. After using the Force to distract a couple of clone guards, he enters the inner workings of the massive contraption. Inside he discovers thousands of pods containing clone bodies being fabricated at the cellular level within liquid-filled tanks. The Utapauans are building another, more powerful Machine with which to overrun the Republic!

But before Obi-Wan can report his findings to Bail and the royal guardsmen in the woods, he gets captured by a detachment of clones under the personal command of Miat Alpha. Kenobi gets taken prisoner. Miat tells Obi-Wan he has walked directly into his trap.

Nighttime on Tatooine…

Anakin, Owen, and ZeeGee all rest in Owen’s modest dwelling near his junkyard. But Padme, only pretending to sleep, decides now is the time to strike out on her own. She quietly collects ZeeGee and embarks on a dangerous journey through the streets of Mos Eisley to the interstellar transmitter. She has only her blaster and her wits for protection.

To be continued…

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On Alderaan…

Obi-Wan floats suspended in a lightning cage, like the one in which Count Dooku confined him in AOTC. Miat Alpha paces around his catch and tells him his plan: interrogate knowledge of the Force out of Obi-Wan and then clone him in order to spawn an unstoppable army of Force-sensitive cloned soldiers for Atha Prime. During his gloating villain monologue, Miat ignites Kenobi’s lightsaber and waves it around, striking and killing one of his own clone henchmen in the process.

On Tatooine…

Padme and ZeeGee access the transmitter in the dead of night. ZeeGee inserts a data prod into the transmitter’s port (R2D2-style). Padme sends the footage to Chancellor Valorum on Coruscant along with a message imploring him to deploy the fleet to Alderaan.

Then Padme and ZeeGee start back towards Owen’s home in the darkness. She gets ambushed by a pack of alien street thugs, who attempt to pry the droid from her possession. Padme shoots one of them and takes off running in the other direction towards the junkyard.

On Alderaan…

Obi-Wan reaches out to his new friend Anakin through the Force. Focusing all of his thoughts on a distant point somewhere out in space, he finds the unique presence that he recognized onboard the freighter. It is not far from that of his brother Owen.

On Tatooine…

Anakin tosses and turns in a bunk. He receives a Force vision from Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan tells him of the history of the Jedi Knights. Thousands of years ago, before the founding of the Republic, the galaxy was ruled by a family of bloodthirsty Sith Lords. In dark avarice they visited countless injustices upon the tired masses under their control. One day a Sith baron taught one of his slaves some of the secrets of the dark side of the Force, the better to drive the other slaves into subservience. But the slave-driver rebelled and decided to use the Force for justice instead of conquest; he vanquished the baron and sparked a great uprising which eventually collapsed the Sith empire from within. Such was the origin of the Jedi Knights, and with them came the Republic which has lasted for over a thousand generations.

Obi-Wan then tells Anakin that the clones threaten to destroy all that the Jedi have built. He appeals to the idealism that he knows resides in the young man and implores him to stop the machinations of Atha Prime.

Anakin tumbles back into reality. He gasps in disbelief at what he just experienced. But there is little time to reflect, as he hears the distant drone of an approaching hostile fighter. Sounds like a Firespray-class, which means only one thing…

To be continued…

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Fenn’s fighter drops a sonic bomb on Mos Eisley (like in the asteroid field chase from AOTC, AKA one of the very few good parts of that movie).

Padme seems at first cornered by the alien thugs and it looks like all is lost, but the massive sound wave collapses all structures and knocks down the thugs. Padme is dazed. ZeeGee has been destroyed!

As the smoke rises, Padme rises and continues her escape to the junkyard. Fenn lands his ship and exits the craft, brandishing a heavy repeating blaster (think Baze from R1). He guns down the thugs when they try to get up and then coldly stalks his prize, the valuable crystals in Anakin’s ship.

A firefight between Owen, Padme, and Anakin vs Fenn Shysa tears up Owen’s junkyard. Fenn makes them duck under some wreckage with a barrage of suppressing fire.

Then the Mandalorian mercenary walks into Anakin’s landed ship. Anakin sneaks up on Fenn and severs his backpack power source’s cable with one of Owen’s fusion torches. Fenn’s backpack goes supercritical. Anakin kicks open the door to a secret compartment and shuts himself inside just as the backpack power plant explodes.

Our heroes survive unscathed, but the ship lies in tatters.

Amidst the flames of Anakin’s ruined ship, Padme confesses to Anakin what she did. In response he tells her of his vision from Obi-Wan. It has filled him with newfound purpose. The two set off for the Firespray and set a return course for Alderaan. Owen bids Anakin and Padme farewell and they blast off in the Firespray. They will finish what the clones have started.

To be continued…

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The Firespray lapses back into realspace in the sky of Alderaan and deactivates its cloaking device. Anakin reveals to Padme that he once tried to enlist in the Republic military, but they turned down his application because he was born on the Outer Rim. He feels he must partake in this mission to make up for that.

Padme knows where Bail and the royal guardsmen have congregated and tells Anakin where to guide the craft to a soft landing.

Amidst a forest clearing populated with a makeshift barracks and several camouflaged assault speeders, King Bail reunites with his sister Padme. She tells Bail of what happened on Tatooine and they then draw up a plan to assault the Machine complex in conjunction with the arrival of the Republic fleet.

Padme and Anakin will take the secret passage with the infantry to show up inside the complex and disable the shield generator. At the same time Bail will lead a group of vehicles to divert the Utapauans away from the infantry long enough to blow up the shield generator. Once this is done, the Republic fleet which is en route will be able to destroy the Machine with turbolaser fire…provided they can deal with the Utaupauan fleet first.

Padme and Anakin lead most of the guardsmen to infiltrate the palace ruins through the secret passage. The party of troopers emerges inside the vast shield dome which covers the Machine; to their shock they find that the contraption is now complete!

To be continued.

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Bail’s pack of speeders streams over the edge of a hill outside the Machine complex. The laser turrets at the perimeter swivel and lay down a field of bright bolts. The speeders take glancing hits off their frontal armor, some careening to a fiery halt, and charge up their devastating short-range guns.

Inside the shield dome, the troops fire at squads of Utapauan clones. Padme takes charge and leads a grenade volley against a team of clone machinegunners. Anakin brandishes a heavy repeating blaster, a spare that he found on Fenn Shysa’s fighter, and lets out a torrent of green bolts. Many of them strike the clones square in the chest.

In the command sanctum of the Machine, Miat Alpha rushes into the emergence chamber. A bio-mechanical pod spreads its petals aside to reveal a red-robed human figure underneath. He looks just like Obi-Wan Kenobi, but there is a very clear madness in the yellow pupils of his eyes.

Miat Alpha commands his most powerful creation to slaughter the guerrillas and protect the Machine.

Obi-Two silently regards his Utapauan creator with a mixture of curiosity and contempt. With a swift pull of the Force, the lightsaber hilt hurls out of the folds of Miat’s robe into Obi-Two’s outstretched hand.

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I am curious as to people’s first impressions of Obi-Two. The concept is based on an old fan theory that Obi-Wan was a clone because his name sounds like a model number. This is sort of like that, except Obi-Wan is the original instead of the duplicate. I also like the the pre-AOTC conceptions of the Clone Wars, where Anakin and Obi-Wan fought evil Mandalorians and insane clones of Jedi Knights.

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AveKender said:

On Alderaan…

Obi-Wan floats suspended in a lightning cage, like the one in which Count Dooku confined him in AOTC. Miat Alpha paces around his catch and tells him his plan: interrogate knowledge of the Force out of Obi-Wan and then clone him in order to spawn an unstoppable army of Force-sensitive cloned soldiers for Atha Prime. During his gloating villain monologue, Miat ignites Kenobi’s lightsaber and waves it around, striking and killing one of his own clone henchmen in the process.

On Tatooine…

Padme and ZeeGee access the transmitter in the dead of night. ZeeGee inserts a data prod into the transmitter’s port (R2D2-style). Padme sends the footage to Chancellor Valorum on Coruscant along with a message imploring him to deploy the fleet to Alderaan.

Then Padme and ZeeGee start back towards Owen’s home in the darkness. She gets ambushed by a pack of alien street thugs, who attempt to pry the droid from her possession. Padme shoots one of them and takes off running in the other direction towards the junkyard.

On Alderaan…

Obi-Wan reaches out to his new friend Anakin through the Force. Focusing all of his thoughts on a distant point somewhere out in space, he finds the unique presence that he recognized onboard the freighter. It is not far from that of his brother Owen.

On Tatooine…

Anakin tosses and turns in a bunk. He receives a Force vision from Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan tells him of the history of the Jedi Knights. Thousands of years ago, before the founding of the Republic, the galaxy was ruled by a family of bloodthirsty Sith Lords. In dark avarice they visited countless injustices upon the tired masses under their control. One day a Sith baron taught one of his slaves some of the secrets of the dark side of the Force, the better to drive the other slaves into subservience. But the slave-driver rebelled and decided to use the Force for justice instead of conquest; he vanquished the baron and sparked a great uprising which eventually collapsed the Sith empire from within. Such was the origin of the Jedi Knights, and with them came the Republic which has lasted for over a thousand generations.

Obi-Wan then tells Anakin that the clones threaten to destroy all that the Jedi have built. He appeals to the idealism that he knows resides in the young man and implores him to stop the machinations of Atha Prime.

Anakin tumbles back into reality. He gasps in disbelief at what he just experienced. But there is little time to reflect, as he hears the distant drone of an approaching hostile fighter. Sounds like a Firespray-class, which means only one thing…

To be continued…

Nice. It’s a good backstory. Republic’s origin… Anakin has a true motivation to fight the clones with this Jedi’s point of view.( for the reader too : Why save the Republic ? )

However, how introduce you Palpatine in your " character-driven" story ? If i’ve well understand , he’snt
a “puppetmaster” ?

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Palpatine certainly is a puppetmaster, and his hand in this war will later become clear to the audience. However I made sure he does not appear until Episode II. I felt that putting him in Episode I would introduce too many foreshadowing obligations into an otherwise straightforward tale. Imagine if the following things were different about The Phantom Menace…

  • Anakin is at least twice as old, maybe even early 20s.
  • Padme’s at first not all that cracked up about leading a planet.
  • Alderaan instead of Naboo.
  • No Qui-Gon or any other Jedi Knights beyond Obi-Wan (again, they will have their time to shine in Episodes II and III).
  • No Palpatine yet.
  • Clones instead of droids fighting the Republic.
  • Simple reason for invading Alderaan: use it as a site to build a second Clone Machine so that Atha Prime can swamp the Republic core systems.
  • Start the Clone Wars right off the bat. Waiting two movies to do this was one of the PT’s biggest mistakes.

That’s what I am going for with ATG:Ep1. The “Keep it simple, stupid” approach.

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Bail’s speeders have drawn a significant body of clone warriors. In response, Miat orders the heavy warships of his fleet to release their gunships. The ground armor begin to dissolve in the face of the clone gunships striking them with impunity.

Just when it seems like all is lost, Bail commlinks what he believes will be his last words to his dear Padme. But then the skies darken further.

A collection of triangular-shaped capital ships appears in realspace directly adjacent to the orbiting Mandalorian fleet. The gunships turn away from bombarding Bail’s column and strike out towards the Republic fleet above.

In Miat Alpha’s headquarters, he makes contact with Atha Prime via hologram. The clone overlord orders Miat to return to Utapau. Miat reluctantly complies, his inner warrior spirit struggling against the order to retreat. He boards his private shuttle and leaves the battlefield to fight another day.

Inside the dome, Padme places the last of several demolition charges in the power bank of the shield generator. She, Anakin, and a surviving Alderaan guardsman retreat to a safe distance.

But just as the guardsman is about to hit the switch on the remote detonator, a lightsaber ignites behind him and slices his arm off with the detonator still grasped in his hand. Obi-Two emerges from the shadows.

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At first confused, Anakin tries to call out to Kenobi. But Padme realizes quickly that this is not her brother’s good friend Obi-Wan.

Padme fires at Obi-Two, who deflects a blaster bolt, causing Anakin to charge up the repeating blaster and lay down a wall of bolts at the strange new foe.

Obi-Two expertly twirls the saber and uses his Force reflexes to weave between shots as he stalks his way towards Anakin.

Padme crawls towards the dead guardsman and grabs the detonator. With one button, the power plant bursts with a great brilliance and the blue shield bubble evaporates into nothingness.

Obi-Wan’s restraints power off. Sensing the a familiar presence he hones in on Padme and Anakin.

Obi-Two nears Anakin. The heavy blaster runs dry and he unstraps the unwieldy device. With the rudimentary training he gained from Obi-Wan he manages to avoid a few savage swipes from Obi-Two.

Padme fires again at Obi-Two, but he deflects a shot which lands square on her shoulder. She lets out a yelp of pain and falls backward cradling the burn.

Anakin screams NOOO! but he can do little with Obi-Two holding a lightsaber to his neck. Obi-Two draws the blade back in preparation for the fatal strike.

His saber arm freezes. Obi-Two, puzzled, looks at the freezing arm and tries to bring it forward against Anakin his other hand, but it will not budge.

The brown robes of a venerable Jedi Knight, with an outstretched hand…Obi-Wan Kenobi appears. Obi-Two is his clone, so he can be controlled by his host through the Force in a way no other organic being can.

The lightsaber flies out of Obi-Two’s hand and into Obi-Wan’s. The abomination turns about and tries to throw a veil of Force energy at his original, but Obi-Wan tosses it aside with his own gust of invisible energy.

Obi-Wan closes in on Obi-Two. The clone taunts his original form. He makes a mockery of his efforts, that destroying his own clone is little different from destroying himself. Obi-Wan holds the blade to Obi-Two’s chest in contemplation.

Obi-Two pulls Padme’s blaster into his hand and tries to kill the Jedi Knight. But Obi-Wan expertly swipes the blazing weapon across the clone’s chest. Obi-Two falls over lifeless.

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AveKender said:

Palpatine certainly is a puppetmaster, and his hand in this war will later become clear to the audience. However I made sure he does not appear until Episode II. I felt that putting him in Episode I would introduce too many foreshadowing obligations into an otherwise straightforward tale. Imagine if the following things were different about The Phantom Menace…

  • Anakin is at least twice as old, maybe even early 20s.
  • Padme’s at first not all that cracked up about leading a planet.
  • Alderaan instead of Naboo.
  • No Qui-Gon or any other Jedi Knights beyond Obi-Wan (again, they will have their time to shine in Episodes II and III).
  • No Palpatine yet.
  • Clones instead of droids fighting the Republic.
  • Simple reason for invading Alderaan: use it as a site to build a second Clone Machine so that Atha Prime can swamp the Republic core systems.
  • Start the Clone Wars right off the bat. Waiting two movies to do this was one of the PT’s biggest mistakes.

That’s what I am going for with ATG:Ep1. The “Keep it simple, stupid” approach.

I agree. A big war at the beginning and a simple story are more adapted to make a true Star wars prequel. I find your changes very good ( i’ve written a similar story with Anakin & Owen slaves ) an older Anakin …the L’s Pt should have an older Anakin. The concept of Obi-Two sounds very weird for me …but it’s cool , why not !!

Yes, for Palpatine, like ANH the story must focus on the characters , Palpy just can be mentioned in the first act.

The Lucas’Palpatine are too much. I think he can be a " puppetmaster " with less skills (for exemple : he’snt the leader of the cloners ).

Good work ! Continue.

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Obi-Wan regards his fallen doppelganger with morbid curiosity. But there is little time to contemplate he joins Anakin, who helps the wounded Padme off the ground.

In space, the clone fleet jumps away ship-by-ship under the Republic onslaught. One of the large destroyers gets fatally damaged by a squadron of Republic T-Wing fighters, who barrage the big ship’s command bridge with their pulsar bombs.

The large clone destroyer falls victim to Alderaan’s gravitational pull. Leaving trails of black soot across the baby blue sky, the ship cracks in half under the stresses (like Grievous’ ship in ROTS). The back half of the ship crashes into a lake and sends up a great wall of foamy water.

On the ground Obi-Wan leads Anakin and Padme away from the Machine. Padme points out the tank in which Bail is trapped, and Obi-Wan cuts the hull open with his lightsaber, allowing his old friend to escape the damaged vehicle.

From a distance they witness the front half of the clone ship plummet towards the Machine. The ship crumples on impact and utterly annihilates the Machine. A mushroom cloud looms over the site that used to house the Machine, and before that the Royal Palace.

Obi-Wan, Anakin, Padme, and Bail all gaze at the explosion, finally victorious.

EPILOGUE:

On Coruscant, Valorum in a public ceremony presents Padme with a medal for her critical role in defending the Galactic Republic. He offers her a position in the Republic Senate. She considers the offer, but then as she scans the crowd she sees Anakin’s smiling face.

Padme declines and says her place is on the frontier, defending her world and others from the clones. The audience cheers.

After the ceremony, Padme joins Anakin on the steps to a roof of a pyramidal building overlooking a greenery-filled courtyard. At the top of the pyramid, Obi-Wan stands at the open door of a shuttle and beckons them to join him in the fight for good. Behind him emerge two of his fellow Jedi Knights, a wiry blonde woman with an aristocratic air and a tall, gray-streaked Wookiee Jedi.

Anakin straps into the pilot’s seat. His final words before take-off: “I’ve got a good feeling about this.”

END OF EPISODE ONE

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