Hey folks, I’m back. I have no real excuse for the long delay. Life and work has been a big chaotic, but its also been case of just not managing until lately the writing discipline to sit down and get this stuff finished. I’m hoping to change that, and once again get back to giving updates to this with some regular frequency again. But enough blathering, here (and I’m warning you its largely character and dialogue work, no return to action sections just yet) is the continuing story of Broken Forces.
Cut to the busy streets of Coruscant. The section of surrounding city has been improved since the last film only a few nearly constructed buildings in the distance suggesting any history of damage. The streets and skies in general are abuzz with activity, somewhat more chaotic than the more orderly movement seen during the Coalition Occupation. Massive video screens on various buildings display victorious reports from the war, with bombastic graphics highlighting soldiers coming home and maps of Republic territory retaken.
On the balcony of a high skyscraper, a pair of humanoid Republic (male and female) bureaucrats walk quickly, both in the midst of an argument.
“Its not the type of question you can just bring out out nowhere.”
“Please. As if there aren’t thousands of people in this building asking the same thing right now.”
The male responds there are some institutions you don’t openly doubt, at least not in public. She replies that its not an issue of doubt, its one of security. He stops and gives her a pointed look, reiterating that they’ve protected the Republic since before there was Republic and asks if she really wants to tell the group that selfless and dedicated that we don’t trust them. “For all we know they’re might not be enough clones of them left out there to staff a star cruiser!” he says exasperated.
She sighs and makes her point clear. “The Jedi are compromised. Ten clones, ten thousand clones, the threat’s there, and until enough people here are certain its gone, then yes a few limitations and some uncomfortable question are going to be something they’ll have to deal with.” She asks if he’s really not concerned of the possible danger. He scoffs and says of course he’s concerned; only a fool wouldn’t be frightened at the idea of rogue Jedi in plain site ready to strike at any time.
Before he can finish the the thought, the two are interrupted by the figure they failed to initially notice in front of them, which is an aged and stonefaced Obi-Wan Kenobi, adorned in brown clothes. He’s silent, seemingly curious to see what they’ll say. After an awkward silence, the pair sheepishly greet him; the woman stating she wasn’t aware he was visiting as the man asks if he needs any directions.
Kenobi offers a polite, (though not overtly) warm smile, saying he just needs to see the Senator and can find her office on his own. “Unless you’d prefer I have an escort?” he adds with a raised eyebrow. The two emphatically say no and make a hasty exit after stating its a honor to have him there. Obi-Wan is briefly satisfied seeing them go, but the reality of what they said and the slightly uncomfortable looks various other staff have soon hits him, and he’s left in deep contemplation as he begins walking again.
On a large scale spaceport, a crowd of various citizens waits for a ship to land. Part of the gathered group parts to reveal (from the shoulders up) an older Carima; looking the most refined and ladylike we’ve ever seen of her. A nearby member of the crowd mentions she’s waiting for her wife and inquires if she’s waiting for someone. When Carima nods the stranger says that if he one of the veterans coming back on that ship, he must be brave. Mrs. Skywalker warmly smiles and states he has to be, he’s married to her.
After a smirk the stranger admits she doesn’t know how her wife and others manage to going back to the fighting. Carima gives her a knowing look. “They know they have to. I’ll never stop hating these tours of his, but the war’s needed leaders like him. Who am I to keep him away?”
Cut to the interior of the soon to land vessel where a Republic soldier stands stiff, however the sweat coming down his face tells the real story. From behind we see an imposing figure in dark clothes casting a shadow over the room. We hear a stern, somewhat husky voice order him to explain what happened. After a stammer, the soldier explains that the enemy fire just got to him more than he expected. A tense silence follows, and he adds some of their recent losses included old friends of his and couldn’t get them out of his head and-
Its a harsh voice that cuts him off. “Do not speak to me about losses.” At this we finally see the harsh source is a now older Anakin Skywalker. His hair is slightly grown out since last seen, with a pristine black Jedi uniform informing us of how far he’s advanced. But the eyes betray a tired and worn out man looking a bit older than the early 30s age he’s reached. His words are deliberate, but the anger albeit restrained slips out of them.
“Every person on this ship, practically every man and woman in uniform has lost someone. I used to count every single man and woman that died following some order I gave or strategy I devised. Do you want to know how high it got when I stopped?” The question strikes the junior officer hard, and unsure on how to respond, he remains silent. Anakin isn’t finished.
“You mourn for your friends. You need them avenged. You want the enemy to pay. And you’re telling yourself that means you’re a good soldier.” Skywalker moves in close and looks his subordinate straight in the eye. “It doesn’t. It means you’re a fool, risking the lives of everyone around you and for what? A clumsy attempt at revenge. A single stupid officer is dispensable, large squadrons under his command are not so easily replaced.” The object of Anakin’s scorn can only swallow hard.
Nik takes the opportunity to slowly circle around, rarely taking his eyes off him. “Tell me Commander, if you were watching any other man in your place right now, with that’s at stake right now, would you say he deserves anything other than being thrown out of this army entirely?” The other figure is quiet at first before admitting he doesn’t know.
At that, the Skywalker stops. “Fortunately, I do.” He explains that the man let his emotions take over, put his desires ahead of his fellow soldiers well being, and made a terrible mistake. However he has displayed exemplary service as an officer otherwise, and whatever bad judgment he’s displayed in wartime, Anakin is not the man to completely deny him a chance to prove himself in peacetime. While a mark will be on his record, he will be able to serve again.
Protocol or not, the subordinate lets out a deeply relieved sigh, and quietly thanks the Jedi before being dismissed and allowed to depart. After he exits, Anakin rubs his hand over his face, and closes his eyes; a man very weary of the role’s he’s slowly inhabiting.
Outside the ship various soldiers pour out, happily embracing the friends and loved ones gathered to reunite with them. The last one out is Nik himself and the camera follows his walk as he sees Carima and …(as the wide profile shot reveals to the audience) her very pregnant belly. Its a wide smile on his face as he quickly kisses her on the mouth and hugs her tight, months of anxious worry from both of them melting away in seconds.
When they finally release he asks why she isn’t at the medical center. “There are wonderful medical droids that are a joy to talk to and make all those the hospital visits fly by. They’re not the ones I’ve been assigned.” He chuckles. “Besides, the one thing I’ve wanted more than anything is to spend every single second we’ve got together. I know you’ve got some meetings, briefings, and everything in between soon, but… gods, I’ve missed you.”
She buries her face into his shoulder, just soaking in the moment of having her husband back. He holds her close, gently stroking her hair. “Me too.” She regains her composure, quickly and subtly wiping some small tears from her cheeks. Holding her tight he tells he’s not going anywhere and she’ll get sick of him soon enough. “I’ll get us a transport…” he gets a wry grin “Unless you’d prefer to walk the whole way.”
Carima sighs. “If there’s any hope in this galaxy our children will not inherit your sense your of humor.” The two kiss and walk off.
Cut to Darelda’s office where she warmly greets Ben with a light hug right after he walks in. Organa is dressed in surprisingly casual attire for once, with even her hair looking a biz frazzled. The room is in a similar fashion, half filled with furniture, and various containers not completely filled. She offers him a seat as she sits down at her own desk. He takes a cursory glance around the room. “The building staff not assisting a former politician I understand, but I would think a Queen would warrant some help.”
The remark gets a bit of a glare from Darelda. “Don’t call me that. My husband has a wonderful family, but their decisions in passing down royal lineage leave much to be desired. I think the greatest victory I’ve had is convincing them to wait till at least my term was finished before they started throwing royal titles on my head.”
Kenobi asks if she’s prepared for life away from Coruscant again and she says between this war and this senate anything back home will be a quiet relief for her, even with Bail taking her place in office. Peaceful as Alderaan is, she says she’ll be far more needed there than she would be here. Obi-Wan is skeptical of that, but Darelda tells him that the Republic now has the fresh ideas its desperately needed for a long time. “New Senate, new president, new blood.” Kenobi observes that some of the old blood appears to be in the top office.
She shrugs and says she figured with the war winding down and the critical role he played in cleaning up the elections they could use some of the old guarding helping in the transition, but doubts he’ll serve a full term. “Once we get some sort of peace agreement signed, I doubt Palpatine will think it necessary for him to sit quietly in a Vice President’s office for the next couple of years.”
After a beat Kenobi explains that he didn’t just come to wish her well, but to ask point blank if and when any security measures are being discussed in regards to Jedi. With some disdain she says its been a lot of ridiculous questions and paranoid theories, but no real proposals. Ben slowly nods, but affirms there have been talks then. Organa dismisses it. “Its a few bureaucrats and staff members, Master Kenobi; the ones who hear the crazies out on the streets and think they’re offering sound security advice.”
Obi-Wan still isn’t entirely convinced, and steps out of his chair and looks out the window out onto the vast population moving about on the Coruscant streets. He mentions that he’s gotten enough stares and nervous glances recently to know its more than just a select paranoid view. “Before the war I was prepared for someone to misunderstand the Jedi, or even to have forgotten what we were. I never thought I’d see the day people would be afraid of us.”
That gets her to stand up and walk over to him. Darelda makes it clear that people out there are worried about desperate plans of Mandalorians and Coalition uprisings, however every Republic citizen knows what he and his knights have done for them. “They’re scared of the present Kenobi yes, but the future needs Jedi. They know that.” Her words do seem to reassure Ben somewhat.