00:30:01 – 00:45:00
Chapter 3 of this Revenge of the Sith installment of the 15-Minute Force picks up still on the balcony of Senator Amidala’s highrise apartment. This will be a relatively quiet chapter of the movie, after our action-packed opening half-hour. It will be full of meetings and political shenanigans.
Anakin and Padme continue with their mushy lovey-dovey dialogue that’s instantly forgettable. Then, we cut to Anakin having a bad dream about Padme in childbirth. He says later that he dreamed that she dies in childbirth, and that the dream is just like the ones he had about his mother, the Blessed Virgin Shmi, before she was kidnapped by the Tusken raiders and slowly killed. Anakin vows to Padme that he won’t let this dream become true.
Even though it has nothing to do with the dream or with her dying in childbirth, Padme remarks that this baby is going to change their lives. She doubts the Queen will allow her to continue serving in the Senate (because she’s pregnant? That seems a little harsh), and the Jedi Order will kick Anakin out once they find out. I’m not sure why she’s saying all this now. Doesn’t she think Anakin is under enough stress having prophetic dreams about her death?
Padme asks Anakin if he thinks Obi-Wan might be able to help them. Anakin says they don’t need Obi-Wan’s help, and their baby is a blessing. “Baby” in the singular again. They are in a civilization so advanced that they have flying cars, but their prenatal care is strictly third-world.
In the next scene, Anakin is having a one-on-one meeting with Master Yoda. He tells him about the prophetic dreams, but doesn’t say specifically who they are about. Yoda urges Anakin to be cautious when sensing the future. Fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side. Geez, Yoda. Is everything a path to the Dark Side? Fear. Anger. Failure to floss after every meal.
Anakin makes another vow to not let these prophesies come true. Yoda shrugs and say, “Meh. Everyone dies. Just get over it.” Or something to that effect. He counsels Anakin to train himself to let go of everything he fears to lose.
Anakin, who has a busy schedule today, goes to see Obi-Wan Kenobi next. Anakin just missed a report on the Outer Rim sieges which means that we, the viewer, did as well. Yay. One less meeting. Obi-Wan says the short version is that they are going well. But, he says, the senate is going to vote more executive powers to Palpatine.
What’s wrong with that? Anakin asks. That would mean less deliberation in the senate and more action. They will be able to end the war earlier. You have to remember that Anakin is in favor of a benevolent dictatorship.
Obi-Wan tells Anakin to be careful of his “friend” Palpatine. The chancellor has requested Anakin’s presence without informing the Jedi Council as to his reasons. Isn’t that unusual? Anakin says. Obi-Wan says all of this is unusual and it’s making him uneasy.
Anakin hurries to his third meeting, this one with Chancellor Palpatine. The chancellor tells him that he’s appointing Anakin to be his personal representative on the Jedi Council. He’s counting on Anakin to be the eyes, ears and voice of the Republic. Anakin, thinking this means he will now be a Master, tells the chancellor that the Jedi Council elects its own members and they will never accept his appointment. Palpatine says that he thinks they will. The Council needs Anakin.
And then Anakin meets with the Jedi Council, where he finds out that he’s going to have a seat on the Council, but he will not be made a Master. This visibly pisses off Anakin, who gets a little mouthy, about to launch into classic Anakin temper-tantrum mode, until Mace Windu tells him to sit his ass down. In other Council business, it is decided that Master Yoda will take a battallion of clones to reinforce the Wookiees on the planet Kashyyyk.
After the council meeting, Anakin continues to voice his whiny objections in a one-on-one walk-and-talk with Obi-Wan. His Master tells him to calm down; he’s been given a great honor—no one as young as he has ever had a seat on the Council before. The fact is, the Council thinks Anakin is too close to Palpatine, and they’re not happy with the way the chancellor is interfering with the Jedi. Obi-Wan gives him an off-the-record assignment to spy on Palpatine. Essentially the same assignment Palpatine gave him about the Jedi Council. Anakin seems to object to spying on Palpatine more than he objected to spying on the Council. It’s clear, however, that the Jedi intend to leverage Anakin’s relationship with Chancellor Palpatine.
Obi-Wan tells Anakin that their loyalty is to the Senate, not to its leader, especially not one who has remained in office long after his term expired. It’s finally clear that the Jedi at least sense that Palpatine is up to no good now. They don’t seem to have any real plans to do anything about it, though. Other than having Anakin spy on the Chancellor, that is. Anakin is not pleased by the request. He says he’s being asked to do something that goes against the Jedi Code, against the Republic, spying on a friend and mentor who has never been anything but good to him. He even tells Obi-Wan that Palpatine is not a bad man.
Later, Obi-Wan is traveling in a clone troopship with Yoda and Mace Windu. He tells them that Anakin isn’t happy about his assignment. Windu, who is perhaps the smartest Jedi ever, says he doesn’t trust the boy. Obi-Wan reminds them all that Anakin is the Chosen One prophesied to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force. Yoda suggests that the prophecy could have been misread. Obi-Wan says that Anakin will not let him down; he never has so far.
I hope right you are, says Yoda.
In the next scene, Anakin meets with Padme again, and he voices his concerns about the Jedi Order. He says he thinks this war may be destroying the principles of the Republic. Padme asks him if he’s ever considered that they might be on the wrong side in this one. What if the democracy they thought they were serving no longer exists? And the Republic has become the very evil they’ve been fighting to destroy?
Whoa, now, says Anakin. You’re sounding like a Separatist.
You’re closer to the Chancellor than anyone, Padme says. Talk to him about ending the fighting so that diplomacy can resume. Everyone is trying to use Anakin to get to the Chancellor, even his wife. When this begins to make Anakin mad, Padme soothes him with her feminine wiles. “Hold me,” she says, “like you did by the lake on Naboo so long ago when there was nothing but our love. No politics, no plotting, no war.” Pretty words as she’s still trying to manipulate him.
In the next scene, Anakin arrives at what appears to be the Coruscant Opera House, where he joins Chancellor Palpatine on his private balcony. The bald woman seated at Palpatine’s left hand seems to be tripping balls. Palpatine tells Anakin that their clone intelligence units have located General Grievous. He’s hiding in the Utapau system. He adds that he would doubt the collective wisdom of the Council if they didn’t choose Anakin to lead the capture of Grievous, since he’s clearly the best choice for the job.
Palpatine tells Anakin to sit down, and he orders all the other people out of his box. Palpatine tells Anakin that he suspects that the Jedi Council wants control of the Republic, and that if they haven’t included Anakin in their plot yet, they soon will. Anakin reluctantly admits that the Council doesn’t trust the chancellor, and that his own faith in the Jedi Council has been shaken recently.
As this chapter of the 15-Minute Force comes to an end, the Chancellor is asking Anakin: “Why? They asked you to do something that made you feel dishonest, didn’t they?”
We’ll have to wait until next chapter for Anakin’s response. So, this fifteen minutes consisted of no less than seven meetings for Anakin, with plenty of politics and plotting, but no action to speak of. Everyone is pulling Anakin in a different direction. It’s not easy being the Chosen One.
Until next time…Be Cautious When Exercising Good Dental Hygiene. Fear of Floss is a Path to the Dark Side…and, May the 15-Minute Force Be With You.