THROUGH THE YEARS, YOU’VE NEVER LET ME DOWN
Ten long years after the Battle of Naboo, the Galactic Senate continues to squabble under my intentionally misdirected leadership. Dooku’s political ideals and motivating speeches discreetly undermined and eroded the ideals of the Senators. Many accepted apathetic defeat and found themselves powerless to stop the deterioration of the Republic.
Along with Dooku’s relentless work on the Senators, the continued success of the CIS (under the vigorous leadership of Count Dooku and savvy military command of General Grievous) frustrates the Galactic Senate and pushes the Republic toward greater instability. As an added bonus, this cleverly sowed galactic distraction monopolizes the Jedi’s time. With the Jedi completely overwhelmed with small skirmishes and petty disputes, they remain completely unaware of my orchestration of the Grand Plan. Soon enough, the growing influence of the CIS will force the Galactic Senate’s hand to create the first ever army of the Republic—to help the Jedi maintain peace. Have I mentioned how much I love obfuscated bureaucracy?
“Slow and steady always wins the race,” said the Hutt to the Ewok.
Disgusting creatures. Both of them.
DEMOCRACY AT WORK
Later today, Senator Padmé Amidala will arrive to take part in a critical vote: to create (or not) a Grand Army of the Republic. While I am eager to see her, I can’t help but feel a tinge of worry. Recently, Gunray reminded Dooku of his promise to assassinate Amidala for her treachery on Naboo ten years ago. It seems Gunray insists on cashing in on that promise. So, honoring his promise to Gunray, Dooku set up an elaborate scheme with Jango Fett to destroy her ship moments after it landed on the pad on Coruscant.
Working to my advantage was the knowledge that she would employ her usual decoy strategy. This would ensure her survival, and the ability to keep her alive because she remains of great use to me. I expected this terrible accident would generate incredible sympathy from the Republic. I would make sure to blame the CIS for the horrible attempt on her life (even if it wasn’t completely true). With regard to Padmé herself, she would live, but live with greater fear for her life. The attack would distract her mind, intensify her resolve, and ensure the Senate’s unwitting compliance with the Grand Plan.
Sometimes it’s just too easy.
As expected, Padmé survived the assassination attempt and notified my office that she would keep her appointment with me. Her courage is admirable.
Prior to the Senator’s arrival in my office, I met with the leading members of the Jedi Council. Grand Master Yoda, Mace Windu, and a handful of other Jedi scum attempted to persuade me to delay the big vote for an Army of the Republic. The stench of the Light Side of the force filled my senses, and I wanted to vomit. But the Dark Side fueled my resolve and gave me the strength to maintain my constitution. I had to bite my tongue, to keep from laughing, when Yoda admitted that the Dark Side was clouding his ability to see into the future. So blinded, they were, that they couldn’t even sense the presence of the greatest Sith Lord in galactic history sitting right across the desk.
When I grew tired of their counsel, I re-asserted my position. I believe that the confidence in my argument won them over. Or it was simply their respect for me as Supreme Chancellor. Whatever it is, their duty to the Republic is the perfect weapon to wield against them. As you know now, the CIS and its agenda are all part of the Grand Plan. Ultimately, I would not let the galaxy be split in two, especially after 1000 years of unity.
When Senator Padmé arrived, I dismissed the Jedi Council. (Apparently Padmé is also useful for evicting Jedi from meetings.) Bile rose in my throat as I listened to Yoda ceremoniously greet her. She suspected Count Dooku was behind the attempt on her life, and she was right, from a certain point of view.
As the Jedi stirred up consternation about her safety, I nonchalantly suggested that the Jedi take Senator Padmé into their care. After all, they weren’t much good at anything else at this point…so why not task them with senatorial babysitting as an official duty of the Republic? Yoda glared at me when I suggested Obi Wan Kenobi should be her protector. With regard to Master Yoda, his arrogance blinds his wisdom. (The Jedi hate it when I tell them what to do, but I do so love to meddle with their small minds.) I knew full well that Anakin would be with Obi Wan. I remembered how much he liked her as a small boy eleven years ago. I gambled on the fact that the crushes of little boys become the unquenchable lusts of young men who promise celibacy for life.
Over the years, I’ve sensed Anakin’s desires and feelings stray from the Jedi’s prescribed path of calm, celibate focus. He is tormented with anger and fear, and his passions fuel powerful ambitions. I suspect his upbringing as a slave on Tatooine, the inability to do as he wished, and his late entry into the Jedi order will present not only a weakness in his temperament, but in his raging libido as well. From our conversations I know that Padmé has convoluted his mind since they parted ways after Qui-Gon Jinn’s funeral. I have preyed on fostered this within him to smooth the way for his rebellion against the Jedi (to become a Sith). On a more pitiful note the nightmares he has of his mother suffering great pain on Tatooine continue to plague him. I will use her—and his nightmares—to win him to the Dark Side and make him my Apprentice. Mark my words, that boy will break his vows and serve me well. I just need to discover what will best motivate him…perhaps it is his lust for Padmé…perhaps it is something else.
With Padmé’s life still hanging in the balance of the Trade Federation’s support of the CIS, Dooku instructed Jango Fett to take a shot at her again. I learned later, from the Jedi’s report, that the more subtle assassination attempt involved two Kouhun worms. These disgusting worms-with-many-legs-and-feet creatures, favorited by assassins, are efficient killers. Once again, the Jedi foiled this assassination attempt. Despite Fett’s failure (and apparently that of his hired hand, Zam Wesell), Dooku was able to temper Gunray’s frustration and maintain the Trade Federation’s support to the CIS.
THE PERFECT SITH-IN-TRAINING
Today, Anakin visited me. I always enjoy my time with him. The friendship we have cultivated is strong and I know that when the time is right, he will not disappoint me. Anakin told me that Master Yoda acquiesced to my strong suggestion that he escort Padmé back to Naboo through unregistered travel to avoid unwanted attention.
I mean, come on, could this be any more perfect? Senator Padmé wouldn’t refuse an executive order from the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, especially one deemed essential for her safety. Although, you never know…that girl is full of surprises.
I encouraged Anakin to enjoy his first solo assignment—of which I celebrated briefly with him. We both agreed that the spreading of his wings was long overdue. I remember sensing conflict in his heart, so I gently encouraged him to trust his feelings because they would make him strong. I reminded him that his mastery and knowledge of the Force rivaled that of the Jedi Council, and that one day, I suspected he would be more powerful than Master Yoda. This is after all, why they keep holding him back. They are afraid of the boy…it’s too bad they cannot use the Force to see why.
I have always noticed that Anakin seems to get off on thoughts of grandeur and power. He wants to make things work, whether it’s a droid, a problem to be solved, or the galaxy’s political system. This strong drive, combined with a touch of youthful arrogance, makes him a perfect Sith-in-Training, whether he knows it or not. The truth is, Anakin is one of the most gifted Jedi I had ever met. And of course I’m right, because I only accept the best to serve at my side.
Anakin believes in peace, freedom, justice, and security for the Republic. He desperately wants to believe in democracy (to please his Jedi Masters) but his unconscious lust for power tells him that when the bureaucrats disagree, someone wiser should step in and make them agree. Hopefully, I have been that figure in his eyes for now. I will endeavor to be that person in the future. I’ve worked too hard not to be.
THE PASSIONATE ANAKIN
The Force rippled with joy this morning. At least, that is how I interpreted the wonderful news. I reached out from my meditation tower on Coruscant this morning and searched through Anakin’s heart. It was aflame with passion and lust, lust for Padmé. I could feel his young flesh crawling with enticement and a burning, unfulfilled longing. The boy’s sexual energies were at an all time high and as it turns out, all Anakin needed was a few days on Naboo alone with Padmé (and away from his Jedi Master) for his hormones to turn his mind upside down and inside out. I could feel the suffering of intense conflict in his heart: Anakin’s intense desire to uphold the Jedi Code fought a losing battle against his yearning desire to become one with Padmé’s flesh.
Everything was proceeding as I had foreseen.
In one of our many conversations I suggested that the understanding of the monastic celibacy the Jedi embraced could be seen from a larger perspective. And simply put, a Jedi’s compassion could be explained as unconditional love, which is essential to a Jedi’s life. Thus, the Jedi are encouraged to love others. I knew Anakin would carry this idea to its logical end. (At least, his hormones would.)
Now, don’t get me wrong here. Teachings on love may be the only thing the Jedi and Sith have in common. Love is a powerful and dangerous emotion. To the Jedi, love leads to attachment, which interferes with a Jedi’s purpose. To the Sith, love leads to mercy, an utter disgrace that must be stamped out. But in Anakin…attachment and mercy would be replaced with suffering and anger, the keys he needed to unlock his journey to the Dark Side.
DEATH OF THE MOTHER
A somber, but welcomed entry.
A few days later, the Force handed me another gift: The death of Shmi Skywalker, Anakin’s mother. I sensed her death and I sensed his suffering, which could only mean that he had finally returned to Tatooine and attempted to save her. Anakin could not save his mother, whom he loved.
Eventually, during one of our chats, he shared with me how it all went down. While on Naboo with Padmé, a vivid nightmare of his mother drove him to return to his home planet of Tatooine (that dusty, dry planet) and search for her. After tracking down his family, gathering clues, and continuing his search, he finally found her in a camp of Sand People. After freeing her from her bonds, Anakin held his dying mother in his arms as she breathed her last breath. And then, with fury and rage befitting a Sith Lord, he slaughtered the Sand People who had kidnapped his mother…every single one of them. I can still remember the sensation of pure anger, pain, and suffering that burned deep inside him when he told me about it. It invigorates me to this day.
Anakin is tortured by the fact that he could not save her. The hurt, the regret, the…anger…is another ace in my pocket. If he and Padmé become secret lovers and committed companions, then he will be desperate to save her. I will manipulate this in him. When the moment is right, I will tell him that the Dark Side has the power to keep his loved ones from dying. Together, we will unlock the secrets of eternal life that Plagueis refused to teach me.
OBI BYE BYE KENOBI
Another meeting. Such is the life of the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic…meetings upon meetings. Occasionally I find it difficult to get out to the Works and meet with Dooku, but there’s always a way to reschedule meetings with senatorial sycophants. Sometimes this political life is so tedious, but I do enjoy watching the fruits of my labor come to pass. I am grateful to the skills of Mas Amedda. He diligently directs the minutiae to those dutifully empowered and reserves the larger strategy decisions for me. But fear not, dear citizen, I see everything.
Today, however, Mas Amedda brought to my attention the Jedi’s recent acquisition of knowledge concerning the whereabouts of the CIS base of operations. Apparently the nosy Obi Wan Kenobi followed a trail of clues left by Fett’s reckless assassin helper Zam Wesell. After encountering Fett on Kamino (shortly after the Kouhun worm assassination attempt on Padmé’s life,) Kenobi tracked him to Geonosis.
One mistake and it all comes crashing down. I must remember to tell Dooku to reprimand Fett for his carelessness. So, if Kenobi went to Kamino, that means he knows about the clone army. And if he knows about Geonosis, then he knows about the amassing droid army. And now the Jedi know about both armies.
Excellent. Everything was proceeding as I had foreseen.
Dutifully and somberly responding to the terrible news contained within Kenobi’s report as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, I held a meeting with the overly concerned and melodramatic Senators from Alderaan and Malastare. They squabbled over the immediate need for an Army of the Republic. The idiot Representative Jar Jar Binks was among them. I could see the small gears between his grotesque ears and eye stalks slowly spinning as he struggled to keep up with his peers.
The adroit Mas Amedda prompted the fool by suggesting a crisis was at hand, and that the Senate must vote the Chancellor emergency powers to approve the creation of an Army of the Republic because the ridiculous and unceasing bickering was pointless and solved nothing. It was time to act. We played the script perfectly. I openly asked which Senator would have the gumption to propose such a radical amendment. Amedda simply suggested, “If only Senator Amidala were here.” That set the Gungan’s mind into motion again. Now all we had to do was wait.
Dooku called me later that night. The Geonosian’s droidekas had captured Kenobi, and Dooku had innocently tested his loyalty to the Jedi by sharing that the Sith had secret control of the Senate. In his blindness, Kenobi refused to believe that was possible because the Force would have alerted them to the presence of the Sith. He refused to believe Dooku, even when he named me by my Sith name—Sidious—and pointed out that Nute Gunray was once my ally.
We enjoyed a good laugh over this. Clearly, a galaxy saturated with the Dark Side severely cripples the Jedi’s ability to use the Force to sense anything relevant around them. After disconnecting the call, I made my way to the Grand Convocation Chamber in the Senate Hall. It was time to preside over yet another futile meeting. This meeting, however, proved anything but useless.
Jar Jar did it!
He took the bait from our earlier meeting and officially motioned the Senate to provision the Supreme Chancellor with emergency powers—and the Senate applauded him! He unwittingly supported the very thing she refused to accept: the creation of an army for the Republic.
You should have heard the thunderous applause! I made a truly patriotic speech about my love for democracy and the Republic. I solemnly promised to lay down my emergency powers once the Separatist crisis was over.
By the way, if you’re wondering how Jar Jar achieved a place in the Senate, it all goes back to the Battle of Naboo. When the battle was won, the Gungans refrained from isolating themselves and requested representation in the Galactic Republic Senate. Why or how they chose or allowed Jar Jar Binks to become their Representative is quite beyond me.
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS
So much transpired today.
Dooku. That idiot. He put Anakin (along with Padmé and Kenobi) in the Petranaki Gladiatorial Arena of Justice and almost got him killed. Perhaps he sensed that Anakin would be his replacement one day and thus sought to secure his place at my side. I wouldn’t have minded if Obi Wan had been killed, but unfortunately all three survived.
Jedi Master Mace Windu brought a small army of Jedi to Geonosis and attempted to rescue Kenobi and confront Dooku. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that many Jedi died in the ensuing battle. (This shouldn’t be a surprise, as you know how much I hate the Jedi.) The battle changed abruptly when Master Yoda showed up with a battalion from the new clone army.
Back in the Geonosian command center, the CIS regrouped and decided to abandon Geonosis. Dooku played the fool and pretended he didn’t know where the Clone army came from or how the Republic had assembled such an army so quickly. Thankfully, Archduke Poggle the Lesser’s wisdom allowed him to secure the prototype plans for the Geonosian’s Ultimate Weapon. Dooku brought them to me on Coruscant for safe keeping, but only after an intense set of duels with Obi Wan, Anakin (Dooku cut off his damn arm—but you know what they say, play with a lightsaber, and someone’s gonna get cut), and Yoda. Dooku admitted he fled the battle instead of pursing it to its natural end, the death of Yoda. I’m not sure if it was a smart or cowardly action for him to retreat. I mean come on, the Dark Side vs Yoda? Please.
I will overlook his choice since the greater good of securing the Ultimate Weapon plans was met with success. This instrument of pacification will be the greatest that the galaxy has seen and it will ensure that you, dear citizen, know peace.
I wanted to admonish him for his failure at killing the Jedi, but I wasn’t sure if Anakin would have been on that list. That is something I could not condone. Besides, the war had begun and ultimately, everything was going as I had planned.
A (SECRET) BLESSED UNION OF SOULS
Anakin called me today. His voice was giddy and chipper, so I knew that he was about to share something wonderful with me. He confided in me about a truly special moment that was a cause for celebration: He planned to elope with Padmé in a private ceremony at Varykino, a lake retreat in the Lake Country (my old stomping grounds) on Naboo. Naturally I supported my friend’s decision and I blessed the union of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala Naberrie and wished them well. I promised him I would keep their marriage a secret and never reveal it to Obi Wan or the rest of the Jedi. We both knew that his love for Padmé (and now marriage) had to remain in the shadows. Such a shame, really, that something so wonderful and pure could lead to his expulsion from the Jedi Order if discovered by the Jedi Council.
Though Anakin struggled with the choice to live a double life, he knew that he could not deny his feelings for Padmé. I truly enjoy being a part of and manipulating Anakin’s circles of trust. I’m really quite surprised the Jedi never figured it out over the course of the Clone Wars—a brutal three year period during which many on both sides died, but we’ll get there eventually.
You’d think that Kenobi, who knew Anakin like a brother, would have detected a change in Anakin’s behavior patterns since he would disappear at night or run odd errands in between missions. It only goes to show how well Anakin was already living a life of deception so he could follow the path his heart desired.
Star Wars, the Star Wars logo, all names and pictures of Star Wars characters, vehicles, and any other Star Wars related items are registered trademarks and/or copyrights of Lucasfilm Ltd., or their respective trademark and copyright holders.