I just left the Jedi Council Chamber and am now in a waiting room outside the door writing while I wait for the results, Qui-Gon's and (Obi-Wan's!) arrival, stuff like that.
Qui-Gon had collapsed on the floor inside the hatch. R2-D2 was already there. A young man was there too. Certainly this was Obi-Wan! One look at his clothes and lightsaber and I knew he was a Jedi too.
Qui-Gon was breathing hard. His face was wet with sweat and streaked with dust and dirt. (Why does that sound like the end of a limerick?)
"Are you all right?" I asked.
He said he thought so, but I could tell he was shaken. The dark warrior (DUN DUN DUN) had come as a complete surprise. Obi-Wan asked him what he thought the warrior (DUN DUN DUN) was.
"I don't know, but it was well-trained in the Jedi arts," Qui-Gon replied.
Now I'm puzzled. How could you be trained in the Jedi arts and not be a Jedi? But even more confusing was the next thing Qui-Gon said: "My guess was, it was after the Queen."
I asked him if he thought the dark warrior (DUN DUN DUN) would follow our ship. He answered that we would be safe once we entered hyperspace, but that he had no doubt the dark warrior (DUN DUN DUN) knew our final destination.
The thought of meeting up with the dark warrior (DUN DUN DUN) again made me shiver. I asked what we would do about him.
"We will be patient," he replied. Then he changed the subject...to my advantage! "Anakin Skywalker, meet Obi-Wan Kenobi."
I held out my hand to shake his and spoke my mind. "You're a Jedi, too? Pleased to meet you." Correction: What an understatement. I've been looking forward to this for ages! Someone who would trust me, would be my BFF...
Uh, hold it. I don't think he liked me. (DUN DUN DUN!!!) Don't ask me how I know that. I have my ways.
We were in hyperspace. The parts Qui-Gon had bought from Watto (with my money, of course) had done the trick and we were now moving through hyperspace faster than the speed of light. Hyperspace is a silent vacuum, and the only sounds in the ship were the hums of the navigational and life-support systems...and Jar Jar's snoring. Obi-Wan Kenobi had taken Qui-Gon to rest in his quarters after the battle.
My dream BFF was shorter than Qui-Gon. Except for his braided pigtail, he had short hair. I figured he was an apprentice to the older Jedi.
This spaceship is freezing!
Now I'm alone, and cold. I sat down in a corner and pulled my knees under my chin to try and stay warm. Now that it was quiet, I felt very lonely. Let's be real here. I'd left my home, and friends, and family with strangers to go to a place on the other side of the galaxy. Coruscant was so far away that I might never be able to go home. I knew Qui-Gon wanted to take care of me, but after his battle with the dark warrior (DUN DUN DUN) he had his own problems. It was still hard to believe that there were warriors in the galaxy who might be equal, or even greater than, a Jedi. But now I knew that there were. And if something happened to Qui-Gon, who would present me to the Council? Who would train me in the ways of the Jedi?
Who would believe I even had what it took to become a Jedi?
I felt someone watching me and looked up. It was Padme. She asked me if I was cold and I admitted that I was. She gave me her jacket and teased me about being from a hot planet like Tatooine. She said space was cold. I told her I'd already figured that out.
Padme looked worried, so I asked her what was wrong. She told me the Queen had problems. The people on Naboo were suffering. Some were even dying!
I was just sitting there wishing I had a way to cheer her up when I remembered the japor pendant in my pocket. I took it out from my pocket and gave it to her. "I made this for you, so you'd remember me," I told her. "I carved it out of a japor snippet. It'll bring you good fortune."
I had to admit that I was more than a little nervous. Not only was Padme beautiful, but I could tell by her delicate clothes and gentle manner that she was used to very fine things. I wasn't sure how she'd feel about wearing a wooden pendant carved by a boy.
But Padme smiled and immediately put it on. She said she loved it, but she didn't need anything to remind her of me. She promised she would never forget me. And I told her I cared for her as well.
I was in the cockpit of the spaceship when the pilot brought us out of hyperspace. We were at the inner core of the galaxy. The sky was dense with brightly twinkling stars and systems.
Directly below us was Coruscant, the capital of the Galactic Republic. Yes, I know I'd dreamed of visiting Coruscant, but it was even better than I imagined. The entire planet was covered in a sprawling city with every imaginable shape and size building. Some were so tall that their metallic spires pierced the clouds.
We started to drop down toward the planet. The endless city had canyons like Tatooine, but they were the canyons between buildings. (No pun intended.) The airspace was clogged with hundereds of different vehicles--from small messenger speeders to huge, slow-moving transports.
We moved into a traffic lane and then onto a floating landing platform. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan Kenobi joined me and Jar Jar near the hatch.
The more I mention Obi-Wan, the more my muscles tense. HOW CAN I GET HIM TO LIKE ME???!!!
An important-looking group of people were waiting on the landing platform. Before the hatch opened, Qui-Gon stopped Jar Jar and me to instruct us on how to bow and show respect.
As if I already knew how! Idiot.
He also told us to stay out of the way and take our cues from him and Obi-Wan.
"Yes, sir. I can do that," I told him. "Can you, Jar Jar?"
"Mesa bein' fine with datsen," he said.
When the hatch opened, we did as we were told and moved off toward the edge of the platform to get a closer look at the ginormous city surrounding us. I think Jar Jar was even more amazed than moi. He just stared and started with his big frog eyes.
Meanwhile, I was keeping one eye on what was happening behind us. I was glad I did or I would have missed what came next.
Several royal guards stepped down the ramp, AND THEN IN CAME QUEEN AMIDALA!!!
I could hardly believe I was standing so close to royalty. It was obvious she was powerful. You could tell by her royal robes and her headpiece her servants stuck on her head. I don't know why, but even her powdery-white face sealed the name of powerful. Not to mention that she reminded me of someone. I just can't figure out who...
The important-looking men I'd just bowed down to were now bowing down to her!
After the Queen came three handmaidens wearing fiery-colored cloaks. Padme was one of them.
Padme gave me a quick smile, but then the Queen pushed her forward. Then they started whispering to each other. But you could tell this was no welcoming party. Their faces were serious and their whispering sounded urgent. Maybe this interferes with the dark warrior (DUN DUN DUN)?
Then the Queen and her guards and her handmaidens moved on toward a waiting air shuttle.
She motioned for us to follow.
Jar Jar and I were driven first-class to a large building. We were sent to a waiting room and told to stay put. I know I could do that, but once again I'm worried for Jar Jar. Padme had to go somewhere, and I watched through the doorway as Queen Amidala sat on a throne and had even more meetings with important-looking men in uniforms. Their faces were grim and there was a lot of head-shaking.
Something was seriously wrong. From the bits and pieces I was able to overhear, this was the information I could take in:
A group called the Trade Federation had surrounded Naboo with huge battleships. No supplies were being allowed in or out of Naboo, and that was why the Queen's people were suffering. It made me wonder: Can't the common shield generators let them past the laserfire? And what did that have to do with the dark warrior (DUN DUN DUN)? He was only one being. He must have been part of the problem, but there had to be more to it. Something even more serious was happening.
Jar Jar and I waited. I felt bad for him because he looked as lonely and lost as me. At least I had a reason for coming to Coruscant. Qui-Gon had brought me to see if I could become a Jedi. Jar Jar seemed to be here because he had no place else to go.
I asked him why he wasn't with his people. In his strange, mesa-ish language, Jar Jar explained he had been banished for wrecking his king's favorite vehicle. The rest had all happened by accident. He'd been sitting in a Naboo swamp one day enjoying a meal when he got caught in an invasion! He was saved by Qui-Gon and had been with him ever since.
Just then, a messenger arrived saying that in a little while I would be picked up by flying taxi and taken to the Jedi Temple (where I am right now).
Qui-Gon's words came back to me: I remembered that if I was accepted for Jedi training, I would be busy for a long time. I realized this might be my last chance to see Padme. I had to find her.
I left the waiting room and stared down a hall. Of course, I had no idea where anything was or where to find Padme.
So I watched for clues.
Finally, I found what I was looking for. A handmaiden came past me carrying a bowl of fruit. There was a chance she was taking it to the Queen's quarters, where I could hope to find Padme.
The handmaiden turned down several halls and then went through a door watched over by 2 guards. That looked promising, but I hesitated anyway. I felt nervous. I didn't know what the guards would do when they saw me. What if this was a restricted area and I wasn't supposed to be here? In fact, it took more courage to walk down that hall and face those guards than it did to race in my Pod and go against Sebulba. But I did it. For Padme.
Lucky for me, the guards were friendly. I guess being 9 years old has its advantages. I told them I was looking for Padme. One of them spoke into a comlink and then told me to go through the door they were guarding. What a surprise.
I went into a small room. At the other end a door was open and I could see into a larger room. Another of the Queen's handmaidens greeted me. I had seen her come off the ship with Padme. I didn't know her name, but she knew mine. From the smile on her face I could see that she already knew why I'd come.
I was disappointed when she told me that Padme wasn't there. I expected to leave then, but suddenly a voice called from the other room: "Who dares to tread my quarters?"
The handmaiden called back: "It is a harmless boy named Anakin, here to see an angel named Padme."
What happened next took me by complete surprise: Queen Amidala herself came to the doorway. Remembering Qui-Gon's lecture, I instantly bowed, then peeked up at her.
Now the Queen was wearing a fancy gown and a fan-shaped crown of beads and tassels. A single red mark had been painted on each of her cheeks. She said she'd sent Padme on an errand.
I apologized for bothering her and explained that I had been called to the Jedi Temple (where I am now) to start my training. I was worried that I might not see Padme again. I had come to say goodbye.
The Queen said she would give Padme my message. Padme must have told her about me because she said she was sure Padme's heart would go with me. Well, not in the literal sense.
I felt bad that I wouldn't get to see Padme. But I thanked the Queen anyway, and left to find the cab that would take me to the Jedi Temple (where I am now).
Where my fate was to be decided.