You see, for all my victories, for all my intelligence, for all the lessons I learned since I saved Naboo...nothing has prepared me for this.
My reunion with Padme Amidala.
You see, Obi-Wan and I had just returned from a mission to resolve a border dispute on Ansion. Now we've been instructed to meet Queen Amidala a.k.a. Angel Girl.
Not the Queen anymore!
After her term expired, she became a Senator. She's virtually the High Queen In Command--no, wait.
As we rode in a state-of-the-art elevator, Obi-Wan stated that there was something troubling me.
Srsly? "I haven't seen her in 10 years, Master."
Then we entered her apartment. Something tells me I'll start coming here quite often. Whatever.
Also in the apartment was Jar Jar Binks and Captain Panaka.
And then, there she was!
"Ani?!" she said, taken aback. "My goodness, you've grown!"
Hm, looks like someone was finally impressed by my handsomeness. And thus did I say my most memorable phrase yet (drum roll) "So have you." What a stupid thing to say. Last time I saw her I was shorter than her! "Grown more beautiful, I mean."
Did I just say that?
"And much shorter...for a Senator, I mean."
"Dude! Shut up!" said Obi-Wan. "You're embarrassing us all!"
"Very sorry, ma'am."
"Very smooth," said Obi-Wan. What an idiot.
And to make matters worse, Padme laughed. "Ani, you'll always be that little boy I knew on Tatooine."
I'm crushed! "Dude!" I snapped. "I've been dreaming of you every day since I met you in Watto's workshop, and I'm still 'that little boy?!'"
"Oh, I'm sorry, Ani," she said meekly. Gosh, she's even more beautiful than I remembered.
And yet, the circumstances of our reunion are grave. The Galactic Senate is growing so corrupt that the weak-minded citizens of many worlds were threatening to end their allegiance to the Republic and create their own government. A former Jedi, the notorious Count Dooku, had begun to organize this Separatist movement, and many believed this situation would end up as a hellish civil war. Because we Jedi were soooooooo unprepared for such a massive conflict, many Senators wanted to create an army to defend and preserve this thousand-year-old Republic. Great.
Hoping to find a peaceful solution, Padme had traveled to Coruscant to cast her vote against this Military Creation Act, but was nearly killed on her way there. A mysterious, infamous assassin tried to blow up her starship, leading to the death of her beloved decoy, Corde.
Now, at Chancellor Palpatine's request, Obi-Wan and I were asked to protect Padme.
To make matters worse, in recent weeks I had been haunted by a series of visions about my mother in danger. At first I wondered if these were premotions--no, premonitions--on the attack of Padme. But these infamous visions aren't relevant at all. In perhaps the most infamous of all, my mother was transformed into a glass statue and shattered right in front of my tear-ridden face.
I know these are just dreams, but what if this is a way for my subconscious mind to predict the future?
OK, back to the subject--it was Padme's idea to use herself as bait to lure the notorious assassin into our hands.
Finally, I replied. "It's a bad--no, I mean it's not a good idea, Senator."
Besides me, R2-D2 beeped.
Despite my secret pleasure to have this moment alone with Yours Truly, I almost wished that Obi-Wan were here, instead of in the Jedi Council Chamber. That way he could discourage her, too.
"Moving me into a different suite will only delay another attack," Padme replied.
Then I told her her plan was far too dangerous. "You could get hurt!" I can't bear to lose her, not now!
Padme nodded her head in agreement. "But if we prepare for another attack in this apartment, and cover every angle, then we'll have an advantage over the assassin."
Dude! "It's still too risky, Senator. Who knows, that notorious fiend could have an army of droidekas!"
Padme stepped closer to me. Geez, Padme. Purple circle, woman!
"I have no interest in dying," she said. "But I don't want any more innocent people to die for me. If you are truly selfless, you will help me do this."
Selfless? Selfless? That's the backbone of Jedi duty! As much as I want to do this, I know that Obi-Wan will not permit it.
Finally, I spoke. "All right, Senator. I'm in."