We have eliminated that notorious slimeball, yet Padme is still in danger.
And thus did Mace Windu tell Obi-Wan to track down the assassin's boss. We need to know who he is, not to mention his motives.
"What about me?" I asked. And yes, I found out earlier today that the bounty hunter was Zam Wesell.
Mace told me to take Padme home. The Council wanted her off Coruscant before Zam Wesell's boss could strike back. "May the Force be with you," he added.
Vintage Jedi phrase. I'm concerned for Padme's safety, but secretly delighted that my first mission not involving my Master will allow me to spend more time with the chick I had adored since childhood. Who adored me.
"I don't like this idea of hiding," Padme griped when we met up. "I haven't worked for a year to defeat this Military Creation Act just to be absent when its fate is decided!"
"Sometimes we need to let go of our pride," I told her, "and do what's requested of us."
Padme was furious. "You're young and don't have a very firm grip on politics. I suggest you keep such dumb comments to yourself, Ani."
Oh, gosh. "Please don't call me Ani."
"I've always called you Ani," the Senator replied. "It's your name, isn't it?"
"It's Anakin!" I said, staring at her beautiful face.
"Please don't look at me like that," she said. "I know what you're thinking."
"So...you have Jedi powers too?" It's hard to deny.
"It makes me feel uncomfortable," she answered angrily.
Finally, it was time to go. Obi-Wan gave me one last lecture before we boarded the flying train.
There we kept to ourselves. The trip was taking so long, I finally took a nap.
And...I had another nightmare. About my mother.
I woke with a start. Padme was staring at me. "What?" I asked.
She said I had a nightmare.
"Oh, well spotted," I replied. "I left Tatooine so long ago, my memory of her is fading. Recently, I've seen dreams of her in peril. Vivid dreams...scary dreams...I'm worried about her."
Just then, R2-D2 rolled over to us and beeped. We've arrived.
I've accompanied Padme everywhere. I finally got to meet her family.
There we had a dinner of vegetables. At first, Padme treated me like an unwelcome shadow. She even denied to her own sister that our relationship was nothing more than "strictly professional." I mean, dude, what is it with your midriff-exposing outfit? (I don't know, Ani. Maybe it looks good?) Seriously, Padme? Not you too! (Oh, I'm sorry. Proceed. P.S. I'm not a dude.) Then what are you? A hottie? (I'm a dudette FYI.) OK, good to know. As you recall, Obi-Wan pulled the same crap on me and my diary. At least she backed off right away. (Anytime, Anakin.)
Days passed, and we're still here. It seems Padme's getting more comfortable about hanging out with me. She told me about her cherished memories of children and her favorite places on Naboo.
Another time, we were siting in an open field, having a picnic with no food. Awkward. Padme told me about a boy named Palo. He was cute and had curly hair. He became an artist.
I suggested he might have been the smart one. She said she suspected that in my opinion politicians suck.
"I like two or three," I replied. "I don't think the system works. We need a system where the politicians sit down and discuss the problem at hand, agree what's in the best interest of the people, then do it."
Padme told me that people hardly agree. I told her someone should make them.
Pame's eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. "That sounds an awful lot like a dictatorship to me! Are you, of all people, making fun of me?"
"Oh, no! I'd be much too frightened to tease a Senator."
One day, we shared an extremely bittersweet moment.
We were standing out on the garden terrace at a lodge that overlooked a lake. Padme was wearing a light blue gown that exposed the fair skin of her back and arms, and I was wearing my ever magnificent Jedi robes. I cautiously leaned close to her face and kissed her mouth. She did not resist, but several seconds after our lips locked, she pulled away and shrieked, "NO! I shouldn't have done that."
You know, I've been aching to kiss her ever since our reunion on Coruscant, but I never, ever imagined I actually would. Padme's acceptance and return of the kiss (DUN DUN DUN) had been my greatest joy, and to be so suddenly rejected had left me disturbed, embarrassed, devastated, and confused.
"I'm sorry," I said. I'm sorry you don't feel the same way about me as I do about you.
Oh, dear. I've been trying to pretend that kiss (DUN DUN DUN) had never happened. But with every passing moment after the disaster at that lake, every moment I've spent with her, my heart is starting to become an open wound. Unable to wish my feelings away, I confronted Padme.
"The closer you get, the more agony I'm in," I told her. "I am officially haunted by that kiss (DUN DUN DUN) you never should have given me. That kiss (DUN DUN DUN) has become a scar. You are in my very soul, tormenting me. What will I do? Is there anything you can do? I'm open to suggestions here."
"Listen up," said Padme. "We live in a real world. Come back to it. If--"
"Actually," I reminded her, "we're in a galaxy far, far away."
"Lol..." Padme groaned sarcastically. She told me my feelings would lead us to a path we couldn't cross, and that she refused to let me give up my future for her. I was a Jedi and was already married to the Force, and Padme was a Senator who had more important things on her mind than falling in love.
I suggested we could keep it a secret.
"Then we'd be living a lie. We couldn't keep up with this even if we wanted to."
She's right. It would destroy us.