The plot to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine wraps up in this episode – spoilers within!
The team of bounty hunters heads to Naboo, where Palpatine is scheduled to appear at the Festival of Light. Palpatine’s security will be provided by the Jedis, who are concerned that they haven’t heard from Obi-Wan (disguised as Hardeen) in several days. A location is secured, and Bane lays out the plan. Derrown (the Exterminator) will breach the protection shield, Eval is the getaway driver, Twazzi and Embo will pretend to be bodyguards, and Hardeen will be the sniper. They wear shadow hologram disguises, which I must say looked pretty cool. Dooku tells Bane to keep an eye on Hardeen because there’s something he doesn’t trust about him.
Palpatine arrives on Naboo, weary of having so much security around him. Anakin believes the palace will be the place of attack and assigns Ahsoka to be Amidala’s bodyguard. Obi-Wan finally contacts Mace Windu and tells him the plan. Although he is the sniper, his gun is loaded with stun blasts – he is only supposed to immobilize the Chancellor. He also tells Windu that the attack will take place outside. The Festival begins, and as the shield is put into place, we see the telltale shimmer-stutter of a hologram disguise – is it Bane? His part was never discussed in front of the group.
Palpatine speaks about Naboo joining the Republic, and a fireworks display begins. Ah, the old fireworks ruse. Doesn’t everyone realize by now that fireworks are the perfect cover for gunfire? Derrown takes out the shield, and Anakin begins fighting him. Derrown tries to escape but Hardeen shoots him, discovering he only has one blast. In the panic and confusion, Twazzi and Embo disguise the Chancellor as another senator guard and Bane, also in disguise, carries him away. Twazzi decoys herself as the Chancellor, but when she strikes Anakin, he and Windu fight her. Bane and Eval take Palpatine to Dooku’s rendezvous point. Hardeen quickly arrives as well, but Dooku is a no-show. Hardeen tries to take Palpatine. Bane fights him, wanting to ransom the Chancellor on his own. Windu and Anakin arrive. They take Bane and Eval into custody in short order, and Obi-Wan reveals his real identity to Bane and Eval.
Palpatine orders the rest of his security detail away, keeping only Anakin with him. Obi-Wan tells Anakin it was his decision not to tell Anakin of the plot to go under cover as Hardeen. Angry, Anakin retorts, “How many other lies have I been told by the Council? And how do you know that you even have the whole truth?” This is the sticking point for Anakin, as well as for myself. If the Council and even Obi-Wan can intentionally lie about such important things as life and death, what won’t they lie about in order to get the emotion or reaction they want from him? I’m afraid the Jedis and Obi-Wan have made a major misstep here.
Obi-Wan stays in disguise as Hardeen to check one last thing – something is not sitting right with him. He examines the case for his sniper rifle and finds a bug – Dooku knew that he was Obi-Wan and overheard him talking to Windu. Anakin and Palpatine walk into a trap set by Dooku. Anakin takes out Dooku’s droids as Obi-Wan races to find them. Often during the battle, Palpatine looks downright pleased, which is sinister and creepy in a way I can’t describe, like he’s watching his prized dog fight for him. Dooku manages to get Palpatine on his ship, but Anakin and Obi-Wan pull him off before Dooku retreats. Anakin promises to keep Palpatine safe as long as he’s alive.
I’m relieved that this ruse is all over, and that Obi-Wan can go back to being his Jedi self. Can you tell I’d never make it as an undercover cop? But I fear that the damage has already been done to Anakin’s relationships with both Obi-Wan and the Jedi council. He has been lied to by the very people he should trust implicitly. He’s a little angry now, but I don’t think we’ve seen the extent of the rage bubbling just under the surface. Unfortunately, it looks like Palpatine’s taking quite a shine to him, and we all know that can’t lead to anything good.
If you missed the previous episode, be sure to read our ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Box ‘ recap.