Star Wars Celebration VII

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review - Season 2, Episode 4 - "Senate Spy"

Padme Amidala and Droid Factory Hologram
(Image via StarWars.com)

By Chris "HothIcePlanet" Smith  Twitter logo  Facebook logo
Original Air Date:
October 16, 2009

Key Players:
Senator Padme Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, C-3PO, R2-D2, Senator Rush Clovis, Senator Lott Dod and Poggle the Lesser

Key Locations::
Coruscant and Cato Neimoidia

Tagline:
“A true heart should never be doubted.”

Newsreel:
Treachery in the Senate! The Jedi Council suspects that Senator Rush Clovis is secretly taking part in a Separatist conspiracy. But to find out what the Senator from Scipio is up to, the Council will need a spy of its own. Meanwhile, Jedi Anakin Skywalker has been away from Coruscant on a lengthy tour of duty leading the clone army. Now Anakin returns for a long-awaited reunion with his wife, Padme Amidala…

The Story:
Anakin Skywalker arrives back home on Coruscant and meets Padme at her apartment.   Despite having had to get home on a cargo freighter, he's brought dinner for his wife and is happy to see her after being gone for a long period of time. They rarely get to spend any quality time together.

At the Jedi Temple we see Master Yoda, Mace Windu and Obi-Wan Kenobi discussing a disturbing matter. Yoda feels the Banking Clan is in league with the Separatists, but he has no proof. The Jedi feel they need Senator Amidala to spy on Senator Rush Clovis to get the proof they need to expose the treachery, but Amidala has already refused the assignment. The Council feels Anakin can help in this situation. Obi-Wan has been trying to contact Anakin all evening, but Anakin has been avoiding his master’s calls so he can spend some much needed time with his wife, Padme.

Anakin finally relents, answers Obi-Wan’s latest call and then departs for the Jedi temple. The three Jedi bring Anakin up to speed on the situation. They need an investigation done on Clovis but not as a criminal investigation. They want Senator Amidala to use her friendship with him to get close and find out what is going on with the Banking Clan. With Amidala refusing already, they ask Anakin to convince her to do the job.

Now at the close of a Senate meeting, Anakin meets up with Padme, who thinks he’s there to make up for leaving their time alone so abruptly. But she quickly realizes he’s there on Jedi business. Anakin asks if she is still mad about him leaving. She says she is not, but clearly she is. Anakin asks about her relationship with Clovis, and Padme says they are just friends, but Anakin clearly is a bit jealous. They both board a Senate pod and float out into the Senate chamber to “discuss” this in private. Anakin clearly does not want her to go on this mission because it is too dangerous. But now knowing the Jedi believe Clovis is conspiring with the Separatists, Padme wants to get to the bottom of this. She changes her mind against Anakin’s wishes and decides to take the mission.

Back at the Jedi Temple in the Jedi Council chamber, Padme tells the Council about her relationship with Clovis and how to go about the mission. Anakin goes along as her pilot for protection.

Later, Padme and Clovis enjoy dinner in the Senate dinning hall. Clovis explains he is about to head to Cato Neimoidia to collect payments due from the Trade Federation. Padme explains her own troubled dealings with the Trade Federation. Clovis asks if she will join him, and together they can join forces to get what they need to get accomplished from them. Clovis clearly is in love with Padme and wants to rekindle what they once had. Padme goes along with this just to get to the bottom of things.

The next morning the Senators board a Naboo star skiff. Anakin, dressed as a Naboo pilot, assists Captain Typho, C-3PO and R2-D2 in ship preparations. Aankin is obviously jealous as he breaks the seat next to Padme so Clovis must sit apart from her. Once they take off, Anakin jerks the ship from side to side throwing Clovis around the cabin so he can’t get close to Padme.

Once they arrive on Cato Neimoidia, they are met by Senator Lott Dod, who is surprised by the presence of Senator Amidala but welcomes her. Lott Dod’s servant droids escort Padme to her room with C-3PO as Dod and Clovis go to discuss some business.

In the library, Dod and Clovis discuss the recent investment by the Banking Clan to create a new droid factory for the Trade Federation. Dod is happy about the investment but clearly finds it dangerous that Clovis brought Senator Amidala along. Poggle the Lesser joins the meeting as Dod explains he feels they should be getting a larger share of the profits, but Clovis won’t budge. The Neimoidians owe too much as it is to give them more of the profits. Senator Amidala walks in as they are arguing, and they quickly stop talking and shut off the hologram so she can’t see what they are planning. Clovis then escorts Padme out. Poggle the Lesser and Dod stay behind and discuss using Padme against Clovis by poisoning her to get him to give in to them.

Outside at the ship, Anakin and R2-D2 impatiently wait to hear from Padme. Back in the grand hall corridor, Senator Dod interrupts Clovis and Padme and presents them drinks to toast their new friendship. Dod surreptitiously poisons Padme’s drink before handing it to her.

After dinner, Padme begins to feel feint, and C-3PO suggests she retire for the night. Padme refuses and goes on a tour of the palace with Clovis. Having been dismissed for the night, C-3PO returns to Padme’s quarters and runs into Anakin, who he tells about Padme’s tour. Anakin is clearly upset by the news.

While touring the library, Padme asks Clovis for some water because she feels weak and her head is pounding. Once Clovis is gone, Padme proceeds to the hologram projector to see what she can discover. The data is password protected and after a few tries she realizes that the password is “Padme”. Once entered, the hologram reveals a Geonosian droid factory. She realizes then that Count Dooku, the Banking Clan and the Trade Federation are working together. She quickly takes the hologram disc and contacts Anakin via her wrist comm.

Clovis returns with water as Padme hides the disc behind her back. When Clovis gets close enough, she throws her arms around him so he won’t see what she has in her hand. At that moment, Anakin walks in and witnesses Padme’s arms around Clovis. Padme begins talking to Anakin, but Clovis (who can’t see Anakin) thinks she is talking to him. Padme quickly shows the disc to Anakin and drops it. Anakin uses the Force to “catch” it before it hits the ground and then retrieve it into his hand. He heads back to the ship and gives R2-D2 the disc and tells him to get the ship ready for take off.

Back with Padme and Clovis, Padme passes out from the poison, and Clovis takes her to her room. Clovis realizes the symptoms are indicative of poisoning and has C-3PO watch her as he goes to confront Lott Dod. Dod reveals to Clovis that she is a Republic spy. Clovis refuses to believe it, but when he checks the hologram projector he discovers that the disc is gone.

Clovis returns to confront Padme, who says the disc is on its way to the Senate. Anakin then shows up and demands to know what is wrong with Padme. Clovis is afraid Dod will kill him if he finds out he lost the disc, but he still wants to save Padme’s life and confesses his love for her. Anakin grabs up Padme and proceeds to leave. As they are heading for the ship, Lott Dod stops them, but Clovis pulls a gun on Dod and demands the antidote. One of Dod’s aides hands over the antidote, and Clovis and Anakin (with Padme in his arms) proceed to the ship. Clovis, who is expecting the disc back when they get to the ship, is surprised when Anakin shuts the hatch before he can board. Realizing the disc is gone, he is left behind to deal with Lott Dod on his own. Once aboard, Anakin gives Padme the antidote as they head home. Padme apologizes to Anakin for making him doubt her.

The final shot reveals Lott Dod, Poggle the Lesser and eight battle droids preparing to fire on Senator Clovis.

The Dish:
This episode of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” is actually all about Anakin Skywalker. Wait, Anakin’s only a minor character in this episode… I meant Padme, right? Wrong. Confused? Don’t be.

To clarify, Darth Vader wasn’t born… he was slowly created. Anakin’s path to the Dark Side is a long and gradual road; he doesn’t just all of a sudden decide to be “evil” the day he pledges his fealty to Darth Sidious. This episode adds thin layers of jealousy and mistrust to Anakin’s already fragile personality. Those thin layers, on top of many layers of anger and fear, eventually lead him to become Vader. We come to realize how his life is just like ours… his decisions based on a cumulative lifetime of experiences and emotion.

“Senate Spy” merely uses Padme (and her current political mission) as the lens through which we see Anakin, and it deepens our understanding of Padme’s role in Anakin’s eventual fall. In fact, Padme’s past, in the form of Clovis, distinctly ends up shaping the galaxy’s future. Sure, we all know Anakin’s afraid to lose her like he lost his mother, but episodes like this clue us in to just how deep that river runs. It’s the “little” moments, the flashes of emotion from Anakin, which should send chills down your spine. So in this episode, despite the “good guys” winning the battle (discovering the Banking Clan and Separatists’ plans), they are actually losing the war – creating the person who will eventually destroy the Jedi. Obviously Yoda couldn’t have known what he was risking by using Padme as an operative. But in hindsight, putting her in harm’s way and forcing Anakin to see her with a former beau (which clearly stirs the jealousy in his tank), was clearly the worst move Yoda could have made on the chess board. Hey, even the greatest of Jedi Masters can’t see the future clearly. Yoda himself admits that in “Empire”.

What this episode lacks in space battles and lightsaber duels, it delivers in intrigue. It’s also full of new additions to our Star Wars universe – from the Clovis character to the details of Lott Dod’s palace on Cato Neimoidia. It would have been great to see the R2 and 3PO play a more integral role in this episode, but that’s merely a quibble. After all, it delivers on what we’re all trying to understand… how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader.

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