Scene 2: High above Tatooine, the binary stars off in the distance, a small, unmarked vessel (perhaps a sleeker, early-model Corellian freighter?) shoots past the planet at extreme speed, heading toward the brighter sun. This is Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s ship.
Obi-Wan sits at the controls, looking nervous. Qui-Gon, of course, is a picture of bemused serenity.
“Seven years you have been my apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Qui-Gon says. “Never have I seen you so agitated.”
“I have a bad feeling about all of this, Master Qui-Gon,” Obi-Wan replies. “An entire planet gone completely silent, cut off from the entire galaxy? Beyond that, a planet as important as Nabooine? Surely that is cause for worry!”
“It is cause for concern, yes,” Qui-gon replies. “Worry? Worry never helps, my young padawan. Worry leads to fear, and fear leads-”
“leads to anger, anger to hate, and hate to suffering,” Obi-Wan finishes, sounding like he’s heard it a million times before. “I do remember my first lessons – it was only seven years ago.” He does seem a bit more relaxed now.
“Of course,” Qui-Gon says, smiling. “Nothing wrong with your memory. Now… what concerns you about what is happening?”
“It is as I said, Master. Naboo is the largest trading world in the Republic, trillions of credits, millions of people and thousands of starships pass through there every day – and yet, all that have in the last three days, have not been seen or heard from since. It’s like something traps them as soon as they come out of hyperspace.”
“Which is precisely why we aren’t traveling that way,” Qui-Gon nods. “Who do you suspect is behind this?”
“It could only be the Trade Federation,” Obi-Wan says, confident but not exactly liking the idea. “They hate Senator Palpatine, and doing something to stop the trade around his home planet would certainly hurt him… but why? They must know this will hurt themselves, in the long run.”
“Never underestimate the persuasive power of greed, padawan. It is as pervasive, and as corrupting, as any aspect of the Dark Side.”
Obi-Wan visibly shivers at the mention of this half of the Force. “Master, do you mean it could… do you think-”
“I think,” Qui-Gon says, “that you should cut our engines now – we’re approaching Nabooine, and we’ll have to drift in on minimal power to avoid being seen.”
Obi-Wan masters himself, and presses buttons. “Yes, Master.”
The Jedi ship’s engines go dim, but the ship continues forward – as the camera follows it, we begin to see a lush, blue dot, the planet Nabooine, come into view.
Scene 3: Inside a darkened, harsh-looking detention cell, we see a young Queen Padme Amidala, surrounded by battle droid guards, staring down a trio of Federation delegates.
“As you have seen, your Highness,” one of them says, overblown and overconfident, “your world is at our mercy. For now, we are content to merely cease your trade… It would be terribly unfortunate if we had to resort to more, direct, methods.”
“I’ll make no surrender, and offer no negotiation,” Padme says, angry but dignified. “This is an illegal act, and the Republic will hear of it, and put an end to it.”
“Ah, but how long until that happens? What indignities will your people endure before your precious Republic swoops in to save you… Unless, of course, you choose to forego all of that.”
Padme is gravely silent.
The lead delegate continues, though a bit slower, not as confident under Padme’s gaze. “All we ask is your cooperation – a greater tithe of your world’s trade, an end to your blatant disregard of the Federation’s legitimate business interests… and the recall of Senator Palpatine from Coruscant.”
“That’s all this is?” Padme asks, laughing despite herself. “This is all about your grudge with the Senator? You’re pathetic.”
“And you are ignorant,” a voice hisses from a shadow deeper within the room. A figure in a black robe and hood steps forward, a long lightsaber handle swinging from the robe’s belt. Only his mouth and chin, black and red mottled, can be seen. The delegates, and even some of the battle droids, step further away as he approaches Padme. “There is far more to this than you can even imagine… your Highness.”
Padme swallows, but recovers herself. “I am Queen Padme Amidala, the rightful ruler of Nabooine… and I will not be intimidated by some Trade Federation lackey!”
The figure snarls, and Padme is forced up against the bulkhead, her feet dangling over the floor. She isn’t being choked, but very forcefully lifted. “Do not presume to know me, little Queen,” the figure says. “Make the right choice… or you, and your people, will suffer.”
Slowly, Padme is let down, as the figure (Darth Maul, though he is not fully revealed yet) walks, robes billowing, out of the holding cell.
The delegates turn back to Padme. “So, your Highness… do we have your cooperation?”
Padme glares at them, but we can see that she is scared, now.