The attack on Coruscant diminished hope for peace in the immediate future. The negotiations were so close to becoming reality, but Dooku's malicious plan has prevailed. The Republic Senate is more prepared than ever to keep the war moving forward. Season 3, Episode 11 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Pursuit of Peace, shows that some Senators still hope for peace.
The episode opens in a very familiar location this season - the floor of the Republic Senate. In light of the recent attacks on Coruscant, many Senators are calling for the commission of 5 million more clone troopers from Kamino. Senator Organa points out that the government is already deep in debt, and they have no way to pay for such troops. Supporters of the purchase are already planning to borrow funds from the Banking Clan though. When Senator Amidala points out that the cost could be avoided by ending the war, she is actually called a traitor by Senator Orn Free Taa. It's echoed by the rest of the Senate.
She tries to persuade the Senate that the attack was only meant to stop the peace process. By letting it do so, they are helping the Separatists. Though Chancellor Palpatine speaks up to defend Padmé's words, he is interrupted by an incoming message from Count Dooku. It is played before the Senate. Mina Bonteri is dead. Since the proponent of peace on their side has been killed, Dooku announces that he officially withdraws the offer for peace. As one can imagine, this only fuels the desire of the Republic Senate to order more soldiers.
Senators Organa and Farr stand with Padmé. They don't want Bonteri's death to be for nothing. Bail will try to persuade other Senators to see their point of view. He needs all the facts and that includes finding out the interest rate the Banking Clan will charge. It's a good thing they ask too because the clan, which is entirely neutral as long as they remain profitable, plans to charge 25% interest rate. Even the youngest Padawans know that is an unreasonable amount. It would wipe out the Republic's funds. Social services that take care of citizen's basic needs are already suffering. Senator Organa knows this information will help them sway the remaining handful of Senators they need to gain the majority. Unfortunately, those supporting the bill are being threatened. Senator Farr is even beat up by thugs.
The thugs are on Dooku's payroll. He orders them to do something about Senator Amidala. Just having a “talk” with her is not enough at this point. They get an opportunity when she goes to visit a fellow Senator and leaves her driver outside. When she emerges from the promising meeting, she says goodbye to Senator Farr and assures him she can walk the block to her transport alone. And of course, the bounty hunters sneak up on her. She puts up a solid fight, but there are two of them. She is saved by the arrival of police droids, and while the thugs are distracted she runs towards her transport. Or where her transport should be; it and her driver are missing. She spots an empty vehicle and steals it. She races through the narrow corridors of Coruscant with one bounty hunter attached to her speeder and the other one in close pursuit. She is narrowly saved by the police again; multiple police transports stop her because of the stolen vehicle. The bounty hunters get away though.
Padmé is furious because she knows that Dooku is behind the attack. She expresses her frustrations to her aid, Teckla Minnau. When Padmé wonders aloud “What's happened to democracy and why doesn't anyone seem to care?” Teckla points out that it's obvious Padmé cares. She says Padmé is different because she talks to the people and listens. Padmé talks with Teckla about exactly how the war is affecting her and her family.
Meanwhile, Senator Organa has been preparing a speech to help move the Senate to vote against the bill for new troopers. He is attacked by the bounty hunters too. This time they are at least apprehended, but not before they indirectly injure Senator Organa. He cannot give his scheduled speech before the Senate and asks Padmé to speak in his place. She doesn't feel like she is taken seriously enough to make an impact, but with encouragement from Teckla, she steps up. She passionately talks about the effect of war on everyday citizens, using Teckla as an example. Her family is lacking in basic needs such as water and electricity. The Republic has always funded those services but because of the war, they are being cut. Her speech is broadcast throughout the impressive city. She points out that the war is only increasing suffering, not stopping it. The other Senators are obviously moved by her speech and applaud her. They do not pass the bill.
Chancellor Palpatine probably isn't so thrilled about this outcome. As the episode closes, he discusses it with Vice Chair Mas Amedda. His statement, “Isn't it remarkable that one can have all the power in the galaxy and yet the words of a single senator can sway the thoughts of millions,” is foreboding.
Trivia & Notes
This episode takes place immediately before Season Two's Senate Murders.
Ashley Moynihan is the voice of Teckla Minnau; she also can be heard as a cadet in the Season 3 episode The Academy.
For ladies wanting to know how Padme pulls off those crazy hairstyles, it turns out, the headdresses include hair of their own.What did you think of this week's episode?