Senator Bail Organa is at the Jedi Temple, watching it go up in flames. He wants to get in and see if any of the Jedi survived, but he’s turned away by the Clone Troopers. Can you imagine how that feels when your worst fears are confirmed? Or maybe you do know how that feels…but this is so much larger than a personal moment.
The Galactic Republic had been around for 25,000 years and the Jedi were brought into the Republic shortly after its formation to defend it against violence. The Jedi Temple was built 5,000 BBY, so we are looking at a pretty hefty time span.
In a short amount of time, it all went up in flames. Isn’t it amazing how many years it can take for a government, a building, or a way of life to be built, but how fast it can be destroyed? The burning of the Jedi Temple was only a symbolic moment that pointed to the burning of an entire way of life that had been around for 25,000 years. That’s a damn long time.
Senator Organa clearly wanted to check and see if any Jedi were alive and being turned down brusquely by the Clone Trooper he realized that not only have the Clones turned, but that all the Jedi that were in the temple are possibly dead.
I wonder what his thoughts were when the Clone Trooper states, “There’s been a rebellion. Don’t worry, sir, the situation is under control.” A rebellion? From the Jedi? That doesn’t even make sense! Or is the hard reality of the situation now sinking in and he realizes how bad everything is?
When the Clones still refuse Organa access into the Temple, Organa simply says, “And so it is.” I don’t know if I could remain so calm. I think the worst part of it is that as he accepts the facts and says that statement, a young Jedi came tumbling out of the building. The script lists him as 10 year old Zett Jukassa, but it’s the hope that he gives Organa that maybe, just maybe, there are still Jedi alive in the Temple. The hope is only crushed fast as Zett is killed by the clones. Interestingly, the script does not have Bail Organa screaming “No!” when he sees Zett gunned down, but we know it happens in the movie. I wonder if Jimmy Smits felt the word would be appropriate there, or if it was a last minute addition by George. [Side trivia: Zett is actually played by George Lucas’ son]
Senator Organa’s feelings must have been one large roller coaster as he accepts the truth, gains new hope, and then has it viciously killed again (no pun intended). For me – this scene is about the crushing, terrifying end of an era in such a brutal way.
EXTERIOR: CORUSCANT-JEDI TEMPLE-LANDING PLATFORM-PRE-DAWN
The Jedi Temple is on fire. Large plumes of smoke billow toward the sky as BAIL ORGANA lands his Speeder on a Jedi Temple platform. FOUR CLONE TROOPERS stand guard at the entrance to the Temple. They lower their guns as BAIL gets out of his Speeder and walks toward them.
BAIL ORGANA: What’s going on here?
CLONE SERGEANT: There’s been a rebellion. Don’t worry, sir, the situation is under control.
The CLONES bar the Senator from entering the Temple.
CLONE SERGEANT: (continuing) I’m sorry, sir. No one is allowed entry.
The CLONES point their guns at BAIL and cock them.
CLONE SERGEANT: (continuing) It’s time for you to leave, sir.
BAIL ORGANA: And so it is.
BAIL reluctantly heads back toward his Speeder. Suddenly, several SHOTS RING OUT. BAIL turns and sees a ten-year-old Jedi, ZETT JUKASSA, fighting the CLONES. Several more CLONES join in the fight, followed by CLONE COMMANDER APPO (1119), who points at BAIL.
CLONE COMMANDER APPO: Get him! Shoot him!
SEVERAL CLONES start firing at BAIL. The Senator jumps for cover behind his Speeder, starting the engines and pulling out his laser pistol.
The YOUNG JEDI cuts down several CLONES, including APPO, before he is overrun and shot.
The Speeder takes off with BAIL clinging to the side. The CLONES fire at it as it disappears into the cityscape.