- "The challenge of hope is to overcome corruption."
"Corruption" is the fifth episode of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series' third season. It aired on October 8, 2010 and is the first in a two-part storyline. This episode is chronologically preceded by Season Two's final episode, "Lethal Trackdown."
Padmé, on a diplomatic mission to Mandalore, guarantees the pacifist planet the Republic's full protection, but she and Duchess Satine soon find something sinister lurking beneath the planet's serene façade. Moogan smugglers have been sneaking in supplies, including bottled tea destined for the Mandalorian schools. To increase their profits, they have been diluting the tea with a hazardous chemical.
While Duchess Satine's endeavor to keep Mandalore out of the Clone Wars was successful, her world now faces an economic crisis: due to the raging war it no longer receives vital supply shipments, and she has pleaded with the Senate to allow trade routes to be opened since smuggling, in combination with corruption, has become the only way of shipping in the needed supplies. Padmé Amidala travels to the New Mandalorians' capital city, Sundari, to assure Satine of the aid from helpful factions in the Galactic Senate. She is greeted by all the Mandalorians of the city as she goes to Satine's palace, but at the same time, a band of Moogan smugglers land on the cargo docks and bribe a corrupt customs officer into turning a blind eye on them. In order to increase their profits by quantity, the smugglers dilute the delivered tea with a toxic chemical called slabin once on-planet.
Padmé and Satine soon find themselves in a difficult situation as none of the Ruling Council members can agree on a common stand about asking the Republic for aid, since corruption is widespread in its political system — an issue which worries the two women. The next day, Satine takes Padmé to a newly opened hospital, but they are horrified to discover a vast number of ailing children inside who have been poisoned with an unknown substance. The only clue is that all the affected children visit the same school, so the cause is believed to be related to the food they have been served.
Prime Minister Almec suspects the Death Watch for this deed, which Satine refuses to believe since they mostly target her and the administration. She assigns her personal bodyguards to investigate the outbreak, while she and Padmé also conduct some snooping of their own. At the school, they check out the tea drinks and find the chemical within, and try to use the delivery import logs to backtrack their source of origin. At this, the school's superintendent tries to sneak off but is arrested by Satine's guards, and forced to talk. He tells them the name of the middleman through whom he received the drinks: Siddiq, an employee of a shipping company.
While Siddiq is rather indifferent to the children's plight, he does provide Satine and Padmé with the information that the tea shipment came from Mooga and that another shipment is expected to arrive the same night. Padmé, Satine, and one of the Ducal guards sneak to the pier in question and witness the shipment's arrival and the complicity of the customs officer. The police captain is in stubborn denial of Satine and Padmé's observation, claiming that no criminal activity takes place under his jurisdiction, but when taken to the dock warehouse where the tea is stored and seeing the operation for himself, he is quickly swayed. The smugglers open fire at the arrest party, but using a freight container as a shield, Padmé and the guards move in and take them out, and following the arrest of the conspirators, Satine has the warehouse and its contents burned down.
When Satine and Padmé report to Almec, however, the Prime Minister is strangely reluctant to acknowledge the corruption within the Mandalorian government and merely promises to have the matter investigated. As Padmè prepares to leave, Satine suggests to her to send a Jedi as an undercover agent at the academy, and Padmé promises to bring the matter before Master Yoda.
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Notes and references
- Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious places the events of "Corruption" in 7956 C.R.C.. As this correlates with 21 BBY in the C.R.C. dating system, the events of "Corruption" occur in 21 BBY.