It is a bright day on Coruscant. An airspeeder flits through the bustling skylanes, carrying a motley bunch: the laconic bounty hunter Cad Bane, a blue-skinned Duros with a wide-brimmed hat that shades his features; the prune-faced Weequay gunman Shahan Alam; a pair of commando droids emblazoned with a peculiar red sunburst sigil; a similarly adorned assassin droid.
The airspeeder flies towards the east wing of the domed Senate building, coming to a halt at the lip of its landing platform. Senate Guards rush into the daylight, for the speeder has broken security protocols and come to a stop in a restricted area. Cad Bane hardly seems concerned. He debarks the speeder and walks calmly towards the guards. He quietly states he has business with the Senate and tells the security detail to step aside. The no-nonsense Senate Guard captain orders Bane on his knees.
Suddenly shots ring out from afar. Blaster bolts begin dropping the Senate Guards. At an adjacent tower, bounty hunter Aurra Sing sights her targets through a sniper rifle. The guards scramble for cover as the rest of the hunters also open fire. Cad Bane rushes the captain and snaps his neck. Aurra kills the last of the guard detail and Bane signals the team to move ahead with their nefarious plan.
The commando droids are to clear the platform of bodies while dressing up in concealing Senate Guard armor. They report in to central command that the ruckus was caused by war protestors, but that the situation is secure. A second airspeeder arrives, this one carrying Sing; the diminutive piscine alien, Robonino; and two more assassin droids. With the commando droids standing guard, the rest of the posse makes its way into the Senate building.
Elsewhere inside the building, Senator Padme Amidala works at her office. Anakin Skywalker is visiting her. He is restless. Though he is supposed to be at a meditative retreat, he is instead trying to convince Padme to take some time off so they could go away together privately. Padme remains focused on her work, but Anakin stresses that nothing is more important than their feelings. He chides her with a display of his devotion, handing over his weapon -- his Jedi lightsaber -- to Padme for safekeeping. Padme thinks that Anakin is simply teasing her, and puts the lightsaber aside.
The bounty hunters continue their way deeper into the Senate complex. The assassin droids target and eliminate a Senate Guard defending a power control room. They similarly make short work of the droids on station there. With the path cleared, Robonino gets to work sabotaging the building power distribution network. Bane collects the rest of the hunters and presses on.
A stolen embrace and kiss between Padme and Anakin is cut short by the approach of C-3PO and Senator Bail Organa to Padme's office. Anakin hurriedly hides behind Padme's desk while she conceals his lightsaber within her robes. Senator Organa tells Padme that Senator Philo has called a meeting in the lobby before the Senators are to vote on the Enhanced Privacy Invasion Bill. It's an important issue that Organa and Amidala have fought against, and she cannot miss this meeting. She is forced to leave the office with Organa, carrying the lightsaber and leaving Anakin hidden.
Bane, Sing, Alama and two of the assassin droids creep down the empty Senate corridors towards the guard barracks. It is time for the guards to change -- a moment when the two switching shifts are all assembled at the same place. Bane takes advantage of so many gathered targets by rolling a thermal detonator into the barracks. The blast wipes out the guards. A sole survivor futilely grasps for help, but receives only a deadly blaster bolt delivered by Aurra Sing.
In the Senate East Wing lobby atrium, Senator Organa holds informal court with a number of other diplomatic representatives, including the blue-skinned Gran, Senator Philo. These like-minded politicians are agreeing to oppose some upcoming legislation, but their caucus is interrupted by the arrival of the bounty hunters. The gun-toting mercs surround the Senators, holding them hostage. Philo is outraged, and tries to press past Bane, but the hunter shoots him in the back, killing him. Bane then orders the Senators to gather at the center of the atrium, where they can be relieved of any communication devices they may hold.
Elsewhere, the rotund Senator Orn Free Taa rushes to meet with Chancellor Palpatine in the executive office. Taa opens up the communications network on Palpatine's display transmitter, revealing the holographic form of Cad Bane. Bane lays out the situation: he is in control of the East Wing and has Senators as hostages. If Palpatine wants them to stay alive, he is to release Ziro the Hutt from the Republic Judiciary Central Detention Center.
Palpatine is outraged by Bane's audacity, but the bounty hunter's words are soon backed up. Robonino has completed his work in the power control room. He shuts down all power in the Senate building, and emergency bulkhead doors slam shut on the executive office. The corridors of the Senate building are plunged into the dim red glow of emergency lighting. Anakin emerges from Padme's office, confused and concerned by this.
With the Senate building in security lockdown mode, Chancellor Palpatine and Senator Orn Free Taa are trapped in the executive office. They cannot even get a distress signal to the outside. Meanwhile, Bane gathers the comlinks from the Senators, but Padme tries to avoid being searched, for fear of Anakin's lightsaber being discovered. She beings orating to Bane in attempt to stall, demanding that the Senators be let free. The sound of her voice draws Anakin to the atrium via a balcony. Bane spots him and opens fire.
Anakin dashes from the atrium as Bane sics his hunters after him. With this distraction, the bounty hunters have forgotten about searching Padme. Anakin tries his comlink, but to no avail. He runs through the corridors with Shahan Alam and an assassin droid in pursuit. He is unarmed, and unable to defend himself against their incoming blaster fire.
Skywalker ducks into a vacant Senatorial office. He splices his hand comlink into a comm-terminal, and contacts Chancellor Palpatine via the local network. The Chancellor gives Anakin a hasty update on the situation, and implores Anakin to get to the power control room and restore the building to its operational status. The hurried conversation is overheard by the hunters who follow the muffled voices to the Senatorial office.
Anakin severs the communication connection and ducks out of sight as Alama and the assassin droid arrive. Their search lingers on until Anakin nudges Alama through the Force, convincing him that he had best hurry up and continue the search of two more floors. Alama and the assassin droid split up to expedite their search, the Weequay heading upstairs while the droid heads downstairs.
Anakin follows the droid and engages it in a hand-to-hand brawl with the strong robot. In the fight, the droid's blaster rifle is damaged beyond repair. Anakin uses it to club the droid into submission. By the time Shahan joins up on assassin droid's floor, he spots the incapacitated automaton, but notes that there are no lightsaber cuts. From that, he deduces that Anakin is unarmed. Alama returns to the atrium and reports this discovery to Bane. The bounty hunter orders Alama and Aurra Sing to continue their hunt.
Anakin heads to the power control room, and startles Robonino who rushes back to the room, locking the door. Without his lightsaber, Anakin can't cut his way through. He has Robonino stuck on the other side.
Bane contacts Chancellor Palpatine again, this time with more specific instructions. He is to make a pardon disc, and give it to Orn Free Taa to deliver. Cad Bane will transport the Senator to the prison and free Ziro the Hutt. Once the Hutt is free, the hostages will be released. Palpatine agrees, but continues to express his outrage at this violation of the Senate.
Shahan catches up with Anakin at the power control room door, and holds him at blaster-point. Anakin uses the Force to pull Alama's blaster into his hand. Alama drops the floor, revealing Aurra Sing standing behind him at the end of the corridor. She fires her rifle at Anakin, shooting the blaster from his hand. As Anakin tries to dodge the incoming bolts, the door to the control room opens, and Robonino leaps out, zapping Anakin with an electrical prod. Anakin collapses. Aurra Sing orders him tied up and delivered to Bane.
Another assassin droid, 3D, enters the executive office and collects Orn Free Taa who carries a pardon disc. The blue Twi'lek Senator is marched to the Senate landing platform and placed aboard a speeder that trails behind it a transport sled specifically for Ziro.
Aurra and Alama drag Anakin's unconscious body into the atrium. Cad Bane is pleased to see so formidable an adversary defeated. He tosses Anakin in with the Senator hostages.
3D and Orn Free Taa land at the prison. Clone troopers stand at the ready as Orn Free Taa hands over the pardon disc that authorizes Ziro the Hutt's release. The colorful Hutt slithers out onto the landing, and boards the speeder transport. 3D pilots it back to the Senate building.
Meanwhile, Alama and Robonino begin affixing peculiar electronic devices around the perimeter of the atrium -- items that Bane ominously refers to as "parting gifts." Bane contacts Palpatine, handing over control of the Senate and the Senators back to the Chancellor... though he warns Palpatine not to try anything until the sun has set.
The bounty hunters move to leave the Senate. They activate the devices, creating a grid of lasers that keep the Senators pinned in the center of the atrium. Disrupting the lasers would trip a series of explosives that would destroy the atrium and everyone inside.
Republic gunships arrive at the executive office and clone troopers dive in through the window to secure the chancellor. Two other gunships land at the Senate platform, and troopers debark to hold the emerging hunters at gunpoint. Chancellor Palpatine contacts Bane holographically, ordering him to surrender. Bane reveals the card up his sleeve -- the laser traps in the East Wing. The clones allow Bane to pass undisturbed. 3D arrives with the getaway speeder and Ziro. The hunters board the craft and leave the platform.
Anakin finally awakens to find Padme looking over him. He quickly assesses the situation. Padme returns his lightsaber, and he uses it to cut a hole in the floor of the atrium. The Senators escape through the hole just as Bane detonates the explosives.
Ziro congratulates Bane on a job well done. Bane cares little for accolades. He wants the payment promised to him by the gangster.