Rebel Transmissions: Zero Hour

OK so this episode is so epic I hardly know how to start writing this post. Perhaps it’s for the best I just write the spoiler notes and move on instead of my usual post-opening random ramblings. There’s a lot of epic ground to cover on this one today! 😀
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode IV, and the Rebels episode Zero Hour (as well as really everything this past season and the seasons prior)

To say that the season three finale is full of surprises is a massive understatement, but that’s one of the things I think strikes me the most about it. I wasn’t sure exactly how many episodes we’d get this season, so the arrival of Zero Hour itself was somewhat unexpected. And I had no clue what was about to go down! I mean, the Rebels are about to strike the Empire big-time, but we know they don’t get in a major win until they steal those Death Star plans. So what does that mean for them right now? And we also know that Thrawn’s been up to something all season, constantly saying “No no, let them go! Let them have their victory today…”. These two factors didn’t seem to bode well, and after what happened on last season’s finale… I could only watch and see how this would all shake down. Now, digging into the episode itself…
Dark gray skies over Lothal, the Grand Admiral flanked by Deathtroopers, and a spectacularly ominous score… it’s striking and utterly chilling, just like Thrawn himself. And then we see Kallus casually watching overhead, hoping his reprogrammed mouse droid will get some good dirt for him from Thrawn’s super-secret meeting. Such a genius idea! And oh I love the crafty smirk on his face as he starts to listen in! Reminded me again how awesome it is that Agent K’s on our side. Thrawn reveals he knows basically everything right now. About the Rebel attack on the Lothal Imperial factory and all those coordinating it. Only thing he doesn’t know is the exact location of their base. But that doesn’t make the situation any less grave. He knows so much about their plans it’s insane! It’s like he found some portal to our universe and watched all the last few episodes! But he didn’t… he just knows this. And pretty much from the get-go I couldn’t help but fear for not only our newborn Rebel Alliance, but for their loyal Fulcrum as well…
I know I spent a lot of the episode on edge, but true to Star Wars nature, we’re never without a few good vibes here and there. Ezra and Kanan’s conversation as they prepare for the battle ahead is everything. All my earlier concerns were pushed aside for a moment as I basically drowned in feels and nostalgia. Ez just can’t keep quiet about how amazing his friends have been in all the ways they contributed to the Alliance’s formation. His energy and enthusiasm about it is contagious, and he so selflessly doesn’t give himself any credit… he has grown up so much, and at the same time, I can’t help but be reminded of the boy he was at the beginning of season two, undaunted and full of fire, ready to do the right thing no matter the challenge. Kanan gives him the credit he rightfully deserved though, recalling with pride how far his padawan’s come. “Sometimes I wonder if I have anything left to teach you.” “No, that can’t be true.” “My own Jedi training was limited.” “I don’t mean about the Force, I mean about life, about being a good person. That’s what you’ve taught me.” AHHHHHHHHH I LOVE THIS MASTER AND APPRENTICE SO MUCH I ABSOLUTELY CAN’T. X3 I would’ve liked all these good vibes to last a little longer, but they’ve got a busy day ahead of them and Hera needs her boys to get back to work. Also did I mention General Dodonna‘s coming? With his Y-wings? That’s a big deal guys. It’s great finally getting to meet him more. For a while I only knew him because of his action figure, but his brief mention back on The Antilles Extraction got me to pay closer attention to him in the films and now I’m highly looking forward to seeing more of him in the next season.
We catch up with Kallus again as he stops by Ezra’s old tower to transmit the news. It’s really cool that we got to come back here again, even if just for a glimpse. But um yeah Thrawn is one step ahead of everyone today… including Agent K. And the Grand Admiral happened to show up right behind him. Not gonna lie I was worried a good bit during this episode that Kallus wasn’t gonna make it out alive. Actually I’ve worried that a lot long before this episode. The Empire is terrifying bro. Remember what happened to Maketh Tua? Yeah I was terrified we might get a repeat of that. They’ve made me really love Agent Kallus this past season and I wasn’t sure I could bear losing him so soon. Thrawn is an incredible fighter, I don’t have to tell you that. He works out with sentry droids, ’nuff said. Sometimes the villains seem so powerful I forget for a moment how powerful our heroes are, too, ’cause boyyyy did Kallus deliver! He might not’ve won the fight, but he held his own quite impressively. Plus dropped some serious snark on him that was worth applauding. Again, isn’t it wonderful having Agent K on our side? I like his sick burns a lot more now that he’s aiming them at the Imps! Also random note I love that the animators rigged a strand of hair loose on him. Weird how such a little thing really adds a lot! Though wow considering all he’s been through before that didn’t mess up his hair, he must use a lot of hairspray normally XP OK sorry back to seriousness, ’cause despite his impressive fighting skills and near-perfect hair, Kallus is quickly shackled and can only watch as Thrawn finally deciphers the location of the Rebels’ base. I felt utterly sick as the weight of it all sunk in…
Soon as the Rebs receive the unfinished transmission, they know something’s wrong. And soon after arrive quite a few star destroyers. They’ve got no choice now but to hyperspace away at this point… but if only they could. Not only are they surrounded at all ends by destroyers, but these destroyers have gravity wells keeping the Rebel fleet from going anywhere. Thrawn sends Captain Syndulla and company a friendly holo, letting them know he’s basically already won. But Hera is far from admitting defeat. If they can just get one ship through to find help, all the Rebels can get to safety from there. The Captain believes Kanan and Ezra in the newly-acquired Gauntlet have the best chance. The Jedi have no interest in leaving her or the rest of their team right now, but Hera isn’t giving them a choice on the matter. Kanan and Ezra’s loyalty here man… it’s just the most precious thing. But technically Kanan might have other reasons he needs to stay behind: he’s got a certain friend who might be able to help them. Though Hera’s in the dark about this “friend”, she’s willing to trust him on this. OMG that tender goodbye gesture of theirs sent me into the deepest depths of warm-and-fuzzy land ❤ ❤ The fangirlin' doesn't stop 'round here, not even in the midst of all this uncertainty. Also I just gotta ask… when did Zeb get around to trying joopa? Maybe he and Rex took a slinging trip when they had the time, or went and visited Wolffe and Gregor one weekend. There are still days I seriously really want to try barbecued joopa, is that weird? XD Sorry, anyway, so now we're definitely hoping the Force is with Ezra, as he now flies the Gauntlet alone (OK not entirely alone Chopper came along of course) while the rest of the Rebs bring the fight to the Empire all around him. Though space battles are rife with danger, it’s hard not to get excited as we watch the Rebels bravely pull out everything they’ve got, especially when we it involves a few Y-wings 😀 Though as the Empire seems to catch on to their tricks, my brain is torn between the thrilling visuals and action of the space battle and that lingering “how the hoo-ha are they gonna get out of this??” nervousness. Also I adore how grumpy Konstantine is with Thrawn right now. THAT LOOK HE SHOOTS HIM BEFORE HE ENDS THE TRANSMISSION. HE IS SO. DONE. XD Even Kallus seems to get a kick out of it!
So safe to say the Bendu isn’t exactly happy to see anyone right now, not even his Jedi friend. You don’t go bringin’ war to his Atollon, man! (Pff I finally got the world’s name right. Took me long enough.) As a mighty being neither of the dark nor light, he’s not getting involved. Kanan once lived his life “in the middle” as well, and eventually found he couldn’t stand by and do nothing. His passion for fighting for the right thing is awesome! How could you not feel that same fire that’s clearly burning? I couldn’t help but smile a little at this quiet callback to A New Dawn, reminding me how far the Jedi Knight’s come since. But it’s safe to say this plea of his is falling on deaf ears.
And yeah things in the stars are going downhill fast. For every move the Alliance makes, it seems the Empire’s got a move to match it. Every turn they take it seems is blocked. They’re surrounded by chaos and they’re losing pilots quickly. Ultimately, Commander Sato knows what has to be done, and rams his ship into the powerful Interdictor-class, tearing it apart and giving Ezra his exit. Though my heart broke at his sacrifice, I couldn’t help but quietly say admiringly “That’s how you do it, Commander…”. His bravery leading up to that moment was nothing short of awe-inspiring, and his skills in delivering that final blow utterly masterful. All the respect in the galaxy to you, Jun Sato. *Moment of silence*
From there, Thrawn forces the rest of the fleet back to the surface, and gives what may be the most creepy, fiendish, cunning smile I’ve ever seen on an Imperial face, short of the Emperor himself. And also on the subject of bad news, Kanan’s negotiations with Bendu don’t go anywhere it seems. Not to mention Mon Mothma is unable to get Ezra the help the Alliance needs. But Ezra does know one place he can get help, and it’s on a little Mandalorian territory called Krowsnest. Even with the stakes high and the enemy seemingly winning, it was impossible for me not to get excited about Sabine’s return! I had a feeling the season wouldn’t end without her, and I sure hoped she’d bring the Mando cavalry with her, but I could only wait patiently and see.
Though the rest of the Rebs are grounded, they’re not going anywhere without a fight. With Sabine’s magnificent specialty shield generator, the base remains unharmed as Imperial firepower falls from the sky in a visually spectacular storm of green. It was a really bad time for Kanan not to be at the base though. Yeah I was on definitely definitely on edge as his speederbike just narrowly avoided the torrent of laserfire. And those brief moments where it seemed the shields might go down only put me on the edge of my seat further. It was all so intense I nearly forgot to breathe. But just as soon as the firing began, it stopped. And then my brain couldn’t decide whether to fangirl my head off over the cuteness of Hera calling Kanan “Love” again, or be entirely suspicious as to why Thrawn decided to cease fire…
So Ezra has a considerably less difficult time landing on Krowsnest this time. It’s probably mostly because the Mandos consider him a friend now, but I betcha it was partially also the fact he’s flying an impressive Mandalorian craft now 😛 We find the Wrens rather have their hands full right now though, considering they’re at odds with the Saxons. But Sabine simply cannot allow her crew-family to lose this battle, even when it seems impossible to win. “My friends make the impossible possible” might be the truest statement ever and it makes me smile endlessly. Even with all they’ve got going on, Ursa agrees that she can’t turn a blind eye to the Rebels. So she sends Sabine off with a small Mando crew to go and do the impossible 🙂
Meanwhile, Thrawn’s now brought out walkers upon walkers on the Rebels. And not just the chicken walkers, ’cause that’s easy enough with Zeb and Rex working their magic, but the “lousy four-leggers” too… and those could pose a slightly bigger problem. Kanan joins the action just in time with a little lightsaber-swinging (I guess the Empire still hasn’t fortified those legs yet). But it’s also about when the Grand Admiral walks in. With Ezra and Sabine and Rau and the Wrens taking on the Imps, it’s prime time for the rest of the Rebs to jet. “Looks like the family’s together again.” “Let’s try and keep it that way.” AWWW SUCH FEELS!! :3 But it’s hard to jet when you’ve got Thrawn and Deathtroopers standing right in front of you. I was sick with terror. They’re surrounded by a few of the Empire’s best! Even if Ezra and Sabine’s team wins the battle up there, what could possibly help everyone down here?? And then… suddenly it’s clear that the frightening storm in the background isn’t just for dramatic effect. BENDU IS MAD BRO. HE MAD AT ALL OF Y’ALL. I remember, upon first meeting the Bendu, that for a while I was a bit uncertain of him. He was clearly a powerful being, and since he had no allegiance to either side, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if someone got on his bad side, or if he turned out not to be the ally he appeared to be. But then he proved himself such a wise, jovial beast that I kind of couldn’t see him as anything but that… until now. The Bendu has taken on the form of the clouds, with fire in his eyes and is raining down lightning. No doubt it’s scary but it’s also completely magnificent. Everything about his commanding presence both gives me chills and leaves me in awe. I just love the look of uncertainty on Thrawn’s face as he witnesses the living Force at its finest! With the Bendu taking most of his anger out on the Imperial forces, Hera, Kanan, and company finally get their chance to leave. It’s like Hera said once, “it’s good to have friends”. Though granted it’s even better when they aren’t trying to hit you and your fleet with lightning bolts, too, but hey the Bendu gonna do what the Bendu do, dude.
Speaking of friends, Ezra and Sabine’s team was totally killing it up there! With helmets on and jetpacks (and tiny thrusters XP ) ignited, the Jedi and the Mandalorians spacewalk right on the Interdictor’s hull, ready to take out those gravity wells! Look up “epic” in the dictionary; I’m pretty sure this is the definition. With their combined firepower, they ultimately made one beautiful explosion! So much wow. Their epicness is just dizzying! I’ve never before heard the confident classy Governor Pryce panicking, but it’s sure nice for a change 😏 Kallus drops one of those sick burns on her and she’s ready to send him “floating home”. I got a little worried then, but Agent K’s undeterred smirk told me he had a clever plan in mind… and he did. It involved only an escape pod and his mad fighting skills. And as the Ghost and the Gauntlet and the Phoenixes and all our heroes head for hyperspace, they don’t forget our fabulous Fulcrum, too 🙂 I couldn’t help but cheer at all the awesome teamwork going on, and at the fact I felt I could finally breathe, because this battle has ended.
It’s so nice seeing the most strong and seemingly fearless Imperials taken down a peg, isn’t it? It’s especially great when Bendu delivers some parting words to Thrawn. The Grand Admiral thought he’d brought the being down, key word being “thought“. The mighty beast sees clearly the chiss’s eventual defeat… and just as Thrawn fires, the Bendu has disappeared, his deep chuckle penetrating the air. You can play a good war game, you can wield some powerful weapons, but the Force will always be stronger. *Mic drop* Pff I guess that sounds kinda cheesy but it’s nothing short of true. THIS EPISODE HAS SO MUCH EPICNESS I CAN’T PUT IT INTO THE RIGHT WORDS.
We follow Kanan as he walks through the Ghost. He hears Sabine discussing her next move with her mother, as their work on Krowsnest is far from done; the silence of surviving Rebels who are still processing the loss of their friends and their home; the genuine reply of Kallus, who proved his loyalty to the Alliance in their darkest hour; the bickering of AP-5 and Chopper and Rex as they figure out the best way to their new base, Yavin; and finally, the ponderings of his padawan, who has no idea what’ll happen next. But Kanan sees, out of all of the tragedies and triumphs, a future with hope that’s far more attainable than it seems. We’ve seen in all of the Ghost family today a burning, passionate fire to bring hope and healing to a broken galaxy, and an undying loyalty to their cause and to each other. If they keep that wildfire blazing throughout every tragedy and every triumph, all of the young Rebel Alliance will see what Master Jarrus sees.
OK I hope that sounded good because if it didn’t it’s because I’ve had a headache the last couple hours I’ve been working on this. But just WOW what a finale! I know there’s infinitely more I could say about it and all of the insane levels of awesomeness it achieved, but I probably need to go ahead and wrap this up. We’ll talk more Rebels on the season recap next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Twin Suns

Ah yes there is so so much to write about on this one! I’ve been thinking all manner of deep thoughts on it all week! Hopefully I can remember them all and give you something insightful and thoughtful that does this beautiful episode justice. Read on.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode VI, Episode VII, and really all Maul-related arcs in The Clone Wars and Rebels.

So apparently somehow Maul figured out where the desert planet with twin suns was. I’ve imagined him quite a few times pouring over star maps, trying to find the dusty not-so-bright-spot. Whether he simply remembered it from 30 years past or found it on a map, he did finally make it. But yeah these are still whole planets we’re talking about here. Big planets. It’s easy to forget that sometimes in a galaxy this big that these aren’t just countries or continents. But from the very beginning of this episode we find ourselves reminded of how vast this desolate desert is. I’d figured the only way Maul would find his old nemesis would be by pure coincidence (perhaps while studying those maps, he ran into a fleet of very angry Mandalorians who would send his ship crash-landing right into Mos Eisley or something). But his search has clearly been far from easy. He walks the hot sands desperate and alone with no idea where to turn. Until he realizes his key to finding Kenobi rests in the palm of his hand: a shard of the Sith holocron… and an offer his old foe can’t refuse. Also wow let’s just step back for a moment and give Sam Witwer a big big round of applause because I feel I haven’t really given him enough credit for the level of awesomeness he brought to Maul. I mean… his acting is beyond sublime. I’ve always known that deep down, but I usually always get so nervous when the former Darth shows up I forget to appreciate it. You can feel his pain and desperation so clearly in this opening it makes me wince. And then he turns around with his new plan and the most spectacularly devious tone. It’s amazing. I made a point to rewatch Episode I the day before seeing this one, and in that one scene when Maul spoke, it suddenly struck me how utterly beyond perfect Mr. Witwer’s always been at capturing that voice and how magnificently he’s taken it from there. So yeah I know I kinda rabbit-trailed there but I just really needed to take a moment and really voice my appreciation that I should’ve voiced a long long time ago.
And now we shall have a brief lighthearted conversation on Ezra’s pajamas and SW sleeping habits! You know me I love learning about the little things in everyday SW life. I guess Ez is the only one in the Ghost family who has nice PJs, since Zeb and Kanan don’t sport them. They look nice though. Must’ve been a gift. Also I only just now realized that there isn’t a pillow in sight! I think even Jedi cots in the Clone Wars had pillows of some sort! I get these guys are in the Rebelling business right now and fancy pillows and bedclothes like Padme’s are out of the question, but… how does anyone sleep ever?? I guess I’m just a spoiled earthling who doesn’t get it. ‘Cause even when Ezra is awoken by the sound of the holocrons, Zeb sleeps soundly through it all. Anyway just random discussion on my part but it’s interesting catching our heroes in a quiet everyday moment, even as it quickly becomes something not-so everyday. The voice of the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Jedi ‘cron is followed shortly by the gutwrenching, angry cries of the Old Master in the Sith ‘cron. Ezra has also at some point figured out the name of the desert world, and knows he has to go and find the Jedi master, even against the wishes of the rest of the squadron. Also I about sobbed when Rex commented on Obi-Wan’s evident fate. It’s easy to remember that Anakin and Rex were buddies back in the day, but sometimes I forget that he and Obi-Wan were too. I can understand why Bail Organa would’ve led people to believe otherwise, but it breaks my heart to think Rex wouldn’t know at least some of the truth. Well I hope that somehow Rex makes it to the Ewok party and he gets a second to talk to his old Force-ghost friend. OK that’s probably a pipe dream but it’s the only thing keeping me from shedding tears all over my keyboard right now. Hera makes it clear that she needs Ezra here right now as they prepare for the big Lothal battle, and while he does understand that, it still doesn’t keep him from casually borrowing an A-wing. Hehe he’s still got those smooth street-thief moves! ‘Course he couldn’t get away completely scot-free. Chopper happened to hitch a ride at the last second and seemed to heavily enjoy scaring the snot out of our young pilot XD
With Jedi holocron fragments in hand, Ezra at least has an idea of where to look. Should be easy from here, right? Well, not when sand people get involved. Never when sand people get involved. I’m thinkin’ they were a little ticked at Ezra stepping in, considering that they sort of blew up the A-wing and all. But you can’t blame them… this all points back to Maul, who was quietly leading his “apprentice” to Tusken Raider territory all along. And he stopped by just to give the raiders a small red-bladed “reward”. Ugh the cruelty…! It’s so wrong all around 😦 Only gets harder from there. Ezra and Chopper find themselves wandering seemingly aimlessly through blinding sandstorms in pursuit of the lost master, while the Old Master quietly taunts young Bridger through the Force. These scenes feel so raw and rough and downright hopeless, it certainly makes you understand why Luke wanted off so badly. And also why Anakin despised sand so much. It touches me to the core though that Chopper stuck with him through it all anyway, even when it drained his power to the last drop. Seeing Ezra alone in the searing sun, his only friend gone, and with no idea what to do next and a persistent darksider still whispering lies in his ear, it broke my heart. His regretful “…I should’ve stayed home…” broke my heart all the more. I think it’s in part he considers their little base home that got me so hard. After attempting to fight a Maul that wasn’t there, he completely collapses from exhaustion. It’s not long after a robed figure finds the droid and the boy at his feet…
Ezra awakes later to a powered-up Chopper and a warm fire, all thanks to the mysterious gentleman sitting across from him. So OK my fangirl gears were going so fast at this point I kind of couldn’t breathe. Obi-Wan pretty much has always been a favorite even when I know they’re all my favorites. And now… he’d made it into Rebels, not just as an image from the past, but in the flesh in this present time. I could only guess what he would do, what he would say, what he would even sound like! All I knew is his SWR design was perfectly epic. So I was basically holding my breath until he spoke. THIS IS OBI-WAN KENOBI, POTENTIALLY MY MOST FAVORITE STAR WARS CHARACTER EVER. HE’S HERE. IN REBELS. AND IT IS EVERYTHING. “You’re in the wrong place, Ezra Bridger” he said quietly. My head proceeded to explode. I was sure they’d find someone who’d voice him well, but I had no idea who. I knew Ewan McGregor could do an impressive Ben Kenobi, like we hear so faintly in Episode VII, but would Rebels be able to get him in? Then I read the credits and found out it was Stephen Stanton and my jaw dropped. IT’S LIKE ALEC GUINNESS CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD. LIEK WHOA. I’ve always kinda thought I did a solid Ben Kenobi impression but now… forget it. I bow to your superior SW-voicing talents, Mr. Stanton! And of course they animated Ben so well too! I ’bout “aww”ed to death watching him gently stroke Chop’s dome. Every little thing that makes Obi-Wan Obi-Wan is here in his performance and it makes my heart sing. Also also I love that he’s got a dewback who looks like the trustiest loyalest lizard-dog ever :3 Ben picks his steeds well, clearly. But anyway so Master Kenobi’s already got an idea of what’s going on, that Maul’s up to his old tricks and has been using Ezra’s pain to drive him out. Seriously wow he’s good. You can tell his understanding of the Force increased one-millionthfold over the years. I mean, he’s never met Ezra but somehow he still knows him. The elder Jedi gives it to Ez simple, that perhaps he read into the holocrons wrong, and running on what he believed to be true led him away from where he was supposed to be right now. AHH YOU GUYS HE SAYS EVERYTHING SO DARN PERFECTLY I CAN’T. SO NOBLE. SO WISE. SO AMAZING. And then…
Maul walked right on over.
RIGHT. ON. OVER.
Obi-Wan urges Ezra on his way back home (again the use of the word “home” here is givin’ me feels). “I will mend this old wound” he says. I LOVE THAT WORD CHOICE OMG. And oh wow… this confrontation… where do I begin?? Well first I’ve gotta say I love that Obi-Wan seems completely confident, but not in a way that is proud or arrogant. He is unfazed about coming face-to-face once again with his old adversary. He is confident in his abilities, and he has complete faith in the Force. Maul insults the Jedi’s ragged appearance, but he shouldn’t be fooled, because though Ben’s gotten older, he’s far stronger than before. He shows no fear, no sign of past hurts or regrets. Obi-Wan effortlessly combats every cruel word Maul utters with straight-up wisdom. And when Maul expresses interest in who his foe is protecting, Ben’s stands firm with his lightsaber unsheathed, ready to do what he must. And you know it’s really cool to think about this: Qui-Gon’s still here. Obi-Wan’s spent who knows how long training with his former master, and learned that the end doesn’t have to be the end. I imagine the pain of his loss is no longer so harsh. He is empowered like never before, and he is at nothing short of his very best.
Wow.
The duel is amazing. Brief though it may be, I appreciated its briefness. Obi-Wan and Maul have fought enough planet-shaking fate-determining duels, it seems appropriate to end it quickly and without a lot of show. It’s fascinating to watch as Maul tries the move that killed Qui-Gon… and ultimately, it’s the move that gets him killed instead. Prior to the episode’s debut, I wasn’t sure what was going to go down. It was kind of in the vein of Vader and Ahsoka’s duel, you know one of them will live, so what will become of the other one? The closer the episode came, the more clear it became to me that, likely, this was Maul’s finale. I just didn’t know how it would happen, and how it would be differ from other duels. I’d come up with my own hypothesis, imagining a darker end with Ezra striking the final blow in an attempt to save Obi-Wan, with Maul uttering the chilling words “Well done, my apprentice…” but yeesh now I’m glad that’s not what happened. Instead, Maul passes quietly in his enemy’s arms, with the hope that one day, the one Kenobi watches over will make sure no one ever suffers at the hands of the Sith again. The former Darth’s story is a rather sad one, filled with pain and anger and sadness. But here, at the end of his story, is hope.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love that.
As I was saying earlier, Maul had a tendency to terrify me and destroy me emotionally, especially throughout TCW. And rightfully so, he was a magnificent, awesome villain, who, despite all the terrible things he did, ultimately brought out the best in our heroes. However, when they brought him into SWR, everything changed. They forced me to look at Maul differently, to see his humanity and his heart. Since then, I’ve found myself looking much deeper into Maul’s story. I appreciate his presence in the saga more than ever. I love his character for more than just how it brought out the good in those fighting against him, but for the complicated, fascinating, broken individual he is. Thank you Lucasfilm, for helping me see this.
And watching Obi-Wan giving Maul nothing but respect as he dies… it’s just a perfect end to the story. It’s no wonder this noble, wise, kindhearted Jedi is such a special character to me 🙂
So Ezra returns to the base, well, not the base, his home. (With Maul’s exceptionally pretty old Mando ship in tow) Where Ezra’s apologies are quickly accepted as each of his family (even Chopper!) embraces his return with a hand on his shoulders. NO I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING! OH WHO’M I KIDDING I’VE BEEN CRYING THE LAST FOUR HOURS I’VE BEEN WRITING THIS THING! THIS SWEET CREW-FAMILY AHHHHH!!
On Tatooine once more, we watch a rare, beautiful moment as old Ben watches the Lars homestead from afar, faithfully keeping an eye on a certain young man with big dreams… and an even bigger destiny awaiting him. Obi-Wan believed Ezra’s claim about him being the key to destroying the Sith was just from his “certain point of view”. But we the audience know there is indeed some real truth to that 🙂
And then the incredible John Williams score graces the end credits and I fall apart in a sea of emotions. This episode is absolutely amazing, and I think I’ve successfully said all I wanted to say on it… for now. Thank you for reading. I’ll talk about the finale this time next week.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Double Agent Droid

Ah you guys this one’s gonna be funnnnn! I adored Double Agent Droid to pieces and can’t wait to share all that I found fascinating and fabulous and just plain funny! I’m sorry these posts are still late right now. Real life has a habit of getting in the way of my getting these out in a timely manner, but hopefully this’ll still be worth your read even a week and a day later.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episode Double Agent Droid

Again, I am convinced that Ezra and Zeb are having too much fun messing with the “newbie” Wedge Antilles. Their devilish laugh and fistbump says it all. Though they likely weren’t responsible for sticking the newbie with Chopper and AP-5, you can tell they get a kick out of it just knowing what awaits him X) The fact they get a kick out of it only makes me get a kick out of it even more, buuuut yeah I still do feel kinda sorry for Wedge… AP and Chop are in a particularly snippy mood today. I mean, wow, is it just me or is AP-5 more of a control freak than usual? And they proceed to argue like children the whole way there! What’s got their gears grinding? (Literally!) They’re worse than C-3PO and R2 on a bad day! It’s a bad time for Wedge to be in a small Imperial shuttle and a “long way to Alderaan”. But again, it sure made me laugh my head off XD Yeah expect that little emoji a lot in this one. Like a lot. It’s basically going to be punctuation because as I said before, this episode brought me massive amounts of joy.
Though AP-5 didn’t give Wedge any credit whatsoever, the droids didn’t have any real problem getting in. Also though AP’s being all kinds of cantankerous today, I have to admit I completely relate to his sharp retort “I’M AWARE OF THE PROTOCOL.” #DroidBurn I hate people telling me how to do things when I didn’t ask them to help me and I clearly know what I’m doing, so I think I might be using this one a lot irl. “You missed a spot.” “I’M AWARE OF THE PROTOCOL.” I mean, most of his squabbles with Chop have been over his counterpart questioning his abilities, and he ain’t takin’ any of that! AP knows who he is and he has complete confidence in himself and his skills. AP-5 is actually an inspiration. A grumpy inspiration, but an inspiration nonetheless. We could all stand to be a little more confident, right? Unfortunately, AP-5’s confidence may not go as far as he’d like. Because what the droids didn’t notice was that Chopper happened to catch the eyes and ears of an Imperial listening ship, home of all the Empire’s best personality-drained-for-the-sake-of-productivity computer nerd spies! And their leader (who for the sake of this post I will call Nerd Boss (not meant in a mean way whatsoever because we’re all nerds here)) has a smart, devious plan in mind. Also I absolutely must talk for a bit about the fact that Nerd Boss is sporting spectacles! I’ve been wondering for the longest time whether people in SW ever wear eyeglasses, and now my wonderings have been confirmed! I mean, in a galaxy where you have the advanced medical technology to make cybernetic eyes, would glasses even be necessary? For all I knew laser eye surgery could’ve been as commonplace as contact lenses! But turns out they are indeed a thing, and by far Nerd Boss wears some of the coolest nerdy lenses I’ve ever seen. Honestly you guys I love Nerd Boss. Aside from the fact he’s played to perfection by the great Josh Gad, he’s just an all-around interesting guy. He’s incredibly smart and very very crafty and though he wears the Imp headgear, he doesn’t seem entirely devoid of emotion either; he seems to really enjoy formulating his (mostly sorta not really) genius little plan. Also Chopper chasing the mouse droid utterly cracked me up. The life of a mouse droid is hard, bro! They’re always underfoot amongst all the Imperials and considerably larger droids. Hmmm that should totally be a short film or something. Anyway, so while AP decides the only way to do a job right is to do it himself, he might’ve missed what happened to his cranky teammate, who’s now under Nerd Boss’s complete control… OH NO.
You’d think AP would’ve figured it out sooner somehow, but again, he might’ve been too busy singin’ his own praises to consider it. His puffed-up pride is really fun to watch though. After years spent knee-deep in disrespect, he’s finally working for people who appreciate his real talents… and in the process gained himself quite an ego, it seems. There’re no restraining bolts on him anymore and he’s free to speak the truth, whether you want to hear it or not! And he says it all so perfectly in his brilliantly snobby voice. Pff I’m probably giving AP too much credit right now, but this is the first time in a long while I’ve been able to just talk and talk about this awesome droid. Perhaps though it’s all of his pride that kept him from seeing that there was someone else behind Chop’s dome. Apologizing? Helping out just because? Being polite? Bringing you a refreshing beverage?! That’s not Chopper. Chopper can be nice, but he’s only nice one his terms, and usually it’s hidden in some form of grunty sarc or a smack to the leg. Though AP didn’t recognize it immediately, he does start to suspect something’s up not long after their shuttle headed back home, especially when Chop starts talkin’ Imperial codes. Nerd Boss, you’re a great criminal mastermind but your droid-acting skills? They could use some work. But hey only Chopper can really be Chopper. He’s one of a kind! Wedge doesn’t really think too much on the mech’s improved ‘tude, but the longer Chop goes on with all this niceness, the more suspish AP gets. When Wedge turns over the controls to Chopper, I can’t help but imagine a rather cartoonishly fiendish look on his dome. I’m pretty sure AP-5 saw it too, and wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to let their pilot know about it. Even if their pilot is in the refresher atm. Yeahhhhh it took me a few minutes before it occurred to me what exactly the “refresher” is. I’m glad I know the name for it now, but I think I’m good with not knowing anything further on the subject. *Cough* Dude if I were you I would’ve made a point to go before I left. It doesn’t look too comfortable in there. Also zippers exist in SW? I didn’t know that either. They sure hide ’em well. Oooohmg this is so awkward. But still kinda hilarious. I say again, poor newbie Wedge! But yeah you think droids with bad timing are a problem… just wait ’til Nerd Boss gets to work…
So all went well it seems, for once the Ghost crew’s had a good day! It made me grin seeing Ezra and Zeb and Wedge pallin’ around, even if they’re being total boys with their refresher humor 😛 Still no one listens to AP-5’s concerns about Chopper, least not until Hera voices her own concerns, then and only then does everybody listen! If AP had the dexterity I betcha he would’ve facepalmed. And by the time they realize something’s wrong, Nerd Boss Chop has the rest of the crew trapped and a data spike stealing some base locations. And then he opens the cargo bay door on them. Yeah this is no short circuit or loose wire they’re dealing with. AP-5’s been going on and on about his greatness all day, well now he’s gonna have to go and prove it and take a walk out on the Ghost to save them all! Such a delightful turn of events. But bro better watch out ’cause Nerd Boss Chop’s got blasters! I know he’s not himself right now but the image of Chopper wielding blasters is just too awesome. Chopper and AP throw down and Chop wins, only to roll right back on in to the warm welcome of Zeb’s borifle. Zeb looked like he realllllly enjoyed doin’ that though XD Now Hera’s ready to send a little something special back Nerd Boss’s way… Ezra’s quiet “uh-oh Hera’s mad” says it all. A few jillion jolts of feed just got thrown back in their face. Goodbye, Imperial listening ship! Don’t mess with Captain Bosslady and her crew! I was genuinely tearing up when it seemed uncertain if Chopper would ever be Chopper again… Hera giving him that hug…! It’s too precious! But you can’t get rid of this fiesty C1-10P that easily. The family’s all together again :3 Wellll… except maybe for AP-5. He’s still aimlessly floating around space. But he’s actually doing all right… better than all right perhaps. As he takes in the beautiful starlit solitude and the space butterflies, he can’t fight the song in his heart! You guys I absolutely DIED. I laughed. so. hard. I couldn’t breathe. I can’t remember the last time I laughed this hard at anything, and I laugh a lot. It was the most beautiful, delightful, unexpected, hilarious moment! It literally made my day. And every time it comes to mind I have trouble not laughing out loud. It might not be the norm to hear singin’ in SW, but a galaxy without song would be a sad one. And somehow they did it in a way that doesn’t feel weird. It’s just the right amount of unexpected hilarity! Since then I’ve imagined him singing quite a few other songs. Mostly Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World. I’m so glad this uptight protocol finally found his happy place! And then just as soon as it began, it ended with a resounding “clang” as the Ghost scooped him back to reality. And then Chopper gave a genuine apology… followed up by a good roughhousing. AP-5 might not seem too happy, but I betcha he’d get a little lonely in the stars without his Rebel friends. Plus, now AP and Wedge can bond over chasing Chopper! Hard to get a better ending than that! 😀
Yep that was delightful to write on. Star Wars just makes me smile. So, so much. I’ll send another Transmission your way next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Secret Cargo

All right, hopefully I can write a Transmission today worthy of this majorly-epic episode! When I saw Secret Cargo the first time, I didn’t have a single inkling of the epicness about to shake down. I mean, it’s Rebels, I expected epicness because it’s always epic, but… whoa. The epicness was *makes explosion noise with mouth* So as you can imagine, I’m a little nervous tackling this one. So yes hopefully I can write something worth your read. Let’s go!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rogue One and Rebels episodes Warhead and Secret Cargo.

So I was quite delighted to see Hera and Zeb’s faces again! And the Ghost too! It feels like it’s been a really long time somehow. Along with Ezra and Chopper, they’re just hanging around in the middle of nowhere waiting to meet up with some fellow Rebs and looking utterly bored while they’re at it. I betcha watching the Imperial holonet doesn’t help much. I’m sure they’re listening out for good news in the midst of it, but ugh I’d lose my mind watching that all day (if I were a Rebel, anyway; as a fan it’s actually probably interesting). Think Ezra and Zeb make the time pass by poking at the news-Imps? “Pff look at that guy’s hair. How much you wanna bet it’s a toupee?” 😛 But you never know what interesting tidbits’ll make the air (or whatever holos stream via) if you watch it long enough… a certain Senator Mothma just made some waves giving the Emperor a well-deserved calling-out. I’ve always been a big fan of Mon Mothma and was excited to see her in this one, and first time we see her she’s dishin’ out the sass like an absolute boss! OK not really “sass” it’s more of masterfully-spoken honest-to-goodness needed-to-be-said truth. But either way levels of respect went wayyyy up for her, and they were already pretty high to start with. No doubt the crew’s impressed. Then OMG ONE OF THE NIGHTMARISH INFILTRATOR DROIDS SHOWED UP 😱 (Oh look I finally got some interesting emojis in here!) It’s not looking for the Ghost crew, but if it finds the Ghost crew, well… it’s not gonna be good. After a few tense moments of it looking their way, Ezra finally takes aim… but the infiltrator is too fast! Also yikes you guys I’d forgotten how frightening those infiltrators are. The voice alone is just shudder-inducing! Ezra’s eventually able to fire on it thankfully… just as Gold Squadron shows up. An explosive first impression, I’d say 🙂 Pff that was terrible I know, but terrible puns are fun! Yes it’s fascinating really meeting the Gold Squadron. Back when Rebels was first announced I’d assumed the series would surround mainly Rebel types like these guys: orderly, endearlingly-scrappy orangesuits we already knew and loved from the films. So after spending these last few years following a squad that’s more like family than anything else and doesn’t do uniform anything, seeing these two teams together was a bit of an interesting contrast. The Gold Squad dudes are all biz. Like seriously the first two bros don’t even smile and go by ranks and squad names instead of real names, so watching Hera give them a warm welcome is refreshing in comparison. They’re all “CAN’T GO ON OUR SHIP, STUFF’S CLASSIFIED” and Hera’s all “C’mon in and have some kaffe! And there’s a casserole in the oven!” 😀 A couple of the Golds aren’t too impressed with the Phoenixes’ methods, blaming them for all the heightened Imperial security lately. Zeb’s response “Well, we don’t mind doing things the hard way” is golden (pun not intended). I admire the Phoenixes’ moxie and desire to do the right thing even when it’s tough, but the Golds clearly like things a tad more organized. Like with Rogue One, it’s super interesting watching people with the same ultimate goal in mind not agreeing on how to get there. Just something inevitable I suppose when you’re all sentient beings with different opinions. Again, I’ve just been so used to the greatness of the Ghost fam it’s easy to forget not everyone thinks the same way or does the same things. But perhaps the grumpy Gold Squad has a right to be tense right now because they’re even more unpopular with the Empire than usual, thanks to the cargo they’re carrying. As if to prove their point, a Star Destroyer arrives on the scene just like that! Their blows to the Ghost leave the Golds temporarily minus a pilot, so Ezra volunteers. Ohhh yess when I first saw that first screencap of Ez piloting a Y-wing I ’bout exploded with a mixture of excitement and a fangirly-motherly pride. HE LOOKS SO GROWN UP IN THAT HELMET WHAAAT. I’d love to hear the stories of how Hera taught him to fly! It’s just all-around so so cool. Our young Bridger, a pilot! And not only is he pretty darn good at it, he looks like he really enjoys it :3 Unfortunately the sudden appearance of the Empire didn’t do the Golds’ ship too much good, so they’re coming aboard the Ghost, the Golds and their “cargo”, Senator Mothma! Hera reacts like she’s in the presence of royalty. But our royal-Rebel doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty and helping the Rebs make their escape, and she’s not about to miss her big meeting with all the Rebel cells. Again, so so much respect for this girl. Like on a respect scale of 1 to 7 she’s a 52 now.
Meanwhile, Thrawn’s quickly figured out where Hera’s likely to go, and he’s sent Pryce on their trail along with his new prototype. The Grand Admiral is literally so deviously cunning in this scene it’s scary. It’s also super awesome, but still pretty scary. Don’t know how he does it, except for the fact he’s, well, awesome 😀
So I’d like to imagine now that Hera and Mon are both kaffe connoisseurs. Seeing more of the galaxy’s choice hot beverage made me wonder again what it tastes like. I’m assuming it’s basically like our coffee but with different beans from different worlds. Must be a whole lotta variety! Haha I’m a little tired today so I guess I’ve got coffee on the brain. But yeah it’s really cool seeing these two supreme bossladies of the mini-Alliance in the same room just talking. Mon’s done her best for a long time to fight back through the senate, but now that she’s out here on the run, she knows it’s time to bring the fight on a grander scale, but it’s a fight Hera knows is worth it. But oh boy… yeah Thrawn was completely unquestionably right about the Rebs’ shortcut and ’bout as soon as the Ghost and company enter the nebula, so also does an Imperial fleet and their little friend, the prototype TIE defender. Ezra and Hera already know this thing’s bad news, and the Golds aren’t arguin’. The Archeon Nebula is gorgeous though. You know me I always love seeing cool space-y stuff like this out here! Unfortunately though the nebula shortcut’s now working against them, because it’s too dangerous to bring out the proton torpedoes and the defender’s got a wicked shield. But Hera’s found a way to make the nebula work for ’em again as she decides to bring the chase a little closer to some of these new stars. The other TIEs couldn’t take the heat, but as it was, the Ghost only did slightly better and came out of the nebula with more than a little paint scratched. It was impossible not to shed a couple tears looking at the ship’s charred hull. I mean, the Ghost‘s been through so much! And now, with two Star Destroyers looming overhead, could this be the end?? OmO Back in the nebula, though, it’s just Ezra and Gold Leader against the world. Technically Vult Skerris and his defender. Them TIE defenders are impressive for sure. They look a little dizzy to fly in but otherwise they’re tough stuff! For our Rebels’ sakes though I’m glad they apparently didn’t catch on later. But they hold their own pretty well in the end… especially when they decide to, per Hera’s genius suggestion, give the Imps a taste of what happens when you mix proton torpedos and nebula gas 😀 That was one beautiful explosion! From there, Mon Mothma’s able to make her meeting and absolutely wins the day with her stirring speech. And now… the mini-Alliance ain’t so mini anymore. “This is our Rebellion” 😊
AHH what an incredible, triumphant, epic ending! Can’t help but stand up and cheer! I’m sorry it took so long to write about it, but I’m glad I was able to say all I needed to say 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Through Imperial Eyes

Yayzers it’s Rebel Transmission time! Well that didn’t sound stupid at all 😛 But needless to say I’m really excited about writing this one. Forget my lame opening line and let’s look deeper into Through Imperial Eyes!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes A Princess On Lothal, An Inside Man, and Through Imperial Eyes.

The alarm goes off as another day begins for our double-Agent Kallus, except that the alarm isn’t from a clock, but from yet another Rebel problem. I have to applaud Kallus, really, because I’m never that alert in the morning. I mean, did he even have time for kaffe or breakfast or anything? This opening never fails to fascinate me as we catch a glimpse at just what the average everyday Imp goes through on the regular. Agent K literally just woke up like this! How does he do it?? I mean, you’d think those sideburns would take a little more work, but nope he’s just naturally fabulous! XD But clearly friends the most fascinating thing here is that he actually manages to sleep in his armor. Though I guess if I were secretly helping the mini-Alliance while working for the Empire I wouldn’t take my chestplate off either. Like, ever. So yes as you can imagine I’ve spent the last week making a lot of jokes and observations about Imperial morning routines, sadly I could not include them all here due to, well, forgetting most of ’em. But still, what fun 🙂
So guess who our little Rebel problem was? Just some random grouchy Lothalian bounty hunter who’s actually Ezra Bridger. Ezra just thought he’d swing by and rescue their fantastic Fulcrum from potentially-suspicious Imperials, like NBD just another ordinary day. Kallus is like “OMG DO YOU REALIZE WHAT A BAD IDEA THIS IS?!?” Ah you guys I just love it when Kallus freaks out. David Oyelowo’s voice acting is perfection. Also I love the familiarity of the setting in the interrogation room. You guys remember the pilot back when Ezra was smol and Kallus was a jerk and Ez sarcastically dubbed himself “Jabba”? Boy they’ve come a long way. Ezra honestly doesn’t still 100% trust him but he still came all this way to save ‘im, even if Agent K didn’t necessarily want to be saved. But no time for “interrogating”, Thrawn’s destroyer just showed up and you know he means business. Kallus is off to a meeting with the rebel prisoner in tow. This should go well, though it does definitely throw a wrench in the Rebs’ plans. It’s kind of all up to Chopper and AP now. Seeing Kanan and Rex in ‘trooper armor again was such a wonderful surprise though. Men In White, back in action!
I don’t blame Lieutenant Lyste for his nerves going into this meeting. I was kinda surprised he hadn’t been demoted right on down to sub-ensign since the Leia incident (if not just straight-up Force-choked by a certain someone). And now he’s attending a meeting with the Grand Admiral that’s a big enough deal it involves confiscating code cylinders. Also I’m glad to know that what those things are officially in-canon because until I read the OT Costumes book I always sort of thought they were ballpoint pens. We learn so much in this episode. Including the fact that Thrawn spends his spare time sparring with those giant sentry droids and he’s awesome at it. Just an ordinary everyday workout regimen! Like OK wow I’m both majorly impressed and majorly terrified. I don’t think there’s anyone who couldn’t be. While Kallus and Lyste wait for the Grand Admiral, they get a second to say “hello” to Colonel Yularen. You probably didn’t know this but I’m a pretty big Yularen fan. What would The Clone Wars have been without this uptight mustachioed gent of an admiral constantly questioning Anakin’s plans? 🙂 Turns out the no-longer-quite-as-uptight-but-just-as-fabulously-mustachioed-as-ever-colonel trained Kallus back in the day, and he seems quite proud of his former pupil. So again lots of nice surprises all around today. And then Grand Admiral Thrawn enters the room ready to talk business, business involving this “Fulcrum” character within their ranks. He’s come down to the wire on the last few possible Rebel base locations and they can’t have a turncoat running around causing trouble. Thrawn and Yularen warn their subords to keep an eye out, and that wraps up their meeting. I don’t know how in the galaxy Kallus managed to keep a straight face when the Colonel asked him his thoughts on the spy. Agent K’s cool as a cucumber. Or whatever the SW equivalent vegetable is. I mean seriously Kallus is so so good. He goes from there and quietly convinces Lyste that Pryce is the traitor, and then casually saunters over and lets Ez out of his cell. Pfff after Ezra’s hiding-on-the-ceiling-stunt it’s all I can do not to start calling him “Spider-Ez” XD They’re still gonna need those clearance codes if they want to get out of here, and Kallus wants to help Ezra get their base off the map, so to Thrawn’s office we go! How’ll they get in there you ask? Cosplay. Ezra is a pretty convincing Lieutenant Lyste to the average weak-minded stormtrooper. Even kinda got the accent down! Y’know one of the things I just love about this episode is watching the endless cleverness Agent K and Ezra possess. Kallus playin’ Lyste and the Imps and Ez in disguise… they’re just so good! They may not entirely trust each other, but both trust themselves and know what they’re fighting for. Smooooooth criminals bro. In a good way 🙂 Once inside Chopper quickly gets them codes and casually makes Abafar (forgive me for misspelling) disappear. If only AP-5 had mentioned Thrawn’s arrival a teense bit sooner… with the Grand Admiral now suspicious of Lyste, it’s a really bad time to be cosplaying him. Ez’s only hope right now is Sabine’s firebird-and-lothcat, which happens to be big enough to hide him for the moment. Well not his only hope, he’s also got the timely arrival of sentry droids who don’t listen to no override codes. Thank you, Kallus!
Everything ’bout this plan is beautiful it seems. Thrawn thinks Lyste is behind the droid attack, Lyste sees Pryce fighting ‘troopers (not realizing they’re our Men-In-White Rebels) and is certain she’s the Fulcrum, and when Lyste stuns Pryce, all eyes are on the perhaps-too-eager little graycoat. I couldn’t help but applaud the ingenuity of it all! With the heat off, Kallus chooses to continue his Imperial career. But… oh boy… Thrawn took one look at the art on the “bounty hunter”‘s helmet and saw the truth no one else saw. And he’s gonna make this work in the Empire’s favor… O_O
Welp that’s not good. I was rather nervous going into this episode, worried about whether something might happen to Agent Kallus. But then, there were so many great fun moments, I might’ve let my guard down by the end, and now I’m really really nervous. Force be with you, Agent K… Anyway, I just love this one to pieces and I’m glad I was able to talk ’bout it with ya today!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight