Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 4

A new Forces Of Destiny compilation has dropped and I’m here to write once again on all the fascinating and inspiring things I’ve learned. This time will be a little different, though, because this is actually the first time I’ve watched them all, period, so my thoughts on each short are all completely fresh on my mind (and hopefully, in turn, will be a little clearer than all those posts where I’ve forgotten some of my original impressions from the first viewing). You can read the first three posts here, here, and here. Now, off to Takodana we go! (And everywhere else in the galaxy, for that matter)

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Four (but you can watch those shorts here), and several elements from Star Wars Rebels, Solo, Episode VI, Episode VII, and Episode VIII.

OK first of all never mind, looks like we’re not on Takodana today. I miss the pretty green planet a little, but I can live with that because today we have HONDO!!! I loved seeing him and Maz at odds in The Freemaker Adventures, and I’ve always wanted to see them cross paths again. So this is just spectacular! Their obviously long-time rivalry is just too fun to watch! Now, maybe I’m off on this, but this looks like a slightly-younger Hondo than the one we see in Rebels. I’d assumed all these Maz stories framing the shorts happened in or around the Sequel era, but it seems the clock goes back a little further for this one, which I love! It does bring up an interesting thought, though, because I had somehow assumed Maz really was the one telling these stories. In truth, looking back, I’m not sure how she could’ve been there for all these small moments with all of these characters, unless she heard them by word-of-mouth. But I guess it’s reasonable to say she’s not the one telling all these stories, at least for the ones that happen much later on. I think that’s how both parts of the Forces Of Destiny volumes remain canon. Or I could be wrong and Hondo just got back all his old pirate-y garb and he only looks younger. Either way, wow there’s so much I’ve already learned, and I haven’t even gotten to the shorts yet!

#1. Chopper is a surprisingly great leader.

I wouldn’t normally have expected Chop to do so well with the ewoks. I mean… his track record of being friendly to people really isn’t that great. But maybe the years since Ezra’s departure have made him a better, nicer droid somehow. Hera’s always had a knack for finding just the right crewmembers, no matter who they are or where they’ve been. Now Chopper seems to be taking a page from his mom’s book, convincing her that his ewok buddies are the perfect new Ghost crew gunners! It’s all just too cute and too fun. And my inner ewok nerd is happy to see Princess Kneesaa joining the fight! Now I want to go rewatch some old Ewoks episodes…

#2. Baby sando aquas are precious and must be protected!

Seriously WOW THAT IS CUTE!! I think I might have a new fave on my list of favorite Star Wars creatures. I’ve always thought the monsters impressive, but getting to see them closer, and in a sweeter light, I find I love them more than I did before! Beyond that, it’s really neat seeing Padme take charge like she does and help her guardsmen consider all the angles in a frightening, dangerous situation. And it’s important to note that, though the guards don’t know how to handle the exact situation at first, they don’t come off as incapable or powerless, just in need of a little extra advice. It’d be easy to make them look dumb in contrast to Padme and her strong-but-peaceful approach, but they only give us the facts: that any of us might be prone to making a rash decision in a crisis, but if you can keep a cool head, a solid solution might be easier to find that you once thought. Strong characters all around, that’s just how Star Wars rolls!

#3. Tristan’s the little brother.

I honestly never considered that before. I assumed he was either older by a year or two, or he and Sabine were twins. But I’m glad they set the record straight. And from the instant she said “C’mon, little brother” and he gave a quiet unamused “ugh”, it’s impossible to miss those sibling-bond vibes! It’s the kind of bond where you follow your sibling into trouble and say snippy things you don’t really mean, but you love them anyway, and even find you have more in common than you thought. It’s a sibling bond I can almost 100% relate to! Just to hear Sabine talk to her bro about things they did growing up gives such a sense of history and warmth to the Wren family. I adored every minute of this one. Getting to spend a slightly-quieter moment with the Wren kids and a closer look at their friendship is an absolute treat!

Also, I will need to check back on Legacy Of Mandalore and see if Tristan still has that painting on his shoulder armor, ’cause Sabine did a great job on it 🙂

#4. Hondo doesn’t like droids.

And if you had to put up with droids like IG-88, I could see why! It’s pretty hilarious watching the two argue over who has the bigger bounty. It continues to fascinate me that IG cares about credits in the first place, but I guess self-reliant bounty hunter droids need new parts every now and again. But though the pirate and hunter steal the show, the short’s focus is Qi’ra, who clearly has had enough experience with scoundrels to know how to best out-scoundrel ’em. I think it’s really neat to see a Qi’ra story in Forces Of Destiny, because she’s not quite like any of the other heroines we see in these stories. She’s not a Rebel leader, not a senator, not a Jedi, doesn’t steal the Death Star plans… she honestly might deserve the title of “scoundrel” almost as much as her adversaries do! She ultimately earns the title of “heroine” in the way she defends Han from Vos, but we’re not at that point yet. None of this is to say Qi’ra’s isn’t still a good person at heart, but I think we can agree she’s not a typical role model. This is a good thing, though, because I would honestly love to see some Forces Of Destiny stories surrounding more characters like her; bossladies who might not be the obvious heroine, but who still might have some shining moments in their stories yet to be told. Like Ventress, Sugi, or Naare! (ok that’s just a pipe dream but still would be cool)

#5. Porgs make great parents!

Until I watched this short, I had no idea both the mama and the papa porgs take care of their babies! Not surprising since they’re bird-like, and a lot of birds do the same. But still neat to know and too cute to see! Not only are porgs great parents, but we also see Chewbacca being a fantastic uncle! Though the porgs have caused their fair share of trouble, Chewie can’t turn down an opportunity to help the fluffball porglets. It’s seriously the sweetest thing, and shows so much his respect for nature and his huge heart :3 I honestly spent this entire short going “AWWW!!”, because I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to react in any other way. But I do have to wonder if it’s this kind act of Chewie’s that made all the porgs decide “Hey! Let’s go hang out in the Falcon! The hairy guy who lives there is so nice, he surely wouldn’t mind if we made ourselves comfortable!” XD #MoPorgsMoProblems

#6. Always let Rey drive.

Or at least don’t let Finn drive! And I think he knows it. I love seeing extensions of scenes like this, and I love chase scenes, and I love Finn and Rey, and I love the background paintings, and I still will always love the fact Finn loaned Rey his jacket (such a gentleman). So… yeah this short’s got a lot to love! It’s so fun watching more of this dynamic duo doing what they do (by figuring out what they do best) and making one seriously great escape on scenic Starkiller Base! I need to rewatch VII so I can spot exactly when this scene would’ve taken place, because I’ve sort of forgotten…

#7. The Ewoks animated series was right…

The citizens of Bright Tree Village have had other problems besides the Empire. Like this giant beastie! It certainly looks like it would’ve fit in well with the old show. It’s been a while since I’ve watched them, so I can’t remember for sure if I’ve seen the giant before. Either way, Wicket and Kneesaa aren’t alone, they have the original SPACE TWINS on their side! There’s so much I haven’t gotten to see with Luke and Leia’s sibling bond between the trilogies, so I was totally stoked for this one! It’s not exactly the quieter moment we see with Sabine and Tristan, but it’s thrilling all the same, and so special to see them working together — with both getting a chance to wield the green-blade 😀 Space Twins forever!

#8. Ahsoka’s a very creative teacher…

And maybe a tad intense! But when I think about who her master was and how she fights, I’m not surprised. I don’t know what I loved more — getting to watch Ahsoka impart wisdom on a young Jedi, or the fact that the young Jedi in question was Ezra. It made me realize how much I missed seeing them together, and how great their friendship is! And thinking back on all I’ve seen in Rebels, I can see where Ezra was absolutely taking Ahsoka’s wisdom to heart. Everything about this short is so epic and so meaningful and I’m almost at a loss for words. Just hearing them laugh together… FEELS. ALL THE FEELS!

Also another thing I learned: I’m assuming this is Garel we’re on right now, and if so, then Garel actually has some grassy areas! It’s not all just a big city world, it has really gorgeous natural beauty as well, including some killer sunsets 🙂

Yes I just love all these so much. Thanks for reading, and hopefully if my schedule allows, I will have more Star Wars to write about next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 3

I’m heading back to Takodana today for another visit with the Pirate Queen! And that means another opportunity to write on my favorite moments and fascinating revelations inside of each of her stories! You can read the first two posts here and here.

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Three (but you can watch those shorts here), and several elements from The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, Episode V, Episode VI, and Episode VIII

#1. Sabine and I both need to work on our not-rushing.

I can’t blame Sabine, though. She’s venturing on a potentially-life-or-death mission for the mini-Alliance! Of course you wouldn’t want to take any longer than you have to! I don’t have anything close to that kind of excuse for my tendency to rush. But in both cases, Hera makes crystal-clear that patience really does pay off, even when the stakes are really really high. Means you don’t end up with a shuttle full of storms, and you can just punch a button instead of blasting! That’s why she’s the captain-general-spacemom! And it’s a lesson not easily forgotten when it’s surrounded by edge-of-your-seat action and supreme comic timing 😀

#2. Ahsoka’s definitely an Anidala (or would that be Aname?) shipper.

Oh this one is just too delightful, you guys. It’s so classically Star Wars! So character-driven, so funny, so sweet! And who doesn’t love stories like this, where a third wheel is blissfully unaware they’re a third wheel? XD But there’s more to this nugget than just the comedy of Ahsoka cutting in on Anakin and Padme’s alone time; we get to see, I think for the first time I can remember, the three of them working together. They all have such a great bond! I couldn’t help but give a little squee and say “Awww! Anakin and his girls are the best little family!!” ❤ ❤ Anyone else feeling some serious Clone Wars nostalgia coming on?

#3. A funny thing happened on the way to Canto Bight…

Two words: space. jellies. They’re dangerous, but goodness gracious, I love them! They’re just so dazzling and majestic and slightly surreal! Wonder if they were in the The Last Jedi originally and got cut. Either way, I hope we see more of them in the future! And you gotta love getting to see a new Finn and Rose adventure! Though we only spend a few minutes with them, it’s a fantastic few minutes, really giving you a feel for this solid friendship of theirs taking shape, and for the something-slightly-more it becomes :3 Plus, Finn’s panicky “OHHH I HATE THIS!!” makes me die laughing every time XD Sorry man, but I love this!

Also, it wasn’t until I watched this short that I realized BB-8 was the one piloting the shuttle the whole time. Little droid got skillz! 👍 Wow, watching this again really made me realize how much I’ve missed this threesome…

#4. Chandra-fans have some sticky fingers!

First of all, I’d need to check back, but anyone else wonder if this chandra-fan child is the same in Newest Recruit? They don’t quite sound the same, and I can’t remember if this is Garel or somewhere else, but I could just be forgetful. Would be interesting, though. Would also explain why the little one was in a food crate later on. But yeah what a cutie! Even when he’s being totally difficult and making every effort to keep Jyn away from her beloved kyber necklace, he’s still so adorable! My favorite thing about this short, though, is the sheer, planet-shaking kindness Jyn shows him. Remember, this girl’s a convicted criminal! I haven’t gotten to dig into her book yet or anything, but I don’t doubt she earned that title before the Alliance sought her out. It makes every act of kindness Jyn shows in FoD is a special and precious thing to see. Long before she ever stole the Death Star plans, she was already a hero to this mischievous little boy 🙂

#5. Porgs just wanna have fun!

Even though just a brief moment, it’s super-cool getting to see more of Rey’s training on Ach-To. Watching this again makes me really want to rewatch VIII and read the novelization so I can drink in every single fascinating moment of her Jedi training with Luke. Of course I sadly will have to wait until a good deal on the 4K pops up, but until then, the short is delightful anyway. I mean… we’re talking about PORGS here; porgs are nothing short of delightful! And like say, what I love perhaps the most is that, after Rey Forcegrabs one of them, they decide they all want to fly, too! Shows you just how friendly they are, and how much personality their tiny bodies can pack! I might never have guessed Rey was so good with animals before FoD, but I’m so glad they decided to reveal that side of her in these great stories. One more thing I can definitely relate to! 😀

#6. Mazbacca is actually canon! (Well, maybe.)

This one is majorly cool. We get to meet the real Boushh and find how Leia got the disguise! And we discover that Maz Kanata was how they found it! I had no idea she and Han and Chewbacca went so far back. I’d assumed maybe they’d all met maybe beyond Episode VI, but it’s one of those theories of mine I’m actually glad was proven wrong. Knowing Maz and Leia’d met makes the former’s advice to Han in VII all the more meaningful, because we now know Han and Leia were both friends of Maz’s. I honestly hope that, over the years, the four all would meet up for kaffe on the weekends 🙂 Either way, makes me love their shared bonds even more!

But on that original note, hehe yes I loved finally getting to see the tall and smol together, sharing a hug :3 Nice to know it might not just be a one-sided thing on Maz’s part. If that is indeed the case, though, after thirty years, Chewie, you need to put a ring on it. *Cough*

#7. Dagobah has a lot of trees.

First of all, I love they chose to not feature just the bossladies of Star Wars in FoD. Though the concept of FoD was devised in part, I believe, as a way to get young girls interested in Star Wars who might not’ve been otherwise, that doesn’t mean girls aren’t going to gravitate to the bossmen of the galaxy, too! Lucasfilm understood that, and because of that, we have this amazing previously-untold story in front of us, with the incredible voices of the MARK HAMILL and the TOM KANE! There’re some goofy Yoda shenanigans, some insight into the ways of the Force, some epic Jedi stunts, and Artoo being adorable like he always does. It’s pure Star Wars magic and I can’t get enough of it!

#8. Teedo never learns.

Nope! Never has, never will! Not even Rey saving his life seems to make much difference to the greedy little dude (well, maybe a teensy bit). But it certainly makes for some good stories! And that’s because his actions, no matter how selfish or despicable, have a habit of bringing out the best in our future Forcewielder 🙂

BONUS: Maz has a decorative bowl with a space slug in it!

I knew there had to be some Easter eggs around here somewhere… and this one’s just genius! XD

These are just so fun, you guys. There always is so much to find, and so much to learn, and in more ways than one! Until next post…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 2

I really’d wanted to write on Solo today, but considering the film’s not been out a week, I figured maybe I’d wait a little longer, just to make sure all my readers are caught up best as possible. So I think I’ll spend the day with Maz and her adorable squishy Pokemon critters, and write on some more nifty factoids, cool connections, and my favorite moments in this set of epic tales! Also, you can read the first post in this series here.

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Two (but you can watch those shorts here), and a number of elements from The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, Episode V, Episode VI, and Episode VII

#1. Forks are not accepted in some circles.

This short has everything. Fancy dinners! Clawdite intruders! A near-miss with a thermal detonator! Unanswered questions about this intriguing important-to-negotiate-with people group that doesn’t use utensils! But most importantly, some flawlessly-executed teamwork that perhaps only Ahsoka and Padme could pull off! I have to seriously applaud Ahsoka in this one, not just for her quick-thinking and lightsaber skills that took down the assassin and got rid of the bomb, but for the fact she even remembered something so seemingly unimportant! Can you imagine living in a galaxy where you had hundreds of thousands of different peoples who all had different customs?? I could probably never keep some of this stuff straight. Unless, maybe, the urthurians’ disuse of forks is for some very obvious reason, like that they don’t have hands or something. Either way, what Snips did was Jedi-ing at its best! And they end it on a wonderfully lighthearted note as the besties decide to have their own dinner party in the delegates’ absence 😀

Also, thanks to my brother, I can’t watch this episode without hearing “may the fork be with you”. And now I doubt you will, either XD

#2. Wampas just want a hug.

OK maybe that’s a stretch. All I’m sayin’ is, though, that this wampa didn’t just hang Chewie on the ceiling for a bite later! But can you blame the beast? When Chewbacca hugged Leia at the end, I got all warm and fuzzy just watching it! Wookiee hugs are pretty indisputably the best hugs you can get! Wonder if maybe it thought Chewie a baby wampa? Living in a dark cave like this doesn’t make me think it has the best eyesight. But whatever the wampa’s true intent was in the beginning, though, it certainly wasn’t interested in hugs after being woken up. Yikes that was a close call. Especially when you consider what an even closer call Luke has later. *Shudders*

Also, wonder what Threepio was asking for Luke about? Haven’t watched Empire in a bit and don’t remember if there’s a connection there. Maybe he was going to finish with “Master Luke is wondering where the can opener was last left, because he wanted to make a fresh batch of potato salad.” Or maybe not. That might just be me suddenly in the mood for potato salad…

#3. Don’t ever let Ketsu borrow anything if you want to get it back in one piece.

For me, this is among the most poignant of the stories Maz tells in this volume. This one’s very simple, very character-driven, and makes so very clear once again what an amazing human being Sabine Wren is. You can tell it hurts for her to leave her polished, perfectly-painted bike in Ketsu’s relatively careless hands. I think most of us would not be as gracious in her shoes, staring at a pair of dismembered handlebars. But Sabine neither raises her voice nor holds a grudge, even though you can tell she’s considering both; instead, she simply forgives her friend. She does make clear Ketsu owes her some help with the repairs, but that’s only the fair and right thing to do, and Ketsu understands that. I think Sabine would’ve forgiven her regardless, though. Considering she found it in her to forgive Ketsu for ditching her in a job gone south, anything’s possible.

Forgiveness is hard. Grace is hard. How many of us would handle a situation like this as well as Sabine did? Even if we tried to play it cool, how many of us wouldn’t still give someone, even a friend, a grumpy look, a cold shoulder, or a passive-aggressive comment? At least I know I would struggle with that. So I hope in the future to remind myself, if Sabine can do it, so can I! What ultimately makes this so powerful is not that she forgives, but that it’s clearly hard and she still does it anyway. It’s one of those things that makes Sabine Wren a true bosslady 😀

#4. Teedo doesn’t give up easily. At all.

Seriously. How many portions is BB-8 really worth? Let it go, man! Oh well. Teedo may be trouble as always, but I love a good chase scene! This fast-paced little moment in time is thrilling to watch, and proves you should always make friends with nightwatcher worms. And still, above all else, we get to see another shining example of Rey’s loyalty to the little droid who rolled her way :3

#5. The Empire doesn’t know Jyn too well.

“Suspect is an adult female, brown hair, not considered dangerous.” I mention not only because it’s humorously ironic, but it is interesting the Imps aren’t familiar with her yet. You’d think with the incident with the tooka they might remember her, but who knows? Also seems odd they don’t clarify Jyn’s human. Maybe Garel just has more humans than any other beings? But anyway, what an epic thing to see Sabine and Jyn cross paths! Both not quick to trust others, both accidentally involved with the creation of deadly weaponry (Whoa I just realized that. Is that scary or what?), both have difficulties with family at times… but their loyalty to their friends (and family, too) ultimately brings out the better in them both, and they go on to make an incredible difference in the history of the galaxy. I’d assume that their paths never cross again, but I’d like to think Sabine’s answer, her desire above all else to help people, is something that spurs Jyn on in her own eventual Rebel mission. So cool!

#6. Rey seriously is a braver person than I’ll ever be.

She just sticks her hand into a stuffy-nosed happabore’s nostril! That’s not a job for the faint of heart! I know I cringed a little at first, but in truth, if a critter needed some help that I could manage (as I’m no veterinarian), I’d surely do the same.

And man, Unkar Plutt was pretty nasty in this one, calling out Rey’s lack of friends like that! I was all “And what do you know about friendship?” But I imagine Plutt’s definition of “friends” is something closer to “people who might not kill you over the same piece of scrap”. With maybe an exception for his pet plant, Kevin. But even if it was just a big sweet slobbery space pig, Rey did make a friend today, and they did an awesome job of proving the old codger wrong 😀 One of my fave shorts, for sure!

#7. The Ghost and the Falcon are old rivals.

OMG YOU GUYS THIS SHORT IS EVERYTHING. When Rebels was new, I long wondered what would happen if Han crossed paths with the Ghost crew. Of course, now I know that Captain Solo was doing other things at the time. So after all these years, getting to see Han facing off with General Syndulla is just too wonderful for words. For the record, I don’t favor either ship over the other! They’re both so iconic and fast and homey I couldn’t dare choose! Doesn’t mean I don’t love watching Hera make him work for those ration sticks, though XD

And not only do we get this great hint of (mostly) friendly Rebel rivalry, but the moments with Han and Leia are some of their best. From Leia confronting Han at the beginning, to her siding with her scoundrel on who has the better ship, it’s just too fun and too sweet and reminds me how much I love this couple. And certainly, nothing speaks more volumes than that Han would put aside his pride for his princess… ❤ ❤

#8. Ahsoka really is Gandalf…

Because she always arrives precisely when she intends to! Even when she has to put an important Jedi ceremony on hold to save the lives of others. I just adore this short. What Ahsoka does here is what the classic, iconic, heroic idea of a Jedi looks like, and the way all Jedi (and other such lightsiders) should strive to be. It’s just peacekeeping and helping others, pure and simple, not an inch of politics or war involved. And even though she’s already late when the battle’s ended, she still wants to touch base with the mother and child and make sure they’re doing OK. Ahsoka’s always been a rule-breaker, but it’s this kind of rule-breaking the Jedi Order needed sometimes. I think that’s one reason she’s always been such a meaningful character to me, because even in the midst of her shortcomings and mistakes, she strives to do the right thing to the very best of her ability, no matter what. Sometimes this leads her into difficult situations, like leaving the Jedi Order. But as we’ve followed her journey, we see how far this drive for justice, and the compassion at the heart of it all, has taken her. Her story is so amazing, and this short does a great job of painting that image in only a few minutes’ time. And wow did I just get nostalgic!

Hopefully you guys enjoyed digging into these tales with me. Certainly there will be more to write about as the summer comes into full swing!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 1

So glad I’m finally getting around to these posts! These last couple seasons of Forces Of Destiny have been a complete blast! And super special, too, as we look at some small moments in the lives of our favorite heroines and heroes. There’s a lot you can learn from sitting down with Maz Kanata for tea 😀 But it’s not just in the simple-but-beautiful life lessons her stories convey, it’s in all the cool Star Wars connections, revelations, and factoids we get to discover, too! So here’s a few things I learned from the stories inside of the first special.

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume One (but you can watch those shorts here), and a number of elements from The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, Episode VI, and Episode VII

#1. Nightwatcher worms have feelings, too. And they’re also really big.

The first time I watched this, I really needed some cheering up. Soon as BB-8 and Rey showed up, though, I was all smiles, and so thrilled to be exploring an unseen moment inside of The Force Awakens! So this one will always be quite special to me. But what really makes this one special is that we see Rey’s kindness brightly shine through. Not only in her fierce dedication to the little droid she just met, but also in the way she treats the seemingly-terrifying nightwatcher. When she takes a running leap off the beast, she make a point of apologizing to it! I think it’s fair to say most of us wouldn’t think of doing that, were we in her situation. And then she offers it a meal, which, by the way, was junk she could’ve gotten paid a meal from. It’d be easy to get jaded and angry at life living in a place like Jakku, but somehow, Rey still has maintained a strong sense of compassion and generosity. Not really something we didn’t already know, but this was a powerful reminder. She may not yet know the power she holds, but she’s got the selflessness part of the Jedi down pat! 🙂

And like say, if not for this short, I never would’ve known how much I would want to hug a nightwatcher worm.

#2. Ketsu’s a real Rebel.

One of my favorite things about FoD so far has been getting to see more of Ketsu Onyo. She was such a great character, and her and Sabine’s friendship is epic! It’s so cool seeing what ultimately led Ketsu to join the mini-Alliance, which, otherwise, we wouldn’t know about until the last two episodes of Rebels. And though there’s an awesome brawl with a bunch of bucketheads (who would’ve guessed you could weaponize food crates?!), it doesn’t overshadow the loyalty present in the girls’ actions as they try to bring home the bacon (by which I mean ration sticks), and protect an adorable chandra-fan kiddo in the process. It’s really quite amazing to see what a solid impact Sabine has had on Ketsu, taking the truths her Ghost family’s taught her and imparting it in a way Ketsu genuinely responds to, helping this former Black Sun bounty hunter find a new purpose and a new direction as not only a Rebel, but as a Ghost family cousin.

Plus, since this was the first of the Rebels-related shorts I saw, I couldn’t help but get a little giddy seeing the bright lights of Garel again!

#3. Jyn and I are cut from the same cloth.

As I’ve said before, any opportunity we have to learn more about the late amazing Rogue One heroes is a great opportunity! Jyn’s always been a very relatable heroine, but I never realized until I watched this short that we have even more in common than I thought. Watching her defend a little girl and her tooka, all I could say was “Whoa! That is so me!” I hate injustice in any form, but when someone’s mean to children and/or animals? I absolutely would aim a fruit in their direction. Always nice to see a little (or a lot) of me in these amazing characters! And considering we know that Jyn was a bit of a rebel (note the lowercase “r”) at this point in her life, it’s really special to see these small moments where she was a little bit more of a Rebel, with a capital “R” 🙂

Also, how great is it seeing tookas again? The original Star Wara cat is back, and with a vengeance! Like seriously, that Tooki’s tough as nails. Guess that brings the number of stormtroopers who’ve been trounced by small cats to three! Hehe. Oh, and it kinda cracks me up that right after Jyn shushes the cat, Tooki gives a rather insulted growl XP

#4. Ahsoka gives piloting lessons in her spare time.

Another thing I love about FoD is catching some of my fave characters outside of work. OK so maybe flight combat training isn’t really a relaxing hobby, but it helps when you’re learning from a friend! Like with Sabine and Ketsu, it’s just fantastic getting to see more of Padme and Ahsoka’s friendship that we don’t get the chance to see at this juncture in The Clone Wars. Ahsoka’s still the little sister, but she’s also older and more mature now, and you can tell their bond has strengthened over the period of time between their earlier adventures and Ahsoka’s trial. And it’s also really cool getting to see Ahsoka in the role of teacher, and then seeing her student take what she’s learned and own it! Yes it’s so special getting go back to the Clone Wars days for a bit and appreciate the friendships that thrived even when the war was at its worst. And also watching Naboo starfighters dash dazzlingly through comet trails 😀

5. Paintbombs are canon!

Though I made mention of this already on the post for Heroes Of Mandalore, this is how I found out about it first. I sort of predicted something like this and it made me really happy to see it for reals. And something about watching stormtroopers run around with big blobs of yellow paint on them just cracks me up X) But there’s much more to this short than clever weaponry. We get to see Leia and Sabine cross paths, for one thing! Though Leia at least partially knows Sabine from her last encounter with the Ghost crew, it’s too much fun watching them team up. As an artist, I love how they contrast visually, with Leia wearing stark white and Sabine covered in vibrant colors. But that’s about where the contrast ends, because both of these young Rebels know how to aim a blaster, and how to put on one epic show for the Empire! I certainly hope we’ll get to see them fight side-by-side one of these days, because that might be the epic-est performance the Rebels could put on!

Also was really cool getting to see IG-88 in action for the first time in the canon (I think)! Really made me realize how terrifying he is. Not a word spoken, not a single readable emotion, every move is calculating, and he’s his own master. That’s a recipe for the shivers if you ask me. But mad respect all the same!

6. Unkar Plutt’s nothing if not thorough.

Soon as I saw Rey and Han in the Falcon’s cockpit, my fangirl self completely exploded. And then seeing Chewbacca and Finn made me explode again. Seeing the Force Awakens squad all together filled me with so so much joy! The scenes with the five of them in the film were among my favorites, so this was an absolute treat to visit a small incident we didn’t see before! It’s got just the best blend of comedic camaraderie and frantic action that makes up some of my fave Star Wars moments. And just look at that last shot of them! They really do make a good team — maybe the best team! All of them do! You don’t have to go back to Jakku to find your family, Rey, all the family you could ever need is right here on the Falcon! :3

But yes, back on the original topic, I’ve gotta give Plutt some credit… he knows his ships! Because why else would he be so determined to keep his mitts on what most people thought was garbage?

7. Ewoks invented sandals! Apparently…

We learn lots of neat stuff in this one. Like that one ewok is equal in weight to two stormtroopers! (Or else the gravity on Endor is weird) And that Dee Baker does an amazing job voicing Wicket, because I seriously thought those were all original archived dialogue recordings. We already knew that ewoks can sew, but it wasn’t until I saw this short I realized Leia had a matching pair of sandals! Considering that’s hardly a pair of shoes you’d take to a battle, I think the ewok village has some majorly-talented cobblers out here! Honestly this short brought up a lot of questions about the ewok dress in general. It was apparently a surprise, so how in the world did they make something so nice without taking any measurements or likely having any reference for sewing human clothing? It’s a bit of a mystery, but it might just be sheer talent on the little guys’ part 🙂

8. Cliches die when Yoda’s around.

This one has so much wow factor to it. We get to watch Ahsoka during some lightsaber practice! Which I don’t think we really ever got to see inside of The Clone Wars! And not only that, but we get to watch her figuring out her second blade. I would love to know the story of how she found her new ‘saber. It doesn’t seem a terribly common thing among Jedi. And I doubt you can just go out and decide you’ll get a second lightsaber; how did she know that’s she needed one? Though we don’t yet know these answers, we do know now adding it to her existent fighting style wasn’t easy. Leave it to Yoda to find the best way to bring out her best. You know how often you hear people throw around “just be yourself”? It’s easy for phrase to get old and lose its meaning. But when Yoda says “Yourself, you must always be”, the meaning is clear, and the cliche disappears! That’s why he’s the master! 😀

And yes, of course there were some bittersweet vibes for me watching Ahsoka and Anakin duel… but it certainly doesn’t lessen how wonderful their bond was back then. Watching Anakin, I think for the first time that we’ve seen, doing some formal training with Ahsoka really is a special thing!

So those are just a handful of the neat things I’ve discovered watching these delightful short stories, and I look forward to sharing more at a later date!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Looking Back On The Original SWR Shorts

As the last Rebels episodes come closer and closer, I find myself looking back a lot, going back to those early days on Lothal, when we were just getting to know the Ghost crew. Back when we were all taking our first steps together into a time previously unexplored in the canon. Back before we knew of wonderful things like space waffles and purrgil! I find one of the best ways to venture back into this time and space is by watching the delightful character-centric shorts that were released in preparation for the series. Join me as I rewatch each one and then discuss what made them so great! Get ready for some serious reminiscing 🙂

Contains spoilers from many elements in Star Wars Rebels. Don’t recommend reading if you aren’t caught up.

THE MACHINE IN THE GHOST: THREE’S COMPANY

So in case you haven’t heard the story, this was the only of the shorts I saw before the series debuted. I thought originally they were clips instead of original shorts, and being the really-likes-to-keep-things-a-surprise fan that I am, I waited. I don’t remember what convinced me to watch Machine, maybe it was on the socials or something and made it clear it was a short. But either way… this one gave me one of the best tastes of what was to come in Rebels. And also the utter preciousness that is Kanera ❤ ❤

The threat of oncoming TIEs is real, and it gets you on the edge of your seat. But it's clear quickly that this crew can handle it, so the battle takes a backseat while the characters take the stage. And what a performance we get! Most of us wouldn't consider an argument like poetry, but every retort and reply is perfect, with the most harmonious bits of sarcasm weaved in. And even though they argue, you get a sense of warm familiarity in it that says there's infinitely more to their relationship, even before they exchange compliments at the end. And then you have Chopper in the middle of it all, greatly irritated, but seemingly used to this sort of thing as he puts up with their oft-opposing commands. But ultimately he steps up and gets the job done, proving to the audience he can do more than just fix shields and comms. It's all so classically Star Wars and it all comes together smooth as kaadu butter!

“As I recall, raiding an Imperial supply convoy was your plan, love…”
“Well, it made sense at the time.”
If you’ve read my posts on Rebels for any amount of time, you know I refer back to the novel A New Dawn a lot. I won’t spoil anything on it here, but it sheds so much light on who Kanan once was, and makes watching his character growth these last four years even more amazing. I’m highlighting that lovely bit of banter here for more than just that it makes me chuckle, but for the fact that this whole incident began with Kanan taking charge. Because once upon a time, Kanan didn’t have any interest in fighting the Empire. I might be stating the obvious, but it’s such a great story element that I have to state it again and again. He wasn’t always Spectre One; he earned that rank. And he deserved it… even if sometimes things like this happen.
And also on the topic of the novel, though Machine takes place much closer to the events of the series than New Dawn, the short still is a nice glimpse into what life with just the original three crewmembers might’ve been like.

Anyway, Machine is such a fantastic little treasure, flawlessly introducing the Ghost crew’s founding members by giving each character just the right amount of time in the spotlight… and giving us more reasons to laugh and smile than we could count 🙂

ART ATTACK: A SABINE WREN ORIGINAL

Though this was not the first time I’d met Sabine, Art Attack is a great way to introduce her to the audience. We catch her at her best and most Mando-masterful, nimbly and swiftly leading the stormtroopers on an impossible chase. She doesn’t even pull out a weapon until the end; for most of the short, she simply relies on her smarts and agility to pull off the perfect Rebel distraction. It brings a lightly comedic tone as she darts around, always one step ahead of the bucketheads, delivering stellar jabs as she goes. But even more so, it makes very clear that Sabine is a different kind of warrior than we’ve seen before; she is a true artist. Not just in the lovely purple starbird she adorns a TIE’s panel with, but in the way she carefully crafts her plan. Like a brush on a canvas, every move has purpose, and the end result is a dazzling piece that surely inspired all the innocent Lothalites who witnessed it. And you can tell it was a piece the artist was proud of as she remarked “…look at the color!“, which remains one of my favorite Sabine lines to this day. The notion of an artist Rebel was something so new and different at the time, but being an artist myself (or at least an aspiring one), it was the coolest thing to see someone in Star Wars who shared that interest with me and used it to make a difference. Like say, by the time I first watched this short, I already knew Sabine and how awesome at Rebelling she was, but it never hurts to be re-reminded of the facts, especially when you’re waiting for the season two to arrive.

“Always by the book. I read your book… it’s a short one.”
It’s another great Sabine line, but it’s also a really neat little clue to her past that’s amazing to find looking back. Though she may not have specifically read “their book”, she had trained under Imperials and knew plenty of their rules and protocol. I’d always loved that quote but hadn’t remembered it was spoken so early-on. They’re clever, those writers at Lucasfilm 🙂 It’s almost hard to remember what things were like before Sabine’s backstory was fully told, but this short definitely takes me back, and of course, makes me so very proud knowing how far she’s come since.

It’s astounding what Art Attack was able to accomplish in three minutes’ time — lots of action, some solid laughs, but still every moment has meaning in the grand story surrounding it. That is definitely what I’d call art!

ENTANGLEMENT: YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD HONOR GUARD

OK so rewatching this one has me smiling so hard right now. It fills me with so much joy I hardly know where to begin.
But that’s the beauty of this one: where it begins.
It’s a blast watching Zeb take down buckethead after buckethead, but it all started because he couldn’t stand quietly in the face of injustice. That endlessly noble spirit has always been one of my favorite things about him, and watching him put everything on hold for one poor shopkeeper makes that part of him plain as day, whether you’re meeting him for the first time or you’ve been following him for four seasons. And with that all-important trait in mind, the most wonderfully explosive story unfolds in spectacular fashion. The speed at which all the action happens is the best kind of dizzying. And every twist and turn of the fight showcases both Zeb’s incredible strength as well as his finesse and ability to plan on the fly. It’s an unexpectedly beautiful sight, and for those new to the series, it’s not quite like anything we’d seen in Star Wars before. I mean, when Zeb grabs that one ‘trooper and flings him into the other?? That’s just WHOA on so many levels.

“Well that’s great! You get lost in the middle of a mission and decide to start your own battle — again!”
“I didn’t decide, it just… happened. This time.”

But like with the last two shorts, the action ultimately takes a backseat to the characters, and the end result is priceless. Zeb is enjoying every minute of this battle, you can tell. And Kanan is more than a little frustrated that his friend and fellow Rebel has strayed away from the original plan. This hilarious back-and-forth carries through almost the entire short and is nothing short of fantastic writing and a fantastic performance. The fact that this has obviously happened more than once makes it all the funnier, but also continues to say so much about who Zeb is. You know he’s not just bashing bucketheads for sport; it’s because of his burning desire to protect the innocent. Just like he did once as an Honor Guard, he continues to do for the people of Lothal, and that is nothing short of admirable… even when it miiiiiiight cause a few delays 🙂

Whoops now I went from being all giddy to being all feelsy. But that’s just what happens with shorts this great!

PROPERTY OF EZRA BRIDGER (or: NOT WHAT YOU THINK):
NO SIR, THANK YOU

It was impossible not to rewatch this short and proclaim “OH, HOW EZRA HAS GROWN!!”. A lot of it for me was just remarking over how young he was back then (even his voice sounds younger somehow!), but it’s Ezra’s character growth that truly astounds me. We watch here Ez playing the role of a “helpful, concerned citizen” as a cover for a good steal. But over time, we’ve seen him transform into a truly selfless, generous, driven young man who has no ulterior motive for doing the right thing. It was almost as though this jaded young thief is a totally different person — except maybe for the fact his sense of humor and irony hasn’t changed much 🙂

“Now remember, sir, no ‘thank-you’s. You didn’t need my help. And besides… I didn’t come to help!”
It’s easy to see though that Property really does make a good introduction for Ezra. It’s hard not to be won over by his clever wit and smooth moves as he rather puts this incredibly belligerent Imperial in his place. He doesn’t immediately strike the audience as a “hero” type, but soon as we watch him dodge the TIE’s guns with what could only be help from the Force… we know there might be a chance of heroism in his future. And it has a lot to do with that cargo ship he caught a fleeting glimpse of that day… or more so, the people on that cargo ship. Rewatching it really is a wonderful feeling, because seeing him cross paths with the Ghost for just the smallest, tiniest moment is a reminder of how beautifully things have come together since then. So much wow, you guys.
Plus, is there anything more satisfactory than watching the pilot’s overconfident smile disappear once Ez sends that energy blast his way? That might be my favorite part XD

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these little three-minute gems are amazing. All of them thrilling and laugh-out-loud funny, but with so much more beneath the surface that gives it so much more meaning, especially the longer you follow this precious family’s story. Together, these four shorts make the perfect mini-prequel to Spark Of Rebellion, and the perfect quick nostalgia trip. Also again, I just love this show so so much ❤ Though the end is near, I'm still beyond excited to see where the story goes next, and that's likely when I'll post again in a couple weeks. Though keep an eye out, 'cause post inspiration may strike again even before that…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight