Tag Archives: 97’s

SW Summer Reads: Shipyards Of Doom

So this particular edition of Star Wars Summer Reads is pretty special, because this is the first time I’ve written one on a graphic novel — and the first SW graphic novel I’ve ever read at that!


(Credit: Amazon.com)

I know… you’re probably thinking I’m nuts for never having read Star Wars comic books before. It’s not that I didn’t want to! When I first got into SW, I was overwhelmed by how many were out there and didn’t know where to begin. I thought it would get easier after the canonicity rule came into play, so just like with the novels, I could focus primarily on 100% canon stories. But then there have been so many and they keep coming out so fast! I still wasn’t sure where the best place to start was.

I actually was intending to do a regular young readers’ novel for my SW Summer Reads this year, but the author’s name on this book’s spine caught my attention. With Henry Gilroy of TCW and Rebels aboard, it surely would be a good story! And even though it was written long before the Legends designation, Mr. Gilroy would definitely know how to keep it true to Star Wars form (an issue that’s made me hesitant to read other Legends-era Star Wars stories). Plus, I haven’t watched Clone Wars reruns in a long while, so a tale with Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, and Rex at the center was sure to be a balm to my prequel-era-loving soul 🙂

And I was right ultimately on all accounts! Filled to the brim with action, drama, heart, and bright spots of levity and laughter, Shipyards Of Doom captured that Clone Wars magic I was craving. It also delivered a nice sense of nostalgia, taking me back to the very earliest TCW adventures with some of my favorite heroes taking center stage — even Admiral Yularen, Plo Koon, and Saesee Tiin got some to shine! But it’s certainly not magic and nostalgia alone that make this such a great book. It really does feel like Star Wars, as we see the Jedi faced against an adversary who knows well their “weaknesses” — their ideals — and doesn’t fight fair. And it’s special seeing Anakin and Ahsoka working through their master-padawan struggles and learning respect and honesty with each other this early on. It’s just a great, satisfying blend of some of my favorite Clone Wars elements, and a perfect first SW graphic novel for anyone ready to step into in a larger world! No doubt I’ll seek out other titles from Mr. Gilroy in the future!

Yeah, there’s definitely something to this whole newfangled novel-with-pictures thing… 😛

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
(Contains spoilers from Episode II, Shipyards Of Doom, and other story elements from The Clone Wars seasons 1-6.)
– I gotta say, the idea of Yoda and Jabba The Hutt forming any sort of alliance sounds like a truly awesome story. I need to know if that ever happened! Or ever could have happened!! That one panel is a whole new story right there!
– Ghost Squadron is an epic name! Hmm you wonder if that name possibly inspired the Ghost in Rebels later on…?
– “You say something, Master Obi-Wan? I can’t hear you over all these enemy fighters being destroyed!” That’s so Anakin XP
– Ah, a classic Clone Wars moment with young Ahsoka pining away to join the fray! It’s so fun and special revisiting this side of her after all these years :3
– I love that the Invisible Hand (or whichever one of Grievous’s ships this is) looks kind of like an angry shark in this panel on page 10.
– “Is anything in this war ever easy?” “It is for me, master.” Classic! Can I just bottle up this fantastic writing here?! *Feels nostalgia feels*
– Interesting, I don’t remember this sort of theater seating in the Temple before. It makes sense that it’s not the council’s chamber since only a handful of the councilmembers are actually here. But yeah makes me wonder, since this was a 2008 book, if some sets hadn’t been designed for the show yet and the illustrators had to try some new stuff.
– Ah yes now we’re getting into some shades of the “Citadel” arc in S3! If this particular rescue actually happened, it would make sense why no one questioned the carbonfreezing process in the later episode. But then, it does bring up a question as to how Ahsoka could pull the same “tagalong” stunt all over again… and ultimately learn somewhat of the same lesson, too. Whatever the case, I wouldn’t be surprised if the S3 arc was rooted in some of this novel’s ideas.
– “Don’t worry, Rex, we won’t be frozen long enough for [hibernation sickness] to take effect.” So this confirms my earlier assumption that time has a major influence on how the body reacts to carbonfreeze. Fascinatinggg.
– I love that Ahsoka goes into the freezing chamber oozing confidence with her arms crossed! I’m not sure I would be so brave. I mean, from what we know from Episode V, there’s some inherent risk in carbonfreezing. That’s actually a good question though… how come it’s such a worry-free process in TCW, but something worth Boba Fett’s concerns twenty-odd years later? My theory is that there’s a bigger risk if the person being frozen is ill or injured, like how Han had been tortured shortly before. If you’re healthy and strong, perhaps it’s not such a shock to the system. Yay science!
– “The greater our navy, the longer the war will go on, and the more Jedi will die.” Hmm is that really Dooku’s endgame here? Come to think of it, what is Dooku’s endgame, actually? He knows “the Sith control everything”, and wants to destroy this Sith, but what after that? Galactic domination? Retirement on Serenno? I don’t know! Man I can’t wait to read Cavan Scott’s backstory for this guy. Back on-topic, I guess it’s possible that this desire to eliminate the Jedi might be more of Palpatine’s plan than Dooku’s. Not that he’s a fan of the Jedi or anything, but he’s never struck me as wanting to outright purge them. That’s more of Grievous’s thing. I would love to sit down and chew on this with a fellow SW nerd sometime. Dooku’s a complicated guy.
– Is “plunk droids” an insult or just another word for GNK droids? Pfft battle droids are so high and mighty.
– Separatists don’t give out medals, Juhm! At least, not when you’re working under Count Dooku and Darth S…
– I love how Mr. Gilroy captures R2-D2’s voice. Artoo talks like Artoo should talk, with very specific lines and reactions. more of a “VWOoo-bwee” than “beep-boop”.
– But disobeying direct orders is just what Ahsoka do! It’s her thing! 😛 I like what Mr. Gilroy did here, though… it’s easy to assume immediately that it’s a good thing Ahsoka tagged along, just like in the Citadel arc. But truth be told, Artoo could’ve helped Anakin, too. We see later on that Ahsoka ends up playing an important part, but at this point, she doesn’t really have a good excuse for what she did. That’s OK though Snips, your inability to stay still and sit quietly on the sidelines is why you’re so awesomely relatable!
– I would’ve loved it if Juhm hadn’t recognized Ahsoka as a Jedi at first and instead thought she was some kid making prank calls XD
– It’s really interesting watching Rex learning to trust Ahsoka here, and it gives me many feels. Such precious buddies!!
– Saesee Tiin is both a daredevil pilot and a math nerd! Boi got skillllll.
– “Shocker sticks”? Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, muun? I think Juhm legit doesn’t know what they’re actually called.
– Wow Juhm is not good at this. First he tells the slaves that the Jedi are murderers, than he tells them the Jedi wouldn’t risk innocent lives in sn attack. You’re just asking for a revolt, dude. He’s such a terrible (as in, terrible at his job) villain and I love him XD
– This is brilliant. Anakin and Ahsoka are having a deep meaningful conversation and learning lessons while being tortured! Reminds me kind of that scene in The Incredibles.
– The running gag with the clones betting drinks got me thinking about a TCW element I haven’t thought about in a while: 97’s. I always knew it was a clone bar run by clones, but I only just considered how amazing it is to see these guys becoming businessmen and cooks and bartenders! It says something, perhaps, about their creative ability. Not entirely unheard of (don’t forget fry cook Gregor!) but just kind of cool to me. Maybe these business-clones were army rejects? Or maybe the small business is just a hobby. Have to take some notes next time I watch season 6.
– Real men (or should I say muuns?) wear pink! XD I love muuns you guys, they’re such cartoon characters!
– Also Juhm has a goldfish and for some reason that cracks me up. Yet he can’t keep his slaves from running out on him…
– “How about the Force backed up by laser cannons?” Wow, Saesee Tiin can be SASSY Tiin! *Respectfully bows to his superior burn*
– OH SNAP. VENTRESS JUST SHOWED UP AND KILLED THE GUY. Seriously, I didn’t realize she was even in the panels until she was center stage. Good job, artists!
– It’s interesting that Palpatine cares about even the length of the war. He’s got every dark detail down-pat and it kind of scares me.
– Nah we can’t have Obi-Wan and Ahsoka thinking too deeply about the moral nature of this war, Anakin makes sure everyone remembers “We’re the good guys! The Republic needs us!” Welp, they’re something said for his enthusiasm…

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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Uncovering The Lost Missions: Orders

So we’ve arrived now to the last of this first series of Season 6, and whoo boy, this one’s intense with a capital “I“! But yeah, I think we’re all quite aware of that. It’s about to get crazy heady in this blog… but don’t despair! I’m good at sprinkling in some positivity here and there, even in an intense-ish episode of the sort. And even in the midst of the crazy headiness, I hope I’ll spark some interesting conversations, incite plausible theories, and fascinate with my potentially crazy points of view. Well, I wouldn’t say my points of view are that crazy but… I guess you can be the judge of that. Anyway there’s no point in making you read all this blathering, let’s move along and start my commentary on Orders!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode II, Episode III, Episode VI, The Force Unleashed, and TCW episodes The Deserter, The Jedi Who Knew Too Much, To Catch A Jedi, The Wrong Jedi, The Unknown, Conspiracy, Fugitive, and Orders


(Original screencap credit: the official Star Wars Youtube)

When we last left our clone hero, Fives had dug up a boatload of information that could potentially dethrone the entire Sith game, and the awesomely awesome Shaak Ti decided that the best thing to do would be to let Fives tell Palpatine what’s going on. Of course, as we well know, uhm… the so-called “Chancellor” is kinda orchestrating the whole uncool evil Order 66 thing! I’m sure somewhere in the midst of The Force Unleashed, Shaak Ti is facepalming herself looking back. But at the moment, she’s pretty calm with everything going on. Until then, we as the audience are facepalming ourselves in the crazy ironicness of it all! But unbeknownst to her, the “honorable” Kaminoan doctor Nala Se does something that quite possibly alters the outcome of the entire episode: she rather subtly hits Fives with a medicinal drug (possibly a sedative?). How does that affect him ultimately? We shall see. But looking back myself… let’s just say any sliver of respect I had for Nala Se just went out the window.
So once they get there, Palpatine is all smiles and old-man-charming as usual, and Fives is having a hard time having any meaningful conversation with his vision blurred and his senses dulled. The Jedi and the Kaminoan explain both sides of the story in the midst of Fives’s inability to get his thoughts out right. So then the Chancellor thought it’d be just great to have a casual chat alone with Fives to help chill out his clone “compadre” out. The dueling dudettes comply, even though it was with a bit of a raised eyebrow. We don’t see or hear this mano y mano conversation, but considering what happened in the end, I’m not sure we want to. I’m guessing that Palpatine tried to explain his ultimate plan without giving away all the details and trying to make it sound like he’s the good guy (and he’s aware that he’s really good at that) and Fives read between the lines, leading him to just nearly rid the galaxy of the ultimate terror. But of course, everyone buys his “I’m an innocent sweet old guy and he totally just tried to kill me for no reason!” act as usual; the only one who didn’t was, well… Fives. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a clone run as fast as Fives did as he somewhat groggily made a dash for the door. He was too fast even for Shaak Ti — and she awesomely jumped off the staircase to catch up with him! She explains the situation to Mace, Anakin, and Yoda and they’re all like “whuuuuuuut?”, which is the logical explanation one would have if they heard that a friend attacked the Republic’s grand poobah. Gets a bit more confusing (or not so much for us as the audience) when they’re told the Jedi haven’t been asked to help find him. But Anakin knows that Fives would no doubt listen to him and Rex, so the secret search is on…
Meanwhile, no one looked more out-of-place in the busy Coruscant city than Fives… in full armor, minus a helmet, and walking about, looking lost and little off. He’s about as free at the moment as any clone ever had been or would be (well, if you don’t count the fact that he’s on the run and stuff, and I suppose that’s only if we’re not counting Cut Lawquane from Season 2… oh never mind), but he’s not out here for fun — he’s out here once again searching for the truth, or at least a friend who will truly listen to him (oh, don’t we wish AZ were here right now!). Fives doesn’t know exactly who to talk to, but he knows where to start, and he’s going to get there by taxi.
I must take a moment and talk about the Coruscant taxi and its driver. It’s absolutely surreal seeing something even more so familiar to what we have in our world in the midst of this major drama. And the driver’s kinda hilarious and true to the New York drivers we all know well. And on top of all this crazy similarity, there’s what sounds like hip-hop/rap music going on in the cab! I guess that’s not terribly abnormal really (especially since I watched Episode II not very long ago), but in this scenario, in this episode, it sorta knocked me for a loop. Of course, all the funky music and jabbering drivers couldn’t distract Fives from his clear mission, though he certainly didn’t mind having some rather awkward and not-too-pleasant conversations with the driver, who isn’t surprised or swayed by anything. I’m sure our clone hero was quite glad it was an ultimately short ride to his destination (and that he can just get the fare billed to the Republic, since he probably doesn’t have pockets for pocket change in that armor). His destination was the clone bar 97’s, to which I thought “The clones have their own hangout? Oooookaaaay I didn’t know that…”. Though it almost looks like a club for Imperials, because that infamous gray uniform is evidently party wear for clones. And the fact that the clones have any casual wear aside from their fatigues is mind-boggling to me. And plus, it feels a bit weird to see these normally steadfast clones chilling out (not to mention a tad tipsy…). So in a room full of clones, Fives, wearing only a borrowed uniform hat, scopes out for any familiar 501st face he can find… and the first he finds is fellow teammate Kicks (forgive me if I spelled his name wrong). And in the quiet of the men’s room (again, something else I couldn’tve imagined I’d ever see in the SW Universe), Fives asks Kicks for a favor: to tell Anakin and Rex to meet with him alone. Kicks is awesome and is all “sure thing bro” and Fives proceeds to grab a speeder bike and stealthily sneaks out of the club and to his rendevouz spot. But unfortunately for him, he wasn’t stealthy enough to avoid the eye of a Republic probe droid. You know, a lot of this situation reminds me of Ahsoka’s plight in Season 5, in which we find our hero on the run, searching for truth, and at odds with both our good guys and bad guys (plus, Anakin doesn’t end up helping either of them the way they’d wanted to be helped). It’s one of those episodes that put things in perspective as we recall that the Republic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be (as it’s kinda run by the most evil guy in the galaxy and that same guy will shut the whole thing down pretty quickly in favor of his new empire). It’s not easy to return to that viewpoint after so many heroic missions and brave deeds and great rescues by so many Republic heroes these past five seasons, but being reminded of the finiteness of the Clone Wars and where they’re headed is important, so we don’t forget the ultimate outcome and the ultimate victory for the Jedi and Rebels in the end. So yeah I was actually booing the Republic probe droid as he followed Fives closely behind as our hero found an old secluded warehouse of which to meet General Skywalker and Captain Rex. But as far as Fives could tell, everything was going to plan: he’d finally be able to get the truth out.
When Anakin and Rex arrived, they were a bit wary as Fives wouldn’t come out and face them until they put their weapons down. Understandably so, since they’re pretty certain that their clone friend has lost his marbles, oh, and then Fives traps them in a ray shield. Well, maybe “trap” is a bit harsh, but I’m not sure how to say it better. Oh, poor poor Fives… he’s trying to explain the whole crazy conspiracy, but he’s not doing the best job of getting the words out (aside from already being pretty freaked out, he’s also drugged, you might remember) and isn’t doing the best job of not coming off loony. That’s a pretty big question, isn’t it? Is Fives just crazy to reveal the truth… or is he actually just crazy? I like’d to believe that it’s the first option, with the added disadvantage of the drugging. Though he probably shouldn’tve added “I’M NOT CRAZY!”, as that sentence tends to make people believe the opposite. Anakin tries to calm him down and get him to come quietly, but Fives is not having it. He knows that Palpatine’s involved and that a bazillion clones are awaiting orders to kill their leaders and friends in the Jedi, and of course Anakin’s all “Bro, Palpatine’s awesome! How could you say that?? Let’s just chill out and try to think things over” (Yeah, and Ani’s an excellent judge of character, as we all know…). But such chilling out couldn’t happen because along came Palpatine’s clone gang with weapons drawn. Fives doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but they weren’t interested in listening, so he grabbed Rex’s blaster to get them to stop. Buuuut well… the other clones didn’t get that message and shot first. And that’s where I started ugly crying. Anakin and Rex manage to escape the ray shield and come by Fives’s side. And OMGosh there’s not a dry eye in the house… I about lost it further when I saw Rex tearing up just the slightest. The Arc Trooper’s mission has ended, but not alone… with his friends and leaders General Skywalker and Captain Rex, and several of his brothers in armor 😥 IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL AND SO SAD THAT I CAN’T EVEN… 😥
I had originally hoped that maybe Fives would ultimately escape from the eye of Republic, like Cut Lawquane, but in retrospect, Fives joining with the Force was probably the inevitable. And after much thinking, I realized that even if Fives had convinced the Jedi and his fellow clones of Palpatine’s true identity and Order 66, it probably still wouldn’tve changed much. I mean, we’ve seen what happens when Jedi attempt to arrest the Chancellor; it doesn’t end too well. And with Dooku and Grievous still be alive, who knows what they would’ve done! Or would Palpatine have found a way to kill them off early? And I’m guessing that he still would’ve found a way to convince Anakin to join the Dark Side. Plus, any clone with the chip could still be told to execute Order 66, probably even if they did know the truth. Not to mention Fives would probably get killed anyway, and probably in an even worse way, if not just memory-wiped and dumped in the middle of Hoth or something. While I would’ve loved to see the good guys win this one entirely, the likelihood is that the SW story would continue onward as it already does, Vader and all, just possibly even worse (Just thought about this: what if Padme had died before she was pregnant with Luke and Leia? Ahhh the idea is terrifying!! It would definitely be even worse!). So Palpatine supposedly got reports from a biopsy that Tup and Fives both had some parasite they picked up from the last planet they were on, and the Jedi are like “OK, that seems reasonable”. Dooku gives props to Nala Se for keeping the secret (and also being a huge part of what led to Fives’s death; think about that! If he hadn’t been drugged…), and then Sidious gives props to Dooku for overall keeping the secret, and proceeds to emit the most creepy laugh ever as the SW drama continues onward, closer and closer to the day when the he would say the fateful words that would destroy the Republic and the Jedi Order: “EXECUTE ORDER 66“.
So that was indeed a heavy episode and a lot to take in, but amidst tragedies of this sort in the SW universe, I always remind myself of the beauty that will come out of it when Luke brings the good back to his misguided father (and of course the awesome Ewok party the ensues afterward). And it helps to have drawn a very humorous TCW sketch on tumblr yesterday 😀 So I’m glad you guys joined me for this edition of the Uncovering The Lost Missions and managed to sit here and read all my jabberings. I’m quite excited for the next series — Aname draaamaaaaaa!! (My couple name for Anakin and Padme ❤ ) Until next time…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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