Rebel Transmissions: Jedi Night

Oh wow there are so many emotions going on right now. So. many. OMG. Probably why it took so long to write this. Let’s see if I can sort through all these emotions and write something worth the read on this absolutely beautiful, amazing-beyond-words episode.

Contains spoilers from much of Star Wars Rebels including Rebel Assault and Jedi Night. Events from later episodes will not be covered.

One thing that will never cease to amaze me about Star Wars is the way it can be both tragic and joyous almost simultaneously. No matter the medium, no matter the length, these stories can make me laugh out loud and then turn around and weep, and vice versa. And yet, no matter how it ends, I’m never left without hope. It’s ultimately the hope inside each story that brings beauty from even the greatest tragedies. Sometimes it takes a little while to find that hope, and other times it’s right there in the last words spoken, but it’s always there.
And this episode of Rebels is for sure one of the absolute strongest examples of that.

I’ll be honest… there’s no human way I can cover everything I love and everything that intrigues me in this episode. To attempt to do so would make this a lot sloppier a post. I’ve learned from years of blogging here that sometimes I simply can’t cover everything, no matter what I try, unless I end up doing a complete exhausting play-by-play like I used to do prior to last summer when I changed my format. But I will do my best to say all I feel needs to be said. When I think back on this episode, three particular scenes come to mind, and that will be how I piece this post together, by focusing on each of these scenes.

The first is the montage as Ezra’s lothbat plan comes together. There’s a tangible hope in the air you can’t help but feel to the very core of your being, watching these few noble Rebels work together. And you can tell they feel it too, with smiles exchanged and a well-earned sense of pride from what they’ve accomplished with the few resources on hand. It’s in these moments you can tell that it’s not just the Ghost family determined to get Hera back; you can see by how diligently they work that Ryder, Mart, and Jai consider this as more than just military duty. Hehe yes I guess that makes them the Ghost fam’s uncle and cousins 🙂 All this amazing teamwork is perfectly driven by what is now one of my favorite pieces of score Kevin Kiner has ever produced. Even though this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Ezra’s strength as a leader, you see why Kanan was so confidently able to give his apprentice the reigns… and it makes me explode with pride just a little bit 🙂 I’m pretty sure I was beaming by the montage’s end. This is one thing I absolutely love about the Rebels. We’ve learned over the last few years that they don’t always agree on how to go about things, but when they put those arguments aside and focus on what matters most, they can be some kind of force of nature. It’s in this way they’re still as much admirable heroes today as they were forty years ago. And ok I might’ve gotten off-topic some there but it’s true all the same. Just makes you want to stand up and cheer!

The second scene of note would be the rescue. For so so so many reasons. Kanan giving a trooper the “drop” still cracks me up no matter how many times I see it. And the stuff Hera says on truth serum is straight-up gold XD But these moments of honesty with the two are more than just funny, they’re downright precious. Listening to her unfiltered opinions on his new look and them arguing over what defines a present makes you forget for a moment they’re in the middle of a rescue and not newlyweds on their honeymoon. Though yeah those particular couple of comments do make me want to revisit A New Dawn and refresh my memory on their marvelous meetcute. Also stare at the cover art and figure out why Kanan’s hair doesn’t look anywhere near that short. Anyway yes every minute with them in this episode is beyond special and had me reeling from the feels more than a little. Oh yeah and I was definitely surprised to see the kalikori again. I had honestly forgotten Thrawn still had it. The fact that Kanan could literally sense the kalikori was amazing to me. I can’t say for certain it’s the first time I’ve seen something like that in SW, but I can’t remember ever seeing a Jedi doing exactly that, being able to sense the presence of an object on account of its connection to someone close. Like honestly everything in this scene, it just says so so much about their relationship, their history to who they are now. I just love it. All of this. Them. I couldn’t help but love it when I first watched it, and I think I love it even more now ❤

I remember always wanting to see an episode centered primarily around a Kanan and Hera adventure. Jedi Night was very much that long-hoped for episode. But in truth… this episode is perhaps even more about Kanan.
A man who would hold back the flames for those he loves.

There were no tears from me at first. My mouth hung open slightly, in part from the amazement of seeing Kanan literally pushing back fire with the Force, and in part because I was completely shocked at the turn of events and I almost couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that this was happening.
For some reason, I always assumed if we were to lose any member of the family, it would be Kanan. It began with me worrying how Fire Across The Galaxy would end, and the possibility has come to mind on every season’s end since. Perhaps because I could see the potential drama in what Ezra would do without his guidance, especially early-on in the series.
There were things about this episode that felt final, but there were so many moments of joy and victory, it was hard to want to think that way.
But in the midst of that heartwrenching moment, all I could think was that if he was going to go, this was the best way to do it.
Doing it all for his family.
Like I’ve said before, there’s no way to truly prepare for the loss of a great SW hero, even if you can see it as a possibility. But there is comfort in the fact that I don’t believe any of these heroes dies in vain. They die for what they believe is right and for those they love and care for. Don’t think for a minute, however, that this wasn’t a hard truth to accept. I would have loved for Kanan to have made it through the last six episodes, but I also know that, no matter how dark the moment, that Star Wars stories always come back to the light again. And that is why I still feel hope even now. Why this episode still remains a favorite. Why there is still beauty somehow even in the midst of this tragedy.
Kanan Jarrus, I’m going to miss you. But your story isn’t over. No story with a legacy like you leave behind ever does.

Looking forward to continuing this conversation on Dume. Thanks for reading.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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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

Rebel Transmissions: Kindred

OK you ready for another Rebel Transmission? Good, ’cause I was gonna write it either way. Hopefully all my combined ramblings will give you a worthwhile read today. On to Kindred!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Flight Of The Defender and Kindred. Ideally, you should be caught up with every episode prior to these before reading. Events from episodes after these will not be covered.

We’re gonna have to talk about Ruhk, of course. He is so gloriously creepy and so utterly cool! I absolutely adore him. And also would never want to be on his bad side. I’ve said before that, to me, sometimes the most terrifying adversaries in SW are the ones who use brute force over the dark side of the Force. Such combat often comes off so frighteningly real and raw, and that holds very true for Thrawn’s brutal, dangerous assassin who thrives on instinct over feeling. Much as he gives me the shivers though, there’s no question that Ruhk has one of the coolest voices in SW. Not just in the history of villains, but all characters period. Warwick Davis delivers the most chilling, merciless performance, and it was well worth the long wait to hear him in SW again. And I love everything the animators did for his performance, too. Really everybody involved in bringing Ruhk to life deserves a medal ceremony, ’cause this character’s brought a whole lot of all-out fierce, deadly intense physicality to the fight and I can’t get enough.

And oh my oh my oh my, where do I begin with all the stuff that happened with Kanan and Hera? Watching them talk together at the beginning, getting a small glimpse of some of their post-New Dawn, pre-Spark Of Rebellion adventures, brought along a lot of warm nostalgia. And if that’s all I’d gotten, I would’ve been perfectly pleased. Then somehow, in the middle of all the chaos, Kanan just decides then and there to approach Hera on what might happen after her Rebel work is done. In turn this dropped about 2000 pounds of feels on my head. The reverse “You know how I feel”/”Do I?” turned me to mush. And again, if that’s all they gave my Kanera-loving self I would’ve been totally fine.
But HERA MADE THE FIRST MOVE.
AND IT WAS WONDERFUL.
I can’t type the exact sound I made, but I was something of a mix between a laugh, a cry, and an “aww”. And it was loud and very high-pitched.
I’ve loved these two together from day one. Well, actually before that with the Machine In The Ghost short. Their bond was so natural, so easy, so genuine… I knew from that day one I’d be happy wherever it went from there. As the show went on, I occasionally wondered if we might ever get to see a kiss, but I refused to get impatient. This season right off the bat made it a greater possibility than before, but little did I expect when it would happen… and how incredibly impossibly beautiful it would be. And when the crew put the blasting on hold to watch? Absolutely the icing on the cake X3 Honestly, I could go on about these kids forever (and I probably will given enough time and blog posts), but for now, all I can say is that the moment was more special and more precious than I ever could’ve hoped for ❤

Anywayyyyy I think I got that out of my system so now we can focus on other areas of discussion, like the lothwolves and all these new revelations about Lothal. Kanan’s ponderings in the beginning offered some ideas I’d never considered before with the Ghost family’s connection to this world. These ponderings are furthered as the Rebs follow the wolves straight through the planet to refuge. And then even more questions form even when it seems one question was answered. One of the things this episode has in massive quantities is mystery, and in a way so intriguing and mesmerizing that my brain can’t help but try and put all the pieces together, even if my knowledge of how Star Wars works says it’s better I just wait and see. It’s funny, I’d never ever once considered that the lothwolf might have spoken Kanan’s real last name. And even then I have no idea why. I don’t usually theorize much with Rebels, because I trust Lucasfilm will have a richer understanding than I do alone, but I’ve wondered if maybe the name “Dume” is also a meaningful word in an ancient Lothalian language, so that it holds a double meaning of some kind. Or maybe there’s something in Kanan’s heritage that connects back to Lothal. I have no clue what the answer might be, and if they’ll even give us answers at all (remember the Mortis arc in TCW?). But I love the mystery, and I’m really excited to see what secrets this once-thought-to-be-simple world has to discover… and what that will mean for the family that keeps on coming back to it.

Hopefully that covered the most interesting areas. Oh wait hold on — NAME ONE THING COOLER RIGHT NOW THAN HERA LIGHTSPEEDING RIGHT OUT OF THAT IMPERIAL BLOCKADE IN A U-WING. I’LL WAIT. All right now I think I covered everything. I’ll see you next post next week! Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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

Rebels Reflections: A Season Two Recap

Over the course of this past season of Star Wars Rebels, I’ve faithfully written out my fangirly junk commentaries every episode. But even with all that, I find it’s nice to do a little recap and just spew out all my fangirly thoughts at once with no particular organization. So I’m just gonna sit here and blab about everything, from the episodes, to the events, to the characters, and all the incredible stuff that’s happened this season. And then I’ll stop talking about Rebels for a little while and shift gears to another area of the fandom. Fair deal? OK let’s go then!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from the entire second season of Rebels, and a bunch of stuff from the first season too. So really don’t read this without having followed it as consistently as I have. Also seeing all the movies would help.

So wow. So much wow. I’ve said that a lot this season, but it’s entirely true to how it’s made me feel. This show gets amazinger and amazinger every minute, and it was already amazingest to start out! (Lol ignore my fangirly grammar logic) I’m literally not sure where to begin… so let’s start out talking about our wonderful family of friends, the Ghost crew, starting with our boy Ezra.
Ezra’s growth over the second season is truly amazing, mainly because an absolute ton of his personal growth happened in the first episode. When everyone else thinks they’re wasting their time helping high-and-mighty Maketh Tua, Ezra don’t bat an eyelash “We help people, it’s what we do!”. When faced with the gutwrenching ruins of Tarkintown, he still sees hope in the midst of it. Ez is absolutely a new man in Siege Of Lothal and that hopeful skip in his step makes all the difference. Yet the things we’ve always loved about him, like his sharp wit, street savviness, and natural confidence, have remained the same. And though he faced many many challenges and difficulties over the season, how he’s handled them and how he’s approached them have been incredibly mature. He even gave Hera some stellar drop-the-mic advice in Homecoming! Not that he hasn’t faced hurdles and decisions that weren’t really really hard. I mean, he finally found out what became of his parents, and that was by no means an easy truth to swallow. Something that still clearly hurts, as he came close to shedding some angry tears when telling Maul of their fate. But he continues to live out the Bridgers’ legacy with a fierce determination. And alongside his new family, that core value of hope and helping others his parents ingrained in him has been fanned from a spark to a flame. Of course, I’d be dense not to discuss his growth in the Force. Between Kanan’s teachings, Rex’s military-based tips and tricks, and some supplemental holocron footage of Anakin Skywalker, he’s absolutely been killin’ it out there! He’s taken on some pretty powerful and dangerous adversaries, from the inquisitors to Darth Vader himself, and still managed to come out alive. One of my favorite examples of this will always be when he used the Force to turn on his ‘saber while a stormtrooper had it holstered in Stealth Strike. What an awesome idea! Ezra’s Jedi abilities are amazing to watch because he has so many influences in his training. Not to mention his unique ability to connect! He’s not your average Jedi, and we wouldn’t have it any other way 😀 I’ve always called Ezra the “Force-sensitive everyman”, because he gives us an idea as to what it’d be like learning the Light Side without the formality of a proper temple upbringing. We can relate to him as he attempts to understand all the mysteries of the Force and the how-tos of being a Jedi. Now, though he started this season with a newfound optimism… the season ends with uncertainty on his part. He’s played with the Dark Side, questioned who was the better master, and now, hurt by the tragedy that happened on Malachor… well, as I said on that episode’s post, he’s got a lot to think about and a lot of decisions to make. It’ll be interesting to see what he’ll be doing by the time season 3 starts, and what knowledge he might gain from that Sith holcron…
Oh and then there’s Kanan. The only one of the crew who wasn’t all-in on the idea of a larger rebellion. It took him the entire season to finally admit that maaaaybe it wasn’t so bad. Thankfully, for some things, it didn’t take him nearly as long to figure out. His training Ezra really exploded this season; the things they accomplish when they use the Force, together or interchangeably, are truly incredible. Again, that mixture of real-world skill and Jedi prowess make for some really awesome stuff. Homecoming has one of my favorite examples of this as they make their dash to the bridge. Just… AHHH WOW!! That and the beginning of Shroud Of Darkness, too. OK pretty much all the time. They’ve become an in-sync, formidable duo, and we owe Kanan a lot of that. He’s become more confident in his role as master and Rebel, though like say, it took some time to get there. It’s hard to forget his “clone issues”, right? His difficulty with trusting them was understandable, considering all he’s been through over the years, but once he put aside that fear and frustration and learned to trust, it made for a world of difference both for him and for his relationship with Rex, too. I remember before the season started thinking that, with Ahsoka around, maybe there’d be a bit of a too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen situation going on, but ultimately that role would fall to the good Captain instead XD Stealth Strike is an incredible episode for many reasons, and the moment where Kanan says “I’m going to rescue my friend” is one of those reasons. That’s not the only character growth we see out of him, of course… let’s spend the rest of the day talking about what conspired in the Lothal Jedi Temple! For all he and Ezra had accomplished together, he still had doubts and fears concerning his apprentice’s future. But when he finally learned to be let go of what he feared to lose… HE DONE GOT KNIGHTED. Ahhh I got chills! Definitely one of his most defining moments. ‘Cause you know I hadn’t considered this until now, but yeah this was an example of how to handle attachment. I mean, you wanna freak someone out? Tell them their padawan will become an agent of evil! Kanan fights the guard with both his blue blade and a red blade, likely signifying the dark and the light in him as he wrestles with this fear. And when he finally drops both lightsabers and realizes all he can do is start Ezra down the right path… a very glorious thing happens. Also yeah WHOA THE GRAND INQUISITOR WAS A JEDI OAO Explains how he knew so much about Depa Bilaba’s fighting style. I guess. Maybe they were friends back in the day? Weird thought. But more on the inquisitors later, this is Kanan’s paragraph! This whole situation of Ezra’s uncertain future definitely comes back in to light on the finale, as he watches his padawan and an ex-darth being all chummy all of a sudden. Again, Ahsoka’s reminder “because you taught him” was all kinds of perfect timing. And wow when he faced Maul there… he couldn’t see, but yet… HE. COULD. SEE. I absolutely can’t wait to see how he furthers and fine-tunes his skills in this way, as well as how he might use that in training Ezra. I foresee him becoming the Daredevil of Jedi — whupping the Empire with the combination of his other four senses and the Force!
And wow we’ve really gotten to really know Hera over this season too. THE BOSS LADY HAS BECOME MORE BOSS! We’ve finally gotten to meet the rest of the Rebellion she had hiding behind the curtain for all of season one, and seen how she takes charge long before she became an official squad leader. Especially when putting up with Kanan’s “bleh larger rebellion” crud XD She’s still remained the heart/soul/team mom she’s always been, but we’ve also gotten to see more than just that side of her. We’ve seen her heart and passion for flight, and for helping others while doing it, we’ve seen a deep selflessness shine through as she allowed herself in the path of danger to save the rest of her squadron (not that we didn’t already know that she was capable of it, but we hadn’t actually seen her come out nearly killed because of it), we’ve seen her less-than-sweet side as she deals with her difficult dad’s ideas of rebelling, and we’ve seen her have a little trouble letting go herself as she watches her boys walk away to a place she can’t go. These ups and downs have only made us love her more as we see the human/sentient being side of her. With her leadership and her crew-family by her side, I have no doubt as to how far-reaching her influence will be for the Rebel Alliance, and the galaxy itself.
SWR is really good at not revealing too much but revealing just enough when it comes to backstories. This is definitely the case with Sabine. We find she’d had a stint as a bounty hunter and that she’s a rock-solid Viszla clan Mando through-and-through. Things have been rough for her, what with being betrayed by a close friend all that time ago and more recently nearly losing Hera. But she’s still come through and come back stronger. And ultimately, she’s gone right up against the Mando code in the choices she’s made. She forgives Ketsu without expecting anything in return. She chooses not to get revenge on Fenn Rau. Her line from The Protector Of Concord Dawn “I guess I was raised right”, pretty much encapsulates the entirety of her character growth in season 2. Sabine remains the cool, confident Mando we’ve known her to be, but her strong morals and the choices she makes ultimately make her even cooler 🙂
Like with Sabine, we don’t get all the backstory with Zeb. They give us keys to open future doors to learn more instead of giving us everything at once. This season’s had a lot of tides turn for Zeb. He’s overcome his own self-doubts as he pulled off a fantastic rescue in Always Two There Are, battled past regrets and hurt and found hope in Legend Of The Lasat, spent a day with his enemy and found out there was more than met the eye in The Honorable Ones… honestly he’s been through a lot and it’s amazing. We see a wounded, vulnerable side of him, as well as one that bleeds respect and honor, and yet he hasn’t lost that stormtrooper-bashing edge and flawless ability to punctuate a sentence with a smart comment. So much of what we thought we knew about him and the story surrounding him has been rewritten. Seeing him come through this season the way he has has made me love him even more. He is no longer alone, he lost who he thought to be a mortal nemesis, he protects his crew-family, he protects the innocent, he is both child, fool, and warrior… he is a true captain. Also on a weird note I had a dream a month or so ago that I was a Jedi-Rebel and I was going to join Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka on Malachor, so I gave Zeb a friendly goodbye hug… to which he pushed me away and was all “Um sorry not a hugger” XD XD
Then there’s Chopper, who naturally didn’t really change a bit XP He powered through that season mercilessly running into people, zapping his crewmembers, outright hitting them, and dropping droidspeak-snark every ten seconds, like he do. And we wouldn’t want him any other way. But he did make one exception to the rule, he did grow just the teeniest teeniest bit… he made a friend. Who’da thunk an old persnickety protocol and an attitude-laden astromech could become friends? Though they spend most of their time squabbling, you can’t watch Chopper stand by AP-5 in what appear to be his final moments and not feel the friendship feels in the room. So proud of that C1-10P 🙂 And it’s great learning his backstory too… combination grumpy cat and war hero! Funny I think he’s the only crewmember to get their entire backstory told. Wow. Though I do want to know how long it took for Hera to fix him up and when exactly she did, since he seems absent in A New Dawn… oh well. Another mystery for another day!
Obviously I needed to talk about Ahsoka. Her presence in this season has been an absolute dream come true and then some. She was not only a member of the growing Rebel Alliance, but was a true friend and hero! The way she fit in so perfectly with the Ghost crew, always helping them out when they needed her most, the way she easily could strike up a conversation with Ezra and Kanan, her incredible Jedi prowess when she fought the inquisitors, her ever-present hope and optimism, her courage when she laid it all down for her friends. It’s truly truly beyond amazing. I don’t know if we’ll ever see her in this time and place again, but her impact will always be there, and she will always be one of the biggest highlights of season two 🙂
And of course AHH REX!! We got to see a lot of amazing characters return this season… Hondo, Leia, Vader, Cham, Yoda, Maul, but reuniting with Rex and a couple of his fellow brothers was the first one I knew about, and the one that made me absolutely cry/squee with delight that day during Celebration last year. Still as sharp and fearless and a strong leader as ever. But what made it even a further joy to have him in the mini-Alliance was watching him teach Ezra in a grandfatherly way, seeing him and Kanan become an unlikely set of friends, witnessing his sweet reunion with Ahsoka all the way to their final goodbye… Rex has always been and continues to be a great, loyal soldier, but without a constant war to be fought, we have more time to see his heart and soul and it’s been too amazing. And I’m excited to see how his journey continues from here. Rex is living proof that no matter how dark the situation, good will ultimately triumph in the end. Rex was intended as just one small component of Sidious’s horrible plan, but he is so so very much more than that… he’s a true hero :3
Shifting gears, let’s talk a little about them ‘quisitors, Fifth and Sev. Yesss for this season the trouble done got doubled! And though they didn’t hold the high position their nefariously classy boss held, they were by no means any less of a threat to our heroes. They pretty much scared the midichlorians outta me on the regular with their strength, power, and unshakable confidence. I mean, if you need an example, look no further than the time they tore up a public shuttle and everyone on it to kidnap a Force-sensitive child. That’s ’bout bad as it gets man. But regardless of their actions, they still can’t help but be cool. With Fifth Bro so deadly serious and Seventh Sis so devious and crafty and flirty, they make a pretty aweaome team despite their differences. Le sigh they will be missed. They made for some delightfully dangerous foes, constantly keeping us guessing, and both freaking us out and majorly impressing us at the same time 😀
Also wow Kallus made some great strides, didn’t he? And I mean REALLY great strides. Like, planet-wide strides. At the start of the seaaon, it seemed working alongside Vader went to his head, and his jerkyness went up one-thousandthfold. Everywhere we turned, he waa dishing out some surefire sarc and finding the best new ways to make things difficult for our heroes. Agent K was at the top of his bad guy game, it seemed. Right up until one episode came along and blew our tiny minds, anyway. Give it about 22 minutes and my entire view of him was decimated and I found myself crying for him. He was hurt and talked a lot of talk. He went into things without asking why. He’s not really all that bad. WOW. I’m definitely excited to see what happens next in Kallus’s story. After all, if there are heroes both sides and evil is everywhere, I’d sure like to see a real hero on the Empire’s side 🙂
And then we owe Darth Vader a paragraph. *Is Force-choked for not doing it sooner* It probably won’t be too long a paragraph since he really doesn’t exhibit any character growth. But his role this season has been utterly terrifyingly fantastic. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again: seeing Vader in his merciless, nightmarish prime has made me greater appreciate him as a villian. I love his redemption story so much I often look past the horrible things he’s done. I was squarely reminded of how far he’d fallen through basically every minute he was onscreen the entire season, especially in Siege and Twilight. Whether nearly in killing Ezra twice, burning Tarkintown, or giving his former padawan no mercy, he gave me all the chills all the time. But through it all, it’s a good reminder as to why his ultimate redemption is so powerful. The entire Ahsoka-Vader-Anakin story weaved throughout is a solid reminder as well. And still I be wondering… if Ahsoka is truly alive… how is he still alive? We may never truly know, but either way, his role this season has added much to the emotional side of the story as well as being a genuine threat to our heroes.
Gosh, there are honestly a ton of things worth talking about in Rebels season two, but due to my lack of time and likely your lack of attention span, I think I’ll be wrapping this up. We’ve seen so much this season, seeing the mini-aliance come to be and expanding across the galaxy, and seeing this beautiful cast of characters grow and thrive. Every episode went above and beyond what I ever could’ve imagined, and continue to inspire me and encourage me and make me laugh and cry with every viewing, and really just about every day. I can only predict more excitement and more feels and more joy from here.
And since I’ve been terrible and haven’t recapped as thoroughly as I should’ve, I’ve compiled links to all the original Rebel Transmissions from the past season, so you can dig even deeper if you haven’t already. And don’t worry… anything I haven’t covered here will eventually come up, I promise ya 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

The Siege Of Lothal
The Lost Commanders
Relics Of The Old Republic
Always Two There Are
Brothers Of The Broken Horn
Wings Of The Master
Blood Sisters
Stealth Strike
The Future Of The Force
Legacy
A Princess On Lothal
The Protector Of Concord Dawn
Legends Of The Lasat
The Call
Homecoming
The Honorable Ones
Shroud Of Darkness
The Forgotten Droid
The Mystery Of Chopper Base
Twilight Of The Apprentice