SW Summer Reads: Tarkin

So I know this is late… probably too late to be referred to as Summer Reads, anyway. But the book we’re looking at today amazing enough to be read at any time of the year: James Luceno’s Tarkin. There’s much to discuss so let’s get goin’!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode IV, TCW “Citadel”, “The Wrong Jedi”, “Crystal Crisis” arcs, Freemakers episode The Kyber Saber Crystal Chase, and Tarkin.

A long time ago in the same galaxy, I saw Episode IV for the first time. Unfortunately I didn’t grasp it as well as I should have. I understood the basics, but I could not tell you the name of the man we know as Tarkin. Nearly ten years later, countless rewatchings of the film as well as many viewings and re-viewings of The Clone Wars and Rebels truly brought to light this truly amazing and fascinating character. And now, upon reading the book bearing his name, I know him now more than ever. Oh gosh where do I begin? James Luceno covers nearly every angle of Tarkin’s story, from his earliest adventures to the events that bestowed him the title of “Grand Moff”. But not a word of it is unnecessary; every chapter is a piece of what made Tarkin, Tarkin.
Strong, undaunted, articulate, fearless, calculating, and firm in his beliefs, I was re-reminded what an incredible character he is in just about every paragraph. Mr. Luceno wrote so well for him that I often forgot he was supposed to be a villain. But that’s just one of those things that make him such a fascinating character; he so believes in what he considers right, that he’s willing to do whatever it takes. In several situations I could agree with what he was after, but I couldn’t fully agree with his methods to get it. And as we watch him take on a group of less-than-scrupulous rebels, we really get to dig into deep thoughts on the difference between right and wrong… and how easily those lines can be blurred. Dude this book’s got philosophical thoughts for days! It’s amazing stuff!
And there is so much I learned from this novel. Tarkin’s had connections with just about all the big events in SW history in one way or another, and we get to experience those from his unique perspective. Not to mention just the general discussion on SW tech, warfare, and everyday life. There’s something special about knowing the inner workings of these things, even something as seemingly average as a comlink. I also learned quite a few new big words I had no idea existed in the English language, and i consider myself very well-read so it rather took me aback I didn’t know every word 😛 (Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who didn’t know what an “adjutant” was!) The book’s both deep and in-depth, definitely not a beginner’s SW novel, but a truly incredible one nonetheless.
Tarkin’s life story brings both a sense of empowerment as an ordinary guy achieves great status, but also one of sadness as, for all of his intelligence and cunning, he still understood so little of what truly mattered in life. Many times throughout the story that last fateful image of the Grand Moff came to mind. That last shot as he quietly observed the battle, not truly believing anything or anyone could knock down the battle station he put so much faith in. And then he and that battle station were gone in an instant. The book is a powerful reminder to be careful of where the lines blur, and that power gained by wrongdoing ultimately fails us in the end. I’m sorry if I butchered that in any way but ahhhh this book’s so so powerful! Every inch of Mr. Luceno’s story was masterfully written, so much so I can barely put into words how much so it was.
And now, some other thoughts I had while reading the book. Enjoy the randomness (and the occasional moment of deepness).

– Had to read this one slowly. A lot of information, a lot of politics, a lot of stuff to digest.
– Tarkin sounds 100% like I’d expect him to.
– Gets fashion advice from a protocol droid. #Fabulous
– Scars from previous battles? Hmm Tarkin’s had a lot of adventures hasn’t he?
– THE HOLOFASHION MACHINE OMG I NEED THAT.
– What’s a fitness apparatus?? Hah yeah he totally lifts bro.
– Wow such great descriptions…
– Hehe Tarkin was a ginger just like me, has blue eyes too– wait oh dang I hope I don’t look like Tarkin when I’m his age O_O
– Nah I could never match his cheekbone game.
– “Outer Rim” is an accent??? Mind. Blown.
– Wow someone likes looking at himself, don’t he?
– So all that stuff on the Imperial uniforms actually has a purpose? Not just greeblies anymore? Cool. Imperial cosplayers take note!
– Pff this is gonna be one of my weirder posts.
– Ehhh not a big fan of Grand-Uncle Jova… but fascinating trying to imagine Tarkin as a small child. I can barely see it.
– BTdubs I imagine a name like “Wilhuff” got him bullied a bit as a kid.
– Whoa dude’s a real multitasker. I never thought I’d say I’d want to be like Tarkin in any way, but I’d sure like to do that.
– YAYY I LOVE A PARADE!! Oh wait it’s full of Imperials bleh XP
– Parking lots are a thing in SW. Good to know.
– I’m really enjoying learning more about how the Empire works. Makes me feel super-smart, too 🙂
– Thing I learned today: “Comm” applies to the hologram communication devices as well as the little microphones they talk with… at least, I think so. I could be reading it wrong…
– Also I realized I think I typically have spelled it “com” with one m. Not feeling quite as smart right now.
– Hmmmm Tarkin’s good. *Nods*
– Can I just say I love learning about SW tech? I know I’ve said it before but it’s still seriously cool.
– Admiral Trench! I knew that guy! I remember that battle!
– OK wow this whole thing with the Droid Gotra. A bunch of battle droids gone rogue! Kind of a scary thought, but also kind of cool to know they had that kind of free will. Think R0-GR ever ran in that crowd?
– Wait I’m confused… Poggle The Lesser didn’t design the Death Star? Or did he? The Death Star’s origins remain a mysteryyyyyyyyyyyyyyy it seems…
– Man it’s kind of amazing how much effort truly went into the Death Star. All these millions of probably decent people contributing to this mysterious ultimate weapon in many ways. It’s astounding, though in a rather sad way.
– Hey look it’s Mas Amedda. Vizier is quite a fancy title. Much better than “secretary” like I was calling him 😛
– Did they seriously just describe him as an “ambitious amphibian”? I mean, that’s really good wordplay, but is his species actually amphibious? Huh the things you learn from SW books!
– Is it wrong I really enjoyed Tarkin and Amedda’s conversation? Hehe so much snarkiness, my goodness!
– Wooo galactic history lesson! I love how this novel was written as if speaking to the everyday citizens of the galaxy, not to us dumb Earth people 😛
– Actually maybe it’s more like a galactic news report than a history lesson.
– The ancestral pioneer Tarkins sound like cool peeps.
– Keep in mind I said “ancestral”. Tarkin’s parents are purty snooty.
– Also if they’re as rich and fancy as they are, why does his dad even consider putting his elbows on the table, even for emphasis? Breakin’ your own rules Mr. Tarkin.
– It’s funny though… little Wilhuff sounds like an adorable kid. I can see it now.
– But seriously still what kind of parenting is this?? “Oh look here come the men to kidnap you for your rite of passage! Have fun honey!”
– Joke’s on them though ’cause little Wilhuff was prepaaaaared.
– Oh hi Grand-Uncle Jova. Ah this explains the “blood” comment. All about the context.
– So far this makes me feel really bad about my lack of survival skills.
– Think using animal interiors (like tauntauns) as shelters was a covered topic? Ew…
– Such a waste of a perfectly good vest. Not to mention the poor critter. But I don’t need to tell you that.
– AHH DANG BRO ATE RAW LIVER. THAT’S GROSS.
– Smol Tarkin has guts. (Absolutely no pun was intended)
– Seriously.
– He has GUTS.
– He did some gross stuff out there.
– I couldn’t do what he did.
– At all.
– #Respect
– Wonderful childhood amiright?
– OK Tarkin just figured out that Imp was using spice from a stain on his shoe. Wow he’s good. So so good. Hey, he may be considered a slightly bad dude but at least he expects his crew to be decent!
– Oooh the Carrion Spike is a stealth ship! Very fancay.
– Not sure his uncle gives the best advice still tho.
– Any weird chance this Q’anah girl might be related to Aurra Sing? Or if not, that maybe they hung out on the weekends and talked piratey-bounty-huntery things?
– Yay he caught the pirates. But yikes the way he did ’em in… that’s all I got: YIKES.
– OMG Palpatine’s living in the former Jedi Temple?? UGH YOU SCUMBAG.
– Sorry that might’ve sounded mean but it’s kinda true.
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP IMPERIAL GUAAAAAARDS!!! ❤ ❤
– *Is punched for that brief fangirly outburst*
– New thing I learned: Coruscant natives are referred to as "Coruscanti".
– AHHH TEACH ME YOUR STAR WARS WRITING WAYS, MR. LUCENO!
– Pff the Emperor is such a diva.
– Well actually he's just a very very busy man with his Death Star and stuff… oh who am I kidding he's still a diva XD
– If you think that's scary, wait 'til they hear about the Palaptine Museum they're building!
– Anyway, it's nice to know Wilhuff had a friend or two. He doesn't typically seem like the social type.
– Maybe if he used a different cologne. Whatever it is, it's not a scent that the Rebels care for. *Tomatoed*
– Oh yeah I remember the Citadel escape! That was fun 🙂
– *Cough not for most everybody tho cough*
– Hehe the looks Ahsoka gave him were well-deserved, but priceless XD
– And I'm getting off-track again.
– Whaaaat Palpatine was a ginger too?? So when we see him in Episode I, that blonde hair of his is fake? Haha he really is a diva.
– DON'T FORCE-CHOKE ME EMPEROR SIR.
– Hehe Tarkin's absolutely fanboying getting to meet the good Senator here.
– And by "teacher" you mean Plagueis, right?
– *Is punched for stating the obvious*
– Yeesh stop punching and tomatoing me already dude!
– Wow Palpatine is so good at being bad.
– Tarkin's entrance game is 110% on-point. I wish I could rock that confidence.
– *Stupidly imagines Tarkin as Kuzco from The Emperor’s New Groove* BOOM BABYYY!
– Get it? Because his entrance game was on-point…?
– Just… trust me on this. It’s hilarious.
– *Tomatoed*
– Lol haters gonna hate, Wilhuff. Just shake it off.
– *Ducks from tomato and fist*
– Hmm bro was a bit of a bad boy in the academy. Who’da thunk?
– THEY’RE JUST JEALOUS ‘CAUSE YOU’RE SO FABULOUS AND CLASSY.
– “Lightsaber diplomacy”… I like it. Or as some call it, “aggressive negotiations”!
– My first instinct is to assume Tarkin’s reading into the Jedi all wrong, but who knows? They’re might’ve been some snobby ones back in the day.
– Tarkin’s survival skills are also 110% on-point.
– If you ignore the fact it was an act of survival, it sounds like Tarkin could host the best campouts ever!
– …no, not really.
AHHHHHH VADERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!
– Also boo Tarkin you were such a jerk to Ahsoka.
– But whatever it’s VADERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!
– Yep that’s Vader. Still as scary and awesome as ever.
– Though yikes the way he killed that guy…
– Please Amedda, Darth don’t care about your dumb rules.
– “I will give the matter some thought…” translation: not ever.
– The fact they literally have to designate where and when he executes people really says something about where the Dark Lord is right now.
– He powerful and he angryyyyy.
– Fascinating seeing the mutual respect Tarkin and Vader have for one another. Seriously.
– Oh wow Tarkin figured it out. Bro’s smart.
– It’s kind of freaky seeing the two Empire big-shots engaging in some casual small talk. Aside from the Lego one-liners, what must it’ve sounded like to hear Lord Vader just talk casually without intending to strike fear into someone? Can he even do that??
– Uh-oh did they end up finding that massive kyber for the thing?? How??
– Man they put so much work into that Death Star. How did they forget that one teeny little hole…?
– Only Tarkin could tell the Emperor “I like what you’ve done with the place”, and not be severely Force-lightninged.
– Somehow I’m not surprised Palpatine’s proud of his decor.
– Seriously Tarkin’s theories are right again! Mostly.
– Like I said earlier, watching Tarkin having pleasant conversations with the Darths is amazing. Just the fact that either of the darksiders could ever act like a decent human being is fascinating and really cool.
– Tarkin does freelance writing in his spare time. Who knew? Maybe he runs a holoblog? I’d read that. “Talkin’ Tarkin: Thoughts Of An Imperial Governor” or maybe “Keep Calm And Carrion Spike: A Governor’s Life”?
– THAT MOMENT WHEN IT SUDDENLY OCCURS TO YOU YOU KNOW WHO NILS TENANT IS AND YOU FEEL LIKE AN IDIOT FOR NOT RECOGNIZING HIM.
– Hi Yularen! Fun fact I seriously didn’t realize he was in Episode IV up until a few months ago.
– Took a minute to look up Janus Greejatus in the starwars.com databanks just out of curiosity and boy is he scary-looking.
– Interesting stuff happens when all the big-shot Imps get together in one room…
– It’s fascinating watching Sidious and Vader interact one-on-one… and quite chilling.
– Wow Tarkin and Palpatine knew each other on a first-name basis. Practically BFFs.
– Lol not really. OK maybe a little.
– Whoa a clone-turned-storm. I feel kinda bad for this Sergeant Crest.
– Really interesting seeing what Tarkin understood about the Jedi from his side of the story. What difference would it have made if he’d known the truth about the Clone Wars and the role the Jedi played in it? I’m gonna shoot looks at him like Ahsoka did though XP
– Oooh a little Dooku backstory! This novel literally has everything!
– Seems he made a different kind of spark of rebellion, huh? Not the good kind, but still veryyyyyyyyyy interesting…
– I want a book on Dooku’s life story now, OK? That would be awesome.
– Tarkin and Dooku in the same room but on opposing sides! Great stuff!
– Sidious’s droid is Plagueis’s old droid. Goodness, he must be an old thing.
– Oh wow I read into that wrong. Vader might have some respect for Tarkin, but apparently he’s been a little sore with him since the Ahsoka incident. Heh I know I would.
– When you read a SW book you learn something new just about every page! It’s seriously amazing.
– So the Emperor’s plan: let’s stick the two on a mission together and see what happens! Great idea! This won’t end badly at all!
– Well I guess it actually might not and they’ll become buddies up until the Death Star goes boom.
– Just have to see I do suppose.
– AHHH WOW SIDIOUS IS TERRIFYING. HE KNOWS EVVVVERYYYYYYYYYYYTHINGGGGGGGGGGGGG.
– “Chapter Ten: A Better Womp Rat Trap”. These chapter titles are amazing btw.
– He literally just compared the smell to rancid cheese. I like Mr. Luceno’s style. Serious, but completely honest 🙂
– Wheeeee we’re takin’ a ride in an old-school gunship!
– Koorivar have a single cranial horn… so they’re unicorns then??? *SHOT*
– *Twilight wracks her brain trying to recall where she last heard the name “Crymorah” in SW*
– Uh-oh there went the Carrion Spike.
– And Tarkin ain’t a fan of none of this.
– He got some doubts.
– Vader’s patience with him is impressive.
– Oh yeahhhh I remember the Sugi now. From back on Anakin and Obi-Wan’s crystal misadventures!
– That’s probably where I remembered the Crymorah from too.
– OK so that clears that up.
– Note to self: it’s spelled “gotal” not “gothal”. *Sigh* now I gotta fix the tags again…
– Wow a whole paragraph just talking about different varieties of body odor. Lovely.
– Again, love this book.
– Zygerrians have some fur. I did not know this.
– The fancy royal ones in TCW probably just shave it.
– The things ya learn!
– Pirates they may be but I like ’em. They’re the cool crew.
– DUDE DON’T TELL VADER HOW TO DRIVE. HE’S GOT THIS.
– AND DON’T QUESTION VADER’S PLANS. HE’S GOT THIS.
– Whoops. Nevermind they’re gone.
– Noooope Vader’s stillll got this bro.
– “DARTH SIDIOUS WAS ANNOYED…” What else is new? XD
– More cool SW tech terminology: “holocams”!
– These rebel-sorts are gooooooood.
– Governor Motti’s first name is “Antonio”. Fabulous name bro.
– Pooooor sleepy Tarkin…
– But he’s still sharp as ever when figuring out the rebs’ next move.
– Interesting looking at the opposing angles of Teller and Hask’s thoughts on innocents in the Empire. These rebs work well together and that’s likeable, but they’re not quite the rebs you wanna cheer on. They’re not the Ghost crew, who try to keep from killing people they don’t have to. These piratey rebs don’t seem to care who gets caught in their crossfire, with the exception of Hask, it seems. Seriously this concept is genius. They make you subliminally root for who we usually know as the “bad guys”. Wow. first time seeing some actual depth in these observations of mine in a long while.
– Oooooh Tarkin isn’t gonna be too happy when he gets a load of all that damage done to his ship…
– Y’know is it just me or does it seem that Teller doesn’t like Tarkin? /sarc/
– OMG HASK IS RIGHT. HASK IS SO RIGHT.
– When lines get blurred… stuff happens. Not good stuff usually.
– Ahh wow this book!
– “Magnetically sensitive”? Is that normal for all gotals or just Salikk?
– Sounds like Salikk leads a hard life.
– I’m sorry I’m not saying more right now but there’s so much to wrap my mind around OMG.
– Yep you can still tell that’s Anakin in there. Just as impatient as ever…
– Ohhh it’s read as OneOne-FourDee not Eleven-FourDee I feel dumb.
– SW computers are cool. It’s fascinating how they work and what they’re capable of compared to our technology.
– It’s too bad, Tarkin could’ve been a great wildlife journalist (or whatever you’d call it) had he not ended up in the Empire.
– That and the fact he didn’t bat an eyelash at killing anything he deemed dangerous or edible.
– Vader is so terrifyingly good.
– “Moff Tarkin sends his regards” *Drops the mic*
– “…Race to the light of the lasers!” might be the coolest line in the whole book.
– Coruscant has weather control waaaaat??
– They seem to consider “humanoids” and “nonhumans” two different things. Wonder why?
– Guess maybe humanoids have mostly human anatomy, while nonhumans have more “alien” anatomy.
– Tarkin is absolutely all smugness right now.
– Anora deserves a medal for that beautifully poetic burn.
– Tarkin don’t care tho he jus’ gonna shake it off, shake it off.
– But seriously she is 110% right.
– So right it’s scary.
– Hey hey everybody there’s a new GRAND MOFF in town!
– It somehow never occurred to me what a big deal being grand moff is until this moment.
– And then I only now realized this story takes place after Rebels. At least, I think so. In Rebels he was only governor and I don’t think the Death Star was quite under construction yet.
– It only took me nearly the entire novel to figure that out!
– Orrrrrrrrrr maybe not?? Apparently he still goes by “governor” in most circles. So maybe this was before and the Death Star was just well-hidden when the Ghost crew passed by Geonosis?
– IDK man it’s all a mystery to me.
– Wow the Tark is some celebrity. Have to wonder if people still thought that after the Death Star went up in flames…
– How is it that Tarkin’s connection to the Carrion Spike inspires in me both a feeling of warmth and unease?
– Oh hey Jova how ya doin’? And hey Teller– wait waht?? How’d he get here?
– Kind of hilarious watching Tarkin and Jova just catching up like nothing’s weird while the dork reb is stuck in a trap below them.
– I’d wish Teller good luck but I don’t think he deserves it.
– THERE ARE HEROES ON BOTH SIDES AND EVIL IS EVERYWHERE!
– Oh yeah and THA DEATH STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!!! Or at least the BABY DEATH STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!!!
– It’s sad to think that this battle station he loves so much will one day be the death of him.
– Though I’m not gonna lie. When it first moved… I got chills, too.

And so that concludes the final SW Summer Read of the year. So glad you all got to read along with me!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Advertisements

Rebel Transmissions: The Mystery Of Chopper Base

So I had a lovely Star Wars Day yesterday. Watched Episode I (since it’s been officially five years since I first saw it), threw in a little Clone Wars action, some Lego Droid Tales fun, read my Original Trilogy Costumes book a bit, listened to songs with SW references, ate SW Cheez-Its, and wore my BB-8 schematics shirt! But my love of Star Wars doesn’t just pertain to one day a year, it’s everyday! So let’s continue the celebration with the totally-exciting, sometimes-frightening, and always-feely episode The Mystery Of Chopper Base!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from TCW episode Legacy Of Terror and Rebels episodes Out Of Darkness, The Siege Of Lothal, Shroud Of Darkness, The Forgotten Droid, and The Mystery Of Chopper Base.

It feels good seeing the mini-Alliance finally find home. And though it’s only stated in the title, I’m sure Chopper won’t let anyone forget that it’s his base. Also I’m gonna guess AP lost a bet XP We catch the Ghost family in the middle of movin’ in, going back and forth delivering stuff to the planet surface. But while Hera is looking forward to getting settled, a few of our crewmembers are planning on taking off. Kanan and Ezra are hard at work doing some seriously intense lightsaber training. Also we get to see their blue blades in training mode! I didn’t know they could do that, but it makes a lot of sense, considering no one wants to lose a limb while practicing. Fun uncovering new secrets of the SW galaxy! Aw man they seriously got skilllllz tho. They kinda have to since they’ve got the path to Malachor lying in front of them. They practice fighting like they mean it, like their lives absolutely 100% depend on it (which will likely be very true), and as fiercely and craftily and aggressively as they can. But their skillz are pretty equally matched, as they keep coming to a draw. And as Kanan explains, there are no ties in lightsaber duels. So that means MORE PRACTICE! Whoo-hoo. Hera watches her boys with pride, but also with a glimmer of sadness. Things are getting real out here man. Just watching Kanan practice-fight dirty like an inquisitor reminds us of that. And yes I am writing this completely from the perspective I had the day I watched this. Just wanted to clear that up again.
Also “THIS IS MY EXCITED FACE!” OMG I died laughing. So perfectly Kanan. He mighta just started a meme right there. But Hera doesn’t share her copilot’s enthusiasm. Though I completely sympathize with Hera’s feelings in this moment, Kanan looks so confused it’s hilarious. Also HI AP-5!! He’s gonna have to get used to the fact the Ghost crew’s always fashionably late 🙂 The world they’re setting up roots on is dry and hot and has an abundance of tiny crabby-things (which I find rather adorable, don’t tell Zeb), but it’s home! But… well, there’s always a “but”. A young Reb was setting up sensors around the perimeter when a much much larger pest problem reared its ugly head. The little bogans mirror our own reaction as she falls prey to the nightmarish beast. Oh look things just got more real.
Elsewhere Kanan and Hera survey their handiwork as the base continues to come together. But knowing Kanan and Ezra won’t be here, it makes it a little harder for Hera to be enthusiastic. Kanan reiterates how important it is for them to get the inquisitors off their backs if they want to keep this mini-Alliance going. To his credit, he’s trying here, even finally says “yeah you were right being part of a larger Rebellion is awesome”, but boy still don’t quite quite get it. But then word that one of their lieutenants is missing puts this conversation on hold. Rex and Sabine are on the case!
This won’t be the first time you hear me say this in this post, but Mystery Of Chopper Base is super-super nostalgic in addition to being always-feely. Because with the future ahead uncertain, this sorta feels like a last episode for everybody together. This golden little moment in the midst of the craziness definitely fits the nostalgia feels. Hehe Chopper seems to be living up to his “grumpy pet cat” description as he pursues a smol crab and rams right into Ezra. The astromech continued his chase after letting Ez know where Zeb went off to. Ah just like the good ol’ days… always running here and there and then getting tripped up by the family C1. Much nostalgia right there 🙂 So Zeb was outside, already had a little spot of his own set up and enjoying the sunset. Interesting thought do you think Lasan was generally a hotter-temperatures planet? We know Zeb isn’t fond of the cold (but who is really?), and I get the feeling that this isn’t the most temperate world. Perhaps Zeb favors more warm desert-y climates? He even seems to have toes like a species of desert lizard (that I can’t remember the name of) that helps them walk on hot ground without burning their feet! Of course the sun is setting so maybe the weather’s more favorable at this point and he’s enjoying a more temperate evening. OK yeah I know I’m weird but like I’ve said before weather in SW is fascinating because it’s rarely obvious. Also a thought on Lasat and their old homeworld again. I’ll stop rambling now. But yeah… it’s majorly presh as Zeb invites Ezra to just chill out with him a moment. Ezra’s aware that a lot’s up in the air with what may ultimately come of their trip to Malachor. But Zeb throws some solid encouragement his way, knowing his little bro’ll be back, and by then they’ll both have stories to tell 🙂 And so with that they turn up the radio and simply enjoy the moment, whatever the future holds. AUGH. THE ABSOLUTE FEELS. Still gets me thinking how much they’ve grown, how they’ve truly become brothers. GAH MOVING ON BEFORE I CRY.
Meanwhile, Rex and Sabine’s search for the lieutenant turned up dry, but they did find a HORRENDOUS GIANT CRAB-SPIDER THING!! Yeesh I wish I remembered all the species names in this episode. And now they’re back and in greater numbers! The clone and the Mando’s awesomeness combined is a sight to behold. But with the crawlers’ crusty hides resilient to blasterfire, Sabine gets knocked out and Rex gets carried off very quickly. Sabine gets back on her feet and manages to down a few of the creeps with a shot to the eye, but they very nearly get her too. Good thing the Ghost and its crew had her back. No questions the family’s making sure they get their resident “grandpa” back! OK except maybe for Zeb ’cause he’s got a problem with multi-leggers… “MORE THAN TWO LEGS IS JUST… EXCESSIVE!”. Careful bro you might’ve offended some of Admiral Trench’s spider-person kin. Granted they really just have multiple arms instead of legs, but I assume it would still come off just as creepy. Hmm… season 3 episode prediction: Zeb has to negotiate a deal with the spider-people. That would go well XD
And so, armed with lightsabers and flashlights, the Ghost team enters the tunnels. Also that bit where Ezra one-ups Zeb’s dinky flashlight with his ‘saber? PERFECTION XD With so many routes to go, Kanan suggests they split up. But instead of Ezra with half of them and Kanan with the other half, Hera suggests the Jedi go separately, knowing they’ll need to get used to Rebelling without the Force-wielders around. Again, getting some sad vibes here. So ’bout as soon as the master and padawan turn around there’s a crawler staring them down. Ezra decides to try and Force-connect with it, since, after all, it’s kinda his thing. But it seems the beastie doesn’t respond to such and just rather’d eat them. It took Kanan about 1.2 seconds to leap to his apprentice’s defense and kill the bug. Also yet another golden quote: “You always change the subject when I start winning!” XD Man the season’s been over for a month and I’m already missing the sound of their camaraderie…
So if there’s one thing that we learn from this episode, it’s that giant spider dens are creepy to the max. Oh wait, I think we already learned that from Legacy Of Terror in TCW, except those were zombie Geonosians but the principle is the same. Thank goodness Rex is still alive… even though being caught in the creature’s terrifying grip sorta puts a time limit on that matter. Hera, Sabine, and Zeb manage to pry open the cage of spider legs and free their comrade, buuuuut it’s hard to do that without waking it up so… time to go. Seems like everywhere they turn though more crawlers show up! The blaster-wielding side of the family holds their own well, but they can only shoot so many at once. Just as Hera was about to try taking one down herself, the ‘saber-wielding side of the family made their entrance. Together they manage to get out of the tunnels, but the Ghost isn’t too much safer. Those bugs quickly get to work on webbing the ship down. Ezra, Zeb, and Kanan take to the big guns, and Hera and Sabine whip out the bug-zapping shield they used on the fyrnocks, but neither make much of a dent in the spidercrabs. Only option now is to cut the ship free. Zeb’s all “NOPE”. To which Ezra responds “Greaaat the last Jedi in the galaxy are gonna get eaten BECAUSE YOU WERE TOO AFRAID TO COME OUTSIDE!!” Ah so many priceless moments 😛 It’s looking like there’s no way to stop the crawlers, but then Sabine realizes they’re bothered by the sensor markers, the only reason they hadn’t set foot on the base, and the other reason they didn’t attack her earlier that day. Time for an Ezra plan! While the rest of them defend the ship from the bugs, Ezra and Kanan’ll Force-throw Sabine over to the sensor. “It’s times like this I reallyy wish I had a jetpack”. Wellll if someone had picked up on all those hints she left for Life Day things might be different now! XP New season 3 episode prediction: Sabine buys a used jetpack at the market and finds out it was stolen from Boba Fett and he’s not happy. Of course, things go well and they mayyy have given her too much of a push and oh look a cliff. *Facepalm* Couldn’tve planned for that, could ya? Also, wow major props to Rex for taking on that crabspider like he did. I mean, he basically WRESTLED IT OUT and KICKED IT IN THE FACE. Not bad for an old clone! And thank goodness ’cause man that got scary at times. Speaking of, how’s Sabine doin? Thankfully she had more of a grip on that cliffside than it looked when Ezra and Kanan pitched her over. But then ANOTHER ONE IS COMING UP BEHIND HER!! AHHH!! Thankfully she manages to get back up and get to the sensor just in time. She’s in charge now, crawlers! She’s in charge! With that, the Jedi cut the Ghost loose and head for home!
So even though the bugs are a bit of a drawback, Hera’s not about to give up this base, no sir. Ultimately, the sensors are the answer, just lots and lots and lots of sensors. Kanan’s glad to see their pest problem resolved, but Sabine’s finally done holding her silence “GO. TALK. TO. HERA.” Yes she’s noticed. She done noticed everyythingg. Kanan’s all derp like “Whut?” and Sabine’s all *facepalm* “MEN! SHE’S GONNA MISS YOU, YOU DOLT!”. He got the hint this time. Thank goodness ’cause we were all thinking what Sabine was thinking. Though I will note, as Kanan walks away, Sabine has this hint of a smile on her face… yeeeees she ships ’em just as much as we do.
So when Kanan walks over, Hera immediately turns the conversation to business stuff, since she thinks that’s probably all she’s gonna get from him. But in his own kinda awkward way, he reassures her he and Ezra’ll be all right. For a moment, he puts all the business matters and uncertainties aside, and they share a tender, bittersweet goodbye hug. “We’ll see each other again…” he promises. I absolutely about died of feels here. There were tears on my part I can promises you that. Even with no idea what was to come, it’s impossible not to feel as though it’s final somehow. It’s absolutely beautiful, and it most definitely speaks volumes about their relationship at this point, and it basically leaves me reeling with feels. Le sigh… I do love Kanan and Hera together something awful ❤
In the last few enigmatic moments of the second-to-last episode, we find Ezra trying again to reach out to a spidercrab, only to be snarled at again. At least this time it's from the safety of the sensor-surrounded base. It's about then when Ahsoka arrives. Ezra ponders why it is he can't connect, but Ahsoka can only further ponder on the many mysteries of the Force. Some questions simply can't be answered. But for now, they have bigger questions to find answers to. Malachor awaits.
So I think all I can do after an episode this incredible is wish you the best of luck to recovering from those feels. Especially if you're like me and already saw what happens next, but that's another post for another day. Until then…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Uncovering The Lost Storyreels: Unfinished Business

And so we’ve reached the finale of this fantastic storyarc! Love that it’s an exciting awesome episode, sad that it’s the last of ’em. Hopefully my blogging skills are more astute than they were last time around. Either way, it’s time to dive deep into the episode called Unfinished Business!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from the Clone Wars Microseries, Rebels episode Out Of Darkness, TCW episodes Counterattack, Orders, The Bad Batch, A Distant Echo, On The Wings Of Keeradaks, and Unfinished Business (Storyreels)

Phototitle for Unfinished Business

So if you thought our heroes could get a break after all the insanity regarding Echo’s rescue… you were wrong. But obviously by the episode’s title you could probably tell that we weren’t just going to join the Bad Batch for a sandwich break (though come to think of it, I really want to see that episode now XD ). They’re still fightin’ Trench on Anaxes (also I recently figured out that this is the fyrnock-ridden base we see in Out Of Darkness; too bad they couldn’t connect with some of the critters to help them fight the battle! But perhaps the fyrnocks are why the base was abandoned in the first place), so no breaks for Jedi or clones right now. Master Windu has proposed a drop into the Sep’s Anaxes assembly complex, sounds easy enough, but it’s kinda crazy fortified so yeah maybe not that easy. But it happens that Echo has an idea. Omygoodness… I got all feely seeing Echo again… I rewatched a couple of the Citadel episodes this past week and relived his last normal mission and lost it when Fives had to move on without his friend… and then again when I realized Fives and Echo wouldn’t see each other again… 😥 😥 Sorry, boy this became a mess of emotions real fast! But anywayyyy despite Echo’s still recovering, he isn’t about to back down from helping a brotha out. He and his bros in the Clone Force 99 got this. I understand that, in unmade episodes later on, Echo became one of Bad Batchers, which of course makes perfect sense. Can’t help but notice he’s sportin’ a set of dark armor similar to that of the 99s’. So in some ways, he’s already one of them before even officially joining them. Please excuse my flawed logic. But yeah you go Echo! Steal dat Seppie algorithm and win this for the Republic with your epic tech skillz! Rex to Tech: “Don’t worry, Echo’s got a plan” “That makes me feel sooo much better…” XD C’mon Tech have faith in your fellow bro! Might he be a little jelly he can’t hook up into computers like Echo? Haha I know I would! What I would give to just write blogs in my brain instead of typing for hours! And onward our heroes go, with the Bad Batch gang leading the way!
And seriously these guys drop the best lines without even meaning to… “Pleaaaase tell me we’re gonna blow something up!” XD XD If it were up to me, I’d say “Yes you blow up all the things, Wrecker!”, but that’s on account of the fact I’m not general material and I love him to pieces. Again, Crosshair slept through most of it XD Echo then links in and masks their ship’s signal the boss way he do so the bad guys won’t take notice. And it works — battle droids can’t tell it from any other in their fleet. And our team lands without a hitch.
Meanwhile, the battle on Anaxes is already underway, with the usual droids shooting and gunships and Y-wings flying. With Mace and Obi-Wan leading the troops, they make quite the entrance to the assembly complex. Especially as Mace does something wonderfully unexpected… he bargains with the swarms of droids. He’s giving them the chance to peacefully surrender so they can be reprogrammed for the Republic. This coming from the guy who tore apart super battle droids with his bare hands? One of the battle droids has no clue what to make of this and gives this confused shrug to his companion, and Obi-Wan’s like “dude really?”. But you gotta admit Master Windu is awesome at giving speeches! Unfortunately, battle droids don’t give much thought to the concept of “peace” and “nonviolence”… the fact that the battle droids even ceased fire for that moment just to listen to him is astounding! And so the blasters go blasting once more. Well, you can’t blame a Jedi for trying… destroying droids probably gets old after doing it just about every day for nearly three years. But yeah after that the clones rejoin the generals and bring their own blasters. It seems they’ve got this win in the bag, but Admiral Trench has a sneaky little plan of his own… DUN DUN DUN.
It’s hardly a challenge for Anakin, Rex, Echo, and the Bad Batch to make their way into Trench’s ship. And it’s NBD for Echo to link into their systems. Though as Tech finds out, it may be a bit of a problem for the guys at the complex ’cause Trench just sicced all his droids on ’em. Or is it? Actually, it’s all part of Echo’s genius plan. He told Trench to send all the droids there… and once they’re there, he’ll shut them all down. Boom shake the room! That earns a pat on the shoulder from Tech and a smile from Rex 😀 Though admittedly Mace and Obi-Wan aren’t quite looking forward to all the new droids joining the party even so. ‘Cause just when it seems they’d decimated them all… suddenly there are literally zillions of them. “Does this meet your expectations?” “This… exceeds my expectations.” Hehe. And then boom! Echo fries ’em all! Love how one droid cries out “WHYYYYYYYYYY” as he gets shut down XD Yeah the Admiral wasn’t too happy… but he knows that the command came from his ship so that likely means trouble for the good guys.
It seems to be a pretty clear victory on the Anaxes front, but Echo soon finds that there miiiiiight be a bomb there… like, a really big could-cream-the-whole-planet bomb. Echo sends out a message to Master Windu while Anakin decides to have a little chat with the spider-guy. Indeed Mace finds a bomb in the complex’s fusion reactor, and the panel to shut it off is sorta kinda rayshielded. But again, another area of Echo’s expertise. Echo loads up each number to the passcode while Mace uses the Force to punch it in. The process is going great right up until one of the battle droids finally finds where Echo’s signal is coming from and decided to fry him. NUUUUU!! And then on come the super battle droids and our heroes are forced to make a run for it, carrying Echo’s unconscious form. Admiral Trench is feeling pretty good about his chances… and then he opened the door and there was Anakin. General Skywalker cuts up all his clankers real fast, and not even Trench’s arm-gun can bring him down. Yeah he’s not interested in any talking beyond what the final number to the passcode is. And Trench isn’t particularly interested in giving him it. Trench is all “pff you can’t do nothin’ to me you’re a Jedi and your nobility is a weakness” and to that Anakin sliced his robotic arms off. Yikes don’t mess with the General peeps. After that the Admiral was a bit more willing and spilled it, allowing for Mace to finally turn off that bomb. But not missing out on a chance to get even, Trench hits Anakin with his prod-staff and then Anakin hits Trench with his lightsaber. Ohh yes. You really really really don’t mess with the General. Before leaving the spider-Seppie with a fond farewell, Anakin happens to find a detonator… for the whole ship. Why would they even have that detonator?! Regardless, Anakin knows Wrecker will love it. Meanwhile, Wrecker is in his element in “wrecking ball mode”, smashing battle droids with nothin’ but brute force. Hunter caps it off well with “Honestly, I feel bad for those droids…” XD And Crosshair does a fantastic job aiming a refracting detonator at a battle droid. The droid’s all “sticky!” and then… well, you know what happened next XD As our troopers meet up with Anakin again, Crosshair hangs behind to pepper the walls with more refracting detonators. OK I’m not saying these guys’ll show up in Rebels or anything but I think Sabine would have a lot of fun with them 😀 Crosshair’s so good Wrecker can only hang his head in shame XD But he cheers up pretty fast because as soon as our team flies off, Anakin shows him the detonator! Big guy can’t help but shed some tears and remark “this… is the greatest day of my life!” just before he hits the button and the entire ship explodes! VICTORYYYYY
And back on Anaxes, we’re actually getting a legit medal ceremony! Mace gives the speech and Anakin and Obi-Wan gives the medals and all the clones cheer and clap and celebrate these brave not-so-clonelike clones! Even the astromechs are dancing with glee! SO MUCH YAY!! It’s always been said that differences make us stronger, well, that is perhaps even more so the case for these incredible troopers 🙂
AHHH I’M SO HAPPYYY!! AND HONESTLY PRETTY GLAD I’M DONE WITH THE BLOG BECAUSE IT SHOULDN’TVE TAKEN THIS LONG BUT THE VIDEO HAD PROBLEMS LOADING! AND I FORGOT TO TURN THE CAPS LOCK OFF AGAIN BUT I’M IN A HAPPY CAPS LOCK MOOD! UNTIL NEXT WEEK…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Uncovering The Lost Storyreels: A Distant Echo

Yes I’m back to the digging into the Bad Batch arc! Much yays! I’m so excited I think I’m just gonna cut the usual chatter and get right to bloggin’ as the search for Echo begins! And remember: I will do my very best to write this, but this episode’s unfinished format may make it hard for me to recognize places, character expressions, etc. Admittedly the last one turned out pretty good but you never know… andddd I’m chattering again.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from TCW episodes Rookies, Clone Cadets, Counterattack, Orders, The Bad Batch, and A Distant Echo (storyreels)

So Captain Rex and our Bad Batch bros originally set out to find a strategy algorithm, and in the process, have found the assumptively long-gone Echo. OK they haven’t technically found him yet but they found a live signal but that’s something, right?? I mean… it would make him the only surviving member of the Domino Squad. And thinking about that got me a little teary. I mean, when the whole “Echo lives” message came out I hadn’t yet seen The Citadel storyarc and I hadn’t watched Clone Cadets or Rookies in a long while sooo yeah my troopers were a little blurred (you have full right to hit me with a brick, fanboys and fangirls, though in my defense it was 2013 and much to learn I still had). But man oh man now… I couldn’t help but be excited for Echo’s hopeful return! But I’m getting ahead of myself. So the mission was set; Rex, along with the Bad Batchers and General Skywalker, were off to follow the trail that would hopefully lead to Echo. Though apparently the mission wasn’t exactly… well, OK’d by the Jedi Council. Obi-Wan steps in and makes that point very clear. Hunter wisely decides to not get involved and wait on the ship XD Obi-Wan doesn’t quite get why Rex would pull an “Anakin” and disregard authority for the sake of some wild bantha chase. The Captain points out that Echo is still in possession of the algorithm, so technically it’s not just about saving his friend. But dude I just love so much seeing the incredible dedication and bond these troopers have… they’re far from just armored yes-men, they’re thinking, feeling human beings with strong hearts… but you knew that right? 🙂 *Starts crying from a sudden rush of feels* Aw nuts I’m totally off-topic again aren’t I? Anyway, Anakin assures his former master that the mission won’t take long and the Council won’t even know they left. And thus Obi-Wan admits defeat and walks off, leaving them with a genuine “May the Force be with you”. Looks like the game’s still on!
As they were boarding the Batch’s ship, Anakin couldn’t help but notice the nose art… which happened to be of Padme. I remember seeing that concept art on tumblr and thinking “Um does Anakin know about this…??”. Apparently he didn’t until now. Yeah the Batchers happen to be Senator Amidala fans… “She can negotiate with me anytime!” pfff that Wrecker XD Rex picks up on the awkwardness really fast and decides to keep moving. And Anakin… yeah I don’t think he liked it. I’m sorry this moment was just too funny XD
Elsewhere, Wat Tambor and one of his Techno Union friends are doing whatever when Admiral Trench gives them a call. The Admiral warns them that a handful of clones are comin’ their way, and Tambor’s all “no worries bro we go this”. Ah yes those crazy Techno bros… fun to see them again! But seriously they’re probably up to no good…
As our heroes were nearing the temp yellow planet… er… Skako Minor, we find them preparing for the mission ahead. Though quick note… it’s Tech who’s flying the ship this time. Sooo was it him who did all that crazy driving in the first part? I’d totally pegged that for Wrecker. Of course, right now Wrecker’s using a GOM droid as a dumbbell while eating what looks like a turkey leg XD Maybe that first fly-in was off just because Tech or whoever wasn’t used to gunship controls. Maybe Wrecker pressed a button he shouldn’tve pressed. Maybe the rest of the Bad Batch dared Tech to make an entrance. Who knows? But yes I can’t tell you how much I’d love to see more of these guys! So much so the other night I dreamed they made action figures of them and I was fangirling my head off X3 Anyway, regardless of Tech’s driving skills, the rough terrain and stormy skies of Skako seem to spell another crazy landing for our crew. Though actually things go rather well in the end… evidently Crosshair slept through the landing! Anything close to a crazy landing is NBD for that dude. Actually, I’m not sure anything is really a BD for him. But anyway, before heading out on the surface, Rex and Tech give the crew some pointers on the locals — a native race called Poltecs who happen to worship flying reptiles. And speak of the devil a giant reptile lands on the ship. Oh joy! As our heroes vamoose the ship, however, they find that this beast has a rider. But they don’t have a lot of time to talk over tea because then more of these lizards show up — also with Poltec riders. And one goes and snatches the general, leaving the lightsaber behind. But doing the awesome the do, Tech calculates the distance, Crosshair shoots the grappling hook, and Hunter holds on for the ride! Yeah the music gets really really fun here as Hunter hangs on to the rope with one hand and aims at the kidnapper with the other. And all this while other riders fly in pursuit behind them. But it seems these critters know how to deals with hitchhikers and snap back that rope so Hunter loses his blaster. He finally cuts loose as they come upon a cliff, a cliff, which he finds branches right over the Poltecs’ home, and now the rest of the troopers can meet up with him.
So Anakin was having a lovely conversation with the Poltec leader who’d nabbed him… OK not really their language is probably one of the most confusing and unusual I’ve ever heard leave the mouth of a SW character (when Tech does it later, he sounds like he’s speaking backwards). Anakin would rather’d the dude just got the keeradak’s foot off him. Thankfully, it’s not too much longer before Rex and the Bad Batch make another entrance, with a rockslide and blasters blazing and well-aimed electrical dart to the keeradak’s leg. After all the scuffle quiets down, they finally get a chance to talk, with Tech translating with a supercool instant translator device in his helmet. Who needs protocol droids when you’ve got him 🙂 *Threepio shoots me a look* Anyway, they find that the Poltecs just don’t want the war here (hence the kidnapping). But once Tech explains it was Wat Tambor and his Seppies who’re to blame, and that one of their men is believed to be held hostage, the Poltec leader is cool with sending a few of his guys to help them. Dude everyone needs one of those instant translators; Google Translate doesn’t count 😛
The Poltec scouts lead our team to a cliffside overlooking Tambor’s city. Anakin’s all “hope no one’s afraid of heights” and then everyone turns their eyes to Wrecker. He calls it “a problem with gravity”… sure bro XD But it’s about then when Tech suddenly loses Echo’s signal. Could be a bug with his device, could be interference… or could be a trap, as Hunter suggests. Rex understands that, but he urges them on at least to grab that algorithm. Then Crosshair happens to unhelpingly mention that Echo might not be alive… and if he is, he could be a traitor. OH NO HE DIN’T. Rex barks at him for even suggesting such a thing. Crosshair, again, throws out some ‘tude and is all “well if I were left for dead I wouldn’t be so loyal” and that was it. Rex had no problem slamming his fist into Crosshair’s skinny head. Wrecker then picks the Captain up by the armor and throws him. Rex and Wrecker have a bit of a staredown, but before either one could make the first move, Anakin steps in between them and stops the fight, sending Hunter and the Batch to further scout around while he has a talk with the good Captain. Yeesh tensions are running high a lot lately, huh? “CROSSHAIR STARTED IT!” “I DON’T CARE WHO STARTED IT!”. Even with the helmet on, you can see that Rex kinda feels bad for going all crazy like that, no better than Jesse and Crosshair the other day. Anakin tells him he hasn’t let the possibility that Echo might’ve gone rogue slip his mind. Rex is certain that Echo would sooner die than go against the Republic, but he’s willing to do what he must if for some reason it’s not the case… as long as he’s the one doing it, not the Bad Batch. Can I just say again how awesome Rex is? OK so I’m not endorsing the fact he got into a fight (though *coughCrosshairDeservedItcough*), but it shows just how deep his loyalty goes. No one talks smack about one of his bros! Not even one of his other [uniquely-mutated] bros.
As for the “bad boys”, they found themselves lead by Echo’s returned signal on Tambor’s front door, Tech working to get in and the rest of the guys standing guard. Anakin and Rex rejoin them shortly. Tech is completely and utterly focused on getting that door opened… he doesn’t say a word to his superiors, just keeps typing. And just like that, boom! It is open! Tech is boss 🙂 It seems Wrecker isn’t thrilled about the tower’s height though… “Don’t worry Wrecker… I’ll hold your hand!” pfff I love watching these guys pal around like they do 😀 But there are more things to be worried about here than just the height… they open the turbolift doors and find a whole gaggle of Swiss army knife-esque battle droids with zillions of extra attachments. Oh wait did I say worried? Nope not Wrecker. Guy ran in yelling with his blaster held high! He’s in his zone! So much for stealth. The Bad Batch makes quick work of these little guys. Extra arms do not a better battle droid make. And Wrecker ends it all carrying on like a football fan whose favorite team just won the Super Bowl XD Everyone else just kinda stares. C’mon guys, we all have moments where we want to do like Wrecker and whoop and holler like no one’s watching! OK so anyway somehow our heroes still haven’t garnered any attention, and they’re back on the move. But problem… they’ve lost the signal again. Tech believes now it has to do with whether or not Echo’s sending any information, and at the moment, he’s not. So General Skywalker sends them to every door and every nook and cranny. Anakin’s the first to find something… in this case another run-in with a couple of these newfangled Swiss army droids, and they’re a little harder to handle alone. While that cray was happening the signal came back and led the Tech, Hunter, Rex, and Wrecker to a door that Echo surely must be behind! Anakin’s still caught up in lightsabering droids, though… they just keep on coming and coming and coming! Just when one was about to sneak up on him from behind, Anakin turns around and sees Crosshair, a blaster, and an example of the bro’s epic aim. That droid is totally out of commission 🙂
Before Tech could even touch the door, a message comes through from Wat Tambor himself. Totally monologueing on how predictable clones are and how the algorithm nailed their every move and how awesome he is (that last part’s not obviously stated but you know he’s thinking it) and stuff like that. And then throws in even more of those Swiss army droids! But with Anakin and Crosshair rejoining the crew, the floor is quickly covered in metal carnage. But then more of these droids start coming, like ants to a picnic factory! The rest of the team covers for Tech as he finally gets a chance to crack open that door. It doesn’t take long, and it takes even less time for Tech and Rex to dart inside. What they find is a control panel, and what appears to be some sort of stasis chamber. Tech is able to get it open, and what lies inside isn’t too pretty… Echo, pale and skinny, wired and hooked up to all sorts of who-knows-what, wearing a pair of robotic legs, and in a complete daze. It makes me want to cry man… I’m so glad Echo’s alive, but this is the last place I expected to see him. I get the feeling Rex agrees with me as he looks on his absolute shock. While Tech works to figure out how to unhook him, Rex tries to talk to his old friend. Poor Echo seems to not be fully aware of where is, but when he knows his Captain when he sees him. Even in the midst of this terrifying situation, I can’t fight the tears as Rex tells this brave former arc trooper “…we’re going home”.
And yup there it is, one of the most cliffhangery cliffhangers ever!! My heart just breaks for Echo soooo muchhh… and just WOW, this entire episode! Definitely looking forward to writing about what happens next!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Uncovering The Lost Storyreels: The Bad Batch

Man, it feels good to be blogging on some new TCW again! I’m bringing you today the first of my Uncovering The Lost Storyreels posts, talking about the fantastic opener The Bad Batch! I’m super-happy they decided to get these up when they did since I wasn’t at Celebration to see them first-hand. So now, join me as we dig deeper into this exciting opener for this thrilling storyarc! And just to note… I’ll do my very best to write this. Because of their unfinished quality, it’s sometimes hard to recognize character expressions and unfamiliar locations. If I screw up in any way, I apologize.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from TCW episodes Counterattack and The Bad Batch (storyreel)

“The battles are over, but the heroes live on. Thank you Clone Wars fans.”… interesting choice of lesson for this one! Haha pff. Have to wonder what it would be if this had been fully-animated and had aired as a normal episode. Wonder who writes those incredibly insightful things anyway. I mean, that is seriously a talent to articulately and poetically point out what the heart of the episode is and then do it well over a hundred times! And every time without fail I nod my head and say “wow that is major deepsauce” or “so true, so true”. OK moving on…
So it’s a seemingly average battle going on. Anakin and Mace and the clones taking on Admiral Trench on Anaxes… you know, the usual. It hasn’t been going that well though. It’s definitely been one of those days where you just can’t win. And it happens to be that Captain Rex might just know why. He believes that the Seps got ahold of one of their strategy algorithms. And he also is considering the fact that his old Arc Trooper buddy Echo used it a lot… and it might’ve been on him when he didn’t make out of the Citadel. Anakin and Mace send out Rex and Cody and a small team to investigate and see if this is indeed the case. And Cody already knows who he’s gonna have join them… a little quartet called Clone Force 99 (Hehe I can’t believe I just called them a quartet. Anyone else kinda want to hear the bros sing? XD )
As Rex and Cody, along with Jesse and Kix, head out to meet up with the “Bad Batch”, these useful-mutation bros make quite a landing. I don’t exactly know who’s driving that ship but I have a feeling he’s had his license revoked a time or two. While their driving isn’t the most favorable, these dudes are pretty much some of the coolest human beings to grace the SW galaxy. Meet Hunter, the shadowy supertracker, Tech, the superintelligent supergeek, Crosshair, the quiet supershooter, and Wrecker, the gregarious supermuscle. They’re pretty super I would say 🙂 Clad in dark, specialized armor and far from the typical-looking clone, it’s no surprise Jesse and Kix exchange a look of disbelief. The Commander’s hung out with them before and knows them all well, so he’s totally cool with the batch. Wrecker made a lovely first impression by discussing how you kill a Yavik XD Hunter takes his comrade’s excitement all in stride, while Tech points out some useless fun facts about the critters. As for Crosshair… he just stands in the back of the crowd giving a less-than-friendly glare. You don’t need much extra animation to get that fact across. So introductions out of the way, our team boards the gunship… right after Wrecker throws a friendly (though probably painful) jab at one of the younger bros XD I don’t want to play favorites, but I’m kinda attached to Wrecker… his enthusiasm is contagious!
So as they were flying off, the gunship was filled with some major awkward silence. It’s got to be a tad unnerving if you’re a clone and find out you have four “brothers” who look nothing like you, who also rock long hair, pale skin, thin faces, and a blind eye, respectively. Especially when one of them is still shooting a deathly glare (I’m lookin’ at you Crosshair). And the feeling’s mutual for the Bad Batch boys, too, as they don’t typically hang out with “regs”. Anyone wanna bet these guys make fun of normal clones in their spare time? They won’t admit it to anyone, and probably never do it when Cody’s around but yeah wouldn’t surprise me… “Ooh look! I’m a normal clone! I follow protocol! Haha!” Cody interrupts the awkward conversation to fill in his team on the mission at hand: a Separatist cybercenter on Anaxes is where they will find out if the bad guys snapped up their intel. But what they don’t realize is that a battle droid or two or three has taken notice of the gunship… and they brought alllllll their little Seppie droid friends! Yeahhh our team doesn’t stay airborne for very long after that. Just thinking of being caught in that crash makes me queasy. The rest of the bros are OK, but Cody’s caught in the rubble. But before the rest of the clones try their hands at freeing the commander, Hunter sends in Wrecker. And Wrecker totally has no problem whatsoever LIFTING THE GUNSHIP and THROWING IT ASIDE to rescue him. Have to say, that shot of Wrecker carrying Cody as the gunship explodes in the background it pretty darn epic. Yay Wrecker! Cody’s alive, but not doing too well. Kix can help him, but Crosshair eloquently points out that the battle droids are coming over for a visit. ALL the battle droids. But the Bad Batch crew isn’t worried. They grab the decimated gunship’s door as a shield and BRING THE HEAT! They move like a force of nature as Wrecker holds their shield, letting the rest of the bros shoot through the slots in the door. Tech calculates just the right trajectory to aim a droid popper, and Hunter blasts it like a boss, knocking those droids down like dominoes! Hunter pulls out a knife on the unsuspecting droids, tearing them apart. Wrecker slams a droid with the door still in hand, causing it to incinerate itself. And just like that, the field’s nothing but a Seppie droid burial ground. Color the “regs” impressed! And ermagosh Wrecker messing around with that droid head! *Dies laughing* I’m pretty sure Wrecker’s the only one who can make fun of Crosshair and not get killed for it XD With that, our clones head out, leaving all those destroyed droids in their wake. A handful of Sep droids arrive later, and they, along with Admiral Trench, are confused, yet intrigued by all this Jedi-less, no-lightsabers-necessary damage. The droids also head out, in search of these mysterious troopers.
Elsewhere, we find our heroes taking a short breather as Hunter uses his epic heightened senses to point into the direction of the cybercenter. Probably means he overheard Kix and Jesse doing a little poking at him, too. But if he did, he doesn’t show it. Hunter’s too cool to stoop to the level of a couple of “regs” 😛 Knowing that Cody’s no longer in any condition to continue the mission with them, Rex is in charge and he’s got a new plan. But it seems Crosshair don’t like that plan. And Jesse don’t like his ‘tude. And Wrecker just likes grabbing Jesse by the neck. Hunter’s the only one who could stop the clone kerfuffle from actually kerfuffling (whee fun with vocabulary!), reminding them of the fact they’re all on the same team. And continuing in his keeping of the peace, he agrees to give Rex’s plan a try. So with that settled, the clones head back out once more, stalking stealthily through the forest. In the midst of their stealthy stalking, they find themselves looking on a Sep outpost covered in battle droids. Rex decides he’d like to do this one the Bad Batch way 🙂 And there they went, blasting and knife-slashing away the little skinny metal boogers. While the rest of the team jumps aboard a turbolift, it seems Wrecker rather’d stay around and continue making the battle droids eat laser 🙂 Yes the rest of boys make quick work on the droids upstairs. Watto would go nuts over all the scrap metal they make in a day’s time! 😀 Though clearly Wrecker is disappointed he missed the party. I’m pretty sure Wrecker is to battle droids the way Zeb is to stormtroopers 🙂 But just their luck, the cybercenter is only a hop, skip, and a jump away! The only problem? Those droids who took notice of the carnage from earlier are on their way there. Psh this is not a problem for this awesome crew. Those droids didn’t see it coming worth beans. Though admittedly a certain Admiral might have an idea…
“An attack is coming?! Whe–” *blasts*
Pfff gotta love the delightful cluelessness of those battle droids, right? XD Yeah doesn’t take the rest of the clones long to get the rest of the droids away from the back door, where the rest of the Bad Batch lies in wait. Wrecker basically kicked down the door and wrenched it open with his hands. So I’m guessing he always ate his veggies at the cloning facility dinner table? Ahhh how do these clones manage being so awesome without exploding from so much awesomeness?! I’m thinking they just did the fastest break-in/droid-decimate run ever. Wrecker and Hunter leave Tech to work his magic on the computers while they get ahold of their reg bros. And then along comes a Sep transport with lots and lots of super battle droids. Jesse and the Batch boys handle them while Rex joins up with Tech to see what they came here for. After a few minutes of typing about, Tech finds that the algorithm’s coming from a live signal on Skako Minor. What could that mean, I wonder?? Rex and Tech don’t have a clue… yet. But as the battle heats up outside with the boys, the signal starts to reveal its source… someone Rex can hardly believe. Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, and Jesse are starting to get overrun and make a dash back into the center. And now… Rex is hearing the voice of… ECHO. Ohmaigersh. The crew’s gotta make a run for it, and while Rex does… he can’t help but linger a bit, for the possibility that this awesome, noble Arc Trooper might still be living and breathing. Our bros board their old Separatist transport without any problem and jet on outta there. The Seps don’t quite get what their game is, but for sure this won’t be the last time these particular bad guys tangle with the troopers. But all the same, Rex can’t shake the voice he heard, and the number he read… and he’s gonna find out the truth no matter what.
So yeah I know I’m a little rusty at this closer-look-writing but EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE I’M SO EXCITEDDDDDDDD TO SEE WHERE THESE EPISODES GO!!! That is all.

Oh, also, Happy Star Wars Day in advance! Next week I’ll tell you how it went for me! 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight