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SW Summer Reads: Shipyards Of Doom

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


(Credit: Amazon.com)

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

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

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

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

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

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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The Resistance Report: Synara’s Score

Ready for another Resistance Report? I hope so, ’cause I’m always up for more Resistance! Join me as I dig into some of the most interesting and intriguing story elements in Synara’s Score.

Contains spoilers from Resistance episodes Fuel For The Fire, The High Tower, Signal From Sector Six, and Synara’s Score. Also a couple character arc-related spoilers from TCW and Rebels that hopefully you know already.

So when I said we’d be digging into some of the most interesting and intriguing story elements this episode, I was mainly thinking of one big specific story element — the unexpected friendship that forms between Tam and Synara. But it’s a story element with a lot of little story elements worth taking the time to chew on. Don’t worry, there will be some Twilight’s Highlights at the end to add some extra flavor 🙂

As soon as I saw Tam and Synara chatting and sharing life stories (sort of), I couldn’t help but instantly hurt for Tam. It wasn’t that long ago we learned how she’d befriended Hype — and then he’d decided he was too cool to hang with her. And now here she is befriending someone we know to be a doublecrossing pirate! But yet, I so understand. Tam really really needs a sister. How could she not want that, when she’s stuck at her work-home with Kaz and Neeku all the time? Having a gal-pal to talk to makes all the difference when you’ve got a brother (or two, in Tam’s case) at home, I know that from experience! Plus, they already have a lot in common — shared aspirations, a shared interest in mechanics. The only thing better than a gal-pal is a gal-pal who just gets you! It’s heartbreaking to think that Tam could get hurt all over again. Like I’ve said before, what’s made Tam such an interesting character thus far is that she comes off suspicious and jaded, but she clearly craves friendship. She needs people in her life who care, who encourage, who stand by her. She doesn’t have her real family to do that for her, so she looks to those who could be thicker-than-blood friend-family. It’s not that she doesn’t have that in some ways, of course. Kaz and Neeku are her adoptive bros. However, I think Tam hasn’t yet taken the time to truly appreciate their friendship. Perhaps, like Kaz (as we discussed on Fuel For The Fire), Tam has this very particular idea of what a real friend’s supposed to look like. Something seemingly bigger and better than just the folks she’s stuck with. But what I hope Tam and Kaz ultimately learn, whatever happens, is that best friends rarely come in perfect packages. It’s not just the friends who never annoy you, never argue with you, and always share your favorite things. Thicker-than-blood family is made of people who care, encourage, and stand by you, whether they “get you” or not. Maybe that’s what it’s really supposed to be when someone “gets you” — something deeper than lunch break hangouts and common interests.

But with that being said, this doesn’t mean that Tam and Synara aren’t destined to be soul-sisters. I was so pleasantly surprised to see the respect on Synara’s face when Tam saved her. But yet, maybe not as surprised as I could’ve been. Though Synara only speaks vaguely of her past, and under the guise of her scavenger alter-ego, there’s little doubt that she had to have come from hard times to be a pirate. That shared desire for something greater has to be genuine. Plus, as far as I know, Kragan’s crew is mostly made up of guys, so I can’t imagine the idea of a having a little sister wouldn’t hold some appeal. Beyond that though, it’s clear she’s not all that chummy with them, either (yeah I’m lookin’ at you jerk weequay boi). What Synara has with her crewmembers can’t be anything close to the friend-family bonds Tam has with her crew. Certainly, I doubt any of Syn’s “friends” would be so quick to rush out and help her in a fight. I’m not saying this guarantees Synara puts her life of crime behind her and stays BFFs with Tam, but the fact that Tam’s kindness seems to have made a real impression on her… I think there’s a chance they could still be sisters 🙂 I love stories where we follow an antagonist’s journey from baddie to hero. Will Synara join the ranks of the Ventresses and Kalluses of the galaxy? We can only wait and watch! (Yes I know I’m terribly behind on Resistance. I’ll keep working on it)

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– Is that gorg here for lunch or a visit? And is it the same gorg from last time??
– Is it wrong that I rather admire the way Flix so classily calls Kaz an idiot? Perhaps it’s something about the guy’s voice…
– You make some really good friends, Kaz… when will the day come this guy becomes a better judge of character? Well, not with Tam and Neeku and all… I’m thinking more of the hotshots he hung out with a few episodes ago. And Synara, of course. Apparently…?
– Interesting. How long is “a while back”? Wonder why Synara waited so long to cause trouble. Well, that actually makes sense. She’s a smart pirate.
– Right because you’re sooo good with dangerous people… you can barely handle Tam!
– Just noticed Kragan’s edgy-cool face tat. The #DesignGoals never stop around here!
– Oh so now you want to be friendly, huh Synara? “Hey guys!! How’re my besties? I brought some potato chips! Get it ’cause I got you guys that chip earlier?”
– This would be a good time for a Jedi mind trick. Too bad we don’t have any Jedi ’round here.
– Omg there are two other lasat. That makes me feel better about the one who got eaten. They look awfully alike — I bet they’re brothers.
– Funny that Tam and Yeager hold their own pretty well in a fight, but Kaz? Well… Force’s just with him.
– Kaz is like “OW. What is even the point of this shoulder armor?!”

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 4

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

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

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

#1. Chopper is a surprisingly great leader.

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

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

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

#3. Tristan’s the little brother.

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

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

#4. Hondo doesn’t like droids.

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

#5. Porgs make great parents!

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

#6. Always let Rey drive.

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

#7. The Ewoks animated series was right…

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

#8. Ahsoka’s a very creative teacher…

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

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Following The Freemakers: Race On Tatooine

TWILIGHT545: SUPERSTAR BLOGGER GAL! is here again to deliver another Closer Look on The Freemaker Adventures! And yes, I did have some trouble coming up with an opening on this post. I honestly can’t remember the last time I didn’t. But enough blabbing from me, let’s just start talking about the thrilling Race On Tatooine already.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, The Yoda Chronicles, and Freemakers episodes The Lost Treasure Of Cloud City, Crossing Paths, and Race On Tatooine

Less than a minute into the episode, we see Dengar blast his way out of the Cloud City prison, gracefully freefall using his headwrap as a parachute, and commandeer a cloud car. Just. like. that. After years of getting little respect in the SW universe (with the exception of his fabulously awesome appearance in TCW), we’re finally really really seeing what Dengar can really do. And he is just amazing. Inventive, cunning, and fierce are words that come to mind. But oh right I forgot… Dengar and his crew getting out of jail is bad news for our heroes. Especially when he shows a certain business card to his slimy boss, Graballa… ohhhh danggg…
This is all particularly bad because Rowan most certainly don’t got time to deal with anyone else with questionable motives. He’s got Naare to worry about. Something about her being a Jedi and killing that Force-flower doesn’t add up… unless she isn’t who she says she is. I imagine the time he spent with Luke also got him thinking. There is an edge to Naare, a forcefulness, one might say a darkness… her methods, her teachings, they are based in Jedi training, but there are whispers of the Dark Side throughout. I doubt Naare ever explained the Dark Side of the Force to Rowan, as he could use that knowledge against her. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he picked up some stuff on that from Luke, too. I’m sorry I’m rambling on this but there’s something fascinating about all this, about the difference between these two masters, between light and dark, between selfless and selfish. He knows what a true Jedi looks like now, and I betcha even if Naare hadn’t killed the Force-flower, he would’ve seen through her disguise soon enough. Either way, Rowan knows there’s something not right about her. Too bad Roger is completely not listening to his ponderings. He’s about to voice his concerns to Kordi, but all she’s concerned about right now is parts and jobs and getting the job done right. And then… “It’s not like I can just clap my hands and a job’ll come up!” *Clap clap* “OMG WE JUST GOT A JOB!!!” “Quick do it again!” *Clap clap* “Blast it was just a coincidence.” XD Ben Quadrinaros needs a pit crew, and he’s gonna pay them major creds to do it. I’d say Kordi and Zander are SOLD. Also seeing Quadrinaros in SW for the first time in 17 years made me positively giddy. Call me weird but I love that adorable bigheaded old racer dude! Looks like heavy discussions will have to wait.
Speaking of the Dark Side, what’s Naare up to? Getting chewed out by her bosses again, that’s what. The Darths want results, not excuses, and make their point using holo glitches as an example. You’d think Sidious would have a little more patience, considering the years he spent slowly taking over the Republic, but nahhh he just wants to win the war already. Not unlike the whole Force-sensitive clone experiment he tried a while back, but you know how that went. Judging by all the stuff she Force-threw in a fit of rage, I’d say she’s a little frustrated. “And I broke my favorite kaffe mug! This day just gets better and better!” And then just when she needed Rowan the most, she found the Freemakers were gone. Mondays, amiright? 😛 Though she may want to work on keeping her angry screams to herself. Actually she’s got a lot of things she needs to work on. Like people skills. Y’know Grey Griffin voiced Ventress back in the days of the Clone Wars Microseries. I can definitely hear a similarity between the two when Naare goes all rage-mode-y. Yay random voice acting tidbits! OK moving on…
When it comes to working on podracers, Zander is now the Freemaker Bossman. These racing machines are his life bro, and when a famous podracer like Quadrinaros is behind the controls, there’s no time to waste! Kordi’s all “Is that what I sound like??” XD So yes I love seeing Ben Quadrinaros again, even if he does turn out to be somewhat of a traitor because he was working for Graballa the whole time. But hey he’s still a good guy, just a good guy who really really didn’t want to be killed by a Hutt and didn’t know what else to do. Hopefully we’ll see him again soon, and in a better light that doesn’t involve him siding with a baddie. But enough of my fangirly nostalgia THE FREEMAKERS ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE! Graballa may deliver some stellar one-liners but he is 100% a genuine threat. And then JABBA THE HUTT showed up. With a mile’s worth of Gamorrean Guards and BOBA FETT. YES. BOBA FETT. Who is apparently BFFs with Dengar. Haha yes I love that these two scheming scummy hunters are buddies. Bros before bounties! Also it brought me great joy hearing Dee Baker’s voice behind that helmet, considering he’s never voiced a clone for Lego SW until this point, and also just because he does an amazing awesome job at it. So while Jabba decides to have a little “conversation” with his cousin and the hunters hang out, the Freemakers see this as an opportunity to podrace their way outta here. Hehe I love Jabba’s smug smile when Graballa realizes they got away XD
So let’s just spend the rest of the blog deciphering the deeper meaning behind Anakin’s claim “I’m the only human who can do it, you know”. That was my first thought when I heard they were gonna be podracing. Obviously, Anakin’s Force abilities gave him great reflexes to handle the speed and unpredictability of a podrace. We know that. And maybe, had Rowan been driving, I would’ve chalked it up to that as well. But Zander‘s the one at the controls. Granted, he’s not doing terribly great at it, but he does have his siblings and droid barely hanging on while they’re being chased by bounty hunters on speederbikes, so that could be part of it. But they literally don’t crash and/or burn (at least up until the very end when Zander takes his hands off the yoke) And I’d always assumed that, short of having a few thousand midichlorians, only other, more dexterous, species could handle such a dangerously fast vehicle. Maybe it’s just that most humans who’d tried to drive a podracer just weren’t good at it? That or Zander is Force-sensitive too, but I highly doubt that, so let’s just leave it at Zander is really really really good. Or at least good enough that no one dies. Or maybe Anakin was just highly misinformed from being on Tatooine his whole young life. *Shrugs* Makes me wish they did something like Rebels Recon for the Freemakers so I could shoot my questions to Pablo Hidalgo. But anyway, the chase takes them on some dangerous turns, including a turn right into an actual podrace. First of all, hearing the actual original voice of Fode playing him was mind-blowing (I have a slight “thing” for Episode I aliens evidently). Second of all, Zander’s overjoyed shout of “PODRACING!!!!!” made me die laughing. And it sounded pretty much exactly like me whenever I see something SW-related. But ohh yesss they’re racing for their very lives in an actual race. I love. So much. Their pursuers don’t make it easy on them, and all the while Rowan and Kordi are doing their best to hang on to the engines, and, in a few instances, fix the engines at the same time. And oh yeah let’s not forget when Dengar and Rowan fought hand-to-hand while STANDING ON THE ENGINE and Rowan defeated him using a spare rod as a lightsaber stand-in. SOOO AWESUMM. Oh but right that wasn’t a spare part that was some kind of stabilizer and the pod was thrown out of control. But ultimately it’s that move that sends them spiraling across the finish line and puts a lovely trophy in their hands. Elsewhere, Darth Vader suddenly sensed a disturbance… a feeling that somewhere, a longstanding record of his had just been broken XP
So the Freemakers won the podrace, but not the race. Graballa’s goons are still out there, and they won’t be able to get back to the StarScavenger (yes I only now realized it’s spelled as one word) anytime soon. They need a hero, they need a Jedi, they need Naare. And Rowan’s all “Whaaaaa… No we don’t…!” but it don’t matter what he thinks, the overall opinion of the room is #TeamNaare. And with a little rewiring of R0-GR they’re able to shoot their “Jedi friend” a comm. Huh she sounded mostly concerned about Rowan atm wonder why…? 😛 But regardless of her intentions, she’s their only hope as Graballa and his men walk over… and with a very large number of blasters. Kordi tries to use her salesperson superpowers and negotiate with the Hutt, but when it comes to making ca$h off those Kyber Saber crystals, he don’t negotiate nothin’. They really could use a miracle right now. Good thing Rowan found a whole crate full of ’em. Sabine would be proud at what happened next. Thermal detonators FTW. “Next time… I offer Boba Fett double.” XD Unfortunately, the crate wasn’t full forever, and the Freemakers were out of tricks. But that’s about when the Eclipse Fighter arrived. I regret I haven’t talked about that pretty ship more but it really is a sight to behold. I am curious though whether Eclipse Fighter is its name or its brand/type. But whatever the case, it’s definitely one of my favorite new SW ships. And if you think the Eclipse is impressive, wait ’til you see what her pilot can do! Again yes I know all this Jedi stuff is just for show but Naare’s fighting skills are truly epic and it’s awesome getting to see her really put them to use as she completely pwns Graballa’s crew. Zander is smitten, Kordi is genuinely impressed, and Rowan questions why he ever doubted her. Naare orders the Freemakers to the fighter, but the hunters quickly get the better of Rowan’s siblings and droid. Nothing the Jedi Master can’t handle tho. Stuck in the Eclipse’s cockpit, Rowan looks for anything that could possibly help and comes upon a lightsaber… with a red blade. And I’m betting Luke told him about the kind of people who use red blades. And as if to confirm all of his concerns and doubts, THE EMPEROR COMES ON THE COMM. And what he says is utterly gut-wrenchingly terrifying. “Slice up his family! That’ll make him talk.” O.O Not gonna lie I gave a squeak-gasp of complete horror at that. And I cannot think of a decent segue now; I’m still recovering from the shock. All I can say is ROWAN KNOWS. HE KNOWS MAN. And just about then along comes the rest of the Freemakers and everyone’s favorite Darksider-next-door. Graballa isn’t gonna get ’em today… but you know what they say about “out of the frying pan and into the fryer”. Wait I don’t think that makes sense in this context. The point is, Naare will guaranteed be a problem. But don’t tell Zander and Kordi, they’re pretty much Naare’s number one fans now. Judging by her face as they grouphugged her, I don’t think the feeling is mutual. She makes very clear to Rowan that he’s not going anywhere without her from now on. “…You never know what dangers may be waiting” (paraphrased because I literally can’t remember the exact line I heard a minute ago). Rowan seems to agree… and that’s why he holds his so-called master’s red blade behind his back. OMINOUS ENDINGGGG.
AHHHHH SO MUCH DRAMA. But also AHHHHHH SO MUCH AWESOME!! Until next post…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Twilight Of The Apprentice

And so we’ve finally arrived at the last Transmission of the glorious second season, the episode that transcends all epicness and changes everything and sent me spiraling on an emotional rollercoaster. Though it took a while to get to writing on it, I’m glad I had a month to process everything before I started blogging on it. Still, there will be major feels, and there’s a good chance I’ll mess up this post due to the excess of feels. Also I will probably overuse that internet-jargon word for “feeling strong emotion” to such a bad extent you’ll question if I know any other word to describe it. With that understood, we begin… except first let’s get the spoiler alerts out of the way. Then we begin!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode VII, TCW “Maul Returns”, “Fall Of Mandalore”, and “Yoda’s Journey” Arcs, Rebels episodes Gathering Forces, The Siege Of Lothal, Shroud Of Darkness, and Twilight Of The Apprentice.

So right off the bat they decide to mortally punch me with the feels as Ahsoka talks with Rex on the flight to Malachor. Rex is completely ready to go should Ahsoka need his help, but she knows this is the Jedi’s journey alone to make. After a few friendly who-outranks-who jabs to one another, Rex signs off with a sweet, honest “May the Force be with you”. THIS FRIENDSHIP. I CAN’T. I CAN’T EVEN. Yep this post is gonna take a while to write. Ezra wonders what the deal is with this mysterious Malachor he’s heard so little about. Welllll, Kanan and Ahsoka know a few things about it, mostly legends. But bottom line it’s not really a good place. One might say, “off-limits”. Ahsoka puts it well when she says “There’s always a bit of truth in legends”. And yeah for the record I know very little of The Old Republic era so Malachor’s as much a mystery to me as it is to these three. But certainly after all we see in this episode I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about that era, especially from a canon POV. None of them know why Yoda sent them here, but they can only trust he knows what he’s doing. Also yeah it’s not just the Jedi who were heading out here, Chopper came with. I’m guessing he didn’t get any tearful goodbyes from anyone though 😛 It happens to be as the Phantom approaches Malachor, Chopper picks up on another ship nearby. Oh joy. Can’t anything just be simple?? Of course not, it’s just life. But first things first.
So Malachor has quite an eerie air to it, not quite as obviously dark-side-y as say, Moraband, but still really unsettling. But also still really cool, too. The trio comes upon a towering stone covered in carvings in the Old Tongue. As Ahsoka attempts to decipher the lettering, something about that rock sorta calls out to Ezra. Dark whispers convince him to get closer, reach out his hand, and… well, his touch leaves a frightening red glow and shatters the ground beneath them. Yeah Ez immediately regrets that decision. But OMG so much intrigue!! And it’s only a few minutes in! And there’s still so much more to discuss!! Like for example, the fact that the three Jedi have landed at the foot of an ancient Sith Temple. O.O And of course they’re going to go in it, after all, Ahsoka believes inside they’ll find the knowledge they need to defeat all them Darksiders. PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE SHADOWY INQUISITOR-ISH-LOOKING FIGURE WATCHING FROM ABOVE! Ezra right now is a mixture of fascination at the mysterious ruins and caution at who or what could be down here. They come upon the remains from some ancient Jedi vs. Sith battle, where of major note Ezra finds a green three-blade! Basically this means Kylo Ren wanted to go really old-school with his choice of weapon. Coooool. Anyway you all know that by now, let’s talk about that battlefield. Very fascinating, seeing another glimpse at this history, but still very eerie. “From what I can tell? Looks like nobody won”. Eerier still might be the fact that THERE’S AN INQUISITOR RIGHT BEHIND THEM!! And they really play it well because you only notice the slightest twitch of movement behind Kanan just as Ezra’s witty retort was cut short by the sudden attack. This particular inquisitor’s new, he goes by Eighth Brother. And danggggggg he’s good. Ignoring his epic fail later on, he’s about as deadly as they come, agile and flexible and moving constantly and not afraid to throw a few grenades around. It all happens so fast my brain can barely comprehend what just happened. The explosion causes the ground to fall out from under Ezra in the midst of the fight. He urges Kanan and Ahsoka on to continue pursuing the fiend. Also wow the fact that they can fly with those spinny lightsabers is awesome. Granted, we find it’s not the safest method, but it sure looks cool! Eighth kept wanting to join Sev and Fifth on their missions, but they didn’t think he was good enough. So now that’s he’s gotten his chance, he’s making sure he proves he’s the coolest, toughest ‘Quiz ever! HE SHALL NOT BE SHUNNED AT THE COMPANY PICNIC AGAIN!! Yep I’m still making these jokes because I’m not sure I can make ’em again after this one.
So while Kanan and Ahsoka have all the fun, Ezra’s kinda stuck in a hole. Then out of the shadows comes a weary voice. Bridger’s not about to let his guard down and throws out his lightsaber. The voice belongs to an old man in a hooded cloak, poor fellow’s been stranded here for years. Ez has other things to worry about besides this random guy, but the shadowy figure offers help, considering he came here for with a similar goal in mind: the pursuit of knowledge. Dude knows how to get in the temple if Ez’ll help him open the door. And so begins a shaky alliance between “Jabba” and “The Old Master”. OK so before seeing the episode, the fact that we’d be seeing Maul again was spoiled for me. Regardless, this episode still knew how to keep me guessing. The couple of screenshots I’d seen made him look so fierce! Who was this old man with the robotic legs and yellow eyes? How could they be the same person? Were they the same person? Those were some of the first thoughts I had running through my head while watching this. And also the biggest thought of all: “What are you up to, Maul…?”. Plus, I’m at somewhat of a disadvantage because I haven’t read the Son Of Dathomir comics, assuming that they’re canon, of course, since I can’t remember if they were published before or after the canonicity rule came into play even though it was based on an unmade TCW storyarc. So who knows what he’s been up to since I last saw him? I wasn’t even sure if at this point he was alive! Well, I could only sit back and watch and see which of my questions would be answered. Until then, I gave Maul the benefit of the doubt that he was just a nice old stranger… mostly.
Meanwhile, Kanan and Ahsoka started to wonder if there might be a reason this ‘Quiz was giving chase. Kanan sends Chopper to find that ship and find out if there are any other surprises waiting for them here…
As Ezra and the Old Master continue on their journey, some interesting things come to light. OM is not a fan of that inquisitor down here. Ezra queries if that’s ’cause he’s a Jedi, but OM’s all “Naahh I just used to do… other… Force-related stuff”. Bridger raises an eyebrow to that “You is Sith then?”, and then something happens I never thought I’d ever see… Maul showing his humanity. A wounded, feeling side of him reveals itself as he recounts all that the Sith took from him, and how they used him and then cast him aside. I’m not gonna lie this threw me majorly. I mean, back in the olden days of Episode I, he was a good little apprentice and did his job without question and with malice. When he resurfaced during the Clone Wars, he was so bent on revenge and power he was pretty much a monster. I’ve always loved him as a villain, but I could never really empathize with him, he was just so evil! Or so I thought. Seeing him here, mourning the family he was taken from, the brother he lost, and how the Sith treated him like garbage ultimately, actually makes me feel for him. And I still do, even knowing the horrendous things he will do before this episode’s end. Proves once again that SW 100% knows how to write their villains, because they’re not just evil, they’re people. Dude if this doesn’t remind you how messed-up the Sith are then IDK what will. Ezra can also feel for him, because he lost his family too, except he’s more interested in justice than revenge. So Maul is quite excited to show him the secrets in the temple that will help them destroy the Sith for good. And at this point I’m struggling to keep my feelings from blinding my suspicions…
This episode is full of many great heroics, but we’d be foolish to overlook those of Chopper’s. He may not get a planetshaking fate-determining lightsaber duel, but he does break into Eighth’s ship and gives the foe a taste of his own firepower! And may we mention he nearly DIED? Dude, Eight knows how to use that ‘saber in the most terrifying way as it blazed right past Chop, just barely hitting him! “Chopper, sometimes you do it right”. #Understatement #SortaKinda
Things get honestly really unsettling once Maul and Ezra reach the door to the temple. Knowing your enemy is one thing… doing what your enemy does is another. And Ezra’s still a bit suspish of the old Zabrak. Buuuut all he has to do is open the door so what’s that gonna hurt? It doesn’t work on the first try, and then Maul suggests using a little anger to gain the strength and power he needs. I recently reread my post on Gathering Forces, talking about how frightening it was to see Ezra tampering with the Dark Side when he brought forth the fyrnock queen. This is far scarier, and all he’s doing is opening a door. As the Old Master and Ezra open door after door with the Dark Side, I pretty much spent the entire time muttering “NUUUUU EZ WHAT’RE YOU DOING?!”. Maul is a really good teacher… which in his case is not a good thing. Taking a moment from the intense workout, Ezra finally gives him his real name… and in return, Maul, well, confirms his Maulness. And everybody but young Bridger got serious chills. Though I guarantee you he was kinda freaked out by those horns and dramatic markings.
So turns out Eighth wasn’t here for Jedi, but rather “a shadow”. You can guess who that is. It’s the guy currently walking alongside our young hero. And now the two come upon the key to defeating their mutual enemy: a Sith holocron. At first glance it looks almost like it’s right there and all they’d have to do is grab it and go, but did I mention the major 100-foot-deep gap in between them and the ‘cron? Ezra suggests Maul Force-toss him like he and Kanan do. I’m literally all “YOU WOULD TRUST HIM TO THROW YOU?!?!” and about grabbed and shook the screen. And yet Maul does it pretty well. It’s downright frightening that Maul and Ezra work together so well already. But as soon as Ezra has the holocron in his hands, the temple both starts to crumble and starts to light up and– ooh is that Force lightning coming from an orb in the ceiling? Kanan and Ahsoka decide they need to go find their young comrade NOW, and run off with their captive Jango Jumper in tow. It looks like now Ezra has little choice but to make a jump for it with the Old Master’s help. Ez comes dangerously dangerously close to falling, especially as it seems the ex-Darth might be doing a “you-throw-me-the-idol-I-throw-you-the-whip” sorta deal. I’m all “SEE?! I TOLD YOU NOT TO TRUST HIM!!” >A< I mean, when he grabbed Ezra's clutching-the-'cron hand I could only hold my breath. And then… though he was clearly conflicted about it, he surprised me again and helped the apprentice up instead. DANG IT MAUL STOP KEEPING ME GUESSING! (OK not really, I seriously enjoyed this drama) Ugh I felt like I botched that entire scene forgive me. Also did I mention outside the temple Fifth and Sev showed up? And having freed Eighth, things are definitely about to get intense. Then Maul casually uses the Sith holocron to open a few doors and they walk right on into that very fight. Ezra’s ready to help Kanan and Ahsoka take on the ‘quizzes with help from his new friend. But weeeeeeelllll… Ahsoka’s all “OMG MAUL???”, the inquisitors are all “OMG THE SHADOW???”, and Maul suddenly loses the nice old man vibe as he proclaims delightfully in a very creepy way “Oh, what fun!“. Kanan’s all “Wow I leave you alone for one minute and you become BFFs with a previous Sith apprentice.” Ezra still defends him despite the array of shock and accusations. And then Maul takes what looks like a cane and reveals it’s a double-bladed. Ah now this is the fierce Zabrak I remember seeing! Maaaaaan with these lightsaber skillz he really done aged well. And you’d think he’d be rusty from not having performed any combat for a while but evidently no. Maybe a little Nightsister magick still working for him? Or maybe Zabraks just don’t get old the same way humans do. Or maybe he’s killed a few other ‘quisitors while he was down here. Who knows, but whatever the case, this solitude on Malachor has really worked for him. This entire scene is tense and terrifying and amazing, with lightsabers goin’ everywhere. OK realization: Sev comments “What’s he doing here anyway?” and Fifth replies “Loser probably wants that artifact” which occurs to me he probably hasn’t been here that long. Just took Sidious a long long long long while to figure out what “other uses” he had for the ex-apprentice I guess. Maul probably lives in a regular suburban neighborhood with a pet massiff and goes to the gym to practice lightsabering and works a day job at an insurance company. Then Sidious called him up all “So hey remember that favor you owe me? Could you possibly get me a certain Sith holocron and make a superweapon for me?” to which Maul is all “Um no I can’t stand your guts remember?” “BUT IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO YOUR PUPPY…” “ok ok fine whatever.” I’m totally sure this is how it went XD Though yeah good question is he doing this for himself or for someone higher up? I believed him when he said he was done with the Sith, but is he really truly done? I know I might be way off with this theorizing but I’m just thinkin’.(NOTE: I just got further into the episode and realized this entire conversation is inaccurate and I’d kinda forgotten everything but it’s so funny I had to keep it in here) But yeah after a brief confrontation the inquisitors are all “NOPE WE’RE GONE” and fly away. Now that the lightsabers are put away, Ahsoka asks the question we’ve all been asking since he showed up: “What game are you playing?” “The end game” WHUT. Also I find it interesting it almost seems like Ahsoka and Maul know each other. I’m pretty sure they never clashed during the Clone Wars, though I’m sure Ahsoka heard a lot about him from all that Obi-Wan put up with. So maaaaaybe they met sometime before this?? Both hung out at the same gym in the same suburban neighborhood? Interesting thought. Regardless I give Maul props for being classy and calling her “Lady Tano”. Bottom line, Maul is also a rebel… of sorts, and with Vader surely on the way, he knows the four of them need to get going. Ezra attempts to further convince, showing the Jedi the holocron and how it could be used for good. Maul knows a place in the temple they can open the ‘cron, so what’ve they got to lose? Plus, he’s not facing Darth Vader alone, no sir. Though not entirely convinced they can trust the old Zabrak, Kanan and Ahsoka decide to give it a shot.
Meanwhile, the inquisitors know they really need to get that holocron back, so Eighth Bro excitedly volunteers to go find them. Yep I definitely think he’s trying to prove himself. Poor guy’s sat alone in the cafeteria for far too long. I could entirely hear Sev mutter “He’s such a dork” and Fifth respond “Indeed” XP
So yaaaas all the teamworks with Ezra, Kanan, Ahsoka, and Maul! OK maybe not so much. Maul triggers a temple lift for him and Ezra to ride, but Kanan’s all “haha no rule of two here buddy” and gets on the lift instead. I’m sure Maul and Ahsoka had a great time on their turn on the lift. Probably some awkward small talk. Seriously still makes me wonder if they’ve met before. Lookin’ forward to that Ahsoka backstory book for sure. Anyway, on the lift Kanan voices his concerns that Ezra’s being used. Ezra argues that Maul sees his potential and trusts him. Oooh some drama here… and once again there’s no time for talking things through because out of the sky comes Eighth Brother, kicking Kanan in the face! Ezra pulls out the blaster-saber and holds his own well… at least for about five seconds before Eighth knocks him over the side, demands the holocron, and then makes his spinny-blade into a sharp-edged wheel of death. I’m all “OH NOOO EZRA’S GONNA LOSE A HAND!!” and then suddenly Maul jumps into action, giving that jerk a real lightsaber duel, and then knocking him off the temple. While Eighth flies away, Maul offers Bridger a hand. And Kanan and Ahsoka look on like “WHUT”. To better handle the inquisitors, Maul suggests splitting up, and this time goes with Ezra. Ez once again implores his master to trust him. And that’s really all Kanan can hope to do as he watches the dark dude and his padawan go up the lift. Yet another amazing line on Ahsoka’s part: “He’ll be OK” “How do you know?” “Because you taught him”. DEEEEEEEEEEP.
On the lift, Maul encourages Ezra to fight mercilessly if he wants to win these battles, something Ezra’s not entirely sure what to think considering what his master has taught him. “You’ve been given a gift for one reason only, to use it”. Yeesh that Maul is slipperier than a sidewinder in a pickle barrel. The master vs. master conflict in this episode is absolutely fascinating to watch, especially as the former-Darth is as I’ve said before, a super-good teacher. He knows what to say and how to say it, gives positive reinforcement, and treats Ezra pretty well. Not at all like you think a Darksider would do it. Well, Maul was taught by the best… or should I say worst? ‘Cause if you look at the way Palpatine reeled Anakin into the Dark Side not too long ago… it was kinda in the same manner. And then just as they turn around, Maul and Ezra have miniprobes to deal with… and soon after that, the most sinister of sisters, Sev. And then Kanan and Ahsoka come face-to-face with Fivey… and Eighth too. Whoopee. As Ezra duels with Sev, Maul continues to encourage him to use that anger. And I’m sitting here wondering if we’re about to get one of those mirroring moments, if Ezra will be to Sev as Anakin was to Dooku. Maul decides to make this easy for his “apprentice” and Force-grabs the inquisitor and allows Ezra to choose how he’ll go about killing her. I’m all OmO But Ezra… he can’t bring himself to do it. Sev seems pleased for a second, buuuuut yeah… Maul decides to handle it. Dude… Seventh Sister was a nasty villain, that’s for certain, but she did not deserve that. Even Ezra is shocked, though who wouldn’t be if you saw someone die like that? THE GREAT SEVENTH SISTER WILL BE MISSED. Maul encourages him again to maybe not hesitate next time. Next stage of the plan is that Ezra will take the holocron to the temple and Maul will help the others. Yeah in a weird way Maul, Kanan, and Ahsoka make for a pretty boss squad takin’ on the ‘quisitor boys. Of course, I can really only applaud Ahsoka and Kanan’s methods, as they merely busted the inquisitors’ lightsabers. Again, Fifth didn’t deserve to go down like that, but I suppose it was the only way he could. Eighth, well… he’s the example of what not to do as a ‘quiz. Perhaps future generations of inquisitors will learn from his mistake. RIP Eighth Brother; he will always be one of the cool kids to me. And then things get really really painstakingly real, starting with Maul laying claim to Ezra as his apprentice now… and making that point by using his double-blade to blind Kanan. Not gonna lie I cried out “NOOOO NOT HIS PRETTY BLUE-GREEN EYES!!!!“, even though I know that makes me sound horrendously weird. I think it hit me hard personally because I’m very visual; if there’s one sense I couldn’t live without it would be sight. As an artist and lover of art forms (such as Star Wars), I can’t fathom how major a loss that would be. So my heart went out to Kanan 100%. MAUL WHYYY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME?! ALWAYS PLAYING WITH MY EMOTIONS!! Ahsoka rushes to defend her friend, while Maul fully explains that Ezra’s actually about to activate his new battle station, so no one on his long list of foes gets left out of the revenge party! Well, gee, you couldn’ta mentioned that BEFORE? Just Maul for ya… unfortunately.
So I’m sure Ezra wished he’d known that ahead of time too, because the explosion of Force energy that followed was not the kind of knowledge he’d been looking for. Also Nika Futterman doing awesomely as the Presence. Scared me for a second ’cause she sounded so much like Ventress, but nope Presence-voice is a whole different ballgame… an absolutely terrifying one. Wow Maul defs means business right now. Definitely seen as he continues evilly ranting as he fights Lady Tano, if the firey blast shooting through the temple through the ground to the sky to potentially space wasn’t proof enough. Ahsoka handles herself awesomely against Maul, not letting his crud get to her once and slingin’ her white ‘sabers like an absolute boss. And then Kanan gets up, an Old Republic mask shielding his wounded face, but looking all kinds of unshakable nonetheless. Also can we just note the mask kinda resembles the Jedi Temple Guard mask the ex-Grand Inquisitor wore in Shroud Of Darkness? WHOAAA THE IMAGERY AGAIN. Maul thinks Kanan’s easy prey. But ohohoho Master Jarrus was more than ready. Those brief moments where you can tell Kanan is picking up on the sound of Maul’s footsteps to locate his position… WOW! Just WOW! He deflects his adversary’s every move, and ultimately grabs him by the arm and pitches him over the side of the temple. Talk about “making this quick”! And then he gets a call from Chopper, who may’ve seen a TIE nearby…
Yeah Ezra is not interested in the kind of power the Presence is offering. Now he might’ve realized Maul played him like a card. The Presence is all “well if you’re not gonna do it maybe that guy will”, and that’s when DARTH VADER entered, in spectacular fashion, standing on his TIE fighter, red blade in hand, cape flowing. Both incredibly cool and incredibly gutwrenchingly terrifying. And in one swift move, he leaps from the TIE and right. at. EZRA. “I’m not afraid of you” “Then you will die braver than most” OH WOW. Ezra deserves a serious amount of credit for how awesomely he fought Vader. His abilities have definitely grown since their last confrontation, and very rarely does anyone confront him more than once and actually live. However, despite this, one swing of that red ‘saber, and Ezra’s beautiful blaster-blade is in pieces. Bridger’s look of terror as Vader brings down his blade brings out the dark lord’s comment “Perhaps I was wrong” and then… “Wouldn’t be the first time…”
AHSOKA…
And VADER…
IN THE SAME ROOM.
“Our long-awaited meeting has commenced.”
CANNOT. COMPUTE. THE EARTHSHATTERINGNESS.
I don’t even dare try to reiterate what happened. Except that what happened was one of the most simultaneously exciting and simultaneously terrifying and simultaneously doubling-over-with-feels-inducing things I have ever witnessed in Star Wars history, and possibly my life. Because I don’t dare try and act like I’m explaining it all to you for the first time, let’s just talk about my own thoughts.
I was not prepared when Vader found Ahsoka in the season opener. And despite I could see it as something that would likely happen… when I first heard the title of the finale, Twilight Of The Apprentice… I realized how truly unprepared I was. With a title like that, I knew that no one would come out of this episode unscathed in some way. After all, even with Kanan’s knighting, the three are all still apprentices in some way or another. The very idea of Ahsoka and Vader facing each other was almost unfathomable. Yes, I’d always wanted to see Ahsoka join the Rebels, but no, I wouldn’tve wished for her to fight the man once her master. But yet, it was also unavoidable. I had no idea what to expect ultimately. Ahsoka and Vader would know each other’s weaknesses and strengths better than anyone, but they’ve also both grown, Vader in Dark Side prowess, and Ahsoka in real-world skill that enhanced and added to her Jedi training. Who’s side would the fight tilt in favor of? And considering Darth Vader is alive and well by the time we get to A New Hope… how could she be by then? But the one thing I knew for sure, that IF Ahsoka went down, she was not going to go down in vain. That was my sole comfort in all of this. I could only watch and see what would happen. And I was on the edge of my seat, breathing like I’d run a marathon. I don’t think I’d felt this on-edge since Kylo Ren and Han Solo’s confrontation a few months ago. And then when Ahsoka sliced open his mask… and saw the fragment of his face… oh wow. Even after all he’s done, she still refuses to give up on him. Something not even Obi-Wan or Yoda could do. She saw past the dark, monstrous form, and saw her friend. Ahsoka’s always loved people, maybe even more than traditional Jedi values would allow, and that’s something I’ve always loved about her character. And we see that part of her crystal-clear as she sacrifices herself to save Kanan and Ezra. As that happened I cried out “AHHH SHE’S PULLING AN OBI-WAN!!”, recalling Master Kenobi’s own great sacrifice in his final confrontation. Ezra’s tears match my own. But they did it just the right way, respectful and a shining example of her selflessness and kind heart.
And in the stirring, enigmatic, and epic-in-scale last few minutes of the finale, we see the mini-Alliance react to the losses and scars (as if I didn’t cry enough seeing Hera’s reaction, Rex’s face pretty much shattered my heart). We see the Darth and the ex-Darth walk away from Malachor, Vader looking worn, and Maul looking for his next big revenge plan (I’d make some reference to Lego’s The Empire Strikes Out but I don’t want to come off as disrespectful). We also see a figure in the shadows… a figure who looks a whole lot like… AHSOKA?? (I’d sit here and dump all my theories on that matter too but again, not the right time and place to do that) We see Kanan Jarrus, unable to see, but with the Force as his ally, not truly blind. And then we come upon Ezra Bridger, who with a Sith holocron in hand and a glint of red in his eyes, has many difficult decisions ahead of him. But in the midst of the uncertainty and the pain and confusion, life goes on… and so too will the growing Rebel Alliance.
OK brb crying. But seriously wow, there are no words. This episode, this series… I love it. So so much. And next week I’ll do my annual recap post to look at the season as a whole and cover any interesting thing I might’ve missed. And so the Rebel Transmission comes to a close.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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