SW Summer Reads: The Rebels Novelizations, Part 1

It’s time again for some Star Wars Summer Reads! Or I guess Summer-ish Reads for some of you guys. Anyway, the first Star Wars novel I ever read was a Clone Wars novelization compilation called Grievous Attacks. It was a really fun experience and a great introduction to SW books, so I decided it’d be fun to revisit some classic Rebels season one episodes in junior novel form! Let’s talk about Michael Kogge’s takes on Machine In The Ghost, Art Attack, Entanglement, Property Of Ezra Bridger, Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and Rise Of The Old Masters!

I honestly forgot until I read these how fun novelizations can be. You get to dive further into the story you’ve seen on-screen, learning more little things about the SW galaxy, as well as the chance to delve into what’s going on inside the characters’ heads. Mr. Kogge did an excellent job at this, especially inside of Rise Of The Rebels, the shorts compilation. He writes a lot of depth into these already-deep little stories as we explore different perspectives (like those of Chopper or a stormtrooper), and even adds some nice new lines and moments that compliment the source material rather than overcrowding it.

Droids In Distress was a very well done compilation as well, though Spark Of Rebellion suffered a little. But I’m not really complaining; it can’t be easy trying to fit a richly-written 44-minute episode in less than fifty pages! So due to the format, Mr. Kogge was forced to skip over some of the best lines and rush much of the story. But the following novelizations were near-perfection!

Both compilations have hiccups in story compared to the actual episode, but most likely that’s because these were written before the episodes were completed. Doesn’t take away from how much I enjoyed them, though! Of course, half the fun for me was just revisiting these great early episodes! The other half, well… I’ll let you in on a secret: ever since Grievous Attacks, I read all SW books out loud to myself. I just can’t pass up an opportunity to practice my character impressions! I found out reading these that I do a pretty mean Grand Inquisitor 😀

Anyway, if you love SWR and want to explore these stories from a new angle, I totally recommend. And they’re definitely great if you’re new to Star Wars books and need a light, easy introduction. Plus, the Sabine-like graffiti artwork dispersed throughout the books is an epic bonus 🙂

Now, for the fangirl-musings commentary portion of the post.

Contains spoilers from the original Rebels shorts and episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and some important elements from the seasons beyond.

– Apparently “understatement” is a distinctly twi’lek sort of humor? I must be part twi’lek then.
– I really appreciate also that they simplify some of the technical terms a little bit. Definitely the difference between a potential first-timer’s SW story and something intensely detailed for the long-timer like Tarkin. But it’s still not oversimplified, it’s just right and makes for a pretty easy read.
– Kanan, master of a thousand one-liners. True dat.
– Considering how much they argue in this short, I might not’ve guessed that Hera was actually worried about her copilot for a moment. Awwz #feels.
– We actually get a chance to get inside Chopper’s dome in this book! Some seriously funny stuff here. Now give this hard-working little droid an oil bath already!
– This book seems to imply that Chopper’s exact “words” couldn’t be understood by organics. Always Two There Are confirmed for me that “droid” is a language you can learn. I originally thought that this fact was just something I missed in the other films and shows, but this seems to mean I wasn’t the only one who was unclear on the do-people-actually-understand-astromechs-or-are-they-just-assuming-what-they’re-saying-like-when-people-talk-to-their-pets situation. Or maybe Chopper’s comment is true, and though you can learn basic astromech, a sentient being will never understand the fine details. Knowing Chop’s ‘tude, perhaps this is a good thing…
– Apparently Ryloth is known for their firework shows. I could see that.
– Chopper has good relations with the Phantom, while the Ghost tends to be pretty rude with him. Things only ‘mechs know!
– “A thousand thousand worlds sparkled in the night sky above the capital city of Lothal.” I absolutely love how Mr. Kogge writes for Sabine. He captures so well her fiercely artistic mindset with heavily poetic descriptions. I can’t help but be a little bummed they didn’t make more of these novelizations.
– Sabine has heard the tales of Boba Fett! I still almost can’t believe we never got to see them in a face-off, but I suppose the writers knew that would be far too easy and more of a what-the-fans-want than a what-the-series-needs. But I suppose there’s nothing to say it still couldn’t happen…
– I really hope TK-626’s number was a Lilo And Stitch reference.
– The idea of the Empire specifically recruiting known bullies as Imperial Cadets at first sounded a little too obvious, but then again, remember Oleg? Frankly, I can imagine a lot of storms might’ve been ne’er-do-wells in grade school. Perhaps it’s not what the Empire is looking for alone, but it doesn’t hurt…
– “Artists were almost as bad as rebels. They could draw, paint, and create things he couldn’t. And for that, they deserved to be crushed.” Oh you guys, I think I figured out why TK-626 was a bully. THIS POOR STORMTROOPER CHILD!! I actually feel really bad for him! Thank you Mr. Kogge for helping me consider the human inside the inhuman white armor.
– I think it’s neat that Mr. Kogge paints (so to speak) Sabine as an artist first and a warrior second. Sometimes it’s easy for me to think vice versa, considering her warrior Mandalorian heritage, but when you think about her close relationship with her artistic dad, and consider the life she maybe knew before the Imperial Academy and then the mini-Alliance, it makes sense that art is her first love, and what she wants to do for a living once the war is over. Maybe once she gets Ezra back home, she’ll finally get her chance 🙂
– Apparently, Zeb isn’t all that fond of his nickname. There’s a certain way his people roll their Rs in the lasat language that most just can’t match. I like this angle. I wonder if this is a fact decided upon by the Story Group or an early assumption Mr. Kogge made. It certainly is a fascinating idea! I didn’t know they spoke anything beside Basic! Well aside from the ancient chants, but maybe that should’ve clued me in.
– Imperials don’t know many languages beyond Basic. Didn’t know that, but makes sense in retrospect.
Whoa I didn’t remember the stormtroopers being that mean to the salesnaught. All the more reason Zeb is one noble dude.
– We learn reading this that Zeb isn’t fond of ugnaughts or astromechs, but all the same, he can’t turn a blind eye to their troubles. It makes this already-amazing little story even more meaningful. AHHH SO SO NOBLE :3
– The Empire made slaves of the lasat? My first reaction was “THAT’S NOT ACCURATE! THEY WERE KILLED OFF!“, buuuuuut what if slavery was where it started? Something to consider, anyway. But I gotta say, it’s hard to imagine lasat being good slaves. The wookiees don’t work well under Kessel heat, making them less of a threat, but I imagine that wasn’t as much of a problem for the less-fuzzy-but-still-deadly lasat…
– “My old gran’s a better fighter, and she’s only two meters tall!” Pfft that’s a good one, Zeb. Wonder if this was purely Mr. Kogge’s clever writing or an unused line they recorded. But they actually elaborate further on Granny Orrelios, saying she’d lived for “three hundred dust seasons” (I’m assuming that’s 75 earth years, depending how long a dust season lasts and how many seasons they have). This is the first time we’ve ever heard of any family Zeb had, and it makes me super happy to know an inkling of his personal life before the Empire.
– I love the idea Ezra’s already had a few moments where the Force came into play before he finds himself avoiding TIE fighter fire. It makes sense, and kind of makes you wonder what adventures (and misadventures) he might’ve had on the streets of Lothal.
– Interesting that Ezra’s pretty willing to take any sort of reward, even an Imperial rescue! But hey creds are creds. Perhaps it’s this pilot’s snobbiness that drives Ez to decide to just rescue the helmet instead…
– Considering not long from now Ezra’s back to stealing food, I guess those parts didn’t get him as much cash as he hoped. Or they were stolen. Or maybe food on Lothal these days just costs a lot.
– “A sitting hawk-bat“… could that also be comparable to a lothbat?
– The second book has cool alternate episode titles: “Ezra’s Story”, “Disrupted”, and “Old Masters”.
– Sabine was drinking blue milk?? Obviously I haven’t been paying attention. Or that maybe that’s because her cup wasn’t a clear glass. Question: if blue milk is from banthas (which I’ve been led to believe), since banthas don’t live on Lothal (that we’ve seen), does that mean the Rebs are getting their food supplies from offworld? That makes sense enough. Guess I didn’t need to waste a whole paragraph on it…
– You know, unless my memory fails me, I thought the Rebels merely rescued the wookiees on Lothal before their were transferred to Kessel. I was pretty sure after seeing the hopeless world in Solo that my assumptions were for sure right. This novelization says they actually went to Kessel. I’m starting to think these books were written before the shorts and episodes were completed. That must’ve been confusing to do.
– I’ve never heard of a silverback wookiee before, but that’s a neat concept!
– I’ve always wondered what a nerf sounded like. Apparently they’re a lot like Amda Wabo…
– “Chopper recognized the astromech’s response as typical of the new R2 series. Compassion was the biggest flaw in their programming.” Suuuuure Chop, it’s a thing about their programming! ‘Cause we know you certainly don’t have a soft side!
– Also if he considers him a new R2, then how old does that makes Chopper? Well, I’m not saying he’s old, but I think I once saw a droid that looked like him in a trailer for KotOR. *Chopper soundly zaps me for the bad joke*
– In Chopper’s words, he’s only “a few decades past his expiry date”. But he knows there are far older droids than him.
– It’s rather unusual seeing Threepio and Artoo’s roles in this story flipped, with Threeps a little more confident and Artooie a little less than happy. But an interesting twist for a story I already know well.
– Knowing that Zeb had been having horrific nightmares when he shut Ezra out of their room… even though I’ve watched this episode seven times, and though I know his story doesn’t end here, I can feel his pain as strongly as ever.
– I love the creepy last line Kallus gets in as he’s about to strike down Zeb…
– But more so, I love the way Mr. Kogge describes the Force throughout these novelizations. He makes it feel very tactical, very real, this undeniable spark!

I don’t know about you, but I had a ball reading these. I’ll be taking next week off for my birthday, but after that, you should expect some more Star Wars Reads posts to arrive!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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SW Summer Reads – Jedi Prince #3: Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge

It’s time for another edition of Star Wars Summer Reads! And we’re returning once more to the epic post-Episode VI galaxy as written by the great Paul and Hollace Davids in the third installment in the Jedi Prince chronicles! I read this last SW Reads Day but didn’t get a chance to blog on it since, you know, all the other things I was blogging on, but now I am doing so, so yay! Ah, the exciting adventures in this series! They may be a little older than some books but they’re still among my favorites… and are currently all I know about this era in the SW universe (I know I know shame on me! XP ). If you want to read my take on the previous chapters, jet on over here for that thing with Vader’s glove and the whole lost Jedi city debacle. So enough chatter let’s find out exactly what secrets and fascinating tidbits we can discover in the midst of Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge! Ahh those crazy Hutts am I right? 🙂 I mean just look at that crazy hair he’s got on the cover!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode II, Episode V, Episode VI, The Clone Wars Movie, Rebels episode Idiot’s Array, The Glove Of Darth Vader, The Lost City Of The Jedi, and Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge

So we reunite with our heroes as they’re heading off to a party! Han Solo’s housewarming party, to be precise. And even more precisely, for Han’s super-amazing floating skyhouse in Cloud City (pretty much everyone’s dream house, am I right?). As it seems though, Luke hadn’t really thought of a housewarming gift until literally the last second, so he and his young Jedi prince ward, Ken were spitballing gift ideas. But what do you give the Rebel hero who has everything? Turns out Ken has the winning idea — a housekeeping droid! Threepio, Artoo, and Chip are in on the idea. Luke’s not sure how keen Han would be on the idea, considering he’s a bachelor and junk (not to mention his short temper with Threepio some days XP ). But Threepio believes it would definitely be in Captain Solo’s best interest to have someone help keep that place of his in shape, considering he’s… a bachelor and junk. Haha so true. Luke finally decides to go with it and he and his comrades take a detour to the Tatooine Droidfest to do some shopping! It may not be the brightest spot in the galaxy, but Droidfest has the best selection and the best prices. Like Black Friday, but… no, on second thought it’s pretty much exactly the same as Black Friday! Right down to the chaos that ensues before long. The shopping was the easy part, finally settling on KT-18, or Kate. A friendly, top-of-the-line housekeeping droid who’s worked for a number of Corellian pilots and turned them into gentlemen (RUN HAN RUN!! XD ). Not cheap in the slightest, but worth the moola for sure. Oh, and then there came the chaos… Tusken Raiders on Banthaback having a land dispute with the Jawas. And Luke gets caught up in the middle of it while Ken and the droids dive for shelter in a sandcrawler. See? Exactly like Black Friday! That’s why you should’ve done this earlier and done it online, Luke! I know you’re a Rebel hero and stuff but you should be able to make time to do nice things before they become a burden! 😛
Quick history lesson: do you know what became of Jabba’s Palace after the Rebs did him and his whole crew in? It just sorta sat there ’cause there was no will and now it’s owned by the government. Makes you wonder where Rotta is right now (hopefully living a slightly more respectable life than his dad did, I would hope). Whatever the case, Jabba’s dad Zorba didn’t get the memo about anything that happened these last few months. So big daddy Zorba ain’t too happy about not being let into the palace (apparently the government’s sanctioned it off as a “No Hutts Allowed” zone #uncool) and not knowing where his kid is. He heads off to the Mos Eisley cantina for some answers, but doesn’t come back liking those answers too much for, well, obvious reasons. So Zorba decides to hire some scum and villainy on the spot to hunt down Jabba’s killer — Leia Organa. And on top of that, Zorba happens to know exactly where that will is: right inside an old droid. The Hutt’s back in business and he’s got a score to settle! This could be a problem…
But Luke and the gang already have a few problems of their own. Remember what cray happened at the Droidfest? Yeah Commander Skywalker finally was able to join Ken and the droids in their sandcrawler hideout. It’s hot and slow but it gets them out of that mess in the end, even though it happens to be night by the time they get out. Then new problem: someone else hired bounty hunters that day — Trioculus. Now not only is Luke gonna be late for the party but now he’s got to fight a pair of hunters! The Twi’lek and the Aqualish hunters put up a bit of a fight, but Luke put up a bit more of one and lightsabered them like a boss. On their way back, Luke asks Ken if he knows something as to what the new Emperor wants with him. Ken really really doesn’t want to tell him; DJ-88, the teacher droid who raised him, had warned him not to spill anything he learned in the ancient Jedi library to anyone, not even his mentor. He finally decides to tell him at least a little something… that he knows quite a bit of dirt on Trioculus, stuff that would only put Luke in further danger. Luke doesn’t press on further in that, but he still hopes that someday Ken’ll open up to him more. And in other news I just adore Luke and Ken’s relationship! While not officially a master and padawan, you can very much see the similarity. And Luke makes a really great master for someone who’s never done it before 🙂
They finally make it to Bespin, though. The description of the lovely city in the clouds makes me so badly want to see more of it. *CoughputitinthenewtrilogypleaseCough* They’re met by Rebel, ex-scoundrel, and governor Lando Calrissian, who quickly befriends the young prince. They have a pretty nice view of where Han’s place lies, with the exception of the serious air pollution going on. Yes indeedy this series definitely reminds you that sometimes the Star Wars galaxy has the same problems we do here in the Milky Way side of town. Though at least we don’t have to worry about Imperial factory barges causing said problems, which is why lovely Bespin isn’t so lovely to breathe right now. Lando shoots a rental his friends’ way and promises he’ll join the party after he handles some trouble at Holiday Towers Casino. Fun seeing how much this ol’ smoothie’s grown up, isn’t it? He used to break the rules and now he makes the rules!
So clearly Han’s housewarming party was the event of the year. Swarms of Han’s friends from throughout the galaxy made it and it truly sounds fabulous. And Leia happens to have the best (read comfiest) seat in the house through it all. The Captain himself is pretty busy, between chatting with friends and serving refreshments, it’s no wonder he stuck Chewbacca on cooking duty (I really really hope they make hairnets that big… it’s best not to think about how much hair might’ve gotten in the food). ‘Course he did get some breaks, there are dances with Leia to be had man! #Priorities! And of course Luke, Ken and the droids arrive fashionably late. And turns out Han is definitely into Kate. Quite frankly I’m jealous I don’t have a droid who can zap stains off the ceiling without breaking a sweat– er, circuit. It was worth all the trouble they went to to get her! In the midst of the housewarming, Ken, with the aide of a set of long-range macrobinoculars, happens to spy what appears to be a Huttian ship entering Cloud City. Well, this really could be a problem…
Yes, Zorba’s come for a visit, but not yet to the princess. First, he’s got some legal biz to tend to at the casino. Technically he owns the place… well, sorta, Jabba used to own it, but after he bit the dust nobody else knew that so Lando owns the place now but Zorba ain’t havin’ it. The only way to settle this is with a friendly game of sabacc. What could possibly go wrong, right? And as far as Lando can tell, big daddy Hutt don’t got game. So betting the entire future of Cloud City is hardly something to worry about right? I’ve said it before… sabacc has a higher ratio of misses than hits… when you see guys playing this game, be aware somebody’s losing their fabulous Corellian ship, or their fabulous C1-1OP, or in this case, an entire city and role as governor. It’s not entirely Lando’s fault, I mean, who would’ve guessed that Zorba’s deck had markings that only he could see that could help him win? But the end result is still the same… Lando seriously seriously lost, and a Hutt now owns the place — the entire place. As in, the whole city. Well, this really is a problem…
However, things were going along quite swimmingly at the skyhouse. The party was over, but the rest of the gang was still hangin’ around. And Kate had the place sparkling as if a party’d never happened! It’s all good… and then Lando called. “Soooo here’s the thing… I’ve heard the theme park business is booming right now…” jk I’m glad that’s not quite how it went down (though he’s totally serious about the theme park thing. I mean, we are talking about the guy who smuggled a puffer pig on a chance he could make a quick buck… he’s an entrepeneur, after all). And the final blow of bad news is that he may’ve overheard Zorba talking about the whole “revenge” thing and yeah… as Mace Windu once said, “This party’s over.” O_O So Han’s thinking getting Leia off-planet would be their next best move, and then to add to the chaos Kate takes a fall off the skyhouse observation deck! Luke and Leia jump into action (and a sweet cloud car convertible) to save their droid friend. But Luke handled that car in a way that would make his dad proud and managed to save Kate before she hit the planet’s liquid core. But while they’re down there, Luke spies Trioculus’ sail barge. A floating factory that makes a pretty scary array of Imperial weapons… and a pretty scary amount of braze. They come down for just a little look and that’s when the laser defense system comes on and now we really really have a problem! Crashed car, stormtroopers all over the place, Luke gets trapped in a tunnel filled with poisonous gas, Leia gets taken hostage… fun right? Though yeesh I’m glad Luke got outta there that was pretty scary.
Of course Han and Ken had no idea as to what had conspired, so we find the Han showing off his awesome racecars to the young prince. Yeah racecars plural. The Rebel Alliance must give him some kinda paycheck! Then Luke sent Han a distress call and Han made the huge mistake of leaving Ken alone with his gorgeous super-fast racing machines. Ken’s clearly a good kid, I’m certainly not saying he’s not, ’cause he is. But heck, you couldn’t leave me alone with one of those things and expect me not to at least try and drive it a little! So I don’t really blame the boy for taking it out for a spin (and admittedly, it was kinda an accident). Problem is is that he’s kinda not the legal age to drive and… yeah… cops come along, and then they’re all “hey whaddya know the Emperor’s been looking for you!” and Ken’s all “aw dang.” because who wouldn’t be right now?
And guess where Leia ended up? On a very much unwarranted “date” with Trioculus. Ohhh yes. Bro tries to be smooth, but Leia answers that with a sound and well-deserved slap to the face. The only reason she can’t take her eyes off him is because his scarred three-eyed face is downright horrifying. Obviously Trioculus doesn’t pick up on that red flag. He’s certain he can win her over with his tall, dark[sidery], and (perhaps not so) handsome self. He’s like “C’mon I’m not so bad bae. It’s not like you haven’t killed someone before” and she’s all “IT WAS IN SELF-DEFENSE AND IT WAS JABBA I WAS WELL WITHIN MY RIGHT!” and he’s all “Psh you totally want to kill me now right? See it’s not hard. So how’s about getting married?”. Oh yeah real classy Emperor, really classy! Despite her complete and utter disinterest (and disgust), he’s willing to wait for her to figure it out. Well, he’ll be waiting forever ’cause dude that ain’t happenin’! But as we know, Trioculus here isn’t the only one who wants Leia… and that is seriously a problem.
Zorba’s glad to be back in some sort of seat of power, but he’s not lovin’ the braze Trioculus brought with him. One of his hunters, however, may have brought him the key to getting all his scores settled. Leia’s on Trioculus’ sail barge, a kid named Ken was taken in by Cloud City police… a trade is in order, I do believe. Ken wasn’t about to talk to the old Hutt, but that’s where having sweets covered in truth serum comes in. You gotta give Zorba credit for being prepared though, I mean, not everyone just carries around avabush spice every day. I’m pretty sure most people don’t expect to need to get the truth out of someone on the regular. So good for you Zorba– er, not good for you! Making the young prince spill the fact that he’s very much a Jedi Prince! And then in turn imprisoning him in the casino basement! Duuuuuude! When Trioculus shows up for the trade, he’s hardly impressed with this great and mighty Jedi Prince being a boy… up until Ken in a rather sleep-deprived state points out just how much dirt he knows about him, including the fact that Trioculus is not the rightful Emperor and isn’t Sidious’ kid. Yeah Trioculus definitely gets why now he needs to kill this kid. But he’s not feeling the trade. They have quite the… intellectual conversation (read: a lot of yelling that doesn’t get either baddie anywhere) and basically there is no trade. They entered casual acquaintances and left mortal enemies. And Zorba’s somehow too fast for the the Emperor’s ‘troopers. Yeah that must’ve been a real blow to their confidence. You don’t mess with Zorba, ’cause this all ended with the Emperor in a block of carbonite. Ken played the mind trick card on a prison guard and a taxi driver and made it back without much problem ultimately. Though Han and Luke had a slightly harder time busting Leia out of the Emperor’s place, mostly on account that Zorba was in on the chase too. Zorba had no idea though that they’d rescued Leia so as far as he knew, he’d gotten his sweet revenge on both of his worst enemies! Though unfortunately for him it won’t be the last he sees of either of them…
So the good news is Trioculus is out of commission. The bad news is, Leia’s gonna have to lay low to avoid Zorba and his hunters. But Han really has no problem with this; he’s all there for his girl, even if he has to leave his skyhouse behind for a bit. He’s aiming for somewhere hidden away from Imperials and hunters alike, somewhere kinda romantic. Hehehe Han let Luke drive after that. He had other things to tend to… 😉 While having this brief sweet moment with his princess, he allows the thought of a proposal to cross his mind. If he can find the right words for it… just maybe… ❤ *Fangirl squees loudly* Yus while the danger's not behind them yet, there are plenty of good things in front of them, for Jedi, Jedi Princes, and Rebels alike 🙂
Awwww… I know right? Ah this series is so much fun! They may take a while but I'm glad to be writing these book Closer Looks again! Also ALMOST ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL REBELS SEASON 2!! GET EXCITED PEEPS!!

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

Rebel Transmissions: Fighter Flight

Heyy to mah fellow rebels out there! It’s time once again for another Rebel Transmission! *Hits button that starts up radio show party music* Yeahh I wish. Today we’re digging into what might be one of my most favorite of favorite episodes so far, Fighter Flight. Gahhhh I can’t begin to describe how fantastic the episode is! Well, I’ll try though, but of course I’ll have to talk about the whole episode. But that’s kinda what I do on these, y’know? So yus let’s get started!!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Droids In Distress and Fighter Flight

Today would’ve probably been a regular run-of-the-mill day onboard the Ghost. But then Chopper got involved…
Ezra’s doing all this Jedi-training homework and working on fine-tuning his Force skills on a single bowl. And just when he thinks he’s got it down pat, Chopper reveals that he was the one “levitating” the dish. Now, if the little droid had just stopped there with that joke, things would’ve stayed normal, but no he had to throw it a mile further by throwing the bowl at Ezra. And that’s when the fight started, (though we can be thankful there wasn’t hot soup in that bowl, at least! Yikes that’d be painful…) and off Chopper ran with Ezra on his tail! Well, for a couple seconds anyway, as Ezra halted upon passing the lovely Sabine in the hallway. She’s just taking some time with her art, and Ezra (unsuccessfully) drops some charm on her, casually making note that he’s available if she ever needs some artistic inspiration. You have to give props to Sabine for so effortlessly letting it slide. And then Ezra was re-reminded of his true mission as Chopper decided to go into his room. I love at the last second, before he dashes after the droid, it almost looked like Ezra shot Sabine the “call me” sign XD OK so he probably didn’t really but it made me laugh. I don’t think people can do that in a world where Earth-esque phones don’t exist… and the fact that, you know, they all live in the same ship and stuff. Aww I’m sorry I adore whatever is going on with them X3
And here’s where this otherwise boring day took a really crazy turn. As we know, Ezra shares quarters with Zeb. And right now, he might as well have walked into the cave of a hibernating bear, ’cause Zeb is trying to sleep and he makes it pretty clear that he wants to be left to rest. What neither of them called for was Chopper to hit Ezra with a few volts, and in missing the boy, hitting Zeb as well. And Chopper just laughs… right before getting the heck outta there when Zeb decides to hand out some knuckle sandwiches on the both of them. Ezra has a secret weapon of his own, though… he saved Zeb’s life last episode and therefore can hold it over his head. After a bit more arguing, Ezra decided to sort of assert his dominance and his status as co-owner of the room and got up on his bunk above Zeb’s and well… who’da thunk it, but the bunk decided to then fall loose. On top of Zeb. Now Ezra’s on the run from Zeb’s fury. Sorry mind if I just laugh my head off now? What are the odds?! XD XD Yeah you can thank Chopper for that, who might’ve stolen a couple of somewhat important bolts from the bunks. Sabine was then struck by inspiration… something to tie the boys’ room together, perhaps? 🙂
So Kanan was just doing whatever when in ran his panicked Padawan pursued by a dead-angry Lasat. Yeahhh now he’s gonna have to re-stack all those crates all over again! That’s where Hera finally has to come in. And as moms know, if your kids can’t do anything but make trouble, you get them to do some hard work. And that’s indeed what she does when she sends Ezra and Zeb off grocery shopping… together. Hehehe. Also, she decides to send them on a bit of a wild Bantha chase making it clear they need to come back with some meillorun fruit… which btw is stupid rare and isn’t native to Lothal. But off the boys go begrudgingly, ’cause when Captain Syndulla tells you to do something, you do it.
In the marketplace, Ezra does happen to run into a friendly face, a gentleman named Mr. Sumar. As we find out later, he was a family friend of Ezra’s parents, which definitely was a fascinating new development. I kinda had figured Ezra might’ve mostly raised himself, but this seems to say that his parents were around longer than I would’ve guessed. Wow deep. Sorry anyway, I really like Mr. Sumar. He’s just so friendly and warm, but also strong-rooted in his beliefs. And we definitely see that last part as an Imperial and his ‘troopers make an interest in buying his land and he’s all “Um let me think about it NO.”. Ezra gets only a brief glimpse of all this before running back into Zeb again. Zeb’s already got ahold of everything they need, except of course for the meilloruns. Mr. Sumar had tipped Ezra off that the fruits weren’t an easy find on Lothal, so he wasn’t going to worry about it. But Zeb went all perfectionist on us and started off to find some and handed part of the cargo over to Ezra. Ezra pulled the “saved-your-life” thing again and Zeb’s frustration with him ended up pointing them in the direction of – I’m serious – a crate full of meilloruns! And guess who’d bought that crate? The Imperials of course. In one of the Jedi Prince series of books, they do a great deal of describing one such Imperial dinner party and what exotic (and some illegal) dishes they had on the table, so yeah not surprised those guys have such expensive taste. But Ezra has no problem with doing a little thievery and tries to use the Force to open the crate when the ‘troopers aren’t looking. Which sorta worked for a couple seconds before another Stormtrooper walked over and clamped down the lid (probably thinking “Pshh these cheap crates…”). Zeb has a brief laugh at Ezra (even though a couple seconds into the Force-wielding Zeb seemed to be somewhat impressed), but young Bridger isn’t giving up so easily; if he can’t bring the meilloruns to him, he’ll just bring himself to the meilloruns. He did a pretty decent job sneaking around and making his move, but at the last second, just as grabbed a fruit, all Imperial blasters were aimed in his direction. He was going to just put it back and not give them any trouble, but then Zeb K.O’d the baddies with their supply crates and the two made a run for it. Yeah I feel kinda bad for them that they lost what they came here for trying to get something they didn’t need… is that weird? But I guess it’s hard for them to worry about it when they’ve got ‘troopers at their necks. In the midst of the chase, the two end up being separated, Ezra on the rooftops and Zeb on the ground, and before long, Zeb happens to find himself standing in front of a parked TIE Fighter. Boy, it is really something when you realized just how big they are next to a person! The pilot’s all “Yesss!! A rebel! I’m so gonna get that promotion now!”. I love that he’s not wearing his helmet at the moment, because when they wear those helmets, sometimes you forget they’re people. Which makes it all the funnier when he gives this girlish scream and priceless freaked-out expression when Zeb makes a dead-on leap on the window XD After promptly tossing out the pilot, Zeb’s at the controls now, and it looks like they take some getting used to. Gotta get a feel for the vehicle, see how much play’s in the steering controls, and put on a decent radio station (EMPR FM 77.5 is not Zeb’s style). Oh, and blasting the Imperials and everything else in sight. Yep, just what we’d all do if we got to take a TIE for a joyride. Now to give Ezra a lift…
Because yeah the poor kid’s been dashing across the rooftops with Stormtrooper blasterfire coming at him from behind. Looks like for once a TIE is a welcome sight… at least, once Zeb gets Ezra to make it clear they’re even now. But do things calm down from this point? Eh not really. They start fighting over the controls, they accidentally blow up a fruit stand, the fruit blocks the window… it’s not good. And now all they’ve got is Ezra’s Force-sensing abilities to guide them as they try to figure out how to land, especially when a bunch of not-so-little rock formations stand in their way.
So meanwhile, Chopper and Kanan were playing a casual game of dejarik, and you don’t have to understand astromech-speak to tell that Chopper’s pwning Kanan at the moment. I about exploded with the giggles watching Chopper kinda dance and go “WHOOPWHOOP-WHOOPWHOOP!” XD And then Kanan goes and makes a comeback and Chopper’s like “Uncool”. Hera becomes a casual observer in their little game and just as a call comes through from the boys. Yeah their problems are a lot bigger than just a lack of meilloruns… they happen to be driving a TIE fighter. It is literally the best thing to have Kanan and Hera bark back “YOU DID WHAT?! GET RID OF IT!” and Zeb and Ezra are all “Aw do we have to?” like a couple of boys having brought home a frog 😆 Kanan tells them to fly on over back to the Ghost’s rendevouz point ASAP. And they’re gonna try… if they can, y’know… find the way there.
On the other side of town, things aren’t looking so good for the Sumars. The Imperials know how to get what they want. Forget buying land, just blow up their home and imprison the folks! So easy! Oh noessss why the Sumars?? Ezra picked up on the smoke coming from their direction though, and so it looks like this TIE’ll be taking a little detour.
So the nice thing about piloting TIEs is that the bad guys wouldn’t suspect a thing. The plan’s in motion; Zeb’s gotten the troop transports to slow down, and Ezra’s aimed for the top of the transport holding the innocents. Nothing could go wrong right? Well you’d think the bad guys wouldn’tve suspected a TIE fighter, but unfortunately they kinda do, as they know one got stolen earlier. Zeb resorts to the “I’m-going-through-a-tunnel-we’re-breaking-up-I’ll-call-you-back-later” game, which yeah doesn’t work that well. But in the midst of that, Ezra finally freed the Sumars, with a little help from the Force. Which is great yeah but once you open a few doors, everybody in the transport knows it and along come the ‘troopers once more! Oh, and these transports also happen to have gun turrets on top, the better to fry the rogue TIE and Ezra with. But Ezra finds some unexpected weapons aboard… meillorun. They look like a pomegranate/mango hybrid, but they’ve got the strength of a solid coconut, and make excellent ammo against Stormtroopers. I find it so funny that when one of the ‘troopers finally has Ezra in a corner, he just stares at his fruity weapon and says “Wait… so you did all of this just for fruit?”. You don’t typically think of these guys having much say in a situation, but there you go, a ‘trooper who can actually think for himself! But then Ezra rams that meillorun into the ‘trooper’s gut and makes a run for it. And then he jams one-half of the turret with a spare wrench so yeah… as the Stormtrooper went flying out of the explosion, I’m pretty sure he was not thrilled that he went down seemingly because of a crate of fruit. Ezra got what he came for though… his friends freed and a meillorun in hand. Oh but then came along more ‘troopers! But Zeb came along just in time with a truly fantastic rescue as he grabs Ezra while using his feet to steer the fighter upside down! Not too shabby, Orellios 🙂
Back in the safety of the TIE, it looks like the boys are even for good. And Zeb actually does something nice and offers his young comrade the TIE pilot’s helmet. Though Ezra already has one, he does the right thing and accepts his thoughtful gift.
So by the time they’re back home, Kanan and Hera had been waiting for them some time. Evidently the guys crashed the TIE… or so they say, we really don’t get a lot of dish on that, but Master Jarrus is satisfied so all’s good. And man oh man is it weird I kinda teared up a bit, watching Ezra and Zeb run into the Ghost together, laughing and throwing play punches and noogie-ing and acting like best friends? That got me man… because it’s these moments of friendship and togetherness that make the happiest moments in the SW galaxy 🙂 Andddd then they head back to their room, and there’s Sabine, finished with her latest masterpiece. That being a lovely portrait of Ezra’s bunk landing on Zeb. The boys are like “Seriously?!” XD But come on it really is a fun drawing… it’s quite cartoony with a dash of anime-ish-ness, and somehow she did all of it with spray paint! But when Chopper comes in laughing, it occurs to the two of them that all of this crazy happened because of him, and thus the chase begins again, except this time, these two brothers-from-other-mothers are on the same side 🙂 Aww yay! ^w^ Well, not yay for Chopper, but he got what was coming to him 😛
And so wow man, what an amazing episode! So funny and heartfelt and exciting! I love this show a little more with every episode, and I already loved it tons to begin with so that’s saying something! Until our next adventure…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight