The Resistance Report: The Recruit

Today is a very exciting day, friends, because this marks the first of my new post series, The Resistance Report! Like I’ve done in ages past with Rebels, The Lost Missions, and The Freemaker Adventures, I’ll be digging into each of Resistance’s episodes and all I find intriguing, exciting, and wonderful! And so far, there is no shortage of things to write about 🙂

I again apologize that I didn’t get to talk about all of this a lot sooner. But you understand, I’m sure, that life can be busy and blogging doesn’t always happen. Also wrist problems don’t help. But hopefully, I’ll be able to find the best fit for Padawanline in my weekly schedule as we go. Now, onto Resistance!

If you’re like me, you’ve been hyped since the first trailer. It basically took every expectation that I had and blasted it into microcomponents.
Never had I seen Star Wars quite like this. The first word that came to mind was “zippy”! And then “youthful”, “spirited”, and “fresh and funny” followed it. It’s not that Star Wars has never been those things, but all together it’s a package that made me utterly giddy and gleeful! Though it was not traditionally-animated like I assumed originally, this dynamic style of CG is gorgeous and simply demands attention! Just from that first little glimpse back in August, I could tell I was looking at a winning combination. And now it is here and, like say, there’s quite a lot I need to gush — I mean, write — about!

Contains spoilers from Episode VII and Resistance episode The Recruit.

No matter how many Star Wars stories I watch, read, or play, the thrill of a galactic dogfight never gets old. These battles immerse you quickly into something that’s familiar and beyond your wildest dreams at the same time, inspiring a sense of wonder like nothing else. And when the heroes’ ships are this pretty, well… it really brings out your inner child. Least that’s how it is for me. These sleek, blue T-85s may be my favorite SW vehicle of all time now! Except for the fact this episode introduces all kinds of beautiful vehicles and I can’t play favorites to save my life. But anyway, yes, it’s an amazing opening, and for more reasons than just my obsession with blue x-wings.

As I was watching this the first time, lost in Star Wars-y wonderment, it took me a minute to remember what era we were in. It’s not that I didn’t know that going in, but as I just mentioned, I was lost in the moment, and forgot to turn on my analytical SW side. I think it took Poe Dameron’s entrance to remind me that, though this is familiar, it’s something truly new. Later I was able to take in the fine details, like the exact model of the x-wings and the New Republic crest. But you know, it’s not a bad thing to turn off my writer’s brain for a second and just enjoy the pure joy of Star Wars without feeling like I have to take notes on everything. If this blog comes off clumsily, now you know. But so worth it!

But yeah, I have to talk about those fine details I just mentioned. It’s that moment when I realized “we’re not Kansas anymore”.
Like I touched down on some when the show was first announced, the time in between VI and VII is almost a complete mystery to me. Yes, I’ve seen The Force and The Last, but that’s where my knowledge ends for the most part. I haven’t read any of the surrounding novels yet, and I only know the broad strokes of the state of the galaxy at this point on the timeline. But this is actually a good thing, because there’s just so much to learn! After all, there was once a time I knew very little about the SW galaxy and all its ins and outs. It was through the previous animated series (as well as the books) that I gained a greater understanding and appreciation of the first two-thirds of the Skywalker Saga, and that’s exactly what Resistance shall do for me now!

With that being said, I do definitely have to thank Poe (and the magnificent Oscar Isaac!) for coming along on this one. It’s great having a friendly, familiar face to help us get situated and comfortable in this formerly-unknown chapter of the saga! With Rebels it was different; I understood the surrounding films and prior series enough to not feel like I was constantly struggling to wrap my head around everything. For Resistance, having Poe not only guiding Kaz into this new world and story, but guiding us viewers along with him, really helped. But either way, hey, I don’t think anybody would complain over the presence of the Poe Dameron! Not to mention BB-8! They’re the Resistance golden boys! 😀

Now yes I need to dedicate most of the rest of this Report to the incredible new characters we got to meet today (or, technically for me, last week. But whatever)…

So first of all, my love for Kazuda Xiono knows no bounds. Seriously, where do I begin? He’s got this outrageously contagious enthusiasm, and a fierce (if slightly-naive) drive to do the right thing, even when things take a bad turn. He’s out of his element a lot this episode, and I can almost 100% relate to how he reacts in these situations. But like say, he’s never brought so down that he doesn’t ultimately find his way back up, and that absolutely inspires me, the way any great SW character should! He reminds me in some ways of Ezra Bridger at the beginning of Rebels’s second season; utterly on fire and more than ready to make a difference, even if he still has some obstacles to overcome first. There’s so much I could say, but it’s hard to capture the joy of my first impression of him in one paragraph without worrying I’m repeating myself. I can’t wait to follow him along on this journey, though… and hopefully write many more paragraphs on all that makes him such an instantly-lovable young hero!
Plus, I don’t know if I’ve ever related to another SW character more than when he said “Tell the General I said ‘hi’!” The few chances I’ve had to meet people I greatly admire pretty much went the same way XD

Oh, and guys, wow Castellon is beautiful, isn’t it? The sky and sea just takes my breath away! And just the idea of racing starships around that wide open expanse… man, who wouldn’t want to spend a weekend here? I mean… yeah, the threat of getting tossed over is real, but… I think were I living in this galaxy, I would be willing to take the risk. Well, maybe… considering Kaz and I share a similar lack of coordination and street smarts, I don’t know how I’d do out here in this slightly-less-wretched hive of scum and villainy. But for now let’s just imagine that ocean breeze and the sound of roaring engines and how epic that would be! *Starts singing “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana*
And if I needed any other reasons to vacation here, there appears to be an arcade game at Aunt Z’s and that makes me grin so hard 😀

Back onto the characters, we obviously have to talk about Neeku Vozo! OMG he is just the most precious bean, I truly can’t even! How rare it is to find a character in Star Wars so pure-hearted and sunshiny! It’s not that other such characters don’t exist, but never really has the word “blissfully optimistic” been able to describe them. Understandably because this is Star Wars, and it’s no small feat finding joy in the midst of war. Neeku’s delightfully-quirky personality is such a breath of fresh air, something the Saga could really use! Not to say he’ll always be this sunshiny, because no one is capable of that, but his chipper disposition still makes him a unique, stand-out new character. And one thing I think is really fun and neat about Neeku, is the very fact he’s a nikto. When I think of niktos, I think of tough, possibly dangerous types like Ima-Gun Di, skiff guards, and underworld scoundrels. Those hardened, spined visages certainly give you that impression. But Neeku utterly flips that script! Honestly, with his smooth face and wide eyes, I really didn’t realize he was a nikto until the featurettes pointed that out for me. But I love that concept, taking what we might’ve assumed and instead giving us someone so much more dynamic and interesting that merely another “tough guy” nikto would have been. I can’t wait to see more of this sweet boy! I hope he achieves his fondest dream and gets that room with a view! :3

And on that note, I am so into all the diversely-designed characters we have here on Castellon! Just as they flipped the script on our idea of niktos, I love seeing so many different takes on familiar species in the crowd. Seeing a female of Unkar Plutt’s kind with Aunt Z, a totally unique take on the chadra-fan in Orka (that goatee tho), a big-boned rodian… it’s so fun, and when you start thinking on the diversity within each species, it expands the galaxy in almost infinite ways! Not to mention the sheer variety in the crowds in general, where you have aleen and gotals and whatever Grummgar’s species is. It’s a beautiful (if slightly rough-and-tumble) blend of all kinds of peoples from all the eras, from Episode I to the Sequels, and it delights the living daylights out of my SW-nerdy self! Props to all the supremely-talented, creative artists making this happen!

Right, again, back onto the subject primarily of the new characters. There’s simply too much for me to write about to stick to just logical organization! But yeah we have ourselves a fantastic new squad, no doubt. I have a deep love for characters and character development, whether Star Wars or otherwise, and these guys are prime examples of what great characters look like. I’ve taken to thinking of them as the “Sunshinies” and the “Grumpies”. Already discussed my first impressions with two of the Sunshinies, so next we will talk Torra!

I love the sort-of dichotomy of a character so bubbly and friendly, who genuinely wishes her opponents the best, even though she knows they will crash and burn. She seems to have what I’ve referred to in other characters as a “noble confidence”; the ability to be able to speak highly of yourself humbly. Impossible for most, but apparently not for the immensely talented Torra Doza! Admittedly, watching this again I realize she could just as easily be a little less than noble in the confidence area, but whatever the case, she seems to just really be in it for the love of the game first and foremost, and she’s definitely nowhere near mean-spirited. Anyway, I’m happy to say that the starwars.com personality quiz has deemed her my Resistance twin, and I can for sure kind of see that so far. At least, I know we share a common sense of enthusiasm and a slightly-competitive drive if nothing else. And also red hair. That’s important, too.

And then there are the wonderful Grumpies!
When Tam snapped at Kaz and called him “kid”, I knew I’d found my kin. Partially yes, because we are both a bit on the small side, and I would love to have the confidence that allows her to speak her mind no matter how tall the offender is. But mostly because she is literally me when I’m in a bad mood. I just kept nodding my head saying “yep that’s pretty much what I would say to that”. Actually, now that I think about it, each of these guys is me in some way or another. Torra is me when I’m happy and supportive (and sometimes competitive), Neeku is me when I’m really happy (definitely when I’m in a Star Wars state of mind), Tam is me for reasons we’ve already explained, Kaz is me when I realize I realize I’m in deep trouble, and Yeager is me when I’m just done with everybody XD

And can’t forget Bucket! Bucket’s awesome! I think he may just have beaten Chopper for grouchiest droid, though. Never have I seen a more easily-irked machine in my life. Maybe he just needs a hug? Well, hopefully the R2 Builders will put one together IRL so I may see if this theory works, or if it just ends in me getting smacked in the face. Either way, it’d be worth it!

Now, Yeager has probably taken the longest for me to put together a paragraph on, but that doesn’t mean he’s anything short of a great, fascinating character. Maybe it’s because he’s kind of mysterious in a way. Perhaps because he’s not as much of an open book as the youths, perhaps because we don’t know his history with Poe and why he’s so hesitant to get involved. But if there’s one thing that’s plain to see about Jarek Yeager thus far, is that Team Fireball would probably fall apart without him. He’s a strong and steady voice of reason, and when you’ve got a crew that’s two-parts hot-tempered and one-third overly-literal, that’s an indispensable quality. I don’t know much about Tam and Neeku’s bond right now, but I could see it possible that Yeager probably had to keep Tam from killing the blissfully-naive nikto a few times. The other thing I’m pretty sure of with Yeager is that he does care, somewhere deep down. Something’s keeping him going, despite everything that seems to keep him from wanting to. And it speaks volumes just in the way he smiles at his crotchety old clanker. Otherwise, we’ll just have to watch on and see what more we can learn about him from here. Not too worried about the wait, though. Like say, I love watching characters grow and digging into their complex personalities and stories! I feel we’re going to have a good time figuring out this tough Team-Dad 🙂

Also currently I have this really silly headcanon that Zander Freemaker created the Fireball. Just… seems kind of like his thing, y’know? Sleek, speedy, but explosion-prone! I’ll let you debate this among yourselves, but I’m pretty sold on it.

Anyway, I could go on and on about so much more, but I think I’ll have to save further conversations for another day. Except for this last very important thought: we know Kaz is on the lookout for a First Order spy, but it only hit me in the last few minutes of the episode as we gaze upon the terrible might of Starkiller Base… the traitor could very well be someone we know. From a writer’s perspective, I wouldn’t want my perpetrator to be too obscure nor would I want him/her too obvious. And when you want to throw a good solid wrench into your characters’ lives and a curveball to your audience… a total surprise traitor is a good way to do it. I had to wonder for a moment if the red-helmeted ace was someone we knew. I was wrong on that account, but it did open up the possibility to me… who knows who Kaz might find plotting against the Republic? I’ll let you in on my theory later. I just want to make sure I know my characters better before I jump to conclusions. But… something to chew on before tonight’s airing, right?

It’s been awesome both writing and — honestly and truly — gushing on this thrilling opener. I know it’s got me wanting more something fierce! Hopefully sometime in the next week I’ll have another post waiting for you all.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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The One Where Twilight Fangirls Over Solo, Part 2

Yay the blog is back! Today, I’m continuing my series of posts of all the things I loved about Solo: A Star Wars Story, today I’ll be writing on the amazing new crew of characters we meet, and how they all exceeded every expectation I had! You can read the first part all about Han and Qi’ra here. Now where do I possibly begin…?

Contains spoilers from Solo and a vague element from Episode VIII. Also, please remember I have only seen the film once at this point, so there is a chance I may have misremembered some elements.

There is much I could say on reuniting with Han, Chewbacca, and Lando, especially since I’ve known them quite a while. And I certainly will do some more writing on them in the future. But right now, I feel I need to give some of the newbies the spotlight! Because wow do they ever deserve it!

I don’t know why, but I really didn’t expect to love these new scoundrel-sorts as much as I did. It’s not that I thought I wouldn’t like them, of course. Star Wars has this great habit of making truly amazing characters, and I have yet to meet one I genuinely don’t like (or absolutely love). And I already did like them from what I saw in the trailers and spots, but I suppose the whole “criminal underworld” vibe of the film got me assuming everyone very well could be a traitor, and even if they weren’t all traitors, they could still be cold-blooded, out-for-themselves, and not looking for friends. Perhaps other darker areas of Star Wars lore have made me a suspicious Sally. So I was expecting these characters to be cool, but I didn’t expect to become attached to them so quickly. Or that they’d make me laugh so hard… and cry so hard. These seemingly-gritty, hardened criminals were about to each make my ever-expanding favorite character list in a way I never anticipated!

Perhaps the biggest way they shot down my assumptions has to do with Tobias Beckett and his crew. Because of Beckett’s “assume everyone will betray you” advice, I figured he wouldn’t be one with a lot of friends. I expected his crew to be a loosely-knit group of criminal business partners who would be quick to betray your trust if large amounts of creds were involved. Instead, what I saw was something more of a thicker-than-blood family, with a mom and a dad and a goofball grown son! Throw in Han as the little brother and Chewie as the uncle, and suddenly all these plans for a train heist felt more like plans for a family road trip. Beckett, Val, and Rio were all tough customers, that I wasn’t wrong about, but these tough customers also were genuinely looking out for each other. They’d shared good times and bad times, and somehow maintained a sense of loyalty and a sense of humor through it all. Though we don’t know Val long, the sweet old-married-couple relationship she and Beckett have spoke volumes about both individuals, and who they really were at heart, beyond their jaded, scoundrel-y exteriors. And Rio? Oh my gravy I loved that guy! He was so fun, and Jon Favreau was a delight in the role! The witty pilot was among the film’s best-kept secrets. Understandably, because we don’t know him long either, but he just lit up the room every scene he was in. We need him in some more Star Wars stories, OK? ‘Cause boy do I miss him. Together, Val and Rio brought out the best in Beckett, making him incredibly relatable, and revealing what a truly intriguing, complex individual he is. And the somewhat-fatherly role he takes on with Han was neat to watch as well. I honestly didn’t see it coming when he ended up being the traitor among the newbies. But that only served to make him an even more fascinating character to me. I’m seriously still reeling from how great all this writing is!

Of all the new characters, L3-37 was probably the one I was most excited to meet, but she still went far, far beyond what I expected. She was not just a wonderfully brash, mouthy, and witty sidekick, L3 was, like all the characters in this film, a truly complex person. And that’s what surprised me a little! Though I’ve always known the droids we know best in Star Wars as thinking, feeling beings, the sheer range of L3’s emotions and the naturalness of her thought processes blew my mind. We see her absolutely distressed over droidfights, overjoyed at finding purpose in starting a rebellion, and even contemplating the complexities of romance while chatting with Qi’ra about their boys! (I know I died laughing in that scene, how about you?) Droids with endless amounts of personality are nothing new, and I certainly wouldn’t say droids like Artoo, BB-8, and Chopper are lacking in any way, but there’s something outstandingly different with L3-37, and I adore it to absolute pieces! She’s certainly made me look at droids in a whole new light, especially as I’ve always been fascinated with droid psychology and what free will means to them. And also, her friendship with Lando was so delightful and so precious, I really need to see more of them. But either way, I’m glad she’s still around in the Falcon! I’m sure she’s got some opinions on all those porgs nesting in the wiring XP

Anyway, that’s the story of how a bunch of rough-and-tough scoundrel-y types I didn’t know what to think of at first became absolute favorites. I’ll share more of my Solo faves sometime in the next week or so!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 3

I’m heading back to Takodana today for another visit with the Pirate Queen! And that means another opportunity to write on my favorite moments and fascinating revelations inside of each of her stories! You can read the first two posts here and here.

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Three (but you can watch those shorts here), and several elements from The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, Episode V, Episode VI, and Episode VIII

#1. Sabine and I both need to work on our not-rushing.

I can’t blame Sabine, though. She’s venturing on a potentially-life-or-death mission for the mini-Alliance! Of course you wouldn’t want to take any longer than you have to! I don’t have anything close to that kind of excuse for my tendency to rush. But in both cases, Hera makes crystal-clear that patience really does pay off, even when the stakes are really really high. Means you don’t end up with a shuttle full of storms, and you can just punch a button instead of blasting! That’s why she’s the captain-general-spacemom! And it’s a lesson not easily forgotten when it’s surrounded by edge-of-your-seat action and supreme comic timing 😀

#2. Ahsoka’s definitely an Anidala (or would that be Aname?) shipper.

Oh this one is just too delightful, you guys. It’s so classically Star Wars! So character-driven, so funny, so sweet! And who doesn’t love stories like this, where a third wheel is blissfully unaware they’re a third wheel? XD But there’s more to this nugget than just the comedy of Ahsoka cutting in on Anakin and Padme’s alone time; we get to see, I think for the first time I can remember, the three of them working together. They all have such a great bond! I couldn’t help but give a little squee and say “Awww! Anakin and his girls are the best little family!!” ❤ ❤ Anyone else feeling some serious Clone Wars nostalgia coming on?

#3. A funny thing happened on the way to Canto Bight…

Two words: space. jellies. They’re dangerous, but goodness gracious, I love them! They’re just so dazzling and majestic and slightly surreal! Wonder if they were in the The Last Jedi originally and got cut. Either way, I hope we see more of them in the future! And you gotta love getting to see a new Finn and Rose adventure! Though we only spend a few minutes with them, it’s a fantastic few minutes, really giving you a feel for this solid friendship of theirs taking shape, and for the something-slightly-more it becomes :3 Plus, Finn’s panicky “OHHH I HATE THIS!!” makes me die laughing every time XD Sorry man, but I love this!

Also, it wasn’t until I watched this short that I realized BB-8 was the one piloting the shuttle the whole time. Little droid got skillz! 👍 Wow, watching this again really made me realize how much I’ve missed this threesome…

#4. Chandra-fans have some sticky fingers!

First of all, I’d need to check back, but anyone else wonder if this chandra-fan child is the same in Newest Recruit? They don’t quite sound the same, and I can’t remember if this is Garel or somewhere else, but I could just be forgetful. Would be interesting, though. Would also explain why the little one was in a food crate later on. But yeah what a cutie! Even when he’s being totally difficult and making every effort to keep Jyn away from her beloved kyber necklace, he’s still so adorable! My favorite thing about this short, though, is the sheer, planet-shaking kindness Jyn shows him. Remember, this girl’s a convicted criminal! I haven’t gotten to dig into her book yet or anything, but I don’t doubt she earned that title before the Alliance sought her out. It makes every act of kindness Jyn shows in FoD is a special and precious thing to see. Long before she ever stole the Death Star plans, she was already a hero to this mischievous little boy 🙂

#5. Porgs just wanna have fun!

Even though just a brief moment, it’s super-cool getting to see more of Rey’s training on Ach-To. Watching this again makes me really want to rewatch VIII and read the novelization so I can drink in every single fascinating moment of her Jedi training with Luke. Of course I sadly will have to wait until a good deal on the 4K pops up, but until then, the short is delightful anyway. I mean… we’re talking about PORGS here; porgs are nothing short of delightful! And like say, what I love perhaps the most is that, after Rey Forcegrabs one of them, they decide they all want to fly, too! Shows you just how friendly they are, and how much personality their tiny bodies can pack! I might never have guessed Rey was so good with animals before FoD, but I’m so glad they decided to reveal that side of her in these great stories. One more thing I can definitely relate to! 😀

#6. Mazbacca is actually canon! (Well, maybe.)

This one is majorly cool. We get to meet the real Boushh and find how Leia got the disguise! And we discover that Maz Kanata was how they found it! I had no idea she and Han and Chewbacca went so far back. I’d assumed maybe they’d all met maybe beyond Episode VI, but it’s one of those theories of mine I’m actually glad was proven wrong. Knowing Maz and Leia’d met makes the former’s advice to Han in VII all the more meaningful, because we now know Han and Leia were both friends of Maz’s. I honestly hope that, over the years, the four all would meet up for kaffe on the weekends 🙂 Either way, makes me love their shared bonds even more!

But on that original note, hehe yes I loved finally getting to see the tall and smol together, sharing a hug :3 Nice to know it might not just be a one-sided thing on Maz’s part. If that is indeed the case, though, after thirty years, Chewie, you need to put a ring on it. *Cough*

#7. Dagobah has a lot of trees.

First of all, I love they chose to not feature just the bossladies of Star Wars in FoD. Though the concept of FoD was devised in part, I believe, as a way to get young girls interested in Star Wars who might not’ve been otherwise, that doesn’t mean girls aren’t going to gravitate to the bossmen of the galaxy, too! Lucasfilm understood that, and because of that, we have this amazing previously-untold story in front of us, with the incredible voices of the MARK HAMILL and the TOM KANE! There’re some goofy Yoda shenanigans, some insight into the ways of the Force, some epic Jedi stunts, and Artoo being adorable like he always does. It’s pure Star Wars magic and I can’t get enough of it!

#8. Teedo never learns.

Nope! Never has, never will! Not even Rey saving his life seems to make much difference to the greedy little dude (well, maybe a teensy bit). But it certainly makes for some good stories! And that’s because his actions, no matter how selfish or despicable, have a habit of bringing out the best in our future Forcewielder 🙂

BONUS: Maz has a decorative bowl with a space slug in it!

I knew there had to be some Easter eggs around here somewhere… and this one’s just genius! XD

These are just so fun, you guys. There always is so much to find, and so much to learn, and in more ways than one! Until next post…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 2

I really’d wanted to write on Solo today, but considering the film’s not been out a week, I figured maybe I’d wait a little longer, just to make sure all my readers are caught up best as possible. So I think I’ll spend the day with Maz and her adorable squishy Pokemon critters, and write on some more nifty factoids, cool connections, and my favorite moments in this set of epic tales! Also, you can read the first post in this series here.

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Two (but you can watch those shorts here), and a number of elements from The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, Episode V, Episode VI, and Episode VII

#1. Forks are not accepted in some circles.

This short has everything. Fancy dinners! Clawdite intruders! A near-miss with a thermal detonator! Unanswered questions about this intriguing important-to-negotiate-with people group that doesn’t use utensils! But most importantly, some flawlessly-executed teamwork that perhaps only Ahsoka and Padme could pull off! I have to seriously applaud Ahsoka in this one, not just for her quick-thinking and lightsaber skills that took down the assassin and got rid of the bomb, but for the fact she even remembered something so seemingly unimportant! Can you imagine living in a galaxy where you had hundreds of thousands of different peoples who all had different customs?? I could probably never keep some of this stuff straight. Unless, maybe, the urthurians’ disuse of forks is for some very obvious reason, like that they don’t have hands or something. Either way, what Snips did was Jedi-ing at its best! And they end it on a wonderfully lighthearted note as the besties decide to have their own dinner party in the delegates’ absence 😀

Also, thanks to my brother, I can’t watch this episode without hearing “may the fork be with you”. And now I doubt you will, either XD

#2. Wampas just want a hug.

OK maybe that’s a stretch. All I’m sayin’ is, though, that this wampa didn’t just hang Chewie on the ceiling for a bite later! But can you blame the beast? When Chewbacca hugged Leia at the end, I got all warm and fuzzy just watching it! Wookiee hugs are pretty indisputably the best hugs you can get! Wonder if maybe it thought Chewie a baby wampa? Living in a dark cave like this doesn’t make me think it has the best eyesight. But whatever the wampa’s true intent was in the beginning, though, it certainly wasn’t interested in hugs after being woken up. Yikes that was a close call. Especially when you consider what an even closer call Luke has later. *Shudders*

Also, wonder what Threepio was asking for Luke about? Haven’t watched Empire in a bit and don’t remember if there’s a connection there. Maybe he was going to finish with “Master Luke is wondering where the can opener was last left, because he wanted to make a fresh batch of potato salad.” Or maybe not. That might just be me suddenly in the mood for potato salad…

#3. Don’t ever let Ketsu borrow anything if you want to get it back in one piece.

For me, this is among the most poignant of the stories Maz tells in this volume. This one’s very simple, very character-driven, and makes so very clear once again what an amazing human being Sabine Wren is. You can tell it hurts for her to leave her polished, perfectly-painted bike in Ketsu’s relatively careless hands. I think most of us would not be as gracious in her shoes, staring at a pair of dismembered handlebars. But Sabine neither raises her voice nor holds a grudge, even though you can tell she’s considering both; instead, she simply forgives her friend. She does make clear Ketsu owes her some help with the repairs, but that’s only the fair and right thing to do, and Ketsu understands that. I think Sabine would’ve forgiven her regardless, though. Considering she found it in her to forgive Ketsu for ditching her in a job gone south, anything’s possible.

Forgiveness is hard. Grace is hard. How many of us would handle a situation like this as well as Sabine did? Even if we tried to play it cool, how many of us wouldn’t still give someone, even a friend, a grumpy look, a cold shoulder, or a passive-aggressive comment? At least I know I would struggle with that. So I hope in the future to remind myself, if Sabine can do it, so can I! What ultimately makes this so powerful is not that she forgives, but that it’s clearly hard and she still does it anyway. It’s one of those things that makes Sabine Wren a true bosslady 😀

#4. Teedo doesn’t give up easily. At all.

Seriously. How many portions is BB-8 really worth? Let it go, man! Oh well. Teedo may be trouble as always, but I love a good chase scene! This fast-paced little moment in time is thrilling to watch, and proves you should always make friends with nightwatcher worms. And still, above all else, we get to see another shining example of Rey’s loyalty to the little droid who rolled her way :3

#5. The Empire doesn’t know Jyn too well.

“Suspect is an adult female, brown hair, not considered dangerous.” I mention not only because it’s humorously ironic, but it is interesting the Imps aren’t familiar with her yet. You’d think with the incident with the tooka they might remember her, but who knows? Also seems odd they don’t clarify Jyn’s human. Maybe Garel just has more humans than any other beings? But anyway, what an epic thing to see Sabine and Jyn cross paths! Both not quick to trust others, both accidentally involved with the creation of deadly weaponry (Whoa I just realized that. Is that scary or what?), both have difficulties with family at times… but their loyalty to their friends (and family, too) ultimately brings out the better in them both, and they go on to make an incredible difference in the history of the galaxy. I’d assume that their paths never cross again, but I’d like to think Sabine’s answer, her desire above all else to help people, is something that spurs Jyn on in her own eventual Rebel mission. So cool!

#6. Rey seriously is a braver person than I’ll ever be.

She just sticks her hand into a stuffy-nosed happabore’s nostril! That’s not a job for the faint of heart! I know I cringed a little at first, but in truth, if a critter needed some help that I could manage (as I’m no veterinarian), I’d surely do the same.

And man, Unkar Plutt was pretty nasty in this one, calling out Rey’s lack of friends like that! I was all “And what do you know about friendship?” But I imagine Plutt’s definition of “friends” is something closer to “people who might not kill you over the same piece of scrap”. With maybe an exception for his pet plant, Kevin. But even if it was just a big sweet slobbery space pig, Rey did make a friend today, and they did an awesome job of proving the old codger wrong 😀 One of my fave shorts, for sure!

#7. The Ghost and the Falcon are old rivals.

OMG YOU GUYS THIS SHORT IS EVERYTHING. When Rebels was new, I long wondered what would happen if Han crossed paths with the Ghost crew. Of course, now I know that Captain Solo was doing other things at the time. So after all these years, getting to see Han facing off with General Syndulla is just too wonderful for words. For the record, I don’t favor either ship over the other! They’re both so iconic and fast and homey I couldn’t dare choose! Doesn’t mean I don’t love watching Hera make him work for those ration sticks, though XD

And not only do we get this great hint of (mostly) friendly Rebel rivalry, but the moments with Han and Leia are some of their best. From Leia confronting Han at the beginning, to her siding with her scoundrel on who has the better ship, it’s just too fun and too sweet and reminds me how much I love this couple. And certainly, nothing speaks more volumes than that Han would put aside his pride for his princess… ❤ ❤

#8. Ahsoka really is Gandalf…

Because she always arrives precisely when she intends to! Even when she has to put an important Jedi ceremony on hold to save the lives of others. I just adore this short. What Ahsoka does here is what the classic, iconic, heroic idea of a Jedi looks like, and the way all Jedi (and other such lightsiders) should strive to be. It’s just peacekeeping and helping others, pure and simple, not an inch of politics or war involved. And even though she’s already late when the battle’s ended, she still wants to touch base with the mother and child and make sure they’re doing OK. Ahsoka’s always been a rule-breaker, but it’s this kind of rule-breaking the Jedi Order needed sometimes. I think that’s one reason she’s always been such a meaningful character to me, because even in the midst of her shortcomings and mistakes, she strives to do the right thing to the very best of her ability, no matter what. Sometimes this leads her into difficult situations, like leaving the Jedi Order. But as we’ve followed her journey, we see how far this drive for justice, and the compassion at the heart of it all, has taken her. Her story is so amazing, and this short does a great job of painting that image in only a few minutes’ time. And wow did I just get nostalgic!

Hopefully you guys enjoyed digging into these tales with me. Certainly there will be more to write about as the summer comes into full swing!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 1

So glad I’m finally getting around to these posts! These last couple seasons of Forces Of Destiny have been a complete blast! And super special, too, as we look at some small moments in the lives of our favorite heroines and heroes. There’s a lot you can learn from sitting down with Maz Kanata for tea 😀 But it’s not just in the simple-but-beautiful life lessons her stories convey, it’s in all the cool Star Wars connections, revelations, and factoids we get to discover, too! So here’s a few things I learned from the stories inside of the first special.

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume One (but you can watch those shorts here), and a number of elements from The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, Episode VI, and Episode VII

#1. Nightwatcher worms have feelings, too. And they’re also really big.

The first time I watched this, I really needed some cheering up. Soon as BB-8 and Rey showed up, though, I was all smiles, and so thrilled to be exploring an unseen moment inside of The Force Awakens! So this one will always be quite special to me. But what really makes this one special is that we see Rey’s kindness brightly shine through. Not only in her fierce dedication to the little droid she just met, but also in the way she treats the seemingly-terrifying nightwatcher. When she takes a running leap off the beast, she make a point of apologizing to it! I think it’s fair to say most of us wouldn’t think of doing that, were we in her situation. And then she offers it a meal, which, by the way, was junk she could’ve gotten paid a meal from. It’d be easy to get jaded and angry at life living in a place like Jakku, but somehow, Rey still has maintained a strong sense of compassion and generosity. Not really something we didn’t already know, but this was a powerful reminder. She may not yet know the power she holds, but she’s got the selflessness part of the Jedi down pat! 🙂

And like say, if not for this short, I never would’ve known how much I would want to hug a nightwatcher worm.

#2. Ketsu’s a real Rebel.

One of my favorite things about FoD so far has been getting to see more of Ketsu Onyo. She was such a great character, and her and Sabine’s friendship is epic! It’s so cool seeing what ultimately led Ketsu to join the mini-Alliance, which, otherwise, we wouldn’t know about until the last two episodes of Rebels. And though there’s an awesome brawl with a bunch of bucketheads (who would’ve guessed you could weaponize food crates?!), it doesn’t overshadow the loyalty present in the girls’ actions as they try to bring home the bacon (by which I mean ration sticks), and protect an adorable chandra-fan kiddo in the process. It’s really quite amazing to see what a solid impact Sabine has had on Ketsu, taking the truths her Ghost family’s taught her and imparting it in a way Ketsu genuinely responds to, helping this former Black Sun bounty hunter find a new purpose and a new direction as not only a Rebel, but as a Ghost family cousin.

Plus, since this was the first of the Rebels-related shorts I saw, I couldn’t help but get a little giddy seeing the bright lights of Garel again!

#3. Jyn and I are cut from the same cloth.

As I’ve said before, any opportunity we have to learn more about the late amazing Rogue One heroes is a great opportunity! Jyn’s always been a very relatable heroine, but I never realized until I watched this short that we have even more in common than I thought. Watching her defend a little girl and her tooka, all I could say was “Whoa! That is so me!” I hate injustice in any form, but when someone’s mean to children and/or animals? I absolutely would aim a fruit in their direction. Always nice to see a little (or a lot) of me in these amazing characters! And considering we know that Jyn was a bit of a rebel (note the lowercase “r”) at this point in her life, it’s really special to see these small moments where she was a little bit more of a Rebel, with a capital “R” 🙂

Also, how great is it seeing tookas again? The original Star Wara cat is back, and with a vengeance! Like seriously, that Tooki’s tough as nails. Guess that brings the number of stormtroopers who’ve been trounced by small cats to three! Hehe. Oh, and it kinda cracks me up that right after Jyn shushes the cat, Tooki gives a rather insulted growl XP

#4. Ahsoka gives piloting lessons in her spare time.

Another thing I love about FoD is catching some of my fave characters outside of work. OK so maybe flight combat training isn’t really a relaxing hobby, but it helps when you’re learning from a friend! Like with Sabine and Ketsu, it’s just fantastic getting to see more of Padme and Ahsoka’s friendship that we don’t get the chance to see at this juncture in The Clone Wars. Ahsoka’s still the little sister, but she’s also older and more mature now, and you can tell their bond has strengthened over the period of time between their earlier adventures and Ahsoka’s trial. And it’s also really cool getting to see Ahsoka in the role of teacher, and then seeing her student take what she’s learned and own it! Yes it’s so special getting go back to the Clone Wars days for a bit and appreciate the friendships that thrived even when the war was at its worst. And also watching Naboo starfighters dash dazzlingly through comet trails 😀

5. Paintbombs are canon!

Though I made mention of this already on the post for Heroes Of Mandalore, this is how I found out about it first. I sort of predicted something like this and it made me really happy to see it for reals. And something about watching stormtroopers run around with big blobs of yellow paint on them just cracks me up X) But there’s much more to this short than clever weaponry. We get to see Leia and Sabine cross paths, for one thing! Though Leia at least partially knows Sabine from her last encounter with the Ghost crew, it’s too much fun watching them team up. As an artist, I love how they contrast visually, with Leia wearing stark white and Sabine covered in vibrant colors. But that’s about where the contrast ends, because both of these young Rebels know how to aim a blaster, and how to put on one epic show for the Empire! I certainly hope we’ll get to see them fight side-by-side one of these days, because that might be the epic-est performance the Rebels could put on!

Also was really cool getting to see IG-88 in action for the first time in the canon (I think)! Really made me realize how terrifying he is. Not a word spoken, not a single readable emotion, every move is calculating, and he’s his own master. That’s a recipe for the shivers if you ask me. But mad respect all the same!

6. Unkar Plutt’s nothing if not thorough.

Soon as I saw Rey and Han in the Falcon’s cockpit, my fangirl self completely exploded. And then seeing Chewbacca and Finn made me explode again. Seeing the Force Awakens squad all together filled me with so so much joy! The scenes with the five of them in the film were among my favorites, so this was an absolute treat to visit a small incident we didn’t see before! It’s got just the best blend of comedic camaraderie and frantic action that makes up some of my fave Star Wars moments. And just look at that last shot of them! They really do make a good team — maybe the best team! All of them do! You don’t have to go back to Jakku to find your family, Rey, all the family you could ever need is right here on the Falcon! :3

But yes, back on the original topic, I’ve gotta give Plutt some credit… he knows his ships! Because why else would he be so determined to keep his mitts on what most people thought was garbage?

7. Ewoks invented sandals! Apparently…

We learn lots of neat stuff in this one. Like that one ewok is equal in weight to two stormtroopers! (Or else the gravity on Endor is weird) And that Dee Baker does an amazing job voicing Wicket, because I seriously thought those were all original archived dialogue recordings. We already knew that ewoks can sew, but it wasn’t until I saw this short I realized Leia had a matching pair of sandals! Considering that’s hardly a pair of shoes you’d take to a battle, I think the ewok village has some majorly-talented cobblers out here! Honestly this short brought up a lot of questions about the ewok dress in general. It was apparently a surprise, so how in the world did they make something so nice without taking any measurements or likely having any reference for sewing human clothing? It’s a bit of a mystery, but it might just be sheer talent on the little guys’ part 🙂

8. Cliches die when Yoda’s around.

This one has so much wow factor to it. We get to watch Ahsoka during some lightsaber practice! Which I don’t think we really ever got to see inside of The Clone Wars! And not only that, but we get to watch her figuring out her second blade. I would love to know the story of how she found her new ‘saber. It doesn’t seem a terribly common thing among Jedi. And I doubt you can just go out and decide you’ll get a second lightsaber; how did she know that’s she needed one? Though we don’t yet know these answers, we do know now adding it to her existent fighting style wasn’t easy. Leave it to Yoda to find the best way to bring out her best. You know how often you hear people throw around “just be yourself”? It’s easy for phrase to get old and lose its meaning. But when Yoda says “Yourself, you must always be”, the meaning is clear, and the cliche disappears! That’s why he’s the master! 😀

And yes, of course there were some bittersweet vibes for me watching Ahsoka and Anakin duel… but it certainly doesn’t lessen how wonderful their bond was back then. Watching Anakin, I think for the first time that we’ve seen, doing some formal training with Ahsoka really is a special thing!

So those are just a handful of the neat things I’ve discovered watching these delightful short stories, and I look forward to sharing more at a later date!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight