Tag Archives: bib fortuna

Revisiting Lego’s The Padawan Menace

The day is almost here! Solo: A Star Wars Story is within our grasp! The hype is real!!
As I anticipate learning about the events that made Han who he is, I thought it’d be fun to look back on the original Han Solo backstory…
No, it’s not one of the novels. I haven’t read any of those yet to write about ’em. This Solo story’s the only one told in small plastic form, the very first of the Lego Star Wars specials, The Padawan Menace!

I still remember it like it was yesterday. Right before the Clone Wars season four premiere, this hilarious little Lego story aired, and subsequently stole my heart. If not for it, I doubt I would’ve become the all-around Lego fan I am today. And there would be so much fun stuff I would’ve missed out on aside from that! So here are some badly-organized paragraphs and blurbs of some of my favorite moments, whether funny, intriguing, awesome, or all of the above!

Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Episode VI, and The Padawan Menace

One thing interesting to look at inside of this is the truth that might be in this Legend. When I first saw this, my Star Wars understanding was still a little… vague in some areas. Deep down, I knew Mace Windu didn’t have a window-washing service, and that AT-ATs shouldn’t be stomping around Hoth for another twenty-odd years. But I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to imagine the core story really did happen. I’ve learned a lot in the years since, but I’ve found I still appreciate The Padawan Menace regardless of whether it has any sort of teeny tiny sorta-kinda place in the canon or not.

The big thing I’m still chewing on is this: could Han have truly met Yoda, or another Jedi, before the job at Mos Eisley? Though there’s yet to be any exact numbers pinned down for Han’s age, I think it’s reasonable he could’ve grown up during the later years in the Clone Wars (which this special seems to take place in, when you look at Anakin and Obi-Wan’s Ep. III looks). With ten thousand plus Jedi knights around, You’d think maybe running into a Forcewielder on the now and again would be plausible. However, my first instinct (and I’m sure yours, too), is to recall Han’s early comment on “hokey religions”. If he really once saw Yoda repair their ship with the Force, wouldn’t he be more inclined to believe old Ben’s words to Luke? That answered the question for me for a while. It made sense. Whether it was through Luke’s amazing destruction of the Death Star, his rescue on Tatooine, or even Leia’s quieter use of the Force, it would be some time before he believed it was true — all of it. But then I thought about something else: Han just might’ve just grown up and gotten jaded. And depending on how young he was, he could’ve easily forgotten. It’s a long shot, maybe, but it is very possible. Least I like to think so.

But either way, whether Han’s paths ever crossed with Yoda or any other Jedi, we do know that, according to the Solo teaser, he’s been running scams on the street since he was ten. And that says to me that sneaking into a group of Jedi younglings would be no big deal for a lil’ scruffy-lookin’ ruffian like him. Whatever the case, that boy was getting into all kinds of trouble back then, I’m sure 😜 Perhaps we’ll find out a little more on the big screen?

I really do adore how they put together (whoops Lego pun) young Han for this. He’s still got that epic swagger, but with a childlike innocence that doesn’t seem too far from his more enthusiastic self in the coming film. And his voice is just perfect. They somehow found just the right sweet spot between “adorable, mischievous child” and “double-crossing, no-good swindler”! Just listen to him say “KEEP YOUR METAL PANTS ON, I’LL FIX IT!” and tell me you can’t hear the slightest bit of Harrison Ford in there. I dare you.

Anddd now for the more random part of the post: a few of my favorite moments!

Senate guard with a box of donuts vs. a mouse droid.

Not sure why this guy wasn’t like the other senate guards we see, ’cause that would’ve made the whole thing even more hilarious.

Not even Vader can stand against The Maker.

Let’s give Rob Paulsen a bit of applause for nailing the impression!

Sleepy Deetoo :3

I don’t know for sure this is the sound they almost put in Episode II, but OMG IT’S SO CUTE!

“I’m all over it, like green on beans.”

Sounds like a clone thing to say. Mostly… ah whatever it still cracks me up anyway XD

Bobby!

I remember when official sources were calling JEK-14 the first original Lego Star Wars character, but actually, that title belongs to three of the Padawans: Liam, Mari, and Bobby! They’re all just cute as can be, but Bobby’s the only one we follow in other Lego SW stories. We’re first introduced to the gutsy little guy through his very relatable love of taking pictures of all the awesome sights! Does make me wonder how casual photography works in the SW galaxy…

Galaxy Idol!

Mando judge seems deeply moved by Bib Fortuna’s performance and I’m just dying.

The joke that took me forever to get.

I wondered for years why there were so many suns. But it’s not about the number of suns as much as it is what the suns form… XD

And finally, this stirring speech.

Great is the power of the Force. It allows me to feel what cannot be seen, see what is yet to be, and hear what cannot be heard.” Anyone else realize what fantastic writing this is? So deep, so true.

Yes, The Padawan Menace is such a classic, right? It’ll be fun to see if we spot any connections with the all-canon story out tomorrow, but until then….

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Following The Freemakers: A Hero Discovered

OK so wow I am absolutely ecstatic to be writing this right now. This show… gah I’m in love with it! I regret I didn’t talk about it more beforehand so before we talk about the episode itself I’m gonna talk about the journey to it. It’s surreal to think it was nearly five years ago when The Padawan Menace debuted and whisked me away to a world where Bib Fortuna sang on a Star Wars version of Idol and Grievous and Anakin posed for photos. A version of the SW galaxy that made time for fun but never neglected the heart. It led me to becoming the Lego fan I am today, and heightened my then-growing love of Star Wars. And every year since we’ve had great adventures from every angle of the saga. So the instant I heard they were doing a little series called The Freemaker Adventures… I exploded with joy. The concept of a real family unexpectedly caught up in the midst of something bigger is so very Star Wars, and so very perfect. And with a full-on series instead of a single special or a miniseries offered up new opportunities for expanded storytelling and major major feels. And it took place between Episodes V and VI so that offered a whole new world of possibilities and things not yet seen! I was so excited for this I decided to keep everything a surprise, which unfortunately made it hard for me to blog about it beforehand. But regardless, it was a thrilling journey and now I’m here to talk about on a (mostly) weekly basis in my new column, Following The Freemakers! So I’m gonna take a metaphorical breath and then we’ll get started.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Episode V, and Freemakers episode A Hero Discovered

The Death Star II was quite the battle station weren’t it? Though it served the Empire pretty well in the Battle of Endor, it wasn’t a fan-favorite in the beginning. At least, not with Emperor Palpatine, who has a lot of fun rubbing his apprentice’s previous failure in his helmeted face. Sidious is convinced a backup plan is needed. (Also: “Dooku always had a backup plan” “WHAT WAS THAT?” XD ) Though he’s completely not being given the benefit of the doubt, Vader happens to be working on such. He has eyes all over the galaxy looking for one thing — an ancient weapon known as the Kyber Saber. Something that Palpatine desires… ferventlyAND THEN OMGOSH THAT OPENING MUSIC WHAAAT IT’S AMAZINGGG!! Sorry but it is.
On the other side of the galaxy, we catch the Rebels and Imperials in the midst of their daily grind — space battles. X-Wings and TIEs are flyin’ everywhere! Blasterfire coming from every angle! I certainly wouldn’t want to get caught in their path… so what’s this civilian ship doing darting through the crossfire? What could possibly be so important they’d risk life and limb in a space battle for it? Well, these are the Freemakers, and this is their “daily grind”. Three young scavengers just makin’ sure none of these blasted-apart ships go to waste. Despite any parts are good parts, middle child Zander has his doubts about the plan. Oldest child (and clearly the bosslady on this ship) Kordi believes there’s no better way to get fresh parts to pay their rent than by sneaking into a battle. And young, sweet Rowan just wants to blow stuff up, but the sibs aren’t having it. Buuuut the minute he hears the word “blast”… Ro takes that as an opportunity and COMPLETELY INCINERATES THE IMPERIAL COMMANDSHIP. The Freemakers lightspeed the heck outta there before any of the Rebs and Imps could find out. And at this point I think we all absolutely love these kids. I know I do 🙂
“…Salvaging for parts during a battle was a bad idea anyway.” “I JUST SAID THAT.” “Oh… did you?” XD Even when Kordi’s not winning, she still manages to win anyway. I want to be like her. Anywayy so our crew was heading home to The Wheel, which is a super-awesome concept and, if I’m not mistaken, was pulled from Legends literature. Good place to fix up stuff and sell it… if, of course, you can afford Furlac’s rental prices. Which atm is a slight problem for the Freemakers. Their landlord gives them one final day to pay up before he “throws ’em out the airlock”. Wait… maybe that would be spacelord, since they’re not on land? Or maybe spacestationlord? Hmm interesting thought. Though yeesh I hope he was just speaking figuratively. So now’s the time for the family to get some creative juices flowing and make something worth the credits. Taking broken parts and making it into something new? Sounds amazing! I can’t imagine what it’d take to do it with real ships, but Lego pieces I could work with. Can’t wait for some new sets to come out! Rowan’d like to help, but Zander and Kordi don’t think he’s really… cut out for it. They hardly have to say anything further because in about two seconds Ro is distracted by a pile of random parts. Unfortunatelyyyy random parts may have triggered a chain reaction that ended up blowing up their newest creation. Oh, Rowan… you’re so adorable I can’t be mad at ya 🙂 Any hope for getting that sweet cash now rests in the hands of Zander’s personal creation, the Z-Wing. Hehe I love his passion… I feel similarly about my own art. But it still needs one Clone Wars-era part for the job, so they turn to their personal expert on all things Clone Wars slash housekeeping, R0-GR. Their stitched-together old battle droid seems annoyed to be interrupted from his baking duties. Though yeah good question… they can afford cookies but they can’t afford the rent… hmm. Of course, they might literally be made of sand and really cheap to make, but I’m hoping “sweet sand cookies” are more of a shortbread thing. You know it’s amazing that actually sounds like it belongs in Star Wars. I want one now. OK sorry, also eeeeeeeee Roger is fantastic! Though this is not the first time we’ve seen a redeemed battle droid in Lego SW, it feels the most believable, the most real. This sarcastic, panicky, persnickety, voice-of-reason unit just lights up every scene he’s in. And just the fact that the great Matthew Wood still plays him makes it all the more perfect.
Yet another “anywayyyy”, rather hesitantly, Roger leads them to the site of one of the nastiest Clone Wars skirmishes in hopes they’ll find that final part. Rowan was supposed to stay on the ship, but I kinda figured he wouldn’t be doing that. But at least he had good intentions. He saw stormtroopers and he had no choice but to let his sibs know about it. Roger didn’t approve though, but I don’t think he approves of a lot of things. Though you gotta admire his dedication to his job… he not only follows Rowan through the jungle every perilous step of the way, but he holds onto his mop the whole time! Also… that ‘trooper covered in giant Lego ladybugs? I died laughing at that image XD It’s a pretty cool planet. I’m sorry I don’t remember its name but I guarantee you it’ll come to me at like five in the morning when I stir from slumber. Whee random thoughts. But as Ro continued on… he felt something… this… inexplicable… call… and that call leads the boy and the droid down a hole, and then, to a pedestal where rests one magnificent-looking weapon. And thennnn a DIANOGA!! Yikes they’re a lot scarier when they’re out of water than when they’re in it! The mop came in handy for like two seconds before it was no longer handy. Rowan and Roger’re definitely in trouble. And then… in a blur of blue and silver, a figure leaps from the shadows. With a majestic blade of blue light and the Force clearly on her side, the dianoga limps back to the darkness it came from, and the boy and the droid are saved. But no time to think about who saved ya Ro just wants the shiny thing! Haha XD The one holding that “shiny thing” would be Naare, a real honest-to-goodness Jedi who looks like she might be half-human half-togruta but even I’m not sure. And yes I’m saying this as if you didn’t already know how this ends. More fun to write that way. Rowan doesn’t really even know what a Jedi is, let alone this laser sword-looking-thing that called to him. Naare has the answers. The weapon that called to him is the Kyber Saber, the very very very first and I do mean first lightsaber, fashioned from a blade of kyber crystals. It could enhance ones’ use of the Force one-thousandthfold, but it was also capable of incredible destruction, and was ultimately dismantled and its pieces hidden throughout the galaxy. Don’t know how much Rowan got from the story tho since he seemed content to just play with the saber at the end of it. Gotta say, Naare has a pretty miraculous level of patience with him. She attempts to explain the massive responsibility and burden that comes with it, as Palpatine would do anything to get his clawhands on it. But then Rowan’s attention span turns to something else — the stormtroopers! And Kordi and Zander! O.O ‘Cause yeah while they were gone, Kordi and Zander were caught accidentally dismantling a troop transport, and it seemed not even Kordi’s quick wit and fierce moves could get ’em out of this one. Also another random note but I love the fact that Kordi’s ID signature is in cursive aurebesh XD I’ve experimented a bit with cursive aurebesh before so it was cool they decided to make it at least semi-canon if not canon-canon 🙂 But yeah this could be bad… but this time ’round it’s Rowan who’s got the plan.
“…but since we are Imperial taxpayers that technically does makes it our transport.” KORDI FREEMAKER IS BOSSLADY. And suddenly in stomped an old rusty AT-TE with Rowan at the controls! Followed by Roger at the helm of an ST-AP, the Imperials are sure gone in a hurry. But when the tank falls apart, Naare fiercely comes to Rowan’s aid with her lightsaber goin’ at anything the Imps could throw at her! When the last grey-suit is K.O’d. Rowan looks at Naare with all the respect in the universe, and Naare looks at him with the pride of a master. Oh sweet, sweet Rowan… I absolutely adore him. He’s a kid in every sense of the word! Innocent, enthusiastic, incredibly trusting and loyal to the core. He can be naive and clumsy and easily distracted, but he’s got the biggest heart and has a infectious amount of spirit and doesn’t have a jaded bone in his body. I so much want to see where he goes, who he becomes, the Jedi he might become… *flails about fangirling*
Well I don’t think that made a lick of sense. I hope I made my point. Expect more fangirlings of the sort in the future. After some brief introductions, it looks like Naare’ll be heading back with the Star Scavenger crew. Zander seems quite happy about that. Haha love me some crushes XD So the current goal now is to locate the remaining kybers to keep them out of the Emperor’s possession, and Rowan’ll be able to help with finding them with a little further training from Naare. “That was a lot of words, and I might’ve wandered in the middle, but I think you’re saying… I’m gonna be a JEDI!” Again, love this presh cinnamon roll… X3 Zander has some hesitations on the matter, and Kordi has even more hesitations, but Naare assures them she’ll keep him safe. And then AHHH IT’S FURLAC! But any problems they had with him are mind-tricked away thanks to their new ally. She even gets her own place in The Wheel while she’s at it! I don’t know how much one credit’s worth exactly but it sounded like she really got a bargain there. #JediWin Also Zander getting mind-tricked. That was great XD
As Rowan helps his new master get settled in her new place, Naare reminds him to make certain he keeps this whole thing a solid secret. After all, in this day and age, when friends make deals with Sith Lords and people only tell truth from a certain point of view, who can you trust? And then… in the dark of her rental, DARTH VADER COMES ON THE LINE. And he addresses her as AGENT NAARE. I was so. shocked. I can’t. I loved the idea of her character from the get-go, a female Jedi master and survivor of Order 66! And potentially a cross-species which we don’t see a lot in SW but that’s just cool to me I guess. And seeing her throughout this I really really genuinely loved her character. She was a great master for Rowan and had a great rapport going with him! I was even already on board the Zander-Naare shipping train! So when she flicked on that red blade and said “…then I’ll use another form of persuasion…”, my jaw utterly hit the floor. If there’s a redeemable side of Naare, I sure can’t find it. Not after that. And of course, the addition of the Sith eyes and the more zabrak-looking markings and the fact alone that she is confidently working for the Empire and clearly not under any duress. The fact she doesn’t have any issue with killing an innocent to get what she wants… yikes. I still love her as a villain but OMG SHE IS A MONSTER. And only time will tell where all this ends… dude I can say without any doubt that this was the most shocking turncoat situation I have ever seen in all Star Wars ever. At least, if not the most, it’s definitely one of the most. By the time the credits started rolling, I was overwhelmed by feelings of both absolute love and absolute terror. SW always keeps ya guessing, and that’s one of my many favorite things about it 😀
So like whoa what a pilot! I’m beyond excited to see what happens next in this next glorious chapter of the Lego Star Wars universe! We’ll continue following the Freemakers next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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TIM Recap: Rule Of Thirty-Two

It’s that time of year again, friends…. the This Is Madness Star Wars Character Tournament is in full swing! It’s a lot of fun to participate in something of this sort since basketball’s not in my wheelhouse, but it’s not without difficulty. I mean, picking favorites is not one of my strong suits, especially when I love all the SW characters! Last year I chronicled all my votes on tumblr, but for this year, I’ve decided to recap all of my votes here, since some of my explanations can get pretty wordy 🙂 So without further ado, my votes for the Rule Of 32! And remember, I love all these guys equally, really, so if you don’t agree with my vote, just remember we’re really on the same page still.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode VI, TCW episodes The Mandalore Plot, Sphere Of Influence, Nightsisters, Wookiee Hunt, Brothers, Revival, the “D-Squad” story arc, Shades Of Reason, The Lawless, Voices, Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, Idiot’s Array, and Fire Across The Galaxy.

DAY ONE: HERA VS. LEIA/INQUISITOR VS. GRIEVOUS.

I was super-excited for TIM this year because this year the Rebels would get to join in! But I guess I never thought as to what it’d be like to have to choose between amazing heroes from the SW films and these new amazing heroes from Rebels. Usually, my method is to choose the hero based on their amount of impact on the SW Galaxy or on the other character. But dang… it’s a lot harder than it looks!
For Rebels, I ended up choosing Leia. In all technicality, Hera’s probably made a teensy bit more impact, as she’s technically Leia’s boss in this situation. But man… I just couldn’t go up against “her worship”! I suppose a lot of it’s because we’ve seen how awesome Leia commands her fellow Rebels through some of the biggest events in SW history. And she’s Anakin and Padme’s daughter and Luke’s sister so that also gave her a bit of a leg up. Leia won, which doesn’t surprise me, and I bet Hera’s proud of her 🙂
For Bad Guys, I ended up giving the vote to The ‘Quiz here. I was a little surprised in some ways that Grievous won. My method for Dark Side votes usually is on account of who’s the badder, but in a way it just seems like I’m oftentimes picking the “cooler” of the two. Now yeah there’s no doubt Grievous is a lean, mean, lightsaber-slashing machine, and I’ve certainly voted for him a good bit in the past two tournaments. Considering how absolutely in-your-face nasty the General is, you’d think he’dve had my vote. But The Inquisitor… he’s got class! He’s just as menacing, even without two less ‘sabers on hand, and he does it all with this seriously chilling flair! I think there’s something to be said for the way he does things as versus Grievous… a quiet evil that isn’t always so quietly evil. Ah well, somehow that came out an underdog vote, but no hard feelings to the General.

DAY TWO: QUI-GON VS. YODA/JANGO VS. GREEDO
TIM Picks: Qui-Gon & Jango Fett
So obviously I’m a terrible human being because every year without fail I keep voting against Yoda on the first round. It’s not that I don’t love Yoda, guys, it’s just they keep pitting him against Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan and I can’t vote against them somehow! It’s useless to resist! But hey, let’s give Qui-Gon some credit here, I mean, he did totally uncover the Force-spirit stuff before Yoda did! So if Yoda shows up in the Sequel Trilogy (and the fact he already did show up in Episode VI), he’s got no one to thank but Master Jinn, the rebel Jedi 🙂 If more people used my methods to vote he might win one of these, but ah well. Maybe next year?
For Bounty Hunters… it’s almost unfair to pit Greedo against a Mando! Even if that Mando doesn’t do too well ultimately! But yeah, even knowing some of Greedo’s adventures prior to Episode IV in The Clone Wars, this guy still doesn’t really hold a candle to Jango in terms of badness, and in some ways coolness (ahh don’t hurt me Greedo fans!! *ducks under desk*). I’d really like to see some of these guys more equally matched in years to come. Perhaps Jango versus Pre Vizsla? That’d be interesting…

DAY THREE: HAN VS. LANDO/MAUL VS. PALPATINE
TIM Picks: Han & Maul
Another year, another win for Captain Solo! I keep feeling bad for Lando and thinking “maybe next year”, but it never happens! Ugh Han’s just one of those characters I can’t vote against! He’s just so amazing! He’s one of the most epic of epic heroes! Here’s a tip, Lando… if you want my vote next year, send me a puffer pig and complement my art. You’ll have it in the bag for sure then 🙂
As for the Sith… yeah another vote for coolness over badness, because dude in the game of evil Darth Sidious here always wins! Even then, Maul’s still quite the terrifying, absolutely nasty guy. He started out so quietly evil and then blossomed into a revenge-seeking, robot-legged crazy man. You could almost say he’s at equals with Sidious, but well… the Emperor did completely pwn him. But not in this battle, no sir! Sorry Sidious but he’s still cooler than you 😛 *Gets hit by Force lightning*

DAY FOUR: REX VS. GREGOR/HONDO VS. VIZSLA

You’re probably thinking I have something against Captain Rex since I seem to vote for every other clone over him. But look, Rex is easily everyone’s favorite clone, and I feel like these other brothas deserve some love, too. Gregor was so brave! He put aside his dead-end job on an even more so dead-end planet to save Colonel Gascon and the droids! He gave up his life to help them succeed in their mission! If that isn’t brave, I don’t know what is. C’mon won’t anyone else give him some love? Yes I know Rex is great and I’ll always love him but there’s no “I” in “The 501st”! (Unless, of course, you spell it out but not the point)
And yeah another underdog vote went to Hondo Ohnaka, and it definitely was on account of who’s the better person. Hondo’s a pretty decent fellow, despite he’s a pirate and may or may not cause you trouble depending on who’s paying him more. But darn it I love pirates! And his sense of wit! And really everything else about him! Pre Vizsla can’t help but be cool, of course, since he’s a Mando, but I’m often surprised he has as many friends as he does… ’cause he sure packs a lot of attitude! That moment in The Mandalore Plot when he throws the word “failure” at his fellow soldier and shoots him without even looking always stands out to me. He is one bad dude, for sure. So bad that I really couldn’t not give it to Hondo. And may I also mention that Hondo took on Darth Maul and lived? Can’t really say that for Pre, now can we?

DAY FIVE: R2-D2 VS. SABINE/TARKIN VS. PIETT
TIM Picks: R2-D2 & Tarkin
This was one of the hardest votes for me. Not the Tarkin vs. Piett thing, that was way too easy, considering I have trouble remembering Piett’s name half the time and how terrifying Tarkin truly is. But man… choosing between Artoo and Sabine was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Because Sabine is just so awesome, and you know how I’ve used the excuse to vote for Qui-Gon because he’s my SW Myers-Briggs twin? Sabine is technically now my Rebels twin! So a part of me still wonders if I should’ve given her the vote. But that little droid’s done a lot in life! He’s been around since day one and will continue even into the new trilogy! And he even played his part in Rebels, giving Sabine the suggestion to overload those blasters as a weapon! It was mostly that last bit that got me to vote for Artoo. That, and he’s just so stinkin’ adorable! Ladies and gentlemen, another character I can’t vote against, R2-D2!

DAY SIX: AHSOKA VS. OBI-WAN/BOBA VS. VENTRESS
TIM Picks: Obi-Wan & Ventress
Boy this was a hard one on both sides. I mean, obviously I knew from the get-go I’d probably end up giving Master Kenobi the vote, since I can’t humanly vote against him. But it hasn’t been long since Ahsoka waltzed back into the SW Universe and made me love her even more! So I had to rationalize it on the account that Obi-Wan trained Anakin who trained Ahsoka. It’s not so much on a level of who made the greater impact, because Ahsoka heading up the Rebel Alliance and Obi-Wan getting Luke involved with the Rebels to start with are both extremely important. But eh that’s how it goes in the TIM tournament! Next year will be your year, Ahsoka… next year!
Now as for the bounty hunters out here… this one was incredibly hard. Because Boba’s a shoo-in, right? He’s everyone’s favorite bounty hunter! (Except for the Dengar minority) And every year I’ve voted for him, because of course he’s just that cool and just that awesome. But Ventress… ugh she’s really really grown on me these past few years. She was already a super-cool Sith-y sort, but then she went and became a bounty hunter and has proved to actually have a heart. And darn it if there’s one thing I can’t vote against, it’s a scoundrel who’s not so scoundrel-y after all! And my inability to vote against her will increase once I read Dark Disciple. So yeah I am sorry, fellow Fett fans, I have let you down. But at least he won the vote and will likely get my vote in the next round!

DAY SEVEN: CHEWBACCA VS. ZEB/VADER VS. DOOKU
TIM Picks: Chewbacca & Darth Vader
OK you know what’s just as hard as choosing between Sabine and Artoo? It’s choosing between Zeb and Chewie. I never would’ve expected it’d be this hard to pick between movie characters and Rebels characters! I mean, they’re both epic and all kinds of awesome and know how to handle bucketheads, but how do you choose between them?? HOW I SAY?! Well, if they could’ve arm-wrestled it might’ve helped me pick, but honestly I have no clue how that’d go down. If perhaps Chewbacca had been among the Wookiees Zeb helped rescue I might’ve given it to our favorite Honor Guard. But then it occurred to me that Chewie helped save Ahsoka, who in turn grew up and played a major part in the Rebellion that Zeb is currently a big part of himself. So there Chewbacca wins! Zeb wasn’t too happy about that, but he went and thrashed a few ‘troopers and he feels better now.
As for the Sith… um… yeah, Darth Vader couldn’t not win. Dooku’s pretty nasty himself but seriously… against Vader? No contest. We’ve all seen Episode III, it doesn’t end well for the Count. And plus, Vader’s just awesome period.

DAY EIGHT: PADME VS. JAR JAR/JABBA VS. FORTUNA
TIM Picks: Padme & Jabba
Honestly, at first, I couldn’t believe they would actually put Jar Jar into the tournament. I mean, I love him, but I’m not sure I can say the same for the majority. And really, I wanted to vote for Padme, because she’s strong, clever, smart, and fabulous, and because of the kinda big deal role she plays in the SW Galaxy as Luke and Leia’s mom. I wasn’t going to vote for Jar Jar just because I wasn’t sure anyone else would, that wouldn’t be fair. I have reasons when I vote for underdogs! But then… well, the sound you heard was the sound of all those who filled out brackets ahead of time crying. Jar Jar’s actually got the majority of the vote! Talk about an upset! So either he has a larger fanbase and less people hating on him now or else a bunch of people just wanted to throw off what everyone expected. But hey, I’m happy for ya Representative Binks! You go win this thang!! And again, in the battle of the baddies, Jabba always wins as versus his lackeys. Though it was nice to see Bib’s face in the ring this time around instead of Salacious Crumb 🙂

So there you have it guys, it’s been some awesome first round of This Is Madness, hasn’t it? I’ll keep you updated as each round continues!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Race For The Holocrons: A Closer Look

So while the Rebels took an off day this week, I figured it’s about time we get back to talking about all of the New Yoda Chronicles that’ve come out in the past year! Yeah these Lego specials just can’t help but be an absolute delight to watch. And even though I’m probably the only one to talk about them seriously, I’m glad people actually want to read these to begin with. So thank you for that. So let’s dive in and go deep in the second chapter of the first trilogy of TNYC, Race For The Holocrons!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Star Wars Droids, The Padawan Menace, The Empire Strikes Out, and Escape From The Jedi Temple, and TCW episode Wookiee Hunt.

So since we last left our heroes, Yoda and Obi-Wan decided that it’s about time Luke started his holocron training. Luke doesn’t even really know what holocrons are, but he knows he’s gotta go find them. Of course, problem: Vader and his boss want to find them, too, as they have the potential to reveal info valuable to the Empire. So Luke followed the Force to where they reside… Utapau? Well, he’s still figuring out the whole “Force” thing, so you can’t blame him from ending up planets away from where he was supposed to be. Besides, in regards to Tatooine, Ben had told him there was nothing left for him there! I guess he meant in regard to his everyday farm life, not literally. Let’s just cut Young Skywalker some slack here. So as would be expected, Luke and his crew hit a dead-end, as the head ‘pauan has no clue what a holocron is. But the ‘pauan doesn’t miss a beat and offers up some used Clone Wars-era starships to the gang. No clue how the Utapauans managed to keep these vehicles in such good shape, and how it is a bunch of ‘troopers never came over and reclaimed it. Sidious must’ve regarded it all as junk. Leia politely turns down the offer, and Luke, exasperated from his failed search, kicks a pebble over the old vehicles. But apparently there’s another brand of “vehicle” in the pile — BOGA? Or at least a critter the same species as Boga?? I always thought that that giant frilled lizard was one of the coolest creatures in the SW galaxy, and he was a good steed for Obi-Wan back in the day. But apparently… either Boga became feral after years of neglect, or this is an entirely different critter and their species is just naturally wild and unpredictable. Yup the big guy decides pretty quickly to give chase after Luke, Leia, and the droids. Luke whips out his lightsaber and at least partially wounds the fella, but new problem: they’ve run right off the landing platform with their ship. Le sigh, can this day get any better?
Meanwhile, Sidious reiterates his desire to get his grubby little Force-lighting-shocking hands on those ‘crons. Vader’s all “NBD, Master, just need to find that Luke Skywalker punk and he’ll lead me where I need to go!”. And it just so happens that Vader is onto Luke by chasing down the Millenium Falcon. Han and Chewie are enjoying their day about as much as Luke and Leia are right now. A well-planned pull of the brakes and blasters aimed at the TIE seem to have vanquished their foe. But that Darth is a tough cookie and somehow manages to claw his way onto the Falcon’s roof and into the hatch. Yeahhh having Darth Vader show up in your cockpit is probably every Rebel’s worst nightmare. And Vader has some fun and knocks the scoundrels around in the cockpit. But then Vader takes a look around at the ol’ ship and is like “Seriously? This piece of junk is what helped destroy my Death Star?”. Han’s brave and talks back, not without throwing the unfair “pleather pants” name back in Vader’s face. So naturally that gets a red lightsaber all up in Captain Solo’s grill, and he demands to know Luke’s whereabouts. And Han’s snarky response is a perfect transition to the next seen, as Luke is indeed “in a whole in the ground”. Hur hur.
So anyway, they were still falling… Luke was trying to get closer to his comrades and the ship, but you know, gravity isn’t always very cooperative. And then shows up Force Ghost Ben, giving Luke a heart attack for the second time this weekend! Master Kenobi’s about to tell Young Skywalker about the holocrons… but judging by the fact Luke’s falling and a giant green beast is right above them… Obi-Wan makes his message quick, and lets him know the stakes as Vader’s in on the secret too, and the boy needs to get to Tatooine ASAP. And then he ducks outta that mess pretty fast, leaving Luke with a hurried “may the Force be with you”. Knowing that time is of the essence, he’s not gonna sit around and fall for hours; Luke slams his lightsaber into the rock walls and uses the Force to form a giant rope with the debris. Not too shabby for a guy who couldn’t tell Tatooine from Utapau on the map! But just when they thought they’d gotten that lizard off their tails… yeah… he can climb. Luke’s able to Force-bend their rope and snap it like a rubber band, returning them to the landing platform. But Boga here is a fast little booger. So our gang darts for an old Separatist fighter. They would’ve gotten off the ground faster, but while Artoo has no problem trusting strange computers, he doesn’t like syncing into one. Considering all things, it was a Separatist ship, and Artoo knows those guys were nasty. Yus now we know the little droid’s got everything now that we’ve seen his sanitizer extension XD But they’re able to make it offworld without any reptilian hitchhikers, and so, it’s on to Tatooine!
Meanwhile, Vader’s still trying to get Han to spill, but thank goodness for the Corellian’s strong will. It’s only when Luke makes a quick call letting Han know where they’re going that there’s a problem. Yes I think Vader knows the difference between the Dune Sea and Naboo’s Dune Sea Hotel. ‘Cause duh on Naboo everything is soft. *Gets hit with tomato* Heyyy who threw that?! So yeah… anyway, Han and Chewie made a quick getaway into the escape pod. Problem was, this particular escape pod has a launch button outside of it. And Darth had no problem pressing it. #Facepalm
And thus, after having to start the thing a couple of times, Vader’s flying the Falcon off to Tatooine.
Elsewhere on Tatooine itself, the holocrons’ glow has attracted some attention from the locals. And the locals being the Jawas. They be all “UTTINI!” over the loot they’ve dug up. And so it appears the competition for these things has been upped from two to three…
So Luke and his comrades were having a pretty smooth flight at first… and then Wedge Antilles and a bunch of other Rebels mistook them for an Imperial ship (Um… guys, different war! Get your facts straight man!). Luke tried to touch base with Wedge and explain the situation, but they were firing at him, and well… Luke had to fire back. It looks like the other Rebs were OK though so that’s good. Yeesh this would be pretty tragic otherwise…
Ironically, the same thing’s happening to the other Skywalker. It must be so weird having your own TIEs aiming at you. I’m guessing Vader had a little “conversation” (aka Force choke) with the pilots involved afterward. Oh wait… disregard that last sentence; he expertly blew up all the TIEs, so that saves Vader time so he can Force choke other less-than-stellar Imperials! Ha yes, you really could say “there are heroes on both sides” in this situation!
And guess where Han and Chewie ended up? A nice little slimy mudhole called Dagobah! Captain Solo expertly navigates them to a cave for shelter… though yeah this is “THE” cave. They label it “Darkside Cave” here, but whatever you call it… the horrified screaming/roaring they make running out says that they didn’t have too much fun in there. Though one really has to wonder what it is each of them saw. Yikes this just got really deep… y’know I’m gonna do the right thing here and not think too much on this ’cause I don’t want to freak anybody out. But yeah, as soon as they ran out, there stood Yoda. And thus happened one of the happiest reunions ever! I love they still call each other “Yoyo” and “Ian”; ah those were the days, huh? Chewie’s all “Wait… you two know each other? What’d I miss?”. It’s OK, Chewbacca, it happened about the time you got caught in a Trandoshan hunting game with a bunch of Padawans.
Anyway, firsties on Tatooine would be Lord Vader! Who doesn’t watch his step and runs right into Dr. Ezavan and Pondo Baba. But Vader doesn’t bat an eyelash and lightsabers the good doctor’s arm off. I love his response “WHAT?! NOW EVERYONE HAS A LIGHTSABER?!”. Maybe they should consider stopping making such a big deal about people running into them. And maybe consider getting to know people before they judge whether they like them or not 🙂 Luke, Leia, and the droids arrive shortly after, also running into the duo. Thankfully this time, the wanted men make a run for it… right into a closed door. And Luke’s all “What did I do?”. Probably didn’t recognize Pondo Baba with his new arm.
Also, I’d just like to ask why Jar Jar thought it’d be a good idea to take his daughter out to the Mos Eisley Cantina for her birthday. It’s not exactly the most friendly place in the galaxy, and I didn’t think Jar Jar was much of a fan of this planet (“…the sun’s doin’ murder to meesa skin!”). It must be what she wanted, I do guess. But I’m not here to talk about Ex-Rep. Binks’ parenting, I’m here to talk about the race for the holocrons going down here as Vader walks into the Cantina. Also, love the rancor sipping an umbrella drink in the background! XD OK anyway, so Vader was about walk in and show ’em who’s boss, buuuuuuut the droid scanner went off on him. Seriously, does this guy dislike droids so much that he’ll risk locking people out? What happens if you had braces, or fillings, or a metal hip? What about the fact that Pondo Baba must’ve gotten a metal arm?? Duuuude c’mon. But Vader took it well, I think. Force-slammed him into the ceiling. The best part is watching all the happy droids flock in now that the ban’s been lifted; just watch that GOM droid get down! XD
So Luke was trusting his feelings again, using the Force to guide him as he walked through the Mos Eisley streets. And this time, it happened to lead him right to Watto’s place. It always wows me when you see characters meet up like this, even though Luke may never know that Watto was his dad’s former “employer”. But yeah, while Leia and the droids would rather’d leave, Luke’s got his eyes on a fabulous old podracer… the one his dad made, to be exact (seriously isn’t this crazy how it all connects??). Not having any cash on hand, Luke comes up with a different way to seal the deal… something called a Jedi mind trick. Watto’s like “Bro they don’t work on me, mkay?”. And you know, interesting thought here: wouldn’t it still have been fairly dangerous for Luke to have revealed himself a Jedi? Knowing Watto, he could’ve easily sold him out to the Empire to make a quick buck. Thankfully, it seems he doesn’t care too much. And Vader probably wouldn’tve trusted Watto to know that kind of intel anyway and would’ve ignored him. So when Watto’s not impressed with Luke’s mind trick, he gets Leia to join in, claiming she’s a Jedi as well. And boy I bet they were surprised when their mind trick actually worked. On Watto… and Threepio! Daaaaaaang the power of the Chosen One’s kids! And so with that, Luke got the podracer on loan and left Threepio as collateral, and they returned to their mission. And Threepio took the job as a sign-spinner. He’s pretty good for not having a lot of dexterity in those limbs!
And guess what Lord Vader was buying? Luke’s landspeeder! Definitely one of those weird moments as Luke zooms by Vader and they both realize they’re driving each other’s rides. Commence chase scene!
Back on Dagobah, Yoda popped some popcorn for his guests and chatted for a bit about the planet and about Luke. And then Yoda realized that Young Skywalker was in trouble! He sent Han and Chewbacca after him… in, naturally, Yoda’s little starship. Yeah if you thought it was bad when Obi-Wan, Yoda, and R2-D2 were crammed in there, it looks to be even worse for these two.
Yeah it was a normal Jawa shopping trip for Bib Fortuna. But he’s not able to look at those lovely glowy-blue blocks for long, ’cause along came Luke and Vader at full speed! The Jawas closed up shop and vamoosed back to their sandcrawler in about three seconds. Finally the guys came to a stop and decided this needed to be settled with lightsabers. But what they didn’t know, is that their being near that sandcrawler full of holocrons was empowering said ‘crons, like, a lot. Leia takes notice of this and tries to interrupt, but of course these Skywalker boys are a little busy. But yeah, don’t ask me how exactly they did that, but the holocrons actually power up so that the sandcrawler zooms on outta there! Man, those things are so useful… they store Jedi history, lists of Rebellion-centered planets, prove one’s Force-sensitivity, and are a great alternative to fossil fuels! No wonder there’s such a market for them. The ‘crawler goes so fast that it knocks the hoods off of the Jawas and reveals… humans. Normal humans in masks. Well, that explains a lot XD Hehe I love fourth-wall-breaking gags like that. So Vader and Luke, after trading respective vehicles, hit the gas pedal and the chase is back on! Isn’t it funny, in Phantom Menace and the first story arc of the Droids series, that both of these are racing vehicles, both used on desert planet raceways? Craaaazayyyy! And yeah as they’re driving, they’re dueling at the same time. Yeah I think there are rules about that in the Tatooine Drivers’ Manuals. Even so, it’s pretty epic! It reminds me of all the swordfighting on the cars in Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, but, dare I say, a lot more high-stakes.
Oh, Han and Chewie finally landed on Tatooine to help Luke… andddd Luke was long-gone. Just Leia and Artoo hanging out. So the four of them piled back on Yoda’s ship and rejoined the chase themselves.
And the chase goes from being more Crystal Skull to Raiders as the Skywalker boys start catching up to the speeding sandcrawler. Luke and Vader both climb up on top of the vehicle and duel a bit before Vader finally shoves the boy off. Of course, as Vader goes and swims in his holocron loot, he doesn’t realize that Luke’s pulling an “Indy” and is hanging on to the front of the ‘crawler! Luke finally climbs back in and faces down the Darth once more… but Vader has an ace up his dark sleeve; the sandcrawler’s heading through Mos Eisley, and he knows Luke won’t allow innocent lives to get caught in the crossfire. So Luke manages to pull the machine to a stop… just as Vader goes and nabs all the holocrons and makes a run for it. Though Darth didn’t get off entirely easy, as he did get his cape caught and had to cut the thing short before he could get to his shuttle. And Luke turned out to be OK in the midst of the sandcrawler wreckage. Threepio, who nearly got creamed by the vehicle to start with, recognizes the sacrifice Luke made in giving up the holocrons to save him and others. Aw Luke I’m so proud of ya! And Han and the gang finally showed up… and found they missed all the action. Figures.
Obi-Wan and Yoda are proud of Luke as well, but they are definitely aware that they’re in all kinds of trouble with the holocrons in Imperial possession. “…They were our last hope.” “No… there is another… thing… we could do… if we felt like it… or not.” XD And that “thing” happens to involve an old friend… JEK-14! Whose peaceful siesta on Naboo is about to get interrupted. Yessss I have lots of questions now as to why he’s on Naboo, and whether he was there in the first place back in the last chapter. But when your Force-enriched arm starts talkin’, it’s time for the now older JEK to get a move on. Twenty years of retirement is long enough, buddy…! Luke’s about to get some help from an unexpected source 🙂
So yay I can’t get enough of these Lego Star Wars tales! Where they’ll go next, only time will tell, but it’ll be great when we get there! Until next blog…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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