If Not For IV…: A Special Star Wars Day Story

So first of all, let me start by saying Happy Star Wars Day! I hope all my fellow fans are finding a way to make today extra-special and Star Wars-y! Because of a busier schedule than that of past years, today will be a more casual Star Wars day for me, but that doesn’t make it any less special. I’m looking forward to watching Attack Of The Clones (since I haven’t watched it yet this year and I prefer to watch ’em all in chronological order), a classic Rebels episode, and those exciting new Freemakers shorts! And all while wearing a shirt the color of Naboo starfighters and drinking my first real glass of blue milk! (I finally had some food coloring on hand πŸ˜€ ) Considering I’m doing all those things on top of writing my 149th post on a blog entirely dedicated to Star Wars, sometimes it’s hard to remember what my life was like before I got into Star Wars. But I can never forget the story of how my love for it began, especially considering it happened almost exactly ten years ago.
NOTE: This post contains some minor spoilers from the Original Trilogy films

There are so many wonderful stories of people’s first time seeing A New Hope, stories of wonderment and joy and being so amazed they couldn’t speak. I wish I could say that was my story, too, but… mine’s a bit different. Star Wars has always been a part of my life as I’m surrounded by many family members in the fandom, so in 2007 I decided I wanted to finally see Episode IV in all its entirety. My brother and I watched it together on his ’95 VHS tape (from the classic trilogy set). I liked it, but I really didn’t know what to think of it otherwise. At the time I was foremost an animation buff and wasn’t as drawn to live-action. And I was a bit confused by the space politics. I do remember R2-D2 and C-3PO made me laugh, and I really liked Luke and Leia (as individuals and um… *cough* together… I may have gotten them confused with their parents. I’m not proud looking back). But that’s about all I can recall on my thought process. So yeah, it’s not a particularly heartwarming tale. But it was my first step in a larger world. ‘Cause if I hadn’t seen A New Hope that late May day…

I wouldn’t have gone on to watch Empire a few months later, which started to reel me in further. And I liked it a bit more because I finally understood all those quotes and references I was seeing elsewhere in pop culture.

If not for IV, I wouldn’t have been intrigued by The Clone Wars when it came out the following year. I didn’t know much about the Prequels, but animation was a language I understood. I can’t remember for sure what my first episode was, but I do remember that Destroy Malevolence was one I couldn’t get enough of. (The excitement! The romance! The battle droid shenanigans!)

If not for IV, I wouldn’t have continued to grow interested in the Star Wars galaxy as I watched more Clone Wars adventures. Blue Shadow Virus and Hostage Crisis are also super super memorable. I didn’t understand a lot, but I understood that I could really relate to Ahsoka, and that Cad Bane was a boss πŸ™‚

If not for IV, I wouldn’t have decided, on a May day in 2010, to check out the Clone Wars microseries. Then that growing hype would convince me to finally watch Jedi a short time after. And the hype would continue to grow when I sat down and rewatched Empire later on. By the end of the year, I could call myself a Star Wars fan.

If not for IV, the fandom that exploded in 2011 wouldn’tve happened. My first Star Wars Day celebration watching Phantom for the first time, catching up on The Clone Wars with a brand-new appreciation, reading my first Star Wars novels and novelization, seeing the rest of the Prequels… it was a whirlwind of excitement and happiness as I began to finally understand it all.

If not for IV, I wouldn’t have continued to explore and love the Star Wars universe in 2012, and get super super excited for the new films they announced later that year.

If not for IV, well… Padawanline wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t have had so many thoughts on Star Wars that I needed to write them down here! And as you may remember, 2013 was also the year I finally rewatched A New Hope. It probably seems silly there was such a gap between reviewings for me, but I got a little caught up catching up with the Prequels and Clone Wars in the years prior. But that viewing that Star Wars Day… it was like seeing it for the first time. And it was as wondrous and joyous as the many fans’ stories I’d heard ❀ The circle was at last complete.

And now, the Star Wars galaxy is less of a circle and more of an infinity symbol. The years since have been full of so many new amazing stories and characters, and there's still so much more to come. None of that could've happened without IV coming out forty years ago. And the reason I'm writing this here today, is because of the seemingly average day I saw IV ten years ago.

So, wow. I could've never predicted how much I would ultimately love this beautiful series, and how much sheer enjoyment it's brought me. Though I have to wonder if this comic in the Sunday paper way back then was a sign of things to come…

This appeared the Sunday following my first viewing of IV. I remember getting a chuckle out of it and thinking it was cool that this would appear not long after seeing the movie for myself. But now it has more meaning, because it made sure I remembered the seemingly average day. I didn’t realize it then how meaningful and special these films would become to me, but it sure is amazing what can happen in a decade πŸ™‚

With that said, I think it’s time I let you get back to your celebrating. Again I say, Happy Star Wars Day! May The Fourth Be With You, and like I always say before the post’s end…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

My Star Wars Twin? Looking @ The Myers Briggs Test

So last week I was listening to one of my fave radio shows and they had found something that I could not wait to blog on: a Star Wars version of the Myers Briggs Test! After laughing at the show’s (guy) host being most like Leia, I looked at the chart for myself and thought “who here is my Star Wars twin?”
OK, so I’ll be honest, I really don’t entirely understand how this test works. But just reading the descriptions of each character told me that well… forget a SW twin, I have SW octuplets! I somehow ended up being the entire two middle rows. I do have a bit of a diverse personality. So I thought it would be interesting to dig into each character I felt was a bit like me and how I relate to them.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode VI, the Clone Wars Miniseries, and TCW episodes Blue Shadow Virus and The Gungan General.

C-3PO: The Protector
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So when I was reading through the descriptions for each character, I may have cringed a little bit when I read Threepio’s bio. Mostly because I was thinking “WAIT. I’M MOST LIKE THREEPIO?!” And nothing against the golden droid, but he’s not known for being the most fun guy in the room or anything. But yet, I still see that Threepio and I have more in common than I would’ve thought.
First of all, I can be terrified by new and seemingly-dangerous experiences. Remember in Episode I where he was all “Well, I can promise you that they’ll never get me on one of those starships!”? And remember how we all chuckle at that line because of how ironic it is? Like Threepio, I prefer the comforts of the familiar most of the time. I admit that I’m not the most adventurous person on the planet. I can’t even begin to imagine being in the shoes of any of theΒ SW characters!
As it mentions in his description, I do keep track of what’s important to the awesome family and friends in my life. I’ve never thought of Threepio as a thoughtful sort, but then again… remember that part in the Clone Wars miniseries when he had no problem fetching Padme’s shawl, even though it turned out to be Padme’s own clever way of revealing the camoflauged droideka-things? Threepio was all “I MUST BE OUT OF MY CIRCUITS.” and he nearly got blasted to bits just being helpful to his friend. I guess he does have a bit of a soft side after all πŸ™‚
Now, sometimes when I’m with friends, I’m even less adventurous. My friends all eat out of the same bowl of frozen yogurt for a crazy scavenger hunt and I opt out of joining them due to my germophobia. I sometimes feel like a Threepio surrounded by Artoos, shall we say. I just don’t want to invite trouble in, and sometimes, like Threepio, I get my own set of trouble anyway. Not that this is the case most of the time, but I’ll watch Threepio in his many, many misadventures and I’ll nod my head and say “bro, I feel your pain”.
But all the same, Threepio really is just trying to do his best and help people, like he was programmed for. I’m a bit more crazy and carefree than Threepio, but when it comes down to our comrades, we just want to be there for them and be a friend — even when our friends are more adventurous than we are.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: The Counselor
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As a huge Obi-Wan fan (as you all know by now), I was really hoping that he’d be my SW twin. Interestingly though, according to this, we’re not as alike as I had thought.
I do find myself curious about what makes people tick. I mean, I love to create characters and tell stories as well as observe my favorite movies, shows, and books, in both ways thinking about what motivated so-and-so to do this, or why they reacted like this, or what did they really mean when they said that, etc. I consider myself pretty insightful, but I’m not sure that I match this description to an insane level or anything. But they seem to be more talking about the Obi-Wan of the Original Trilogy; I think that if we look at the Obi-Wan of the Prequels, we have more in common than just our interest in human thought.
I like to joke around that I could be Obi-Wan’s twin sister. We both have nearly the same color hair and eyes, weirdly enough. Obi-Wan is considered to be a master of wit and wisdom. I don’t know if I’m the wisest, but I love coming up with clever one-liners and sarcastic quips. I remember a year ago watching the TCW episode Blue Shadow Virus for the first time in a while. And Obi-Wan and the clones are standing in that room chock-full of life-destroying bombs and Obi-Wan’s like “Good thing these things aren’t armed!” Cue two seconds later when that dastardly doctor starts up the countdown. I chuckled to myself and remarked “Spoke too soon” just as Obi-Wan said “I spoke too soon”! And I had totally forgotten that line was in there! I think we have a strangely similar thought process. Aside from that time, I’ve sat and watched Obi-Wan a number of times and thought “I would totally have reacted like that!”
Another thing you don’t realize quiteΒ as much in the Originals is that Obi-Wan is super amiable and friendly. I definitely can be like that, especially with close friends. He has acquaintances and chums in bounty hunters, diner cooks, important politcians, fellow Jedi, and everyone in between. Being as I’ve never traveled the galaxy with Qui-Gon, I don’t have any friends in those categories, but all the same, I enjoy talking and hanging out with people.
So while I may not exactly be Obi-Wan’s doppleganger, I’m glad I have a few somethings in common with this incredibly awesome Jedi.

Bail Organa: The Artist
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As soon as I saw they classified him as “The Artist”, I realized I might’ve found my SW twin. I love drawing and writing and consider myself to be an artsy sort, though I’d never thought of Bail as “artsy” (though perhaps he secretly sketches landscapes in his spare time…). But it goes deeper than that.
As the description states, while I love being around friends, I really enjoy having some space to just be me (especially when I’m writing or drawing or blogging, like I am now). I’m all about not rushing art; I’d rather take a week on a great drawing than do ten bad drawings in one week. And I really am not a fan of getting into disagreements with people (which is clearly why I don’t allow comments on this blog). But yet I have a strong sense of justice, and I will speak up about it.
Also, Senator Organa and I have the closest fashion sense πŸ™‚ Blues, grays, blacks, turtlenecks, boots… dude, I must own tons of those colors and articles! What can I say? Bail and I got SWAG! XD
In all seriousness, I am proud to be very much alike Leia’s “other” daddy. He may not be the first person who comes to mind when you think about Star Wars, but he is truly one of my fave Prequel characters and a truly great character.

Luke Skywalker: The Idealist
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I was quite surprised to find that I had stuff in common with one of the most notable heroes in the SW Galaxy! But the description does sound a bit like me, even if I’ve never watched a double sunset, looking intense with John Williams in the background πŸ™‚
I probably am a bit idealistic, and I would definitely say I’m a loyal sort. And I definitely don’t sit around and let people trash what I know is right. And I do want to see people meet their full potential.
I think that I’m pretty adapatable and flexible. For the most part, I’m just cool with whatever happens. Sometimes I get bummed out, but hey, I’m not sure that Luke was exactly feeling “flexible” when he found out his farmwork would prolong his dream of being part of the Rebel Alliance.
Besides all of that, Luke and I both have twin siblings. So, cool πŸ˜€
Overall, I’m quite pleased to be so similar to Luke Skywalker. He’s messed up and he’s been knocked down a few times, but all the same he’s still full of spirit and strength. I hope to match that description in my everyday life.

Wicket W. Warrick: The Performer
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Some people might not be thrilled with coming out an ewok. I am not some people. I kinda figured I’d share a lot in common with this furry warrior, and I’m quite happy about it.
Outgoing? Check. Friendly? Check. Exhuberant lover of life? Check. And I do love my friends and family and my stuff, too.
And like the description states, I do like working with people on stuff. Sometimes I prefer to go it solo, but as someone who always stays for the end credits on every movie, I highly admire team efforts and enjoy being a part of a group.
I’m not sure I’m easily adaptive sometimes, as I mentioned earlier with Threepio, but it depends on the situation. Sometimes I’ll jump into it, and sometimes I’ll tiptoe into it, but I do want to do my best no matter what.
It’s also kinda fun to say that I’m about the height of an ewok… I’m not very tall… OK OK maybe I’m not literally three-foot-nothing or whatever, but sometimes I feel about that tall. But Wicket’s great because he is that tall and he still is an Empire-whupping hero πŸ™‚ Also, he was my birthday cake this year, so that says something about me, I guess…

Qui-Gon Jinn: The Champion
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So, assuming I got the actual method right, Qui-Gon is my actual SW twin. How cool is it to say that I’m Qui-Gon?! He’s another one of my fave SW characters ever!! I can never see the name Liam Neeson without thinking of Master Jinn, and I mean that as a compliment! (Well, the first role I saw him in was as Aslan in the Narnia films, but Qui-Gon comes to mind more often) So yeah I geeked out when I found this out.
Also, being known as The Champion is awesome …YOU’RE GONNA HEAR ME ROAR/LOUDER, LOUDER THAN A LION/’CAUSE I AM A CHAMPION/YOU’RE GONNA HEAR ME ROOOOOOAAAARRRR!! *Ahem* Sorry (Hehehe I realized that Mr. Neeson played Aslan who is a lion and Qui-Gon, who is “The Champion”…)
But anyway, everything it says in the description fits me like a glove. Warmly enthusiastic, imaginative, sees life as full of possibilities. Definitely me.
It also mentions wanting affirmation from others. Also true; I admit I’m more partial to compliments than I am criticism. Never pegged Qui-Gon in that area, but who knows? He did kinda have to deal with the Council’s lack of enthusiasm when he wanted to train Anakin. And they say Qui-Gon’s a bit of a rebel among Jedi; I’m not saying I’m a rebellious sort, but I do get being a bit different from the average sort in my crowd.
But then it mentions readily giving appreciation and support. This is also right on the Republic credits. I love uplifiting others in their craft and cheering them on. Especially when it comes to fellow artists and writers.
Really, everything here is true. Right down to my verbal fluency (I am writing a blog here, aren’t I?) Again, it’s insanely cool to be akin with the amazing Master Jinn. I would very much like to grab a cup of joe with him in the Force Spirit Realm sometime πŸ˜€

Jar Jar Binks: The Provider
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For some reason, I figured I’d be even more like Jar Jar than the description says. And unlike some fans, I have no problem with being like Representative Binks.
Whoops… there went all my viewers. JUST HERE ME OUT, PLEASE.
Well, besides the fact that I can be rather klutzy (though not to a have-to-be-banished-from-my-hometown level), I think “warmhearted, concientious, and cooperative” suit me.
I definitely prefer harmony in my surroundings, and as I mentioned with Wicket, I like working with other people.
Interesting thought here: Jar Jar may seem like a nice guy 99% of the time, but he can be very good at sarcasm. I mean, that line in Episode I where he’s all “Ha… yeah… no. I’d be better off dead here than dead at the planet core.” or “The Force. Yeah, sure. That’s a huge deal…” I’m not saying I would’ve reacted exactly like him in those situations, but while I try to be nice most of the time, I can be… well, a pureveyor of the fine art of sarcasm.
And then the last thing about wanting to be appreciated? That’s very true of me. I want to leave a legacy, shall we say. I want to be remembered well for who I am and what I’ve done. I may not be a twice-time General or a peace-seeking politician, but Jar Jar and I both want to be loyal friends, help people, and make a difference. And like this guy or not, Jar Jar has definitely made a difference in the SW Galaxy.

Padme Amidala: The Giver
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Honestly, I thought Padme and I would have the least in common. I mean, standing up to monsters and other bad guys? Standing up to a crowd with a potentially planetshaking proposition? Wearing that much makeup? I could never be like Padme in those areas, I don’t think. She’s an extremely admirable character, and I couldn’t imagine what we really had in common. But look again… most of the description is pretty on the nose! Warm, empathetic, finds potential in everyone, etc. I’m not sure I’m leader material, as this suggests. But I think it’s pretty cool that we’re not too far apart.
I also think about how Padme is very outspoken with her beliefs and her drive for peace… she wants the war to end, but she’s willing to fight for it all the same. Even if it requires what we would call “aggressive negotiations”. I think that I share that, in a way. I mentioned earlier that I’d rathered not get into disagreements if I can help it, but all the same, if I feel the need to, I will argue a point down to the bone. I sometimes wish I wasn’t like this because I don’t want to sound like a jerk or lose any friends, but I suppose it’s good that I’m willing to hold on tightly to what I believe is true. And that’s why I’m glad I have a bit of Senator Amidala in me.

So I hopefully have given you a chance to look at these characters differently and maybe learn a bit more about me. But enough about me! Who’s your SW twin? πŸ™‚

BLOGGER’S NOTE 2/6/16: I finally found the chart again after the link having been broken for so long. I will note that the descriptions are different than what I originally used on this post, but the concepts are still the same. Sorry for any confusion this may cause. Thanks for reading.

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Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

SW Summer Reads – Jedi Quest #1: The Way Of The Apprentice

Today we continue onward with my Star Wars Summer Reads series, in which I ramble on about some of the first SW books I ever read (not to mention some of the best SW books I’ve ever read period). This week I’m super happy to introduce to you the first official book of Jude Watson’s Jedi Quest series: The Way Of The Apprentice. I’d like to hope I’m not the only person who’s reading them and enjoys them as much as the films! So if you haven’t read it yet, go read it, perhaps reread it if it’s been a while, and then join me in my observations and discussions as we dive into The Way Of The Apprentice! And just your luck, I don’t have any good Star Wars reading puns on the top of my head at the moment… πŸ™‚
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Jedi Quest #1: The Way Of The Apprentice, Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth, Episode II, Episode III, and TCW episode Deception (and the related episodes)
Cover artwork for Jude Watsons' Jedi Quest #1: The Way Of The Apprentice
The Way Of The Apprentice takes place a year or two after The Path To Truth, and our dear little Anakin’s fourteen now. The story opens up in about the most sentimental way everrr… in which Obi-Wan gives Anakin the best birthday gift ever: a river stone Qui-Gon had given Obi-Wan. Not only that, but it’s a stone that is a treasure to Obi-Wan. *Twilight wipes tears from her eyes* Anakin loves it dearly, and Obi-Wan recalls that he himself wasn’t that thrilled with it back when he’d first received it (Hard to believe right? Or is it just me?). And then we shift gears for a second as we see that Obi-Wan wants to give Anakin more than just this meaningful gift… he wants Anakin to have a friend. Now, as a seasoned TCW viewer, Anakin and Obi-Wan have always seemed so close that I often forget that there’s a ten-year age gap between them. In one particular series of episodes in TCW season 4, amidst Anakin’s assumption that Obi-Wan had been killed (when really it was all part of a complicated mission, if you recall), he referred to his former master as his “best friend”. And though neither of the duo ever really say it, you can’t not see that they’re truly like brothers (I suppose it’s worth bringing up that Obi-Wan referred to his former Padawan as his “brother” in Episode III; dang it, now I’m going to get all teary again!). Fact is, by the time I finally saw Episode II, I’d already caught up with at least one season of TCW. Remember when Anakin told Padme that “Obi-Wan is the closest thing I’ve ever had to a father” in Episode II? It took some time for their relationship to get from this father-son “thing” to a brotherly bond, and at this point, we’re still seeing them in a more father-son relationship. I can’t really make it clear just how much I love, in this series, watching Obi-Wan having to play the dad Anakin never had. The very fact he’s worried about Anakin having no friends his age is so much like what an actual parent would worry about, it’s scary. That, and as we see later, Obi-Wan finds himself comparing his Padawan to the others and his teaching to theirs. It’s not easy being a super-young Jedi Master; it’s even harder playing the role of a parent and a teacher at the same time. All the while having to watch your emotions. All the respect in the world to you, Master Kenobi!
So, the story’s official start takes us to the Coruscant underworld where we find Anakin doing a little after-hours junk hunting, looking for a new motivator for his latest droid project. The difference between us and Anakin is that, when we need stuff for our hobbies, crafting, and building projects, we go to Michael’s, or Wal-Mart, or RadioShack, while Anakin goes to dumps. But hey, Anakin spent the majority of his childhood doing that sort of thing, scrounging for droid parts and metal junk in pursuing his droid-making hobby. I love that we still see him doing it even as a Jedi Padawan! Anyway, I guess Anakin must enjoy, shall we say, the thrill of the chase, when it comes to buying and/or finding spare parts. It seems to help him get his mind off of his troubles and bring him back to a familiar place in his past. But is it really worth the risk? I guess so, but if I were him, I’d be going to RadioShack. Because seriously… did we mention the Manikons? Oh, and Anakin knew about that risk, what he didn’t see coming this particular evening was running into a certain acquaintance named Tru Veld.
Both Padawans wanted that motivator. Jedi are good at negotiating, buuuuuut they’re not exactly Jedi yet… so it could’ve gotten ugly. Enter the Manikons. Ah, nothing brings people together like a battle when you both have the same enemy and both have each other’s back! This is… one way to start a friendship; I don’t recommend it all the time, but in Star Wars, it’s never a problem. Anakin and Tru work well together in the long run, put up a good fight, and make it back to the Temple alive, with an agreement worked out and a better understanding of the other boy. Now, if Anakin can just get things on track with his future best friend/current Master… by the time they get back, Obi-Wan has some questions for them…
All that aside, the next day dawns with a new mission. And it’s a mission for the record books, from the looks of it as we get four POWER PAIRINGS of Masters and Padawans! I love that this book introduces such a nice number of newbies. I’ll chat more about the Jedi and Padawans in a bit. Their mission will send them to the planet Radnor to two cities, one desolated by a horrible toxin (That would be Aubendo) and the other in mortal fear of being desolated by said toxin (Better known as Tacto). Whoa, did this paragraph just get darker at the mention of this mission? Yup it did. This is kinda serious, you can tell.
So, I think it’d be worth taking a minute to get acquainted with the Padawans. You already know Anakin, but to break it down in my own words…
We have Tru Veld: Silver-skinned, silver-eyed Teevan. Super-flexible, looks mostly human, into mechanics like Anakin, very thoughtful. Padawan of Master Ry-Gaul, makes up second half of what I call TEAM GOLDEN (Called such because Ry-Gaul’s not much for talking, that and Tru is silver, so you can probably dig up my goofy puns easily). Also always has candy in his pocket πŸ™‚
Next we have Darra Thel-Tanis: Blonde, brown-eyed human girl. Amiable, energetic, and the voice of reason in a sea of young men. Padawan of Soara Antana, makes up second half of TEAM TUFFSTUFF (Dumb name, I know, but it works considering the intensity and focus that Soara brings to the table and the spark of energy that Darra is).
Then there’s Ferus Olin: Blonde-streaked brown-haired human guy. A couple years older than the others, extremely skilled, extremely smart, and the most popular youngling in the Temple. Padawan of Siri, makes up second half of TEAM FLAT-OUT AWESOME (Named of course in the fact that Siri is flat-out awesome and everyone thinks Ferus is considered flat-out awesome by almost everyone. More on that later).
We got that out of the way? Good. Moving on! Btw, there’ll be a quiz at the end of the post. LOL JK not really; don’t panic…
So to try and make this blog shorter than the last one, in a nutshell, Radnoran scientists Galen and Curi are in charge, each of the opposite sectors, and they both have some problems they could use a Jedi’s helping hand in. And both of those problems end up separating the Masters from their Padawans in the opposite sectors with their communication cut off. So this is where the story really kicks into gear as we swap back and forth between the first half to the second half. The Masters find themselves on a hunt for the toxin’s cure and the Padawans set out to keep the peace. And both of their journeys take some unexpected detours. Before getting into that, let me brief you on the other three Masters…
First up we have Ry-Gaul: Wise, thoughtful, fairly quiet, easily gains respect. First half of TEAM GOLDEN (You get it now? Because silence is golden? OK I know when I’m not funny…)
Next, Soara Antara: Focused, tough, blunt, strong, and supremely epic with a lightsaber. Has a good heart under all that stoic-ness. First half of TEAM TUFFSTUFF.
Then there’s the ever-awesome Siri: Short blonde hair, blue-eyed. Agile, a leader, quick-witted, not as much of a by-the-book Jedi as she used to be, excellent pilot, apparently a marvelous actor (You remember her from The Path To Truth, right?). First half of TEAM FLAT-OUT AWESOME (And she truly puts the “flat-out awesome” in TEAM FLAT-OUT AWESOME).
So then, while the Jedi continue their “walk toward death” (Dang, that’s a pretty extreme way to end a chapter, Ms. Watson, especially considering none of them die…) and find themselves questioning whether the toxin was truly an accident, the Padawans found themselves in a nest of raiders. Which leads from one thing to the next, and soon, the Padawans too start to wonder the same as their Masters. But perhaps the youth could work better together if it weren’t for the all-too-obvious friction between Anakin and Ferus. At their first battle earlier, Ferus acted like he had everything under control and no one else did — and that did not sit well with Anakin. And since then, Anakin hasn’t been overly fond of the “It” Padawan at. all. It doesn’t help that generally Tru and Darra are cool with whatever Ferus thinks, making Anakin somewhat of an outsider. Ferus seems to, despite being known for his overall awesome attitude, have trouble not being a jerk. It’s hard to say whether Ferus really is a snob or if Anakin’s just not enjoying being looked down on by him. Even if young Olin is somewhat likeable, I don’t see much admirable about him despite he’s calm, cool, and smart; you could say that it’s just Anakin’s point of view that makes it difficult to like him, but IDK… I’m very interested to see how this rivalry between the two will unfold as the series progresses, which will hopefully expose Ferus’ true colors (of course, he might be genuine and I’ll feel like a total idiot for assuming bad of him, but I don’t think it’s all that likely). Thankfully, it’s Anakin’s growing friendship with Tru that helps keep him level-headed. I love how the two think so much alike they literally finish each other’s sentences and thoughts. Plus, Tru seems to be really good at smoothing out Anakin’s frustration with Ferus, even if those two never really become friends. Tru’s just awesome. It’s as simple as that πŸ˜€
On the other side, the Jedi keep uncovering more and more proof that the toxin is a cover of sorts for an invasion. And it naturally leads to some near misses. For example: Obi-Wan and Siri’s near escape from an Avoni ship loaded with prototype battle droids. Never a dull moment, am I right? And then the discovery that the toxin died off, and then… the unearthing of betrayal… (Watch that Galen, people)
Which is exactly why the Padawans are the next ones to come to action (after, of course, Anakin and Ferus stop arguing for the moment).
Also, before we get on with the thrilling climax and the conclusion, I just have to make note of this quote from Siri. It’s awesome.
“When do I ever seem worried? I just hide it better than you, that’s all.” – Siri, to Obi-Wan. Remember how I referenced a similar TCW line in the last post? One that Obi-Wan said in Blue Shadow Virus?? Heh heh… and he was the one commenting on why she didn’t seem worried about their plan! Sorry guys that was just too awesome not to bring up πŸ™‚ And even further into their conversation, it’s interesting to reveal that Siri has just the same concerns for her oh-so-perfect Ferus as Obi-Wan has for Anakin. While I’m interested in seeing what continues to happen with Anakin and Ferus, I very much look forward to also seeing more out of the fantastic duo that is Obi-Wan and Siri.
Anddddd then there was a MTT above the Masters’ heads… uh-oh.
I won’t bore you with all the mundane details of how the Jedi nearly got killed, trapped in a canyon, and almost were rampaged by a new dangerous variety of battle droids. OK, I’m kidding it so wasn’t mundane, but I don’t want to spoil it all in case you haven’t read The Way Of The Apprentice in a while. And you know, Anakin and Tru snuck aboard a MTT in an attempt to rescue their Masters. And how finally, for just that minute, young Skywalker and young Olin agreed on something! (Btw, Happy Anakin And Ferus Actually Agreed Day! πŸ˜€ ) And while working together with Tru, Anakin gained a deeper understanding of fighting together instead of fighting for oneself (CONGRATS! Give the boy a big ol’ slice of humble pie!).
Oh, and the Padawans saved their Masters in spectacular fashion. That too. Anakin and Tru broke through solid rock in that MTT! I kid you not!
And thus, the invasion failed, Galen got busted, got a few choice words from Curi, and Radnor now has a chance. And when I say Galen got some “choice words”, I mean some real CHOICE. WORDS. Curi accused him of nothing but the truth, and it had to hurt like crazy, but it was true. Obi-Wan really summed it up for our little traitor friend;
“Your planet is in ruins. Your family is destroyed. Thousands are dead. And still you blame others. You have not learned anything.” Remember what Siri said in the last book about Obi-Wan always saying the truth when you least wanted to hear it? So Galen didn’t learn anything, but did Anakin? Yes… mostly, from what we see, it was more of Tru than it was Ferus who taught him the “working together” thing. So Anakin did learn something right? Leave it to Ferus to yet again play Mr. Perfect. He accused Anakin of lying, among saying some other harsh-sounding things! Now, I know that really and truly Anakin wasn’t entirely right, I mean, we know where Anakin ends up in another twenty years, but Ferus… he wasn’t entirely right either! I honestly am pretty mad at him; I get Anakin in this situation. But I have to remember that neither side is all right or all wrong. I don’t know where these stories will go (especially considering that the second Jedi Quest book at my library should’ve been returned years ago and I won’t be able to read it unless I get a copy from another library), but I wholeheartedly look forward to where they take me. The Way Of The Apprentice is a great, five-star book that continues to fill us in on this lesser-known SW era.
So, until next week, when we’ll crack open another SW Summer Read!
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

SW Summer Reads – Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth

If you’re wondering why there hasn’t been a blog in a while… I suppose you can blame it on all these crazy SW-related happenings happening on a day-to-day basis. Between rewatching TCW episodes I haven’t seen in forever, finally seeing The Ewok Adventures movies, and all this crazy exciting new SW news in general (including a rumored Clone Wars Soundtrack… aw yeahhhh!), it’s been difficult to figure exactly what to blog about! And by the time I finally got to rereading the book I’m blogging about, writing notes about it, and getting all prepped to make a post, I just had to catch a cold! 😦 Sigh… such is life oftentimes, but now at last I’ve got my creativity regained (I usually lose some of it when I get the sniffles and have to wait until I’m well again to get it back; To make it clearer, I stink at writing and drawing when I’m sick) and everything ready to make a fantastic new blog!
So, to explain this new series of posts I’m calling Star Wars Summer Reads…
As a SW fan, I love reading SW stories. Love ’em. After I finally got acquainted with the Prequel Trilogy in 2011, I was excited to read some SW fiction for realsies, because after all, watching Episode I alone helped me understand and have a greater appreciation for the Originals. But well, there’s something rather intimidating about the section of Timothy Zahn novels at my library… I didn’t know where to begin! To me personally, I prefer SW stories that involve the characters I’m familiar with in timelines I’m familiar with, that mainly feature the good guys and keep them good guys (I’ll be honest, folks, there’s small chance I’ll ever read Dark Empire), and are legit Star Wars without being confusing (as I am still a Padawan SW fan). So I found the best place for me to start was in my library’s children’s section. Not saying I’ll never read the “grown-up” SW novels (especially considering that I really want to meet this Mara Jade I’ve heard so much about), but for now, this is where my comfort zone lies. Anyway, my library have two shelves of just their SW young readers’ fiction… and I just ate. it. up! That day, a few weeks past seeing Episode I, I grabbed ahold of Grievous Attacks (a novelization of TCW Season 1 episodes Rookies, The “Droid” 2-Parter, and Lair of Grievous) and Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth. Since then, I have enjoyed three particular series: Jude Watson’s Jedi Quest, Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince, and Ryder Windham’s The Clone Wars: Secret Missions. I thought it’d be fun to give you guys a Closer Look and my thoughts on each series’ first book. So now if you haven’t read them, you can read them and then read the following blogs and enjoy my random ramblings and spazzings on each. I’ll eventually get to the other chapters in each series, but until then, you can enjoy the ride! I’m writing a Closer Look on each of these books in chronological order of its happening in the SW galaxy, so it makes sense to start off with the series that meets in between Episodes I and II. Now, making the jump to LIGHT READ!
Ugh that was terrible… I’m sorry… (HyperCollinsSpace?) AGAIN. I’m SORRY. I’ve got too many SW reading puns… just you wait until Star Wars Reads Day! If you’re not annoyed now, you will be… πŸ˜›
Grievous Attacks was the first SW book I ever read, (I hadn’t really seen much of TCW at the time but I knew enough to feel comfortable reading it) but as for Jedi Quest… that was the first SW fiction I ever read! Rereading this past week has been fun, especially considering I barely remembered what happened in it. Bottom line, when I first read Jedi Quest, it was right around a difficult couple of days in my life and I barely remembered the book itself. Plus, it’s been over two years, so it was overdue for a reread anywayz.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth, and various TCW Episodes Blue Shadow Virus, Deception, The Gathering (and the episodes that follow), Revenge, and The Lawless.
Cover Art of Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth
Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth, is written by the awesome Jude Watson and is the kickstarter for her Jedi Quest series. The Path To Truth is sort of the #0, as it precedes the events of the following series and can be read separately from the rest of the series, so it’s simply referred to as Jedi Quest on the cover. Just don’t want us get confused when I do my next blog on the actual series’ first chapter. Upon rereading this book, I was shocked that I had forgotten so much of this story’s intense fights, daring escapes, and raw emotions! At the time I’d first read it, I had only just seen Episode I, so it was a perfect bridge to seeing Episode II several months later. Ms. Watson has some serious skills when it comes to writing; the way she gets into the minds of Obi-Wan and Anakin is astounding… so if you haven’t read this yet, go and read it! It’s nothing new (in fact, it was written a year prior to Episode II’s release, 2001), so you shouldn’t have too much trouble digging it out of your library. But still, it’s so so worthwhile!
The story opens in a pretty planet-shaking flashback of a younger Anakin on what began as a perfect day on Tatooine. Perfect weather, no work, and a picnic with a friend… what could possibly go wrong, right?? Well, as any SW fan knows, peace and perfection will often be interrupted by something like war, battles, bounty hunters, explosions, etc… in this case, it was a very sad thing as Anakin’s community was hit by a slave trader named Krayn (using the term “slave trader” loosely here; the guy’s horrible! But you knew that). My heart breaks for dear little Anakin as he sees his friend lose a parent and his mom in mortal fear. Poor kid… it’s hard to ignore what exactly shaped his life. Give us about six years later, and the tides have shifted; Anakin’s a Jedi Padawan and he’s helping Obi-Wan drive through… Illum, of all places. It’s funny to think that Anakin’s only twelve and may I repeat HE’S DRIVING?! Not all the way of course, but dang. How must it feel for Obi-Wan here to admit that his very young apprentice can drive better than he can? XD
It’s like poetry reading what Ms. Watson wrote from Master Kenobi’s point of view. You see this side of Obi-Wan that we don’t see a whole lot; a more vulnerable, caring side. Not that he doesn’t ever come off as such (Anakin to Obi-Wan: “How can you be so calm?!” “I’m not; I just hide it better” – TCW Season 1 episode Blue Shadow Virus), but as my theory still states, a part of him is trying to be a “perfect Jedi” after all of the mistakes he’s made in his youth and his standing as the likely youngest Jedi to have a Padawan, so of course he sticks to his “focused Jedi” guns. This book, and the other Jedi Quest books to follow, give us a lot of time to see into this awesome guy’s heart and soul. And being a huge fan of Obi-Wan, it’s TOO MUCH AWESOME!! X3 It’s really something seeing the way these two work together, especially as what started out as a lightsaber-building excursion became an intense near-death fight with a herd of vicious gorogodons (don’t you just love when stuff like this happens?! πŸ˜› )! I think to call the battle “nail-biting” would be the understatement of the century (I don’t know how it is but I spent a whole lot of reading this book crying, gasping, and spazzing); I mean, Anakin was knocked off his feet for a long enough time for us to figure that Obi-Wan, who was already in over his head, was a goner. And then, sweet victory, Anakin makes his move at just the right moment and they both lived! Gosh, that was scary! OK OK we’re moving on from all that drama. Can you believe that it’s only been a couple chapters at this point??
So as you know, this is how Anakin made his lightsaber. It’s always interesting to note how many different ways I’ve seen lightsabers made… some make ’em hands-free (Barris Offee in the Clone Wars miniseries), some make them with friends and a cool droid (the younglings in TCW Season 5), and some just buy a SW Science Lightsaber kit from Toys R Us (that’d be me) πŸ™‚
My guess is that methods changed after the Clone Wars started so they could get it done faster, but IDK. This method is one I’m not entirely crazy about… it’s a pretty frightening, rattling experience from what this book exposes (and btw, this was one of the first ideas about this, as Illum and the lightsaber-making process are never seen in the movies). I never said it was easy, but this whole “shadows and visions” thing… that makes it a smidge harder. This particular chapter in the book was one of the hardest to read as it hits really hard emotionally, but its being deeply emotional is one of the things that make it such a great chapter despite its sadness. Obi-Wan’s vision is so heart-wrenching to read… this is one of those parts I really teared up reading. His vision was a repeat of Qui-Gon’s death. Ouch. No Maul involved, just the feeling of helplessness as Obi-Wan once again can’t do anything to help his dear master. And the vision repeats itself until it brings Obi-Wan to his knees in tears (you read that right: tears), even more so as the vision has some sort of message in it that our awesome Jedi can’t decipher. Exposing this side of Master Kenobi, like I said before, is one of the best things about the Jedi Quest series. But boy, is it hard to not get caught up in the emotion of the moment.
On the other hand, Anakin had two disturbing visions: one involving his mom getting kicked around by Krayn and another where he faced… Darth Maul. Obviously, the first vision is both heartbreaking and infuriating as images Anakin had tried to forget resurface in his mind, and young Skywalker takes it about as well as he um… usually does when someone hurts someone he loves (which isn’t very good, and especially not the case when he’s a Padawan). And while I could ponder on this vision and Obi-Wan’s for weeks and still wonder about their affect on the duo’s lives, the second one really deserves some conversation. When I read this first time around, the whole “Darth Maul returns” TCW episodes hadn’t aired yet; in fact, it was entirely unknown to me at the time. So the fact that Maul is not only challenging Anakin, but he’s doing a lot of talking, is absolutely surreal. I was all “When did Maul get so chatty??” Looking back, I’m quite shocked how accurate his dialogue is as compared to say, Maul’s disgusting taunting of Obi-Wan back on TCW Season 5’s The Lawless. And back when this book was written, it was still assumed that Maul was dead. Maul’s going on and on about how awesome Anakin would be in the Dark Side, and somehow Anakin managed to win this battle… for now, as Maul makes it clear that the little dark part of Anakin will always be there. Yikes. It’s certainly not the last future-foretelling vision Anakin would have, but it doesn’t make it any less of a harsh reminder. Creepier still, the lightsaber Anakin made seemed to be a gift from our Dathymir friend, just Anakin got a blue blade instead of the red one that Maul offered up in the vision. Again, yikes… how it is that Obi-Wan and Anakin just walked out of the Crystal Cave like nothing happened?! I guess the fact that they had themselves called for a mission before they even left the Cave.
It’d be worthwhile to take a minute and mention something I’d thought about as the duo gets their mission from the Council. Man, the reputation these guys must have around the Jedi Temple! Anakin being mostly distrusted and doubted and Obi-Wan being so young and all… the briefing went well in the long run, but it wasn’t without some serious awkwardness. Of course, that’s what comes from the fact that this mission involves one of Anakin’s least favorite people, Krayn. Obi-Wan sorta thought for ten seconds that maybe his Padawan wasn’t the one for the job, Anakin totes didn’t agree (that awkward moment when a Jedi Padawan speaks up entirely out-of-turn in the Jedi Council; see also Ahsoka Tano) and Obi-Wan had to backtrack his thoughts and try to pretend he didn’t say that. Boy, that’s a sour way to kickstart a mission. That and having to ride in a lovely, cramped, boxy Collicoid ship. Sounds like a lot of fun, right? Don’t worry, it gets better. So, the ride begins and Obi-Wan has to take some time to reassure Anakin that he still trusts his abilities. You see through Obi-Wan’s thought process that it truly isn’t easy being a Jedi Master, nor is it easy living up Qui-Gon’s legacy. But the obvious (dare I say it) love he has for Anakin and for Qui-Gon is a constant motivator despite the difficulties.
We also learn a few intriguing things from Master Kenobi… a) he was once temporarily suspended from the Jedi Order at 13 (WHUT?!), b) Qui-Gon had a Padawan prior to him, Xanatos, who turned to the Dark Side, and c) An old Jedi friend of Obi-Wan’s has switched sides and is working for Krayn. I still don’t know all the deets on the first two, but the third one we’ll get into soon. Because thennnn Krayn ended up attacking the ship. You know how they say “be careful what you wish for”? Anakin’s learned the meaning of that one, big-time. Thankfully, the genius mind of Obi-Wan’s and the exceptional abilities of Anakin are on it. This is where the fun begins…
It would’ve been a much shorter, less complicated mission if Anakin hadn’t decided to go face Krayn… but I suppose it would’ve been a much shorter book then, too. Whyyyy do Padawans do this?? They just go off thinking they can fight anybody and then they get into trouble and their Master has to get them out of it! Of course, it’s not worth complaining about, but I was certainly ranting that right after Anakin did as such.
The trouble wasn’t Krayn this time, it was a girl named Zora. Obi-Wan knew her better as Siri; Adi Gallia’s Padawan and one of his best friends. She kidnaps Anakin, Obi-Wan outs her for leaving the Jedi Order, Siri fires back her distaste for the Jedi, and Anakin’s all “Master, could you just reprimand her over the internet and, I don’t know, consider SAVING ME?!”. #Awkward
So when one misplaces their Padawan and starts suspecting the Collicoids, it’s best to dig up some info, and Obi-Wan is especially good at digging up info. Somehow, he does a lot of it at eateries. We all know about Dex’s Diner in Episode II, but prior to that, he stopped at Didi and Astri’s CafΓ©. I love how Obi-Wan has so many awesome friends here and there and everywhere. We get the chance to meet Didi, a guy who initiated an unexpected mission for Qui-Gon a while back (uh yes, he is a guy despite the name), and his daughter Astri. What could be a better combo? Good food, good friends, and some good information delivered on the side πŸ™‚ Oh, and free hugs! You’ll need ’em if the tip from your friend takes you to the seedy Coruscant underworld.
So getting back to that whole “Zora/Siri” thing… Obi-Wan, after some thought, believes now that she wouldn’tve abandoned the Jedi, and the Council proves his assumption to be true. Siri was indeed part of a mission spying on Krayn by masquerading as a pirate. Remember that Obi-Wan/Rako Hardeen craziness back in TCW Season 4? I get why the Jedi do things like this, but these are both situations when faking your death or pretending to go rogue don’t sit well with those left out of the plan. I for one was super happy that Siri was still a good guy; see, I somehow totally forgot her role in this book, but I remembered her better in her role in the first book of the Jedi Quest series The Way of The Apprentice from reading it for the first time last year, where she was a really cool, strong, and dedicated Jedi. So when I first read the stuff about Zora being Siri once, I had to question “Is this the same girl?!” She is, but she’d never truly been a bad girl to start with. Thank goodness… Siri is truthfully one of my fave SW fiction characters.
And what about poor Anakin? Yes, Siri is protecting him, but he’s also a slave in the Nar Shadaa spice mines. Under Krayn and his droids. A slave… again… that stinks beyond belief. The excellent description makes this terrible world a reality to the reader. But despite the horribleness of the situation, Anakin brings a little hope and an unexpected helping hand to the slaves around him, one of those being a Twi’lek woman named Mazie… and she was kind of a jerk to him! But that shouldn’t surprise us too much, considering what Shmi said about how generous and kind to others Anakin is in Episode I. In the long run, they become good friends. All the while, Anakin still holds out for his Master to rescue him
Not too far away, that’s what his Master intends to do, and he’s going to do so disguised as a slave trader. And he might also fight a wookiee henchman along the way (letting the wookiee win is out of the question; if he wins, Obi-Wan loses).
Meanwhile, despite getting into their own brand of hot water, unexpected friends Anakin and Siri have their own rescue to perform: that of Krayn’s slaves. I love how they mesh together; while some of Obi-Wan’s wisdom has rubbed off on her, Siri still maintains an understanding of both the awesomeness and frustration of working with him, in a way that relates well with Anakin. She has a good sense of wit and sarcasm amidst the insanity of it all.
“…He has this habit of telling you the truth just when you don’t want to hear it.” – Siri, on Obi-Wan in this chapter. That’s so true XD
So as they put their heads together to escape their cell, meet up with Master Kenobi, and free the slaves, it’s plain and evident they’re fast friends and work together awesomely, just as it seems was the case for Siri and Obi-Wan not too long ago.
Now, with the plan falling perfectly into place, you’d think everything would stay that way, right? But somehow, we find Krayn and Anakin staring each other down, and this time around, Anakin’s got his lightsaber. Hoo boy… this will get ugly… throughout the fight Anakin is fighting with himself as to why he’s doing this – for himself in anger or for others in justice. I mean, I’m personally glad he managed to defeat Krayn, but I do have to wonder if Anakin truly did the right thing. Anakin pushed away any thought that what he was doing was wrong with the thoughts that this was justice. But is his definition of justice correct? I myself am not entirely sure. D’oh, my head always hurts when I start going on these “Was this character truly right or wrong?” thoughts. I mean, we all know where Anakin ends up in the long long run in the SW universe and this had to have had an effect, but has Anakin always been wrong in his defeating of truly terrible villains? It’s worth some more thinking, but not right now.
It’s oftentimes a little jarring to have such a dark moment followed shortly by a light, victorious, satisfactory ending. Siri’s back to where she should be, the galaxy’s rid of Krayn, a ton of slaves are free, and the awesome threesome that is Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Siri are heading back to Coruscant in class and comfort by Senatorial escort. Even a sweet farewell between Anakin and Mazie. All is well for the moment. Yet we’re left with some concern from Obi-Wan, but he reassures himself he’ll continue to do his best to make a true Jedi out of his Padawan.
So of course, there had to be a whole series to follow this story, to tell more pre-Clone Wars tales of a younger Anakin Skywalker becoming a Jedi. Despite it may come off a tad dark in parts, Jedi Quest is an awesome awesome 5-star book and it remains a favorite of mine (even if all the SW books I’ve read have become favorites). And now you’ve managed to read through my longest blog to date, so that’s cool. So you can get excited for the next SW Summer Reads blog next week! Yayyyyy πŸ™‚ Until then…
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight