Following The Freemakers: The Maker Of Zoh

Since the Ghost crew took last Saturday off, you know what that means… it’s back to the Freemakers! And the episode we’re digging into today just so happens to be one of my favorites (even though they’re all my favorites), The Maker Of Zoh! Grab a hot cup of motor oil kaffe and read on!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from The Clone Wars “Siege Of Mandalore” arc, Rebels episode Twilight Of The Apprentice, The Yoda Chronicles, The New Yoda Chronicles, and Freemakers episodes Crossing Paths, The Test, The Kyber Saber Crystal Chase, and The Maker Of Zoh

Things have been pretty tough for the Freemaker fam these last couple days. A certain dark side-wielding Imperial is to blame. But perhaps things might not’ve been so difficult had they known R0-GR’s transmission pack had a tracking device the whole time. Roger knew about it but never considered it might have been the source of Naare’s constant one-step-aheading. Unfortunately this discovery is too late to make much of a difference — the last crystal’s on Hoth and Naare already knows this. So it’s either the Freemakers go to Hoth and she kills them or they don’t go and she finds the crystal and the Emperor kills everyone. But there is a third option, and it’s on Zoh. Rowan recalls what Maz Kanata told him about this person they could go to when things got desperate, and I’d say this whole situation qualifies. The uninhabited trash planet doesn’t sound promising, but hey, it’s not Hoth! That’s already a win! Oh, we’re off to see the Maker, the wonderful Maker of Zoh! *shot*
At first glance, Zoh isn’t terribly spectacular, but as they land the StarScavenger, the Freemakers come upon a fascinating array of massive, eclectic, but incredible scrap sculptures towering above them. The rest of the crew’s not sure what to make of it, but Rowan’s got a good feeling about this… which doesn’t last long when suddenly droids rise from the mechanical refuse. Lots of droids, from super battle droids to astromechs to pit droids and all the others I can’t rightly name. And they don’t like the Freemakers’ presence here. Zander sends Roger out to speak to them, but the instant their skeptical leader eyes the battle droid’s dismembered transmission pack, everydroid and their brother pulls out their weapons on the humans. Surely they would’ve made quick work of the family… had a voice not commanded them to cease their fighting… a voice I felt I recognized from somewhere but wasn’t sure where. With a wave of his hand, the mysterious figure disassembles the boulder of scrap metal that nearly was used on Rowan. The being must be Force-sensitive, but I still couldn’t place who this was. But then his left hand… it glows blue with the pure power of four kyber crystals. I squee-gasped with surprise: IT’S JEK-14. JEK is the one these droids address as The Maker. Oh my gosh you guys this made me so insanely happy I could hardly breathe! Considering how close-to-canon The Freemaker Adventures is, I wasn’t sure if the events of previous Lego SW specials were canon in this near-canon-ness. OK I’m not sure that made sense. What I mean is, one of the things that stands out most about TFA compared to previous Lego SW is that they strive to keep it as true to Star Wars as it gets, with the exception of some fun Lego stuff here and there. The older ones weren’t bad or any less fun by any means, they just mostly kept it light and played around with a lot of jokes that don’t quite quite fit the canon. Because of this, I wasn’t sure if they would consider both The Yoda Chronicles and The Freemaker Adventures in the same boat. I mean, I always kinda did, as I consider most Lego SW stories canon and take it all as seriously as the rest of SW. But whatever the case, they brought JEK-14 back and in the most amazing way. Anyway, JEK apologizes to the Freemakers for his overprotective shootystabbycrushy friends. Bossdroid N-3RO argues he has a right to overreact, looking at the lightsaber wound on one of the super battles, but JEK gets mouse droid Fixer right on it. The old clone gives the young scavengers full reign to take whatever scrap they need, but it’s not scrap they need, it’s help. And seeing how The Maker is a Forcewielder, Rowan believes he can help him with his Jedi training. But that’s exactly what JEK doesn’t want to do. “But the fate of the galaxy is at state!” “That’s what they all say… ‘One last battle to end all battles’, but there’s always another.” OK this just got so deep and so real I can’t even.
Let’s talk a brief history of JEK-14 for a minute or two. JEK-14 began life as a full-grown clone trooper, enhanced by kyber crystals and intended as a Separatist weapon by Darth Sidious. His first words were “I am ready to fight… for the Sith”, and without question he used his own brand of Force lightning on Jedi masters Mace Windu and Yoda. However, when commanded to actually kill Yoda, he couldn’t do it. Both the Jedi and the Separatists wanted JEK on their sides, but JEK refused, and the Force-sensitive clone fled for Hoth, where he found solace in using the Force to build works of art. However, the Separatists found him and cloned his Forcewielding self until he was barely alive. Miraculously, JEK-14 fought back and destroyed the dark side clones. Ultimately he chose to leave on a peaceful note, but intent on never again getting involved with the war. He went from there to Endor, where he helped build things for the ewok community. When the Jedi needed help, they sought him out, and it was only the kindness and innocence of Yoda’s padawans that convinced him to do so. In fact, had he not had such good relations with the younglings, far worse things might’ve happened. Some years later at the end of the Clone Wars, Yoda’s padawans convinced him to come back and help them get back the holocrons from the Jedi Temple. I don’t know for sure what he was doing in the time in between, but as I noticed watching this episode, the decorative clasp on his outfit has the Mandalorian beast-skull icon on it. Hehe I was actually right when I surmised he might’ve gone there! He clearly spent some time one what he assumed was a peaceful world, probably to be highly disappointed when the Siege of Mandalore occurred right before the war’s end. It was thanks to him that the Jedi made it safely offworld, and with the holocrons that Obi-Wan intended to use to train Luke someday. JEK spent the next 20 years in peace on Naboo before Yoda summoned him to Tatooine, where he would briefly join the fight against the Empire. He helped the Alliance for some time, before finally leaving them likely after they established their base on Hoth. And now, he’s made a home on Zoh, where he has all the building material he could ever want, all the friends he could ever need, and no one on his doorstep asking him to fight their battles. Until now. It’s only when Rowan explains how the Sith used him that JEK puts his pride and hurt behind him. Because once upon a time, the clone was used the same way. He’s not a Jedi, but he decides he will teach Rowan everything he knows about the Force. The Freemakers’ll be hanging out here for a while looks like. But N-3… bro’s not a fan…
Meanwhile, Graballa’s fleet was waiting outside Hoth. And waiting… and waiting… and waiting some more. Naare knows they’ll come. Graballa, however, is bored out of his mind. Both get slightly more than they bargained for though when their bosses come on the holo. Naare and Graballa are two very different varieties of scum and villainy, but the one thing they both have in common is that, for all their scum and villainy, they’re still pretty low on the food chain. Jabba doesn’t approve of his cousin’s latest harebrained scheme and Sidious is (as per usual) quickly running out of patience waiting for that Kyber Saber. Unsurprisingly, both Hutt and Imperial Agent are unsuccessful in convincing their higher-ups of their plans. We’re reminded in this scene that there are greater evils at work here and it’s terrifying. I do find it interesting that Naare approaches the Emperor this time not irritated or angry, but honestly kind of… afraid. Many times before, she’s addressed him with a prideful confidence we often see in second-rate darksiders, but it’s almost as though something happened recently to shake that foundation a little. Perhaps Sidious did something to remind her of her place, and what consequences await her if she fails. Maybe I’m reading into this too much, but if you’ve been reading these TFA posts for any length of time, you know I do a lot of that. But can you blame me? They are telling great stories here and I’m super curious about the things left unstated! But yah she feels ya, Graballa.
Watching JEK-14 training Rowan is basically one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my life. Like seriously. JEK has always been amazing with kids, and seeing him teaching his understanding of the Force to Rowan his just… wow. It’s something real special. I love his angle on the Force: the dark side destroys, but the light side creates. It’s a really great unique angle that feels appropriately Lego but also perfectly Star Wars. A very tangible point of view that perhaps no other Jedi master could offer… one that could only be explained by a Force-sensitive clone trooper who desired only to create. And perhaps someday Rowan will take these lessons and impart them on another young Forcewielder. FEELS FEELS FEEEEELS. Buuuuut again… N-3 is not a fan. The bossdroid’s convinced that The Maker might join the Freemakers and leave them if something’s not done. And if he leaves, they’ll be back to being useless, purposeless scrap. That does bring up a good question: do they truly see JEK as their friend and simply don’t want him to leave, or are they concerned mostly about being purposeless? Or are they concerned that, without The Maker, they will be have no one to protect them from any scavenger looking for a few spare parts? Or maybe it has something to do with him being “The Maker”, in that to the droids, he’s kind of a deity. IDK Maybe I missed something but any way you spin it it’s an interesting thought. N-3 is a very very desperate droid… and also very very convincing.
Elsewhere, Zander and Kordi hadn’t had much luck salvaging. Not a useful piece of junk in sight, it seems. Roger was trying to help, but after nearly crushing them with a toppled junk sculpture, the sibs give him the slip. It’s then when N-3RO makes his move, inviting his fellow “unappreciated” droid brother for a nice long oil bath. N-3 suggests that, perhaps, the battle droid should remain on Zoh, in paradise, away from ungrateful, uncaring masters who’d eventually scrap him. R0-GR won’t allow himself to believe the Freemakers would ever do such a thing, but considering recent events, there’s perhaps a niggling of doubt. Oh poor sweet Rogerrrr… 😦 Whatever the case, N-3RO’s got other plans for Roger’s masters… plans like leading Zander and Kordi into a trap.
So Rowan’s lessons were going quite well, thanks to JEK, he was able to construct a perfect speederbike out of spare parts. Which, true to his nature, Ro immediately hopped on and rode off. With a smile, JEK-14 follows on his own construction. Again AHHH I LOVE THIS. If Luke doesn’t become his official master then JEK totally should! It’s a good thing Rowan and JEK went for a ride, though, because they soon found Kordi and Zander chained up with a half a TIE hovering above their heads. N-3R0 insists that these trespassers have corrupted The Maker’s mind and that he’s doing the right thing by destroying them. Rowan expertly puts together a crate to shield them and attaches it to the speeders to get them to safety. Now if he and his master can stop the revolt without destroying the droids or getting killed themselves, it’llve been a good day! The two hold their own really well for a while, but when Rowan gets captured and JEK in turn lets his guard down, the droids get the better of them all. Roger returns from his oil bath to find his masters surrounded at all ends as N-3 has decided to “deactivate” them all, including JEK, who he now considers “beyond saving” O.O The bossdroid promises Roger complete freedom once the humans are out of the way. However, the old clanker’s come to a different conclusion. N-3 tried to convince him that the Freemakers’ frustration with him would ultimately end in a garbage disposal, but Roger has no doubts where he stands with his masters, because they’re not just masters, they’re family. In families, people make mistakes, they get mad at each other, but temporary frustration doesn’t turn their bond into scrap; they forgive each other, they love each other, they fight for each other. He might be a droid, but first and foremost he’s a Freemaker. And he takes that transmission pack with the family insignia on it and puts it back on. Now those droids are gonna have a whole ‘nother problem to deal with. OK I’m sorry I botched that moment but it’s truly amazing how strongly Roger cares for his family. In the past, he’s had a tendency to come off a little… I hate to say “jerky”, so let’s just say… “highly opinionated” with the Freemakers’ decisions and ideas. Oh wait “self-centered” that was the word I was looking for! Yeah he sometimes comes off like he cares more about himself than the others, but in his heart he truly considers them family, and he loves them even if they sometimes get on his nerves and force him into dangerous adventures… and vice versa 🙂 But oh yeah now here comes Graballa’s ship! Nuts I wish I knew its name so I wouldn’t have to keep calling it just “Graballa’s ship”. In the midst of the chaos, the Freemakers are able to make their escape. JEK remains behind to protect the droids, even after all they’ve done. But that’s not the last noble thing he’ll be doing today. Just as the Freemakers got out of the frying pan, they walked into the fryer as Naare pulled her red-blade out on them. Rowan was ready to take her on, whatever it took, but JEK-14 stood between them, urging Rowan and his family to go on. Oh man I’m getting all teary-eyed writing this. As Naare addressed him as the “failed experiment”, my respect for her dropped a few points. It’s an amazing duel though, as she fights with her lightsaber, while JEK fights with nothing but the pure Force running through his blood. He creates obstacles to throw in her way, but she just as easily tears these structures apart. Had this been a fair fight, I believe JEK was the stronger of the two, even without formal training. But it was not so… using every inch of darkness in her soul, Naare began to form a mountain of refuse around the clone. Rowan watched in horror as The Maker of Zoh was slowly buried in the scrap. Before going down, JEK called out to his apprentice “Trust in the Force. Be a builder, Rowan!” and I started bawling here, crying out “HE DONE PULLED AN ‘AHSOKA’!!” Because of JEK-14’s sacrifice, the StarScavenger was able to get offworld and away from their enemies’ grasp. Over the transmission pack, Rowan makes very clear to Naare that he will be getting that final fragment. JEK not only taught Rowan a new understanding of the Force, but I believe he’s also heavily inspired bravery in his apprentice, and in the rest of the Freemakers as well, in their most desperate hour.
On Zoh, a recently reconstructed N-3RO (post being blasted by Graballa’s fleet) wakes up to a world without The Maker… and also a restraining bolt because bro was well overdue for one of those. BL-OX now knows they never should’ve listened to him, as now, their master is no more. I started getting weepy again as I recalled all of the amazing things JEK had done and the incredible man he was. And then…
An arm shot out of the scrap.
The spark of the Force still electric in his veins, a blaze of pure Force shoots from his hand.
JEK LIVES.

So I basically drowned in feels the rest of the day. Happy feels that JEK is alive. Sad feels that Rowan believes he lost his friend. Nostalgia feels from seeing JEK again. Really all the feels. I so so much love this episode and, again, this series. It felt awesome writing about them again. And I certainly will soon! Whenever the Rebs go on hiatus I’ll bring some more Freemaker follow-ups until I hit the season finale! As long as I live and breathe I’m never gonna wanna stop talking about Star Wars 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Following The Freemakers: Race On Tatooine

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: Crossing Paths

OK now the Freemakers posts are back in full swing. At least until Rebels gets here anyway. Oh goodness I missed doing these! This post ought to be interesting as it’ll be written from the perspective of when I first saw it, so I’m not going to allude to anything that happens after this episode. So if you’re still behind a few episodes, the Force is with you! But either way, I’m excited to be bringing you a Closer Look commentary on Crossing Paths!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, and Freemakers episodes Zander’s Joyride and Crossing Paths

We open up on a slightly different side of the galaxy today as we find a team of Rebels pursued by TIEs. And two of those Rebels look awfully familiar… hmm. I was going to lead up to this with some poetic descriptions of the two but I’m so excited I can’t wait any longer IT’S LUKE AND LEIA!!! >W< I had no clue we'd run into such major players this early in, but oh it's so so wonderful seeing them again! And not only is Luke doing his fantastic piloting again, Leia's manning the aft guns! SHE'S BLASTING TIES IN A SPACE BATTLE!! Put that on the list of SW things I never knew I needed to see until I saw them! I mean, Leia is always awesome whatever she’s doing, she don’t got anything to prove. It’s just seeing her copiloting a Y-wing (and blasting TIEs) is so so utterly cool! I think we can all agree on that! Sorry for fangirling all over the place but it’s just one of the awesomest things in the whole episode. Anyway, a combination of clever maneuvers, a shortcut across a rocky asteroid, Leia’s firepower, and some assistance from Ben ultimately win the day for the Skywalker twins. But not without their Y-wing taking some damage… and their best bet is at The Wheel…
The Wheel is home to what some would call the “worst repair station in the galaxy”, but what I would call “the friendliest family-owned repair station in the galaxy”. Granted I’m very biased. Were I a regular citizen of the Galactic Empire, they probably wouldn’t be my first choice for repairs either though, since my knowledge of vehicles is limited and I’d probably be dumb and depend on which place had the best customer reviews as versus the most heart. It’s hard to say really for sure, but I probably should stop talking about me and get back to talking about the Freemakers, who just received a visit from our old friend Wic Cooper. Is it wrong that I was sorta hoping he’d died when he got stuck in space after his Z-wing blew up? Love him as a character, but as a person he’s kinda a jerk. Well I guess every SW baddie (or somewhat baddie-ish sort) deserves a shot at redemption. And then Wic called Zander a womp rat and I lost all respect for him again. Not to mention the fact he came back here just ’cause he likes messing with the starship-obsessed child. (well it also had something to do with a coupon but dang it he’s rich a coupon is just mean at this point!) But Kordi masterfully and professionally takes it all in stride.
Meanwhile, Naare is off on secret “Jedi business” and Rowan is absolutely thrilled at the very prospect of coming along. Rowan’s been doing a lot of growing up lately so it’s nice to see that he’s still got that excitable nature he had at the beginning. In his excitement Rowan shows Naare his Force skills and picks up a couple of bricks… right in front of Mr Cooper. Naare solves the problem with some mindtricking but again reminds her padawan to keep his abilities to himself. And with that she’s off to her “Jedi business”. At least after she barely avoids the Y-wing that crash-lands into the Freemakers’ hangar. Kordi’s cool with that though ’cause crash-landings usually need more… costly repairs. It’s impossible to keep the fangirl button on pause when we see Rowan and Kordi and Zander and Luke and Leia all in the same room. It’s downright amazing. And so begin the repairs as Rowan and Luke hunt down some spare parts in the Star Scavenger. But it seems Ro’s not the only one guarding some pretty big secrets when an Imperial feed goes out warning The Wheel’s residents of the dangerous rebel leaders who just arrived. Anyone else asking how they new? A few surviving TIE pilots? Naare took a glance back? I kinda don’t think it’d be the last one because she probably would’ve mentioned it to Vader and he’dve definitely made a big deal of it. Probably just a tracking device. That or Wic Cooper caught a glimpse of the Rebs and decided to ruin things. Also, “THEY MAY BE WEARING DISGUISES” *holo of Luke and Leia looking fabulous in fake ‘staches appears* XD XD Kordi is no longer interested in the money… at least until Leia adds five times the cost onto their already-high repair bill. Makes you wonder what would happen if an Imperial came by and offered five times that. Eh I betcha she wouldn’t take it. She’s into the money ultimately to protect her brothers and droid, she’s not going to fork over cash to someone who’d really cause them trouble. Oh and then here comes trouble! A graycoat and her posse of ‘troopers! Also yeah it’s very cool seeing a female Imperial out here. Just a nice change of pace. Did I mention though that Roger maaaaaaay have spilled motor oil all over the Star Scavenger‘s control panel? And in the process he inadverdently sent the ship off into hyperspace? Oooh boyyy. OK so now there’s one less Rebel in the hangar, but Zander and Kordi still have another to deal with… and she can’t hide in the trash bin forever. Especially when Imperial Bosslady points out the garbage incinerator. Luckily Leia has experience with avoiding refuse disposal-related injuries… even if an incinerator is totally different ballgame from a compactor. And then unluckily more stormtroopers come along. Aw crud.
With the door locked on them Luke and Rowan have no idea what R0-GR is up to, so Skywalker finally takes it into his own hands — with some assistance from the Force. Rowan is all O.O in a good way. And then Luke does it again to get ’em out of hyperspace, only then for his friend’s wise words about hyperspace travel safety to come back to mind as they pretty much crash head-on into Felucia. But in a magnificent flash of green, Skywalker carves out an escape route and gets him and Rowan to safety before the Star Scavenger hit the ground. Rowan is all-out fanboying at this point, and I do not blame him one bit. If only he wasn’t still sworn to secrecy regarding his own powers. Roger’s OK too, not that anybody cares XP
Elsewhere on The Wheel, Zander took care of their little buckethead problem with help from an old droid. “ZANDER FREEMAKER: SUPERSTAR HERO GUY!” Hehe I feel like I should start using a similar version of that line in everyday life, like “TWILIGHT545: SUPERSTAR HERO LAUNDRY DO-ER GIRL!” XD So while he dealt with them, Leia and Kordi headed for the turbolift to hide where the Imperials would never look — the Upper Ring. Only the richest get in there, and Leia, as the princess of Alderaan, qualifies. Kordi is kinda blown away by the notion this wealthy princess would put everything she has into the scrappy, small, works-hard-but-is-still-pretty-outgunned-in-most-cases Rebel Alliance. It sort of puts it into perspective for her that she’s done very little in the way of generous. I still believe her drive for credits still is rooted in a desire to protect her family, and that she’s still trying to do the right, selfless thing. But it’s also true that there’s still much they could do beyond themselves in a galaxy that’s just about falling apart. Anyone else want to go donate something now? Anyway yeeees that Upper Ring is indeed swanky. I mean, look at how much space there is! The Middle Ring is claustrophobic by comparison. Not to mention the free food. Kordi puts aside her thoughts on generosity for a while to focus on this glorious concept of “complimentary h’ors deurves”. They really do look seriously good. Probably wouldn’t be hard to recreate something similar in real life either. It’d be perfect for a party! And this has officially made me hungry now dangit. But oh look stormtroopers! So much for being safe here. In looking for a hiding place, the girls accidentally walk right on into Wic Cooper’s apartment. Oh joy.
Elsewhere on Coruscant, we finally catch up with Naare. And OMG I just realized this was Coruscant. Everything I just read in Tarkin is here! The fact the Emperor lives in the refurbished Jedi Temple, the way the city looks more industrial than artsy these days, everything! There’s something just fascinating to me about seeing the core’s capital in the OT era. Seeing it go from its bright grandeur in the Prequels to this sort of dark brooding melancholy under the Emperor’s rule is just really really cool. But that’s not the point. The Imperial agent’s here for a meeting with her bosses. Yikes I still can’t imagine working under their command, let alone attending a one-on-one with them. The Royal Guard offering kaffe isn’t so bad tho 🙂 Sidious takes it from a “standard performance review” to something a tad darker very quickly. I have imagined quite a bit of what might’ve been discussed. Probably a few “if you can’t do it, we’ll find someone who can!” sort of comments from the Darths. I believe Naare is driven mainly by a desire for power, and her dependence on Rowan’s crystal-sensing, and her powerlessness to control that or do something similar, is beyond aggravating. So having her bosses bring that up would probably throw her into rage mode. I’d wager some things were probably Force-thrown during that meeting. And probably a few people Force-choked… but I’m gonna stop now before this entire blog turns into a long list of headcanons.
So Rowan was absolutely amazed seeing what Luke could do with the Force as they repair the Scavenger. In the process, Rowan discovers some small flowers that bloom when the Force is used around them. Watching Luke quietly touching the buds with the Force and seeing them slowly bloom into beams of light is absolutely beautiful. Like seriously seriously beautiful. At this point all I could think of was that Luke would be an amazing master for Rowan. I love the almost master-like role Luke takes on with young Ken in the Jedi Prince series, and obviously I’m dying to know more about his relationship with Ben Solo and all the small Jedi kids he attempted to train. Point is, i love seeing Luke in the role of teacher, even in only these small glimpses. And somehow I could see this happening with these two young Jedi-in-training, something akin to Kanan and Ezra that would be absolutely amazing. And then suddenly came an ACKLAYYYYY!!! Which at first glance I find really cool because acklays are amazing but then I’m like “oh yeah it could kill them”. It didn’t seem to care too much about the padawans and the droid (it’s the second time R0-GR’S been spit out by something since they got here… at least, that we know of), but it does seem to like the Scavenger‘s hyperdrive motivator… and that could be a problem.
So under the guise of a cleaning crew, Leia and Kordi sweep away at Wic’s place. Kordi is needless to say pretty done with the jerk. Leia encourages restraint until they can make their escape. At least until Mr. Cooper makes an Alderaan joke. Then all bets are off. Um yeah respect levels for Wic Cooper are going into negative digits now. Bro. is. a. jerk. So I don’t blame Leia for a minute for knocking that guy clean through the wall. Yeah it meant that attracted the attention of stormtroopers again, but it was something well-overdue. Y’all don’t mess with #PrincessBosslady! Another awesome thing among many awesome things we get to see Leia do this lovely episode 🙂
The obvious answer to losing your motivator to a sharp-clawed multi-legged giant lizard is obviously to use the Force to get it out, right? Unfortunately all that resulted in was Rowan falling into the pit with the beast. I was mentally screaming “CONNECT WITH IT! CONNECT WITH IT! PULL AN “EZRA” AND CONNECT WITH ITTTTTTT!!!!” but I think Rowan’s better at connecting with Kyber Saber fragments than with critters. So Luke brilliantly distracts the acklay by throwing a few rocks at it and Force-grabbing Rowan. Unfortunately it was still purty mad and gave chase. Well, it was worth a shot.
In attempt to shake the ‘troopers off their tail, the girls ducked into a Middle Ring diner, but Kordi’s hiding spot wasn’t as good as she might’ve hoped. Lieutenant Estoc clearly looks forward to putting the young Rebel sympathizer beyond bars… but not if the Princess has anything to say about it. Leia turns the eaterie’s specials into lethal weapons and soundly kicks the graysuit into the path of a vacuum droid. “I know. Most people don’t expect this from a princess.” YOU JUST DONE GOT #BURNED! And Zander swoops in on Cooper’s bike like a boss, though he was a tad late to the party. Also… those storms blasting each other by accident? Ohhhh that was genius X3
So the young Jedi were still trying to figure out what to do about their little acklay problem. But ultimately, a comment from Luke inspires Rowan to take a different approach. By planting a long trail of these Force-flowers, they’re able to gently lead the acklay away with its own curiosity, not by fighting. And with every passing minute I more and more love the idea of Luke being Rowan’s master. I JUST STINKIN’ LOVE IT.
Rowan’s not the only one who did some growing up today. Kordi didn’t fully understand why Leia risked everything to save her, but it’s the Princess’s firm belief in self-sacrifice that gives Kordi an idea. It sure looked bad when TIEs brought down the Y-wing, but the Empire didn’t know there wasn’t a Luke or Leia in it! OK so sacrificing the ship isn’t quite quite literally self-sacrifice but it was pretty close. Actually, the real moment of self-sacrifice comes when Kordi sells Luke and Leia a Z-wing… with quite a Rebellion Hero Discount. Everybody, a round of applause for the Freemaker Bosslady. The Freemakers have officially taken their first step into a larger world.
So it looks like Naare had a successful day. Or not. She looks about ready to kill something. And then in walks Rowan, bringing her a Force-flower. Immediately I’m thinking “Oh shoot she could kill that thing just looking at it.” But little did I know how true that would be. They don’t fully explain how the Force-flowers work, but clearly it took one whiff of the hatred running through Naare and died. She rolls if off like nothing’s wrong. But Rowan… for the first time… looks at the woman he called “master” with uncertainty. Dare I say… suspicion. And it was about an hour before my eyes returned to their normal size. Of all the Freemakers, I figured Rowan would be the least likely to figure it out first. I’d had my money on Kordi the whole time, as she was the only one who really didn’t like her. It’s not that I ever thought Rowan was dumb, of course not. I just always loved how much faith he had in people, how he first looked at Naare with all the respect in the universe. He was so innocent, he didn’t deserve that burden. But… oh my… things are getting real up in here man. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight