Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

#2. Ketsu’s a real Rebel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Paintbombs are canon!

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

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

6. Unkar Plutt’s nothing if not thorough.

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

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

7. Ewoks invented sandals! Apparently…

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

8. Cliches die when Yoda’s around.

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

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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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

Why I’m Hyped For Rebels Season 2

We’re less than a month away from reuniting with our Rebels. Just let that soak in for a minute. Hyped now? Of course you are! And for sure so am I! That’s why I figured I ought to take a moment and just talk about all the things to get hyped about in the weeks to come as we come closer and closer to the next big day in a long line of SW-related big days. So on we go!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels season 1 and The Siege Of Lothal.

1. The Family Reunion

Yes this for so many reasons. And after getting our early Life Day present with The Siege Of Lothal, I’m even more excited to hang out with the Ghost crew again! Their bond has strengthened, their world has expanded, the danger has grown. And soon we’ll get to see how these forces combine and how they will react with our heroes, as a group and as individuals. We’ll get to learn more about them, their pasts, their presents, and their futures. And all the while we’ll get to eat up that wonderfully wonderful family dynamic of theirs! You gotta love!

2. The Jedi’s Journeys
Rebels Season 2 02
I could easily ramble on about each character and what I’m excited about seeing them do next, but for now I’m just gonna talk about our Master and Padawan. Kanan and Ezra are facing the same situation with different perspectives. I love Ezra’s newfound hope and optimism that we see in Siege Of Lothal; I watched Spark Of Rebellion the other day and was blown away again realizing just how much he’s grown and how much he’s changed his outlook. He sees defeating the Empire as something attainable as long as he’s got his fellow Rebels by his side. Then there’s Kanan… the trials and tribulations he’s been through have left a bad taste in his mouth for fighting wars. He makes that point very clear when last we saw him. And though he went along with it as they joined up with Phoenix Squadron, he never exactly committed to anything. I’m very interested in seeing what becomes of their differences, and if it will affect Ezra’s training in any way. They’re both still figuring it out, what it means to be a Jedi in this day and age, and now what it means to be a nearly-official Rebel. Only time will tell where their paths lead…

3. Ahsoka’s Continued Story

I thought nothing could make me happier the day Ahsoka climbed down that ladder and introduced herself to the Ghost crew. But seeing Ahsoka fighting alongside the Ghost crew made me explode with happiness! Of course I’ve said this stuff a thousand times before so I’ll just go ahead and cut to the chase. The fact she has so quickly befriended our Rebs is awesome, and promises for some great stories to come. Seeing how her story entwines with those of the growing Rebellion and its members is going to be truly fantastic… as well as we see what becomes of that one little tiny fact about her past that the rest of our crew doesn’t know yet…

4. Sending In The Clones
Rebels Season 2 04
When I first saw the season 2 trailer on the Celebration live stream, I couldn’t hear the dialogue for some reason. So I could only wonder if those armor-clad gents were clone troopers. And then Dee Bradley Baker walked on stage and I started crying because I knew that indeed those were clones. When I finally watched the trailer with the dialogue, I squeed so loudly when I first heard Rex’s voice it probably broke windows. The Clone Wars made us love these guys so much and I always wanted to see a redemption story for these guys. And not just with Lego’s JEK-14. So this… this is still beyond anything I could’ve hoped for. Captain Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor live on. Reuniting with these guys is going to be amazing. I have so many questions about their past as well as ponderings on what their future holds. Either way, I’m overjoyed to be able to join back up with these three amazing troopers and see what they do in the fight against the Empire.

5. Hondo
Rebels Season 2 05
Another face I’m elated to be seeing again. Adventure with this old space pirate’s going to be a blast! That is all.

6. The New Inquisitors

Darth Vader can’t do it all, and so another couple of Jedi-hunter-downers have been unleashed. Hopefully they’ll have names so I won’t have to call her “Quizzy #2” and “The ‘Quiz #3” or something like that. Who’s the mask-clad girl and why’s she wearing that mask? I mean, aside from the fact that masks are super cool. Who’s the dude with the big hat and creepy face? All good mysteries that I can’t wait to see unfold.

7. MOAR EPISODES

Because they made mention at Celebration that there’d be 20 or so of them. I don’t care how long the seasons are really but the more the merrier, as Ezra might say!

8. Everythingggg

Obviously. ‘Cause Rebels is that awesome. Obviously.

Ahh it feels like it was just yesterday when I was writing about why I was hyped for the series itself! Only 26 more days until its glorious official return! And we shall spazz and fanboy/fangirl about it until the day comes! And then every day after! XD

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight