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 😀 ) 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 🙂

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 🙂

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

Obi-Wan Wednesday!

You may or may not know it, but on the official Star Wars website, Master Kenobi is the CHARACTER OF THE WEEK!
It’s totally awesome to me, because I love this guy! And I know I’m not the only one out there who’s totally psyched about this. If you asked me who my favorite SW character is, I’d just say “Probably all the good guys”, but sometimes I just say “Obi-Wan Kenobi”, ’cause he’s kinda my go-to favorite; the one that just sums up all the awesomeness of all the SW good guys. I could truly write a long paragraph as to why he’s awesome (and I will… once I get ahold of the rest of the SW movies and TCW season sets), but for today, to celebrate what is the Obi-Wan Wednesday of this Obi-Wan Week, I’m just gonna post some seriously cool fun stuff featuring him. The one, the only, the Negotiator, the “wise old hermit”, General/Master Obi-Wan Kenobi! (Some folks call him Ben, and a couple of people call him “Obi” 🙂 )
NOTE: Contains spoilers from TCW Season 5, the Clone Wars Miniseries, and The Phantom Clone. The Lego shorts are best watched with some knowledge of the Original and Prequel trilogies in general.

First up, some of the most “Ben-tastic” Lego shorts for your enjoyment!

Obi-Wan’s in a good mood in this one. I bet it’s because it’s Taco Night at the Temple cafeteria 🙂 Go get ’em Obi-Wan!

I love his jabs at Ventress. (“Don’t suppose I can convince you to switch sides, can I?”) Classic Obi-Wan…

The title makes more sense than it sounds.

Some of Master Kenobi’s wisdom is put into practice when a Clone befriends a tauntaun… XD


For someone who doesn’t like flying, he does a pretty good job at it in these two as he helps the Clones take down the droids.

I also have this little gem of Clone Wars Miniseries concept art! Featured in an old Star Wars Insider of my brother’s is this Paul Rudish delight
CloneWarsObiWanSketch01
IT. IS. AWESOME. I KNOW I CAN’T STOP GEEKING OUT OVER IT!!
And here’s the epic collectible action figure they made of him in the same cape-and-Clone-armor getup, but live-action-looking!
Sideshow Collectibles Obi-Wan Figurine
AWESOMENESS ACHIEVED. I’m perfectly happy with my TCW Season 1 Obi-Wan action figure and don’t plan to get multiple versions of any character (’cause I’m weird like that), but there are more than a few Obi-Wans that tempt me… I mean, he’s just so darn cool!

Plus, you guys do know that the TCW Season 5 cover has him front and center! In his wicked epic cool Mandalorian armor! So, a good reason to celebrate him in general (Hehehe, get it? In… “general“?!” ‘Cause he’s a… um… yeah…)
ObiWanPunsLOL
Sorry, Master… here’s that epic cover art I was talking about.
Clone Wars Season 5 Cover Art

Also, a little tip for those of you who own or want to own TCW Season 1: Obi-Wan, on this menu, has an Easter Egg when you click the Republic symbol on his jacket. It’s pretty awesome. Unless you own the Blu-Ray… I don’t know if it’s any different or not.
CWS1DVDMenu

So I hope that this was a fun little cornucopia of Kenobi for you out there! Sorry I didn’t have much in terms of the movies themselves, but hey! If he becomes Character of the Week again in a few years, I’ll probably have way more stuff to use then. But as far as I’m concerned, TCW is one of the very best ways to watch Obi-Wan at his best (Which is all the time, of course) 😀
Enjoy your vacation or meditative retreat or whatever, Obi-Wan!
LegoObiWanOnVacay
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

SW Summer Reads – Secret Missions #1: Breakout Squad

As the summer heat continues to blaze like a Mustafar heat wave (OK, maybe that’s somewhat of an exaggeration…), it’s always nice to cool off with a good Star Wars book… whether you’re inside with the AC or outside in the shade with a Coke. So hence why I’ve been writing these posts about the first books in my favorite-est SW series. This post will be nice since the book I’m blogging about is recent enough you might’ve actually read it.
The book is the first of Ryder Windham’s TCW Secret Missions series, Breakout Squad. It came out in ’09, back in the heyday of TCW and there’s been a new book in the series every year since (which, as you can imagine, can be a bit taxing on one’s patience… but you know what they say about not rushing art). So remember how I told you guys I prefer SW stories with characters I’m familiar with? Well… ironically, this series’ main characters aren’t even in the TCW show; they’re exclusive to this series. But really and truly, it’s no different to me than watching an episode of TCW that focuses on a lesser-known Jedi, like Lair Of Grievous. I mean, I’m a huge SW fan and I feel like I know just about everything about Kit Fisto (which is entirely far from the truth), but there was a time when he was just a guy in the background. Watching Lair of Grievous gave me a chance to get to know him better, and now I consider him an familiar face in the SW Universe. So this was kinda my chance to get to know some very new characters. And in the end, this is a great series so far, and its first chapter is definitely worth the read. So go crack it open if you haven’t already and join me in reading Breakout Squad!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Breakout Squad and the TCW episodes Destroy Malevolence and Hostage Crisis

So if you haven’t already figured it out, this series takes place in the Clone Wars era. In fact, it’s early enough in that era that it was like, two weeks ago when the Malevolence ran into a certain moon (assuming of course that the Season 1 episode Destroy Malevolence actually happened in that timeframe… believe it or not, the events that unfold in TCW are somewhat out of order! *Twilight makes note to get the TCW complete episode guide*). It’s absolutely too cool to see this story happening so close to the episode itself – which was one of the very first I remember watching and enjoying! Oh, wait I’m getting ahead of myself — what does this timeline have to do with our story exactly? Well, the story opens up with actually some familiar faces at the wreckage of the Malevolence. Okay, I know the only reason they’re familiar faces is because they’re clones and… yeah, they kinda all look and sound alike. But these books give us a chance to meet these particular clones, which starts off as three Shinies all who could use a name. The threesome find some interesting things in the wreckage that in turn help them achieve a name. The clone who spots something the others wouldn’t so easily notice is bestowed the name Sharp. And the clone who knows a thing or two about technology that comes in handy is dubbed Breaker. The third one… well, his name was given later, but it makes perfect sense; the super quiet, Ferb-of-PhineasandFerb-sort clone got named Chatterbox 🙂 I love that Breaker doesn’t comprehend irony or satire very well… he’s all “Isn’t that name sorta contradictory?”
So long story short, Sharp and Breaker pick up on the fact that the Malevolence may have been made of parts made by the assumed neutral planet Kynachi. So that’s why the Chancellor figures it’s worth sending out an… um… expert on the planet to the mission. And that’s what leads us to meeting one of the main characters, an unfamiliar face named Ring-Sol Ambase: Jedi Master. Ring-Sol was born on Kynachi, but he doesn’t look it… Kynachi people usually have gold hair from the food they eat, but Master Ambase has the total opposite hair color — silver. He wasn’t quite sure that this was his mission just because it was his birthplace, which btw he has no memory of or any other connection to. So you can kinda figure that Palpatine’s up to something. Nevertheless, Ring-Sol is insanely cool. He has a pretty calm demeanor, he’s extremely wise, a very good teacher, strong, and has a good heart. And yes, you heard me right he’s a teacher. A master to be precise, and that leads us to our next main character, his Padawan Nuru Kungurama.
Nuru’s pretty young still, about Ahsoka’s age at this point, perhaps? IDK really. And if you thought his name was exotic (and totally cool and hard to pronounce), he’s a Chiss, a blue-skinned, red-eyed humanoid (which are totally cool, though I can’t figure whether it’s pronounced with a soild “c” or a “ch” sound) that aren’t seen too much around the galaxy. He’s been through a lot, including the loss of his previous master at the infamous Geonosis battle, but he’s doing his very best to stay strong and seems to have a good relationship with his new master, Ring-Sol. And apparently, it’s strong enough a relationship that, when Nuru senses his Master won’t come back from this Kynachi mission, Nuru decides to follow him aboard… (hey, you can do a lot when you use mind tricks on clone passengers and hide in a closet)
This remind you of a lot of situations in the SW Galaxy? OK, maybe not a lot, and maybe most of them are in The Clone Wars. But still, Nuru and Ahsoka could have a lot to talk about, and I’m sure they’re not the only younglings who’ve wanted to lend a hand… even when their hand wasn’t necessarily wanted. How will this go? Well, we’ll have to read all the stories before we know how it all works out in the end, but until then, we read on.
Aaaaaanddd then something bad happens. Kynachi had itself a Separatist blockade… and Ambase and his clones ran dead into it (Well, they were trying to go to Kynachi, so you can’t really blame them, and they still assumed they were, you know, a neutral planet and all). Which resulted in a couple of escape pods separating the clones and the Jedi as they plummeted to other sides of the planet. Nuru and Ambase didn’t see each other face-to-face exactly, but Ambase sensed him and suddenly figured out why he had this nagging feeling Nuru was nearby the whole trip. And that was the last the two heard of each other as the adventure on Kynachi began.
Somehow Nuru and his clone team, made out of Breaker, Chatterbox, and Knuckles (named so for his epic strength; unless you’re stronger, I don’t recommend arm wrestling him) got out pretty smoothly. Of course, then there were some droids to deal with. Not too fun. But this makeshift team is determined to reunite with Ring-Sol and the rest of the clones. Now, how to do such in this small Kynachi village without raising alarm is the challenge…
Meanwhile, the landing wasn’t so smooth for those in Ambase’s pod, especially since Ambase got knocked unconscious. But his loyal clone team, led by Sharp, will do what they can to keep the general out of harm’s way (even when nearly attacked by a horde of huge crustacean-like creatures; also not fun).
Back to Nuru’s side of the story, the clones prove how awesome they are at improvising. Or maybe not, depending on how you view this. I mean, their clever disguise certainly hides the clone armor and Nuru’s Jedi getup, but… they were made out of fertilizer bags. I don’t know nor do I want to know what the fertilizer is made of, but it stinks to high heaven. Yes, the smell keeps away the riffraff, but… yeah… we’re all on the same page I think. It does make for some good dialogue; let’s just be glad we can’t smell it ourselves 😛 Of course, it always helps to use Jedi mind tricks in serious situations. And that said mind trick gets the attention of a certain someone who just might be able to lend a hand…
That someone is Lalo Gunn: Corellian-pilot-turned-restaurant-owner with quick wit and a sharp bite. She’s been stuck on this planet since before the war and has hopes that helping this ragtag, less-than-pleasant-smelling Republic team might be able to help her as well. Anyone else love how much like Han Solo she is? Same for Leia? Yeah she’s totally cool 🙂 But then all of a sudden… there’s battle droids and Lalo’s trusty copilot-turned-waiter droid gets fried. And then comes along another familiar face — Cad Bane. Ohh yes… but it’s not what you think; this gang doesn’t know him or how nefarious and sly he is. This is some time before he wreaked havoc in the Senate Building, but he’s still taking orders from Sidious. However, as I said before, Nuru, Lalo, and the clones have no idea that he wasn’t just an innocent passerby caught up in the droid’s fire. Bane apparently was here for a job, has the key out of the blockade, and he just might know where to find a certain Jedi General and his clones. And everyone’s like “Sure! We’ll help you if you help us!” It would’ve been great if it had gone that way, right? But it sure seemed like a good idea at the time. So off went Bane and the gang, along with Lalo’s copilot droid, who’s been refurbished into a loyal commando droid they call Cleaver, off to free Ambase and his team from the Kynachi jail! Just call them “The Breakout Squad” (see that’s where the title comes from!)!
So, as not to give away all the details (and because I don’t remember all of them and I no longer have the book checked out to reference back to it *Twilight makes note to just buy this series already*) of the breakout, I’ll make note of the most noteworthy deets.
A) They sneak in by having Cleaver convince the guarding droids there was a communication problem going around (“I haven’t heard of any communication problem.” “Well, the problem’s why you haven’t heard of it, duh!”). Anyone else wonder why it is that the Separatists used them so much when they’re not so bright and cut like butter? Well, for the sake of our heroes, I’m not complaining.
B) The did the best reusing of a classic SW line – “Lock the door and hope they don’t have blasters”! I totally geeked out at that XD
C) Breaker had an awesome secret weapon.
D) Nuru confronted the Separatist leader who had taken control of Kynachi. Didn’t get him, though.
E) Breaker nearly died. (Spoiler alert: he didn’t!)
F) Sharp and the rest of the clones are freed, along with everyone else imprisoned, but alas! Where’s Master Ambase??
And finally, G) Kynachi is liberated!! Yayyay!!
So Lalo gets Nuru, Cleaver, and the clones aboard her ship, the Hasty Harpy, and off they go to the next chapter. They have zilch idea as to where Cad Bane went though… and still have no idea where Ring-Sol is. That little detail? Bane has him, still unconscious and alive and ready to be shipped to wherever Darth Sidious wants him to. Hence why immediately after reading this, we all freak out “OMG WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!?!” and rush to the library to get the next book. However, my closer look at The Curse Of The Black Hole Pirates will come later on. I’ve read the first three books, but I still haven’t read the fourth one and I’m getting kinda antsy, especially since it’s been over a year. But truth, Breakout Squad is a great opener to this exciting and awesome series. Easily one of my faves, Mr. Windham did excellente! 🙂
Sorry if this blog seems a bit rushed, but stay tuned — the finale for this year’s SW Summer Reads is coming up next!
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight