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

Rebel Transmissions: Twin Suns

Ah yes there is so so much to write about on this one! I’ve been thinking all manner of deep thoughts on it all week! Hopefully I can remember them all and give you something insightful and thoughtful that does this beautiful episode justice. Read on.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode VI, Episode VII, and really all Maul-related arcs in The Clone Wars and Rebels.

So apparently somehow Maul figured out where the desert planet with twin suns was. I’ve imagined him quite a few times pouring over star maps, trying to find the dusty not-so-bright-spot. Whether he simply remembered it from 30 years past or found it on a map, he did finally make it. But yeah these are still whole planets we’re talking about here. Big planets. It’s easy to forget that sometimes in a galaxy this big that these aren’t just countries or continents. But from the very beginning of this episode we find ourselves reminded of how vast this desolate desert is. I’d figured the only way Maul would find his old nemesis would be by pure coincidence (perhaps while studying those maps, he ran into a fleet of very angry Mandalorians who would send his ship crash-landing right into Mos Eisley or something). But his search has clearly been far from easy. He walks the hot sands desperate and alone with no idea where to turn. Until he realizes his key to finding Kenobi rests in the palm of his hand: a shard of the Sith holocron… and an offer his old foe can’t refuse. Also wow let’s just step back for a moment and give Sam Witwer a big big round of applause because I feel I haven’t really given him enough credit for the level of awesomeness he brought to Maul. I mean… his acting is beyond sublime. I’ve always known that deep down, but I usually always get so nervous when the former Darth shows up I forget to appreciate it. You can feel his pain and desperation so clearly in this opening it makes me wince. And then he turns around with his new plan and the most spectacularly devious tone. It’s amazing. I made a point to rewatch Episode I the day before seeing this one, and in that one scene when Maul spoke, it suddenly struck me how utterly beyond perfect Mr. Witwer’s always been at capturing that voice and how magnificently he’s taken it from there. So yeah I know I kinda rabbit-trailed there but I just really needed to take a moment and really voice my appreciation that I should’ve voiced a long long time ago.
And now we shall have a brief lighthearted conversation on Ezra’s pajamas and SW sleeping habits! You know me I love learning about the little things in everyday SW life. I guess Ez is the only one in the Ghost family who has nice PJs, since Zeb and Kanan don’t sport them. They look nice though. Must’ve been a gift. Also I only just now realized that there isn’t a pillow in sight! I think even Jedi cots in the Clone Wars had pillows of some sort! I get these guys are in the Rebelling business right now and fancy pillows and bedclothes like Padme’s are out of the question, but… how does anyone sleep ever?? I guess I’m just a spoiled earthling who doesn’t get it. ‘Cause even when Ezra is awoken by the sound of the holocrons, Zeb sleeps soundly through it all. Anyway just random discussion on my part but it’s interesting catching our heroes in a quiet everyday moment, even as it quickly becomes something not-so everyday. The voice of the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Jedi ‘cron is followed shortly by the gutwrenching, angry cries of the Old Master in the Sith ‘cron. Ezra has also at some point figured out the name of the desert world, and knows he has to go and find the Jedi master, even against the wishes of the rest of the squadron. Also I about sobbed when Rex commented on Obi-Wan’s evident fate. It’s easy to remember that Anakin and Rex were buddies back in the day, but sometimes I forget that he and Obi-Wan were too. I can understand why Bail Organa would’ve led people to believe otherwise, but it breaks my heart to think Rex wouldn’t know at least some of the truth. Well I hope that somehow Rex makes it to the Ewok party and he gets a second to talk to his old Force-ghost friend. OK that’s probably a pipe dream but it’s the only thing keeping me from shedding tears all over my keyboard right now. Hera makes it clear that she needs Ezra here right now as they prepare for the big Lothal battle, and while he does understand that, it still doesn’t keep him from casually borrowing an A-wing. Hehe he’s still got those smooth street-thief moves! ‘Course he couldn’t get away completely scot-free. Chopper happened to hitch a ride at the last second and seemed to heavily enjoy scaring the snot out of our young pilot XD
With Jedi holocron fragments in hand, Ezra at least has an idea of where to look. Should be easy from here, right? Well, not when sand people get involved. Never when sand people get involved. I’m thinkin’ they were a little ticked at Ezra stepping in, considering that they sort of blew up the A-wing and all. But you can’t blame them… this all points back to Maul, who was quietly leading his “apprentice” to Tusken Raider territory all along. And he stopped by just to give the raiders a small red-bladed “reward”. Ugh the cruelty…! It’s so wrong all around 😦 Only gets harder from there. Ezra and Chopper find themselves wandering seemingly aimlessly through blinding sandstorms in pursuit of the lost master, while the Old Master quietly taunts young Bridger through the Force. These scenes feel so raw and rough and downright hopeless, it certainly makes you understand why Luke wanted off so badly. And also why Anakin despised sand so much. It touches me to the core though that Chopper stuck with him through it all anyway, even when it drained his power to the last drop. Seeing Ezra alone in the searing sun, his only friend gone, and with no idea what to do next and a persistent darksider still whispering lies in his ear, it broke my heart. His regretful “…I should’ve stayed home…” broke my heart all the more. I think it’s in part he considers their little base home that got me so hard. After attempting to fight a Maul that wasn’t there, he completely collapses from exhaustion. It’s not long after a robed figure finds the droid and the boy at his feet…
Ezra awakes later to a powered-up Chopper and a warm fire, all thanks to the mysterious gentleman sitting across from him. So OK my fangirl gears were going so fast at this point I kind of couldn’t breathe. Obi-Wan pretty much has always been a favorite even when I know they’re all my favorites. And now… he’d made it into Rebels, not just as an image from the past, but in the flesh in this present time. I could only guess what he would do, what he would say, what he would even sound like! All I knew is his SWR design was perfectly epic. So I was basically holding my breath until he spoke. THIS IS OBI-WAN KENOBI, POTENTIALLY MY MOST FAVORITE STAR WARS CHARACTER EVER. HE’S HERE. IN REBELS. AND IT IS EVERYTHING. “You’re in the wrong place, Ezra Bridger” he said quietly. My head proceeded to explode. I was sure they’d find someone who’d voice him well, but I had no idea who. I knew Ewan McGregor could do an impressive Ben Kenobi, like we hear so faintly in Episode VII, but would Rebels be able to get him in? Then I read the credits and found out it was Stephen Stanton and my jaw dropped. IT’S LIKE ALEC GUINNESS CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD. LIEK WHOA. I’ve always kinda thought I did a solid Ben Kenobi impression but now… forget it. I bow to your superior SW-voicing talents, Mr. Stanton! And of course they animated Ben so well too! I ’bout “aww”ed to death watching him gently stroke Chop’s dome. Every little thing that makes Obi-Wan Obi-Wan is here in his performance and it makes my heart sing. Also also I love that he’s got a dewback who looks like the trustiest loyalest lizard-dog ever :3 Ben picks his steeds well, clearly. But anyway so Master Kenobi’s already got an idea of what’s going on, that Maul’s up to his old tricks and has been using Ezra’s pain to drive him out. Seriously wow he’s good. You can tell his understanding of the Force increased one-millionthfold over the years. I mean, he’s never met Ezra but somehow he still knows him. The elder Jedi gives it to Ez simple, that perhaps he read into the holocrons wrong, and running on what he believed to be true led him away from where he was supposed to be right now. AHH YOU GUYS HE SAYS EVERYTHING SO DARN PERFECTLY I CAN’T. SO NOBLE. SO WISE. SO AMAZING. And then…
Maul walked right on over.
RIGHT. ON. OVER.
Obi-Wan urges Ezra on his way back home (again the use of the word “home” here is givin’ me feels). “I will mend this old wound” he says. I LOVE THAT WORD CHOICE OMG. And oh wow… this confrontation… where do I begin?? Well first I’ve gotta say I love that Obi-Wan seems completely confident, but not in a way that is proud or arrogant. He is unfazed about coming face-to-face once again with his old adversary. He is confident in his abilities, and he has complete faith in the Force. Maul insults the Jedi’s ragged appearance, but he shouldn’t be fooled, because though Ben’s gotten older, he’s far stronger than before. He shows no fear, no sign of past hurts or regrets. Obi-Wan effortlessly combats every cruel word Maul utters with straight-up wisdom. And when Maul expresses interest in who his foe is protecting, Ben’s stands firm with his lightsaber unsheathed, ready to do what he must. And you know it’s really cool to think about this: Qui-Gon’s still here. Obi-Wan’s spent who knows how long training with his former master, and learned that the end doesn’t have to be the end. I imagine the pain of his loss is no longer so harsh. He is empowered like never before, and he is at nothing short of his very best.
Wow.
The duel is amazing. Brief though it may be, I appreciated its briefness. Obi-Wan and Maul have fought enough planet-shaking fate-determining duels, it seems appropriate to end it quickly and without a lot of show. It’s fascinating to watch as Maul tries the move that killed Qui-Gon… and ultimately, it’s the move that gets him killed instead. Prior to the episode’s debut, I wasn’t sure what was going to go down. It was kind of in the vein of Vader and Ahsoka’s duel, you know one of them will live, so what will become of the other one? The closer the episode came, the more clear it became to me that, likely, this was Maul’s finale. I just didn’t know how it would happen, and how it would be differ from other duels. I’d come up with my own hypothesis, imagining a darker end with Ezra striking the final blow in an attempt to save Obi-Wan, with Maul uttering the chilling words “Well done, my apprentice…” but yeesh now I’m glad that’s not what happened. Instead, Maul passes quietly in his enemy’s arms, with the hope that one day, the one Kenobi watches over will make sure no one ever suffers at the hands of the Sith again. The former Darth’s story is a rather sad one, filled with pain and anger and sadness. But here, at the end of his story, is hope.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love that.
As I was saying earlier, Maul had a tendency to terrify me and destroy me emotionally, especially throughout TCW. And rightfully so, he was a magnificent, awesome villain, who, despite all the terrible things he did, ultimately brought out the best in our heroes. However, when they brought him into SWR, everything changed. They forced me to look at Maul differently, to see his humanity and his heart. Since then, I’ve found myself looking much deeper into Maul’s story. I appreciate his presence in the saga more than ever. I love his character for more than just how it brought out the good in those fighting against him, but for the complicated, fascinating, broken individual he is. Thank you Lucasfilm, for helping me see this.
And watching Obi-Wan giving Maul nothing but respect as he dies… it’s just a perfect end to the story. It’s no wonder this noble, wise, kindhearted Jedi is such a special character to me 🙂
So Ezra returns to the base, well, not the base, his home. (With Maul’s exceptionally pretty old Mando ship in tow) Where Ezra’s apologies are quickly accepted as each of his family (even Chopper!) embraces his return with a hand on his shoulders. NO I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING! OH WHO’M I KIDDING I’VE BEEN CRYING THE LAST FOUR HOURS I’VE BEEN WRITING THIS THING! THIS SWEET CREW-FAMILY AHHHHH!!
On Tatooine once more, we watch a rare, beautiful moment as old Ben watches the Lars homestead from afar, faithfully keeping an eye on a certain young man with big dreams… and an even bigger destiny awaiting him. Obi-Wan believed Ezra’s claim about him being the key to destroying the Sith was just from his “certain point of view”. But we the audience know there is indeed some real truth to that 🙂
And then the incredible John Williams score graces the end credits and I fall apart in a sea of emotions. This episode is absolutely amazing, and I think I’ve successfully said all I wanted to say on it… for now. Thank you for reading. I’ll talk about the finale this time next week.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Visions And Voices

OK so I’m super super excited to be writing this one today! Visions And Voices simply has so so much to talk about and think about and theorize on! So I’m thinkin’ I better get started…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, TCW “Siege Of Mandalore” Arc (also virtually any episode pertaining to Maul and Dathomir), and Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Twilight Of The Apprentice, The Holocrons Of Fate, and Visions And Voices

Of all the days for a certain horn-headed darksider to make a reappearance. Ezra had finally gotten the chance to lead a mission for the mini-Alliance again, finally! And then… what starts as quiet whispers and faint glimpses turns to dark echoes and terrifying images, all of Maul. Um yeah that was the most gutwrenching opening I’ve seen in a while. How does Sam Witwer do it, getting his voice that… *shudders* …dark and cold? It’s no wonder Ezra’s out like a light. No one else saw or heard anything, so they’re not sure what to make of it. He tries to shake it off, but he’s not back out on the base for a minute before he starts pursuing Maul again — only to find he was actually about to strike a fellow soldier. It’s nothing short of horrifying, the entire experience. I do love, though, that throughout it all, the Ghost fam is totally there for him. I suppose it’s redundant to point out because I’ve pointed this out a lot, but I truly adore the fact they’re family first and Rebels second, and you see that in a very personal way as all of them, especially Kanan, Hera, and Sabine, are trying to help him during this strange development. Kanan has his suspicions as to why this is happening, but ultimately turns to the Bendu for answers. Apparently something went wrong during that little holocron-joining of theirs, particularly when Ezra cut the whole thing off. Bendu decides to let Maul explain the rest. WAIT WHUT. Kanan and Ezra turn around and yep there’s Maul, the real deal, in the half-flesh-half-machine! They turn back around and Bendu’s disappeared. Wow OK that was mind-blowing because I sort of thought he stayed in the same place all the time, using his branch-like form as a disguise. Well he is rather powerful so I suppose he can come and go how he chooses. But yep Maul is back again! Because of the abrupt end to their holo-Q&A, neither of them got a clear answer. So Maul decides now’d be a good time for him and his apprentice to exchange the last couple fragments of knowledge. Considering he’ll gladly reveal their base’s location otherwise, it looks like Ezra and Maul are gonna be hanging out again. Kanan does not approve. Good thing he gave Sabine Ezra’s com. Because yeah when Maul gets involved… things just don’t have a tendency to go well. Also on a random note can I just say I really love that Kanan doesn’t wear his mask as much in this episode? Not saying I don’t like the mask. His mask never hindered our ability to read his emotions, his voice and mouth expressions portray that wonderfully on their own. But for sure, seeing the eyebrows added a lot of expression there that worked amazingly well in this episode. It’s sort of a small thing, but I felt it was worth mentioning.
We soon arrive on dark creepy Dathomir. Somehow it’d never crossed my mind that Maul would consider this place home, but it really makes sense. It’s his birthplace, and it’s also where Mother Talzin restored him. Plus, he and Dathomir are kind of alike… red, dark, and broken. OMG you guys this episode stirred up so so many more questions about the zabraks and the Nightsisters and Nightbrothers and their world. The concepts they came up with in TCW have never ceased to be fascinating and cool and I honestly I’m thrilled they brought this branch of the mythology into SWR. Maul’s plan is to use some old magick to temporarily merge their minds and finally get the rest of the answers they were given. With the remains of the Nightsisters’ society still standing, it shouldn’t be any trouble far as the Old Master’s concerned. Also wow let’s just spend the rest of the post talking about Maul’s place. I could stare at all the details for hours, pondering and pondering what exactly he’s been doing all this time. What’s that writing on the wall supposed to be if not Aurebesh? Where in the galaxy did he get all those candles? And how’d he make it off Mandalore with all those souvenirs? Of course, that last question brings up a lot of questions, since I’m still in the dark about exactly what Maul was doing during his reign and what eventually got him off the throne. Certainly will need to do my research and read Son Of Dathomir to start with. It is personally very interesting to me that he kept the painting of Satine. I assume he values it because she represents his conquering of Mandalore and possibly his half-victory with Obi-Wan. Though I have to wonder if there’s something more to it that I’m not getting entirely. It’s still incredibly fascinating seeing these connections, though. Of course, truly, the all-around most interesting artifact might be that blade resting beneath the portrait. Yes we’ll definitely come back to that later because OMG THE DARKSABER!! Anyway, all this mind-merging’s gonna take is a quick potion-drinking. I seriously am amazed they could both do it with a straight face ’cause it looks nasty, but it certainly does its job, and they’ve got their questions fully answered at last. Ezra knows who he’s looking for and Maul knows where to look. Now, I was pretty certain at the time that it was Obi-Wan who Maul was giddy to find, but in the time between that episode and this one, I started to sort of doubt my hunch. After all, would he really be happy to see his worst enemy still lived? Probably it was someone else Maul had more respect for. But hehe I was quite proud to see my theory confirmed fact. Interesting that Maul refers to this location as just “a desert planet with twin suns”. He literally doesn’t remember its name? I know he’s a little old now but… eh probably it’s just that the name didn’t matter to him much at the time back in the day. Whatever the case probably good he doesn’t know its name, because once he figures it out, well… old Ben’s quiet life is about to get severely interrupted. Yeah of course Maul’d be happy! It’s not so much that his worst enemy’s alive, but that his worst enemy’s not dead yet… and therein lies his opportunity, his hope. Unfortunately though… that magick ain’t free, far as the NIGHTSISTER SPIRITS are concerned. And they don’t take cash or credit they take FLESH O.O It’s about then when Kanan and Sabine show up and quickly find out blasters don’t work on ghosts. Not that I blame them for trying or anything they be reallll scary. And watching those spirits up and possess Kanan and Sabine is completely spine-chilling. It’s fun when SW does stuff with these vastly different, dark angles of the Force, but it all gives me all kinds of shivers. I love it all, but… yikes, man. Though I imagine the Nightsisters didn’t use such weaponry during their lives, they sure know how to aim blasters and how to slash lightsabers, at least in the hands of their pawns. Maul and Ez are makin’ a break for it. The spirits can’t venture too far from the altar though, so that gives them a little time to figure out their next move. Well, the Old Master already had his next move figured out — with Kanan out of the way, Ezra can finally be his apprentice and they can go merrily on their way to Tatooine and do darksidery things! Ez is absolutely all kinds of “DUDE, NO.” on all accounts, so Maul gets on his ship and flies off. I don’t get the impression he’ll be giving up or anything though. You know how Maul is. Ezra figures all he has to do is get his comrades out of the cave and the possession problem will be solved. And then the Sister in Sabine decides to whip out THE DARKSABER. AHHHH MY GOSH SEEING IT BACK IN ACTION IS AMAZING. Seeing in the hands of a crazy ghost witch though… that’s pretty frightening. It’s still amazing, but… yeesh hearing that voice coming out of Sabine’s mouth… *shudders* that ain’t right. Ezra manages to Force-push Sabine out of the cave and releases the spirit, but he’s still got Kanan to free. And the Sister-spirit who took over his master is pretty darn stubborn. Ezra makes a deal with her, but y’know how these spirits are they’re gonna fight you anyway just ’cause. Finally the Nightsisters take him up on his offer… just as Ezra uses his lightsaber and the darksaber to destroy the altar. THE EPICNESS WOW. GO EZRA! WINNER WINNER NOONA DINNER!! I do sorta feel bad this entire civilization will likely never return, but then I remembered they’re dastardly darksider witches and suddenly I was slightly more OK with that. After all that excitement died down, Ezra finally had a chance to tell Kanan and Sabine what he found out — Obi-Wan Kenobi is the answer to their Sith problem. And they’re gonna make sure they find him before Maul does. I was confused for a couple seconds because I couldn’t remember how it was Ezra knew who Obi-Wan was, but once I was reminded of the message in the holocron, everything made sense. It’s fascinating that ultimately Maul and Ezra had the same answer to each of their desires, like say, I’d originally thought Ezra seeing Tatooine meant someone else, maybe more literally like Anakin or Luke, but this infinitely made more sense. Master Kenobi’s kind of made some major impact on the galaxy, y’know? Then I got all giddy because it fully sunk in that we’ll be getting to see Obi-Wan at some point this season and that is AMAZING. And then, before our three heroes left the darkness behind… Sabine decided to give the Darksaber a good home. Finally, the magnificent blade has found itself a rightful owner :3
Whew that was a lot of writing there! But it turned out really well I think. Again, it’s amazing seeing the connections between these different chapters in the SW galaxy. Hopefully I sparked some interesting thoughts and conversations here. Catch you next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: The Holocrons Of Fate

If some deep Rebels discussion is the kind of knowledge you’re seeking and just what you’re hopin’ for, no need to smash two holocrons together — you’re already in the right place! Pff OK I’m probably giving myself more credit than I deserve but I certainly do hope you get something out of this…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode VI, Episode VII, The Clone Wars “Siege Of Mandalore” arc, Rebels episodes Twilight Of The Apprentice, Steps Into Shadow, and The Holocrons Of Fate

Ah, it’s so very nice seeing Ezra and Kanan chatting like they used to! They spent much of the last episode out of balance, so it feels great getting an episode focused mostly on the unconventional master-and-padawan-team. Granted, they’re chatting about the Sith holocron, which you’d think by now would be old news, but Ezra just sorta kinda really wants to know where it is. After all, Ezra reasons, why else did Yoda send them to Malachor if not for all that Sith-destroying knowledge? Kanan believes it was for the chance to defeat them, it just… didn’t go well. Y’know that’s one question I’ve been pondering for a while but never really queried on the blog itself. Why Malachor when it seemed to do more harm than good? Not that Yoda could’ve known what would happen, but what specifically did he have in mind when he pointed the Jedi Rebels in that direction? Was it for a chance like Kanan has surmised? I kinda doubt messing with the dark side was what the master had in mind, but we may never know for sure. Just gotta do like Sabine in season one and trust that everything’ll make sense in the end. But their chat’s put on hold as they come upon a Rebel transport that’s been torn apart. The sole survivor makes mention of a red blade… and the unfortunate fact he was forced to spill his guts on the Ghost‘s location. Ezra and Kanan immediately think they’ve got another inquisitor problem. IDK man the Empire’s lost, like, four in the last couple years; it’s not the best investment. No, the one wielding the red blade is not working for the Empire… he just wields one for the sheer fun of it. Dude… when Maul stepped into the holo from behind Hera… I think my heart stopped. It’s not like I didn’t know he was gonna be involved this episode, but I had no idea it’d be so soon. And I was already nervous about this one to begin with. It’s a well-known fact that when the former Darth gets involved, things will end badly… one way or another. Anyone who’s spent any time watching The Clone Wars will know this. Heck, even if your only knowledge of him was gained from Twilight Of The Apprentice, you know this. So him… on board the Ghost… with the people most important to Kanan and Ezra… O_O It’s NBD really Maul just wants the Sith ‘cron back. And also Kanan’s old Jedi ‘cron. Some Jedi might’ve called no deal, but these Jedi go along with it… reluctantly. At this point I’m relieved nobody’s died yet (I mean, this is Maul we’re talking about), but I’m also a little concerned what will happen to the rest of the galaxy if they take up this offer. Right now they’ve got bigger fish to fry though… getting that Sith holocron’s gonna be a bit of a challenge.
So again, MAUL. IN THE GHOST. WITH KANAN AND EZRA’S FAMILY-CREW. And did I mention the former Mandalore welcome-wagon droids that are now deadly blaster-wielders? *Faints from terror* I spent the entirety of this episode literally quivering. And honestly there’s no reason I shouldn’tve been… he killed Qui-Gon, killed Satine, blinded Kanan… and he did it all so quickly, so out-of-nowhere, and in turn left me in tears. I was trying to prepare myself for the worst, but I knew I’d still be unprepared either way. Every breathing second I was on edge. So when he asks Hera for a tour by not really asking ’cause he had his lightsaber all up in her face… shoot there’s no emoticon I can type that properly defines the feeling of sheer terror running through me at that moment. The Old Master’s really only interested in the part of the tour where he finds Kanan’s ‘cron. Doesn’t stop him from making some color commentary on the others quarters onboard though. DUDE THAT RUDENESS WAS UNCALLED FOR. WHO SPIT IN YOUR BEAN CURD? Though it does make you wonder a little what Ezra and Zeb’s room smells like. We already know that evidently Zeb has a particularly strong scent, and apparently Ezra kinda smells like Lothal sewers (or at least did). I’m gonna say it probably resembles a mixture of corn chips, sweat, and body spray XP Sorry that probably wasn’t the knowledge you were looking for. But hey, one thing I love about SW is its tangibleness, its relatability, just how very real it is, down to the finest details. Now enough weirdness, once Maul finally enters Kanan’s quarters things get real. Maul won’t just search the premises himself, oh no, that would be too much work for an old zabrak like himself. It’s so much easier to do a little dark side mindreading like Kylo Ren made famous. Oh gosh that was horrifying to watch. I mean, when he uttered Kanan’s former name I got literal chills. Hera’s been a complete bosslady this whole time and peppered her captor with sass and shot him well-aimed death glares, but that in that instant she no longer looks as certain. She looks so broken and ashamed when Maul comes upon the holocron… 😥 All my messed-up emotions aside, it’s actually still pretty cool watching him do that move; I had no idea anybody but Kylo knew how to do it, so that begs a few questions. Or it could just be a move darksiders don’t do a lot for some reason. Either way *shudders*
Elsewhere, Ezra finally got to meet Kanan’s good friend, the Bendu. Right after he borrowed their sensor-pole (or “thumper” as I now know they’re called) and invited the spidercrabs over for a visit. Ezra knows good and well these crawlers are trouble, and he doesn’t hesitate to defend his master, despite Kanan’s objections. It’s about then when the Bendu finally arrives in his magnificent, awe-inspiring way. Ezra is kinda shocked ’cause he wasn’t sure this Bendu guy was actually real. Kanan’s smile I’m sure is partly due to hearing the friendly beast’s voice again, but I imagine there was a dash of I-told-you-so smugness in there too 🙂 After hearing of Maul’s interest in the holocrons, Bendu believes he’s intending to combine the two ‘crons — something that could potentially cause some big problems. When you mix a Jedi holocron and a Sith holocron, you get the potential to see the future or have a question answered through the Force… which sounds good on the surface, but this has happened before and it does not end well. OK Wow. Ezra doesn’t really care what Maul’s gonna do with it, he just wants to protect the fam. The Bendu tells Ez that if he wants that imbalance-causing pyramid, he’s gonna have to find it with Kanan’s help. Also it may be in a dark mysterious cave. Had everything gone Ez’s way he’dve gone completely alone with his lightsaber at his side, but instead all he’s got when he enters that cave is a flashlight and Kanan on the com. He might not a fan of this plan now, but he’ll definitely be a fan later…
Back on the Ghost, Maul was yelling at a smol blue box. I’m sorry man this made me laugh so hard even though it shouldn’t have. Mostly it’s because I started imagining him reacting the same way with other small objects. Smartphones, TV remotes, frozen entrees… “YOU WILL YIELD TO MY POWERRRR!” XD While he tries to crack open Kanan’s ‘cron, the crew decides to make their move. Oh goodness gracious I love love this scene. Maul is one of the deadliest villains in the SW galaxy, but he don’t scare the Ghost fam. Sabine, Hera, and Zeb utterly tear up those smiley-droids with the hands cuffed! And then they magnetize him to the ceiling! Oh that was so awesomely genius I just love it! These guys never fail to blow my mind with their awesome genius! Of course then Maul eventually got off the ceiling and got the upper hand and made clear he had no problem killing them. But it was a great stunt regardless. Aw boo Maul why ya gotta be like that? But hey, he still hadn’t killed anyone so that’s a win if nothing else.
So getting the Sith ‘cron was going great. Sorta. Maybe it would’ve gone better if Ezra had just kept to the left like Kanan told him to. Instead he walks down the right tunnel and loses his flashlight and his comlink just like that. Now it all up to Master Jarrus. “Perhaps master and apprentice will rediscover their balance… or perhaps they will be eaten. Such is the way of things.” Bendu just tells it like it is XD Yeah Ezra was a little surprised when Kanan fished him out of that crawler-infested hole. And again when his master calmly Force-connected with another crabspider and it quietly walked away. Could it be Kanan’s not as broken as he believed? As they continue their search, Ezra apologizes for what he felt he allowed to happen. Kanan assures Ezra it wasn’t his fault and he didn’t blame him. The only forgiving that needs to be done here is for young Bridger to forgive himself. The hug that follows gives me alllllllll the feels. I’d believed they’d come back into balance at the end of the last episode, but actually… this is where the real balance was restored. And it is a beautiful thing. And that’s all I got; I should have more to say but I lost my train of thought dangit. All I know is Bendu’s smile matches my own :3 Don’t worry I’ll figure this out by the time I do the season recap! Anyway, so together Ezra and Kanan come upon the Sith ‘cron at last, perched safely on a spider’s back. You’d think that wasn’t the safest safest place ever, since I’d figure it’d get lost if the spider moved around and dropped it or something, but I guess the Bendu knows something we don’t. Using the Force they’re able to get the ‘cron without a hitch. Of course soon as Ezra turns around oh look there’s another crawler/spider//spidercrab/crabspider/whatever the canon name’s supposed to be! Kanan’s response? “Don’t be a threat, go in peace” And suddenly I understood the spider-Force connection I’d been missing last episode. And just like that, master and apprentice walked out of the cave unscathed and truly back in sync. Bendu is proud of their progress, but warns them that their troubles aren’t over, as one of them’ll have to help with the ‘cron-combining too. And well… you know. Potentially dangerous stuff, that knowledge. Ezra looks to Kanan for their game plan from here, but all his master knows is they’ve gotta relax and not let Maul’s fear tactics get to them. “You don’t sound relaxed” “But I look relaxed.” At least you look relaxed Ez, I don’t look or sound that way! I’m a quivering little chihuahua over here! Especially as they stepped into the hangar and there’s Maul looking chill like nothing’s weird. He sends “his” apprentice off to go get the holocrons ready while he shows Master Jarrus the door. And by “door” I mean “airlock”. I’d already seen this clip at Celebration but it didn’t make it any less terrifying a second time. Or a third time. Or any other time. I don’t think I’ve made clear enough how terrifying this is: KANAN HAS BEEN SUCKED OUT INTO COLD DARK UNPREDICTABLE SPACE. I literally couldn’t breathe. By far that was the longest twenty seconds of my life. HE HAD ICE FORMING ON HIM, MAN. The instant I noticed that I was shook. One of the closest calls in SW history right there, but also one seriously seriously amazing use of the Force. Seriously. And I have run out of words again. Forgive me the feels are too much.
With ‘crons in hand, Ezra and Maul are ready to get this junk over with. I couldn’t help but keep wondering if Ezra had another plan, like maybe to get Maul to ask the holocron a dumb question or something (“why is blue milk blue?” perhaps). But it seems Ez is ready to take advantage of the opportunity. He wants to find out how to destroy the Sith, while the Old Master is looking for… hope. I know I’m not the only one who found that utterly fascinating. It first took me back to Malachor, to the time we briefly saw Maul’s humanity. His life has been so full of failure and darkness, a little hope could change everything. In my everyday life “hope” is a beautiful word, but for Maul… I imagine it’s something entirely different. Especially where he is now as he desperately seeks purpose and a legacy. And then the holocrons came together, emitting a light that grows more and more intense with the possibility the darksider and the lightsider will find the answers they’re looking for…
Things looked pretty grim for the Ghost crew as Maul’s mechs draw their weapons. But in a flash, Kanan jumps in and lightsabers the smiley-droids apart in one fell swoop. And then uses the Force to snap his comrades’ cuffs clean off. It was impossible not to cheer. KANAN IS A BOSS. I don’t exaggerate when I say I feel this is one of his most defining moments. So much wow. Now he’s got his apprentice to rescue, and Hera and company are by his side all the way. YAYYYYYY FAMILYYYYY ^w^
So far Maul hadn’t had much luck finding any answers, but Ezra dug in deeper as he began to see something. By the time the rest of Ghost crew got there, the room was bathed in blinding light. None of them could see — except Kanan. He could actually see Ezra and Maul amidst the bright flash of the Force, and he was gonna get Ez out of there. Padawan was a little busy atm tho he really wanted them answers. Kanan calls for him, reiterating Bendu’s warning. Maul insists he keep it up ’cause they’re so close. And then… “I SEE HIM…” “TWIN SUNS…” O.O His master voices once more to look away, and finally Ezra takes the ‘crons apart, releasing them from the light and ending their Q&A session with the Force. Oh gosh I’m completely butchering this, but the important thing is, everyone’s OK. Including Maul who seems a little too happy right now as he flies off muttering “HE LIVES!“. Before we talk about anything else I gotta talk about that. My instant thought was Obi-Wan. ‘Cause man I can’t think of anyone else Maul would be that excited about. And then I thought OK if that happens then what if Maul goes after someone his adversary cares about? Like a certain Force-sensitive boy he’s watching over? The idea is utterly gutwrenching. My only comfort is that, well, I certainly would love to see ol’ Ben again! But otherwise yeah dis is bad. I could be totally off but don’t tell me you didn’t think it, too. Anyway, as for Ezra, he isn’t sure what he saw except for a lot of places. What it says to me is he saw hints of Luke’s journey, maybe even some of Anakin’s. I didn’t think about this until after the episode, but though clearly the dark side lives on (See: the Knights of Ren), Vader defeating Palpatine really was the destruction of the Sith, at least the group known as the Sith. Though we all know that story, I look forward to seeing further how this incredible crew influences that story. And how, in small ways, they help bring about that destiny.
Welp I hope that made sense. I hate that I didn’t do as well on this, because this is truly an incredible incredible episode. Things are super-tense and super-terrifying with twists at every turn, but by the end of the episode there’s a sense of victory. Yeah I know Maul’ll be back… but scary as he is, I’m kinda looking forward to seeing him again 🙂 OK I’m done sorry for the trainwreck post next week will be better byeeeee.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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