SW Reads: Jedi Quest #3 & #4

Hello, Star Wars fan-family! I had nearly a month’s worth of wireless issues keeping me from posting, but I have plenty to write about! Including, of course, some more Star Wars Reads! (No longer really Summer Reads, but oh well) Today we’re exploring not one, but two of Jude Watson’s incredible Jedi Quest series. If you like, you can read my posts on the previous books The Path To Truth, The Way Of The Apprentice, and The Trail Of The Jedi in the respective links. (Though I will warn you, they are old
and not the same quality posts I write now.)

But yes, what more can I say on these lovely books? They are among my top top favorites! They’re so richly detailed and so masterfully written. Though I’ve never read a bad SW youth novel, these are so amazingly done that it’s hard to tell them apart from the full-length novels. Each chapter is full of deep intrigue, great character moments, and fascinating, totally-believable ideas of the state of the galaxy before the Clone Wars. Ms. Watson digs in deep on the Force, the Jedi, and Obi-Wan and Anakin’s long, sometimes-difficult road to true brotherhood. I have yet to read the recently-released Anakin And Obi-Wan comics to know what these years look like from a modern, canon perspective, but Ms. Watson’s works seem to line up with the canon stories almost flawlessly. And either way, they are amazing reads. I highly, highly recommend, especially if you enjoy the Prequels and TCW as much as I do, or if you want a better idea of what was going on between I and II.

Now, let’s dive into the fine details of these chapters. First, The Dangerous Games, an epic with both podracing and political scandal!
Contains spoilers from the aforementioned book, and some of the books prior. And if you haven’t seen Episode I you will be a a disadvantage.

– Traffic does happen in the SW universe, and not just in The Yoda Chronicles! That’s why there are spacelane officers.
– “I know, I know, feel my anger and let it go. But do I have to be a Jedi all the time, even in space traffic?” #Relatable
– Y’know I remembered a while back on one of my Rebels posts wondering if there’s a certain age you can start driving/flying in the SW universe. There’s apparently nothing out-of-the-ordinary about 14-year-old Anakin at the controls, so maybe there isn’t? Of course, I know this isn’t the final canon word, but it’s reasonable. Or maybe it’s different, depending on where in the galaxy you are.
– Ms. Watson paints the most vivid picture of this world and where the games are held. It’s fascinating and gripping! I feel like I’m there. I can feel the electricity of the busy crowds of the city, and imagining being there for a galaxywide sporting event is a thrill! Anyone else smelling hot dogs and pretzels? But at the same time, through Obi-Wan’s explanations and Anakin’s observations, we see that Eusebus isn’t as perfect and glossy as it makes itself out to be, giving me a sense of realistic caution, and a better understanding of why the Jedi’s mission is so important today.
– I just love Obi-Wan and Siri’s bond! Their conversations are so fun to read, and feel so natural and easygoing!
– I’m just now imagining Ferus Olin to have an Irish accent. Because Irish accents are cool, and it adds a little something more to his character than just the serious, unaccented voice I was giving him before.
– I also love Obi-Wan’s solid friendship with Didi and Astri. It’s one of those things that reminds me “oh yeah, Jude Watson wrote another SW series before this one and I really need to read it already”.
– Though Bog’s a bit of a blowhard, I still find him an highly entertaining character.
– I get it too, Ani. YAS PODRACINGGG!!
– Heheh ok so maybe “solid” isn’t a good description for Obi-Wan and Didi’s friendship, but it says much of Master Kenobi’s character that he’s still willing to help out the poor hapless charlatan.
– And Tru Veld is still one of my faves of her characters. His species is so cool, and he’s the most laid-back ball of sunshine in the Jedi Order! I hope he’ll come along the ride for more stories in the future 😀
– It’s so easy to agree with Anakin’s decision to help the Tyerell kids. Even though he disobeyed Obi-Wan to do it, I could see myself doing the same thing if I had the ability to do so. And of course, we all have to remember the Jedi are not right about everything. But then, at the same time, we know Anakin is doing this not just out of compassion, but also from a slight desire for vengeance. Not to mention his love of the game itself. There’s so many gray areas here, it leaves us readers with a lot to chew on.
– I absolutely can hear an Italian accent for Didi and a thick New York accent for Fligh. BTW if you didn’t read my last Reads post, you missed the part when I mentioned that I love reading Star Wars books out loud so I can do the voices.
– Seriously? Still no lap restraints in these things? Of course, maybe these air taxis are more like those little shuttles or golf carts they have in sports stadium parking lots and you’re just expected to hold on to something ’til you get there…
– Jedi have a seriously epic eye for detail and an amazing memory! This is why they’re so good at the peacekeeping game!
– I know there’s a lot of difference between them in reality, but this multi-leveled swoop bike obstacle course calls to mind the landspeeder race tunnels in the Droids series. Coincidence…?
– Aww! There was once a little yellow-tailed summerbird living in the Senate Building! Things you can learn from a good SW novel! 🙂
– Pretty sure Scorch Zanales has the coolest name of any podracer driver in the SW universe.
– And WHOAAAAA WHAT AN UNEXPECTED ENDING. Such good stuff!

Now for the next chapter, and possibly my new favorite in the series: the chilling mystery that is The Master Of Disguise!
Again, contains spoilers from the aforementioned book and some of the books prior.

– LOL the cover art totally threw me off. I kept thinking Anakin was dueling a changeling or something… I didn’t quite recognize Ferus from the back…
– Yeah when you put it that way, with such masterful, tangible descriptions, I can see why one might think sand is bleh.
– Wow! Darra and I are twins! She looked blonde to me on an earlier book’s cover art, but they’re describing it as copper-and-gold, which is exactly my color!
– I must try out her bright-ribboned padawan braid. If anyone knows of a good padawan-braiding tutorial I’d be forever grateful, because those tiny things are so strangely difficult to make… hehe sorry for all the hair talk.
– It’s amazing how these books can be both beautiful and heartbreaking in parts. Between the clear devastation of war and the regrets Anakin left behind on Tatooine, my reactions are definitely what you might refer to as “all the feels”.
– Oooh so many branches of science to study! It would be fun to be a scientist in the SW galaxy, ’cause with so many worlds, there are nearly infinite amounts of things to discover and study! Yes I am a science nerd. Did I forget to mention that?
– I really appreciate the moments with Madame Jocasta in this book and the last. I like the way Ms. Watson writes her, making her a tough old bird with a solid sense of humor!
– OK Yoda’s appearance in here was the highlight of my day. He may be my favorite voice to read out loud now.
– Whoa Tru’s lightsaber is orange? That is so cool. Could be orange ‘sabers are just for training here, but still. I think it’d be a good lightsaber color!
– Chapter Eight is so fun. Obi-Wan and Jocasta, Jedi mystery-solvers! Also glad to know that Obi-Wan likes tea, because so do I 🙂
– I’m actually starting to want Soara Antana to teach me lightsaber techniques, too. I might be a glutton for punishment, but I do love a challenge.
– OMG NOW I KNOW WHY THE BOOK IS TITLED WHAT IT IS. I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING.
– I am both wildly fascinated and horribly shook over these concepts. Granta Omega just got scarier. And non-Force-sensitive Sith cults? It just felt colder in here.
– I hope someday I learn to write plots this intricate and in-depth!
– YADDLE SPEAKS! That was really neat, because I’m 99% sure I’ll never read a SW novel giving her a spoken line again.
– Just when you think it can’t get any more intense, IT GETS SO MUCH MORE INTENSE! But that’s something I adore about this series. And this book I think may be the most intense yet!

Ahh, aren’t those just fantastic? Well, *does Yoda impression again* much to blog on, I still have. Look for one last Reads post next week, and then there’s this upcoming new series I must discuss, and also I received an amazing visual encyclopedia for my birthday, so… yep. Lots of Star Wars equals lots to write!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Advertisements

The Last Jedi Awards!

All right, first post of the new year! Excitement!!

Episode VIII was great, that’s no question, and it left us with an infinite amount of stuff to discuss. The last couple years I’ve had trouble finding the right time to discuss VII and Rogue One, but this year I took notes soon as I arrived home from the theater! But like say, I still had too many thoughts to make a coherent post out of, so I decided to do a little “awards show” of sorts to celebrate some of my favorite things and pinpoint some of the most intriguing things. I’ll admit I’ve only seen the film once at this point, so I may’ve misremembered some stuff, but I will do my best as I highlight the moments, characters, and events that made The Last Jedi so wonderful!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episode The Holocrons Of Fate, Episode VII, and Episode VIII. Seriously. These are big spoilers.

BEST TIME SPENT GETTING TO FURTHER KNOW A CHARACTER:
POE DAMERON

Episode VII introduced us to Poe Dameron almost right off the bat, and though he only was in a handful of scenes, it was impossible not to love the guy. A talented, fearless pilot with a quick wit and a heart of gold who clearly valued his friends and could easily make new ones. I had no idea we’d get to spend as much time with him in VIII as we did, but I loved it. to. pieces. We got to see a little more edge with him than before as he proved himself a bit more of a “dangerous flyboy” than I’d thought, but all the same it made it clear how much he believed in bringing the fight to the First Order and doing the right thing, even when he was mistaken on a couple matters. And I loved seeing more of his epic piloting skills, watching him take charge in new ways, and laughing my head off as he threw jabs at General Hux XD But what I enjoyed most, perhaps, was seeing him further his new friendships with Finn and Rose. Together they made such a great squad I couldn’t help but want to be friends with ’em! Oh, and can’t forget his best buddyship with BB-8! My favorite line in the film just might be “Finn! Rose! You’re not dead! Where’s my droid?”. Sorry but BB-8 was his BFF first XP I remember after first seeing Force Awakens, misremembering Poe and BB-8’s reunion and thinking the pilot had joyfully hugged his ‘mech upon reuniting, not just kneeling down and patting his dome. This time we actually got something close to a hug and it made me so happy because I would do the same. Hehe I’m so glad Poe and I think alike 🙂 But yes I’m so so glad we got to spend so much time with him this chapter! He’s become even more of a favorite than before!

BEST TIME GETTING TO REUNITE WITH A CHARACTER:
LUKE SKYWALKER

I’ve been waiting to see (and hear) Master Luke for a long time now. Or at least it feels like a long time. You guys know what I’m talking about. I even remember dreaming a while ago that VIII would open somewhat like Phantom Menace, with the master and apprentice on a secret mission. But even with some questions answered with the trailers, there was still so much I didn’t know. So, like you most likely, I found myself holding my breath as Luke took the hilt from Rey…
And then in a matter of seconds, I died laughing. Completely died XD
Luke was truly amazing in this film. So was Mark Hamill. At times he brought a warm familiarity that felt true to the farmboy we met forty years ago (or in my case, ten years ago), and at other times, we saw the scars of misunderstandings and fear and tragedy that opened up a new, intriguing angle on Luke as well as the whole Skywalker saga itself. I loved watching him take on the role of a master, not just because of what his perspective on the Force could offer, but because of the interesting fact he really was hesitant just about the whole time. Something I’ve never quite exactly seen in all the master-apprentice relationships we’ve seen in Star Wars. Sure, a lot of the masters we’ve followed have been uncertain at first, but they usually got past that after a little while and master and apprentice became best friends. Perhaps it was because Luke and Rey didn’t have as much time together as some, but it made for an intriguing situation, especially as Rey found herself walking into things she didn’t understand without much guidance or warning. Yet at the same time, there was still some warmth and fun to it that also felt familiar but unique. Yes, in the course of these precious two-and-a-half hours Luke got me all kinds of nostalgic, got me thinking mile-deep thoughts, got me nodding my head thinking “oh yeah that’s how you do it good sir” as he used the Force, got me laughing out loud, and of course, got me a little weepy. Especially when we said goodbye. But it was not a tragic goodbye, it was a peaceful one, and for that I am thankful. OK I have no clue if anything I wrote the last couple paragraphs made sense, but getting to better know this amazing Jedi, teacher, and brother was far more exciting and wonderful than I could’ve anticipated.

CHARACTER WHO MOST DESERVES AN ANTHOLOGY MOVIE:
MAZ KANATA

Perhaps a bit of a controversial choice, because there are a lot of characters who could use one (or two, or a trilogy…). But in the few minutes we spent with the Pirate Queen, we got a taste of some serious adventure that I definitely want to see more of. Yeah I wasn’t totally sure we’d see her in the film at all, so I’m happy either way whether Maz gets her own movie or not 🙂 *Cough* at least let’s get a novel ok?

BEST TIME GETTING TO KNOW A NEW CHARACTER:
ROSE TICO

I already had a feeling Rose was gonna be great just from how wonderful Kelly Marie Tran was at Celebration Orlando. Once again, could not have predicted just how great. She made the favorite character list pretty quickly, especially as she went from playing the fangirl to giving Finn a good zapping XD I love her spunk and drive but also how much she cares for her friends and family and doing the right thing. She’s definitely one of the most relatable SW characters to me, which is probably why I came out as her on the starwars.com personality quiz. And at the same time she has a lot of admirable qualities that I could only hope to possess. She just fits so so well into the SW universe and brought some serious sunshine to the dark times. It’s impossible not to adore her! Alsooooo she and Finn are kinda cute together I’ll admit… :3

BEST SURPRISE GUEST:
YODA

After seeing VII, I started to come up with little stories about the Force ghost crew visiting Luke on Ach-To (and usually driving him nuts XP). But I never expected to actually see one of these great Jedi in the next chapter. So when I saw those pointy ears… I let loose a whisper-squee-scream of pure happiness that probably would’ve been much louder if I wasn’t well-aware of all the people in the theater I’d disturb doing so. Yoda was so perfect and hilarious and just the right amount of not-too-serious-but-still-so-ridiculously-wise-and-epically-powerful! And I had no idea just what Jedi are capable of after they take on immortality. I mean, wow! And having rewatched V and VI only a few days before, seeing Luke and Yoda together again in this time was too amazing and threw nostalgia feels all over me. I’m amazed Lucasfilm managed to keep this a secret, but it was just about the best reveal ever 😀 “Page turners they are not”, but always a delight, Yoda is!

BEST NEW CREATURE (ASIDE FROM PORGS):
FATHIERS

Perhaps the other best-kept secret in the film was these amazing giraffe-llama-rabbit-horses. These graceful, sweet-natured giants stole my heart pretty quickly, and watching Rose and Finn set ’em free got me all gooey inside. Sooo can we get some of these in another film or show? At least maybe The Freemaker Adventures? ‘Cause I need more fathiers. Second place goes to the vulptices but only because they’re not in the film quite as much but I love them the same anyway.

BIGGEST “OMGWHAT” MOMENT:
LEIA’S CLOSE CALL

Every Star Wars story has that one moment you can’t forget your reaction. Sometimes it’s a reaction of joy, sometimes it’s a moment of sadness… this one was a moment of complete shock. The moment in the trailer between Kylo and Leia itself was terrifying enough. AND THEN they pull the rug out from under you, and you watch as a different TIE takes the shot… my jaw was on the floor and all I could think was “Nonononono did that just happen?! This can’t be the way General Organa goes!”. And I probably missed some other important dialogue in-between because those two thoughts were on repeat in my head. I don’t think any of us are truly ever ready to say goodbye to a character in SW, but I really really wasn’t ready for Leia to go. I was so completely relieved that wasn’t how she was gonna go. Watching her use the Force so masterfully was all at once amazing and surreal and “WHOA”. And it’s especially intriguing because even though we’ve seen Kanan do something similar in The Holocrons Of Fate, the stakes were even higher for Leia here. So it begs the question if the situation demanded a stronger knowledge of the Force to perform, or if it’s just something the Chosen One’s children naturally possess. There are a lot of questions here, but that’s one thing I love so much about this movie: it says to us fans “Oh so you think you know everything there is to know about the Force? Well guess what? YOU DON’T!” and that is a-ok with me. So yeah I was thankful I could breathe again… at least for a little while before the next OMGWHAT moment. And this chapter of the saga had a lot of those…

COOLEST NEW CRAFT:
SKI SPEEDERS

I’ve loved these things from day one and that’s a fact. They’re so quintessentially Star Wars-y yet so unique and quirky and fast and I really just couldn’t help but adore them. OK so maybe Poe and I don’t always think alike, but I want to take a spin on one of these oldies all the same 🙂

COOLEST NEW WORLD:
ALL OF THE ABOVE

Seriously, I can’t pick one. Every SW film promises new incredible, exciting places to see, and Last Jedi supremely delivered. The amazing picturesque natural beauty of Ach-To! The rough, surreal-but-magnificent white-and-red landscape of Crait! Even the less-than-reputable world of Canto Bight captured my attention with its eclectic Mos Eisley Cantina-style cast of characters and all that cray amount of glitz and glam. Each world served the story perfectly and was as interesting as they were eye-catching and make me want to come back, even though I know IX will surely bring a lot of exciting new places of its own…

And that’s just scratching the surface of things that have consumed my mind the last three weeks, and hopefully we’ll find time to discuss further stuff another day. But OMG yes I love this chapter of the saga so so much. I love the camaraderie, the teamwork, the unsolved mysteries, the unexpected twists, the one-liners, everything BB-8 does, the way it blows my mind, the way it shook me to my core, that wonderful Star Wars feel, and the wonderfully hopeful ending that caps it off better than I could’ve hoped. IX seems so so far away now… but I’m glad there’s still so much Star Wars to come until then :3

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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