The Resistance Report: The Recruit

Today is a very exciting day, friends, because this marks the first of my new post series, The Resistance Report! Like I’ve done in ages past with Rebels, The Lost Missions, and The Freemaker Adventures, I’ll be digging into each of Resistance’s episodes and all I find intriguing, exciting, and wonderful! And so far, there is no shortage of things to write about 🙂

I again apologize that I didn’t get to talk about all of this a lot sooner. But you understand, I’m sure, that life can be busy and blogging doesn’t always happen. Also wrist problems don’t help. But hopefully, I’ll be able to find the best fit for Padawanline in my weekly schedule as we go. Now, onto Resistance!

If you’re like me, you’ve been hyped since the first trailer. It basically took every expectation that I had and blasted it into microcomponents.
Never had I seen Star Wars quite like this. The first word that came to mind was “zippy”! And then “youthful”, “spirited”, and “fresh and funny” followed it. It’s not that Star Wars has never been those things, but all together it’s a package that made me utterly giddy and gleeful! Though it was not traditionally-animated like I assumed originally, this dynamic style of CG is gorgeous and simply demands attention! Just from that first little glimpse back in August, I could tell I was looking at a winning combination. And now it is here and, like say, there’s quite a lot I need to gush — I mean, write — about!

Contains spoilers from Episode VII and Resistance episode The Recruit.

No matter how many Star Wars stories I watch, read, or play, the thrill of a galactic dogfight never gets old. These battles immerse you quickly into something that’s familiar and beyond your wildest dreams at the same time, inspiring a sense of wonder like nothing else. And when the heroes’ ships are this pretty, well… it really brings out your inner child. Least that’s how it is for me. These sleek, blue T-85s may be my favorite SW vehicle of all time now! Except for the fact this episode introduces all kinds of beautiful vehicles and I can’t play favorites to save my life. But anyway, yes, it’s an amazing opening, and for more reasons than just my obsession with blue x-wings.

As I was watching this the first time, lost in Star Wars-y wonderment, it took me a minute to remember what era we were in. It’s not that I didn’t know that going in, but as I just mentioned, I was lost in the moment, and forgot to turn on my analytical SW side. I think it took Poe Dameron’s entrance to remind me that, though this is familiar, it’s something truly new. Later I was able to take in the fine details, like the exact model of the x-wings and the New Republic crest. But you know, it’s not a bad thing to turn off my writer’s brain for a second and just enjoy the pure joy of Star Wars without feeling like I have to take notes on everything. If this blog comes off clumsily, now you know. But so worth it!

But yeah, I have to talk about those fine details I just mentioned. It’s that moment when I realized “we’re not Kansas anymore”.
Like I touched down on some when the show was first announced, the time in between VI and VII is almost a complete mystery to me. Yes, I’ve seen The Force and The Last, but that’s where my knowledge ends for the most part. I haven’t read any of the surrounding novels yet, and I only know the broad strokes of the state of the galaxy at this point on the timeline. But this is actually a good thing, because there’s just so much to learn! After all, there was once a time I knew very little about the SW galaxy and all its ins and outs. It was through the previous animated series (as well as the books) that I gained a greater understanding and appreciation of the first two-thirds of the Skywalker Saga, and that’s exactly what Resistance shall do for me now!

With that being said, I do definitely have to thank Poe (and the magnificent Oscar Isaac!) for coming along on this one. It’s great having a friendly, familiar face to help us get situated and comfortable in this formerly-unknown chapter of the saga! With Rebels it was different; I understood the surrounding films and prior series enough to not feel like I was constantly struggling to wrap my head around everything. For Resistance, having Poe not only guiding Kaz into this new world and story, but guiding us viewers along with him, really helped. But either way, hey, I don’t think anybody would complain over the presence of the Poe Dameron! Not to mention BB-8! They’re the Resistance golden boys! 😀

Now yes I need to dedicate most of the rest of this Report to the incredible new characters we got to meet today (or, technically for me, last week. But whatever)…

So first of all, my love for Kazuda Xiono knows no bounds. Seriously, where do I begin? He’s got this outrageously contagious enthusiasm, and a fierce (if slightly-naive) drive to do the right thing, even when things take a bad turn. He’s out of his element a lot this episode, and I can almost 100% relate to how he reacts in these situations. But like say, he’s never brought so down that he doesn’t ultimately find his way back up, and that absolutely inspires me, the way any great SW character should! He reminds me in some ways of Ezra Bridger at the beginning of Rebels’s second season; utterly on fire and more than ready to make a difference, even if he still has some obstacles to overcome first. There’s so much I could say, but it’s hard to capture the joy of my first impression of him in one paragraph without worrying I’m repeating myself. I can’t wait to follow him along on this journey, though… and hopefully write many more paragraphs on all that makes him such an instantly-lovable young hero!
Plus, I don’t know if I’ve ever related to another SW character more than when he said “Tell the General I said ‘hi’!” The few chances I’ve had to meet people I greatly admire pretty much went the same way XD

Oh, and guys, wow Castellon is beautiful, isn’t it? The sky and sea just takes my breath away! And just the idea of racing starships around that wide open expanse… man, who wouldn’t want to spend a weekend here? I mean… yeah, the threat of getting tossed over is real, but… I think were I living in this galaxy, I would be willing to take the risk. Well, maybe… considering Kaz and I share a similar lack of coordination and street smarts, I don’t know how I’d do out here in this slightly-less-wretched hive of scum and villainy. But for now let’s just imagine that ocean breeze and the sound of roaring engines and how epic that would be! *Starts singing “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana*
And if I needed any other reasons to vacation here, there appears to be an arcade game at Aunt Z’s and that makes me grin so hard 😀

Back onto the characters, we obviously have to talk about Neeku Vozo! OMG he is just the most precious bean, I truly can’t even! How rare it is to find a character in Star Wars so pure-hearted and sunshiny! It’s not that other such characters don’t exist, but never really has the word “blissfully optimistic” been able to describe them. Understandably because this is Star Wars, and it’s no small feat finding joy in the midst of war. Neeku’s delightfully-quirky personality is such a breath of fresh air, something the Saga could really use! Not to say he’ll always be this sunshiny, because no one is capable of that, but his chipper disposition still makes him a unique, stand-out new character. And one thing I think is really fun and neat about Neeku, is the very fact he’s a nikto. When I think of niktos, I think of tough, possibly dangerous types like Ima-Gun Di, skiff guards, and underworld scoundrels. Those hardened, spined visages certainly give you that impression. But Neeku utterly flips that script! Honestly, with his smooth face and wide eyes, I really didn’t realize he was a nikto until the featurettes pointed that out for me. But I love that concept, taking what we might’ve assumed and instead giving us someone so much more dynamic and interesting that merely another “tough guy” nikto would have been. I can’t wait to see more of this sweet boy! I hope he achieves his fondest dream and gets that room with a view! :3

And on that note, I am so into all the diversely-designed characters we have here on Castellon! Just as they flipped the script on our idea of niktos, I love seeing so many different takes on familiar species in the crowd. Seeing a female of Unkar Plutt’s kind with Aunt Z, a totally unique take on the chadra-fan in Orka (that goatee tho), a big-boned rodian… it’s so fun, and when you start thinking on the diversity within each species, it expands the galaxy in almost infinite ways! Not to mention the sheer variety in the crowds in general, where you have aleen and gotals and whatever Grummgar’s species is. It’s a beautiful (if slightly rough-and-tumble) blend of all kinds of peoples from all the eras, from Episode I to the Sequels, and it delights the living daylights out of my SW-nerdy self! Props to all the supremely-talented, creative artists making this happen!

Right, again, back onto the subject primarily of the new characters. There’s simply too much for me to write about to stick to just logical organization! But yeah we have ourselves a fantastic new squad, no doubt. I have a deep love for characters and character development, whether Star Wars or otherwise, and these guys are prime examples of what great characters look like. I’ve taken to thinking of them as the “Sunshinies” and the “Grumpies”. Already discussed my first impressions with two of the Sunshinies, so next we will talk Torra!

I love the sort-of dichotomy of a character so bubbly and friendly, who genuinely wishes her opponents the best, even though she knows they will crash and burn. She seems to have what I’ve referred to in other characters as a “noble confidence”; the ability to be able to speak highly of yourself humbly. Impossible for most, but apparently not for the immensely talented Torra Doza! Admittedly, watching this again I realize she could just as easily be a little less than noble in the confidence area, but whatever the case, she seems to just really be in it for the love of the game first and foremost, and she’s definitely nowhere near mean-spirited. Anyway, I’m happy to say that the starwars.com personality quiz has deemed her my Resistance twin, and I can for sure kind of see that so far. At least, I know we share a common sense of enthusiasm and a slightly-competitive drive if nothing else. And also red hair. That’s important, too.

And then there are the wonderful Grumpies!
When Tam snapped at Kaz and called him “kid”, I knew I’d found my kin. Partially yes, because we are both a bit on the small side, and I would love to have the confidence that allows her to speak her mind no matter how tall the offender is. But mostly because she is literally me when I’m in a bad mood. I just kept nodding my head saying “yep that’s pretty much what I would say to that”. Actually, now that I think about it, each of these guys is me in some way or another. Torra is me when I’m happy and supportive (and sometimes competitive), Neeku is me when I’m really happy (definitely when I’m in a Star Wars state of mind), Tam is me for reasons we’ve already explained, Kaz is me when I realize I realize I’m in deep trouble, and Yeager is me when I’m just done with everybody XD

And can’t forget Bucket! Bucket’s awesome! I think he may just have beaten Chopper for grouchiest droid, though. Never have I seen a more easily-irked machine in my life. Maybe he just needs a hug? Well, hopefully the R2 Builders will put one together IRL so I may see if this theory works, or if it just ends in me getting smacked in the face. Either way, it’d be worth it!

Now, Yeager has probably taken the longest for me to put together a paragraph on, but that doesn’t mean he’s anything short of a great, fascinating character. Maybe it’s because he’s kind of mysterious in a way. Perhaps because he’s not as much of an open book as the youths, perhaps because we don’t know his history with Poe and why he’s so hesitant to get involved. But if there’s one thing that’s plain to see about Jarek Yeager thus far, is that Team Fireball would probably fall apart without him. He’s a strong and steady voice of reason, and when you’ve got a crew that’s two-parts hot-tempered and one-third overly-literal, that’s an indispensable quality. I don’t know much about Tam and Neeku’s bond right now, but I could see it possible that Yeager probably had to keep Tam from killing the blissfully-naive nikto a few times. The other thing I’m pretty sure of with Yeager is that he does care, somewhere deep down. Something’s keeping him going, despite everything that seems to keep him from wanting to. And it speaks volumes just in the way he smiles at his crotchety old clanker. Otherwise, we’ll just have to watch on and see what more we can learn about him from here. Not too worried about the wait, though. Like say, I love watching characters grow and digging into their complex personalities and stories! I feel we’re going to have a good time figuring out this tough Team-Dad 🙂

Also currently I have this really silly headcanon that Zander Freemaker created the Fireball. Just… seems kind of like his thing, y’know? Sleek, speedy, but explosion-prone! I’ll let you debate this among yourselves, but I’m pretty sold on it.

Anyway, I could go on and on about so much more, but I think I’ll have to save further conversations for another day. Except for this last very important thought: we know Kaz is on the lookout for a First Order spy, but it only hit me in the last few minutes of the episode as we gaze upon the terrible might of Starkiller Base… the traitor could very well be someone we know. From a writer’s perspective, I wouldn’t want my perpetrator to be too obscure nor would I want him/her too obvious. And when you want to throw a good solid wrench into your characters’ lives and a curveball to your audience… a total surprise traitor is a good way to do it. I had to wonder for a moment if the red-helmeted ace was someone we knew. I was wrong on that account, but it did open up the possibility to me… who knows who Kaz might find plotting against the Republic? I’ll let you in on my theory later. I just want to make sure I know my characters better before I jump to conclusions. But… something to chew on before tonight’s airing, right?

It’s been awesome both writing and — honestly and truly — gushing on this thrilling opener. I know it’s got me wanting more something fierce! Hopefully sometime in the next week I’ll have another post waiting for you all.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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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

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