Revisiting Lego’s The Padawan Menace

The day is almost here! Solo: A Star Wars Story is within our grasp! The hype is real!!
As I anticipate learning about the events that made Han who he is, I thought it’d be fun to look back on the original Han Solo backstory…
No, it’s not one of the novels. I haven’t read any of those yet to write about ’em. This Solo story’s the only one told in small plastic form, the very first of the Lego Star Wars specials, The Padawan Menace!

I still remember it like it was yesterday. Right before the Clone Wars season four premiere, this hilarious little Lego story aired, and subsequently stole my heart. If not for it, I doubt I would’ve become the all-around Lego fan I am today. And there would be so much fun stuff I would’ve missed out on aside from that! So here are some badly-organized paragraphs and blurbs of some of my favorite moments, whether funny, intriguing, awesome, or all of the above!

Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Episode VI, and The Padawan Menace

One thing interesting to look at inside of this is the truth that might be in this Legend. When I first saw this, my Star Wars understanding was still a little… vague in some areas. Deep down, I knew Mace Windu didn’t have a window-washing service, and that AT-ATs shouldn’t be stomping around Hoth for another twenty-odd years. But I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to imagine the core story really did happen. I’ve learned a lot in the years since, but I’ve found I still appreciate The Padawan Menace regardless of whether it has any sort of teeny tiny sorta-kinda place in the canon or not.

The big thing I’m still chewing on is this: could Han have truly met Yoda, or another Jedi, before the job at Mos Eisley? Though there’s yet to be any exact numbers pinned down for Han’s age, I think it’s reasonable he could’ve grown up during the later years in the Clone Wars (which this special seems to take place in, when you look at Anakin and Obi-Wan’s Ep. III looks). With ten thousand plus Jedi knights around, You’d think maybe running into a Forcewielder on the now and again would be plausible. However, my first instinct (and I’m sure yours, too), is to recall Han’s early comment on “hokey religions”. If he really once saw Yoda repair their ship with the Force, wouldn’t he be more inclined to believe old Ben’s words to Luke? That answered the question for me for a while. It made sense. Whether it was through Luke’s amazing destruction of the Death Star, his rescue on Tatooine, or even Leia’s quieter use of the Force, it would be some time before he believed it was true — all of it. But then I thought about something else: Han just might’ve just grown up and gotten jaded. And depending on how young he was, he could’ve easily forgotten. It’s a long shot, maybe, but it is very possible. Least I like to think so.

But either way, whether Han’s paths ever crossed with Yoda or any other Jedi, we do know that, according to the Solo teaser, he’s been running scams on the street since he was ten. And that says to me that sneaking into a group of Jedi younglings would be no big deal for a lil’ scruffy-lookin’ ruffian like him. Whatever the case, that boy was getting into all kinds of trouble back then, I’m sure 😜 Perhaps we’ll find out a little more on the big screen?

I really do adore how they put together (whoops Lego pun) young Han for this. He’s still got that epic swagger, but with a childlike innocence that doesn’t seem too far from his more enthusiastic self in the coming film. And his voice is just perfect. They somehow found just the right sweet spot between “adorable, mischievous child” and “double-crossing, no-good swindler”! Just listen to him say “KEEP YOUR METAL PANTS ON, I’LL FIX IT!” and tell me you can’t hear the slightest bit of Harrison Ford in there. I dare you.

Anddd now for the more random part of the post: a few of my favorite moments!

Senate guard with a box of donuts vs. a mouse droid.

Not sure why this guy wasn’t like the other senate guards we see, ’cause that would’ve made the whole thing even more hilarious.

Not even Vader can stand against The Maker.

Let’s give Rob Paulsen a bit of applause for nailing the impression!

Sleepy Deetoo :3

I don’t know for sure this is the sound they almost put in Episode II, but OMG IT’S SO CUTE!

“I’m all over it, like green on beans.”

Sounds like a clone thing to say. Mostly… ah whatever it still cracks me up anyway XD

Bobby!

I remember when official sources were calling JEK-14 the first original Lego Star Wars character, but actually, that title belongs to three of the Padawans: Liam, Mari, and Bobby! They’re all just cute as can be, but Bobby’s the only one we follow in other Lego SW stories. We’re first introduced to the gutsy little guy through his very relatable love of taking pictures of all the awesome sights! Does make me wonder how casual photography works in the SW galaxy…

Galaxy Idol!

Mando judge seems deeply moved by Bib Fortuna’s performance and I’m just dying.

The joke that took me forever to get.

I wondered for years why there were so many suns. But it’s not about the number of suns as much as it is what the suns form… XD

And finally, this stirring speech.

Great is the power of the Force. It allows me to feel what cannot be seen, see what is yet to be, and hear what cannot be heard.” Anyone else realize what fantastic writing this is? So deep, so true.

Yes, The Padawan Menace is such a classic, right? It’ll be fun to see if we spot any connections with the all-canon story out tomorrow, but until then….

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Family Reunion – And Farewell

Here it is. The very last Rebel Transmission on Padawanline.
*Dramatic pause*
OK so that’s a little too dramatic. I highly doubt this will be the last time I talk about Rebels on the blog, just the last time I’ll do it in this format.
Whoo boy there’s a lot to talk about on this one. A lot. But it’s all stuff that has been on my mind for well over a month now, so hopefully I’ll be able to stir up some satisfying discussion for you all on this last Transmission. Get comfy, this is gonna be a long one…

Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode VI, Episode VII, Episode VIII, TCW episode Point Of No Return, and much of Star Wars Rebels, including Family Reunion – And Farewell.

From start to finish, this is a story about family. Not just this episode, but every episode these last four seasons.
And we’re not just talking the dictionary definition of family, of people related by flesh and blood. We’re talking about what I’ve come to term as “thicker-than-blood”: friends who are basically family, bonds that far exceed any shared DNA. SWR painted the most beautiful picture of this idea over the course of the series that I’d never really seen anything quite like before.

At the very beginning of it all, Ezra was separated from his birth family. He wasn’t looking for anyone to fill that void, especially not a group of individuals that, like his imprisoned parents, Rebelled on a daily basis. But one day, the boy was called to be part of something more. In doing so, he found a dad, a mom, a brother, a sister, and a pet droid. And through this new family, values instilled in him by his birth parents would grow from a spark to a raging wildfire, making him the selfless, determined-to-help-others-at-any-personal-cost young man he is today. I know I’ve talked about this before, but frankly, it’s worth saying over and over again. Ezra Bridger’s journey is truly amazing. And watching the beginning again stirred up so so many memories, I didn’t have a choice but to write this paragraph.

Yes, watching Ezra talking to the holo-portrait of his parents melted my heart in all the ways, but to realize how final it all sounded… that concerned me. “Hold on! We’re not seriously going to lose Ezra, right?? We can’t! It’s hard enough losing Kanan! I’M NOT READY!!”
I’d spent so long pulling for the Ghost family Jedi to make it somehow despite Yoda’s deathbed claims, that watching Kanan go really hit me hard out of left field. So I was clinging pretty darn hard on the technicality that since Ezra was not an official Jedi, so he could make it.
But somehow, it wasn’t as hard to watch Ez go as I thought it would be. Not just because they gave us the inkling of hope that he may still be alive, but because his act of self-sacrifice was so noble and so powerful. And it was even more meaningful when I remembered he was doing what Kanan taught him in that last lesson. Wow. The end of his story (for now) was the best it possibly could have been. A fitting last chapter to really show just how far he’s come from that first spark of rebellion ❤

You know, I had a neat revelation after watching this the first time. It's easy to see that Hera is what ultimately brought the Ghost family together. She’s in the business, it seems, of pulling together the most broken, flawed people and turning them into heroes. Just look what she did with a noncommittal, bitter ex-Jedi, an old, broken astromech, a guilt-ridden, hopeless warrior, a disgraced, unjustly-accused Mandalorian, and a self-serving street kid! And from there, this family she brought together helped expand that family as they did the same thing — making real heroes out of often the galaxy’s lowest of the low. Forgotten, cast-aside clone troopers became leaders again. A crusty pirate with no crew found new purpose and new friends. A high-and-mighty ISBN agent gave up all his prestige to do the right thing. A young bounty hunter chose to do something with far greater reward than money. A dishonest dealer who caused a lot of trouble in the past stepped up to the cause. A jaded former governor found a new mission. Even seemingly-ordinary kids like Jai and Mart were brought into this family of heroes. And I don’t know why Melch keeps getting involved, but I’m hoping it’s because all this selflessness is contagious 🙂 And it all started with Hera, not just because of her natural-born leadership, but because she saw something in all of them that made them family, somehow.
This might not be anything new, but it’s just such a cool thing to think about and it’s just another thing so meaningful about this finale — that we get to spend it with just about all the family :3

Like I talked about some last episode, all the teamwork in the room is just amazing. We have the most unconventional set of Rebels working together and they’re just owning it! It’s more than I ever expected to see in the finale, and it continues to blow my mind and gives me all the feels. And it’s also so fun watching the most mismatched of teams working together amidst the varying levels of personality clashes, like with the oh-so-precise-and-well-planned Kallus stuck with the more action-oriented, blast-down-the-doors wild cards Gregor and Zeb. “He’s crazy!” “BUT IT WAS YOUR PLAN!” Delightful!
But on that note, yes, I will miss Gregor something awful. I’ve been holding my breath, unsure of what would become of all these once-lost commanders for years now, not wanting to see another brother down, but knowing it was well-likely to happen. But Gregor did good. I thought we’d lost him ages ago, so getting to spend the time with him that we did was special no matter what.

And wow was Thrawn on his A-game today. Like, he was honestly as cool, calculating, and downright cruel to me as he’s ever been this series. I mean seriously some of what he did got me wincing for all the good people left in the galaxy. But at the same time, his confidence and well-thought-out plans never ceased to impress. Again, I really have to thank Lucasfilm for putting the Grand Admiral in the canon and in this series. I’m sure the original novels are solid, but having so little knowledge of that era of books, including him inside of a series I was already very familiar with was the perfect way to meet him. His comeuppance was masterful, but I appreciate they chose to leave it open what ultimately happens to him… either way, Grand Admiral Thrawn was a truly awesome adversary and I definitely look forward to digging into his story some more later. *Sighs because she still has so many novels to catch up on* *But smiles because what a great problem to have!*

Seeing Palpatine again brought the best kind of intrigue for me. I loved this revelation that the Emperor presents himself much as he appeared in the years past. I guess I’d figured people always saw him in that dark cloak, like in Episode III, but this makes so much more sense! Once again, he’s doing a really solid job playing the galaxy like a card. Who would doubt such a finely-dressed, kindly politician? But that’s exactly what he wants you to think! It’s genius! Terrifyingly genius! And then we watch, eyes wide, as the Emperor offers Ezra a family reunion on a silver platter. I don’t know about you, but I could almost physically feel the pain of Ezra’s inner battle. It’s the ultimate temptation, to abandon everything and regain a peaceful life like he had before. And though we know Ezra has a solid sense of right and wrong… we also know Sidious is a master at pulling lightsiders over to the dark. SO MUCH TENSION! SO MANY EMOTIONS! I COULDN’T BREATHE!! DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED WHEN PALPATINE UNDID EZRA’S CUFFS! AND THEN WHEN EZRA UNLOCKED THE GATEWAY AND I WAS ALL “OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING??”!! OH MAN!
But there are few greater moments in Star Wars than when a hero wins this battle with himself, overcomes temptation, and defies the darkness.
Couldn’t applaud enough.
Also those totally-different red guards were so epic… or are they normal red guards with different armor? Need to read up more on them!

I definitely need to talk about Sabine and Ezra, guys. I remember when the series first began and what I liked most about them was that one-sided-crush dynamic. Every one of Ezra’s failed flirts and every one of Sabine’s sarcastic replies got me laughing hard. But their relationship has become so so much more since then, and not in the ways I might’ve assumed. In the last few seasons, we’ve watched them go from a slightly-lopsided sorta-friendship to a concrete bond of trust, honesty, and faith in each other. I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating. They’ve stood alongside each other in their darkest moments, fought impossible odds together, and they just get each other. It’s astounding how far they’ve come. Every moment of this understanding and shared trust, whether spoken or unspoken, speaks incredible volumes, and it could not be more perfect. And the fact that Sabine ultimately (if my understanding’s correct) puts aside her own homeworld and her place in the Alliance to protect Lothal for years? This is as real a friendship as it gets. Some days I can’t believe how much they’ve both grown up, how far they’ve come! I just love them, and who they truly are together — something far more meaningful than just a teenage crush. Something that’s nothing short of rock-solid. Something that I just have to describe as powerful.
But all the same… I couldn’t help but smile when Sabine quietly caressed his portrait, making me wonder if maybe, just maybe, the feeling’s mutual now… :3

Random note, but one of my favorite bits of animation in the whole episode is watching Mart trying to see over Zeb and Kallus’ shoulders XD I can relate, Mart! #ShortPeopleUnite! Except he’ll probably grow out of it, of course… but, still!

Once the Ghost headed off into the sunset, I wasn’t expecting anything but the credits.
Instead, they gave me so much more — a new hope for Kallus, a new chapter for Hera, and a new mission for Sabine and Ahsoka! And also the fact Rex made it to VI which was obviously so epicly cool. I like that none of these stories are really the “end” of their stories, each of them are just an important moment for each of them, and a way to wrap up their arcs in SWR nicely. Let’s dig into those first three a little further, OK?

Zeb’s impossibly kind gesture to Kallus just wows me. All that time ago, he helped spur the Agent to change his ways, and he could’ve stopped there. But instead, not only does Zeb forgive his once-mortal enemy, he says “Guess what? You’re one of us!” Before this, I had never considered how much Kallus might still be carrying with him, the belief that he’d helped in the purging of an entire people. So what a gift this is, to know there’s still hope, and that he is entirely forgiven! I like to think that, in Ezra’s absence, that Zeb found a new friend in Kallus. Likely not quite the same level of friendship, but one that still maintains an unshakable loyalty. Leave it to Star Wars to paint such an amazing image of forgiveness and hope, and the truth that real friendships can come from anywhere 🙂 As one of my fave songs goes: When I look into the face / of my enemy / I see my / brother!

I’d spent plenty of time over the last couple years thinking “I could totally see Hera legally-adopting kids after the war’s over.” OK granted a lot of that was me liking the idea of Hera adopting the Freemakers, but still, it wasn’t hard to imagine. So when I Saw the adorable green bean in her copilot’s seat… I SQUEE-ED SO HARD! General Syndulla looks so in her element, flying with little Jason (hopefully I spelled it right) by her side! Of course, now I really want to see Jason join Rowan on some Freemaker Adventures… but I’ll take any story about Hera and her boy I can get 😀 What a truly perfect way to cap off her story!

And I really thought we’d reached the end of Ahsoka’s story. It was enough to know she’d survived the duel with Vader. But then… there she stood, ready to fulfill her promise to find Ezra. I love her new look, and not just because it has a bit of a Gandalf-feel to it, but it begs so so many questions! My assumption is she’s become a priestess of sorts for a new branch of Forcewielders apart from Jedi and Sith. But if she is, what does that mean later on for Luke and his attempts to rebuild the Jedi? What does it mean for Rey, trying to find her place in the Force? Or does this supposed new sect of Ahsoka’s even make it that far in the future? Or maybe it just took 30-odd years for Ahsoka and Sabine to find Ezra and then they show up in the middle of Episode IX all “Whoa what happened while we were gone??”. Honestly, I’d be totally up for something like that!
But wherever they go from here, they go with hope. The kind of hope that can save the galaxy.. and actually did

I've got so many feels I don't know what to do with them. What an amazing journey it's been! But thank you so much for reading this.
Thank you for reading all these Rebel Transmissions over the years.

And this all comes around the time my blog just turned five years old, so even more thanks for reading this blog, for fanboying/fangirling alongside me, and for making Padawanline what it is today! Just.. thank you!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

WAIT! THERE’S A NEW TRANSMISSION COMING IN…
SOMETHING ABOUT…
THE RESISTANCE!

Wow I couldn’t have planned this if I tried. We will talk more about this soon!

Oh, right, and here’s the Best-Of posts for the year 🙂

Following The Freemakers: Return Of The Kyber Saber
If Not For IV…: A Special Star Wars Day Story
Fun With The Freemakers Shorts!
Following The Freemakers: The Tower Of Alistan Nor
Following The Freemakers: The Pit And The Pinnacle
A Very Fangirly Analysis Of The New Last Jedi Trailer
Rebel Tranmissions: In The Name Of The Rebellion
Rebel Transmissions: Kindred
Looking Back On The Original SWR Shorts
Rebel Transmissions: Jedi Night

Following The Freemakers: Escape From Coruscant

Things continue to get unbelievably real on The Freemaker Adventures, and that’s why I’m here once again spilling out all my thoughts and queries and theories and fangirly musings. Read on as we dissect some intriguing (and often nerve-wracking) stuff from Escape From Coruscant!

Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, Tarkin, TCW episode The Lawless, Rebels episodes Rebel Resolve, The Siege Of Lothal, and The Holocrons Of Fate, and Freemakers episodes Duel Of Destiny, Return Of The Kyber Saber, A Perilous Rescue, and Escape From Coruscant.

First of all, don’t worry Imperial Guards, I still think you’re cooler than whatever Palpatine thinks 🙂 It’s so funny… I remember early on in my SW fandom not being all that impressed with all those quiet armored characters 99% of fans are obsessed with — the Fetts, stormtroopers, Imperial Guards, etc. They were everywhere and yet they weren’t as interesting to me as the Jedi and Rebels. But now I’m among those 99% and think they’re all fantastic and interesting, and I’ve become a huge huge red guard fangirl over the last year-and-a-half thanks to Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy revealing the full grandeur of their spectacular design (not to mention some funny appearances in other Lego SW stories). So yeah #RedGuardsRule! Ooh maybe the next Star Wars animated series should center around a former guard and his/her journey after the Empire’s fall! A thought anyway.

But my random series ideas are not nearly as important as the fact that Rowan is in possibly the most dangerous place in the galaxy right now — on the Empire’s capital with Darth Sidious in front of him and Darth Vader behind him. The youngest Freemaker is bold, sounding both incredulous and amused at the fact the Emperor was after the long-since-destroyed Kyber Saber all this time. But oh my goodness… I spent this episode completely on edge. We’re only talking about the man who played the Republic like a card, rose to ultimate power, and destroyed almost all the Jedi with a single command. Not to mention the guy’s apprentice, who could survive being crushed by an AT-ST and can use the Force to literally crush one’s heart from the inside (I’m serious go read Tarkin right now). Safe to say they know how to get what they want from Rowan, a child who, though clever and strong with the Force, still has his weaknesses… *Shudders*
Oh, and right before we got the titles, there’s this great little moment you’ve gotta see. After Palpatine giddily gives himself chills, Rowan turns to Vader with a look that says “Uh is this guy for real??” XD

My heart absolutely broke so hard for Kordi, Zander, and Roger this episode. Their brother seems to have become a casualty of war, a soldier lost that the Alliance can’t afford to bring home. I was reminded quite a bit of SWR’s Rebel Resolve, and the challenges that can come from fighting alongside those you care for. Hera knows every fiber of what these kids and their droid are feeling, but Coruscant is truly the worst place in the galaxy for Rowan to be, because it’s the worst place in the galaxy for the Rebels to be. And now that they know of the second Death Star, the stakes just got much much higher. Though a beautiful, impossibly precious quote, it seems there’s no more painful or difficult question to ask than “What’s the point of saving the galaxy if the people you love aren’t in it?“. I sometimes lay awake at night wrestling with that. Some of my most favorite moments in Star Wars have been when someone breaks all the rules to save a life, but not all of these rebellious rescues end well — in fact, they usually don’t. But I understand. I think it’s safe to say we all understand. If, like Luke, your friends were suffering, if, like Obi-Wan, your lost love called for help, if, like all the Freemakers at one point or another, your sibling or siblings were in pain or in danger… you likely wouldn’t stand still and do nothing. True, there’s value in rules, value in thinking your plan through, I mean, we just talked about this last post with Rowan falling for M-OC’s trap. And true, you have to think of the other lives at stake in many of these situations. This is a hard lesson, and thankfully I think most of us average Joes and Janes won’t have to worry about making a decision this monumental or potentially detrimental. These stories in SW are not telling us that the characters were wrong per se, or that going after someone you care for is wrong. They’re reminding us simply to think and to be wise in any situation. And whether these rescues go well (like in Rebels) or with mixed results, seeing these great, admirable, relatable characters who desire to protect and defend, never cease to inspire. And perhaps a character who makes mistakes but loves people is better than a character who never breaks a rule but doesn’t love. That makes sense, right? I feel like I might’ve lost my place somewhere in there but… anyway. GO FREEMAKER FAM GO! THIS IS A REBELLION, SO YOU GO REBEL! They’re willing to give up their place in the Alliance for Rowan, and that’s nothing but amazing no matter how you spin it. Though you’ve gotta be careful with the decisions you make and the actions you take (sorry Maz didn’t mean to rip you off)… family, ideally, should always come first.

So I had no idea how Rowan would survive this episode. I don’t think I breathed much on this one. At all. Though they’re depicted as minifigs, Sidious and Vader are no less deadly, terrifying threats. And again, knowing the horrible things the Sith are capable of… the odds are really not in Ro’s favor. This episode did remind me though that the Master and Apprentice are capable of other methods of persuasion than just by lightsaber or Force lightning; they’re crafty and calculating, taking their time with getting the information they desire. Perhaps that made it even scarier. OK maybe not quite as much with the “Dark Side And You” presentation. That was too great XD But otherwise… yeah oh man… the probes. Seeing those things always makes my skin crawl. And now they’ve upgraded them with laser prods! The fact Rowan was able to resist them as well as he did is nothing short of amazing. The scariest thing though? Watching Vader use the dark side mind probing trick. I’ve wondered in the past if that was just a thing Kylo Ren and Maul could do. Knowing that Darth Vader can do it makes him all the more frightening. The fear and desperation in Rowan’s voice as he tries to fight the impossible… oh my goodness I can’t. I CAN’T. At the time, I’d been thinking most of the episode that surely Kordi and Zander would get to him before Vader found what he was looking for. Surely they wouldn’t let Ro carry the burden of being the one to tip off the Empire to the location of kyber crystals. Surely!
But… no.
Things don’t go that way.

OK wow things are getting so heavy here, and they’re only going to get heavier. My broken heart was healed a little though as the red guards revealed themselves to be Kordi and Zander. They’ve already been there and done that with stormtrooper disguises; it’s a nice way to mix it up! Watching Rowan tacklehug his big brother just made me explode with smiles, something I needed a good bit this episode. Long as this family’s still standing, there’s hope :3

But who would’ve anticipated that M-OC would come back from the dead? I knew he’d been able to repair himself in the past, but the way Vader tore him apart… I really thought that was how the hunter droid would go down.
I was wrong.
And now he mans the most powerful spacecraft in the galaxy… and his sights are set on a scrappy little TIE fighter with the Freemakers aboard.
We’ve seen what the Arrowhead does to TIEs O_O

It’s quite a twist, an episode titled Escape From Coruscant… and they actually have yet to truly escape. If they escape at all.
I know that they must survive somehow since there are two more episodes left this season, but I’m still absolutely terrified for what will become of our heroes, the Alliance, and the galaxy itself in the events to follow.
All the same though, this series never fails to be incredible.

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: The Last Battle

You ready for another Rebels Transmission? “ROGER ROGER!” Today we’re turning back the clock a bit and takin’ it back to the Clone Wars in the beyond-thrilling episode The Last Battle. Eeeeeep I’m so excited to be writing this one!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III and the Rebels episode The Last Battle

*Does Tom Kane Clone Wars Narrator impression* HAVING RUN LOW ON WEAPONS, KANAN JARRUS, EZRA BRIDGER, GARAZEB ORRELIOS, AND CHOPPER, LED BY CLONE CAPTAIN REX, HAVE VENTURED INTO AN ABANDONED SEPARATIST DROID BASE LOOKING FOR UNUSED AMMUNITION. LITTLE DO THEY KNOW, HOWEVER, WHAT DANGEROUS GAME IS PLANNED FOR THEM….
That was fun. Maybe I should open up all my Transmissions like this. I was pretty instantly hit with TCW nostalgia when I saw that base. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but I’m certain I’ve seen it before. I guarantee you I’ll rewatch some episode next week and recognize it. But at the same time, we’re instantly hit by that beautiful Ghost family camaraderie. “I’m sure everything will go horribly wrong.” XD As Zeb once said, the only thing we can plan for is the plan changing. At this point the Rebs’ve come to expect that. Ezra is fascinated when he comes upon the dismembered head of a Separatist battle droid, a “clanker” as Rex calls it. Also I do have a query — if Rex didn’t keep track of all the droids he blasted, then what’re the hash marks on his helmet for? Well, it makes sense I guess if you marked all the droids the helmet would probably be blackened. Hmm more things to double-check while rewatching TCW. Ezra isn’t terribly impressed by the dorky droid, but Rex makes very clear they’re no laughing matter; he’s lost a lot of brothers to them. “Wars leave scars, not all of them you can see” Oh goshhh this wouldn’t be the last time my heart broke for Rex this episode. Can I just talk about the Captain for the rest of the blog? I have enough thoughts on him to fill several blogs tbh, but I know I’m need to stay focused on the episode as a whole. I’ve been thinking a lot on him lately ’cause well… the title made me wonder if this would indeed be Rex’s last battle, as in, he might die. I was trying to prepare myself for the worst, but I was also re-remembering all of his great adventures and just what a great guy he is. I’d been preparing so much, I was a bit surprised when we reached the end of the episode and he was alive and well. But hey, I couldn’t be more thankful for that. I remember five years ago, when I first started really getting into the Prequels and TCW and, though I knew there were different clones, I knew there was a guy named Rex and a guy named Cody, I couldn’t always remember how to tell them apart. Fast-forward a few years and much growth in my SW understanding, and now I know and love all the troopers. But I think it’s safe to say Rex is among the most known and beloved. Especially seeing him now in Rebels, getting to know him even better by the day, particularly in this wonderful Rex-centered episode. Hehe I’d honestly missed seeing him around even though it’s only been a few episodes. Sooo yeah… I lost my train of thought. I’ll come back to more Captain Rex convos later. Anyway, so hooray! The Rebs found the mother lode of munitions! But as they walk right into a ray shield… they find something less than thrilling: fully-functioning battle droids, who’ve captured them for the Separatist Alliance. Methinks the clankers don’t get out much. Or have access to the holonet. Also one of the greatest Ezra lines ever spoken: “Wait, who’s Roger?” I utterly died. I laughed so hard and so long it was only the drama going on that got me to stop. ‘Cause yeah the droids followed up with a stunning and dragged the four off. Oh my I’ve missed these clankers. I know they were/are trouble, but they’re downright adorable. The way they light up a room with their honest wit and perfect one-liners! I’m glad we’ve had Roger around in The Freemaker Adventures, but it’s fun to see them all again as a dorky unit, even if, again, they’re causing trouble 🙂
So this would be the second time my heart broke for Rex this episode. Cuffed in a Separatist base, surrounded by battle droids led by a menacing tactical droid, as far as Rex knows, he’s back in the war again. His brief moment of terror hit me hard, and was a reminder of just how much trauma and hurt he’s been through in the last twenty years or so. He looks to Commander Cody for help, but is brought back to reality as he realizes it’s Kanan. I love though that instantly Kanan calls him “buddy” and encourages the Captain to press on. Being reminded of how much their bond has grown is precious. But no time for friendship feels did I mention there’s a tactical droid? A very very smart tactical named Kalani, who, again, I know him from TCW but I can’t place just where right now. Apparently when the Clone Wars ended, the droid army got shut down, but Kalani was smart enough to know there was no reason to, and didn’t allow for his crew to go down. Does bring up a few questions. What about that battle droid gang, the Droid Gotra? How’d they avoid the shutdown so they could go on and wreak revenge? Maybe I’m the only one who found that mention in Tarkin fascinating, but it’s certainly worth pondering on. Kalani’s been planning a long time on how he might win the Clone Wars for the Separatists once and for all, and now he’s got a clone, two Jedi, and a hostage (that’d be Zeb) to play his little war game. Ezra is willing to take on the challenge. He wants to help Rex and Kanan win this last battle, and he ain’t scared of a few wimpy little clankers (said clankers were quite insulted XP ). Though a battle’s the last thing the Jedi and clone want, Kanan knows it’d be easier to fight them head-on than try and escape any other way. And so the game begins…
It’s a good thing Chopper had wisely avoided the ray shield’s deadly maw. Not only that he isn’t going to cross any clankers (not that he couldn’t completely pwn them tho), but he’s also found something that might be of interest: a very nice old shuttle. He’s gonna shoot Hera a transmission about it (and probably also the fact his crew’s taken hostage by battle droids). Problem is, the Empire might’ve gotten ahold of the transmission first, and Pryce is just lovin’ the idea of making the Rebels’ day even more miserable! Ohh dearrrr.
Yes it’s quite a thrill watching Rex leading Kanan and Ezra into battle. Swarms upon swarms of battle droids are no match for some old school sword-and-shieldin’! It seriously feels as though we’ve gone back in time. Seeing these droids, these locations, even just the classic image of a tactical droid observing the battle, flanked by battle droids, is beautifully familiar. It’s not long before the team absolutely owns it. Oh and this: “I am not programmed to comprehend your humor” “I wasn’t joking” “Ha. Ha. Ha.” XD Well Kalani thinks some things are funny, I do suppose… like siccing his destroyers on the “Republic soldiers”. Ezra volunteers to go on ahead while the Captain and the General take on the next battle droid wave. Ez got a little sidetracked though as Chop showed up, the astromech insistent on showing him his amazing find. Though he still comes through and uses the Force to bash the destroyers, his delay caused a few problems for his comrades. Rex took a hit to the shoulder and Kanan just barely fended the battle droids off before Ezra dealt with ’em. Rex was OK, but completely not happy with Ezra. It’s not a game, it’s life and death, and he strongly insists Bridger stick to the plan if they want to survive this. Ezra had reasons for the delay, reasons that will help them out later, but Captain Rex is in full-on Clone Wars mode right now and don’t wanna hear it. I can understand both sides. Ezra and I are alike in that way sometimes we accidentally screw up and get chewed out for something we had no intention of. But with Rex, we’re re-reminded this episode that he’s a clone, bred for a war he spent years of his life fighting. He hasn’t lost that instinct to fight, to protect, to lead. He’s become something of a regular human in some ways since joining up with the Ghost crew, helping lead the Rebs as well as becoming a friend and grandpa-figure to the crew-fam. It’s not that I ever truly forgot who he once was, but I’ve been loving seeing him in this “regular human” role for so long I’d never considered how he might still be carrying the Clone Wars with him. Shoot I don’t know how to segue back to the story now after all those deep thoughts. Anyway, so it looks like Ez was going to make a point to stick to the plan from here on out. And oh look more droidekas. They may be tough but they can still blast like destroyers half their age (for the most part anyway). The “best use of unconventional weapon” award goes to Rex for nailing that one with his helmet. I mean, whoa so BOSS. Just like that the Republic soldiers — I mean Rebels — made it back to the control center. Total win for our heroes right? Ezra’s calling shenanigans. The only reason they got as far as they did is that the destroyers were really old, so it wasn’t a fair fight. And then a simple thought: who actually won the Clone Wars? The Empire. About then when an Imperial fleet actually showed up. Oooh boy. The battle droids were so nice and polite when they went out to greet the stormtroopers! And all the bucketheads did is blast ’em! And walk their AT-ATs all over ’em! OMG rude! Ezra makes the mind-blowing statement that maybe the Republic and the Separatists don’t need to be fighting each other… they need to be fighting their common enemy, the Empire. May sound sorta crazy, but that’s logic both Rex and Kalani can agree on. *Slow clap* Ezra, what you just did there is amazing. And everything that follows is amazing. A clone captain and a tactical droid working on a plan, battle droids and Jedi blasting AT-ATs, droidekas firing at AT-STs… it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Something I never would’ve imagined I’d get to see happen, but I’m so glad I did. As I’ve said before, Lucasfilm knows what I want to see before even I know it. Moment of silence, though, for the battle droid shuttle that didn’t make it. They were some of the nicest battle droids ever to grace the galaxy. But together, these two opposite ends of the spectrum were able to give the Empire a fight and made it safely offworld. The Republic and the Separatists just won the Clone Wars for good, thanks to a wise young man who saw past the politics to the truth. Now the droids and our Rebs go separate ways, with the Captain’s burden lifted, and a shuttle that might just be the Phantom Mark II. Anyone else getting a little misty? And then came the credits, beautiful intertwining the Rebels theme with that of The Clone Wars. ALL. THE. FEELS. After watching I was definitely hungry for some more classic Clone Wars adventures. And y’know that’s one of my favorite things about this episode. The Clone Wars were some dark times on both sides of the war. Palpatine rigged the whole thing for his own gain and both Republic and Separatists suffered because of it. The Last Battle was the perfect redeeming capper on all of this, giving both sides a chance to fight back together. It’s indescribably amazing. As I’ve said before, for all of Palpatine’s planning and plotting, he couldn’t keep good from coming out of it. Not even those sweet dorky don’t-ask-questions-just-shoot-what-you’re-told-to battle droids. And yeah I’m definitely going to have to elaborate further in more posts in the future. Still got a lot of stuff about TCW and Captain Rex to talk about! 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight