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

Rebels Season 3 Recap + Padawanline Anniversary IV

OK so I know I’m getting this done later than anticipated, but life has this habit of keeping me from blogging like I should. Anyway, like the posts for the past seasons, I’m just gonna talk about everything I can manage to fit into one post before I lose my train of thought, looking back on the season as a whole, and covering some of the topics I forgot to talk about during the main Transmissions posts. So without further ado…
NOTE: Contains potential spoilers for basically all SWR. Not a post you want to read if you’ve ever missed an episode. Also to be safe there are potential spoilers from many of the films. Just to let you know.

So first area of interest for me to cover is our favorite crew-family, starting with Ezra. Gosh he’s grown up. I say that a lot, but the other day I was watching a Season 2 episode and seeing him so much younger again was almost surreal and made me start proud-mama-fangirling again. But beyond his height, haircut, and thinner face, he’s grown up in many other ways as well. It’s really interesting to note that, at the beginning of the season, I was more than a little spooked by his considerably edgier moves, and though the very thought made me sick, it seemed clear to me he’d begun spiraling down a dark path. But at the end of the season, it suddenly occurred to me that he didn’t go down that path. With Kanan back as his master, he put the Sith holocron behind him and hasn’t touched it since. Instead of taking a turn for the worse, we’ve seen him step up in bold ways, as on fire as ever to do the right thing. He’s become a masterful voice of reason, bringing the final end to the Clone Wars, advising a boy not that different than a younger version of himself, willingly giving a Geonosian the benefit of the doubt… it’s amazing how wise he is, really. And even in the moments he wasn’t quite so wise, he came out of it having learned something (most of the time). It’s just really neat to look back and think about all the little ways he changed and all the ways he hasn’t. Also an interesting think for me to note personally is how much more we’ve seen him involved with the growing Rebellion. Without constant confrontations with Inquisitors, he hasn’t done a lot of dueling too much lately, or even trained that much, that we’ve seen. The Jedi side of him will always be there, but that’s not just who he is. He’s a Rebel, and it’s been great seeing him do a lot of that this season, whether in flying A-wings (which still is such a mind-blowing image to me) or leading missions. But even more than a Jedi and a Rebel, he’s a friend, and among the Ghost crew, family. I love how strong his bond with Kanan’s become, especially after coming out of those months out of balance. I love how firmly he’s stood by Sabine through the trials she’s faced. I love watching him and Zeb pal around and laugh at Wedge and Hobbie. All the teamwork, all the family feels, it’s filled these past seven months with a lot of smiles and happy tears. I guess none of this is anything we didn’t already know, but I just couldn’t not talk about it! I love watching this kid grow up, and I’m excited to see where he’ll go next :3
And of course oh my goodness we have to talk about Sabine, ’cause good gravy she’s grown up a lot too. Pff I feel like I’ve spent most of this season crying “AHHH MY CHILDREN DONE GREW UP!! JUST LOOK AT THEM OMG!! HOW IS IT POSSIBLE??!” even though they’re not my children. Her story went to places I never could’ve imagined, and it all happened so much faster than I anticipated! The past two seasons have only given the smallest little hints of her backstory, and this season, they gave us a massive amount of it. I won’t say “all of it” because I’m sure there’s more we don’t know, but it was still so much more than I expected. And it was epic. I wrote in my post on The Antilles Extraction “I want to be Sabine Wren when I grow up!” and that still holds true, especially after all she’s been through this season. Trials Of The Darksaber remains such a pivotal episode not only in this season, but honestly in the entirety of the series itself. I just love how raw and real it is, just spending 22 minutes with only a few characters, fighting only their own personal battles. And where we went from there was just amazing. It’s interesting though, I thought we might get one episode before the finale to wrap up Sabine’s arc, but no there’s still a lot more story to be told there. But hey, I’m certainly not complaining, even if I’m gonna have to wait a few months to find out what happens next. It’ll be exciting to see! And that was a terrible understatement. I’m also quite curious if this sidestory of the Wrens vs. the Saxons will be a standalone arc, if we’ll have episodes with only Sabine and her family that won’t feature anyone else in the crew-fam. Just an interesting thought, anyway. But yeah, Sabine has grown up a lot, and it still amazes me how she’s able to press on and push through all these monstrous challenges and past hurts, and do so in a way that’s truly honorable. And also it’s been special this season seeing not only her reunited with her blood family, but a strengthened bond with her crew-family. Things have changed a lot since the first couple seasons. I think she sees Kanan more as a mentor/father figure than previously, and certainly she’s come to respect and trust Ezra much more so as well. Following her story this past season has been wonderful, and getting to see where it goes next is among the things I’m most excited to see this next season. And I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about the Wrens and Mandalore and all the epicness that’s sure to come with it! Because Sabine, her family and her homeworld just can’t help but be epic, y’know? 🙂
As for Kanan, it’s been… oh my gosh, just insanely epic watching how far he’s come. He’s learned so much seeing with the Force, not just in sweet Jedi moves (howzabout that blast-deflecting in Hera’s Heroes?!), but a lot about who he is and where he’s going. Again, watching some Season 2 episodes recently reminded me how far he’s come. Kanan’s so much more patient, so much more thoughtful and wise. He lost his way in the months in between the Twilight and the Shadow, but once he found his way back, he’s matured in incredible ways. And I think a lot of this maturity has reflected itself back into his apprentice/honorary son, and also in his other apprentice and honorary daughter :3 OMG YOU GUYS I’M CRYING RECALLING ALL THOSE HUGS. A lot of this is thanks to the Bendu. He taught Master Jarrus some tough lessons, but the challenges ultimately brought out the best in Kanan as well as Ezra. Not to totally change the subject, but I’m still so fascinated by the One-In-The-Middle. Part of him makes sense and the other part remains a mystery dipped in secret sauce! I don’t know if we’ll ever see him in SWR again, but maybe a future series or a book will fill in some of the blanks. Maybe. Either way his voice acting was perfect and he was something so profoundly epic and exciting and different inside of the SW universe, it’s no wonder I’m still hungry for more Bendu action 🙂 Sorry Kanan I totally ended up giving your paragraph to a different character. I love Kanan’s thoughts at the end of the season finale, how he can see a hopeful future in front of them even in the face of defeat… it’s going to be amazing seeing him help further that in the stories to come.
It’s been really cool watching Hera this past season, too. She’s become such a pivotal force in the Rebellion. And while we’ve seen her really taking some serious initiative and an all-business approach inside of this no-longer-mini-Alliance, her crew-family still remains a top priority. She’s faced down Maul, Thrawn, and all manner of challenges and unexpected turns and been nothing short of boss. I know I’m pretty hyped to see where she goes in this next season as we look forward to finally calling her “General” 😀 But oh yeah, if you haven’t heard, we’ll get to see Hera in The Freemaker Adventures this coming season, so there’s plenty of bossladyness to come even before this fall! (And Leland Chee has confirmed her presence in the Empire/Jedi era is totally canon! Woot!) Also I absolutely need to say this because I haven’t found the right time to discuss in the prior posts, but I love this sort of love language Kanan and Hera have right now. Their brief embraces in Holocrons Of Fate and Zero Hour are utterly precious. Perhaps due in part because Kanan can’t see, it’s more natural now for them to interact by touch. It might be something small but it has so much meaning to it I literally haven’t stopped “aww”ing over it since. Such sweet beans :3 Anyway…
It’s been really interesting with Zeb this season. After watching him so awesomely overcome his own personal battles in season 2 I really wanted to see more emotional arcs for him this season. But the further we got into this season, the more I realized he really didn’t need it at this point. Season 3 has seen him really in his element as a full-on military leader and chief of security for the Rebels. Not that he didn’t have a few moments of doubt and frustration (*cough* I’m lookin’ at you AP…), but it didn’t take a whole arc to fight through. He’s just really found his place in the Alliance and has taken it by the horns. But even with all this new responsibility, he’s still remained the fun uncle/older brother figure he’s always been. Especially when it comes to messing with the noobs XD Of course, we can’t forget that one huge contribution of his this season — our newest Fulcrum, Kallus! The ex-Agent’s gotten our Rebs out of many a pickle this past season, and he’s done so in spectacular fashion! Like I’ve said a lot on previous posts, he’s just gone above and beyond the call of duty and it’s been great being able to cheer for him for the first time ever! I can finally appreciate his masterful snark and craftiness 🙂 It’s gonna be a lot of fun seeing how he fits in with the rest of the Alliance and what tricks he’ll have up his sleeve next as things get really real this next season.
And of course there’s not a lot to say about Chop and AP-5 other than that I love every moment they’re on screen. They may not get an arc, but we’ve certainly seen some changes and new developments with them. We’ve seen that compassionate side of Chopper flare up a little more when he offered Sabine some comfort in her trials, and even saw him go through some mourning for his old master. The latter moment made me actually really like the concept of a Chopper anthology film, especially if it centered around his early days in the Clone Wars and Hera. As for AP-5, well, he gained a considerably massive ego… and a lovely singing voice 🙂 But ultimately they haven’t changed a bit, they’re still a couple of the most wonderful and difficult droids to grace the SW galaxy.
Of course I couldn’t write this post without talking about Maul. I really thought after Twilight Of The Apprentice we wouldn’t be seeing him again. I figured he had other things to do, other places to be. But nope, he had quite a bit of unfinished business with the crew-fam. It’s been fascinating seeing how he interacted with them, especially with Ezra, the apprentice he always wanted but would never get. He brought some seriously terrifying moments, but also still some great moments that continued to reveal his humanity. Plus, anyone else sorta just realize that if Maul hadn’t gotten involved, Sabine wouldn’t have found the Darksaber? Mind. blown. This season of Rebels told us the end of his story, and what a great ending it was. That might sound calloused, but you see, the fact that all these years of hurt and desperation for Maul would be capped with hope… went beyond anything I could’ve predicted or imagined. I look forward greatly to digging into those Maul comics and whatever further stories pop up about the troubled zabrak’s life in the future.
And finally, we need a paragraph entirely devoted to Grand Admiral Thrawn. I’m still so so glad they brought him into SWR. I needed to meet this brilliantly devious character I’d heard so much about! They weaved him into the canon perfectly and made him every bit one of the most flawless villains in not just Star Wars, but really in any story. He brought quite a thick layer of intrigue and mystery to this season, and kept me on edge just about every moment he we saw him. He got in a good-sized win in the finale… and who knows what his next move will be? Yet, who knows how Bendu’s prediction will come into play? I’m so ready for more Thrawn you guys. That is all.
There’s just an infinite number of things I could further discuss, I know, but considering the time and that I honestly forgot some of the things I’d intended to talk about, I think it’s best to save those ponderings for another post. It’s really been an amazing season in so so many ways… it still stuns me how much everyone has grown and matured, not to mention the Alliance itself. The whole season’s just about left me breathless, in the best way possible. Just like the show always does :3 Yeah I know words fail me right now, but sometimes the awesomeness is far too awesome for me to describe. I just adore this family ❤

Also, I'm happy to say that today is Padawanline's 4th birthday! It's been a challenging year in some ways, as I've had trouble balancing real life busyness and the blog sometimes, but there's also been so much fun and so much joy, too. So thank you, my reader friends and followers. I'd write about Star Wars even if I didn't have an audience, so it means a lot that you all take the time to share in the fun and joy with me on a weekly basis… even when I misunderstand stuff and make typos I don't notice until weeks after posting :3 So, I leave you first with another link to my readers' survey (Here), so you can continue to help me make this site better, and also a list of my favorite posts from this last year. Thank you all again, everyone. Here’s to another four years of Star Wars love… and many more after that!

Rebel Transmissions: The Forgotten Droid
Rebel Transmissions: Twilight Of The Apprentice
10 Crazy Good Moments From Crisis On Coruscant
Following The Freemakers: A Hero Discovered
SW Summer Reads – The Weapon Of A Jedi
A [Fangirly] Analysis Of The New Rogue One Trailer
SW Summer Reads: Tarkin
Following The Freemakers: Race On Tatooine
Following The Freemakers: The Test
Rebel Transmissions: Steps Into Shadow
Rebel Transmissions: Hera’s Heroes
Following The Freemakers: The Maker Of Zoh
Rebel Transmissions: Visions And Voices
Rebel Transmissions: Double Agent Droid
Rebel Transmissions: Twin Suns

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: Duel Of Destiny

Wow it’s been too long since I last did some writing on the Freemaker fam. You’ll have to forgive me if any of this post is off… it might take me a few paragraphs to get back in the game. Buuut hopefully not too long, ’cause even if I haven’t written about them in a while, I’m pretty much always thinking about this amazing family… and tbh a lot of headcanons to go with ’em.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode V, Episode VII, Rebels episodes Fire Across The Galaxy, The Holocrons Of Fate, Ghosts Of Geonosis, and Freemakers episodes Showdown On Hoth and Duel Of Destiny

So Naare’s done with everyone right now. Pressure’s on from her superiors, and she still can’t get over the fact Rowan pulled the rug out from under her like he did. Also Graballa won’t shut up. Give him some cred at least he’s looking on the bright side! Not many SW n’er-do-wells make a point of doing that! But I guess it’s tough to look on the bright side when you’ve got Palpatine breathing down your neck… yeesh. Also I just have to point out that Geonosian having a drink in the background. I’ll take that as a sign they don’t go extinct. Maybe it’s Klik-Klak even! Either way I like the idea that not all the bugs do the same stuff. Wouldn’t a Geonosian bounty hunter be the coolest thing?! That needs to be a canon thing right now OK? Sorry for rabbit-trailing. Let’s move along shall we?
Zander and Kordi have been searching all over the galaxy trying to find their little brother. From rim to rim, from Naboo to Tatooine, but with no success, the siblings finally decide to return to The Wheel and hope Rowan gets the same idea. Again ahhh the feels this family is so dedicated it breaks my heart to see them apart! We find that Rowan has found shelter on a remote, unknown rock where he spends his days practicing his lightsaber technique with training droids and Roger’s old memory footage of Jedi. The fact he’s learning from so many different Jedi is incredible. I mean, I know Roger’s not a fan of reliving his constant injuries (I’m guessing the Seppies started recycling their droids after a while), but Rowan’s got a legacy of masters no other Jedi can claim! That’s like… a dream prospect! And he’s not too shabby at it either! Rowan longs to be reunited with his family, but he won’t leave until he knows how to properly defend the final piece of the blade. So much wow this kid keeps blowing my mind with his awesomeness.
Though Naare couldn’t sense Rowan back on Hoth, she’s making a point to try this time as she spends long hours meditating. I still have so many questions on what she’s capable of with the Force, which honestly leads back to a lot of questions on what the Force itself is capable of. How does the ability to sense a presence work? I really gotta do my research again sometime because I either have no clue or I’ve completely forgotten. Is Naare truly incapable of sensing Rowan? And if so, why? WHY I TELL YOU??? Oh it’s painful having all these questions sometimes. Naare is not successful at sensing Rowan, but a tip-off from a spy regarding the boy’s family… that has the potential to be… successful… Bro I got the worst chills after that. Suddenly things got really really dark out here. Especially when the Eclipse FIghter lands in the Freemakers’ shop. “AHHHHMAGOSH THEY’RE DEAD.” was my response. I’ve wondered long what would go down if something like this ever happened. Naare’s a fully-committed darksider psychopath! If she wanted to get Rowan’s attention by torturing his siblings, then sure enough she could do it! But oh she makes very clear to Zander and Kordi she has no interest in doing them physical pain… mental torture is so much more fun O_O Maybe she can’t sense Rowan… but she has no doubt Rowan can sense his brother and sister’s suffering. And she starts off by hitting their more superficial fears as she mercilessly tears parts off the StarScavenger and burns their precious few credits. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if she knew how to do that Kylo Ren-ish/Maul-ish/Grand Inquisitor-ish mind torture thing too and maybe dig up some other old wounds. (I can’t be the only one wondering what became of their parents, right?) Though with the way Zander reacted after she tore apart the Blazemaker, well, she really didn’t have to do anything more. RIP Blazemaker. That was needlessly cruel.
Again, the fact that Rowan is learning from the likes of Anakin, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, and Kit Fisto… just *makes explosion noise with mouth*. Plus, I mean, anyone can watch someone do something, but actually learning it and applying it? That’s harder. I mean, look at me! You’d think with all the lightsaber combat I’ve witnessed I’d know how to swing one in a fight, but eh a Jedi I am not. So yeah this has inspired me to try practicing dueling with my brother again. If Rowan can do it, so can I! And then he felt it… pain. Kordi and Zander’s pain. Roger re-reminds him of their plan to remain hidden, but Rowan’s changing the plan. “What’s the point of saving the galaxy if the people you love aren’t in it?” Oh my heart this precious child… he was about to pull a “Luke”. What he felt was no vision, it was really happening, so he was a little more in his right than Luke was. But at the same time… this boy is our last hope… and there’s isn’t another. All I knew for sure during my first viewing was that Rowan was about to learn a very very hard lesson.
OK this post needs some lightening up. Let’s spend a whole paragraph on Graballa’s green pretzel! OK maybe not a whole paragraph but seriously a green pretzel sounds really good. Though the one Graballa has looks like it could use some more salt because what’s a pretzel without salt? I mean seriously. Maybe the salt’s just baked in or something IDK. I’d sure hope so. All right now I’ve gotta cut the light chatter now because HOLY CRUD, NAARE JUST PULLED OUT HER LIGHTSABER ON KORDI AND ZANDER. So when Rowan finally showed up in a spectacular crash-landing fashion, I defs was cheering. What follows is too epic to base off my feeble description alone. Kordi and Zander take on Graballa and his fleet of moof-milkers (btw still one of the greatest SW insults ever) with only some junk and a whole lotta ingenuity (and also a giant magnet… and a fan… and a few other things). Meanwhile Rowan and Naare come blade-to-blade like never before, ’cause this time Ro’s been learning from the best. Naare definitely notices after a while, especially when he pulls a masterful move Darth Vader perfected. R0-GR takes the credit for his “padawan”‘s skills, but in doing so… might’ve revealed he remembers the location of the last Kyber Saber crystal. With this news, Naare violently force-pushes Rowan into a junk pile and slashes Roger’s head off. Now she’s got it all… her enemies defeated, the information she needs in the palm of her hand, and while she’s at it, she finally severs her deal with Graballa. No doubt she’s terrifying here but I kind of admire her confidence with handling Graballa and his gang. She’s all #WINNING today bro and now she don’t need anyone’s crud. So when Rowan rises up once more, blade ready… oh man that little teeny smidge of respect I had for her went out the airlock when she sent virtually everything down on his head. Watching him crushed against the wall like that still makes me shudder and hurts my heart to watch. I was honestly amazed he survived. So were Zander and Kordi. But out of the rubble, in their darkest hour… Rowan finds hope. He’s fought so hard to become a Jedi, but the only thing he needs to be right now is himself — a Freemaker.
As Boba Fett once said in an episode of Droids, “You haven’t won yet“. We’re talkin’ to you, Naare. *Drops the mic*
THAT WAS SO SO EPIC AW MAN I CAN’T. Reminded me again how antsy I am for that next season. Welp I look forward to writing about some Rebels epicness next week and all other manner of Star Wars epicness from there!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: Showdown On Hoth

Ah, is there any better way to spend a chilly day than by bundling up in a cozy blanket and writing about Star Wars? The weather is especially appropriate as I’m writing on the Freemakers episode Showdown On Hoth today. Let’s dig in.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Episode V, Freemaker episodes The Kyber Saber Crystal Chase, The Maker Of Zoh, and Showdown On Hoth

“We’re only talking about the fate of the galaxy here, but y’know… no pressure!”
OK that is seriously one of my favorite quotes from this episode and this season and the series period. It carries such a classically iconic Star Wars vibe it just bowls me over with feels. And it’s highly appropriate, as we watch Rowan and Kordi man the StarScavenger‘s guns as Graballa’s fleet and the Eclipse Fighter follow closely behind, who are aiming to get to that final Kyber Saber fragment before our heroes do. Zander goes for cloud cover, but ehhh you know how Darksiders are… sorta able to see with the Force and all that. Before they know it, their ship’s minus its stabilizer and caught in a freefall. But Rowan has the Force on his side as well, and he miraculously reattaches the all-too-important piece before they could crash. Naare almost avoided that mountain… key word being “almost”. Because the rest of the fleet didn’t pick up on it as quickly as she did, there might’ve been some crashing. I don’t know how it is nothing exploded, but *shrugs* wouldn’t be a very long episode if the family got off that easily.
As the Freemakers fly over the remains of walkers and snowspeeders, what would normally be perfect scrap for the grabbing is a reminder of the importance of the task ahead. They can’t go back to salvaging, all they can do is find that crystal. Rowan voices a thought that maybe he’d be better served to do this on his own, but his siblings won’t have it. “The Freemakers fly together or they don’t fly at all”. After a slippery landing, the ground search is officially on. Also OMG their matching cold weather outfits are just too darling. And they look super warm, too, which is good considering this is the kind of weather that could drive a man to take shelter in a dead tauntaun. Roger, meanwhile, stays behind on the StarScavenger and out of the cold. He may’ve made a mistake though, turning on the engines to keep warm… they did land on some kind of frozen lake. I guess it’s a lake I’m not really sure. I always thought Hoth was sort of a frozen desert without much aside from cold ground and more cold ground, but considering the snow out here, it makes sense why there’d be other water sources. But yeah the fact their ship sinks and Roger freezes up… oh boy.
So as we catch up with the scum and villainy, first thing of note is: how is it possible that Graballa is literally the only one here dressed for the weather?? And even then he mentions later his adorable hat and scarf are more fashionable than functional. I mean, Dengar’s just chillin’ out here in the frigid cold like nothing’s weird! HOW. EVEN?? Only logical answer I’ve got is that they must have extra layers on. As for Graballa, that just might be something they wouldn’tve done if this weren’t Lego SW. Other major thing of note: Graballa asks Naare if she can just sense Rowan with the Force and figure out where he is from there, but Naare says she can’t. Why? Why can’t she? Why did she need a tracking device on Roger in the first place? I mean, Vader picked up on Obi-Wan’s presence pretty quickly, so it’s not that the Sith can’t do it. Is this just a hole in Naare’s knowledge? Or is it something else? Perhaps maybe Vader and Obi-Wan’s previous bond allowed them to recognize each other more easily, while because Naare and Rowan didn’t have a genuine bond, she isn’t as familiar with his Force essence? Just spitballing here. Just when I think I know how the Force works I end up spending hours contemplating stuff like this. However, Naare can sense fear… and on a lifeless frozen rock like this, it could only be coming from a few particular people…
It’s easy to see why the Freemakers were kinda freaked out. Adding on to the obvious fact they’re in a constant struggle for their lives as they’re being pursued by a red-blade-wielder who works for the most evil man in the galaxy who desires to do even more evil, they’re in a dark cave, on a cold, unpredictable planet… and there’s a WAMPA!!! OK actually it turns out it’s a baby wampa. A very adorable baby wampa who decides he wants to cuddle with Zander. “Aww! He thinks you’re his mother!” “Yeah but what happens when his real mother shows up?” “You can exchange parenting tips.” XD The family plus their furry addition soon come upon a magnificent array of crystals upon crystals. Amidst all the ice there’s a Kyber Saber fragment in there. So Rowan tries something different and attempts to call the crystal to him. I never fail to be fascinated with Rowan’s connection to the Kyber Saber. I’ve likened it to Ezra’s ability to connect with creatures. But is it just the ancient weapon he has this connection to? Could he, say, connect with other kyber crystals? Maybe in the second season he could use this ability to locate surviving Jedi by connecting with the crystals in their ‘sabers? Interesting thought. Also, how is it the crystal led him to this particular area of this particular cave, but it wouldn’t call out exactly where it was. A test of the Force, perhaps. But whatever the case, Rowan’s calling works, and soon finds the final piece in the palm of his hand. And then THE CAVE COLLAPSES!! Thank goodness for lightsabers. I am definitely glad Rowan evidently pocketed that fragment because I almost expected them to have lost it in the pile of ice. But then I remembered that if they did lose it Rowan could just call out to it and find it again. Yeah the ancient Jedi definitely wanted to make it a challenge. But of course nothing could be easy today as the Freemakers walk out of the cave and find the StarScavenger frozen beneath them with their frozen droid on the side, stuck saying nothing but “genius” until he thaws. An abandoned Rebel base across the way looks like their best bet for now. Even if, well, guess who’s in the base right now? Ensign Durpin and Sub-Ensign Plumestriker. Plumestriker’s just been itching for some action despite his superior’s uninterested lazy mindset. So he leaps at the chance to nab these troublemakers. After much of a scuffle between the graycoats, the Sub-Ensign finally gets out a request for backup… which makes its way to Naare. And then, in the tradition of today’s many surprise special guests, enters Mama Wampa! Thankfully, her battle today is with the Imperials. And that’s the last we saw of Durpin and Plumestriker… for now. I have a feeling we’ll see them again sometime soon. Now, the Freemakers have a battle of their own to fight… and it won’t be nearly so simple. But with some battle of Hoth remains, a few tools, a little creativity, and the Force, they might stand a chance. Also this just occurred to me: if the battle of Hoth hadn’t happened, the Emperor could very well have the Kyber Saber. It may’ve been a terrible defeat, but good has still come out of it, because it’s allowed the Freemakers to bring the fight that will determine the fate of the galaxy. Seeing good coming out of evil never fails to be cool to me 🙂 It’s all quite “genius”! Hehe R0-GR you better be complimenting these kids when you say that XD
So boy, was Graballa’s fleet in for a surprise when a fully-functioning AT-AT and a snowspeeder came right at them! Yeah them Freemakers be livin’ our dreams! I mean wow they pretty much brought down Graballa’s ship right off the bat. And in a twist of great fortune, his ship crashing knocked the StarScavenger right out of the ice! #WIN! Naare proves to be a slightly more stubborn problem though. So much for that lovely snowspeeder. But Kordi’s got this; she’s been wanting to bring some firepower Naare’s way long before they knew she was a darksider 😛 The Eclipse Fighter goes up in smoke, and it looks like they’ve won the day. Unfortunately, again, Naare has this really bad habit of not dying. SHE’S IN AN EXPLODING SPACECRAFT AND SHE DOESN’T DIE. WHAAAAT. But hey I’m not complaining really. She’s a great villain and I wouldn’t want her to go down like that. Mostly I’m just astounded. And then she uses the Force to bring forth a mighty avalanche, something not even a huge, well-armored AT-AT can handle. Now it seems the Imperial Agent has the upper hand… until she doesn’t. Because hey look! We do see Durpin and Plumestriker again, with Mama Wampa and Junior, too! Runnin’ right over her! And I’m serious I actually forgot that happened. How easily power can change hands, amiright?
Taking shelter in a cave, the Freemakers have a minute to breathe… least until Naare shoots them a holo and makes an offer to [possibly] spare [some of] their lives. But what can they do? Rowan can’t best her in a fight, but they surely can’t just turn over the crystal to them… right? For a moment, Rowan considers what would happen if they’d just give up the fragment and go home. But if the Emperor got the Kyber Saber… “no one’s home will ever be safe again”. Basically got gutpunched with feels just now. The Freemakers spent their whole lives up to this point avoiding the war, keeping out of it, not getting involved. The war was not relevant to them, the war didn’t effect them. But when the war tilts to the side of the enemy… it will eventually effect everyone. They’ve gone too far, there’s no turning back. There’s only one thing for the Freemaker family to do. Rowan walks right up to Naare… and hands over the crystal? Naare is delighted at this turn of events and eager to piece the elegant blade together. But the instant she fuses it together… one piece melts, and the whole thing falls apart. Eyup I kinda wondered if the Freemakers might use the crystal’s similarity to ice to their advantage. Ah that was too perfect! Naare is not a happy camper right now, I’ll tell you that. Also btw they’re all gonna have to rebuild their ships and stuff before they can leave Hoth so basically the day only gets worse from here. Happens when you go around trying to kill people. Just sayin’.
Rowan and family have escaped Hoth with the crystal in hand, but where now? Anywhere, ’cause as long as they’re together, they’re home. Kordi and Zander debate for a little as to which world they’re going to, and it’s as they’re doing this that Rowan and Roger quietly walk out and commandeer one of their scavenging vehicles. Over a holo, Rowan explains he feels protecting the crystal is his responsibility, and he no longer wants to put his family in danger because of it. As he puts it “If the Freemakers keep flying together… then they’re not going to fly at all.” With a final heartfelt goodbye, the little scooper flies off into hyperspace, leaving the StarScavenger behind. The sound you just heard was my heart shattering into a million pieces. It’s beautiful the love and dedication he has for his brother and sister, and just as beautiful is his dedication to the Jedi code he barely knows, his desire to protect, to do the right thing, to keep this precious object out of the Empire’s clutches. He’s grown so much ohmygosh… I don’t know whether I’m happy-crying or sad-crying right now. Probably a little of both. Now, only time will tell where the youngest Freemaker will venture to in his efforts to protect the galaxy…
Yup a lot of happy-and-sad-crying right now. Can’t even. Just can’t. AHH THIS PRECIOUS FAMILYYY!! Speaking of which, I probably won’t be posting next week since I’ll be spending time with my own family for Thanksgiving (as well as eating cranberry sauce directly out of the can). Thanks for joining me, readers 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

SW Summer Reads – The Weapon Of A Jedi

It’s Star Wars Summer Reads time again, and I’m thrilled that today I’ll be writing my thoughts on a book that actually came out in the last year! I mean, I like taking my time reading SW books, so I can properly appreciate each one and digest all its awesomeness, especially with the 100% canon books. So generally most of my posts are on older books I’ve read more than once. But there happened to have been a sale earlier this year and Jason Fry’s Journey To The Force Awakens Novel, The Weapon Of A Jedi, was there and it was useless to resist. And I am so so so so glad I bought it. It’s without a doubt one of the greatest SW books I’ve ever read. And I shall tell you the reasons why!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VII and The Weapon Of A Jedi

So I’m not going to give you a full play-by-play commentary on this one like I usually do with the young readers books, I feel like honestly the best way to express my feelings for this book is to just talk about them straight-up instead of trying to retell the story and fangirl as I go. That method probably works best for the older books and episodes than this incredible book. So with that in mind it will likely be a less time-consuming post to read today! Yaysies!
Anyway, so this was released in anticipation of Episode VII, with small keys to the future of SW. TBH I probably missed most of those “keys” and I read this after seeing the film… twice. But the coolest of these keys was impossible to miss: a Resistance pilot named Jessika Pava. We open with this sweet little prologue of Threepio telling Jess the story of Luke’s first lightsaber duel. It was absolutely great getting to meet Jess Pava a little here. We haven’t seen a huge lot of her yet but clearly she’s an awesome human being. And she gets a ton of cool points for helping destroy Starkiller Base. Just from the two brief chapters we get to see her in, we feel her frustration with being stuck working on droids instead of piloting, totally understand her slight impatience with Threepio, and 100% get her admiration for the great Luke Skywalker. I do wonder a little what time exactly the prologue/epilogue takes place in, since of course yes Jess is here for the Resistance and Threepio rocks a red arm, but it must’ve been a littler earlier than most of the events in TFA because it sounds like Luke is still around and Artoo is fully functional. You just wonder how long ago it was. How long ago was it before there was a Starkiller Base? Before a young Ben Solo went down the wrong path? Before all that we saw panned out in VII’s opening titles? Even though that’s all still somewhat of a mystery, it’s kinda fun not knowing all the answers in this time and place. But I’m rambling.
So the golden droid’s tale starts out smack-dab in a space battle as Luke and Wedge take on a whole lotta TIEs. It’s truly amazing how Mr. Fry put the dogfight into words. I mean… I’ve tried to write space battles for fanfics. They’re confusing. I write better with characters more than I do with war machines. I have to wonder if any of these great SW authors ever had trouble figuring them out too. I suppose it’s just something that takes time and patience and practice and lots and lots of SW reference books (and probably discussions with the Lucasfilm Story Group would help). But boy oh boy did I learn a lot in just this first chapter alone. Not only is it an exciting opener, but it makes sense for dumb readers like me. Even with all that X-wing jargon I had to learn all the while. I didn’t know they used the terms “port” and “starboard”! Small thing but still cool to know. And wow there are so many ways to describe laserfire and explosions without reusing the same words over and over again! Reading this book was a lesson in Star Warsian vocabulary for sure, as well as a lesson in Star Warsian warfare, Star Warsian technology, and Star Warsian culture. I feel smarter already! I suppose this all sounds dumb to those of you more-seasoned SW fans, but *points to blog site title* I’m still learnin’.
Yeah no doubt Jason Fry knows how to write the wars in the Star Wars, but he equally knows how to write for the stars in Star Wars, too. I am absolutely amazed how well he wrote for Luke. We spend the majority of the book in Luke’s head and it is a mind-blowing feeling. And it’s a great place in time to be there! Just fresh off destroying the Death Star, Luke’s simply trying to be the best Rebel he can be, but this little thing called the Force keeps throwing him off. We learn so much from his perspective it’s astounding. One of my favorite things we get to dig into were those little moments that we didn’t see in the movie. I know I’ve been pretty shortsighted and somehow assumed everything that happens in the films happened somewhere between two hours and two days. Luke recalls a number of times Obi-Wan trained him and gave him nuggets of Jedi wisdom in the days between “Hello there” and “If you strike me down…”. It blew my mind wide open knowing about these parts of the story we didn’t know, and of course, it further reminded me what an amazing person Ben Kenobi is (even though I certainly already knew that). Even knowing just the smallest things, like how very hurt Luke was after Owen and Beru’s death, brings new meaning and understanding to the character and his overall story. From the film, we gather that Owen and Beru care for him, but it also seems that their relationship with Luke was sometimes difficult. Knowing he wrestled with anger and grief over what happened to them says that there was so much more to their relationship that we didn’t know. That clearly, Luke loved them, even when they didn’t get along, and Owen and Beru must’ve loved him too. They were his only family, man… OMG I’m sorry I can’t believe I spent so long on that topic but wow it’s really kinda incredible to think about. *Curls into a ball and cries for Luke* Not to mention seeing how much respect Luke has for his father in this chapter in history. We all know his dad isn’t exactly all that honorable at this point, but seeing him still having this connection with him, even not having ever known him, is all kinds of feelsy :3
Of course, one of the biggest things we really get to dig into in this story is the Force. It’s the kickstater for the whole adventure as Luke finds himself led by the Force to the ruins of a Jedi temple on Devaron. For those of us wondering how it is Luke knew how to use a lightsaber as well as he did in Episode V… this is how. With a few words from Ben and a trio of training remotes and a whole whole lot of patience, Luke gets pretty good at the Jedi-ing by the end of the book 🙂 One of the things I love most about SW books is getting a first-person view of the Force, when an author eloquently paints a mental picture of what it’s like to be surrounded by it, working with it, feeling it… it’s a beautiful thing. And Mr. Fry’s work here is no exception. He just absolutely brings it to life in the most spectacular, poetic manner! Watching Luke gain a better understanding of the Force through every twist and turn is amazing. His training session puts him through a lot both physically and emotionally, with descriptions so amazingly vivid you pretty much feel all those moments of frustration and victory yourself (I know I was pretty exhausted just reading all of his lessons in lightsaber-deflecting). Oh gracious everything about it’s fantastic. I wish I could get my thoughts in better order on all of this, but really you just have to read the book for yourself. Can I just say again that it’s seriously amazing spending time in Luke’s head? All the other SW books I’ve read have bounced back and forth between various characters’ perspectives, but 90% of Weapon Of A Jedi focuses on young Skywalker. It’s different, but a really really cool kind of different. I feel like I know this guy even better than I did before. I don’t think there could possibly been a better book to start with for my first canon novel in the Original Trilogy era. Seriously. Like wow. It all leads up to one awesome duel between Luke and an unexpected foe wielding an electrostaff that is all kinds of edge-of-your-seat. Lol I’m not sure if I’m writing this with spoilers in mind or not anymore. But anyhow this book was truly one of the most epic and wonderful things I’ve ever read. It’s a perfect balance between action and heart, and quite honestly should be read by every Star Wars fan, young and old. Jason Fry’s clearly a master at writing Star Wars stuff and I will definitely have to hunt down some of his other novels. And I certainly can’t wait to dive into the other novels in the Journey To The Force Awakens and see what Han and Leia were doing too 😀
So I’m glad we got to sit down and talk about The Weapon Of A Jedi for a moment. But before I sign off…

FIVE OTHER THINGS I LEARNED FROM THIS BOOK, OR JUST FOUND PLAIN INTERESTING OR WORTH MENTIONING!
1. Getting “spacesick” is a thing.
2. Y-Wings are none too fast.
3. Luke’s acting skills are terrible, but in a rather adorable way XD
4. Screwdrivers exist in the SW galaxy.
5. Luke spends a loooooooot of moneyyyy in this book.

OK now we’re done. See you next month for another Star Wars Summer Read!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight