SW Reads: Heir To The Jedi

All right, time to dig into another great Star Wars novel! I’m excited about this one, can you tell? 🙂

Now, in case you didn’t know, Jason Fry’s The Weapon Of A Jedi might be my favorite SW novel of all time. So coming into another Luke Skywalker story with Kevin Hearne’s Heir To The Jedi, I had very very high expectations. And since I’ve never read anything else by Mr. Hearne, I really didn’t know what to expect.
But good news: my expectations were beyond met!

Heir pretty much encapsulates everything I love about Star Wars. It has all manner of thrills and chills, it’s character-driven in the most masterful way, and there is no shortage of laughter and heart. What surprised me most, perhaps, was how easy it was to read. I expected a more dramatic tone somehow, perhaps since the last canon novel I read was Tarkin. But this book is definitely the most easygoing and fun full-length SW novel I’ve read so far! Not to say it doesn’t have its share of drama, because it absolutely does. But reading it was such a pleasurable experience! I like to think Heir is to modern SW novels as Solo is to the films. Because both stories put full focus on these amazing characters, and find just the right balance of feels and fun! And Heir‘s also an easy read because it doesn’t overwhelm us with too much new information or technical terms. Don’t get me wrong, digging into the fine details is one of my favorite things about SW books. But there’s a welcome, comfortable feel from Mr. Hearne’s descriptions that makes everything tangible and completely understandable. One of my favorite examples was with the food, which for the most part, was often just a slightly-spacey version of what we eat on earth. The relatability of the SW galaxy shines brightly in this book, and makes me feel right at home, even as we follow Luke through all manner of unique, unusual, and sometimes-terrifying worlds.

Honestly, I can’t recommend this book enough. If you’re new to SW books and don’t want to go the read-them-all-by-release-date route I’m going, this would make a great first novel! Weapon isn’t my only fave Luke story now 🙂

And now, here’s my fangirly musings commentary!
Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, and Heir To The Jedi

– A few pages in and I’m already loving reading directly from Luke’s perspective. Like with Weapon Of A Jedi, (my favorite Luke story ATM) I love getting to know Luke at this early time after the battle of Yavin, when he was young, idealistic, and trying to figure out the Force.
– Someone get me a model of the Desert Jewel stat! Or at least a Lego kit!
– So Luke doesn’t speak astromech? Huh. I would not have guessed. Maybe he picks up some by Empire? Crud I need to watch the OT again…
– Cool seeing a new side of Rodia. But glad I can’t smell it. Points for Mr. Hearne’s descriptions, though!
– I don’t know what a needle gun does, but it sounds pretty cool, in a scary way.
– There’s nothing quite as stirring as a Clone Wars tale of Jedi heroics! I love that Luke got another glimpse into the life of his father.
OOOOOOH A PURPLE LIGHTSABER!!
– Datapads take holo stills like smartphones take photos. A longtime SW question of mine has been answered!
– The more I read this novel, the more I fall in love with its author’s cleverness and choice of words. Not to mention how wonderfully he takes on Luke’s voice.
– My fave line so far: “I hadn’t read the histories of those ‘seduced’ by the dark side, but I doubted any of them had been corrupted by a vegetable of questionable nutritional value.” XD
– The Promise and the Redemption are utterly gorgeous ship names.
YIKES the skullborers might be the scariest SW creatures in a while. I think I’d rather hug a rathtar before stepping foot on a world with possibly-sentient brain-eaters!
– Pffft Luke and Nakari’s mutual cooking fails cracked me up 😛
– I am so so glad to know ice cream exists in SW. Knowing our differing worlds share something so sweet makes me smile :3
– I never considered until now that a galaxy with so many many diverse peoples would call for a lot of different medical supplies, techniques, and knowledge. Wonder how long it’d take the average med student to graduate?
– I just realized the chapter openings all have some scientific-looking math formulas around the wording. It must have connections later in the story… wish I was more adept at math so I could see if there’s some kind of special code to crack.
– Is rancor sauce really made of rancors, or is it just something super super spicy? Also knowing what Corellia looks like, I get the feeling I wouldn’t want to eat noodles grown there… THIS BOOK IS SO FUN THO.
– Communicating with higher math? That’s a totally neat concept, but I’m with Luke… I doubt I could speak it fluently. As you might’ve noticed, I’m a writer, not a mathematician.
– They say the average galactic citizen doesn’t know of Vader. Wonder how anyone would know to even write a parody song? Hmm. An interesting exception to the rule.
– I like Nakari a lot; she’s a fun, interesting character and a great match for Luke. But I can’t help but be slightly suspicious about her for some reason…
– Something tells me TIE pilots probably don’t get very long lunch breaks. If they get lunch breaks at all. Who wants a tasty ration stick??
– Epic!! A seismic charge! Y’know, that’s one of my favorite sounds in all of Star Wars.
– Once again, Artoo saves the day, and proves once more that the SW saga would never have happened without him!
– A droid with a fake mustache is always a good thing XD
– AHHHH LUKE AND NAKARI ARE SO CUTE!! I WISH I STILL DIDN’T HAVE DOUBTS.
Oh no… I’m so sorry I spent so much of this book suspicious about her. Looking back, I realize there was little to incriminate her. Previous SW stories and Leia’s suspicions were the only things I was really going on, besides the fact the relationship was never referred to or evidenced in later stories. I figured the reason why Luke and Nakari didn’t end up with fifteen grandkids by Episode VIII was because she had ill intent. Never once did I consider that she could simply have died. I guess I loved her character enough that I didn’t want to go that route. It was safer to assume she was a scoundrel, because scoundrels could still be redeemed. But through this tragic turn, we see Luke facing the very thing that turned his father down a dark path, and coming out stronger. We know, of course, that Luke will still be prone to react rashly when his friends are in trouble, but it speaks volumes that he was able to resist the darkness and find peace in this moment. And he comes through this loss in a way decidedly the Jedi Order would not have done, but what was undoubtedly the right way to do it: through tears and through joyful memories. So much wow. What a book!

Thanks for reading along with me today. ‘Til next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 3

I’m heading back to Takodana today for another visit with the Pirate Queen! And that means another opportunity to write on my favorite moments and fascinating revelations inside of each of her stories! You can read the first two posts here and here.

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Three (but you can watch those shorts here), and several elements from The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, Episode V, Episode VI, and Episode VIII

#1. Sabine and I both need to work on our not-rushing.

I can’t blame Sabine, though. She’s venturing on a potentially-life-or-death mission for the mini-Alliance! Of course you wouldn’t want to take any longer than you have to! I don’t have anything close to that kind of excuse for my tendency to rush. But in both cases, Hera makes crystal-clear that patience really does pay off, even when the stakes are really really high. Means you don’t end up with a shuttle full of storms, and you can just punch a button instead of blasting! That’s why she’s the captain-general-spacemom! And it’s a lesson not easily forgotten when it’s surrounded by edge-of-your-seat action and supreme comic timing 😀

#2. Ahsoka’s definitely an Anidala (or would that be Aname?) shipper.

Oh this one is just too delightful, you guys. It’s so classically Star Wars! So character-driven, so funny, so sweet! And who doesn’t love stories like this, where a third wheel is blissfully unaware they’re a third wheel? XD But there’s more to this nugget than just the comedy of Ahsoka cutting in on Anakin and Padme’s alone time; we get to see, I think for the first time I can remember, the three of them working together. They all have such a great bond! I couldn’t help but give a little squee and say “Awww! Anakin and his girls are the best little family!!” ❤ ❤ Anyone else feeling some serious Clone Wars nostalgia coming on?

#3. A funny thing happened on the way to Canto Bight…

Two words: space. jellies. They’re dangerous, but goodness gracious, I love them! They’re just so dazzling and majestic and slightly surreal! Wonder if they were in the The Last Jedi originally and got cut. Either way, I hope we see more of them in the future! And you gotta love getting to see a new Finn and Rose adventure! Though we only spend a few minutes with them, it’s a fantastic few minutes, really giving you a feel for this solid friendship of theirs taking shape, and for the something-slightly-more it becomes :3 Plus, Finn’s panicky “OHHH I HATE THIS!!” makes me die laughing every time XD Sorry man, but I love this!

Also, it wasn’t until I watched this short that I realized BB-8 was the one piloting the shuttle the whole time. Little droid got skillz! 👍 Wow, watching this again really made me realize how much I’ve missed this threesome…

#4. Chandra-fans have some sticky fingers!

First of all, I’d need to check back, but anyone else wonder if this chandra-fan child is the same in Newest Recruit? They don’t quite sound the same, and I can’t remember if this is Garel or somewhere else, but I could just be forgetful. Would be interesting, though. Would also explain why the little one was in a food crate later on. But yeah what a cutie! Even when he’s being totally difficult and making every effort to keep Jyn away from her beloved kyber necklace, he’s still so adorable! My favorite thing about this short, though, is the sheer, planet-shaking kindness Jyn shows him. Remember, this girl’s a convicted criminal! I haven’t gotten to dig into her book yet or anything, but I don’t doubt she earned that title before the Alliance sought her out. It makes every act of kindness Jyn shows in FoD is a special and precious thing to see. Long before she ever stole the Death Star plans, she was already a hero to this mischievous little boy 🙂

#5. Porgs just wanna have fun!

Even though just a brief moment, it’s super-cool getting to see more of Rey’s training on Ach-To. Watching this again makes me really want to rewatch VIII and read the novelization so I can drink in every single fascinating moment of her Jedi training with Luke. Of course I sadly will have to wait until a good deal on the 4K pops up, but until then, the short is delightful anyway. I mean… we’re talking about PORGS here; porgs are nothing short of delightful! And like say, what I love perhaps the most is that, after Rey Forcegrabs one of them, they decide they all want to fly, too! Shows you just how friendly they are, and how much personality their tiny bodies can pack! I might never have guessed Rey was so good with animals before FoD, but I’m so glad they decided to reveal that side of her in these great stories. One more thing I can definitely relate to! 😀

#6. Mazbacca is actually canon! (Well, maybe.)

This one is majorly cool. We get to meet the real Boushh and find how Leia got the disguise! And we discover that Maz Kanata was how they found it! I had no idea she and Han and Chewbacca went so far back. I’d assumed maybe they’d all met maybe beyond Episode VI, but it’s one of those theories of mine I’m actually glad was proven wrong. Knowing Maz and Leia’d met makes the former’s advice to Han in VII all the more meaningful, because we now know Han and Leia were both friends of Maz’s. I honestly hope that, over the years, the four all would meet up for kaffe on the weekends 🙂 Either way, makes me love their shared bonds even more!

But on that original note, hehe yes I loved finally getting to see the tall and smol together, sharing a hug :3 Nice to know it might not just be a one-sided thing on Maz’s part. If that is indeed the case, though, after thirty years, Chewie, you need to put a ring on it. *Cough*

#7. Dagobah has a lot of trees.

First of all, I love they chose to not feature just the bossladies of Star Wars in FoD. Though the concept of FoD was devised in part, I believe, as a way to get young girls interested in Star Wars who might not’ve been otherwise, that doesn’t mean girls aren’t going to gravitate to the bossmen of the galaxy, too! Lucasfilm understood that, and because of that, we have this amazing previously-untold story in front of us, with the incredible voices of the MARK HAMILL and the TOM KANE! There’re some goofy Yoda shenanigans, some insight into the ways of the Force, some epic Jedi stunts, and Artoo being adorable like he always does. It’s pure Star Wars magic and I can’t get enough of it!

#8. Teedo never learns.

Nope! Never has, never will! Not even Rey saving his life seems to make much difference to the greedy little dude (well, maybe a teensy bit). But it certainly makes for some good stories! And that’s because his actions, no matter how selfish or despicable, have a habit of bringing out the best in our future Forcewielder 🙂

BONUS: Maz has a decorative bowl with a space slug in it!

I knew there had to be some Easter eggs around here somewhere… and this one’s just genius! XD

These are just so fun, you guys. There always is so much to find, and so much to learn, and in more ways than one! Until next post…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 2

I really’d wanted to write on Solo today, but considering the film’s not been out a week, I figured maybe I’d wait a little longer, just to make sure all my readers are caught up best as possible. So I think I’ll spend the day with Maz and her adorable squishy Pokemon critters, and write on some more nifty factoids, cool connections, and my favorite moments in this set of epic tales! Also, you can read the first post in this series here.

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Two (but you can watch those shorts here), and a number of elements from The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, Episode V, Episode VI, and Episode VII

#1. Forks are not accepted in some circles.

This short has everything. Fancy dinners! Clawdite intruders! A near-miss with a thermal detonator! Unanswered questions about this intriguing important-to-negotiate-with people group that doesn’t use utensils! But most importantly, some flawlessly-executed teamwork that perhaps only Ahsoka and Padme could pull off! I have to seriously applaud Ahsoka in this one, not just for her quick-thinking and lightsaber skills that took down the assassin and got rid of the bomb, but for the fact she even remembered something so seemingly unimportant! Can you imagine living in a galaxy where you had hundreds of thousands of different peoples who all had different customs?? I could probably never keep some of this stuff straight. Unless, maybe, the urthurians’ disuse of forks is for some very obvious reason, like that they don’t have hands or something. Either way, what Snips did was Jedi-ing at its best! And they end it on a wonderfully lighthearted note as the besties decide to have their own dinner party in the delegates’ absence 😀

Also, thanks to my brother, I can’t watch this episode without hearing “may the fork be with you”. And now I doubt you will, either XD

#2. Wampas just want a hug.

OK maybe that’s a stretch. All I’m sayin’ is, though, that this wampa didn’t just hang Chewie on the ceiling for a bite later! But can you blame the beast? When Chewbacca hugged Leia at the end, I got all warm and fuzzy just watching it! Wookiee hugs are pretty indisputably the best hugs you can get! Wonder if maybe it thought Chewie a baby wampa? Living in a dark cave like this doesn’t make me think it has the best eyesight. But whatever the wampa’s true intent was in the beginning, though, it certainly wasn’t interested in hugs after being woken up. Yikes that was a close call. Especially when you consider what an even closer call Luke has later. *Shudders*

Also, wonder what Threepio was asking for Luke about? Haven’t watched Empire in a bit and don’t remember if there’s a connection there. Maybe he was going to finish with “Master Luke is wondering where the can opener was last left, because he wanted to make a fresh batch of potato salad.” Or maybe not. That might just be me suddenly in the mood for potato salad…

#3. Don’t ever let Ketsu borrow anything if you want to get it back in one piece.

For me, this is among the most poignant of the stories Maz tells in this volume. This one’s very simple, very character-driven, and makes so very clear once again what an amazing human being Sabine Wren is. You can tell it hurts for her to leave her polished, perfectly-painted bike in Ketsu’s relatively careless hands. I think most of us would not be as gracious in her shoes, staring at a pair of dismembered handlebars. But Sabine neither raises her voice nor holds a grudge, even though you can tell she’s considering both; instead, she simply forgives her friend. She does make clear Ketsu owes her some help with the repairs, but that’s only the fair and right thing to do, and Ketsu understands that. I think Sabine would’ve forgiven her regardless, though. Considering she found it in her to forgive Ketsu for ditching her in a job gone south, anything’s possible.

Forgiveness is hard. Grace is hard. How many of us would handle a situation like this as well as Sabine did? Even if we tried to play it cool, how many of us wouldn’t still give someone, even a friend, a grumpy look, a cold shoulder, or a passive-aggressive comment? At least I know I would struggle with that. So I hope in the future to remind myself, if Sabine can do it, so can I! What ultimately makes this so powerful is not that she forgives, but that it’s clearly hard and she still does it anyway. It’s one of those things that makes Sabine Wren a true bosslady 😀

#4. Teedo doesn’t give up easily. At all.

Seriously. How many portions is BB-8 really worth? Let it go, man! Oh well. Teedo may be trouble as always, but I love a good chase scene! This fast-paced little moment in time is thrilling to watch, and proves you should always make friends with nightwatcher worms. And still, above all else, we get to see another shining example of Rey’s loyalty to the little droid who rolled her way :3

#5. The Empire doesn’t know Jyn too well.

“Suspect is an adult female, brown hair, not considered dangerous.” I mention not only because it’s humorously ironic, but it is interesting the Imps aren’t familiar with her yet. You’d think with the incident with the tooka they might remember her, but who knows? Also seems odd they don’t clarify Jyn’s human. Maybe Garel just has more humans than any other beings? But anyway, what an epic thing to see Sabine and Jyn cross paths! Both not quick to trust others, both accidentally involved with the creation of deadly weaponry (Whoa I just realized that. Is that scary or what?), both have difficulties with family at times… but their loyalty to their friends (and family, too) ultimately brings out the better in them both, and they go on to make an incredible difference in the history of the galaxy. I’d assume that their paths never cross again, but I’d like to think Sabine’s answer, her desire above all else to help people, is something that spurs Jyn on in her own eventual Rebel mission. So cool!

#6. Rey seriously is a braver person than I’ll ever be.

She just sticks her hand into a stuffy-nosed happabore’s nostril! That’s not a job for the faint of heart! I know I cringed a little at first, but in truth, if a critter needed some help that I could manage (as I’m no veterinarian), I’d surely do the same.

And man, Unkar Plutt was pretty nasty in this one, calling out Rey’s lack of friends like that! I was all “And what do you know about friendship?” But I imagine Plutt’s definition of “friends” is something closer to “people who might not kill you over the same piece of scrap”. With maybe an exception for his pet plant, Kevin. But even if it was just a big sweet slobbery space pig, Rey did make a friend today, and they did an awesome job of proving the old codger wrong 😀 One of my fave shorts, for sure!

#7. The Ghost and the Falcon are old rivals.

OMG YOU GUYS THIS SHORT IS EVERYTHING. When Rebels was new, I long wondered what would happen if Han crossed paths with the Ghost crew. Of course, now I know that Captain Solo was doing other things at the time. So after all these years, getting to see Han facing off with General Syndulla is just too wonderful for words. For the record, I don’t favor either ship over the other! They’re both so iconic and fast and homey I couldn’t dare choose! Doesn’t mean I don’t love watching Hera make him work for those ration sticks, though XD

And not only do we get this great hint of (mostly) friendly Rebel rivalry, but the moments with Han and Leia are some of their best. From Leia confronting Han at the beginning, to her siding with her scoundrel on who has the better ship, it’s just too fun and too sweet and reminds me how much I love this couple. And certainly, nothing speaks more volumes than that Han would put aside his pride for his princess… ❤ ❤

#8. Ahsoka really is Gandalf…

Because she always arrives precisely when she intends to! Even when she has to put an important Jedi ceremony on hold to save the lives of others. I just adore this short. What Ahsoka does here is what the classic, iconic, heroic idea of a Jedi looks like, and the way all Jedi (and other such lightsiders) should strive to be. It’s just peacekeeping and helping others, pure and simple, not an inch of politics or war involved. And even though she’s already late when the battle’s ended, she still wants to touch base with the mother and child and make sure they’re doing OK. Ahsoka’s always been a rule-breaker, but it’s this kind of rule-breaking the Jedi Order needed sometimes. I think that’s one reason she’s always been such a meaningful character to me, because even in the midst of her shortcomings and mistakes, she strives to do the right thing to the very best of her ability, no matter what. Sometimes this leads her into difficult situations, like leaving the Jedi Order. But as we’ve followed her journey, we see how far this drive for justice, and the compassion at the heart of it all, has taken her. Her story is so amazing, and this short does a great job of painting that image in only a few minutes’ time. And wow did I just get nostalgic!

Hopefully you guys enjoyed digging into these tales with me. Certainly there will be more to write about as the summer comes into full swing!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

The Last Jedi Awards!

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

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

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

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

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

BEST TIME GETTING TO REUNITE WITH A CHARACTER:
LUKE SKYWALKER

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

CHARACTER WHO MOST DESERVES AN ANTHOLOGY MOVIE:
MAZ KANATA

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

BEST TIME GETTING TO KNOW A NEW CHARACTER:
ROSE TICO

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

BEST SURPRISE GUEST:
YODA

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

BEST NEW CREATURE (ASIDE FROM PORGS):
FATHIERS

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

BIGGEST “OMGWHAT” MOMENT:
LEIA’S CLOSE CALL

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

COOLEST NEW CRAFT:
SKI SPEEDERS

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

COOLEST NEW WORLD:
ALL OF THE ABOVE

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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