Tag Archives: episode VII

The Resistance Report: The Core Problem

Things are coming down to the wire on Resistance right now (at least for me, being so late to the party), and I have no doubt it’s ’bout to get really real! Let’s see if a little fanalyzing can clear up The Core Problem… or at least help you enjoy it a little more 🙂

Contains spoilers from Episode VII and Resistance episode The Core Problem, along with other events in this season thus far.

So anyone else find it interesting that Kaz held on to a tooka doll for about half the episode?

Yes, it’s a nifty little Easter egg for longtime animated Star Wars fans like myself (and you too, I imagine), but I take note of this gesture for more than just nostalgia’s sake.

This simple toy is a painfully harsh reminder of the depths of the First Order’s malice. It’s not that we didn’t already know of that, of course. Our first glimpse of the FO in The Force Awakens takes us to a village whose fate is similar to the ruins we see today. And we learned from Kel and Eila that the ravaging on Jakku was nothing new for Ren’s forces. Either way you spin it, it’s gut-wrenching. But there’s something about this lone doll lying under the rubble that brings home the reality of this destruction in a very tangible way. It’s one thing to know that many died or nearly died, but to consider deeply what those lives looked like before they were lost makes the loss much more vivid.

From the instant we see the little city, with its beautiful, ancient architecture, it’s clear these people must have been thriving. With the Force temple (I’m assuming) at its center, we gather they were likely a peaceful people. From the tooka doll, we know, of course, that children lived here. But more than that, I get the sense that these children were happy and playful. We don’t know for sure how economically-successful these people were, but still, the fact they could buy or make toys says they had time, ability, and a desire to do so in some way. But whatever the case, whether this city was more like a Jakku village, a rich epicenter like Theed, or something in between, there was a little boy or girl here who had a beloved raggedy tooki. And now that child is gone. Whether prisoner of the First Order or dead by blasterfire, we don’t know for certain. But a profound sense of loss is still felt.

The fact Kaz holds on to the toy for so long, even in the midst of battle, says to me this affected him deeply.

He knows the stories of the children from Tehar (who apparently share some connection to this ruined city), he’s dodged fire from stormtroopers and TIE fighters, he’s found proof of terrible industrial doings, but now Kaz sees the destruction for himself. He sees the lost child behind the tooka, a child who he didn’t have the chance to help like he did Kel and Eila.

I figured he ultimately would leave the doll, or find a place in the ruins for it to rest as a way to honor its owner, like in Mulan. But instead, Kaz carries the toy with him back to the Colossus. I might be way off here, but I imagine this encounter in the lost city was the moment the weight of the war became real. He’s been raised as a defender of good in the New Republic, trained to fight in the Navy, recruited to help the Resistance; he has a pretty firm idea who the good guys and bad guys were/are. But I imagine it’d be easy to be disconnected from what’s really at stake when you haven’t experienced those stakes personally. Our young hero has yet to encounter first-hand the kind of carnage Poe will face on Jakku, but what the little tooka represents is enough. If Kaz was on fire for the Resistance before, he must be a raging inferno now. I know I would be.

Yes, what I talked about last post is still true, you have to be willing to talk, listen, and be considerate to those on the “other side”, those who don’t share your beliefs. But some things, like the value of life, are always worth being on-fire about.

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– Since Kaz did so well fixing up the Fireball back on Dangerous Business, I would’ve expected he’d be better at mechanics in general by now. But yeah I guess communicators are a totally different ballgame. Stay strong spyboy-flyboy!
– Are you sure that BB-8 was believing in you, Kaz? Because what I got from those uncertain bwurps was: “Oooh boy this is it. The kid’s gonna die this time… what’ll I tell Poe?” XP
– “Lone Wolf” is a great codename, though the way Poe makes friends I find it hard to believe it’s all that accurate (probably has more to do with his battle stunts TBH). Whatever the case, wolves are cool and Poe Dameron is cool, so it makes sense for that reason if nothing else!
– Good point, shouldn’t Kaz have a codename too? I like “Green Bean”, but I think that would suit Neeku better. Maybe a shortened form of my nickname for him, “Flyboy”? No, that’s not specific enough. Would “Tooki-Cat” be unfair at this point? The emotional story arc aside, Kaz somehow always manages to land on his feet (figuratively speaking) no matter what curiosity nearly gets him killed 😛
– Man, add “ninja” to Poe’s increasing list of mad skillz!
– We also have more to add to Kaz’s skillset: he knows both his military strategy and his dad jokes! XD
– They’re goin’ gravity well-surfin’! Half of me thinks this looks like great fun and the other half is mortally terrified of the prospect.
– OH DANG IT’S BABY STARKILLER BASE! Wait, if Poe’s going to Jakku tomorrow, then how much time passed between that event and its first attack? The FO must’ve done a rush job on the machine or something. But then again the timespans in-between SW events usually surprise/confuse me.
– All I want for Christmas is for Kaz to somehow be in Episode IX so we can get more of this buddy-comedy gold!
– Well can you blame Kaz for losing focus here?? That probe looks like an evil ice cream cone! It’s very distracting!
– Whoa I think Poe and I are on the same wavelength here. My reaction seconds before his “KIDS! IT’S GOT KIDS!” was “AHHH IT HAS BABIES!!”
– BB and CB floating past each other in the droidswap struck me with shades of WALL-E :3
– Same here, Neeku, same here. Having BB-8 around so much of this season has been something really special ❤

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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The Resistance Report: Station Theta Black

Happy Star Wars Day, friends! It’s the perfect day for me to get back to my Resistance posts! Let’s see what secrets I can uncover and storylines I can analyze inside of Station Theta Black.

Contains spoilers from Episode VII, Episode VIII, and Resistance episode Station Theta Black, as well as earlier events from the season so far.

#ThatMoment when your mentor makes a potentially-disastrous decision and you want to say something, but aren’t sure if you should because you’re not certain whether he’s trying to teach you something or if he’s just plain crazy. From the instant Leia made it abundantly clear to Poe that he wasn’t to engage the enemy, I knew that’s most likely what was about to happen, and I was already feeling sorry for Kaz.

Poe is always one step ahead, always on the move, always jumping into the next big thing. His friends and allies rarely seem prepared when he decides to take a detour. BB-8 might be the sole exception. Well, at least he’s learned to roll with it, anyway (whoops, pun not intended). But yeah, this fierce, determined “let’s blow something up!” mentality of Poe’s does not bode well for our sweet clumsy Kaz. Back on Signal From Sector Six, the boys were up against a threat neither of them quite knew how to handle. Poe and Kaz were almost equally off their game facing down those monkey-lizards, so there was no time for any of his usual “Dameroning-do” (Like derring-do, get it? I think that fits). All that mattered is they rescued everybody who needed rescuing, and then got out alive. Today, however, Poe couldn’t resist pushing the limits of his orders a teeny smidge. The unofficial mission did result an important find, but was it worth risking Kaz and BB’s lives?

It was really something, watching Poe in that uncertain moment when Kaz and BB-8 are nowhere to be found. Despite his earlier quip about not being used to life-and-death situations, Poe does a good job of getting himself into them. And I’m not talking about his Resistance work (though it certainly has its share of peril), I’m talking about the more needlessly-dangerous stunts like this! It seemed like, for those few seconds with Kaz’s x-wing MIA, that Poe was starting to feel the weight of his hasty actions. I wouldn’t be surprised if Poe has lost friends in missions gone south before, but I don’t know if he ever would have been quite this at fault. I love how easily Poe makes friends. I liked him pretty well at the beginning of Episode VII, but it was his unshakable loyalty to BB-8, knowing how much his friends — even this little ball-droid — mattered to him, that made me truly love his character. It’s what makes him still so lovable even when he makes a variety of misguided decisions in Episode VIII… and some more right here in Resistance. My point is, I know how much he cares for his friends and allies, I know he had no intention of putting Kaz in a seriously dangerous situation. He just hadn’t had the chance to stop and think. I think because he’s become an older brother figure to Kaz, Poe would feel even more responsible for anything that happened to him. I would love to think that Poe learned a real lesson today, but it’s hard to say, having seen his shenanigans in VIII. Maybe he’s at least trying, anyway. Perhaps the Poe Dameron we meet in IX will be a wiser, less-dangerous flyboy.

‘Course, where’s the fun in that? 😛 Whatever the case, Poe’s still awesome.

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– 0:56 (on the digital copy, anyway, counting that Disney Channel opener) is a glorious moment! Yeah… Yeager made a mistake, I do think XD
– “C’mon don’t explode on me, don’t explode! Yeahhh… we’re gonna explode.” Me whenever I’m having technical problems of any kind.
– Aww so cute! BB and CB are happy to see each other and havin’ a little chat! I WUV THEMM ❤
– "Lovedroids"? Oh good, I'm not the only one thinking it. #BBxCB4Life!
– What an honor to be in the presence of the Princess– I mean, General!
– Pfft Poe's all "Omg this kid has no chill." What, you weren't ever a fanboy once?
– Haha Poe has quite the reputation, don't he? VIII wasn't the first time Leia had to give him that look XP
– "Never really ready for anything, but that hasn’t stopped me yet!” That is so me! That may be my favorite line in the whole series now.
– Suddenly, at marker 7:03, Poe realized giving Kaz a blaster was a terrible idea XD
– “Simulated weapons?? Kids these days. I’ve been shootin’ womp rats since my daddy could fit a pistol in my hand!”
– I seriously still relate to Kaz so much. He would so be me in a gunfight.
– Poe blows the “smoke” off his blaster. Does that actually work in SW? Ah whatever he’s still so kewl he can get away with it.
– I have to say building a station in a meteor is pretty genius. Makes sense if you’re building a cataclysmic superweapon in a planet.
– I wish I had that kind of Captain Phasma confidence that allows me to look totally cool and have everything under control, even when I’m less than successful.
– Also, Leia’s probably glad for anybody who actually obeys orders. Unlike *cough* certain dangerous flyboys…
– BTW, sorry I haven’t gotten to the “Imperial Doza” discussion I said I’d write about last time. I didn’t know the next episode would take such a detour! But don’t worry I will get to that conversation eventually; I just want to wait until the next episode that revisits that storyline.

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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A Totally Fangirly Analysis Of The Episode IX Teaser

In part due to a busy schedule (and being very very behind on Resistance), I haven’t been able to keep up with Star Wars Celebration the way I usually have. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had Star Wars on my brain in a big way these past few days — especially since that IX teaser dropped!

Typically, normally because of time, I wait to write these analyses until the trailer/second teaser. But guys, this is the last chapter in the Skywalker Saga. I want to capture as many of my thoughts as possible as we rise up to meet the big finale! So let’s rewatch this thrilling taste of what’s to come together, and I’ll share my moment-by-moment first reactions and the deep thoughts that followed.

Contains some spoilers from Episode VII, Episode VIII, and some of the other films before it.

0:00 – Rey’s intense breathing is equal to my own every time I watch this. Granted, mine has more to do with a severe case of fangirlitis than whatever has her on-edge.
0:03 – A part of me is a little annoyed the logo came in and made me wait five whole seconds to find out what was going on XP But hey, Lucasfilm deserves to take the spotlight for a moment! Without Lucasfilm, we wouldn’t have Star Wars anything!
0:08 – Stiiiiill trying to catch my breath. But how could I possibly do that when this is a Star Wars teaser? Epicness is about to hit me like a bomb and the anticipation is killing me!!
0:10 – YAY IT’S REY!
0:13 – What could she be facing down?
0:16 – I think it’s really fascinating that Rey’s outfit has gone from tan to gray to white. It’s very different than Anakin in the Prequels (who went from tan to reddish-brown to black) and Luke in the Originals (who went from white to tan to black). There some sort of symbolism here? Not that I could ever imagine Rey really wearing black, though.
0:18 – Oh so dramatic!! BUT WHAT ARE YOU FACING DOWN, GIRL?!
0:21 – OMG LUKE! Who is “we” though? Has Rey been having conversations with the other Force Ghosts? Is Luke himself a Force Ghost now? I’d like to think this narration is some sort of proof, but… you know how these trailers are at including great dialogue that doesn’t make it into the final film. Have to wait and see. But I kinda really’d like to see Yoda and Rey having a chat 🙂
0:24 – Whatever she is facing requires a lightsaber… (I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t recognize the hilt at first)
0:25 – What a shot, wow! Also wondering a bit where this desert is? Are we back on Jakku like Luke came back to Tatooine? Or could it be Tatooine? Or some place entirely different? Those mountains seem new, though — something neither desert world had…
0:27 – Again more beautifully intriguing dialogue from Luke. Maybe this has something to do with her reading all those Jedi texts. That would make sense why there’s a “we”.
0:29 – I KNOW THAT SOUND. THERE’S A TIE COMING.
0:31 – Weirdly enough, just one TIE. From my experience, they usually come in packs.
0:33 – OK soooo what’s the plan, Rey? How does one lightsaber stack up against one TIE? I feel like I’ve seen something similar in Rebels but I really can’t remember.
0:34 – That right there is the face of determination!
0:37 – “Every generation has a legend.” I love how this quote calls back to mind Episode I’s tagline, “Every saga has a beginning”. It might not’ve been intentional, but to me, it helps bookend the entire Skywalker story.
0:43 – Again, wishing I could figure out where this is. I am no expert on sand, sad to say.
0:46 – But that ridge does look a bit Tatooine-ish. It would be fitting to end the Saga on the world part of the story began on — that hot, dusty, irritating old sandpit that has witnessed some surprising moments of heroism over the decades.
0:51 – That TIE sounds like it’s coming up fast! ‘Course, I’ve never heard a TIE that didn’t sound fast.
0:53 – Yep that is fast. So fast I haven’t been able to figure if that’s Ren’s Bat-TIE Silencer or something else.
0:54 – THE BLUE BLADE LIVES!! After it was assumptively destroyed, I figured she’d do like other Jedi before her and get a new lightsaber next time around. And just like Luke and others, the new ‘saber would be a symbol of growth in skill and in the Force. But I like the idea that, instead, the mended Skywalker blade could be a symbol of her gaining a newfound strength, rising above the hurt in her past and the mistakes she’s made. #Inspiring
0:56 – Same lightsaber, but definitely some new skillz.
0:57 – Ren’s gloves, I presume. Pardon me for asking, Kylo, but don’t you have anything better to do right now than fly your TIE at people? I mean… who took over for Snoke? Surely you wouldn’t trust just anyone to lead the First Order, right…? I’ve been wondering that one for a while.
0:59 – Hold up I thought that TIE was coming toward her– oh wait now I remember she turned around.
1:00 – Seriously what’s the plan here Rey??
1:03 – Whatever it is, I know it’s gonna be cool.
1:05 – Hmm I think that’s the Silencer now. Not that I’m an expert or anything.
1:07WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Just when you think you’ve seen all the epic things the light-aligned can do…! Though I just realized we still don’t know what her plan was. Is Rey going to ride the TIE and lightsaber its panels off? Or something even epic-er?
1:09 – It always feels like it takes forever, but Christmastime and Star Wars go together wonderfully!
1:11 – These mountains call to mind Solo a bit… nuts, I can’t remember the world’s name.
1:14 – If it is the same place, it seems a bit more populated.
1:16 – Kylo Ren seems to enjoy happy jaunts in the woods with his lightsaber, doesn’t he? 😛 Sorry that wasn’t nice (to Kylo or the guy he stabbed).
1:17 – Is that red sky just a result of sunset, or is it always a red sky? Either way, very cool.
1:18 – Interesting… while Rey has repaired her lightsaber, Ren is repairing his mask. Why does he decide now to wear it again? And how did he find all the pieces??
1:19 – Hey check out the bros’ cool adventure duds! Oh, and hmm is that Rey’s old staff Finn is holding?
1:21 – BB!!! I know I see you all the time in Resistance now, but I’m excited to see you here all the same! And his new little buddy D-O, too!
1:23 – YAS LANDOOOO!!!! And he’s wearing something akin to one of his Solo outfits! Oh I’m still so happy he’s back for this one!
1:24 – I know I questioned eariler if Poe might end up flying the Falcon for a bit, but I don’t think Lando would let him now XP
1:26 – All the bittersweet feels. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be crying when the credits start rolling.
1:28 – Looks like some kind of battle going on. With some kind of speederbike! Hehe I love speederbikes!
1:30 – THREEPIO!! Oh my gracious I didn’t even remember he was there! (Yes I’m weird and only watched the teaser one time the day it came out. But hey I wanted my thoughts on the blog to be fresh!) I have a feeling he and Poe won’t get along very well (same for Finn), but it’ll be delightful to watch!
1:32 – Whoa I didn’t even catch what was about to crash there! Hope it’s nobody I know…
1:33 – One of the medals of Yavin! Another great thing I somehow didn’t fully comprehend in my first viewing. Thank you StarWars.com for reminding me.
1:34 – Oh this shot is so precious. And again, it wasn’t until afterward that I remembered “Right… Carrie isn’t with us anymore. How. did. they. DO. that??” and my mind got so blown.
1:36 – THE FEELS!
1:38 – I so love this shot. Ever since the end of VIII, I’ve loved that it feels like Rey has found home in her friends in the Resistance, both new and old. I’m glad, as we’ve learned, that there’s a bigger time gap between VIII and IX, because that means we’ll get to see how much these great friendships have strengthened since then, and how they’ve shaped Rey into the more confident and fearless individual she is today. Again, all the feels!!
1:39 – My first reaction was, of course, a continued sense of awe and mystery. But it was thanks to my brother’s observations that I finally took notice that those ruins look awfully Death Star-like… which might explain what happens next.
1:43 – “No one’s every really gone.” is such a beautiful line! Or again, so it seems…
1:46 – My exact reaction: my jaw dropped, somewhere in between a gasp and a smile, and I slammed my hands down on the desk and remarked “OH MY GOODNESS, WHAT?!” I don’t know if I’ve ever felt such a wild mixture of shock, horror, and pure joy! I don’t know what it all means, whether he’s survived those Death Star ruins all these years, or if he’s gained some form of Sith immortality or what, but I am so looking forward to seeing what Sidious is up to. I’m sorry for the Resistance’s sake, but… there are just some villains who, despite they are so vile and so detestable, you love them anyway, and you greet them with open arms! Yeah that may have been the best villain reveal ever. Period. In all of film trailer history.
1:56 – And whoa such a cool title! It leaves me with endless questions, though. Who’s the Skywalker we’re talking about? Luke, because he’s “risen” to a place of immortality? Kylo, because he is part Skywalker? Rey, because she actually is a Skywalker somehow, like the granddaughter of Shmi’s second cousin like I theorized?? I do not know but, OH WOW THIS WAS WORTH WAITING FOR!

So yep I’m still not over it, are you? Not sure I ever will be! You guys, it is good being a Star Wars fan! Anyway, I’ll keep working on the Resistance posts from here, and hopefully whatever else exciting comes next in the SW galaxy!

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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The Resistance Report: The Children From Tehar

It’s time for another Resistance Report! This should be a good one 🙂 If you’re looking for intel on The Children From Tehar, look no further! Unless of course if you’re with the First Order, in which allow me to show you the door. No? OK good, let’s go!

Contains spoilers from Episode VII and Resistance episode The Children From Tehar.

I know I say it a lot, but Kaz really is such a good boy. We see that shine through very clearly this episode as he willingly takes on a huge challenge in hopes of repaying Tam, and then as he willingly takes a great risk to save the kids. But at the same time, Kaz never loses sight of the fact Kel and Ella need his help, even when he’s not aware of the whole situation, and you gotta admire that. It’s never just a job to him. But selfless as Kaz is, Neeku can still teach his friend a thing or two about true generosity. Doesn’t matter how little Neeku has, he’s unrelentingly kind and doesn’t hesitate to meet a need, be it a quick drink or an important remedy. So, yeah, they’re both such good boys! It’s great hanging out with them in this one!

And can I just say I adore the chelidae? I think they just won the “Cutest New Species” award! I really can’t get over how intriguing and perfectly-Star Wars their design is. And though they’re not the first turtle-people we’ve seen in SW (remember the Felucian farmers in TCW’s Bounty Hunters?), their hulking, shell-clad frames sets them apart in a way that’s fresh and unique. Also I love that their grunt-speak is courtesy of the amazing Frank Welker! ‘Bout time he got into Star Wars! Unless I’ve forgotten…

Perhaps the most intriguing topic for me this episode would be some of the mystery surrounding Kylo Ren. The mention of his name made my eyes widen. Knowing he’s the reason these kids are alone and on the run, knowing he likely used the same brand of cruelty on their family as he did with the village on Jakku in Episode VII… that made my heart break. But there’s also a lot of curiosity here for me. Was Kylo looking for traces of his missing uncle? Or could there be something worse he’s up to? Like… *shudders* Jedi-killing…? What if he was going out of his way to find Force-users and try to recruit them for his Knights, and then when they refused he’d “show them the Dark Side”? That’s a terrifying thought. And whatever happened, what does any of this have in connection to the First Order’s greater plans, as Phasma seems to imply? I can’t help but wonder. I mean, there’s still so much I feel I don’t know right now. Again, I know the broad strokes of VII and VIII and how that connects to the series, but after years of feeling like I understood the Star Wars galaxy inside and out (even if, in truth, that has never been the case), it’s a tad disorienting to realize how much there is about this time and place in the Sequel/Resistance era that I don’t know. When does this series take place, exactly? Is it years before VII? Is it weeks before? How long has the Resistance been around? Same for the First Order? How long has Ben been wearing that mask? Sometimes these unanswered questions have my analytical writer’s brain running around like a panicked chicken screaming “AHHHHH!! SOMEONE’S GOTTA GET ME SOME CLEAR DETAILS OR I’M GONNA EXPLODE!” But I’m sure this series will shed some light on all my ponderings in time, and I’m sure some further reading would help, too. And no matter what, it’s OK that I don’t know everything about SW — I likely never will. And still, really, just knowing that Kylo Ren is actively up to something right now, that consequently a few in the galaxy have some idea of this dark figure, is an intriguing development all by itself. Who knows what we might discover next?

And now, for a sort-of new feature to the blog, Twilight’s Highlights! Formerly Fangirly Musings, I’ll now be doing these with every more in-depth post to highlight the wonderful little things that I couldn’t write a whole paragraph on.

– DON’T MAKE TAM ANGRY, Y’ALL. YOU WON’T LIKE HER WHEN SHE’S ANGRY. This situation probably wouldn’tve gone well either way, but at least it led Kaz to the kids, right?
– Wasn’t the water free last episode? I’d say that’s just Aunt Z’s way of getting back at her apparently cheapest customer, but what if there really is some unfair rationing going on courtesy of the FO? Hmmmm…
– I feel sorry for BB-8 this episode. He keeps getting tripped over! It’s tough being a little guy.
– I love that Neeku makes friends so easily. You’d think a bright smile in a tough galaxy wouldn’t win over people so easily, but Neeku is living proof that’s not always the case!
– Bro the view from Doza’s office is amazing. I get why everybody wants that #TowerLife. Hehe now I’m imagining Captain Doza with an Instagram account posting all kinds of FOMO-inducing photos with that hashtag XD
– Ok wow I just remembered that Phasma lied about the kids’ true identities to Doza. Not surprised she’d want to keep Ren’s doings under wraps. She probably also knew that Doza, as a father himself, would sympathize with the situation one way or another. The silver-clad captain plays her cards well. Probably nothing you guys don’t already know, but fascinating to observe in retrospect.
– Kel and Ella, personality-wise and relationship-wise, remind me a bit of Mace and Cindel in the Ewok Adventures movies. And with the friendly kind-of-ewok-like chelidae around, the similarity is even stronger!
– I’m yet to be convinced that Commander Pyre isn’t trying to one-up Captain Phasma in the shiny armor department. It’s an epic look, but seems to me he’s fishing for attention with that much gold bling XP
– Pfft I love how Kel is so much stronger than Kaz XD
– Awwz I so want to pet a gorg now :3
– ELLO ASTYYY!! *Flails about fangirling*

Until next report…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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The Resistance Report: The Recruit

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

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

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

Contains spoilers from Episode VII and Resistance episode The Recruit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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