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The Resistance Report: The First Order Occupation

This episode, you guys! This. Episode! Forgive my giddy fangirling, but The First Order Occupation was a sheer delight, and if I didn’t fangirl a little, I’d probably explode. Don’t worry though, there will be some deeper thoughts in here as I dig into the heart and soul of this exciting-but-sweet chapter in the Resistance story.

Contains spoilers from The First Order Occupation and related events from this season thus far. Also some minor spoilers from Episode V and Rebels episode The Mystery Of Chopper Base.

With a title like “First Order Occupation”, I was expecting this episode to go in an entirely different direction. Perhaps something to do with Kaz’s role as a Resistance spy in a sea of growing hostilities and suspicions. And for the first chunk of the episode, it really felt like that’s where the story was going. But Kaz’s kind heart changes the course dramatically as he takes the focus off his own problems and risks everything to help Synara escape. I was expecting an exciting adventure no matter what this episode entailed, but it was this beautiful picture of love that made it so much more.

Yeah, I know… “love” is a rather strong word for an awkward spy boy and a conflicted pirate girl who doesn’t seem terribly impressed with the aforementioned awkward spy boy. But let’s remind ourselves that love is more than romance; it’s taking the focus off yourself and what you want, and thinking of and acting on what others want or need — whether friend, enemy, or someone you’ve never met. I don’t know about you, but Kaz risking his life and his Resistance career for Syn’s safety? That’s love. And then Synara giving up her newfound freedom to help him back? Also love.

Let me expand a bit on these kinds of love. Yes, it’s been quite obvious these last few chapters that Kaz has a schoolboy crush on Synara. I wouldn’t deny that it had some effect on his decision-making (I mean, Kaz did make it sound like she single-handedly fought that mama rokkna… a slight exaggeration, I do think), but I’d argue that he would have helped her regardless. His kindness has shone through in so many other ways throughout the series so far. And the very fact he was where he needed to be to rescue Synara in the first place, right back on Signal From Sector Six, is because of a love-rooted truth that he believed in: “When people are in need, we help“. Even when it meant fighting ill-tempered monkeys and a hulking ape-lizard, and even now when it meant saying goodbye, likely for good.

There’s a lot I wish we knew about Kaz and Synara’s friendship. Their initial relationship seemed a bit stilted, obviously since Syn wasn’t trying to make friends while undercover, and I’m sure also due to some of her suspicions about his identity. But by the time we get to The Doza Dilemma, while she still seemed unsure of how to respond to all the kindnesses she’d been shown by Kaz and his friends, it clearly meant the world to her — enough so that she absolutely couldn’t go through with a plan that would hurt a friend. I have little doubt that Kaz’s kindnesses in the past had an influence, even in some small way, on who she became. But regardless of what all happened in between, this last great kindness of Kaz’s seems to have deepened their bond, and it’s not just in that he put himself in danger to help her. I think Synara knew last episode that Kaz didn’t believe her claims, that she’d likely just lost his friendship. The fact he still decides to help her despite her deception, that he still could see the good in her, must have blown her away. It’s an act of forgiveness as well as kindness, and when you’re a pirate… I can’t imagine you get either very often. No wonder she couldn’t stand aside and let Kaz get caught, and no wonder that she seemed reluctant to leave Castilon in the end…

Her world had completely changed. All because of a young pilot who, in helping the Resistance, would ultimately be led to her distress signal.
Indeed, he helped her more than he realized.
More than she realized.

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– I was a little surprised that the First Order got on Doza’s good side so quickly, but the FO certainly knows how to play their cards. I wonder how much time passed between last episode and now? By Neeku’s comment, it’s at least been a week. Again it fascinates me how fast this show’s moved and makes me wonder what’s gone on in between. Perhaps an opportunity for some comics, youth novels, and Lego shorts? 🙂
– “If ‘thrilled’ is code for ‘nauseated’, then yes, Neeku. I’m extremely thrilled.” XD Man, I wanna write like these guys!
– There is a lesson here in what Kaz is saying, guys. History is super important!
– Aw, Kaz just wants to help the poor guy! 3: Now would be a great time to have a spare com and a penchant for voice acting… oh wait that’s Ezra’s thing. Um, any chance you’ve got another gorg in that thermos? That could work…
– Nice save, Neeku! Though yikes dare I ask how he would’ve finished that sentence? “…and he has been following you all around nonstop since your arrival! He’s that big a fan!”
– You stormtroopers are looking for all the wrong droids! If anyone’s a spy on the platform, well… I’d bet my credits on Garma. Just look at her in the crowd back there, smiling at that guy like nothing about this present situation is concerning! And I can’t remember the episode now, but we’ve seen her steal a crate outright. Actually, maybe she’s working for the FO instead! Perhaps that’s the real reason she’s acted so nice to Kaz! Gotta keep an eye on her, folks.
– Whoa so this is what it looks like when Kaz gets worked up. Back up everybody! He’s on fire!
– THE STORMS ARE ON TO HIM! KAZ IS SO TOAST IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY. Well, it’s kind of funny… mostly because his acting skills are so bad and Yeager knows it.
– OK so I just noticed that little janitor dude has robotic hands and a tiny hat. So coot!
– Conversational skills are on-point! 😛 Seriously though, I think Kaz got his metaphors mixed up a bit in there.
– Good job not drawing attention to yourself, spyboy-flyboy. That guy back there must think you’re nuts talking to a crate like that XP
– Is the “neekto” in “great-grand-neekto” a nikto word for “mother” or “father”, or someone’s actual name? Either one sounds possible.
– “To the turbolift!!” Well now I’m gonna have to whisperscream the same anytime I get on an elevator XD
– Heyy we finally get to hear StarWarsian elevator music! Perfect! It makes this moment even more hilarious!
– Of all the heartfelt “sensitive” goodbyes we’ve seen in Star Wars… this is the only one that had me get a little misty-eyed and laugh out loud. It may not’ve been a tearjerking “I love you/I know” or a tender “We’ll see each other again”, but Kaz’s kind heart still shines through — even when being bonked squarely on the head by an escape pod door. Good thing he still had that helmet!
– Aww look at Synara and the fish-birds! I think she’s secretly a Disney Princesses. If that ship hadn’t arrived so soon, she’d probably have sung an “I Want” song! Just watch and you’ll see, someday she’ll be part of this world!

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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The Resistance Report: Signal From Sector Six

OK this episode is so so fun I have an absolute barrel-load to blog about! And yes the monkey pun was entirely intended. Sorry, Poe. Now let’s delve into some of the most sensational moments of the superb Star Wars escapade, Signal From Sector Six!

Contains spoilers from Episode VI, Episode VIII, and Resistance episode Signal From Sector Six (along with selected events from prior episodes).

So, having Poe Dameron come along for the ride again was an absolute treat! I really wasn’t expecting him to end up being as involved as he was, so that made it even more of a treat! Poe has this awesome energy that just lights up every scene he’s in! And I still can’t get over what an outrageously nice guy he is. Between his big-brother-little-brother bond with Kaz and his clear and evident determination to help others, I don’t know how to stop fangirling, and I don’t think I ever will 😀 I mean, who didn’t get all the feels when he stated so boldly and plainly, “There are a lot of dangers out there in the galaxy. When people are in need, we help“? And yet, in the same episode, we’re reminded he’s not without a chink or two in his armor — the man is not a fan of monkey-lizards, to put it mildly. I can’t help but wonder if there’s maybe a slight phobia involved, something more than just sheer annoyance. Either way, we sure learned a lot about Poe in the span of these glorious twenty-two minutes, and it successfully satisfies both my SW fangirl side and my analytical writer side!

And you guys, there are just too many good things to say about CB-23! I was so pleased to get the chance to meet another of the somewhat-uncommon female astromechs, and plus, I just needed more of these darling spherical droids in my life. I had no idea she’d bring so much personality to the table, though. CB is just the sassiest thing, and her little rivalry with BB-8 left me in stitches! But their brief exchange after BB saved her from the monkey got me “aww”-ing big time. It’s amazing how much you can garner from their little nods, beeps, and purrs. CB goes from being surprised and curious why he helped her, to a little apologetic about her earlier actions, and then to what I read as a look of admiration, while BB-8 remains humble and sweet the whole time. Hehe whoops I think they just became my new OTP :3 This episode really reminded me in general how wonderful BB-8 is, and how much joy it brings having him along for Kaz’s misadventures. He’s more than just adorable, he’s the most endlessly loyal sphere-mech I’ve ever met! And now we know he makes friends as easily as his master 🙂

There could have been anything lurking in the shadows of the freighter. We’ve seen everything from mynocks to rathtars, zombie geonosians to giant Imperial sentry droids, what could be next? Well, boy was I surprised when I caught glimpse of those familiar long ears. Kowakian monkey-lizards aren’t your typical scream-inducing SW creature, but the way they played them out this episode, it was hard not to be on the edge of your seat even so. It’s a unique blend of creepy and comedic than I had no idea anyone could pull off successfully, but leave it to Star Wars! 🙂 The little bogans sure are smart… I was particularly concerned for BB and CB. (Hey don’t forget Threepio almost lost a visual receptor to Salacious Crumb!) And then the ape-lizard shows up and brings some serious intensity. I thought at first the big guy was some sort of experimental cross between a monkey and a rancor, but it’s pretty cool to see there are other creatures in that species family (or is that genus? Order? Phylum? I need to brush up on my biology). So cool animal science for me, but a waking nightmare for the boys and the droids XP I know we have yet to see a monkey-lizard without a penchant for making people miserable, but in their defense, the critters were caged up, probably being illegally smuggled for the pet trade (think about it, the only ones we’ve seen elsewhere in the canon belonged to Jabba and Hondo). I’m thinking they might be more decently-behaved living free and in the wild. It’s possible, right…?

And yeah I gotta applaud the writers again, because they made it so hard for me to determine Synara’s true intent. I honestly didn’t remember her presence in The Triple Dark, and somehow it didn’t click with me that she was wearing pirated storm armor. For all intents and purposes, I was pretty convinced she was just the monkey smuggler or something. I did sense she might not be the most trustworthy character, but I was hoping that underlying suspicion might just be a ruse. I mean, after the incident with Amilyn Holdo I don’t trust my first impressions the way I used to. (I can’t be the only one who sorely regrets spending so much time distrusting Leia’s BFF, right?) But in this case, my suspicions were not ill-placed. That doesn’t make her any less of an intriguing character, though. I look forward to seeing how exactly she decides to cause trouble on the Colossus. Plus it’s so cool she’s a purple-skinned mirialan! Once again, this show keeps #KillingIt in the character designs! 😀

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– Major points to the slick-sounding episode title. Which also happens to literally be the sixth episode.
– Ooh, another chance to witness the rarely-seen SW morning routine! Today, we study the waking habits of the young Resistance spy. See how he walks with his head hung down unnaturally low! And how he handles a broken caf machine! Fascinating XD
– Somehow I get the impression that, if anyone discovers Kaz’s secret, it’s gonna be Tam…
– I’m not a morning person, either, Kaz. But you should see that gorgeous Castellon sunrise! Better than caf!
– These background paintings are giving me life you guys.
– You jump into the x-wing, Kaz. You’re a Star Wars character, it’s kind of in your contract to make spectacular leaps off and into things just like Ahsoka, Ezra, and quite a few others before you!
– Whoops the lasat pirate I so fangirled over a few episodes ago just got eaten. Poor dude.
– Those scruffy little pirate-fighters are awesome!
– More reasons to love BB-8: “Stand back, Kaz, I’ll handle this! Put up your dukes, lady!”
– It’s adorable watching Kaz pretend he’s an expert at life on the Colossus. Keep dreaming kiddo.
– “You’ve helped me more than you realize.” A++ foreshadowing right there! I still can’t believe I didn’t see it coming.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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9 Totally Unlikely Episode IX Predictions!

Pretty much since the credits started rolling on The Last Jedi, I found myself wondering what the next chapter would hold. Sometimes these wonderings would be reasonable assumptions, but other times… well, I like to imagine totally ridiculous possibilities! There are no certainties as to what awaits us in the Skywalker Saga finale. So I figure, with all of us formulating our own theories, it wouldn’t hurt if I shared some of my favorite ridiculous predictions! Don’t worry, though; there might be some more reasonable ideas tucked in the paragraphs 🙂

Contains spoilers from Episodes IV, V, VII, and VIII, along with elements from The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Freemaker Adventures.

1. Kylo Ren now sits on Snoke’s throne and eats Hot Pockets straight from the nanowave oven.

OK the Hot Pockets joke is there because, before the third VII trailer debuted, I burned my mouth on a Hot Pocket sandwich. And for some reason that made me decide to draw Finn, Rey, and Ren all eating the same, with only Kylo immune to the searing hot insides. But I do wonder how the First Order is faring without the Supreme Leader. Or was he even really that big an influence on them? Maybe they’re doing perfectly fine without a Supreme Leader. But either way, his death opened up a seat of power that I could see Kylo wanting. If Hux doesn’t fight him to the death for it first…

2. Poe’s the Falcon‘s new copilot because Chewbacca is stuck caring for the Resistance’s new porg mascot.

Well, that last half isn’t so unbelievable, right? Considering the little fuzzball made the ride over to Crait, I doubt they had time to take him back to Ach-To! And clearly Chewie has a soft spot for them when you consider this FoD short. As for the first half… I think it’s feasible. In truth though, I just really really like whatever’s going on between Poe and Rey, (as evidenced in their brief exchange at the end of VIII) and I’m pretty sure the Falcon is one of the most romantic Star Wars locations to date (I mean, it worked for Han and Leia!). I suppose we’ll have to wait and see if there might be some sparks flying! Aside from the porg getting caught in the wiring.

3. Ezra and friends return!

Thirty-five years? Has it really been that long?
This most likely wouldn’t be a believable turn of events. Mostly this came out of my thought, “Hey, maybe Ahsoka could cross over to live-action if she was older in the film and wouldn’t sound or look the same, making it easier to find an actress to portray her!” So I figured it might be funny to wrap up the events in the Rebels finale with them showing up at the Resistance’s front door with no idea what happened since they left. For their sakes, though, I would much rather Sabine and Ahsoka’s search would take significantly less time. So I’ll just hope for an Ahsoka anthology movie! 😀

4. Rowan Freemaker is Rey’s new master.

Because of course I couldn’t leave the Freemakers out of these theories. I imagine Rowan becoming a masterful light-alligned Forcebuilder, continuing to uncover the history of the Forcebuilder sect of the Jedi Order on Alistan Nor. A couple years ago I began shaping a little story in my head of him meeting Rey, and suddenly it occurred to me: they both studied under Luke Skywalker! Plus, they both grew up as scavengers, and both didn’t have their parents in the picture for long (evidently). Perhaps they could both learn something as master and apprentice in a way Luke couldn’t teach them! And if you’re new to my blog, yes, I believe the majority of The Freemaker Adventures are canon. And yes, I know this is a total pipe dream, but Roger made it to the canon, so… it’s not completely impossible, right?

5. The Force Ghost gang shows up at inopportune moments in Rey’s adventure.

I know they’ve confirmed nothing as to whether Mark Hamill will be returning to the role of Luke or not, but I think it would be great to learn more about Luke and what further wisdom he could impart to Rey. Plus, I mean, he was on that island for years. If his dad got his Force Ghost form just considering the possibility of immortality, surely Luke could’ve easily done his immortality homework, too! Of course, I could totally be off on this logic, but mostly the above prediction is due to years’ worth of jokes about what Force Ghosts do in their free time. It’s basically retirement, right? XD Their many likely-differing opinions and brands of wisdom might drive Rey crazy though…

6. Finn’s a Windu!

Though we may simply never know where Finn came from, it would be nice to see a last name attached to that first name. Soooo what if he was distantly related to the Windus? Doesn’t make him a Jedi, though. Force isn’t strong with every family, I don’t think. It’s a long shot, but would be interesting to delve into his past some. Maybe he just should be Finn Tico? Not a conventional method for the groom, but I’d be content if that worked! :3

7. Rey actually is a Skywalker!

It recently occurred to me this could work without her being Luke or Leia’s daughter. Perhaps she’s a granddaughter of a second cousin of Shmi’s! It would explain her connection to the Skywalker blade. Sort of. *Shrugs* I like this theory, anyway. Again, though, maybe she should just be Rey Dameron. It would happen anyway, I betcha! Hehe.

8. Lando hosts an epic disco party when they defeat the First Order!

The one thing we do know about IX is that Lando Calrissian will be there, and that still has me so darn hyped! So I say he goes from just clapping along at the ewok party to cementing the end of IX as “the Lando party”! If you’ve watched The Yoda Chronicles, you know what I’m talkin’ about. Either way, there ain’t no party like a we-just-defeated-the-bad-guys party!

9. Hux is on vacation most of the movie and misses the aforementioned party.

I don’t know if Hux has that overconfidence gene Tarkin possessed, but I could somehow see the General, convinced Kylo and the rest of the FOs could handle the Resistance, heading off to Scarif for a cruise, and then coming back only to find the First Order in ruins. Would his know-how have spared this horrible defeat? Or would it have made zero difference? Honestly I don’t know… but his reaction would make for a great after-credits scene! If, of course, Star Wars did after-credits scenes. Which they don’t. But hey, it still would make for some good comedic timing! XD

So whatever the trailers reveal, whatever we learn from Celebration, and whatever happens when we head to the theaters in roughly eleven months, there’s a lot of joy in the anticipation! Thanks for reading this fun-filled nonsense.

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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SW Summer Reads: The Rebels Novelizations, Part 1

It’s time again for some Star Wars Summer Reads! Or I guess Summer-ish Reads for some of you guys. Anyway, the first Star Wars novel I ever read was a Clone Wars novelization compilation called Grievous Attacks. It was a really fun experience and a great introduction to SW books, so I decided it’d be fun to revisit some classic Rebels season one episodes in junior novel form! Let’s talk about Michael Kogge’s takes on Machine In The Ghost, Art Attack, Entanglement, Property Of Ezra Bridger, Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and Rise Of The Old Masters!


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

I honestly forgot until I read these how fun novelizations can be. You get to dive further into the story you’ve seen on-screen, learning more little things about the SW galaxy, as well as the chance to delve into what’s going on inside the characters’ heads. Mr. Kogge did an excellent job at this, especially inside of Rise Of The Rebels, the shorts compilation. He writes a lot of depth into these already-deep little stories as we explore different perspectives (like those of Chopper or a stormtrooper), and even adds some nice new lines and moments that compliment the source material rather than overcrowding it.


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

Droids In Distress was a very well done compilation as well, though Spark Of Rebellion suffered a little. But I’m not really complaining; it can’t be easy trying to fit a richly-written 44-minute episode in less than fifty pages! So due to the format, Mr. Kogge was forced to skip over some of the best lines and rush much of the story. But the following novelizations were near-perfection!

Both compilations have hiccups in story compared to the actual episode, but most likely that’s because these were written before the episodes were completed. Doesn’t take away from how much I enjoyed them, though! Of course, half the fun for me was just revisiting these great early episodes! The other half, well… I’ll let you in on a secret: ever since Grievous Attacks, I read all SW books out loud to myself. I just can’t pass up an opportunity to practice my character impressions! I found out reading these that I do a pretty mean Grand Inquisitor 😀

Anyway, if you love SWR and want to explore these stories from a new angle, I totally recommend. And they’re definitely great if you’re new to Star Wars books and need a light, easy introduction. Plus, the Sabine-like graffiti artwork dispersed throughout the books is an epic bonus 🙂

Now, for the fangirl-musings commentary portion of the post.

Contains spoilers from the original Rebels shorts and episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and some important elements from the seasons beyond.

– Apparently “understatement” is a distinctly twi’lek sort of humor? I must be part twi’lek then.
– I really appreciate also that they simplify some of the technical terms a little bit. Definitely the difference between a potential first-timer’s SW story and something intensely detailed for the long-timer like Tarkin. But it’s still not oversimplified, it’s just right and makes for a pretty easy read.
– Kanan, master of a thousand one-liners. True dat.
– Considering how much they argue in this short, I might not’ve guessed that Hera was actually worried about her copilot for a moment. Awwz #feels.
– We actually get a chance to get inside Chopper’s dome in this book! Some seriously funny stuff here. Now give this hard-working little droid an oil bath already!
– This book seems to imply that Chopper’s exact “words” couldn’t be understood by organics. Always Two There Are confirmed for me that “droid” is a language you can learn. I originally thought that this fact was just something I missed in the other films and shows, but this seems to mean I wasn’t the only one who was unclear on the do-people-actually-understand-astromechs-or-are-they-just-assuming-what-they’re-saying-like-when-people-talk-to-their-pets situation. Or maybe Chopper’s comment is true, and though you can learn basic astromech, a sentient being will never understand the fine details. Knowing Chop’s ‘tude, perhaps this is a good thing…
– Apparently Ryloth is known for their firework shows. I could see that.
– Chopper has good relations with the Phantom, while the Ghost tends to be pretty rude with him. Things only ‘mechs know!
– “A thousand thousand worlds sparkled in the night sky above the capital city of Lothal.” I absolutely love how Mr. Kogge writes for Sabine. He captures so well her fiercely artistic mindset with heavily poetic descriptions. I can’t help but be a little bummed they didn’t make more of these novelizations.
– Sabine has heard the tales of Boba Fett! I still almost can’t believe we never got to see them in a face-off, but I suppose the writers knew that would be far too easy and more of a what-the-fans-want than a what-the-series-needs. But I suppose there’s nothing to say it still couldn’t happen…
– I really hope TK-626’s number was a Lilo And Stitch reference.
– The idea of the Empire specifically recruiting known bullies as Imperial Cadets at first sounded a little too obvious, but then again, remember Oleg? Frankly, I can imagine a lot of storms might’ve been ne’er-do-wells in grade school. Perhaps it’s not what the Empire is looking for alone, but it doesn’t hurt…
– “Artists were almost as bad as rebels. They could draw, paint, and create things he couldn’t. And for that, they deserved to be crushed.” Oh you guys, I think I figured out why TK-626 was a bully. THIS POOR STORMTROOPER CHILD!! I actually feel really bad for him! Thank you Mr. Kogge for helping me consider the human inside the inhuman white armor.
– I think it’s neat that Mr. Kogge paints (so to speak) Sabine as an artist first and a warrior second. Sometimes it’s easy for me to think vice versa, considering her warrior Mandalorian heritage, but when you think about her close relationship with her artistic dad, and consider the life she maybe knew before the Imperial Academy and then the mini-Alliance, it makes sense that art is her first love, and what she wants to do for a living once the war is over. Maybe once she gets Ezra back home, she’ll finally get her chance 🙂
– Apparently, Zeb isn’t all that fond of his nickname. There’s a certain way his people roll their Rs in the lasat language that most just can’t match. I like this angle. I wonder if this is a fact decided upon by the Story Group or an early assumption Mr. Kogge made. It certainly is a fascinating idea! I didn’t know they spoke anything beside Basic! Well aside from the ancient chants, but maybe that should’ve clued me in.
– Imperials don’t know many languages beyond Basic. Didn’t know that, but makes sense in retrospect.
Whoa I didn’t remember the stormtroopers being that mean to the salesnaught. All the more reason Zeb is one noble dude.
– We learn reading this that Zeb isn’t fond of ugnaughts or astromechs, but all the same, he can’t turn a blind eye to their troubles. It makes this already-amazing little story even more meaningful. AHHH SO SO NOBLE :3
– The Empire made slaves of the lasat? My first reaction was “THAT’S NOT ACCURATE! THEY WERE KILLED OFF!“, buuuuuut what if slavery was where it started? Something to consider, anyway. But I gotta say, it’s hard to imagine lasat being good slaves. The wookiees don’t work well under Kessel heat, making them less of a threat, but I imagine that wasn’t as much of a problem for the less-fuzzy-but-still-deadly lasat…
– “My old gran’s a better fighter, and she’s only two meters tall!” Pfft that’s a good one, Zeb. Wonder if this was purely Mr. Kogge’s clever writing or an unused line they recorded. But they actually elaborate further on Granny Orrelios, saying she’d lived for “three hundred dust seasons” (I’m assuming that’s 75 earth years, depending how long a dust season lasts and how many seasons they have). This is the first time we’ve ever heard of any family Zeb had, and it makes me super happy to know an inkling of his personal life before the Empire.
– I love the idea Ezra’s already had a few moments where the Force came into play before he finds himself avoiding TIE fighter fire. It makes sense, and kind of makes you wonder what adventures (and misadventures) he might’ve had on the streets of Lothal.
– Interesting that Ezra’s pretty willing to take any sort of reward, even an Imperial rescue! But hey creds are creds. Perhaps it’s this pilot’s snobbiness that drives Ez to decide to just rescue the helmet instead…
– Considering not long from now Ezra’s back to stealing food, I guess those parts didn’t get him as much cash as he hoped. Or they were stolen. Or maybe food on Lothal these days just costs a lot.
– “A sitting hawk-bat“… could that also be comparable to a lothbat?
– The second book has cool alternate episode titles: “Ezra’s Story”, “Disrupted”, and “Old Masters”.
– Sabine was drinking blue milk?? Obviously I haven’t been paying attention. Or that maybe that’s because her cup wasn’t a clear glass. Question: if blue milk is from banthas (which I’ve been led to believe), since banthas don’t live on Lothal (that we’ve seen), does that mean the Rebs are getting their food supplies from offworld? That makes sense enough. Guess I didn’t need to waste a whole paragraph on it…
– You know, unless my memory fails me, I thought the Rebels merely rescued the wookiees on Lothal before their were transferred to Kessel. I was pretty sure after seeing the hopeless world in Solo that my assumptions were for sure right. This novelization says they actually went to Kessel. I’m starting to think these books were written before the shorts and episodes were completed. That must’ve been confusing to do.
– I’ve never heard of a silverback wookiee before, but that’s a neat concept!
– I’ve always wondered what a nerf sounded like. Apparently they’re a lot like Amda Wabo…
– “Chopper recognized the astromech’s response as typical of the new R2 series. Compassion was the biggest flaw in their programming.” Suuuuure Chop, it’s a thing about their programming! ‘Cause we know you certainly don’t have a soft side!
– Also if he considers him a new R2, then how old does that makes Chopper? Well, I’m not saying he’s old, but I think I once saw a droid that looked like him in a trailer for KotOR. *Chopper soundly zaps me for the bad joke*
– In Chopper’s words, he’s only “a few decades past his expiry date”. But he knows there are far older droids than him.
– It’s rather unusual seeing Threepio and Artoo’s roles in this story flipped, with Threeps a little more confident and Artooie a little less than happy. But an interesting twist for a story I already know well.
– Knowing that Zeb had been having horrific nightmares when he shut Ezra out of their room… even though I’ve watched this episode seven times, and though I know his story doesn’t end here, I can feel his pain as strongly as ever.
– I love the creepy last line Kallus gets in as he’s about to strike down Zeb…
– But more so, I love the way Mr. Kogge describes the Force throughout these novelizations. He makes it feel very tactical, very real, this undeniable spark!

I don’t know about you, but I had a ball reading these. I’ll be taking next week off for my birthday, but after that, you should expect some more Star Wars Reads posts to arrive!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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