Following The Freemakers: Duel Of Destiny

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Shroud Of Darkness

And so we return to our regularly-scheduled Rebel Transmissions. And with many feels all the while! Ahh wow this episode tho…! Join me for some fascinating commentary on Shroud Of Darkness! Also, for the record, I’m going to be writing this from the perspective I had at the time I saw it, so there will be no discussion in this as how it connects to the finale or any other episode after this one. That I’ll save for another day. Got it? Good let’s read.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode VII, Raid On Corsucant, TCW episodes Overlords, The Wrong Jedi the Crystal Crisis arc (storyreels), and Destiny, Rebels episodes Path Of The Jedi, Fire Across The Galaxy, The Siege Of Lothal, and Shroud Of Darkness

So much for that potential base, huh? It’s too bad really… it had great weather (nope), friendly wildlife (maybe), and incredible rock formations (truth). Unfortunately, it was also infested with Inquisitors. OK really only two but that’s still two too many for our resident Jedi to be comfortable with. Ohh I adore this opening! We get an intense lightsaber battle right off the bat! Basically this means our emotions don’t get a break for the entirety of the episode, but hey, that’s just one of those things I love about SW 🙂 Ezra does a stellar job at holding his own against these guys, like seriously, it feels like his skills increase every episode. Also yessss “I don’t go for crazy… anymore!” XD XD Oh goodness that was perfect. Hard to believe the guy was ever a ladies’ man right? Plus, c’mon seeing Sev flirt with Kanan is hilarious, considering where their voice actors stand. Delightful. AND THEN FIFTH BRO FORCE-PUSHES EZRA OFF THE CLIFFSIDE OH NOES!! Kanan grabs him, but with the ‘Quizzes coming up fast, this miiiiight be a problem. A few well-aimed jump-flip techniques get master and padawan back in the game, which again, WOW their level of pwnage is just too amazing. But this fight can’t go on forever, which is why Ezra had a plan, and it involves jumping off the cliff. Though Kanan entirely questions the plan, you gotta give him credit, he did go along with it anyway. But THE EAGLES HAVE COME! Wait wrong fandom. I mean THE FLYING CRITTERS I CAN’T REMEMBER THE NAME OF HAVE COME! Speaking of Ezra’s stellar skillz…! And with Chopper flying the Phantom, our heroes fly off into the stormcloud sunset! Aside from the fact that they didn’t get the base and had some close calls with the Inquisitors, I think that went well. OK not really, I’m just glad they lived. Seems Ez’s gotten used to this and sits back and relaxes like that whole life-and-death fight was nothing more than a workout. Kanan’s not liking the fact that he’s gotten used to it too. How can they keep doing their Rebelling when there’s always some Darksider close behind? Their next move is to talk Jedi business with Commander Tano.
Ezra walks in on Ahsoka viewing an old holocron where stands a familiar face — Anakin Skywalker. Oh sweet mercy THE FEELS! IT’S TOO MUCH!! Turns out young Bridger’s a fan as much as we are, as he’s watched this holocron to help improve his own ‘saber moves. Ahsoka recalls not only his Jedi prowess, but the all-around nice guy he was, the friend he was. GUHHHH WHYYY. Sorry expect a lot of this in this post. Reminds me a lot of the moment in Lego’s Raid On Coruscant where Luke watches his father being a boss Jedi in the last surviving Temple holocron. I never thought I’d get to see a similar scene in something 100% canon so that just made me feel feels all over. Anyway, Ezra queries as to what became of such a boss Jedi. Ahsoka doesn’t know for sure, as the last time she saw him, he was off to save the Chancellor. That certainly brings up some questions, don’t it? I had always sorta figured that after Ahsoka left, they fell out of touch. Something hinted at pretty well in the TCW Crystal Crisis arc when Anakin’s all “I know! I’ll just call Ahsoka– oh… right… *sad face*”. But evidently… she was sorta there either a) when Anakin set off to rescue Palpatine from Dooku and Grievous or b) when he believed the Jedi were revolting. So does that mean they were still chatting here and there and meeting up when they could? Or is it simply that Ahsoka was across the road getting coffee and got a glimpse at what was going on? Definitely a question I’d like answered at some point. Absolutely fascinating. So Kanan suggests maybe doing a solely Jedi mission where they could hunt down the Inquisitors. Ahsoka’s not sure that wouldn’t just cause more problems ultimately, but what to do then? Ahsoka wishes that they had another, wiser Jedi to turn to, and wellll it happens Kanan does know where they can talk to such a Jedi. TO THE LOTHAL TEMPLE!
Again, always nice to see Lothal again, back where it all began. Still kinda chilly up there at the Temple. How is Ahsoka not cold in that though-fabulous-probably-isn’t-very-warm sleeveless outfit? Yes isn’t Star Wars weather fascinating? Anyway so Ezra offers to let the masters take the lead and open up the Temple, but Ahsoka explains she’s rather… unqualified. Ezra raises an eyebrow at the knowledge that Ahsoka’s not a Jedi in the technical sense, but hey, none of them really are. So looks like that’s a job for Kanan and Ezra to do. But things are a bit different this time around — the Temple rises up a bit higher this time, revealing a new door. Ooooh much intrigue. I mean, you really can’t go to this Temple without a lot of intrigue following, but it’s still cool all the same. As they walk into the Temple, Ahsoka’s all “OK now what?”. Kanan and Ezra have no clue how to explain how they talked to Yoda last time around, but mediating is a good start. After a few moments, Kanan sees a bright light shining from a doorway. Ahsoka and Ezra don’t see it, so Kanan figures this is where he’ll be going today. Once he walks through, he finds himself in a Jedi training room of some sort, and in that room sits a temple guard. All Kanan wanted was to find some answers, and instead this guy just shrugs his shoulders, snaps open his yellow double-bladed, and is all “Man, you’re gonna fail and that padawan of yours is gonna end up a servant to evil. I think I might just get rid of him before he does anything.”. Which garners a “WHUT??” from the audience and a “OH NO YOU WON’T” from Kanan, who ignites his blue blade with a protective ferocity. On a scale from 1 to 10, the levels of intensity just got amped to a 13.
Meanwhile, Chopper smelled trouble, and that “trouble” came in the form of two TIEs with the Inquisitor sibs in tow. Fifth Bro isn’t impressed, as it seems Sev’s instincts are a tad off and they’ve missed them. But Sis’s confidence doesn’t shatter in the slightest as she sends her miniprobe to get a closer look. Fifth eerily punctuates the scene with “Their sanctuary will be their tomb”. They make a great team, these two… they’re both completely terrifying, but in different ways, and though they take very different approaches to things, they both really can fight something fierce. And right now they very much scare me. Last time around, it freaked us out thinking The Inquisitor could break in to the temple, and now… well… O.O
So while waiting for their cue to know how they’d be spending their day here, Ezra and Ahsoka talk about Yoda. Again FEELS. Ahsoka has this whole great speech about Yoda and who he was and how he viewed the Clone Wars, only to find Ezra gone by the time she’s done. It’s nothing personal ‘Soka, I could listen to your stories all day! He just had somewhere to be right then, that’s all. That somewhere is in the starlit Force-y realm he visited a while back. And right behind him sits Yoda. THE. ACTUAL. YODA. Not a trail of sparkly lights with a voice anymore! It’s him, all green and wrinkly with pointy ears and all! Brooo if I’d been there I woulda done hugged him, even if he was just a Force-y image that wasn’t really there. Apparently the fact he’s there in the almost-flesh isn’t due to any training on Yoda’s part, but on Ezra’s growing abilities. But they can’t have a casual conversation for long, because there’s also this danger that Yoda wants to talk about…
Back to Kanan’s side of the story, it seems he was doing all right dueling with the very very very unimpressed guard. Understandable since the guard seems to have a move to combat every one of Jarrus’s. Kanan manages to reach for another ‘saber on the wall, and interestingly enough grabs a red-bladed one. Hmmm fascinating imagery. WHAT DOES IT MEANNN? Then Guard-bro just be all “Look you’re just gonna die trying so let’s make this quick” *clap clap* “OH BOYYYS!” And then more guards show up. Oh so much fascinatingness.
Now for Ahsoka… aw man… this… scene. If I flub up anything writing for it, you have the complete freedom to hit me with a cartoony oversized hammer. That second when she suddenly recognizes the voice calling her name. And then when we see him… Anakin… standing there in the shadows behind her. She can’t even look, but she knows. She knows. He questions why she left him, she tries to justify her reasons. He berates her for being selfish and failing him. There are tears on her part. And then… “Do you know what I’ve become?”. And now the shadows form Darth Vader where her best friend once stood. Ahsoka knows. Really knows. I can’t man… *sobs* It was easy enough to believe that she knew all the way back on the season opener, but I could totally see her pushing those thoughts away, calling them “crazy” and assuring herself that there’s no way in the world he had anything to do with the Dark Side. Remember the Mortis episodes? Remember how she saw a vision of her adult self warning her against staying Anakin’s apprentice? “Seeds of the Dark Side” and all that? Ahsoka was quick to defend him and likely never thought about it again. But now… oh man. Ohhh man. What happened in Siege Of Lothal was the “it’s not true… that’s impossible”, and this is the “search your feelings, you know it to be true”. Heartwrenching. Absolutely heartwrenching. Ahsoka cries out a pained “no!” and turns around, lightsaber ablaze, but nothing’s there. And in the dark room alone, she allows her tears to fall. I can’t. I’m sorry if the rest of this post comes off sloppily-written but I am absolutely wrecked right now.
Ezra cut to the chase, asking how he might go about defeating Vader and crew. Yoda answers that with the mind-blowing notion that fighting’s not the best option. The Master looks back to the days of the Clone Wars, how the Jedi got pulled into the fighting, not taking the time to further dig into what they were truly truly fighting for. Yoda doesn’t shy away from admitting the fear he felt during the war blinded him to what was to come. And then OH DANG THE INQUISITORS ARE BREAKING IN! The grounds outside the temple glow red as Five and Seven use the Force to open the doors. This lesson may need to be cut short. But seriously though Yoda you keep on blowin’ my mind open! Fighting for the right thing is one of those things I’m all-for, and, as Maz Kanata put it, we’re in a constant battle between the Light Side and the Dark side, so doesn’t that justify it? Or is Yoda simply warning Ezra to be aware as to how he chooses to fight? So many questions! Forgive me if that made no sense.
Kanan was still keeping up the fight with the guards to the best of his abilities. As the temple shakes with the arrival of the inquisitors, the lead guard says again “you can’t fight the inevitable”. At this, Kanan finally puts down his ‘sabers and admits that he can’t protect Ezra forever, he can only do his best to train him and hope his padawan will continue down that path. Then, instead of the guard striking the final blow, he KNIGHTS HIM. Yes you read that correctly. And it was beautiful. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. The man once known as Caleb Dume is an apprentice no more. Kanan don’t quite get it though. And then… the guard takes off his helmet, and we find ourselves looking the face of a much-purer version of who we knew as The Grand Inquisitor. “It means you’re what I once was, a knight of the Jedi Order”. SAY WHAT?! It kept nagging at me I knew that voice, but the only thing that came to mind was Plo Koon, which didn’t make any sense. But yeah boy did my jaw hit the floor. Assuming this is true and not something thrown together by the vision, which I believe is the case, that is an amazing discovery. My respect for The ‘Quiz-turned-temple-guard just went way way up. I MUST KNOW MORE!! But what else is new today? So many questions.
Also, though only a brief moment, I love seeing Ahsoka pick herself up and say bravely “There’s still a way”. SO. AMAZING. GAHHH. Anyway, yes Ezra’s conversation with Yoda was indeed cut short. And his final answers on the “fight or not fight” thing were a bit enigmatic, to say the least. The one thing he did pick up though, was the simple command “Go to Malachor”. And now Ezra stood alone in the crumbling temple once more. The three Jedi now reunite and decide that now’s the best time to go. The Inquisitors are here. They’re all confidence and Darkside swag as they step into the temple, but what they find knocks that confidence down a few notches: their old boss, the former Grand Inquisitor, and his temple guard friends. ‘Tis a beautiful capper for his legacy. This guy, who I always saw as a straight-up terrifying, cruel Darksider, who last time we visited this temple scared the snot out of us in the audience, has not only taught Kanan a powerful, beautiful, real lesson, but done went and kept Fifth and Seventh from catching the Jedi! It is interesting I had no idea Guard-Quiz could appear to anyone but Kanan, and for a split-second I thought he might be alive. But I’m thinking in the Force, you can do whatever you want, and since he was likely a Jedi most of his life, Guard-Quiz’s spirit decided it wouldn’t hurt to mess with his former employees a little. However that works, it’s an amazing sight to behold.
Anyway, and as the Jedi made a run for it, Ahsoka stopped and turned around to see Yoda. Oh my land this was so so sweet. He gives her a small smile and a wave, and she returns that with a smile and a nod. I’ve read several different interpretations of that moment, but for me it will always be a genuine tender moment between the master and padawan. The moment in Destiny where Yoda sees a vision of Ahsoka dying breaks my heart, so this is as much a comforting exchange for Yoda (who feared what would become of her) as it is for Ahsoka (who just found out a horrible truth). Beautiful. Seriously beautiful. No matter what would happen ultimately, it was a beautiful moment. And so, our heroes escape the temple and hop on the Phantom to head for home. Ezra tells them about what Yoda said going to Malachor. Kanan and Ahsoka exchange a look, though they seem to know more than they’re letting on, they do divulge that Malachor is a place. But what kind of place and why that place are another couple of questions added to the long long list of questions this episode has given us. And only in time will we find these answers…
As for the Lothal Temple, the Empire’s got ahold of it now, sadly. Fifth is all “dangg these Jedi are getting stupid powerful!” to which a certain masked dark lord replies “It will be their undoing…”. *Shudders* did it just get colder in here? I think that’s the darkness I feel. Yikes.
OK wow that was a lot to wrap my head around. I’m rather amazed this Transmission turned out as well as it did. So there you go, some food for thought and some questions to get asking. I’ll meet you back here for more posts next time 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

This Is Madness 2016 Recap

We interrupt the usually-scheduled Rebel Transmissions to bring you a special report — the breakdown of my choices for THIS IS MADNESS 2016!! W00t! Every year gets more and more challenging… not for the characters being voted for so much as for me, the nerd who can’t pick favorites but somehow has to choose anyway. Usually I attempt to make my choices using the [somewhat] scientific method of “which character’s destiny made the greater impact on the galaxy?”, but usually every year there are a few characters I vote for just on account of coolnessness. Last year I planned the next tournament would be voted for in a 100% scientific manner without any of my fangirly bias, and somehow this year I managed to stick with it. It was tough, but ultimately it got me really really thinking about these characters and their stories and made me appreciate the amazing story as a whole even more! So again, remember, just because I didn’t vote for your favorite doesn’t mean I love them any less, it’s all a matter of impact this year 🙂 Also sorry for the lack of pictures in this one… accidentally deleted them all at the last second. Ah well *shrugs*
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, TCW episodes Wookiee Hunt, The Lawless, Sacrifice, and Rebels episode Droids In Distress, Call To Action, Fire Across The Galaxy, The Siege Of Lothal, and The Honorable Ones.

DAY ONE: OBI-WAN VS. PADME/VADER VS. FIFTH

Light Side Vote: Obi-Wan Kenobi. TIM started off this year with a test worthy of Yoda’s trip to Moraband. “You? Vote scientifically without bias? Hah! VOTE AGAINST YOUR GO-TO FAVE JEDI I DARE YOU!”. Well I technically still won that test because Obi-Wan’s legacy truly does make a larger impact. Normally I might pull out the “Padme is Luke and Leia’s mom” card again and use that as an excuse, but here’s something I hadn’t considered until recently: Obi-Wan was the one who suggested “hey Tatooine might work” one fine day after escaping the Trade Federation. Basically Obi-Wan not only trained her son and helped save her daughter, but without him, ANAKIN AND PADME NEVER WOULD HAVE MET, LUKE AND LEIA WOULD NOT EXIST, AND WHATEVER APPRENTICE PALPATINE NAMED VADER WOULD HAVE LAID WASTE TO THE GALAXY. Mind. Blown. Take that voice of the Dark Side.
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. The Fifth Brother might’ve been an excellent contender in TIM this year, but… against Vader? No, not really. When it comes to the Dark Side legacy, Vader wins about every time. I mean, he does sorta help in wiping out the Jedi and destroying a planet… it’s hard to beat that. Fivey carries a similar mercilessness with him (bro don’t bat an eyelash at killing innocents fo’ sho), but he still ranks below the Darth. So yeahh. The villains always are easier to vote for.

DAY TWO: R2 VS. SABINE/JABBA VS. SEVENTH

Light Side Vote: R2-D2. I don’t know why they keep pitting these two against each other, it just doesn’t seem like a fair vote! They’re both tough, confident, smart, spirited, handy with weapons, and loyal to the core. And plus, in the battle of an astromech versus a human you know I’m gonna pick the droid ’cause they’re so darn adorable! They’re both great in different ways. Ultimately, I dug deep though and found Artoo truly did deserve the vote. He’s played quite the part in SW, helping save ’bout every hero there is — Obi-Wan, Anakin, the Ghost crew (blowing up those blasters was all R2’s idea, after all), and most recently, Luke, among others. Hard to argue with that logic, right? But who knows? We have yet to see where Sabine’s destiny leads… someday she may just beat Artoo 🙂
Dark Side Vote: The Seventh Sister. Every year I’m amazed how far Jabba The Hutt gets in the tournament, especially when up against truly awesome villains like Sev here. Granted, looking back, I may have overlooked Jabba’s hand in the villainy game some. He may just chill around in his palace all day but he has rancors and bounty hunters and the rest of his many many lackeys at the ready at all times. I mean, how coldhearted do you have to be to literally have a party on your sail barge while you throw your prisoners to the sarlacc? Or get Boba Fett to test out carbonfreezing on Han? That’s pretty bad. I think I ultimately chose against Jabba based on the fact he can be an ally sometimes, and has actually worked with our heroes instead of against them. Whereas with Seventh, though we don’t see all that she’s has done in her inquisiting career, with her drive and ferocity, and the fact that she’s technically in the business of hunting Jedi… well, I think she owns the vote. The lives she’s taken have no doubt she’s left a negative footprint on the galaxy and the future of the Jedi.

DAY THREE: LUKE VS. HERA/PALPATINE VS. VENTRESS

Light Side Vote: Luke Skywalker. I looked at this one from quite a few angles to figure out who to choose. I mean, Hera is a major player in the existence of the Rebel Alliance. Where would Luke be without her impact? But where would the Alliance be had Luke not helped destroy the Death Star? Or helped save Leia? Or met Han and got him involved? Or defeated Darth Vader? Ultimately, I get the feeling that the galaxy would’ve suffered much more if not for Luke’s hand in all of this. Anddd whoops I realize that last bit sounded like a pun. Sorreh. Definitely not an easy vote to pick, but I think I made the right choice.
Dark Side Vote: Palpatine. Dude, when it comes to being bad, Palpatine’s the king, the president, the Chancellor, and the Emperor of all baddies. I betcha even Supreme Leader Snoke looked up to him when considering Darksidery as a career! Scientifically, no villain in SW can stand up to him. Except maybe Snoke, anyway. Hmm… now wouldn’t that be a matchup! Besides, though Ventress has been pretty bad herself, she’s got what Palpatine doesn’t — a heart. And thank goodness for that.

DAY FOUR: HAN VS. CHEWBACCA/MAUL VS. TARKIN

Light Side Vote: Han Solo. Scientifically, Chewbacca does hold the honor of having help saved two Jedi prior to meeting Han, including one who would become a major player for the Rebels (you know who I’m talkin’ about), and one who would train a great hero who would go on to train someone who has the potential to be a great hero (not namin’ names you should know this one). In some ways he might might might have deserved the vote in retrospect, especially since he keeps getting beat by his copilot year after year. But Han… oh myyyyy… he’s got a lot of honor to hold too! Pushing past my bias that names him my favorite scoundrel/general/pilot/all-around-nice-guy, I think the best reasoning goes to more recent events, as that “someone who has the potential to be a great hero” would never’ve gotten off of Jakku without him, among a great number of events. Captain Solo’s left a truly marvelous legacy behind… who knows where it will lead next? OK hopefully I got all of my thought process on that straight…
Dark Side Vote: Darth Maul. Tarkin and Maul are both heavy-hitters in the villain category for sure. I’ve used the excuse before that Tarkin helped helm the Death Star and so technically helped in killing a planet’s worth of innocent lives. While we don’t know everything Maul has done or will do, he does everything in the most malicious manner imaginable. Anddd I’m starting to realize again that this vote may not be as scientifically accurate as I would’ve preferred it to be. But I will say this: we don’t yet know the impact Maul has made or will make, and because of this, who knows what he’s put into motion already? I might look back years from now after reading another book or watching another show/movie and realize I totally called it. Man I wish I remembered what I was thinking the day I made that vote…

DAY FIVE: YODA VS. FINN/KYLO VS. JANGO

Light Side Vote: Yoda. I was totally excited to see some Force Awakens faces entering the tournament this year, but again, a little bummed out by the matchup. I mean, Yoda vs. Finn? That’s not fair in the slightest. The interesting thing here is, we don’t know the ultimate amount of impact Finn will make on the galaxy. He’s certainly made history, and I know he’ll continue to do so as he fights for the Resistance in the stories to come. But Yoda is the master of all masters, and technically, because he trained Luke who’s (assumptively) training Rey now, whose skills with a lightsaber might‘ve saved Finn’s backside… well, I think our fave storm’s OK with losing to the little green guy.
Dark Side Vote: Kylo Ren. This vote was unfair for the totally opposite reasons. We know very little ultimately about both of them, except they’re both awesome bad guys and have stellar fashion sense. But considering the only legacy we know about Jango is his super-cool son, and can only assume what he’s done with that stellar bounty hunting, blaster-twirling prowess of his… well, he sorta pales in comparison to the guy who blows up multiple planets in just one day and can stop blasterfire in its tracks. #DefiniteUnfairAdvantage But still, Ben here has my vote. *Ducks from three-bladed lightsaber thrown in my direction* SORRY SORRY I MEANT TO SAY KYLO REN!

DAY SIX: AHSOKA VS. BB/DOOKU VS. PHASMA

Light Side Vote: Ahsoka Tano. Oh lookie another unfair matchup! Again, it’s tough to pick who makes the greater difference when we haven’t seen all the difference one of them’s made yet. But considering the Resistance itself might not exist had their been no Rebellion, and the Rebellion might not’ve existed had Ahsoka not been involved… BB-8 would be out of a job. BB-8 gave me a thumbs-down for this stunt… “DUDE I LITERALLY HELPED FIND LUKE SKYWALKER AND THIS IS THE THANKS I GET?” Maybe next year BB…
Dark Side Vote: Count Dooku. Dooku and Phasma are both some kinda tough stuff, but again, we don’t know what impact the Captain will make on the galaxy. Whereas, y’know… helping bring about the Clone Wars and the eventual fall of the Republic kinda gives the “older gentleman” a leg up this time around.

DAY SEVEN: REY VS. EZRA/BOBA VS. HUX

Light Side Vote: Rey. WOW! Now THIS is a matchup! The two new padawans! Ohhoho I loved figuring out this vote! Because in this case, both their stories have yet to be told. Who knows where their legacies will lead? It’s actually really interesting how alike they are… both strong, clever young individuals on their own, doing their best to survive, and then they find an unexpected new family that changes their paths — and themselves — forever. It would’ve been easy to just say “well Ezra ignited that spark of rebellion with that inspiring transmission of his and so owns the vote”, buuuut then I looked at Rey here… GIRL DONE WON A LIGHTSABER DUEL WITH KYLO REN, HAVING NEVER PICKED UP A ‘SABER IN. HER. LIFE. WHOA. I ended up voting for this one scientifically analyzing their use of the Force. Ezra’s quite amazing at it too, but even he had to learn a few things to knock down an adversary. So Rey’s intensely serious skillz earned her the vote. Plus, it’s her first year in the tournament, so it only seemed fair.
Dark Side Vote: General Hux. You may be wondering why in the world I’d pick this guy over Boba Fett. Well first I’d say “What? Hux is a cool dude too!”, but then I’d move on to my logical conclusion: Hux helped Starkiller Base along in destroying all those worlds and all the billions of innocent people on them. Also he is very very passionate about what he does. He don’t take crud from no one! All “Eat this Resistance!” I’m thinking Boba may have a bit more of a heart than that. Plus, Boba was gonna win anyway so I kinda did want to give it to the underdog…

DAY EIGHT: LEIA VS. POE/GRIEVOUS VS. KALLUS

Light Side Vote: Leia Organa. Well this was kinda an obvious answer for me. General Organa is not only the bosslady of the Rebel Alliance/Resistance, but she’s Poe Dameron’s boss period. She did send him out to help find Luke, after all. Plus, yeah, she’s LEIA ORGANA. From princess to general, she’s been nothing but a rock-solid force in the SW universe and her legacy only continues to further as she plays a mom figure to Rey. Don’t worry, Poe, you’re still amazing too. I hope someday to talk about your legacy with the same enthusiasm 🙂
Dark Side Vote: General Grievous. Grievous wins, no questions. Even if I had voted for this before I discovered Kallus is a decent human being, I still would’ve given the General my vote. It’s hard to argue with a cold, calculating cyborg who simply wants to kill Jedi because he can. Agent K may’ve been a jerk in the past, but he clearly has a heart. The only heart Grievous has went up in flames. Yeahhh sometimes winning the Dark Side vote isn’t really a win.

DAY NINE: R2 VS. OBI-WAN/VADER VS. JABBA

Light Side Vote: R2-D2. Wat is dis? I voted for Artoo OVER Obi-Wan?? :O 100% scientific vote man. That little droid did it and saved the ship Obi-Wan was on. Make all the jokes you want Master Kenobi, but that “dime a dozen” droid is the only reason you’re alive or that really anything happened in the SW galaxy! Seriously though really. No Naboo ship, no Padme, no Obi-Wan, no Anakin, no Luke, no Leia, quite possibly no Threepio, no nothin’. Wow is that not an insane thought?
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. This one was all too easy. Feeding your dancers to the rancor is pretty bad, but burning a town just to rile up the Rebels? That’s downright DESPICABLE. No question who got that vote.

DAY TEN: HAN VS. LUKE/MAUL VS. PALAPTINE

Light Side Vote: Han Solo. This one was really interesting. It’d be easy to say “Luke because he defeated Vader”, but I thought long and hard on this one and found that no one deserved this vote more than Han. Had Obi-Wan given those credits to some other pilot, the very fabric of SW would be very very different than we know it today. Han got Luke where he needed to go, and then helped Luke save Leia, and then helped Luke blow up the Death Star. He continually helped the Rebel Alliance before attempting to leave, but then got pulled back into it anyway. Though it wasn’t right that he got betrayed and turned into a decoration in Jabba’s palace, he did get Lando involved in the Rebellion, and he went on to destroy the second Death Star. And to top it all off, had he not met Finn and Rey… THEY WOULDN’T HAVE FOUND LUKE. So that makes it… what? Seven favors you own him now, “Junior”? This only served to make me love Han and his friendship with Luke more and I proceeded to fangirl and cry at the same time. AHH THE FRIENDSHIPNESS!
Dark Side Vote: Palpatine. Not quite as thought-provoking an answer, but still, Palpatine pwns Maul in the badness game. Just does. “There is no mercy…” *shudders*

DAY ELEVEN: YODA VS. AHSOKA/KYLO VS. DOOKU

Light Side Vote: Yoda. It almost pained me to vote against Ahsoka this round. But again, Yoda trains evrahbody! And since Yoda trained Obi-Wan who trained Anakin who trained Ahsoka, the order of Jedi mastery just makes sense to give it to him. Plus, the last few years, he always got matched up against one of my go-to favorites, like Obi-Wan, Luke, and Qui-Gon, and that really wasn’t the fairest since Yoda is just as awesome as they are. So I’m actually glad to give Yoda some credit where credit is due for once 😀
Dark Side Vote: Count Dooku. Kylo Ren seems like the obvious choice, right? I mean, you remember what I said about him blowing up all those planets. But Count Dooku done went and helped bring down the entire system of government in the galaxy. THAT is pretty intense if you ask me, and a bit on a larger scale. Plus, if Dooku hadn’t played his part in the fall of the Republic the Empire Darth Vader served might’ve never existed and who would be Kylo Ren’s senpai then? Yay underdog votes!

DAY TWELVE: LEIA VS. REY/GRIEVOUS VS. BOBA

Light Side Vote: Leia Organa. All I’m sayin’ is Leia is the bosslady and she’s helped orchestrate the Rebellion since she was a teen. Her levels of impact are unrivaled. Also, had she not sent Poe and BB-8 to Jakku… Rey wouldn’t be wielding a lightsaber right now. Talk about a legacy.
Dark Side Vote: General Grievous I’m sorry I didn’t vote for Boba Fett this tournament, really I am. But Grievous is a monster, man… he’s done some downright atrocious stuff in helping further Palpatine’s schemes. He’s one of those villains that’s hard to find the good in, y’know? Hard for a bounty hunter, even a Mando bounty hunter with a vendetta, to compete with. They’re both still amazingly cool characters, don’t get me wrong. Just… yeah, understand the amount of impact.

DAY THIRTEEN: OBI-WAN VS. LUKE/VADER VS. MAUL

Light Side Vote: Obi-Wan Kenobi. Well, obviously since Obi-Wan trained Luke and convinced Yoda to further train Luke. He’s kinda a big deal.
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. Vader Vs. Maul is always always always a toughie. Both have done things that leave me aghast in shock. But only one of them helmed that ultimate weapon… and only one successfully defeated Sidious. Kind of a stretch maybe, but I think it makes sense.

DAY FOURTEEN: YODA VS. REY/KYLO VS. BOBA
Light Side Vote: Yoda. Because again, Yoda trained Luke who goes on to train Rey. That’s a pretty important amount of legacy to leave if you ask me.
Dark Side Vote: Kylo Ren. Again, when it comes to being bad, Boba is a sweet cinnamon roll compared to the likes of these Darksiders he’s been matched up against. Starkiller Base just done did more damage than those blasters, you and I both know that.

DAY FIFTEEN: LUKE VS. REY/VADER VS. KYLO
Light Side Vote: Luke. Whee the masters goin’ against the apprentices!! What can I say? Rey may have some natural talent, but Luke’s going to help her refine it. The path she chooses, the legacy she leads, will forever be influenced by her new master. Deeeep.
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. “YOU’LL NEVER BE AS STRONG AS DARTH VADER!” Sorry just truth Kylo bro. He’s his senpai, his role model, his inspiration, and his grandpa. Darth Vader wins all the vote here.

FINAL VOTE: LUKE VS. VADER

What can I say? I heart the Light Side. Luke did defeat Darth Vader, but ultimately with love, not fighting. Luke’s legacy, his impact on the galaxy is astronomical. And like say, he’s about to do like Yoda and pass on what he’s learned. I think Luke completely deserved the vote, and the final win this year, don’t you think? 😀
And on a totally 100% biased fangirly note… he’s just a flat-out amazingly incredible character!

TIMSketch

And so ends another great This Is Madness! Can only imagine what next year’s tournament will hold.
Also #JynErsoFor2017Champion 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Always Two There Are

Yes the blog is back to its Friday slot! At least for now, anyway. But this amazing episode of Rebels absolutely needed to be blogged on today, especially since it has a bit of a Halloween-y vibe 🙂 And so without further ado, Always Two There Are!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Droids In Distress, Fire Across The Galaxy, The Lost Commanders, Relics Of The Old Republic, and Always Two There Are

Cover photo for Rebel Transmission 2x04

So our Rebels were having a rather casual afternoon (or evening… or morning… it’s hard to tell in space). Rex and Zeb were having a friendly game of dejarik, Sabine and Chopper are just chillin’, and Kanan and Ezra were finishing up some Jedi training. Kanan’s given his student the simple task of levitating Chopper (and dropping him afterward XP ). Zeb’s lost another round to Rex. Let’s be glad Lasats aren’t known for ripping people’s arms off (though I’m sure he could if he wanted to). Don’t think Sabine’s not gonna join in the fun, too… right before Ezra started workin’ on his Forcin’, she told Chopper to lock himself down. Ezra tried his hardest before Rex pointed out what those two were up to. Sabine and Chopper have a good laugh and exchange a little bit of a fistbump 🙂 Oh it’s so much fun watching these guys just having fun… even if it is at Ezra’s expense 😛 The Captain uses this as a teaching moment, to not just look through the Force, but with one’s eyes as well. He makes mention of the general he served with and how he used both the Force and his wits to his advantage. Yeah Anakin did that quite a bit didn’t he? General Skywalker was late to the Jedi training game and because of this he had a lot of real-world, hands-on experience that most other Jedi back in the day didn’t have. And since Ezra’s in pretty much the same situation, this is solid advice. Heh heh imagine this: an alternate universe where Anakin was Ezra’s master. I can only imagine how the battle droid carnage would look! OK anyway I’ve completely rabbit-trailed. Kanan doesn’t quite buy into Rex’s advice though. Any further “discussion” was (at least temporarily) halted by Hera, who’s got a mission for Sabine and Zeb to an old Republic medical station to grab some supplies. “Well you better hurry… Captain Wits here is gonna need ’em” “Ohh so there’s where the boy gets his lack of discipline!” XD 😆 Ah I’m sorry I just love this “too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen” headbutting going on! Hera’s so done XD And Ezra’s done too, he’s joining up with Zeb, Sabine, and Chopper this time around… anything from being caught in that crossfire. Yay a mission with the “kids”! Those are always fun!
Our heroes find themselves entering the dark creepiness of the abandoned medical station. Yep it’s dark and it’s creepy and did I mention it’s old and abandoned? Nothing they can’t handle right? Also a bit of a question has been answered, apparently “astromech” is a language that can be taught. I’ve always wondered if when folks like Anakin and Luke responded to something Artoo or some other droid said they actually understood them or if they were just assuming. But yeah Ezra totally understands Chopper (at least mostly)… which I imagine sometimes is a bit of a disadvantage. Zeb’s the only one here who doesn’t know it (though way back on Droids In Distress he seemed to know Chopper didn’t say anything akin to “hello hyperspace”, but that’s probably just because much of that C1-10P’s snark needs no translation). Thankfully, Zeb does now how to wrench open locked doors. Even as they walk through the eerie halls, Sabine can’t ignore a blank wall that needs her artistic genius. But as she makes her spray-painted statement, she has no idea a miniature probe-like droid is watching in the shadows. Sabine suspects something, but the only thing that startles her is Ezra popping in. But indeed there is a miniprobe watching… and he makes contact with his master quickly.
So Chopper may have turned on the lights in the base… all the lights. The Empire may have noticed. So might have the Fifth Brother. Fivey insists he’ll be going it solo this time ’round, and the Imps are all “OK… if you say so…” and exchange a look of weirded-out-ness. Hey I know you Imperials don’t get the whole “Force-y” thing but you gotta hand it to them, the Quizzes know what they’re doing. Which is not good for our heroes.
So change of plans, since accessing the files came up dry the kids head out to find the med supplies on their own while Chop continues to man the system. Ezra and Zeb get a little competitive over finding those supplies, which leads to some pretty hilarious moments. Including the fact they literally run right past what they were looking for to start with XD Not to mention the whole thing where Ezra shoves a couple of crates right onto Zeb and shortly thereafter Ezra runs smack into a low-hanging bar *dies laughing* Ohhh delightful! Love that Ezra’s matured a bit since this season started, but I’m glad he’s still got a little cockiness in there X)
So there Chopper was… alone in the dark creepy base, the only light coming from the control screen. And then something indeed goes bump in the night (or the afternoon, or the evening, or the morning… whatever time of day it is). He ventures down a dark hall to investigate. Chopper don’t you know anything about scary movies?! That is absolutely something you don’t want to do! Something skitters across the floor, just out of sight. Then another. And then he turns around AND THERE’S A MINIPROBE!! Cue the screaming. Followed by a solid zapping on miniprobe #1’s part. The clever little skunk does a little electric work and makes Chopper call out for help, driving the Rebels right into his master’s trap. Ezra and Sabine take a shortcut through the air ducts. Zeb… yeah he never made it through the opening. Hope somebody brought some butter…
Ezra and Sabine arrive in the dark hallway, where Chopper’s panicked noises call out, but where also glows the single red eye of a evil little miniprobe, and where stands the shadowy form of his master, the Seventh Sister. She is totally all kinds of cool, but also all kinds of frightening because she has a two-bladed ‘saber and has been searching for our heroes, which can’t be a good thing when you own a two-bladed. Ezra and Sabine make a dash for it, blaster-sabering and blastering their escape. Considering all things they do pretty awesomely at holding their own against this cray ‘quiz, even if all the blaster-sabering and blastering in the world doesn’t knock down Seven and her miniprobe pets. And the next thing they know they turn around and THERE’S ANOTHER INQUISITOR! Fifth Bro wasn’t about to miss the party! It would be awesome right now if they could find Zeb and Chopper. But before they know it Seven’s got ’em cornered, and she doesn’t bat an eyelash at Force-grabbing Ezra and using her miniprobes to hold him down. Ezra insists Sabine make a run for it and bravely lightsabers the door lock. Gahhhhh so so very brave!! Seems like just yesterday when Kanan was doing that! So just like that Seventh Sis has his blaster-saber and one of those pesky Rebs in her clutches. And then Fivey showed up. He’s kinda perturbed that Seven got to ’em first, but she clearly calls the shots and sends him to go find Sabine. Ah yes the ‘Quisitors are a fun bunch aren’t they? Can you imagine the company picnics? Sorry I know that was weird but it popped into my head while I was first watching this and now I’m certain Fifth Bro makes a mean potato salad. Anyway yeah this is very bad… the situation, not my SW gags.
And guess where Zeb was? Yep still stuck in that vent. “I DON’T WANNA DIE LIKE THIS I’M THE LAST OF MY KIND!” XD At least we didn’t have to use butter! But yeah it’s all up to these two now…
Meanwhile Sev was having a nice chat with Young Bridger. She flawlessly weaves in backhanded compliments with genuine no-frills threats. If Ventress was still in the dark side of things they’d probably be besties (at least up until one of them was threatened by the other’s power or prestige and they turn on each other). Yeah I’m thinking that at this point, if she’s still alive, Ventress is probably working a desk job somewhere and doesn’t swing red ‘sabers anymore. Sorry back to this era. But even though Sis does well with her side of the convo Ezra gets major props for combatting her sarc with some sarc of his own and never once alluding he knows anything she wants to know. The scary thing is she never once is flustered. I wish I had that kind of confidence. Elsewhere Fifth Bro stalks the halls, searching for the rest of the Rebs. Zeb and Sabine thought they’d lure him into a detonator-filled trap, but he’s a little too good at being bad, ’cause Fivey just picks up all of them and throws them back at our heroes. And just like that he hauls Sabine’s unconscious form onto his back and walks away, leaving Zeb for the miniprobes’ taking. Poooooor Zeb… you’d think these tiny little things would be easy for a guy like him to take out but they cause all kinds of trouble with their clingy-zappiness. Has to use his head a bit, like literally smashing the one on his head against a box. And lo and behold the box is full of those medical supplies they were looking for. Much irony. And then le gasp he finds Sabine’s helmet without Sabine!
So the nice conversation Sev and Ezra were having downgraded into her throwing darksidery mind torture his way. She seems a bit irked that she had to do this when things had been going so nice, but hey whatcha gon’ do boy’s not talking. Also zinger of the day: “…Because unlike you, I know how to shut up. You’re like a broken protocol droid!” well played, young Bridger 🙂 But soon her real purpose shows itself… she’s looking for Ahsoka. Ooh… o_o And then Fifth brings in Sabine, hoping to up the ante a bit. Ezra still refuses to say anything, but with Zeb unaccounted for, he and Sabine fear the worst. But it is not so, because Zeb found Chopper and is back at the Phantom, trying to conjure up a plan. Poor guy… feels a little inadequate right now, not sure how it is he can save his “younger sibs”. But this Zeb is not the same Zeb from back in the first episode, no matter what he faces, he’s not about to leave anyone behind! Whoops that made him sound like a terrible person didn’t it? I hope not ’cause that’s absolutely not what I meant. Anyway all right Zeb! *cheers*
And that’s about when Ezra and Sabine get a call from a Rebel who goes by Commander Meillorun. Hehe we know who that is 🙂 Sabine turns down his assistance, but when Fivey sticks his red blade a bit too close to her neck, Ezra decides it wouldn’t hurt to have some sort of help. Ah the feels right now these guys are so tight they’re all in some way willing to risk their lives for each other! Sabine to Zeb, Ezra to Sabine, and Zeb to both! Does that make sense? I think so… but yeah I’m both proud of our heroes and terrified of these Inquisitors. Now all Ezra and Sabine can do is trust that Zeb knows what he’s doing…
The ‘Quizzes are pretty happy though. They’re getting the info they came for and they’ll still get to kill the others! Win-win! Or so they think, because what they can’t see is that the Phantom‘s parked on the ceiling. Before they know it there’s blasterfire all over the place. Zeb’s at the guns, Ezra’s got his ‘saber back, and our heroes are about to make their escape! Anddd thennn Five and Seven Force-grab the ship. Dang they’re good. And not just that but then Sev starts using the Force to shut the door! It’s when Fifth Bro pulls out his ‘saber again to deflect Sabine’s blaster that she loses her grip and the Phantom jets on outta there. Heck hath no fury like a ‘Quisitor sister scorned. I’m sure Fivey ran outta there pretty fast too. He is not about to have any “nice conversations” with her… but whatever hooray for Zeb! He done saved the day! 😀
So back on the Ghost it seems the boys settled things without killing each other in a friendly game of dejarik. Kanan won. Hera looks pleased with herself… perhaps she was the one who got them to chill out and play a quiet game? Hehe she’s most definitely the mom 🙂 By the time the kids got back, Ezra didn’t give Kanan a second to chew him out for going along on the mission, because he had to bear the bad news that they’ve got two new problems and they wear black, have double-bladed red lightsabers, and know something about Ahsoka. He doesn’t let in on it to the kids, but Kanan had no idea there were more. Though, yes, everything went OK, they got more medical supplies and they all survived thanks to Zeb, things have just taken a truly terrifying turn. And where it will all end, we do not know…
Wow. Just wow. So many great moments, but also so much frightening uncertainty. We can only sit and wait to find out what will happen next. I wish you all a very Happy Halloween… and all the patience in the world until the next episode!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

SW Summer Reads: A New Dawn

The pressure’s on my friends… because today I’m writing my first SW Summer Reads post on a full-size undoubtedly-canon book! I apologize in advance if this comes off like a big fat mess of fangirling. Then again, that’s pretty much what all my posts come out like! But it would be a crime not to write about the amazing book known as A New Dawn. We’re talkin’ some serious action, adventure, heart, and of course all the deliciously delightful Kanera banter :3 So let’s go ahead and cut to the chase to see what interesting things I found in reading John Jackson Miller’s exciting SW tale!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III, A New Dawn, and Rebels episode Fire Across The Galaxy

Cover art for A New Dawn

Every saga has a beginning, including that of the saga of the Ghost crew and the Rebel Alliance. And it all starts with a young, scoundrely guy working in a mining facility. That guy would be Kanan Jarrus. I’ve gotta tell ya, I never thought the term “scoundrel” would apply to him. Han, yes. Lando, naturally. But Kanan? Kanan the strong, selfless, wise Jedi master? Never! I mean, sure, he’s as quick with his sarcasm as he is with his blaster, sure he doesn’t fit the role of a conventional Jedi, but he’s not a scoundrel or anything! But before he was a rebel, before he was a master, he was a gunslinger, a drinker, a big-time flirt, and could punch your teeth out if you got on his nerves. At this juncture, the bro’s left all traces of his former life behind and drifts from one job to the next, just aimlessly doin’ whatever. But though he puts on this tough act, Kanan’s heart of gold still shines. He quietly lends a hand to his fellow workers every now and again and helps out his sweet old landlord Okadiah. It takes a few unexpected turns, a few new friends, and the Empire’s craziness to help him find a new purpose and a new ‘tude that eventually turns him into the Rebel we know and love. Mr. Miller does an excellent job at writing from Kanan’s perspective, bringing out that fun side of his as well as his heart in just the right way.
Of course, the second player in this game would be Hera Syndulla. While Kanan’s changed quite a fair amount since this story took place, Hera really hasn’t changed a bit. Perhaps she’s become a little more learned since she’s seen and done a lot since then, but otherwise, she still has her epic piloting skills, her drive for change, and her kind heart for others. And Miller does an awesome job telling us about her but not telling us everything. We don’t know what she was doing beforehand and how many other rebel-sorts are out there working with her, all we know is that she dropped by to Gorse and Cynda to meet up with an informant. And turns out she came back with more than she expected… including a new crewmember.
Oh, and then there’s our chief villain, Count Vidian. The guy’s relentless, calculating, and did I mention a human cyborg? I absolutely love what a great villain he is! He’s a perfectly creepy guy who will do anything to stay on top and keep his high political standings, even destroying Cynda. I love that he’s a more political-based baddie than most we see in SW, but yet he’s still a genuine threat. Heightened senses and a mostly robotic body are quite a deadly combination for our Rebs. Plus, the fact he talks through a computer and not his own mouth is the icing on the terrifying villain cake! Before Kallus and The Inquisitor were problems, and before our heroes ever tangled with Darth Vader, Vidian was the Imperial-nasty-of-the-day. And Miller played him out and wrote for him perfectly. I could only dream of creating a bad guy such as him!
But the good thing is, villains have this bad habit of not winning, and aside from Kanan and Hera, we have two others to thank for that, Skelly and Zaluna. Skelly is a slightly-messed-up Clone Wars veteran, and one of those guys who made the mistake of getting on Kanan’s nerves. He does the demolition work for the Cynda mines, but he’s strongly against the methods they use, as he fears it will destroy the moon. Bro does some nutty stuff to get the Empire’s attention, and maybe doesn’t think through his plans as clearly as we would, but sometimes a wild card who knows how to throw around explosives is useful when you’ve got an Empire to fight 🙂 Zaluna was once one of the Empire’s eyes and ears — and not just because she’s a sullustan. She was quite content to go about her day watching people and alerting the Empire to potential troublemakers, but when her friend gets arrested and needs a hand getting some info where it needs to go, it sends Zaluna right to Hera. And she soon finds herself on a path she can’t return from as she joins up with these would-be rebels to save their world. And I suppose we could count a third person who helped bring down the Count, someone not even on our side, Rae Sloane. Rae’s an up-and-coming captain for the Star Destroyer Ultimatum who finds herself driving Vidian around a lot. And though she’s still an Imperial through-and-through, she don’t really like the guy’s moon-destroying plans. She’s a fascinating character and I would really like to see where her story goes, ’cause it almost seems there’s a chance her destiny won’t lie with the Empire. Mr. Miller created quite a wonderful batch of new characters for this story, who complement well our primary heroes.
Now let’s just talk about Kanera for the rest of the day, OK? Obviously I wasn’t about to not fangirl over discuss this wonderful element of the story. Yessss that meetcute I can’t even… ^w^ She’s pretty and she can fight thugs with the best of ’em! Kanan defs be crushin’! Hehehe who am I kidding of course I’m going to fangirl over this. He’s generally a pretty smooth operator but his flirts fall flat around her, and a few times her own charm leaves him with nothing to say. Their banter is music to my ears, something I absolutely eat up in the show, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg in regards to what makes their thing so great in this book. It’s ultimately Hera’s determination and spirit that makes Kanan decide he’d follow her anywhere. And while Hera isn’t impressed with Kanan’s “smoothness”, she is a bit impressed with his generous, kind Jedi heart. It’s interesting to look at their relationship from this angle and then look at it from Rebels around eight or ten years later. They’re much more in sync as they both have a similar focus to helping those affected by the Empire. Kanan’s more of a nice guy now, and Hera does most of the flirting, which I find adorably hilarious XD Their bond is comfortable and has a unique chemistry all its own. But mannnn when that hug happened… you can see that Kanan doesn’t see Hera as just another girl, she’s someone worth treasuring :3 And Hera might be a little more impressed with her copilot these days 🙂 I’m sorry but AWWWW! This book has heightened my love of these twosies to a ridiculous level that I had no idea I could achieve since I already loved them so much! So yeah I can’t wait ’til Rebels comes back so I can fangirl over them some more!
Really everything about this story is amazing. I love just how much we get to experience the inner thoughts of these characters, how much more of the galaxy we see, how multifaceted the plotline is! It was hard to put down, as it felt like I was watching a really long episode of Rebels and every time I had to take a break from it (because it was maybe a little bit late and I needed to go to bed) it felt like I had to keep putting the episode on “pause”. And of course, the amazing coolness that is the fact it’s undeniably 100% canon, that our characters lived through these events and that these elements Miller invented for the book really exist and could easily show up in another show or movie. My only big question regarding its canonicity (which is weird considering I don’t usually have these kinds of questions with the stories I personally consider canon) is that it nods to Kanan having been 14 at the time of Order 66, which is odd considering I’m pretty sure Kanan is 34 and would’ve been 19 when it happened. The big question now is who is right… official SW social media or this book? I’ll stick with what I know firsthand for now, though it would be interesting if Kanan ended up being a bit of a street kid at 14 just like Ezra was. But regardless, A New Dawn is one incredible book. Now I really want to hear more stories about Kanan and Hera’s adventures! I want to know what their first few missions were like and how they met Zeb and Sabine and how Chopper came to be and if they ever sang along with the radio while in hyperspace! (Sorry I know that last one is weird) Until then, I’m definitely very excited to read more Star Wars stories in the future! Guess I better go look into getting Tarkin now…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight