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The Resistance Report: The New Trooper

Whoa boy I’ve got a lot of stuff to write about on this one! I mean seriously I think I almost could write two blogs, ’cause The New Trooper delves into everything from galactic politics to space waffles! Let’s see if I can get all this organized right…

Contains spoilers from Resistance episode The New Trooper and elements from the first season thus far. Also some minor spoilers from Episode IV.

Star Wars has taught me a lot over the years; one of those things is that war is complicated. Resistance isn’t the first time we’ve encountered this reality — just watch The Clone Wars or Rogue One, or read James Luceno’s Tarkin. However, this series is the first time in my Star Wars experience that I’ve been able to sit down and really explore the average Joes’ and Janes’ thoughts on war, both the one of the past and the one to come. We’ve seen hints of Kaz’s on-fire Rebel heart and Tam’s respect for stormtroopers in past episodes, but in The New Trooper we watch these perspectives clash and emotions rise in a surprisingly volatile way I was not expecting.

I think it’s very easy for young people to get caught up in taking sides on an issue without actually knowing all the facts (I certainly have been there). The actual nuances of political matters can be super boring, while the energy of a heated debate can be an attractive force. But fierce passion without knowledge has a tendency to lead to shouting matches and hurt feelings. I know that’s not entirely the case with Kaz and Tam here; they both have strong reasons for believing what they do. Much of the problem is that there’s more arguing going on than there is listening or discussing. But I get it — it’s so much easier to stick to what you know and refuse to even think about there being multiple sides to an issue.

And this growing battle with Kaz and Tam has even more complications than stubbornness alone. Kaz knows things that would support his concerns with the First Order, like their interest in dedlanite and that powerful phase connector, but he can’t say much beyond references to his history lessons. Tam, on the other hand, has family who had a very different experience with the Empire, and her personal experience with the First Order so far has been positive. I can see, from her perspective, how it would seem dumb to accuse the local police of wrongdoing just because a similar set of troops did something wrong decades ago. Were I an ordinary galactic citizen (minus all my experience and knowledge as a Star Wars fan IRL), I might have agreed with Tam. At least, until I was faced with proof that said otherwise. Proof like Kel and Eila. I don’t know about you, but anyone being cruel to children would make me lose respect real fast! And since Tam is friends with these kids, I don’t think she can ignore this red flag so easily. It’ll be interesting to see what impact they may ultimately have on her perspective.

I think the biggest takeaway from this episode is that, no matter how complicated things get, we have to be wise and discerning with whatever we support and fight for. Even when some issues seem awash in a sea of gray, truth is still truth, and we shouldn’t stand quietly if darkness begins to outweigh the light. We have to dig for this truth so we can know when, where, and how to fight for what’s really right. And we need to constantly remind ourselves in every battle we approach, large or small, that the people we disagree with are still human under the helmets we mentally assign to them.

Maybe this song will explain this better than I can alone…

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– Hey look! Normal, non-zappy fishing (slinging?) poles exist! It makes sense, but still fascinating to learn.
– Look how happy the Tehar kiddos are! They deserve to be happy for a change of pace! So YOU BUCKETHEADS BETTER LEAVE THE POOR CHILDRENZ ALONE!
– Ah the old weaponizing-the-food trick! Well played, Padawan Kell. And yes I’m still on the train of thought that these kids are Force-sensitive…
– OK I can’t get past the blue jerky right there. It looks more like Fruit By The Foot than meat! Does it turn your tongue and lips blue, too? (Author’s note: I later found out this is puffer pig bacon, so I guess it probably would have the consistency of Fruit By The Foot!)
– You know what guys? I just realized I’m sitting here watching a Star Wars family breakfast! Kind of like I drew for Rebels four years ago! Ah that’s kinda cool!! 😀
– And safe from what exactly, Tam? You’ve never struck me the type to appreciate someone’s protection. Perhaps some connection to her past and family here? I mean, yes, there was a pirate problem earlier, but… how much damage did they really do long-term?
– But forget the deep political discussions WE’VE GOT SPACE WAFFLES AGAIN!!!! YAYYYY!!!
– Also I love that the possibility of helping his big sis is the best thing ever to Neeku :3
– Is Yeager eating ration sticks? Do they still make those these days? I guess they’re like granola bars — fast and nutritious. Whether they taste as good as most granola bars, though, I’m not sure. Apologies for all the food talk, but this is fun stuff for me!
– Some days I wonder how Yeager’s Repairs ever gets anything done! I guess it’s just that the boring workdays don’t make it onto the show.
– Wow those helmets really are useless. Perhaps, like i imagine Palpatine did before him, Snoke is devoting more of the FO finances to his yacht and fancy sweater than strong armor XP
– OHMYGOSH. ARE WE ALLOWED TO TAKE STORMTROOPER HELMETS OFF AND SEE THEIR FACES BEFORE FINN’S CAME OFF?! I THOUGHT THAT WAS A BIG RULE IN CANON STAR WARS! I guess they figured we’re used to the idea by now? It’s not a huge-huge deal, I guess, but I’ve been so used to that element in storytelling we’ve seen in Rebels (you know, where they’d casually angle the camera so you didn’t see the trooper’s face as Ezra punched the bucket off him) that it came as a bit of a shock to me. Perhaps there’s more to this decision than I know, though…
– That was a beautiful acting job, Kaz! Just as splendidly awkward as Han’s “How are you?” thirty-odd years back! I give it two thumbs way, way up! And hey, the other trooper fell for it, so he’s not doing a bad job, even without the Ezra-style use of accents.
– We’ve seen a lot of great stormtrooper switcharoos, but I think Kaz is the awkwardest fake ‘trooper we’ve ever had don the armor. I’m kind of amazed the other CSs haven’t noticed the totally non-rigid, noodle-y way he moves!
– OK dumb costume-related question: Kaz is apparently wearing the full bodysuit under his confiscated armor. But the original CS-515 still has a full bodysuit. Do storms wear double layers? Unless this is a continuity error of some sort, it seems to be the case. If so, that answers a lot of questions I had back on Rebels when they were stealing white armor left and right and I was a little grossed out at the thought they were leaving the soldiers, well… not wearing much, let’s just say. So *phew* that’s reassuring!
– Still having a tough time getting used to a face attached to that voice (as in, the “stormtrooper” voice in general, not Steve Blum!). I mean, yes, I’ve always known there are people under those buckets. But it’s still so easy to forget that they’re human (or more apropos to this galaxy, sentient beings… although stormtroopers are all human far as I know), especially with our (or at least my) limited knowledge of the First Order troops. They’re bred to be perfect, unfeeling soldiers who shoot when commanded to and keep their helmets on. But yet, they do have some personality and opinions on things, like the other CS complaining about his workload from earlier, and of course our good friend TR-8R who was plumb mad at Finn. It gets you thinking, right? I wonder what these guys will do with their lives should Rey and the Res defeat the First Order for good.
– Also there’s something profoundly sweet about the way Kel and Eila try to calm 515. Perhaps they now see the sad soul that was buried in that inhuman armor, and aren’t so scared of him anymore.
– Trust him, Neeku’s a doctor! XD
– My literal response when Kaz successfully beheaded the ball-droid was “OH MY GOSH!” Partly because I was really expecting Kaz to be the one to suffer a debilitating injury, but also ’cause I felt bad for the little angry dude. But it’s OK it looks like their heads are detachable anyway. They kind of need to be so they can keep rollin’ I guess.
– I don’t know what in the world Kaz was thinking waving at Torra while undercover, but it cracks me up nonetheless XD
– Doza should’ve said “Well then, you can just take your troops out to the snack bar!” Then all the storms would want to go to the snack bar and Pyre would lose all order XD

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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SW Summer Reads: Shipyards Of Doom

So this particular edition of Star Wars Summer Reads is pretty special, because this is the first time I’ve written one on a graphic novel — and the first SW graphic novel I’ve ever read at that!


(Credit: Amazon.com)

I know… you’re probably thinking I’m nuts for never having read Star Wars comic books before. It’s not that I didn’t want to! When I first got into SW, I was overwhelmed by how many were out there and didn’t know where to begin. I thought it would get easier after the canonicity rule came into play, so just like with the novels, I could focus primarily on 100% canon stories. But then there have been so many and they keep coming out so fast! I still wasn’t sure where the best place to start was.

I actually was intending to do a regular young readers’ novel for my SW Summer Reads this year, but the author’s name on this book’s spine caught my attention. With Henry Gilroy of TCW and Rebels aboard, it surely would be a good story! And even though it was written long before the Legends designation, Mr. Gilroy would definitely know how to keep it true to Star Wars form (an issue that’s made me hesitant to read other Legends-era Star Wars stories). Plus, I haven’t watched Clone Wars reruns in a long while, so a tale with Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, and Rex at the center was sure to be a balm to my prequel-era-loving soul 🙂

And I was right ultimately on all accounts! Filled to the brim with action, drama, heart, and bright spots of levity and laughter, Shipyards Of Doom captured that Clone Wars magic I was craving. It also delivered a nice sense of nostalgia, taking me back to the very earliest TCW adventures with some of my favorite heroes taking center stage — even Admiral Yularen, Plo Koon, and Saesee Tiin got some to shine! But it’s certainly not magic and nostalgia alone that make this such a great book. It really does feel like Star Wars, as we see the Jedi faced against an adversary who knows well their “weaknesses” — their ideals — and doesn’t fight fair. And it’s special seeing Anakin and Ahsoka working through their master-padawan struggles and learning respect and honesty with each other this early on. It’s just a great, satisfying blend of some of my favorite Clone Wars elements, and a perfect first SW graphic novel for anyone ready to step into in a larger world! No doubt I’ll seek out other titles from Mr. Gilroy in the future!

Yeah, there’s definitely something to this whole newfangled novel-with-pictures thing… 😛

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
(Contains spoilers from Episode II, Shipyards Of Doom, and other story elements from The Clone Wars seasons 1-6.)
– I gotta say, the idea of Yoda and Jabba The Hutt forming any sort of alliance sounds like a truly awesome story. I need to know if that ever happened! Or ever could have happened!! That one panel is a whole new story right there!
– Ghost Squadron is an epic name! Hmm you wonder if that name possibly inspired the Ghost in Rebels later on…?
– “You say something, Master Obi-Wan? I can’t hear you over all these enemy fighters being destroyed!” That’s so Anakin XP
– Ah, a classic Clone Wars moment with young Ahsoka pining away to join the fray! It’s so fun and special revisiting this side of her after all these years :3
– I love that the Invisible Hand (or whichever one of Grievous’s ships this is) looks kind of like an angry shark in this panel on page 10.
– “Is anything in this war ever easy?” “It is for me, master.” Classic! Can I just bottle up this fantastic writing here?! *Feels nostalgia feels*
– Interesting, I don’t remember this sort of theater seating in the Temple before. It makes sense that it’s not the council’s chamber since only a handful of the councilmembers are actually here. But yeah makes me wonder, since this was a 2008 book, if some sets hadn’t been designed for the show yet and the illustrators had to try some new stuff.
– Ah yes now we’re getting into some shades of the “Citadel” arc in S3! If this particular rescue actually happened, it would make sense why no one questioned the carbonfreezing process in the later episode. But then, it does bring up a question as to how Ahsoka could pull the same “tagalong” stunt all over again… and ultimately learn somewhat of the same lesson, too. Whatever the case, I wouldn’t be surprised if the S3 arc was rooted in some of this novel’s ideas.
– “Don’t worry, Rex, we won’t be frozen long enough for [hibernation sickness] to take effect.” So this confirms my earlier assumption that time has a major influence on how the body reacts to carbonfreeze. Fascinatinggg.
– I love that Ahsoka goes into the freezing chamber oozing confidence with her arms crossed! I’m not sure I would be so brave. I mean, from what we know from Episode V, there’s some inherent risk in carbonfreezing. That’s actually a good question though… how come it’s such a worry-free process in TCW, but something worth Boba Fett’s concerns twenty-odd years later? My theory is that there’s a bigger risk if the person being frozen is ill or injured, like how Han had been tortured shortly before. If you’re healthy and strong, perhaps it’s not such a shock to the system. Yay science!
– “The greater our navy, the longer the war will go on, and the more Jedi will die.” Hmm is that really Dooku’s endgame here? Come to think of it, what is Dooku’s endgame, actually? He knows “the Sith control everything”, and wants to destroy this Sith, but what after that? Galactic domination? Retirement on Serenno? I don’t know! Man I can’t wait to read Cavan Scott’s backstory for this guy. Back on-topic, I guess it’s possible that this desire to eliminate the Jedi might be more of Palpatine’s plan than Dooku’s. Not that he’s a fan of the Jedi or anything, but he’s never struck me as wanting to outright purge them. That’s more of Grievous’s thing. I would love to sit down and chew on this with a fellow SW nerd sometime. Dooku’s a complicated guy.
– Is “plunk droids” an insult or just another word for GNK droids? Pfft battle droids are so high and mighty.
– Separatists don’t give out medals, Juhm! At least, not when you’re working under Count Dooku and Darth S…
– I love how Mr. Gilroy captures R2-D2’s voice. Artoo talks like Artoo should talk, with very specific lines and reactions. more of a “VWOoo-bwee” than “beep-boop”.
– But disobeying direct orders is just what Ahsoka do! It’s her thing! 😛 I like what Mr. Gilroy did here, though… it’s easy to assume immediately that it’s a good thing Ahsoka tagged along, just like in the Citadel arc. But truth be told, Artoo could’ve helped Anakin, too. We see later on that Ahsoka ends up playing an important part, but at this point, she doesn’t really have a good excuse for what she did. That’s OK though Snips, your inability to stay still and sit quietly on the sidelines is why you’re so awesomely relatable!
– I would’ve loved it if Juhm hadn’t recognized Ahsoka as a Jedi at first and instead thought she was some kid making prank calls XD
– It’s really interesting watching Rex learning to trust Ahsoka here, and it gives me many feels. Such precious buddies!!
– Saesee Tiin is both a daredevil pilot and a math nerd! Boi got skillllll.
– “Shocker sticks”? Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, muun? I think Juhm legit doesn’t know what they’re actually called.
– Wow Juhm is not good at this. First he tells the slaves that the Jedi are murderers, than he tells them the Jedi wouldn’t risk innocent lives in sn attack. You’re just asking for a revolt, dude. He’s such a terrible (as in, terrible at his job) villain and I love him XD
– This is brilliant. Anakin and Ahsoka are having a deep meaningful conversation and learning lessons while being tortured! Reminds me kind of that scene in The Incredibles.
– The running gag with the clones betting drinks got me thinking about a TCW element I haven’t thought about in a while: 97’s. I always knew it was a clone bar run by clones, but I only just considered how amazing it is to see these guys becoming businessmen and cooks and bartenders! It says something, perhaps, about their creative ability. Not entirely unheard of (don’t forget fry cook Gregor!) but just kind of cool to me. Maybe these business-clones were army rejects? Or maybe the small business is just a hobby. Have to take some notes next time I watch season 6.
– Real men (or should I say muuns?) wear pink! XD I love muuns you guys, they’re such cartoon characters!
– Also Juhm has a goldfish and for some reason that cracks me up. Yet he can’t keep his slaves from running out on him…
– “How about the Force backed up by laser cannons?” Wow, Saesee Tiin can be SASSY Tiin! *Respectfully bows to his superior burn*
– OH SNAP. VENTRESS JUST SHOWED UP AND KILLED THE GUY. Seriously, I didn’t realize she was even in the panels until she was center stage. Good job, artists!
– It’s interesting that Palpatine cares about even the length of the war. He’s got every dark detail down-pat and it kind of scares me.
– Nah we can’t have Obi-Wan and Ahsoka thinking too deeply about the moral nature of this war, Anakin makes sure everyone remembers “We’re the good guys! The Republic needs us!” Welp, they’re something said for his enthusiasm…

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 One Where Twilight Fangirls Over Solo, Part 2

Yay the blog is back! Today, I’m continuing my series of posts of all the things I loved about Solo: A Star Wars Story, today I’ll be writing on the amazing new crew of characters we meet, and how they all exceeded every expectation I had! You can read the first part all about Han and Qi’ra here. Now where do I possibly begin…?

Contains spoilers from Solo and a vague element from Episode VIII. Also, please remember I have only seen the film once at this point, so there is a chance I may have misremembered some elements.

There is much I could say on reuniting with Han, Chewbacca, and Lando, especially since I’ve known them quite a while. And I certainly will do some more writing on them in the future. But right now, I feel I need to give some of the newbies the spotlight! Because wow do they ever deserve it!

I don’t know why, but I really didn’t expect to love these new scoundrel-sorts as much as I did. It’s not that I thought I wouldn’t like them, of course. Star Wars has this great habit of making truly amazing characters, and I have yet to meet one I genuinely don’t like (or absolutely love). And I already did like them from what I saw in the trailers and spots, but I suppose the whole “criminal underworld” vibe of the film got me assuming everyone very well could be a traitor, and even if they weren’t all traitors, they could still be cold-blooded, out-for-themselves, and not looking for friends. Perhaps other darker areas of Star Wars lore have made me a suspicious Sally. So I was expecting these characters to be cool, but I didn’t expect to become attached to them so quickly. Or that they’d make me laugh so hard… and cry so hard. These seemingly-gritty, hardened criminals were about to each make my ever-expanding favorite character list in a way I never anticipated!

Perhaps the biggest way they shot down my assumptions has to do with Tobias Beckett and his crew. Because of Beckett’s “assume everyone will betray you” advice, I figured he wouldn’t be one with a lot of friends. I expected his crew to be a loosely-knit group of criminal business partners who would be quick to betray your trust if large amounts of creds were involved. Instead, what I saw was something more of a thicker-than-blood family, with a mom and a dad and a goofball grown son! Throw in Han as the little brother and Chewie as the uncle, and suddenly all these plans for a train heist felt more like plans for a family road trip. Beckett, Val, and Rio were all tough customers, that I wasn’t wrong about, but these tough customers also were genuinely looking out for each other. They’d shared good times and bad times, and somehow maintained a sense of loyalty and a sense of humor through it all. Though we don’t know Val long, the sweet old-married-couple relationship she and Beckett have spoke volumes about both individuals, and who they really were at heart, beyond their jaded, scoundrel-y exteriors. And Rio? Oh my gravy I loved that guy! He was so fun, and Jon Favreau was a delight in the role! The witty pilot was among the film’s best-kept secrets. Understandably, because we don’t know him long either, but he just lit up the room every scene he was in. We need him in some more Star Wars stories, OK? ‘Cause boy do I miss him. Together, Val and Rio brought out the best in Beckett, making him incredibly relatable, and revealing what a truly intriguing, complex individual he is. And the somewhat-fatherly role he takes on with Han was neat to watch as well. I honestly didn’t see it coming when he ended up being the traitor among the newbies. But that only served to make him an even more fascinating character to me. I’m seriously still reeling from how great all this writing is!

Of all the new characters, L3-37 was probably the one I was most excited to meet, but she still went far, far beyond what I expected. She was not just a wonderfully brash, mouthy, and witty sidekick, L3 was, like all the characters in this film, a truly complex person. And that’s what surprised me a little! Though I’ve always known the droids we know best in Star Wars as thinking, feeling beings, the sheer range of L3’s emotions and the naturalness of her thought processes blew my mind. We see her absolutely distressed over droidfights, overjoyed at finding purpose in starting a rebellion, and even contemplating the complexities of romance while chatting with Qi’ra about their boys! (I know I died laughing in that scene, how about you?) Droids with endless amounts of personality are nothing new, and I certainly wouldn’t say droids like Artoo, BB-8, and Chopper are lacking in any way, but there’s something outstandingly different with L3-37, and I adore it to absolute pieces! She’s certainly made me look at droids in a whole new light, especially as I’ve always been fascinated with droid psychology and what free will means to them. And also, her friendship with Lando was so delightful and so precious, I really need to see more of them. But either way, I’m glad she’s still around in the Falcon! I’m sure she’s got some opinions on all those porgs nesting in the wiring XP

Anyway, that’s the story of how a bunch of rough-and-tough scoundrel-y types I didn’t know what to think of at first became absolute favorites. I’ll share more of my Solo faves sometime in the next week or so!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 4

A new Forces Of Destiny compilation has dropped and I’m here to write once again on all the fascinating and inspiring things I’ve learned. This time will be a little different, though, because this is actually the first time I’ve watched them all, period, so my thoughts on each short are all completely fresh on my mind (and hopefully, in turn, will be a little clearer than all those posts where I’ve forgotten some of my original impressions from the first viewing). You can read the first three posts here, here, and here. Now, off to Takodana we go! (And everywhere else in the galaxy, for that matter)

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Four (but you can watch those shorts here), and several elements from Star Wars Rebels, Solo, Episode VI, Episode VII, and Episode VIII.

OK first of all never mind, looks like we’re not on Takodana today. I miss the pretty green planet a little, but I can live with that because today we have HONDO!!! I loved seeing him and Maz at odds in The Freemaker Adventures, and I’ve always wanted to see them cross paths again. So this is just spectacular! Their obviously long-time rivalry is just too fun to watch! Now, maybe I’m off on this, but this looks like a slightly-younger Hondo than the one we see in Rebels. I’d assumed all these Maz stories framing the shorts happened in or around the Sequel era, but it seems the clock goes back a little further for this one, which I love! It does bring up an interesting thought, though, because I had somehow assumed Maz really was the one telling these stories. In truth, looking back, I’m not sure how she could’ve been there for all these small moments with all of these characters, unless she heard them by word-of-mouth. But I guess it’s reasonable to say she’s not the one telling all these stories, at least for the ones that happen much later on. I think that’s how both parts of the Forces Of Destiny volumes remain canon. Or I could be wrong and Hondo just got back all his old pirate-y garb and he only looks younger. Either way, wow there’s so much I’ve already learned, and I haven’t even gotten to the shorts yet!

#1. Chopper is a surprisingly great leader.

I wouldn’t normally have expected Chop to do so well with the ewoks. I mean… his track record of being friendly to people really isn’t that great. But maybe the years since Ezra’s departure have made him a better, nicer droid somehow. Hera’s always had a knack for finding just the right crewmembers, no matter who they are or where they’ve been. Now Chopper seems to be taking a page from his mom’s book, convincing her that his ewok buddies are the perfect new Ghost crew gunners! It’s all just too cute and too fun. And my inner ewok nerd is happy to see Princess Kneesaa joining the fight! Now I want to go rewatch some old Ewoks episodes…

#2. Baby sando aquas are precious and must be protected!

Seriously WOW THAT IS CUTE!! I think I might have a new fave on my list of favorite Star Wars creatures. I’ve always thought the monsters impressive, but getting to see them closer, and in a sweeter light, I find I love them more than I did before! Beyond that, it’s really neat seeing Padme take charge like she does and help her guardsmen consider all the angles in a frightening, dangerous situation. And it’s important to note that, though the guards don’t know how to handle the exact situation at first, they don’t come off as incapable or powerless, just in need of a little extra advice. It’d be easy to make them look dumb in contrast to Padme and her strong-but-peaceful approach, but they only give us the facts: that any of us might be prone to making a rash decision in a crisis, but if you can keep a cool head, a solid solution might be easier to find that you once thought. Strong characters all around, that’s just how Star Wars rolls!

#3. Tristan’s the little brother.

I honestly never considered that before. I assumed he was either older by a year or two, or he and Sabine were twins. But I’m glad they set the record straight. And from the instant she said “C’mon, little brother” and he gave a quiet unamused “ugh”, it’s impossible to miss those sibling-bond vibes! It’s the kind of bond where you follow your sibling into trouble and say snippy things you don’t really mean, but you love them anyway, and even find you have more in common than you thought. It’s a sibling bond I can almost 100% relate to! Just to hear Sabine talk to her bro about things they did growing up gives such a sense of history and warmth to the Wren family. I adored every minute of this one. Getting to spend a slightly-quieter moment with the Wren kids and a closer look at their friendship is an absolute treat!

Also, I will need to check back on Legacy Of Mandalore and see if Tristan still has that painting on his shoulder armor, ’cause Sabine did a great job on it 🙂

#4. Hondo doesn’t like droids.

And if you had to put up with droids like IG-88, I could see why! It’s pretty hilarious watching the two argue over who has the bigger bounty. It continues to fascinate me that IG cares about credits in the first place, but I guess self-reliant bounty hunter droids need new parts every now and again. But though the pirate and hunter steal the show, the short’s focus is Qi’ra, who clearly has had enough experience with scoundrels to know how to best out-scoundrel ’em. I think it’s really neat to see a Qi’ra story in Forces Of Destiny, because she’s not quite like any of the other heroines we see in these stories. She’s not a Rebel leader, not a senator, not a Jedi, doesn’t steal the Death Star plans… she honestly might deserve the title of “scoundrel” almost as much as her adversaries do! She ultimately earns the title of “heroine” in the way she defends Han from Vos, but we’re not at that point yet. None of this is to say Qi’ra’s isn’t still a good person at heart, but I think we can agree she’s not a typical role model. This is a good thing, though, because I would honestly love to see some Forces Of Destiny stories surrounding more characters like her; bossladies who might not be the obvious heroine, but who still might have some shining moments in their stories yet to be told. Like Ventress, Sugi, or Naare! (ok that’s just a pipe dream but still would be cool)

#5. Porgs make great parents!

Until I watched this short, I had no idea both the mama and the papa porgs take care of their babies! Not surprising since they’re bird-like, and a lot of birds do the same. But still neat to know and too cute to see! Not only are porgs great parents, but we also see Chewbacca being a fantastic uncle! Though the porgs have caused their fair share of trouble, Chewie can’t turn down an opportunity to help the fluffball porglets. It’s seriously the sweetest thing, and shows so much his respect for nature and his huge heart :3 I honestly spent this entire short going “AWWW!!”, because I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to react in any other way. But I do have to wonder if it’s this kind act of Chewie’s that made all the porgs decide “Hey! Let’s go hang out in the Falcon! The hairy guy who lives there is so nice, he surely wouldn’t mind if we made ourselves comfortable!” XD #MoPorgsMoProblems

#6. Always let Rey drive.

Or at least don’t let Finn drive! And I think he knows it. I love seeing extensions of scenes like this, and I love chase scenes, and I love Finn and Rey, and I love the background paintings, and I still will always love the fact Finn loaned Rey his jacket (such a gentleman). So… yeah this short’s got a lot to love! It’s so fun watching more of this dynamic duo doing what they do (by figuring out what they do best) and making one seriously great escape on scenic Starkiller Base! I need to rewatch VII so I can spot exactly when this scene would’ve taken place, because I’ve sort of forgotten…

#7. The Ewoks animated series was right…

The citizens of Bright Tree Village have had other problems besides the Empire. Like this giant beastie! It certainly looks like it would’ve fit in well with the old show. It’s been a while since I’ve watched them, so I can’t remember for sure if I’ve seen the giant before. Either way, Wicket and Kneesaa aren’t alone, they have the original SPACE TWINS on their side! There’s so much I haven’t gotten to see with Luke and Leia’s sibling bond between the trilogies, so I was totally stoked for this one! It’s not exactly the quieter moment we see with Sabine and Tristan, but it’s thrilling all the same, and so special to see them working together — with both getting a chance to wield the green-blade 😀 Space Twins forever!

#8. Ahsoka’s a very creative teacher…

And maybe a tad intense! But when I think about who her master was and how she fights, I’m not surprised. I don’t know what I loved more — getting to watch Ahsoka impart wisdom on a young Jedi, or the fact that the young Jedi in question was Ezra. It made me realize how much I missed seeing them together, and how great their friendship is! And thinking back on all I’ve seen in Rebels, I can see where Ezra was absolutely taking Ahsoka’s wisdom to heart. Everything about this short is so epic and so meaningful and I’m almost at a loss for words. Just hearing them laugh together… FEELS. ALL THE FEELS!

Also another thing I learned: I’m assuming this is Garel we’re on right now, and if so, then Garel actually has some grassy areas! It’s not all just a big city world, it has really gorgeous natural beauty as well, including some killer sunsets 🙂

Yes I just love all these so much. Thanks for reading, and hopefully if my schedule allows, I will have more Star Wars to write about next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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