If Not For IV…: A Special Star Wars Day Story

So first of all, let me start by saying Happy Star Wars Day! I hope all my fellow fans are finding a way to make today extra-special and Star Wars-y! Because of a busier schedule than that of past years, today will be a more casual Star Wars day for me, but that doesn’t make it any less special. I’m looking forward to watching Attack Of The Clones (since I haven’t watched it yet this year and I prefer to watch ’em all in chronological order), a classic Rebels episode, and those exciting new Freemakers shorts! And all while wearing a shirt the color of Naboo starfighters and drinking my first real glass of blue milk! (I finally had some food coloring on hand 😀 ) Considering I’m doing all those things on top of writing my 149th post on a blog entirely dedicated to Star Wars, sometimes it’s hard to remember what my life was like before I got into Star Wars. But I can never forget the story of how my love for it began, especially considering it happened almost exactly ten years ago.
NOTE: This post contains some minor spoilers from the Original Trilogy films

There are so many wonderful stories of people’s first time seeing A New Hope, stories of wonderment and joy and being so amazed they couldn’t speak. I wish I could say that was my story, too, but… mine’s a bit different. Star Wars has always been a part of my life as I’m surrounded by many family members in the fandom, so in 2007 I decided I wanted to finally see Episode IV in all its entirety. My brother and I watched it together on his ’95 VHS tape (from the classic trilogy set). I liked it, but I really didn’t know what to think of it otherwise. At the time I was foremost an animation buff and wasn’t as drawn to live-action. And I was a bit confused by the space politics. I do remember R2-D2 and C-3PO made me laugh, and I really liked Luke and Leia (as individuals and um… *cough* together… I may have gotten them confused with their parents. I’m not proud looking back). But that’s about all I can recall on my thought process. So yeah, it’s not a particularly heartwarming tale. But it was my first step in a larger world. ‘Cause if I hadn’t seen A New Hope that late May day…

I wouldn’t have gone on to watch Empire a few months later, which started to reel me in further. And I liked it a bit more because I finally understood all those quotes and references I was seeing elsewhere in pop culture.

If not for IV, I wouldn’t have been intrigued by The Clone Wars when it came out the following year. I didn’t know much about the Prequels, but animation was a language I understood. I can’t remember for sure what my first episode was, but I do remember that Destroy Malevolence was one I couldn’t get enough of. (The excitement! The romance! The battle droid shenanigans!)

If not for IV, I wouldn’t have continued to grow interested in the Star Wars galaxy as I watched more Clone Wars adventures. Blue Shadow Virus and Hostage Crisis are also super super memorable. I didn’t understand a lot, but I understood that I could really relate to Ahsoka, and that Cad Bane was a boss 🙂

If not for IV, I wouldn’t have decided, on a May day in 2010, to check out the Clone Wars microseries. Then that growing hype would convince me to finally watch Jedi a short time after. And the hype would continue to grow when I sat down and rewatched Empire later on. By the end of the year, I could call myself a Star Wars fan.

If not for IV, the fandom that exploded in 2011 wouldn’tve happened. My first Star Wars Day celebration watching Phantom for the first time, catching up on The Clone Wars with a brand-new appreciation, reading my first Star Wars novels and novelization, seeing the rest of the Prequels… it was a whirlwind of excitement and happiness as I began to finally understand it all.

If not for IV, I wouldn’t have continued to explore and love the Star Wars universe in 2012, and get super super excited for the new films they announced later that year.

If not for IV, well… Padawanline wouldn’t exist. I wouldn’t have had so many thoughts on Star Wars that I needed to write them down here! And as you may remember, 2013 was also the year I finally rewatched A New Hope. It probably seems silly there was such a gap between reviewings for me, but I got a little caught up catching up with the Prequels and Clone Wars in the years prior. But that viewing that Star Wars Day… it was like seeing it for the first time. And it was as wondrous and joyous as the many fans’ stories I’d heard ❤ The circle was at last complete.

And now, the Star Wars galaxy is less of a circle and more of an infinity symbol. The years since have been full of so many new amazing stories and characters, and there's still so much more to come. None of that could've happened without IV coming out forty years ago. And the reason I'm writing this here today, is because of the seemingly average day I saw IV ten years ago.

So, wow. I could've never predicted how much I would ultimately love this beautiful series, and how much sheer enjoyment it's brought me. Though I have to wonder if this comic in the Sunday paper way back then was a sign of things to come…

This appeared the Sunday following my first viewing of IV. I remember getting a chuckle out of it and thinking it was cool that this would appear not long after seeing the movie for myself. But now it has more meaning, because it made sure I remembered the seemingly average day. I didn’t realize it then how meaningful and special these films would become to me, but it sure is amazing what can happen in a decade 🙂

With that said, I think it’s time I let you get back to your celebrating. Again I say, Happy Star Wars Day! May The Fourth Be With You, and like I always say before the post’s end…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

SW Summer Reads – Secret Missions #2: Curse Of The Black Hole Pirates

It’s June at last! And you know what that means… it’s time for Padawanline’s Star Wars Summer Reads posts! Yay!
Basically, these are the posts where I do running commentaries on my favorite SW books, sprinkling in some of my unique insight and thoughts and humor along the way. Last year, I did these on the first books of my three favorite series, and I’m super-excited to be getting back to them again!
Now, don’t worry — I’ll still be doing my Lost Missions blogs most weeks, on account of how much fun they are to do, how much you guys seem to enjoy them, and the fact that my library is sorely lacking in the next chapters of the series I’ve already read and the first books of the series I want to read. But anyway, today we’re looking back on the great Ryder Windham’s The Clone Wars Secret Missions series and getting back to following the adventures of The Breakout Squad. I’ve already written a closer look on the first book (check it out here), but if you’re ready and have read the book, then let’s get started! And with a title like Curse Of The Black Hole Pirates, it has to be good… 🙂
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Breakout Squad, Curse Of The Black Hole Pirates, The Clone Wars Season 4, and Hostage Crisis

TCW Secret Missions #2 Cover Art

Our story opens with one of my fave bounty hunters, the one and only Cad Bane, on his way to make a special delivery for his Sith buddies, just chillin’ watching a bounty hunting holovid that’s more humorous than helpful. The wonderful irony is that it’s already a PIRATED holovid. Really. Evidently it was too much of a hassle to just buy a legal version of this trainwreck! And with the money they pay these bounty hunters you think that’d be no big deal. But there was some exclusive bonus material on this version, so I guess that justifies it… kinda… not really. NO KIDS, I’M NOT SAYING THAT PIRATING MOVIES IS OK! IT’S NOT! STAY IN SCHOOL! BRUSH YOUR TEETH! Sorry just wanted to clarify that for anyone who might’ve misunderstand that. OK this isn’t even the point; the point is, Bane was doing something humorously mundane whilst he made the trip to Bogg 5 to drop his cargo off. And that cargo would be Master Ambase, who he’d just yesterday nabbed while pretending to help out the Breakout Squad. And when making his drop-off, who’d be there to pick it up but Asajj Ventress herself! Their meet is pretty brief, but it’s pretty cool seeing them in the same room for ten seconds, even if Ventress is totally unimpressed by the blue dude. Hmm… one must wonder what crazy would happen if they had to work together or something! Especially since she eventually takes up the bounty hunting career herself. Wait… I can’t remember, maybe they did hang out once in TCW… oh curse my metal body I have the worst memory some days! Anyway, from there on out, Ventress has to make the next stage of the delivery with both of her “passengers”. And yes, that’s “passengers” plural; there seems to be… a clone frozen and unconscious in the back seat as well… oh mai this gets more and more intriguing! Her final stop is on a rainy nearby moon to Count Dooku himself (who literally has a little SW-y umbrella-ish doohickey to keep him dry; wow somebody’s a little high-maintenance!). He grabs his two “guests” and then sends his assassin off to go and fake a ship crash. She’s like “Whut? Oh Whateverrr…” and she’s gone. And we can now only wonder what this dark dude’s doing with this awesome Jedi and this seemingly random trooper…
On the good guys’ side of things, the Breakout Squad is off on a special mission from the Chancellor to Nuru’s homeworld in Chiss Space. Funny how Palpatine seems to enjoy sending the “qualified” Jedi lately… like when he sent Ring-Sol Ambase (Nuru’s master) to his homeworld Kynachi last time around… and how he took a bit of a crash landing right afterward. Something’s rotten in the state of Coruscant as of late. But anyway, Nuru Kungurama feels less than qualified for this; he’s a Chiss, yeah, he’s got the blue skin/red eyes thing going on and all, but he’s never seen another Chiss in his life and even with a little extra schooling he doesn’t really get the language or the culture or anything of that sort. And on top of that, Nuru’s been through a lot these last few days, becoming the young leader of the Breakout Squad, liberating a Separatist-controlled planet, still on the search for his lost master, and now here he is, on a diplomatic mission with his clone compadres, refurbished commando droid Cleaver, and could-easily-be-Han-Solo’s-sister-if-the-time-period-was-the-same pilot Lalo Gunn. The gang’s been hanging out onboard the Hasty Harpy for a while now (it’s a long drive to Csilla) and the clones, if no one else, are getting a bit of cabin fever. But not long after a noisy workout session amongst the clones, Lalo no-questions-asked puts the quiet one, Chatterbox, on copilot duty, so much so that she may’ve grabbed the wrong clone in the process. Then she came back and traded Sharp for Chatterbox. And so it seems to the others that the Captain might like Chatterbox for more than the fact he doesn’t talk much, even if she’s doing a good job of hiding it. Hehehe their thing is pretty darn cute 🙂 Anywhuh, it continued to be a long drive as the clones arm-wrestled, Nuru had a show of Jedi skill with Breaker, and Cleaver attempted to meditate. Yup, just another day aboard the Harpy. And before they know it, they’ve entered Chiss Space, but… there’s no Csilla. They literally have an Episode IV moment and Nuru’s all “What do you mean ‘no Csilla’?”, Lalo’s all “THAT’S WHAT I’M TELLING YOU KID, IT AIN’T THERE!” and then they see this huge conical space station and Chatterbox is all “I have a bad feeling about this…” XD The space station isn’t a weapon, thankfully, it’s the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force Station Ifpe’a (you’ll find that these guys really like long names). But though they’re not bad guys, they clearly have some trust issues and insist on tractor-beaming the Harpy over. And the not-so-warm welcome gets colder from there…
After docking, the first Chiss to come face-to-face with Nuru is, interestingly enough, the Aristocra he was supposed to meet up with to begin with. She goes by Sev’eere’nuruodo, Veeren for short, she’s about Nuru’s age, and it takes him about two seconds to realize that she’s kinda pretty. And after a few minutes of awkward attempts at conversation on his part, he figures out that the young Aristocra is no fan of pleasantries or hospitality. So yeah the awkwardness in the room is so thick you could cut it with a lightsaber. He’s trying pretty hard to be the cool, confident Jedi, but Veeren doesn’t get him worth beans and clearly doesn’t care either. And in their short meeting, she basically says “Dude we’re cool out here by ourselves and could care less about joining the Republic so you can just leave now” to which Nuru is silently all “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”. A second later a bunch of Sep ships decided to join the party and Veeren’s all “So… friends of yours, I presume?” and we as readers are all “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” And then things start blowing up and the Breakout Squad goes to great measures to protect and save the Aristocra despite her major attitude problem. Yeah I think Breaker nearly died shielding her from an explosion or something? NBD. So let’s just say everybody made a dash onboard the Harpy pretty quickly, all while carrying the knocked-out Chiss girl. And in the midst of the insanity of flying into a bazillion Separatist warships, the best thing Lalo and Chatterbox could do was hit the reverse and hit the long hyperspace trail they’d come on. And they made it out, just barely! But who cares if they saved her (blue) skin? Veeren ain’t having it, being stuck with these losers! Nuru tries to smooth things out and explain the truly serious situation at hand, but the high and mighty Aristocra refuses to be cool with it. As far as she’s concerned, if she doesn’t get back to Chiss Space asap there’s going to be a whole ‘nother war on their hands — between the Republic and the Chiss. And Nuru’s like “THAT WAS THE SEPARATISTS, NOT US!!” and she’s like “Don’t care. I’m the Aristocra.” To which I’m sure Nuru probably mentally facepalmed himself. Pshh. Haters gonna hate, I guess. Veeren is quite an enigma of a character; have to wonder whether she’s naturally this uptight and snobby or if they just caught her on a bad day. Perhaps she’d had a bad hair day today and the last thing she wanted to deal with was some offworlder who wanted her to join the Republic and who knew zip about Chiss customs. Though it still doesn’t excuse the fact she’s talking trash to the people who’d saved her life. Young Kungurama just gives up and leaves the room at this point. She might not be bad-looking for the first other Chiss he’s met, but it doesn’t make up for her stubbornness and ‘tude. At this point, you’re probably thinking “what else could go wrong?!”, and well… something does. A short time later, our heroes’ hyperspace ride is suddenly halted and the Harpy drops out in the middle of nowhere. And by the way, it might’ve been because of a killer black hole nearby. And on top of that, the Harpy has some neighbors here — a whole slew of pirates… and these pirates don’t come off as too friendly either. Yup, a lot else can go wrong. Thankfully, Captain Gunn’s got it all under control… mostly. First sending the pirates a false lead about a reactor leak aboard her ship to slow them down, and then she throws together quickly what she hopes will be the perfect plan with her comrades. And all this right before newbie pirates Bossk and Robinino walk in. You remember Robinino, right? The quirky-voiced, one-eyed patrolian bounty hunter from Hostage Crisis? And duh of course you remember Bossk. Have to wonder how exactly it is that these two managed to get caught out here, savvy bounty hunters that they are. Or not so savvy, perhaps. Gunn plays it cool with the baddies and not a thing appears out of order. The Chiss kids in the backseat? Dignitaries’ kids getting a ride (amazing how well a pair of coveralls can change your appearance!). The clones? Defuncts going to rehab (defunct because they take literally any orders from literally anyone). The so-called reactor leak? Gunn fixed it amazingly fast. Their weaponry? Hidden with Cleaver in the engine room. Nothing worth messing with here! Bossk can kinda pick up there’s something wrong here, but his level of brainpower doesn’t let him think deeply enough to figure it out entirely, and Lalo knows a few “mind tricks” of her own. But still, the Harpy crew’s a bit on edge all the same, and rightfully so considering there’s a trandoshan with a blaster and a trigger-hair temper in the cabin. Ultimately, Lalo gets a little help from her “friend”, a swokes swokes buccaneer who she manages to set at odds with Bossk, otherwise known as a good punch to the face. So with an understanding between said buccaneer, Mokshok, and Lalo, they all get better aquainted in a less-turbulent manner. Then enter Captain Mcgrrrr, who seems to demand Geoffrey Rush’s voice and is pretty much likable from the get-go, despite we don’t know yet if we can fully trust him. And yeah, anyone wonder how it is his last name has no vowels in it? Weird. Anywayyy not the point. So aboard Mcgrrrr’s ship, the Random Mallet, he furtherly explains their predicament: they’re more-or-less cursed by the black hole. It basically has them completely and utterly stuck in this middle-of-nowhere chunk of the galaxy because the black hole has an effect on both their navigational systems and their hyperspace abilities. But they’ve gotten along pretty nicely considering how long they’ve been stuck here. Pretty much everyone who’s run into their little patch of space has joined their merry gang and the only ones who didn’t are hanging out on a nearby planet, going about their non-piratey business and giving the crew a little help when they need it. But dude they’ve been out here so long they have no idea that the Clone Wars are even happening. The only thing they know about clones at the moment are the so-called defuncts that the pirates are enjoying taking advantage of (who knew they were such good dancers, right??). But all of that would change the minute things got crazy (read: Bossk got involved and wanted to take advantage of the defuncts’ dangerous potential) and Nuru was forced to reveal his Jedi-ness. Turns out that a Jedi is quite possibly the key to getting out of the black hole’s curse! The not-pirates, a Sullustan archaeologist couple, had found what is basically a Force-activated Stargate in their new homeworld’s ancient pyramids, so naturally, they really really needed a Jedi to pull it off and just maybe get them all home. Assuming the Stargate-thing works and assuming that they’re aren’t a billion Indiana-Jones-style booby traps involved. Everything’s really riding on Nuru’s shoulders now — his comrades, the pirates, and even Veeren, who in her still kinda-snobby way, makes it clear she won’t put the blame on him for the earlier Chiss station attack if they all get out. So onward to the Kwa Star Temple!
So to kinda sum it up, the sullustan archaeologists helped our heroes begin the journey into the Star Temple, and things went pretty well, all things considered, although yeah there were some giant killer whuffa worms that nearly killed Nuru and Veeren, and Cleaver almost didn’t make it back on board the ship fighting them off and stuff like that. But the Infinity Gate did its job and our gang was home free! So yayyyyyyy! (Ugh I’m sorry I totally cut corners and didn’t write more on this scene but I’ve been working on this for weeks now and I can only write so much…) And then the awesome pirates help fry Overseer Umbrag and his Separatist gang and save the Chiss station once again!
Nuru and Veeren left on good terms for the most part, despite the whole mess and the fact that the Chiss still are doing their neutral thing. Then awkward momennnnnt Veeren may have spilled the beans that Nuru is actually related to her. *Facepalm*, we feel your pain Luke…
But as our heroes start off on the long journey home, Sharp confides in Nuru that he suspects something… that perhaps the black hole thing wasn’t an accident. Could Lalo or Chatterbox be at fault? Or maybe Breaker? Nuru’s all like “What? Dude that’s cray.” BUT IS IT? IS IT REALLY ALL THAT CRAY?! AHHH SO MUCH INTRIGUE…! I can only wonder how this will all shake out in the end, but I can say with great certainty that Sidious’s hand is in this big-time… and remember that clone that was captured with Ring-Sol? HE CLAIMS TO BE SHARP. WHUT O.O
Seriously, and I’ve already read the third book and I’m dying to know if this all gets wrapped up in the fourth book, because I don’t think there IS a fifth book! Aw man so much happens in this series and I love it so much for that! In less than 200 pages are more adventures and excitement and lightheartedness to fill several episodes of TCW itself! I’m so sorry I didn’t get this out sooner, but hopefully now I’ll be back in the swing of things in the blogging world, so until next time ’round…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

SW Summer Reads – Secret Missions #1: Breakout Squad

As the summer heat continues to blaze like a Mustafar heat wave (OK, maybe that’s somewhat of an exaggeration…), it’s always nice to cool off with a good Star Wars book… whether you’re inside with the AC or outside in the shade with a Coke. So hence why I’ve been writing these posts about the first books in my favorite-est SW series. This post will be nice since the book I’m blogging about is recent enough you might’ve actually read it.
The book is the first of Ryder Windham’s TCW Secret Missions series, Breakout Squad. It came out in ’09, back in the heyday of TCW and there’s been a new book in the series every year since (which, as you can imagine, can be a bit taxing on one’s patience… but you know what they say about not rushing art). So remember how I told you guys I prefer SW stories with characters I’m familiar with? Well… ironically, this series’ main characters aren’t even in the TCW show; they’re exclusive to this series. But really and truly, it’s no different to me than watching an episode of TCW that focuses on a lesser-known Jedi, like Lair Of Grievous. I mean, I’m a huge SW fan and I feel like I know just about everything about Kit Fisto (which is entirely far from the truth), but there was a time when he was just a guy in the background. Watching Lair of Grievous gave me a chance to get to know him better, and now I consider him an familiar face in the SW Universe. So this was kinda my chance to get to know some very new characters. And in the end, this is a great series so far, and its first chapter is definitely worth the read. So go crack it open if you haven’t already and join me in reading Breakout Squad!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Breakout Squad and the TCW episodes Destroy Malevolence and Hostage Crisis

So if you haven’t already figured it out, this series takes place in the Clone Wars era. In fact, it’s early enough in that era that it was like, two weeks ago when the Malevolence ran into a certain moon (assuming of course that the Season 1 episode Destroy Malevolence actually happened in that timeframe… believe it or not, the events that unfold in TCW are somewhat out of order! *Twilight makes note to get the TCW complete episode guide*). It’s absolutely too cool to see this story happening so close to the episode itself – which was one of the very first I remember watching and enjoying! Oh, wait I’m getting ahead of myself — what does this timeline have to do with our story exactly? Well, the story opens up with actually some familiar faces at the wreckage of the Malevolence. Okay, I know the only reason they’re familiar faces is because they’re clones and… yeah, they kinda all look and sound alike. But these books give us a chance to meet these particular clones, which starts off as three Shinies all who could use a name. The threesome find some interesting things in the wreckage that in turn help them achieve a name. The clone who spots something the others wouldn’t so easily notice is bestowed the name Sharp. And the clone who knows a thing or two about technology that comes in handy is dubbed Breaker. The third one… well, his name was given later, but it makes perfect sense; the super quiet, Ferb-of-PhineasandFerb-sort clone got named Chatterbox 🙂 I love that Breaker doesn’t comprehend irony or satire very well… he’s all “Isn’t that name sorta contradictory?”
So long story short, Sharp and Breaker pick up on the fact that the Malevolence may have been made of parts made by the assumed neutral planet Kynachi. So that’s why the Chancellor figures it’s worth sending out an… um… expert on the planet to the mission. And that’s what leads us to meeting one of the main characters, an unfamiliar face named Ring-Sol Ambase: Jedi Master. Ring-Sol was born on Kynachi, but he doesn’t look it… Kynachi people usually have gold hair from the food they eat, but Master Ambase has the total opposite hair color — silver. He wasn’t quite sure that this was his mission just because it was his birthplace, which btw he has no memory of or any other connection to. So you can kinda figure that Palpatine’s up to something. Nevertheless, Ring-Sol is insanely cool. He has a pretty calm demeanor, he’s extremely wise, a very good teacher, strong, and has a good heart. And yes, you heard me right he’s a teacher. A master to be precise, and that leads us to our next main character, his Padawan Nuru Kungurama.
Nuru’s pretty young still, about Ahsoka’s age at this point, perhaps? IDK really. And if you thought his name was exotic (and totally cool and hard to pronounce), he’s a Chiss, a blue-skinned, red-eyed humanoid (which are totally cool, though I can’t figure whether it’s pronounced with a soild “c” or a “ch” sound) that aren’t seen too much around the galaxy. He’s been through a lot, including the loss of his previous master at the infamous Geonosis battle, but he’s doing his very best to stay strong and seems to have a good relationship with his new master, Ring-Sol. And apparently, it’s strong enough a relationship that, when Nuru senses his Master won’t come back from this Kynachi mission, Nuru decides to follow him aboard… (hey, you can do a lot when you use mind tricks on clone passengers and hide in a closet)
This remind you of a lot of situations in the SW Galaxy? OK, maybe not a lot, and maybe most of them are in The Clone Wars. But still, Nuru and Ahsoka could have a lot to talk about, and I’m sure they’re not the only younglings who’ve wanted to lend a hand… even when their hand wasn’t necessarily wanted. How will this go? Well, we’ll have to read all the stories before we know how it all works out in the end, but until then, we read on.
Aaaaaanddd then something bad happens. Kynachi had itself a Separatist blockade… and Ambase and his clones ran dead into it (Well, they were trying to go to Kynachi, so you can’t really blame them, and they still assumed they were, you know, a neutral planet and all). Which resulted in a couple of escape pods separating the clones and the Jedi as they plummeted to other sides of the planet. Nuru and Ambase didn’t see each other face-to-face exactly, but Ambase sensed him and suddenly figured out why he had this nagging feeling Nuru was nearby the whole trip. And that was the last the two heard of each other as the adventure on Kynachi began.
Somehow Nuru and his clone team, made out of Breaker, Chatterbox, and Knuckles (named so for his epic strength; unless you’re stronger, I don’t recommend arm wrestling him) got out pretty smoothly. Of course, then there were some droids to deal with. Not too fun. But this makeshift team is determined to reunite with Ring-Sol and the rest of the clones. Now, how to do such in this small Kynachi village without raising alarm is the challenge…
Meanwhile, the landing wasn’t so smooth for those in Ambase’s pod, especially since Ambase got knocked unconscious. But his loyal clone team, led by Sharp, will do what they can to keep the general out of harm’s way (even when nearly attacked by a horde of huge crustacean-like creatures; also not fun).
Back to Nuru’s side of the story, the clones prove how awesome they are at improvising. Or maybe not, depending on how you view this. I mean, their clever disguise certainly hides the clone armor and Nuru’s Jedi getup, but… they were made out of fertilizer bags. I don’t know nor do I want to know what the fertilizer is made of, but it stinks to high heaven. Yes, the smell keeps away the riffraff, but… yeah… we’re all on the same page I think. It does make for some good dialogue; let’s just be glad we can’t smell it ourselves 😛 Of course, it always helps to use Jedi mind tricks in serious situations. And that said mind trick gets the attention of a certain someone who just might be able to lend a hand…
That someone is Lalo Gunn: Corellian-pilot-turned-restaurant-owner with quick wit and a sharp bite. She’s been stuck on this planet since before the war and has hopes that helping this ragtag, less-than-pleasant-smelling Republic team might be able to help her as well. Anyone else love how much like Han Solo she is? Same for Leia? Yeah she’s totally cool 🙂 But then all of a sudden… there’s battle droids and Lalo’s trusty copilot-turned-waiter droid gets fried. And then comes along another familiar face — Cad Bane. Ohh yes… but it’s not what you think; this gang doesn’t know him or how nefarious and sly he is. This is some time before he wreaked havoc in the Senate Building, but he’s still taking orders from Sidious. However, as I said before, Nuru, Lalo, and the clones have no idea that he wasn’t just an innocent passerby caught up in the droid’s fire. Bane apparently was here for a job, has the key out of the blockade, and he just might know where to find a certain Jedi General and his clones. And everyone’s like “Sure! We’ll help you if you help us!” It would’ve been great if it had gone that way, right? But it sure seemed like a good idea at the time. So off went Bane and the gang, along with Lalo’s copilot droid, who’s been refurbished into a loyal commando droid they call Cleaver, off to free Ambase and his team from the Kynachi jail! Just call them “The Breakout Squad” (see that’s where the title comes from!)!
So, as not to give away all the details (and because I don’t remember all of them and I no longer have the book checked out to reference back to it *Twilight makes note to just buy this series already*) of the breakout, I’ll make note of the most noteworthy deets.
A) They sneak in by having Cleaver convince the guarding droids there was a communication problem going around (“I haven’t heard of any communication problem.” “Well, the problem’s why you haven’t heard of it, duh!”). Anyone else wonder why it is that the Separatists used them so much when they’re not so bright and cut like butter? Well, for the sake of our heroes, I’m not complaining.
B) The did the best reusing of a classic SW line – “Lock the door and hope they don’t have blasters”! I totally geeked out at that XD
C) Breaker had an awesome secret weapon.
D) Nuru confronted the Separatist leader who had taken control of Kynachi. Didn’t get him, though.
E) Breaker nearly died. (Spoiler alert: he didn’t!)
F) Sharp and the rest of the clones are freed, along with everyone else imprisoned, but alas! Where’s Master Ambase??
And finally, G) Kynachi is liberated!! Yayyay!!
So Lalo gets Nuru, Cleaver, and the clones aboard her ship, the Hasty Harpy, and off they go to the next chapter. They have zilch idea as to where Cad Bane went though… and still have no idea where Ring-Sol is. That little detail? Bane has him, still unconscious and alive and ready to be shipped to wherever Darth Sidious wants him to. Hence why immediately after reading this, we all freak out “OMG WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!?!” and rush to the library to get the next book. However, my closer look at The Curse Of The Black Hole Pirates will come later on. I’ve read the first three books, but I still haven’t read the fourth one and I’m getting kinda antsy, especially since it’s been over a year. But truth, Breakout Squad is a great opener to this exciting and awesome series. Easily one of my faves, Mr. Windham did excellente! 🙂
Sorry if this blog seems a bit rushed, but stay tuned — the finale for this year’s SW Summer Reads is coming up next!
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight