OK now the Freemakers posts are back in full swing.
At least until Rebels gets here anyway. Oh goodness I missed doing these! This post ought to be interesting as it’ll be written from the perspective of when I first saw it, so I’m not going to allude to anything that happens after this episode. So if you’re still behind a few episodes, the Force is with you! But either way, I’m excited to be bringing you a Closer Look commentary on Crossing Paths!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, and Freemakers episodes Zander’s Joyride and Crossing Paths
We open up on a slightly different side of the galaxy today as we find a team of Rebels pursued by TIEs. And two of those Rebels look awfully familiar… hmm. I was going to lead up to this with some poetic descriptions of the two but I’m so excited I can’t wait any longer IT’S LUKE AND LEIA!!! >W< I had no clue we'd run into such major players this early in, but oh it's so so wonderful seeing them again! And not only is Luke doing his fantastic piloting again, Leia's manning the aft guns! SHE'S BLASTING TIES IN A SPACE BATTLE!! Put that on the list of SW things I never knew I needed to see until I saw them! I mean, Leia is always awesome whatever she’s doing, she don’t got anything to prove. It’s just seeing her copiloting a Y-wing (and blasting TIEs) is so so utterly cool! I think we can all agree on that! Sorry for fangirling all over the place but it’s just one of the awesomest things in the whole episode. Anyway, a combination of clever maneuvers, a shortcut across a rocky asteroid, Leia’s firepower, and some assistance from Ben ultimately win the day for the Skywalker twins. But not without their Y-wing taking some damage… and their best bet is at The Wheel…
The Wheel is home to what some would call the “worst repair station in the galaxy”, but what I would call “the friendliest family-owned repair station in the galaxy”. Granted I’m very biased. Were I a regular citizen of the Galactic Empire, they probably wouldn’t be my first choice for repairs either though, since my knowledge of vehicles is limited and I’d probably be dumb and depend on which place had the best customer reviews as versus the most heart. It’s hard to say really for sure, but I probably should stop talking about me and get back to talking about the Freemakers, who just received a visit from our old friend Wic Cooper. Is it wrong that I was sorta hoping he’d died when he got stuck in space after his Z-wing blew up? Love him as a character, but as a person he’s kinda a jerk. Well I guess every SW baddie (or somewhat baddie-ish sort) deserves a shot at redemption. And then Wic called Zander a womp rat and I lost all respect for him again. Not to mention the fact he came back here just ’cause he likes messing with the starship-obsessed child. (well it also had something to do with a coupon but dang it he’s rich a coupon is just mean at this point!) But Kordi masterfully and professionally takes it all in stride.
Meanwhile, Naare is off on secret “Jedi business” and Rowan is absolutely thrilled at the very prospect of coming along. Rowan’s been doing a lot of growing up lately so it’s nice to see that he’s still got that excitable nature he had at the beginning. In his excitement Rowan shows Naare his Force skills and picks up a couple of bricks… right in front of Mr Cooper. Naare solves the problem with some mindtricking but again reminds her padawan to keep his abilities to himself. And with that she’s off to her “Jedi business”. At least after she barely avoids the Y-wing that crash-lands into the Freemakers’ hangar. Kordi’s cool with that though ’cause crash-landings usually need more… costly repairs. It’s impossible to keep the fangirl button on pause when we see Rowan and Kordi and Zander and Luke and Leia all in the same room. It’s downright amazing. And so begin the repairs as Rowan and Luke hunt down some spare parts in the Star Scavenger. But it seems Ro’s not the only one guarding some pretty big secrets when an Imperial feed goes out warning The Wheel’s residents of the dangerous rebel leaders who just arrived. Anyone else asking how they new? A few surviving TIE pilots? Naare took a glance back? I kinda don’t think it’d be the last one because she probably would’ve mentioned it to Vader and he’dve definitely made a big deal of it. Probably just a tracking device. That or Wic Cooper caught a glimpse of the Rebs and decided to ruin things. Also, “THEY MAY BE WEARING DISGUISES” *holo of Luke and Leia looking fabulous in fake ‘staches appears* XD XD Kordi is no longer interested in the money… at least until Leia adds five times the cost onto their already-high repair bill. Makes you wonder what would happen if an Imperial came by and offered five times that. Eh I betcha she wouldn’t take it. She’s into the money ultimately to protect her brothers and droid, she’s not going to fork over cash to someone who’d really cause them trouble. Oh and then here comes trouble! A graycoat and her posse of ‘troopers! Also yeah it’s very cool seeing a female Imperial out here. Just a nice change of pace. Did I mention though that Roger maaaaaaay have spilled motor oil all over the Star Scavenger‘s control panel? And in the process he inadverdently sent the ship off into hyperspace? Oooh boyyy. OK so now there’s one less Rebel in the hangar, but Zander and Kordi still have another to deal with… and she can’t hide in the trash bin forever. Especially when Imperial Bosslady points out the garbage incinerator. Luckily Leia has experience with avoiding refuse disposal-related injuries… even if an incinerator is totally different ballgame from a compactor. And then unluckily more stormtroopers come along. Aw crud.
With the door locked on them Luke and Rowan have no idea what R0-GR is up to, so Skywalker finally takes it into his own hands — with some assistance from the Force. Rowan is all O.O in a good way. And then Luke does it again to get ’em out of hyperspace, only then for his friend’s wise words about hyperspace travel safety to come back to mind as they pretty much crash head-on into Felucia. But in a magnificent flash of green, Skywalker carves out an escape route and gets him and Rowan to safety before the Star Scavenger hit the ground. Rowan is all-out fanboying at this point, and I do not blame him one bit. If only he wasn’t still sworn to secrecy regarding his own powers. Roger’s OK too, not that anybody cares XP
Elsewhere on The Wheel, Zander took care of their little buckethead problem with help from an old droid. “ZANDER FREEMAKER: SUPERSTAR HERO GUY!” Hehe I feel like I should start using a similar version of that line in everyday life, like “TWILIGHT545: SUPERSTAR HERO LAUNDRY DO-ER GIRL!” XD So while he dealt with them, Leia and Kordi headed for the turbolift to hide where the Imperials would never look — the Upper Ring. Only the richest get in there, and Leia, as the princess of Alderaan, qualifies. Kordi is kinda blown away by the notion this wealthy princess would put everything she has into the scrappy, small, works-hard-but-is-still-pretty-outgunned-in-most-cases Rebel Alliance. It sort of puts it into perspective for her that she’s done very little in the way of generous. I still believe her drive for credits still is rooted in a desire to protect her family, and that she’s still trying to do the right, selfless thing. But it’s also true that there’s still much they could do beyond themselves in a galaxy that’s just about falling apart. Anyone else want to go donate something now? Anyway yeeees that Upper Ring is indeed swanky. I mean, look at how much space there is! The Middle Ring is claustrophobic by comparison. Not to mention the free food. Kordi puts aside her thoughts on generosity for a while to focus on this glorious concept of “complimentary h’ors deurves”. They really do look seriously good. Probably wouldn’t be hard to recreate something similar in real life either. It’d be perfect for a party! And this has officially made me hungry now dangit. But oh look stormtroopers! So much for being safe here. In looking for a hiding place, the girls accidentally walk right on into Wic Cooper’s apartment. Oh joy.
Elsewhere on Coruscant, we finally catch up with Naare. And OMG I just realized this was Coruscant. Everything I just read in Tarkin is here! The fact the Emperor lives in the refurbished Jedi Temple, the way the city looks more industrial than artsy these days, everything! There’s something just fascinating to me about seeing the core’s capital in the OT era. Seeing it go from its bright grandeur in the Prequels to this sort of dark brooding melancholy under the Emperor’s rule is just really really cool. But that’s not the point. The Imperial agent’s here for a meeting with her bosses. Yikes I still can’t imagine working under their command, let alone attending a one-on-one with them. The Royal Guard offering kaffe isn’t so bad tho 🙂 Sidious takes it from a “standard performance review” to something a tad darker very quickly. I have imagined quite a bit of what might’ve been discussed. Probably a few “if you can’t do it, we’ll find someone who can!” sort of comments from the Darths. I believe Naare is driven mainly by a desire for power, and her dependence on Rowan’s crystal-sensing, and her powerlessness to control that or do something similar, is beyond aggravating. So having her bosses bring that up would probably throw her into rage mode. I’d wager some things were probably Force-thrown during that meeting. And probably a few people Force-choked… but I’m gonna stop now before this entire blog turns into a long list of headcanons.
So Rowan was absolutely amazed seeing what Luke could do with the Force as they repair the Scavenger. In the process, Rowan discovers some small flowers that bloom when the Force is used around them. Watching Luke quietly touching the buds with the Force and seeing them slowly bloom into beams of light is absolutely beautiful. Like seriously seriously beautiful. At this point all I could think of was that Luke would be an amazing master for Rowan. I love the almost master-like role Luke takes on with young Ken in the Jedi Prince series, and obviously I’m dying to know more about his relationship with Ben Solo and all the small Jedi kids he attempted to train. Point is, i love seeing Luke in the role of teacher, even in only these small glimpses. And somehow I could see this happening with these two young Jedi-in-training, something akin to Kanan and Ezra that would be absolutely amazing. And then suddenly came an ACKLAYYYYY!!! Which at first glance I find really cool because acklays are amazing but then I’m like “oh yeah it could kill them”. It didn’t seem to care too much about the padawans and the droid (it’s the second time R0-GR’S been spit out by something since they got here… at least, that we know of), but it does seem to like the Scavenger‘s hyperdrive motivator… and that could be a problem.
So under the guise of a cleaning crew, Leia and Kordi sweep away at Wic’s place. Kordi is needless to say pretty done with the jerk. Leia encourages restraint until they can make their escape. At least until Mr. Cooper makes an Alderaan joke. Then all bets are off. Um yeah respect levels for Wic Cooper are going into negative digits now. Bro. is. a. jerk. So I don’t blame Leia for a minute for knocking that guy clean through the wall. Yeah it meant that attracted the attention of stormtroopers again, but it was something well-overdue. Y’all don’t mess with #PrincessBosslady! Another awesome thing among many awesome things we get to see Leia do this lovely episode 🙂
The obvious answer to losing your motivator to a sharp-clawed multi-legged giant lizard is obviously to use the Force to get it out, right? Unfortunately all that resulted in was Rowan falling into the pit with the beast. I was mentally screaming “CONNECT WITH IT! CONNECT WITH IT! PULL AN “EZRA” AND CONNECT WITH ITTTTTTT!!!!” but I think Rowan’s better at connecting with Kyber Saber fragments than with critters. So Luke brilliantly distracts the acklay by throwing a few rocks at it and Force-grabbing Rowan. Unfortunately it was still purty mad and gave chase. Well, it was worth a shot.
In attempt to shake the ‘troopers off their tail, the girls ducked into a Middle Ring diner, but Kordi’s hiding spot wasn’t as good as she might’ve hoped. Lieutenant Estoc clearly looks forward to putting the young Rebel sympathizer beyond bars… but not if the Princess has anything to say about it. Leia turns the eaterie’s specials into lethal weapons and soundly kicks the graysuit into the path of a vacuum droid. “I know. Most people don’t expect this from a princess.” YOU JUST DONE GOT #BURNED! And Zander swoops in on Cooper’s bike like a boss, though he was a tad late to the party. Also… those storms blasting each other by accident? Ohhhh that was genius X3
So the young Jedi were still trying to figure out what to do about their little acklay problem. But ultimately, a comment from Luke inspires Rowan to take a different approach. By planting a long trail of these Force-flowers, they’re able to gently lead the acklay away with its own curiosity, not by fighting. And with every passing minute I more and more love the idea of Luke being Rowan’s master. I JUST STINKIN’ LOVE IT.
Rowan’s not the only one who did some growing up today. Kordi didn’t fully understand why Leia risked everything to save her, but it’s the Princess’s firm belief in self-sacrifice that gives Kordi an idea. It sure looked bad when TIEs brought down the Y-wing, but the Empire didn’t know there wasn’t a Luke or Leia in it! OK so sacrificing the ship isn’t quite quite literally self-sacrifice but it was pretty close. Actually, the real moment of self-sacrifice comes when Kordi sells Luke and Leia a Z-wing… with quite a Rebellion Hero Discount. Everybody, a round of applause for the Freemaker Bosslady. The Freemakers have officially taken their first step into a larger world.
So it looks like Naare had a successful day. Or not. She looks about ready to kill something. And then in walks Rowan, bringing her a Force-flower. Immediately I’m thinking “Oh shoot she could kill that thing just looking at it.” But little did I know how true that would be. They don’t fully explain how the Force-flowers work, but clearly it took one whiff of the hatred running through Naare and died. She rolls if off like nothing’s wrong. But Rowan… for the first time… looks at the woman he called “master” with uncertainty. Dare I say… suspicion. And it was about an hour before my eyes returned to their normal size. Of all the Freemakers, I figured Rowan would be the least likely to figure it out first. I’d had my money on Kordi the whole time, as she was the only one who really didn’t like her. It’s not that I ever thought Rowan was dumb, of course not. I just always loved how much faith he had in people, how he first looked at Naare with all the respect in the universe. He was so innocent, he didn’t deserve that burden. But… oh my… things are getting real up in here man. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Keep The Peace,