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Rebel Transmissions: Family Reunion – And Farewell

Here it is. The very last Rebel Transmission on Padawanline.
*Dramatic pause*
OK so that’s a little too dramatic. I highly doubt this will be the last time I talk about Rebels on the blog, just the last time I’ll do it in this format.
Whoo boy there’s a lot to talk about on this one. A lot. But it’s all stuff that has been on my mind for well over a month now, so hopefully I’ll be able to stir up some satisfying discussion for you all on this last Transmission. Get comfy, this is gonna be a long one…

Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode VI, Episode VII, Episode VIII, TCW episode Point Of No Return, and much of Star Wars Rebels, including Family Reunion – And Farewell.

From start to finish, this is a story about family. Not just this episode, but every episode these last four seasons.
And we’re not just talking the dictionary definition of family, of people related by flesh and blood. We’re talking about what I’ve come to term as “thicker-than-blood”: friends who are basically family, bonds that far exceed any shared DNA. SWR painted the most beautiful picture of this idea over the course of the series that I’d never really seen anything quite like before.

At the very beginning of it all, Ezra was separated from his birth family. He wasn’t looking for anyone to fill that void, especially not a group of individuals that, like his imprisoned parents, Rebelled on a daily basis. But one day, the boy was called to be part of something more. In doing so, he found a dad, a mom, a brother, a sister, and a pet droid. And through this new family, values instilled in him by his birth parents would grow from a spark to a raging wildfire, making him the selfless, determined-to-help-others-at-any-personal-cost young man he is today. I know I’ve talked about this before, but frankly, it’s worth saying over and over again. Ezra Bridger’s journey is truly amazing. And watching the beginning again stirred up so so many memories, I didn’t have a choice but to write this paragraph.

Yes, watching Ezra talking to the holo-portrait of his parents melted my heart in all the ways, but to realize how final it all sounded… that concerned me. “Hold on! We’re not seriously going to lose Ezra, right?? We can’t! It’s hard enough losing Kanan! I’M NOT READY!!”
I’d spent so long pulling for the Ghost family Jedi to make it somehow despite Yoda’s deathbed claims, that watching Kanan go really hit me hard out of left field. So I was clinging pretty darn hard on the technicality that since Ezra was not an official Jedi, so he could make it.
But somehow, it wasn’t as hard to watch Ez go as I thought it would be. Not just because they gave us the inkling of hope that he may still be alive, but because his act of self-sacrifice was so noble and so powerful. And it was even more meaningful when I remembered he was doing what Kanan taught him in that last lesson. Wow. The end of his story (for now) was the best it possibly could have been. A fitting last chapter to really show just how far he’s come from that first spark of rebellion ❤

You know, I had a neat revelation after watching this the first time. It's easy to see that Hera is what ultimately brought the Ghost family together. She’s in the business, it seems, of pulling together the most broken, flawed people and turning them into heroes. Just look what she did with a noncommittal, bitter ex-Jedi, an old, broken astromech, a guilt-ridden, hopeless warrior, a disgraced, unjustly-accused Mandalorian, and a self-serving street kid! And from there, this family she brought together helped expand that family as they did the same thing — making real heroes out of often the galaxy’s lowest of the low. Forgotten, cast-aside clone troopers became leaders again. A crusty pirate with no crew found new purpose and new friends. A high-and-mighty ISBN agent gave up all his prestige to do the right thing. A young bounty hunter chose to do something with far greater reward than money. A dishonest dealer who caused a lot of trouble in the past stepped up to the cause. A jaded former governor found a new mission. Even seemingly-ordinary kids like Jai and Mart were brought into this family of heroes. And I don’t know why Melch keeps getting involved, but I’m hoping it’s because all this selflessness is contagious 🙂 And it all started with Hera, not just because of her natural-born leadership, but because she saw something in all of them that made them family, somehow.
This might not be anything new, but it’s just such a cool thing to think about and it’s just another thing so meaningful about this finale — that we get to spend it with just about all the family :3

Like I talked about some last episode, all the teamwork in the room is just amazing. We have the most unconventional set of Rebels working together and they’re just owning it! It’s more than I ever expected to see in the finale, and it continues to blow my mind and gives me all the feels. And it’s also so fun watching the most mismatched of teams working together amidst the varying levels of personality clashes, like with the oh-so-precise-and-well-planned Kallus stuck with the more action-oriented, blast-down-the-doors wild cards Gregor and Zeb. “He’s crazy!” “BUT IT WAS YOUR PLAN!” Delightful!
But on that note, yes, I will miss Gregor something awful. I’ve been holding my breath, unsure of what would become of all these once-lost commanders for years now, not wanting to see another brother down, but knowing it was well-likely to happen. But Gregor did good. I thought we’d lost him ages ago, so getting to spend the time with him that we did was special no matter what.

And wow was Thrawn on his A-game today. Like, he was honestly as cool, calculating, and downright cruel to me as he’s ever been this series. I mean seriously some of what he did got me wincing for all the good people left in the galaxy. But at the same time, his confidence and well-thought-out plans never ceased to impress. Again, I really have to thank Lucasfilm for putting the Grand Admiral in the canon and in this series. I’m sure the original novels are solid, but having so little knowledge of that era of books, including him inside of a series I was already very familiar with was the perfect way to meet him. His comeuppance was masterful, but I appreciate they chose to leave it open what ultimately happens to him… either way, Grand Admiral Thrawn was a truly awesome adversary and I definitely look forward to digging into his story some more later. *Sighs because she still has so many novels to catch up on* *But smiles because what a great problem to have!*

Seeing Palpatine again brought the best kind of intrigue for me. I loved this revelation that the Emperor presents himself much as he appeared in the years past. I guess I’d figured people always saw him in that dark cloak, like in Episode III, but this makes so much more sense! Once again, he’s doing a really solid job playing the galaxy like a card. Who would doubt such a finely-dressed, kindly politician? But that’s exactly what he wants you to think! It’s genius! Terrifyingly genius! And then we watch, eyes wide, as the Emperor offers Ezra a family reunion on a silver platter. I don’t know about you, but I could almost physically feel the pain of Ezra’s inner battle. It’s the ultimate temptation, to abandon everything and regain a peaceful life like he had before. And though we know Ezra has a solid sense of right and wrong… we also know Sidious is a master at pulling lightsiders over to the dark. SO MUCH TENSION! SO MANY EMOTIONS! I COULDN’T BREATHE!! DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED WHEN PALPATINE UNDID EZRA’S CUFFS! AND THEN WHEN EZRA UNLOCKED THE GATEWAY AND I WAS ALL “OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING??”!! OH MAN!
But there are few greater moments in Star Wars than when a hero wins this battle with himself, overcomes temptation, and defies the darkness.
Couldn’t applaud enough.
Also those totally-different red guards were so epic… or are they normal red guards with different armor? Need to read up more on them!

I definitely need to talk about Sabine and Ezra, guys. I remember when the series first began and what I liked most about them was that one-sided-crush dynamic. Every one of Ezra’s failed flirts and every one of Sabine’s sarcastic replies got me laughing hard. But their relationship has become so so much more since then, and not in the ways I might’ve assumed. In the last few seasons, we’ve watched them go from a slightly-lopsided sorta-friendship to a concrete bond of trust, honesty, and faith in each other. I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating. They’ve stood alongside each other in their darkest moments, fought impossible odds together, and they just get each other. It’s astounding how far they’ve come. Every moment of this understanding and shared trust, whether spoken or unspoken, speaks incredible volumes, and it could not be more perfect. And the fact that Sabine ultimately (if my understanding’s correct) puts aside her own homeworld and her place in the Alliance to protect Lothal for years? This is as real a friendship as it gets. Some days I can’t believe how much they’ve both grown up, how far they’ve come! I just love them, and who they truly are together — something far more meaningful than just a teenage crush. Something that’s nothing short of rock-solid. Something that I just have to describe as powerful.
But all the same… I couldn’t help but smile when Sabine quietly caressed his portrait, making me wonder if maybe, just maybe, the feeling’s mutual now… :3

Random note, but one of my favorite bits of animation in the whole episode is watching Mart trying to see over Zeb and Kallus’ shoulders XD I can relate, Mart! #ShortPeopleUnite! Except he’ll probably grow out of it, of course… but, still!

Once the Ghost headed off into the sunset, I wasn’t expecting anything but the credits.
Instead, they gave me so much more — a new hope for Kallus, a new chapter for Hera, and a new mission for Sabine and Ahsoka! And also the fact Rex made it to VI which was obviously so epicly cool. I like that none of these stories are really the “end” of their stories, each of them are just an important moment for each of them, and a way to wrap up their arcs in SWR nicely. Let’s dig into those first three a little further, OK?

Zeb’s impossibly kind gesture to Kallus just wows me. All that time ago, he helped spur the Agent to change his ways, and he could’ve stopped there. But instead, not only does Zeb forgive his once-mortal enemy, he says “Guess what? You’re one of us!” Before this, I had never considered how much Kallus might still be carrying with him, the belief that he’d helped in the purging of an entire people. So what a gift this is, to know there’s still hope, and that he is entirely forgiven! I like to think that, in Ezra’s absence, that Zeb found a new friend in Kallus. Likely not quite the same level of friendship, but one that still maintains an unshakable loyalty. Leave it to Star Wars to paint such an amazing image of forgiveness and hope, and the truth that real friendships can come from anywhere 🙂 As one of my fave songs goes: When I look into the face / of my enemy / I see my / brother!

I’d spent plenty of time over the last couple years thinking “I could totally see Hera legally-adopting kids after the war’s over.” OK granted a lot of that was me liking the idea of Hera adopting the Freemakers, but still, it wasn’t hard to imagine. So when I Saw the adorable green bean in her copilot’s seat… I SQUEE-ED SO HARD! General Syndulla looks so in her element, flying with little Jason (hopefully I spelled it right) by her side! Of course, now I really want to see Jason join Rowan on some Freemaker Adventures… but I’ll take any story about Hera and her boy I can get 😀 What a truly perfect way to cap off her story!

And I really thought we’d reached the end of Ahsoka’s story. It was enough to know she’d survived the duel with Vader. But then… there she stood, ready to fulfill her promise to find Ezra. I love her new look, and not just because it has a bit of a Gandalf-feel to it, but it begs so so many questions! My assumption is she’s become a priestess of sorts for a new branch of Forcewielders apart from Jedi and Sith. But if she is, what does that mean later on for Luke and his attempts to rebuild the Jedi? What does it mean for Rey, trying to find her place in the Force? Or does this supposed new sect of Ahsoka’s even make it that far in the future? Or maybe it just took 30-odd years for Ahsoka and Sabine to find Ezra and then they show up in the middle of Episode IX all “Whoa what happened while we were gone??”. Honestly, I’d be totally up for something like that!
But wherever they go from here, they go with hope. The kind of hope that can save the galaxy.. and actually did

I've got so many feels I don't know what to do with them. What an amazing journey it's been! But thank you so much for reading this.
Thank you for reading all these Rebel Transmissions over the years.

And this all comes around the time my blog just turned five years old, so even more thanks for reading this blog, for fanboying/fangirling alongside me, and for making Padawanline what it is today! Just.. thank you!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

WAIT! THERE’S A NEW TRANSMISSION COMING IN…
SOMETHING ABOUT…
THE RESISTANCE!


(Credit: GIPHY)

Wow I couldn’t have planned this if I tried. We will talk more about this soon!

Oh, right, and here’s the Best-Of posts for the year 🙂

Following The Freemakers: Return Of The Kyber Saber
If Not For IV…: A Special Star Wars Day Story
Fun With The Freemakers Shorts!
Following The Freemakers: The Tower Of Alistan Nor
Following The Freemakers: The Pit And The Pinnacle
A Very Fangirly Analysis Of The New Last Jedi Trailer
Rebel Tranmissions: In The Name Of The Rebellion
Rebel Transmissions: Kindred
Looking Back On The Original SWR Shorts
Rebel Transmissions: Jedi Night

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Rebel Transmissions: Jedi Night

Oh wow there are so many emotions going on right now. So. many. OMG. Probably why it took so long to write this. Let’s see if I can sort through all these emotions and write something worth the read on this absolutely beautiful, amazing-beyond-words episode.

Contains spoilers from much of Star Wars Rebels including Rebel Assault and Jedi Night. Events from later episodes will not be covered.

One thing that will never cease to amaze me about Star Wars is the way it can be both tragic and joyous almost simultaneously. No matter the medium, no matter the length, these stories can make me laugh out loud and then turn around and weep, and vice versa. And yet, no matter how it ends, I’m never left without hope. It’s ultimately the hope inside each story that brings beauty from even the greatest tragedies. Sometimes it takes a little while to find that hope, and other times it’s right there in the last words spoken, but it’s always there.
And this episode of Rebels is for sure one of the absolute strongest examples of that.

I’ll be honest… there’s no human way I can cover everything I love and everything that intrigues me in this episode. To attempt to do so would make this a lot sloppier a post. I’ve learned from years of blogging here that sometimes I simply can’t cover everything, no matter what I try, unless I end up doing a complete exhausting play-by-play like I used to do prior to last summer when I changed my format. But I will do my best to say all I feel needs to be said. When I think back on this episode, three particular scenes come to mind, and that will be how I piece this post together, by focusing on each of these scenes.

The first is the montage as Ezra’s lothbat plan comes together. There’s a tangible hope in the air you can’t help but feel to the very core of your being, watching these few noble Rebels work together. And you can tell they feel it too, with smiles exchanged and a well-earned sense of pride from what they’ve accomplished with the few resources on hand. It’s in these moments you can tell that it’s not just the Ghost family determined to get Hera back; you can see by how diligently they work that Ryder, Mart, and Jai consider this as more than just military duty. Hehe yes I guess that makes them the Ghost fam’s uncle and cousins 🙂 All this amazing teamwork is perfectly driven by what is now one of my favorite pieces of score Kevin Kiner has ever produced. Even though this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Ezra’s strength as a leader, you see why Kanan was so confidently able to give his apprentice the reigns… and it makes me explode with pride just a little bit 🙂 I’m pretty sure I was beaming by the montage’s end. This is one thing I absolutely love about the Rebels. We’ve learned over the last few years that they don’t always agree on how to go about things, but when they put those arguments aside and focus on what matters most, they can be some kind of force of nature. It’s in this way they’re still as much admirable heroes today as they were forty years ago. And ok I might’ve gotten off-topic some there but it’s true all the same. Just makes you want to stand up and cheer!

The second scene of note would be the rescue. For so so so many reasons. Kanan giving a trooper the “drop” still cracks me up no matter how many times I see it. And the stuff Hera says on truth serum is straight-up gold XD But these moments of honesty with the two are more than just funny, they’re downright precious. Listening to her unfiltered opinions on his new look and them arguing over what defines a present makes you forget for a moment they’re in the middle of a rescue and not newlyweds on their honeymoon. Though yeah those particular couple of comments do make me want to revisit A New Dawn and refresh my memory on their marvelous meetcute. Also stare at the cover art and figure out why Kanan’s hair doesn’t look anywhere near that short. Anyway yes every minute with them in this episode is beyond special and had me reeling from the feels more than a little. Oh yeah and I was definitely surprised to see the kalikori again. I had honestly forgotten Thrawn still had it. The fact that Kanan could literally sense the kalikori was amazing to me. I can’t say for certain it’s the first time I’ve seen something like that in SW, but I can’t remember ever seeing a Jedi doing exactly that, being able to sense the presence of an object on account of its connection to someone close. Like honestly everything in this scene, it just says so so much about their relationship, their history to who they are now. I just love it. All of this. Them. I couldn’t help but love it when I first watched it, and I think I love it even more now ❤

I remember always wanting to see an episode centered primarily around a Kanan and Hera adventure. Jedi Night was very much that long-hoped for episode. But in truth… this episode is perhaps even more about Kanan.
A man who would hold back the flames for those he loves.

There were no tears from me at first. My mouth hung open slightly, in part from the amazement of seeing Kanan literally pushing back fire with the Force, and in part because I was completely shocked at the turn of events and I almost couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that this was happening.
For some reason, I always assumed if we were to lose any member of the family, it would be Kanan. It began with me worrying how Fire Across The Galaxy would end, and the possibility has come to mind on every season’s end since. Perhaps because I could see the potential drama in what Ezra would do without his guidance, especially early-on in the series.
There were things about this episode that felt final, but there were so many moments of joy and victory, it was hard to want to think that way.
But in the midst of that heartwrenching moment, all I could think was that if he was going to go, this was the best way to do it.
Doing it all for his family.
Like I’ve said before, there’s no way to truly prepare for the loss of a great SW hero, even if you can see it as a possibility. But there is comfort in the fact that I don’t believe any of these heroes dies in vain. They die for what they believe is right and for those they love and care for. Don’t think for a minute, however, that this wasn’t a hard truth to accept. I would have loved for Kanan to have made it through the last six episodes, but I also know that, no matter how dark the moment, that Star Wars stories always come back to the light again. And that is why I still feel hope even now. Why this episode still remains a favorite. Why there is still beauty somehow even in the midst of this tragedy.
Kanan Jarrus, I’m going to miss you. But your story isn’t over. No story with a legacy like you leave behind ever does.

Looking forward to continuing this conversation on Dume. Thanks for reading.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: The Occupation

Though the episodes are arriving in pairs, I’m making sure every one of them gets the full-focus Rebel Transmission it deserves, including the sometimes-intense, sometimes-joyful, always-riveting gem that is The Occupation. Join me, if you will!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Breaking Ranks and The Occupation. Also they’re some smaller spoilers from other episodes, so just make sure you’re caught up.

So I’d say it feels great to be back on Lothal again, but… well, you know. The title itself makes it clear things aren’t so hot. It still filled me with some nostalgia feels seeing the little things that made Lothal so memorable in the first season, but they were bittersweet nostalgia feels this time, as this beautiful world, once so bright and clear, is now dark and gray. It’s almost not the same world we last saw on An Inside Man. It’s shrouded in shadow and drowning in sorrows, brought upon by the Empire… and it hurts my heart so much more than I expected.
But leave it to SW to once again bring the perfect balance between dark and light.

As many ways this episode made me weep, it made me smile, too. Like with the return of Vizago! I was surprised at how much I’d missed the slippery scoundrel! And the PUFFER PIGS OMG!! SO. MANY. PUFFER. PIGS!!! You can never have too many far as I’m concerned! Though wow I can’t imagine what you have to go through to farm ’em. And of course, watching the still-so-confident-and-cool Kallus get major burns from Sabine and Rex was a sheer delight XP Yep those are some good times right there.

Oh, and I loved the crew’s new disguises! It’s fun when you’ve been familiar with a character’s look for a while, and then they go and do something so drastically different it kinda throws you at first, and then after a few minutes you start planning your next cosplay project. Well, maybe that’s just the artist/cosplayer/Star Wars nerd in me, but that’s exactly my feelings on it. Hera probably has my favorite costume change, but Ezra and Zeb tie for second with their fantastic, so-called “ridiculous”, hats XD Too bad Sabine didn’t follow that taunting of Chop’s up with a new paint job. Maybe a nice chartreuse? *Chopper comes after me with a blaster*
Right, and Sabine’s new hair, though not a part of the disguise, was great too. I like they didn’t venture too far color-wise from the former, but it still has a fresh, cool feel to it, that also perhaps carries a slight seriousness to it with the coming events…

A moment of silence, of course, for Old Jho and all that Old Jho’s was. The Imperial March is one of my favorite pieces of Star Wars score ever, but I wasn’t too happy to hear the “patriotic” version coming from what was once a good spot for the Ghost fam. Definitely another one of those bittersweet nostalgia moments. But a less-bittersweet moment was the unexpected helping hand that was Jai Kell! It’s funny I’ve been spending so long wondering if we’d see Zare Leonis again (stilllllllll need to read Servants Of The Empire sigh) that I never ever gave Jai a second thought. It’s not that I didn’t really like the kid, but he seemed so hesitant and uncertain inside of the Imperial Academy escapade that I just couldn’t imagine him a true Rebel. Now he’s nothing short of a true Rebel — clever, quick on his feet, and the kind of person you want to be best friends with — and I love him now more than ever! Well that’s one thing I’ve found I love about this series: these characters and stories go down far far better roads than what you and I might predict or assume 🙂

Obviously, there was no question I’d have to dedicate the rest of the blog a paragraph to that lovely little bit of Kaneraness :3 Now when that first clip came up on the socials a week before its debut… um yeah I didn’t see but a second of it but I was thrilled, and got this hope in my head that The Occupation would be a Kanan-and-Hera-centered episode. Ultimately, I got about two minutes instead of twenty-two, but, oh, it was wonderfully wonderful all the same. (Plus, I’ve gotta remind myself every now and again that technically Kanan and Hera got a whole novel, which is like getting several long episodes, so I’ll be happy whether they get an episode or not)
It’s funny… they’ve known each other forever, clearly have had obvious mutual feelings going around for a while, but they don’t get this close until they’re in a dark alley hiding from stormtroopers. AND IT’S SO PERFECT. The “I wish I could see you” bit surprised me some. In a couple small moments in season three, we see them interact by touch in the sweetest way, whether in just the way Hera embraced Kanan after the rescue in The Holocrons Of Fate, or in that brief tender hand-holding on Zero Hour. This gave me the impression, I guess, that they’d worked through some of that initial difficulty and found this great love language that worked well in spite of him being blinded. But turns out, even though he’s gained a lot through seeing with Force, he still does miss seeing her. Kanan looked so downcast… but Hera turned that around with the most genuine, joyful expression on her face when she replied “You could always see me.”. They only got so close before trouble came up again, but AHHHHHHHH THAT WAS SO SO UTTERLY PRECIOUS!! MY HEART IS ABSOLUTELY MELTED. I LOVE THESE BEANS ❤ ❤

As we follow our heroes in a tense chase through the sewers, I do need to take a minute and applaud the lighting artists. Almost the whole episode is in shadow. I thought at first something was wrong with my screen, but nope that’s how it’s supposed to be, to add to the danger and uncertainty, as well as the realization that this town used to have a lot more lights on at night. It’s especially prevalent perhaps within the climax. Doesn’t help we’ve got a deathtrooper involved! Remember last post when I commented I was hoping to see more of them again? I’m sorry Ghost fam, I didn’t think they’d show up that fast! And in the dark! With probes!! It’s almost a nostalgic scenario, even if things are considerably more intense than before. But I love that, in the midst of the darkness and hopelessness, they still come back out of the dark tunnels and into the light, and also into a reminder that this isn’t the first time a small crew of Rebels fought together and made a positive difference… 🙂

Until next post next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Reveling In Rebels: A Season One Recap, Part 1

So today I’m gonna do something a bit different. Basically I’m gonna sit and ramble on how much I love Star Wars Rebels! OK maybe not entirely… because that could take a long while and we only have, like, six or seven months until the next season! But yeah… this show has become such a part of my life, like everything Star Wars does, and I just wanna pour out my heart on how much this show’s meant to me, and go back and look at this season as a whole, and how incredibly amazing it all is. I know this probably isn’t what you would naturally be looking to read, but hey, what’s a blog if not someone talking about something important to them? So fangirl or fanboy along with me why dontcha? 🙂
NOTE: Contains spoilers from basically the entire first season of Rebels… so don’t read this if you’ve missed a single episode.

14 seems like a small number, doesn’t it? But Rebels has made it a number bigger than you could ever imagine. I can say this because every time I watch an episode, older or newer, I can’t help but take notice as to how the characters have grown, how their relationships have grown, how their world has expanded. A week before the show started, I transformed a piece of Rebels promo art into a wallpaper. I couldn’t wait to meet these characters, and now whenever I look at that wallpaper, it sorta hits me that I have not only met these characters, but that I know them. I don’t know every little detail about their lives and every chapter in their stories, but I absolutely reel when I realize just how much I know about them even so. When I look at these characters, looking all cool and determined and ready to fight, I’m reminded of what they’ve been through. I’m reminded of Ezra’s battle with himself, Kanan’s false guilt, Sabine’s desire to have all the answers, Zeb’s losses. And even not knowing all of Hera’s story, there are plenty of times where we know she has faced plenty of trials of her own. At the same time, I’m reminded of how each of them moved on or won that battle in some way. I get all teary when I see Ezra face The Inquisitor and say “I’m not afraid…”, just as I do when I see Kanan stand tall and say “I have nothing left to fear”. I’m hugely encouraged every time I watch Sabine willing to trust even without all the answers. I keep hoping we’ll see Zeb come to some sort of peace regarding the tragedy the befell Lasan. And I about die “aww”-ing when Hera encourages her comrades at every turn, putting their needs often before her own. Maybe that all sounds a bit crazy, but to me, it’s just amazing realizing how, after 14 episodes, I feel like I’ve known the Ghost crew my whole life. Now to me they are as core to the SW galaxy as the Skywalkers themselves!
Every chapter reveals something, furthers something, expands on something. No episode airs without some sort of overall effect to the series at large. This can clearly be seen in Droids In Distress, as the droids’ seemingly average owner is actually playing his own part in the growing rebellion. Who’da thunk it, right?! And it goes even farther beyond that! So let’s take a second and talk about the episodes, and how each adventure affected the story as a whole.
I still remember the day I first saw Spark Of Rebellion, just how absolutely huge that felt! How I laughed, how I cried, and how it effortlessly snuck its way into my heart, as if I’d been watching it forever! And now when I watch it, I feel this sense of awe as to how much has changed over this season. I actually watched Spark Of Rebellion after watching Fire Across The Galaxy last week. Definitely a cool experience, seeing them from that first rescue to their most recent one 🙂 It’s amazing seeing how they’ve bonded since then as well as how Ezra’s grown up. I mean, we now know a lot more about Ezra’s past than we did on the pilot. He grew up with such incredible parents, but eight years without them and he’s sorta gone against their message of helping others and standing up for those who can’t. Of course I’m not criticizing him, it would be easy to become jaded if I were in his shoes. And of course, he probably connected losing his parents to the good things they did, so he likely wanted to get away from that as far as possible. While I know I probably overuse the Aladdin connection, he really is a diamond in the rough at this juncture, he just doesn’t know it yet. And man oh man… I get all sorts of feely when Ezra watches as Zeb and Sabine give out food to the Tarkintown residents… how he’s really starting to figure it out, how it’s starting to reopen his eyes to why exactly his folks did what they did. And seriously, one of potentially my most favorite moments ever in the show has to be in Path Of The Jedi when he tells Yoda that helping others makes him “feel alive“… just… wow. So much wow. To see him take that leap from looking out for number one to finding joy in giving back just blows my mind every time. It’s hard not to cheer every time I watch Spark Of Rebellion and see Ezra slowly making the right choice in things, and even going out to help when the odds are all stacked against him. And despite all the craziness that conspires, at the end of it all, the crew’s doesn’t seem to want to say goodbye to this thieving street kid. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ezra makes the right choice at the end when he makes the decision to join the Ghost family. Could there have been a better first chapter for this story? I think not 🙂
Then there’s Droids In Distress again. Beyond just Bail Organa’s connections that none of us had a clue about, this episode has a lot of interesting ties to the rest of the season. I love, of course, learning more about Zeb and his story. As I said on my Transmission on the episode, it really opened my eyes to what a great guy Zeb is, and made me respect and love him even more than I already did. In the days before Rebels debuted, Zeb was kind of an enigma, and seemingly kind of hard to define through just the character intro video alone. I never doubted he’d be an awesome character and that I’d love him, but I had no idea just how awesome he would be and how much I would love him. So yeah this episode went beyond just the concept of the Rebels running into Threepio and Artoo, it gave me a full-on case of the feels and put me on the edge of my seat. And of course, we get to see Ezra’s first really big show of Force as he awesomely defends his comrade, even though he has no idea how he did it. Along with another interesting tie, as we now know Sabine really was an Imperial Academy student. Whether she really was a level five or not I don’t know… pshh she’s so beyond grades. On a scale from one to ten she’s a 37! Watching this episode again recently definitely wet my appetite to learn more about Zeb and Sabine in the season to come. And made me keep crossing my fingers that a character from the Droids series might walk in one day…
Speaking of Zeb, then there’s Fighter Flight! It was pretty cool of Ezra to save Zeb’s life and stuff… up until he started holding it over his head. We got another glimpse at Ezra’s past through the awesome Mr. Sumar, which opened up a whole chapter on his family we didn’t know about. The whole overall story with Ezra and Zeb is an absolute delight, further expanding on the Ghost family’s awesome dynamic. And of course, that infamous TIE… I never would’ve seen coming exactly how that Fighter would end up being used in the end! And an infamous painting on the wall will always remind us of such events. You could say Chopper is the real hero in this because if he hadn’t gotten Zeb and Ezra squabbling they wouldn’t have ended up in the situation that led them to the TIE in the first place and if they hadn’t had that TIE later on Kanan might be a dead man right now. Well, this might not be entirely the case, but yeah no one can deny Chopper the title of “Rebel Hero”… even when he does throw dishes at you, hits you with electricity, removes the screws from your bunk, and laughs at you just ’cause he wants to 😀
Then it got real on Rise Of The Old Masters. This episode really nailed me in the feels. I guess after the mostly lightheartedness of Fighter Flight I had no clue just how much it would blow my mind. But hello The Inquisitor’s in it! And man… Kanan and Ezra’s relationship is so great… you feel for them both in their frustrations this episode as Kanan feels inadequate as a teacher for Ezra, and Ezra, who feels like Kanan’s giving up on him. But after being led into a trap (that only now we realize was totally thanks to Gall Trayvis), nearly dying at the hands of The ‘Quiz, and taking on a good chunk of the Empire, they both are willing to do — not just try. I love how much their relationship grew in this one, and you gotta love Kanan for not being perfect, for being real, for being honest, for being extremely relatable to both Ezra and the rest of us. It just makes their father-son-esque bond all the awesomer. And The Inquisitor’s quite epic in his first flesh-and-blood appearance, too… I always knew he was an intense baddie, but I had no idea he was so classily calculating, and that made him all the cooler! Yeahhh I’m gonna miss him chasing down the Rebels like he do. Most defs. And his epic lightsaber. But eh well I’d miss Kanan a lot more so I won’t miss ‘Quizzy that much… but I’m getting ahead of myself.
And then there’s Breaking Ranks! Ezra’s inside job and the first time we get to meet Zare Leonis! It’s insanely cool getting to dig deeper into the Empire and how it does what it does, like training up young ‘troopers. And yeah Zare is so stinkin’ cool… and the fact he’s got his own book series going on makes him all the cooler! But yeah, it’s nice to know that Ezra’s not the only “rebel” in these ranks. Even when you’ve got crazy cadets who think the Empire hung the moon (pfffff see what I did there?? XD ). There’s so much I can’t wait to dig into further in Zare’s series, but until then, I’m just happy to enjoy this adventure as it is, as Ezra’s made an unexpected friend while undercover and the Imperials get whupped by friendship and teamwork! (Sorry I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true) Oh, and Jai and Zare live our dream and drive a walker. That too.
Of course, we have to talk about Out Of Darkness. This is the episode where we really got to sit down and learn some more about our rebel girls… including a third girl we would have yet to meet, “Fulcrum” 🙂 Getting to see Hera and Sabine bond over fighting Fyrnocks is quite the adventure, and we’re quite glad they made it out alive. And just getting these tiny hints in the direction as to the larger mission at hand is really cool, both in the moment and looking back. Fulcrum — er, Ahsoka — I’m sorry I ever might’ve given you a smidgen of doubt. And I’m sure Sabine’s thinking that a bit now. Though it will be interesting to see if Sabine and Ahsoka ever butt heads over something in the business of rebelling. It’s really amazing seeing how Hera handles this, how she’s able to encourage Sabine to have faith even when she can’t give her all the answers. It is so much legit truth, and it comes to mind every now and then when I’m asking questions that I can’t have answered. Getting to know more of their stories is one of the things that makes this episode so awesome. And it’s really hard to encapsulate all of that in this one paragraph, so go and read the Transmission on the episode for more (and ignore all my ramblings from back before I ever wondered if Fulcrum was Ahsoka). Like say, when you look at how everything comes together at the end… it is all kinds of epic.

Come back next week to read the rest of the recap!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Breaking Ranks

It’s time once again for another Rebel Transmission! And this one’s (hopefully) going to be a lot of fun as we delve into the Empire and meet some pretty awesome kids in the episode known as Breaking Ranks! Better get your ‘trooper helmet ’cause it’s going to be one wild ride!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, TCW Episodes Clone Cadets, The Box, and The Big Bang (Storyreel), and Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion and Breaking Ranks.

I can’t begin to express how much I love the way they played this episode out. The fact that it opens without any backstory or explanation, and we have to learn all of that later! It’s awesome! What goes without explanation is simple… we have found Ezra hanging out with a bunch of Imperial Stormtrooper cadets! Why? How? What? OK most likely you, like me, made the assumption that it’s an inside job. But why? What is required of this inside job? And how the hey did Ezra take off that helmet and have his hair come out perfect? (OK well that’s also because he’s animated but having a lot of hair myself I notice these things)
So yes, I’m not sure what could feel weirder than waking up one morning wearing white, walking in formation, and taking orders from our friends from the first episode, Jerk Imperial #1 and Jerk Imperial #2. Oh, I guess there’s one thing… going by a completely different name, that being Dev Morgan (though admittedly, that’s a pretty cool name). Ezra seems to have forgotten that for a second when a fellow cadet, Jai Kell, calls him by “name”. But all the palling around between these fast friends doesn’t last long on Imperial turf. Gentlemen and gentlemen, welcome to The Well, Imperial training ground-doohickey. It looks a whole lot like a familiar doohickey from back in the Clone Wars, The Box, except I guess it’s less lethal. Heh… crazy how such a simple name can already be so cool just as it is! Basically, they’re all these floaty boxes and these kids need to jump from one to another to get up and get out of das Well. Winners gets to be Imperial Aides of the day! Losers… well, they weren’t terribly specific but it sounds like they’ll be scrubbing the bathrooms with a toothbrush. This one cadet does the totally boyish thing of pretty quickly making it clear he’s gonna cream the others, and Ezra answers him with all the calm, cool collectedness of a certain Jedi disguised as a bounty hunter in a similiar scenario over a decade ago. “YOU’RE GOING DOWN, MORGAN!” “Actually, we’re going up.” Of course then a bit of a scuffle started, but still, nicely done Ezra. But yeah as soon as the game starts, young Bridger starts putting the others to shame. #JediBenefits. He and Jai make it to the top pretty quickly, and not even the addition of zapping electricity on the boxes and Jerk Cadet from before trying to bump ’em off can hinder these top-of-the-class kids. Oh, and this third kid did pretty awesomely too, but he’ll be more important later on. Jerk Imperials #1 and #2 are impressed, but in ‘trooper training there are no reward stickers or friendly words of encouragement, only a reminder that their next challenge will be way way harder. Real nice, man… even the stinkin’ bounty hunters who trained the clone troopers were nicer than these clowns! And *coughclonetrooperswerebettersoldiersthanstormtroopersanywayprobablybecausetheyweremoresupportivecough* Buuuut at least they trio’s on their good side and becoming aides for the day so I guess it’s not all that bad. As the three follow JI #1 through the halls, Ezra silently acknowledges a famliar face… a little black C1-1OP who just happens to be Chopper in disguise. And the third cadet sorta takes notice. But once Chopper’s out of sight, he’s able to signal another two familiar faces watching and waiting from afar — Sabine and Zeb. And as Sabine confirms to Hera that Ezra’s in, the plan we didn’t fully get at first starts falling into place. It appears that Ezra’s in on this to fetch a handy decoder that could help them on their next plan. And though it was his idea… Kanan’s no longer liking the plan too much. Though he won’t admit it, he comes off a bit worried for his padawan’s safety. It’s fun watching how smoothly Hera handles his frustration; she just rolls with it and does what she can to both chill him out and irritate him a bit. Like she do 🙂
So yes, as Ezra casually sauntered away from the group, the cadet from before definitely had his curiosity/suspicion peaked. Particularly as “Dev” makes a dash for Agent Kallus’s office after having done his unpaid-intern duties. Ezra thought he’d nabbed that decoder from Kallus’s computer-thing without a hitch, and thennnnn he opened the door to Cadet #3’s smiling helmet. For a long awkward moment, Ezra’s not quite sure whether he’s in trouble or if he’s in even more trouble. But Cadet #3 happens to mention that there might’ve been an alarm on the doorway that might’ve gone off had Ezra tried to walk out with the decoder. Turns out this kid might be on his side. Andddd we can all breathe now. But maybe not so much for the Ghost crew, who don’t know exactly what went down. And now they only have one more day as their ultimate plan is revealed; the Empire’s getting itself a shipment of kyber crystals which of course could be really bad, and that little decoder can help our heroes get rid of it before the baddies decide to arm everyone and their brother with lightsabers.
Later that evening, Ezra got to talk with his potential new ally, who goes by Zare. I would’ve figured there would be more pro-Empire kids in this mix than this, but clearly not everyone. Zare’s really only here because his sister went here… and disappeared. Oooh yes his story is one I definitely want to hear more of! But anyway, it looks like Ezra’s got a friend to help him figure out his way around the Imperials and nab that decoder. And Zare has no arguments against doing so.
The next day, the Imperials have amped up their training in The Well, and this time they’ve given them all blasters! Well, thankfully they don’t seem to do much harm, so that’s at least a slightly smart decision on the Empire’s part. They have to shoot the targets to get the boxes out to climb out this time around. And it, you know, goes pretty well, for Ezra and Jai at least… Zare’s not quite there yet. Knowing that he needs to have Zare around to help him with his heist, Ezra makes a tough choice and pushes his buddy off the platform for Zare. The Imperials are just eating this supposed treachery up, but Jai’s far from thrilled to be getting the short end of that stick. Aww Ezra looks so sad walking away from his infuriated friend, not able to explain why he had to do what he did… 😦 But shortly thereafter, Ezra and Zare are off to the races to get that decoder. Ezra has crawled through the vents to Kallus’s office to where he intends to use the Force to nab the device, while Zare plays the distraction game with the Agent-In-Charge. Zare tells Kallus that he’s got to sign for some podracer parts, and Kallus is all “dude I didn’t order any podracer parts!”. Somehow I could see an Imperial buying one of those though… fast, dangerous, cool… of course, then again, Anakin was the only human who could drive one so maybe not. Hehe Zare should’ve tried convincing him to buy one to buy a little extra time; “Well if you didn’t order any parts, why not? You’d be the envy of the Empire! Imagine, policing the streets of Lothal with the wind blowing through your sideburns! Making the rebels eat your dust! I bet even Lord Vader himself would be all kinds of jelly!” XD But either way, his distraction worked, and Ezra was able to Force-grab that decoder without a hitch. Though as Ezra was crawling back through the vents, he happened to overhear a hologram conversation between JI #1 and (dun dun DUN) The Inquisitor. Evidently, “Morgan” and Kell are highly recommended to the ‘Quiz, and the dark dude is looking forward to seeing them in action… and… “taking them into custody”. Aw dang that can’t be good. It looks like Ezra’ll be hanging around a bit longer.
A short time later, Chopper delivers the decoder to Sabine and Zeb, as well as Ezra’s hastily-recorded message letting them know a little about his plan to help his friend, and also that he could use their help for a diversion tomorrow. Yup never a dull moment for these guys. So yeah Sabine didn’t have a lot of time to explain to Kanan why exactly Ezra wasn’t there before he and Hera headed off to take on the Imperial shipment. Don’t you hate when hyperspace cuts off your comlink?
Back to the Imperial Academy, Ezra’s managed to get a second to talk to Jai about what happened and what’s going to happen. But the kid ain’t havin’ it, he’s not sure who to trust, and he’s not even totally convinced that the ‘Quiz is real. But once Zare shares his side of the story, the fact that his missing sister is proof enough, and now Jai’s more so willing to listen to Ezra’s plan.
Meanwhiles, it’s off to the Imperial-ship-destroying races for Kanan and Hera, who only have one shot to get that kyber crystal out of commission. One has to wonder, with the resulting massive explosion and all, was this one crystal possibly like the one in the TCW Utapau Crystal Crisis storyreels? A gigantic thing? Because that would make a lot of sense then. But where would the Empire’ve found another one of those?? Hmmm one has to wonder!
The next day, the crazy’s back on as our three cadets are in a race to make it to that promised winners’ ride in an Imperial Walker, as that will be the first step to their escape plan. But what happens when only two of the three win (thank you no thank you Jerk Cadet)? Time to improvise. First have Chopper plant a couple detanators on another AT-ST as a distraction, then have Jai hit their AT-ST driver with a blaster set to stun, and all you need now is Ezra to get back in the mix! Oh, and shoot down anything in your way. Also stunning Jerk Cadet was a necessity; what is wrong with that guy? Yeahh but I digress who wouldn’t love to drive one of those puppies? Hehe I know I do! Of course no one called for the blast doors to come down and knock the walker over. But that’s what friends are for, and by friends I mean a sharpshooting Lasat, blaster-wielding Mando, and taser-crazy droid. And together, they’re able to save Ezra and his friends. Yus, for a bunch of guys who don’t value friendship too highly, they just got whupped by it 😀 Anyway, with the Imperials closely behind, Zare makes the decision to stay, to help Ezra and Jai make their escape, and to continue in his mission to find his sister. Brave man, that Cadet Leonis. And boy oh boy will he have to be brave as The Inquisitor decides to have a talk with him… and who that Jedi friend of his is. Be brave, Zare! Now I must go and read your book series right now!
But back onboard the Ghost, life continues as always, and it’s safe to say that Ezra’s glad to be back with his supportive family of Rebels. Life there may be crazy, but nothing beats being surrounded by real friends who you can always trust 🙂
So yay for teamwork! And friendship! And giant explosions! This episode was a lot of fun and quite the exciting adventure as we continue to get to know Ezra and the gang a little better each day. So same time next week, Cadets!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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