The Celebration Orlando 2017 Post!

First of all, I apologize for not having finished my SWR season recap post this past week like I said I would. Stuff came up. But right now, the biggest, most important thing to talk about is CELEBRATION! A time of year I look forward to as much as Christmas and my own birthday! There’s so much awesome stuff to talk about, so I’ll update this with every exciting panel I see so I can share my fangirling with all of you!
NOTE: There will be spoilers depending on the panel I’m discussing.

40 YEARS OF STAR WARS
They kicked this thing off with a bang that would rival the destruction of the two Death Stars and Starkiller base combined! Every time I turned around they brought out a guest worth screaming about! To see the master himself, George Lucas, there… oh my gosh I screamed so loud. And then followed that up each time afterward. This was a hugely special panel for so many reasons. One for me was that, I honestly haven’t watched many of the bonus features (don’t always have the time sigh), and I hadn’t seen a number of the actors and filmmakers interviewed before this. It was a marvelous first time! I’m not gonna lie I cried a lot too. That opening video hit me like a boulder-dozer of feels! And oh that dedication to Carrie Fisher… and then the awe-inspiring surprise John Williams performance! Every minute was precious and stunning and wonderful I absolutely can’t! I can only imagine where Celebration goes from here!

Assorted Fangirl Musings
– Ian McDiarmid always looks so young to me. He’s just amazing.
– Hayden Christiansen still is so much Anakin it’s incredible. I’ve missed seeing his face around here something awful!
– On that note, I was so glad to hear briefly from Qui-Gon and Mace! Er… Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson, I mean. To know they still remember and value their time spent in the films and appreciate the fans is utterly heart-warming.
– Also, something about the image of a darksider Jar Jar Binks is actually really epic.
– Hearing the stories of how George and the original cast met was an absolute treat in every way possible.
– Mark Hamill’s original audition video is incredible. HIS ACTING, YOU GUYS. IT’S SUBLIME. EVEN WAY BACK WHEN ON AN AUDITION TAPE.
– Somehow I’d forgotten how tall Peter Mayhew was and now I doubt I’ll ever forget.
– I adore Anthony Daniels. I know that’s a no-brainer but, again, seeing these actors outside of the films and hearing them tell their stories of making them… it’s… words can barely describe.
– Also first time seeing Billy Dee Williams interviewed I think ever. He’s still the smoothest! 😀
– When the Harrison Ford showed up… I think everything in me exploded. I had no idea he’d never been to a Celebration prior, so that made it all the more special.
– His seamless Indiana Jones drop cracked me up. HE IS SUCH A DELIGHT OMG!
– Safe to say Carrie’s daughter has one of the best dresses ever. Her speech was beautiful.
– Like I said before, the dedication video was so moving and so special… when they started showing all the little girls in Leia costumes I think I really started weeping. In a good way though.
– And again, a standing ovation almost doesn’t seem good enough for John Williams. If I could fly or hover and applaud, I would. Same for the spectacular work done by the orchestra! Like wow! Made me want to go and buy all the soundtracks I haven’t yet bought right now.
– I clapped ’til my hands were numb, man. But that’s normal 🙂

SIDESTORY: FORCES OF DESTINY ANNOUNCEMENT
Just read the article on the new Forces Of Destiny microseries and product line and I’m excited. New animated shorts starring the bossladies of the Star Wars galaxy! How great is that?! I love the character designs and style, and since they’re all canon, it’s useless to resist! It’s really nice seeing them trying a line specifically aimed at girls. Star Wars has never been short on awesome female characters, and certainly never short on female fans (such as myself), and it’s not that it was a need, by any means (I’m always going to be mainly a 3.75 collector myself), but just imagine how many young girls might be further drawn into the saga on part of these new stories and merch? These princesses, Jedi, and rebels are about to draw in a whole new generation to the fangirl side of the Force, and that’s something to get excited about! 😀

DAVE FILONI: ANIMATED ORIGINS AND UNEXPECTED FATES
You know me, I could never turn down an opportunity to hang with Dave and Pablo! I absolutely loved digging into the origins of so many great characters and stories that we’ve seen told this last near-decade. I’m gonna be honest I was only able to watch this via livestream and was disgusted I couldn’t see the beautiful art and storyreel footage. But even so, it was nothing short of a fantastic panel with two of my favorite filmmakers. Bro I could listen to their stories for days. And naturally, this all got me really hyped for what we’re going to see Saturday…

Assorted Fangirl Musings
– Those Clones and Rebel cosplayers that came up early on? They were astounding. The Hondo was so perfect it was like he was real. The young Rex and S3 Ezra were perfect too. Like wow man. Much applause.
– I love that Ahsoka was almost Ashla! Who’da thunk? Just a neat little connection.
– I’m ecstatic to hear Wolffe and Gregor might be back! Also the Nine Old Men thing warmed my little heart. I would’ve loved to have seen that :3
– These stories are literally so amazing. We almost had Savage and Satine in Rebels! I understand why they didn’t go that route ultimately, but wow what an image! I’ll never watch the opening of Twin Suns again without seeing that in my mind’s eye.
– I about cried at my inability to see the images everyone was fangasming over tho…
– Hehe everyone going Kanera-crazy cracked me up. But also yeah that sounds like an utterly beautiful scene. The idea Kanan, Hera, and Zeb were all processing the kids growing up and leaving home… such family feels!
– Though I couldn’t see the Bane-Boba showdown, it sounded beyond epic. Corey Burton and Daniel Logan are just incredible, and the whole prospect just made me ravenous for more on their characters’ stories.
– ALSOOO the fact that Durge almost made it into TCW is epic. I almost forgot to mention that.

IAN MCDIARMID: TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE
So Mr. McDiarmid was wonderful, that’s an understatement. Again, I haven’t seen a lot of interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff with him, so everything about this was a fantastic new experience. Definitely gained a lot lot more respect for the Senator/Chancellor/Emperor/Darth and Ian’s stellar acting skills. Watching the scene between Anakin and Palpatine at the opera (or as I nicknamed it, the fish ballet) again left me kind of breathless at the perfection of his performance (and Hayden’s too!). Also have to say I love listening to Ian not only because of the fascinating stories he was telling, but also because his voice is amazing. So smooth and so well-spoken and articulate! Which is why it was spectacular and spine-chilling to hear him do that Emperor laugh! An absolute blast of a panel all around! It’s tempting to drop everything right now and watch Episode III again, but the day’s not over…!

RAY PARK: PREPARE TO BE MAULED
Once again, Ray Park proves to be one of the greatest human beings to ever live. His stunts and sweet moves never fail to leave me in awe, and he’s every bit as much a nice guy as Maul is a bad guy 😀 He and Warwick made this panel nothing short of an absolute blast. I loved hearing his stories from working on set (and making lightsaber noises with Mr. Neeson and Mr. McGregor!), watching him performing stunts like an absolute blazing tornado of energy, teaching lightsaber techniques to the fans… oh and I smiled so hard when he mentioned he was a huge Toy Story fan! He’s seriously just so so great. After seeing him at last year’s Celebration I’ve learned his panels are ones you should never miss.

THE LAST JEDI
OMG THIS PANEL WAS EVERYTHING AND MORE. Josh Gad was a brilliant host, Rian Johnson clearly’s a brilliant director, and there’s so so much to get hyped about! And that TEASER! It left me reeling in the best way. It’s a long way to Alderaan, and by “Alderaan” I mean December, but this helped just the slightest bit with the wait 🙂 Allow me to elaborate further in my assorted fangirl musings:

Assorted Fangirl Musings
– Josh Gad is just like us and I love that.
– Like say, so much love for Mr. Johnson, and Ms. Kennedy too!
– OK so y’know I didn’t get to see The Force Awakens panel two years ago, so this is some of the first BTS stuff I’ve seen with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. And now I love them more than ever, and I didn’t think it was possible for me to love them more!
– I’m amazed Daisy could keep a straight face with Josh asking her questions like that. Nahhh Rey’s parents are probably just an average Joe and Jane, right…? XP
– John is promising more Finn and Poe adventures! Sounds good to me! *Imagines Finn and Poe in “The Boys Are Back” number in High School Musical 3* XD
– BB-8 IS HERE AND HE’S REAL! OK I already knew that they’ve got a functioning BB out there, but just seeing him here… it’s incredible. I’m amazed he was not utterly mobbed by hugging fans! I loved watching him get snippy with Josh. That was just perfect!
– Kelly Marie Tran is just a delight you guys. I absolutely can’t wait to meet Rose now!
– MARK HAMILL AGAIN! He’s still so fantastic and his stories are some of the best ever. Hearing him talk about visiting kids in hospitals and making a difference for them made me tear up.
– WOW THAT POSTER! It’s so dynamic and kind of retro and full of fantastic symbolism! I could look at it forever.
– AND THE TEASER. “Breathe… just breathe” NO I CAN’T BREATHE, LUKE!! THIS IS TOO AMAZING!!
– I won’t elaborate on it too long (I’ll save that analyzing for the next trailer), but a few pressing things on my mind…
– A) Luke and Rey seem to be all #MasterAndApprenticeGoals even if Daisy hinted her first meeting with Master Skywalker will be a little… different…
– B) Meanwhile, Poe and BB-8 are all #FriendshipGoals
– C) EVERYTHANG IS SO BEAUTIFUL OMGOODNESSGRACIOUS!
– D) Huh I thought Kylo lost that lightsaber in the fight on Starkiller Base. Did he have to build a new one (which must be hard since it’s a pretty ancient model) or did he just have an extra in his sock drawer?
– E) Biggest thing of all: “It’s time for the Jedi… to end…” WHAT.
– WAHT.
– WHAT DOES IT MEAN….?!
– Is he talking about the Jedi as a group needing to end, so they can be something different, something more? Or is he just kinda blue and done with the Force right now? I’m going with the first option for now, but you can bet this line will consume me from the inside out until one December weekend…
AHHHHHH I LOVE STAR WARS SO MUCHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

HEROINES OF STAR WARS
So having Ahsoka, Sabine, and Rey in the same room was amazing, and with Dave, too! They kicked off the panel with the best video montage of the many many bossladies in the Star Wars galaxy and made me cry a little just with that. It was really cool just hearing their stories as well as their perspective on the depiction of strong female characters. I could honestly go on a while on the topic myself, but for now I’ll just say once again that I’m super pumped for Forces Of Destiny and for all the bossladyness that awaits us in the future of SW (like Rose!). Also two other notes: a) I seriously love the FoD Ahsoka doll and I might have to get that even though my main collecting focus is on the 3.75s. And then b) I cracked up at the original game plan for Out Of Darkness with Hera and Sabine talking about the boys XD Pff that would’ve been kinda terrible if we’d missed out on the emotional journey that episode centered around. Not that I’m adverse to future conversations tho… *COUGHKaneraCOUGHSabezraCOUGH* But yeah! Who runs the galaxy? Star Wars girls! They’re the reason I started throwing around the term “bosslady”! 🙂

MARK HAMILL’S TRIBUTE TO CARRIE FISHER
I’m not sure I can say anything that hasn’t already been said… it was equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming. Mark is so so good, so articulate, and poured out his heart so well on this. Like say, prior to this, I haven’t taken the time to watch the featurettes and interviews that would help me know the amazing people behind these characters more, and the time spent listening to Mr. Hamill, Mr. Davis, and old interview pieces from Carrie… they were really something special. I’d always sort of known that Carrie was a firecracker, but I had no idea just how much until now. You know, as I write this, I was listening to my TCW soundtrack and the track I ended up on right now was #11, “Death Of A Master”. It obviously wasn’t written for her, but this gripping, powerful piece of music really suits my emotional state. And she was a master, you know? Not of the Force, but of brilliant acting and a stellar sense of humor. She’s a princess, a senator, a general, and also an absolute master. That’s all I got man the feels are really feelsy right now…

STAR WARS REBELS
OK WOW. I HAVE NO WORDS. WHICH IS REALLY BAD SINCE I’M WRITING A BLOG. I’M UTTERLY SOBBING AND CAN’T STOP APPLAUDING YOU GUYS.
It breaks my heart kinda to know this will be the last season, but I have complete confidence they’ll end it right. And whatever they have in store next will be fantastic. I didn’t need the trailer for proof, but it certainly was great to see regardless. Yeah this won’t make it hard for me to focus on that Season 3 recap post later! 😛 I adored seeing all the cast and Filoni together again, and knowing we’re coming up on the end makes it all the more a precious moment. They’re a beautiful family… both the Ghost crew and the people behind them.

Assorted Fangirl Musings
– Dave talking about Obi-Wan and Maul gave me such feels again.
– Freddie Prinze Jr. utterly killed it in his thoughts on Kanan and Ezra. So brilliantly said!
– “Hot Kallus”?? That was a thing?! Pfff that cracked me up. He’s always been a pretty good-lookin’ dude! why’s the internet just noticing now? XD He’s looking even better than ever in the trailer, though, and I can’t wait to see him full-on Rebellin’! Also I hope we get an entire episode dedicated to watching Ezra, Zeb, and Kallus play video games like the bros they are jk.
– Also you guys how great is it that Warwick Davis is gonna be in this season?! The guy’s such a marvelous talent and a has a fantastic voice, I’m so so glad he’s getting in animated Star Wars already! And playing such a delightfully creepy character to boot!
– More Mandos yaaaaaas!
– Speaking of, that girl cosplaying as Ursa Wren was amazing. I mean… that episode came out only a few months ago! How did she do it??
– Also mad props to the Gregor cosplay, too. I love seeing people who don’t just want to don the armor suits, but become that character even without the helmet on 🙂
– Like say that trailer… on the second viewing I buried my hands in my face and wept. Vanessa Marshall’s narration… my gosh. It sets the stage so perfectly and just overwhelms me with emotions and nostalgia.
– Glad to know that we’re going to see the giant wolves I spotted in the artwork on An Inside Man.
– OK it’s so tempting right now to do a complete recap of the trailer but I don’t think I’ve got the right words to say yet. I will say a few words tho:
– A) WOW WE’RE BACK ON LOTHAL YES! I’ve been all giddy about seeing Yavin but so much of the action we’ve seen is on the world where it all began. NO I’M NOT CRYING YOU ARE.
– B) KANERA. THAT IS ALL. I GOT IT OUT OF MY SYSTEM. NO I HAVEN’T I’M CRYING HARDER NOW.
– C) Sorry I shouldn’t be writing every thought in all caps, but WAIT WAIT WAIT IS THAT BO-KATAN OR AM I COMPLETELY MISTAKEN?
– D) Final note I CAN’T WAIT FOR EVERYTHING OMG.

SMUGGLER’S REVENGE
This was definitely one of the most anticipated panels for me. I didn’t see (or hear, rather) the first one, but I adored the second one, so I was absolutely hyped to experience another one of Kyle Newman’s glorious Star Wars audio stories! The writing is stellar and so perfectly Star Wars, the acting beyond sublime, the sounds well-timed, and oh my gosh Han and Leia banter for days! It’s funny, I kept trying to close my eyes and just listen to the performance, but David Collins and Catherine Taber were so fun to watch as well as listen to! The acting is just so wow in all ways. Everyone just did so so incredibly. David is a perfect Han, and I had no idea Tom Kane was such a masterful C-3PO! I highly look forward to whatever Mr. Newman might be planning in the future! Final thought: MATTHEW WOOD’S WILLHEM SCREAM WAS THE BEST XD

Honestly you guys there are just too many amazing things to mention, it was just an incredibly bountifully joyful weekend of Star Wars. The fandom feels are running through me like electricity right now! It’s an absolute rush! I know I’ll be counting the days ’til next year 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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TIM Recap: Sixteen Strikes Back & Duel Of The Eights

And the battle for this year’s coolest character rages on! Things are definitely getting interesting as we start coming down to the wire on this one. It’s time once again to analyze the how and why behind my picks, an especially interesting area since I stink at picking favorites! So let’s begin as we look into the next two rounds in Sixteen Strikes Back and Duel Of The Eights! And remember, these guys are really all my favorites, so if our choices differ, it doesn’t mean I love the other character any less 🙂
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, the TCW episode Shades Of Reason, and the Rebels episode Call To Action

DAY NINE: R2-D2 VS. LEIA/TARKIN VS. GRIEVOUS

The voting’s always hardest during the first round, but by the second round it gets a bit easier. Though Artoo has beat out Leia every year they’ve gone up against each other, it’s still a pretty difficult decision. Aside from the fact I can’t look at that little droid and not want to hug his dome off, otherwise making him one of those characters I can’t vote against, Artoo stood his ground and made certain to deliver that message to Obi-Wan that kicked off the whole thing. And may we mention how many times he’s saved Leia’s parents on top of all the things he did to help save her and her comrades now? Leia’s an incredibly epic hero in her own right, but R2-D2’s no stranger to the hero game himself, and he just wins at it. So that’s my lame excuse that helped me slim down my answer. It’s nothing personal Leia… Artoo gets voted over a lot of characters.
The bad guys bracket was definitely an interesting run. One’s a quiet evil and the other’s a blatant evil. How do you pick when either way you wouldn’t want to cross them? It took great lengths to bring both dudes down (two words: serious firepower), and both knew how intimidate others, command battles, throw around deadly weaponry, and snuff out lights in terrifying (but awesome) ways. But somehow… the way the Governor does what he does makes him stand out a bit from the General. Plus, there’s something to be said for his classy way of smacktalking his minions and enemies… Grievous had a habit of just yelling when words failed him, while Tarkin’s words never failed him. Ah well, good on ya Tarkin for showing that brain can out-cool brawn!

DAY TEN: OBI-WAN VS. YODA/BOBA VS. JANGO

I don’t know how he’s doing it but Obi-Wan just beat Yoda again! I’m glad I’m not the only one who wants to give this “old desert rat who was once a leader in galactic wars” some love! You could still justify a vote for Yoda by the fact that Yoda trained Obi-Wan, but yeah Obi-Wan did still convince Yoda to train Luke so that’s a lotta win. Eh it’s a tough vote sometimes, but Master Kenobi’s just an awesome one… and again, virtually impossible for me to vote against. He won once, it will be interesting to see if he wins again.
And yes one of the most difficult votes of all! Picking the greater of two Fetts! They’re both so awesome and at the same time still didn’t see the lightsaber or the sarlacc coming. They are the two founding Mandos and a good majority of the reason we love Mandos as much as we do! But voting for Boba wasn’t hard ultimately… we know more of his story and see more of his doings in the SW stories (though it will be interesting to see if future canonical SW literature regarding both Fetts will tip the scale in any way, if I might find myself liking Jango more or liking Boba more), and plus… well, you know. Boba is definitely one of those bad guys who’s hard to vote against.

DAY ELEVEN: HAN VS. CHEWBACCA/VADER VS. MAUL
TIM Han & Vader
Another really really hard vote that seems easy at first but still feels hard. Choosing between Han and Chewie’s like choosing between two sides of the same Twix bar: they’re both amazing and two of my fave guys in the SW universe, how can you choose between two halves of one awesome team?! Buuuuuuut Han… darn it his wit and sarc and charm and awesome is hard to beat! So he has this habit of winning a lot. If I’m not able to blog next week you’ll know it’s because Chewie ripped my arms off. If so, sorry in advance!
As for the Darths, that vote was easy. Admittedly, Maul has a lot in vein of the coolness factor. Double-bladed lightsaber, and pretty epic with a single-blade later on, amazingly epic fightin’ moves, the whole Dathomir thing going on… but Vader’s just so quintessentially awesome! Maul might be frighteningly unpredictable, but Vader is just surrounded by an aura of bad guy coolness! I’ve voted for Maul over Vader before on account that he’s not so easily redeemed, but I decided to give it to the slightly cooler of the two this time.

DAY TWELVE: JAR JAR VS. REX/JABBA VS. VIZSLA

OK so again, I wasn’t going to give it to Jar Jar just because I figured he wouldn’t be most folks’ first choice, even though he’s awesome. True, he technically outranks Captain Rex, but I recently rewatched the Umbara storyarc and my heart just about broke for him and his bros so I just had to give it to him. Yes this is why I wouldn’t be a good Jedi because my emotions do often cloud my judgement. But you go watch those episodes again and see if you can vote against him next round! Oh wait… he went up against Han… who I can’t vote against… never mind Han won that. I’M SORREH REX!!
It’s funny how things work with Pre Vizsla… on the first round, I typically vote against him, but usually he moves up anyway and I end up voting for him in the second round. Honestly I’m not sure how he lost to Jabba, considering he’s a Mandalorian for crying out loud! But Jabba happens to be a fan favorite to even those who consistently watch animated SW, so the Hutt had an advantage, even though I still think Pre’s got a tad more drive. Admittedly he didn’t probably live as long either but eh it’s hard to pick sometimes with bad guys. But as far as who’s the badder, I admit that Jabba does have it a little more since he just feeds people to rancors for fun. So the question is what’s worse… having a lot of attitude and carrying a darksaber or having a lot of attitude and throwing folks to the rancors? I think it might be a draw, really.

DAY THIRTEEN: OBI-WAN VS. R2-D2/TARKIN VS. BOBA
TIM Obi-Wan & Boba Fett
The Duel Of The Eights started with some tricky decisions. The SW Universe leaves us with many questions that may never be answered… what do all the Mortis episodes mean? Where is Yoda’s homeworld? And why is it Obi-Wan trumps Artoo in the battle of characters that I can’t vote against?! If we’re keeping score, Artoo did technically save Obi-Wan’s life first back in Episode I, and technically Obi-Wan has made a few “loose wire” jokes about this obviously amazing droid, so scientifically I should’ve gone with R2-D2, but le sigh I couldn’t go against Master Kenobi. Also it didn’t help I also recently rewatched the whole slave trade debacle in TCW again and I hurt for all the blows he took in the course of those episodes so once again I had to give it to him. Psh I’m such a softie.
Now choosing between Tarkin and Boba was really really hard. Because obviously in the battle of who’s nastier, Tarkin’s totally got this. Just go and unbiasedly watch Episode V and the Rebels episode Call To Action and see for yourself. But ugh I literally was blinded by Fett’s complete coolness and caved in and voted for him. HE’S JUST THAT COOL PEOPLE.

DAY FOURTEEN: HAN VS. REX/VADER VS. JABBA

Yup as I just said a couple paragraphs ago I couldn’t vote against Han. Ugh next year I’m totally going to do a scientific study on characters before I vote for them, but I betcha I’ll still go and vote for guys like Han again. But c’mon you guys you know he’s awesome! And hey Watto challenged us to vote on account to whether we’re more rule-followers or rule-breakers. I’m more of the first one but again, Han! He’s virtually impossible to vote against and you and I both know it! And frankly, Vader vs. Jabba was pretty much a clean sweep. Sorry but Jabba doesn’t have a cool helmet and that’s obviously the only deciding factor in this! jk not really. Still though… Vader can’t help but win 🙂

So who will make it to the championship round? Who will bring home the win this year? We the Star Wars fans are the ones who will decide as such and I can’t wait to share the end results with you next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

TIM Recap: Rule Of Thirty-Two

It’s that time of year again, friends…. the This Is Madness Star Wars Character Tournament is in full swing! It’s a lot of fun to participate in something of this sort since basketball’s not in my wheelhouse, but it’s not without difficulty. I mean, picking favorites is not one of my strong suits, especially when I love all the SW characters! Last year I chronicled all my votes on tumblr, but for this year, I’ve decided to recap all of my votes here, since some of my explanations can get pretty wordy 🙂 So without further ado, my votes for the Rule Of 32! And remember, I love all these guys equally, really, so if you don’t agree with my vote, just remember we’re really on the same page still.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode VI, TCW episodes The Mandalore Plot, Sphere Of Influence, Nightsisters, Wookiee Hunt, Brothers, Revival, the “D-Squad” story arc, Shades Of Reason, The Lawless, Voices, Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, Idiot’s Array, and Fire Across The Galaxy.

DAY ONE: HERA VS. LEIA/INQUISITOR VS. GRIEVOUS.

I was super-excited for TIM this year because this year the Rebels would get to join in! But I guess I never thought as to what it’d be like to have to choose between amazing heroes from the SW films and these new amazing heroes from Rebels. Usually, my method is to choose the hero based on their amount of impact on the SW Galaxy or on the other character. But dang… it’s a lot harder than it looks!
For Rebels, I ended up choosing Leia. In all technicality, Hera’s probably made a teensy bit more impact, as she’s technically Leia’s boss in this situation. But man… I just couldn’t go up against “her worship”! I suppose a lot of it’s because we’ve seen how awesome Leia commands her fellow Rebels through some of the biggest events in SW history. And she’s Anakin and Padme’s daughter and Luke’s sister so that also gave her a bit of a leg up. Leia won, which doesn’t surprise me, and I bet Hera’s proud of her 🙂
For Bad Guys, I ended up giving the vote to The ‘Quiz here. I was a little surprised in some ways that Grievous won. My method for Dark Side votes usually is on account of who’s the badder, but in a way it just seems like I’m oftentimes picking the “cooler” of the two. Now yeah there’s no doubt Grievous is a lean, mean, lightsaber-slashing machine, and I’ve certainly voted for him a good bit in the past two tournaments. Considering how absolutely in-your-face nasty the General is, you’d think he’dve had my vote. But The Inquisitor… he’s got class! He’s just as menacing, even without two less ‘sabers on hand, and he does it all with this seriously chilling flair! I think there’s something to be said for the way he does things as versus Grievous… a quiet evil that isn’t always so quietly evil. Ah well, somehow that came out an underdog vote, but no hard feelings to the General.

DAY TWO: QUI-GON VS. YODA/JANGO VS. GREEDO
TIM Picks: Qui-Gon & Jango Fett
So obviously I’m a terrible human being because every year without fail I keep voting against Yoda on the first round. It’s not that I don’t love Yoda, guys, it’s just they keep pitting him against Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan and I can’t vote against them somehow! It’s useless to resist! But hey, let’s give Qui-Gon some credit here, I mean, he did totally uncover the Force-spirit stuff before Yoda did! So if Yoda shows up in the Sequel Trilogy (and the fact he already did show up in Episode VI), he’s got no one to thank but Master Jinn, the rebel Jedi 🙂 If more people used my methods to vote he might win one of these, but ah well. Maybe next year?
For Bounty Hunters… it’s almost unfair to pit Greedo against a Mando! Even if that Mando doesn’t do too well ultimately! But yeah, even knowing some of Greedo’s adventures prior to Episode IV in The Clone Wars, this guy still doesn’t really hold a candle to Jango in terms of badness, and in some ways coolness (ahh don’t hurt me Greedo fans!! *ducks under desk*). I’d really like to see some of these guys more equally matched in years to come. Perhaps Jango versus Pre Vizsla? That’d be interesting…

DAY THREE: HAN VS. LANDO/MAUL VS. PALPATINE
TIM Picks: Han & Maul
Another year, another win for Captain Solo! I keep feeling bad for Lando and thinking “maybe next year”, but it never happens! Ugh Han’s just one of those characters I can’t vote against! He’s just so amazing! He’s one of the most epic of epic heroes! Here’s a tip, Lando… if you want my vote next year, send me a puffer pig and complement my art. You’ll have it in the bag for sure then 🙂
As for the Sith… yeah another vote for coolness over badness, because dude in the game of evil Darth Sidious here always wins! Even then, Maul’s still quite the terrifying, absolutely nasty guy. He started out so quietly evil and then blossomed into a revenge-seeking, robot-legged crazy man. You could almost say he’s at equals with Sidious, but well… the Emperor did completely pwn him. But not in this battle, no sir! Sorry Sidious but he’s still cooler than you 😛 *Gets hit by Force lightning*

DAY FOUR: REX VS. GREGOR/HONDO VS. VIZSLA

You’re probably thinking I have something against Captain Rex since I seem to vote for every other clone over him. But look, Rex is easily everyone’s favorite clone, and I feel like these other brothas deserve some love, too. Gregor was so brave! He put aside his dead-end job on an even more so dead-end planet to save Colonel Gascon and the droids! He gave up his life to help them succeed in their mission! If that isn’t brave, I don’t know what is. C’mon won’t anyone else give him some love? Yes I know Rex is great and I’ll always love him but there’s no “I” in “The 501st”! (Unless, of course, you spell it out but not the point)
And yeah another underdog vote went to Hondo Ohnaka, and it definitely was on account of who’s the better person. Hondo’s a pretty decent fellow, despite he’s a pirate and may or may not cause you trouble depending on who’s paying him more. But darn it I love pirates! And his sense of wit! And really everything else about him! Pre Vizsla can’t help but be cool, of course, since he’s a Mando, but I’m often surprised he has as many friends as he does… ’cause he sure packs a lot of attitude! That moment in The Mandalore Plot when he throws the word “failure” at his fellow soldier and shoots him without even looking always stands out to me. He is one bad dude, for sure. So bad that I really couldn’t not give it to Hondo. And may I also mention that Hondo took on Darth Maul and lived? Can’t really say that for Pre, now can we?

DAY FIVE: R2-D2 VS. SABINE/TARKIN VS. PIETT
TIM Picks: R2-D2 & Tarkin
This was one of the hardest votes for me. Not the Tarkin vs. Piett thing, that was way too easy, considering I have trouble remembering Piett’s name half the time and how terrifying Tarkin truly is. But man… choosing between Artoo and Sabine was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Because Sabine is just so awesome, and you know how I’ve used the excuse to vote for Qui-Gon because he’s my SW Myers-Briggs twin? Sabine is technically now my Rebels twin! So a part of me still wonders if I should’ve given her the vote. But that little droid’s done a lot in life! He’s been around since day one and will continue even into the new trilogy! And he even played his part in Rebels, giving Sabine the suggestion to overload those blasters as a weapon! It was mostly that last bit that got me to vote for Artoo. That, and he’s just so stinkin’ adorable! Ladies and gentlemen, another character I can’t vote against, R2-D2!

DAY SIX: AHSOKA VS. OBI-WAN/BOBA VS. VENTRESS
TIM Picks: Obi-Wan & Ventress
Boy this was a hard one on both sides. I mean, obviously I knew from the get-go I’d probably end up giving Master Kenobi the vote, since I can’t humanly vote against him. But it hasn’t been long since Ahsoka waltzed back into the SW Universe and made me love her even more! So I had to rationalize it on the account that Obi-Wan trained Anakin who trained Ahsoka. It’s not so much on a level of who made the greater impact, because Ahsoka heading up the Rebel Alliance and Obi-Wan getting Luke involved with the Rebels to start with are both extremely important. But eh that’s how it goes in the TIM tournament! Next year will be your year, Ahsoka… next year!
Now as for the bounty hunters out here… this one was incredibly hard. Because Boba’s a shoo-in, right? He’s everyone’s favorite bounty hunter! (Except for the Dengar minority) And every year I’ve voted for him, because of course he’s just that cool and just that awesome. But Ventress… ugh she’s really really grown on me these past few years. She was already a super-cool Sith-y sort, but then she went and became a bounty hunter and has proved to actually have a heart. And darn it if there’s one thing I can’t vote against, it’s a scoundrel who’s not so scoundrel-y after all! And my inability to vote against her will increase once I read Dark Disciple. So yeah I am sorry, fellow Fett fans, I have let you down. But at least he won the vote and will likely get my vote in the next round!

DAY SEVEN: CHEWBACCA VS. ZEB/VADER VS. DOOKU
TIM Picks: Chewbacca & Darth Vader
OK you know what’s just as hard as choosing between Sabine and Artoo? It’s choosing between Zeb and Chewie. I never would’ve expected it’d be this hard to pick between movie characters and Rebels characters! I mean, they’re both epic and all kinds of awesome and know how to handle bucketheads, but how do you choose between them?? HOW I SAY?! Well, if they could’ve arm-wrestled it might’ve helped me pick, but honestly I have no clue how that’d go down. If perhaps Chewbacca had been among the Wookiees Zeb helped rescue I might’ve given it to our favorite Honor Guard. But then it occurred to me that Chewie helped save Ahsoka, who in turn grew up and played a major part in the Rebellion that Zeb is currently a big part of himself. So there Chewbacca wins! Zeb wasn’t too happy about that, but he went and thrashed a few ‘troopers and he feels better now.
As for the Sith… um… yeah, Darth Vader couldn’t not win. Dooku’s pretty nasty himself but seriously… against Vader? No contest. We’ve all seen Episode III, it doesn’t end well for the Count. And plus, Vader’s just awesome period.

DAY EIGHT: PADME VS. JAR JAR/JABBA VS. FORTUNA
TIM Picks: Padme & Jabba
Honestly, at first, I couldn’t believe they would actually put Jar Jar into the tournament. I mean, I love him, but I’m not sure I can say the same for the majority. And really, I wanted to vote for Padme, because she’s strong, clever, smart, and fabulous, and because of the kinda big deal role she plays in the SW Galaxy as Luke and Leia’s mom. I wasn’t going to vote for Jar Jar just because I wasn’t sure anyone else would, that wouldn’t be fair. I have reasons when I vote for underdogs! But then… well, the sound you heard was the sound of all those who filled out brackets ahead of time crying. Jar Jar’s actually got the majority of the vote! Talk about an upset! So either he has a larger fanbase and less people hating on him now or else a bunch of people just wanted to throw off what everyone expected. But hey, I’m happy for ya Representative Binks! You go win this thang!! And again, in the battle of the baddies, Jabba always wins as versus his lackeys. Though it was nice to see Bib’s face in the ring this time around instead of Salacious Crumb 🙂

So there you have it guys, it’s been some awesome first round of This Is Madness, hasn’t it? I’ll keep you updated as each round continues!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Race For The Holocrons: A Closer Look

So while the Rebels took an off day this week, I figured it’s about time we get back to talking about all of the New Yoda Chronicles that’ve come out in the past year! Yeah these Lego specials just can’t help but be an absolute delight to watch. And even though I’m probably the only one to talk about them seriously, I’m glad people actually want to read these to begin with. So thank you for that. So let’s dive in and go deep in the second chapter of the first trilogy of TNYC, Race For The Holocrons!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Star Wars Droids, The Padawan Menace, The Empire Strikes Out, and Escape From The Jedi Temple, and TCW episode Wookiee Hunt.

So since we last left our heroes, Yoda and Obi-Wan decided that it’s about time Luke started his holocron training. Luke doesn’t even really know what holocrons are, but he knows he’s gotta go find them. Of course, problem: Vader and his boss want to find them, too, as they have the potential to reveal info valuable to the Empire. So Luke followed the Force to where they reside… Utapau? Well, he’s still figuring out the whole “Force” thing, so you can’t blame him from ending up planets away from where he was supposed to be. Besides, in regards to Tatooine, Ben had told him there was nothing left for him there! I guess he meant in regard to his everyday farm life, not literally. Let’s just cut Young Skywalker some slack here. So as would be expected, Luke and his crew hit a dead-end, as the head ‘pauan has no clue what a holocron is. But the ‘pauan doesn’t miss a beat and offers up some used Clone Wars-era starships to the gang. No clue how the Utapauans managed to keep these vehicles in such good shape, and how it is a bunch of ‘troopers never came over and reclaimed it. Sidious must’ve regarded it all as junk. Leia politely turns down the offer, and Luke, exasperated from his failed search, kicks a pebble over the old vehicles. But apparently there’s another brand of “vehicle” in the pile — BOGA? Or at least a critter the same species as Boga?? I always thought that that giant frilled lizard was one of the coolest creatures in the SW galaxy, and he was a good steed for Obi-Wan back in the day. But apparently… either Boga became feral after years of neglect, or this is an entirely different critter and their species is just naturally wild and unpredictable. Yup the big guy decides pretty quickly to give chase after Luke, Leia, and the droids. Luke whips out his lightsaber and at least partially wounds the fella, but new problem: they’ve run right off the landing platform with their ship. Le sigh, can this day get any better?
Meanwhile, Sidious reiterates his desire to get his grubby little Force-lighting-shocking hands on those ‘crons. Vader’s all “NBD, Master, just need to find that Luke Skywalker punk and he’ll lead me where I need to go!”. And it just so happens that Vader is onto Luke by chasing down the Millenium Falcon. Han and Chewie are enjoying their day about as much as Luke and Leia are right now. A well-planned pull of the brakes and blasters aimed at the TIE seem to have vanquished their foe. But that Darth is a tough cookie and somehow manages to claw his way onto the Falcon’s roof and into the hatch. Yeahhh having Darth Vader show up in your cockpit is probably every Rebel’s worst nightmare. And Vader has some fun and knocks the scoundrels around in the cockpit. But then Vader takes a look around at the ol’ ship and is like “Seriously? This piece of junk is what helped destroy my Death Star?”. Han’s brave and talks back, not without throwing the unfair “pleather pants” name back in Vader’s face. So naturally that gets a red lightsaber all up in Captain Solo’s grill, and he demands to know Luke’s whereabouts. And Han’s snarky response is a perfect transition to the next seen, as Luke is indeed “in a whole in the ground”. Hur hur.
So anyway, they were still falling… Luke was trying to get closer to his comrades and the ship, but you know, gravity isn’t always very cooperative. And then shows up Force Ghost Ben, giving Luke a heart attack for the second time this weekend! Master Kenobi’s about to tell Young Skywalker about the holocrons… but judging by the fact Luke’s falling and a giant green beast is right above them… Obi-Wan makes his message quick, and lets him know the stakes as Vader’s in on the secret too, and the boy needs to get to Tatooine ASAP. And then he ducks outta that mess pretty fast, leaving Luke with a hurried “may the Force be with you”. Knowing that time is of the essence, he’s not gonna sit around and fall for hours; Luke slams his lightsaber into the rock walls and uses the Force to form a giant rope with the debris. Not too shabby for a guy who couldn’t tell Tatooine from Utapau on the map! But just when they thought they’d gotten that lizard off their tails… yeah… he can climb. Luke’s able to Force-bend their rope and snap it like a rubber band, returning them to the landing platform. But Boga here is a fast little booger. So our gang darts for an old Separatist fighter. They would’ve gotten off the ground faster, but while Artoo has no problem trusting strange computers, he doesn’t like syncing into one. Considering all things, it was a Separatist ship, and Artoo knows those guys were nasty. Yus now we know the little droid’s got everything now that we’ve seen his sanitizer extension XD But they’re able to make it offworld without any reptilian hitchhikers, and so, it’s on to Tatooine!
Meanwhile, Vader’s still trying to get Han to spill, but thank goodness for the Corellian’s strong will. It’s only when Luke makes a quick call letting Han know where they’re going that there’s a problem. Yes I think Vader knows the difference between the Dune Sea and Naboo’s Dune Sea Hotel. ‘Cause duh on Naboo everything is soft. *Gets hit with tomato* Heyyy who threw that?! So yeah… anyway, Han and Chewie made a quick getaway into the escape pod. Problem was, this particular escape pod has a launch button outside of it. And Darth had no problem pressing it. #Facepalm
And thus, after having to start the thing a couple of times, Vader’s flying the Falcon off to Tatooine.
Elsewhere on Tatooine itself, the holocrons’ glow has attracted some attention from the locals. And the locals being the Jawas. They be all “UTTINI!” over the loot they’ve dug up. And so it appears the competition for these things has been upped from two to three…
So Luke and his comrades were having a pretty smooth flight at first… and then Wedge Antilles and a bunch of other Rebels mistook them for an Imperial ship (Um… guys, different war! Get your facts straight man!). Luke tried to touch base with Wedge and explain the situation, but they were firing at him, and well… Luke had to fire back. It looks like the other Rebs were OK though so that’s good. Yeesh this would be pretty tragic otherwise…
Ironically, the same thing’s happening to the other Skywalker. It must be so weird having your own TIEs aiming at you. I’m guessing Vader had a little “conversation” (aka Force choke) with the pilots involved afterward. Oh wait… disregard that last sentence; he expertly blew up all the TIEs, so that saves Vader time so he can Force choke other less-than-stellar Imperials! Ha yes, you really could say “there are heroes on both sides” in this situation!
And guess where Han and Chewie ended up? A nice little slimy mudhole called Dagobah! Captain Solo expertly navigates them to a cave for shelter… though yeah this is “THE” cave. They label it “Darkside Cave” here, but whatever you call it… the horrified screaming/roaring they make running out says that they didn’t have too much fun in there. Though one really has to wonder what it is each of them saw. Yikes this just got really deep… y’know I’m gonna do the right thing here and not think too much on this ’cause I don’t want to freak anybody out. But yeah, as soon as they ran out, there stood Yoda. And thus happened one of the happiest reunions ever! I love they still call each other “Yoyo” and “Ian”; ah those were the days, huh? Chewie’s all “Wait… you two know each other? What’d I miss?”. It’s OK, Chewbacca, it happened about the time you got caught in a Trandoshan hunting game with a bunch of Padawans.
Anyway, firsties on Tatooine would be Lord Vader! Who doesn’t watch his step and runs right into Dr. Ezavan and Pondo Baba. But Vader doesn’t bat an eyelash and lightsabers the good doctor’s arm off. I love his response “WHAT?! NOW EVERYONE HAS A LIGHTSABER?!”. Maybe they should consider stopping making such a big deal about people running into them. And maybe consider getting to know people before they judge whether they like them or not 🙂 Luke, Leia, and the droids arrive shortly after, also running into the duo. Thankfully this time, the wanted men make a run for it… right into a closed door. And Luke’s all “What did I do?”. Probably didn’t recognize Pondo Baba with his new arm.
Also, I’d just like to ask why Jar Jar thought it’d be a good idea to take his daughter out to the Mos Eisley Cantina for her birthday. It’s not exactly the most friendly place in the galaxy, and I didn’t think Jar Jar was much of a fan of this planet (“…the sun’s doin’ murder to meesa skin!”). It must be what she wanted, I do guess. But I’m not here to talk about Ex-Rep. Binks’ parenting, I’m here to talk about the race for the holocrons going down here as Vader walks into the Cantina. Also, love the rancor sipping an umbrella drink in the background! XD OK anyway, so Vader was about walk in and show ’em who’s boss, buuuuuuut the droid scanner went off on him. Seriously, does this guy dislike droids so much that he’ll risk locking people out? What happens if you had braces, or fillings, or a metal hip? What about the fact that Pondo Baba must’ve gotten a metal arm?? Duuuude c’mon. But Vader took it well, I think. Force-slammed him into the ceiling. The best part is watching all the happy droids flock in now that the ban’s been lifted; just watch that GOM droid get down! XD
So Luke was trusting his feelings again, using the Force to guide him as he walked through the Mos Eisley streets. And this time, it happened to lead him right to Watto’s place. It always wows me when you see characters meet up like this, even though Luke may never know that Watto was his dad’s former “employer”. But yeah, while Leia and the droids would rather’d leave, Luke’s got his eyes on a fabulous old podracer… the one his dad made, to be exact (seriously isn’t this crazy how it all connects??). Not having any cash on hand, Luke comes up with a different way to seal the deal… something called a Jedi mind trick. Watto’s like “Bro they don’t work on me, mkay?”. And you know, interesting thought here: wouldn’t it still have been fairly dangerous for Luke to have revealed himself a Jedi? Knowing Watto, he could’ve easily sold him out to the Empire to make a quick buck. Thankfully, it seems he doesn’t care too much. And Vader probably wouldn’tve trusted Watto to know that kind of intel anyway and would’ve ignored him. So when Watto’s not impressed with Luke’s mind trick, he gets Leia to join in, claiming she’s a Jedi as well. And boy I bet they were surprised when their mind trick actually worked. On Watto… and Threepio! Daaaaaaang the power of the Chosen One’s kids! And so with that, Luke got the podracer on loan and left Threepio as collateral, and they returned to their mission. And Threepio took the job as a sign-spinner. He’s pretty good for not having a lot of dexterity in those limbs!
And guess what Lord Vader was buying? Luke’s landspeeder! Definitely one of those weird moments as Luke zooms by Vader and they both realize they’re driving each other’s rides. Commence chase scene!
Back on Dagobah, Yoda popped some popcorn for his guests and chatted for a bit about the planet and about Luke. And then Yoda realized that Young Skywalker was in trouble! He sent Han and Chewbacca after him… in, naturally, Yoda’s little starship. Yeah if you thought it was bad when Obi-Wan, Yoda, and R2-D2 were crammed in there, it looks to be even worse for these two.
Yeah it was a normal Jawa shopping trip for Bib Fortuna. But he’s not able to look at those lovely glowy-blue blocks for long, ’cause along came Luke and Vader at full speed! The Jawas closed up shop and vamoosed back to their sandcrawler in about three seconds. Finally the guys came to a stop and decided this needed to be settled with lightsabers. But what they didn’t know, is that their being near that sandcrawler full of holocrons was empowering said ‘crons, like, a lot. Leia takes notice of this and tries to interrupt, but of course these Skywalker boys are a little busy. But yeah, don’t ask me how exactly they did that, but the holocrons actually power up so that the sandcrawler zooms on outta there! Man, those things are so useful… they store Jedi history, lists of Rebellion-centered planets, prove one’s Force-sensitivity, and are a great alternative to fossil fuels! No wonder there’s such a market for them. The ‘crawler goes so fast that it knocks the hoods off of the Jawas and reveals… humans. Normal humans in masks. Well, that explains a lot XD Hehe I love fourth-wall-breaking gags like that. So Vader and Luke, after trading respective vehicles, hit the gas pedal and the chase is back on! Isn’t it funny, in Phantom Menace and the first story arc of the Droids series, that both of these are racing vehicles, both used on desert planet raceways? Craaaazayyyy! And yeah as they’re driving, they’re dueling at the same time. Yeah I think there are rules about that in the Tatooine Drivers’ Manuals. Even so, it’s pretty epic! It reminds me of all the swordfighting on the cars in Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, but, dare I say, a lot more high-stakes.
Oh, Han and Chewie finally landed on Tatooine to help Luke… andddd Luke was long-gone. Just Leia and Artoo hanging out. So the four of them piled back on Yoda’s ship and rejoined the chase themselves.
And the chase goes from being more Crystal Skull to Raiders as the Skywalker boys start catching up to the speeding sandcrawler. Luke and Vader both climb up on top of the vehicle and duel a bit before Vader finally shoves the boy off. Of course, as Vader goes and swims in his holocron loot, he doesn’t realize that Luke’s pulling an “Indy” and is hanging on to the front of the ‘crawler! Luke finally climbs back in and faces down the Darth once more… but Vader has an ace up his dark sleeve; the sandcrawler’s heading through Mos Eisley, and he knows Luke won’t allow innocent lives to get caught in the crossfire. So Luke manages to pull the machine to a stop… just as Vader goes and nabs all the holocrons and makes a run for it. Though Darth didn’t get off entirely easy, as he did get his cape caught and had to cut the thing short before he could get to his shuttle. And Luke turned out to be OK in the midst of the sandcrawler wreckage. Threepio, who nearly got creamed by the vehicle to start with, recognizes the sacrifice Luke made in giving up the holocrons to save him and others. Aw Luke I’m so proud of ya! And Han and the gang finally showed up… and found they missed all the action. Figures.
Obi-Wan and Yoda are proud of Luke as well, but they are definitely aware that they’re in all kinds of trouble with the holocrons in Imperial possession. “…They were our last hope.” “No… there is another… thing… we could do… if we felt like it… or not.” XD And that “thing” happens to involve an old friend… JEK-14! Whose peaceful siesta on Naboo is about to get interrupted. Yessss I have lots of questions now as to why he’s on Naboo, and whether he was there in the first place back in the last chapter. But when your Force-enriched arm starts talkin’, it’s time for the now older JEK to get a move on. Twenty years of retirement is long enough, buddy…! Luke’s about to get some help from an unexpected source 🙂
So yay I can’t get enough of these Lego Star Wars tales! Where they’ll go next, only time will tell, but it’ll be great when we get there! Until next blog…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Uncovering The Lost Missions: The Disappeared Part 2

Hey friends! The wait is over — we’re about to get in deep on The Disappeared‘s second part! Aw man I’m so sorry it took me this long to get it out… just haven’t been too much in the blogging spirit lately, kinda… but whatever! I’m blogging now and ready to uncover the next of the Lost Missions!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from the Clone Wars Microseries, and the TCW episodes The Lawless, The Wrong Jedi, The Disappeared Part 1, The Disappeared Part 2

So as you know, Mace Windu and Jar Jar Binks have just gotten in knee-deep in a crazy cultist conspiracy, and on top of that, kinda have to save the awesome Queen Julia from these cultists before all darkness breaks loose across the galaxy. So yeah no pressure or whatevz. And yeah considering these bad guys are literally stealing the Force right out of their victims, the clock is ticking faster than our heroes want it to. As the two fly offworld to save the day, Mace starts figuring that they’re up against something way worse than just a bunch of masked wackos…
Meanwhiles, the cultists have arrived at their destination with the captive queen. And though everything should be going to plan, they’re a little worried as to the fact that their boss, this “Great Mother”, knows that they’ve got a Jedi on their tail. But the lead guy’s like “Psh whatever! There’s no way anyone’s going to ruin our epic plans! And the boss’ll deal with the Jedi either way!”. I don’t know about you, but I’m sure hoping they’re wrong. And off they walk, ready to get things set up for the final Force-removing finale. What they don’t know is that Mace and Jar Jar just arrived not too far away. The race is very much on.
So the second they landed, Representative Binks was pretty much ready to spring into action instantaneously, but Mace pulls on the brakes and takes a moment to use the Force to find the Queen. Yeahh Jar Jar wasn’t too much of a fan at the time, and for good reason, considering the state of the galaxy is in his hands… and the general fact that his ladylove is in an incredible amount of danger and stuff. But he’s more fond of it when Master Windu knows exactly where to look, and it’s officially off to the races! I seriously wish I had the patience this awesome Jedi had. Of course, I also wish I had a purple lightsaber but that’s not entirely likely to happen either… the closest thing I have to anyone in the room right now is Jar Jar’s penchant for sarcasm 😛
So anyway the twosome find themselves searching in the market square, and bummer that things don’t always go as smoothly as planned. Mace heads to the rooftops for a better view, and then Jar Jar spots the fiends in question and the damsel in distress, but happens to be swarmed by these short blue guys attempting to sell fruit. Jar Jar pushes through that crowd and runs, Mace sees the Gungan dash off and runs after him, Jar Jar manages to chase them through a lovely herd of those gangly camel-ish things (ugh forgive my not knowing their official name at the moment), gets through only to realize “oh hey! there’s a whole bunch of cultists out here — all with spears!”. Well, I guess there’s something to be said for Jar Jar’s determination! Not so much for his wise decision-making, but let’s be honest… most of us would’ve done the same in a similar situation. So Mace was trying to follow him but got a little swept up in the herd, he did his awesome thing of walking over the critters, and then there’s Representative Binks, running away from cultists like Indiana Jones running away from angry natives (only Dr. Jones came off a lot more in control of that situation; see Jar Jar’s panicked screaming). And Mace is all *facepalm* and starts fighting them off. Jar Jar, with a lot less to panic over at the moment, takes a bit of a shortcut, following two in-charge-looking baddies in hopes they might lead him to Julia. His hunch is right, of course again, the problem of “greater numbers” rears its ugly head when it happens to be a bunch of them hauling off the Queen, but again, thank you Mace for stepping in and giving those creeps someone to fight as Jar Jar returns to catching up with the cultists. Jar Jar manages to find them again, only to be yet again faced with ANOTHER PROBLEM! That problem being the fact these weirdos somehow got ahold of a laser cannon and have a lot of fun firing it in Binks’ direction. I mean, like, seriously, the dude’s laughing while he’s shooting. Who does that?! Most SW bad guys just point and shoot, or point and shoot and say something witty or give a sly smile, and maybe laugh a little but not a lot like this crazy guy. And on top of that, he just shoots everything that stands in between him and Jar Jar… a more high-quality Sith or bounty hunter would probably’ve just tried aiming from a different angle, though in his defense that was a pretty big cannon for a Bardottan his size. Ooookay now I’m getting off-point. Mace once again finds himself darting off to save the Gungan’s skin. Just as Jar Jar was about to make a heroic move, Mace steps in and K.O.s the guy at the gun’s controls. Ah well, it’s the thought that counts, Jar Jar 🙂 Oh BUT IT ONLY GETS WORSE! Then as Mace is about to catch up to the bad guys, THEY SIC TWO STINKIN’ GUNDARKS ON THEM! Dude, saving a Queen from a bunch of cultists shouldn’t be hard! OK maybe a little… but I’m kinda starting to feel bad for our heroes right now; it’s always something! Like how Master Windu pulled out his lightsaber but then Jar Jar accidentally rammed into him and knocked him over and one of the cultists’ buddies used his whip to snatch the weapon right out of his hands. And on top of that, the rest of the cultists get in their train-ish things and drove off into the far reaches of the desert and leave our heroes to fight with what they’ve got. Yeah, it’s always something… but thankfully, this is Mace Windu we’re talking about; the guy who destroyed super battle droids with his bare hands, so I think he’ll be OK. Though major kudos to Jar Jar for being awesome and fighting the cultists’ buddy and getting Mace’s lightsaber back… with his tongue. MAJOR. KUDOS. Of course I’m sure a small part of Master Windu’s a little grossed out by the fact he has Gungan saliva on his lightsaber but whatever; after that the Jedi makes quick work of those gundarks. And then Jar Jar clocks the buddy in the face awesomely. The guy makes it clear that this “Great Mother” don’t mess around and she’ll handle Mace the way only she do and Mace is like “Lol nope.” (except minus the “lol” part) and knocks him out for reals. But with the bad guys already long gone, our heroes mount a couple of steeds (a camel-y thing and another species I’ve seen before but can’t identify off-hand) and gallop off into the desert, continuing in their quest to save the queen!
So as for the bad guys, they’re back to setting up shop for getting the queen’s Force. Some of the dudes are all “You know, I’m kinda worried about that Jedi though…” and again their leader’s like “Don’t be, my visions tell me that he won’t do any damage to our plans!”. This had me a bit scared, as I really don’t want another rescue mission to fail or another awesome character lost (I’m still recuperating from the shock I got from The Lawless…), but thankfully, you know how this ends, and Mr. High-And-Mighty-Cultist Guy isn’t too good at predicting stuff as he might want to be.
Meanwhile, our heroes were galloping across the desert on the backs of their awesome beasts… and Jar Jar was making all these rather hilarious calls to his critter that get on Mace’s nerves quickly XD I swear that eyeroll/sigh combination says it all! Mace plays it cool though, just reminding Jar Jar to keep his focus where it belongs. His plan is simple; he takes out the bad guys, Jar Jar saves Julia, and we all go home heroes! Yeah I still can’t get over what a great team they make 🙂
Not far away, a ship docks near the bad guy’s hangout, and out of the ship walks an all-too-familiar black-streaked white face… this “Great Mother” is Mother Talzin! And just as creepy (but cool) as ever. The witch is pretty thrilled as to how things are going, after all, she’s the one who’ll be getting all this fresh-off-the-grill Force power! She knows that there’s a Jedi on their tail, but she don’t care. Yeesh this is getting all kinda scary! And not just because that freaky echo on her voice still gives me the shivers a bit. Anyway, the cultists set up this temple-thing and have Queen Julia tied up at just the right spot for de-Force-al, all they have to do now is wait on the lenses on their Force-removal-doohickey to align just so and boom! Mother gets herself a new pair of Force-y shoes! In the meantime, Talzin makes a bit of a cliche villain move and decides to do a bit of monologueing on her plan to, you know, make herself more powerful than Jedi or Sith alike and start a new order and junk. I mean, what else does she have to do right now? Savage is dead, Ventress is probably doing her own thing right now, and Maul? Eh, who knows where that guy is. Well, cliche or not she’s really good at monlogueing. Thankfully, Master Windu and Rep. Binks just arrived not too far away… but yeah they hardly begin to make the trek to the temple before they duo catches the eye of the bad guys’ stone guardians. And yeah these guardian guys are seriously cool… they’re like Transformers crossed with terra cotta warriors! What can I say? Serious coolness. Oh yeah, and they have blasters, which is seriously cool but also poses yet another problem for our good guys. With a little lightsaber-flinging and some dismembered-stone-guardian-blaster-shooting, the two make it out alive and continue in their race against time. Plus, now Jar Jar’s armed to the teeth with that blaster-thing, so we’re pretty good. Mace actually tells him “nice work”, which is impressive, because that’s as much of a compliment you’re going to get out of him for anything. And then BOOM! In walk the Jedi and the Gungan on the baddies, like. a. BOSS. Mother Talzin plays it cool for a second but then unleashes all her green magicky fury. Mace pulls out his lightsaber, ready to take on the Mom, and Jar Jar has basically one lense flip left to save Julia. It is about to get crazy up in here, people! And Talzin doesn’t play fair either; she makes a flamey sword-thing out of thin air and her magic! OK well, maybe she’s playing fair since this means she and Mace will both be dueling with a similar weapon, BUT NOT THE POINT! It’s one of the coolest duels I’ve ever seen! Green vs. purple… you won’t see that every day! And Mace is just too good at laying down legit quips to Mother’s backtalk. Meanwhile, Representative Binks is making quick work of those cultists with his stone blaster at his side. The clock is ticking, the de-Force-al thing is coming down to the wire, Jar Jar’s about to set the Queen free, and then ONE OF THE CULTIST DUDES GETS UP! Jar Jar gets Julia out of harm’s way, but then the cultist dude I just mentioned starts a fistfight with the Gungan, and right in the path of the thing! The sun’s powering it up, about to rip the Force right outta whoever’s unfortunate enough to be in its path, and at the last second, Julia runs and shoves Jar Jar out of the way, leaving the bad guy to fry. And as the Gungan and the Bardottan fly off the platform, the glass ball of Force rolls off its pedestal and shatters, causing a ginormous green explosion! Our heroes duck out of the line of fire just in time. And welp… let’s just say that Mother Talzin doesn’t come out unscathed. In fact she kinda got “fried” herself… guess that’s what you get for tampering with the Force, lady. It’s a little bit of a shock to see this has-everything-under-control, is-too-cool-for-you, sees-everything bad girl bite the dust, but we really don’t need to be worrying about her causing trouble in Rebels or something. Her story has come to its appropriately just end.
So Jar Jar and Julia have a cute moment as she tells him she knew her beau would save the day (and literally because that was part of her vision she had back last episode), but Jar Jar gives all the cred to his Jedi friend. And thus, the Queen decides that the Bardottans and the Jedi can totally be friends again. And then Jar Jar calls out for their steeds (I love how Mace is all “There he goes again…” and Julia’s all “ERMAGOSH HE IS SO CUTE WHEN HE DOES THAT!”), and our amazing heroes saddle up and do the awesome thing of riding off into the sunset! Now that’s how you do a happy ending! 😀
So yes! What a great, fun series! Excitement and intensity well-balanced by levity and (dare I say it) FRIENDSHIP! Star Wars awesomeness once again at its best! And now we have coming our way the finale to end all finales! Ahhhhh I got the feels just thinking about it! Until next time…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight