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Following The Freemakers: Crossing Paths

OK now the Freemakers posts are back in full swing. At least until Rebels gets here anyway. Oh goodness I missed doing these! This post ought to be interesting as it’ll be written from the perspective of when I first saw it, so I’m not going to allude to anything that happens after this episode. So if you’re still behind a few episodes, the Force is with you! But either way, I’m excited to be bringing you a Closer Look commentary on Crossing Paths!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, and Freemakers episodes Zander’s Joyride and Crossing Paths

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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SW Summer Reads – Jedi Prince #5: Queen Of The Empire

It’s not only the first Star Wars Summer Read of the year, but it’s also a very special one! The fifth installment in Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince series, Queen Of The Empire, was among the first SW books I ever read. And sometime this month, it will officially have been FIVE YEARS since I first read it! Yeah I was dumb and read the series a little out-of-order, but that didn’t take away from how much I enjoyed it. If you want to refresh your memory on the last four adventures, read my previous posts on The Glove, The City, The Revenge, and The Mission, right here. And now let’s find out what this whole Queen deal is all about… ’cause in all technicality, wouldn’t the official term be “Empress”? I guess Empress Of The Empire doesn’t sound as cool though… who cares let’s just read already.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, The Glove Of Darth Vader, The Lost City Of The Jedi, Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge, Mission From Mount Yoda, and Queen Of The Empire.


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

Project Decoy, we haven’t heard a lot about it at this point. But as our Rebs head to the secret labs in the bowels of the Mount Yoda base, we readers are about to get some answers at long last. Scientists Fandar and Fugo are happy to introduce Leia Organa Mark II, an exact droid replica of our favorite previous-princess-future-general! Everyone is impressed, though Han is all “Well this is just creepy” XD Leave it to SW to perfect the perfect human droid! For all we know they might be running around the Resistance now and we’d never even know it O.O Hmm that’s actually kinda a scary thought. So maybe it won’t catch on as a normal everyday droid in the galaxy, but it can be useful when you’re as… um… popular as Leia is right now. And by “popular” I mean she’s been captured or nearly killed three or four times lately. So yeah I can approve the decision. Takin’ a note from her mom’s book πŸ™‚ So yeah Mark II’s got Leia down right to her voice and gestures, except for the small fact SHE CAN SHOOT LASERS OUT OF HER EYES. A useful feature, unless of course it misfires and hits you in the chest. Yeesh poor Fandar. Ho’Din boss healer Baji gets him stabilized, but a heart transplant is absolutely needed. With little time to lose and the Falcon the fastest way to the Chandra-Fan homeworld, Han’s got this, and Leia’s going with. And they make it there 22 standard timeparts later. Sooo is a standard timepart like a minute? I’m assuming something like that. Ahsoka coined the great term “mynock minute”, so I guess that makes “minute” the official-canon term, but either way it works. Hehe the conversations we have here at Padawanline πŸ˜› Though problem, you would not believe the weather they have out here on Chad. They have a pretty bad amount of methane going on and that leads to some pretty bad hurricanes. Oh goody more ship repair bills for Captain Solo… not to mention the fact that landing in a hurricane is incredibly dangerous. Oh, and Threepio got a dent in his arm! Oh heaven forbid! Yes because the perilous landing is the least of our worries right now XP But yeah they made it juuuuust barely, thanks to Han’s mad skillz and a little help from the Force. Leia is all “A little help?” XD Whatever the case, Fandar now can get the medical help he needs and that’s the most important thing here. Oh and then one thing led to another and Han basically got caught in a rockslide. Thank you, no thank you stormy atmosphere and your lightning. It just gets better and better out here! Also, new great SW-ism “…like a drunken alien on hoverskates” yep makes all the sense in the world. Use that one often XD
So anyway, by the time Leia got the security guard out of her hair she turned around and found that rockslide mess. She can sense he’s still alive (always cool seeing the Princess making quiet use of the Force), but for how long is the question. So Leia doesn’t waste a second before she takes control of a boulder-dozer. The image of her at the controls of this massive machine, which is really just a laser cannon with treads, is too awesome. NO DUMB ROCKSLIDE’S GONNA MESS WITH HER MAN! Miraculously, Han comes out relatively unscathed. He’s all “Dang that rockslide ’bout ruined my plans for us!” to which Leia raises an eyebrow “What plans?”. YEEEES, WHAT PLANS CAPTAIN SOLO?? Then he derps out “Oh cool a boulder-dozer! Corellian-made isn’t it?” Pfff a little nervous maybes? Also not that anyone cares but Artoo’s OK. Except for the fact he’s still short-circuiting from the incident earlier that led to the rockslide thing. That’s still a problem.
Back at the DRAPAC Luke, Ken, and Chewbacca were keeping an eye on their dear guest, Triclops. The seemingly decent human being who just happened to have Palpatine for a dad. It’s soon evident why the Empire kept him around despite seeing him as a threat — he sleep-invents terrifying weaponry. Good guy by day, potentially dangerous evil genius by night. Also it seems he knows things about the Reb’s Project Decoy in his sleepy mumblings. One thing for certain, the man is an enigma. Is he Force-sensitive? Just crazy? Super-talented? Who knows. And I’m serious I haven’t read these in a while so I don’t remember the answers to these questions or if these questions are answered at all. Either way, as I’ve said before, much mysterious…
Back on Chad things were looking up. The skies cleared and Fandar was good as new and it looks like R2-D2’s up and running. What next? “WE’RE GOIN’ TO HOLOGRAM FUN WORLD!” is Han’s answer. Leia’s like “Um… no we’re not” to which Han replied “Well if we’re goin’ to elope we are!” and then Leia’s all “WHUT.” I could totally see this happening for reals. Han’s confidence mixed in with his feelings with a little nervousness thrown in makes for one awkwardly adorable proposal that’s so cute I don’t dare rehash it my own words. *Dies fangirling* ❀ Once Leia gets where he's coming from, she's all good though. Soooo good. THreepio walks in on that PDA and he’s all “NOPE” XD Though the princess has no questions about marrying her prince, she was sorta hoping for a more grandiose wedding (hey, what girl doesn’t?). Han assures her they can have an official party later, but for now, with no idea what the future might bring… THEY’RE GOIN’ TO HOLOGRAM FUN WORLD! And there’s an astonishingly gorgeous ancient Corellian wedding band awaiting her, too :3 AHH I CAN’T. IT’S TOO PRESH. I’ll be honest when I first read this I dropped everything and drew a pic of them. Still have it too. ‘Cause AHHHHH DANGIT THEY’RE ADORABLE. *Cough* OK hitting pause on the fangirl button.
So you guys remember Zorba right? Jabba’s dad with a vendetta, current governor of Cloud City, has crazy head of hair? You know him. Well, since he became governor things haven’t been going that well. Business has dropped like a billion times, mainly on the fact that the city’s become a dump next to Hologram Fun World. I don’t think it’s necessarily just the fact that people want cool virtual world experiences over casinos, but probably a lot to do with the fact it’s controlled by a Hutt. So now he’s heading to said Fun World with a handful of bounty hunters, ready to make it look like a dump next to his turf. NUUU WHY YOU GOTTA TAKE IT OUT ON THE INNOCENT HAPPY PEOPLE?!
So Hologram Fun World sounds like a blast. May sound kinda far-out but hey, a galaxy without theme parks wouldn’t be much fun now, would it? Thrilling VR experiences through state-of-the-art holograms. You want to go hoverskiing down the side of an exploding volcano? You can do that! As someone who loves to hunt out cool vacation spots and collects travel brochures everywhere she goes, I most definitely want to take a visit there. Unfortunately, it’s popular enough that one particular show’s been sold out for six months. Dude if there’s a magician out there who’s that good, let me know ’cause I’m not sure anything is worth being sold out for that long. Except SW stuff, anyway πŸ™‚ Also the line to the droid repair shop’s pretty cray. But Han’s more than OK with this, and actually pays a little extra to keep the droids out of his hair. Threepio will not interrupt them again — at least not tonight, anyway. Also, we get to see our good buddy Lando again, now the baron administrator of HFW! Maaaan he done well for himself. The Force most defs be with him considering it wasn’t that long ago when he lost his governor’s position. And he gives them quite the grand tour. THAT STAR DRAGON RIDE SOUNDS AMAZING. I NEED TO RIDE IT. ESPECIALLY IF A STAR DRAGON IS ANYTHING LIKE A VARACTYL. ANNDDD NOW I’M SHUTTING UP ABOUT THIS. And they even get to walk down the streets of a virtual Alderaan. OH SWEET MERCIFUL HEAVENS THE FEELS…! After the fun, the power couple just about had everything together for their exchanging of vows… except for their birth certificates. D’oh. Ugh can you imagine the paperwork you’d have to go through if your certificate was destroyed along with your homeworld? Lando promises he’ll get things set up by the next rotation, and until then, he’ll continue to give them the best Fun World experience he can muster, including front-row tickets to that sold-out magic show I mentioned earlier. #Benefits But while they’re having fun… lo and behold Zorba stepped into HFW (or sloshed into, I guess) and had his own kind of “fun” with his scoundrel crew. Theft, destruction, graffiti, the whole dang shebang. He was having an absolute wonderful time until one of his hunters mentioned seeing Leia — and she’s very much alive. So Zorba’s done; he’s gonna personally take to ending her this time. OmO
Gotta say as slow as the Hutts are they sure work fast. He gets a bounty hunter to disguise himself as the magician and quite literally makes Leia disappear. Once again another nice pleasant day ruined by a bad guy. Han and Lando are on the move.
I don’t need to tell you for you to know that Leia’s negotiating skillz are on-point. Too bad she was negotiating with someone who can’t be negotiated with. What the law states and what she was in her right to do don’t matter a centimeter to Zorba, you kill his son you pay the price. Regardless it didn’t get her anywhere I still applaud Leia for defending her honor and throwin’ sass all over that jerkface like she did. But yeah how she’s gonna get outta this one? She’s not entirely alone though… look it’s carbonite Trioculus! Remember him? Wait OMG TRIOCULUS?? EX-EMPEROR WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD? Zorba wins at everything, evidently. At least when it comes to revenge anyway.
The real magician heard everything, so Han and Lando know where they need to go to get Leia back. The Pit of Carkoon on Wonderful ol’ Tatooine! But they’re not alone on their mission, ’cause Luke and Ken popped in with Leia II. The Alliance could tell that the Falcon and the Zorba Express in the same place was trouble. Also everyone knows about the Haneia engagement now so Luke wouldn’t miss a chance to say congrats πŸ™‚
So what do you get when the Grand Moffs have a conference? A MOFFERENCE! No seriously that’s what they’re calling it. Pffff sounds so dignified don’t it? Yeah the Moffs decided to discuss some business right outside of Tatooine so you know things’ll get interesting later. The business they’re discussing is their problem with new Emperor Kadann, who not only killed Trioculus but is planning on demoting all the moffs. The Moffs no likey, especially not Hissa, who was left to die by one of the dark side prophets and now bears two mechanical arms and is permanently confined to a hoverchair. So once they see Zorba heading their way, they decided to play the revenge game themselves. So now the number of people Han and crew have to save Leia from has doubled. Wonderful. Basically all heck broke loose in the moffship. Somehow with enough stormtroopers, they managed to apprehend Zorba. And wow man Zorba looks absolutely huge in the illustration. Comparably it looks like he could sit on four Hutts and hold Rotta in the palm of his hand. Granted, Mama The Hutt could probably still skoosh him (I believe she’d be Zorb’s aunt, if my memory serves me well), but still! He’s a monster! Somehow didn’t stop the Imps though. The Grand Moff and his crew were quite happy to see Trioculus frozen, but alive. Zorba was pretty smart to only keep a decoy in public. But now… oh boy… the dark, scarred ex-Emperor rises, and he’s got some unfinished business to attend to. But first he takes a walk down memory lane with Hissa as he looks at their lovely weapon stash. Ah, the countless lives he’s destroyed! Slaves, settlers, tourists that took a wrong turn… such good times! Yeesh. GET. A. HOBBY. TRIO. And then Zorba makes a deal he knows the three-eyed gent can’t refuse: his freedom for Leia. Trioculus couldn’t seal that deal soon enough. Once again, Leia fearlessly speaks her mind to the dark dude, but somehow all that doesn’t sway the dark dude’s feelings. Trioculus offers her all the power and position as his bride and the opportunity to watch Zorba eaten by the sarlacc, but she just keeps negotiating like a boss (seriously they wrote amazingly for her). So Trio makes an offer she can’t refuse — to stay with Zorba or with him. Leia finally says “yes”. But only ’cause she’s buying time to look for a way out. ‘Cause bro Princess Bosslady is taken mkay?
As the Falcon crew prepared the rescue, Trioculus put on his show and sent the old Hutt to the mouth of the Sarlacc. Trio’s pretty sure he saw Leia smile, though it could’ve been a grimace… he’s not really good at understanding emotions. He uses it an excuse to convince her the Dark Side’s a done deal, and even pulls out the “your dad’s Darth Vader” card again, but Leia’s still all kinds of NOPE. Which for him means it’s time to start the wedding! Poor guy has no clue what social cues are, does he? Being engaged to two guys in two days might sound kinda cool like “wow I’m so fabulous everybody’s fighting over me”, but for Leia, it’s really really not. Especially when she only loves one of those two guys. But surprise! Said guy and company were waiting in the wings and they’re goin’ home! And now four more stormtroopers are gonna wake up in garbage today. Hehe XD
Now it’s time for the royal Imperial wedding!! Squeeeeeeee!! Well, I’m pretty sure the talk dark dork was the only one squeeing today, but that’s all that matters to him right now. Oh, the wedding was beautiful, you should’ve seen it… the black zinthorns, the turbolaser access shaft they used as an altar, all the moffs abuzz with the belief that Leia’d gone to the Dark Side, and of course, the wonderful moment where it turned out to be the replica droid and her gaze literally pierced his heart. Aww I told myself I wouldn’t cry but… that was a beautiful plan! Trioculus died with the knowledge he’d been played… with the destroyed Leia II by his side. Fitting. Verrry fitting. Though whoo I bet the Grand Moff’s not gonna be happy about this…
So our heroes head back to Mount Yoda alive and well. And the conversation turns to new wedding plans and whether “best man” can apply to someone who’s not human (politically correct, that should be “best male being”). But there might be a small problem they don’t know about yet… and by “small problem” I mean BIG because look who crawled his way out of the Sarlacc? Zorba The Hutt, and he’s still gettin’ the last laugh…
Ohhh myy that was fun! Theme parks, lots of villainy, and HanXLeia sweetness! So many fun memories reading this, and I’m thrilled I was able to read along with you now. Until the next post is up…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Star Wars Reads Day ’15 – Jedi Prince #4: Mission From Mount Yoda

If you’ve been keeping track, you know what today is… Star Wars Reads Day! Anytime is a good time to read a SW book, but it’s nice to have one special day a year to do so as well. So like we did a couple years back, we’re digging into Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince series. Reading the fourth chapter in this exciting and intriguing adventure, Mission From Mount Yoda! You can catch up with the last few chapters here, here, and here. Now let’s get started!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode VI, The Glove Of Darth Vader, The Lost City Of The Jedi, Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge, and Mission From Mount Yoda.


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

We find ourselves in the midst of a meeting amongst the Dark Side Prophets in Space Station Scardia, where the big cheese of the DSPs, Kadann, is about to make a few predictions. Really creepy stuff here. The idea of the dark side being a bit of a cult is quite fascinating. Though it was written before the Prequels explained more about how the Sith work, it makes a lot of sense even now. Honestly I could see this kind of deal existing officially-canonically. Kadann comes out and makes mention of a few little things; first, he now speaks for the dark side, second, he’ll destroy all that is good in the Force, and finally, he also mentioned something akin to “when the dragon pack perched upon Yoda’s stony back receives a visitor pierced by gold, then come the last days of the Rebel Alliance”. Yikes. Much yikes. And you know Kadann… if his predictions don’t come true, he makes them come true. Rebs beware.
But the Rebs don’t know nothin’ of this, they’re vacationing on Z’trop! Because if anyone deserves a vacation, these guys do. Especially since Leia caught the unwanted attention of Zorba The Hutt and stuff. Han so badly wanted some down time with his princess, but so far they’d just started back down the bickering trail. Over pointless things I might add, like whether Septapi are carnivorous or herbivorous. I’m thinking a bit of this has to do with the fact that he’s got nerves since considering a certain proposal πŸ™‚ But that intelligent conversation doesn’t last for long, because as usual, cue the Empire. Artoo may have spotted an assault vehicle not too far from the sunny shores. Turns out, upon further inspection, that there’s no ‘trooper to be found, however, Luke does find a few holodiscs marked with the Scardia symbol. Either way, the vacay’s over as they head back to their secret base on Dagobah’s Mount Yoda. Though seriously how cool is it Yoda got a mountain named after him?! A little something the Rebels did in honor of him. I’m sure he brags about it to Anakin and Obi-Wan often πŸ™‚ The Mount Yoda base, known as DRAPAC (the Defense Research And Planetary Assistance Center), is pretty sweet digs for being located on the highest peak in a slimy mudhole. Not completely finished, but still impressive with levels upon levels of everything the Alliance could need. Right down to their top-secret project known as “Project Decoy”. The Rebs don’t waste much time before looking into those holodiscs, which happen to hold Kadann’s most recent prophecies on there. It doesn’t take long for Luke and Leia to decipher that it’s talking about Mount Yoda and DRAPAC. And Luke queries whether a gold knife, also found in the missing Imperial’s belongings, might have something to do with that “pierced by gold” bit. Wonder who owned that stuff to start with. Maybe dude was just stopping for a smoothie and then came back to realize his assault vehicle was broken into. His boss won’t be pleased… whoever that boss of his is right now since Trioculus became a museum exhibit.
Speaking of Trioculus, yeah the Empire wants the guy back and a little less frozen. Thankfully, Zorba’s out of town, making his dream of converting the palace into an extremely profitable prison a reality. When the lothcat’s away the womprats will play (Completely weird thought: I kept referring to lothcats as tookas for a while because of their similarity, before that I was calling them “mookas”, which this book actually refers to as in “purring like a mooka”. I know the name “tooka” came from Dave Filoni’s cat but where did “mooka” come from? Either way yay cats in SW!). The Stormtroopers and their chief have little problem walking into the museum and coming out with the Emperor. Honestly they did the folks of Bespin a favor… who wants to pay money to look at that ugly mug? He’d scare the kids man! And what exhibit would that go into anyway? “Cloud City Museum presents… The Hall Of Carbonite!” πŸ˜› But yeah unfreezing him might cause more problems than a few unhappy museum attendees. Just as Grand Moff Hissa was about to free him, our friends from Scardia showed up. High Prophet Jedgar demands Trioculus turned over to them since Kadann’s in charge now. Jedgar and Hissa have a nice long debate over the ex-Emperor as well as the politics between the Prophets and the Empire. But Jedgar played dirty and revealed just how much dirt he had on Hissa and ultimately the Grand Moff had no choice but to switch his loyalties. So the Prophets now have the three-eyed bro and you can figure they have no intentions to let him live…
Back on Dagobah, things are also taking a downward turn. At least for Ken, anyway, who’s about to start his studies and DRAPAC’s Dagobah Tech. He’s never been a fan of such things, so yeah he’s not too happy about this. Luke tries to give him a little encouragement, talked about how much he wanted to go to the Academy back in the day, but to no avail. First day of school should’ve been easy, right? Nope. Tests on the first day, and only a portion of them on stuff he understood. Random fun thought: since this school is run by Rebels, who would teach what classes? Maybe Sabine could teach languages and art appreciation? I could totally see that. OK random fun thought over ’cause not long after Ken’s tests were over a ship nearly crashes down right into DRAPAC! The driver of said ship is a Duro named Dustini, who comes off a pretty nice mannerly guy, but also not doing so well. That’s because his planet isn’t doing so well… it’s become a hazardous waste dump and it’s being looted for its treasures by the Empire, mostly because Kadann really really likes shiny things. Also yeah this book seems to refer to the planet as Duro and not the species as a Duro so since I have no clue what the planet is called canonically I’m just gonna refer to it as the “Duro homeworld”. So yeah Dustini came here for help so they could help save his people, who have gone into hiding for fear of being turned into Imperial slaves. He takes a moment to showcase a few of the DH’s priceless artifacts, only to accidentally trigger a poisonous booby trap in the crown of their ancient king. So that would explain the “pierced by gold” bit… Kadann’s better at this predicting thing than I thought. While medical droids work to heal the poor guy, Artoo plays back one of Dustini’s holodiscs explaining the mission at hand. Onward to the Duro homeworld!
The next day, Ken was supposed to be at school. He just wanted to say goodbye and may-the-Force-be-with-you to his friends before his classes started, but one thing led to another and before he knew it he was trapped in the Falcon‘s cargo hold just as they set off to the DH. Wellllp… at least he won’t have to do any tests today. What no one on the Falcon knows is that Hissa and Jedgar have them in their sights. First gunner to destroy the Millennium Falcon gets to dine with the Prophets! The Falcon‘s firepower isn’t enough to match their opponent’s and their hyperdrive is kaput, much to Han’s chagrin, so flying for their lives seems like the best option for now. Artoo finds out that a bit of the trouble has something to do with a locked cargo hold. It takes Luke using the Force to get that door open, and inside he finds, not an Imperial spy, but a young Jedi Prince. It’s a miracle Ken was able to convince Luke he hadn’t stowed away on purpose. More of a miracle was that Threepio was able to do a minor repair and fixed the hyperdrive and quad cannons again. Seriously, THREEPIO JUST FIXED SOMETHING. *Slow clap*. Instead of immediately hitting the hyperspace outta there, Han makes a risky move and takes aim at the baddies’ ship. Which unfortunately doesn’t end too well for our heroes. With quite a few new holes in the ship, Han decides now would be a good time to hit the hyperspace button.
Speaking of things not going too well, we soon find Kadann at the other end of a laser, completely decimating the carbonite-frozen form of Trioculus. And now he himself wields Darth Vader’s glove. All is proceeding as dude’s forseen. After all, Kadann is never wrong, right?
The good news is the Falcon managed to survive its near-crash on DH, the good news is that Duro mechanics are awesome at what they do, the bad news is that the estimated repair bill is a whole lotta credits. Ouch indeed. Mechanic dude makes an offer to trade the hunk of junk in for something new, but Han calls no deal. Thankfully Leia believes SPIN’ll pick up the tab on this one. You gotta love Han’s legit undying loyalty to that ship. It’s clearly still lookin’ good thirty years later! πŸ™‚ So they head back to their destination in a rental, where Artoo accesses a map from Dustini’s holodisc to the Valley Of Royalty. It’s where all the archaeologists are that they need to set free. Also of note nearby is an Imperial Reprogramming Institute… wherein lives the mysterious Triclops, the true son of Palpatine who the Empire fears but keeps alive anyway. Ken decides to divulge a little of what he knows on the subject of this guy, but what this guy has to do with Dustini’s mission we do not know. Shortly thereafter our heroes headed off, originally not with Ken, but the kid knows how to persuade, especially when he pulled the “Obi-Wan said our destinies are connected!” card out. So Leia stayed behind to watch the ship and Ken went on. Smart boy πŸ™‚ Honestly I think Obi-Wan could sympathize with Luke on this one.
Guess who also just arrived on Duro? A certain grand moff and dark side prophet. Jedgar reveals the nature of their mission, to recapture the escaped Triclops. Yeah just what Hissa wanted to do this weekend… chase down a madman on a toxic waste-covered planet! ‘Course, you think they have problems… Luke and the gang were facing down giant mutant Fezfe beetles! Somehow they managed to slice and shoot their way outta that mess, and we must thank Ken for saving his master’s life in a moment of crisis. Yeah fun planet right? They continue on through into the bowels of the Valley, facing steep stairways, treacherous turns, and toxic gunk falling from the ceiling as they go. Not to mention encountering the man of the hour himself — Triclops! Bro’s pretty chill for someone who escaped a correctional facility. Escaped with the help of a reprogrammed Imperial assassin droid, for good reason too since he very nearly got a lobotomy. Yeesh. Tri has no problem helping out our Rebels and leading them to the imperiled archaeologists. He’s very interested in Luke’s Jedi ways, as he mentions knowing a Jedi once. And also seems to know something about Ken, about the silver charm he wears, about his past… much intrigue. Tri is all kinds of much intrigue. But even so, he’s clearly nothing like his dad, so let’s just be glad for that πŸ™‚ Doesn’t take ’em long before the find the rest of the Duro dudes, all working to get their relics together before they leave their festering stinkhole planet behind. For sure they’re eternally grateful for SPIN’s help, happy enough to hug it out with Captain Solo, though Han had slightly differing opinions on that matter XD So from there on out everybody starts working together to get the loot back to the planet surface and under the care of SPIN until the Duros relocate. In the midst of this, Han receives a little something courtesy of the Duros — an ancient Corellian wedding ring. Oh wait that sounded really creepy. What I meant was that Dustini’s cousin gave it to Han as a “thank you” gift, that it could eventually be given to the one he loves. Han doesn’t elaborate too much on where he is in that stage of life, but accepts it all the same, just in case. Hehe yesss all the forces in the universe are working to get the power couple to tie the knot already X3 But aboveground, Imperial interrogator Defeen has quite literally needled the truth out of a Duro, revealing the whereabouts of a certain Valley. That’s trouble. And as if we needed more trouble, Hissa and Jedgar showed up with a gaggle of ‘troopers and a big boring mechanism. In the midst of the chaos that ensued, the bad guys nearly nabbed Ken, but that’s where Triclops came in… and bro’s third eye is hypnotic. And we mention he hand-to-hand fights like a boss? He could’ve easily finished Hissa off, but a sudden rush of toxic sludge did his job for him. Grand Moff Hissa + toxicity – Jedgar’s help = 60% less Grand Moff. Eww. Dude this is intense! Our heroes make a narrow escape from the cavern and Leia and Chewie arrive with their ride outta here just in time! So go off our Rebels, along with the Duros, their treasure, and Triclops in tow. By the time they return to DRAPAC, things all fall together nicely; Dustini is alive and reunited with his people, the Falcon is better than new, and everyone’s all together again. Things are looking up. But one thing still remains unanswered; Triclops is being held for questioning for now… but he is really the real pacifist anti-Empire good guy deal? What did the Empire want with him? Much intrigue… much intrigue indeed.
So there you go! Another fun Star Wars Reads Day and a fun post to go with it! Now, I’ll be seeing you next week with some new Rebels awesomeness! Until then…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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SW Summer Reads – Jedi Prince #3: Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge

It’s time for another edition of Star Wars Summer Reads! And we’re returning once more to the epic post-Episode VI galaxy as written by the great Paul and Hollace Davids in the third installment in the Jedi Prince chronicles! I read this last SW Reads Day but didn’t get a chance to blog on it since, you know, all the other things I was blogging on, but now I am doing so, so yay! Ah, the exciting adventures in this series! They may be a little older than some books but they’re still among my favorites… and are currently all I know about this era in the SW universe (I know I know shame on me! XP ). If you want to read my take on the previous chapters, jet on over here for that thing with Vader’s glove and the whole lost Jedi city debacle. So enough chatter let’s find out exactly what secrets and fascinating tidbits we can discover in the midst of Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge! Ahh those crazy Hutts am I right? πŸ™‚ I mean just look at that crazy hair he’s got on the cover!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode II, Episode V, Episode VI, The Clone Wars Movie, Rebels episode Idiot’s Array, The Glove Of Darth Vader, The Lost City Of The Jedi, and Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge


(Image credit: Amazon.com (I think?))

So we reunite with our heroes as they’re heading off to a party! Han Solo’s housewarming party, to be precise. And even more precisely, for Han’s super-amazing floating skyhouse in Cloud City (pretty much everyone’s dream house, am I right?). As it seems though, Luke hadn’t really thought of a housewarming gift until literally the last second, so he and his young Jedi prince ward, Ken were spitballing gift ideas. But what do you give the Rebel hero who has everything? Turns out Ken has the winning idea — a housekeeping droid! Threepio, Artoo, and Chip are in on the idea. Luke’s not sure how keen Han would be on the idea, considering he’s a bachelor and junk (not to mention his short temper with Threepio some days XP ). But Threepio believes it would definitely be in Captain Solo’s best interest to have someone help keep that place of his in shape, considering he’s… a bachelor and junk. Haha so true. Luke finally decides to go with it and he and his comrades take a detour to the Tatooine Droidfest to do some shopping! It may not be the brightest spot in the galaxy, but Droidfest has the best selection and the best prices. Like Black Friday, but… no, on second thought it’s pretty much exactly the same as Black Friday! Right down to the chaos that ensues before long. The shopping was the easy part, finally settling on KT-18, or Kate. A friendly, top-of-the-line housekeeping droid who’s worked for a number of Corellian pilots and turned them into gentlemen (RUN HAN RUN!! XD ). Not cheap in the slightest, but worth the moola for sure. Oh, and then there came the chaos… Tusken Raiders on Banthaback having a land dispute with the Jawas. And Luke gets caught up in the middle of it while Ken and the droids dive for shelter in a sandcrawler. See? Exactly like Black Friday! That’s why you should’ve done this earlier and done it online, Luke! I know you’re a Rebel hero and stuff but you should be able to make time to do nice things before they become a burden! πŸ˜›
Quick history lesson: do you know what became of Jabba’s Palace after the Rebs did him and his whole crew in? It just sorta sat there ’cause there was no will and now it’s owned by the government. Makes you wonder where Rotta is right now (hopefully living a slightly more respectable life than his dad did, I would hope). Whatever the case, Jabba’s dad Zorba didn’t get the memo about anything that happened these last few months. So big daddy Zorba ain’t too happy about not being let into the palace (apparently the government’s sanctioned it off as a “No Hutts Allowed” zone #uncool) and not knowing where his kid is. He heads off to the Mos Eisley cantina for some answers, but doesn’t come back liking those answers too much for, well, obvious reasons. So Zorba decides to hire some scum and villainy on the spot to hunt down Jabba’s killer — Leia Organa. And on top of that, Zorba happens to know exactly where that will is: right inside an old droid. The Hutt’s back in business and he’s got a score to settle! This could be a problem…
But Luke and the gang already have a few problems of their own. Remember what cray happened at the Droidfest? Yeah Commander Skywalker finally was able to join Ken and the droids in their sandcrawler hideout. It’s hot and slow but it gets them out of that mess in the end, even though it happens to be night by the time they get out. Then new problem: someone else hired bounty hunters that day — Trioculus. Now not only is Luke gonna be late for the party but now he’s got to fight a pair of hunters! The Twi’lek and the Aqualish hunters put up a bit of a fight, but Luke put up a bit more of one and lightsabered them like a boss. On their way back, Luke asks Ken if he knows something as to what the new Emperor wants with him. Ken really really doesn’t want to tell him; DJ-88, the teacher droid who raised him, had warned him not to spill anything he learned in the ancient Jedi library to anyone, not even his mentor. He finally decides to tell him at least a little something… that he knows quite a bit of dirt on Trioculus, stuff that would only put Luke in further danger. Luke doesn’t press on further in that, but he still hopes that someday Ken’ll open up to him more. And in other news I just adore Luke and Ken’s relationship! While not officially a master and padawan, you can very much see the similarity. And Luke makes a really great master for someone who’s never done it before πŸ™‚
They finally make it to Bespin, though. The description of the lovely city in the clouds makes me so badly want to see more of it. *CoughputitinthenewtrilogypleaseCough* They’re met by Rebel, ex-scoundrel, and governor Lando Calrissian, who quickly befriends the young prince. They have a pretty nice view of where Han’s place lies, with the exception of the serious air pollution going on. Yes indeedy this series definitely reminds you that sometimes the Star Wars galaxy has the same problems we do here in the Milky Way side of town. Though at least we don’t have to worry about Imperial factory barges causing said problems, which is why lovely Bespin isn’t so lovely to breathe right now. Lando shoots a rental his friends’ way and promises he’ll join the party after he handles some trouble at Holiday Towers Casino. Fun seeing how much this ol’ smoothie’s grown up, isn’t it? He used to break the rules and now he makes the rules!
So clearly Han’s housewarming party was the event of the year. Swarms of Han’s friends from throughout the galaxy made it and it truly sounds fabulous. And Leia happens to have the best (read comfiest) seat in the house through it all. The Captain himself is pretty busy, between chatting with friends and serving refreshments, it’s no wonder he stuck Chewbacca on cooking duty (I really really hope they make hairnets that big… it’s best not to think about how much hair might’ve gotten in the food). ‘Course he did get some breaks, there are dances with Leia to be had man! #Priorities! And of course Luke, Ken and the droids arrive fashionably late. And turns out Han is definitely into Kate. Quite frankly I’m jealous I don’t have a droid who can zap stains off the ceiling without breaking a sweat– er, circuit. It was worth all the trouble they went to to get her! In the midst of the housewarming, Ken, with the aide of a set of long-range macrobinoculars, happens to spy what appears to be a Huttian ship entering Cloud City. Well, this really could be a problem…
Yes, Zorba’s come for a visit, but not yet to the princess. First, he’s got some legal biz to tend to at the casino. Technically he owns the place… well, sorta, Jabba used to own it, but after he bit the dust nobody else knew that so Lando owns the place now but Zorba ain’t havin’ it. The only way to settle this is with a friendly game of sabacc. What could possibly go wrong, right? And as far as Lando can tell, big daddy Hutt don’t got game. So betting the entire future of Cloud City is hardly something to worry about right? I’ve said it before… sabacc has a higher ratio of misses than hits… when you see guys playing this game, be aware somebody’s losing their fabulous Corellian ship, or their fabulous C1-1OP, or in this case, an entire city and role as governor. It’s not entirely Lando’s fault, I mean, who would’ve guessed that Zorba’s deck had markings that only he could see that could help him win? But the end result is still the same… Lando seriously seriously lost, and a Hutt now owns the place — the entire place. As in, the whole city. Well, this really is a problem…
However, things were going along quite swimmingly at the skyhouse. The party was over, but the rest of the gang was still hangin’ around. And Kate had the place sparkling as if a party’d never happened! It’s all good… and then Lando called. “Soooo here’s the thing… I’ve heard the theme park business is booming right now…” jk I’m glad that’s not quite how it went down (though he’s totally serious about the theme park thing. I mean, we are talking about the guy who smuggled a puffer pig on a chance he could make a quick buck… he’s an entrepeneur, after all). And the final blow of bad news is that he may’ve overheard Zorba talking about the whole “revenge” thing and yeah… as Mace Windu once said, “This party’s over.” O_O So Han’s thinking getting Leia off-planet would be their next best move, and then to add to the chaos Kate takes a fall off the skyhouse observation deck! Luke and Leia jump into action (and a sweet cloud car convertible) to save their droid friend. But Luke handled that car in a way that would make his dad proud and managed to save Kate before she hit the planet’s liquid core. But while they’re down there, Luke spies Trioculus’ sail barge. A floating factory that makes a pretty scary array of Imperial weapons… and a pretty scary amount of braze. They come down for just a little look and that’s when the laser defense system comes on and now we really really have a problem! Crashed car, stormtroopers all over the place, Luke gets trapped in a tunnel filled with poisonous gas, Leia gets taken hostage… fun right? Though yeesh I’m glad Luke got outta there that was pretty scary.
Of course Han and Ken had no idea as to what had conspired, so we find the Han showing off his awesome racecars to the young prince. Yeah racecars plural. The Rebel Alliance must give him some kinda paycheck! Then Luke sent Han a distress call and Han made the huge mistake of leaving Ken alone with his gorgeous super-fast racing machines. Ken’s clearly a good kid, I’m certainly not saying he’s not, ’cause he is. But heck, you couldn’t leave me alone with one of those things and expect me not to at least try and drive it a little! So I don’t really blame the boy for taking it out for a spin (and admittedly, it was kinda an accident). Problem is is that he’s kinda not the legal age to drive and… yeah… cops come along, and then they’re all “hey whaddya know the Emperor’s been looking for you!” and Ken’s all “aw dang.” because who wouldn’t be right now?
And guess where Leia ended up? On a very much unwarranted “date” with Trioculus. Ohhh yes. Bro tries to be smooth, but Leia answers that with a sound and well-deserved slap to the face. The only reason she can’t take her eyes off him is because his scarred three-eyed face is downright horrifying. Obviously Trioculus doesn’t pick up on that red flag. He’s certain he can win her over with his tall, dark[sidery], and (perhaps not so) handsome self. He’s like “C’mon I’m not so bad bae. It’s not like you haven’t killed someone before” and she’s all “IT WAS IN SELF-DEFENSE AND IT WAS JABBA I WAS WELL WITHIN MY RIGHT!” and he’s all “Psh you totally want to kill me now right? See it’s not hard. So how’s about getting married?”. Oh yeah real classy Emperor, really classy! Despite her complete and utter disinterest (and disgust), he’s willing to wait for her to figure it out. Well, he’ll be waiting forever ’cause dude that ain’t happenin’! But as we know, Trioculus here isn’t the only one who wants Leia… and that is seriously a problem.
Zorba’s glad to be back in some sort of seat of power, but he’s not lovin’ the braze Trioculus brought with him. One of his hunters, however, may have brought him the key to getting all his scores settled. Leia’s on Trioculus’ sail barge, a kid named Ken was taken in by Cloud City police… a trade is in order, I do believe. Ken wasn’t about to talk to the old Hutt, but that’s where having sweets covered in truth serum comes in. You gotta give Zorba credit for being prepared though, I mean, not everyone just carries around avabush spice every day. I’m pretty sure most people don’t expect to need to get the truth out of someone on the regular. So good for you Zorba– er, not good for you! Making the young prince spill the fact that he’s very much a Jedi Prince! And then in turn imprisoning him in the casino basement! Duuuuuude! When Trioculus shows up for the trade, he’s hardly impressed with this great and mighty Jedi Prince being a boy… up until Ken in a rather sleep-deprived state points out just how much dirt he knows about him, including the fact that Trioculus is not the rightful Emperor and isn’t Sidious’ kid. Yeah Trioculus definitely gets why now he needs to kill this kid. But he’s not feeling the trade. They have quite the… intellectual conversation (read: a lot of yelling that doesn’t get either baddie anywhere) and basically there is no trade. They entered casual acquaintances and left mortal enemies. And Zorba’s somehow too fast for the the Emperor’s ‘troopers. Yeah that must’ve been a real blow to their confidence. You don’t mess with Zorba, ’cause this all ended with the Emperor in a block of carbonite. Ken played the mind trick card on a prison guard and a taxi driver and made it back without much problem ultimately. Though Han and Luke had a slightly harder time busting Leia out of the Emperor’s place, mostly on account that Zorba was in on the chase too. Zorba had no idea though that they’d rescued Leia so as far as he knew, he’d gotten his sweet revenge on both of his worst enemies! Though unfortunately for him it won’t be the last he sees of either of them…
So the good news is Trioculus is out of commission. The bad news is, Leia’s gonna have to lay low to avoid Zorba and his hunters. But Han really has no problem with this; he’s all there for his girl, even if he has to leave his skyhouse behind for a bit. He’s aiming for somewhere hidden away from Imperials and hunters alike, somewhere kinda romantic. Hehehe Han let Luke drive after that. He had other things to tend to… πŸ˜‰ While having this brief sweet moment with his princess, he allows the thought of a proposal to cross his mind. If he can find the right words for it… just maybe… ❀ *Fangirl squees loudly* Yus while the danger's not behind them yet, there are plenty of good things in front of them, for Jedi, Jedi Princes, and Rebels alike πŸ™‚
Awwww… I know right? Ah this series is so much fun! They may take a while but I'm glad to be writing these book Closer Looks again! Also ALMOST ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL REBELS SEASON 2!! GET EXCITED PEEPS!!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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REB UP: Thoughts On The Newly-Revealed Rebels Crew

I know I know… what kind of title is “Reb Up”? Well… I thought it sounded kind of cool, cheesy as it is…

Anyway, there’s been quite a sudden flurry of SW news coming out as of late. Aside from the obvious, all-too-exciting news of the new TCW episodes on Netflix(!), they’ve introduced us all to some new Rebels characters that we’re going to come to love this year! Because of these great videos, we’ve seen the sketches and unfinished animation, been introduced to and heard their voices, and gotten an opportunity to get to know the crew of the Ghost a little better. It’s hard to say whether this has made it easier for me to wait or harder for me to wait… all I can say is, I pretty much loved all these guys instantaneously and I’m definitely extremely excited for this show. So, if you have a moment, why don’t we talk a bit about what makes this fantastic mishmash of a team awesome? And we’ll start by talking about each member of the “family” in order of revealing. Which would mean we would start off with the Grumpy Cat of droid-dom, Chopper!

NOTE: This blog contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode III, and The Clone Wars Season 5.
(Screencap credits: the official Star Wars Youtube)

Rebels Promo Art 01

So the first good guy they introduced us to wasn’t human, wasn’t alien… he was a machine; an astromech they call Chopper. If you follow me on tumblr, you likely know my first thoughts on him were “OH MY GOSH I LOVE HIM ALREADY!” And who wouldn’t? First of all, he’s an astromech droid, and for the longest time, the only astromech we loved with all our hearts was Artoo. but at this juncture in time, Artoo was probably getting “in trouble again” alongside Threepio (c’mon, don’t tell me you don’t know the words to the Droids theme song!). Artoo’s always been a crucial part of any cockpit of heroes, always riding alongside the Skywalkers! So the fact they wanted to give us a new good-hearted astromech droid is a big deal, but not only that, they gave us a good-hearted astromech droid with attitude. He looks very much like what could’ve been Artoo, based on legit McQuarrie concept art, so he automatically looks adorable, but it’s his attitude that cinches it. Artoo’s a bit of a prankster, impulsive, and smart-alecky, but no matter what, he’s there for you, even if it means he has to stand exposed on a Naboo ship and restore power while all his droid comrades are getting blown to pieces. But it seems for Chopper that he’s more, well… “Whoops, I just broke the hyperdrive. Eh… nobody’ll notice it. I’ll fix it later.” and then the Ghost crew’s all “WHAT THE HECK, CHOPPER?!” and then he’s like “OK, OK, sheesh, I’ll deal with it, bro!”. He does have a good heart, but it’s a little harder to find for him. But I’m sure when it comes down to it, he’ll get out on that Naboo ship and do what he must… well, so to speak. Also, it’s worth mentioning that I love his funny little “voice”; my first thought was that he sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher synthesized XD Maybe not really, but it was close enough for me to love the similarity. Between his attitude, his endearing, junky-ish look, and his equally grumpy voice, there’s really no debate that Chopper will be a fan favorite for us. Now all we need is for the R2 Builders group to make a life-size one! But one awesome step at a time…

Now, if we’re going to have an “Artoo” on our “Falcon“, we need a “Han” of sorts, and it seems likely that that role will be given to this dude named Kanan. It’s a super-cool feeling getting to meet our first human character, and it helps that this guy’s as cool as they come! My basic prediction for the Ghost crew included a guy like this… someone a bit overconfident who has swagger come naturally to him, someone who’s daring and a smidge reckless, someone who has a good head on his shoulders, but most importantly, has a good heart despite his past. Kanan 100% fits the bill, but I never expect that that “someone” would be an ex-Jedi! One thing I’ve always enjoyed about this between-the-trilogies timespan is the stories of the Jedi who escaped Order 66, and the fact we’re about to really get to know a character of that sort of kin is so exciting for me. It’ll be epic uncovering his past and seeing his character grow. Oh, what a day it’ll be when we see Kanan pick up his lightsaber and actually bring back a bit of the Jedi part of him he can’t deny! I’m completely entirely excited to get to meet Kanan for real and see what happens when he sits in the cockpit of the Ghost, onto another Empire-fighting adventure! And perhaps, what will happen when he locks ‘sabers with Quizzy here…

Rebels Concept Art 01

Then there’s Ezra: who I consider, from my first impression of him, to be a crazy mix of young Boba Fett, Luke Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, EU charrie Prince Ken, a smidge of young Anakin Skywalker, and Jaebo from TCW’s Mystery Of A Thousand Moons. What do all these guys have in common with him? They’re all kids who start out on a much bigger adventure in the SW Galaxy, and most of them come from pretty humble beginnings. Ezra here is a thieving street kid who steals “only what he can’t afford… and that’s everything,” (#DisneyReferences); not too far from growing up on the lawless planet of Tatooine as a farm kid or a slave. He’s got himself a set of quick moves, clean getaways, and sticky fingers, and is no fan of the Empire. He’s clearly got attitude as he rocks the occasionally-swiped Stormtrooper helmet, and *spoiler alert* may or may not be Force-sensitive πŸ™‚ It seems to be that Ezra is going to end up accidentally being the unofficial Padawan of Kanan, and that can only lead to really great, heartfelt stories! There’s truly so much surrounding this awesome kid hero that I can’t help but be excited to meet him and learn more about him as his own brand of awesome to the Alliance! Plus, his hair is so cool… ^w^

Rebels Concept Art 02

Next up is Zeb, who has a lot of coolness going for him. First of all, he’s a new alien species (Anybody remember the last time we had a new canon species introduced? I sure can’t…) and that’s kind of a big deal, and it helps that he’s a totally cool-looking alien with a design that fits perfectly into the SW Galaxy! (I WANTZ TO SEE SOMEONE LIKE ZEB IN EPISODE VII ALL DONE UP IN CG/LIVE ACTION! πŸ˜€ ) And then they give him this great, gnarly Australian-accented voice that, again, suits Star Wars to a T! (Thank you, Steve Blum!) But most importantly, they made him a great character to start with! Tough, intelligent, quick-thinking, and an overall fun guy to hang around. And who doesn’t love a guy who enjoys smacking Stormtrooper heads together? And all with his own burly classiness… if that’s a thing. If Kanan’s our “Han”, Ezra’s our “Luke”, and Chopper’s our “Artoo”, then Zeb is most definitely our “Chewbacca”. Honestly, I think Zeb could be one of the few who could arm-wrestle Chewie and come out alive; whether he would actuallyΒ win or not remains to be seen… I must ask that if I ever get to be part of a Q&A with Mr. Filoni and the crew πŸ™‚ All in all, I’m pretty much psyched to get to see Zeb take down those ‘Troopers before long!

Rebels Promo Art 03

And it’s a fact that SW isn’t complete without its heroines; without our Leias and Padmes and Ahsokas, where would we be? So I did myself a happy dance when I found out that the Rebels crew is getting two girls as part of the crew! The first revealed of the two is Sabine, who perhaps, at first glance, with her fashion sense and rebellious spirit, isn’t too far being a normal teenager/young adult. But surprise! She’s a Mandalorian! With an awesomely designed (pink!) helmet and armor! I pretty much loved her immediately; she’s a truly colorful, creative individual who’s using her mad skillz to give the Empire a piece of her mind. Plus, she’s fashionable, smart, and blows stuff up. It’s nay to impossible to obtain that level of coolness! And being a Mandalorian and all, she’s already naturally cool. From the get-go, I was predicting a really great new girl character would be a part of Rebels, and I was thrilled that she surpassed the coolness levels I predicted! Also, I’ve always wondered what on earth became of Mandalore after all the nuttiness that conspired in the past season of TCW, when in this time, the only armored supercommando we’re concerned about is Boba Fett. So with the introduction of Sabine, we’ll hopefully dig up some further dirt on one of the most intriguing of SW planets. So yeah, I could go on and on about this awesome girl, and I’m sure I will even more once I get to see her story unfold!

Rebels Promo Art 04

Finally, there’s Hera, whose role in Rebels I couldn’tve imagined to be as awesome as it is… she’s the pilot of the Ghost! That’s a pretty sweet role for anyone, and it’s given to our resident twi’lek! Twi’leks have always been awesome, but aside from say, Aayla Secura, there haven’t been a surplus of true hero twi’leks in the SW Galaxy. So seeing Hera at the controls is pretty epic! I absolutely adore her personality, being strong, wise, practical, and quite the leader amongst her fellow rebels. And as if that isn’t enough, she’s got a super-cool steampunk sort of fashion sense! Hera is truly an awesomely unique member, playing a different role than one might expect of her and keeping this mismatched “family” of Rebels together. I look forward greatly to learning more about her as this era in the SW Universe comes to life!

So that’s my two cents on the crew as individuals, now, as a group, let’s start off by saying that they’re awesome as they come! Obviously, we love the Falcon‘s crew, and for good reason, perhaps mostly for the fact that they’re mismatched and quite a varied little gang. They all come from different backgrounds and places and situations and they don’t really hit it off instantaneously. Ultimately, Luke, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, Threepio, and Artoo became amazing friends with each other and sorta, you know, saved the universe and stuff πŸ™‚ They’re not the only heroes, but they’re the originals, shall we say, of the Millenium Falcon crew. And that’s what we’re going to get with the Ghost‘s crew; we’ve got an ex-Jedi, a Jedi Padawan-in-the-making street kid, a rusty little droid desperately in need of an attitude adjustment (though we hope he never gets one all the same), a muscly, intelligent ex-warrior, a sharpshooting graffiti artist, and a strong (may I mentionΒ girl)Β pilot. Don’t let this fabulous group pic of them make you assume that they always get along perfectly; like any family, they have their scuffles and disagreements (so far, that seems the most prevalent between Zeb and Chopper), but aside from their differences, they came together first because they had a desire to fight the Empire, but I’m sure that in the end, they’re together because they want to be… because they unexpectedly become family πŸ™‚

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Anyone else unable to wait for this show? Everybody? I’m not surprised. ONLY A LITTLE BIT LONGER…!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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