Rebel Transmissions: The Occupation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next post next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Heroes Of Mandalore

I can’t tell you how hard it was not to open this post with just an “OH WOW!” but I already did that with my last Freemaker post. You’d think it’d almost be overwhelming blogging about two major animated Star Wars episodes in one week, but nah it’s an absolute rush and my heart is full! I will say my wrists are sore but that’s not SW’s fault; it’s just so much fun to write about! Let’s dig in full-force on the thrills Heroes Of Mandalore delivered! Also, if you haven’t kept up with my posts since season three ended, you’ll be happy to see that the blog’s a lot better organized and more concise than before πŸ™‚

Contains spoilers from Rebels episode Heroes Of Mandalore (and many elements from the past seasons, so make sure you’re caught up), as well as The Clone Wars “Siege Of Mandalore” arc.

The season opens up with an absolutely unapologetic bang and had me fully pulled in within seconds. I was thinking we might come in a little more relaxed-ish, take some time to reunite with everybody and fully assess the situation before things get wild, y’know? But in retrospect that was a poor assumption. This is Star Wars Rebels, and this episode has Mandos involved. There’s no human way this could possibly open slowly! Not complaining, though. Not only have I missed this crew to pieces over the last few months, but I’ve been dying to find out what would happen next with Sabine’s family mission. And they put us right in the middle of it, right off the bat, not wasting a second. But at the same time, it’s not jarring or confusing. We get just enough info to work with to remind us what’s going on, and enough small sweet moments with Sabine and some of her Rebel fam to remind us why we love ’em all together so much πŸ™‚

Speaking of, I’m so glad they brought Kanan, Ezra, and Chopper along for the ride. I’d wondered a number of times (prior to seeing the season trailer) if we’d have episodes with just Sabine and the Wrens every now and again. I guess some days I’m still so used to the way TCW did it with characters varying from episode to episode, that I forget that SWR tends to keep the crew-family all together or in groups. It worked for TCW, but for this series, I definitely like it better when our Rebels stick together! πŸ˜€ We’ve got blood family fighting alongside what I’ve always liked to call thicker-than-blood family and it’s spectacular and thrilling and still has an undeniable warmth to it. With every bit of friendly chatter and teamwork, and just the way Kanan pats Chop’s dome… even amidst the chaos that sparks when Mandalorians and Imperials clash, it still feels like home :3

Part of the reason it feels like home is that it’s not all intensity. We get lots of really great character moments and interactions in this one, along with some flawlessly-weaved-in laughs. I love that Ezra finally gets to use a jetpack at last… but flying it isn’t his strong suit XD #Understatement. It’s so relatable though! 100% sure that’d be me if I were in his shoes. Yet at the same time he’s still able to hold his own with his ‘saber in hand, which is more than I can say I’d be able to accomplish without getting myself killed. Also bonus ROTFL points go to the little “not with-her-with-her, I’m just friends… with her.” Such a perfect awkward line, it’s music to my ears! πŸ˜‚
Oh yeah and that Kanan-Hera banter! Oh my gravy I can’t tell you how much I’d needed more of that goodness! It’s not that I wasn’t rewatching a ton of reruns over the last six months but duuuuude I can never get enough Kanera! Hehe it was too good and I wouldn’t mind having a little more in the future, but you knew that. Meanwhile Chopper I think’s done with all the cuteness and it makes it all the funnier XP

Also very important note: paintbombs are canon!! OK maybe it’s not that important, but I had this goofy idea back on the Transmission for Path Of The Jedi and later drew a fanart piece of the idea. And now seeing something equivalent inside of Rebels (and FoD too!) is pretty cool. I’m not saying at all that I contributed to what you see on-screen, ’cause I’m 99% sure I didn’t… but it certainly feel good knowing that I kinda predicted it πŸ˜€

Obviously I need to dedicate a whole paragraph to Mandalore and how good it feels being back. I recently revisited a few episodes of the “Siege of Mandalore” arc of The Clone Wars and was really amazed at all its connections with Rebels, and all the little things I’d missed and forgotten after years since watching them. It’s so rich and intriguing, and it’s even more meaningful now as I’m in SW far deeper than I was then. But even then, I remember after the arc’s end thinking “That’s it?? There’s no more story to tell?? What about Maul?! What about Bo-Katan?! What about Mandalore itself?!?! I NEED MORE!!“. I was ultimately content with whatever stories they told next, but little did I know where Rebels would go and just how much more they would give me. Never would have thought in a million years I’d get to not only see Bo-Katan again, but get to see her leading Mandalore, darksaber in hand! It’s just so so infinitely special to see things come full-circle like this, especially as someone who got into the Star Wars fandom partially thanks to TCW. So YAS GO MANDALORE!!

And Alrich’s just great, guys. I imagine I’m not the only one who was surprised he wasn’t an armored-sort, but I’m all in favor of Mandalorians who channel their warrior sides in unique ways. It was also surprising discovering that Sabine got much of her artistic side from him. I’d always theorized art was something she got into as a way to rebel, but knowing it has more admirable roots makes it far more meaningful. And it does make a lot of sense; just observing everything from their architecture to their armor to even their ships, Mandos have quite the creative eye for detail. Yeah there were a lot of smiles goin’ round here guys. It’s so so nice to finally get a parent-child reunion in SWR that starts off with a hug, and listening to them share almost their own language of artistic form and technique is so sweet :3 Not a bad vibe or difficult past in sight! As you can figure by this point I was drowning in all the family feels. Finally, we get to see a family in SW all together! How great is that? πŸ˜€
And then the Duchess showed up.
That was the longest, saddest five minutes I’ve experienced inside of Rebels in a while. From the end of the first part, to the middle point where I was bawling for a bit “WHY YOU GIVE US THESE GREAT CHARACTERS AND THEN WE TURN AROUND AND LOSE THEM?!“, and then to the start of the second part when we found out Ursa and Tristan were OK. Yikes what a raw couple of scenes though. So so so glad it didn’t end that way.

I love that this episode not only connected all the dots surrounding Sabine’s backstory for me, but that it expanded upon Mando culture in a number of really neat ways. No idea the armor held so much history and meaning, but wow! I know I’m probably just repeating myself, but I had no clue how much Rebels would deepen my knowledge and respect for these worlds (including the fact I didn’t know they were worlds plural before SWR) and it really is truly truly amazing. Sigh you’ll have to forgive me there’s literally so much to write about that I can’t narrow down what I need to write about, exactly… hence why’s this is several days late.

The episode really just comes together so great. Few things feel better in Star Wars than to see a conflicted hero go from the wrong decision to the right decision, and in doing so win the day. Rereading some of my older SWR posts, I’m reminded just how much Sabine’s grown up since and it’s just incredible, and as I’ve said before, makes me feel a bit (or a lot) like a proud parent πŸ™‚ Cap that off with the epicness of Bo-Katan’s rise, and all together you’ve got something too special for words with this episode. What a way to come back to Rebels! πŸ˜€

Yes there are a lot of things I could further discuss, and in time they’ll probably come up on this blog, but I think I’ve said all I absolutely need to say now. Hopefully future posts will come out a tad smoother than this, but for sure there’s still tons to talk about on the Rebels front πŸ™‚

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: The Storms Of Taul

If you’re in need of some Freemakers talk this week, you’re in the right place. No detours or pirate-y involvement necessary! Let’s see just how much neat stuff we can dig into in The Storms Of Taul.

Contains spoilers from Freemakers episodes The Test and The Storms Of Taul

Soon as I saw that ‘stache, I knew our masterful, clever Rebel spy must be Major Derlin. Soon as I heard his voice though… that’s when my fangirl self exploded. As someone who’s been a Pixar fan long before she was a Star Wars fan, to hear the wonderful John Ratzenberger’s voice in here was nothing short of fantastic. I’ve known for a while he was in Empire, but seems no matter how many times I watch it, I can’t seem to spot Derlin in the Hoth crowd, even with his usually easily-recognizable face. But what better place than Lego Star Wars to spend more quality time with this guy and get to know him better? And he’s got some of the coolest moves I’ve ever seen on a Rebel! Those storms didn’t stand a chance! I’m certainly going to make a further effort to spot him in Episode V next time around. This is still one of those things I love most about TFA, getting to hang out with all manner of characters around the galaxy, even the ones we only see for minutes in the films.

But the amazing thing is, Derlin’s not the only familiar face we get to see this episode! Somehow in their genius-writing ways, they found a spot in the story for Maz Kanata and Hondo Ohnaka! Again! The people at Lucasfilm and Wilfim are absolutely spoiling me and I love it :3 I kinda figured Maz wouldn’t exactly welcome them with open arms (especially since I doubt it’s been more than a month since she last saw them) but seeing her is awesome even so. Hondo was a complete (but delightful) surprise, though. I’d assumed the fam still wouldn’t be on his good side, considering broken deals and blasters were involved last time around, but today must be one of those rare days Captain Ohnaka likes kids. At least, he likes them more than the prospect of Awan Zek getting even with him. But the one thing we do know for sure is that Jedi are always a friend of Hondo’s… even if his definition of friendship is a little… different. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen from here.

Also, it’s always adorable watching Rowan try and look grown-up, but at the same time I’m all β€œnoooo you have to stay small and precious and unscarred by puberty forever!!”. It’d be interesting to see if they’d do like the other animated series have done and give him a bit of a growth spurt in the next season, but yeah hopefully they’ll keep Ro a cinnamon roll as long as they can. I can barely imagine him taller, let alone with facial hair!

Yeah Taul’s a fun planet isn’t it? Not exactly #vacationgoals tho. Tbh It’s a wonder nobody died because I can’t imagine how you’d manage to avoid lightning and acid rain long enough to make it offworld in one piece. Every now and again I have to wonder if the worlds they create for TFA were originally planned for another area of the canon, and in turn, what they would look like fully realized. Taul’s a really cool place even with its deadly weather patterns and I honestly hope it makes its way into a film or a game at some point. Oh right and you know I think Taul was in the Poe To The Rescue short so that really makes me wonder if they’d designed it elsewhere. It kinda cracks me up that Hondo is completely unscathed while the Freemakers are just about deep-fried everywhere they turn. Some days the galaxy has a cruel sense of humor… πŸ˜› But you certainly can’t say Hondo doesn’t deliver on what he promised! He just might steal your ship behind your back, but that’s just what Hondo do! The fact he left them at the mercy of a killer hunter droid wasn’t intended, but… it’s still really really terrifying. It’s the worst possible scenario on the worst possible planet with the worst possible foe to be facing down. Not to mention the whole thing with Derlin’s escape pod life support slowly giving out. Not gonna lie, I found myself holding my breath a lot this episode…

But OMG guys… R0-GR vs. Hondo… that was a battle for the ages! Two Clone Wars veterans throwin’ down mano y droide! I loved it all too much. Don’t let their bony appearance fool you, battle droids are clearly built solid, and Roger is undoubtedly the toughest battle droid I’ve ever met. Also, he knows aiming for the knees is always a smart move. Thanks to him, the Freemakers’ worst possible scenario didn’t have the worst possible ending. To paraphrase Kanan, β€œ[Roger], sometimes you do it right” πŸ™‚

Oh right, and I couldn’t possible end this post without talking about how awesomely Rowan held his own in his own mano y droide throwdown. The lightsaber β€œboomeranging” he did was the coolest thing I’ve seen all week! You know, it amazes me how they’re able to keep M-OC a constant, gut-wrenching threat and yet still allow our heroes to live (so far). It’s always such a close close call, and it’s never been just Rowan on his own winning the battle. Honestly, you can’t call it winning as much as it is surviving. It still takes a lot to bring the walking death machine down… and you have to wonder what would happen if that lucky streak of theirs ran out… *shudders*.
But for now, we’ve got blue milk pancakes (not to mention a perfect comeuppance for Hondo) and all is right with the universe!

Oh that was too fun. I know I only scratched the surface on interesting stuff to discuss, but I’m glad I could share a little bit of what’s on my brain with you guys πŸ™‚

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebels Season 3 Recap + Padawanline Anniversary IV

OK so I know I’m getting this done later than anticipated, but life has this habit of keeping me from blogging like I should. Anyway, like the posts for the past seasons, I’m just gonna talk about everything I can manage to fit into one post before I lose my train of thought, looking back on the season as a whole, and covering some of the topics I forgot to talk about during the main Transmissions posts. So without further ado…
NOTE: Contains potential spoilers for basically all SWR. Not a post you want to read if you’ve ever missed an episode. Also to be safe there are potential spoilers from many of the films. Just to let you know.

So first area of interest for me to cover is our favorite crew-family, starting with Ezra. Gosh he’s grown up. I say that a lot, but the other day I was watching a Season 2 episode and seeing him so much younger again was almost surreal and made me start proud-mama-fangirling again. But beyond his height, haircut, and thinner face, he’s grown up in many other ways as well. It’s really interesting to note that, at the beginning of the season, I was more than a little spooked by his considerably edgier moves, and though the very thought made me sick, it seemed clear to me he’d begun spiraling down a dark path. But at the end of the season, it suddenly occurred to me that he didn’t go down that path. With Kanan back as his master, he put the Sith holocron behind him and hasn’t touched it since. Instead of taking a turn for the worse, we’ve seen him step up in bold ways, as on fire as ever to do the right thing. He’s become a masterful voice of reason, bringing the final end to the Clone Wars, advising a boy not that different than a younger version of himself, willingly giving a Geonosian the benefit of the doubt… it’s amazing how wise he is, really. And even in the moments he wasn’t quite so wise, he came out of it having learned something (most of the time). It’s just really neat to look back and think about all the little ways he changed and all the ways he hasn’t. Also an interesting think for me to note personally is how much more we’ve seen him involved with the growing Rebellion. Without constant confrontations with Inquisitors, he hasn’t done a lot of dueling too much lately, or even trained that much, that we’ve seen. The Jedi side of him will always be there, but that’s not just who he is. He’s a Rebel, and it’s been great seeing him do a lot of that this season, whether in flying A-wings (which still is such a mind-blowing image to me) or leading missions. But even more than a Jedi and a Rebel, he’s a friend, and among the Ghost crew, family. I love how strong his bond with Kanan’s become, especially after coming out of those months out of balance. I love how firmly he’s stood by Sabine through the trials she’s faced. I love watching him and Zeb pal around and laugh at Wedge and Hobbie. All the teamwork, all the family feels, it’s filled these past seven months with a lot of smiles and happy tears. I guess none of this is anything we didn’t already know, but I just couldn’t not talk about it! I love watching this kid grow up, and I’m excited to see where he’ll go next :3
And of course oh my goodness we have to talk about Sabine, ’cause good gravy she’s grown up a lot too. Pff I feel like I’ve spent most of this season crying “AHHH MY CHILDREN DONE GREW UP!! JUST LOOK AT THEM OMG!! HOW IS IT POSSIBLE??!” even though they’re not my children. Her story went to places I never could’ve imagined, and it all happened so much faster than I anticipated! The past two seasons have only given the smallest little hints of her backstory, and this season, they gave us a massive amount of it. I won’t say “all of it” because I’m sure there’s more we don’t know, but it was still so much more than I expected. And it was epic. I wrote in my post on The Antilles Extraction “I want to be Sabine Wren when I grow up!” and that still holds true, especially after all she’s been through this season. Trials Of The Darksaber remains such a pivotal episode not only in this season, but honestly in the entirety of the series itself. I just love how raw and real it is, just spending 22 minutes with only a few characters, fighting only their own personal battles. And where we went from there was just amazing. It’s interesting though, I thought we might get one episode before the finale to wrap up Sabine’s arc, but no there’s still a lot more story to be told there. But hey, I’m certainly not complaining, even if I’m gonna have to wait a few months to find out what happens next. It’ll be exciting to see! And that was a terrible understatement. I’m also quite curious if this sidestory of the Wrens vs. the Saxons will be a standalone arc, if we’ll have episodes with only Sabine and her family that won’t feature anyone else in the crew-fam. Just an interesting thought, anyway. But yeah, Sabine has grown up a lot, and it still amazes me how she’s able to press on and push through all these monstrous challenges and past hurts, and do so in a way that’s truly honorable. And also it’s been special this season seeing not only her reunited with her blood family, but a strengthened bond with her crew-family. Things have changed a lot since the first couple seasons. I think she sees Kanan more as a mentor/father figure than previously, and certainly she’s come to respect and trust Ezra much more so as well. Following her story this past season has been wonderful, and getting to see where it goes next is among the things I’m most excited to see this next season. And I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about the Wrens and Mandalore and all the epicness that’s sure to come with it! Because Sabine, her family and her homeworld just can’t help but be epic, y’know? πŸ™‚
As for Kanan, it’s been… oh my gosh, just insanely epic watching how far he’s come. He’s learned so much seeing with the Force, not just in sweet Jedi moves (howzabout that blast-deflecting in Hera’s Heroes?!), but a lot about who he is and where he’s going. Again, watching some Season 2 episodes recently reminded me how far he’s come. Kanan’s so much more patient, so much more thoughtful and wise. He lost his way in the months in between the Twilight and the Shadow, but once he found his way back, he’s matured in incredible ways. And I think a lot of this maturity has reflected itself back into his apprentice/honorary son, and also in his other apprentice and honorary daughter :3 OMG YOU GUYS I’M CRYING RECALLING ALL THOSE HUGS. A lot of this is thanks to the Bendu. He taught Master Jarrus some tough lessons, but the challenges ultimately brought out the best in Kanan as well as Ezra. Not to totally change the subject, but I’m still so fascinated by the One-In-The-Middle. Part of him makes sense and the other part remains a mystery dipped in secret sauce! I don’t know if we’ll ever see him in SWR again, but maybe a future series or a book will fill in some of the blanks. Maybe. Either way his voice acting was perfect and he was something so profoundly epic and exciting and different inside of the SW universe, it’s no wonder I’m still hungry for more Bendu action πŸ™‚ Sorry Kanan I totally ended up giving your paragraph to a different character. I love Kanan’s thoughts at the end of the season finale, how he can see a hopeful future in front of them even in the face of defeat… it’s going to be amazing seeing him help further that in the stories to come.
It’s been really cool watching Hera this past season, too. She’s become such a pivotal force in the Rebellion. And while we’ve seen her really taking some serious initiative and an all-business approach inside of this no-longer-mini-Alliance, her crew-family still remains a top priority. She’s faced down Maul, Thrawn, and all manner of challenges and unexpected turns and been nothing short of boss. I know I’m pretty hyped to see where she goes in this next season as we look forward to finally calling her “General” πŸ˜€ But oh yeah, if you haven’t heard, we’ll get to see Hera in The Freemaker Adventures this coming season, so there’s plenty of bossladyness to come even before this fall! (And Leland Chee has confirmed her presence in the Empire/Jedi era is totally canon! Woot!) Also I absolutely need to say this because I haven’t found the right time to discuss in the prior posts, but I love this sort of love language Kanan and Hera have right now. Their brief embraces in Holocrons Of Fate and Zero Hour are utterly precious. Perhaps due in part because Kanan can’t see, it’s more natural now for them to interact by touch. It might be something small but it has so much meaning to it I literally haven’t stopped “aww”ing over it since. Such sweet beans :3 Anyway…
It’s been really interesting with Zeb this season. After watching him so awesomely overcome his own personal battles in season 2 I really wanted to see more emotional arcs for him this season. But the further we got into this season, the more I realized he really didn’t need it at this point. Season 3 has seen him really in his element as a full-on military leader and chief of security for the Rebels. Not that he didn’t have a few moments of doubt and frustration (*cough* I’m lookin’ at you AP…), but it didn’t take a whole arc to fight through. He’s just really found his place in the Alliance and has taken it by the horns. But even with all this new responsibility, he’s still remained the fun uncle/older brother figure he’s always been. Especially when it comes to messing with the noobs XD Of course, we can’t forget that one huge contribution of his this season — our newest Fulcrum, Kallus! The ex-Agent’s gotten our Rebs out of many a pickle this past season, and he’s done so in spectacular fashion! Like I’ve said a lot on previous posts, he’s just gone above and beyond the call of duty and it’s been great being able to cheer for him for the first time ever! I can finally appreciate his masterful snark and craftiness πŸ™‚ It’s gonna be a lot of fun seeing how he fits in with the rest of the Alliance and what tricks he’ll have up his sleeve next as things get really real this next season.
And of course there’s not a lot to say about Chop and AP-5 other than that I love every moment they’re on screen. They may not get an arc, but we’ve certainly seen some changes and new developments with them. We’ve seen that compassionate side of Chopper flare up a little more when he offered Sabine some comfort in her trials, and even saw him go through some mourning for his old master. The latter moment made me actually really like the concept of a Chopper anthology film, especially if it centered around his early days in the Clone Wars and Hera. As for AP-5, well, he gained a considerably massive ego… and a lovely singing voice πŸ™‚ But ultimately they haven’t changed a bit, they’re still a couple of the most wonderful and difficult droids to grace the SW galaxy.
Of course I couldn’t write this post without talking about Maul. I really thought after Twilight Of The Apprentice we wouldn’t be seeing him again. I figured he had other things to do, other places to be. But nope, he had quite a bit of unfinished business with the crew-fam. It’s been fascinating seeing how he interacted with them, especially with Ezra, the apprentice he always wanted but would never get. He brought some seriously terrifying moments, but also still some great moments that continued to reveal his humanity. Plus, anyone else sorta just realize that if Maul hadn’t gotten involved, Sabine wouldn’t have found the Darksaber? Mind. blown. This season of Rebels told us the end of his story, and what a great ending it was. That might sound calloused, but you see, the fact that all these years of hurt and desperation for Maul would be capped with hope… went beyond anything I could’ve predicted or imagined. I look forward greatly to digging into those Maul comics and whatever further stories pop up about the troubled zabrak’s life in the future.
And finally, we need a paragraph entirely devoted to Grand Admiral Thrawn. I’m still so so glad they brought him into SWR. I needed to meet this brilliantly devious character I’d heard so much about! They weaved him into the canon perfectly and made him every bit one of the most flawless villains in not just Star Wars, but really in any story. He brought quite a thick layer of intrigue and mystery to this season, and kept me on edge just about every moment he we saw him. He got in a good-sized win in the finale… and who knows what his next move will be? Yet, who knows how Bendu’s prediction will come into play? I’m so ready for more Thrawn you guys. That is all.
There’s just an infinite number of things I could further discuss, I know, but considering the time and that I honestly forgot some of the things I’d intended to talk about, I think it’s best to save those ponderings for another post. It’s really been an amazing season in so so many ways… it still stuns me how much everyone has grown and matured, not to mention the Alliance itself. The whole season’s just about left me breathless, in the best way possible. Just like the show always does :3 Yeah I know words fail me right now, but sometimes the awesomeness is far too awesome for me to describe. I just adore this family ❀

Also, I'm happy to say that today is Padawanline's 4th birthday! It's been a challenging year in some ways, as I've had trouble balancing real life busyness and the blog sometimes, but there's also been so much fun and so much joy, too. So thank you, my reader friends and followers. I'd write about Star Wars even if I didn't have an audience, so it means a lot that you all take the time to share in the fun and joy with me on a weekly basis… even when I misunderstand stuff and make typos I don't notice until weeks after posting :3 So, I leave you first with another link to my readers' survey (Here), so you can continue to help me make this site better, and also a list of my favorite posts from this last year. Thank you all again, everyone. Here’s to another four years of Star Wars love… and many more after that!

Rebel Transmissions: The Forgotten Droid
Rebel Transmissions: Twilight Of The Apprentice
10 Crazy Good Moments From Crisis On Coruscant
Following The Freemakers: A Hero Discovered
SW Summer Reads – The Weapon Of A Jedi
A [Fangirly] Analysis Of The New Rogue One Trailer
SW Summer Reads: Tarkin
Following The Freemakers: Race On Tatooine
Following The Freemakers: The Test
Rebel Transmissions: Steps Into Shadow
Rebel Transmissions: Hera’s Heroes
Following The Freemakers: The Maker Of Zoh
Rebel Transmissions: Visions And Voices
Rebel Transmissions: Double Agent Droid
Rebel Transmissions: Twin Suns

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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! πŸ˜€
– 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 πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜€

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 πŸ˜€ 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 πŸ™‚ 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”! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜› 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 πŸ™‚
– 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 πŸ˜€

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight