Rebel Transmissions: Brothers Of The Broken Horn

Hello and welcome my friends to this fine blog! And yes I completely read that in Hondo’s voice, because Hondo is awesome and he’s returned for this lovely episode of Rebels! Actually I’m still reading this in Hondo’s voice. #OhnakaFever is real. Yeah OK you probably just want me to start this week’s Rebel Transmission already… but don’t think that the fangirling will stop or anything, ’cause it never does around here…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Idiot’s Array, Rebel Resolve, and Brothers Of The Broken Horn

Phototitle for Rebel Transmission 2x05

Today we catch Ezra in the middle of some blaster training with Rex, not doing all that great TBH. And before he knows it, Kanan interrupts to start Jedi training. Needless to say Ezra’s pretty much done right now with being a Rebel and a Jedi. Everyone’s a bit shocked at his statement… even Chopper drops the blaster-practice helmet in dismay. It’s impossible not to feel for him though, I mean, Ezra’s still a kid and he’s still trying to figure out all this, and now things have just gotten more complicated as of late. But Sabine cues them in to a crew meeting before any further conversation can be had. A few Rebel friends need some help ’cause their fuel cells are in short supply, so the mission today is a shopping trip at the black market! Whee! Except for Ezra and Chopper though, ’cause he’s a bit overdue on his chores. Man I can’t imagine balancing two types of training, a job as a Rebel, and regular chores all at once! I don’t blame him for not getting everything done. But Hera don’t mess when it comes to pulling your weight. So yep now to scrub the Ghost‘s hull. Whee… yeah Ezra can’t help but kinda wish things were simpler, like back in the day when he was a Lothal street rat. Well, you know what they say about being careful what you wish for… ’cause shortly thereafter comes a distress call from the Broken Horn. Ezra seizes this opportunity to not only get a little break from the ordinary, but to settle that debt he owes Vizago for good. After all, you can’t deny someone help when they need it, right? Now if only he could get the Phantom out of the Ghost… somewhere Hera sensed her ship just got some major paint scratches. Heh heh honestly I’m amazed Ezra knows how to fly that ship at all since Hera seemed far from interested in letting him drive her baby. So with Chopper at his side, young Bridger heads off to find out what help he might be able to give Vizago. Though things definitely get interesting when he boards the Horn… not a soul in sight. Chopper comes up with a slightly more interesting find though — fuel cells! And a whole lotta them! Though yeah can I just say Vizago’s ride’s a bit… creepy? I don’t know if maybe just the lights are out or something (but if I recall it was still pretty dark back on Rebel Resolve) or if it’s just heightened because there’s no one around but deactivated thug droids, either way, it’s pretty creepy. But there’s a much different vibe coming out of the cockpit; the radio’s blastin’ and someone else is fixin’ things up. And that someone is Hondo Ohnaka! Yes it’s so great seeing this old space pirate again! Been one of my favorite kinda-sorta-bad-but-not-really guys for a long while! Ah words cannot full describe how exciting it is getting to hang out with him again! And it’s quite fun watching Ezra interact with him for the first time. Apparently Hondo won the Broken Horn in a game of sabacc. And his droids with their nifty push-button controller. Color Ezra suspicious, but he knows how to play his cards right with this guy’s type. Hehe “cards”… I made a pun. So as long as no one’s telling the complete truth, Ezra introduces himself as Lando Calrissian. Interesting choice, considering he could’ve just pulled out his fake name, Dev Morgan, but it works. Yessss I can totally see the resemblance! They’re like twins! XP Hondo is automatically impressed and doesn’t question for a minute why he’s 15 and mustacheless. He’s been looking for a few good crewmembers and just knows that “Lando” would be a good fit. Poor Hondo’s no longer a captain of anything or anyone since the Empire got involved. Doesn’t even have his monkey-lizard anymore *sniffles*. Oh how I’d love to hear some of his mostly-true stories…! And then along came a star destroyer who didn’t like that the Horn was on their turf. Thankfully, Chopper fixes up that hyperspace in record time and off they go, ready for some serious ADVENTURE!! After all, Hondo’s convinced they already make one dynamic duo! And that leads to a small request on the Captain’s part; some help with Ezra on his next job. Ezra’s not terribly interested until Chopper shows off those lovely power generators the old pirate’s got stockpiled. Young Bridger wheels quite a deal that gets them both what they want. Good to see he’s not lost any of his street-savviness! Even better to see that he’s using that savviness to help others. And he’s also savvy enough to swipe that droid controller of his, just in case something goes wrong. Nice move, “Lando”… and good thing ’cause something does indeed go wrong. Enter Azmorigan. Yup can’t get away from this nasty guy for long can we? “I DON’T DEAL WITH WASHED-UP OLD RELICS” “Oh c’mon leave your wife out of this! There’s no need for such impropriety among thieves!” That was perfection Hondo XD XP I guess when you hold the sort of power Azmorigan holds, you can be a complete jerk over minute details. Well, admittedly it may’ve also been because Az doesn’t trust Hondo farther than he can throw him, and he’s worth a lot of bounty cash, but still! Seems a bit of an overreaction. At least, not worth shoving someone out into space for. To quote a great duro, “…if you’re gonna kill him, kill him like a man”. That is why they’ve got Chopper as backup. Also Azmorigan’s hilarious “Whaaaaaat??” could rival Jerry the Minion’s XD So anyway it seems Az’s got this in the bag, the generators, the bounty, and a couple of his newest enemies at his disposal… but then in charged one fierce little C1-1OP! He may be cranky but Chop definitely comes through in the clutch! There’re crates flying, blasters firing, and Ezra doing some sweet Jedi ninja moves (sorry that was dumb-sounding I know). Oh and then in the midst of the chaos Captain Ohnaka shoves Ezra out of the way of oncoming heavy machinery… gahhhh for the minute I thought he might be dead I was so so very messed up. We all love his pirate-y wit and his pirate-y wisdom, but it’s his not-so pirate-y heart that really stands out in a crowd. *Feels feels* Chopper won’t take none of Azmorigan’s crud though and comes in packin’ two deadly blasters. The image of him standing there seemingly wa-wa-ing “say hello to my little friend” is too perfect 🙂 And just when we thought Hondo was dead, he came to… just as the cart short-circuited and sent him sprawling out in the direction of the soul-sucking darkness of space. Been one of those days huh Cap’n? But Ezra doesn’t hesitate to Force-grab his comrade and saves him just in time. JUST BARELY. And then I stopped holding my breath. Le phew. Hondo’s quite pleased to find out Ezra’s a Jedi though. Claims he was BFFs with a Jedi. Heh I can imagine said Jedi wouldn’t necessarily think similarly, but nonetheless, it’s sweet he thinks so well of them. *Gets rush of feels recalling the events of The Gungan General* Also, a Pirate Jedi would make an awesome Halloween costume! Note to self, try that out next year if I’m not a Rogue One or Ep. VII charrie. OK sorry. So yeah after the moment of honesty, it looks like these two could easily be buddies. YAY FRIENDSHIP! Awwz just gotta hug it out! OK so maybe Ezra’s not too keen on that part 😛 Also Ezra’s still a bit suspic-y, so before he joins any pirate crews or gets some variety of shirley temple from the galley, he might take a little more of a look around. And turns out that Vizago might be here, hanging out in his own personal jail cell. Yes it would make sense that Hondo wouldn’t break out his own expensive drinks… anyway yeah Vizago vs. stun cannon didn’t go well. So now might be a favor time. Ah yes watching Ezra in between this charaltan scuffle is delightful. Bridger is so very much boss right now. Though yeah after this fiasco methinks Vizago won’t be calling it even. Guarantee you the next time they’re in line at the ice cream shop, or the gas station, or some other bizarre situation, it’ll be favor time. Heck the way he is I wouldn’t be surprised if the big V held it over the Rebs’ heads just because! But that is a problem for another day, ’cause whoop-de-doo Hondo took the Phantom. But at least Vizago’s more than happy to escape-pod Ezra on outta there. Pfff his grumpy “I hate children” reminds me of Gru XD But funny story — as it turns out, the Phantom was on autopilot the whole time, and docked back with the Ghost without any trouble at all. And what does Ezra return to but a storytelling sesh with Hondo to the crew! Ezra does have to set some of the facts straight, but as Gandalf once said “all good stories need a little embellishment” 🙂 Kanan and Hera seem to be enjoying this. And so with everyone happy and settled, Hondo goes on his way on good terms with Ezra and his crew. And Ezra has a greater appreciation for where he is and who he is now. Aww all the good feels up in here! :3
And with that our wonderful little adventure comes to a close. So glad you could come along, my friends! And yes I am still talking like Hondo! So I better just end this madness before a bounty ends up on my head for driving you crazy.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Idiot’s Array

Hello, what have we here? Another Rebel Transmission! And if you’re wondering why I’m talking like Lando Calrissian… please stop reading this, go and watch this episode, and then come back. Because yeah this awesome episode involves everyone’s favorite old smoothie! No not Han… though that would make sense since Lando called him an “old smoothie”, but in this case I’m referring to Lando! If I were referring to Han I’d be calling him “everyone’s favorite scoundrel” or “everyone’s favorite nerf herder” or something of that sort. Wow I am just chatty as a bird today aren’t I? Just excited! After a handful of emotionally-stirring, heartstring-tugging, tear-shedding episodes, Idiot’s Array brings us back to the more lighthearted side of the show with all the Ghost fam’! So let’s get started shall we?
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge, and Rebels episodes Empire Day, Path Of The Jedi, and Idiot’s Array.

We start off at a familiar old joint, the same we saw back in Empire Day. Though we get to see it from the outside… and it literally has a Republic gunship built into it! Seriously it never ceases to wow me when I see those subtle ties to the world fifteen years past. Kanan was here, asking the Ithorian barkeep for some potential work. While Zeb plays Sabacc with a couple of strangers. Somehow just knowing it’s Sabacc immediately makes me think “Zeb’s gonna lose”. Between incidents involving the Falcon, and in one of Paul and Hollace Davids’ books, Cloud City’s casinos, it seems that there’s a hit-or-miss ratio in this game… and Lando was the loser in both the ones I mentioned! But yeah I love how well they concealed Lando’s presence. If not for all the footage of him going around prior to the episode’s debut I probably wouldn’tve picked up on it either! But yeah even Chopper knows this won’t end well, as he bangs his dome against the table. Seriously is it just me or does Chopper get more entertaining to watch each episode? 😀 As far as the “job hunt”? Old Jho redirects Kanan to the gentleman at the Sabacc table, who might be looking for a pilot. Once Kanan gets over there… it seems that Zeb might’ve bet Chopper in their little game. Kanan objects for ten seconds before seeing that there’s seemingly no way Zeb could lose. And those of us in the audience immediately mutter “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”, because again, the hit-or-miss ratio in this game. It can’t be that easy, right? Chopper’s clearly saying “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!” XD But yeah Chopper and all of us are right. The only thing that can trump a “sabacc” is an “idiot’s array”. And Chopper goes and bangs his dome again. So the winner and apparently Chop’s new owner is… Lando Calrissian! YUS this guyyy!! Once I first heard that he was going to be in the next episode and saw his Rebels look, I exploded in fangirliness. I mean, it’s been great having Billy Dee Williams himself playing Lando for the Lego world (in both The Yoda Chronicles and The Lego Movie), but there’s definitely something just amazing about seeing him in the amazing animation and awesome visual style in Rebels. That first cocky expression he makes…! I about died squee-ing! This episode reminded me why I love this guy so much. Ahhhh I need to watch Empire Strikes Back now!! *Ahem* so anyway… yeah the guys are in troooooooublllllle…
So you know something’s wrong when Chopper comes in griping, Zeb says “I can explain…”, and the three are joined by an uninvited new guy. Kanan introduces him to the others, letting them know they’re intending to help him get past the Imperial blockade. Hera picks up pretty fast that something’s up, but that’s just what she do. And once Lando mentions that he’ll be returning their droid along with their payment, Hera is not happy. We’re talking using-Zeb’s-full-name not happy. And when Zeb throws the blame back to Kanan… she literally goes and slugs him in the arm. Yup this is why we don’t cross Captain Syndulla. Hehe I love how Kanan shrugs like “hey that’s just Hera for you, whatcha gonna do?” XD So now the Ghost crew doesn’t have much choice in helping out Mr. Calrissian. Off they go…!
And they haven’t gotten far before Lando interjects some of his charm into the conversation… ermargosh the way he sorta compliments Hera’s piloting skills and the way she rolls it off…! Priceless. So much priceless. Gotta love that swag, am I right? OK Hera’s not loving it, and Kanan shoots quite the look of disapproval in his direction. Chopper seems to be enjoying himself a bit, though, ’cause now that he’s Lando’s droid, he doesn’t have to take orders from the Ghost crew anymore. So Lando takes advantage of this and asks Chop for a tour, which the little booger does without question. Ah ironyyyy. And THEN he brings him coffee! We all know that this was part of the droid’s little plan to take Mr. Calrissian’s fuel in the end, but for a while it seemed that all that charm of his was working on Chopper. Ezra doesn’t seem terribly impressed either. Especially after Lando compliments Sabine’s artwork. Ohhhmergosh… XD He compared it to that of another great anti-Empire artist’s work, but “more stunning”. That’d be like someone telling me my art outdid that of Jason Deamer, or Carter Goodrich, or Killian Plunkett! And this pretty much one-upped any compliment Ezra made on her art because Lando has something to compare it to. Yeah methinks Ezra feels Lando to be too smooth for his own good. And the way Zeb is holding back laughing at the whole scene XD Yes whether you’re Han, or Ezra, or to a lesser extent perhaps Kanan… smoothness is overrated.
So on their way to Lando’s supplier’s place, well… yeah… “You got the goods?” “…Always.” THAT LOOK ON HIS FACE. HERA’S EYEROLL. KANAN’S DISAPPROVING GLARE. CAN’T. EVEN. OK so anyway, Lando’s got this as he, Hera, and Kanan board. Or so he says. Just sayin’, this ship does have escape pods. And yes behind every swaggy scoundrel is a dude you don’t want to cross paths with. In this case, Azmorigan. Yeahhh… just watching him eat like he does made me immediately check my manners while eating. Props to his voice actor though, who I believe was Chi Fu in Mulan. He’s got what Lando wants… and Lando happens to be offering up a fabulous deal on a TWI’LEK. On HERA. WHUT. And now we’re torn as to whether Calrissian knows what he’s doing or if something’s seriously wrong here. And good question; Lando didn’t know the ship he’d be riding on would have a Twi’lek captain… so what was he originally going to trade? Or was he intending to trade whoever was on board? It’s all a mystery. Anyway, Kanan wasn’t really fond of this deal, but Hera is a bit more savvy that he knows and goes along with it. It’s definitely interesting watching this. When they were introducing the Rebels cast for the first time, I loved that the captain was a girl Twi’lek, mainly because, well, who was the first girl Twi’lek in Star Wars? Oola, the unfortunate dancer who got eaten by the rancor. It’s a completely common sight in the SW universe, seeing Twi’lek ladies in seedy places. Hera’s far from that, and is a self-reliant, caring, strong individual who doesn’t take crud from anyone. So yeesh it must’ve been weird for her to suddenly kinda play the role of the naive slave girl. She may play her voice a little bit softer, but the looks she’s shooting Lando’s way are not too sweet. And so, Kanan and Lando return back to the Ghost without their captain. Lando’s chill with it, as he believes Hera will stick to the plan. The “plan” being the one he vaguely hinted at earlier. Kanan is so not happy right now. First Chopper, and now Hera! Greaaaaat. And what was it that Lando was willing to trade for Hera for? He calls it “sophisticated mining equipment”, and tells Zeb and Ezra not to startle it. Real smart. Leave a box with something mysterious inside alone with these two. Honestly Lando you have no one to blame but yourself for what happens later.
Sooo how’s Hera enjoying the new master? Not so much. Azmorigan’s not as bad as Jabba… but he’s not really much better either. I did find it funny how much he really digs into that fruit, and then two seconds later throws the thing over his shoulder like trash. Thankfully he’s more into his food than his Twi’lek right now, ’cause Hera’s sticking to her own plan. Yup, it’s amazing what a food tray can do! Along with a little sweet-talking, you can do pretty much anything… or at least escape from this punk’s ship. Hehe I’m getting all these Indiana Jones vibes right now… 🙂 Like a boss, Captain Syndulla. Like. a. boss.
And right on schedule, Lando spots the escape pod Hera took. “…You really should have more faith in our captain,” “Our captain?”. Might Kanan be a little jelly? I’m sure he’d deny it if you asked him. So Hera made it off that pod and back on board without any problem. Though Lando did not quite expect the greeting he got from her… dang that must’ve hurt. And did anyone pick up on the way his voice kinda went up a couple of octaves after that blow? Yeah, now you know even more why we don’t cross the captain. Oh and new problem: Imperial blockade. Hera asks him what exactly he was smuggling that was so important, and it seems Zeb and Ezra have already discovered that for themselves. A chubby little critter that soon reveals itself to be a puffer pig. It makes Ezra and Zeb give chase and gets looks from everyone else. Oh, and the whole frightening experience may have triggered the whole “puffer” part of “puffer pig”… it expands. A lot. Like the whole hallway’s width. Kanan won’t even ask. I have to say the puffer pig might be one of my fave SW critters now. Right up there with tauntauns, monkey-lizards, mookas, whatever Boga is, and a bunch of others I don’t know the name of. She’s quite the adorable little piggy isn’t she? Also, she’s the perfect mining tool, a digger with a nose for precious minerals. And something that would go undetected by radar after the last mining-equipment-smuggling job he pulled here. But to make sure the Imperials don’t pick up on who they are, Lando sends out Chopper to fix that cloaking device. And again, Chopper is a good little droid and does just that. The Ghost was about to get through with flying colors… and then Ezra overheard Lando asking about purchasing some of Sabine’s art. You’d think a twentysomething smuggler wouldn’t be worth worrying about at his age, but Ezra is willing to climb over an inflated puffer pig to give Lando some choice words. But then Ezra stepped on the pig’s head, startled it again, made it expand again (while plastering young Bridger onto the roof), and the force threw Zeb into the control panel, turning off their cloaking. Much facepalm. And onward cometh the TIEs! With Miss Puffer Piggy blocking the door, it’s just Zeb and Kanan at the controls, trying to figure out how to fly and shoot at the same time. It’s a bit of a challenge until Hera brilliantly suggests to take a turn into the clouds, which ultimately steers the team to victory!
Finally the Ghost touches back down on Lothal at Lando’s little neck of the woods. But so much for getting paid and hitting the road, because… yup, Azmorigan showed up. With bodyguards. And guns. And he wants his pig and his Twi’lek back. Oh, and to “bury Calrissian”. Yeah let’s just say the negotiations were short. Really short. ‘Cause before you know it Azmorigan’s shooting all over the place and his men are shooting all over the place. In the midst of the battle, Ezra pulls out his new ‘saber… except that he’s using it to shoot energy blasts. I love Kanan’s response; “Wait… mine doesn’t do that!” XD XD Good point, do you think any Jedi has ever had a multi-use lightsaber like that before? Like, in the way that it shoots and ‘sabers? I don’t know, but it couldn’t be more perfect for him. After all, now he can carry his lightsaber for when he needs it without arousing Imperial suspicion and still be able to fight baddies when need be! Maybe he should offer to built these extensions onto the lightsabers of other surviving Jedi, that’d be cool. Though considering Obi-Wan’s doesn’t have one I guess it didn’t catch on. Though our team does have a secret weapon — the pig. After Zeb scares the poor thing again, Miss Puffer Piggy inflates and actually bounces like an oversized balloon into the paths of Azmorigan’s gunmen. Zeb gives the expression that seems to say “What… just happened?” and Sabine’s all “IDK but I’m just gonna roll with it”. And all the while, Chopper is bent on getting this fuel tank into the Ghost. But then alas… Azmorigan has Zeb at gunpoint and makes a deal: Lando for Zeb and all their freedom. Kanan and Ezra don’t bat an eyelash and agree to this. But Hera has other plans. Because guess who was at the guns inside the Ghost? Chopper! Yeah Azmorigan and his goons were outta there in a hurry.
Ultimately, it seems things went… mostly well. The payment Lando intended to give them was to take place after his pig found something of value. So the most they got out of this deal was Chop back. Hera makes it clear that Lando still owes her big-time. But Mr. Calrissian still brushes it off in the cool and confident way he does. He promises Chopper they’ll meet again… and I say “YESYESYESYES!!” to that, though our heroes may have some differing opinions on that matter 🙂 But in the end, it did give the gang a greater appreciation of their faithful droid and their faithful captain. Hurhur Ezra doesn’t miss a beat though “I always appreciated you, Sabine” “Yes Ezra I know…” XD And Chopper stole Lando’s fuel. So the crew’s got what they need to fight another day. Woot teamwork! But turns out that Lando had fully intended for them to take the fuel as payment. Aw, you ol’ smoothie 😀
So that was awesome. Seriously seriously awesome! I thank you all for joining me on this fabRebelous journey through Idiot’s Array (sorry terrible pun I will never do it again *crosses fingers*). So until we meet again, Star Wars fans!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Star Wars Reads Day ’13 – Jedi Prince #2: The Lost City Of The Jedi

Once you’ve made the jump to light read, anything can happen…
Today is Star Wars Reads Day, one of the newest and most fun SW holidays! So naturally, I spent today reading an awesome SW book. I had intended to read a new book for SWRD, but I didn’t get the chance to run by my local library. So for this year’s SWRD, I’m taking you back to the world of Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince series. If you like, you can go and read my Closer Look on the first chapter, The Glove Of Darth Vader. Now, we’re going to find out what The Lost City Of The Jedi is all about. You haven’t heard of the Jedi Prince series? It’s the series that once made the Kesel Run in six paperbacks (Named so for Carl Kesel, who illustrated the books; I warned you about how bad the SW reading puns were going to be…). It’s also a great series written in some of the earliest days of the Expanded Universe (1992, to be exact). And it’s currently one of my favorite SW series. So if you’re planning to run to the library and do some late SWRD reading, but don’t know what to read, perhaps you should join me on a trip to the Lost City with Luke and the gang… of course, I’m sure most of you are reading Heir To The Empire, or Kenobi, or even Jedi Academy, but all the same, let’s open up something a little different today…
Cover Art for The Lost City Of The Jedi
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Jedi Prince Series #1 The Glove Of Darth Vader, #2 The Lost City Of The Jedi, Episode IV, Episode V, and Episode VI
Our tale starts out with Luke and his droid duo on a mission for SPIN. Apparently, Bespin is short on snacks because SOME folks felt the stormtroopers needed it more. So Lando Calrissian (…who’s recently become Cloud City governor… whuut??) called them here to lend a little hand (and some fancy WADDs, or Warning and Detection Devices). As you might remember, Han was headed to Cloud City last we saw him to make himself a home, and that’s where are story opens, with Luke visiting his buddy and his buddy’s wookiee buddy.
And yeah, that’s why Han is here — he’s making an epic floating mansion! A house in the clouds! Luke caught Han working on his soon-to-be home, and it is BIG. The whole “floating house” thing is a “Solo originale”; never been done before. I seriously want one just reading about it now. Of course, you have to make sure it’s not floating too high when you take out the trash, or go out to get the mail, or mow the lawn, or go out to the car or… yeah, I think Han’s got all of that covered (if your house floats, would you really even have a lawn to mow? Just a thought). Did I mention the size of this place? Luke noticed… and rather wondered if a future family might be on Han’s mind when he built it to begin with. Han’s all like “Whaaaaaat…? Ha ha, no of course not…”. And Luke is like “Mmm-hmm, I’m sure…” Oh you guys, you’ll just have to see where this series goes X3 Also, you will learn from reading this that Corellian food is awesome food. At least, it sounds like it. I have no idea what a Zoochberry pie tastes like, yet I seriously want to eat it. Well, it could be for the fact that as I write this I’m getting the munchies myself, but props to the Davids’ ability to describe stuff awesomely! I love it when we have moments like these in the SW Galaxy… when characters are chill and enjoying life… eating with friends, sharing dreams, laughing and crying together, celebrating victories… annnnddd then… there might have been a bomb on Luke’s ship right before he left and it might’ve nearly killed him. That’s part of the reason I love those moments so much — because they don’t usually last too too long before get back into the “Wars” part of Star Wars. But Luke wasn’t too worse for the wear –except that his robotic hand was toast. So with Luke injured and minus a Y-wing, Han put his housework aside to help his friend. #FriendshipComesFirst
Also you’ll learn from reading this that kowakian lizard-monkeys have nine lives. Now you know a SW factoid most people probably don’t know! Now, Luke was almost gundark-ear-pulling-well when he had a vision that would alter the course of this entire series. One minute he was flying over the Yavin rainforest, the next thing he knew, the forest was on fire. Freaky, I know. By the time he got to the ground, he found himself at an ancient stone wall with a tubular transport. And Obi-Wan was there! And as you know, when Obi-Wan shows up in Spirit form to Luke, it’s kinda important. Ben briefly lets him know that this transport leads to the Lost City of The Jedi, and that there’s someone down there Luke needs to meet, and also he gives Luke a soon-to-be-useful code. And that’s when Luke woke up. He grabbed his airspeeder, trusted in the Force, and started looking for this mysterious city. ‘Cause bro, you do NOT question Master Kenobi, especially when he left his Force Spirit Realm game of canasta to tell you something like this (Uh… I have some weird theories on what passed-on folks do in the Force Spirit Realm…).
Meanwhile, we turn our attention to someone new… in the very place Ben made mention of, there was a tween boy named Ken…
Ken was having the morning most twelve-year-old boys do,
1. His pet waking him up earlier than he would’ve liked (except most kids on our planet don’t own mookas like Zeebo; if you do, you are awesome)
2. Getting out his schoolbooks (except that it’s more like a digital tablet; ironically those would exist in our world twenty years after this book was written)
3. Keeping an eye out for his snoopy Homework Correction Droid, HC-100, who kinda just grades what he sees (OK, I admit, that’s not quite normal…)
4. Planning his secret journey to the big world above the Lost City (Also not normal for most)
5. Getting cleaned up and dressed for the day ahead… with help from his droid buddy Chip (Oh don’t we WISH this was normal…)
6. And getting into trouble with one’s teachers (Though it is a different situation when your teachers are droids)
Now, Ken is one of my favorite EU characters. He’s seemingly just an ordinary kid living in an extraordinary world. The illustration of Ken in his room is a lot of fun to look at… it has a SW-ish-looking PC, a modular wall unit, bookshelves with actual hardbacks, and my favorite, I kid you not, SW action figures and vehicles! He’s got a little X-wing and a little TIE fighter and a little Millenium Falcon and a miniscule Darth Vader, Jabba The Hutt, and what looks to be a Boba Fett, even! (‘Cause duh, everyone loves Boba…) I have no idea where he got them from… perhaps they were for educational purposes, so history could “come to life” (even if that history was like, a couple months ago). Or maybe he made them. Though the vehicles were probably model kits or the SW equivalent of Hot Wheels; no matter the planet, we like collecting cool vehicles! 🙂
Anyway, one thing that makes Ken really cool is that he’s sort of a reflection of young, Episode-I-era Anakin and the dreamer and adventure-seeker that Luke was back in Episode IV. He’s probably like a lot of us would be if we stepped into the SW Universe, meeting our Rebel Heroes and actually joining the Alliance. And he has a mysterious past that will be slowly uncovered piece by piece, chapter by chapter, in this series. Also, I find it cool that he’s into the color silver; from his silver attire to the mysterious silver pendant around his neck (which just might be a key to his past). Ken seriously wants to see the world beyond the City, but the droids are practically singing Mother Knows Best from Disney’s Tangled at every turn (“Bounty hunters! The Empire! Men with pointy teeth!” 😆 #DisneyReferences). And that is why Ken just happened to have found the secret code that will activate the tubular transport to his Topworld freedom. Though you can understand why the droids are a tad overprotective of him… he’s a descendant of Jedi royalty; a Jedi Prince. Also he knows a lot of classified info from that ancient Jedi library… that too. I know what you’re thinking… Jedi ROYALTY?? I have a theory or two on that and how it could be canon, but I’ll tell you later when we’ve read through the series some more. So back to Ken’s plight: the droids know about his origins, but they aren’t telling. Not yet anyway. We feel you, Ken bro… and that’s why we’re excited for him as he steps into that elevator-esque transport tube.
On the other side of the galaxy, Trioculus and his little gang of Imperials were headed out to get the new Emperor his dark blessing from Supreme Dark Side Prophet Kadann. Everything oughta go as planned, after all, Trioculus has Vader’s glove now, and that’s what Kadann had said the new Emperor would have. But until then, everyone’s all like “Why should we work with you? Why should we allign ourselves with you? Why should we even remotely trust you? I don’t think you’re really Palpatine’s little boy…” Trioculus isn’t too happy. Especially considering he really ISN’T Palpatine’s son. Which also may be a problem considering no one’s ever lied to Kadann and survived. Ugh… have you noticed that 99% of the time, SW bad guys are always at the mercy of someone a million times badder than they are? You have to wonder how Sidious and Kadann managed to get to the point that their word was always the final word.
So when we last left Luke, he was zooming over the forests, madly looking for that Lost City. And by the time we got back to him, he was still doing just that; letting the Force be his pilot. And suddenly he found that the Force had led him to the feet of an ancient Temple. Which then led him to meeting a curious guy named Baji. Nine feet tall, green, speaks solely in rhyme, good with plants and natural remedies, a Ho’Din healer. Which, in turn, led Luke to meeting Ken and his wasn’t-really-supposed-to-have-joined-him droid Chip. And once Ken knows who he’s talking to, the great and awesome Commander Skywalker, Ken’s head practically explodes in the awesomeness of the moment. “OHHH MYYY GOSH YOU’RE LUKE SKYWALKER!!! APPRENTICE UNDER MASTERS KENOBI AND YODA, SON OF ANAKIN SKYWALKER, BROTHER OF PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA!!!” Dang man, the kid paid attention in his classes. But the two barely have time to exchange life stories before he showed up. Ken’s droid teacher, DJ-88. Somebody’s in trooooooooubllllle…
And after a brief scolding, Dee-Jay, with Ken and Chip, makes a quick smoke-shielded getaway. And Luke has realized that Ken would be able to help him find the Lost City, but they’ve vanished into thin air… oh, nuts.
Back to Trioculus, who’d just arrived at Space Station Scardia. We get a chance to now meet this Kadann we’ve heard so much about. You know that whole thing about “size matters not”? That definitely applies to the Supreme Prophet; he’s super-short, but super-nasty. He drinks gross, boiling tea made from Endor tree bark for his first future-foreseeing method, but otherwise just hires spies, and sometimes uses the same spies to make the prediction happen. And yet the Empire listens to this loony bird? And they actually care what he thinks? Well, if he can hire spies to kill you, then I can sort of understand why.
So how did the meeting with Kadann go? Eh… not so well at first. Kadann pretty much knew from the get-go that Trioculus is a faker as far as his daddy is concerned. Apparently, Trioculus didn’t get the memo that Triclops, the real heir, has one of his three eyes on the back of his head. And just because Trioculus hung out on Kessel didn’t mean he was the Imperial royal son either — Triclops was a slave, Trioculus a slavelord. Grand Moff Hissa (friends call him “Troff”, believe it or not) pleaded the case that Triclops would’ve doomed everyone in the Galaxy if he’d been allowed to sit in the big chair like his dad, so having a fakey was a good thing. And once Trioculus showed off his lovely glove, Kadann was pretty cool with it and gave him his dark blessing. But also a warning… that there was a certain Jedi Prince who’d spell his doom if Trioculus didn’t get to him first. So after spending the entirety of the first book trying to get the glove, now he was off to find the Lost City of The Jedi. And all the while, something’s messing with his vision. But ignoring that, he decides to send the good guys a message that could help him find what he’s looking for.
The SPIN meeting didn’t get started for a bit since Luke was out looking for Ken… again. Han and Leia are a little worried about his sudden weirdness about this so-called “Lost City”. And just then, Trioculus’s probe droid crashed the SPIN party. Ironically, the meeting was on these new probe droids. So now, the new Emperor could let everyone know what he wanted. With Han and Luke unable to take the probe down, everything was going according to plan… and then he saw Leia. He’s completely stunned by this Rebel girl. Unwilling to bend to the Empire or not, Trioculus has himself a not-so-cute crush on the Princess. And then back to reality: Luke was about to make quick work of the probe droid, and Trioculus still had some questions to ask (and then he’d sorta vowed to Kadann that he’d kill Luke) But despite he asked nicely and was going to use the probe to blow up the Alliance Senate, Luke was able to hone in on his Jedi abilities and knocked the thing in two right before it self-destructed. Time for Trioculus’ Plan B… burn the forests until the Lost City is in plain sight. With an armada of Treaded Neutron Torches shooting their firey neutron blasts, nothing could possibly go wrong for the seriously-bad bad guy… except, of course, for his suddenly going blind. So he had intentions to get ahold of a certain Ho’Din who had no intention of helping an Imperial: Baji.
Meanwhile, Ken had snuck out Topworld again, at least to retrieve his digital notebook that he’d lost last time he was here. He ran into Baji again, who’d actually found it and had held onto it for him. Watching the flames rising in the distance, both the Ho’Din and the Prince went their separate ways. Right before stormtroopers captured Baji to heal the strangely blinded Emperor. And Ken saw the whole thing.
Turns out that the glove was at fault, or at least, the fakey Force-Choking and Force Lightning abilities, were. The controls were messing with his nerves and didn’t do his eyes too much good. So once Trioculus took off the glove, his sight began to return… and so was revealed a disgustingly withered hand (the illustration is just wonderful NOT). Yeah, all in all, Baji was just restating the obvious in his diagnosis. The Ho’Din prescribes rare kibo seeds, right before making mention of the fact that Trioculus kinda commanded his stormtroopers to BURN THE FORESTS which would include the kibo flowers HE NEEDS TO MAINTAIN HIS EYESIGHT!!! He’s like “…Uh… I gotta go. BRB!” and he runs into Baji’s burning hut to grab his stash of seeds and let’s just say the guy makes it out, but doesn’t look too pretty.
But thankfully, the forest fire didn’t go unseen, the Alliance headed out to put out the fires and take down Trioculus’ base. Something that didn’t happen too easily as the Falcon took a nasty hit from a neutron fireball. But just when Luke and Han needed it, Ken and Dee-Jay were there, with an escape route to the Lost City in mind. And yeah, Ken nerded out meeting Captain Solo just as much as he did Luke 😀 But the trip to the Lost City was more than just a quick escape: it was a way to save the forests! I won’t fully explain it here, but the only reason this moon isn’t frigid and lifeless is because of the ancient Jedi who found a way to manipulate the weather with advanced technology. And all that has to be done is to kick up the rainy season! Without the code from Obi-Wan that Luke had remembered, the device wouldn’t have worked. Thanks to our heroes, the fires went out, and Yavin Four’s rainforests would have the chance to grow new life once more.
Like say, Trioculus wasn’t happy. He also lost his good looks in all that fire. Not to mention that had only, like, one ship that hadn’t been blown to smithereens by the Rebels. He made a few last requests as he and his team headed off: a) An imitation Vader glove, b) to lay waste to SPIN, and c) to let the lovely Leia live.
But on a happier note, Ken was now allowed to leave the Lost City for good, and to join the Rebel Alliance. Giving fond farewells to Dee-Jay and HC, Ken and Chip were about to take their first step into truly a much-larger world. And thus begins even more adventures with our familiar Rebel friends and this young Prince with a mysterious past.
So, wow! What an awesome book, am I right? Seriously, the Davids are so talented at writing SW stories! And this is only book #2, the story’s far from over, and I’m glad I could share it with you this wonderful Star Wars Reads Day. Hopefully it won’t be long before we dig into the next chapter in this series, but until then, I hope this made your SWRD a little more delightful!
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

SW Summer Reads – Jedi Prince #1: The Glove Of Darth Vader

There’s all this exciting news buzzing about in the SW Universe, and I chose to write a blog about a book written twenty years ago. Yes, I am kinda weird, I know. But who am I to postpone the finale for this year’s SW Summer Reads blogs? So, patience! I’ll write my thoughts on those things another day. Right now, I’m taking a nostalgic look back on the first book of Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince series: The Glove of Darth Vader.
Ah yes, the Jedi Prince series… this was the first series and currently the only series I’ve read that takes place post-Episode VI. Back in 2011, shortly after reading my first SW fiction Jedi Quest, I picked up book five, Queen Of The Empire, at my library. Yes. I actually kinda read them backwards. Somehow, I didn’t notice the obvious number “5” on the weathered old hardcover’s spine. I am really really glad that I didn’t end up reading book six first. However, despite that I read them out of order, I couldn’t help but enjoy them. You could sit there and be all “they’re not serious enough” or “they’re not legit enough to be Expanded Universe” or whatever it is that critical SW fans think, but I love them. Not to criticize Expanded Universe books myself, but I too often hear of SW books that are darker than I’d prefer. I know that SW has its dark moments and tragedies and I’m OK with it, but you likely won’t see me reading anything where a main-main-hero character gets killed, a main-main-hero character goes all Sith on us, or anything centering around a super-evil bad guy. Not saying I might not ever, but the Davids have their own lighthearted, exciting, intense, well-written, epic in scale, and easy-to-read-for-those-of-us-who-still-are-learning-about-Star-Wars SW stories that I already am into. This particular one, The Glove Of Darth Vader, was published in 1992, which, if I’m correct, was the renaissance of Expanded Universe fiction. This series, as you may already know, takes place after the events of Episode VI with our familiar Original Trilogy friends (I’m finally talking more about the Original Trilogy! Yayyyy!!). So go find the book and read it if you haven’t, and join me and we can rule the galaxy as… wait, what?! No… I meant, and join me on reading The Glove Of Darth Vader!
Cover art for Jedi Prince #1: The Glove Of Darth Vader
(I’ll let you take a minute here and enjoy the epic cover art)
NOTE: Contains spoilers from The Glove Of Darth Vader and Episode VI
Before we get into for real, can I just say that I love how they start off the story with “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”? It just makes it even cooler to read! 😀
Not unlike Episode IV, our story starts off with the droids. And as usual, Threepio Is complaining about something. Luke is prepping the two for a spy mission to Kessel, and any droids that draw as much attention to themselves as these two do are in need of a makeover. In this case, as nasty-looking, green Kessel mining droids. Artoo’s all “Dude, I make this outfit look good!” Theepio is not impressed, nor is he thrilled at losing his golden sheen.
What’s their mission’s objective? Mon Mothma, leader of the Senate’s Planetary Intelligence Network (SPIN, to the cool kids), breaks it down. As you most likely know, the Emperor is out of office, shall we say, and Vader’s not around to take his place. But somehow, the Empire’s still hanging around despite their leaders are gone. So they’re looking for a new potential emperor at a meeting on the lovely planet of Kessel. Not only that, but there’s a fair chance that the new emperor will wear the ultimate symbol of evil — the indestructible right-hand glove of Darth Vader. At least, as far as Dark Side Prophet Kadann predicts (as you’ll learn, he’s a little less than reputable). Yikes, what did they make that glove out of?! It managed to make it out of the exploding Death Star and halfway ‘cross the galaxy! (I bet Vader never had a problem opening pickle jars 😛 Of course, if you want to get technical, having the robotic arm in the first place… oh never mind! Just chuckle at the last joke and move on!) Off-topic note, but I actually found out that this event has ties with the Droids animated series/comics! Cool, right? But we’ll get into that later. So, off go Threepio and Artoo to Kessel, one of the nastiest planets in the SW Universe.
Prior to this, Han gives his goodbyes to Leia as he heads out to Bespin to work on a new house in the clouds. Leia’s not particularly thrilled considering he’s temporarily leaving his place with the Rebel Alliance and she’ll miss him like heck. But she gets him too much to keep him from putting together his first real home… aww… :3
Sorry, I just had to make mention of that… anyway, back to the droids! They had a bit of a rocky landing on Kessel in their disguised pod, but none too worse for the wear as they make their way through a slave escape tunnel to Kessendra Stadium, where the Imperials await to find out who’s the new Emperor. Kessendra Stadium has such a nice name; it’s a shame it’s a) on Kessel and b) it’s loaded to the brim with bad guys. Oh right, and they also hold gladiator games with the slaves. Lovely…
Introducing our new Emperor is Grand Moff Hissa, who is both powerful, respectful, and seriously creepy. Oh, and duh, evil, but you knew that. His most obvious physical trait is his teeth, which have been sharpened into fangs (every villain knows he has to look at least a little evil to be evil). I don’t know why, but I imagine his voice to be like Malcolm McDowell. But the guy introducing the new Emperor isn’t nearly as important as the new Emperor himself… and that new guy is Trioculus. And he just so happens to be the son of Darth Sidious. *Audience gasps* Trioculus is the nastiest slavelord on Kessel, so he’s got the whole “powerful” thing down that’s crucial to Emperors. He’s tall, dark, and… uh… handsome, I guess? IDK about that… the third eye in the middle of his forehead probably keeps a lot of fangirls at a distance (it also probably means he has no fangirls… 😛 ). Hey, I’m just referring to what the book described him as, people! All villains have a tragic backstory, and that’s certainly the case for Trioculus; he was raised by his alien mom (he um… got his mom’s eyes) and his third eye made him became a natural bullying target as a kid, thus he became the most feared bully at any Kessel school and grew up to become one of the most feared men on the planet as well. He’s a natural shoo-in for Emperor, right? He’s got the look, the personality, the Grand Moffs as supporters, and the birthright even! But everyone’s wondering about that whole “Vader’s glove” thing… perhaps they shouldn’tve brought it up to him. The less-than-fortunate grand admiral and royal guard got themselves a mouthful of Force Lightning. Ouch.
A short time later, the Imperials were having a lovely dinner with Trioculus when the new Emperor made it clear that he needed that glove. After all, he wanted to make certain the dark prophecy was about him and no one else. Also, what if a Kowakian lizard-monkey found it first and Kadann declared him the fulfillment of the prophecy?! Do you know what kind of terror one of those little guys could cause in the Emperor’s seat?! XD So yeah… they decided to get a new base on Hoth and continued to further their search for that glove.
Meanwhile, Threepio and Artoo had a couple of unexpected delays getting back to the Alliance (meaning their pod getting destroyed by a stormtrooper and prior to that, the two getting lost in the streets of Kessel), thankfully, Luke and Admiral Ackbar dropped by to give them a lift and returned to Mon Calamari with barely a hitch. And that’s about when Trioculus got a message from a guy named Captain Dunwell… who is this Captain Dunwell, you ask? A poacher, basically. Illegally hunting Calamarian whaladons for those with discerning taste in fine dining and obviously, no heart. Whaladons are kinda like Earth whales, but bigger, white, and lumpy-looking. The poor things are critically endangered, and we can thank Dunwell and the Empire for most of that dirty work. But thankfully, there’s a Jedi, an Alliance leader, and two droids with dirt on the Empire on their way to the planet now! And this particular whaladon, Leviathor, knows exactly who can help them (good thing Ackbar is a whaladon whisperer; heheheh talk about a tongue twister!).
At the exact same time just about, Trioculus and his entourage arrived on the planet, too, ready to hear about Captain Dunwell’s little discovery. Perhaps “little” is an understatement: the Captain found Death Star debris on Calamari… including a certain glove. Trioculus is all “YAYAYAYAYAYYYYY!!!” (Well, on the inside…)
So das hunt is on. Trioculus wants Vader’s glove. Luke and Ackbar want to help save the whaladons. As Threepio would say, “Here we go again.” 🙂
As Dunwell’s ship goes on to find Trioculus’ treasure, it manages to get ahold of four more whaladons, including Leviathor! (Insert dramatic, Obi-Wan/Luke-esque “NOOOOOOOO!!” here) But do our heroes give up?! No! If one thing’s for sure, it’s that Luke Skywalker never gives up! (Except, maybe, for that third grade math test, but… uh… that’s not the point!)
So as they were trying to rescue the whaladons, they found they’d caught The Emperor Jr. in the midst of finding his new fashion accessory. And the next thing you know, they get accidentally sucked into the ship with a giant Calamarian squid.
Meanwhile, Trioculus finally had the glove, but, like a kid who just received a defunct toy for Christmas, was shocked to find he couldn’t Force Choke people with it. In fact, as is revealed through Trioculus and Hissa, he can’t really use Force Lightning either, because, apparently *spoiler alert*, Trioculus isn’t actually Palpatine’s son. Palpatine’s real son is for some reason (as we will soon find out) in the Imperial loony bin, and Hissa figured that since the rightful heir is insane, they can just use Trioculus as the next best thing. So despite he’s got the (not-so) unlimited power with his fake Force Lightning and the best seat in the Empire, he’s still none too pleased. Thankfully (or… uh… not-so thankfully), Force Choking can be faked, too. But, holy plot twist, Dunwell overheard everything! And he barely turned around before he ran smack into a certain Jedi… and it’s not smart for anyone to mess with a Jedi, you all know…
Give Artoo a few seconds, and he’s got the terrible hunting ship on self-destruct and is about to free the whaladons. He is totes awesome. And then suddenly in walks Trioculus. Trioculus tried fake Force Choking, but didn’t get the chance. He then tried fake Force Lightning, but well, he realized all-too soon that fake Force Lightning in one’s hand has some… painful side effects. Plus, Luke and his lightsaber > Force Lightning 😀
In the long run, Luke managed to get off the ship, back into their minisub, free Leviathor and the whaladons, and all ended well. Trioculus? Well, as is the case for most SW villains, you don’t just kill them off in the first story. He’s currently ignoring his sudden eye problems and just happy as giant clams that he has the glove. I mean, does it even cross his mind that, now that the core supplier of whaladon meat (the self-destructed ship and the Captain, who got the “reward” that every Sith-y sort gives their hired scum) is destroyed, they’re probably eating canned ravioli for dinner! But he doesn’t care! He just gots his glove! Well, he’ll most certainly be back. And so, Luke and the droids got the chance to see a beautiful and majestic-sounding whaladon concert, which sounds insanely awesome. But as Luke is thinking himself, this battle was only the beginning…
So that, ladies and gents, is The Glove Of Darth Vader! And that was also the last of this year’s SW Summer Reads. But this won’t be the last book I give my commentary on, no sir! After all, there are plenty more stories to read and, of course, all of these series have more stories to share (and for me to blog about). So anyway, I personally love this series and each of its chapters are a sheer awesome delight to read. Ahhh why did the Davids never write any other SW series?!?! (Well, at least, not to my knowledge…) But anyway, the next post will be most likely more laid-back. In that case, it’ll probably take way less time to write… 🙂
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight