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The Resistance Report: The Platform Classic

OK guys, I am so ready to dive into The Platform Classic and all its fascinating backstory reveals, character complexities, and pure heart! So let’s get goin’ why don’t we?

Contains spoilers from Resistance episodes The Recruit, Fuel For The Fire, Synara’s Score, and The Platform Classic, and Rebels episodes Homecoming and the Legacy Of Mandalore storyarc

After spending last week’s Report talking about soul sisters, it seems super appropriate that today we’re talking blood brothers. I seriously did not see that coming at all, and not just because Marcus’s stage name threw me off for two seconds (though I was fairly sure “Speedstar” was a little too on-the-nose to be a real StarWarsian surname). A lot of the surprise is simply that I’m not used to this kind of story/character progression in animated Star Wars, primarily with Rebels. Considering how long it took to reveal all of Sabine’s backstory and family life — with just small keys in the earlier seasons before delving in deep in the third and fourth — I was expecting a similar pattern for Team Fireball here. It already felt like a lot learning as much as we did about Tam last episode, so I was rather unprepared for so many shockers in this episode. It’s not like we hadn’t had some clues to Yeager’s past leading up to this — his hesitance to get involved with the Resistance, the family holophoto — but again, to me, that felt in line with the Rebels method of leaving a trail of keys little by little. Never did I expect the sheer explosion of reveals that awaited me! I’m certainly not complaining, though; just fascinated by why the writers have made these story moves, and what these story moves might mean in the future. Because though we learned a great deal about Jarek Yeager today, I know we don’t know everything (like that aforementioned hesitance in The Recruit). Much intrigue!

So going into this episode, I again was mentally referring back to Rebels, because I believe it’s in episodes like Homecoming and Legacy Of Mandalore that we got a feel for the Star Wars flawed-family-reunion. No doubt what Hera and Sabine went through with their families was terrible, but in some ways, Jarek and Marcus’s reunion is even worse. While the Syndullas and Wrens share similar struggles with the Yeagers, like losing family, and prideful decisions resulting in horrible mistakes, there is one major difference that’s very important: war did not have a hand in the Yeagers’ division. That means there was no third party to shift the blame to, and interestingly, no obvious common goal (like fighting the Empire) to reunite them. This actually makes Jarek and Marcus’s family struggle even more relatable, more painful. Even if none of us has ever made a mistake that life-shattering, who among us hasn’t still made a terrible mistake that hurt someone dear to us, whether a sibling, or other family member or friend? A mistake we so wish we could fix, angry words we wish we could take back? The Platform Classic offers a familiar lesson about family and forgiveness, but the way the story comes together puts a new spin on it, and makes the lesson powerfully personal, just in case we didn’t get it the first couple times around (and let’s be honest, most of us need to re-learn this lesson constantly, me included).

Yes, the Yeagers’ reunion is definitely one of the absolute most painful in SW history. The enthusiasm in the room is gone in one quick stroke, like an airlock was opened and sucked it all away. Yeager’s conversations with his brother are icy cold for much of the episode. It’s like Yeager has no emotion left whatsoever. This is especially prevalent when the brothers are off to the races, and Yeager says bluntly, “You came here to lose,”. A phrase likely said with jovial brotherly competitiveness decades ago, is now just spoken as harsh fact, made all the harsher for us in the audience who know that it’s not just Marcus’s mechanic whose life is at stake with this race, but his only friend. Not to mention, of course, how Yeager finishes that sentence, But how else would you talk to someone who was responsible for the death of your family? Man alive, when they finally revealed that as the accident, I was just thrown. It’s not that I didn’t sort of wonder if that’s what happened the more we delved into each brother’s side of the story, but actually hearing Yeager confirm that… I hurt for them both so badly. Again, it’s just so personal. It’s not war, it’s not politics, it was one terrible accident. And it’s such a terrible accident, that my first instinct is to assume it would be nearly impossible to get past. No wonder Yeager has lost almost all feeling, no wonder he has no passion left for racing. But that’s maybe what makes his ultimate forgiveness of his brother so striking. It doesn’t mean that Yeager doesn’t still have a lot to work through, it doesn’t mean everything is automatically better between them, but the fact he took such a difficult step and accepted Marcus’s apologies after all this time, the fact he still found it in him somehow to hug his brother… that speaks infinite volumes. *Applauds Lucasfilm once again*

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– OK one of the best moments in the whole episode is within the first ten seconds where, if you look carefully, you’ll find BB-8 and Bucket are clearly having a disagreement and ramming into each other XD Either that, or Bucket just can’t see well.
– Kaz on his knees backwards in a “desk” chair is such a wonderfully relatable thing to see. The enthusiasm goin’ around is contagious!
– My literal train of thought at this point on my first viewing: oh nooo you’re not planning a surprise party for Yeager, are you Kaz? I don’t foresee that going well… but it would be gloriously hilarious! Very Emperor’s New Groove X)
– Whoa you guys. Doza has the classiest hairstyle.
– Marcus’s black-and-purple look is on point!
– I’m not surprised Marcus decided on a name change. There’s something about the name “Yeager” that calls to mind “Eeyore”. That might suit Jarek, but not his spontaneous little bro. Of course, the name change might be more to do with that past tragedy instead. Hard to say.
– Ohhh dear nobody seems to have good experiences with the Guavian Death Gang.
– Hmm I guess “genarians” is the SW galaxy’s politically-correct species-neutral term for “gentlemen”?
– *Shoves Kaz over* “There. You’ve got my best mechanic.” Haha yes I see what you did dere Yeager. Well. Played. (Sorry Kaz)
– OH HELLO THAT IS A PRETTY SHIP RIGHT THERE. If you guys remember the way this site looked before, you know I’m really into purple 🙂
– Well there’s something I didn’t know about niktos. But I’m glad to know that unshakable loyalty isn’t just Neeku’s thing.
– I’ve never seen Bucket so happy! In fact I wasn’t certain he had the ability to be happy. Also, when Yeager was talking to Bucket, I think that’s the happiest Yeager has ever sounded. At least in this episode for sure.
– Still get so hyped watching those fast beautiful machines go!
– This, little pit droid, is why we don’t sit on the railing here. Or sit behind Kaz XP
– The fact the Yeagers can have such an important, emotional conversation while flying at a zillion miles an hour is pretty mind-blowing.
– BB-8’s all “Uh sorry but you are still no Poe Dameron, man.” But it’s OK Kaz. If you get Yeager to be your friend the way BB-8’s your friend (and I do believe he is, in a Pinocchio-Jiminy Cricket kind of way), you’ll still be doing pretty good 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 4

A new Forces Of Destiny compilation has dropped and I’m here to write once again on all the fascinating and inspiring things I’ve learned. This time will be a little different, though, because this is actually the first time I’ve watched them all, period, so my thoughts on each short are all completely fresh on my mind (and hopefully, in turn, will be a little clearer than all those posts where I’ve forgotten some of my original impressions from the first viewing). You can read the first three posts here, here, and here. Now, off to Takodana we go! (And everywhere else in the galaxy, for that matter)

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Four (but you can watch those shorts here), and several elements from Star Wars Rebels, Solo, Episode VI, Episode VII, and Episode VIII.

OK first of all never mind, looks like we’re not on Takodana today. I miss the pretty green planet a little, but I can live with that because today we have HONDO!!! I loved seeing him and Maz at odds in The Freemaker Adventures, and I’ve always wanted to see them cross paths again. So this is just spectacular! Their obviously long-time rivalry is just too fun to watch! Now, maybe I’m off on this, but this looks like a slightly-younger Hondo than the one we see in Rebels. I’d assumed all these Maz stories framing the shorts happened in or around the Sequel era, but it seems the clock goes back a little further for this one, which I love! It does bring up an interesting thought, though, because I had somehow assumed Maz really was the one telling these stories. In truth, looking back, I’m not sure how she could’ve been there for all these small moments with all of these characters, unless she heard them by word-of-mouth. But I guess it’s reasonable to say she’s not the one telling all these stories, at least for the ones that happen much later on. I think that’s how both parts of the Forces Of Destiny volumes remain canon. Or I could be wrong and Hondo just got back all his old pirate-y garb and he only looks younger. Either way, wow there’s so much I’ve already learned, and I haven’t even gotten to the shorts yet!

#1. Chopper is a surprisingly great leader.

I wouldn’t normally have expected Chop to do so well with the ewoks. I mean… his track record of being friendly to people really isn’t that great. But maybe the years since Ezra’s departure have made him a better, nicer droid somehow. Hera’s always had a knack for finding just the right crewmembers, no matter who they are or where they’ve been. Now Chopper seems to be taking a page from his mom’s book, convincing her that his ewok buddies are the perfect new Ghost crew gunners! It’s all just too cute and too fun. And my inner ewok nerd is happy to see Princess Kneesaa joining the fight! Now I want to go rewatch some old Ewoks episodes…

#2. Baby sando aquas are precious and must be protected!

Seriously WOW THAT IS CUTE!! I think I might have a new fave on my list of favorite Star Wars creatures. I’ve always thought the monsters impressive, but getting to see them closer, and in a sweeter light, I find I love them more than I did before! Beyond that, it’s really neat seeing Padme take charge like she does and help her guardsmen consider all the angles in a frightening, dangerous situation. And it’s important to note that, though the guards don’t know how to handle the exact situation at first, they don’t come off as incapable or powerless, just in need of a little extra advice. It’d be easy to make them look dumb in contrast to Padme and her strong-but-peaceful approach, but they only give us the facts: that any of us might be prone to making a rash decision in a crisis, but if you can keep a cool head, a solid solution might be easier to find that you once thought. Strong characters all around, that’s just how Star Wars rolls!

#3. Tristan’s the little brother.

I honestly never considered that before. I assumed he was either older by a year or two, or he and Sabine were twins. But I’m glad they set the record straight. And from the instant she said “C’mon, little brother” and he gave a quiet unamused “ugh”, it’s impossible to miss those sibling-bond vibes! It’s the kind of bond where you follow your sibling into trouble and say snippy things you don’t really mean, but you love them anyway, and even find you have more in common than you thought. It’s a sibling bond I can almost 100% relate to! Just to hear Sabine talk to her bro about things they did growing up gives such a sense of history and warmth to the Wren family. I adored every minute of this one. Getting to spend a slightly-quieter moment with the Wren kids and a closer look at their friendship is an absolute treat!

Also, I will need to check back on Legacy Of Mandalore and see if Tristan still has that painting on his shoulder armor, ’cause Sabine did a great job on it 🙂

#4. Hondo doesn’t like droids.

And if you had to put up with droids like IG-88, I could see why! It’s pretty hilarious watching the two argue over who has the bigger bounty. It continues to fascinate me that IG cares about credits in the first place, but I guess self-reliant bounty hunter droids need new parts every now and again. But though the pirate and hunter steal the show, the short’s focus is Qi’ra, who clearly has had enough experience with scoundrels to know how to best out-scoundrel ’em. I think it’s really neat to see a Qi’ra story in Forces Of Destiny, because she’s not quite like any of the other heroines we see in these stories. She’s not a Rebel leader, not a senator, not a Jedi, doesn’t steal the Death Star plans… she honestly might deserve the title of “scoundrel” almost as much as her adversaries do! She ultimately earns the title of “heroine” in the way she defends Han from Vos, but we’re not at that point yet. None of this is to say Qi’ra’s isn’t still a good person at heart, but I think we can agree she’s not a typical role model. This is a good thing, though, because I would honestly love to see some Forces Of Destiny stories surrounding more characters like her; bossladies who might not be the obvious heroine, but who still might have some shining moments in their stories yet to be told. Like Ventress, Sugi, or Naare! (ok that’s just a pipe dream but still would be cool)

#5. Porgs make great parents!

Until I watched this short, I had no idea both the mama and the papa porgs take care of their babies! Not surprising since they’re bird-like, and a lot of birds do the same. But still neat to know and too cute to see! Not only are porgs great parents, but we also see Chewbacca being a fantastic uncle! Though the porgs have caused their fair share of trouble, Chewie can’t turn down an opportunity to help the fluffball porglets. It’s seriously the sweetest thing, and shows so much his respect for nature and his huge heart :3 I honestly spent this entire short going “AWWW!!”, because I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to react in any other way. But I do have to wonder if it’s this kind act of Chewie’s that made all the porgs decide “Hey! Let’s go hang out in the Falcon! The hairy guy who lives there is so nice, he surely wouldn’t mind if we made ourselves comfortable!” XD #MoPorgsMoProblems

#6. Always let Rey drive.

Or at least don’t let Finn drive! And I think he knows it. I love seeing extensions of scenes like this, and I love chase scenes, and I love Finn and Rey, and I love the background paintings, and I still will always love the fact Finn loaned Rey his jacket (such a gentleman). So… yeah this short’s got a lot to love! It’s so fun watching more of this dynamic duo doing what they do (by figuring out what they do best) and making one seriously great escape on scenic Starkiller Base! I need to rewatch VII so I can spot exactly when this scene would’ve taken place, because I’ve sort of forgotten…

#7. The Ewoks animated series was right…

The citizens of Bright Tree Village have had other problems besides the Empire. Like this giant beastie! It certainly looks like it would’ve fit in well with the old show. It’s been a while since I’ve watched them, so I can’t remember for sure if I’ve seen the giant before. Either way, Wicket and Kneesaa aren’t alone, they have the original SPACE TWINS on their side! There’s so much I haven’t gotten to see with Luke and Leia’s sibling bond between the trilogies, so I was totally stoked for this one! It’s not exactly the quieter moment we see with Sabine and Tristan, but it’s thrilling all the same, and so special to see them working together — with both getting a chance to wield the green-blade 😀 Space Twins forever!

#8. Ahsoka’s a very creative teacher…

And maybe a tad intense! But when I think about who her master was and how she fights, I’m not surprised. I don’t know what I loved more — getting to watch Ahsoka impart wisdom on a young Jedi, or the fact that the young Jedi in question was Ezra. It made me realize how much I missed seeing them together, and how great their friendship is! And thinking back on all I’ve seen in Rebels, I can see where Ezra was absolutely taking Ahsoka’s wisdom to heart. Everything about this short is so epic and so meaningful and I’m almost at a loss for words. Just hearing them laugh together… FEELS. ALL THE FEELS!

Also another thing I learned: I’m assuming this is Garel we’re on right now, and if so, then Garel actually has some grassy areas! It’s not all just a big city world, it has really gorgeous natural beauty as well, including some killer sunsets 🙂

Yes I just love all these so much. Thanks for reading, and hopefully if my schedule allows, I will have more Star Wars to write about next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Legacy Of Mandalore

Ah yes Rebels are back and it’s Transmission time again! Forgive my kind of bad timing… and the very very big hole in my SW knowledge that is Mandalore and 80% of its culture. Won’t stop me from writin’ all my fangirl musings down tho. Let’s begin as we dig into Legacy Of Mandalore!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Imperial Supercommandos, Trials Of The Darksaber, and Legacy Of Mandalore

FIRST OF ALL… she hasn’t been back since before her time at the Imperial Academy? Where was the Imperial Academy then? On the capital Mandalore we see in The Clone Wars or a different Mando-territory? Sorry that was not a good way to open up, but you see, I usually write these posts on my second-ever viewing of the episode, so at this point I’m paying much much closer attention to what’s going on because I have time to pause and contemplate and digest all the information being conveyed. First viewing I was pretty much on the edge of my seat the whole time because obvious reasons OMG WE’RE GOING TO MEET SABINE’S FAMILY. What struck me about all of this was that Sabine is the only member of the Ghost crew to have all her core family alive and well and within reach… and yet, she fears going home to them. We’ve spent the longest time in the dark with her past, and now… well, we’re finally getting that family reunion Animation Magazine “predicted” a year back (long story read the fourth paragraph in this post here). It’s almost a surreal sort of feeling. Anyway yes tensions are high as the Phantom II flies on to Krowsnest (btw one of the most epic names ever). Especially as soon as Sabine makes her presence known and quite quickly arrive the “flying Stormtroopers” known as Clan Wren — with rockets pointed in their direction. Ezra’s utterly confused “OMG DUDE WHAT THE HECK” face is so perfect though. Not all families are as nice as yours, Ez… at least not when you happen to be a so-called traitor. Hoo boy. I was pretty worried when the Imp-Mandos drew their blasters in Chop’s direction… you know how some Manderrs are with their droid-shooting. I was relieved that they didn’t fire on him, but then I realized “Ohhhh right though they just blasted the Phantom so… that isn’t much better.”
OK totally random observation but the artist/animator in me was absolutely internally screaming with delight over that snow. IT’S SO REAL AND BEAUTIFUL. I’VE NEVER SEEN SNOW THAT LOOKED THAT GOOD IN AN ANIMATED SERIES. LIKE WOW. Sort of had to slap myself in the face to bring my attention back to the story. I really had no idea we’d be venturing to a different side of Mandalore (or as I later found out, technically a different Mandalore all together) so instead of getting lots of transparisteel and cubism topiary we got all this beautiful snow and trees and like maybe only 2% transparisteel. Don’t tell me you weren’t mesmerized by this scenery too man. But ultimately this glorious snowy forest is just a backdrop to the many complicated emotions about to rise. In fact I’m sure the gray skies and cold ground are accenting the cold reception and the very cold “meh” life of the disgraced Wrens. Sabine warns Ezra to exercise caution when facing their gray-armored opponents, as these guys could be family. Ez only pulled his lightsaber in case he needed it but then the lead supercommando freaked out and pulled out his blaster and everything went crazy from there. OK maybe not that crazy, really just until the leader heard Sabine’s name. He took of his helmet and his perfect familial resemblance ’bout knocked me over. This is Tristan, Sabine’s brother. I saw the briefest glimpse of him when SW socials posted screencaps early-on and though I tried to avoid spoilers I couldn’t help but notice this handsome bro. I had no idea what to expect of his character and if he’d be as likable as his design, but the fact he had no interest in fighting his sister and her friends (and that he wasn’t a raging ball of totally-pro-Empire Mando fury) gave me reason enough to like him off the bat either way. Also his name is perfect it’s so perfect I can’t believe no one named a SW character Tristan before this. Also also I love the fact that apparently Sabine’s rainbow hair has been a thing for a long while. How’d she get away with that at the Academy? Either way that earns her even more cool points! Anyway so now Sabine and the Jedi are finally heading to her old home. Chopper’s staying behind and laying low, “Sure as shoot I’m not gettin’ involved in this mess… though Fenn, you go have fun out there if you like, I do not mind.” XP
So… meeting with Mama Wren went… OK I guess. Ursa is a complete bosslady and has an amazing amazing costume design, but… she basically had full intent to toss her daughter in a cell until she saw the Darksaber in her hand. Who does that?? Also apparently Mandalorians consider waving “hello” a punishable crime. Poor Ez. Seems he’s the only one trying to break up all the tension today. I shall still applaud his efforts anyway. But yeah Ursa is less than thrilled to let her status-destroying traitorous Rebel child back home. And it’s literally the most sad/frustrating/disheartening conversation-that’s-not-really-a-conversation-because-it’s-more-of-an-argument. I do think I finally made sense of all these fragments of Sabine’s backstory though so that’s something. But… yeah I definitely get Ezra’s confusion with Mando culture right now. I can hardly fathom the idea of basically disowning your kid over what really shakes down to be a political matter. Honestly it’s hard for me to fathom disowning your own precious child to begin with, regardless of what they’ve done. All I can say right now Hera’s parenting > Ursa’s parenting. But that’s not fair really (even if it’s *cough* still kinda true). Taking the conversation outside, Ursa admits she didn’t really want to serve the Empire but it was one of those “join-us-or-die” situations and what else could she’ve done? So yeah lot of emotions going on here on my part. I was pretty grumpy with Mrs. Wren’s grumpiness, but… in reality, the Wrens are just really broken right now, like all of Mandalore, like all the galaxy. Sabine was gone, Mr. Wren imprisoned, Tristan working for Gar Saxon, and Ursa trying to protect her people against all kinds of hateful retaliating from other clans. Last few years have been really hard and unfortunately Sabine’s presence doesn’t help right now. So now I just want to cry for all that tore this once-strong family apart. Sabine still requests her mother’s help, still hands her the Darksaber. Though not entirely convinced her daughter knows how to use it, Ursa seems to accept it. Too bad soon as we turn around we find the countess talking with GAR SAXON. OmO Probably a good thing Fenn Rau snuck on in shortly after. Sure nice having at least one Mando on our side right now. Because yeah… Kanan and Ezra’s negotiating attempts fall through really really fast…
So name one thing scarier than Gar Saxon with the Darksaber. NOTHING. OK maybe that’s a little bit hyperbolical considering the large array of terrifying villains in SW, but he’s definitely high up on the list for me. Especially when it’s clear he’s altered the deal and he don’t bat an eyelash at altering it further (sorry that was kind of shameless). I applauded heartily though when Tristan was the first of the Wrens to stand up. And again when Fenn Rau busted in with Kanan and Ezra’s lightsabers. And again some more when Ezra tossed Sabine his lightsaber just as Saxon was about to strike Ursa. The bad guys may be at their baddest, but the good guys are at their best, and it’s nothing short of amazing. I basically spent the entire climax unable to breathe one moment and then cheering on our heroes the next. Definitely couldn’t breathe once Sabine and Saxon started dueling out on the ice. I mean, I’m thinking the whole time either someone’s gonna die by blade or die by freezing and either way it ain’t gon’ be pretty. Not gonna lie I was literally quivering with both fear and anticipation. Then in a swift move Sabine sends her foe to his knees… but she still does things her way and refuses to kill him. AND THEN THE SHOT RANG OUT and I was all “WHAHT. JUST. HAPPENED?” And then we saw that the fierce Mama Wren shot first. One of the truly epicest things I’ve seen all season. Now that’s what I call loyalty 🙂
And then the beautiful bittersweet ending that made all SWR fans everywhere cry buckets. Sabine’s decided to stay and help her family fight back and find her dad, a tough decision, but one she feels she’s just gotta make for now. For the first time ever, to see a member of this precious crew-family saying goodbye… it was unimaginable just about. I know it’s not forever but… it still feels final, and it still got me tearing up. Her and Kanan’s hug… oh gosh I was dead. So so dead. With feels. This goodbye may bring about tears, but I believe it’s not the end. While Sabine stands aside her blood family in what may be their most desperate hour, her thicker-than-blood family will keep fighting for the rest of the galaxy while they wait for her to come home again.
And so the post comes to a close and I’m all choked up again. I look forward greatly to seeing what happens from here with our Ghost fam and all of their extended fam. Until next time.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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