The Celebration Orlando 2017 Post!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Zero Hour

OK so this episode is so epic I hardly know how to start writing this post. Perhaps it’s for the best I just write the spoiler notes and move on instead of my usual post-opening random ramblings. There’s a lot of epic ground to cover on this one today! 😀
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode IV, and the Rebels episode Zero Hour (as well as really everything this past season and the seasons prior)

To say that the season three finale is full of surprises is a massive understatement, but that’s one of the things I think strikes me the most about it. I wasn’t sure exactly how many episodes we’d get this season, so the arrival of Zero Hour itself was somewhat unexpected. And I had no clue what was about to go down! I mean, the Rebels are about to strike the Empire big-time, but we know they don’t get in a major win until they steal those Death Star plans. So what does that mean for them right now? And we also know that Thrawn’s been up to something all season, constantly saying “No no, let them go! Let them have their victory today…”. These two factors didn’t seem to bode well, and after what happened on last season’s finale… I could only watch and see how this would all shake down. Now, digging into the episode itself…
Dark gray skies over Lothal, the Grand Admiral flanked by Deathtroopers, and a spectacularly ominous score… it’s striking and utterly chilling, just like Thrawn himself. And then we see Kallus casually watching overhead, hoping his reprogrammed mouse droid will get some good dirt for him from Thrawn’s super-secret meeting. Such a genius idea! And oh I love the crafty smirk on his face as he starts to listen in! Reminded me again how awesome it is that Agent K’s on our side. Thrawn reveals he knows basically everything right now. About the Rebel attack on the Lothal Imperial factory and all those coordinating it. Only thing he doesn’t know is the exact location of their base. But that doesn’t make the situation any less grave. He knows so much about their plans it’s insane! It’s like he found some portal to our universe and watched all the last few episodes! But he didn’t… he just knows this. And pretty much from the get-go I couldn’t help but fear for not only our newborn Rebel Alliance, but for their loyal Fulcrum as well…
I know I spent a lot of the episode on edge, but true to Star Wars nature, we’re never without a few good vibes here and there. Ezra and Kanan’s conversation as they prepare for the battle ahead is everything. All my earlier concerns were pushed aside for a moment as I basically drowned in feels and nostalgia. Ez just can’t keep quiet about how amazing his friends have been in all the ways they contributed to the Alliance’s formation. His energy and enthusiasm about it is contagious, and he so selflessly doesn’t give himself any credit… he has grown up so much, and at the same time, I can’t help but be reminded of the boy he was at the beginning of season two, undaunted and full of fire, ready to do the right thing no matter the challenge. Kanan gives him the credit he rightfully deserved though, recalling with pride how far his padawan’s come. “Sometimes I wonder if I have anything left to teach you.” “No, that can’t be true.” “My own Jedi training was limited.” “I don’t mean about the Force, I mean about life, about being a good person. That’s what you’ve taught me.” AHHHHHHHHH I LOVE THIS MASTER AND APPRENTICE SO MUCH I ABSOLUTELY CAN’T. X3 I would’ve liked all these good vibes to last a little longer, but they’ve got a busy day ahead of them and Hera needs her boys to get back to work. Also did I mention General Dodonna‘s coming? With his Y-wings? That’s a big deal guys. It’s great finally getting to meet him more. For a while I only knew him because of his action figure, but his brief mention back on The Antilles Extraction got me to pay closer attention to him in the films and now I’m highly looking forward to seeing more of him in the next season.
We catch up with Kallus again as he stops by Ezra’s old tower to transmit the news. It’s really cool that we got to come back here again, even if just for a glimpse. But um yeah Thrawn is one step ahead of everyone today… including Agent K. And the Grand Admiral happened to show up right behind him. Not gonna lie I was worried a good bit during this episode that Kallus wasn’t gonna make it out alive. Actually I’ve worried that a lot long before this episode. The Empire is terrifying bro. Remember what happened to Maketh Tua? Yeah I was terrified we might get a repeat of that. They’ve made me really love Agent Kallus this past season and I wasn’t sure I could bear losing him so soon. Thrawn is an incredible fighter, I don’t have to tell you that. He works out with sentry droids, ’nuff said. Sometimes the villains seem so powerful I forget for a moment how powerful our heroes are, too, ’cause boyyyy did Kallus deliver! He might not’ve won the fight, but he held his own quite impressively. Plus dropped some serious snark on him that was worth applauding. Again, isn’t it wonderful having Agent K on our side? I like his sick burns a lot more now that he’s aiming them at the Imps! Also random note I love that the animators rigged a strand of hair loose on him. Weird how such a little thing really adds a lot! Though wow considering all he’s been through before that didn’t mess up his hair, he must use a lot of hairspray normally XP OK sorry back to seriousness, ’cause despite his impressive fighting skills and near-perfect hair, Kallus is quickly shackled and can only watch as Thrawn finally deciphers the location of the Rebels’ base. I felt utterly sick as the weight of it all sunk in…
Soon as the Rebs receive the unfinished transmission, they know something’s wrong. And soon after arrive quite a few star destroyers. They’ve got no choice now but to hyperspace away at this point… but if only they could. Not only are they surrounded at all ends by destroyers, but these destroyers have gravity wells keeping the Rebel fleet from going anywhere. Thrawn sends Captain Syndulla and company a friendly holo, letting them know he’s basically already won. But Hera is far from admitting defeat. If they can just get one ship through to find help, all the Rebels can get to safety from there. The Captain believes Kanan and Ezra in the newly-acquired Gauntlet have the best chance. The Jedi have no interest in leaving her or the rest of their team right now, but Hera isn’t giving them a choice on the matter. Kanan and Ezra’s loyalty here man… it’s just the most precious thing. But technically Kanan might have other reasons he needs to stay behind: he’s got a certain friend who might be able to help them. Though Hera’s in the dark about this “friend”, she’s willing to trust him on this. OMG that tender goodbye gesture of theirs sent me into the deepest depths of warm-and-fuzzy land ❤ ❤ The fangirlin' doesn't stop 'round here, not even in the midst of all this uncertainty. Also I just gotta ask… when did Zeb get around to trying joopa? Maybe he and Rex took a slinging trip when they had the time, or went and visited Wolffe and Gregor one weekend. There are still days I seriously really want to try barbecued joopa, is that weird? XD Sorry, anyway, so now we're definitely hoping the Force is with Ezra, as he now flies the Gauntlet alone (OK not entirely alone Chopper came along of course) while the rest of the Rebs bring the fight to the Empire all around him. Though space battles are rife with danger, it’s hard not to get excited as we watch the Rebels bravely pull out everything they’ve got, especially when we it involves a few Y-wings 😀 Though as the Empire seems to catch on to their tricks, my brain is torn between the thrilling visuals and action of the space battle and that lingering “how the hoo-ha are they gonna get out of this??” nervousness. Also I adore how grumpy Konstantine is with Thrawn right now. THAT LOOK HE SHOOTS HIM BEFORE HE ENDS THE TRANSMISSION. HE IS SO. DONE. XD Even Kallus seems to get a kick out of it!
So safe to say the Bendu isn’t exactly happy to see anyone right now, not even his Jedi friend. You don’t go bringin’ war to his Atollon, man! (Pff I finally got the world’s name right. Took me long enough.) As a mighty being neither of the dark nor light, he’s not getting involved. Kanan once lived his life “in the middle” as well, and eventually found he couldn’t stand by and do nothing. His passion for fighting for the right thing is awesome! How could you not feel that same fire that’s clearly burning? I couldn’t help but smile a little at this quiet callback to A New Dawn, reminding me how far the Jedi Knight’s come since. But it’s safe to say this plea of his is falling on deaf ears.
And yeah things in the stars are going downhill fast. For every move the Alliance makes, it seems the Empire’s got a move to match it. Every turn they take it seems is blocked. They’re surrounded by chaos and they’re losing pilots quickly. Ultimately, Commander Sato knows what has to be done, and rams his ship into the powerful Interdictor-class, tearing it apart and giving Ezra his exit. Though my heart broke at his sacrifice, I couldn’t help but quietly say admiringly “That’s how you do it, Commander…”. His bravery leading up to that moment was nothing short of awe-inspiring, and his skills in delivering that final blow utterly masterful. All the respect in the galaxy to you, Jun Sato. *Moment of silence*
From there, Thrawn forces the rest of the fleet back to the surface, and gives what may be the most creepy, fiendish, cunning smile I’ve ever seen on an Imperial face, short of the Emperor himself. And also on the subject of bad news, Kanan’s negotiations with Bendu don’t go anywhere it seems. Not to mention Mon Mothma is unable to get Ezra the help the Alliance needs. But Ezra does know one place he can get help, and it’s on a little Mandalorian territory called Krowsnest. Even with the stakes high and the enemy seemingly winning, it was impossible for me not to get excited about Sabine’s return! I had a feeling the season wouldn’t end without her, and I sure hoped she’d bring the Mando cavalry with her, but I could only wait patiently and see.
Though the rest of the Rebs are grounded, they’re not going anywhere without a fight. With Sabine’s magnificent specialty shield generator, the base remains unharmed as Imperial firepower falls from the sky in a visually spectacular storm of green. It was a really bad time for Kanan not to be at the base though. Yeah I was on definitely definitely on edge as his speederbike just narrowly avoided the torrent of laserfire. And those brief moments where it seemed the shields might go down only put me on the edge of my seat further. It was all so intense I nearly forgot to breathe. But just as soon as the firing began, it stopped. And then my brain couldn’t decide whether to fangirl my head off over the cuteness of Hera calling Kanan “Love” again, or be entirely suspicious as to why Thrawn decided to cease fire…
So Ezra has a considerably less difficult time landing on Krowsnest this time. It’s probably mostly because the Mandos consider him a friend now, but I betcha it was partially also the fact he’s flying an impressive Mandalorian craft now 😛 We find the Wrens rather have their hands full right now though, considering they’re at odds with the Saxons. But Sabine simply cannot allow her crew-family to lose this battle, even when it seems impossible to win. “My friends make the impossible possible” might be the truest statement ever and it makes me smile endlessly. Even with all they’ve got going on, Ursa agrees that she can’t turn a blind eye to the Rebels. So she sends Sabine off with a small Mando crew to go and do the impossible 🙂
Meanwhile, Thrawn’s now brought out walkers upon walkers on the Rebels. And not just the chicken walkers, ’cause that’s easy enough with Zeb and Rex working their magic, but the “lousy four-leggers” too… and those could pose a slightly bigger problem. Kanan joins the action just in time with a little lightsaber-swinging (I guess the Empire still hasn’t fortified those legs yet). But it’s also about when the Grand Admiral walks in. With Ezra and Sabine and Rau and the Wrens taking on the Imps, it’s prime time for the rest of the Rebs to jet. “Looks like the family’s together again.” “Let’s try and keep it that way.” AWWW SUCH FEELS!! :3 But it’s hard to jet when you’ve got Thrawn and Deathtroopers standing right in front of you. I was sick with terror. They’re surrounded by a few of the Empire’s best! Even if Ezra and Sabine’s team wins the battle up there, what could possibly help everyone down here?? And then… suddenly it’s clear that the frightening storm in the background isn’t just for dramatic effect. BENDU IS MAD BRO. HE MAD AT ALL OF Y’ALL. I remember, upon first meeting the Bendu, that for a while I was a bit uncertain of him. He was clearly a powerful being, and since he had no allegiance to either side, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if someone got on his bad side, or if he turned out not to be the ally he appeared to be. But then he proved himself such a wise, jovial beast that I kind of couldn’t see him as anything but that… until now. The Bendu has taken on the form of the clouds, with fire in his eyes and is raining down lightning. No doubt it’s scary but it’s also completely magnificent. Everything about his commanding presence both gives me chills and leaves me in awe. I just love the look of uncertainty on Thrawn’s face as he witnesses the living Force at its finest! With the Bendu taking most of his anger out on the Imperial forces, Hera, Kanan, and company finally get their chance to leave. It’s like Hera said once, “it’s good to have friends”. Though granted it’s even better when they aren’t trying to hit you and your fleet with lightning bolts, too, but hey the Bendu gonna do what the Bendu do, dude.
Speaking of friends, Ezra and Sabine’s team was totally killing it up there! With helmets on and jetpacks (and tiny thrusters XP ) ignited, the Jedi and the Mandalorians spacewalk right on the Interdictor’s hull, ready to take out those gravity wells! Look up “epic” in the dictionary; I’m pretty sure this is the definition. With their combined firepower, they ultimately made one beautiful explosion! So much wow. Their epicness is just dizzying! I’ve never before heard the confident classy Governor Pryce panicking, but it’s sure nice for a change 😏 Kallus drops one of those sick burns on her and she’s ready to send him “floating home”. I got a little worried then, but Agent K’s undeterred smirk told me he had a clever plan in mind… and he did. It involved only an escape pod and his mad fighting skills. And as the Ghost and the Gauntlet and the Phoenixes and all our heroes head for hyperspace, they don’t forget our fabulous Fulcrum, too 🙂 I couldn’t help but cheer at all the awesome teamwork going on, and at the fact I felt I could finally breathe, because this battle has ended.
It’s so nice seeing the most strong and seemingly fearless Imperials taken down a peg, isn’t it? It’s especially great when Bendu delivers some parting words to Thrawn. The Grand Admiral thought he’d brought the being down, key word being “thought“. The mighty beast sees clearly the chiss’s eventual defeat… and just as Thrawn fires, the Bendu has disappeared, his deep chuckle penetrating the air. You can play a good war game, you can wield some powerful weapons, but the Force will always be stronger. *Mic drop* Pff I guess that sounds kinda cheesy but it’s nothing short of true. THIS EPISODE HAS SO MUCH EPICNESS I CAN’T PUT IT INTO THE RIGHT WORDS.
We follow Kanan as he walks through the Ghost. He hears Sabine discussing her next move with her mother, as their work on Krowsnest is far from done; the silence of surviving Rebels who are still processing the loss of their friends and their home; the genuine reply of Kallus, who proved his loyalty to the Alliance in their darkest hour; the bickering of AP-5 and Chopper and Rex as they figure out the best way to their new base, Yavin; and finally, the ponderings of his padawan, who has no idea what’ll happen next. But Kanan sees, out of all of the tragedies and triumphs, a future with hope that’s far more attainable than it seems. We’ve seen in all of the Ghost family today a burning, passionate fire to bring hope and healing to a broken galaxy, and an undying loyalty to their cause and to each other. If they keep that wildfire blazing throughout every tragedy and every triumph, all of the young Rebel Alliance will see what Master Jarrus sees.
OK I hope that sounded good because if it didn’t it’s because I’ve had a headache the last couple hours I’ve been working on this. But just WOW what a finale! I know there’s infinitely more I could say about it and all of the insane levels of awesomeness it achieved, but I probably need to go ahead and wrap this up. We’ll talk more Rebels on the season recap next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Twin Suns

Ah yes there is so so much to write about on this one! I’ve been thinking all manner of deep thoughts on it all week! Hopefully I can remember them all and give you something insightful and thoughtful that does this beautiful episode justice. Read on.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode VI, Episode VII, and really all Maul-related arcs in The Clone Wars and Rebels.

So apparently somehow Maul figured out where the desert planet with twin suns was. I’ve imagined him quite a few times pouring over star maps, trying to find the dusty not-so-bright-spot. Whether he simply remembered it from 30 years past or found it on a map, he did finally make it. But yeah these are still whole planets we’re talking about here. Big planets. It’s easy to forget that sometimes in a galaxy this big that these aren’t just countries or continents. But from the very beginning of this episode we find ourselves reminded of how vast this desolate desert is. I’d figured the only way Maul would find his old nemesis would be by pure coincidence (perhaps while studying those maps, he ran into a fleet of very angry Mandalorians who would send his ship crash-landing right into Mos Eisley or something). But his search has clearly been far from easy. He walks the hot sands desperate and alone with no idea where to turn. Until he realizes his key to finding Kenobi rests in the palm of his hand: a shard of the Sith holocron… and an offer his old foe can’t refuse. Also wow let’s just step back for a moment and give Sam Witwer a big big round of applause because I feel I haven’t really given him enough credit for the level of awesomeness he brought to Maul. I mean… his acting is beyond sublime. I’ve always known that deep down, but I usually always get so nervous when the former Darth shows up I forget to appreciate it. You can feel his pain and desperation so clearly in this opening it makes me wince. And then he turns around with his new plan and the most spectacularly devious tone. It’s amazing. I made a point to rewatch Episode I the day before seeing this one, and in that one scene when Maul spoke, it suddenly struck me how utterly beyond perfect Mr. Witwer’s always been at capturing that voice and how magnificently he’s taken it from there. So yeah I know I kinda rabbit-trailed there but I just really needed to take a moment and really voice my appreciation that I should’ve voiced a long long time ago.
And now we shall have a brief lighthearted conversation on Ezra’s pajamas and SW sleeping habits! You know me I love learning about the little things in everyday SW life. I guess Ez is the only one in the Ghost family who has nice PJs, since Zeb and Kanan don’t sport them. They look nice though. Must’ve been a gift. Also I only just now realized that there isn’t a pillow in sight! I think even Jedi cots in the Clone Wars had pillows of some sort! I get these guys are in the Rebelling business right now and fancy pillows and bedclothes like Padme’s are out of the question, but… how does anyone sleep ever?? I guess I’m just a spoiled earthling who doesn’t get it. ‘Cause even when Ezra is awoken by the sound of the holocrons, Zeb sleeps soundly through it all. Anyway just random discussion on my part but it’s interesting catching our heroes in a quiet everyday moment, even as it quickly becomes something not-so everyday. The voice of the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Jedi ‘cron is followed shortly by the gutwrenching, angry cries of the Old Master in the Sith ‘cron. Ezra has also at some point figured out the name of the desert world, and knows he has to go and find the Jedi master, even against the wishes of the rest of the squadron. Also I about sobbed when Rex commented on Obi-Wan’s evident fate. It’s easy to remember that Anakin and Rex were buddies back in the day, but sometimes I forget that he and Obi-Wan were too. I can understand why Bail Organa would’ve led people to believe otherwise, but it breaks my heart to think Rex wouldn’t know at least some of the truth. Well I hope that somehow Rex makes it to the Ewok party and he gets a second to talk to his old Force-ghost friend. OK that’s probably a pipe dream but it’s the only thing keeping me from shedding tears all over my keyboard right now. Hera makes it clear that she needs Ezra here right now as they prepare for the big Lothal battle, and while he does understand that, it still doesn’t keep him from casually borrowing an A-wing. Hehe he’s still got those smooth street-thief moves! ‘Course he couldn’t get away completely scot-free. Chopper happened to hitch a ride at the last second and seemed to heavily enjoy scaring the snot out of our young pilot XD
With Jedi holocron fragments in hand, Ezra at least has an idea of where to look. Should be easy from here, right? Well, not when sand people get involved. Never when sand people get involved. I’m thinkin’ they were a little ticked at Ezra stepping in, considering that they sort of blew up the A-wing and all. But you can’t blame them… this all points back to Maul, who was quietly leading his “apprentice” to Tusken Raider territory all along. And he stopped by just to give the raiders a small red-bladed “reward”. Ugh the cruelty…! It’s so wrong all around 😦 Only gets harder from there. Ezra and Chopper find themselves wandering seemingly aimlessly through blinding sandstorms in pursuit of the lost master, while the Old Master quietly taunts young Bridger through the Force. These scenes feel so raw and rough and downright hopeless, it certainly makes you understand why Luke wanted off so badly. And also why Anakin despised sand so much. It touches me to the core though that Chopper stuck with him through it all anyway, even when it drained his power to the last drop. Seeing Ezra alone in the searing sun, his only friend gone, and with no idea what to do next and a persistent darksider still whispering lies in his ear, it broke my heart. His regretful “…I should’ve stayed home…” broke my heart all the more. I think it’s in part he considers their little base home that got me so hard. After attempting to fight a Maul that wasn’t there, he completely collapses from exhaustion. It’s not long after a robed figure finds the droid and the boy at his feet…
Ezra awakes later to a powered-up Chopper and a warm fire, all thanks to the mysterious gentleman sitting across from him. So OK my fangirl gears were going so fast at this point I kind of couldn’t breathe. Obi-Wan pretty much has always been a favorite even when I know they’re all my favorites. And now… he’d made it into Rebels, not just as an image from the past, but in the flesh in this present time. I could only guess what he would do, what he would say, what he would even sound like! All I knew is his SWR design was perfectly epic. So I was basically holding my breath until he spoke. THIS IS OBI-WAN KENOBI, POTENTIALLY MY MOST FAVORITE STAR WARS CHARACTER EVER. HE’S HERE. IN REBELS. AND IT IS EVERYTHING. “You’re in the wrong place, Ezra Bridger” he said quietly. My head proceeded to explode. I was sure they’d find someone who’d voice him well, but I had no idea who. I knew Ewan McGregor could do an impressive Ben Kenobi, like we hear so faintly in Episode VII, but would Rebels be able to get him in? Then I read the credits and found out it was Stephen Stanton and my jaw dropped. IT’S LIKE ALEC GUINNESS CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD. LIEK WHOA. I’ve always kinda thought I did a solid Ben Kenobi impression but now… forget it. I bow to your superior SW-voicing talents, Mr. Stanton! And of course they animated Ben so well too! I ’bout “aww”ed to death watching him gently stroke Chop’s dome. Every little thing that makes Obi-Wan Obi-Wan is here in his performance and it makes my heart sing. Also also I love that he’s got a dewback who looks like the trustiest loyalest lizard-dog ever :3 Ben picks his steeds well, clearly. But anyway so Master Kenobi’s already got an idea of what’s going on, that Maul’s up to his old tricks and has been using Ezra’s pain to drive him out. Seriously wow he’s good. You can tell his understanding of the Force increased one-millionthfold over the years. I mean, he’s never met Ezra but somehow he still knows him. The elder Jedi gives it to Ez simple, that perhaps he read into the holocrons wrong, and running on what he believed to be true led him away from where he was supposed to be right now. AHH YOU GUYS HE SAYS EVERYTHING SO DARN PERFECTLY I CAN’T. SO NOBLE. SO WISE. SO AMAZING. And then…
Maul walked right on over.
RIGHT. ON. OVER.
Obi-Wan urges Ezra on his way back home (again the use of the word “home” here is givin’ me feels). “I will mend this old wound” he says. I LOVE THAT WORD CHOICE OMG. And oh wow… this confrontation… where do I begin?? Well first I’ve gotta say I love that Obi-Wan seems completely confident, but not in a way that is proud or arrogant. He is unfazed about coming face-to-face once again with his old adversary. He is confident in his abilities, and he has complete faith in the Force. Maul insults the Jedi’s ragged appearance, but he shouldn’t be fooled, because though Ben’s gotten older, he’s far stronger than before. He shows no fear, no sign of past hurts or regrets. Obi-Wan effortlessly combats every cruel word Maul utters with straight-up wisdom. And when Maul expresses interest in who his foe is protecting, Ben’s stands firm with his lightsaber unsheathed, ready to do what he must. And you know it’s really cool to think about this: Qui-Gon’s still here. Obi-Wan’s spent who knows how long training with his former master, and learned that the end doesn’t have to be the end. I imagine the pain of his loss is no longer so harsh. He is empowered like never before, and he is at nothing short of his very best.
Wow.
The duel is amazing. Brief though it may be, I appreciated its briefness. Obi-Wan and Maul have fought enough planet-shaking fate-determining duels, it seems appropriate to end it quickly and without a lot of show. It’s fascinating to watch as Maul tries the move that killed Qui-Gon… and ultimately, it’s the move that gets him killed instead. Prior to the episode’s debut, I wasn’t sure what was going to go down. It was kind of in the vein of Vader and Ahsoka’s duel, you know one of them will live, so what will become of the other one? The closer the episode came, the more clear it became to me that, likely, this was Maul’s finale. I just didn’t know how it would happen, and how it would be differ from other duels. I’d come up with my own hypothesis, imagining a darker end with Ezra striking the final blow in an attempt to save Obi-Wan, with Maul uttering the chilling words “Well done, my apprentice…” but yeesh now I’m glad that’s not what happened. Instead, Maul passes quietly in his enemy’s arms, with the hope that one day, the one Kenobi watches over will make sure no one ever suffers at the hands of the Sith again. The former Darth’s story is a rather sad one, filled with pain and anger and sadness. But here, at the end of his story, is hope.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love that.
As I was saying earlier, Maul had a tendency to terrify me and destroy me emotionally, especially throughout TCW. And rightfully so, he was a magnificent, awesome villain, who, despite all the terrible things he did, ultimately brought out the best in our heroes. However, when they brought him into SWR, everything changed. They forced me to look at Maul differently, to see his humanity and his heart. Since then, I’ve found myself looking much deeper into Maul’s story. I appreciate his presence in the saga more than ever. I love his character for more than just how it brought out the good in those fighting against him, but for the complicated, fascinating, broken individual he is. Thank you Lucasfilm, for helping me see this.
And watching Obi-Wan giving Maul nothing but respect as he dies… it’s just a perfect end to the story. It’s no wonder this noble, wise, kindhearted Jedi is such a special character to me 🙂
So Ezra returns to the base, well, not the base, his home. (With Maul’s exceptionally pretty old Mando ship in tow) Where Ezra’s apologies are quickly accepted as each of his family (even Chopper!) embraces his return with a hand on his shoulders. NO I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING! OH WHO’M I KIDDING I’VE BEEN CRYING THE LAST FOUR HOURS I’VE BEEN WRITING THIS THING! THIS SWEET CREW-FAMILY AHHHHH!!
On Tatooine once more, we watch a rare, beautiful moment as old Ben watches the Lars homestead from afar, faithfully keeping an eye on a certain young man with big dreams… and an even bigger destiny awaiting him. Obi-Wan believed Ezra’s claim about him being the key to destroying the Sith was just from his “certain point of view”. But we the audience know there is indeed some real truth to that 🙂
And then the incredible John Williams score graces the end credits and I fall apart in a sea of emotions. This episode is absolutely amazing, and I think I’ve successfully said all I wanted to say on it… for now. Thank you for reading. I’ll talk about the finale this time next week.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Through Imperial Eyes

Yayzers it’s Rebel Transmission time! Well that didn’t sound stupid at all 😛 But needless to say I’m really excited about writing this one. Forget my lame opening line and let’s look deeper into Through Imperial Eyes!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes A Princess On Lothal, An Inside Man, and Through Imperial Eyes.

The alarm goes off as another day begins for our double-Agent Kallus, except that the alarm isn’t from a clock, but from yet another Rebel problem. I have to applaud Kallus, really, because I’m never that alert in the morning. I mean, did he even have time for kaffe or breakfast or anything? This opening never fails to fascinate me as we catch a glimpse at just what the average everyday Imp goes through on the regular. Agent K literally just woke up like this! How does he do it?? I mean, you’d think those sideburns would take a little more work, but nope he’s just naturally fabulous! XD But clearly friends the most fascinating thing here is that he actually manages to sleep in his armor. Though I guess if I were secretly helping the mini-Alliance while working for the Empire I wouldn’t take my chestplate off either. Like, ever. So yes as you can imagine I’ve spent the last week making a lot of jokes and observations about Imperial morning routines, sadly I could not include them all here due to, well, forgetting most of ’em. But still, what fun 🙂
So guess who our little Rebel problem was? Just some random grouchy Lothalian bounty hunter who’s actually Ezra Bridger. Ezra just thought he’d swing by and rescue their fantastic Fulcrum from potentially-suspicious Imperials, like NBD just another ordinary day. Kallus is like “OMG DO YOU REALIZE WHAT A BAD IDEA THIS IS?!?” Ah you guys I just love it when Kallus freaks out. David Oyelowo’s voice acting is perfection. Also I love the familiarity of the setting in the interrogation room. You guys remember the pilot back when Ezra was smol and Kallus was a jerk and Ez sarcastically dubbed himself “Jabba”? Boy they’ve come a long way. Ezra honestly doesn’t still 100% trust him but he still came all this way to save ‘im, even if Agent K didn’t necessarily want to be saved. But no time for “interrogating”, Thrawn’s destroyer just showed up and you know he means business. Kallus is off to a meeting with the rebel prisoner in tow. This should go well, though it does definitely throw a wrench in the Rebs’ plans. It’s kind of all up to Chopper and AP now. Seeing Kanan and Rex in ‘trooper armor again was such a wonderful surprise though. Men In White, back in action!
I don’t blame Lieutenant Lyste for his nerves going into this meeting. I was kinda surprised he hadn’t been demoted right on down to sub-ensign since the Leia incident (if not just straight-up Force-choked by a certain someone). And now he’s attending a meeting with the Grand Admiral that’s a big enough deal it involves confiscating code cylinders. Also I’m glad to know that what those things are officially in-canon because until I read the OT Costumes book I always sort of thought they were ballpoint pens. We learn so much in this episode. Including the fact that Thrawn spends his spare time sparring with those giant sentry droids and he’s awesome at it. Just an ordinary everyday workout regimen! Like OK wow I’m both majorly impressed and majorly terrified. I don’t think there’s anyone who couldn’t be. While Kallus and Lyste wait for the Grand Admiral, they get a second to say “hello” to Colonel Yularen. You probably didn’t know this but I’m a pretty big Yularen fan. What would The Clone Wars have been without this uptight mustachioed gent of an admiral constantly questioning Anakin’s plans? 🙂 Turns out the no-longer-quite-as-uptight-but-just-as-fabulously-mustachioed-as-ever-colonel trained Kallus back in the day, and he seems quite proud of his former pupil. So again lots of nice surprises all around today. And then Grand Admiral Thrawn enters the room ready to talk business, business involving this “Fulcrum” character within their ranks. He’s come down to the wire on the last few possible Rebel base locations and they can’t have a turncoat running around causing trouble. Thrawn and Yularen warn their subords to keep an eye out, and that wraps up their meeting. I don’t know how in the galaxy Kallus managed to keep a straight face when the Colonel asked him his thoughts on the spy. Agent K’s cool as a cucumber. Or whatever the SW equivalent vegetable is. I mean seriously Kallus is so so good. He goes from there and quietly convinces Lyste that Pryce is the traitor, and then casually saunters over and lets Ez out of his cell. Pfff after Ezra’s hiding-on-the-ceiling-stunt it’s all I can do not to start calling him “Spider-Ez” XD They’re still gonna need those clearance codes if they want to get out of here, and Kallus wants to help Ezra get their base off the map, so to Thrawn’s office we go! How’ll they get in there you ask? Cosplay. Ezra is a pretty convincing Lieutenant Lyste to the average weak-minded stormtrooper. Even kinda got the accent down! Y’know one of the things I just love about this episode is watching the endless cleverness Agent K and Ezra possess. Kallus playin’ Lyste and the Imps and Ez in disguise… they’re just so good! They may not entirely trust each other, but both trust themselves and know what they’re fighting for. Smooooooth criminals bro. In a good way 🙂 Once inside Chopper quickly gets them codes and casually makes Abafar (forgive me for misspelling) disappear. If only AP-5 had mentioned Thrawn’s arrival a teense bit sooner… with the Grand Admiral now suspicious of Lyste, it’s a really bad time to be cosplaying him. Ez’s only hope right now is Sabine’s firebird-and-lothcat, which happens to be big enough to hide him for the moment. Well not his only hope, he’s also got the timely arrival of sentry droids who don’t listen to no override codes. Thank you, Kallus!
Everything ’bout this plan is beautiful it seems. Thrawn thinks Lyste is behind the droid attack, Lyste sees Pryce fighting ‘troopers (not realizing they’re our Men-In-White Rebels) and is certain she’s the Fulcrum, and when Lyste stuns Pryce, all eyes are on the perhaps-too-eager little graycoat. I couldn’t help but applaud the ingenuity of it all! With the heat off, Kallus chooses to continue his Imperial career. But… oh boy… Thrawn took one look at the art on the “bounty hunter”‘s helmet and saw the truth no one else saw. And he’s gonna make this work in the Empire’s favor… O_O
Welp that’s not good. I was rather nervous going into this episode, worried about whether something might happen to Agent Kallus. But then, there were so many great fun moments, I might’ve let my guard down by the end, and now I’m really really nervous. Force be with you, Agent K… Anyway, I just love this one to pieces and I’m glad I was able to talk ’bout it with ya today!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: An Inside Man

OK so let’s keep on catchin’ up with the Rebs! For this week, we revisit An Inside Man and all of its intrigue, action, and awesome. Let’s see… where to begin? Well first, the spoiler warnings.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Fighter Flight, The Honorable Ones, The Antilles Extraction, Hera’s Heroes, and An Inside Man

Ah, Lothal! The world where it all began! It’s funny… after the first season ended I was really excited to see more of the galaxy, and now every time we come back to Lothal I’m all “YAY WE’RE BACK TO THE MOUNTAINS, GRASSLANDS, AND LOTHCATS!” And there’s a familiar sight — Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper surveying the city from above. NOSTALGIA FEEELS. Unfortunately, the enormous Imperial presence here isn’t quite so wonderful. That’s part of the reason the Jedi and droid are here. Their good friend Ryder Azadi arrives fashionably late — and for good reason. Because he might be still trying to give some biker-bucketheads the slip. As well as the usual variety of bucketheads and oh look! A walker joined the party too! Thank goodness Ez, Kanan, and Chopper decided to hitch a ride. This is where the fun begins! I mean, is there a more beautiful sight in all the galaxy than Ezra and Kanan, balanced on both sides of the landspeeder, perfectly lightsabering the legs off the walker as they flew under it? Not sure there is, my friends. Definitely takes me back to those simple days of season one, where tangles with ‘troopers and walkers were the daily routine. Well, technically that sort of is still their daily routine, they’re just tangling with them on a larger scale now. And with more and more allies by the day, they’ve got some major new tricks up their sleeve… like rigging speederbikes to blow up once they hit a certain speed. That is utterly genius. All credit for that genius goes to an Imperial factory worked named Morad Sumar. Aww yayyy Mr. Sumar!! At first when Ryder mentioned “an old friend” my first thought was “OMG Zare Leonis??” but this is just as exciting and makes more sense. Though we only got to know him briefly way way back when on Fighter Flight, I’ve always loved his courageous spirit and warm personality. If my memory serves me, I believe the Sumar fam didn’t have a choice, but the fact Mr. Sumar turned this terrible job arrangement into a way to make a difference is super super admirable and very cool. Now Sumar’s igniting sparks of rebellion of his own 🙂 Yeah I could go on about him forever, especially after this episode. Again with the nostalgia feels. Especially when you realize indeed how much Ez has grown up since then. Some days I still can’t get over how tall he is… whoops better stop there before I start going on and on about that again. Mostly it just made me smile that Mr. Sumar noticed and said something about it, ’cause I’ve been thinking it for months now. Anyway, Ezra and Kanan are hoping that maybe Mr. Sumar could get them a job at the factory, so to speak. This way they can find out exactly what big weapon the Empire’s working on and use that knowledge to convince the other rebel cells to finally really bring the fight to Lothal’s Imps. Sounds like a plan! And then Twilight had no idea how to segue this paragraph in a clever way so she awkwardly ended the paragraph with this sentence.
Next thing we know, Ezra and Kanan are orange-clad working amongst the rest of the factory crew. I can’t imagine what it must be like… being an average everyday decent citizen and then suddenly forced into building Imperial weaponry. I’ve always said working for the Empire is dangerous and terrifying, and usually I’m thinking of all the militants and ‘troopers and inquisitors and the like when I say that; those who were willing to join this great Empire. Imagine being someone who had no interest or desire. And then imagine getting Pryce and others like her in management. Yeesh. I’m guessing Thrawn’s referring to Sumar as a number is probably the norm in this business. Oh yeah did I mention Thrawn showed up? Man this whole scene had me sick with terror. Particularly when it soon becomes clear that there’s no way out of this for Mr. Sumar. Nothing short of gut-wrenching. No words, just tears. *Twilight tries to write a less-awkward segue and fails* So thankful Chopper was there though to let loose a runaway speederbike and help give the Jedi the slip. Also thankful for the timely arrival of two storms with armor and helmets ripe for the pickin’. And for Imperial astromechs with clearance codes who are easy to zap into dreamland. I’m thankful for all of it, because Thrawn ain’t messin’ around right now…
Speaking of Thrawn, how about that art collection of his? New favorite piece of Sabine’s might have to be the firebird and purple lothcat 🙂 My artistic tastes aside, everything about this display drips with intrigue. Though I have yet to read the Legends about him, I do know he has this unique ability to look at a painting and get a battle plan. What further does he gain from Hera’s family portrait? And why does he have a second zoomed-in one? I can’t make out the details enough to figure. What are some of the more abstract pieces for? I recognize the Picasso-esque Mandalorian piece, but how does that relate to Sabine aside from the fact she’s a Mando? And OMG are those cave paintings of people riding giant wolf-like creatures?! And again, how does that all relate to the rebels? Truly, only Thrawn knows. He knows a lot. He knows these rebels have a connection to Lothal, and also that a couple of them might be running around looking for information in level A2. HOW. DOES. HE. DO. IT? He’s amazing. And terrifying. But you know that, likely longer than even I have.
So though Kanan and Ezra have the disguises and some great cover stories (“Wait, is this B17?” “I told you we were on the wrong level”), they haven’t fully convinced the other stormtroopers and had to make a run for it. They arrive at a turbolift only to find Agent Kallus was already there. I’ve known for a while clearly he was Fulcrum. After all, he looked genuinely shocked at what happened to Sumar, and he was clearly trying to find out more about the Empire’s little secret weapon, and that’s just what we’ve seen today. But Kanan and Ezra don’t buy it. Probably would’ve helped Kallus more had he not said “Don’t move… rebels…” like that. He spoke like he’d done a hundred times before when he was a raging jerkface. I’m thinking a pleasant “Hi there, I’m Fulcrum and I’m helping you escape” would’ve gone over a lot better. Uttering the code phrase helps a little, and briefly mentioning how Zeb helped him and then how he helped Sabine gives him a little more credence, but it seems only Chopper believes him for sure. Right now though, it seems the Rebs’ best bet is to give the commanding sideburns a chance. And it works out well, thanks to Kallus (and his fantastic acting skills) they’re able to contact Ryder and walk[er] on outta there! And of course, possibly my favorite part in the episode is when Ezra makes it look convincing. “EZRA!” “What? That is convincing!” “Yeah, but I was gonna do it.” “Well, he’s one of us now, you’ll get your chance!” XD XD Agent K don’t look thrilled at that prospect, but it’s all in a day’s work for our fantastic Fulcrum 🙂
‘Course, the Rebs don’t just “walker on outta there”, things get a bit more complicated and a bit crazier than that. Thrawn quickly figures out which AT-DP isn’t like the others and lets the AT-AT drivers know, resulting in quite a chaotic walker dance that is amazing to behold. But even when one AT-AT’s got them down (literally), Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper get right back up (literally after lightsabering a hole into the walkers). And with Ryder driving and Mrs. Sumar manning the big guns, they pretty much #WIN. Also yes I just love that Sumar’s family knows how to bring the fight as well. The image of a seemingly ordinary farmer’s wife expertly shooting this massive cannon is too epic and makes me feel like I can do anything. That’s the Rebel Alliance for ya; everyday people making an extraordinary difference and standing up for what’s right. That’s what Morad Sumar did, what those closest to him will continue to do, and ultimately what thousands, if not millions, of people will do *Applauds*
Transferring the data Chopper pilfered over to their base, the Ghost fam’s now looking at plans for a sleek, shielded TIE model that could spell some major problems for the mini-Alliance should it be mass-produced. They have Kallus to thank, though, for getting that info. No one at the base can quite fathom the Kallus-Fulcrum connection either, except maybe Zeb, and even he seems a bit weirded out that their brief time spent as allies made a difference. It seems feasible that he might be the real deal, but they’re not banking everything on him yet. Only time’ll tell what’ll it take to fully convince them. ‘Cause I’m pretty sure Kallus is convinced when it comes to the Empire. Especially now that Thrawn knows they’ve got a turncoat… and I don’t imagine it would take him long to figure out who it is…
Oh dang things just got reallll. I can only hope the best for Agent K from here on out. And I certainly hope you enjoyed the Transmission and got something out of it. I’m sorry the post was a little hiccup-y. I’m trying to write these things with less of my retelling the story and more of my thoughts, but it can be a tricky balance to find after doing things a certain way for so long. Either way, it’s been great fun talking about this great episode 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight