Rebel Transmissions: Wolves And A Door

Hello there Rebels fans! If you came here for knowledge… well, I can’t guarantee you’ll find anything you don’t already know. But join me as I dig into the deepest depths of this intriguing, enigmatic episode and let’s see what we can learn together 🙂

Contains spoilers from The Clone Wars “Mortis” arc and much of Star Wars Rebels, including Dume and Wolves And A Door. Episodes beyond these will not be covered.

If you’re wondering why it is I’ve chosen to write these Rebels posts one at a time instead of combining the pairs, this episode is a solid example of that. There is so much to this episode that I’d sort of forgotten in watching it with the second half of the pair. So many small moments and intriguing nuances and neat discoveries that deserve a discussion all on their own. It certainly puts me at a disadvantage when I can’t discuss what happens next, but I really can’t complain considering how well all the Rebel Transmissions for this season have come out so far.

You know, as I watch the small scene in the beginning with the lothcat and the lothwolf, I feel a need to just take a moment to appreciate Lothal. From the beginning of the series, I was astounded by its McQuarrie-inspired natural beauty and the warm old-school-Original-Trilogy-feel. The discovery that it has such a powerful Force connection astounded me further, and continues to astound me, and in many ways, it also confounds me, as it seems there’s always something new to challenge my existent SW knowledge. But you know it’s occurred to me as I’ve been writing this that this is not a new revelation: it’s been there since Path Of The Jedi, since we first saw how the Lothal temple is part of the planet itself. It’s not something I really thought on a lot four years prior, but it’s fascinating to notice looking back and looking forward as we revisit the temple in a totally new way, and further unravel the mysteries the world holds. The cat and wolf look to be as on the edge of their seats as I am 🙂

So can I just talk about how amazing this family is again? For probably about *checks tag count* the 103rd time, I think? OK it’s probably more than that, but anyway…
They’re the kind of family that will drop everything and jump onto a mysterious giant wolf’s back if they’re called to do so. Even when not everyone understands why, they just do it. That kind of loyalty gives me the feels in ways I almost can’t explain. But it’s not only loyalty to Ezra, but to Kanan, and to this world that they became a true family on. Going into this, I actually wasn’t sure why exactly this mission was “for Kanan”. It’s still not entirely clear to me, but I believe it probably has a lot to do with Kanan’s connection to the temple and Lothal itself as well as his Jedi legacy. I may have missed something in a huge way (which unfortunately happens a lot more in my understanding of Star Wars than I would like), but whatever the answer to my queries, there’s no missing the loyalty and love present in their actions today.

Another thing I so love about this episode is how two different storylines that I never expected to see again resurfaced, and not only that, but these seemingly unrelated events have a major purpose inside of the story. Like with the Lothal temple. After the Empire seized it, I really didn’t know what that would ultimately mean, aside from the fact our Jedi-Rebels weren’t going to be visiting anytime soon. Though it doesn’t really surprise me, it’s interesting to see the Empire treating this living, breathing spot on the planet as nothing more than an ancient artifact dig. Of course, we know the Emperor has other things in mind for it (which we’ll talk more about next post), but you certainly get a feel for what the galaxy at large understands and believes about the Jedi, especially as Minister Hydan talks about it from such an unattached, intellectual point of view. It’s not a huge thing maybe, but personally, I’m fascinated by these moments in SW where we dig into differing perspectives and ideas, especially on things that we as an audience haven’t considered. So much depth!
Also two thumbs way up for hearing the Malcom McDowell in Star Wars! I didn’t place his voice instantly, but once I saw the credits I was more than a little psyched 😀

Also also I just learned that nothing is more startling than a listening to a deathtrooper speak after a long period of silence.
*Watches episode some*
*Pauses*
*Writes last paragraph*
*Resumes episode*
ALL RIGHT, YOU TWO…
*Keels over from shock*
These are the things that happen when I’m writing these posts that I never tell you guys about…
*Decides to turn the volume down*

And oh my goodness… the moment where Hera feels Kanan at her side… it’s perfect. It’s so perfect I hardly know where to begin.
I’d assumed this episode would be so focused on the mission at hand that perhaps, at this point, Kanan wouldn’t come up in conversation again. After all, we got a whole episode surrounding our characters working through that, right? Wrong. And I was so glad to be wrong. What ultimately we’ve seen in all these last episodes is that Kanan is not gone. He is so a part of the fabric of the Ghost family and who they are, that his presence is felt every moment, whether you’re strong with the Force or not. The Clone Wars taught me a lot about the literal understanding of Jedi immortality and how one would maintain a Force ghost form. But Rebels has reminded me that the Force is bigger than even that, like with Ezra’s vision of his parents in Legacy. I like to think Kanan was really there somehow, his essence in the form of a gentle breeze that only Hera maybe would recognize. Seeing Kanan well and whole, Hera’s downcast face fading to a smile as she takes his hand… it’s just the most tender, beautiful thing. On my first viewing, I gave a weepy “aww…“, and that remains my reaction to this day. It’s the precious memories they shared, and the unmistakable legacy he left behind, that are spurring her on to complete this mission that she doesn’t yet understand, and that also gives her that small spark of hope once more. *Applauds the entire crew*

Returning to the earlier conversation about unexpected returns to previous storylines, if you’d asked me what I never expected to see in Star Wars again, I would have said “Oh, definitely anything to do with Mortis”. And then lo and behold, there lie the Forcewielders Of Mortis, painted gloriously onto the temple’s walls! My jaw was on the floor. The Mortis arc in TCW remains one of the absolute most fascinating in the series, and at least from what I’ve seen going through the season 3 DVD’s bonus material, they deliberately chose to say very little about what it all meant. So I’d assumed that was that. Conversation was over. Once again, I was wrong, and so so glad to be wrong! I’m definitely going to need to revisit those episodes soon so I can do some further digging on the subject for the next post. But even if there’s still some elements that remain unclear, there is nothing unclear about how neat it is watching Ezra and Sabine work together to decipher to code, or how epic it is to see the painting literally come to life, or how much more incredibly intriguing this episode gets just as it ends…
Yep, that’s pretty much crystal clear.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Flight Of The Defender

All right, so let’s head back to Lothal for this week’s Rebel Transmission! I do apologize that my one-episode-post-per-week sched makes it harder for you to get the up-to-date Rebs thoughts you might be looking for. But as this is the last season, I want to savor every little moment ❤ Anyway, on to Flight Of The Defender!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes The Occupation and Flight Of The Defender. Ideally, you should be caught up with every episode prior to these before reading. Events from episodes after these will not be covered.

Star Wars and cuteness: it’s a time-honored tradition that began with the endearing presence of characters like Artooie and Chewie and has gone on for ages since, especially in these days when we’re surrounded by characters and creatures like BB-8, porgs, and of course, LOTHCATS! Right out of the gate we get a darling trio of these space kittehs and they bring me so so much joy! The one grooming Zeb got me somewhere between cracking up and “aww”ing my head off X3 They just steal the show in the best way, always up to something new and adorable! And they can still give a couple of bucketheads a run for their credits! I’ll always champion SW’s use of cuteness because it’s another one of those things that makes these stories and worlds feel so real and relatable. Plus, cute things help make dark times a little bit lighter, and as you know, the perfect balance of dark and light is one of those things I love so much about Star Wars 🙂 And some lightness was definitely needed right now as there’s a new deadlier-than-ever Defender on its way…

I think it’s an unarguable fact that whenever the Rebs take control of an Imperial craft, we’re in for a good time, or at least a good fight. Brings back some good memories there… just this time the stakes might be a lot lot higher. But even with the flight cut short by the Imps, we definitely have some fun with Ezra and Sabine today. It was thrilling watching Sabine leave a trail of firepower at every turn when she first set out. And then Ezra’s piloting skills?? Oh my gosh he’s gotten so good! These two are a force of nature and I loved every minute of their showdown in the skies! And I gotta say, I liked the TIE Defenders the first time we saw ’em, but now I love them. So fast! So firey! And that sound! Whoo!! Not to mention those cool little jet trails it leaves when it spins. If only they weren’t a huge huge problem for the Rebel Alliance, I might love them more… that and maybe if they had some more seatbelts/restraints, considering the way the kids got thrown around in there.
Also can we talk about Thrawn for a sec ’cause WOW he just keeps getting epic-er. With that cool, unrattled stare and his blaster aimed straight and true, I wouldn’tve been too surprised if one shot had brought the Defender down. That is what I’m callin’ #Thrawnfidence! 😀 Yeah we have to make that hashtag a thing now. Absolutely.

OK so I have to say something further about Ezra and Sabine ’cause they just make the best team right now, and in really every episode this season so far. I’ve been thinking back on the first couple seasons a lot lately and it’s amazing to look at how much their bond has grown and strengthened since then. Earlier we saw Ezra standing alongside Sabine on Mandalore, and now vice versa is true amidst all the tragedy surrounding Ez’s homeworld. I just love that loyalty, their honesty with each other, and how they’re so different sometimes, but they’re always on the same wavelength anyway. You see all those elements in a big way this episode. And one thing that caught my attention in this one in an unexpected way, was watching those few times Ezra held Sabine while she was out. There’s something so endlessly noble and tender about that gesture, small though it may be, that it makes me swoon a little (that, and write this whole paragraph here). Of course, it’s easy for me to just make this all about the potentially-romantic angle of their relationship, but looking back on how far they’ve come as a whole, I find I love them together for simply who they are now: Ezra and Sabine, the kids of the Ghost family, the best of friends, and one of the most explosively dynamic Rebel duos to date. Wherever they go in their relationship from here, it’s still nothing short of something really special :3

And obviously we must talk about the lothwolves. They are astounding, aren’t they? As you can figure from the first paragraph, I’m a big animal nerd, with a particular soft spot for furry things including felines and canines. Naturally, I was quite fond of that old idea Dave Filoni discussed at Celebration 2016 of Ahsoka riding a massive white wolf. I was happy to see the concept made it into the canon in some way when I spotted some cave paintings resembling the creature showed up in Thrawn’s studies in Season 3, but little did I expect them to take on such a big role this season. With a creature as mysterious as this, there’s not much I can say other than reiterate again how beautiful, majestic, and intriguing they are. And how awe-inspiring its size is, how chilling its voice is, and that amazingly wise look in its eyes. I’m really excited to further dig into what the lothwolf brings to the SW mythos. They’re just really really neat even if there’s so much I still don’t understand.
But with Star Wars, there’s still a lot of joy in the mysteries…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

P.S. ONE MORE MONTH ‘TIL LAST JEDI WHOOP WHOOP!!!

Following The Freemakers: Return Of The Kyber Saber

So with the second season just around the corner, I’d say it’s high time I got this post written. Today we shall do some digging into the marvelous first season finale of The Freemaker Adventures, Return Of The Kyber Saber! Let’s see if I can some good nerdy thoughts together for you today…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episode Empire Day, and basically the entire first season of The Freemaker Adventures

OK so one thing I’ve absolutely adored about TFA is the way they’ve so flawlessly weaved in elements and concepts that started in Rebels, one of those being the joyous celebration known as Empire Day! Y’know a really interesting thought just hit me about Empire Day… different planets probably have different calendars, so depending where you are, it might fall in the summer, or the winter, or whatever other seasons the world might have. It’s not a huge revelation I guess, but it’s just neat to think about. But clearly, as the capital of the galaxy, Coruscant is the place to be on E-Day! And if you happen to be the Emperor, it’s even better. I love how he tears open his presents like a little kid! Granted, he’s a rather ungrateful little kid but it’s still kind of charming in a weird way. Man I can’t imagine being in those Imperials’ shoes… what do you get the Emperor who literally has everything? I can see how easy it’d be to just default to “Galaxy’s Best Emperor” mugs to be safe. From what I gathered from Tarkin he seems to like fine decor, so maybe an artistic Nubian knickknack might suit him. Or maybe it’s just safer to go with a gift card. But then again, judging by how many Imps lined up with boxed gifts, he must prefer actual tangible gifts over credits. Plus, a handpicked gift is just sometimes more thoughtful, y’know? I’d say that those who’ve been in the Empire the longest probably have figured out how to shop for him, but Vader defaulted to the mug option too. With him, “it’s the thought that counts” doesn’t count. But in truth, the best Empire Day gifts don’t come from a store… they come from treachery, deception, and devious intent. Agent Naare is about to bring him a deadly superweapon on a silver platter — the long-lost Kyber Saber. Wouldn’t that be the brightest candle on the cake! XD Isn’t that’s an image? But in all seriousness you guys we’re all toast if the plan Rowan proposed last episode doesn’t pull through.
Another interesting revelation I’ve had recently is that Rowan has more than just one Force talent. I’ve always considered his connection to Kyber crystals one, but I think his ability to build is also unique gift from the Force. We watch him masterfully put the StarScavenger back together piece by piece. It might seem simple enough to those us who just see the ship as Lego parts, but it’s important to remember that their world is only portrayed as plastic. These characters and the galaxy they live in are as real to me as any other medium we’ve seen Star Wars in. The unfocused, accident-prone boy we met in the first episode has now perfectly reconstructed an entire ship in the course of a day or so. That’s the kind of amazing stuff the Force can do. Like seriously. Your mind’s gotta be blown by now, right?
“…is this who you really are? An evil Sith? Or are you just a misunderstood soul who’s never learned to love herself?” “Mmm… nope.” Yet we know that’s not true because no Star Wars villain is! With maybe the exception of Sidious but I don’t know all his story yet. Dangit, Naare has been such an awesome, fascinating character! Someone better put her in the canon right now and write books and comics on her right now! And maybe do an Anthology movie if they get the chance. She might be a villain but she’s among the most intriguing villains in the history of SW just because there’s so much we don’t know about her. I have my theories, of course, but I’m curious what the writers really have in mind. I don’t know if we’ll ever know her whole story but just wishful thinkin’. For now though, all we know is her darksider side, and that the Kyber Saber in her hands is a really really bad thing. Especially when she seems to like it a little too much. Y’know I find it interesting, knowing the way Sith and Sith-y sorts tend to be over power, that Naare never considered keeping it for herself before this. Partially I’m sure it was some loyalty to the Empire she serves, but I’m thinking that fear had a lot to do with it. Sidious and Vader pressured her beyond belief, and I wouldn’t doubt they probably used fear as a motivator more than once. So she had no time to consider what benefits she might reap from this, considering I imagine a fierce desire for power has fueled her darkness for a long time. But now that she holds the Saber… yeahh… Naare left Coruscant an Imperial agent, and she’s coming back Empress of the galaxy! Sidious really shoulda seen this coming.
Considering Empire Day is also Ezra Bridger’s birthday, it’s kind of adorable the Freemakers unknowingly take a cue from him in the first stage of their plan. To the sewers! Always a good idea! XD Least until a probe droid shows up. And a really big one I might add. Taller than Zander! Yikes. But with a solid wrench in hand, bro can handle it. Though it may take him a few showers to get rid of that particularly incredible smell…
Meanwhile Naare singlehandedly takes out two Imperial freighters and a handful of TIEs. Not to mention two whole Star Destroyers. Here’s another nerdy thought to chew on: the kyber crystals Jedi use in their lightsabers are tiny. They’re smaller than your thumbnail. The Kyber Saber is made entirely of these crystals. It’s about the length of a normal lightsaber, which I guess would be a few feet so… think about how many individual crystals that would be. Is that not an insane amount of power?! I mean, it might seem obvious since she’s already torn apart a whole moon but when you think about the science behind it… dang. Just… dang. Master Cantu clearly had no idea what kybers were truly capable of when he built that thing. It does make you wonder how he put it together from a canon perspective. Far as I can gather, you can’t just mine kybers like you mine spice; Jedi have to go through some challenging stuff to find just one! I’m thinking maybe Jedi didn’t have the same kind of connection to the crystals at that point in history. Perhaps all Cantu knew was that the crystal and the Force had a connection somehow, and that he could find a way to channel his own Force through that. So making a blade of the crystals was a logical method. Post his realization that such a large amount was deadly, he probably spent a lot of time figuring out what worked and what didn’t work with them, and perhaps, eventually, made a blade that channeled a beam of energy from the crystals instead. I don’t know how much they figured out with the Story Group’s help in making it half-way-sorta-canon, but it’s a reasonable assumption. Anyway, on to other areas of nerdiness.
So far the Freemaker kids are owning it today! Rowan gave me all kinds of warm fuzzies using the Force to save Zander from a perilous fall, and Kordi just don’t got time for bucketheads today and puts them in chains without wasting a second. But the final phase of the plan might be more challenging than all they’ve faced in the sewers combined. Rowan, in dark cloak with the Emperor’s officially-licensed voice changer in hand, has to play a convincing Palpatine to get the Kyber Saber in his hands. And at this point we all know that unless something changes… yep we are alllllll toast. The writing’s still solid tho! Never saw this turn coming! Though you’d think Rowan and family might’ve suspected something when Palpatine made a run for it. (Hey, better a living chicken than a dead Tarkin!) R0-GR’s head finally made it back to the Freemakers, but unfortunately a little too late. Oh, and random note: Rowan muttering “bored bored bored…” while spinning in the Emperor’s throne is 110% relatable XD Anyway, boy do things get real when Naare shows up. #Understatement SHE IS TERRIFYING YOU GUYS. SIDIOUS YOU SHOULD’VE GONE AND GOTTEN THE STUPID BLADE YOURSELF BECAUSE NOW LOOK WHAT HORROR YOU’VE UNLEASHED!! She is happy to kill her former apprentice if she can’t kill her former master, and also she basically uses one hand and the Force and downs two AT-ATs. I’ll theorize right now that possessing the Kyber Saber also enhances one’s use of the Force as well as channeling it through the blade, so Naare can do stuff that I’m not sure even the most powerful Forcewielder could alone. With the Saber in hand, she’s crowned herself Empress and no one’s gonna deny her and live. I shudder to think what might’ve happened if she’d actually stayed Empress. Of course, it wouldn’tve been much better if Palpatine had obtained the blade so either way this is a nightmare scenario come true. Everything has fallen apart, but Rowan isn’t done, not for a second. (“You have more lives than a lothcat!” got a big grin out of me) He picks himself out of the rubble and calls the kyber crystals back, putting the ultimate power in his grip instead. It’s pretty awe-inspiring. Rowan uses the blade to build walls, every time he turns around though, Naare cuts them down with her own ‘saber. For a moment, Rowan questions why he doesn’t just use the Kyber Saber as the weapon Naare wants it to be used as. He sounds so angry, so destroyed inside, recalling all the pain this monster in front of him has put his family through. He actually starts to drown her in the scrap around them, which I startlingly realized reminded me of how Naare nearly killed JEK-14. This image is both frightening and beautiful somehow. I’ve always loved the dichotomy of light and dark in the Star Wars mythos, and they’ve done an incredible job portraying these ideas and concepts in the series as we’ve witnessed many different shades of the Force between this innocent young boy who wished to be a Jedi and this malicious half-human woman who desires to be a Sith. Seeing Rowan wrestle briefly with the dark side is a really pivotal image and both fascinates me and wrecks me simultaneously. But as the Emperor looks on approvingly… Rowan realizes that this isn’t him. He is not a Sith, he is a Freemaker. And so, he ends the fight by jumping back aboard the StarScavenger, taking the ancient blade with him. I cheered you guys, it’s impossible not to. When TIEs give chase, the fam brings out their wild card (which I just realized would be an awesome ship name), the brand new Blazemaker. With a fake Saber in one hand and the Blazemaker’s controls in the other, Zander gives the Imps the slip real good. And may I just say the completed Blaze is one not-so-ugly “ugly”! It’s easy to understand now why he’s been passionate for this spacecraft of his, it’s gorgeous and it gets the job done! I think he oughta name it the Wild Card, don’t you? Unless of course the Blazemaker is its actual name and not the model. I get so confused sometimes. With the Imperials no longer in pursuit, Rowan masterfully uses the Force and the power of the Kyber Saber to beautifully reconstruct the Starscavenger into a totally different ship that the Empire will no longer recognize. It’s just astonishing what this amazing kid can do. Seriously. I’m just floored right now. And this is the fourth time I’ve watched this episode to date. Kordi’s proud sisterly smile matches my own :3
So I’m thinking the Emperor might appreciate his mugs right now, ’cause after a day like today, he’s gonna need a lot of kaffe. As for Naare, well, her comeuppance was genius. I didn’t really want her to die, but I knew she was a little too far past being redeemed, so making her a decorative piece for Graballa’s place was the perfect option. I did wonder a bit how it was they got her into carbonfreeze in the first place, since even cuffed she could do a lot of damage. I’m gonna theorize one of the Hutt’s men drugged her so she wouldn’t have the focus to use the Force. But yes, well played, Graballa. Now Naare’s got nothing but time to think. Unless you can’t really think much when you’re in carbonfreeze. I’m not really sure what the canon says on the matter but either way, the end of her chapter (for now) was quite appropriate.
Rowan ultimately decides that the day of the Kyber Saber’s return should also be its end, and sends the majestic weapon into the lava rivers of Sullust. (How cool is it we get to see Sullust tho?! I was hyped and I haven’t even played Battlefront yet!) Also important, Roger got put back together again. I spent a lot of time wondering where they found the extra parts or if they had extra parts to start with, but then I remembered “oh yeah the fam probably remembered to take that with them before they left The Wheel”. I couldn’t shake the thought it’dve been hilarious if they couldn’t find him battle droid parts so they put his head on a protocol’s body instead, buuuuut I think Roger’s happier this way 🙂 Anyway, the Freemakers aren’t sure where they go from here now that they’ve gone from scavengers to wanted criminals, but they get their answer from the timely arrival of a Rebel Alliance fleet. The Rebs have heard about what Rowan did, and they want him and his family to join them. Dude I got so distracted while I was writing this just looking at all the ships in the fleet. I kept searching for familiar ships, hoping I might spot the Ghost or the Gauntlet or something. At one point I mistook an A-wing for a TIE Defender and I was all “Wow how’d they get ahold of one of those things?!” XD But man oh man this ending… I’ve got a good feeling about this. The best feeling in the world, actually, as we watch Rowan, Kordi, Zander, and Roger enter a new chapter with the Rebel Alliance 😀
SO MANY FEELS OMG. I’m so glad this post turned out well, despite it was a long time coming. I can’t wait to see what awaits this beautiful family next! And for sure this time I’ll make sure these future posts come out with as few interruptions as possible. Anyway, thanks so much for reading 🙂

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