The One Where Twilight Fangirls Over Solo, Part 3

Let’s see… I’ve poured out my fangirly thoughts on HanXQi’ra and a handful of the new characters… what shall I talk about next? Yeah I really wish I’d gotten the chance to watch Solo again so I could stir up more discussion topics, but time has not been my friend lately. That’s why I’ve decided this will be the last post in this particular series. It won’t be the last time I talk about Solo for sure, but I think it’ll be time to shift gears from here. Anyway, how about I just fill the post with some assorted fangirl musings? Sounds good? Then let’s go!

Contains spoilers from Solo and some important elements from The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Also, please remember I have only seen the film once at this point, so there is a chance I may have misremembered some elements.

As I’ve discussed heavily in the last two posts, Solo was absolutely loaded with surprises. It’s one of my favorite things about the film! And among my favorite surprises were the Easter eggs and the nods to other Star Wars stories. I’m sure I missed a few, but the ones I picked up on had me smilin’! Glee Anselm, Scarif, Bossk, Aurra Sing! I knew those names! It made my Star Wars-nerdy self explode with glee! Especially with things that nodded back to the Prequels and animated series. I’m not clear if The Pikes they mentioned had any relation to the ones in TCW, but either way, it’s something special seeing elements from all ends of the SW galaxy come together like this. I mean, actually getting to see Glee Anselm for the first time was a treat for me. And though I feel bad for whatever went down with Beckett vs. Aurra, it sounds like there’s a good story there, anyway. Oh, and funny story: you know that set of ancient Mandalorian armor in Dryden Vos’s office? I spent like five minutes staring at it thinking there was someone in the suit, asking myself “Boba Fett? Is that you…?” XD It’s all these little things that just fill me with joy and remind me of the supreme storytelling skills going on at Lucasfilm!

And speaking of surprises, I feel bad I didn’t end up writing on Enfys Nest last post. Once again, these new characters go so far beyond their appearances and first impressions! Of course, that’s true for the majority of SW characters, old and new alike. But I certainly did not expect the nefarious-looking Enfys Nest to be a young girl Rebel! There’s a lot we still don’t know about her, but she’s obviously an epic heroine and I think there could be some epic novels and comics about her to follow. And hopefully I’ll have much more to write on her then 🙂

And you know how I wrote on my Last Jedi post about how every Star Wars something has that one moment that you never forget your reaction to? With Solo, that scene is the one near the end where we meet Qi’ra’s real boss. The exact sound I made was a loud, choking gasp with a slight squee mixed in. True, in part, this was because I briefly forgot where in the SW timeline the film takes place, and my first reaction was “BUT MAUL IS DEAD!!“. But then I remembered this all took place some years before Rebels, and I then geeked out over his appearance for the rest of the day. I can only imagine how confusing and fascinating it must be for those who haven’t been keeping up with the animated series. If you happen to be one of those people, go right now to Netflix and watch some Clone Wars! I recommend maybe some early season one and two episodes first, just to get acquainted, and then go over to season four and start with Nightsisters and then keep going from there. And once you’ve finished that, grab a few early episodes of Rebels on DisneyNow or iTunes or something and then come back to the Maul story with Twilight Of The Apprentice. If this all sounds complicated to you, just watch all the episodes of both shows, period. You won’t be sorry, I don’t think! 😀 Then you’ll have at least a little idea of what’s going on here.
Anyway, back on the subject. It was too amazing to hear Sam Witwer’s voice and see Ray Park’s face again in Star Wars. Maul just looks truly magnificent and as terrifying as ever! And with this small scene, they opened up an entire new angle to the former Darth’s story that I absolutely need to know more about! And like with the smaller Easter eggs, seeing this amazing story that was fleshed out in the animated series having a pretty huge connection to the events in this film… wow. There are no words. And it wasn’t just a this-would-be-really-cool cameo! This seems to be a major part of Qi’ra’s next chapter! And Maul’s too, as he continues on his tireless quest for power and purpose. You guys, this is one of the reasons I love Star Wars so much. It’s a big, big galaxy, but nothing is there without real thought and consideration.

So with that being said, there are still so many reasons to love Solo and Star Wars in general! What the next post will be about, I don’t yet know, but I look forward to sharing something with you sometime next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Revisiting Lego’s The Padawan Menace

The day is almost here! Solo: A Star Wars Story is within our grasp! The hype is real!!
As I anticipate learning about the events that made Han who he is, I thought it’d be fun to look back on the original Han Solo backstory…
No, it’s not one of the novels. I haven’t read any of those yet to write about ’em. This Solo story’s the only one told in small plastic form, the very first of the Lego Star Wars specials, The Padawan Menace!

I still remember it like it was yesterday. Right before the Clone Wars season four premiere, this hilarious little Lego story aired, and subsequently stole my heart. If not for it, I doubt I would’ve become the all-around Lego fan I am today. And there would be so much fun stuff I would’ve missed out on aside from that! So here are some badly-organized paragraphs and blurbs of some of my favorite moments, whether funny, intriguing, awesome, or all of the above!

Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Episode VI, and The Padawan Menace

One thing interesting to look at inside of this is the truth that might be in this Legend. When I first saw this, my Star Wars understanding was still a little… vague in some areas. Deep down, I knew Mace Windu didn’t have a window-washing service, and that AT-ATs shouldn’t be stomping around Hoth for another twenty-odd years. But I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to imagine the core story really did happen. I’ve learned a lot in the years since, but I’ve found I still appreciate The Padawan Menace regardless of whether it has any sort of teeny tiny sorta-kinda place in the canon or not.

The big thing I’m still chewing on is this: could Han have truly met Yoda, or another Jedi, before the job at Mos Eisley? Though there’s yet to be any exact numbers pinned down for Han’s age, I think it’s reasonable he could’ve grown up during the later years in the Clone Wars (which this special seems to take place in, when you look at Anakin and Obi-Wan’s Ep. III looks). With ten thousand plus Jedi knights around, You’d think maybe running into a Forcewielder on the now and again would be plausible. However, my first instinct (and I’m sure yours, too), is to recall Han’s early comment on “hokey religions”. If he really once saw Yoda repair their ship with the Force, wouldn’t he be more inclined to believe old Ben’s words to Luke? That answered the question for me for a while. It made sense. Whether it was through Luke’s amazing destruction of the Death Star, his rescue on Tatooine, or even Leia’s quieter use of the Force, it would be some time before he believed it was true — all of it. But then I thought about something else: Han just might’ve just grown up and gotten jaded. And depending on how young he was, he could’ve easily forgotten. It’s a long shot, maybe, but it is very possible. Least I like to think so.

But either way, whether Han’s paths ever crossed with Yoda or any other Jedi, we do know that, according to the Solo teaser, he’s been running scams on the street since he was ten. And that says to me that sneaking into a group of Jedi younglings would be no big deal for a lil’ scruffy-lookin’ ruffian like him. Whatever the case, that boy was getting into all kinds of trouble back then, I’m sure 😜 Perhaps we’ll find out a little more on the big screen?

I really do adore how they put together (whoops Lego pun) young Han for this. He’s still got that epic swagger, but with a childlike innocence that doesn’t seem too far from his more enthusiastic self in the coming film. And his voice is just perfect. They somehow found just the right sweet spot between “adorable, mischievous child” and “double-crossing, no-good swindler”! Just listen to him say “KEEP YOUR METAL PANTS ON, I’LL FIX IT!” and tell me you can’t hear the slightest bit of Harrison Ford in there. I dare you.

Anddd now for the more random part of the post: a few of my favorite moments!

Senate guard with a box of donuts vs. a mouse droid.

Not sure why this guy wasn’t like the other senate guards we see, ’cause that would’ve made the whole thing even more hilarious.

Not even Vader can stand against The Maker.

Let’s give Rob Paulsen a bit of applause for nailing the impression!

Sleepy Deetoo :3

I don’t know for sure this is the sound they almost put in Episode II, but OMG IT’S SO CUTE!

“I’m all over it, like green on beans.”

Sounds like a clone thing to say. Mostly… ah whatever it still cracks me up anyway XD

Bobby!

I remember when official sources were calling JEK-14 the first original Lego Star Wars character, but actually, that title belongs to three of the Padawans: Liam, Mari, and Bobby! They’re all just cute as can be, but Bobby’s the only one we follow in other Lego SW stories. We’re first introduced to the gutsy little guy through his very relatable love of taking pictures of all the awesome sights! Does make me wonder how casual photography works in the SW galaxy…

Galaxy Idol!

Mando judge seems deeply moved by Bib Fortuna’s performance and I’m just dying.

The joke that took me forever to get.

I wondered for years why there were so many suns. But it’s not about the number of suns as much as it is what the suns form… XD

And finally, this stirring speech.

Great is the power of the Force. It allows me to feel what cannot be seen, see what is yet to be, and hear what cannot be heard.” Anyone else realize what fantastic writing this is? So deep, so true.

Yes, The Padawan Menace is such a classic, right? It’ll be fun to see if we spot any connections with the all-canon story out tomorrow, but until then….

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Family Reunion – And Farewell

Here it is. The very last Rebel Transmission on Padawanline.
*Dramatic pause*
OK so that’s a little too dramatic. I highly doubt this will be the last time I talk about Rebels on the blog, just the last time I’ll do it in this format.
Whoo boy there’s a lot to talk about on this one. A lot. But it’s all stuff that has been on my mind for well over a month now, so hopefully I’ll be able to stir up some satisfying discussion for you all on this last Transmission. Get comfy, this is gonna be a long one…

Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode VI, Episode VII, Episode VIII, TCW episode Point Of No Return, and much of Star Wars Rebels, including Family Reunion – And Farewell.

From start to finish, this is a story about family. Not just this episode, but every episode these last four seasons.
And we’re not just talking the dictionary definition of family, of people related by flesh and blood. We’re talking about what I’ve come to term as “thicker-than-blood”: friends who are basically family, bonds that far exceed any shared DNA. SWR painted the most beautiful picture of this idea over the course of the series that I’d never really seen anything quite like before.

At the very beginning of it all, Ezra was separated from his birth family. He wasn’t looking for anyone to fill that void, especially not a group of individuals that, like his imprisoned parents, Rebelled on a daily basis. But one day, the boy was called to be part of something more. In doing so, he found a dad, a mom, a brother, a sister, and a pet droid. And through this new family, values instilled in him by his birth parents would grow from a spark to a raging wildfire, making him the selfless, determined-to-help-others-at-any-personal-cost young man he is today. I know I’ve talked about this before, but frankly, it’s worth saying over and over again. Ezra Bridger’s journey is truly amazing. And watching the beginning again stirred up so so many memories, I didn’t have a choice but to write this paragraph.

Yes, watching Ezra talking to the holo-portrait of his parents melted my heart in all the ways, but to realize how final it all sounded… that concerned me. “Hold on! We’re not seriously going to lose Ezra, right?? We can’t! It’s hard enough losing Kanan! I’M NOT READY!!”
I’d spent so long pulling for the Ghost family Jedi to make it somehow despite Yoda’s deathbed claims, that watching Kanan go really hit me hard out of left field. So I was clinging pretty darn hard on the technicality that since Ezra was not an official Jedi, so he could make it.
But somehow, it wasn’t as hard to watch Ez go as I thought it would be. Not just because they gave us the inkling of hope that he may still be alive, but because his act of self-sacrifice was so noble and so powerful. And it was even more meaningful when I remembered he was doing what Kanan taught him in that last lesson. Wow. The end of his story (for now) was the best it possibly could have been. A fitting last chapter to really show just how far he’s come from that first spark of rebellion ❤

You know, I had a neat revelation after watching this the first time. It's easy to see that Hera is what ultimately brought the Ghost family together. She’s in the business, it seems, of pulling together the most broken, flawed people and turning them into heroes. Just look what she did with a noncommittal, bitter ex-Jedi, an old, broken astromech, a guilt-ridden, hopeless warrior, a disgraced, unjustly-accused Mandalorian, and a self-serving street kid! And from there, this family she brought together helped expand that family as they did the same thing — making real heroes out of often the galaxy’s lowest of the low. Forgotten, cast-aside clone troopers became leaders again. A crusty pirate with no crew found new purpose and new friends. A high-and-mighty ISBN agent gave up all his prestige to do the right thing. A young bounty hunter chose to do something with far greater reward than money. A dishonest dealer who caused a lot of trouble in the past stepped up to the cause. A jaded former governor found a new mission. Even seemingly-ordinary kids like Jai and Mart were brought into this family of heroes. And I don’t know why Melch keeps getting involved, but I’m hoping it’s because all this selflessness is contagious 🙂 And it all started with Hera, not just because of her natural-born leadership, but because she saw something in all of them that made them family, somehow.
This might not be anything new, but it’s just such a cool thing to think about and it’s just another thing so meaningful about this finale — that we get to spend it with just about all the family :3

Like I talked about some last episode, all the teamwork in the room is just amazing. We have the most unconventional set of Rebels working together and they’re just owning it! It’s more than I ever expected to see in the finale, and it continues to blow my mind and gives me all the feels. And it’s also so fun watching the most mismatched of teams working together amidst the varying levels of personality clashes, like with the oh-so-precise-and-well-planned Kallus stuck with the more action-oriented, blast-down-the-doors wild cards Gregor and Zeb. “He’s crazy!” “BUT IT WAS YOUR PLAN!” Delightful!
But on that note, yes, I will miss Gregor something awful. I’ve been holding my breath, unsure of what would become of all these once-lost commanders for years now, not wanting to see another brother down, but knowing it was well-likely to happen. But Gregor did good. I thought we’d lost him ages ago, so getting to spend the time with him that we did was special no matter what.

And wow was Thrawn on his A-game today. Like, he was honestly as cool, calculating, and downright cruel to me as he’s ever been this series. I mean seriously some of what he did got me wincing for all the good people left in the galaxy. But at the same time, his confidence and well-thought-out plans never ceased to impress. Again, I really have to thank Lucasfilm for putting the Grand Admiral in the canon and in this series. I’m sure the original novels are solid, but having so little knowledge of that era of books, including him inside of a series I was already very familiar with was the perfect way to meet him. His comeuppance was masterful, but I appreciate they chose to leave it open what ultimately happens to him… either way, Grand Admiral Thrawn was a truly awesome adversary and I definitely look forward to digging into his story some more later. *Sighs because she still has so many novels to catch up on* *But smiles because what a great problem to have!*

Seeing Palpatine again brought the best kind of intrigue for me. I loved this revelation that the Emperor presents himself much as he appeared in the years past. I guess I’d figured people always saw him in that dark cloak, like in Episode III, but this makes so much more sense! Once again, he’s doing a really solid job playing the galaxy like a card. Who would doubt such a finely-dressed, kindly politician? But that’s exactly what he wants you to think! It’s genius! Terrifyingly genius! And then we watch, eyes wide, as the Emperor offers Ezra a family reunion on a silver platter. I don’t know about you, but I could almost physically feel the pain of Ezra’s inner battle. It’s the ultimate temptation, to abandon everything and regain a peaceful life like he had before. And though we know Ezra has a solid sense of right and wrong… we also know Sidious is a master at pulling lightsiders over to the dark. SO MUCH TENSION! SO MANY EMOTIONS! I COULDN’T BREATHE!! DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED WHEN PALPATINE UNDID EZRA’S CUFFS! AND THEN WHEN EZRA UNLOCKED THE GATEWAY AND I WAS ALL “OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING??”!! OH MAN!
But there are few greater moments in Star Wars than when a hero wins this battle with himself, overcomes temptation, and defies the darkness.
Couldn’t applaud enough.
Also those totally-different red guards were so epic… or are they normal red guards with different armor? Need to read up more on them!

I definitely need to talk about Sabine and Ezra, guys. I remember when the series first began and what I liked most about them was that one-sided-crush dynamic. Every one of Ezra’s failed flirts and every one of Sabine’s sarcastic replies got me laughing hard. But their relationship has become so so much more since then, and not in the ways I might’ve assumed. In the last few seasons, we’ve watched them go from a slightly-lopsided sorta-friendship to a concrete bond of trust, honesty, and faith in each other. I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating. They’ve stood alongside each other in their darkest moments, fought impossible odds together, and they just get each other. It’s astounding how far they’ve come. Every moment of this understanding and shared trust, whether spoken or unspoken, speaks incredible volumes, and it could not be more perfect. And the fact that Sabine ultimately (if my understanding’s correct) puts aside her own homeworld and her place in the Alliance to protect Lothal for years? This is as real a friendship as it gets. Some days I can’t believe how much they’ve both grown up, how far they’ve come! I just love them, and who they truly are together — something far more meaningful than just a teenage crush. Something that’s nothing short of rock-solid. Something that I just have to describe as powerful.
But all the same… I couldn’t help but smile when Sabine quietly caressed his portrait, making me wonder if maybe, just maybe, the feeling’s mutual now… :3

Random note, but one of my favorite bits of animation in the whole episode is watching Mart trying to see over Zeb and Kallus’ shoulders XD I can relate, Mart! #ShortPeopleUnite! Except he’ll probably grow out of it, of course… but, still!

Once the Ghost headed off into the sunset, I wasn’t expecting anything but the credits.
Instead, they gave me so much more — a new hope for Kallus, a new chapter for Hera, and a new mission for Sabine and Ahsoka! And also the fact Rex made it to VI which was obviously so epicly cool. I like that none of these stories are really the “end” of their stories, each of them are just an important moment for each of them, and a way to wrap up their arcs in SWR nicely. Let’s dig into those first three a little further, OK?

Zeb’s impossibly kind gesture to Kallus just wows me. All that time ago, he helped spur the Agent to change his ways, and he could’ve stopped there. But instead, not only does Zeb forgive his once-mortal enemy, he says “Guess what? You’re one of us!” Before this, I had never considered how much Kallus might still be carrying with him, the belief that he’d helped in the purging of an entire people. So what a gift this is, to know there’s still hope, and that he is entirely forgiven! I like to think that, in Ezra’s absence, that Zeb found a new friend in Kallus. Likely not quite the same level of friendship, but one that still maintains an unshakable loyalty. Leave it to Star Wars to paint such an amazing image of forgiveness and hope, and the truth that real friendships can come from anywhere 🙂 As one of my fave songs goes: When I look into the face / of my enemy / I see my / brother!

I’d spent plenty of time over the last couple years thinking “I could totally see Hera legally-adopting kids after the war’s over.” OK granted a lot of that was me liking the idea of Hera adopting the Freemakers, but still, it wasn’t hard to imagine. So when I Saw the adorable green bean in her copilot’s seat… I SQUEE-ED SO HARD! General Syndulla looks so in her element, flying with little Jason (hopefully I spelled it right) by her side! Of course, now I really want to see Jason join Rowan on some Freemaker Adventures… but I’ll take any story about Hera and her boy I can get 😀 What a truly perfect way to cap off her story!

And I really thought we’d reached the end of Ahsoka’s story. It was enough to know she’d survived the duel with Vader. But then… there she stood, ready to fulfill her promise to find Ezra. I love her new look, and not just because it has a bit of a Gandalf-feel to it, but it begs so so many questions! My assumption is she’s become a priestess of sorts for a new branch of Forcewielders apart from Jedi and Sith. But if she is, what does that mean later on for Luke and his attempts to rebuild the Jedi? What does it mean for Rey, trying to find her place in the Force? Or does this supposed new sect of Ahsoka’s even make it that far in the future? Or maybe it just took 30-odd years for Ahsoka and Sabine to find Ezra and then they show up in the middle of Episode IX all “Whoa what happened while we were gone??”. Honestly, I’d be totally up for something like that!
But wherever they go from here, they go with hope. The kind of hope that can save the galaxy.. and actually did

I've got so many feels I don't know what to do with them. What an amazing journey it's been! But thank you so much for reading this.
Thank you for reading all these Rebel Transmissions over the years.

And this all comes around the time my blog just turned five years old, so even more thanks for reading this blog, for fanboying/fangirling alongside me, and for making Padawanline what it is today! Just.. thank you!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

WAIT! THERE’S A NEW TRANSMISSION COMING IN…
SOMETHING ABOUT…
THE RESISTANCE!

Wow I couldn’t have planned this if I tried. We will talk more about this soon!

Oh, right, and here’s the Best-Of posts for the year 🙂

Following The Freemakers: Return Of The Kyber Saber
If Not For IV…: A Special Star Wars Day Story
Fun With The Freemakers Shorts!
Following The Freemakers: The Tower Of Alistan Nor
Following The Freemakers: The Pit And The Pinnacle
A Very Fangirly Analysis Of The New Last Jedi Trailer
Rebel Tranmissions: In The Name Of The Rebellion
Rebel Transmissions: Kindred
Looking Back On The Original SWR Shorts
Rebel Transmissions: Jedi Night

Rebel Transmissions: Heroes Of Mandalore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Trials Of The Darksaber

First of all, I apologize for the delay on this one. Life just gets busy man. I’m figuring my posts from here on out’ll be weekend things, at least for a while. But there’s no way I’ll stop writing ’bout my Rebels, especially with an episode like this. Let’s dig in and dissect the beautiful, rich episode known as Trials Of The Darksaber.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from TCW episodes The Mandalore Plot and Shades Of Reason, and Rebels episodes Imperial Supercommandos, Visions And Voices, and Trials Of The Darksaber

So! The Darksaber! It’s a big deal. A very very big deal. A bigger deal than I’d ever realized, even with years of SW experience under my belt. I happened to have rewatched The Mandalore Plot a few days ago, and it amazed me realizing how far that little black blade has gone since then. To hear Pre Vizsla talk of its history, boasting of how many Jedi have died by it, doesn’t evoke any sense of honor. That’s just Pre for you tho he’s sorta kinda a lot arrogant. Fenn Rau’s version of the story has a lot more going for it, telling of the Mando-Jedi who forged the unique weapon and the symbol of power it became to all of Mandalore. Oh my gravy the epicness. The animation they used for the backstory was just all kinds of wow. Though for many of my readers the notion of a Mando-Jedi wasn’t new, it was mind-blowing for me. I once joked that, considering the generally difficult relationship between the supercommandos and the Force-wielders, Mando blood and large numbers of midichlorians were “akin to oil and water” (Rebel Transmissions: The Protector Of Concord Dawn 2/6/16). The prospect of Mando-Jedi has always been cool but I had no clue how it’d work in a canon sense. Well… apparently it did. Get me a canon novel on Tar Vizsla stat! Fenn is majorly impressed Sabine was able to find it, after all, the one who wields ‘saber could unite all of Mandalore. But apparently Sabine hasn’t touched it since Dathomir…
Also wow every time I turn around, our resident artist has made my new favorite painting! Most kawaii family portrait ever! Love that she drew Ezra looking a tad uncomfortable caught in Zeb’s brohug; she’s still not gonna give him a respectful artistic rendering XD I admit I got a little distracted from the feels at hand looking at the art all over her quarters. Tbh I was really hoping to spot her Cad Bane and Embo doodles but either we don’t see those angles of the room or she took those down in favor of some new masterpieces. Sabine’s surrounded by color, but all feels blue and gray right now as she heads to a meeting. Also Chopper kind of “purring” elicited quite an “awww…” from me. I believe that was Chop’s way of showing some compassion. He doesn’t do it a lot so it’s totally totally precious. She goes into this meeting with her mind already made up; she’s not about to learn how to use the Darksaber. Far as she’s concerned it’s done too much harm and there’s no way she could unite her clan for the mini-Alliance’s cause. OK so this was one of many many things in this episode that surprised me and intrigued me. I wasn’t sure Sabine even knew what the blade was, let alone its significance. It makes sense in retrospect though considering the value Mandos place on their history. Beyond that, I had no idea she’d be so very against it (I mean, she did choose to take it home), but like say, I had no idea really of its significance either. Even Ezra doesn’t know if giving her a lightsaber is ideal without aid of the Force. Pff I love that he makes himself out like an expert when he’s totally not XP Kanan, Hera, and Fenn all know though that learning to wield it would make a galaxy of difference right now. So, reluctantly, the fierce little Wren takes the hilt…
Training begins once Kanan, Sabine, and Ezra set up camp far off from the base (“…you’ll do less damage out here.” “I’ll damage your face if you don’t shut up” XD ). And Kanan starts her off with sticks. Y’know if I recall Kanan started Ezra out on an actual lightsaber (Granted, Ez did nearly spear Master Jarrus in the face when he first turned it on… but then again, Sabine already knows how to ignite the Darksaber, so that wouldn’t be an issue). And I mean, dude! We’ve seen an actual training mode on lightsabers! I don’t think even tiny younglings in the Temple started off with sticks! Sabine’s confident in her skills with a stick, but Kanan downs her pretty fast, so Ezra takes over for her training buddy. Though Sabine doesn’t appreciate it much, I love watching Ezra teach her. He doesn’t know it all himself, but perhaps that honesty of not knowing everything makes him a more relatable teacher than Master Jarrus right now. Hera’s not sure what Kanan’s doing with this brand of training, but I kinda get the feeling Kanan’s not entirely sure either. He wants to do things differently with Sabine, but days later he’s still not feeling like she’s improved enough to handle the real thing. Sabine gets a little bit of a leg up when Fenn gives her a pair of genuine fully-loaded Mandalorian vambraces, but not for long around Master Jarrus. Understandably, she was kind of completely done with him after that and ventured off for some alone time. It gave me some serious massive feels watching Ezra try and encourage her, but there’s more to her frustration than merely Kanan’s teaching methods. How’s a traitor like herself supposed to go back to her family and lead her clan? *Cries forever* Also, interesting that the Bendu was there all along. Wonder what he’s thinkin…?
And so the feels continued to wreck me when we spent a moment with Kanan and Hera. Half the feels are due to the fact I still adore how honest and raw they are with each other. The other half has a lot to do with this glimmer of real pain from the past. “Remember how hard it was for her to trust us…” *cries again* Continuing in her tradition of bosslady mic-dropping wisdom, Hera gives it to him straight that the only way for Kanan to succeed in training Sabine is to just give her that Darksaber. He does that, and she’ll open up and face her demons on her own. Seriously OMG they wrote this so well I rewatched the scene again just now to make sure I was getting everything right. You go Captain Syndulla! 🙂
Safe to say Sabine was unprepared for what awaited her when she got back. Kanan finally handed her the Darksaber’s hilt, ready to start again with his student. Like Ezra and Fenn, I was quickly on the edge of my seat (and later on, unable to sit down). The swordfight is intense and really quite mesmerizing between Kanan and Sabine’s moves. Sabine handles her blade super-well for her first go at it, while Kanan absolutely wows me with his teaching skills and his connection to the Force. And every minute is a further reminder of the Darksaber’s incredible legacy. The weapon terrifying in the hands of Pre Vizsla and destructive in the hands of Maul now has the potential to heal in the hands of Sabine Wren. But all of this is merely practice, and Kanan can tell she’s still not putting her all into this. There’s more going on in this fight than just the swords. It’s Sabine fighting her hurt, her fear, her past, and the uncertainty of the future. Oh my gosh you guys when she started bearing her soul like that… my heart just shattered into pieces. You’re lying if you tell me you didn’t cry at the very least on the inside. I will say a lot of her story surprised me. (Forgive me I’m about to break up this feelyness for a second with some SW contemplating) I had utterly no idea that her family hurt her so bad. From all that Gar Saxon had mentioned in Imperial Supercommandos, I got a very different impression than what is actually the truth. I’d assumed, based on what he’d said about her mother, that because Mrs. Wren was with the Empire as of recent, that meant she hadn’t been supportive of it before, that as well as Sabine’s comment “…I doubt you gave her much choice”. But this new information seems to negate that, revealing her family had evidently always been pro-Empire, meaning perhaps that Mrs. Wren is actually higher-ranking Imperial, or even a Supercommando like Saxon. I literally watched that episode the other day in hopes of getting some facts straight and I’m still not totally certain of what her mother’s allegiances mean as versus the rest of her family and clan Vizsla. I suppose these are things we’ll find out soon enough. (next week maybe hopefully?) Either way, I’ve truly seen her story in a completely new light. And whatever happens, whatever she chooses, whatever her blood family and her clan think… her thicker-than-blood family will stand by her and with her. You know I had a totally different really deep thought that came to mind earlier, but I can’t remember it now. But I did come upon this really nifty thought: Fenn Rau came to fully join the Rebels’ cause because he respected Sabine’s loyalty to a family not her own. If the rest of clan Vizsla can see the fierce loyalty and heart she has for both her family and her people… I think they’ll find a reason to follow, with the blade, or without.
OK whew that was a lot of thoughts to organize there! Augh I just love this episode!! It’s so great just taking time away from the missions to just focus on these amazing amazing characters and their story at the heart of it all. We’ll talk some Freemakers next week and then the Transmissions’ll be back 😀 Now if you’ll excuse me there are some massive feels I’m going to need to work on recovering from…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight