Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 4

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

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

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

#1. Chopper is a surprisingly great leader.

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

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

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

#3. Tristan’s the little brother.

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

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

#4. Hondo doesn’t like droids.

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

#5. Porgs make great parents!

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

#6. Always let Rey drive.

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

#7. The Ewoks animated series was right…

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

#8. Ahsoka’s a very creative teacher…

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

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Following The Freemakers: Escape From Coruscant

Things continue to get unbelievably real on The Freemaker Adventures, and that’s why I’m here once again spilling out all my thoughts and queries and theories and fangirly musings. Read on as we dissect some intriguing (and often nerve-wracking) stuff from Escape From Coruscant!

Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, Tarkin, TCW episode The Lawless, Rebels episodes Rebel Resolve, The Siege Of Lothal, and The Holocrons Of Fate, and Freemakers episodes Duel Of Destiny, Return Of The Kyber Saber, A Perilous Rescue, and Escape From Coruscant.

First of all, don’t worry Imperial Guards, I still think you’re cooler than whatever Palpatine thinks 🙂 It’s so funny… I remember early on in my SW fandom not being all that impressed with all those quiet armored characters 99% of fans are obsessed with — the Fetts, stormtroopers, Imperial Guards, etc. They were everywhere and yet they weren’t as interesting to me as the Jedi and Rebels. But now I’m among those 99% and think they’re all fantastic and interesting, and I’ve become a huge huge red guard fangirl over the last year-and-a-half thanks to Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy revealing the full grandeur of their spectacular design (not to mention some funny appearances in other Lego SW stories). So yeah #RedGuardsRule! Ooh maybe the next Star Wars animated series should center around a former guard and his/her journey after the Empire’s fall! A thought anyway.

But my random series ideas are not nearly as important as the fact that Rowan is in possibly the most dangerous place in the galaxy right now — on the Empire’s capital with Darth Sidious in front of him and Darth Vader behind him. The youngest Freemaker is bold, sounding both incredulous and amused at the fact the Emperor was after the long-since-destroyed Kyber Saber all this time. But oh my goodness… I spent this episode completely on edge. We’re only talking about the man who played the Republic like a card, rose to ultimate power, and destroyed almost all the Jedi with a single command. Not to mention the guy’s apprentice, who could survive being crushed by an AT-ST and can use the Force to literally crush one’s heart from the inside (I’m serious go read Tarkin right now). Safe to say they know how to get what they want from Rowan, a child who, though clever and strong with the Force, still has his weaknesses… *Shudders*
Oh, and right before we got the titles, there’s this great little moment you’ve gotta see. After Palpatine giddily gives himself chills, Rowan turns to Vader with a look that says “Uh is this guy for real??” XD

My heart absolutely broke so hard for Kordi, Zander, and Roger this episode. Their brother seems to have become a casualty of war, a soldier lost that the Alliance can’t afford to bring home. I was reminded quite a bit of SWR’s Rebel Resolve, and the challenges that can come from fighting alongside those you care for. Hera knows every fiber of what these kids and their droid are feeling, but Coruscant is truly the worst place in the galaxy for Rowan to be, because it’s the worst place in the galaxy for the Rebels to be. And now that they know of the second Death Star, the stakes just got much much higher. Though a beautiful, impossibly precious quote, it seems there’s no more painful or difficult question to ask than “What’s the point of saving the galaxy if the people you love aren’t in it?“. I sometimes lay awake at night wrestling with that. Some of my most favorite moments in Star Wars have been when someone breaks all the rules to save a life, but not all of these rebellious rescues end well — in fact, they usually don’t. But I understand. I think it’s safe to say we all understand. If, like Luke, your friends were suffering, if, like Obi-Wan, your lost love called for help, if, like all the Freemakers at one point or another, your sibling or siblings were in pain or in danger… you likely wouldn’t stand still and do nothing. True, there’s value in rules, value in thinking your plan through, I mean, we just talked about this last post with Rowan falling for M-OC’s trap. And true, you have to think of the other lives at stake in many of these situations. This is a hard lesson, and thankfully I think most of us average Joes and Janes won’t have to worry about making a decision this monumental or potentially detrimental. These stories in SW are not telling us that the characters were wrong per se, or that going after someone you care for is wrong. They’re reminding us simply to think and to be wise in any situation. And whether these rescues go well (like in Rebels) or with mixed results, seeing these great, admirable, relatable characters who desire to protect and defend, never cease to inspire. And perhaps a character who makes mistakes but loves people is better than a character who never breaks a rule but doesn’t love. That makes sense, right? I feel like I might’ve lost my place somewhere in there but… anyway. GO FREEMAKER FAM GO! THIS IS A REBELLION, SO YOU GO REBEL! They’re willing to give up their place in the Alliance for Rowan, and that’s nothing but amazing no matter how you spin it. Though you’ve gotta be careful with the decisions you make and the actions you take (sorry Maz didn’t mean to rip you off)… family, ideally, should always come first.

So I had no idea how Rowan would survive this episode. I don’t think I breathed much on this one. At all. Though they’re depicted as minifigs, Sidious and Vader are no less deadly, terrifying threats. And again, knowing the horrible things the Sith are capable of… the odds are really not in Ro’s favor. This episode did remind me though that the Master and Apprentice are capable of other methods of persuasion than just by lightsaber or Force lightning; they’re crafty and calculating, taking their time with getting the information they desire. Perhaps that made it even scarier. OK maybe not quite as much with the “Dark Side And You” presentation. That was too great XD But otherwise… yeah oh man… the probes. Seeing those things always makes my skin crawl. And now they’ve upgraded them with laser prods! The fact Rowan was able to resist them as well as he did is nothing short of amazing. The scariest thing though? Watching Vader use the dark side mind probing trick. I’ve wondered in the past if that was just a thing Kylo Ren and Maul could do. Knowing that Darth Vader can do it makes him all the more frightening. The fear and desperation in Rowan’s voice as he tries to fight the impossible… oh my goodness I can’t. I CAN’T. At the time, I’d been thinking most of the episode that surely Kordi and Zander would get to him before Vader found what he was looking for. Surely they wouldn’t let Ro carry the burden of being the one to tip off the Empire to the location of kyber crystals. Surely!
But… no.
Things don’t go that way.

OK wow things are getting so heavy here, and they’re only going to get heavier. My broken heart was healed a little though as the red guards revealed themselves to be Kordi and Zander. They’ve already been there and done that with stormtrooper disguises; it’s a nice way to mix it up! Watching Rowan tacklehug his big brother just made me explode with smiles, something I needed a good bit this episode. Long as this family’s still standing, there’s hope :3

But who would’ve anticipated that M-OC would come back from the dead? I knew he’d been able to repair himself in the past, but the way Vader tore him apart… I really thought that was how the hunter droid would go down.
I was wrong.
And now he mans the most powerful spacecraft in the galaxy… and his sights are set on a scrappy little TIE fighter with the Freemakers aboard.
We’ve seen what the Arrowhead does to TIEs O_O

It’s quite a twist, an episode titled Escape From Coruscant… and they actually have yet to truly escape. If they escape at all.
I know that they must survive somehow since there are two more episodes left this season, but I’m still absolutely terrified for what will become of our heroes, the Alliance, and the galaxy itself in the events to follow.
All the same though, this series never fails to be incredible.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: The Embersteel Blade

So once again, I’m so excited to begin writing some Star Wars-ness up here that I end up with absolutely no idea how to begin. Sometimes just diving in does the trick, so that’s what we’re gonna do today as we dig into the ingenious Freemaker escapade called The Embersteel Blade. Oh shoot now I’m rhyming how’d that happen??

Contains spoilers from Freemakers episodes The Lost Treasure Of Cloud City, Showdown On Hoth, and The Embersteel Blade

Darth Vader has complete faith in his work-in-progress Death Star II, but definitely a lack of it in his graycoats’ ability to find kyber crystals. I gotta say I am so so glad right now that the Imps evidently have forgotten Rowan’s connection to kyber. Well… of course, I have wondered if maybe it was more of a connection to the Kyber Saber itself more so than the crystals, but honestly that doesn’t make nearly as much sense to me. But oh right I just remembered: Sidious wants Rowan alive in hopes of finding the Kyber Saber, so if he doesn’t get his superweapon, he might very well use the boy’s crystal-sensing abilities to his advantage for the Death Star. Uh yeah we should all be very concerned. I can’t believe I only made this connection now! On a somewhat lighter note though, that one particular Imp screaming his head off had me laughing louder than I should’ve XD

The Freemakers have located what they need for the first piece of the Arrowhead. Yay! Problem is, the embersteel they’re wanting is part of a very very pricey shuttle that’s being sold at an Imperial auction. Little bit less of a “yay”. That’s why I’ve got nothing but solid #respect for Kordi’s supreme businesswoman superpowers, because you and I both know it’s only that and the fact she’s got a solid plan to back it up that they put those creds in the Freemakers’ hands. Also guys, I am so so glad Ackbar didn’t spit-take in Mon Mothma’s direction. That is all. I mean… not sure there’d be enough OxiClean in the galaxy to fix that perfectly regal ensemble of hers if that happened, and that would be among the greatest Star Wars tragedies to date. Sorry for General Madine though. Poor dude’s a kaffe magnet!

So yes we have to talk about the dress! But not just because I’m majorly into costuming, sewing, elegant shades of purple, and glittery embroidery, but because it brings up a good question: where did Kordi actually get the gown in the first place? At first, I figured she went out of her way to find exactly what the real Princess Kortessi was wearing and bought a designer knock-off of it. But then I remembered there’s no proof they knew the Princess was attending the auction in the first place. So then I thought maybe it was a spare dress of Leia’s, which is a reasonable theory, BUT! That would not explain the matching guard uniforms Kordi already had before they left to Mygeeto… guard uniforms that must’ve been tailor-made, as I imagine most uniforms aren’t sized for a twelve-year-old boy or made without sleeves. So at that point I assumed there must be a few people in the Alliance who specialize in stitching up stuff. But then, remember the adorable matching uniforms the sibs wore on Cloud City? And the snowsuits on Hoth? I’d bet anything Kordi is secretly a seamstress, and that she hand-made the guard uniforms and dress herself. I don’t know when she found time to (there must have been a timelapse between the end of her meeting and the StarScavenger‘s departure), but that’s the most logical answer I’ve got. She can make fast ships and fabulous dresses! I wanna be Kordi Freemaker when I grow up! 😀 (Well, I’ve at least got the tripping-over-long-skirts thing down. 110% relatable) The plan itself is pretty fabulous, too; going in disguise as a changeling is straight-up genius! It’s neat getting to learn a tiny tiny bit about their species’ culture in the process, too. Kordi’s acting was completely on-point, after all, playing a takes-crud-from-no-one bosslady with fine tastes is basically like playing herself, just with a slight accent 🙂 Yes, this stellar plan was smoother than the surface of a Naboo starfighter!

It’s the things that weren’t part of the plan that aren’t so fabulous. I just knew there was no way whatsoever you could give Zander 75,000 credits, put him in front of a stunning lineup of starships, and expect him not to blow it. I just knew. All I could do was sit back and watch how they’d ride this one out. You know though, you’ve gotta give these kids some serious credit. They’re actually going to all this trouble to legitimately buy what they need. In Rebels, our heroes rarely hesitated from stealing what they needed from the Imps. I’m certainly not saying the Ghost crew was wrong in that; they did only what was necessary for their cause to grow and succeed and ultimately bring down this terrible Empire that was stealing from innocent people already. It just impresses me the kids found their own way. The Freemakers aren’t the Ghost fam, I think as a whole they take the peaceful route before anything else; remember how many times they didn’t blast their foes when most Rebels would have been in their right to do so? That’s really pretty amazing guys.
Oh yeah, my favorite line in this episode might be “IT’S LIKE SOMEONE REACHED INSIDE MY HEAD AND SCOOPED OUT ALL MY DREAMS!!” I have entirely felt that way before, Zan, especially around fresh-baked desserts, Christmas decor, and Star Wars merch :3

And who could’ve bargained we’d find Graballa the Hutt at a fancy place like this? Not that I’m not always happy for the brilliant comedic timing Dana Snyder’s delightfully outrageous character brings to the table, but throwing him into the equation certainly complicates things for our young heroes. Well, doesn’t matter how noble you are I guess… you do not say “no” to a Hutt. They’re kind of a big deal and dangerous to mess with. And that’s saying something, because Graballa’s still considerably more decent than most of the Hutts we’ve seen! The guy just wants to live his resort-owning dream! That’s a pretty normal decent desire! Except perhaps for the fact he’s willing to steal and kill to get what he wants in many cases. That might be why it’s taking so long for him to get there. Also I do question where he was planning this resort in the first place. I mean, he runs an illegal mining operation in the middle of nowhere. I hope he wasn’t settling for that kind of location (unless maybe it was all virtual a la Hologram Fun World). I’d think maybe Scarif would be a nice locale, but wherever this is, it’s got blue sand, so… IDK. It’s certainly an intriguing prospect, whatever the case. And if it were a legitimate business, it might be ultimately a good thing! Maybe. It’s a big “maybe”, though.

So yeah anyone else’s ears still ringing from Kordi’s brief meltdown? I had my volume up so I could easily hear all the quieter bits of dialogue… and shortly thereafter came to regret that. I’d always heard of the term “hair-raising”, but hadn’t ever felt anything like that until now. Vanessa Lengies deserves a round of applause… and quite possibly some hot tea ’cause that scream sounds like it hurt. But I don’t blame Kordi for one minute because siblings can do that to ya, I know. Oh, and the fact the stormtroopers completely ignored it had me laughing ’til I cried XD
Also it’s nice knowing that Roger has dreams of his own, too. A Separatist battle droid, leader of the Rebel Alliance! What a comeback story! I admire your gumption buddy, but I’ve seen you under pressure. You’re better off sticking to your repair work and writing that bestseller.

When you think of heroic moments in Star Wars, most of us think of lightsabers clashing and blasters blasting, not necessarily business smarts. But financial know-how is to Kordi the way the Force is to Mace Windu — a deadly serious, fierce, powerful weapon. If you follow the blog’s tumblr you might have seen I came out Kordi on a Freemakers personality quiz, and to this day I’m not sure how I didn’t get one of her bros instead. I understand how good business works, but a lot of that really complicated managerial/financial stuff goes right on over my head. I shall forever strive to achieve her masterful levels of savviness. I mean, guys, using good business tips to get out of a dangerous situation? That’s just too good. Oh and just a small thing but it was nice seeing Naare again. Kordi’s quiet “ew” cracked me up; she acts like she’s looking at an ugly vase and not someone who tried to kill them on multiple occasions and it’s the best ironic thing XD

Oh yeah! It only just occurred to me now that, while Zander owns the stars in his Jedi starfighter, Rowan’s manning the StarScavenger… and doing really awesomely at it! Not at all like the rough take-offs and landings an episode ago! NOOO STAHP GROWING UP PRECIOUS CHILD!!
Oh, and “Are they shooting people at us now??” 😂 No Ro that’s just what a #KordiWin looks like!

For all the craziness Kordi’s once-flawless plan spiraled into, it made watching the Arrowhead‘s embersteel blade being installed all the sweeter. But as DARTH VADER decides to make a deal with Graballa… well, the craziness is far from over. The concept really is too perfect though! I really wasn’t sure how much more the Hutt would get involved this season, but this works just downright perfectly, drips with a unique kind of intrigue, and ascertains we’ll have much more of the slimy slug’s shenanigans to come. You’d think maybe Graballa’s previous experience with darksiders might have made him consider the offer though… but then again, while saying “no” to a Hutt is dangerous, saying “no” to Lord Vader is instant death…

Yep, can’t wait for the next episode. Seriously. Things are getting so good and they were already so good to start with!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: The Tower Of Alistan Nor

Hey Star Wars fam! You ready to talk Freemakers? I know I am! ‘Cause The Tower Of Alistan Nor has quickly become a favorite among favorites and I can’t wait to discuss all that has intrigued me and inspired me! Read on!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episode Steps Into Shadow and Freemakers episodes The Maker Of Zoh, Return Of The Kyber Saber, Trouble On Tibalt, and The Tower Of Alistan Nor

It’s an age-old battle I know well from playing with Legos; you get an image in your head of the perfect design… and then you lose it, and the entire building experience from there is spent trying out every brick in the box until you get something close to what you had in mind. Rowan’s got the same problem, except it’s worse because the future of the Rebel Alliance rests on making the image in his head a reality. Also for him it’s not just building a cool plastic model, it’s about building an actual serious war machine. No pressure! No pressure at all! Quarrie casually mentions of a beautiful, inspiring ancient city called Alistan Nor that might stir up some creative juices, and Ro’s off like a rocket!

Meanwhile, “Time to check on M-OC!” Palpatine is me whenever I sit down to a new Star Wars something. I do the little dance and everything XD And M-OC’s got himself a new set of blades… inquisitor blades. It actually makes a lot of sense, because just like the Jedi hunters we’ve seen before, these spinny ‘sabers of death are a more efficient method than learning all the Force-y moves. Unfortunately this is bad news for Rowan… he’s only fought blade-to-blade before, not blade-to-spinning-blade-to-blade. Elsewhere in the galaxy, while in carbonfreeze, Naare sensed her former master was treating a droid better than her XP WELL DROIDS DON’T BETRAY THEIR MASTERS, NAARE!
Well… normally.

Rowan’s ready and rarin’ to go to Alistan Nor, but the sibs happen to be considerably busy. Kordi’s in her prime bosslady mode, sharing her tips on cost-efficient living with her fellow Rebels, while Zander proves he’s the Wedge Antilles of repair — he can fix anything! Though Rowan isn’t pleased to catch them so so busy, I still love how easily the older kids have found their place here. Kordi knows what it’s like to live life running on fumes and pinching pennies, and offers a lot of know-how I’m sure the Rebs could use a refresher on, as well as just offering up a lot of common sense and direction that comes with running a business and looking out for your family at such a young age. (Let’s cut Ackbar some slack tho, he is an aquatic species, guys! Their skin must get awful dry!) And I love that Zander’s earned himself quite a reputation ’round Home One, as well as the respect of Valeria and the other pilots. It may not be where he wants to be in the Alliance, but he’s still giving the daily grind his all, and that’s nothing but admirable. But if you think his family’s work is going to keep Rowan from finding the inspiration he desperately needs, you’re dead wrong. He’ll fly there himself! Guys it’s a miracle that he didn’t damage the StarScavenger. Completely. Totally. Entirely. I kept thinking about what happened to the Phantom and was afraid of a repeat of that. I was really glad he put in those hyperspace coordinates right, too, ’cause yikes. I know I should’ve given him more of the benefit of the doubt, but he’s still a kid, and this is still a fair-sized starship, so… the odds weren’t great. Good thing Rowan has this habit of defying the odds 🙂

Also that Freemaker-branded lunchbox is great. I might need to custom my own! Can’t believe Quarrie went and ate the whole lunch though. “COPILOTS GET FIRST DIBS!” No they don’t, Quar 😑 Oh yeah… apparently mon calamari can digest bones? Unless that was a boneless fried noona leg he scarfed down, which it didn’t really look like… ok so that might not be a canon fact, but it makes you wonder, right?

Despite Quarrie’s slightly frustrating habit of not conveying all the information until the very very last second it’s needed, and a bit of a perilous run-in with a pack of gundarks (but what great Lego sculpts tho!), Alistan Nor is everything the old shipbuilder promised and more. Literally this city is everything. It is utterly utterly awe-inspiringly beautiful. Sometimes I forget that the great Doug Chiang designs for the show, but this was a powerful reminder. I mean… the design looks like it was intended for a movie or Rebels! I can’t help but hope a little that they might throw it in future 100%-canon Star Wars stories. And the concept alone! The idea of a city built by a unique order of Jedi is just amazing! It’s so Lego, but so believably SW at the same time! And we’ve gotta talk about the idea of Forcebuilders. Ever since SWR introduced the idea that certain Jedi can have special Force abilities, I’ve been completely fascinated by this expansion of the mythology, and as you may well know if you’ve read this blog for a while, I have been comparing Ezra’s Force-connecting talent to Rowan’s connection to kyber crystals. Only during the first season finale did I realize the Force must also have enhanced Rowan’s ability to build, and now this confirms it. I’ve spent days pondering what it must’ve been like to live in a city created by Jedi, and I imagine well-populated with Jedi as well. I’ve wondered about what made their order different from traditional Jedi, what gave them their creative energy, what was at the crux of their beliefs, and finally… what became of them. Also I had an interesting theory cross my mind: the Forcebuilders were specifically a branch of the Jedi, so what would happen if one turned to the dark side? We were introduced some time ago to the idea that the light creates and the dark destroys, so would a dark Forcebuilder be extremely adept at destruction? Or would they just build dark weapons? I actually pondered if maybe Naare had been a Forcebuilder Jedi previously, if that’s what gave her her terrible destructive capabilities. It’s certainly something worth chewing on. Anyway, watching Rowan see the city in its majestic, sparkling prime overloaded me with warm fuzzy feels. Basically everything about this entire scene can only be defined as “swoon-worthy”. It’s just. that. solidly. good.

Of course, I also was thinking “if M-OC destroys anything here I’m gonna cry for days”.
Was really really glad he only did a little property damage. But more importantly, I’m really really really glad nobody died. I will say, the fact M-OC uses his ‘quisitor blades separately is pretty cool though. It shows you how good he is… he doesn’t need much practice from what I can tell, he just uses ’em outright and in the most deadly efficient way. The Inquisitors wished they were this good. Forget what I said earlier about the spinning function working better for him. He don’t need it. It’s the things M-OC can’t predict that usually give our heroes a leg up, like falling balconies and gundark stampedes. I feel bad for the gundarks though… 😬

Can I just say again for the millionth time that I love this family? For all the responsibilities Kordi and Zander have now, they still dropped everything to fix up an old wreck to bring their brother home… an old wreck that would ultimately be mowed over by the Starscavenger anyway. But there’s nothing in this galaxy that a precious family hug can’t fix! It’s amazing really. At this point I basically turned into a pile of moved-to-happy-tears mush, and then made a mental note to hug my family more often than usual. Guys, this is nothing but real pure family love ❤ ❤ And now that Rowan has an exact mental picture of the Arrowhead in mind, they’ve made the first step on bringing the fight to the Empire! Augh I’m just so ludicrously happy right now X3

Though I really can’t say that for that Imperial graycoat who got tossed out the window. *Shudders* That’s totally Vader for ya.

Anyway, I think this post turned out really nicely, and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you today. Now go and give your family and basically-family-friends the Freemaker-style hug they deserve! 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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