Tag Archives: neeku vozo

The Resistance Report: The New Trooper

Whoa boy I’ve got a lot of stuff to write about on this one! I mean seriously I think I almost could write two blogs, ’cause The New Trooper delves into everything from galactic politics to space waffles! Let’s see if I can get all this organized right…

Contains spoilers from Resistance episode The New Trooper and elements from the first season thus far. Also some minor spoilers from Episode IV.

Star Wars has taught me a lot over the years; one of those things is that war is complicated. Resistance isn’t the first time we’ve encountered this reality — just watch The Clone Wars or Rogue One, or read James Luceno’s Tarkin. However, this series is the first time in my Star Wars experience that I’ve been able to sit down and really explore the average Joes’ and Janes’ thoughts on war, both the one of the past and the one to come. We’ve seen hints of Kaz’s on-fire Rebel heart and Tam’s respect for stormtroopers in past episodes, but in The New Trooper we watch these perspectives clash and emotions rise in a surprisingly volatile way I was not expecting.

I think it’s very easy for young people to get caught up in taking sides on an issue without actually knowing all the facts (I certainly have been there). The actual nuances of political matters can be super boring, while the energy of a heated debate can be an attractive force. But fierce passion without knowledge has a tendency to lead to shouting matches and hurt feelings. I know that’s not entirely the case with Kaz and Tam here; they both have strong reasons for believing what they do. Much of the problem is that there’s more arguing going on than there is listening or discussing. But I get it — it’s so much easier to stick to what you know and refuse to even think about there being multiple sides to an issue.

And this growing battle with Kaz and Tam has even more complications than stubbornness alone. Kaz knows things that would support his concerns with the First Order, like their interest in dedlanite and that powerful phase connector, but he can’t say much beyond references to his history lessons. Tam, on the other hand, has family who had a very different experience with the Empire, and her personal experience with the First Order so far has been positive. I can see, from her perspective, how it would seem dumb to accuse the local police of wrongdoing just because a similar set of troops did something wrong decades ago. Were I an ordinary galactic citizen (minus all my experience and knowledge as a Star Wars fan IRL), I might have agreed with Tam. At least, until I was faced with proof that said otherwise. Proof like Kel and Eila. I don’t know about you, but anyone being cruel to children would make me lose respect real fast! And since Tam is friends with these kids, I don’t think she can ignore this red flag so easily. It’ll be interesting to see what impact they may ultimately have on her perspective.

I think the biggest takeaway from this episode is that, no matter how complicated things get, we have to be wise and discerning with whatever we support and fight for. Even when some issues seem awash in a sea of gray, truth is still truth, and we shouldn’t stand quietly if darkness begins to outweigh the light. We have to dig for this truth so we can know when, where, and how to fight for what’s really right. And we need to constantly remind ourselves in every battle we approach, large or small, that the people we disagree with are still human under the helmets we mentally assign to them.

Maybe this song will explain this better than I can alone…

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– Hey look! Normal, non-zappy fishing (slinging?) poles exist! It makes sense, but still fascinating to learn.
– Look how happy the Tehar kiddos are! They deserve to be happy for a change of pace! So YOU BUCKETHEADS BETTER LEAVE THE POOR CHILDRENZ ALONE!
– Ah the old weaponizing-the-food trick! Well played, Padawan Kell. And yes I’m still on the train of thought that these kids are Force-sensitive…
– OK I can’t get past the blue jerky right there. It looks more like Fruit By The Foot than meat! Does it turn your tongue and lips blue, too? (Author’s note: I later found out this is puffer pig bacon, so I guess it probably would have the consistency of Fruit By The Foot!)
– You know what guys? I just realized I’m sitting here watching a Star Wars family breakfast! Kind of like I drew for Rebels four years ago! Ah that’s kinda cool!! 😀
– And safe from what exactly, Tam? You’ve never struck me the type to appreciate someone’s protection. Perhaps some connection to her past and family here? I mean, yes, there was a pirate problem earlier, but… how much damage did they really do long-term?
– But forget the deep political discussions WE’VE GOT SPACE WAFFLES AGAIN!!!! YAYYYY!!!
– Also I love that the possibility of helping his big sis is the best thing ever to Neeku :3
– Is Yeager eating ration sticks? Do they still make those these days? I guess they’re like granola bars — fast and nutritious. Whether they taste as good as most granola bars, though, I’m not sure. Apologies for all the food talk, but this is fun stuff for me!
– Some days I wonder how Yeager’s Repairs ever gets anything done! I guess it’s just that the boring workdays don’t make it onto the show.
– Wow those helmets really are useless. Perhaps, like i imagine Palpatine did before him, Snoke is devoting more of the FO finances to his yacht and fancy sweater than strong armor XP
– OHMYGOSH. ARE WE ALLOWED TO TAKE STORMTROOPER HELMETS OFF AND SEE THEIR FACES BEFORE FINN’S CAME OFF?! I THOUGHT THAT WAS A BIG RULE IN CANON STAR WARS! I guess they figured we’re used to the idea by now? It’s not a huge-huge deal, I guess, but I’ve been so used to that element in storytelling we’ve seen in Rebels (you know, where they’d casually angle the camera so you didn’t see the trooper’s face as Ezra punched the bucket off him) that it came as a bit of a shock to me. Perhaps there’s more to this decision than I know, though…
– That was a beautiful acting job, Kaz! Just as splendidly awkward as Han’s “How are you?” thirty-odd years back! I give it two thumbs way, way up! And hey, the other trooper fell for it, so he’s not doing a bad job, even without the Ezra-style use of accents.
– We’ve seen a lot of great stormtrooper switcharoos, but I think Kaz is the awkwardest fake ‘trooper we’ve ever had don the armor. I’m kind of amazed the other CSs haven’t noticed the totally non-rigid, noodle-y way he moves!
– OK dumb costume-related question: Kaz is apparently wearing the full bodysuit under his confiscated armor. But the original CS-515 still has a full bodysuit. Do storms wear double layers? Unless this is a continuity error of some sort, it seems to be the case. If so, that answers a lot of questions I had back on Rebels when they were stealing white armor left and right and I was a little grossed out at the thought they were leaving the soldiers, well… not wearing much, let’s just say. So *phew* that’s reassuring!
– Still having a tough time getting used to a face attached to that voice (as in, the “stormtrooper” voice in general, not Steve Blum!). I mean, yes, I’ve always known there are people under those buckets. But it’s still so easy to forget that they’re human (or more apropos to this galaxy, sentient beings… although stormtroopers are all human far as I know), especially with our (or at least my) limited knowledge of the First Order troops. They’re bred to be perfect, unfeeling soldiers who shoot when commanded to and keep their helmets on. But yet, they do have some personality and opinions on things, like the other CS complaining about his workload from earlier, and of course our good friend TR-8R who was plumb mad at Finn. It gets you thinking, right? I wonder what these guys will do with their lives should Rey and the Res defeat the First Order for good.
– Also there’s something profoundly sweet about the way Kel and Eila try to calm 515. Perhaps they now see the sad soul that was buried in that inhuman armor, and aren’t so scared of him anymore.
– Trust him, Neeku’s a doctor! XD
– My literal response when Kaz successfully beheaded the ball-droid was “OH MY GOSH!” Partly because I was really expecting Kaz to be the one to suffer a debilitating injury, but also ’cause I felt bad for the little angry dude. But it’s OK it looks like their heads are detachable anyway. They kind of need to be so they can keep rollin’ I guess.
– I don’t know what in the world Kaz was thinking waving at Torra while undercover, but it cracks me up nonetheless XD
– Doza should’ve said “Well then, you can just take your troops out to the snack bar!” Then all the storms would want to go to the snack bar and Pyre would lose all order XD

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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The Resistance Report: The First Order Occupation

This episode, you guys! This. Episode! Forgive my giddy fangirling, but The First Order Occupation was a sheer delight, and if I didn’t fangirl a little, I’d probably explode. Don’t worry though, there will be some deeper thoughts in here as I dig into the heart and soul of this exciting-but-sweet chapter in the Resistance story.

Contains spoilers from The First Order Occupation and related events from this season thus far. Also some minor spoilers from Episode V and Rebels episode The Mystery Of Chopper Base.

With a title like “First Order Occupation”, I was expecting this episode to go in an entirely different direction. Perhaps something to do with Kaz’s role as a Resistance spy in a sea of growing hostilities and suspicions. And for the first chunk of the episode, it really felt like that’s where the story was going. But Kaz’s kind heart changes the course dramatically as he takes the focus off his own problems and risks everything to help Synara escape. I was expecting an exciting adventure no matter what this episode entailed, but it was this beautiful picture of love that made it so much more.

Yeah, I know… “love” is a rather strong word for an awkward spy boy and a conflicted pirate girl who doesn’t seem terribly impressed with the aforementioned awkward spy boy. But let’s remind ourselves that love is more than romance; it’s taking the focus off yourself and what you want, and thinking of and acting on what others want or need — whether friend, enemy, or someone you’ve never met. I don’t know about you, but Kaz risking his life and his Resistance career for Syn’s safety? That’s love. And then Synara giving up her newfound freedom to help him back? Also love.

Let me expand a bit on these kinds of love. Yes, it’s been quite obvious these last few chapters that Kaz has a schoolboy crush on Synara. I wouldn’t deny that it had some effect on his decision-making (I mean, Kaz did make it sound like she single-handedly fought that mama rokkna… a slight exaggeration, I do think), but I’d argue that he would have helped her regardless. His kindness has shone through in so many other ways throughout the series so far. And the very fact he was where he needed to be to rescue Synara in the first place, right back on Signal From Sector Six, is because of a love-rooted truth that he believed in: “When people are in need, we help“. Even when it meant fighting ill-tempered monkeys and a hulking ape-lizard, and even now when it meant saying goodbye, likely for good.

There’s a lot I wish we knew about Kaz and Synara’s friendship. Their initial relationship seemed a bit stilted, obviously since Syn wasn’t trying to make friends while undercover, and I’m sure also due to some of her suspicions about his identity. But by the time we get to The Doza Dilemma, while she still seemed unsure of how to respond to all the kindnesses she’d been shown by Kaz and his friends, it clearly meant the world to her — enough so that she absolutely couldn’t go through with a plan that would hurt a friend. I have little doubt that Kaz’s kindnesses in the past had an influence, even in some small way, on who she became. But regardless of what all happened in between, this last great kindness of Kaz’s seems to have deepened their bond, and it’s not just in that he put himself in danger to help her. I think Synara knew last episode that Kaz didn’t believe her claims, that she’d likely just lost his friendship. The fact he still decides to help her despite her deception, that he still could see the good in her, must have blown her away. It’s an act of forgiveness as well as kindness, and when you’re a pirate… I can’t imagine you get either very often. No wonder she couldn’t stand aside and let Kaz get caught, and no wonder that she seemed reluctant to leave Castilon in the end…

Her world had completely changed. All because of a young pilot who, in helping the Resistance, would ultimately be led to her distress signal.
Indeed, he helped her more than he realized.
More than she realized.

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– I was a little surprised that the First Order got on Doza’s good side so quickly, but the FO certainly knows how to play their cards. I wonder how much time passed between last episode and now? By Neeku’s comment, it’s at least been a week. Again it fascinates me how fast this show’s moved and makes me wonder what’s gone on in between. Perhaps an opportunity for some comics, youth novels, and Lego shorts? 🙂
– “If ‘thrilled’ is code for ‘nauseated’, then yes, Neeku. I’m extremely thrilled.” XD Man, I wanna write like these guys!
– There is a lesson here in what Kaz is saying, guys. History is super important!
– Aw, Kaz just wants to help the poor guy! 3: Now would be a great time to have a spare com and a penchant for voice acting… oh wait that’s Ezra’s thing. Um, any chance you’ve got another gorg in that thermos? That could work…
– Nice save, Neeku! Though yikes dare I ask how he would’ve finished that sentence? “…and he has been following you all around nonstop since your arrival! He’s that big a fan!”
– You stormtroopers are looking for all the wrong droids! If anyone’s a spy on the platform, well… I’d bet my credits on Garma. Just look at her in the crowd back there, smiling at that guy like nothing about this present situation is concerning! And I can’t remember the episode now, but we’ve seen her steal a crate outright. Actually, maybe she’s working for the FO instead! Perhaps that’s the real reason she’s acted so nice to Kaz! Gotta keep an eye on her, folks.
– Whoa so this is what it looks like when Kaz gets worked up. Back up everybody! He’s on fire!
– THE STORMS ARE ON TO HIM! KAZ IS SO TOAST IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY. Well, it’s kind of funny… mostly because his acting skills are so bad and Yeager knows it.
– OK so I just noticed that little janitor dude has robotic hands and a tiny hat. So coot!
– Conversational skills are on-point! 😛 Seriously though, I think Kaz got his metaphors mixed up a bit in there.
– Good job not drawing attention to yourself, spyboy-flyboy. That guy back there must think you’re nuts talking to a crate like that XP
– Is the “neekto” in “great-grand-neekto” a nikto word for “mother” or “father”, or someone’s actual name? Either one sounds possible.
– “To the turbolift!!” Well now I’m gonna have to whisperscream the same anytime I get on an elevator XD
– Heyy we finally get to hear StarWarsian elevator music! Perfect! It makes this moment even more hilarious!
– Of all the heartfelt “sensitive” goodbyes we’ve seen in Star Wars… this is the only one that had me get a little misty-eyed and laugh out loud. It may not’ve been a tearjerking “I love you/I know” or a tender “We’ll see each other again”, but Kaz’s kind heart still shines through — even when being bonked squarely on the head by an escape pod door. Good thing he still had that helmet!
– Aww look at Synara and the fish-birds! I think she’s secretly a Disney Princesses. If that ship hadn’t arrived so soon, she’d probably have sung an “I Want” song! Just watch and you’ll see, someday she’ll be part of this world!

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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The Resistance Report: The Doza Dilemma

So whoa you guys, The Doza Dilemma was a supremely-awesome episode and I’m so ready to get all my thoughts — both analytical and fangirly — out of my head and on-screen!

Contains spoilers from Resistance episode The Doza Dilemma and related events from the season thus far.

When Kragan chastised Synara for forgetting who her “real friends” are, I thought he was being a bit paranoid. After all, nothing had really convinced me so far that Synara wasn’t 99.9% committed to this spy job. Yeah, Tam saved her life once and Kaz brought her lunch that time (he technically also saved her life, though she probably doesn’t know it), but I doubted that would be enough to make them totally her new best friends. We soon find out, however, a lot has changed since she first arrived.

Walking into Aunt Z’s, Synara is bombarded with kindness, caring, and acceptance. Kaz genuinely wants to know if she’s doing all right. Tam’s quick to offer up a round of darts. Even Torra, who’s only just met Synara, is more than happy to invite her over along with Tam and Kaz. Watching the four of them together chatting and playing hologames, it’s impossible not to feel how much Synara wants this. To have real friends, to be part of a supportive community, to actually be trusted! It about broke my heart at the time, imagining what was bound to happen when everything came crashing down.

I kept thinking “Anytime now, Syn, you can just walk away! You don’t need Kragan or anyone on that nasty old crew! You don’t need to kidnap anyone or steal anything ever again! Just stay on Castilon and live your best life with your new besties!” But I know it’s more complicated than that. We don’t really know her backstory (or how much of what she’s said about it is true), but there’s something apparently keeping her tied to Kragan and her fellow pirates. Something that won’t let her just ditch them outright, even after the pirates’ job goes south and there doesn’t seem to be a need for her spy services anymore. My theory at the moment is that she was raised by pirates, maybe Kragan himself. If so, no wonder she’d be so torn. Or it may not be so much to do with family ties as it does with the bad things that happen when you doublecross pirates (or do anything that looks like a doublecross). Whatever the case, I hope Synara ultimately finds her way out. And that she’s able to hold on to these wonderful friendships she’s formed… somehow, some way.

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– “Hey, Synara! We never see you anymore! Everything OK?” Has it really been that long? This show’s moving so fast! Also awwz Kaz you are just too sweet for this galaxy :3
– Synara’s use of “cycles” here sounds like another term for “hours”. Interesting.
– I just love that Torra’s become a part of their squad now! I still have questions as to why she decided to (mostly) trust Kaz again… perhaps Tam helped put her at ease. “Kaz? A spy? Ha! That’s a good one. He couldn’t spy to save his life!”
– Hehe I just noticed Buggles trying to play with the holo-drones! Too cute!
– 4:37 may be the most adorable Kaz face ever X3
– I was thinking Kaz would be better at this since he’s trained with simulated weapons and all, but… he’s doing exactly what I do whenever I play fast-paced shooting games, where I get frazzled in the heat of the moment and start blasting all over the place! I’d wondered if he was faking it to throw the others off his Resistance-spy trail, but TBH I think he’s just bad at it, period.
– This time “cycle” is used in place of “shift”. Still not very clear here.
– Oh I see Bucket’s been napping on the job again! Hehe BB-8 you little stinker 😛
– Hmm wonder what Neeku was up to while the others were hanging out? They must have different break times, because otherwise I can’t imagine him turning down fun times with friends!
– Not gonna lie, this episode’s made me a hardcore Kaznara shipper right now. I don’t know if it’ll last but AHH KAZ IS SUCH A SWEETHEART! Plus, you long-time readers know I love this kind of one-sided crushy stuff :3
– I know that apparently Valik is the same species as Aurra Sing, but I’m convinced she must have some zabrak genes with that horn-mohawk there. Unless getting horn implants in this galaxy is as common as ear piercings and tattoos.
– OK here’s a long-held SW query of mine: why is it that droids always seem take a second to stare at the droid popper (or other similar weapons) before they get zapped? Doesn’t matter whether it’s a dopey-but-endearing B1 or a hulking guard, the clankers apparently find random metal balls fascinating! So much so that they don’t consider they probably should get rid of the projectile and fast. Welp Doza doesn’t have ’em around for their logic processors (or their Clone Wars-less memory banks).
– THE LIGHTING IN THIS CHASE SCENE!! OHMYGOSH I’M IN LOVE!! It’s so Pirates Of The Caribbean!
– Hey there’s a nikto pirate back there! The skin on their faces must get a lot rougher as they get older. I initially thought Neeku’s smooth face was just a design choice, but there you go! Learn something new everyday!

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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The Resistance Report: Bibo

Time for a new Resistance Report, everybody! I’m excited to share my thoughts on all the great storytelling and “purest rapture” that Bibo brings to the table 😀

Contains spoilers from The Freemaker Adventures and Resistance episode Bibo, as well as other earlier events this season.

I know it’s only been a couple of episodes since we last saw him, but I’ve been missing Neeku something awful. So it was just the right time for an episode with the sunshine boy center-stage! I had deduced months ago that Bibo might be Neeku-centric from a glance at a screencap on StarWars.com, and that filled me with all kinds of curiosity, especially as fragments of other characters’ backstories started popping up in other episodes. We don’t know much about where Neeku came from or how he got to Castilon. So far, the only small clues to be found (or so it seems) are in his references to random nikto cultural/species quirks. It may not seem like much to know how many hearts they have, or that young ones are called “hatchlings”, or that Neeku speaks Mountain Nitko (thank you StarWars.com for explaining that one), but it all leads me to believe that Neeku must’ve had a healthy upbringing on the nikto homeworld. How else would he know his people and customs so well? Not to mention his references to childhood pets. So that begs the question: why is Neeku here, then? How’d this impossibly happy kid end up working as a mechanic in a relatively rough, low-income part of the galaxy like this? Was he abandoned? Orphaned? Banished maybe? I certainly don’t think this is a matter of Neeku just wanting such a job. Right now, there’s nothing I can do but speculate. But what we do learn about Neeku today in this episode of his, is that his tender heart(s) goes far deeper than just a cheerful personality.

Long before my first viewing of this episode, I couldn’t help but think the title sounded like a pet name. Once I knew Neeku was involved, I was just about certain that was the case (lest we forget the tragic story of his beloved pet gorg in The Triple Dark). Ultimately, as Obi-Wan would say, my insight served me well. It’s the classic story about a boy and the wild pet he loves but cannot keep, except that this “classic story” serves a much greater purpose in the larger story of Resistance: it gives us a chance to see what drives Neeku, what really matters to him. I’ve wondered if there is some tragedy in his past that made him fight so fiercely for little Bibo. It’s not impossible, but I think this just comes back to Neeku’s kind heart, pure and simple. In a very short amount of time, this troublemaking baby rokkna becomes his top priority — and practically his firstborn child. We’ve known him to be endlessly loyal to his friends and crew-family, but he will not stand quietly if it means turning his back on an innocent life that he feels needs his protection. It may seem kind of silly and childlike to us at first glance, being this attached to a such a peculiar little pet, but it takes great strength and great love to make such hard decisions, especially when he realizes that he has to give Bibo back. I hope I could be that brave if I were ever in his shoes, if my beliefs put my job at risk — or even scarier, risked people’s lives, and I had to make a difficult choice. You’re an inspiration, Neeku Vozo. Don’t ever change, sweet one ❤ ❤

It flat-out broke my heart to see Neeku so broken in so much of this episode. As an animal lover myself, I definitely could understand what he was going through, even without having been in his exact situation. Plus, I mean… I'm not sure there's anything sadder than a sad Neeku. But it gave us an opportunity to see a new side of Tam — who ever thought she would be such a great "big sister"? (Yes I know Neeku could actually be older, but you know what I mean) I've long wondered how the two really got along. After all, Neeku's literalness could drive anybody crazy… and Tam has a pretty low tolerance for crazy. But when I think about it, she's usually quite patient with Neeku (maybe it's just Kaz's brand of crazy she can't stand :P). Whatever the case, it's clear here that it hurts Tam to see her little brother hurting, and she will not rest until he smiles again — even if that means she may have to put up with a stinky little eating machine for a while. The loyalty and trust present in Tam and Neeku's bond makes this episode all the sweeter and gives me all the family-feels :3 And Yeager and Kaz's added loyalty is the icing on the cake!

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– Never thought of Kaz as a history buff, but there you go! Or to quote Lego Palpatine… “Well, you’re a real Star Wars nerd, aren’t you?” XD
– Still not clear why Kaz seemed so insistent on offering Synara lunch. I considered that maybe he rigged that thermos with a com or something, but (unlike those of us in the audience) he has no reason to suspect her. It could have just been a last-minute decision resulting from his awareness that he may’ve said too much about his military know-how. Or it may be that Kaz is lowkey flirting. Now, don’t take my word for it, but… you know those stories where a guy tries to ask out a girl to lunch or something and then the guy’s best friend is all “Oh yeah, I could eat!” and third-wheels the whole thing? That’s the vibe I was getting here. Yes, I do overthink everything; I’m a writer, after all!
– I have a feeling the “no pets” rule was written for Neeku. The child must’ve brought home quite a few other adorable animal sidekicks.
– The Freemakers vibes are back, though I’m still holding out for hope that Synara is a nicer person than Naare. Either way, I think they both understand all too well the frustration of doing a spy job while your boss is breathing down your neck and calling you every half-hour.
– Smooth, Kaz. If you’re trying to keep your job a secret, you’re not helping yourself by so obviously calling out your rugged good looks! But uh yeah guys, I’m really starting to think he’s flirting with Synara. It’s kind of adorable… but also kind of concerning…
– “Tamara”? I’m a little insulted it took me this long to know that “Tam” wasn’t her real name.
– UM maybe I’m off my rocker here, but… if Eila has semi-predictive dreams… does that make her strong with the Force? What about Kel’s sensitivity to other creatures? We already know Kylo Ren destroyed their village and was insistent on getting them back… you guys think it’s possible that we have some future Jedi on our hands?
– “Pirate alarm!” “Good to know.” Uh-oh this will be a problem later.
– Does mama rokkna smell with her tentacles? Is that how she seemed to know where Bibo was?
– I guess Torra’s not entirely sore about Kaz’s obvious deception earlier…?
– WHOA OK. I did not know Neeku ate gorgs live. For future reference, Kaz, maybe you shouldn’t give him a pet in anything that stores food. I think that might’ve thrown him off a tad.

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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The Resistance Report: The Platform Classic

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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