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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‘ 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! πŸ™‚

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: Trouble On Tibalt

Hello my Star Wars-loving people! You’ve probably been wondering why I’ve been on an unannounced hiatus for the last couple months. Well it started out with just not having a good post idea one week… and then was followed by a major bout of IRL busy-ness and a general lack of desire to write. I know I’ve missed a lot of great opportunities to talk about Star Wars since then, with Disney Parks and John Powell and porgs(!). But hopefully I can start to remedy that in the weeks to come. Now we shall begin again by discussing the utter excitement of the Freemakers’ most recent escapade, Trouble On Tibalt! And hopefully this will be a much more efficiently-written post than my previous work.

NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode VI, Rogue One, Rebels episode Wings Of The Master, much of the Freemakers season one, and Trouble On Tibalt.
(Also yes now I’m linking my previous Closer Look posts into the spoiler warnings so you can refresh your memory if need be. But you still should read this with caution if you haven’t actually seen an episode or film listed here.)

That Darth Sidious is something else, right? He’s the emperor of the whole galaxy right now, has an amazing virtually unstoppable Death Star II in the works, but he’s still sore about the Kyber Saber incident and that “Reginald” Freemaker kid. Not gonna lie, my instantaneous thought was “OMG OMG IS THAT THE FREEMAKERS’ DAD?? IS HE IMPORTANT TO THE EMPIRE LIKE GALEN ERSO?? WOW!!” and then I suddenly realized the joke and felt like an idiot. Probably better that way… “Reginald” is just not the most appropriately Star Wars-y name out there. But though Palpatine doesn’t have everything he wants, he does have one particular new something. Something special. Something downright deadly. Its name, or more precisely, his name, is M-OC. You know, the prospect that Palpatine built M-OC himself (which is what I’m assuming at the moment) is quite intriguing. I had no idea he knew anything directly to do with droid engineering. I honestly doubt he built it all himself though. Probably had a few Imperial technicians involved I would think, I mean… as we soon see, this intimidating-looking hunk of metal is no average Imperial droid…

Elsewhere in the galaxy, it seems the Freemaker family has taken to their new careers in the Rebel Alliance like a sando aqua monster to water. Salvage and repair is second-nature to them, and now they get to do so for a noble cause. That’s a win if I’ve ever heard one! Plus, they get these great new khaki uniforms that both serve their workday purposes and celebrate each of the kids’ unique spirits! Only downside to the job is the constant moving around the galaxy every time the Empire shows up. “Stupid Empire! Stupid timing!” Yesss Rowan I have thought that many a time over the years watching, reading, and playing Star Wars. But on a different note, I will say I realize now that it’s better he didn’t tell Luke of his abilities. It might’ve caused some complications with Yoda’s “last-of-the-Jedi-you-will-be” claim if Luke literally knew another Jedi. And though TFA is technically not 100% canon, I don’t think they’d want to outright go up against a fact like that. Unless, of course Rowan actually doesn’t… um… yeah I’d like to hope he lives at least a few few more decades, if that’s all right. Anyway I hope I made my point there, I wasn’t intending to spend so much time on that one topic. One of the many things I love about TFA is that the only noncanon stuff they really ever do are fun Lego-y self-awareness gags, compared to the blatant (though still funny) inaccuracies in the other specials.

Check it out I’m finally separating my paragraphs so this blog is easier to read! Anyway, so even with an Imperial fleet causing trouble, Kordi, Zander, and even Roger are completely in their element, fixing up the fighters as they go out into the battle and fixing them up again when they come back to the hangar. They’ve totally got this… to the point that Rowan finds himself overlooked in the midst of it all. I know well how you feel, sweet child… it’s no fun feeling useless and not knowing how to help. But enter General Syndulla: spacemom bosslady extraordinaire! I was so utterly thrilled when I first found out Hera was going to be in this season, not just because she’s one of my most favorite characters, but because she’d fit in so perfectly. I knew that long before I knew she’d be a general by Rogue One, and definitely long before I found out her presence in this timeline is canon. I had so many questions though. What would she be like at this point? What has she faced since the days spent with the Ghost crew? What actually happened to the Ghost crew? Of course we won’t know that last part for a while. And while I would like to hope that everything is peachy and everyone lived, I simply don’t know, especially this far down the timeline. But though only a small moment in this episode, it had me smiling hard, because even with a high rank and I imagine some tough times in her more-recent past, she’s still completely the caring, thoughtful Rebel mom she’s always been :3 She sees Rowan looking down and decides to give him a special assignment all his own. OK so right now all I want is for Hera to unofficially adopt these precious kids. Like seriously. That, and that awesome jacket of hers, because isn’t it the coolest?!

It’s absolutely no question, M-OC is a walking nightmare and I adore him. He doesn’t just look intimidating, he’s got the skills to back it up. Lots of skills. He can saw, burn, blast, and outright tear people apart. Not to mention he’s super super agile. And his entirely cold, logical personality (or lack of one) sets him apart from a number of villains. There are a lot of scary droids out there, no doubt. But this guy is all of those scary droids and more, I think. I mean… guys. He can turn his head all the way around. He might just be a droid but that’s never not creepy, unless you’re an owl. Can you imagine what M-OC would look like in the films or Rebels? I’m gonna say likely this guy won’t make it out of the season fully-functioning, so he wouldn’t be able to cross over to the canon like that, but wouldn’t that be something! He’s awesomely terrifying either way, though. And cool as he is… I’m a tad concerned for Rowan atm.

So you guys we’re going to have to talk a while ’bout Quarrie! In a way, I wasn’t terribly surprised to see him in TFA; considering shipbuilding’s his thing, he would be a logically perfect fit for the Lego-verse. But what did surprise me was the idea that Hera would want Rowan to become his apprentice. That is most definitely a perfect fit! Though only the first time we get to see him interacting with the youngest Freemaker, I foresee a lot of fun and excitement and a bit of a grandpa-grandson bond in the near future πŸ™‚ And any time to learn more about this beautiful crazy (though a bit cranky) mon calamari is a good time! I’m so so glad they found this role for him alongside the Freemakers!

It’s both impressive and pretty gut-wrenching how quickly M-OC’s able to nab Rowan. Had me thinking several times he might actually get away and we might be minus Ro for a couple episodes. And isn’t M-OC’s ship cool? Yeah I know Quarrie, Imp ships lack real craftsmanship, but it’s still so so very cool! My brother and I debated a bit whether it was a specific existing ship; he thought it was closer to the upcoming TIE silencer, and I was thinking it was more of a TIE striker, but looking at it now I think it’s something entirely different. Either way, it’s sleek and it’s dangerous and me likey. Of course, M-OC (quite literally) didn’t call into account his captive wielded a lightsaber. Oh yeah, here’s a good question: where was he keeping his ‘saber? I don’t think it was holstered, and considering the danger of being a Jedi right now that probably wouldn’t be the safest place to keep it. I’m gonna assume it might’ve been in his jacket. His boots I figure are a bit small for the standard hilt length. Just throwing out some possibilities here, anyway. So glad he didn’t leave home base without it!

β€œAnybody know what that thing is?!” β€œNo, but let’s blow it up anyway!” Sounds good to me XD
But seriously. It’s kind of disgusting to think that someone would build a machine so utterly deadly, so completely merciless and cruel, to hunt down a child. A CHILD! It’s hard to tell whether Sidious wants him alive or dead, which just makes it all the scarier. *Shudders* They might look like small plastic people but the danger is all kinds of real. Once M-OC threw out that net I was horrified, certain that Rowan would soon find himself at the feet of the Emperor. But β€œNEVER TELL ME THE ODDS! Mostly because I don’t understand how they work.” Hehe that might be my favorite line this episode πŸ˜€ I getcha Ro, math is hard. Granted I’ve always been pretty good at statistics but… oh never mind. We’re getting off-track here. Family wins the day and it is beautiful!

But M-OC’s not so easily defeated. Watching him walk out of the fire, missing limbs but still as threatening as ever, his voice a bit more disturbingly distorted than before… CHILLS. MANY CHILLS. THEY GOT LUCKY YOU GUYS. OR NOT LUCKY SO MUCH AS THE FORCE WAS WITH THEM BUT… AHHHH!! He’s gonna give them a real run for their credits this season. As Rowan fills in his family on the walking death machine’s identity and purpose, his voice is so quiet and small it about tears me apart. Things have gotten very very real. But hope is still very very real, too. Rowan has a master now, of a different sort than he’s had briefly with Luke and JEK-14, but one who will surely help him grow in many ways.

He also has a dream, an image of a beautiful ship with a heart of kyber, a powerful shield, and all the hope in the galaxy. A ship he calls the Arrowhead.

Wow yes that was so fantastic! And so fun to write on! It feels good being back with the Freemakers! See you on the next episode next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Wings Of The Master

And so another Rebel Transmission has arrived! Ah yes this one so very much delivers the feels! …Um, well, the episode, not necessarily my blog… I have no clue if this blog’s ever made someone feely just on account of my fangirling alone. Probably not. Point is, let’s just all feel the feels together over this wonderful episode! And yes I do probably overuse “feels” but I’m not sure how to convey what I’m feeling without it…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episode Wings Of The Master

So much for helping out a friend in need, huh? Our Rebs and Phoenixes were this close to getting some food to another Rebel cell in great need. Then Agent Kallus and his crew showed up. Seemed like a textbook Imperial party-pooping to our heroes, right down to Kallus’ usual “surrender of be destroyed” diatribe. Buuuut it didn’t go that way. The Imps shot down the cargo transport and completely ruined everything. Ugh it’s so wrongggg they’re just trying help starving people and give them something to eat!! *Sobs* Sorry it’s just… yeah… just shows you how nasty these guys are. It’s hardly an unheard of situation in the SW galaxy from the Clone Wars on and even before that, but it just sorta hit me this time around how truly terrible a situation it is. But the good thing is, our Rebs don’t give up so easily, especially Hera. Problem is their ships just aren’t fit to take on the blockade. But Rex might know someone who might’ve put together one tough little spacecraft. The only thing is he’s on a deathtrap of a planet and he’ll only meet with someone there. Kanan volunteers Hera for this one. She’s not entirely sure about it, but Kanan knows she’s up to the task. And like I said, Hera isn’t the kind to give up easily, even when it involves these kind of stakes. Oh goodness it’s great having a Hera-centric episode! I mean, you could say every episode’s Hera-centric because she’s the captain and the pilot, the peacekeeper, the encourager, the mom, and the heart and soul of this crew, because she is truly at the center of whatever happens, no matter what. So I suppose the best way to put it is that she takes center stage in this episode. Either way it works. So with Zeb and Sabine by her side, Hera heads off in the Phantom to get a look at this newfangled fightin’ machine. Also Ezra’s the new copilot! Though Chopper rather would disagree. Kanan’s in for a lonnnng day. Hehe nothing like a little “sibling” rivalry to lighten things up a little.
So yeah that atmosphere tho… knocks the power right outta your ship. “YOU COULD’VE MENTIONED THAT BEFORE I GOT ON!” “YOU WOULDN’TVE COME!” XD It’s quite a scary ride to the surface… good thing Hera’s good at “falling with style” as well as flying. Yeah the poor Phantom probably got more than a few paint scratches this time around. Do we even need to mention that gutwrenching moment when the ship very nearly falls right off the platform? Daaaaaang that was terrifying. Thank goodness Quarrie and his astromech were there. Ah yes Quarrie… he’s fun. Not just anyone would build ships out here! And so he gives them a look at his glorious blade-wing. Yes now I know why they call them B-wings, I always wondered why since they didn’t resemble a letter like X-wings and Y-wings. Zeb and Sabine aren’t too sure what to make of this somewhat odd-shaped vessel, but Hera’s all in on this sleek, but powerful, craft. Unfortunately the crotchety Mon Calamari’s not too keen on just anyone flying his ship. We as an audience are all “But she’s not just anyone she’s HERA! You should be begging her to fly your hunk of junk!”. And our heroes can’t go anywhere either way ’cause just about everything on the Phantom‘s in pieces. Quarrie’s nice enough to get them some spare parts to help ’em out… if only he were as convinced of Hera’s skills as we are. As they work to fix up the ship, Hera bears her soul a little, telling of how the magnificent Republic ships in the Clone Wars rooted in her the desire to fly, and of how that desire to fly would in turn give her a way to help people. Aughh it’s so so very beautiful…! I about want to go and get my pilot’s licence now! I love that, man… not only how she gets to live her passion every day in the cockpit of the Ghost, but also that it’s not just for her own benefit, in fact, it’s very rarely for her own benefit as she risks life and limb every day, just as she did earlier and as she’s doing now even, but because she has a heart for helping and loving people, she never intends to stop. Never stop flying, never stop loving. Amazing. Truly amazing. I hope I keep that outlook in my own life, to not only do what I’m passionate for, but to bless others in the process, so it’s not just about me. I hope her family is proud of her, and that they get what she’s doing. Considering who her dad was… I would like to think that’s the case πŸ™‚ And that is what convinces Quarrie that he’d found the right pilot. Ahh I’m smiling so hard my cheeks hurt!
Meanwhile it looks like the Ghost‘s doing this on their own. Hera’s still not back yet so what else can they do? Ezra isn’t liking the odds of them trying to get through the blockade again, but Kanan’s riding on the hope that the Ghost‘s size and speed will be an advantage. “You really think that?” “IT MAKES ME FEEL BETTER WHEN I SAY IT.” Haha I getcha Kanan… but still we’re all hoping the rest of the crew won’t be gone too too long…
So now’s the time for Hera to take the blade-wing out for a spin. Technically its first spin. Quarrie might’ve forgotten to mention that it hadn’t been tested in the air. That’s never a good sign… though yeesh Quarrie how could you not want to fly this baby? How is it humanly (Calally?) possible you’ve had it all this time and hadn’t taken it for a ride?! Zeb and Sabine don’t particularly like this bit of news. And they like it even less when it seems the B-wing took a fall. Yes that about gave us all heart attacks I think, even for those of us who figured she ought to be OK. But she wasn’t just OK, she was better than OK as she soared amongst the majestic flying critters! Oh goodness gracious it’s a thing of beauty… so fast, so smooth-flying, so very much evoking that feeling of fearlessness and freedom…! ^w^ And boy does it ever shoot! Hera’s sold. The B-Wing’s a keeper, even if Sabine might want to up the guns a teensy bit. She’s super-happy to relay the news to Kanan and Ezra, but not quite as happy to see they’re already moving in on that blockade. Time to go. But they can’t exactly go because the B-wing’s out of hyperspace juice. Another something that Quarrie miiiiiiiiight have known about. Bro the paintjob is the last thing you need to be worrying about right now (after all, Sabine could do wonders for it). And just when it seemed they seriously weren’t going anywhere, Quarrie mentioned that he’d set the Phantom up with its own hyperdrive, just because. That earned the oldster a tacklehug from the captain πŸ™‚ Look out Empire here they come!
Yeah Kallus was practically giddy at the concept of raining on the Rebels’ parade. And he just about did rain on it. Until Hera, Zeb, and Sabine (as well as Quarrie) entered stage right, that is. Kallus is completely unimpressed with this single new ship. And then Hera put the pedal to the metal… or however that works with spacecraft. I love how Kanan’s first all mindblown over the B-wing and then is all “yeahh that’s how you do it bae” πŸ™‚ At this point Agent K shows some light concern over this very fast ship coming right at them. And then Sabine takes the shot and that little B-wing decimates the blockade cruiser. Kallus is now pretty mindblown himself, but for very different reasons. Yes I loved watching the Rebs take him down a peg… he’s been such a puffed-up jerk lately, what with working with Vader and having the upper hand in most of his confrontations with the Rebs, and it’s good watching him get his due for once. And with that, the Empire turns tail outta there and many lives are saved. Oh and the proud look Quarrie gives Hera…! MUCH FEELS. So now the B-wings are going to be a thing around the mini-Alliance. And guess who Kanan’s nominated for Phoenix leader? The Captain herself! Oh gosh the feels in the room as all her Ghost family and all her Rebel friends salute her! Makes sense… after all, anyone can just fly, but she makes them soar πŸ™‚
And with that, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Even I saluted! Man what an episode! *Goes and listens to Owl City’s Take To The Sky* So I hope you all go on to soar through the rest of your lovely week… especially as the 18th draws ever closer… well, I meant December 18th in that context but I realized that the next episode of Rebels will air November 18th. Funny how that works huh? To life never without Star Wars! πŸ˜€

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight