Tag Archives: R2-D2

SW Summer Reads: Shipyards Of Doom

So this particular edition of Star Wars Summer Reads is pretty special, because this is the first time I’ve written one on a graphic novel — and the first SW graphic novel I’ve ever read at that!


(Credit: Amazon.com)

I know… you’re probably thinking I’m nuts for never having read Star Wars comic books before. It’s not that I didn’t want to! When I first got into SW, I was overwhelmed by how many were out there and didn’t know where to begin. I thought it would get easier after the canonicity rule came into play, so just like with the novels, I could focus primarily on 100% canon stories. But then there have been so many and they keep coming out so fast! I still wasn’t sure where the best place to start was.

I actually was intending to do a regular young readers’ novel for my SW Summer Reads this year, but the author’s name on this book’s spine caught my attention. With Henry Gilroy of TCW and Rebels aboard, it surely would be a good story! And even though it was written long before the Legends designation, Mr. Gilroy would definitely know how to keep it true to Star Wars form (an issue that’s made me hesitant to read other Legends-era Star Wars stories). Plus, I haven’t watched Clone Wars reruns in a long while, so a tale with Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, and Rex at the center was sure to be a balm to my prequel-era-loving soul 🙂

And I was right ultimately on all accounts! Filled to the brim with action, drama, heart, and bright spots of levity and laughter, Shipyards Of Doom captured that Clone Wars magic I was craving. It also delivered a nice sense of nostalgia, taking me back to the very earliest TCW adventures with some of my favorite heroes taking center stage — even Admiral Yularen, Plo Koon, and Saesee Tiin got some to shine! But it’s certainly not magic and nostalgia alone that make this such a great book. It really does feel like Star Wars, as we see the Jedi faced against an adversary who knows well their “weaknesses” — their ideals — and doesn’t fight fair. And it’s special seeing Anakin and Ahsoka working through their master-padawan struggles and learning respect and honesty with each other this early on. It’s just a great, satisfying blend of some of my favorite Clone Wars elements, and a perfect first SW graphic novel for anyone ready to step into in a larger world! No doubt I’ll seek out other titles from Mr. Gilroy in the future!

Yeah, there’s definitely something to this whole newfangled novel-with-pictures thing… 😛

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
(Contains spoilers from Episode II, Shipyards Of Doom, and other story elements from The Clone Wars seasons 1-6.)
– I gotta say, the idea of Yoda and Jabba The Hutt forming any sort of alliance sounds like a truly awesome story. I need to know if that ever happened! Or ever could have happened!! That one panel is a whole new story right there!
– Ghost Squadron is an epic name! Hmm you wonder if that name possibly inspired the Ghost in Rebels later on…?
– “You say something, Master Obi-Wan? I can’t hear you over all these enemy fighters being destroyed!” That’s so Anakin XP
– Ah, a classic Clone Wars moment with young Ahsoka pining away to join the fray! It’s so fun and special revisiting this side of her after all these years :3
– I love that the Invisible Hand (or whichever one of Grievous’s ships this is) looks kind of like an angry shark in this panel on page 10.
– “Is anything in this war ever easy?” “It is for me, master.” Classic! Can I just bottle up this fantastic writing here?! *Feels nostalgia feels*
– Interesting, I don’t remember this sort of theater seating in the Temple before. It makes sense that it’s not the council’s chamber since only a handful of the councilmembers are actually here. But yeah makes me wonder, since this was a 2008 book, if some sets hadn’t been designed for the show yet and the illustrators had to try some new stuff.
– Ah yes now we’re getting into some shades of the “Citadel” arc in S3! If this particular rescue actually happened, it would make sense why no one questioned the carbonfreezing process in the later episode. But then, it does bring up a question as to how Ahsoka could pull the same “tagalong” stunt all over again… and ultimately learn somewhat of the same lesson, too. Whatever the case, I wouldn’t be surprised if the S3 arc was rooted in some of this novel’s ideas.
– “Don’t worry, Rex, we won’t be frozen long enough for [hibernation sickness] to take effect.” So this confirms my earlier assumption that time has a major influence on how the body reacts to carbonfreeze. Fascinatinggg.
– I love that Ahsoka goes into the freezing chamber oozing confidence with her arms crossed! I’m not sure I would be so brave. I mean, from what we know from Episode V, there’s some inherent risk in carbonfreezing. That’s actually a good question though… how come it’s such a worry-free process in TCW, but something worth Boba Fett’s concerns twenty-odd years later? My theory is that there’s a bigger risk if the person being frozen is ill or injured, like how Han had been tortured shortly before. If you’re healthy and strong, perhaps it’s not such a shock to the system. Yay science!
– “The greater our navy, the longer the war will go on, and the more Jedi will die.” Hmm is that really Dooku’s endgame here? Come to think of it, what is Dooku’s endgame, actually? He knows “the Sith control everything”, and wants to destroy this Sith, but what after that? Galactic domination? Retirement on Serenno? I don’t know! Man I can’t wait to read Cavan Scott’s backstory for this guy. Back on-topic, I guess it’s possible that this desire to eliminate the Jedi might be more of Palpatine’s plan than Dooku’s. Not that he’s a fan of the Jedi or anything, but he’s never struck me as wanting to outright purge them. That’s more of Grievous’s thing. I would love to sit down and chew on this with a fellow SW nerd sometime. Dooku’s a complicated guy.
– Is “plunk droids” an insult or just another word for GNK droids? Pfft battle droids are so high and mighty.
– Separatists don’t give out medals, Juhm! At least, not when you’re working under Count Dooku and Darth S…
– I love how Mr. Gilroy captures R2-D2’s voice. Artoo talks like Artoo should talk, with very specific lines and reactions. more of a “VWOoo-bwee” than “beep-boop”.
– But disobeying direct orders is just what Ahsoka do! It’s her thing! 😛 I like what Mr. Gilroy did here, though… it’s easy to assume immediately that it’s a good thing Ahsoka tagged along, just like in the Citadel arc. But truth be told, Artoo could’ve helped Anakin, too. We see later on that Ahsoka ends up playing an important part, but at this point, she doesn’t really have a good excuse for what she did. That’s OK though Snips, your inability to stay still and sit quietly on the sidelines is why you’re so awesomely relatable!
– I would’ve loved it if Juhm hadn’t recognized Ahsoka as a Jedi at first and instead thought she was some kid making prank calls XD
– It’s really interesting watching Rex learning to trust Ahsoka here, and it gives me many feels. Such precious buddies!!
– Saesee Tiin is both a daredevil pilot and a math nerd! Boi got skillllll.
– “Shocker sticks”? Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, muun? I think Juhm legit doesn’t know what they’re actually called.
– Wow Juhm is not good at this. First he tells the slaves that the Jedi are murderers, than he tells them the Jedi wouldn’t risk innocent lives in sn attack. You’re just asking for a revolt, dude. He’s such a terrible (as in, terrible at his job) villain and I love him XD
– This is brilliant. Anakin and Ahsoka are having a deep meaningful conversation and learning lessons while being tortured! Reminds me kind of that scene in The Incredibles.
– The running gag with the clones betting drinks got me thinking about a TCW element I haven’t thought about in a while: 97’s. I always knew it was a clone bar run by clones, but I only just considered how amazing it is to see these guys becoming businessmen and cooks and bartenders! It says something, perhaps, about their creative ability. Not entirely unheard of (don’t forget fry cook Gregor!) but just kind of cool to me. Maybe these business-clones were army rejects? Or maybe the small business is just a hobby. Have to take some notes next time I watch season 6.
– Real men (or should I say muuns?) wear pink! XD I love muuns you guys, they’re such cartoon characters!
– Also Juhm has a goldfish and for some reason that cracks me up. Yet he can’t keep his slaves from running out on him…
– “How about the Force backed up by laser cannons?” Wow, Saesee Tiin can be SASSY Tiin! *Respectfully bows to his superior burn*
– OH SNAP. VENTRESS JUST SHOWED UP AND KILLED THE GUY. Seriously, I didn’t realize she was even in the panels until she was center stage. Good job, artists!
– It’s interesting that Palpatine cares about even the length of the war. He’s got every dark detail down-pat and it kind of scares me.
– Nah we can’t have Obi-Wan and Ahsoka thinking too deeply about the moral nature of this war, Anakin makes sure everyone remembers “We’re the good guys! The Republic needs us!” Welp, they’re something said for his enthusiasm…

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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SW Reads: Heir To The Jedi

All right, time to dig into another great Star Wars novel! I’m excited about this one, can you tell? 🙂


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

Now, in case you didn’t know, Jason Fry’s The Weapon Of A Jedi might be my favorite SW novel of all time. So coming into another Luke Skywalker story with Kevin Hearne’s Heir To The Jedi, I had very very high expectations. And since I’ve never read anything else by Mr. Hearne, I really didn’t know what to expect.
But good news: my expectations were beyond met!

Heir pretty much encapsulates everything I love about Star Wars. It has all manner of thrills and chills, it’s character-driven in the most masterful way, and there is no shortage of laughter and heart. What surprised me most, perhaps, was how easy it was to read. I expected a more dramatic tone somehow, perhaps since the last canon novel I read was Tarkin. But this book is definitely the most easygoing and fun full-length SW novel I’ve read so far! Not to say it doesn’t have its share of drama, because it absolutely does. But reading it was such a pleasurable experience! I like to think Heir is to modern SW novels as Solo is to the films. Because both stories put full focus on these amazing characters, and find just the right balance of feels and fun! And Heir‘s also an easy read because it doesn’t overwhelm us with too much new information or technical terms. Don’t get me wrong, digging into the fine details is one of my favorite things about SW books. But there’s a welcome, comfortable feel from Mr. Hearne’s descriptions that makes everything tangible and completely understandable. One of my favorite examples was with the food, which for the most part, was often just a slightly-spacey version of what we eat on earth. The relatability of the SW galaxy shines brightly in this book, and makes me feel right at home, even as we follow Luke through all manner of unique, unusual, and sometimes-terrifying worlds.

Honestly, I can’t recommend this book enough. If you’re new to SW books and don’t want to go the read-them-all-by-release-date route I’m going, this would make a great first novel! Weapon isn’t my only fave Luke story now 🙂

And now, here’s my fangirly musings commentary!
Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, and Heir To The Jedi

– A few pages in and I’m already loving reading directly from Luke’s perspective. Like with Weapon Of A Jedi, (my favorite Luke story ATM) I love getting to know Luke at this early time after the battle of Yavin, when he was young, idealistic, and trying to figure out the Force.
– Someone get me a model of the Desert Jewel stat! Or at least a Lego kit!
– So Luke doesn’t speak astromech? Huh. I would not have guessed. Maybe he picks up some by Empire? Crud I need to watch the OT again…
– Cool seeing a new side of Rodia. But glad I can’t smell it. Points for Mr. Hearne’s descriptions, though!
– I don’t know what a needle gun does, but it sounds pretty cool, in a scary way.
– There’s nothing quite as stirring as a Clone Wars tale of Jedi heroics! I love that Luke got another glimpse into the life of his father.
OOOOOOH A PURPLE LIGHTSABER!!
– Datapads take holo stills like smartphones take photos. A longtime SW question of mine has been answered!
– The more I read this novel, the more I fall in love with its author’s cleverness and choice of words. Not to mention how wonderfully he takes on Luke’s voice.
– My fave line so far: “I hadn’t read the histories of those ‘seduced’ by the dark side, but I doubted any of them had been corrupted by a vegetable of questionable nutritional value.” XD
– The Promise and the Redemption are utterly gorgeous ship names.
YIKES the skullborers might be the scariest SW creatures in a while. I think I’d rather hug a rathtar before stepping foot on a world with possibly-sentient brain-eaters!
– Pffft Luke and Nakari’s mutual cooking fails cracked me up 😛
– I am so so glad to know ice cream exists in SW. Knowing our differing worlds share something so sweet makes me smile :3
– I never considered until now that a galaxy with so many many diverse peoples would call for a lot of different medical supplies, techniques, and knowledge. Wonder how long it’d take the average med student to graduate?
– I just realized the chapter openings all have some scientific-looking math formulas around the wording. It must have connections later in the story… wish I was more adept at math so I could see if there’s some kind of special code to crack.
– Is rancor sauce really made of rancors, or is it just something super super spicy? Also knowing what Corellia looks like, I get the feeling I wouldn’t want to eat noodles grown there… THIS BOOK IS SO FUN THO.
– Communicating with higher math? That’s a totally neat concept, but I’m with Luke… I doubt I could speak it fluently. As you might’ve noticed, I’m a writer, not a mathematician.
– They say the average galactic citizen doesn’t know of Vader. Wonder how anyone would know to even write a parody song? Hmm. An interesting exception to the rule.
– I like Nakari a lot; she’s a fun, interesting character and a great match for Luke. But I can’t help but be slightly suspicious about her for some reason…
– Something tells me TIE pilots probably don’t get very long lunch breaks. If they get lunch breaks at all. Who wants a tasty ration stick??
– Epic!! A seismic charge! Y’know, that’s one of my favorite sounds in all of Star Wars.
– Once again, Artoo saves the day, and proves once more that the SW saga would never have happened without him!
– A droid with a fake mustache is always a good thing XD
– AHHHH LUKE AND NAKARI ARE SO CUTE!! I WISH I STILL DIDN’T HAVE DOUBTS.
Oh no… I’m so sorry I spent so much of this book suspicious about her. Looking back, I realize there was little to incriminate her. Previous SW stories and Leia’s suspicions were the only things I was really going on, besides the fact the relationship was never referred to or evidenced in later stories. I figured the reason why Luke and Nakari didn’t end up with fifteen grandkids by Episode VIII was because she had ill intent. Never once did I consider that she could simply have died. I guess I loved her character enough that I didn’t want to go that route. It was safer to assume she was a scoundrel, because scoundrels could still be redeemed. But through this tragic turn, we see Luke facing the very thing that turned his father down a dark path, and coming out stronger. We know, of course, that Luke will still be prone to react rashly when his friends are in trouble, but it speaks volumes that he was able to resist the darkness and find peace in this moment. And he comes through this loss in a way decidedly the Jedi Order would not have done, but what was undoubtedly the right way to do it: through tears and through joyful memories. So much wow. What a book!

Thanks for reading along with me today. ‘Til next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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SW Summer Reads: The Rebels Novelizations, Part 1

It’s time again for some Star Wars Summer Reads! Or I guess Summer-ish Reads for some of you guys. Anyway, the first Star Wars novel I ever read was a Clone Wars novelization compilation called Grievous Attacks. It was a really fun experience and a great introduction to SW books, so I decided it’d be fun to revisit some classic Rebels season one episodes in junior novel form! Let’s talk about Michael Kogge’s takes on Machine In The Ghost, Art Attack, Entanglement, Property Of Ezra Bridger, Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and Rise Of The Old Masters!


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

I honestly forgot until I read these how fun novelizations can be. You get to dive further into the story you’ve seen on-screen, learning more little things about the SW galaxy, as well as the chance to delve into what’s going on inside the characters’ heads. Mr. Kogge did an excellent job at this, especially inside of Rise Of The Rebels, the shorts compilation. He writes a lot of depth into these already-deep little stories as we explore different perspectives (like those of Chopper or a stormtrooper), and even adds some nice new lines and moments that compliment the source material rather than overcrowding it.


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

Droids In Distress was a very well done compilation as well, though Spark Of Rebellion suffered a little. But I’m not really complaining; it can’t be easy trying to fit a richly-written 44-minute episode in less than fifty pages! So due to the format, Mr. Kogge was forced to skip over some of the best lines and rush much of the story. But the following novelizations were near-perfection!

Both compilations have hiccups in story compared to the actual episode, but most likely that’s because these were written before the episodes were completed. Doesn’t take away from how much I enjoyed them, though! Of course, half the fun for me was just revisiting these great early episodes! The other half, well… I’ll let you in on a secret: ever since Grievous Attacks, I read all SW books out loud to myself. I just can’t pass up an opportunity to practice my character impressions! I found out reading these that I do a pretty mean Grand Inquisitor 😀

Anyway, if you love SWR and want to explore these stories from a new angle, I totally recommend. And they’re definitely great if you’re new to Star Wars books and need a light, easy introduction. Plus, the Sabine-like graffiti artwork dispersed throughout the books is an epic bonus 🙂

Now, for the fangirl-musings commentary portion of the post.

Contains spoilers from the original Rebels shorts and episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and some important elements from the seasons beyond.

– Apparently “understatement” is a distinctly twi’lek sort of humor? I must be part twi’lek then.
– I really appreciate also that they simplify some of the technical terms a little bit. Definitely the difference between a potential first-timer’s SW story and something intensely detailed for the long-timer like Tarkin. But it’s still not oversimplified, it’s just right and makes for a pretty easy read.
– Kanan, master of a thousand one-liners. True dat.
– Considering how much they argue in this short, I might not’ve guessed that Hera was actually worried about her copilot for a moment. Awwz #feels.
– We actually get a chance to get inside Chopper’s dome in this book! Some seriously funny stuff here. Now give this hard-working little droid an oil bath already!
– This book seems to imply that Chopper’s exact “words” couldn’t be understood by organics. Always Two There Are confirmed for me that “droid” is a language you can learn. I originally thought that this fact was just something I missed in the other films and shows, but this seems to mean I wasn’t the only one who was unclear on the do-people-actually-understand-astromechs-or-are-they-just-assuming-what-they’re-saying-like-when-people-talk-to-their-pets situation. Or maybe Chopper’s comment is true, and though you can learn basic astromech, a sentient being will never understand the fine details. Knowing Chop’s ‘tude, perhaps this is a good thing…
– Apparently Ryloth is known for their firework shows. I could see that.
– Chopper has good relations with the Phantom, while the Ghost tends to be pretty rude with him. Things only ‘mechs know!
– “A thousand thousand worlds sparkled in the night sky above the capital city of Lothal.” I absolutely love how Mr. Kogge writes for Sabine. He captures so well her fiercely artistic mindset with heavily poetic descriptions. I can’t help but be a little bummed they didn’t make more of these novelizations.
– Sabine has heard the tales of Boba Fett! I still almost can’t believe we never got to see them in a face-off, but I suppose the writers knew that would be far too easy and more of a what-the-fans-want than a what-the-series-needs. But I suppose there’s nothing to say it still couldn’t happen…
– I really hope TK-626’s number was a Lilo And Stitch reference.
– The idea of the Empire specifically recruiting known bullies as Imperial Cadets at first sounded a little too obvious, but then again, remember Oleg? Frankly, I can imagine a lot of storms might’ve been ne’er-do-wells in grade school. Perhaps it’s not what the Empire is looking for alone, but it doesn’t hurt…
– “Artists were almost as bad as rebels. They could draw, paint, and create things he couldn’t. And for that, they deserved to be crushed.” Oh you guys, I think I figured out why TK-626 was a bully. THIS POOR STORMTROOPER CHILD!! I actually feel really bad for him! Thank you Mr. Kogge for helping me consider the human inside the inhuman white armor.
– I think it’s neat that Mr. Kogge paints (so to speak) Sabine as an artist first and a warrior second. Sometimes it’s easy for me to think vice versa, considering her warrior Mandalorian heritage, but when you think about her close relationship with her artistic dad, and consider the life she maybe knew before the Imperial Academy and then the mini-Alliance, it makes sense that art is her first love, and what she wants to do for a living once the war is over. Maybe once she gets Ezra back home, she’ll finally get her chance 🙂
– Apparently, Zeb isn’t all that fond of his nickname. There’s a certain way his people roll their Rs in the lasat language that most just can’t match. I like this angle. I wonder if this is a fact decided upon by the Story Group or an early assumption Mr. Kogge made. It certainly is a fascinating idea! I didn’t know they spoke anything beside Basic! Well aside from the ancient chants, but maybe that should’ve clued me in.
– Imperials don’t know many languages beyond Basic. Didn’t know that, but makes sense in retrospect.
Whoa I didn’t remember the stormtroopers being that mean to the salesnaught. All the more reason Zeb is one noble dude.
– We learn reading this that Zeb isn’t fond of ugnaughts or astromechs, but all the same, he can’t turn a blind eye to their troubles. It makes this already-amazing little story even more meaningful. AHHH SO SO NOBLE :3
– The Empire made slaves of the lasat? My first reaction was “THAT’S NOT ACCURATE! THEY WERE KILLED OFF!“, buuuuuut what if slavery was where it started? Something to consider, anyway. But I gotta say, it’s hard to imagine lasat being good slaves. The wookiees don’t work well under Kessel heat, making them less of a threat, but I imagine that wasn’t as much of a problem for the less-fuzzy-but-still-deadly lasat…
– “My old gran’s a better fighter, and she’s only two meters tall!” Pfft that’s a good one, Zeb. Wonder if this was purely Mr. Kogge’s clever writing or an unused line they recorded. But they actually elaborate further on Granny Orrelios, saying she’d lived for “three hundred dust seasons” (I’m assuming that’s 75 earth years, depending how long a dust season lasts and how many seasons they have). This is the first time we’ve ever heard of any family Zeb had, and it makes me super happy to know an inkling of his personal life before the Empire.
– I love the idea Ezra’s already had a few moments where the Force came into play before he finds himself avoiding TIE fighter fire. It makes sense, and kind of makes you wonder what adventures (and misadventures) he might’ve had on the streets of Lothal.
– Interesting that Ezra’s pretty willing to take any sort of reward, even an Imperial rescue! But hey creds are creds. Perhaps it’s this pilot’s snobbiness that drives Ez to decide to just rescue the helmet instead…
– Considering not long from now Ezra’s back to stealing food, I guess those parts didn’t get him as much cash as he hoped. Or they were stolen. Or maybe food on Lothal these days just costs a lot.
– “A sitting hawk-bat“… could that also be comparable to a lothbat?
– The second book has cool alternate episode titles: “Ezra’s Story”, “Disrupted”, and “Old Masters”.
– Sabine was drinking blue milk?? Obviously I haven’t been paying attention. Or that maybe that’s because her cup wasn’t a clear glass. Question: if blue milk is from banthas (which I’ve been led to believe), since banthas don’t live on Lothal (that we’ve seen), does that mean the Rebs are getting their food supplies from offworld? That makes sense enough. Guess I didn’t need to waste a whole paragraph on it…
– You know, unless my memory fails me, I thought the Rebels merely rescued the wookiees on Lothal before their were transferred to Kessel. I was pretty sure after seeing the hopeless world in Solo that my assumptions were for sure right. This novelization says they actually went to Kessel. I’m starting to think these books were written before the shorts and episodes were completed. That must’ve been confusing to do.
– I’ve never heard of a silverback wookiee before, but that’s a neat concept!
– I’ve always wondered what a nerf sounded like. Apparently they’re a lot like Amda Wabo…
– “Chopper recognized the astromech’s response as typical of the new R2 series. Compassion was the biggest flaw in their programming.” Suuuuure Chop, it’s a thing about their programming! ‘Cause we know you certainly don’t have a soft side!
– Also if he considers him a new R2, then how old does that makes Chopper? Well, I’m not saying he’s old, but I think I once saw a droid that looked like him in a trailer for KotOR. *Chopper soundly zaps me for the bad joke*
– In Chopper’s words, he’s only “a few decades past his expiry date”. But he knows there are far older droids than him.
– It’s rather unusual seeing Threepio and Artoo’s roles in this story flipped, with Threeps a little more confident and Artooie a little less than happy. But an interesting twist for a story I already know well.
– Knowing that Zeb had been having horrific nightmares when he shut Ezra out of their room… even though I’ve watched this episode seven times, and though I know his story doesn’t end here, I can feel his pain as strongly as ever.
– I love the creepy last line Kallus gets in as he’s about to strike down Zeb…
– But more so, I love the way Mr. Kogge describes the Force throughout these novelizations. He makes it feel very tactical, very real, this undeniable spark!

I don’t know about you, but I had a ball reading these. I’ll be taking next week off for my birthday, but after that, you should expect some more Star Wars Reads posts to arrive!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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The One Where Twilight Fangirls Over Solo, Part 2

Yay the blog is back! Today, I’m continuing my series of posts of all the things I loved about Solo: A Star Wars Story, today I’ll be writing on the amazing new crew of characters we meet, and how they all exceeded every expectation I had! You can read the first part all about Han and Qi’ra here. Now where do I possibly begin…?

Contains spoilers from Solo and a vague element from Episode VIII. Also, please remember I have only seen the film once at this point, so there is a chance I may have misremembered some elements.

There is much I could say on reuniting with Han, Chewbacca, and Lando, especially since I’ve known them quite a while. And I certainly will do some more writing on them in the future. But right now, I feel I need to give some of the newbies the spotlight! Because wow do they ever deserve it!

I don’t know why, but I really didn’t expect to love these new scoundrel-sorts as much as I did. It’s not that I thought I wouldn’t like them, of course. Star Wars has this great habit of making truly amazing characters, and I have yet to meet one I genuinely don’t like (or absolutely love). And I already did like them from what I saw in the trailers and spots, but I suppose the whole “criminal underworld” vibe of the film got me assuming everyone very well could be a traitor, and even if they weren’t all traitors, they could still be cold-blooded, out-for-themselves, and not looking for friends. Perhaps other darker areas of Star Wars lore have made me a suspicious Sally. So I was expecting these characters to be cool, but I didn’t expect to become attached to them so quickly. Or that they’d make me laugh so hard… and cry so hard. These seemingly-gritty, hardened criminals were about to each make my ever-expanding favorite character list in a way I never anticipated!

Perhaps the biggest way they shot down my assumptions has to do with Tobias Beckett and his crew. Because of Beckett’s “assume everyone will betray you” advice, I figured he wouldn’t be one with a lot of friends. I expected his crew to be a loosely-knit group of criminal business partners who would be quick to betray your trust if large amounts of creds were involved. Instead, what I saw was something more of a thicker-than-blood family, with a mom and a dad and a goofball grown son! Throw in Han as the little brother and Chewie as the uncle, and suddenly all these plans for a train heist felt more like plans for a family road trip. Beckett, Val, and Rio were all tough customers, that I wasn’t wrong about, but these tough customers also were genuinely looking out for each other. They’d shared good times and bad times, and somehow maintained a sense of loyalty and a sense of humor through it all. Though we don’t know Val long, the sweet old-married-couple relationship she and Beckett have spoke volumes about both individuals, and who they really were at heart, beyond their jaded, scoundrel-y exteriors. And Rio? Oh my gravy I loved that guy! He was so fun, and Jon Favreau was a delight in the role! The witty pilot was among the film’s best-kept secrets. Understandably, because we don’t know him long either, but he just lit up the room every scene he was in. We need him in some more Star Wars stories, OK? ‘Cause boy do I miss him. Together, Val and Rio brought out the best in Beckett, making him incredibly relatable, and revealing what a truly intriguing, complex individual he is. And the somewhat-fatherly role he takes on with Han was neat to watch as well. I honestly didn’t see it coming when he ended up being the traitor among the newbies. But that only served to make him an even more fascinating character to me. I’m seriously still reeling from how great all this writing is!

Of all the new characters, L3-37 was probably the one I was most excited to meet, but she still went far, far beyond what I expected. She was not just a wonderfully brash, mouthy, and witty sidekick, L3 was, like all the characters in this film, a truly complex person. And that’s what surprised me a little! Though I’ve always known the droids we know best in Star Wars as thinking, feeling beings, the sheer range of L3’s emotions and the naturalness of her thought processes blew my mind. We see her absolutely distressed over droidfights, overjoyed at finding purpose in starting a rebellion, and even contemplating the complexities of romance while chatting with Qi’ra about their boys! (I know I died laughing in that scene, how about you?) Droids with endless amounts of personality are nothing new, and I certainly wouldn’t say droids like Artoo, BB-8, and Chopper are lacking in any way, but there’s something outstandingly different with L3-37, and I adore it to absolute pieces! She’s certainly made me look at droids in a whole new light, especially as I’ve always been fascinated with droid psychology and what free will means to them. And also, her friendship with Lando was so delightful and so precious, I really need to see more of them. But either way, I’m glad she’s still around in the Falcon! I’m sure she’s got some opinions on all those porgs nesting in the wiring XP

Anyway, that’s the story of how a bunch of rough-and-tough scoundrel-y types I didn’t know what to think of at first became absolute favorites. I’ll share more of my Solo faves sometime in the next week or so!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 3

I’m heading back to Takodana today for another visit with the Pirate Queen! And that means another opportunity to write on my favorite moments and fascinating revelations inside of each of her stories! You can read the first two posts here and here.

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Three (but you can watch those shorts here), and several elements from The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, Episode V, Episode VI, and Episode VIII

#1. Sabine and I both need to work on our not-rushing.

I can’t blame Sabine, though. She’s venturing on a potentially-life-or-death mission for the mini-Alliance! Of course you wouldn’t want to take any longer than you have to! I don’t have anything close to that kind of excuse for my tendency to rush. But in both cases, Hera makes crystal-clear that patience really does pay off, even when the stakes are really really high. Means you don’t end up with a shuttle full of storms, and you can just punch a button instead of blasting! That’s why she’s the captain-general-spacemom! And it’s a lesson not easily forgotten when it’s surrounded by edge-of-your-seat action and supreme comic timing 😀

#2. Ahsoka’s definitely an Anidala (or would that be Aname?) shipper.

Oh this one is just too delightful, you guys. It’s so classically Star Wars! So character-driven, so funny, so sweet! And who doesn’t love stories like this, where a third wheel is blissfully unaware they’re a third wheel? XD But there’s more to this nugget than just the comedy of Ahsoka cutting in on Anakin and Padme’s alone time; we get to see, I think for the first time I can remember, the three of them working together. They all have such a great bond! I couldn’t help but give a little squee and say “Awww! Anakin and his girls are the best little family!!” ❤ ❤ Anyone else feeling some serious Clone Wars nostalgia coming on?

#3. A funny thing happened on the way to Canto Bight…

Two words: space. jellies. They’re dangerous, but goodness gracious, I love them! They’re just so dazzling and majestic and slightly surreal! Wonder if they were in the The Last Jedi originally and got cut. Either way, I hope we see more of them in the future! And you gotta love getting to see a new Finn and Rose adventure! Though we only spend a few minutes with them, it’s a fantastic few minutes, really giving you a feel for this solid friendship of theirs taking shape, and for the something-slightly-more it becomes :3 Plus, Finn’s panicky “OHHH I HATE THIS!!” makes me die laughing every time XD Sorry man, but I love this!

Also, it wasn’t until I watched this short that I realized BB-8 was the one piloting the shuttle the whole time. Little droid got skillz! 👍 Wow, watching this again really made me realize how much I’ve missed this threesome…

#4. Chandra-fans have some sticky fingers!

First of all, I’d need to check back, but anyone else wonder if this chandra-fan child is the same in Newest Recruit? They don’t quite sound the same, and I can’t remember if this is Garel or somewhere else, but I could just be forgetful. Would be interesting, though. Would also explain why the little one was in a food crate later on. But yeah what a cutie! Even when he’s being totally difficult and making every effort to keep Jyn away from her beloved kyber necklace, he’s still so adorable! My favorite thing about this short, though, is the sheer, planet-shaking kindness Jyn shows him. Remember, this girl’s a convicted criminal! I haven’t gotten to dig into her book yet or anything, but I don’t doubt she earned that title before the Alliance sought her out. It makes every act of kindness Jyn shows in FoD is a special and precious thing to see. Long before she ever stole the Death Star plans, she was already a hero to this mischievous little boy 🙂

#5. Porgs just wanna have fun!

Even though just a brief moment, it’s super-cool getting to see more of Rey’s training on Ach-To. Watching this again makes me really want to rewatch VIII and read the novelization so I can drink in every single fascinating moment of her Jedi training with Luke. Of course I sadly will have to wait until a good deal on the 4K pops up, but until then, the short is delightful anyway. I mean… we’re talking about PORGS here; porgs are nothing short of delightful! And like say, what I love perhaps the most is that, after Rey Forcegrabs one of them, they decide they all want to fly, too! Shows you just how friendly they are, and how much personality their tiny bodies can pack! I might never have guessed Rey was so good with animals before FoD, but I’m so glad they decided to reveal that side of her in these great stories. One more thing I can definitely relate to! 😀

#6. Mazbacca is actually canon! (Well, maybe.)

This one is majorly cool. We get to meet the real Boushh and find how Leia got the disguise! And we discover that Maz Kanata was how they found it! I had no idea she and Han and Chewbacca went so far back. I’d assumed maybe they’d all met maybe beyond Episode VI, but it’s one of those theories of mine I’m actually glad was proven wrong. Knowing Maz and Leia’d met makes the former’s advice to Han in VII all the more meaningful, because we now know Han and Leia were both friends of Maz’s. I honestly hope that, over the years, the four all would meet up for kaffe on the weekends 🙂 Either way, makes me love their shared bonds even more!

But on that original note, hehe yes I loved finally getting to see the tall and smol together, sharing a hug :3 Nice to know it might not just be a one-sided thing on Maz’s part. If that is indeed the case, though, after thirty years, Chewie, you need to put a ring on it. *Cough*

#7. Dagobah has a lot of trees.

First of all, I love they chose to not feature just the bossladies of Star Wars in FoD. Though the concept of FoD was devised in part, I believe, as a way to get young girls interested in Star Wars who might not’ve been otherwise, that doesn’t mean girls aren’t going to gravitate to the bossmen of the galaxy, too! Lucasfilm understood that, and because of that, we have this amazing previously-untold story in front of us, with the incredible voices of the MARK HAMILL and the TOM KANE! There’re some goofy Yoda shenanigans, some insight into the ways of the Force, some epic Jedi stunts, and Artoo being adorable like he always does. It’s pure Star Wars magic and I can’t get enough of it!

#8. Teedo never learns.

Nope! Never has, never will! Not even Rey saving his life seems to make much difference to the greedy little dude (well, maybe a teensy bit). But it certainly makes for some good stories! And that’s because his actions, no matter how selfish or despicable, have a habit of bringing out the best in our future Forcewielder 🙂

BONUS: Maz has a decorative bowl with a space slug in it!

(Image credit: Youtube)

I knew there had to be some Easter eggs around here somewhere… and this one’s just genius! XD

These are just so fun, you guys. There always is so much to find, and so much to learn, and in more ways than one! Until next post…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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