Following The Freemakers: The Maker Of Zoh

Since the Ghost crew took last Saturday off, you know what that means… it’s back to the Freemakers! And the episode we’re digging into today just so happens to be one of my favorites (even though they’re all my favorites), The Maker Of Zoh! Grab a hot cup of motor oil kaffe and read on!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from The Clone Wars “Siege Of Mandalore” arc, Rebels episode Twilight Of The Apprentice, The Yoda Chronicles, The New Yoda Chronicles, and Freemakers episodes Crossing Paths, The Test, The Kyber Saber Crystal Chase, and The Maker Of Zoh

Things have been pretty tough for the Freemaker fam these last couple days. A certain dark side-wielding Imperial is to blame. But perhaps things might not’ve been so difficult had they known R0-GR’s transmission pack had a tracking device the whole time. Roger knew about it but never considered it might have been the source of Naare’s constant one-step-aheading. Unfortunately this discovery is too late to make much of a difference — the last crystal’s on Hoth and Naare already knows this. So it’s either the Freemakers go to Hoth and she kills them or they don’t go and she finds the crystal and the Emperor kills everyone. But there is a third option, and it’s on Zoh. Rowan recalls what Maz Kanata told him about this person they could go to when things got desperate, and I’d say this whole situation qualifies. The uninhabited trash planet doesn’t sound promising, but hey, it’s not Hoth! That’s already a win! Oh, we’re off to see the Maker, the wonderful Maker of Zoh! *shot*
At first glance, Zoh isn’t terribly spectacular, but as they land the StarScavenger, the Freemakers come upon a fascinating array of massive, eclectic, but incredible scrap sculptures towering above them. The rest of the crew’s not sure what to make of it, but Rowan’s got a good feeling about this… which doesn’t last long when suddenly droids rise from the mechanical refuse. Lots of droids, from super battle droids to astromechs to pit droids and all the others I can’t rightly name. And they don’t like the Freemakers’ presence here. Zander sends Roger out to speak to them, but the instant their skeptical leader eyes the battle droid’s dismembered transmission pack, everydroid and their brother pulls out their weapons on the humans. Surely they would’ve made quick work of the family… had a voice not commanded them to cease their fighting… a voice I felt I recognized from somewhere but wasn’t sure where. With a wave of his hand, the mysterious figure disassembles the boulder of scrap metal that nearly was used on Rowan. The being must be Force-sensitive, but I still couldn’t place who this was. But then his left hand… it glows blue with the pure power of four kyber crystals. I squee-gasped with surprise: IT’S JEK-14. JEK is the one these droids address as The Maker. Oh my gosh you guys this made me so insanely happy I could hardly breathe! Considering how close-to-canon The Freemaker Adventures is, I wasn’t sure if the events of previous Lego SW specials were canon in this near-canon-ness. OK I’m not sure that made sense. What I mean is, one of the things that stands out most about TFA compared to previous Lego SW is that they strive to keep it as true to Star Wars as it gets, with the exception of some fun Lego stuff here and there. The older ones weren’t bad or any less fun by any means, they just mostly kept it light and played around with a lot of jokes that don’t quite quite fit the canon. Because of this, I wasn’t sure if they would consider both The Yoda Chronicles and The Freemaker Adventures in the same boat. I mean, I always kinda did, as I consider most Lego SW stories canon and take it all as seriously as the rest of SW. But whatever the case, they brought JEK-14 back and in the most amazing way. Anyway, JEK apologizes to the Freemakers for his overprotective shootystabbycrushy friends. Bossdroid N-3RO argues he has a right to overreact, looking at the lightsaber wound on one of the super battles, but JEK gets mouse droid Fixer right on it. The old clone gives the young scavengers full reign to take whatever scrap they need, but it’s not scrap they need, it’s help. And seeing how The Maker is a Forcewielder, Rowan believes he can help him with his Jedi training. But that’s exactly what JEK doesn’t want to do. “But the fate of the galaxy is at state!” “That’s what they all say… ‘One last battle to end all battles’, but there’s always another.” OK this just got so deep and so real I can’t even.
Let’s talk a brief history of JEK-14 for a minute or two. JEK-14 began life as a full-grown clone trooper, enhanced by kyber crystals and intended as a Separatist weapon by Darth Sidious. His first words were “I am ready to fight… for the Sith”, and without question he used his own brand of Force lightning on Jedi masters Mace Windu and Yoda. However, when commanded to actually kill Yoda, he couldn’t do it. Both the Jedi and the Separatists wanted JEK on their sides, but JEK refused, and the Force-sensitive clone fled for Hoth, where he found solace in using the Force to build works of art. However, the Separatists found him and cloned his Forcewielding self until he was barely alive. Miraculously, JEK-14 fought back and destroyed the dark side clones. Ultimately he chose to leave on a peaceful note, but intent on never again getting involved with the war. He went from there to Endor, where he helped build things for the ewok community. When the Jedi needed help, they sought him out, and it was only the kindness and innocence of Yoda’s padawans that convinced him to do so. In fact, had he not had such good relations with the younglings, far worse things might’ve happened. Some years later at the end of the Clone Wars, Yoda’s padawans convinced him to come back and help them get back the holocrons from the Jedi Temple. I don’t know for sure what he was doing in the time in between, but as I noticed watching this episode, the decorative clasp on his outfit has the Mandalorian beast-skull icon on it. Hehe I was actually right when I surmised he might’ve gone there! He clearly spent some time one what he assumed was a peaceful world, probably to be highly disappointed when the Siege of Mandalore occurred right before the war’s end. It was thanks to him that the Jedi made it safely offworld, and with the holocrons that Obi-Wan intended to use to train Luke someday. JEK spent the next 20 years in peace on Naboo before Yoda summoned him to Tatooine, where he would briefly join the fight against the Empire. He helped the Alliance for some time, before finally leaving them likely after they established their base on Hoth. And now, he’s made a home on Zoh, where he has all the building material he could ever want, all the friends he could ever need, and no one on his doorstep asking him to fight their battles. Until now. It’s only when Rowan explains how the Sith used him that JEK puts his pride and hurt behind him. Because once upon a time, the clone was used the same way. He’s not a Jedi, but he decides he will teach Rowan everything he knows about the Force. The Freemakers’ll be hanging out here for a while looks like. But N-3… bro’s not a fan…
Meanwhile, Graballa’s fleet was waiting outside Hoth. And waiting… and waiting… and waiting some more. Naare knows they’ll come. Graballa, however, is bored out of his mind. Both get slightly more than they bargained for though when their bosses come on the holo. Naare and Graballa are two very different varieties of scum and villainy, but the one thing they both have in common is that, for all their scum and villainy, they’re still pretty low on the food chain. Jabba doesn’t approve of his cousin’s latest harebrained scheme and Sidious is (as per usual) quickly running out of patience waiting for that Kyber Saber. Unsurprisingly, both Hutt and Imperial Agent are unsuccessful in convincing their higher-ups of their plans. We’re reminded in this scene that there are greater evils at work here and it’s terrifying. I do find it interesting that Naare approaches the Emperor this time not irritated or angry, but honestly kind of… afraid. Many times before, she’s addressed him with a prideful confidence we often see in second-rate darksiders, but it’s almost as though something happened recently to shake that foundation a little. Perhaps Sidious did something to remind her of her place, and what consequences await her if she fails. Maybe I’m reading into this too much, but if you’ve been reading these TFA posts for any length of time, you know I do a lot of that. But can you blame me? They are telling great stories here and I’m super curious about the things left unstated! But yah she feels ya, Graballa.
Watching JEK-14 training Rowan is basically one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my life. Like seriously. JEK has always been amazing with kids, and seeing him teaching his understanding of the Force to Rowan his just… wow. It’s something real special. I love his angle on the Force: the dark side destroys, but the light side creates. It’s a really great unique angle that feels appropriately Lego but also perfectly Star Wars. A very tangible point of view that perhaps no other Jedi master could offer… one that could only be explained by a Force-sensitive clone trooper who desired only to create. And perhaps someday Rowan will take these lessons and impart them on another young Forcewielder. FEELS FEELS FEEEEELS. Buuuuut again… N-3 is not a fan. The bossdroid’s convinced that The Maker might join the Freemakers and leave them if something’s not done. And if he leaves, they’ll be back to being useless, purposeless scrap. That does bring up a good question: do they truly see JEK as their friend and simply don’t want him to leave, or are they concerned mostly about being purposeless? Or are they concerned that, without The Maker, they will be have no one to protect them from any scavenger looking for a few spare parts? Or maybe it has something to do with him being “The Maker”, in that to the droids, he’s kind of a deity. IDK Maybe I missed something but any way you spin it it’s an interesting thought. N-3 is a very very desperate droid… and also very very convincing.
Elsewhere, Zander and Kordi hadn’t had much luck salvaging. Not a useful piece of junk in sight, it seems. Roger was trying to help, but after nearly crushing them with a toppled junk sculpture, the sibs give him the slip. It’s then when N-3RO makes his move, inviting his fellow “unappreciated” droid brother for a nice long oil bath. N-3 suggests that, perhaps, the battle droid should remain on Zoh, in paradise, away from ungrateful, uncaring masters who’d eventually scrap him. R0-GR won’t allow himself to believe the Freemakers would ever do such a thing, but considering recent events, there’s perhaps a niggling of doubt. Oh poor sweet Rogerrrr… 😦 Whatever the case, N-3RO’s got other plans for Roger’s masters… plans like leading Zander and Kordi into a trap.
So Rowan’s lessons were going quite well, thanks to JEK, he was able to construct a perfect speederbike out of spare parts. Which, true to his nature, Ro immediately hopped on and rode off. With a smile, JEK-14 follows on his own construction. Again AHHH I LOVE THIS. If Luke doesn’t become his official master then JEK totally should! It’s a good thing Rowan and JEK went for a ride, though, because they soon found Kordi and Zander chained up with a half a TIE hovering above their heads. N-3R0 insists that these trespassers have corrupted The Maker’s mind and that he’s doing the right thing by destroying them. Rowan expertly puts together a crate to shield them and attaches it to the speeders to get them to safety. Now if he and his master can stop the revolt without destroying the droids or getting killed themselves, it’llve been a good day! The two hold their own really well for a while, but when Rowan gets captured and JEK in turn lets his guard down, the droids get the better of them all. Roger returns from his oil bath to find his masters surrounded at all ends as N-3 has decided to “deactivate” them all, including JEK, who he now considers “beyond saving” O.O The bossdroid promises Roger complete freedom once the humans are out of the way. However, the old clanker’s come to a different conclusion. N-3 tried to convince him that the Freemakers’ frustration with him would ultimately end in a garbage disposal, but Roger has no doubts where he stands with his masters, because they’re not just masters, they’re family. In families, people make mistakes, they get mad at each other, but temporary frustration doesn’t turn their bond into scrap; they forgive each other, they love each other, they fight for each other. He might be a droid, but first and foremost he’s a Freemaker. And he takes that transmission pack with the family insignia on it and puts it back on. Now those droids are gonna have a whole ‘nother problem to deal with. OK I’m sorry I botched that moment but it’s truly amazing how strongly Roger cares for his family. In the past, he’s had a tendency to come off a little… I hate to say “jerky”, so let’s just say… “highly opinionated” with the Freemakers’ decisions and ideas. Oh wait “self-centered” that was the word I was looking for! Yeah he sometimes comes off like he cares more about himself than the others, but in his heart he truly considers them family, and he loves them even if they sometimes get on his nerves and force him into dangerous adventures… and vice versa 🙂 But oh yeah now here comes Graballa’s ship! Nuts I wish I knew its name so I wouldn’t have to keep calling it just “Graballa’s ship”. In the midst of the chaos, the Freemakers are able to make their escape. JEK remains behind to protect the droids, even after all they’ve done. But that’s not the last noble thing he’ll be doing today. Just as the Freemakers got out of the frying pan, they walked into the fryer as Naare pulled her red-blade out on them. Rowan was ready to take her on, whatever it took, but JEK-14 stood between them, urging Rowan and his family to go on. Oh man I’m getting all teary-eyed writing this. As Naare addressed him as the “failed experiment”, my respect for her dropped a few points. It’s an amazing duel though, as she fights with her lightsaber, while JEK fights with nothing but the pure Force running through his blood. He creates obstacles to throw in her way, but she just as easily tears these structures apart. Had this been a fair fight, I believe JEK was the stronger of the two, even without formal training. But it was not so… using every inch of darkness in her soul, Naare began to form a mountain of refuse around the clone. Rowan watched in horror as The Maker of Zoh was slowly buried in the scrap. Before going down, JEK called out to his apprentice “Trust in the Force. Be a builder, Rowan!” and I started bawling here, crying out “HE DONE PULLED AN ‘AHSOKA’!!” Because of JEK-14’s sacrifice, the StarScavenger was able to get offworld and away from their enemies’ grasp. Over the transmission pack, Rowan makes very clear to Naare that he will be getting that final fragment. JEK not only taught Rowan a new understanding of the Force, but I believe he’s also heavily inspired bravery in his apprentice, and in the rest of the Freemakers as well, in their most desperate hour.
On Zoh, a recently reconstructed N-3RO (post being blasted by Graballa’s fleet) wakes up to a world without The Maker… and also a restraining bolt because bro was well overdue for one of those. BL-OX now knows they never should’ve listened to him, as now, their master is no more. I started getting weepy again as I recalled all of the amazing things JEK had done and the incredible man he was. And then…
An arm shot out of the scrap.
The spark of the Force still electric in his veins, a blaze of pure Force shoots from his hand.
JEK LIVES.

So I basically drowned in feels the rest of the day. Happy feels that JEK is alive. Sad feels that Rowan believes he lost his friend. Nostalgia feels from seeing JEK again. Really all the feels. I so so much love this episode and, again, this series. It felt awesome writing about them again. And I certainly will soon! Whenever the Rebs go on hiatus I’ll bring some more Freemaker follow-ups until I hit the season finale! As long as I live and breathe I’m never gonna wanna stop talking about Star Wars 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Advertisements

Clash Of The Skywalkers: A Closer Look

So with a little less than a month before we meet the Freemakers (*giddily fangirling*), I figure we should get the Closer Looks on the New Yoda Chronicles wrapped up ’bout now. And now, a little Lego SW for your Thursday 🙂
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode IV, Episode VI, Episode VI, Episode VII, Rebels episode Shroud Of Darkness, The Empire Strikes Out, Menace Of The Sith, Escape From The Jedi Temple, Race For The Holocrons, Raid On Coruscant, and Clash Of The Skywalkers.

I still do find it fascinating they chose to end the Chronicles with a seventh chapter instead of a sixth or a ninth, and to make it a cliffhanger on top of it! But somehow it works anyway, and it’s still funny, clever, exciting, and sweet the way all Lego Star Wars is. Anyway, so we open with lots and lots of TIE fighter traffic. Hehe those pilots may be ruthless to Rebels, but at least they’re courteous to each other! Vader be like *facepalm* XD They’re in a bit of a rush today, you see… they’re looking for a certain Skywalker who maaaaay have helped destroy all their precious holocron intel a short time ago and a certain Emperor maaaaaay not be happy. Despite the rocky start, the Darth’s on his a-game today ’cause he quite immediately clashes with young Skywalker as he surveys Imperial space. Poor Luke hardly stood a chance it seems as Darth Vader downs his X-wing in about four seconds. Le gasp! Has the dark lord finally won?? And then, amidst the wreckage, Artoo casually saunters over to JEK-14’s stealth ship and we find that Luke was a holograph all along! (Or would that be hologram? I always get them mixed up… either way it’s a holo, I guess) Can’t believe they didn’t take the opportunity to have Ackbar say “IT’S A WRAP!“, but I guess they already did that in The Padawan Menace so it’s OK. Yeah even the masters were a little spooked by the fake-out “I’m a ghost and I still sweated through my robe!” TMI, OBI-WAN…!
So with Vader finally off their tails, the Rebs can finally get off Mustafar and get to their new permanent base. Also, I know I probably should’ve said this by now, but one thing I love about the Lego universe is getting to see characters from the OT hanging out on worlds from the PT. It makes for some really fun stories and is a further reminder that everything is connected and it all exists in the same galaxy. But I’ve rabbit-trailed. So though this is supposed to be a victory, Luke feels it’s a bit of a hollow one, as he much rather’dve defeated Vader for reals. Leia encourages him to be patient as the important thing right now is to lay low, but Luke definitely has a case of the mopes.
‘Course he’s not the only one having a bad day. Han is not a fan of the new base. AT. ALL. Understandable, ’cause it’s Hoth. I mean, it’s great that it’s far from the eyes of the Empire, but that weather though… I mean, Chewie’s done frozen solid! Yeeees Han I would say he’s cold XP
However, I’d say Darth Vader’s having a great day! STORMTROOPAH CONGA LINE EVRAHBODYY!! Needless to say, a couple Imperials aren’t thrilled about bursting his bubble that Luke might’ve not’ve been onboard that X-wing to start with. Vader seems to take it rather well at first… and then retreats to his personal chamber to have a hissy fit that’d make his grandson proud XD If it weren’t for the fact he needed help fixing his chamber afterwards I’m pretty sure his ‘troopers would equally be all “NOPE”.
Oh yeah, I love the callback to Menace Of The Sith with the “Echo Base Jedi Educational Center” sign. Honestly the idea that the Jedi had claimed the base first is really cool and it oughta be no-questions canon. ‘Course maybe it is by now there’s a lot of recent literature I haven’t read yet. Another thing we learn is that Chewie isn’t a fan of celery. The things you can learn from these specials! It’s the little details about their lives that are often the most fascinating 🙂 And oh yeah we also learn THERE’S A WAMPA IN THE BASE! WAMPAAAA!! And the worst thing is not that they could be eaten but that they have to go back into the freezing cold again. Yep, it’s a beautiful day all right.
The fact that Luke has “too much of his father in him” is very clear as he’s beyond impatient waiting for some action ’round here. After all, those Jedi in his ‘cron weren certainly always on the move! He tosses the holocron to the ground in frustration, but soon finds there’s quite a bit more to see than he could just squinting at the smol blue box. Luke finds himself viewing an entire mission as Obi-Wan and Yoda attempt to rescue Sio Bibble from Dooku and his droids. Again, love the collision of eras! Though yeesh you’d think he would’ve put two and two together on the “little green boy” situation 😛 Also good question how did they record these things to begin with? The things these ‘crons can do! Much of it is still a mystery! Unfortunately, Luke is so caught up watching the action he misses out on the… um… Imperial probes hovering nearby. Totally understand though; I don’t notice much of anything when I’m focused on my Star Wars 🙂 “OMG WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN NEXT?! MUCH INTRIGUE! MUCH AWESOME! MUCH– Wait… what do you mean the house is on fire?” #StarWarsLife
So yeah Palpatine wasn’t happy to hear his apprentice blew it yet again. “YOU WERE FOOLED BY AN R2 UNIT?!” “But it wasn’t just any R2 unit, it was R2-D2!” “i’m starting to think I should’ve turned him to the dark side instead.” “You know how to hurt a guy” XD XD But somehow he still gives him one more chance to prove himself. Darth gives a spirted “Yippee!” to that. And I basically died laughing. Also is it weird I’ve become a bit of a Royal Guard fangirl as of late? I’m pretty sure I can blame my Star Wars Costumes book for that development but eeeee they’re just so COOOOOL! Oh, and then the whole “are we there yet?” bit… just too good, man. Solidness.
So Luke’s really getting into that holocron battle, especially when a young Anakin steps out. He immediately recognizes the name and realizes it’s his dad out there being amazing. Though I have to say this probably wasn’t the ideal holocron footage of his dad to view right now… it’s not the patient Anakin teaching younglings we see in Rebels, it’s the rather impatient reckless apprentice Anakin breakin’ all the rules! Luke’s all “Whoa that was the best move ever!” even though this is totally not the lesson he should be picking up atm. I mean, there’s a time and place for that real-world-influenced spontaneity that made the elder Skywalker so darn good, but not when the younger Skywalker’s chomping at the bit to do something. So when Leia and JEK deliver news that the Empire’s on their way over thanks to his holocron, Luke takes a cue from his dad and decides to go meet Vader face-to-face while Leia finishes the evac. OK is that not kinda freaky, the thought that Luke learns a move from his dad to fight his dad? Whoo is it ever gonna be a clash!
Meanwhile, Han and his crew were a bit hung up… haha puns, ’cause the wampa had them literally hung up on his ceiling. I guess he does that to keep the meat cold. Threepio decides to deliver a few choice wampa-ian words that apparently Han said, which ultimately leads to the wampa knocking him down right where his blaster was. They still end up running out of the cave screaming with the beast at their backs but hey, Threepio’s plan actually saved their lives! Crazy!
“…like a space fox!”
I’m sorry that quote is perfect. Probably a bad segue for the post but still a great quote. JEK was entirely questioning Luke’s plan, and that’s about when Palpatine’s shuttle smacked right into his x-wing. Vader don’t buy it at first, but then he’s all “GREAT GUNRAY’S GHOST IT IS HIM!!” and I can definitely tell you I’ll be using that line a lot now too. Dude you just don’t question the Emperor mkay? He may be a little wrinkly but he’s as sharp as a tack! Well, except he did launch the TIEs before the pilots go in ’em… but don’t judge bro anyone coulda done that! But whoa now Luke and JEK have literally the entire Empire after them. Bold move. Veryyyy bold move. Just like a Skywalker to do that 🙂
So Han, Chewbacca, and Threepio were having a pretty good time. Being chased by a wampa in a snowspeeder and all. I don’t even know how that happened, but if not for that, Threepio might not’ve inadverdently domesticated the tauntaun for the Rebels! And Han did some sweet moves on his Wookiee snowboard! Though yeah I’m so sorry you spent the entire episode as an ice block Chewster. Now if they could just get that landing pad lit already, it’ll have been a successful day…
I must take a minute again to applaud the genius and wit of Lego SW. The sign that says “YES. That asteroid field” is among the greatest of the hilarious signs they’ve placed around the SW galaxy XD Vader’s all “OMG HE PULLED AN ANAKIN ON ME THAT COPYCAT!” as Star Destroyer after Star Destroyer takes some serious damage. And then when a few Rebel fighters join the party, well, let’s just say the Empire gets packin’. “DO SOMETHING EVIL!” “Might I suggest we run?” “THAT SOUNDS GOOD TOO!” Finally Ackbar’s the one who gets to set the trap! And man the bros on Hoth almost didn’t get things lit up in time. That is exactly why Chewie carries candles in his bandolier. Pays to be a “sensitive guy” huh? Pff I’m sure Maz approves 🙂 Yay Chewbacca saved the day! Even though he’s probably going to need a lot of time in the bacta tank after this. And the golden droid finally got some appreciation… but not the kind he was looking for. Han… I know you were doing it as a joke, but you should absolutely know better than to kiss a droid on Hoth. Leia, you better go get your blow drier… we’re gonna be out here a while.
Though the Rebels are settled and the Imps are gone baby gone, the Skywalker boys are still at it. However, their exciting one-on-one space battle becomes an exciting one-on-one duel quite quickly after they both crash on the same asteroid. Also Vader finally did get himself an astromech at some point, and he looks like he’s ready to throw down… at least, up until Artoo completely one-ups him in the weapons department and the other R2 runs off screaming. The flamethrower is a nice touch. But then Vader gets personal AND FORCE-SHOVES ARTOO INTO A CRATER!! DUDE THAT’S JUST COLD! So no questions they’re bringin’ out the ‘sabers! Luke fares pretty well for the first couple minutes, but soon finds himself on the edge of that deep crater. But then Luke gets a little idea… also this line “I’d laugh if it didn’t sound weird and cause me horrible pain” is it wrong I laughed really hard at that? As for Luke’s idea, he knew Vader couldn’t resist throwing a rock at him. A rock that ultimately would awaken a ferocious giant SPACE SLUG!! I was applauding young Skywalker for his ingenuity… and then we find out that the beast is actually Darth’s pet. Wow. I guess if you want a pet that makes a statement, you get a legendary giant slug. I wonder if it’s the same one in Episode V, ’cause you’d think he might’ve looked there in his pursuit of the Falcon. Maybe there’re just two giant slugs in this corner of the galaxy. Or maybe this is noncanon and I’m just looking into this way way too deeply. But yeah needless to say things didn’t go that well… the slug ate Luke. Thankfully a lightsaber to the uvula gets him outta there quickly but it looks like Vader actually did win today. Well, I guess you gotta let the guy have a win sometime! It hasn’t happened often lately. But for now, Luke’s off to ride tauntauns for the Rebels… at least if he ever stops floating aimlessly through space. STORMTROOPAH CONGA LINE!!!
Ah delightful! The Yoda Chronicles have been quite the ride, from their beginning to their finale. It felt really good to take a minute and revisit this super-fun chapter in the Lego Star Wars saga as we prepare for its next, and perhaps most thrilling, chapter as we enter unknown between-Empire-and-Jedi territory and make some new friends before too long 🙂 So until next post…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Race For The Holocrons: A Closer Look

So while the Rebels took an off day this week, I figured it’s about time we get back to talking about all of the New Yoda Chronicles that’ve come out in the past year! Yeah these Lego specials just can’t help but be an absolute delight to watch. And even though I’m probably the only one to talk about them seriously, I’m glad people actually want to read these to begin with. So thank you for that. So let’s dive in and go deep in the second chapter of the first trilogy of TNYC, Race For The Holocrons!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Star Wars Droids, The Padawan Menace, The Empire Strikes Out, and Escape From The Jedi Temple, and TCW episode Wookiee Hunt.

So since we last left our heroes, Yoda and Obi-Wan decided that it’s about time Luke started his holocron training. Luke doesn’t even really know what holocrons are, but he knows he’s gotta go find them. Of course, problem: Vader and his boss want to find them, too, as they have the potential to reveal info valuable to the Empire. So Luke followed the Force to where they reside… Utapau? Well, he’s still figuring out the whole “Force” thing, so you can’t blame him from ending up planets away from where he was supposed to be. Besides, in regards to Tatooine, Ben had told him there was nothing left for him there! I guess he meant in regard to his everyday farm life, not literally. Let’s just cut Young Skywalker some slack here. So as would be expected, Luke and his crew hit a dead-end, as the head ‘pauan has no clue what a holocron is. But the ‘pauan doesn’t miss a beat and offers up some used Clone Wars-era starships to the gang. No clue how the Utapauans managed to keep these vehicles in such good shape, and how it is a bunch of ‘troopers never came over and reclaimed it. Sidious must’ve regarded it all as junk. Leia politely turns down the offer, and Luke, exasperated from his failed search, kicks a pebble over the old vehicles. But apparently there’s another brand of “vehicle” in the pile — BOGA? Or at least a critter the same species as Boga?? I always thought that that giant frilled lizard was one of the coolest creatures in the SW galaxy, and he was a good steed for Obi-Wan back in the day. But apparently… either Boga became feral after years of neglect, or this is an entirely different critter and their species is just naturally wild and unpredictable. Yup the big guy decides pretty quickly to give chase after Luke, Leia, and the droids. Luke whips out his lightsaber and at least partially wounds the fella, but new problem: they’ve run right off the landing platform with their ship. Le sigh, can this day get any better?
Meanwhile, Sidious reiterates his desire to get his grubby little Force-lighting-shocking hands on those ‘crons. Vader’s all “NBD, Master, just need to find that Luke Skywalker punk and he’ll lead me where I need to go!”. And it just so happens that Vader is onto Luke by chasing down the Millenium Falcon. Han and Chewie are enjoying their day about as much as Luke and Leia are right now. A well-planned pull of the brakes and blasters aimed at the TIE seem to have vanquished their foe. But that Darth is a tough cookie and somehow manages to claw his way onto the Falcon’s roof and into the hatch. Yeahhh having Darth Vader show up in your cockpit is probably every Rebel’s worst nightmare. And Vader has some fun and knocks the scoundrels around in the cockpit. But then Vader takes a look around at the ol’ ship and is like “Seriously? This piece of junk is what helped destroy my Death Star?”. Han’s brave and talks back, not without throwing the unfair “pleather pants” name back in Vader’s face. So naturally that gets a red lightsaber all up in Captain Solo’s grill, and he demands to know Luke’s whereabouts. And Han’s snarky response is a perfect transition to the next seen, as Luke is indeed “in a whole in the ground”. Hur hur.
So anyway, they were still falling… Luke was trying to get closer to his comrades and the ship, but you know, gravity isn’t always very cooperative. And then shows up Force Ghost Ben, giving Luke a heart attack for the second time this weekend! Master Kenobi’s about to tell Young Skywalker about the holocrons… but judging by the fact Luke’s falling and a giant green beast is right above them… Obi-Wan makes his message quick, and lets him know the stakes as Vader’s in on the secret too, and the boy needs to get to Tatooine ASAP. And then he ducks outta that mess pretty fast, leaving Luke with a hurried “may the Force be with you”. Knowing that time is of the essence, he’s not gonna sit around and fall for hours; Luke slams his lightsaber into the rock walls and uses the Force to form a giant rope with the debris. Not too shabby for a guy who couldn’t tell Tatooine from Utapau on the map! But just when they thought they’d gotten that lizard off their tails… yeah… he can climb. Luke’s able to Force-bend their rope and snap it like a rubber band, returning them to the landing platform. But Boga here is a fast little booger. So our gang darts for an old Separatist fighter. They would’ve gotten off the ground faster, but while Artoo has no problem trusting strange computers, he doesn’t like syncing into one. Considering all things, it was a Separatist ship, and Artoo knows those guys were nasty. Yus now we know the little droid’s got everything now that we’ve seen his sanitizer extension XD But they’re able to make it offworld without any reptilian hitchhikers, and so, it’s on to Tatooine!
Meanwhile, Vader’s still trying to get Han to spill, but thank goodness for the Corellian’s strong will. It’s only when Luke makes a quick call letting Han know where they’re going that there’s a problem. Yes I think Vader knows the difference between the Dune Sea and Naboo’s Dune Sea Hotel. ‘Cause duh on Naboo everything is soft. *Gets hit with tomato* Heyyy who threw that?! So yeah… anyway, Han and Chewie made a quick getaway into the escape pod. Problem was, this particular escape pod has a launch button outside of it. And Darth had no problem pressing it. #Facepalm
And thus, after having to start the thing a couple of times, Vader’s flying the Falcon off to Tatooine.
Elsewhere on Tatooine itself, the holocrons’ glow has attracted some attention from the locals. And the locals being the Jawas. They be all “UTTINI!” over the loot they’ve dug up. And so it appears the competition for these things has been upped from two to three…
So Luke and his comrades were having a pretty smooth flight at first… and then Wedge Antilles and a bunch of other Rebels mistook them for an Imperial ship (Um… guys, different war! Get your facts straight man!). Luke tried to touch base with Wedge and explain the situation, but they were firing at him, and well… Luke had to fire back. It looks like the other Rebs were OK though so that’s good. Yeesh this would be pretty tragic otherwise…
Ironically, the same thing’s happening to the other Skywalker. It must be so weird having your own TIEs aiming at you. I’m guessing Vader had a little “conversation” (aka Force choke) with the pilots involved afterward. Oh wait… disregard that last sentence; he expertly blew up all the TIEs, so that saves Vader time so he can Force choke other less-than-stellar Imperials! Ha yes, you really could say “there are heroes on both sides” in this situation!
And guess where Han and Chewie ended up? A nice little slimy mudhole called Dagobah! Captain Solo expertly navigates them to a cave for shelter… though yeah this is “THE” cave. They label it “Darkside Cave” here, but whatever you call it… the horrified screaming/roaring they make running out says that they didn’t have too much fun in there. Though one really has to wonder what it is each of them saw. Yikes this just got really deep… y’know I’m gonna do the right thing here and not think too much on this ’cause I don’t want to freak anybody out. But yeah, as soon as they ran out, there stood Yoda. And thus happened one of the happiest reunions ever! I love they still call each other “Yoyo” and “Ian”; ah those were the days, huh? Chewie’s all “Wait… you two know each other? What’d I miss?”. It’s OK, Chewbacca, it happened about the time you got caught in a Trandoshan hunting game with a bunch of Padawans.
Anyway, firsties on Tatooine would be Lord Vader! Who doesn’t watch his step and runs right into Dr. Ezavan and Pondo Baba. But Vader doesn’t bat an eyelash and lightsabers the good doctor’s arm off. I love his response “WHAT?! NOW EVERYONE HAS A LIGHTSABER?!”. Maybe they should consider stopping making such a big deal about people running into them. And maybe consider getting to know people before they judge whether they like them or not 🙂 Luke, Leia, and the droids arrive shortly after, also running into the duo. Thankfully this time, the wanted men make a run for it… right into a closed door. And Luke’s all “What did I do?”. Probably didn’t recognize Pondo Baba with his new arm.
Also, I’d just like to ask why Jar Jar thought it’d be a good idea to take his daughter out to the Mos Eisley Cantina for her birthday. It’s not exactly the most friendly place in the galaxy, and I didn’t think Jar Jar was much of a fan of this planet (“…the sun’s doin’ murder to meesa skin!”). It must be what she wanted, I do guess. But I’m not here to talk about Ex-Rep. Binks’ parenting, I’m here to talk about the race for the holocrons going down here as Vader walks into the Cantina. Also, love the rancor sipping an umbrella drink in the background! XD OK anyway, so Vader was about walk in and show ’em who’s boss, buuuuuuut the droid scanner went off on him. Seriously, does this guy dislike droids so much that he’ll risk locking people out? What happens if you had braces, or fillings, or a metal hip? What about the fact that Pondo Baba must’ve gotten a metal arm?? Duuuude c’mon. But Vader took it well, I think. Force-slammed him into the ceiling. The best part is watching all the happy droids flock in now that the ban’s been lifted; just watch that GOM droid get down! XD
So Luke was trusting his feelings again, using the Force to guide him as he walked through the Mos Eisley streets. And this time, it happened to lead him right to Watto’s place. It always wows me when you see characters meet up like this, even though Luke may never know that Watto was his dad’s former “employer”. But yeah, while Leia and the droids would rather’d leave, Luke’s got his eyes on a fabulous old podracer… the one his dad made, to be exact (seriously isn’t this crazy how it all connects??). Not having any cash on hand, Luke comes up with a different way to seal the deal… something called a Jedi mind trick. Watto’s like “Bro they don’t work on me, mkay?”. And you know, interesting thought here: wouldn’t it still have been fairly dangerous for Luke to have revealed himself a Jedi? Knowing Watto, he could’ve easily sold him out to the Empire to make a quick buck. Thankfully, it seems he doesn’t care too much. And Vader probably wouldn’tve trusted Watto to know that kind of intel anyway and would’ve ignored him. So when Watto’s not impressed with Luke’s mind trick, he gets Leia to join in, claiming she’s a Jedi as well. And boy I bet they were surprised when their mind trick actually worked. On Watto… and Threepio! Daaaaaaang the power of the Chosen One’s kids! And so with that, Luke got the podracer on loan and left Threepio as collateral, and they returned to their mission. And Threepio took the job as a sign-spinner. He’s pretty good for not having a lot of dexterity in those limbs!
And guess what Lord Vader was buying? Luke’s landspeeder! Definitely one of those weird moments as Luke zooms by Vader and they both realize they’re driving each other’s rides. Commence chase scene!
Back on Dagobah, Yoda popped some popcorn for his guests and chatted for a bit about the planet and about Luke. And then Yoda realized that Young Skywalker was in trouble! He sent Han and Chewbacca after him… in, naturally, Yoda’s little starship. Yeah if you thought it was bad when Obi-Wan, Yoda, and R2-D2 were crammed in there, it looks to be even worse for these two.
Yeah it was a normal Jawa shopping trip for Bib Fortuna. But he’s not able to look at those lovely glowy-blue blocks for long, ’cause along came Luke and Vader at full speed! The Jawas closed up shop and vamoosed back to their sandcrawler in about three seconds. Finally the guys came to a stop and decided this needed to be settled with lightsabers. But what they didn’t know, is that their being near that sandcrawler full of holocrons was empowering said ‘crons, like, a lot. Leia takes notice of this and tries to interrupt, but of course these Skywalker boys are a little busy. But yeah, don’t ask me how exactly they did that, but the holocrons actually power up so that the sandcrawler zooms on outta there! Man, those things are so useful… they store Jedi history, lists of Rebellion-centered planets, prove one’s Force-sensitivity, and are a great alternative to fossil fuels! No wonder there’s such a market for them. The ‘crawler goes so fast that it knocks the hoods off of the Jawas and reveals… humans. Normal humans in masks. Well, that explains a lot XD Hehe I love fourth-wall-breaking gags like that. So Vader and Luke, after trading respective vehicles, hit the gas pedal and the chase is back on! Isn’t it funny, in Phantom Menace and the first story arc of the Droids series, that both of these are racing vehicles, both used on desert planet raceways? Craaaazayyyy! And yeah as they’re driving, they’re dueling at the same time. Yeah I think there are rules about that in the Tatooine Drivers’ Manuals. Even so, it’s pretty epic! It reminds me of all the swordfighting on the cars in Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, but, dare I say, a lot more high-stakes.
Oh, Han and Chewie finally landed on Tatooine to help Luke… andddd Luke was long-gone. Just Leia and Artoo hanging out. So the four of them piled back on Yoda’s ship and rejoined the chase themselves.
And the chase goes from being more Crystal Skull to Raiders as the Skywalker boys start catching up to the speeding sandcrawler. Luke and Vader both climb up on top of the vehicle and duel a bit before Vader finally shoves the boy off. Of course, as Vader goes and swims in his holocron loot, he doesn’t realize that Luke’s pulling an “Indy” and is hanging on to the front of the ‘crawler! Luke finally climbs back in and faces down the Darth once more… but Vader has an ace up his dark sleeve; the sandcrawler’s heading through Mos Eisley, and he knows Luke won’t allow innocent lives to get caught in the crossfire. So Luke manages to pull the machine to a stop… just as Vader goes and nabs all the holocrons and makes a run for it. Though Darth didn’t get off entirely easy, as he did get his cape caught and had to cut the thing short before he could get to his shuttle. And Luke turned out to be OK in the midst of the sandcrawler wreckage. Threepio, who nearly got creamed by the vehicle to start with, recognizes the sacrifice Luke made in giving up the holocrons to save him and others. Aw Luke I’m so proud of ya! And Han and the gang finally showed up… and found they missed all the action. Figures.
Obi-Wan and Yoda are proud of Luke as well, but they are definitely aware that they’re in all kinds of trouble with the holocrons in Imperial possession. “…They were our last hope.” “No… there is another… thing… we could do… if we felt like it… or not.” XD And that “thing” happens to involve an old friend… JEK-14! Whose peaceful siesta on Naboo is about to get interrupted. Yessss I have lots of questions now as to why he’s on Naboo, and whether he was there in the first place back in the last chapter. But when your Force-enriched arm starts talkin’, it’s time for the now older JEK to get a move on. Twenty years of retirement is long enough, buddy…! Luke’s about to get some help from an unexpected source 🙂
So yay I can’t get enough of these Lego Star Wars tales! Where they’ll go next, only time will tell, but it’ll be great when we get there! Until next blog…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight