Following The Freemakers: The Tower Of Alistan Nor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: Return Of The Kyber Saber

So with the second season just around the corner, I’d say it’s high time I got this post written. Today we shall do some digging into the marvelous first season finale of The Freemaker Adventures, Return Of The Kyber Saber! Let’s see if I can some good nerdy thoughts together for you today…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episode Empire Day, and basically the entire first season of The Freemaker Adventures

OK so one thing I’ve absolutely adored about TFA is the way they’ve so flawlessly weaved in elements and concepts that started in Rebels, one of those being the joyous celebration known as Empire Day! Y’know a really interesting thought just hit me about Empire Day… different planets probably have different calendars, so depending where you are, it might fall in the summer, or the winter, or whatever other seasons the world might have. It’s not a huge revelation I guess, but it’s just neat to think about. But clearly, as the capital of the galaxy, Coruscant is the place to be on E-Day! And if you happen to be the Emperor, it’s even better. I love how he tears open his presents like a little kid! Granted, he’s a rather ungrateful little kid but it’s still kind of charming in a weird way. Man I can’t imagine being in those Imperials’ shoes… what do you get the Emperor who literally has everything? I can see how easy it’d be to just default to “Galaxy’s Best Emperor” mugs to be safe. From what I gathered from Tarkin he seems to like fine decor, so maybe an artistic Nubian knickknack might suit him. Or maybe it’s just safer to go with a gift card. But then again, judging by how many Imps lined up with boxed gifts, he must prefer actual tangible gifts over credits. Plus, a handpicked gift is just sometimes more thoughtful, y’know? I’d say that those who’ve been in the Empire the longest probably have figured out how to shop for him, but Vader defaulted to the mug option too. With him, “it’s the thought that counts” doesn’t count. But in truth, the best Empire Day gifts don’t come from a store… they come from treachery, deception, and devious intent. Agent Naare is about to bring him a deadly superweapon on a silver platter — the long-lost Kyber Saber. Wouldn’t that be the brightest candle on the cake! XD Isn’t that’s an image? But in all seriousness you guys we’re all toast if the plan Rowan proposed last episode doesn’t pull through.
Another interesting revelation I’ve had recently is that Rowan has more than just one Force talent. I’ve always considered his connection to Kyber crystals one, but I think his ability to build is also unique gift from the Force. We watch him masterfully put the StarScavenger back together piece by piece. It might seem simple enough to those us who just see the ship as Lego parts, but it’s important to remember that their world is only portrayed as plastic. These characters and the galaxy they live in are as real to me as any other medium we’ve seen Star Wars in. The unfocused, accident-prone boy we met in the first episode has now perfectly reconstructed an entire ship in the course of a day or so. That’s the kind of amazing stuff the Force can do. Like seriously. Your mind’s gotta be blown by now, right?
“…is this who you really are? An evil Sith? Or are you just a misunderstood soul who’s never learned to love herself?” “Mmm… nope.” Yet we know that’s not true because no Star Wars villain is! With maybe the exception of Sidious but I don’t know all his story yet. Dangit, Naare has been such an awesome, fascinating character! Someone better put her in the canon right now and write books and comics on her right now! And maybe do an Anthology movie if they get the chance. She might be a villain but she’s among the most intriguing villains in the history of SW just because there’s so much we don’t know about her. I have my theories, of course, but I’m curious what the writers really have in mind. I don’t know if we’ll ever know her whole story but just wishful thinkin’. For now though, all we know is her darksider side, and that the Kyber Saber in her hands is a really really bad thing. Especially when she seems to like it a little too much. Y’know I find it interesting, knowing the way Sith and Sith-y sorts tend to be over power, that Naare never considered keeping it for herself before this. Partially I’m sure it was some loyalty to the Empire she serves, but I’m thinking that fear had a lot to do with it. Sidious and Vader pressured her beyond belief, and I wouldn’t doubt they probably used fear as a motivator more than once. So she had no time to consider what benefits she might reap from this, considering I imagine a fierce desire for power has fueled her darkness for a long time. But now that she holds the Saber… yeahh… Naare left Coruscant an Imperial agent, and she’s coming back Empress of the galaxy! Sidious really shoulda seen this coming.
Considering Empire Day is also Ezra Bridger’s birthday, it’s kind of adorable the Freemakers unknowingly take a cue from him in the first stage of their plan. To the sewers! Always a good idea! XD Least until a probe droid shows up. And a really big one I might add. Taller than Zander! Yikes. But with a solid wrench in hand, bro can handle it. Though it may take him a few showers to get rid of that particularly incredible smell…
Meanwhile Naare singlehandedly takes out two Imperial freighters and a handful of TIEs. Not to mention two whole Star Destroyers. Here’s another nerdy thought to chew on: the kyber crystals Jedi use in their lightsabers are tiny. They’re smaller than your thumbnail. The Kyber Saber is made entirely of these crystals. It’s about the length of a normal lightsaber, which I guess would be a few feet so… think about how many individual crystals that would be. Is that not an insane amount of power?! I mean, it might seem obvious since she’s already torn apart a whole moon but when you think about the science behind it… dang. Just… dang. Master Cantu clearly had no idea what kybers were truly capable of when he built that thing. It does make you wonder how he put it together from a canon perspective. Far as I can gather, you can’t just mine kybers like you mine spice; Jedi have to go through some challenging stuff to find just one! I’m thinking maybe Jedi didn’t have the same kind of connection to the crystals at that point in history. Perhaps all Cantu knew was that the crystal and the Force had a connection somehow, and that he could find a way to channel his own Force through that. So making a blade of the crystals was a logical method. Post his realization that such a large amount was deadly, he probably spent a lot of time figuring out what worked and what didn’t work with them, and perhaps, eventually, made a blade that channeled a beam of energy from the crystals instead. I don’t know how much they figured out with the Story Group’s help in making it half-way-sorta-canon, but it’s a reasonable assumption. Anyway, on to other areas of nerdiness.
So far the Freemaker kids are owning it today! Rowan gave me all kinds of warm fuzzies using the Force to save Zander from a perilous fall, and Kordi just don’t got time for bucketheads today and puts them in chains without wasting a second. But the final phase of the plan might be more challenging than all they’ve faced in the sewers combined. Rowan, in dark cloak with the Emperor’s officially-licensed voice changer in hand, has to play a convincing Palpatine to get the Kyber Saber in his hands. And at this point we all know that unless something changes… yep we are alllllll toast. The writing’s still solid tho! Never saw this turn coming! Though you’d think Rowan and family might’ve suspected something when Palpatine made a run for it. (Hey, better a living chicken than a dead Tarkin!) R0-GR’s head finally made it back to the Freemakers, but unfortunately a little too late. Oh, and random note: Rowan muttering “bored bored bored…” while spinning in the Emperor’s throne is 110% relatable XD Anyway, boy do things get real when Naare shows up. #Understatement SHE IS TERRIFYING YOU GUYS. SIDIOUS YOU SHOULD’VE GONE AND GOTTEN THE STUPID BLADE YOURSELF BECAUSE NOW LOOK WHAT HORROR YOU’VE UNLEASHED!! She is happy to kill her former apprentice if she can’t kill her former master, and also she basically uses one hand and the Force and downs two AT-ATs. I’ll theorize right now that possessing the Kyber Saber also enhances one’s use of the Force as well as channeling it through the blade, so Naare can do stuff that I’m not sure even the most powerful Forcewielder could alone. With the Saber in hand, she’s crowned herself Empress and no one’s gonna deny her and live. I shudder to think what might’ve happened if she’d actually stayed Empress. Of course, it wouldn’tve been much better if Palpatine had obtained the blade so either way this is a nightmare scenario come true. Everything has fallen apart, but Rowan isn’t done, not for a second. (“You have more lives than a lothcat!” got a big grin out of me) He picks himself out of the rubble and calls the kyber crystals back, putting the ultimate power in his grip instead. It’s pretty awe-inspiring. Rowan uses the blade to build walls, every time he turns around though, Naare cuts them down with her own ‘saber. For a moment, Rowan questions why he doesn’t just use the Kyber Saber as the weapon Naare wants it to be used as. He sounds so angry, so destroyed inside, recalling all the pain this monster in front of him has put his family through. He actually starts to drown her in the scrap around them, which I startlingly realized reminded me of how Naare nearly killed JEK-14. This image is both frightening and beautiful somehow. I’ve always loved the dichotomy of light and dark in the Star Wars mythos, and they’ve done an incredible job portraying these ideas and concepts in the series as we’ve witnessed many different shades of the Force between this innocent young boy who wished to be a Jedi and this malicious half-human woman who desires to be a Sith. Seeing Rowan wrestle briefly with the dark side is a really pivotal image and both fascinates me and wrecks me simultaneously. But as the Emperor looks on approvingly… Rowan realizes that this isn’t him. He is not a Sith, he is a Freemaker. And so, he ends the fight by jumping back aboard the StarScavenger, taking the ancient blade with him. I cheered you guys, it’s impossible not to. When TIEs give chase, the fam brings out their wild card (which I just realized would be an awesome ship name), the brand new Blazemaker. With a fake Saber in one hand and the Blazemaker’s controls in the other, Zander gives the Imps the slip real good. And may I just say the completed Blaze is one not-so-ugly “ugly”! It’s easy to understand now why he’s been passionate for this spacecraft of his, it’s gorgeous and it gets the job done! I think he oughta name it the Wild Card, don’t you? Unless of course the Blazemaker is its actual name and not the model. I get so confused sometimes. With the Imperials no longer in pursuit, Rowan masterfully uses the Force and the power of the Kyber Saber to beautifully reconstruct the Starscavenger into a totally different ship that the Empire will no longer recognize. It’s just astonishing what this amazing kid can do. Seriously. I’m just floored right now. And this is the fourth time I’ve watched this episode to date. Kordi’s proud sisterly smile matches my own :3
So I’m thinking the Emperor might appreciate his mugs right now, ’cause after a day like today, he’s gonna need a lot of kaffe. As for Naare, well, her comeuppance was genius. I didn’t really want her to die, but I knew she was a little too far past being redeemed, so making her a decorative piece for Graballa’s place was the perfect option. I did wonder a bit how it was they got her into carbonfreeze in the first place, since even cuffed she could do a lot of damage. I’m gonna theorize one of the Hutt’s men drugged her so she wouldn’t have the focus to use the Force. But yes, well played, Graballa. Now Naare’s got nothing but time to think. Unless you can’t really think much when you’re in carbonfreeze. I’m not really sure what the canon says on the matter but either way, the end of her chapter (for now) was quite appropriate.
Rowan ultimately decides that the day of the Kyber Saber’s return should also be its end, and sends the majestic weapon into the lava rivers of Sullust. (How cool is it we get to see Sullust tho?! I was hyped and I haven’t even played Battlefront yet!) Also important, Roger got put back together again. I spent a lot of time wondering where they found the extra parts or if they had extra parts to start with, but then I remembered “oh yeah the fam probably remembered to take that with them before they left The Wheel”. I couldn’t shake the thought it’dve been hilarious if they couldn’t find him battle droid parts so they put his head on a protocol’s body instead, buuuuut I think Roger’s happier this way 🙂 Anyway, the Freemakers aren’t sure where they go from here now that they’ve gone from scavengers to wanted criminals, but they get their answer from the timely arrival of a Rebel Alliance fleet. The Rebs have heard about what Rowan did, and they want him and his family to join them. Dude I got so distracted while I was writing this just looking at all the ships in the fleet. I kept searching for familiar ships, hoping I might spot the Ghost or the Gauntlet or something. At one point I mistook an A-wing for a TIE Defender and I was all “Wow how’d they get ahold of one of those things?!” XD But man oh man this ending… I’ve got a good feeling about this. The best feeling in the world, actually, as we watch Rowan, Kordi, Zander, and Roger enter a new chapter with the Rebel Alliance 😀
SO MANY FEELS OMG. I’m so glad this post turned out well, despite it was a long time coming. I can’t wait to see what awaits this beautiful family next! And for sure this time I’ll make sure these future posts come out with as few interruptions as possible. Anyway, thanks so much for reading 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight