Uncovering The Lost Storyreels: On The Wings Of Keeradaks

All right friends it’s time for another exciting commentary on the Bad Batch storyreels! Hold on tight ’cause we’re about to take a ride On The Wings Of Keeradaks! And yes I just did that whole meshing-the-episode-name-with-my-opening-line thing again even after I said I wouldn’t do it again. But you gotta admit that was a pretty good one, right? No? OK then…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from the Clone Wars microseries, TCW episodes Rookies, Arc Troopers, The Bad Batch, A Distant Echo, and On The Wings Of Keeradaks (storyreels)

On The Wings Of Keeradaks Phototitle

So the good news is, Rex, Anakin, and the Bad Batch found Echo. Not in the greatest shape, but still alive. The bad news is they’re surrounded at all ends by a gaggle of Wat Tambor’s Swiss Army battle droids and Echo’s hooked up to quite a few gadgets and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon unless Tech and Rex can get him out of there. But you know the Bad Batch… pummeling battle droids is rather a hobby for them. A new bunch of droids attempts to enter through another door, but they don’t do so well ’cause that’s when Wrecker rips the lead clanker’s head off. And with that, Hunter and Crosshair start welding the door shut. Despite all that excellent droid-pwning, they still can’t move until Echo is freed, and Tech’s still trying to crack that code. Knowing that out heroes have nowhere to go, Tambor finds this a wonderful opportunity to bring in his ORGANIC DECIMATOR, which automatically sounds terrifying, before giving General Skywalker a call. Tambor used the Techo Union’s so-called neutrality as an excuse, claiming also that Echo was their purchased-from-the-Seps property as their own personal lab [womp]rat. Yeahhh Anakin does not agree too much. But an evil-scientist-villain-type such as himself knows how to make people listen, see the ORGANIC DECIMATOR (it’s so bad I can’t not refer to it in all caps). Anakin definitely don’t agree when the droids bring in an innocent Poletec to showcase the Decimator’s abilities, but you know Tambor, he only cares about his tech and his cash. I don’t think anyone out there didn’t cringe when he vaporized that poor guy. We always talk about the giant impressive war weapons in SW, you know, the Death Star, AT-ATs, the Malevolence, stuff like that. But somehow this small probe-looking device is in some ways more terrifying. Just the fact that it can single out organics, as in human (and humanoid) beings and all other living things, and literally disintegrate them is flat-out horrifying. *Sigh* these guys probably have the brains to cure cancer and all they do is sit around and find new ways to kill people. Do we even need to bring up the Nelvaan-mutating in the Clone Wars microseries? Ugh. I almost don’t blame Anakin for choking that one guy later on. And now I’ve gone and let my mind wander off again. So yeah this is bad… with a bazillion new battle droids on their way, a device that can fry anyone in its path, and Echo still stuck, they’re running out of time that they desperately need. And did I mention that the Decimator has a laser and can carve its way through the door? AW DANGGG. But somehow Tech pulls off a miracle and he finally sets Echo free of his tubes and wires. Now alert and coherent again, Echo quips on having a bit of a headache. Rex and Echo are palling around again! Yes all is right in the world once more! OK sorta… they’re still on the run from Wat Tambor and his crazy killing machines. However, Echo happens to know about an exhaust vent that the other guys didn’t know about and is able to pop it open with his new computer-controlling skills. Then Wrecker works his magic and tosses the bros to their upward exit, all except for Anakin, who can manage the jump on his own. But then Wrecker decides to hang around downstairs a bit and leave a few gifts (read: thermal detonators) JUST AS THE ORGANIC DECIMATOR COMES THROUGH THE DOOR!! Anakin uses the Force to bring the bro into the vent, and I gotta tell ya that was one of the most nail-biting moments ever, period. I was so afraid that Wrecker would join the ranks of clones like Hevy and 99 and would end up dying a hero. Dude I love these Bad Batch guys so much I don’t think my heart could’ve taken it if any of them died that fast. But Anakin got him to safety and the vent shut just in time and I could not be more grateful. Yeahhh Tambor was not happy when he found they’d somehow vamoosed… he was even less happy when he found all of Wrecker’s “gifts”. “Orders, sir?” *SHOVE* XD Yeah I’ve never heard him more emotional than when he walked through the carnage going “MY MACHINES! MY BEAUTIFUL MACHINES!” aw poor guy… I almost feel bad for him, but he made all those said machines that kept Echo prisoner and killed a guy sooo… yeah not really.
As our heroes were making their way through the ventilation system, they learned from Echo that he’s been able to gain knowledge of basically everything in the building since he’s been stuck here. He also knows of a way to a landing pad that would hopefully have ship on it… problem is, the only way over there is on a long, skinny pipe that really wasn’t intended for people to walk on that also happens to be towering some billion feet of the ground. Wrecker’s definitely gonna have a “problem with gravity” now… though his show of honesty and humanity with the line “I think I’m gonna be sick…” got a chuckle out of me XD I apologize if I sound like a terrible person because of that. But then there’s a new problem — droids coming at them from the right! And before they can try going back, there’s droids coming at them from the left! Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Crosshair slips off and Wrecker has to grab him, which basically leaves them both hanging upside down and completely useless in this situation. Tech and Anakin knock off a few of the droids, but it won’t work for long. Tech then has a moment of genius and calls back a recording of the keeradaks’ distress call (while I know he recorded it from the mission, I could see him carrying around a Skako Minor wildlife field guide with him XD ), and shortly thereafter arrive the creatures, like Gandalf calling the eagles! They all make some precarious, but magnificent jumps onto their flying steeds and it looks like they’re in the clear. But what they didn’t call for was the fact that these Swiss Army droids can sprout wings and fly. These clankers have everything… and I’m sure the kitchen sink! Thankfully, flying battle droids still blow up like normal battle droids, and our heroes make it outta that soup quickly. Echo is definitely lovin’ getting back to his old job!
General Skywalker and the clones arrive back in the Poletec’s neck of the woods, letting them know that there’s still trouble coming their way, and that trouble is named “Wat Tambor”. The Poletecan leader’s not too happy that they’ve led the war to his hometown, but he definitely listens when Rex and Tech show him what the Seps did to Echo. The war’s not fun and it’s understandable why some don’t want to get involved, but sometimes you just gotta fight for what’s right. And that’s exactly what these guys decide to do. Good thing, since the Technos are bringin’ the heat… and quite a number of droids. But I’d say that our heroes, along with the Poletecs, are completely capable of bringin’ their own kinda heat 🙂 Rockslides, daggers flying, Hunter knifing them to pieces… Wrecker actually grabs a droid and uses it to bash the others! And the Poletecs don’t need fancy gadgets to kick a supreme amount of tail 🙂 It’s not always easy, especially when they bring out some bigger clankers (and I do mean big), but the two crews make quick work of the Techies’ team and send ’em running! (OK sorry for cutting all that action short but my blogging skills are an epic fail right now for whatever reason) But woot! Everyone’s celebrating! All except, of course, Tambor, who’s not thrilled over losing his test subject, but let’s be honest he’s not done here… not for a minute. And it’s definitely worth celebrating seeing Echo back where he belongs — free and amongst his awesome brothers once more! YAYYYYY 😀
So that was fun. Forgive the scatteredness of this one… sometimes SW is so awesome it’s hard to find all the words to describe it! And sometimes I just have an off day in my writing. Either way, hope you got something out of this mess! Next week we’ll finish up with the epic finale!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Uncovering The Lost Storyreels: A Distant Echo

Yes I’m back to the digging into the Bad Batch arc! Much yays! I’m so excited I think I’m just gonna cut the usual chatter and get right to bloggin’ as the search for Echo begins! And remember: I will do my very best to write this, but this episode’s unfinished format may make it hard for me to recognize places, character expressions, etc. Admittedly the last one turned out pretty good but you never know… andddd I’m chattering again.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from TCW episodes Rookies, Clone Cadets, Counterattack, Orders, The Bad Batch, and A Distant Echo (storyreels)

So Captain Rex and our Bad Batch bros originally set out to find a strategy algorithm, and in the process, have found the assumptively long-gone Echo. OK they haven’t technically found him yet but they found a live signal but that’s something, right?? I mean… it would make him the only surviving member of the Domino Squad. And thinking about that got me a little teary. I mean, when the whole “Echo lives” message came out I hadn’t yet seen The Citadel storyarc and I hadn’t watched Clone Cadets or Rookies in a long while sooo yeah my troopers were a little blurred (you have full right to hit me with a brick, fanboys and fangirls, though in my defense it was 2013 and much to learn I still had). But man oh man now… I couldn’t help but be excited for Echo’s hopeful return! But I’m getting ahead of myself. So the mission was set; Rex, along with the Bad Batchers and General Skywalker, were off to follow the trail that would hopefully lead to Echo. Though apparently the mission wasn’t exactly… well, OK’d by the Jedi Council. Obi-Wan steps in and makes that point very clear. Hunter wisely decides to not get involved and wait on the ship XD Obi-Wan doesn’t quite get why Rex would pull an “Anakin” and disregard authority for the sake of some wild bantha chase. The Captain points out that Echo is still in possession of the algorithm, so technically it’s not just about saving his friend. But dude I just love so much seeing the incredible dedication and bond these troopers have… they’re far from just armored yes-men, they’re thinking, feeling human beings with strong hearts… but you knew that right? 🙂 *Starts crying from a sudden rush of feels* Aw nuts I’m totally off-topic again aren’t I? Anyway, Anakin assures his former master that the mission won’t take long and the Council won’t even know they left. And thus Obi-Wan admits defeat and walks off, leaving them with a genuine “May the Force be with you”. Looks like the game’s still on!
As they were boarding the Batch’s ship, Anakin couldn’t help but notice the nose art… which happened to be of Padme. I remember seeing that concept art on tumblr and thinking “Um does Anakin know about this…??”. Apparently he didn’t until now. Yeah the Batchers happen to be Senator Amidala fans… “She can negotiate with me anytime!” pfff that Wrecker XD Rex picks up on the awkwardness really fast and decides to keep moving. And Anakin… yeah I don’t think he liked it. I’m sorry this moment was just too funny XD
Elsewhere, Wat Tambor and one of his Techno Union friends are doing whatever when Admiral Trench gives them a call. The Admiral warns them that a handful of clones are comin’ their way, and Tambor’s all “no worries bro we go this”. Ah yes those crazy Techno bros… fun to see them again! But seriously they’re probably up to no good…
As our heroes were nearing the temp yellow planet… er… Skako Minor, we find them preparing for the mission ahead. Though quick note… it’s Tech who’s flying the ship this time. Sooo was it him who did all that crazy driving in the first part? I’d totally pegged that for Wrecker. Of course, right now Wrecker’s using a GOM droid as a dumbbell while eating what looks like a turkey leg XD Maybe that first fly-in was off just because Tech or whoever wasn’t used to gunship controls. Maybe Wrecker pressed a button he shouldn’tve pressed. Maybe the rest of the Bad Batch dared Tech to make an entrance. Who knows? But yes I can’t tell you how much I’d love to see more of these guys! So much so the other night I dreamed they made action figures of them and I was fangirling my head off X3 Anyway, regardless of Tech’s driving skills, the rough terrain and stormy skies of Skako seem to spell another crazy landing for our crew. Though actually things go rather well in the end… evidently Crosshair slept through the landing! Anything close to a crazy landing is NBD for that dude. Actually, I’m not sure anything is really a BD for him. But anyway, before heading out on the surface, Rex and Tech give the crew some pointers on the locals — a native race called Poltecs who happen to worship flying reptiles. And speak of the devil a giant reptile lands on the ship. Oh joy! As our heroes vamoose the ship, however, they find that this beast has a rider. But they don’t have a lot of time to talk over tea because then more of these lizards show up — also with Poltec riders. And one goes and snatches the general, leaving the lightsaber behind. But doing the awesome the do, Tech calculates the distance, Crosshair shoots the grappling hook, and Hunter holds on for the ride! Yeah the music gets really really fun here as Hunter hangs on to the rope with one hand and aims at the kidnapper with the other. And all this while other riders fly in pursuit behind them. But it seems these critters know how to deals with hitchhikers and snap back that rope so Hunter loses his blaster. He finally cuts loose as they come upon a cliff, a cliff, which he finds branches right over the Poltecs’ home, and now the rest of the troopers can meet up with him.
So Anakin was having a lovely conversation with the Poltec leader who’d nabbed him… OK not really their language is probably one of the most confusing and unusual I’ve ever heard leave the mouth of a SW character (when Tech does it later, he sounds like he’s speaking backwards). Anakin would rather’d the dude just got the keeradak’s foot off him. Thankfully, it’s not too much longer before Rex and the Bad Batch make another entrance, with a rockslide and blasters blazing and well-aimed electrical dart to the keeradak’s leg. After all the scuffle quiets down, they finally get a chance to talk, with Tech translating with a supercool instant translator device in his helmet. Who needs protocol droids when you’ve got him 🙂 *Threepio shoots me a look* Anyway, they find that the Poltecs just don’t want the war here (hence the kidnapping). But once Tech explains it was Wat Tambor and his Seppies who’re to blame, and that one of their men is believed to be held hostage, the Poltec leader is cool with sending a few of his guys to help them. Dude everyone needs one of those instant translators; Google Translate doesn’t count 😛
The Poltec scouts lead our team to a cliffside overlooking Tambor’s city. Anakin’s all “hope no one’s afraid of heights” and then everyone turns their eyes to Wrecker. He calls it “a problem with gravity”… sure bro XD But it’s about then when Tech suddenly loses Echo’s signal. Could be a bug with his device, could be interference… or could be a trap, as Hunter suggests. Rex understands that, but he urges them on at least to grab that algorithm. Then Crosshair happens to unhelpingly mention that Echo might not be alive… and if he is, he could be a traitor. OH NO HE DIN’T. Rex barks at him for even suggesting such a thing. Crosshair, again, throws out some ‘tude and is all “well if I were left for dead I wouldn’t be so loyal” and that was it. Rex had no problem slamming his fist into Crosshair’s skinny head. Wrecker then picks the Captain up by the armor and throws him. Rex and Wrecker have a bit of a staredown, but before either one could make the first move, Anakin steps in between them and stops the fight, sending Hunter and the Batch to further scout around while he has a talk with the good Captain. Yeesh tensions are running high a lot lately, huh? “CROSSHAIR STARTED IT!” “I DON’T CARE WHO STARTED IT!”. Even with the helmet on, you can see that Rex kinda feels bad for going all crazy like that, no better than Jesse and Crosshair the other day. Anakin tells him he hasn’t let the possibility that Echo might’ve gone rogue slip his mind. Rex is certain that Echo would sooner die than go against the Republic, but he’s willing to do what he must if for some reason it’s not the case… as long as he’s the one doing it, not the Bad Batch. Can I just say again how awesome Rex is? OK so I’m not endorsing the fact he got into a fight (though *coughCrosshairDeservedItcough*), but it shows just how deep his loyalty goes. No one talks smack about one of his bros! Not even one of his other [uniquely-mutated] bros.
As for the “bad boys”, they found themselves lead by Echo’s returned signal on Tambor’s front door, Tech working to get in and the rest of the guys standing guard. Anakin and Rex rejoin them shortly. Tech is completely and utterly focused on getting that door opened… he doesn’t say a word to his superiors, just keeps typing. And just like that, boom! It is open! Tech is boss 🙂 It seems Wrecker isn’t thrilled about the tower’s height though… “Don’t worry Wrecker… I’ll hold your hand!” pfff I love watching these guys pal around like they do 😀 But there are more things to be worried about here than just the height… they open the turbolift doors and find a whole gaggle of Swiss army knife-esque battle droids with zillions of extra attachments. Oh wait did I say worried? Nope not Wrecker. Guy ran in yelling with his blaster held high! He’s in his zone! So much for stealth. The Bad Batch makes quick work of these little guys. Extra arms do not a better battle droid make. And Wrecker ends it all carrying on like a football fan whose favorite team just won the Super Bowl XD Everyone else just kinda stares. C’mon guys, we all have moments where we want to do like Wrecker and whoop and holler like no one’s watching! OK so anyway somehow our heroes still haven’t garnered any attention, and they’re back on the move. But problem… they’ve lost the signal again. Tech believes now it has to do with whether or not Echo’s sending any information, and at the moment, he’s not. So General Skywalker sends them to every door and every nook and cranny. Anakin’s the first to find something… in this case another run-in with a couple of these newfangled Swiss army droids, and they’re a little harder to handle alone. While that cray was happening the signal came back and led the Tech, Hunter, Rex, and Wrecker to a door that Echo surely must be behind! Anakin’s still caught up in lightsabering droids, though… they just keep on coming and coming and coming! Just when one was about to sneak up on him from behind, Anakin turns around and sees Crosshair, a blaster, and an example of the bro’s epic aim. That droid is totally out of commission 🙂
Before Tech could even touch the door, a message comes through from Wat Tambor himself. Totally monologueing on how predictable clones are and how the algorithm nailed their every move and how awesome he is (that last part’s not obviously stated but you know he’s thinking it) and stuff like that. And then throws in even more of those Swiss army droids! But with Anakin and Crosshair rejoining the crew, the floor is quickly covered in metal carnage. But then more of these droids start coming, like ants to a picnic factory! The rest of the team covers for Tech as he finally gets a chance to crack open that door. It doesn’t take long, and it takes even less time for Tech and Rex to dart inside. What they find is a control panel, and what appears to be some sort of stasis chamber. Tech is able to get it open, and what lies inside isn’t too pretty… Echo, pale and skinny, wired and hooked up to all sorts of who-knows-what, wearing a pair of robotic legs, and in a complete daze. It makes me want to cry man… I’m so glad Echo’s alive, but this is the last place I expected to see him. I get the feeling Rex agrees with me as he looks on his absolute shock. While Tech works to figure out how to unhook him, Rex tries to talk to his old friend. Poor Echo seems to not be fully aware of where is, but when he knows his Captain when he sees him. Even in the midst of this terrifying situation, I can’t fight the tears as Rex tells this brave former arc trooper “…we’re going home”.
And yup there it is, one of the most cliffhangery cliffhangers ever!! My heart just breaks for Echo soooo muchhh… and just WOW, this entire episode! Definitely looking forward to writing about what happens next!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

SW Summer Reads – Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth

If you’re wondering why there hasn’t been a blog in a while… I suppose you can blame it on all these crazy SW-related happenings happening on a day-to-day basis. Between rewatching TCW episodes I haven’t seen in forever, finally seeing The Ewok Adventures movies, and all this crazy exciting new SW news in general (including a rumored Clone Wars Soundtrack… aw yeahhhh!), it’s been difficult to figure exactly what to blog about! And by the time I finally got to rereading the book I’m blogging about, writing notes about it, and getting all prepped to make a post, I just had to catch a cold! 😦 Sigh… such is life oftentimes, but now at last I’ve got my creativity regained (I usually lose some of it when I get the sniffles and have to wait until I’m well again to get it back; To make it clearer, I stink at writing and drawing when I’m sick) and everything ready to make a fantastic new blog!
So, to explain this new series of posts I’m calling Star Wars Summer Reads…
As a SW fan, I love reading SW stories. Love ’em. After I finally got acquainted with the Prequel Trilogy in 2011, I was excited to read some SW fiction for realsies, because after all, watching Episode I alone helped me understand and have a greater appreciation for the Originals. But well, there’s something rather intimidating about the section of Timothy Zahn novels at my library… I didn’t know where to begin! To me personally, I prefer SW stories that involve the characters I’m familiar with in timelines I’m familiar with, that mainly feature the good guys and keep them good guys (I’ll be honest, folks, there’s small chance I’ll ever read Dark Empire), and are legit Star Wars without being confusing (as I am still a Padawan SW fan). So I found the best place for me to start was in my library’s children’s section. Not saying I’ll never read the “grown-up” SW novels (especially considering that I really want to meet this Mara Jade I’ve heard so much about), but for now, this is where my comfort zone lies. Anyway, my library have two shelves of just their SW young readers’ fiction… and I just ate. it. up! That day, a few weeks past seeing Episode I, I grabbed ahold of Grievous Attacks (a novelization of TCW Season 1 episodes Rookies, The “Droid” 2-Parter, and Lair of Grievous) and Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth. Since then, I have enjoyed three particular series: Jude Watson’s Jedi Quest, Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince, and Ryder Windham’s The Clone Wars: Secret Missions. I thought it’d be fun to give you guys a Closer Look and my thoughts on each series’ first book. So now if you haven’t read them, you can read them and then read the following blogs and enjoy my random ramblings and spazzings on each. I’ll eventually get to the other chapters in each series, but until then, you can enjoy the ride! I’m writing a Closer Look on each of these books in chronological order of its happening in the SW galaxy, so it makes sense to start off with the series that meets in between Episodes I and II. Now, making the jump to LIGHT READ!
Ugh that was terrible… I’m sorry… (HyperCollinsSpace?) AGAIN. I’m SORRY. I’ve got too many SW reading puns… just you wait until Star Wars Reads Day! If you’re not annoyed now, you will be… 😛
Grievous Attacks was the first SW book I ever read, (I hadn’t really seen much of TCW at the time but I knew enough to feel comfortable reading it) but as for Jedi Quest… that was the first SW fiction I ever read! Rereading this past week has been fun, especially considering I barely remembered what happened in it. Bottom line, when I first read Jedi Quest, it was right around a difficult couple of days in my life and I barely remembered the book itself. Plus, it’s been over two years, so it was overdue for a reread anywayz.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth, and various TCW Episodes Blue Shadow Virus, Deception, The Gathering (and the episodes that follow), Revenge, and The Lawless.
Cover Art of Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth
Jedi Quest: The Path To Truth, is written by the awesome Jude Watson and is the kickstarter for her Jedi Quest series. The Path To Truth is sort of the #0, as it precedes the events of the following series and can be read separately from the rest of the series, so it’s simply referred to as Jedi Quest on the cover. Just don’t want us get confused when I do my next blog on the actual series’ first chapter. Upon rereading this book, I was shocked that I had forgotten so much of this story’s intense fights, daring escapes, and raw emotions! At the time I’d first read it, I had only just seen Episode I, so it was a perfect bridge to seeing Episode II several months later. Ms. Watson has some serious skills when it comes to writing; the way she gets into the minds of Obi-Wan and Anakin is astounding… so if you haven’t read this yet, go and read it! It’s nothing new (in fact, it was written a year prior to Episode II’s release, 2001), so you shouldn’t have too much trouble digging it out of your library. But still, it’s so so worthwhile!
The story opens in a pretty planet-shaking flashback of a younger Anakin on what began as a perfect day on Tatooine. Perfect weather, no work, and a picnic with a friend… what could possibly go wrong, right?? Well, as any SW fan knows, peace and perfection will often be interrupted by something like war, battles, bounty hunters, explosions, etc… in this case, it was a very sad thing as Anakin’s community was hit by a slave trader named Krayn (using the term “slave trader” loosely here; the guy’s horrible! But you knew that). My heart breaks for dear little Anakin as he sees his friend lose a parent and his mom in mortal fear. Poor kid… it’s hard to ignore what exactly shaped his life. Give us about six years later, and the tides have shifted; Anakin’s a Jedi Padawan and he’s helping Obi-Wan drive through… Illum, of all places. It’s funny to think that Anakin’s only twelve and may I repeat HE’S DRIVING?! Not all the way of course, but dang. How must it feel for Obi-Wan here to admit that his very young apprentice can drive better than he can? XD
It’s like poetry reading what Ms. Watson wrote from Master Kenobi’s point of view. You see this side of Obi-Wan that we don’t see a whole lot; a more vulnerable, caring side. Not that he doesn’t ever come off as such (Anakin to Obi-Wan: “How can you be so calm?!” “I’m not; I just hide it better” – TCW Season 1 episode Blue Shadow Virus), but as my theory still states, a part of him is trying to be a “perfect Jedi” after all of the mistakes he’s made in his youth and his standing as the likely youngest Jedi to have a Padawan, so of course he sticks to his “focused Jedi” guns. This book, and the other Jedi Quest books to follow, give us a lot of time to see into this awesome guy’s heart and soul. And being a huge fan of Obi-Wan, it’s TOO MUCH AWESOME!! X3 It’s really something seeing the way these two work together, especially as what started out as a lightsaber-building excursion became an intense near-death fight with a herd of vicious gorogodons (don’t you just love when stuff like this happens?! 😛 )! I think to call the battle “nail-biting” would be the understatement of the century (I don’t know how it is but I spent a whole lot of reading this book crying, gasping, and spazzing); I mean, Anakin was knocked off his feet for a long enough time for us to figure that Obi-Wan, who was already in over his head, was a goner. And then, sweet victory, Anakin makes his move at just the right moment and they both lived! Gosh, that was scary! OK OK we’re moving on from all that drama. Can you believe that it’s only been a couple chapters at this point??
So as you know, this is how Anakin made his lightsaber. It’s always interesting to note how many different ways I’ve seen lightsabers made… some make ’em hands-free (Barris Offee in the Clone Wars miniseries), some make them with friends and a cool droid (the younglings in TCW Season 5), and some just buy a SW Science Lightsaber kit from Toys R Us (that’d be me) 🙂
My guess is that methods changed after the Clone Wars started so they could get it done faster, but IDK. This method is one I’m not entirely crazy about… it’s a pretty frightening, rattling experience from what this book exposes (and btw, this was one of the first ideas about this, as Illum and the lightsaber-making process are never seen in the movies). I never said it was easy, but this whole “shadows and visions” thing… that makes it a smidge harder. This particular chapter in the book was one of the hardest to read as it hits really hard emotionally, but its being deeply emotional is one of the things that make it such a great chapter despite its sadness. Obi-Wan’s vision is so heart-wrenching to read… this is one of those parts I really teared up reading. His vision was a repeat of Qui-Gon’s death. Ouch. No Maul involved, just the feeling of helplessness as Obi-Wan once again can’t do anything to help his dear master. And the vision repeats itself until it brings Obi-Wan to his knees in tears (you read that right: tears), even more so as the vision has some sort of message in it that our awesome Jedi can’t decipher. Exposing this side of Master Kenobi, like I said before, is one of the best things about the Jedi Quest series. But boy, is it hard to not get caught up in the emotion of the moment.
On the other hand, Anakin had two disturbing visions: one involving his mom getting kicked around by Krayn and another where he faced… Darth Maul. Obviously, the first vision is both heartbreaking and infuriating as images Anakin had tried to forget resurface in his mind, and young Skywalker takes it about as well as he um… usually does when someone hurts someone he loves (which isn’t very good, and especially not the case when he’s a Padawan). And while I could ponder on this vision and Obi-Wan’s for weeks and still wonder about their affect on the duo’s lives, the second one really deserves some conversation. When I read this first time around, the whole “Darth Maul returns” TCW episodes hadn’t aired yet; in fact, it was entirely unknown to me at the time. So the fact that Maul is not only challenging Anakin, but he’s doing a lot of talking, is absolutely surreal. I was all “When did Maul get so chatty??” Looking back, I’m quite shocked how accurate his dialogue is as compared to say, Maul’s disgusting taunting of Obi-Wan back on TCW Season 5’s The Lawless. And back when this book was written, it was still assumed that Maul was dead. Maul’s going on and on about how awesome Anakin would be in the Dark Side, and somehow Anakin managed to win this battle… for now, as Maul makes it clear that the little dark part of Anakin will always be there. Yikes. It’s certainly not the last future-foretelling vision Anakin would have, but it doesn’t make it any less of a harsh reminder. Creepier still, the lightsaber Anakin made seemed to be a gift from our Dathymir friend, just Anakin got a blue blade instead of the red one that Maul offered up in the vision. Again, yikes… how it is that Obi-Wan and Anakin just walked out of the Crystal Cave like nothing happened?! I guess the fact that they had themselves called for a mission before they even left the Cave.
It’d be worthwhile to take a minute and mention something I’d thought about as the duo gets their mission from the Council. Man, the reputation these guys must have around the Jedi Temple! Anakin being mostly distrusted and doubted and Obi-Wan being so young and all… the briefing went well in the long run, but it wasn’t without some serious awkwardness. Of course, that’s what comes from the fact that this mission involves one of Anakin’s least favorite people, Krayn. Obi-Wan sorta thought for ten seconds that maybe his Padawan wasn’t the one for the job, Anakin totes didn’t agree (that awkward moment when a Jedi Padawan speaks up entirely out-of-turn in the Jedi Council; see also Ahsoka Tano) and Obi-Wan had to backtrack his thoughts and try to pretend he didn’t say that. Boy, that’s a sour way to kickstart a mission. That and having to ride in a lovely, cramped, boxy Collicoid ship. Sounds like a lot of fun, right? Don’t worry, it gets better. So, the ride begins and Obi-Wan has to take some time to reassure Anakin that he still trusts his abilities. You see through Obi-Wan’s thought process that it truly isn’t easy being a Jedi Master, nor is it easy living up Qui-Gon’s legacy. But the obvious (dare I say it) love he has for Anakin and for Qui-Gon is a constant motivator despite the difficulties.
We also learn a few intriguing things from Master Kenobi… a) he was once temporarily suspended from the Jedi Order at 13 (WHUT?!), b) Qui-Gon had a Padawan prior to him, Xanatos, who turned to the Dark Side, and c) An old Jedi friend of Obi-Wan’s has switched sides and is working for Krayn. I still don’t know all the deets on the first two, but the third one we’ll get into soon. Because thennnn Krayn ended up attacking the ship. You know how they say “be careful what you wish for”? Anakin’s learned the meaning of that one, big-time. Thankfully, the genius mind of Obi-Wan’s and the exceptional abilities of Anakin are on it. This is where the fun begins…
It would’ve been a much shorter, less complicated mission if Anakin hadn’t decided to go face Krayn… but I suppose it would’ve been a much shorter book then, too. Whyyyy do Padawans do this?? They just go off thinking they can fight anybody and then they get into trouble and their Master has to get them out of it! Of course, it’s not worth complaining about, but I was certainly ranting that right after Anakin did as such.
The trouble wasn’t Krayn this time, it was a girl named Zora. Obi-Wan knew her better as Siri; Adi Gallia’s Padawan and one of his best friends. She kidnaps Anakin, Obi-Wan outs her for leaving the Jedi Order, Siri fires back her distaste for the Jedi, and Anakin’s all “Master, could you just reprimand her over the internet and, I don’t know, consider SAVING ME?!”. #Awkward
So when one misplaces their Padawan and starts suspecting the Collicoids, it’s best to dig up some info, and Obi-Wan is especially good at digging up info. Somehow, he does a lot of it at eateries. We all know about Dex’s Diner in Episode II, but prior to that, he stopped at Didi and Astri’s Café. I love how Obi-Wan has so many awesome friends here and there and everywhere. We get the chance to meet Didi, a guy who initiated an unexpected mission for Qui-Gon a while back (uh yes, he is a guy despite the name), and his daughter Astri. What could be a better combo? Good food, good friends, and some good information delivered on the side 🙂 Oh, and free hugs! You’ll need ’em if the tip from your friend takes you to the seedy Coruscant underworld.
So getting back to that whole “Zora/Siri” thing… Obi-Wan, after some thought, believes now that she wouldn’tve abandoned the Jedi, and the Council proves his assumption to be true. Siri was indeed part of a mission spying on Krayn by masquerading as a pirate. Remember that Obi-Wan/Rako Hardeen craziness back in TCW Season 4? I get why the Jedi do things like this, but these are both situations when faking your death or pretending to go rogue don’t sit well with those left out of the plan. I for one was super happy that Siri was still a good guy; see, I somehow totally forgot her role in this book, but I remembered her better in her role in the first book of the Jedi Quest series The Way of The Apprentice from reading it for the first time last year, where she was a really cool, strong, and dedicated Jedi. So when I first read the stuff about Zora being Siri once, I had to question “Is this the same girl?!” She is, but she’d never truly been a bad girl to start with. Thank goodness… Siri is truthfully one of my fave SW fiction characters.
And what about poor Anakin? Yes, Siri is protecting him, but he’s also a slave in the Nar Shadaa spice mines. Under Krayn and his droids. A slave… again… that stinks beyond belief. The excellent description makes this terrible world a reality to the reader. But despite the horribleness of the situation, Anakin brings a little hope and an unexpected helping hand to the slaves around him, one of those being a Twi’lek woman named Mazie… and she was kind of a jerk to him! But that shouldn’t surprise us too much, considering what Shmi said about how generous and kind to others Anakin is in Episode I. In the long run, they become good friends. All the while, Anakin still holds out for his Master to rescue him
Not too far away, that’s what his Master intends to do, and he’s going to do so disguised as a slave trader. And he might also fight a wookiee henchman along the way (letting the wookiee win is out of the question; if he wins, Obi-Wan loses).
Meanwhile, despite getting into their own brand of hot water, unexpected friends Anakin and Siri have their own rescue to perform: that of Krayn’s slaves. I love how they mesh together; while some of Obi-Wan’s wisdom has rubbed off on her, Siri still maintains an understanding of both the awesomeness and frustration of working with him, in a way that relates well with Anakin. She has a good sense of wit and sarcasm amidst the insanity of it all.
“…He has this habit of telling you the truth just when you don’t want to hear it.” – Siri, on Obi-Wan in this chapter. That’s so true XD
So as they put their heads together to escape their cell, meet up with Master Kenobi, and free the slaves, it’s plain and evident they’re fast friends and work together awesomely, just as it seems was the case for Siri and Obi-Wan not too long ago.
Now, with the plan falling perfectly into place, you’d think everything would stay that way, right? But somehow, we find Krayn and Anakin staring each other down, and this time around, Anakin’s got his lightsaber. Hoo boy… this will get ugly… throughout the fight Anakin is fighting with himself as to why he’s doing this – for himself in anger or for others in justice. I mean, I’m personally glad he managed to defeat Krayn, but I do have to wonder if Anakin truly did the right thing. Anakin pushed away any thought that what he was doing was wrong with the thoughts that this was justice. But is his definition of justice correct? I myself am not entirely sure. D’oh, my head always hurts when I start going on these “Was this character truly right or wrong?” thoughts. I mean, we all know where Anakin ends up in the long long run in the SW universe and this had to have had an effect, but has Anakin always been wrong in his defeating of truly terrible villains? It’s worth some more thinking, but not right now.
It’s oftentimes a little jarring to have such a dark moment followed shortly by a light, victorious, satisfactory ending. Siri’s back to where she should be, the galaxy’s rid of Krayn, a ton of slaves are free, and the awesome threesome that is Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Siri are heading back to Coruscant in class and comfort by Senatorial escort. Even a sweet farewell between Anakin and Mazie. All is well for the moment. Yet we’re left with some concern from Obi-Wan, but he reassures himself he’ll continue to do his best to make a true Jedi out of his Padawan.
So of course, there had to be a whole series to follow this story, to tell more pre-Clone Wars tales of a younger Anakin Skywalker becoming a Jedi. Despite it may come off a tad dark in parts, Jedi Quest is an awesome awesome 5-star book and it remains a favorite of mine (even if all the SW books I’ve read have become favorites). And now you’ve managed to read through my longest blog to date, so that’s cool. So you can get excited for the next SW Summer Reads blog next week! Yayyyyy 🙂 Until then…
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight