OK guys, I am so ready to dive into The Platform Classic and all its fascinating backstory reveals, character complexities, and pure heart! So let’s get goin’ why don’t we?
After spending last week’s Report talking about soul sisters, it seems super appropriate that today we’re talking blood brothers. I seriously did not see that coming at all, and not just because Marcus’s stage name threw me off for two seconds (though I was fairly sure “Speedstar” was a little too on-the-nose to be a real StarWarsian surname). A lot of the surprise is simply that I’m not used to this kind of story/character progression in animated Star Wars, primarily with Rebels. Considering how long it took to reveal all of Sabine’s backstory and family life — with just small keys in the earlier seasons before delving in deep in the third and fourth — I was expecting a similar pattern for Team Fireball here. It already felt like a lot learning as much as we did about Tam last episode, so I was rather unprepared for so many shockers in this episode. It’s not like we hadn’t had some clues to Yeager’s past leading up to this — his hesitance to get involved with the Resistance, the family holophoto — but again, to me, that felt in line with the Rebels method of leaving a trail of keys little by little. Never did I expect the sheer explosion of reveals that awaited me! I’m certainly not complaining, though; just fascinated by why the writers have made these story moves, and what these story moves might mean in the future. Because though we learned a great deal about Jarek Yeager today, I know we don’t know everything (like that aforementioned hesitance in The Recruit). Much intrigue!
So going into this episode, I again was mentally referring back to Rebels, because I believe it’s in episodes like Homecoming and Legacy Of Mandalore that we got a feel for the Star Wars flawed-family-reunion. No doubt what Hera and Sabine went through with their families was terrible, but in some ways, Jarek and Marcus’s reunion is even worse. While the Syndullas and Wrens share similar struggles with the Yeagers, like losing family, and prideful decisions resulting in horrible mistakes, there is one major difference that’s very important: war did not have a hand in the Yeagers’ division. That means there was no third party to shift the blame to, and interestingly, no obvious common goal (like fighting the Empire) to reunite them. This actually makes Jarek and Marcus’s family struggle even more relatable, more painful. Even if none of us has ever made a mistake that life-shattering, who among us hasn’t still made a terrible mistake that hurt someone dear to us, whether a sibling, or other family member or friend? A mistake we so wish we could fix, angry words we wish we could take back? The Platform Classic offers a familiar lesson about family and forgiveness, but the way the story comes together puts a new spin on it, and makes the lesson powerfully personal, just in case we didn’t get it the first couple times around (and let’s be honest, most of us need to re-learn this lesson constantly, me included).
Yes, the Yeagers’ reunion is definitely one of the absolute most painful in SW history. The enthusiasm in the room is gone in one quick stroke, like an airlock was opened and sucked it all away. Yeager’s conversations with his brother are icy cold for much of the episode. It’s like Yeager has no emotion left whatsoever. This is especially prevalent when the brothers are off to the races, and Yeager says bluntly, “You came here to lose,”. A phrase likely said with jovial brotherly competitiveness decades ago, is now just spoken as harsh fact, made all the harsher for us in the audience who know that it’s not just Marcus’s mechanic whose life is at stake with this race, but his only friend. Not to mention, of course, how Yeager finishes that sentence, But how else would you talk to someone who was responsible for the death of your family? Man alive, when they finally revealed that as the accident, I was just thrown. It’s not that I didn’t sort of wonder if that’s what happened the more we delved into each brother’s side of the story, but actually hearing Yeager confirm that… I hurt for them both so badly. Again, it’s just so personal. It’s not war, it’s not politics, it was one terrible accident. And it’s such a terrible accident, that my first instinct is to assume it would be nearly impossible to get past. No wonder Yeager has lost almost all feeling, no wonder he has no passion left for racing. But that’s maybe what makes his ultimate forgiveness of his brother so striking. It doesn’t mean that Yeager doesn’t still have a lot to work through, it doesn’t mean everything is automatically better between them, but the fact he took such a difficult step and accepted Marcus’s apologies after all this time, the fact he still found it in him somehow to hug his brother… that speaks infinite volumes. *Applauds Lucasfilm once again*
– OK one of the best moments in the whole episode is within the first ten seconds where, if you look carefully, you’ll find BB-8 and Bucket are clearly having a disagreement and ramming into each other XD Either that, or Bucket just can’t see well.
– Kaz on his knees backwards in a “desk” chair is such a wonderfully relatable thing to see. The enthusiasm goin’ around is contagious!
– My literal train of thought at this point on my first viewing: oh nooo you’re not planning a surprise party for Yeager, are you Kaz? I don’t foresee that going well… but it would be gloriously hilarious! Very Emperor’s New Groove X)
– Whoa you guys. Doza has the classiest hairstyle.
– Marcus’s black-and-purple look is on point!
– I’m not surprised Marcus decided on a name change. There’s something about the name “Yeager” that calls to mind “Eeyore”. That might suit Jarek, but not his spontaneous little bro. Of course, the name change might be more to do with that past tragedy instead. Hard to say.
– Ohhh dear nobody seems to have good experiences with the Guavian Death Gang.
– Hmm I guess “genarians” is the SW galaxy’s politically-correct species-neutral term for “gentlemen”?
– *Shoves Kaz over* “There. You’ve got my best mechanic.” Haha yes I see what you did dere Yeager. Well. Played. (Sorry Kaz)
– OH HELLO THAT IS A PRETTY SHIP RIGHT THERE. If you guys remember the way this site looked before, you know I’m really into purple 🙂
– Well there’s something I didn’t know about niktos. But I’m glad to know that unshakable loyalty isn’t just Neeku’s thing.
– I’ve never seen Bucket so happy! In fact I wasn’t certain he had the ability to be happy. Also, when Yeager was talking to Bucket, I think that’s the happiest Yeager has ever sounded. At least in this episode for sure.
– Still get so hyped watching those fast beautiful machines go!
– This, little pit droid, is why we don’t sit on the railing here. Or sit behind Kaz XP
– The fact the Yeagers can have such an important, emotional conversation while flying at a zillion miles an hour is pretty mind-blowing.
– BB-8’s all “Uh sorry but you are still no Poe Dameron, man.” But it’s OK Kaz. If you get Yeager to be your friend the way BB-8’s your friend (and I do believe he is, in a Pinocchio-Jiminy Cricket kind of way), you’ll still be doing pretty good 🙂
Keep The Peace,