Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 4

A new Forces Of Destiny compilation has dropped and I’m here to write once again on all the fascinating and inspiring things I’ve learned. This time will be a little different, though, because this is actually the first time I’ve watched them all, period, so my thoughts on each short are all completely fresh on my mind (and hopefully, in turn, will be a little clearer than all those posts where I’ve forgotten some of my original impressions from the first viewing). You can read the first three posts here, here, and here. Now, off to Takodana we go! (And everywhere else in the galaxy, for that matter)

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Four (but you can watch those shorts here), and several elements from Star Wars Rebels, Solo, Episode VI, Episode VII, and Episode VIII.

OK first of all never mind, looks like we’re not on Takodana today. I miss the pretty green planet a little, but I can live with that because today we have HONDO!!! I loved seeing him and Maz at odds in The Freemaker Adventures, and I’ve always wanted to see them cross paths again. So this is just spectacular! Their obviously long-time rivalry is just too fun to watch! Now, maybe I’m off on this, but this looks like a slightly-younger Hondo than the one we see in Rebels. I’d assumed all these Maz stories framing the shorts happened in or around the Sequel era, but it seems the clock goes back a little further for this one, which I love! It does bring up an interesting thought, though, because I had somehow assumed Maz really was the one telling these stories. In truth, looking back, I’m not sure how she could’ve been there for all these small moments with all of these characters, unless she heard them by word-of-mouth. But I guess it’s reasonable to say she’s not the one telling all these stories, at least for the ones that happen much later on. I think that’s how both parts of the Forces Of Destiny volumes remain canon. Or I could be wrong and Hondo just got back all his old pirate-y garb and he only looks younger. Either way, wow there’s so much I’ve already learned, and I haven’t even gotten to the shorts yet!

#1. Chopper is a surprisingly great leader.

I wouldn’t normally have expected Chop to do so well with the ewoks. I mean… his track record of being friendly to people really isn’t that great. But maybe the years since Ezra’s departure have made him a better, nicer droid somehow. Hera’s always had a knack for finding just the right crewmembers, no matter who they are or where they’ve been. Now Chopper seems to be taking a page from his mom’s book, convincing her that his ewok buddies are the perfect new Ghost crew gunners! It’s all just too cute and too fun. And my inner ewok nerd is happy to see Princess Kneesaa joining the fight! Now I want to go rewatch some old Ewoks episodes…

#2. Baby sando aquas are precious and must be protected!

Seriously WOW THAT IS CUTE!! I think I might have a new fave on my list of favorite Star Wars creatures. I’ve always thought the monsters impressive, but getting to see them closer, and in a sweeter light, I find I love them more than I did before! Beyond that, it’s really neat seeing Padme take charge like she does and help her guardsmen consider all the angles in a frightening, dangerous situation. And it’s important to note that, though the guards don’t know how to handle the exact situation at first, they don’t come off as incapable or powerless, just in need of a little extra advice. It’d be easy to make them look dumb in contrast to Padme and her strong-but-peaceful approach, but they only give us the facts: that any of us might be prone to making a rash decision in a crisis, but if you can keep a cool head, a solid solution might be easier to find that you once thought. Strong characters all around, that’s just how Star Wars rolls!

#3. Tristan’s the little brother.

I honestly never considered that before. I assumed he was either older by a year or two, or he and Sabine were twins. But I’m glad they set the record straight. And from the instant she said “C’mon, little brother” and he gave a quiet unamused “ugh”, it’s impossible to miss those sibling-bond vibes! It’s the kind of bond where you follow your sibling into trouble and say snippy things you don’t really mean, but you love them anyway, and even find you have more in common than you thought. It’s a sibling bond I can almost 100% relate to! Just to hear Sabine talk to her bro about things they did growing up gives such a sense of history and warmth to the Wren family. I adored every minute of this one. Getting to spend a slightly-quieter moment with the Wren kids and a closer look at their friendship is an absolute treat!

Also, I will need to check back on Legacy Of Mandalore and see if Tristan still has that painting on his shoulder armor, ’cause Sabine did a great job on it 🙂

#4. Hondo doesn’t like droids.

And if you had to put up with droids like IG-88, I could see why! It’s pretty hilarious watching the two argue over who has the bigger bounty. It continues to fascinate me that IG cares about credits in the first place, but I guess self-reliant bounty hunter droids need new parts every now and again. But though the pirate and hunter steal the show, the short’s focus is Qi’ra, who clearly has had enough experience with scoundrels to know how to best out-scoundrel ’em. I think it’s really neat to see a Qi’ra story in Forces Of Destiny, because she’s not quite like any of the other heroines we see in these stories. She’s not a Rebel leader, not a senator, not a Jedi, doesn’t steal the Death Star plans… she honestly might deserve the title of “scoundrel” almost as much as her adversaries do! She ultimately earns the title of “heroine” in the way she defends Han from Vos, but we’re not at that point yet. None of this is to say Qi’ra’s isn’t still a good person at heart, but I think we can agree she’s not a typical role model. This is a good thing, though, because I would honestly love to see some Forces Of Destiny stories surrounding more characters like her; bossladies who might not be the obvious heroine, but who still might have some shining moments in their stories yet to be told. Like Ventress, Sugi, or Naare! (ok that’s just a pipe dream but still would be cool)

#5. Porgs make great parents!

Until I watched this short, I had no idea both the mama and the papa porgs take care of their babies! Not surprising since they’re bird-like, and a lot of birds do the same. But still neat to know and too cute to see! Not only are porgs great parents, but we also see Chewbacca being a fantastic uncle! Though the porgs have caused their fair share of trouble, Chewie can’t turn down an opportunity to help the fluffball porglets. It’s seriously the sweetest thing, and shows so much his respect for nature and his huge heart :3 I honestly spent this entire short going “AWWW!!”, because I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to react in any other way. But I do have to wonder if it’s this kind act of Chewie’s that made all the porgs decide “Hey! Let’s go hang out in the Falcon! The hairy guy who lives there is so nice, he surely wouldn’t mind if we made ourselves comfortable!” XD #MoPorgsMoProblems

#6. Always let Rey drive.

Or at least don’t let Finn drive! And I think he knows it. I love seeing extensions of scenes like this, and I love chase scenes, and I love Finn and Rey, and I love the background paintings, and I still will always love the fact Finn loaned Rey his jacket (such a gentleman). So… yeah this short’s got a lot to love! It’s so fun watching more of this dynamic duo doing what they do (by figuring out what they do best) and making one seriously great escape on scenic Starkiller Base! I need to rewatch VII so I can spot exactly when this scene would’ve taken place, because I’ve sort of forgotten…

#7. The Ewoks animated series was right…

The citizens of Bright Tree Village have had other problems besides the Empire. Like this giant beastie! It certainly looks like it would’ve fit in well with the old show. It’s been a while since I’ve watched them, so I can’t remember for sure if I’ve seen the giant before. Either way, Wicket and Kneesaa aren’t alone, they have the original SPACE TWINS on their side! There’s so much I haven’t gotten to see with Luke and Leia’s sibling bond between the trilogies, so I was totally stoked for this one! It’s not exactly the quieter moment we see with Sabine and Tristan, but it’s thrilling all the same, and so special to see them working together — with both getting a chance to wield the green-blade 😀 Space Twins forever!

#8. Ahsoka’s a very creative teacher…

And maybe a tad intense! But when I think about who her master was and how she fights, I’m not surprised. I don’t know what I loved more — getting to watch Ahsoka impart wisdom on a young Jedi, or the fact that the young Jedi in question was Ezra. It made me realize how much I missed seeing them together, and how great their friendship is! And thinking back on all I’ve seen in Rebels, I can see where Ezra was absolutely taking Ahsoka’s wisdom to heart. Everything about this short is so epic and so meaningful and I’m almost at a loss for words. Just hearing them laugh together… FEELS. ALL THE FEELS!

Also another thing I learned: I’m assuming this is Garel we’re on right now, and if so, then Garel actually has some grassy areas! It’s not all just a big city world, it has really gorgeous natural beauty as well, including some killer sunsets 🙂

Yes I just love all these so much. Thanks for reading, and hopefully if my schedule allows, I will have more Star Wars to write about next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Dume

All right, so where do I begin with this post? I guess with the spoiler warnings. But yes here’s hoping I’m able to write something really interesting and meaningful for you today.

Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Rogue One, Episode VII, TCW episode The Lawless, and much of Star Wars Rebels, including Jedi Night and Dume. Events from episodes beyond these will not be covered.

This episode is very special. Not that there ever was a Rebels episode that wasn’t, but Dume does something that, from my experience, really hasn’t been done a lot in Star Wars: allowing us to closely follow the characters as they try to process their loss.
Tragedies in Star Wars often happen in the midst of intense moments and dangerous battles. Like when you’re trying to escape the Death Star, or you’re fighting through a war-torn Mandalore, or the Resistance is trying to destroy Starkiller Base. Our heroes are often forced to move on or step up and fight even when they’ve barely had time to mourn. It’s just the tough reality of war, as well as the best way to move the story forward. Star Wars, of course, always finds time to make sure we at least see a glimpse of what they’re dealing with in the quiet moments afterward (for example: Luke’s “I wish Ben were here”, Obi-Wan’s apology to Bo-Katan, and Leia and Rey’s hug). But I’ve always wondered still how they’ve handled those losses, or how they’re still handling them. What they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, how they talk about this loss with family and friends, and what they don’t dare to speak out loud to anyone, let alone to themselves.
However, the amazing people behind Rebels found a way to give us plenty of time with each of the Ghost family as they wrestle with Kanan’s death in different ways, while at the same time delivering an exciting, compelling story that moves the plot along. It’s not that I ever thought they wouldn’t give us some time with the characters working through this loss, but I got so much more than I ever expected. Though the Empire’s still a problem, the war is still on, and Ruhk still can put up a serious fight, this episode remains first and foremost very intimate and personal in tone, putting our heroes and their feelings in the forefront. And that’s what makes this episode so very special.

Ever since we discovered she’d be bestowed the title of “General” by Rogue One, I’d always imagined the moment she earned it a triumphant one. Instead, it comes to Hera at what may be her absolute darkest moment, all while still in prison garb and clutching onto her kalikori as though it was Kanan himself. It’s far from triumphant, but it does say again clearly how much the rest of the Rebels respect her… and right now, how much they need her in this fight. But General Syndulla has a galaxy of hurt to fight through first.
The first few moments in her part of the story are nothing short of heartbreaking. It’s one of the rawest performances, both in acting and animating, I’ve ever seen, and not just in Star Wars, but in anything. She is so broken, so devastated, we’ve never seen her in a place like this, not in this way. But as she fashions a piece on her kalikori for Kanan, it’s able to help bring her back to the light once more, to the hope and peace she needs, and to the best memories of the man she loved. And it was Chopper who made the suggestion to add him in the first place. The utter kindness and quiet understanding he shows here is so infinitely precious. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this side of Chopper, but there’s something so noteworthy about the way he’s simply there for her right now, taking her hand, accepting a hug… excuse me I need a few tissues now.

Like I said on the last post, I’ve wondered for years now what would happen if we lost Kanan, and especially perhaps what that would mean for Ezra. I’ve imagined a lot of different outcomes, so it was almost surreal to actually be in that moment, that moment that I honestly had hoped maybe wouldn’t come. To see Ezra in this place of absolute despair that we haven’t seen in some time. And then the lothwolves arrive and the mood quickly shifts from deep sadness to near terror. But ultimately a sense of intrigue remains the predominant emotion, because you know that the Force is at work somehow here. The entrance of the one called Dume left a trail of further intrigue, and honestly even having seen the episodes following this, there are still things I don’t know if I’ve fully grasped yet. I’ll save further discussion on the topic for another post, but I will say the main thoughts going through my head in these scenes upon my first viewing were a) Which came first, Caleb Dume or lothwolf Dume? and b) Am I crazy or does Dume sound just a little bit like Freddie Prinze Jr….?

I just seriously love we got to spend time with Zeb and Sabine. They have such a fun, genuine big-brother-little-sister bond and I didn’t realize how much I needed to see more of that bond until now. And not only do they have some of the best kind of camaraderie, but together they bring some kinda fight! Their tussle with Ruhk was just the right bit of action for the episode; exciting, intense, and not only drives the story forward, but comes back to the heart of the story as Zeb and Sabine go from wanting to return the hurt they were given, to remembering the right way to fight. The way Kanan would fight. And then the laughs are the cherry on top. Between the “baby rancor” comment and the homing beacon misunderstanding, they made sure I had some good stuff to snicker about this episode 🙂

And in the midst of all these personal battles, we discover something that puts everything in a new light.
It was enough just to know that Kanan’s last act was saving those he loved, but it was even more than that all along.
He put himself in the path of fire for not only his family, but for the Alliance, for Lothal, and for all the galaxy.
Wow.
Truly wow.

So OK, that post was a little harder to write than I expected, but I’m so glad I wrote it all the same.
Thank you, Lucasfilm, for giving me such beautiful stories to write about, though ❤

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

A Very Fangirly Analysis Of The New Last Jedi Trailer

Anyone else spend the majority of their time online yesterday staring at the Star Wars Youtube channel waiting for the new trailer?
Yeah, so did I. That might’ve been the most agonizing wait in the history of Star Wars. I mean… the last couple years, they debuted the trailers during a certain program so you’d get a general idea of the time, but not this year. My eyes were sore from constantly checking the computer by the time it popped up around 10pm-ish. But oh my land it was so worth the wait. SO SO WORTH IT.
In the tradition of past analyses, I will give you my personal (almost) second-by-second breakdown of my thoughts and theories. Now, let’s watch it again!

Contains some spoilers from Episode VII and some of the other films before it.

0:00 – From the first shot onward, my jaw dropped, and my mouth refused to close again until the trailer’s end.
0:01 – It’s Kylo Ren, and he’s got something heavy on his mind, it seems.
0:02 – It took me a second viewing to realize he was overlooking a factory. The wavery watery look of the glass made me first think it was an aquarium of some sort, or maybe an aquatic opera like Palpatine used to enjoy.
0:04 – Snoke still has one of the scariest voices of all time. Without a shadow of doubt. He got me so intrigued. Seriously, how did a nice kid like Ben end up with a dark master like this guy?
0:06 – AHHHHHH THESE WALKERS THAT I CAN’T REMEMBER THE NAME OF!! THEY ARE MAGNIFICENT! AND TERRIFYING!
0:08 – What you mean by “war” exactly? That he was conflicted, that he was a strong fighter, or a little of both? Y’know OMG I just wondered if maybe the whole narration is a ruse, and it sounds like Snoke is talking to Kylo but maybe it’s some point that he’s talking to Rey? Might be off but with Star Wars you’ve gotta look at it from all angles.
0:11 – Such a dynamic image wow. And hmm look at those streaks of red on the floor! There’s a lot of red in this trailer and I can’t help but wonder what it all means…
0:15 – See look! There’s red on the walls here! It’s visually appealing, but you guys know in SW, nothing is there just for looks.
0:17 – I’m still trying to figure out if this is a new lightsaber or not. Unless my memory’s failed me I’m pretty sure he lost it in the duel on Starkiller Base. So… did he just get it repaired or did he find another one that looks exactly like it? Whatever the case I’m glad; it’s so awesomely iconic I can’t imagine Ren wielding anything else.
0:22 – Andy Serkis be givin’ me chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiills here. How does he do it??
0:23 – But then we cut over to Rey! Wonder why exactly? Oh that Skywalker ‘saber is still so cool though…
0:25 – Also wow are those skies blue. I need a ticket to the place they filmed Ach-To asap.
0:29 – The Lucasfilm logo will always strike me with the thought: “HOLD ON TO YOUR POTATOES, EPICNESS IS ABOUT THE HAPPEN!”
0:31 – #VacationGoals #ThatWasATotalUnderstatement
0:35 – WE’RE FINALLY SEEING THE MASTER AND APPRENTICE COMING TOGETHER AND I CAN’T GET OVER IT.
0:37 – I hardly know how to put my thoughts into words. So many emotions here.
0:39 – I not only want a vacation on Ach-To, I also want a cape like Rey’s.
0:41 – It’s that mystery place again! Oooh!
0:44 – Every time I see this shot, my eyes widen. It’s a reflex to something that massively beautiful.
0:45 – Rey wielding that lightsaber is so utterly perfect. It’s like she was meant to wield it somehow. Nothing we don’t already know, of course, but I still remember what it was like when the trailers were making it look like Finn’s lightsaber. Seeing her taking it and owning it makes me so proud 🙂
0:48 – Wait did she direct the Force through the ‘saber to the ground?? Or was that just really cool editing?? Either way WHOAAA.
0:49 – Never mind that was apparently just good editing since Rey’s standing in a different spot now.
0:50 – Another one of my favorite shots we’ve seen so far. So completely mind-blowing!
0:53 – Mark Hamill is so so amazing in this. I really really cannot wait to hear and see more of Luke in this new time and place.
0:55 – I assumed this was Luke’s hand but now I’m not so sure…
0:57 – I figured Luke would have some uncertainties with training Rey, but I never thought he’d see some of what was in Ren in her. At least, that’s what I’m assuming he’s talking about. This getting intense.
1:00 – Yeah Luke doesn’t look thrilled. That is the face of “NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE!
1:01 – Also dang are Luke’s eyes blue. Not that I didn’t know this already but the HD is really working nicely here.
1:02 – Rey is like “say wat now?”
1:06 – OH THIS POOR CONFLICTED CHILD…
1:07 – I’m glad to see his face healed up better than I expected it to, though.
1:08 – That boy has one impressive throwing arm.
1:10 – INTENSITY LEVELS RISING.
1:12 – IT’S THE TIE SILENCER OMG!! I’ve jokingly called it the Bat-TIE because it’s sleek shape calls to mind the Batmobile. But this beautiful punisher is definitely no joke with Kylo behind the controls…
1:15 – These visual effects are music to my… eyes. Wait that sentence doesn’t make sense.
1:18 – NOOOOOOOOOOOO YOU WOULDN’T…!
1:19 – THESE SHOTS ABSOLUTELY TERRIFY ME.
1:22 – AND MAKE ME WEEP FOR ALL THIS ONCE-BEAUTIFUL FAMILY HAS LOST.
1:25 – *Curls up into a ball and cries for several minutes*
1:27 – It’s only two months and five days away, but it still feels so far…
1:29 – The Falcon!! And again a whole lot of red. Is it representing the dark side or something else?
1:31 – AHH IT’S CHEWIE!! He’s looking amazinggg!
1:33 – PORGS. ARE. EVERYTHING. MY GOSH.
1:35 – Hey there Poe!
1:36 – Nobody says epic inspiring motivational stuff like Poe Dameron does. BURN IT DOWN, BOY! BURN IT ALLLLLL THE WAY DOWN!!
1:40 – And I’m not sure anybody can make an entrance as epically as Captain Phasma does.
1:41 – Safe to say though that Finn’s not impressed with his former boss.
1:42 – FINN ‘BOUT TO BRING IT! YAAAAAAS!!
1:44 – Not sure what else to say here, just still reeling in the amazingness of it all.
1:45 – NONONONO YOU GOTTA BE OK, BB-8!
1:46 – Luke sounds so intense here wow.
1:47 – Oooh check out these snow cats I want one!
1:49 – Hey there’s Leia! But I’m still unclear what she’s standing there for… and where she’s standing… so many questions! So much uncertainty!
1:50 – Wonder where Rey’s taking this dive?
1:52 – Who’s that she’s facing down?? It goes by so fast I literally don’t know.
1:53 – I can’t help but wonder what Finn’s doing in First Order garb right now. I’m assuming it’s an undercover thing… or maybe an undercover thing that was a complete accident because he wasn’t intending on going undercover but he ended up on a First Order ship and had to think fast. I NEED TO KNOW.
1:55 – OOOh buddy the First Order’s looking sharp… and that’s not good for the Resistance.
1:56 – More red going on over here. I don’t know what the imagery means for sure, but I love imagery in filmmaking nonetheless.
1:57 – I’m definitely glad to know those nifty speeders are the Resistance’s now. They’re so awesome and different I assumed they might belong to some other group of antagonists, but this is much better.
1:59 – IT’S SNOKE! IN THE FLESH! YIKES HE’S STILL SO FRIGHTENING, BUT SO INTRIGUING! Also dang I hope Rey’s gonna be OK..
2:12 – My literal reaction after seeing this: “WHAT?! WAT. WAT. WHAT. WAHT. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT??!” Translation: “What could Rey possibly gain from Ren? What could he gain from her? What. does. this. mean??

One of the many reasons I love Star Wars is because of how it balances dark and light, simultaneously making me go from joy to excitement to fear to sadness and back around again. Star Wars truly makes me experience all emotions, even in the period of a two-minute trailer. I also love the way they portray heroes and villains and how they’re not always all dark or all light. Though it’s left me with endless questions, I love that last image of a conflicted villain holding out his hand to a perhaps equally-conflicted hero. I knew this trailer would be amazing, I just couldn’t grasp or imagine how much more so it would be. It’s left me utterly astounded in the best way possible.

Again, so worth the wait. Now… we just have to wait a little tiny bit longer…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

P.S. If you’re wondering where the Freemaker posts went off to, you’ll find the next episode’s post up tomorrow 🙂

The Celebration Orlando 2017 Post!

First of all, I apologize for not having finished my SWR season recap post this past week like I said I would. Stuff came up. But right now, the biggest, most important thing to talk about is CELEBRATION! A time of year I look forward to as much as Christmas and my own birthday! There’s so much awesome stuff to talk about, so I’ll update this with every exciting panel I see so I can share my fangirling with all of you!
NOTE: There will be spoilers depending on the panel I’m discussing.

40 YEARS OF STAR WARS
They kicked this thing off with a bang that would rival the destruction of the two Death Stars and Starkiller base combined! Every time I turned around they brought out a guest worth screaming about! To see the master himself, George Lucas, there… oh my gosh I screamed so loud. And then followed that up each time afterward. This was a hugely special panel for so many reasons. One for me was that, I honestly haven’t watched many of the bonus features (don’t always have the time sigh), and I hadn’t seen a number of the actors and filmmakers interviewed before this. It was a marvelous first time! I’m not gonna lie I cried a lot too. That opening video hit me like a boulder-dozer of feels! And oh that dedication to Carrie Fisher… and then the awe-inspiring surprise John Williams performance! Every minute was precious and stunning and wonderful I absolutely can’t! I can only imagine where Celebration goes from here!

Assorted Fangirl Musings
– Ian McDiarmid always looks so young to me. He’s just amazing.
– Hayden Christiansen still is so much Anakin it’s incredible. I’ve missed seeing his face around here something awful!
– On that note, I was so glad to hear briefly from Qui-Gon and Mace! Er… Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson, I mean. To know they still remember and value their time spent in the films and appreciate the fans is utterly heart-warming.
– Also, something about the image of a darksider Jar Jar Binks is actually really epic.
– Hearing the stories of how George and the original cast met was an absolute treat in every way possible.
– Mark Hamill’s original audition video is incredible. HIS ACTING, YOU GUYS. IT’S SUBLIME. EVEN WAY BACK WHEN ON AN AUDITION TAPE.
– Somehow I’d forgotten how tall Peter Mayhew was and now I doubt I’ll ever forget.
– I adore Anthony Daniels. I know that’s a no-brainer but, again, seeing these actors outside of the films and hearing them tell their stories of making them… it’s… words can barely describe.
– Also first time seeing Billy Dee Williams interviewed I think ever. He’s still the smoothest! 😀
– When the Harrison Ford showed up… I think everything in me exploded. I had no idea he’d never been to a Celebration prior, so that made it all the more special.
– His seamless Indiana Jones drop cracked me up. HE IS SUCH A DELIGHT OMG!
– Safe to say Carrie’s daughter has one of the best dresses ever. Her speech was beautiful.
– Like I said before, the dedication video was so moving and so special… when they started showing all the little girls in Leia costumes I think I really started weeping. In a good way though.
– And again, a standing ovation almost doesn’t seem good enough for John Williams. If I could fly or hover and applaud, I would. Same for the spectacular work done by the orchestra! Like wow! Made me want to go and buy all the soundtracks I haven’t yet bought right now.
– I clapped ’til my hands were numb, man. But that’s normal 🙂

SIDESTORY: FORCES OF DESTINY ANNOUNCEMENT
Just read the article on the new Forces Of Destiny microseries and product line and I’m excited. New animated shorts starring the bossladies of the Star Wars galaxy! How great is that?! I love the character designs and style, and since they’re all canon, it’s useless to resist! It’s really nice seeing them trying a line specifically aimed at girls. Star Wars has never been short on awesome female characters, and certainly never short on female fans (such as myself), and it’s not that it was a need, by any means (I’m always going to be mainly a 3.75 collector myself), but just imagine how many young girls might be further drawn into the saga on part of these new stories and merch? These princesses, Jedi, and rebels are about to draw in a whole new generation to the fangirl side of the Force, and that’s something to get excited about! 😀

DAVE FILONI: ANIMATED ORIGINS AND UNEXPECTED FATES
You know me, I could never turn down an opportunity to hang with Dave and Pablo! I absolutely loved digging into the origins of so many great characters and stories that we’ve seen told this last near-decade. I’m gonna be honest I was only able to watch this via livestream and was disgusted I couldn’t see the beautiful art and storyreel footage. But even so, it was nothing short of a fantastic panel with two of my favorite filmmakers. Bro I could listen to their stories for days. And naturally, this all got me really hyped for what we’re going to see Saturday…

Assorted Fangirl Musings
– Those Clones and Rebel cosplayers that came up early on? They were astounding. The Hondo was so perfect it was like he was real. The young Rex and S3 Ezra were perfect too. Like wow man. Much applause.
– I love that Ahsoka was almost Ashla! Who’da thunk? Just a neat little connection.
– I’m ecstatic to hear Wolffe and Gregor might be back! Also the Nine Old Men thing warmed my little heart. I would’ve loved to have seen that :3
– These stories are literally so amazing. We almost had Savage and Satine in Rebels! I understand why they didn’t go that route ultimately, but wow what an image! I’ll never watch the opening of Twin Suns again without seeing that in my mind’s eye.
– I about cried at my inability to see the images everyone was fangasming over tho…
– Hehe everyone going Kanera-crazy cracked me up. But also yeah that sounds like an utterly beautiful scene. The idea Kanan, Hera, and Zeb were all processing the kids growing up and leaving home… such family feels!
– Though I couldn’t see the Bane-Boba showdown, it sounded beyond epic. Corey Burton and Daniel Logan are just incredible, and the whole prospect just made me ravenous for more on their characters’ stories.
– ALSOOO the fact that Durge almost made it into TCW is epic. I almost forgot to mention that.

IAN MCDIARMID: TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE
So Mr. McDiarmid was wonderful, that’s an understatement. Again, I haven’t seen a lot of interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff with him, so everything about this was a fantastic new experience. Definitely gained a lot lot more respect for the Senator/Chancellor/Emperor/Darth and Ian’s stellar acting skills. Watching the scene between Anakin and Palpatine at the opera (or as I nicknamed it, the fish ballet) again left me kind of breathless at the perfection of his performance (and Hayden’s too!). Also have to say I love listening to Ian not only because of the fascinating stories he was telling, but also because his voice is amazing. So smooth and so well-spoken and articulate! Which is why it was spectacular and spine-chilling to hear him do that Emperor laugh! An absolute blast of a panel all around! It’s tempting to drop everything right now and watch Episode III again, but the day’s not over…!

RAY PARK: PREPARE TO BE MAULED
Once again, Ray Park proves to be one of the greatest human beings to ever live. His stunts and sweet moves never fail to leave me in awe, and he’s every bit as much a nice guy as Maul is a bad guy 😀 He and Warwick made this panel nothing short of an absolute blast. I loved hearing his stories from working on set (and making lightsaber noises with Mr. Neeson and Mr. McGregor!), watching him performing stunts like an absolute blazing tornado of energy, teaching lightsaber techniques to the fans… oh and I smiled so hard when he mentioned he was a huge Toy Story fan! He’s seriously just so so great. After seeing him at last year’s Celebration I’ve learned his panels are ones you should never miss.

THE LAST JEDI
OMG THIS PANEL WAS EVERYTHING AND MORE. Josh Gad was a brilliant host, Rian Johnson clearly’s a brilliant director, and there’s so so much to get hyped about! And that TEASER! It left me reeling in the best way. It’s a long way to Alderaan, and by “Alderaan” I mean December, but this helped just the slightest bit with the wait 🙂 Allow me to elaborate further in my assorted fangirl musings:

Assorted Fangirl Musings
– Josh Gad is just like us and I love that.
– Like say, so much love for Mr. Johnson, and Ms. Kennedy too!
– OK so y’know I didn’t get to see The Force Awakens panel two years ago, so this is some of the first BTS stuff I’ve seen with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. And now I love them more than ever, and I didn’t think it was possible for me to love them more!
– I’m amazed Daisy could keep a straight face with Josh asking her questions like that. Nahhh Rey’s parents are probably just an average Joe and Jane, right…? XP
– John is promising more Finn and Poe adventures! Sounds good to me! *Imagines Finn and Poe in “The Boys Are Back” number in High School Musical 3* XD
– BB-8 IS HERE AND HE’S REAL! OK I already knew that they’ve got a functioning BB out there, but just seeing him here… it’s incredible. I’m amazed he was not utterly mobbed by hugging fans! I loved watching him get snippy with Josh. That was just perfect!
– Kelly Marie Tran is just a delight you guys. I absolutely can’t wait to meet Rose now!
– MARK HAMILL AGAIN! He’s still so fantastic and his stories are some of the best ever. Hearing him talk about visiting kids in hospitals and making a difference for them made me tear up.
– WOW THAT POSTER! It’s so dynamic and kind of retro and full of fantastic symbolism! I could look at it forever.
– AND THE TEASER. “Breathe… just breathe” NO I CAN’T BREATHE, LUKE!! THIS IS TOO AMAZING!!
– I won’t elaborate on it too long (I’ll save that analyzing for the next trailer), but a few pressing things on my mind…
– A) Luke and Rey seem to be all #MasterAndApprenticeGoals even if Daisy hinted her first meeting with Master Skywalker will be a little… different…
– B) Meanwhile, Poe and BB-8 are all #FriendshipGoals
– C) EVERYTHANG IS SO BEAUTIFUL OMGOODNESSGRACIOUS!
– D) Huh I thought Kylo lost that lightsaber in the fight on Starkiller Base. Did he have to build a new one (which must be hard since it’s a pretty ancient model) or did he just have an extra in his sock drawer?
– E) Biggest thing of all: “It’s time for the Jedi… to end…” WHAT.
– WAHT.
– WHAT DOES IT MEAN….?!
– Is he talking about the Jedi as a group needing to end, so they can be something different, something more? Or is he just kinda blue and done with the Force right now? I’m going with the first option for now, but you can bet this line will consume me from the inside out until one December weekend…
AHHHHHH I LOVE STAR WARS SO MUCHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

HEROINES OF STAR WARS
So having Ahsoka, Sabine, and Rey in the same room was amazing, and with Dave, too! They kicked off the panel with the best video montage of the many many bossladies in the Star Wars galaxy and made me cry a little just with that. It was really cool just hearing their stories as well as their perspective on the depiction of strong female characters. I could honestly go on a while on the topic myself, but for now I’ll just say once again that I’m super pumped for Forces Of Destiny and for all the bossladyness that awaits us in the future of SW (like Rose!). Also two other notes: a) I seriously love the FoD Ahsoka doll and I might have to get that even though my main collecting focus is on the 3.75s. And then b) I cracked up at the original game plan for Out Of Darkness with Hera and Sabine talking about the boys XD Pff that would’ve been kinda terrible if we’d missed out on the emotional journey that episode centered around. Not that I’m adverse to future conversations tho… *COUGHKaneraCOUGHSabezraCOUGH* But yeah! Who runs the galaxy? Star Wars girls! They’re the reason I started throwing around the term “bosslady”! 🙂

MARK HAMILL’S TRIBUTE TO CARRIE FISHER
I’m not sure I can say anything that hasn’t already been said… it was equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming. Mark is so so good, so articulate, and poured out his heart so well on this. Like say, prior to this, I haven’t taken the time to watch the featurettes and interviews that would help me know the amazing people behind these characters more, and the time spent listening to Mr. Hamill, Mr. Davis, and old interview pieces from Carrie… they were really something special. I’d always sort of known that Carrie was a firecracker, but I had no idea just how much until now. You know, as I write this, I was listening to my TCW soundtrack and the track I ended up on right now was #11, “Death Of A Master”. It obviously wasn’t written for her, but this gripping, powerful piece of music really suits my emotional state. And she was a master, you know? Not of the Force, but of brilliant acting and a stellar sense of humor. She’s a princess, a senator, a general, and also an absolute master. That’s all I got man the feels are really feelsy right now…

STAR WARS REBELS
OK WOW. I HAVE NO WORDS. WHICH IS REALLY BAD SINCE I’M WRITING A BLOG. I’M UTTERLY SOBBING AND CAN’T STOP APPLAUDING YOU GUYS.
It breaks my heart kinda to know this will be the last season, but I have complete confidence they’ll end it right. And whatever they have in store next will be fantastic. I didn’t need the trailer for proof, but it certainly was great to see regardless. Yeah this won’t make it hard for me to focus on that Season 3 recap post later! 😛 I adored seeing all the cast and Filoni together again, and knowing we’re coming up on the end makes it all the more a precious moment. They’re a beautiful family… both the Ghost crew and the people behind them.

Assorted Fangirl Musings
– Dave talking about Obi-Wan and Maul gave me such feels again.
– Freddie Prinze Jr. utterly killed it in his thoughts on Kanan and Ezra. So brilliantly said!
– “Hot Kallus”?? That was a thing?! Pfff that cracked me up. He’s always been a pretty good-lookin’ dude! why’s the internet just noticing now? XD He’s looking even better than ever in the trailer, though, and I can’t wait to see him full-on Rebellin’! Also I hope we get an entire episode dedicated to watching Ezra, Zeb, and Kallus play video games like the bros they are jk.
– Also you guys how great is it that Warwick Davis is gonna be in this season?! The guy’s such a marvelous talent and a has a fantastic voice, I’m so so glad he’s getting in animated Star Wars already! And playing such a delightfully creepy character to boot!
– More Mandos yaaaaaas!
– Speaking of, that girl cosplaying as Ursa Wren was amazing. I mean… that episode came out only a few months ago! How did she do it??
– Also mad props to the Gregor cosplay, too. I love seeing people who don’t just want to don the armor suits, but become that character even without the helmet on 🙂
– Like say that trailer… on the second viewing I buried my hands in my face and wept. Vanessa Marshall’s narration… my gosh. It sets the stage so perfectly and just overwhelms me with emotions and nostalgia.
– Glad to know that we’re going to see the giant wolves I spotted in the artwork on An Inside Man.
– OK it’s so tempting right now to do a complete recap of the trailer but I don’t think I’ve got the right words to say yet. I will say a few words tho:
– A) WOW WE’RE BACK ON LOTHAL YES! I’ve been all giddy about seeing Yavin but so much of the action we’ve seen is on the world where it all began. NO I’M NOT CRYING YOU ARE.
– B) KANERA. THAT IS ALL. I GOT IT OUT OF MY SYSTEM. NO I HAVEN’T I’M CRYING HARDER NOW.
– C) Sorry I shouldn’t be writing every thought in all caps, but WAIT WAIT WAIT IS THAT BO-KATAN OR AM I COMPLETELY MISTAKEN?
– D) Final note I CAN’T WAIT FOR EVERYTHING OMG.

SMUGGLER’S REVENGE
This was definitely one of the most anticipated panels for me. I didn’t see (or hear, rather) the first one, but I adored the second one, so I was absolutely hyped to experience another one of Kyle Newman’s glorious Star Wars audio stories! The writing is stellar and so perfectly Star Wars, the acting beyond sublime, the sounds well-timed, and oh my gosh Han and Leia banter for days! It’s funny, I kept trying to close my eyes and just listen to the performance, but David Collins and Catherine Taber were so fun to watch as well as listen to! The acting is just so wow in all ways. Everyone just did so so incredibly. David is a perfect Han, and I had no idea Tom Kane was such a masterful C-3PO! I highly look forward to whatever Mr. Newman might be planning in the future! Final thought: MATTHEW WOOD’S WILLHEM SCREAM WAS THE BEST XD

Honestly you guys there are just too many amazing things to mention, it was just an incredibly bountifully joyful weekend of Star Wars. The fandom feels are running through me like electricity right now! It’s an absolute rush! I know I’ll be counting the days ’til next year 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

SW Summer Reads – The Weapon Of A Jedi

It’s Star Wars Summer Reads time again, and I’m thrilled that today I’ll be writing my thoughts on a book that actually came out in the last year! I mean, I like taking my time reading SW books, so I can properly appreciate each one and digest all its awesomeness, especially with the 100% canon books. So generally most of my posts are on older books I’ve read more than once. But there happened to have been a sale earlier this year and Jason Fry’s Journey To The Force Awakens Novel, The Weapon Of A Jedi, was there and it was useless to resist. And I am so so so so glad I bought it. It’s without a doubt one of the greatest SW books I’ve ever read. And I shall tell you the reasons why!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VII and The Weapon Of A Jedi

So I’m not going to give you a full play-by-play commentary on this one like I usually do with the young readers books, I feel like honestly the best way to express my feelings for this book is to just talk about them straight-up instead of trying to retell the story and fangirl as I go. That method probably works best for the older books and episodes than this incredible book. So with that in mind it will likely be a less time-consuming post to read today! Yaysies!
Anyway, so this was released in anticipation of Episode VII, with small keys to the future of SW. TBH I probably missed most of those “keys” and I read this after seeing the film… twice. But the coolest of these keys was impossible to miss: a Resistance pilot named Jessika Pava. We open with this sweet little prologue of Threepio telling Jess the story of Luke’s first lightsaber duel. It was absolutely great getting to meet Jess Pava a little here. We haven’t seen a huge lot of her yet but clearly she’s an awesome human being. And she gets a ton of cool points for helping destroy Starkiller Base. Just from the two brief chapters we get to see her in, we feel her frustration with being stuck working on droids instead of piloting, totally understand her slight impatience with Threepio, and 100% get her admiration for the great Luke Skywalker. I do wonder a little what time exactly the prologue/epilogue takes place in, since of course yes Jess is here for the Resistance and Threepio rocks a red arm, but it must’ve been a littler earlier than most of the events in TFA because it sounds like Luke is still around and Artoo is fully functional. You just wonder how long ago it was. How long ago was it before there was a Starkiller Base? Before a young Ben Solo went down the wrong path? Before all that we saw panned out in VII’s opening titles? Even though that’s all still somewhat of a mystery, it’s kinda fun not knowing all the answers in this time and place. But I’m rambling.
So the golden droid’s tale starts out smack-dab in a space battle as Luke and Wedge take on a whole lotta TIEs. It’s truly amazing how Mr. Fry put the dogfight into words. I mean… I’ve tried to write space battles for fanfics. They’re confusing. I write better with characters more than I do with war machines. I have to wonder if any of these great SW authors ever had trouble figuring them out too. I suppose it’s just something that takes time and patience and practice and lots and lots of SW reference books (and probably discussions with the Lucasfilm Story Group would help). But boy oh boy did I learn a lot in just this first chapter alone. Not only is it an exciting opener, but it makes sense for dumb readers like me. Even with all that X-wing jargon I had to learn all the while. I didn’t know they used the terms “port” and “starboard”! Small thing but still cool to know. And wow there are so many ways to describe laserfire and explosions without reusing the same words over and over again! Reading this book was a lesson in Star Warsian vocabulary for sure, as well as a lesson in Star Warsian warfare, Star Warsian technology, and Star Warsian culture. I feel smarter already! I suppose this all sounds dumb to those of you more-seasoned SW fans, but *points to blog site title* I’m still learnin’.
Yeah no doubt Jason Fry knows how to write the wars in the Star Wars, but he equally knows how to write for the stars in Star Wars, too. I am absolutely amazed how well he wrote for Luke. We spend the majority of the book in Luke’s head and it is a mind-blowing feeling. And it’s a great place in time to be there! Just fresh off destroying the Death Star, Luke’s simply trying to be the best Rebel he can be, but this little thing called the Force keeps throwing him off. We learn so much from his perspective it’s astounding. One of my favorite things we get to dig into were those little moments that we didn’t see in the movie. I know I’ve been pretty shortsighted and somehow assumed everything that happens in the films happened somewhere between two hours and two days. Luke recalls a number of times Obi-Wan trained him and gave him nuggets of Jedi wisdom in the days between “Hello there” and “If you strike me down…”. It blew my mind wide open knowing about these parts of the story we didn’t know, and of course, it further reminded me what an amazing person Ben Kenobi is (even though I certainly already knew that). Even knowing just the smallest things, like how very hurt Luke was after Owen and Beru’s death, brings new meaning and understanding to the character and his overall story. From the film, we gather that Owen and Beru care for him, but it also seems that their relationship with Luke was sometimes difficult. Knowing he wrestled with anger and grief over what happened to them says that there was so much more to their relationship that we didn’t know. That clearly, Luke loved them, even when they didn’t get along, and Owen and Beru must’ve loved him too. They were his only family, man… OMG I’m sorry I can’t believe I spent so long on that topic but wow it’s really kinda incredible to think about. *Curls into a ball and cries for Luke* Not to mention seeing how much respect Luke has for his father in this chapter in history. We all know his dad isn’t exactly all that honorable at this point, but seeing him still having this connection with him, even not having ever known him, is all kinds of feelsy :3
Of course, one of the biggest things we really get to dig into in this story is the Force. It’s the kickstater for the whole adventure as Luke finds himself led by the Force to the ruins of a Jedi temple on Devaron. For those of us wondering how it is Luke knew how to use a lightsaber as well as he did in Episode V… this is how. With a few words from Ben and a trio of training remotes and a whole whole lot of patience, Luke gets pretty good at the Jedi-ing by the end of the book 🙂 One of the things I love most about SW books is getting a first-person view of the Force, when an author eloquently paints a mental picture of what it’s like to be surrounded by it, working with it, feeling it… it’s a beautiful thing. And Mr. Fry’s work here is no exception. He just absolutely brings it to life in the most spectacular, poetic manner! Watching Luke gain a better understanding of the Force through every twist and turn is amazing. His training session puts him through a lot both physically and emotionally, with descriptions so amazingly vivid you pretty much feel all those moments of frustration and victory yourself (I know I was pretty exhausted just reading all of his lessons in lightsaber-deflecting). Oh gracious everything about it’s fantastic. I wish I could get my thoughts in better order on all of this, but really you just have to read the book for yourself. Can I just say again that it’s seriously amazing spending time in Luke’s head? All the other SW books I’ve read have bounced back and forth between various characters’ perspectives, but 90% of Weapon Of A Jedi focuses on young Skywalker. It’s different, but a really really cool kind of different. I feel like I know this guy even better than I did before. I don’t think there could possibly been a better book to start with for my first canon novel in the Original Trilogy era. Seriously. Like wow. It all leads up to one awesome duel between Luke and an unexpected foe wielding an electrostaff that is all kinds of edge-of-your-seat. Lol I’m not sure if I’m writing this with spoilers in mind or not anymore. But anyhow this book was truly one of the most epic and wonderful things I’ve ever read. It’s a perfect balance between action and heart, and quite honestly should be read by every Star Wars fan, young and old. Jason Fry’s clearly a master at writing Star Wars stuff and I will definitely have to hunt down some of his other novels. And I certainly can’t wait to dive into the other novels in the Journey To The Force Awakens and see what Han and Leia were doing too 😀
So I’m glad we got to sit down and talk about The Weapon Of A Jedi for a moment. But before I sign off…

FIVE OTHER THINGS I LEARNED FROM THIS BOOK, OR JUST FOUND PLAIN INTERESTING OR WORTH MENTIONING!
1. Getting “spacesick” is a thing.
2. Y-Wings are none too fast.
3. Luke’s acting skills are terrible, but in a rather adorable way XD
4. Screwdrivers exist in the SW galaxy.
5. Luke spends a loooooooot of moneyyyy in this book.

OK now we’re done. See you next month for another Star Wars Summer Read!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight