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 🙂

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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

This Is Madness 2016 Recap

We interrupt the usually-scheduled Rebel Transmissions to bring you a special report — the breakdown of my choices for THIS IS MADNESS 2016!! W00t! Every year gets more and more challenging… not for the characters being voted for so much as for me, the nerd who can’t pick favorites but somehow has to choose anyway. Usually I attempt to make my choices using the [somewhat] scientific method of “which character’s destiny made the greater impact on the galaxy?”, but usually every year there are a few characters I vote for just on account of coolnessness. Last year I planned the next tournament would be voted for in a 100% scientific manner without any of my fangirly bias, and somehow this year I managed to stick with it. It was tough, but ultimately it got me really really thinking about these characters and their stories and made me appreciate the amazing story as a whole even more! So again, remember, just because I didn’t vote for your favorite doesn’t mean I love them any less, it’s all a matter of impact this year 🙂 Also sorry for the lack of pictures in this one… accidentally deleted them all at the last second. Ah well *shrugs*
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, TCW episodes Wookiee Hunt, The Lawless, Sacrifice, and Rebels episode Droids In Distress, Call To Action, Fire Across The Galaxy, The Siege Of Lothal, and The Honorable Ones.

DAY ONE: OBI-WAN VS. PADME/VADER VS. FIFTH

Light Side Vote: Obi-Wan Kenobi. TIM started off this year with a test worthy of Yoda’s trip to Moraband. “You? Vote scientifically without bias? Hah! VOTE AGAINST YOUR GO-TO FAVE JEDI I DARE YOU!”. Well I technically still won that test because Obi-Wan’s legacy truly does make a larger impact. Normally I might pull out the “Padme is Luke and Leia’s mom” card again and use that as an excuse, but here’s something I hadn’t considered until recently: Obi-Wan was the one who suggested “hey Tatooine might work” one fine day after escaping the Trade Federation. Basically Obi-Wan not only trained her son and helped save her daughter, but without him, ANAKIN AND PADME NEVER WOULD HAVE MET, LUKE AND LEIA WOULD NOT EXIST, AND WHATEVER APPRENTICE PALPATINE NAMED VADER WOULD HAVE LAID WASTE TO THE GALAXY. Mind. Blown. Take that voice of the Dark Side.
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. The Fifth Brother might’ve been an excellent contender in TIM this year, but… against Vader? No, not really. When it comes to the Dark Side legacy, Vader wins about every time. I mean, he does sorta help in wiping out the Jedi and destroying a planet… it’s hard to beat that. Fivey carries a similar mercilessness with him (bro don’t bat an eyelash at killing innocents fo’ sho), but he still ranks below the Darth. So yeahh. The villains always are easier to vote for.

DAY TWO: R2 VS. SABINE/JABBA VS. SEVENTH

Light Side Vote: R2-D2. I don’t know why they keep pitting these two against each other, it just doesn’t seem like a fair vote! They’re both tough, confident, smart, spirited, handy with weapons, and loyal to the core. And plus, in the battle of an astromech versus a human you know I’m gonna pick the droid ’cause they’re so darn adorable! They’re both great in different ways. Ultimately, I dug deep though and found Artoo truly did deserve the vote. He’s played quite the part in SW, helping save ’bout every hero there is — Obi-Wan, Anakin, the Ghost crew (blowing up those blasters was all R2’s idea, after all), and most recently, Luke, among others. Hard to argue with that logic, right? But who knows? We have yet to see where Sabine’s destiny leads… someday she may just beat Artoo 🙂
Dark Side Vote: The Seventh Sister. Every year I’m amazed how far Jabba The Hutt gets in the tournament, especially when up against truly awesome villains like Sev here. Granted, looking back, I may have overlooked Jabba’s hand in the villainy game some. He may just chill around in his palace all day but he has rancors and bounty hunters and the rest of his many many lackeys at the ready at all times. I mean, how coldhearted do you have to be to literally have a party on your sail barge while you throw your prisoners to the sarlacc? Or get Boba Fett to test out carbonfreezing on Han? That’s pretty bad. I think I ultimately chose against Jabba based on the fact he can be an ally sometimes, and has actually worked with our heroes instead of against them. Whereas with Seventh, though we don’t see all that she’s has done in her inquisiting career, with her drive and ferocity, and the fact that she’s technically in the business of hunting Jedi… well, I think she owns the vote. The lives she’s taken have no doubt she’s left a negative footprint on the galaxy and the future of the Jedi.

DAY THREE: LUKE VS. HERA/PALPATINE VS. VENTRESS

Light Side Vote: Luke Skywalker. I looked at this one from quite a few angles to figure out who to choose. I mean, Hera is a major player in the existence of the Rebel Alliance. Where would Luke be without her impact? But where would the Alliance be had Luke not helped destroy the Death Star? Or helped save Leia? Or met Han and got him involved? Or defeated Darth Vader? Ultimately, I get the feeling that the galaxy would’ve suffered much more if not for Luke’s hand in all of this. Anddd whoops I realize that last bit sounded like a pun. Sorreh. Definitely not an easy vote to pick, but I think I made the right choice.
Dark Side Vote: Palpatine. Dude, when it comes to being bad, Palpatine’s the king, the president, the Chancellor, and the Emperor of all baddies. I betcha even Supreme Leader Snoke looked up to him when considering Darksidery as a career! Scientifically, no villain in SW can stand up to him. Except maybe Snoke, anyway. Hmm… now wouldn’t that be a matchup! Besides, though Ventress has been pretty bad herself, she’s got what Palpatine doesn’t — a heart. And thank goodness for that.

DAY FOUR: HAN VS. CHEWBACCA/MAUL VS. TARKIN

Light Side Vote: Han Solo. Scientifically, Chewbacca does hold the honor of having help saved two Jedi prior to meeting Han, including one who would become a major player for the Rebels (you know who I’m talkin’ about), and one who would train a great hero who would go on to train someone who has the potential to be a great hero (not namin’ names you should know this one). In some ways he might might might have deserved the vote in retrospect, especially since he keeps getting beat by his copilot year after year. But Han… oh myyyyy… he’s got a lot of honor to hold too! Pushing past my bias that names him my favorite scoundrel/general/pilot/all-around-nice-guy, I think the best reasoning goes to more recent events, as that “someone who has the potential to be a great hero” would never’ve gotten off of Jakku without him, among a great number of events. Captain Solo’s left a truly marvelous legacy behind… who knows where it will lead next? OK hopefully I got all of my thought process on that straight…
Dark Side Vote: Darth Maul. Tarkin and Maul are both heavy-hitters in the villain category for sure. I’ve used the excuse before that Tarkin helped helm the Death Star and so technically helped in killing a planet’s worth of innocent lives. While we don’t know everything Maul has done or will do, he does everything in the most malicious manner imaginable. Anddd I’m starting to realize again that this vote may not be as scientifically accurate as I would’ve preferred it to be. But I will say this: we don’t yet know the impact Maul has made or will make, and because of this, who knows what he’s put into motion already? I might look back years from now after reading another book or watching another show/movie and realize I totally called it. Man I wish I remembered what I was thinking the day I made that vote…

DAY FIVE: YODA VS. FINN/KYLO VS. JANGO

Light Side Vote: Yoda. I was totally excited to see some Force Awakens faces entering the tournament this year, but again, a little bummed out by the matchup. I mean, Yoda vs. Finn? That’s not fair in the slightest. The interesting thing here is, we don’t know the ultimate amount of impact Finn will make on the galaxy. He’s certainly made history, and I know he’ll continue to do so as he fights for the Resistance in the stories to come. But Yoda is the master of all masters, and technically, because he trained Luke who’s (assumptively) training Rey now, whose skills with a lightsaber might‘ve saved Finn’s backside… well, I think our fave storm’s OK with losing to the little green guy.
Dark Side Vote: Kylo Ren. This vote was unfair for the totally opposite reasons. We know very little ultimately about both of them, except they’re both awesome bad guys and have stellar fashion sense. But considering the only legacy we know about Jango is his super-cool son, and can only assume what he’s done with that stellar bounty hunting, blaster-twirling prowess of his… well, he sorta pales in comparison to the guy who blows up multiple planets in just one day and can stop blasterfire in its tracks. #DefiniteUnfairAdvantage But still, Ben here has my vote. *Ducks from three-bladed lightsaber thrown in my direction* SORRY SORRY I MEANT TO SAY KYLO REN!

DAY SIX: AHSOKA VS. BB/DOOKU VS. PHASMA

Light Side Vote: Ahsoka Tano. Oh lookie another unfair matchup! Again, it’s tough to pick who makes the greater difference when we haven’t seen all the difference one of them’s made yet. But considering the Resistance itself might not exist had their been no Rebellion, and the Rebellion might not’ve existed had Ahsoka not been involved… BB-8 would be out of a job. BB-8 gave me a thumbs-down for this stunt… “DUDE I LITERALLY HELPED FIND LUKE SKYWALKER AND THIS IS THE THANKS I GET?” Maybe next year BB…
Dark Side Vote: Count Dooku. Dooku and Phasma are both some kinda tough stuff, but again, we don’t know what impact the Captain will make on the galaxy. Whereas, y’know… helping bring about the Clone Wars and the eventual fall of the Republic kinda gives the “older gentleman” a leg up this time around.

DAY SEVEN: REY VS. EZRA/BOBA VS. HUX

Light Side Vote: Rey. WOW! Now THIS is a matchup! The two new padawans! Ohhoho I loved figuring out this vote! Because in this case, both their stories have yet to be told. Who knows where their legacies will lead? It’s actually really interesting how alike they are… both strong, clever young individuals on their own, doing their best to survive, and then they find an unexpected new family that changes their paths — and themselves — forever. It would’ve been easy to just say “well Ezra ignited that spark of rebellion with that inspiring transmission of his and so owns the vote”, buuuut then I looked at Rey here… GIRL DONE WON A LIGHTSABER DUEL WITH KYLO REN, HAVING NEVER PICKED UP A ‘SABER IN. HER. LIFE. WHOA. I ended up voting for this one scientifically analyzing their use of the Force. Ezra’s quite amazing at it too, but even he had to learn a few things to knock down an adversary. So Rey’s intensely serious skillz earned her the vote. Plus, it’s her first year in the tournament, so it only seemed fair.
Dark Side Vote: General Hux. You may be wondering why in the world I’d pick this guy over Boba Fett. Well first I’d say “What? Hux is a cool dude too!”, but then I’d move on to my logical conclusion: Hux helped Starkiller Base along in destroying all those worlds and all the billions of innocent people on them. Also he is very very passionate about what he does. He don’t take crud from no one! All “Eat this Resistance!” I’m thinking Boba may have a bit more of a heart than that. Plus, Boba was gonna win anyway so I kinda did want to give it to the underdog…

DAY EIGHT: LEIA VS. POE/GRIEVOUS VS. KALLUS

Light Side Vote: Leia Organa. Well this was kinda an obvious answer for me. General Organa is not only the bosslady of the Rebel Alliance/Resistance, but she’s Poe Dameron’s boss period. She did send him out to help find Luke, after all. Plus, yeah, she’s LEIA ORGANA. From princess to general, she’s been nothing but a rock-solid force in the SW universe and her legacy only continues to further as she plays a mom figure to Rey. Don’t worry, Poe, you’re still amazing too. I hope someday to talk about your legacy with the same enthusiasm 🙂
Dark Side Vote: General Grievous. Grievous wins, no questions. Even if I had voted for this before I discovered Kallus is a decent human being, I still would’ve given the General my vote. It’s hard to argue with a cold, calculating cyborg who simply wants to kill Jedi because he can. Agent K may’ve been a jerk in the past, but he clearly has a heart. The only heart Grievous has went up in flames. Yeahhh sometimes winning the Dark Side vote isn’t really a win.

DAY NINE: R2 VS. OBI-WAN/VADER VS. JABBA

Light Side Vote: R2-D2. Wat is dis? I voted for Artoo OVER Obi-Wan?? :O 100% scientific vote man. That little droid did it and saved the ship Obi-Wan was on. Make all the jokes you want Master Kenobi, but that “dime a dozen” droid is the only reason you’re alive or that really anything happened in the SW galaxy! Seriously though really. No Naboo ship, no Padme, no Obi-Wan, no Anakin, no Luke, no Leia, quite possibly no Threepio, no nothin’. Wow is that not an insane thought?
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. This one was all too easy. Feeding your dancers to the rancor is pretty bad, but burning a town just to rile up the Rebels? That’s downright DESPICABLE. No question who got that vote.

DAY TEN: HAN VS. LUKE/MAUL VS. PALAPTINE

Light Side Vote: Han Solo. This one was really interesting. It’d be easy to say “Luke because he defeated Vader”, but I thought long and hard on this one and found that no one deserved this vote more than Han. Had Obi-Wan given those credits to some other pilot, the very fabric of SW would be very very different than we know it today. Han got Luke where he needed to go, and then helped Luke save Leia, and then helped Luke blow up the Death Star. He continually helped the Rebel Alliance before attempting to leave, but then got pulled back into it anyway. Though it wasn’t right that he got betrayed and turned into a decoration in Jabba’s palace, he did get Lando involved in the Rebellion, and he went on to destroy the second Death Star. And to top it all off, had he not met Finn and Rey… THEY WOULDN’T HAVE FOUND LUKE. So that makes it… what? Seven favors you own him now, “Junior”? This only served to make me love Han and his friendship with Luke more and I proceeded to fangirl and cry at the same time. AHH THE FRIENDSHIPNESS!
Dark Side Vote: Palpatine. Not quite as thought-provoking an answer, but still, Palpatine pwns Maul in the badness game. Just does. “There is no mercy…” *shudders*

DAY ELEVEN: YODA VS. AHSOKA/KYLO VS. DOOKU

Light Side Vote: Yoda. It almost pained me to vote against Ahsoka this round. But again, Yoda trains evrahbody! And since Yoda trained Obi-Wan who trained Anakin who trained Ahsoka, the order of Jedi mastery just makes sense to give it to him. Plus, the last few years, he always got matched up against one of my go-to favorites, like Obi-Wan, Luke, and Qui-Gon, and that really wasn’t the fairest since Yoda is just as awesome as they are. So I’m actually glad to give Yoda some credit where credit is due for once 😀
Dark Side Vote: Count Dooku. Kylo Ren seems like the obvious choice, right? I mean, you remember what I said about him blowing up all those planets. But Count Dooku done went and helped bring down the entire system of government in the galaxy. THAT is pretty intense if you ask me, and a bit on a larger scale. Plus, if Dooku hadn’t played his part in the fall of the Republic the Empire Darth Vader served might’ve never existed and who would be Kylo Ren’s senpai then? Yay underdog votes!

DAY TWELVE: LEIA VS. REY/GRIEVOUS VS. BOBA

Light Side Vote: Leia Organa. All I’m sayin’ is Leia is the bosslady and she’s helped orchestrate the Rebellion since she was a teen. Her levels of impact are unrivaled. Also, had she not sent Poe and BB-8 to Jakku… Rey wouldn’t be wielding a lightsaber right now. Talk about a legacy.
Dark Side Vote: General Grievous I’m sorry I didn’t vote for Boba Fett this tournament, really I am. But Grievous is a monster, man… he’s done some downright atrocious stuff in helping further Palpatine’s schemes. He’s one of those villains that’s hard to find the good in, y’know? Hard for a bounty hunter, even a Mando bounty hunter with a vendetta, to compete with. They’re both still amazingly cool characters, don’t get me wrong. Just… yeah, understand the amount of impact.

DAY THIRTEEN: OBI-WAN VS. LUKE/VADER VS. MAUL

Light Side Vote: Obi-Wan Kenobi. Well, obviously since Obi-Wan trained Luke and convinced Yoda to further train Luke. He’s kinda a big deal.
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. Vader Vs. Maul is always always always a toughie. Both have done things that leave me aghast in shock. But only one of them helmed that ultimate weapon… and only one successfully defeated Sidious. Kind of a stretch maybe, but I think it makes sense.

DAY FOURTEEN: YODA VS. REY/KYLO VS. BOBA
Light Side Vote: Yoda. Because again, Yoda trained Luke who goes on to train Rey. That’s a pretty important amount of legacy to leave if you ask me.
Dark Side Vote: Kylo Ren. Again, when it comes to being bad, Boba is a sweet cinnamon roll compared to the likes of these Darksiders he’s been matched up against. Starkiller Base just done did more damage than those blasters, you and I both know that.

DAY FIFTEEN: LUKE VS. REY/VADER VS. KYLO
Light Side Vote: Luke. Whee the masters goin’ against the apprentices!! What can I say? Rey may have some natural talent, but Luke’s going to help her refine it. The path she chooses, the legacy she leads, will forever be influenced by her new master. Deeeep.
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. “YOU’LL NEVER BE AS STRONG AS DARTH VADER!” Sorry just truth Kylo bro. He’s his senpai, his role model, his inspiration, and his grandpa. Darth Vader wins all the vote here.

FINAL VOTE: LUKE VS. VADER

What can I say? I heart the Light Side. Luke did defeat Darth Vader, but ultimately with love, not fighting. Luke’s legacy, his impact on the galaxy is astronomical. And like say, he’s about to do like Yoda and pass on what he’s learned. I think Luke completely deserved the vote, and the final win this year, don’t you think? 😀
And on a totally 100% biased fangirly note… he’s just a flat-out amazingly incredible character!

TIMSketch

And so ends another great This Is Madness! Can only imagine what next year’s tournament will hold.
Also #JynErsoFor2017Champion 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight