Tag Archives: stormtroopers

The Resistance Report: The Core Problem

Things are coming down to the wire on Resistance right now (at least for me, being so late to the party), and I have no doubt it’s ’bout to get really real! Let’s see if a little fanalyzing can clear up The Core Problem… or at least help you enjoy it a little more 🙂

Contains spoilers from Episode VII and Resistance episode The Core Problem, along with other events in this season thus far.

So anyone else find it interesting that Kaz held on to a tooka doll for about half the episode?

Yes, it’s a nifty little Easter egg for longtime animated Star Wars fans like myself (and you too, I imagine), but I take note of this gesture for more than just nostalgia’s sake.

This simple toy is a painfully harsh reminder of the depths of the First Order’s malice. It’s not that we didn’t already know of that, of course. Our first glimpse of the FO in The Force Awakens takes us to a village whose fate is similar to the ruins we see today. And we learned from Kel and Eila that the ravaging on Jakku was nothing new for Ren’s forces. Either way you spin it, it’s gut-wrenching. But there’s something about this lone doll lying under the rubble that brings home the reality of this destruction in a very tangible way. It’s one thing to know that many died or nearly died, but to consider deeply what those lives looked like before they were lost makes the loss much more vivid.

From the instant we see the little city, with its beautiful, ancient architecture, it’s clear these people must have been thriving. With the Force temple (I’m assuming) at its center, we gather they were likely a peaceful people. From the tooka doll, we know, of course, that children lived here. But more than that, I get the sense that these children were happy and playful. We don’t know for sure how economically-successful these people were, but still, the fact they could buy or make toys says they had time, ability, and a desire to do so in some way. But whatever the case, whether this city was more like a Jakku village, a rich epicenter like Theed, or something in between, there was a little boy or girl here who had a beloved raggedy tooki. And now that child is gone. Whether prisoner of the First Order or dead by blasterfire, we don’t know for certain. But a profound sense of loss is still felt.

The fact Kaz holds on to the toy for so long, even in the midst of battle, says to me this affected him deeply.

He knows the stories of the children from Tehar (who apparently share some connection to this ruined city), he’s dodged fire from stormtroopers and TIE fighters, he’s found proof of terrible industrial doings, but now Kaz sees the destruction for himself. He sees the lost child behind the tooka, a child who he didn’t have the chance to help like he did Kel and Eila.

I figured he ultimately would leave the doll, or find a place in the ruins for it to rest as a way to honor its owner, like in Mulan. But instead, Kaz carries the toy with him back to the Colossus. I might be way off here, but I imagine this encounter in the lost city was the moment the weight of the war became real. He’s been raised as a defender of good in the New Republic, trained to fight in the Navy, recruited to help the Resistance; he has a pretty firm idea who the good guys and bad guys were/are. But I imagine it’d be easy to be disconnected from what’s really at stake when you haven’t experienced those stakes personally. Our young hero has yet to encounter first-hand the kind of carnage Poe will face on Jakku, but what the little tooka represents is enough. If Kaz was on fire for the Resistance before, he must be a raging inferno now. I know I would be.

Yes, what I talked about last post is still true, you have to be willing to talk, listen, and be considerate to those on the “other side”, those who don’t share your beliefs. But some things, like the value of life, are always worth being on-fire about.

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– Since Kaz did so well fixing up the Fireball back on Dangerous Business, I would’ve expected he’d be better at mechanics in general by now. But yeah I guess communicators are a totally different ballgame. Stay strong spyboy-flyboy!
– Are you sure that BB-8 was believing in you, Kaz? Because what I got from those uncertain bwurps was: “Oooh boy this is it. The kid’s gonna die this time… what’ll I tell Poe?” XP
– “Lone Wolf” is a great codename, though the way Poe makes friends I find it hard to believe it’s all that accurate (probably has more to do with his battle stunts TBH). Whatever the case, wolves are cool and Poe Dameron is cool, so it makes sense for that reason if nothing else!
– Good point, shouldn’t Kaz have a codename too? I like “Green Bean”, but I think that would suit Neeku better. Maybe a shortened form of my nickname for him, “Flyboy”? No, that’s not specific enough. Would “Tooki-Cat” be unfair at this point? The emotional story arc aside, Kaz somehow always manages to land on his feet (figuratively speaking) no matter what curiosity nearly gets him killed 😛
– Man, add “ninja” to Poe’s increasing list of mad skillz!
– We also have more to add to Kaz’s skillset: he knows both his military strategy and his dad jokes! XD
– They’re goin’ gravity well-surfin’! Half of me thinks this looks like great fun and the other half is mortally terrified of the prospect.
– OH DANG IT’S BABY STARKILLER BASE! Wait, if Poe’s going to Jakku tomorrow, then how much time passed between that event and its first attack? The FO must’ve done a rush job on the machine or something. But then again the timespans in-between SW events usually surprise/confuse me.
– All I want for Christmas is for Kaz to somehow be in Episode IX so we can get more of this buddy-comedy gold!
– Well can you blame Kaz for losing focus here?? That probe looks like an evil ice cream cone! It’s very distracting!
– Whoa I think Poe and I are on the same wavelength here. My reaction seconds before his “KIDS! IT’S GOT KIDS!” was “AHHH IT HAS BABIES!!”
– BB and CB floating past each other in the droidswap struck me with shades of WALL-E :3
– Same here, Neeku, same here. Having BB-8 around so much of this season has been something really special ❤

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Resistance Report: The New Trooper

Whoa boy I’ve got a lot of stuff to write about on this one! I mean seriously I think I almost could write two blogs, ’cause The New Trooper delves into everything from galactic politics to space waffles! Let’s see if I can get all this organized right…

Contains spoilers from Resistance episode The New Trooper and elements from the first season thus far. Also some minor spoilers from Episode IV.

Star Wars has taught me a lot over the years; one of those things is that war is complicated. Resistance isn’t the first time we’ve encountered this reality — just watch The Clone Wars or Rogue One, or read James Luceno’s Tarkin. However, this series is the first time in my Star Wars experience that I’ve been able to sit down and really explore the average Joes’ and Janes’ thoughts on war, both the one of the past and the one to come. We’ve seen hints of Kaz’s on-fire Rebel heart and Tam’s respect for stormtroopers in past episodes, but in The New Trooper we watch these perspectives clash and emotions rise in a surprisingly volatile way I was not expecting.

I think it’s very easy for young people to get caught up in taking sides on an issue without actually knowing all the facts (I certainly have been there). The actual nuances of political matters can be super boring, while the energy of a heated debate can be an attractive force. But fierce passion without knowledge has a tendency to lead to shouting matches and hurt feelings. I know that’s not entirely the case with Kaz and Tam here; they both have strong reasons for believing what they do. Much of the problem is that there’s more arguing going on than there is listening or discussing. But I get it — it’s so much easier to stick to what you know and refuse to even think about there being multiple sides to an issue.

And this growing battle with Kaz and Tam has even more complications than stubbornness alone. Kaz knows things that would support his concerns with the First Order, like their interest in dedlanite and that powerful phase connector, but he can’t say much beyond references to his history lessons. Tam, on the other hand, has family who had a very different experience with the Empire, and her personal experience with the First Order so far has been positive. I can see, from her perspective, how it would seem dumb to accuse the local police of wrongdoing just because a similar set of troops did something wrong decades ago. Were I an ordinary galactic citizen (minus all my experience and knowledge as a Star Wars fan IRL), I might have agreed with Tam. At least, until I was faced with proof that said otherwise. Proof like Kel and Eila. I don’t know about you, but anyone being cruel to children would make me lose respect real fast! And since Tam is friends with these kids, I don’t think she can ignore this red flag so easily. It’ll be interesting to see what impact they may ultimately have on her perspective.

I think the biggest takeaway from this episode is that, no matter how complicated things get, we have to be wise and discerning with whatever we support and fight for. Even when some issues seem awash in a sea of gray, truth is still truth, and we shouldn’t stand quietly if darkness begins to outweigh the light. We have to dig for this truth so we can know when, where, and how to fight for what’s really right. And we need to constantly remind ourselves in every battle we approach, large or small, that the people we disagree with are still human under the helmets we mentally assign to them.

Maybe this song will explain this better than I can alone…

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– Hey look! Normal, non-zappy fishing (slinging?) poles exist! It makes sense, but still fascinating to learn.
– Look how happy the Tehar kiddos are! They deserve to be happy for a change of pace! So YOU BUCKETHEADS BETTER LEAVE THE POOR CHILDRENZ ALONE!
– Ah the old weaponizing-the-food trick! Well played, Padawan Kell. And yes I’m still on the train of thought that these kids are Force-sensitive…
– OK I can’t get past the blue jerky right there. It looks more like Fruit By The Foot than meat! Does it turn your tongue and lips blue, too? (Author’s note: I later found out this is puffer pig bacon, so I guess it probably would have the consistency of Fruit By The Foot!)
– You know what guys? I just realized I’m sitting here watching a Star Wars family breakfast! Kind of like I drew for Rebels four years ago! Ah that’s kinda cool!! 😀
– And safe from what exactly, Tam? You’ve never struck me the type to appreciate someone’s protection. Perhaps some connection to her past and family here? I mean, yes, there was a pirate problem earlier, but… how much damage did they really do long-term?
– But forget the deep political discussions WE’VE GOT SPACE WAFFLES AGAIN!!!! YAYYYY!!!
– Also I love that the possibility of helping his big sis is the best thing ever to Neeku :3
– Is Yeager eating ration sticks? Do they still make those these days? I guess they’re like granola bars — fast and nutritious. Whether they taste as good as most granola bars, though, I’m not sure. Apologies for all the food talk, but this is fun stuff for me!
– Some days I wonder how Yeager’s Repairs ever gets anything done! I guess it’s just that the boring workdays don’t make it onto the show.
– Wow those helmets really are useless. Perhaps, like i imagine Palpatine did before him, Snoke is devoting more of the FO finances to his yacht and fancy sweater than strong armor XP
– OHMYGOSH. ARE WE ALLOWED TO TAKE STORMTROOPER HELMETS OFF AND SEE THEIR FACES BEFORE FINN’S CAME OFF?! I THOUGHT THAT WAS A BIG RULE IN CANON STAR WARS! I guess they figured we’re used to the idea by now? It’s not a huge-huge deal, I guess, but I’ve been so used to that element in storytelling we’ve seen in Rebels (you know, where they’d casually angle the camera so you didn’t see the trooper’s face as Ezra punched the bucket off him) that it came as a bit of a shock to me. Perhaps there’s more to this decision than I know, though…
– That was a beautiful acting job, Kaz! Just as splendidly awkward as Han’s “How are you?” thirty-odd years back! I give it two thumbs way, way up! And hey, the other trooper fell for it, so he’s not doing a bad job, even without the Ezra-style use of accents.
– We’ve seen a lot of great stormtrooper switcharoos, but I think Kaz is the awkwardest fake ‘trooper we’ve ever had don the armor. I’m kind of amazed the other CSs haven’t noticed the totally non-rigid, noodle-y way he moves!
– OK dumb costume-related question: Kaz is apparently wearing the full bodysuit under his confiscated armor. But the original CS-515 still has a full bodysuit. Do storms wear double layers? Unless this is a continuity error of some sort, it seems to be the case. If so, that answers a lot of questions I had back on Rebels when they were stealing white armor left and right and I was a little grossed out at the thought they were leaving the soldiers, well… not wearing much, let’s just say. So *phew* that’s reassuring!
– Still having a tough time getting used to a face attached to that voice (as in, the “stormtrooper” voice in general, not Steve Blum!). I mean, yes, I’ve always known there are people under those buckets. But it’s still so easy to forget that they’re human (or more apropos to this galaxy, sentient beings… although stormtroopers are all human far as I know), especially with our (or at least my) limited knowledge of the First Order troops. They’re bred to be perfect, unfeeling soldiers who shoot when commanded to and keep their helmets on. But yet, they do have some personality and opinions on things, like the other CS complaining about his workload from earlier, and of course our good friend TR-8R who was plumb mad at Finn. It gets you thinking, right? I wonder what these guys will do with their lives should Rey and the Res defeat the First Order for good.
– Also there’s something profoundly sweet about the way Kel and Eila try to calm 515. Perhaps they now see the sad soul that was buried in that inhuman armor, and aren’t so scared of him anymore.
– Trust him, Neeku’s a doctor! XD
– My literal response when Kaz successfully beheaded the ball-droid was “OH MY GOSH!” Partly because I was really expecting Kaz to be the one to suffer a debilitating injury, but also ’cause I felt bad for the little angry dude. But it’s OK it looks like their heads are detachable anyway. They kind of need to be so they can keep rollin’ I guess.
– I don’t know what in the world Kaz was thinking waving at Torra while undercover, but it cracks me up nonetheless XD
– Doza should’ve said “Well then, you can just take your troops out to the snack bar!” Then all the storms would want to go to the snack bar and Pyre would lose all order XD

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Resistance Report: The First Order Occupation

This episode, you guys! This. Episode! Forgive my giddy fangirling, but The First Order Occupation was a sheer delight, and if I didn’t fangirl a little, I’d probably explode. Don’t worry though, there will be some deeper thoughts in here as I dig into the heart and soul of this exciting-but-sweet chapter in the Resistance story.

Contains spoilers from The First Order Occupation and related events from this season thus far. Also some minor spoilers from Episode V and Rebels episode The Mystery Of Chopper Base.

With a title like “First Order Occupation”, I was expecting this episode to go in an entirely different direction. Perhaps something to do with Kaz’s role as a Resistance spy in a sea of growing hostilities and suspicions. And for the first chunk of the episode, it really felt like that’s where the story was going. But Kaz’s kind heart changes the course dramatically as he takes the focus off his own problems and risks everything to help Synara escape. I was expecting an exciting adventure no matter what this episode entailed, but it was this beautiful picture of love that made it so much more.

Yeah, I know… “love” is a rather strong word for an awkward spy boy and a conflicted pirate girl who doesn’t seem terribly impressed with the aforementioned awkward spy boy. But let’s remind ourselves that love is more than romance; it’s taking the focus off yourself and what you want, and thinking of and acting on what others want or need — whether friend, enemy, or someone you’ve never met. I don’t know about you, but Kaz risking his life and his Resistance career for Syn’s safety? That’s love. And then Synara giving up her newfound freedom to help him back? Also love.

Let me expand a bit on these kinds of love. Yes, it’s been quite obvious these last few chapters that Kaz has a schoolboy crush on Synara. I wouldn’t deny that it had some effect on his decision-making (I mean, Kaz did make it sound like she single-handedly fought that mama rokkna… a slight exaggeration, I do think), but I’d argue that he would have helped her regardless. His kindness has shone through in so many other ways throughout the series so far. And the very fact he was where he needed to be to rescue Synara in the first place, right back on Signal From Sector Six, is because of a love-rooted truth that he believed in: “When people are in need, we help“. Even when it meant fighting ill-tempered monkeys and a hulking ape-lizard, and even now when it meant saying goodbye, likely for good.

There’s a lot I wish we knew about Kaz and Synara’s friendship. Their initial relationship seemed a bit stilted, obviously since Syn wasn’t trying to make friends while undercover, and I’m sure also due to some of her suspicions about his identity. But by the time we get to The Doza Dilemma, while she still seemed unsure of how to respond to all the kindnesses she’d been shown by Kaz and his friends, it clearly meant the world to her — enough so that she absolutely couldn’t go through with a plan that would hurt a friend. I have little doubt that Kaz’s kindnesses in the past had an influence, even in some small way, on who she became. But regardless of what all happened in between, this last great kindness of Kaz’s seems to have deepened their bond, and it’s not just in that he put himself in danger to help her. I think Synara knew last episode that Kaz didn’t believe her claims, that she’d likely just lost his friendship. The fact he still decides to help her despite her deception, that he still could see the good in her, must have blown her away. It’s an act of forgiveness as well as kindness, and when you’re a pirate… I can’t imagine you get either very often. No wonder she couldn’t stand aside and let Kaz get caught, and no wonder that she seemed reluctant to leave Castilon in the end…

Her world had completely changed. All because of a young pilot who, in helping the Resistance, would ultimately be led to her distress signal.
Indeed, he helped her more than he realized.
More than she realized.

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– I was a little surprised that the First Order got on Doza’s good side so quickly, but the FO certainly knows how to play their cards. I wonder how much time passed between last episode and now? By Neeku’s comment, it’s at least been a week. Again it fascinates me how fast this show’s moved and makes me wonder what’s gone on in between. Perhaps an opportunity for some comics, youth novels, and Lego shorts? 🙂
– “If ‘thrilled’ is code for ‘nauseated’, then yes, Neeku. I’m extremely thrilled.” XD Man, I wanna write like these guys!
– There is a lesson here in what Kaz is saying, guys. History is super important!
– Aw, Kaz just wants to help the poor guy! 3: Now would be a great time to have a spare com and a penchant for voice acting… oh wait that’s Ezra’s thing. Um, any chance you’ve got another gorg in that thermos? That could work…
– Nice save, Neeku! Though yikes dare I ask how he would’ve finished that sentence? “…and he has been following you all around nonstop since your arrival! He’s that big a fan!”
– You stormtroopers are looking for all the wrong droids! If anyone’s a spy on the platform, well… I’d bet my credits on Garma. Just look at her in the crowd back there, smiling at that guy like nothing about this present situation is concerning! And I can’t remember the episode now, but we’ve seen her steal a crate outright. Actually, maybe she’s working for the FO instead! Perhaps that’s the real reason she’s acted so nice to Kaz! Gotta keep an eye on her, folks.
– Whoa so this is what it looks like when Kaz gets worked up. Back up everybody! He’s on fire!
– THE STORMS ARE ON TO HIM! KAZ IS SO TOAST IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY. Well, it’s kind of funny… mostly because his acting skills are so bad and Yeager knows it.
– OK so I just noticed that little janitor dude has robotic hands and a tiny hat. So coot!
– Conversational skills are on-point! 😛 Seriously though, I think Kaz got his metaphors mixed up a bit in there.
– Good job not drawing attention to yourself, spyboy-flyboy. That guy back there must think you’re nuts talking to a crate like that XP
– Is the “neekto” in “great-grand-neekto” a nikto word for “mother” or “father”, or someone’s actual name? Either one sounds possible.
– “To the turbolift!!” Well now I’m gonna have to whisperscream the same anytime I get on an elevator XD
– Heyy we finally get to hear StarWarsian elevator music! Perfect! It makes this moment even more hilarious!
– Of all the heartfelt “sensitive” goodbyes we’ve seen in Star Wars… this is the only one that had me get a little misty-eyed and laugh out loud. It may not’ve been a tearjerking “I love you/I know” or a tender “We’ll see each other again”, but Kaz’s kind heart still shines through — even when being bonked squarely on the head by an escape pod door. Good thing he still had that helmet!
– Aww look at Synara and the fish-birds! I think she’s secretly a Disney Princesses. If that ship hadn’t arrived so soon, she’d probably have sung an “I Want” song! Just watch and you’ll see, someday she’ll be part of this world!

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Resistance Report: Signal From Sector Six

OK this episode is so so fun I have an absolute barrel-load to blog about! And yes the monkey pun was entirely intended. Sorry, Poe. Now let’s delve into some of the most sensational moments of the superb Star Wars escapade, Signal From Sector Six!

Contains spoilers from Episode VI, Episode VIII, and Resistance episode Signal From Sector Six (along with selected events from prior episodes).

So, having Poe Dameron come along for the ride again was an absolute treat! I really wasn’t expecting him to end up being as involved as he was, so that made it even more of a treat! Poe has this awesome energy that just lights up every scene he’s in! And I still can’t get over what an outrageously nice guy he is. Between his big-brother-little-brother bond with Kaz and his clear and evident determination to help others, I don’t know how to stop fangirling, and I don’t think I ever will 😀 I mean, who didn’t get all the feels when he stated so boldly and plainly, “There are a lot of dangers out there in the galaxy. When people are in need, we help“? And yet, in the same episode, we’re reminded he’s not without a chink or two in his armor — the man is not a fan of monkey-lizards, to put it mildly. I can’t help but wonder if there’s maybe a slight phobia involved, something more than just sheer annoyance. Either way, we sure learned a lot about Poe in the span of these glorious twenty-two minutes, and it successfully satisfies both my SW fangirl side and my analytical writer side!

And you guys, there are just too many good things to say about CB-23! I was so pleased to get the chance to meet another of the somewhat-uncommon female astromechs, and plus, I just needed more of these darling spherical droids in my life. I had no idea she’d bring so much personality to the table, though. CB is just the sassiest thing, and her little rivalry with BB-8 left me in stitches! But their brief exchange after BB saved her from the monkey got me “aww”-ing big time. It’s amazing how much you can garner from their little nods, beeps, and purrs. CB goes from being surprised and curious why he helped her, to a little apologetic about her earlier actions, and then to what I read as a look of admiration, while BB-8 remains humble and sweet the whole time. Hehe whoops I think they just became my new OTP :3 This episode really reminded me in general how wonderful BB-8 is, and how much joy it brings having him along for Kaz’s misadventures. He’s more than just adorable, he’s the most endlessly loyal sphere-mech I’ve ever met! And now we know he makes friends as easily as his master 🙂

There could have been anything lurking in the shadows of the freighter. We’ve seen everything from mynocks to rathtars, zombie geonosians to giant Imperial sentry droids, what could be next? Well, boy was I surprised when I caught glimpse of those familiar long ears. Kowakian monkey-lizards aren’t your typical scream-inducing SW creature, but the way they played them out this episode, it was hard not to be on the edge of your seat even so. It’s a unique blend of creepy and comedic than I had no idea anyone could pull off successfully, but leave it to Star Wars! 🙂 The little bogans sure are smart… I was particularly concerned for BB and CB. (Hey don’t forget Threepio almost lost a visual receptor to Salacious Crumb!) And then the ape-lizard shows up and brings some serious intensity. I thought at first the big guy was some sort of experimental cross between a monkey and a rancor, but it’s pretty cool to see there are other creatures in that species family (or is that genus? Order? Phylum? I need to brush up on my biology). So cool animal science for me, but a waking nightmare for the boys and the droids XP I know we have yet to see a monkey-lizard without a penchant for making people miserable, but in their defense, the critters were caged up, probably being illegally smuggled for the pet trade (think about it, the only ones we’ve seen elsewhere in the canon belonged to Jabba and Hondo). I’m thinking they might be more decently-behaved living free and in the wild. It’s possible, right…?

And yeah I gotta applaud the writers again, because they made it so hard for me to determine Synara’s true intent. I honestly didn’t remember her presence in The Triple Dark, and somehow it didn’t click with me that she was wearing pirated storm armor. For all intents and purposes, I was pretty convinced she was just the monkey smuggler or something. I did sense she might not be the most trustworthy character, but I was hoping that underlying suspicion might just be a ruse. I mean, after the incident with Amilyn Holdo I don’t trust my first impressions the way I used to. (I can’t be the only one who sorely regrets spending so much time distrusting Leia’s BFF, right?) But in this case, my suspicions were not ill-placed. That doesn’t make her any less of an intriguing character, though. I look forward to seeing how exactly she decides to cause trouble on the Colossus. Plus it’s so cool she’s a purple-skinned mirialan! Once again, this show keeps #KillingIt in the character designs! 😀

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– Major points to the slick-sounding episode title. Which also happens to literally be the sixth episode.
– Ooh, another chance to witness the rarely-seen SW morning routine! Today, we study the waking habits of the young Resistance spy. See how he walks with his head hung down unnaturally low! And how he handles a broken caf machine! Fascinating XD
– Somehow I get the impression that, if anyone discovers Kaz’s secret, it’s gonna be Tam…
– I’m not a morning person, either, Kaz. But you should see that gorgeous Castellon sunrise! Better than caf!
– These background paintings are giving me life you guys.
– You jump into the x-wing, Kaz. You’re a Star Wars character, it’s kind of in your contract to make spectacular leaps off and into things just like Ahsoka, Ezra, and quite a few others before you!
– Whoops the lasat pirate I so fangirled over a few episodes ago just got eaten. Poor dude.
– Those scruffy little pirate-fighters are awesome!
– More reasons to love BB-8: “Stand back, Kaz, I’ll handle this! Put up your dukes, lady!”
– It’s adorable watching Kaz pretend he’s an expert at life on the Colossus. Keep dreaming kiddo.
– “You’ve helped me more than you realize.” A++ foreshadowing right there! I still can’t believe I didn’t see it coming.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SW Summer Reads: The Rebels Novelizations, Part 1

It’s time again for some Star Wars Summer Reads! Or I guess Summer-ish Reads for some of you guys. Anyway, the first Star Wars novel I ever read was a Clone Wars novelization compilation called Grievous Attacks. It was a really fun experience and a great introduction to SW books, so I decided it’d be fun to revisit some classic Rebels season one episodes in junior novel form! Let’s talk about Michael Kogge’s takes on Machine In The Ghost, Art Attack, Entanglement, Property Of Ezra Bridger, Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and Rise Of The Old Masters!


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

I honestly forgot until I read these how fun novelizations can be. You get to dive further into the story you’ve seen on-screen, learning more little things about the SW galaxy, as well as the chance to delve into what’s going on inside the characters’ heads. Mr. Kogge did an excellent job at this, especially inside of Rise Of The Rebels, the shorts compilation. He writes a lot of depth into these already-deep little stories as we explore different perspectives (like those of Chopper or a stormtrooper), and even adds some nice new lines and moments that compliment the source material rather than overcrowding it.


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

Droids In Distress was a very well done compilation as well, though Spark Of Rebellion suffered a little. But I’m not really complaining; it can’t be easy trying to fit a richly-written 44-minute episode in less than fifty pages! So due to the format, Mr. Kogge was forced to skip over some of the best lines and rush much of the story. But the following novelizations were near-perfection!

Both compilations have hiccups in story compared to the actual episode, but most likely that’s because these were written before the episodes were completed. Doesn’t take away from how much I enjoyed them, though! Of course, half the fun for me was just revisiting these great early episodes! The other half, well… I’ll let you in on a secret: ever since Grievous Attacks, I read all SW books out loud to myself. I just can’t pass up an opportunity to practice my character impressions! I found out reading these that I do a pretty mean Grand Inquisitor 😀

Anyway, if you love SWR and want to explore these stories from a new angle, I totally recommend. And they’re definitely great if you’re new to Star Wars books and need a light, easy introduction. Plus, the Sabine-like graffiti artwork dispersed throughout the books is an epic bonus 🙂

Now, for the fangirl-musings commentary portion of the post.

Contains spoilers from the original Rebels shorts and episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and some important elements from the seasons beyond.

– Apparently “understatement” is a distinctly twi’lek sort of humor? I must be part twi’lek then.
– I really appreciate also that they simplify some of the technical terms a little bit. Definitely the difference between a potential first-timer’s SW story and something intensely detailed for the long-timer like Tarkin. But it’s still not oversimplified, it’s just right and makes for a pretty easy read.
– Kanan, master of a thousand one-liners. True dat.
– Considering how much they argue in this short, I might not’ve guessed that Hera was actually worried about her copilot for a moment. Awwz #feels.
– We actually get a chance to get inside Chopper’s dome in this book! Some seriously funny stuff here. Now give this hard-working little droid an oil bath already!
– This book seems to imply that Chopper’s exact “words” couldn’t be understood by organics. Always Two There Are confirmed for me that “droid” is a language you can learn. I originally thought that this fact was just something I missed in the other films and shows, but this seems to mean I wasn’t the only one who was unclear on the do-people-actually-understand-astromechs-or-are-they-just-assuming-what-they’re-saying-like-when-people-talk-to-their-pets situation. Or maybe Chopper’s comment is true, and though you can learn basic astromech, a sentient being will never understand the fine details. Knowing Chop’s ‘tude, perhaps this is a good thing…
– Apparently Ryloth is known for their firework shows. I could see that.
– Chopper has good relations with the Phantom, while the Ghost tends to be pretty rude with him. Things only ‘mechs know!
– “A thousand thousand worlds sparkled in the night sky above the capital city of Lothal.” I absolutely love how Mr. Kogge writes for Sabine. He captures so well her fiercely artistic mindset with heavily poetic descriptions. I can’t help but be a little bummed they didn’t make more of these novelizations.
– Sabine has heard the tales of Boba Fett! I still almost can’t believe we never got to see them in a face-off, but I suppose the writers knew that would be far too easy and more of a what-the-fans-want than a what-the-series-needs. But I suppose there’s nothing to say it still couldn’t happen…
– I really hope TK-626’s number was a Lilo And Stitch reference.
– The idea of the Empire specifically recruiting known bullies as Imperial Cadets at first sounded a little too obvious, but then again, remember Oleg? Frankly, I can imagine a lot of storms might’ve been ne’er-do-wells in grade school. Perhaps it’s not what the Empire is looking for alone, but it doesn’t hurt…
– “Artists were almost as bad as rebels. They could draw, paint, and create things he couldn’t. And for that, they deserved to be crushed.” Oh you guys, I think I figured out why TK-626 was a bully. THIS POOR STORMTROOPER CHILD!! I actually feel really bad for him! Thank you Mr. Kogge for helping me consider the human inside the inhuman white armor.
– I think it’s neat that Mr. Kogge paints (so to speak) Sabine as an artist first and a warrior second. Sometimes it’s easy for me to think vice versa, considering her warrior Mandalorian heritage, but when you think about her close relationship with her artistic dad, and consider the life she maybe knew before the Imperial Academy and then the mini-Alliance, it makes sense that art is her first love, and what she wants to do for a living once the war is over. Maybe once she gets Ezra back home, she’ll finally get her chance 🙂
– Apparently, Zeb isn’t all that fond of his nickname. There’s a certain way his people roll their Rs in the lasat language that most just can’t match. I like this angle. I wonder if this is a fact decided upon by the Story Group or an early assumption Mr. Kogge made. It certainly is a fascinating idea! I didn’t know they spoke anything beside Basic! Well aside from the ancient chants, but maybe that should’ve clued me in.
– Imperials don’t know many languages beyond Basic. Didn’t know that, but makes sense in retrospect.
Whoa I didn’t remember the stormtroopers being that mean to the salesnaught. All the more reason Zeb is one noble dude.
– We learn reading this that Zeb isn’t fond of ugnaughts or astromechs, but all the same, he can’t turn a blind eye to their troubles. It makes this already-amazing little story even more meaningful. AHHH SO SO NOBLE :3
– The Empire made slaves of the lasat? My first reaction was “THAT’S NOT ACCURATE! THEY WERE KILLED OFF!“, buuuuuut what if slavery was where it started? Something to consider, anyway. But I gotta say, it’s hard to imagine lasat being good slaves. The wookiees don’t work well under Kessel heat, making them less of a threat, but I imagine that wasn’t as much of a problem for the less-fuzzy-but-still-deadly lasat…
– “My old gran’s a better fighter, and she’s only two meters tall!” Pfft that’s a good one, Zeb. Wonder if this was purely Mr. Kogge’s clever writing or an unused line they recorded. But they actually elaborate further on Granny Orrelios, saying she’d lived for “three hundred dust seasons” (I’m assuming that’s 75 earth years, depending how long a dust season lasts and how many seasons they have). This is the first time we’ve ever heard of any family Zeb had, and it makes me super happy to know an inkling of his personal life before the Empire.
– I love the idea Ezra’s already had a few moments where the Force came into play before he finds himself avoiding TIE fighter fire. It makes sense, and kind of makes you wonder what adventures (and misadventures) he might’ve had on the streets of Lothal.
– Interesting that Ezra’s pretty willing to take any sort of reward, even an Imperial rescue! But hey creds are creds. Perhaps it’s this pilot’s snobbiness that drives Ez to decide to just rescue the helmet instead…
– Considering not long from now Ezra’s back to stealing food, I guess those parts didn’t get him as much cash as he hoped. Or they were stolen. Or maybe food on Lothal these days just costs a lot.
– “A sitting hawk-bat“… could that also be comparable to a lothbat?
– The second book has cool alternate episode titles: “Ezra’s Story”, “Disrupted”, and “Old Masters”.
– Sabine was drinking blue milk?? Obviously I haven’t been paying attention. Or that maybe that’s because her cup wasn’t a clear glass. Question: if blue milk is from banthas (which I’ve been led to believe), since banthas don’t live on Lothal (that we’ve seen), does that mean the Rebs are getting their food supplies from offworld? That makes sense enough. Guess I didn’t need to waste a whole paragraph on it…
– You know, unless my memory fails me, I thought the Rebels merely rescued the wookiees on Lothal before their were transferred to Kessel. I was pretty sure after seeing the hopeless world in Solo that my assumptions were for sure right. This novelization says they actually went to Kessel. I’m starting to think these books were written before the shorts and episodes were completed. That must’ve been confusing to do.
– I’ve never heard of a silverback wookiee before, but that’s a neat concept!
– I’ve always wondered what a nerf sounded like. Apparently they’re a lot like Amda Wabo…
– “Chopper recognized the astromech’s response as typical of the new R2 series. Compassion was the biggest flaw in their programming.” Suuuuure Chop, it’s a thing about their programming! ‘Cause we know you certainly don’t have a soft side!
– Also if he considers him a new R2, then how old does that makes Chopper? Well, I’m not saying he’s old, but I think I once saw a droid that looked like him in a trailer for KotOR. *Chopper soundly zaps me for the bad joke*
– In Chopper’s words, he’s only “a few decades past his expiry date”. But he knows there are far older droids than him.
– It’s rather unusual seeing Threepio and Artoo’s roles in this story flipped, with Threeps a little more confident and Artooie a little less than happy. But an interesting twist for a story I already know well.
– Knowing that Zeb had been having horrific nightmares when he shut Ezra out of their room… even though I’ve watched this episode seven times, and though I know his story doesn’t end here, I can feel his pain as strongly as ever.
– I love the creepy last line Kallus gets in as he’s about to strike down Zeb…
– But more so, I love the way Mr. Kogge describes the Force throughout these novelizations. He makes it feel very tactical, very real, this undeniable spark!

I don’t know about you, but I had a ball reading these. I’ll be taking next week off for my birthday, but after that, you should expect some more Star Wars Reads posts to arrive!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,