Following The Freemakers: The Maker Of Zoh

Since the Ghost crew took last Saturday off, you know what that means… it’s back to the Freemakers! And the episode we’re digging into today just so happens to be one of my favorites (even though they’re all my favorites), The Maker Of Zoh! Grab a hot cup of motor oil kaffe and read on!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from The Clone Wars “Siege Of Mandalore” arc, Rebels episode Twilight Of The Apprentice, The Yoda Chronicles, The New Yoda Chronicles, and Freemakers episodes Crossing Paths, The Test, The Kyber Saber Crystal Chase, and The Maker Of Zoh

Things have been pretty tough for the Freemaker fam these last couple days. A certain dark side-wielding Imperial is to blame. But perhaps things might not’ve been so difficult had they known R0-GR’s transmission pack had a tracking device the whole time. Roger knew about it but never considered it might have been the source of Naare’s constant one-step-aheading. Unfortunately this discovery is too late to make much of a difference — the last crystal’s on Hoth and Naare already knows this. So it’s either the Freemakers go to Hoth and she kills them or they don’t go and she finds the crystal and the Emperor kills everyone. But there is a third option, and it’s on Zoh. Rowan recalls what Maz Kanata told him about this person they could go to when things got desperate, and I’d say this whole situation qualifies. The uninhabited trash planet doesn’t sound promising, but hey, it’s not Hoth! That’s already a win! Oh, we’re off to see the Maker, the wonderful Maker of Zoh! *shot*
At first glance, Zoh isn’t terribly spectacular, but as they land the StarScavenger, the Freemakers come upon a fascinating array of massive, eclectic, but incredible scrap sculptures towering above them. The rest of the crew’s not sure what to make of it, but Rowan’s got a good feeling about this… which doesn’t last long when suddenly droids rise from the mechanical refuse. Lots of droids, from super battle droids to astromechs to pit droids and all the others I can’t rightly name. And they don’t like the Freemakers’ presence here. Zander sends Roger out to speak to them, but the instant their skeptical leader eyes the battle droid’s dismembered transmission pack, everydroid and their brother pulls out their weapons on the humans. Surely they would’ve made quick work of the family… had a voice not commanded them to cease their fighting… a voice I felt I recognized from somewhere but wasn’t sure where. With a wave of his hand, the mysterious figure disassembles the boulder of scrap metal that nearly was used on Rowan. The being must be Force-sensitive, but I still couldn’t place who this was. But then his left hand… it glows blue with the pure power of four kyber crystals. I squee-gasped with surprise: IT’S JEK-14. JEK is the one these droids address as The Maker. Oh my gosh you guys this made me so insanely happy I could hardly breathe! Considering how close-to-canon The Freemaker Adventures is, I wasn’t sure if the events of previous Lego SW specials were canon in this near-canon-ness. OK I’m not sure that made sense. What I mean is, one of the things that stands out most about TFA compared to previous Lego SW is that they strive to keep it as true to Star Wars as it gets, with the exception of some fun Lego stuff here and there. The older ones weren’t bad or any less fun by any means, they just mostly kept it light and played around with a lot of jokes that don’t quite quite fit the canon. Because of this, I wasn’t sure if they would consider both The Yoda Chronicles and The Freemaker Adventures in the same boat. I mean, I always kinda did, as I consider most Lego SW stories canon and take it all as seriously as the rest of SW. But whatever the case, they brought JEK-14 back and in the most amazing way. Anyway, JEK apologizes to the Freemakers for his overprotective shootystabbycrushy friends. Bossdroid N-3RO argues he has a right to overreact, looking at the lightsaber wound on one of the super battles, but JEK gets mouse droid Fixer right on it. The old clone gives the young scavengers full reign to take whatever scrap they need, but it’s not scrap they need, it’s help. And seeing how The Maker is a Forcewielder, Rowan believes he can help him with his Jedi training. But that’s exactly what JEK doesn’t want to do. “But the fate of the galaxy is at state!” “That’s what they all say… ‘One last battle to end all battles’, but there’s always another.” OK this just got so deep and so real I can’t even.
Let’s talk a brief history of JEK-14 for a minute or two. JEK-14 began life as a full-grown clone trooper, enhanced by kyber crystals and intended as a Separatist weapon by Darth Sidious. His first words were “I am ready to fight… for the Sith”, and without question he used his own brand of Force lightning on Jedi masters Mace Windu and Yoda. However, when commanded to actually kill Yoda, he couldn’t do it. Both the Jedi and the Separatists wanted JEK on their sides, but JEK refused, and the Force-sensitive clone fled for Hoth, where he found solace in using the Force to build works of art. However, the Separatists found him and cloned his Forcewielding self until he was barely alive. Miraculously, JEK-14 fought back and destroyed the dark side clones. Ultimately he chose to leave on a peaceful note, but intent on never again getting involved with the war. He went from there to Endor, where he helped build things for the ewok community. When the Jedi needed help, they sought him out, and it was only the kindness and innocence of Yoda’s padawans that convinced him to do so. In fact, had he not had such good relations with the younglings, far worse things might’ve happened. Some years later at the end of the Clone Wars, Yoda’s padawans convinced him to come back and help them get back the holocrons from the Jedi Temple. I don’t know for sure what he was doing in the time in between, but as I noticed watching this episode, the decorative clasp on his outfit has the Mandalorian beast-skull icon on it. Hehe I was actually right when I surmised he might’ve gone there! He clearly spent some time one what he assumed was a peaceful world, probably to be highly disappointed when the Siege of Mandalore occurred right before the war’s end. It was thanks to him that the Jedi made it safely offworld, and with the holocrons that Obi-Wan intended to use to train Luke someday. JEK spent the next 20 years in peace on Naboo before Yoda summoned him to Tatooine, where he would briefly join the fight against the Empire. He helped the Alliance for some time, before finally leaving them likely after they established their base on Hoth. And now, he’s made a home on Zoh, where he has all the building material he could ever want, all the friends he could ever need, and no one on his doorstep asking him to fight their battles. Until now. It’s only when Rowan explains how the Sith used him that JEK puts his pride and hurt behind him. Because once upon a time, the clone was used the same way. He’s not a Jedi, but he decides he will teach Rowan everything he knows about the Force. The Freemakers’ll be hanging out here for a while looks like. But N-3… bro’s not a fan…
Meanwhile, Graballa’s fleet was waiting outside Hoth. And waiting… and waiting… and waiting some more. Naare knows they’ll come. Graballa, however, is bored out of his mind. Both get slightly more than they bargained for though when their bosses come on the holo. Naare and Graballa are two very different varieties of scum and villainy, but the one thing they both have in common is that, for all their scum and villainy, they’re still pretty low on the food chain. Jabba doesn’t approve of his cousin’s latest harebrained scheme and Sidious is (as per usual) quickly running out of patience waiting for that Kyber Saber. Unsurprisingly, both Hutt and Imperial Agent are unsuccessful in convincing their higher-ups of their plans. We’re reminded in this scene that there are greater evils at work here and it’s terrifying. I do find it interesting that Naare approaches the Emperor this time not irritated or angry, but honestly kind of… afraid. Many times before, she’s addressed him with a prideful confidence we often see in second-rate darksiders, but it’s almost as though something happened recently to shake that foundation a little. Perhaps Sidious did something to remind her of her place, and what consequences await her if she fails. Maybe I’m reading into this too much, but if you’ve been reading these TFA posts for any length of time, you know I do a lot of that. But can you blame me? They are telling great stories here and I’m super curious about the things left unstated! But yah she feels ya, Graballa.
Watching JEK-14 training Rowan is basically one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my life. Like seriously. JEK has always been amazing with kids, and seeing him teaching his understanding of the Force to Rowan his just… wow. It’s something real special. I love his angle on the Force: the dark side destroys, but the light side creates. It’s a really great unique angle that feels appropriately Lego but also perfectly Star Wars. A very tangible point of view that perhaps no other Jedi master could offer… one that could only be explained by a Force-sensitive clone trooper who desired only to create. And perhaps someday Rowan will take these lessons and impart them on another young Forcewielder. FEELS FEELS FEEEEELS. Buuuuut again… N-3 is not a fan. The bossdroid’s convinced that The Maker might join the Freemakers and leave them if something’s not done. And if he leaves, they’ll be back to being useless, purposeless scrap. That does bring up a good question: do they truly see JEK as their friend and simply don’t want him to leave, or are they concerned mostly about being purposeless? Or are they concerned that, without The Maker, they will be have no one to protect them from any scavenger looking for a few spare parts? Or maybe it has something to do with him being “The Maker”, in that to the droids, he’s kind of a deity. IDK Maybe I missed something but any way you spin it it’s an interesting thought. N-3 is a very very desperate droid… and also very very convincing.
Elsewhere, Zander and Kordi hadn’t had much luck salvaging. Not a useful piece of junk in sight, it seems. Roger was trying to help, but after nearly crushing them with a toppled junk sculpture, the sibs give him the slip. It’s then when N-3RO makes his move, inviting his fellow “unappreciated” droid brother for a nice long oil bath. N-3 suggests that, perhaps, the battle droid should remain on Zoh, in paradise, away from ungrateful, uncaring masters who’d eventually scrap him. R0-GR won’t allow himself to believe the Freemakers would ever do such a thing, but considering recent events, there’s perhaps a niggling of doubt. Oh poor sweet Rogerrrr… 😦 Whatever the case, N-3RO’s got other plans for Roger’s masters… plans like leading Zander and Kordi into a trap.
So Rowan’s lessons were going quite well, thanks to JEK, he was able to construct a perfect speederbike out of spare parts. Which, true to his nature, Ro immediately hopped on and rode off. With a smile, JEK-14 follows on his own construction. Again AHHH I LOVE THIS. If Luke doesn’t become his official master then JEK totally should! It’s a good thing Rowan and JEK went for a ride, though, because they soon found Kordi and Zander chained up with a half a TIE hovering above their heads. N-3R0 insists that these trespassers have corrupted The Maker’s mind and that he’s doing the right thing by destroying them. Rowan expertly puts together a crate to shield them and attaches it to the speeders to get them to safety. Now if he and his master can stop the revolt without destroying the droids or getting killed themselves, it’llve been a good day! The two hold their own really well for a while, but when Rowan gets captured and JEK in turn lets his guard down, the droids get the better of them all. Roger returns from his oil bath to find his masters surrounded at all ends as N-3 has decided to “deactivate” them all, including JEK, who he now considers “beyond saving” O.O The bossdroid promises Roger complete freedom once the humans are out of the way. However, the old clanker’s come to a different conclusion. N-3 tried to convince him that the Freemakers’ frustration with him would ultimately end in a garbage disposal, but Roger has no doubts where he stands with his masters, because they’re not just masters, they’re family. In families, people make mistakes, they get mad at each other, but temporary frustration doesn’t turn their bond into scrap; they forgive each other, they love each other, they fight for each other. He might be a droid, but first and foremost he’s a Freemaker. And he takes that transmission pack with the family insignia on it and puts it back on. Now those droids are gonna have a whole ‘nother problem to deal with. OK I’m sorry I botched that moment but it’s truly amazing how strongly Roger cares for his family. In the past, he’s had a tendency to come off a little… I hate to say “jerky”, so let’s just say… “highly opinionated” with the Freemakers’ decisions and ideas. Oh wait “self-centered” that was the word I was looking for! Yeah he sometimes comes off like he cares more about himself than the others, but in his heart he truly considers them family, and he loves them even if they sometimes get on his nerves and force him into dangerous adventures… and vice versa 🙂 But oh yeah now here comes Graballa’s ship! Nuts I wish I knew its name so I wouldn’t have to keep calling it just “Graballa’s ship”. In the midst of the chaos, the Freemakers are able to make their escape. JEK remains behind to protect the droids, even after all they’ve done. But that’s not the last noble thing he’ll be doing today. Just as the Freemakers got out of the frying pan, they walked into the fryer as Naare pulled her red-blade out on them. Rowan was ready to take her on, whatever it took, but JEK-14 stood between them, urging Rowan and his family to go on. Oh man I’m getting all teary-eyed writing this. As Naare addressed him as the “failed experiment”, my respect for her dropped a few points. It’s an amazing duel though, as she fights with her lightsaber, while JEK fights with nothing but the pure Force running through his blood. He creates obstacles to throw in her way, but she just as easily tears these structures apart. Had this been a fair fight, I believe JEK was the stronger of the two, even without formal training. But it was not so… using every inch of darkness in her soul, Naare began to form a mountain of refuse around the clone. Rowan watched in horror as The Maker of Zoh was slowly buried in the scrap. Before going down, JEK called out to his apprentice “Trust in the Force. Be a builder, Rowan!” and I started bawling here, crying out “HE DONE PULLED AN ‘AHSOKA’!!” Because of JEK-14’s sacrifice, the StarScavenger was able to get offworld and away from their enemies’ grasp. Over the transmission pack, Rowan makes very clear to Naare that he will be getting that final fragment. JEK not only taught Rowan a new understanding of the Force, but I believe he’s also heavily inspired bravery in his apprentice, and in the rest of the Freemakers as well, in their most desperate hour.
On Zoh, a recently reconstructed N-3RO (post being blasted by Graballa’s fleet) wakes up to a world without The Maker… and also a restraining bolt because bro was well overdue for one of those. BL-OX now knows they never should’ve listened to him, as now, their master is no more. I started getting weepy again as I recalled all of the amazing things JEK had done and the incredible man he was. And then…
An arm shot out of the scrap.
The spark of the Force still electric in his veins, a blaze of pure Force shoots from his hand.
JEK LIVES.

So I basically drowned in feels the rest of the day. Happy feels that JEK is alive. Sad feels that Rowan believes he lost his friend. Nostalgia feels from seeing JEK again. Really all the feels. I so so much love this episode and, again, this series. It felt awesome writing about them again. And I certainly will soon! Whenever the Rebs go on hiatus I’ll bring some more Freemaker follow-ups until I hit the season finale! As long as I live and breathe I’m never gonna wanna stop talking about Star Wars 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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7 Fascinating Action Figure Finds You (Maybe) Didn’t Know Existed

Like you, I love finding Star Wars stuff, and sometimes just searching for it makes me happy, even if I don’t find what I’m looking for and move along. You could say it’s the thrill of the chase. Oftentimes, as I comb through Amazon and eBay, I’ll find some pretty cool stuff that I’d never seen or heard of before. So I thought I’d compile a few of the most unique, unusual, and downright cool 3.75s I’ve come upon. And even if you knew about them long before I did, it’s still worth some discussion, don’t you think?
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode Iv, and Episode V

EPISODE III SUPER BATTLE DROID

The droid’s on fire. Not your average figure amiright? I always loved that moment where R2-D2 shows those bullying buckets of bolts that size matters not… though I’m sure this guy would have differing opinions on the matter. Battle damage features can make for some really fascinating figures!

SECRET CEREMONY PADME AMIDALA

Oh yeah they totally made this, despite it looks like she doesn’t have enough articulation to qualify as an action figure. Still super pretty, with the chunk of the balcony and her gorgeous dress and all. Though I have to wonder why they chose to make her in this dress but not the purple senate gown and shrug, which happens to be one of my most favorite outfits of hers. Someday perhaps… but that’s another story.

OTC COLLECTION DAGOBAH R2-D2

Speaking of droids with “battle damage”, have a smol gunky R2! Again, love the detail, though wow poor Artooie…

POTJ JEDI TRAINING GEAR OBI-WAN KENOBI

I don’t know if this came out of a deleted scene, a comic book or novel, or what, but it’s all kinds of fascinating. Why black? Why leather? Why blast-shield-down-helmet? OK I guess that last part makes sense, but otherwise it looks like Obi-Wan went through an emo phase at some point XD OK I did just see they made a matching Qui-Gon so I guess there was some purpose to it. Maybe as camo? IDK…

POTJ COLD WEATHER ADVENTURE OBI-WAN KENOBI

Sorry to throw two Obi-Wans in here but seriously though the stuff they made for the Episode I era is super unique! I suppose it’s not too far from the recent “mission armor” sets they’ve been doing these days, but it’s not just that they gave a regular Obi-Wan extra gear, they gave him this entire new look for a story I’m not sure has ever been told! Gotta love that they wanted to play around with new ideas and new concepts that hadn’t yet been explored. Maybe this eventually inspired TCW down the line? Who knows.

EPISODE IV PONDO BABA WITH REMOVABLE ARM & CANTINA SECTION

Because duh we want to relive knocking Pondo’s arm clean off. Beyond that, I just love it comes with scenery, like the Padme one. Sure could make for some fun storytelling with just that chunk of the cantina alone!

EPISODE II GEONOSIAN & MASSIFF

Don’t mind us, just your average joe takin’ his dog for a walk. Though for the record I kinda really want a massiff. I mean as a figure, not a real one… unless it was properly trained, anyway.

OK so granted, that might not’ve been the most unusual or unique, but I thought they were cool anyway. And there are so so so very many more out there! I guarantee you I’ll find another bunch to blog about in the future! And yes I know this post was pretty lame but hopefully next week’s will be much better.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Uncovering The Lost Storyreels: Unfinished Business

And so we’ve reached the finale of this fantastic storyarc! Love that it’s an exciting awesome episode, sad that it’s the last of ’em. Hopefully my blogging skills are more astute than they were last time around. Either way, it’s time to dive deep into the episode called Unfinished Business!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from the Clone Wars Microseries, Rebels episode Out Of Darkness, TCW episodes Counterattack, Orders, The Bad Batch, A Distant Echo, On The Wings Of Keeradaks, and Unfinished Business (Storyreels)

Phototitle for Unfinished Business

So if you thought our heroes could get a break after all the insanity regarding Echo’s rescue… you were wrong. But obviously by the episode’s title you could probably tell that we weren’t just going to join the Bad Batch for a sandwich break (though come to think of it, I really want to see that episode now XD ). They’re still fightin’ Trench on Anaxes (also I recently figured out that this is the fyrnock-ridden base we see in Out Of Darkness; too bad they couldn’t connect with some of the critters to help them fight the battle! But perhaps the fyrnocks are why the base was abandoned in the first place), so no breaks for Jedi or clones right now. Master Windu has proposed a drop into the Sep’s Anaxes assembly complex, sounds easy enough, but it’s kinda crazy fortified so yeah maybe not that easy. But it happens that Echo has an idea. Omygoodness… I got all feely seeing Echo again… I rewatched a couple of the Citadel episodes this past week and relived his last normal mission and lost it when Fives had to move on without his friend… and then again when I realized Fives and Echo wouldn’t see each other again… 😥 😥 Sorry, boy this became a mess of emotions real fast! But anywayyyy despite Echo’s still recovering, he isn’t about to back down from helping a brotha out. He and his bros in the Clone Force 99 got this. I understand that, in unmade episodes later on, Echo became one of Bad Batchers, which of course makes perfect sense. Can’t help but notice he’s sportin’ a set of dark armor similar to that of the 99s’. So in some ways, he’s already one of them before even officially joining them. Please excuse my flawed logic. But yeah you go Echo! Steal dat Seppie algorithm and win this for the Republic with your epic tech skillz! Rex to Tech: “Don’t worry, Echo’s got a plan” “That makes me feel sooo much better…” XD C’mon Tech have faith in your fellow bro! Might he be a little jelly he can’t hook up into computers like Echo? Haha I know I would! What I would give to just write blogs in my brain instead of typing for hours! And onward our heroes go, with the Bad Batch gang leading the way!
And seriously these guys drop the best lines without even meaning to… “Pleaaaase tell me we’re gonna blow something up!” XD XD If it were up to me, I’d say “Yes you blow up all the things, Wrecker!”, but that’s on account of the fact I’m not general material and I love him to pieces. Again, Crosshair slept through most of it XD Echo then links in and masks their ship’s signal the boss way he do so the bad guys won’t take notice. And it works — battle droids can’t tell it from any other in their fleet. And our team lands without a hitch.
Meanwhile, the battle on Anaxes is already underway, with the usual droids shooting and gunships and Y-wings flying. With Mace and Obi-Wan leading the troops, they make quite the entrance to the assembly complex. Especially as Mace does something wonderfully unexpected… he bargains with the swarms of droids. He’s giving them the chance to peacefully surrender so they can be reprogrammed for the Republic. This coming from the guy who tore apart super battle droids with his bare hands? One of the battle droids has no clue what to make of this and gives this confused shrug to his companion, and Obi-Wan’s like “dude really?”. But you gotta admit Master Windu is awesome at giving speeches! Unfortunately, battle droids don’t give much thought to the concept of “peace” and “nonviolence”… the fact that the battle droids even ceased fire for that moment just to listen to him is astounding! And so the blasters go blasting once more. Well, you can’t blame a Jedi for trying… destroying droids probably gets old after doing it just about every day for nearly three years. But yeah after that the clones rejoin the generals and bring their own blasters. It seems they’ve got this win in the bag, but Admiral Trench has a sneaky little plan of his own… DUN DUN DUN.
It’s hardly a challenge for Anakin, Rex, Echo, and the Bad Batch to make their way into Trench’s ship. And it’s NBD for Echo to link into their systems. Though as Tech finds out, it may be a bit of a problem for the guys at the complex ’cause Trench just sicced all his droids on ’em. Or is it? Actually, it’s all part of Echo’s genius plan. He told Trench to send all the droids there… and once they’re there, he’ll shut them all down. Boom shake the room! That earns a pat on the shoulder from Tech and a smile from Rex 😀 Though admittedly Mace and Obi-Wan aren’t quite looking forward to all the new droids joining the party even so. ‘Cause just when it seems they’d decimated them all… suddenly there are literally zillions of them. “Does this meet your expectations?” “This… exceeds my expectations.” Hehe. And then boom! Echo fries ’em all! Love how one droid cries out “WHYYYYYYYYYY” as he gets shut down XD Yeah the Admiral wasn’t too happy… but he knows that the command came from his ship so that likely means trouble for the good guys.
It seems to be a pretty clear victory on the Anaxes front, but Echo soon finds that there miiiiiight be a bomb there… like, a really big could-cream-the-whole-planet bomb. Echo sends out a message to Master Windu while Anakin decides to have a little chat with the spider-guy. Indeed Mace finds a bomb in the complex’s fusion reactor, and the panel to shut it off is sorta kinda rayshielded. But again, another area of Echo’s expertise. Echo loads up each number to the passcode while Mace uses the Force to punch it in. The process is going great right up until one of the battle droids finally finds where Echo’s signal is coming from and decided to fry him. NUUUUU!! And then on come the super battle droids and our heroes are forced to make a run for it, carrying Echo’s unconscious form. Admiral Trench is feeling pretty good about his chances… and then he opened the door and there was Anakin. General Skywalker cuts up all his clankers real fast, and not even Trench’s arm-gun can bring him down. Yeah he’s not interested in any talking beyond what the final number to the passcode is. And Trench isn’t particularly interested in giving him it. Trench is all “pff you can’t do nothin’ to me you’re a Jedi and your nobility is a weakness” and to that Anakin sliced his robotic arms off. Yikes don’t mess with the General peeps. After that the Admiral was a bit more willing and spilled it, allowing for Mace to finally turn off that bomb. But not missing out on a chance to get even, Trench hits Anakin with his prod-staff and then Anakin hits Trench with his lightsaber. Ohh yes. You really really really don’t mess with the General. Before leaving the spider-Seppie with a fond farewell, Anakin happens to find a detonator… for the whole ship. Why would they even have that detonator?! Regardless, Anakin knows Wrecker will love it. Meanwhile, Wrecker is in his element in “wrecking ball mode”, smashing battle droids with nothin’ but brute force. Hunter caps it off well with “Honestly, I feel bad for those droids…” XD And Crosshair does a fantastic job aiming a refracting detonator at a battle droid. The droid’s all “sticky!” and then… well, you know what happened next XD As our troopers meet up with Anakin again, Crosshair hangs behind to pepper the walls with more refracting detonators. OK I’m not saying these guys’ll show up in Rebels or anything but I think Sabine would have a lot of fun with them 😀 Crosshair’s so good Wrecker can only hang his head in shame XD But he cheers up pretty fast because as soon as our team flies off, Anakin shows him the detonator! Big guy can’t help but shed some tears and remark “this… is the greatest day of my life!” just before he hits the button and the entire ship explodes! VICTORYYYYY
And back on Anaxes, we’re actually getting a legit medal ceremony! Mace gives the speech and Anakin and Obi-Wan gives the medals and all the clones cheer and clap and celebrate these brave not-so-clonelike clones! Even the astromechs are dancing with glee! SO MUCH YAY!! It’s always been said that differences make us stronger, well, that is perhaps even more so the case for these incredible troopers 🙂
AHHH I’M SO HAPPYYY!! AND HONESTLY PRETTY GLAD I’M DONE WITH THE BLOG BECAUSE IT SHOULDN’TVE TAKEN THIS LONG BUT THE VIDEO HAD PROBLEMS LOADING! AND I FORGOT TO TURN THE CAPS LOCK OFF AGAIN BUT I’M IN A HAPPY CAPS LOCK MOOD! UNTIL NEXT WEEK…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Uncovering The Lost Storyreels: The Bad Batch

Man, it feels good to be blogging on some new TCW again! I’m bringing you today the first of my Uncovering The Lost Storyreels posts, talking about the fantastic opener The Bad Batch! I’m super-happy they decided to get these up when they did since I wasn’t at Celebration to see them first-hand. So now, join me as we dig deeper into this exciting opener for this thrilling storyarc! And just to note… I’ll do my very best to write this. Because of their unfinished quality, it’s sometimes hard to recognize character expressions and unfamiliar locations. If I screw up in any way, I apologize.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from TCW episodes Counterattack and The Bad Batch (storyreel)

“The battles are over, but the heroes live on. Thank you Clone Wars fans.”… interesting choice of lesson for this one! Haha pff. Have to wonder what it would be if this had been fully-animated and had aired as a normal episode. Wonder who writes those incredibly insightful things anyway. I mean, that is seriously a talent to articulately and poetically point out what the heart of the episode is and then do it well over a hundred times! And every time without fail I nod my head and say “wow that is major deepsauce” or “so true, so true”. OK moving on…
So it’s a seemingly average battle going on. Anakin and Mace and the clones taking on Admiral Trench on Anaxes… you know, the usual. It hasn’t been going that well though. It’s definitely been one of those days where you just can’t win. And it happens to be that Captain Rex might just know why. He believes that the Seps got ahold of one of their strategy algorithms. And he also is considering the fact that his old Arc Trooper buddy Echo used it a lot… and it might’ve been on him when he didn’t make out of the Citadel. Anakin and Mace send out Rex and Cody and a small team to investigate and see if this is indeed the case. And Cody already knows who he’s gonna have join them… a little quartet called Clone Force 99 (Hehe I can’t believe I just called them a quartet. Anyone else kinda want to hear the bros sing? XD )
As Rex and Cody, along with Jesse and Kix, head out to meet up with the “Bad Batch”, these useful-mutation bros make quite a landing. I don’t exactly know who’s driving that ship but I have a feeling he’s had his license revoked a time or two. While their driving isn’t the most favorable, these dudes are pretty much some of the coolest human beings to grace the SW galaxy. Meet Hunter, the shadowy supertracker, Tech, the superintelligent supergeek, Crosshair, the quiet supershooter, and Wrecker, the gregarious supermuscle. They’re pretty super I would say 🙂 Clad in dark, specialized armor and far from the typical-looking clone, it’s no surprise Jesse and Kix exchange a look of disbelief. The Commander’s hung out with them before and knows them all well, so he’s totally cool with the batch. Wrecker made a lovely first impression by discussing how you kill a Yavik XD Hunter takes his comrade’s excitement all in stride, while Tech points out some useless fun facts about the critters. As for Crosshair… he just stands in the back of the crowd giving a less-than-friendly glare. You don’t need much extra animation to get that fact across. So introductions out of the way, our team boards the gunship… right after Wrecker throws a friendly (though probably painful) jab at one of the younger bros XD I don’t want to play favorites, but I’m kinda attached to Wrecker… his enthusiasm is contagious!
So as they were flying off, the gunship was filled with some major awkward silence. It’s got to be a tad unnerving if you’re a clone and find out you have four “brothers” who look nothing like you, who also rock long hair, pale skin, thin faces, and a blind eye, respectively. Especially when one of them is still shooting a deathly glare (I’m lookin’ at you Crosshair). And the feeling’s mutual for the Bad Batch boys, too, as they don’t typically hang out with “regs”. Anyone wanna bet these guys make fun of normal clones in their spare time? They won’t admit it to anyone, and probably never do it when Cody’s around but yeah wouldn’t surprise me… “Ooh look! I’m a normal clone! I follow protocol! Haha!” Cody interrupts the awkward conversation to fill in his team on the mission at hand: a Separatist cybercenter on Anaxes is where they will find out if the bad guys snapped up their intel. But what they don’t realize is that a battle droid or two or three has taken notice of the gunship… and they brought alllllll their little Seppie droid friends! Yeahhh our team doesn’t stay airborne for very long after that. Just thinking of being caught in that crash makes me queasy. The rest of the bros are OK, but Cody’s caught in the rubble. But before the rest of the clones try their hands at freeing the commander, Hunter sends in Wrecker. And Wrecker totally has no problem whatsoever LIFTING THE GUNSHIP and THROWING IT ASIDE to rescue him. Have to say, that shot of Wrecker carrying Cody as the gunship explodes in the background it pretty darn epic. Yay Wrecker! Cody’s alive, but not doing too well. Kix can help him, but Crosshair eloquently points out that the battle droids are coming over for a visit. ALL the battle droids. But the Bad Batch crew isn’t worried. They grab the decimated gunship’s door as a shield and BRING THE HEAT! They move like a force of nature as Wrecker holds their shield, letting the rest of the bros shoot through the slots in the door. Tech calculates just the right trajectory to aim a droid popper, and Hunter blasts it like a boss, knocking those droids down like dominoes! Hunter pulls out a knife on the unsuspecting droids, tearing them apart. Wrecker slams a droid with the door still in hand, causing it to incinerate itself. And just like that, the field’s nothing but a Seppie droid burial ground. Color the “regs” impressed! And ermagosh Wrecker messing around with that droid head! *Dies laughing* I’m pretty sure Wrecker’s the only one who can make fun of Crosshair and not get killed for it XD With that, our clones head out, leaving all those destroyed droids in their wake. A handful of Sep droids arrive later, and they, along with Admiral Trench, are confused, yet intrigued by all this Jedi-less, no-lightsabers-necessary damage. The droids also head out, in search of these mysterious troopers.
Elsewhere, we find our heroes taking a short breather as Hunter uses his epic heightened senses to point into the direction of the cybercenter. Probably means he overheard Kix and Jesse doing a little poking at him, too. But if he did, he doesn’t show it. Hunter’s too cool to stoop to the level of a couple of “regs” 😛 Knowing that Cody’s no longer in any condition to continue the mission with them, Rex is in charge and he’s got a new plan. But it seems Crosshair don’t like that plan. And Jesse don’t like his ‘tude. And Wrecker just likes grabbing Jesse by the neck. Hunter’s the only one who could stop the clone kerfuffle from actually kerfuffling (whee fun with vocabulary!), reminding them of the fact they’re all on the same team. And continuing in his keeping of the peace, he agrees to give Rex’s plan a try. So with that settled, the clones head back out once more, stalking stealthily through the forest. In the midst of their stealthy stalking, they find themselves looking on a Sep outpost covered in battle droids. Rex decides he’d like to do this one the Bad Batch way 🙂 And there they went, blasting and knife-slashing away the little skinny metal boogers. While the rest of the team jumps aboard a turbolift, it seems Wrecker rather’d stay around and continue making the battle droids eat laser 🙂 Yes the rest of boys make quick work on the droids upstairs. Watto would go nuts over all the scrap metal they make in a day’s time! 😀 Though clearly Wrecker is disappointed he missed the party. I’m pretty sure Wrecker is to battle droids the way Zeb is to stormtroopers 🙂 But just their luck, the cybercenter is only a hop, skip, and a jump away! The only problem? Those droids who took notice of the carnage from earlier are on their way there. Psh this is not a problem for this awesome crew. Those droids didn’t see it coming worth beans. Though admittedly a certain Admiral might have an idea…
“An attack is coming?! Whe–” *blasts*
Pfff gotta love the delightful cluelessness of those battle droids, right? XD Yeah doesn’t take the rest of the clones long to get the rest of the droids away from the back door, where the rest of the Bad Batch lies in wait. Wrecker basically kicked down the door and wrenched it open with his hands. So I’m guessing he always ate his veggies at the cloning facility dinner table? Ahhh how do these clones manage being so awesome without exploding from so much awesomeness?! I’m thinking they just did the fastest break-in/droid-decimate run ever. Wrecker and Hunter leave Tech to work his magic on the computers while they get ahold of their reg bros. And then along comes a Sep transport with lots and lots of super battle droids. Jesse and the Batch boys handle them while Rex joins up with Tech to see what they came here for. After a few minutes of typing about, Tech finds that the algorithm’s coming from a live signal on Skako Minor. What could that mean, I wonder?? Rex and Tech don’t have a clue… yet. But as the battle heats up outside with the boys, the signal starts to reveal its source… someone Rex can hardly believe. Hunter, Wrecker, Crosshair, and Jesse are starting to get overrun and make a dash back into the center. And now… Rex is hearing the voice of… ECHO. Ohmaigersh. The crew’s gotta make a run for it, and while Rex does… he can’t help but linger a bit, for the possibility that this awesome, noble Arc Trooper might still be living and breathing. Our bros board their old Separatist transport without any problem and jet on outta there. The Seps don’t quite get what their game is, but for sure this won’t be the last time these particular bad guys tangle with the troopers. But all the same, Rex can’t shake the voice he heard, and the number he read… and he’s gonna find out the truth no matter what.
So yeah I know I’m a little rusty at this closer-look-writing but EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE I’M SO EXCITEDDDDDDDD TO SEE WHERE THESE EPISODES GO!!! That is all.

Oh, also, Happy Star Wars Day in advance! Next week I’ll tell you how it went for me! 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Uncovering The Lost Missions: The Disappeared Part 1

Can I just say how sorry I am that it’s taken me this long to getting around to blogging? It just took me sooooo long to do that Summer Reads one that it made me not look forward to doing another blog, even though I knew that the post on this TCW episode one would come easily. And on top of that, a glitch in the site literally made half of the blog disappear! (Ironic no?) So anyway, after being caught up in all the drama of SW-ian war and politics, It was great to step into a lighter, truly unique storyline with an unlikely duo at the helm — Mace Windu and Jar Jar Binks! So let’s get it started as we look deeper into The Disappeared Part 1!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, The Clone Wars Microseries, TCW Episodes The Mandalore Plot, Heroes On Both Sides, and The Disappeared Part 1

Lost Missions cover title for The Disappearing P1

So once again, it seems that peaceful planets have trouble staying that way during the war, but it’s not the all-too common Separatist invasion problem this time… some of Bardotta’s Force-sensitive-but-not-Jedi leaders have vanished and Queen Julia knows who she’s gonna call for help… and who that is kinda leaves us all going “WHUT?“. Not Padme, not Bail… but well, Jar Jar. First of all, let me clarify if you don’t already know that I actually do like Jar Jar and don’t have an inch of disdain for him, so if you are like me in that way, you’re safe here 🙂 Moving back to the story. I love Obi-Wan’s response: “WHY WOULD ANYONE REQUEST THE PRESENCE OF JAR JAR BINKS?!”. I don’t think the guy ever managed to warm up to the Naboo “local”, but even so I love his subtlely disdainful comments that he’s so good at making. While no one gets why in “why Jar Jar?”, but they do know the why in the “why not a Jedi”. Evidently the Bardottans weren’t cool with the Jedi taking in their Force-sensitive kids a while back and thus, yeah, they aren’t on speaking terms (why is it all these neutral planets are uncool with the Jedi half the time??). So knowing Representative Binks might be in over his head if something goes really wrong, Mace Windu decides to join the party, even though the Queen wasn’t cool with anyone else coming along. Ah yes, though! The awesomeness it is having Jar Jar and Mace working together! I mean, it’s a perfect concept, really; you have Mace Windu, possibly the most serious Jedi ever, the guy who can tear apart super battle droids with his bare hands and keep a straight face the whole time, the guy who rarely even allows anything more than a smirk to cross his face (and those are, like say, crazy rare to even happen), the guy who generally has everything under control even when he doesn’t. And then you have Jar Jar, innocent, clumsy, but always willing to help, who on the flip side is actually rather wise, just, and sarcastic when he wants to be. And now these two complete opposites are working together! Ah yes, so much funnnn 🙂 Right from the get-go Mace is trying to keep Jar Jar’s webby fingers off the ship controls XD And can I just mention how amazing the character animation is in this episode?? I know it’s always amazing, but something just struck me about the way Mace emotes, and the way Yoda talks, and the way Jar Jar gestures. I mean, wow. Sorry but I have to gush a little per blog, and trust me this is not the last time I’ll be doing that this post. So by the time they got to Bardotta, everyone’s like “heyyyy we didn’t invite the Jedi…”, but Jar Jar lets them know he’s cool with him, and thus Master Windu gets dubbed “servant” for the remainder of the trip 😆 Hahaha oh my… poor Mace! Second to Jar Jar! He’s probably thinking “What weird planet did I just land on?!” but he only subtlely lets in on that in his expressions, and I do mean subtlely. You think someone would’ve caught on that that wasn’t quite the case considering Jar Jar referred to him as “Master Mace is meesa humble servant”… that kinda is an oxymoron isn’t it? IDK anyway, I do want to say that Queen Julia is majorly cool. Her species is really awesome and she has a fabulous sense of style, and her personality is legit! Although the one thing that I can’t figure is how on earth (figuratively speaking) she got a normalish Earth name like “Julia”! Not that it’s a bad name, but beyond names like “Luke” and “Ben” and sorta “Han” it’s not a common sight in the SW galaxy. But I digress, so Jar Jar was able to convince her that Mace is a buddy here to help him and she’s all ” if you’re a friend of Jar Jar’s you’re a friend of me… well, kinda, don’t look too deeply into that. We’re not like, making friendship bracelets or anything”. And with all that said and done, the Queen gets everyone else out of the room so she and Jar Jar can talk. And ohhhhhhhhh myyyyyy goodnesssssss what happened next… she starts off the conversation with “It’s been a long time, my love…” and I’m all O.O and then they don’t really talk much after that ’cause they well, had a moment. So yes I must take a paragraph or two to discuss… “Jarlia” ❤ When Jar Jar was telling Mace how he and the Queen go way back I thought I was reading too deeply into what looked to be a lovey-dovey smile on his face. Turns out I was right on the money. No wonder he got all dressed up today! The great thing about them is that they just love each other plain and simple. So while Anakin and Padme kept their thing under wraps, Obi-Wan and Satine switched between awkwardness and arguing, and Ahsoka and Lux were just having a lot of teen-crush-awkwardness in general, Jar Jar and Julia had nothing holding them back. No rules, no war, no differing viewpoints… LUCKY. So I know we're all wondering how much actual meditating they were doing during that time… Mace's visible eyeroll indicates it probably wasn't enough by his standards. Plus, he's been in the dark about everything they’ve been discussing! Ugh playing second banana to a Gungan already can’t be fun, but being a third wheel to a Gungan/Bardottan couple must be even worse. So that's about when Mace decides to make his own way in to get some word from Jar Jar. Behind the closed door Julia was about to start explaining what she knows about the disappearances when Mace walks in and the Queen will not have it. So now Jar Jar’s in the most awkward position ever and tells her he’ll be having a word with his “servant”. Only as soon as they’re out of sight Master Windu decides to have a word of his own with the Representative. Mace is all “Dude seriously what have you been doing? We’re kind of her on important business, if you haven’t forgotten!” and Jar Jar’s like “WELL I WAS ABOUT TO FIND OUT SOMETHING IMPORTANT BEFORE YOU BARGED IN! For the record, our thing is part of the reason she trusts me with this stuff!”. Mace’s expression makes it clear he’s not buying this much. But by the time Jar Jar heads back to the Queen, she might’ve disappeared. Like, literally, disappeared. And Jar Jar starts freaking out the way only he can. According to some prophecy of the Bardottans they have three days to save the Queen or else an era of darkness will fall across the galaxy (um I guess it’s best we don’t bring up the fact that the Galactic Empire will happen and darkness will fall one way or the other…). But amidst the panic, Jar Jar does his awesome representin’ thing and with a little help from Master Windu on what questions to ask, he’s able to chill out the council. Evidently the prophecy’s origins will take the duo to an ancient cursed temple. For all the confidence Jar Jar had in his speech, he just knows that this isn’t likely going to end well (I mean we are talking about an ancient cursed temple here. Wheeeeeee…) And yeah as soon as he finds a possible clue in the dark shadowy halls of the temple some crazy masked warrior guy turns the gungan invisible. Mace isn’t able to get to him in time, but there’s no ancient stone door that this awesome Jedi can’t open, and off he goes to save his comrade.
So by the time we see Jar Jar again, it’s not long before we can actually see him again, of course he’s in a cage in this dark creepy raging-fire-pit-for-whatever-reason cavern. And as he finds out from one of the captured Force-sensitive Bardottans (who also has an Earth-ish name, Joseph), these cult crazies are actually sucking the Force out of them one by one as a sacrifice. Um, RUDE. So it’s safe to say they’re all in trouble. Thankfully, Jar Jar has his comlink on hand and Mace is on his way… but WILL HE MAKE IT IN TIME?? Wait why’d I just do that this isn’t where the episode ends… forget I said that. Though yeah Jar Jar might be next in the Force-removal line, even with him not being the most Force-sensitive guy in the room. But to answer the last question yes Mace makes it in time, just at the last second. And before he knows it he’s trying to keep Jar Jar alive and fight the cult dudes at the same time. NBD for Master Windu. Even Jar Jar gets in on the fight, K.O’ing the bad guys in his own klutzy/accidentally heroic manner. And all the while they’re doing this on stone paths right over boiling hot lava, so yeah just another day in the life, right? So Mace was doing his awesomely epic fighting and beating the stew out of the cultists until the last one turned tail and ran away from him. Jar Jar had finally gotten on his feet to try and save the Queen (who is thankfully still alive for the moment), but the baddies managed to grab her and get her aboard their ship before Representative Binks could do anything. Oh noes.
Returning to the council, Jar Jar reassures them that, along with his Jedi friend, they will succeed in his mission and save the Queen and defeat the evil cult and in turn save the entire galaxy! A tall order, but not entirely impossible for this crazy awesome duo. As the two exchange a smile/smirk (you know who did what, most likely), we can only hope for what will happen next and for our heroes to come out of this one unscathed…
And thus ends another awesome Uncovering blog! *Faints, with head slamming onto the keyboard* And hopefully, this will be the end of late-arriving, procrastinated blog posts for a good long ol’ time 🙂 Until next time around…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight