Following The Freemakers: The Embersteel Blade

So once again, I’m so excited to begin writing some Star Wars-ness up here that I end up with absolutely no idea how to begin. Sometimes just diving in does the trick, so that’s what we’re gonna do today as we dig into the ingenious Freemaker escapade called The Embersteel Blade. Oh shoot now I’m rhyming how’d that happen??

Contains spoilers from Freemakers episodes The Lost Treasure Of Cloud City, Showdown On Hoth, and The Embersteel Blade

Darth Vader has complete faith in his work-in-progress Death Star II, but definitely a lack of it in his graycoats’ ability to find kyber crystals. I gotta say I am so so glad right now that the Imps evidently have forgotten Rowan’s connection to kyber. Well… of course, I have wondered if maybe it was more of a connection to the Kyber Saber itself more so than the crystals, but honestly that doesn’t make nearly as much sense to me. But oh right I just remembered: Sidious wants Rowan alive in hopes of finding the Kyber Saber, so if he doesn’t get his superweapon, he might very well use the boy’s crystal-sensing abilities to his advantage for the Death Star. Uh yeah we should all be very concerned. I can’t believe I only made this connection now! On a somewhat lighter note though, that one particular Imp screaming his head off had me laughing louder than I should’ve XD

The Freemakers have located what they need for the first piece of the Arrowhead. Yay! Problem is, the embersteel they’re wanting is part of a very very pricey shuttle that’s being sold at an Imperial auction. Little bit less of a “yay”. That’s why I’ve got nothing but solid #respect for Kordi’s supreme businesswoman superpowers, because you and I both know it’s only that and the fact she’s got a solid plan to back it up that they put those creds in the Freemakers’ hands. Also guys, I am so so glad Ackbar didn’t spit-take in Mon Mothma’s direction. That is all. I mean… not sure there’d be enough OxiClean in the galaxy to fix that perfectly regal ensemble of hers if that happened, and that would be among the greatest Star Wars tragedies to date. Sorry for General Madine though. Poor dude’s a kaffe magnet!

So yes we have to talk about the dress! But not just because I’m majorly into costuming, sewing, elegant shades of purple, and glittery embroidery, but because it brings up a good question: where did Kordi actually get the gown in the first place? At first, I figured she went out of her way to find exactly what the real Princess Kortessi was wearing and bought a designer knock-off of it. But then I remembered there’s no proof they knew the Princess was attending the auction in the first place. So then I thought maybe it was a spare dress of Leia’s, which is a reasonable theory, BUT! That would not explain the matching guard uniforms Kordi already had before they left to Mygeeto… guard uniforms that must’ve been tailor-made, as I imagine most uniforms aren’t sized for a twelve-year-old boy or made without sleeves. So at that point I assumed there must be a few people in the Alliance who specialize in stitching up stuff. But then, remember the adorable matching uniforms the sibs wore on Cloud City? And the snowsuits on Hoth? I’d bet anything Kordi is secretly a seamstress, and that she hand-made the guard uniforms and dress herself. I don’t know when she found time to (there must have been a timelapse between the end of her meeting and the StarScavenger‘s departure), but that’s the most logical answer I’ve got. She can make fast ships and fabulous dresses! I wanna be Kordi Freemaker when I grow up! πŸ˜€ (Well, I’ve at least got the tripping-over-long-skirts thing down. 110% relatable) The plan itself is pretty fabulous, too; going in disguise as a changeling is straight-up genius! It’s neat getting to learn a tiny tiny bit about their species’ culture in the process, too. Kordi’s acting was completely on-point, after all, playing a takes-crud-from-no-one bosslady with fine tastes is basically like playing herself, just with a slight accent πŸ™‚ Yes, this stellar plan was smoother than the surface of a Naboo starfighter!

It’s the things that weren’t part of the plan that aren’t so fabulous. I just knew there was no way whatsoever you could give Zander 75,000 credits, put him in front of a stunning lineup of starships, and expect him not to blow it. I just knew. All I could do was sit back and watch how they’d ride this one out. You know though, you’ve gotta give these kids some serious credit. They’re actually going to all this trouble to legitimately buy what they need. In Rebels, our heroes rarely hesitated from stealing what they needed from the Imps. I’m certainly not saying the Ghost crew was wrong in that; they did only what was necessary for their cause to grow and succeed and ultimately bring down this terrible Empire that was stealing from innocent people already. It just impresses me the kids found their own way. The Freemakers aren’t the Ghost fam, I think as a whole they take the peaceful route before anything else; remember how many times they didn’t blast their foes when most Rebels would have been in their right to do so? That’s really pretty amazing guys.
Oh yeah, my favorite line in this episode might be “IT’S LIKE SOMEONE REACHED INSIDE MY HEAD AND SCOOPED OUT ALL MY DREAMS!!” I have entirely felt that way before, Zan, especially around fresh-baked desserts, Christmas decor, and Star Wars merch :3

And who could’ve bargained we’d find Graballa the Hutt at a fancy place like this? Not that I’m not always happy for the brilliant comedic timing Dana Snyder’s delightfully outrageous character brings to the table, but throwing him into the equation certainly complicates things for our young heroes. Well, doesn’t matter how noble you are I guess… you do not say “no” to a Hutt. They’re kind of a big deal and dangerous to mess with. And that’s saying something, because Graballa’s still considerably more decent than most of the Hutts we’ve seen! The guy just wants to live his resort-owning dream! That’s a pretty normal decent desire! Except perhaps for the fact he’s willing to steal and kill to get what he wants in many cases. That might be why it’s taking so long for him to get there. Also I do question where he was planning this resort in the first place. I mean, he runs an illegal mining operation in the middle of nowhere. I hope he wasn’t settling for that kind of location (unless maybe it was all virtual a la Hologram Fun World). I’d think maybe Scarif would be a nice locale, but wherever this is, it’s got blue sand, so… IDK. It’s certainly an intriguing prospect, whatever the case. And if it were a legitimate business, it might be ultimately a good thing! Maybe. It’s a big “maybe”, though.

So yeah anyone else’s ears still ringing from Kordi’s brief meltdown? I had my volume up so I could easily hear all the quieter bits of dialogue… and shortly thereafter came to regret that. I’d always heard of the term “hair-raising”, but hadn’t ever felt anything like that until now. Vanessa Lengies deserves a round of applause… and quite possibly some hot tea ’cause that scream sounds like it hurt. But I don’t blame Kordi for one minute because siblings can do that to ya, I know. Oh, and the fact the stormtroopers completely ignored it had me laughing ’til I cried XD
Also it’s nice knowing that Roger has dreams of his own, too. A Separatist battle droid, leader of the Rebel Alliance! What a comeback story! I admire your gumption buddy, but I’ve seen you under pressure. You’re better off sticking to your repair work and writing that bestseller.

When you think of heroic moments in Star Wars, most of us think of lightsabers clashing and blasters blasting, not necessarily business smarts. But financial know-how is to Kordi the way the Force is to Mace Windu — a deadly serious, fierce, powerful weapon. If you follow the blog’s tumblr you might have seen I came out Kordi on a Freemakers personality quiz, and to this day I’m not sure how I didn’t get one of her bros instead. I understand how good business works, but a lot of that really complicated managerial/financial stuff goes right on over my head. I shall forever strive to achieve her masterful levels of savviness. I mean, guys, using good business tips to get out of a dangerous situation? That’s just too good. Oh and just a small thing but it was nice seeing Naare again. Kordi’s quiet “ew” cracked me up; she acts like she’s looking at an ugly vase and not someone who tried to kill them on multiple occasions and it’s the best ironic thing XD

Oh yeah! It only just occurred to me now that, while Zander owns the stars in his Jedi starfighter, Rowan’s manning the StarScavenger… and doing really awesomely at it! Not at all like the rough take-offs and landings an episode ago! NOOO STAHP GROWING UP PRECIOUS CHILD!!
Oh, and “Are they shooting people at us now??” πŸ˜‚ No Ro that’s just what a #KordiWin looks like!

For all the craziness Kordi’s once-flawless plan spiraled into, it made watching the Arrowhead‘s embersteel blade being installed all the sweeter. But as DARTH VADER decides to make a deal with Graballa… well, the craziness is far from over. The concept really is too perfect though! I really wasn’t sure how much more the Hutt would get involved this season, but this works just downright perfectly, drips with a unique kind of intrigue, and ascertains we’ll have much more of the slimy slug’s shenanigans to come. You’d think maybe Graballa’s previous experience with darksiders might have made him consider the offer though… but then again, while saying “no” to a Hutt is dangerous, saying “no” to Lord Vader is instant death…

Yep, can’t wait for the next episode. Seriously. Things are getting so good and they were already so good to start with!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: The Tower Of Alistan Nor

Hey Star Wars fam! You ready to talk Freemakers? I know I am! ‘Cause The Tower Of Alistan Nor has quickly become a favorite among favorites and I can’t wait to discuss all that has intrigued me and inspired me! Read on!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episode Steps Into Shadow and Freemakers episodes The Maker Of Zoh, Return Of The Kyber Saber, Trouble On Tibalt, and The Tower Of Alistan Nor

It’s an age-old battle I know well from playing with Legos; you get an image in your head of the perfect design… and then you lose it, and the entire building experience from there is spent trying out every brick in the box until you get something close to what you had in mind. Rowan’s got the same problem, except it’s worse because the future of the Rebel Alliance rests on making the image in his head a reality. Also for him it’s not just building a cool plastic model, it’s about building an actual serious war machine. No pressure! No pressure at all! Quarrie casually mentions of a beautiful, inspiring ancient city called Alistan Nor that might stir up some creative juices, and Ro’s off like a rocket!

Meanwhile, “Time to check on M-OC!” Palpatine is me whenever I sit down to a new Star Wars something. I do the little dance and everything XD And M-OC’s got himself a new set of blades… inquisitor blades. It actually makes a lot of sense, because just like the Jedi hunters we’ve seen before, these spinny ‘sabers of death are a more efficient method than learning all the Force-y moves. Unfortunately this is bad news for Rowan… he’s only fought blade-to-blade before, not blade-to-spinning-blade-to-blade. Elsewhere in the galaxy, while in carbonfreeze, Naare sensed her former master was treating a droid better than her XP WELL DROIDS DON’T BETRAY THEIR MASTERS, NAARE!
Well… normally.

Rowan’s ready and rarin’ to go to Alistan Nor, but the sibs happen to be considerably busy. Kordi’s in her prime bosslady mode, sharing her tips on cost-efficient living with her fellow Rebels, while Zander proves he’s the Wedge Antilles of repair — he can fix anything! Though Rowan isn’t pleased to catch them so so busy, I still love how easily the older kids have found their place here. Kordi knows what it’s like to live life running on fumes and pinching pennies, and offers a lot of know-how I’m sure the Rebs could use a refresher on, as well as just offering up a lot of common sense and direction that comes with running a business and looking out for your family at such a young age. (Let’s cut Ackbar some slack tho, he is an aquatic species, guys! Their skin must get awful dry!) And I love that Zander’s earned himself quite a reputation ’round Home One, as well as the respect of Valeria and the other pilots. It may not be where he wants to be in the Alliance, but he’s still giving the daily grind his all, and that’s nothing but admirable. But if you think his family’s work is going to keep Rowan from finding the inspiration he desperately needs, you’re dead wrong. He’ll fly there himself! Guys it’s a miracle that he didn’t damage the StarScavenger. Completely. Totally. Entirely. I kept thinking about what happened to the Phantom and was afraid of a repeat of that. I was really glad he put in those hyperspace coordinates right, too, ’cause yikes. I know I should’ve given him more of the benefit of the doubt, but he’s still a kid, and this is still a fair-sized starship, so… the odds weren’t great. Good thing Rowan has this habit of defying the odds πŸ™‚

Also that Freemaker-branded lunchbox is great. I might need to custom my own! Can’t believe Quarrie went and ate the whole lunch though. “COPILOTS GET FIRST DIBS!” No they don’t, Quar πŸ˜‘ Oh yeah… apparently mon calamari can digest bones? Unless that was a boneless fried noona leg he scarfed down, which it didn’t really look like… ok so that might not be a canon fact, but it makes you wonder, right?

Despite Quarrie’s slightly frustrating habit of not conveying all the information until the very very last second it’s needed, and a bit of a perilous run-in with a pack of gundarks (but what great Lego sculpts tho!), Alistan Nor is everything the old shipbuilder promised and more. Literally this city is everything. It is utterly utterly awe-inspiringly beautiful. Sometimes I forget that the great Doug Chiang designs for the show, but this was a powerful reminder. I mean… the design looks like it was intended for a movie or Rebels! I can’t help but hope a little that they might throw it in future 100%-canon Star Wars stories. And the concept alone! The idea of a city built by a unique order of Jedi is just amazing! It’s so Lego, but so believably SW at the same time! And we’ve gotta talk about the idea of Forcebuilders. Ever since SWR introduced the idea that certain Jedi can have special Force abilities, I’ve been completely fascinated by this expansion of the mythology, and as you may well know if you’ve read this blog for a while, I have been comparing Ezra’s Force-connecting talent to Rowan’s connection to kyber crystals. Only during the first season finale did I realize the Force must also have enhanced Rowan’s ability to build, and now this confirms it. I’ve spent days pondering what it must’ve been like to live in a city created by Jedi, and I imagine well-populated with Jedi as well. I’ve wondered about what made their order different from traditional Jedi, what gave them their creative energy, what was at the crux of their beliefs, and finally… what became of them. Also I had an interesting theory cross my mind: the Forcebuilders were specifically a branch of the Jedi, so what would happen if one turned to the dark side? We were introduced some time ago to the idea that the light creates and the dark destroys, so would a dark Forcebuilder be extremely adept at destruction? Or would they just build dark weapons? I actually pondered if maybe Naare had been a Forcebuilder Jedi previously, if that’s what gave her her terrible destructive capabilities. It’s certainly something worth chewing on. Anyway, watching Rowan see the city in its majestic, sparkling prime overloaded me with warm fuzzy feels. Basically everything about this entire scene can only be defined as “swoon-worthy”. It’s just. that. solidly. good.

Of course, I also was thinking “if M-OC destroys anything here I’m gonna cry for days”.
Was really really glad he only did a little property damage. But more importantly, I’m really really really glad nobody died. I will say, the fact M-OC uses his ‘quisitor blades separately is pretty cool though. It shows you how good he is… he doesn’t need much practice from what I can tell, he just uses ’em outright and in the most deadly efficient way. The Inquisitors wished they were this good. Forget what I said earlier about the spinning function working better for him. He don’t need it. It’s the things M-OC can’t predict that usually give our heroes a leg up, like falling balconies and gundark stampedes. I feel bad for the gundarks though… 😬

Can I just say again for the millionth time that I love this family? For all the responsibilities Kordi and Zander have now, they still dropped everything to fix up an old wreck to bring their brother home… an old wreck that would ultimately be mowed over by the Starscavenger anyway. But there’s nothing in this galaxy that a precious family hug can’t fix! It’s amazing really. At this point I basically turned into a pile of moved-to-happy-tears mush, and then made a mental note to hug my family more often than usual. Guys, this is nothing but real pure family love ❀ ❀ And now that Rowan has an exact mental picture of the Arrowhead in mind, they’ve made the first step on bringing the fight to the Empire! Augh I’m just so ludicrously happy right now X3

Though I really can’t say that for that Imperial graycoat who got tossed out the window. *Shudders* That’s totally Vader for ya.

Anyway, I think this post turned out really nicely, and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you today. Now go and give your family and basically-family-friends the Freemaker-style hug they deserve! πŸ™‚

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: Trouble On Tibalt

Hello my Star Wars-loving people! You’ve probably been wondering why I’ve been on an unannounced hiatus for the last couple months. Well it started out with just not having a good post idea one week… and then was followed by a major bout of IRL busy-ness and a general lack of desire to write. I know I’ve missed a lot of great opportunities to talk about Star Wars since then, with Disney Parks and John Powell and porgs(!). But hopefully I can start to remedy that in the weeks to come. Now we shall begin again by discussing the utter excitement of the Freemakers’ most recent escapade, Trouble On Tibalt! And hopefully this will be a much more efficiently-written post than my previous work.

NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode VI, Rogue One, Rebels episode Wings Of The Master, much of the Freemakers season one, and Trouble On Tibalt.
(Also yes now I’m linking my previous Closer Look posts into the spoiler warnings so you can refresh your memory if need be. But you still should read this with caution if you haven’t actually seen an episode or film listed here.)

That Darth Sidious is something else, right? He’s the emperor of the whole galaxy right now, has an amazing virtually unstoppable Death Star II in the works, but he’s still sore about the Kyber Saber incident and that “Reginald” Freemaker kid. Not gonna lie, my instantaneous thought was “OMG OMG IS THAT THE FREEMAKERS’ DAD?? IS HE IMPORTANT TO THE EMPIRE LIKE GALEN ERSO?? WOW!!” and then I suddenly realized the joke and felt like an idiot. Probably better that way… “Reginald” is just not the most appropriately Star Wars-y name out there. But though Palpatine doesn’t have everything he wants, he does have one particular new something. Something special. Something downright deadly. Its name, or more precisely, his name, is M-OC. You know, the prospect that Palpatine built M-OC himself (which is what I’m assuming at the moment) is quite intriguing. I had no idea he knew anything directly to do with droid engineering. I honestly doubt he built it all himself though. Probably had a few Imperial technicians involved I would think, I mean… as we soon see, this intimidating-looking hunk of metal is no average Imperial droid…

Elsewhere in the galaxy, it seems the Freemaker family has taken to their new careers in the Rebel Alliance like a sando aqua monster to water. Salvage and repair is second-nature to them, and now they get to do so for a noble cause. That’s a win if I’ve ever heard one! Plus, they get these great new khaki uniforms that both serve their workday purposes and celebrate each of the kids’ unique spirits! Only downside to the job is the constant moving around the galaxy every time the Empire shows up. “Stupid Empire! Stupid timing!” Yesss Rowan I have thought that many a time over the years watching, reading, and playing Star Wars. But on a different note, I will say I realize now that it’s better he didn’t tell Luke of his abilities. It might’ve caused some complications with Yoda’s “last-of-the-Jedi-you-will-be” claim if Luke literally knew another Jedi. And though TFA is technically not 100% canon, I don’t think they’d want to outright go up against a fact like that. Unless, of course Rowan actually doesn’t… um… yeah I’d like to hope he lives at least a few few more decades, if that’s all right. Anyway I hope I made my point there, I wasn’t intending to spend so much time on that one topic. One of the many things I love about TFA is that the only noncanon stuff they really ever do are fun Lego-y self-awareness gags, compared to the blatant (though still funny) inaccuracies in the other specials.

Check it out I’m finally separating my paragraphs so this blog is easier to read! Anyway, so even with an Imperial fleet causing trouble, Kordi, Zander, and even Roger are completely in their element, fixing up the fighters as they go out into the battle and fixing them up again when they come back to the hangar. They’ve totally got this… to the point that Rowan finds himself overlooked in the midst of it all. I know well how you feel, sweet child… it’s no fun feeling useless and not knowing how to help. But enter General Syndulla: spacemom bosslady extraordinaire! I was so utterly thrilled when I first found out Hera was going to be in this season, not just because she’s one of my most favorite characters, but because she’d fit in so perfectly. I knew that long before I knew she’d be a general by Rogue One, and definitely long before I found out her presence in this timeline is canon. I had so many questions though. What would she be like at this point? What has she faced since the days spent with the Ghost crew? What actually happened to the Ghost crew? Of course we won’t know that last part for a while. And while I would like to hope that everything is peachy and everyone lived, I simply don’t know, especially this far down the timeline. But though only a small moment in this episode, it had me smiling hard, because even with a high rank and I imagine some tough times in her more-recent past, she’s still completely the caring, thoughtful Rebel mom she’s always been :3 She sees Rowan looking down and decides to give him a special assignment all his own. OK so right now all I want is for Hera to unofficially adopt these precious kids. Like seriously. That, and that awesome jacket of hers, because isn’t it the coolest?!

It’s absolutely no question, M-OC is a walking nightmare and I adore him. He doesn’t just look intimidating, he’s got the skills to back it up. Lots of skills. He can saw, burn, blast, and outright tear people apart. Not to mention he’s super super agile. And his entirely cold, logical personality (or lack of one) sets him apart from a number of villains. There are a lot of scary droids out there, no doubt. But this guy is all of those scary droids and more, I think. I mean… guys. He can turn his head all the way around. He might just be a droid but that’s never not creepy, unless you’re an owl. Can you imagine what M-OC would look like in the films or Rebels? I’m gonna say likely this guy won’t make it out of the season fully-functioning, so he wouldn’t be able to cross over to the canon like that, but wouldn’t that be something! He’s awesomely terrifying either way, though. And cool as he is… I’m a tad concerned for Rowan atm.

So you guys we’re going to have to talk a while ’bout Quarrie! In a way, I wasn’t terribly surprised to see him in TFA; considering shipbuilding’s his thing, he would be a logically perfect fit for the Lego-verse. But what did surprise me was the idea that Hera would want Rowan to become his apprentice. That is most definitely a perfect fit! Though only the first time we get to see him interacting with the youngest Freemaker, I foresee a lot of fun and excitement and a bit of a grandpa-grandson bond in the near future πŸ™‚ And any time to learn more about this beautiful crazy (though a bit cranky) mon calamari is a good time! I’m so so glad they found this role for him alongside the Freemakers!

It’s both impressive and pretty gut-wrenching how quickly M-OC’s able to nab Rowan. Had me thinking several times he might actually get away and we might be minus Ro for a couple episodes. And isn’t M-OC’s ship cool? Yeah I know Quarrie, Imp ships lack real craftsmanship, but it’s still so so very cool! My brother and I debated a bit whether it was a specific existing ship; he thought it was closer to the upcoming TIE silencer, and I was thinking it was more of a TIE striker, but looking at it now I think it’s something entirely different. Either way, it’s sleek and it’s dangerous and me likey. Of course, M-OC (quite literally) didn’t call into account his captive wielded a lightsaber. Oh yeah, here’s a good question: where was he keeping his ‘saber? I don’t think it was holstered, and considering the danger of being a Jedi right now that probably wouldn’t be the safest place to keep it. I’m gonna assume it might’ve been in his jacket. His boots I figure are a bit small for the standard hilt length. Just throwing out some possibilities here, anyway. So glad he didn’t leave home base without it!

β€œAnybody know what that thing is?!” β€œNo, but let’s blow it up anyway!” Sounds good to me XD
But seriously. It’s kind of disgusting to think that someone would build a machine so utterly deadly, so completely merciless and cruel, to hunt down a child. A CHILD! It’s hard to tell whether Sidious wants him alive or dead, which just makes it all the scarier. *Shudders* They might look like small plastic people but the danger is all kinds of real. Once M-OC threw out that net I was horrified, certain that Rowan would soon find himself at the feet of the Emperor. But β€œNEVER TELL ME THE ODDS! Mostly because I don’t understand how they work.” Hehe that might be my favorite line this episode πŸ˜€ I getcha Ro, math is hard. Granted I’ve always been pretty good at statistics but… oh never mind. We’re getting off-track here. Family wins the day and it is beautiful!

But M-OC’s not so easily defeated. Watching him walk out of the fire, missing limbs but still as threatening as ever, his voice a bit more disturbingly distorted than before… CHILLS. MANY CHILLS. THEY GOT LUCKY YOU GUYS. OR NOT LUCKY SO MUCH AS THE FORCE WAS WITH THEM BUT… AHHHH!! He’s gonna give them a real run for their credits this season. As Rowan fills in his family on the walking death machine’s identity and purpose, his voice is so quiet and small it about tears me apart. Things have gotten very very real. But hope is still very very real, too. Rowan has a master now, of a different sort than he’s had briefly with Luke and JEK-14, but one who will surely help him grow in many ways.

He also has a dream, an image of a beautiful ship with a heart of kyber, a powerful shield, and all the hope in the galaxy. A ship he calls the Arrowhead.

Wow yes that was so fantastic! And so fun to write on! It feels good being back with the Freemakers! See you on the next episode next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight