The Resistance Report: The Recruit

Today is a very exciting day, friends, because this marks the first of my new post series, The Resistance Report! Like I’ve done in ages past with Rebels, The Lost Missions, and The Freemaker Adventures, I’ll be digging into each of Resistance’s episodes and all I find intriguing, exciting, and wonderful! And so far, there is no shortage of things to write about πŸ™‚

I again apologize that I didn’t get to talk about all of this a lot sooner. But you understand, I’m sure, that life can be busy and blogging doesn’t always happen. Also wrist problems don’t help. But hopefully, I’ll be able to find the best fit for Padawanline in my weekly schedule as we go. Now, onto Resistance!

If you’re like me, you’ve been hyped since the first trailer. It basically took every expectation that I had and blasted it into microcomponents.
Never had I seen Star Wars quite like this. The first word that came to mind was “zippy”! And then “youthful”, “spirited”, and “fresh and funny” followed it. It’s not that Star Wars has never been those things, but all together it’s a package that made me utterly giddy and gleeful! Though it was not traditionally-animated like I assumed originally, this dynamic style of CG is gorgeous and simply demands attention! Just from that first little glimpse back in August, I could tell I was looking at a winning combination. And now it is here and, like say, there’s quite a lot I need to gush — I mean, write — about!

Contains spoilers from Episode VII and Resistance episode The Recruit.

No matter how many Star Wars stories I watch, read, or play, the thrill of a galactic dogfight never gets old. These battles immerse you quickly into something that’s familiar and beyond your wildest dreams at the same time, inspiring a sense of wonder like nothing else. And when the heroes’ ships are this pretty, well… it really brings out your inner child. Least that’s how it is for me. These sleek, blue T-85s may be my favorite SW vehicle of all time now! Except for the fact this episode introduces all kinds of beautiful vehicles and I can’t play favorites to save my life. But anyway, yes, it’s an amazing opening, and for more reasons than just my obsession with blue x-wings.

As I was watching this the first time, lost in Star Wars-y wonderment, it took me a minute to remember what era we were in. It’s not that I didn’t know that going in, but as I just mentioned, I was lost in the moment, and forgot to turn on my analytical SW side. I think it took Poe Dameron’s entrance to remind me that, though this is familiar, it’s something truly new. Later I was able to take in the fine details, like the exact model of the x-wings and the New Republic crest. But you know, it’s not a bad thing to turn off my writer’s brain for a second and just enjoy the pure joy of Star Wars without feeling like I have to take notes on everything. If this blog comes off clumsily, now you know. But so worth it!

But yeah, I have to talk about those fine details I just mentioned. It’s that moment when I realized “we’re not Kansas anymore”.
Like I touched down on some when the show was first announced, the time in between VI and VII is almost a complete mystery to me. Yes, I’ve seen The Force and The Last, but that’s where my knowledge ends for the most part. I haven’t read any of the surrounding novels yet, and I only know the broad strokes of the state of the galaxy at this point on the timeline. But this is actually a good thing, because there’s just so much to learn! After all, there was once a time I knew very little about the SW galaxy and all its ins and outs. It was through the previous animated series (as well as the books) that I gained a greater understanding and appreciation of the first two-thirds of the Skywalker Saga, and that’s exactly what Resistance shall do for me now!

With that being said, I do definitely have to thank Poe (and the magnificent Oscar Isaac!) for coming along on this one. It’s great having a friendly, familiar face to help us get situated and comfortable in this formerly-unknown chapter of the saga! With Rebels it was different; I understood the surrounding films and prior series enough to not feel like I was constantly struggling to wrap my head around everything. For Resistance, having Poe not only guiding Kaz into this new world and story, but guiding us viewers along with him, really helped. But either way, hey, I don’t think anybody would complain over the presence of the Poe Dameron! Not to mention BB-8! They’re the Resistance golden boys! πŸ˜€

Now yes I need to dedicate most of the rest of this Report to the incredible new characters we got to meet today (or, technically for me, last week. But whatever)…

So first of all, my love for Kazuda Xiono knows no bounds. Seriously, where do I begin? He’s got this outrageously contagious enthusiasm, and a fierce (if slightly-naive) drive to do the right thing, even when things take a bad turn. He’s out of his element a lot this episode, and I can almost 100% relate to how he reacts in these situations. But like say, he’s never brought so down that he doesn’t ultimately find his way back up, and that absolutely inspires me, the way any great SW character should! He reminds me in some ways of Ezra Bridger at the beginning of Rebels’s second season; utterly on fire and more than ready to make a difference, even if he still has some obstacles to overcome first. There’s so much I could say, but it’s hard to capture the joy of my first impression of him in one paragraph without worrying I’m repeating myself. I can’t wait to follow him along on this journey, though… and hopefully write many more paragraphs on all that makes him such an instantly-lovable young hero!
Plus, I don’t know if I’ve ever related to another SW character more than when he said “Tell the General I said ‘hi’!” The few chances I’ve had to meet people I greatly admire pretty much went the same way XD

Oh, and guys, wow Castellon is beautiful, isn’t it? The sky and sea just takes my breath away! And just the idea of racing starships around that wide open expanse… man, who wouldn’t want to spend a weekend here? I mean… yeah, the threat of getting tossed over is real, but… I think were I living in this galaxy, I would be willing to take the risk. Well, maybe… considering Kaz and I share a similar lack of coordination and street smarts, I don’t know how I’d do out here in this slightly-less-wretched hive of scum and villainy. But for now let’s just imagine that ocean breeze and the sound of roaring engines and how epic that would be! *Starts singing “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana*
And if I needed any other reasons to vacation here, there appears to be an arcade game at Aunt Z’s and that makes me grin so hard πŸ˜€

Back onto the characters, we obviously have to talk about Neeku Vozo! OMG he is just the most precious bean, I truly can’t even! How rare it is to find a character in Star Wars so pure-hearted and sunshiny! It’s not that other such characters don’t exist, but never really has the word “blissfully optimistic” been able to describe them. Understandably because this is Star Wars, and it’s no small feat finding joy in the midst of war. Neeku’s delightfully-quirky personality is such a breath of fresh air, something the Saga could really use! Not to say he’ll always be this sunshiny, because no one is capable of that, but his chipper disposition still makes him a unique, stand-out new character. And one thing I think is really fun and neat about Neeku, is the very fact he’s a nikto. When I think of niktos, I think of tough, possibly dangerous types like Ima-Gun Di, skiff guards, and underworld scoundrels. Those hardened, spined visages certainly give you that impression. But Neeku utterly flips that script! Honestly, with his smooth face and wide eyes, I really didn’t realize he was a nikto until the featurettes pointed that out for me. But I love that concept, taking what we might’ve assumed and instead giving us someone so much more dynamic and interesting that merely another “tough guy” nikto would have been. I can’t wait to see more of this sweet boy! I hope he achieves his fondest dream and gets that room with a view! :3

And on that note, I am so into all the diversely-designed characters we have here on Castellon! Just as they flipped the script on our idea of niktos, I love seeing so many different takes on familiar species in the crowd. Seeing a female of Unkar Plutt’s kind with Aunt Z, a totally unique take on the chadra-fan in Orka (that goatee tho), a big-boned rodian… it’s so fun, and when you start thinking on the diversity within each species, it expands the galaxy in almost infinite ways! Not to mention the sheer variety in the crowds in general, where you have aleen and gotals and whatever Grummgar’s species is. It’s a beautiful (if slightly rough-and-tumble) blend of all kinds of peoples from all the eras, from Episode I to the Sequels, and it delights the living daylights out of my SW-nerdy self! Props to all the supremely-talented, creative artists making this happen!

Right, again, back onto the subject primarily of the new characters. There’s simply too much for me to write about to stick to just logical organization! But yeah we have ourselves a fantastic new squad, no doubt. I have a deep love for characters and character development, whether Star Wars or otherwise, and these guys are prime examples of what great characters look like. I’ve taken to thinking of them as the “Sunshinies” and the “Grumpies”. Already discussed my first impressions with two of the Sunshinies, so next we will talk Torra!

I love the sort-of dichotomy of a character so bubbly and friendly, who genuinely wishes her opponents the best, even though she knows they will crash and burn. She seems to have what I’ve referred to in other characters as a “noble confidence”; the ability to be able to speak highly of yourself humbly. Impossible for most, but apparently not for the immensely talented Torra Doza! Admittedly, watching this again I realize she could just as easily be a little less than noble in the confidence area, but whatever the case, she seems to just really be in it for the love of the game first and foremost, and she’s definitely nowhere near mean-spirited. Anyway, I’m happy to say that the starwars.com personality quiz has deemed her my Resistance twin, and I can for sure kind of see that so far. At least, I know we share a common sense of enthusiasm and a slightly-competitive drive if nothing else. And also red hair. That’s important, too.

And then there are the wonderful Grumpies!
When Tam snapped at Kaz and called him “kid”, I knew I’d found my kin. Partially yes, because we are both a bit on the small side, and I would love to have the confidence that allows her to speak her mind no matter how tall the offender is. But mostly because she is literally me when I’m in a bad mood. I just kept nodding my head saying “yep that’s pretty much what I would say to that”. Actually, now that I think about it, each of these guys is me in some way or another. Torra is me when I’m happy and supportive (and sometimes competitive), Neeku is me when I’m really happy (definitely when I’m in a Star Wars state of mind), Tam is me for reasons we’ve already explained, Kaz is me when I realize I realize I’m in deep trouble, and Yeager is me when I’m just done with everybody XD

And can’t forget Bucket! Bucket’s awesome! I think he may just have beaten Chopper for grouchiest droid, though. Never have I seen a more easily-irked machine in my life. Maybe he just needs a hug? Well, hopefully the R2 Builders will put one together IRL so I may see if this theory works, or if it just ends in me getting smacked in the face. Either way, it’d be worth it!

Now, Yeager has probably taken the longest for me to put together a paragraph on, but that doesn’t mean he’s anything short of a great, fascinating character. Maybe it’s because he’s kind of mysterious in a way. Perhaps because he’s not as much of an open book as the youths, perhaps because we don’t know his history with Poe and why he’s so hesitant to get involved. But if there’s one thing that’s plain to see about Jarek Yeager thus far, is that Team Fireball would probably fall apart without him. He’s a strong and steady voice of reason, and when you’ve got a crew that’s two-parts hot-tempered and one-third overly-literal, that’s an indispensable quality. I don’t know much about Tam and Neeku’s bond right now, but I could see it possible that Yeager probably had to keep Tam from killing the blissfully-naive nikto a few times. The other thing I’m pretty sure of with Yeager is that he does care, somewhere deep down. Something’s keeping him going, despite everything that seems to keep him from wanting to. And it speaks volumes just in the way he smiles at his crotchety old clanker. Otherwise, we’ll just have to watch on and see what more we can learn about him from here. Not too worried about the wait, though. Like say, I love watching characters grow and digging into their complex personalities and stories! I feel we’re going to have a good time figuring out this tough Team-Dad πŸ™‚

Also currently I have this really silly headcanon that Zander Freemaker created the Fireball. Just… seems kind of like his thing, y’know? Sleek, speedy, but explosion-prone! I’ll let you debate this among yourselves, but I’m pretty sold on it.

Anyway, I could go on and on about so much more, but I think I’ll have to save further conversations for another day. Except for this last very important thought: we know Kaz is on the lookout for a First Order spy, but it only hit me in the last few minutes of the episode as we gaze upon the terrible might of Starkiller Base… the traitor could very well be someone we know. From a writer’s perspective, I wouldn’t want my perpetrator to be too obscure nor would I want him/her too obvious. And when you want to throw a good solid wrench into your characters’ lives and a curveball to your audience… a total surprise traitor is a good way to do it. I had to wonder for a moment if the red-helmeted ace was someone we knew. I was wrong on that account, but it did open up the possibility to me… who knows who Kaz might find plotting against the Republic? I’ll let you in on my theory later. I just want to make sure I know my characters better before I jump to conclusions. But… something to chew on before tonight’s airing, right?

It’s been awesome both writing and — honestly and truly — gushing on this thrilling opener. I know it’s got me wanting more something fierce! Hopefully sometime in the next week I’ll have another post waiting for you all.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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#CloneWarsSaved!

As I watched the last episode of The Lost Missions four years ago, I was perfectly happy with how The Clone Wars was going to end. To see Yoda complete his journey of self-discovery with a seed of hope… that was amazing, and it was all I needed. I never demanded they “save The Clone Wars”. I was content whether they did more or didn’t. I still love watching the reruns once a week, and Rebels, Freemakers, and Forces Of Destiny have given me more wonderful animated Star Wars adventures than I ever could’ve hoped for. Not to mention the countless other Star Wars stories in books and film! Plus, they gave me the incredible storyreels and lots of neat unfinished TCW footage elsewhere. The Clone Wars didn’t need to be “saved”, really, because there’s never been a time for me it was not alive and well!

And then suddenly, there it was.
SDCC 2018: STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS TO RETURN WITH NEW EPISODES

My jaw was on the floor, and I think time stood still for a moment.

I don’t think I have ever been so surprised at a piece of Star Wars news ever. But I also think I’ve never been this incredibly happy at a piece of Star Wars news, either — and that’s saying something!

My brother was hoping for more Clone Wars for years. I kept saying “It’s not likely, man. But it’s cool, ’cause there’s plenty more SW to go around.” That makes this, I think, the third or fourth time his SW assumptions have been right and I’ve been wrong. Welp, like I often say on this blog, I’m so glad to be wrong!

JUST LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL TRAILER.

Just seeing those helmets and hearing those voices would’ve been enough. It gave me chills and brought back to mind so many memories from over the years.

And then… there was Anaxes. And Bad Batcher Hunter. Not as we’d seen them before in unfinished storyreels, but in glorious final animation, effects, and lighting, the way they were meant to be seen. My heart soared at the sight. Likely, this means eight of the twelve new episodes will be the completed Crystal Crisis and Bad Batch arcs. Even if it means we only get one new storyarc, the thought of seeing these incredible episodes fully polished off has me deliriously happy! Plus, hopefully this means there really will be action figures of the Bad Batch like I’ve always wanted! Just the notion has me happier than Wrecker with a box full of explosives! πŸ˜€

And just when I thought my mind couldn’t get any more blown…
It’s Anakin, with his curly Revenge Of The Sith hair.
And Obi-Wan, with a meticulously-simulated robe.
The details in the animation got me like whoa. The animation’s always been great, but it suddenly hit me now just how much has changed from 2008 to 2018. Everything about it is utterly stunning. And like say, the new little details in the character designs are everything.

Then… there stood Ahsoka.
And Bo-Katan.
Suddenly, I knew this story. It’s the one Mr. Filoni always had in mind, the one I heard a little about at Celebration 2016. The ultimate finale, the siege of Mandalore.
Seeing Anakin and Ahsoka reunite, having an idea of their last goodbye… not to mention the fact she looks so grown-up, and so perfectly designed to fit in between TCW and Rebels. The feels were absolutely everywhere, and the fangirling has not ceased.

It feels like coming home, y’know? I’m pretty sure you know what I mean, fellow TCW fan.

Now I want to sign up for that Disney streaming service even more! But I still will need to buy all these as digitals or on DVD. I think I’ll be needin’ to complete my Clone Wars collection! πŸ™‚

No TCW didn’t need saving, but I’m ever so thankful they did anyway!

We’ll talk more as new stuff comes out and new news is released. To life never without Star Wars!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Padawanline Anniversary II: Year Two

Hehe the title may or may not be a nod to Rogue One… but yeah it’s probably not my best Star Wars pun…
So anyhow today marks my two-year anniversary since Padawanline came into existence! I’ve told you the blog’s backstory before (read here), how I absolutely needed a place to talk about Star Wars to anyone who would listen and how a goofy SW fanfic of mine inspired the title and all that. So I’m not going to bore you with all that again (at least not this year), but I absolutely needed to write a thank you letter to my followers and readers…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from the Rebels episode Fire Across The Galaxy

When I first joined, I just blogged whatever whenever I felt like it, meaning sometimes I’d go for weeks without posting something. But this past year has given me a great opportunity to do what I’d always wanted to do.
Back in early 2013, as I was continuing to expand my Star Wars knowledge every day, I would always take notice of things. I’d be watching a new episode of TCW or reading a book or watching one of the movies and suddenly find myself intrigued by something, confused by something I didn’t fully understand, made a fascinating connection with something, or just plain WOWed by something, and when that would happen, I couldn’t keep quiet about it. I’d talk my brother’s ear off, I’d jot down notes, sometimes I’d just flat-out talk to myself about it! And thus I had to make this blog, so I could organize these thoughts and people who were just as into SW as I was could read them!
During the first year, though, I found it’s often hard to write, and I can talk faster than I can type, so sometimes I would just keep my thoughts to myself instead of making posts on them. If you’ve ever written a blog, you can understand this difficulty. But this past year… things definitely changed. The Lost Missions and Star Wars Rebels allowed me do what I always wanted to do… to talk about SW as it was happening, as I was seeing them! And before I knew it, I would be blogging almost every single week. With the exception of a few breaks, I’ve been blogging consistently since September 2014! Especially once Rebels started… it became the norm to sit down, grab a snack, log into WordPress, open up whatever the Rebels episode of the week was, and start writing. A 22-minute episode became 2 hours within the course of that time, and while it wasn’t always easy, and some days I didn’t always feel like doing it, the end result was always worthwhile!
I look back now feeling incredibly blessed to have been part of this. As I’ve said a thousand times before, it’s an amazing time to be a SW fan right now, and being able to talk about it and write about it as it happens is absolutely amazing.
You know that header image up there with that sunset-colored screencap from Duel Of The Droids? I picked that because, at the time, I wasn’t sure what else to use, and intended to later find a better picture (I’d originally wanted to find a high-res pic of that art piece of Luke and Anakin from the Saga Blu-Ray). But now looking back, I realize that screencap couldn’t be more perfect. That image encompasses the feeling of being a new Star Wars fan… you look out and in front of you lies miles worth of stories told and stories to be told. It can be kind of intimidating at first, but with friends in the fandom by your side, you can have the confidence to run out and jump into it, calling out “Follow me, boys”! And having been a true-blue SW fan for only around four years now, I can speak from experience.
As I have also said many times before, I am very much Ahsoka. I gravitated to her quickly even when I didn’t fully understand Star Wars, not only because she’s an incredibly awesome character, but also because she was a lot like me… a girl caught up in the middle of a war she didn’t fully understand. While she grew up, I grew in my understanding of these incredible stories. She was a huge key for me in my love of SW. If I’d never found myself liking her and relating to her character… I might’ve never decided to dig further into The Clone Wars and the Prequels and the Originals and everything else! So thus it truly made me cry buckets of happy tears when Ahsoka stepped into Rebels. We indeed both “grew up” together πŸ™‚ I understand SW to a much deeper extent than I did two years ago, let alone four or five years ago, and Ahsoka’s helping lead the Rebel Alliance! Who’da thunk we’d end up where we did? But that’s just the magic of being a Star Wars fan and making the decision to jump out of that gunship πŸ˜€
Having this blog has helped me much in learning and understanding the SW Galaxy and has played a part in making me love these stories even more than I ever possibly could, to the point I was literally shaking and crying watching that Episode VII teaser. Amazing how it all comes together, doesn’t it? Being a Star Wars fangirl is seriously amazing. Just is.
And I, for one, am glad I not only jumped out of that gunship, but decided to write about how that felt.
So I absolutely just had to say “thank you” to everyone who has supported this blog on both WordPress and tumblr. I cannot thank you enough. This blog has exploded like the Death Star this past year and I truly don’t know where I’d be without my fellow Star Wars fans. Thanks for putting up with all my insane fangirly fangirliness and my overuse of the words “feels”, “ermagosh”, and “squee” and somehow getting something out of this blog. And though I have not heard everyone’s response to the blog, those of you who have reblogged a post on tumblr and said something nice about it … you guys are absolutely beyond awesome and deserve a medal ceremony. But really all you readers and followers deserve medals and as many “thank-yous” as there are stars in the galaxy and as many hairs are on Chewbacca πŸ˜€ Just… thank you!
Here’s to the future of Star Wars, for all the shows, all the movies, all the books and games and every way this galaxy will expand. Here’s to never stop learning about Star Wars, to never stop loving Star Wars, and to coming together as fans united.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

P.S. For your enjoyment, here’s a list of some of my favorite Padawanline blogs from the last year.

Essentials For A Not-So-Ordinary Star Wars Day!
Uncovering The Lost Missions: The Rise Of Clovis
Escape From The Jedi Temple: A Closer Look
10 Reasons I’m Hyped For Rebels!
Uncovering The Lost Missions: The Lost One
Uncovering The Lost Missions: Sacrifice
Rebel Transmissions: Spark Of Rebellion
Rebel Transmissions: Fighter Flight
Rebel Transmissions: Out Of Darkness
Rebel Transmissions: Empire Day
Rebel Transmissions: Path Of The Jedi
Of Crimson Kybers: Looking At Sith Lightsabers
Rebel Transmissions: Fire Across The Galaxy
A [Fangirly] Analysis Of The New Ep VII Teaser!

Uncovering The Lost Missions: Sacrifice

I know it seems weird that I’m posting this on the day Rebels debuts, but well… my week’s been busy OK? But more than that, I think it’s cool to take a moment to love on the the Clone Wars era once more before we cross into this new time and place. I think I’ve got some really good stuff to talk about in this post, so yay for that! So grab your tissues and gather ’round as we take some time to talk about the grand finale to end all grande finales — Sacrifice.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode VI, and TCW episodes The Lost One, Voices, Destiny, and Sacrifice.

OK, so there is no human way I can adequately explain everything that just happened these past three episodes in a nutshell, so yeah… I’m not even going to try. If you want an update yourself, just go back and read the last three posts. But yeah big things have been happening, no doubt. Yoda’s headed off to Moraband for his next lesson in post-death Force-yness. And btw did I mention that Moraband was the ancient homeworld of the Sith? Yikes. Now, considering this was the bad guys’ old stomping grounds, this place doesn’t inherently come off evil… it’s dusty, and mountainous, and kind of in shambles from some crazy amount of ancient war, but it doesn’t look, on the surface, to be a bad place. And I guess it really isn’t a bad place… just a place where bad guys hung out and did their Sith-y junk. And where Yoda’s about to get knee-deep in the Force game. Once again, Artoo can’t come along with Yoda on this. Aww poor guy never gets to do anything exciting! jk. But Yoda’s aware that if he doesn’t come back after a few days, the little astromech will need to deliver the news to the Jedi back home. Wow just the fact that Yoda might not come back… heavy stuff man. But as Yoda walks off into the dusty, rocky world, we know that this is hardly the heaviest thing we’ll be seeing today. And cue amazingly amazing dramatic music that makes me want a TCW soundtrack even more than I already did.
So after a bit of walking, Yoda sits down and starts meditating, and shortly thereafter, darkness falls upon Moraband. And suddenly there are a billion snakes that all form into a giant snake-incectoid thing and I get a severe case of the willies. This Sith-snake guy comes off pretty scary, but Yoda’s all “Dude I’m not afraid of you” and the guy’s all “Oh yeah?” and strikes, but falls apart back into a scattering of snakes as Yoda holds a hand up. Like a boss, Master Yoda. Like. a. boss. Of course that’s not the only thing this creepy planet as up its sleeves… then the snakes sort of bring out a bunch of ghastly dudes, who kinda resemble the Force priestesses but clearly not good guys whatsoever. And they start going on about all this crud of there not being life after death and stuff. I gather they’re sort of the embodiment of fear? Would make sense. Yeah, real nice let’s go and freak Yoda out a bit before his finals, why don’t we? Obviously these clowns have nothing better to do. All humorous/sarcastic commentary aside, these guys are actually pretty bone-chilling scary… and maybe a bit more so than most things in SW that are deemable as “scary”. Well, if you’re gonna represent fear, you’ve got to look the part. And guess who picked up on Yoda’s fear in that moment? Dooku. Who’s hanging out a long long way from Moraband. And it takes like two seconds for one of his droids to walk in and tell him that Sidious needs him to come to Coruscant ASAP. Oooooooh what could this dastardly duo be up to?? And how will it involve Yoda??
Meanwhile, Yoda shook off the fear and moved on into this dark, foreboding ancient tomb-thing, with only his lightsaber to light the way. And in this tomb lies the resting place of some ancient Sith dude. Which is appropriately accented with a giant foreboding statue above it. Yeah not creepy at all. And what does Yoda do? Exactly what none of us would probably have done — walk up to it! And by the time he gets there, there’s lots of black fog and fire and suddenly there stands this really really REALLY creepy form of that Sith guy I just mentioned. Ladies and gentlemen, Darth Bane everybody! I’ve heard of him before, though I’m unsure if he was ever mentioned in the movies, soooo that would make him one of those expanded universe characters who became canon! Wow! And what’s really crazy is that… well… he’s voiced by Mark Hamill. *Brain short-circuits from the craziness of it all* I mean, it’s partially doesn’t feel like a huge deal, because yeah Mark Hamill has done his share of voicing animated villains in the years since being Luke, but then you remember “oh yeah he was Luke” and our heads explode. Or at least mine did when I saw that name on the end credits! OK so I’m getting ahead of myself. Yoda knows who this joker is (pun very much intended); he’s probably the head honcho Sith of them all, the guy who came up with the concept of keeping the number to a minimum of two and making them the terrifying gang they are today. Bane’s all “So you came here to join the Sith! Cool.” and Yoda’s all “Noooo I didn’t. And btdubs you’re not real… you’re dead and stuff so…” and that was the end of that conversation. And then beneath the tombs opens a staircase! This place is just full of surprises, isn’t it? So heading down the stairs and following the familiar voice of the Serenity priestess, Yoda furtherly enters the unknown.
On the other side of the galaxy, Dooku landed on Coruscant where his master awaited him. Sidious casually tells him “Hey so I think we should go and have some fun with them Jedi today…”. And yeah Sidious has been pretty creepy every episode in this season, but man his creepiness hits a major high in this one. How does Tim Curry get his voice to be so perfectly terrifying?? So yes… just how these two will have “fun” with the Jedi remains to be seen…
So Yoda was walking on through those tunnels and right on cue, his teachers, the priestesses, show up. Yoda’s aced all his tests up to now, but his last test will be pretty much the most challenging thing ever. Because he’s going to be fighting the big boss Sith and the second-banana Sith in a place of total darkness where the Force girls’ light doesn’t shine. Yeah that does sound about the most challenging thing ever. And yeah this dark place was where ancient Sith sacrificed Jedi so… yeeeEeeEeeEsh *shudders*. Not exactly a walk in the park AND OH MY GOSH THAT FACIAL ANIMATION ON YODAAAAAA…! HE’S SO BRAVE!! Sorry not sorry.
Now back to the bad guy’s side of the story. It must’ve felt awkward for Dooku to tell Sidious that he’s getting vibes from his old pre-Sith master, but the Darth decides to take advantage of that connection and use it to majorly mess with Yoda. With a little bit of hocus-pocus, Dooku’s blood (*shudders again*), and Force lightning, our baddies are ready to go and… well… yeah, mess with Yoda. And to do so, they decide to show up to him in disguise…
Sooo yes… as Yoda walks into this dark place, he finds — shocker of shockers — SIFO-DYAS. Barely alive, tattered, old, and tied up in what looks like ropes made of Force lightning. And admittedly my first reaction is “AHH WHAT?!” though it starts occurring to me shortly after that this is the disguise Sidious and Dooku put on. Call it a hunch, but he starts trying to convince Yoda he can tell him all he wants to know if he frees him, which sounds awfully Sith-y. Oh, and Sifo-Dyas’s eyes are yellow-red. That too. Of course Yoda’s all “Don’t care bro” and then it takes about a few seconds for that disguise to wear off and reveal it to be Darth Sidious. I still can’t believe they managed to have these two duel without Yoda knowing Sidious’s identity! Benefit of wearing hooded cloaks, I guess… But suddenly, poof! Yoda’s not on Moraband anymore. He’s in a Republic gunship with the clones and Anakin by his side. WURT…? Yeah my head seriously started hurting at this part. And I’m sure the same for Yoda. As it turns out, he’s evidently leading a mission on Coruscant to go take down Dooku and who our heroes believe is the Sith Lord. Ever had a nightmare where you’re doing a test you haven’t studied for? That’s probably how Yoda feels right now. Those Force priestesses could’ve just stuck to a written test for the finals, but noooooo! After Anakin gets Yoda up to speed, Yoda gets his game face on, ready to find out the truth about this Sidious character, and end the clone wars once and for all! Ohhh wouldn’t that’ve been great if that had happened…! I have to say, I really like that we’re getting a little clone battle in this last episode… seeing Rex and his guys again and Anakin, too. I mean, this battle didn’t actually happen for reals, but it’s so cool all the same, having these awesome heroes of awesome working together to fight the bad guy of bad guys! Of course then stuff happens that isn’t very cool for our heroes… Sidious hits all the clones with Force lighting, and when I first saw this I wasn’t totally sure whether this was real or not so I squeaked out in pure shock “YOU KILLED REX?!?!”. Thankfullyz that wasn’t the case, but they sure scared me to bits. Anakin and Dooku start dueling as Yoda starts to chase down Sidious… up until Anakin knocks Dooku to his knees and gives the Count two lightsabers to the neck. Which also shocked me, even though it convinced me it wasn’t real — or at least, only partially real. Yoda was pretty shocked as well. Wonder if he ever found out that Anakin would eventually do that. But Yoda still had to make a dash after the Darth, and it lead him out of the Sith’s hangout and onto an industrial bridge and thus the lightsabers came out! It really is a fantastic duel; super-cool, but careful not to undermine their already super-cool battle to come in Episode III. And then suddenly, Anakin catches up and joins in on the fight! Anakin having lent his lightsaber to this matter was useful, up until he came on a little too fast and proceeded to be Force-choked and Force-lightninged and tossed aside unconscious. Yoda was able to take on what Force lightning Sidious could dish out and threw it back at him, knocking the Darth over the platform. Buuuut naturally Sidious isn’t dead and he starts playing dirty, running beneath the platform and lightsabering its supports and proceeding to make the bridge start falling apart. Yoda makes a dash to one side of the bridge to fight Sidious, but then Anakin’s unconscious form is about to fall off the collapsing other half! And now Yoda’s stuck between trying to get Master Skywalker to safety and fending off the Darth. Sidious tries to convince him to forget about Anakin, telling him “You ditch the guy and you could actually stop me from pulling off my evil plans!”. Now, just think about this for a second: Sidious knows what he’s going to do, and it will partially involve turning Anakin into Vader. We know this. Yoda doesn’t know this yet, so he assumes it’s only just because he could defeat Sidious. But then Yoda stands up and says “I won’t let you tempt me. I’m ready to make the ultimate sacrifice.”. So this is the crazy thing that I can’t help but love; just as Yoda stands between Sidious and Anakin now, refusing to bend to the dark lord’s wishes, in Episode VI, Luke was standing between the Emperor and Vader, refusing to kill his father, and saying “I am a Jedi, like my father before me”. I don’t know if this mirroring was intentional or not, but it is seriously awesome. Maybe the Jedi haven’t figured out the attachment vs. love thing yet, but there’s no love stronger than being willing to give up your life for someone, and that’s what Yoda does now as he stands between Sidious and Anakin. WOW. WOW. WOW. And indeed, Yoda turns off the lightsaber, and even while Sidious hits him with all the Force lightning he’s got, Yoda manages to use the Force to put Anakin on solid ground, just as the rest of the bridge falls apart and sends Yoda and Sidious falling to their imminent doom. In the midst of the fall, Sidious just keeps evil laughing his head off as Yoda tries to unmask this villain. But by the time Yoda finally gets ahold of that hood… Sidious has disappeared. LE GASP! And Master Yoda takes the fall…
As for our Sith friends, we now see Sidious and Dooku stand in front of their little cauldron with frowny faces, knowing they didn’t quite succeed as much as they would’ve wanted to. Ah well… tomorrow’s another day!
And then Yoda woke up to the face of the Serene priestess. He’s passed his test… and evidently, all of this craziness was just the entry test to the life-after-death university. Aw man I don’t know about Yoda but I might’ve been a bit bummed. Anyway, it looks like Yoda will continue to take little classes with Qui-Gon from here on out so cool. And also she might’ve mentioned something at the last second about there being another Skywalker. I’m sure Yoda was dead confused what that was all about… but we as an audience just had our heads explode a little more. And with that, Yoda and Artoo are heading home. And I’m not sure Artoo could’ve looked any happier at that moment.
Back home on Coruscant, Mace and Obi-Wan and the rest of the Jedi really want to know what went down on Yoda’s journey. But Yoda shrugs and is all “Eh. There’s not a lot to talk about…”. Yoda, of course, can’t exactly tell them all that went down per se, but he does leave his fellow Jedi with some pretty deep thoughts. That while the ultimate result of the clone wars is uncertain, Yoda does know something that not even the Sith know… something that will win the ultimate battle, something that will be a true victory… or should we say someone? And with that, onward walk these three great Jedi into the Temple, while the camera takes a focus on a single bright bloom on the tree that seems to point to all the hope that will remain, even through dark times and destruction… to that beautiful ending that comes in Episode VI and oh gosh I’m sorry I’m going to cry now… Oh Lucasfilm you could not have given us a more beautiful ending to this amazingly amazing series…! ^w^
Just… wow…, man… this series…! Its legacy will live on in our hearts forever for absolute certain. And while the sun sets on this era, there will always be more to explore in the SW Universe. Plus, I still plan on writing #CloneBackThursdays posts on all the episodes from the last five seasons πŸ™‚ Oh yeah and there are all those unfinished Utapauan episodes on starwars.com to watch too! So now, as we walk into the era of the Rebellion’s rise, we go with excitement and with hopeful hearts as we’re about to find out just how this little sliver of hope will continue to be threaded through this truly incredible story called Star Wars.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Uncovering The Lost Missions: Destiny

Ermagoshhh we are on the second-to-last episode of TCW now… feels unreal, doesn’t it? It’s a whole lot of intensity, mystery, and real real deepness we’re getting in this one! So hopefully this time I’ll have something useful to say and give all of us something to think about this time around as we uncover the depths of Destiny!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode VI and TCW Episodes Brothers, The Wrong Jedi, The Lost One, Voices, and Destiny.

So yes, amazing what one can uncover in a short period of time… in what seems to be a few days, Yoda’s found out that a) the bad guys may be responsible for the Clone Army and b) that Qui-Gon Jinn has uncovered a way to stay yourself after death. So now Yoda’s letting the Force be his GPS to guide him to the next step on his crazy journey that will help him figure out what Qui-Gon’s figured out. At the moment, Yoda and R2-D2 are parked right outside this crazy mass of gas and star stuff. Yoda knows that somewhere in that mass is his new Force-training ground, so he just keeps on driving. On the other hand, Artoo is clearly questioning his sanity. “LOOK, MAY I REMIND YOU THAT MY HEAD IS STICKING OUTSIDE? I WOULD LIKE TO LIVE THROUGH THIS IF THAT’S POSSIBLE! ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THIS??? YOU CAN SLOW DOWN ANY TIME, MAN! ARE YOU SURE THAT MASTER JINN WASN’T JUST TALKING ABOUT A COFFEE SHOP OR SOMETHING?” and so on. Hehe poor guy’s screaming his dome off! But Yoda has a tendency to be right, because there it is — a planet! And clearly the right planet, because it’s covered in glowy sparkly stuff! As well as, of course, being Force-heavy. So thus, our heroes land right next to a giant crater flowing with strands of glowy sparkly stuff. Well, actually that glowy sparkly stuff is pure Force… or life… or something… please bear with me as I understand the Force as much as I understand underwater agriculture. Yoda knows where he’s going, and he gives Artoo his lightsaber for safekeeping. I admittedly get a little choked up that Artoo is clearly worried for his friend :3 But Yoda’s gotta do it alone… and off he goes, flying the ship down the glowy crater into the unknown!
Once the crater lets out, we find ourselves in a cavernous world that can hardly be done justice by mere description. It’s got some of those glowy strands going on and it has these floating islands or whatever and tons of bizarre-ish but cool foliage. And evidently, there’s some pretty cool wildlife around here too. But just then, out of nowhere comes an eerie voice, apparently female. And she shows herself first by floating in a sparkly ball… to which all of us said “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” πŸ˜† And then she reveals herself as this ghost-faced, black-cloaked biped who fits into the “bizarre-ish but cool” category as well. She’s all “Yoda! Where’ve you been man?” which in turn gives us this Wonderland vibe. Yoda’s all “How would you know that…?” and she’s all “Dude. I’m kinda part of the living Force durrr.” and in turn leads him off. Now, I have to say, as unreal as these ghostly guardians seem to be, they have it pretty good. They barely have to walk! This girl just floats on! And on top of that, the foliage just curls itself out of her way! Wouldn’t that be great, especially since I have a tendency to get hit with branches when I’m walking through foliage myself. Luckyyy. On top of that, doors just open for her! Technically tunnels, I guess, but still! I sorta kept expecting Yoda to get hit with all the foliage that missed her or that the door might close on Yoda before he could get in, but he’s a VIP guest here… none of that expected comic humor for this guy! So once through the door, the girl announces to her cousins that their guest has arrived. And the room immediately becomes all cool and glowy and in comes one-by-one all of these nearly identical spirit cousins. They’re identical, except that each one’s mask evokes a different emotion. Soooo that kind of makes them like the Seven Dwarves of the Force. *Armada of Star Wars fans drop a brick on my head* The first one’s a bit of a jerk, the next one is the walking (er… floating?) manifestation of a familiar Pharrell song, there’s a depressed one, and a confused one on top of that. They all want to know why Yoda’s here though (guess the first cousin didn’t let them know about this guest beforehand? Manners!). He tells them the simple fact that he’s interested in the whole immortality thing, and the Worrier doubts, the Optimist is all for it, the Confused shrugs and is all “whatever I guess”. Fact is, as far as their calm leader’s concerned, he’s kinda going to train a hero someday who will save the universe (you all know who they’re talking about!). The rather… grumpy one is all “Psh dude you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into!”, but Yoda’s cool with being the student this time around. Soooo the cousins seem to accept his request, after a bout of slightly disturbing girlish laughter. Obviouslyyy they know what Yoda’s going to face… and it can’t be quite as humorous as they’re letting on. But all the same, Yoda’s been accepted into the school of Force-ghost-ness!
So after the initiation, Yoda’s poofed back to where he last was, where the lead spirit girl fills him in on the locale’s background. Long story short — this is the where midichlorians are made and where all life originates. Which would explain the amount of glowy Force stuff. She leads him to this pathway of floaty island-things that in turn leads to this spooky-looking island/mountain. Apparently, Yoda needs to get in touch with himself a bit if he’s going to hang around after death, so he’ll take a couple of challenges in that very island/mountain to beat out his underlying dark side. Yoda’s like “Wait… I’m a Jedi! There’s no fear or darksidery going on in me!” and she’s all “Ha. Sure… prove it then.”. Yoda doesn’t get the deal with that, but off he goes, island-hopping his way over to the spooky mountainous island. Yes indeedy the teacher is about to get schooled!
So Yoda literally can’t take a step into these dark caves without hearing another creepy disembodied voice. And it’s much much much creepier than the last. And it kinda sounds like… him. Yes friends, Shadow Yoda will haunt my dreams for a while. I’ve heard Maul in his insane state compared to Gollum, but that’s nothing comparatively… Shadow Yoda here could probably scare the real Gollum and Darth Maul both. And sorry I’ll stop talking about Middle Earth lore in the middle of a Star Wars blog, but seriously! I did not know Tom Kane’s voice was capable of all this creepy. He’s talking almost exactly like Gollum! And sorry I did it again! So yes it’s both exciting and terrifying watching Yoda fight his darksidery self. Yup… just the facts, everyone’s got something they have to overcome, no matter how seemingly big or small it may be. Even if it’s just his being mad at Quinlan Vos for cutting in front of him in the cafeteria line. Or maybe the fact that he’s too short for most Disney Parks rides (sorry). Either way, Yoda has to come to grips that he’s not perfect, but he can choose to make the right decisions and face his “dark side” head-on when he needs to. In fact, it’s his choosing to face Shadow Yoda and saying “OK yeah you’re there, but you don’t control me.” that defeats this creepy guy in the end. You go, Master Yoda! He gets an “A” on this assignment, but he’s still got some more tests to go through. Bet he’s wishing now he hadn’t worn himself out physically fighting the guy for so long. Again, it feels very unusual to see Yoda realizing all he doesn’t know, but yet, it also makes him more relatable. So now that Yoda’s truly willing to take this schooling seriously, the guardians send him off once more to his next lesson… and it’s not exactly a simple true-or-false quiz. They called it… “temptations”. Oooh heavy…
You’d think getting through some ascending valley and coming through without attachment would be easy, right? Well this is Star Wars… most things aren’t that easy. Though weird thought: if these girls are the utmost in the Force… do they know what we now know about the “Jedi vs. Attachment” issue? We know that the Jedi were taking some of all this too far, even if it was partially rooted in truth. From an interview with Dave Filoni on starwars.com, he pointed out that it was their legit love for each other that saved Vader and Luke in Episode VI, something the Jedi didn’t totally get until then. The Jedi are right for the most part regarding attachment; holding on to someone or something so viciously that it makes you make bad decisions can be a straight path down the hill to Dark Side Land, but loving someone, but being willing to let go? That’s different. Now, from Yoda experiences in the valley, it honestly seems that the spirits might only be half-right on all this… honestly, this test leaves me with lots and lots and lots of questions that I can only hope with my own discussion may help answer.
Yeahhhh you know you’re in for a pretty terrifying test when you suddenly walk into a room full of dead Jedi. Everyone from adorable Jedi kids to the great and awesome Mace Windu lie scattered on these floors, including one who looks awfully familiar… OHMYGOSH AHSOKA TANO??! And she’s kinda still alive to boot! So as you can imagine, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Yoda look so sad… I can’t help but shed some tears in this part. And yeah, it’s a bit of a surreal moment to see Ahsoka again after all this time… especially since she’s… sorta just barely hanging on to life. Ahsoka tells him that this was all the Sith’s doing, but quickly turns the conversation around to her being kicked out of the Order. This does make me ask some questions, as Ahsoka almost got back in, but she turned down their offer and chose to leave the Jedi Order. Either Yoda just feels stupid guilty about the whole debacle or else he wasn’t fully informed of what went down. I’m thinking it’s the first one; Yoda does care about her, and probably feels like he might’ve been responsible for what went down. I mean, either way, Ahsoka’s trial and junk did leave an indelible mark on her and made her question the Jedi Order herself. Aww Yoda you can’t blame yourself…! Ahsoka then moves on to worrying about her future… she’s not a full Jedi, so when she dies, does she just… die? I’ve always believed that if you’re strong with the Force, you’ll end up in the soup either way, so I’m not really worried for whatever ultimately does become of Ahsoka, whether she’s hanging with the bounty hunters (something I picked up from a sketch of Mr. Filoni’s that was meant for an unmade TCW episode), joining the Rebel Alliance, or working a desk job somewhere. But clearly Yoda is worried for her, because he doesn’t know. Aughhh so many tears…! πŸ˜₯ Seriously though the shot was angled pretty far from him, I have no doubt Yoda was tearing up, man… and IDK about you but when the Jedi actually let loose the waterworks on the rare occasion, I get gut-punched in the feels. But in the midst of his sadness, comes in one of those adorable Padawans from Season 5, inviting him to come with her to someplace far away from all this tragedy and fear. I mean, at first glance, you kinda can’t deny an adorable little girl’s offer of paradise, but then we remember “oh hey, isn’t this the ‘temptation’ part of this?” and then we start yelling “NO YODA DON’T DO IT!!! IT’S A TRAP!”, but of course, Yoda’s just been through all this hurt so of course he does it anyway. He’s only human, I suppose (or um… not human… whatever he is…). And suddenly, they’re outside the temple where the birds are singing and the trees are blooming and alllllll the Jedi who are and whoever were are hanging out together. And honestly, my first reaction is “Well, what could possibly be wrong with this?”. My weird theories have always imagined the Force-Spirit realm as something akin to a fancy retirement village where all the Jedi hang out together and sing songs around the campfire and go golfing (well, what did Anakin, Yoda, and Obi-Wan do after they left the Ewok party? I can’t imagine just floating around and giving Luke advice take up that much time in a day!). Of course, I’m aware that this may be an incorrect theory, but it just seems right. Perhaps the only difference is that those who keep their identity get to talk to the living on the occasion or something, IDK. Sooo how can this Jedi Temple barbecue be a bad thing, right? The padawan tells him that there’s no war out here, and Yoda pretty quickly puts on his “skepticles” on the whole thing. Especially as he finds Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon chatting about funny anecdotes with Master Dooku. I get that it feels weird… I mean, Dooku’s legitimately smiling and being a good guy! I’ve always wondered what kind of guy he was before he went all dark side on us, but this leaves me with mixed feelings. It does kinda make me feel all happy and gooey inside seeing this legacy of Jedi together… Dooku, who trained Qui-Gon, Qui-Gon, who trained Obi-Wan, and Yoda, who trained them all! D’aww feels! Yoda’s kinda becoming cool with it, but he’s not taking a hot dog off the grill yet. Pretty quickly Yoda just stops and says “Whoa whoa whoa something’s not right here!”. I guess seeing a few Jedi who are either dead (Adi Gallia and Qui-Gon and even Tiplar) or ex-Jedi (Dooku and Barriss Offee) is a little weird. Yeah figures I’d probably have failed this test big-time… isn’t that the point of this paradise? Everyone being together? I’m still confused, but this is a test. Maybe in twenty years they’re all be roasting marshmallows on Endor, but not today. This is the whole “temptation” deal. The rest of the Jedi are like “Dude. Total faux pas!” and Dooku’s like “Bros let me handle this” and pulls out his red lightsaber. But Yoda just looks him in the creepy red eyes and shrugs “This is all fake, you know.” and poof Yoda’s back to solid ground. It’s so confusing…! Perhaps someday it will all make sense. Anyway, the lead spirit shows up and slaps a big A+ on that paper (so to speak), but yeah he’s got finals coming up… the rest of the girls tells him his next and final test awaits him on the Sith homeworld and face a bucketload of fear. Ohhh wonderful. But Yoda do what Yoda do.
So by the time Yoda flew out of that Force-y glowy mess, Artoo was so happy to see him again he was doing a little dance! But he probably wasn’t in a dancing mood when Yoda told him that they’re going on the road again… but evidently, he does have some good words of wisdom, as the little droid seems to say “We have to be brave, Master,”. And don’t we, though, as we head into whatever ultimate destiny lies ahead.
Daaaaang… that’s all that I think I’m able to put into words on this one! And soon we’ll see the finale to end all finales… and boy I hope I can get all those thoughts translated to text within just one blog! Until then…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight