Tag Archives: the fireball

The Resistance Report: The Core Problem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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The Resistance Report: Dangerous Business

Ready to dive into some more Resistance with me? I sure hope so, because whether you saw it the day it aired or you’re like me and just saw it a couple weeks ago, there’s always some fascinating factoids and engaging character arcs to explore! 😀

Contains spoilers from Resistance episode Dangerous Business (and some other events from the season thus far).

At first, I wasn’t sure where to begin with writing this post. It’s a very good episode, no doubt. A fun, fast-paced blend of humor and action that seems to be preparing us for uncertain times ahead. But beyond the nifty and nerdy things that I was sure to include in the Twilight’s Highlights section, what else would I write about? What would be this Report’s major focus? What was the big takeaway from this episode in the middle of all this chaos, comedy, and danger? Once I thought on that question, though, I soon had my answer. An answer that greatly improved my initial perspective on the episode.

At the very beginning, we find Kaz, our noble-but-not-mechanically-gifted young hero working on the Fireball. My first thought was “Wow, how far he’s has come! He hasn’t even blown anything up!”. But I’d soon find he’s come far in more ways than one. We don’t know for sure how long he’d been fixing it up, but considering he was up before anyone else, he very well could’ve spent all night on it. And all for Tam, who he knew had her heart set on that ship, and didn’t appreciate that he’d been flying it so much lately. It wasn’t part of his job or his real job, but he wanted to do it all the same (and let’s not forget that Kaz is no early bird! That he managed to fix it with only a single error on little-to-no sleep is pretty miraculous). If you think that’s impressive, then think about this: for Kaz to accomplish this gift, he had to go an extra mile further. He could’ve waited until eventually he had the money to buy those parts outright, but he clearly felt he needed to get it done ASAP so Tam could fly same-day like she was hoping for, and that meant getting a second job at Acquisitions — well, a third job, actually! And even though Flix and Orka haven’t exactly been the kindest to him, Kaz was willing to put in the work and treat them and their shop with respect. Though Flix and Orka don’t know all that Kaz actually accomplished in destroying the stolen phase connector, they’re right to take notice of his loyalty. Something these crusty moneygrubbing shopkeepers might could stand to learn.

And it gets better! Though Kaz continues to find himself in danger just about every time he turns around, there’s a difference in how he got in trouble this time. When Flix and Orka warned him about the back room, I immediately assumed Kaz was totally going to go in that back room and trouble would meet him there. After all, his decision-making skills are kind of… iffy some days (like helping “friends” steal a dangerous fuel additive and all those times he’s skipped work for non-Resistance reasons, just to name a couple). He ultimately got into trouble because he was trying to do the right thing and make the customer happy, like a good employee should do! (Plus it helped his spy work, win-win!) The only real mistake he made this episode was biting off more than he could chew. But his motives were ultimately pure (even if slightly tainted with that “I got this” brand of overconfidence). So when you really think about how much Kazuda Xiono has grown since we first met him, how generous and loyal he’s become, how much he cares about his friends and the people around him, it’s pretty astounding… and I can’t help but be warmed by it 🙂

TWILIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS
– So was the Resistance unable to fix the Fireball last time back on Station Theta Black? Or is this a totally different “Kaz-tastrophe” that Tam’s referring to? From what it sounds like though, there have been multiple ones…
– Y’know I should’ve mentioned this episodes ago, but Kaz really rocks that black tunic/tee right there.
– How’d Flix rope Orka into that? Maybe their families were friends growing up? That or Flix had to do a lot of begging and/or bribing. Or else Flix’s mom makes a mean ugnaught bean casserole.
– Balarian pie! Sounds good… whatever “balarian” is. I’m imagining it at the moment to taste like Fig Newtons for some reason. More Star Wars food to attempt recreating!
– There’s still a Mining Guild in the galaxy? I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but that’s rather intriguing to discover.
– Ohhh that’s why they keep Bitey around. He’s a guard-gorg!
– But everyone knows ball-droids are much more effective as guards! Git ‘im BB!
– This has just not been Kaz’s day. But this is kind of the norm for him.
– I legit just realized Kaz’s gloves have glowing buttons. How does that work? Does he have to charge them? But I think the question I really should be asking is why the gloves have glowing buttons in the first place…
– Star Wars is full of unlikely heroes. We can now add Bitey to the list!
– Hmm, is Orka implying that Flix’s kind is typically featherless?? And so opens up another unsolved SW mystery!
– Do days on Castilon work differently, because it’s still pretty light outside for it being evening.

Keep the Peace,
– Twilight

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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 🙂

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! 😀

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 😀

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 🙂

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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