The Resistance Report: The Triple Dark

All right, friends, a new Resistance Report is in at last! Admittedly, guys, life continues to be busy and these Reports may permanently be coming in weeks late from here on. But don’t think for a second that it’s because I don’t have tons to talk about with Star Wars, because I always do, especially with a wonderfully delightful episode like The Triple Dark! Now, let the fangirling and story-analyzing commence!

Contains spoilers from Resistance episodes The Recruit and The Triple Dark.

So, I knew Kaz’s cover was as part of Team Fireball, but I didn’t realize until this episode that Team Fireball is more of a mechanic’s shop. The setting and situation quickly brought a rush of Freemaker Adventures vibes. For those who’ve watched the series, you know what I mean… Kaz is our Zander, Neeku our Rowan, Tam our Kordi, Bucket our Roger, and they’re answering to a persnickety Wic Cooper kind of guy! It brought back so many memories and immediately got me smilin’! But though the scenario is familiar, the magnificent misadventure that unfolds is uniquely Resistance and so much fun!

Now I must list more things I love about Kazuda Xiono. No, this probably won’t make the post very well-organized, but to stay silent on his many adorable qualities would be a severe crime. Isn’t he the best worst spy you ever saw? On paper, espionage sounds like an easy job. Just keep a low profile and your eyes wide open, right? But I guess that depends on how you’re keeping that low profile. And also maybe having a solid story ahead of time to back you up. His attempts to play it cool and get some First Order dirt had me dying laughing. In truth though, I probably would do just as well, especially when it comes to that mechanic stuff. But hey, I’ve made no secret how much I appreciate a character I can soundly relate to, even when it’s because we share similar flaws and failures. And it makes for some serious comedy gold! 😀

Speaking of gold, I haven’t had a chance much to discuss how much I love the idea that Kaz is not a hero from humble beginnings. It’s understandable why so many SW protagonists start off in less-than-ideal circumstances, because who doesn’t thrill at watching that hero rise up from the dust of their desolate and/or tragic upbringings? It’s so powerful! But I think we feel that powerful thrill, not because we directly relate to the heroes, necessarily, but because we relate to their struggles to rise up from something. We’ve all been held down at some point, we’ve all felt desolate and have been hurt by tragedy. We may not have grown up on a hopeless desert world or lost our parents, but we feel these characters even still. And Kaz’s struggle to carve his own path may be something even more of us can understand. In fact, I think all of us understand this in some way. Though we have yet to see where Kaz’s journey in the Resistance takes him, a hero is indeed rising, and I’m excited to join him on that journey.

Wow, that got deep. I was originally planning on talking more about what we learned about Kaz from his lucky trophy. I thought it was a really neat concept. Kaz holds the priceless piece of aurodium so dearly because of how he got it and how much it means to him. But otherwise, I get the impression Kaz never even really considered how rare and precious the trophy would be to people beyond his circle. I chuckle at Neeku’s utter amazement over Kaz’s “many fabulous possessions”, but it also makes me sad thinking of how little Neeku has. Kaz does not come off as a careless, inconsiderate “rich boy” by any means, but I wonder if he will come out of this mission with more than just a medal ceremony, but maybe an awareness of how much more he could do with what he’s been given. Just a thought, anyway. Either way, I think he’s learned a couple things at least, since he somewhat sacrificed his lucky trophy to help someone who intended him harm (and probably still does). Kaz is such a good boy :3

And oh you guys I just adore Kragan and his crew! Yes, these guys are clearly dangerous, and I’d not want to run into any of ’em in dark alley (or a triple dark). But I’m a little obsessed with their cobbled-together old armor and ships… and maybe even more obsessed with all the great character designs! I’m still all about the colorful crowds in this series, and the pirates just added even more color. We have a quarren and a trandoshan, and perhaps most excitingly to me, a LASAT!! That was such a surprise. And what I found really interesting was, after seeing the initial concept art for the guy, he’s actually kind of small and skinny. I got the impression from Rebels that most lasat (at least the men) were big and beefy, but this tells me they’re as varied in size and shape as much as any other being. So very cool to discover! Plus yeah I just adore lasat so… that made my day!

Oh yeah, and I almost entirely forgot about Phasma’s first appearance. Wow, some fangirl I am… I was more hyped over the lasat pirate than the Captain Phasma! But regardless, I certainly am excited (and terrified) to see what the cunning Captain has in store from here…

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

The Future Of The Freemakers

This post contains some spoilers from Episode VII, Episode VIII, and The Freemaker Adventures.

Not gonna lie, I’ve been missing The Freemaker Adventures a lot lately. I know that might sound ridiculous when there’s no shortage of Star Wars stories around, and for sure I’m thankful for all that, but spending these last two summers with the Freemaker family has been very special to me. I think because it’s been the most deep, meaningful storytelling we’ve ever seen in Lego Star Wars, and when you combine that with the usual Lego Star Wars hilarity and cleverness, amazing things happen! It is truly on-equals with the rest of the canon galaxy for me, and I’m sure for many of you reading this.

At the beginning of the summer, I told myself I wouldn’t let myself be disappointed if there was no new season this year. But throughout the last couple months, I’ve had dream after dream where I’m seeing ads for new episodes! Even one night, I dreamed they made Lieutenant Valeria a playable character in Battlefront II! (Frankly, that would make a ton of sense and needs to be done) So I’ve realized yes, I am a little disappointed.

I guess the toughest thing has been the fact they never said it was over. If Return Of The Return Of The Jedi was the series finale, it was a fantastic, perfect finale. But the Disney XD socials only said it was the season finale. And it made sense to me that they would continue it! Lego’s made other animated series that have lasted far more seasons, and with TFA’s stellar reviews, surely they could go on for a season or two more! I had to remind myself, though, that Lego Star Wars will always be there, regardless of whether it has any animated programming to go with it. So there’s nothing to say they have to keep making Freemaker Adventures. Those are the facts, hard as they may be.

The other hard thing is, the season two finale was so fantastic and so perfect, it made me want more! Of course, that’s just a staple of Star Wars… no matter how happy or satisfying the ending is, it’s impossible to not want to know what happens next. And there are so many things I’ve pondered on over the months on what a third season might hold. I want to see the battle of Jakku and the rise of the new Republic, and where the kids were in all of it! We know where Luke’s path ultimately goes, and I want to see how Rowan fits into it. How does that first Master-Apprentice bond look? What is Luke like as a young, optimistic teacher? Do Rowan’s Forcebuilder talents make things more challenging? Does Rowan even need a real master, considering how well he’s done on his own? Meanwhile, what are Zander, Kordi, and Roger doing with their lives? I’m assuming they’re out there doing what they intended, fixing up the newly-freed galaxy, but how exactly are they doing it? How are they using their talents? And are my theories on Becky Smoochenbacher true?? Not to mention the biggest question of mine: what happened to the Freemakers’ mom and dad? And what about any other extended family — aunts, uncles, grandparents? I know they don’t want to go the same route Rebels went with that kind of storyarc, but just some confirmation of what happened, whether it was just an unfortunate accident or something intentional, would be satisfactory. Whether these questions would be answered or not, there are just too many amazing story opportunities! And that means, far as I’m concerned, there are too many amazing reasons to make at least one more season.

Though I’m certainly feeling the show’s absence right now, I’m not without hope for the Freemakers.
First of all, it truly may not have been the series finale. Perhaps with Solo‘s summer release, Lego wasn’t able to release two different series of Star Wars sets at the same time, and so Disney’s pushing it back a year. And you know, Disney XD has pushed back series before. Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero’s first season ran in 2015, and didn’t get a second final season until 2017. I don’t know what caused the delay, but it speaks volumes that Disney did let them finish what they started. So who knows? Maybe The Freemaker Adventures will be back next summer!
And a couple weeks ago, Star Wars announced a new book… a droid encyclopedia with in-universe narration by Roger.
Look how amazing he looks on the cover!!

No one’s said for certain, but to me, this means that Roger is a 100% canon character in the Star Wars universe. I always thought so, but to see it confirmed in a canon reference book? It’s beyond anything I could’ve hoped to see!
It’s a reminder that Lucasfilm knew we loved these characters. They knew we wanted more Freemakers in our lives.
So who’s to say what’s next for this show?

And hey, The Clone Wars came back after a four-year-absence (three if you count the storyreels). I think literally anything is possible 😀

So whether the Freemakers have said goodbye, or if they’re just getting started, I’m happy. Either way, I’ll keep rewatching the reruns and imagining up new adventures of my own! And I definitely look forward to finally reading Roger’s first published book this fall… and for all the new Star Wars stories to come 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

#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! 😀

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! 🙂

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

Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 4

A new Forces Of Destiny compilation has dropped and I’m here to write once again on all the fascinating and inspiring things I’ve learned. This time will be a little different, though, because this is actually the first time I’ve watched them all, period, so my thoughts on each short are all completely fresh on my mind (and hopefully, in turn, will be a little clearer than all those posts where I’ve forgotten some of my original impressions from the first viewing). You can read the first three posts here, here, and here. Now, off to Takodana we go! (And everywhere else in the galaxy, for that matter)

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Four (but you can watch those shorts here), and several elements from Star Wars Rebels, Solo, Episode VI, Episode VII, and Episode VIII.

OK first of all never mind, looks like we’re not on Takodana today. I miss the pretty green planet a little, but I can live with that because today we have HONDO!!! I loved seeing him and Maz at odds in The Freemaker Adventures, and I’ve always wanted to see them cross paths again. So this is just spectacular! Their obviously long-time rivalry is just too fun to watch! Now, maybe I’m off on this, but this looks like a slightly-younger Hondo than the one we see in Rebels. I’d assumed all these Maz stories framing the shorts happened in or around the Sequel era, but it seems the clock goes back a little further for this one, which I love! It does bring up an interesting thought, though, because I had somehow assumed Maz really was the one telling these stories. In truth, looking back, I’m not sure how she could’ve been there for all these small moments with all of these characters, unless she heard them by word-of-mouth. But I guess it’s reasonable to say she’s not the one telling all these stories, at least for the ones that happen much later on. I think that’s how both parts of the Forces Of Destiny volumes remain canon. Or I could be wrong and Hondo just got back all his old pirate-y garb and he only looks younger. Either way, wow there’s so much I’ve already learned, and I haven’t even gotten to the shorts yet!

#1. Chopper is a surprisingly great leader.

I wouldn’t normally have expected Chop to do so well with the ewoks. I mean… his track record of being friendly to people really isn’t that great. But maybe the years since Ezra’s departure have made him a better, nicer droid somehow. Hera’s always had a knack for finding just the right crewmembers, no matter who they are or where they’ve been. Now Chopper seems to be taking a page from his mom’s book, convincing her that his ewok buddies are the perfect new Ghost crew gunners! It’s all just too cute and too fun. And my inner ewok nerd is happy to see Princess Kneesaa joining the fight! Now I want to go rewatch some old Ewoks episodes…

#2. Baby sando aquas are precious and must be protected!

Seriously WOW THAT IS CUTE!! I think I might have a new fave on my list of favorite Star Wars creatures. I’ve always thought the monsters impressive, but getting to see them closer, and in a sweeter light, I find I love them more than I did before! Beyond that, it’s really neat seeing Padme take charge like she does and help her guardsmen consider all the angles in a frightening, dangerous situation. And it’s important to note that, though the guards don’t know how to handle the exact situation at first, they don’t come off as incapable or powerless, just in need of a little extra advice. It’d be easy to make them look dumb in contrast to Padme and her strong-but-peaceful approach, but they only give us the facts: that any of us might be prone to making a rash decision in a crisis, but if you can keep a cool head, a solid solution might be easier to find that you once thought. Strong characters all around, that’s just how Star Wars rolls!

#3. Tristan’s the little brother.

I honestly never considered that before. I assumed he was either older by a year or two, or he and Sabine were twins. But I’m glad they set the record straight. And from the instant she said “C’mon, little brother” and he gave a quiet unamused “ugh”, it’s impossible to miss those sibling-bond vibes! It’s the kind of bond where you follow your sibling into trouble and say snippy things you don’t really mean, but you love them anyway, and even find you have more in common than you thought. It’s a sibling bond I can almost 100% relate to! Just to hear Sabine talk to her bro about things they did growing up gives such a sense of history and warmth to the Wren family. I adored every minute of this one. Getting to spend a slightly-quieter moment with the Wren kids and a closer look at their friendship is an absolute treat!

Also, I will need to check back on Legacy Of Mandalore and see if Tristan still has that painting on his shoulder armor, ’cause Sabine did a great job on it 🙂

#4. Hondo doesn’t like droids.

And if you had to put up with droids like IG-88, I could see why! It’s pretty hilarious watching the two argue over who has the bigger bounty. It continues to fascinate me that IG cares about credits in the first place, but I guess self-reliant bounty hunter droids need new parts every now and again. But though the pirate and hunter steal the show, the short’s focus is Qi’ra, who clearly has had enough experience with scoundrels to know how to best out-scoundrel ’em. I think it’s really neat to see a Qi’ra story in Forces Of Destiny, because she’s not quite like any of the other heroines we see in these stories. She’s not a Rebel leader, not a senator, not a Jedi, doesn’t steal the Death Star plans… she honestly might deserve the title of “scoundrel” almost as much as her adversaries do! She ultimately earns the title of “heroine” in the way she defends Han from Vos, but we’re not at that point yet. None of this is to say Qi’ra’s isn’t still a good person at heart, but I think we can agree she’s not a typical role model. This is a good thing, though, because I would honestly love to see some Forces Of Destiny stories surrounding more characters like her; bossladies who might not be the obvious heroine, but who still might have some shining moments in their stories yet to be told. Like Ventress, Sugi, or Naare! (ok that’s just a pipe dream but still would be cool)

#5. Porgs make great parents!

Until I watched this short, I had no idea both the mama and the papa porgs take care of their babies! Not surprising since they’re bird-like, and a lot of birds do the same. But still neat to know and too cute to see! Not only are porgs great parents, but we also see Chewbacca being a fantastic uncle! Though the porgs have caused their fair share of trouble, Chewie can’t turn down an opportunity to help the fluffball porglets. It’s seriously the sweetest thing, and shows so much his respect for nature and his huge heart :3 I honestly spent this entire short going “AWWW!!”, because I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to react in any other way. But I do have to wonder if it’s this kind act of Chewie’s that made all the porgs decide “Hey! Let’s go hang out in the Falcon! The hairy guy who lives there is so nice, he surely wouldn’t mind if we made ourselves comfortable!” XD #MoPorgsMoProblems

#6. Always let Rey drive.

Or at least don’t let Finn drive! And I think he knows it. I love seeing extensions of scenes like this, and I love chase scenes, and I love Finn and Rey, and I love the background paintings, and I still will always love the fact Finn loaned Rey his jacket (such a gentleman). So… yeah this short’s got a lot to love! It’s so fun watching more of this dynamic duo doing what they do (by figuring out what they do best) and making one seriously great escape on scenic Starkiller Base! I need to rewatch VII so I can spot exactly when this scene would’ve taken place, because I’ve sort of forgotten…

#7. The Ewoks animated series was right…

The citizens of Bright Tree Village have had other problems besides the Empire. Like this giant beastie! It certainly looks like it would’ve fit in well with the old show. It’s been a while since I’ve watched them, so I can’t remember for sure if I’ve seen the giant before. Either way, Wicket and Kneesaa aren’t alone, they have the original SPACE TWINS on their side! There’s so much I haven’t gotten to see with Luke and Leia’s sibling bond between the trilogies, so I was totally stoked for this one! It’s not exactly the quieter moment we see with Sabine and Tristan, but it’s thrilling all the same, and so special to see them working together — with both getting a chance to wield the green-blade 😀 Space Twins forever!

#8. Ahsoka’s a very creative teacher…

And maybe a tad intense! But when I think about who her master was and how she fights, I’m not surprised. I don’t know what I loved more — getting to watch Ahsoka impart wisdom on a young Jedi, or the fact that the young Jedi in question was Ezra. It made me realize how much I missed seeing them together, and how great their friendship is! And thinking back on all I’ve seen in Rebels, I can see where Ezra was absolutely taking Ahsoka’s wisdom to heart. Everything about this short is so epic and so meaningful and I’m almost at a loss for words. Just hearing them laugh together… FEELS. ALL THE FEELS!

Also another thing I learned: I’m assuming this is Garel we’re on right now, and if so, then Garel actually has some grassy areas! It’s not all just a big city world, it has really gorgeous natural beauty as well, including some killer sunsets 🙂

Yes I just love all these so much. Thanks for reading, and hopefully if my schedule allows, I will have more Star Wars to write about next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight