SW Summer Reads: The Rebels Novelizations, Part 1

It’s time again for some Star Wars Summer Reads! Or I guess Summer-ish Reads for some of you guys. Anyway, the first Star Wars novel I ever read was a Clone Wars novelization compilation called Grievous Attacks. It was a really fun experience and a great introduction to SW books, so I decided it’d be fun to revisit some classic Rebels season one episodes in junior novel form! Let’s talk about Michael Kogge’s takes on Machine In The Ghost, Art Attack, Entanglement, Property Of Ezra Bridger, Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and Rise Of The Old Masters!

I honestly forgot until I read these how fun novelizations can be. You get to dive further into the story you’ve seen on-screen, learning more little things about the SW galaxy, as well as the chance to delve into what’s going on inside the characters’ heads. Mr. Kogge did an excellent job at this, especially inside of Rise Of The Rebels, the shorts compilation. He writes a lot of depth into these already-deep little stories as we explore different perspectives (like those of Chopper or a stormtrooper), and even adds some nice new lines and moments that compliment the source material rather than overcrowding it.

Droids In Distress was a very well done compilation as well, though Spark Of Rebellion suffered a little. But I’m not really complaining; it can’t be easy trying to fit a richly-written 44-minute episode in less than fifty pages! So due to the format, Mr. Kogge was forced to skip over some of the best lines and rush much of the story. But the following novelizations were near-perfection!

Both compilations have hiccups in story compared to the actual episode, but most likely that’s because these were written before the episodes were completed. Doesn’t take away from how much I enjoyed them, though! Of course, half the fun for me was just revisiting these great early episodes! The other half, well… I’ll let you in on a secret: ever since Grievous Attacks, I read all SW books out loud to myself. I just can’t pass up an opportunity to practice my character impressions! I found out reading these that I do a pretty mean Grand Inquisitor 😀

Anyway, if you love SWR and want to explore these stories from a new angle, I totally recommend. And they’re definitely great if you’re new to Star Wars books and need a light, easy introduction. Plus, the Sabine-like graffiti artwork dispersed throughout the books is an epic bonus 🙂

Now, for the fangirl-musings commentary portion of the post.

Contains spoilers from the original Rebels shorts and episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and some important elements from the seasons beyond.

– Apparently “understatement” is a distinctly twi’lek sort of humor? I must be part twi’lek then.
– I really appreciate also that they simplify some of the technical terms a little bit. Definitely the difference between a potential first-timer’s SW story and something intensely detailed for the long-timer like Tarkin. But it’s still not oversimplified, it’s just right and makes for a pretty easy read.
– Kanan, master of a thousand one-liners. True dat.
– Considering how much they argue in this short, I might not’ve guessed that Hera was actually worried about her copilot for a moment. Awwz #feels.
– We actually get a chance to get inside Chopper’s dome in this book! Some seriously funny stuff here. Now give this hard-working little droid an oil bath already!
– This book seems to imply that Chopper’s exact “words” couldn’t be understood by organics. Always Two There Are confirmed for me that “droid” is a language you can learn. I originally thought that this fact was just something I missed in the other films and shows, but this seems to mean I wasn’t the only one who was unclear on the do-people-actually-understand-astromechs-or-are-they-just-assuming-what-they’re-saying-like-when-people-talk-to-their-pets situation. Or maybe Chopper’s comment is true, and though you can learn basic astromech, a sentient being will never understand the fine details. Knowing Chop’s ‘tude, perhaps this is a good thing…
– Apparently Ryloth is known for their firework shows. I could see that.
– Chopper has good relations with the Phantom, while the Ghost tends to be pretty rude with him. Things only ‘mechs know!
– “A thousand thousand worlds sparkled in the night sky above the capital city of Lothal.” I absolutely love how Mr. Kogge writes for Sabine. He captures so well her fiercely artistic mindset with heavily poetic descriptions. I can’t help but be a little bummed they didn’t make more of these novelizations.
– Sabine has heard the tales of Boba Fett! I still almost can’t believe we never got to see them in a face-off, but I suppose the writers knew that would be far too easy and more of a what-the-fans-want than a what-the-series-needs. But I suppose there’s nothing to say it still couldn’t happen…
– I really hope TK-626’s number was a Lilo And Stitch reference.
– The idea of the Empire specifically recruiting known bullies as Imperial Cadets at first sounded a little too obvious, but then again, remember Oleg? Frankly, I can imagine a lot of storms might’ve been ne’er-do-wells in grade school. Perhaps it’s not what the Empire is looking for alone, but it doesn’t hurt…
– “Artists were almost as bad as rebels. They could draw, paint, and create things he couldn’t. And for that, they deserved to be crushed.” Oh you guys, I think I figured out why TK-626 was a bully. THIS POOR STORMTROOPER CHILD!! I actually feel really bad for him! Thank you Mr. Kogge for helping me consider the human inside the inhuman white armor.
– I think it’s neat that Mr. Kogge paints (so to speak) Sabine as an artist first and a warrior second. Sometimes it’s easy for me to think vice versa, considering her warrior Mandalorian heritage, but when you think about her close relationship with her artistic dad, and consider the life she maybe knew before the Imperial Academy and then the mini-Alliance, it makes sense that art is her first love, and what she wants to do for a living once the war is over. Maybe once she gets Ezra back home, she’ll finally get her chance 🙂
– Apparently, Zeb isn’t all that fond of his nickname. There’s a certain way his people roll their Rs in the lasat language that most just can’t match. I like this angle. I wonder if this is a fact decided upon by the Story Group or an early assumption Mr. Kogge made. It certainly is a fascinating idea! I didn’t know they spoke anything beside Basic! Well aside from the ancient chants, but maybe that should’ve clued me in.
– Imperials don’t know many languages beyond Basic. Didn’t know that, but makes sense in retrospect.
Whoa I didn’t remember the stormtroopers being that mean to the salesnaught. All the more reason Zeb is one noble dude.
– We learn reading this that Zeb isn’t fond of ugnaughts or astromechs, but all the same, he can’t turn a blind eye to their troubles. It makes this already-amazing little story even more meaningful. AHHH SO SO NOBLE :3
– The Empire made slaves of the lasat? My first reaction was “THAT’S NOT ACCURATE! THEY WERE KILLED OFF!“, buuuuuut what if slavery was where it started? Something to consider, anyway. But I gotta say, it’s hard to imagine lasat being good slaves. The wookiees don’t work well under Kessel heat, making them less of a threat, but I imagine that wasn’t as much of a problem for the less-fuzzy-but-still-deadly lasat…
– “My old gran’s a better fighter, and she’s only two meters tall!” Pfft that’s a good one, Zeb. Wonder if this was purely Mr. Kogge’s clever writing or an unused line they recorded. But they actually elaborate further on Granny Orrelios, saying she’d lived for “three hundred dust seasons” (I’m assuming that’s 75 earth years, depending how long a dust season lasts and how many seasons they have). This is the first time we’ve ever heard of any family Zeb had, and it makes me super happy to know an inkling of his personal life before the Empire.
– I love the idea Ezra’s already had a few moments where the Force came into play before he finds himself avoiding TIE fighter fire. It makes sense, and kind of makes you wonder what adventures (and misadventures) he might’ve had on the streets of Lothal.
– Interesting that Ezra’s pretty willing to take any sort of reward, even an Imperial rescue! But hey creds are creds. Perhaps it’s this pilot’s snobbiness that drives Ez to decide to just rescue the helmet instead…
– Considering not long from now Ezra’s back to stealing food, I guess those parts didn’t get him as much cash as he hoped. Or they were stolen. Or maybe food on Lothal these days just costs a lot.
– “A sitting hawk-bat“… could that also be comparable to a lothbat?
– The second book has cool alternate episode titles: “Ezra’s Story”, “Disrupted”, and “Old Masters”.
– Sabine was drinking blue milk?? Obviously I haven’t been paying attention. Or that maybe that’s because her cup wasn’t a clear glass. Question: if blue milk is from banthas (which I’ve been led to believe), since banthas don’t live on Lothal (that we’ve seen), does that mean the Rebs are getting their food supplies from offworld? That makes sense enough. Guess I didn’t need to waste a whole paragraph on it…
– You know, unless my memory fails me, I thought the Rebels merely rescued the wookiees on Lothal before their were transferred to Kessel. I was pretty sure after seeing the hopeless world in Solo that my assumptions were for sure right. This novelization says they actually went to Kessel. I’m starting to think these books were written before the shorts and episodes were completed. That must’ve been confusing to do.
– I’ve never heard of a silverback wookiee before, but that’s a neat concept!
– I’ve always wondered what a nerf sounded like. Apparently they’re a lot like Amda Wabo…
– “Chopper recognized the astromech’s response as typical of the new R2 series. Compassion was the biggest flaw in their programming.” Suuuuure Chop, it’s a thing about their programming! ‘Cause we know you certainly don’t have a soft side!
– Also if he considers him a new R2, then how old does that makes Chopper? Well, I’m not saying he’s old, but I think I once saw a droid that looked like him in a trailer for KotOR. *Chopper soundly zaps me for the bad joke*
– In Chopper’s words, he’s only “a few decades past his expiry date”. But he knows there are far older droids than him.
– It’s rather unusual seeing Threepio and Artoo’s roles in this story flipped, with Threeps a little more confident and Artooie a little less than happy. But an interesting twist for a story I already know well.
– Knowing that Zeb had been having horrific nightmares when he shut Ezra out of their room… even though I’ve watched this episode seven times, and though I know his story doesn’t end here, I can feel his pain as strongly as ever.
– I love the creepy last line Kallus gets in as he’s about to strike down Zeb…
– But more so, I love the way Mr. Kogge describes the Force throughout these novelizations. He makes it feel very tactical, very real, this undeniable spark!

I don’t know about you, but I had a ball reading these. I’ll be taking next week off for my birthday, but after that, you should expect some more Star Wars Reads posts to arrive!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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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

Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 2

I really’d wanted to write on Solo today, but considering the film’s not been out a week, I figured maybe I’d wait a little longer, just to make sure all my readers are caught up best as possible. So I think I’ll spend the day with Maz and her adorable squishy Pokemon critters, and write on some more nifty factoids, cool connections, and my favorite moments in this set of epic tales! Also, you can read the first post in this series here.

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Two (but you can watch those shorts here), and a number of elements from The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, Episode V, Episode VI, and Episode VII

#1. Forks are not accepted in some circles.

This short has everything. Fancy dinners! Clawdite intruders! A near-miss with a thermal detonator! Unanswered questions about this intriguing important-to-negotiate-with people group that doesn’t use utensils! But most importantly, some flawlessly-executed teamwork that perhaps only Ahsoka and Padme could pull off! I have to seriously applaud Ahsoka in this one, not just for her quick-thinking and lightsaber skills that took down the assassin and got rid of the bomb, but for the fact she even remembered something so seemingly unimportant! Can you imagine living in a galaxy where you had hundreds of thousands of different peoples who all had different customs?? I could probably never keep some of this stuff straight. Unless, maybe, the urthurians’ disuse of forks is for some very obvious reason, like that they don’t have hands or something. Either way, what Snips did was Jedi-ing at its best! And they end it on a wonderfully lighthearted note as the besties decide to have their own dinner party in the delegates’ absence 😀

Also, thanks to my brother, I can’t watch this episode without hearing “may the fork be with you”. And now I doubt you will, either XD

#2. Wampas just want a hug.

OK maybe that’s a stretch. All I’m sayin’ is, though, that this wampa didn’t just hang Chewie on the ceiling for a bite later! But can you blame the beast? When Chewbacca hugged Leia at the end, I got all warm and fuzzy just watching it! Wookiee hugs are pretty indisputably the best hugs you can get! Wonder if maybe it thought Chewie a baby wampa? Living in a dark cave like this doesn’t make me think it has the best eyesight. But whatever the wampa’s true intent was in the beginning, though, it certainly wasn’t interested in hugs after being woken up. Yikes that was a close call. Especially when you consider what an even closer call Luke has later. *Shudders*

Also, wonder what Threepio was asking for Luke about? Haven’t watched Empire in a bit and don’t remember if there’s a connection there. Maybe he was going to finish with “Master Luke is wondering where the can opener was last left, because he wanted to make a fresh batch of potato salad.” Or maybe not. That might just be me suddenly in the mood for potato salad…

#3. Don’t ever let Ketsu borrow anything if you want to get it back in one piece.

For me, this is among the most poignant of the stories Maz tells in this volume. This one’s very simple, very character-driven, and makes so very clear once again what an amazing human being Sabine Wren is. You can tell it hurts for her to leave her polished, perfectly-painted bike in Ketsu’s relatively careless hands. I think most of us would not be as gracious in her shoes, staring at a pair of dismembered handlebars. But Sabine neither raises her voice nor holds a grudge, even though you can tell she’s considering both; instead, she simply forgives her friend. She does make clear Ketsu owes her some help with the repairs, but that’s only the fair and right thing to do, and Ketsu understands that. I think Sabine would’ve forgiven her regardless, though. Considering she found it in her to forgive Ketsu for ditching her in a job gone south, anything’s possible.

Forgiveness is hard. Grace is hard. How many of us would handle a situation like this as well as Sabine did? Even if we tried to play it cool, how many of us wouldn’t still give someone, even a friend, a grumpy look, a cold shoulder, or a passive-aggressive comment? At least I know I would struggle with that. So I hope in the future to remind myself, if Sabine can do it, so can I! What ultimately makes this so powerful is not that she forgives, but that it’s clearly hard and she still does it anyway. It’s one of those things that makes Sabine Wren a true bosslady 😀

#4. Teedo doesn’t give up easily. At all.

Seriously. How many portions is BB-8 really worth? Let it go, man! Oh well. Teedo may be trouble as always, but I love a good chase scene! This fast-paced little moment in time is thrilling to watch, and proves you should always make friends with nightwatcher worms. And still, above all else, we get to see another shining example of Rey’s loyalty to the little droid who rolled her way :3

#5. The Empire doesn’t know Jyn too well.

“Suspect is an adult female, brown hair, not considered dangerous.” I mention not only because it’s humorously ironic, but it is interesting the Imps aren’t familiar with her yet. You’d think with the incident with the tooka they might remember her, but who knows? Also seems odd they don’t clarify Jyn’s human. Maybe Garel just has more humans than any other beings? But anyway, what an epic thing to see Sabine and Jyn cross paths! Both not quick to trust others, both accidentally involved with the creation of deadly weaponry (Whoa I just realized that. Is that scary or what?), both have difficulties with family at times… but their loyalty to their friends (and family, too) ultimately brings out the better in them both, and they go on to make an incredible difference in the history of the galaxy. I’d assume that their paths never cross again, but I’d like to think Sabine’s answer, her desire above all else to help people, is something that spurs Jyn on in her own eventual Rebel mission. So cool!

#6. Rey seriously is a braver person than I’ll ever be.

She just sticks her hand into a stuffy-nosed happabore’s nostril! That’s not a job for the faint of heart! I know I cringed a little at first, but in truth, if a critter needed some help that I could manage (as I’m no veterinarian), I’d surely do the same.

And man, Unkar Plutt was pretty nasty in this one, calling out Rey’s lack of friends like that! I was all “And what do you know about friendship?” But I imagine Plutt’s definition of “friends” is something closer to “people who might not kill you over the same piece of scrap”. With maybe an exception for his pet plant, Kevin. But even if it was just a big sweet slobbery space pig, Rey did make a friend today, and they did an awesome job of proving the old codger wrong 😀 One of my fave shorts, for sure!

#7. The Ghost and the Falcon are old rivals.

OMG YOU GUYS THIS SHORT IS EVERYTHING. When Rebels was new, I long wondered what would happen if Han crossed paths with the Ghost crew. Of course, now I know that Captain Solo was doing other things at the time. So after all these years, getting to see Han facing off with General Syndulla is just too wonderful for words. For the record, I don’t favor either ship over the other! They’re both so iconic and fast and homey I couldn’t dare choose! Doesn’t mean I don’t love watching Hera make him work for those ration sticks, though XD

And not only do we get this great hint of (mostly) friendly Rebel rivalry, but the moments with Han and Leia are some of their best. From Leia confronting Han at the beginning, to her siding with her scoundrel on who has the better ship, it’s just too fun and too sweet and reminds me how much I love this couple. And certainly, nothing speaks more volumes than that Han would put aside his pride for his princess… ❤ ❤

#8. Ahsoka really is Gandalf…

Because she always arrives precisely when she intends to! Even when she has to put an important Jedi ceremony on hold to save the lives of others. I just adore this short. What Ahsoka does here is what the classic, iconic, heroic idea of a Jedi looks like, and the way all Jedi (and other such lightsiders) should strive to be. It’s just peacekeeping and helping others, pure and simple, not an inch of politics or war involved. And even though she’s already late when the battle’s ended, she still wants to touch base with the mother and child and make sure they’re doing OK. Ahsoka’s always been a rule-breaker, but it’s this kind of rule-breaking the Jedi Order needed sometimes. I think that’s one reason she’s always been such a meaningful character to me, because even in the midst of her shortcomings and mistakes, she strives to do the right thing to the very best of her ability, no matter what. Sometimes this leads her into difficult situations, like leaving the Jedi Order. But as we’ve followed her journey, we see how far this drive for justice, and the compassion at the heart of it all, has taken her. Her story is so amazing, and this short does a great job of painting that image in only a few minutes’ time. And wow did I just get nostalgic!

Hopefully you guys enjoyed digging into these tales with me. Certainly there will be more to write about as the summer comes into full swing!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 1

So glad I’m finally getting around to these posts! These last couple seasons of Forces Of Destiny have been a complete blast! And super special, too, as we look at some small moments in the lives of our favorite heroines and heroes. There’s a lot you can learn from sitting down with Maz Kanata for tea 😀 But it’s not just in the simple-but-beautiful life lessons her stories convey, it’s in all the cool Star Wars connections, revelations, and factoids we get to discover, too! So here’s a few things I learned from the stories inside of the first special.

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume One (but you can watch those shorts here), and a number of elements from The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, Episode VI, and Episode VII

#1. Nightwatcher worms have feelings, too. And they’re also really big.

The first time I watched this, I really needed some cheering up. Soon as BB-8 and Rey showed up, though, I was all smiles, and so thrilled to be exploring an unseen moment inside of The Force Awakens! So this one will always be quite special to me. But what really makes this one special is that we see Rey’s kindness brightly shine through. Not only in her fierce dedication to the little droid she just met, but also in the way she treats the seemingly-terrifying nightwatcher. When she takes a running leap off the beast, she make a point of apologizing to it! I think it’s fair to say most of us wouldn’t think of doing that, were we in her situation. And then she offers it a meal, which, by the way, was junk she could’ve gotten paid a meal from. It’d be easy to get jaded and angry at life living in a place like Jakku, but somehow, Rey still has maintained a strong sense of compassion and generosity. Not really something we didn’t already know, but this was a powerful reminder. She may not yet know the power she holds, but she’s got the selflessness part of the Jedi down pat! 🙂

And like say, if not for this short, I never would’ve known how much I would want to hug a nightwatcher worm.

#2. Ketsu’s a real Rebel.

One of my favorite things about FoD so far has been getting to see more of Ketsu Onyo. She was such a great character, and her and Sabine’s friendship is epic! It’s so cool seeing what ultimately led Ketsu to join the mini-Alliance, which, otherwise, we wouldn’t know about until the last two episodes of Rebels. And though there’s an awesome brawl with a bunch of bucketheads (who would’ve guessed you could weaponize food crates?!), it doesn’t overshadow the loyalty present in the girls’ actions as they try to bring home the bacon (by which I mean ration sticks), and protect an adorable chandra-fan kiddo in the process. It’s really quite amazing to see what a solid impact Sabine has had on Ketsu, taking the truths her Ghost family’s taught her and imparting it in a way Ketsu genuinely responds to, helping this former Black Sun bounty hunter find a new purpose and a new direction as not only a Rebel, but as a Ghost family cousin.

Plus, since this was the first of the Rebels-related shorts I saw, I couldn’t help but get a little giddy seeing the bright lights of Garel again!

#3. Jyn and I are cut from the same cloth.

As I’ve said before, any opportunity we have to learn more about the late amazing Rogue One heroes is a great opportunity! Jyn’s always been a very relatable heroine, but I never realized until I watched this short that we have even more in common than I thought. Watching her defend a little girl and her tooka, all I could say was “Whoa! That is so me!” I hate injustice in any form, but when someone’s mean to children and/or animals? I absolutely would aim a fruit in their direction. Always nice to see a little (or a lot) of me in these amazing characters! And considering we know that Jyn was a bit of a rebel (note the lowercase “r”) at this point in her life, it’s really special to see these small moments where she was a little bit more of a Rebel, with a capital “R” 🙂

Also, how great is it seeing tookas again? The original Star Wara cat is back, and with a vengeance! Like seriously, that Tooki’s tough as nails. Guess that brings the number of stormtroopers who’ve been trounced by small cats to three! Hehe. Oh, and it kinda cracks me up that right after Jyn shushes the cat, Tooki gives a rather insulted growl XP

#4. Ahsoka gives piloting lessons in her spare time.

Another thing I love about FoD is catching some of my fave characters outside of work. OK so maybe flight combat training isn’t really a relaxing hobby, but it helps when you’re learning from a friend! Like with Sabine and Ketsu, it’s just fantastic getting to see more of Padme and Ahsoka’s friendship that we don’t get the chance to see at this juncture in The Clone Wars. Ahsoka’s still the little sister, but she’s also older and more mature now, and you can tell their bond has strengthened over the period of time between their earlier adventures and Ahsoka’s trial. And it’s also really cool getting to see Ahsoka in the role of teacher, and then seeing her student take what she’s learned and own it! Yes it’s so special getting go back to the Clone Wars days for a bit and appreciate the friendships that thrived even when the war was at its worst. And also watching Naboo starfighters dash dazzlingly through comet trails 😀

5. Paintbombs are canon!

Though I made mention of this already on the post for Heroes Of Mandalore, this is how I found out about it first. I sort of predicted something like this and it made me really happy to see it for reals. And something about watching stormtroopers run around with big blobs of yellow paint on them just cracks me up X) But there’s much more to this short than clever weaponry. We get to see Leia and Sabine cross paths, for one thing! Though Leia at least partially knows Sabine from her last encounter with the Ghost crew, it’s too much fun watching them team up. As an artist, I love how they contrast visually, with Leia wearing stark white and Sabine covered in vibrant colors. But that’s about where the contrast ends, because both of these young Rebels know how to aim a blaster, and how to put on one epic show for the Empire! I certainly hope we’ll get to see them fight side-by-side one of these days, because that might be the epic-est performance the Rebels could put on!

Also was really cool getting to see IG-88 in action for the first time in the canon (I think)! Really made me realize how terrifying he is. Not a word spoken, not a single readable emotion, every move is calculating, and he’s his own master. That’s a recipe for the shivers if you ask me. But mad respect all the same!

6. Unkar Plutt’s nothing if not thorough.

Soon as I saw Rey and Han in the Falcon’s cockpit, my fangirl self completely exploded. And then seeing Chewbacca and Finn made me explode again. Seeing the Force Awakens squad all together filled me with so so much joy! The scenes with the five of them in the film were among my favorites, so this was an absolute treat to visit a small incident we didn’t see before! It’s got just the best blend of comedic camaraderie and frantic action that makes up some of my fave Star Wars moments. And just look at that last shot of them! They really do make a good team — maybe the best team! All of them do! You don’t have to go back to Jakku to find your family, Rey, all the family you could ever need is right here on the Falcon! :3

But yes, back on the original topic, I’ve gotta give Plutt some credit… he knows his ships! Because why else would he be so determined to keep his mitts on what most people thought was garbage?

7. Ewoks invented sandals! Apparently…

We learn lots of neat stuff in this one. Like that one ewok is equal in weight to two stormtroopers! (Or else the gravity on Endor is weird) And that Dee Baker does an amazing job voicing Wicket, because I seriously thought those were all original archived dialogue recordings. We already knew that ewoks can sew, but it wasn’t until I saw this short I realized Leia had a matching pair of sandals! Considering that’s hardly a pair of shoes you’d take to a battle, I think the ewok village has some majorly-talented cobblers out here! Honestly this short brought up a lot of questions about the ewok dress in general. It was apparently a surprise, so how in the world did they make something so nice without taking any measurements or likely having any reference for sewing human clothing? It’s a bit of a mystery, but it might just be sheer talent on the little guys’ part 🙂

8. Cliches die when Yoda’s around.

This one has so much wow factor to it. We get to watch Ahsoka during some lightsaber practice! Which I don’t think we really ever got to see inside of The Clone Wars! And not only that, but we get to watch her figuring out her second blade. I would love to know the story of how she found her new ‘saber. It doesn’t seem a terribly common thing among Jedi. And I doubt you can just go out and decide you’ll get a second lightsaber; how did she know that’s she needed one? Though we don’t yet know these answers, we do know now adding it to her existent fighting style wasn’t easy. Leave it to Yoda to find the best way to bring out her best. You know how often you hear people throw around “just be yourself”? It’s easy for phrase to get old and lose its meaning. But when Yoda says “Yourself, you must always be”, the meaning is clear, and the cliche disappears! That’s why he’s the master! 😀

And yes, of course there were some bittersweet vibes for me watching Ahsoka and Anakin duel… but it certainly doesn’t lessen how wonderful their bond was back then. Watching Anakin, I think for the first time that we’ve seen, doing some formal training with Ahsoka really is a special thing!

So those are just a handful of the neat things I’ve discovered watching these delightful short stories, and I look forward to sharing more at a later date!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Family Reunion – And Farewell

Here it is. The very last Rebel Transmission on Padawanline.
*Dramatic pause*
OK so that’s a little too dramatic. I highly doubt this will be the last time I talk about Rebels on the blog, just the last time I’ll do it in this format.
Whoo boy there’s a lot to talk about on this one. A lot. But it’s all stuff that has been on my mind for well over a month now, so hopefully I’ll be able to stir up some satisfying discussion for you all on this last Transmission. Get comfy, this is gonna be a long one…

Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode VI, Episode VII, Episode VIII, TCW episode Point Of No Return, and much of Star Wars Rebels, including Family Reunion – And Farewell.

From start to finish, this is a story about family. Not just this episode, but every episode these last four seasons.
And we’re not just talking the dictionary definition of family, of people related by flesh and blood. We’re talking about what I’ve come to term as “thicker-than-blood”: friends who are basically family, bonds that far exceed any shared DNA. SWR painted the most beautiful picture of this idea over the course of the series that I’d never really seen anything quite like before.

At the very beginning of it all, Ezra was separated from his birth family. He wasn’t looking for anyone to fill that void, especially not a group of individuals that, like his imprisoned parents, Rebelled on a daily basis. But one day, the boy was called to be part of something more. In doing so, he found a dad, a mom, a brother, a sister, and a pet droid. And through this new family, values instilled in him by his birth parents would grow from a spark to a raging wildfire, making him the selfless, determined-to-help-others-at-any-personal-cost young man he is today. I know I’ve talked about this before, but frankly, it’s worth saying over and over again. Ezra Bridger’s journey is truly amazing. And watching the beginning again stirred up so so many memories, I didn’t have a choice but to write this paragraph.

Yes, watching Ezra talking to the holo-portrait of his parents melted my heart in all the ways, but to realize how final it all sounded… that concerned me. “Hold on! We’re not seriously going to lose Ezra, right?? We can’t! It’s hard enough losing Kanan! I’M NOT READY!!”
I’d spent so long pulling for the Ghost family Jedi to make it somehow despite Yoda’s deathbed claims, that watching Kanan go really hit me hard out of left field. So I was clinging pretty darn hard on the technicality that since Ezra was not an official Jedi, so he could make it.
But somehow, it wasn’t as hard to watch Ez go as I thought it would be. Not just because they gave us the inkling of hope that he may still be alive, but because his act of self-sacrifice was so noble and so powerful. And it was even more meaningful when I remembered he was doing what Kanan taught him in that last lesson. Wow. The end of his story (for now) was the best it possibly could have been. A fitting last chapter to really show just how far he’s come from that first spark of rebellion ❤

You know, I had a neat revelation after watching this the first time. It's easy to see that Hera is what ultimately brought the Ghost family together. She’s in the business, it seems, of pulling together the most broken, flawed people and turning them into heroes. Just look what she did with a noncommittal, bitter ex-Jedi, an old, broken astromech, a guilt-ridden, hopeless warrior, a disgraced, unjustly-accused Mandalorian, and a self-serving street kid! And from there, this family she brought together helped expand that family as they did the same thing — making real heroes out of often the galaxy’s lowest of the low. Forgotten, cast-aside clone troopers became leaders again. A crusty pirate with no crew found new purpose and new friends. A high-and-mighty ISBN agent gave up all his prestige to do the right thing. A young bounty hunter chose to do something with far greater reward than money. A dishonest dealer who caused a lot of trouble in the past stepped up to the cause. A jaded former governor found a new mission. Even seemingly-ordinary kids like Jai and Mart were brought into this family of heroes. And I don’t know why Melch keeps getting involved, but I’m hoping it’s because all this selflessness is contagious 🙂 And it all started with Hera, not just because of her natural-born leadership, but because she saw something in all of them that made them family, somehow.
This might not be anything new, but it’s just such a cool thing to think about and it’s just another thing so meaningful about this finale — that we get to spend it with just about all the family :3

Like I talked about some last episode, all the teamwork in the room is just amazing. We have the most unconventional set of Rebels working together and they’re just owning it! It’s more than I ever expected to see in the finale, and it continues to blow my mind and gives me all the feels. And it’s also so fun watching the most mismatched of teams working together amidst the varying levels of personality clashes, like with the oh-so-precise-and-well-planned Kallus stuck with the more action-oriented, blast-down-the-doors wild cards Gregor and Zeb. “He’s crazy!” “BUT IT WAS YOUR PLAN!” Delightful!
But on that note, yes, I will miss Gregor something awful. I’ve been holding my breath, unsure of what would become of all these once-lost commanders for years now, not wanting to see another brother down, but knowing it was well-likely to happen. But Gregor did good. I thought we’d lost him ages ago, so getting to spend the time with him that we did was special no matter what.

And wow was Thrawn on his A-game today. Like, he was honestly as cool, calculating, and downright cruel to me as he’s ever been this series. I mean seriously some of what he did got me wincing for all the good people left in the galaxy. But at the same time, his confidence and well-thought-out plans never ceased to impress. Again, I really have to thank Lucasfilm for putting the Grand Admiral in the canon and in this series. I’m sure the original novels are solid, but having so little knowledge of that era of books, including him inside of a series I was already very familiar with was the perfect way to meet him. His comeuppance was masterful, but I appreciate they chose to leave it open what ultimately happens to him… either way, Grand Admiral Thrawn was a truly awesome adversary and I definitely look forward to digging into his story some more later. *Sighs because she still has so many novels to catch up on* *But smiles because what a great problem to have!*

Seeing Palpatine again brought the best kind of intrigue for me. I loved this revelation that the Emperor presents himself much as he appeared in the years past. I guess I’d figured people always saw him in that dark cloak, like in Episode III, but this makes so much more sense! Once again, he’s doing a really solid job playing the galaxy like a card. Who would doubt such a finely-dressed, kindly politician? But that’s exactly what he wants you to think! It’s genius! Terrifyingly genius! And then we watch, eyes wide, as the Emperor offers Ezra a family reunion on a silver platter. I don’t know about you, but I could almost physically feel the pain of Ezra’s inner battle. It’s the ultimate temptation, to abandon everything and regain a peaceful life like he had before. And though we know Ezra has a solid sense of right and wrong… we also know Sidious is a master at pulling lightsiders over to the dark. SO MUCH TENSION! SO MANY EMOTIONS! I COULDN’T BREATHE!! DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED WHEN PALPATINE UNDID EZRA’S CUFFS! AND THEN WHEN EZRA UNLOCKED THE GATEWAY AND I WAS ALL “OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING??”!! OH MAN!
But there are few greater moments in Star Wars than when a hero wins this battle with himself, overcomes temptation, and defies the darkness.
Couldn’t applaud enough.
Also those totally-different red guards were so epic… or are they normal red guards with different armor? Need to read up more on them!

I definitely need to talk about Sabine and Ezra, guys. I remember when the series first began and what I liked most about them was that one-sided-crush dynamic. Every one of Ezra’s failed flirts and every one of Sabine’s sarcastic replies got me laughing hard. But their relationship has become so so much more since then, and not in the ways I might’ve assumed. In the last few seasons, we’ve watched them go from a slightly-lopsided sorta-friendship to a concrete bond of trust, honesty, and faith in each other. I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating. They’ve stood alongside each other in their darkest moments, fought impossible odds together, and they just get each other. It’s astounding how far they’ve come. Every moment of this understanding and shared trust, whether spoken or unspoken, speaks incredible volumes, and it could not be more perfect. And the fact that Sabine ultimately (if my understanding’s correct) puts aside her own homeworld and her place in the Alliance to protect Lothal for years? This is as real a friendship as it gets. Some days I can’t believe how much they’ve both grown up, how far they’ve come! I just love them, and who they truly are together — something far more meaningful than just a teenage crush. Something that’s nothing short of rock-solid. Something that I just have to describe as powerful.
But all the same… I couldn’t help but smile when Sabine quietly caressed his portrait, making me wonder if maybe, just maybe, the feeling’s mutual now… :3

Random note, but one of my favorite bits of animation in the whole episode is watching Mart trying to see over Zeb and Kallus’ shoulders XD I can relate, Mart! #ShortPeopleUnite! Except he’ll probably grow out of it, of course… but, still!

Once the Ghost headed off into the sunset, I wasn’t expecting anything but the credits.
Instead, they gave me so much more — a new hope for Kallus, a new chapter for Hera, and a new mission for Sabine and Ahsoka! And also the fact Rex made it to VI which was obviously so epicly cool. I like that none of these stories are really the “end” of their stories, each of them are just an important moment for each of them, and a way to wrap up their arcs in SWR nicely. Let’s dig into those first three a little further, OK?

Zeb’s impossibly kind gesture to Kallus just wows me. All that time ago, he helped spur the Agent to change his ways, and he could’ve stopped there. But instead, not only does Zeb forgive his once-mortal enemy, he says “Guess what? You’re one of us!” Before this, I had never considered how much Kallus might still be carrying with him, the belief that he’d helped in the purging of an entire people. So what a gift this is, to know there’s still hope, and that he is entirely forgiven! I like to think that, in Ezra’s absence, that Zeb found a new friend in Kallus. Likely not quite the same level of friendship, but one that still maintains an unshakable loyalty. Leave it to Star Wars to paint such an amazing image of forgiveness and hope, and the truth that real friendships can come from anywhere 🙂 As one of my fave songs goes: When I look into the face / of my enemy / I see my / brother!

I’d spent plenty of time over the last couple years thinking “I could totally see Hera legally-adopting kids after the war’s over.” OK granted a lot of that was me liking the idea of Hera adopting the Freemakers, but still, it wasn’t hard to imagine. So when I Saw the adorable green bean in her copilot’s seat… I SQUEE-ED SO HARD! General Syndulla looks so in her element, flying with little Jason (hopefully I spelled it right) by her side! Of course, now I really want to see Jason join Rowan on some Freemaker Adventures… but I’ll take any story about Hera and her boy I can get 😀 What a truly perfect way to cap off her story!

And I really thought we’d reached the end of Ahsoka’s story. It was enough to know she’d survived the duel with Vader. But then… there she stood, ready to fulfill her promise to find Ezra. I love her new look, and not just because it has a bit of a Gandalf-feel to it, but it begs so so many questions! My assumption is she’s become a priestess of sorts for a new branch of Forcewielders apart from Jedi and Sith. But if she is, what does that mean later on for Luke and his attempts to rebuild the Jedi? What does it mean for Rey, trying to find her place in the Force? Or does this supposed new sect of Ahsoka’s even make it that far in the future? Or maybe it just took 30-odd years for Ahsoka and Sabine to find Ezra and then they show up in the middle of Episode IX all “Whoa what happened while we were gone??”. Honestly, I’d be totally up for something like that!
But wherever they go from here, they go with hope. The kind of hope that can save the galaxy.. and actually did

I've got so many feels I don't know what to do with them. What an amazing journey it's been! But thank you so much for reading this.
Thank you for reading all these Rebel Transmissions over the years.

And this all comes around the time my blog just turned five years old, so even more thanks for reading this blog, for fanboying/fangirling alongside me, and for making Padawanline what it is today! Just.. thank you!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

WAIT! THERE’S A NEW TRANSMISSION COMING IN…
SOMETHING ABOUT…
THE RESISTANCE!

Wow I couldn’t have planned this if I tried. We will talk more about this soon!

Oh, right, and here’s the Best-Of posts for the year 🙂

Following The Freemakers: Return Of The Kyber Saber
If Not For IV…: A Special Star Wars Day Story
Fun With The Freemakers Shorts!
Following The Freemakers: The Tower Of Alistan Nor
Following The Freemakers: The Pit And The Pinnacle
A Very Fangirly Analysis Of The New Last Jedi Trailer
Rebel Tranmissions: In The Name Of The Rebellion
Rebel Transmissions: Kindred
Looking Back On The Original SWR Shorts
Rebel Transmissions: Jedi Night