Following The Freemakers: Escape From Coruscant

Things continue to get unbelievably real on The Freemaker Adventures, and that’s why I’m here once again spilling out all my thoughts and queries and theories and fangirly musings. Read on as we dissect some intriguing (and often nerve-wracking) stuff from Escape From Coruscant!

Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, Tarkin, TCW episode The Lawless, Rebels episodes Rebel Resolve, The Siege Of Lothal, and The Holocrons Of Fate, and Freemakers episodes Duel Of Destiny, Return Of The Kyber Saber, A Perilous Rescue, and Escape From Coruscant.

First of all, don’t worry Imperial Guards, I still think you’re cooler than whatever Palpatine thinks πŸ™‚ It’s so funny… I remember early on in my SW fandom not being all that impressed with all those quiet armored characters 99% of fans are obsessed with — the Fetts, stormtroopers, Imperial Guards, etc. They were everywhere and yet they weren’t as interesting to me as the Jedi and Rebels. But now I’m among those 99% and think they’re all fantastic and interesting, and I’ve become a huge huge red guard fangirl over the last year-and-a-half thanks to Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy revealing the full grandeur of their spectacular design (not to mention some funny appearances in other Lego SW stories). So yeah #RedGuardsRule! Ooh maybe the next Star Wars animated series should center around a former guard and his/her journey after the Empire’s fall! A thought anyway.

But my random series ideas are not nearly as important as the fact that Rowan is in possibly the most dangerous place in the galaxy right now — on the Empire’s capital with Darth Sidious in front of him and Darth Vader behind him. The youngest Freemaker is bold, sounding both incredulous and amused at the fact the Emperor was after the long-since-destroyed Kyber Saber all this time. But oh my goodness… I spent this episode completely on edge. We’re only talking about the man who played the Republic like a card, rose to ultimate power, and destroyed almost all the Jedi with a single command. Not to mention the guy’s apprentice, who could survive being crushed by an AT-ST and can use the Force to literally crush one’s heart from the inside (I’m serious go read Tarkin right now). Safe to say they know how to get what they want from Rowan, a child who, though clever and strong with the Force, still has his weaknesses… *Shudders*
Oh, and right before we got the titles, there’s this great little moment you’ve gotta see. After Palpatine giddily gives himself chills, Rowan turns to Vader with a look that says “Uh is this guy for real??” XD

My heart absolutely broke so hard for Kordi, Zander, and Roger this episode. Their brother seems to have become a casualty of war, a soldier lost that the Alliance can’t afford to bring home. I was reminded quite a bit of SWR’s Rebel Resolve, and the challenges that can come from fighting alongside those you care for. Hera knows every fiber of what these kids and their droid are feeling, but Coruscant is truly the worst place in the galaxy for Rowan to be, because it’s the worst place in the galaxy for the Rebels to be. And now that they know of the second Death Star, the stakes just got much much higher. Though a beautiful, impossibly precious quote, it seems there’s no more painful or difficult question to ask than “What’s the point of saving the galaxy if the people you love aren’t in it?“. I sometimes lay awake at night wrestling with that. Some of my most favorite moments in Star Wars have been when someone breaks all the rules to save a life, but not all of these rebellious rescues end well — in fact, they usually don’t. But I understand. I think it’s safe to say we all understand. If, like Luke, your friends were suffering, if, like Obi-Wan, your lost love called for help, if, like all the Freemakers at one point or another, your sibling or siblings were in pain or in danger… you likely wouldn’t stand still and do nothing. True, there’s value in rules, value in thinking your plan through, I mean, we just talked about this last post with Rowan falling for M-OC’s trap. And true, you have to think of the other lives at stake in many of these situations. This is a hard lesson, and thankfully I think most of us average Joes and Janes won’t have to worry about making a decision this monumental or potentially detrimental. These stories in SW are not telling us that the characters were wrong per se, or that going after someone you care for is wrong. They’re reminding us simply to think and to be wise in any situation. And whether these rescues go well (like in Rebels) or with mixed results, seeing these great, admirable, relatable characters who desire to protect and defend, never cease to inspire. And perhaps a character who makes mistakes but loves people is better than a character who never breaks a rule but doesn’t love. That makes sense, right? I feel like I might’ve lost my place somewhere in there but… anyway. GO FREEMAKER FAM GO! THIS IS A REBELLION, SO YOU GO REBEL! They’re willing to give up their place in the Alliance for Rowan, and that’s nothing but amazing no matter how you spin it. Though you’ve gotta be careful with the decisions you make and the actions you take (sorry Maz didn’t mean to rip you off)… family, ideally, should always come first.

So I had no idea how Rowan would survive this episode. I don’t think I breathed much on this one. At all. Though they’re depicted as minifigs, Sidious and Vader are no less deadly, terrifying threats. And again, knowing the horrible things the Sith are capable of… the odds are really not in Ro’s favor. This episode did remind me though that the Master and Apprentice are capable of other methods of persuasion than just by lightsaber or Force lightning; they’re crafty and calculating, taking their time with getting the information they desire. Perhaps that made it even scarier. OK maybe not quite as much with the “Dark Side And You” presentation. That was too great XD But otherwise… yeah oh man… the probes. Seeing those things always makes my skin crawl. And now they’ve upgraded them with laser prods! The fact Rowan was able to resist them as well as he did is nothing short of amazing. The scariest thing though? Watching Vader use the dark side mind probing trick. I’ve wondered in the past if that was just a thing Kylo Ren and Maul could do. Knowing that Darth Vader can do it makes him all the more frightening. The fear and desperation in Rowan’s voice as he tries to fight the impossible… oh my goodness I can’t. I CAN’T. At the time, I’d been thinking most of the episode that surely Kordi and Zander would get to him before Vader found what he was looking for. Surely they wouldn’t let Ro carry the burden of being the one to tip off the Empire to the location of kyber crystals. Surely!
But… no.
Things don’t go that way.

OK wow things are getting so heavy here, and they’re only going to get heavier. My broken heart was healed a little though as the red guards revealed themselves to be Kordi and Zander. They’ve already been there and done that with stormtrooper disguises; it’s a nice way to mix it up! Watching Rowan tacklehug his big brother just made me explode with smiles, something I needed a good bit this episode. Long as this family’s still standing, there’s hope :3

But who would’ve anticipated that M-OC would come back from the dead? I knew he’d been able to repair himself in the past, but the way Vader tore him apart… I really thought that was how the hunter droid would go down.
I was wrong.
And now he mans the most powerful spacecraft in the galaxy… and his sights are set on a scrappy little TIE fighter with the Freemakers aboard.
We’ve seen what the Arrowhead does to TIEs O_O

It’s quite a twist, an episode titled Escape From Coruscant… and they actually have yet to truly escape. If they escape at all.
I know that they must survive somehow since there are two more episodes left this season, but I’m still absolutely terrified for what will become of our heroes, the Alliance, and the galaxy itself in the events to follow.
All the same though, this series never fails to be incredible.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Following The Freemakers: A Perilous Rescue

OK so I know I say this a lot on this blog, especially on the topic of The Freemaker Adventures, but… THINGS ARE GETTING SO REAL RIGHT NOW OMYGOSH. I can only hope I can get all my thoughts out in a coherent way because I still haven’t processed all that went down in this one. Either way this ought to be an interesting post. Read on, Freemaker fam!

Contains spoilers from Episode V, The Empire Strikes Out, TCW episode The Lawless, Rebels episodes Rise Of The Old Masters and Twin Suns, and Freemakers episodes The Lost Crystals Of Qalydon, Flight Of The Arrowhead, and A Perilous Rescue.

So I’ve told you guys before that I got Kordi in a TFA personality quiz and, even though I know we have things in common, I still felt like she was more of the character I’d like to be than the character I feel I am (which would probably be Rowan). But soon as she started rambling excitedly in front of the Rebellion’s big shots, I finally truly truly saw myself in her and exclaimed β€œOMG that is so me!” Talking really really fast, forgetting to breathe except in squees, realizing I said something that I feel came out sounding dumb even if it’s true, and then trying to overexplain myself which ends up sounding dumb all over again. I’ve literally done it all. All Star Wars characters have something I can relate to, but it’s really fun and really special when a character shares something this specific in common with you πŸ™‚ Random way to start the blog, perhaps, but something I really needed to say before anything else.

Anyway, it’s so wonderful watching Kordi and Zander begin a new chapter with the Rebellion, in an even bigger way than when they first got here. I was so thrilled to hear Kordi addressed as β€œcommander” as she joins the ranks of Rebel bossladies before her! And Zander is finally able to show Blue Squadron what he’s capable of as the Arrowhead makes quick work of an Imperial fleet. I’m even prouderer than I was at that medal ceremony! But for Rowan, his new title’s brought him back to square one — a place where he’s unsure of what he can do for the Alliance. Poor child. I don’t think Ro’s had an uneventful day since he first heeded the Kyber Saber’s call, so I could understand why it’d be a challenge to slow down. Wonder if he has any hobbies from before all of this. After all, he’s a master builder now, but he wasn’t always. Well if you recall back on the pilot Kordi commented on him having a great singing voice, so maybe he should take up karaoke! But that’s a moot point right now. I can see why Jedi are better off not craving adventure and excitement, because sometimes when you go off looking for such things, you get something far more dangerous than you bargained for…

On that note, I was thinking a lot today about the fact that Rowan is figuring out all this Jedi stuff on his own, that he has no master who could’ve reminded him not to seek adventure, not make rash decisions with no plan, and not let emotions cloud his judgement. Now true Luke had two masters teaching him and they couldn’t keep him from making a decision with mixed results, but you’ve gotta wonder a little. What would it be like for this masterless padawan to have had a real master the whole time? Or to even have had a master right now? Would it have made a difference? How would it have influenced him? Rowan is in such a unique position compared to other Jedi we’ve seen, learning much from his family and his wild adventures that I’m not sure a Jedi master could teach. As a whole I don’t think Ro has suffered being masterless, but as you watch him do stuff that would’ve gotten him kicked out of the Order back in the day, it’s easy to wonder if a wise voice (that wasn’t from a well-meaning-but-easily-destroyed battle droid) would have kept Rowan from attempting this perilous rescue. Again, it’s all a moot point now, but the what-ifs can be interesting to ponder on. I hope I got my point across, that was a lot all at once.

So Vader and M-OC make quite the dream team, don’t they? πŸ˜› I’ve always loved what they did with The Empire Strikes Out with the concept of Sith-y sibling rivalry, and since the special’s not even close to canon now (RIP Maul), I’m quite happy they gave me something in a similar vein here that’s both funny and honestly believable. Yep the boys are Palpatine’s pride and joy!
Exceptthathehasnoproblemkillingthembutwhatever.

Y’know it’s interesting… I’ve been analyzing Star Wars thoroughly for six years now, and it still keeps keeping me guessing. Every time I think I know what’s going to happen next, I miss the mark like a stormtrooper in the dark! I really bought Maynar’s transmission at first. I think I was just so happy to get an opportunity to see her and Rowan on an exciting mission again, that I didn’t quite consider that maybe this wasn’t the direction the story was heading. As the episode went on, I started to think that this had something to do with Vader or M-OC. Once they landed, I began to wonder if maybe this was a trap in the vein of TCW’s The Lawless or SWR’s Rise Of The Old Masters. But for all the pieces I put together, I couldn’tve predicted in a million years that M-OC was the holo of Maynar all along. *Shudders* that reveal will never cease to terrify me. I’m glad this didn’t take the same kind of dark turn the aforementioned episodes did, but… it still took a really dark turn. You have Rowan alone up against M-OC in a dark, locked-down Imperial transport. It’s basically what nightmares are made of. Rowan puts up an amazing fight with the crafty hunter droid, but it’s Darth Vader who wins the battle. He dismembers Sidious’s creation in no time at all, he downs the boy in one swift move, and his dark master’s quest seems to be fulfilled at last. In case anybody forgot who the real most-terrifying force in the galaxy is… you won’t forget again. You can fix up a droid with all the weapons you want, but it’ll never be as efficient and deadly as Lord Vader. Such a cool, unexpected twist! BUT STILL SO TERRIFYING.
The very thing I’ve feared could happen this whole series has happened.
The last of the Forcebuilders is about to be at the mercy of the most evil, powerful man in the galaxy.

Anyone else still in shock? OK technically you might’ve already finished the season at this point but still! There are no words. Just can’t wait until I see what happens next on this amazing amazing show.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

This Is Madness 2016 Recap

We interrupt the usually-scheduled Rebel Transmissions to bring you a special report — the breakdown of my choices for THIS IS MADNESS 2016!! W00t! Every year gets more and more challenging… not for the characters being voted for so much as for me, the nerd who can’t pick favorites but somehow has to choose anyway. Usually I attempt to make my choices using the [somewhat] scientific method of “which character’s destiny made the greater impact on the galaxy?”, but usually every year there are a few characters I vote for just on account of coolnessness. Last year I planned the next tournament would be voted for in a 100% scientific manner without any of my fangirly bias, and somehow this year I managed to stick with it. It was tough, but ultimately it got me really really thinking about these characters and their stories and made me appreciate the amazing story as a whole even more! So again, remember, just because I didn’t vote for your favorite doesn’t mean I love them any less, it’s all a matter of impact this year πŸ™‚ Also sorry for the lack of pictures in this one… accidentally deleted them all at the last second. Ah well *shrugs*
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, TCW episodes Wookiee Hunt, The Lawless, Sacrifice, and Rebels episode Droids In Distress, Call To Action, Fire Across The Galaxy, The Siege Of Lothal, and The Honorable Ones.

DAY ONE: OBI-WAN VS. PADME/VADER VS. FIFTH

Light Side Vote: Obi-Wan Kenobi. TIM started off this year with a test worthy of Yoda’s trip to Moraband. “You? Vote scientifically without bias? Hah! VOTE AGAINST YOUR GO-TO FAVE JEDI I DARE YOU!”. Well I technically still won that test because Obi-Wan’s legacy truly does make a larger impact. Normally I might pull out the “Padme is Luke and Leia’s mom” card again and use that as an excuse, but here’s something I hadn’t considered until recently: Obi-Wan was the one who suggested “hey Tatooine might work” one fine day after escaping the Trade Federation. Basically Obi-Wan not only trained her son and helped save her daughter, but without him, ANAKIN AND PADME NEVER WOULD HAVE MET, LUKE AND LEIA WOULD NOT EXIST, AND WHATEVER APPRENTICE PALPATINE NAMED VADER WOULD HAVE LAID WASTE TO THE GALAXY. Mind. Blown. Take that voice of the Dark Side.
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. The Fifth Brother might’ve been an excellent contender in TIM this year, but… against Vader? No, not really. When it comes to the Dark Side legacy, Vader wins about every time. I mean, he does sorta help in wiping out the Jedi and destroying a planet… it’s hard to beat that. Fivey carries a similar mercilessness with him (bro don’t bat an eyelash at killing innocents fo’ sho), but he still ranks below the Darth. So yeahh. The villains always are easier to vote for.

DAY TWO: R2 VS. SABINE/JABBA VS. SEVENTH

Light Side Vote: R2-D2. I don’t know why they keep pitting these two against each other, it just doesn’t seem like a fair vote! They’re both tough, confident, smart, spirited, handy with weapons, and loyal to the core. And plus, in the battle of an astromech versus a human you know I’m gonna pick the droid ’cause they’re so darn adorable! They’re both great in different ways. Ultimately, I dug deep though and found Artoo truly did deserve the vote. He’s played quite the part in SW, helping save ’bout every hero there is — Obi-Wan, Anakin, the Ghost crew (blowing up those blasters was all R2’s idea, after all), and most recently, Luke, among others. Hard to argue with that logic, right? But who knows? We have yet to see where Sabine’s destiny leads… someday she may just beat Artoo πŸ™‚
Dark Side Vote: The Seventh Sister. Every year I’m amazed how far Jabba The Hutt gets in the tournament, especially when up against truly awesome villains like Sev here. Granted, looking back, I may have overlooked Jabba’s hand in the villainy game some. He may just chill around in his palace all day but he has rancors and bounty hunters and the rest of his many many lackeys at the ready at all times. I mean, how coldhearted do you have to be to literally have a party on your sail barge while you throw your prisoners to the sarlacc? Or get Boba Fett to test out carbonfreezing on Han? That’s pretty bad. I think I ultimately chose against Jabba based on the fact he can be an ally sometimes, and has actually worked with our heroes instead of against them. Whereas with Seventh, though we don’t see all that she’s has done in her inquisiting career, with her drive and ferocity, and the fact that she’s technically in the business of hunting Jedi… well, I think she owns the vote. The lives she’s taken have no doubt she’s left a negative footprint on the galaxy and the future of the Jedi.

DAY THREE: LUKE VS. HERA/PALPATINE VS. VENTRESS

Light Side Vote: Luke Skywalker. I looked at this one from quite a few angles to figure out who to choose. I mean, Hera is a major player in the existence of the Rebel Alliance. Where would Luke be without her impact? But where would the Alliance be had Luke not helped destroy the Death Star? Or helped save Leia? Or met Han and got him involved? Or defeated Darth Vader? Ultimately, I get the feeling that the galaxy would’ve suffered much more if not for Luke’s hand in all of this. Anddd whoops I realize that last bit sounded like a pun. Sorreh. Definitely not an easy vote to pick, but I think I made the right choice.
Dark Side Vote: Palpatine. Dude, when it comes to being bad, Palpatine’s the king, the president, the Chancellor, and the Emperor of all baddies. I betcha even Supreme Leader Snoke looked up to him when considering Darksidery as a career! Scientifically, no villain in SW can stand up to him. Except maybe Snoke, anyway. Hmm… now wouldn’t that be a matchup! Besides, though Ventress has been pretty bad herself, she’s got what Palpatine doesn’t — a heart. And thank goodness for that.

DAY FOUR: HAN VS. CHEWBACCA/MAUL VS. TARKIN

Light Side Vote: Han Solo. Scientifically, Chewbacca does hold the honor of having help saved two Jedi prior to meeting Han, including one who would become a major player for the Rebels (you know who I’m talkin’ about), and one who would train a great hero who would go on to train someone who has the potential to be a great hero (not namin’ names you should know this one). In some ways he might might might have deserved the vote in retrospect, especially since he keeps getting beat by his copilot year after year. But Han… oh myyyyy… he’s got a lot of honor to hold too! Pushing past my bias that names him my favorite scoundrel/general/pilot/all-around-nice-guy, I think the best reasoning goes to more recent events, as that “someone who has the potential to be a great hero” would never’ve gotten off of Jakku without him, among a great number of events. Captain Solo’s left a truly marvelous legacy behind… who knows where it will lead next? OK hopefully I got all of my thought process on that straight…
Dark Side Vote: Darth Maul. Tarkin and Maul are both heavy-hitters in the villain category for sure. I’ve used the excuse before that Tarkin helped helm the Death Star and so technically helped in killing a planet’s worth of innocent lives. While we don’t know everything Maul has done or will do, he does everything in the most malicious manner imaginable. Anddd I’m starting to realize again that this vote may not be as scientifically accurate as I would’ve preferred it to be. But I will say this: we don’t yet know the impact Maul has made or will make, and because of this, who knows what he’s put into motion already? I might look back years from now after reading another book or watching another show/movie and realize I totally called it. Man I wish I remembered what I was thinking the day I made that vote…

DAY FIVE: YODA VS. FINN/KYLO VS. JANGO

Light Side Vote: Yoda. I was totally excited to see some Force Awakens faces entering the tournament this year, but again, a little bummed out by the matchup. I mean, Yoda vs. Finn? That’s not fair in the slightest. The interesting thing here is, we don’t know the ultimate amount of impact Finn will make on the galaxy. He’s certainly made history, and I know he’ll continue to do so as he fights for the Resistance in the stories to come. But Yoda is the master of all masters, and technically, because he trained Luke who’s (assumptively) training Rey now, whose skills with a lightsaber might‘ve saved Finn’s backside… well, I think our fave storm’s OK with losing to the little green guy.
Dark Side Vote: Kylo Ren. This vote was unfair for the totally opposite reasons. We know very little ultimately about both of them, except they’re both awesome bad guys and have stellar fashion sense. But considering the only legacy we know about Jango is his super-cool son, and can only assume what he’s done with that stellar bounty hunting, blaster-twirling prowess of his… well, he sorta pales in comparison to the guy who blows up multiple planets in just one day and can stop blasterfire in its tracks. #DefiniteUnfairAdvantage But still, Ben here has my vote. *Ducks from three-bladed lightsaber thrown in my direction* SORRY SORRY I MEANT TO SAY KYLO REN!

DAY SIX: AHSOKA VS. BB/DOOKU VS. PHASMA

Light Side Vote: Ahsoka Tano. Oh lookie another unfair matchup! Again, it’s tough to pick who makes the greater difference when we haven’t seen all the difference one of them’s made yet. But considering the Resistance itself might not exist had their been no Rebellion, and the Rebellion might not’ve existed had Ahsoka not been involved… BB-8 would be out of a job. BB-8 gave me a thumbs-down for this stunt… “DUDE I LITERALLY HELPED FIND LUKE SKYWALKER AND THIS IS THE THANKS I GET?” Maybe next year BB…
Dark Side Vote: Count Dooku. Dooku and Phasma are both some kinda tough stuff, but again, we don’t know what impact the Captain will make on the galaxy. Whereas, y’know… helping bring about the Clone Wars and the eventual fall of the Republic kinda gives the “older gentleman” a leg up this time around.

DAY SEVEN: REY VS. EZRA/BOBA VS. HUX

Light Side Vote: Rey. WOW! Now THIS is a matchup! The two new padawans! Ohhoho I loved figuring out this vote! Because in this case, both their stories have yet to be told. Who knows where their legacies will lead? It’s actually really interesting how alike they are… both strong, clever young individuals on their own, doing their best to survive, and then they find an unexpected new family that changes their paths — and themselves — forever. It would’ve been easy to just say “well Ezra ignited that spark of rebellion with that inspiring transmission of his and so owns the vote”, buuuut then I looked at Rey here… GIRL DONE WON A LIGHTSABER DUEL WITH KYLO REN, HAVING NEVER PICKED UP A ‘SABER IN. HER. LIFE. WHOA. I ended up voting for this one scientifically analyzing their use of the Force. Ezra’s quite amazing at it too, but even he had to learn a few things to knock down an adversary. So Rey’s intensely serious skillz earned her the vote. Plus, it’s her first year in the tournament, so it only seemed fair.
Dark Side Vote: General Hux. You may be wondering why in the world I’d pick this guy over Boba Fett. Well first I’d say “What? Hux is a cool dude too!”, but then I’d move on to my logical conclusion: Hux helped Starkiller Base along in destroying all those worlds and all the billions of innocent people on them. Also he is very very passionate about what he does. He don’t take crud from no one! All “Eat this Resistance!” I’m thinking Boba may have a bit more of a heart than that. Plus, Boba was gonna win anyway so I kinda did want to give it to the underdog…

DAY EIGHT: LEIA VS. POE/GRIEVOUS VS. KALLUS

Light Side Vote: Leia Organa. Well this was kinda an obvious answer for me. General Organa is not only the bosslady of the Rebel Alliance/Resistance, but she’s Poe Dameron’s boss period. She did send him out to help find Luke, after all. Plus, yeah, she’s LEIA ORGANA. From princess to general, she’s been nothing but a rock-solid force in the SW universe and her legacy only continues to further as she plays a mom figure to Rey. Don’t worry, Poe, you’re still amazing too. I hope someday to talk about your legacy with the same enthusiasm πŸ™‚
Dark Side Vote: General Grievous. Grievous wins, no questions. Even if I had voted for this before I discovered Kallus is a decent human being, I still would’ve given the General my vote. It’s hard to argue with a cold, calculating cyborg who simply wants to kill Jedi because he can. Agent K may’ve been a jerk in the past, but he clearly has a heart. The only heart Grievous has went up in flames. Yeahhh sometimes winning the Dark Side vote isn’t really a win.

DAY NINE: R2 VS. OBI-WAN/VADER VS. JABBA

Light Side Vote: R2-D2. Wat is dis? I voted for Artoo OVER Obi-Wan?? :O 100% scientific vote man. That little droid did it and saved the ship Obi-Wan was on. Make all the jokes you want Master Kenobi, but that “dime a dozen” droid is the only reason you’re alive or that really anything happened in the SW galaxy! Seriously though really. No Naboo ship, no Padme, no Obi-Wan, no Anakin, no Luke, no Leia, quite possibly no Threepio, no nothin’. Wow is that not an insane thought?
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. This one was all too easy. Feeding your dancers to the rancor is pretty bad, but burning a town just to rile up the Rebels? That’s downright DESPICABLE. No question who got that vote.

DAY TEN: HAN VS. LUKE/MAUL VS. PALAPTINE

Light Side Vote: Han Solo. This one was really interesting. It’d be easy to say “Luke because he defeated Vader”, but I thought long and hard on this one and found that no one deserved this vote more than Han. Had Obi-Wan given those credits to some other pilot, the very fabric of SW would be very very different than we know it today. Han got Luke where he needed to go, and then helped Luke save Leia, and then helped Luke blow up the Death Star. He continually helped the Rebel Alliance before attempting to leave, but then got pulled back into it anyway. Though it wasn’t right that he got betrayed and turned into a decoration in Jabba’s palace, he did get Lando involved in the Rebellion, and he went on to destroy the second Death Star. And to top it all off, had he not met Finn and Rey… THEY WOULDN’T HAVE FOUND LUKE. So that makes it… what? Seven favors you own him now, “Junior”? This only served to make me love Han and his friendship with Luke more and I proceeded to fangirl and cry at the same time. AHH THE FRIENDSHIPNESS!
Dark Side Vote: Palpatine. Not quite as thought-provoking an answer, but still, Palpatine pwns Maul in the badness game. Just does. “There is no mercy…” *shudders*

DAY ELEVEN: YODA VS. AHSOKA/KYLO VS. DOOKU

Light Side Vote: Yoda. It almost pained me to vote against Ahsoka this round. But again, Yoda trains evrahbody! And since Yoda trained Obi-Wan who trained Anakin who trained Ahsoka, the order of Jedi mastery just makes sense to give it to him. Plus, the last few years, he always got matched up against one of my go-to favorites, like Obi-Wan, Luke, and Qui-Gon, and that really wasn’t the fairest since Yoda is just as awesome as they are. So I’m actually glad to give Yoda some credit where credit is due for once πŸ˜€
Dark Side Vote: Count Dooku. Kylo Ren seems like the obvious choice, right? I mean, you remember what I said about him blowing up all those planets. But Count Dooku done went and helped bring down the entire system of government in the galaxy. THAT is pretty intense if you ask me, and a bit on a larger scale. Plus, if Dooku hadn’t played his part in the fall of the Republic the Empire Darth Vader served might’ve never existed and who would be Kylo Ren’s senpai then? Yay underdog votes!

DAY TWELVE: LEIA VS. REY/GRIEVOUS VS. BOBA

Light Side Vote: Leia Organa. All I’m sayin’ is Leia is the bosslady and she’s helped orchestrate the Rebellion since she was a teen. Her levels of impact are unrivaled. Also, had she not sent Poe and BB-8 to Jakku… Rey wouldn’t be wielding a lightsaber right now. Talk about a legacy.
Dark Side Vote: General Grievous I’m sorry I didn’t vote for Boba Fett this tournament, really I am. But Grievous is a monster, man… he’s done some downright atrocious stuff in helping further Palpatine’s schemes. He’s one of those villains that’s hard to find the good in, y’know? Hard for a bounty hunter, even a Mando bounty hunter with a vendetta, to compete with. They’re both still amazingly cool characters, don’t get me wrong. Just… yeah, understand the amount of impact.

DAY THIRTEEN: OBI-WAN VS. LUKE/VADER VS. MAUL

Light Side Vote: Obi-Wan Kenobi. Well, obviously since Obi-Wan trained Luke and convinced Yoda to further train Luke. He’s kinda a big deal.
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. Vader Vs. Maul is always always always a toughie. Both have done things that leave me aghast in shock. But only one of them helmed that ultimate weapon… and only one successfully defeated Sidious. Kind of a stretch maybe, but I think it makes sense.

DAY FOURTEEN: YODA VS. REY/KYLO VS. BOBA
Light Side Vote: Yoda. Because again, Yoda trained Luke who goes on to train Rey. That’s a pretty important amount of legacy to leave if you ask me.
Dark Side Vote: Kylo Ren. Again, when it comes to being bad, Boba is a sweet cinnamon roll compared to the likes of these Darksiders he’s been matched up against. Starkiller Base just done did more damage than those blasters, you and I both know that.

DAY FIFTEEN: LUKE VS. REY/VADER VS. KYLO
Light Side Vote: Luke. Whee the masters goin’ against the apprentices!! What can I say? Rey may have some natural talent, but Luke’s going to help her refine it. The path she chooses, the legacy she leads, will forever be influenced by her new master. Deeeep.
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. “YOU’LL NEVER BE AS STRONG AS DARTH VADER!” Sorry just truth Kylo bro. He’s his senpai, his role model, his inspiration, and his grandpa. Darth Vader wins all the vote here.

FINAL VOTE: LUKE VS. VADER

What can I say? I heart the Light Side. Luke did defeat Darth Vader, but ultimately with love, not fighting. Luke’s legacy, his impact on the galaxy is astronomical. And like say, he’s about to do like Yoda and pass on what he’s learned. I think Luke completely deserved the vote, and the final win this year, don’t you think? πŸ˜€
And on a totally 100% biased fangirly note… he’s just a flat-out amazingly incredible character!

TIMSketch

And so ends another great This Is Madness! Can only imagine what next year’s tournament will hold.
Also #JynErsoFor2017Champion πŸ™‚

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

TIM Recap: Rule Of Thirty-Two

It’s that time of year again, friends…. the This Is Madness Star Wars Character Tournament is in full swing! It’s a lot of fun to participate in something of this sort since basketball’s not in my wheelhouse, but it’s not without difficulty. I mean, picking favorites is not one of my strong suits, especially when I love all the SW characters! Last year I chronicled all my votes on tumblr, but for this year, I’ve decided to recap all of my votes here, since some of my explanations can get pretty wordy πŸ™‚ So without further ado, my votes for the Rule Of 32! And remember, I love all these guys equally, really, so if you don’t agree with my vote, just remember we’re really on the same page still.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode VI, TCW episodes The Mandalore Plot, Sphere Of Influence, Nightsisters, Wookiee Hunt, Brothers, Revival, the “D-Squad” story arc, Shades Of Reason, The Lawless, Voices, Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, Idiot’s Array, and Fire Across The Galaxy.

DAY ONE: HERA VS. LEIA/INQUISITOR VS. GRIEVOUS.

I was super-excited for TIM this year because this year the Rebels would get to join in! But I guess I never thought as to what it’d be like to have to choose between amazing heroes from the SW films and these new amazing heroes from Rebels. Usually, my method is to choose the hero based on their amount of impact on the SW Galaxy or on the other character. But dang… it’s a lot harder than it looks!
For Rebels, I ended up choosing Leia. In all technicality, Hera’s probably made a teensy bit more impact, as she’s technically Leia’s boss in this situation. But man… I just couldn’t go up against “her worship”! I suppose a lot of it’s because we’ve seen how awesome Leia commands her fellow Rebels through some of the biggest events in SW history. And she’s Anakin and Padme’s daughter and Luke’s sister so that also gave her a bit of a leg up. Leia won, which doesn’t surprise me, and I bet Hera’s proud of her πŸ™‚
For Bad Guys, I ended up giving the vote to The ‘Quiz here. I was a little surprised in some ways that Grievous won. My method for Dark Side votes usually is on account of who’s the badder, but in a way it just seems like I’m oftentimes picking the “cooler” of the two. Now yeah there’s no doubt Grievous is a lean, mean, lightsaber-slashing machine, and I’ve certainly voted for him a good bit in the past two tournaments. Considering how absolutely in-your-face nasty the General is, you’d think he’dve had my vote. But The Inquisitor… he’s got class! He’s just as menacing, even without two less ‘sabers on hand, and he does it all with this seriously chilling flair! I think there’s something to be said for the way he does things as versus Grievous… a quiet evil that isn’t always so quietly evil. Ah well, somehow that came out an underdog vote, but no hard feelings to the General.

DAY TWO: QUI-GON VS. YODA/JANGO VS. GREEDO
TIM Picks: Qui-Gon & Jango Fett
So obviously I’m a terrible human being because every year without fail I keep voting against Yoda on the first round. It’s not that I don’t love Yoda, guys, it’s just they keep pitting him against Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan and I can’t vote against them somehow! It’s useless to resist! But hey, let’s give Qui-Gon some credit here, I mean, he did totally uncover the Force-spirit stuff before Yoda did! So if Yoda shows up in the Sequel Trilogy (and the fact he already did show up in Episode VI), he’s got no one to thank but Master Jinn, the rebel Jedi πŸ™‚ If more people used my methods to vote he might win one of these, but ah well. Maybe next year?
For Bounty Hunters… it’s almost unfair to pit Greedo against a Mando! Even if that Mando doesn’t do too well ultimately! But yeah, even knowing some of Greedo’s adventures prior to Episode IV in The Clone Wars, this guy still doesn’t really hold a candle to Jango in terms of badness, and in some ways coolness (ahh don’t hurt me Greedo fans!! *ducks under desk*). I’d really like to see some of these guys more equally matched in years to come. Perhaps Jango versus Pre Vizsla? That’d be interesting…

DAY THREE: HAN VS. LANDO/MAUL VS. PALPATINE
TIM Picks: Han & Maul
Another year, another win for Captain Solo! I keep feeling bad for Lando and thinking “maybe next year”, but it never happens! Ugh Han’s just one of those characters I can’t vote against! He’s just so amazing! He’s one of the most epic of epic heroes! Here’s a tip, Lando… if you want my vote next year, send me a puffer pig and complement my art. You’ll have it in the bag for sure then πŸ™‚
As for the Sith… yeah another vote for coolness over badness, because dude in the game of evil Darth Sidious here always wins! Even then, Maul’s still quite the terrifying, absolutely nasty guy. He started out so quietly evil and then blossomed into a revenge-seeking, robot-legged crazy man. You could almost say he’s at equals with Sidious, but well… the Emperor did completely pwn him. But not in this battle, no sir! Sorry Sidious but he’s still cooler than you πŸ˜› *Gets hit by Force lightning*

DAY FOUR: REX VS. GREGOR/HONDO VS. VIZSLA

You’re probably thinking I have something against Captain Rex since I seem to vote for every other clone over him. But look, Rex is easily everyone’s favorite clone, and I feel like these other brothas deserve some love, too. Gregor was so brave! He put aside his dead-end job on an even more so dead-end planet to save Colonel Gascon and the droids! He gave up his life to help them succeed in their mission! If that isn’t brave, I don’t know what is. C’mon won’t anyone else give him some love? Yes I know Rex is great and I’ll always love him but there’s no “I” in “The 501st”! (Unless, of course, you spell it out but not the point)
And yeah another underdog vote went to Hondo Ohnaka, and it definitely was on account of who’s the better person. Hondo’s a pretty decent fellow, despite he’s a pirate and may or may not cause you trouble depending on who’s paying him more. But darn it I love pirates! And his sense of wit! And really everything else about him! Pre Vizsla can’t help but be cool, of course, since he’s a Mando, but I’m often surprised he has as many friends as he does… ’cause he sure packs a lot of attitude! That moment in The Mandalore Plot when he throws the word “failure” at his fellow soldier and shoots him without even looking always stands out to me. He is one bad dude, for sure. So bad that I really couldn’t not give it to Hondo. And may I also mention that Hondo took on Darth Maul and lived? Can’t really say that for Pre, now can we?

DAY FIVE: R2-D2 VS. SABINE/TARKIN VS. PIETT
TIM Picks: R2-D2 & Tarkin
This was one of the hardest votes for me. Not the Tarkin vs. Piett thing, that was way too easy, considering I have trouble remembering Piett’s name half the time and how terrifying Tarkin truly is. But man… choosing between Artoo and Sabine was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Because Sabine is just so awesome, and you know how I’ve used the excuse to vote for Qui-Gon because he’s my SW Myers-Briggs twin? Sabine is technically now my Rebels twin! So a part of me still wonders if I should’ve given her the vote. But that little droid’s done a lot in life! He’s been around since day one and will continue even into the new trilogy! And he even played his part in Rebels, giving Sabine the suggestion to overload those blasters as a weapon! It was mostly that last bit that got me to vote for Artoo. That, and he’s just so stinkin’ adorable! Ladies and gentlemen, another character I can’t vote against, R2-D2!

DAY SIX: AHSOKA VS. OBI-WAN/BOBA VS. VENTRESS
TIM Picks: Obi-Wan & Ventress
Boy this was a hard one on both sides. I mean, obviously I knew from the get-go I’d probably end up giving Master Kenobi the vote, since I can’t humanly vote against him. But it hasn’t been long since Ahsoka waltzed back into the SW Universe and made me love her even more! So I had to rationalize it on the account that Obi-Wan trained Anakin who trained Ahsoka. It’s not so much on a level of who made the greater impact, because Ahsoka heading up the Rebel Alliance and Obi-Wan getting Luke involved with the Rebels to start with are both extremely important. But eh that’s how it goes in the TIM tournament! Next year will be your year, Ahsoka… next year!
Now as for the bounty hunters out here… this one was incredibly hard. Because Boba’s a shoo-in, right? He’s everyone’s favorite bounty hunter! (Except for the Dengar minority) And every year I’ve voted for him, because of course he’s just that cool and just that awesome. But Ventress… ugh she’s really really grown on me these past few years. She was already a super-cool Sith-y sort, but then she went and became a bounty hunter and has proved to actually have a heart. And darn it if there’s one thing I can’t vote against, it’s a scoundrel who’s not so scoundrel-y after all! And my inability to vote against her will increase once I read Dark Disciple. So yeah I am sorry, fellow Fett fans, I have let you down. But at least he won the vote and will likely get my vote in the next round!

DAY SEVEN: CHEWBACCA VS. ZEB/VADER VS. DOOKU
TIM Picks: Chewbacca & Darth Vader
OK you know what’s just as hard as choosing between Sabine and Artoo? It’s choosing between Zeb and Chewie. I never would’ve expected it’d be this hard to pick between movie characters and Rebels characters! I mean, they’re both epic and all kinds of awesome and know how to handle bucketheads, but how do you choose between them?? HOW I SAY?! Well, if they could’ve arm-wrestled it might’ve helped me pick, but honestly I have no clue how that’d go down. If perhaps Chewbacca had been among the Wookiees Zeb helped rescue I might’ve given it to our favorite Honor Guard. But then it occurred to me that Chewie helped save Ahsoka, who in turn grew up and played a major part in the Rebellion that Zeb is currently a big part of himself. So there Chewbacca wins! Zeb wasn’t too happy about that, but he went and thrashed a few ‘troopers and he feels better now.
As for the Sith… um… yeah, Darth Vader couldn’t not win. Dooku’s pretty nasty himself but seriously… against Vader? No contest. We’ve all seen Episode III, it doesn’t end well for the Count. And plus, Vader’s just awesome period.

DAY EIGHT: PADME VS. JAR JAR/JABBA VS. FORTUNA
TIM Picks: Padme & Jabba
Honestly, at first, I couldn’t believe they would actually put Jar Jar into the tournament. I mean, I love him, but I’m not sure I can say the same for the majority. And really, I wanted to vote for Padme, because she’s strong, clever, smart, and fabulous, and because of the kinda big deal role she plays in the SW Galaxy as Luke and Leia’s mom. I wasn’t going to vote for Jar Jar just because I wasn’t sure anyone else would, that wouldn’t be fair. I have reasons when I vote for underdogs! But then… well, the sound you heard was the sound of all those who filled out brackets ahead of time crying. Jar Jar’s actually got the majority of the vote! Talk about an upset! So either he has a larger fanbase and less people hating on him now or else a bunch of people just wanted to throw off what everyone expected. But hey, I’m happy for ya Representative Binks! You go win this thang!! And again, in the battle of the baddies, Jabba always wins as versus his lackeys. Though it was nice to see Bib’s face in the ring this time around instead of Salacious Crumb πŸ™‚

So there you have it guys, it’s been some awesome first round of This Is Madness, hasn’t it? I’ll keep you updated as each round continues!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Of Crimson Kybers: Looking At Sith Lightsabers

Fact: since our good friend Kylo Ren ignited his three-blade in the Episode VII teaser, the world’s mind has been blown all at once. And the internet can’t stop talking about it! I mean, seriously I’m actually finally talking about it! But in the midst of this… I have to wonder if some of us have forgotten just how mind-blowing all the other Dark Sider’s choice weapons are. So for my first topical post of the year (hopefully the first of many), I thought it’d be fun to chat about the spectacular blades of the bad boys and girls in the canonical Star Wars universe and give these ‘sabers a chance to shine. So let’s start at the beginning, shall we? With the “crimson kyber” that started it all… (and before you more educated SW fans eat me alive, I know that Sith don’t use real kyber crystals, it just sounded cool mkay?)
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, II, III, IV, V, and VI, much of TCW Seasons 3, 4, and 5, and the Rebels episode Path Of The Jedi.

Darth Vader

I can only imagine what it must’ve been like for those seeing Episode IV for the first time back in ’77, and what it must’ve been like seeing Darth Vader unsheath that legit red blade for the first time. I didn’t see the movie until ’06, and with Episode III having just come out, red lightsabers were nothing really new to me, even in my extremely limited knowledge of SW at the time. So I don’t really recall Vader’s lightsaber reveal hitting me in any huge way. But now as a true-blue SW fan almost ten years later, I can see just what a big deal that moment is and what it must’ve been to anyone who hadn’t seen a Sith ‘saber before. I mean, when all you know thus far is those heroic-looking blue blades, you know instantaneously that that red blade is bad news (if of course, the fact that Vader’s wielding it didn’t already make that clear). His ‘saber’s pretty simple, but its role in the SW universe, and also the fact that it’s the only Sith lightsaber in the Original Trilogy, is too important not to talk about.

Darth Maul
SW Screencap 02
So now imagine how it must’ve felt, having only seen one red-bladed lightsaber in the SW films, and then having the newest baddie in Episode I show up with A DOUBLE-BLADED! If the internet was then what it is now, I guarantee there would be probably way more people mind-blown by this dramatic turn from one blade to two than this recent sword-like one Darth Ren’s flinging around. And even though I didn’t see Episode I until 2011, and it wasn’t news to me then that Maul had a double-blade, it continues to be one of the most impressive and epic-looking weapons ever wielded in the SW galaxy. That three-way duel alone was something of epicness so far beyond what my mind can comprehend…! So yeah, if you needed any sign that the Sith’s return was kinda a big deal, Maul’s lightsaber made that very clear. Of course, it didn’t ultimately make a huge dent in Darth Maul’s success… he did, you know, get cut in half and junk. But of course, you can’t keep a good (or bad, shall we say) Dathomirian down…


Then he got a shiny single-blade ‘saber. And with all those revenge-y feelings going on, he proved to be quite the adversary even with only one blade. Of course he was no match for Sidious ultimately but still, you have to give Maul some points for persistence!


Also, bonus points go to Maul’s epic eight-blade in Lego’s The Empire Strikes Out. If you want to one-up Darth Vader, this is how you do it πŸ™‚ #SithSwag

Count Dooku
SW Screencap 05
While the illustrious Count’s lightsaber seems pretty basic in form on first glance, it’s far from ordinary. Just look at that fabulous curved hilt! It’s both stylish and powerful! Not to mention that curved form must be very ergonomic. I imagine holding a ‘saber for more than a few hours every day could lead to repetitive stress injury, so the fact that Dooku’s fits his hand more fluidly must be why he’s so good at what he does for his age πŸ˜€ Hehe this screencap seems to be saying “Oh, you did NOT just make fun of my age.” XD But seriously I’m kidding Lord Tyrannus don’t hurt me.

Asajj Ventress
SW Screencap 06
Ventress’s got a pretty impressive set of ‘sabers from the get-go. The hilt’s curved just like Dooku’s, but she’s got TWO. So double the stylish-ness and powerful-ness! And the girl definitely knows how to swing ’em around in a fight.

Savage Opress
SW Screencap 07
While Maul chose to pick up a single-blade in his escapades in the Clone Wars, Savage decided to give the double-red blade a try. It is seriously one impressive ‘saber. It may be a double-bladed, but it’s distinctly different from his bro’s. Just look at those cool sharp edges on the hilt! And it’s also impressive-sounding, as it emits a very low and growly hum that adds to its wielder’s frightening unpredictability. Mental note: don’t cross paths with this dude unless absolutely necessary. And very few have found it necessary.

Darth Sidious
SW Screencap 08
Whether he wields one lightsaber or two, the Emperor always knows what he’s doing. He pretty much pwned Savage and Maul, and very nearly killed Yoda. The two he throws around in The Lawless just further blow our mind to what he’s capable of. And may I mention the sound again? It’s even nastier than Savage’s! So yeah all I can say about these ‘sabers is that they are the most intense set of weapons possibly to ever be held by a Sith Lord. And we would expect nothing less from the nastiest Sith Lord to grace the series… thus far.

The Inquisitor
SW Screencap 09
For a guy who’s not even an official Sith, he certainly knows his way around a ‘saber. And the ‘Quiz has one seriously epic ligthsaber! A fabulous double-blade that SPINS! It can function as a normal lightsaber but can also be thrown like a deadly frisbee! Is there anything it can’t do?? Of course, the spinning function helps cover up the fact that ‘Quizzy doesn’t know all the ropes when it comes to flinging laser swords around. Why go to all that trouble to spin the lightsaber when you can have the lightsaber spin for you? But The Inquisitor’s skills aside, this ‘saber is still one of the epicest ever, and definitely suits the ‘Quiz’s classy/deadly persona. And since the last episode… you and I both know we don’t want to be on the other end of that blade.

Kylo Ren

And so we come down to this guy’s epic three-blade! I will never forget my reaction to its reveal… I literally gasped in both shock, awe, wonderment, and fangirliness! It’s a totally different build and a very new kind of blade. The other two blades make it resemble a sword, which is totally different and cool! If you’re a newbie Sith awakening for the first time in some twenty-thirty years, you have to make an entrance, and Kylo here did just that! It’s the perfect weapon for walking on a snowy forest planet with a black cloak on! So yeah I have nothing but good things and fangirly things to say about this new ‘saber. Now… we wait another eleven months…

So yes, the bad guys of the SW Universe may not win the battle ultimately, but they sure do know how to make a first impression, strut their stuff, intimidate others, and be awesome in general. And who knows what Sith-y sort will walk in with a discussion-meriting lightsaber next? Only time will tell…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight