Following The Freemakers: The Tower Of Alistan Nor

Hey Star Wars fam! You ready to talk Freemakers? I know I am! ‘Cause The Tower Of Alistan Nor has quickly become a favorite among favorites and I can’t wait to discuss all that has intrigued me and inspired me! Read on!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episode Steps Into Shadow and Freemakers episodes The Maker Of Zoh, Return Of The Kyber Saber, Trouble On Tibalt, and The Tower Of Alistan Nor

It’s an age-old battle I know well from playing with Legos; you get an image in your head of the perfect design… and then you lose it, and the entire building experience from there is spent trying out every brick in the box until you get something close to what you had in mind. Rowan’s got the same problem, except it’s worse because the future of the Rebel Alliance rests on making the image in his head a reality. Also for him it’s not just building a cool plastic model, it’s about building an actual serious war machine. No pressure! No pressure at all! Quarrie casually mentions of a beautiful, inspiring ancient city called Alistan Nor that might stir up some creative juices, and Ro’s off like a rocket!

Meanwhile, “Time to check on M-OC!” Palpatine is me whenever I sit down to a new Star Wars something. I do the little dance and everything XD And M-OC’s got himself a new set of blades… inquisitor blades. It actually makes a lot of sense, because just like the Jedi hunters we’ve seen before, these spinny ‘sabers of death are a more efficient method than learning all the Force-y moves. Unfortunately this is bad news for Rowan… he’s only fought blade-to-blade before, not blade-to-spinning-blade-to-blade. Elsewhere in the galaxy, while in carbonfreeze, Naare sensed her former master was treating a droid better than her XP WELL DROIDS DON’T BETRAY THEIR MASTERS, NAARE!
Well… normally.

Rowan’s ready and rarin’ to go to Alistan Nor, but the sibs happen to be considerably busy. Kordi’s in her prime bosslady mode, sharing her tips on cost-efficient living with her fellow Rebels, while Zander proves he’s the Wedge Antilles of repair — he can fix anything! Though Rowan isn’t pleased to catch them so so busy, I still love how easily the older kids have found their place here. Kordi knows what it’s like to live life running on fumes and pinching pennies, and offers a lot of know-how I’m sure the Rebs could use a refresher on, as well as just offering up a lot of common sense and direction that comes with running a business and looking out for your family at such a young age. (Let’s cut Ackbar some slack tho, he is an aquatic species, guys! Their skin must get awful dry!) And I love that Zander’s earned himself quite a reputation ’round Home One, as well as the respect of Valeria and the other pilots. It may not be where he wants to be in the Alliance, but he’s still giving the daily grind his all, and that’s nothing but admirable. But if you think his family’s work is going to keep Rowan from finding the inspiration he desperately needs, you’re dead wrong. He’ll fly there himself! Guys it’s a miracle that he didn’t damage the StarScavenger. Completely. Totally. Entirely. I kept thinking about what happened to the Phantom and was afraid of a repeat of that. I was really glad he put in those hyperspace coordinates right, too, ’cause yikes. I know I should’ve given him more of the benefit of the doubt, but he’s still a kid, and this is still a fair-sized starship, so… the odds weren’t great. Good thing Rowan has this habit of defying the odds 🙂

Also that Freemaker-branded lunchbox is great. I might need to custom my own! Can’t believe Quarrie went and ate the whole lunch though. “COPILOTS GET FIRST DIBS!” No they don’t, Quar 😑 Oh yeah… apparently mon calamari can digest bones? Unless that was a boneless fried noona leg he scarfed down, which it didn’t really look like… ok so that might not be a canon fact, but it makes you wonder, right?

Despite Quarrie’s slightly frustrating habit of not conveying all the information until the very very last second it’s needed, and a bit of a perilous run-in with a pack of gundarks (but what great Lego sculpts tho!), Alistan Nor is everything the old shipbuilder promised and more. Literally this city is everything. It is utterly utterly awe-inspiringly beautiful. Sometimes I forget that the great Doug Chiang designs for the show, but this was a powerful reminder. I mean… the design looks like it was intended for a movie or Rebels! I can’t help but hope a little that they might throw it in future 100%-canon Star Wars stories. And the concept alone! The idea of a city built by a unique order of Jedi is just amazing! It’s so Lego, but so believably SW at the same time! And we’ve gotta talk about the idea of Forcebuilders. Ever since SWR introduced the idea that certain Jedi can have special Force abilities, I’ve been completely fascinated by this expansion of the mythology, and as you may well know if you’ve read this blog for a while, I have been comparing Ezra’s Force-connecting talent to Rowan’s connection to kyber crystals. Only during the first season finale did I realize the Force must also have enhanced Rowan’s ability to build, and now this confirms it. I’ve spent days pondering what it must’ve been like to live in a city created by Jedi, and I imagine well-populated with Jedi as well. I’ve wondered about what made their order different from traditional Jedi, what gave them their creative energy, what was at the crux of their beliefs, and finally… what became of them. Also I had an interesting theory cross my mind: the Forcebuilders were specifically a branch of the Jedi, so what would happen if one turned to the dark side? We were introduced some time ago to the idea that the light creates and the dark destroys, so would a dark Forcebuilder be extremely adept at destruction? Or would they just build dark weapons? I actually pondered if maybe Naare had been a Forcebuilder Jedi previously, if that’s what gave her her terrible destructive capabilities. It’s certainly something worth chewing on. Anyway, watching Rowan see the city in its majestic, sparkling prime overloaded me with warm fuzzy feels. Basically everything about this entire scene can only be defined as “swoon-worthy”. It’s just. that. solidly. good.

Of course, I also was thinking “if M-OC destroys anything here I’m gonna cry for days”.
Was really really glad he only did a little property damage. But more importantly, I’m really really really glad nobody died. I will say, the fact M-OC uses his ‘quisitor blades separately is pretty cool though. It shows you how good he is… he doesn’t need much practice from what I can tell, he just uses ’em outright and in the most deadly efficient way. The Inquisitors wished they were this good. Forget what I said earlier about the spinning function working better for him. He don’t need it. It’s the things M-OC can’t predict that usually give our heroes a leg up, like falling balconies and gundark stampedes. I feel bad for the gundarks though… 😬

Can I just say again for the millionth time that I love this family? For all the responsibilities Kordi and Zander have now, they still dropped everything to fix up an old wreck to bring their brother home… an old wreck that would ultimately be mowed over by the Starscavenger anyway. But there’s nothing in this galaxy that a precious family hug can’t fix! It’s amazing really. At this point I basically turned into a pile of moved-to-happy-tears mush, and then made a mental note to hug my family more often than usual. Guys, this is nothing but real pure family love ❤ ❤ And now that Rowan has an exact mental picture of the Arrowhead in mind, they’ve made the first step on bringing the fight to the Empire! Augh I’m just so ludicrously happy right now X3

Though I really can’t say that for that Imperial graycoat who got tossed out the window. *Shudders* That’s totally Vader for ya.

Anyway, I think this post turned out really nicely, and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you today. Now go and give your family and basically-family-friends the Freemaker-style hug they deserve! 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: The Last Battle

You ready for another Rebels Transmission? “ROGER ROGER!” Today we’re turning back the clock a bit and takin’ it back to the Clone Wars in the beyond-thrilling episode The Last Battle. Eeeeeep I’m so excited to be writing this one!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III and the Rebels episode The Last Battle

*Does Tom Kane Clone Wars Narrator impression* HAVING RUN LOW ON WEAPONS, KANAN JARRUS, EZRA BRIDGER, GARAZEB ORRELIOS, AND CHOPPER, LED BY CLONE CAPTAIN REX, HAVE VENTURED INTO AN ABANDONED SEPARATIST DROID BASE LOOKING FOR UNUSED AMMUNITION. LITTLE DO THEY KNOW, HOWEVER, WHAT DANGEROUS GAME IS PLANNED FOR THEM….
That was fun. Maybe I should open up all my Transmissions like this. I was pretty instantly hit with TCW nostalgia when I saw that base. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but I’m certain I’ve seen it before. I guarantee you I’ll rewatch some episode next week and recognize it. But at the same time, we’re instantly hit by that beautiful Ghost family camaraderie. “I’m sure everything will go horribly wrong.” XD As Zeb once said, the only thing we can plan for is the plan changing. At this point the Rebs’ve come to expect that. Ezra is fascinated when he comes upon the dismembered head of a Separatist battle droid, a “clanker” as Rex calls it. Also I do have a query — if Rex didn’t keep track of all the droids he blasted, then what’re the hash marks on his helmet for? Well, it makes sense I guess if you marked all the droids the helmet would probably be blackened. Hmm more things to double-check while rewatching TCW. Ezra isn’t terribly impressed by the dorky droid, but Rex makes very clear they’re no laughing matter; he’s lost a lot of brothers to them. “Wars leave scars, not all of them you can see” Oh goshhh this wouldn’t be the last time my heart broke for Rex this episode. Can I just talk about the Captain for the rest of the blog? I have enough thoughts on him to fill several blogs tbh, but I know I’m need to stay focused on the episode as a whole. I’ve been thinking a lot on him lately ’cause well… the title made me wonder if this would indeed be Rex’s last battle, as in, he might die. I was trying to prepare myself for the worst, but I was also re-remembering all of his great adventures and just what a great guy he is. I’d been preparing so much, I was a bit surprised when we reached the end of the episode and he was alive and well. But hey, I couldn’t be more thankful for that. I remember five years ago, when I first started really getting into the Prequels and TCW and, though I knew there were different clones, I knew there was a guy named Rex and a guy named Cody, I couldn’t always remember how to tell them apart. Fast-forward a few years and much growth in my SW understanding, and now I know and love all the troopers. But I think it’s safe to say Rex is among the most known and beloved. Especially seeing him now in Rebels, getting to know him even better by the day, particularly in this wonderful Rex-centered episode. Hehe I’d honestly missed seeing him around even though it’s only been a few episodes. Sooo yeah… I lost my train of thought. I’ll come back to more Captain Rex convos later. Anyway, so hooray! The Rebs found the mother lode of munitions! But as they walk right into a ray shield… they find something less than thrilling: fully-functioning battle droids, who’ve captured them for the Separatist Alliance. Methinks the clankers don’t get out much. Or have access to the holonet. Also one of the greatest Ezra lines ever spoken: “Wait, who’s Roger?” I utterly died. I laughed so hard and so long it was only the drama going on that got me to stop. ‘Cause yeah the droids followed up with a stunning and dragged the four off. Oh my I’ve missed these clankers. I know they were/are trouble, but they’re downright adorable. The way they light up a room with their honest wit and perfect one-liners! I’m glad we’ve had Roger around in The Freemaker Adventures, but it’s fun to see them all again as a dorky unit, even if, again, they’re causing trouble 🙂
So this would be the second time my heart broke for Rex this episode. Cuffed in a Separatist base, surrounded by battle droids led by a menacing tactical droid, as far as Rex knows, he’s back in the war again. His brief moment of terror hit me hard, and was a reminder of just how much trauma and hurt he’s been through in the last twenty years or so. He looks to Commander Cody for help, but is brought back to reality as he realizes it’s Kanan. I love though that instantly Kanan calls him “buddy” and encourages the Captain to press on. Being reminded of how much their bond has grown is precious. But no time for friendship feels did I mention there’s a tactical droid? A very very smart tactical named Kalani, who, again, I know him from TCW but I can’t place just where right now. Apparently when the Clone Wars ended, the droid army got shut down, but Kalani was smart enough to know there was no reason to, and didn’t allow for his crew to go down. Does bring up a few questions. What about that battle droid gang, the Droid Gotra? How’d they avoid the shutdown so they could go on and wreak revenge? Maybe I’m the only one who found that mention in Tarkin fascinating, but it’s certainly worth pondering on. Kalani’s been planning a long time on how he might win the Clone Wars for the Separatists once and for all, and now he’s got a clone, two Jedi, and a hostage (that’d be Zeb) to play his little war game. Ezra is willing to take on the challenge. He wants to help Rex and Kanan win this last battle, and he ain’t scared of a few wimpy little clankers (said clankers were quite insulted XP ). Though a battle’s the last thing the Jedi and clone want, Kanan knows it’d be easier to fight them head-on than try and escape any other way. And so the game begins…
It’s a good thing Chopper had wisely avoided the ray shield’s deadly maw. Not only that he isn’t going to cross any clankers (not that he couldn’t completely pwn them tho), but he’s also found something that might be of interest: a very nice old shuttle. He’s gonna shoot Hera a transmission about it (and probably also the fact his crew’s taken hostage by battle droids). Problem is, the Empire might’ve gotten ahold of the transmission first, and Pryce is just lovin’ the idea of making the Rebels’ day even more miserable! Ohh dearrrr.
Yes it’s quite a thrill watching Rex leading Kanan and Ezra into battle. Swarms upon swarms of battle droids are no match for some old school sword-and-shieldin’! It seriously feels as though we’ve gone back in time. Seeing these droids, these locations, even just the classic image of a tactical droid observing the battle, flanked by battle droids, is beautifully familiar. It’s not long before the team absolutely owns it. Oh and this: “I am not programmed to comprehend your humor” “I wasn’t joking” “Ha. Ha. Ha.” XD Well Kalani thinks some things are funny, I do suppose… like siccing his destroyers on the “Republic soldiers”. Ezra volunteers to go on ahead while the Captain and the General take on the next battle droid wave. Ez got a little sidetracked though as Chop showed up, the astromech insistent on showing him his amazing find. Though he still comes through and uses the Force to bash the destroyers, his delay caused a few problems for his comrades. Rex took a hit to the shoulder and Kanan just barely fended the battle droids off before Ezra dealt with ’em. Rex was OK, but completely not happy with Ezra. It’s not a game, it’s life and death, and he strongly insists Bridger stick to the plan if they want to survive this. Ezra had reasons for the delay, reasons that will help them out later, but Captain Rex is in full-on Clone Wars mode right now and don’t wanna hear it. I can understand both sides. Ezra and I are alike in that way sometimes we accidentally screw up and get chewed out for something we had no intention of. But with Rex, we’re re-reminded this episode that he’s a clone, bred for a war he spent years of his life fighting. He hasn’t lost that instinct to fight, to protect, to lead. He’s become something of a regular human in some ways since joining up with the Ghost crew, helping lead the Rebs as well as becoming a friend and grandpa-figure to the crew-fam. It’s not that I ever truly forgot who he once was, but I’ve been loving seeing him in this “regular human” role for so long I’d never considered how he might still be carrying the Clone Wars with him. Shoot I don’t know how to segue back to the story now after all those deep thoughts. Anyway, so it looks like Ez was going to make a point to stick to the plan from here on out. And oh look more droidekas. They may be tough but they can still blast like destroyers half their age (for the most part anyway). The “best use of unconventional weapon” award goes to Rex for nailing that one with his helmet. I mean, whoa so BOSS. Just like that the Republic soldiers — I mean Rebels — made it back to the control center. Total win for our heroes right? Ezra’s calling shenanigans. The only reason they got as far as they did is that the destroyers were really old, so it wasn’t a fair fight. And then a simple thought: who actually won the Clone Wars? The Empire. About then when an Imperial fleet actually showed up. Oooh boy. The battle droids were so nice and polite when they went out to greet the stormtroopers! And all the bucketheads did is blast ’em! And walk their AT-ATs all over ’em! OMG rude! Ezra makes the mind-blowing statement that maybe the Republic and the Separatists don’t need to be fighting each other… they need to be fighting their common enemy, the Empire. May sound sorta crazy, but that’s logic both Rex and Kalani can agree on. *Slow clap* Ezra, what you just did there is amazing. And everything that follows is amazing. A clone captain and a tactical droid working on a plan, battle droids and Jedi blasting AT-ATs, droidekas firing at AT-STs… it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Something I never would’ve imagined I’d get to see happen, but I’m so glad I did. As I’ve said before, Lucasfilm knows what I want to see before even I know it. Moment of silence, though, for the battle droid shuttle that didn’t make it. They were some of the nicest battle droids ever to grace the galaxy. But together, these two opposite ends of the spectrum were able to give the Empire a fight and made it safely offworld. The Republic and the Separatists just won the Clone Wars for good, thanks to a wise young man who saw past the politics to the truth. Now the droids and our Rebs go separate ways, with the Captain’s burden lifted, and a shuttle that might just be the Phantom Mark II. Anyone else getting a little misty? And then came the credits, beautiful intertwining the Rebels theme with that of The Clone Wars. ALL. THE. FEELS. After watching I was definitely hungry for some more classic Clone Wars adventures. And y’know that’s one of my favorite things about this episode. The Clone Wars were some dark times on both sides of the war. Palpatine rigged the whole thing for his own gain and both Republic and Separatists suffered because of it. The Last Battle was the perfect redeeming capper on all of this, giving both sides a chance to fight back together. It’s indescribably amazing. As I’ve said before, for all of Palpatine’s planning and plotting, he couldn’t keep good from coming out of it. Not even those sweet dorky don’t-ask-questions-just-shoot-what-you’re-told-to battle droids. And yeah I’m definitely going to have to elaborate further in more posts in the future. Still got a lot of stuff about TCW and Captain Rex to talk about! 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Steps Into Shadow

The Rebel Transmissions have returned. And I’m still trying to figure out how it is time passed so quickly! The third season has begun, and I can only hope I’ll be able to organize my thoughts decently in this post. Well, won’t find out just sitting around! Let’s dive in!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Rebel Resolve, Stealth Strike, Legends Of The Lasat, The Honorable Ones, Shroud Of Darkness, Twilight Of The Apprentice, and Steps Into Shadow

Y’know those surtitles or subtitles or whatever you wanna call ’em I put on my post headers? I came up with that concept when Padawanline was only a thought. I liked the idea of a quick clever line to define the episode in some way, whether it was a terrible pun (See: Wings Of The Master‘s “B-lieve It”) or a deep deep thought that truly did define the episode (See: Legacy‘s “Always There”). It’s fun coming up with the surtitle, but it’s also often exceedingly hard. Especially the more dramatic and deep the episode. Figuring out how to put Steps Into Shadow into one quick line was near impossible… until I came up with what you see up there. I feel it’s one of the best I’ve come up with, because it describes exactly where we find our master and padawan right now, and really the Ghost crew itself. Remember way way back on Rebel Resolve? Kanan was captured by the Empire, and Ezra was doing his best to lead the team to find him. When Kanan was there leading them, things went off without a hitch, even when they didn’t. But without him, things went south pretty fast. It’s really says a lot about who he is and how he’d changed. The Ghost wasn’t his, the idea of rebelling wasn’t his — that’s all Hera’s doing. But yet, he became Specter One. Because he believed in what Hera believed in, and in turn, he stepped up and became a better person, and eventually a true leader. His leadership soon went, however, from one of a small rebellion to that of a Jedi master when Ezra came along. And that role taught them both much. However… now Kanan feels he can’t lead, and Ezra has assumed the sort of the same role he once had. When I first heard Ezra would be leading the mission Steps Into Shadow surrounded, I was impressed. He must’ve learned much and become exceptionally skilled and mature, right? Well… though things go better than in Rebel Resolve… Ezra still has some growing up to do when it comes to achieving Kanan-status leadership. But I imagine it’s hard to become that kind of leader when Kanan hasn’t been around much lately. Either way, with Ezra struggling to fill the void his master left, things are most definitely out of balance.
All deep thoughts aside, the opening was a thrill. As soon as I saw Zeb and Sabine making their way right under the stormtroopers’ noses, I felt at home, as though I’d never left. But then Ezra comes up out of nowhere and delivers a solid punch to one of the bucketheads. Seeing Ezra here, looking so very grown-up… it was then I realized maybe I had been away for a while. Of course I’d known for a while that he’d gotten a haircut and stuff, but oh gracious… he really grew up. I still can’t get over how tall he is now. So strong and lean and significantly less of a kid than he was six months ago. And did I mention he’s leading this thing? Wow. I’m sorry I’m still going on about this but I these guys are practically my children and my children have suddenly grown up and it makes me wanna cry and hug ’em at the same time and I know that sounds weird so I will stop talking now. The Rebs are at this particular Imperial prison to rescue a particular individual — an old pirate named Hondo Ohnaka. Hehe the #OhnakaFever never stops around here! I’d wondered what happened to him after Legends Of The Lasat. It’s always a pleasure (even if the last time we saw him he was causing a little trouble). Especially when he happily addresses Zeb and Sabine as “Purple Guy” and “Mando Girl”. I absolutely died laughing at Zeb’s nickname XD Though Ezra’s glad to see his pirate buddy again, the Rebs had other reasons for the rescue. Hondo’s got the intel; Hondo and his ugnaught comrade both do. No time for reunions though look more ‘troopers! And Ezra turns a blaster on them in a split-second. He’s so quick on the draw it’s scary. Clearly he’s been doing more with Rex in his spare time. And maybe taking notes from Sabine, too. Whatever the case it’s impressive… and scary. Like tbh most of his methods right now. Oh and that new lightsaber tho. I’m definitely interested in knowing how he put it together, especially since Kanan likely wasn’t involved. Boyyyy can he do some stuff with that thing! Watching him so gracefully and forcefully fling that ‘saber makes me almost forget that there’s still something a bit… edgier… about his new methods. So short story short the ugnaught informant called no deal at the last second and was then tragically met with the other end of a walker gun. How’re they supposed to handle all these troopers? Ezra’s gonna handle it. As he reaches out with the Force, I jokingly commented “you don’t want to deal with the intruders, you want to go get pancakes”. Unfortunately, the walker driver and his fellow bucketheads don’t get any pancakes… what Ezra does is just plain scary. Actually that’s not good enough, try terrifying. The grimly justified look on Ezra’s face as the walker falls reminds me all-too much of a young Anakin Skywalker. And that alone gave me the shivers. “When did Kanan teach you that?” “He didn’t.” *Shudders* Before the season debuted, I understood that likely Ezra was going to continue playing with the darkness… but actually seeing it… no words. I’m actually sick with terror right now, and this is the second time I’ve watched it. At the start of the last season, I absolutely loved Ezra’s bright hopeful attitude, such a wonderful incredible change from his selfish, jaded self in the beginning. It seems the events of Twilight Of The Apprentice have changed him in a very different way. A very dark way. It’s sorta a swift punch to the gut. It’s not that he’s entirely changed. His fighting style was a little grittier than when we last saw him, but he’s clearly still got that confident swagger and genuine desire to help others he’s always had. He’s still Ezra Bridger. But after that stunt… and after many of his reactions we see in this season opener… there’s something not quite right. But for now everyone’s just glad when Hera and the Ghost swoop in and fly off. Also Zeb throwing out the term “wizard” was just the little spot of sunshine I needed about then XD I love that that backwater Tatooine slang is getting back into circulation amongst not only us superfans but also the SW universe itself! It’s wizard bruh! However, Hera is not finding the insanity that conspired to be too wizard. She remains undoubtedly THE BOSSLADY. Oh yeah and I do love her new outfit. It’s not all that different but it’s so cute I want to wear something similar in the average everyday. But wait that wasn’t the point. Yeah Hera wasn’t happy with the stuff Ezra overlooked and he isn’t happy with folks questioning his sheer awesomeness. Ezra’s out and everyone else is left with the awkwardness. Teenagers amiright?
In my Transmission on the last episode, I wrote Ezra had “many difficult decisions ahead of him”, and I’m thinking he may not have made the right decisions in some cases. Like remember that Sith holocron? He still has it. And not only that, he’s freely having conversations with The Presence. Which kinda threw me ’cause I thought she was just contained on the Malachor Sith temple, but evidently she’s also in the holocron, travel-size for your convenience. The Presence basically pats him on the back all “it’s OK dude, haters gonna hate”. Ezra won’t let anyone he cares for get hurt again, and he’ll gladly learn whatever he can to keep it that way. Oh Ez… please don’t. I get being well-rounded and understanding all sides of the Force, but you have to know where to draw the line in this constant battle between the light and the dark…
It seems Ezra’s small slightly-gone-south mission didn’t go unnoticed though. Governor Pryce noticed, and she’s making sure Tarkin notices. And they’re going to make sure a particularly skilled Imperial fleet notices. It is fascinating finally meeting the heard-of-but-never-seen-before Lothal Governor. She’s scary. Her icy stare could kill somebody. But she’s still quite cool. Also nice seeing Tarkin again since I read his book over the summer. All the same though, I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
So howzabout that dirt Hondo promised? He knows about an Imperial salvaging operation destroying old Republic Y-wings on the daily, and the mini-Alliance could always use a few more ships in their fleet. I admit before this it had never even crossed my mind that Y-wings were an older sort of ship that were only brought into use again by the Rebel Alliance. I feel dumb that I didn’t know, but smarter now that I do know. That’s just how it is with SW, I guess. Always learning something new! 🙂 You get all that info for the low low price of $19.95 plus shipping and handling, major credit cards accepted. Lol no actually Hondo’s aiming for a nice ship. Something maybe with leather seats I’d bet. Not the Ghost though, don’t even joke about that ya scoundrel XP Ezra’s rarin’ to go and get them Y-wings, but Hera’s not terribly sure about the intel. Which is why Commander Sato not only puts Ezra in charge of the recon mission, but also gives him the new title of Lieutenant Commander. Congrats all around! Too bad Kanan isn’t here to see this. My heart hurt for Ezra as he commented on his master’s absence as of late. Not only is the Ghost crew out of balance without their Specter One, but I think Ezra is, too 😦 The fact he hadn’t been around struck me with both sadness and curiosity. What’s he been doing since Malachor? Why hasn’t he been with the family? Where was he then? I needed to know.
OK so they don’t answer all of those questions outright per se, but they do give us an idea. Evidently he’s been sitting alone on the outskirts of their base where the smol crabs walk on him and the spidercrabs stare at him, probably annoyed, from across the fence. Doing a lot of thinking and a lot of meditating it seems as a mysterious voice calls out to him. Oh sweet precious Kanan I missed you so! *Ahem* sorry just writing what I’m thinkin’. Anyway, Hera comes over, a tad disappointed he wasn’t there for Ezra today, and also that he hasn’t been there for him much at all lately. She makes it very clear in a quiet way that he needs to go talk to his padawan. Yep she’s so good at bossladying that she can bosslady without ever raising her voice. A few minutes later, Kanan walks into Ez’s quarters. ‘Bout time Master Jarrus. Only took ya a few months! Sorry that was unfair. After all, he’s just as out of balance as everyone else. I imagine his blindness makes him feel useless as a leader, and if he’s not Specter One, then who is he? Not to mention the whole getting-knighted thing and what that means, especially now when he’s not the same man he was before Malachor. Under most circumstances Ezra’s probably be really happy to see him, but well a certain holocron might’ve been within reach… and he’s not fast enough to keep Kanan from finding it. The fact he opened the ‘cron and has been using it frequently does not sit well with Kanan. Ezra argues it’s been helping him win these battles, but that’s don’t convince Master Jarrus and he took it off. Augh my gosh it killed me when Ezra said those hurtful words. I about cried. Kanan tried to reset the balance, but instead, both master and padawan upset the balance even further than before. OK brb I really am crying now. So off Ezra goes with Sabine, Zeb, Chopper, Rex, and Hondo, and then back goes Kanan to his meditating spot.
While things go well for the Phantom team as they get in some hot water with the Mining Guild, Kanan finally decides to follow this voice calling him. Using one of the sensor-poles to ward off the crabspiders, we watch him venture deeper and deeper into the corallike forest. The Force leads him right to the feet of a massive mystical beast who is equal parts awe-inspiring and frightening. And judging by his kind wise voice, apparently a really nice guy. At least we hope so…
Oh yeah and did I mention the whole kerfuffle with the Mining Guild? Yeesh give a guy a custom TIE and suddenly they gotta shoot at evrahbody! It didn’t last too long but it’s worth mentioning as Ezra insists they do away with the rest of them Guilders and everybody else be like “NOPE”. Take a chill pill Ez mkay?
Of course we have to take a paragraph to meet our new friend the Bendu. Neither of the light or the dark, but very aware of both, he instantly picks up on all this imbalancedness going on right now. (See my surtitle really does work!) Also random thought I love that all the little bogan crabs followed Kanan here. Another random thought I love that all the critters don’t seem to mind the Bendu, not even the little birdie perched on his… face… branch… thing. You know what I mean. Kanan is obviously quite concerned about Ezra using this Sith holocron, but Bendu cuts right to the chase — we’re here to talk about what’s going on with Kanan right now, not his apprentice. First thing he’s gonna do is snap that sensor-pole in two. Now Kanan is obviously quite concerned about the deadly crabspiders out there, and the fact he can’t see them to properly defend himself. Bendu’s ready to help him solve his sight problem, but in perhaps a different way than the young Jedi might expect. Regardless of his uncertainties, Kanan’s willing to learn to see. OK so I know I’m not the only one who felt like their galaxy was turned upside down the instant Maul took his vision. The sudden tragedy of it all saddened me, and that’s an understatement. But after many deep thoughts and close observations made while writing the Transmission post on the episode, I began to truly see not the tragedy so much as the triumph as Kanan fought back, stronger than before. So in the months away from the Rebs, I came to a peace with it and maybe allowed myself to forget somewhat how it’d happened, or at least put it out of my mind. But then the instant he took off the mask… and I saw the scar… and his eyes, now a faded blue… my own eyes had tears again. But yet, it’s in this re-reminder of the pain he’d been through that I saw the hope again. AUGHHH THE FEELS.
Wow there are a lot of deep thoughts in this post today. I need a break. But that’s impossible because I’m writing about SW and there will always be deep thoughts there. Like Thrawn, for example. Ah yes the guy I’ve heard so so much about! The Chiss of the hour! Grand Admiral Thrawn! Konstantine be like “whut since when?” and Thrawn looks kinda smug about his new position. And hey any guy with the track record he’s got has a right to be smug. As I’ve said before, I haven’t read the Thrawn Trilogy and I know that just saying that made me lose credibility in the eyes of most of my readers, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s a pretty terrifyingly amazing bad guy. And that’s an understatement. Bro gives me chills. I mean, if Pryce’s stare could kill somebody, Thrawn’s could burn a planet to it core. And did I mention that voice? More chills. I have no words to adequately or articulately (or artistically) truly describe his presence. But it is amazing, even for me, as someone whose only experience with the Chiss was in a young readers’ series written by Ryder Windham. His bloodred eyes have pierced my soul. And probably will go on to haunt my dreams, I’m certain.
We reunite with the Phantom team as they arrive at Recklam Station… and to the sight of only fourteen beautiful old Y-wings, one being destroyed every minute. Ezra decides they’re bringing home the bacon (the bacon being the Ys) and he don’t care what anyone else thinks. When he looked at Rex and said “That’s an order.” I was all “OH. NO. HE. DIDN’T.” He did not just talk back to Captain Rex! Respect he’s taking charge, but I’m thinkin’ he could use an attitude adjustment right about now. The Phantom was filled with the sound of awkward silence, and much awkwarder than before. Buuuut his crew don’t argue with him. They just begrudgingly carry on with the new mission. Even when that mission sends them straight into the path of dismantler droids. NBD though that’s why we’ve got Chopper and the clone Bossman. Hehe hearing Rex utter the word “clankers” made me smile ear-to-ear! Of course it doesn’t go perfectly or anything. It’s only thanks to a quick fix by Chop and Sabine’s on-point driving flying skills that they didn’t crash. Ezra may be in charge but teamwork’s the only reason anybody survived today. Even Hondo helped out, using his mastery of ugnaught-speak to gain a few more allies! Seriously let’s give Jim Cummings a big round of applause, ’cause that couldn’tve been easy to do. All they need now is to get those Y-wings fueled up and they’re good to go! What could possibly go wrong from here? Well, a few things, but let’s check in with Kanan real quick.
So right now Kanan is quite obviously concerned about the fact the Bendu’s wanting him to walk right on over to those crabspiders. Kanan does see them in a way, he can hear them, he can feel their vibrations when they walk, even knows their smell. But he didn’t quite see enough when he holds out his hand and feels their crusty, rough hide. Strangely it seems the spiders don’t intend to harm him. The Bendu encourages Kanan to dig deep into the Force, and what he sees is his own fear, and that revelation changes everything. I wish I could say I’m an expert on the Force, but honestly and truly I’m not, and I still don’t fully understand the thing with the spiders. But I do understand that Kanan can see a lot more clearly when he fully embraces the Force, instead of pushing it away. That was true before he lost his vision, and it’s especially true now. Now it’s time he embraces his crew, his family, instead of pushing them away. Because they need him as much as he needs them. Leaving the holocron in the capable hands of the Bendu, Master Jarrus walks off confidently as though he’d been able to see all along. Now, he’s gonna go find his apprentice, who he’s pretty sure could use his help right about now.
At the moment, Ezra thinks he’s got everything under control, even as the Imps and a dismantler droid take notice. Yeah no biggie Chopper just nearly DIED. And so did everyone else! Except maybe Hondo and his pig bros, they grabbed an Imperial shuttle and said their goodbyes, but that’s expected. Ezra’s tooooooootally got this as he lightsabers some storms. Hera, for one, does not buy that when he doesn’t divulge much info when she calls. But Kanan’s back in the copilot seat where he belongs, and Mom and Dad are ready to bring home the kids. And quite possibly ground the youngest one for life XP Anyway yeahhh Ezra’s got this. Completely. Unquestionably. He has no clue that Rex is wrestling with a dismanlter while Zeb and Sabine hang for dear life, but he’s still got this! /sarc/ OK sorry for being all cross with him, that’s not right of me. He may not see the bigger picture but he’s doing OK at least. Boy was Brom Titus surprised to see him. Heh yeah I kinda missed Imperial Sad Clown. And again I’m not sure why I call him that. I guess it’s the way he always looks like he’s frowning. Ezra definitely gets points for the entrance. Just struttin’ on in there. The troopers fire their blasters, but the instant he deflects it they’re both downed. All the other Imps make a break for it. Titus really likes the idea of getting back to a higher rank if he can apprehend the… boy I guess. I don’t really feel I can ever refer to him as “boy” anymore. But “young man” doesn’t even sound right… I’ll work on that. Point is, Titus no likey. But Ezra still got this. And with one slash of his green blade, he cuts the power to the entire station. Sure it’ll send the station crashing down, but he’s confident his comrades’ll be OK. And I’ll admit it was worth it just watching Brom Titus freak out. Zeb, Sabine, Rex, and Chopper are taking the Y-wings home, and all Ezra has to do is get on the Phantom and it’ll be another successful mission for Lieutenant Commander Bridger. It’s right about then that things go bad. The Empire shows up just as they find out the Y-wings are minus their hyperdrives. And as the station starts its descent… a crane slams into the Phantom… and the small beautiful ship hits the ground in a firey explosion. R.I.P. The Phantom. It will forever be missed. But yeah that means that Ezra is on a falling salvage station with no way off. I’m thinking Ezra doesn’t got this anymore. Having lost contact with his crew, he can only cry out desperately “Kanan, where are you?”. The fear in his voice pretty much wrecked me. For all of his confidence and swagger and edgy moves, he’s failed, he’s not a Kanan-level Specter One, and he realizes that as everything literally falls apart around him. But that’s about when the mini-Alliance showed up. With the former Phantom crew and their Y-wings safe from harm, now Kanan and Hera focus on getting the Lieutenant Commander back. Oh gosh this entire scene had me so on edge I’m amazed I didn’t completely explode. WILL. KANAN. REACH. EZRA. IN. TIME???? Last season, I spoke often how much I loved how in-sync Kanan and Ezra were, they way they’d so effortlessly springboard off each other’s moves and whatever the battle, they’d win it together. This entire episode, and I’m betting for a long time, they’ve been very out of balance. Until this moment, as Ezra lets go of the station and Kanan pulls him back into the safety of the Ghost. Now the mini-Alliance is finally heading back home.
Of course, that’s just what Thrawn wanted. This does not compute for Konstantine, but Pryce is confident the Grand Admiral knows what he’s doing. Also yeah Kallus been here the whole time and I’ve forgotten to say “hi”. *Waves* HI KALLUS! HOW’RE THINGS? ARE YOU A BETTER PERSON YET?? SORRY JUST ASKIN’! *Kallus shuffles away embarrassed* But anyway um yes I think we should be very concerned about Thrawn, don’t you? #Understatement
OK so though we all felt feels after that magnificent rescue, Hera was still pretty sore with the Lieutenant Commander. Not surprised somehow that he lost that title for now. Honestly, I think that might’ve been the right thing to do right now. Ezra’s not quite ready to be a Kanan-level Specter One yet. But that’s OK, he can still be a great Ezra-level Specter Six. And General Dodonna’s unit will be happy to see their new old beautiful Y-wings. Yep these are going out another branch of the Rebellion. Awwwz the mini-Alliance is doing some growing up too 🙂 I’d say the whole chaotic mission was a good experience for Ezra, ’cause it brought him back to down to… um… Earth. So to speak. With a genuine apology spoken, the Sith holocron no longer an issue (for now), and the dynamic duo back in sync again, I’d say the balance has been restored. Nothing is certain, but for now, nothing feels better than watching Ezra and Kanan walk off together as master and apprentice once more 🙂
AWWW YAYY REBELSSSSS!! HOW I’VE MISSED YOUUU!! Though this may’ve been the longest blog I’ve ever written, I’m super happy with how it turned out and was so glad to share my thoughts on this beautiful thrilling episode with you today! I’ll see you same time next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: The Test

It’s Freemaker time again! And have we got a lot to talk about today! So that’s why I’m cutting short the usual long rambly opener so we can study The Test together 🙂 Hehe yeah if Star Wars were a school subject, I’d be acing it! Well maybe not acing it acing it, considering the times I misunderstand stuff and misspell stuff but hopefully I’d at least be getting a B+…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode II, Episode VII, Rebels episodes Always Two There Are and Brothers Of The Broken Horn, and Freemakers episodes A Hero Discovered, Peril On Kashyyyk, Race On Tatooine, and The Test

I remember writing a while back that, though I was really enjoying the often-humorous daily tension of who Naare really was vs. who the Freemakers thought she was, I was kinda terrified as to what would happen when the other shoe would drop. Because the instant they found out who she really was… ooooh boy… things were gonna get really real. It was a beautiful day on The Wheel and it seemed nothing was out of the ordinary. Until Naare rang the doorbell and the Freemakers wouldn’t open it. Unfortunately when one wields a lightsaber doors don’t typically stay closed for long. I’d stupidly half-expected the Darksider-next-door to walk right into a surprise party… but as she catches the family in the process of packing their bags, it’s evident she no longer has the fan club she had last episode. Because ROWAN KNOWS. And wielding her red-blade, it’s clear his family knows too. “…the Jedi are all gone. Destroyed… by people like me.” I can’t express how much that line terrified me. THERE HAVE BEEN OTHERS SHE HAS DECEIVED. AND KILLED. Naare is basically an unofficial inquisitor. I’d theorized she might’ve been trained by inquisitors but I had no idea she’d done this before. All I can say is she is one very scary lady. *Shudders* But Rowan’s not alone in this fight, because he has Kordi and Zander (and technically R0-GR too but let’s be honest he’s not all that helpful right now). They’re somehow able to board the StarScavenger just in time, but their foe literally Force-grabs the ship. Comparably it took two inquisitors just to grab the considerably-smaller Phantom back on Rebels. Good night she’s powerful. I’m guessing that was a trick the higher-up Darksiders taught her. But Rowan also knows that it’s hard to keep your concentration when someone’s firing at you and mans the guns. Which it then occurred to me “oh right their ship does have a weapons system.” They hadn’t really shot anything I don’t think since the Imperial freighter in the pilot so for some reason I’d forgotten they could at all. I’m thinking just as a whole they don’t shoot at people if they feel they really don’t have to, which says something about this beautiful family’s morals. But yeah I think they have full license to shoot at Naare right now. But if you think for a second that that’s going to stop this Sith-y sort you’re dead wrong. ‘Cause now here comes the Eclipse fighter! And she’s enjoying blasting their ship wayyyy more than she should. After a few perilous turns, Naare sends them a holo, making a deal that I guarantee she’ll alter further. Zander calls no deal and charges the Eclipse dead-on, which masterfully tears her ship apart. Is it wrong I applauded? Naare challenges them, promising she’ll come after them if they don’t just destroy her now. They had the opportunity and all the reason in the galaxy to do so, but Zander simply sends the StarScavenger into hyperspace. Like I was saying, the Freemakers have more morals than most these days. And seeing Zan step up like this is really great. It obviously stung for him to realize his crush is an absolute monster, but when the lives of his brother and sister are in question, he knows where his true loyalties lie. But even then, after all she’s done, he still doesn’t take the shot. Blasting people is just not the way he rolls, even when certain people don’t deserve that kind of mercy. ZANDER FREEMAKER YOU ARE AN AMAZING PERSON. ‘Course, Roger knew all along she wasn’t trustworthy, just by his past experience with Jedi, “the bad guys of the Clone Wars”. Zander and Kordi set him straight by explaining a) Naare’s not a Jedi and b) technically battle droids were “the bad guys”. Roger is horrified and literally deletes the last few minutes from his memory so he never heard such a thing. OK so that answers a lot of questions about battle droids and free will. I guess it turns out they were just an extremely loyal bunch who never once thought that maybe they were doing the wrong thing, even when their superiors were killing innocents and being all-around jerks. Fascinating. But of all the Freemakers, Rowan’s the one hurting the most right now. Naare had made him feel special, making him believe he would be a great Jedi and hero. Now, he doesn’t believe he’s any of those things. I about started bawling there NUUUU DON’T SAY THAT LET ME HUG YOU CHILDDDD! But before Kordi can say anything their ship’s damage throws them out of hyperspace and they find themselves crash-landing. Zander does bring up a good point do starships actually have brakes? And if they don’t, why don’t they? But I found myself taking note how very green this planet is… and also oh look there’a castle right there. Wait are we on Takodana?? Otherwise known as one of my favorite new SW planets?? Oh right they were crash-landing. Well the good news is they managed to come to a stop without utterly destroying anything! “ZANDER FREEMAKER: SUPERSTAR PILOT GUY!” Pfff the looks Kordi and Rowan shot him I died laughing. “Only in your mind, my very young apprentice.” XD Oh right usually when someone gives you the good news there’s usually some bad news that follows. The bad news is, though they didn’t utterly destroy anything, they did slightly dent a ship and its crew was none too happy. And guess who its owner was? HONDO. OHNAKA. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH #OHNAKAFEVER IS REALLLLLLLL AGAIN. So I’m figuring things’ll go OK at this point, ’cause these days the old pirate’s a decent guy, right? Welp um… you see… back in Rebels, Hondo was on his own and didn’t have a crew or a ship or anything. So being a decent guy was kind of all he could do. Now as you might notice he has a ship and a crew and that crew has I think Grumgar on it so… Captain Ohnaka is back in business. And he’s got a pirate-y reputation to keep. Gotta say it was a really genius move to make Hondo more of the bad guy again after we’ve kinda gotten used to his nice-ish self in Rebels. But either way, I love him and I love seeing him finally make his way to the Lego SW side of things. Besides, we’ve got MAZ KANATA to keep him in check. Oooh my gracious goodness I’m sorry I haven’t really had a chance to talk about Maz much these days but she is so so so so awesome. The Pirate Queen ain’t takin’ any sass from one of her “subjects”! Especially not Captain Ohnaka here. Can I just say seeing Maz and Hondo in the same room is one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever seen in my life? Seriously. Her bossladyness up against his roguish charm is a delight. As long as Hondo’s still making mischief in SWR, I’d sure like to see him run into Maz again while we’re at it. Anyway, so Maz insists Hondo work it out with the kids peacefully, and so he decides to give them a little job. But as he fills the Freemakers in, Rowan finds himself drawn to something in the castle… I admit I kinda forgot about the Kyber Saber crystals for a second and thought “Wow did she have Luke’s old ‘saber already? Wait a darn second only Rey’s allowed to find that!” by the end of the episode everything made sense though. Maz is curious what it is he was seeking. Though I wouldn’t put it past her that she might already know. I mean, she is Maz Kanata after all. She just knows things. Augh I need to watch The Force Awakens again hurry up and release already 3D Deluxe Blu-Ray!! So the job is simple: grab a few golden orbs from Takodana’s third moon and bring ’em back. Simple enough, if they can survive the trip, ’cause all they’ve got to get there is their little scavenger-scooper thing. And with three people and a droid in there, there’s not much elbow room. And for anyone who’s ever traveled in a packed vehicle (including myself), you know that the drive is half the battle.
As for Naare, she had no choice but to land the Eclipse back in the Freemakers’ hangar. And just as soon as she got there, Graballa and his gang show up. She absolutely don’t need their crud right now and sends that message via lightsaber-ing and Force-throwing. The Hutt’s completely fine with calling it quits at this point. But once Naare sees they both want the same thing, she sees a new opportunity. They fix her fighter and she’ll give them half the crystals. And they’ll even work together to find Rowan. Sounds like a plan! Sure it’s not a plan that will likely end well for Graballa, knowing how Naare works, but it’s still one plan more than anyone else has right now. Yeah this will most definitely a problem for our heroes. And whether you’ve seen how the season ends or not, you just know…
Yep that little scooper is not by any means a family vehicle. I’m not sure it should be even allowed for space travel with four individuals in it. Good thing that moon was right nearby ’cause then it probably would’ve gone a lot worse… and that’s saying something. So they find their sinkhole where the orbs were supposed to be, but they also found a large herd of VARACTYLS. Remember a few blogs ago when I briefly fangirled over the presence of a varactyl in the dejarik game but remembered varactyls aren’t a playable creature in any other dejarik game we’ve ever seen so I just assumed my fangirliness was making me see things? Well, first of all, I watched that episode again and found out I was right to begin with. Second of all AHAHAHHAHHAAAA LOOK AT ALL THE PURTY VARACTYLLLLLLS!!! And they’re so detailed! So much more detailed than previous Lego versions! Thank you Lego SW for giving more of these amazing feathery reptiles, thank you! Although I would be quick to run over and hug them all, the Freemakers are a little more concerned because they’d rather not get eaten. Zander decides their best move is to wait until nightfall and grab the orbs while they sleep. The plan from there is for Kordi and Zander to lower Roger into the sinkhole while Rowan keeps an eye out for trouble, a job that both Roger and Ro aren’t thrilled about. Kordi felt it was best Rowan get an easier job after all that’s happened, but I can’t help but think this whole job might’ve gone easier had they had someone other than their three-fingered droid getting the goods. Especially when Kordi decides they should grab a few extra for themselves. It doesn’t take long for him to drop the orbs and awaken the beasts. And them beasts ain’t happy whatsoever. With the scooper falling apart and Roger torn to pieces, it looks like Rowan’s all they’ve got left. With only the red-blade by his side, Rowan takes a spectacular leap of faith and of Force as he rushes in to defend his family. However, not long after he gets down there, he starts to sense what the varactyls are feeling, and it’s a feeling he can relate to. The pain of uncertainty. The fear of loss. But also the fierce love of family. These orbs are eggs, and for all their desperation to survive, and their own fear and pain, the Freemakers aren’t about to let their gain be someone else’s loss. FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELS. Also OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH BABY VARACTYLS!!!! THEY’RE SO TINEH AND THEY MEW LIKE KITTENS OHMYGOSH I CAN’T IT’S TOO PRECIOUS. X3 X3 X3 THANK YOU LEGO STAR WARS THANK YOU SO MUCHHHH ❤ ❤ *Falls to knees sobbing with joy* It's like they know what I'd like to see in SW before I even do. Anyway, so as the new varactyl families play together, Kordi makes clear to her little brother that he was wrong about himself — "You are special. You’re the most special kid in the whole galaxy!” and so all of the family feels going on sent me into a coma of warm fuzzies. But I didn’t stay that way for long because I still needed to know what the Freemakers’ next move was. Yeah Hondo knew they were eggs, and he wasn’t terribly thrilled he didn’t get any because they could’ve gotten him some mighty fine creds. Remind me never ever to cross Captain Ohnaka when he’s got a crew because before they knew it, our heroes were surrounded at all ends by blasters O.O That’s about when a flying cup smacked Hondo in the head. Maz has a serious problem with Hondo taking advantage of a bunch of kids and smacks him with glassware and mugs until he and his crew finally vamoose. You go, Pirate Queen! Good seeing ya Hondo. Even if this wasn’t one of your more shining moments 😛 I hope to see you again soon! Just maybe as an ally next time, mkay? Anyhow, Maz does her awesome thing and decides to help out our heroes. She literally pulls the exact part they need out of a set of drawers. She’s amazing, but you knew that. And then… out of a heavily-locked set of drawers, she hands Rowan a Kyber Saber fragment. I think it’s safe to say, yeah, she knew what he was looking for all along. With that, she sends the Freemakers on their way. But not before giving Ro a small piece of advice — to seek out the Maker of Zoh when things get desperate. The youngest Freemaker isn’t sure what that means, but I know from experience… when Maz Kanata tells you something, you better remember it 🙂
Oh yes I just love this one! Another exceptional adventure loaded with excitement and laughs and feels and basically everything! I’d keep going on about how much I love the show and this episode but I figure you’re bored with me by now so I’ll just stop talking.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Twilight Of The Apprentice

And so we’ve finally arrived at the last Transmission of the glorious second season, the episode that transcends all epicness and changes everything and sent me spiraling on an emotional rollercoaster. Though it took a while to get to writing on it, I’m glad I had a month to process everything before I started blogging on it. Still, there will be major feels, and there’s a good chance I’ll mess up this post due to the excess of feels. Also I will probably overuse that internet-jargon word for “feeling strong emotion” to such a bad extent you’ll question if I know any other word to describe it. With that understood, we begin… except first let’s get the spoiler alerts out of the way. Then we begin!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode VII, TCW “Maul Returns”, “Fall Of Mandalore”, and “Yoda’s Journey” Arcs, Rebels episodes Gathering Forces, The Siege Of Lothal, Shroud Of Darkness, and Twilight Of The Apprentice.

So right off the bat they decide to mortally punch me with the feels as Ahsoka talks with Rex on the flight to Malachor. Rex is completely ready to go should Ahsoka need his help, but she knows this is the Jedi’s journey alone to make. After a few friendly who-outranks-who jabs to one another, Rex signs off with a sweet, honest “May the Force be with you”. THIS FRIENDSHIP. I CAN’T. I CAN’T EVEN. Yep this post is gonna take a while to write. Ezra wonders what the deal is with this mysterious Malachor he’s heard so little about. Welllll, Kanan and Ahsoka know a few things about it, mostly legends. But bottom line it’s not really a good place. One might say, “off-limits”. Ahsoka puts it well when she says “There’s always a bit of truth in legends”. And yeah for the record I know very little of The Old Republic era so Malachor’s as much a mystery to me as it is to these three. But certainly after all we see in this episode I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about that era, especially from a canon POV. None of them know why Yoda sent them here, but they can only trust he knows what he’s doing. Also yeah it’s not just the Jedi who were heading out here, Chopper came with. I’m guessing he didn’t get any tearful goodbyes from anyone though 😛 It happens to be as the Phantom approaches Malachor, Chopper picks up on another ship nearby. Oh joy. Can’t anything just be simple?? Of course not, it’s just life. But first things first.
So Malachor has quite an eerie air to it, not quite as obviously dark-side-y as say, Moraband, but still really unsettling. But also still really cool, too. The trio comes upon a towering stone covered in carvings in the Old Tongue. As Ahsoka attempts to decipher the lettering, something about that rock sorta calls out to Ezra. Dark whispers convince him to get closer, reach out his hand, and… well, his touch leaves a frightening red glow and shatters the ground beneath them. Yeah Ez immediately regrets that decision. But OMG so much intrigue!! And it’s only a few minutes in! And there’s still so much more to discuss!! Like for example, the fact that the three Jedi have landed at the foot of an ancient Sith Temple. O.O And of course they’re going to go in it, after all, Ahsoka believes inside they’ll find the knowledge they need to defeat all them Darksiders. PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE SHADOWY INQUISITOR-ISH-LOOKING FIGURE WATCHING FROM ABOVE! Ezra right now is a mixture of fascination at the mysterious ruins and caution at who or what could be down here. They come upon the remains from some ancient Jedi vs. Sith battle, where of major note Ezra finds a green three-blade! Basically this means Kylo Ren wanted to go really old-school with his choice of weapon. Coooool. Anyway you all know that by now, let’s talk about that battlefield. Very fascinating, seeing another glimpse at this history, but still very eerie. “From what I can tell? Looks like nobody won”. Eerier still might be the fact that THERE’S AN INQUISITOR RIGHT BEHIND THEM!! And they really play it well because you only notice the slightest twitch of movement behind Kanan just as Ezra’s witty retort was cut short by the sudden attack. This particular inquisitor’s new, he goes by Eighth Brother. And danggggggg he’s good. Ignoring his epic fail later on, he’s about as deadly as they come, agile and flexible and moving constantly and not afraid to throw a few grenades around. It all happens so fast my brain can barely comprehend what just happened. The explosion causes the ground to fall out from under Ezra in the midst of the fight. He urges Kanan and Ahsoka on to continue pursuing the fiend. Also wow the fact that they can fly with those spinny lightsabers is awesome. Granted, we find it’s not the safest method, but it sure looks cool! Eighth kept wanting to join Sev and Fifth on their missions, but they didn’t think he was good enough. So now that’s he’s gotten his chance, he’s making sure he proves he’s the coolest, toughest ‘Quiz ever! HE SHALL NOT BE SHUNNED AT THE COMPANY PICNIC AGAIN!! Yep I’m still making these jokes because I’m not sure I can make ’em again after this one.
So while Kanan and Ahsoka have all the fun, Ezra’s kinda stuck in a hole. Then out of the shadows comes a weary voice. Bridger’s not about to let his guard down and throws out his lightsaber. The voice belongs to an old man in a hooded cloak, poor fellow’s been stranded here for years. Ez has other things to worry about besides this random guy, but the shadowy figure offers help, considering he came here for with a similar goal in mind: the pursuit of knowledge. Dude knows how to get in the temple if Ez’ll help him open the door. And so begins a shaky alliance between “Jabba” and “The Old Master”. OK so before seeing the episode, the fact that we’d be seeing Maul again was spoiled for me. Regardless, this episode still knew how to keep me guessing. The couple of screenshots I’d seen made him look so fierce! Who was this old man with the robotic legs and yellow eyes? How could they be the same person? Were they the same person? Those were some of the first thoughts I had running through my head while watching this. And also the biggest thought of all: “What are you up to, Maul…?”. Plus, I’m at somewhat of a disadvantage because I haven’t read the Son Of Dathomir comics, assuming that they’re canon, of course, since I can’t remember if they were published before or after the canonicity rule came into play even though it was based on an unmade TCW storyarc. So who knows what he’s been up to since I last saw him? I wasn’t even sure if at this point he was alive! Well, I could only sit back and watch and see which of my questions would be answered. Until then, I gave Maul the benefit of the doubt that he was just a nice old stranger… mostly.
Meanwhile, Kanan and Ahsoka started to wonder if there might be a reason this ‘Quiz was giving chase. Kanan sends Chopper to find that ship and find out if there are any other surprises waiting for them here…
As Ezra and the Old Master continue on their journey, some interesting things come to light. OM is not a fan of that inquisitor down here. Ezra queries if that’s ’cause he’s a Jedi, but OM’s all “Naahh I just used to do… other… Force-related stuff”. Bridger raises an eyebrow to that “You is Sith then?”, and then something happens I never thought I’d ever see… Maul showing his humanity. A wounded, feeling side of him reveals itself as he recounts all that the Sith took from him, and how they used him and then cast him aside. I’m not gonna lie this threw me majorly. I mean, back in the olden days of Episode I, he was a good little apprentice and did his job without question and with malice. When he resurfaced during the Clone Wars, he was so bent on revenge and power he was pretty much a monster. I’ve always loved him as a villain, but I could never really empathize with him, he was just so evil! Or so I thought. Seeing him here, mourning the family he was taken from, the brother he lost, and how the Sith treated him like garbage ultimately, actually makes me feel for him. And I still do, even knowing the horrendous things he will do before this episode’s end. Proves once again that SW 100% knows how to write their villains, because they’re not just evil, they’re people. Dude if this doesn’t remind you how messed-up the Sith are then IDK what will. Ezra can also feel for him, because he lost his family too, except he’s more interested in justice than revenge. So Maul is quite excited to show him the secrets in the temple that will help them destroy the Sith for good. And at this point I’m struggling to keep my feelings from blinding my suspicions…
This episode is full of many great heroics, but we’d be foolish to overlook those of Chopper’s. He may not get a planetshaking fate-determining lightsaber duel, but he does break into Eighth’s ship and gives the foe a taste of his own firepower! And may we mention he nearly DIED? Dude, Eight knows how to use that ‘saber in the most terrifying way as it blazed right past Chop, just barely hitting him! “Chopper, sometimes you do it right”. #Understatement #SortaKinda
Things get honestly really unsettling once Maul and Ezra reach the door to the temple. Knowing your enemy is one thing… doing what your enemy does is another. And Ezra’s still a bit suspish of the old Zabrak. Buuuut all he has to do is open the door so what’s that gonna hurt? It doesn’t work on the first try, and then Maul suggests using a little anger to gain the strength and power he needs. I recently reread my post on Gathering Forces, talking about how frightening it was to see Ezra tampering with the Dark Side when he brought forth the fyrnock queen. This is far scarier, and all he’s doing is opening a door. As the Old Master and Ezra open door after door with the Dark Side, I pretty much spent the entire time muttering “NUUUUU EZ WHAT’RE YOU DOING?!”. Maul is a really good teacher… which in his case is not a good thing. Taking a moment from the intense workout, Ezra finally gives him his real name… and in return, Maul, well, confirms his Maulness. And everybody but young Bridger got serious chills. Though I guarantee you he was kinda freaked out by those horns and dramatic markings.
So turns out Eighth wasn’t here for Jedi, but rather “a shadow”. You can guess who that is. It’s the guy currently walking alongside our young hero. And now the two come upon the key to defeating their mutual enemy: a Sith holocron. At first glance it looks almost like it’s right there and all they’d have to do is grab it and go, but did I mention the major 100-foot-deep gap in between them and the ‘cron? Ezra suggests Maul Force-toss him like he and Kanan do. I’m literally all “YOU WOULD TRUST HIM TO THROW YOU?!?!” and about grabbed and shook the screen. And yet Maul does it pretty well. It’s downright frightening that Maul and Ezra work together so well already. But as soon as Ezra has the holocron in his hands, the temple both starts to crumble and starts to light up and– ooh is that Force lightning coming from an orb in the ceiling? Kanan and Ahsoka decide they need to go find their young comrade NOW, and run off with their captive Jango Jumper in tow. It looks like now Ezra has little choice but to make a jump for it with the Old Master’s help. Ez comes dangerously dangerously close to falling, especially as it seems the ex-Darth might be doing a “you-throw-me-the-idol-I-throw-you-the-whip” sorta deal. I’m all “SEE?! I TOLD YOU NOT TO TRUST HIM!!” >A< I mean, when he grabbed Ezra's clutching-the-'cron hand I could only hold my breath. And then… though he was clearly conflicted about it, he surprised me again and helped the apprentice up instead. DANG IT MAUL STOP KEEPING ME GUESSING! (OK not really, I seriously enjoyed this drama) Ugh I felt like I botched that entire scene forgive me. Also did I mention outside the temple Fifth and Sev showed up? And having freed Eighth, things are definitely about to get intense. Then Maul casually uses the Sith holocron to open a few doors and they walk right on into that very fight. Ezra’s ready to help Kanan and Ahsoka take on the ‘quizzes with help from his new friend. But weeeeeeelllll… Ahsoka’s all “OMG MAUL???”, the inquisitors are all “OMG THE SHADOW???”, and Maul suddenly loses the nice old man vibe as he proclaims delightfully in a very creepy way “Oh, what fun!“. Kanan’s all “Wow I leave you alone for one minute and you become BFFs with a previous Sith apprentice.” Ezra still defends him despite the array of shock and accusations. And then Maul takes what looks like a cane and reveals it’s a double-bladed. Ah now this is the fierce Zabrak I remember seeing! Maaaaaan with these lightsaber skillz he really done aged well. And you’d think he’d be rusty from not having performed any combat for a while but evidently no. Maybe a little Nightsister magick still working for him? Or maybe Zabraks just don’t get old the same way humans do. Or maybe he’s killed a few other ‘quisitors while he was down here. Who knows, but whatever the case, this solitude on Malachor has really worked for him. This entire scene is tense and terrifying and amazing, with lightsabers goin’ everywhere. OK realization: Sev comments “What’s he doing here anyway?” and Fifth replies “Loser probably wants that artifact” which occurs to me he probably hasn’t been here that long. Just took Sidious a long long long long while to figure out what “other uses” he had for the ex-apprentice I guess. Maul probably lives in a regular suburban neighborhood with a pet massiff and goes to the gym to practice lightsabering and works a day job at an insurance company. Then Sidious called him up all “So hey remember that favor you owe me? Could you possibly get me a certain Sith holocron and make a superweapon for me?” to which Maul is all “Um no I can’t stand your guts remember?” “BUT IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO YOUR PUPPY…” “ok ok fine whatever.” I’m totally sure this is how it went XD Though yeah good question is he doing this for himself or for someone higher up? I believed him when he said he was done with the Sith, but is he really truly done? I know I might be way off with this theorizing but I’m just thinkin’.(NOTE: I just got further into the episode and realized this entire conversation is inaccurate and I’d kinda forgotten everything but it’s so funny I had to keep it in here) But yeah after a brief confrontation the inquisitors are all “NOPE WE’RE GONE” and fly away. Now that the lightsabers are put away, Ahsoka asks the question we’ve all been asking since he showed up: “What game are you playing?” “The end game” WHUT. Also I find it interesting it almost seems like Ahsoka and Maul know each other. I’m pretty sure they never clashed during the Clone Wars, though I’m sure Ahsoka heard a lot about him from all that Obi-Wan put up with. So maaaaaybe they met sometime before this?? Both hung out at the same gym in the same suburban neighborhood? Interesting thought. Regardless I give Maul props for being classy and calling her “Lady Tano”. Bottom line, Maul is also a rebel… of sorts, and with Vader surely on the way, he knows the four of them need to get going. Ezra attempts to further convince, showing the Jedi the holocron and how it could be used for good. Maul knows a place in the temple they can open the ‘cron, so what’ve they got to lose? Plus, he’s not facing Darth Vader alone, no sir. Though not entirely convinced they can trust the old Zabrak, Kanan and Ahsoka decide to give it a shot.
Meanwhile, the inquisitors know they really need to get that holocron back, so Eighth Bro excitedly volunteers to go find them. Yep I definitely think he’s trying to prove himself. Poor guy’s sat alone in the cafeteria for far too long. I could entirely hear Sev mutter “He’s such a dork” and Fifth respond “Indeed” XP
So yaaaas all the teamworks with Ezra, Kanan, Ahsoka, and Maul! OK maybe not so much. Maul triggers a temple lift for him and Ezra to ride, but Kanan’s all “haha no rule of two here buddy” and gets on the lift instead. I’m sure Maul and Ahsoka had a great time on their turn on the lift. Probably some awkward small talk. Seriously still makes me wonder if they’ve met before. Lookin’ forward to that Ahsoka backstory book for sure. Anyway, on the lift Kanan voices his concerns that Ezra’s being used. Ezra argues that Maul sees his potential and trusts him. Oooh some drama here… and once again there’s no time for talking things through because out of the sky comes Eighth Brother, kicking Kanan in the face! Ezra pulls out the blaster-saber and holds his own well… at least for about five seconds before Eighth knocks him over the side, demands the holocron, and then makes his spinny-blade into a sharp-edged wheel of death. I’m all “OH NOOO EZRA’S GONNA LOSE A HAND!!” and then suddenly Maul jumps into action, giving that jerk a real lightsaber duel, and then knocking him off the temple. While Eighth flies away, Maul offers Bridger a hand. And Kanan and Ahsoka look on like “WHUT”. To better handle the inquisitors, Maul suggests splitting up, and this time goes with Ezra. Ez once again implores his master to trust him. And that’s really all Kanan can hope to do as he watches the dark dude and his padawan go up the lift. Yet another amazing line on Ahsoka’s part: “He’ll be OK” “How do you know?” “Because you taught him”. DEEEEEEEEEEP.
On the lift, Maul encourages Ezra to fight mercilessly if he wants to win these battles, something Ezra’s not entirely sure what to think considering what his master has taught him. “You’ve been given a gift for one reason only, to use it”. Yeesh that Maul is slipperier than a sidewinder in a pickle barrel. The master vs. master conflict in this episode is absolutely fascinating to watch, especially as the former-Darth is as I’ve said before, a super-good teacher. He knows what to say and how to say it, gives positive reinforcement, and treats Ezra pretty well. Not at all like you think a Darksider would do it. Well, Maul was taught by the best… or should I say worst? ‘Cause if you look at the way Palpatine reeled Anakin into the Dark Side not too long ago… it was kinda in the same manner. And then just as they turn around, Maul and Ezra have miniprobes to deal with… and soon after that, the most sinister of sisters, Sev. And then Kanan and Ahsoka come face-to-face with Fivey… and Eighth too. Whoopee. As Ezra duels with Sev, Maul continues to encourage him to use that anger. And I’m sitting here wondering if we’re about to get one of those mirroring moments, if Ezra will be to Sev as Anakin was to Dooku. Maul decides to make this easy for his “apprentice” and Force-grabs the inquisitor and allows Ezra to choose how he’ll go about killing her. I’m all OmO But Ezra… he can’t bring himself to do it. Sev seems pleased for a second, buuuuut yeah… Maul decides to handle it. Dude… Seventh Sister was a nasty villain, that’s for certain, but she did not deserve that. Even Ezra is shocked, though who wouldn’t be if you saw someone die like that? THE GREAT SEVENTH SISTER WILL BE MISSED. Maul encourages him again to maybe not hesitate next time. Next stage of the plan is that Ezra will take the holocron to the temple and Maul will help the others. Yeah in a weird way Maul, Kanan, and Ahsoka make for a pretty boss squad takin’ on the ‘quisitor boys. Of course, I can really only applaud Ahsoka and Kanan’s methods, as they merely busted the inquisitors’ lightsabers. Again, Fifth didn’t deserve to go down like that, but I suppose it was the only way he could. Eighth, well… he’s the example of what not to do as a ‘quiz. Perhaps future generations of inquisitors will learn from his mistake. RIP Eighth Brother; he will always be one of the cool kids to me. And then things get really really painstakingly real, starting with Maul laying claim to Ezra as his apprentice now… and making that point by using his double-blade to blind Kanan. Not gonna lie I cried out “NOOOO NOT HIS PRETTY BLUE-GREEN EYES!!!!“, even though I know that makes me sound horrendously weird. I think it hit me hard personally because I’m very visual; if there’s one sense I couldn’t live without it would be sight. As an artist and lover of art forms (such as Star Wars), I can’t fathom how major a loss that would be. So my heart went out to Kanan 100%. MAUL WHYYY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME?! ALWAYS PLAYING WITH MY EMOTIONS!! Ahsoka rushes to defend her friend, while Maul fully explains that Ezra’s actually about to activate his new battle station, so no one on his long list of foes gets left out of the revenge party! Well, gee, you couldn’ta mentioned that BEFORE? Just Maul for ya… unfortunately.
So I’m sure Ezra wished he’d known that ahead of time too, because the explosion of Force energy that followed was not the kind of knowledge he’d been looking for. Also Nika Futterman doing awesomely as the Presence. Scared me for a second ’cause she sounded so much like Ventress, but nope Presence-voice is a whole different ballgame… an absolutely terrifying one. Wow Maul defs means business right now. Definitely seen as he continues evilly ranting as he fights Lady Tano, if the firey blast shooting through the temple through the ground to the sky to potentially space wasn’t proof enough. Ahsoka handles herself awesomely against Maul, not letting his crud get to her once and slingin’ her white ‘sabers like an absolute boss. And then Kanan gets up, an Old Republic mask shielding his wounded face, but looking all kinds of unshakable nonetheless. Also can we just note the mask kinda resembles the Jedi Temple Guard mask the ex-Grand Inquisitor wore in Shroud Of Darkness? WHOAAA THE IMAGERY AGAIN. Maul thinks Kanan’s easy prey. But ohohoho Master Jarrus was more than ready. Those brief moments where you can tell Kanan is picking up on the sound of Maul’s footsteps to locate his position… WOW! Just WOW! He deflects his adversary’s every move, and ultimately grabs him by the arm and pitches him over the side of the temple. Talk about “making this quick”! And then he gets a call from Chopper, who may’ve seen a TIE nearby…
Yeah Ezra is not interested in the kind of power the Presence is offering. Now he might’ve realized Maul played him like a card. The Presence is all “well if you’re not gonna do it maybe that guy will”, and that’s when DARTH VADER entered, in spectacular fashion, standing on his TIE fighter, red blade in hand, cape flowing. Both incredibly cool and incredibly gutwrenchingly terrifying. And in one swift move, he leaps from the TIE and right. at. EZRA. “I’m not afraid of you” “Then you will die braver than most” OH WOW. Ezra deserves a serious amount of credit for how awesomely he fought Vader. His abilities have definitely grown since their last confrontation, and very rarely does anyone confront him more than once and actually live. However, despite this, one swing of that red ‘saber, and Ezra’s beautiful blaster-blade is in pieces. Bridger’s look of terror as Vader brings down his blade brings out the dark lord’s comment “Perhaps I was wrong” and then… “Wouldn’t be the first time…”
AHSOKA…
And VADER…
IN THE SAME ROOM.
“Our long-awaited meeting has commenced.”
CANNOT. COMPUTE. THE EARTHSHATTERINGNESS.
I don’t even dare try to reiterate what happened. Except that what happened was one of the most simultaneously exciting and simultaneously terrifying and simultaneously doubling-over-with-feels-inducing things I have ever witnessed in Star Wars history, and possibly my life. Because I don’t dare try and act like I’m explaining it all to you for the first time, let’s just talk about my own thoughts.
I was not prepared when Vader found Ahsoka in the season opener. And despite I could see it as something that would likely happen… when I first heard the title of the finale, Twilight Of The Apprentice… I realized how truly unprepared I was. With a title like that, I knew that no one would come out of this episode unscathed in some way. After all, even with Kanan’s knighting, the three are all still apprentices in some way or another. The very idea of Ahsoka and Vader facing each other was almost unfathomable. Yes, I’d always wanted to see Ahsoka join the Rebels, but no, I wouldn’tve wished for her to fight the man once her master. But yet, it was also unavoidable. I had no idea what to expect ultimately. Ahsoka and Vader would know each other’s weaknesses and strengths better than anyone, but they’ve also both grown, Vader in Dark Side prowess, and Ahsoka in real-world skill that enhanced and added to her Jedi training. Who’s side would the fight tilt in favor of? And considering Darth Vader is alive and well by the time we get to A New Hope… how could she be by then? But the one thing I knew for sure, that IF Ahsoka went down, she was not going to go down in vain. That was my sole comfort in all of this. I could only watch and see what would happen. And I was on the edge of my seat, breathing like I’d run a marathon. I don’t think I’d felt this on-edge since Kylo Ren and Han Solo’s confrontation a few months ago. And then when Ahsoka sliced open his mask… and saw the fragment of his face… oh wow. Even after all he’s done, she still refuses to give up on him. Something not even Obi-Wan or Yoda could do. She saw past the dark, monstrous form, and saw her friend. Ahsoka’s always loved people, maybe even more than traditional Jedi values would allow, and that’s something I’ve always loved about her character. And we see that part of her crystal-clear as she sacrifices herself to save Kanan and Ezra. As that happened I cried out “AHHH SHE’S PULLING AN OBI-WAN!!”, recalling Master Kenobi’s own great sacrifice in his final confrontation. Ezra’s tears match my own. But they did it just the right way, respectful and a shining example of her selflessness and kind heart.
And in the stirring, enigmatic, and epic-in-scale last few minutes of the finale, we see the mini-Alliance react to the losses and scars (as if I didn’t cry enough seeing Hera’s reaction, Rex’s face pretty much shattered my heart). We see the Darth and the ex-Darth walk away from Malachor, Vader looking worn, and Maul looking for his next big revenge plan (I’d make some reference to Lego’s The Empire Strikes Out but I don’t want to come off as disrespectful). We also see a figure in the shadows… a figure who looks a whole lot like… AHSOKA?? (I’d sit here and dump all my theories on that matter too but again, not the right time and place to do that) We see Kanan Jarrus, unable to see, but with the Force as his ally, not truly blind. And then we come upon Ezra Bridger, who with a Sith holocron in hand and a glint of red in his eyes, has many difficult decisions ahead of him. But in the midst of the uncertainty and the pain and confusion, life goes on… and so too will the growing Rebel Alliance.
OK brb crying. But seriously wow, there are no words. This episode, this series… I love it. So so much. And next week I’ll do my annual recap post to look at the season as a whole and cover any interesting thing I might’ve missed. And so the Rebel Transmission comes to a close.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight