The Resistance Is Coming!

ICYMI, on the very day I finished my post on the last episode of Star Wars Rebels, this image popped up on my feed with a very important announcement…

This is the next Star Wars animated series, and it’s coming this Fall.

Needless to say, my head exploded a little. For a number of reasons.

My immediate first thought was “Hey! I was right!
As those of you who’ve read this blog a while know, I rarely make accurate predictions with Star Wars, but this was one of those rare times. I figured the next move would be to the between-VI-and-VII era, because there’s so much story to tell there. I also wondered whether they might do it in 2D animation for something different (not because I don’t love the CG, but because I love both styles). And they’re doing both for this! So excited!

Even though we don’t have too much of an idea as to what Resistance will look like, what we have seen looks gorgeous. I’m all for this anime-like vibe! And I seriously could just stare at that blue cloud-filled sky and that lightning-fast ship all day. BB-8 looks great, too, and promises some epic character design to come! With the past series’ Amy Beth Christenson art-directing, it couldn’t be anything but epic.

And I’m absolutely all for getting to dig further into Leia’s brave Resistance, as well as the galaxy, at this point in time. There’s so much I don’t know! Though I have a good idea of how things work from the films, that’s just about where my understanding of the Resistance ends. Except for the little bits with Jess Pava and C-3PO in Jason Fry’s The Weapon Of A Jedi, and reading the occasional factoid on StarWars.com. Even though I’m even more Star Wars-studied than I was then, this feels just like when I was going into Rebels for the first time. I know the very basics of what’s coming. There will be space battles and x-wings, friendship and teamwork, red-orange flightsuits and stormtrooper armor. Those are part of much of the Star Wars fabric, especially in this era, but it will be so much more. For all we know now, even maybe for those of you who’ve read more of the books and played more of the games than I have at this juncture, there will still be so much we don’t know. And isn’t it great always having more to learn about Star Wars? 😀

The series concept has a lot going for it that I’m really excited about. I like that we’ll get to see the everyday heroes of the Resistance take the stage. I love the Jedi, of course, but I also love the idea of following a protagonist who defends peace and justice in a different way with a different skill set. Now, I am aware I’m just assuming. Our new friend Kazuda could very well have the Force on his side. But either way, a story from a newly-recruited young (I’m gathering to maybe mean inexperienced) Res pilot sounds like a solid story to me!

And really, I’m just so glad it’s coming this year. With Solo coming out so early, I was admittedly a little bummed we wouldn’t get a film released around Christmas like before. The premiere episode will fill in that gap perfectly! Thank you, Mr. Filoni and crew!

I gotta tell ya, it’s so hard not to immediately throw assumptions everywhere over how it’s going to look and what it’ll feel like. I already imagine Kazuda Xiono as someone sort of Ezra-like — with a dark anime-like mop of hair to go with it! I find myself wondering often over different elements, whether something’s going to be a bit more like this in Rebels or that in The Clone Wars, or more like such-and-such in FoD or maybe a bit like Tartakovsky’s microseries. It’s easy to imagine and theorize and try to figure things out ahead of time, but none of us really know, and I have to work hard to remember to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the mystery while it’s still a mystery, because there’s so much magic in the mystery, in the not-yet-knowing, in the anticipation!

Now let’s do just that while we wait for the first bit of new news…

And also listen to what I’m considering the unofficial theme song on repeat.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

P.S. Read the official press release here.

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Rebel Transmissions: Dume

All right, so where do I begin with this post? I guess with the spoiler warnings. But yes here’s hoping I’m able to write something really interesting and meaningful for you today.

Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Rogue One, Episode VII, TCW episode The Lawless, and much of Star Wars Rebels, including Jedi Night and Dume. Events from episodes beyond these will not be covered.

This episode is very special. Not that there ever was a Rebels episode that wasn’t, but Dume does something that, from my experience, really hasn’t been done a lot in Star Wars: allowing us to closely follow the characters as they try to process their loss.
Tragedies in Star Wars often happen in the midst of intense moments and dangerous battles. Like when you’re trying to escape the Death Star, or you’re fighting through a war-torn Mandalore, or the Resistance is trying to destroy Starkiller Base. Our heroes are often forced to move on or step up and fight even when they’ve barely had time to mourn. It’s just the tough reality of war, as well as the best way to move the story forward. Star Wars, of course, always finds time to make sure we at least see a glimpse of what they’re dealing with in the quiet moments afterward (for example: Luke’s “I wish Ben were here”, Obi-Wan’s apology to Bo-Katan, and Leia and Rey’s hug). But I’ve always wondered still how they’ve handled those losses, or how they’re still handling them. What they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, how they talk about this loss with family and friends, and what they don’t dare to speak out loud to anyone, let alone to themselves.
However, the amazing people behind Rebels found a way to give us plenty of time with each of the Ghost family as they wrestle with Kanan’s death in different ways, while at the same time delivering an exciting, compelling story that moves the plot along. It’s not that I ever thought they wouldn’t give us some time with the characters working through this loss, but I got so much more than I ever expected. Though the Empire’s still a problem, the war is still on, and Ruhk still can put up a serious fight, this episode remains first and foremost very intimate and personal in tone, putting our heroes and their feelings in the forefront. And that’s what makes this episode so very special.

Ever since we discovered she’d be bestowed the title of “General” by Rogue One, I’d always imagined the moment she earned it a triumphant one. Instead, it comes to Hera at what may be her absolute darkest moment, all while still in prison garb and clutching onto her kalikori as though it was Kanan himself. It’s far from triumphant, but it does say again clearly how much the rest of the Rebels respect her… and right now, how much they need her in this fight. But General Syndulla has a galaxy of hurt to fight through first.
The first few moments in her part of the story are nothing short of heartbreaking. It’s one of the rawest performances, both in acting and animating, I’ve ever seen, and not just in Star Wars, but in anything. She is so broken, so devastated, we’ve never seen her in a place like this, not in this way. But as she fashions a piece on her kalikori for Kanan, it’s able to help bring her back to the light once more, to the hope and peace she needs, and to the best memories of the man she loved. And it was Chopper who made the suggestion to add him in the first place. The utter kindness and quiet understanding he shows here is so infinitely precious. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this side of Chopper, but there’s something so noteworthy about the way he’s simply there for her right now, taking her hand, accepting a hug… excuse me I need a few tissues now.

Like I said on the last post, I’ve wondered for years now what would happen if we lost Kanan, and especially perhaps what that would mean for Ezra. I’ve imagined a lot of different outcomes, so it was almost surreal to actually be in that moment, that moment that I honestly had hoped maybe wouldn’t come. To see Ezra in this place of absolute despair that we haven’t seen in some time. And then the lothwolves arrive and the mood quickly shifts from deep sadness to near terror. But ultimately a sense of intrigue remains the predominant emotion, because you know that the Force is at work somehow here. The entrance of the one called Dume left a trail of further intrigue, and honestly even having seen the episodes following this, there are still things I don’t know if I’ve fully grasped yet. I’ll save further discussion on the topic for another post, but I will say the main thoughts going through my head in these scenes upon my first viewing were a) Which came first, Caleb Dume or lothwolf Dume? and b) Am I crazy or does Dume sound just a little bit like Freddie Prinze Jr….?

I just seriously love we got to spend time with Zeb and Sabine. They have such a fun, genuine big-brother-little-sister bond and I didn’t realize how much I needed to see more of that bond until now. And not only do they have some of the best kind of camaraderie, but together they bring some kinda fight! Their tussle with Ruhk was just the right bit of action for the episode; exciting, intense, and not only drives the story forward, but comes back to the heart of the story as Zeb and Sabine go from wanting to return the hurt they were given, to remembering the right way to fight. The way Kanan would fight. And then the laughs are the cherry on top. Between the “baby rancor” comment and the homing beacon misunderstanding, they made sure I had some good stuff to snicker about this episode 🙂

And in the midst of all these personal battles, we discover something that puts everything in a new light.
It was enough just to know that Kanan’s last act was saving those he loved, but it was even more than that all along.
He put himself in the path of fire for not only his family, but for the Alliance, for Lothal, and for all the galaxy.
Wow.
Truly wow.

So OK, that post was a little harder to write than I expected, but I’m so glad I wrote it all the same.
Thank you, Lucasfilm, for giving me such beautiful stories to write about, though ❤

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

A Very Fangirly Analysis Of The New Last Jedi Trailer

Anyone else spend the majority of their time online yesterday staring at the Star Wars Youtube channel waiting for the new trailer?
Yeah, so did I. That might’ve been the most agonizing wait in the history of Star Wars. I mean… the last couple years, they debuted the trailers during a certain program so you’d get a general idea of the time, but not this year. My eyes were sore from constantly checking the computer by the time it popped up around 10pm-ish. But oh my land it was so worth the wait. SO SO WORTH IT.
In the tradition of past analyses, I will give you my personal (almost) second-by-second breakdown of my thoughts and theories. Now, let’s watch it again!

Contains some spoilers from Episode VII and some of the other films before it.

0:00 – From the first shot onward, my jaw dropped, and my mouth refused to close again until the trailer’s end.
0:01 – It’s Kylo Ren, and he’s got something heavy on his mind, it seems.
0:02 – It took me a second viewing to realize he was overlooking a factory. The wavery watery look of the glass made me first think it was an aquarium of some sort, or maybe an aquatic opera like Palpatine used to enjoy.
0:04 – Snoke still has one of the scariest voices of all time. Without a shadow of doubt. He got me so intrigued. Seriously, how did a nice kid like Ben end up with a dark master like this guy?
0:06 – AHHHHHH THESE WALKERS THAT I CAN’T REMEMBER THE NAME OF!! THEY ARE MAGNIFICENT! AND TERRIFYING!
0:08 – What you mean by “war” exactly? That he was conflicted, that he was a strong fighter, or a little of both? Y’know OMG I just wondered if maybe the whole narration is a ruse, and it sounds like Snoke is talking to Kylo but maybe it’s some point that he’s talking to Rey? Might be off but with Star Wars you’ve gotta look at it from all angles.
0:11 – Such a dynamic image wow. And hmm look at those streaks of red on the floor! There’s a lot of red in this trailer and I can’t help but wonder what it all means…
0:15 – See look! There’s red on the walls here! It’s visually appealing, but you guys know in SW, nothing is there just for looks.
0:17 – I’m still trying to figure out if this is a new lightsaber or not. Unless my memory’s failed me I’m pretty sure he lost it in the duel on Starkiller Base. So… did he just get it repaired or did he find another one that looks exactly like it? Whatever the case I’m glad; it’s so awesomely iconic I can’t imagine Ren wielding anything else.
0:22 – Andy Serkis be givin’ me chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiills here. How does he do it??
0:23 – But then we cut over to Rey! Wonder why exactly? Oh that Skywalker ‘saber is still so cool though…
0:25 – Also wow are those skies blue. I need a ticket to the place they filmed Ach-To asap.
0:29 – The Lucasfilm logo will always strike me with the thought: “HOLD ON TO YOUR POTATOES, EPICNESS IS ABOUT THE HAPPEN!”
0:31 – #VacationGoals #ThatWasATotalUnderstatement
0:35 – WE’RE FINALLY SEEING THE MASTER AND APPRENTICE COMING TOGETHER AND I CAN’T GET OVER IT.
0:37 – I hardly know how to put my thoughts into words. So many emotions here.
0:39 – I not only want a vacation on Ach-To, I also want a cape like Rey’s.
0:41 – It’s that mystery place again! Oooh!
0:44 – Every time I see this shot, my eyes widen. It’s a reflex to something that massively beautiful.
0:45 – Rey wielding that lightsaber is so utterly perfect. It’s like she was meant to wield it somehow. Nothing we don’t already know, of course, but I still remember what it was like when the trailers were making it look like Finn’s lightsaber. Seeing her taking it and owning it makes me so proud 🙂
0:48 – Wait did she direct the Force through the ‘saber to the ground?? Or was that just really cool editing?? Either way WHOAAA.
0:49 – Never mind that was apparently just good editing since Rey’s standing in a different spot now.
0:50 – Another one of my favorite shots we’ve seen so far. So completely mind-blowing!
0:53 – Mark Hamill is so so amazing in this. I really really cannot wait to hear and see more of Luke in this new time and place.
0:55 – I assumed this was Luke’s hand but now I’m not so sure…
0:57 – I figured Luke would have some uncertainties with training Rey, but I never thought he’d see some of what was in Ren in her. At least, that’s what I’m assuming he’s talking about. This getting intense.
1:00 – Yeah Luke doesn’t look thrilled. That is the face of “NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE!
1:01 – Also dang are Luke’s eyes blue. Not that I didn’t know this already but the HD is really working nicely here.
1:02 – Rey is like “say wat now?”
1:06 – OH THIS POOR CONFLICTED CHILD…
1:07 – I’m glad to see his face healed up better than I expected it to, though.
1:08 – That boy has one impressive throwing arm.
1:10 – INTENSITY LEVELS RISING.
1:12 – IT’S THE TIE SILENCER OMG!! I’ve jokingly called it the Bat-TIE because it’s sleek shape calls to mind the Batmobile. But this beautiful punisher is definitely no joke with Kylo behind the controls…
1:15 – These visual effects are music to my… eyes. Wait that sentence doesn’t make sense.
1:18 – NOOOOOOOOOOOO YOU WOULDN’T…!
1:19 – THESE SHOTS ABSOLUTELY TERRIFY ME.
1:22 – AND MAKE ME WEEP FOR ALL THIS ONCE-BEAUTIFUL FAMILY HAS LOST.
1:25 – *Curls up into a ball and cries for several minutes*
1:27 – It’s only two months and five days away, but it still feels so far…
1:29 – The Falcon!! And again a whole lot of red. Is it representing the dark side or something else?
1:31 – AHH IT’S CHEWIE!! He’s looking amazinggg!
1:33 – PORGS. ARE. EVERYTHING. MY GOSH.
1:35 – Hey there Poe!
1:36 – Nobody says epic inspiring motivational stuff like Poe Dameron does. BURN IT DOWN, BOY! BURN IT ALLLLLL THE WAY DOWN!!
1:40 – And I’m not sure anybody can make an entrance as epically as Captain Phasma does.
1:41 – Safe to say though that Finn’s not impressed with his former boss.
1:42 – FINN ‘BOUT TO BRING IT! YAAAAAAS!!
1:44 – Not sure what else to say here, just still reeling in the amazingness of it all.
1:45 – NONONONO YOU GOTTA BE OK, BB-8!
1:46 – Luke sounds so intense here wow.
1:47 – Oooh check out these snow cats I want one!
1:49 – Hey there’s Leia! But I’m still unclear what she’s standing there for… and where she’s standing… so many questions! So much uncertainty!
1:50 – Wonder where Rey’s taking this dive?
1:52 – Who’s that she’s facing down?? It goes by so fast I literally don’t know.
1:53 – I can’t help but wonder what Finn’s doing in First Order garb right now. I’m assuming it’s an undercover thing… or maybe an undercover thing that was a complete accident because he wasn’t intending on going undercover but he ended up on a First Order ship and had to think fast. I NEED TO KNOW.
1:55 – OOOh buddy the First Order’s looking sharp… and that’s not good for the Resistance.
1:56 – More red going on over here. I don’t know what the imagery means for sure, but I love imagery in filmmaking nonetheless.
1:57 – I’m definitely glad to know those nifty speeders are the Resistance’s now. They’re so awesome and different I assumed they might belong to some other group of antagonists, but this is much better.
1:59 – IT’S SNOKE! IN THE FLESH! YIKES HE’S STILL SO FRIGHTENING, BUT SO INTRIGUING! Also dang I hope Rey’s gonna be OK..
2:12 – My literal reaction after seeing this: “WHAT?! WAT. WAT. WHAT. WAHT. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT??!” Translation: “What could Rey possibly gain from Ren? What could he gain from her? What. does. this. mean??

One of the many reasons I love Star Wars is because of how it balances dark and light, simultaneously making me go from joy to excitement to fear to sadness and back around again. Star Wars truly makes me experience all emotions, even in the period of a two-minute trailer. I also love the way they portray heroes and villains and how they’re not always all dark or all light. Though it’s left me with endless questions, I love that last image of a conflicted villain holding out his hand to a perhaps equally-conflicted hero. I knew this trailer would be amazing, I just couldn’t grasp or imagine how much more so it would be. It’s left me utterly astounded in the best way possible.

Again, so worth the wait. Now… we just have to wait a little tiny bit longer…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

P.S. If you’re wondering where the Freemaker posts went off to, you’ll find the next episode’s post up tomorrow 🙂

The Long-Overdue Resistance Rises Post

When brainstorming possible posts to write this weekend, I realized I’d never taken the time to appreciate Lego’s The Resistance Rises shorts. I am remedying that today, because these are super-fun, super-clever, and even know how to bring some serious feels as we get to revisit the Force Awakens era in a whole new way! Let me share some of my favorite things about them as we watch.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode VII

POE TO THE RESCUE

The first of the shorts offers a really nice look at the (sort of) average daily life for the Resistance and the First Order before VII’s events. Starkiller Base has yet to make its first appearance, but Captain Phasma and Kylo Ren are still coming up with new ways to make things difficult for their enemies. But when you’ve got the crack team of Poe, Threepio, and BB-8 on your tail, the odds are not something you wanna hear 🙂

Assorted Fangirl Musings:
– Nice hearing Tom Kane’s narrator voice at a different time and place in the SW universe!
– Ackbar is a serious boss you guys. I don’t know how old he is, but he sure hasn’t slowed down! Wow did anyone else sort of just remember that he’s been through the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War and now all this stuff with the First Order vs. the Resistance? It’s almost unreal how much of Star Wars history he’s been involved in! Major respect points.
– (Mostly) acid rain-proof umbrellas. A must for any Resistance pilot! How did Threepio get out there though?? For an old droid, he gets himself into a lot of trouble! #Understatement
– Threepio, I think you may be the first person in the world to look at BB-8 and not be excited. But I guess since Artoo’s been out of commission a while, it’s easy to see how Threepio might’ve been bummed out those beeps and chirps were from a different astromech. Aww that just made me a shed a tear…
– Poe and Threepio’s dynamic is hilarious. I could seriously use more of these guys’ shenanigans in my life. The ace pilot and his general’s very-particular protocol droid! Comedy gold!
– Hey Threeps, for what it’s worth, I’d like to hear the story of that new arm of yours. I probably will once I start going through all those comics I’m severely overdue on reading. Until then, maybe R0-GR can help you write your autobiography! 🙂
– That graycoat really should’ve known better than to stand underneath a troop transport’s door #Fail #ButWhatAGloriousFailTho The fact his head got attached to the bottom of the door Lego-style made it all the funnier XD
– Boy they had a lot of prisoners. What’d they have against a wampa and a jawa?? Who knows? Probably Kylo Ren’s just annoyed by everything XP
– “Captain Phasma… you have failed me for the first time. Which is… weird. That’s never happened!” Love that he’s totally channeling his grandpa-senpai again. Also mad props to whoever’s voicing him. I wish these things had credits ’cause if I didn’t know better I’d think it was Adam Driver himself!
POE’S X-WINGGGGG GUYS. IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE I WATCHED THIS SHORT SO I FORGOT IT WAS IN THERE AND NOW I’M POSITIVELY GIDDY.

REY STRIKES BACK

Everyday life on Jakku looks to be nothing short of unforgiving and miserable. Episode VII already made that clear, but this short certainly drives the point home again. But Rey ain’t takin’ crud from no one today. Not from Plutt, not from Plutt’s cronies, and certainly not from any space cacti! I love her drive, determination, and outright sass in this short, as well as her impressive building skillz, as she takes on every blow this desolate world can deal her. There’s a reason she’s made it this long out here.

Assorted Fangirl Musings:
– “Nothing can flourish there, but a young scavenger named REY is certainly trying….” well-said, Mr. Kane!
– I gotta say, I think my favorite thing about this short is Kevin, Unkar Plutt’s precious pet space cactus and only friend. I just think about it and I die laughing. It’s good to know the guy has a soft spot for something besides money! Also, whenever I want to work on my Rey impression, “‘Kevin’? You gave your plant a name?”, is my go-to XD It’s all just so beautifully hilarious and perfectly Lego.
– Suddenly, Twilight remembers she has named plants before and realizes she’s the pot calling the kettle “black”.
– I love her speeder is like a bucking bronco with those thugs! Don’t mess with her fierce, noble steed!
– Guys! Throwing Lego bricks around is dangerous! Do you know how much those things hurt when their corners hit your skin?! Or when you step on one?! Or when you get your hair caught between them?! Things just got realllllll…
– Random thought: if it weren’t for the fact Luke’s going to be training her, I bet Rowan Freemaker would take her on as his apprentice. Girl can masterbuild!
HOLY MOS EISLEY, THAT’S THE GHOST OUT THERE. WITH MODIFICATIONS. I THINK. I COULD BE WRONG. BUT THIS IS CANON TO ME NOW. Someone from the original crew better be flying it though. I doubt General Syndulla would let some schnook steal it. Goodness this just got me thinkin’ on the Rebs’ futures something fierce. *Gets lost in thought for ten minutes pondering what fate may befall the Rebels in their last season* It could just be another ship of the same variety, but… you have to wonder.

HUNTING FOR HAN

Maz’s Castle looks like a fun place, even with its sometimes-frightening and untrustworthy clientele. Perhaps because its owner is so wise and welcoming and noble. But as we see in this short, for all the crazy crowds it attracts, there are always a few genuine souls who come through the Castle’s doors…

Assorted Fangirl Musings:
– You guys ever wonder where Maz finds this stuff? Avid eBayer I guess. And I’m sure having a professional career as a pirate helps you know where to find certain things…
– Knowing how this ends, why would anyone slap a “poisonous” sticker on a suitcase containing musical instruments? Well I guess Bala Tik’s got a reputation to keep. Bartering something so non-lethal would get a laugh out of the rest of the galaxy’s common criminals. That, or maybe certain species are actually negatively effected by the sounds of these space-saxophones, like maybe it makes their heads explode or something. Hmm…
– The “silver fox” comment cracked me up beyond belief. But it’s true… all of it!
– You have to wonder though if all of these incidents were really Han’s fault. I mean, sure he’s not doing the best with his life right now but it doesn’t mean he’s a complete scoundrel! Everyone’s just jealous ’cause they know they will never age that well XP
– “I heard Greedo shot first!” “THEM’S FIGHTIN’ WORDS!!” Oh boy, this again…? Guys. There are far more interesting debates in the world of Star Wars than that old argument.
– Wow can Maz use that lightsaber! She may have been saving it for someone special to find it someday, but it sure has its uses in the meantime!
– And aw yay Lando!! I love so much that, though he and Han seem to have gone different ways over the course of their lives, Lando still always has his buddy’s back. It gives me many feels. Wonder what the old smoothie’s been up to though? Y’know what, I bet he manages that casino Finn and Rose are gonna go on a mission to in VIII. That would be truly awesome. Either way, watching him play the space-sax with Maz Kanata is so sweet and gives me hope that Lando Calrissian’s doin’ all right, wherever in the galaxy he is 🙂

THE TROUBLE WITH RATHTARS

Possibly my favorite short in the bunch, we get to see an average everyday for Han and Chewie and the dangers of their recent business ventures, as well as a softer side to one of my favorite SW monsters.

Assorted Fangirl Musings:
– But why did Chewie let the rathtars out to begin with?? Did he feel sorry for them? I could see Chewbacca having some compassion on the poor giant squishy balls of death.
– OK and seriously, despite they’re being pursued by TIEs and they’ve got loose rathtars on board, Han is still handling this clunky ship like a dream.
– “That’s Dooku, Kitster, Lobot”??? Wizard code, bro XD
– Also Han rolling the window down is just so ludicrously hilarious, like OMG that’s so good. I’m convinced this freighter might’ve been rebuilt with some earth-made spare parts. It’s got side-view mirrors, seatbelts (evidently), and brakes! I’m pretty sure none of those things are normal, but hey spare parts are spare parts.
– Chewie lullabying the rathtars to sleep is literally too precious! I’ve always loved the rathtars, as they made a big impression on me as the first SW monster I saw on the big screen, but this short made me love them even more, ’cause really they’re just giant squishy sweethearts :3
– Even if they can and will eat your face any other chance they get.

ATTACK OF THE CONSCIENCE

A surprisingly deep little finale, we get a sense as to where Finn came from and the friends he’d made, and why it wasn’t just that first attack on Jakku that changed his mind on his stormtrooping career.

Assorted Fangirl Musings:
– WHOA THEY STILL HAVE AT-ATS! Do you think they finally figured out how to make ’em Jedi-proof?
– I like this concept of ‘trooper training looking like middle school soccer practice XD
– Wait. So they only fight fake Rebels, but with real detonators?? *Shoots a disapproving look at Phasma*
– I think the voice of Finn is also the voice of Zander Freemaker, and he’s doing awesome at it.
– “That’s Kylo Ren! He’s awesome!” “I know! He threatened to have me destroyed once!” “…WHAT?” Um yeah, this really ain’t soccer practice, FN-2187.
– I like that every time Finn starts questioning the plan, he lifts his helmet up, which we know is a major stormtrooper no-no. I’m sure the First Order taught the ‘troopers that they’re the good guys and everything they’re doing is for peace ultimately, but I’m glad that somehow, Finn has a broader moral compass that’s allowing him to see attacking a village as questionable. Guess he was out sick that one day they had the seminar on jerkiness.
– And boy… when you think about what’s about to happen from here… OH YOU POOR CHILD. YOU POOR, POOR CHILD. *Cries for Finn and his friend, too*
– But despite all the pain about to go down, Captain Phasma’s not wrong when she remarks “…your destiny awaits.”

So yeah aren’t those just great? I do so love me some Lego Star Wars! And since I haven’t discussed The Force Awakens as much I’dve like to, I’m glad I could immerse myself in this era again and hopefully start some interesting conversations as we get excited for the next chapter in this beautiful saga in only six more months!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

SW Summer Reads – The Weapon Of A Jedi

It’s Star Wars Summer Reads time again, and I’m thrilled that today I’ll be writing my thoughts on a book that actually came out in the last year! I mean, I like taking my time reading SW books, so I can properly appreciate each one and digest all its awesomeness, especially with the 100% canon books. So generally most of my posts are on older books I’ve read more than once. But there happened to have been a sale earlier this year and Jason Fry’s Journey To The Force Awakens Novel, The Weapon Of A Jedi, was there and it was useless to resist. And I am so so so so glad I bought it. It’s without a doubt one of the greatest SW books I’ve ever read. And I shall tell you the reasons why!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VII and The Weapon Of A Jedi

So I’m not going to give you a full play-by-play commentary on this one like I usually do with the young readers books, I feel like honestly the best way to express my feelings for this book is to just talk about them straight-up instead of trying to retell the story and fangirl as I go. That method probably works best for the older books and episodes than this incredible book. So with that in mind it will likely be a less time-consuming post to read today! Yaysies!
Anyway, so this was released in anticipation of Episode VII, with small keys to the future of SW. TBH I probably missed most of those “keys” and I read this after seeing the film… twice. But the coolest of these keys was impossible to miss: a Resistance pilot named Jessika Pava. We open with this sweet little prologue of Threepio telling Jess the story of Luke’s first lightsaber duel. It was absolutely great getting to meet Jess Pava a little here. We haven’t seen a huge lot of her yet but clearly she’s an awesome human being. And she gets a ton of cool points for helping destroy Starkiller Base. Just from the two brief chapters we get to see her in, we feel her frustration with being stuck working on droids instead of piloting, totally understand her slight impatience with Threepio, and 100% get her admiration for the great Luke Skywalker. I do wonder a little what time exactly the prologue/epilogue takes place in, since of course yes Jess is here for the Resistance and Threepio rocks a red arm, but it must’ve been a littler earlier than most of the events in TFA because it sounds like Luke is still around and Artoo is fully functional. You just wonder how long ago it was. How long ago was it before there was a Starkiller Base? Before a young Ben Solo went down the wrong path? Before all that we saw panned out in VII’s opening titles? Even though that’s all still somewhat of a mystery, it’s kinda fun not knowing all the answers in this time and place. But I’m rambling.
So the golden droid’s tale starts out smack-dab in a space battle as Luke and Wedge take on a whole lotta TIEs. It’s truly amazing how Mr. Fry put the dogfight into words. I mean… I’ve tried to write space battles for fanfics. They’re confusing. I write better with characters more than I do with war machines. I have to wonder if any of these great SW authors ever had trouble figuring them out too. I suppose it’s just something that takes time and patience and practice and lots and lots of SW reference books (and probably discussions with the Lucasfilm Story Group would help). But boy oh boy did I learn a lot in just this first chapter alone. Not only is it an exciting opener, but it makes sense for dumb readers like me. Even with all that X-wing jargon I had to learn all the while. I didn’t know they used the terms “port” and “starboard”! Small thing but still cool to know. And wow there are so many ways to describe laserfire and explosions without reusing the same words over and over again! Reading this book was a lesson in Star Warsian vocabulary for sure, as well as a lesson in Star Warsian warfare, Star Warsian technology, and Star Warsian culture. I feel smarter already! I suppose this all sounds dumb to those of you more-seasoned SW fans, but *points to blog site title* I’m still learnin’.
Yeah no doubt Jason Fry knows how to write the wars in the Star Wars, but he equally knows how to write for the stars in Star Wars, too. I am absolutely amazed how well he wrote for Luke. We spend the majority of the book in Luke’s head and it is a mind-blowing feeling. And it’s a great place in time to be there! Just fresh off destroying the Death Star, Luke’s simply trying to be the best Rebel he can be, but this little thing called the Force keeps throwing him off. We learn so much from his perspective it’s astounding. One of my favorite things we get to dig into were those little moments that we didn’t see in the movie. I know I’ve been pretty shortsighted and somehow assumed everything that happens in the films happened somewhere between two hours and two days. Luke recalls a number of times Obi-Wan trained him and gave him nuggets of Jedi wisdom in the days between “Hello there” and “If you strike me down…”. It blew my mind wide open knowing about these parts of the story we didn’t know, and of course, it further reminded me what an amazing person Ben Kenobi is (even though I certainly already knew that). Even knowing just the smallest things, like how very hurt Luke was after Owen and Beru’s death, brings new meaning and understanding to the character and his overall story. From the film, we gather that Owen and Beru care for him, but it also seems that their relationship with Luke was sometimes difficult. Knowing he wrestled with anger and grief over what happened to them says that there was so much more to their relationship that we didn’t know. That clearly, Luke loved them, even when they didn’t get along, and Owen and Beru must’ve loved him too. They were his only family, man… OMG I’m sorry I can’t believe I spent so long on that topic but wow it’s really kinda incredible to think about. *Curls into a ball and cries for Luke* Not to mention seeing how much respect Luke has for his father in this chapter in history. We all know his dad isn’t exactly all that honorable at this point, but seeing him still having this connection with him, even not having ever known him, is all kinds of feelsy :3
Of course, one of the biggest things we really get to dig into in this story is the Force. It’s the kickstater for the whole adventure as Luke finds himself led by the Force to the ruins of a Jedi temple on Devaron. For those of us wondering how it is Luke knew how to use a lightsaber as well as he did in Episode V… this is how. With a few words from Ben and a trio of training remotes and a whole whole lot of patience, Luke gets pretty good at the Jedi-ing by the end of the book 🙂 One of the things I love most about SW books is getting a first-person view of the Force, when an author eloquently paints a mental picture of what it’s like to be surrounded by it, working with it, feeling it… it’s a beautiful thing. And Mr. Fry’s work here is no exception. He just absolutely brings it to life in the most spectacular, poetic manner! Watching Luke gain a better understanding of the Force through every twist and turn is amazing. His training session puts him through a lot both physically and emotionally, with descriptions so amazingly vivid you pretty much feel all those moments of frustration and victory yourself (I know I was pretty exhausted just reading all of his lessons in lightsaber-deflecting). Oh gracious everything about it’s fantastic. I wish I could get my thoughts in better order on all of this, but really you just have to read the book for yourself. Can I just say again that it’s seriously amazing spending time in Luke’s head? All the other SW books I’ve read have bounced back and forth between various characters’ perspectives, but 90% of Weapon Of A Jedi focuses on young Skywalker. It’s different, but a really really cool kind of different. I feel like I know this guy even better than I did before. I don’t think there could possibly been a better book to start with for my first canon novel in the Original Trilogy era. Seriously. Like wow. It all leads up to one awesome duel between Luke and an unexpected foe wielding an electrostaff that is all kinds of edge-of-your-seat. Lol I’m not sure if I’m writing this with spoilers in mind or not anymore. But anyhow this book was truly one of the most epic and wonderful things I’ve ever read. It’s a perfect balance between action and heart, and quite honestly should be read by every Star Wars fan, young and old. Jason Fry’s clearly a master at writing Star Wars stuff and I will definitely have to hunt down some of his other novels. And I certainly can’t wait to dive into the other novels in the Journey To The Force Awakens and see what Han and Leia were doing too 😀
So I’m glad we got to sit down and talk about The Weapon Of A Jedi for a moment. But before I sign off…

FIVE OTHER THINGS I LEARNED FROM THIS BOOK, OR JUST FOUND PLAIN INTERESTING OR WORTH MENTIONING!
1. Getting “spacesick” is a thing.
2. Y-Wings are none too fast.
3. Luke’s acting skills are terrible, but in a rather adorable way XD
4. Screwdrivers exist in the SW galaxy.
5. Luke spends a loooooooot of moneyyyy in this book.

OK now we’re done. See you next month for another Star Wars Summer Read!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight