Following The Freemakers: Free Fall

All righty time to talk TFA! There’s a lot here to write about so I’m gonna just cut this intro-thing short. Even though I don’t like cutting things short because it usually ends up sounding stilted. Oh well. Yay Freemakers!

Contains spoilers from Episode VI, Rebels episodes Wings Of The Master and Steps Into Shadow, and Freemakers episode Free Fall (along with many elements from previous episodes this season and the last).

First of all, something I’ve been wanting to say a long while now but never had the opportunity to do so: THIS SHOW HAS THE BEST EPISODE NAMES. All SW shows have great titles, of course. But I adore the Saturday-morning-adventure feeling TFA’s episodes evoke. Just to name a few: A Hero Discovered, The Tower Of Alistan Nor, The Lost Crystals Of Qalydon… every word promises excitement and thrills! And then you have Free Fall. It differs some from the aforementioned titles, as it carries a little TCW and Rebels feel with a serious, intriguing title, while mixing in some Freemaker-brand creativity at the same time. I’ve loved the title from the first time I saw it. And it’s a perfect description as the Freemakers are not only on the crash-landing-central that is Shantipole, but everything seems to be falling apart around them… it’s kind of heavy, but so wondrously poetic.

But anyway that’s not quite as important as the fact that THE FREEMAKERS ARE IN THE PATH OF CERTAIN DOOM RIGHT NOW!!!
I was seriously amazed they didn’t die. Really. It was a bit surprising that M-OC wasn’t all that accurate behind the Arrowhead‘s controls. If he’d just gone straight through the TIE’s pod instead of knocking off the panels, he would’ve won. You’d think a droid as precise and cunning as he is would’ve hit them straight-on the first time. I suppose no machine is perfect though. Or maybe there’s something else I’m missing here. Perhaps M-OC’s developed a bit of cockiness these last few months? Hmm. Can’t tell you how glad I am though that Quarrie came along when he did. The fish-man deserves a Hera-style hug! 😀 And at last I felt I could breathe again.
Y’know, except for the fact M-OC planted a tracker on them. That was… concerning.

Every now and again I actually make a correct assumption while watching this show, and this was one of them. “Ooooh I hope they’re going to Shantipole!” was my last-second thought as Quarrie punched in their last-hope coordinates, and that’s indeed where they went. And seriously what a great, great concept here! Back on Rebels, Shantipole was all kinds of problems for the Ghost crew. Now, the planet’s storms are working in their favor and giving the StarScavenger‘s crew some sanctuary. So genius! I love! Granted, the landing part is never fun. I love how it completely doesn’t rattle Quarrie in the slightest; his chipper “HOORAYYYYYYY!” as the Scavenger falls made me laugh so hard I almost forgot this landing might not go as well as the Ghost‘s did. OK so after that, I was able to breathe again. Wait whoops never mind, forget what I said… M-OC is still circling the planet like a vulture O.O

Oh yeah, anyone else felt kinda bad for Graballa? The Hutt just wants to make his dreams a reality! How hard is it to make a deal with someone who won’t just end up using the Force against you?! And this situation is sadder maybe than the last such incident because Vader really didn’t give him any kind of choice in the first place. From one dreamer to another, I really do hope you get your resort next season, Grabs. And hey! I just got wind your cousin’s palace is vacant now…! It might not be prime real estate for a vacation spot, but imagine all the funds you could get from selling it! 🙂

And can we seriously talk about the score this episode? Honestly I’ve always adored the music in this series… they’ve never once treated it like it was just Lego and I love that. It’s so rich, so driving, so epic, and so perfectly Star Wars-y! And it definitely takes center stage inside of the building montage and during the duel aboard the Arrowhead. It’s just so insanely wonderful, they better be planning on releasing a soundtrack soon! Seriously. *Applauds the composers and musicians heartily*

Yeah this episode gave me quite a few heart attacks you guys. I jumped when that bolt of lightning knocked Quarrie off the StarScavenger, gasped when M-OC threw down the net over the kyber crystal, quietly whispered “NO…” when it seemed Rowan lost his lightsaber, and just about fainted when the hunter droid, after appearing as though he’d fallen, came right up behind Ro. And that’s just all in the course of a few minutes. It’s like everything in this episode was working together to say “Oh? You wanted to breathe? WELL, TOO BAD!!” But then again, this happens a lot with Star Wars. Like a lot.
And then, after keeping me so very on the edge… I started to realize where their plan was ultimately going… and what that would mean for the StarScavenger.
I thought losing the Phantom on SWR hurt to watch. The StarScavenger has been by this family’s side through a lot of salvage runs and a lot of adventures. It was a part of their family, really. Zander’s specially-modified, fast, hard-working, spunky baby. Much as I love the Arrowhead, I think I’m going to miss the Scavenger far more. I do look forward to seeing what the 2.0 might look like, but… nothing will truly replace the original 😢

Finally, one of my favorite things about this episode was watching Rowan step up in a different way than before — as a negotiator. Not many people, not even Jedi, could get someone as dangerous and unfeeling as this droid to stop and listen. But he knows M-OC only listens to logic, and Rowan makes his point quite well. It’s such a grown-up move and again, fills me with such fangirly-sisterly pride. Unfortunately, M-OC got a totally different idea out of all that well-spoken reasoning. And it looks like it’s not going to end well for the Rebels.
If that thing’s not operational yet… it might be now.

Ohhh sweet mercy you guys there are so many emotions up here. And with posts on both Freemakers and Rebels coming in the next week, there’s about to be a whole lot more. Not a lot of room for breathing though, but… you know what? The fact Star Wars takes my breath away like it does is not a bad thing 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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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