SW Reads: Jedi Quest #3 & #4

Hello, Star Wars fan-family! I had nearly a month’s worth of wireless issues keeping me from posting, but I have plenty to write about! Including, of course, some more Star Wars Reads! (No longer really Summer Reads, but oh well) Today we’re exploring not one, but two of Jude Watson’s incredible Jedi Quest series. If you like, you can read my posts on the previous books The Path To Truth, The Way Of The Apprentice, and The Trail Of The Jedi in the respective links. (Though I will warn you, they are old
and not the same quality posts I write now.)

But yes, what more can I say on these lovely books? They are among my top top favorites! They’re so richly detailed and so masterfully written. Though I’ve never read a bad SW youth novel, these are so amazingly done that it’s hard to tell them apart from the full-length novels. Each chapter is full of deep intrigue, great character moments, and fascinating, totally-believable ideas of the state of the galaxy before the Clone Wars. Ms. Watson digs in deep on the Force, the Jedi, and Obi-Wan and Anakin’s long, sometimes-difficult road to true brotherhood. I have yet to read the recently-released Anakin And Obi-Wan comics to know what these years look like from a modern, canon perspective, but Ms. Watson’s works seem to line up with the canon stories almost flawlessly. And either way, they are amazing reads. I highly, highly recommend, especially if you enjoy the Prequels and TCW as much as I do, or if you want a better idea of what was going on between I and II.

Now, let’s dive into the fine details of these chapters. First, The Dangerous Games, an epic with both podracing and political scandal!
Contains spoilers from the aforementioned book, and some of the books prior. And if you haven’t seen Episode I you will be a a disadvantage.

– Traffic does happen in the SW universe, and not just in The Yoda Chronicles! That’s why there are spacelane officers.
– “I know, I know, feel my anger and let it go. But do I have to be a Jedi all the time, even in space traffic?” #Relatable
– Y’know I remembered a while back on one of my Rebels posts wondering if there’s a certain age you can start driving/flying in the SW universe. There’s apparently nothing out-of-the-ordinary about 14-year-old Anakin at the controls, so maybe there isn’t? Of course, I know this isn’t the final canon word, but it’s reasonable. Or maybe it’s different, depending on where in the galaxy you are.
– Ms. Watson paints the most vivid picture of this world and where the games are held. It’s fascinating and gripping! I feel like I’m there. I can feel the electricity of the busy crowds of the city, and imagining being there for a galaxywide sporting event is a thrill! Anyone else smelling hot dogs and pretzels? But at the same time, through Obi-Wan’s explanations and Anakin’s observations, we see that Eusebus isn’t as perfect and glossy as it makes itself out to be, giving me a sense of realistic caution, and a better understanding of why the Jedi’s mission is so important today.
– I just love Obi-Wan and Siri’s bond! Their conversations are so fun to read, and feel so natural and easygoing!
– I’m just now imagining Ferus Olin to have an Irish accent. Because Irish accents are cool, and it adds a little something more to his character than just the serious, unaccented voice I was giving him before.
– I also love Obi-Wan’s solid friendship with Didi and Astri. It’s one of those things that reminds me “oh yeah, Jude Watson wrote another SW series before this one and I really need to read it already”.
– Though Bog’s a bit of a blowhard, I still find him an highly entertaining character.
– I get it too, Ani. YAS PODRACINGGG!!
– Heheh ok so maybe “solid” isn’t a good description for Obi-Wan and Didi’s friendship, but it says much of Master Kenobi’s character that he’s still willing to help out the poor hapless charlatan.
– And Tru Veld is still one of my faves of her characters. His species is so cool, and he’s the most laid-back ball of sunshine in the Jedi Order! I hope he’ll come along the ride for more stories in the future πŸ˜€
– It’s so easy to agree with Anakin’s decision to help the Tyerell kids. Even though he disobeyed Obi-Wan to do it, I could see myself doing the same thing if I had the ability to do so. And of course, we all have to remember the Jedi are not right about everything. But then, at the same time, we know Anakin is doing this not just out of compassion, but also from a slight desire for vengeance. Not to mention his love of the game itself. There’s so many gray areas here, it leaves us readers with a lot to chew on.
– I absolutely can hear an Italian accent for Didi and a thick New York accent for Fligh. BTW if you didn’t read my last Reads post, you missed the part when I mentioned that I love reading Star Wars books out loud so I can do the voices.
– Seriously? Still no lap restraints in these things? Of course, maybe these air taxis are more like those little shuttles or golf carts they have in sports stadium parking lots and you’re just expected to hold on to something ’til you get there…
– Jedi have a seriously epic eye for detail and an amazing memory! This is why they’re so good at the peacekeeping game!
– I know there’s a lot of difference between them in reality, but this multi-leveled swoop bike obstacle course calls to mind the landspeeder race tunnels in the Droids series. Coincidence…?
– Aww! There was once a little yellow-tailed summerbird living in the Senate Building! Things you can learn from a good SW novel! πŸ™‚
– Pretty sure Scorch Zanales has the coolest name of any podracer driver in the SW universe.
– And WHOAAAAA WHAT AN UNEXPECTED ENDING. Such good stuff!

Now for the next chapter, and possibly my new favorite in the series: the chilling mystery that is The Master Of Disguise!
Again, contains spoilers from the aforementioned book and some of the books prior.

– LOL the cover art totally threw me off. I kept thinking Anakin was dueling a changeling or something… I didn’t quite recognize Ferus from the back…
– Yeah when you put it that way, with such masterful, tangible descriptions, I can see why one might think sand is bleh.
– Wow! Darra and I are twins! She looked blonde to me on an earlier book’s cover art, but they’re describing it as copper-and-gold, which is exactly my color!
– I must try out her bright-ribboned padawan braid. If anyone knows of a good padawan-braiding tutorial I’d be forever grateful, because those tiny things are so strangely difficult to make… hehe sorry for all the hair talk.
– It’s amazing how these books can be both beautiful and heartbreaking in parts. Between the clear devastation of war and the regrets Anakin left behind on Tatooine, my reactions are definitely what you might refer to as “all the feels”.
– Oooh so many branches of science to study! It would be fun to be a scientist in the SW galaxy, ’cause with so many worlds, there are nearly infinite amounts of things to discover and study! Yes I am a science nerd. Did I forget to mention that?
– I really appreciate the moments with Madame Jocasta in this book and the last. I like the way Ms. Watson writes her, making her a tough old bird with a solid sense of humor!
– OK Yoda’s appearance in here was the highlight of my day. He may be my favorite voice to read out loud now.
– Whoa Tru’s lightsaber is orange? That is so cool. Could be orange ‘sabers are just for training here, but still. I think it’d be a good lightsaber color!
– Chapter Eight is so fun. Obi-Wan and Jocasta, Jedi mystery-solvers! Also glad to know that Obi-Wan likes tea, because so do I πŸ™‚
– I’m actually starting to want Soara Antana to teach me lightsaber techniques, too. I might be a glutton for punishment, but I do love a challenge.
– OMG NOW I KNOW WHY THE BOOK IS TITLED WHAT IT IS. I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING.
– I am both wildly fascinated and horribly shook over these concepts. Granta Omega just got scarier. And non-Force-sensitive Sith cults? It just felt colder in here.
– I hope someday I learn to write plots this intricate and in-depth!
– YADDLE SPEAKS! That was really neat, because I’m 99% sure I’ll never read a SW novel giving her a spoken line again.
– Just when you think it can’t get any more intense, IT GETS SO MUCH MORE INTENSE! But that’s something I adore about this series. And this book I think may be the most intense yet!

Ahh, aren’t those just fantastic? Well, *does Yoda impression again* much to blog on, I still have. Look for one last Reads post next week, and then there’s this upcoming new series I must discuss, and also I received an amazing visual encyclopedia for my birthday, so… yep. Lots of Star Wars equals lots to write!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Following The Freemakers: Flight Of The Arrowhead

OK so this episode was a ton of fun and there’s a few things I’m going to need to write on about, so feel free to join in on my Freemaker follow-up on Flight Of The Arrowhead!

Contains spoilers from Episode VI, Episode VII, and Freemakers episodes The Pit And The Pinnacle and Flight Of The Arrowhead, along with some minor stuff from the episodes prior.

OK so this is just a nerdy realization on my part I should’ve remembered last episode, but that whole thing about kyber crystals being highly volatile finally clicked with me. Watching them go off like firecrackers I was all β€œWell I guess that makes sense…” and only later did I remember that the Death Star was powered by them. Le duh. If you’re new to Star Wars, you should never feel dumb because even those of us who’ve been in the fandom for a decade don’t always know what’s going on! Just something on my brain the last few days. Also β€œkabloomey” might be the best descriptive word ever XD

So when Quarrie was talking about an ideal pilot for the Arrowhead‘s maiden voyage, I’d really sorta thought it might be Hera he was thinking of. But then I did notice that I haven’t seen her around Home One lately, not even at the medal ceremony at the end. Wonder what she’s up to? I’m quietly hoping that she’s getting some family time in with her crew (and that nobody’s died in the last few years), but who knows? Makes you curious though doesn’t it? Anyway, I certainly wasn’t disappointed though to see Lieutenant Valeria again! I’d actually been missing her a bit, even as a supportive character she’s just so fun and full of energy I was hoping she might get involved in a Freemaker misadventure again. And they decided today to grant my wish! Granted, I’m sure she would’ve rathered come back this episode flying something a little more put-together, but it made for some great burns and banter! Quarrie we love you but you gotta start giving us the important info the first time around.

So I love not only that we got to visit Jakku this episode, but that they integrated it in a really neat way. I would’ve loved to have seen Nima Outpost and all that craziness there, but by just portraying it as a ludicrously barren wasteland as far as most of the galaxy knows, it really sinks in just how truly awful and desolate the place is, and how it’ll likely feel for Rey thirty years from now. Also they gave me another one of my favorite SW creatures and brought in some happabores! Yay for slow slobbery space pigs! πŸ˜€

But who’dve guessed the guys riding the slow slobbery space pigs would be Ensign Plumestriker and Sub-Ensign Durpin! I really don’t know how they keep failing and still manage to avoid Force-chokings, but thank goodness ’cause they’re fun to foil. And yeah now go-getter Plumestriker’s in charge! He tha bossman! I also do wonder why they keep getting stuck together on missions when clearly their differences in work ethic clash to an often dangerous level. I think maybe some higher-up graycoats just don’t like either of ’em and want them out from under their command. Yikes Imperial politics can be mean. But either way, I’m impressed Plumestriker got as far as he did (and his acting chops are pretty on-point, too. I really thought he was buying that Vader disguise). Just… maybe they need to go into Imperial janitorial services for a change. Hehe that would be a fun confrontation! Roger could clean ’em up with his mop skills! XD

Another kind of random query but… when Zander and Roger got captured, it was daytime, but by the time β€œDarth” Kordi showed up, night had fallen. Did it take that long to craft the dumb thing?? OK suddenly I just remembered they were probably planning on using the darkness to their advantage I don’t know why I even wrote this paragraph. Can’t believe the Imps argued that long tho. Really, have neither of them gone to HR about this? Oh right this is the Empire. I don’t get the feeling they care much about creating a friendly workspace…

OK so as a whole, I’m not the kind of fangirl who ships on sight. There needs to be something obvious there and it has to be reasonable before I can mash up a certain guy’s name with a certain girl’s name and start squeeing over ’em. Sometimes I wonder on things, but I don’t make a habit of writing the wonderings here… usually. BUT THE WAY ZANDER LOOKED AT VALERIA WHEN SHE RAN OUT TO FACE THAT AT-ST…
I’d sort of tossed the concept around back when she debuted in the shorts, but clearly they saw each other as friendly coworkers and that was it. So it seemed, anyway. Now, I’m aware I could be way way off, like, the-distance-between-the-inner-rim-and-wild-space kind of way off. And I’m OK with that. But there’s something about the look on his face and his quiet β€œwow…” that comes off as more than just impressed… I suppose we’ll just wait and see where this goes :3

But moving on, how about that Arrowhead?! Might be one of the prettiest ships ever to grace the Star Wars saga! Its shape, its speed, its sound, its firepower, its blue kyber-y glow… it. is. magnificent. I definitely am eyeballing that Lego kit now. I have some questions on what will come next for the vessel, though… because we all know that it’s not going to be what ultimately saves the Rebellion. If it had been, well, the battle of Endor would’ve been over a lot sooner. But at the same time, Rowan’s vision was not for nothing, it was part of his destiny to build the Arrowhead. But for what reason, ultimately? Some deep thoughts there. Either way, watching it cut through that star destroyer was a bea-utiful sight to see! β€œLike a lightsaber through kaadu butter!” indeed.

And we finally got ourselves a medal ceremony! And our three young heroes got some fantastic new promotions! I could not have felt prouder! It’ll be neat to see how the Freemakers embrace their new roles as shipbuilder, quartermaster, and cadet. And it’ll also be quite interesting since we know that this isn’t the end of the season… and again, that the Arrowhead is not the final answer. Strange how such a victorious ceremony can also leave you with a bad feeling about this, huh?
But don’t worry Roger, we’ll get you one of those reward stickers from The Yoda Chronicles πŸ™‚

Wow I had a lot more to talk about this post than I thought I would! But that’s great. I hope I was able to deliver some fun stuff and some StarWarsian food for thought today. Until next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: The Maker Of Zoh

Since the Ghost crew took last Saturday off, you know what that means… it’s back to the Freemakers! And the episode we’re digging into today just so happens to be one of my favorites (even though they’re all my favorites), The Maker Of Zoh! Grab a hot cup of motor oil kaffe and read on!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from The Clone Wars “Siege Of Mandalore” arc, Rebels episode Twilight Of The Apprentice, The Yoda Chronicles, The New Yoda Chronicles, and Freemakers episodes Crossing Paths, The Test, The Kyber Saber Crystal Chase, and The Maker Of Zoh

Things have been pretty tough for the Freemaker fam these last couple days. A certain dark side-wielding Imperial is to blame. But perhaps things might not’ve been so difficult had they known R0-GR’s transmission pack had a tracking device the whole time. Roger knew about it but never considered it might have been the source of Naare’s constant one-step-aheading. Unfortunately this discovery is too late to make much of a difference — the last crystal’s on Hoth and Naare already knows this. So it’s either the Freemakers go to Hoth and she kills them or they don’t go and she finds the crystal and the Emperor kills everyone. But there is a third option, and it’s on Zoh. Rowan recalls what Maz Kanata told him about this person they could go to when things got desperate, and I’d say this whole situation qualifies. The uninhabited trash planet doesn’t sound promising, but hey, it’s not Hoth! That’s already a win! Oh, we’re off to see the Maker, the wonderful Maker of Zoh! *shot*
At first glance, Zoh isn’t terribly spectacular, but as they land the StarScavenger, the Freemakers come upon a fascinating array of massive, eclectic, but incredible scrap sculptures towering above them. The rest of the crew’s not sure what to make of it, but Rowan’s got a good feeling about this… which doesn’t last long when suddenly droids rise from the mechanical refuse. Lots of droids, from super battle droids to astromechs to pit droids and all the others I can’t rightly name. And they don’t like the Freemakers’ presence here. Zander sends Roger out to speak to them, but the instant their skeptical leader eyes the battle droid’s dismembered transmission pack, everydroid and their brother pulls out their weapons on the humans. Surely they would’ve made quick work of the family… had a voice not commanded them to cease their fighting… a voice I felt I recognized from somewhere but wasn’t sure where. With a wave of his hand, the mysterious figure disassembles the boulder of scrap metal that nearly was used on Rowan. The being must be Force-sensitive, but I still couldn’t place who this was. But then his left hand… it glows blue with the pure power of four kyber crystals. I squee-gasped with surprise: IT’S JEK-14. JEK is the one these droids address as The Maker. Oh my gosh you guys this made me so insanely happy I could hardly breathe! Considering how close-to-canon The Freemaker Adventures is, I wasn’t sure if the events of previous Lego SW specials were canon in this near-canon-ness. OK I’m not sure that made sense. What I mean is, one of the things that stands out most about TFA compared to previous Lego SW is that they strive to keep it as true to Star Wars as it gets, with the exception of some fun Lego stuff here and there. The older ones weren’t bad or any less fun by any means, they just mostly kept it light and played around with a lot of jokes that don’t quite quite fit the canon. Because of this, I wasn’t sure if they would consider both The Yoda Chronicles and The Freemaker Adventures in the same boat. I mean, I always kinda did, as I consider most Lego SW stories canon and take it all as seriously as the rest of SW. But whatever the case, they brought JEK-14 back and in the most amazing way. Anyway, JEK apologizes to the Freemakers for his overprotective shootystabbycrushy friends. Bossdroid N-3RO argues he has a right to overreact, looking at the lightsaber wound on one of the super battles, but JEK gets mouse droid Fixer right on it. The old clone gives the young scavengers full reign to take whatever scrap they need, but it’s not scrap they need, it’s help. And seeing how The Maker is a Forcewielder, Rowan believes he can help him with his Jedi training. But that’s exactly what JEK doesn’t want to do. “But the fate of the galaxy is at state!” “That’s what they all say… ‘One last battle to end all battles’, but there’s always another.” OK this just got so deep and so real I can’t even.
Let’s talk a brief history of JEK-14 for a minute or two. JEK-14 began life as a full-grown clone trooper, enhanced by kyber crystals and intended as a Separatist weapon by Darth Sidious. His first words were “I am ready to fight… for the Sith”, and without question he used his own brand of Force lightning on Jedi masters Mace Windu and Yoda. However, when commanded to actually kill Yoda, he couldn’t do it. Both the Jedi and the Separatists wanted JEK on their sides, but JEK refused, and the Force-sensitive clone fled for Hoth, where he found solace in using the Force to build works of art. However, the Separatists found him and cloned his Forcewielding self until he was barely alive. Miraculously, JEK-14 fought back and destroyed the dark side clones. Ultimately he chose to leave on a peaceful note, but intent on never again getting involved with the war. He went from there to Endor, where he helped build things for the ewok community. When the Jedi needed help, they sought him out, and it was only the kindness and innocence of Yoda’s padawans that convinced him to do so. In fact, had he not had such good relations with the younglings, far worse things might’ve happened. Some years later at the end of the Clone Wars, Yoda’s padawans convinced him to come back and help them get back the holocrons from the Jedi Temple. I don’t know for sure what he was doing in the time in between, but as I noticed watching this episode, the decorative clasp on his outfit has the Mandalorian beast-skull icon on it. Hehe I was actually right when I surmised he might’ve gone there! He clearly spent some time one what he assumed was a peaceful world, probably to be highly disappointed when the Siege of Mandalore occurred right before the war’s end. It was thanks to him that the Jedi made it safely offworld, and with the holocrons that Obi-Wan intended to use to train Luke someday. JEK spent the next 20 years in peace on Naboo before Yoda summoned him to Tatooine, where he would briefly join the fight against the Empire. He helped the Alliance for some time, before finally leaving them likely after they established their base on Hoth. And now, he’s made a home on Zoh, where he has all the building material he could ever want, all the friends he could ever need, and no one on his doorstep asking him to fight their battles. Until now. It’s only when Rowan explains how the Sith used him that JEK puts his pride and hurt behind him. Because once upon a time, the clone was used the same way. He’s not a Jedi, but he decides he will teach Rowan everything he knows about the Force. The Freemakers’ll be hanging out here for a while looks like. But N-3… bro’s not a fan…
Meanwhile, Graballa’s fleet was waiting outside Hoth. And waiting… and waiting… and waiting some more. Naare knows they’ll come. Graballa, however, is bored out of his mind. Both get slightly more than they bargained for though when their bosses come on the holo. Naare and Graballa are two very different varieties of scum and villainy, but the one thing they both have in common is that, for all their scum and villainy, they’re still pretty low on the food chain. Jabba doesn’t approve of his cousin’s latest harebrained scheme and Sidious is (as per usual) quickly running out of patience waiting for that Kyber Saber. Unsurprisingly, both Hutt and Imperial Agent are unsuccessful in convincing their higher-ups of their plans. We’re reminded in this scene that there are greater evils at work here and it’s terrifying. I do find it interesting that Naare approaches the Emperor this time not irritated or angry, but honestly kind of… afraid. Many times before, she’s addressed him with a prideful confidence we often see in second-rate darksiders, but it’s almost as though something happened recently to shake that foundation a little. Perhaps Sidious did something to remind her of her place, and what consequences await her if she fails. Maybe I’m reading into this too much, but if you’ve been reading these TFA posts for any length of time, you know I do a lot of that. But can you blame me? They are telling great stories here and I’m super curious about the things left unstated! But yah she feels ya, Graballa.
Watching JEK-14 training Rowan is basically one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my life. Like seriously. JEK has always been amazing with kids, and seeing him teaching his understanding of the Force to Rowan his just… wow. It’s something real special. I love his angle on the Force: the dark side destroys, but the light side creates. It’s a really great unique angle that feels appropriately Lego but also perfectly Star Wars. A very tangible point of view that perhaps no other Jedi master could offer… one that could only be explained by a Force-sensitive clone trooper who desired only to create. And perhaps someday Rowan will take these lessons and impart them on another young Forcewielder. FEELS FEELS FEEEEELS. Buuuuut again… N-3 is not a fan. The bossdroid’s convinced that The Maker might join the Freemakers and leave them if something’s not done. And if he leaves, they’ll be back to being useless, purposeless scrap. That does bring up a good question: do they truly see JEK as their friend and simply don’t want him to leave, or are they concerned mostly about being purposeless? Or are they concerned that, without The Maker, they will be have no one to protect them from any scavenger looking for a few spare parts? Or maybe it has something to do with him being “The Maker”, in that to the droids, he’s kind of a deity. IDK Maybe I missed something but any way you spin it it’s an interesting thought. N-3 is a very very desperate droid… and also very very convincing.
Elsewhere, Zander and Kordi hadn’t had much luck salvaging. Not a useful piece of junk in sight, it seems. Roger was trying to help, but after nearly crushing them with a toppled junk sculpture, the sibs give him the slip. It’s then when N-3RO makes his move, inviting his fellow “unappreciated” droid brother for a nice long oil bath. N-3 suggests that, perhaps, the battle droid should remain on Zoh, in paradise, away from ungrateful, uncaring masters who’d eventually scrap him. R0-GR won’t allow himself to believe the Freemakers would ever do such a thing, but considering recent events, there’s perhaps a niggling of doubt. Oh poor sweet Rogerrrr… 😦 Whatever the case, N-3RO’s got other plans for Roger’s masters… plans like leading Zander and Kordi into a trap.
So Rowan’s lessons were going quite well, thanks to JEK, he was able to construct a perfect speederbike out of spare parts. Which, true to his nature, Ro immediately hopped on and rode off. With a smile, JEK-14 follows on his own construction. Again AHHH I LOVE THIS. If Luke doesn’t become his official master then JEK totally should! It’s a good thing Rowan and JEK went for a ride, though, because they soon found Kordi and Zander chained up with a half a TIE hovering above their heads. N-3R0 insists that these trespassers have corrupted The Maker’s mind and that he’s doing the right thing by destroying them. Rowan expertly puts together a crate to shield them and attaches it to the speeders to get them to safety. Now if he and his master can stop the revolt without destroying the droids or getting killed themselves, it’llve been a good day! The two hold their own really well for a while, but when Rowan gets captured and JEK in turn lets his guard down, the droids get the better of them all. Roger returns from his oil bath to find his masters surrounded at all ends as N-3 has decided to “deactivate” them all, including JEK, who he now considers “beyond saving” O.O The bossdroid promises Roger complete freedom once the humans are out of the way. However, the old clanker’s come to a different conclusion. N-3 tried to convince him that the Freemakers’ frustration with him would ultimately end in a garbage disposal, but Roger has no doubts where he stands with his masters, because they’re not just masters, they’re family. In families, people make mistakes, they get mad at each other, but temporary frustration doesn’t turn their bond into scrap; they forgive each other, they love each other, they fight for each other. He might be a droid, but first and foremost he’s a Freemaker. And he takes that transmission pack with the family insignia on it and puts it back on. Now those droids are gonna have a whole ‘nother problem to deal with. OK I’m sorry I botched that moment but it’s truly amazing how strongly Roger cares for his family. In the past, he’s had a tendency to come off a little… I hate to say “jerky”, so let’s just say… “highly opinionated” with the Freemakers’ decisions and ideas. Oh wait “self-centered” that was the word I was looking for! Yeah he sometimes comes off like he cares more about himself than the others, but in his heart he truly considers them family, and he loves them even if they sometimes get on his nerves and force him into dangerous adventures… and vice versa πŸ™‚ But oh yeah now here comes Graballa’s ship! Nuts I wish I knew its name so I wouldn’t have to keep calling it just “Graballa’s ship”. In the midst of the chaos, the Freemakers are able to make their escape. JEK remains behind to protect the droids, even after all they’ve done. But that’s not the last noble thing he’ll be doing today. Just as the Freemakers got out of the frying pan, they walked into the fryer as Naare pulled her red-blade out on them. Rowan was ready to take her on, whatever it took, but JEK-14 stood between them, urging Rowan and his family to go on. Oh man I’m getting all teary-eyed writing this. As Naare addressed him as the “failed experiment”, my respect for her dropped a few points. It’s an amazing duel though, as she fights with her lightsaber, while JEK fights with nothing but the pure Force running through his blood. He creates obstacles to throw in her way, but she just as easily tears these structures apart. Had this been a fair fight, I believe JEK was the stronger of the two, even without formal training. But it was not so… using every inch of darkness in her soul, Naare began to form a mountain of refuse around the clone. Rowan watched in horror as The Maker of Zoh was slowly buried in the scrap. Before going down, JEK called out to his apprentice “Trust in the Force. Be a builder, Rowan!” and I started bawling here, crying out “HE DONE PULLED AN ‘AHSOKA’!!” Because of JEK-14’s sacrifice, the StarScavenger was able to get offworld and away from their enemies’ grasp. Over the transmission pack, Rowan makes very clear to Naare that he will be getting that final fragment. JEK not only taught Rowan a new understanding of the Force, but I believe he’s also heavily inspired bravery in his apprentice, and in the rest of the Freemakers as well, in their most desperate hour.
On Zoh, a recently reconstructed N-3RO (post being blasted by Graballa’s fleet) wakes up to a world without The Maker… and also a restraining bolt because bro was well overdue for one of those. BL-OX now knows they never should’ve listened to him, as now, their master is no more. I started getting weepy again as I recalled all of the amazing things JEK had done and the incredible man he was. And then…
An arm shot out of the scrap.
The spark of the Force still electric in his veins, a blaze of pure Force shoots from his hand.
JEK LIVES.

So I basically drowned in feels the rest of the day. Happy feels that JEK is alive. Sad feels that Rowan believes he lost his friend. Nostalgia feels from seeing JEK again. Really all the feels. I so so much love this episode and, again, this series. It felt awesome writing about them again. And I certainly will soon! Whenever the Rebs go on hiatus I’ll bring some more Freemaker follow-ups until I hit the season finale! As long as I live and breathe I’m never gonna wanna stop talking about Star Wars πŸ˜€

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: Race On Tatooine

TWILIGHT545: SUPERSTAR BLOGGER GAL! is here again to deliver another Closer Look on The Freemaker Adventures! And yes, I did have some trouble coming up with an opening on this post. I honestly can’t remember the last time I didn’t. But enough blabbing from me, let’s just start talking about the thrilling Race On Tatooine already.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, The Yoda Chronicles, and Freemakers episodes The Lost Treasure Of Cloud City, Crossing Paths, and Race On Tatooine

Less than a minute into the episode, we see Dengar blast his way out of the Cloud City prison, gracefully freefall using his headwrap as a parachute, and commandeer a cloud car. Just. like. that. After years of getting little respect in the SW universe (with the exception of his fabulously awesome appearance in TCW), we’re finally really really seeing what Dengar can really do. And he is just amazing. Inventive, cunning, and fierce are words that come to mind. But oh right I forgot… Dengar and his crew getting out of jail is bad news for our heroes. Especially when he shows a certain business card to his slimy boss, Graballa… ohhhh danggg…
This is all particularly bad because Rowan most certainly don’t got time to deal with anyone else with questionable motives. He’s got Naare to worry about. Something about her being a Jedi and killing that Force-flower doesn’t add up… unless she isn’t who she says she is. I imagine the time he spent with Luke also got him thinking. There is an edge to Naare, a forcefulness, one might say a darkness… her methods, her teachings, they are based in Jedi training, but there are whispers of the Dark Side throughout. I doubt Naare ever explained the Dark Side of the Force to Rowan, as he could use that knowledge against her. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he picked up some stuff on that from Luke, too. I’m sorry I’m rambling on this but there’s something fascinating about all this, about the difference between these two masters, between light and dark, between selfless and selfish. He knows what a true Jedi looks like now, and I betcha even if Naare hadn’t killed the Force-flower, he would’ve seen through her disguise soon enough. Either way, Rowan knows there’s something not right about her. Too bad Roger is completely not listening to his ponderings. He’s about to voice his concerns to Kordi, but all she’s concerned about right now is parts and jobs and getting the job done right. And then… “It’s not like I can just clap my hands and a job’ll come up!” *Clap clap* “OMG WE JUST GOT A JOB!!!” “Quick do it again!” *Clap clap* “Blast it was just a coincidence.” XD Ben Quadrinaros needs a pit crew, and he’s gonna pay them major creds to do it. I’d say Kordi and Zander are SOLD. Also seeing Quadrinaros in SW for the first time in 17 years made me positively giddy. Call me weird but I love that adorable bigheaded old racer dude! Looks like heavy discussions will have to wait.
Speaking of the Dark Side, what’s Naare up to? Getting chewed out by her bosses again, that’s what. The Darths want results, not excuses, and make their point using holo glitches as an example. You’d think Sidious would have a little more patience, considering the years he spent slowly taking over the Republic, but nahhh he just wants to win the war already. Not unlike the whole Force-sensitive clone experiment he tried a while back, but you know how that went. Judging by all the stuff she Force-threw in a fit of rage, I’d say she’s a little frustrated. “And I broke my favorite kaffe mug! This day just gets better and better!” And then just when she needed Rowan the most, she found the Freemakers were gone. Mondays, amiright? πŸ˜› Though she may want to work on keeping her angry screams to herself. Actually she’s got a lot of things she needs to work on. Like people skills. Y’know Grey Griffin voiced Ventress back in the days of the Clone Wars Microseries. I can definitely hear a similarity between the two when Naare goes all rage-mode-y. Yay random voice acting tidbits! OK moving on…
When it comes to working on podracers, Zander is now the Freemaker Bossman. These racing machines are his life bro, and when a famous podracer like Quadrinaros is behind the controls, there’s no time to waste! Kordi’s all “Is that what I sound like??” XD So yes I love seeing Ben Quadrinaros again, even if he does turn out to be somewhat of a traitor because he was working for Graballa the whole time. But hey he’s still a good guy, just a good guy who really really didn’t want to be killed by a Hutt and didn’t know what else to do. Hopefully we’ll see him again soon, and in a better light that doesn’t involve him siding with a baddie. But enough of my fangirly nostalgia THE FREEMAKERS ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE! Graballa may deliver some stellar one-liners but he is 100% a genuine threat. And then JABBA THE HUTT showed up. With a mile’s worth of Gamorrean Guards and BOBA FETT. YES. BOBA FETT. Who is apparently BFFs with Dengar. Haha yes I love that these two scheming scummy hunters are buddies. Bros before bounties! Also it brought me great joy hearing Dee Baker’s voice behind that helmet, considering he’s never voiced a clone for Lego SW until this point, and also just because he does an amazing awesome job at it. So while Jabba decides to have a little “conversation” with his cousin and the hunters hang out, the Freemakers see this as an opportunity to podrace their way outta here. Hehe I love Jabba’s smug smile when Graballa realizes they got away XD
So let’s just spend the rest of the blog deciphering the deeper meaning behind Anakin’s claim “I’m the only human who can do it, you know”. That was my first thought when I heard they were gonna be podracing. Obviously, Anakin’s Force abilities gave him great reflexes to handle the speed and unpredictability of a podrace. We know that. And maybe, had Rowan been driving, I would’ve chalked it up to that as well. But Zander‘s the one at the controls. Granted, he’s not doing terribly great at it, but he does have his siblings and droid barely hanging on while they’re being chased by bounty hunters on speederbikes, so that could be part of it. But they literally don’t crash and/or burn (at least up until the very end when Zander takes his hands off the yoke) And I’d always assumed that, short of having a few thousand midichlorians, only other, more dexterous, species could handle such a dangerously fast vehicle. Maybe it’s just that most humans who’d tried to drive a podracer just weren’t good at it? That or Zander is Force-sensitive too, but I highly doubt that, so let’s just leave it at Zander is really really really good. Or at least good enough that no one dies. Or maybe Anakin was just highly misinformed from being on Tatooine his whole young life. *Shrugs* Makes me wish they did something like Rebels Recon for the Freemakers so I could shoot my questions to Pablo Hidalgo. But anyway, the chase takes them on some dangerous turns, including a turn right into an actual podrace. First of all, hearing the actual original voice of Fode playing him was mind-blowing (I have a slight “thing” for Episode I aliens evidently). Second of all, Zander’s overjoyed shout of “PODRACING!!!!!” made me die laughing. And it sounded pretty much exactly like me whenever I see something SW-related. But ohh yesss they’re racing for their very lives in an actual race. I love. So much. Their pursuers don’t make it easy on them, and all the while Rowan and Kordi are doing their best to hang on to the engines, and, in a few instances, fix the engines at the same time. And oh yeah let’s not forget when Dengar and Rowan fought hand-to-hand while STANDING ON THE ENGINE and Rowan defeated him using a spare rod as a lightsaber stand-in. SOOO AWESUMM. Oh but right that wasn’t a spare part that was some kind of stabilizer and the pod was thrown out of control. But ultimately it’s that move that sends them spiraling across the finish line and puts a lovely trophy in their hands. Elsewhere, Darth Vader suddenly sensed a disturbance… a feeling that somewhere, a longstanding record of his had just been broken XP
So the Freemakers won the podrace, but not the race. Graballa’s goons are still out there, and they won’t be able to get back to the StarScavenger (yes I only now realized it’s spelled as one word) anytime soon. They need a hero, they need a Jedi, they need Naare. And Rowan’s all “Whaaaaa… No we don’t…!” but it don’t matter what he thinks, the overall opinion of the room is #TeamNaare. And with a little rewiring of R0-GR they’re able to shoot their “Jedi friend” a comm. Huh she sounded mostly concerned about Rowan atm wonder why…? πŸ˜› But regardless of her intentions, she’s their only hope as Graballa and his men walk over… and with a very large number of blasters. Kordi tries to use her salesperson superpowers and negotiate with the Hutt, but when it comes to making ca$h off those Kyber Saber crystals, he don’t negotiate nothin’. They really could use a miracle right now. Good thing Rowan found a whole crate full of ’em. Sabine would be proud at what happened next. Thermal detonators FTW. “Next time… I offer Boba Fett double.” XD Unfortunately, the crate wasn’t full forever, and the Freemakers were out of tricks. But that’s about when the Eclipse Fighter arrived. I regret I haven’t talked about that pretty ship more but it really is a sight to behold. I am curious though whether Eclipse Fighter is its name or its brand/type. But whatever the case, it’s definitely one of my favorite new SW ships. And if you think the Eclipse is impressive, wait ’til you see what her pilot can do! Again yes I know all this Jedi stuff is just for show but Naare’s fighting skills are truly epic and it’s awesome getting to see her really put them to use as she completely pwns Graballa’s crew. Zander is smitten, Kordi is genuinely impressed, and Rowan questions why he ever doubted her. Naare orders the Freemakers to the fighter, but the hunters quickly get the better of Rowan’s siblings and droid. Nothing the Jedi Master can’t handle tho. Stuck in the Eclipse’s cockpit, Rowan looks for anything that could possibly help and comes upon a lightsaber… with a red blade. And I’m betting Luke told him about the kind of people who use red blades. And as if to confirm all of his concerns and doubts, THE EMPEROR COMES ON THE COMM. And what he says is utterly gut-wrenchingly terrifying. “Slice up his family! That’ll make him talk.” O.O Not gonna lie I gave a squeak-gasp of complete horror at that. And I cannot think of a decent segue now; I’m still recovering from the shock. All I can say is ROWAN KNOWS. HE KNOWS MAN. And just about then along comes the rest of the Freemakers and everyone’s favorite Darksider-next-door. Graballa isn’t gonna get ’em today… but you know what they say about “out of the frying pan and into the fryer”. Wait I don’t think that makes sense in this context. The point is, Naare will guaranteed be a problem. But don’t tell Zander and Kordi, they’re pretty much Naare’s number one fans now. Judging by her face as they grouphugged her, I don’t think the feeling is mutual. She makes very clear to Rowan that he’s not going anywhere without her from now on. “…You never know what dangers may be waiting” (paraphrased because I literally can’t remember the exact line I heard a minute ago). Rowan seems to agree… and that’s why he holds his so-called master’s red blade behind his back. OMINOUS ENDINGGGG.
AHHHHH SO MUCH DRAMA. But also AHHHHHH SO MUCH AWESOME!! Until next post…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Raid On Coruscant: A Closer Look

So with months off before Rebels comes back, no new really big SW news, and my next Star Wars Summer Read still on its way to my library, it seems like a good time to talk some more about the Lego Star Wars specials! Plus, with Droid Tales on the way it’d probably be a good idea to get back in on this. So I bring you my Closer Look on Raid On Coruscant. Enjoyyyyy.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from The Empire Strikes Out, The Phantom Clone, Race For The Holocrons, Raid On Coruscant

When we last left our heroes, things… didn’t go that well. Guess who has two thumbs and all the holocrons? THIS GUYYY! Er… Darth Vader, not me… I guess that joke doesn’t technically work in this context. Never mind. So yeah that’s a problem. Now the Empire has a full list of every planet sympathetic to the Rebel Alliance. Naboo is next on this list. “I can’t figure out how our sign didn’t throw them off!”, yesss because they’d totally buy the “Not a Rebel Base” sign XD I figure Vader had fun laying waste to this planet… on the list of planets associated with his past he’d like to destroy, Naboo’s probably tops on the list. Yeah this does not look good. Yoda and Obi-Wan know that for sure, that’s why they called up their old buddy JEK-14 to lend a Force-enriched hand. But it seems someone didn’t get the memo on that… Qui-Gon Jinn showed up, ready and rarin’ to go to help his comrades! Well, this is awkward. So Obi-Wan and Yoda give their other old buddy a job opening a pickle jar. Qui-Gon’s totally into it “You remembered how good I am at opening things! Let me at it! I have a very particular set of skills.” XD (OMG I just realized they dropped a Taken reference *dies laughing*)
So Vader was going to give his master an update, but it took a bit longer than he would’ve preferred, having to get past his secretary and being put on hold. Makes sense, though. I mean, if you’re Emperor of the entire galaxy you’ve got to be a busy dude. So Darth takes a tea break, only to have Sidious come on the line a minute later. Palpatine’s glad to see his progress, and now offers up the next planet to mess with — Tatooine. Otherwise known as #1 on Vader’s “planets associated with my past that I’d like to destroy” list. It’s funny I wouldn’tve pegged Tatooine for having too many Rebel sympathizers, but apparently any at all is too many as far as the Empire’s concerned. Looks like Threepio’s interview is over…
In the back of the Mos Eisley cantina, Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie discuss their situation and what their next move should be. Luke believes their best move would be to head on over to Coruscant itself and take the holocrons back. Han’s response is hilarious “Kid! You’ve been sleeping with that flashlight-thing too close to your brain!” πŸ˜› Leia’s actually resorted to considering hiding as a good plan, but regardless of the risky nature of the plan, Luke believes that’s their best move. And then in comes a AT-AT… right in the middle of the cantina. Like clockwork, the Empire has arrived. But so also has one JEK-14…
The Falcon crew finds themselves facing down Imperial resistance from both ends, including but not limited to Lord Vader in an AT-AT. Thankfully for our heroes, those things, while impressive and super-cool, take a little work to turn around and that gives them an opportunity to make a run for it. They try for the Falcon‘s docking bay only to be met by Jabba and every bounty hunter he could ever hope to hire to capture Captain Solo. And Luke’s doesn’t work much better… those fangirls of his are back. So things just got more chaotic that it already was. As they were running for their lives, JEK runs up alongside them, introducing himself as a friend of Obi-Wan’s and offering them a lift out of this mess. Luke is a tad skeptical, at least up until JEK uses that arm of his to build a wall between them and their pursuers. But just when they thought they’d gotten out of the soup, they’re met by blasterfire from Vader’s AT-AT. Just when they thought they were back in the soup, Artoo and Threepio take aim at the transport with the Falcon! Vader’s not too happy to see that old thing pwning his weaponry again… and I bet he’d be even less happy to know that two familiar droids were the ones at the controls. So he decides to ditch the AT-AT and meet them full-on with his lightsaber. JEK was about to work his Force-arm magic and turn the Falcon invisible, but his Force-control don’t work as well as it used to. Though it does make an interesting point; obviously age doesn’t impact one’s use of the Force (see: everything Yoda’s ever done), so does that mean JEK’s arm is robotic and not physical? My only problem with that theory is that he was a normal clone who was enhanced by a kyber crystal, so that shouldn’t have turned his arm robotic out of the gate. But technically, JEK isn’t actually Force-sensitive in the traditional sense, he gained some unique abilities via the kyber crystal, but it’s not the same as actual Force sensitivity. He has just as many midichlorians as the rest of the clones (well, maybe a couple more?). So I think my theory of his arm being overcharged by pure Force still stands. Sorry if that made no sense at all, but it’s definitely interesting looking at this concept from a realistic standpoint. So it finally takes Han giving the old guy’s arm a whack to get it back to fully functioning, and with that, the ship disappears from Vader’s sight and flies off to the Kashyyk base. Also yay Qui-Gon got that pickle jar open! “So awkward, this is…” XD
So Vader kinda had to go and explain what happened to Sidious. Sidious isn’t pleased, but there are still plenty of other planets to crush out there. While hunting through the holocrons for a fresh planet, he happens to find one loaded with footage of a young Anakin Skywalker. Consider Darth Vader’s interest piqued. As the master and the apprentice head off to the screening room to find out what their next target is, Vader happens to quietly take the past-self holocron with him. Of course, that “screening room” is technically the senate building (no one told Senator Yawn this, though… poor dude), and in there they find that the planet in question is “Wookiee World”. Vader points out its actual name and location, and to that Sidious drops one of the greatest lines uttered in Lego SW history “Well, you’re a real Star Wars nerd, aren’t you?” SO META! XD XD Though in all seriousness, Rebels, you’re in trouble… but it turns out the Rebels are pretty aware of that. So Luke’s come back to his raid plan again, with help from Mon Mothma and Admiral Ackbar (and of course JEK, who helps polish off the Falcon in a marvelous way), they might stand a chance.
Meanwhile, Vader was taking a moment to watch that holocron he confiscated. It shows an early Clone Wars battle with a younger, nicer him along with Obi-Wan and Mace Windu, all cracking very future-foretelling quips (“When you guys joke around like that it makes me want to get tossed out a high-rise window with my arm cut off!” Seriously? That’s kinda scary…). Vader’s had enough of it and kicks the ‘cron away. It does make you wonder what all Darth’s feeling right now. This is between Episodes IV and V so he knows who Luke is and it’s starting to chip away at his outer shell. He likely still harbors hate for the Jedi and probably still refers to his old self as someone else, but at this juncture I could see him starting to slowly question his allegiances. Face it bro you’ve still got good in ya! But no time to think about that he’s got Rebels to crush!
As for the Rebels, the plan is set, JEK’s knows the lay of the Coruscant land, and Artoo’s got the floor plans! At least, he will once Leia finds the right compact disc to load. Han breaks the awkward silence with “Ever wonder how come we don’t have digital downloads yet?” Pffff XD Luke senses the Empire’s approach, so it’s time for the Rebels to make their move! But by the time they get to Coruscant… the Imperials are gone. That’s because the Imperials already left for Kashyyk! You can imagine how much Vader liked this surprise. Yeahh I had never thought two enemies could miss each other like that, but it’s working in the Rebels’ favor so they have more time to grab those holocrons without opposition. And then enter in the Imperial Guards. OK so the plan’s not entirely without opposition. But duh that’s why JEK-14’s here. #ForceEnhancedBenefits JEK takes a look in the old Holocron Vault and Han and Luke enter into Palpatine’s office. JEK doesn’t find any ‘crons, though he does find himself fighting that old vault droid who doesn’t play fair. But Han knows just how to make their entrance — making one in the Emperor’s office window. And the dark dude hasn’t yet left the building. Then he doesn’t play fair and hides in the closet until he throws all Force lightning on the two young heroes, and that turns into a ‘saber battle between Luke and Sidious. Man, Luke is really doing awesome, standing his ground against such a formidable foe. I mean, Luke’s practically just started his training and Palpatine brought down Jedi masters! Either the Force is really really really with young Skywalker or Palpatine’s just getting old. I’ll leave that up to you to decide.
Oh yeah, and with Artoo’s help, JEK managed to get out of that mess with the vault droid. Artoo grabbed a single ‘cron and whacked him over the head with it (the vault droid, not JEK-14). Back at the battle in Palpatine’s office, the smacktalk had begun. “YOU ARE A WEAK PATHETIC FARM BOY!” “Oh yeah? Well, your teeth are yellow!” “*GASP* WORDS CAN HURT YOU KNOW!” Another one of the best lines ever! πŸ˜† XD Though seriously have we seen one honest-to-goodness Sith without bad teeth? Even most second-rate Sithy-sorts have bad teeth! I guess we can cut Ventress and Savage from this ranking but still! Luke finally knocks the ‘saber from Sidious’ hands, but that only frees him up to Force-grab the boy and throw him out the window. Thankfully, a tour bus full of Jawas was at the right place in the right time. Palpatine thought he could get away scot-free, but didn’t expect to be surrounded at all ends by Han, Chewie, and alllll those Wookiees in the senate building. Luke finally rejoins the party, but the Emperor’s not going to make it easy for our heroes — he threatens to destroy the holocrons! But Skywalker knows how to play his cards right; “Go ahead! Destroy them!” and literally everybody be like “WHUT?“. Luke knows there’s no way Palpatine would really want to destroy all his precious intel. And that’s where JEK comes in, for the good of the galaxy, Luke gives him the command to destroy the holocrons. It’s sad to see all these years worth of documented Jedi history blown to pieces, but if it allows the Rebels to fight another day, then it’s a necessary sacrifice. And with that, the Alliance is heading back to Kashyyk on a good note.
As for Vader, he finally showed up after managing the space battle. And he happened to find Palpatine trapped on top of the senate building, cape caught on its spike, and his heart-print boxers for all the world to see. Yes this was not one of the Darths’ better days.
Obi-Wan and Yoda reflect on Luke’s daring decision. Good news is they can’t be used for evil ever again, bad news is now Luke can’t use the holocrons for Jedi training. It’s Master Jinn who suggests Yoda be the one to train him. And he finally outs them for not being honest with him to start with XD “I would expect more from the guys I taught the ways of immortality to!”
Back on Kashyyk, we’re getting to hang around for the Wookiee party! Sure Ewoks know how to throw an epic soiree but the hairy beasts could give them a run for their money! While the Rebels get down, Luke and JEK talk for a moment, as Luke does regret not being able to at least get ahold of one holocron. But JEK reveals that Artoo did managed to keep one… the one with a young Anakin Skywalker πŸ™‚ Awwwz! “Whoever this Jedi is, he’s amazing! I hope someday I turn out just like him!” Well, I wouldn’t really want you to do that, but still, if one thing tugs at my heartstrings, it’s that image of Luke watching his father as the great man he once was :3
So there you go some random Legoness for your Saturday. Hope all my American readers have a Fourth Of July that’s as much fun as an Ewok-and-Wookiee party! πŸ˜€

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight