Tag Archives: TIE defenders

Rebel Transmissions: Flight Of The Defender

All right, so let’s head back to Lothal for this week’s Rebel Transmission! I do apologize that my one-episode-post-per-week sched makes it harder for you to get the up-to-date Rebs thoughts you might be looking for. But as this is the last season, I want to savor every little moment ❤ Anyway, on to Flight Of The Defender!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes The Occupation and Flight Of The Defender. Ideally, you should be caught up with every episode prior to these before reading. Events from episodes after these will not be covered.

Star Wars and cuteness: it’s a time-honored tradition that began with the endearing presence of characters like Artooie and Chewie and has gone on for ages since, especially in these days when we’re surrounded by characters and creatures like BB-8, porgs, and of course, LOTHCATS! Right out of the gate we get a darling trio of these space kittehs and they bring me so so much joy! The one grooming Zeb got me somewhere between cracking up and “aww”ing my head off X3 They just steal the show in the best way, always up to something new and adorable! And they can still give a couple of bucketheads a run for their credits! I’ll always champion SW’s use of cuteness because it’s another one of those things that makes these stories and worlds feel so real and relatable. Plus, cute things help make dark times a little bit lighter, and as you know, the perfect balance of dark and light is one of those things I love so much about Star Wars 🙂 And some lightness was definitely needed right now as there’s a new deadlier-than-ever Defender on its way…

I think it’s an unarguable fact that whenever the Rebs take control of an Imperial craft, we’re in for a good time, or at least a good fight. Brings back some good memories there… just this time the stakes might be a lot lot higher. But even with the flight cut short by the Imps, we definitely have some fun with Ezra and Sabine today. It was thrilling watching Sabine leave a trail of firepower at every turn when she first set out. And then Ezra’s piloting skills?? Oh my gosh he’s gotten so good! These two are a force of nature and I loved every minute of their showdown in the skies! And I gotta say, I liked the TIE Defenders the first time we saw ’em, but now I love them. So fast! So firey! And that sound! Whoo!! Not to mention those cool little jet trails it leaves when it spins. If only they weren’t a huge huge problem for the Rebel Alliance, I might love them more… that and maybe if they had some more seatbelts/restraints, considering the way the kids got thrown around in there.
Also can we talk about Thrawn for a sec ’cause WOW he just keeps getting epic-er. With that cool, unrattled stare and his blaster aimed straight and true, I wouldn’tve been too surprised if one shot had brought the Defender down. That is what I’m callin’ #Thrawnfidence! 😀 Yeah we have to make that hashtag a thing now. Absolutely.

OK so I have to say something further about Ezra and Sabine ’cause they just make the best team right now, and in really every episode this season so far. I’ve been thinking back on the first couple seasons a lot lately and it’s amazing to look at how much their bond has grown and strengthened since then. Earlier we saw Ezra standing alongside Sabine on Mandalore, and now vice versa is true amidst all the tragedy surrounding Ez’s homeworld. I just love that loyalty, their honesty with each other, and how they’re so different sometimes, but they’re always on the same wavelength anyway. You see all those elements in a big way this episode. And one thing that caught my attention in this one in an unexpected way, was watching those few times Ezra held Sabine while she was out. There’s something so endlessly noble and tender about that gesture, small though it may be, that it makes me swoon a little (that, and write this whole paragraph here). Of course, it’s easy for me to just make this all about the potentially-romantic angle of their relationship, but looking back on how far they’ve come as a whole, I find I love them together for simply who they are now: Ezra and Sabine, the kids of the Ghost family, the best of friends, and one of the most explosively dynamic Rebel duos to date. Wherever they go in their relationship from here, it’s still nothing short of something really special :3

And obviously we must talk about the lothwolves. They are astounding, aren’t they? As you can figure from the first paragraph, I’m a big animal nerd, with a particular soft spot for furry things including felines and canines. Naturally, I was quite fond of that old idea Dave Filoni discussed at Celebration 2016 of Ahsoka riding a massive white wolf. I was happy to see the concept made it into the canon in some way when I spotted some cave paintings resembling the creature showed up in Thrawn’s studies in Season 3, but little did I expect them to take on such a big role this season. With a creature as mysterious as this, there’s not much I can say other than reiterate again how beautiful, majestic, and intriguing they are. And how awe-inspiring its size is, how chilling its voice is, and that amazingly wise look in its eyes. I’m really excited to further dig into what the lothwolf brings to the SW mythos. They’re just really really neat even if there’s so much I still don’t understand.
But with Star Wars, there’s still a lot of joy in the mysteries…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

P.S. ONE MORE MONTH ‘TIL LAST JEDI WHOOP WHOOP!!!

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Following The Freemakers: Return Of The Kyber Saber

So with the second season just around the corner, I’d say it’s high time I got this post written. Today we shall do some digging into the marvelous first season finale of The Freemaker Adventures, Return Of The Kyber Saber! Let’s see if I can some good nerdy thoughts together for you today…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episode Empire Day, and basically the entire first season of The Freemaker Adventures

OK so one thing I’ve absolutely adored about TFA is the way they’ve so flawlessly weaved in elements and concepts that started in Rebels, one of those being the joyous celebration known as Empire Day! Y’know a really interesting thought just hit me about Empire Day… different planets probably have different calendars, so depending where you are, it might fall in the summer, or the winter, or whatever other seasons the world might have. It’s not a huge revelation I guess, but it’s just neat to think about. But clearly, as the capital of the galaxy, Coruscant is the place to be on E-Day! And if you happen to be the Emperor, it’s even better. I love how he tears open his presents like a little kid! Granted, he’s a rather ungrateful little kid but it’s still kind of charming in a weird way. Man I can’t imagine being in those Imperials’ shoes… what do you get the Emperor who literally has everything? I can see how easy it’d be to just default to “Galaxy’s Best Emperor” mugs to be safe. From what I gathered from Tarkin he seems to like fine decor, so maybe an artistic Nubian knickknack might suit him. Or maybe it’s just safer to go with a gift card. But then again, judging by how many Imps lined up with boxed gifts, he must prefer actual tangible gifts over credits. Plus, a handpicked gift is just sometimes more thoughtful, y’know? I’d say that those who’ve been in the Empire the longest probably have figured out how to shop for him, but Vader defaulted to the mug option too. With him, “it’s the thought that counts” doesn’t count. But in truth, the best Empire Day gifts don’t come from a store… they come from treachery, deception, and devious intent. Agent Naare is about to bring him a deadly superweapon on a silver platter — the long-lost Kyber Saber. Wouldn’t that be the brightest candle on the cake! XD Isn’t that’s an image? But in all seriousness you guys we’re all toast if the plan Rowan proposed last episode doesn’t pull through.
Another interesting revelation I’ve had recently is that Rowan has more than just one Force talent. I’ve always considered his connection to Kyber crystals one, but I think his ability to build is also unique gift from the Force. We watch him masterfully put the StarScavenger back together piece by piece. It might seem simple enough to those us who just see the ship as Lego parts, but it’s important to remember that their world is only portrayed as plastic. These characters and the galaxy they live in are as real to me as any other medium we’ve seen Star Wars in. The unfocused, accident-prone boy we met in the first episode has now perfectly reconstructed an entire ship in the course of a day or so. That’s the kind of amazing stuff the Force can do. Like seriously. Your mind’s gotta be blown by now, right?
“…is this who you really are? An evil Sith? Or are you just a misunderstood soul who’s never learned to love herself?” “Mmm… nope.” Yet we know that’s not true because no Star Wars villain is! With maybe the exception of Sidious but I don’t know all his story yet. Dangit, Naare has been such an awesome, fascinating character! Someone better put her in the canon right now and write books and comics on her right now! And maybe do an Anthology movie if they get the chance. She might be a villain but she’s among the most intriguing villains in the history of SW just because there’s so much we don’t know about her. I have my theories, of course, but I’m curious what the writers really have in mind. I don’t know if we’ll ever know her whole story but just wishful thinkin’. For now though, all we know is her darksider side, and that the Kyber Saber in her hands is a really really bad thing. Especially when she seems to like it a little too much. Y’know I find it interesting, knowing the way Sith and Sith-y sorts tend to be over power, that Naare never considered keeping it for herself before this. Partially I’m sure it was some loyalty to the Empire she serves, but I’m thinking that fear had a lot to do with it. Sidious and Vader pressured her beyond belief, and I wouldn’t doubt they probably used fear as a motivator more than once. So she had no time to consider what benefits she might reap from this, considering I imagine a fierce desire for power has fueled her darkness for a long time. But now that she holds the Saber… yeahh… Naare left Coruscant an Imperial agent, and she’s coming back Empress of the galaxy! Sidious really shoulda seen this coming.
Considering Empire Day is also Ezra Bridger’s birthday, it’s kind of adorable the Freemakers unknowingly take a cue from him in the first stage of their plan. To the sewers! Always a good idea! XD Least until a probe droid shows up. And a really big one I might add. Taller than Zander! Yikes. But with a solid wrench in hand, bro can handle it. Though it may take him a few showers to get rid of that particularly incredible smell…
Meanwhile Naare singlehandedly takes out two Imperial freighters and a handful of TIEs. Not to mention two whole Star Destroyers. Here’s another nerdy thought to chew on: the kyber crystals Jedi use in their lightsabers are tiny. They’re smaller than your thumbnail. The Kyber Saber is made entirely of these crystals. It’s about the length of a normal lightsaber, which I guess would be a few feet so… think about how many individual crystals that would be. Is that not an insane amount of power?! I mean, it might seem obvious since she’s already torn apart a whole moon but when you think about the science behind it… dang. Just… dang. Master Cantu clearly had no idea what kybers were truly capable of when he built that thing. It does make you wonder how he put it together from a canon perspective. Far as I can gather, you can’t just mine kybers like you mine spice; Jedi have to go through some challenging stuff to find just one! I’m thinking maybe Jedi didn’t have the same kind of connection to the crystals at that point in history. Perhaps all Cantu knew was that the crystal and the Force had a connection somehow, and that he could find a way to channel his own Force through that. So making a blade of the crystals was a logical method. Post his realization that such a large amount was deadly, he probably spent a lot of time figuring out what worked and what didn’t work with them, and perhaps, eventually, made a blade that channeled a beam of energy from the crystals instead. I don’t know how much they figured out with the Story Group’s help in making it half-way-sorta-canon, but it’s a reasonable assumption. Anyway, on to other areas of nerdiness.
So far the Freemaker kids are owning it today! Rowan gave me all kinds of warm fuzzies using the Force to save Zander from a perilous fall, and Kordi just don’t got time for bucketheads today and puts them in chains without wasting a second. But the final phase of the plan might be more challenging than all they’ve faced in the sewers combined. Rowan, in dark cloak with the Emperor’s officially-licensed voice changer in hand, has to play a convincing Palpatine to get the Kyber Saber in his hands. And at this point we all know that unless something changes… yep we are alllllll toast. The writing’s still solid tho! Never saw this turn coming! Though you’d think Rowan and family might’ve suspected something when Palpatine made a run for it. (Hey, better a living chicken than a dead Tarkin!) R0-GR’s head finally made it back to the Freemakers, but unfortunately a little too late. Oh, and random note: Rowan muttering “bored bored bored…” while spinning in the Emperor’s throne is 110% relatable XD Anyway, boy do things get real when Naare shows up. #Understatement SHE IS TERRIFYING YOU GUYS. SIDIOUS YOU SHOULD’VE GONE AND GOTTEN THE STUPID BLADE YOURSELF BECAUSE NOW LOOK WHAT HORROR YOU’VE UNLEASHED!! She is happy to kill her former apprentice if she can’t kill her former master, and also she basically uses one hand and the Force and downs two AT-ATs. I’ll theorize right now that possessing the Kyber Saber also enhances one’s use of the Force as well as channeling it through the blade, so Naare can do stuff that I’m not sure even the most powerful Forcewielder could alone. With the Saber in hand, she’s crowned herself Empress and no one’s gonna deny her and live. I shudder to think what might’ve happened if she’d actually stayed Empress. Of course, it wouldn’tve been much better if Palpatine had obtained the blade so either way this is a nightmare scenario come true. Everything has fallen apart, but Rowan isn’t done, not for a second. (“You have more lives than a lothcat!” got a big grin out of me) He picks himself out of the rubble and calls the kyber crystals back, putting the ultimate power in his grip instead. It’s pretty awe-inspiring. Rowan uses the blade to build walls, every time he turns around though, Naare cuts them down with her own ‘saber. For a moment, Rowan questions why he doesn’t just use the Kyber Saber as the weapon Naare wants it to be used as. He sounds so angry, so destroyed inside, recalling all the pain this monster in front of him has put his family through. He actually starts to drown her in the scrap around them, which I startlingly realized reminded me of how Naare nearly killed JEK-14. This image is both frightening and beautiful somehow. I’ve always loved the dichotomy of light and dark in the Star Wars mythos, and they’ve done an incredible job portraying these ideas and concepts in the series as we’ve witnessed many different shades of the Force between this innocent young boy who wished to be a Jedi and this malicious half-human woman who desires to be a Sith. Seeing Rowan wrestle briefly with the dark side is a really pivotal image and both fascinates me and wrecks me simultaneously. But as the Emperor looks on approvingly… Rowan realizes that this isn’t him. He is not a Sith, he is a Freemaker. And so, he ends the fight by jumping back aboard the StarScavenger, taking the ancient blade with him. I cheered you guys, it’s impossible not to. When TIEs give chase, the fam brings out their wild card (which I just realized would be an awesome ship name), the brand new Blazemaker. With a fake Saber in one hand and the Blazemaker’s controls in the other, Zander gives the Imps the slip real good. And may I just say the completed Blaze is one not-so-ugly “ugly”! It’s easy to understand now why he’s been passionate for this spacecraft of his, it’s gorgeous and it gets the job done! I think he oughta name it the Wild Card, don’t you? Unless of course the Blazemaker is its actual name and not the model. I get so confused sometimes. With the Imperials no longer in pursuit, Rowan masterfully uses the Force and the power of the Kyber Saber to beautifully reconstruct the Starscavenger into a totally different ship that the Empire will no longer recognize. It’s just astonishing what this amazing kid can do. Seriously. I’m just floored right now. And this is the fourth time I’ve watched this episode to date. Kordi’s proud sisterly smile matches my own :3
So I’m thinking the Emperor might appreciate his mugs right now, ’cause after a day like today, he’s gonna need a lot of kaffe. As for Naare, well, her comeuppance was genius. I didn’t really want her to die, but I knew she was a little too far past being redeemed, so making her a decorative piece for Graballa’s place was the perfect option. I did wonder a bit how it was they got her into carbonfreeze in the first place, since even cuffed she could do a lot of damage. I’m gonna theorize one of the Hutt’s men drugged her so she wouldn’t have the focus to use the Force. But yes, well played, Graballa. Now Naare’s got nothing but time to think. Unless you can’t really think much when you’re in carbonfreeze. I’m not really sure what the canon says on the matter but either way, the end of her chapter (for now) was quite appropriate.
Rowan ultimately decides that the day of the Kyber Saber’s return should also be its end, and sends the majestic weapon into the lava rivers of Sullust. (How cool is it we get to see Sullust tho?! I was hyped and I haven’t even played Battlefront yet!) Also important, Roger got put back together again. I spent a lot of time wondering where they found the extra parts or if they had extra parts to start with, but then I remembered “oh yeah the fam probably remembered to take that with them before they left The Wheel”. I couldn’t shake the thought it’dve been hilarious if they couldn’t find him battle droid parts so they put his head on a protocol’s body instead, buuuuut I think Roger’s happier this way 🙂 Anyway, the Freemakers aren’t sure where they go from here now that they’ve gone from scavengers to wanted criminals, but they get their answer from the timely arrival of a Rebel Alliance fleet. The Rebs have heard about what Rowan did, and they want him and his family to join them. Dude I got so distracted while I was writing this just looking at all the ships in the fleet. I kept searching for familiar ships, hoping I might spot the Ghost or the Gauntlet or something. At one point I mistook an A-wing for a TIE Defender and I was all “Wow how’d they get ahold of one of those things?!” XD But man oh man this ending… I’ve got a good feeling about this. The best feeling in the world, actually, as we watch Rowan, Kordi, Zander, and Roger enter a new chapter with the Rebel Alliance 😀
SO MANY FEELS OMG. I’m so glad this post turned out well, despite it was a long time coming. I can’t wait to see what awaits this beautiful family next! And for sure this time I’ll make sure these future posts come out with as few interruptions as possible. Anyway, thanks so much for reading 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Secret Cargo

All right, hopefully I can write a Transmission today worthy of this majorly-epic episode! When I saw Secret Cargo the first time, I didn’t have a single inkling of the epicness about to shake down. I mean, it’s Rebels, I expected epicness because it’s always epic, but… whoa. The epicness was *makes explosion noise with mouth* So as you can imagine, I’m a little nervous tackling this one. So yes hopefully I can write something worth your read. Let’s go!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rogue One and Rebels episodes Warhead and Secret Cargo.

So I was quite delighted to see Hera and Zeb’s faces again! And the Ghost too! It feels like it’s been a really long time somehow. Along with Ezra and Chopper, they’re just hanging around in the middle of nowhere waiting to meet up with some fellow Rebs and looking utterly bored while they’re at it. I betcha watching the Imperial holonet doesn’t help much. I’m sure they’re listening out for good news in the midst of it, but ugh I’d lose my mind watching that all day (if I were a Rebel, anyway; as a fan it’s actually probably interesting). Think Ezra and Zeb make the time pass by poking at the news-Imps? “Pff look at that guy’s hair. How much you wanna bet it’s a toupee?” 😛 But you never know what interesting tidbits’ll make the air (or whatever holos stream via) if you watch it long enough… a certain Senator Mothma just made some waves giving the Emperor a well-deserved calling-out. I’ve always been a big fan of Mon Mothma and was excited to see her in this one, and first time we see her she’s dishin’ out the sass like an absolute boss! OK not really “sass” it’s more of masterfully-spoken honest-to-goodness needed-to-be-said truth. But either way levels of respect went wayyyy up for her, and they were already pretty high to start with. No doubt the crew’s impressed. Then OMG ONE OF THE NIGHTMARISH INFILTRATOR DROIDS SHOWED UP 😱 (Oh look I finally got some interesting emojis in here!) It’s not looking for the Ghost crew, but if it finds the Ghost crew, well… it’s not gonna be good. After a few tense moments of it looking their way, Ezra finally takes aim… but the infiltrator is too fast! Also yikes you guys I’d forgotten how frightening those infiltrators are. The voice alone is just shudder-inducing! Ezra’s eventually able to fire on it thankfully… just as Gold Squadron shows up. An explosive first impression, I’d say 🙂 Pff that was terrible I know, but terrible puns are fun! Yes it’s fascinating really meeting the Gold Squadron. Back when Rebels was first announced I’d assumed the series would surround mainly Rebel types like these guys: orderly, endearlingly-scrappy orangesuits we already knew and loved from the films. So after spending these last few years following a squad that’s more like family than anything else and doesn’t do uniform anything, seeing these two teams together was a bit of an interesting contrast. The Gold Squad dudes are all biz. Like seriously the first two bros don’t even smile and go by ranks and squad names instead of real names, so watching Hera give them a warm welcome is refreshing in comparison. They’re all “CAN’T GO ON OUR SHIP, STUFF’S CLASSIFIED” and Hera’s all “C’mon in and have some kaffe! And there’s a casserole in the oven!” 😀 A couple of the Golds aren’t too impressed with the Phoenixes’ methods, blaming them for all the heightened Imperial security lately. Zeb’s response “Well, we don’t mind doing things the hard way” is golden (pun not intended). I admire the Phoenixes’ moxie and desire to do the right thing even when it’s tough, but the Golds clearly like things a tad more organized. Like with Rogue One, it’s super interesting watching people with the same ultimate goal in mind not agreeing on how to get there. Just something inevitable I suppose when you’re all sentient beings with different opinions. Again, I’ve just been so used to the greatness of the Ghost fam it’s easy to forget not everyone thinks the same way or does the same things. But perhaps the grumpy Gold Squad has a right to be tense right now because they’re even more unpopular with the Empire than usual, thanks to the cargo they’re carrying. As if to prove their point, a Star Destroyer arrives on the scene just like that! Their blows to the Ghost leave the Golds temporarily minus a pilot, so Ezra volunteers. Ohhh yess when I first saw that first screencap of Ez piloting a Y-wing I ’bout exploded with a mixture of excitement and a fangirly-motherly pride. HE LOOKS SO GROWN UP IN THAT HELMET WHAAAT. I’d love to hear the stories of how Hera taught him to fly! It’s just all-around so so cool. Our young Bridger, a pilot! And not only is he pretty darn good at it, he looks like he really enjoys it :3 Unfortunately the sudden appearance of the Empire didn’t do the Golds’ ship too much good, so they’re coming aboard the Ghost, the Golds and their “cargo”, Senator Mothma! Hera reacts like she’s in the presence of royalty. But our royal-Rebel doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty and helping the Rebs make their escape, and she’s not about to miss her big meeting with all the Rebel cells. Again, so so much respect for this girl. Like on a respect scale of 1 to 7 she’s a 52 now.
Meanwhile, Thrawn’s quickly figured out where Hera’s likely to go, and he’s sent Pryce on their trail along with his new prototype. The Grand Admiral is literally so deviously cunning in this scene it’s scary. It’s also super awesome, but still pretty scary. Don’t know how he does it, except for the fact he’s, well, awesome 😀
So I’d like to imagine now that Hera and Mon are both kaffe connoisseurs. Seeing more of the galaxy’s choice hot beverage made me wonder again what it tastes like. I’m assuming it’s basically like our coffee but with different beans from different worlds. Must be a whole lotta variety! Haha I’m a little tired today so I guess I’ve got coffee on the brain. But yeah it’s really cool seeing these two supreme bossladies of the mini-Alliance in the same room just talking. Mon’s done her best for a long time to fight back through the senate, but now that she’s out here on the run, she knows it’s time to bring the fight on a grander scale, but it’s a fight Hera knows is worth it. But oh boy… yeah Thrawn was completely unquestionably right about the Rebs’ shortcut and ’bout as soon as the Ghost and company enter the nebula, so also does an Imperial fleet and their little friend, the prototype TIE defender. Ezra and Hera already know this thing’s bad news, and the Golds aren’t arguin’. The Archeon Nebula is gorgeous though. You know me I always love seeing cool space-y stuff like this out here! Unfortunately though the nebula shortcut’s now working against them, because it’s too dangerous to bring out the proton torpedoes and the defender’s got a wicked shield. But Hera’s found a way to make the nebula work for ’em again as she decides to bring the chase a little closer to some of these new stars. The other TIEs couldn’t take the heat, but as it was, the Ghost only did slightly better and came out of the nebula with more than a little paint scratched. It was impossible not to shed a couple tears looking at the ship’s charred hull. I mean, the Ghost‘s been through so much! And now, with two Star Destroyers looming overhead, could this be the end?? OmO Back in the nebula, though, it’s just Ezra and Gold Leader against the world. Technically Vult Skerris and his defender. Them TIE defenders are impressive for sure. They look a little dizzy to fly in but otherwise they’re tough stuff! For our Rebels’ sakes though I’m glad they apparently didn’t catch on later. But they hold their own pretty well in the end… especially when they decide to, per Hera’s genius suggestion, give the Imps a taste of what happens when you mix proton torpedos and nebula gas 😀 That was one beautiful explosion! From there, Mon Mothma’s able to make her meeting and absolutely wins the day with her stirring speech. And now… the mini-Alliance ain’t so mini anymore. “This is our Rebellion” 😊
AHH what an incredible, triumphant, epic ending! Can’t help but stand up and cheer! I’m sorry it took so long to write about it, but I’m glad I was able to say all I needed to say 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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