Tag Archives: TIE fighters

A Totally Fangirly Analysis Of The Episode IX Teaser

In part due to a busy schedule (and being very very behind on Resistance), I haven’t been able to keep up with Star Wars Celebration the way I usually have. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had Star Wars on my brain in a big way these past few days — especially since that IX teaser dropped!

Typically, normally because of time, I wait to write these analyses until the trailer/second teaser. But guys, this is the last chapter in the Skywalker Saga. I want to capture as many of my thoughts as possible as we rise up to meet the big finale! So let’s rewatch this thrilling taste of what’s to come together, and I’ll share my moment-by-moment first reactions and the deep thoughts that followed.

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

0:00 – Rey’s intense breathing is equal to my own every time I watch this. Granted, mine has more to do with a severe case of fangirlitis than whatever has her on-edge.
0:03 – A part of me is a little annoyed the logo came in and made me wait five whole seconds to find out what was going on XP But hey, Lucasfilm deserves to take the spotlight for a moment! Without Lucasfilm, we wouldn’t have Star Wars anything!
0:08 – Stiiiiill trying to catch my breath. But how could I possibly do that when this is a Star Wars teaser? Epicness is about to hit me like a bomb and the anticipation is killing me!!
0:10 – YAY IT’S REY!
0:13 – What could she be facing down?
0:16 – I think it’s really fascinating that Rey’s outfit has gone from tan to gray to white. It’s very different than Anakin in the Prequels (who went from tan to reddish-brown to black) and Luke in the Originals (who went from white to tan to black). There some sort of symbolism here? Not that I could ever imagine Rey really wearing black, though.
0:18 – Oh so dramatic!! BUT WHAT ARE YOU FACING DOWN, GIRL?!
0:21 – OMG LUKE! Who is “we” though? Has Rey been having conversations with the other Force Ghosts? Is Luke himself a Force Ghost now? I’d like to think this narration is some sort of proof, but… you know how these trailers are at including great dialogue that doesn’t make it into the final film. Have to wait and see. But I kinda really’d like to see Yoda and Rey having a chat 🙂
0:24 – Whatever she is facing requires a lightsaber… (I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t recognize the hilt at first)
0:25 – What a shot, wow! Also wondering a bit where this desert is? Are we back on Jakku like Luke came back to Tatooine? Or could it be Tatooine? Or some place entirely different? Those mountains seem new, though — something neither desert world had…
0:27 – Again more beautifully intriguing dialogue from Luke. Maybe this has something to do with her reading all those Jedi texts. That would make sense why there’s a “we”.
0:29 – I KNOW THAT SOUND. THERE’S A TIE COMING.
0:31 – Weirdly enough, just one TIE. From my experience, they usually come in packs.
0:33 – OK soooo what’s the plan, Rey? How does one lightsaber stack up against one TIE? I feel like I’ve seen something similar in Rebels but I really can’t remember.
0:34 – That right there is the face of determination!
0:37 – “Every generation has a legend.” I love how this quote calls back to mind Episode I’s tagline, “Every saga has a beginning”. It might not’ve been intentional, but to me, it helps bookend the entire Skywalker story.
0:43 – Again, wishing I could figure out where this is. I am no expert on sand, sad to say.
0:46 – But that ridge does look a bit Tatooine-ish. It would be fitting to end the Saga on the world part of the story began on — that hot, dusty, irritating old sandpit that has witnessed some surprising moments of heroism over the decades.
0:51 – That TIE sounds like it’s coming up fast! ‘Course, I’ve never heard a TIE that didn’t sound fast.
0:53 – Yep that is fast. So fast I haven’t been able to figure if that’s Ren’s Bat-TIE Silencer or something else.
0:54 – THE BLUE BLADE LIVES!! After it was assumptively destroyed, I figured she’d do like other Jedi before her and get a new lightsaber next time around. And just like Luke and others, the new ‘saber would be a symbol of growth in skill and in the Force. But I like the idea that, instead, the mended Skywalker blade could be a symbol of her gaining a newfound strength, rising above the hurt in her past and the mistakes she’s made. #Inspiring
0:56 – Same lightsaber, but definitely some new skillz.
0:57 – Ren’s gloves, I presume. Pardon me for asking, Kylo, but don’t you have anything better to do right now than fly your TIE at people? I mean… who took over for Snoke? Surely you wouldn’t trust just anyone to lead the First Order, right…? I’ve been wondering that one for a while.
0:59 – Hold up I thought that TIE was coming toward her– oh wait now I remember she turned around.
1:00 – Seriously what’s the plan here Rey??
1:03 – Whatever it is, I know it’s gonna be cool.
1:05 – Hmm I think that’s the Silencer now. Not that I’m an expert or anything.
1:07WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Just when you think you’ve seen all the epic things the light-aligned can do…! Though I just realized we still don’t know what her plan was. Is Rey going to ride the TIE and lightsaber its panels off? Or something even epic-er?
1:09 – It always feels like it takes forever, but Christmastime and Star Wars go together wonderfully!
1:11 – These mountains call to mind Solo a bit… nuts, I can’t remember the world’s name.
1:14 – If it is the same place, it seems a bit more populated.
1:16 – Kylo Ren seems to enjoy happy jaunts in the woods with his lightsaber, doesn’t he? 😛 Sorry that wasn’t nice (to Kylo or the guy he stabbed).
1:17 – Is that red sky just a result of sunset, or is it always a red sky? Either way, very cool.
1:18 – Interesting… while Rey has repaired her lightsaber, Ren is repairing his mask. Why does he decide now to wear it again? And how did he find all the pieces??
1:19 – Hey check out the bros’ cool adventure duds! Oh, and hmm is that Rey’s old staff Finn is holding?
1:21 – BB!!! I know I see you all the time in Resistance now, but I’m excited to see you here all the same! And his new little buddy D-O, too!
1:23 – YAS LANDOOOO!!!! And he’s wearing one something akin to one of his Solo outfits! Oh I’m still so happy he’s back for this one!
1:24 – I know I questioned eariler if Poe might end up flying the Falcon for a bit, but I don’t think Lando would let him now XP
1:26 – All the bittersweet feels. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be crying when the credits start rolling.
1:28 – Looks like some kind of battle going on. With some kind of speederbike! Hehe I love speederbikes!
1:30 – THREEPIO!! Oh my gracious I didn’t even remember he was there! (Yes I’m weird and only watched the teaser one time the day it came out. But hey I wanted my thoughts on the blog to be fresh!) I have a feeling he and Poe won’t get along very well (same for Finn), but it’ll be delightful to watch!
1:32 – Whoa I didn’t even catch what was about to crash there! Hope it’s nobody I know…
1:33 – One of the medals of Yavin! Another great thing I somehow didn’t fully comprehend in my first viewing. Thank you StarWars.com for reminding me.
1:34 – Oh this shot is so precious. And again, it wasn’t until afterward that I remembered “Right… Carrie isn’t with us anymore. How. did. they. DO. that??” and my mind got so blown.
1:36 – THE FEELS!
1:38 – I so love this shot. Ever since the end of VIII, I’ve loved that it feels like Rey has found home in her friends in the Resistance, both new and old. I’m glad, as we’ve learned, that there’s a bigger time gap between VIII and IX, because that means we’ll get to see how much these great friendships have strengthened since then, and how they’ve shaped Rey into the more confident and fearless individual she is today. Again, all the feels!!
1:39 – My first reaction was, of course, a continued sense of awe and mystery. But it was thanks to my brother’s observations that I finally took notice that those ruins look awfully Death Star-like… which might explain what happens next.
1:43 – “No one’s every really gone.” is such a beautiful line! Or again, so it seems…
1:46 – My exact reaction: my jaw dropped, somewhere in between a gasp and a smile, and I slammed my hands down on the desk and remarked “OH MY GOODNESS, WHAT?!” I don’t know if I’ve ever felt such a wild mixture of shock, horror, and pure joy! I don’t know what it all means, whether he’s survived those Death Star ruins all these years, or if he’s gained some form of Sith immortality or what, but I am so looking forward to seeing what Sidious is up to. I’m sorry for the Resistance’s sake, but… there are just some villains who, despite they are so vile and so detestable, you love them anyway, and you greet them with open arms! Yeah that may have been the best villain reveal ever. Period. In all of film trailer history.
1:56 – And whoa such a cool title! It leaves me with endless questions, though. Who’s the Skywalker we’re talking about? Luke, because he’s “risen” to a place of immortality? Kylo, because he is part Skywalker? Rey, because she actually is a Skywalker somehow, like the granddaughter of Shmi’s second cousin like I theorized?? I do not know but, OH WOW THIS WAS WORTH WAITING FOR!

So yep I’m still not over it, are you? Not sure I ever will be! You guys, it is good being a Star Wars fan! Anyway, I’ll keep working on the Resistance posts from here, and hopefully whatever else exciting comes next in the SW galaxy!

Keep the peace,
– Twilight

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SW Reads: Heir To The Jedi

All right, time to dig into another great Star Wars novel! I’m excited about this one, can you tell? 🙂


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

Now, in case you didn’t know, Jason Fry’s The Weapon Of A Jedi might be my favorite SW novel of all time. So coming into another Luke Skywalker story with Kevin Hearne’s Heir To The Jedi, I had very very high expectations. And since I’ve never read anything else by Mr. Hearne, I really didn’t know what to expect.
But good news: my expectations were beyond met!

Heir pretty much encapsulates everything I love about Star Wars. It has all manner of thrills and chills, it’s character-driven in the most masterful way, and there is no shortage of laughter and heart. What surprised me most, perhaps, was how easy it was to read. I expected a more dramatic tone somehow, perhaps since the last canon novel I read was Tarkin. But this book is definitely the most easygoing and fun full-length SW novel I’ve read so far! Not to say it doesn’t have its share of drama, because it absolutely does. But reading it was such a pleasurable experience! I like to think Heir is to modern SW novels as Solo is to the films. Because both stories put full focus on these amazing characters, and find just the right balance of feels and fun! And Heir‘s also an easy read because it doesn’t overwhelm us with too much new information or technical terms. Don’t get me wrong, digging into the fine details is one of my favorite things about SW books. But there’s a welcome, comfortable feel from Mr. Hearne’s descriptions that makes everything tangible and completely understandable. One of my favorite examples was with the food, which for the most part, was often just a slightly-spacey version of what we eat on earth. The relatability of the SW galaxy shines brightly in this book, and makes me feel right at home, even as we follow Luke through all manner of unique, unusual, and sometimes-terrifying worlds.

Honestly, I can’t recommend this book enough. If you’re new to SW books and don’t want to go the read-them-all-by-release-date route I’m going, this would make a great first novel! Weapon isn’t my only fave Luke story now 🙂

And now, here’s my fangirly musings commentary!
Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, and Heir To The Jedi

– A few pages in and I’m already loving reading directly from Luke’s perspective. Like with Weapon Of A Jedi, (my favorite Luke story ATM) I love getting to know Luke at this early time after the battle of Yavin, when he was young, idealistic, and trying to figure out the Force.
– Someone get me a model of the Desert Jewel stat! Or at least a Lego kit!
– So Luke doesn’t speak astromech? Huh. I would not have guessed. Maybe he picks up some by Empire? Crud I need to watch the OT again…
– Cool seeing a new side of Rodia. But glad I can’t smell it. Points for Mr. Hearne’s descriptions, though!
– I don’t know what a needle gun does, but it sounds pretty cool, in a scary way.
– There’s nothing quite as stirring as a Clone Wars tale of Jedi heroics! I love that Luke got another glimpse into the life of his father.
OOOOOOH A PURPLE LIGHTSABER!!
– Datapads take holo stills like smartphones take photos. A longtime SW question of mine has been answered!
– The more I read this novel, the more I fall in love with its author’s cleverness and choice of words. Not to mention how wonderfully he takes on Luke’s voice.
– My fave line so far: “I hadn’t read the histories of those ‘seduced’ by the dark side, but I doubted any of them had been corrupted by a vegetable of questionable nutritional value.” XD
– The Promise and the Redemption are utterly gorgeous ship names.
YIKES the skullborers might be the scariest SW creatures in a while. I think I’d rather hug a rathtar before stepping foot on a world with possibly-sentient brain-eaters!
– Pffft Luke and Nakari’s mutual cooking fails cracked me up 😛
– I am so so glad to know ice cream exists in SW. Knowing our differing worlds share something so sweet makes me smile :3
– I never considered until now that a galaxy with so many many diverse peoples would call for a lot of different medical supplies, techniques, and knowledge. Wonder how long it’d take the average med student to graduate?
– I just realized the chapter openings all have some scientific-looking math formulas around the wording. It must have connections later in the story… wish I was more adept at math so I could see if there’s some kind of special code to crack.
– Is rancor sauce really made of rancors, or is it just something super super spicy? Also knowing what Corellia looks like, I get the feeling I wouldn’t want to eat noodles grown there… THIS BOOK IS SO FUN THO.
– Communicating with higher math? That’s a totally neat concept, but I’m with Luke… I doubt I could speak it fluently. As you might’ve noticed, I’m a writer, not a mathematician.
– They say the average galactic citizen doesn’t know of Vader. Wonder how anyone would know to even write a parody song? Hmm. An interesting exception to the rule.
– I like Nakari a lot; she’s a fun, interesting character and a great match for Luke. But I can’t help but be slightly suspicious about her for some reason…
– Something tells me TIE pilots probably don’t get very long lunch breaks. If they get lunch breaks at all. Who wants a tasty ration stick??
– Epic!! A seismic charge! Y’know, that’s one of my favorite sounds in all of Star Wars.
– Once again, Artoo saves the day, and proves once more that the SW saga would never have happened without him!
– A droid with a fake mustache is always a good thing XD
– AHHHH LUKE AND NAKARI ARE SO CUTE!! I WISH I STILL DIDN’T HAVE DOUBTS.
Oh no… I’m so sorry I spent so much of this book suspicious about her. Looking back, I realize there was little to incriminate her. Previous SW stories and Leia’s suspicions were the only things I was really going on, besides the fact the relationship was never referred to or evidenced in later stories. I figured the reason why Luke and Nakari didn’t end up with fifteen grandkids by Episode VIII was because she had ill intent. Never once did I consider that she could simply have died. I guess I loved her character enough that I didn’t want to go that route. It was safer to assume she was a scoundrel, because scoundrels could still be redeemed. But through this tragic turn, we see Luke facing the very thing that turned his father down a dark path, and coming out stronger. We know, of course, that Luke will still be prone to react rashly when his friends are in trouble, but it speaks volumes that he was able to resist the darkness and find peace in this moment. And he comes through this loss in a way decidedly the Jedi Order would not have done, but what was undoubtedly the right way to do it: through tears and through joyful memories. So much wow. What a book!

Thanks for reading along with me today. ‘Til next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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SW Summer Reads: The Rebels Novelizations, Part 1

It’s time again for some Star Wars Summer Reads! Or I guess Summer-ish Reads for some of you guys. Anyway, the first Star Wars novel I ever read was a Clone Wars novelization compilation called Grievous Attacks. It was a really fun experience and a great introduction to SW books, so I decided it’d be fun to revisit some classic Rebels season one episodes in junior novel form! Let’s talk about Michael Kogge’s takes on Machine In The Ghost, Art Attack, Entanglement, Property Of Ezra Bridger, Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and Rise Of The Old Masters!


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

I honestly forgot until I read these how fun novelizations can be. You get to dive further into the story you’ve seen on-screen, learning more little things about the SW galaxy, as well as the chance to delve into what’s going on inside the characters’ heads. Mr. Kogge did an excellent job at this, especially inside of Rise Of The Rebels, the shorts compilation. He writes a lot of depth into these already-deep little stories as we explore different perspectives (like those of Chopper or a stormtrooper), and even adds some nice new lines and moments that compliment the source material rather than overcrowding it.


(Image credit: Amazon.com)

Droids In Distress was a very well done compilation as well, though Spark Of Rebellion suffered a little. But I’m not really complaining; it can’t be easy trying to fit a richly-written 44-minute episode in less than fifty pages! So due to the format, Mr. Kogge was forced to skip over some of the best lines and rush much of the story. But the following novelizations were near-perfection!

Both compilations have hiccups in story compared to the actual episode, but most likely that’s because these were written before the episodes were completed. Doesn’t take away from how much I enjoyed them, though! Of course, half the fun for me was just revisiting these great early episodes! The other half, well… I’ll let you in on a secret: ever since Grievous Attacks, I read all SW books out loud to myself. I just can’t pass up an opportunity to practice my character impressions! I found out reading these that I do a pretty mean Grand Inquisitor 😀

Anyway, if you love SWR and want to explore these stories from a new angle, I totally recommend. And they’re definitely great if you’re new to Star Wars books and need a light, easy introduction. Plus, the Sabine-like graffiti artwork dispersed throughout the books is an epic bonus 🙂

Now, for the fangirl-musings commentary portion of the post.

Contains spoilers from the original Rebels shorts and episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and some important elements from the seasons beyond.

– Apparently “understatement” is a distinctly twi’lek sort of humor? I must be part twi’lek then.
– I really appreciate also that they simplify some of the technical terms a little bit. Definitely the difference between a potential first-timer’s SW story and something intensely detailed for the long-timer like Tarkin. But it’s still not oversimplified, it’s just right and makes for a pretty easy read.
– Kanan, master of a thousand one-liners. True dat.
– Considering how much they argue in this short, I might not’ve guessed that Hera was actually worried about her copilot for a moment. Awwz #feels.
– We actually get a chance to get inside Chopper’s dome in this book! Some seriously funny stuff here. Now give this hard-working little droid an oil bath already!
– This book seems to imply that Chopper’s exact “words” couldn’t be understood by organics. Always Two There Are confirmed for me that “droid” is a language you can learn. I originally thought that this fact was just something I missed in the other films and shows, but this seems to mean I wasn’t the only one who was unclear on the do-people-actually-understand-astromechs-or-are-they-just-assuming-what-they’re-saying-like-when-people-talk-to-their-pets situation. Or maybe Chopper’s comment is true, and though you can learn basic astromech, a sentient being will never understand the fine details. Knowing Chop’s ‘tude, perhaps this is a good thing…
– Apparently Ryloth is known for their firework shows. I could see that.
– Chopper has good relations with the Phantom, while the Ghost tends to be pretty rude with him. Things only ‘mechs know!
– “A thousand thousand worlds sparkled in the night sky above the capital city of Lothal.” I absolutely love how Mr. Kogge writes for Sabine. He captures so well her fiercely artistic mindset with heavily poetic descriptions. I can’t help but be a little bummed they didn’t make more of these novelizations.
– Sabine has heard the tales of Boba Fett! I still almost can’t believe we never got to see them in a face-off, but I suppose the writers knew that would be far too easy and more of a what-the-fans-want than a what-the-series-needs. But I suppose there’s nothing to say it still couldn’t happen…
– I really hope TK-626’s number was a Lilo And Stitch reference.
– The idea of the Empire specifically recruiting known bullies as Imperial Cadets at first sounded a little too obvious, but then again, remember Oleg? Frankly, I can imagine a lot of storms might’ve been ne’er-do-wells in grade school. Perhaps it’s not what the Empire is looking for alone, but it doesn’t hurt…
– “Artists were almost as bad as rebels. They could draw, paint, and create things he couldn’t. And for that, they deserved to be crushed.” Oh you guys, I think I figured out why TK-626 was a bully. THIS POOR STORMTROOPER CHILD!! I actually feel really bad for him! Thank you Mr. Kogge for helping me consider the human inside the inhuman white armor.
– I think it’s neat that Mr. Kogge paints (so to speak) Sabine as an artist first and a warrior second. Sometimes it’s easy for me to think vice versa, considering her warrior Mandalorian heritage, but when you think about her close relationship with her artistic dad, and consider the life she maybe knew before the Imperial Academy and then the mini-Alliance, it makes sense that art is her first love, and what she wants to do for a living once the war is over. Maybe once she gets Ezra back home, she’ll finally get her chance 🙂
– Apparently, Zeb isn’t all that fond of his nickname. There’s a certain way his people roll their Rs in the lasat language that most just can’t match. I like this angle. I wonder if this is a fact decided upon by the Story Group or an early assumption Mr. Kogge made. It certainly is a fascinating idea! I didn’t know they spoke anything beside Basic! Well aside from the ancient chants, but maybe that should’ve clued me in.
– Imperials don’t know many languages beyond Basic. Didn’t know that, but makes sense in retrospect.
Whoa I didn’t remember the stormtroopers being that mean to the salesnaught. All the more reason Zeb is one noble dude.
– We learn reading this that Zeb isn’t fond of ugnaughts or astromechs, but all the same, he can’t turn a blind eye to their troubles. It makes this already-amazing little story even more meaningful. AHHH SO SO NOBLE :3
– The Empire made slaves of the lasat? My first reaction was “THAT’S NOT ACCURATE! THEY WERE KILLED OFF!“, buuuuuut what if slavery was where it started? Something to consider, anyway. But I gotta say, it’s hard to imagine lasat being good slaves. The wookiees don’t work well under Kessel heat, making them less of a threat, but I imagine that wasn’t as much of a problem for the less-fuzzy-but-still-deadly lasat…
– “My old gran’s a better fighter, and she’s only two meters tall!” Pfft that’s a good one, Zeb. Wonder if this was purely Mr. Kogge’s clever writing or an unused line they recorded. But they actually elaborate further on Granny Orrelios, saying she’d lived for “three hundred dust seasons” (I’m assuming that’s 75 earth years, depending how long a dust season lasts and how many seasons they have). This is the first time we’ve ever heard of any family Zeb had, and it makes me super happy to know an inkling of his personal life before the Empire.
– I love the idea Ezra’s already had a few moments where the Force came into play before he finds himself avoiding TIE fighter fire. It makes sense, and kind of makes you wonder what adventures (and misadventures) he might’ve had on the streets of Lothal.
– Interesting that Ezra’s pretty willing to take any sort of reward, even an Imperial rescue! But hey creds are creds. Perhaps it’s this pilot’s snobbiness that drives Ez to decide to just rescue the helmet instead…
– Considering not long from now Ezra’s back to stealing food, I guess those parts didn’t get him as much cash as he hoped. Or they were stolen. Or maybe food on Lothal these days just costs a lot.
– “A sitting hawk-bat“… could that also be comparable to a lothbat?
– The second book has cool alternate episode titles: “Ezra’s Story”, “Disrupted”, and “Old Masters”.
– Sabine was drinking blue milk?? Obviously I haven’t been paying attention. Or that maybe that’s because her cup wasn’t a clear glass. Question: if blue milk is from banthas (which I’ve been led to believe), since banthas don’t live on Lothal (that we’ve seen), does that mean the Rebs are getting their food supplies from offworld? That makes sense enough. Guess I didn’t need to waste a whole paragraph on it…
– You know, unless my memory fails me, I thought the Rebels merely rescued the wookiees on Lothal before their were transferred to Kessel. I was pretty sure after seeing the hopeless world in Solo that my assumptions were for sure right. This novelization says they actually went to Kessel. I’m starting to think these books were written before the shorts and episodes were completed. That must’ve been confusing to do.
– I’ve never heard of a silverback wookiee before, but that’s a neat concept!
– I’ve always wondered what a nerf sounded like. Apparently they’re a lot like Amda Wabo…
– “Chopper recognized the astromech’s response as typical of the new R2 series. Compassion was the biggest flaw in their programming.” Suuuuure Chop, it’s a thing about their programming! ‘Cause we know you certainly don’t have a soft side!
– Also if he considers him a new R2, then how old does that makes Chopper? Well, I’m not saying he’s old, but I think I once saw a droid that looked like him in a trailer for KotOR. *Chopper soundly zaps me for the bad joke*
– In Chopper’s words, he’s only “a few decades past his expiry date”. But he knows there are far older droids than him.
– It’s rather unusual seeing Threepio and Artoo’s roles in this story flipped, with Threeps a little more confident and Artooie a little less than happy. But an interesting twist for a story I already know well.
– Knowing that Zeb had been having horrific nightmares when he shut Ezra out of their room… even though I’ve watched this episode seven times, and though I know his story doesn’t end here, I can feel his pain as strongly as ever.
– I love the creepy last line Kallus gets in as he’s about to strike down Zeb…
– But more so, I love the way Mr. Kogge describes the Force throughout these novelizations. He makes it feel very tactical, very real, this undeniable spark!

I don’t know about you, but I had a ball reading these. I’ll be taking next week off for my birthday, but after that, you should expect some more Star Wars Reads posts to arrive!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Looking Back On The Original SWR Shorts

As the last Rebels episodes come closer and closer, I find myself looking back a lot, going back to those early days on Lothal, when we were just getting to know the Ghost crew. Back when we were all taking our first steps together into a time previously unexplored in the canon. Back before we knew of wonderful things like space waffles and purrgil! I find one of the best ways to venture back into this time and space is by watching the delightful character-centric shorts that were released in preparation for the series. Join me as I rewatch each one and then discuss what made them so great! Get ready for some serious reminiscing 🙂

Contains spoilers from many elements in Star Wars Rebels. Don’t recommend reading if you aren’t caught up.

THE MACHINE IN THE GHOST: THREE’S COMPANY

So in case you haven’t heard the story, this was the only of the shorts I saw before the series debuted. I thought originally they were clips instead of original shorts, and being the really-likes-to-keep-things-a-surprise fan that I am, I waited. I don’t remember what convinced me to watch Machine, maybe it was on the socials or something and made it clear it was a short. But either way… this one gave me one of the best tastes of what was to come in Rebels. And also the utter preciousness that is Kanera ❤ ❤

The threat of oncoming TIEs is real, and it gets you on the edge of your seat. But it's clear quickly that this crew can handle it, so the battle takes a backseat while the characters take the stage. And what a performance we get! Most of us wouldn't consider an argument like poetry, but every retort and reply is perfect, with the most harmonious bits of sarcasm weaved in. And even though they argue, you get a sense of warm familiarity in it that says there's infinitely more to their relationship, even before they exchange compliments at the end. And then you have Chopper in the middle of it all, greatly irritated, but seemingly used to this sort of thing as he puts up with their oft-opposing commands. But ultimately he steps up and gets the job done, proving to the audience he can do more than just fix shields and comms. It's all so classically Star Wars and it all comes together smooth as kaadu butter!

“As I recall, raiding an Imperial supply convoy was your plan, love…”
“Well, it made sense at the time.”
If you’ve read my posts on Rebels for any amount of time, you know I refer back to the novel A New Dawn a lot. I won’t spoil anything on it here, but it sheds so much light on who Kanan once was, and makes watching his character growth these last four years even more amazing. I’m highlighting that lovely bit of banter here for more than just that it makes me chuckle, but for the fact that this whole incident began with Kanan taking charge. Because once upon a time, Kanan didn’t have any interest in fighting the Empire. I might be stating the obvious, but it’s such a great story element that I have to state it again and again. He wasn’t always Spectre One; he earned that rank. And he deserved it… even if sometimes things like this happen.
And also on the topic of the novel, though Machine takes place much closer to the events of the series than New Dawn, the short still is a nice glimpse into what life with just the original three crewmembers might’ve been like.

Anyway, Machine is such a fantastic little treasure, flawlessly introducing the Ghost crew’s founding members by giving each character just the right amount of time in the spotlight… and giving us more reasons to laugh and smile than we could count 🙂

ART ATTACK: A SABINE WREN ORIGINAL

Though this was not the first time I’d met Sabine, Art Attack is a great way to introduce her to the audience. We catch her at her best and most Mando-masterful, nimbly and swiftly leading the stormtroopers on an impossible chase. She doesn’t even pull out a weapon until the end; for most of the short, she simply relies on her smarts and agility to pull off the perfect Rebel distraction. It brings a lightly comedic tone as she darts around, always one step ahead of the bucketheads, delivering stellar jabs as she goes. But even more so, it makes very clear that Sabine is a different kind of warrior than we’ve seen before; she is a true artist. Not just in the lovely purple starbird she adorns a TIE’s panel with, but in the way she carefully crafts her plan. Like a brush on a canvas, every move has purpose, and the end result is a dazzling piece that surely inspired all the innocent Lothalites who witnessed it. And you can tell it was a piece the artist was proud of as she remarked “…look at the color!“, which remains one of my favorite Sabine lines to this day. The notion of an artist Rebel was something so new and different at the time, but being an artist myself (or at least an aspiring one), it was the coolest thing to see someone in Star Wars who shared that interest with me and used it to make a difference. Like say, by the time I first watched this short, I already knew Sabine and how awesome at Rebelling she was, but it never hurts to be re-reminded of the facts, especially when you’re waiting for the season two to arrive.

“Always by the book. I read your book… it’s a short one.”
It’s another great Sabine line, but it’s also a really neat little clue to her past that’s amazing to find looking back. Though she may not have specifically read “their book”, she had trained under Imperials and knew plenty of their rules and protocol. I’d always loved that quote but hadn’t remembered it was spoken so early-on. They’re clever, those writers at Lucasfilm 🙂 It’s almost hard to remember what things were like before Sabine’s backstory was fully told, but this short definitely takes me back, and of course, makes me so very proud knowing how far she’s come since.

It’s astounding what Art Attack was able to accomplish in three minutes’ time — lots of action, some solid laughs, but still every moment has meaning in the grand story surrounding it. That is definitely what I’d call art!

ENTANGLEMENT: YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD HONOR GUARD

OK so rewatching this one has me smiling so hard right now. It fills me with so much joy I hardly know where to begin.
But that’s the beauty of this one: where it begins.
It’s a blast watching Zeb take down buckethead after buckethead, but it all started because he couldn’t stand quietly in the face of injustice. That endlessly noble spirit has always been one of my favorite things about him, and watching him put everything on hold for one poor shopkeeper makes that part of him plain as day, whether you’re meeting him for the first time or you’ve been following him for four seasons. And with that all-important trait in mind, the most wonderfully explosive story unfolds in spectacular fashion. The speed at which all the action happens is the best kind of dizzying. And every twist and turn of the fight showcases both Zeb’s incredible strength as well as his finesse and ability to plan on the fly. It’s an unexpectedly beautiful sight, and for those new to the series, it’s not quite like anything we’d seen in Star Wars before. I mean, when Zeb grabs that one ‘trooper and flings him into the other?? That’s just WHOA on so many levels.

“Well that’s great! You get lost in the middle of a mission and decide to start your own battle — again!”
“I didn’t decide, it just… happened. This time.”

But like with the last two shorts, the action ultimately takes a backseat to the characters, and the end result is priceless. Zeb is enjoying every minute of this battle, you can tell. And Kanan is more than a little frustrated that his friend and fellow Rebel has strayed away from the original plan. This hilarious back-and-forth carries through almost the entire short and is nothing short of fantastic writing and a fantastic performance. The fact that this has obviously happened more than once makes it all the funnier, but also continues to say so much about who Zeb is. You know he’s not just bashing bucketheads for sport; it’s because of his burning desire to protect the innocent. Just like he did once as an Honor Guard, he continues to do for the people of Lothal, and that is nothing short of admirable… even when it miiiiiiight cause a few delays 🙂

Whoops now I went from being all giddy to being all feelsy. But that’s just what happens with shorts this great!

PROPERTY OF EZRA BRIDGER (or: NOT WHAT YOU THINK):
NO SIR, THANK YOU

It was impossible not to rewatch this short and proclaim “OH, HOW EZRA HAS GROWN!!”. A lot of it for me was just remarking over how young he was back then (even his voice sounds younger somehow!), but it’s Ezra’s character growth that truly astounds me. We watch here Ez playing the role of a “helpful, concerned citizen” as a cover for a good steal. But over time, we’ve seen him transform into a truly selfless, generous, driven young man who has no ulterior motive for doing the right thing. It was almost as though this jaded young thief is a totally different person — except maybe for the fact his sense of humor and irony hasn’t changed much 🙂

“Now remember, sir, no ‘thank-you’s. You didn’t need my help. And besides… I didn’t come to help!”
It’s easy to see though that Property really does make a good introduction for Ezra. It’s hard not to be won over by his clever wit and smooth moves as he rather puts this incredibly belligerent Imperial in his place. He doesn’t immediately strike the audience as a “hero” type, but soon as we watch him dodge the TIE’s guns with what could only be help from the Force… we know there might be a chance of heroism in his future. And it has a lot to do with that cargo ship he caught a fleeting glimpse of that day… or more so, the people on that cargo ship. Rewatching it really is a wonderful feeling, because seeing him cross paths with the Ghost for just the smallest, tiniest moment is a reminder of how beautifully things have come together since then. So much wow, you guys.
Plus, is there anything more satisfactory than watching the pilot’s overconfident smile disappear once Ez sends that energy blast his way? That might be my favorite part XD

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these little three-minute gems are amazing. All of them thrilling and laugh-out-loud funny, but with so much more beneath the surface that gives it so much more meaning, especially the longer you follow this precious family’s story. Together, these four shorts make the perfect mini-prequel to Spark Of Rebellion, and the perfect quick nostalgia trip. Also again, I just love this show so so much ❤ Though the end is near, I'm still beyond excited to see where the story goes next, and that's likely when I'll post again in a couple weeks. Though keep an eye out, 'cause post inspiration may strike again even before that…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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The Last Jedi Awards!

All right, first post of the new year! Excitement!!

Episode VIII was great, that’s no question, and it left us with an infinite amount of stuff to discuss. The last couple years I’ve had trouble finding the right time to discuss VII and Rogue One, but this year I took notes soon as I arrived home from the theater! But like say, I still had too many thoughts to make a coherent post out of, so I decided to do a little “awards show” of sorts to celebrate some of my favorite things and pinpoint some of the most intriguing things. I’ll admit I’ve only seen the film once at this point, so I may’ve misremembered some stuff, but I will do my best as I highlight the moments, characters, and events that made The Last Jedi so wonderful!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episode The Holocrons Of Fate, Episode VII, and Episode VIII. Seriously. These are big spoilers.

BEST TIME SPENT GETTING TO FURTHER KNOW A CHARACTER:
POE DAMERON

Episode VII introduced us to Poe Dameron almost right off the bat, and though he only was in a handful of scenes, it was impossible not to love the guy. A talented, fearless pilot with a quick wit and a heart of gold who clearly valued his friends and could easily make new ones. I had no idea we’d get to spend as much time with him in VIII as we did, but I loved it. to. pieces. We got to see a little more edge with him than before as he proved himself a bit more of a “dangerous flyboy” than I’d thought, but all the same it made it clear how much he believed in bringing the fight to the First Order and doing the right thing, even when he was mistaken on a couple matters. And I loved seeing more of his epic piloting skills, watching him take charge in new ways, and laughing my head off as he threw jabs at General Hux XD But what I enjoyed most, perhaps, was seeing him further his new friendships with Finn and Rose. Together they made such a great squad I couldn’t help but want to be friends with ’em! Oh, and can’t forget his best buddyship with BB-8! My favorite line in the film just might be “Finn! Rose! You’re not dead! Where’s my droid?”. Sorry but BB-8 was his BFF first XP I remember after first seeing Force Awakens, misremembering Poe and BB-8’s reunion and thinking the pilot had joyfully hugged his ‘mech upon reuniting, not just kneeling down and patting his dome. This time we actually got something close to a hug and it made me so happy because I would do the same. Hehe I’m so glad Poe and I think alike 🙂 But yes I’m so so glad we got to spend so much time with him this chapter! He’s become even more of a favorite than before!

BEST TIME GETTING TO REUNITE WITH A CHARACTER:
LUKE SKYWALKER

I’ve been waiting to see (and hear) Master Luke for a long time now. Or at least it feels like a long time. You guys know what I’m talking about. I even remember dreaming a while ago that VIII would open somewhat like Phantom Menace, with the master and apprentice on a secret mission. But even with some questions answered with the trailers, there was still so much I didn’t know. So, like you most likely, I found myself holding my breath as Luke took the hilt from Rey…
And then in a matter of seconds, I died laughing. Completely died XD
Luke was truly amazing in this film. So was Mark Hamill. At times he brought a warm familiarity that felt true to the farmboy we met forty years ago (or in my case, ten years ago), and at other times, we saw the scars of misunderstandings and fear and tragedy that opened up a new, intriguing angle on Luke as well as the whole Skywalker saga itself. I loved watching him take on the role of a master, not just because of what his perspective on the Force could offer, but because of the interesting fact he really was hesitant just about the whole time. Something I’ve never quite exactly seen in all the master-apprentice relationships we’ve seen in Star Wars. Sure, a lot of the masters we’ve followed have been uncertain at first, but they usually got past that after a little while and master and apprentice became best friends. Perhaps it was because Luke and Rey didn’t have as much time together as some, but it made for an intriguing situation, especially as Rey found herself walking into things she didn’t understand without much guidance or warning. Yet at the same time, there was still some warmth and fun to it that also felt familiar but unique. Yes, in the course of these precious two-and-a-half hours Luke got me all kinds of nostalgic, got me thinking mile-deep thoughts, got me nodding my head thinking “oh yeah that’s how you do it good sir” as he used the Force, got me laughing out loud, and of course, got me a little weepy. Especially when we said goodbye. But it was not a tragic goodbye, it was a peaceful one, and for that I am thankful. OK I have no clue if anything I wrote the last couple paragraphs made sense, but getting to better know this amazing Jedi, teacher, and brother was far more exciting and wonderful than I could’ve anticipated.

CHARACTER WHO MOST DESERVES AN ANTHOLOGY MOVIE:
MAZ KANATA

Perhaps a bit of a controversial choice, because there are a lot of characters who could use one (or two, or a trilogy…). But in the few minutes we spent with the Pirate Queen, we got a taste of some serious adventure that I definitely want to see more of. Yeah I wasn’t totally sure we’d see her in the film at all, so I’m happy either way whether Maz gets her own movie or not 🙂 *Cough* at least let’s get a novel ok?

BEST TIME GETTING TO KNOW A NEW CHARACTER:
ROSE TICO

I already had a feeling Rose was gonna be great just from how wonderful Kelly Marie Tran was at Celebration Orlando. Once again, could not have predicted just how great. She made the favorite character list pretty quickly, especially as she went from playing the fangirl to giving Finn a good zapping XD I love her spunk and drive but also how much she cares for her friends and family and doing the right thing. She’s definitely one of the most relatable SW characters to me, which is probably why I came out as her on the starwars.com personality quiz. And at the same time she has a lot of admirable qualities that I could only hope to possess. She just fits so so well into the SW universe and brought some serious sunshine to the dark times. It’s impossible not to adore her! Alsooooo she and Finn are kinda cute together I’ll admit… :3

BEST SURPRISE GUEST:
YODA

After seeing VII, I started to come up with little stories about the Force ghost crew visiting Luke on Ach-To (and usually driving him nuts XP). But I never expected to actually see one of these great Jedi in the next chapter. So when I saw those pointy ears… I let loose a whisper-squee-scream of pure happiness that probably would’ve been much louder if I wasn’t well-aware of all the people in the theater I’d disturb doing so. Yoda was so perfect and hilarious and just the right amount of not-too-serious-but-still-so-ridiculously-wise-and-epically-powerful! And I had no idea just what Jedi are capable of after they take on immortality. I mean, wow! And having rewatched V and VI only a few days before, seeing Luke and Yoda together again in this time was too amazing and threw nostalgia feels all over me. I’m amazed Lucasfilm managed to keep this a secret, but it was just about the best reveal ever 😀 “Page turners they are not”, but always a delight, Yoda is!

BEST NEW CREATURE (ASIDE FROM PORGS):
FATHIERS

Perhaps the other best-kept secret in the film was these amazing giraffe-llama-rabbit-horses. These graceful, sweet-natured giants stole my heart pretty quickly, and watching Rose and Finn set ’em free got me all gooey inside. Sooo can we get some of these in another film or show? At least maybe The Freemaker Adventures? ‘Cause I need more fathiers. Second place goes to the vulptices but only because they’re not in the film quite as much but I love them the same anyway.

BIGGEST “OMGWHAT” MOMENT:
LEIA’S CLOSE CALL

Every Star Wars story has that one moment you can’t forget your reaction. Sometimes it’s a reaction of joy, sometimes it’s a moment of sadness… this one was a moment of complete shock. The moment in the trailer between Kylo and Leia itself was terrifying enough. AND THEN they pull the rug out from under you, and you watch as a different TIE takes the shot… my jaw was on the floor and all I could think was “Nonononono did that just happen?! This can’t be the way General Organa goes!”. And I probably missed some other important dialogue in-between because those two thoughts were on repeat in my head. I don’t think any of us are truly ever ready to say goodbye to a character in SW, but I really really wasn’t ready for Leia to go. I was so completely relieved that wasn’t how she was gonna go. Watching her use the Force so masterfully was all at once amazing and surreal and “WHOA”. And it’s especially intriguing because even though we’ve seen Kanan do something similar in The Holocrons Of Fate, the stakes were even higher for Leia here. So it begs the question if the situation demanded a stronger knowledge of the Force to perform, or if it’s just something the Chosen One’s children naturally possess. There are a lot of questions here, but that’s one thing I love so much about this movie: it says to us fans “Oh so you think you know everything there is to know about the Force? Well guess what? YOU DON’T!” and that is a-ok with me. So yeah I was thankful I could breathe again… at least for a little while before the next OMGWHAT moment. And this chapter of the saga had a lot of those…

COOLEST NEW CRAFT:
SKI SPEEDERS

I’ve loved these things from day one and that’s a fact. They’re so quintessentially Star Wars-y yet so unique and quirky and fast and I really just couldn’t help but adore them. OK so maybe Poe and I don’t always think alike, but I want to take a spin on one of these oldies all the same 🙂

COOLEST NEW WORLD:
ALL OF THE ABOVE

Seriously, I can’t pick one. Every SW film promises new incredible, exciting places to see, and Last Jedi supremely delivered. The amazing picturesque natural beauty of Ach-To! The rough, surreal-but-magnificent white-and-red landscape of Crait! Even the less-than-reputable world of Canto Bight captured my attention with its eclectic Mos Eisley Cantina-style cast of characters and all that cray amount of glitz and glam. Each world served the story perfectly and was as interesting as they were eye-catching and make me want to come back, even though I know IX will surely bring a lot of exciting new places of its own…

And that’s just scratching the surface of things that have consumed my mind the last three weeks, and hopefully we’ll find time to discuss further stuff another day. But OMG yes I love this chapter of the saga so so much. I love the camaraderie, the teamwork, the unsolved mysteries, the unexpected twists, the one-liners, everything BB-8 does, the way it blows my mind, the way it shook me to my core, that wonderful Star Wars feel, and the wonderfully hopeful ending that caps it off better than I could’ve hoped. IX seems so so far away now… but I’m glad there’s still so much Star Wars to come until then :3

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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