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

Following The Freemakers: Free Fall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: Escape From Coruscant

Things continue to get unbelievably real on The Freemaker Adventures, and that’s why I’m here once again spilling out all my thoughts and queries and theories and fangirly musings. Read on as we dissect some intriguing (and often nerve-wracking) stuff from Escape From Coruscant!

Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, Tarkin, TCW episode The Lawless, Rebels episodes Rebel Resolve, The Siege Of Lothal, and The Holocrons Of Fate, and Freemakers episodes Duel Of Destiny, Return Of The Kyber Saber, A Perilous Rescue, and Escape From Coruscant.

First of all, don’t worry Imperial Guards, I still think you’re cooler than whatever Palpatine thinks 🙂 It’s so funny… I remember early on in my SW fandom not being all that impressed with all those quiet armored characters 99% of fans are obsessed with — the Fetts, stormtroopers, Imperial Guards, etc. They were everywhere and yet they weren’t as interesting to me as the Jedi and Rebels. But now I’m among those 99% and think they’re all fantastic and interesting, and I’ve become a huge huge red guard fangirl over the last year-and-a-half thanks to Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy revealing the full grandeur of their spectacular design (not to mention some funny appearances in other Lego SW stories). So yeah #RedGuardsRule! Ooh maybe the next Star Wars animated series should center around a former guard and his/her journey after the Empire’s fall! A thought anyway.

But my random series ideas are not nearly as important as the fact that Rowan is in possibly the most dangerous place in the galaxy right now — on the Empire’s capital with Darth Sidious in front of him and Darth Vader behind him. The youngest Freemaker is bold, sounding both incredulous and amused at the fact the Emperor was after the long-since-destroyed Kyber Saber all this time. But oh my goodness… I spent this episode completely on edge. We’re only talking about the man who played the Republic like a card, rose to ultimate power, and destroyed almost all the Jedi with a single command. Not to mention the guy’s apprentice, who could survive being crushed by an AT-ST and can use the Force to literally crush one’s heart from the inside (I’m serious go read Tarkin right now). Safe to say they know how to get what they want from Rowan, a child who, though clever and strong with the Force, still has his weaknesses… *Shudders*
Oh, and right before we got the titles, there’s this great little moment you’ve gotta see. After Palpatine giddily gives himself chills, Rowan turns to Vader with a look that says “Uh is this guy for real??” XD

My heart absolutely broke so hard for Kordi, Zander, and Roger this episode. Their brother seems to have become a casualty of war, a soldier lost that the Alliance can’t afford to bring home. I was reminded quite a bit of SWR’s Rebel Resolve, and the challenges that can come from fighting alongside those you care for. Hera knows every fiber of what these kids and their droid are feeling, but Coruscant is truly the worst place in the galaxy for Rowan to be, because it’s the worst place in the galaxy for the Rebels to be. And now that they know of the second Death Star, the stakes just got much much higher. Though a beautiful, impossibly precious quote, it seems there’s no more painful or difficult question to ask than “What’s the point of saving the galaxy if the people you love aren’t in it?“. I sometimes lay awake at night wrestling with that. Some of my most favorite moments in Star Wars have been when someone breaks all the rules to save a life, but not all of these rebellious rescues end well — in fact, they usually don’t. But I understand. I think it’s safe to say we all understand. If, like Luke, your friends were suffering, if, like Obi-Wan, your lost love called for help, if, like all the Freemakers at one point or another, your sibling or siblings were in pain or in danger… you likely wouldn’t stand still and do nothing. True, there’s value in rules, value in thinking your plan through, I mean, we just talked about this last post with Rowan falling for M-OC’s trap. And true, you have to think of the other lives at stake in many of these situations. This is a hard lesson, and thankfully I think most of us average Joes and Janes won’t have to worry about making a decision this monumental or potentially detrimental. These stories in SW are not telling us that the characters were wrong per se, or that going after someone you care for is wrong. They’re reminding us simply to think and to be wise in any situation. And whether these rescues go well (like in Rebels) or with mixed results, seeing these great, admirable, relatable characters who desire to protect and defend, never cease to inspire. And perhaps a character who makes mistakes but loves people is better than a character who never breaks a rule but doesn’t love. That makes sense, right? I feel like I might’ve lost my place somewhere in there but… anyway. GO FREEMAKER FAM GO! THIS IS A REBELLION, SO YOU GO REBEL! They’re willing to give up their place in the Alliance for Rowan, and that’s nothing but amazing no matter how you spin it. Though you’ve gotta be careful with the decisions you make and the actions you take (sorry Maz didn’t mean to rip you off)… family, ideally, should always come first.

So I had no idea how Rowan would survive this episode. I don’t think I breathed much on this one. At all. Though they’re depicted as minifigs, Sidious and Vader are no less deadly, terrifying threats. And again, knowing the horrible things the Sith are capable of… the odds are really not in Ro’s favor. This episode did remind me though that the Master and Apprentice are capable of other methods of persuasion than just by lightsaber or Force lightning; they’re crafty and calculating, taking their time with getting the information they desire. Perhaps that made it even scarier. OK maybe not quite as much with the “Dark Side And You” presentation. That was too great XD But otherwise… yeah oh man… the probes. Seeing those things always makes my skin crawl. And now they’ve upgraded them with laser prods! The fact Rowan was able to resist them as well as he did is nothing short of amazing. The scariest thing though? Watching Vader use the dark side mind probing trick. I’ve wondered in the past if that was just a thing Kylo Ren and Maul could do. Knowing that Darth Vader can do it makes him all the more frightening. The fear and desperation in Rowan’s voice as he tries to fight the impossible… oh my goodness I can’t. I CAN’T. At the time, I’d been thinking most of the episode that surely Kordi and Zander would get to him before Vader found what he was looking for. Surely they wouldn’t let Ro carry the burden of being the one to tip off the Empire to the location of kyber crystals. Surely!
But… no.
Things don’t go that way.

OK wow things are getting so heavy here, and they’re only going to get heavier. My broken heart was healed a little though as the red guards revealed themselves to be Kordi and Zander. They’ve already been there and done that with stormtrooper disguises; it’s a nice way to mix it up! Watching Rowan tacklehug his big brother just made me explode with smiles, something I needed a good bit this episode. Long as this family’s still standing, there’s hope :3

But who would’ve anticipated that M-OC would come back from the dead? I knew he’d been able to repair himself in the past, but the way Vader tore him apart… I really thought that was how the hunter droid would go down.
I was wrong.
And now he mans the most powerful spacecraft in the galaxy… and his sights are set on a scrappy little TIE fighter with the Freemakers aboard.
We’ve seen what the Arrowhead does to TIEs O_O

It’s quite a twist, an episode titled Escape From Coruscant… and they actually have yet to truly escape. If they escape at all.
I know that they must survive somehow since there are two more episodes left this season, but I’m still absolutely terrified for what will become of our heroes, the Alliance, and the galaxy itself in the events to follow.
All the same though, this series never fails to be incredible.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

The Long-Overdue Resistance Rises Post

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

POE TO THE RESCUE

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

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

REY STRIKES BACK

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

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

HUNTING FOR HAN

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

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

THE TROUBLE WITH RATHTARS

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

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

ATTACK OF THE CONSCIENCE

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

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight