Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 1

So glad I’m finally getting around to these posts! These last couple seasons of Forces Of Destiny have been a complete blast! And super special, too, as we look at some small moments in the lives of our favorite heroines and heroes. There’s a lot you can learn from sitting down with Maz Kanata for tea 😀 But it’s not just in the simple-but-beautiful life lessons her stories convey, it’s in all the cool Star Wars connections, revelations, and factoids we get to discover, too! So here’s a few things I learned from the stories inside of the first special.

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume One (but you can watch those shorts here), and a number of elements from The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, Rogue One, Episode VI, and Episode VII

#1. Nightwatcher worms have feelings, too. And they’re also really big.

The first time I watched this, I really needed some cheering up. Soon as BB-8 and Rey showed up, though, I was all smiles, and so thrilled to be exploring an unseen moment inside of The Force Awakens! So this one will always be quite special to me. But what really makes this one special is that we see Rey’s kindness brightly shine through. Not only in her fierce dedication to the little droid she just met, but also in the way she treats the seemingly-terrifying nightwatcher. When she takes a running leap off the beast, she make a point of apologizing to it! I think it’s fair to say most of us wouldn’t think of doing that, were we in her situation. And then she offers it a meal, which, by the way, was junk she could’ve gotten paid a meal from. It’d be easy to get jaded and angry at life living in a place like Jakku, but somehow, Rey still has maintained a strong sense of compassion and generosity. Not really something we didn’t already know, but this was a powerful reminder. She may not yet know the power she holds, but she’s got the selflessness part of the Jedi down pat! 🙂

And like say, if not for this short, I never would’ve known how much I would want to hug a nightwatcher worm.

#2. Ketsu’s a real Rebel.

One of my favorite things about FoD so far has been getting to see more of Ketsu Onyo. She was such a great character, and her and Sabine’s friendship is epic! It’s so cool seeing what ultimately led Ketsu to join the mini-Alliance, which, otherwise, we wouldn’t know about until the last two episodes of Rebels. And though there’s an awesome brawl with a bunch of bucketheads (who would’ve guessed you could weaponize food crates?!), it doesn’t overshadow the loyalty present in the girls’ actions as they try to bring home the bacon (by which I mean ration sticks), and protect an adorable chandra-fan kiddo in the process. It’s really quite amazing to see what a solid impact Sabine has had on Ketsu, taking the truths her Ghost family’s taught her and imparting it in a way Ketsu genuinely responds to, helping this former Black Sun bounty hunter find a new purpose and a new direction as not only a Rebel, but as a Ghost family cousin.

Plus, since this was the first of the Rebels-related shorts I saw, I couldn’t help but get a little giddy seeing the bright lights of Garel again!

#3. Jyn and I are cut from the same cloth.

As I’ve said before, any opportunity we have to learn more about the late amazing Rogue One heroes is a great opportunity! Jyn’s always been a very relatable heroine, but I never realized until I watched this short that we have even more in common than I thought. Watching her defend a little girl and her tooka, all I could say was “Whoa! That is so me!” I hate injustice in any form, but when someone’s mean to children and/or animals? I absolutely would aim a fruit in their direction. Always nice to see a little (or a lot) of me in these amazing characters! And considering we know that Jyn was a bit of a rebel (note the lowercase “r”) at this point in her life, it’s really special to see these small moments where she was a little bit more of a Rebel, with a capital “R” 🙂

Also, how great is it seeing tookas again? The original Star Wara cat is back, and with a vengeance! Like seriously, that Tooki’s tough as nails. Guess that brings the number of stormtroopers who’ve been trounced by small cats to three! Hehe. Oh, and it kinda cracks me up that right after Jyn shushes the cat, Tooki gives a rather insulted growl XP

#4. Ahsoka gives piloting lessons in her spare time.

Another thing I love about FoD is catching some of my fave characters outside of work. OK so maybe flight combat training isn’t really a relaxing hobby, but it helps when you’re learning from a friend! Like with Sabine and Ketsu, it’s just fantastic getting to see more of Padme and Ahsoka’s friendship that we don’t get the chance to see at this juncture in The Clone Wars. Ahsoka’s still the little sister, but she’s also older and more mature now, and you can tell their bond has strengthened over the period of time between their earlier adventures and Ahsoka’s trial. And it’s also really cool getting to see Ahsoka in the role of teacher, and then seeing her student take what she’s learned and own it! Yes it’s so special getting go back to the Clone Wars days for a bit and appreciate the friendships that thrived even when the war was at its worst. And also watching Naboo starfighters dash dazzlingly through comet trails 😀

5. Paintbombs are canon!

Though I made mention of this already on the post for Heroes Of Mandalore, this is how I found out about it first. I sort of predicted something like this and it made me really happy to see it for reals. And something about watching stormtroopers run around with big blobs of yellow paint on them just cracks me up X) But there’s much more to this short than clever weaponry. We get to see Leia and Sabine cross paths, for one thing! Though Leia at least partially knows Sabine from her last encounter with the Ghost crew, it’s too much fun watching them team up. As an artist, I love how they contrast visually, with Leia wearing stark white and Sabine covered in vibrant colors. But that’s about where the contrast ends, because both of these young Rebels know how to aim a blaster, and how to put on one epic show for the Empire! I certainly hope we’ll get to see them fight side-by-side one of these days, because that might be the epic-est performance the Rebels could put on!

Also was really cool getting to see IG-88 in action for the first time in the canon (I think)! Really made me realize how terrifying he is. Not a word spoken, not a single readable emotion, every move is calculating, and he’s his own master. That’s a recipe for the shivers if you ask me. But mad respect all the same!

6. Unkar Plutt’s nothing if not thorough.

Soon as I saw Rey and Han in the Falcon’s cockpit, my fangirl self completely exploded. And then seeing Chewbacca and Finn made me explode again. Seeing the Force Awakens squad all together filled me with so so much joy! The scenes with the five of them in the film were among my favorites, so this was an absolute treat to visit a small incident we didn’t see before! It’s got just the best blend of comedic camaraderie and frantic action that makes up some of my fave Star Wars moments. And just look at that last shot of them! They really do make a good team — maybe the best team! All of them do! You don’t have to go back to Jakku to find your family, Rey, all the family you could ever need is right here on the Falcon! :3

But yes, back on the original topic, I’ve gotta give Plutt some credit… he knows his ships! Because why else would he be so determined to keep his mitts on what most people thought was garbage?

7. Ewoks invented sandals! Apparently…

We learn lots of neat stuff in this one. Like that one ewok is equal in weight to two stormtroopers! (Or else the gravity on Endor is weird) And that Dee Baker does an amazing job voicing Wicket, because I seriously thought those were all original archived dialogue recordings. We already knew that ewoks can sew, but it wasn’t until I saw this short I realized Leia had a matching pair of sandals! Considering that’s hardly a pair of shoes you’d take to a battle, I think the ewok village has some majorly-talented cobblers out here! Honestly this short brought up a lot of questions about the ewok dress in general. It was apparently a surprise, so how in the world did they make something so nice without taking any measurements or likely having any reference for sewing human clothing? It’s a bit of a mystery, but it might just be sheer talent on the little guys’ part 🙂

8. Cliches die when Yoda’s around.

This one has so much wow factor to it. We get to watch Ahsoka during some lightsaber practice! Which I don’t think we really ever got to see inside of The Clone Wars! And not only that, but we get to watch her figuring out her second blade. I would love to know the story of how she found her new ‘saber. It doesn’t seem a terribly common thing among Jedi. And I doubt you can just go out and decide you’ll get a second lightsaber; how did she know that’s she needed one? Though we don’t yet know these answers, we do know now adding it to her existent fighting style wasn’t easy. Leave it to Yoda to find the best way to bring out her best. You know how often you hear people throw around “just be yourself”? It’s easy for phrase to get old and lose its meaning. But when Yoda says “Yourself, you must always be”, the meaning is clear, and the cliche disappears! That’s why he’s the master! 😀

And yes, of course there were some bittersweet vibes for me watching Ahsoka and Anakin duel… but it certainly doesn’t lessen how wonderful their bond was back then. Watching Anakin, I think for the first time that we’ve seen, doing some formal training with Ahsoka really is a special thing!

So those are just a handful of the neat things I’ve discovered watching these delightful short stories, and I look forward to sharing more at a later date!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Star Wars Reads Day ’15 – Jedi Prince #4: Mission From Mount Yoda

If you’ve been keeping track, you know what today is… Star Wars Reads Day! Anytime is a good time to read a SW book, but it’s nice to have one special day a year to do so as well. So like we did a couple years back, we’re digging into Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince series. Reading the fourth chapter in this exciting and intriguing adventure, Mission From Mount Yoda! You can catch up with the last few chapters here, here, and here. Now let’s get started!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode VI, The Glove Of Darth Vader, The Lost City Of The Jedi, Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge, and Mission From Mount Yoda.

We find ourselves in the midst of a meeting amongst the Dark Side Prophets in Space Station Scardia, where the big cheese of the DSPs, Kadann, is about to make a few predictions. Really creepy stuff here. The idea of the dark side being a bit of a cult is quite fascinating. Though it was written before the Prequels explained more about how the Sith work, it makes a lot of sense even now. Honestly I could see this kind of deal existing officially-canonically. Kadann comes out and makes mention of a few little things; first, he now speaks for the dark side, second, he’ll destroy all that is good in the Force, and finally, he also mentioned something akin to “when the dragon pack perched upon Yoda’s stony back receives a visitor pierced by gold, then come the last days of the Rebel Alliance”. Yikes. Much yikes. And you know Kadann… if his predictions don’t come true, he makes them come true. Rebs beware.
But the Rebs don’t know nothin’ of this, they’re vacationing on Z’trop! Because if anyone deserves a vacation, these guys do. Especially since Leia caught the unwanted attention of Zorba The Hutt and stuff. Han so badly wanted some down time with his princess, but so far they’d just started back down the bickering trail. Over pointless things I might add, like whether Septapi are carnivorous or herbivorous. I’m thinking a bit of this has to do with the fact that he’s got nerves since considering a certain proposal 🙂 But that intelligent conversation doesn’t last for long, because as usual, cue the Empire. Artoo may have spotted an assault vehicle not too far from the sunny shores. Turns out, upon further inspection, that there’s no ‘trooper to be found, however, Luke does find a few holodiscs marked with the Scardia symbol. Either way, the vacay’s over as they head back to their secret base on Dagobah’s Mount Yoda. Though seriously how cool is it Yoda got a mountain named after him?! A little something the Rebels did in honor of him. I’m sure he brags about it to Anakin and Obi-Wan often 🙂 The Mount Yoda base, known as DRAPAC (the Defense Research And Planetary Assistance Center), is pretty sweet digs for being located on the highest peak in a slimy mudhole. Not completely finished, but still impressive with levels upon levels of everything the Alliance could need. Right down to their top-secret project known as “Project Decoy”. The Rebs don’t waste much time before looking into those holodiscs, which happen to hold Kadann’s most recent prophecies on there. It doesn’t take long for Luke and Leia to decipher that it’s talking about Mount Yoda and DRAPAC. And Luke queries whether a gold knife, also found in the missing Imperial’s belongings, might have something to do with that “pierced by gold” bit. Wonder who owned that stuff to start with. Maybe dude was just stopping for a smoothie and then came back to realize his assault vehicle was broken into. His boss won’t be pleased… whoever that boss of his is right now since Trioculus became a museum exhibit.
Speaking of Trioculus, yeah the Empire wants the guy back and a little less frozen. Thankfully, Zorba’s out of town, making his dream of converting the palace into an extremely profitable prison a reality. When the lothcat’s away the womprats will play (Completely weird thought: I kept referring to lothcats as tookas for a while because of their similarity, before that I was calling them “mookas”, which this book actually refers to as in “purring like a mooka”. I know the name “tooka” came from Dave Filoni’s cat but where did “mooka” come from? Either way yay cats in SW!). The Stormtroopers and their chief have little problem walking into the museum and coming out with the Emperor. Honestly they did the folks of Bespin a favor… who wants to pay money to look at that ugly mug? He’d scare the kids man! And what exhibit would that go into anyway? “Cloud City Museum presents… The Hall Of Carbonite!” 😛 But yeah unfreezing him might cause more problems than a few unhappy museum attendees. Just as Grand Moff Hissa was about to free him, our friends from Scardia showed up. High Prophet Jedgar demands Trioculus turned over to them since Kadann’s in charge now. Jedgar and Hissa have a nice long debate over the ex-Emperor as well as the politics between the Prophets and the Empire. But Jedgar played dirty and revealed just how much dirt he had on Hissa and ultimately the Grand Moff had no choice but to switch his loyalties. So the Prophets now have the three-eyed bro and you can figure they have no intentions to let him live…
Back on Dagobah, things are also taking a downward turn. At least for Ken, anyway, who’s about to start his studies and DRAPAC’s Dagobah Tech. He’s never been a fan of such things, so yeah he’s not too happy about this. Luke tries to give him a little encouragement, talked about how much he wanted to go to the Academy back in the day, but to no avail. First day of school should’ve been easy, right? Nope. Tests on the first day, and only a portion of them on stuff he understood. Random fun thought: since this school is run by Rebels, who would teach what classes? Maybe Sabine could teach languages and art appreciation? I could totally see that. OK random fun thought over ’cause not long after Ken’s tests were over a ship nearly crashes down right into DRAPAC! The driver of said ship is a Duro named Dustini, who comes off a pretty nice mannerly guy, but also not doing so well. That’s because his planet isn’t doing so well… it’s become a hazardous waste dump and it’s being looted for its treasures by the Empire, mostly because Kadann really really likes shiny things. Also yeah this book seems to refer to the planet as Duro and not the species as a Duro so since I have no clue what the planet is called canonically I’m just gonna refer to it as the “Duro homeworld”. So yeah Dustini came here for help so they could help save his people, who have gone into hiding for fear of being turned into Imperial slaves. He takes a moment to showcase a few of the DH’s priceless artifacts, only to accidentally trigger a poisonous booby trap in the crown of their ancient king. So that would explain the “pierced by gold” bit… Kadann’s better at this predicting thing than I thought. While medical droids work to heal the poor guy, Artoo plays back one of Dustini’s holodiscs explaining the mission at hand. Onward to the Duro homeworld!
The next day, Ken was supposed to be at school. He just wanted to say goodbye and may-the-Force-be-with-you to his friends before his classes started, but one thing led to another and before he knew it he was trapped in the Falcon‘s cargo hold just as they set off to the DH. Wellllp… at least he won’t have to do any tests today. What no one on the Falcon knows is that Hissa and Jedgar have them in their sights. First gunner to destroy the Millennium Falcon gets to dine with the Prophets! The Falcon‘s firepower isn’t enough to match their opponent’s and their hyperdrive is kaput, much to Han’s chagrin, so flying for their lives seems like the best option for now. Artoo finds out that a bit of the trouble has something to do with a locked cargo hold. It takes Luke using the Force to get that door open, and inside he finds, not an Imperial spy, but a young Jedi Prince. It’s a miracle Ken was able to convince Luke he hadn’t stowed away on purpose. More of a miracle was that Threepio was able to do a minor repair and fixed the hyperdrive and quad cannons again. Seriously, THREEPIO JUST FIXED SOMETHING. *Slow clap*. Instead of immediately hitting the hyperspace outta there, Han makes a risky move and takes aim at the baddies’ ship. Which unfortunately doesn’t end too well for our heroes. With quite a few new holes in the ship, Han decides now would be a good time to hit the hyperspace button.
Speaking of things not going too well, we soon find Kadann at the other end of a laser, completely decimating the carbonite-frozen form of Trioculus. And now he himself wields Darth Vader’s glove. All is proceeding as dude’s forseen. After all, Kadann is never wrong, right?
The good news is the Falcon managed to survive its near-crash on DH, the good news is that Duro mechanics are awesome at what they do, the bad news is that the estimated repair bill is a whole lotta credits. Ouch indeed. Mechanic dude makes an offer to trade the hunk of junk in for something new, but Han calls no deal. Thankfully Leia believes SPIN’ll pick up the tab on this one. You gotta love Han’s legit undying loyalty to that ship. It’s clearly still lookin’ good thirty years later! 🙂 So they head back to their destination in a rental, where Artoo accesses a map from Dustini’s holodisc to the Valley Of Royalty. It’s where all the archaeologists are that they need to set free. Also of note nearby is an Imperial Reprogramming Institute… wherein lives the mysterious Triclops, the true son of Palpatine who the Empire fears but keeps alive anyway. Ken decides to divulge a little of what he knows on the subject of this guy, but what this guy has to do with Dustini’s mission we do not know. Shortly thereafter our heroes headed off, originally not with Ken, but the kid knows how to persuade, especially when he pulled the “Obi-Wan said our destinies are connected!” card out. So Leia stayed behind to watch the ship and Ken went on. Smart boy 🙂 Honestly I think Obi-Wan could sympathize with Luke on this one.
Guess who also just arrived on Duro? A certain grand moff and dark side prophet. Jedgar reveals the nature of their mission, to recapture the escaped Triclops. Yeah just what Hissa wanted to do this weekend… chase down a madman on a toxic waste-covered planet! ‘Course, you think they have problems… Luke and the gang were facing down giant mutant Fezfe beetles! Somehow they managed to slice and shoot their way outta that mess, and we must thank Ken for saving his master’s life in a moment of crisis. Yeah fun planet right? They continue on through into the bowels of the Valley, facing steep stairways, treacherous turns, and toxic gunk falling from the ceiling as they go. Not to mention encountering the man of the hour himself — Triclops! Bro’s pretty chill for someone who escaped a correctional facility. Escaped with the help of a reprogrammed Imperial assassin droid, for good reason too since he very nearly got a lobotomy. Yeesh. Tri has no problem helping out our Rebels and leading them to the imperiled archaeologists. He’s very interested in Luke’s Jedi ways, as he mentions knowing a Jedi once. And also seems to know something about Ken, about the silver charm he wears, about his past… much intrigue. Tri is all kinds of much intrigue. But even so, he’s clearly nothing like his dad, so let’s just be glad for that 🙂 Doesn’t take ’em long before the find the rest of the Duro dudes, all working to get their relics together before they leave their festering stinkhole planet behind. For sure they’re eternally grateful for SPIN’s help, happy enough to hug it out with Captain Solo, though Han had slightly differing opinions on that matter XD So from there on out everybody starts working together to get the loot back to the planet surface and under the care of SPIN until the Duros relocate. In the midst of this, Han receives a little something courtesy of the Duros — an ancient Corellian wedding ring. Oh wait that sounded really creepy. What I meant was that Dustini’s cousin gave it to Han as a “thank you” gift, that it could eventually be given to the one he loves. Han doesn’t elaborate too much on where he is in that stage of life, but accepts it all the same, just in case. Hehe yesss all the forces in the universe are working to get the power couple to tie the knot already X3 But aboveground, Imperial interrogator Defeen has quite literally needled the truth out of a Duro, revealing the whereabouts of a certain Valley. That’s trouble. And as if we needed more trouble, Hissa and Jedgar showed up with a gaggle of ‘troopers and a big boring mechanism. In the midst of the chaos that ensued, the bad guys nearly nabbed Ken, but that’s where Triclops came in… and bro’s third eye is hypnotic. And we mention he hand-to-hand fights like a boss? He could’ve easily finished Hissa off, but a sudden rush of toxic sludge did his job for him. Grand Moff Hissa + toxicity – Jedgar’s help = 60% less Grand Moff. Eww. Dude this is intense! Our heroes make a narrow escape from the cavern and Leia and Chewie arrive with their ride outta here just in time! So go off our Rebels, along with the Duros, their treasure, and Triclops in tow. By the time they return to DRAPAC, things all fall together nicely; Dustini is alive and reunited with his people, the Falcon is better than new, and everyone’s all together again. Things are looking up. But one thing still remains unanswered; Triclops is being held for questioning for now… but he is really the real pacifist anti-Empire good guy deal? What did the Empire want with him? Much intrigue… much intrigue indeed.
So there you go! Another fun Star Wars Reads Day and a fun post to go with it! Now, I’ll be seeing you next week with some new Rebels awesomeness! Until then…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Idiot’s Array

Hello, what have we here? Another Rebel Transmission! And if you’re wondering why I’m talking like Lando Calrissian… please stop reading this, go and watch this episode, and then come back. Because yeah this awesome episode involves everyone’s favorite old smoothie! No not Han… though that would make sense since Lando called him an “old smoothie”, but in this case I’m referring to Lando! If I were referring to Han I’d be calling him “everyone’s favorite scoundrel” or “everyone’s favorite nerf herder” or something of that sort. Wow I am just chatty as a bird today aren’t I? Just excited! After a handful of emotionally-stirring, heartstring-tugging, tear-shedding episodes, Idiot’s Array brings us back to the more lighthearted side of the show with all the Ghost fam’! So let’s get started shall we?
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Zorba The Hutt’s Revenge, and Rebels episodes Empire Day, Path Of The Jedi, and Idiot’s Array.

We start off at a familiar old joint, the same we saw back in Empire Day. Though we get to see it from the outside… and it literally has a Republic gunship built into it! Seriously it never ceases to wow me when I see those subtle ties to the world fifteen years past. Kanan was here, asking the Ithorian barkeep for some potential work. While Zeb plays Sabacc with a couple of strangers. Somehow just knowing it’s Sabacc immediately makes me think “Zeb’s gonna lose”. Between incidents involving the Falcon, and in one of Paul and Hollace Davids’ books, Cloud City’s casinos, it seems that there’s a hit-or-miss ratio in this game… and Lando was the loser in both the ones I mentioned! But yeah I love how well they concealed Lando’s presence. If not for all the footage of him going around prior to the episode’s debut I probably wouldn’tve picked up on it either! But yeah even Chopper knows this won’t end well, as he bangs his dome against the table. Seriously is it just me or does Chopper get more entertaining to watch each episode? 😀 As far as the “job hunt”? Old Jho redirects Kanan to the gentleman at the Sabacc table, who might be looking for a pilot. Once Kanan gets over there… it seems that Zeb might’ve bet Chopper in their little game. Kanan objects for ten seconds before seeing that there’s seemingly no way Zeb could lose. And those of us in the audience immediately mutter “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”, because again, the hit-or-miss ratio in this game. It can’t be that easy, right? Chopper’s clearly saying “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!” XD But yeah Chopper and all of us are right. The only thing that can trump a “sabacc” is an “idiot’s array”. And Chopper goes and bangs his dome again. So the winner and apparently Chop’s new owner is… Lando Calrissian! YUS this guyyy!! Once I first heard that he was going to be in the next episode and saw his Rebels look, I exploded in fangirliness. I mean, it’s been great having Billy Dee Williams himself playing Lando for the Lego world (in both The Yoda Chronicles and The Lego Movie), but there’s definitely something just amazing about seeing him in the amazing animation and awesome visual style in Rebels. That first cocky expression he makes…! I about died squee-ing! This episode reminded me why I love this guy so much. Ahhhh I need to watch Empire Strikes Back now!! *Ahem* so anyway… yeah the guys are in troooooooublllllle…
So you know something’s wrong when Chopper comes in griping, Zeb says “I can explain…”, and the three are joined by an uninvited new guy. Kanan introduces him to the others, letting them know they’re intending to help him get past the Imperial blockade. Hera picks up pretty fast that something’s up, but that’s just what she do. And once Lando mentions that he’ll be returning their droid along with their payment, Hera is not happy. We’re talking using-Zeb’s-full-name not happy. And when Zeb throws the blame back to Kanan… she literally goes and slugs him in the arm. Yup this is why we don’t cross Captain Syndulla. Hehe I love how Kanan shrugs like “hey that’s just Hera for you, whatcha gonna do?” XD So now the Ghost crew doesn’t have much choice in helping out Mr. Calrissian. Off they go…!
And they haven’t gotten far before Lando interjects some of his charm into the conversation… ermargosh the way he sorta compliments Hera’s piloting skills and the way she rolls it off…! Priceless. So much priceless. Gotta love that swag, am I right? OK Hera’s not loving it, and Kanan shoots quite the look of disapproval in his direction. Chopper seems to be enjoying himself a bit, though, ’cause now that he’s Lando’s droid, he doesn’t have to take orders from the Ghost crew anymore. So Lando takes advantage of this and asks Chop for a tour, which the little booger does without question. Ah ironyyyy. And THEN he brings him coffee! We all know that this was part of the droid’s little plan to take Mr. Calrissian’s fuel in the end, but for a while it seemed that all that charm of his was working on Chopper. Ezra doesn’t seem terribly impressed either. Especially after Lando compliments Sabine’s artwork. Ohhhmergosh… XD He compared it to that of another great anti-Empire artist’s work, but “more stunning”. That’d be like someone telling me my art outdid that of Jason Deamer, or Carter Goodrich, or Killian Plunkett! And this pretty much one-upped any compliment Ezra made on her art because Lando has something to compare it to. Yeah methinks Ezra feels Lando to be too smooth for his own good. And the way Zeb is holding back laughing at the whole scene XD Yes whether you’re Han, or Ezra, or to a lesser extent perhaps Kanan… smoothness is overrated.
So on their way to Lando’s supplier’s place, well… yeah… “You got the goods?” “…Always.” THAT LOOK ON HIS FACE. HERA’S EYEROLL. KANAN’S DISAPPROVING GLARE. CAN’T. EVEN. OK so anyway, Lando’s got this as he, Hera, and Kanan board. Or so he says. Just sayin’, this ship does have escape pods. And yes behind every swaggy scoundrel is a dude you don’t want to cross paths with. In this case, Azmorigan. Yeahhh… just watching him eat like he does made me immediately check my manners while eating. Props to his voice actor though, who I believe was Chi Fu in Mulan. He’s got what Lando wants… and Lando happens to be offering up a fabulous deal on a TWI’LEK. On HERA. WHUT. And now we’re torn as to whether Calrissian knows what he’s doing or if something’s seriously wrong here. And good question; Lando didn’t know the ship he’d be riding on would have a Twi’lek captain… so what was he originally going to trade? Or was he intending to trade whoever was on board? It’s all a mystery. Anyway, Kanan wasn’t really fond of this deal, but Hera is a bit more savvy that he knows and goes along with it. It’s definitely interesting watching this. When they were introducing the Rebels cast for the first time, I loved that the captain was a girl Twi’lek, mainly because, well, who was the first girl Twi’lek in Star Wars? Oola, the unfortunate dancer who got eaten by the rancor. It’s a completely common sight in the SW universe, seeing Twi’lek ladies in seedy places. Hera’s far from that, and is a self-reliant, caring, strong individual who doesn’t take crud from anyone. So yeesh it must’ve been weird for her to suddenly kinda play the role of the naive slave girl. She may play her voice a little bit softer, but the looks she’s shooting Lando’s way are not too sweet. And so, Kanan and Lando return back to the Ghost without their captain. Lando’s chill with it, as he believes Hera will stick to the plan. The “plan” being the one he vaguely hinted at earlier. Kanan is so not happy right now. First Chopper, and now Hera! Greaaaaat. And what was it that Lando was willing to trade for Hera for? He calls it “sophisticated mining equipment”, and tells Zeb and Ezra not to startle it. Real smart. Leave a box with something mysterious inside alone with these two. Honestly Lando you have no one to blame but yourself for what happens later.
Sooo how’s Hera enjoying the new master? Not so much. Azmorigan’s not as bad as Jabba… but he’s not really much better either. I did find it funny how much he really digs into that fruit, and then two seconds later throws the thing over his shoulder like trash. Thankfully he’s more into his food than his Twi’lek right now, ’cause Hera’s sticking to her own plan. Yup, it’s amazing what a food tray can do! Along with a little sweet-talking, you can do pretty much anything… or at least escape from this punk’s ship. Hehe I’m getting all these Indiana Jones vibes right now… 🙂 Like a boss, Captain Syndulla. Like. a. boss.
And right on schedule, Lando spots the escape pod Hera took. “…You really should have more faith in our captain,” “Our captain?”. Might Kanan be a little jelly? I’m sure he’d deny it if you asked him. So Hera made it off that pod and back on board without any problem. Though Lando did not quite expect the greeting he got from her… dang that must’ve hurt. And did anyone pick up on the way his voice kinda went up a couple of octaves after that blow? Yeah, now you know even more why we don’t cross the captain. Oh and new problem: Imperial blockade. Hera asks him what exactly he was smuggling that was so important, and it seems Zeb and Ezra have already discovered that for themselves. A chubby little critter that soon reveals itself to be a puffer pig. It makes Ezra and Zeb give chase and gets looks from everyone else. Oh, and the whole frightening experience may have triggered the whole “puffer” part of “puffer pig”… it expands. A lot. Like the whole hallway’s width. Kanan won’t even ask. I have to say the puffer pig might be one of my fave SW critters now. Right up there with tauntauns, monkey-lizards, mookas, whatever Boga is, and a bunch of others I don’t know the name of. She’s quite the adorable little piggy isn’t she? Also, she’s the perfect mining tool, a digger with a nose for precious minerals. And something that would go undetected by radar after the last mining-equipment-smuggling job he pulled here. But to make sure the Imperials don’t pick up on who they are, Lando sends out Chopper to fix that cloaking device. And again, Chopper is a good little droid and does just that. The Ghost was about to get through with flying colors… and then Ezra overheard Lando asking about purchasing some of Sabine’s art. You’d think a twentysomething smuggler wouldn’t be worth worrying about at his age, but Ezra is willing to climb over an inflated puffer pig to give Lando some choice words. But then Ezra stepped on the pig’s head, startled it again, made it expand again (while plastering young Bridger onto the roof), and the force threw Zeb into the control panel, turning off their cloaking. Much facepalm. And onward cometh the TIEs! With Miss Puffer Piggy blocking the door, it’s just Zeb and Kanan at the controls, trying to figure out how to fly and shoot at the same time. It’s a bit of a challenge until Hera brilliantly suggests to take a turn into the clouds, which ultimately steers the team to victory!
Finally the Ghost touches back down on Lothal at Lando’s little neck of the woods. But so much for getting paid and hitting the road, because… yup, Azmorigan showed up. With bodyguards. And guns. And he wants his pig and his Twi’lek back. Oh, and to “bury Calrissian”. Yeah let’s just say the negotiations were short. Really short. ‘Cause before you know it Azmorigan’s shooting all over the place and his men are shooting all over the place. In the midst of the battle, Ezra pulls out his new ‘saber… except that he’s using it to shoot energy blasts. I love Kanan’s response; “Wait… mine doesn’t do that!” XD XD Good point, do you think any Jedi has ever had a multi-use lightsaber like that before? Like, in the way that it shoots and ‘sabers? I don’t know, but it couldn’t be more perfect for him. After all, now he can carry his lightsaber for when he needs it without arousing Imperial suspicion and still be able to fight baddies when need be! Maybe he should offer to built these extensions onto the lightsabers of other surviving Jedi, that’d be cool. Though considering Obi-Wan’s doesn’t have one I guess it didn’t catch on. Though our team does have a secret weapon — the pig. After Zeb scares the poor thing again, Miss Puffer Piggy inflates and actually bounces like an oversized balloon into the paths of Azmorigan’s gunmen. Zeb gives the expression that seems to say “What… just happened?” and Sabine’s all “IDK but I’m just gonna roll with it”. And all the while, Chopper is bent on getting this fuel tank into the Ghost. But then alas… Azmorigan has Zeb at gunpoint and makes a deal: Lando for Zeb and all their freedom. Kanan and Ezra don’t bat an eyelash and agree to this. But Hera has other plans. Because guess who was at the guns inside the Ghost? Chopper! Yeah Azmorigan and his goons were outta there in a hurry.
Ultimately, it seems things went… mostly well. The payment Lando intended to give them was to take place after his pig found something of value. So the most they got out of this deal was Chop back. Hera makes it clear that Lando still owes her big-time. But Mr. Calrissian still brushes it off in the cool and confident way he does. He promises Chopper they’ll meet again… and I say “YESYESYESYES!!” to that, though our heroes may have some differing opinions on that matter 🙂 But in the end, it did give the gang a greater appreciation of their faithful droid and their faithful captain. Hurhur Ezra doesn’t miss a beat though “I always appreciated you, Sabine” “Yes Ezra I know…” XD And Chopper stole Lando’s fuel. So the crew’s got what they need to fight another day. Woot teamwork! But turns out that Lando had fully intended for them to take the fuel as payment. Aw, you ol’ smoothie 😀
So that was awesome. Seriously seriously awesome! I thank you all for joining me on this fabRebelous journey through Idiot’s Array (sorry terrible pun I will never do it again *crosses fingers*). So until we meet again, Star Wars fans!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Star Wars Reads Day ’13 – Jedi Prince #2: The Lost City Of The Jedi

Once you’ve made the jump to light read, anything can happen…
Today is Star Wars Reads Day, one of the newest and most fun SW holidays! So naturally, I spent today reading an awesome SW book. I had intended to read a new book for SWRD, but I didn’t get the chance to run by my local library. So for this year’s SWRD, I’m taking you back to the world of Paul and Hollace Davids’ Jedi Prince series. If you like, you can go and read my Closer Look on the first chapter, The Glove Of Darth Vader. Now, we’re going to find out what The Lost City Of The Jedi is all about. You haven’t heard of the Jedi Prince series? It’s the series that once made the Kesel Run in six paperbacks (Named so for Carl Kesel, who illustrated the books; I warned you about how bad the SW reading puns were going to be…). It’s also a great series written in some of the earliest days of the Expanded Universe (1992, to be exact). And it’s currently one of my favorite SW series. So if you’re planning to run to the library and do some late SWRD reading, but don’t know what to read, perhaps you should join me on a trip to the Lost City with Luke and the gang… of course, I’m sure most of you are reading Heir To The Empire, or Kenobi, or even Jedi Academy, but all the same, let’s open up something a little different today…
Cover Art for The Lost City Of The Jedi
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Jedi Prince Series #1 The Glove Of Darth Vader, #2 The Lost City Of The Jedi, Episode IV, Episode V, and Episode VI
Our tale starts out with Luke and his droid duo on a mission for SPIN. Apparently, Bespin is short on snacks because SOME folks felt the stormtroopers needed it more. So Lando Calrissian (…who’s recently become Cloud City governor… whuut??) called them here to lend a little hand (and some fancy WADDs, or Warning and Detection Devices). As you might remember, Han was headed to Cloud City last we saw him to make himself a home, and that’s where are story opens, with Luke visiting his buddy and his buddy’s wookiee buddy.
And yeah, that’s why Han is here — he’s making an epic floating mansion! A house in the clouds! Luke caught Han working on his soon-to-be home, and it is BIG. The whole “floating house” thing is a “Solo originale”; never been done before. I seriously want one just reading about it now. Of course, you have to make sure it’s not floating too high when you take out the trash, or go out to get the mail, or mow the lawn, or go out to the car or… yeah, I think Han’s got all of that covered (if your house floats, would you really even have a lawn to mow? Just a thought). Did I mention the size of this place? Luke noticed… and rather wondered if a future family might be on Han’s mind when he built it to begin with. Han’s all like “Whaaaaaat…? Ha ha, no of course not…”. And Luke is like “Mmm-hmm, I’m sure…” Oh you guys, you’ll just have to see where this series goes X3 Also, you will learn from reading this that Corellian food is awesome food. At least, it sounds like it. I have no idea what a Zoochberry pie tastes like, yet I seriously want to eat it. Well, it could be for the fact that as I write this I’m getting the munchies myself, but props to the Davids’ ability to describe stuff awesomely! I love it when we have moments like these in the SW Galaxy… when characters are chill and enjoying life… eating with friends, sharing dreams, laughing and crying together, celebrating victories… annnnddd then… there might have been a bomb on Luke’s ship right before he left and it might’ve nearly killed him. That’s part of the reason I love those moments so much — because they don’t usually last too too long before get back into the “Wars” part of Star Wars. But Luke wasn’t too worse for the wear –except that his robotic hand was toast. So with Luke injured and minus a Y-wing, Han put his housework aside to help his friend. #FriendshipComesFirst
Also you’ll learn from reading this that kowakian lizard-monkeys have nine lives. Now you know a SW factoid most people probably don’t know! Now, Luke was almost gundark-ear-pulling-well when he had a vision that would alter the course of this entire series. One minute he was flying over the Yavin rainforest, the next thing he knew, the forest was on fire. Freaky, I know. By the time he got to the ground, he found himself at an ancient stone wall with a tubular transport. And Obi-Wan was there! And as you know, when Obi-Wan shows up in Spirit form to Luke, it’s kinda important. Ben briefly lets him know that this transport leads to the Lost City of The Jedi, and that there’s someone down there Luke needs to meet, and also he gives Luke a soon-to-be-useful code. And that’s when Luke woke up. He grabbed his airspeeder, trusted in the Force, and started looking for this mysterious city. ‘Cause bro, you do NOT question Master Kenobi, especially when he left his Force Spirit Realm game of canasta to tell you something like this (Uh… I have some weird theories on what passed-on folks do in the Force Spirit Realm…).
Meanwhile, we turn our attention to someone new… in the very place Ben made mention of, there was a tween boy named Ken…
Ken was having the morning most twelve-year-old boys do,
1. His pet waking him up earlier than he would’ve liked (except most kids on our planet don’t own mookas like Zeebo; if you do, you are awesome)
2. Getting out his schoolbooks (except that it’s more like a digital tablet; ironically those would exist in our world twenty years after this book was written)
3. Keeping an eye out for his snoopy Homework Correction Droid, HC-100, who kinda just grades what he sees (OK, I admit, that’s not quite normal…)
4. Planning his secret journey to the big world above the Lost City (Also not normal for most)
5. Getting cleaned up and dressed for the day ahead… with help from his droid buddy Chip (Oh don’t we WISH this was normal…)
6. And getting into trouble with one’s teachers (Though it is a different situation when your teachers are droids)
Now, Ken is one of my favorite EU characters. He’s seemingly just an ordinary kid living in an extraordinary world. The illustration of Ken in his room is a lot of fun to look at… it has a SW-ish-looking PC, a modular wall unit, bookshelves with actual hardbacks, and my favorite, I kid you not, SW action figures and vehicles! He’s got a little X-wing and a little TIE fighter and a little Millenium Falcon and a miniscule Darth Vader, Jabba The Hutt, and what looks to be a Boba Fett, even! (‘Cause duh, everyone loves Boba…) I have no idea where he got them from… perhaps they were for educational purposes, so history could “come to life” (even if that history was like, a couple months ago). Or maybe he made them. Though the vehicles were probably model kits or the SW equivalent of Hot Wheels; no matter the planet, we like collecting cool vehicles! 🙂
Anyway, one thing that makes Ken really cool is that he’s sort of a reflection of young, Episode-I-era Anakin and the dreamer and adventure-seeker that Luke was back in Episode IV. He’s probably like a lot of us would be if we stepped into the SW Universe, meeting our Rebel Heroes and actually joining the Alliance. And he has a mysterious past that will be slowly uncovered piece by piece, chapter by chapter, in this series. Also, I find it cool that he’s into the color silver; from his silver attire to the mysterious silver pendant around his neck (which just might be a key to his past). Ken seriously wants to see the world beyond the City, but the droids are practically singing Mother Knows Best from Disney’s Tangled at every turn (“Bounty hunters! The Empire! Men with pointy teeth!” 😆 #DisneyReferences). And that is why Ken just happened to have found the secret code that will activate the tubular transport to his Topworld freedom. Though you can understand why the droids are a tad overprotective of him… he’s a descendant of Jedi royalty; a Jedi Prince. Also he knows a lot of classified info from that ancient Jedi library… that too. I know what you’re thinking… Jedi ROYALTY?? I have a theory or two on that and how it could be canon, but I’ll tell you later when we’ve read through the series some more. So back to Ken’s plight: the droids know about his origins, but they aren’t telling. Not yet anyway. We feel you, Ken bro… and that’s why we’re excited for him as he steps into that elevator-esque transport tube.
On the other side of the galaxy, Trioculus and his little gang of Imperials were headed out to get the new Emperor his dark blessing from Supreme Dark Side Prophet Kadann. Everything oughta go as planned, after all, Trioculus has Vader’s glove now, and that’s what Kadann had said the new Emperor would have. But until then, everyone’s all like “Why should we work with you? Why should we allign ourselves with you? Why should we even remotely trust you? I don’t think you’re really Palpatine’s little boy…” Trioculus isn’t too happy. Especially considering he really ISN’T Palpatine’s son. Which also may be a problem considering no one’s ever lied to Kadann and survived. Ugh… have you noticed that 99% of the time, SW bad guys are always at the mercy of someone a million times badder than they are? You have to wonder how Sidious and Kadann managed to get to the point that their word was always the final word.
So when we last left Luke, he was zooming over the forests, madly looking for that Lost City. And by the time we got back to him, he was still doing just that; letting the Force be his pilot. And suddenly he found that the Force had led him to the feet of an ancient Temple. Which then led him to meeting a curious guy named Baji. Nine feet tall, green, speaks solely in rhyme, good with plants and natural remedies, a Ho’Din healer. Which, in turn, led Luke to meeting Ken and his wasn’t-really-supposed-to-have-joined-him droid Chip. And once Ken knows who he’s talking to, the great and awesome Commander Skywalker, Ken’s head practically explodes in the awesomeness of the moment. “OHHH MYYY GOSH YOU’RE LUKE SKYWALKER!!! APPRENTICE UNDER MASTERS KENOBI AND YODA, SON OF ANAKIN SKYWALKER, BROTHER OF PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA!!!” Dang man, the kid paid attention in his classes. But the two barely have time to exchange life stories before he showed up. Ken’s droid teacher, DJ-88. Somebody’s in trooooooooubllllle…
And after a brief scolding, Dee-Jay, with Ken and Chip, makes a quick smoke-shielded getaway. And Luke has realized that Ken would be able to help him find the Lost City, but they’ve vanished into thin air… oh, nuts.
Back to Trioculus, who’d just arrived at Space Station Scardia. We get a chance to now meet this Kadann we’ve heard so much about. You know that whole thing about “size matters not”? That definitely applies to the Supreme Prophet; he’s super-short, but super-nasty. He drinks gross, boiling tea made from Endor tree bark for his first future-foreseeing method, but otherwise just hires spies, and sometimes uses the same spies to make the prediction happen. And yet the Empire listens to this loony bird? And they actually care what he thinks? Well, if he can hire spies to kill you, then I can sort of understand why.
So how did the meeting with Kadann go? Eh… not so well at first. Kadann pretty much knew from the get-go that Trioculus is a faker as far as his daddy is concerned. Apparently, Trioculus didn’t get the memo that Triclops, the real heir, has one of his three eyes on the back of his head. And just because Trioculus hung out on Kessel didn’t mean he was the Imperial royal son either — Triclops was a slave, Trioculus a slavelord. Grand Moff Hissa (friends call him “Troff”, believe it or not) pleaded the case that Triclops would’ve doomed everyone in the Galaxy if he’d been allowed to sit in the big chair like his dad, so having a fakey was a good thing. And once Trioculus showed off his lovely glove, Kadann was pretty cool with it and gave him his dark blessing. But also a warning… that there was a certain Jedi Prince who’d spell his doom if Trioculus didn’t get to him first. So after spending the entirety of the first book trying to get the glove, now he was off to find the Lost City of The Jedi. And all the while, something’s messing with his vision. But ignoring that, he decides to send the good guys a message that could help him find what he’s looking for.
The SPIN meeting didn’t get started for a bit since Luke was out looking for Ken… again. Han and Leia are a little worried about his sudden weirdness about this so-called “Lost City”. And just then, Trioculus’s probe droid crashed the SPIN party. Ironically, the meeting was on these new probe droids. So now, the new Emperor could let everyone know what he wanted. With Han and Luke unable to take the probe down, everything was going according to plan… and then he saw Leia. He’s completely stunned by this Rebel girl. Unwilling to bend to the Empire or not, Trioculus has himself a not-so-cute crush on the Princess. And then back to reality: Luke was about to make quick work of the probe droid, and Trioculus still had some questions to ask (and then he’d sorta vowed to Kadann that he’d kill Luke) But despite he asked nicely and was going to use the probe to blow up the Alliance Senate, Luke was able to hone in on his Jedi abilities and knocked the thing in two right before it self-destructed. Time for Trioculus’ Plan B… burn the forests until the Lost City is in plain sight. With an armada of Treaded Neutron Torches shooting their firey neutron blasts, nothing could possibly go wrong for the seriously-bad bad guy… except, of course, for his suddenly going blind. So he had intentions to get ahold of a certain Ho’Din who had no intention of helping an Imperial: Baji.
Meanwhile, Ken had snuck out Topworld again, at least to retrieve his digital notebook that he’d lost last time he was here. He ran into Baji again, who’d actually found it and had held onto it for him. Watching the flames rising in the distance, both the Ho’Din and the Prince went their separate ways. Right before stormtroopers captured Baji to heal the strangely blinded Emperor. And Ken saw the whole thing.
Turns out that the glove was at fault, or at least, the fakey Force-Choking and Force Lightning abilities, were. The controls were messing with his nerves and didn’t do his eyes too much good. So once Trioculus took off the glove, his sight began to return… and so was revealed a disgustingly withered hand (the illustration is just wonderful NOT). Yeah, all in all, Baji was just restating the obvious in his diagnosis. The Ho’Din prescribes rare kibo seeds, right before making mention of the fact that Trioculus kinda commanded his stormtroopers to BURN THE FORESTS which would include the kibo flowers HE NEEDS TO MAINTAIN HIS EYESIGHT!!! He’s like “…Uh… I gotta go. BRB!” and he runs into Baji’s burning hut to grab his stash of seeds and let’s just say the guy makes it out, but doesn’t look too pretty.
But thankfully, the forest fire didn’t go unseen, the Alliance headed out to put out the fires and take down Trioculus’ base. Something that didn’t happen too easily as the Falcon took a nasty hit from a neutron fireball. But just when Luke and Han needed it, Ken and Dee-Jay were there, with an escape route to the Lost City in mind. And yeah, Ken nerded out meeting Captain Solo just as much as he did Luke 😀 But the trip to the Lost City was more than just a quick escape: it was a way to save the forests! I won’t fully explain it here, but the only reason this moon isn’t frigid and lifeless is because of the ancient Jedi who found a way to manipulate the weather with advanced technology. And all that has to be done is to kick up the rainy season! Without the code from Obi-Wan that Luke had remembered, the device wouldn’t have worked. Thanks to our heroes, the fires went out, and Yavin Four’s rainforests would have the chance to grow new life once more.
Like say, Trioculus wasn’t happy. He also lost his good looks in all that fire. Not to mention that had only, like, one ship that hadn’t been blown to smithereens by the Rebels. He made a few last requests as he and his team headed off: a) An imitation Vader glove, b) to lay waste to SPIN, and c) to let the lovely Leia live.
But on a happier note, Ken was now allowed to leave the Lost City for good, and to join the Rebel Alliance. Giving fond farewells to Dee-Jay and HC, Ken and Chip were about to take their first step into truly a much-larger world. And thus begins even more adventures with our familiar Rebel friends and this young Prince with a mysterious past.
So, wow! What an awesome book, am I right? Seriously, the Davids are so talented at writing SW stories! And this is only book #2, the story’s far from over, and I’m glad I could share it with you this wonderful Star Wars Reads Day. Hopefully it won’t be long before we dig into the next chapter in this series, but until then, I hope this made your SWRD a little more delightful!
Keep The Peace,
– Twilight