Tag Archives: trials of the darksaber

Rebel Transmissions: Legacy Of Mandalore

Ah yes Rebels are back and it’s Transmission time again! Forgive my kind of bad timing… and the very very big hole in my SW knowledge that is Mandalore and 80% of its culture. Won’t stop me from writin’ all my fangirl musings down tho. Let’s begin as we dig into Legacy Of Mandalore!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Imperial Supercommandos, Trials Of The Darksaber, and Legacy Of Mandalore

FIRST OF ALL… she hasn’t been back since before her time at the Imperial Academy? Where was the Imperial Academy then? On the capital Mandalore we see in The Clone Wars or a different Mando-territory? Sorry that was not a good way to open up, but you see, I usually write these posts on my second-ever viewing of the episode, so at this point I’m paying much much closer attention to what’s going on because I have time to pause and contemplate and digest all the information being conveyed. First viewing I was pretty much on the edge of my seat the whole time because obvious reasons OMG WE’RE GOING TO MEET SABINE’S FAMILY. What struck me about all of this was that Sabine is the only member of the Ghost crew to have all her core family alive and well and within reach… and yet, she fears going home to them. We’ve spent the longest time in the dark with her past, and now… well, we’re finally getting that family reunion Animation Magazine “predicted” a year back (long story read the fourth paragraph in this post here). It’s almost a surreal sort of feeling. Anyway yes tensions are high as the Phantom II flies on to Krowsnest (btw one of the most epic names ever). Especially as soon as Sabine makes her presence known and quite quickly arrive the “flying Stormtroopers” known as Clan Wren — with rockets pointed in their direction. Ezra’s utterly confused “OMG DUDE WHAT THE HECK” face is so perfect though. Not all families are as nice as yours, Ez… at least not when you happen to be a so-called traitor. Hoo boy. I was pretty worried when the Imp-Mandos drew their blasters in Chop’s direction… you know how some Manderrs are with their droid-shooting. I was relieved that they didn’t fire on him, but then I realized “Ohhhh right though they just blasted the Phantom so… that isn’t much better.”
OK totally random observation but the artist/animator in me was absolutely internally screaming with delight over that snow. IT’S SO REAL AND BEAUTIFUL. I’VE NEVER SEEN SNOW THAT LOOKED THAT GOOD IN AN ANIMATED SERIES. LIKE WOW. Sort of had to slap myself in the face to bring my attention back to the story. I really had no idea we’d be venturing to a different side of Mandalore (or as I later found out, technically a different Mandalore all together) so instead of getting lots of transparisteel and cubism topiary we got all this beautiful snow and trees and like maybe only 2% transparisteel. Don’t tell me you weren’t mesmerized by this scenery too man. But ultimately this glorious snowy forest is just a backdrop to the many complicated emotions about to rise. In fact I’m sure the gray skies and cold ground are accenting the cold reception and the very cold “meh” life of the disgraced Wrens. Sabine warns Ezra to exercise caution when facing their gray-armored opponents, as these guys could be family. Ez only pulled his lightsaber in case he needed it but then the lead supercommando freaked out and pulled out his blaster and everything went crazy from there. OK maybe not that crazy, really just until the leader heard Sabine’s name. He took of his helmet and his perfect familial resemblance ’bout knocked me over. This is Tristan, Sabine’s brother. I saw the briefest glimpse of him when SW socials posted screencaps early-on and though I tried to avoid spoilers I couldn’t help but notice this handsome bro. I had no idea what to expect of his character and if he’d be as likable as his design, but the fact he had no interest in fighting his sister and her friends (and that he wasn’t a raging ball of totally-pro-Empire Mando fury) gave me reason enough to like him off the bat either way. Also his name is perfect it’s so perfect I can’t believe no one named a SW character Tristan before this. Also also I love the fact that apparently Sabine’s rainbow hair has been a thing for a long while. How’d she get away with that at the Academy? Either way that earns her even more cool points! Anyway so now Sabine and the Jedi are finally heading to her old home. Chopper’s staying behind and laying low, “Sure as shoot I’m not gettin’ involved in this mess… though Fenn, you go have fun out there if you like, I do not mind.” XP
So… meeting with Mama Wren went… OK I guess. Ursa is a complete bosslady and has an amazing amazing costume design, but… she basically had full intent to toss her daughter in a cell until she saw the Darksaber in her hand. Who does that?? Also apparently Mandalorians consider waving “hello” a punishable crime. Poor Ez. Seems he’s the only one trying to break up all the tension today. I shall still applaud his efforts anyway. But yeah Ursa is less than thrilled to let her status-destroying traitorous Rebel child back home. And it’s literally the most sad/frustrating/disheartening conversation-that’s-not-really-a-conversation-because-it’s-more-of-an-argument. I do think I finally made sense of all these fragments of Sabine’s backstory though so that’s something. But… yeah I definitely get Ezra’s confusion with Mando culture right now. I can hardly fathom the idea of basically disowning your kid over what really shakes down to be a political matter. Honestly it’s hard for me to fathom disowning your own precious child to begin with, regardless of what they’ve done. All I can say right now Hera’s parenting > Ursa’s parenting. But that’s not fair really (even if it’s *cough* still kinda true). Taking the conversation outside, Ursa admits she didn’t really want to serve the Empire but it was one of those “join-us-or-die” situations and what else could she’ve done? So yeah lot of emotions going on here on my part. I was pretty grumpy with Mrs. Wren’s grumpiness, but… in reality, the Wrens are just really broken right now, like all of Mandalore, like all the galaxy. Sabine was gone, Mr. Wren imprisoned, Tristan working for Gar Saxon, and Ursa trying to protect her people against all kinds of hateful retaliating from other clans. Last few years have been really hard and unfortunately Sabine’s presence doesn’t help right now. So now I just want to cry for all that tore this once-strong family apart. Sabine still requests her mother’s help, still hands her the Darksaber. Though not entirely convinced her daughter knows how to use it, Ursa seems to accept it. Too bad soon as we turn around we find the countess talking with GAR SAXON. OmO Probably a good thing Fenn Rau snuck on in shortly after. Sure nice having at least one Mando on our side right now. Because yeah… Kanan and Ezra’s negotiating attempts fall through really really fast…
So name one thing scarier than Gar Saxon with the Darksaber. NOTHING. OK maybe that’s a little bit hyperbolical considering the large array of terrifying villains in SW, but he’s definitely high up on the list for me. Especially when it’s clear he’s altered the deal and he don’t bat an eyelash at altering it further (sorry that was kind of shameless). I applauded heartily though when Tristan was the first of the Wrens to stand up. And again when Fenn Rau busted in with Kanan and Ezra’s lightsabers. And again some more when Ezra tossed Sabine his lightsaber just as Saxon was about to strike Ursa. The bad guys may be at their baddest, but the good guys are at their best, and it’s nothing short of amazing. I basically spent the entire climax unable to breathe one moment and then cheering on our heroes the next. Definitely couldn’t breathe once Sabine and Saxon started dueling out on the ice. I mean, I’m thinking the whole time either someone’s gonna die by blade or die by freezing and either way it ain’t gon’ be pretty. Not gonna lie I was literally quivering with both fear and anticipation. Then in a swift move Sabine sends her foe to his knees… but she still does things her way and refuses to kill him. AND THEN THE SHOT RANG OUT and I was all “WHAHT. JUST. HAPPENED?” And then we saw that the fierce Mama Wren shot first. One of the truly epicest things I’ve seen all season. Now that’s what I call loyalty πŸ™‚
And then the beautiful bittersweet ending that made all SWR fans everywhere cry buckets. Sabine’s decided to stay and help her family fight back and find her dad, a tough decision, but one she feels she’s just gotta make for now. For the first time ever, to see a member of this precious crew-family saying goodbye… it was unimaginable just about. I know it’s not forever but… it still feels final, and it still got me tearing up. Her and Kanan’s hug… oh gosh I was dead. So so dead. With feels. This goodbye may bring about tears, but I believe it’s not the end. While Sabine stands aside her blood family in what may be their most desperate hour, her thicker-than-blood family will keep fighting for the rest of the galaxy while they wait for her to come home again.
And so the post comes to a close and I’m all choked up again. I look forward greatly to seeing what happens from here with our Ghost fam and all of their extended fam. Until next time.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Trials Of The Darksaber

First of all, I apologize for the delay on this one. Life just gets busy man. I’m figuring my posts from here on out’ll be weekend things, at least for a while. But there’s no way I’ll stop writing ’bout my Rebels, especially with an episode like this. Let’s dig in and dissect the beautiful, rich episode known as Trials Of The Darksaber.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from TCW episodes The Mandalore Plot and Shades Of Reason, and Rebels episodes Imperial Supercommandos, Visions And Voices, and Trials Of The Darksaber

So! The Darksaber! It’s a big deal. A very very big deal. A bigger deal than I’d ever realized, even with years of SW experience under my belt. I happened to have rewatched The Mandalore Plot a few days ago, and it amazed me realizing how far that little black blade has gone since then. To hear Pre Vizsla talk of its history, boasting of how many Jedi have died by it, doesn’t evoke any sense of honor. That’s just Pre for you tho he’s sorta kinda a lot arrogant. Fenn Rau’s version of the story has a lot more going for it, telling of the Mando-Jedi who forged the unique weapon and the symbol of power it became to all of Mandalore. Oh my gravy the epicness. The animation they used for the backstory was just all kinds of wow. Though for many of my readers the notion of a Mando-Jedi wasn’t new, it was mind-blowing for me. I once joked that, considering the generally difficult relationship between the supercommandos and the Force-wielders, Mando blood and large numbers of midichlorians were “akin to oil and water” (Rebel Transmissions: The Protector Of Concord Dawn 2/6/16). The prospect of Mando-Jedi has always been cool but I had no clue how it’d work in a canon sense. Well… apparently it did. Get me a canon novel on Tar Vizsla stat! Fenn is majorly impressed Sabine was able to find it, after all, the one who wields ‘saber could unite all of Mandalore. But apparently Sabine hasn’t touched it since Dathomir…
Also wow every time I turn around, our resident artist has made my new favorite painting! Most kawaii family portrait ever! Love that she drew Ezra looking a tad uncomfortable caught in Zeb’s brohug; she’s still not gonna give him a respectful artistic rendering XD I admit I got a little distracted from the feels at hand looking at the art all over her quarters. Tbh I was really hoping to spot her Cad Bane and Embo doodles but either we don’t see those angles of the room or she took those down in favor of some new masterpieces. Sabine’s surrounded by color, but all feels blue and gray right now as she heads to a meeting. Also Chopper kind of “purring” elicited quite an “awww…” from me. I believe that was Chop’s way of showing some compassion. He doesn’t do it a lot so it’s totally totally precious. She goes into this meeting with her mind already made up; she’s not about to learn how to use the Darksaber. Far as she’s concerned it’s done too much harm and there’s no way she could unite her clan for the mini-Alliance’s cause. OK so this was one of many many things in this episode that surprised me and intrigued me. I wasn’t sure Sabine even knew what the blade was, let alone its significance. It makes sense in retrospect though considering the value Mandos place on their history. Beyond that, I had no idea she’d be so very against it (I mean, she did choose to take it home), but like say, I had no idea really of its significance either. Even Ezra doesn’t know if giving her a lightsaber is ideal without aid of the Force. Pff I love that he makes himself out like an expert when he’s totally not XP Kanan, Hera, and Fenn all know though that learning to wield it would make a galaxy of difference right now. So, reluctantly, the fierce little Wren takes the hilt…
Training begins once Kanan, Sabine, and Ezra set up camp far off from the base (“…you’ll do less damage out here.” “I’ll damage your face if you don’t shut up” XD ). And Kanan starts her off with sticks. Y’know if I recall Kanan started Ezra out on an actual lightsaber (Granted, Ez did nearly spear Master Jarrus in the face when he first turned it on… but then again, Sabine already knows how to ignite the Darksaber, so that wouldn’t be an issue). And I mean, dude! We’ve seen an actual training mode on lightsabers! I don’t think even tiny younglings in the Temple started off with sticks! Sabine’s confident in her skills with a stick, but Kanan downs her pretty fast, so Ezra takes over for her training buddy. Though Sabine doesn’t appreciate it much, I love watching Ezra teach her. He doesn’t know it all himself, but perhaps that honesty of not knowing everything makes him a more relatable teacher than Master Jarrus right now. Hera’s not sure what Kanan’s doing with this brand of training, but I kinda get the feeling Kanan’s not entirely sure either. He wants to do things differently with Sabine, but days later he’s still not feeling like she’s improved enough to handle the real thing. Sabine gets a little bit of a leg up when Fenn gives her a pair of genuine fully-loaded Mandalorian vambraces, but not for long around Master Jarrus. Understandably, she was kind of completely done with him after that and ventured off for some alone time. It gave me some serious massive feels watching Ezra try and encourage her, but there’s more to her frustration than merely Kanan’s teaching methods. How’s a traitor like herself supposed to go back to her family and lead her clan? *Cries forever* Also, interesting that the Bendu was there all along. Wonder what he’s thinkin…?
And so the feels continued to wreck me when we spent a moment with Kanan and Hera. Half the feels are due to the fact I still adore how honest and raw they are with each other. The other half has a lot to do with this glimmer of real pain from the past. “Remember how hard it was for her to trust us…” *cries again* Continuing in her tradition of bosslady mic-dropping wisdom, Hera gives it to him straight that the only way for Kanan to succeed in training Sabine is to just give her that Darksaber. He does that, and she’ll open up and face her demons on her own. Seriously OMG they wrote this so well I rewatched the scene again just now to make sure I was getting everything right. You go Captain Syndulla! πŸ™‚
Safe to say Sabine was unprepared for what awaited her when she got back. Kanan finally handed her the Darksaber’s hilt, ready to start again with his student. Like Ezra and Fenn, I was quickly on the edge of my seat (and later on, unable to sit down). The swordfight is intense and really quite mesmerizing between Kanan and Sabine’s moves. Sabine handles her blade super-well for her first go at it, while Kanan absolutely wows me with his teaching skills and his connection to the Force. And every minute is a further reminder of the Darksaber’s incredible legacy. The weapon terrifying in the hands of Pre Vizsla and destructive in the hands of Maul now has the potential to heal in the hands of Sabine Wren. But all of this is merely practice, and Kanan can tell she’s still not putting her all into this. There’s more going on in this fight than just the swords. It’s Sabine fighting her hurt, her fear, her past, and the uncertainty of the future. Oh my gosh you guys when she started bearing her soul like that… my heart just shattered into pieces. You’re lying if you tell me you didn’t cry at the very least on the inside. I will say a lot of her story surprised me. (Forgive me I’m about to break up this feelyness for a second with some SW contemplating) I had utterly no idea that her family hurt her so bad. From all that Gar Saxon had mentioned in Imperial Supercommandos, I got a very different impression than what is actually the truth. I’d assumed, based on what he’d said about her mother, that because Mrs. Wren was with the Empire as of recent, that meant she hadn’t been supportive of it before, that as well as Sabine’s comment “…I doubt you gave her much choice”. But this new information seems to negate that, revealing her family had evidently always been pro-Empire, meaning perhaps that Mrs. Wren is actually higher-ranking Imperial, or even a Supercommando like Saxon. I literally watched that episode the other day in hopes of getting some facts straight and I’m still not totally certain of what her mother’s allegiances mean as versus the rest of her family and clan Vizsla. I suppose these are things we’ll find out soon enough. (next week maybe hopefully?) Either way, I’ve truly seen her story in a completely new light. And whatever happens, whatever she chooses, whatever her blood family and her clan think… her thicker-than-blood family will stand by her and with her. You know I had a totally different really deep thought that came to mind earlier, but I can’t remember it now. But I did come upon this really nifty thought: Fenn Rau came to fully join the Rebels’ cause because he respected Sabine’s loyalty to a family not her own. If the rest of clan Vizsla can see the fierce loyalty and heart she has for both her family and her people… I think they’ll find a reason to follow, with the blade, or without.
OK whew that was a lot of thoughts to organize there! Augh I just love this episode!! It’s so great just taking time away from the missions to just focus on these amazing amazing characters and their story at the heart of it all. We’ll talk some Freemakers next week and then the Transmissions’ll be back πŸ˜€ Now if you’ll excuse me there are some massive feels I’m going to need to work on recovering from…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Warhead

It’s not easy waiting when SWR goes on hiatus, but writing about it helps a lot! So today I’ll see if I can bring you some interesting analyzings and observations (and maybe even a few laughs) as we take a closer look at the wonderful episode Warhead.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes The Forgotten Droid, An Inside Man,Β and Warhead

I knew early-on that Warhead would be partially centered around likely dangerous droid, but soon as I saw him step out of the pod, I was all “Aww it’s a McQuarrie-esque protocol!! There’s no way a droid this adorbs could be deadly!” Yes I was aware the pods came from an Imperial ship, and I suppose it did come to mind that his pleasant exterior could be a ruse, but at this moment, I just fangirled over his design. Looking back though, I can’t help but root for the krynka…
Today the mini-Alliance is going on a road trip — well, actually it’s a training mission. Same difference. Wedge and Hobbie ramming into each other is hilarious, but the real icing on the cake is Zeb and Ezra exchanging a fistbump right afterward. I’m thinking this display of klutziness is normal and Zeb and Ez get a kick out of it. Either that or, as my brother suggested, there might’ve been some pranking involved. Bros tied the newbies’ shoelaces together XD Oh wait this is SW no one wears shoelaces. Whatever the case, it’s a priceless little moment that remains a favorite. Unfortunately, that’s where the fun ends for Zeb. Chief of Security’s gotta stay behind at the base with Chop and AP-5. You can tell from the get-go this’ll be fun because, despite Zeb’s grumblings, there’s no human way an episode starring these three could possibly be boring πŸ˜€ I could see why he’d think that, perhaps. He’s a Captain through-and-through, and I imagine he doesn’t like not having a real job to do when everyone else does. And even if he wouldn’tve had anything to help out with on the mission, I think he’d simply appreciate having the company of his crew-fam. But instead today he’s got the company of the cranky C1 and the opinionated protocol. Right off the bat, AP-5 questions if Zeb’s qualified to be put in charge of anything to begin with. “Counting crates, not my idea of fun,” “Is that because you never learned to count?” Pffff so much droid snark it’s a beautiful thing! XD I’ve missed seeing AP-5 more often. He’s such a great character and lately we’ve only seen him in small increments, so getting to see him in a larger role again is just delightful. But seriously AP, Zeb is not a stereotypical all-muscles-no-brains “big guy”, he’s an intelligent military leader who’s got ’em both! You’ve literally known him almost a year you should know this. But then again, he doesn’t seem like the kind of droid who’s easily convinced about anything πŸ˜› AP goes off to do some inventory, Zeb goes off to check on a potential problem ’round their perimeter, and Chopper joins him because sure as heck he ain’t helpin’ AP with the inventory XD
Our Chief of Security finds something interesting at the outskirts, though, a downed protocol who clearly got caught in the spidercrabs’ crossfire. I do wonder what exactly downed the krynka though. Either they killed each other fighting over the droid or else, well, I betcha the droid knew how to handle himself… yikes. Or maybe I’ve missed something entirely. Also of major note I LOVE THE COLOR OF THAT LANDSPEEDER ERMAGOSH. Chopper I’m thinking wanted to scrap this stray (and I bet for his own benefit. So many spare parts! XP ), but Zeb votes they take him in and fix him up. Once fully-functioning again, the newbie reveals himself to be super-useful and also quite respectful. He immediately racks up numbers on a good chunk of the inventory and gives Captain Orrelios a proper salute. It’s no wonder that AP and Zeb quickly take a liking to him. Chop’s not a fan though; nobody calls him “obsolete” and gets away with it! And all of this starts to remind of something I learned in an episode of Droids: if your astromech doesn’t trust a new droid, then you shouldn’t either. Then soon as Zeb turns around Fulcrum shoots him a warning about an Imperial recon droid who could kill them all and give away their location while he’s at it. And funny he sort of looks like the newbie– OH NO. Soon as AP makes mention this is a Rebel base, his new friend remembers his directive and reveals himself to be EDX-9, your worst nightmare. With multiple glowing red eyes, towering height, blender-hands, and an inhuman voice that makes your skin crawl, “worst nightmare” is rather an understatement. Especially since he happens to be agile, fiercely strong, and knows how to bring the fight like no other droid. OK maybe K-2SO could give him a run for his money, but otherwise… yeesh they’re in trouble. Zeb manages to damage him a little with a blast to the hand, but the monstrous machine quickly slips into the shadows to seek out new parts. Yeah is that not creepy that the EDX attacks other droids to fix himself? Gosh I’m starting to feel I’d be better off referring to EDX-9 as an “it” not a “he” because it’s too terrifying to stick a personality on. Zeb, AP, and Chopper try to formulate a plan, but right now the best bet they’ve got is for Zeb to jump the EDX and AP to shut it down. All Chop’s gotta do is be the bait. Not a fun job but someone’s gotta do it…
Meanwhile, on the training mission… “How’d you think Zeb’s doing back on base?” “Probably relaxing and playing dejarik or eating some space waffles or something.”
In reality: wrestling with a killer recon droid and very nearly losing. EDX dished out some blows on Zeb so sharp I could feel them. Like OMG that’s gotta smart. I don’t think I could breathe again until AP-5 finally shut him down. But surprise! The droid’s a ticking time bomb ready to take the whole base down now! OmO Chopper’s able to freeze its countdown circuits, but it won’t work indefinitely. And that’s only half the problem — the Empire’ll come looking if it doesn’t report back, but they certainly can’t let it return to the Empire with all the intel it’s gained, and there’s absolutely no way to keep it from ultimately blowing up. “THINK, ZEB, THINK!” “This should take a while…” XP But then awesome idea: they’ll let EDX return home… but ready to detonate! All it takes is for AP to do some rewiring and off EDX-9 goes! Back to its ship, back to its Star Destroyer, and that warhead makes for a beautiful explosion! Kallus can’t help but give a slight smile at the sight. Also those dork Imp technicians were great. I kinda want to know their story now. I imagine the first one’s a bit green and the second’s seen a lot more, perhaps why his famous last words were merely “Ohhhhh myyy…” XD Yes things went pretty well in the end. Zeb and AP-5 actually (sorta) respect each other now. The rest of the Ghost fam don’t quite know what to make of Fulcrum’s congrats, and I’m thinkin’ will welcome a full explanation. Well, at least mostly full, anyway… Zeb would rather AP leave out the part where he brought a dangerous droid on base… πŸ˜›
Um bad news though… knowing that the Rebels reprogrammed the droid has narrowed down Thrawn’s options. 94 planets stand between the mini-Alliance and the Empire now. That’s not a lot, but let’s sure hope it’s enough…
And then I was all “NOOOO IT CAN’T BE TIME TO ROLL THE CREDITS!! I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!” but this is a normal reaction to episodes that end on notes like this. Had a great deal of fun talking about Warhead today, and I’ll see you next week for Trials Of The Darksaber! Because danggg that’s gonna be a lot of good stuff to talk about.

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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