Tag Archives: tristan wren

Things I Learned From Forces Of Destiny, Part 4

A new Forces Of Destiny compilation has dropped and I’m here to write once again on all the fascinating and inspiring things I’ve learned. This time will be a little different, though, because this is actually the first time I’ve watched them all, period, so my thoughts on each short are all completely fresh on my mind (and hopefully, in turn, will be a little clearer than all those posts where I’ve forgotten some of my original impressions from the first viewing). You can read the first three posts here, here, and here. Now, off to Takodana we go! (And everywhere else in the galaxy, for that matter)

Contains spoilers from Forces Of Destiny Volume Four (but you can watch those shorts here), and several elements from Star Wars Rebels, Solo, Episode VI, Episode VII, and Episode VIII.

OK first of all never mind, looks like we’re not on Takodana today. I miss the pretty green planet a little, but I can live with that because today we have HONDO!!! I loved seeing him and Maz at odds in The Freemaker Adventures, and I’ve always wanted to see them cross paths again. So this is just spectacular! Their obviously long-time rivalry is just too fun to watch! Now, maybe I’m off on this, but this looks like a slightly-younger Hondo than the one we see in Rebels. I’d assumed all these Maz stories framing the shorts happened in or around the Sequel era, but it seems the clock goes back a little further for this one, which I love! It does bring up an interesting thought, though, because I had somehow assumed Maz really was the one telling these stories. In truth, looking back, I’m not sure how she could’ve been there for all these small moments with all of these characters, unless she heard them by word-of-mouth. But I guess it’s reasonable to say she’s not the one telling all these stories, at least for the ones that happen much later on. I think that’s how both parts of the Forces Of Destiny volumes remain canon. Or I could be wrong and Hondo just got back all his old pirate-y garb and he only looks younger. Either way, wow there’s so much I’ve already learned, and I haven’t even gotten to the shorts yet!

#1. Chopper is a surprisingly great leader.

I wouldn’t normally have expected Chop to do so well with the ewoks. I mean… his track record of being friendly to people really isn’t that great. But maybe the years since Ezra’s departure have made him a better, nicer droid somehow. Hera’s always had a knack for finding just the right crewmembers, no matter who they are or where they’ve been. Now Chopper seems to be taking a page from his mom’s book, convincing her that his ewok buddies are the perfect new Ghost crew gunners! It’s all just too cute and too fun. And my inner ewok nerd is happy to see Princess Kneesaa joining the fight! Now I want to go rewatch some old Ewoks episodes…

#2. Baby sando aquas are precious and must be protected!

Seriously WOW THAT IS CUTE!! I think I might have a new fave on my list of favorite Star Wars creatures. I’ve always thought the monsters impressive, but getting to see them closer, and in a sweeter light, I find I love them more than I did before! Beyond that, it’s really neat seeing Padme take charge like she does and help her guardsmen consider all the angles in a frightening, dangerous situation. And it’s important to note that, though the guards don’t know how to handle the exact situation at first, they don’t come off as incapable or powerless, just in need of a little extra advice. It’d be easy to make them look dumb in contrast to Padme and her strong-but-peaceful approach, but they only give us the facts: that any of us might be prone to making a rash decision in a crisis, but if you can keep a cool head, a solid solution might be easier to find that you once thought. Strong characters all around, that’s just how Star Wars rolls!

#3. Tristan’s the little brother.

I honestly never considered that before. I assumed he was either older by a year or two, or he and Sabine were twins. But I’m glad they set the record straight. And from the instant she said “C’mon, little brother” and he gave a quiet unamused “ugh”, it’s impossible to miss those sibling-bond vibes! It’s the kind of bond where you follow your sibling into trouble and say snippy things you don’t really mean, but you love them anyway, and even find you have more in common than you thought. It’s a sibling bond I can almost 100% relate to! Just to hear Sabine talk to her bro about things they did growing up gives such a sense of history and warmth to the Wren family. I adored every minute of this one. Getting to spend a slightly-quieter moment with the Wren kids and a closer look at their friendship is an absolute treat!

Also, I will need to check back on Legacy Of Mandalore and see if Tristan still has that painting on his shoulder armor, ’cause Sabine did a great job on it 🙂

#4. Hondo doesn’t like droids.

And if you had to put up with droids like IG-88, I could see why! It’s pretty hilarious watching the two argue over who has the bigger bounty. It continues to fascinate me that IG cares about credits in the first place, but I guess self-reliant bounty hunter droids need new parts every now and again. But though the pirate and hunter steal the show, the short’s focus is Qi’ra, who clearly has had enough experience with scoundrels to know how to best out-scoundrel ’em. I think it’s really neat to see a Qi’ra story in Forces Of Destiny, because she’s not quite like any of the other heroines we see in these stories. She’s not a Rebel leader, not a senator, not a Jedi, doesn’t steal the Death Star plans… she honestly might deserve the title of “scoundrel” almost as much as her adversaries do! She ultimately earns the title of “heroine” in the way she defends Han from Vos, but we’re not at that point yet. None of this is to say Qi’ra’s isn’t still a good person at heart, but I think we can agree she’s not a typical role model. This is a good thing, though, because I would honestly love to see some Forces Of Destiny stories surrounding more characters like her; bossladies who might not be the obvious heroine, but who still might have some shining moments in their stories yet to be told. Like Ventress, Sugi, or Naare! (ok that’s just a pipe dream but still would be cool)

#5. Porgs make great parents!

Until I watched this short, I had no idea both the mama and the papa porgs take care of their babies! Not surprising since they’re bird-like, and a lot of birds do the same. But still neat to know and too cute to see! Not only are porgs great parents, but we also see Chewbacca being a fantastic uncle! Though the porgs have caused their fair share of trouble, Chewie can’t turn down an opportunity to help the fluffball porglets. It’s seriously the sweetest thing, and shows so much his respect for nature and his huge heart :3 I honestly spent this entire short going “AWWW!!”, because I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to react in any other way. But I do have to wonder if it’s this kind act of Chewie’s that made all the porgs decide “Hey! Let’s go hang out in the Falcon! The hairy guy who lives there is so nice, he surely wouldn’t mind if we made ourselves comfortable!” XD #MoPorgsMoProblems

#6. Always let Rey drive.

Or at least don’t let Finn drive! And I think he knows it. I love seeing extensions of scenes like this, and I love chase scenes, and I love Finn and Rey, and I love the background paintings, and I still will always love the fact Finn loaned Rey his jacket (such a gentleman). So… yeah this short’s got a lot to love! It’s so fun watching more of this dynamic duo doing what they do (by figuring out what they do best) and making one seriously great escape on scenic Starkiller Base! I need to rewatch VII so I can spot exactly when this scene would’ve taken place, because I’ve sort of forgotten…

#7. The Ewoks animated series was right…

The citizens of Bright Tree Village have had other problems besides the Empire. Like this giant beastie! It certainly looks like it would’ve fit in well with the old show. It’s been a while since I’ve watched them, so I can’t remember for sure if I’ve seen the giant before. Either way, Wicket and Kneesaa aren’t alone, they have the original SPACE TWINS on their side! There’s so much I haven’t gotten to see with Luke and Leia’s sibling bond between the trilogies, so I was totally stoked for this one! It’s not exactly the quieter moment we see with Sabine and Tristan, but it’s thrilling all the same, and so special to see them working together — with both getting a chance to wield the green-blade 😀 Space Twins forever!

#8. Ahsoka’s a very creative teacher…

And maybe a tad intense! But when I think about who her master was and how she fights, I’m not surprised. I don’t know what I loved more — getting to watch Ahsoka impart wisdom on a young Jedi, or the fact that the young Jedi in question was Ezra. It made me realize how much I missed seeing them together, and how great their friendship is! And thinking back on all I’ve seen in Rebels, I can see where Ezra was absolutely taking Ahsoka’s wisdom to heart. Everything about this short is so epic and so meaningful and I’m almost at a loss for words. Just hearing them laugh together… FEELS. ALL THE FEELS!

Also another thing I learned: I’m assuming this is Garel we’re on right now, and if so, then Garel actually has some grassy areas! It’s not all just a big city world, it has really gorgeous natural beauty as well, including some killer sunsets 🙂

Yes I just love all these so much. Thanks for reading, and hopefully if my schedule allows, I will have more Star Wars to write about next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rebel Transmissions: Heroes Of Mandalore

I can’t tell you how hard it was not to open this post with just an “OH WOW!” but I already did that with my last Freemaker post. You’d think it’d almost be overwhelming blogging about two major animated Star Wars episodes in one week, but nah it’s an absolute rush and my heart is full! I will say my wrists are sore but that’s not SW’s fault; it’s just so much fun to write about! Let’s dig in full-force on the thrills Heroes Of Mandalore delivered! Also, if you haven’t kept up with my posts since season three ended, you’ll be happy to see that the blog’s a lot better organized and more concise than before 🙂

Contains spoilers from Rebels episode Heroes Of Mandalore (and many elements from the past seasons, so make sure you’re caught up), as well as The Clone Wars “Siege Of Mandalore” arc.

The season opens up with an absolutely unapologetic bang and had me fully pulled in within seconds. I was thinking we might come in a little more relaxed-ish, take some time to reunite with everybody and fully assess the situation before things get wild, y’know? But in retrospect that was a poor assumption. This is Star Wars Rebels, and this episode has Mandos involved. There’s no human way this could possibly open slowly! Not complaining, though. Not only have I missed this crew to pieces over the last few months, but I’ve been dying to find out what would happen next with Sabine’s family mission. And they put us right in the middle of it, right off the bat, not wasting a second. But at the same time, it’s not jarring or confusing. We get just enough info to work with to remind us what’s going on, and enough small sweet moments with Sabine and some of her Rebel fam to remind us why we love ’em all together so much 🙂

Speaking of, I’m so glad they brought Kanan, Ezra, and Chopper along for the ride. I’d wondered a number of times (prior to seeing the season trailer) if we’d have episodes with just Sabine and the Wrens every now and again. I guess some days I’m still so used to the way TCW did it with characters varying from episode to episode, that I forget that SWR tends to keep the crew-family all together or in groups. It worked for TCW, but for this series, I definitely like it better when our Rebels stick together! 😀 We’ve got blood family fighting alongside what I’ve always liked to call thicker-than-blood family and it’s spectacular and thrilling and still has an undeniable warmth to it. With every bit of friendly chatter and teamwork, and just the way Kanan pats Chop’s dome… even amidst the chaos that sparks when Mandalorians and Imperials clash, it still feels like home :3

Part of the reason it feels like home is that it’s not all intensity. We get lots of really great character moments and interactions in this one, along with some flawlessly-weaved-in laughs. I love that Ezra finally gets to use a jetpack at last… but flying it isn’t his strong suit XD #Understatement. It’s so relatable though! 100% sure that’d be me if I were in his shoes. Yet at the same time he’s still able to hold his own with his ‘saber in hand, which is more than I can say I’d be able to accomplish without getting myself killed. Also bonus ROTFL points go to the little “not with-her-with-her, I’m just friends… with her.” Such a perfect awkward line, it’s music to my ears! 😂
Oh yeah and that Kanan-Hera banter! Oh my gravy I can’t tell you how much I’d needed more of that goodness! It’s not that I wasn’t rewatching a ton of reruns over the last six months but duuuuude I can never get enough Kanera! Hehe it was too good and I wouldn’t mind having a little more in the future, but you knew that. Meanwhile Chopper I think’s done with all the cuteness and it makes it all the funnier XP

Also very important note: paintbombs are canon!! OK maybe it’s not that important, but I had this goofy idea back on the Transmission for Path Of The Jedi and later drew a fanart piece of the idea. And now seeing something equivalent inside of Rebels (and FoD too!) is pretty cool. I’m not saying at all that I contributed to what you see on-screen, ’cause I’m 99% sure I didn’t… but it certainly feel good knowing that I kinda predicted it 😀

Obviously I need to dedicate a whole paragraph to Mandalore and how good it feels being back. I recently revisited a few episodes of the “Siege of Mandalore” arc of The Clone Wars and was really amazed at all its connections with Rebels, and all the little things I’d missed and forgotten after years since watching them. It’s so rich and intriguing, and it’s even more meaningful now as I’m in SW far deeper than I was then. But even then, I remember after the arc’s end thinking “That’s it?? There’s no more story to tell?? What about Maul?! What about Bo-Katan?! What about Mandalore itself?!?! I NEED MORE!!“. I was ultimately content with whatever stories they told next, but little did I know where Rebels would go and just how much more they would give me. Never would have thought in a million years I’d get to not only see Bo-Katan again, but get to see her leading Mandalore, darksaber in hand! It’s just so so infinitely special to see things come full-circle like this, especially as someone who got into the Star Wars fandom partially thanks to TCW. So YAS GO MANDALORE!!

And Alrich’s just great, guys. I imagine I’m not the only one who was surprised he wasn’t an armored-sort, but I’m all in favor of Mandalorians who channel their warrior sides in unique ways. It was also surprising discovering that Sabine got much of her artistic side from him. I’d always theorized art was something she got into as a way to rebel, but knowing it has more admirable roots makes it far more meaningful. And it does make a lot of sense; just observing everything from their architecture to their armor to even their ships, Mandos have quite the creative eye for detail. Yeah there were a lot of smiles goin’ round here guys. It’s so so nice to finally get a parent-child reunion in SWR that starts off with a hug, and listening to them share almost their own language of artistic form and technique is so sweet :3 Not a bad vibe or difficult past in sight! As you can figure by this point I was drowning in all the family feels. Finally, we get to see a family in SW all together! How great is that? 😀
And then the Duchess showed up.
That was the longest, saddest five minutes I’ve experienced inside of Rebels in a while. From the end of the first part, to the middle point where I was bawling for a bit “WHY YOU GIVE US THESE GREAT CHARACTERS AND THEN WE TURN AROUND AND LOSE THEM?!“, and then to the start of the second part when we found out Ursa and Tristan were OK. Yikes what a raw couple of scenes though. So so so glad it didn’t end that way.

I love that this episode not only connected all the dots surrounding Sabine’s backstory for me, but that it expanded upon Mando culture in a number of really neat ways. No idea the armor held so much history and meaning, but wow! I know I’m probably just repeating myself, but I had no clue how much Rebels would deepen my knowledge and respect for these worlds (including the fact I didn’t know they were worlds plural before SWR) and it really is truly truly amazing. Sigh you’ll have to forgive me there’s literally so much to write about that I can’t narrow down what I need to write about, exactly… hence why’s this is several days late.

The episode really just comes together so great. Few things feel better in Star Wars than to see a conflicted hero go from the wrong decision to the right decision, and in doing so win the day. Rereading some of my older SWR posts, I’m reminded just how much Sabine’s grown up since and it’s just incredible, and as I’ve said before, makes me feel a bit (or a lot) like a proud parent 🙂 Cap that off with the epicness of Bo-Katan’s rise, and all together you’ve got something too special for words with this episode. What a way to come back to Rebels! 😀

Yes there are a lot of things I could further discuss, and in time they’ll probably come up on this blog, but I think I’ve said all I absolutely need to say now. Hopefully future posts will come out a tad smoother than this, but for sure there’s still tons to talk about on the Rebels front 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 🙂
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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements