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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The Long-Overdue Resistance Rises Post

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

POE TO THE RESCUE

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

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

REY STRIKES BACK

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

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

HUNTING FOR HAN

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

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

THE TROUBLE WITH RATHTARS

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

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

ATTACK OF THE CONSCIENCE

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

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight