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

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The Celebration Orlando 2017 Post!

First of all, I apologize for not having finished my SWR season recap post this past week like I said I would. Stuff came up. But right now, the biggest, most important thing to talk about is CELEBRATION! A time of year I look forward to as much as Christmas and my own birthday! There’s so much awesome stuff to talk about, so I’ll update this with every exciting panel I see so I can share my fangirling with all of you!
NOTE: There will be spoilers depending on the panel I’m discussing.

40 YEARS OF STAR WARS
They kicked this thing off with a bang that would rival the destruction of the two Death Stars and Starkiller base combined! Every time I turned around they brought out a guest worth screaming about! To see the master himself, George Lucas, there… oh my gosh I screamed so loud. And then followed that up each time afterward. This was a hugely special panel for so many reasons. One for me was that, I honestly haven’t watched many of the bonus features (don’t always have the time sigh), and I hadn’t seen a number of the actors and filmmakers interviewed before this. It was a marvelous first time! I’m not gonna lie I cried a lot too. That opening video hit me like a boulder-dozer of feels! And oh that dedication to Carrie Fisher… and then the awe-inspiring surprise John Williams performance! Every minute was precious and stunning and wonderful I absolutely can’t! I can only imagine where Celebration goes from here!

Assorted Fangirl Musings
– Ian McDiarmid always looks so young to me. He’s just amazing.
– Hayden Christiansen still is so much Anakin it’s incredible. I’ve missed seeing his face around here something awful!
– On that note, I was so glad to hear briefly from Qui-Gon and Mace! Er… Liam Neeson and Samuel L. Jackson, I mean. To know they still remember and value their time spent in the films and appreciate the fans is utterly heart-warming.
– Also, something about the image of a darksider Jar Jar Binks is actually really epic.
– Hearing the stories of how George and the original cast met was an absolute treat in every way possible.
– Mark Hamill’s original audition video is incredible. HIS ACTING, YOU GUYS. IT’S SUBLIME. EVEN WAY BACK WHEN ON AN AUDITION TAPE.
– Somehow I’d forgotten how tall Peter Mayhew was and now I doubt I’ll ever forget.
– I adore Anthony Daniels. I know that’s a no-brainer but, again, seeing these actors outside of the films and hearing them tell their stories of making them… it’s… words can barely describe.
– Also first time seeing Billy Dee Williams interviewed I think ever. He’s still the smoothest! 😀
– When the Harrison Ford showed up… I think everything in me exploded. I had no idea he’d never been to a Celebration prior, so that made it all the more special.
– His seamless Indiana Jones drop cracked me up. HE IS SUCH A DELIGHT OMG!
– Safe to say Carrie’s daughter has one of the best dresses ever. Her speech was beautiful.
– Like I said before, the dedication video was so moving and so special… when they started showing all the little girls in Leia costumes I think I really started weeping. In a good way though.
– And again, a standing ovation almost doesn’t seem good enough for John Williams. If I could fly or hover and applaud, I would. Same for the spectacular work done by the orchestra! Like wow! Made me want to go and buy all the soundtracks I haven’t yet bought right now.
– I clapped ’til my hands were numb, man. But that’s normal 🙂

SIDESTORY: FORCES OF DESTINY ANNOUNCEMENT
Just read the article on the new Forces Of Destiny microseries and product line and I’m excited. New animated shorts starring the bossladies of the Star Wars galaxy! How great is that?! I love the character designs and style, and since they’re all canon, it’s useless to resist! It’s really nice seeing them trying a line specifically aimed at girls. Star Wars has never been short on awesome female characters, and certainly never short on female fans (such as myself), and it’s not that it was a need, by any means (I’m always going to be mainly a 3.75 collector myself), but just imagine how many young girls might be further drawn into the saga on part of these new stories and merch? These princesses, Jedi, and rebels are about to draw in a whole new generation to the fangirl side of the Force, and that’s something to get excited about! 😀

DAVE FILONI: ANIMATED ORIGINS AND UNEXPECTED FATES
You know me, I could never turn down an opportunity to hang with Dave and Pablo! I absolutely loved digging into the origins of so many great characters and stories that we’ve seen told this last near-decade. I’m gonna be honest I was only able to watch this via livestream and was disgusted I couldn’t see the beautiful art and storyreel footage. But even so, it was nothing short of a fantastic panel with two of my favorite filmmakers. Bro I could listen to their stories for days. And naturally, this all got me really hyped for what we’re going to see Saturday…

Assorted Fangirl Musings
– Those Clones and Rebel cosplayers that came up early on? They were astounding. The Hondo was so perfect it was like he was real. The young Rex and S3 Ezra were perfect too. Like wow man. Much applause.
– I love that Ahsoka was almost Ashla! Who’da thunk? Just a neat little connection.
– I’m ecstatic to hear Wolffe and Gregor might be back! Also the Nine Old Men thing warmed my little heart. I would’ve loved to have seen that :3
– These stories are literally so amazing. We almost had Savage and Satine in Rebels! I understand why they didn’t go that route ultimately, but wow what an image! I’ll never watch the opening of Twin Suns again without seeing that in my mind’s eye.
– I about cried at my inability to see the images everyone was fangasming over tho…
– Hehe everyone going Kanera-crazy cracked me up. But also yeah that sounds like an utterly beautiful scene. The idea Kanan, Hera, and Zeb were all processing the kids growing up and leaving home… such family feels!
– Though I couldn’t see the Bane-Boba showdown, it sounded beyond epic. Corey Burton and Daniel Logan are just incredible, and the whole prospect just made me ravenous for more on their characters’ stories.
– ALSOOO the fact that Durge almost made it into TCW is epic. I almost forgot to mention that.

IAN MCDIARMID: TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE
So Mr. McDiarmid was wonderful, that’s an understatement. Again, I haven’t seen a lot of interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff with him, so everything about this was a fantastic new experience. Definitely gained a lot lot more respect for the Senator/Chancellor/Emperor/Darth and Ian’s stellar acting skills. Watching the scene between Anakin and Palpatine at the opera (or as I nicknamed it, the fish ballet) again left me kind of breathless at the perfection of his performance (and Hayden’s too!). Also have to say I love listening to Ian not only because of the fascinating stories he was telling, but also because his voice is amazing. So smooth and so well-spoken and articulate! Which is why it was spectacular and spine-chilling to hear him do that Emperor laugh! An absolute blast of a panel all around! It’s tempting to drop everything right now and watch Episode III again, but the day’s not over…!

RAY PARK: PREPARE TO BE MAULED
Once again, Ray Park proves to be one of the greatest human beings to ever live. His stunts and sweet moves never fail to leave me in awe, and he’s every bit as much a nice guy as Maul is a bad guy 😀 He and Warwick made this panel nothing short of an absolute blast. I loved hearing his stories from working on set (and making lightsaber noises with Mr. Neeson and Mr. McGregor!), watching him performing stunts like an absolute blazing tornado of energy, teaching lightsaber techniques to the fans… oh and I smiled so hard when he mentioned he was a huge Toy Story fan! He’s seriously just so so great. After seeing him at last year’s Celebration I’ve learned his panels are ones you should never miss.

THE LAST JEDI
OMG THIS PANEL WAS EVERYTHING AND MORE. Josh Gad was a brilliant host, Rian Johnson clearly’s a brilliant director, and there’s so so much to get hyped about! And that TEASER! It left me reeling in the best way. It’s a long way to Alderaan, and by “Alderaan” I mean December, but this helped just the slightest bit with the wait 🙂 Allow me to elaborate further in my assorted fangirl musings:

Assorted Fangirl Musings
– Josh Gad is just like us and I love that.
– Like say, so much love for Mr. Johnson, and Ms. Kennedy too!
– OK so y’know I didn’t get to see The Force Awakens panel two years ago, so this is some of the first BTS stuff I’ve seen with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. And now I love them more than ever, and I didn’t think it was possible for me to love them more!
– I’m amazed Daisy could keep a straight face with Josh asking her questions like that. Nahhh Rey’s parents are probably just an average Joe and Jane, right…? XP
– John is promising more Finn and Poe adventures! Sounds good to me! *Imagines Finn and Poe in “The Boys Are Back” number in High School Musical 3* XD
– BB-8 IS HERE AND HE’S REAL! OK I already knew that they’ve got a functioning BB out there, but just seeing him here… it’s incredible. I’m amazed he was not utterly mobbed by hugging fans! I loved watching him get snippy with Josh. That was just perfect!
– Kelly Marie Tran is just a delight you guys. I absolutely can’t wait to meet Rose now!
– MARK HAMILL AGAIN! He’s still so fantastic and his stories are some of the best ever. Hearing him talk about visiting kids in hospitals and making a difference for them made me tear up.
– WOW THAT POSTER! It’s so dynamic and kind of retro and full of fantastic symbolism! I could look at it forever.
– AND THE TEASER. “Breathe… just breathe” NO I CAN’T BREATHE, LUKE!! THIS IS TOO AMAZING!!
– I won’t elaborate on it too long (I’ll save that analyzing for the next trailer), but a few pressing things on my mind…
– A) Luke and Rey seem to be all #MasterAndApprenticeGoals even if Daisy hinted her first meeting with Master Skywalker will be a little… different…
– B) Meanwhile, Poe and BB-8 are all #FriendshipGoals
– C) EVERYTHANG IS SO BEAUTIFUL OMGOODNESSGRACIOUS!
– D) Huh I thought Kylo lost that lightsaber in the fight on Starkiller Base. Did he have to build a new one (which must be hard since it’s a pretty ancient model) or did he just have an extra in his sock drawer?
– E) Biggest thing of all: “It’s time for the Jedi… to end…” WHAT.
– WAHT.
– WHAT DOES IT MEAN….?!
– Is he talking about the Jedi as a group needing to end, so they can be something different, something more? Or is he just kinda blue and done with the Force right now? I’m going with the first option for now, but you can bet this line will consume me from the inside out until one December weekend…
AHHHHHH I LOVE STAR WARS SO MUCHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

HEROINES OF STAR WARS
So having Ahsoka, Sabine, and Rey in the same room was amazing, and with Dave, too! They kicked off the panel with the best video montage of the many many bossladies in the Star Wars galaxy and made me cry a little just with that. It was really cool just hearing their stories as well as their perspective on the depiction of strong female characters. I could honestly go on a while on the topic myself, but for now I’ll just say once again that I’m super pumped for Forces Of Destiny and for all the bossladyness that awaits us in the future of SW (like Rose!). Also two other notes: a) I seriously love the FoD Ahsoka doll and I might have to get that even though my main collecting focus is on the 3.75s. And then b) I cracked up at the original game plan for Out Of Darkness with Hera and Sabine talking about the boys XD Pff that would’ve been kinda terrible if we’d missed out on the emotional journey that episode centered around. Not that I’m adverse to future conversations tho… *COUGHKaneraCOUGHSabezraCOUGH* But yeah! Who runs the galaxy? Star Wars girls! They’re the reason I started throwing around the term “bosslady”! 🙂

MARK HAMILL’S TRIBUTE TO CARRIE FISHER
I’m not sure I can say anything that hasn’t already been said… it was equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming. Mark is so so good, so articulate, and poured out his heart so well on this. Like say, prior to this, I haven’t taken the time to watch the featurettes and interviews that would help me know the amazing people behind these characters more, and the time spent listening to Mr. Hamill, Mr. Davis, and old interview pieces from Carrie… they were really something special. I’d always sort of known that Carrie was a firecracker, but I had no idea just how much until now. You know, as I write this, I was listening to my TCW soundtrack and the track I ended up on right now was #11, “Death Of A Master”. It obviously wasn’t written for her, but this gripping, powerful piece of music really suits my emotional state. And she was a master, you know? Not of the Force, but of brilliant acting and a stellar sense of humor. She’s a princess, a senator, a general, and also an absolute master. That’s all I got man the feels are really feelsy right now…

STAR WARS REBELS
OK WOW. I HAVE NO WORDS. WHICH IS REALLY BAD SINCE I’M WRITING A BLOG. I’M UTTERLY SOBBING AND CAN’T STOP APPLAUDING YOU GUYS.
It breaks my heart kinda to know this will be the last season, but I have complete confidence they’ll end it right. And whatever they have in store next will be fantastic. I didn’t need the trailer for proof, but it certainly was great to see regardless. Yeah this won’t make it hard for me to focus on that Season 3 recap post later! 😛 I adored seeing all the cast and Filoni together again, and knowing we’re coming up on the end makes it all the more a precious moment. They’re a beautiful family… both the Ghost crew and the people behind them.

Assorted Fangirl Musings
– Dave talking about Obi-Wan and Maul gave me such feels again.
– Freddie Prinze Jr. utterly killed it in his thoughts on Kanan and Ezra. So brilliantly said!
– “Hot Kallus”?? That was a thing?! Pfff that cracked me up. He’s always been a pretty good-lookin’ dude! why’s the internet just noticing now? XD He’s looking even better than ever in the trailer, though, and I can’t wait to see him full-on Rebellin’! Also I hope we get an entire episode dedicated to watching Ezra, Zeb, and Kallus play video games like the bros they are jk.
– Also you guys how great is it that Warwick Davis is gonna be in this season?! The guy’s such a marvelous talent and a has a fantastic voice, I’m so so glad he’s getting in animated Star Wars already! And playing such a delightfully creepy character to boot!
– More Mandos yaaaaaas!
– Speaking of, that girl cosplaying as Ursa Wren was amazing. I mean… that episode came out only a few months ago! How did she do it??
– Also mad props to the Gregor cosplay, too. I love seeing people who don’t just want to don the armor suits, but become that character even without the helmet on 🙂
– Like say that trailer… on the second viewing I buried my hands in my face and wept. Vanessa Marshall’s narration… my gosh. It sets the stage so perfectly and just overwhelms me with emotions and nostalgia.
– Glad to know that we’re going to see the giant wolves I spotted in the artwork on An Inside Man.
– OK it’s so tempting right now to do a complete recap of the trailer but I don’t think I’ve got the right words to say yet. I will say a few words tho:
– A) WOW WE’RE BACK ON LOTHAL YES! I’ve been all giddy about seeing Yavin but so much of the action we’ve seen is on the world where it all began. NO I’M NOT CRYING YOU ARE.
– B) KANERA. THAT IS ALL. I GOT IT OUT OF MY SYSTEM. NO I HAVEN’T I’M CRYING HARDER NOW.
– C) Sorry I shouldn’t be writing every thought in all caps, but WAIT WAIT WAIT IS THAT BO-KATAN OR AM I COMPLETELY MISTAKEN?
– D) Final note I CAN’T WAIT FOR EVERYTHING OMG.

SMUGGLER’S REVENGE
This was definitely one of the most anticipated panels for me. I didn’t see (or hear, rather) the first one, but I adored the second one, so I was absolutely hyped to experience another one of Kyle Newman’s glorious Star Wars audio stories! The writing is stellar and so perfectly Star Wars, the acting beyond sublime, the sounds well-timed, and oh my gosh Han and Leia banter for days! It’s funny, I kept trying to close my eyes and just listen to the performance, but David Collins and Catherine Taber were so fun to watch as well as listen to! The acting is just so wow in all ways. Everyone just did so so incredibly. David is a perfect Han, and I had no idea Tom Kane was such a masterful C-3PO! I highly look forward to whatever Mr. Newman might be planning in the future! Final thought: MATTHEW WOOD’S WILLHEM SCREAM WAS THE BEST XD

Honestly you guys there are just too many amazing things to mention, it was just an incredibly bountifully joyful weekend of Star Wars. The fandom feels are running through me like electricity right now! It’s an absolute rush! I know I’ll be counting the days ’til next year 😀

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Zero Hour

OK so this episode is so epic I hardly know how to start writing this post. Perhaps it’s for the best I just write the spoiler notes and move on instead of my usual post-opening random ramblings. There’s a lot of epic ground to cover on this one today! 😀
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode IV, and the Rebels episode Zero Hour (as well as really everything this past season and the seasons prior)

To say that the season three finale is full of surprises is a massive understatement, but that’s one of the things I think strikes me the most about it. I wasn’t sure exactly how many episodes we’d get this season, so the arrival of Zero Hour itself was somewhat unexpected. And I had no clue what was about to go down! I mean, the Rebels are about to strike the Empire big-time, but we know they don’t get in a major win until they steal those Death Star plans. So what does that mean for them right now? And we also know that Thrawn’s been up to something all season, constantly saying “No no, let them go! Let them have their victory today…”. These two factors didn’t seem to bode well, and after what happened on last season’s finale… I could only watch and see how this would all shake down. Now, digging into the episode itself…
Dark gray skies over Lothal, the Grand Admiral flanked by Deathtroopers, and a spectacularly ominous score… it’s striking and utterly chilling, just like Thrawn himself. And then we see Kallus casually watching overhead, hoping his reprogrammed mouse droid will get some good dirt for him from Thrawn’s super-secret meeting. Such a genius idea! And oh I love the crafty smirk on his face as he starts to listen in! Reminded me again how awesome it is that Agent K’s on our side. Thrawn reveals he knows basically everything right now. About the Rebel attack on the Lothal Imperial factory and all those coordinating it. Only thing he doesn’t know is the exact location of their base. But that doesn’t make the situation any less grave. He knows so much about their plans it’s insane! It’s like he found some portal to our universe and watched all the last few episodes! But he didn’t… he just knows this. And pretty much from the get-go I couldn’t help but fear for not only our newborn Rebel Alliance, but for their loyal Fulcrum as well…
I know I spent a lot of the episode on edge, but true to Star Wars nature, we’re never without a few good vibes here and there. Ezra and Kanan’s conversation as they prepare for the battle ahead is everything. All my earlier concerns were pushed aside for a moment as I basically drowned in feels and nostalgia. Ez just can’t keep quiet about how amazing his friends have been in all the ways they contributed to the Alliance’s formation. His energy and enthusiasm about it is contagious, and he so selflessly doesn’t give himself any credit… he has grown up so much, and at the same time, I can’t help but be reminded of the boy he was at the beginning of season two, undaunted and full of fire, ready to do the right thing no matter the challenge. Kanan gives him the credit he rightfully deserved though, recalling with pride how far his padawan’s come. “Sometimes I wonder if I have anything left to teach you.” “No, that can’t be true.” “My own Jedi training was limited.” “I don’t mean about the Force, I mean about life, about being a good person. That’s what you’ve taught me.” AHHHHHHHHH I LOVE THIS MASTER AND APPRENTICE SO MUCH I ABSOLUTELY CAN’T. X3 I would’ve liked all these good vibes to last a little longer, but they’ve got a busy day ahead of them and Hera needs her boys to get back to work. Also did I mention General Dodonna‘s coming? With his Y-wings? That’s a big deal guys. It’s great finally getting to meet him more. For a while I only knew him because of his action figure, but his brief mention back on The Antilles Extraction got me to pay closer attention to him in the films and now I’m highly looking forward to seeing more of him in the next season.
We catch up with Kallus again as he stops by Ezra’s old tower to transmit the news. It’s really cool that we got to come back here again, even if just for a glimpse. But um yeah Thrawn is one step ahead of everyone today… including Agent K. And the Grand Admiral happened to show up right behind him. Not gonna lie I was worried a good bit during this episode that Kallus wasn’t gonna make it out alive. Actually I’ve worried that a lot long before this episode. The Empire is terrifying bro. Remember what happened to Maketh Tua? Yeah I was terrified we might get a repeat of that. They’ve made me really love Agent Kallus this past season and I wasn’t sure I could bear losing him so soon. Thrawn is an incredible fighter, I don’t have to tell you that. He works out with sentry droids, ’nuff said. Sometimes the villains seem so powerful I forget for a moment how powerful our heroes are, too, ’cause boyyyy did Kallus deliver! He might not’ve won the fight, but he held his own quite impressively. Plus dropped some serious snark on him that was worth applauding. Again, isn’t it wonderful having Agent K on our side? I like his sick burns a lot more now that he’s aiming them at the Imps! Also random note I love that the animators rigged a strand of hair loose on him. Weird how such a little thing really adds a lot! Though wow considering all he’s been through before that didn’t mess up his hair, he must use a lot of hairspray normally XP OK sorry back to seriousness, ’cause despite his impressive fighting skills and near-perfect hair, Kallus is quickly shackled and can only watch as Thrawn finally deciphers the location of the Rebels’ base. I felt utterly sick as the weight of it all sunk in…
Soon as the Rebs receive the unfinished transmission, they know something’s wrong. And soon after arrive quite a few star destroyers. They’ve got no choice now but to hyperspace away at this point… but if only they could. Not only are they surrounded at all ends by destroyers, but these destroyers have gravity wells keeping the Rebel fleet from going anywhere. Thrawn sends Captain Syndulla and company a friendly holo, letting them know he’s basically already won. But Hera is far from admitting defeat. If they can just get one ship through to find help, all the Rebels can get to safety from there. The Captain believes Kanan and Ezra in the newly-acquired Gauntlet have the best chance. The Jedi have no interest in leaving her or the rest of their team right now, but Hera isn’t giving them a choice on the matter. Kanan and Ezra’s loyalty here man… it’s just the most precious thing. But technically Kanan might have other reasons he needs to stay behind: he’s got a certain friend who might be able to help them. Though Hera’s in the dark about this “friend”, she’s willing to trust him on this. OMG that tender goodbye gesture of theirs sent me into the deepest depths of warm-and-fuzzy land ❤ ❤ The fangirlin' doesn't stop 'round here, not even in the midst of all this uncertainty. Also I just gotta ask… when did Zeb get around to trying joopa? Maybe he and Rex took a slinging trip when they had the time, or went and visited Wolffe and Gregor one weekend. There are still days I seriously really want to try barbecued joopa, is that weird? XD Sorry, anyway, so now we're definitely hoping the Force is with Ezra, as he now flies the Gauntlet alone (OK not entirely alone Chopper came along of course) while the rest of the Rebs bring the fight to the Empire all around him. Though space battles are rife with danger, it’s hard not to get excited as we watch the Rebels bravely pull out everything they’ve got, especially when we it involves a few Y-wings 😀 Though as the Empire seems to catch on to their tricks, my brain is torn between the thrilling visuals and action of the space battle and that lingering “how the hoo-ha are they gonna get out of this??” nervousness. Also I adore how grumpy Konstantine is with Thrawn right now. THAT LOOK HE SHOOTS HIM BEFORE HE ENDS THE TRANSMISSION. HE IS SO. DONE. XD Even Kallus seems to get a kick out of it!
So safe to say the Bendu isn’t exactly happy to see anyone right now, not even his Jedi friend. You don’t go bringin’ war to his Atollon, man! (Pff I finally got the world’s name right. Took me long enough.) As a mighty being neither of the dark nor light, he’s not getting involved. Kanan once lived his life “in the middle” as well, and eventually found he couldn’t stand by and do nothing. His passion for fighting for the right thing is awesome! How could you not feel that same fire that’s clearly burning? I couldn’t help but smile a little at this quiet callback to A New Dawn, reminding me how far the Jedi Knight’s come since. But it’s safe to say this plea of his is falling on deaf ears.
And yeah things in the stars are going downhill fast. For every move the Alliance makes, it seems the Empire’s got a move to match it. Every turn they take it seems is blocked. They’re surrounded by chaos and they’re losing pilots quickly. Ultimately, Commander Sato knows what has to be done, and rams his ship into the powerful Interdictor-class, tearing it apart and giving Ezra his exit. Though my heart broke at his sacrifice, I couldn’t help but quietly say admiringly “That’s how you do it, Commander…”. His bravery leading up to that moment was nothing short of awe-inspiring, and his skills in delivering that final blow utterly masterful. All the respect in the galaxy to you, Jun Sato. *Moment of silence*
From there, Thrawn forces the rest of the fleet back to the surface, and gives what may be the most creepy, fiendish, cunning smile I’ve ever seen on an Imperial face, short of the Emperor himself. And also on the subject of bad news, Kanan’s negotiations with Bendu don’t go anywhere it seems. Not to mention Mon Mothma is unable to get Ezra the help the Alliance needs. But Ezra does know one place he can get help, and it’s on a little Mandalorian territory called Krowsnest. Even with the stakes high and the enemy seemingly winning, it was impossible for me not to get excited about Sabine’s return! I had a feeling the season wouldn’t end without her, and I sure hoped she’d bring the Mando cavalry with her, but I could only wait patiently and see.
Though the rest of the Rebs are grounded, they’re not going anywhere without a fight. With Sabine’s magnificent specialty shield generator, the base remains unharmed as Imperial firepower falls from the sky in a visually spectacular storm of green. It was a really bad time for Kanan not to be at the base though. Yeah I was on definitely definitely on edge as his speederbike just narrowly avoided the torrent of laserfire. And those brief moments where it seemed the shields might go down only put me on the edge of my seat further. It was all so intense I nearly forgot to breathe. But just as soon as the firing began, it stopped. And then my brain couldn’t decide whether to fangirl my head off over the cuteness of Hera calling Kanan “Love” again, or be entirely suspicious as to why Thrawn decided to cease fire…
So Ezra has a considerably less difficult time landing on Krowsnest this time. It’s probably mostly because the Mandos consider him a friend now, but I betcha it was partially also the fact he’s flying an impressive Mandalorian craft now 😛 We find the Wrens rather have their hands full right now though, considering they’re at odds with the Saxons. But Sabine simply cannot allow her crew-family to lose this battle, even when it seems impossible to win. “My friends make the impossible possible” might be the truest statement ever and it makes me smile endlessly. Even with all they’ve got going on, Ursa agrees that she can’t turn a blind eye to the Rebels. So she sends Sabine off with a small Mando crew to go and do the impossible 🙂
Meanwhile, Thrawn’s now brought out walkers upon walkers on the Rebels. And not just the chicken walkers, ’cause that’s easy enough with Zeb and Rex working their magic, but the “lousy four-leggers” too… and those could pose a slightly bigger problem. Kanan joins the action just in time with a little lightsaber-swinging (I guess the Empire still hasn’t fortified those legs yet). But it’s also about when the Grand Admiral walks in. With Ezra and Sabine and Rau and the Wrens taking on the Imps, it’s prime time for the rest of the Rebs to jet. “Looks like the family’s together again.” “Let’s try and keep it that way.” AWWW SUCH FEELS!! :3 But it’s hard to jet when you’ve got Thrawn and Deathtroopers standing right in front of you. I was sick with terror. They’re surrounded by a few of the Empire’s best! Even if Ezra and Sabine’s team wins the battle up there, what could possibly help everyone down here?? And then… suddenly it’s clear that the frightening storm in the background isn’t just for dramatic effect. BENDU IS MAD BRO. HE MAD AT ALL OF Y’ALL. I remember, upon first meeting the Bendu, that for a while I was a bit uncertain of him. He was clearly a powerful being, and since he had no allegiance to either side, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if someone got on his bad side, or if he turned out not to be the ally he appeared to be. But then he proved himself such a wise, jovial beast that I kind of couldn’t see him as anything but that… until now. The Bendu has taken on the form of the clouds, with fire in his eyes and is raining down lightning. No doubt it’s scary but it’s also completely magnificent. Everything about his commanding presence both gives me chills and leaves me in awe. I just love the look of uncertainty on Thrawn’s face as he witnesses the living Force at its finest! With the Bendu taking most of his anger out on the Imperial forces, Hera, Kanan, and company finally get their chance to leave. It’s like Hera said once, “it’s good to have friends”. Though granted it’s even better when they aren’t trying to hit you and your fleet with lightning bolts, too, but hey the Bendu gonna do what the Bendu do, dude.
Speaking of friends, Ezra and Sabine’s team was totally killing it up there! With helmets on and jetpacks (and tiny thrusters XP ) ignited, the Jedi and the Mandalorians spacewalk right on the Interdictor’s hull, ready to take out those gravity wells! Look up “epic” in the dictionary; I’m pretty sure this is the definition. With their combined firepower, they ultimately made one beautiful explosion! So much wow. Their epicness is just dizzying! I’ve never before heard the confident classy Governor Pryce panicking, but it’s sure nice for a change 😏 Kallus drops one of those sick burns on her and she’s ready to send him “floating home”. I got a little worried then, but Agent K’s undeterred smirk told me he had a clever plan in mind… and he did. It involved only an escape pod and his mad fighting skills. And as the Ghost and the Gauntlet and the Phoenixes and all our heroes head for hyperspace, they don’t forget our fabulous Fulcrum, too 🙂 I couldn’t help but cheer at all the awesome teamwork going on, and at the fact I felt I could finally breathe, because this battle has ended.
It’s so nice seeing the most strong and seemingly fearless Imperials taken down a peg, isn’t it? It’s especially great when Bendu delivers some parting words to Thrawn. The Grand Admiral thought he’d brought the being down, key word being “thought“. The mighty beast sees clearly the chiss’s eventual defeat… and just as Thrawn fires, the Bendu has disappeared, his deep chuckle penetrating the air. You can play a good war game, you can wield some powerful weapons, but the Force will always be stronger. *Mic drop* Pff I guess that sounds kinda cheesy but it’s nothing short of true. THIS EPISODE HAS SO MUCH EPICNESS I CAN’T PUT IT INTO THE RIGHT WORDS.
We follow Kanan as he walks through the Ghost. He hears Sabine discussing her next move with her mother, as their work on Krowsnest is far from done; the silence of surviving Rebels who are still processing the loss of their friends and their home; the genuine reply of Kallus, who proved his loyalty to the Alliance in their darkest hour; the bickering of AP-5 and Chopper and Rex as they figure out the best way to their new base, Yavin; and finally, the ponderings of his padawan, who has no idea what’ll happen next. But Kanan sees, out of all of the tragedies and triumphs, a future with hope that’s far more attainable than it seems. We’ve seen in all of the Ghost family today a burning, passionate fire to bring hope and healing to a broken galaxy, and an undying loyalty to their cause and to each other. If they keep that wildfire blazing throughout every tragedy and every triumph, all of the young Rebel Alliance will see what Master Jarrus sees.
OK I hope that sounded good because if it didn’t it’s because I’ve had a headache the last couple hours I’ve been working on this. But just WOW what a finale! I know there’s infinitely more I could say about it and all of the insane levels of awesomeness it achieved, but I probably need to go ahead and wrap this up. We’ll talk more Rebels on the season recap next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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