Tag Archives: visions and voices

Rebel Transmissions: Trials Of The Darksaber

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

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

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Visions And Voices

OK so I’m super super excited to be writing this one today! Visions And Voices simply has so so much to talk about and think about and theorize on! So I’m thinkin’ I better get started…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, TCW “Siege Of Mandalore” Arc (also virtually any episode pertaining to Maul and Dathomir), and Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Twilight Of The Apprentice, The Holocrons Of Fate, and Visions And Voices

Of all the days for a certain horn-headed darksider to make a reappearance. Ezra had finally gotten the chance to lead a mission for the mini-Alliance again, finally! And then… what starts as quiet whispers and faint glimpses turns to dark echoes and terrifying images, all of Maul. Um yeah that was the most gutwrenching opening I’ve seen in a while. How does Sam Witwer do it, getting his voice that… *shudders* …dark and cold? It’s no wonder Ezra’s out like a light. No one else saw or heard anything, so they’re not sure what to make of it. He tries to shake it off, but he’s not back out on the base for a minute before he starts pursuing Maul again — only to find he was actually about to strike a fellow soldier. It’s nothing short of horrifying, the entire experience. I do love, though, that throughout it all, the Ghost fam is totally there for him. I suppose it’s redundant to point out because I’ve pointed this out a lot, but I truly adore the fact they’re family first and Rebels second, and you see that in a very personal way as all of them, especially Kanan, Hera, and Sabine, are trying to help him during this strange development. Kanan has his suspicions as to why this is happening, but ultimately turns to the Bendu for answers. Apparently something went wrong during that little holocron-joining of theirs, particularly when Ezra cut the whole thing off. Bendu decides to let Maul explain the rest. WAIT WHUT. Kanan and Ezra turn around and yep there’s Maul, the real deal, in the half-flesh-half-machine! They turn back around and Bendu’s disappeared. Wow OK that was mind-blowing because I sort of thought he stayed in the same place all the time, using his branch-like form as a disguise. Well he is rather powerful so I suppose he can come and go how he chooses. But yep Maul is back again! Because of the abrupt end to their holo-Q&A, neither of them got a clear answer. So Maul decides now’d be a good time for him and his apprentice to exchange the last couple fragments of knowledge. Considering he’ll gladly reveal their base’s location otherwise, it looks like Ezra and Maul are gonna be hanging out again. Kanan does not approve. Good thing he gave Sabine Ezra’s com. Because yeah when Maul gets involved… things just don’t have a tendency to go well. Also on a random note can I just say I really love that Kanan doesn’t wear his mask as much in this episode? Not saying I don’t like the mask. His mask never hindered our ability to read his emotions, his voice and mouth expressions portray that wonderfully on their own. But for sure, seeing the eyebrows added a lot of expression there that worked amazingly well in this episode. It’s sort of a small thing, but I felt it was worth mentioning.
We soon arrive on dark creepy Dathomir. Somehow it’d never crossed my mind that Maul would consider this place home, but it really makes sense. It’s his birthplace, and it’s also where Mother Talzin restored him. Plus, he and Dathomir are kind of alike… red, dark, and broken. OMG you guys this episode stirred up so so many more questions about the zabraks and the Nightsisters and Nightbrothers and their world. The concepts they came up with in TCW have never ceased to be fascinating and cool and I honestly I’m thrilled they brought this branch of the mythology into SWR. Maul’s plan is to use some old magick to temporarily merge their minds and finally get the rest of the answers they were given. With the remains of the Nightsisters’ society still standing, it shouldn’t be any trouble far as the Old Master’s concerned. Also wow let’s just spend the rest of the post talking about Maul’s place. I could stare at all the details for hours, pondering and pondering what exactly he’s been doing all this time. What’s that writing on the wall supposed to be if not Aurebesh? Where in the galaxy did he get all those candles? And how’d he make it off Mandalore with all those souvenirs? Of course, that last question brings up a lot of questions, since I’m still in the dark about exactly what Maul was doing during his reign and what eventually got him off the throne. Certainly will need to do my research and read Son Of Dathomir to start with. It is personally very interesting to me that he kept the painting of Satine. I assume he values it because she represents his conquering of Mandalore and possibly his half-victory with Obi-Wan. Though I have to wonder if there’s something more to it that I’m not getting entirely. It’s still incredibly fascinating seeing these connections, though. Of course, truly, the all-around most interesting artifact might be that blade resting beneath the portrait. Yes we’ll definitely come back to that later because OMG THE DARKSABER!! Anyway, all this mind-merging’s gonna take is a quick potion-drinking. I seriously am amazed they could both do it with a straight face ’cause it looks nasty, but it certainly does its job, and they’ve got their questions fully answered at last. Ezra knows who he’s looking for and Maul knows where to look. Now, I was pretty certain at the time that it was Obi-Wan who Maul was giddy to find, but in the time between that episode and this one, I started to sort of doubt my hunch. After all, would he really be happy to see his worst enemy still lived? Probably it was someone else Maul had more respect for. But hehe I was quite proud to see my theory confirmed fact. Interesting that Maul refers to this location as just “a desert planet with twin suns”. He literally doesn’t remember its name? I know he’s a little old now but… eh probably it’s just that the name didn’t matter to him much at the time back in the day. Whatever the case probably good he doesn’t know its name, because once he figures it out, well… old Ben’s quiet life is about to get severely interrupted. Yeah of course Maul’d be happy! It’s not so much that his worst enemy’s alive, but that his worst enemy’s not dead yet… and therein lies his opportunity, his hope. Unfortunately though… that magick ain’t free, far as the NIGHTSISTER SPIRITS are concerned. And they don’t take cash or credit they take FLESH O.O It’s about then when Kanan and Sabine show up and quickly find out blasters don’t work on ghosts. Not that I blame them for trying or anything they be reallll scary. And watching those spirits up and possess Kanan and Sabine is completely spine-chilling. It’s fun when SW does stuff with these vastly different, dark angles of the Force, but it all gives me all kinds of shivers. I love it all, but… yikes, man. Though I imagine the Nightsisters didn’t use such weaponry during their lives, they sure know how to aim blasters and how to slash lightsabers, at least in the hands of their pawns. Maul and Ez are makin’ a break for it. The spirits can’t venture too far from the altar though, so that gives them a little time to figure out their next move. Well, the Old Master already had his next move figured out — with Kanan out of the way, Ezra can finally be his apprentice and they can go merrily on their way to Tatooine and do darksidery things! Ez is absolutely all kinds of “DUDE, NO.” on all accounts, so Maul gets on his ship and flies off. I don’t get the impression he’ll be giving up or anything though. You know how Maul is. Ezra figures all he has to do is get his comrades out of the cave and the possession problem will be solved. And then the Sister in Sabine decides to whip out THE DARKSABER. AHHHH MY GOSH SEEING IT BACK IN ACTION IS AMAZING. Seeing in the hands of a crazy ghost witch though… that’s pretty frightening. It’s still amazing, but… yeesh hearing that voice coming out of Sabine’s mouth… *shudders* that ain’t right. Ezra manages to Force-push Sabine out of the cave and releases the spirit, but he’s still got Kanan to free. And the Sister-spirit who took over his master is pretty darn stubborn. Ezra makes a deal with her, but y’know how these spirits are they’re gonna fight you anyway just ’cause. Finally the Nightsisters take him up on his offer… just as Ezra uses his lightsaber and the darksaber to destroy the altar. THE EPICNESS WOW. GO EZRA! WINNER WINNER NOONA DINNER!! I do sorta feel bad this entire civilization will likely never return, but then I remembered they’re dastardly darksider witches and suddenly I was slightly more OK with that. After all that excitement died down, Ezra finally had a chance to tell Kanan and Sabine what he found out — Obi-Wan Kenobi is the answer to their Sith problem. And they’re gonna make sure they find him before Maul does. I was confused for a couple seconds because I couldn’t remember how it was Ezra knew who Obi-Wan was, but once I was reminded of the message in the holocron, everything made sense. It’s fascinating that ultimately Maul and Ezra had the same answer to each of their desires, like say, I’d originally thought Ezra seeing Tatooine meant someone else, maybe more literally like Anakin or Luke, but this infinitely made more sense. Master Kenobi’s kind of made some major impact on the galaxy, y’know? Then I got all giddy because it fully sunk in that we’ll be getting to see Obi-Wan at some point this season and that is AMAZING. And then, before our three heroes left the darkness behind… Sabine decided to give the Darksaber a good home. Finally, the magnificent blade has found itself a rightful owner :3
Whew that was a lot of writing there! But it turned out really well I think. Again, it’s amazing seeing the connections between these different chapters in the SW galaxy. Hopefully I sparked some interesting thoughts and conversations here. Catch you next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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