Following The Freemakers: Return Of The Kyber Saber

So with the second season just around the corner, I’d say it’s high time I got this post written. Today we shall do some digging into the marvelous first season finale of The Freemaker Adventures, Return Of The Kyber Saber! Let’s see if I can some good nerdy thoughts together for you today…
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episode Empire Day, and basically the entire first season of The Freemaker Adventures

OK so one thing I’ve absolutely adored about TFA is the way they’ve so flawlessly weaved in elements and concepts that started in Rebels, one of those being the joyous celebration known as Empire Day! Y’know a really interesting thought just hit me about Empire Day… different planets probably have different calendars, so depending where you are, it might fall in the summer, or the winter, or whatever other seasons the world might have. It’s not a huge revelation I guess, but it’s just neat to think about. But clearly, as the capital of the galaxy, Coruscant is the place to be on E-Day! And if you happen to be the Emperor, it’s even better. I love how he tears open his presents like a little kid! Granted, he’s a rather ungrateful little kid but it’s still kind of charming in a weird way. Man I can’t imagine being in those Imperials’ shoes… what do you get the Emperor who literally has everything? I can see how easy it’d be to just default to “Galaxy’s Best Emperor” mugs to be safe. From what I gathered from Tarkin he seems to like fine decor, so maybe an artistic Nubian knickknack might suit him. Or maybe it’s just safer to go with a gift card. But then again, judging by how many Imps lined up with boxed gifts, he must prefer actual tangible gifts over credits. Plus, a handpicked gift is just sometimes more thoughtful, y’know? I’d say that those who’ve been in the Empire the longest probably have figured out how to shop for him, but Vader defaulted to the mug option too. With him, “it’s the thought that counts” doesn’t count. But in truth, the best Empire Day gifts don’t come from a store… they come from treachery, deception, and devious intent. Agent Naare is about to bring him a deadly superweapon on a silver platter — the long-lost Kyber Saber. Wouldn’t that be the brightest candle on the cake! XD Isn’t that’s an image? But in all seriousness you guys we’re all toast if the plan Rowan proposed last episode doesn’t pull through.
Another interesting revelation I’ve had recently is that Rowan has more than just one Force talent. I’ve always considered his connection to Kyber crystals one, but I think his ability to build is also unique gift from the Force. We watch him masterfully put the StarScavenger back together piece by piece. It might seem simple enough to those us who just see the ship as Lego parts, but it’s important to remember that their world is only portrayed as plastic. These characters and the galaxy they live in are as real to me as any other medium we’ve seen Star Wars in. The unfocused, accident-prone boy we met in the first episode has now perfectly reconstructed an entire ship in the course of a day or so. That’s the kind of amazing stuff the Force can do. Like seriously. Your mind’s gotta be blown by now, right?
“…is this who you really are? An evil Sith? Or are you just a misunderstood soul who’s never learned to love herself?” “Mmm… nope.” Yet we know that’s not true because no Star Wars villain is! With maybe the exception of Sidious but I don’t know all his story yet. Dangit, Naare has been such an awesome, fascinating character! Someone better put her in the canon right now and write books and comics on her right now! And maybe do an Anthology movie if they get the chance. She might be a villain but she’s among the most intriguing villains in the history of SW just because there’s so much we don’t know about her. I have my theories, of course, but I’m curious what the writers really have in mind. I don’t know if we’ll ever know her whole story but just wishful thinkin’. For now though, all we know is her darksider side, and that the Kyber Saber in her hands is a really really bad thing. Especially when she seems to like it a little too much. Y’know I find it interesting, knowing the way Sith and Sith-y sorts tend to be over power, that Naare never considered keeping it for herself before this. Partially I’m sure it was some loyalty to the Empire she serves, but I’m thinking that fear had a lot to do with it. Sidious and Vader pressured her beyond belief, and I wouldn’t doubt they probably used fear as a motivator more than once. So she had no time to consider what benefits she might reap from this, considering I imagine a fierce desire for power has fueled her darkness for a long time. But now that she holds the Saber… yeahh… Naare left Coruscant an Imperial agent, and she’s coming back Empress of the galaxy! Sidious really shoulda seen this coming.
Considering Empire Day is also Ezra Bridger’s birthday, it’s kind of adorable the Freemakers unknowingly take a cue from him in the first stage of their plan. To the sewers! Always a good idea! XD Least until a probe droid shows up. And a really big one I might add. Taller than Zander! Yikes. But with a solid wrench in hand, bro can handle it. Though it may take him a few showers to get rid of that particularly incredible smell…
Meanwhile Naare singlehandedly takes out two Imperial freighters and a handful of TIEs. Not to mention two whole Star Destroyers. Here’s another nerdy thought to chew on: the kyber crystals Jedi use in their lightsabers are tiny. They’re smaller than your thumbnail. The Kyber Saber is made entirely of these crystals. It’s about the length of a normal lightsaber, which I guess would be a few feet so… think about how many individual crystals that would be. Is that not an insane amount of power?! I mean, it might seem obvious since she’s already torn apart a whole moon but when you think about the science behind it… dang. Just… dang. Master Cantu clearly had no idea what kybers were truly capable of when he built that thing. It does make you wonder how he put it together from a canon perspective. Far as I can gather, you can’t just mine kybers like you mine spice; Jedi have to go through some challenging stuff to find just one! I’m thinking maybe Jedi didn’t have the same kind of connection to the crystals at that point in history. Perhaps all Cantu knew was that the crystal and the Force had a connection somehow, and that he could find a way to channel his own Force through that. So making a blade of the crystals was a logical method. Post his realization that such a large amount was deadly, he probably spent a lot of time figuring out what worked and what didn’t work with them, and perhaps, eventually, made a blade that channeled a beam of energy from the crystals instead. I don’t know how much they figured out with the Story Group’s help in making it half-way-sorta-canon, but it’s a reasonable assumption. Anyway, on to other areas of nerdiness.
So far the Freemaker kids are owning it today! Rowan gave me all kinds of warm fuzzies using the Force to save Zander from a perilous fall, and Kordi just don’t got time for bucketheads today and puts them in chains without wasting a second. But the final phase of the plan might be more challenging than all they’ve faced in the sewers combined. Rowan, in dark cloak with the Emperor’s officially-licensed voice changer in hand, has to play a convincing Palpatine to get the Kyber Saber in his hands. And at this point we all know that unless something changes… yep we are alllllll toast. The writing’s still solid tho! Never saw this turn coming! Though you’d think Rowan and family might’ve suspected something when Palpatine made a run for it. (Hey, better a living chicken than a dead Tarkin!) R0-GR’s head finally made it back to the Freemakers, but unfortunately a little too late. Oh, and random note: Rowan muttering “bored bored bored…” while spinning in the Emperor’s throne is 110% relatable XD Anyway, boy do things get real when Naare shows up. #Understatement SHE IS TERRIFYING YOU GUYS. SIDIOUS YOU SHOULD’VE GONE AND GOTTEN THE STUPID BLADE YOURSELF BECAUSE NOW LOOK WHAT HORROR YOU’VE UNLEASHED!! She is happy to kill her former apprentice if she can’t kill her former master, and also she basically uses one hand and the Force and downs two AT-ATs. I’ll theorize right now that possessing the Kyber Saber also enhances one’s use of the Force as well as channeling it through the blade, so Naare can do stuff that I’m not sure even the most powerful Forcewielder could alone. With the Saber in hand, she’s crowned herself Empress and no one’s gonna deny her and live. I shudder to think what might’ve happened if she’d actually stayed Empress. Of course, it wouldn’tve been much better if Palpatine had obtained the blade so either way this is a nightmare scenario come true. Everything has fallen apart, but Rowan isn’t done, not for a second. (“You have more lives than a lothcat!” got a big grin out of me) He picks himself out of the rubble and calls the kyber crystals back, putting the ultimate power in his grip instead. It’s pretty awe-inspiring. Rowan uses the blade to build walls, every time he turns around though, Naare cuts them down with her own ‘saber. For a moment, Rowan questions why he doesn’t just use the Kyber Saber as the weapon Naare wants it to be used as. He sounds so angry, so destroyed inside, recalling all the pain this monster in front of him has put his family through. He actually starts to drown her in the scrap around them, which I startlingly realized reminded me of how Naare nearly killed JEK-14. This image is both frightening and beautiful somehow. I’ve always loved the dichotomy of light and dark in the Star Wars mythos, and they’ve done an incredible job portraying these ideas and concepts in the series as we’ve witnessed many different shades of the Force between this innocent young boy who wished to be a Jedi and this malicious half-human woman who desires to be a Sith. Seeing Rowan wrestle briefly with the dark side is a really pivotal image and both fascinates me and wrecks me simultaneously. But as the Emperor looks on approvingly… Rowan realizes that this isn’t him. He is not a Sith, he is a Freemaker. And so, he ends the fight by jumping back aboard the StarScavenger, taking the ancient blade with him. I cheered you guys, it’s impossible not to. When TIEs give chase, the fam brings out their wild card (which I just realized would be an awesome ship name), the brand new Blazemaker. With a fake Saber in one hand and the Blazemaker’s controls in the other, Zander gives the Imps the slip real good. And may I just say the completed Blaze is one not-so-ugly “ugly”! It’s easy to understand now why he’s been passionate for this spacecraft of his, it’s gorgeous and it gets the job done! I think he oughta name it the Wild Card, don’t you? Unless of course the Blazemaker is its actual name and not the model. I get so confused sometimes. With the Imperials no longer in pursuit, Rowan masterfully uses the Force and the power of the Kyber Saber to beautifully reconstruct the Starscavenger into a totally different ship that the Empire will no longer recognize. It’s just astonishing what this amazing kid can do. Seriously. I’m just floored right now. And this is the fourth time I’ve watched this episode to date. Kordi’s proud sisterly smile matches my own :3
So I’m thinking the Emperor might appreciate his mugs right now, ’cause after a day like today, he’s gonna need a lot of kaffe. As for Naare, well, her comeuppance was genius. I didn’t really want her to die, but I knew she was a little too far past being redeemed, so making her a decorative piece for Graballa’s place was the perfect option. I did wonder a bit how it was they got her into carbonfreeze in the first place, since even cuffed she could do a lot of damage. I’m gonna theorize one of the Hutt’s men drugged her so she wouldn’t have the focus to use the Force. But yes, well played, Graballa. Now Naare’s got nothing but time to think. Unless you can’t really think much when you’re in carbonfreeze. I’m not really sure what the canon says on the matter but either way, the end of her chapter (for now) was quite appropriate.
Rowan ultimately decides that the day of the Kyber Saber’s return should also be its end, and sends the majestic weapon into the lava rivers of Sullust. (How cool is it we get to see Sullust tho?! I was hyped and I haven’t even played Battlefront yet!) Also important, Roger got put back together again. I spent a lot of time wondering where they found the extra parts or if they had extra parts to start with, but then I remembered “oh yeah the fam probably remembered to take that with them before they left The Wheel”. I couldn’t shake the thought it’dve been hilarious if they couldn’t find him battle droid parts so they put his head on a protocol’s body instead, buuuuut I think Roger’s happier this way 🙂 Anyway, the Freemakers aren’t sure where they go from here now that they’ve gone from scavengers to wanted criminals, but they get their answer from the timely arrival of a Rebel Alliance fleet. The Rebs have heard about what Rowan did, and they want him and his family to join them. Dude I got so distracted while I was writing this just looking at all the ships in the fleet. I kept searching for familiar ships, hoping I might spot the Ghost or the Gauntlet or something. At one point I mistook an A-wing for a TIE Defender and I was all “Wow how’d they get ahold of one of those things?!” XD But man oh man this ending… I’ve got a good feeling about this. The best feeling in the world, actually, as we watch Rowan, Kordi, Zander, and Roger enter a new chapter with the Rebel Alliance 😀
SO MANY FEELS OMG. I’m so glad this post turned out well, despite it was a long time coming. I can’t wait to see what awaits this beautiful family next! And for sure this time I’ll make sure these future posts come out with as few interruptions as possible. Anyway, thanks so much for reading 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Steps Into Shadow

The Rebel Transmissions have returned. And I’m still trying to figure out how it is time passed so quickly! The third season has begun, and I can only hope I’ll be able to organize my thoughts decently in this post. Well, won’t find out just sitting around! Let’s dive in!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Rebel Resolve, Stealth Strike, Legends Of The Lasat, The Honorable Ones, Shroud Of Darkness, Twilight Of The Apprentice, and Steps Into Shadow

Y’know those surtitles or subtitles or whatever you wanna call ’em I put on my post headers? I came up with that concept when Padawanline was only a thought. I liked the idea of a quick clever line to define the episode in some way, whether it was a terrible pun (See: Wings Of The Master‘s “B-lieve It”) or a deep deep thought that truly did define the episode (See: Legacy‘s “Always There”). It’s fun coming up with the surtitle, but it’s also often exceedingly hard. Especially the more dramatic and deep the episode. Figuring out how to put Steps Into Shadow into one quick line was near impossible… until I came up with what you see up there. I feel it’s one of the best I’ve come up with, because it describes exactly where we find our master and padawan right now, and really the Ghost crew itself. Remember way way back on Rebel Resolve? Kanan was captured by the Empire, and Ezra was doing his best to lead the team to find him. When Kanan was there leading them, things went off without a hitch, even when they didn’t. But without him, things went south pretty fast. It’s really says a lot about who he is and how he’d changed. The Ghost wasn’t his, the idea of rebelling wasn’t his — that’s all Hera’s doing. But yet, he became Specter One. Because he believed in what Hera believed in, and in turn, he stepped up and became a better person, and eventually a true leader. His leadership soon went, however, from one of a small rebellion to that of a Jedi master when Ezra came along. And that role taught them both much. However… now Kanan feels he can’t lead, and Ezra has assumed the sort of the same role he once had. When I first heard Ezra would be leading the mission Steps Into Shadow surrounded, I was impressed. He must’ve learned much and become exceptionally skilled and mature, right? Well… though things go better than in Rebel Resolve… Ezra still has some growing up to do when it comes to achieving Kanan-status leadership. But I imagine it’s hard to become that kind of leader when Kanan hasn’t been around much lately. Either way, with Ezra struggling to fill the void his master left, things are most definitely out of balance.
All deep thoughts aside, the opening was a thrill. As soon as I saw Zeb and Sabine making their way right under the stormtroopers’ noses, I felt at home, as though I’d never left. But then Ezra comes up out of nowhere and delivers a solid punch to one of the bucketheads. Seeing Ezra here, looking so very grown-up… it was then I realized maybe I had been away for a while. Of course I’d known for a while that he’d gotten a haircut and stuff, but oh gracious… he really grew up. I still can’t get over how tall he is now. So strong and lean and significantly less of a kid than he was six months ago. And did I mention he’s leading this thing? Wow. I’m sorry I’m still going on about this but I these guys are practically my children and my children have suddenly grown up and it makes me wanna cry and hug ’em at the same time and I know that sounds weird so I will stop talking now. The Rebs are at this particular Imperial prison to rescue a particular individual — an old pirate named Hondo Ohnaka. Hehe the #OhnakaFever never stops around here! I’d wondered what happened to him after Legends Of The Lasat. It’s always a pleasure (even if the last time we saw him he was causing a little trouble). Especially when he happily addresses Zeb and Sabine as “Purple Guy” and “Mando Girl”. I absolutely died laughing at Zeb’s nickname XD Though Ezra’s glad to see his pirate buddy again, the Rebs had other reasons for the rescue. Hondo’s got the intel; Hondo and his ugnaught comrade both do. No time for reunions though look more ‘troopers! And Ezra turns a blaster on them in a split-second. He’s so quick on the draw it’s scary. Clearly he’s been doing more with Rex in his spare time. And maybe taking notes from Sabine, too. Whatever the case it’s impressive… and scary. Like tbh most of his methods right now. Oh and that new lightsaber tho. I’m definitely interested in knowing how he put it together, especially since Kanan likely wasn’t involved. Boyyyy can he do some stuff with that thing! Watching him so gracefully and forcefully fling that ‘saber makes me almost forget that there’s still something a bit… edgier… about his new methods. So short story short the ugnaught informant called no deal at the last second and was then tragically met with the other end of a walker gun. How’re they supposed to handle all these troopers? Ezra’s gonna handle it. As he reaches out with the Force, I jokingly commented “you don’t want to deal with the intruders, you want to go get pancakes”. Unfortunately, the walker driver and his fellow bucketheads don’t get any pancakes… what Ezra does is just plain scary. Actually that’s not good enough, try terrifying. The grimly justified look on Ezra’s face as the walker falls reminds me all-too much of a young Anakin Skywalker. And that alone gave me the shivers. “When did Kanan teach you that?” “He didn’t.” *Shudders* Before the season debuted, I understood that likely Ezra was going to continue playing with the darkness… but actually seeing it… no words. I’m actually sick with terror right now, and this is the second time I’ve watched it. At the start of the last season, I absolutely loved Ezra’s bright hopeful attitude, such a wonderful incredible change from his selfish, jaded self in the beginning. It seems the events of Twilight Of The Apprentice have changed him in a very different way. A very dark way. It’s sorta a swift punch to the gut. It’s not that he’s entirely changed. His fighting style was a little grittier than when we last saw him, but he’s clearly still got that confident swagger and genuine desire to help others he’s always had. He’s still Ezra Bridger. But after that stunt… and after many of his reactions we see in this season opener… there’s something not quite right. But for now everyone’s just glad when Hera and the Ghost swoop in and fly off. Also Zeb throwing out the term “wizard” was just the little spot of sunshine I needed about then XD I love that that backwater Tatooine slang is getting back into circulation amongst not only us superfans but also the SW universe itself! It’s wizard bruh! However, Hera is not finding the insanity that conspired to be too wizard. She remains undoubtedly THE BOSSLADY. Oh yeah and I do love her new outfit. It’s not all that different but it’s so cute I want to wear something similar in the average everyday. But wait that wasn’t the point. Yeah Hera wasn’t happy with the stuff Ezra overlooked and he isn’t happy with folks questioning his sheer awesomeness. Ezra’s out and everyone else is left with the awkwardness. Teenagers amiright?
In my Transmission on the last episode, I wrote Ezra had “many difficult decisions ahead of him”, and I’m thinking he may not have made the right decisions in some cases. Like remember that Sith holocron? He still has it. And not only that, he’s freely having conversations with The Presence. Which kinda threw me ’cause I thought she was just contained on the Malachor Sith temple, but evidently she’s also in the holocron, travel-size for your convenience. The Presence basically pats him on the back all “it’s OK dude, haters gonna hate”. Ezra won’t let anyone he cares for get hurt again, and he’ll gladly learn whatever he can to keep it that way. Oh Ez… please don’t. I get being well-rounded and understanding all sides of the Force, but you have to know where to draw the line in this constant battle between the light and the dark…
It seems Ezra’s small slightly-gone-south mission didn’t go unnoticed though. Governor Pryce noticed, and she’s making sure Tarkin notices. And they’re going to make sure a particularly skilled Imperial fleet notices. It is fascinating finally meeting the heard-of-but-never-seen-before Lothal Governor. She’s scary. Her icy stare could kill somebody. But she’s still quite cool. Also nice seeing Tarkin again since I read his book over the summer. All the same though, I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
So howzabout that dirt Hondo promised? He knows about an Imperial salvaging operation destroying old Republic Y-wings on the daily, and the mini-Alliance could always use a few more ships in their fleet. I admit before this it had never even crossed my mind that Y-wings were an older sort of ship that were only brought into use again by the Rebel Alliance. I feel dumb that I didn’t know, but smarter now that I do know. That’s just how it is with SW, I guess. Always learning something new! 🙂 You get all that info for the low low price of $19.95 plus shipping and handling, major credit cards accepted. Lol no actually Hondo’s aiming for a nice ship. Something maybe with leather seats I’d bet. Not the Ghost though, don’t even joke about that ya scoundrel XP Ezra’s rarin’ to go and get them Y-wings, but Hera’s not terribly sure about the intel. Which is why Commander Sato not only puts Ezra in charge of the recon mission, but also gives him the new title of Lieutenant Commander. Congrats all around! Too bad Kanan isn’t here to see this. My heart hurt for Ezra as he commented on his master’s absence as of late. Not only is the Ghost crew out of balance without their Specter One, but I think Ezra is, too 😦 The fact he hadn’t been around struck me with both sadness and curiosity. What’s he been doing since Malachor? Why hasn’t he been with the family? Where was he then? I needed to know.
OK so they don’t answer all of those questions outright per se, but they do give us an idea. Evidently he’s been sitting alone on the outskirts of their base where the smol crabs walk on him and the spidercrabs stare at him, probably annoyed, from across the fence. Doing a lot of thinking and a lot of meditating it seems as a mysterious voice calls out to him. Oh sweet precious Kanan I missed you so! *Ahem* sorry just writing what I’m thinkin’. Anyway, Hera comes over, a tad disappointed he wasn’t there for Ezra today, and also that he hasn’t been there for him much at all lately. She makes it very clear in a quiet way that he needs to go talk to his padawan. Yep she’s so good at bossladying that she can bosslady without ever raising her voice. A few minutes later, Kanan walks into Ez’s quarters. ‘Bout time Master Jarrus. Only took ya a few months! Sorry that was unfair. After all, he’s just as out of balance as everyone else. I imagine his blindness makes him feel useless as a leader, and if he’s not Specter One, then who is he? Not to mention the whole getting-knighted thing and what that means, especially now when he’s not the same man he was before Malachor. Under most circumstances Ezra’s probably be really happy to see him, but well a certain holocron might’ve been within reach… and he’s not fast enough to keep Kanan from finding it. The fact he opened the ‘cron and has been using it frequently does not sit well with Kanan. Ezra argues it’s been helping him win these battles, but that’s don’t convince Master Jarrus and he took it off. Augh my gosh it killed me when Ezra said those hurtful words. I about cried. Kanan tried to reset the balance, but instead, both master and padawan upset the balance even further than before. OK brb I really am crying now. So off Ezra goes with Sabine, Zeb, Chopper, Rex, and Hondo, and then back goes Kanan to his meditating spot.
While things go well for the Phantom team as they get in some hot water with the Mining Guild, Kanan finally decides to follow this voice calling him. Using one of the sensor-poles to ward off the crabspiders, we watch him venture deeper and deeper into the corallike forest. The Force leads him right to the feet of a massive mystical beast who is equal parts awe-inspiring and frightening. And judging by his kind wise voice, apparently a really nice guy. At least we hope so…
Oh yeah and did I mention the whole kerfuffle with the Mining Guild? Yeesh give a guy a custom TIE and suddenly they gotta shoot at evrahbody! It didn’t last too long but it’s worth mentioning as Ezra insists they do away with the rest of them Guilders and everybody else be like “NOPE”. Take a chill pill Ez mkay?
Of course we have to take a paragraph to meet our new friend the Bendu. Neither of the light or the dark, but very aware of both, he instantly picks up on all this imbalancedness going on right now. (See my surtitle really does work!) Also random thought I love that all the little bogan crabs followed Kanan here. Another random thought I love that all the critters don’t seem to mind the Bendu, not even the little birdie perched on his… face… branch… thing. You know what I mean. Kanan is obviously quite concerned about Ezra using this Sith holocron, but Bendu cuts right to the chase — we’re here to talk about what’s going on with Kanan right now, not his apprentice. First thing he’s gonna do is snap that sensor-pole in two. Now Kanan is obviously quite concerned about the deadly crabspiders out there, and the fact he can’t see them to properly defend himself. Bendu’s ready to help him solve his sight problem, but in perhaps a different way than the young Jedi might expect. Regardless of his uncertainties, Kanan’s willing to learn to see. OK so I know I’m not the only one who felt like their galaxy was turned upside down the instant Maul took his vision. The sudden tragedy of it all saddened me, and that’s an understatement. But after many deep thoughts and close observations made while writing the Transmission post on the episode, I began to truly see not the tragedy so much as the triumph as Kanan fought back, stronger than before. So in the months away from the Rebs, I came to a peace with it and maybe allowed myself to forget somewhat how it’d happened, or at least put it out of my mind. But then the instant he took off the mask… and I saw the scar… and his eyes, now a faded blue… my own eyes had tears again. But yet, it’s in this re-reminder of the pain he’d been through that I saw the hope again. AUGHHH THE FEELS.
Wow there are a lot of deep thoughts in this post today. I need a break. But that’s impossible because I’m writing about SW and there will always be deep thoughts there. Like Thrawn, for example. Ah yes the guy I’ve heard so so much about! The Chiss of the hour! Grand Admiral Thrawn! Konstantine be like “whut since when?” and Thrawn looks kinda smug about his new position. And hey any guy with the track record he’s got has a right to be smug. As I’ve said before, I haven’t read the Thrawn Trilogy and I know that just saying that made me lose credibility in the eyes of most of my readers, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s a pretty terrifyingly amazing bad guy. And that’s an understatement. Bro gives me chills. I mean, if Pryce’s stare could kill somebody, Thrawn’s could burn a planet to it core. And did I mention that voice? More chills. I have no words to adequately or articulately (or artistically) truly describe his presence. But it is amazing, even for me, as someone whose only experience with the Chiss was in a young readers’ series written by Ryder Windham. His bloodred eyes have pierced my soul. And probably will go on to haunt my dreams, I’m certain.
We reunite with the Phantom team as they arrive at Recklam Station… and to the sight of only fourteen beautiful old Y-wings, one being destroyed every minute. Ezra decides they’re bringing home the bacon (the bacon being the Ys) and he don’t care what anyone else thinks. When he looked at Rex and said “That’s an order.” I was all “OH. NO. HE. DIDN’T.” He did not just talk back to Captain Rex! Respect he’s taking charge, but I’m thinkin’ he could use an attitude adjustment right about now. The Phantom was filled with the sound of awkward silence, and much awkwarder than before. Buuuut his crew don’t argue with him. They just begrudgingly carry on with the new mission. Even when that mission sends them straight into the path of dismantler droids. NBD though that’s why we’ve got Chopper and the clone Bossman. Hehe hearing Rex utter the word “clankers” made me smile ear-to-ear! Of course it doesn’t go perfectly or anything. It’s only thanks to a quick fix by Chop and Sabine’s on-point driving flying skills that they didn’t crash. Ezra may be in charge but teamwork’s the only reason anybody survived today. Even Hondo helped out, using his mastery of ugnaught-speak to gain a few more allies! Seriously let’s give Jim Cummings a big round of applause, ’cause that couldn’tve been easy to do. All they need now is to get those Y-wings fueled up and they’re good to go! What could possibly go wrong from here? Well, a few things, but let’s check in with Kanan real quick.
So right now Kanan is quite obviously concerned about the fact the Bendu’s wanting him to walk right on over to those crabspiders. Kanan does see them in a way, he can hear them, he can feel their vibrations when they walk, even knows their smell. But he didn’t quite see enough when he holds out his hand and feels their crusty, rough hide. Strangely it seems the spiders don’t intend to harm him. The Bendu encourages Kanan to dig deep into the Force, and what he sees is his own fear, and that revelation changes everything. I wish I could say I’m an expert on the Force, but honestly and truly I’m not, and I still don’t fully understand the thing with the spiders. But I do understand that Kanan can see a lot more clearly when he fully embraces the Force, instead of pushing it away. That was true before he lost his vision, and it’s especially true now. Now it’s time he embraces his crew, his family, instead of pushing them away. Because they need him as much as he needs them. Leaving the holocron in the capable hands of the Bendu, Master Jarrus walks off confidently as though he’d been able to see all along. Now, he’s gonna go find his apprentice, who he’s pretty sure could use his help right about now.
At the moment, Ezra thinks he’s got everything under control, even as the Imps and a dismantler droid take notice. Yeah no biggie Chopper just nearly DIED. And so did everyone else! Except maybe Hondo and his pig bros, they grabbed an Imperial shuttle and said their goodbyes, but that’s expected. Ezra’s tooooooootally got this as he lightsabers some storms. Hera, for one, does not buy that when he doesn’t divulge much info when she calls. But Kanan’s back in the copilot seat where he belongs, and Mom and Dad are ready to bring home the kids. And quite possibly ground the youngest one for life XP Anyway yeahhh Ezra’s got this. Completely. Unquestionably. He has no clue that Rex is wrestling with a dismanlter while Zeb and Sabine hang for dear life, but he’s still got this! /sarc/ OK sorry for being all cross with him, that’s not right of me. He may not see the bigger picture but he’s doing OK at least. Boy was Brom Titus surprised to see him. Heh yeah I kinda missed Imperial Sad Clown. And again I’m not sure why I call him that. I guess it’s the way he always looks like he’s frowning. Ezra definitely gets points for the entrance. Just struttin’ on in there. The troopers fire their blasters, but the instant he deflects it they’re both downed. All the other Imps make a break for it. Titus really likes the idea of getting back to a higher rank if he can apprehend the… boy I guess. I don’t really feel I can ever refer to him as “boy” anymore. But “young man” doesn’t even sound right… I’ll work on that. Point is, Titus no likey. But Ezra still got this. And with one slash of his green blade, he cuts the power to the entire station. Sure it’ll send the station crashing down, but he’s confident his comrades’ll be OK. And I’ll admit it was worth it just watching Brom Titus freak out. Zeb, Sabine, Rex, and Chopper are taking the Y-wings home, and all Ezra has to do is get on the Phantom and it’ll be another successful mission for Lieutenant Commander Bridger. It’s right about then that things go bad. The Empire shows up just as they find out the Y-wings are minus their hyperdrives. And as the station starts its descent… a crane slams into the Phantom… and the small beautiful ship hits the ground in a firey explosion. R.I.P. The Phantom. It will forever be missed. But yeah that means that Ezra is on a falling salvage station with no way off. I’m thinking Ezra doesn’t got this anymore. Having lost contact with his crew, he can only cry out desperately “Kanan, where are you?”. The fear in his voice pretty much wrecked me. For all of his confidence and swagger and edgy moves, he’s failed, he’s not a Kanan-level Specter One, and he realizes that as everything literally falls apart around him. But that’s about when the mini-Alliance showed up. With the former Phantom crew and their Y-wings safe from harm, now Kanan and Hera focus on getting the Lieutenant Commander back. Oh gosh this entire scene had me so on edge I’m amazed I didn’t completely explode. WILL. KANAN. REACH. EZRA. IN. TIME???? Last season, I spoke often how much I loved how in-sync Kanan and Ezra were, they way they’d so effortlessly springboard off each other’s moves and whatever the battle, they’d win it together. This entire episode, and I’m betting for a long time, they’ve been very out of balance. Until this moment, as Ezra lets go of the station and Kanan pulls him back into the safety of the Ghost. Now the mini-Alliance is finally heading back home.
Of course, that’s just what Thrawn wanted. This does not compute for Konstantine, but Pryce is confident the Grand Admiral knows what he’s doing. Also yeah Kallus been here the whole time and I’ve forgotten to say “hi”. *Waves* HI KALLUS! HOW’RE THINGS? ARE YOU A BETTER PERSON YET?? SORRY JUST ASKIN’! *Kallus shuffles away embarrassed* But anyway um yes I think we should be very concerned about Thrawn, don’t you? #Understatement
OK so though we all felt feels after that magnificent rescue, Hera was still pretty sore with the Lieutenant Commander. Not surprised somehow that he lost that title for now. Honestly, I think that might’ve been the right thing to do right now. Ezra’s not quite ready to be a Kanan-level Specter One yet. But that’s OK, he can still be a great Ezra-level Specter Six. And General Dodonna’s unit will be happy to see their new old beautiful Y-wings. Yep these are going out another branch of the Rebellion. Awwwz the mini-Alliance is doing some growing up too 🙂 I’d say the whole chaotic mission was a good experience for Ezra, ’cause it brought him back to down to… um… Earth. So to speak. With a genuine apology spoken, the Sith holocron no longer an issue (for now), and the dynamic duo back in sync again, I’d say the balance has been restored. Nothing is certain, but for now, nothing feels better than watching Ezra and Kanan walk off together as master and apprentice once more 🙂
AWWW YAYY REBELSSSSS!! HOW I’VE MISSED YOUUU!! Though this may’ve been the longest blog I’ve ever written, I’m super happy with how it turned out and was so glad to share my thoughts on this beautiful thrilling episode with you today! I’ll see you same time next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

SW Summer Reads: Tarkin

So I know this is late… probably too late to be referred to as Summer Reads, anyway. But the book we’re looking at today amazing enough to be read at any time of the year: James Luceno’s Tarkin. There’s much to discuss so let’s get goin’!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode IV, TCW “Citadel”, “The Wrong Jedi”, “Crystal Crisis” arcs, Freemakers episode The Kyber Saber Crystal Chase, and Tarkin.

A long time ago in the same galaxy, I saw Episode IV for the first time. Unfortunately I didn’t grasp it as well as I should have. I understood the basics, but I could not tell you the name of the man we know as Tarkin. Nearly ten years later, countless rewatchings of the film as well as many viewings and re-viewings of The Clone Wars and Rebels truly brought to light this truly amazing and fascinating character. And now, upon reading the book bearing his name, I know him now more than ever. Oh gosh where do I begin? James Luceno covers nearly every angle of Tarkin’s story, from his earliest adventures to the events that bestowed him the title of “Grand Moff”. But not a word of it is unnecessary; every chapter is a piece of what made Tarkin, Tarkin.
Strong, undaunted, articulate, fearless, calculating, and firm in his beliefs, I was re-reminded what an incredible character he is in just about every paragraph. Mr. Luceno wrote so well for him that I often forgot he was supposed to be a villain. But that’s just one of those things that make him such a fascinating character; he so believes in what he considers right, that he’s willing to do whatever it takes. In several situations I could agree with what he was after, but I couldn’t fully agree with his methods to get it. And as we watch him take on a group of less-than-scrupulous rebels, we really get to dig into deep thoughts on the difference between right and wrong… and how easily those lines can be blurred. Dude this book’s got philosophical thoughts for days! It’s amazing stuff!
And there is so much I learned from this novel. Tarkin’s had connections with just about all the big events in SW history in one way or another, and we get to experience those from his unique perspective. Not to mention just the general discussion on SW tech, warfare, and everyday life. There’s something special about knowing the inner workings of these things, even something as seemingly average as a comlink. I also learned quite a few new big words I had no idea existed in the English language, and i consider myself very well-read so it rather took me aback I didn’t know every word 😛 (Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who didn’t know what an “adjutant” was!) The book’s both deep and in-depth, definitely not a beginner’s SW novel, but a truly incredible one nonetheless.
Tarkin’s life story brings both a sense of empowerment as an ordinary guy achieves great status, but also one of sadness as, for all of his intelligence and cunning, he still understood so little of what truly mattered in life. Many times throughout the story that last fateful image of the Grand Moff came to mind. That last shot as he quietly observed the battle, not truly believing anything or anyone could knock down the battle station he put so much faith in. And then he and that battle station were gone in an instant. The book is a powerful reminder to be careful of where the lines blur, and that power gained by wrongdoing ultimately fails us in the end. I’m sorry if I butchered that in any way but ahhhh this book’s so so powerful! Every inch of Mr. Luceno’s story was masterfully written, so much so I can barely put into words how much so it was.
And now, some other thoughts I had while reading the book. Enjoy the randomness (and the occasional moment of deepness).

– Had to read this one slowly. A lot of information, a lot of politics, a lot of stuff to digest.
– Tarkin sounds 100% like I’d expect him to.
– Gets fashion advice from a protocol droid. #Fabulous
– Scars from previous battles? Hmm Tarkin’s had a lot of adventures hasn’t he?
– THE HOLOFASHION MACHINE OMG I NEED THAT.
– What’s a fitness apparatus?? Hah yeah he totally lifts bro.
– Wow such great descriptions…
– Hehe Tarkin was a ginger just like me, has blue eyes too– wait oh dang I hope I don’t look like Tarkin when I’m his age O_O
– Nah I could never match his cheekbone game.
– “Outer Rim” is an accent??? Mind. Blown.
– Wow someone likes looking at himself, don’t he?
– So all that stuff on the Imperial uniforms actually has a purpose? Not just greeblies anymore? Cool. Imperial cosplayers take note!
– Pff this is gonna be one of my weirder posts.
– Ehhh not a big fan of Grand-Uncle Jova… but fascinating trying to imagine Tarkin as a small child. I can barely see it.
– BTdubs I imagine a name like “Wilhuff” got him bullied a bit as a kid.
– Whoa dude’s a real multitasker. I never thought I’d say I’d want to be like Tarkin in any way, but I’d sure like to do that.
– YAYY I LOVE A PARADE!! Oh wait it’s full of Imperials bleh XP
– Parking lots are a thing in SW. Good to know.
– I’m really enjoying learning more about how the Empire works. Makes me feel super-smart, too 🙂
– Thing I learned today: “Comm” applies to the hologram communication devices as well as the little microphones they talk with… at least, I think so. I could be reading it wrong…
– Also I realized I think I typically have spelled it “com” with one m. Not feeling quite as smart right now.
– Hmmmm Tarkin’s good. *Nods*
– Can I just say I love learning about SW tech? I know I’ve said it before but it’s still seriously cool.
– Admiral Trench! I knew that guy! I remember that battle!
– OK wow this whole thing with the Droid Gotra. A bunch of battle droids gone rogue! Kind of a scary thought, but also kind of cool to know they had that kind of free will. Think R0-GR ever ran in that crowd?
– Wait I’m confused… Poggle The Lesser didn’t design the Death Star? Or did he? The Death Star’s origins remain a mysteryyyyyyyyyyyyyyy it seems…
– Man it’s kind of amazing how much effort truly went into the Death Star. All these millions of probably decent people contributing to this mysterious ultimate weapon in many ways. It’s astounding, though in a rather sad way.
– Hey look it’s Mas Amedda. Vizier is quite a fancy title. Much better than “secretary” like I was calling him 😛
– Did they seriously just describe him as an “ambitious amphibian”? I mean, that’s really good wordplay, but is his species actually amphibious? Huh the things you learn from SW books!
– Is it wrong I really enjoyed Tarkin and Amedda’s conversation? Hehe so much snarkiness, my goodness!
– Wooo galactic history lesson! I love how this novel was written as if speaking to the everyday citizens of the galaxy, not to us dumb Earth people 😛
– Actually maybe it’s more like a galactic news report than a history lesson.
– The ancestral pioneer Tarkins sound like cool peeps.
– Keep in mind I said “ancestral”. Tarkin’s parents are purty snooty.
– Also if they’re as rich and fancy as they are, why does his dad even consider putting his elbows on the table, even for emphasis? Breakin’ your own rules Mr. Tarkin.
– It’s funny though… little Wilhuff sounds like an adorable kid. I can see it now.
– But seriously still what kind of parenting is this?? “Oh look here come the men to kidnap you for your rite of passage! Have fun honey!”
– Joke’s on them though ’cause little Wilhuff was prepaaaaared.
– Oh hi Grand-Uncle Jova. Ah this explains the “blood” comment. All about the context.
– So far this makes me feel really bad about my lack of survival skills.
– Think using animal interiors (like tauntauns) as shelters was a covered topic? Ew…
– Such a waste of a perfectly good vest. Not to mention the poor critter. But I don’t need to tell you that.
– AHH DANG BRO ATE RAW LIVER. THAT’S GROSS.
– Smol Tarkin has guts. (Absolutely no pun was intended)
– Seriously.
– He has GUTS.
– He did some gross stuff out there.
– I couldn’t do what he did.
– At all.
– #Respect
– Wonderful childhood amiright?
– OK Tarkin just figured out that Imp was using spice from a stain on his shoe. Wow he’s good. So so good. Hey, he may be considered a slightly bad dude but at least he expects his crew to be decent!
– Oooh the Carrion Spike is a stealth ship! Very fancay.
– Not sure his uncle gives the best advice still tho.
– Any weird chance this Q’anah girl might be related to Aurra Sing? Or if not, that maybe they hung out on the weekends and talked piratey-bounty-huntery things?
– Yay he caught the pirates. But yikes the way he did ’em in… that’s all I got: YIKES.
– OMG Palpatine’s living in the former Jedi Temple?? UGH YOU SCUMBAG.
– Sorry that might’ve sounded mean but it’s kinda true.
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP IMPERIAL GUAAAAAARDS!!! ❤ ❤
– *Is punched for that brief fangirly outburst*
– New thing I learned: Coruscant natives are referred to as "Coruscanti".
– AHHH TEACH ME YOUR STAR WARS WRITING WAYS, MR. LUCENO!
– Pff the Emperor is such a diva.
– Well actually he's just a very very busy man with his Death Star and stuff… oh who am I kidding he's still a diva XD
– If you think that's scary, wait 'til they hear about the Palaptine Museum they're building!
– Anyway, it's nice to know Wilhuff had a friend or two. He doesn't typically seem like the social type.
– Maybe if he used a different cologne. Whatever it is, it's not a scent that the Rebels care for. *Tomatoed*
– Oh yeah I remember the Citadel escape! That was fun 🙂
– *Cough not for most everybody tho cough*
– Hehe the looks Ahsoka gave him were well-deserved, but priceless XD
– And I'm getting off-track again.
– Whaaaat Palpatine was a ginger too?? So when we see him in Episode I, that blonde hair of his is fake? Haha he really is a diva.
– DON'T FORCE-CHOKE ME EMPEROR SIR.
– Hehe Tarkin's absolutely fanboying getting to meet the good Senator here.
– And by "teacher" you mean Plagueis, right?
– *Is punched for stating the obvious*
– Yeesh stop punching and tomatoing me already dude!
– Wow Palpatine is so good at being bad.
– Tarkin's entrance game is 110% on-point. I wish I could rock that confidence.
– *Stupidly imagines Tarkin as Kuzco from The Emperor’s New Groove* BOOM BABYYY!
– Get it? Because his entrance game was on-point…?
– Just… trust me on this. It’s hilarious.
– *Tomatoed*
– Lol haters gonna hate, Wilhuff. Just shake it off.
– *Ducks from tomato and fist*
– Hmm bro was a bit of a bad boy in the academy. Who’da thunk?
– THEY’RE JUST JEALOUS ‘CAUSE YOU’RE SO FABULOUS AND CLASSY.
– “Lightsaber diplomacy”… I like it. Or as some call it, “aggressive negotiations”!
– My first instinct is to assume Tarkin’s reading into the Jedi all wrong, but who knows? They’re might’ve been some snobby ones back in the day.
– Tarkin’s survival skills are also 110% on-point.
– If you ignore the fact it was an act of survival, it sounds like Tarkin could host the best campouts ever!
– …no, not really.
AHHHHHH VADERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!
– Also boo Tarkin you were such a jerk to Ahsoka.
– But whatever it’s VADERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!
– Yep that’s Vader. Still as scary and awesome as ever.
– Though yikes the way he killed that guy…
– Please Amedda, Darth don’t care about your dumb rules.
– “I will give the matter some thought…” translation: not ever.
– The fact they literally have to designate where and when he executes people really says something about where the Dark Lord is right now.
– He powerful and he angryyyyy.
– Fascinating seeing the mutual respect Tarkin and Vader have for one another. Seriously.
– Oh wow Tarkin figured it out. Bro’s smart.
– It’s kind of freaky seeing the two Empire big-shots engaging in some casual small talk. Aside from the Lego one-liners, what must it’ve sounded like to hear Lord Vader just talk casually without intending to strike fear into someone? Can he even do that??
– Uh-oh did they end up finding that massive kyber for the thing?? How??
– Man they put so much work into that Death Star. How did they forget that one teeny little hole…?
– Only Tarkin could tell the Emperor “I like what you’ve done with the place”, and not be severely Force-lightninged.
– Somehow I’m not surprised Palpatine’s proud of his decor.
– Seriously Tarkin’s theories are right again! Mostly.
– Like I said earlier, watching Tarkin having pleasant conversations with the Darths is amazing. Just the fact that either of the darksiders could ever act like a decent human being is fascinating and really cool.
– Tarkin does freelance writing in his spare time. Who knew? Maybe he runs a holoblog? I’d read that. “Talkin’ Tarkin: Thoughts Of An Imperial Governor” or maybe “Keep Calm And Carrion Spike: A Governor’s Life”?
– THAT MOMENT WHEN IT SUDDENLY OCCURS TO YOU YOU KNOW WHO NILS TENANT IS AND YOU FEEL LIKE AN IDIOT FOR NOT RECOGNIZING HIM.
– Hi Yularen! Fun fact I seriously didn’t realize he was in Episode IV up until a few months ago.
– Took a minute to look up Janus Greejatus in the starwars.com databanks just out of curiosity and boy is he scary-looking.
– Interesting stuff happens when all the big-shot Imps get together in one room…
– It’s fascinating watching Sidious and Vader interact one-on-one… and quite chilling.
– Wow Tarkin and Palpatine knew each other on a first-name basis. Practically BFFs.
– Lol not really. OK maybe a little.
– Whoa a clone-turned-storm. I feel kinda bad for this Sergeant Crest.
– Really interesting seeing what Tarkin understood about the Jedi from his side of the story. What difference would it have made if he’d known the truth about the Clone Wars and the role the Jedi played in it? I’m gonna shoot looks at him like Ahsoka did though XP
– Oooh a little Dooku backstory! This novel literally has everything!
– Seems he made a different kind of spark of rebellion, huh? Not the good kind, but still veryyyyyyyyyy interesting…
– I want a book on Dooku’s life story now, OK? That would be awesome.
– Tarkin and Dooku in the same room but on opposing sides! Great stuff!
– Sidious’s droid is Plagueis’s old droid. Goodness, he must be an old thing.
– Oh wow I read into that wrong. Vader might have some respect for Tarkin, but apparently he’s been a little sore with him since the Ahsoka incident. Heh I know I would.
– When you read a SW book you learn something new just about every page! It’s seriously amazing.
– So the Emperor’s plan: let’s stick the two on a mission together and see what happens! Great idea! This won’t end badly at all!
– Well I guess it actually might not and they’ll become buddies up until the Death Star goes boom.
– Just have to see I do suppose.
– AHHH WOW SIDIOUS IS TERRIFYING. HE KNOWS EVVVVERYYYYYYYYYYYTHINGGGGGGGGGGGGG.
– “Chapter Ten: A Better Womp Rat Trap”. These chapter titles are amazing btw.
– He literally just compared the smell to rancid cheese. I like Mr. Luceno’s style. Serious, but completely honest 🙂
– Wheeeee we’re takin’ a ride in an old-school gunship!
– Koorivar have a single cranial horn… so they’re unicorns then??? *SHOT*
– *Twilight wracks her brain trying to recall where she last heard the name “Crymorah” in SW*
– Uh-oh there went the Carrion Spike.
– And Tarkin ain’t a fan of none of this.
– He got some doubts.
– Vader’s patience with him is impressive.
– Oh yeahhhh I remember the Sugi now. From back on Anakin and Obi-Wan’s crystal misadventures!
– That’s probably where I remembered the Crymorah from too.
– OK so that clears that up.
– Note to self: it’s spelled “gotal” not “gothal”. *Sigh* now I gotta fix the tags again…
– Wow a whole paragraph just talking about different varieties of body odor. Lovely.
– Again, love this book.
– Zygerrians have some fur. I did not know this.
– The fancy royal ones in TCW probably just shave it.
– The things ya learn!
– Pirates they may be but I like ’em. They’re the cool crew.
– DUDE DON’T TELL VADER HOW TO DRIVE. HE’S GOT THIS.
– AND DON’T QUESTION VADER’S PLANS. HE’S GOT THIS.
– Whoops. Nevermind they’re gone.
– Noooope Vader’s stillll got this bro.
– “DARTH SIDIOUS WAS ANNOYED…” What else is new? XD
– More cool SW tech terminology: “holocams”!
– These rebel-sorts are gooooooood.
– Governor Motti’s first name is “Antonio”. Fabulous name bro.
– Pooooor sleepy Tarkin…
– But he’s still sharp as ever when figuring out the rebs’ next move.
– Interesting looking at the opposing angles of Teller and Hask’s thoughts on innocents in the Empire. These rebs work well together and that’s likeable, but they’re not quite the rebs you wanna cheer on. They’re not the Ghost crew, who try to keep from killing people they don’t have to. These piratey rebs don’t seem to care who gets caught in their crossfire, with the exception of Hask, it seems. Seriously this concept is genius. They make you subliminally root for who we usually know as the “bad guys”. Wow. first time seeing some actual depth in these observations of mine in a long while.
– Oooooh Tarkin isn’t gonna be too happy when he gets a load of all that damage done to his ship…
– Y’know is it just me or does it seem that Teller doesn’t like Tarkin? /sarc/
– OMG HASK IS RIGHT. HASK IS SO RIGHT.
– When lines get blurred… stuff happens. Not good stuff usually.
– Ahh wow this book!
– “Magnetically sensitive”? Is that normal for all gotals or just Salikk?
– Sounds like Salikk leads a hard life.
– I’m sorry I’m not saying more right now but there’s so much to wrap my mind around OMG.
– Yep you can still tell that’s Anakin in there. Just as impatient as ever…
– Ohhh it’s read as OneOne-FourDee not Eleven-FourDee I feel dumb.
– SW computers are cool. It’s fascinating how they work and what they’re capable of compared to our technology.
– It’s too bad, Tarkin could’ve been a great wildlife journalist (or whatever you’d call it) had he not ended up in the Empire.
– That and the fact he didn’t bat an eyelash at killing anything he deemed dangerous or edible.
– Vader is so terrifyingly good.
– “Moff Tarkin sends his regards” *Drops the mic*
– “…Race to the light of the lasers!” might be the coolest line in the whole book.
– Coruscant has weather control waaaaat??
– They seem to consider “humanoids” and “nonhumans” two different things. Wonder why?
– Guess maybe humanoids have mostly human anatomy, while nonhumans have more “alien” anatomy.
– Tarkin is absolutely all smugness right now.
– Anora deserves a medal for that beautifully poetic burn.
– Tarkin don’t care tho he jus’ gonna shake it off, shake it off.
– But seriously she is 110% right.
– So right it’s scary.
– Hey hey everybody there’s a new GRAND MOFF in town!
– It somehow never occurred to me what a big deal being grand moff is until this moment.
– And then I only now realized this story takes place after Rebels. At least, I think so. In Rebels he was only governor and I don’t think the Death Star was quite under construction yet.
– It only took me nearly the entire novel to figure that out!
– Orrrrrrrrrr maybe not?? Apparently he still goes by “governor” in most circles. So maybe this was before and the Death Star was just well-hidden when the Ghost crew passed by Geonosis?
– IDK man it’s all a mystery to me.
– Wow the Tark is some celebrity. Have to wonder if people still thought that after the Death Star went up in flames…
– How is it that Tarkin’s connection to the Carrion Spike inspires in me both a feeling of warmth and unease?
– Oh hey Jova how ya doin’? And hey Teller– wait waht?? How’d he get here?
– Kind of hilarious watching Tarkin and Jova just catching up like nothing’s weird while the dork reb is stuck in a trap below them.
– I’d wish Teller good luck but I don’t think he deserves it.
– THERE ARE HEROES ON BOTH SIDES AND EVIL IS EVERYWHERE!
– Oh yeah and THA DEATH STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!!! Or at least the BABY DEATH STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!!!
– It’s sad to think that this battle station he loves so much will one day be the death of him.
– Though I’m not gonna lie. When it first moved… I got chills, too.

And so that concludes the final SW Summer Read of the year. So glad you all got to read along with me!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

This Is Madness 2016 Recap

We interrupt the usually-scheduled Rebel Transmissions to bring you a special report — the breakdown of my choices for THIS IS MADNESS 2016!! W00t! Every year gets more and more challenging… not for the characters being voted for so much as for me, the nerd who can’t pick favorites but somehow has to choose anyway. Usually I attempt to make my choices using the [somewhat] scientific method of “which character’s destiny made the greater impact on the galaxy?”, but usually every year there are a few characters I vote for just on account of coolnessness. Last year I planned the next tournament would be voted for in a 100% scientific manner without any of my fangirly bias, and somehow this year I managed to stick with it. It was tough, but ultimately it got me really really thinking about these characters and their stories and made me appreciate the amazing story as a whole even more! So again, remember, just because I didn’t vote for your favorite doesn’t mean I love them any less, it’s all a matter of impact this year 🙂 Also sorry for the lack of pictures in this one… accidentally deleted them all at the last second. Ah well *shrugs*
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Episode VII, TCW episodes Wookiee Hunt, The Lawless, Sacrifice, and Rebels episode Droids In Distress, Call To Action, Fire Across The Galaxy, The Siege Of Lothal, and The Honorable Ones.

DAY ONE: OBI-WAN VS. PADME/VADER VS. FIFTH

Light Side Vote: Obi-Wan Kenobi. TIM started off this year with a test worthy of Yoda’s trip to Moraband. “You? Vote scientifically without bias? Hah! VOTE AGAINST YOUR GO-TO FAVE JEDI I DARE YOU!”. Well I technically still won that test because Obi-Wan’s legacy truly does make a larger impact. Normally I might pull out the “Padme is Luke and Leia’s mom” card again and use that as an excuse, but here’s something I hadn’t considered until recently: Obi-Wan was the one who suggested “hey Tatooine might work” one fine day after escaping the Trade Federation. Basically Obi-Wan not only trained her son and helped save her daughter, but without him, ANAKIN AND PADME NEVER WOULD HAVE MET, LUKE AND LEIA WOULD NOT EXIST, AND WHATEVER APPRENTICE PALPATINE NAMED VADER WOULD HAVE LAID WASTE TO THE GALAXY. Mind. Blown. Take that voice of the Dark Side.
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. The Fifth Brother might’ve been an excellent contender in TIM this year, but… against Vader? No, not really. When it comes to the Dark Side legacy, Vader wins about every time. I mean, he does sorta help in wiping out the Jedi and destroying a planet… it’s hard to beat that. Fivey carries a similar mercilessness with him (bro don’t bat an eyelash at killing innocents fo’ sho), but he still ranks below the Darth. So yeahh. The villains always are easier to vote for.

DAY TWO: R2 VS. SABINE/JABBA VS. SEVENTH

Light Side Vote: R2-D2. I don’t know why they keep pitting these two against each other, it just doesn’t seem like a fair vote! They’re both tough, confident, smart, spirited, handy with weapons, and loyal to the core. And plus, in the battle of an astromech versus a human you know I’m gonna pick the droid ’cause they’re so darn adorable! They’re both great in different ways. Ultimately, I dug deep though and found Artoo truly did deserve the vote. He’s played quite the part in SW, helping save ’bout every hero there is — Obi-Wan, Anakin, the Ghost crew (blowing up those blasters was all R2’s idea, after all), and most recently, Luke, among others. Hard to argue with that logic, right? But who knows? We have yet to see where Sabine’s destiny leads… someday she may just beat Artoo 🙂
Dark Side Vote: The Seventh Sister. Every year I’m amazed how far Jabba The Hutt gets in the tournament, especially when up against truly awesome villains like Sev here. Granted, looking back, I may have overlooked Jabba’s hand in the villainy game some. He may just chill around in his palace all day but he has rancors and bounty hunters and the rest of his many many lackeys at the ready at all times. I mean, how coldhearted do you have to be to literally have a party on your sail barge while you throw your prisoners to the sarlacc? Or get Boba Fett to test out carbonfreezing on Han? That’s pretty bad. I think I ultimately chose against Jabba based on the fact he can be an ally sometimes, and has actually worked with our heroes instead of against them. Whereas with Seventh, though we don’t see all that she’s has done in her inquisiting career, with her drive and ferocity, and the fact that she’s technically in the business of hunting Jedi… well, I think she owns the vote. The lives she’s taken have no doubt she’s left a negative footprint on the galaxy and the future of the Jedi.

DAY THREE: LUKE VS. HERA/PALPATINE VS. VENTRESS

Light Side Vote: Luke Skywalker. I looked at this one from quite a few angles to figure out who to choose. I mean, Hera is a major player in the existence of the Rebel Alliance. Where would Luke be without her impact? But where would the Alliance be had Luke not helped destroy the Death Star? Or helped save Leia? Or met Han and got him involved? Or defeated Darth Vader? Ultimately, I get the feeling that the galaxy would’ve suffered much more if not for Luke’s hand in all of this. Anddd whoops I realize that last bit sounded like a pun. Sorreh. Definitely not an easy vote to pick, but I think I made the right choice.
Dark Side Vote: Palpatine. Dude, when it comes to being bad, Palpatine’s the king, the president, the Chancellor, and the Emperor of all baddies. I betcha even Supreme Leader Snoke looked up to him when considering Darksidery as a career! Scientifically, no villain in SW can stand up to him. Except maybe Snoke, anyway. Hmm… now wouldn’t that be a matchup! Besides, though Ventress has been pretty bad herself, she’s got what Palpatine doesn’t — a heart. And thank goodness for that.

DAY FOUR: HAN VS. CHEWBACCA/MAUL VS. TARKIN

Light Side Vote: Han Solo. Scientifically, Chewbacca does hold the honor of having help saved two Jedi prior to meeting Han, including one who would become a major player for the Rebels (you know who I’m talkin’ about), and one who would train a great hero who would go on to train someone who has the potential to be a great hero (not namin’ names you should know this one). In some ways he might might might have deserved the vote in retrospect, especially since he keeps getting beat by his copilot year after year. But Han… oh myyyyy… he’s got a lot of honor to hold too! Pushing past my bias that names him my favorite scoundrel/general/pilot/all-around-nice-guy, I think the best reasoning goes to more recent events, as that “someone who has the potential to be a great hero” would never’ve gotten off of Jakku without him, among a great number of events. Captain Solo’s left a truly marvelous legacy behind… who knows where it will lead next? OK hopefully I got all of my thought process on that straight…
Dark Side Vote: Darth Maul. Tarkin and Maul are both heavy-hitters in the villain category for sure. I’ve used the excuse before that Tarkin helped helm the Death Star and so technically helped in killing a planet’s worth of innocent lives. While we don’t know everything Maul has done or will do, he does everything in the most malicious manner imaginable. Anddd I’m starting to realize again that this vote may not be as scientifically accurate as I would’ve preferred it to be. But I will say this: we don’t yet know the impact Maul has made or will make, and because of this, who knows what he’s put into motion already? I might look back years from now after reading another book or watching another show/movie and realize I totally called it. Man I wish I remembered what I was thinking the day I made that vote…

DAY FIVE: YODA VS. FINN/KYLO VS. JANGO

Light Side Vote: Yoda. I was totally excited to see some Force Awakens faces entering the tournament this year, but again, a little bummed out by the matchup. I mean, Yoda vs. Finn? That’s not fair in the slightest. The interesting thing here is, we don’t know the ultimate amount of impact Finn will make on the galaxy. He’s certainly made history, and I know he’ll continue to do so as he fights for the Resistance in the stories to come. But Yoda is the master of all masters, and technically, because he trained Luke who’s (assumptively) training Rey now, whose skills with a lightsaber might‘ve saved Finn’s backside… well, I think our fave storm’s OK with losing to the little green guy.
Dark Side Vote: Kylo Ren. This vote was unfair for the totally opposite reasons. We know very little ultimately about both of them, except they’re both awesome bad guys and have stellar fashion sense. But considering the only legacy we know about Jango is his super-cool son, and can only assume what he’s done with that stellar bounty hunting, blaster-twirling prowess of his… well, he sorta pales in comparison to the guy who blows up multiple planets in just one day and can stop blasterfire in its tracks. #DefiniteUnfairAdvantage But still, Ben here has my vote. *Ducks from three-bladed lightsaber thrown in my direction* SORRY SORRY I MEANT TO SAY KYLO REN!

DAY SIX: AHSOKA VS. BB/DOOKU VS. PHASMA

Light Side Vote: Ahsoka Tano. Oh lookie another unfair matchup! Again, it’s tough to pick who makes the greater difference when we haven’t seen all the difference one of them’s made yet. But considering the Resistance itself might not exist had their been no Rebellion, and the Rebellion might not’ve existed had Ahsoka not been involved… BB-8 would be out of a job. BB-8 gave me a thumbs-down for this stunt… “DUDE I LITERALLY HELPED FIND LUKE SKYWALKER AND THIS IS THE THANKS I GET?” Maybe next year BB…
Dark Side Vote: Count Dooku. Dooku and Phasma are both some kinda tough stuff, but again, we don’t know what impact the Captain will make on the galaxy. Whereas, y’know… helping bring about the Clone Wars and the eventual fall of the Republic kinda gives the “older gentleman” a leg up this time around.

DAY SEVEN: REY VS. EZRA/BOBA VS. HUX

Light Side Vote: Rey. WOW! Now THIS is a matchup! The two new padawans! Ohhoho I loved figuring out this vote! Because in this case, both their stories have yet to be told. Who knows where their legacies will lead? It’s actually really interesting how alike they are… both strong, clever young individuals on their own, doing their best to survive, and then they find an unexpected new family that changes their paths — and themselves — forever. It would’ve been easy to just say “well Ezra ignited that spark of rebellion with that inspiring transmission of his and so owns the vote”, buuuut then I looked at Rey here… GIRL DONE WON A LIGHTSABER DUEL WITH KYLO REN, HAVING NEVER PICKED UP A ‘SABER IN. HER. LIFE. WHOA. I ended up voting for this one scientifically analyzing their use of the Force. Ezra’s quite amazing at it too, but even he had to learn a few things to knock down an adversary. So Rey’s intensely serious skillz earned her the vote. Plus, it’s her first year in the tournament, so it only seemed fair.
Dark Side Vote: General Hux. You may be wondering why in the world I’d pick this guy over Boba Fett. Well first I’d say “What? Hux is a cool dude too!”, but then I’d move on to my logical conclusion: Hux helped Starkiller Base along in destroying all those worlds and all the billions of innocent people on them. Also he is very very passionate about what he does. He don’t take crud from no one! All “Eat this Resistance!” I’m thinking Boba may have a bit more of a heart than that. Plus, Boba was gonna win anyway so I kinda did want to give it to the underdog…

DAY EIGHT: LEIA VS. POE/GRIEVOUS VS. KALLUS

Light Side Vote: Leia Organa. Well this was kinda an obvious answer for me. General Organa is not only the bosslady of the Rebel Alliance/Resistance, but she’s Poe Dameron’s boss period. She did send him out to help find Luke, after all. Plus, yeah, she’s LEIA ORGANA. From princess to general, she’s been nothing but a rock-solid force in the SW universe and her legacy only continues to further as she plays a mom figure to Rey. Don’t worry, Poe, you’re still amazing too. I hope someday to talk about your legacy with the same enthusiasm 🙂
Dark Side Vote: General Grievous. Grievous wins, no questions. Even if I had voted for this before I discovered Kallus is a decent human being, I still would’ve given the General my vote. It’s hard to argue with a cold, calculating cyborg who simply wants to kill Jedi because he can. Agent K may’ve been a jerk in the past, but he clearly has a heart. The only heart Grievous has went up in flames. Yeahhh sometimes winning the Dark Side vote isn’t really a win.

DAY NINE: R2 VS. OBI-WAN/VADER VS. JABBA

Light Side Vote: R2-D2. Wat is dis? I voted for Artoo OVER Obi-Wan?? :O 100% scientific vote man. That little droid did it and saved the ship Obi-Wan was on. Make all the jokes you want Master Kenobi, but that “dime a dozen” droid is the only reason you’re alive or that really anything happened in the SW galaxy! Seriously though really. No Naboo ship, no Padme, no Obi-Wan, no Anakin, no Luke, no Leia, quite possibly no Threepio, no nothin’. Wow is that not an insane thought?
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. This one was all too easy. Feeding your dancers to the rancor is pretty bad, but burning a town just to rile up the Rebels? That’s downright DESPICABLE. No question who got that vote.

DAY TEN: HAN VS. LUKE/MAUL VS. PALAPTINE

Light Side Vote: Han Solo. This one was really interesting. It’d be easy to say “Luke because he defeated Vader”, but I thought long and hard on this one and found that no one deserved this vote more than Han. Had Obi-Wan given those credits to some other pilot, the very fabric of SW would be very very different than we know it today. Han got Luke where he needed to go, and then helped Luke save Leia, and then helped Luke blow up the Death Star. He continually helped the Rebel Alliance before attempting to leave, but then got pulled back into it anyway. Though it wasn’t right that he got betrayed and turned into a decoration in Jabba’s palace, he did get Lando involved in the Rebellion, and he went on to destroy the second Death Star. And to top it all off, had he not met Finn and Rey… THEY WOULDN’T HAVE FOUND LUKE. So that makes it… what? Seven favors you own him now, “Junior”? This only served to make me love Han and his friendship with Luke more and I proceeded to fangirl and cry at the same time. AHH THE FRIENDSHIPNESS!
Dark Side Vote: Palpatine. Not quite as thought-provoking an answer, but still, Palpatine pwns Maul in the badness game. Just does. “There is no mercy…” *shudders*

DAY ELEVEN: YODA VS. AHSOKA/KYLO VS. DOOKU

Light Side Vote: Yoda. It almost pained me to vote against Ahsoka this round. But again, Yoda trains evrahbody! And since Yoda trained Obi-Wan who trained Anakin who trained Ahsoka, the order of Jedi mastery just makes sense to give it to him. Plus, the last few years, he always got matched up against one of my go-to favorites, like Obi-Wan, Luke, and Qui-Gon, and that really wasn’t the fairest since Yoda is just as awesome as they are. So I’m actually glad to give Yoda some credit where credit is due for once 😀
Dark Side Vote: Count Dooku. Kylo Ren seems like the obvious choice, right? I mean, you remember what I said about him blowing up all those planets. But Count Dooku done went and helped bring down the entire system of government in the galaxy. THAT is pretty intense if you ask me, and a bit on a larger scale. Plus, if Dooku hadn’t played his part in the fall of the Republic the Empire Darth Vader served might’ve never existed and who would be Kylo Ren’s senpai then? Yay underdog votes!

DAY TWELVE: LEIA VS. REY/GRIEVOUS VS. BOBA

Light Side Vote: Leia Organa. All I’m sayin’ is Leia is the bosslady and she’s helped orchestrate the Rebellion since she was a teen. Her levels of impact are unrivaled. Also, had she not sent Poe and BB-8 to Jakku… Rey wouldn’t be wielding a lightsaber right now. Talk about a legacy.
Dark Side Vote: General Grievous I’m sorry I didn’t vote for Boba Fett this tournament, really I am. But Grievous is a monster, man… he’s done some downright atrocious stuff in helping further Palpatine’s schemes. He’s one of those villains that’s hard to find the good in, y’know? Hard for a bounty hunter, even a Mando bounty hunter with a vendetta, to compete with. They’re both still amazingly cool characters, don’t get me wrong. Just… yeah, understand the amount of impact.

DAY THIRTEEN: OBI-WAN VS. LUKE/VADER VS. MAUL

Light Side Vote: Obi-Wan Kenobi. Well, obviously since Obi-Wan trained Luke and convinced Yoda to further train Luke. He’s kinda a big deal.
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. Vader Vs. Maul is always always always a toughie. Both have done things that leave me aghast in shock. But only one of them helmed that ultimate weapon… and only one successfully defeated Sidious. Kind of a stretch maybe, but I think it makes sense.

DAY FOURTEEN: YODA VS. REY/KYLO VS. BOBA
Light Side Vote: Yoda. Because again, Yoda trained Luke who goes on to train Rey. That’s a pretty important amount of legacy to leave if you ask me.
Dark Side Vote: Kylo Ren. Again, when it comes to being bad, Boba is a sweet cinnamon roll compared to the likes of these Darksiders he’s been matched up against. Starkiller Base just done did more damage than those blasters, you and I both know that.

DAY FIFTEEN: LUKE VS. REY/VADER VS. KYLO
Light Side Vote: Luke. Whee the masters goin’ against the apprentices!! What can I say? Rey may have some natural talent, but Luke’s going to help her refine it. The path she chooses, the legacy she leads, will forever be influenced by her new master. Deeeep.
Dark Side Vote: Darth Vader. “YOU’LL NEVER BE AS STRONG AS DARTH VADER!” Sorry just truth Kylo bro. He’s his senpai, his role model, his inspiration, and his grandpa. Darth Vader wins all the vote here.

FINAL VOTE: LUKE VS. VADER

What can I say? I heart the Light Side. Luke did defeat Darth Vader, but ultimately with love, not fighting. Luke’s legacy, his impact on the galaxy is astronomical. And like say, he’s about to do like Yoda and pass on what he’s learned. I think Luke completely deserved the vote, and the final win this year, don’t you think? 😀
And on a totally 100% biased fangirly note… he’s just a flat-out amazingly incredible character!

TIMSketch

And so ends another great This Is Madness! Can only imagine what next year’s tournament will hold.
Also #JynErsoFor2017Champion 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: The Siege Of Lothal

So here we are… all these months later, finally digging into the start of Rebels Season 2! I can’t begin to tell you how awesome this feels… the fact I am sitting here writing about this amazing episode… the fact that we have reunited with the Ghost family… just how much we’ve been through in this past episode… it’s all kinds of WOW. So wish me luck this is gonna be a long blog and I’m so much fangirling right now it’ll be a miracle if this post makes any sense XP
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode V, Episode VI, TCW episode The Wrong Jedi, Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Call To Action, Fire Across The Galaxy and The Siege Of Lothal.

Title image for Rebel Transmission 201

So it was an ordinary sort of day for our Rebels as we catch them in the middle of a scuffle with the Empire, but there is something new in this familiar (but wonderfully so) scenario — they’ve brought some new friends, the Phoenix squad. The Phoenix dudes know a thing or two about knockin’ down TIE fighters and flyin’ A-wings (if I am wrong forgive me), and Hera’s glad to have some helping hands around. Kanan voices some disagreement on that matter hidden in the form of banter, but that conversation didn’t last for long because well, TIEs. Ezra’s doing awesome manning the turret, though Zeb’s not doing quite as good at holding his balance when Hera makes a few sharp turns XD Sabine’s at the Phantom‘s controls and getting those Imperial crates loose with flying colors (I don’t think there’s a phrase that suits her better 🙂 ). Chopper is also a victim of Hera’s sharp turns as flails about in the Ghost‘s cockpit. Ah I tell ya this is the best way they could’ve opened this episode… getting us right on in with the Ghost crew doing their thang! You get this thrilling battle, Ezra’s enthusiasm, Sabine’s natural flair, Hera and Kanan’s adorableness, Zeb and Chopper bringing a couple of laughs, and all of that awesomeness in the first couple minutes! Oh but just as Hera was about to grab those crates, two Star Destroyers crash the party! Ezra appropriately drops the “k-word” to that. Sabine helps one of the Phoenixes with getting a TIE of his tail. The command ship’s under fire and Commander Sato’s not lovin’ the turn this battle just took. The Ghost manages to grab those crates at the last second and just like that the mini-Alliance is headin’ home into hyperspace. A win for today!
Now, it’s safe to say that a certain Prime Minister wasn’t having any wins today. All eyes look to Lothal’s Imperial gal-in-charge to get those Rebels under control. Tarkin’s mad after he lost that ship of his to the rebel scum, Kallus is seemingly enjoying throwing all this pressure on her, and oh yeah DARTH VADER has some choice words. Ohh yes the Darth don’t play. He knows what he wants and he knows how to get what he wants. Tua’s not sure what exactly she’s supposed to do about all of this. But Vader’s all “you can tell that to General Tarkin when you visit him.” BOOM DROP THE MIC. She tries to use her standings to get her out of this but Kallus leaves her with a rather chilling “don’t worry, we’ll manage in your absence.”. *Shudders* Much yikes. Poor poor Minister Tua! She may’ve been one persnickety Imperial in the past, but I can’t help but feel bad for her in this mess. On another note, it’s kinda funny that Kallus seems to be placing himself on the same level as Vader… somehow I get the feeling that Lord Vader’ll be the end of the agent ultimately. Y’know Kallus if you’re thinking of retiring it might be a good time to do so… because as we see, quitting is kinda… impossible in this business…
Meanwhile, the Ghost crew was at a mini-Alliance meeting with Sato and Tano (sorry I’m just gonna keep calling them the “mini-Alliance” right now XD ), discussing the end results of the mission, which apparently wasn’t a total win ’cause there weren’t any shield generators in those crates, something the Phoenix guys could most certainly use. Ahsoka throws in some of her trademark optimism with a hopeful “maybe next time”. And then in runs Chopper with a transmission. Sato don’t like the interruption, but Kanan, all-too bored with the meeting, is more than glad for the distraction. Hera shoots him a death glare, Kanan gives her this face that says “yeah and whatchu gon’ do bout it?” XD Hera consents to at least a one-way transmission. Old Jho comes on with a… friend… that friend being Maketh Tua. Kanan isn’t interested in what she’s got to say, but Hera’s willing to hear her out. Tua really really wants to get off Lothal ASAP and she’s willing to trade secret Imperial intel for such. She is completely and utterly done with the Empire, and Ezra can sense her fear and knows she’s not lying. If that’s not enough, she knows why exactly the Empire came to Lothal, and it’s Emperor-ordered kinda stuff. Oooooh intrigue! Whilst the Rebels discuss among themselves what the best move is, Ezra is the first to step up and agree to help her. And with that, the Ghost crew and the Phoenixes follow. Help is on the way! But oh ho ho Hera is not done with her copilot. Ahsoka’s expression as Hera storms off after Kanan seems to say “psh good luck bro” XP As soon as the Captain catches up to him in the hallway, she starts laying down some choice words (and another Rebel sorta weaves around them with a “I am so not getting involved in whatever this is” expression on his face XD ). Kanan rather has a problem with being part of a militant group; he liked it better doing his own thing when it comes to fighting the Empire. Hera literally has him backed up against the wall to try and get it through his head why this is a good thing, I mean these guys did kinda save his life (and ultimately all of theirs). But he’s just not comfortable with the idea of getting mixed up with another war after what conspired during the Clone Wars. Hera softens her approach a bit after this. It’s easy to see both sides of this, to get Hera’s logic, but also hurt for all the hurt Kanan’s been through. And at the same time I can’t help but devour their honesty with each other and the bond they have. My heart melts the way she puts her hand on his arm… :3 Well that sure took a rabbit trail, didn’t it now? I’m sorry, but that’s how my mind works… I observe something squee-worthy, I talk about said squee-worthy something! I can’t deny that part of me! OK so anyway Ezra witnessed a bit of their conversation, and I have to wonder what he’s thinking, as Ezra seems really into this not-fighting-alone thing. It’ll be interesting if we see his loyalties challenged later on in the series, if Ezra ever finds himself potentially choosing between Master Jarrus and the rest of the Rebels. Food for thought indeed. But elsewhere, things are heading in a southerly direction… as in the quiet of the Lothal Imperial Complex as Tua casually walks out of her office, she doesn’t see Kallus sending off his good friend an Imperial Probe Droid in her direction. Hoo boyyy.
So now the Rebs are off, this time in a shuttle with Chopper driving (which as you can imagine everyone questions). Hehe Chopper totally takes his piloting job seriously. “HEY AS LONG AS I’M DRIVIN’ I AIN’T TAKIN’ ANY OF YOUR BACKTALK KIDS! Now, please remain seated, we are about to depart.” XD Well, this is the kinda thing you’ve gotta do when the Empire knows who you are. So Ezra’s got the plan down as to when and where they’re picking up Minister Tua. Zeb and Sabine voice again their uncertainties over all of this and why they’re even bothering to help someone who gave them so much crud in the past. Ezra’s answer is incredibly tear-jerking awesome: “Because that’s what we do, we help people”. Regardless of who they are and what they’ve done, Ezra doesn’t change his mission, he will help those who need help. Hera gives him a “proud parent” smile, and I basically start sobbing because that is so so amazing. It’s only been a handful of episodes and look how the boy’s grown already! I am digging on this somewhat newfound optimism; I guess it’s only natural after facing impossible odds and even the possibility of your own demise and finding out you’re part of something greater. He came out of it with a scar, but at the same time, he came out of it with a new attitude! OK enough feely rambling… it’s about to get real as they come back to the home planet. As they begin their descent, Ezra is hit by an unfamiliar feeling… one that leaves him… cold. Sgain *shudders*. And on top of that, Ezra can’t help but notice the sudden spike in the number of Star Destroyers in the docking bay. Clearly their last stunt got them even more attention than they thought. Yeah this has “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” written allllll over it (Anyone notice that I don’t think one character has spoken those words since the show began? Seems odd, doesn’t it?). But the show must go on. As they’re sneaking through the alleys, they’ve got a few white-armored problems standing in their way. Kanan’s solution? FRIENDSHIP! OK not exactly. He took a second to get chummy with an old Stormtrooper “buddy” and then pulled out the fists. As far as Kanan’s concerned, being a Rebel doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun once in a while! And just like that, Master Jarrus is now donning the buckethead’s duds. Classic move, my brotha! Ezra punctuates the moment in the best way… “I’m kinda jealous all I’ve got is the helmet!” XD XD
So while Kanan scoped around down below, Hera, Ezra, and Sabine took to the upper levels. And it seems they’ve got a new problem… it seems Kallus didn’t just send a probe droid along, but he also managed to give the Minister an escort. Looks like that was the most uncomfortable drive ever. Yeesh if Kallus wasn’t an absolute jerk before he’s become even more so as of late… I betcha he knew all of what Vader was planning beforehand, hence all of those ominous, foreboding statements and creepy smiles. Though he has no clue that there’s one buckethead out there who’s not like the rest… and then Sabine makes the first move and starts sending out some laserfire! Once she starts, everyone gets in on it, Rebels and ‘troopers and jerk ISBN agents alike! In the midst of the chaos, our heroes send the Minister off to their getaway shuttle. And they were almost home free when that very shuttle — with Minister Tua on it — goes up in smoke. Even with all the trouble she’s helped cause, I admittedly was saddened by her loss. She was probably the least jerky Imperial we’ve seen the entire series, and the fact she ultimately chose the right path — even if it was a little too late — is pretty noble. I applaud you, Maketh Tua, for being a pretty awesome Imperial. She will be missed. Yeah just like with Aresko and Grint, you kinda can’t help but feel bad for them, I think because we see just how cruel the Empire works. You’re always at the mercy of someone greater, someone crueler, someone with no mercy, and that “someone” will end your life if they see fit to do so, and when you’ve got Sith and Sith-y sorts involved, it’s inevitable. It’s understandable as to why our heroes can’t help but look on in shock and dismay. And as the Rebels work to avoid Kallus and the rest of the ‘troopers, they don’t see the terrifying, dark presence watching from above… and as they make their getaway, the return of Kallus’ chilling smile. And their getaway doesn’t last for long as a walker takes aim at their shuttle. I’d say that today was not a win for them. Especially since the crew’s now on the lam more than ever with the death of the Prime Minister apparently on their hands. All as Lord Vader predicted…
The Ghost crew finds shelter for the moment in the Bridgers’ place. Hera believes their best move now is to leave Lothal behind for good. Ezra, however, wants to find some way to show Lothal the truth, about them and about the Empire. But that looks like it won’t be happening anytime soon because in come a slew of Stormtroopers knockin’ the door down! Chopper fights back the best he can, zapping one buckethead and sealing the door shut, but there’s not much he can do against thermal detonators. I think it’s safe to say Ezra’s old home is no longer 😦 Without many options, our Rebels decide their best bet is to break for the Imperial Complex and grab a ship there. Oh the way Ezra looked back at his house… I can’t even 😥 “Guess there is no going home.”
Mission “Get Off Of Lothal Alive” is a go. Kanan, still in his ‘trooper suit, and Ezra, back in his old cadet uniform, are making their way in. A suspicious buckethead causes some problems, but nothing a good ol’ fashioned Jedi mind trick won’t help, at least when done by a “professional” like Kanan. You know if mind tricks only work on the weak-minded, then the Empire really should consider hiring some smarter people. You’d think of all people Vader would know this, but I suppose he doesn’t screen all their employees. Nevertheless, it’s a good thing they don’t hire strong-minded folks ’cause Kanan and Ezra had some important cargo to get in — the rest of their crew. Zeb took it like a man NOT 😛 I was thinking at first “It’s nice to know claustrophobic people like me exist in the SW Universe!” and then he drops one of his best lines ever “What? I need to breathe! Have you smelled me?!” XD 😆 But he’s back in his element once he can squish a couple of ‘troopers again. Looks like this plan’s gone quite well. Perhaps today could at least be a little bit of a win for them. On top of that, they find a whole bunch of military-grade shield generators just lying around waiting to be used by the mini-Alliance! Ka-win! They were this close to their ride off this rock… and then Kanan and Ezra stopped dead in their tracks. That cold presence again. It’s Darth Vader. Our heroes don’t know this guy as well as we do, but with a red lightsaber and his helmet putting off a dark, soulless, deadly vibe, they just know they’re in trouble. Man oh man I remember seeing the season 2 trailer for the first time and just how much this terrified me. I’m all “aw dang someone’s gonna die this season”. I mean, a couple of padawans are completely NBD to Vader. Kanan and Ezra put up quite a fight, but throwing them around is as easy as (or perhaps in his case, easier than) breathing for the dark lord. I’m not sure I’ve ever feared for a character’s life more than when Vader pinned Ezra against the walker and slowly used the Force to aim his own lightsaber at his throat. OK that’s probably not the only time (do we even need to discuss the events of the TCW season 5 finale?), but you get what I mean! If you say you were completely not worried about Ezra you are a liar. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again IT IS A SHEER MIRACLE ANYONE SURVIVED THIS. Kanan was lucky to only have his shoulder grazed. Sabine was lucky to only have her armor damaged. The Vader of Star Wars Rebels is the stuff of nightmares. He’s in his prime here, no son to make him question himself yet, just a whole lot of angry in there. HE LITERALLY SURVIVES GETTING HIT BY A COLLAPSED WALKER. And nothing comes off more terrifying than something you (seemingly) can’t defeat. You can definitely see the difference between what a guy with a red lightsaber can do as versus what an actual Sith can do. And even though the Rebels manage to get away with their lives… Darth has complete confidence he’s still got this.
The whole debacle still has the Rebels reeling. I mean, fighting a Sith Lord is not what you would call an everyday occurrence, and Kanan knows just how fortunate their escape was. And the cold hard fact is they still have really no way offworld as long as Vader and the rest of the Empire’s on their tail. But Hera hatches a brilliant idea, perhaps a certain smuggler can help. A certain smuggler who, at the suggestion, gets a big fat “NO” from the boys 🙂 Yeah you know who that would be!
Back in the Imperial Complex, Vader too has a “brilliant idea” (at least from his point of view). Whether or not it would ultimately lead them to the Rebels, he wants Tarkintown burned. GASP! He’s gonna hurt innocent lives just so he can mess with the compassion-driven help-anyone-who-needs-help Ghost family! Because I’ve seen so much of the good Anakin has done as of late and because I know he redeems himself ultimately, I admit sometimes I don’t consider Vader so much as a straight-up villain as a misguided hero-turned-villain. But man… this really reminds me that he really can be a straight-up, cruel, merciless villain. At this juncture, it doesn’t matter what he’s done or who he will be, right now he’s pretty much all bad. BOO VADER! WHY YOU GOTTA DO THAT?!
On a much, much lighter note, yep, the Rebels called up Lando Calrissian! The bro seems pleased to have gotten a transmission from the captain. Kanan’s the first to point out this a business call XD It takes a little convincing to get Lando to give them a hand (and a promise of three of those shield generators), but he agrees and puts them in the capable hands of his droid back at his place. And yes I happen to love that his droid rocks a Texas drawl… I think that’s a first for SW! 😀 But while they’re there, Ezra sees smoke rising from a distance. He doesn’t hesitate for a minute to grab a speederbike and follow it. And at the other end lies smoldering rubble where Tarkintown once lied. The very town where Ezra started to question what it meant to help others. Everyone is gone. They’re Imperial prisoners, but considering how the Empire works, I don’t think that’s much better than if they had just killed them. TEARS. SO MANY TEARS. But even in all of this, Ezra still holds out for hope that they can still fight this. Kanan has his doubts in the midst of such a difficult situation, but Ezra isn’t afraid to do the right thing. Again, WOW, Ezra you are amazing in this episode. I mean, he’s always amazing, but seeing him taking this stance, seeing hope in the midst of destruction… that’s not easy for anyone to do, and yet he does it. Oh, how he’s grown up! I’m sorry let’s get on to the next scene before I start crying again– whoops, too late. So anyway, plan B for Mission “Get Off Lothal Alive” involves some old transponders Sabine wired to give off the same signals as their shuttle, to confuse the Imperials as they try to get offworld (“Sounds like a lousy Lando plan” “It’s my plan, just his gear” “Sounds like a lousy Sabine plan” “Better than Lando’s!” XD ). It does work for a bit, but the Imperials are cleverer than they look and they send out some TIEs to take care of the extra signals. But as soon as they figure out which signal’s the real one, our heroes dash off down hyperspace lane! They’re home free! Though Kanan’s still unsure about being a member of the mini-Alliance, he’s outvoted on this one. The Ghost crew’s next move is back with the Phoenixes.
Admiral Konstantine was probably terrified to make that call to Vader to tell him the Rebels escaped. I half-expected Darth would do his thing and give him a good Force-choking, but he’s chill and struts off to his ship. As we find out from Kallus, that particular shuttle’s got a tracking device on it. This sinks in as the scene comes to an end. Minimal dialogue, no score, 100% chilling.
Yeah just when we thought they’d be home free, Chopper happens to take notice of the transmitter. Not really the first thing you want to say to Sato and Tano when you run into the conference room. And guess who the first guest to show up to the party is? Darth Vader. The Phoenix crew thought one TIE alone was no big deal… emphasis on “thought”. Two fighters are down and Vader has no problem hitting the command ship where it hurts. Hera’s the first to get involved, and the rest of the Ghost team follows, with Ahsoka in tow. Ah it felt so so good seeing her smile as she asks “mind if I tag along?”! She’s grown up, but she has not lost that optimism of hers that is among many reasons she’s such an incredible character 🙂 And on top of that, seeing her interact with Ezra and all the Rebels is just so stinkin’ cool! It’s more than I could have ever asked to see in this awesome series! OK putting the fangirl button on pause now. We’ve got a battle to fight. Vader downs another two Phoenixes, and it’s go time for our heroes. I love it when Hera says “OK kids, make mom and dad proud” 😀 Aw nuts I hit the “play” button on my fangirl remote again! Sorry *hits pause*. The command ship is just about done for, and it’s all up to the Ghost now. Ahsoka can tell that whoever’s flying that ship is pretty strong with the Force. And I think it’s safe to say those of us in the audience held our breath as she reached out with the Force to uncover this guy’s identity. I mean, I had no clue we’d be seeing their worlds collide just yet. It’s one of those things you know is inevitable but you just don’t see coming when it does happen. Ezra recognizes the pilot as that Sith Lord they fought earlier. And Ahsoka… I think she just recognizes him period. And Vader recognizes her. We all know it was pretty horrifying for Luke to find out his dad’s a dark lord, but imagine how it must feel for Ahsoka! Luke found that out at the last minute, but Ahsoka spent years with him. She and Anakin were like brother and sister, they fought together, he taught her almost everything she knows, they laughed and cried together, and saved each other’s lives many times. In some ways, this reveal is more heartwrenching to experience than Luke’s. I know that’s a very controversial statement, but just put yourself in Ahsoka’s shoes, regardless of how she felt when she left the Jedi Order. Not to steal thunder from Episode V, of course, both reveals are different and terrifying in their own way. You know what? Perhaps it’s just safer to say they were equally terrifying and world-rocking reveals. Disregard the whole “more than” thing. Any way you spin it it’s a hard truth to swallow. Whether Ahsoka knows for absolute absolute certain who’s flying that TIE or not, knowing anything at all knocked her out like a light. At this point, it’s looking like the mini-Alliance’s best option is to make a run for it, especially when a few Star Destroyers join the party. And now Vader’s very very interested in finding out who’s aboard that ship. At least this gives the rest of the mini-Alliance a chance to abandon ship safely. Hera’s escape plan is absolute genius, though… she hits the hyperspace just as the Star Destroyers were zeroing in on them, and guess who’s in the Imperial Fleet’s path now? No one important just LORD VADER!! Konstantine’s shocked face is priceless XD They managed to turn off their targeting before they fry their boss, but yeah somebody’s getting a whole lotta Force chokin’ tonight… but forget the random Imperials our Rebels live to fight another day!
Later on, in the quiet of the Ghost, Ahsoka decides to talk a little with her fellow Jedi about whoever this Sith is. Ahsoka claims she doesn’t know who the guy is, though I suppose “from a certain point of view” she could mean she doesn’t know who he is as versus who he was, if that makes any sense. So in that case I wouldn’t say she’s lying. But regardless, both Ahsoka and Kanan know that this guy is something they haven’t tangled with since the Clone Wars, and it won’t be the last time they’ll tangle with him. Ezra’s still all gung-ho for fighting back, and then Kanan drops a lovely piece of Gandalfian wisdom: “We must find the strength to fight; the greater courage is knowing when not to fight”. EPIC. Hera and the rest of the crew walk in then, making it clear “we’ll be beside you either way” 🙂 AWW FEELZ! Ahsoka smiles, clearly glad to have such amazing cohorts. But while the Ghost team exchanges a happy moment, Ahsoka still has to come to grips with a very painful reality… that her teacher, her friend, her “big brother”… has gone to the dark side.
Elsewhere, Vader was having a similar conversation with the Emperor. Now that he knows his apprentice lives, Vader and Sidious see this as a new opportunity, as she could potentially lead them to more remaining Jedi. For now, they’ll leave the job of hunting down the Rebels to a new inquisitor. All I can say to that is “May the Force be with you, Rebs… always. SERIOUSLY. Especially now.”
And thus the second season of this amazing show has blown all our minds! So much so it took me two days to write all this! But YAYYY REBELS! Only a few months until the show is back officially! I’ll be watching all the reruns a million times until then! So thank you for joining me… this was fun! Until next post…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight