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

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TIM Recap: Rule Of Thirty-Two

It’s that time of year again, friends…. the This Is Madness Star Wars Character Tournament is in full swing! It’s a lot of fun to participate in something of this sort since basketball’s not in my wheelhouse, but it’s not without difficulty. I mean, picking favorites is not one of my strong suits, especially when I love all the SW characters! Last year I chronicled all my votes on tumblr, but for this year, I’ve decided to recap all of my votes here, since some of my explanations can get pretty wordy 🙂 So without further ado, my votes for the Rule Of 32! And remember, I love all these guys equally, really, so if you don’t agree with my vote, just remember we’re really on the same page still.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode VI, TCW episodes The Mandalore Plot, Sphere Of Influence, Nightsisters, Wookiee Hunt, Brothers, Revival, the “D-Squad” story arc, Shades Of Reason, The Lawless, Voices, Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, Idiot’s Array, and Fire Across The Galaxy.

DAY ONE: HERA VS. LEIA/INQUISITOR VS. GRIEVOUS.

I was super-excited for TIM this year because this year the Rebels would get to join in! But I guess I never thought as to what it’d be like to have to choose between amazing heroes from the SW films and these new amazing heroes from Rebels. Usually, my method is to choose the hero based on their amount of impact on the SW Galaxy or on the other character. But dang… it’s a lot harder than it looks!
For Rebels, I ended up choosing Leia. In all technicality, Hera’s probably made a teensy bit more impact, as she’s technically Leia’s boss in this situation. But man… I just couldn’t go up against “her worship”! I suppose a lot of it’s because we’ve seen how awesome Leia commands her fellow Rebels through some of the biggest events in SW history. And she’s Anakin and Padme’s daughter and Luke’s sister so that also gave her a bit of a leg up. Leia won, which doesn’t surprise me, and I bet Hera’s proud of her 🙂
For Bad Guys, I ended up giving the vote to The ‘Quiz here. I was a little surprised in some ways that Grievous won. My method for Dark Side votes usually is on account of who’s the badder, but in a way it just seems like I’m oftentimes picking the “cooler” of the two. Now yeah there’s no doubt Grievous is a lean, mean, lightsaber-slashing machine, and I’ve certainly voted for him a good bit in the past two tournaments. Considering how absolutely in-your-face nasty the General is, you’d think he’dve had my vote. But The Inquisitor… he’s got class! He’s just as menacing, even without two less ‘sabers on hand, and he does it all with this seriously chilling flair! I think there’s something to be said for the way he does things as versus Grievous… a quiet evil that isn’t always so quietly evil. Ah well, somehow that came out an underdog vote, but no hard feelings to the General.

DAY TWO: QUI-GON VS. YODA/JANGO VS. GREEDO
TIM Picks: Qui-Gon & Jango Fett
So obviously I’m a terrible human being because every year without fail I keep voting against Yoda on the first round. It’s not that I don’t love Yoda, guys, it’s just they keep pitting him against Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan and I can’t vote against them somehow! It’s useless to resist! But hey, let’s give Qui-Gon some credit here, I mean, he did totally uncover the Force-spirit stuff before Yoda did! So if Yoda shows up in the Sequel Trilogy (and the fact he already did show up in Episode VI), he’s got no one to thank but Master Jinn, the rebel Jedi 🙂 If more people used my methods to vote he might win one of these, but ah well. Maybe next year?
For Bounty Hunters… it’s almost unfair to pit Greedo against a Mando! Even if that Mando doesn’t do too well ultimately! But yeah, even knowing some of Greedo’s adventures prior to Episode IV in The Clone Wars, this guy still doesn’t really hold a candle to Jango in terms of badness, and in some ways coolness (ahh don’t hurt me Greedo fans!! *ducks under desk*). I’d really like to see some of these guys more equally matched in years to come. Perhaps Jango versus Pre Vizsla? That’d be interesting…

DAY THREE: HAN VS. LANDO/MAUL VS. PALPATINE
TIM Picks: Han & Maul
Another year, another win for Captain Solo! I keep feeling bad for Lando and thinking “maybe next year”, but it never happens! Ugh Han’s just one of those characters I can’t vote against! He’s just so amazing! He’s one of the most epic of epic heroes! Here’s a tip, Lando… if you want my vote next year, send me a puffer pig and complement my art. You’ll have it in the bag for sure then 🙂
As for the Sith… yeah another vote for coolness over badness, because dude in the game of evil Darth Sidious here always wins! Even then, Maul’s still quite the terrifying, absolutely nasty guy. He started out so quietly evil and then blossomed into a revenge-seeking, robot-legged crazy man. You could almost say he’s at equals with Sidious, but well… the Emperor did completely pwn him. But not in this battle, no sir! Sorry Sidious but he’s still cooler than you 😛 *Gets hit by Force lightning*

DAY FOUR: REX VS. GREGOR/HONDO VS. VIZSLA

You’re probably thinking I have something against Captain Rex since I seem to vote for every other clone over him. But look, Rex is easily everyone’s favorite clone, and I feel like these other brothas deserve some love, too. Gregor was so brave! He put aside his dead-end job on an even more so dead-end planet to save Colonel Gascon and the droids! He gave up his life to help them succeed in their mission! If that isn’t brave, I don’t know what is. C’mon won’t anyone else give him some love? Yes I know Rex is great and I’ll always love him but there’s no “I” in “The 501st”! (Unless, of course, you spell it out but not the point)
And yeah another underdog vote went to Hondo Ohnaka, and it definitely was on account of who’s the better person. Hondo’s a pretty decent fellow, despite he’s a pirate and may or may not cause you trouble depending on who’s paying him more. But darn it I love pirates! And his sense of wit! And really everything else about him! Pre Vizsla can’t help but be cool, of course, since he’s a Mando, but I’m often surprised he has as many friends as he does… ’cause he sure packs a lot of attitude! That moment in The Mandalore Plot when he throws the word “failure” at his fellow soldier and shoots him without even looking always stands out to me. He is one bad dude, for sure. So bad that I really couldn’t not give it to Hondo. And may I also mention that Hondo took on Darth Maul and lived? Can’t really say that for Pre, now can we?

DAY FIVE: R2-D2 VS. SABINE/TARKIN VS. PIETT
TIM Picks: R2-D2 & Tarkin
This was one of the hardest votes for me. Not the Tarkin vs. Piett thing, that was way too easy, considering I have trouble remembering Piett’s name half the time and how terrifying Tarkin truly is. But man… choosing between Artoo and Sabine was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Because Sabine is just so awesome, and you know how I’ve used the excuse to vote for Qui-Gon because he’s my SW Myers-Briggs twin? Sabine is technically now my Rebels twin! So a part of me still wonders if I should’ve given her the vote. But that little droid’s done a lot in life! He’s been around since day one and will continue even into the new trilogy! And he even played his part in Rebels, giving Sabine the suggestion to overload those blasters as a weapon! It was mostly that last bit that got me to vote for Artoo. That, and he’s just so stinkin’ adorable! Ladies and gentlemen, another character I can’t vote against, R2-D2!

DAY SIX: AHSOKA VS. OBI-WAN/BOBA VS. VENTRESS
TIM Picks: Obi-Wan & Ventress
Boy this was a hard one on both sides. I mean, obviously I knew from the get-go I’d probably end up giving Master Kenobi the vote, since I can’t humanly vote against him. But it hasn’t been long since Ahsoka waltzed back into the SW Universe and made me love her even more! So I had to rationalize it on the account that Obi-Wan trained Anakin who trained Ahsoka. It’s not so much on a level of who made the greater impact, because Ahsoka heading up the Rebel Alliance and Obi-Wan getting Luke involved with the Rebels to start with are both extremely important. But eh that’s how it goes in the TIM tournament! Next year will be your year, Ahsoka… next year!
Now as for the bounty hunters out here… this one was incredibly hard. Because Boba’s a shoo-in, right? He’s everyone’s favorite bounty hunter! (Except for the Dengar minority) And every year I’ve voted for him, because of course he’s just that cool and just that awesome. But Ventress… ugh she’s really really grown on me these past few years. She was already a super-cool Sith-y sort, but then she went and became a bounty hunter and has proved to actually have a heart. And darn it if there’s one thing I can’t vote against, it’s a scoundrel who’s not so scoundrel-y after all! And my inability to vote against her will increase once I read Dark Disciple. So yeah I am sorry, fellow Fett fans, I have let you down. But at least he won the vote and will likely get my vote in the next round!

DAY SEVEN: CHEWBACCA VS. ZEB/VADER VS. DOOKU
TIM Picks: Chewbacca & Darth Vader
OK you know what’s just as hard as choosing between Sabine and Artoo? It’s choosing between Zeb and Chewie. I never would’ve expected it’d be this hard to pick between movie characters and Rebels characters! I mean, they’re both epic and all kinds of awesome and know how to handle bucketheads, but how do you choose between them?? HOW I SAY?! Well, if they could’ve arm-wrestled it might’ve helped me pick, but honestly I have no clue how that’d go down. If perhaps Chewbacca had been among the Wookiees Zeb helped rescue I might’ve given it to our favorite Honor Guard. But then it occurred to me that Chewie helped save Ahsoka, who in turn grew up and played a major part in the Rebellion that Zeb is currently a big part of himself. So there Chewbacca wins! Zeb wasn’t too happy about that, but he went and thrashed a few ‘troopers and he feels better now.
As for the Sith… um… yeah, Darth Vader couldn’t not win. Dooku’s pretty nasty himself but seriously… against Vader? No contest. We’ve all seen Episode III, it doesn’t end well for the Count. And plus, Vader’s just awesome period.

DAY EIGHT: PADME VS. JAR JAR/JABBA VS. FORTUNA
TIM Picks: Padme & Jabba
Honestly, at first, I couldn’t believe they would actually put Jar Jar into the tournament. I mean, I love him, but I’m not sure I can say the same for the majority. And really, I wanted to vote for Padme, because she’s strong, clever, smart, and fabulous, and because of the kinda big deal role she plays in the SW Galaxy as Luke and Leia’s mom. I wasn’t going to vote for Jar Jar just because I wasn’t sure anyone else would, that wouldn’t be fair. I have reasons when I vote for underdogs! But then… well, the sound you heard was the sound of all those who filled out brackets ahead of time crying. Jar Jar’s actually got the majority of the vote! Talk about an upset! So either he has a larger fanbase and less people hating on him now or else a bunch of people just wanted to throw off what everyone expected. But hey, I’m happy for ya Representative Binks! You go win this thang!! And again, in the battle of the baddies, Jabba always wins as versus his lackeys. Though it was nice to see Bib’s face in the ring this time around instead of Salacious Crumb 🙂

So there you have it guys, it’s been some awesome first round of This Is Madness, hasn’t it? I’ll keep you updated as each round continues!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Race For The Holocrons: A Closer Look

So while the Rebels took an off day this week, I figured it’s about time we get back to talking about all of the New Yoda Chronicles that’ve come out in the past year! Yeah these Lego specials just can’t help but be an absolute delight to watch. And even though I’m probably the only one to talk about them seriously, I’m glad people actually want to read these to begin with. So thank you for that. So let’s dive in and go deep in the second chapter of the first trilogy of TNYC, Race For The Holocrons!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode II, Episode III, Episode IV, Episode V, Episode VI, Star Wars Droids, The Padawan Menace, The Empire Strikes Out, and Escape From The Jedi Temple, and TCW episode Wookiee Hunt.

So since we last left our heroes, Yoda and Obi-Wan decided that it’s about time Luke started his holocron training. Luke doesn’t even really know what holocrons are, but he knows he’s gotta go find them. Of course, problem: Vader and his boss want to find them, too, as they have the potential to reveal info valuable to the Empire. So Luke followed the Force to where they reside… Utapau? Well, he’s still figuring out the whole “Force” thing, so you can’t blame him from ending up planets away from where he was supposed to be. Besides, in regards to Tatooine, Ben had told him there was nothing left for him there! I guess he meant in regard to his everyday farm life, not literally. Let’s just cut Young Skywalker some slack here. So as would be expected, Luke and his crew hit a dead-end, as the head ‘pauan has no clue what a holocron is. But the ‘pauan doesn’t miss a beat and offers up some used Clone Wars-era starships to the gang. No clue how the Utapauans managed to keep these vehicles in such good shape, and how it is a bunch of ‘troopers never came over and reclaimed it. Sidious must’ve regarded it all as junk. Leia politely turns down the offer, and Luke, exasperated from his failed search, kicks a pebble over the old vehicles. But apparently there’s another brand of “vehicle” in the pile — BOGA? Or at least a critter the same species as Boga?? I always thought that that giant frilled lizard was one of the coolest creatures in the SW galaxy, and he was a good steed for Obi-Wan back in the day. But apparently… either Boga became feral after years of neglect, or this is an entirely different critter and their species is just naturally wild and unpredictable. Yup the big guy decides pretty quickly to give chase after Luke, Leia, and the droids. Luke whips out his lightsaber and at least partially wounds the fella, but new problem: they’ve run right off the landing platform with their ship. Le sigh, can this day get any better?
Meanwhile, Sidious reiterates his desire to get his grubby little Force-lighting-shocking hands on those ‘crons. Vader’s all “NBD, Master, just need to find that Luke Skywalker punk and he’ll lead me where I need to go!”. And it just so happens that Vader is onto Luke by chasing down the Millenium Falcon. Han and Chewie are enjoying their day about as much as Luke and Leia are right now. A well-planned pull of the brakes and blasters aimed at the TIE seem to have vanquished their foe. But that Darth is a tough cookie and somehow manages to claw his way onto the Falcon’s roof and into the hatch. Yeahhh having Darth Vader show up in your cockpit is probably every Rebel’s worst nightmare. And Vader has some fun and knocks the scoundrels around in the cockpit. But then Vader takes a look around at the ol’ ship and is like “Seriously? This piece of junk is what helped destroy my Death Star?”. Han’s brave and talks back, not without throwing the unfair “pleather pants” name back in Vader’s face. So naturally that gets a red lightsaber all up in Captain Solo’s grill, and he demands to know Luke’s whereabouts. And Han’s snarky response is a perfect transition to the next seen, as Luke is indeed “in a whole in the ground”. Hur hur.
So anyway, they were still falling… Luke was trying to get closer to his comrades and the ship, but you know, gravity isn’t always very cooperative. And then shows up Force Ghost Ben, giving Luke a heart attack for the second time this weekend! Master Kenobi’s about to tell Young Skywalker about the holocrons… but judging by the fact Luke’s falling and a giant green beast is right above them… Obi-Wan makes his message quick, and lets him know the stakes as Vader’s in on the secret too, and the boy needs to get to Tatooine ASAP. And then he ducks outta that mess pretty fast, leaving Luke with a hurried “may the Force be with you”. Knowing that time is of the essence, he’s not gonna sit around and fall for hours; Luke slams his lightsaber into the rock walls and uses the Force to form a giant rope with the debris. Not too shabby for a guy who couldn’t tell Tatooine from Utapau on the map! But just when they thought they’d gotten that lizard off their tails… yeah… he can climb. Luke’s able to Force-bend their rope and snap it like a rubber band, returning them to the landing platform. But Boga here is a fast little booger. So our gang darts for an old Separatist fighter. They would’ve gotten off the ground faster, but while Artoo has no problem trusting strange computers, he doesn’t like syncing into one. Considering all things, it was a Separatist ship, and Artoo knows those guys were nasty. Yus now we know the little droid’s got everything now that we’ve seen his sanitizer extension XD But they’re able to make it offworld without any reptilian hitchhikers, and so, it’s on to Tatooine!
Meanwhile, Vader’s still trying to get Han to spill, but thank goodness for the Corellian’s strong will. It’s only when Luke makes a quick call letting Han know where they’re going that there’s a problem. Yes I think Vader knows the difference between the Dune Sea and Naboo’s Dune Sea Hotel. ‘Cause duh on Naboo everything is soft. *Gets hit with tomato* Heyyy who threw that?! So yeah… anyway, Han and Chewie made a quick getaway into the escape pod. Problem was, this particular escape pod has a launch button outside of it. And Darth had no problem pressing it. #Facepalm
And thus, after having to start the thing a couple of times, Vader’s flying the Falcon off to Tatooine.
Elsewhere on Tatooine itself, the holocrons’ glow has attracted some attention from the locals. And the locals being the Jawas. They be all “UTTINI!” over the loot they’ve dug up. And so it appears the competition for these things has been upped from two to three…
So Luke and his comrades were having a pretty smooth flight at first… and then Wedge Antilles and a bunch of other Rebels mistook them for an Imperial ship (Um… guys, different war! Get your facts straight man!). Luke tried to touch base with Wedge and explain the situation, but they were firing at him, and well… Luke had to fire back. It looks like the other Rebs were OK though so that’s good. Yeesh this would be pretty tragic otherwise…
Ironically, the same thing’s happening to the other Skywalker. It must be so weird having your own TIEs aiming at you. I’m guessing Vader had a little “conversation” (aka Force choke) with the pilots involved afterward. Oh wait… disregard that last sentence; he expertly blew up all the TIEs, so that saves Vader time so he can Force choke other less-than-stellar Imperials! Ha yes, you really could say “there are heroes on both sides” in this situation!
And guess where Han and Chewie ended up? A nice little slimy mudhole called Dagobah! Captain Solo expertly navigates them to a cave for shelter… though yeah this is “THE” cave. They label it “Darkside Cave” here, but whatever you call it… the horrified screaming/roaring they make running out says that they didn’t have too much fun in there. Though one really has to wonder what it is each of them saw. Yikes this just got really deep… y’know I’m gonna do the right thing here and not think too much on this ’cause I don’t want to freak anybody out. But yeah, as soon as they ran out, there stood Yoda. And thus happened one of the happiest reunions ever! I love they still call each other “Yoyo” and “Ian”; ah those were the days, huh? Chewie’s all “Wait… you two know each other? What’d I miss?”. It’s OK, Chewbacca, it happened about the time you got caught in a Trandoshan hunting game with a bunch of Padawans.
Anyway, firsties on Tatooine would be Lord Vader! Who doesn’t watch his step and runs right into Dr. Ezavan and Pondo Baba. But Vader doesn’t bat an eyelash and lightsabers the good doctor’s arm off. I love his response “WHAT?! NOW EVERYONE HAS A LIGHTSABER?!”. Maybe they should consider stopping making such a big deal about people running into them. And maybe consider getting to know people before they judge whether they like them or not 🙂 Luke, Leia, and the droids arrive shortly after, also running into the duo. Thankfully this time, the wanted men make a run for it… right into a closed door. And Luke’s all “What did I do?”. Probably didn’t recognize Pondo Baba with his new arm.
Also, I’d just like to ask why Jar Jar thought it’d be a good idea to take his daughter out to the Mos Eisley Cantina for her birthday. It’s not exactly the most friendly place in the galaxy, and I didn’t think Jar Jar was much of a fan of this planet (“…the sun’s doin’ murder to meesa skin!”). It must be what she wanted, I do guess. But I’m not here to talk about Ex-Rep. Binks’ parenting, I’m here to talk about the race for the holocrons going down here as Vader walks into the Cantina. Also, love the rancor sipping an umbrella drink in the background! XD OK anyway, so Vader was about walk in and show ’em who’s boss, buuuuuuut the droid scanner went off on him. Seriously, does this guy dislike droids so much that he’ll risk locking people out? What happens if you had braces, or fillings, or a metal hip? What about the fact that Pondo Baba must’ve gotten a metal arm?? Duuuude c’mon. But Vader took it well, I think. Force-slammed him into the ceiling. The best part is watching all the happy droids flock in now that the ban’s been lifted; just watch that GOM droid get down! XD
So Luke was trusting his feelings again, using the Force to guide him as he walked through the Mos Eisley streets. And this time, it happened to lead him right to Watto’s place. It always wows me when you see characters meet up like this, even though Luke may never know that Watto was his dad’s former “employer”. But yeah, while Leia and the droids would rather’d leave, Luke’s got his eyes on a fabulous old podracer… the one his dad made, to be exact (seriously isn’t this crazy how it all connects??). Not having any cash on hand, Luke comes up with a different way to seal the deal… something called a Jedi mind trick. Watto’s like “Bro they don’t work on me, mkay?”. And you know, interesting thought here: wouldn’t it still have been fairly dangerous for Luke to have revealed himself a Jedi? Knowing Watto, he could’ve easily sold him out to the Empire to make a quick buck. Thankfully, it seems he doesn’t care too much. And Vader probably wouldn’tve trusted Watto to know that kind of intel anyway and would’ve ignored him. So when Watto’s not impressed with Luke’s mind trick, he gets Leia to join in, claiming she’s a Jedi as well. And boy I bet they were surprised when their mind trick actually worked. On Watto… and Threepio! Daaaaaaang the power of the Chosen One’s kids! And so with that, Luke got the podracer on loan and left Threepio as collateral, and they returned to their mission. And Threepio took the job as a sign-spinner. He’s pretty good for not having a lot of dexterity in those limbs!
And guess what Lord Vader was buying? Luke’s landspeeder! Definitely one of those weird moments as Luke zooms by Vader and they both realize they’re driving each other’s rides. Commence chase scene!
Back on Dagobah, Yoda popped some popcorn for his guests and chatted for a bit about the planet and about Luke. And then Yoda realized that Young Skywalker was in trouble! He sent Han and Chewbacca after him… in, naturally, Yoda’s little starship. Yeah if you thought it was bad when Obi-Wan, Yoda, and R2-D2 were crammed in there, it looks to be even worse for these two.
Yeah it was a normal Jawa shopping trip for Bib Fortuna. But he’s not able to look at those lovely glowy-blue blocks for long, ’cause along came Luke and Vader at full speed! The Jawas closed up shop and vamoosed back to their sandcrawler in about three seconds. Finally the guys came to a stop and decided this needed to be settled with lightsabers. But what they didn’t know, is that their being near that sandcrawler full of holocrons was empowering said ‘crons, like, a lot. Leia takes notice of this and tries to interrupt, but of course these Skywalker boys are a little busy. But yeah, don’t ask me how exactly they did that, but the holocrons actually power up so that the sandcrawler zooms on outta there! Man, those things are so useful… they store Jedi history, lists of Rebellion-centered planets, prove one’s Force-sensitivity, and are a great alternative to fossil fuels! No wonder there’s such a market for them. The ‘crawler goes so fast that it knocks the hoods off of the Jawas and reveals… humans. Normal humans in masks. Well, that explains a lot XD Hehe I love fourth-wall-breaking gags like that. So Vader and Luke, after trading respective vehicles, hit the gas pedal and the chase is back on! Isn’t it funny, in Phantom Menace and the first story arc of the Droids series, that both of these are racing vehicles, both used on desert planet raceways? Craaaazayyyy! And yeah as they’re driving, they’re dueling at the same time. Yeah I think there are rules about that in the Tatooine Drivers’ Manuals. Even so, it’s pretty epic! It reminds me of all the swordfighting on the cars in Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, but, dare I say, a lot more high-stakes.
Oh, Han and Chewie finally landed on Tatooine to help Luke… andddd Luke was long-gone. Just Leia and Artoo hanging out. So the four of them piled back on Yoda’s ship and rejoined the chase themselves.
And the chase goes from being more Crystal Skull to Raiders as the Skywalker boys start catching up to the speeding sandcrawler. Luke and Vader both climb up on top of the vehicle and duel a bit before Vader finally shoves the boy off. Of course, as Vader goes and swims in his holocron loot, he doesn’t realize that Luke’s pulling an “Indy” and is hanging on to the front of the ‘crawler! Luke finally climbs back in and faces down the Darth once more… but Vader has an ace up his dark sleeve; the sandcrawler’s heading through Mos Eisley, and he knows Luke won’t allow innocent lives to get caught in the crossfire. So Luke manages to pull the machine to a stop… just as Vader goes and nabs all the holocrons and makes a run for it. Though Darth didn’t get off entirely easy, as he did get his cape caught and had to cut the thing short before he could get to his shuttle. And Luke turned out to be OK in the midst of the sandcrawler wreckage. Threepio, who nearly got creamed by the vehicle to start with, recognizes the sacrifice Luke made in giving up the holocrons to save him and others. Aw Luke I’m so proud of ya! And Han and the gang finally showed up… and found they missed all the action. Figures.
Obi-Wan and Yoda are proud of Luke as well, but they are definitely aware that they’re in all kinds of trouble with the holocrons in Imperial possession. “…They were our last hope.” “No… there is another… thing… we could do… if we felt like it… or not.” XD And that “thing” happens to involve an old friend… JEK-14! Whose peaceful siesta on Naboo is about to get interrupted. Yessss I have lots of questions now as to why he’s on Naboo, and whether he was there in the first place back in the last chapter. But when your Force-enriched arm starts talkin’, it’s time for the now older JEK to get a move on. Twenty years of retirement is long enough, buddy…! Luke’s about to get some help from an unexpected source 🙂
So yay I can’t get enough of these Lego Star Wars tales! Where they’ll go next, only time will tell, but it’ll be great when we get there! Until next blog…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight