The Last Jedi Awards!

All right, first post of the new year! Excitement!!

Episode VIII was great, that’s no question, and it left us with an infinite amount of stuff to discuss. The last couple years I’ve had trouble finding the right time to discuss VII and Rogue One, but this year I took notes soon as I arrived home from the theater! But like say, I still had too many thoughts to make a coherent post out of, so I decided to do a little “awards show” of sorts to celebrate some of my favorite things and pinpoint some of the most intriguing things. I’ll admit I’ve only seen the film once at this point, so I may’ve misremembered some stuff, but I will do my best as I highlight the moments, characters, and events that made The Last Jedi so wonderful!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episode The Holocrons Of Fate, Episode VII, and Episode VIII. Seriously. These are big spoilers.

BEST TIME SPENT GETTING TO FURTHER KNOW A CHARACTER:
POE DAMERON

Episode VII introduced us to Poe Dameron almost right off the bat, and though he only was in a handful of scenes, it was impossible not to love the guy. A talented, fearless pilot with a quick wit and a heart of gold who clearly valued his friends and could easily make new ones. I had no idea we’d get to spend as much time with him in VIII as we did, but I loved it. to. pieces. We got to see a little more edge with him than before as he proved himself a bit more of a “dangerous flyboy” than I’d thought, but all the same it made it clear how much he believed in bringing the fight to the First Order and doing the right thing, even when he was mistaken on a couple matters. And I loved seeing more of his epic piloting skills, watching him take charge in new ways, and laughing my head off as he threw jabs at General Hux XD But what I enjoyed most, perhaps, was seeing him further his new friendships with Finn and Rose. Together they made such a great squad I couldn’t help but want to be friends with ’em! Oh, and can’t forget his best buddyship with BB-8! My favorite line in the film just might be “Finn! Rose! You’re not dead! Where’s my droid?”. Sorry but BB-8 was his BFF first XP I remember after first seeing Force Awakens, misremembering Poe and BB-8’s reunion and thinking the pilot had joyfully hugged his ‘mech upon reuniting, not just kneeling down and patting his dome. This time we actually got something close to a hug and it made me so happy because I would do the same. Hehe I’m so glad Poe and I think alike πŸ™‚ But yes I’m so so glad we got to spend so much time with him this chapter! He’s become even more of a favorite than before!

BEST TIME GETTING TO REUNITE WITH A CHARACTER:
LUKE SKYWALKER

I’ve been waiting to see (and hear) Master Luke for a long time now. Or at least it feels like a long time. You guys know what I’m talking about. I even remember dreaming a while ago that VIII would open somewhat like Phantom Menace, with the master and apprentice on a secret mission. But even with some questions answered with the trailers, there was still so much I didn’t know. So, like you most likely, I found myself holding my breath as Luke took the hilt from Rey…
And then in a matter of seconds, I died laughing. Completely died XD
Luke was truly amazing in this film. So was Mark Hamill. At times he brought a warm familiarity that felt true to the farmboy we met forty years ago (or in my case, ten years ago), and at other times, we saw the scars of misunderstandings and fear and tragedy that opened up a new, intriguing angle on Luke as well as the whole Skywalker saga itself. I loved watching him take on the role of a master, not just because of what his perspective on the Force could offer, but because of the interesting fact he really was hesitant just about the whole time. Something I’ve never quite exactly seen in all the master-apprentice relationships we’ve seen in Star Wars. Sure, a lot of the masters we’ve followed have been uncertain at first, but they usually got past that after a little while and master and apprentice became best friends. Perhaps it was because Luke and Rey didn’t have as much time together as some, but it made for an intriguing situation, especially as Rey found herself walking into things she didn’t understand without much guidance or warning. Yet at the same time, there was still some warmth and fun to it that also felt familiar but unique. Yes, in the course of these precious two-and-a-half hours Luke got me all kinds of nostalgic, got me thinking mile-deep thoughts, got me nodding my head thinking “oh yeah that’s how you do it good sir” as he used the Force, got me laughing out loud, and of course, got me a little weepy. Especially when we said goodbye. But it was not a tragic goodbye, it was a peaceful one, and for that I am thankful. OK I have no clue if anything I wrote the last couple paragraphs made sense, but getting to better know this amazing Jedi, teacher, and brother was far more exciting and wonderful than I could’ve anticipated.

CHARACTER WHO MOST DESERVES AN ANTHOLOGY MOVIE:
MAZ KANATA

Perhaps a bit of a controversial choice, because there are a lot of characters who could use one (or two, or a trilogy…). But in the few minutes we spent with the Pirate Queen, we got a taste of some serious adventure that I definitely want to see more of. Yeah I wasn’t totally sure we’d see her in the film at all, so I’m happy either way whether Maz gets her own movie or not πŸ™‚ *Cough* at least let’s get a novel ok?

BEST TIME GETTING TO KNOW A NEW CHARACTER:
ROSE TICO

I already had a feeling Rose was gonna be great just from how wonderful Kelly Marie Tran was at Celebration Orlando. Once again, could not have predicted just how great. She made the favorite character list pretty quickly, especially as she went from playing the fangirl to giving Finn a good zapping XD I love her spunk and drive but also how much she cares for her friends and family and doing the right thing. She’s definitely one of the most relatable SW characters to me, which is probably why I came out as her on the starwars.com personality quiz. And at the same time she has a lot of admirable qualities that I could only hope to possess. She just fits so so well into the SW universe and brought some serious sunshine to the dark times. It’s impossible not to adore her! Alsooooo she and Finn are kinda cute together I’ll admit… :3

BEST SURPRISE GUEST:
YODA

After seeing VII, I started to come up with little stories about the Force ghost crew visiting Luke on Ach-To (and usually driving him nuts XP). But I never expected to actually see one of these great Jedi in the next chapter. So when I saw those pointy ears… I let loose a whisper-squee-scream of pure happiness that probably would’ve been much louder if I wasn’t well-aware of all the people in the theater I’d disturb doing so. Yoda was so perfect and hilarious and just the right amount of not-too-serious-but-still-so-ridiculously-wise-and-epically-powerful! And I had no idea just what Jedi are capable of after they take on immortality. I mean, wow! And having rewatched V and VI only a few days before, seeing Luke and Yoda together again in this time was too amazing and threw nostalgia feels all over me. I’m amazed Lucasfilm managed to keep this a secret, but it was just about the best reveal ever πŸ˜€ “Page turners they are not”, but always a delight, Yoda is!

BEST NEW CREATURE (ASIDE FROM PORGS):
FATHIERS

Perhaps the other best-kept secret in the film was these amazing giraffe-llama-rabbit-horses. These graceful, sweet-natured giants stole my heart pretty quickly, and watching Rose and Finn set ’em free got me all gooey inside. Sooo can we get some of these in another film or show? At least maybe The Freemaker Adventures? ‘Cause I need more fathiers. Second place goes to the vulptices but only because they’re not in the film quite as much but I love them the same anyway.

BIGGEST “OMGWHAT” MOMENT:
LEIA’S CLOSE CALL

Every Star Wars story has that one moment you can’t forget your reaction. Sometimes it’s a reaction of joy, sometimes it’s a moment of sadness… this one was a moment of complete shock. The moment in the trailer between Kylo and Leia itself was terrifying enough. AND THEN they pull the rug out from under you, and you watch as a different TIE takes the shot… my jaw was on the floor and all I could think was “Nonononono did that just happen?! This can’t be the way General Organa goes!”. And I probably missed some other important dialogue in-between because those two thoughts were on repeat in my head. I don’t think any of us are truly ever ready to say goodbye to a character in SW, but I really really wasn’t ready for Leia to go. I was so completely relieved that wasn’t how she was gonna go. Watching her use the Force so masterfully was all at once amazing and surreal and “WHOA”. And it’s especially intriguing because even though we’ve seen Kanan do something similar in The Holocrons Of Fate, the stakes were even higher for Leia here. So it begs the question if the situation demanded a stronger knowledge of the Force to perform, or if it’s just something the Chosen One’s children naturally possess. There are a lot of questions here, but that’s one thing I love so much about this movie: it says to us fans “Oh so you think you know everything there is to know about the Force? Well guess what? YOU DON’T!” and that is a-ok with me. So yeah I was thankful I could breathe again… at least for a little while before the next OMGWHAT moment. And this chapter of the saga had a lot of those…

COOLEST NEW CRAFT:
SKI SPEEDERS

I’ve loved these things from day one and that’s a fact. They’re so quintessentially Star Wars-y yet so unique and quirky and fast and I really just couldn’t help but adore them. OK so maybe Poe and I don’t always think alike, but I want to take a spin on one of these oldies all the same πŸ™‚

COOLEST NEW WORLD:
ALL OF THE ABOVE

Seriously, I can’t pick one. Every SW film promises new incredible, exciting places to see, and Last Jedi supremely delivered. The amazing picturesque natural beauty of Ach-To! The rough, surreal-but-magnificent white-and-red landscape of Crait! Even the less-than-reputable world of Canto Bight captured my attention with its eclectic Mos Eisley Cantina-style cast of characters and all that cray amount of glitz and glam. Each world served the story perfectly and was as interesting as they were eye-catching and make me want to come back, even though I know IX will surely bring a lot of exciting new places of its own…

And that’s just scratching the surface of things that have consumed my mind the last three weeks, and hopefully we’ll find time to discuss further stuff another day. But OMG yes I love this chapter of the saga so so much. I love the camaraderie, the teamwork, the unsolved mysteries, the unexpected twists, the one-liners, everything BB-8 does, the way it blows my mind, the way it shook me to my core, that wonderful Star Wars feel, and the wonderfully hopeful ending that caps it off better than I could’ve hoped. IX seems so so far away now… but I’m glad there’s still so much Star Wars to come until then :3

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Following The Freemakers: Trouble On Tibalt

Hello my Star Wars-loving people! You’ve probably been wondering why I’ve been on an unannounced hiatus for the last couple months. Well it started out with just not having a good post idea one week… and then was followed by a major bout of IRL busy-ness and a general lack of desire to write. I know I’ve missed a lot of great opportunities to talk about Star Wars since then, with Disney Parks and John Powell and porgs(!). But hopefully I can start to remedy that in the weeks to come. Now we shall begin again by discussing the utter excitement of the Freemakers’ most recent escapade, Trouble On Tibalt! And hopefully this will be a much more efficiently-written post than my previous work.

NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode VI, Rogue One, Rebels episode Wings Of The Master, much of the Freemakers season one, and Trouble On Tibalt.
(Also yes now I’m linking my previous Closer Look posts into the spoiler warnings so you can refresh your memory if need be. But you still should read this with caution if you haven’t actually seen an episode or film listed here.)

That Darth Sidious is something else, right? He’s the emperor of the whole galaxy right now, has an amazing virtually unstoppable Death Star II in the works, but he’s still sore about the Kyber Saber incident and that “Reginald” Freemaker kid. Not gonna lie, my instantaneous thought was “OMG OMG IS THAT THE FREEMAKERS’ DAD?? IS HE IMPORTANT TO THE EMPIRE LIKE GALEN ERSO?? WOW!!” and then I suddenly realized the joke and felt like an idiot. Probably better that way… “Reginald” is just not the most appropriately Star Wars-y name out there. But though Palpatine doesn’t have everything he wants, he does have one particular new something. Something special. Something downright deadly. Its name, or more precisely, his name, is M-OC. You know, the prospect that Palpatine built M-OC himself (which is what I’m assuming at the moment) is quite intriguing. I had no idea he knew anything directly to do with droid engineering. I honestly doubt he built it all himself though. Probably had a few Imperial technicians involved I would think, I mean… as we soon see, this intimidating-looking hunk of metal is no average Imperial droid…

Elsewhere in the galaxy, it seems the Freemaker family has taken to their new careers in the Rebel Alliance like a sando aqua monster to water. Salvage and repair is second-nature to them, and now they get to do so for a noble cause. That’s a win if I’ve ever heard one! Plus, they get these great new khaki uniforms that both serve their workday purposes and celebrate each of the kids’ unique spirits! Only downside to the job is the constant moving around the galaxy every time the Empire shows up. “Stupid Empire! Stupid timing!” Yesss Rowan I have thought that many a time over the years watching, reading, and playing Star Wars. But on a different note, I will say I realize now that it’s better he didn’t tell Luke of his abilities. It might’ve caused some complications with Yoda’s “last-of-the-Jedi-you-will-be” claim if Luke literally knew another Jedi. And though TFA is technically not 100% canon, I don’t think they’d want to outright go up against a fact like that. Unless, of course Rowan actually doesn’t… um… yeah I’d like to hope he lives at least a few few more decades, if that’s all right. Anyway I hope I made my point there, I wasn’t intending to spend so much time on that one topic. One of the many things I love about TFA is that the only noncanon stuff they really ever do are fun Lego-y self-awareness gags, compared to the blatant (though still funny) inaccuracies in the other specials.

Check it out I’m finally separating my paragraphs so this blog is easier to read! Anyway, so even with an Imperial fleet causing trouble, Kordi, Zander, and even Roger are completely in their element, fixing up the fighters as they go out into the battle and fixing them up again when they come back to the hangar. They’ve totally got this… to the point that Rowan finds himself overlooked in the midst of it all. I know well how you feel, sweet child… it’s no fun feeling useless and not knowing how to help. But enter General Syndulla: spacemom bosslady extraordinaire! I was so utterly thrilled when I first found out Hera was going to be in this season, not just because she’s one of my most favorite characters, but because she’d fit in so perfectly. I knew that long before I knew she’d be a general by Rogue One, and definitely long before I found out her presence in this timeline is canon. I had so many questions though. What would she be like at this point? What has she faced since the days spent with the Ghost crew? What actually happened to the Ghost crew? Of course we won’t know that last part for a while. And while I would like to hope that everything is peachy and everyone lived, I simply don’t know, especially this far down the timeline. But though only a small moment in this episode, it had me smiling hard, because even with a high rank and I imagine some tough times in her more-recent past, she’s still completely the caring, thoughtful Rebel mom she’s always been :3 She sees Rowan looking down and decides to give him a special assignment all his own. OK so right now all I want is for Hera to unofficially adopt these precious kids. Like seriously. That, and that awesome jacket of hers, because isn’t it the coolest?!

It’s absolutely no question, M-OC is a walking nightmare and I adore him. He doesn’t just look intimidating, he’s got the skills to back it up. Lots of skills. He can saw, burn, blast, and outright tear people apart. Not to mention he’s super super agile. And his entirely cold, logical personality (or lack of one) sets him apart from a number of villains. There are a lot of scary droids out there, no doubt. But this guy is all of those scary droids and more, I think. I mean… guys. He can turn his head all the way around. He might just be a droid but that’s never not creepy, unless you’re an owl. Can you imagine what M-OC would look like in the films or Rebels? I’m gonna say likely this guy won’t make it out of the season fully-functioning, so he wouldn’t be able to cross over to the canon like that, but wouldn’t that be something! He’s awesomely terrifying either way, though. And cool as he is… I’m a tad concerned for Rowan atm.

So you guys we’re going to have to talk a while ’bout Quarrie! In a way, I wasn’t terribly surprised to see him in TFA; considering shipbuilding’s his thing, he would be a logically perfect fit for the Lego-verse. But what did surprise me was the idea that Hera would want Rowan to become his apprentice. That is most definitely a perfect fit! Though only the first time we get to see him interacting with the youngest Freemaker, I foresee a lot of fun and excitement and a bit of a grandpa-grandson bond in the near future πŸ™‚ And any time to learn more about this beautiful crazy (though a bit cranky) mon calamari is a good time! I’m so so glad they found this role for him alongside the Freemakers!

It’s both impressive and pretty gut-wrenching how quickly M-OC’s able to nab Rowan. Had me thinking several times he might actually get away and we might be minus Ro for a couple episodes. And isn’t M-OC’s ship cool? Yeah I know Quarrie, Imp ships lack real craftsmanship, but it’s still so so very cool! My brother and I debated a bit whether it was a specific existing ship; he thought it was closer to the upcoming TIE silencer, and I was thinking it was more of a TIE striker, but looking at it now I think it’s something entirely different. Either way, it’s sleek and it’s dangerous and me likey. Of course, M-OC (quite literally) didn’t call into account his captive wielded a lightsaber. Oh yeah, here’s a good question: where was he keeping his ‘saber? I don’t think it was holstered, and considering the danger of being a Jedi right now that probably wouldn’t be the safest place to keep it. I’m gonna assume it might’ve been in his jacket. His boots I figure are a bit small for the standard hilt length. Just throwing out some possibilities here, anyway. So glad he didn’t leave home base without it!

β€œAnybody know what that thing is?!” β€œNo, but let’s blow it up anyway!” Sounds good to me XD
But seriously. It’s kind of disgusting to think that someone would build a machine so utterly deadly, so completely merciless and cruel, to hunt down a child. A CHILD! It’s hard to tell whether Sidious wants him alive or dead, which just makes it all the scarier. *Shudders* They might look like small plastic people but the danger is all kinds of real. Once M-OC threw out that net I was horrified, certain that Rowan would soon find himself at the feet of the Emperor. But β€œNEVER TELL ME THE ODDS! Mostly because I don’t understand how they work.” Hehe that might be my favorite line this episode πŸ˜€ I getcha Ro, math is hard. Granted I’ve always been pretty good at statistics but… oh never mind. We’re getting off-track here. Family wins the day and it is beautiful!

But M-OC’s not so easily defeated. Watching him walk out of the fire, missing limbs but still as threatening as ever, his voice a bit more disturbingly distorted than before… CHILLS. MANY CHILLS. THEY GOT LUCKY YOU GUYS. OR NOT LUCKY SO MUCH AS THE FORCE WAS WITH THEM BUT… AHHHH!! He’s gonna give them a real run for their credits this season. As Rowan fills in his family on the walking death machine’s identity and purpose, his voice is so quiet and small it about tears me apart. Things have gotten very very real. But hope is still very very real, too. Rowan has a master now, of a different sort than he’s had briefly with Luke and JEK-14, but one who will surely help him grow in many ways.

He also has a dream, an image of a beautiful ship with a heart of kyber, a powerful shield, and all the hope in the galaxy. A ship he calls the Arrowhead.

Wow yes that was so fantastic! And so fun to write on! It feels good being back with the Freemakers! See you on the next episode next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

The Art Of The Star Wars Graphic Tee

So it’s safe to say that graphic tees make up the majority of my wardrobe. I love the style’s versatility and the infinite number of designs you can find, especially when it comes to fandom-related ones. It’s probably not surprising to say that I own more Star Wars shirts than any other fandom. Thinking on this fact, I found I really wanted to write about the art of my Star Wars shirts and how the right design can speak volumes. And also give the artists some serious credit where credit is due, because I love these tees so much :3
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode VI


My very first Star Wars tee was this Olly Moss piece from Hot Topic. There are many reasons this Return Of The Jedi one caught my eye; the dramatic, simple-but-not-really-simple design, the contrast of dark and light, that rich, swoon-worthy shade of teal-green… but what I love most about it is that it captures both the excitement of the battle of Endor and the beauty of Vader’s redemption. An AT-ST clomps around beneath the trees as silhouetted ewoks watch from above. But when you zoom out of the scenery, you realize the gnarled branches form the Darth’s menacing helmet. I love also that it’s a shirt celebrating Episode VI, which holds a special place in my heart partly because my first viewing of the film helped further my growing love of the series as a whole. And of course, I’ll always argue that the movie needs more love, so wearing this one is a great way to make clear to the world that I love all chapters of the Original Trilogy equally πŸ™‚ As I said on an old tumblr post, Olly Moss is awesomesauce!


When I spotted this one at Walmart, I knew it was definitely for me. I’m pretty short, but Yoda never fails to remind me that “size matters not”! I love this one’s comic-y design and bold lettering. And though you can’t tell in this picture, it’s a gorgeous, vibrant shade of green that seems to get more colorful every time I step into the sun! Plus, the tee’s super super comfy. I honestly probably wear this one more than any of the others just because it’s so easy and comfortable. Yoda wins the day in all the ways!


This Fifth Sun sublimated Chewbacca is just beautiful you guys. Whoever designed this needs to be showered in wookiee cookies. I don’t have an abundance of brown shirts, so this rich, dark chocolately tone is a great addition to my collection. And on top of that, it’s excellent quality and super-hardy material. But the best thing about it, of course, is seeing Chewie’s smiling face and soulful blue eyes every time I pass a mirror. I’ve never been able to wear it without trying out my Chewbacca impression once or twice πŸ˜€ It’s bold and brilliant and I wish I could find more of these lovely sublimated tees again (I could sure use a Wicket one…)


Hot Topic’s BB-8 schematics is just loaded with detail and adorableness. Not to mention being another one of my more relaxed and comfy tees. The white and orange pops off the charcoal background nicely, and knowing a little as to how BB functions makes me feel pretty Star Wars smart. And whenever I pass a mirror, I just can’t help but hug myself because it’s the closest I’ve come so far to hugging the precious ‘mech ❀ Plus, I'll always be able to look back on this as the one I got the year The Force Awakens came out. This shirt’s a classic and it’s no wonder they sold them as long as they did!


Finally, this is my gorgeous First Order Troops shirt from UNIQLO, probably the highest-quality one I own. Normally I’m not big on shirts with just stormtroopers or Vader on them. I know why people like them on shirts, as they’re iconic, terrifying, and utterly cool. But as much as I love these baddies, I find a lot of these designs to be too basic for me, and I oftentimes would rather have Jedi, Rebels, droids, and other heroes front and center (I still long for the day I can find me something perfect with Obi-Wan on it). But this stormtrooper-centered design is anything but basic. This striking painting with echoes of Takodana’s blue sky and sparks of red blasterfire is placed nicely on the shirt’s lower half, with the logo for Episode VII placed above on the lapel. Everything about this is rich, exciting, and dynamic, and takes me back to one of the film’s most thrilling scenes. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what UNIQLO does for The Last Jedi

So with all that being said, if you drew or painted any of these pieces, you are incrediblely awesome, and thank you for taking the time to make such a unique, outstanding piece of clothing. As for the rest of you reading this right now, I hope I awoke some newfound appreciation for your own Star Wars shirts or inspired you to get your first one! After all, a good Star Wars tee is perhaps among the most easy and versatile ways to show the world your SW love, and to find those who share that love πŸ™‚

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Iron Squadron

All right, the Transmissions have returned! We’re finally gonna talk Iron Squadron! Let’s see if I can give you something insightful and fun to read today πŸ™‚
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes The Siege Of Lothal, Shroud Of Darkness, and Iron Squadron

So right off the bat, things of note: a) I love how perfectly the Phantom II fits on top of the Ghost, b) Mykapo is a gorgeous planet just from what I can see from space, and c) wow Kanan totally heard those Imperial ships firing before anyone else did. Wait uh-oh Imperial ships firing?! Strangely enough those TIEs aren’t firing at the Phoenixes atm, but at a sole cargo ship. And whoever’s piloting that ship doesn’t need any help Hera and company can offer. All they need are a few crates of explosives dropped in the direction of an Imperial transport and they’re good to go! The Iron Squadron’s got this! Turns out Commander Sato is quite familiar with this detachment, as it belonged to his brother. But it seems the YT-4200’s gotten itself a new pilot since his brother’s death — Sato’s nephew, Mart Mattin. The Commander requests the Ghost crew bring him back, and that’s precisely what Hera, Ezra, and Sabine intend to do. Definitely fascinating seeing this side of Sato. He can be kind of… stiff, sometimes, so it’s cool to know he’s not all stiff and business-y, he’s also an uncle and a brother and he clearly loves his family. Awwz :3
It’s clear the instant Hera and crew walk into Iron Squadron territory they’re not sure what to make of it. They’re greeted by two youths who make up half the crew and all the mechanical problems you could shake a hydrospanner at. Chopper rather insists on helping the Squad’s resident R3 spiff things up and fix their hyperdrive, but the ‘mech don’t need anyone’s help, just like his masters. And then they meet Mart, who can’t be more than fifteen, has an impressive head of hair, and isn’t about to leave his homeworld because of a few lousy Imps. With enthusiastic Jonner and sassy Gooti at his side, there’s no way they can lose. Also I’m sure the space waffles help πŸ™‚ This squad be livin’ the dream, fighting the Empire in a supremely pretty YT freighter while eating waffles all day! Something about them makes me think of the Lost Boys, even if one of them is a girl. Scrappy but strong. Hera doesn’t exactly think they’re strong enough to take on all the Empire though. Even though the Iron Squadron did pretty well earlier, they probably wouldn’t have done “pretty well” if the Ghost crew hadn’t taken out those TIEs. But Mart don’t wanna hear it. The Iron Squadron will never back down! Now, I’m all for bravery and determination, but… well… sometimes you need a few dozen more ships of brave and determined peeps to help you along. Also a new hyperdrive that might be good. Something tells me these stubborn young Rebs are gonna learn this the hard way. Oh yeah and completely random note NOOO WHY DID YOU THROW AWAY THAT PERFECTLY GOOD WAFFLE, MART?!?! NO WAFFLE DESERVES TO DIE LIKE THAT!! I’m sorry as you can tell I love these space waffles. I’m currently contemplating the possibility of an entire post dedicated to them.
Meanwhile, guess who Thrawn put in charge of dealing with these stubborn young Rebs? Admiral Konstantine! The Grand Admiral decided to give his subord a challenge. Konstantine doesn’t seem 100% confident about this mission, but the Kons-man’s the bossman, and he’s gonna bring the fight the best way he knows how! A part of me figured putting him in charge would end badly for the Imps, but Thrawn’s rarely wrong, so I had to wonder if maybe he knew something about Admiral K’s abilities we didn’t. But well, you know how this ends…
So another thought: while the others were trying to talk sense into the Iron Squadron, Kanan and Zeb and Rex and a few other Rebs had finally gotten everyone who wanted off Mykapo evacuated. How long did that take really? It’s a whole planet man! That could be a lot of people! Either there aren’t that many sentients on Mykapo or not a lot of people were interested in leaving. Or the Rebs just work astoundingly fast. Or maybe I’m overthinking this. OK dumb query over let’s get back to the more important deets — oh who’m I kidding? In Star Wars, all deets are important! There are no dumb queries! Ezra’s still not willing to give up on these kids, so he manages to talk Hera into letting him, Sabine, and Chopper fix the Squad’s hyperdrive, which might give them the chance to convince them to come back, too. Nothin’ a little teamwork can’t do, right? Well, yeah, but it might take a little extra more teamwork to really get Mart and crew to change their minds. Ezra completely gets them, though. No one wants to stand idly by while their home is taken from them. He understands why they want to fight, why they’re willing to do something completely crazy to keep Mykapo safe. *Recalls events from The Siege Of Lothal and sheds a tear* But he also knows something Master Yoda told him about how we go about fighting our battles, and that sometimes, to protect what you love, you’ve gotta be willing to let it go first. When he dropped that Yoda wisdom on Gooti and Jonner it made me smile because it says that he actually got something from what was, at the time, an seemingly confusing, enigmatic conversation. He’s dug into it a lot deeper since then. Actually this whole thing made me smile because we’re seeing Ezra giving sage advice to these youths who aren’t that different from who he once was. How this child’s grown, oh my gosh! But there’s no time for fixing hyperdrives or taking advice because here comes a Star Destroyer! Sabine’s all “NO that’s a Light Cruiser DUH.” I’d chalk that up to her Imperial knowledge, but really I’m sure a lot of it is due to how many Star Destroyers they’ve tangled with over the years. Yeah Ezra is not taking any sass from Mart on the matter they need to hyperspace outta here. Even Gooti and Jonner are thinking maybe there’s something to this “choosing-your-battles-wisely” thing. After a few hits, it looks like Mart’s finally willing to jet… jk he totally isn’t because he decided not to board the Phantom II with the rest of his comrades. Mart just ain’t givin’ up. Welp neither is Ezra. IT’S LIKE LOOKING IN A MIRROR OMG. Yeahh this time Mart’s clever cargo-bomb trick doesn’t work, and only then is he finally willing to jet. Too bad his engines are fried and he has no hyperdrive to speak of. Sticking to Hera’s orders, the Phantom II crew has no choice but to leave him behind for now…
Yeah floating dead in space with no power wth an Imperial mine planted on your ship is not my idea of fun. I reckon Mart could really use some help ’bout now. Konstantine seems to be doing good though. He’s totally pwning it at being the Kos-man Bossman today! He’ll not only get that pesky Iron Squadron but the very likely the Phoenixes too when they arrive. Might’ve worked if the Phoenix Squadron wasn’t way smarter than that. The Ghost crew’s coming and this time they’re bringing all their friends and firepower to the party! So fun seeing the crew-fam interacting with the newest additions. At Hera’s command Gooti’s ready at the hoist and Jonner’s in charge of the droids! Hehe I love how Chopper grumps a bit at this newbie telling him what to do. Oh wait… nevermind he always grumps when people tell him what to do, it’s not just new people! πŸ˜› From there it’s up to Chop and Arthree to remove that mine. Oh Chopper, how I love watching you mess with other droids. Just gonna shove R3 on outta there! Why do I suspect Arthree might’ve zapped him a little accidentally-on-purpose? I’d thought originally that Arthree was a pretty obedient astromech, but clearly he’s got sass where it counts πŸ™‚ Next stage of the plan is to casually switch the mine from the YT to the cargo-bombs. Konstantine thinks the mine’s still on the freighter where it belongs. Heheheee I’m diggin’ this deliciously clever plan. Now all they have to do is get the Ghost locked on the YT and they’re home free. If only they weren’t still being fired at. Then in comes Uncle Jun, just in time with a little backup! But before the Rebels say their goodbyes, they leave Konstantine with a little gift… a very explosive one πŸ˜€ And then OMG IS THAT A STAR DESTROYER??! NBD the Rebs were just leaving. Thrawn doesn’t seem too irked though… once again, in his all-too frightening way, he seems totally chill with this game of cat-and-mouse of his. Only time will tell, is suppose what he’s got planned for his prey. Can’t help but figure he might be looking at Sato’s dedication to his family and thinking how he might use that. We should all be worried. Especially Konstantine because boy might be out of excuses XP “It’s a Monday, sir, you know how Mondays are…!”
Regardless of what the Grand Admiral’s got up his sleeve, the Rebs still won the day. Sato and Mart share an awkward-but-sweet family hug that I would expect from a militant leader and his teenage nephew. Then Jonner charges in and gives his Iron Squadron buddies a real hug! Yeah that’s how you do it, Jon-boy! The Ghost crew looks on with a smile (with the exception of Zeb because he has no idea what he missed), after all, these two squadrons are cut from the same cloth… scrappy, sometimes stubborn, brave, fiercely determined… and practically family πŸ™‚
Ah that was so so wonderful! So much Action and camraderie! Just a great classic episode all around! Definitely hope we get to hang out with the Iron Squadron crew again sometime soon! Oh yeah also just in case you forgot ROGUE ONE: FIFTEEN DAYS AND COUNTINGGGGGGG!!!!!!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Following The Freemakers: The Maker Of Zoh

Since the Ghost crew took last Saturday off, you know what that means… it’s back to the Freemakers! And the episode we’re digging into today just so happens to be one of my favorites (even though they’re all my favorites), The Maker Of Zoh! Grab a hot cup of motor oil kaffe and read on!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from The Clone Wars “Siege Of Mandalore” arc, Rebels episode Twilight Of The Apprentice, The Yoda Chronicles, The New Yoda Chronicles, and Freemakers episodes Crossing Paths, The Test, The Kyber Saber Crystal Chase, and The Maker Of Zoh

Things have been pretty tough for the Freemaker fam these last couple days. A certain dark side-wielding Imperial is to blame. But perhaps things might not’ve been so difficult had they known R0-GR’s transmission pack had a tracking device the whole time. Roger knew about it but never considered it might have been the source of Naare’s constant one-step-aheading. Unfortunately this discovery is too late to make much of a difference — the last crystal’s on Hoth and Naare already knows this. So it’s either the Freemakers go to Hoth and she kills them or they don’t go and she finds the crystal and the Emperor kills everyone. But there is a third option, and it’s on Zoh. Rowan recalls what Maz Kanata told him about this person they could go to when things got desperate, and I’d say this whole situation qualifies. The uninhabited trash planet doesn’t sound promising, but hey, it’s not Hoth! That’s already a win! Oh, we’re off to see the Maker, the wonderful Maker of Zoh! *shot*
At first glance, Zoh isn’t terribly spectacular, but as they land the StarScavenger, the Freemakers come upon a fascinating array of massive, eclectic, but incredible scrap sculptures towering above them. The rest of the crew’s not sure what to make of it, but Rowan’s got a good feeling about this… which doesn’t last long when suddenly droids rise from the mechanical refuse. Lots of droids, from super battle droids to astromechs to pit droids and all the others I can’t rightly name. And they don’t like the Freemakers’ presence here. Zander sends Roger out to speak to them, but the instant their skeptical leader eyes the battle droid’s dismembered transmission pack, everydroid and their brother pulls out their weapons on the humans. Surely they would’ve made quick work of the family… had a voice not commanded them to cease their fighting… a voice I felt I recognized from somewhere but wasn’t sure where. With a wave of his hand, the mysterious figure disassembles the boulder of scrap metal that nearly was used on Rowan. The being must be Force-sensitive, but I still couldn’t place who this was. But then his left hand… it glows blue with the pure power of four kyber crystals. I squee-gasped with surprise: IT’S JEK-14. JEK is the one these droids address as The Maker. Oh my gosh you guys this made me so insanely happy I could hardly breathe! Considering how close-to-canon The Freemaker Adventures is, I wasn’t sure if the events of previous Lego SW specials were canon in this near-canon-ness. OK I’m not sure that made sense. What I mean is, one of the things that stands out most about TFA compared to previous Lego SW is that they strive to keep it as true to Star Wars as it gets, with the exception of some fun Lego stuff here and there. The older ones weren’t bad or any less fun by any means, they just mostly kept it light and played around with a lot of jokes that don’t quite quite fit the canon. Because of this, I wasn’t sure if they would consider both The Yoda Chronicles and The Freemaker Adventures in the same boat. I mean, I always kinda did, as I consider most Lego SW stories canon and take it all as seriously as the rest of SW. But whatever the case, they brought JEK-14 back and in the most amazing way. Anyway, JEK apologizes to the Freemakers for his overprotective shootystabbycrushy friends. Bossdroid N-3RO argues he has a right to overreact, looking at the lightsaber wound on one of the super battles, but JEK gets mouse droid Fixer right on it. The old clone gives the young scavengers full reign to take whatever scrap they need, but it’s not scrap they need, it’s help. And seeing how The Maker is a Forcewielder, Rowan believes he can help him with his Jedi training. But that’s exactly what JEK doesn’t want to do. “But the fate of the galaxy is at state!” “That’s what they all say… ‘One last battle to end all battles’, but there’s always another.” OK this just got so deep and so real I can’t even.
Let’s talk a brief history of JEK-14 for a minute or two. JEK-14 began life as a full-grown clone trooper, enhanced by kyber crystals and intended as a Separatist weapon by Darth Sidious. His first words were “I am ready to fight… for the Sith”, and without question he used his own brand of Force lightning on Jedi masters Mace Windu and Yoda. However, when commanded to actually kill Yoda, he couldn’t do it. Both the Jedi and the Separatists wanted JEK on their sides, but JEK refused, and the Force-sensitive clone fled for Hoth, where he found solace in using the Force to build works of art. However, the Separatists found him and cloned his Forcewielding self until he was barely alive. Miraculously, JEK-14 fought back and destroyed the dark side clones. Ultimately he chose to leave on a peaceful note, but intent on never again getting involved with the war. He went from there to Endor, where he helped build things for the ewok community. When the Jedi needed help, they sought him out, and it was only the kindness and innocence of Yoda’s padawans that convinced him to do so. In fact, had he not had such good relations with the younglings, far worse things might’ve happened. Some years later at the end of the Clone Wars, Yoda’s padawans convinced him to come back and help them get back the holocrons from the Jedi Temple. I don’t know for sure what he was doing in the time in between, but as I noticed watching this episode, the decorative clasp on his outfit has the Mandalorian beast-skull icon on it. Hehe I was actually right when I surmised he might’ve gone there! He clearly spent some time one what he assumed was a peaceful world, probably to be highly disappointed when the Siege of Mandalore occurred right before the war’s end. It was thanks to him that the Jedi made it safely offworld, and with the holocrons that Obi-Wan intended to use to train Luke someday. JEK spent the next 20 years in peace on Naboo before Yoda summoned him to Tatooine, where he would briefly join the fight against the Empire. He helped the Alliance for some time, before finally leaving them likely after they established their base on Hoth. And now, he’s made a home on Zoh, where he has all the building material he could ever want, all the friends he could ever need, and no one on his doorstep asking him to fight their battles. Until now. It’s only when Rowan explains how the Sith used him that JEK puts his pride and hurt behind him. Because once upon a time, the clone was used the same way. He’s not a Jedi, but he decides he will teach Rowan everything he knows about the Force. The Freemakers’ll be hanging out here for a while looks like. But N-3… bro’s not a fan…
Meanwhile, Graballa’s fleet was waiting outside Hoth. And waiting… and waiting… and waiting some more. Naare knows they’ll come. Graballa, however, is bored out of his mind. Both get slightly more than they bargained for though when their bosses come on the holo. Naare and Graballa are two very different varieties of scum and villainy, but the one thing they both have in common is that, for all their scum and villainy, they’re still pretty low on the food chain. Jabba doesn’t approve of his cousin’s latest harebrained scheme and Sidious is (as per usual) quickly running out of patience waiting for that Kyber Saber. Unsurprisingly, both Hutt and Imperial Agent are unsuccessful in convincing their higher-ups of their plans. We’re reminded in this scene that there are greater evils at work here and it’s terrifying. I do find it interesting that Naare approaches the Emperor this time not irritated or angry, but honestly kind of… afraid. Many times before, she’s addressed him with a prideful confidence we often see in second-rate darksiders, but it’s almost as though something happened recently to shake that foundation a little. Perhaps Sidious did something to remind her of her place, and what consequences await her if she fails. Maybe I’m reading into this too much, but if you’ve been reading these TFA posts for any length of time, you know I do a lot of that. But can you blame me? They are telling great stories here and I’m super curious about the things left unstated! But yah she feels ya, Graballa.
Watching JEK-14 training Rowan is basically one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my life. Like seriously. JEK has always been amazing with kids, and seeing him teaching his understanding of the Force to Rowan his just… wow. It’s something real special. I love his angle on the Force: the dark side destroys, but the light side creates. It’s a really great unique angle that feels appropriately Lego but also perfectly Star Wars. A very tangible point of view that perhaps no other Jedi master could offer… one that could only be explained by a Force-sensitive clone trooper who desired only to create. And perhaps someday Rowan will take these lessons and impart them on another young Forcewielder. FEELS FEELS FEEEEELS. Buuuuut again… N-3 is not a fan. The bossdroid’s convinced that The Maker might join the Freemakers and leave them if something’s not done. And if he leaves, they’ll be back to being useless, purposeless scrap. That does bring up a good question: do they truly see JEK as their friend and simply don’t want him to leave, or are they concerned mostly about being purposeless? Or are they concerned that, without The Maker, they will be have no one to protect them from any scavenger looking for a few spare parts? Or maybe it has something to do with him being “The Maker”, in that to the droids, he’s kind of a deity. IDK Maybe I missed something but any way you spin it it’s an interesting thought. N-3 is a very very desperate droid… and also very very convincing.
Elsewhere, Zander and Kordi hadn’t had much luck salvaging. Not a useful piece of junk in sight, it seems. Roger was trying to help, but after nearly crushing them with a toppled junk sculpture, the sibs give him the slip. It’s then when N-3RO makes his move, inviting his fellow “unappreciated” droid brother for a nice long oil bath. N-3 suggests that, perhaps, the battle droid should remain on Zoh, in paradise, away from ungrateful, uncaring masters who’d eventually scrap him. R0-GR won’t allow himself to believe the Freemakers would ever do such a thing, but considering recent events, there’s perhaps a niggling of doubt. Oh poor sweet Rogerrrr… 😦 Whatever the case, N-3RO’s got other plans for Roger’s masters… plans like leading Zander and Kordi into a trap.
So Rowan’s lessons were going quite well, thanks to JEK, he was able to construct a perfect speederbike out of spare parts. Which, true to his nature, Ro immediately hopped on and rode off. With a smile, JEK-14 follows on his own construction. Again AHHH I LOVE THIS. If Luke doesn’t become his official master then JEK totally should! It’s a good thing Rowan and JEK went for a ride, though, because they soon found Kordi and Zander chained up with a half a TIE hovering above their heads. N-3R0 insists that these trespassers have corrupted The Maker’s mind and that he’s doing the right thing by destroying them. Rowan expertly puts together a crate to shield them and attaches it to the speeders to get them to safety. Now if he and his master can stop the revolt without destroying the droids or getting killed themselves, it’llve been a good day! The two hold their own really well for a while, but when Rowan gets captured and JEK in turn lets his guard down, the droids get the better of them all. Roger returns from his oil bath to find his masters surrounded at all ends as N-3 has decided to “deactivate” them all, including JEK, who he now considers “beyond saving” O.O The bossdroid promises Roger complete freedom once the humans are out of the way. However, the old clanker’s come to a different conclusion. N-3 tried to convince him that the Freemakers’ frustration with him would ultimately end in a garbage disposal, but Roger has no doubts where he stands with his masters, because they’re not just masters, they’re family. In families, people make mistakes, they get mad at each other, but temporary frustration doesn’t turn their bond into scrap; they forgive each other, they love each other, they fight for each other. He might be a droid, but first and foremost he’s a Freemaker. And he takes that transmission pack with the family insignia on it and puts it back on. Now those droids are gonna have a whole ‘nother problem to deal with. OK I’m sorry I botched that moment but it’s truly amazing how strongly Roger cares for his family. In the past, he’s had a tendency to come off a little… I hate to say “jerky”, so let’s just say… “highly opinionated” with the Freemakers’ decisions and ideas. Oh wait “self-centered” that was the word I was looking for! Yeah he sometimes comes off like he cares more about himself than the others, but in his heart he truly considers them family, and he loves them even if they sometimes get on his nerves and force him into dangerous adventures… and vice versa πŸ™‚ But oh yeah now here comes Graballa’s ship! Nuts I wish I knew its name so I wouldn’t have to keep calling it just “Graballa’s ship”. In the midst of the chaos, the Freemakers are able to make their escape. JEK remains behind to protect the droids, even after all they’ve done. But that’s not the last noble thing he’ll be doing today. Just as the Freemakers got out of the frying pan, they walked into the fryer as Naare pulled her red-blade out on them. Rowan was ready to take her on, whatever it took, but JEK-14 stood between them, urging Rowan and his family to go on. Oh man I’m getting all teary-eyed writing this. As Naare addressed him as the “failed experiment”, my respect for her dropped a few points. It’s an amazing duel though, as she fights with her lightsaber, while JEK fights with nothing but the pure Force running through his blood. He creates obstacles to throw in her way, but she just as easily tears these structures apart. Had this been a fair fight, I believe JEK was the stronger of the two, even without formal training. But it was not so… using every inch of darkness in her soul, Naare began to form a mountain of refuse around the clone. Rowan watched in horror as The Maker of Zoh was slowly buried in the scrap. Before going down, JEK called out to his apprentice “Trust in the Force. Be a builder, Rowan!” and I started bawling here, crying out “HE DONE PULLED AN ‘AHSOKA’!!” Because of JEK-14’s sacrifice, the StarScavenger was able to get offworld and away from their enemies’ grasp. Over the transmission pack, Rowan makes very clear to Naare that he will be getting that final fragment. JEK not only taught Rowan a new understanding of the Force, but I believe he’s also heavily inspired bravery in his apprentice, and in the rest of the Freemakers as well, in their most desperate hour.
On Zoh, a recently reconstructed N-3RO (post being blasted by Graballa’s fleet) wakes up to a world without The Maker… and also a restraining bolt because bro was well overdue for one of those. BL-OX now knows they never should’ve listened to him, as now, their master is no more. I started getting weepy again as I recalled all of the amazing things JEK had done and the incredible man he was. And then…
An arm shot out of the scrap.
The spark of the Force still electric in his veins, a blaze of pure Force shoots from his hand.
JEK LIVES.

So I basically drowned in feels the rest of the day. Happy feels that JEK is alive. Sad feels that Rowan believes he lost his friend. Nostalgia feels from seeing JEK again. Really all the feels. I so so much love this episode and, again, this series. It felt awesome writing about them again. And I certainly will soon! Whenever the Rebs go on hiatus I’ll bring some more Freemaker follow-ups until I hit the season finale! As long as I live and breathe I’m never gonna wanna stop talking about Star Wars πŸ˜€

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight