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Rebel Transmissions: The Occupation

Though the episodes are arriving in pairs, I’m making sure every one of them gets the full-focus Rebel Transmission it deserves, including the sometimes-intense, sometimes-joyful, always-riveting gem that is The Occupation. Join me, if you will!

Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Breaking Ranks and The Occupation. Also they’re some smaller spoilers from other episodes, so just make sure you’re caught up.

So I’d say it feels great to be back on Lothal again, but… well, you know. The title itself makes it clear things aren’t so hot. It still filled me with some nostalgia feels seeing the little things that made Lothal so memorable in the first season, but they were bittersweet nostalgia feels this time, as this beautiful world, once so bright and clear, is now dark and gray. It’s almost not the same world we last saw on An Inside Man. It’s shrouded in shadow and drowning in sorrows, brought upon by the Empire… and it hurts my heart so much more than I expected.
But leave it to SW to once again bring the perfect balance between dark and light.

As many ways this episode made me weep, it made me smile, too. Like with the return of Vizago! I was surprised at how much I’d missed the slippery scoundrel! And the PUFFER PIGS OMG!! SO. MANY. PUFFER. PIGS!!! You can never have too many far as I’m concerned! Though wow I can’t imagine what you have to go through to farm ’em. And of course, watching the still-so-confident-and-cool Kallus get major burns from Sabine and Rex was a sheer delight XP Yep those are some good times right there.

Oh, and I loved the crew’s new disguises! It’s fun when you’ve been familiar with a character’s look for a while, and then they go and do something so drastically different it kinda throws you at first, and then after a few minutes you start planning your next cosplay project. Well, maybe that’s just the artist/cosplayer/Star Wars nerd in me, but that’s exactly my feelings on it. Hera probably has my favorite costume change, but Ezra and Zeb tie for second with their fantastic, so-called “ridiculous”, hats XD Too bad Sabine didn’t follow that taunting of Chop’s up with a new paint job. Maybe a nice chartreuse? *Chopper comes after me with a blaster*
Right, and Sabine’s new hair, though not a part of the disguise, was great too. I like they didn’t venture too far color-wise from the former, but it still has a fresh, cool feel to it, that also perhaps carries a slight seriousness to it with the coming events…

A moment of silence, of course, for Old Jho and all that Old Jho’s was. The Imperial March is one of my favorite pieces of Star Wars score ever, but I wasn’t too happy to hear the “patriotic” version coming from what was once a good spot for the Ghost fam. Definitely another one of those bittersweet nostalgia moments. But a less-bittersweet moment was the unexpected helping hand that was Jai Kell! It’s funny I’ve been spending so long wondering if we’d see Zare Leonis again (stilllllllll need to read Servants Of The Empire sigh) that I never ever gave Jai a second thought. It’s not that I didn’t really like the kid, but he seemed so hesitant and uncertain inside of the Imperial Academy escapade that I just couldn’t imagine him a true Rebel. Now he’s nothing short of a true Rebel — clever, quick on his feet, and the kind of person you want to be best friends with — and I love him now more than ever! Well that’s one thing I’ve found I love about this series: these characters and stories go down far far better roads than what you and I might predict or assume 🙂

Obviously, there was no question I’d have to dedicate the rest of the blog a paragraph to that lovely little bit of Kaneraness :3 Now when that first clip came up on the socials a week before its debut… um yeah I didn’t see but a second of it but I was thrilled, and got this hope in my head that The Occupation would be a Kanan-and-Hera-centered episode. Ultimately, I got about two minutes instead of twenty-two, but, oh, it was wonderfully wonderful all the same. (Plus, I’ve gotta remind myself every now and again that technically Kanan and Hera got a whole novel, which is like getting several long episodes, so I’ll be happy whether they get an episode or not)
It’s funny… they’ve known each other forever, clearly have had obvious mutual feelings going around for a while, but they don’t get this close until they’re in a dark alley hiding from stormtroopers. AND IT’S SO PERFECT. The “I wish I could see you” bit surprised me some. In a couple small moments in season three, we see them interact by touch in the sweetest way, whether in just the way Hera embraced Kanan after the rescue in The Holocrons Of Fate, or in that brief tender hand-holding on Zero Hour. This gave me the impression, I guess, that they’d worked through some of that initial difficulty and found this great love language that worked well in spite of him being blinded. But turns out, even though he’s gained a lot through seeing with Force, he still does miss seeing her. Kanan looked so downcast… but Hera turned that around with the most genuine, joyful expression on her face when she replied “You could always see me.”. They only got so close before trouble came up again, but AHHHHHHHH THAT WAS SO SO UTTERLY PRECIOUS!! MY HEART IS ABSOLUTELY MELTED. I LOVE THESE BEANS ❤ ❤

As we follow our heroes in a tense chase through the sewers, I do need to take a minute and applaud the lighting artists. Almost the whole episode is in shadow. I thought at first something was wrong with my screen, but nope that’s how it’s supposed to be, to add to the danger and uncertainty, as well as the realization that this town used to have a lot more lights on at night. It’s especially prevalent perhaps within the climax. Doesn’t help we’ve got a deathtrooper involved! Remember last post when I commented I was hoping to see more of them again? I’m sorry Ghost fam, I didn’t think they’d show up that fast! And in the dark! With probes!! It’s almost a nostalgic scenario, even if things are considerably more intense than before. But I love that, in the midst of the darkness and hopelessness, they still come back out of the dark tunnels and into the light, and also into a reminder that this isn’t the first time a small crew of Rebels fought together and made a positive difference… 🙂

Until next post next week!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: An Inside Man

OK so let’s keep on catchin’ up with the Rebs! For this week, we revisit An Inside Man and all of its intrigue, action, and awesome. Let’s see… where to begin? Well first, the spoiler warnings.
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Rebels episodes Fighter Flight, The Honorable Ones, The Antilles Extraction, Hera’s Heroes, and An Inside Man

Ah, Lothal! The world where it all began! It’s funny… after the first season ended I was really excited to see more of the galaxy, and now every time we come back to Lothal I’m all “YAY WE’RE BACK TO THE MOUNTAINS, GRASSLANDS, AND LOTHCATS!” And there’s a familiar sight — Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper surveying the city from above. NOSTALGIA FEEELS. Unfortunately, the enormous Imperial presence here isn’t quite so wonderful. That’s part of the reason the Jedi and droid are here. Their good friend Ryder Azadi arrives fashionably late — and for good reason. Because he might be still trying to give some biker-bucketheads the slip. As well as the usual variety of bucketheads and oh look! A walker joined the party too! Thank goodness Ez, Kanan, and Chopper decided to hitch a ride. This is where the fun begins! I mean, is there a more beautiful sight in all the galaxy than Ezra and Kanan, balanced on both sides of the landspeeder, perfectly lightsabering the legs off the walker as they flew under it? Not sure there is, my friends. Definitely takes me back to those simple days of season one, where tangles with ‘troopers and walkers were the daily routine. Well, technically that sort of is still their daily routine, they’re just tangling with them on a larger scale now. And with more and more allies by the day, they’ve got some major new tricks up their sleeve… like rigging speederbikes to blow up once they hit a certain speed. That is utterly genius. All credit for that genius goes to an Imperial factory worked named Morad Sumar. Aww yayyy Mr. Sumar!! At first when Ryder mentioned “an old friend” my first thought was “OMG Zare Leonis??” but this is just as exciting and makes more sense. Though we only got to know him briefly way way back when on Fighter Flight, I’ve always loved his courageous spirit and warm personality. If my memory serves me, I believe the Sumar fam didn’t have a choice, but the fact Mr. Sumar turned this terrible job arrangement into a way to make a difference is super super admirable and very cool. Now Sumar’s igniting sparks of rebellion of his own 🙂 Yeah I could go on about him forever, especially after this episode. Again with the nostalgia feels. Especially when you realize indeed how much Ez has grown up since then. Some days I still can’t get over how tall he is… whoops better stop there before I start going on and on about that again. Mostly it just made me smile that Mr. Sumar noticed and said something about it, ’cause I’ve been thinking it for months now. Anyway, Ezra and Kanan are hoping that maybe Mr. Sumar could get them a job at the factory, so to speak. This way they can find out exactly what big weapon the Empire’s working on and use that knowledge to convince the other rebel cells to finally really bring the fight to Lothal’s Imps. Sounds like a plan! And then Twilight had no idea how to segue this paragraph in a clever way so she awkwardly ended the paragraph with this sentence.
Next thing we know, Ezra and Kanan are orange-clad working amongst the rest of the factory crew. I can’t imagine what it must be like… being an average everyday decent citizen and then suddenly forced into building Imperial weaponry. I’ve always said working for the Empire is dangerous and terrifying, and usually I’m thinking of all the militants and ‘troopers and inquisitors and the like when I say that; those who were willing to join this great Empire. Imagine being someone who had no interest or desire. And then imagine getting Pryce and others like her in management. Yeesh. I’m guessing Thrawn’s referring to Sumar as a number is probably the norm in this business. Oh yeah did I mention Thrawn showed up? Man this whole scene had me sick with terror. Particularly when it soon becomes clear that there’s no way out of this for Mr. Sumar. Nothing short of gut-wrenching. No words, just tears. *Twilight tries to write a less-awkward segue and fails* So thankful Chopper was there though to let loose a runaway speederbike and help give the Jedi the slip. Also thankful for the timely arrival of two storms with armor and helmets ripe for the pickin’. And for Imperial astromechs with clearance codes who are easy to zap into dreamland. I’m thankful for all of it, because Thrawn ain’t messin’ around right now…
Speaking of Thrawn, how about that art collection of his? New favorite piece of Sabine’s might have to be the firebird and purple lothcat 🙂 My artistic tastes aside, everything about this display drips with intrigue. Though I have yet to read the Legends about him, I do know he has this unique ability to look at a painting and get a battle plan. What further does he gain from Hera’s family portrait? And why does he have a second zoomed-in one? I can’t make out the details enough to figure. What are some of the more abstract pieces for? I recognize the Picasso-esque Mandalorian piece, but how does that relate to Sabine aside from the fact she’s a Mando? And OMG are those cave paintings of people riding giant wolf-like creatures?! And again, how does that all relate to the rebels? Truly, only Thrawn knows. He knows a lot. He knows these rebels have a connection to Lothal, and also that a couple of them might be running around looking for information in level A2. HOW. DOES. HE. DO. IT? He’s amazing. And terrifying. But you know that, likely longer than even I have.
So though Kanan and Ezra have the disguises and some great cover stories (“Wait, is this B17?” “I told you we were on the wrong level”), they haven’t fully convinced the other stormtroopers and had to make a run for it. They arrive at a turbolift only to find Agent Kallus was already there. I’ve known for a while clearly he was Fulcrum. After all, he looked genuinely shocked at what happened to Sumar, and he was clearly trying to find out more about the Empire’s little secret weapon, and that’s just what we’ve seen today. But Kanan and Ezra don’t buy it. Probably would’ve helped Kallus more had he not said “Don’t move… rebels…” like that. He spoke like he’d done a hundred times before when he was a raging jerkface. I’m thinking a pleasant “Hi there, I’m Fulcrum and I’m helping you escape” would’ve gone over a lot better. Uttering the code phrase helps a little, and briefly mentioning how Zeb helped him and then how he helped Sabine gives him a little more credence, but it seems only Chopper believes him for sure. Right now though, it seems the Rebs’ best bet is to give the commanding sideburns a chance. And it works out well, thanks to Kallus (and his fantastic acting skills) they’re able to contact Ryder and walk[er] on outta there! And of course, possibly my favorite part in the episode is when Ezra makes it look convincing. “EZRA!” “What? That is convincing!” “Yeah, but I was gonna do it.” “Well, he’s one of us now, you’ll get your chance!” XD XD Agent K don’t look thrilled at that prospect, but it’s all in a day’s work for our fantastic Fulcrum 🙂
‘Course, the Rebs don’t just “walker on outta there”, things get a bit more complicated and a bit crazier than that. Thrawn quickly figures out which AT-DP isn’t like the others and lets the AT-AT drivers know, resulting in quite a chaotic walker dance that is amazing to behold. But even when one AT-AT’s got them down (literally), Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper get right back up (literally after lightsabering a hole into the walkers). And with Ryder driving and Mrs. Sumar manning the big guns, they pretty much #WIN. Also yes I just love that Sumar’s family knows how to bring the fight as well. The image of a seemingly ordinary farmer’s wife expertly shooting this massive cannon is too epic and makes me feel like I can do anything. That’s the Rebel Alliance for ya; everyday people making an extraordinary difference and standing up for what’s right. That’s what Morad Sumar did, what those closest to him will continue to do, and ultimately what thousands, if not millions, of people will do *Applauds*
Transferring the data Chopper pilfered over to their base, the Ghost fam’s now looking at plans for a sleek, shielded TIE model that could spell some major problems for the mini-Alliance should it be mass-produced. They have Kallus to thank, though, for getting that info. No one at the base can quite fathom the Kallus-Fulcrum connection either, except maybe Zeb, and even he seems a bit weirded out that their brief time spent as allies made a difference. It seems feasible that he might be the real deal, but they’re not banking everything on him yet. Only time’ll tell what’ll it take to fully convince them. ‘Cause I’m pretty sure Kallus is convinced when it comes to the Empire. Especially now that Thrawn knows they’ve got a turncoat… and I don’t imagine it would take him long to figure out who it is…
Oh dang things just got reallll. I can only hope the best for Agent K from here on out. And I certainly hope you enjoyed the Transmission and got something out of it. I’m sorry the post was a little hiccup-y. I’m trying to write these things with less of my retelling the story and more of my thoughts, but it can be a tricky balance to find after doing things a certain way for so long. Either way, it’s been great fun talking about this great episode 🙂

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Reveling In Rebels: A Season One Recap, Part 1

So today I’m gonna do something a bit different. Basically I’m gonna sit and ramble on how much I love Star Wars Rebels! OK maybe not entirely… because that could take a long while and we only have, like, six or seven months until the next season! But yeah… this show has become such a part of my life, like everything Star Wars does, and I just wanna pour out my heart on how much this show’s meant to me, and go back and look at this season as a whole, and how incredibly amazing it all is. I know this probably isn’t what you would naturally be looking to read, but hey, what’s a blog if not someone talking about something important to them? So fangirl or fanboy along with me why dontcha? 🙂
NOTE: Contains spoilers from basically the entire first season of Rebels… so don’t read this if you’ve missed a single episode.

14 seems like a small number, doesn’t it? But Rebels has made it a number bigger than you could ever imagine. I can say this because every time I watch an episode, older or newer, I can’t help but take notice as to how the characters have grown, how their relationships have grown, how their world has expanded. A week before the show started, I transformed a piece of Rebels promo art into a wallpaper. I couldn’t wait to meet these characters, and now whenever I look at that wallpaper, it sorta hits me that I have not only met these characters, but that I know them. I don’t know every little detail about their lives and every chapter in their stories, but I absolutely reel when I realize just how much I know about them even so. When I look at these characters, looking all cool and determined and ready to fight, I’m reminded of what they’ve been through. I’m reminded of Ezra’s battle with himself, Kanan’s false guilt, Sabine’s desire to have all the answers, Zeb’s losses. And even not knowing all of Hera’s story, there are plenty of times where we know she has faced plenty of trials of her own. At the same time, I’m reminded of how each of them moved on or won that battle in some way. I get all teary when I see Ezra face The Inquisitor and say “I’m not afraid…”, just as I do when I see Kanan stand tall and say “I have nothing left to fear”. I’m hugely encouraged every time I watch Sabine willing to trust even without all the answers. I keep hoping we’ll see Zeb come to some sort of peace regarding the tragedy the befell Lasan. And I about die “aww”-ing when Hera encourages her comrades at every turn, putting their needs often before her own. Maybe that all sounds a bit crazy, but to me, it’s just amazing realizing how, after 14 episodes, I feel like I’ve known the Ghost crew my whole life. Now to me they are as core to the SW galaxy as the Skywalkers themselves!
Every chapter reveals something, furthers something, expands on something. No episode airs without some sort of overall effect to the series at large. This can clearly be seen in Droids In Distress, as the droids’ seemingly average owner is actually playing his own part in the growing rebellion. Who’da thunk it, right?! And it goes even farther beyond that! So let’s take a second and talk about the episodes, and how each adventure affected the story as a whole.
I still remember the day I first saw Spark Of Rebellion, just how absolutely huge that felt! How I laughed, how I cried, and how it effortlessly snuck its way into my heart, as if I’d been watching it forever! And now when I watch it, I feel this sense of awe as to how much has changed over this season. I actually watched Spark Of Rebellion after watching Fire Across The Galaxy last week. Definitely a cool experience, seeing them from that first rescue to their most recent one 🙂 It’s amazing seeing how they’ve bonded since then as well as how Ezra’s grown up. I mean, we now know a lot more about Ezra’s past than we did on the pilot. He grew up with such incredible parents, but eight years without them and he’s sorta gone against their message of helping others and standing up for those who can’t. Of course I’m not criticizing him, it would be easy to become jaded if I were in his shoes. And of course, he probably connected losing his parents to the good things they did, so he likely wanted to get away from that as far as possible. While I know I probably overuse the Aladdin connection, he really is a diamond in the rough at this juncture, he just doesn’t know it yet. And man oh man… I get all sorts of feely when Ezra watches as Zeb and Sabine give out food to the Tarkintown residents… how he’s really starting to figure it out, how it’s starting to reopen his eyes to why exactly his folks did what they did. And seriously, one of potentially my most favorite moments ever in the show has to be in Path Of The Jedi when he tells Yoda that helping others makes him “feel alive“… just… wow. So much wow. To see him take that leap from looking out for number one to finding joy in giving back just blows my mind every time. It’s hard not to cheer every time I watch Spark Of Rebellion and see Ezra slowly making the right choice in things, and even going out to help when the odds are all stacked against him. And despite all the craziness that conspires, at the end of it all, the crew’s doesn’t seem to want to say goodbye to this thieving street kid. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ezra makes the right choice at the end when he makes the decision to join the Ghost family. Could there have been a better first chapter for this story? I think not 🙂
Then there’s Droids In Distress again. Beyond just Bail Organa’s connections that none of us had a clue about, this episode has a lot of interesting ties to the rest of the season. I love, of course, learning more about Zeb and his story. As I said on my Transmission on the episode, it really opened my eyes to what a great guy Zeb is, and made me respect and love him even more than I already did. In the days before Rebels debuted, Zeb was kind of an enigma, and seemingly kind of hard to define through just the character intro video alone. I never doubted he’d be an awesome character and that I’d love him, but I had no idea just how awesome he would be and how much I would love him. So yeah this episode went beyond just the concept of the Rebels running into Threepio and Artoo, it gave me a full-on case of the feels and put me on the edge of my seat. And of course, we get to see Ezra’s first really big show of Force as he awesomely defends his comrade, even though he has no idea how he did it. Along with another interesting tie, as we now know Sabine really was an Imperial Academy student. Whether she really was a level five or not I don’t know… pshh she’s so beyond grades. On a scale from one to ten she’s a 37! Watching this episode again recently definitely wet my appetite to learn more about Zeb and Sabine in the season to come. And made me keep crossing my fingers that a character from the Droids series might walk in one day…
Speaking of Zeb, then there’s Fighter Flight! It was pretty cool of Ezra to save Zeb’s life and stuff… up until he started holding it over his head. We got another glimpse at Ezra’s past through the awesome Mr. Sumar, which opened up a whole chapter on his family we didn’t know about. The whole overall story with Ezra and Zeb is an absolute delight, further expanding on the Ghost family’s awesome dynamic. And of course, that infamous TIE… I never would’ve seen coming exactly how that Fighter would end up being used in the end! And an infamous painting on the wall will always remind us of such events. You could say Chopper is the real hero in this because if he hadn’t gotten Zeb and Ezra squabbling they wouldn’t have ended up in the situation that led them to the TIE in the first place and if they hadn’t had that TIE later on Kanan might be a dead man right now. Well, this might not be entirely the case, but yeah no one can deny Chopper the title of “Rebel Hero”… even when he does throw dishes at you, hits you with electricity, removes the screws from your bunk, and laughs at you just ’cause he wants to 😀
Then it got real on Rise Of The Old Masters. This episode really nailed me in the feels. I guess after the mostly lightheartedness of Fighter Flight I had no clue just how much it would blow my mind. But hello The Inquisitor’s in it! And man… Kanan and Ezra’s relationship is so great… you feel for them both in their frustrations this episode as Kanan feels inadequate as a teacher for Ezra, and Ezra, who feels like Kanan’s giving up on him. But after being led into a trap (that only now we realize was totally thanks to Gall Trayvis), nearly dying at the hands of The ‘Quiz, and taking on a good chunk of the Empire, they both are willing to do — not just try. I love how much their relationship grew in this one, and you gotta love Kanan for not being perfect, for being real, for being honest, for being extremely relatable to both Ezra and the rest of us. It just makes their father-son-esque bond all the awesomer. And The Inquisitor’s quite epic in his first flesh-and-blood appearance, too… I always knew he was an intense baddie, but I had no idea he was so classily calculating, and that made him all the cooler! Yeahhh I’m gonna miss him chasing down the Rebels like he do. Most defs. And his epic lightsaber. But eh well I’d miss Kanan a lot more so I won’t miss ‘Quizzy that much… but I’m getting ahead of myself.
And then there’s Breaking Ranks! Ezra’s inside job and the first time we get to meet Zare Leonis! It’s insanely cool getting to dig deeper into the Empire and how it does what it does, like training up young ‘troopers. And yeah Zare is so stinkin’ cool… and the fact he’s got his own book series going on makes him all the cooler! But yeah, it’s nice to know that Ezra’s not the only “rebel” in these ranks. Even when you’ve got crazy cadets who think the Empire hung the moon (pfffff see what I did there?? XD ). There’s so much I can’t wait to dig into further in Zare’s series, but until then, I’m just happy to enjoy this adventure as it is, as Ezra’s made an unexpected friend while undercover and the Imperials get whupped by friendship and teamwork! (Sorry I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true) Oh, and Jai and Zare live our dream and drive a walker. That too.
Of course, we have to talk about Out Of Darkness. This is the episode where we really got to sit down and learn some more about our rebel girls… including a third girl we would have yet to meet, “Fulcrum” 🙂 Getting to see Hera and Sabine bond over fighting Fyrnocks is quite the adventure, and we’re quite glad they made it out alive. And just getting these tiny hints in the direction as to the larger mission at hand is really cool, both in the moment and looking back. Fulcrum — er, Ahsoka — I’m sorry I ever might’ve given you a smidgen of doubt. And I’m sure Sabine’s thinking that a bit now. Though it will be interesting to see if Sabine and Ahsoka ever butt heads over something in the business of rebelling. It’s really amazing seeing how Hera handles this, how she’s able to encourage Sabine to have faith even when she can’t give her all the answers. It is so much legit truth, and it comes to mind every now and then when I’m asking questions that I can’t have answered. Getting to know more of their stories is one of the things that makes this episode so awesome. And it’s really hard to encapsulate all of that in this one paragraph, so go and read the Transmission on the episode for more (and ignore all my ramblings from back before I ever wondered if Fulcrum was Ahsoka). Like say, when you look at how everything comes together at the end… it is all kinds of epic.

Come back next week to read the rest of the recap!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Vision Of Hope

This is Star Wars Fan Blogger Twilight, and I bring you more positive discussion and fangirly craziness the haters don’t want you to hear. And you’re reading Rebel Transmissions. Ahh sorry couldn’t resist! Felt appropriate to open up today’s post on Vision Of Hope. And don’t worry, I can promise you that I’m for real 🙂 Whoaa uh that might’ve been a spoiler! If you haven’t seen the episode yet go watch and now and forget you read that last line! Le apologies. Anyway, let’s get to it!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, Episode III, Episode V, Episode VI, the Clone Wars Microseries, Menace Of The Sith, TCW episode The Wrong Jedi, and Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Rise Of The Old Masters, Breaking Ranks, Path Of The Jedi, and Vision Of Hope.

It started out an ordinary day for our crew. Ezra was getting to do some lightsaber training today, with Zeb, Chopper, and Sabine providing some firepower for him to practice deflecting. Kanan encourages Ezra to work harder on aiming the blasterfire at the target, but it’s not too easy. Deflecting blasterfire and stuff is something the Jedi do all the time, and they make it look so easy, so I guess it had never occurred to me that it might be a tricky thing to learn how to do. Ezra definitely shows us what Jedi training is like from a layman’s perspective, which is nice for those of us who like to dream and pretend we’re Jedi ourselves. But Ezra is confident he’ll nail that target; “‘Yet’, the key word is ‘yet'” 🙂 Man I wish I had that kind of confidence in my abilities some days. Kanan just facepalms XD
Stopping the practice, he asks Ezra what his rush is. And it happens to be that Young Bridger is excited to hear from everyone’s favorite rebel senator, Gall Trayvis, and he just knows that he’ll be on today. But Kanan simply reminds him to keep his focus in the here and now where it belongs. I could just hear Ezra say “Y’know, that guide I met in the temple told me to be mindful of the future…” and then Master Jarrus would throw out “Yeah but not at the expense of the moment. Especially when you’re being shot at.” hehe somebody stop me! Anyway, returning to training, amidst the fire coming from all ends, Ezra starts hearing voices… and it goes from there and becomes a full-fledged vision. In the snippets, we get the idea that our Rebels’ day won’t stay ordinary, and it appears to involve a whole lot of running from Imperials, and apparently… Gall Trayvis on the run with them? And if Ezra needed any other reason to be majorly intrigued by what he saw, he catches the Senator saying “…your parents were very brave”! When he comes to, forget that he creamed the target in his trance, he’s got some major news regarding his favorite personality… and the mystery surrounding his folks. Kanan doesn’t really seem to buy into this vision as truth. And understandably… we know that these visions Jedi get have a tendency to be half-wrong a good bit (See: Luke, whose was kinda off, and Anakin, whose was only made true when he freaked out over it). Not to mention the whole idea of the gang running around with everyone’s hero, who just so happens to have known Ezra’s parents, must sound a bit like wishful thinking to the others. But Ezra isn’t about to deny what he saw, and the potential of what it could mean for him. And just then, right on cue, Hera lets the gang know that Senator Trayvis is on the holonet. Don’t think I’ve ever seen Ezra so excited as he dashed into the Ghost, knocking into Zeb in his hurry. Sorry but that subtle gag made me laugh for like five minutes straight XD
It’s definitely interesting seeing just what a big deal Gall Trayvis is to these guys. I mean, these guys gather around the holonet like a family watching The Wonderful World Of Disney! It’s of course not the first time we’ve seen Trayvis on-air, but it’s the first time we’ve sort of gotten a glimpse of the enthusiasm our rebels share for this guy, in particular for Hera and Ezra. As Trayvis eloquently roots on the rebels, he seems to have slipped in a subtle message for the Ghost crew. It looks like the Senator wants to meet the crew! Hera and Ezra deduce it to be at the old senate building at sunset today. Kanan and Zeb are a bit skeptical, but the captain and padawan have an answer for every question they have. But taking into account that the Empire could still be up to something, Hera sends Ezra out to meet up with his friend on the inside to find out if there’s any funny business going on. Before heading out, Kanan tries to talk to Ezra and help him understand to not be too quick to trust his vision to the letter. But Ezra feels beyond a shadow of a doubt that what he saw is true. It’s got to be difficult to be told to trust your feelings, and then have those feelings be called into question. Like say, Ezra’s in an interesting situation, as he’s being raised in the Jedi ways at fifteen, giving him a definite layman’s approach to the Force. And this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. But for now, Ezra goes off to meet up with his friend — the awesome Zare Leonis!
Yeah needless to say I was thrilled to see Zare again. And quite thrilled to know he’s still alive. Seriously I need to read those books!! Uh anyway, so Ezra meets up with Cadet Leonis in a backalley. And Zare’s happy to bring some news, especially now that he’s been recently promoted and can access even more dirt on the Empire that’d be useful to “Dev” and his comrades. Zare relays that a good bunch of the Imperials are planning something at the old senate building, and that’s not good. Ezra believes now that Gall Trayvis might be walking into a trap. Before parting, Zare lets him know that he’s being transferred off-world, so it might be a while before they see each other again. Ezra, in turn was just about to give Zare his real name, but then along come some Stormtroopers and that conversation ended. But it makes you wonder, doesn’t it? I mean, the fact that Ezra didn’t get to tell him… makes me wonder if Zare might be further connected to Ezra’s path than we know. Maybe their families were friends? It may not’ve meant anything, but I can’t help but wonder. But suddenly it hits Ezra… he’s surrounded by ‘troopers at all ends in a backalley… and it looks awfully familiar… because he saw it in his vision. But all familiarity aside, Young Bridger’s forced to make a run for it. The ‘troopers give chase for a bit before Ezra’s agility and blaster-saber aid in his escape.
In that very senate building sits Agent Kallus, intently studying over his plans. Imperial Senator Maketh, as usual, is pretty skeptical of whatever he’s got up his sleeve. But Kallus is looking awfully smug about this one… he’s tired of The Quiz’s focus on just the Jedi, so he’s aiming to nab the whole Rebel gang — Jedi and all. To quote a great Mon Calamari admiral, “IT’S A TRAP!”.
Ezra finally returns to their rendevouz point at the Bridger household, only to find just about everyone downstairs talking about how awesome his parents were. Understood as they are awesome, but wow much awkward for Ezra here. Once that awkwardness clears out, Ezra tells the crew about the Empire’s plans, so it looks like our little gang’s got a rescue mission to attend to.
So there the crew was, crouching on the outskirts of the senate building, surveying for any sign of Trayvis or Imperials. Sabine spots the ship the senator must’ve come in, and Kanan spots the ‘troopers stalking around down below. Now before our heroes go rushing off to save Trayvis, Hera does query as to why the Empire hasn’t gone after the senator yet. Kanan rolls that off as being a trap for the crew, which considering the thing we saw with Kallus, it makes complete sense. Yet, looking back, Hera’s quandry makes a lot of sense, unfortunately. But I’ll save all my kicking myself over not having seen it coming for later, for now, our rebels are putting together a plan, and Ezra decides the next step of said plan is going to involve a little shortcut… to the Lothal sewer systems. Oh joy.
After Chopper has a brief “discussion” with an Imperial ‘mech guarding the sewers, the rest of the crew moves in. As you might expect, not everyone is a fan of this plan. But Ezra knows his way around, and quite frankly the smell beats stormtrooper trouble any day. But hey, the Rebs got off easy… at least the sewers weren’t full and they didn’t have to swim in it like Obi-Wan and Anakin once did! And ermagosh this moment… “It does smell like you…” “Wait. You know what I smell like?” 😆 😆 But their trip underground doesn’t last long, ’cause soon our heroes find themselves back on the move on the senate building premises. With Zeb and Sabine up a level and Kanan, Hera, and Ezra going inside, what could go wrong? Anddddd I jinxed it. Kinda. OK not really but you know how this ends…
So the threesome find Senator Trayvis pretty quickly. Just sittin’ with his droids up front like nothing’s weird. Hera and Ezra warn him of the danger he’s in and he’s all like “Whoa whut??”. Yeah I hate that I didn’t see all this coming to begin with, but Gall’s a pretty amazing actor and I totally bought everything he said. And to think I was genuinely worried about him, the punk! (Sorry that last part was uncalled for. Forgive me.) But on cue come the ‘troopers and their little Agent too, making quick work of Trayvis’ protocol droids. And with all their numbers, it’s uncertain whether Kanan’s blade, Ezra’s blaster-blade, and Hera’s blaster can save the senator… and their own lives. Kallus gives some friendly “hellos” to the crew (fondly throwing out Ezra’s self-titled nickname “Jabba” hehe), and then asks his soldiers if they could help “encourage” the gang into conversing with him. Trayvis is like “Yeah let’s go with that plan I like that plan!” and again, I mentally kick myself for not picking up on his true allegiance. Sounds a lot like Palpatine in Lego’s Menace Of The Sith… “Surrender, we will not!” “Excuse me, but did you say ‘surrender, we will now’? Because I think that’s a marvelous idea! …Just my two cents…”. Here I was just thinking Trayvis was a petrified little ex-Republic senator who was in over his head and didn’t want to cause trouble! Anyway, thankfully the threesome has some friends in high places, and by that I mean Zeb and Sabine, wielding a few tiny “miracles” 🙂 And then they do their awesome thing as Zeb goes all Lasat on them and Sabine goes all… um, Mando I guess, on them. And that gives our heroes a chance to make a run for it. But there’s always some hitch in the plans, and that miiiight include the fact that the senator’s ship is long gone and instead stands an Imperial shuttle. Y’know maybe that should’ve tipped ’em off? The fact that his ship is missing but there’s no evidence it was blown up seems to garner some questions. Questions I should’ve been asking myself! But sue me I was eating dinner when I was watching this for the first time so my mind was a quarter-focused on my chicken tenders and macaroni so I guess I couldn’t get myself to think much further on it. Oh, and speaking of hitches, Kallus isn’t the kind of guy gotten rid of so easily. Andddd it’s back to making a run for it!
The crew finally comes back to the sewer pipe where they left off and Trayvis is all “Um. Ew. We’re actually going in there?“. Well, if nothing good came out of this, at least Trayvis got forced out of his comfort zone a bit (and likely forced to take a shower later). The guy may be a good actor, but his distaste for sewer travel is all real XD Another interesting note: sooo Kallus tried to shoot ’em one last time before the pipe was closed up and then he barked orders to his ‘troopers to go and get them at the next interval. My question is… if he knew Trayvis was a turncoat (which he clearly did), why was he still a bit antsy to nab the Rebs? I guess he knows they have a habit of getting out of sticky situations and won’t allow for anything to go wrong. You know I just realized this was a dumb question so let’s just drop it and move on.
As the gang dashed through the sewer, it seems that Gall can’t quite keep up. I didn’t think about this at first because well, he’s not exactly… young. And plus, I don’t do well with running either, so I could feel his pain. And then his claim that the running plus the less-than-pleasant-smelling environment made it more difficult sounded legit enough. But somehow Hera’s look of suspicion didn’t hit me once. This coming from the same girl who, back in TCW, figured it out that Barriss was the traitor early on. I’m kinda ashamed of myself. Now all of Trayvis’ ramblings sound so fishy they come canned with Starkist on the label. ‘Cause boy that guy can run when he wants to, when the Stormtroopers finally catch up! Kanan sends Hera and Ezra off to get Trayvis to shelter. “How will you find us?” “I can smell you, remember?” and Ezra’s about to throw something out there, but there’s no time for flirty witticisms! Though I would like to throw out one possibility: “Well, what an incredible smell you’ve discovered!” 😀 Ohh I kinda hope that wasn’t what he was thinking though… XD
Think Chopper got the easy part of the mission? Ah no. A couple of ‘troopers came by and sealed the hatch shut and warned their assumptively Imperial droid of the Rebels. Sooo now Chop’s got to go and get the stupid thing un-sealed now! Yup things are just going swimmingly today aren’t they?
So while Hera and Ezra and Trayvis were navigating the tunnels, I get another reason to really should’ve been suspicious of the senator. He sorta casually seems to ask who might be funding or allies to their little gang. Thankfully the answer is no, they have neither, but oh my gosh, what a sneak! And I’m sorry I’m dishing out this much smacktalk on the guy but he is really grinding my gears right now, especially as I look back and see his plan from the get-go. So please forgive me if you’re still a Gall Trayvis fan and I offended you; I hold no real hate for him but he’s definitely not on my good side right now. Ezra comments on what an inspiration the senator’s transmissions have been, and Hera, though slightly less certain of the guy, does remark that it’s nice to know “…we’re not the only ones out there”. The three come to a stop in front of this giant fan blade. And while Ezra checks to see if he can shut down the fan’s power, Hera slips Gall a blaster to “watch their backs”. And again, I don’t know how I didn’t see it coming. Though I can admit I was a bit uneasy here… but I just didn’t want to think for a second that he might not be the real deal! Right now I’m just super-impressed Hera already knew she’d have to slip him an unloaded gun. But man… when he just goes and pulls that blaster on them… it’s just unreal. Yet it totally makes sense in retrospect. And I’ll be honest, I thought the whole Luminara thing from back on Rise Of The Old Masters was a total accident! But how would you react if your hero suddenly turned on you and revealed himself not to be who you thought he was? Well, despite Hera was on to him before Ezra was, she is no less disappointed in him. Ezra can’t fathom this whatsoever, I mean, it’d be like Walt Disney himself revealing himself to be an Imperial officer! (That was not a shot at Disney owning Lucasfilm I promise you it’s a callback to that reference I made earlier) And ughhh I couldn’t not hurt for Ezra when Trayvis brings up his parents… 😥 Of course he was commenting on their bravery in a villainous derogatory manner… just to drop the bomb that they’re… evidently dead. A part of me still hopes it’s not true, but until proven otherwise I can’t say much for now. Man oh man there were tears on my part. But good for Hera, as the senator’s blaster isn’t loaded… and she has no problem punching an “elderly gentleman”. So yeah the rest of the crew’s not too thrilled either, but they’ve got bigger problems as they still have ‘troopers on their tail and a giant fan right in front of them. Kanan uses the Force to stop it while the others stand guard and fire back at the baddies. And just as the Specters left, Ezra shot this look of ultimate disappointment at Trayvis. But Trayvis… kinda looks… well, he doesn’t look at him with an “aw man they got away again!” look, it almost looks… somewhat uncertain, maybe a little apologetic. Maybe I’m just looking into this too deeply, but one has to wonder if perhaps Gall Trayvis is not too far gone. Especially after Kallus shoots him this even more disappointed look. As frustrating as his betrayal is… I can’t pretend that there might not still be some good in him. Hey, if Vader can be redeemed, anyone can, right? But where his story goes next, I do not know…
And so Chopper was just about to carve the hatch open for the Rebels when suddenly Kanan lightsabers the rest of their way out. Ever have one of those days you just can’t win? This little C1-10P has.
The crew is solemn upon returning to the Ghost. But not all is lost. Hera and Ezra have an awesome moment as she makes a point that, despite our feelings can make things confusing sometimes, and not everything goes according to the way we’d like it to, it is never wrong to hope. And something I thought about in regards to this: whether in backtalking Trayvis or just talking to the rest of the crew, Hera and Ezra both point back to the Bridgers and what a difference they made. Fact is, his parents were the true embodiment of hope. You don’t need to be some fancy celebrity rebel superhero, you just need to be brave, have hope, and be willing to fight for the right thing. And that’s what the Ghost crew will continue to do 🙂
So wow so much feels! So much intrigue! So much to think about it took me two days and became the first late Rebel Transmission ever! Ah well it was time worth spent. Until next time around…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Breaking Ranks

It’s time once again for another Rebel Transmission! And this one’s (hopefully) going to be a lot of fun as we delve into the Empire and meet some pretty awesome kids in the episode known as Breaking Ranks! Better get your ‘trooper helmet ’cause it’s going to be one wild ride!
NOTE: Contains spoilers from Episode I, TCW Episodes Clone Cadets, The Box, and The Big Bang (Storyreel), and Rebels episodes Spark Of Rebellion and Breaking Ranks.

I can’t begin to express how much I love the way they played this episode out. The fact that it opens without any backstory or explanation, and we have to learn all of that later! It’s awesome! What goes without explanation is simple… we have found Ezra hanging out with a bunch of Imperial Stormtrooper cadets! Why? How? What? OK most likely you, like me, made the assumption that it’s an inside job. But why? What is required of this inside job? And how the hey did Ezra take off that helmet and have his hair come out perfect? (OK well that’s also because he’s animated but having a lot of hair myself I notice these things)
So yes, I’m not sure what could feel weirder than waking up one morning wearing white, walking in formation, and taking orders from our friends from the first episode, Jerk Imperial #1 and Jerk Imperial #2. Oh, I guess there’s one thing… going by a completely different name, that being Dev Morgan (though admittedly, that’s a pretty cool name). Ezra seems to have forgotten that for a second when a fellow cadet, Jai Kell, calls him by “name”. But all the palling around between these fast friends doesn’t last long on Imperial turf. Gentlemen and gentlemen, welcome to The Well, Imperial training ground-doohickey. It looks a whole lot like a familiar doohickey from back in the Clone Wars, The Box, except I guess it’s less lethal. Heh… crazy how such a simple name can already be so cool just as it is! Basically, they’re all these floaty boxes and these kids need to jump from one to another to get up and get out of das Well. Winners gets to be Imperial Aides of the day! Losers… well, they weren’t terribly specific but it sounds like they’ll be scrubbing the bathrooms with a toothbrush. This one cadet does the totally boyish thing of pretty quickly making it clear he’s gonna cream the others, and Ezra answers him with all the calm, cool collectedness of a certain Jedi disguised as a bounty hunter in a similiar scenario over a decade ago. “YOU’RE GOING DOWN, MORGAN!” “Actually, we’re going up.” Of course then a bit of a scuffle started, but still, nicely done Ezra. But yeah as soon as the game starts, young Bridger starts putting the others to shame. #JediBenefits. He and Jai make it to the top pretty quickly, and not even the addition of zapping electricity on the boxes and Jerk Cadet from before trying to bump ’em off can hinder these top-of-the-class kids. Oh, and this third kid did pretty awesomely too, but he’ll be more important later on. Jerk Imperials #1 and #2 are impressed, but in ‘trooper training there are no reward stickers or friendly words of encouragement, only a reminder that their next challenge will be way way harder. Real nice, man… even the stinkin’ bounty hunters who trained the clone troopers were nicer than these clowns! And *coughclonetrooperswerebettersoldiersthanstormtroopersanywayprobablybecausetheyweremoresupportivecough* Buuuut at least they trio’s on their good side and becoming aides for the day so I guess it’s not all that bad. As the three follow JI #1 through the halls, Ezra silently acknowledges a famliar face… a little black C1-1OP who just happens to be Chopper in disguise. And the third cadet sorta takes notice. But once Chopper’s out of sight, he’s able to signal another two familiar faces watching and waiting from afar — Sabine and Zeb. And as Sabine confirms to Hera that Ezra’s in, the plan we didn’t fully get at first starts falling into place. It appears that Ezra’s in on this to fetch a handy decoder that could help them on their next plan. And though it was his idea… Kanan’s no longer liking the plan too much. Though he won’t admit it, he comes off a bit worried for his padawan’s safety. It’s fun watching how smoothly Hera handles his frustration; she just rolls with it and does what she can to both chill him out and irritate him a bit. Like she do 🙂
So yes, as Ezra casually sauntered away from the group, the cadet from before definitely had his curiosity/suspicion peaked. Particularly as “Dev” makes a dash for Agent Kallus’s office after having done his unpaid-intern duties. Ezra thought he’d nabbed that decoder from Kallus’s computer-thing without a hitch, and thennnnn he opened the door to Cadet #3’s smiling helmet. For a long awkward moment, Ezra’s not quite sure whether he’s in trouble or if he’s in even more trouble. But Cadet #3 happens to mention that there might’ve been an alarm on the doorway that might’ve gone off had Ezra tried to walk out with the decoder. Turns out this kid might be on his side. Andddd we can all breathe now. But maybe not so much for the Ghost crew, who don’t know exactly what went down. And now they only have one more day as their ultimate plan is revealed; the Empire’s getting itself a shipment of kyber crystals which of course could be really bad, and that little decoder can help our heroes get rid of it before the baddies decide to arm everyone and their brother with lightsabers.
Later that evening, Ezra got to talk with his potential new ally, who goes by Zare. I would’ve figured there would be more pro-Empire kids in this mix than this, but clearly not everyone. Zare’s really only here because his sister went here… and disappeared. Oooh yes his story is one I definitely want to hear more of! But anyway, it looks like Ezra’s got a friend to help him figure out his way around the Imperials and nab that decoder. And Zare has no arguments against doing so.
The next day, the Imperials have amped up their training in The Well, and this time they’ve given them all blasters! Well, thankfully they don’t seem to do much harm, so that’s at least a slightly smart decision on the Empire’s part. They have to shoot the targets to get the boxes out to climb out this time around. And it, you know, goes pretty well, for Ezra and Jai at least… Zare’s not quite there yet. Knowing that he needs to have Zare around to help him with his heist, Ezra makes a tough choice and pushes his buddy off the platform for Zare. The Imperials are just eating this supposed treachery up, but Jai’s far from thrilled to be getting the short end of that stick. Aww Ezra looks so sad walking away from his infuriated friend, not able to explain why he had to do what he did… 😦 But shortly thereafter, Ezra and Zare are off to the races to get that decoder. Ezra has crawled through the vents to Kallus’s office to where he intends to use the Force to nab the device, while Zare plays the distraction game with the Agent-In-Charge. Zare tells Kallus that he’s got to sign for some podracer parts, and Kallus is all “dude I didn’t order any podracer parts!”. Somehow I could see an Imperial buying one of those though… fast, dangerous, cool… of course, then again, Anakin was the only human who could drive one so maybe not. Hehe Zare should’ve tried convincing him to buy one to buy a little extra time; “Well if you didn’t order any parts, why not? You’d be the envy of the Empire! Imagine, policing the streets of Lothal with the wind blowing through your sideburns! Making the rebels eat your dust! I bet even Lord Vader himself would be all kinds of jelly!” XD But either way, his distraction worked, and Ezra was able to Force-grab that decoder without a hitch. Though as Ezra was crawling back through the vents, he happened to overhear a hologram conversation between JI #1 and (dun dun DUN) The Inquisitor. Evidently, “Morgan” and Kell are highly recommended to the ‘Quiz, and the dark dude is looking forward to seeing them in action… and… “taking them into custody”. Aw dang that can’t be good. It looks like Ezra’ll be hanging around a bit longer.
A short time later, Chopper delivers the decoder to Sabine and Zeb, as well as Ezra’s hastily-recorded message letting them know a little about his plan to help his friend, and also that he could use their help for a diversion tomorrow. Yup never a dull moment for these guys. So yeah Sabine didn’t have a lot of time to explain to Kanan why exactly Ezra wasn’t there before he and Hera headed off to take on the Imperial shipment. Don’t you hate when hyperspace cuts off your comlink?
Back to the Imperial Academy, Ezra’s managed to get a second to talk to Jai about what happened and what’s going to happen. But the kid ain’t havin’ it, he’s not sure who to trust, and he’s not even totally convinced that the ‘Quiz is real. But once Zare shares his side of the story, the fact that his missing sister is proof enough, and now Jai’s more so willing to listen to Ezra’s plan.
Meanwhiles, it’s off to the Imperial-ship-destroying races for Kanan and Hera, who only have one shot to get that kyber crystal out of commission. One has to wonder, with the resulting massive explosion and all, was this one crystal possibly like the one in the TCW Utapau Crystal Crisis storyreels? A gigantic thing? Because that would make a lot of sense then. But where would the Empire’ve found another one of those?? Hmmm one has to wonder!
The next day, the crazy’s back on as our three cadets are in a race to make it to that promised winners’ ride in an Imperial Walker, as that will be the first step to their escape plan. But what happens when only two of the three win (thank you no thank you Jerk Cadet)? Time to improvise. First have Chopper plant a couple detanators on another AT-ST as a distraction, then have Jai hit their AT-ST driver with a blaster set to stun, and all you need now is Ezra to get back in the mix! Oh, and shoot down anything in your way. Also stunning Jerk Cadet was a necessity; what is wrong with that guy? Yeahh but I digress who wouldn’t love to drive one of those puppies? Hehe I know I do! Of course no one called for the blast doors to come down and knock the walker over. But that’s what friends are for, and by friends I mean a sharpshooting Lasat, blaster-wielding Mando, and taser-crazy droid. And together, they’re able to save Ezra and his friends. Yus, for a bunch of guys who don’t value friendship too highly, they just got whupped by it 😀 Anyway, with the Imperials closely behind, Zare makes the decision to stay, to help Ezra and Jai make their escape, and to continue in his mission to find his sister. Brave man, that Cadet Leonis. And boy oh boy will he have to be brave as The Inquisitor decides to have a talk with him… and who that Jedi friend of his is. Be brave, Zare! Now I must go and read your book series right now!
But back onboard the Ghost, life continues as always, and it’s safe to say that Ezra’s glad to be back with his supportive family of Rebels. Life there may be crazy, but nothing beats being surrounded by real friends who you can always trust 🙂
So yay for teamwork! And friendship! And giant explosions! This episode was a lot of fun and quite the exciting adventure as we continue to get to know Ezra and the gang a little better each day. So same time next week, Cadets!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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