SW Summer Reads: The Rebels Novelizations, Part 1

It’s time again for some Star Wars Summer Reads! Or I guess Summer-ish Reads for some of you guys. Anyway, the first Star Wars novel I ever read was a Clone Wars novelization compilation called Grievous Attacks. It was a really fun experience and a great introduction to SW books, so I decided it’d be fun to revisit some classic Rebels season one episodes in junior novel form! Let’s talk about Michael Kogge’s takes on Machine In The Ghost, Art Attack, Entanglement, Property Of Ezra Bridger, Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and Rise Of The Old Masters!

I honestly forgot until I read these how fun novelizations can be. You get to dive further into the story you’ve seen on-screen, learning more little things about the SW galaxy, as well as the chance to delve into what’s going on inside the characters’ heads. Mr. Kogge did an excellent job at this, especially inside of Rise Of The Rebels, the shorts compilation. He writes a lot of depth into these already-deep little stories as we explore different perspectives (like those of Chopper or a stormtrooper), and even adds some nice new lines and moments that compliment the source material rather than overcrowding it.

Droids In Distress was a very well done compilation as well, though Spark Of Rebellion suffered a little. But I’m not really complaining; it can’t be easy trying to fit a richly-written 44-minute episode in less than fifty pages! So due to the format, Mr. Kogge was forced to skip over some of the best lines and rush much of the story. But the following novelizations were near-perfection!

Both compilations have hiccups in story compared to the actual episode, but most likely that’s because these were written before the episodes were completed. Doesn’t take away from how much I enjoyed them, though! Of course, half the fun for me was just revisiting these great early episodes! The other half, well… I’ll let you in on a secret: ever since Grievous Attacks, I read all SW books out loud to myself. I just can’t pass up an opportunity to practice my character impressions! I found out reading these that I do a pretty mean Grand Inquisitor 😀

Anyway, if you love SWR and want to explore these stories from a new angle, I totally recommend. And they’re definitely great if you’re new to Star Wars books and need a light, easy introduction. Plus, the Sabine-like graffiti artwork dispersed throughout the books is an epic bonus 🙂

Now, for the fangirl-musings commentary portion of the post.

Contains spoilers from the original Rebels shorts and episodes Spark Of Rebellion, Droids In Distress, and some important elements from the seasons beyond.

– Apparently “understatement” is a distinctly twi’lek sort of humor? I must be part twi’lek then.
– I really appreciate also that they simplify some of the technical terms a little bit. Definitely the difference between a potential first-timer’s SW story and something intensely detailed for the long-timer like Tarkin. But it’s still not oversimplified, it’s just right and makes for a pretty easy read.
– Kanan, master of a thousand one-liners. True dat.
– Considering how much they argue in this short, I might not’ve guessed that Hera was actually worried about her copilot for a moment. Awwz #feels.
– We actually get a chance to get inside Chopper’s dome in this book! Some seriously funny stuff here. Now give this hard-working little droid an oil bath already!
– This book seems to imply that Chopper’s exact “words” couldn’t be understood by organics. Always Two There Are confirmed for me that “droid” is a language you can learn. I originally thought that this fact was just something I missed in the other films and shows, but this seems to mean I wasn’t the only one who was unclear on the do-people-actually-understand-astromechs-or-are-they-just-assuming-what-they’re-saying-like-when-people-talk-to-their-pets situation. Or maybe Chopper’s comment is true, and though you can learn basic astromech, a sentient being will never understand the fine details. Knowing Chop’s ‘tude, perhaps this is a good thing…
– Apparently Ryloth is known for their firework shows. I could see that.
– Chopper has good relations with the Phantom, while the Ghost tends to be pretty rude with him. Things only ‘mechs know!
– “A thousand thousand worlds sparkled in the night sky above the capital city of Lothal.” I absolutely love how Mr. Kogge writes for Sabine. He captures so well her fiercely artistic mindset with heavily poetic descriptions. I can’t help but be a little bummed they didn’t make more of these novelizations.
– Sabine has heard the tales of Boba Fett! I still almost can’t believe we never got to see them in a face-off, but I suppose the writers knew that would be far too easy and more of a what-the-fans-want than a what-the-series-needs. But I suppose there’s nothing to say it still couldn’t happen…
– I really hope TK-626’s number was a Lilo And Stitch reference.
– The idea of the Empire specifically recruiting known bullies as Imperial Cadets at first sounded a little too obvious, but then again, remember Oleg? Frankly, I can imagine a lot of storms might’ve been ne’er-do-wells in grade school. Perhaps it’s not what the Empire is looking for alone, but it doesn’t hurt…
– “Artists were almost as bad as rebels. They could draw, paint, and create things he couldn’t. And for that, they deserved to be crushed.” Oh you guys, I think I figured out why TK-626 was a bully. THIS POOR STORMTROOPER CHILD!! I actually feel really bad for him! Thank you Mr. Kogge for helping me consider the human inside the inhuman white armor.
– I think it’s neat that Mr. Kogge paints (so to speak) Sabine as an artist first and a warrior second. Sometimes it’s easy for me to think vice versa, considering her warrior Mandalorian heritage, but when you think about her close relationship with her artistic dad, and consider the life she maybe knew before the Imperial Academy and then the mini-Alliance, it makes sense that art is her first love, and what she wants to do for a living once the war is over. Maybe once she gets Ezra back home, she’ll finally get her chance 🙂
– Apparently, Zeb isn’t all that fond of his nickname. There’s a certain way his people roll their Rs in the lasat language that most just can’t match. I like this angle. I wonder if this is a fact decided upon by the Story Group or an early assumption Mr. Kogge made. It certainly is a fascinating idea! I didn’t know they spoke anything beside Basic! Well aside from the ancient chants, but maybe that should’ve clued me in.
– Imperials don’t know many languages beyond Basic. Didn’t know that, but makes sense in retrospect.
Whoa I didn’t remember the stormtroopers being that mean to the salesnaught. All the more reason Zeb is one noble dude.
– We learn reading this that Zeb isn’t fond of ugnaughts or astromechs, but all the same, he can’t turn a blind eye to their troubles. It makes this already-amazing little story even more meaningful. AHHH SO SO NOBLE :3
– The Empire made slaves of the lasat? My first reaction was “THAT’S NOT ACCURATE! THEY WERE KILLED OFF!“, buuuuuut what if slavery was where it started? Something to consider, anyway. But I gotta say, it’s hard to imagine lasat being good slaves. The wookiees don’t work well under Kessel heat, making them less of a threat, but I imagine that wasn’t as much of a problem for the less-fuzzy-but-still-deadly lasat…
– “My old gran’s a better fighter, and she’s only two meters tall!” Pfft that’s a good one, Zeb. Wonder if this was purely Mr. Kogge’s clever writing or an unused line they recorded. But they actually elaborate further on Granny Orrelios, saying she’d lived for “three hundred dust seasons” (I’m assuming that’s 75 earth years, depending how long a dust season lasts and how many seasons they have). This is the first time we’ve ever heard of any family Zeb had, and it makes me super happy to know an inkling of his personal life before the Empire.
– I love the idea Ezra’s already had a few moments where the Force came into play before he finds himself avoiding TIE fighter fire. It makes sense, and kind of makes you wonder what adventures (and misadventures) he might’ve had on the streets of Lothal.
– Interesting that Ezra’s pretty willing to take any sort of reward, even an Imperial rescue! But hey creds are creds. Perhaps it’s this pilot’s snobbiness that drives Ez to decide to just rescue the helmet instead…
– Considering not long from now Ezra’s back to stealing food, I guess those parts didn’t get him as much cash as he hoped. Or they were stolen. Or maybe food on Lothal these days just costs a lot.
– “A sitting hawk-bat“… could that also be comparable to a lothbat?
– The second book has cool alternate episode titles: “Ezra’s Story”, “Disrupted”, and “Old Masters”.
– Sabine was drinking blue milk?? Obviously I haven’t been paying attention. Or that maybe that’s because her cup wasn’t a clear glass. Question: if blue milk is from banthas (which I’ve been led to believe), since banthas don’t live on Lothal (that we’ve seen), does that mean the Rebs are getting their food supplies from offworld? That makes sense enough. Guess I didn’t need to waste a whole paragraph on it…
– You know, unless my memory fails me, I thought the Rebels merely rescued the wookiees on Lothal before their were transferred to Kessel. I was pretty sure after seeing the hopeless world in Solo that my assumptions were for sure right. This novelization says they actually went to Kessel. I’m starting to think these books were written before the shorts and episodes were completed. That must’ve been confusing to do.
– I’ve never heard of a silverback wookiee before, but that’s a neat concept!
– I’ve always wondered what a nerf sounded like. Apparently they’re a lot like Amda Wabo…
– “Chopper recognized the astromech’s response as typical of the new R2 series. Compassion was the biggest flaw in their programming.” Suuuuure Chop, it’s a thing about their programming! ‘Cause we know you certainly don’t have a soft side!
– Also if he considers him a new R2, then how old does that makes Chopper? Well, I’m not saying he’s old, but I think I once saw a droid that looked like him in a trailer for KotOR. *Chopper soundly zaps me for the bad joke*
– In Chopper’s words, he’s only “a few decades past his expiry date”. But he knows there are far older droids than him.
– It’s rather unusual seeing Threepio and Artoo’s roles in this story flipped, with Threeps a little more confident and Artooie a little less than happy. But an interesting twist for a story I already know well.
– Knowing that Zeb had been having horrific nightmares when he shut Ezra out of their room… even though I’ve watched this episode seven times, and though I know his story doesn’t end here, I can feel his pain as strongly as ever.
– I love the creepy last line Kallus gets in as he’s about to strike down Zeb…
– But more so, I love the way Mr. Kogge describes the Force throughout these novelizations. He makes it feel very tactical, very real, this undeniable spark!

I don’t know about you, but I had a ball reading these. I’ll be taking next week off for my birthday, but after that, you should expect some more Star Wars Reads posts to arrive!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

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Rebel Transmissions: Family Reunion – And Farewell

Here it is. The very last Rebel Transmission on Padawanline.
*Dramatic pause*
OK so that’s a little too dramatic. I highly doubt this will be the last time I talk about Rebels on the blog, just the last time I’ll do it in this format.
Whoo boy there’s a lot to talk about on this one. A lot. But it’s all stuff that has been on my mind for well over a month now, so hopefully I’ll be able to stir up some satisfying discussion for you all on this last Transmission. Get comfy, this is gonna be a long one…

Contains spoilers from Episode III, Episode VI, Episode VII, Episode VIII, TCW episode Point Of No Return, and much of Star Wars Rebels, including Family Reunion – And Farewell.

From start to finish, this is a story about family. Not just this episode, but every episode these last four seasons.
And we’re not just talking the dictionary definition of family, of people related by flesh and blood. We’re talking about what I’ve come to term as “thicker-than-blood”: friends who are basically family, bonds that far exceed any shared DNA. SWR painted the most beautiful picture of this idea over the course of the series that I’d never really seen anything quite like before.

At the very beginning of it all, Ezra was separated from his birth family. He wasn’t looking for anyone to fill that void, especially not a group of individuals that, like his imprisoned parents, Rebelled on a daily basis. But one day, the boy was called to be part of something more. In doing so, he found a dad, a mom, a brother, a sister, and a pet droid. And through this new family, values instilled in him by his birth parents would grow from a spark to a raging wildfire, making him the selfless, determined-to-help-others-at-any-personal-cost young man he is today. I know I’ve talked about this before, but frankly, it’s worth saying over and over again. Ezra Bridger’s journey is truly amazing. And watching the beginning again stirred up so so many memories, I didn’t have a choice but to write this paragraph.

Yes, watching Ezra talking to the holo-portrait of his parents melted my heart in all the ways, but to realize how final it all sounded… that concerned me. “Hold on! We’re not seriously going to lose Ezra, right?? We can’t! It’s hard enough losing Kanan! I’M NOT READY!!”
I’d spent so long pulling for the Ghost family Jedi to make it somehow despite Yoda’s deathbed claims, that watching Kanan go really hit me hard out of left field. So I was clinging pretty darn hard on the technicality that since Ezra was not an official Jedi, so he could make it.
But somehow, it wasn’t as hard to watch Ez go as I thought it would be. Not just because they gave us the inkling of hope that he may still be alive, but because his act of self-sacrifice was so noble and so powerful. And it was even more meaningful when I remembered he was doing what Kanan taught him in that last lesson. Wow. The end of his story (for now) was the best it possibly could have been. A fitting last chapter to really show just how far he’s come from that first spark of rebellion ❤

You know, I had a neat revelation after watching this the first time. It's easy to see that Hera is what ultimately brought the Ghost family together. She’s in the business, it seems, of pulling together the most broken, flawed people and turning them into heroes. Just look what she did with a noncommittal, bitter ex-Jedi, an old, broken astromech, a guilt-ridden, hopeless warrior, a disgraced, unjustly-accused Mandalorian, and a self-serving street kid! And from there, this family she brought together helped expand that family as they did the same thing — making real heroes out of often the galaxy’s lowest of the low. Forgotten, cast-aside clone troopers became leaders again. A crusty pirate with no crew found new purpose and new friends. A high-and-mighty ISBN agent gave up all his prestige to do the right thing. A young bounty hunter chose to do something with far greater reward than money. A dishonest dealer who caused a lot of trouble in the past stepped up to the cause. A jaded former governor found a new mission. Even seemingly-ordinary kids like Jai and Mart were brought into this family of heroes. And I don’t know why Melch keeps getting involved, but I’m hoping it’s because all this selflessness is contagious 🙂 And it all started with Hera, not just because of her natural-born leadership, but because she saw something in all of them that made them family, somehow.
This might not be anything new, but it’s just such a cool thing to think about and it’s just another thing so meaningful about this finale — that we get to spend it with just about all the family :3

Like I talked about some last episode, all the teamwork in the room is just amazing. We have the most unconventional set of Rebels working together and they’re just owning it! It’s more than I ever expected to see in the finale, and it continues to blow my mind and gives me all the feels. And it’s also so fun watching the most mismatched of teams working together amidst the varying levels of personality clashes, like with the oh-so-precise-and-well-planned Kallus stuck with the more action-oriented, blast-down-the-doors wild cards Gregor and Zeb. “He’s crazy!” “BUT IT WAS YOUR PLAN!” Delightful!
But on that note, yes, I will miss Gregor something awful. I’ve been holding my breath, unsure of what would become of all these once-lost commanders for years now, not wanting to see another brother down, but knowing it was well-likely to happen. But Gregor did good. I thought we’d lost him ages ago, so getting to spend the time with him that we did was special no matter what.

And wow was Thrawn on his A-game today. Like, he was honestly as cool, calculating, and downright cruel to me as he’s ever been this series. I mean seriously some of what he did got me wincing for all the good people left in the galaxy. But at the same time, his confidence and well-thought-out plans never ceased to impress. Again, I really have to thank Lucasfilm for putting the Grand Admiral in the canon and in this series. I’m sure the original novels are solid, but having so little knowledge of that era of books, including him inside of a series I was already very familiar with was the perfect way to meet him. His comeuppance was masterful, but I appreciate they chose to leave it open what ultimately happens to him… either way, Grand Admiral Thrawn was a truly awesome adversary and I definitely look forward to digging into his story some more later. *Sighs because she still has so many novels to catch up on* *But smiles because what a great problem to have!*

Seeing Palpatine again brought the best kind of intrigue for me. I loved this revelation that the Emperor presents himself much as he appeared in the years past. I guess I’d figured people always saw him in that dark cloak, like in Episode III, but this makes so much more sense! Once again, he’s doing a really solid job playing the galaxy like a card. Who would doubt such a finely-dressed, kindly politician? But that’s exactly what he wants you to think! It’s genius! Terrifyingly genius! And then we watch, eyes wide, as the Emperor offers Ezra a family reunion on a silver platter. I don’t know about you, but I could almost physically feel the pain of Ezra’s inner battle. It’s the ultimate temptation, to abandon everything and regain a peaceful life like he had before. And though we know Ezra has a solid sense of right and wrong… we also know Sidious is a master at pulling lightsiders over to the dark. SO MUCH TENSION! SO MANY EMOTIONS! I COULDN’T BREATHE!! DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED WHEN PALPATINE UNDID EZRA’S CUFFS! AND THEN WHEN EZRA UNLOCKED THE GATEWAY AND I WAS ALL “OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING??”!! OH MAN!
But there are few greater moments in Star Wars than when a hero wins this battle with himself, overcomes temptation, and defies the darkness.
Couldn’t applaud enough.
Also those totally-different red guards were so epic… or are they normal red guards with different armor? Need to read up more on them!

I definitely need to talk about Sabine and Ezra, guys. I remember when the series first began and what I liked most about them was that one-sided-crush dynamic. Every one of Ezra’s failed flirts and every one of Sabine’s sarcastic replies got me laughing hard. But their relationship has become so so much more since then, and not in the ways I might’ve assumed. In the last few seasons, we’ve watched them go from a slightly-lopsided sorta-friendship to a concrete bond of trust, honesty, and faith in each other. I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating. They’ve stood alongside each other in their darkest moments, fought impossible odds together, and they just get each other. It’s astounding how far they’ve come. Every moment of this understanding and shared trust, whether spoken or unspoken, speaks incredible volumes, and it could not be more perfect. And the fact that Sabine ultimately (if my understanding’s correct) puts aside her own homeworld and her place in the Alliance to protect Lothal for years? This is as real a friendship as it gets. Some days I can’t believe how much they’ve both grown up, how far they’ve come! I just love them, and who they truly are together — something far more meaningful than just a teenage crush. Something that’s nothing short of rock-solid. Something that I just have to describe as powerful.
But all the same… I couldn’t help but smile when Sabine quietly caressed his portrait, making me wonder if maybe, just maybe, the feeling’s mutual now… :3

Random note, but one of my favorite bits of animation in the whole episode is watching Mart trying to see over Zeb and Kallus’ shoulders XD I can relate, Mart! #ShortPeopleUnite! Except he’ll probably grow out of it, of course… but, still!

Once the Ghost headed off into the sunset, I wasn’t expecting anything but the credits.
Instead, they gave me so much more — a new hope for Kallus, a new chapter for Hera, and a new mission for Sabine and Ahsoka! And also the fact Rex made it to VI which was obviously so epicly cool. I like that none of these stories are really the “end” of their stories, each of them are just an important moment for each of them, and a way to wrap up their arcs in SWR nicely. Let’s dig into those first three a little further, OK?

Zeb’s impossibly kind gesture to Kallus just wows me. All that time ago, he helped spur the Agent to change his ways, and he could’ve stopped there. But instead, not only does Zeb forgive his once-mortal enemy, he says “Guess what? You’re one of us!” Before this, I had never considered how much Kallus might still be carrying with him, the belief that he’d helped in the purging of an entire people. So what a gift this is, to know there’s still hope, and that he is entirely forgiven! I like to think that, in Ezra’s absence, that Zeb found a new friend in Kallus. Likely not quite the same level of friendship, but one that still maintains an unshakable loyalty. Leave it to Star Wars to paint such an amazing image of forgiveness and hope, and the truth that real friendships can come from anywhere 🙂 As one of my fave songs goes: When I look into the face / of my enemy / I see my / brother!

I’d spent plenty of time over the last couple years thinking “I could totally see Hera legally-adopting kids after the war’s over.” OK granted a lot of that was me liking the idea of Hera adopting the Freemakers, but still, it wasn’t hard to imagine. So when I Saw the adorable green bean in her copilot’s seat… I SQUEE-ED SO HARD! General Syndulla looks so in her element, flying with little Jason (hopefully I spelled it right) by her side! Of course, now I really want to see Jason join Rowan on some Freemaker Adventures… but I’ll take any story about Hera and her boy I can get 😀 What a truly perfect way to cap off her story!

And I really thought we’d reached the end of Ahsoka’s story. It was enough to know she’d survived the duel with Vader. But then… there she stood, ready to fulfill her promise to find Ezra. I love her new look, and not just because it has a bit of a Gandalf-feel to it, but it begs so so many questions! My assumption is she’s become a priestess of sorts for a new branch of Forcewielders apart from Jedi and Sith. But if she is, what does that mean later on for Luke and his attempts to rebuild the Jedi? What does it mean for Rey, trying to find her place in the Force? Or does this supposed new sect of Ahsoka’s even make it that far in the future? Or maybe it just took 30-odd years for Ahsoka and Sabine to find Ezra and then they show up in the middle of Episode IX all “Whoa what happened while we were gone??”. Honestly, I’d be totally up for something like that!
But wherever they go from here, they go with hope. The kind of hope that can save the galaxy.. and actually did

I've got so many feels I don't know what to do with them. What an amazing journey it's been! But thank you so much for reading this.
Thank you for reading all these Rebel Transmissions over the years.

And this all comes around the time my blog just turned five years old, so even more thanks for reading this blog, for fanboying/fangirling alongside me, and for making Padawanline what it is today! Just.. thank you!

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

WAIT! THERE’S A NEW TRANSMISSION COMING IN…
SOMETHING ABOUT…
THE RESISTANCE!

Wow I couldn’t have planned this if I tried. We will talk more about this soon!

Oh, right, and here’s the Best-Of posts for the year 🙂

Following The Freemakers: Return Of The Kyber Saber
If Not For IV…: A Special Star Wars Day Story
Fun With The Freemakers Shorts!
Following The Freemakers: The Tower Of Alistan Nor
Following The Freemakers: The Pit And The Pinnacle
A Very Fangirly Analysis Of The New Last Jedi Trailer
Rebel Tranmissions: In The Name Of The Rebellion
Rebel Transmissions: Kindred
Looking Back On The Original SWR Shorts
Rebel Transmissions: Jedi Night

Rebel Transmissions: A Fool’s Hope

Oh my word, am I seriously on my second-to-last Rebel Transmission?? The time flies so! Let’s see if I can make this post count and give you some unique fangirly perspective on the second-to-last chapter in this glorious series, A Fool’s Hope. Read on.

Contains spoilers from much of Star Wars Rebels, including A Fool’s Hope. At this point I hope you know by now you should be caught up.

First of all, funny note: I first mistook the AT-AT landing pad for a tennis court. Considering Rex and his bros had turned that AT-TE into a fishing boat/retirement home, I wouldn’t have been surprised! Haha I’m so weird.

It felt awesome seeing the home-sweet-home Ghost again, but it was merely the beginning of a marvelous family reunion! I knew from Celebration that we were going to see Gregor and Wolffe at some point, but going into these last episodes, I figured they’d keep the very personal, very intimate feel we’ve had for much of the season with most focus on the main crew. I was, admittedly, a little blue thinking I wasn’t going to see certain characters again inside of SWR, like Hondo Ohnaka. But then guess what they gave me? HONDO. And KETSU. And Melch as a bonus! All of the Ghost fam’s uncles, great-uncles, and cousins in one room! And all here for Ezra and the world he calls home. I was just overwhelmed with warm fuzzies seeing all these amazing characters working together towards a common goal! Not many series could successfully pull together such an unexpected unlikely squad and make it work for the story at hand, but Rebels most definitely did 😀

So who else thought Ryder did an epic job at keeping us guessing? My immediate reaction was that he was leading Pryce on the whole time, but knowing how Star Wars tends to flip the script, I allowed for a little doubt there. After all, there was a time he wasn’t so keen on rebelling. I’d forgotten that a little until I watched this one. But at the same time, even with his occasional disagreements and uncertainties, Ryder has been nothing but dedicated to this Alliance these past couple seasons-and-a-half. So what would he gain with betraying them now? I wanted to stick to my guns that this was part of a greater plan, but with that guilty look on Ryder’s face and Ezra and Sabine’s accusations, I had to admit I was never totally sure. And so, this year’s Oscars go to Ryder Azadi for best actor, and Ezra Bridger for best supporting actor! Give ’em a hand, everybody! Because wow, I did not have a clue what to believe, and that’s for sure a mark of superb storytelling.

The battle scenes in this one were thrilling. I know that’s not news to you, most likely, but I felt I needed to say it ’cause I honestly don’t talk about fight scenes and battles enough. It’s not because they’re not always awesome, but I feel sometimes like it’s somewhat out of my realm of understanding. The Force? SW Politics? Character development? I can talk all day on those things. But… a military analyst, I am not. I’m gonna at least try and throw in a few highlights. Like Chopper faking out that one ‘trooper, Sabine firing in flight, the epic choreography of Ezra and Ruhk’s duel, Zeb finding another use for a heavy blaster and looking like a sick boss the whole time, the Ghost‘s fabulous entrance, and the coolness of seeing both familiar faces and some unfamiliar faces manning the guns side-by-side. Oh, and obviously the final wolf attack. I can’t remember the last time I cheered so hard (tbh probably during another Rebels episode). Pryce was at the height of her deviousness, as cunning and nasty as she possibly ever has been at this point. But once the lothwolves join the fight, all that confidence goes right out the window, and it’s so utterly, delightfully satisfying to watch!

Andddd I guess that’s all I’ve got on this one. But it’s still such an awesome episode! And trust me, there’s going to be plenty to discuss on the final Transmission. Plentyyyyy 🙂 I shall see you in a week or two! Except for the fact I may need to do a trailer reaction for a certain Anthology film soon…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Rebel Transmissions: Dume

All right, so where do I begin with this post? I guess with the spoiler warnings. But yes here’s hoping I’m able to write something really interesting and meaningful for you today.

Contains spoilers from Episode IV, Rogue One, Episode VII, TCW episode The Lawless, and much of Star Wars Rebels, including Jedi Night and Dume. Events from episodes beyond these will not be covered.

This episode is very special. Not that there ever was a Rebels episode that wasn’t, but Dume does something that, from my experience, really hasn’t been done a lot in Star Wars: allowing us to closely follow the characters as they try to process their loss.
Tragedies in Star Wars often happen in the midst of intense moments and dangerous battles. Like when you’re trying to escape the Death Star, or you’re fighting through a war-torn Mandalore, or the Resistance is trying to destroy Starkiller Base. Our heroes are often forced to move on or step up and fight even when they’ve barely had time to mourn. It’s just the tough reality of war, as well as the best way to move the story forward. Star Wars, of course, always finds time to make sure we at least see a glimpse of what they’re dealing with in the quiet moments afterward (for example: Luke’s “I wish Ben were here”, Obi-Wan’s apology to Bo-Katan, and Leia and Rey’s hug). But I’ve always wondered still how they’ve handled those losses, or how they’re still handling them. What they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, how they talk about this loss with family and friends, and what they don’t dare to speak out loud to anyone, let alone to themselves.
However, the amazing people behind Rebels found a way to give us plenty of time with each of the Ghost family as they wrestle with Kanan’s death in different ways, while at the same time delivering an exciting, compelling story that moves the plot along. It’s not that I ever thought they wouldn’t give us some time with the characters working through this loss, but I got so much more than I ever expected. Though the Empire’s still a problem, the war is still on, and Ruhk still can put up a serious fight, this episode remains first and foremost very intimate and personal in tone, putting our heroes and their feelings in the forefront. And that’s what makes this episode so very special.

Ever since we discovered she’d be bestowed the title of “General” by Rogue One, I’d always imagined the moment she earned it a triumphant one. Instead, it comes to Hera at what may be her absolute darkest moment, all while still in prison garb and clutching onto her kalikori as though it was Kanan himself. It’s far from triumphant, but it does say again clearly how much the rest of the Rebels respect her… and right now, how much they need her in this fight. But General Syndulla has a galaxy of hurt to fight through first.
The first few moments in her part of the story are nothing short of heartbreaking. It’s one of the rawest performances, both in acting and animating, I’ve ever seen, and not just in Star Wars, but in anything. She is so broken, so devastated, we’ve never seen her in a place like this, not in this way. But as she fashions a piece on her kalikori for Kanan, it’s able to help bring her back to the light once more, to the hope and peace she needs, and to the best memories of the man she loved. And it was Chopper who made the suggestion to add him in the first place. The utter kindness and quiet understanding he shows here is so infinitely precious. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this side of Chopper, but there’s something so noteworthy about the way he’s simply there for her right now, taking her hand, accepting a hug… excuse me I need a few tissues now.

Like I said on the last post, I’ve wondered for years now what would happen if we lost Kanan, and especially perhaps what that would mean for Ezra. I’ve imagined a lot of different outcomes, so it was almost surreal to actually be in that moment, that moment that I honestly had hoped maybe wouldn’t come. To see Ezra in this place of absolute despair that we haven’t seen in some time. And then the lothwolves arrive and the mood quickly shifts from deep sadness to near terror. But ultimately a sense of intrigue remains the predominant emotion, because you know that the Force is at work somehow here. The entrance of the one called Dume left a trail of further intrigue, and honestly even having seen the episodes following this, there are still things I don’t know if I’ve fully grasped yet. I’ll save further discussion on the topic for another post, but I will say the main thoughts going through my head in these scenes upon my first viewing were a) Which came first, Caleb Dume or lothwolf Dume? and b) Am I crazy or does Dume sound just a little bit like Freddie Prinze Jr….?

I just seriously love we got to spend time with Zeb and Sabine. They have such a fun, genuine big-brother-little-sister bond and I didn’t realize how much I needed to see more of that bond until now. And not only do they have some of the best kind of camaraderie, but together they bring some kinda fight! Their tussle with Ruhk was just the right bit of action for the episode; exciting, intense, and not only drives the story forward, but comes back to the heart of the story as Zeb and Sabine go from wanting to return the hurt they were given, to remembering the right way to fight. The way Kanan would fight. And then the laughs are the cherry on top. Between the “baby rancor” comment and the homing beacon misunderstanding, they made sure I had some good stuff to snicker about this episode 🙂

And in the midst of all these personal battles, we discover something that puts everything in a new light.
It was enough just to know that Kanan’s last act was saving those he loved, but it was even more than that all along.
He put himself in the path of fire for not only his family, but for the Alliance, for Lothal, and for all the galaxy.
Wow.
Truly wow.

So OK, that post was a little harder to write than I expected, but I’m so glad I wrote it all the same.
Thank you, Lucasfilm, for giving me such beautiful stories to write about, though ❤

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight

Looking Back On The Original SWR Shorts

As the last Rebels episodes come closer and closer, I find myself looking back a lot, going back to those early days on Lothal, when we were just getting to know the Ghost crew. Back when we were all taking our first steps together into a time previously unexplored in the canon. Back before we knew of wonderful things like space waffles and purrgil! I find one of the best ways to venture back into this time and space is by watching the delightful character-centric shorts that were released in preparation for the series. Join me as I rewatch each one and then discuss what made them so great! Get ready for some serious reminiscing 🙂

Contains spoilers from many elements in Star Wars Rebels. Don’t recommend reading if you aren’t caught up.

THE MACHINE IN THE GHOST: THREE’S COMPANY

So in case you haven’t heard the story, this was the only of the shorts I saw before the series debuted. I thought originally they were clips instead of original shorts, and being the really-likes-to-keep-things-a-surprise fan that I am, I waited. I don’t remember what convinced me to watch Machine, maybe it was on the socials or something and made it clear it was a short. But either way… this one gave me one of the best tastes of what was to come in Rebels. And also the utter preciousness that is Kanera ❤ ❤

The threat of oncoming TIEs is real, and it gets you on the edge of your seat. But it's clear quickly that this crew can handle it, so the battle takes a backseat while the characters take the stage. And what a performance we get! Most of us wouldn't consider an argument like poetry, but every retort and reply is perfect, with the most harmonious bits of sarcasm weaved in. And even though they argue, you get a sense of warm familiarity in it that says there's infinitely more to their relationship, even before they exchange compliments at the end. And then you have Chopper in the middle of it all, greatly irritated, but seemingly used to this sort of thing as he puts up with their oft-opposing commands. But ultimately he steps up and gets the job done, proving to the audience he can do more than just fix shields and comms. It's all so classically Star Wars and it all comes together smooth as kaadu butter!

“As I recall, raiding an Imperial supply convoy was your plan, love…”
“Well, it made sense at the time.”
If you’ve read my posts on Rebels for any amount of time, you know I refer back to the novel A New Dawn a lot. I won’t spoil anything on it here, but it sheds so much light on who Kanan once was, and makes watching his character growth these last four years even more amazing. I’m highlighting that lovely bit of banter here for more than just that it makes me chuckle, but for the fact that this whole incident began with Kanan taking charge. Because once upon a time, Kanan didn’t have any interest in fighting the Empire. I might be stating the obvious, but it’s such a great story element that I have to state it again and again. He wasn’t always Spectre One; he earned that rank. And he deserved it… even if sometimes things like this happen.
And also on the topic of the novel, though Machine takes place much closer to the events of the series than New Dawn, the short still is a nice glimpse into what life with just the original three crewmembers might’ve been like.

Anyway, Machine is such a fantastic little treasure, flawlessly introducing the Ghost crew’s founding members by giving each character just the right amount of time in the spotlight… and giving us more reasons to laugh and smile than we could count 🙂

ART ATTACK: A SABINE WREN ORIGINAL

Though this was not the first time I’d met Sabine, Art Attack is a great way to introduce her to the audience. We catch her at her best and most Mando-masterful, nimbly and swiftly leading the stormtroopers on an impossible chase. She doesn’t even pull out a weapon until the end; for most of the short, she simply relies on her smarts and agility to pull off the perfect Rebel distraction. It brings a lightly comedic tone as she darts around, always one step ahead of the bucketheads, delivering stellar jabs as she goes. But even more so, it makes very clear that Sabine is a different kind of warrior than we’ve seen before; she is a true artist. Not just in the lovely purple starbird she adorns a TIE’s panel with, but in the way she carefully crafts her plan. Like a brush on a canvas, every move has purpose, and the end result is a dazzling piece that surely inspired all the innocent Lothalites who witnessed it. And you can tell it was a piece the artist was proud of as she remarked “…look at the color!“, which remains one of my favorite Sabine lines to this day. The notion of an artist Rebel was something so new and different at the time, but being an artist myself (or at least an aspiring one), it was the coolest thing to see someone in Star Wars who shared that interest with me and used it to make a difference. Like say, by the time I first watched this short, I already knew Sabine and how awesome at Rebelling she was, but it never hurts to be re-reminded of the facts, especially when you’re waiting for the season two to arrive.

“Always by the book. I read your book… it’s a short one.”
It’s another great Sabine line, but it’s also a really neat little clue to her past that’s amazing to find looking back. Though she may not have specifically read “their book”, she had trained under Imperials and knew plenty of their rules and protocol. I’d always loved that quote but hadn’t remembered it was spoken so early-on. They’re clever, those writers at Lucasfilm 🙂 It’s almost hard to remember what things were like before Sabine’s backstory was fully told, but this short definitely takes me back, and of course, makes me so very proud knowing how far she’s come since.

It’s astounding what Art Attack was able to accomplish in three minutes’ time — lots of action, some solid laughs, but still every moment has meaning in the grand story surrounding it. That is definitely what I’d call art!

ENTANGLEMENT: YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD HONOR GUARD

OK so rewatching this one has me smiling so hard right now. It fills me with so much joy I hardly know where to begin.
But that’s the beauty of this one: where it begins.
It’s a blast watching Zeb take down buckethead after buckethead, but it all started because he couldn’t stand quietly in the face of injustice. That endlessly noble spirit has always been one of my favorite things about him, and watching him put everything on hold for one poor shopkeeper makes that part of him plain as day, whether you’re meeting him for the first time or you’ve been following him for four seasons. And with that all-important trait in mind, the most wonderfully explosive story unfolds in spectacular fashion. The speed at which all the action happens is the best kind of dizzying. And every twist and turn of the fight showcases both Zeb’s incredible strength as well as his finesse and ability to plan on the fly. It’s an unexpectedly beautiful sight, and for those new to the series, it’s not quite like anything we’d seen in Star Wars before. I mean, when Zeb grabs that one ‘trooper and flings him into the other?? That’s just WHOA on so many levels.

“Well that’s great! You get lost in the middle of a mission and decide to start your own battle — again!”
“I didn’t decide, it just… happened. This time.”

But like with the last two shorts, the action ultimately takes a backseat to the characters, and the end result is priceless. Zeb is enjoying every minute of this battle, you can tell. And Kanan is more than a little frustrated that his friend and fellow Rebel has strayed away from the original plan. This hilarious back-and-forth carries through almost the entire short and is nothing short of fantastic writing and a fantastic performance. The fact that this has obviously happened more than once makes it all the funnier, but also continues to say so much about who Zeb is. You know he’s not just bashing bucketheads for sport; it’s because of his burning desire to protect the innocent. Just like he did once as an Honor Guard, he continues to do for the people of Lothal, and that is nothing short of admirable… even when it miiiiiiight cause a few delays 🙂

Whoops now I went from being all giddy to being all feelsy. But that’s just what happens with shorts this great!

PROPERTY OF EZRA BRIDGER (or: NOT WHAT YOU THINK):
NO SIR, THANK YOU

It was impossible not to rewatch this short and proclaim “OH, HOW EZRA HAS GROWN!!”. A lot of it for me was just remarking over how young he was back then (even his voice sounds younger somehow!), but it’s Ezra’s character growth that truly astounds me. We watch here Ez playing the role of a “helpful, concerned citizen” as a cover for a good steal. But over time, we’ve seen him transform into a truly selfless, generous, driven young man who has no ulterior motive for doing the right thing. It was almost as though this jaded young thief is a totally different person — except maybe for the fact his sense of humor and irony hasn’t changed much 🙂

“Now remember, sir, no ‘thank-you’s. You didn’t need my help. And besides… I didn’t come to help!”
It’s easy to see though that Property really does make a good introduction for Ezra. It’s hard not to be won over by his clever wit and smooth moves as he rather puts this incredibly belligerent Imperial in his place. He doesn’t immediately strike the audience as a “hero” type, but soon as we watch him dodge the TIE’s guns with what could only be help from the Force… we know there might be a chance of heroism in his future. And it has a lot to do with that cargo ship he caught a fleeting glimpse of that day… or more so, the people on that cargo ship. Rewatching it really is a wonderful feeling, because seeing him cross paths with the Ghost for just the smallest, tiniest moment is a reminder of how beautifully things have come together since then. So much wow, you guys.
Plus, is there anything more satisfactory than watching the pilot’s overconfident smile disappear once Ez sends that energy blast his way? That might be my favorite part XD

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these little three-minute gems are amazing. All of them thrilling and laugh-out-loud funny, but with so much more beneath the surface that gives it so much more meaning, especially the longer you follow this precious family’s story. Together, these four shorts make the perfect mini-prequel to Spark Of Rebellion, and the perfect quick nostalgia trip. Also again, I just love this show so so much ❤ Though the end is near, I'm still beyond excited to see where the story goes next, and that's likely when I'll post again in a couple weeks. Though keep an eye out, 'cause post inspiration may strike again even before that…

Keep The Peace,
– Twilight