Yesterday Starwars.com announced that The Bad Batch will be premiering on Disney+ on Tuesday May 4, 2021 (Star Wars Day), and its second episode will air on Friday May 7th. A new episode will subsequently air every Friday thereafter.
I’m fairly excited, as this is the first of the many new Star Wars series we’ll be getting in the next few years, and any new Star Wars is exciting. I will admit that when the Bad Batch, as they call themselves, showed up in the last season of Clone Wars, I wasn’t crazy about them. I didn’t hate them, I just thought the characters were a bit cliched. (Every time I see Hunter, I see Rambo, lol). I do find all the clones fascinating, though, so a new twist on them isn’t a bad thing (no pun intended).
Anyway, the Bad Batch (officially called Clone Force 99) are a group of clones that didn’t quite come out of their pods the same as their identical brothers, so they don’t fit in. They look a bit different, and have different natural skills. They are Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair, and the later addition of Echo. The show will take place immediately following the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire. It will be interesting to see how these clones (and all clones, actually) deal with the aftermath of Order 66, and how they fit into the new order, if at all.
I’m confident that this show will contain the same level of excellence that was evident in the last few seasons of Clone Wars. I’ll definitely be grabbing my popcorn and tuning in on May 4th, and will be posting my thoughts on each episode. Can’t wait!
Are you looking forward to The Bad Batch? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!
After having a very interesting conversation with Julie G from Darkside Creative about fan theories, OTP’s and odd pairings, I was inspired to look for fan art of Duchess Satine Kryze. There’s plenty of fan art of “Obitine” or the romantic relationship between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Satine, and I think I’ve shared a few on this blog before. But I wanted to find some of just Satine. There’s not as much, and many seem a bit too cartoonish to me. But there were a few I found that I liked:
This one borders on cartoon-like, but it’s also elegant and lovely.
This one includes Obi-Wan, but I liked the style of it and how she might have occasionally indulged in missing him in private, when she showed only strength and serenity to the rest of the world.
This one looks like an official royal portrait or something; the aforementioned strength and serenity show through in dramatic black and white.
I adore this pencil drawing that shows a softer, more feminine side to Satine.
Having gone through the prequel and original trilogies, it’s now time to check out my five favorite things about the sequel trilogy films. So let’s get right to it with The Force Awakens:
Chewie, We’re Home. I think this was the most anticipated scene in the movie. We hadn’t seen Han Solo and Chewbacca onscreen together in about 30 years. It was beyond exciting. Sure, Rey and Finn are cool, and BB-8 is adorable, but we know who we really want to see: the “Legacy” characters. And these two were the first to make an appearance in the sequel trilogy (unless you count the Falcon, which is kind of a character in its own right). But reuniting these two with the Falcon, leading to the iconic line “Chewie, we’re home,” signalled to us fans that we, too, were home.
Rey and Kylo Ren at Starkiller Base. Again, not many lightsaber duels in this film, unless you want to count the short confrontation between Finn and Kylo just prior to this. The fact that Rey held her own in this battle–and won (probably because Kylo was an injured, emotional mess, but even so)–shows that there indeed is something special about Rey. The mystery of her, of who she is and where she comes from, intensifies. And the fact that Kylo even survived Chewie’s blaster bolt and can still fight is amazing. The way he pounds at his wound with his fist is disturbing and chilling–drawing upon his pain and rage for his power. Apart from the emotions going on in the battle, I loved the look of it: the red and blue blades glowing against the whiteness of the snow in the darkening gloam. The visuals are just stunning in this scene.
Hearing Han Solo admit to the reality of the Force in a serious way is surprising, and alerts us to how much he’s changed over the course of 30 years; and our next thought is, Wow, shit must have gone down, and in a real personal way for him. I think this is before we learn that Kylo Ren is his son, so it’s a foreshadowing that Han has had some heartbreaking experience with all this mystical stuff, especially since he’s clearly not with Leia anymore.
I thought the little scene with Han Solo and Finn on the Falcon was pretty funny. When Finn calls Han “Solo”, and Han just looks at him and says, “Did you just call me Solo?” Then when Finn refers to himself as a “big deal” in the Resistance, Han says, “Listen Big Deal, you’ve got a bigger problem. Women always figure out the truth. Always.” I just loved that, lol.
Most Impactful Character
Kylo Ren. When we first meet Kylo Ren striding down the ramp of the shuttle to confront Lor San Tekka, he seriously gave me the creeps. His distorted voice behind the mask didn’t help much. Who is this guy? I thought. When later in the movie we learn he is the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, I was genuinely shocked. I hadn’t seen that coming at all. And it truly broke my heart, for I had imagined the child(ren) of Han and Leia to be the Child(ren) of Light or something, heroes in their own right. But no. This dark, rageful, emo being. And the moment he betrayed his own father, speared him with that unholy lightsaber, and let him fall into the abyss like so much meat, I hated him. HATED him. Intellectually, I knew his character’s arc was probably meant for redemption over the course of the trilogy, but I didn’t care. I hated him. I would never forgive him. Do you here me? Never!! And then of course proceeded to understand his character a bit better in The Last Jedi (a softer, kinder Kylo, at least in his relationship with Rey), and the return of Ben Solo in TROS, and by then I was cheering him on. But in this film? The quintessential, irredeemable villain.
What are your favorite things about The Force Awakens? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
Kylo Ren is one of those characters from Star Wars that really hit a nerve with a LOT of people. There’s something about his tortured, divided soul that calls to so many. I scrolled through a ton of Kylo fan art. A vast amount illustrated Reylo, and though I’m not against Reylo and recognize his deep connection with Rey, I wanted this to be just about Kylo/Ben.
There’s a lot of great stuff (and a lot of weird stuff, lol), but the following images stood out to me in some way:
I loved this windblown kind of look to a contemplative Kylo. The blood on his hands speaks volumes.
This is the Ben Solo who would have existed if Kylo Ren had not had a chance to take root. Total “Son of Han Solo” look going on here. I notice he still has his lightsaber, though. A blue one?
I thought this one was really interesting: Ben in death and arranged the way his grandmother, Padme, had been at her funeral. The flowers in the hair, and the dice entwined in his fingers the way her necklace from Anakin had been in hers. Shivers.
I love the use of light and shadow in this one, and how Kylo is in both, torn between the two.
I don’t usually care for images of Kylo with his mask on–it’s a bit boring for me. I like to see his expressive face. But something about this one haunts me. He looks like a Nazgul or something, a dark, shadowy thing.
I like this one of Kylo contemplating Vader’s mask, while bathed in the light. The calendar in the background with the Death Star on it is a nice touch, too, lol.
What do you think of these Kylo/Ben images? Do you have any favorites? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
Continuing my Five Favorite Things about the Star Wars movies, here’s my entry on Return of the Jedi.
Luke with Leia on Endor. I loved this intimate scene where Luke tells Leia that they’re siblings, and that he must leave to face their father, Darth Vader. It brings their relationship to a new level, as well as helps her understand what he needs to do and why. It’s also the most emotional and upset we’ve seen Leia onscreen, and reminds us that even though she’s tough as nails, she can also be vulnerable.
Luke vs. Vader on the Death Star 2. All the films in the Original Trilogy showcase just one major lightsaber duel, and in ROTJ, this is it. And it’s wonderful and glorious and fraught with tremendous emotional weight, as father and son duel it out in front of the Emperor, who naturally cackles with evil delight. The stakes couldn’t be higher: Luke fights not only for the fate of the Rebellion and his friends, but for his very soul–and his father’s soul, as well. We see that he comes perilously close to the dark side as he gives in to his anger and slams away at Vader, nearly defeating him–but he realizes the cost and steps away. Which leads to….
When Luke steps away from battle with his father and declares these words to the Emperor, then throws his lightsaber away, he shows us his true character: committed to the Light, to good, to the kind of man his father was before he was corrupted by the dark side. This is Luke’s pivotal moment, his most glorious hour. I love it.
Han Solo quippery. Of course.
Most Impactful Character
Darth Vader. Darth Vader’s return to the light and saving his son from the Emperor is clearly the most satisfying event in the movie, at least to me. The moment he picks up the Emperor, who is killing his son with Force lightning, and throws him down that shaft, is the most thrilling scene of the movie, the trilogy, perhaps the entire saga. With his sacrifice, Vader–or perhaps we should call him Anakin here–saves his son, and fulfills his destiny as the Chosen One, bringing balance back to the Force. It’s electrifying (if you’ll pardon the pun), deeply moving, and the perfect end to the trilogy.
So I usually review Star Wars books on my other blog, The Star Wars Reader, and I try to make them spoiler-free in case people haven’t read them yet and think they might want to. The point is to give a general idea of what the book is about so one can decide if they want to read it, without giving away major spoilers.
If you’re looking for a spoiler-free review of Light of the Jedi, you can go here to read it. Go there now, and don’t read any further. You’ve been warned.
But I wanted to also write a spoiler review for anyone who’s curious about the High Republic and what it’s all about, but doesn’t necessarily want to read the books. It’s a big, new addition to the Star Wars universe, and kind of a big deal as far as Canon goes. But not everyone wants to get into the books. If you’re that person, this post is for you.
This is more like a recap rather than a review, so to prevent this from being one looooong post, I’ve decided to break it up into three parts. This post will cover Part One of the book, The Great Disaster; another one will cover Part Two: The Paths; and another will cover Part Three: The Storm. Ready? Here we go:
Part One: The Great Disaster
Light of the Jedi takes place during the High Republic, roughly 200 years before The Phantom Menace. It’s a golden age–the Republic is at peace (their motto is “We are all the Republic”) and the Jedi are at the height of their powers.
But then the “Great Disaster” occurs: a transport ship called the Legacy Run encounters something in their path during hyperspace–something that is supposed to be impossible. In trying to avoid it the ship falls apart, and its debris scatters throughout neighboring space at near-lightspeed, threatening billions of lives in inhabited nearby systems.
One such system is the Hetzal system: an agricultural planet called Hetzal Prime, and its two moons, the Fruited Moon and the Rooted Moon. Minister Ecka on Hetzal Prime sends out a distress call, knowing full well there’s probably no time for anyone from the Core to arrive in time to help. He also knows there’s not enough time or ships to evacuate the billions of people on the planet, but all he can do is send out an evacuation order anyway and hope for the best. He and a group of techs, including a young genius named Keven Tarr, decide to stay on the planet and do what they can.
Luckily, a Republic ship called the Third Horizon is nearby, on its way back to Coruscant from the new space station called Starlight Beacon. It’s headed by Admiral Kronara, and a group of Jedi led by Jedi Master Avar Kriss.
Avar stays aboard the Third Horizon while a group of Jedi fly out in their Vectors, mosquito-like ships that the Jedi can control with the Force. They and a couple of pilots, Joss and Pikka, are planning on destroying a piece of debris headed straight for one of the moons. Avar, on board the Third Horizon connects to the Force and mind-links with the Jedi, to support and guide them. (In Legends, I believe this is called Battle Meditation).
One of the teams include the Jedi Master Te’Ami (a Duros), Nib Assek and her Padawan Burryaga, and Mikkel Sutmani (an Ithorian). The Padawan Burryaga, a young Wookie, has a special talent for feeling the emotions of others to a very strong degree. He tells his master, Nib Assek (who has learned Shyriiwook to better communicate with her Padawan), that there are people inside the debris fragment, terrified people who had been travelling on the Legacy Run.
Suddenly the mission has gotten much more complicated–not only must they prevent the fragment from smashing into the moon, but now they must somehow save the people inside that fragment.
Meanwhile, Jedi Master Loden Greatstorm and his Padawan Bell Zettifar fly down to the surface of Hetzal to help in any way they can. They find a mob of people trying to get through a tall gate surrounding a private residence that harbors a ship–one that can hold many more people than the family that owns it. But the family have put armed guards on the wall to keep the desperate people out. Loden confronts the guards and nearly convinces them to let the people in, but then they are attacked from behind by another group wanting to get on the ship. Meanwhile, time is running out as the debris fragments get ever nearer.
In another part of the system, Captain Bright, a Nautolan, of the Republic ship Aurora IX, and his two lieutenants Peebles and Innamen, arrive at a solar array that has been hit by a fragment. The array is quite unstable, but Captain Bright feels they must look for survivors. They do find injured survivors, but the array is dangerously close to exploding. They find a way to delay the explosion, and Captain Bright sacrifices himself to give the others time to get the injured off the station and onto the Aurora.
Meanwhile, Te’Ami’s team have come up with a plan to save the moon and the people on board the fragment: together, the Jedi will slow and hold the fragment with the Force, while Joss and Pikka attach cables to it to further slow and stop it. It would be difficult, but they have to try.
It works, but there’s a new threat: Avar Kriss senses a fragment heading toward one of Hetzal’s three suns, but there’s something about it that makes her uneasy; she senses something through the Force. After consulting some scans from Keven Tarr, it’s shown to contain liquid Tibanna. The LegacyRun had been hauling it, but now it was careening toward the sun and once it reaches it, it will explode–and the sun along with it, and presumably the rest of the system. Total annihilation.
Avar again links all the Jedi in the system, and then even more Jedi farther away, in different systems. Together, they all strain to move the fragment enough to make it miss the sun. It’s immensely difficult, and some Jedi even die in the attempt–but they make it work. Through the Force, they manage to move the fragment so it misses the sun, and continues on harmlessly into space.
I found this line interesting: “Across the galaxy, cheers of relief and joy. Yes, scowls from those who lived in darkness, hoping for the Jedi to fail, to be crushed, to die–but they were few.” A reference to the Sith in hiding? That’s what I’m assuming, an acknowledgment that they’re out there somewhere, but they’re not a part of this story. So far, anyway.
The Great Disaser is over–at least in Hetzal. But in the Ab Dalis system further along the hyperlane the Legacy Run had been traveling on, more fragments emerge. One hits a densely populated world in the system, and twenty million people die. This is the first Emergence. It’s assumed that many other Emergences will occur, and this is obviously a problem.
During the Ab Dalis Emergence, we are introduced to the Nihil. These are the space mauraders that are the villains of the story, and they take advantage of the situation here to raid some transports trying to get away from the destruction of the planet. The Nihil destroy several of the transports, then use poison gas kill the passengers of the others as they board them, wearing their terrifying masks.
So, going into Part Two, the Republic and the Jedi have two problems: the Emergences, and how to predict and deal with them, as well as the Nihil, who have become a growing threat to the galaxy.
So I realized that after I posted My Five Favorite Things About A New Hope that I totally forgot about Solo and Rogue One, lol. I had planned on doing them in chronological order, but now it would just be weird to go back and do them. So I’ll continue on with the main trilogies, and then at the end do Solo and Rogue One.
Anyway, here’s my five favorite things about The Empire Strikes Back.
I’m going to say pretty much all the scenes between Han and Leia. I simply can’t pick just one, because they’re all delightful. The arguing, the banter, the chemistry and sexual tension, the tenderness–it’s all great. The kissing scene in the Falcon, culminating in the “I love you, I know” scene in the carbonation chamber makes up the best love story in all of Star Wars, in my opinion. When I was a kid and first saw Empire, it was about Han and Leia first, lol, and then Luke and Vader.
Again, there’s only one duel of note in this movie (besides Luke’s confrontation with Vader in the dark side cave on Dagobah, which is symbolic), and it’s between Darth Vader and Luke in Cloud City on Bespin (which is for reals). And it’s probably my favorite duel out of all the films in many ways. It’s kind of a game of cat and mouse, as they clash, each disappearing and reappearing, pouncing on each other suddenly and violently. Everything about this duel is epic: the part where Vader uses Luke as target practice and Luke smashes through a window and falls; the savage confrontation on the catwalk and the loss of Luke’s hand; Vader’s shocking revelation and offer; Luke’s decision to step off the catwalk and fall into oblivion rather than join his evil father in ruling the galaxy. So much going on here, and we get some insight into each character: Vader is willing to betray his master the Emperor and overthrow him (which is basically what the Sith do, but we wonder if he’s got a soft spot for his son, and therefore a bit of light left? Maybe?); and we see Luke’s total commitment to the Light and choosing to die rather than join evil. Later, in ROTJ, that commitment will be tested, but right now, there’s no question of going down that shaft.
You know, up until very recently, this line confused the hell out of me. What does it even mean? I’ve come to realize that what Yoda was getting at is how you go about doing something–if you go into it “trying” then you’re letting in doubt about succeeding. Perhaps you don’t fully believe in yourself, and believe that you may fail. Once doubt sets in, I think Yoda is saying, then you’re doomed to fail. If Luke doesn’t believe in himself, then he doesn’t believe the Force will help him, and the Force won’t believe in him–it won’t work with him to move that darn X-Wing. A Jedi needs confidence and faith, in himself and the Force. Anyway, that’s how I’ve come to see it. A lot of philosophy in those few words, lol.
More classic Han Solo:
Most Impactful Character
Yoda. Yoda is the mysterious center of the film–force ghost Obi-Wan exhorts dying Luke to find Yoda and train to be a Jedi with him. Once on Dagobah, Luke finds not a “great warrior,” but a little wizened green guy with big ears, who makes a mess of his camp and plays tug-of-war with Artoo. But everything Yoda does is a lesson: he wants to gauge Luke’s response to him before he reveals himself. And of course, he finds that Luke takes things at face value, as most of us do sometimes. The lessons begin immediately, and he shows Luke that he has a lot to learn. He has misgivings, but trains Luke anyway–brave, considering he did the same thing with Anakin. Or perhaps he senses something in Luke, the strength of the Light in him. Either way, he has a lot to do with the Jedi Luke becomes. Wars not make one great, but Yoda is definitely a great Jedi Master.
What are your favorite things about The Empire Strikes Back? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!