I haven’t written any posts on the Mandalorian here, mainly because I watched it before I began this blog. It doesn’t mean I don’t LOVE it.
Like everyone else, I’ve been patiently waiting for Season Two, and we’re finally on the home stretch. I’ve watched the long-awaited trailer, and it re-ignited my excitement for this fantastic Star Wars show.
I’m not one to microscopically break down a two-minute trailer, but what I saw did bring out the goosebumps. I especially loved the voice of the Armorer telling our Mando that he must bring the Child back to his own kind, and the way to do that is to find the long, lost Jedi. As a huge Jedi fan, I can’t begin to tell you how excited that made me.
There have been some rumors that perhaps Mando’s journey will bring him to Luke Skywalker. Personally, I doubt it–I think Disney is pretty much done with Skywalkers–but if I’m wrong, that’s just fine. I’d love to see Luke again. I’d love to see ANY Jedi again, even a new one we haven’t met.
There’s also been a lot of speculation about who the mysterious woman in the cloak is. Some say Sabine, some say an Inquisitor. Again, I wouldn’t be averse to seeing Sabine–but I also don’t want Season Two to devolve into Cameoland. I’ve heard Ahsoka will be there, possibly Bo-Katan, Boba Fett, and on and on and on. I love these characters, but The Mandalorian is its own thing–it proved that in Season One–so it doesn’t necessarily need all these known characters from Star Wars. I get it that the Dark Saber brings many associations with it, including important characters related to its history. But maybe it’s simply on to the next phase of its existence, and doesn’t need anyone from the past.
Having said that, I’ll take whatever they throw at us. Because I know that no matter what, it will be great.
Do you have any theories about Season Two of The Mandalorian? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
My next installment of Women of Star Wars: Animated Edition is Ahsoka Tano.
Ahsoka Tano is Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan in Clone Wars. She’s a young togruta with big blue eyes, and presumably was going to be Obi-Wan’s new Padawan since Anakin had achieved Jedi Knighthood. The particulars of how she became Anakin’s apprentice rather than Obi-Wan’s is detailed in the Clone Wars movie; turns out that Ahsoka has a slight rebellious streak. Despite his initial resistance to taking on a padawan, Anakin himself says to her: “You may not have done well as Obi-Wan’s padawan. But you might do okay as mine.”
The pair make a good team, despite being a bit too similar and getting on each other’s nerves at first. Ahsoka calls him “Sky Guy” and Anakin calls her “Snips”, referring to her initial snippiness.
I’m going to say right up front that I much preferred Clone Wars Anakin over movie Anakin (they almost seem like different characters to me), and I think Ahsoka has a lot to do with that. The fact that he has someone to feel responsible for makes him grow up a little bit; he also comes to care for her and risks his life many times for her. I just find it kind of funny when he dispenses sage Jedi wisdom, like stressing patience, when he can’t even take his own advice!
Ahsoka had some great arcs in Clone Wars; she grew from an impetuous, eager youngster who wanted to prove herself into a thoughtful, cunning, and brave Jedi warrior. But I feel she really came into her own when she actually walked away from the Jedi Order. Accused of murder, expelled from the Order, and put on trial, she’s eventually exonerated (with help from Anakin). But when the Jedi Order welcomes her back in, she refuses to rejoin them. Her hurt and betrayal at their lack of loyalty opens her eyes to other options; she decides to find out who she’s supposed to be and what she’s supposed to do on her own.
Ahsoka’s decision to leave the Order devastates Anakin. He understands, but Anakin himself values loyalty to a fault. Ahsoka knows this, and her guilt at leaving him comes back to haunt her in Rebels.
While Ahsoka is absent from Clone Wars during Season 6, she returns in the seventh and final season. After a much-too-long arc with the Martez sisters, she meets up with Bo-Katan, who enlists her help to liberate Mandalore from Maul. Her confrontation with Maul is thrilling and satisfying. It’s during the trip back to Coruscant with the imprisoned Maul that Order 66 takes place. It’s Ahsoka that liberates Captain Rex from the inhibitor chip in his brain that forces him to attack her, and together they escape the other clones who want them both dead. (Maul, unfortunately, escapes).
The final few scenes of Season 7 Clone wars is haunting and heartbreaking, with Ahsoka contemplating the death of clones she’d fought with, and the devastation of the Jedi Order. She drops her lightsaber into the snow. Later, Darth Vader picks it up, wondering, perhaps reminiscing, watching a lone bird circle above, Anakin’s eye just visible through the red lens of his mask. This whole sequence gives me the shivers.
We don’t see Ahsoka again until Rebels, after 15 years have passed. It wasn’t until the book Ahsoka, by E.K. Johnston, came out that we knew what she’d been up to in the meantime. After Order 66, Ahsoka and Rex parted ways, agreeing it would be safer for them both to do so. She wandered from place to place, hiding her identity and Jedi abilities, calling herself Ashla and repairing droids and mechanicals for a living. It’s in this book that she ends up facing an Inquisitor and defeating him. She takes his double-bladed lightsaber and makes them her own, “healing” the red, bleeding kyber crystals and turning them white. She also meets up with Bail Organa, and decides to join the Rebellion in a specific capacity: running his intelligence networks as Fulcrum. It’s a good book, and I recommend it.
It’s in Rebels that we see the fully adult Ahsoka Tano, when Fulcrum’s mysterious identity is finally revealed. She comes to know the whole Ghost crew, and is reunited with Captain Rex. These are some of my favorite scenes of Rebels. When they learn of the existence of a Dark Lord of the Sith, Ahsoka feels something familiar about him, and has her suspicions. She’s believed Anakin dead all these years, but her confrontation with Darth Vader in a Sith Temple on Malachor proves to her that Vader is, indeed, her former Master. “I’m not leaving you,” she says. “Not this time.” At these words, we see Vader pause, as if she’s gotten through to Anakin somehow. But only for a moment. “Then you will die,” Vader replies. She only survives the duel because Ezra, in a later timeline, pulls her through to the World Between Worlds.
We don’t see Ahsoka again until the final episode in Season 4, when she appears at the very end to meet with Sabine. They’re going to search the galaxy for Ezra, who disappeared with Thrawn in the last battle on Lothal. When they were in the World Between Worlds fleeing the Emperor, Ezra says, “When you get back, come and find me.” “I will,” Ahsoka replies. “I promise.” Ahsoka Tano keeps her promises.
What do you think of Ahsoka Tano? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
Okay Star Wars peeps, I’m not one to rant, so I’m only going to address this once, and then I’m done.
After a childhood and adolescence obsessed with Star Wars in the 1980’s and early ’90’s, I went ahead, as they say, and “got a life.” Got married, had stepkids, had my own child, explored other obsessions.
At the time the prequel trilogy came out, they didn’t impress me (note: I adore them now). And though I was still a fan of Star Wars at heart, it wasn’t in the forefront of my mind for many years. Probably 25 years, to be honest.
That all changed with the sequel trilogy. I was excited for them, but wary; and once I did see them, I had to sit with them for awhile and absorb what I saw. But each time, from The Force Awakens to The Rise of Skywalker, I came to love each one. I mean, LOVE them.
Suddenly, I was obsessed again and began to delve deep into the galaxy that I’d been far, far away from for a long time. I had to catch up. I watched The Mandalorian, Clone Wars, and Rebels. I became active on SW fan groups on Facebook. I began reading the new canon books, and some of the EU/Legends. I was so taken with the world of SW again that I began a blog (now two blogs) about it.
And I love it. It’s the greatest fun I’ve had in a long time, and exactly what I needed in this time of my life.
What I didn’t expect, and what continually surprises me, is the amount of controversy that exists in the fandom. In fact, the very existence of Star Wars “haters” within the fandom totally perplexed me at first. How can you be a fan of Star Wars but also hate Star Wars? It seemed a troubling paradox.
Call me naive and out of touch, but I was greatly taken aback at the amount of vitriol I found on social media surrounding certain SW subjects. I’m continually flabbergasted at the amount of rudeness and downright cruelty that certain groups of people level at any part of SW they don’t like, as well as anyone who disagrees with their opinion.
I hadn’t even been aware of the terrible harassment that the actor who played Jar Jar Binks received at the time of the prequel trilogy; so much so that the poor man considered taking his own life.
Excuse me? This is beyond the pale. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t care for the Jar Jar character when the prequels came out (but in my gray-haired wisdom I’ve come to love the goofy guy).
But to harass an actor on social media with hate and scorn? SHAME on them.
The same goes for Jake Lloyd who played young Anakin in The Phantom Menace; and more recently, the ugliness that was spewed at Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose in the sequel trilogy.
And don’t even get me started on the hate the sequel trilogy has received. Or the Disney takeover of Lucasfilm in general; or Kathleen Kennedy, or Rian Johnson, or JJ Abrams. All targets of bewildering criticism and hatred bordering on the pathological.
Ruined your childhood? Betrayed George Lucas and Star Wars? Bad writing, lazy writing, writing you could have done so much better yourself? Death threats?
Did I miss something? Call me a geezer, call it a generational gap, call it whatever you want, but I find this behavior appalling and unacceptable. I already knew that the anonymity of the internet age had caused common courtesy (and sometimes even humanity) to fly out the window.
But Star Wars? Really? Damn, what’s not to love?
I don’t understand it, I probably never will, and I don’t think it even matters that I understand it.
I also know that it’s not the whole fandom–nowhere near. There’s a small but very vocal group of fans (trolls) and some unscrupulous Youtubers out there that feed off controversy and bad feelings. It’s the Dark Side of the fandom. They accept their miserable attitude as part of their nature, and embrace it, I suppose. They’re downright Sith-like. That doesn’t make it right.
I’ve always been a fan and champion of the Light Side. As such, I will only ever focus on the love, the positive, and quite simply the greatness of Star Wars.
That said, Star Wars isn’t perfect. It never was, and it doesn’t have to be. The fate of nations doesn’t rely on that to be so. They’re movies. Art, to be sure, to be studied and discussed with passion, yes, but also respect and, I’ll say it, old-fashioned courtesy.
And in the end, Star Wars is meant to be fun. If the haters can’t find the fun in it, or worse, suck the fun out of it, then that’s just plain sad. I pity them.
Okay, rant over, and you’ll never get another one again. Have fun with Star Wars, peeps, and of course–
I’ve profiled several prominent women in the world of Star Wars films, including Leia Organa, Padme Amidala, Jyn Erso, Rey, and Q’ira. It’s been awhile since the last post on this subject, but I was busy watching Clone Wars and Rebels; now I have several more inspiring women to write about, including Satine Kryze, from Clone Wars.
Satine Kryze is the Duchess of Mandalore during the Clone Wars time period. She is the leader of a group of star systems that don’t wish to get involved in the Clone Wars, on either the Republic or Separatist sides. Satine is a staunch pacifist, which is a bit bewildering as it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Mandalorians. (Think of Djar Dinn in The Mandalorian: “I’m a Mandalorian. Weapons are my religion.”)
The Mandalorians are traditionally a warring culture, filled with warriors obsessed with weapons and combat. It’s this obsession with war that caused Satine to do a complete about-face and try to change the Mandalorian way into nonviolence.
I don’t claim to know or understand all of Mandalorian history, but what I do know is that during a particularly violent time in their history, a young Satine had to be protected by Jedi Knights: Qui Gon Jinn and his young apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi. They spent a year protecting the young Duchess, and it was during this time that Satine and Obi-Wan fell in love.
When the violence was over, Satine’s world had been decimated, and her experience caused her to become a pacifist, determined to turn Mandalore into a nonviolent world. Despite their feelings for each other, Obi-Wan and Satine parted ways, he to continue his Jedi training and she to rebuild her shattered world. This is all backstory, only told through dialogue between Obi-Wan and Anakin in “Voyage of Temptation”, Season 2. (And I would dearly love a novel or comic concerning this story. Why hasn’t anyone written one yet????).
It’s also during this episode that Obi-Wan and Satine bicker constantly and argue about the merits of pacifism. I truly believe Obi-Wan understands Satine’s decisions and admires her for it, but his feelings for her causes him to worry about her safety. He thinks Mandalore should join the Republic and defend itself against the Separatists. Satine will have none of it. She knows herself and her mind, and stands firm in her ideals. It’s clear to me that she thinks Obi-Wan, and the Jedi in general, betrayed their own ideals by getting involved in the Clone Wars to the extent they have. “I remember a time when the Jedi were not generals, but peace-keepers,” she says to them.
Their bickering is also a symptom of their unresolved feelings for one another. In that same episode, when Satine believes she’ll never see Obi-Wan again, she confesses her love for him. When pressed (and one must press Obi-Wan when it comes to his feelings), he admits that, “If you had said the word, I would have left the Jedi Order.” In typical Obi-Wan fashion, he tells her he loves her too, without, you know, actually saying “I love you too.” But it’s enough. In the third episode of the arc, she appeals to the Galactic Senate not to intervene in her world in the name of the war, and with Obi-Wan’s help, she succeeds.
In Season 3, Padme helps Satine uncover corruption on Mandalore, but Obi-Wan doesn’t see her again until Season 5. In “The Lawless”, Satine has been imprisoned by Maul, who has taken over Mandalore with the help of Death Watch. Obi-Wan, without the Council’s blessing, returns to Mandalore to help her.
He frees her, but they’re caught by Maul. Maul uses Satine as a tool for revenge, impaling her on the Dark Saber simply to cause Obi-Wan pain. Before she dies, she tells Obi-Wan “I have loved you always. And I always will.”
I love the character of Satine, not only because she’s the love interest of Obi-Wan, but because she’s a three-dimensional character in her own right. She’s a ruler who managed to change a violent world into a peaceful one–for a time, anyway. She stood by her ideals, some might say stubbornly, when it seemed foolish to do so; even when the man she loved urged her to do differently. She was a ruler who tried to stay above the fray of politics and follow her ideals. Perhaps it was naive, but I admire that.
As Anakin tells Obi-Wan in Season 2, “She’s an extraordinary woman.”
After watching The Clone Wars (and absolutely loving it), I moved on to Rebels. I’d heard good things about it, but I wasn’t sure. How can anything top Clone Wars? I’ll probably just be disappointed…but I knew Ahsoka made an appearance, along with Captain Rex. Darth Vader, Maul, even Obi-Wan. How could I stay away?
So I gave it a try. The first few episodes, I thought, hmm, I don’t know. It’s not really catching me. But that’s how I felt with Clone Wars at first. So I kept watching. And I’m so glad I did. As Season One drew to a close, I knew it had me.
Season Two was when things really picked up, and it only got better from there. I just finished Season Four, and I got a little emotional that it was over, at how wonderful it was, and the questions I still had.
I thought I’d highlight a few favorite moments from the show:
There are so many more fantastic moments in this show, I could go on and on, but these were at the top of my list. Rebels truly exceeded my expectations, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you’re really missing out on some great Star Wars moments.
Han Solo was my first favorite Star Wars character. When I was a kid, everybody loved the hero Luke and his cool lightsaber. Me? I loved the scoundrel. Still do. Here’s an ode to the smuggler-turned-Rebel (I don’t own any of the following; all rights belong to the individual artists):
Rarely did I find any art of Han without his trusty blaster at his side.
Princess Leia Organa Skywalker Solo is an iconic figure in Star Wars. I feel like I didn’t appreciate her enough in the early days, but I’m making up for it! She’s a remarkable character, played by a remarkable actress. Here’s some loving fan art for you to peruse (I don’t own any of the following, all rights belong to the individual artists):
I love this art nouveau-style Leia.
This is a great portrait of Leia in repose, with the weight of the galaxy on her shoulders.
This doesn’t really look like her, but there’s something about this painting of Cloud City Leia that speaks to me. Her pride and dignity are apparent here.
This is a lovely portrayal of Jedi Knight Leia, which I think we all would have loved to see.
General Organa is perhaps my favorite incarnation of Leia.
If you like what you see here, go to the artist sites and show them some love!
Liked this post? Hit the Like button, comment below, or Follow Star Wars: My Point of View!
There’s so much tragedy in Star Wars, it’s understandable that some fans visualize our favorite characters in better circumstances. What if things hadn’t gone so horribly wrong? Here’s a few scenarios (I own none of the following, all rights belong to the original artists):
The Skywalker family on the beach. I love the idea of Uncle Obi-Wan.
I think most of us would love to see Ahsoka meet Luke, Leia, and still-innocent little Ben Solo, with a vision of Anakin at his best. You can still see the reluctance on Leia’s face to admire her father.
This sweet scene is well within the realm of possibility; one just wishes it could have presaged better times for the Solo family.
The Ben Solo that Should Have Been. Sigh. I love that he’s wearing his father’s dice, and has a good blaster by his side.
If only he could have held her…one last time. I love the busted eye lens, so he can look on her with his own vision. More manga emotion.
This might actually come to pass, if the Mandalorian Season Two rumors are true. What could be more wonderful than Ahsoka and The Child? The light and depth perception in this painting is incredible.
The amazing talent of Star Wars fans continues to amaze me. If you like what you see here, go to the artists’ websites and show them some love!
Check out more of my posts on Star Wars: My Point of View.
Like to read Star Wars? Take a look at my sister blog, The Star Wars Reader. I regularly post reviews of Star Wars books, both canon and EU/Legends.
Like this post? Comment below, hit the Like button, or Follow Star Wars: My Point of View!