With the release of the cast of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, and a new trailer for The Bad Batch, it’s ratcheting up my excitement for the new shows. First, I want to briefly address these recent announcements, and then I’ll rank all the new upcoming shows based on my preferences and why.
First, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Starwars.com released the cast list and stated production will begin in April. From what we understand, it will release sometime in 2022. I’m going to go ahead and admit I don’t know half the actors in the cast list. Ewan and Hayden are obvious, and Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse are returning as Owen and Beru from Revenge of the Sith. The only other person I know is Indira Varma from Game of Thrones. But that’s all right–I prefer unknowns (to me) in Star Wars, as they don’t bring along any of their other roles. They’re blank slates and can truly become the character for me.
As far as the trailer for The Bad Batch, it’s getting me a bit more excited for the show. The characters themselves aren’t as interesting to me as the setting of the show itself–post Order 66 as the Empire takes power. I love the Clones and want to see what happens to them after that fateful order, and whether or not the Bad Batch have a chip in their brains as well (I’m guessing no? Maybe?) Fennic Shand is an interesting addition, and was that Saw Gerrera I saw? As far as that kid goes–hmm. Not sure what that’s all about, but we’ll see. Looking forward to this show’s premier on May 4th.
So, without further ado, here’s my personal rankings based on my excitement and interest of the new shows coming up:
10. Droids. I don’t necessarily hate the kid’s shows, but no thanks.
9. Visions. I’m not sure what this is all about, but it might be interesting.
8. Lando. Look, I love Lando, but for a whole freaking show? I’m not sure that will work. But of course I’ll watch.
7. Boba Fett. So I loved Boba in The Mandalorian. Does that mean I want a whole show of him? Not really. But I’ll tune in to see what it’s all about.
6. Rogue Squadron movie. Not a show, of course, but the next movie coming out in 2023. I’m not a huge fan of pilot stories, but it’s a Star Wars movie. I’m going to go see it.
5. Rangers of the New Republic. Again, pilots. But will probably cross-over with Mando, so I’m on board.
4. The Bad Batch. As explained above, I want more Clones. This is what we get, so I’ll take it. I’ll probably love it, lol.
3. The Acolyte. Super curious about this one. I think it takes place about 50 years prior to The Phantom Menace, at the end of the High Republic. I’m thinking darksiders, Sith stuff, maybe Plagueis or Palpatine. Finally, some Force-users! Dark side, in all likelihood, but I’ll take it.
2. Ahsoka. Duh. I can’t wait to see Ahsoka in live action again, looking for Thrawn, maybe find Ezra, maybe with the help of Sabine. This one’s gonna be good!
#1. Obi-Wan Kenobi. This is, of course, my number one, because: Obi-Wan. As you might have figured out if you read this blog, Obi-Wan is my favorite character. For a long time, fans have wondered–just what did Obi-Wan do to fill his time on Tatooine while watching over Luke? And since most of us would happily watch Obi-Wan drink tea in the desert for 6 hours (am I the only one?) this will be a real treat. With Hayden coming back as Darth Vader, the excitement level is off the charts, at least for me. I can’t wait to see how it’s all gonna play out.
I didn’t include The Mandalorian Season 3 simply because it’s not a “new” show, but obviously looking forward to it returning, sometime in 2022. I’m really gonna miss Baby, though.
What are your thoughts on these shows? Which ones are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
In my quest to watch more Star Wars content (I’m currently watching the animated show Star Wars Resistance) I came across Forces of Destiny.
These are two seasons of sixteen animated shorts (2-3 minutes) showcasing some women of Star Wars (Leia, Rey, Jyn, Ahsoka, Padme, Sabine, and others–even Q’ira with, of all people, Hondo!) having some action-packed adventures. They usually involve the character coming to the defense of someone against a threatening creature, stormtroopers, or even a crazed droid. No matter what the crisis, the character has to take some action that usually involves bravery, skill, and compassion.
They’re not in any particular order; the first two involve Rey protecting BB-8 from some sand monster on Jakku, and then some thugs who want to steal him; the next one has Leia on Endor helping some Ewoks against some stormtroopers, and then Leia again on Hoth helping Chewie escape a Wampa. Ahsoka, Padme, Sabine, Rey, then Leia again; the chronology is jumbled, but it doesn’t matter.
These clips are simple action sequences, but not all, and there are a few that I especially like:
“Imperial Feast” has Han and Leia on Endor after the defeat of the Empire; the Ewoks are about to cook some Imperial stormtroopers for dinner. Leia tells Han to go to Hera to get some ration sticks to give them instead. Han asks Hera for the rations, but she only agrees if Han will say that the Ghost is a superior ship to the Falcon. Of course he has to say it to ge the ration sticks, which almost physically hurts him.
“Unexpected Company” has Padme and Anakin on a mission together, and they’re happy to finally get some alone time while they’re at it. But Ahsoka comes along and says Master Obi-Wan suggested she go with them. They’re a bit chagrined, but later are glad Ahsoka came along to help them through a Separatist blockade. Ahsoka spies them embracing at one point, and it’s clear she figures out their relationship. She hints to Padme that she knows, but won’t say anything. And we get the feeling that Obi-Wan also knows, and purposely sent Ahsoka to spoil their alone time (that rascal).
The shows are mostly about all the Star Wars women, but we get a couple of bonus shows with the guys. One has Luke and Yoda on Dagobah. They’re swinging through the trees with Yoda in the pack on Luke’s back. I liked it, and I’m pretty sure Mark Hamill did Luke’s voice– but it’s his older, scratchier Luke voice, not young Luke’s voice, and it’s a little weird, lol. There’s also one of Chewie helping some Porgs get some hard-to-reach material for their nests.
These shorts are clearly meant for kids, and in particular, young girls, which I just love. With these clips, girls get some fantastic role models in strong, compassionate, helping women. Yes, these women often show their strength in a physical way, as in shooting a blaster, wielding a lightsaber, or running and jumping and fighting, but it’s not the point. The point is that these women are often coming to the defense of the defenseless (children, droids, Ewoks), doing the right thing (getting food to the Rebellion), or just helping each other. That is awesome.
The clips start with a voice-over by Lupita Nyong’o, who voices Maz Kanata. She says:
The choices we make
The actions we take
Moments, both big and small
Shape us into forces of destiny.
Forces of Destiny isn’t must-see Star Wars content, but if you have a child (especially a daughter) who loves Star Wars, they’d love this, I think. My daughter is 12, and never showed an interest in Star Wars (I still hold out hope, lol) and is perhaps too old for it now anyway, but younger girls could do worse than watching these great Star Wars women.
Have you watched this series? What did you think? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
So with two months to go until The Bad Batch makes its debut, I need a Star Wars show to watch. I’ve watched everything there is to watch several times already, and I need something new to explore. The only thing I haven’t seen yet is Resistance, the animated series set during the time of the struggle against the First Order.
I know, I know: most people don’t like it. It’s for young kids, it’s nowhere near the quality of Clone Wars and Rebels, yada yada. I’ve heard it all. But I like to decide for myself, so I thought I’d start watching and give it a go.
And you know what? It’s not bad. It’s not great, but I’m only two episodes in. I don’t hate it. I’ve heard a lot of people say they don’t like the animation style, but I kind of like it. It’s very different from both Clone Wars and Rebels, and it should be, really. It needs to be its own thing.
So Resistance is about a young New Republic pilot named Kaz who is recruited by Poe Dameron to spy for the Resistance on a large aircraft refueling station called the Colossus. He’s supposed to work undercover as a mechanic while he roots out a First Order contact. He’s young, has been a bit sheltered, and tends to be found by trouble. Poe Dameron sees something in him, though, and leaves him in the care of Yeager, an old friend of his, as well as BB-8 to keep an eye on him. We meet a few characters who will undoubtedly be regulars, including Neeku, a sweet, wide-eyed alien who takes everything Kaz says literally. I like him; he has a child-like innocence that is endearing. I also like the time period; we’ve had so much Clone War and Empire era stuff, I’m ready for sequel trilogy era stories.
And it’s produced by Dave Filoni, so it can’t be that terrible, right?
I probably won’t report on every single episode I watch, but will rather give my opinion on it as a whole when I finish it. Since it’s only two seasons of 21 and 19 episodes (25 minutes long each), it shouldn’t take too long. Stay tuned!
Have you watched Resistance? If so, what did you think? (But please, no spoilers!) Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
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!
I’ve been rewatching the animated series Rebels, and I’ve just finished Season Two. Not only is it longer (22 episodes rather than 15), but it was so much more emotionally satisfying. Several familiar characters make an appearance (or reappearance), and the finale was amazing. But we’ll get to that.
So much more happens in this season, and this post could be unbearably long if I mention everything, so I’ll try to point out the most important events and highlights.
So now the Ghost crew are a part of Phoenix Squadron, led by Commander Sato, along with Ahsoka. Hera and the rest of the crew are all gung-ho about it, but Kanan isn’t so sure–he’s reluctant to join the nascent Rebellion, remembering the Clone Wars and what happened to the Jedi because of it.
They receive a transmission from Minister Tua on Lothal–she wants to defect and she needs their help. She’ll give them important intel in exchange. But before they can retrieve her, she’s killed, engineered by Vader in a plot to draw the Rebels out. Kanan and Ezra end up fighting Vader, and it’s clear to them they are way out of their league–he’s more powerful than anyone they’d ever encountered. They hightail it out of there, but they’re stuck on Lothal. Lando makes another appearance here, as he owes them a favor, and he gets them off the planet.
They escape, but Vader tracks them to the fleet. Ahsoka, on board the Ghost, feels his presence, and he feels hers; he murmurs, “The apprentice lives,” in apparent surprise. Ahsoka is shocked and passes out; later she tells Kanan and Ezra that she doesn’t know who he is, but I don’t particularly believe her. She suspects Anakin, I think, but says nothing to the others.
The Imperials burn Tarkintown on Lothal in retaliation, and the Rebels decide not to go back there; they don’t want to endanger anyone else. Ahsoka asks the Ghost crew to find an old friend of hers, believing that he can help them find a new base. The friend turns out to be none other than Captain Rex, along with two other clones: Gregor and Wolf. They’re in “retirement” on some desert planet, clomping around on some old Republic walker that has seen better days.
Kanan absolutely does not trust them, and understandably so. He’d seen clones turn on the Jedi and kill his own master, Depa Billaba. Rex states that he didn’t betray his Jedi, and explains that he and the others removed the chips in their heads that commanded the clones to kill their former generals, but Kanan’s prejudice runs deep. The others seem to like the clones, though. They need to fight some Imperials off, and the clones go back with them to the fleet. The reunion between Rex and Ahsoka is wonderful to see; and although it takes Kanan a while to come around, I love that Rex becomes an honorary member of the Ghost crew.
Unfortunately, Vader has sent out more Inquisitors, and they encounter two of them–Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother–on an old Republic medical frigate they’ve gone to in order to get medical supplies. They escape, but encounter them again when they discover they’re after Force-sensitive babies. They manage to rescue the kids, and we get to see a fabulous display of Ahsoka’s skills as she duels them both before escaping.
Ezra starts to feel a bit overwhelmed with his Jedi training with Kanan, on top of soldier training with Rex (and the chores Hera gives him on the Ghost), and while trying to escape his responsibilities he encounters Hondo Ohnaka. Since the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire, Hondo has come down a few notches in life–no longer the leader of a formidable pirate gang; he scrapes by in whatever way he can, smuggling and making deals with other pirates. He’s as funny and selfish as he was in Clone Wars, and he’s so fun to watch. He takes a shine to Ezra, who he considers to be his young protege in the art of the con.
Meanwhile, Hera brings an experimental B-Wing into the fleet, to be perfected and mass produced, and she becomes Phoenix Squadron Leader. Kanan and Rex go on a mission together to save Ezra and Commander Sato from the Imperials, and start to bond a little bit; Kanan even calls Rex his “friend.” Sabine has an adventure with an old friend, who’s now an enemy, and then becomes her friend again. I can’t remember her name, but she has gorgeous lavender eyes.
Ezra has Force visions about his parents, and is convinced they need to go back to Lothal. They encounter Ryder Azadi, the former Governor of Lothal, imprisoned by the Imperials–along with Ezra’s parents. He tells Ezra his parents heard the message of hope he sent out in Season One, and was inspired to help the other prisoners escape. But they themselves didn’t make it. It’s assumed they are dead, and Ezra deals with his grief.
Princess Leia shows up on Lothal as an ambassador from Alderaan, bringing three ships full of medical supplies and relief aid. Of course, she expects the Rebels to “steal” her ships, and in this way she helps the Rebellion in the best way she can. She’s about Ezra’s age here, and they have an adventure in getting the ships off Lothal for the Rebellion, without making Leia look guilty. She’s pretty good at making the Imperials look like fools.
In trying to find new, safer hyperspace routes, they encounter a group of Mandalorians on Concordia Dawn called The Protectors that work for the Empire. They take its leader, Fen Rau, prisoner, and get use of the hyperspace route. Zeb finds out he’s not the last of his people, and they help two survivors find a safe haven beyond the Outer Rim. They go on a mission with Hera’s father, the famed Twi’lek freedom fighter Cham Syndulla. Father and daughter have a strained relationship, but they resolve their differences and get a new ship for the fleet to boot. On a mission to get fuel for the Ghost, they encounter space whales called Pergil, and Ezra makes a Force connection with them (they’ll become an important plot point in a future season). Imperial Agent Kallus and Zeb are stranded on a frozen moon, and have to work together to escape with their lives (the experience leaves an impression on Kallus that bears fruit later).
Those pesky Inquisitors keep finding them, so Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka go to the Jedi Temple on Lothal to find answers on how to deal with them. Kanan ends up fighting a Jedi Temple Guard, who turns out to be the Grand Inquisitor from Season One. Turns out, he’d been a Guard before Order 66, but became an Inquisitor afterward. He symbolically “knights” Kanan after Kanan admits to his fear that he can’t protect Ezra forever; he can only do his best. Ezra finds himself with Master Yoda, and talks with him about the war; only after Ezra insists that they must fight the Empire does Yoda tell him to go to Malachor. Ahsoka hears Anakin’s voice: “Why did you leave me? Do you know what I’ve become?” Her suspicions and fears about who Vader is, and her guilt over her potential part in it, hits home.
Chopper finds a new friend in AP5, and old Republic droid who now does inventory work for the Empire. They help each other on an adventure, and AP5 suggests a new planet for the Rebel base. It seems perfect at first, but then they discover it’s inhabited by–what else?–giant spiders. But they find a way to keep them away from the base itself.
The last two episodes of the season, “Twilight of the Apprentice” Parts 1 & 2, are the best episodes of the season, and possibly one of the best arcs in the entire show. Following Yoda’s advice, Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka go to Malachor, a “forbidden” planet to the Jedi. It contains a Sith Temple, and here they end up meeting Maul, who’s been slinking around there for years, apparently. They encounter three Inquisitors as well–Seventh Sister and Fifth brother, and one other–and they’ve gone there to find “the Shadow,” or Maul.
Basically, Ezra gets separated from Kanan and Ahsoka, and meets Maul, who wants to use Ezra to get to the Sith holocron inside (as well as turn him to the dark side and have him become his apprentice). Ezra, innocent child, believes that Maul wants to help them, and once they get the holocron, he uses it to activate the Temple–he thinks he’ll get the knowledge they seek, but it really turns into a battle station. Ezra realizes this too late, and in the meantime, Maul has blinded Kanan in battle. They’ve managed to kill the Inquisitors and fend off Maul, but Vader shows up for the holocron, and they’re in real trouble. Kanan and Ezra together retrieve the holocron while Ahsoka battles Vader, and it’s this riveting and heartbreaking encounter that makes this episode epic.
During the course of the duel, Ahsoka realizes that Vader is, in fact, Anakin. As the Temple starts to crumble around them, she tells him, “I won’t leave you. Not this time.” Ezra calls her name, but she closes the temple door on him, and they have no choice but to escape without her. We see an enigmatic scene of Vader leaving the Temple, and Ahsoka going into it. It’s a bit vague as to what actually happened, but it becomes more clear in a future season.
So I’ve already written WAY too much, but suffice it to say this was a great season, with an amazing season-ender.
Now that Season 2 of The Mandalorian is over, I decided to rewatch Rebels. I’ve just finished Season 1, and thought I’d just do a basic recap rather than an episode-by-episode review (there are 15 episodes in the season).
Rebels takes place in the few years leading up to A New Hope, when the Empire is in full control but some pockets of rebellion have flared up in response to their heavy-handed rule. Most of the main action takes place on or near the planet Lothal, an Outer Rim world run by the Imperials.
Obviously as Season 1 starts, we meet the Ghost crew: Hera Syndulla, the Twi’lek pilot, daughter of Cham Syndulla, who was a freedom fighter on Ryloth during the Clone Wars; Kanan Jarrus, the human male we quickly learn is a Jedi who somehow escaped Order 66; Zeb, the fierce Lassat who is often the muscle of the group, and who is the last of his kind thanks to the Imperials; and Sabine Wren, a young artistically-inclined Mandalorian woman who formerly attended the Imperial Academy on Mandalore but left when she became disillusioned with the Empire; and Chopper, their feisty, mischievous, and sometimes rude droid who sounds like the adults on the Peanuts specials. Their main mission is simply to make trouble for the Imperials and to help those who may need it; at this point, they are unaware of any other rebel cells at work. There is, however, a contact that Hera gets information from, a mysterious figure called “Fulcrum.”
They quickly pick up a sixth member in Ezra Bridger, a teenager who grew up on the streets of Lothal. Ezra interrupts one of their theft missions, and Hera and Kanan recognize that he’s special–and a bit annoying–and ask him to join the crew. He’s not sure at first, used to being on his own, looking out only for himself, but when Kanan realizes he has Force powers–powers that he unknowingly used to survive on the streets–he agrees. Kanan, who never even got to finish his own training before Order 66 killed his Master, Depa Billaba, agrees to train him in the ways of the Jedi. We even get to see a hologram of Obi-Wan Kenobi sending out his message of hope to any surviving Jedi, from a holocron that Kanan has in his possession.
We also meet the Imperials and Ministers of Lothal, but the main antagonists are Agent Kallus, member of the ISB (Imperial Security Bureau)–he kind of reminds me of a blond Wolverine–and the Grand Inquisitor, who shows up after Kallus reports a Jedi in the rebel faction. I have to say this guy looks really cool: bald, burning Sith eyes, sharp teeth, and a wicked double-bladed lightsaber that spins on an axis. When Kallus and the Grand Inquisitor fail to capture the Rebels or the Jedi, they bring in the big guns: Grand Moff Tarkin shows up to lay down the law and demand results.
One of the main story threads of Season 1 is the question of Ezra’s parents: who are they, and what happened to them? And will Ezra ever see them again? We find out they were ordinary citizens who spoke out against the Empire, and as a result, they were arrested and taken away. Ezra was only seven years old at the time. He’s fifteen now (born on Empire Day), and he has no idea if they are dead or alive; although on one of their missions, they encounter an old friend of his parents, a Rodian named Tseebo, who tells him his parents are alive, but that remains to be seen.
In one of my favorite episodes, Kanan and Ezra visit a Jedi Temple located on Lothal. Kanan wishes Ezra to be tested to see if he’s ready to become a Jedi. In the Temple, Ezra must face his fears: his fear of Kanan being killed by the Inquisitor, fear that his new friends ridicule him behind his back, fear that he’s just not ready to become focused and disciplined enough to learn and will fail Kanan. He ends up hearing the voice of Yoda, who gives him a few words of wisdom before a kyber crystal falls into his hand. Kanan himself hears Yoda, and must face his own fears: the fear of not being able to train Ezra, of failing him. The fact that he couldn’t complete his own training, that he was never Knighted as a Jedi and is perhaps incapable of training Ezra, weighs heavily on him.
Ezra makes his own lightsaber from the kyber crystal, and it’s quite a unique one: it’s part blaster, part lightsaber. Clunky, but useful.
There are a few appearances of familiar characters: the crew meets R2D2 and C3PO early on, who are working for Bail Organa. Kanan briefly meets Bail when he returns the droids, but he doesn’t know who he is. Bail is keeping an eye on this particular rebel cell, to see what they do and how they may play a part in the Rebellion he’s trying to build.
They also meet Lando Calrissian and become involved in one of his schemes, which seems sort of out of the blue, but it pays off in Season 2.
As the season starts to head toward its conclusion, we meet Senator Trayven of Lothal, who Ezra in particular greatly admires. He seems to be sending out messages of hope for those who hate the Empire, but when they meet with him it turns out to be a trap. They escape, but are disappointed and Ezra is heartbroken. They decide to commandeer the Imperial communications tower to send out their own message of hope.
However, during the mission, Kanan is captured by the Inquisitor. He sacrifices himself so the others can escape. They want to go after him, but Hera receives a message from Fulcrum, who tells her not to risk it, and that they must focus on the bigger picture. They decide to go after him anyway, of course.
He’s being held on a Star Destroyer in orbit around Mustafar, and they hatch a plan to retrieve him. Kanan and Ezra end up facing the Grand Inquisitor in a lightsaber duel; in the end, the Inquisitor dies–hanging from a ledge, he lets himself fall into a fireball below as Kanan looks on.
The crew is rescued from a TIE fighter assault by Bail Organa and his fleet of ships, and Fulcrum shows up as well–revealing herself to be Ahsoka Tano.
Back on Lothal, an Imperial shuttle arrives in Capital City, and Agent Kallus greets Darth Vader, who has arrived to clean up the mess and try to capture the Rebels that have been evading capture.
And that’s Season One, which I seemed to enjoy more the second time around, probably because I already know and love these people, whereas at first I wasn’t sure. I’m looking forward to getting into Season Two, which gets even better.
Now that The Mandalorian is over for at least a year, the question is: what’s next on my Star Wars viewing list? Movie marathon? (A marathon, for me, is one movie per day, so an 11-day period of Star Wars). Nah, I want to rewatch one of the animated series, where I can get 2-3 episodes in per day.
I thought about rewatching the Clone Wars, but I wasn’t up for that massive project (7 seasons, some with 22 episodes). Not yet. Maybe as a lead up to The Bad Batch, which will come out some time next year.
No, for now I decided to rewatch Rebels, which is shorter, but no less awesome. There are so many tie-ins from that show in The Mandalorian: Bo-Katan, the Dark Saber, Ahsoka, Thrawn. It’ll be great to go back and relive those moments.
I don’t think I’ll review each and every episode on this blog, but perhaps one post for each of the four seasons. Until then, enjoy a few images and moments from the show:
Do you like Rebels? What’s your favorite moment(s)? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
I have a confession to make: while watching Clone Wars for the first time, I skipped a few episodes. In particular, I skipped the episodes about 3PO and Artoo having adventures, and also the Ahsoka arc with the younglings.
I know, I know: sacrilege. Without knowing much about them, I deemed them frivolous and impatiently skipped over them to the more serious, exciting episodes with Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka. I can always go back and watch them later, I told myself. And that’s exactly what I’ve done. And here’s what I’ve learned: there are no frivolous episodes in Clone Wars.
First, the youngling arc: Season Five, Episode 6 (The Gathering), Ep 7 (A Test of Strength), Ep 8 (Bound for Rescue), and Ep 9 (A Necessary Bond).
The Gathering tells the story of Ahsoka bringing a group of younglings to Ilum for an important rite of passage: to find their kyber crystal for the lightsabers they will build. Ahsoka and Yoda are there, but the younglings must find their crystals themselves. There’s a time limit, as the cave opening will freeze shut after a certain amount of time, and the younglings must learn some important lessons about themselves during their quest.
In A Test of Strength, Ahsoka and the younglings’ ship is attacked by pirates who want their valuable kyber crystals–and Hondo Ohnaka is the pirate leader! If I knew that, I would have watched it immediately. Hondo is one of the best characters in the entire series.
In Bound for Rescue, the younglings decide to rescue Ahsoka from the pirates, who had captured her in the previous episode. They manage to do so by impersonating carnival performers, but get caught again on the run.
In A Necessary Bond, the Separatists have taken over the planet they’re on, and the pirates choose to work with Ahsoka and the younglings to now save Hondo; he has some ships hidden somewhere that they can use to escape the planet. It’s during this episode that Hondo becomes fond of a youngling named Katooni, and we see he’s really just a big softie.
I really ended up enjoying this arc, especially Hondo, and the droid Huyang, who has taught the Jedi younglings how to build their lightsabers for a thousand generations, including Yoda.
What made me sad was wondering if any of these younglings lived through Order 66. Wahh!!
So on that note, onto the droid episodes and arcs:
S3 Ep 8: Evil Plans. Cad Bane kidnaps 3PO and Artoo to get information for his next mission. I actually kind of like Cad Bane, and he made this episode worth watching.
S4 Ep 5: Mercy Mission. In this one, Artoo and 3PO are sent with a group of Clone troopers on a relief mission to a planet that has suffered in the war. While there, they discover the planet’s natives need help to keep the peace with another group of natives that lives beneath the ground. Without the clone troopers ever knowing (and who also hold them in some contempt), the droids heal the breach, and become unsung heroes.
S5 Ep 6: Nomad Droids. On their way back from the relief mission, the Republic ship they’re on is attacked by Separatists, and the droids crash land on another planet. They again unwittingly solve a crisis between the planet’s natives and some droids running the show ala the Wizard behind the curtain.
S5 Ep 10: Secret Weapons. Artoo and a group of astromech droids are chosen to go a mission to retrieve an encrypted code disk on a Separatist ship which will help the Republic in the war. The droids were all fun, and I especially like the pink one called QT (get it?), but I can’t believe I missed out on Colonel Meebur Gascon, a 12 inch-high bundle of bluster who led the group:
This guy is great, and SO entertaining. He begins the arc with a disdain for droids, but by Point of No Return he grudgingly admires them and their abilities to get the job done. One of the best comic relief characters since Hondo, in my opinion, a hidden Clone Wars gem.
S5 Ep 11: A Sunny Day in the Void. After bravely retrieving the code disk, our little group becomes stranded on a desert world. After Colonel Gascon suffers from the heat, the droids quarrel about who will lead them. By the end of the episode, they find a settlement.
S5 Ep 12: Missing in Action. In the small community they find, they discover a Clone soldier with amnesia doing dishes in a diner. Yes, really. He turns out to be Gregor, and after remembering who he is, helps the group escape the planet to a Jedi ship orbiting above. Gregor seems in possession of all his marbles here (once he overcomes the amnesia), so I’m not sure how he got so goofy in Rebels. I’m not sure how he even survives in this episode, as he seems to give his life to help the group. Anyone know?
S5 Ep 13: Point of No Return. On the Jedi ship, Gascon and the droids discover that the Separatists have commandeered the ship, and are en route to a Republic conference on a space station with plans to destroy it. Now they must prevent the battle droids on board from carrying out their devious plan.
Turns out these skipped episodes were really quite good, and I learned a lesson to not judge a book by its cover–or rather, an episode by its main characters. Kind of like the characters in these arcs: both the younglings and the droids are underestimated in these episodes, and they prove everyone wrong–even me. I am glad I had these additional Clone Wars episodes to watch, however, since I was missing the show quite a bit. A little Clone Wars gift to myself!
If you’ve watched Clone Wars (or Rebels, for that matter–in which I did not skip any), have you skipped any episodes? Which ones and why? 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!
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.”