My Top Ten Star Wars Heroes

I was inspired to write this post from a Star Wars fan group I was scrolling through the other night. I often see the question “What are your top ten favorite Jedi?” or villains or pilots or whatever. But heroes in general? Nope. I had to think about it, because there are a lot of heroes in Star Wars, but how would I rank them and why? So after some thought, I came up with this list, in descending order:

  • Ahsoka Tano

I have to go with Ahsoka at the top of the list. Not only is she an incredible Jedi, but after Order 66 she worked as Fulcrum, the secret contact for the Rebellion during their fight against the Empire. Even after the defeat of the Empire it seems, from events in The Mandalorian, that she’s still working to help those in need, as well as possibly be looking for Ezra (through her search for Thrawn). Her battle against Maul at Mandalore is incredible, her compassion for Rex and the Clones during Order 66 (even though they were trying to kill her) is heartfelt and heartbreaking, and her confrontation with Vader in Rebels is unforgettable. I really can’t think of any flaw in her, lol. Nobody’s perfect, but she’s pretty close. Whether as a Jedi, a spy, or a friend, she’s a great hero.

  • Leia Organa
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Phone Wallpaper | Moviemania

Leia Organa is a true hero of the galaxy, whether as Princess of Alderaan, a Senator (both Imperial and New Republic), a soldier of the Rebellion, or a General of the Resistance. Leia was truly dedicated to helping the galaxy be a better place, whether she was on mercy missions as a young Senator, fighting the Empire in the Rebellion, passing important legislation in the New Republic, or gathering together those who would resist the First Order. Her bravery, her strength in the face of tragedy, and her commitment to the cause is unparalleled. Perhaps her most important act was sacrificing herself for her son Ben Solo, to bring him back to the light. So even as a Mom, Leia was truly heroic!

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi

In every incarnation, whether in the Clone Wars, the prequels, Rebels, or A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a hero. He was a holonet hero (along with Anakin) during the Clone Wars, he discovered the Clones on Kamino and defeated General Grievous in the prequels, defeated Maul in Rebels (and showed compassion to his old Nemesis as well), watched over Luke for what must have been a lonely twenty years on Tatooine, and sacrificed himself to Vader to save Luke in A New Hope. Even after death, his Force ghost was often there to advise Luke. Obi-Wan wasn’t perfect–he made some questionable decisions concerning Anakin when it mattered most–but he always loved him and did what he thought was best. Obi-Wan’s commitment to the Light never wavered, and his impact on the galaxy can’t be overstated.

  • Luke Skywalker

There will be some who think Luke should be higher up in the list, and I get that. Luke is the original hero of Star Wars, after all. He blew up the first Death Star, was a hero of the Rebellion, saved his friend Han from Jabba the Hutt, confronted the Emperor, and brought his father, Darth Vader, back to the light. And don’t get me started on that hallway scene in the Mandalorian! Totally awesome. But, like all humans, Luke had flaws. Or rather, he made some mistakes–most glaringly, after his gaffe with Ben Solo, he retreated from the fight, and from the galaxy, cutting himself off from the Force. Not from cowardice, just regret, and shame, and a firm belief that the Jedi must end. Luckily, he got over that and helped the Resistance at Crait–sacrificing himself so they could get away, in the most Jedi-like way possible. Bravo, Luke.

  • Din Djarin

Din Djarin was just your average bounty hunter (well, possibly an exceptional bounty hunter) until he met a little guy name Grogu, and then he became the Dadalorian. He formed a strong, yet tender, bond with this special child, and would do anything to protect him. Even if it meant giving him up, he would do what was best for Grogu. As most parents do–in the end, we have to let them go. Which isn’t heroic, just necessary, but Din was definitely heroic in his quest to protect Grogu from those who would harm/take him, and to get him where he ultimately belonged–with a Jedi. Not that we sobbed or anything when the time came for Grogo to go with Luke, lol. I’m eager to see what kind of hero he’ll be to the Mandalorians in future seasons of the show.

  • Rey

Rey is the hero of the sequel trilogy, becoming the last hope for the Jedi as the First Order grows in power. She joins the Resistance and becomes fast friends with Finn and Poe, as well as forming a strong bond with Leia, who takes her on as an apprentice. Rey is the only person, besides Leia herself, who believes Ben Solo can be turned back to the light. When she fatally injures him on Kef Bir, she instantly turns around and Force heals him, showing a compassion that defines her. On Exegol, she defeats Palpatine with the help of the Jedi who came before, nearly giving her life to do it. With Palpatine gone, the Sith Eternal and the First Order fall, freeing the galaxy from evil once again.

  • Han Solo

Despite his smuggler/scoundrel status, Han Solo early on becomes one of the bigger heroes of the galaxy. No matter how he might prefer to think of himself, he’s got a big heart and always ends up doing the right thing. He comes back at the last minute to help Luke blow up the first Death Star, becomes a General in the Rebellion and leads the attack on Endor, ultimately being successful in that mission, allowing the second Death Star to be destroyed. He helps free the Wookiees from the waning Empire on Kashyyyk. When the First Order threatens the galaxy, he plays his part to help, but loses his life in trying to bring his son back from the Dark. He begins the saga as a pilot for hire who’s in it for the money; he ends it with sacrificing himself for love.

  • Chewbacca

Wherever Han Solo is, there is Chewbacca. Whenever we talk about loyalty in Star Wars, we must talk about Chewie. A copilot, a good shot with a bowcaster, a steadfast friend. When Han helped save him from the Imperials in Solo, he owed Han a life debt, and stood by his side for many years. Chewie helped his friends during the Rebellion, and then went back home for awhile to be with his newly freed family on Kashyyyk. He eventually found his way back to Han Solo, and once again stood against tyranny and fought the First Order.

  • R2D2

Okay, so maybe R2 should be at the top of the list. Because without this little droid, our heroes wouldn’t have gotten very far. His very first act on screen is to get the Death Star plans from Princess Leia and get them off the Tantive IV, away from the Imperials and into the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine. In every movie and in the Clone Wars, he’s always plugging into some data portal or other and gathering information, making doors open or close, distracting the enemy, and whatnot. In the sequel trilogy he’s largely absent, powered down since Luke disappeared, but he carries the last piece of the map to Luke’s location inside him. He’s a feisty, brave little astromech, with plenty of grit and attitude. He also has the patience (most of the time) to put up with Threepio’s insufferable complaining. Now that’s heroic.

  • Kanan Jarrus (and the entire Ghost crew).

Kanan Jarrus is one of my favorite Jedi, and he, along with the rest of the Ghost crew–Hera, Sabine, Zeb, Chopper, and of course, Ezra–belongs on this list of heroes. Kanan used to be Caleb Dume, a Jedi Padawan who survived Order 66. The experience haunted him, and at first, he tried to forget who and what he was in order to survive. But once he met up with Hera, he decided to help those in need, and then later, become an important part of the Rebellion against the Empire. He stumbled around at first in training Ezra, but eventually found his groove, and his own Padawan became a hero of Lothal–freeing that world from the Empire’s grip. Kanan sacrificed himself to save those he loved, and it’s one of the most painful deaths for me in Star Wars.

Honorable mentions:

  • the entire Rogue One crew
  • Clone Wars Anakin Skywalker
  • Captain Rex
  • Bail Organa
  • Lando Calrissian
  • Poe Dameron and Finn

I could go on and on. There’s so many great heroes in Star Wars, people doing what is necessary to make the galaxy a better place.

What about Yoda? He’s a great Jedi Master, and I do love him. But let’s face it, he was the head of the Jedi Order when it fell. He made mistakes. Instead of following the Force, he followed the “rules” of the Jedi. He got the Jedi involved in politics and in a pointless war. Yes, they were all duped and drawn in by Sidious, but come on. He was their leader, hundreds of years old and ostensibly “wise.” So I can’t call him a hero, at least not until he trains Luke, and at that point, any Jedi could have done it. His wisdom comes after the fact. But I still love the guy, lol.

Who are your favorite Star Wars heroes? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

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Star Wars Fan Art: Women of Star Wars

Here’s a collection of great fan art I’ve been finding of the wonderful women of Star Wars:

I love images of Ahsoka with Morai, and this is one of the best I’ve seen.

Naturally I can’t find the artist for this one. It was uploaded by Dorothy on Pinterest, that’s all I know!

This is a simple drawing of Admiral Amylin Holdo, but I love the purple in it in honor of her awesome hair, lol.

I think the artist’s name here is Niki LeFay. Maybe?

Jyn is one tough woman but she looks pretty and vulnerable here.

No artist info, but it’s on displate.com.

This is a gorgeous portrait of Rey. Again, a tough young woman whose youth and beauty are captured in a still moment.

Alice X. Zhang, on wwprice1.tumblr.com

I could never find any Sabine Wren fan art that I really liked, but this one is great. I wanted one without her helmet on, since I like to see faces, although this one has a manga kind of feel. Love the colors.

Zyralynn on devientart.com

What “Women of Star Wars” fan art collection would be complete without Leia Organa? This one is lovely, capturing her regal face with an underlying sadness.

kittrose on devientart.com

I tried to find one of Hera Syndulla that I liked, of just Hera without Kanan, but most of them were either cartoonish or sexualized (or they didn’t look like her at all). I’ll keep looking. Do you have any favorites of Hera?

What do you think of these images? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

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Star Wars Fan Art: Ahsoka Tano

There’s a TON of Ahsoka Tano fan art out there, and there are many that are fantastic. It was hard to choose just a few for this post, but I came up with a few favorites:

I think I’ve posted this one on here before, but I love it so much I had to do it again. I think it was created before Season Two of the Mandalorian, before Grogu and Ahsoka actually met; but this prescient artist clearly imagined a tender moment between them.

35 Cool Pics and Memes to Entertain Your Brain.
S. Menyhei, ebaumsworld.com

I love this one with Ahsoka’s talisman, Morai, and the symbols of the World Between Worlds.

a-smiling-travesty.tumblr.com

The energy and brilliance of this one is wonderful.

Natalie Herrera, artstation.com

This one is just as bright and colorful, but softer, less fierce and more luminescent.

#TanoTuesday - Twitter Search / Twitter
Clone Squadron Radio on twitter.com

Ahsoka’s relationship with Rex is special, and I love this one of them together as their world shatters and falls apart.

Media Tweets by Ksenia Z. (@lorna_ka) / Twitter
Ksenia Zalentsova on twitter.com

Ahsoka the White. The colors are beautiful here.

Ksenia Zelentsova, artstation.com

I began this post with the artist S. Menyhei, and I’ll close out with the same artist, this time of Ahsoka and Vader during their confrontation on Malachor. The first was quiet and tender, while this one is dynamic and full of emotion. The many sides of Ahsoka.

S. Menyhei

What do you think of these images? Do you have any favorite Ahsoka fan art? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

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My Five Favorite Aliens in Star Wars

There are literally dozens of aliens from Star Wars, and there are so many that I find interesting that it’s hard to choose just five as favorites. But I forced myself, and this is the list I came up with:

  • Kaminoans. Their moral values notwithstanding, I just love these tall, willowy aliens from Attack of the Clones. I love the way they seem to float as they walk, their slow manner of speaking, and those loooong necks, lol. But it’s their eyes that really capture me. Big, dark, almond-shaped, and it looks as if there are galaxies spinning in them. Elegant and ethereal. They are from the planet Kamino.
Taun-We
  • Twi’leks. The first Twi’lek I ever saw was Jabba’s slave girl in Return of the Jedi. I got the impression they were beings known for their loveliness, at least the females, and that’s often true. Hera is certainly lovely, and plenty of others are, too. But Xi’an from The Mandalorian? Not so much. It’s the Twi’lek’s diversity that I love–their skin can be many different colors: green, blue, red, tan, and many others in between. Their lekku can have different patterns, and they often decorate them with bindings. And again, I just think they just look cool. They’re from the planet Ryloth.
Hera Syndulla
  • Togrutas. Togrutas are another species that have lekku, as well as montrals on the top of their heads. They sweep around them like a crown or a headpiece, which adds to their impressive mien; and they have white markings on their face, which I believe are as different as each individual. Ahsoka and Shak-Ti are the Togrutas I’m most familiar with. Togrutas are from the planet Shili.
Ahsoka Tano
  • Nautolans. I seem to have a thing for lekku and tentacles, lol, as Nautolans have several long tentacles sprouting from their heads. I also love their green skin and large, black eyes. Kit Fisto is the main Nautolan I’m familiar with, and I have to admit I like the look of Clone Wars Kit more so than the movie version. We also get to know him better in Clone Wars, and I loved him in the book The Cestus Deception. There is also a Nautolan in the new novel Light of the Jedi, a Captain Bright. I learned from him that their tentacles can sense emotions and moods from other beings. Nautolans are at home in the water, and come from the waterworld of Glee Anselm.
Kit Fisto
  • Whatever Klaud is. Klaud is basically a big space slug, which normally would turn me off, but there’s something about him that just charms me. Maybe it’s those big, googly eyes, or the girlish shriek he lets out when the Falcon is under attack in The Rise of Skywalker. I learned in the novelization that Klaud has a keen mind and a talent for the mechanical (despite being armless), which is why Leia assigned him to the Falcon. I looked up his species, and according to Wookiepedia, he is a male Trodatome. No information on his home planet, however.
Can we all agree that Klaud deserved better and more screen time in the  Rise of Skywalker? : saltierthancrait
Klaud

What are your favorite Star Wars aliens? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

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Rebels: Season Two Review

Rebels Season Two Spoilers Ahead!!!

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.

Hera

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.

Minister Tua and Agent Kallus

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.

Captain Rex, Gregor, and Wolf

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.

Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister

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.

Kanan comforting Ezra, as Ryder Azati looks on

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).

Zeb and Kallus

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.

Ezra and 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.

Ahsoka battles Darth Vader

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.

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Rewatching Star Wars: Rebels

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!

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The Mandalorian: Chapter 13–The Jedi

So we’ve finally seen Ahsoka make her live-action debut, and I have to say it was pretty amazing!

Rosario Dawson did an excellent job with the character (though if I’m being nitpicky, something about her montrals and lekku just weren’t right…but I’m not gonna be that person). I’m glad the show began with her right away, rather than a slow build-up where we’re left saying, where’s Ahsoka already????

The Mandalorian: Season 2/ Episode 5 "Chapter 13: The Jedi" – Recap/ Review  (with Spoilers)
Our first glimpse of the incomparable Ahsoka.

I loved the look of her twin white lightsabers against the fog and gloom of the planet, and honestly, it was just fantastic seeing lightsabers at all. I love The Mandalorian for being its own thing, but NOW it really feels like Star Wars.

There’s so many things to unpack here, I won’t do a plot summary, just a running commentary on what I thought was interesting, exciting, and just plain cool in this episode.

The planet Corvus is a lot drearier and gloomier than I thought it would be, considering Bo-Katan named it as a “forest planet.” But clearly the environment has been ruined by the plundering the evil Magistrate Morgan Elsbeth (such a normal, non-Star Warsy name!) has wreaked on the planet. And the natives are suffering; it seems like a natural place for Ahsoka to be, to fight injustice and cruelty.

Baby Yoda's name revealed & more - The Mandalorian Chapter 13 review
Where is Grand Admiral Thrawn?

But the real reason she’s there is that she seeks information from Elsbeth: the location of her “master”, who I assumed was Moff Gideon. When it was revealed at the end that she was looking for Grand Admiral Thrawn, I merely said, “Hmmm, interesting,” to my husband (a casual Star Wars fan, though a big fan of the Mandalorian–he had no idea who Thrawn was, but I try not to lecture him with Star Wars 101 unless he asks); while the hard-core fan in me was doing jumping jacks of joy. Thrawn! So she is still looking for Ezra. I assumed Sabine was off following another lead, but maybe we’ll see her soon, too.

Baby Yoda's Real Name and Backstory Revealed in The Mandalorian Chapter 13
“I hope it’s about him.”

Anyway, I thought the best part of the show were the Ahsoka and Child scenes. I’ve read in other places that Ahsoka knew Grogu (our Baby’s name!) at the Temple, but I don’t think so. They were there at the same time, but he was a youngling, an infant, really, and she wouldn’t have crossed paths with him in all probability. And she had to get his story from Grogu himself. I think he’s a delightful surprise to her, which you can see on her face, along with the fond remembering of Yoda. She’s gentle and respectful of him, but he’s also an enigma.

I’m not surprised she refused to train him. Clearly, Grogu is deeply attached to Din, and is full of fear. Fear of the others who seek him, but also fear of losing Din, the closest thing to a father he’s ever had. I think when he refused to use the Force during Ahsoka’s test, it wasn’t because he was being stubborn, as Din claimed. I think he didn’t want to show his powers, knowing it might mean he’d have to stay with Ahsoka. He didn’t want to leave Din. I don’t think he ever will.

And Ahsoka sensed this, and knew that it was too late to train him, remembering what happened to Anakin. She wasn’t even going to go there. Her recommendation to bring him to Tython caused all kinds of speculation on what Jedi may answer Grogu’s call. Luke? Ezra? Someone we don’t even know? But there’s another possibility: a dark Force user. A possibility I fervently hope doesn’t come to pass.

Five Thoughts on The Mandalorian's “Chapter 13: The Jedi” – Multiversity  Comics
Battle of the Warrior Women

The battles between Ahsoka and Elsbeth, and Din and Lang (Michael Biehn, who I didn’t immediately recognize), were very cool. Ahsoka and Din win the day, and the town is free once again.

I found it interesting that we don’t know if Ahsoka actually killed Elsbeth, or got the information she wanted. I guess we have to wait to find that out.

Oh, and one thing I saw that made me ridiculously happy was a brief glimpse of Ahsoka’s owl, Morai. It almost blended in with the forest, but it was sitting up on a high branch while Din and Baby were looking for Ahsoka. Anyone else see it?

So off to Tython, but I have a feeling the next episode will be a side-track sort of show, maybe a run-in with some baddies, with the last two shows being a two-parter finale on Tython. Just my guess.

Loving this show more and more, and can’t wait to see what’s in store!

My Five Favorite Jedi

If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now: I’m a big fan of the Jedi. I have no ill will towards Sith fans, or those who claim to prefer the Dark Side. I guess. I suppose I just don’t understand them–I’m light side all the way. I’ll always root for them in a fight and consider them heroes, to be admired and emulated.

Anyway, I thought I’d list my top 5 favorite Jedi. Probably no surprises here, since I’m not familiar with a lot of the Legends Jedi (which I hope to eventually remedy). I had a lot to say here, so it’s kind of long. Sorry. But here they are:

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi. Duh. I think he’s universally considered the greatest Jedi ever, with few exceptions. And he’s certainly my personal favorite. Obi-Wan’s skills, commitment and discipline, kindness and compassion, as well as his witty repartee all commend him as the best. But here’s the kicker: despite a lifetime of grief and loss, he never gives in to the Dark Side. Qui Gon Jinn, Satine Kryze, Anakin Skywalker (and Padme, to some extent); not to mention the entire Jedi Order and a way of life he’s always known: all huge personal losses, and grief and sorrow and yes, anger and hatred, flows through him. Yet, he stands firm. Anakin falls because of his mere fear of losing Padme; Obi-Wan endures unimaginable losses, and remains committed to the light. His life arc is interesting, as well: he starts out as a rather arrogant young Jedi, calling both Jar Jar and young Anakin “pathetic life forms;” he goes on to become an amazing war hero during the Clone Wars; and in his later years, he becomes the hermit in the desert who treats his fallen enemy (and the one who killed two of his loved ones) with compassion. No matter his circumstances, he trusts in the Force completely. Despite all this, he isn’t perfect: he’s a bit uptight in the emotions department (which, in the end, served him well); he follows the Jedi Code almost to a fault; and he lost his Padawan to the Dark Side. Did he fail Anakin? Yes. And also no. That’s a debate for a whole other blog post, though. Despite his flaws, Obi-Wan is a class act who sets the bar amazingly high.
Obi-Wan’s “Thing”: Form 3 (Soresu) Ready Stance
  • Luke Skywalker. Ah, Luke. The first Jedi that we really come to know in this whole Star Wars thing. When I was a kid, I thought Luke was cool and all, but Han Solo was my guy. I still love Han, of course, but I’ve really come to appreciate Luke’s character and his arc in the films. I love his innocence in A New Hope, and his growing Force powers in The Empire Strikes Back. But it’s in Return of the Jedi that Luke really shines. His rescue of Han from Jabba and his realization that Leia is his sister are both satisfying, showcasing his newfound confidence and maturity. But of course it’s his confrontation with his father, Darth Vader, that defines Luke’s character. He is tempted by the Dark Side, yes. Terribly. The Emperor’s threat against his friends, and in particular, Vader’s threat against his sister, drives him to the brink of the Dark. But he ultimately achieves what his father never could: to trust in the Force, and in himself. When he throws away his lightsaber and declares to Sidious, “Never. I’ll never join the Dark Side. You’ve failed, Your Highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me,” Luke is willing to throw everything–the Rebellion, his friends, his very life–away to do what is right. That kind of selflessness and devotion to the Light is what defines a Jedi, and Luke passed with flying colors. He plumbed the depths of his own darkness, and rose above it. Daddy Vader was impressed; he finally realized that his son had surpassed him. Luke’s love for his father reminded him that he could be more than the ruined, hateful thing he’d become. Luke reminded him that Anakin was still in there somewhere–something that Padme had believed–and it was Anakin who threw the Emperor down the shaft, saving his son. They saved each other. The whole thing is so powerful and poetic, I just love it. And I haven’t even gotten to Sequel Trilogy Luke, but that’s going to be a whole ‘nother blog post. This one’s long enough!
The man, the myth, the legend.
  • Qui Gon Jinn. I think Qui Gon was one of the best parts of The Phantom Menace. Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Master, he’s considered a bit of a rebel within the Jedi Order. He often disagrees with the Council, which tends to irritate his more strait-laced young Padawan. But Qui Gon’s contention with the Council doesn’t originate in rebelliousness for its own sake; he simply looks at the Force and the role of the Jedi differently. He tends to put more importance on the living Force, rather than the cosmic Force. All that means is that he thinks a Jedi should focus on the present, and on the Force present in the beings around them. That’s why he takes such an interest in Jar Jar, and later Anakin; he feels they both have a part to play in what they’re trying to accomplish, while Obi-Wan would just as soon leave them both behind on their respective worlds. And of course, Anakin turns out to be the Chosen One. Qui Gon also has an interest in the Jedi Prophecies (of which the prophecy of the Chosen One is a part); not so much to be able to divine the future (which is a form of control), but of what insights they can offer. (There is much more about Qui Gon’s interest in the Jedi Prophecies, as well as his relationship with Obi-Wan, in the book Master and Apprentice, which I highly recommend). The Jedi Council at this point has lost its way, as we come to see more clearly later in the prequel trilogy; but Qui Gon is not one of them. His insight, compassion, and wisdom make him one of my favorite Jedi, and he was taken away from us too soon.
Qui-Gon Jinn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Qui Gon Jinn, the mystic. And he’s pretty good with a lightsaber, too.
  • Kanan Jarrus. I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of Rebels at first, but once I got through the first season, I was firmly on board. One of the reasons for this was Kanan Jarrus. He’s a fascinating look at what might happen to a Jedi Padawan who survives Order 66. When their entire world fell, they had to find answers to questions like: where do I go? What do I do in this new world of the Empire? How do I stay hidden? How can I answer the terrible betrayal of Order 66? And should I? At first, Kanan was content to forget his old life, to try to stay under the radar, and move on. He tried to convince himself that it didn’t matter, what’s done is done, and he couldn’t care less about what happens in the universe. He works, he drinks and carouses, he hides his Force powers. He has a rather cocky attitude. (The book A New Dawn examines Kanan’s life before he meets Hera and the Ghost crew more thoroughly). But deep inside, Caleb Dume (his given name, associated with his Jedi years) still lives. He tends to pop out in a crisis, helping others and doing the right thing. Very Jedi-like things. There’s something inside Kanan that won’t die and needs expression, try as he might to suppress it. Once he meets Hera and becomes a part of the Ghost crew, he has the chance to utilize that aspect of himself. And once he meets Ezra and begins to train him in the Jedi ways, he finally starts to remember. And not just remember the Jedi ways, but to once again embody them. He becomes more fully himself again, what he was meant to be. By teaching Ezra, he relearns what it is to be a Jedi. When he is blinded, he becomes even more attuned to the Force; he truly comes into his power. I absolutely love Kanan’s arc in the show–when he first meets Hera, it’s she that must show him how to live a meaningful life; but later it’s Kanan who asks Hera what she truly wants out of life when all the fighting is over. He reminds her not to forget about love. And when the time comes (as it inevitably does) for him to sacrifice himself for the cause and those he loves–when his “moment” comes–he faces it with a quiet, stoic bravery that left me in tears. The fact that he seems to resurface in the Lothwolf as an embodiment of the living Force is just, well, awesome. The spirit of Caleb Dume lives.
The Fallen Knight. The Force was with him, always.
The evolution of Kanan Jarrus.
  • Ahsoka Tano. I wrote quite a bit about Ahsoka Tano in one of my Women of Star Wars posts here. Some may say that Ahsoka shouldn’t be on this list, as she says herself to Vader in Rebels, “I am no Jedi.” But, I’m sorry Ahsoka, I beg to differ. You are a Jedi, whether you call yourself one or not. Ahsoka trained in the Jedi Temple from a young age and served as a Padawan to Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars. Even though she left the Temple, leaving behind the Jedi and her life there, one cannot simply erase all that. If we can call Luke Skywalker a Jedi, who received some quick training from Yoda as a fully grown man, or even Ezra from Kanan’s teachings, or Rey from Luke’s advice (not even training, in my book)–if they can be called Jedi, then Ahsoka is clearly one. So she makes the cut. Anyway, once Ahsoka moved beyond her snippy, new-Padawan-know-it-all phase, I liked her. She complemented Anakin like no other Padawan possibly could. And she brought out the best in Anakin. I probably loved her even more in Rebels. When she faced Darth Vader and realized he was her former master, she refused to leave him, as she did in Clone Wars, come what may. From what I understand, she’s supposed to make an appearance in The Mandalorian, and I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do. By the way, I love that Ahsoka uses two lightsabers. If I could be a Jedi, I’d be her: I like how this girl moves.
spoiler] The evolution of Ahsoka Tano : starwarsrebels
Our girl Ahsoka through the years.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Yoda. Who doesn’t love Yoda? Old and wise beyond our imagining. A master for a reason. Cute and ugly at the same time. And fun to watch with a lightsaber.
  • Rey. You may not agree with me, but I liked Rey. A lot. She’s sweet, loyal, strong, not afraid to cry, and defeats her evil grandpa. You go, girl. She’s also the subject of one of my Women of Star Wars posts, here.
  • Jedi Council Members. Plo Kloon, Kit Fisto, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Shakti, and all those other cool Jedi Masters on the Council. (Except Mace Windu. I don’t like that guy.)

You might be wondering, Where’s Anakin? Here’s the thing: Yes, he was a powerful Jedi. Probably the most powerful ever. The Chosen One. Clone Wars hero. But he fell to the Dark Side. What made the above list of Jedi great–characteristics like patience, commitment, faith, and selflessness–are traits that Anakin lacked. So I can’t include him on my list. It’s the same reason I haven’t included Quinlan Voss. In Dark Disciple, he also fell to the Dark Side. I understand the reasons they were vulnerable and fell, and they have my compassion. But I can’t admire them.

Anyway, that’s my list and my why’s. Sorry so long, but I didn’t really want to break it up into parts.

Who’s your favorite Jedi, and why? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

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Ahsoka Tano: From Padawan to Rebel

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.

Padawanlost

What do you think of Ahsoka Tano? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

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