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!
Here’s my list for The Last Jedi, the second installment of the sequel trilogy. You can find my thoughts on The ForceAwakenshere.
Luke facing down the First Order on Crait. When Luke says to Rey on Ach-To “What, you think I’m going to face down the First Order all by myself with a laser sword?” little did we know that that is exactly what he was going to do. Because in the end, he’s Luke Skywalker, and he does heroic things. He just forgot for awhile, or rather, rejected it. And he did it in the most Jedi-like way: non-aggressive, his actions a subterfuge for a higher purpose–giving the Resistance time to get away. And the fact that he wasn’t actually there just blows my mind. I didn’t see it, at first; I just thought he cleaned up for his appearance, you know? I didn’t notice the clues: the fact that he didn’t leave any red footprints in the salt; Leia’s lack of worry at her brother facing down the enemy alone; his wink at C-3PO; and where the heck did he come from, anyway? His scuffle with Kylo and the “See ya around, kid,” was great, and the fact that he sacrificed himself to do this–and more than likely knew he would die doing it–is just profoundly sad and awe-inspiring. A great scene in a movie full of great scenes.
Rey and Kylo vs. Snoke’s guards. This was an eye-popping duel, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the prequels. Everything’s red as blood, and Kylo and Rey are working together rather than against each other. And they are a force to be reckoned with. We don’t hear the word “dyad” yet, not until TROS, but these two clearly work well together, and their connection in the Force is apparent. I love Rey’s savage yells, and how Kylo keeps checking on Rey when he can. It’s a foreshadowing of their working together in TROS at Exegol, but here it’s only their potential. As long as Ben is Kylo, it ain’t gonna happen.
“You’re nothing. But not to me.” This is one of those “Um, thank you?” statements that insult and gratify at the same time. Kylo doesn’t get any points for charm here, but he doesn’t have time for that. He gets right to the point. And so when he holds out his hand to Rey and asks him to join her, adding a vulnerable “please,” you almost want her to take his hand already, for goodness sake. Almost. Again, Rey feels the connection, but can’t accept Ben as Kylo, and rightfully so.
General Hugs. Some people thought that this little exchange between Poe and Hux was dumb or silly, but I thought it was pretty funny myself. But I have a goofy sense of humor. I do think it’s exactly in Poe’s nature to mess with Hux like this, and Hux to be fastidious enough to take the bait. When Poe says into his comm “Yeah, I’m looking for General Hugs,” I chuckled. Good enough for me.
Most Impactful Character
Luke Skywalker. See aforementioned “Favorite Scene,” as Luke saved the day in this film. But it wasn’t just that scene that makes Luke the most impactful here; the whole movie was his, when you think about it. Everyone’s been looking for him, Rey finally finds him and–oh my goodness, why is he so crabby?–and we have to process and react to that; we find out that his moment of weakness was the nail in the coffin of Ben Solo and put him on the path to Kylo Ren. Everything centers and swirls around Luke here. We even get to see Yoda once more! A lot of people didn’t like how Luke was portrayed in this movie, and I understand that. Call me weird, but I liked it from the get-go. My first thought was, “Oh, this is interesting.” I HAD to know what the hell had happened to Luke, what was going on his mind, and if and how it would change by the end of the film. What I loved about The Last Jedi as a whole was how it just subverted all of our expectations. The Empire Strikes Back, the second film of the original trilogy, did much the same. TLJ is following a pattern, where the good guys take heavy losses, and characters surprise us in numerous ways. Anyway, that’s a whole other post, lol, but Luke gets the prize for this one.
What did you like about The Last Jedi? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
Having gone through the prequel and original trilogies, it’s now time to check out my five favorite things about the sequel trilogy films. So let’s get right to it with The Force Awakens:
Chewie, We’re Home. I think this was the most anticipated scene in the movie. We hadn’t seen Han Solo and Chewbacca onscreen together in about 30 years. It was beyond exciting. Sure, Rey and Finn are cool, and BB-8 is adorable, but we know who we really want to see: the “Legacy” characters. And these two were the first to make an appearance in the sequel trilogy (unless you count the Falcon, which is kind of a character in its own right). But reuniting these two with the Falcon, leading to the iconic line “Chewie, we’re home,” signalled to us fans that we, too, were home.
Rey and Kylo Ren at Starkiller Base. Again, not many lightsaber duels in this film, unless you want to count the short confrontation between Finn and Kylo just prior to this. The fact that Rey held her own in this battle–and won (probably because Kylo was an injured, emotional mess, but even so)–shows that there indeed is something special about Rey. The mystery of her, of who she is and where she comes from, intensifies. And the fact that Kylo even survived Chewie’s blaster bolt and can still fight is amazing. The way he pounds at his wound with his fist is disturbing and chilling–drawing upon his pain and rage for his power. Apart from the emotions going on in the battle, I loved the look of it: the red and blue blades glowing against the whiteness of the snow in the darkening gloam. The visuals are just stunning in this scene.
Hearing Han Solo admit to the reality of the Force in a serious way is surprising, and alerts us to how much he’s changed over the course of 30 years; and our next thought is, Wow, shit must have gone down, and in a real personal way for him. I think this is before we learn that Kylo Ren is his son, so it’s a foreshadowing that Han has had some heartbreaking experience with all this mystical stuff, especially since he’s clearly not with Leia anymore.
I thought the little scene with Han Solo and Finn on the Falcon was pretty funny. When Finn calls Han “Solo”, and Han just looks at him and says, “Did you just call me Solo?” Then when Finn refers to himself as a “big deal” in the Resistance, Han says, “Listen Big Deal, you’ve got a bigger problem. Women always figure out the truth. Always.” I just loved that, lol.
Most Impactful Character
Kylo Ren. When we first meet Kylo Ren striding down the ramp of the shuttle to confront Lor San Tekka, he seriously gave me the creeps. His distorted voice behind the mask didn’t help much. Who is this guy? I thought. When later in the movie we learn he is the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, I was genuinely shocked. I hadn’t seen that coming at all. And it truly broke my heart, for I had imagined the child(ren) of Han and Leia to be the Child(ren) of Light or something, heroes in their own right. But no. This dark, rageful, emo being. And the moment he betrayed his own father, speared him with that unholy lightsaber, and let him fall into the abyss like so much meat, I hated him. HATED him. Intellectually, I knew his character’s arc was probably meant for redemption over the course of the trilogy, but I didn’t care. I hated him. I would never forgive him. Do you here me? Never!! And then of course proceeded to understand his character a bit better in The Last Jedi (a softer, kinder Kylo, at least in his relationship with Rey), and the return of Ben Solo in TROS, and by then I was cheering him on. But in this film? The quintessential, irredeemable villain.
What are your favorite things about The Force Awakens? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
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–
In The Last Jedi, after Leia is injured, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo takes command of the Raddus, the command ship of the Resistance fleet (if you can call it that) fleeing the First Oder.
And Poe immediately dislikes her and causes trouble.
Despite knowing that Holdo is Leia’s good and trusted friend (and Poe nearly worships Leia), he immediately distrusts her and whips up a mutiny on the ship. Why?
Because she won’t tell him–or anyone–her plan for escape.
He proceeds to have a hissy fit about it and demands–demands!–to be told what she plans.
Now, at first viewing, I shared Poe’s frustration. Why doesn’t she just tell him and get him out of her hair? But on reflection, Poe’s antics on the Raddus just shows how much growing up he needs to do.
Holdo knows this about him, and maybe this was a test for him. A test he failed miserably. It can be argued that this probably wasn’t the best moment to teach Poe a lesson.
So why does Poe feel he can get away with it? I get it–the situation is critical, they’re up against a wall–but to me, it seems that maintaining the chain of command is essential in these situations.
Is it the purple hair? And I hate to even go here, but it has to be said: is it because she’s a woman? Would he have done the same if Holdo were a man?
Star Wars has been pretty good at getting women equal footing in the Galaxy, especially in the prequels and sequels. They’re everywhere, doing everything and anything, and that’s all to the good.
Still, with this Poe/Holdo standoff, I can’t help but think, “I have a bad feeling about this.”
Maybe I’m just jumping to conclusions. If I think about Poe’s character–Holdo herself called him a “trigger-happy fly-boy”–he probably would have been that way to anyone. He has no patience; he can’t sit still. It’s a mark of extraordinary arrogance to believe that your superiors don’t know what they’re doing or that you deserve to be in the know in all things. He lacks trust in anyone but himself. He even disobeyed Leia, which caused them to lose their bombers, leading to the death of Rose’s sister, Paige. I wonder if Rose knows this?
I also know this is the Resistance, not the First Order. The First Order is a well-oiled machine, with clear hierarchies and chains of command. There’s a lot of order to the First Order, and Poe’s insubordination would not have been tolerated.
But the Resistance isn’t a fighting military machine. It’s a group of people coming together to fight for freedom. Like the Rebellion before it, they’re a rag-tag bunch, and though they try to maintain an orderly chain of command out of necessity, they’re a bit more forgiving. They understand Poe’s value as a pilot. And they just like him. In the Resistance, people are individuals, not cogs in a machine.
Even after Poe’s shenanigans are stopped by Leia, Holdo says, “That one’s a troublemaker. I like him.”
“Me, too,” Leia replies with a smile.
I don’t know if I would have been that forgiving. But in essence, these older women are regarding him like some wayward child who misbehaves. Oopsie! That little rascal almost derailed our entire escape plan. Oh well! He’ll grow up someday, right?
And I’m glad to see that he does in TROS, after some further tests. Even in The Last Jedi, he’s sobered by Holdo’s sacrifice.
Naturally, this showdown between Holdo and Poe was a kind of forced conflict in the movie, as some tension was required in that part of the story. I found it a little over the top on Poe’s part, and Holdo seemed unreasonably stubborn on keeping her plan a secret. Oh well. It seemed to work, I guess.
But the whole thing left me feeling baffled.
What was your take on the Poe-Holdo showdown? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
Here’s my latest focus on the Women of Star Wars. I chose these two secondary characters to look at together, since they’re both masked and a bit mysterious.
I realize there’s a Star Wars book on Phasma’s backstory (and a comic as well), and perhaps you’ve read it. I have not. And that’s fine, because I intend this blog to focus mainly on the films, and what we can glean from them. If that limits my analyses of characters or plot points, so be it.
That being said, I did read The Last Jedi novelization, and there was a great little tidbit in there that revealed volumes about this character.
I find Phasma interesting even though she has a very limited role in the films. She principally acts as Finn’s antagonist. She’s cold, efficient, almost like a robot beneath that flashy silver armor. We don’t know much about her, we don’t even see any of her face until the end of TROS–only that one cold blue eye peeking out in rage before she dies.
But in TLJ novelization, Finn recounts that there were rumors in the barracks about her–that the First Order had found her on some backwater, pre-Industrial type planet, and that she’d been some kind of wild, Amazon-like Queen. I find this fascinating. I’m guessing the First Order gave her a choice–join them or die. Phasma is a survivor, and so she chose life. They gave her a place of superiority and a chance to use her formidable skills.
Though she’s not a Queen anymore, she does have some power. As a queen, she would have expected obedience and loyalty, and I think that’s why Finn’s defection rankles her so much, why she takes it so personally. It appalls her.
This little piece of information about her former life changed my opinion about her. It made her a bit more three-dimensional to me, a person with a past. Sure, she’s one of the “bad guys,” but I understand her a little more. And I’d like to think that when she agreed to join the First Order, one of her stipulations was that shiny, bad-ass armor–fitting for a Queen.
Another female character whose face we don’t completely see is Zorii, Poe’s mysterious comrade from the past.
I’m guessing they were lovers, or close to it during Poe’s spice runner era, but something went wrong–he left for the Resistance. This is what set her off and made her not too happy to see him when he arrived on Kimiji. He abandoned her and their independent way of life, for a cause she may have seen as hopeless. Like most in her profession, she probably felt that it’s best to live outside the law no matter who rules, and not join (kind of like DJ in TLJ, but less icky).
After a bit of persuasion from Rey, she does agree to help them find Babu Frik, and even gives Poe her prized Captain’s medallion to help him get past the First Order fleet. Clearly, she still has a soft spot for him. Either that, or she has a spark of resistance in herself as well. This plays out at the end of TROS, when she joins the fight at Exegol. But she still won’t give in to Poe’s flirty suggestions. I kind of like this girl!
What I find interesting about both Phasma and Zorii is that they are masked. Female characters have always and forever been judged on their looks, but you can’t with these two–their faces are covered, and so we must judge them by their actions and words, not what they look like (although Zorii’s form-fitting outfit clearly marks her as female–there you go, guys!). We only get glimpses of their eyes, the proverbial “windows to the soul”. We see the cold rage of Phasma in that blue eye; and the reluctant compassion in Zorii’s eyes.
These are two women in the Galaxy who choose not to be victims, and do what they can within the crappy situations they find themselves in: Phasma through power and intimidation; Zorii through freedom and choice.
What did you think of these two characters? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!
Reylo, of course, refers to the perceived romantic relationship between Kylo/Ben and Rey. Many, many fans insist that the connection between these two characters translates into romantic love.
On the other hand, many others insist that there’s no proof of that in the films, and their relationship must and should remain platonic. They are a “dyad” in the Force, but that doesn’t mean lovers.
Where do I stand on this burning question?
Before I answer that, let’s consider the true meaning of a “dyad”. Again, we’ll get out our trusty dictionary (because I’m a stickler like that):
a group of two; couple; pair.
two persons involved in an ongoing relationship or interaction.
the relationship or interaction itself.
Okay, that doesn’t tell us very much.
Let’s assume that this definition precludes any notion of romance or sex. From the context of the movie, I think it infers a balance between two opposites: good/bad, light/dark, perhaps even male/female. There’s a lot of referencing “bringing balance to the Force”, and a dyad is the highest representation of this.
We might also go so far as to say that they need each other, that one cannot exist without the other. That they are two halves of one soul. That’s why I believe Ben’s soul lives within Rey now; without his own body, there’s only one place to go–within hers.
So yes, they’re inextricably linked, body and soul. But does that mean they must fulfill our fantasies of romantic love? Not necessarily.
But the question remains: are they in love?
In my opinion, Kylo/Ben is most definitely in love with Rey. It’s written all over the guy, in his fascination with her, and his desire to have her join him in the Dark Side (since he feels he can’t go back to the Light). Just the way he looks at her makes it obvious, both as Kylo and as Ben. The man’s got it bad.
But does Rey love him? I don’t think so. How can any woman be in love with a man like Kylo Ren? Perhaps “Dark Rey” could, if you could call it love. But not Light Rey. I think she’s fascinated by him in her turn, as the other half of the dyad they make, and in Ben, Han and Leia’s son. She holds out hope for Ben Solo suffocating under the evil veneer of Kylo.
And perhaps there’s even a sexual attraction (though Disney, of course, would never hint at such a thing), but we can surmise for ourselves. After all, Kylo Ren is the epitome of the tall, dark, and dangerous man of sexual fantasy (take it from us women, guys). Shirtless scene aside, I get the feeling that their lightsaber duels can be construed on some level as an acting out of sexual frustration. Just sayin’.
I do believe that, if given the chance, Rey probably would have fallen in love with Ben Solo. She just didn’t get that chance. I think she was happy and gratified that he prevailed over Kylo, that his soul turned back to the Light; but it’s premature to call it romantic love on her part.
So what about that kiss?
Is it me, or was it kind of weird? I like that they kissed, but it wasn’t exactly a kiss of passion. In all honesty, they looked like two 14-year-olds locking lips for the first, tentative time (and it can be argued that these characters are both virgins, but again, that’s non-Disney territory). It was sweet, but just…weird.
In the novelization of TROS, the kiss was referred to as a “kiss of gratitude”. Um, okay. She’s thanking him for bringing her back from the dead. I guess that warrants a kiss.
Also in the novelization, after Ben dies Rey hears his voice in her head saying, “I will always be with you.” And Rey thinking, No one is ever really gone...
I do like that idea, that he’s not really gone for her. But still maddeningly vague on the romance question, to those who want a definitive answer. Can we be satisfied with a chaste love? An eternal love that goes beyond the physical?
I can live with that. But only because I have to.
What are your thoughts on Reylo? Are they or aren’t they? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!