My 5 Favorite Animals in Star Wars

There are some wonderful animals that are included in Star Wars, and though some of them are merely beautiful or super-cute, some of them play a vital part in the saga. To be clear, these are non-sentient beings, not aliens that simply look like animals (the Ewoks, for example).

Tookas, also called tooka-cats were a subspecies of feline cats. They were often kept as pets, but were also considered by many to be feral nuisances. When properly trained, they could be excellent hunters of pests. One specific breed of tooka was the Loth-cat, native to the planet Lothal. Tooka were known to enjoy milk. Tooka were common in the underworld of Coruscant, where they hunted Nuna. Tookas first appeared in the Star Wars franchise as "Adoris feline" in Otherspace, an adve...
  • Lothwolves and lothcats. I put these two together, because they’re both from Lothal in Rebels. The lothcats are cheeky little creatures, and Ezra, who is from Lothal, has a kind of connection with them through the Force. He’s sort of like Obi-Wan, who also shares a connection with animals. The lothcats helped out our Rebel friends on a few occasions through Ezra. And the lothwolves are my absolute favorite–they’re strikingly beautiful, but more importantly, they seem to be connected to the Force themselves, being able to travel long distances in a short amount of time, utilizing a kind of Force-powered hyperspace (like the Pergil, which I just remembered and want to include here) . And of course, the main Lothwolf who calls himself Dume harbors the spirit of Kanan (that’s what we’re led to believe, anyway). The lothwolves may not even qualify for this list as they’re arguably sentient creatures (along with the Pergil).
Meet the Mysterious Crystal Foxes of Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Vulptices (crystal foxes). I loved these tinkling, crystalline foxes from The Last Jedi. Not only are they beautiful, but they helped (perhaps unknowingly) what was left of the Resistance escape the cave on Crait. When danger threatens, do what the natives do: run and find a back door!
I got Porg! Quiz: Which Adorable Star Wars Creature Should You Have as a Pet? | Movies
  • Porgs. Let’s face it, these guys are just adorable.
Varactyl aka Boga | Star wars canon, Star wars episodes, Star wars universe
  • Boga the veractyl. This is the beastie that Obi-Wan rode on Utapau when he was looking for, and pursuing, Grievous in Revenge of the Sith. The novelization of the movie gives more insight into the communication between Boga and Obi-Wan; we find out Boga is a female, and that she trusts Obi-Wan implicitly. And I bet you can hear her trilling call in your mind right now.
Pin by David Kurle on StarWarsTheRiseofSkywalker in 2020 | Star wars ii,  Star wars facts, Star wars episodes
  • The Vexis Snake. This is the injured snake-thing that Rey healed on Passana in The Rise of Skywalker. Normally I would put this under the category of “monster” because, hello, giant snake. But this one is simply hurting, and gives Rey an opportunity to show us her Force-healing skills. Once he’s all better, he just slinks away. And it shows Rey’s compassion for all creatures. When Poe was ready to shoot it because it scared him, Rey felt its pain and healed it.

Honorable mentions

  • Beasts of burden–tauntaun, eopies, dewbacks, bantha, fathiers, blurggs, etc. Let’s give a shout-out to these creatures that haul our characters’ gear, as well as their butts, over long distances in often extreme environments.
  • The mudhorn in The Mandalorian. This beastie eventually became the sigil of Din Djarrin, in The Mandalorian. I kind of felt bad for her, because she was only trying to protect her egg. The mom in me cries out, lol.
  • Ahsoka’s owl. I believe it’s called a covoree, and this bird appears with Ahsoka in Rebels on several occasions. It’s Ahsoka’s spirit animal and guide, or morai, and some believe it is representative of The Daughter, from the Mortis arc in Clone Wars, because of its similar coloring. The Daughter represented the Light Side of the Force. The covoree most notably showed up when Ezra pulled Ahsoka into the World Between Worlds, and acted as a guide.
Morai | Wookieepedia | Fandom

There are others that would probably qualify as animals, but I put them under the “monster” category, because they instill fear in us: wampa, sarlaccs, giant spiders, rancors, krayt dragons, that sort of thing. Maybe I’m being unfair–but at least I included the vexis on my list, right? “Favorite Monsters” might be a good post for next time.

There are also tons of animals that are described in Star Wars books, but they’re too numerous to count here, so I’ve just included those in the films and shows.

What’s your favorite Star Wars animal? Did I miss anything obvious? Let me know in the comments!

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The Mandalorian: Chapter 12–The Siege

Mandalorian Spoilers Ahead!!!!!

So Din makes a stop at Nevarro for some much-needed ship repair, and reunites with Cara Dune and Greef Karga. They’re delighted to see him–and the Child, of course–but, like everyone else on this show, they need his help for something.

Cara and Greef have turned the town around, and would like to mop up any remaining Imperial presence. There’s a bunker or headquarters in the lava canyons outside of town, and they’d like his help in blowing it up.

So Din reluctantly leaves the Child in a classroom (where the old cantina used to be) and sets off with Cara and Greef, along with the blue Mythrol we saw in Chapter One. He’s working off a debt to Greef, and naturally would rather be elsewhere.

Turns out, the bunker isn’t as abandoned as they thought it was, and they have to take out some stormtroopers. They manage to set the reactor to blow, but on the way out they make a weird discovery–the place is actually a lab and–ew, are those Snokes???

We see a hologram of Dr. Pershing (he of the big round glasses) and find out what they want with the Child: his blood, which is “high in M-count” (midi-chlorians), to infuse into the test subjects.

So, let’s just stop right here for a moment. If you’re more than a casual Star Wars fan (and if you’re actually reading this, that’s probably the case), alarm bells should be ringing right about now. To me, it seems that the Imperials are working on the “dead” Emperor’s contingency plan: creating a viable, Force-sensitive body for his evil marbles to inhabit. (I just thought of something: where, exactly, ARE his marbles? Question for another day). I’ve heard other theories, but this just seems the simplest and most obvious answer as to what’s going on. But I could be completely wrong.

Anyway, the clock is ticking to detonation and Din, having learned that Moff Gideon is still alive and a threat to the Child, takes off on his jetpack to get the kid, while the others make a run for it in some old ship they find (yeah, “some old ship.” I’m not good with ships and that sort of thing. I think it was called a marauder).

A wild chase through the lava canyons ensues, as they’re pursued by troopers on speederbikes and some TIES. They make it back to the town with the help of Din and the new-and-improved Razor Crest. He takes off from there to head to Corvus to find Ahsoka (yay!).

Back on Nevarro, Greef evades the questions of the New Republic X-wing pilot, Captain Carson Teva, who we saw in Chapter 10; said pilot then has a little talk with Cara Dune. He tells her that the New Republic needs soldiers like her, but she turns down the invitation. He notices on his data pad that she’s from Alderaan, and asks what I consider to be a silly question:

“Did you lose anyone?”

Um, the whole planet was destroyed. What do you think? Anyway, she replies she lost everyone. He leaves her a medal of some sort (New Republic or Rebellion), perhaps as a reminder or a permanent invitation.

And, it turns out that the Mimbanese who fixed the Razor Crest is an informant for Moff Gideon and planted a tracker on board (I thought that little look he gave before fixing the ship was suspicious), so Din will be followed to Corvus. Do I see a confrontation on the horizon between Ahsoka and Gideon? We’ll see. The last shot is of Gideon on board his ship looking over a room full of black armor, which may possibly be Death Troopers. Or Shadow troopers, or Dark Troopers, or who knows what. Either way, it doesn’t look good for our heroes.

Shout-out to the Child for another consistently adorable performance. Despite the whole egg controversy (which I thought eye-rollingly silly), I believe this sweet baby can do no wrong. Even when he vomits blue cookies.

The Mandalorian May Explain an Unsolved Mystery from Rise of Skywalker |  Vanity Fair
Are those macarons?

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My 5 Favorite Star Wars Romances

Love has always been a big part of Star Wars. The love of friends. Of family. Of ideals. Of all that is good. But what I’m going to talk about here is romantic love, which is just as important. In fact, a tragic love story is at the heart of the very existence of the saga.

Here’s my top five favorite love stories in Star Wars:

Han Solo and Leia Organa

Han and Leia in Cloud City (The Empire Strikes Back)

The Han and Leia love story was the first Star Wars romance I experienced (and probably the first movie romance, come to think of it, besides all those Prince Charmings in Disney films), and it still remains my favorite. Han Solo was definitely not a Prince Charming; in fact, it was his “scoundrel” status that made the romance interesting to my young mind. The feisty Princess Leia had met her match (and vice versa), and the sexual tension lurking in their verbal sparring made it all the more sweet when we finally heard “I love you” and “I know.”

The Han-Leia romance is the only one on this list that ends with a long-lasting marriage. Yes, they were seperated at the time Han died at the hands of their son, but they’d had many years of arguments and reconciliations and the things married couples do in the course of their relationship. I’m sure they washed the dishes together a couple of times, maybe changed little Ben’s diapers when the droid nanny wasn’t around, and rocked a screaming Ben to sleep on countless nights. This is what married couples do, the things that either cement the relationship and deepen it, or blow it apart. So yeah, they argued and annoyed each other, but they also got on with it and loved each other, too. And tried to build a new government while they were at it, and maybe weren’t there for Ben when he really needed them. But they loved each other to the last.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Satine Kryze

Obi-Wan and Satine in Clone Wars

I didn’t realize Obi-Wan had a love interest until I watched Clone Wars, and I was enthralled by the idea. Who could possibly win Obi-Wan’s good, kind, but platonic heart? She’d have to be an extraordinary woman indeed. And Satine Kryze, Duchess of Mandalore, turned out to be that woman. True, they met and fell in love when they were quite young–when hearts and hormones are easily aroused–but that love, though never consummated, endured through the years. Even though Obi-Wan never said the words “I love you” to Satine, his admission that he’d have left the Jedi Order for her speaks volumes. And the fact that Satine didn’t ask him means that she loved him enough to want what was best for him–that he was meant to be a Jedi–and that she was willing to sacrifice her own happiness for him. These two did a bit of verbal sparring themselves when they first meet up after years of not seeing each other, mostly concerning her pacifist postition in ruling Mandalore, but I believe it’s Obi-Wan’s concern for her welfare (and maybe a wee bit of sexual tension) that gets him all riled up about it. I believe he truly respects Satine for her pacifist beliefs, and loves her all the more for it. And I love how they call each other “my dear,” in their prim little way.

Like almost all of the relationships on this list, this one ends with a premature death. When Maul takes his revenge on Obi-Wan by killing Satine, it’s Satine who reiterates that she loves him with her last breath. Obi-Wan is speechless, but we can see the pain and love in his eyes as she dies in his arms. And it’s his memory of Satine that prevents him from falling to the Dark Side in his rage, as he envisions killing Maul and everyone in the room in retaliation (this is shown in the short story “Kenobi’s Shadow” in the book Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark). But he knows it’s not what Satine would have wanted for him. He wins the silent, solitary struggle for his soul because of her. This love story will always pierce my heart.

Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla

Hera and Kanan in Rebels

This relationship enchanted me, because I was never quite sure where they stood during the whole of Rebels until the very end. Hera and Kanan certainly had some kind of connection going on, and they were quite flirty. So are they in love? Or are they just lovers? Friends with benefits? Do they sleep in the same bed? What’s going on??? These questions kept popping up in my head, but they didn’t necessarily need to be answered. They clearly cared for each other, and would give their lives for each other, and that’s enough for me.

But toward the end of Rebels, it was clear Kanan wanted some clarification himself from Hera. He questioned her about what would happen after the war ended, what kind of life she wanted. Hera had been too busy fighting the war to give it much thought, or to want to commit to anything else–or anyone; but Kanan, early on the more flippant of the two, was getting serious. He didn’t push her, but once he was blinded, Kanan gained a depth of wisdom that made him “see” what was important in life. It was only at the end, just before he gave his life to save her and the others, that Hera finally realized she loved him and told him so. I admit it, I cried when he died.

So imagine my happiness and surprise when, at the end of the last season, Hera appears with a green little boy by her side (no, not Baby Yoda)–Jacen Syndulla, Kanan’s son–Ha! Same bed after all. But I was truly delighted that Kanan lived on in their little boy.

Quinlan Voss and Asajj Ventress

Ventress and Vos' Greatest Hits: A Dark Disciple Refresher | StarWars.com
Ventress and Vos in Dark Disciple

This was a surprising but strangely satisfying relationship told in the book Dark Disciple, by Christie Golden. The Jedi Quinlan Voss and the former Sith assassin Asajj Ventress fall in love while she teaches him a bit of the Dark Side of the Force so he can accomplish his mission of assassinating Count Dooku. I wasn’t too familiar with Vos, but it was gratifying to see someone like Ventress–full of anger and bitterness–open herself up to love. This girl’s had a rough life, after all–being taken away from her Nightsister family at a young age to become a slave; taken in by a Jedi to be taught how to use her Force abilities, only to see him killed before her eyes; apprenticed to Count Dooku as a Sith, only to be abandoned and betrayed by him; her return to her Nightsister family, only to see them slaughtered by Grievous and his droids; and on and on. This girl deserves a little happiness, darnit. And she finally gets it through Vos and a love neither of them had ever known. But, naturally, the course of true love never does run smooth. Vos falls to the Dark Side when he’s captured by Dooku, and their fate is uncertain. So she suffers again. In the end Vos comes back to the Light, but Ventress is killed while protecting him in a battle. Her death crushes him. Some of her last words to him are “Remember…you always have a choice to be better…you always have a choice to…to pick the right path.”

Vos buries her on Dathomir with her Nightsister family, and Ventress is finally at peace. I had wondered what happened to Ventress after Clone Wars, and though I’m sad she died, I’m glad she at least had a little bit of happiness toward the end.

Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala

Star Wars Stuff (@starwarstuff) / Twitter
Anakin and Padme on Coruscant (Revenge of the Sith)

Ah, Anakin and Padme, the great tragic love story of Star Wars. I was never particularly enthralled by it, maybe because Anakin’s obsessiveness turned me off. And to see Padme, a strong, intelligent, capable woman in the first two movies of the prequels become undone by love, to just die of sadness when she had babies who needed her–well, that just galled me a little bit. Am I being unromantic? Sorry. Maybe if I had seen the prequels when I was younger, in my teens or early 20’s, I would have melted over it. But I saw it when I was older, and I’m even older now, so I guess I just prefer the steadiness of Han and Leia, or the quiet endurance of Obi-Wan and Satine. Or even the light touch of Hera and Kanan. Maybe I don’t have the patience for the grand passions of the young anymore. How sad for me, right?

But this isn’t about me, it’s about Anakin and Padme, and it IS tragic, and I do get choked up when Padme says, “I don’t know you anymore. You’re breaking my heart. You’re going down a path I can’t follow.” Evil has touched and poisoned this love, and it’s horrible and unfair and it affects the entire galaxy. So even though it’s not at the top of my list, it’s here because of the sheer importance of it to the saga.

Honorable Mentions

  • Bail and Breha Organa. We don’t see too much of this couple, and we don’t see Breha at all except at the end of ROTS when Bail puts baby Leia into his wife’s arms. But I’ve read some books that have the Organas in them, and especially in Leia: Princess of Alderaan. These two have been married for many years, and it’s a happy relationship. Breha is the Queen of Alderaan, and Bail is her Viceroy. She deals with the politics at home, and he deals with it in the Senate and the galaxy at large. It’s an equal partnership, one of love and respect. And they adore their adopted daughter, and raise her well. I hate that they perished when Alderaan was destroyed.
  • Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade. So this is Legends material, and to be honest I haven’t read any of the books that puts these two together. I just know about it from fan sources, but I still love the idea of Luke having a wife. They had a child together–Ben Skywalker. I love that. I liked grumpy Luke in the sequels, but was a bit sad at the idea of him being an old hermit who had never known romantic love. Early on, I’d hoped Rey was his daughter, possibly from Mara Jade, or someone else, but it was not to be.
  • Owen Lars and Beru Whitesun. Luke’s Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru’s long-lasting marriage gave young Luke a grounded and stable childhood (besides the natural dangers of Tatooine like Tusken Raiders or other scum and villainy), raising him in a way Obi-Wan couldn’t. The Lars’ were practical, down-to-earth folk who wanted nothing more than to work their moisture farm and stay out of trouble. They were committed to Luke and to each other. Owen was perhaps a bit hard on Luke sometimes, but only because he feared his lineage and what might happen to Luke.
  • Ziro the Hutt and Sy Snootles. Just kidding.
The 8 Greatest Villains Introduced in THE CLONE WARS - Nerdist
Ziro and Sy Snootles in Clone Wars

Love Stories Not Meant To Be

Han and Q’ira. I liked this romance between young Han and intrepid Q’ira in Solo: A Star Wars Story, as well as their getting to know each other in the book Most Wanted, by Rae Carson. Han’s heart being broken by Q’ira is the reason he became such a scoundrel in the first place. Luckily he met an equally feisty princess later on to melt that armored heart of his.

Cassian and Jyn. I would have loved to see where this relationship could have gone if they HADN’T ALL PERISHED at the end of Rogue One. Truly devastating, but their sacrifice meant everything to the saga.

What’s your favorite Star Wars romance? Did I miss anyone? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

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The Mandalorian: Chapter 11–The Heiress

Mandalorian Season Two Spoilers Ahead!

The latest Mandalorian episode, Chapter 11: The Heiress, packs a punch in its 36 minutes.

Din has to make an emergency landing on Trask because of the pitiful state of the Razor Crest, and has to be fished out of the water by a really cool walker-crane. He throws some credits to a Mon Calamari wearing a warm-looking cable-knit sweater and suspenders to fix it the best he can.

That’s a great sweater.

Frog Lady reunites with her hubby, who directs Din to an inn where he can find info on Mandalorians. A Mon Calamari there directs him to some Quarren who will take him on their boat to the other Mandos. But guess what?

The Quarren just want to steal his beskar, and they push the Child (in his egg-stroller–wink, wink, poetic justice) into the mouth of a monster. Din jumps in but becomes trapped; it doesn’t look good until three Mandalorians show up, take out the Quarren and rescue the Child from the jaws of the monster.

So this is when it gets real interesting and kind of flip-out exciting.

Of course, Bo-Katan (!!!) is immediately recognizable with her distinctive armor; she’s showed up with two others of her group (who I’ve since learned are called Nite Owls–never knew this). When they take off their helmets, Din naturally thinks they’re not real Mandalorians, and demands to know where they got their armor.

The Mandalorian' Chapter 11 Exposes a Dark Truth About Our Hero
Katie Sackhoff, who voiced Bo-Katan in the Clone Wars, plays her live-action counterpart in The Mandalorian.

This is where Bo-Katan sets things straight for Din. She tells him the armor has been in her family for three generations, she was born on Mandalore, and is the rightful ruler. And she recognizes him as one of “The Watch,” a cult of religious Mandos who seek to go back to the old ways (which I believe is a remnant and evolution of Death Watch, as Din was saved and taken in by them–you can see their sigil if you look carefully in Episode 8 of Season One).

So now we understand the whole helmet thing.

And I don’t think Din knows how to feel about all this, either. His motto is “This is the Way,” but it’s not the only way, and he never knew this. He leaves them abruptly, apparently having no use for them. The fact that they just saved his ass and he just abandons them tells me his whole life perspective has just changed and he needs some time to digest this.

They meet up again in an alleyway where they save him again from some Quarren looking for revenge. He agrees to talk with them over a drink, and he tells them he’s looking for Jedi to bring the Child back to its own kind. Bo-Katan replies she knows a Jedi (and we know who she’s talking about–more flip-out excitement!). She can tell him where to go if he helps them with their mission: to steal some weapons from an Imperial ship to help them in their quest to take back Mandalore.

He drops off the Child at Frog Lady’s house for her to watch over him (and gives him stern daddy-orders to behave), and off he goes with the other Mandalorians. They jet-pack onto the Imperial ship, break in, and cause all hell to break loose. When it’s clear to the captain his ship is lost, he contacts–guess who?–Grand Moff Gideon. Gideon basically orders the guy to kill themselves to prevent the weapons from getting into the hands of the “pirates.” And he does it. But not before the Mandos get into the cockpit. Bo-Katan is looking for the Dark Saber–which, of course, Gideon possesses. The captain kills himself before she can find out where Gideon is. They manage to save the ship and and the weapons. She invites Din to help them retake Mandalore, but he has his mission and reminds her of the location of the Jedi she promised. She tells him the name of a planet, Corvus, and then she says it:

Ahsoka-freaking-Tano! Not like that, of course. But that’s what we hear, and we’re over the moon about it.

So Din retrieves the Child from Frog Lady’s house (no pollywogs were eaten), and off he goes, limping away into space again.

Whew! That’s a lot to take in in 36 minutes. But what an amazing episode. I’m sure all of us would love to see Ahsoka in the next episode, but again, I think they’re going to make us wait. I’m betting Din’s going to Navarro to recruit Cara Dune and Greef Kargo to help him first, and then maybe we’ll see our favorite Togruta after that.

She’s worth waiting for.

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Legends Lore: Jedi Guardians, Consulars, and Sentinels

I’m just starting to learn a bit about Legends material in the Star Wars universe. I’ve read a few Legends books (reviewed on my sister blog The Star Wars Reader), but whatever I’ve learned there, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is literally decades’ worth of material, in hundreds of novels, comics, games, and other media. This may seem daunting, and it is to a certain degree, but it’s also exciting to me. I’ve got tons of material to keep me busy for years; years of learning something new about Star Wars. Can it get any better than that? I think not.

Anyway, even though Rebels is considered canon, it’s introduced me to the concept of the Jedi Temple Guards, which already existed in Legends as a particular kind of Sentinel. When Kanan confronted the Guard in the Jedi Temple on Lothal, I was instantly fascinated. I do believe there were some Temple Guards in Clone Wars as well, escorting Bariss Offee away after she was arrested.

The Temple Guard referring to Kanan's apprentice. GUARD: "The Dark Side, it pulls at him, it calls to him. Eventually he will be consumed by it."

Also, when I did a bit of research on Jedi lightsabers, I learned that certain kinds of Jedi tended to wield certain lightsaber colors. The three major Jedi specialties are Guardian, Consular, and Sentinel, with various subtypes within each. Here’s some basics that I’ve learned:

Guardians

Guardians focused on combat training and were known for their skills with a lightsaber. They are called upon to defend the weak and uphold the laws of the Republic. Their lightsabers were often blue; examples of Jedi Guardians are Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.

Subtypes of Guardians include:

  • Exotic Weapons Specialist. These rare Jedi specialized in weapons other than lightsabers, such as lightsaber pikes, flails, whips, and blasters.
  • Lightsaber Instructors. These were appointed by the Jedi Battlemaster to instruct Jedi Initiates.
  • Jedi Ace. These were highly skilled Jedi pilots and dogfighters organized under the Jedi Starfighter Corps.
  • Jedi Peacekeeper. These were Jedi who specialized in policing the galaxy and ensuring laws were enforced in the Outer Rim. They usually worked alongside local militias and police forces.

Consulars

Jedi Consulars used words or nonviolent use of the Force to settle disputes. They sought mental refinement through study and meditation, and pursued the art of diplomacy and mediation. They hoped to calm tense situations through civil discourse, reasoning, and parley, and only drew their lightsabers (usually green to denote their commitment to peace) as a last resort. Examples of Consulars include Luke Skywalker, Yoda, and Qui Gon Jinn.

Subtypes of Consulars include:

  • Ambassador. These Jedi were the face of the Republic, acting as liaisons between newly discovered worlds and the Republic.
  • Diplomat. These Jedi were negotiators who often wrote treaties and resolved political disputes.
  • Healer. These Jedi drew upon the Living Force to heal wounds and cleanse impurities. (Bariss Offee was studying to be a healer, at least in Legends).
  • Lorekeeper. The Lorekeepers were divided into historians, archivists, and librarians, and maintained the Jedi archives. (Jocasta Nu, we see you!)
  • Researcher. Researchers updated the Jedi archives, and were made up of many specialists, including mathematicians, biologists, geologists, archaeologists, etc.
  • Seers. Jedi highly attuned to the Unifying Force were gifted with pre- and post-cognition. In rare cases, a seer became a prophet, divining things such as the prophecy of The Chosen One.
  • Sage. A Sage is a Jedi of advanced learning and wisdom, and who specialized in telekinesis and Force healing. They were also expert trackers, who could find people across the galaxy through deep meditation (I see you Luke in VIII and Leia in IX!)
  • Shadows. Masters of lightsaber combat, Shadows worked silently and alone, wielded double-bladed lightsabers, and could mask their presence with the Force.

Sentinels

The Jedi Sentinels sought a balance between the Guardian and Consular schools of thought. Blending the teachings of both, they also included some non-Force skills such as security, computers, stealth, or medicine. They sought out cities and civilians, rather than staying in the solitude of the Jedi Temple. Their lightsabers were often yellow, gold, or orange. Examples of the Sentinel class are Plo Kloon and Yaddle.

Subtypes of Sentinels include:

  • Artisan. These Jedi often built lightsabers and holocrons, in their attempt to understand creativity as a central aspect of the will of the Force. They have intrinsic skills with tools and machines. (I better understand now why Rey’s lightsaber is yellow–she’s a kind of Sentinel, an Artisan in particular).
  • Investigator. Often working as trackers or spies, Investigators worked closely with law enforcement to solve crimes, and often went undercover. Not to be confused with Shadows, who worked to discover Dark Side Adepts.
  • Recruiter. These Jedi tracked down and identified Force-sensitives, and determined whether or not they belonged in the Jedi Order.
  • Shadow. The secretive Shadows worked to seek and destroy all traces of the Dark Side of the Force.
  • Temple Guard. These Jedi were anonymous Sentinels who served as a security force in the Jedi Temple. They wore formal robes and identity-concealing masks, as the ultimate expression of emotional detachment. They carried double-bladed lightsabers. (The Grand Inquisitor in Rebels had been a Temple Guard before Order 66, and that’s who Kanan is facing in the scene above).
  • Watchmen. These Jedi worked alone and for years on a single planet or system, protecting their rights, overseeing the pursuit of peace, and acting as a liaison between the planetary government and the Jedi High Council.

Who knew the Jedi were so diverse? Not me. Most of these divisions were originally referenced in gaming or comics, and that’s why I’m not too conversant in them. But I do think they’re fascinating and make the Star Wars universe richer for it.

What do you think of all these Jedi specializations? Do you have a favorite? As I’ve mentioned, I love the Temple Guard. Drop me a line and we’ll talk about it!

Thanks goes to Wookiepedia for all this cool information!

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The Mandalorian: S2 Chapter 9–The Passenger

Mandalorian Season 2 Spoilers Ahead!

If you’re a parent, the second episode of Season 2 of the Mandalorian might have struck a chord with you.

First you’ve got Din Djarin, trying his best to parent the Child, who clearly is in his terrible two’s stage despite being 50 years old. Din keeps telling the little devil to stop eating Frog Lady’s eggs, and guess what? He doesn’t listen. Sound familiar, Mom and Dad? Clearly Mando isn’t feeding his little one enough to get him through his growth spurt. Lots to learn.

Then you’ve got Frog Lady herself, who is trying to get her eggs back to her husband on the planet Trask to be fertilized. They’re not quite children yet, but they’re the potential of her future pollywogs, and so she’ll trust this Mandalorian she doesn’t even know to get her where she needs to go. She figures out the little green rascal is eating them, and so clutches them protectively at the end of the episode.

And then we have the big spider mama herself, coming out in full force to protect her horrible little creepy crawlies, because, once again, the Child is eating other creatures’ babies. But because we hate spiders, we don’t care if those babies get disintegrated or squashed; in fact, we feel a deep need for them to be destroyed.

Anyway, as a Mom I just kind of noticed these parent/children dilemmas and parallels in this episode, and thought it was interesting.

I’ve heard a lot of people complaining that this episode disappointed them, was “boring,” or was just filler, compared to the first episode. And maybe that’s true–from a certain point of view, of course. We’ve gotten so used to extraordinarily good content that we expect it all the time. Or we were just so pysched about Boba Fett, we wanted them to follow up with him immediately. I get it. I do, too. And I’m chomping at the bit to see Jedi. Any Jedi. And who knows if we’ll even see them this season at all? As any Jedi master will tell you, we need to utilize patience, young Padawans.

Personally, I thought The Passenger was anything but boring. The fight with the scavengers/bounty hunters at the beginning, the chase with the X-Wings, and the frantic escape from the spiders–how can any of that be boring? I was on the edge of my seat with the spider thing, I can tell you, because for me, spiders are the stuff of nightmares. Anyway, I thought it was quite entertaining, and the humor–a big part of Star Wars–was abundant and wonderful in this episode. Seeing Dave Filoni as Trapper Wolf again was a nice touch, and a good reminder that the New Republic is out there doing its thing, and don’t you forget it! Also, I think my favorite new alien is Dr. Mandible.

So I’m just going to file this one under “creature-feature” fun and move on, anxiously awaiting next week’s episode. Maybe then we’ll get the answers we’re hoping for.

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Clone Wars: Droids and Younglings

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).

Ahsoka With  Jedi Younglings
Ahsoka and the younglings.

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.

Hondo Ohnaka | Wookieepedia | FANDOM powered by Wikia
Hondo Ohnaka

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.

Huyang star wars poster prints
Huyang

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.

Cad Bane returns in an excerpt from the new Star Wars: Clone Wars book #Gaming #News #Entertainment
Cad Bane

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:

Meebur Gascon | Wookieepedia | FANDOM powered by Wikia
Meebur Gascon

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!

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QT-KT - Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wiki
QT-KT

Thoughts on The Mandalorian S2: Chapter 9-The Marshal

Mandalorian Spoilers Ahead!!!

So it finally arrived, and Star Wars fans are ecstatic about the first episode of Season Two of The Mandalorian. With good reason–as young Anakin would say, it was “wizard”, “rugged”, and “savage”! High praise, indeed.

Where to begin? Well, I love this show because it appeals to so many people, even those who aren’t uber-fans of Star Wars. My husband is a casual fan of Star Wars (he’ll go see the movies with me and enjoys them, but pretty much forgets them after that!), but he LOVES this show. And one doesn’t need to know everything about Star Wars to enjoy it.

Having said that, if you ARE an uber-fan, then this show provides delightful easter eggs that are so fun to pluck! With this episode in particular, there were a few:

  • Cobb Vanth. This is a character who appears in the Aftermath trilogy of books by Chuck Wendig. I’m going to go ahead and admit that I didn’t know that, as I haven’t read the books–yet. I learned about him after I watched the show. Still, it’s awesome that F&F (Favreau and Filoni) are mining some of the EU content out there and making fans happy by doing it. And I just have to mention that Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) has the most perfect teeth I ever saw.
  • Anakin’s podracer. Again, I didn’t notice this right away, but on first seeing it, I thought, that thing looks awfully familiar! And when I learned it HAD been Anakin’s, I just got happy-fan goosebumps!
  • The Krayt Dragon. Not what I expected, but very cool. I’d heard of krayt dragons on Tatooine, mostly from the Kenobi novel by John Jackson Miller, and the descriptions in that book do not match up to this krayt dragon. No matter, it’s not canon anyway. This krayt dragon is quite impressive, and definitely gave me some Dune-like vibes. I also didn’t know that they had pearls inside them. Those Jawas are going to be styling!
  • And of course, Boba Fett’s armor, and possibly (and very probably), the man himself. I never understood the fascination with Boba Fett, but I have no objections to him being in the show (if that was indeed him at the end–and let’s face it, who else could it be? Rex? Some random clone? Doubt it). My theory is that Boba will go after Mando for his armor, and Mando will trade the armor for information on the Jedi. Possibly, if Boba can prove he’s a Mandalorian (which opens another can of worms: is he a Mandalorian? Let the fan arguments begin!) But Boba must know something of the Jedi, I would think. Anyway, that’s my theory. Can’t wait to see how it plays out.

And of course, there’s still holdover questions from Season 1: What is Moff Gideon’s game? How did he get the Darksaber? Will Bo-Katan make an appearance, as she’s the last Mandalorian (that we know of) who was in possession of it? How will Greef Karga and Cara Dune play a part in this season? Who else might show up?

And the tantalizing tidbits from the S2 trailer: who was that hooded woman? Is that snowy planet Ilum, where the Jedi went to get their kyber crystals? Will Mando actually meet Jedi? Ahsoka? Ezra? Luke? So many cameo rumors, but we’ll just have to be patient and wait to see what happens.

Fridays can’t come fast enough!

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It’s All in the Details

A fictional world needs details to give it authenticity, to suspend our disbelief, and to give it a richness and texture that simply makes us believe.

Here’s a few things about the world of Star Wars that I just learned about in the past year or so, although I’ve been a fan for nearly 40 years:

Aurabesh. This is the Star Wars alphabet. I’m not fluent in it at all, but it’s pretty darn cool. My name would be (Trill) (Isk) (Nern) (Aurek).

Symbols. Every major group or institution has a symbol attached to it. There are many more, but this is a decent sample. For my fiftieth birthday next year, and to celebrate my love of Star Wars, I’m going to get a tattoo of the Jedi symbol, probably on my right shoulder, and then the Rebel Alliance symbol on my left. As someone who’s never gotten a tattoo in her life, this is a big deal.

Star Wars Symbols | Force | Pinterest | Star wars symbols, Star wars  tattoo, Star wars geek

Lightsaber color meanings. Up until recently, I knew only of 3 lightsaber colors: green, blue, and red. The red I knew was for the Sith; and the green and blue for the Jedi, but I didn’t know the difference between the two, if any. Now I’m aware of many lightsaber colors, but I don’t have all the meanings memorized. So here’s a handy chart:

Green had always been my favorite color, until I saw Rey’s yellow lightsaber. Now I want to know more about the Sentinels (as well as the Jedi Consulars and Guardians), and will do some further research on them. So many Star Wars rabbit holes!

Calendar. I don’t know what was used before the designation BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), or ABY (After the Battle of Yavin) but I only recently learned about this system when I began my Star Wars book-reading journey. The book timelines in both Legends and Canon list them in relation to A New Hope’s decisive battle, to make it easy to place it in time (most people are familiar with that event). For instance, the book I’m reading now, Rogue Planet by Greg Bear, is listed as 29BBY. (It takes place three years after The Phantom Menace). It’s always nice to know exactly “when” a story takes place.

So these are just a few of the fascinating details I’ve learned about Star Wars, among many that make it so fun.

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5 Stories I’d Love to See in Star Wars

I know, I know. Every single Star Wars fan on the planet has, at one time or another, said, “I wish they’d make a story about….” and put in their two cents worth on future Star Wars projects. I’m no exception. And while of course the good people at Lucasfilm/Disney can’t satisfy every fan’s wishlist, we all do have our opinions; I simply see it as proof of the richness of Star Wars and its storytelling potential.

So in an ideal world, what stories would I love to see? Well, here are my top five ideas (and this includes movies, books, comics, TV shows, or whatever medium may tell the story best):

  • Okay, so I know LF/Disney are done with the Skywalker saga, at least in film, but I’m hoping that books aren’t off the table in continuing Rey’s story. I would love to see what she does next, if she trains more Jedi, what the galaxy is like after the Emperor is gone. Is there another central government, or do all the worlds and systems simply rule themselves now? What about Finn’s Force sensitivity? Does he become a Jedi? What role would the Jedi play in this new world? What kind of adventures can Rey, Finn and Poe go on? And what is the legacy of Ben Solo, pertaining to Rey in particular? Is he with her in some form? Force ghost? Voice? I want to know!
Ochi of Bestoon was responsible for the death of Rey's parents, but he was involved with the dark side of the Force way back during the Clone Wars.
  • I’d love to know Rey’s parents story. Palpatine’s clone cast-off–what was his life like? How did he meet Rey’s mother? Who was she? What were their names, for goodness sake! What was their life like on the run from Papa Palpie, and how did they survive? Tell me this wouldn’t be a good story.
Satine Kryze and Obi Wan Kenobi star wars poster prints
  • I would love a book telling the story of how Obi-Wan met the Duchess Satine Kryze when they were young during the Mandalorian Civil War. Qui Gon and Obi-Wan’s mission to protect her, what they did and where they went, the budding relationship between the two young people. And where does Bo-Katan fit into the story? Who are Satine’s parents and what happened to them? What are the particular politics involved? There may be some answers to these questions somewhere, but I want a book, darnit!
  • Shmi Skywalker‘s story. Where is she from, who are her parents, how did she become a slave? I suppose we could go back and back into the history and genealogy of the Skywalkers, but I’d love to know at least Shmi’s story. What were the circumstances of her discovering her pregnancy? I’ve heard a reference about Thrawn and the Chiss’ knowledge of “Sky Walkers,” though I haven’t read any of the books about Thrawn yet to quite know what they are. Coincidence? I think not.
  • This one is kind of obvious, and may be answered in some form someday, but the mystery of where Thrawn and Ezra disappeared to has to be addressed. Some people think perhaps The Mandalorian may shed some light on it, but who knows? Where do they end up, in what circumstances, do they become allies against a common enemy, or do they remain antagonists? And what about Sabine and Ahsoka’s journey to find them? Aarg, so many questions!

There’s literally a zillion spin-off stories that could be told in Star Wars, but these are at the top of my mind. They’re mostly character-oriented, personal stories, the kind that I particularly enjoy. And if none of these stories get told, that’s okay. That’s what imagination is for. Or fan fiction, if that’s your thing!

What stories would you love to see in Star Wars? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

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