Mando Excitement and Bad Batch Thoughts

Hello friends!

With the release of the latest Mandalorian Season 3 trailer and the upcoming release date of March 1st, I decided to do a Mando rewatch of Seasons 1&2, as well as the two episodes in The Book of Boba Fett (and perhaps all of BoBF). Since it seemed so far away for so long, I hadn’t really thought about the show for the last year or so, but I’m definitely getting back into that Mando vibe. The spaghetti western beats, the music, and of course, Baby! I forgot how much I love it. Here’s the trailer for S3, in the off chance you haven’t seen it yet:

As expected, it looks like we’re going to get more focused on Mandalore, what it means to be a Mandalorian in this post-Empire period, what role Din Djarin will play, and of course, Grogu’s growing Force powers. I won’t unpack everything in this trailer, but suffice it to say, I’m psyched!

And of course I’ve been watching Season 2 of The Bad Batch. I really missed these guys, too. Here are some thoughts on the first four episodes:

Omega is back and badass.

Eps 1&2 “The Spoils of War” and “The Ruins of War”: The two-part opener has our crew going on a mission for Cid, but also for themselves–if they can snatch some of Count Dooku’s “War Chest” that the Empire is confiscating, then they can retire to an easier, safer life, which is something Hunter in particular would like for Omega. Echo thinks they should be doing more against the Empire, and makes his thoughts known to Hunter; unfortunately, Omega overhears and misunderstands him, thinking she’s put a wrench into their style of life. This makes her particularly keen on succeeding in the mission.

While not spectacular as a season opener, it’s still entertaining, and I really like how it focuses on character development. Echo and Tech, in particular, get more screen time; Echo has a few touching moments with Omega, and Tech has a learning moment with Romar. Tech also comports himself admirably in combat with the clone regs, despite a broken leg. Wrecker, not normally the innovative one, throws together a new weapon out of Separatist wreckage, and Hunter has to do a bit of tech work that, well, Tech usually does. Romar also reminds Omega just to be a kid.

The clone reg in charge of defending the War Chest mission for the Empire, Wilco, makes his report to Rampart, telling him that it’s Clone Force 99 that tried to steal the treasure. Thinking they had died on Kamino, and in fear of consequences for his failure, he tells Wilco to change the report and lie. Wilco refuses, and Rampart kills him. Truly, the clones are too good for the Empire. Despite the inhibitor chip (the influence of which seems to be waning), some clones are still operating under the principles of the Republic, as Cody will demonstrate in Episode 3.

Cody and Crosshair at the Battle Memorial on Coruscant. I’m assuming these are names of fallen clones.

Episode 3 “The Solitary Clone”: This exceptional episode catches us up with Crosshair, and reintroduces Captain Cody. Crosshair was finally rescued from Kamino after, I don’t know, 32 rotations or something, after being left for dead. And yet he still remains loyal to the Empire, something that even Rampart questions. “I’m a soldier of the Empire,” he responds. I’m starting to think that Crosshair stays with the Empire, despite removing the chip, because he doesn’t know how to do anything else except be a soldier. The rest of the Batch aren’t soldiers anymore, not really, and their future is vague. Perhaps he doesn’t know who he is outside of his assassin skills. The rest of the Batch are willing to find out who they are beyond soldiers, but Crosshair is stubbornly refusing, perhaps out of fear. Anyway, that’s my take on it.

So Rampart has a mission for him, although he’s not in charge–Cody is. Fans have been wondering what has happened to Cody after Order 66 (at least in canon), and I’m happy to see that he’s questioning the Empire and himself. (In Legends, he remains loyal to the Empire, which makes me sad, lol). So he and Crosshair are assigned to go to Desix to rescue an Imperial Governor named Grotton after he’s taken prisoner by the world’s rightful governor, Tawni Ames. The planet was a Separatist world during the Clone Wars, and feels the Empire has no jurisdiction there. The Empire, of course, feels differently.

We get a really amazing sequence of events as Cody’s team makes their assault and battles B-1 battle droids and droidekas, and it feels like old times with clones against battle droids again. But this time they’re fighting for the Empire, and the rules have changed. Cody and Crosshair are impressive as they work together to gain access to Grotton, but Cody negotiates with Tawni Ames (definitely Kenobi’s man) and convinces her to release him. He seems not to understand that the Empire does not negotiate, that the principles of the Republic do not apply here, and Grotton commands him to shoot her. Cody hesitates, but Crosshair doesn’t and kills her. Cody watches helplessly as stormtroopers arrive on Desix, and realizes this is not a galaxy he recognizes.

Back on Coruscant, Cody asks Crosshair if they’re making the galaxy a better place. Again, Crosshair replies with “We’re soldiers, we do what needs to be done.” Cody remarks that what makes them different from battle droids is that they make their own decisions, and have to live with them. Later, Rampart tells Crosshair that Cody has gone AWOL, and I’m so happy about that! I’m hoping he comes across Rex and we see him again, fighting against the Empire. But now Crosshair is, once again, all alone. The regs don’t like him, and now even Cody is gone. And despite his loyalty, the Empire doesn’t trust or respect him. What’s it gonna take, Crosshair??? Lol. I’m really looking forward to his arc this season.

Tech saves Cid’s neck.

Episode 4 “Faster”: Some fans might call this one “filler,” and maybe they’re right in a way. I don’t care for the word, though; I prefer “breather.” It is a bit jarring after the super-heavy episode 3, but it’s nice once in a while just to have a bit of fun. And this one focuses on Tech, who is my favorite at the moment.

This one has Tech, Wrecker and Omega (Hunter and Echo are off on a transport mission) accompanying Cid to Safa Toma, which hosts a form of podracing called “Riot Racing.” Cid has a droid racer named Tay-0 who’s quite annoying and funny, and who loses the race to a racer owned by a Dowutin named Millegi. Cid and Millegi, who seem to have a shady past together, made a bet on the race, and now Cid owes him credits she doesn’t have. Omega, who seems fond of Cid but probably shouldn’t be, proposes another race. But Tay-0 gets busted up and Tech decides he’ll step in and be the racer.

Tech employs his own strategy to win the race: instead of focusing on hurting or disabling the other racers, he gets rid of his own weapons in order to go faster; he also takes a risk on a shortcut, using his pilot skills to win the day. Using thoughtfulness over aggression is very Star Warsy, and I think George Lucas himself, who had a need for speed, would appreciate this episode.

I think this episode also sets up some trouble ahead with Cid. When they’re leaving, they’re warned by Millegi that their loyalty to Cid will not be rewarded in kind. Perhaps a Cid betrayal will spur the Batch on to bigger and better things. I can’t wait to find out!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello my friends, and happy weekend!

I’ve been continuing to read Convergence, by Zoraida Cordova, the adult novel in the first wave of Phase 2 High Republic books. I’m enjoying it, but as an adult novel, it doesn’t seem to have the same scope as other adult HR books. Instead of the usual galaxy-hopping, it takes place mostly on one, or at most, two planets. Add to this its focus on a group of young people, and it seems like another YA novel. That’s fine, it’s a good book, just not what I expected. I have a feeling this first wave of books is setting up the scene for the second wave, where things will possibly come to a head. I’ll write more about it when I finish it.

A story of a boy and his dog and another world.

On Kindle, I downloaded Stephen King’s latest, Fairy Tale. I don’t read all of King’s books, but once in a while he comes out with one that particularly appeals to me. The last one was Sleeping Beauties, and before that, The Dark Tower series (and I heard a Dark Tower series may be in the works for Prime, for which I am very excited). Fairy Tale is about a teenager named Charlie Reade who gets involved in helping out an old man named Howard Bowditch and his faithful dog, Radar. Bowditch has been hiding a secret for many years on his property: a hole in the ground in his backyard with spiraling steps that lead to another world. King really takes his time setting this all up and I’m just getting to the other world, about 80 pages in. I have no idea what this might be leading to and I can’t wait to find out!

Obi-Wan will do what he must.

I haven’t gotten back to Poldark yet, but in the meantime I’m rewatching the Obi-Wan Kenobi series (for the fourth? fifth? time, lol). This came about because, during one of my husband’s scrolling sessions through Youtube on our TV, he came across the second lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Vader in that show. He hasn’t seen the show (he’s a very casual Star Wars fan, doesn’t know much about the prequels, and was unimpressed with the first episode that I made him watch). But he does enjoy battle/lightsaber duel scenes, so we watched. And this, of course, got me in the mood to watch the show again. Because I LOVE this show. While perhaps not as technically brilliant as Andor, it’s the one that gets me in the feels the most. And since I’ll be getting the Obi-Wan comic next week, it seems fitting.

I love Omega’s new look.

There are a couple of Star Wars trailers that came out this past week that I’d like to note. I’m very excited about The Bad Batch Season Two trailer, the second one we’ve gotten, and it gives us more to chew on and anticipate. In particular, I love that Cody will be in the show. Fans have long wondered what happened to him after Order 66, and now we get to find out. He’s shown talking to Crosshair, and mentioning that a lot of clone troopers are questioning their orders. I’m hoping this means that Cody is, too, and will eventually join with Rex in fighting the Empire. We see Gungi, the Wookiee Jedi Padawan from Clone Wars, and it’s exciting to see a surviving Jedi in the show (and maybe more?). Rex, and Bail Organa, and some new characters. Maybe Ahsoka? Ahsoka doesn’t need to be in everything, mind you, but it wouldn’t bother me, lol. I’m excited to see Echo exhorting Hunter for them to do more, to help fight the Empire. I’m hoping Echo has a bit more to do this season. It all looks fantastic, and I can’t wait until January 4th, when we get the first two episodes.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a gamer at all, but I did watch the Jedi: Survivor trailer, the Star Wars game that is a sequel to Jedi: Fallen Order. I’ve always been very interested in Cal Kestis’ story, and while I read a version of his story somewhere, and maybe even watched a Youtube version, I still felt like I was missing out. I’m glad gamers are getting more gaming fun from Cal and his crew, but it’s the book that drops the same week called Jedi: Battle Scars that I’m most looking forward to. I’m hoping you don’t need to know a lot about the game to enjoy the book, but just in case, I’ll watch some more Youtube summaries to get reacquainted with the characters. Both the game and the book drop in March of next year.

That’s it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends, and happy weekend!

Not much to report this week, besides some re-reads and re-watches.

It’s interesting how this rendition of Ahsoka looks more like live-action Ahsoka than animated Ahsoka.

I finished my re-read of the Ahsoka novel on my Kindle. While I liked it when I first read it, I find that I like it so much more on this second read. I’m not sure why. I think maybe because I know Ahsoka so much better now than I did when the book came out–I don’t think I’d watched Rebels at that point yet. I think I had watched Clone Wars, otherwise I wouldn’t have known or been interested in the character. I don’t know, but I love the book! Makes me very excited for the Ahsoka show next year!

How the Obi-Wan Kenobi show made me feel.

Learning about the making-of doc about the Obi-Wan Kenobi show put me in a mood to rewatch the series (I think it’s the third time for me), and it just gets better with each rewatch. I don’t have much else to say about it except how wonderful it is (Leia-under-Ben’s-coat still makes me wince, but whatever, lol). For me, with Star Wars it’s about how it makes me feel. Is everything perfect? Nope. Does everything make sense? Not always. Does it get me in the feels? Hell yeah! Emotional satisfaction is more important to me in the final analysis. That’s how I learned to love the prequels. Are they often silly? Yes. Have I learned to love that silliness? Yup. Star Wars makes me feel happy. That is all.

Omega’s innocence is endearing.

With The Bad Batch Season Two coming up (I think it’s back on for Sept. 28th?) I decided to rewatch the first season again (I think I’m on viewing #3 with this one, too). I’m up to episode 6, so about halfway through. I continue to be surprised at how much I love these guys (and girl). I just love listening to their banter, and I want to know what’s going to happen with Crosshair, and what is it about Omega that’s so special, and what direction will the squad go in? I’m here for it.

These are the books I read when I was a kid.

Once I finished Ahsoka, I had to find new Star Wars for my Kindle, so I chose the Original Trilogy novelizations. These are books that I read countless times back in the day, but it’s been a long while (literally decades). I thought it would be fun to go back and reread them and see what sticks out to me. I just started reading A New Hope, and one thing that sticks out is that mechanicals aren’t called droids, they’re called robots, which is a bit weird. Of course, this book came out months before the movie even released, so yeah, some things changed by the time of the film. Some of the dialogue is slightly different, some deleted scenes are in there, like when Luke talks with Biggs on Tatooine. Lots of little things. This will be fun!

So basically, what I’m saying with all this rereading and rewatching is that I really need some new Star Wars stuff, lol. Andor is just around the corner, and probably The Bad Batch, and October will see the first book of Phase 2 of the High Republic (stay tuned for a post on the upcoming books in the HR). So I’ll be swimming in it again very soon. We’re very spoiled in this golden age of Star Wars, don’t you think?

What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

Why I Think Omega is Force-Sensitive

Star Wars: The Bad Batch' - Who Is Omega? - Inside the Magic

I was going to wait on the Bad Batch rewatch until just before Season Two premieres next year, but after I finished Clone Wars I just naturally segued into it.

The first time around, I really wanted Omega to be Force-sensitive, but despite some clues, it didn’t seem to be going that way, so I let the thought go. Not everyone has to be Force-sensitive, right?

But now with this rewatch, I’m picking up on those clues again, and I just can’t let go of the idea that it will be discovered she’s Force-sensitive. Here’s my reasoning:

  • Several times during battles or crises, Omega comes through and succeeds and states, “Guess I just got lucky.” Well, okay, maybe. But the fact that she says this not once, but a few times makes me think otherwise. (And Obi-Wan always said, there’s no such thing as luck). And yes, it may be part of her “enhancement,” but just what is her enhancement? Hmmm…Force sensitivity, maybe?
  • When the squad visits Cut on Saleucamai, he tells Hunter that all of Clone Force 99’s defects were for a purpose. So what is Omega’s defect, and its purpose? With the others, it’s obvious what their skills are, but with Omega, it’s a mystery. Perhaps it will manifest more obviously with age, but it just seems strange that not even Omega knows what her enhancement is. It seems hush-hush, which suggests something amazing–like a Force-sensitive clone.
  • When Omega picks up the Zygerrian weapon, she’s not immediately good at it, which is natural. Like everyone, she needs to practice. Echo tells her she needs to ignore distractions, which is also true for everyone. But later, during the heat of battle with some droids, she hits her mark every single time. She manages to ignore all the distractions, which includes fear. Sounds very Jedi-like to me…
Omega - Encyclop├ędie Star Wars HoloNet
  • When they meet Cid, Omega is the only one who figures out that the first person they meet there is Cid. Almost immediately. Precociously perceptive? Yes. From the Force? Maybe.
  • We know from The Mandalorian that cloners in the post-Rebellion era were tinkering with making clones that were Force-sensitive. They’re not Kaminoans, but maybe they were inspired by the Kaminoan’s work, including any secret Force-sensitive cloning. In fact, in The Mandalorian, Dr. Pershing, the cloning scientist, wears an emblem on his uniform that is reminiscent of a Kaminoan symbol the clones wore in AOTC. And at the end of S1 of The Bad Batch, the Empire has taken Nala Se, the Kaminoan scientist who tinkered with Omega and the Batch, to their own cloning facility. I know all of this is for cloning Palpatine, but it just seems to suggest that Omega may have been the prototype. Nala Se did have access to Jedi on Kamino, after all.
Dr. Pershing stands against a medical table cowering from The Mandalorian
Dr. Pershing’s emblem…
Several identical looking children, clones, sit at computers in Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
And the emblem on the clones in AOTC. Hmmm…..

None of this is solid proof that Omega is Force-sensitive, of course. And even if she is, she may not have the powers of a Jedi, like telekinesis. She could be more like Chirrut Imwe, from Rogue One: aware of the Force and able to take advantage of that, but unable to manipulate it.

Or I could be completely wrong, lol. I could be reading into things to see what I want to see. Because I would LOVE Omega to be Force-sensitive. Only time will tell, and I can’t wait for Season Two!

What do you think? Do you think Omega is Force-sensitive? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Entertainment Weekend Update

Happy New Year, my friends!

I’m continuing my reread of The Rising Storm, by Cavan Scott, and I find I’m enjoying it much more this second time around. I’m not sure why, but it happens to me a lot–I’ll reread something, or rewatch a film, and like it a lot more than the first time. I guess I just need time to absorb and think about the story and see it from a new perspective. Or maybe the timing just needs to be right. I’m so ready to continue the story of The High Republic, and can’t wait for The Fallen Star next week!

The Book Of Boba Fett Episode 1 Breakdown & Easter Eggs Explained
This Tusken knows what’s what.

So of course the first episode of The Book of Boba Fett premiered this past week, and like many others, I’m cautiously optimistic about the series. As I’ve mentioned before, I was never a huge fan of the guy, but his appearance in The Mandalorian piqued my interest. The first show answered some of our questions, like how he got out of the Sarlaac, and what happened just after. I thought it a clever device to show the flashbacks while he was in the bacta tank. As for ruling in Jabba’s (and Bib Fortuna’s) wake, I don’t think he entirely knows what he’s doing, lol, but he’s figuring it out as he goes along, with Fennec’s help. We have to shift our view of him from being a villain to being the protagonist of his own show, which means he can’t be a villain, not entirely. As the main character, we need to root for him, so he needs some redeeming qualities. I think his experiences with his near-death in the Sarlaac and the trials with the Tuskens changed him, at least a little. And I’m okay with that; it makes him more interesting, at least to me. I’m looking forward to the upcoming episodes and to see where this leads.

It’s not the inhibitor chip; he’s just naturally a jerk.

After my rewatch of The Clone Wars, I wasn’t intending on continuing with the animated series, but it just naturally segued into The Bad Batch, transitioning from the Republic to the Empire after Order 66. The first episode, Aftermath, is fantastic, but I found, again, that I enjoyed watching the series more this second time around than the first. Maybe it’s because I can binge-watch it rather than wait a week between episodes. I don’t know, but I just love it. I didn’t love Clone Force 99 right off the bat when they first showed up in The Clone Wars, but I love them now, every single one. Even Crosshair, that bastard, lol. There are a lot of things I’d love to see in Season 2, and I’ll probably do a little post about it as its premier gets closer (I don’t think we have a specific date yet).

This still hurts. A lot.

Seems I’m doing a lot of rewatching/rereading of familiar territory, as I rewatched The Force Awakens on New Year’s Eve. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s such a great movie. I’ll never forget how I felt when I watched it for the first time in the theater in 2016: I was so incredibly excited to be watching a new Star Wars movie. To see Han, Chewie, Leia, Threepio and Artoo, as well as a batch of interesting new characters, was amazing, and it reignited my love for the franchise. I never thought I’d see these characters on film again, and here they were, so many years later, dealing with new bad guys, and incredibly painful personal stuff. No Star Wars movie is perfect (except perhaps Empire), but they’re all enjoyable, this one included. I’ll probably watch the rest of the sequel trilogy this weekend.

So with the new year comes new goals and resolutions, and one of mine (besides cutting down on the dark chocolate consumption, lol) is getting back to writing, specifically the Star Wars fan fiction I began a couple of months ago, and predictably, set aside. I really like the story idea and the characters I’ve created, so I’m not sure why I put it down (I suspect it’s simply laziness, lol), but I intend to get back to it and stay in it. If I accomplish one thing in the coming year, I’d like it to be a finished story that I can be proud of and that I enjoyed writing.

So that’s it for this week (and this year!) What’s been entertaining you lately? Any New Year’s resolutions? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Star Wars Weekend Update

Happy weekend, Star Wars friends!

This week I found myself in the middle of four different books (!): Out of the Shadows, a Star Wars High Republic YA novel; I Was Anastasia, the book I’m reading for my sister’s book Club; Freefall, a Poe Dameron YA novel I’ve been working on for a few weeks; and Mischief Maker, a book about mythological Loki. Whenever I find myself in this situation, I have to discipline myself and just pick one to focus on, then move to the next, and then the next, or I just find myself all over the place, lol.

So I focused on the Loki book, since that appealed to me the most (I’m ahead of the game with the book club novel), and I have to say it’s not bad. It’s by Bruce Nesmith, who’s worked on several video games, so I didn’t go into it thinking it would win any writing awards (no offense, Mr. Nesmith). But despite several annoying typos (in the Kindle version, at least), it’s pretty entertaining.

After Ragnorok, Loki was exiled to Midgard, and he’s been living here for over 900 years. He’s working as a magician in Chicago at the beginning of the book, but his past won’t leave him alone, and he must travel Yggdrasil to several of the Nine Realms to figure out who’s trying to kill him and why. He ends up preparing for a second Ragnorok against Thor, who’s a brutish bully in this story. I haven’t quite finished it yet but it’s a fun romp through a re-imagined Nine Realms, and a Loki who is blonde, likes playing harmless pranks, and rides around on a motorcycle wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt. I can totally see it (except the blonde part; that’s hard to imagine after having Tom Hiddleston’s black-haired Loki burned into my brain, lol). Oh, and he’s got Munnin, one of Odin’s ravens (Memory), along for the ride. Oh, and the author knows his Norse mythology, many stories of which I recognized through my reading of Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (another book I’m only halfway through, lol).

On the Marvel front, I’ve decided to wait on the Agent Carter series for now, but I have watched the first What If? episode. I think this is going to be a fun and interesting series, with explorations into the multiverse that perhaps Loki’s show has created. I have to admit, it was weird seeing Agent Carter turn into the super soldier instead of Steve Rogers–weird, but also very cool. And at least Steve gets a primitive Iron Man suit so he’s not left behind. Can’t wait to see what they have coming next.

So, on to some some actual Star Wars: the season finale of The Bad Batch. Spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Recap & Spoilers: Season 1 Finale, 'Kamino Lost'

The Batch, along with Crosshair and the droid AZ, have been trapped on Kamino while the Empire blows up the facility. The whole show is how they escape and get back to the Marauder, which was actually pretty nail-biting most of the time. The really interesting part was Crosshair–it turns out, his chip was removed, apparently, a long time ago, and he claims that his allegiance to the Empire is his own decision. Not sure how much of that I believe, as I remember the chip’s functions being enhanced exponentially by the Empire, so why then take it out? Unless he clawed it out himself (and the ugly scar on his head makes it look like that), but still, maybe the damage has been done to his brain? I don’t know. But he claims he’s made his decision, and he decides to stay on Kamino and wait for rescue rather than go with the Batch. So they’ll be crossing swords with him again in Season Two, but I’m curious how it will play out. I thought the first season was quite good, despite some flagging in the middle, but I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to Star Wars, lol.

Seems all of these characters this week–Loki, Peggy Carter, and Crosshair–have been flipped on their heads and are not what they seem, or what we’re familiar with. I like that change-up!

So that’s been my entertainment week. What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

Padawans, Super Soldiers, And A Russian Princess

Happy weekend, my Star Wars friends!

I thought I’d change the title of these weekend updates and make them more tuned to what each post is about.

So I’ve gotten a few chapters into Out of the Shadows, by Justina Ireland, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to like this book. I’ve heard a few complaints about it, that it’s more talky and slow than previous books, but that’s okay by me. Between Star Wars and Marvel, I think I’ve had enough explosions and battles to last me several lifetimes, lol. This one focuses on the Padawans and younger Jedi, like Vernestra Rwoh, Reath Silas, and Imri Cantaros. I’m a big fan of Reath ever since Into the Dark by Claudia Gray. He’s a bookish type, more into research and scholarship than the whole Jedi adventuring thing, and I can relate to that, lol.

On Kindle, I’m still working on Freefall, about a young Poe Dameron, but it’s recently taken a back seat to a non-Star Wars book called I Was Anastasia, by Ariel Lawhon. For the past few years, my sister and niece and I have done a little book club together, on and off throughout the year, and after some time off, we just started up again. The book we chose was this one about Anna Anderson, the woman who had claimed to be Anastasia Romanov, the supposed only survivor of the slaughter of the Romanov family during the Russian Revolution. I’ve always been fascinated by the subject, and probably saw a movie or two back in the day about it, but I don’t quite remember all the details. I think it was fairly recently established that she was NOT Anastasia, but again, I’m not sure. Even if that’s true, people still want to believe, I think. It’s a tragic, sensational story, and people respond to that. It’s in novel form, so it’s “fiction,” but I’m sure the author has done her research. Really intriguing.

The Bad Batch penultimate Season One episode, “Return to Kaminoa,” is what I’ve been waiting for this show to do for a while now: go back to compelling story-telling. I won’t go into spoilers in case you haven’t seen it yet, but this Season Finale Part 1 is fantastic, and I can’t wait to see what happens in Part 2.

On the Marvel front, I’m a few episodes into The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Admittedly, I’m not as invested in this one, although I think the character of Bucky Barnes is interesting. And the return of Zemo is great. But after the quirkiness of Wandavison, and the sheer enjoyability of Loki, this one’s a bit dull, lol. But I’ll soldier through, and then rewatch Loki, of course. And then I’m done with the Marvel universe (unless I look around for Hulk and/or Spiderman movies, which I may or may not do). I may catch Black Widow in the theater next week. There’s a few Marvel movies coming out later this year, like The Eternals, but I have no idea what it’s about, lol, or if it’s connected at all with what I’ve been watching. Oh, and the Shang-Chi guy. I can’t keep track, lol. What I’m waiting for are the next Dr. Strange and Thor movies, and I think another Wakanda movie is coming out next year. So I’ll stay tuned.

That’s about it for entertainment. My family and I still haven’t done half the summer stuff we wanted to do this year yet, but next week is our 23rd wedding anniversary and I took the week off from work, so maybe we’ll get some fun stuff in. We’ve been talking about ziplining, so maybe we’ll actually get to that! I’ll let you know next week. See you then!

My Star Wars Weekend Update

Happy weekend my Star Wars friends!

I don’t have much to report on the Star Wars front at the moment. I’m still slogging through The Rising Storm. I’ve gotten to the more exciting part, but for some reason I’m just not feeling it. Maybe it’s me; I’ve been distracted by other things. I still love these characters, especially Elzar Mann and Stellan Gios. Just because I don’t speed through a book doesn’t mean I don’t like it. I’m hoping to get through it by next week, in time for the next YA novel, Out of the Shadows. And I still plan on doing review posts for the books I read.

On Kindle, I’ve been reading Freefall, a YA novel by Alex Segura, about 16-year-old Poe Dameron. It mostly tells the tale of how he spent time with the Spice Runners of Kajimi, and met Zorri Bliss, events alluded to in The Rise of Skywalker. I’m enjoying it so far.

The Bad Batch continues to be fine, but I feel like it’s getting a bit soggy in the middle. It started off so strong, but lately it’s just been ho-hum. The latest episode, Infested, was fine. Cid is starting to grow on me, and she’s certainly not the worst of the dredge out there. And she’s got a soft spot for Omega. For all of them, really. I like her nicknames for them. I just wish, I don’t know, that the writers could tighten it up a little bit. I’d rather have 8 extraordinary episodes than 16 that are just so-so. Maybe we’re just spoiled, lol.

Cid ain’t so bad.

As you may know, it’s the Marvel universe that’s been distracting me from Star Wars lately. I’ve been doing a Marvel movie marathon for the past couple of weeks, and I’m up to Avengers: Age of Ultron. Some of these movies are great, some are just so-so, but I’m enjoying getting to know this universe and its characters. I’ve got a post I’m working on as I go along, jotting down my thoughts on each movie, and I’ll post that when I’m done (probably several weeks from now, lol.)

And by the way, on Disney+ there is a “Making Of Loki” special that just dropped, and it’s great, so if you liked the show, check it out. There’s also a making of Wandavision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which I’ll watch once I’ve seen these shows. They’re under the title “Assembled.

So that’s been my week in entertainment. My family and I have been wanting to enjoy the summer, but it’s been raining so much here in New England that we haven’t even gotten to our favorite lake yet. ­čśŽ I wish we could send some of this water out west to put out those terrible fires. Even here, across the country, our sky was hazy from the smoke blowing our way.

On a more fun note, and just because he’s cute, here’s a pic of our kitten Cosmo:

May be an image of cat, laptop and indoor
Couldn’t drink my coffee for a while, lol. That’s my favorite Barnes and Noble mug, btw; it’s got famous classic authors on it.

What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!

Star Wars: The Bad Batch–Devil’s Deal

I was a little surprised at the latest episode of The Bad Batch, but not in a strictly bad sense. The episode concerned mostly the political doings on Ryloth and what a young Hera Syndulla was up to, which was great, but I really did miss the Batch. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting this series to deviate from the main characters, like Clone Wars occasionally did. I don’t think Rebels strayed too far from the Ghost crew, from what I remember (I could be forgetting an episode or two, I don’t know). So I’m not sure how I feel about it, exactly, lol.

I suppose it was interesting to see Hera as a child, growing up in the aftermath of the Clone Wars, and seeing her relationship with her parents. We know that her mother is killed at some point early on, and this seems to drive a wedge between father and daughter, which isn’t resolved until well into Rebels. We know that her father, Cham Syndulla, was the leader of the Ryloth resistance against the Empire, so it was interesting to see him giving the Empire a chance here at first. He’s so tired of war, and wants what’s best for his young daughter, he’s willing to give peace a chance, so to speak. But clearly that will change, perhaps after his wife’s demise.

I’m just not sure we really needed to see all this. It really adds nothing to what we already know. Hera yearns to be a pilot, she gets involved in the Rebel movement early on, yadda yadda. Don’t get me wrong; I love Hera, and am a huge fan of Rebels. But this isn’t Rebels, this is The Bad Batch, lol, and I wanted more of them. And I’m sure they’ll come roaring back next week to help save Hera from the Imperials.

I do have to say I loved Captain Howzer, a Clone who is different from his comrades. He’s the only one who still wears colors, takes his helmet off, and clearly is fond of the Syndulla family after helping them during the Clone Wars. He’s hesitant to arrest Hera or her parents, and I’m thinking that he’s a Clone who didn’t follow Order 66, but somehow got away with it. I’m guessing he’ll help the Batch save Hera, and possibly find Rex to join the fledgling Rebellion. If he survives, that is.

I did like how Hera was speaking in the French-like accent she grew up with, and only occasionally slipped back into in Rebels (mostly when speaking with her father); and also seeing her mischievous droid “Choppair”, lol. I liked her meeting Omega and talking about being a pilot.

It was a good episode and I enjoyed it, I just don’t know how important it is in the scheme of things. I don’t usually complain about this kind of stuff, because I enjoy all Star Wars for what it is. Guess I’m just missing the boys and Omega, and have probably seen enough cameos for the moment.

What did you think of the latest episode? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

Star Wars: The Bad Batch–Common Ground

Episode 10 of The Bad Batch, “Common Ground,” probably wasn’t as exciting as most fans would have liked, and didn’t have the same kind of stakes that the last couple of episodes had, but I still enjoyed it and thought it had some interesting themes going on.

The Bad Batch travel with a droid a droid in Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
The Batch with Senator Singh’s droid, GS-8.

The Batch are assigned a mission from Cid to save a former Separatist Senator from Raxus–the capital of the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars–and it doesn’t quite sit right with them. Especially Hunter and Echo, and particularly in the latter case, we can understand why. Echo suffered at the hands of the Separatists and isn’t willing to so easily overlook that. But let’s face it, if anyone is going to writhe under the yoke of the Empire, it’s former Separatist systems. If they didn’t like the policies of the Republic, then they’re certainly not going to accept the Empire. I think the Batch are going to find that their former enemies will likely become potential allies, as I believe they’ll eventually fight the Empire rather than continue with mercenary work.

In fact, they may not have to, since Omega paid off their debt to Cid. The other storyline of the episode was Hunter once again leaving Omega behind, his reason being that Raxus would be crawling with Imperials. True, but I believe his fears are more based on his ability to protect her rather than on Omega’s ability to handle herself. She certainly proved that she can take care of herself in former episodes, but it was Hunter who was with her when Cad Bane took her. He blames himself. So guilt goads him to insist she stay with Cid this time.

Cid speaks with Omega at a dejarik table in Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
Omega’s got her game face on.

While there, Cid claims she’s useless, but during a holo chess match between Cid and a patron of the bar, Omega proves she has a talent for strategy. Cid uses it to her advantage, pitting Omega against a string of competitors, with Omega winning every time. When the Batch return, successful in their mission in extracting the Senator, Hunter is upset that Omega put herself in the limelight like that, and scolds her. Cid tells him to back off, since she just paid off their debt to her. Even Wrecker lets Hunter know he’s being unfair, with a deliberate shoulder bump. So Hunter tells Omega that if she wins a game against him, he’ll never leave her behind again.

We don’t see the end of the game, but we don’t have to. We know Omega will win, and thank goodness for it. I’ll always believe Omega will be better off with the Batch rather than left behind. And come on, the girl’s proven herself! But Hunter, as a new space dad, is just going through what every parent does: the instinctual need to protect. I don’t even like to let my 12 year old walk around the block by herself, so I get it, lol. But sometimes you just have to let go so they can grow.

And we learn more about Omega’s specialness: she’s a pure Jango Fett DNA carrier, yes, but she also has a talent for strategy. Kind of comes out of nowhere, but okay. And not much to do with the Force, really; I was hoping for a little Force sensitivity, but I can live without it, too.

Anyway, some may have thought this one was boring, but I thought it was a solid entry. Not great, but not terrible, either. Curious to see where the Batch will go from here!

What did you think of the episode? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!