Haiku Me Friday! Yoda’s Escape

The end, this will be
Into exile, I must go
And now wait, not long

Though Yoda visited Dagobah during TCW (some of my least favorite episodes, actually), I have always wondered how he felt when he landed there after escaping Order 66 on Kashyyyk.  With this haiku, I chose to use the point of view that Yoda knew he would end his life on Dagobah.  He knew he was waiting for the twins to grow up, but knew that with their training, also came the end of his life.

I’m not sure why I chose this point of view, but Yoda is wise for the most part and understands a great deal more than anyone else, so I have a hunch he knew that his life might end on Dagobah.

What did Yoda do for ~20 years while he was in exile?  Wouldn’t even communing with Qui-Gon Jinn get old?  I hope he had some good books.

We see such a small sliver of Yoda’s life and know so little about him, which I love.  I hope Disney doesn’t go ruin that for us and give us too much information.  There’s a little bit about his past out there on Yoda’s Wookieepedia page, but it’s not much at all.  I want Yoda to never have a species assigned to him and I never want to know the 800 years prior to The Phantom Menace.  For the most part, I don’t mind Disney giving us new material and explaining loved characters (not a huge fan of the new Han Solo movie, but it is what it is), but please Disney – keep Yoda mysterious.

 

Tell me – would you want to learn more about Yoda’s life?  How much is too much?  Or do you want to know it all?

Haiku Me Friday! Dagobah Cave Edition

The cave on Dagobah is one of the few moments in Star Wars where it bangs you over the head with its metaphors and deeper meaning.  Think about it…we don’t see much of this in the OT where the characters have to face their fears in this strange, almost out-of-body way.

He looms into sight Remember your failure, Luke The cave reveals much

He looms into sight
Remember your failure, Luke
The cave reveals much

When Luke confronts Vader in the cave, he defeats Vader, but the mask falls off revealing Luke’s face.  Essentially we are supposed to come away with the fact that if Luke goes to the dark side, he’ll will end up similar to Vader.

But there’s so much more going on here.  For instance, Yoda tells Luke not to bring his weapons, but Luke does anyway.Luke Vader dark side cave  What would have happened if he hadn’t and saw the same vision?  Or is it by bringing the weapons, Luke creates this vision and it would have been different had he not brought them?  (Lucas says he would not have had this vision if he had not brought his weapons)

Regarding my haiku, Yoda reminds Luke “remember your failure at the cave”.  Was it really a failure?  Or was it this “failure” that taught Luke a lesson before it was too late?  Did it speak more in volumes than Yoda’s teaching ever would?

We go back (or go for the first time, depending how you look at it) to the cave in TCW where Yoda also confronts his own fears.  This time he sees some tidbits of what is to happen in ROTS.  Does Yoda learn from it?  Does he face his fears and say, “This is what could happen.  If it does, then I’ll be prepared and face my fears to make sure I do all I can to be the best Jedi I can be”?

Most importantly, this sequence shows how close Luke teetered to the dark side. Did he actually use the dark side briefly? By bringing his weapons, he automatically puts himself on the offensive mode.  My third line in the haiku “The cave reveals much,” puts into light the fact that perhaps Luke does draw on the dark side.  I know that Hamill wanted Luke to fall to the dark side in ROTJ and have the movie with a darker twist.  Will we see this in TFA?  I thought the trailer had a slightly foreboding air about it when we saw Luke’s hand touching Artoo.   It was…dark to say the least.  Will the directors maybe pull on this cave sequence to go into an explanation on why Luke turns to the dark side?  (This is all speculation on my part as you guys know…I’m pretty spoiler free)

Dark side? Or light side?

Dark side? Or light side?

Read my other blog post on it here.

Read some fan speculations on the cave scene.

Watch it here.

Friday Fives: You Upset Me

Now onto my Friday Five, which is an unusual post just because I rarely talk about things I hate about Star Wars.  But there are things that really upset me, and that I almost hate, and most of them actually tie into the Prequels in some way.

 The Five Things That Really Upset Me About Star Wars

  1. I’ve gone into this a lot in my grievances post, but I think the biggest inconsistency that bothers me is Leia “remembering” her mother.  It’s not possible.  I don’t care how strong you are in the Force (and Leia is less strong than Luke and Luke has no memory of her), and if you have past Force visions (whatever), you can’t remember her from the womb or the 10 seconds you were with each other.

    No, no, no, no.  There was just so much potential with a really cool storyline for Leia and Padmé that…died (pun).  Maybe that’s what I mourn the most.  The fact that Lucas could have done something really interesting with Leia and Padmé at the end of ROTS was a lost opportunity.  My great storyline has always been that Obi-Wan tries to hide Padmé and Leia (he already gave Luke to the Owen and Beru). But Anakin knows Padmé is still alive and is searching for her, so Padmé decides to confront him and tries to save him.  She entrusts Leia to the Organas on Alderaan and flies to meet Vader.  Palpatine knows about this and an “accident” happens to her ship and she blows up in flames.  It plays into Palpatine’s master plans and his conniving and we kind of get the same results as before…but this time Leia can actually remember her mother.

  2. Attack of the Clones. Okay, we all know this is my least favorite Star Wars movie.  But let me actually go into more detail on why…the script writing is horrible.    It doesn’t matter how good of an actor you are (I think Ewan AOTC movie posterMcGregor and Natalie Portman are pretty darn good), if you are faced with lines like you were presented in that script, ugh, good luck.  You just can’t make that work.  Examples of what I am talking about:
    1. “I’d rather dream of Padmé. Just being around her again is…intoxicating.”
    2. “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything’s soft… and smooth…”
    3. “Then we’d be living a lie – one we couldn’t keep even if we wanted to. I couldn’t do that. Could you, Anakin? Could you live like that?”

It’s really brutal.  Sometimes when I read the script I think it sounds like a bad soap opera.  And the acting is halting and stiff, none of the characters seem to have any real chemistry.  I think it definitely gets better in ROTS, but AOTC is so horrible that I’m surprised I own it sometimes.  The action scenes are cool, I just can’t get past the dialogue and acting in Episode II.

  1. Hayden Christensen replaces Sebastian Shaw as a Force Ghost the end of ROTJ. I cried when I saw this the first time and it wasn’t out of happiness.  I still remember where I was because I had heard rumors about this.  I kept hoping it wasn’t true, praying it wasn’t true.  I had spent the whole day of a Saturday watching the trilogy as it had just been released on DVD.  I was getting towards the end of ROTJ and I pulled up my legs to tuck under myhayden christsensen dvd rotj chin and just stared with hope against hope that the rumors were wrong.  But they weren’t wrong and Christensen materialized on the screen and I screamed.  And paced.  And screamed at the TV again.  I have heard many reasons for the change.  One of them was that Lucas wanted something to tie both the PT and the OT together.  Another was that as a Jedi Force Ghost, that was how Anakin remembered himself as a Jedi, before he turned into Darth Vader.  A different reason was that Anakin truly died as a Jedi when he was younger, so it makes sense to come back as a Force Ghost in the younger version.  It was a bad decision and it sucks that I can’t watch a nice DVD without that stupid guy’s face popping up at the end.  I’m actually one of the few people that doesn’t mind the added dance scene’s in Jabba’s palace.  I’d keep that in a heartbeat if it just meant taking out Hayden Christensen’s head (yes, supposedly they just CGI’d his head on there, so it’s ¾ Shaw and ¼ Christensen).
  2. When Vader is portrayed super muscular. I don’t know, it just doesn’t sit well with me.  Yes, Vader is large.  Yes, he may be muscular underneath all that machine, but his muscles are not rippling out of his suit.  I’ve seen many paintings and pictures which show Vader as this unstoppable force to be reckoned with, with large, broad Gaston-like muscles.  I understand a lot of it is for comic books, because that’s the style of comic books, but it’s just a little out of character.  I feel like I’m making a really weak argument, but look at these pictures and try to understand where I’m coming from:
  1. Darth Maul returns in TCW. Overall, I liked TCW…except for when Darth Maul came back.  Darth Maul was quintessentially the coolest badass Sith to bring into the Prequels.  He didn’t talk much, which lent to his mysterious background.  He had a double bladed lightsaber (wtf, so cool).  He held his own significantly against
    Not neccessary.

    Not necessary.

    two highly trained Jedi.  I was sad he died so soon, but it seemed to be a fitting end as it hinted at Obi-Wan’s rage and how he teetered on the brink of the dark side.  And damn, he got cut clean in half.  No one is coming back from that.  Oh wait, but he did.  Whhhhhhy?  They put mechanical legs on him, which look dumb, and he talks…all the time.  I really loved Maul when he didn’t talk.  As I said, mysterious.  His whole story line was just weird too, uninteresting, and unimportant.  Technically, it leaves us on a cliffhanger too where we don’t know what is going to happen to him.  Why would Sidious keep him alive?  Why would he even entertain that notion?  (Yes, I’ve read up on Sons of Dathomir so I know what was supposed to happen after that.  Still uninteresting.)

Rants over.  When you love something, you love it with your whole heart, even the bad parts.  I can overlook these bad parts because I love the Saga so much, but sometimes…these little things really annoy me.

Anyone else want to chime in?  Who shot first?

Star Wars Rebels – Season One Review

I was really hoping to have a report on how the virgin Star Wars viewing went last week…but turns out my friend’s husband decided to get appendicitis that day so they were in the hospital and had to reschedule.  Really?  Lame excuse.

So instead I’m here to talk about the first season of Star Wars Rebels, my thoughts, what I liked and disliked.

*Thar be spoilers ahead!*

You can read my initial reactions on the first episode here.

Overall, I really liked Rebels, and I definitely liked it a lot more than I liked The Clone Wars when I first started watching it.  You guys have heard me mention many times that I actually was furious at TCW when they began the show (Anakin has a padawan?  What??  What are all these random storylines thrown in??).  I didn’t want there to be the recurring, older characters.  I wanted a fresh start.  Though I grew to love and enjoy TCW, we definitely had a rocky start to our relationship.

This was not the case with Rebels.  I loved these characters that were not in the movies and I loved the settings.  It was Hera and chopperdifferent from TCW in that the animation was softer, not as angular or harsh.  For the most part, I liked the animation style.  I thought the ships were done excellently, though I believe the people didn’t flow as well as I would have liked.  Most of the time they were good, but sometimes they seemed a little jerky.

The throwbacks in Rebels were also fun to watch.  I loved that they pulled from Ralph McQuarrie, especially for Lothal, and his touch was a constant, even with Zeb and Chopper.  The lightsaber fight in the last episode screamed of TPM (it was nice to see a Prequel nod) and characters like Lando were thrown in to remind us of the OT.

The storyline was also pretty good.  Out of the entire season, there was only one episode I really disliked and that was “Droids in Distress”.  Clearly it was an episode just to throw a bone to the fans who wanted to see characters they knew (Artoo and Threepio).  I didn’t like “Path of the Jedi” (I’m not a fan of Yoda speaking to people when he’s off on some far off swampy planet) or “Idiot’s Array” that much either, but I thought they had nuggets of character development that I appreciated.

My favorite episodes were:

  • “Breaking Ranks” – Ezra joins the Empire temporarily and befriends Zare Leonis, who later becomes a spy for thestar wars rebels zare leonis band of Rebels. I still think Zare is also Finn, but maybe I should drop that point for now.
  • “Empire Day” – I loved the political undercurrents in this, as well as finding out a lot about Ezra’s family. It gave us some insight into who he is and why he is so against the Empire.  It kind of put a purpose to his mischief, as opposed to someone who just caused trouble for the hell of it.
  • “Call to Action” through “Fire Across the Galaxy” – I understand why they can’t do episode arcs that much in the beginning of the season. First, they need to find out if they are going to get renewed.  No point in investing in characters and storylines if it gets canceled.  Second, you need to pull the viewer in and the easiest way to do that is with one-and-done episodes.  Everything is somewhat resolved by the end of the episode, but there are hints to a larger storyline.  But this episode arc was really great.  The Empire (including a steady appearance of Grand Moff Tarkin – whom I actually didn’t mind showing up at all) is getting uneasy with all the Rebels and Tarkin is upset that Agent Kallus and the Inquisitor have not been able to capture them yet.  By the end of the first episode, Kanan is captured, and the next two episodes show how the crew of Ghost come together to rescue him.  What I liked is not that it was a simple, “Yes, let’s go get him!” but there were doubts, especially from Hera.  She had to decide between the mission and Kanan.  It took some convincing from the rest of the crew (and disobeying her orders), including Chopper, to finally make her see that Kanan was worth going after.  At the end of the final episode in Season One, we get to find out who “Fulcrum” is … and it’s Ahoska!  I did a little squeal, I admit it.  AHSOKA HAS RETURNED!
ahsoka star wars rebels

Ashley Eckstein’s voice too!

 

So now that Ahsoka is back in the storyline and canon, I guess it brings up a lot of interesting questions.  Does she know Vader is Anakin, her former Jedi Master?  Does she know Yoda and Obi-Wan are alive?  Or is she acting on her own in this rebellion?  She has connections to Bail Organa, and Organa knows that Yoda and Obi-Wan are alive.  Do you think Ahsoka just assumes Anakin died in the Jedi Purge?

inquisitorMy favorite character was the Inquisitor and I loved him so much.  I thought he was actually kind of brilliant, though he actually created more questions for me than anything else.  Maybe I just liked Jason Isaacs voice (ahhh so hot).  But I understood why he had to die.  Grand Moff Tarkin made it quite clear that he would not suffer failure…so if Kanan got away (which he did), the Inquisitor would not have been a welcome guest at Vader and the Emperor’s dinner party.  But now they bring in Vader…this could be interesting.  If they keep Vader in Season 2 as a steady character, I hope they stay true to his character.  Don’t take away from his scariness, add to it.  Don’t be afraid of making him as ruthless as he seems to be in ANH.  Don’t show any sympathetic gestures from him.

I think Rebels has potential.  I’m interested to see if there are any tie-ins to The Force Awakens and to see how they link this back to ANH.  Already they have Tarkin playing a somewhat major role and Vader seems to be stepping into the picture as well.  I want to see more interesting episode arcs and less silly standalone episodes.  Perhaps I’m asking for too much, too soon, but I think they’ve been doing a good job, but I want to see it become great, like TCW did.

What were your thoughts on Season One of Rebels?  Did you like it?  Dislike it?  Will you watch Season two?

For some great reading on what Dave Filoni says about Season One, check out this article.

Let’s Take a Look at Star Wars Rebels

SPOILERS AHEAD

 

Rebels has kicked off and…overall, I liked it.  Last week we had the one-hour premiere with a movie on the Disney Channel.  This week the season officially got underway with its first episode on Monday night.

I loved the movie.  I thought it was exactly what Star Wars should be and how they should approach the series.  They stayed away from any characters we knew and the only glimpse we got of a familiar character was a hologram recording of Obi-Wan Kenobi.  The recording was the one he released in ROTS, warning all Jedi to stay away from the temple and that the Jedi are no longer safe.

Other than that – we were introduced to a completely new band of characters.  We have Hera the Twi’lek pilot who commands their ship Ghost, Kanan the undercover Jedi, Zeb is the Lasat who is really the tough guy of the operation (and his species is based on original concept drawings of Chewbacca!), Sabine the Mandolorian who is kind of a pyro and graffiti artist, and finally we have a newcomer named Ezra.  A kid of the streets who gets pulled into this little clan and decides to stay to do some Jedi training with Kanan.  Oh, and we can’t forget Chopper: the little astromech droid who helps run the ship.  They did a great job on making him seem pretty different from Artoo, a fear I had.

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The opposition to this team on a larger scale is, obviously, the Empire.  Specifically, at this point we know of two beings: Agent Kallus, an official of the Imperial Security Bureau and The Inquisitor, a Pau’an male who hunts down remaining Jedi.  We have not seen much of him yet – only saw him at the end of the movie when Kallus reported that he had found a Jedi (Kanan).

What I liked most about the movie is that we were introduced to new areas, new people, new ships and my imagination was opened to a part of Star Wars I didn’t know, but there was “something familiar about this place”.  Ralph McQuarrie’s touch was extremely obvious and some of the landscape shots were ripped right off of what he had done for the OT.  Not saying that’s bad, in fact, it gave us the OT feel.

I was most surprised at the time period of Rebels.  Apparently it takes place 5 years BBY.  I completely missed this somehow.  That means that Luke and Leia are 14 and the Jedi have been written off the galaxy for 14 years.  What made me question this time period is that the need to have an Inquisitor means that there are still quite a few Jedi throughout the galaxy.

I don’t like that.  Jedi shouldn’t be that prevalent still, right?  Han Solo was really skeptical of the Force and Luke barely knew anything about Jedi.  If Luke and Leia are 14 at this point, and Han would be older, wouldn’t it mean that the knowledge of Jedi would be a little more common?

Also, they are making this group of misfits look like the beginning of the Rebellion.  The Rebellion should have been pretty much established by this point in the game, even if they are not completely rebellious (pun intended ha!) yet.  The crew on Ghost are smart; I think they would have heard about the Rebellion through their travels across the galaxy and at this point either joined them or aided them in some way.

Which brings me to the first episode of the TV series.  After coming off of a successful premiere movie, I cringed and got angry when I saw C-3PO and R2-D2 appear in the first official episode.  UGH.  Really?? I know that other people have no problems with this but I do.  I was hoping that Rebels would stay away from that trap of bringing in familiar characters to satisfy all audiences.

Seeing Threepio and Artoo made the galaxy seem smaller than it actually is.  Do you really think they would run into these two droids?  Really?artoo threepio star wars rebels  It was completely fine in TCW, because they had every single PT character running around that why not bring in everyone we know?  In fact, I got used to that in TCW.  But Rebels clearly seems to be reminding us that this is a new band of characters on new planets and in new situations.  The cherry on the cake was when they drop off the droids at, of all ships, the Tantive IV with Bail Organa.  (bangs head against wall)  I was expecting a teenage Leia to just stroll in and talk with her father.  Thankfully that did not happen and I was spared, but if we are going to introduce Organa this early in the series, maybe I should just brace myself and expect it to happen at some point.

The only interesting thing about the situation was that Artoo had recorded some of the conversations on Ghost and had brought it back to Organa who noted that they should keep an eye on them.  I still think they could have used other droids and a different character for this, but maybe by the time the series ends it will tie back to bringing the crew of Ghost into the Rebellion.  And, by the way, shouldn’t the droids be pushed off onto Captain Antilles at some point?  They’ve really been with Organa for 14 years?

bail organa rebels

Other than my major grievance with the droids, Tantive IV, and Organa – I think the first episode was pretty cool.  They stuck it to the Empire by stealing their prized weapons that were supposed to be illegal throughout the galaxy, and then later destroying them.  It spoke to an interesting larger lesson: the Empire can do what they want, regardless if weapons are illegal or not.  In the hands of the Empire, those laws are conveniently forgotten if it will further their cause.

Ezra showed us some of his Force powers…he has more than I thought.  But they came into action when he was angry and scared.  Not very Jedi-like, eh?  So Kanan will have to curb that and teach him how to use the Force in a calmer state.  Or will Kanan change the rules a bit and not follow the strict Jedi Code?  Speaking of Kanan…I couldn’t really figure out how old he was.  I was guessing late 20s or early 30’s.  Oh – nevermind, Wookiepedia says he’s 28 and was 14 when Order 66 happened.

Lastly, I wanted to touch briefly upon the tone and style of the series.  I enjoyed the style and the banter between the characters, but my good friend Mr. Reticent pointed out that it was a lot lighter than TCW.  Not only with the situations and how they talked with each other, but also the animation style.  When you contrast the animation, there is a big difference.  TCW was more angular, sharp and it felt like watching a video game sometimes.  Rebels is smooth, almost more “cartoony”, which makes sense considering that it comes from Disney.  The tone of the episodes seemed to play more for a Disney crowd as well…I’m not sure if any of you guys watch The Disney Channel/Disney X D or Cartoon Network – but they are two very different styles and draw in two different crowds.  Both focus more on drawing in boys than girls, but CN is a lot cruder in my opinion.  I find CN to grate on me often and I watch the shows with disbelief that kids watch that channel as it can feel gritty.  Disney X D still seems unfathomable to me at times, but at least I can somewhat relate and understand why a boy would watch a show on the channel.  X D plays it a little safer and perhaps that’s why Rebels also seems to reflect that. (apparently I can’t write X.D. without WP changing it to a gigantic smiley face)

I find it hard to decide whether or not I will like the series based on what I’ve seen.  I loved the movie, giving it an 8.5/10, but felt the first TV show would come in at a 6/10.

 

Okay, I’m almost done, I swear.  Two side notes!

  1. Greg Weisman has left Rebels. I am most sad about this as he was the one person I was really pumped to have part of the show and thought would lead it in a smart, good direction.  But why did he leave?  I can’t find anything online so if anyone has information on this, please let me know to satiate my curiosity.
  2. Kiri Hart. I can’t go further without mentioning her.  You guys know how often I have talked about my unusual name and how I’ve never met anyone else with my name.  Well, guess what?  She is the VP of development at LFL and oversees a lot of the Star Wars content produced by Disney…including Rebels.  Look for her name at the end credits of Rebels.  SUPER WEIRD.  SUPER, SUPER WEIRD.  But I’m loving it.  I would not wish anyone else to have my name but someone at LFL.  It’s a sign.  I’m not sure of what, but it’s a sign.