Haiku Me Friday! R.I.P Geonosians

You guys know how much I love the Geonosian language.  Not so much the Geonosians because they are creepy bugs, but their language was so cool!  I’ve written about my fascination with them here, here, here, oh and here.

So you can imagine my great sadness and disappointment when I watched the Star Wars Rebels episode a few weeks back and found out they had been wiped out, or “sterilized” by the Empire.  Supposedly one female survived but could no longer breed soooo….yeah, all gone.  Dead.

The episode of SWR was one of my favorites this season actually.  I thought I’d love the one with the Twi’leks (my favorite species) led by Hera and her zeb agent kallusfather, but I liked the one with Zeb and Agent Kallus more.  Because Agent Kallus is awesome (yes, I like an Imperial!).  I liked how they brought two foes together, made them work alongside each other to escape, and in the end, Zeb did something I’m not sure I would do – he let him live, but also didn’t report Agent Kallus to the Ghost crew when they came to rescue him.  He let Agent Kallus remain on the moon to be picked up by the Empire.

There was one set of lines that I liked from the episode where you could tell the writers were trying to show two points of views and have a character evolution with Agent Kallus.  [Bold is Zeb]

“The only thing I know about Geonosis is that the population is gone. I never asked questions.”

“Well, maybe you should start. Or are you afraid of the answers you’ll get? Afraid you’ll learn the Geonosians were wiped out by your precious Empire?”

“And why would we do that? What could possibly be the point?”

“Ah, good questions. Chase the answers, and maybe you’ll learn the truth.”

I totally relate to Agent Kallus here and that always freaks me out.  I don’t ask too many questions and take things on face value often.  If there’s no point, why ask?

By the end of the episode, we see Kallus rescued by the Empire and alone in his bedroom cell, with what I believe is an aura of doubt around him.  Will his time with Zeb change his opinion on the Empire?  Or will he bury it underneath his feelings and not question, just do as he’s been taught?  Or will this episode come back further down the line and haunt him if he gets into a position where he has to kill Zeb?

Anyway, long discussion, but it brings me back to the point that the GEONOSIANS ARE GONE.  I’m sad.  I thought I should dedicate this entire post to point out that one person in the galaxy misses them and their language, even if no other fans care.

geonosian

Language of clicks, whirs

A fascinating species

They live deep in hives

Bugs of all sizes

Inclined to technology

More than meets the eye

Though gone forever

You will live on in my heart

And remembered

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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.

That Moment You Fell in Love

I want to know the exact moment you fell in love with Star Wars.  Does it stand out to you?  Or was is it something you were surrounded with from a young age so you don’t know a time without it?

My love affair with Star Wars was one of those moments when you walk into the room, see someone’s face, and know you will never be the same again.  Except with me, I walked into the room where my parents and sister were watching a movie and complained they weren’t letting me watch what I wanted to watch.  My family was always staunch believers in only 1 TV per household because they thought reading a book was so much better.

Anyway, in the midst of my complaints and attitude, I looked over at the TV and saw something riveting.  It was a strange, small machine AtST Hothwalking on two legs in the background of these much taller walking vehicles.  Little did I know, but I had come into the room right during the Battle of Hoth.  And what a GREAT scene to come into.  Funnily, most people don’t remember or notice that there were AT-ST’s on Hoth since it’s the moment of glory for the Imperial Walkers/AT-AT’s.  But I remember it clear as day because it was the moment I walked into something that changed my life forever.

I gave some feeble complaints for about two to three minutes more but then decided I should just sit down and watch it, because when Vader entered the picture (pun!), I was done.  I watched the entire movie and then begged my parents to let me see more.  I was allowed to watch ANH the next day, and I re-watched ESB and then ROTJ.  I was changed forever, in Vader Valentinethe non-corniest way of saying that.  I mean, I feel like since I have a whole blog devoted to Star Wars that I’m in a safe zone now, right?

So, since I honestly do not like Valentine’s Day and think it to be a complete waste of time and money (and I think the appropriate name should be Singles Awareness Day), I thought I’d make my own ode to Star Wars and my first love ever.

Ahem.  Get ready for some epic poetry.

I remember when I first laid eyes on you

And my world was completely changed

In that moment, I just knew

My life was about to be rearranged

There was something about the expanse of white snow

Those strange mechanical two-legged beings

And everyone running to and fro

I knew I would never be free of these feelings

So on this holiday I despise the most

I instead want to raise a toast

May our love only continue to grow;

All you have to say is, “I know.”

Okay, I hope you guys laughed more than were creeped out.  Safe zone, remember???

So share, please.  Tell me when you first began your love story with Star Wars. 

I’m off to Arizona tomorrow morning on a 6am flight! WOOO.  Goodbye 3.5’ of snow!  Goodbye -2 degrees weather!  Helllooooo 80+ degrees.  As much as I don’t like Valentine’s Day, it will kind of suck to be at a wedding (albeit a warm one) by myself.  I’ll be spending Valentine’s Day like this:

valentine solo

How The Clone Wars Succeeded and Failed

With the arrival of Star Wars Rebels, I thought it would be a good time to publish this guest post and look back at the last Star Wars animated series: The Clone Wars.  Please comment and love Icarus’ post on TCW.  His bio is below, if you would like more info.  (My thoughts on Rebels next week)

What can I say about The Clone Wars that hasn’t already been said? Star Wars fans hoped TCW would fill in some critical gaps in the three years between second-trilogy Star Wars films Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith.  Bonus if it fixed a few mistakes in the prequels.  What we got instead were very uncomplicated story arcs and tastes and teases but not much more depth to the Star Wars ecosystem — InterGalactic Banking Clan anyone — certainly not enough to satisfy the appetite of even the more casual fan.

The Clone Wars says goodbye

The Clone Wars says goodbye

The series is over but I’m writing this from the perspective of what potential it had at the beginning.  To be sure, I tried to binge watch the entire series and found that I could only stand to watch one, maybe two episodes at a time.  It was painful to listen to Kabuki theater level dialog overemphasizing the importance of obvious plot devices at the expense of storytelling. That was probably because each episode has to appeal the limited experiences of its kids audience.  In every episode you had comically inept droids trying to kill Clone Troopers and vice versa.  You have to handle this with a certain delicacy for your young audience.  To simultaneously kill bad guys, kill some good guys yet not bring the horrors of war too close to light.  TCW had to do this on the small scale while also keeping its eye on the end game, setting up the landscape for ROTS.

You cannot talk about ROTS without talking about Order 66 and how thousands of Jedi were slaughtered by clone troopers without any hesitation or sense of loyalty to their Jedi generals. I could see the droid army following this order more to the letter than the clone one, although given the level of ineptness portrayed by the combat droids, along with the ease with which Jedi Masters Yoda and Windu dispatched them, the number of Jedi actually killed would have been substantially lower.

I’ve always asked myself how could you pull something like this off?   Putting aside the logistics of getting word simultaneously to every despot in the galaxy, one thing that bothered me was in the movie, they show every Jedi getting ambushed because they were in a vulnerable position.  Yet the Jedi are almost godlike in their awareness and certainly wouldn’t have been just heading into battle as the order came in.  While the galaxy’s preeminent mystics/warriors can be caught by surprise, it’s also just as likely the Empire’s spin doctors exaggerated the number of Traitors eliminated under Order 66 with many more  Jedi  driven into hiding.

Clone trooper clone wars s5ep18War changes everyone and it is possible that Order 66 succeeded because the clone troopers saw the Jedi as an actual threat to the Republic.  Remember to outsiders, the Jedi are a very secretive group that keeps their Archives, a vast repository of knowledge, to themselves (Vatican anyone?). If you view The Force as a hokey religion and the Jedi as the Temple Priests, it follows that ordinary soldiers could see the Jedi as roadblocks to peace.

Though I haven’t seen it yet, I’m aware of the Fives/Tup arc that almost exposed Order 66 prematurely.  I’m probably way off on this but I suspect that arc serves to demonstrate that while moving toward complete domination of the Republic, Chancellor Palpatine wasn’t quite there yet and there is always the slim hope of a few people being in the right place at the right time

What are your thoughts on Order 66 and the clone troopers?

About me:  I am what you would designate as a casual fan at best.  When the original trilogy was out, the conventional “wisdom” at the time was that you could either like Star Wars or Star Trek, not both.  However, I like Star Wars and Star Trek and if that makes me a freak so what. Being from Chicago, I also like the White Sox and the Cubs except when they play each other in inter league.  If you like what you read, please read my regular blog at ChicagoNow and/or my personal blog and if you are on Facebook please give me a “like” at Mysteries-of-Life and of course feel free to follow me on Twitter at @Icarus2013.

Star Wars Rebels

With the announcement a few days ago of a new animated series to premiere in fall of 2014, Star Wars fans are once again starting speculations and murmurs about whether or not this will be a good thing.

I refuse to go in angrily as I did when The Clone Wars premiered in 2008.  By declining to watch TCW for the first two years, I denied myself some great Star Wars action that had been sorely missing from my life.  In my defense, I had seen the movie in the theaters beforehand, and was completely unaware of what TCW was going for.  I was so disappointed that I boycotted the series.  However, if I had been a little more cognizant of what the TCW team was aiming to produce, maybe I would have been more understanding.

The new series is titled “Star Wars Rebels” and will take place between Episodes III and IV.  Premiering first on the Disney Channel, it will then move to Disney XD for its permanent home.

Now – as we know – that’s a good 19 years of time span to cover.  That gives Disney a lot of room to play with characters, situations, and major plot developments.  Will they deviate from the main Skywalker storyline right now or will they stick with what we know?

Obviously, the title gives something away as it’s during this time period that the Empire is strengthening its reach across the galaxy, but a small band of resistant leader’s form what is later known as the Rebellion…or perhaps better known as the Rebels of Star Wars?

And who is one of the first founders of the Rebel Alliance?  Bail Organa.  And who was Bail Organa?  Leia’s adoptive father.

Bail Organa

So does that mean we will get to see Leia during her youth?  Disney is not known for its subtlety (I mean, for Pete’s sake, Miley Cyrus only changed her hair color and became pop star Hannah Montana) so my guess is Disney’s line of thought is: Leia was part of the rebellion = Leia is an OT character = more Leia = means more people watching = means more ads = more money.  Ca-ching!  So yes, my theory is that Leia will make an appearance, if not multiple appearances.

Personally, I’m very interested in where they go with this because I have always loved the deleted scenes in ROTS that shows Padmé meeting with Organa and others and starting this small faction of rebels.  Damn, that took a lot of guts on Padmé’s end to do that behind Anakin’s back, which makes me believe she knew deep down that something was unraveling fast within their relationship.  As part of a married couple, there is not much I do that my husband does not know about because any secrets you have breaks down the trust between you both.  But look at what she was part of!  Though she dies soon after the Empire takes over, she has begun a group that lives on well after her death and has a hand in dismantling an entire political system.  I’m hoping Disney takes this and uses it to turn it into a very interesting show, at the rate the TCW started to become before it ended.

Forming of Star Wars Rebellion

One of my fears is that I have yet to see anything on the Disney XD channel that keeps my attention as an adult.  Disney XD was created for more action oriented shows geared towards boys ages 6 to 14.  Kathleen Kennedy says, “I think Star Wars Rebels will capture the look, feel and fun that both kids and their parents love about Star Wars.”  I hope she speaks true, because if they do this right, it will be a strong deviation from what is normally aired.  I’m no expert on this, and have definitely not watched much Disney XD, but I’m crossing my fingers that Disney doesn’t let us down.  They can learn from the TCW to see what worked and what didn’t regarding an animated TV show.  TCW was definitely on a children’s channel, but it handled adult themes and seriousness with a maturity that I found surprising and I think Disney could benefit from having a TV show like that.

All we do know for sure about this latest development is what came directly from Starwars.com: “Star Wars Rebels takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape. Details about the show are a closely guarded secret at this point.”  I can’t see hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights really taking that long in the TV show and I hope they don’t drag that out.  It also surprises me that they are talking about hunting down the last Jedi Knights, as that could be really violent.

Lastly, I will also be watching this closely because I’m realizing that everything is pointing to something else, especially now that Disney is controlling everything Star Wars related.  In one episode they could plant a nugget of information that will help in further understanding something in one of the standalone movies or new trilogy.

I recommend watching this video below for a little bit more information.  Not much, but it sounds like they are definitely using some of Ralph McQuarrie’s work as a foundation and it makes me happy to see Dave Filoni back on board.  Like I just mentioned, hopefully he can use what was learned from TCW and guide this show in a way that will benefit everyone.

Here is the starwars.com official announcement: http://starwars.com/news/new-animated-series-star-wars-rebels-coming-fall-2014.html

Announcement from Greg Weisman (worked on Gargoyles!  Anybody remember that show??  That show was awesome): http://bit.ly/13LG8mg

What do you guys think?  Anyone have thoughts on where they hope to see this show go?  Are you even going to watch it?