Questionably canon. Definitely an article. Dive into a book that rides the line between new canon and old legends. This novel has all the space pirates and political backstabbing you could want, plus the untold story of the original Grand Admiral – but more importantly, how’s the read? And how well does it flesh out its place in canon?
Rebel scum never looked so good. A criminally under-utilized character, but a great action figure! Hasbro knocks it out of the park with another Rebels character interpreted into a more realistic art style, and the results are as good as it gets. Continue reading “Black Series: Rebel Girl Sabine Wren (Review)”
It’s trailer time again and it’s looking good! I’m surprised how much was here – Sabine with the darksaber and returning to Mandalore, shadow stormtroopers fighting alongside Thrawn, Saw Gerrara and Mon Mothma – please please please be good, Rebels!
Looks good! But is Sabine (a Mandalorian) getting a lightsaber awesome or fan-servicey? Only the story will tell.
I found one of these on Black Friday and couldn’t believe my luck. Better yet, there was a sale at Target (buy one Star Wars anything, get another 50% off) so I was able to pick up Ahsoka and Luke Skywalker without breaking the bank.
First off, I can’t gush about the overall look of this figure enough – it’s gorgeous. The new Togruta head sculpt, a first to Hasbro’s Black Series, is spot on. The skin tone and paint apps along the head tails look great. My only complaint about the head sculpt is that with two head tails in the front and one in the back, it makes it difficult to turn and pose her head. But that’s more a flaw in Togruta anatomy than it is anyone’s fault at Hasbro.
Like the new Luke Skywalker, Ahsoka includes hooks at her hips that allow her lightsabers (with the blades removed) to dangle realistically from her sides. Ahsoka is articulated nicely throughout her arms and under the chest armor. Her three-sectioned belt tied to the ring in the front reminded me of Revan’s iconic robes. Maybe the Rebels art department did that as a nod to another Force user who walked a grey path? I’d like to think that’s canon but that’s just me. Anyway, my only problem with the build of the figure aside from the neck rotation is that Ahsoka also seems to have poorly-articulated ankles. Her long boots run over the sides of her feet, which disables any ankle rotation (if there is any to begin with.) And one minor than minor detail about her lightsabers bothered me at first. The hilts are detailed but not painted, but I probably won’t even remember that after this lovely figure has been on the shelf for a while.
Rogue One is coming! Next I will be reviewing the exclusive three-pack of figures from Target’s Rogue One pack. We’re only fourteen days away!
Head canon wearing the best helmets in the galaxy. Check out the Definite Article for a mix of canon, Legends, and head canon takes on everything Star Wars!
I love the Empire and they’ve done nothing wrong. But when it comes to the vast array of unique races and cultures throughout Star Wars, nothing beats the Mandalorians in my opinion. This race of fierce warriors dates back to the days of the (Legends) Old Republic, where they frequently allied themselves with Vitiate’s Sith Empire as bounty hunters and mercenaries. They were known to wear distinct armor colored to reflect family ties and honored traditions, and their suits of tough armor were also renown for turning the wearer into a walking armory. Mandos get all the coolest gear, from jetpacks and wrist rockets to cutting edge blasters, tether cables, and jetpack-mounted missile launchers. Not only do I love them, but the Empire are apparently fans too. And that’s canon now, so let’s talk about it!
“Imperial Supercommandos,” the most recent episode of Star Wars Rebels, pits Sabine and Ezra against Mandalorians on two sides as they reach out to Concord Dawn to reestablish contact. Mandalorian soldiers loyal to the Empire and lead by former Shadow Collective member Gar Saxon have destroyed the encampment of Fenn Rau, and his forces are killed in the process. Seeking to escape rather than join the body count, Rau escapes in the new Phantom after Ezra distracts the other Mandalorians. Long story short, he has a change of heart and turns back to save Sabine and Ezra from the supercommando team. Okay, so that might be an oversimplification of the episode, but honestly I saw that ‘twist’ coming a mile away. However, I liked this episode a lot. Both the supercommandos and Fenn Rau are sympathetic, even though Rau does put the kids in a rough spot by leaving them behind. The Mandalorians under Gar Saxon want power to restore the former glory of Mandalore, and the only way to stay in power is to side with the Empire. Odds are it isn’t going to pay off greatly for them, but you can sympathize with a warrior culture wanting to stick to its ways while, at the same time, trying to cement a better future and hoping they can outlast the Empire.
This episode makes some great contributions to the new Mandalorian canon established by The Clone Wars series. First and foremost, Imperial Mandalorian soldiers are canon now. Originally that was just an idea back in the day when Boba Fett was just a better version of a stormtrooper, not a bounty hunter, and he wore all white armor.
Secondly, Gar Saxon is back and has become a pawn of the Empire, given a title of Viceroy of Mandalore. Sabine doesn’t care much for Gar, and rightfully so – he used to ally himself with Maul, who ruled Mandalore for a short time near the end of The Clone Wars. It’s great to see him back after his appearances in the Son of Dathomir comics. The only thing that bothers me is that he teases a lot of backstory on Sabine and none of it pays off in the episode. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Sabine gets the short end of the stick on this show most of the time. All this backstory is teased yet it doesn’t pay off or actually include her. We learn that Gar knows who Sabine’s mother is and that she is looking for Sabine. We still don’t know who she is, if that’s even true or if Gar is bluffing, or who her mother is. The Sabine episodes tease a lot of what I’m hoping will eventually be a very compelling Mandalorian character. But in the meantime, we’ve had several episodes explaining Chopper’s backstory. Chopper has PTSD after crashing in a Y-Wing during The Clone Wars, and he was rescued by Hera Syndulla (who also could use some more story time in my opinion.) Chopper can fend for himself, is often violent, and is so stubborn that he will often defy direct orders. What do we know about Sabine? She paints. She’s spunky and quippy. She’s from Mandalore and went to the Impreial Academy there, knows several languages, and has a mother she’s been distanced from. We don’t know how she came to the Ghost crew, much at all about her childhood on Mandalore, or what she’s truly fighting for. It’s arguable that she gets plenty of screen time, but I think her time could be used better on this show.
Moving on, the episode does take some steps in the right direction even if they are just teasing again with more light Sabine backstory. I like that this episode didn’t have a single “look how stupid the stormtroopers are” moment and that the rest of the Ghost crew wasn’t in the episode after the initial few minutes. It’s giving Sabine some time to do her own thing, dealing with people she recognizes in the only way Mandalorians know how; helmets on and blasters out. I was expecting Gar Saxon to have the dark saber but that didn’t happen, at least not yet. But we know Sabine gets it later on, and I think getting it from Gar makes the most sense. Either that or it’s in Thrawn’s collection somewhere. I appreciated seeing some Clone Wars loose ends tied up without having another cameo-of-the-week as well, though admittedly I am excited to see Bo Katan come back later on because it means more Mandalorian-centric episodes this season. Mandalorian participation in galactic events beyond mercenary wok is an interesting step in the right direction. Pre Vizla was shaping up to make big changes before he was killed by Maul. And while we’re on that topic, what are these ties between Clan Wren and House Vizla that keep coming up? How deep does that go?
Something I’m very excited about is that I think these Mando-centric episodes are going to set up some pre-A New Hope Boba Fett stories. These supercommandos probably don’t survive season three, but who do we know who is also an awesome Mandalorian? Boba Fett! I’d love to see him even if it isn’t until season four. He’s known to work with the Empire and we might even get to see how he establishes his connections with Vader. I’m probably dreaming, but that’ the episode I’d make if I was in charge. Oh if I was in charge…
So what did you think about this episode? Like Mandalorians as much as I do? Leave a comment below and let me know! And as always, thanks for reading.
Saxon is back and we might finally get another good Sabine story! This teaser trailer throws a lot at us. Sabine and Ezra appear to be on a solo mission. Saxon, the one in the red armor, used to be loyal to Maul when he ruled Mandalore with his Shadow Collective. Who are the other guys whose armor looks like a hybrid between Imperial ground troops and Boba Fett concept art? Will it become canon that true, independent Mandalorians are more creative because their armor is cooler? Are we getting canon references to the siege of Mandalore outside of that cool Ahsoka panel at celebration and her new book? Hopefully this weekend answers some of my questions! Watch Star Wars Rebels this weekend and find out! Looks like I reread Son of Dathomir just in time for some callbacks too!
The Force works in mysterious ways. It binds us, penetrates us, and makes us stress shop. During my technical difficulties yesterday, I stopped by Wal-Mart to see if anything was left in the Star Wars section after Rogue Friday. As luck would have it, I found two more Black Series figures from my wishlist! Check out this special addendum to my previous review with two more figures, Jango Fett and Kanan Jarrus.
Anyone who knows me knows I love Mandalorians almost as much as I love the Empire and finding the last toys on the pegs at the store. Both Jango and Kanan were the last figures I could find at the store, and I have a huge weakness for buying the last thing I can find of anything related to Star Wars. I know I’ll either never see it again (until the price is likely jacked up on Amazon) or I’ll see dozen of them in two months. But I never know which one it’ll be, so buying the last ones usually gets the best of me.
Jango Fett (Attack of the Clones) is a wonderful figure. He’s heavy with all of his well-detailed armor. The removable helmet isn’t flimsy. The jetpack has three placement pegs to keep the jetpack in place and level. The pistols are also more durable than I expected, which is something I appreciate because sometimes the weapons with these figures can be bent or just downright flimsy and fragile. There’s plenty of detail to take in; dirt and grime in the armor, tarnish marks, the knee-mounted dart launchers, and a nice dent from when he hits his head on Slave One’s loading ramp door in Episode 2. The head mold also looks pretty good. He’s missing the actor’s stubble, but maybe this is just Jango looking a little more cleaned up than normal. The figure looks and feels so right in every other regard that this one detail gets a pass for me, especially since I probably won’t remove the helmet terribly often.
Onto Kanan from Star Wars: Rebels, this is another example of Hasbro stepping it up with the quality of these figures. Taking an animated character and making him look ‘real’ is no simple task, and it was pulled off very well with this figure. All the details are there, from his shoulder armor down to his lightsaber that actually dissasembles the way it does on the Rebels show. The blade is removable, and then the hilt of the lightsaber can be stashed away in two pieces on the frontand back of his belt. Kanan also includes his signature blaster pistol that fits into a hip holster. Out of the few heroes in my Black Series collection, this is definitely a new favorite!
All in all, I love these figures and love that I was able to find them even more! I’m old school when it comes to buying things. I like to hold it in my hands first before I take it to the register. That is especially true with these toys, as their can be flaws such as bad paint and flimsy or bent weapons to deal with. But the other reason I don’t buy many of these online is something I often compare to the philosophy of Batman. Batman never kills the Joker, even though it could save lives every time the Joker escapes imprisonment. He can’t kill the Joker because if he let’s that violent part of him see the light of day, he will never stop, and he would destroy every last one of his enemies and become just as bad as them. My fandom isn’t so dramatic, but it boils down to the fact that if I buy one thing on the internet, I will soon BUY ALL OF THE THINGS.
Go find your toys! Love and support the fandom!
Thanks for reading this! If you enjoyed what you read (or even if you hated it, to each their own) let me know in the comments section! Leave a like if you are so inclined and subscribe to get notified every time I post something about my love for Star Wars. If you have an idea for something you’d like to see, let me know in the comments and I might make a post about it!
Maul Force-reads Hera’s mind to learn more about Kanan and Ezra. Is this talent passed on over the years? Because Kylo Ren can do this years later. I’m excited! Let’s see what happens!
Rebel or rebel not – not the question, that is. Check out my thoughts on the extended season premier of Rebels!
Jumping right in, isn’t it great how Thrawn just shows up as if he’s been around the whole time? I love it when TV shows do something like this and don’t acknowledge how important something is (in a humorous way, which I think is what they were going for in a subtle way) This show gets a lot of things right, sometimes gets them wrong, but as a lifelong Star Wars fan I can wholeheartedly say I like this show. Maybe I don’t love it, but it has its place in the universe, and that place isn’t perfect, but I believe it to be necessary.
Being primarily a show for children, Rebels tends to not get overcomplicated, and that’s a good thing honestly. Much like one of the movies, most episodes end with hints toward the larger story but wrapped up nicely enough to complete a thought. The show isn’t without its annoying cliffhangers, but that’s par for the course when capturing the short attention spans of children is in play. (Personally, I enjoy having the blu-ray playing when you can watch without constant interruptions and ads – it feels much less choppy when binge-watching)
Season three opens with Ezra having learned some dark side techniques, jumping straight into the fray as he slices up stormtroopers with his new lightsaber and mind tricks an AT-DP pilot into fighting for his squadmates. He’s dangerously powerful, and the fact that we weren’t explicitly shown everything he learned from the holocron (before Kanan takes it from him) leaves many questions to be answered about his place in the Force. Can he sit on the fence and begin to learn balancing his personal conflicts, something even Kanan still struggles with? Or will he fall, and how hard?
Here’s a bit of a fan theory for you. Something I noticed but never put much thought into was how much Ezra talks to himself, almost but not quite straight to the audience. At times his narration can be grating, but thinking about it while I brainstormed for this piece got me thinking. Ezra talks to himself because he’s been alone for his life much longer than he’s been with any kind of family, friends, or the Ghost Crew/Pheonix Squadron. His nervous narration likely comes from a childhood habit of talking to himself; unless he was trying to con the locals out of some food or steal from the Imperials, he’s never had anyone to talk to. It opens up to some meta-humor if the show continues to mature the way it has, and the way Clone Wars did before it. I’d love to see Sabine point out how often he talks to himself, out loud, and Ezra shyly realizing someone is really getting to know him on a more personal level (I suggest Sabine because it’s been a point of speculation since season one whether the two would be a couple, and I do think they’d make a cute couple somewhere down the line)
Watching the crew bust everyone’s favorite pirate Hondo out of prison and using his intel to steal Y-Wing bombers was a lot of fun. Ezra jumps the gun. He’s smart and powerful, but doesn’t always weigh the consequences. When they face setbacks, everyone has a different opinion; Sabine thinks logically, realizing the ships need fuel before they can steal them, and Rex mentions that it won’t be their last setback on the mission. Hearing different reactions to the situation helps make the characters feel less flat, and the show is doing a good job of getting characters more and more fleshed out, even if it is sometimes interrupted or shortened due to the 22-minute run time. I’d love to see some more Clone Wars-style arcs, a good three or four episodes spent in one place on one specific thing, where a lot of growth takes place over the arc rather than a quick lesson learned after a short while. However, I think Rebels is a great show for entry-level Star Wars fans, so having bite-sized chunks of story isn’t always a bad thing. These episodes move and don’t get bogged down. (See my previous point about Thrawn just showing up)
Thrawn was perfect, and I hope this show doesn’t see the end of him. I love these characters but in my opinion, they do not get to kill Thrawn – it isn’t how the story would go in my head. Thrawn is introduced and all of his EU/Legends traits are present. He is cold, calm, and sees a bigger picture whereas his Imperial underlings are much more shortsighted. The voice, provided by Lars Mikkelsen, is spot on. To be a fly on the wall while Disney held auditions for that voice (if they did) would have been quite an experience.The premier does not overuse Thrawn, and ultimately Thrawn lets the rebels escape. I hope this doesn’t become habit, but I suspect in the next couple episodes he will deal at least one crippling blow to Pheonix Squadron.
The Gray Jedi come closer to canonicity with the introduction of a new Force wielder, the Bendu, who helps Kanan see beyond his physical blindness. Kanan is among the best characters in the new canon, and seeing him struggle so much through his life really hits you in the feels when you know his whole story. He’s effectively a war orphan after Order 66, he kills his former clone trooper friends, and struggles for the rest of his life to hide, but not abandon, his Jedi ways. The Bendu, also voiced perfectly by one Tom Baker, was a fun addition to the show, and I hope he pops up again to teach more lessons about the Force.
I was discussing the show with my fiance before the premier, and we agree on a lot of points about this show.Sometimes it feels rushed, like more could be going on, but at the same time it is a show that will get a new generation hooked on Star Wars. I want the show to do well, and I want more spinoff novels about the other characters similar to A New Dawn (Disney, if you’re reading this, mind writing a book about Sabine’s days in the Imperial Academy on Mandalore?) As I said, binge-watching on blu-ray helps this the rewatchability of this show. And with the Ahsoka novel coming out next month, I have high hopes for any spinoff comics or novels we get in the future. To the people who don’t like this show or complain about it a lot, I know it has its flaws, but take it for what it is, not for what it is not. Not unlike Grand Admiral Thrawn, I see a larger picture. Does the show not do much for you? Maybe wait for a book, or get lost reading on Wookieepedia to get the stories in a different format. But give this show a chance, because it is getting better. This premier got. . .I hate to use this word, but darker. It is a well-rounded darkness, a more somber tone. It isn’t annoyingly grim-dark, and although I suspect tragedy will strike our rebel cell this season, I know that the heart of the show will remain in overcoming the odds and the darkness. Will they all make it out? Only time will tell. Trust in the Force, and trust in more entertaining episodes Saturdays this Fall.
Obligatory Review Score: A solid 7.5 out of 10, 1 being Sithspit and 10 being more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
Like this rant? Hate it? Let me know in the comments! You can contact me on the contact page or in the comments. And if you have an idea for something you’d like to see, let me know and I might make a post about it! Thanks for reading this far!