Clone Wars: Final Thoughts

Over the summer, I began watching Star Wars: Clone Wars in chronological order. I took a brief hiatus after beginning season five due to my last semester of school being particularly demanding. Since The Force Awakens, I have been living in a Star Wars trash compactor catching up on the “new” canon, so I have just finished the series and felt like posting some thoughts about it.

I can’t figure out why they created and aired these episodes in the order that they did because watching them in airing order really does not make any sense. There’s nothing at the beginning of the episodes to indicate the time period, so without that list, watching in airing order, I feel like I’d have been pretty confused. For example: the season finale for season one (1×22) has Ziro the Hutt being freed from prison. The episode chronologically leading up to this is 3×08, which shows Hutt families planning to break him out. The one after it is about tracking him down. So the episode order is 3×08, 1×22, 3×09. This was poorly planned. They use all manner of weird accents for aliens which sort of takes me out of the universe at times. Random French, Scottish, Russian, etc. accents. Everywhere.

There were some really good episodes, but most of them were actually, in my opinion, pretty boring. I like the episodes that focus on Jedi lore the best. At the same time, I hate that the Jedi are even participating in the war, since it’s hardly peacekeeping. I think it says a lot about the corruption of the Jedi Order that they are totally cool commanding an army of slave labor. The clones have no autonomy and the Jedi don’t question this at all, they just go with it. As much as the clones annoy me, I feel a bit bad for them because they don’t get a choice. And the Jedi are blind to it like they are blind to damn near everything else. While a few clones are just “good guys”, they still turn on their Jedi “friends” in the end and it just doesn’t make much sense to me to waste so much time getting to know their fake personalities. I really hated episodes about them because I found them to be extremely boring. My favorite episodes were the Mortis story arc from season three (“Overlords” – “Altar of Mortis” – “Ghosts of Mortis”) and the last three episodes of season six focusing on Yoda (“Voices” – “Destiny” – “Sacrifice”).

About midway through season three, the budget must have increased because the animation became smoother/less blocky and there were better stories. When they aged Ahsoka up a little, they fixed her wonky too long/slightly off proportion upper arm issue that bothered me. Due to her growing up a bit, Ahsoka became sassier and less annoying — Anakin’s habits rubbing off on her, no doubt, but they never bothered to explain her sudden use of dual lightsabers. Also, I have a hard time believing Darth Vader would just forget about her after she left the Order. Anakin doesn’t seem to dwell on it too much when it seems like he should’ve felt something about her leaving. I hope this is addressed in Rebels at some point.

One thing that really got on my nerves, was that every other episode centered around an indigenous people who are pacifists and wanted to remain neutral through the conflict between the Republic and the Separatists only to have to side with the Republic in the end. Like, I get it. The Separatists are the bad guys, but the Republic brought them to these worlds in the first place. The Republic goes to a world, tries to convince them to join forces or the Separatists will oppress and/or kill them, then the Separatists show up because they’re chasing Republic representatives. And apparently the only capable dignitary is Padmé because they send her literally everywhere. Somehow, Jar Jar is far more annoying in Clone Wars than he ever was in any film and I say that as someone who isn’t actually that bothered by him. I don’t care how they try to explain it, it makes no god damned sense that Darth Maul survived BEING CUT IN HALF and apparently LANDING IN GARBAGE. He wants revenge on Obi-Wan for “taking his legs”, but I think it’s more like for taking his butt. Cause he doesn’t have one now. No butt. That concerns me more than it should and seems like a great place to leave off.

I’d rate the series 3 out of 5 stars overall.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I have now seen the film twice (dying for a third round!) and I need to dump out my thoughts and observations somewhere, so here I am. It’s been a few days since my viewings, and I’m currently reading the novelization in hopes of gaining more insight. I’ve been adding to these notes since my initial viewing, but I think I’m finally done and can share my thoughts. I have so missed having something I can theorize on, hoo boy. I have a LOT of thoughts and questions. (This is reaction post, not a review! That will come later.) SPOILERS AFTER THE GIF!

reybb-8.gif

First and foremost, I am 1000% convinced that Rey is Luke’s daughter and here is why:

  • In her AT-AT home, she has an X-Wing pilot doll that she made as well as a fighter pilot helmet that she puts on briefly. The helmet looks like Luke’s but isn’t his; Jakku is littered with debris so she probably found the helmet there and kept it because it reminded her of her father.
  • The lightsaber is basically a family heirloom, passing down from parent to child, and it is calling to her specifically. She touches it, and suddenly we get a Force vision and flashbacks. Flashbacks dealing specifically with LUKE. Maz Kanata says the person that she is waiting for will not come back, but there is someone who can and Rey says, “Luke.” This, to me, implies that her memories might have been altered for her protection and that before this scene, she only had fragments. One or both of her parents left her on Jakku; one is (probably) dead and one is not. By keeping Rey away, Luke is protecting her (although this desert foster system really doesn’t work very well). If her parents are of no importance, then there is no reason not to show them.
    • Who else was hidden for protection? Ah yes, LUKE and Leia.
    • How did Maz come into possession of the lightsaber? Was it given to her for safekeeping? I’m fairly certain she’s alive, so I hope we get that story. The chest it’s in seems to be the one owned by Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope.
  • Lor San Tekka could be her ‘watcher’ as Obi-Wan was to Luke. Why else is he there? He knows Kylo Ren’s true identity and he has the missing piece of R2’s map. I’d like to know more about him. According to the SW databank, he helped Luke recover some Jedi lore that the Empire tried to erase and is a follower of the Church of the Force, whatever the heck that is.
  • Rey piloted the Falcon without having a co-pilot, which is pretty interesting. Both Luke and Anakin were super awesome pilots. Anakin tapped into the Force while piloting without even realizing that that is what he was doing. Rey appears to be doing the same.
  • Leia sent Rey to Luke rather than go herself and I feel like that is significant.
  • In the second teaser trailer, they sample Luke’s line from ROTJ: “The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it.” Followed by, “YOU HAVE THAT POWER, TOO.”
  • This Luke Skywalker toy comes with ‘desert armor’ that looks strikingly similar to what Rey wears. Coincidence? Possibly, but I’d like to think it is intentional. Additionally, Rey’s clothing resembles Anakin’s in The Phantom Menace, and Luke’s in A New Hope. It also resembles the early concept art for the ‘Starkiller hero’.
  • Luke appears to be standing next to a grave at the end — ancient Jedi grave(s) or Rey’s mother? WHO IS SHE?
  • THE MUSICAL CUES. When Rey pulls the lightsaber out of the snow, we hear notes of “Binary Sunset”, which is associated with Luke.
  • LUKE WAS ‘A NEW HOPE’. REY IS THE ONE IN WHICH THE FORCE AWAKENED. Also, the meaning of the name Luke is “light”, so could Rey be a “ray of light”? 😉 Alternately, this person has an interesting take.
  • One of the central questions of the original trilogy ended up being, “Who is Darth Vader?” and there was this article in EW about the question of The Force Awakens/the sequel trilogy being, “Who is Luke Skywalker?” Well the answer to the first question was, “Luke Skywalker’s father.” Think about it for a minute.
  • Star Wars is ultimately the story of the Skywalker family and it just wouldn’t make sense for her to be anyone else. She can’t be Han and Leia’s kid because they would have reacted to her differently. And this theory of them being mind-wiped to forget her is nonsense, in my opinion.
  • Luke’s and Rey’s faces when they’re looking at each other at the end says it all.

Luke felt Han’s death, there is no question. I’m extremely saddened that they will never see or speak to each other again. I kind of suspected that that might happen because Harrison Ford has been saying for years that he thought Han should have died in Return of the Jedi. His character dying was the only way he would have done this film. And while it is sad, I do understand the importance of it in context, as well. It was not at all meaningless. It was heartbreaking that even after Ben did what he did, Han still caressed his face with love. (Ah shit I’m getting misty.) And also how the lighting on Kylo Ren’s face was bathed in red by the end of the scene, all “light” visually gone.

I was wondering about why R2-D2 woke when he did and I had a couple of ideas, but then I saw this article that actually explains it. He’s just so old and been powered down for so many years at this point that it took him a long time to “wake up” after BB-8’s initial contact. It also explains what the other points on the map are: locations of Jedi temples throughout the galaxy, which were obtained during the time he plugged into the Death Star. Still curious as to why the one piece was removed and when. (When we see Luke’s hand on R2?)

Kylo Ren is a pissbaby who does not presently have my sympathy at all, however, I do feel bad for him somewhat. I’m not sure what his motive is, but he would be a disappointment to Anakin. I half want the ghost of Anakin Skywalker to come slap some sense into his ass. He crossed a line by killing Han. Even as Darth Vader, Anakin would never hurt his family like that. Maim to make a point, sure, but he would never have murdered a family member. In fact, he was ready to overthrow the Emperor the moment he found out his child was alive, a feeling which intensified when he found out there were actually two. I really need to know what went wrong with this guy; why did he turn? Can he be redeemed? If he is, it won’t be until the third act. Mostly, I feel awful for his parents and his uncle; it obviously ruined his parents’ relationship. And poor Luke…it must have been his greatest fear come true. I KNOW they didn’t keep Anakin’s redemption a secret. It just wouldn’t make sense.

When and why did Han leave? I feel like Han left after Ben turned because he and Leia were so hurt by that that they had to part ways. They didn’t seem angry at each other, so for Han to have left before Ben turned doesn’t really make sense to me. I feel like their son’s fall split them apart, but obviously they still care deeply for one another. MY FEELS. The only couple I will ever refer to as my ‘OTP’ is destroyed. When Leia felt it, I couldn’t handle it.

Observation: Ben Solo/Kylo Ren was likely conceived shortly after the Battle of Endor, making him 25-30 years old. Rey is said to be “nearly twenty” in the novelization. In her Force vision/flashback, she appeared to be about five; Ben could’ve been between 15-20 when he turned. And this tweet by Pablo Hidalgo seems to confirm my suspicions.

Who are the “Knights of Ren”? Are they other fallen/turned Jedi? We only got a glimpse of them in Rey’s vision. Only Ben/Kylo Ren seems to have a lightsaber.

I’m going to cry so much when Luke and Leia reunite. FML.

Recently saw a news blurb where Kathleen Kennedy confirmed all three original main cast members will be back…so that’s interesting. Flashbacks for Han?

Captain Phasma, was totally underused! But according to Kathleen Kennedy in this article, she is a very important character who will be returning.

I’d love to see Leia confront her son in a lightsaber duel please. (As long as it’s not a fatal confrontation for her!)

Would kind of love to see Lando and/or Wedge make an appearance, even if it’s just a brief one. I mean we got to see Akbar and Nien Nunb.

At first I wondered if General Hux made it off Starkiller Base alive or met the same fate as Grand Moff Tarkin, but I’m pretty sure he did escape because of the whole “entire cast returning” news. Also, what’s HIS deal?

Who the FUCK is Snoke? Why does he project so large? I hope he’s actually really short. Does he have any connection with Palpatine? “Snoke” on the soundtrack is reminiscent of “Emperor’s Throne Room” from ROTJ and “Palpatine’s Teachings” from ROTS. His face is scarred and/or burnt. Did he possibly fight Luke? This would partially explain why he has such a vendetta against him. I’ve seen some people bandying about the idea that he’s actually Darth Plagueis, but he was supposedly murdered by Palpatine, so that’s a bit far fetched to me? But since Plagueis supposedly discovered the secret to conquering death, I suppose it’s plausible and would be an interesting thing to tie all of the films together.

It’s been confirmed now to be both him and Alec Guinness, but I freaking KNEW that was Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan in Rey’s vision! That part gave me chills and it’s one of my favourite sequences in the film.

BB-8!! I lOVE HIM!!! Precious little droid babby.