Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7, Episode 9 “Old Friends Not Forgotten”

This is going to be a very difficult month when it comes to Clone Wars (and you know, other things too…)

But man, the reunion of Ahsoka, Rex, Anakin and Obi-Wan was wrenching. Not to mention Boe Kattan bringing Satine up every five seconds and pointing fingers at Obi-Wan about her death.

What is nice is that even after having seen how she’s grown and changed how quickly old rhythms established themselves. Anakin finding a middle path between his master and apprentice, the great politician, Obi-Wan trying to hew to ideals that are clearly dying, Ahsoka embracing a new ideal. The Clones establishing their own loyalty rallying beside their old commander.

And then there’s the moment where Anakin returns Ahsoka’s sabers to her. It killed me. Anyway, after Anakin and Obi-Wan find a loophole compromise (divide the 501st) that allows Ahsoka a command, Ahsoka and Bo head to Mandalore with Rex to catch Darth Maul. Obi-Wan warns them that capturing him is a better plan than trying to kill him because he’s hard to kill. (I’LL SAY!)

While laying siege to, Bo goes after the Prime Minister and Ahsoka and Rex hunt Maul. They find him, and he’s waiting, but not for Ahsoka, she’s the wrong Jedi. He wanted Obi-Wan (I mean, obviously.)

It was all building the this, the previous two arcs were meant to remind us who Rex and Ahsoka were, what they’re made of, why they fight, and show us how far they’ve come in the past few years.

It’s going to be quite a ride.

 

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7: “Gone With A Trace”

It was a big day for Ahsoka on Friday so this is going to be a longish entry.

First we get the newsreel, reminding us of Ahsoka’s decision to leave the Jedi order (As if we could forget!) We then get a thrilling free fall, as the engine on her speeder bike, brings her to the lower levels of Corruscant. She quickly meets a new mechanic named Trace and they become fast friends because who wouldn’t want to be friends with Ahsoka?

Trace and her sister are trying to scrape by in the lower levels and the war makes that tough. Ahsoka is still knee jerk defending the Jedi and the war, but her protestations don’t have the heat they used to. Trace’s sister has made a dangerous deal to build some droids and the three girls do so, even though it goes wrong. Ahsoka feels uneasy about the whole situation but helps anyway. (OF COURSE SHE DOES.)

I’d missed Ahsoka, so I was happy to see her back, finally, and doing what she does best, participating in barely controlled mayhem while offering compassionate help to people that really need it. This set up reminded me a lot of the novel Ahsoka where she winds up in a similar entanglement. (I’m sure that’s where they got the idea for this storyline.)

In other Ahsoka news, our girl is coming to The Mandolorian! And she’s going to be played by Rosario Dawson. Now, y’all know how I feel about Rosario, I think she’s great! And I do feel like she’ll do an exceptional job as Ahsoka. (Man, I can’t wait for her to call Baby Yoda “Little One!”) I do know that my nerd rage is going to bubble when people meet her for the first time here and it’s not Ashley Eckstein doing the work. She’s been Ahsoka’s voice, heart and protector for the past decade. Also she’s a kind and lovely person who’s been very nice to me over the years and who makes stylish clothing I like quite a bit.

But part of fandom, especially long running, multi author fandom like Star Wars is seeing new interpretations of the things you love. If I stamp my foot and whine that Rosario Dawson isn’t “the real Ahsoka,” aren’t I just as bad as all those fanboys who go crazy every time we get a new Batman? I’m sure she’ll be wonderful and Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will write her very well. This will be Ahsoka The White, remember, who has passed through time and space at Mallus and been hunting for Ezra for five years, after all. She’s different. She will be different.

Can’t wait to see what next week brings. Again, I hope you all are keeping safe. STAY HOME if you can. Drink drinks, eat food, video chat, watch Star Wars, the Force will be with us during this.

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Mandolorian“Chapter 8: Redemption”

I’m assuming that Mando is off to find Luke Skywalker (although the ending of this episode is something else)

Let’s go back. After learning that Moff Gideon’s Storm Troopers Jason Sudekis and Adam Pally (!) are guarding Baby Yoda, Mando, Cara, Griff and IG-85 go to get the baby. Moff Gideon knows who they all are, and it’s really creepy, also, Cara notes that he was supposed to have been executed for war crimes so what’s happening there?

Anyway, they fight him and flee, Mando is wounded and IG-85 heals him which is the work around we get for him to remove his helmet. He can’t remove it in front of a living being, IG reminds him that he’s not a living being. So he gets healed, and we see Pedro Pascal’s beautiful wonderful face. HOORAY!

After looking for the Mandolorians, and learning they were slaughtered by the client, Mando has a conversation with the armorer, who tells him that Baby Yoda needs to be returned to his people. Mando is skeptical before being told that this is the way, he agrees.

I present a hypothetical scene that happened in my head:

Me: So I guess they’re going to be looking for Luke’s new Jedi academy. If we learn that Kylo Ren killed Baby Yoda I will find Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau and slap them across the face.

The Mandolorian: Reenie, you seem to have forgotten something, there are other Jedi at this point in history besides Luke and Leia.

*Moff Gideon Emerges from his ship with The Dark Saber*

Me: AHSOKA AND EZRA! FILONI YOU’VE DONE IT AGAIN YOU BEAUTIFUL BASTARD.

End Scene

Look, I’m all for finding the home planet of the Yodas. I will be very into that, if that’s where we’re going. But I think, by adding such a specific detail from Mandalore, as the Dark Saber, which was so important to Clone Wars and Rebels and the stories of this culture, when you’re looking for Jedi in order to surrender the baby, perhaps it could be to a young Jedi who disappeared into the unknown regions on a Space Whale, and one Not A Jedi who has reached Force Nirvana via time travel and confronting her evil former master.

What I’m saying is, I think Mando should hand Baby Yoda over to Ahsoka and Ezra and then he and Sabine can argue Mandolorian code adhearance like a couple of Rabbis.

I’m still not sure about the overall storytelling of The Mandolorian, I appreciated almost everything it did, but I don’t know that 8 episodes works for what they were doing. Twelve would have been better. My two favorite episodes, Episode 2 & Episode 7 were both directed by Deborah Chow, which I think is pretty important for me personally, since she’s going to be running Obi-Wan and I like what she does. Hooray!

That said, we won’t know this for over a year. We know season 2 is coming next fall, in the meantime, I’m not leaving this world behind. The past six months have given me so much and I’m not ready to move along. The next Fangirl Loves Star Wars will be in a few weeks, where we’ll talk about The Aftermath trilogy by Chuck Wendig.

 

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Mandolorian “Chapter 7: The Reckoning”

PROTECT LITTLE BABY YODA! YOU MUST PROTECT HIM!

I’ve mentioned that there are elements of The Mandolorian that aren’t clicking with me on Monday. But this second episode of the week. (SO MUCH Star Wars THIS WEEK!) feels stronger. I like the team that Mando puts together in an attempt to outwit The Client and save LBY and himself from running around with a price on his head. The return of Cara Dune and IG-11 is good. Their plan to get The Client off their butts is a good one, except it turns out the imperial presence around him on Nevarro has been beefed up.

Also it turns out, The Client isn’t in charge at all, it’s Moff Kargin (GIANCARLO ESPESITO) pulling the strings. While we’ve been trained that there’s nearly always a man behind the curtain with Imperial types, I’m glad the big bad has been revealed.

And watching this episode and being in to it. (THAT ENDING! Thank god we only have a few days to wait and see what’s happening. Also the sneak peak of The Rise Of Skywalker we get was also great. The movie is getting mixed reviews, but if there’s more of Poe making reckless decisions while flying the Falcon I’m all in.) I realized that while I like the old fashioned TV approach to the story here, that is each episode being relatively self contained, except for the ones that aren’t, (Monsters of The Week/Myth Arc, if you will!) it’s not an approach that’s particularly effective with only 8 episodes.

I love episodic TV and miss it very much, but frankly, you need at least 12 to make it work and that’s in the HBO one hour episodes each sense, for 40 to 45 minute episodes you need 20 or more for it to do what it does best. When you only 5 or so hours verses thirteen, and 2.5 of those hours aren’t contributing to the narrative, everything feels like wheel spinning.

And also, I’m just not feeling this show. Maybe this project was a mistake, maybe I’ve OD’d. (It’s happened before, remember last year when I barely did any Superhero stuff because I’d done too much the year before? Or the beginning of this year when I couldn’t even look at a speculative fiction book?) I don’t know, tonight might tell. I’ve never walked out of a Star Wars movie anything but totally hyped. (Yes, even Episodes I and II, second viewings were immediate let downs there, but I was psyched on first viewing.)  I doubt this will be different.

That said if they don’t save that baby next week, I will be very upset. I love that baby.

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Mandolorian: Chapter 6: “The Prisoner”

“The Prisoner” is what I personally wanted The Mandolorian to be from the beginning, because as I’ve noted a thousand times, I love a heist. I love getting a crew together, I love the conflicting goals, I love the way they tend to twist and turn. And also, this had some fun cameos. Bill Burr! Natalia Tea! (Tonks/Asha) Clancy Brown! Matt Lantner (The Voice of Anakin from Clone Wars!) Mark Boone (Bobby Elvis from Sons Of Anarchy!) Dave Filoni himself!

Mando goes to get the Razor Crest repaired and finds himself sucked in when old friend Ran recruits him with a bunch of other scum to break a prisoner out of a new republic prison cruiser, one of them X’ian and Mando have clearly fucked and it’s awesome. Anyway, the team gets aboard the chip they break in and things go sideways. They betray Mando. (SHOCKED, Shocked I tell you!) and he strikes back. (Your winnings, sir?)

Shocked.gif

It’s a Casablanca joke. Watch a movie

Anyway, after returning to base with the titular prisoner, Mando also leaves his tracking fob with those who would have seen him blown up and a crew of X-Wings show up and blow up the place and Mando and Baby Yoda fly away home.

Seriously, it’s all pretty rote. The show in general had been pretty rote but well executed. I’d rather well executed rote-ness than poorly executed vision. (I mean I’d rather both, but I’ve got Watchmen so I can’t ask too much of genre TV at moment.) (Speaking of HOLY CRAP Y’ALL! HOW GOOD WAS WATCHMEN?) I’m sure on rewatch I’ll have more to say. But I wish that things would have congealed a bit by now. I know we’re getting a season two, and while I love that we’re also getting a good episodic Sci-Fi show with a premiere budget, I’d like a bit more of an arc. When Arrow has more thematic cohesion in it’s eighth and final than your $15 million per episode, billion dollar IP, I don’t see all being well.

While we were getting dressed for Mary’s wedding, Cha, Joanna and I discussed the show and what we’re looking for from Star Wars. We landed on a Rogue One/The Last Jedi, Solo/The Force Awakens divide, and we all land squarely on the Solo/TFA side. The Mandolorian, for as great as it is, and it’s very good, is much  more on the Rogue One/The Last Jedi side. With the exception of LBY it’s done very little that touches my heart. In case the past six months haven’t made it clear, I want Star Wars to be in my heart.

On Friday, we’ll talk about the end of the Skywalker Saga with The Rise Of Skywalker. I’m hopeful and excited for the movie, it looks spectacular and I’ll take spectacle in heaps from my Star Wars. I have tickets for Thursday Night and Saturday afternoon, so one Friday we’ll do the Movie Season review and Monday’s Fangirl Loves Star Wars will cover both Mandolorian and The Rise Of Skywalker.

May The Force Be With You.

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Mandolorian “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger”

Oh sure, set me up for failure episode. That is failure at ever being able to offer analysis this time around.

It’s called “The Gunslinger,” takes place on Tatooine, centers around Mando and Bobby Canavale’s son (who looks just like his dad) hunting for a dangerous sniper played by Ming-Na Wen, while Amy Sedaris and a bunch of pit droids baby sit LBY.

Of course that title just got me meditating, is Mando a Gunslinger? I don’t think he is. Ming-Na’s character is the gunslinger in question, but she’s not A Gunslinger in the Dark Tower way. And as I go back and for Mando, after all, “This is the way,” is not too far off from, “I shoot with my heart.”

This is not a sane line of thought to go down, and yet here we are. Turtles, all the way down. (Fuck that turtle though)

I love this episode. I have no other way to explain it. I thought it was wonderful, the changes in Mos Eisley since A New Hope (it’s been a decade and the ruling Mob family was blown up after all!) were fun to see. Mando’s familiarity with the planet was also neat.

And Amy Sedaris! And Ming-Na! OMG! It’s just too much goodness. The Canavale kid is good too. In terms of development, this episode didn’t do much, but it did provide us with a fun side adventure. I’m cool with this being an adventure of the week type show. We don’t get enough of them that are this good in the current landscape.

I know this post is relatively short for how these have been going, but this was a straightforward episode that I liked a lot and I doubt you all want to hear me ramble about unrelated Stephen King content, since that’s all I can think about when I think about the episode.

Also Amy Sedaris.

And pit droids.

And Ming-Na Wen.

We’re drawing closer and closer to opening weekend of The Rise Of Skywalker and I’m deeply ready for it. I’ve also decided to continue with Fangirl Loves Star Wars in some capacity as we move forwared. Season 2 of Resistance, whatever’s going on on Disney+, (New Clone Wars! I haven’t forgotten!) I’m going to do some reading of the novels. It won’t be a regular thing, but like Nerd Homework, I’ll check in occasionally!

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Mandolorian “Chapter 4: Sanctuary”

If there is a single individual artist that we should thank for inspiring George Lucas to create Star Wars is it probably Akira Kurosawa. I mean, we shouldn’t because it was a whole world of things that contributed to the building of our beloved galaxy far far away, but to subtract The Lost Fortress from the DNA would be taking out a lot.

So I kind of figured a Seven Samurai homage was likely in The Mandolorian, since the show is playing with Western Tropes and it’s been remade (TWICE) as The Magnificent Seven. Our Mando touches down on a planet, hoping to wait out some of the heat on him and Baby Yoda (I’ve been listening to Bingeworthy’s Star Wars series and they’re calling him LBY, we’re adopting that same nomenclature.) go into town and find Cara Dune, a former Shock Trooper who’s abandoned the New Republic and is trying to wait out some heat on her own. Mando concedes they both probably shouldn’t do that and prepares to move along.

However, some villagers ask him for help, they’re krill farmers and some imperial tech is ravaging their village. Mando agrees to help and recruits Cara as well. They train the villagers, they beat the bad guy and Mando has a broody flirtation with a pretty young widow. Also, the village children all obsess about LBY. Mando makes up his mind to leave LBY to grow up peacefully in the village, but as we must remember, The Heat Is On. A bounty hunter finds them and he realizes the closest to safe for The Kid is with him. AWWW.

Anyway, they’re off on an adventure again. LBY remains a wonderful beautiful pure presence on my TV. Pedro Pascal is doing really excellent work as The Mandolorian, and Gina Carrano made a really cool addition as Cara Dune.

So hey, we got more women with lines this week. That’s good. Also, Bryce Dallas Howard directed this episode. That’s super good. Last week’s episode was directed bed Deborah Chow, who will be running the Obi-Wan show. Since last week’s episode was my favorite so far, that bodes well.

I liked this episode, and I like what the show is doing.

Also, I will continue to lobby for a Baby Yoda plushie until I am holding one as I write these reviews.

Now seems as good a time as any to talk about what is going to go into this slot in 2020! Hooray!

We’re going to keep going with Disney+ and I’m going to watch all of the Disney Animation Studios Films, in order. So, Snow White to Frozen 2. (Which I’ll be reviewing this week.) I’m excited for this project. There’s some stuff in the 70s and 80s which I don’t think I’ve seen at all, and certainly not since I was a kid. But we’re still a few weeks from getting that going!

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Mandolorian Chapter 3: “The Sin”

This show is not what I thought it was when I first watched it. It’s not what I thought it was going to be either.

It’s not just Baby Yoda, although, like, we all love Baby Yoda, you guys. SO much. I love Baby Yoda. You love Baby Yoda. The world loves Baby Yoda. Werner Herzog has described Baby Yoda as “Heartbreakingly Beautiful.” We’re all on board with the greatness that is Baby Yoda.

What shocked me, going into this was how going out of Chapter 1, I understood that this show as going to be good, it probably wasn’t for me. I already had Firefly and even if I wanted that feeling with a Star Wars skin, I had Rebels. Chapter 2, with Baby Yoda using The Force, opened things up a little bit more, and now Chapter 3, I’m fully all in.

Our Mando drops the Baby with The Client and Doctor, wary. He accepts his payment, the steel that builds Mandolorian armor, and he returns it to his clan. Turns out, our dude is not super popular among his own people. He’s called a coward and a failure. He realizes he is, but not for the reason his clan thinks. He needs to save The Child.

So he goes back to the Bounty Hunter Guild and gets a lot of, “Forget it, Mando, it’s Bounty Hunting,” from his brothers in arms. But he goes into the fortress, kills some storm troopers and saves Baby Yoda, but he’s pursued by the other Bounty Hunters, and now he has a price on his head.

He’s bailed out at least once, when the rest of his clan comes out of hiding to fight for him. I gasped with joy at this. That feeling, that clan, friends and family who have your back against all the odds. That’s one of the many many things I love about Star Wars, it’s why I fell for Finn and Rey so quickly, because that connection is so perfectly and quickly articulated between them.

It’s a theme I can’t get enough of. Anyway, now our Mandolorian is an outlaw, with a baby to protect, but the respect and honor of his Mandolorian clan. And we don’t know what’s next. I expected this to be the season finale, but we still have five episodes. (Again, there’s a another Mandolorian running around the edges of things in this time frame. She’s really into neon and also needs to find a young force user…).

I’m really into the show, I hope it develops well. Of course on twitter it was pointed out that there’s only been one woman who talks. My friend Cha nodded, “yup, it’s a bummer. But! We got a new Black Guy!” We say all of this tongue firmly in cheek, knowing how much more work there is to do for representation, I hope the show rights itself as we go forward.

Still on Helmet Removal Watch, but Pedro’s starting to sell the character even without the face. Still, want to see the face. We’ll see you next week, we’re off into the unknown.

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: The Mandolorian Season 1, “Chapters 1 & 2”

OK, we’re doubling up on The Mandolorian recaps this week, and moving “Fangirl Loves Star Wars” back to it’s rightful place on Mondays. “Crisis Management” will now move to Thursdays so that I can watch all the shows and lose the lag between weeks on Batwoman and Supergirl. (As we saw last week!)

So, I was looking forward to The Mandolorian, although, it’s not the main reason I signed on for Disney+. (Those Disney Channel Sitcoms of my adolescence aren’t gonna watch themselves!) (Seriously though, I am so excited to watch Even Stevens again.) But I was still looking forward to it. I loved the casting announcements and a Mandolorian, I think Jon Favreau is deeply underrated as a director and the concept is strong.

The concept is indeed strong. I love a space western and The Mandolorian is undoubtably that. Pedro Pascal plays the titual bounty hunter with nearly wordless physicality. I hope we see his pretty face eventually, because he’s a very expressive actor in addition to being quite attractive, but I like what he’s doing. The Mandolorian has a code, he’s true to his culture’s odd mix of mercenary ideals and thoughts about community.

Also, in the end it turns out his prey was a baby Yoda. I went looking for a species name and no such name exists. Which, cool. Also cool, me bouncing up and down on my couch going “Lone Wolf And Cub! Lone Wolf And Cub! Lone Wolf And Cub! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH” (I may be misusing the word “cool” here, I’m prone to that)

It was fun to see Werner Herzog (who I assume is an exiled Imperial, due to his costuming and Storm Trooper guards) and Brian Poeshen, and Taiki Waititi. Also, there’s a little bit of where did the money go ($15 million!) but I think it’s mostly in design and creature work; all of which is stunning. This show looks expensive.

Chapter 2

This episode is called “The Child,” and it’s amazing. The world has Baby Yoda Fever and I’m right along with them. That thing is dang adorable, and it using the force in concert with our Mando’s fighting style is really cool. (And began the repeating, “Lone Wolf And Cub” chant in my mind.)

I enjoyed Chapter 2 much more than Chapter 1, as it gave us a bit more insight into our lead. We still aren’t seeing a face. Some internet chatter is saying Mandolorians don’t remove their helmets in front of people ever. But, I mean, I know Sabine was a bit of a rule breaker, I don’t think that’s a rule we’re going to have to keep to. Again, if only because Pedro Pascal is nice to look at, but also because it limits a level of connection to the performance. He’s doing well, vocally and physically, but I’d like to also see his face.

Anyway, my specific prediliction for seeing beautiful actors aside. I simply found this a better episode of TV. The use of the Jawas was great, as was Nick Nolte’s performance. It lacked Herzog, but one can’t ask for everything. And we know Herzog will be back. A few conversations this weekend made me hope that the struggle between Herzog’s The Client and Baby Yoda has something to do with the rise of Snoke and The First Order.

Anyway, all that out of the way, let’s focus on that baby Yoda, shall we?

He’s goddamned adorable and the fact that the plushes haven’t been released yet, is either a stroke of negligence or brilliance on Disney/Lucasfilm’s part. Negligence if it didn’t happen because they were worried about it not selling. Brilliance for spoiler protective purposes and Tickle Me Elmo levels of hysteria if he does get released before Christmas. That baby is FRIGGING ADORABLE.

BABY YODA SO CUTE

He is precious. I shall call him TEENY CUTE and I shall love him always

Anyway, this development does change my approach to the show, which I was initially nervous about not having any Mystical Force Woo Woo.

I should have trusted Dave Filoni’s influence on the show more. The man who gave us Mallus, and Meditating to time travel, and Dume was never going to let this show be completely free of Jedi influence. It’s just not in him.

Next week, more Herzog? More Baby Yoda? Who knows! I’m excited to see where it goes and we’ll talk then. May The Force Be With You!

Fangirl Loves Star Wars: Rebels: Season 4

Rebels played a long game that I got impatient with when I watched it the first time and I now deeply regret bailing on.

Ezra’s story is a deeply interesting take on coming of age, and actually reminded me of my beloved The Immortals quartet by Tamora Pierce (also about a mystical teen who has a magic connection to animals.) Ezra’s connection to the force in the end feels more akin to Yoda’s than any other Jedi we’ve seen in the series, he feels the world around him the way that Yoda does, especially on Dagobah, or in Ezra’s case on his home world of Lothal. (Also, he saves Ahsoka with Force time travel and concept that now exists in my universe and I’m so grateful for it.)

Sabine and Zeb also get strong supporting arcs, becoming leaders in their own rights, as they move along in the world. They’re both savior figures for their people which is cool and dedicated warriors who fight for the freedom of the galaxy.

And now it’s time, we need to talk about Hera and Kanan and the deep tragedy of it all. Hera Sandulla is a remarkable character. She’s strong and brave and awesome and she becomes a hero of the Rebellion and even fights in the battle of Endor! This is of course after the tragic loss of the love of her life, Kanan Jarris, Caleb Dume, Mediocre Jedi Knight. Also he becomes a force wolf.

It’s great.

Look, as I said to Jess on facebook last week, I’m ALL IN for Filoni and his mystical Force hoo-ha. And Season 4 is full to the brim with it. Especially Ezra’s ending, where he uses his magical Force connection to the space whales to shoot off into the unknown.

The show ends properly with an epilogue by Sabine, talking about how the Ghost crew made it through the main trilogy, fighting on the rebellion side. Hera and Rex were even on Endor. Also, Hera was pregnant! I hope that Jacen didn’t have the Force and go to Luke’s Jedi Academy and get murdered by Kylo Ren…and…I just gave myself a sad. Anyway, with the Empire defeated Sabine decides to go off in search of Ezra, with Ahsoka at her side.

The show ends with a bright white light of hope which is amazing.

It’s incredible how quickly I turned and loved these characters. I was so lukewarm on the show when it started, and I was devastated by the time it ended. (To be fair, Kanan was always the part of the show I was all in on, so that makes sense.)

Next week we’ll talk about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the Disney era movie that I like the least, but recognize on a technical and critical level is actually the best.

From D23

I might just do a separate post about the D23 news. Mainly, you know OBI-WAN. But as I wrote this up, I realized The Mandalorian takes place after the main trilogy. And a certain Mandolorian of our acquaintance jetted off into the unknown after Endor…I’m just saying…Pedro Pascal should cross paths with Sabine.