Join us for episode 3 of the new podcast, where we talk about all things Star Wars Celebration, the new season of Dr Who, and some other stuff…
Oh, and Pete’s in this one
Join us for episode 3 of the new podcast, where we talk about all things Star Wars Celebration, the new season of Dr Who, and some other stuff…
Oh, and Pete’s in this one
So the title for Star Wars episode eight was released yesterday, and the internet, unsurprisingly, went wild with speculation and anticipation for what already sounds like a very brooding chapter of the new Star Wars trilogy.
‘The Last Jedi’… What does it mean? Who is the last Jedi? Why are they the last? All these incredibly obvious questions have been asked and answered all over the inter-web, and many, many people have come forward with their ideas. But here’s mine, for what it’s worth.
We learned in The Force Awakens that, after the defeat of the Empire, and his final battle with Vader and the Emperor, Luke attempted to create a new Jedi Order. We don’t yet know much about what this Order was like, whether it was as blindly stupid/arrogant as the old Jedi Order, or whether this was a new-age of the Jedi with new teachings and new beliefs. However, something obviously wasn’t all too right with the way things were going, because Kylo Ren decided he should slaughter everyone and everything. Great right? Imagine you’re Luke Skywalker; you’ve restored peace to the galaxy, and you’ve brought “balance” to the force, and now your bratty little padawan-nephew decides that “balance” is overrated and that black leather is a really cool look.
I imagine you’d be pretty gutted after seeing everything you’ve rebuilt destroyed, and all your pupils slaughtered, just because you went wrong somewhere with Ben Solo. And so Luke’s self-exile does seem fairly reasonable when you consider the carnage that his nephew caused.
This blame that Luke’s placed upon himself, and the similarity between Kylo-Ren and Anakin Skywalker’s turns to the darkside, makes me think that Luke tried to rebuild the old Jedi order we saw in the prequels. This was the order that taught its members to swallow their emotions and discouraged romantic attachments, which was precisely what pushed Anakin over to the darkside; the users of which are consumed by their emotions rather than controlling them. I think Luke believed that this was the way the Jedi order was supposed to be, probably thanks to the knowledge provided to him by Lor San Tekka (You know… the old guy at the start of TFA), but obviously he made a mistake and history ended up repeating itself in Kylo Ren’s betrayal.
So he gave it all up and retreated to the first Jedi Temple, which is where Rey finds him at the end of The Force Awakens.
Now, after all that preamble I can explain where I think the title “The Last Jedi” comes into it.
Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi. Yes I’m aware that it might mean Rey, and that Jedi can be used as a plural, but in my theory Luke is the referred-to Jedi.
At this point he’s had enough of everything, and he’s spent the last 6 years trying to figure out what went wrong, what he can do, and what is going to happen now. When Rey finds him, I think he’s going to be very reluctant to train her, and to begin with I think he’s going to flat-out refuse, but eventually something will change his mind. Maybe learning about the death of Han will be the trigger, or maybe he might be visited by his old mentors Obi-Wan and Yoda in the form of Force Ghosts? Perhaps we may even see the return of Qui-Gon Jinn? Anyway, whatever convinces him to train her, he won’t train her in the traditional philosophies of the Jedi, and I think that together they’ll learn what balance truly means when it comes to the force.
An example of this is the journey that the character of Kanan is currently on in Star Wars Rebels– he is realising that to follow the light and dark sides of the force exclusively brings unbalance, and that to be truly in tune with the force you have to walk the line between the two.
This isn’t a new concept, in the old expanded universe there was a group known as the Grey Jedi, who did essentially the same thing, but this appears to be the direction that the writers are taking when it comes to force-wielding characters in the canon.
So Luke won’t train Rey to be a Jedi (they’re overrated anyway), he’ll train her to be the first in a new order of force users; an order that focuses less on the clinical approach to the force that the old Jedi had, and instead a more spiritual connection, like Maz Kanata (hint-hint) and The Bendu (Star Wars Rebels). It will be this balance that will allow Rey and Luke to overcome Kylo and the Knights of Ren (great band name), because while Ben Solo is passionately dedicated to the dark-side now that he’s committed patricide, Rey will be able to tap into her emotions but not let them consume her. Luke did the same thing at the end of Return of the Jedi, allowing him to defeat the evil in his father and destroy the Emperor.
So anyway that’s my two cents, take it or leave it, but I really do hope that this is the direction they’re headed in, because it addresses a lot of the Jedi Order’s flaws, explains why Luke allowed another fall of the Jedi, and also prevents history from repeating itself… again.
(On a side note, I now really want The Bendu to make an appearance as Luke’s new mentor, just to have more Tom Baker and that fantastic character)
But what do you think? Am I right? Is the meaning of the title either so simple it doesn’t need explaining or so obtuse that mere mortals couldn’t deduce its true symbolism? Have I thought about this too much?
(Yes, you have. I like it and it would be interesting to see, but I think you have over-thought it. The two of them will be the “Last Jedi”…. at least for a while- Ben)
Please let us know!
Lewis: So another week, another Rebels episode. This time we were thrown back into the Clone Wars when Rex, Kanan, Ezra, Zeb, and Chopper find an army of droids that weren’t shut down.
Getting a Rex episode was pretty cool, shall we talk about that first?
Ben: Yeah I suppose- it does expand his story, but I wasn’t a big fan of this episode to be honest.
Lewis: No? I quite enjoyed this one. It was a fun little adventure that, while it didn’t really have much of an impact in the grand scheme of things, gave Rex a bit of limelight that was sorely missing. What didn’t you like about it?
Ben: I didn’t mind Rex and the crew, and you are right it was a nice little side quest, but I really hate what happened to the battle droids. I don’t like how they’ve become the comic relief of Star Wars, and the stupid bit about the Jedi blocking the laser shots into the proton bombs because the droids aren’t accurate enough was annoying. All of it just undermines them as villains.
Lewis: Well to be fair, the droids have been comic relief since the prequels introduced them, and the way they were portrayed in this episode was the same way they were portrayed in the Clone Wars. However, I totally agree about Jedi blocking bit. I know droids aren’t known for their accuracy, but that was just silly…
Ben: They weren’t mocked so much so in the Phantom Menace. And I didn’t like it in the Clone Wars either, it was just a bit too much for my liking.
Lewis: That’s fair, although I think your stout devotion to British humour probably didn’t help.
Ben: That is probably true. I’m not going to change though.
Lewis: We wouldn’t expect you to. Anyway, apart from the droids, did you like the plot?
Ben: Yeah it was a nice idea- finishing the Clone Wars for good, and not by killing each other but by working together.
Lewis: A nice, optimistic ending. I did like that they addressed the whole “Oh the droids were all deactivated just forget about them” thing. It makes sense that not all of them would just disappear into thin air.
Ben: The ending was a bit corny for me; I appreciated the idea but not the execution.
Lewis: I can understand that. How about the Super-tactical droid? I didn’t watch the Clone Wars very frequently so I don’t know if they were in it, but I thought it makes sense that the droids would have intelligent leaders.
Ben: They did use them a fair amount. It was fairly imaginative for a droid, and it made sense to include a Super Tactical Droids rather than a Separatist general that survived.
Lewis: Although that would’ve been interesting too… I don’t really know what else to say about this episode? I mean, it was pretty much just a nostalgia trip for all the old Clone Wars fans, which isn’t a bad thing, but it did mean that there wasn’t a lot to it in terms of plot development.
Ben: I know what you mean. To me this felt like the first filler episode of the series- it didn’t really serve a purpose. It was fine and all but definitely not my favourite.
Lewis: I hate describing things as “filler”, but if someone had a gun to my head I would admit that, despite Rex’s character development, this was pretty much a… “filler”… episode.
Ben: I think it’s because it is such a standalone episode compared to the previous four, which seemed to be building towards something in their respective storylines.
Lewis: Indeed, but hey-ho, I thought it was still an interesting episode. And I did enjoy the war games between the droids and Rex and Co. purely for nostalgic reasons.
Ben: Hopefully there is a bit more going on in the next episode.
Lewis: Indeed. We shall see…
Well that was a little shorter than usual, but I think I speak for both of us when I say this episode was a bit lacking, but still enjoyable. Are we wrong? Right? Please let us know in the comments below; we crave attention.
Lewis: Ok, so we saw this episode of Rebels at the Star Wars Celebration Europe panel, but in all honesty I couldn’t remember a lot of the details from that screening… Now though, season 3 has officially kicked off and it starts with a bit of a bang.
Ben: I wouldn’t say it was the most exciting episode of the show, that may just be because I had already seen it, but it is definitely one of the most interesting episodes in terms of the lore.
Lewis: No it definitely wasn’t the most exciting, but it did throw us straight back into the action, rather than dithering about. And “interesting” is probably the most apt word to describe it- we are introduced to one of the most loved villains of the Star Wars EU (or legends), as well as a completely new character voiced by none other than Tom Baker.
Ben: Dave Filoni does seem determined to keep the legends alive through Rebels. The episode gave us a lot of things to talk about, starting with the much stronger Ezra with his brand new green lightsaber…
Lewis: He’s also very good at picking and choosing the best parts of those stories to include, rather than just throwing needless references into the show. All the elements he brings in are important to the plot and character development.
Anyway, yes, a more mature Ezra and his green lightsaber (which has a very similar design to Luke and Obi-Wan’s hilts by the way). One thing they highlighted in particular this episode was that he was happy to kill stormtroopers with no hesitation at all now.
Ben: I suppose that would be a result of using the Sith holocron that he has kept. It will be interesting to see how it develops now that Kanan is back in the picture.
Lewis: Will Ezra get a grip on his emotions and stick to the light side or will he be even more corrupted over time?
Ben: There are a few theories floating about that Maul is the first Knight of Ren, and we know he is involved this series so we could see Ezra turn from the light side. You never know, Ezra could be Snoke.
Lewis: I could definitely buy Maul being the first Knight of Ren, and maybe have Ezra be involved in that order too (possibly played by Benicio Del Toro in episode 8), but I can’t see him being Snoke. I do like that Maul theory though…
Ben: I like the idea of Ezra turning, I think it would be a fresh approach to the show and the characters. The loss of Ezra and the fallout surrounding it would be a really interesting story line.
Lewis: I hope they’re heading down that route too, although that’d probably mean Kanan will either die or go missing permanently. Anyway, shall we talk about what happened this episode?
Ben: I think we should, so it all kicks off straight away with the Ezra leading the group in a mission to save Hondo Ohnaka.
Lewis: Yes, and his Ugnaught friend whose name escapes me- this prison break is in exchange for information about Republic starfighters that may be of some use to the Rebellion.
Ben: The Ugnaught panics and screws everything up, and so Ezra steps up and we see a demonstration of his darker powers, as he takes control of the AT-ST driver.
Lewis: Remember, that’s something we haven’t really seen before in Star Wars I mean, we’ve seen mind tricks and what not, but we haven’t actually seen someone controlling someone’s actions
Ben: It was quite impressive, and a little disturbing to see Ezra not even bat an eye while doing it. So after the fairly successful prison break the Rebels make their escape, and Ezra gets a bit of a talking to about the botched escape plan.
Lewis: Yeah, but also a promotion for some reason? Which sees a fair bit of responsibility placed on him as he’s supposed to lead a recon mission to scout the location of the Starfighters.
Ben: The promotion does come a bit out of the blue for me.
Lewis: It is out of the blue, but I suppose it sets up the plot of the rest of the episode as well as showing that Ezra has grown up a bit.
Ben: I think that is one criticism of Rebels, a lot of things just magically happen. We get that Ezra is growing up but it seemed so out of place.
Lewis: Anyway, when they’re back at base we get reintroduced to Kanan who’s, understandably, a little broken up after the events of last season’s finale.
Ben: I can imagine you would be after being blinded by a guy you thought was dead and then thought was helping you out and then revealed that he was going to betray you all along.
Lewis: I think it’s reasonable that he’d be upset, yeah.
I’ll be honest, Kanan has always been my favourite character in Rebels, and the path they’re putting him on is probably the most interesting plotline they’re giving us at the moment for me.
Ben: I am really enjoying it aswell, I want to see more of the Bendu. I like the grey mystic area in which it resides. Also I want more Tom Baker.
Lewis: They’ve done an interesting job of bringing in the middle-ground, which was previously occupied by the “Grey Jedi”
He was such a cool character, I loved the creature design and the gravitas Tom Baker gave to the role was awesome- I would bet on him being a major player in both Ezra and Kanan’s stories this season.
Ben: I think he needs to come back, it is such a waste if this is his only appearance. Could Kanan and Ezra leave the order entirely and practice under the Bendu’s teachings?
Lewis: I don’t know, I could see Kanan perhaps becoming less concerned with the Jedi order in its strictest sense, and maybe when he tries to pass this idea on to Ezra he begins to fall further from the light? I think the Bendu will most likely act as a mediator for Kanan, rather than Kanan going full Grey-Jedi.
Ben: I would quite like to see him develop as a character and potentially step away from the Jedi order- it is something we haven’t really seen before (other than the brief bits of Ahsoka from series 2)
Lewis: But what do you think of the Bendu in terms of his motivations? He seems like the kind of guy to just do something because he wants to see what’ll happen, which is a little worrying since he has that Holocron now…
Ben: By the characters nature it is the embodiment of balance within the force, but that doesn’t really let us in on his motivations. You would like to think that in the name of balance he would work towards the Sith losing some of their power… then again he did seem pretty pleased with the Holocron.
Lewis: That’s the thing, if he’s truly balanced then he would likely have no allegiance towards Jedi or Sith- so he wouldn’t really care what happens to either of them. And yeah, that chuckle when Kanan gave him the Holocron was only a little bit menacing… Anyway, while Kanan is receiving some advice from the Bendu, Ezra and the others are all off to scout the salvage yard Hondo told them about
Ben: And the scouting mission very quickly becomes a salvage one.
Lewis: Where it quickly becomes apparent that maybe Ezra isn’t ready for this kind of responsibility just yet. While they are at the salvage station, the new villain of the series shows off his deductive skills and figures out exactly where they are and what they’re doing.
Ben: We haven’t spoken much about Thrawn, he seems impressive but he wasn’t interested in engaging with the Rebels on this occasion.
Lewis: He’s definitely menacing, and it’s nice to see them come up against a villain who isn’t all about the action (like the Inquisitors of the second season), but rather uses his intelligence to out-think them. It’s interesting to see that this faction of Rebels isn’t the only one out there, and Thrawn isn’t concerned with individual factions- he’s after the big catch
Ben: He is incredibly calculating and, pairing that with the ice cold voice, you can tell something big is going to happen.
Lewis: Indeed, and I don’t think it’ll end very well for our merry band of Rebels. Do you think we might actually lose one or two of them this season?
Ben: I am not sure to be honest, it isn’t the sort of show to kill of the main characters; a few secondary ones may bite the dust though.
Lewis: But now that the characters are growing up (and the audience too), maybe they’ll venture into that area? I mean, we had something similar happen in the finale of season 2.
Ben: I suppose that is true, but the death in series 2 wasn’t of one of the main characters.
Lewis: It’s not even clear whether Ashoka is dead or not, I just feel like the stakes are being raised as time goes on- and if they want a good pay off they might have to kill someone…
Ben: I suppose you are right there; it would be the next step. But who would they kill off?
Lewis: I have no idea, and I don’t think I could say until later in the season. Anyway, as for what else happens in the episode, there’s not much else apart from Kanan and Ezra reconciling their differences and getting back to being master and apprentice.
Ben: They’re all made up now, but from what we see in the trailer it looks like we can expect further strain on the relationship caused by Maul.
Lewis: Indeed, which happens to be the subject of the next episode. I’m surprised they’re doing that in episode two/three, I thought Maul would come back much later in the season.
Ben: He’s a fairly important character again now, I would expect him to appear early, then again later in the series
Lewis: I’m sure next episode will be an interesting one at any rate- he’s always a good character. So all in all, what did you think of this one? A good start to the season?
Ben: Undoubtedly a good start. I can’t wait to see where season 3 takes us.
Lewis: It should be an interesting season, and hopefully the other members of the Ghost’s crew will get some good amounts of screen time too.
Ben: Let’s hope so, we know that there are more Mandalorians that will appear so Sabine will have an episode at least.
Lewis: Should be one to look forward to!
Thank you for reading, or if you didn’t read t
he piece thanks for reading what I’ve written here… I guess? Anyway, if you think we’re right, wrong, or even just plain stupid, please feel free to comment below- we’d love to hear your opinions on Rebels season three!
So for our second piece about the amazing things we were witness to at Star Wars Celebration 2016, we’re talking about the awesome Star Wars Rebels Season Three panel, where we were shown exclusive images, clips, trailers and also treated to the first two episodes of the season. So come along with us on a ramble about what we saw…
Lewis: Ok, so, in what I think you’ll agree was the best panel we saw, Warwick Davis hosted Dave Filoni, Sam Witwer, and Tiyer Sircar for a talk about what’s to come in Star Wars Rebels.
Ben: Oh for sure, I am going to admit now I had never watched rebels (excluding a few episodes here and there) until this panel and since then I have binged my way through season 1 and part of season 2, and the brilliant panel was a big part in my decision to give it a go. This panel was kick ass. I think Dave Filoni might be my favourite person in the entire world.
The entire panel was well balanced everyone got their chance to speak and they were all funny and insightful about the process behind making the series and what is going to come in season 3.
Lewis: Exactly, they were all just really nice, really funny people who knew exactly what the fans wanted from them. I’ve personally followed Rebels since half-way through season one and while season two wasn’t quite as good (apart from the beginning and ending episodes), the looks we got of season three were awesome. I can’t disagree with you about Dave Filoni, he’s a real genuine guy.
Ben: They all got why the fans were there, and because of that we got a genuinely funny hour with them.
Lewis: Definitely the funniest, most relatable panel we saw… so what shall we start off talking about?
Ben: A couple of characters got new looks, which is probably bad news for the wallets of cosplayers.
Lewis: Well luckily they’re only minor changes, so they should be able to adapt their costumes without bankrupting themselves. Kanan has a sweet new mask to hide his scars, Sabine has a new hairdo, Hera looks more like a military officer, Zeb lost some of his armour, and Ezra got a weird new haircut that I’m not too keen on.
Ben: The eye markings on Kanan’s mask are similar to the markings on Rex’s helmet too, which, according to Dave Filoni, is intended to emphasise how they’ve bonded. To be fair, they are only minor changes and in all honesty I am not too fussed on the hair- not exactly a big issue for me. Sabine also gets some new gadgets in this season.
Lewis: Tiya was pretty excited about her new jetpack as well as the Darksaber, which we haven’t seen since the Mandolorian episodes in the Clone Wars… I’m pretty excited to see how she gets hold of that particular weapon.
Ben: I hope it isn’t just dropped in, because as if Maul would forget about it.
Lewis: Oh I’m sure he’ll be interested in getting it back, so we can look forward to that episode. Speaking of new weapons, Ezra has a sick new green lightsaber.
Ben: Yes, I was going to ask about that. I wondered where that appeared from, because I am still watching him with the blue blaster hybrid so thought something may have happened right at the end of season 2?
Lewis: Weeeellllll I don’t want to spoil too much, but his blue-blaster hybrid was destroyed in the last episode of season 2. I was hoping they’d have an episode of them trying to find a new crystal, but oh well.
Ben: Maybe they will come back to it?
Lewis: Maybe, but I feel like they’re happy to just move on. Although Maul might comment on it when they see him again. So that’s the new tech that they showed off, shall we talk about the new characters?
Ben: I suppose that’s true, and the nature of the show is fairly fast paced, if the new lightsaber was important it would have been covered.
I suppose we should move onto the characters, there is probably more to talk about with Thrawn so I think we should cover the other name drop first. A man by the name of Wedge is defecting from the Empire.
Lewis: I’m sure a lot of people will be disappointed about the fact that Ezra didn’t make a crossguard-saber yet, and yes, let’s talk about everybody’s favourite Rebel ace. I’m a little conflicted about the change to his backstory, since he originally had the occupation of smuggler in the EU after his parents were killed by the actions of the Empire. However, it looks as though they’re combining his story with Tycho Celchu’s, so I’m ok with it… and I won’t complain about any kind of exposure for Wedge.
Ben: Knowing very little about the EU or Legends as they are now known, I was more excited by the prospect of some more Wedge time than the revival of Thrawn. I really hope he becomes a recurring character if only because if he was in every episode he would distract me from the main characters, bloody love Wedge…
Lewis: I think he’ll either be a one-off Easter egg character or a recurring character like Lando; I hope he’s not just in one episode though. As for Thrawn, I’ve read the first book in the Heir to the Empire series, and he’s one of those characters that most people are at least aware of. He’s a very imposing villain, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing what he gets up to.
Ben: I really hope he recurs.
I had heard of him but having not read the books I really wasn’t sure what he was all about. He definitely seemed imposing. Although like we talked about at the panel, I would prefer to see him rise through the ranks perhaps starting as a commander rather than just straight out introducing him as a Grand-Admiral.
Lewis: Well, and this is kinda a spoiler I guess, they introduce him as Grand-Admiral Thrawn in the second episode, so unfortunately we won’t be seeing that which is a shame because I like that idea. I also felt like they actually did a better job of setting his character up in the trailer than they did in the episodes we saw.
Ben: I think it was just the wording; when you rewatch the trailer after watching the episode (because we got to see the first two episodes if you were wondering) the cut is pretty obvious. It shouldn’t take away from the character, in fact with his back story he should only get better.
Lewis: Oh I hope so, and if he is going to be the villain that actually manages to thwart the Rebels group I’d be content, because if he turns out to be just as incompetent as everyone I think there’ll be a lot of disgruntlement amongst the fanbase.
Ben: I am not sure how they are going to play it. You’re right though, Thrawn can’t be a push over but at the same time he can’t really destroy every Rebel in sight, can he?
Lewis: Well no, but I think it’d be realistic for him to lose but still do a lot of damage, even if it was to only the Ghost crew, not the rebellion as a whole. I just really don’t want them to waste such a good character. Anyway, is there anything else from the actual panel section that we’ve missed? Did you want to talk about some of the interactions they had on stage?
Ben: I suppose that is true, but we shall have to wait and see; in Filoni we trust and all that. The stand out bit for me was probably casting Warwick for Sam Witwer’s role as Maul and Sam for Wicket; that was pretty funny.
Lewis: Ah yeah, they had some pretty good chemistry going on up there. Sam Witwer’s little tantrum was pretty convincing, and of course Dave Filoni is always a crowd pleaser.
Ben: It was a funny panel, anytime else that you can think of?
Lewis: Well just to cover them, I think the two most important questions that people asked were; a) will we see Mara Jade in Rebels? (this is important because of the rumours about Rey’s origin) and b) will Ashoka return? The answers to which were a categorical no for Mara Jade and a maybe for Ashoka which was something like “She may return in one form or another at some point but I can’t really say.”
So apart from those questions I think that’s it for the panel. Shall we talk about the episodes they showed us?
Ben: The answer Dave Filoni gave did hint at a return, and not in an easy-get-out-way through a flash back. I think that is the next thing on the list, considering they were my first two episodes I thought it was pretty solid.
Lewis: Yeah I really enjoyed them, and watching them with a crowd was both a good and bad experience as it always is for me. They were a pretty good introduction to what’s going to be coming up in the next series though.
Ben: I can’t fault the episodes really, I enjoyed watching them, but I always find watching a film with a crowd of fans to be a positive thing. Do you want to re-cap the episode? Are we even allowed to do it yet?
Lewis: It does get frustrating when they cheer or clap over some dialogue though… but I suppose I can always rewatch them when they show on tv (which I believe is going to be in autumn this year).
And you know that’s a very good question that I don’t have an answer to…
Ben: But all those people clapping and cheering love the show which makes it all the better. Well we could just leave it there and say it was a solid introduction with a guest appearance from a Doctor of sorts.
Lewis: We’ll do a proper review of them as soon as they air in the UK, and yeah, the one and only Tom Baker played a very interesting character that definitely brings in an area of the force that hasn’t yet been discussed canon-wise.
Ben: I think if Tom Baker could be immortalised in the Star Wars universe this is the best role for him. His voice adds real weight to the character of the “Bendu”. I really like the idea, and shows the force as a spectrum not just as two groups of people.
Lewis: Exactly, it complicates the good vs evil theme of Star Wars, and as for Tom Baker, you can’t really compete with his level of gravitas (for Dr Who fans anyway). So aside from the updates to characters, reveals in the trailers, and a brief talk about the merits of Tom Baker, is there anything else?
Ben: The return of Maul (no longer Darth) also complicates the spectrum as he is now neither Sith nor Jedi. And no I don’t think so; pretty sure we have covered everything important.
Lewis: Oh yeah, he’s back (which is why Sam Witwer was on the panel).
Alright-y then, I guess we’ll conclude here and be back with another piece on Star Wars Celebration 2016 in a day or two.