Two characters I am constantly having to defend from being spoken against are Frodo Baggins and Edmund Pevensie. People will say they don’t like Frodo because Sam had to get him out of some tight spots, or because he wouldn’t throw the Ring into Mt. Doom when he finally arrived. Or they won’t look past Edmund’s attitude and actions at the beginning of his journey. They tend to look at their weak points and decide that these characters aren’t as heroic as their friends, like Peter or Sam. But I believe that ALL of these characters are examples we should follow and that Frodo and Edmund show us something about being a hero the others do not.
My first reaction to Solo was the same as my initial reaction to Rogue One, Rebels, and even to Star Wars itself. “Nah, that doesn’t look interesting.” Since I have been proven majorly wrong on all three of the past accounts, I have decided to give Solo a chance before deciding where I truly stand on it. In this post, I will talk about some of my concerns, as well as some things I’m looking forward to in the next Star Wars film.
Even though the adventures of the Ghost crew have ended for the moment, I’m definitely not ready to stop talking about them. As I thought through everything that happened with the last few episodes, I kept coming back to how stinking proud I am of our “Blueberry”. He’s changed so much, that when I go back and watch “Spark of Rebellion”, he hardly seems like the same person. (Aside from his unique sense of humor and dorkiness, which will always be a part of him.) In this post dedicated to him, I want to go through some of the main ways he’s grown through the series and some of my favorite Ezra moments.
In just a few days, the amazing show Star Wars Rebels will come to its conclusion.
We’ve had four seasons of the Ghost crew and their fight against the Empire, each member learning as they overcame challenges of all kinds together. I started watching this show only a year ago, and even though I know the Finale is going to be fantastic and well-thought out, I am extremely sad that it’s ending. It will be missed greatly. In honor of Rebels, the team of The Elven Padawan – Shay, Kitten, and I, Audrey – talk about our favorite characters, episodes, and why we love Rebels so much.
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”
Nearly a year ago was the first time I read those words and began the discovery of what is now one of my favorite books. More recently, I also had the chance to watch the movies based on the book. Both are amazing adventures in themselves, but one of my favorite things to do with any book or movie is to find things that point to God. The story means so much more when there are eternal things like Love, Hope, and Truth included. Since J. R. R. Tolkien was a believer in Christ, it makes sense that his stories reflect that, even though they aren’t designed to be an allegory. Let’s go on an adventure to find some of the lessons from both the book and the movies. (Don’t forget your pocket handkerchiefs!)
In celebration of the premier of Star Wars VIII: THE LAST JEDI, there’s something really special going on with The Elven Padawan: a whole episode of your pre-TLJ thoughts!
Shay asked for your thoughts on a few key things concerning THE LAST JEDI, including porgs, R2-D2 vs. BB-8, lightsaber colors, and more, and now she’s back with all your answers, compiled into a “questions-on-the-street” news channel style. But don’t worry, there are no spoilers here; all questions are speculations and personal opinions only, and all answers were sent back and compiled before TLJ premiered, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, there’s nothing to worry about.
*This post contains information that could be considered spoilers for The Last Jedi.
Crait! Rose and Paige! Elite Praetorian Guards! And of course, Porgs! Star Wars: The Last Jedi introduced many new people, places, ships, and creatures, while continuing the exciting story that began in The Force Awakens. I decided it would be interesting to dig a little deeper and see what I could find about all these new components, and ended up finding some more information about previous characters and places as well. Whether you’re wondering what the name DJ stands for, or just how many explosives those Resistance Bombers can carry, I guarantee you will learn something new. (Unless you’re Pablo Hidalgo, in which case you wrote the book much of this information came from.)
First off, I’m starting with some of the many dedicated pilots, Admirals, Lieutenants, and soldiers who either lost their lives in this movie, or were part of the lucky few to make it out on the Falcon. Then I’ll write a little about the starfighters used in this galactic conflict.
Kaydel Ko Connix: Promoted to Lieutenant for the D’Qar evacuation, Connix decided which supplies were priorities and made sure the escape ran in an orderly manner. Once aboard the Raddus, she resumed her role as operations controller, helping the pilots communicate with their commanders. She is from the planet Dulathia.
Caluan Ematt: In its earliest days, General Ematt served the Rebel Alliance. He accompanied Leia on her recruitment of Poe Dameron, and has been watching the pilot’s career with great admiration. The defense of Crait was organized and led by him.
Larma D’acy: Commander D’acy comes from a military family charged with the protection of the Warlentta system. Warlentta declined to join the New Republic, and its independent culture made an impact on Leia. When forming the Resistance, Leia visited to personally recruit D’acy.
Amilyn Holdo: As a teen, Holdo met Leia while they served in the Coruscant Apprentice Legislator. During one of their path finding expeditions they often went on, Holdo discovered Leia’s involvement with the Rebellion, and later helped her find a way to warn them of an Imperial attack. Gatalenta, which is known for its poetry and compassionate, tranquil inhabitants, is her home world. Her uncommon clothes and hair color reflect her independent spirit, and her arm brackets depict star constellation patterns. As a Vice Admiral in the Resistance, Holdo was originally in command of the Ninka during the evacuation, but was moved to command of the Raddus after General Organa became unconscious. Her sacrifice of jumping to hyperspace through Snoke’s ship bought the Resistance valuable time to escape.
Tallissan Lintra: Part of the Blue Squadron, 22 year old Tallissan Lintra, or Tallie, was one of the most capable pilots in the Resistance. She learned the basics of flying in an old RZ-1 A-Wing her father used on their farm. While she initially survived the evacuation of D’Qar, she was killed by Kylo Ren’s shots to the hanger bay.
C’ai Threnalli: An Abednedo pilot like the late Ello Asty, Threnalli doesn’t speak Basic. He’s skilled at both star fighter and air speeder piloting. In addition to being Poe’s wingman, he is also one of the Resistance members Poe convinced to be part of his mutiny.
Paige Tico: Cobalt Hammer’s ventral gunner, Paige is five years older than her sister Rose. Their parents, Hue and Thanya, gave them a strong sense of right and wrong. The First Order mined their homeworld of Hays Minor, as well as stole children for the Stormtrooper program, and tested weapons on its cities. After witnessing the horror of the First Order, the sisters left their home in the Otomak system to fight for the Resistance. Paige loved animals, especially Fathiers. She was the only one able to drop her pay load of bombs, allowing the rest of the fleet to escape.
Rose Tico: As a mechanic, Rose’s innovations include a system that makes Resistance Bombers and escape craft harder for enemy sensors to detect. Her ring with the Rebel crest is an antique once used to show support for the Rebellion in the halls of the Imperial Senate. The matching medallions that her and her sister Paige wear show a map of the Otomak system, and are made of Haysian smelt.
Idrosen Gawat: Captain Gawat joined the Resistance after retiring from his job as leader of the planetary defense forces that patrolled the space in the Mykapo system. He was another leader lost in the command bridge explosion.
MG-100 StarFortress: Also known as a Resistance Bomber, this ship began being produced towards the very end of the Galactic Civil War. Because it was no longer needed for combat for many years, people then used its huge bomb magazine as a repurposed cargo drop for wildfire prevention and for dropping mining explosives. When used for proton bombs, the clip, as it’s called by the crew, can hold 1048 explosives. Since there’s no gravity in space, the pay load is magnetically drawn to its target once released. Helping with the retreat were the Cobalt and Crimson squadrons; they were previously unavailable for the attack on Starkiller because they were delivering supplies to others opposing the First Order. Each ship has a crew of five: a pilot and flight engineer in the cockpit, two gunners operating the rear and ventral cannons, and a bombardier controlling the targeting pedestal.
V-4X-D Ski Speeders: These ultra light, low-altitude speeders were manufactured before even the time of the Rebellion. Also known as skim speeders, these ships deploy a halifoil for stabilization and maneuverability.
The Raddus: One of the last ships designed before the end of the Galactic Civil War, Leia’s flagship served in the New Republic fleet under the name Dawn of Tranquillity. When it entered the service of the Resistance, Admiral Ackbar suggested they rename it in honor of Admiral Raddus, who served in the Battle of Scarif. It has heavy deflector shields, and so is placed in the back of the retreat to shield other ships from fire.
The Resistance In General: Being so under-staffed, people in the Resistance don’t have a set role. Soldiers are technicians, pilots are medics, and gunners become mechanics as needed. Members are a mix of Alliance veterans, ex-leaders of independent defense forces, and New Republic converts. While the Raddus had enough room for all members to escape on it, three other ships, the Ninka, the Vigil, and the Anodyne, also held fighters so that all of the Resistance was not reduced to one target.
The First Order
Now I’ll move on to the First Order command that get ignored because of others like Hux and Phasma, as well as Snoke and his guards, and the Supremacy.
Armitage Hux: Although he has the title of General, his ability to communicate directly with Snoke suggests the higher rank of Grand Marshall, which Snoke will not grant him. Before he was eliminated by Hux himself, his father, Brendol Hux, was highly ranked in the First Order, credited with being the one to propose the idea of taking conquered world’s citizens for Stormtrooper training.
Tritt Opan: Captain Opan has worked with both Brendol and Armitage Hux as an assassin and saboteur.
Moden Canady: During the time of the Empire, Captain Canady served aboard the Star Destroyer Solicitude. Now that he’s in his 50s, most of the people in his command on the Fulminatrix are many years younger than him. He is greatly displeased with their failure to work together effectively, though he can appreciate their zeal. When Paige drops her payload on his ship, he accepts his defeat rather than trying to flee.
Supreme Leader Snoke: Though he is not a Sith, Snoke is extremely strong in the Dark Side of the Force. He decided to take Ben Solo as his apprentice because he believed only someone from the Skywalker bloodline could destroy the last Jedi. He has a ring with writing from the Four Sages of Dwartii on it. The Four Sages were philosophers and lawgivers of the early Republic. On top of this ring is rumored to be obsidian from underneath Vader’s castle on Mustafar. He was also the leader of a mysterious group known as the Attendants.
Elite Praetorian Guards: Named for the real-life guards of Roman Emperors, this group of eight deadly fighters served as Snoke’s bodyguards. The eight were actually four sets of pairs with the same electro weapons, an Electro Bisento, a Vibro Voulge, Twin Vibro Arbir Blades, or a Bilari Electro Chain Whip. These weapons are high tech versions of ones found in primitive societies across the galaxy. Their armor is deliberately symbolic of the Emperor’s Royal Guards, and contains conductive wirepaths that create a local magnetic field that can deflect blaster fire, and even a lightsaber will glance off if it is not a direct hit. This comes at a great cost, as the magnetic field is very painful to the user. While their origins remain a mystery, their name dates back to the 14th Atrisian Emperor of Kitel Phard.
Stormtrooper Executioner: Any Stormtrooper could be found having to preform this role depending on that day’s assignment; they weren’t taken from a special group. Preforming this task was even considered a test as to whether you would make it in the Stormtrooper corps or not.
Captain Phasma: Phasma grew up on the harsh and primitive world of Parnassos as part of a tribe. When she met Brendol Hux after he crashed his Star Destroyer near her home, he was looking for warriors to recruit for the First Order. Immediately, she jumped at the chance to get off world. Her skill with melee weapons is a part of that past. While Finn and Han tried to get rid of her by putting her into a trash compactor, she used anti-armor acid to melt the door and escape. Then she went to work removing anyone who knew about her treason of lowering the shields. Even though she appears loyal to the First Order, she would betray them in an instant if it suited her needs.
Ansiv Garmuth: Tipped off by BB-9E, this Colonel of the First Order Security Bureau informed Phasma of the intruders.
The Attendants: Mute alien navigators from the Unknown Regions, they created the hyperspace paths used by the remainder of the Empire. They also designed and operated the viewing oculus in Snoke’s throne room.
The Supremacy: The only Mega-Class Star Destroyer in existence, Snoke masked its sensor by hiding it close to highly energetic stars in the Unknown Regions. The crew numbered in the millions, and was made up mostly of those too young to serve in combat positions.
Creatures and Caretakers
Yes, it is time for Porgs! And crystal foxes! And Fathiers, which I think are really cute, but don’t get as much attention. 😦 And if some of you have been wondering what Lanais even are, wonder no longer.
Lanais: Distant relatives of Porgs, females are called Caretakers and carefully keep the ancient island of Ahch-To in order. The males return only once a month with fish, and are called Visitors. Their culture is very musical; they sing through whistles and throat sounds while using their tools as impromptu instruments. Although they have no connection to the Force, they can tell what a newcomer’s intent is. Their non-Basic language consists of spoken words and hand signals.
Porgs: With great swimming skills and vision, Porgs are good at catching fish. A baby Porg is called a Porglet, and a group is supposedly called a “murder”. Their noise was made by mixing the sound of doves, turkeys, and chickens. They are based off of the Puffins that live on the real-life Skellig Michael Island.
Vulptex: Plural being Vulptices, these creatures get their name from the Latin word for fox, Vulpes, and the word for the corners of a polyhedron (a shape associated with crystals), vertex/vertices. A group is called a skulk. They have great eyesight, and have coats made of crystals due to eating things on the crystal salt planet.
Fathiers: Also know as “space horses”, these creatures are found across the galaxy, and their homeworld is unknown. They are bred for their speed and endurance in races, often being mistreated. Standing over nine feet, people are surprised at their height. During the Galactic Civil War, the Rebels used them occasionally for hit-and-run missions.
Planets and Places
From Ahch-To to Crait, there’s more to these new locations than meets the eye.
Cantonica and Canto Bight: Away from the conflict that is now sweeping the galaxy, this world has given corporate enterprises the freedom to govern their own territory. It is mostly a desolate, desert world, but a huge sum of money has been spent to create a fake ocean, and city: Canto Bight. Property crime is not tolerated here, and things like littering, parking in the wrong place, or vandalism, are punished more severely than on other worlds. In the casino, games such as Sabacc, Binspo, and Dejarik are frowned upon in favor of more upclass games such as Savareen, Zinbiddle, and Hazard Toss.
Crait: Scouted by Bail Organa as a possible base location for the Rebellion, Crait had to be abandoned after someone blew their cover. The mineral world is covered in a permanent layer of salt, with red amirite underneath, and an underground ocean that creates cave systems. It may resemble an ice world, but Crait is actually temperate. The Mining Guild once had operations here, but it has since been abandoned. Though old, the base does have shields, which prevented an orbital bombardment. Days last 27 hours, and it takes 525 days for it to orbit its star, also named Crait.
Ahch-To: From the time of the Republic, there had been many debates about what planet the Jedi Order had begun on. Some said Jedha, or Coruscant, while others argued Tython or Ossus. Luke was finally able to uncover its location in the Unknown Regions. Key in locating it was studying Uneti saplings, a rare type of tree that resonates with the Force.
DJ: A thief who steals whatever he needs to survive, DJ purposely gets arrested, claiming the jail is the only place he can get any sleep without the police bothering him. He is also a slicer, creating his own computer spikes and bypass keys. His motto is “Don’t Join”, because he believes all causes just use you for their own purposes.
Temiri Blagg, Arashell Sar, and Oniho Zaya: All three children work for Bargwill Tomdar by taking care of Fathiers. They were abandoned by people who lost gambles and are inspired by tales told by travelers.
Master Codebreaker: The Codebreaker Finn and Rose were supposed to find, he keeps his identity a secret. But he has put his personal data in the public system for anyone who can crack the code and become the new Master Codebreaker. No one has ever come close. In the casino, he is banned from any electronic form of entertainment.
Other Fun Facts
Other interesting things that didn’t fit anywhere:
- Poe wears the wedding ring of his late mother, Shara Bey, on a chain around his neck.
- AT-M6 stands for All Terrain MegaCaliber 6, which are those huge walkers used on Crait.
- The Resistance treats their droids like sentient beings, not property. The First Order treats them like droids, which results in cold personalities.
- The Resistance has found that pairing old R series units with newer BB units causes them to learn from each other.
- A standard squad of Stormtroopers is ten troopers. They train in groups called batches. Finn was in batch eight, which had graduates on the Supremacy.
And lastly, I found out this little guy’s name is Thamm. He emits a pleasing aroma.
What is your favorite new character or creature from The Last Jedi?
*This article contains spoiler-ish things for Star Wars Rebels season four: proceed at your own risk.*
“Noooooooo!” I wanted to yell at the TV, as the end credits rolled for the Star Wars Rebels mid-season finale, “Rebel Assault”. That episode had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and then ended with several huge cliffhangers. What’s going to happen to Hera? What has Kanan come to realize? Are the Rebels ever going to be able to launch a successful strike on Lothal? And most importantly: How am I going to survive mid-season break?! If you’re asking similar questions, here are some things I came up with that will (hopefully) help the time go by faster.
1. Fangirl/Fanboy with others
I do this nearly everyday, and it’s one of my favorite things to do! I could do it forever, but unfortunately there are very few people who enjoy carrying on a conversation about Rebels for more than two minutes. If you can find a group to talk with, whether it’s on social media, the comments section on here, or in real life, I guarantee that you will learn so much and find details you’ve never thought of. You’ll also have a place to share your ideas and thoughts. Another great thing is then you can all suffer together. 😄
2. Use your Interests
Get out your pencils, markers, paint, and make some fan art! Maybe art isn’t your thing. Write some fan fiction, or a poem. Make up a song that reminds you of one of the characters. Create a cosplay. Make some Rebels themed crafts. Act out an episode with your friends or siblings. Be creative!
3. Have a Rebels Marathon
The journey of Rebels has been amazing! We’ve come so far since the beginning; the characters, the plot, the galaxy. Sometimes I can hardly believe it’s the same show when I look back on how much has changed. It’s fun to go back and watch all 68 episodes that have been released so far. (That’s approximately 23 hours!) Since many things this season have mirrored season one, you’ll see the parallels and all the pieces that are now falling into place. It also gives you a chance to look for hints of things that may happen, such as why the Empire is on Lothal. So far, I have only made it to the episode “Out of Darkness”, but there’s still weeks of break left. I’ve been noticing details I’ve never seen, and I’m enjoying revisiting old times before the crew had this much responsibility and weight on them.
I don’t know about you, but it is going to take me all of this break to really process everything that has happened so far, particularly with the Loth-Wolves. I have no idea what is going on, but maybe if I think about it enough, I’ll have a somewhat reasonable theory by the time Rebels starts up again. We should also get a mid-season trailer in a few weeks that will provide us with some new information to make predictions around. It never hurts to watch the trailer several times, pausing it to find any small details.
5. Convince Someone Else to Watch It
There are some people who have never heard of Star Wars Rebels, some who decided that they didn’t like it too early and should give it another try, and some who just don’t think it’s worth watching. They’re missing out, so to help convince them, I have made a list of ten reasons they should watch Rebels:
1. It’s the formation of the Rebel Alliance. It begins with six individuals, and as it continues you see different Rebel cells join together to form the group we see in A New Hope.
2. Space Family! Kanan, Hera, Chopper, Zeb, Sabine, and Ezra are each extremely different from each other, but work together just like actual families do. They’re always there for each other. Hera and Kanan are the authorities; Zeb, Sabine, and Ezra are the kids; and Chopper is like a mom’s favorite cat. It’s something we haven’t seen anywhere else in Star Wars and I love it!
3. It has strong lessons. Characters struggle with responsibility, trusting others, holding onto hope, choosing the right way to fight, overcoming their past, and many other things. As they learn, the stories stick with you, and you learn right along with them.
4. Amazing Character Development. Take Sabine, for example. She started off as a young teenager who was hurt by her family and didn’t always think through her actions. Now, she’s grown up, freed her family, and has led several successful missions. Agent Kallus’ journey from an Imperial Agent to Rebel Officer was not one I expected, nor thought I’d care about, but he is now one of my favorite characters. They push these characters to their limits and places you never thought they’d go.
5. Thrawn. This does not need any further explanation.
6. Returning Characters. We’ve had Lando, Leia, Obi-Wan, Bail Organa, Mon Mothma, Wedge Antilles, Hobbie, Maul, R2-D2, C-3PO, and Darth Vader all make appearances. If you’re a fan of Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, we’ve also had Hondo Ohnaka, Saw Gerrara, Clone Commander Wolffe, Gregor, Captain Rex, Bo-Katan Kryze, and of course Ahsoka Tano. If you’re one of those people who think Clone Wars is waaay better than Rebels, you should still watch it, because it finishes many plot lines Clone Wars was unable to.
7. There’s so Much at Stake. What if Sabine had never gotten Wedge and Hobbie out of Skystrike Academy? What if Hera hadn’t helped Mon Mothma escape to the meeting at Dantooine? Or if those two huge kyber crystals had reached their destinations? The decisions characters make in this show do affect the galaxy and how later things play out, and them making different choices would drastically change many things later.
8. It’s not just a “Kids Show”. Yes, Rebels doesn’t have many things shows for older people contain. You know why? Because those are things like language, over-done violence, and other not-so-great content. Those are not what make a story good. Rebels does have some intense moments. People do die, or take other hard losses. But beyond that, Rebels has the good-against-evil theme, adventure, and imperfect heroes that make it a great show.
9. It’s Funny. There’s some great humor in Rebels. Even when they’re in life threatening situations, they’re still able to keep their cool. Whether it’s Ezra doing one of his impersonations, Chopper causing trouble, or Kanan making a joke right after nearly dying, there’s always something that makes me laugh.
10. Everything is Important. There are no filler episodes in Rebels; each one has at least one thing important to the story. Take “The Wynkahthu Job” for example: It may seem like just a silly Hondo episode, but they stole proton bombs, which were more than likely used by Y-Wings in “Zero Hour”. Or the episode “Fighter Flight” from season one. This is a really goofy episode where Zeb and Ezra steal a TIE fighter while on a supply run. It seemed like a filler episode at the time, but the TIE fighter was a very important part of the season finale.
Even if you decide in the end you don’t enjoy the adventures of the Ghost crew as much as I do, at least you gave them a chance, and became knowledgeable in another part of the Star Wars galaxy.
6. Read “A New Dawn”
A New Dawn is the story of how Kanan ended up joining Hera as the first member of her crew. It has lots of action, and made me realize just how long and hard Hera has worked to help build the Rebellion. It also shows that Kanan has come a long way from when he had given up any connection to his Jedi past. If you haven’t read it, and want some Rebels back story, then this would be a good thing to do over break.
7. Watch Rebels Recon and Check out the Episode Guides
After each episode, at StarWars.com you can find a behind-the-scenes video called Rebels Recon. Each one has interviews with the cast and crew, answers to questions people have asked, Chopper antics, and a clip for the next episode at the end. (Unless it’s the one right before break. No, of course I’m not still bitter about that.) They also release an episode guide, which has a breakdown of the episode, concept art, behind-the-scenes facts, and my favorite, a piece of music from the episode.
8. Go See Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Ok, so this one is kind of obvious, but thinking about a different part of the Star Wars fandom will help get your mind off the Rebels‘ cliffhangers. Also, it will more than likely leave off with another cliffhanger that we have to wait two years to resolve, so the ending to “Rebel Assault” won’t seem as bad in comparison. I know some people may not get to see The Last Jedi for a little while, so I hope changing some of these examples will help that time go faster too. (Like having a Star Wars movie marathon or convincing someone they should watch Star Wars. Yes, some people have actually never seen Star Wars.)
9. Enjoy the Time Before the End
We only have seven episodes of Rebels left, ever, guys. It’s going to be over so fast and who knows what is going to go down in these last episodes? At least we have some time to reflect on the journey and prepare for what ever they’ve got planned. If what we’ve seen from Rebels in the past is anything to go by, the final chapter isn’t going to be without losses of some kind, but it’s also going to be exciting and finish the story for these heroes in an amazing way.
How are you planning on surviving Rebels Hiatus? What are you looking forward to the most in the second half? Let us know in the comments!
Attention, everyone!! It’s time for some announcements!!
Things are getting ready to change up a bit here at The Elven Padawan. Nothing super major, but I’m very excited for what I’m bringing on next. 😉
First of all, in the coming months you’ll probably see some new additions to the TEP site. I’m always looking to expand and grow TEP, and as I continue to do that, you’ll see some matching changes in the look of this place, too. Since the news of this new Lord of the Rings show from Amazon broke, I finally decided it was time to add a separate section for Tolkien-related things, and although there’s not much out there for it yet, that will most likely be changing very soon.
I HAVE NEW ART!!!
Alright, now you may be thinking I’m a tad over-excited about this. But honestly, I’ve been wanting to update that art for so long, and never could figure out what to do with it. And please, don’t anyone take this as a problem with my original artist! My good friend Audrey drew the original art for the podcast, and I still totally love what she did, but I could never figure out how to arrange it and make a logo for The Elven Padawan that I really liked.
But now, the problem has been solved! And therefor I present to you, my readers, my lovely new podcast album art, created through the combined efforts of Audrey, myself, and Kitten!!
You may remember that Kitten originally drew that awesome logo that is at the top of this site, and is also included in the new podcast art above. She also helped me out by fixing up that cool new word-logo in the lower right of the art (check out the details! My costume “elvensaber”, green vines and leaves, and Ahsoka-style padawan beads!) And that lovely “Erebor to Echo Base” part you’ll recognize as the original art by Audrey, though showcased in a much better fashion than previously!!
You’ll probably be seeing this art some other places, as well, and in other styles, but I’m not totally sure about that aspect yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see where it goes. 😉
And finally, my biggest announcement, and one I’ve been very excitedly waiting to tell you all!!
First, an explanation: as some of you may know, I started high school this year, and I spent the good part of last semester just trying to stay caught up and get used to the new way of things. I had to step back a bit from The Elven Padawan for a while, especially the blogging aspect. In fact, my recent blog post on Kanan’s choices in the mid-season finale of Star Wars: Rebels was the first I’d done in a while. On top of all that, I’ve also recently joined the team over at The Future of the Force, and though I’ve only had one article with them so far, I’m hoping to really get on top of that soon and continue my series on the symbolism in Rebels. And I’ve really been trying to keep things rolling with the podcast, too.
Anyway, all of this has been piling up on me lately, and I thought it was time to bring in some help. Besides, part of the whole point in TEP was to feature fellow fans of my age group, and I’ve not been able to do that a whole lot with the blog. And that brings me to my biggest announcement:
Introducing The Elven Padawan’s newest blogger, my good friend and fellow Star Wars and Middle-earth geek, Audrey!
Many of you have already seen some of Audrey’s writing from our weekly reviews of the fourth and final season of Star Wars Rebels, as well as the guest post she did for me a while back (and we’ve already talked about her artwork for TEP!), but I figured it was time to go ahead and make her a full-on writer for this blog. You’ll be seeing articles from her regularly, and in preparation, I did a quick little interview with her to help you all get to know her better.
1. What first made you into a fangirl?
Audrey: I think Star Wars is the first thing that really turned me into a fangirl. Yes, I had movies I liked before seeing Star Wars, but I didn’t have a “favorite”. When I first heard that my brothers were watching it, I declined, thinking that it was a boy’s movie and would be boring. I was wrong. Really really wrong. I popped into the room while they were in the middle of A New Hope and decided that the story was pretty interesting after all. I tried to hide how much I liked it for a few weeks, but gave up quickly. And I’ve never looked back from there. That was a little more than two years ago, but I didn’t understand what a fangirl was until about a year ago while talking with some friends online. But once I did, I knew I definitely was one.
2. When did you first get into Star Wars? Same for Tolkien?
Audrey: Without my brothers, I don’t know how long it would have been until I wanted to watch Star Wars. I think the first thing that captivated me so much about it was how different it was from any movie I’d ever seen. Star Wars was really only the third or fourth live action movie I had watched, and because of that it immediately felt more real. I loved the characters from the start, especially Leia because she was finally a princess who got to fight. I don’t like admitting this, but I was also curious as to how she was going to marry the guy she’d been yelling at since she’d met him (my mom spoiled some things for us). As the story went on though, I started caring less about that and more about the story as a whole.
As for how I got into Lord of the Rings, you (Shay), and one of my other friends were the first people to talk to me about them. I thought they sounded interesting, so I asked my parents if we had the movies. Yes, I watched the movies first. I know sometimes people don’t like that, but I feel like it made reading the books easier because I could already picture the characters. I liked them right away since they had all the things that make my favorite movies my favorite. Good against evil, strong lessons, adventure and some fighting, with just a bit of romance. I’m not sure I completely count as a fangirl for them, since my knowledge of Middle-earth is very slim, but I’m working on changing that.
3. What characters are your favorites in each series (Star Wars and Lord of the Rings)? Can you give a few reasons why you love them?
Audrey: For Star Wars, Leia, because she goes through so much and is still fighting. Her defiance of evil and courage are inspiring. She was part of what changed my mind about Star Wars.
Second is Han, and I’m not entirely sure why he’s my second favorite. I like how he changes through the story from a selfish smuggler, to someone who takes risks for others and plays a huge part in defeating the Empire. Some of his lines are the ones that have made me laugh the most.
Rey is third, because she’s strong, but soft at the same time, and you don’t see that often. As much as I like Leia, she can be pretty harsh. Rey, even after spending most of her life surrounded by tough, heartless people and aliens as she struggles to survive, doesn’t give up on being kind or on hoping for something better. I think it’s cool that she’s a main girl who will be training in the Force. Her name being half of mine has nothing to do with why I like her. 😉
This list could go on forever though, so I decided on top three.
For Lord of the Rings, my favorite character is Sam. Sam is the best. He’s loyal, brave, enduring, and generous. He doesn’t let anything stop him from continuing on with Frodo, no matter how dark or difficult things get.
Éowyn is really tied with Sam for first. Like Leia and Rey, I like her because she’s a strong girl character and gets to play an important part. It fascinates me how she’s able to balance her duties and her desires so well.
Aragorn is my third favorite because he patiently waits for the time when he would be crowned king, unlike most people who would probably try to take the kingdom that should be theirs and would hate the people related to the current king of it. When everything is going wrong, he doesn’t get discouraged or worry, he just makes up a new crazy plan.
4. Top favorite OTP, and a brief reason why you love them.
Audrey: Kanera (Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla), is my favorite ship, because they don’t have a super dramatic or overly done relationship. They respect and believe in each other, while still teasing each other sometimes.
5. Which would you be: Rebel, Imp, Jedi, Sith, Resistance-woman, or First Order?
Audrey: As cool as it would be to be a Jedi, I don’t have that kind of discipline and don’t think I’d enjoy it very long. So I think I would like the most to be part of the Rebel Alliance, working as either a Fulcrum agent or as a strategist, like planning out the best options for battles and missions. I’d still want to be human.
6. Which would you be: Hobbit, Elf, Dwarf, race of Man, or another (like a Vala, Istari/wizard, Ent, skin-changer, etc.)?
Audrey: Definitely a Hobbit. They live nearly exactly how I would want to, in cozy houses, with lots of books (Bilbo at least had lots of books), growing food in their backyards, and living in a cheery place with grass and trees. And my mom wouldn’t have to keep telling me to put shoes on because no one would wear shoes!
7. Anything else interesting you’d like to say in connection to all this?
Audrey: Sometimes I worry that when I get older I’ll stop being a fangirl. (I doubt that, but it could happen.) But I know that even if I stop counting down the minutes until the next movie or book comes out, or don’t enjoy having long discussions about them, I know that the stories and the lessons will stay with me forever.
You can catch Audrey’s first blog article with The Elven Padawan next week, when she’ll be giving her insights into what to do while Star Wars Rebels is on break.
And that wraps it up for the announcements this time! I hope you all are looking forward to the things I’ll be doing with The Elven Padawan in the near future as much as I am!
What do you think of the new podcast art? Are you excited to see more coming from Middle-earth? Do you have any suggestions for things you’d like to see added to The Elven Padawan? Please let me know in the comments below!!
Or, maybe the more appropriate greeting would be…
This Thanksgiving, I wanted to just take a moment and say a huge THANK YOU to all of you guys who have contributed to The Elven Padawan in any way.
I wanted to re-post this series of tweets here on the blog for those of you who might not have Twitter, and haven’t seen them already.
To my readers here on the TEP blog, and those of you who tune into the podcast: Thank you all so much for supporting The Elven Padawan, and helping me get it started. I know it’s nothing like a lot of the big networks and fan sites out there, and what I write isn’t even all that great; I’m just a teenaged fangirl who got tired of annoying my family members who didn’t know the difference between an ewok and a hobbit with all my ridiculous rants and theories and ended up creating this whole mess. But I’m so thankful for those of you who do read and listen, who diligently “like” and comment on each post I publish, and check up here to find out the latest Star Wars related news. I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, and can’t wait to show you some of the new things I have in mind for around here. Much love and thanks again! – Shay 🙂
To my Father, the King: Thank you for everything you’ve given me, and specifically for these amazing stories you’ve given us the inspiration and imagination for. Thank you for all the amazing people who I’ve met because of them, and the fascinating conversations we’ve had, and all the valuable moments I have experienced as a direct result of this endeavor. I pray that I will be able to continue this path for a long time to come. Love from your crazy daughter – Shay