Some of you may have already noticed this, but most of you probably haven’t seen the changes I’ve been making to The Elven Padawan site lately. Most of them have been minor, and going a bit slow, but it’s finally starting to take shape.
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.
This article was written by Shay S., Creator, Chief Editor, and Podcast Host for The Elven Padawan, and first appeared on ElvenPadawan.com
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
This article was written by Shay S., Creator, Chief Editor, and Podcast Host for The Elven Padawan, and first appeared on ElvenPadawan.com
Hi everyone, I’m back! That’s right, I survived my exams, and I’m rejoicing in the freedom that is holiday break!! While I’m off, I plan to get some work done around here with both this site and the podcast, including updating the news to reflect all the recent happenings in the Star Wars franchise, plus some other cool stuff you’ll be hearing about soon. But first off, I’m going to make my first blog post that I’ve done in a while.
If you’ve been following along with The Elven Padawan lately, you’ll know that I’ve been publishing reviews for each new episode of the final season of Star Wars Rebels that airs. This post is actually an extension of my review of the mid-season finale, where I deal with a really big aspect of the story that seems to have fans all over the place right now. Therefore, I’m warning you now that there will be big spoilers for “Rebel Assault” in here, so don’t read unless you’ve already seen the episode, or just don’t really care. 😉
So on to what I really want to talk about. I have a few things to say regarding Kanan’s reaction to Hera’s crash, and his plan to rescue her. First, I already know that everyone’s going to start thinking out some rant about attachments and love and how these things will inevitably end in tragedy and that Kanan is going to fall into and trap where Hera’s the bait and that will be the end for him.
But here’s the thing: all that doesn’t have to be the case.
I’ll admit it openly and with no problems: attachment can be a problem for a Jedi. Think about it. Almost every bad decision, or choice that can be labeled as “bad” by some fans, that a Jedi or Light Side Force-wielder has made stems from an attachment somewhere. Ahsoka Tano stayed behind and supposedly died on Malachor because of the attachment she had to her former master, Anakin Skywalker. Obi-Wan Kenobi disobeyed the orders of the Jedi Council to go to Mandalore and try to rescue Duchess Satine Kryze, eventually resulting in her death at the hands of his mortal enemy, Maul. Even the Chosen One himself, Anakin Skywalker, committed horrible deeds including mass slaughter of students and younglings, all in the name of saving someone he loved from death.
But here’s the problem: each of those people still had a choice. Ahsoka still chose to stay behind with Vader, knowing that it meant certain doom for her. She made a conscious decision about it, knowing full-well that Kanan and Ezra would take the ship and leave. (And honestly, I think that’s another little aspect to why she did it, to help them escape.) Obi-Wan deliberately chose to help Satine, and though it ended in tragedy, it was the risk he took.
And seriously, people. Do you really believe that there wasn’t a point where, deep down inside in a place he buried beneath all the emotions he was feeling, everything Anakin did became less and less about saving Padme and instead more and more about exacting revenge on the people he felt had wronged him, and gaining power to make people serve him as a little boy called Ani once had to serve them? When Padme follows him to Mustafar, notice that he isn’t heartbroken when she begins to back away from everything he’s become in the past few days, but instead flies into a rage. Notice that, alongside his claims that he can now save her from a fate she never believed was her’s, he was also bragging about how he now ruled the entire galaxy.
No, the people who make each of these choices are never forced to do so out of their good will for fellow beings. They all chose to do the things they do, and when those things are evil, it’s not love that’s actually responsible.
Now how does this all end up leading me back to Kanan, and his choices in this episode? I’m going to really dissect this whole thing and look at Kanan’s choice to go back for Hera, and his eventual decision to turn back around.
#1: Kanan almost did make a really bad decision, and it was out of attachment. I will not deny that. Surprised, are you, that such a strong Kanera shipper and proponent for the opinion that love is OK for Jedi, will so easily admit this? Don’t be. Remember, Jedi teach balance. Kanan and Hera’s relationship is great, and gives both of them strength and power in a time when things look so dark, but that’s only when it’s dealt with carefully. Just like in the real world, if you begin to let things that aren’t bad rule your life and cause you to make bad decisions, then it’s time to start carefully thinking about things. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Kanan should now cut off any potential relationship he and Hera could have because he almost made a bad move. The relationship is still fine, it’s just how they choose to use it and how they allow it to affect them. And that brings me to…
#2: The wolf was Kanan’s warning. Now I know we don’t have all the answers to what the wolf is really up to, and I’m sure there’s a lot more to what he communicated to Kanan than just this. But the wolf sitting in the middle of the highway, blocking Kanan from thoughtlessly rushing into the middle of an Imperial-overrun area, was his warning. I don’t hold Kanan’s actions against him, they’re totally natural. Everyone begins to make bad moves in their lives, I’ve done it myself countless times. But I’ve always had my parents to let me know when something is going in a dangerous direction, and to caution me about how this might end. That was what the wolf did for Kanan. It was letting him know that his emotionally fueled decision would probably end in disaster, and it gave him a few minutes to calm down and realize this for himself. Kanan knew what he was doing was a bad idea, and it speaks volumes about his character that, although initially frustrated by the interruption of his plan, it didn’t take him long to change that attitude around. The look on his face when he removes his mask and asks, “What must I do?” reminds us that he’s really worried about Hera, but he’s also willing to wait and accept the wolf’s correction. Like I said, I’m sure we’ll be finding out a lot more about the wolves when the season starts back up, and there’s probably much deeper things that it told Kanan concerning his and Ezra’s place on Lothal. But for now, to me, the wolf was a warning sign, forcing Kanan to stop, breathe, and realize just what he was about to do.
Now #3: Are you ready? This is a really big one, and I’m probably gonna be ranting for a while to be able to really show you the depth of it all. Here we go…
I’ve already said, I don’t blame Kanan for his reaction. It’s totally natural. And beyond that, when you really think about it, unlike the choices made by Anakin, what’s happening with Kanan is based on a much purer intent.
Remember where this man has come from. He lost everything. His childhood, his way of life, his family, his faith, even his own name and identity. He became lost somewhere between pain, anger, and denial. The pain of trying to understand why everything happened the way it did, his anger at the Force for letting such a horrible fate befall those who lived every moment of their lives in faith to it and at the troopers who called themselves his friends only to betray him as a young teenaged boy, and his denial of the fact that he truly cared about any of it anymore. We find out in A New Dawn that Kanan worked jobs with excitement and danger to numb everything he was feeling, and to make enough money to try to drink away everything that had happened. And in the middle of all that, here comes Hera. She’s on her own mission with the infant Rebellion, and her focus is all on that. But she does have a mission. Of course, Kanan first notices her because of her physical characteristics (well, actually it was her voice first, but it didn’t take him long to notice the other). He tries to convince himself that he’s only following her around because she’s another pretty girl to flirt with. But in the end he’s dragged into her whirlwind of a mission, and by the time we first see him again in Rebels, he’s accepted her cause for his own. He’s decided that he does care about the evilness of the Empire, and that he’s willing to fight against them because he truly believes that it’s worth it, not just in the hopes that maybe Hera will pay some attention to his advances if he goes through all the motions of becoming a Rebel. But it was Hera that first showed him that there were some things worth fighting for.
Had it not been for Hera Syndulla coming to Gorse in attempt to gain information on the Empire’s surveillance practices, then giving him a chance to realize who he truly was and bringing him to understand exactly what was at stake in this war, then he would still be lost. Actually, it’s way more likely that he’d be dead by this point.
But because of Hera, he’s not lost anymore. He’s returned to his faith, he has a purpose in life, and he has a family. Now as much as I love her, I’m not trying to say that she’s perfect or that she’s the only one who has contributed to his character development. It’s also been the result of taking on Ezra as his apprentice, as well as interactions with other characters the team has encountered, such as how meeting Captain Rex and his compatriots helped him to finally release the bitterness and anger he held for the troopers that slaughtered his master, Depa Bilaba, and later hunted him down. However, this does all lead back to Hera, and her decision to give him a chance.
This really hit me way back in season two, in the episode “The Protector of Concord Dawn”. When Hera is hurt badly in an attempt to persuade the Mandalorian faction the Protectors to join the Rebel cause, Kanan chooses to go back to Concord Dawn and try again, while Sabine is bent on taking revenge on those that hurt Hera. When Sabine sneaks on board the Phantom as he’s taking off, he tells her that he’s giving the Protectors another chance. Even though they explicitly said “No thanks” the first time and almost killed the Ghost crew’s captain and team leader. He knows that these Mandos can be a huge help to the Rebellion, and that it’s what Hera would have wanted them to do. This becomes a running theme throughout the episode, as Kanan continues to staunchly believe that some people just need a second (or maybe third or even fourth) chance, like the one he was given. It struck me that this was his way of carrying on what Hera did for him: she gave him a second chance, put up with all his annoying flirting and attempts to get out of everything, and in the end he saw just how important the cause of the fight against the Empire was. And that made a huge impact on him.
Can you really blame the guy for having an attachment to her? I know I’d certainly have an attachment to any person who did all that for me, whether there was any more to it than that or not.
But for them, there is more to it.
On top of everything she’s done for him, not to mention the things he’s done for her, how long they’ve fought side-by-side in this war and always been there to have each other’s back… there’s even more to their relationship. These two have cared deeply about each other for a long time, longer than even the show has shown. From the moment they met and and got sucked into the Gorse Conflict together, they just seemed to “click”. Their personalities, their gifts and skill sets, their methods of fighting; somehow, everything fit together to make them an amazing team. It wasn’t hard to pick up on the attraction between the two, something that went deeper than just the flirty, surface here-then-gone relationships Kanan had managed to always find during his years in hiding. Though it understandably took Hera a while to let herself get close to him, once she did, she found a battle partner that would stand by her side through everything, and ultimately, a life partner as well. These two are bound together in one of the deepest ways, and their faith in each other is one of the few things that gives them a bit of joy. Even Dave Filoni has one of his famous tweets dedicated to the two and how their relationship brings them some joy in the darkness through their complete understanding of each other. We still don’t know how their story will end, and whether they’ll be able to do anything with this connection and actually end up living out their lives together as they hope, but undeniably, the wish to do so is there. Everything’s still not out in the open between them, but after over three seasons of dancing around it, their feelings for each other have become pretty evident. The possibility of a future together is one of the few things they can hold on to through everything else.
So to finally come around to point #3 in my breakdown of Kanan’s reaction: What he wanted wasn’t wrong.
What he wanted was to try to help the woman who helped him find his way, who is the reason why he’s even on Lothal in the first place, the reason why the other members of the team are around and probably why all of them are still breathing at that very moment. You can see that in his expression when he removes his mask to talk to the wolves. He just wants to try to protect her, and he doesn’t want to have to add her to the list of things he’s lost. Especially not the the reason she would be going on that list was because he turned around and left when he could’ve tried to go back for her. Can anyone truly blame him for that? Of course there was no chance he could have actually help her. He was one person, not to mention one blind person, among a ton of Imperial troops sent there specifically the take out him and his crew. Like I said way up at the top, his decision was rash and it was necessary for the wolf to stop him; but at the heart of the whole thing was a very pure and understandable desire.
#4: I can’t blame Kanan…. because he stopped.
If Kanan had blasted his way right straight into the city, only to be gunned down by stormtroopers moments after arrival, I don’t think I’d be able to blame him too much then either. I would have been disappointed in him, definitely. He’s way too smart, especially after all he’s been through and how much he’s grown over the course of this show. I would have been super annoyed at however wrote that ending for this character. I mean, seriously?? Give him all that character development and build everything up, just for him to act that dumb and die from it? And honestly, I would probably have been really mad at Kanan for a while… until I though it all out and realized everything behind it. It still would have felt like a major cop-out, though, and I’m really glad the team didn’t take it in that direction.
But the ultimately, once you dig into all these complexities behind Kanan’s choice, why he made it, what the wolf was there for, and everything else, the reason why I personally don’t blame Kanan for what he did is…
Because he stopped.
When the Loth-wolf had to get in his way and stop him to warn him of what he was about to do….
He stopped. He listened. He asked what he needed to do to make it all right again.
In the first installment of The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf the Grey has finally come to the horrible truth about that shiny golden circle that Bilbo Baggins owns: it is indeed the One Ring of Power, created by the Dark Lord Sauron and filled with his malice for all other living beings. Gandalf knows exactly what it means, and exactly what it could do to the unsuspecting Mr. Baggins, who found it on his adventure with the Dwarves so many years ago. He knows that he must act fact, and separate Bilbo from the Ring if the hobbit is to have any hope of escaping its grasp. But having already had the ring in his possession for over sixty years meant that it was beginning have an effect on him. Bilbo wants to leave it behind, but at the same time he doesn’t; he tells Gandalf that it’s in an envelope on the mantle as he starts out the door, only to realize it’s actually in his pocket. When Gandalf begins to urge him to leave it, Bilbo snaps and accuses Gandalf of wanting to steal it from him, getting a look in his eyes that is eerily reminiscent of another former owner of this “Precious” little gem. Gandalf seems to grow twice his size, his voice deepens, and he reprimands the hobbit harshly, breaking the Ring’s hold on Bilbo, reminding him, “I’m not trying to hurt you. I’m trying to help you.” As Bilbo’s eyes fill with tears in realization of what’s happening, he runs to Gandalf’s arms, before turning his back on the Ring once and for all, and setting off for a long vacation with the Elves in Rivendale.
From the first time I ever watched Fellowship, I never blamed Bilbo. I understood exactly what was going on with him, and sympathized with his plight. He never meant any harm by picking up the Ring, and he never had any malicious intent in using it to play disappearing jokes on people. Everything that happened with him was a result of the higher powers of Middle-earth at play.
But I never felt anything against Gandalf either, because it was his job to stop Bilbo before it was too late.
See, just like Kanan, and just like all of us people, Bilbo did ultimately have a choice about what he would do. He could defy Gandalf, give himself over to the control of the Ring, and choose to serve Sauron, whether initially or not. Kanan could stop, listen to what the wolf had to say, and decide whether or not to continue with his very bad emotional decision to try to save Hera. Bilbo gave up the Ring. Kanan turned back around.
Finally, #5: I hope it all ends OK. Now obviously I hope that the show overall ends OK. I need to see the crew of the Ghost survive, even if they decide to go their separate ways until the war is over. I really don’t want to see Kanan and Hera’s relationship end in tragedy, either, though I’m not naive to the fact that many fans do believe he will die, possibly in sacrifice for his “family”, before the show is over. What ever happens, however, I don’t want to see his and Hera’s relationship get blamed. I don’t want Kanan to make a rash decision and run into a trap because of his feelings for her.
There’s a theory out there right now that the wolf showed Kanan a vision of Hera’s future, of all the things she’ll accomplish with the Rebellion, and this will lead to him laying down his own life to rescue her. If it’s an absolute necessity for Kanan to die, then I want it to be something like this. I want him to go into it with his eyes open, and I want it to be done in a way that won’t cause fans to blame their relationship for causing him to make a decision out of emotion and therefore lose his life. I don’t want to see yet another Star Wars character get punished for loving, when the entire core theme of the story is the power of Light, a.k.a. love, vs. Darkness, a.k.a. hate.
Alrighty, that was a lot longer than I intended. (Can anyone else tell how much I NEED this show to start back, SOON??) But this is something that’s been going through my mind since watching the episode, and I’m thinking that a lot of fans might take it the wrong way, and just wanted to share my analysis of it all.
Until next time,
May the Wind under your Wings carry you to where the Sun Sails and the Moon Walks, and the Force be with you, always!
This article was written by Shay S., Creator, Chief Editor, and Podcast Host for The Elven Padawan, and first appeared on ElvenPadawan.com
What did you think of this breakdown of Kanan’s decisions? What did you think of “Rebel Assault” in general? Are you just as excited as I am about the rest of the season?! Let me know in the comments below!! 🙂
Welcome to this final Star Wars Rebels review of the year from The Elven Padawan!
That’s right, this Monday’s episode, “Rebel Assault”, led us right into the mid-season hiatus screaming and yelling. Well, maybe not literally, but it definitely was a major cliffhanger to end on! Shay and Audrey once again give you their big thoughts on this episode, which aired in the U.S. on Disney XD on November 13, 2017.
This episode gave finally gave us that long-awaited attack on Lothal by the Rebels, but things didn’t go as anyone was hoping. Instead, it quickly morphed into a battle for survival in the Imperial-occupied streets of Lothal, as Hera tried to make her way to safety after her attack goes horribly wrong. As usual, this review is full of SPOILERS! so continue forward at your own risk!
I hope you enjoy this review from The Elven Padawan, and be looking for more when Star Wars Rebels resumes its fourth and final season in early 2018.
Shay: So starting off, this was definitely a very Hera-based episode. She really got her moments to shine in here, and it was actually a lot different from the episodes focused on her that we’ve gotten in the past. I enjoyed it myself, and we’ll talk about that in a minute, but I’ve seen some people who are a little annoyed with it. Because they really advertised that, after the first several episodes, this season would really focus mainly on Ezra and tying up his story, while some people feel that it’s actually been focusing more on Kanan and Hera.
What did you think about the flip here to centering in on her?
Audrey: We haven’t really seen a ton of Hera this season. I felt like before, Ezra and Sabine were getting a little too much screen time, so I was excited that we got some Hera action in this one. I think all the others’ stories are going to end up influencing Ezra’s, so in a way it’s still about him and his desire to help Lothal.
Shay: That’s been pretty much my thoughts as well. I mean, yes, they are putting a lot of focus on Kanan right now, and on his and Hera’s relationship. But in my opinion, that is all going to go back to Ezra. Whatever happens to those guys really determines where Ezra goes from here, from whether or not each of them survives, to what they choose to do with their lives from here on out if they do… honestly, whatever happens between Kanan and Hera is going to really affect him as well, because it will lead them to make certain choices about their lives, and the way all these characters are tied together as a family means that no one’s choices only have consequences for that individual, they affect all of them, together.
Right now, I’m really liking how it’s being balanced between all the characters. I’m glad it’s coming back to focus on the Ghost crew family unit and their interactions with each other, instead of each of them off on their individual adventures. We get a couple episodes of Sabine-focused story, then on Ezra and Sabine, then one with Ezra and Kanan, then one with Hera, but ultimately they’re done in a way that ties whatever happens to one or two of the crew to everyone else, and they’re balanced out so no one individual, or duo, gets too much screen time while the others just kinda tag along.
Audrey: Every time someone called Hera “General” in this episode, I wanted to go “Yes! General Syndulla!”
Shay: Oh yeah!!
So, I think everyone probably has already picked up on how much I love Hera, so for me personally, it was so amazing to see her get this focus, which was literally an entire episode showing us why she ends up as such a legend in the Rebellion. Not only is she crazy good at flying, but this was the first time we got to see her doing a lot of ground fighting, unless you count some parts in A New Dawn. It was really cool to see her doing all that sneaking around, trying to stay away from Ruhk and help Mart, and eventually going hand-to-hand with Thrawn’s assassin.
We’d never seen her fight like that, and it reminded me of a few things: first off, she was born for this war. It’s like Thrawn said back in season 3, he studies it, but she was forged by it. And also, it reminded me that she is not invincible. It’s sometimes really easy to see Hera as being this perfect, invincible pillar of strength all the time, but sometimes there are places where she’s really in trouble. I’m not trying to say she’s weak or can’t take care of herself or anything like that, but when she was fighting Ruhk hand-to-hand, it reminded me of how easily something actually could happen to her. Especially when he picked her up and threw her back down. He actually *lifted her completely off the ground and threw her across the street*. We’ve known for a little while now that she has to survive at least to Rogue One, and now we know she gets at least as far as Return of the Jedi, but I was really starting to get worried for her!! She’s not totally “unbreakable”.
Audrey: The first time she faced Rukh, when she got away, (go Chopper!), I thought that was it, that Rukh wasn’t going to take her. I wasn’t really expecting her to actually get taken. It was painful to watch Hera get thrown around like that; I especially hated the end when Pryce stunned her and took her away. Other than the very beginning, this episode didn’t have any victories for the Rebels, they lost a lot in it. Which is why it bugs me that I saw somewhere that someone said something along the lines of, “… but no real losses, nope, not on Rebels.” They lost nearly an entire squadron, they failed to destroy the factory, and two pilots were taken prisoner! Those are real losses, a “real loss” doesn’t mean a main character has to die.
Shay: Ug, I just wanted to punch Pryce then!! She’s been even more annoying that usual lately, but when she caught Hera and then says, “Such a small victory,” then stuns her right out, it made me so mad!! She just had such disdain in her voice; even Tarkin and the Grand Inquisitor knew that catching Kanan in season one was really helpful to taking out that Rebel cell. I was like, “Do you know who this woman is?! Do you know that she’s literally the main reason you’ve been chasing these people across the galaxy for this long, and why Thrawn is getting fed up with you right now???” I mean, I didn’t want to see Hera captured at all, but it made me like Pryce even less than I already did when she didn’t even have respect for how hard to catch Hera has been. When Thrawn got her in season three he knew right off exactly who she was and what was up with her, and you can tell he’s pretty impressed with how well she’s thwarted all his plans so far, or has at least escaped and kept her family safe.
And I know what you mean there, too. I’m seeing people who seem to be getting bored with it already because “nothing big has happened”. I don’t know how they can say that, honestly. Yes, we haven’t seen any main characters die yet. Yes, there are a lot of mysteries that we still don’t have a lot of clues to. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been big already! Just the fact that they’re finally dealing with the Kanera is huge, since they’ve been teasing their relationship since A New Dawn and the first Rebels character shorts.
And here’s something I’m thinking people aren’t picking up on: how is their failure here going to contribute to other things that may happen soon?
Yes, Rebel pilots do die frequently on here. So maybe people are a bit desensitized to what it means for Hera to have lost almost her entire squadron. But keep in mind that the Alliance didn’t want to let her have this mission in the first place. In their eyes, there are much bigger things to worry about right now than just a TIE Defender factory on a little Outer Rim planet. They’re starting to hear rumors of a superweapon, they’ve just found out about Protocol 13, and Saw is really starting to get out of hand. They’re already lost a lot to Thrawn, and they don’t want to continue trying to do things that will just cause them to loose even more resources.
While they did say “yes” to Hera in the end, it was because she begged them, and they finally became convinced that she could do the job. But now they’ve lost a ton of ships, and we know from earlier storylines like “Steps into Shadow” just how hard it is to get more. We know they’ve lost a bunch of good pilots, which is not only saddening because those were individual people and the Rebellion values the lives of everyone, but also because fresh pilots are hard to find and train. We know that from “The Antilles Extraction”. And we also know what a great leader and fighter Hera is, and how they’re finally starting to realize that, and now they’ve lost her, too.
It’s really starting to make a lot of sense how the Rebellion doesn’t want to send people out to Scarif in Rogue One, but beyond just that, I’m a bit worried about how they might respond to any other future tragedies that Hera may ask for help on once she’s able to escape.
Honestly, I’m almost starting to think the reason that she wasn’t there at the meeting with Jyn and Bodhi was because they’re making her have some “cool off time” because of all the trouble she’s been causing lately.
Audrey: And it’s not her fault that they failed either! She got them through the blockaid, and got rid of Skerris, although she did have a bit of help from the Imperials shooting towards their own disobedient pilot. I try not to cheer when characters die, but I was so ready for that guy to be gone.
Shay: Yes, finally! He was such a pain. Why can’t anyone in the Empire just listen to Thrawn when he tells them stuff? I mean really, his track record should show that every. single. stinking. time. this happens, who ever is not listening dies, and he goes on the win the day anyway!
Of course I wouldn’t have to Empire to actually win, but really, if they would actually just work with each other, and especially with Thrawn, they would have crushed the Rebellion within about 5 years.
I hope you enjoyed this review of “Rebel Assault”! Did you have a favorite shot or line from this episode? (Some of those views from the space battle were just plan epic!) Are there any parts of the episode you’d like to discuss with me? Let me know in the comments, I always love chatting with you guys!
Hey guys, I just wanted to let all my readers here on The Elven Padawan blog know what’s going on right now….
Some of you may have already seen my tweets on this subject, but for those who haven’t, here’s the deal:
I’ll still be hanging around to chat with you guys in the comments as much as possible, and I’ll still probably be keeping up with the happenings on Twitter a small bit, but at least until the end of this week, my work with TEP will be very minimal. I just wanted to let you all know so you don’t give up on my return, or think I’ve given up on this craziness we call a fandom. 😉
Also, there have been some rather unexpected recent happenings in the Middle-earth realm, and I’ll probably be adding some new sections to this site soon to accommodate for that.
And also be looking for some overall changes in general, as I’m trying to update a couple other aspects of all this to go alongside my brand-new podcast intro! Nothing too major, but I’m looking to try out some new ideas as I’ve gotten a better feel for what I’m aiming at here, and am finally beginning to find my place in this community.
Until my galaxy is free again!
And Hera’s speech. Those parts are tied.
Shay: That speech was definitely amazing!! We had already heard a lot of it through the trailers for this season, but her determination to show the Rebel Alliance that this chance was worth taking was so great. I love how they’re not simply accepting that Hera’s a flat, “Rebel-leader-plus-mom-figure” at this point. I think she’s still got a lot of struggles to work through, even though they won’t be as front-and-center as those of some of the other members of the crew. She’s having to realize that the Alliance isn’t perfect, and many times she’s going to disagree with them and will probably even have to take things into her own hands when it gets in the way of what she believes is right. It’s a lot like the the Battle of Scarif. We still don’t know exactly how that went down, but we know that Admiral Raddus and all the others who went there, including Hera probably, weren’t technically supposed to, but they did it anyway. We saw some of her struggle in that way through these episodes, where she was told to leave the conversation and later worried that they didn’t trust her judgement.
Shay: On the other side, I laughed so many times throughout both of these episodes, and that actually surprised me a lot! Not that I was expecting them to be super dark or heavy or anything, but just because it catches you off-guard so much. Here they are in really a very dire situation, and we’ve got a lot of jokes about Ezra going through the vents, Seevor horrified at what he sounds like, and then Ezra cracking a joke when the poor guy got incinerated!!
What did you think of the humor in these episodes? In some places, even though it was very funny and I loved it, I kinda felt a little bad for laughing because of what was actually going on, like Zeb repeatedly beating Seevor up to keep him quiet, and like I said before, when he actually met his end.
Audrey: I’m glad they put some humor in to balance out all the fighting and other things going on. The whole scene when Seevor falls backwards was framed really oddly to me though, and kind of worries me, but other than that, the other funny moments were well thought out.
Shay: These episodes were actually a lot more “hopeful” than I thought they would be… I don’t want to say “light-hearted”, but that’s actually the closest word I can think of to what I was feeling from them…
The last several episodes before these weren’t too terribly heavy, but they were much more so than these, what with seeing just how bad Lothal has gotten, and the ones before that, with Saw and then with what was going on with Mandalore.
When these episodes finished up, it really felt like things could be looking up for the Rebels, and I found myself wanting to believe it could all go OK. But I’m afraid they’re just setting us up with false security, and then the second half of this season is gonna come rushing in with everything going downhill really fast.
I wonder if they’re setting it for for the characters to feel that way, too, though. Especially with that very last scene in “Crawler Commanders”, where Hera calls in to tell them they’re bringing the attack force to try to help Lothal; everyone is smiling, and especially for Ezra, things are finally starting to look up. I wonder if they’re going to be in for a very hard truth on just how desperate the situation is next episode?
Audrey: Can they even pull off destroying the TIE factory? I don’t know if that would count as a major victory or not, since they can’t have one until Rogue One. From what we’ve seen in the trailers, it’s not going to go very well. But even if it fails, I did love seeing them so hopeful and happy for a moment, especially Ezra. He’s had to wait so long for this!
Shay: Ah, I know! And after last season, too, when everything seemed so dark and it looked like it was all falling apart so fast. In just a few episodes it’s like everything has turned around, and it both warms and break my heart to see them all like this. Ezra’s so excited that his home will finally get some help from the Rebellion, Kanan and Hera seem to have a promising future to their relationship, Sabine’s family problems and the occupation on Mandalore have all been resolved, and Zeb’s just happy to be there and support everyone. I honestly have no clue what Chopper is feeling, but he seems pretty positive right now too, so that’s pretty major.
But then I remember that part from the opening crawl of A New Hope, and I start to worry.
I personally think being able to do that much damage to the Empire, especially on a planet like Lothal, which seems to be really instrumental to their plan for some reason, would be a pretty big victory…
Shay: Ok, so now lets talk some specifics on these episodes.
“Kindred” was the first appearance of a new character pulled from Legends, Ruhk! This guy was Thrawn’s personal assassin in the Old EU, and he’s carried that same occupation over into his role in New Canon and in Rebels specifically. He’s also a Noghri, which is a race we’ve never seen on-screen before. And of course we can’t forget that he’s voiced by Warwick Davis, which a lot of Star Wars fans should know as Wicket!
What did you think about Ruhk and the way he was portrayed here? Do you think he’s a legitimate threat to the Rebels, and they should be really aware of him? Or will he turn out to be more like the Fifth Brother was, and look and seem creepy, but not end up actually doing any damage?
Audrey: He is pretty creepy looking. And his voice is creepy sounding too. I definitely think he’s a threat for the Rebels, they’ve never had an experienced assassin hunting them before. Ezra was losing that short brawl before he Force-pushed him away. He’s got a lot of cool gadgets and weapons. I think he may have been part of the group that went to wipe out all the Lasat, because seemed to single Zeb out a lot and has a Bo-rifle.
Shay: That’s a really interesting point, and something I hadn’t thought of before! Obviously he did seem to have something going on about Zeb in particular, so I wonder if it could be a personal thing between himself and that race, like with Kallus, or maybe something where those two groups have never gotten along, kinda like the Elves and Dwarves in Middle-Earth?
Audrey: I feel like I’ve heard something about Noghri and Lasat before, but I can’t remember where.
Shay: They seem to have a similar sort of culture, based on just the little bit we know of the New Canon version of the Noghri…
Shay: We also saw Pryce again in these episodes! I feel like that woman is standing on a very slippery slope right now, in a balance between being able to hang on to everything she’s fought her way to having and losing it all to Thrawn’s plans… She always thought she was the one in charge and had brought Thrawn in to help her, but now it’s beginning to appear that he’s the one calling the shots. Especially in the way it looked like she was being sent out into the field to greet Ruhk and start tracking the Rebels, while Thrawn got to just sit in his office.
Audrey: She and Rukh did not get along well. The first time they’re working together, and they’re already arguing and snapping at each other about who let who get away.
Shay: I just had a thought: I wonder if Thrawn is doing all this on purpose?? Perhaps he’s bringing in his own guys, knowing full-well how Pryce will respond, in order to show how she’s not really running things in the most productive way for the Empire, and to kinda get her out of the way so he can do what he really wants to? Knowing what we do of the way Thrawn thinks and plans all this stuff out, it definitely seems like he would already know how the two would get along and have a plan for it.
Audrey: That is such a Thrawn thing to do. I know he definitely can’t be working for the Empire at the end of this season, but I wonder if Price isn’t so prominent that she would have to go just because we don’t see her later.
Shay: Next thing up: #Kanera!
Ok, so I know we’ve already discussed this a little together, but there has been a lot of stuff between Kanan and Hera going on lately, and there still is, but “Kindred” finally got us some stuff we’d been waiting for a very long time on.
What do you think of where their relationship is headed, and how it looks like it’s finally getting some resolution?
Audrey: I do not have a very good feeling about where it’s going to lead. One of the reasons Mr. Dave decided to finally get around to addressing it was probably because he knew he could make fans feel more if Kanan doesn’t have a place to stay through the Original Trilogy.
But even though it will probably make things that might happen later harder, I am very happy we are at least getting some happy moments.
Shay: I’m both very happy and very worried about it… You’re right, it only makes sense that they’re finally getting around to it now just to make it hit us all the harder when it doesn’t end well for Kanan, but I’m drawing a little bit of hope from the fact that Han and Leia got their happy ending (well, for about 30 years, anyway…)
And finally including some moments between those two actually served to lighten these episodes up quite a bit. Especially with their scene right before Hera leaves. I had thought that if they resolved anything between them, it would be when things were already pretty bad, much like Han and Leia’s scene at the end of TESB, when he’s about to be carbon-frozen. And while I think we might still get something like that between them, it was really sweet to do it the way they did, and remind everyone that even with as dark as things are looking, there’s still some moments of light in there. The way the rest of the crew, and even Ryder, started smiling when they saw what was going on just really made me grin.
Audrey: I’ve forgiven Ryder for ruining it the first time, he even tried to be polite and said “s’cuse me”.
Shay: Yeah, I think I have to forgive him too…. And I have to forgive Zeb, because his grin over that was really cute…
I feel like Ryder and everyone else have been kinda watching them this whole time, knowing something was coming, but just waiting for it to actually happen. The way he said “Excuse me” made it sound like he’d been standing there for a bit.
Shay: And finally…. the Loth-wolves!!
We’ve all been begging for more of those guys, but every time we get them back we just end up with more questions!! Like why is that one calling on Kanan? And why does it keep referring to him by his real name?? And how in the galaxy did they travel halfway across the planet like that??? So many questions!!
We knew it was going to start getting “weird”, and I know a lot of people, including myself, kinda worried about that, but right now I’m just intrigued. I really want to know what’s going on here, and I’m really excited to find out more!
Audrey: All the wall designs are really mysterious too. I found Yoda in one of them, but I have no idea what any of it means.
Shay: I know, right?! I wonder if this is connected to how Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are able to “become One with the Force at will”, as well know they are able to “teleport” as Force Ghosts. Though that actually is pretty different, as they’re more or less just a presence within the Force, whereas these wolves seem to actually be living beings.
The wall designs to indeed seem to be telling a story, and I’ve seen people already speculating on who the different individuals they portray could be. I guess it’s also possible that they’re just random people and Jedi (or Force-users).
Something that really interested me about all this was the fact that not only the Jedi, but also Zeb, Sabine, and Ryder were able to be transported, and they didn’t have to be knocked out, like when Sabine and Ezra rode on the wolf in “Flight of the Defender”. I wonder how that works? I definitely can not wait till we get to find out more!
What did you think of these episodes? Do you have any thoughts, theories, or speculations on what’s up with the Loth-wolves? What do you think of Thrawn’s recent moves against the Rebellion? Let me know in the comments!