Star Wars-ing: Ahsoka Lives!

I think a lot of Star Wars fans of the Clone Wars have the same response to Ahsoka Tano that I did. I hated her at first.  She was a typical teenager. Anakin gave her the perfect nickname in “Snips.”

Then I became invested in the show.  My feelings for Ahsoka changed.  First, it was “ok…I don’t mind an Ahsoka episode.”  Then I couldn’t wait for them. The way she exits the show makes her the Jedi (I know she left the Order but she never wavered; it was the Order that did) I admire the most.  In fact, when Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple asked who was my favorite character, I didn’t hesitate when I said Ahsoka. Unfortunately, she was asking what lanyard I wanted from Amazon, and she was unforgivably not an option. I went with Rey instead.

Meeting Ashley Eckstein was fantastic.  She is one of the last people we needed for our Clone Wars Poster.  Ms. Eckstein was even surprised we never met her before when she saw the names already on the poster.  She talked to each of us and even noticed that Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s sister was wearing one of her jumpers.

The next day at the Rebels Panel, showrunner Dave Filoni was wearing an Ahsoka Lives? shirt. Now, the Saturday of Celebration was the Ahsoka Lives Day!  He is completely aware of the fandom and realized that there was going to be a huge meetup that day.  In other words, he was basically trolling fans.

After that panel, almost everyone that cosplayed as Ahsoka or who wore any clothing with her on it, gathered at the main steps to the second floor of the convention center to take a group picture.  Ashley was there, and so was Dave with a new shirt that changed the “?” to a “!”  (Click on the pictures to make them larger).

Later in the day, I attended the Marvel panel.  There was an extremely unscientific poll about who should their next comic focus on. Of course, it was Ahsoka.

BECAUSE AHSOKA LIVES!

Star Wars-ing: Dave Filoni Will Appear at Celebration

The mind genius behind Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars will be appearing at Celebration!  On Saturday, he and unannounced special guests will give panel goers a sneak peak at Star Wars Rebels Fourth season!  Meanwhile, over at The Wolf Den’s eBay site, you can get some great merchandise signed by Mr. Filoni.  The proceeds go to charity, so don’t feel guilty about your bid! Items won’t last long.

Remember, you can see all of our Star Wars news, links, reviews, and con encounters here.

Star Wars-ing: The Clone Wars Season 3 Ep 11-22

Again, season three is one of my favorite seasons.  Even the weaker arcs, were exciting and still managed to have some character development.

The Nightsisters Arc (11-14):

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The Sith decide to get rid of Asajj Ventress. They don’t succeed, and that sets off a chain of events that go deep into the rest of the series.  We see the creation of a new force sensitive killer from the same race as Darth Maul.  The Nightsisters deserve their own stories (I really would like to see a comic on them) especially since they deal with magic,which is not the same thing as using the force.  One of the best arcs in the series.

The Mortis Arc (15-17):  epguide316Usually a great arc is followed by a one-off or a lighter arc.  Not here.  In another brilliant arc, we learn more about he force both the light and the dark. We get to see how powerful Anakin is and how corrupting the dark side can be. Again, one of the best arcs in the series.

The Citadel Arc (18-20): epguide319 And yet a third magnificent arc in a row.  Still, there is plenty of action.  The most important thing about this arc is that we get to see a pre-Imperial Tarkin (above, right).  Tarkin is a true believer in the military and to use the military for control.  He has some great scenes with Anakin in which we see them agreeing on how to conduct the war.  These conversations are not evil and truly aren’t representative of the dark side, but they aren’t truly the Jedi way.

The Most Dangerous Game Arc (21-22): epguide322Ahsoka is captured and as my name for this arc suggests is then hunted.  We get so see Chewbacca and it is all entertaining, but after the other arcs in this half of the season, it comes off as Clone Wars Lite.

 

Star Wars-ing: The Clone Wars Season 3 Ep 1-11

Season Three was one of my favorite seasons so far.  Here is a recap with mild spoilers of the season.

Clone Cadets Arc (E1-2):  Epguide301.pngEpisodes that focus on the clones and their role in the war and in Star Wars in general tend to be my favorite shows.  This episode tends to follow the After School special trope about learning the value of teamwork. However, it’s expertly done and kind of chokes up you at the end of the arc.

Supply Lines (E2): epguide303A Jar Jar episode that can work in either the Jar Jar is a clown or a Sith paths.

Sphere of Influence (E3): epguide304b It’s amazing to me how much Ahsoka has grown as a character.  When the movie came out, I thought she would be annoying and a distraction from learning about Anakin and Obi-Wan.  However, this episode proves she can carry a story by herself which has been true for sometime now.

Mandalore Season 3 Arc (5-6): epguide305  Mandalore is a one of the best settings in the Clone Wars.  The people of Mandalore are neither truly good or bad, Separatist or Republican.  The first episode has Padme investigating a weird illness, while the second episode has Ahsoka continuing the investigation. Satine also plays a huge part in this arc. More importantly, these episodes again prove that Star Wars is no longer a boys club with Princess Leia standing in for all the strong women.

Assassin (7):

mv5bmji5mduxnduwnf5bml5banbnxkftztgwodexnziymje-_v1_ This is one of the best episodes in the series. It recalls (or foreshadows) the dreams that haunt Anakin in Revenge of the Sith.  However, Ahsoka handles it a lot better.  This is a tense, dramatic episode and again proves that the female characters are just as interesting as the male leads.

Evil Plans (8):

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As most of the C3Po-R2D2 episodes, this is a Rosencrantz and Guilderstern is Dead trope.  The main action, the one we should be interested in, is with Padame but the more interesting adventure is occuring behind the scene.  Plus, it’s a Cad Bane episode which is usually a good thing.

The Out of Order Episodes (9-11): epguide311 These episodes led to lots of confusion when watching them.  However, if you place these episodes after Season 1’s Hostatge Crisis, it makes sense.  I would rate these a lot higher if they were actually in order. In fact, it would have made me forgive the Clone Wars movie by making it more layered.

 

 

 

Star Wars-ing: Our Year With Star Wars

Some couples enjoy sports together.  Other couples go hunting or fishing together.  If you haven’t noticed, the Nola Nerd Couple likes to do nerdy things together.  We love going to cons, watching movies together, and reading comics.  While we definitely have our own tastes different fandoms of nerdy things, one area we always agree on is Star Wars.

Here is our year in Star Wars:

  • New Orleans Wizard World 2016: Cristina has decided to collect all variants of Star Wars #1 of the new Marvel run.  This might be a fool’s errand in that there are over a 100 of them, but she does have around 80 or so.  At Wizard World New Orleans she got Greg Horn, a designer of one of the covers, to sign his book. Of course, at this con, we saw plenty of Star Wars cosplay.
  • In late January, we attended Chewbaccus. Chewbaccus is a nerd-themed Mardi Gras parade that occurs in the Bywater district in New Orleans. Named after our favorite Wookie, this parade is comprised of nerdy groups who put on one of the city’s best parade.  The Leiarettes, a dance troupe of women dressed as Princess Leia in A New Hope, is always a crowd favorite.

leiadance

  • Pensacon 2016: We met Sim Witwer who voices Darth Maul and other characters on the Clone Wars and on Rebels. We also met Mark Dodson who provides the voice for Salacious B. Crumb. We also got another variant signed by Bob McLeod.
  • In March, we won a special Comic-Con Box that included a three foot Darth Vader and other Star Wars items.  We weren’t expecting it and Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple was super excited to win it.
  • Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple signed up to do a half-marathon in April 2016.  However, unforeseen events beyond our control caused a major reshifting of work her way.  She downgraded to the 10K.  So what does this have to do with Star Wars?  It was the Disney Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side 10K. The race was Star Wars themed and there were plenty of Star Wars related things we got to do because of it. Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s sister did compete in and complete the half marathon!
  • At Space City Con in May, we got to meet renown Star Wars artist Dave Dorman who did a Star Wars #1 variant.  Mr. Dorman will be at Pensacon 2017 and we highly recommend you check out his artwork.
  • In June, we did a podcast that discussed Wizard World Philadelphia and we also discussed Star Wars variants We also did another podcast where we talked about Star Wars here.
  • Also, in June, I wrote a long rant about canon and gatekeepers.  I did focus a little on Star Wars.
  • At the end of June, we got to meet the star of Star Wars Rebels, Taylor Gray. 
  • Ms. Nola Nerd Couple has been collecting the Star Wars comics since the new Marvel run has come out.  I’m reading them a little behind her schedule.  Here are my reviews of what I read so far.
  • Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple has long been a fan of Star Wars Clone Wars and Rebels.  I’m jumping to the ship a little later than she is. Here are my takes on theses shows:
  • In October, I ranted how hard it is to read about Star Wars without being spoiled.  Spoiler: Contents of movies and books not provided by LucasFilm, Marvel, and/or Disney is not news, it’s spoilers.
  • In November, I offered up some Star Wars stories I would like to read/see.  Some were tongue in cheeck but I do think we need a movie called Many Bonthas: A Star Wars Story.
  • In December, I gave a way too early look at Star Wars Celebration 2017. 
  • Yesterday, we said goodbye to our favorite Star Wars Princess and General, Carrie Fisher.

We hope to bring you more news about Star Wars in 2017.  Like 2016, we will post all Star Wars related events to our blog/podcast, but we will also do more reblogging and sharing of links for Star Wars.  Wednesdays have been designated as Star Wars days at Nola Nerd Couple so keep checking back here for your Star Wars fix.

Star Wars-ing: The Second Season of The Clone Wars

I was struck by how fantastic the first season of Clone Wars was.  I hated the movie that introduced the series finding it childish.  The series has proved to be deeper than most Star Wars vehicles and, in fact, more than most television shows in general.

The Halocron Heist Arc (S2E1-3)

Darth Sidious hires Cad Bane!  These are good episodes that help explain why Bane is such a fan favorite.  In fact, I’ve been putting loose change in to our Cad Bane bank for years because he was a favorite of Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s. However, it also shows a true evilness to Sidious instead of being the mostly shadow figure he is in the prequels.

Senate Spy (S2E4)

One of my favorite episodes of the series because it’s a strong Padame episode. Padame is a character that was wasted in the prequels (see Honest Trailers) but here she is a strong independent character in her own right. It also allows for her to have a past while the movies just focus her on protecting then pining for Anakin.

Genosis Arc (S2E5-8)

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Ahsoko and Barris in the Genosis Arc. Photo courtesy of Wookieepedia

Another arc that could have probably been release as a movie. This story highlights  Ahsoko Tano and Barris Offee as two different but capable padawans. Both have different approaches but both make their masters proud.  This arc does tie into the Darth Vader set of comics that have been released since Disney bought Star Wars. Great action set pieces are everywhere in this arc but it’s the quiet scenes that are fantastic.  The padawans are forced to make some very tough decisions. Ahsoko, in particular, here can be seen maturing throughout the arc.

Greivous Intrigue (S2E9)

I honestly don’t remember anything about this episode.  Probably, because I don’t find Grievous all that interesting.

The Deserter (S2E10)

Cut Lawquane, the deserter. Photo courtesy of Wookieepedia

Cut Lawquane, the deserter. Photo courtesy of Wookieepedia

My favorite episode so far. A clone has decided to desert and have his own life. He is his own person.  Captain Rex has issues with this because in his eyes all clones are brothers with the same purpose in life, but then finally understands by the end.  This episode is basically a monster trying to get into the house trope, but it is executed well. In fact, it is the only episode to make me jump. It is also the only episode so far that makes the Droid soldiers terrifying. But at the heart of this story is two clones and the voice acting of Mr. Baker is out of this world good.

Lightsaber Lost(S2E11)

This should be a bad episode.  The episode uses the silly old man but truly wise teacher trope. The ancient Jedi Master Tera Sinube is almost too cute to be taken seriously.  However, instead of being put off by his slow tortoise gimmick, I found him charming.  So does Ashoka as she learns her after-school special lesson about being a Jedi from Master Sinube.  Again, this episode should be awful, but it’s fantastic.

2nd Season Mandalore Arc(S2E12-14)

Santine, 2nd from left, and Obi Wan face a threat from the separatists. Photo courtesy of Wookieepedia

Santine, 2nd from left, and Obi Wan face a threat from the separatists. Photo courtesy of Wookieepedia

We are finally introduced to the wonderfully named Santine (reference to Moulin Rouge!).  Lots of intrigue and showing that this is a much deeper conflict than Sidious against the Jedi.  In fact, there is a moment in the first episode of this arc that is so brutal it’s one of the best moments in all of the Star Wars canon. A member of a group the Death Watch is wounded.  His commander looks at him, states “Failure,” and then proceeds to kill him with a single shot. The bad guys in Star Wars are often not very bad due to appealing to children but this moment decided to go there. We not only see a bad guy hit something with a shot, we see him kill in cold blood.  And it was an ally at that.  We also get to see Obi-Wan be more developed for know we know that he has a past. And in that past, he was in love with Santine. It provides a counterpoint to Anakin and Padame’s relationship. Santine and Obi’s stories are too important for this to be a one off arc.

Senate Murders (S2E15)

A classic whodunit trope. Good but not great.

Cat and Mouse (S2E16)

Good episode that does a good job of dealing with just war strategy.  Strongly echoes the Hunt for Red October, which is a compliment. In fact, it’s high praise.

Bounty Hunters (S2E17)

Obi-Wan and Anakin train some farmers to help protect their crops.  Even though it is a Hondo episode, it’s as exciting as it sounds.

The Zillo Beast Arc (E18-19)

 

During a battle, a beast is unleashed that has impentrable armour.  In fact, only one thing that can kill it is a gas from it’s planet.  In a King Kong trope, we have some decent action scenes.  However, the monster is focused on killing Palpatine. Is this character the only sentient being that can recognize him for what he is?  Which leads to the obvious question, how can no one recognize him? Does he just give off so much negative energy that others can’t sense his presence?  Either way, these episode works and works well.  At the end, I had to take a break from watching the series because I was so upset.  The end sequence is chilling when Palpatine declares he wants to clone the beast that so desperately wanted to kill him.

The 2nd Season Boba Fett Arc (S2E20-22)

Again, I’m not a fan of Boba Fett.  That doesn’t mean that I’m anti-Fett, it’s just that I don’t have enough information to be a fan of his. He doesn’t do much in the trilogy, not enough for me to be Team Fett.   This does provide a little back story, but it is one of a child still grieving from his the death of his father.  This arc reminds us that R2D2 is the baddest droid in the galaxy and might be the most heroic character in all of Star Wars.

Random Notes:

  • My favorite episodes tend to be centered around the clones.  The fact that the clones are getting weaker because of Jango’s death is fascinating.
  • The Deserter episode plays to the strengths of The Clone Wars.  The better the quieter moments are the better the action is.
  • Ashley Eckstein and Catherine Tabor do excellent voice work this season.

Star Wars-ing: The Clone Wars Season 1 Episodes 17-22

 

The Blue Shadow Virus (s1 E17-18):

Blue_Shadow_Virus

Image from Wookieepedia

An amazingly complex idea is rendered into what I consider the first “for children” episode of the series .  The subject matter is biological warfare and that brings up a slew of questions that could elevate this The Clone Wars episode into something special and extraordinary for animated series. However, the evil scientist Dr. Nuvo Vindi, while written well, is rendered into a stereotype by  some over voice acting by Michael York. Still, the fact that series even addresses this topic noteworthy.

The Ryloth Arc (S1 E19-21):

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Image from Wookieepedia

This is a quality war arc that could easily have been an offshoot movie that Disney seems to be focused on doing these days (that’s not a complaint!).   Because it has the time and freedom to do so, it ventures into territories that the movies rarely do: how the wars affect children and families and the politics of individual planets.  This is hard for movies to do because they have to paint in broad strokes, but this show is given the breadth to do so.  This is one of the arcs that remind you there are reasons for the fighting besides showcasing great actions scenes (which it does at well).

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Image from Wookieepedia

Hostage Crisis (S1 E22)

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Image from Wookieepedia

We are introduced to Cad Bane, my personal favorite bounty hunter in the entire saga. (I’ve never understood the Fett fascination). Not much in new territory, but it does help develop Anakin and Padame’s relationship more.  The animated versions have way more chemistry than the actors in the prequels do.

Random Thoughts:

  • I love Tom Kane’s Narrator. It’s a underrated aspect of the show giving us a WWII newsreel feel before plunging us into the action.  It’s an audio-visual counterpoint to the yellow word screen crawl and is perfect for the TV show.
  • I could live without the “fortune cookie” saying before every episode, though.
  • Dee Bradley Baker is a genius.  He voices all the troopers and yes they all sound alike.  However, he is talented enough to make each have a distinct personality.
  • If Matt Lanter can act as well as he can voice act, then expect great things from in the future.
  • Phil Lamarr is Marvin from Pulp Fiction!
  • Dave Filoni is brilliant.