The season two finale of Rebels shook things up in a major way. Kanan has been blinded, most likely permanently. Maul has survived yet again to go cause trouble for Rebellion and Empire alike. Ezra feels the pull of the dark side more strongly than ever. And Ahsoka finally realized the truth about Anakin Skywalker. Her confrontation with him was something fans had been eagerly looking forward to since she appeared on the Ghost at the end of season one.
Which is why I am increasingly frustrated that Ahsoka’s fate has been left in limbo yet again – and apparently may not get resolved for some time. If it was simply a matter of being left on a season finale cliffhanger with the reasonable expectation that we would see her again next season, that would be one thing. But Dave Filoni’s comments seem to imply (to me anyway) that Ahsoka won’t be showing up on Rebels again any time soon. Just like at the end of season five of The Clone Wars, fans are once again left wondering what will happen to Ahsoka.
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The first time I logged on to Star Wars: The Old Republic and created my Jedi Consular, I was instantly hooked. For a fan like myself, simply having the chance to play in the Star Wars sandbox is enough to get me interested (and cause me to stay up way too late because I’m running around slashing enemies with my lightsaber). Getting to create all manner of characters, from Jedi to Sith to superspies to smugglers, meant getting to explore the Star Wars universe through the viewpoints of all manner of archetypes.
But though the base game makes a strong start and had me obsessed from the get-go, that momentum hasn’t kept up. Instead, it’s petered out into lackluster expansions and monthly story updates that take an hour at most to complete (and come across more as a desperate attempt to retain subscribers and keep revenue flowing).
While I would like to see SWTOR take steps towards embracing the features that made it great, I unfortunately think that it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a return to the expansive universe of the base game. So even though I love SWTOR and I love the characters and stories it has added to the Star Wars universe, I ultimately think it failed to live up to a lot of its potential. Therefore, it would be better idea to learn from SWTOR’s successes and failures and create a new Star Wars MMO.
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At its heart, the Star Wars saga has always been about Anakin Skywalker in some form or another. If the prequel trilogy is about Anakin’s rise and subsequent fall, and the original trilogy is about his redemption, then the sequel trilogy is about his legacy. Though Anakin is dead, his story continues to play a key role in the narrative of a galaxy far, far away.
On Monday I discussed the differences between Vader and Kylo, both in their backgrounds and in their falls to the dark side, and what that might mean in terms of redemption arcs. If Anakin was a Jedi whose path to the dark side was paved with good intentions, Kylo (as best we can tell from The Force Awakens) willfully chose to embrace the dark and is still fighting the light inside him. Very different interpretations of dark side power. Kylo is determined to follow the Vader side of his heritage…but he would do well to remember that Vader is only part of the legacy that Anakin leaves behind.
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Though Anakin Skywalker has been dead for thirty years, the specter of his memory still looms over the Star Wars universe. His shadow is most obviously personified by his grandson: Kylo Ren, a young fanatic seduced by the dark side, obsessed with Vader’s exploits, and striving to live up to Vader’s legacy. A Skywalker, powerful in the Force, and obsessed with power and willing to hurt those he loves to get it. It seems like Kylo is well on his way to filling Vader’s boots.
The comparison between Vader and Kylo is an interesting one because while their narratives seem alike on the surface, a deeper look reveals that not to be the case at all. Sure, they both crave power from the dark side, they’re both angsty, they have scary masks, and they both see no problem in hurting those they care about in their quest for power and glory. But, for all Kylo’s Vader fanboyism and desire to emulate his grandfather, the two characters actually share very few similarities when it comes to their pursuit of power. And that is going to play a key role in how their redemption narratives play out.
Obviously we know very little about the details of Ben’s backstory, so a significant part of this is based on speculation drawn from context clues present in The Force Awakens. But based on what we see of Kylo and what we can surmise about the state of the galaxy, it’s clear that Vader and Kylo are actually quite different in how they fell to the dark side. And that difference is due to a couple key aspects of their pre-dark side selves, Anakin and Ben.
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This is not a spoiler-free review so proceed at your own risk.
Throughout the buildup to The Force Awakens, the phrase “Chewie, we’re home” summed up the sentiment that had everyone, myself included, excited for the return to the galaxy far, far away. The movie promised it would be an exciting new story that would return us to our childhoods and take us to that moment when we first discovered the magic that was Star Wars.
But as I walked out of the theater after my first viewing, my first thought was “…that’s it?” The post-Return of the Jedi narrative is supposed to be the Great Unknown of the Star Wars fandom. Unlike the prequel trilogy, we had no idea what was going to happen. Episode VII was the first step into this larger world and was the start of a story for a new generation of heroes. So why did I feel so underwhelmed?
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