The Star Wars Day edition of Forces of Destiny continues with episodes featuring Rey and Finn, Luke and Leia, and Ahsoka alongside Ezra of Star Wars Rebels. We visit events taking place during The Force Awakens, Return of the Jedi, and Rebels as we get scene expansions, and additions to canon. There will be spoilers for these new episodes, so keep that in mind before you continue.
The first part of the reviews covering episodes 9-12 can be found here. Part two of the recaps and reviews of episodes 13-15, “Perilous Pursuit,” “A Disarming Lesson,” and “Traps and Tribulations,” can be found below.
Time to head back to Starkiller Base during the events of The Force Awakens as Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) find themselves pursued by snowtoopers in a short, “Perilous Pursuit,” that expands upon a deleted scene from the film. In that scene, Finn and Rey stole a speeder to escape from First Order troopers. Initially, Finn is piloting and Rey is firing on the pursuers. It's already been established Finn's not really a pilot, so eventually the two switch places. In the short, prior to the switch Rey has Finn pilot the speeder into a forest (where they will later meet up with an angry Kylo Ren), in an effort to shake the pursuit, and that's where the switch happens. In the deleted scene, Finn calls for them to switch, but in the short that call is on Rey with Finn in agreement.
This short serves to broaden the deleted scene, and what we see is Rey and Finn switching places so each can play to their strengths. Rey knows how to fly (aided by her sensitivity to the Force), and Finn, trained since childhood as a trooper, knows how to shoot. The end result is the same, the short just fleshed things out a bit more. And it's a great action sequence! It's also bittersweet as those happy faces on Rey and Finn will soon turn to horror as they witness Han Solo's fate at the hands of his son….
Ready for some original trilogy action? “Traps and Tribulations” features twins Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Princess Leia (Shelby Young) on Endor immediately following the events of Return of the Jedi.
Luke and Leia are discussing how much the Ewoks helped in their battle against the might of the Empire. Just then two Ewoks, Kneesaa and Wicket, rush up to them, clearly looking for their assistance in resetting their traps. It's then we see something new — the traps used to take down the AT-STs in ROTJ were not placed there for the battle. They're in place for a very different reason. A big reason as it turns out! Initially, Leia thinks more Imperials are on the way, till the giant trees are parted by something even bigger — a massive predator called the Gorax. (Are those Ewok skulls?)
Luke and Leia spring into action to help Kneesaa and Wicket. Leia goes to help reset a trap that could take the creature down, while Luke provides a distraction. Leia tries to cut the ropes, but the spear is dull and time is running out. Just then, Luke calls to his sister and tosses her his lightsaber. In a triumphant moment, Leia ignites the lightsaber (emphasis on LEIA and LIGHTSABER!), cuts the ropes, and the trap knocks the Gorax off the nearby cliff onto its back into a muddy Endorian swamp.
Oh yeah, did you see the part where Leia used a lightsaber?! Sure, it happened in Legends, but in the new canon this is the first time we've seen Leia handle a lightsaber (if I'm not mistaken). It was exciting! It seems Leia enjoyed the experience herself as Luke had to ask her to return his lightsaber as the two exchange a knowing glance.
The action in this short was great, and seeing the Skywalker twins in action together, working seamlessly as a team, was phenomenal. Also, the fact that Mark Hamill has returned to voice Luke for Forces of Destiny lends a particular air of authenticity, if you take my meaning. The fact that any of the original cast members have taken the time to revisit their characters in this way means these shorts shouldn't be dismissed outright.
Star Wars Rebels has come to an end, but stories featuring the characters haven't, as we see in this episode of Forces of Destiny. In “A Disarming Lesson,” we see Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) and Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray) together again! Ahsoka comes upon Ezra training with his lightsaber, and she's intrigued. As she examines his saber, she questions Ezra about how it feels to one of the few left to wield such a weapon, and how he made it. As he explains how he received the crystal during an encounter with Yoda in a Jedi Temple on Lothal, and how strong he feels with the saber in hand, Ahsoka removes the crystal and tosses it away.
A distressed Ezra can't understand why she would do that, as she asks him how he feels without the source of his power — or what he sees as the source of his power. She proceeds to come at Ezra with her own saber, launching attacks as tries to fend her off and locate his kyber crystal. Ahsoka is relentless in her pursuit, clearly trying to impart a lesson to Ezra — something unlike what he's learned from Kanan to this point.
He locates the crystal just in time to counter her attack. It's then he acknowledges that while he felt powerless without the weapon, if he concentrated on the Force he could still defend himself and evade her attacks. Ultimately it's the Force, the faith you place in it and what you draw from it, that is your strength. Not the weapon in your hands. It's a valuable lesson, one that stood Ezra in good stead.
In the Rebels timeline, this takes place during season two, judging by Ezra's hair, his lightsaber, and the fact that Ahsoka only made herself known to the Ghost crew at the end of season one when she revealed herself to be Fulcrum. It was also good to see Ezra receiving training from someone other than Kanan. After all, Kanan's own training was incomplete due to Order 66 and the rise of the Empire. He was the first to admit his limitations regarding Ezra's training. Even though Ahsoka walked away from the Jedi Order, she was more accomplished than Kanan. Their combined efforts served Ezra well.
As I touched on above, Forces of Destiny is lighter in tone and content, but the series has often provided additional context to what we've seen previously, and the stories have contributed to Star Wars canon, in small but meaningful ways. That's something everyone can appreciate. Right? I think so. Here's to future episodes!Powered by Sidelines