Star Wars: Ahsoka - 01:03 - Part Three: Time to Fly

ctg

weaver of the unseen
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Hera tangles with New Republic politics while Ahsoka and Sabine Wren voyage to a distant planet.
IMDB rating: 8.0 Runtime: 37 minutes
 
I look forward to reading your breakdown, ctg.
 
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I know that a lot of you don't agree with this series. Also a lot of you haven't seen the animated stuff, which is understandable because it's not everyone that likes it. Just like it is with the horror stuff. This is however the first Dave Finoli's own Live Action production. So please give him some slack, because his storytelling ability is the thing you should all wait for, as there are some mind-blowing treats coming down the line.

Or then not... because of the problem within the House of Mickey. But let's see how this one develops...
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Now, there has been a lot of talk about Sabine's fight and it's obvious that she was not in the peak condition for not actively practising sabre fighting. Her mando kit does do a lot of compensation, and it was only in very late, when she started the sabre training in order to win the Black Sabre challenge combat.

Back then she was in peak condition and won the match. A lot of the was also because modern day Mando's don't train sabre fighting, unlike their historic clan examples, who actively hunted the Force Users before they fell under the lure of Sith's.

I loved watching this scene because it shows Huyang in his ancient role as a trainer. But the thing is only practising makes you better, until you need challenges. After Palpatine's death, Sabina had no need for sabre fighting. It was a peace time and has been for Lothal, for a reasonably long time. Any fighter gets rusty for not actively practising. She's however doing proper strikes, and doing them as the book says.

Thing is Sabine is not a Jedi, nor is she really a padawan, no matter what Ashoka says. Sabine is her only trainee, as Kanan did rise up Ezra, but it doesn't mean that Sabine wouldn't be a model for a modernized Mando fighter that also includes sabre techniques.

That's not however what Ashoka has in her mind as she has opened up to the possibilities that every Force Sensitive could also be a User. Despite Huyang telling them both that Sabine is the worst candidate he has ever met.

What I hated was that Ashoka handed Sabine the eyeless facemask that opened up both Luke and Baby Yoda, er, Groku and most importanly Ezra. Thing is Sabine had both witnessed it being used in the Ghost and in Lothal's Jedi Temple by the Temple Guardians. And yet, she went wearing it as if she didn't already know what was coming next.

The interesting thing is the Ashoka didn't use the classical droid but instead used the old Ninja Master techniques for training the students on blind fighting. The 'Padawan' got a lesson. A painful one as she should. No bigs but Ashoka is pushing Sabine out from Mando fighting style, which is Sabine's primary style by dual wielding blaster pistols.

Ashoka's lesson: "Anger and frustration are quick to give power. But they also unbalance you."

Master, apprentice.

Later on, both Sabine and Huyang argued that the girl wasn't Jedi material, which is the truth, even if Ashoka during her multiple trips might have witnessed otherwise. The android even brought up the fact that very few Mandalorians actually were Jedi. Well, for the sake of argument, a trainer and accepted Jedi Knight. Not a master.

She herself is "non-traditional Jedi," who said ef's to the whole idea and forged her own path in the darkness.

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New Republic Fleet that Hera flew in to meet the Chancellor. Only Mon Mothma wasn't present in the capital vessel as she was in the holo session with other Senators. She told them that the Imperialist had infiltrated and attacked one of Corellia's shipyards. The look on Mon's face said everything as Hera's report was cut down by one of the human senators, telling the same tale: "We have former Imperials working throughout every level of the New Republic government, and they've all taken oaths of loyalty."

Maybe Mon remembered the case of Imperial Hubby from the beginning of the rebellion, but she didn't voice it. Instead, it was Hera who said, "Long Live the Empire - doesn't sound like the kind of loyalty we're looking for." And then she pointed them out that all the dots were leading towards "Grand Admiral Thrawn."

Chancellor Mothma didn't like what she heard, but then she was overtrumped by another senator, who claimed that Hera was only trying to get resources for Ezra's hunt. Instead he wanted to allocate the resources to "help people." All that time Mon was showing a face that she was back under the Imperial game, and they claimed to be her loyalist.

The corruption with the New Republic government is palpable. The senators didn't want to believe that they had an enemy because the Imperial Fleets "were scattered" and they had "no centralized command."

"Unless Thrawn returns," Hera argued.

The senators didn't want to hear anything about it. Maybe Mon knew that she was trapped, but she couldn't voice it, nor let the opposition to know that she was into their game. Or then she was sh*t scared to not believe that the threat was real.

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New vessel. Six fighter screen in two wings that apprehended Ashoka's vessel as soon as they dropped out from the hyperspace at the outer rim of Denap System, right after Hera told them that Senate Committee didn't approve the mission.

So they went in by using classical Jedi infiltration techniques and got a scan from Morgan's Jumpring. Huyang identified it was "unknown." And then they had six vs on fight in their hands. All inside the EW jam field with two pilots being force users.

Sabine jumped on tailgun and Ashoka started pushing out evasion routines. Her problem was that the Jedi vessel wasn't exactly build for dogfighting. Hyugen complained that Ashoka was acting too chilled for them being in combat.

So the girl made Ashoka to work the vessel as they pushed deeper into the system and sighted the ring on orbit. Morgan scolded Sin Hati for not taking out the vessels as she prepared the turbolaz0rs for the job.

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It's clear to me that Ashoka isn't acepilot like Mando. Maybe Disney listen to our complaints and noticed me counting the kills. But there are very clear differences in the pace and style between the pilots. She's also not pushing the vessel like Hera.

It might be irritating but it's her style of pushing the investigations to the edge of limit. Turbolaz0rs did make a good flak screen, even some bolts exploding for some reason, which I don't get because turborlaz0rs are essentially classical pulse laz0rs. One that we've learned is not good as a beam weapon, because it's so much weaker.

As an AA screen it makes sense, because those guns despite their names doesn't put enough of rounds down the range to score a hit. The guns we've supplied to current conflict easily put out thousands of rounds per minute. And we are not even talking about the gatling versions, which can churn out 5000/rpm.

So Ashoka and Sabine pushed the vessel so that Huyang could complete the scan and then they got hit. Dead in Space Ashoka did the impossible and went out in space to meet the Force Users coming to finish the job.

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The balls on that woman, standing on the wing, deflecting incoming rounds like a boss. The Sith obviously aimed at her, instead of the vessel, which was the easy target, just because of their hate. So the girl stood by the passes and on the second she took out one, making the play two against one.

Shin Hati tried to fix the job on third pass. By that time Sabine had fixed the ship, not the android. It was still out of business when Ashoka jumped back in and went back to sit in copilot chair while Sabine took on the stick. She drove the vessel like a proper mando as they dived into the atmosphere and came across the fish...

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Purgill are the space whale that took Thrawn's fleet into one their migration channels and ultimately to the other galaxy. They are known to consume nebula's and having dips into the gas giant gravity wells. This species can hypertravel and they are also natural Force Users, as they use the Force to navigate.

Sabine was able to use them to evade and get them down to the planet surface.

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Huyang tried to protest on them going Dead Silent, but Ashoka didn't give sh*ts as she counted "Standard Jedi Operation Procedure," while flipping the switch. The Sith didn't give up but instead of continued the hunt until Ashoka felt that they were safe and she flipped the droid back up.

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"The good news is that it appears still under construction," the droid announced. "And not yet complete. There are six hyperdrive engines in place, with the final one being set into position."

"So, it is a hyperspace ring?" Ashoka asked.

"Yes. But I have never seen one built on this scale before. A craft with these power levels and configuration would be capable of a hyperspace jump of astonishing speed and distance."

"Huyang, could a ring like that make a jump to a neighbouring galaxy?"

"Theoretically," the android answered. "If one knew the coordinates and navigation, yes, I believe it could. The Jedi Archives speak of intergalactic hyperspace lanes between galaxies, which used to follow the migration paths of star whales named purrgil."

"Like the ones we just saw," Sabine said.

"Really? When?"

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Deep in the forest the Dark Jedi, Baylon Skoll was waiting for his apprentice to return. He sensed the girls in the forest and called them "Jedi," and he ordered the troops to hunt them down.

Now I recommend you guys to watch the end credits as it goes through a series of planetary systems, showing ultimately where they are going to end in the other galaxy. Some of them are well known places like Tatoeene. it is a cool animation and it makes you think what it all means?!?
 
Another outstanding episode.

I preferred it to ep2 which had far too much ‘mood’ and silence. It’s hard to sell a series when two of the main characters do so little dialogue.

I love how Disney is pulling the strings from all the different series’ together. So artful.

Hera was particularly good in this episode.

What’s really great is when the sequels came out, I found a lot more of my young girls( students) wearing Rey costumes for school events like World Book Day etc etc. I believe Ahsoka as a feminist piece will introduce so many more young women to Star Wars.

Disney’s representation really impressing me.
 
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I also thought this was the best of the three episodes so far. Most probably, because there was far more story, and also lightsabres and dog fighting. I hesitate at saying less info-dumping, because I think there was still a lot, but the way it was done was much less obvious and heavy handed. Maybe it was just because there was more dialogue as @Phyrebrat said. If the Star Whales were not integral to the whole season's plot, then I would have yawned, "more Star Wars megafauna!" However, I see that they are the key to the location of Thrawn and Ezra, and so I will have to forgive that. Ahsoka and Sabine still don't seem to work together as if they were once part of a team, or even a master and apprentice, but maybe that's just how they always were/are, being the 'non-conformist' Jedi that they are meant to be?

In any case, a few of the other Disney SW series got to episode 3 and then stalled, or went off on a tangent to the main story. This series looks like it has plenty more story yet to tell and will continue ramping up until the final episode.
 
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If the Star Whales were not integral to the whole season's plot, then I would have yawned, "more Star Wars megafauna!"
Are you bringing back Mandolorian MegaCroc? Early on in the Rebels they showed Ezra communicating with 'SpaceWolves,' just like many Force Users do, like for example young Kenobi. Thing is, he also did the same thing with the Purgill and forged a friendship.


So when you see megafauna in Filoni's pieces, they all have a meaning, unlike what we've experienced with the Mandalorian.
 
Are you bringing back Mandolorian MegaCroc?
Yes, among other things - the RotJ Sarlacc and Phantom Menace Opee Sea Killer are included too. My problem is how do these creatures survive? How do they get enough food? It's an argument more on an ecological level than one against Disney+
when you see megafauna in Filoni's pieces, they all have a meaning,
That's good to know then.
Early on in the Rebels they showed Ezra communicating with 'SpaceWolves,'
Is the Loth-cat Force Sensitive in Rebels? Does Sabine's have a more important role than as a pet? If so, why has she left it behind?
 
Is the Loth-cat Force Sensitive in Rebels? Does Sabine's have a more important role than as a pet? If so, why has she left it behind?
Mostly they are just cats and although Sabine could have brought one, it would have distracted the audience like it does that to you. It's better that they stay in Lothal, and we get on with the story.
 
it would have distracted the audience like it does that to you.
She has a picture of it on her flight helmet! She has pictures of it all over her old sleeping quarters aboard the T-6 Jedi Shuttle! When we were lead to believe that she might have died, they showed Loth-cats in a savannah in conversation (presumable to make a point that something monumental had occurred)!

If it wasn't a plot point of any importance/significance, and only a 'distraction' then why show those things? More was made of the picture on the flight helmet, than of the Beskar helmet hidden under her desk.

So, these are simply Easter Eggs to indulge fans of Rebels, and to show her strong connection with Ezra, who apparently also loved Loth-cats (which one wouldn't otherwise understand)?
 
If it wasn't a plot point of any importance/significance, and only a 'distraction' then why show those things? More was made of the picture on the flight helmet, than of the Beskar helmet hidden under her desk.
Let me put it this way. A lot of guys goes to military deployments, they carry pictures. These days on the mobiles. That part of the culture never made it to SW universe. But for Sabine, the cats are her way of expressing herself. She can't have them everywhere she goes, so they come with her in her art pieces. Honestly, I'm surprised that no new tags have been found in the ship, because she cannot turn that side of her off.

So, these are simply Easter Eggs to indulge fans of Rebels, and to show her strong connection with Ezra, who apparently also loved Loth-cats (which one wouldn't otherwise understand)?
Yes and no. No because they give character to Sabina as a cat lady.
 
The use of the cat is just a nod to Rebels imo. A nice one but not worth stressing over.

There’s one in the Mando episode where he meets Gina Carrano’s character.

The purgill however are v important (also featured in Mando S3).

Loth cats are a symbol of lothal’s peaceful existence prior to the empire. They’re also a cats paw (sorry, had to) for Ezra’s force skill of communicating with animals.

None of it is crucial to understanding/enjoying the show and as the saying goes ‘In Filoni We Trust’ :)

@Dave and @ctg did you ever see the Tartovsky clone wars animation? I love that. It really reminds me of cartoons I watched as a kid. It uses absence of dialogue a lot and it works really well.
 
Hrmpf.

I need a break from Part III. I'm struggling to finish it. Nothing immediately jumps out as 'wrong'. I'm just bored.

I liked -perhaps loved?- the lightsaber training scene. At first I thought this was going to be another hollow reference, another throwback to a 40-y-o scene loved by fans and nothing more. I was wrong. They took lightsaber training and finally made it make sense! It makes far more sense to me to train Jedi with wooden swords and Jedi vs Jedi, which allows the practitioner to actually try and feel the presence of their adversary around them - I don't know if this is still canon but droids are not supposed to be detectable through the Force, so I always wondered how Luke was supposed to 'feel' that training ball in Episode IV and anticipate its attacks. And the design of the training droid itself was stupid...

I really want to love Ahsoka. I watched every season of TCW and I've grown to love the character, but I also love that they gave her those ronin, wandering Jedi vibes (in her costume, demeanor... the music). A Star Wars story focusing on Jedi and the spiritual side of the Force, their training, with the aesthetics of a samurai film is all I ever wanted. So why do I not care about this show?

Because this show is not what I just described. This show is not 'Ahsoka', it's 'Rebels, a sequel'. And I care not for Rebels. I'm tired of Rebels fighting the Empire. I'm weary of these endless retreads, these stories sticking so close to the beaten path that the universe around it is slowly fading away from view... The clueless New Republic, which is as we all know doomed to fail. Its petty senators. The political subplots and arguments. The cookie cutter side characters who are just designed to be recognized by fans of other shows, but bring nothing new to the table. I don't give a damn about Mon Mothma, stop putting her into everything.

I want SW to move past all this and finally explore some new things, new dynamics that have no relationship whatsoever to the galaxywide stakes.

Give me a show with a lone Jedi wandering the galaxy in samurai garb and fixing 'little people's problems' with a tiny subplot involving the study of the Force and the ancient history of Jedi/Sith faiths, and maybe tie it to that Jedi learning something about themselves, and you'll have me. I don't need anything more than that. In fact, anything more than that is fated to bore me.

#starwarsfatigue is coming. Not because it's too much Star Wars. But because it's too much of the same Star Wars.
 
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I liked -perhaps loved?- the lightsaber training scene

It’s great isn’t it. And the use of bokken sticks was probably a direct reference to her training in Rebels. The problem I have with it (and this series so far) is in rewatch. This series has so far had so many ponderous slow scenes, moody, dialogue absent, and so on and it makes for a tedious third rewatch: I’ve only watched the opening of the temple for the eye of Sion once because it’s so unnecessarily wrong: do we need to see her open all three pillars???

And the design of the training droid itself was stupid...

Oooh! Burn the witch ;). Btw in the new VR game Galaxy’s Edge, you can use remotes and I’m constantly grabbing my chest (pack) and throwing them into the air to help me kill Guavian Death Gangs and Trandoshan slime!

I want SW to move past all this and finally explore some new things, new dynamics that have no relationship whatsoever to the galaxywide stakes

I want both. Problem is fans. Look what they said about Rian Johnson’s TLJ.

Give me a show with a lone Jedi wandering the galaxy in samurai garb and fixing 'little people's problems' with a tiny subplot involving the study of the Force and the ancient history of Jedi/Sith faiths, and maybe tie it to that Jedi learning something about themselves, and you'll have me. I don't need anything more than that. In fact, anything more than that is fated to bore me.

You’ve kind of described the Mandalorian there. It’s diverted from the purity of that story now in season 3 but… did you see any of the Visions episodes with ronin kind of Jedi etc?

starwarsfatigue is coming. Not because it's too much Star Wars. But because it's too much of the same Star Wars.
I agree. I love sw but I think it’d be nice to let it lie fallow for a few years. Part of the problem is that when Disney bought the rights they took the position that there would be Star Wars beyond our own deaths as it was an unlimited canvas. But they have to get their ducks in a row and so I think the focus on all sw content has been to link the prequels, OT and sequels to each other.

But I miss the anticipation of a new film. At least Donald Glover’s Lando series is back on the table. And I’m prob most excited for Rian Johnson’s trilogy (and Taika’s film, too). However I think sw may be better suited to focusing on the animations for a few years and let the live action stuff breathe.
 
Give me a show with a lone Jedi wandering the galaxy in samurai garb and fixing 'little people's problems' with a tiny subplot involving the study of the Force and the ancient history of Jedi/Sith faiths, and maybe tie it to that Jedi learning something about themselves, and you'll have me. I don't need anything more than that.
This is OT but to do that, would you not need to go much further back, to even long before The Phantom Menace, to a time when the Jedi were peacekeepers? I'm not sure people are ready for prequel prequels yet.
I think the focus on all sw content has been to link the prequels, OT and sequels to each other.
I hadn't realised that was a position they had taken, but it seems that is what they are doing.
did you ever see the Tartovsky clone wars animation? I
I did, just once or twice on Cartoon Network. My problem (and I expect that the same is true for others with Rebels) was that it was very child orientated. I watched it with my son, but even he was too old for it, and he was of The Phantom Menace generation too, so it was probably written for him.
 
It’s great isn’t it. And the use of bokken sticks was probably a direct reference to her training in Rebels. The problem I have with it (and this series so far) is in rewatch. This series has so far had so many ponderous slow scenes, moody, dialogue absent, and so on and it makes for a tedious third rewatch: I’ve only watched the opening of the temple for the eye of Sion once because it’s so unnecessarily wrong: do we need to see her open all three pillars???
I agree, but wait... A tedious third rewatch? The show opened a week ago, I don't know how, but more importantly why, people would already have watched this more than once. Watching the same movie or show three times in the space of a week would feel tedious to me, regardless of its quality. Unless it was my favorite movie of all time... maybe.

I want both. Problem is fans. Look what they said about Rian Johnson’s TLJ.
I don't think the problem is fans.

Fans don't know what they want but more importantly they don't know how to pinpoint the true source of their frustration. TLJ became the most controversial SW movie, not because it tried new things, but because it did it wrong, by deconstructing rather than adding to the mythos. But yeah, a lot of the fallout online took the form of "Why u change my SW???? Don't change my SW!!11!!"

However as any other multibillion dollar corp, if there's one thing Disney is good at, it's crunching the numbers. And the hardcore fans can only represent a tiny minority when it comes to the revenue The Mouse expects to rake in from its SW content. So they have no reason to listen to the hardcore fans' complaints. And I don't think they do.

If LFL keep rehashing the same content, it's not because the fans have asked them to, but because... they truly don't know what else to do with it. They expected quick, massive profits after selling a kidney to buy LFL from Lucas. So they rushed things and greenlit projects left and right without taking the time to really sit down, brainstorm and let it all simmer into a coherent project with something really interesting to say.

You’ve kind of described the Mandalorian there. It’s diverted from the purity of that story now in season 3 but… did you see any of the Visions episodes with ronin kind of Jedi etc?

I liked The Mandalorian seasons 1 and 2. So much that I rewatched both before season 3 came out. And yes, the show did... try to pretend it would be original. "Come watch this show about a lone gunslinger venturing the outer edges of the galaxy in search of glory and fortune." Oh, but it will feature Tatooine heavily. And have Imperials as the villains. And have a Grogu-shaped Trojan horse, destined to tie the show to the pivotal events of the SW saga. And therefore more Empire vs Rebels. And therefore Jedi. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

And of course, the show is now losing steam because its creators have dropped all pretense of giving us something truly new and original, and they are bringing the story back into the fold.

As for Visions, I watched the one with the Ronin Jedi, yes. A couple of others too. They're too Elseworld for my taste. These seem to have been produced as an afterthought or a gimmick, rather than as a true SW project with something to contribute beyond 'Here's how those other artists see SW.'

Tarkovsky's TCW was so good. I remember how long it used to take me to download the latest episode via my 56K modem... Mace Windu vs an army of Super Battle Droids or the Clone Commandos sneaking into that droid city will forever be etched into my memory. Oh, and if you guys knew how many times I watched and rewatched Grievous's introduction in anticipation of Revenge of the Sith... The way he calls out "Jedi!" before he kills them all in that episode still sends shivers down my spine.

Dave said:
This is OT but to do that, would you not need to go much further back, to even long before The Phantom Menace, to a time when the Jedi were peacekeepers?

Could be but doesn't have to be. If post-Rebels Ahsoka had decided to remove herself from the main events and had just found shelter on a faraway planet to study why the Jedi had failed to rediscover the true, original history of the Force, the Ahsoka show could have been just that.
 
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Sorry for double posting. I finally managed to reach the end of Part III. I was more excited about continuing our conversation here than about discovering where the show was taking us next.

Anyway, yes, it's probably the best episode so far. Again, there was nothing really wrong with it. But... yawn.

- Another dogfight with people in laser turrets learning to shoot and shouting at each other. What did this scene tell us that A New Hope hadn't told us 45 years ago? Nothing.
- Ahsoka's all "Yeah, but Jedi were flawed and they failed." one minute and all "Do this, it's standard Jedi protocol" the next.
- I spent more time studying the expressions of actors listening to whoever was doing the talking than looking at the speaker themselves. What did I learn from it? The actors are about as bored as I am.
- The final shot with the camera moving in closer on Ray Stevenson (I still haven't been able to memorize his character's name) is about a minute too long and tells us nothing beyond "That character was reluctant to kill a surviving Jedi two episodes ago and now he's setting the dogs on them with a smirk worthy of Dr Evil."
- I really like the droid with the somehow Chinese name. Huyang? Very funny. Too bad that trait makes him automatically more interesting than the main cast.
- Shin Hati is compelling to watch, which makes me want to learn more about her, but they're not doing much beyond portraying her as a glorified hound. Why isn't character development more important to SW writers?

I'm holding out hope! If The Mandalorian taught me anything, it's that SW showrunners are masters at stretching a 1-hour story concept into a 6- or 8-part TV show. So the best things tend to happen in the final episodes, anyway.

Here's hoping.
 
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Ahsoka's all "Yeah, but Jedi were flawed and they failed." one minute and all "Do this, it's standard Jedi protocol" the next.
Surely, that "Jedi protocol" was a joke on Prof Huyang as she switched him off. I don't believe she really meant it, but he had used that same phrase several times earlier. Her jokes are certainly said with a very straight face, which makes it hard to tell if she is joking.
 
I always feel stupid when I read these comments. I don't know what TCW or Ronin Jedi or LFL are. (LFL I'm guessing starts Lucas Films). I hadn't previously heard about the whales, or the Jedi teaching robot, or etc. etc.

Here's what I know. This was the best of the 3 episodes so far for me. I loved the Jedi training. We finally got some over the top light saber tricks. The space battle was cool, but it did feel a bit like there must have been a storm trooper firing the guns at our heroes. Also cutting a fighter in two does stretch my believabilty quotent a bit. How does a person holding a saber however sharp not get dragged away by shere momemtum? I feel like we are finally on the way to the story. Hera is an interesting character and she is visually stunning. (sort of the opposite of Ashoka who looks tired and worn, but understandably so.) I'm anticipating episode 4. And thanks @ctg your summaries are making this much clearer.
 
I don't know what TCW or Ronin Jedi or LFL are. (LFL I'm guessing starts Lucas Films).
FYI,

TCW is The Clone Wars. It could stand for Dave Filoni's long-running animated series or Gendy Tartakovsky's older (circa 2003-4) microseries. Which is the better one :)

Ronin Jedi is I guess unofficial but it refers to one of the segments from the recently released Star Wars: Visions on Disney + Star Wars: Visions is a collection of short animated movies by reknowned artists, mostly from the Japanese industry if I'm not mistaken, presenting their 'vision' of the SW universe.

LFL: for LucasFilm Ltd, indeed.
 
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