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Star Wars Commentary

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Out of Cloud City…

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I remember the first time I saw Luke lose his hand to Darth Vader in Cloud City. I was around six years old and had no clue what movie was on the television. I was staying over at a friend’s home and his dad had The Empire Strikes Back playing on the television. I remember the moment being a visceral memory, as I’d never seen a hero maimed before. I remember the confusion at watching the battered Luke scurry away from Vader out onto the narrow walkway, then the shock as he falls away and hangs onto that antenna in what looks like an impossible predicament. I don’t really remember much about watching his eventual rescue, but that stuck in my mind as an important message: heroes don’t always win.

Star Wars has had an interesting track record of lost limbs that come close to being a staple of the series, since this is a universe where a lost limb isn’t a permanent hindrance on a character. So, in honor of Luke wondering what happened to his hand down in the depths of Cloud City, let’s look at my top 5 instances of lost limbs in Star Wars. We’re going to stick to the new canon in this list, so Qorl and his awesome droid arm only get an honorable pre-list mention. Sorry, Qorl.

Count Dooku, Revenge of the Sith (both hands, and then head):

Count Dooku loses hands and head (Revenge of the Sith)

Count Dooku loses hands and head (Revenge of the Sith)

In his final duel with Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Count Dooku was overconfident. He’d already beaten them both two years ago and cut off Anakin’s right hand. This time, he was convinced he’d finally kill them and his master, Sidious, would complete his plan to take full control of the Republic and exterminate the Jedi. The only problem was that Sidious left out some parts, like Dooku’s true role in the events. Nearly killing Obi-Wan, Dooku sent Anakin into a rage that he couldn’t keep up with, ending with Skywalker taking both of his hands in one swift motion. Dooku, down on his knees, looked to Palpatine and realized the final cruel truth: he was always a tool. Urged by Palpatine, Anakin then finishes him off with the help of Dooku’s own curved lightsaber, bringing the young Jedi ever closer to the Dark Side.

 

Darth Maul, The Phantom Menace (cut in half at the waist):

Darth Maul Cut in Half (The Phantom Menace)

Darth Maul Cut in Half (The Phantom Menace)

“At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge.” Darth Maul’s only dialogue in The Phantom Menace spoke to his entire character in a way that we wouldn’t really see until after his defeat at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The deadly Sith apprentice, excelling at dual-bladed lightsabers, took on the Padawan Kenobi and his Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn in the Theed Generator Facility. After a lengthy battle, Kenobi was separated from the melee and was helpless to stop Maul putting his blade though Qui-Gon’s chest. Kenobi attacked Maul in a flurry which ended with him nearly falling into a pit. While Maul taunted him with showers of sparks, Kenobi called on the Force to leap out of the pit while pulling his master’s lightsaber to him. Maul was too late to react and was cut in half by the Padawan. Falling into the pit, Maul would manage to survive and gain a new set of legs, always keeping in his mind his hatred and burning fury toward the one who broke him.

 

Anakin Skywalker, Revenge of the Sith (left arm and both legs):

Anakin loses arm and legs (Revenge of the Sith)

Anakin loses arm and legs (Revenge of the Sith)

By the events of Revenge of the Sith, Anakin and Obi-Wan had earned a reputation as an almost unbeatable team. They were the greatest heroes of an era that didn’t realize it was ending. They saved the day in the Battle of Coruscant. They killed the evil Count Dooku. They saved Chancellor Palpatine. Of course, their bond was an obstacle for Palpatine, as he needed Skywalker isolated to guide him to the Dark Side. Anakin was finally successfully turned by Palpatine, becoming Vader. This culminated in Kenobi confronting Anakin (now Vader) on Mustafar and their fateful and heartbreaking battle. At the end, over a river of lava, Obi-Wan lept to safety above the shoreline, claiming the high ground. Anakin, arrogant to a fault, tried to call his bluff. Unfortunately for him, Obi-Wan knew what would happen next, as he did the same thing years ago in his battle against Darth Maul. Anakin’s attempt was swiftly countered by a clean swipe that took away all of his remaining limbs, leaving him on the burning shore with only his synthetic arm. This injury, along with the lava burning him, left him needing the infamous life-support suit and three new synthetic limbs.

 

Darth Vader, Return of the Jedi (right hand):

Darth Vader loses hand (Return of the Jedi)

Darth Vader loses hand (Return of the Jedi)

Nothing says catharsis like cutting off your evil father’s hand in a heated battle after he threatens to turn your sister to the Dark Side. In the Emperor’s Throne Room of the second Death Star, Luke Skywalker was on a mission to save his father from the Dark Side. Emperor Palpatine, meanwhile, had his own mission: to turn the son of Skywalker to the Dark Side, or to eliminate him. The Emperor taunted Luke into attacking him, prompting Vader to defend his master. Luke remained passive in the battle, refusing to go on the offensive against his father to the point that he hid from the fight. When Vader discovered his daughter’s existence from Luke’s feelings, he threatened to turn her instead if Luke wouldn’t. This sent Luke into a fury, teetering on the Dark Side as he attacked Vader head on, forcing him down and taking his right synthetic hand with a vicious strike. The sight of the wires in his father’s artificial arm brought a moment of clarity to Luke. He saw that continuing down the path of anger and hatred would just cause history to repeat itself. I know it seems strange to have an artificial limb on the list, but the impact the event had on the story made it worthy of the list to me.

 

Luke Skywalker (right hand):

Luke Skywalker loses his hand (The Empire Strikes Back)

Luke Skywalker loses his hand (The Empire Strikes Back)

For our final and number one lost limb, we go back to where I began this story. Luke is on Cloud City, now an amateur Jedi with a head full of arrogance. His plan to save his friends falls apart as he discovers that they are only the carrot, with Vader being the stick. After narrowly escaping a carbonite trap, being pummeled with Force-thrown projectiles, and being sucked out of a depressurized observation port and thrown on a catwalk, Skywalker had taken a beating and was becoming desperate. As Vader attacked once more, Luke managed to hit Vader’s arm, angering the Dark Lord. Vader quickly knocked aside Luke’s next attacks, opening his defenses and allowing for the red blade to take off his hand at the wrist. The battle was finished at that point, leaving Luke only the option to keep his distance by crawling out to the perilous ledge. Vader revealed his true identity, leaving a traumatized Luke to fall into the depths of Cloud City rather than be captured by his evil paterfamilias. After the rescue, Luke had a wake-up call, realizing that while Yoda and Kenobi may have hidden truth of his father from him, he also realized that he wasn’t ready to confront Vader after all. He had acted as a swashbuckling hero that wanted to save the day. “Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things.” Luke did learn from his mistake, and by the time we see him again in Return of the Jedi, he is a calm and cool-headed Jedi Master. Too bad it took losing a hand and finding out his dad was an evil dictator’s right-hand man.

Both the prequel trilogy and original trilogy have had characters lose an arm or leg (I think there’s a joke somewhere in there about what it takes to save the day), but we’ve had little indication as to whether this morbid trend will continue into the sequel trilogy. Will Rey lose a hand? Will Finn lose a foot? Will Poe lose his snark? I guess we’ll have to wait until Star Wars: The Last Jedi to find out, but at least December is right around the corner.

Who reads this? Do people read this stuff? Well, if you’re here, I applaud you for slogging your way here. I am an avid reader of all genres and write whenever I can. I also watch plenty of television and movies without my brain turning to mush, so I got that going for me. And although I don’t have as much time for it as I’d like these days, I’m also a big gamer.

Star Wars Commentary

Snoke Details Come to Light

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Snoke

Supreme Leader Snoke, here we are again. The question of his possible true identity is still highly discussed with the run up towards the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. There are many theories as to who he possibly could be, but a lot of these theories have been disproven over a year and a half ago without many fans realizing it…

Many have voiced their opinions that Snoke could be Vader, Palpatine, Mace Windu, a time traveling Kylo Ren (yes really that one is out there in the depths of Reddit), and many more beloved characters. But, hidden in plain sight within the novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is a description of the Supreme Leader that puts to rest a lot of these fan theories.

Snoke

Provided by Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucas Film Story Group on Twitter

The novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is of course canon so, from this we know that Supreme Leader Snoke is not human. This of course, means that Vader and the others cannot be the Supreme Leader and further suggests that Snoke is not a pre-existing character, but a new character created for the sequel trilogy.

Or, you know,  he could be Plageuis…

Darth Plagueis

 

If you fancy reading up on some ‘who’s Snoke’ theories then check out my favorite theories here.

About Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Three decades after the Empire’s defeat, a new threat arises in the militant First Order. Stormtrooper defector Finn and spare parts scavenger Rey are caught up in the Resistance’s search for the missing Luke Skywalker.

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Star Wars Commentary

Just who is Supreme Leader Snoke

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Snoke

Hello there, and welcome to all you Sith Lords, Jedi Masters, Padawans, protocol droids and of course bucket heads.  It is, of course, that time again where I pluck some random Star Wars subjects from this incoherent, slightly bizarre, brain of mine and attempt to make it legible. In building up to The Last Jedi’s release at the end of the year, I thought it would be fun to compile my favorite theories on just who Supreme Leader Snoke is. The true identity of the First Order leader is continuously one of, if not the most, talked about questions left by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

We Star Wars fans are never content with the simple explanation are we? There always has to be something deeper, something meaningful. Well, our community has had 18 months to truly think about Snoke’s identity and come up with some incredible theories. Now, these are not my theories. I am simply just compiling my favorite ones I have come across. Some theories make total sense, others not so much…

Darth Plagueis

Darth Plagueis

Darth Plagueis

The first appearance Plagueis made was when Palpatine told Anakin the tale about his older master’s demise. This theory even had traction before the release of The Force Awakens as fans had learned that motion capture legend Andy Serkis was set to play the Supreme Leader. Plagueis, according to Legends was of an alien race known as the Munn.

But why Plagueis? Apart from just sheer hope for many fans, there are actually two compelling bits of evidence in The Force Awakens. Firstly, when Kylo Ren is speaking with his father he says;

The Supreme Leader is wise

Palpatine obviously refers to Plagueis’ moniker while reciting the tale to Anakin. There are a plethora of different words Kylo Ren could have used but, he plumped for wise.  The most important bit of evidence for this theory though is all in the music.

The two pieces of music do sound decidedly similar and, generally, these intricate details are never just coincidences when it comes to Star Wars.  Plagueis also fits the description of the Supreme Leader is very old and witnessed the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire.

Vaneé

Vaneé

Vaneé

 

This is a new theory and came around after the release of the fantastic Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. There is not much information about Lord Vader’s attendant and, we only found out his name thanks to the Rogue One Visual Guide. So why is this relatively unknown character being touted as a possible candidate for the Supreme Leader? Well, Vaneé is Vader’s aide so he would have had unrestricted access to the Dark Lord of the Sith. Could Vader have been secretly training Vaneé as a secret apprentice to help him overthrow Palpatine? There isn’t a whole lot to do on Mustafar so they had to kill time somehow.

Could Lucasfilm be hiding the Supreme Leader in plain sight? And what better Sith Lord to learn the power of the Dark Side from than Vader himself.

Jar Jar Binks

Jar Jar Binks

Jar Jar Binks as seen in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

 

This is obviously one of the more far out theories but, it has a lot of traction and a lot of fans seem to be buying into this. There was always a sort of half-serious thought that Jar Jar was indeed Sith, which is detailed here on Reddit,  but surely not one of the most powerful Sith in history? This theory isn’t suggesting that Jar Jar himself is Plagueis but, Plagueis was using an extremely powerful force ability, force illusion.

The theory goes that after Plageuis survived the attempt on his life by Palpatine, he went into hiding somewhere in the future that the Emporer would never think of looking, his home planet. While hiding Plagueis went about creating plans to mold the galaxy to his will but, no amount of hiding would, of course, make Palpatine forget what his old master looks like. Plageuis needed a disguise and not just a pair of glasses and a hat. Poor old Jar Jar was in the wrong place at the wrong time and ultimately met his fate by the hands of Plageuis.  He then used force illusion to portray himself as Jar Jar to anyone else that saw him. This has never been done quite like this before but, Palpatine did talk about just how powerful Plagueis is. Disguised as the clumsy Gungan, Plagueis managed to worm his way into a position of authority and started to shape the galaxy in accordance with his grand plan.

I said it was one of the more far out there ones but, you cannot deny it is rather clever and entertaining.

Mace Windu

Mace Windu

Mace Windu from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

 

Here is another theory which is one outside of the box but, a bit more plausible than the Jar Jar one. There isn’t much we know about the Supreme Leader but, what we do know is that he witnessed the rise and fall of the Empire. If Mace survived his free fall from Palpatine’s office then that box is checked. How could Mace have survived such a fall? Well, we simply don’t know. Samual Jackson is a keen advocate that the former Jedi Master is alive. We know the Jedi can fall from unimaginable distances and survive, and there have been a few Jedi who have lost a hand, and been zapped by force lightning, and lived to tell another tale.

So Mace could have survived his encounter with Palpatine, but would this have turned him to the Dark Side? Well, Mr. Windu was never the altar boy of the Jedi Order. His actions tilted towards the Dark Side on occasions and the color of his lightsaber symbolized his balance between the light and dark side of the Force.

His appearance though? Well, he did take a full shot of force lightning to the face. That would be enough to disfigure anyone.

Supreme Leader

Supreme Leader Snoke is also obsessed with finding Luke. If Mace did survive, but became twisted with hate and fell completely to the Dark Side, it makes sense that he would want to find the son of the man who betrayed him.

Grand Inquisitor 

 

The Grand Inquisitor

The Grand Inquisitor

This one really just boils down to the fact that the Grand Inquisitor looks a bit like Snoke. It is still a fun theory to think about though, and when you dive into the history of the Inquisitors then it begins to make a bit more sense.

We know that Snoke is not actually a Sith Lord. He knows the Dark Side but he isn’t a Sith. The Inquisitors also know the Dark Side and they themselves are again not Siths. They were the Empire’s tool to hunt down the reaming Jedi that survived Order 66.

The Grand Inquisitor also falls into the witnessed the rise and fall of the Empire category as he was a former Jedi Temple Palace guard. *SPOILERS*

*SPOILERS*

He did allow himself to be killed by Kanan Jarrus in Season One of Rebels, so this one really is just a fun one to think about rather than a serious contender for Snoke’s true identity.

A New Power?

Star Wars: Aftermath

Star Wars: Aftermath

 

Back to a more conceivable theory here. Chuck Wendig’s first Aftermath novel introduced us to Yupe Tashu. He was one of Emporer Palpatine’s closest advisors and one of the few people privy to the knowledge that Palpatine was a Sith Lord.  Tashu was not Force sensitive himself, but he was a Dark Side historian and obsessed with the Sith. After Palpatine’s death, he was a member of the Imperial Future Council. A collection of surviving high-ranking Imperial officials and officers who tried to decide on the best course of action to take the Empire. What has this got to do with Snoke I hear you ask? Well Tashu had the following to say when asked how the Empire should endure and continue Palpatine’s legacy;

No Sith remain. And the lone Jedi that exists—the son of Anakin Skywalker—possesses an untouchable soul. At least for now. We must instead move toward the dark side. Palpatine felt that the universe beyond the edges of our maps was where his power came from. Over the many years he, with our aid, sent men and women beyond known space. They built labs and communication stations on distant moons, asteroids, out there in the wilds. We must follow them. Retreat from the galaxy. Go out beyond the veil of stars. We must seek the source of the dark side like a man looking for a wellspring of water.

This theory obviously involves Snoke being a brand new character. A powerful being from beyond the known galaxy. Someone who was watching, and waiting for the perfect opportunity to seize power. Like Tashu mentioned, the source of the Dark Side he and Palpatine believed, belonged beyond the borders of the known galaxy. Could Snoke be directly influenced by the true source of the Dark Side? If so his power could be unimaginable.

So that’s my favorite bunch of ‘who’s Snoke’ theories. There are a lot more out there, some that make sense and some that are just crazy. Who do you think Supreme Leader Snoke is? Do you think he is a character we have already met in the saga? A character that was only briefly mentioned or is he simply just Supreme Leader Snoke? Let us know in the comments below and until next time, Peace is a lie and May the Force be with you.

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4 Reasons Why the Empire Fell

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Why the Empire Fell
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Greetings fellow Padawans, Sith Lords, Bounty Hunters, Jedi Knights and of course not forgetting you slimy, double-crossing, no-good swindlers. It has been a while since I delved into my brain to bring you some random Star Wars ramblings, dang life getting in the way unfortunately but, I’m back Jack.  This time around I want to discuss some of the more not so obvious reasons as to why the Galactic Empire went from ruling the galaxy to begging for scraps in the Outer Rim.  There was a bit more to it than just the sacrifice of the brave men and woman of the Rebel Alliance. It’s always fun to analyze the downfall of a tyrannical government right?  One quick note, these are not in any sort of order, just four other reasons as to why the Emperor’s dream of a united and oppressed galaxy failed. So, without further ado, let’s jump straight into our list of reasons why the Empire fell.

4. Governor Tarkin

Why the Empire Fell

Tarkin’s petty feud with Director Krennic cost the Empire dearly

There is no disputing Wilhuff Tarkin’s ability as a military tactician and leader. He was not a high ranking official in the Empire due to his magnetizing personality and killer smile.  No, Governor Tarkin had a flaw that even his great self could not overcome and, it is something we all suffer with, he was only human. Tarkin was susceptible to typical human flaws just like the rest of us, and unfortunately for the Galactic Empire, his petty feud with Director Krennic was a substantially significant factor to the fall of the Empire.

On Scarif, Jyn Erso channeled her inner James Bond villain and told Krennic everything, she obviously thought that Krennic wouldn’t be alive to tell anyone her plan, but what if he was? What if after Cassian shot the dear Director, instead of ordering the destruction of the Scarif facility, Tarkin had Krennic rescued… ”Hey Wilhuff thank you so much for saving my butt back there, oh by the way, you know this indestructible death sphere we have sat on? Yeah turns out it can actually be destroyed quite easily so we may want to look into that”.

If Tarkin had put his petty rivalry aside then Krennic would have been able to inform him about this weakness planted by it’s designer, Galen Erso. So, when the Rebels launched their attack as the Death Star approached the base at Yavin 4 there would be no huge explosion in space, just an explosion on the surface as the Death Star destroyed the home of the Rebel Alliance.

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