Category Archives: Reviews

[Review] Star Wars Rebels: “Heroes Of Mandalore Part 1 & 2”

Today is the day, Star Wars Rebels returns on Disney X.D. You can watch the season premiere on the Disney X.D. app or catch it during its multiple airtime – 12:30 a.m., 3 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 5:30 p.m., and 9 p.m.

WARNING SPOILERS

“Heroes Of Mandalore Part 1 & 2” continued the story arc started in season 3 with the Mandalorian civil war. This time we were taken back to Mandalore! The last time we saw the planet was during the fifth season of The Clone Wars. This season premiere also marked the first appearance of Bo-Katan on Rebels with Katee Sackhoff reprising her role. Obviously having this character and this planet brought a lot of feels from The Clone Wars and it gave us more details about the untold story arc “The Siege of Mandalore.” We learned that Bo-Katan was named regent of Mandalore by the Jedi before the end of the war. However, after the clone wars ended, Bo-Katan was betrayed by the clan Saxon who was loyal to the Empire. So when we saw her in these two episodes, she was different, she was just the leader of Clan Kryze and not of Mandalore. The death of her sister Satine during the clone wars affected her and it’s without surprise we got several mentions of her, which made me teary, Satine’s death is still painful, she was one of my favorite characters in TCW. What I really loved about Bo-Katan in the season premiere was she honored her sister throughout the episode.

With just two episodes, Bo got some nice character development. At the beginning, she thought that she wasn’t worthy to rule Mandalore because she wasn’t her sister but in the end, she becomes the leader of the free Mandalorians “for her sister, for Mandalore” as she claims in her speech. I think it just proves how talented the writing team of Star Wars Rebels are. They were able to really explore the character with just forty four minutes and yet it didn’t feel rushed, it felt like a natural progression. I think it’s also worth mentioning – Bo-Katan is still as badass as she used to be and she makes a great team with Sabine!

Now about Sabine and Clan Wren, the family is finally together again! The first part was focused on rescuing Sabine’s father and the mission turned out to be a success! But at my surprise, Sabine’s father wasn’t exactly the typical Mandalorian, he was an artist and not a warrior and thus it explained how Sabine got that taste for art, it came from both her parents. Tristan and Ursa were in these two episodes, they got a lot of fighting scenes in the first half of the season premiere and in the second half it was just Tristan who fought as Ursa was wounded. They mostly remained secondary characters in this story arc, all the focused as put on Sabine and Bo-Katan as it was about how Bo-Katan became the leader of the free Mandalorians.

About Sabine, if you remember her emotional scenes in “Trials Of The Darksaber” last season, it got even more emotional in “Heroes of Mandalore.” We actually saw the weapon she created being used against her people and that was heartbreaking for her, especially as she first thought her brother and mother dead, turned out they were able to survive the attack. Nevertheless, it left a mark on her, it was her fault because she created that weapon and so she made it her responsibility to destroy it. It awakened something dark in her, when she destroyed her weapon, she almost killed Governor Saxon but thanks to Bo-Katan she stopped before killing him with the weapon. However, considering the cruiser blew up, it is possible he died but not in her hands. This moment showed Bo-Katan had what it takes to be a leader. She could have let Sabine use the weapon but she didn’t because it was wrong – it was the Empire way, not the Mandalorian way. You can really see how Sabine’s character development from season 1 to season 4. She grew up so much. When the show started she was just kid but she became an adult, she stopped hiding from her family, she took responsibility for what she had done and she tried to fix it. She really became a Mandalorian and embraced who she was. It was such a beautiful story arc and so now I’m looking forward to see what’s next for her character!

Sabine’s weapon was a bit strange in my opinion, at least at first. It was made to target Mandarian armors and was destroying them without hurting the Stormtroopers. I thought how can a weapon destroy the armors of some people but not others and then I suppose that these armors are made of entirely different things thus that’s how it worked. I found it not really convincing but it didn’t bother me much as the two episodes were a strong start to the season. However, my main complain about the episode was once again we got to see a planet from The Clone Wars but because of Rebels budget, we didn’t see much of it. The action in this episode took place outside the capital and in an Imperial Star Destroyer. It was understandable like I said it was a budget issue but it didn’t make it less frustrating to see a planet but just stay on the plains and not really go elsewhere.

“Heroes Of Mandalore Part 1 & 2” were some of the most action-packed episodes in Star Wars Rebels! It says a lot about them! It set up things for future storylines on Mandalore. With Bo-Katan having united the different Clans, she has now an army to face the Empire and maybe throw them out of the planet. I think the use of comics would be a smart choice to tell what happens next for the Mandalorians or even use the DC Comics model – doing animated movies. This arc didn’t conclude things, it only opened up the possibilities for future story lines. What it concluded though was Sabine’s mission to find someone worthy to lead Mandalore and it also concluded her past by destroying the weapon she had created.

7.5/10 A strong start to the season with two action-packed episodes!

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[Review] Star Wars Poe Dameron Vol. 2: The Gathering Storm

Our last review of the Poe Dameron ongoing comic series was with issue 6. I was waiting for the second volume in trade paperback to be continue my reviews. This second volume includes issues 8-13, issue 7 will be with volume 3 this October.

In this story arc, Poe is no longer searching for Lor San Tekka, but he is tasked to escort C-3PO to Kaddak in order for him to retrieve a droid operative. C-3PO is much more than just a protocol droid for the Resistance, he has a big network of droid operatives (as he likes call them, “not spies”) who gives him information on the First Order. The droid operative they’re after on Kaddak is called N1-ZX and is a droid commando as seen in The Clone Wars. It’s wonderful to see all the eras cross between comics from ship designs to species and droids too appearing in various eras, it really makes these stories more connected in my opinion. For his mission, Poe takes with him Oddy Muva, his technician friend as he’s still not sure who is the mole in his Black Squadron.

One of the great things from this story arc was Terex’s backstory. I really liked that we learned more about this villain, it adds to the character. After his days within the Empire, he may have become a criminal but he never really left his soldier life, after all he returned to it with the First Order. He’s quite obsessive and impulsive but also intelligent and that’s what makes him a very dangerous enemy but his impulsiveness and obsessiveness is what I think will lead him to his fall.

I would say that as usual with the Poe Dameron comics, we get fun and entertaining adventures and this time it involved C-3PO. He was surprisingly not as annoying as usual and showed to be brave, which doesn’t happen everyday! But the droid who really shone was N1-ZX, annoying and funny as it gets. His end was just as awesome as it gets when he received the template personality of Mister Bones (Snap’s droid from the Aftermath trilogy!), it became a real savage until he was destroyed.

We saw more of Oddy Muva this time as he went with Poe Dameron for this mission. The surprise was that the Abednedo slave from Terex’s ship was his wife! That was some nice plot twist and it also teases who is the mole, it would make sense that Oddy was forced to give information to Terex as he had his wife in hostage. With this volume, Oddy got to save his wife. His rescue mission may have been insane but it was an act of bravery nevertheless. And him being the mole is something you can forgive I think, considering the situation.

Now about the deaths, we witnessed the end of the Carrion Spike! First introduced in the Tarkin novel, after the fall of the Empire, it had become Terex’s ship but it was ultimately destroyed by the First Order during a battle against Terex’s pirate. The other death was one I didn’t expect – L’ulo. He died protecting the escape pods containing the people Terex had turned into servants so he had an honorable death. However, the way the scene was made, it didn’t have a big emotional impact. Something was missing and that’s disappointing as I liked L’ulo and would have liked him to get the farewell he deserved. However, maybe in volume 3, the character will get a deserving funeral and that will make up that disappointing death scene.

The last thing I want to talk about is the visuals. As usual with Poe comics, the art is nice and the artist really captures Poe’s likeness even though I think they should give him more expressions because in this volume, he had a small range of expression and Oscar Isaac is much more expressive than this! What I didn’t really like was Terex’s pirate fleet design, it made sense though as those were ships were assembled from several parts of different ships but it was really ugly. Kaddak was beautiful! I loved this city built around this giant red crystal, if we can see it again in future stories, I would appreciate it!

7/10 The Gathering Storm is an entertaining story with some nice art, fun droids and Poe being awesome as usual!

[Review] Star Wars Darth Maul

The trade paperback of the Darth Maul mini series is released today. The trade paperback contains the 5 issues along with a short story featuring one of Maul’s probe droids befriending another droid on Tatooine during The Phantom Menace, it’s always nice to have some nice fun droid stories especially after this kind of big dark stories.

Darth Maul miniseries takes place before The Phantom Menace. It’s the second pre-TPM story we get in canon (the first one being Yoda as part of the main ongoing Star Wars comic series) and hopefully, we’ll see many more taking place in this time period we haven’t seen a lot about.

One of my favorite things of this miniseries is the diversity you get in it – there are alien species from all eras (Prequels, Originals, Sequels), it’s as good as it gets. It’s visually beautiful to see all these species appearing in the same story. And we even see some Kyuzo, the same species as Constable Zuvio, they are even dressed similarly as him! I really loved seeing species and ships from The Clone Wars! You can even spot in the background several times the one and only HONDO OHNAKA! You can spot Lom Pyke and his pyke Syndicate too and the Moogans also have a role in the story. What I was the most happy about was the return of Cad Bane and Aurra Sing. These two were hired by Darth Maul, on their team a Culisetto (species first seen in The Force Awakens) and a Chadra-Fan (species introduced in A New Hope). The bounty hunter team was a perfect combination of species across all eras.

Pre-TPM Maul is obviously not the same Maul from The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, he is closer to the TPM Maul – a man of a few words, even though we get to go into his mind, he talks a lot more to himself! There is one thing that always comes back with Maul – his rage, his anger and you can see how it already consumes him. This miniseries gives us a better look at his apprentice-master relationship he has with Darth Sidious and as you could expect from Sidious – there is a lot of manipulation.

Now, about the story, it’s interesting and the last two issues are extremely action-packed! Darth Maul is on the trail of a Jedi Padawan who has been captured and he sees in it the perfect opportunity to test his skills. For this mission, he hires Cad Bane and his team. Obviously, the situation is more complicated that it seems and it leads to a lot of fight and badassery. Cad Bane is his usual self and I love it, he’s such a great bounty hunter! The duel between Maul and the Padawan was spectacular! It keeps you entertain for sure!

Ross and Woodard (the artist and color artist) have done an incredible job in this comic. It’s at the same time really realistic in the way that Ross really did the characters right and there is also a comic feel sometimes with some images. It’s something that really works. The palette of colors knows how to be dark when it needs to and to be colorful as well.

There is one thing I want to mention even though it’s not necessarily important – Nar Shaddaa. I love how it looked like in Star Wars The Old Republic and I’m really happy it has a similar look in this comic (and the other appearances it made in canon), it’s a big city but it has a more filthy feel.

There is a huge connection with Star Wars Rebels in the story, in a flashback we see Darth Sidious taking Darth Maul to … MALACHOR! So now we know how Maul knew the planet. But we also got a better look at the fight that took place there long before these characters were even born and it seemed like an epic and dark fight! Maybe one day, could we get the full story of what happened on Malachor?

7.5/10 It’s a great miniseries, visually beautiful and with an entertaining story. The question is, did we really need a Darth Maul story taking place in there? I’m not sure it was needed, there are many other stories that would be great to be told in the Pre-TPM era. However, this miniseries is good enough for it to be worth of your time!

[Review] Star Wars: Phasma

WARNING SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK YET

I just finished reading Star Wars Phasma and I have plenty of things to say about it, it took me just a few days to read it. This book is written by Delilah S. Dawson. Phasma was first introduced in The Force Awakens but she barely had any screen time there. However, it seems that with The Last Jedi, she will have a bigger role, which is something I’m very excited about. I immediately loved the character in TFA, this chrome armor was really badass and this novel gave us her story of how she came to be this Captain of the First Order. If you love Phasma, this novel is for you!

The interesting thing about Phasma’s story is that it’s a character who tells what happened according to what another character told her and during the novel, we learn that Vi Moraldi, the Resistance spy who tells Phasma’s story has embellished some parts of the story. So we’re not exactly getting the story as it happened but what these characters wanted us to know about her. Therefore, even knowing who this chrome warrior, there is still a part of mystery that remains and it elevates Phasma’s past to a legend or a tale. Having this story told this way is actually a good fit for such a character.

We learned more about the First Order as well and how it works to rise in higher ranks. Without surprise, it’s similar to how the Empire did, officers murdering each other. By the end of the book, it is mentioned that Phasma did kill people to get higher up in the FO hierarchy but the one murder that has an important place in the book is – Brendol Hux. It’s a character I’ve waited since his first introduction in the Star Wars books and I think he got the fate he deserves – killed by Phasma using a very painful method (a dangerous gold beetle from her home planet) with the approval of his son Armitage Hux, the General Hux we know from The Force Awakens! On a scale from 1 to 100 how messed up is the Hux family? 200 for sure! The more we know about the Hux family, the more I feel like they’re even more dangerous than Tarkin was.

But the more dangerous character in all this is Phasma. She is as deadly as it gets. Obviously, there are reasons to that. When we look at when she is from – Parnassos, it’s killed or be killed and no one wants be killed. Parnassos is basically Hell. This planet is so horrible that it’s not enjoyable to live there, or at least to live in the part where Phasma and her family lived. What happened on Parnassos reminded me a lot of The Scorch Trials movie/book (from The Maze Runner series). It had this crazy world/impossible place to live/desolation feel, that I really love. The events happening there are at times extremely violent and because of this, I think the novel was the best way to tell this story, a film or tv show medium would have been impossible to watch at times, it would have had to be rated-R and Star Wars is not a rated-R universe. The fight in the Arena against Wranderous or the way the body disintegrate when beaten by a gold beetle is truly atrocious and violent. With the novel, there is no real problem for it to be violent. If there is one thing to know about Phasma is that she will do whatever it takes to survive even leading her entire family to their death. I said there are reasons to the way she acted but it has its limits because Phasma is a real monster, with everything she did. And she made sure that no one stays alive to tell what she is capable of doing or at least she thought so because Siv is still alive and told everything to Vi but that Phasma doesn’t know. Does this character have a heart? It’s difficult to tell. Is it possible to justify all the horrible things she has done and had let happen for her sole survival? It’s hardly possible to justify this and I think that’s exactly what makes Captain Phasma a fearsome villain – she is as deadly as it gets. And even Armitage Hux shoud be afraid that one day she could kill him or betray the First Order in order to suit her needs. Knowing this, I really look forward to see where her story is going with the rest of the Sequel Trilogy.

There are other characters to talk about in this book – Captain Cardinal and Vi Moraldi. Captain Cardinal is a First Order stormtrooper with a red armor, that’s badass. He is an orphan from Jakku. He trains the young recruits before they are sent to Phasma to complete their training. He is the contrary of who she is. He is someone who has loyalty but he has also been brainwashed by the lies of the First Order. However, beyond that, he is still human and the way he ends up treating Moraldi proves it. Eventually, it’s his uncontrolled hate that leads Cardinal to his fall. Whether he manages to live is a mystery. He is wounded by a blade using poison but considering Moraldi is taking him to the medbay where Siv lives, he still has a chance to survive. That’s where I felt like this book needs a sequel to tell what happens next to Cardinal, Moraldi, Siv and her child. If Cardinal survives, there’s the possibility that he joined the Resistance and that would be interesting! At the beginning, I hated Cardinal but the more we got to know him, the more I started to appreciate him and understand who he was. As for Vi Moraldi, I love her! She is a strong female character and I always say yes to more strong female characters in Star Wars! She got a great personality that suits a spy, it would be nice seeing more stories about her being told!

8.5/10 Delilah S. Dawson has delivered a great book delving into Phasma’s past at the same time exciting and terrifying. Dawson’s writing style is smooth and easy to read, which made the book a pleasure to read! She created great characters like Moraldi, Siv and Cardinal while at the same time developing already existing characters in a brilliant way!

[Review] Rogue One Blu-Ray

I’m reviewing the French edition of Rogue One on blu-ray.

The Blu-Ray 4/5
The French version has a different slipcover than the US version. The slipcover here is the IMAX poster, which I think is great considering Galen Erso is also on the picture and despite not having a lot of screentime, he was an important character in the movie. When you remove the slipcover, it is the same cover as the US – it’s the same picture as one of the Asian posters. It’s actually a good choice to have put this one on the cover because I think it was an amazing poster even better than the one we got in the US and France. It’s a basic blu-ray, they could have done something better on that part like Warner Bros had done for the LOTR and Hobbit movies. Unfortunately, Disney doesn’t do that much.
There two discs – one is the movie and the other contains the bonus features.

Audio 5/5
If you watch the movie in its original language (English) it is in DTS-HD 7.1, which is absolutely perfect a stereo system. I watched it yesterday and it felt like being in the cinema again. French language is in DTS-HD High Res Audio, not as best but that’s not really important, what matters is to hear the real dialogues and the real voices of the characters and not a incorrect translation with some strange voices.

Video 5/5
Watching movies on blu-ray is the ultimate experience at home. It’s the perfect high quality. Colors, details, it’s all at their best. It’s simply gorgeous, the textures are excellent, it’s the way it’s meant to be watched.

The Movie 5/5
For the movie itself, you can read the review had done when it was released in cinemas here.

Extras 3/5
That’s the problem with Disney – the bonus features. The featurettes are very interesting, it’s worth watching. There are a lot of things to learn but it’s not enough, there should be more of it. And I would have loved to have a gallery of never-before-seen concept arts. The big surprise is that there are no deleted/alternative scenes, that’s strange but it’s Gareth Edwards’s choice so I respect it.

Overall 4.5/5
Despite being a simple blu-ray and not having a big amount of bonus, Rogue One is a must have for the fans of the saga!

[Review] Star Wars Rebels “Double Agent Droid”

“Double Agent Droid” was written by Brent Friedman. I honestly think, this wasn’t the best moment to have this episode. It would have been better after “Warhead” as it would have been two episodes with the AP-5, Chopper duo while here it cut the pace of the last episodes that were really intense and important for the overall plot especially when we know what comes next as well.

It doesn’t mean that this episode was bad. It was definitely fun, there was a lot of humor brought by AP-5. Wedge, AP-5 and Chopper were sent on an ISB base to get clearance codes for Lothal in preparation of the rebel operation on the planet (strangely it was the first time they ever needed to get clearance codes for Lothal from the ISB) when Imperial spies took the opportunity to take control of Chopper in the hope he would lead them to the rebel base. Obviously, it didn’t work and these imperials died with their ship so no one knows they had Chopper or even were close to get the location of the base. So, this episode didn’t change anything for the Empire and their search for the base.
The chief Imperial spy was voiced by Josh Gad.

Him being controlled by the Imperials could have been a suspenseful event with the audience wondering if he would survive but we have seen him in Rogue One so there was nothing to ever worry about in this episode, we knew he wouldn’t die.

AP-5 was the star of the episode – the annoying droid who was actually right from the beginning, which brought many laughs. In many ways, he is similar to C-3PO, both are extremely irritating and also not very brave. AP-5 even got a singing moment in the middle of space at the end.

It was definitely nice to have Wedge on the mission, I hope that we would see him more next season!

An advice, don’t ever mess with Hera’s crew because she won’t be happy about it. She made the Imperials pay the price for taking control of Chopper, she sent a strong frequency back to them that blew up their ship and destroyed all the data they had. That’s badass for sure! And Chopper is probably stronger than any other droid, he was still in one piece after he transmitted that frequency.

6/10 A fun episode that brought a lot of laughs.

[Review] Star Wars Rebels: “Secret Cargo”

“Secret Cargo” was an important episode for the series. It featured the first appearance of Mon Mothma in the show and Genevieve O’Reilly returned to play the character once again after recently being in Rogue One.

If you read the Rogue One Ultimate Visual Guide, you probably heard about Mon Mothma’s speech at the Senate against Emperor Palpatine, which lead to be on the run and abandon her seat at the Senate to lead the Alliance. When I first read about it, I really wanted to hear this speech as I’m interested in this side of the story with Mon Mothma and Bail Organa and how they formed the rebellion … So I was obviously so excited to see that her speech was in this episode! This speech really showed Mon Mothma’s bravery, she knew she’d be a target by attacking the Emperor but she did it anyway, she did it to call for people to unite and stand against Palpatine. The episode couldn’t have started better than this!

It was up to the Ghost (Hera, Chopper, Zeb and Hera) to protect Mon Mothma and bring her on Dantooine to transmit her a call to unite the rebels on the Holonet. They received the help of Gold Squadron meaning we had Gold Leader, Dutch Vander in the episode! The Gold Squadron wasn’t as big as in Rogue One or in A New Hope but they had a few Y-wing starfighters. These pilots didn’t last long except for Dutch who survived obviously. Ezra got to pilot one of these Y-Wings again fighting along side Dutch escorting the Ghost. A big part of the episode took place outside and inside a nebula. These sequences were beautiful, lots of work done on the visuals, some of the best visuals we’ve seen in the series so far! And of course, the rebels were chased by the Empire who were using their prototype Tie Defender, quite deadly! This part of the episode could have totally been taken from a Star Wars video game – protecting a ship and make sure it reaches its destination.

So far, we only saw different rebel cells of the Rebellion but never saw a truly united front but with this episode we witnessed the proper creation of the Alliance To Restore The Republic at the end when all the different cells gathered on Dantooine after Mon Mothma’s call on the Holonet. The ending was spectacular – an inspiring speech by Mon Mothma and the rebel fleet gathering! I really see this episode as a turning point in the series because now the rebels are united, they’re showing they’re getting bigger and more organized! It promises great things to come, right now the rebels are on Dantooine so I think with season 4 we will definitely see the Alliance going to Yavin IV to build their base.

9/10 An amazing episode with Mon Mothma and some good space action!