Episode 78 – Zero to Hero



Totally New TumblingSaber Tuesday is back!

This week in Star Wars news, we talk about:

  • the potential foreshadowing of Leia’s fate,
  • more on Snoke,
  • Finn IS a big deal,
  • Canto Bight’s relevance,

and more! We also talk about our favourite still images from the galaxy far, far away, and speculate about Luke’s academy, and if Snoke was perhaps a former partner before helping Ben tear the whole operation down?

If you’d like to help us grow the show, there are a couple of ways you can help us to do that!

  • Subscribe to our show in iTunes and be sure to leave us a review.
  • Share this podcast with one Star Wars loving friend!

As always, send your questions and feedback to Kyle, or on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star Wars,Generation X-WingRogue SquadronSkyhoppers podcast and the Nerd Room Podcast!


You’re Going to Regret This

Continue Leia's story

Caution: potential major spoiler for The Last Jedi below. Consider yourselves warned.

Star Wars fans have spent countless intense hours debating what Lucasfilm should do with Leia’s character in the aftermath of Carrie Fisher’s passing. The opinions range from “kill her off in The Last Jedi” to “kill her early in episode 9”, to “recast the role, and see Leia’s story through to it’s original conclusion”. Each case has it’s pros and cons.

But for this blogger, there’s only one correct answer.

Finish Leia’s story as it was originally intended.

Why?

Because many moons ago, some very smart, creative, and talented people got together and fleshed out story arcs for our beloved heroes from the galaxy far, far away. But in December 2016, the big bad wolf huffed, puffed, and blew the house down. Carrie Fisher was struck down before Leia’s complete story could be told.

As stated in the huge Vanity Fair piece, the powers that be had to move from grieving to pragmatism very quickly. A retooling of episode 9 had to take place, presumably to work around Carrie’s passing.

What a mistake. Telling passages from David Kamp’s Vanity Fair piece seem to make Leia’s future quite clear:

Fisher’s death doesn’t change anything about The Last Jedi except make it more poignant: the film farewell of both the actress and the character. But it does change Episode IX, for which, as Fisher hoped, a central role for Leia had been planned. Kennedy, Trevorrow, and the Lucasfilm team have been compelled to swing from grieving into pragmatic mode, working out how to reconceive the next film in the saga, which is scheduled to start shooting in January.

What? Did they just spoil Leia’s fate in The Last Jedi? More than six months before the film’s release? What the hell just happened here? Softening the blow? Letting us down gently? To call this a curious decision is putting it mildly, especially considering how insanely close-to-the-vest Lucasfilm likes to keep things. Is there another way to interpret this quote? It’s definitely the farewell for Carrie. Is The Last Jedi the end for Leia as well? I can’t imagine Lucasfilm green-lighting this spoiler at any stage of the film’s production, or ramp-up period, yet here we are.

Look, I get it. Carrie is Leia. Leia is Carrie. They’re intertwined, forever synonymous with each other. They are both a part of our DNA as fans of this franchise. We’ve all grieved, and some are still grieving over her loss. That’s fine. For many, the thought of seeing another actress on-screen as Leia is revolting and a non-starter. I understand the sentiment.

But mark my words: if Lucasfilm takes the easy path of writing Leia out because Carrie is no longer with us, we’ll all regret it soon enough. We will all have to bear the brunt of that mistake for the rest of our saga-loving lives. Five, or maybe ten years from now you’ll sit down to watch episode 9. You’ll get cozy, grab a cold drink, and some popcorn. Dim the lights, crank up the volume….and there’s Leia’s premature death. Your fan brain will note this was done because Lucasfilm was AFRAID to forge ahead with the (presumably) terrific story they had conceived for her, for fear of fan backlash over a new face accepting the mantle as General Organa. You’ll forever wonder what the original plans for the film, and character was. If the saying “your first instinct is usually correct”, then episode 9 is bound for a let-down.

That’s a damn shame.

Cutting the knees out from under Leia’s story does a disservice to the story of Star Wars, and it’s especially a disservice to Leia, who deserves as epic and fitting a farewell as Anakin, Han Solo, Obi-Wan, and at some point, Luke.

It’s a disservice to fans, even the ones who don’t yet realize it.

It’s a disservice to Carrie, a great storyteller in her own right. I’d bet my last dime that she would not want her character to be disposed of hastily just because she was no longer in the credits.

But it’s done now. The powers that be re-wrote episode 9 earlier in 2017 in light of Carrie’s passing. Perhaps a decision made with compromised feelings due to her death?

It’s not engraved in stone to say that there’s only ONE WAY to end Leia’s story. Version 2.0 of Leia’s fate can be a fitting, and satisfying one. That duty now falls to Colin Trevorrow, the guy who directed Jurassic World; a film that while a spectacle, was not noted for it’s storytelling. The trust also falls to Derek Connolly, the guy who wrote the screenplay for Jurassic World, and to this flop:

Still optimistic? As Obi-Wan says: “Don’t let your personal feelings get in the way!”

Don’t let your nostalgic sensibilities get in the way of a good story.

I had hoped for more from Kathleen Kennedy and the leaders at Lucasfilm; bravery, confidence, and resoluteness in the face of backlash. It’s a shame that appears to not be the case. I pray that I’m wrong. I’ve nodded with enthusiastic agreement over nearly every single choice that has they’ve made on behalf of the saga, and it’s fans. This seeming decision threatens to tear that all down.

As always, comments are welcome. If you enjoyed this, or find the least bit thought-provoking, please give it a share on twitter or facebook so the debate can rage on.


Journals of the Whilling – Vader Down



TumblingSaber reviews Vader Down!

Hey folks!

Have you had your fill of Darth Vader? Yeah? Tough! Because Steven and Kyle are back to talk about what may be the best arc in all of Star Wars comics thus far – Vader Down by Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen.

With the release of Rogue One on disc just a few days away, we thought it would make sense to talk about the Emperor’s butcher in a situation that we’ve never seen him before: badly outnumbered and entirely alone. Problem? Not for Vader! Have a listen and creep closer to the weekend with our quick rundown and geek-out over this insanely cool arc from Marvel comics!

So strap yourselves in and enjoy the show!

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our show in iTunes and be sure to leave us a review. It’s shocking how much they help! As always, send your questions and feedback to at kyle, or on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star Wars, Generation X-WingRogue SquadronSkyhoppers podcast and the Nerd Room Podcast!

To get in touch with us:

@tumblingsaberFacebook | Instagram | email | iTunes | Star Wars Commonwealth

Our Teepublic store is open! Grab a cool tee, mug or whatever else we put up there! All money earned will go back in to the show to help us improve in all aspects!


Endless Star Wars 1 – What if Anakin had left with Padmé?

What if Anakin left with Padme?

Welcome to this brand-new initiative at TumblingSaber! Endless Star Wars is an assembly of different voices from the Star Wars fandom, sharing their views on the unanswerable. At the same a light will be shone on each of the panel member’s work, including links to their social profiles and latest podcasts. I HIGHLY suggest you connect with these people and check out their work!

Each week, we’ll ask a “what if” style question, and our panel of creative minds will sink their teeth in to it, bringing insight, humor, sarcasm, or just flat out crazy takes on what could have happened along a different timeline in the galaxy far, far away.

Got a Star Wars blog or podcast? Aching to connect with other fans and share some of your opinions on some unanswerable questions? If you want to be a part of Endless Star Wars, we’d love to feature you! Drop me a line on twitter, facebook, or email kyle@tumblingsaber.com and we’ll get you in the rotation asap!

So without further delay, our first question is:


“What if Anakin had left with Padmé to raise their kids in peace?”


Nathan Roberts, from the Luminous Beings Podcast:

The Jedi Order has been destroyed. Sheev Palpatine, now Emperor, rules supreme over the Galaxy. After the fall of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, the new Empire is united under one banner. Padmé Amidala, having convinced Anakin to abandon his dark crusade to prevent her death, becomes the voice that is needed to unite those that oppose the tyranny of Palpatine. Along with her husband and good friend Obi-Wan Kenobi, they form a Rebel Collective of surviving Jedi, Clone Troopers loyal to the Old Republic, and the Hutts who have found their activities restricted in the grasp of the Empire.

In just ten years the Empire is undermined, with entire systems standing to oppose the Galactic Empire. Loyalty is something Palpatine struggles to maintain. His mobile battle station had never reached completion before the Collective destroyed it. And with an army that matches his own in numbers (if not in technological power) and Jedi generals leading Collective forces his power dwindles. Finally, an uprising on Coruscant sees him executed by his own citizens.

Luke and Leia Skywalker have only known war. At age 19 the Galactic Confederacy has been the ruling body in the Galaxy for nine years. Their mother, Supreme Minister of the Confederacy, and father, no longer a Jedi but owner of Skywalker Droid & Ship Repair™ (which is franchised throughout the Galaxy), try to raise Luke and Leia to be responsible citizens. Leia spends her time with her nose in a datapad studying for and Academy exam. Luke goes on pub crawls with his Uncle Ben, gets arrested for spice possession, and pays child support on twelve systems.

You can find Nathan on twitter, and his podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!


Tim from The Nerd Room Podcast:

The way I looked at this weeks What if? is how much would history change in the complete or temporary absence of Vader?

On a galactic scale, the rise of the Empire and creation of the 1st Death Star is well in motion before the fall of Anakin to the dark side. It is clear that Palpatine would have taken another apprentice to continue the Jedi purge and champion the inquisitor program.

The seeds of the Rebellion had been planted but in this scenario, the core of the rebellion would likely contain the last remnants of the Jedi Order (Obi-Wan, Yoda, Ashoka, and Kanan) as well as Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, and Padmé.

The galactic political climate remains relatively intact as Vader is a result/casualty of the execution of Palpatine’s grand plan.

But, in the absence of a an immediate threat from Vader/Emperor is it likely that instead of being separated and hidden away, Luke and Leia would be trained by the small group of surviving Jedi (potentially including Anakin, but lets face it, his turn to the darkside at this point is inevitable; he murdered younglings, contributed to the fall of the Jedi Order, and does not have the temperament to resist the temptation of the darkside).

So, the Skywalker twins would become powerful Jedi but the temptation to the dark side (whether by Anakin or Palpatine) remains a very real threat. Luke showed that he could resist the temptation but could Leia?

Anakin leaving Mustafar has the most profound effect on Leia, her destiny is completely altered. She would trade politics for a light saber, no longer carry the name Organa and either be part of the galaxy’s last remaining Hope or one of its greatest threats.

My bet would be on Hope.

Find Tim on twitter, and be sure check out the latest Nerd Room Podcast! Find their terrific podcast on iTunes, and Stitcher!


Wesley van Wensen of the Houndstooth blog

The implications of the galaxy lacking its mystic enforcer, Vader, seem apparent. We’re missing another vital piece on the Dejarik board, though. Breha and Bail Organa never adopt their little princess Leia.

Bail would still be one of the founders and funders of the Rebel Alliance. In our scenario though, he has to make do without Leia’s help in the Senate. More importantly, every time he fudges the books (to obtain the U-Wings) or lets ships get stolen (as Leia does in A Princess on Lothal), all Imperial eyes are focused squarely on him. He is outed as a traitor to the Empire and promptly executed.

Depending on when exactly this happens, the Rebellion could be in big trouble. Losing one of its leaders would be bad enough… But a Battle of Scarif without Hammerhead Corvettes to save the day would be disastrous. The Alliance would keep throwing everything it had at the Shield Gate in hopes of obtaining the Death Star plans. Their entire force would be swatted like flies, yet their objective would still fail.

With the Rebel Alliance effectively wiped out at Scarif, the Death Star’s reign of terror is unchallenged. Chandrila, Mon Cala, and other rebellious planets all fall to the fearsome station’s superlaser. It’s game over, and Emperor Palpatine has won.

Thanks a lot, Anakin.

Be sure to catch Wesley on twitter, and on his outstanding blog – a must follow!


Devin from Unmistakably Star Wars

Let’s get this out of the way first: Anakin Skywalker should be considered the perennial Father-of-the-Year – the epitome of what all men should strive to become. While many husbands and fathers think “sacrifice” is missing the latest episode of [insert favorite TV show here] in order to attend a lousy school performance, Anakin quite literally sacrificed his own life so that his wife and kid(s) would live. The fact that she didn’t is not Anakin’s fault.

However, had the two lovebirds left the non-asthma-friendly confines of Mustafar together, it wouldn’t have lasted long. Remember, Anakin foresaw Padmé’s death, and his mood was more fragile than the EU lover who wept upon Disney’s canonization of Star Wars material. So, ultimately, he would’ve been the galaxy’s most unstable individual left alone to raise two kids – something much more scary than the contents of the cave on Dagobah. Truth be told, perhaps it was Anakin’s genius in succumbing to the Dark Side and becoming Vader and avoiding the pains of single parenthood. Brilliant.

Sorry, hopeless romantics. This wasn’t going to end well from the get-go. The fairy tale of Anakin and Padmé becoming the galactic equivalent of Sleepless in Seattle wasn’t meant to be. It was all about Anakin choosing the least of two tragic scenarios…at least from a certain point of view…

Connect with the USW team on twitter, facebook, and be sure check out the latest USW podcast! Be sure to subscribe to their super-active podcast on iTunes, and Stitcher!


We hope you enjoyed the maiden voyage of Endless Star Wars! Tune in again next week when we tumble down more rabbit holes!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave your take in the comments below, or reach out to the authors on twitter!


Journals of the Whilling – Star Wars Comics



Hola TumblingSaber listeners! Welcome back for yet another edition of Journals of the Whilling, where this week, Steven and Kyle are joined by none other than Rob from the Roman Pod and Cast to chat about Star Wars comics under the Marvel umbrella. Do we love them? Hate them? Somewhere in between? We also kick around the latest in comics news, which of course includes Darth Vader volume 2, by the amazing Charles Soule.

So strap yourselves in and enjoy the show!

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our show in iTunes and be sure to leave us a review. It’s shocking how much they help! As always, send your questions and feedback to at kyle@tumblingsaber.com, or on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star Wars, Generation X-WingRogue SquadronSkyhoppers podcast and the Nerd Room Podcast!

To get in touch with us:

@tumblingsaberFacebook | Instagram | email | iTunes | Star Wars Commonwealth

Our Teepublic store is open! Grab a cool tee, mug or whatever else we put up there! All money earned will go back in to the show to help us improve in all aspects!

Journals of the Whilling -Marvel Comics


JotW – Carrie Fisher Tribute & Bloodline Recap



While Bloodline was on the docket, the right thing to was to expand this episode to a tribute to Carrie Fisher, and her legacy as Leia. We then talk about the Bloodline, the novel that gives us a huge dose about the character that Carrie Fisher made so iconic.

Join Steve, James and myself as we go free-form and try to verbalize just how much Carrie Fisher as Leia meant to us as kids growing up, and has adult Star Wars fans today. Losing Carrie Fisher was a cruel and sobering blow, and one that fandom will have to talk itself through for the foreseeable future.
If you’re so inclined to honor Fisher’s memory, you can do so by donating to these charities, which she was either associated with, or donated to.
Journals of the Whilling - Rogue One Catalyst Review

AhsokaBomb

Will Ahsoka meet Obi-Wan again?

The hamster wheel keeps turning at the TumblingSaber! This week I’m wondering:

  1. When did Obi-Wan Kenobi learn about Anakin becoming Darth Vader? and,
  2. How and when Ahsoka Tano can be re-inserted in to canon, in an impactful way?
  3. Can the above two points be combined in to one spine-tingling, hair-raising moment?

One of canon’s great unexplored gaps is of Obi-Wan learning of Anakin survival, and life as Darth Vader. I’m sure Lucasfilm knows how Obi-Wan will discover the truth about his former apprentice. In fact, I’m sure that we’re already seeing the first steps down that story line in the Ahsoka novel. Merely including Obi-Wan in an unrelated plot point hints at that…why else include him if not to lay groundwork of his future story?

Dave Filoni has hinted that Ahsoka will be back following the Rebels season two finale, ‘Twilight of the Apprentice’. But in his typically cryptic style, Filoni was non-committal about when, where, how, or in what form Ahsoka would return. It wasn’t very long before we got more Ahsoka in the form of a young adult novel. Except that it pre-‘Twilight of the Apprentice’ Ahsoka where she becomes Fulcrum, a role she would keep for the next 15 or so years.

Set roughly one year after Order 66, the Ahsoka novel picks up when the Rebellion is in it’s early building stage. Ahsoka has no idea who Vader is, let alone who’s beneath the mask. In the novel, E.K. Johnston reminds usthat Bail Organa knows Obi-Wan is alive on Tatooine. But he preserves Obi-Wan and Luke’s safety by choosing not to tell Ahsoka, a curious choice. I don’t know if Johnston would have revealed that tidbit if there wasn’t more to come…in a sequel novel (of course there will be a sequel novel!).

During the time between being hired as Fulcrum, and learning of Anakin’s fate, could Senator Organa eventually reveal to Ahsoka that Obi-Wan is alive? What would Ahsoka do with this information? Might Bail ask Ahsoka to recruit Kenobi to the rebellion?

Depending on when (and if) Ahsoka returns, she would have to be the bearer of bad news that Anakin is now encased in the Vader armour, no? How powerful a moment would that be when Obi-Wan learns of his galaxy-altering mistake by not finishing Anakin off? At some point Obi-Wan has to learn this news. It’s a must-see moment! It could be the trigger that leads to us meeting the truth-altering, cynical Obi-Wan from A New Hope. And let’s face it: nobody in canon is a more appropriate choice to deliver that news to Obi-Wan than Ahsoka. Except maybe for Qui-Gon Jinn, who could be the one to tell him once Obi-Wan masters connecting with him through the Force.

“But Kyle, both of those things are needless. Obi-Wan could have just felt Vader in the Force and figured it out himself!” In my opinion it’s doubtful that Kenobi could “feel” Anakin’s presence behind that dark suit of armour if Ahsoka couldn’t. Ahsoka would continually reached out to Anakin’s presence after Order 66, but he just wasn’t there. He was gone; consumed by Darth Vader, as Yoda would say.

There are hurdles to jump in order to make this theory work, as is the case with nearly all fan theories. They would have to shoehorn this storyline in to a relatively short window between ‘Twilight’ and ‘A New Hope’. And if Ahsoka returns, why would she run back to the Rebellion?

The Obi-Wan we know in the prequels is much different than who we meet in A New Hope, and it would be a missed opportunity not to hit on this key moment in Obi-Wan’s journey. Sure, years of isolation on a desolate planet following the collapse of freedom that you were partially responsible for would be enough to sour anyone. But seeing Obi-Wan’s reaction to the news that his former apprentice is alive is a must-see.

What do you think? Is Ahsoka the right person to break the news to Obi-Wan that Anakin is alive?

To get in touch with us:

@tumblingsaberFacebook | Instagram | email | iTunes | Star Wars Commonwealth

Our Teepublic store is open! Grab a cool tee, mug or whatever else we put up there! All money earned will go back in to the show to help us improve in all aspects!


TumblingSaber Podcast – Episode 7




Long time, no see! It’s been a whole 20 hours since the last episode went up so we hope you’re ready for another helping of the podcast! In this episode James and I are back, talking about The Force Awakens losing steam at the box office, Oscar nominations, Episode 8, Rogue One, listener question from Steven, and more!

Pay special attention to our super-duper stupid episode 8 theory where we make the case for Count Dooku being Plagueis. You heard it here first! Make it trend! #DookuisSnoke

Catch up with us via the facebook page, follow along on twitter, subscribe in iTunes (please, PLEASE leave a review!), Stitcher or wherever else you like to grab your podcasts from!

As always, if you have questions for us, please send an email to kyle@tumbingsaber.com, or drop a comment below!


Princess Leia to Appear on Star Wars Rebels!

leia-rebels

It looks like the long wait will be worth it. When Rebels returns next week, it will have a cameo appearance by none other than Princess Leia! This confirms what many speculated upon last week.

Of all the plausible, meaningful cameos that we could have gotten on the show, Leia’s is the one I’m most looking forward to. Yes, there’s always Han and Luke are out there, but we already have a good idea of what they’re up to during this time frame: no good, and nothing, respectively. Other than Leia, I’m most curious about Obi-Wan, but let’s take things one step at a time.

This will be our first look at Leia and her activities pre-A New Hope, and though this is her only appearance of season two, who knows what season three may hold!

You can read more about Leia’s return here.


How Much Loss Can Leia Endure?

leia

Possible The Force Awakens spoilers below. Proceed at your own risk!

When you’re asked to name 5 characters from Star Wars lore, you’d be hard pressed not to include Leia in that list. As a legacy character who’s life on screen spans nearly 60 years, Leia has been through a lot. Maybe too much. Consider that from the very first moments of her life, she began experiencing loss:

  • In Revenge of the Sith, the death of her mother, Padmé.
  • In A New Hope, she loses many soldiers on the Tantive IV who were presumably aboard the ship to protect her. (Chalk those lives up to the cost of war, but it still).
  • Then the Death Star vaporizes her home world of Alderaan.
  • Later on in The Empire Strikes Back, she loses Han (even if she gets him back in RotJ).
  • In Return of the Jedi, she finds out that Darth Vader, the scourge of the galaxy is her father. Talk about a loss (at the very least a questioning) of self, even for a self-assured leader like Leia.
  • Fast forward 32 years to The Force Awakens, and it seems to be a commonly held belief that Leia will lose Han Solo for good at the hands of her crazy son, Kylo Ren. #parentingfail
  • If we think ahead to Episodes 8 and 9, it’s hard to imagine that she won’t lose Luke as well.

That’s a lot for one person to take and it makes you wonder about Leia’s resolve, and about her destiny. Is she here to fight until the bitter end, having to endure one devastating personal loss after another while the struggle for freedom goes on and on without a light at the end of the tunnel? If that comes to pass, Leia will have lost virtually everyone that has ever mattered to her. How brutal is that? Of course, she will have close friends and allies that we will come to know under the new canon (including books, comics, films, etc), but everyone that we, and Leia have come to know will have been taken away. It goes without saying that Leia has always been a stoic leader, and brave solider when called upon and totally confident even when totally disempowered.

If Leia is the last of the “big three” standing from the original trilogy then she becomes the human avatar for the audience through which we view these movies. I know that role has traditionally been assigned to the droids, but if Han and Luke are both gone, then Leia is the next closest link that long-time fans will have. Her losses become our losses.

Is there a point at which Leia becomes too tragic a figure? Or does the amount of loss she suffers only add to the heroism and bravery of her character?

In the wider scheme of things, are we fans prepared to lose favorites that we’ve come to love over four decades? Amidst the excitement leading up to The Force Awakens, everything is puppy dogs and ice cream. We’re all in love with Star Wars all over again, and the thought of more epic adventures filled with fist-pumping moments are dancing in our heads like sugar plums. Frankly, I don’t know how prepared fans are to deal with the losses of long-time favorites. There is an awful lot of denial out there, and sure as rumors of every shape cropped up claiming someone’s demise, there were legions of fans screaming that it had better not be true. Is that a fear of loss, or a misalignment of the movie they want versus the reality? Sure, we’ll gain new favorite characters along the way as the new trilogy and Anthology movies unfold, but I doubt they will become a part of original generation fan DNA like the classic characters have.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments or @tumblingsaber.