Tag Archives: Lux Bonteri

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Who Is Fulcrum? Now We All Know!

Who Is Fulcrum?
Now We All Know
—shazbazzar

For those of us who loved Star Wars: The Clone Wars from its outset to its premature end, the announcement of a new Star Wars animated series on Disney XD resulted in mixed emotions.  Many of us were frustrated that one of Disney’s first moves after purchasing Lucasfilm was not only to Ahsoka Walks Awaycancel The Clone Wars but to halt production on many several episodes which had been planned, written, recorded, and in various stages of production, from animatics to final rendering.  However, we were also cautiously curious about this new series.  We had questions, some of which remain unanswered:  Would Disney give this new series a fair chance to attract an audience?  After all, the ever-changing and inconsistent scheduling of TRON: Uprising (a Disney property) led to viewers wondering when it would air.  Would the audience be left hanging (again) by a premature, inconclusive end to the series?  Star Wars fans are still wanting an appropriate conclusion for The Clone Wars and the aforementioned TRON: Uprising came to an abrupt halt on a cliffhanger.  Most importantly, would our favorite characters from The Clone Wars be seen in Rebels (specifically, Ahsoka Tano)?

Anticipating the upcoming series, I was diligent to seek out all information regarding Star Wars Rebels prior to its release — especially interviews with Dave Filoni.  Empire Online asked him about tie-ins to The Clone Wars to which he responded, “It’s possible, I’ll just say that. I think people would be disappointed if there wasn’t some connection…”  On the official site, during a video entitled, “The Lost Missions Q&A Rebels”, he admitted, “It would almost be crazy for there not to be anything that is related to a show I loved so much in a new show I’m doing.”  These statements, combined with my admitted bias for Ahsoka, convinced me that we would indeed be seeing her return at some point in the series.

During the fifth episode, “Out of Darkness”, we heard about Hera’s mysterious contact, Fulcrum.  When Sabine and Hera go to an outpost to pick up supplies from Fulcrum, SWR Fulcrum.002Hera specifies which crate she will move to the Phantom, based on a mark on the outside of the container.  In the same episode, we heard Fulcrum’s voice, albeit altered to disguise the voice.  Some fans put together the clues and believed Fulcrum was none other than Ahsoka Tano (though I was a believer, I wanted to argue all the angles, just to challenge my own first impression).  However, these clues were certainly pointing us in her direction.

SWR Fulcrum.005As the season progressed, the makers of Rebels actively focused on turning our attention from my favorite Togrutan by showing previews of holographic images of a hooded Fulcrum speaking to Hera — a hooded form that was distinctly different from the familiar scenes of a hooded Ahsoka from The Clone Wars which clearly showed Ahsoka’s montrals and lekku.  Thankfully, we were not kept waiting for long (like a season-ending cliffhanger), but Fulcrum was revealed at the conclusion of the season finale, “Fire across the Galaxy,” when we saw the return of Ahsoka to the screen as she descended the ladder, revealing herself as Fulcrum.  We discovered who Fulcrum is, but what is the significance of her code name?

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A fulcrum is the pivot point for a lever.  Therefore, Fulcrum may carry the connotation that Ahsoka is the hinge for all the work being done amongst the separate cells of rebels.  This fits the current storyline, since it appears that each rebel cell only knows Fulcrum outside their immediate context.  As Hera pointed out in “Fire across the Galaxy,” this would prevent any cell from being used against the others.  With Fulcrum as the contact point for all the cells, she could manage all the cells efforts for a greater impact in their resistance against the Empire.  In doing so, she increases the efficiency of the rebels’ efforts, enabling more work to be accomplished (like a lever) due to a well-placed fulcrum.

The Empire has amplified their efforts to quell rebel cells, focusing on Lothal because of the reported presence of a Jedi and his Padawan, as well as their successful attacks on the Imperial base and supplies (Kyber crystals).  Perhaps, they concluded that the force behind the rebels’ recent success was the Jedi they had repeatedly encountered on Lothal.  Interestingly, it is the Empire’s capture of Kanan that spurs a larger attack on Imperial forces, enlarging our Rebels’ perspective of their place in the galaxy.

A fulcrum is the balance point for a scale.  In a balance scale, the fulcrum is in the central position, perfectly set to enable each side to be equally balanced.  Perhaps, Ahsoka is able to fulfill this position, as well.  Given her history with the Jedi Council, wrongfully accused, yet turned over to the Republic’s (biased) legal system, she recognized that something was out-of-place in the Jedi Order before many others did.  She tasted the Dark Side on Mortis, was warned by a vision of her future about her Master, and made at least one true friend on the “other side” of the Clone War (Lux Bonteri).  She understands the need for balance.

With Dave Filoni’s latest comments regarding Ahsoka’s white lightsabers, SWR Fulcrum.003stating that they are neither green or blue (Jedi), nor red (Sith), we will clearly see in Season Two that Ahsoka is something different: neither Jedi, nor Sith, yet still using the Force.  (Maybe she will team up with other “third party” characters like Hondo Ohnaka or Bo-Katan.)  Ahsoka may well be the perfect person to usher in a new era of Star Wars by revealing the need for a true “awakening” of the Force with a balanced perspective of light and dark, as alluded to in the Mortis trilogy.

A fulcrum is a prop or support.  I’m sure I was not SWR Fulcrum.006alone in my trepidation going into Rebels.  Even as the series progressed, something just didn’t feel “right” about the new endeavor — likely because of my adoration for the former series, the look, the feel, the richness that had developed over the years, and above all, the characters.  The code name Fulcrum could be a signal to audience members like me who have needed an anchor to the previous series to prop up and support this new show.  The unveiling of Fulcrum as Ahsoka certainly did that for me and my family.  Now we can’t wait to see what happens in Season Two.

Exploring the Many Dilemmas of Onderon: “A War on Two Fronts” Review

The Clone Wars Season 5 Episode 2 Review

Hello and welcome back to this week’s review of Star Wars: The Clone Wars! The season returns in it’s second episode of season five with the Jedi aiding a group of rebels on a separatist world in A War on Two Fronts. The episode features our main trio of Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka. It also brings back Lux, who likes to show up in a completely different environments and with a completely different faction every time we see him. The episode takes place on the classic, expanded universe planet of Onderon. And while I very much enjoyed this classic Star Wars world brought into The Clone Wars, we are once again stuck in the “Wow these are really cool concepts and ideas being introduced, but we’re going to have to wait another week to see them put into action.” phase of the story arc.

Like I said before, the episode takes place on the world of Onderon, which has been seen in everything from the Tales of the Jedi comics, to the second Knights of the Old Republic video game. In all the material I had read of Onderon, the world always seemed to be in a state of civil war or in the midst of a play for power. So when I learned that the arc would be about exactly that, I already thought The Clone Wars had done Onderon justice. Later, upon seeing the designs and characteristics of the world shown, I was even more impressed. The Clone Wars team had even included the large beasts that the warriors of Onderon flew thousands of years before in the Tales of the Jedi. They managed to keep Onderon almost exactly the way I remembered it, yet still managing to feel fresh and new with the distinct style of the series.

I was kind of bummed when the topic debated in the council never made it anywhere in the episode. It brought up a great and somewhat real issue of the fine line of helping freedom fighters and helping terrorists. Not only was it a great concept, but they built on it quite well. First by having Anakin’s view conflict almost entirely with the council’s, I think it fits his character and his way of thinking so well, especially when shown in contrast to the council. The council views everything in perspective and tries to foresee problems in the long run, unlike Anakin who usually tries to find the quickest solution. The second is Lux, who has had similar moral dilemmas in the past trying to discover what is justice and what is revenge when he joined the Death Watch in order to get revenge on Dooku in season four. I’m confident they didn’t throw this character into the episode for nothing, as he fits so well into the topic of the arc. Let’s hope they do something worthwhile with him instead of just making him the love interest.

This brings me to my next point. This episode greatly revolved around the reoccurring Lux/Ahsoka complex, this time throwing in Steela to complicate things even further. I guess it started to work toward something, but it’s hard to tell if this could be the end of the before mentioned Lux/Ahsoka character arc. This certainly would be a good time to wrap it up. I can’t help but wonder exactly why they decided to bring up that Lux is still against the Republic and if that will play a role in the episodes to come. Part of me wishes that time spent on the tension between Ahsoka and Steela was given to Rex, showing him training one on one with some of the lesser known rebel fighters. This would have made a great sub plot for Rex, and it would have shown more background on the rebels, possibly even tying into some of the issues the arc is supposed to be dealing with in terms of whether the rebels are simply terrorists or not.

That’s going to wrap up my review for this week! All in all I thought it a good episode that introduced some really cool things to think about as the arc unfolds. Make sure you leave a comment below, as we want to know what you thought of A War on Two Fronts! Thanks for reading, and may the Force be with you!

-Ryan Zasso

Ryan Zasso first entered the Star Wars fan community in early 2010 with the podcast Fanboy’s Guide to the Galaxy. Interested in doing Star Wars related writing, he began writing for the Star Wars Report in 2011.

https://twitter.com/TheOneZasso

 

The Clone Wars Season 4 Episode 14 Review

Hello and welcome back to yet another review of The Clone Wars here at the Star Wars Report! This week the Death Watch returns as Ahsoka tries to save season 3’s Lux Bonteri from the Mandalorian terrorist group led by Pre Vizsla after Lux seeks their help to kill Dooku in the episode A Friend in Need!

The episode starts out with negotiations on the neutral planet of Mandalore, and very quickly elevates into a shootout between Republic guards and Separatist commandos after an unexpected interruption from the returning character of Heroes on Both Sides, Lux Bonteri. Later we find that this was a plan to get the location of Count Dooku from his hologram transmission. Ahoska and Lux travel to the planet of Carlacc where Lux meets up with the Death Watch. This planet is absolutely stunning! The snow, the trees, the villages, the colors all have a very Feudal Japan feel about them, which is perfect considering this is an episode about a group who’s history is a culture that fights for honor, rather reminiscent of the Samurai.

When we first see the Mandalorian camp, I found it somewhat difficult to relate this new Death Watch to the Mandalorians of old, even the past generations of their own group at times. Yes, I can understand burning villages, and their ruthless grip over the planet, the Death Watch is the more barbaric and bloodthirsty of the Mandalorians, but the target practice on the defenseless droids just seemed too easy for these warriors. I couldn’t help but think that they were just thugs wearing Mandalorian armor. In my opinion, even the splinter group they are a part of would have seeked out a tougher challenge when training, or even when it’s just for fun. Mandalorians are about being the best, right? I’ll let it pass though since the droids play into the story later. And where these thuggish Mandalorian recruits might take away from the Mandalorian experience is immediately redeemed by our returning villain Pre Vizsla, who is a much darker, intimidating, and ruthless villain than when we last saw him. He is almost unrecognizable from the Concordian governor we met in season two. A complete visual transformation is included in some of the new attachments to his already incredible helmet, I love it!

Remember the droids the Death Watch had been using for “target practice”? While I was a little hesitant to accept the fact that the Mandalorians were lowering themselves in my opinion by shooting unarmed droids, I did like how it tied into the climax neatly, and we also see how much the battle droids, and R2, can put their alliances and differences behind them to help someone in need. But whether these droids were reprogrammed by the Mandalorians to erase their objectives, or really did forget that their duty was to march, shoot at clones, and die, is left to our imagination. You can’t deny that a battle between Mandalorians and a makeshift army of now re-armed battle droids was the coolest thing to come out of season 4 so far! Especially while Ahsoka and Pre Vizsla have an awesome lightsaber duel in the midst of the battle. That is what The Clone Wars is all about!

In the end, Ahsoka and Lux escape, after fighting off the Mandalorian excellently voiced by Katee Sackhoff of Battlestar Galactica and 24 fame. It all seemed to work out, and they can finally get to Coruscant, when Ahsoka finds out that Lux is going back. So not only did we witness cool battles, the destruction of villages, and the iron fist of the Death Watch, there is powerful emotion between our two main characters! There have been a lot of really good character relationship moments in this series (romantic and not), but Lux going back to face the Mandalorians after saving Ahsoka was one of the best of them all. Could he be going to certain death? Probably, but hopefully we’ll see him again. Even if we don’t, this ending was the perfect place to leave the Ahsoka/Lux relationship. Whether it’s for good, or for sometime in the distant future, we’ll just have to wait and see.

A Friend in Need was much more enjoyable than I expected. There aren’t too many one episode story arcs that can have that much character, action, story, and memorable moments packed into twenty two minutes. The designs were amazing, Pre Vizsla was as menacing as ever, and the cliffhanger for Lux and Ahsoka was truly great. I really can’t say enough about this episode and I can honestly say it’s one of my new favorites. Well done Clone Wars team! What did you think of this episode? Did you love it? Hate it? Somewhere in between? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thanks for reading and may the Force be with you…always!

-Ryan