This Is Madness: Hondo weighs in on this week’s matches

Team Hondo 2016

Now that This Is Madness has started on StarWars.com, I, Hondo Ohnaka, successful pirate, am here to tell you who to pick.

Most of you seem to be Jedi reading my mind since you were able to correctly pick for Day 1. Day 1 was Obi-Wan Kenobi against Padme Amidala, and Darth Vader against the Fifth Brother. As you know, Kenobi and I go back quite a ways, and I’m pretty sure we are still friends. He’s honorable for a Jedi, and it looks like he picked up the win. Darth Vader vs. the Fifth Brother. There’s a reason you give someone the title of Fifth Brother. Like First Senator or henchman 21, it shows where you fit in the order. And Darth Vader? I hear he’s the Emperor’s Number One. So yeah, not a surprise at all that Vader beat out a fifth tier baddie.

Onto the current matches. Today we have Skywalker’s droid, R2-D2, against one of Ezra’s crew, Sabine Wren. She seems to be quite the demolitions expert and the artiste. I can admire that. Sometimes I like to blow stuff up. Especially stuff that doesn’t belong to me. Droids, on the other hand, bah! Vizago uses droids, but not me. Vote Sabine! On the dark side, we have Jabba the Hutt and the Seventh Sister. Jabba thinks he’s all powerful, but he threw in with those two horn-heads who had wrecked my already wrecked base, and got many of my men to revolt. So I’m not for Jabba at all. The Seventh Sister? She looks like trouble. My kind of trouble. So I’ll go with her. Plus she has one of those laser swords. Those are pretty neat.

Tomorrow, we have Luke Skywalker versus Hera Syndulla for the Light Side. Man, the Ghost crew is put up against some tough players. Hera was nice enough to let me tell a story of how I saved Ezra and a load of generators for her rebel crew, so that is important to me. But Luke – he’s got one of those laser swords, and get this – his last name is Skywalker. I knew another Skywalker, and he seemed like a decent guy, when he wasn’t trying to escape from my prison. So Luke will probably win whether you pick him or not. On the dark side, Emperor Palpatine against Asajj Ventress. The Empire had made my life miserable. I once had my own crew, my own fleet, and a great base. Under the Empire, I have this box of credits. Not good business. Ventress, on the other hand, she seems like a formidable foe – I hear she has fought plenty of Sith and Jedi and lived to tell the tale. Vote Asajj Ventress.

After that, we have Chewbacca against Han Solo and Tarkin against Maul. Well, you know how much I hate Maul. He and his brother… you know the tale. So Tarkin for sure. But Solo and the Wookiee? Han is more the pirate, but Chewbacca did help Ahsoka once escape from slavers, and Ahsoka turned out to be okay in the end. And Wookiees could rip me apart. Chewbacca. On second thought, Maul. If he heard I told you to pick Tarkin, he might come after me, and I don’t need that.

Team Hondo rages on This Is Madness 2016

ThisIsMadness2016

Hello again, my friends! This is your old pal, Hondo Ohnaka. It is that time of year again, when StarWars.com does their annual “This Is Madness” character picking tournament, and for this fourth year, they have decided to not invite me to their competition at all. They even accused me of trying to rig the game last year, with that Jar Jar Binks auto-robot-stuff. Scurrilous lies, I tell you. I am outraged. I would never rig an election – it’s too time consuming, a pirate like myself would simply declare Hondo Ohnaka the winner and have enough big guns handy to get everyone to agree.

team-hondo-2014Anyway, it also appears that my big guns are gone – have you seen my predicament on that Rebels show now? Ezra is a fine lad, and may make a great pirate Jedi yet, but he’s no replacement for a crew. Or a base. Or a ship. At least I have my memories of good times. Some of them might even be true. Speaking of memories, please take this trip down memory lane with this great article of my personal wit and wisdom. The author of that piece clearly knows a man of keen intellect and business sense, and I hear he is also a Team Hondo supporter and is also very handsome.

Onto this year’s “This Is Madness.” It starts on Monday at starwars.com/this-is-madness, and there’s some sort of contest for correctly picking the winners in each round. Nonsense, I say. That’s too much work for so little profit. Also, I am still angry that I was not invited this time. What did I do to those StarWars.com people, anyway? It’s not like I stole their droid. I don’t even like droids. Where was I? They added some new characters to the brackets this time, based on the latest season of Rebels (which I am in. Twice! And yet I am not included! Very well, I will not include them! Is there an opposite to include?) and from the new movie, The Force Awakens. I hear it made a kerjillion credits, but I haven’t seen it yet. So to help me with those picks, I’ve recruited Bala-Tik of the Guavian Death Gang to fill me in. In years past, those voom-voom Jedi and Sith have won, but I think this year, it is time for a real hero to win. Me! Ha-ha! Okay, not me. On the light side, I predict going into the finals will be Han Solo versus Rey. And on the dark side, it will be Darth Vader (who won last time) and Kylo Ren or Agent Kallus. In the end, the light side will win, whether it is that Solo guy or the newcomer, Rey. I hear she knows how to do a mind trick.

Stay tuned for my individual round picks. I am too indignant right now at being not invited to consider who Team Hondo should vote for in each of these starting rounds.

The Force Awakens hints in the StarWars.com Databank

tfa-firstorder-parade2b

Short entries featuring characters, places and items from The Force Awakens have appeared in the StarWars.com Databank. Most of them aren’t particularly revealing – in fact, I believe in many cases they’re the same tiny blurbs showing up on the toys – but at least one confirms a rumor that we’ve been hearing about for quite some time now. Starkiller Base, everyone:

An ice planet converted into a stronghold of the First Order and armed with a fiercely destructive new weapon capable of destroying entire star systems.

Click through to that and you get Captain Phasma, General Hux, Kylo Ren and other various First Order people and things. Punch in Jakku and get Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8 and others. But if you keep poking, you find things like ME-8D9, which mentions a planet called Takodana which is apparently home to “unallied scoundrels…”

Neither Takodana or assumed inhabitant Maz Kanata have entries yet. (H/T to the always eagle-eyed @DarthSpiriah.)