The first half of Star Wars Resistance season one is almost over, and by now we’ve got a pretty good idea of the show’s tone and format. So what is working for them so far? What should they lean on going forward? How do we think the show will link up with Episodes VII-IX?
[Spoilers for the first ten episodes of Resistance.]
Kazuda Xiono Needs to Grow Up A Bit Faster
Obviously, this is part of the point of the show, and it has been interesting watching a Star Wars story from the perspective of a person who isn’t quite as competent and knowledgeable about the universe at large. But, wow. Kaz. He is so tremendously clueless, to a level that sometimes becomes irksome. It’s less aggravating when we can see him learning and putting what he learns to use, but his inability to grasp so many cues starts to grate after a while, particularly since we also observe that frequently in Neeku (who’s at least a little more endearing about it). At the point at which Rebels’s Ezra Bridger seems kinda genius by comparison, it may be time for Resistance to level Kaz up.
Just Let Torra Doza Take Over the Show
Daughter of the Colossus platform commander—and the youngest member of the famed Ace Squadron—Torra Doza is easily one of the most enjoyable and dynamic characters on the show. Similar to Sabine in Rebels, Torra has a persistent personal style, and a flair for mischief that helps propels plots forward. She and Neeku are probably the funniest characters on the show, and Torra’s piloting skills will clearly be useful going forward. Of course, the real question is, will those same skills bring her firmly into the Resistance alongside Kaz when she finally figures out what’s going on with him? Or will she end up siding with her father in whatever coming trials the story brings? (My money is on the former, for sure.)
Give Us More Slice-of-Life Plots
Resistance was initially conceived as a show that would give us a galactic perspective from people who aren’t central to the conflicts that the films are always showcasing. So far, a lot of the best moments in Resistance have been built on the odd interactions caused by the Colossus itself—a giant platform on a distant world that attracts beings from all over the galaxy. The everyday denizens of that platform are really what give Resistance its intrigue. While it’s already been said that the show is going to intersect with the events of Force Awakens (it begins six months prior to Episode VII), the ability to crossover with the current trilogy is honestly less exciting than the little bits of character that we glean all over the Colossus. Tell us more about Aunt Z, and the other Aces, and Flix and Orka’s Office of Acquisitions. That’s where the real fun is.
If You’re Going to Use Poe Dameron and Captain Phasma, Really Use Them
It was so cool to hear that Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie were going to reprise their roles as Poe Dameron and Captain Phasma in Star Wars Resistance. But so far, both characters have been relegated to pretty underwhelming scripts. It’s great to be able to get the right actors back in their parts to give some weight to the authenticity of Resistance. But if you’re going to go through all the trouble of getting them into the recording booth, it would be better if they were really given something to do that furthered the audience’s understanding of their characters. As is, Phasma just shows up to menace, and Poe occasionally stops by to dispense tiny bits of mentoring to Kaz. It’s fine, but we could have so much more. If Clone Wars is capable of filling in major character arcs and development for central figures like Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padmé, we can get more from Poe and Phasma (and Leia, too, while they’re at it).
Let Synara San and Tam Ryvora Date
One of many things that the Star Wars animated series’ have been extremely vague and disappointing on is queer representation. While arguments can be made for crushes or relationships offscreen (like Ahsoka Tano and Bariss Offee, or Alexsandr Kallus and Garazeb Orellios), nothing has ever been concrete within the shows themselves. There’s no reason why these parts of the Star Wars universe can’t offer as much, and so far the only convincing chemistry between any of the characters on this show has been between Yeager’s top mechanic Tam, and secretly-a-pirate Synara. Given that Synara is clearly feeling awkward about her secret pirate-ness after Tam was nice to her, it would be great watching this morph into something more. Come on, Resistance. You can do it. Queer kids are watching Star Wars, too.
Show the Inner Workings of the First Order
So far everything that the First Order is doing on this show seems like small beans. Which is fine, but we still don’t really understand how it plays into the larger scheme of the galactic war that’s brewing. Are they trying to take over the Colossus to gain some sort of foothold? Is the platform strategically important somehow? We’re given vague ideas by Poe, but absolutely nothing concrete, and if that stakes don’t bloom into something more relevant soon, it’s just going to to make the First Order seem like non-threatening antagonists, which is the last thing you want when the final core trilogy isn’t even finished yet. The First Order currently just seems awkwardly bureaucratic—which, if that was the vibe they were going for, they could have brought Hux onto the show rather than Phasma. (Also the fact that so many First Order officers like Commander Pyre wear special shiny armor like Phasma’s effectively chips away at what makes her interesting, and it’s annoying.)
Let Conflicts in the Show Demonstrate More Maturity
Clone Wars and Rebels walked a very impressive line in telling stories for children that still had incredible depth that adults could appreciate. Part of this was down to allowing the characters to react like adults in painful situations. Resistance, on the other hand, has really been pulling its punches. Episode nine, “The Platform Classic,” featured Jarek Yeager’s younger brother Marcus, who had been searching for Jarek for years in an effort to apologize for a terrible mistake he made. Yeager doesn’t want to forgive him, but Kaz tries to convince him otherwise. Eventually, Yeager sees reason and agrees with Kaz that it’s better forgive—but it turns out that the terrible thing Marcus did was cause an accident by cheating in a starfighter race, killing Jarek’s wife and child. That’s not the sort of tragedy that you dump into a sweet story about learning to forgive people when they change. Jarek Yeager has every right to his anger, and his brother has done very little to make amends. If the episode were more maturely written, this could have worked, but it falls flat instead. If Resistance wants to keep pace with the animated shows that proceeded it, it’s going to have to get smarter about what emotional beats it needs to hit.
So those are just a few things that could help make Star Wars Resistance a more interesting and well-rounded show. Anything you’re waiting on?