Star Wars Resistance is a lot of fun with huge potential to get really dark

Minor spoilers ahead!

Star Wars Resistance is finally here! I wanted to give it a few episodes before I wrote a review of it. Most television pilots tend to have their rough moments, which is why I try to give new shows 2-3 episodes to grab me. Resistance had it’s ups and downs in the first two episodes which I expected. But overall, I thought it was a really strong start!

I love this gas station

Let’s talk about the prime location of Resistance: The Colossus. It’s a refueling station in the Outer Rim where the main character Kazuda Xiono (Kaz for short) is sent by the Resistance to be a spy.

This is a beautiful gas station. On Twitter and Tumblr, I’ve been lovingly calling it the QuikTrip. It’s more like if a Love’s station was the size of a city. It has a mechanics area, a market, a cantina, the tower where the Ace Pilots live, and probably housing for everyone who calls it home.

It’s a really cool location for the show to start off at. I’m pretty sure the show will follow a similar path of it’s predecessor, Star Wars: Rebels. Rebels started off on the planet of Lothal as it’s main location for most of season one. It gave the audience a chance to get to know these new characters in a place they’re familiar with. Once the story began to progress, they left Lothal but it was, as they returned in season four, always the place to tie the characters’ hearts to a home. I wouldn’t be surprised if Resistance followed this formula. We’ll probably spend a good chunk of season one on the Space QuikTrip before we move into the bigger picture story.

Which I’m fine with. It’s an incredibly diverse place visually packed full of it’s own culture and characters. Just in the pilot episode, you can tell this place is “lived in.” What I mean is it’s not shiny and new. You can tell it’s been around for awhile, everyone knows each other, and it’s a community. It’s a great place to start out with a ton of areas to explore and visit for the audience as Kaz gets acquainted with it as well.

SO MANY ALIENS

Ever since I first saw the Original Trilogy, one of my firm beliefs in Star Wars is there’s never enough aliens. It’s a huge galaxy full of thousands of planets. And somehow, it’s almost always the big group of humans that save the day. There might be one or two aliens in the back ground flying ships and in war meetings. You have the big main guys like Yoda, Admiral Ackbar, and Chewbacca. But overall, it’s the humans that save the day while the aliens are the side kicks.

We’ve grown a lot in this aspect since the Originally Trilogy. Clone Wars added Ahsoka, who is a Togruta, as a main character. We had alien villains and bounty hunters like (my personal favorites) Cad Bane, Embo, and Sugi. A good chunk of the Separatists were aliens. We saw a lot more of the Jedi Council from the Prequel Trilogy who were aliens species. Rebels had Hera Syndulla, Zeb Orrelios as main characters with Thrawn and his henchmen Rukh coming in as villains. Both Clone Wars and Rebels gave huge development to Darth Maul, also not a human character.

And Resistance takes that another step forward. The majority of the characters on Colossus station are aliens. It’s about a 2-1 ratio so far in the show. Kaz, the main character, is still human and the majority of his team is human outside of Neeku (I’m not including Bucket in this because I’m speaking about living characters, not droids). And from what I can tell from promos, the people in charge of Colossus station AKA have the most power here are human as well. Three out of five of the Ace Pilots are human, still a majority. But the rest of the station and supporting characters from shop keepers to the cantina owner are mostly aliens.

This is a huge step forward. To me, the aliens in Star Wars have had more interesting stories than say the human dude from said planet becoming a hero because destiny or whatever. We’ve heard that story before (points at Marvel, DC, Lord of the Rings, Jon Snow, and most sci-fi and fantasy franchises). But for the aliens in Star Wars, there’s been more of a coded story that makes them the “Other,” not the norm. And they’ve had fascinating stories. Hera Syndulla from Rebels, who is Twi’lek which is a race commonly enslaved and shown to be dancers (read as prostitutes), becomes a general and leader that’s not the same dude bro from said planet who is a hero because of destiny and Jedi magic to lift rocks and wave a laser sword. Her people rarely have a position of power shown on screen like the humans in Star Wars. And she becomes a freaking general fighting at Scariff and helping out Luke, Leia, and the Rebellion in the current Star Wars comics.

In the Thrawn novel and comic adaptation, Eli Vanto explained why we see so many humans in power and so few aliens in the time of the Empire and Rebellion. He explained that the Clone Wars was caused by aliens (taught propaganda on the Empire’s part) which made humans scared of them. Thus, Thrawn suffers under a great deal of speciesism to overcome. In the Chiss Ascendancy, he was just like everyone else on his planet. In this side of galaxy, he’s the Other, the outsider. Humans, so far in Star Wars, have the majority of the power from what we can see in the movies and television shows, books and comics.

Resistance so far has shown us more aliens on screen in a couple episodes than any other media in this galaxy. I think this is a great step forward, because they’re visually amazing to look at as an audience member. I want this show to really get to know these background characters. Orka and Flix are a hilarious duo (who I actively ship). Aunt Z probably has a ton of wisdom behind that sassy snark. Neeku is precious, but where’s his family? Why is he on Colossus by himself? I want to know more about these people, because they’re more fascinating to me than Kaz, who is just another dude bro like the ones that came before him.

I hope in the future we can have an entire series that’s a group of aliens as the heroes. Maybe one human can be there too. I want to see more alien cultures in my Star Wars. Colossus station is a great leap forward in that regard.

Kaz coming from a privileged life

Kaz is a new kind of lead character that we haven’t quite seen before in Star Wars. He’s the son of a senator where his father got him into a pilot academy and paid for everything. That’s not to say that Kaz isn’t a skilled pilot. He’s very talented in that regard. But it’s clear that he hasn’t had many real world experiences when it comes to lower classes and how rough and tumble they can be. Though, he does understand that money makes things work. For example when he had a bad run in with a merchant named Bolza Grool, Kaz offered to let Grool put his shop’s logo on his racing ship as promotion to bring in more customers. Kaz at least understands money, even if he sucks as a mechanic which is is spy cover story.

Kaz is a also a new kind of character, because he’s grown up in a time of peace. In contrast, Leia was a princess and senator who came from a wealthy family. The difference is she was raised under Imperial occupation and used her position to aid the Rebellion. All Kaz has ever known is peace time. In episode two, Jarek Yeager, Kaz’s boss, even says most common people don’t even know what the Resistance is unlike Leia’s time where people knew what the Rebels were.

This also differs from many of the heroes we’ve seen in other Star Wars media. Ezra Bridger from Rebels grew up during the Empire as an orphan. Ahsoka Tano was a Jedi padawan in Clone Wars who fought in said war. Even in the Original Trilogy, Luke was raised under the Empire in a troubled time. Kaz is one of the first heroes we’ve seen that’s flourished in a time of peace. To him, the Resistance is this cool movement to join and have fun. I don’t think he has a concept of the bigger picture of what’s actually happening.

To me, one of the show’s best potentials is watching Kaz grow as the real war starts affecting his peaceful world that he’s used to.

Because this show will probably hit Kaz really hard in later seasons

Currently, Resistance is set about six months before The Force Awakens. It has been confirmed that the show will cross over into The Force Awakens timeline. Also in last week’s Resistance Rewind, Executive Producer Athena Yvette Portillo says that Kaz comes from Hosnian Prime. Now I’m not sure if this counts as a spoiler or me just putting two and two together with my Star Wars knowledge, but do you remember what happened to Hosnian Prime in The Force Awakens?

It had a really bad run in with Starkiller Base destroying the entire New Republic senate. This is now me speculating, but Kaz’s father is a senator who could possibly be one of the people lost in this attack. Even if his father isn’t there and spared from this, Kaz’s home will be destroyed in six months in the show’s timeline. I think Kaz’s story will really mature as he will have to come to terms with this and choose to fight with the Resistance for a cause, not just as a fun story that he’s working with now.

Even if he’s not working in the day to day on this show, this is still a Dave Filoni show. After Clone Wars and Rebels, I always suspect Filoni to rip my heart out at some point when watching his work.

Until the Force Awakens crossover, let’s look at the show we have now

I really enjoy the supporting cast so far. Neeku is a strong favorite of mine. He’s like Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy in the way he takes everything literally. He’s a hilarious addition, and I laugh almost every time he speaks. I’m also looking forward to learning more about the rest of Team Fireball. Tam is a fiery young woman who clearly has something to prove. Jarek Yeager is definitely hiding some kind of mysterious past. Usually with a show like this, as it did with season one of Rebels, we’ll spend most of season one getting to know these characters.

There are also the Aces! In “The Triple Dark,” we finally got to see (almost) all the Aces in action. Ever since I saw the promo featuring all the Aces, I wanted to see these awesome hotshot pilots in action. While they race each other as entertainment on the Colossus, they’re real job is to protect our wonderful QuikTrip. In “The Triple Dark,” pirates attacked, and it was the Aces (with help from Kaz) that fended off the assault.

That being said, there was one Ace pilot who was missing in the episode. He’s actually the one character I want to see more than anyone else:

Griff Halloran.

According to StarWars.com, Griff flies a modified Tie Fighter and has Imperial tattoos. He has a mysterious past, and no one knows for sure if he’s a veteran of the Empire or “flies Imperial colors to intimidate his opponents.” It was rather convenient that the pirates, who had modified Imperial tech and armor, attacked, and the one possible ex-Imperial didn’t protect the Colossus.

Again me speculating, I think Griff is a total red herring. He’s the most obvious choice to be the First Order spy Kaz is looking for. But I think they’re going to take his character in a completely different direction, though I don’t know how yet. He might have supported the Empire in the past, but it doesn’t mean he will support the First Order now. I think he might be the most interesting character to watch through the series.

The spy story will help the show ramp up in drama and narrative a lot. I suspect for the first handful of episodes we’ll take time to learn the Colossus and the characters who live there. Once Kaz really gets into searching for the First Order spy, that’s when the show will truly take off.

One real complaint

The only criticism I have for the show has nothing to do with the show itself. I have a problem with the time slot. 10pm is really late for a television show aimed at kids. I don’t understand the reasoning behind that. Even when Rebels came on at 9pm, I thought that was pushing it. Now, I am biased against a late time slot. I do instant gif reactions to the episodes over on my Tumblr which takes me a couple hours to make. Then, I have to wake up early the next morning for work. Personally, I would like the show to be earlier so I’m not working as late into the night.

But me aside, there’s the viewership and ratings to think about. While it’s not as prevalent as it once was (thanks to a court ruling stating the once “Family Hour” was unconstitutional), 8pm-9pm is still in that prime time television area. 10pm and later gets less viewership, and from my experience working as a nanny and having eleven young nieces and nephews, 10pm is really late for children to stay up and watch a show on a school night. I really don’t understand Disney and Lucasfilm having Resistance in this time slot.

Wait, that’s my only problem with the show? What about all the outcry about the show being too childish?

Well, I have a news flash for you.

This show is made for all ages

This isn’t Clone Wars where George Lucas set out to make a high end PG nudging PG-13 show. Rebels and Resistance are shows made for all age groups. Resistance is really slap stick heavy for me, a thirty-one year old adult. That humor isn’t to my tastes. That said, it’s not made for me. It’s a Disney Channel show made for people like my eight year old nephew who loves Star Wars.

That doesn’t mean that adults can’t enjoy and appreciate shows targeted for children. Avatar: the Last Airbender, Gravity Falls, and Steven Universe as well as Rebels‘ adult fans are prime examples for that. Shows can be made for a younger audience and have older people enjoy it’s content as well.

I think it’s important to keep in mind who the target audience is. Not every joke will land with an adult that a child will laugh at. That said, there will be jokes that will get adults and not kids. It’s like watching old cartoons when you’re adult and finding a joke you never understood as a child.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a lot of the slap stick humor in Resistance. It’s not for me, but I know kids out there will love it.

It also gives Kaz a place to grow and mature in the story. I’ll be the first to say that I hated Ezra Bridger when Rebels first started. Ahsoka was a despised character in the fandom in the beginning of Clone Wars. Both were immature, childish, and jumped into situations without thinking. Kaz is the exact same way right now. Over the course of four seasons, I learned to love Ezra watching him grow into a mature leader. Ahsoka is the most important character to me, personally on a deep level, in Star Wars, and I have the tattoo to prove my love to her. If Ezra and Ahsoka are proof that these childish characters can grow over the course of their respected shows, we should also give Kaz that time as well as Resistance grows into it’s own thing.

Besides, there’s nothing wrong with fun Star Wars. In a franchise that has “Wars” in it’s name, I like getting lighthearted stories every once and awhile.

…Especially since the destruction of Kaz’s home is looming six months from now in the story. I will take my happy Star Wars now, thank you very much.

 

Overall, I really love Resistance so far. I think it’s a strong start with fun new characters. I love the Colossus as a location, and I can’t wait to see more of that community. As we delve deeper into the characters and get into the spy side of the story, I think the narrative will really get better and better as each week progresses. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store.

 

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