Episode Review: Star Wars Resistance “The Engineer”

Spoilers for the episode “The Engineer.”

I wasn’t able to do an instant reaction over the weekend for “The Engineer.” I was under the weather all weekend, and never felt well enough to write it.

Which is probably for the best. I don’t think a bunch of gifs could capture my thoughts about this episode.

The quality of “The Engineer” is what I want Star Wars Resistance to be at all times. This might be in my current top three favorite episodes, at least the top five for sure.

Narratively speaking, it was strong the entire way through. This episode had everything: social issues on the Colossus, catty First Order members trying to one up each other, character development for Neeku which the show has lacked, and Syanra being right.

Synara is always right. Just accept that now. She’s perfect.

Every element of this story has the potential to come back in some way or another. They furthered the pirates’ storyline by making the pirates help protect the Colossus. But at the same time, they were wrongly accused which could be held against our heroes. I won’t be surprised if Tierny and Pyre’s infighting is what leads to their defeat (maybe Tam uses that against them in the future). The plot is totally set up to have Nena return, but in actual need of help now that she has a First Order target on her back. And our heroes will be far more skeptical of her. This is actually a good lesson. The good guys are always bleeding hearts willing to help. Sometimes that comes back to bite them, but that can’t make them closed off to new people like how Syanra sees new people. That’s what makes Kaz and Neeku heroes.

I was really impressed with the storytelling in this episode.

Especially for Nena. I was actually tricked by Nena about halfway through which shows the strength of how they handled her. When she first showed up, I was in the camp of, “THIS IS TOO CONVENIENT AND SHE IS WAY TOO NICE! IT’S A TRAP!” But it started to creep into my mind that she’s the same species as Neeku. He’s such a golden pure boy that I wondered if maybe being nice and helpful was something with his entire race. Then Nena was around the pirates, and the red herring was thrown out that they’re causing the power issues, which is absolutely plausible. The narrative has already set up this season that the pirates would totally steal their power.

Nena hid her lie with the truth. They sell her performance really well, so it was easy for them to cover up that she was working for the First Order. When it was revealed, I went “Noooo! I didn’t want to be right about her!”

She’s a fascinating character, and (I’m calling it now) when Nena comes back, she’s going to be a valuable addition to the team. She’s clearly resourceful, but she’s also a survivor which is what the Colossus is trying to do. For all we know, she’s might have worked with the First Order a lot. Maybe she has some insight on them to help out.

Also, very interesting that the human centric First Order is using an alien to infiltrate the good guys. I’m sure there’s some kind of social commentary there, but I haven’t had time yet to think through it.

 

I want to discuss Kaz’s character flaw, and how it affects characters on the show. Nena is not wrong when she pointed out to Neeku that it sounds like Kaz thinks about himself. It’s true. Kaz’s character flaw is that he’s self-centered.

When my best friend and her husband watched Resistance season one, they actually hated Kaz because of his self-centeredness. They thought he was an asshole, and not a heroic character. He’s constantly hurting people around him through his selfishness.

I partially agree with them. I don’t go as far to call Kaz an asshole, but I do agree that he tends to be selfish. It’s always about him at all times. He’s always focused on HIS mission first. I always wonder if a lot of that was his rich boy upbringing. I get the sense that season one was really his first dive into a lower class. He had to learn to check his privilege and work with people that were different from what he’s used to.

We’ve seen Kaz constantly trick Neeku for his own missions. This isn’t right. Over and over again, he’s taken advantage of Neeku’s nature to slip out of work for his own tasks. His lying and spying is what made Tam leave. He’s placed them both in danger for his own goals. This has led to him and Hype not getting along, because Kaz is the reason that Tam left in Hype’s eyes.

But I don’t think this means that Kaz is a bad person by any means. Because we’ve also seen Kaz go to extreme lengths to make amends. Look at him buying a new pet for Neeku in the Bibo episode (even though Neeku ate it). Kaz has been obsessed this season to reach out to Tam and make things right again. He’s tried to bond with Hype and the other Aces. He’s been focused on protecting the Colossus, because he’s part of the reason why the First Order is chasing them. He might not realize it right away, but when Kaz knows he’s hurt a person, he wants to fix it.

Being self-centered is Kaz’s character flaw. He’s been self-centered all throughout season one and it’s now in season two as well. But the different is Kaz is a good person. He wants to make up for his own character flaw, he busts his butt to work hard, and he trying his best to fix his mistakes.

Every character needs a flaw. Kaz wouldn’t be interesting if he didn’t have one.

Which makes what Nena said to Neeku interesting to me. I hope Neeku takes to heart what she said about him being selfless. Neeku is the most selfless person on the show. He thinks about everyone but himself. The only part of the episode that I wish they had done differently was the end scene with Kaz and Neeku walking in the market. I wish Neeku hadn’t reverted back to his old self again. It erased a lot of the character work from the episode. Even if he grew a little bit and pointed out to Kaz that he [Neeku] wanted to do more for himself, well Neeku has earned that up to this point. He’s paid for people like Kaz’s meals and the Kids from Tehar to get medicine. He gave up his own possessions to make a sky in the marketplace. He’s working tirelessly to fix the platform.

Neeku deserves to be a bit more like Kaz and vice versa as well.

ALSO JUSTICE FOR OPEEPIT!

OPEEPIT GETTING HIS FLOOR CLEANER BACK WAS THE MOST SATISFYING MOMENT OF THE ENTIRE EPISODE!

GOOD FOR YOU, OPEEPIT! GOOD FOR YOU!

 

I hope Resistance continues to stay at this level of storytelling. It was a great balance of moving the narrative, great character work, and setting up pieces that could come into effect later in the show. I was really impressed with “The Engineer.”

 

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