Star Wars: Resistance – A Review

Resistance X-Wings fleeing blast in new animated show.

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Resistance X-Wings fleeing blast in new animated show.

Nicholas Silva, Layout Editor

Star Wars Resistance started with a bang, quite literally. Fleeing the First Order, protagonist Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono and a team of New Republic X-wing pilots are struggling to return sensitive data to the government. When Kaz’s X-wing is disabled, Poe Dameron of the Sequel Trilogy swoops in to chase the pursuing TIE fighter away, with the help of some creativity on part of Kaz.

To launch the audience right into a traditional X-wing dogfight, was probably a wise decision on the part of Disney. This left no room for an awkward introduction, or lengthy backstory, just dropping the audience right into the action -history briefly touched on- making it feel more relevant, and continuous, not just like you are watching another one of Disney’s enterprises.

But it is another one of Disney’s enterprises, and now is a tense time for them. The Last Jedi was a ridicule-magnet, and Solo tanked in the box office. Resistance must be good, and there was a lot of worry leading up to its debut, between storyline, graphics, and general flow, many were expecting bad things out of this show. Although they were not especially wrong they were not right either.

Resistance is definitely a kid’s show, but is not completely bogged down by this fact as many modern cartoons are. The storyline -as has been seen so far- is actually fairly well designed and executed, thanks to the brilliant mind of Dave Filoni of The Clone Wars and Rebels. The art design is also surprisingly pleasant, recalling that of The Clone Wars but with more of the anime-inspired feel that the production team was aiming for, resulting in more realistic proportions; there are no more saucer-sized eyes. However, that is not to say that it is perfect. Many of the aliens, such as Kaz’s teammate/friend Neeko Vozo, are very bland in their appearance, with their faces seeming like something along the lines of colorful plastic ski masks. On the other side, the ships are beautiful and comparable to their big screen counterparts, and clothing and scenery are also fair-to-midland. It seems like the art department tried to blend everything that was, and decided that they simply had to skimp on some things to make others work wonders.

Regardless of a show’s art, if the characters and their adventures are compelling enough, even the worst appearance can be tolerated. With Resistance this might be the case. The characters, so far, seem to be unique, well-crafted, and memorable. Kaz is the son of a New Republic senator, and feels that everything he ever has accomplished is seen as being his father’s work -kind of like a rebel Iden Versio (possible plot point down the line?)- that wants to be a pilot and make a difference.

After being saved by Poe (with Oscar Isaac reprising his role from the movies) Kaz is presented with a mission to infiltrate a floating tanker on the planet Castilon, the Colossus, which hosts high stakes starfighter racing, in order to locate First Order sympathizers. The show takes place several years before Episode VII, The Force Awakens, and at this point the First Order is recognized very little outside of the outer rim and unknown regions, and is not recognized as a threat by the New Republic, requiring the Resistance to monitor their actions.

On the Colossus, a large assortment of well-meaning outcasts, troublesome miscreants, and villains habitat the platform. It is sort of like Mos Eisley, acting as a space port, repair station, and intergalactic rest stop, however, it seems to have a more permanent feel -most of the inhabitants have no interest in going anywhere, and there are not a ton of new visitors. Dotted around the platform are a few prominent faces. Jarek Yager is a mechanic, with some mysterious past in the Galactic Civil War, that is just trying to make a living. When Poe asks him to watch over Kaz, he reluctantly agrees, but is firm that he wants no part in the fight that will surely follow. There are also Flix and Orak, junk dealers far more pleasant than Watto, and Aunt Z who runs the local watering hole, and has become numb to most of the petty squabbles that erupt on the semi-chaotic fringe of the galaxy.

But now to the dangerous, yet unnamed sky races. They very closely resemble pod racing, but are more entertaining, they are even hosted by the voices of the original Bonta’s Eve announcers. Five ‘Aces’ generally fly in a competition, and other pilots can join in the hopes of replacing one of the aces. The pilots must navigate through several metal rings, and avoid exploding, for a chance to win. The reward: fame, better food, and a spot in the luxurious Doza Tower. After Neeku, a friendly alien lacking any sort of sarcasm, misinterprets an offhand remark by Kaz, the protagonist is launched into a race, the only other option being “drownin’ and gettin’ eaten by the fish”. All in all, the activities and mannerisms of the Colossus have a very Episode I feel to them, with the sky races and the threat of big bad creatures lurking beneath the expansive sea, like the various sea monsters encountered by Obi Wan, Jar Jar, and Qui Gon Jinn.

With this comparison to perhaps the worst (close tie with The Last Jedi) Star Wars movie ever, it is as good of a time as any to decide how good Resistance really is. If The Phantom Menace had been as good as this show, there truly would be balance in the force. The show has some distracting quirks, and is certainly aimed at a younger audience, but this is not necessarily terrible. The art design is actually fairly good in most regards, and so far (albeit there have only been three episodes released yet) the show is doing a very good job of tying into the preexisting lore and canon. There is Starkiller Base, Leia, Phasma, and more to come. TIE fighters vs. X-wings -stormtroopers and heroes- vital components of any successful series. While Resistance may not be on par with the Original Trilogy, that is okay. It isn’t supposed to be, it is a goofy half-hour’s worth of entertainment wrapped up in a Star Wars bow that fills in some of the blanks left by the current saga.

If the show can continue to provide enough good to outweigh the nit-picky bad, it is likely to excel. But as always, the worth of this show -just like any other show or movie- is in the eye of the beholder. For casual viewers, there is no problem other than it is a cartoon; for cranky fans that feel Disney is the worst thing since a Taunaun snuggie, it might be seen as too ‘un-Star Wars-ie’, but all in all, it might just be the franchise’s new hope.