Megan heads to the Colossus to get to grips with the first few episodes of Disney’s new animated series
Well, it’s finally here. Star Wars Resistance has finally landed on screens across the world. Having seen it several times now, I have to say that it was…as expected. It was interesting enough to keep me watching all the premiere episodes.
From these episodes alone, it seems like this will fit into the standard spy genre, with a few variations thrown in for good measure. Dave Filoni is helming this show and despite what I’ve seen, I still trust him and his team. The animation and backgrounds were good even if the characters themselves could…use some work to put it lightly. To me, it seemed like Bucket, while funny at times, was just there to be another Chopper. That is, there to antagonize the main crew as the story needs. It worked in The Clone Wars and Rebels so why not include one here? I get that many people, groups, teams, etc…utilize some form of an astromech droid, but please give him/her a different personality than “New Chopper”.
Now, while I found myself identifying with main character Kazuda Xiono a lot more than I thought I would (i.e. he is me to a T, scared, nervous and eager to competently complete his assignment as both a mechanic and spy), the fact that he doesn’t know how or even bother asking Poe or Yeager for tips on how to do so, really annoys me. Sure, the latter will explain to Kazuda to just act as a mechanic and later racer in order to avoid suspicion and likely death, but an explanation would help.
“If you want to be a spy, act as a racer/mechanic, but keep an ear or two out for anything suspicious. If something looks or sounds suspicious as you’re purposefully looking for information, make yourself look busy so the person/people talking have less of a chance of realizing what you’re doing. Fail that and you will likely die.” Not that hard for Yeager to explain to Kaz before leaving the kid to complete his assignment. Kaz’s lack of spying aside, he’s a good, if annoying, kid and I would hate to see him fail early.
Another thing that really annoys me about this show is how it talks down to its audience at times, explaining who is behind what or instantly shoving it the viewers’ face rather than having that as an episode or season-long mystery. As frustrating as it was in Rebels, I will admit it was a good storytelling device. It was a large part of why I kept coming back every episode and did whatever I could to watch the episode as soon as it premiered either on the app or on TV. This isn’t to say that Resistance doesn’t have any mysteries, simply that many of the plot points aren’t as compelling as those in Rebels due to the above reasons.
Enough about the characters and annoying storytelling points, what about the animation? I said I like it, but what specifically do I like about it? I would have to say the fact that it looks like a good fusion of Western animation with an anime style, the latter of which I know Dave Filoni was going for. Prior to seeing these episodes, I thought this show was going for a heavy anime style. Seeing it now though, I’m amazed Dave was able to blend the two styles as well as he did.
When looking at both Kaz and Yeager, I can see heavy influences of both Ezra and Kanan respectively but done in an anime-influenced style. Somehow, despite the fact that I can see influences of both previous characters, it doesn’t bother me. If anything, it actually adds to my interest in the show.
Despite what I have said, I do plan to continue watching the show. As I said, the animation is interesting and I’m curious to see how these characters grow and change. For now, I trust Dave Filoni and his team (even when they stab my emotions with the world’s sharpest steak knife before twisting it around for good measure) and am slightly curious to see what they go with this show.
With all of that said, it’s now time to get into episode-specific spoilers. When we first meet Kazuda Xiono, he is this extremely green senator’s son and shortly thereafter learns that he’s had to do very little on his own. As a matter of fact, this spy mission on “The Colossus” seems to be the first thing he’s ever done completely on his own. Something which is painfully obvious in both his personality and lack of real-world skills. As much as I can relate to him, even I knew how to do spy better at his age. Just act casual and go to places you think relevant information is likely to be shared. Even if you just have a drink and/or food in your hands and are sitting alone at a table “people watching” chances are in the Star Wars universe, you’re bound to hear something interesting or useful. Basically, just act casual and blend into what you’re playing and it is likely you’ll eventually hear something relevant to your assignment.
One thing that interested me about the pilot episode titled “The Recruit” though, was Kaz unwittingly getting sucked into a race against an undefeated pilot. Even though he lost, it’s not exactly the best way to remain below the radar so to speak while completing his mission as a spy. Then again, maybe it is. After all who would suspect a local celebrity star pilot who flew in the sky races, of being a spy? This is a narrative device I have seen done only one other time in another animated show years ago on a different channel. While the idea didn’t work out too well there, with Dave Filoni helming this show, I have little doubt it would work here. Should the writers choose to have the story go in that direction, of course.
That aside, something else I enjoyed about this first episode was Yeager and Kaz’s relationship. While at first, the former was a bit standoffish to the latter, they of course eventually began forming a sort of mentor-mentee relationship not too dissimilar to that of Kanan and Ezra, by the end of the episode. This was something I could easily see from the premiere episode all the way through to the third episode titled “Fuel for the Fire”. As of the writing of this article, it’s all we have to go on so far. While still resistant to help Kaz much, one can still tell that Yeager does want to help him. That is, if not for something in his past that we will likely find out by the end of the season, at the earliest. This is something that seems to have a connection to his past likely as a racer on “The Colossus” with his original ship, his original racer, the name of which is unknown for the moment.
Moving on to the next episode “The Triple Dark” we see Kaz following his first potential lead. Of course, as a senator’s son with what seems to be no prior experience spying, he messes up in just about every conceivable way and thus has to be saved by his new work crew. While frustrating, it is at least understandable for his character. My problem with this is, come on kid, didn’t you at least watch some spy holovids growing up? While not entirely realistic I’ll grant him, there are still something one can glean from about how not to get caught. Sorry, I keep hitting on that, but right now, it’s my main annoyance with this show. Well, that and this kid’s constant complaining about how he’s only a pilot, or a spy or something else trivial. While understandable, as he is likely only in his late teens, maybe early 20s at the most, come on kid, grow up, suck it up and be a team player. That is unless of course, he doesn’t know how to ask for help either due to having everything practically handed to him his whole life due to his father’s high sociopolitical position or another yet unknown reason. Either way, I’m hoping he turns out like Ahsoka, starts off annoying as hell, but turns into another beloved character.
As for the last episode of what I’m calling the premiere package on the Watch Disney US app “Fuel for the Fire”, Kaz is sucked into a group that only hopes to use him for their own gain in winning the next sky race. Of course, it is not until the last five minutes of the show that Kaz figures this out. This is despite how suspicious the group asks when he asks them to join him for a bite at Aunt Z’s, the local diner/cantina. Overall, this seemed to be a filler type episode that is usually seen more in the middle of the season than the beginning. To me, this is really worrying. If the beginning of the season is like this, then what will the rest be like. While there does seem to be plenty of room for the show to stretch and grow, it is hard to say if or how the show will do that.
The only thing of any real significance that seemed to come from this episode was the fact that Yeager had a small container of hyper fuel. The question is why? While it does seem to be connected to his hidden racer, the question is, what type of ship is it that needs that fuel and why he is being so secretive about it?
All of the above said, do I plan to come back to the show for reasons other than simply to keep up with current Star Wars lore and see if the story goes the route of having a local celebrity act as a spy? Sure, it’s interesting enough, and as I said the visuals and animation are cool. Just, unlike Rebels, this won’t be a show I plan to stay up and watch as soon as it comes out on the Disney Now app at 12:01 am on Sundays. Who knows, as the show goes on and we learn more about the characters, I can only hope that will change. At the least, I’m willing to give it more of a chance than the first few episodes. Even if I lose interest in the show, I do plan to review it every so often just to see where it’s at and how it has grown, if at all.
The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing.