Star Wars Resistance is not what everyone thought it would be. It’s out-and-out Star Wars EU fun.
When the trailer was first released for Star Wars Resistance earlier in 2018 there was much negativity. We loved the visual style that was being used but, like many, were very unsure as to what the show was going to be. Having seen the first three episodes we are happy to confirm that the art style (which is hard to categorise – neo-western-anime?) is perfect for the tone of the show – energetic and fun.
This new animated series is in the vein of the old Star Wars Droids series released in 1985. A series which used characters such as R2-D2, C-3PO, and Boba Fett to tie the series back to the central Star Wars storyline.
Similarly, Star Wars Resistance uses BB-8, Poe Dameron and Captain Phasma. It does so perfectly by referencing these sequel trilogy characters often enough to make the show feel ‘Star Wars’ while giving the new characters and their stories enough room to breathe and develop.
The music of the show is original, uplifting and energetic, but does use traditional Star Wars theme songs when needed. The sweeping modern Star Wars score reminded me of the music in the Back to the Future films – another fun energetic adventure. Perfect.
I won’t go too much into the details of the show other than to say that it is introduced in a similar vein to Star Wars Rebels where we found the Rebellion in its very infancy. Likewise, here we have a galaxy in turmoil as the New Republic and First Order jostle for control in a galactic civil war with the New Order revealing itself as a major threat to freedom and peace in the lead up to the happenings of Star Wars The Force Awakens.
Set on the refueling station Colossus, Star Wars Resistance, for the most part, focuses upon a young pilot named Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono. Through his adventures, he teams up with other pilots, mechanics, and droids to join Team Fireball and compete in starship races. But there’s another reason Kaz has been deployed to Colossus. Poe Dameron has made him a Resistance spy to discover New Order informants on the base.
This will be an adventure into a Star Wars world without the force and lightsabers dominating the narrative.
The overall tone feels like a mashup of the Star Wars Freemaker Adventures, Star Wars Droids, Speedracer, Battle of the Planets, StarBlazers, Scooby-Doo and The Phantom Menace podracing scenes. All of which are good things as they make the show easily accessible to anyone without it feeling too bogged down in Star Wars lore.
Kaz, the shows central character, feels similar to a young gung-ho Luke Skywalker embarking on the hero’s journey. An ace pilot with an impatient attitude who needs to learn some life lessons from his new mentor Yeagar.
Yeagar is a veteran pilot from the Rebellion now working on the Colossus as the head mechanic of Team Fireball, and was the man Poe Dameron chose as the mentor for Kaz. It feels like Poe saw himself in Kaz, an impatient super-talented pilot that has been given everything in life, and knew that he wouldn’t reach his potential unless he could iron out his flaws with the guidance of the ex-Rebellion pilot.
Tam is a young mechanic in Team Fireball who is the exact opposite of Kaz. She has had to fight and scrap for everything she has and doesn’t take fools lightly. The development of the relationship between Tam and Kaz will be fun to watch as the show progresses. Is the “Kaz-tam” ship set to sail?
Next, we have the droid named Bucket. Very much in the vein of Chopper in Star Wars Rebels, the stripped down old astromech is cantankerous and quirky and will be a fun addition to the Star Wars droid world. I do hope they build upon his technical makeup (literally) to expand his capabilities as the show progresses.
Finally, we have Neeku. Some viewers will put this character in the Jar Jar Binks bin as annoying and not that funny but they would be completely wrong. He has some relatively dark humour to go with his oddball ways and added something special to the Fireball Crew that made the show fun to watch.
As for the villains we have a crew of pirate raiders under the instruction of Captain Phasma and a red Tie Fighter pilot (I’m calling him the red baron) trying to raid Colossus for reasons that were unclear. I am looking forward to some old WW2-style dogfights between the Red Baron and Kaz and the other ace pilots on Colossus Station.
Overall the first three episodes of Star Wars Resistance are fun, with just enough ‘Star Wars’ to make it feel like ‘Star Wars’, and a hero’s journey building around Kaz without the need for force powers or lightsabers – which is refreshing. So far, the show is an uplifting and energetic Star Wars story targeted at a slightly younger audience than Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars which the whole family can enjoy, which is why the 10 pm time slot in the US still seems so strange. To be honest I went into watching this ready to dislike it but I couldn’t. It looks like it’s going to be a fun show.