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Josh Reviews Star Wars: Resistance

Star Wars: Resistance is the latest Star Wars animated TV show.  Coming on the heels of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, this new show is, intriguingly, set in the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

The show takes place on the Colossus, an aircraft-refueling station on an ocean planet.  The Colossus is a hub for pilots who compete in dangerous races in the air around the facility.  The main character on Resistance is a young man named Kaz, who is recruited by Poe Dameron to work as a spy, looking for evidence of the First Order.

I have watched the two-part premiere, and the two half-hour episodes that have followed.  So far, I quite like this show!

Resistance is clearly aimed at kids, which makes it a bit lighter than I’d ideally like.  But it’s compelling enough, so far, to be of interest to adults as well.  Both Clone Wars and Rebels also started off as very kid-focused, and then both developed into far more interesting, sophisticated shows.  So I have hope that Resistance will do that same, and I’m not turned off by these early, more kid-focused installments.

So far, I am enjoying this new cast of characters.  I like the main charater, Kazuda Xiono.  He’s a bit of a doofus, but as a good-hearted youngster, he’s a Star Wars hero in the classic mold.  His mechanic boss is a man named Yaeger.  The show has teased us with hints about Yaeger’s past as a rebel pilot who was at the battle of Jakku.  I look forward to learning more of his story.  Neeku is the very friendly, very literal first friend who Kaz makes on the Colossus.  These sorts of comic relief sidekick characters are very easy to screw up, but I think Neeku is great, very sweet and very funny.  Tam is the far-more talented young mechanic who also works for Yaeger.  She seems like she could be a very interesting character, but the show hasn’t allowed us to get to know too much about her yet.

I suspect there are a number of other characters who will eventually become important, such as the star pilots on the Colossus.  The early promotional material for Resistance focused on those characters, but we’ve seen very little of them so far.  (For example: I was excited that Scrubs’ Donald Faison would be playing a character named after him, Hype Faison, but he hasn’t really been in the show at all so far!)  Hopefully these pilots will enter the story in a more significant way as the show progresses.  I am interested by the slow-burn approach the show is using so far to gradually build out this world and these characters.

Speaking of pilots, the show has given us some great action.  This show is focused on racing, which is not a huge stretch for the Star Wars franchise.  We got a great X-Wing vs Tie Fighter battle in the pilot, and the whole sequence of Kaz’s first race at the Colossus was great.

Resistance uses a very different animation style than Clone Wars and Rebels.  It’s style is very influenced by anime.  Watching the show’s trailers, I didn’t care for this new style at all, but watching these episodes in full, I think it works.  It feels lighter and a little more kiddy than the animation style of Clone Wars and Rebels, but I have been impressed by the quality of the animation, the fluidity of the characters’ motion, the expressiveness of their faces, and the detail in the characters and the backgrounds.

Between the anime-style animation and the show’s focus on space-fighter pilots, so far the show that Resistance most reminds me of is Robotech!  I have extremely fond memories of watching Robotech as a kid.  This association alone makes me feel warmly towards Resistance.

I have high hopes for the show’s setting in the Star Wars timeline.  Set only six months before the events of The Force Awakens, will this show flesh out the creation of Leia Organa’s Resistance, just as Rebels fleshed out the creation of the Rebel Alliance?  I certainly hope so!  As readers of this blog know, I think a big flaw of The Force Awakens was how it failed to clearly establish the state of the Star Wars universe in this new era.  What differentiates Leia’s Resistance from the Republic which we’d all assumed she would be leading in the years after Return of the Jedi?  Why is a resistance needed when the “good guys” are in charge?  Does the Republic have an army?   Where did the First Order come from?  How much of the galaxy does it control?  What do the general populace of the galaxy think of the First Order?  Are they not seen as villains?  (Thus necessitating the existence of a “Resistance”?). I have lots of questions, and I would love for Resistance to further develop and explore this time-period and help answer these questions.  That would be amazing, and I think it’s something this era of Star Wars truly needs.

I am also intrigued by the potential that this show could overlap with the events of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.  I wonder where this story is going?  For now, it was great seeing Poe Dameron in the premiere episode, voiced by Oscar Isaac, reprising his role. Will we see more of Poe on this show?  Poe left BB-8 with Kaz in the premiere, so presumably Poe will be around soon to collect his droid.  (In the meanwhile, it’s fun seeing BB-8 on the show.)  We’ve seen Captain Phasma (voiced by Gwendoline Christie, also reprising her role), looking great in animation, and The trailers hinted that we might see Kylo Ren, which would be fun.  I am curious to see how this all plays out.  (And I am loving that the film actors are all, so far, voicing their roles on this animated show!)

So — so far, so good!  I am having fun with Resistance, and I look forward to seeing how this show develops.

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