Warning: Spoilers for “The Triple Dark” and the premiere of “Star Wars Resistance” follow.
Last week’s debut episode of “Star Wars Resistance” did a great job of setting up both a compelling cast of characters and new location to explore. This week we got a closer dive into Kaz’s (Christopher Sean) past with his father in the New Republic, as well as more information on the Colossus’ elite team of pilots, nicknamed the Aces. Again the cel-shaded art style continues to grow on me and looks exceptional towards the end of the episode’s climax during a dogfight between the Aces and a group of pirates.
“The Triple Dark” starts off with Kaz attempting to assimilate into his new repair crew on the Colossus, which is led by a friend of Poe’s, who served as a pilot in the Rebellion, named Jarek Yeager (Scott Lawrence). Kaz shows clear inexperience in regards to fixing ships, so Yeager sends him off to fetch a part from a shop in the Colossus. Accompanied by BB-8, Kaz unwittingly sees the time as an opportunity to spy for Poe and try and find the rumored First Order informant. Things quickly go awry when he comes across someone whom he owes a debt to from the last episode. This is a minor point, but I hope the show continues to reference past episodes like this in the future, something I think both “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” failed to do early on.
After the close call, Kaz manages to return with the needed parts in time for the client’s departure. Because of the client’s suspicious nature, Kaz eavesdrops on him while installing the part for his ship. This leads to Kaz hearing about “Triple Dark,” a phrase which we learn shortly after is associated with a storm that plagues the station with low visibility, often allowing an opening for pirate attackers. The pirates do come, allowing us to see the Aces finally in action at the Colossus’ defense. I enjoyed this dogfight much more than the one that kicked off the premiere, and the cobbled-together ships the pirates flew were especially cool designs. I’m not sure they sell the effect of a low-visibility storm here, though I think that’s due to how difficult it would be to make it both believable and still let the viewer be able to watch and enjoy the fight. The establishing shots of the storm surrounding the station in the episode work great in tandem with the cel-shaded graphics, which is reminiscent of the storm-ridden water world of Kamino in “Episode II” of the main saga films.
During the fight, Kaz manages to get inside the station walls and even helps Grevel (Dee Bradley Baker), the alien whom he owed a debt to, get inside. This comes at the cost of his trophy, which comes up throughout the episode as his good luck charm that he got from the first ever race he won. This is yet another valuable lesson for Kaz’s character and it further pushes the value Poe saw in him for the Resistance. The rest of Yeager’s diverse crew also get the spotlight, of whom many have contrasting personalities. You have the innocent Neeku Vozo (Josh Brener), who is a bit of a comedic character and was responsible for unknowingly getting Kaz into a race because of his literal way of thinking. Tam Ryvora (Suzie McGrath) is also a sort of foil to Kaz, resenting him for seemingly easily coming in and taking her chance at fixing up the Fireball and using it to race. Rounding out the group is Bucket, the crew’s astromech droid who has so far sadly been overshadowed by BB-8’s star-studded presence. Overall, these are all characters that I am looking forward to learning more about in upcoming episodes.
Ending the episode was a sort of tease, which revealed the First Order’s involvement in funding the pirates who attacked the Colossus, which was for unknown reasons as of now. We see the red-armored pilot who attacked Kaz in the beginning of the premiere, as well as Captain Phasma (with Gwendoline Christie reprising her role from the films much like Oscar Isaac with Poe). Since she was marketed so heavily for the films yet didn’t see much action, I really hope that this is Phasma’s chance to shine (both figuratively and literally) and see her character get further development. I appreciate that the show seems to be using the First Order sparingly for now as it avoids the common “villain of the week” problem that I think “Star Wars Rebels” suffered from in its second season with the Inquisitors.
One thing I didn’t mention in my last review was the show’s music, which is arranged by Michael Tavera here. I was surprised to learn this because Kevin Kiner did such a superb job in “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels,” but I am glad that someone else has gotten a chance to step in. Tavera continues the trend of the other non-saga films and shows so far in that he manages to match the feeling of John Williams’ epic scores, all while creating something that is unique to him. The bright tone most of the music usually contains, especially the main theme, matches the light-hearted tone of the show perfectly.
For the second episode, I think “Resistance” is still on a solid path and has a bright future ahead if it can continue to amp up the drama with moments like we got from the pirates and First Order here. Phasma was teased much like Poe in the show’s original announcement this year, so I’m curious as to whether we’ll see any other characters from the films show up, like General Hux. The show’s main cast is just fine with me though, and I hope we get to explore more of the others like Tam or Torra Doza (Myrna Velasco) from the Aces, who is the one that raced Kaz in the premiere. The show is still in its infancy and I am anxious to see where it goes from here. You can catch the next episode of “Star Wars Resistance” for yourself when it airs next Sunday at 10 p.m. on Disney Channel.