Warning: Spoilers for all of season one of “Star Wars Resistance” follow.
It is hard to believe that we are now at the end of season one of “Star Wars Resistance,” as it seems we were just given the teaser for the series itself not long ago. “Descent” is an excellent primer for the finale, “No Escape,” which itself delivers a solid conclusion. With the First Order’s reign on the Colossus in full effect and Kaz (Christopher Sean) and company cornered with nowhere to run, the stakes are high — as they should be for a season finale.
The episode begins right where the last left off, with Kaz and the Fireball crew at gunpoint by Commander Pyre (Liam McIntyre) and his troops. With a distraction by Bucket — which grimly gets the astromech shot and is sent barreling off the edge of the hangar into the ocean — Kaz, Yeager (Scott Lawrence) and Neeku (Josh Brener) are able to escape while Tam (Suzie McGrath) stays behind, certain that it was all just a misunderstanding. Tam explains to Pyre that she has no idea about her friends being associated with the Resistance, and agrees to help her bring them in “safely.” Meanwhile, Kaz, Yeager and Neeku are found by Kel (Antony Del Rio) and Eila (Nikki SooHoo), who bring the group to safety with the Chelidae (shell folk). There, Bucket is also shown to have been fished up and repaired by the shell folk, which is a very pleasant surprise. The group then formulates a plan to contact the Resistance for help and rescue Tam.
While Kaz works on his plan, Tam is interrogated by a new character from the First Order, Agent Tierny (Sumalee Montano). Tierny reveals to Tam that Kaz and Yeager are in fact spies (which isn’t necessarily true for Yeager) for the Resistance. Of course, without them there to defend their reasoning, Tam becomes resentful towards the two, though still shows a clear concern for their safety.
On the other side, Kaz and Yeager begin an operation that submerges most of the Colossus underwater and then move on to the tower to override the First Order’s communications jammer to contact General Organa (Carolyn Hennesy). The two are able to do so, but not without the First Order catching wind of the operation. The First Order again corners the two, with Yeager pushing Kaz into the water and remaining to buy him time to escape. I honestly thought that perhaps they would actually kill Yeager here as sort of the “Star Wars” tradition of the mentor figure dying (Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Han Solo), but thankfully for Yeager he is simply taken hostage. Overall, like many episodes this season, I think “Descent” does a nice job at setting up its successor. Agent Tierny is also a well-performed and interesting addition to the mix, and her attempts to persuade Tam to the First Order is a cool twist on things as well. There is also the fact that Synara (Nazneen Contractor) and her pirate compatriots pick up on Kaz’s message to the Resistance, which leaves obvious implications for the finale.
The finale for season one, “No Escape,” finds Kaz and his remaining friends in a very rough place. The episode begins with Pyre arresting Captain Doza (Jason Hightower), but not before we get to see his seemingly peaceful robot servant switch into kill-mode and take out a few troopers before being stopped by Pyre. Doza is thrown into a cell with Yeager, which pushes Kaz to act fast. The young spy also gets a response from General Organa, who says that the Resistance’s resources are spread too thin at the moment (bearing in mind that we are currently in “The Force Awakens” timeline at this point) and they won’t be able to send help. She does, however, say that if they can get off-world, to meet at the base on D’Qar.
Kaz links up with Torra (Myrna Velasco) and leaves Neeku, Kel and Eila behind to cover the Colossus’ control terminal. While Kaz, Torra and CB-23 make their move to break out Yeager and Doza, another First Order ball-droid comes in, resulting in a duel between it and CB-23. I can’t help but miss BB-8 at this moment, but the fight is both cute and fierce and is a well-done sequence overall. Close to their goal, Kaz and Torra stop when a transmission is cast to a squad of nearby stormtroopers. The transmission is General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), and it is the speech he gives right before Starkiller Base fires and destroys multiple planets, including Hosnian Prime. The speech is ripped straight from the film, which is fine because Gleeson’s performance in that is phenomenal. Minus some awkward animation on his model, the scene is just as chilling as it is in “The Force Awakens,” if not more so. Since Hosnian Prime is home to the Senate, and Kaz’s father is a Senator, he puts two-and-two together pretty quickly. Christopher Sean does a great job at conveying Kaz’s extreme sadness here, and it as a scene adds much more weight to Starkiller Base firing in “TFA.” Rather than just simply seeing some planets blow up which we have no attachment to, this will give the scene much more impact on future rewatches.
Kaz and Torra take this terrible event and use it to push themselves even harder. The two are able to rescue Yeager and Captain Doza, and they soon move on to flush out (quite literally) the rest of the First Order and escape their grasp. With the discovery that the Colossus is actually a space station, the plan becomes getting the stormtroopers off the platform and getting the station into the air. What shocked me most was their sort of dark method of taking the troopers out, by locking them into a hallway and opening the airlock to send them into the deep sea. We see some shots of the stormtroopers struggle in the water, and if that wasn’t worse, some of them are snatched up in the mouths of some fish. Now I am obviously fully on board with taking them out, but honestly, what a terrifying way to go. I wasn’t expecting the show to get that dark, but I like it.
The episode ultimately leads to Kaz, Yeager and Torra confronting Pyre, Agent Tierny and their captive, Tam. When Neeku launches the Colossus out of the sea and into the air, chaos ensues, with the First Order foes making their escape. Tam is faced with the choice of leaving with them or staying behind with her friends (that she now sees as liars), and ends up choosing a new life with Tierny. Now, Tam was a solid character but not my favorite of the bunch, so I am looking forward to how this critical choice can make her character more compelling. Soon after, a Star Destroyer arrives to intercept their escape, which leads to Kaz, Yeager and the Aces taking to the sky.
The show centers around fast ships and dogfights, so this climax is very fitting. I was really expecting that giant sea creature from the mid-season mark to show up and help fight, but we get something even better with the return of Hype Fazon (Donald Faison) piloting a ship with Aunt Z (Tovah Feldshuh) operating the gunner seat in the back. Synara’s crew of pirates also arrive in time to help, making the fight even grander. The whole battle is really well done, and it is awesome to see Kaz where he thrives in the air again. He saves Yeager by even taking out Major Vonreg (Lex Lang), putting an end to at least one of the season’s antagonists.
Once the Colossus is able to make its escape into hyperspace, Neeku reveals that because of the need for quickness, he was unable to input the coordinates of D’Qar in time. This makes sense, as given our confirmed timeline via Hux’s speech, there is no giant space station hanging around there at the end of “TFA” or the start of “The Last Jedi.” This leaves a compelling mystery to ponder until season two on where they will actually end up. Overall the finale does a nice job of wrapping things up and still leaving room to debate what will happen next with their mystery destination, Tam’s choice for the First Order and the close proximation to “Episode IX” now.
I have been following “Star Wars” animation since it really kicked off with “The Clone Wars” film in 2008, and I can honestly say that “Star Wars Resistance” has had the best season one yet compared to “TCW” and “Rebels.” It quickly established its core set of characters and gave us a number of glances at the galaxy we hadn’t yet seen. Kaz has his goofy moments, but overall I find him to be a great lead and one that has a lot of room to grow. This series presents a nice change of pace by going without seeing a lightsaber or the Force, setting it apart immediately from the rest of the saga. I think the series’ biggest strength is its art style though, which I have reiterated throughout my reviews this season. The color palette is expansive, and the animation definitely makes use of it with beautiful shots throughout. Among my wishes for season two is more Synara, a bit more mature themes, more of the Aces and further incorporation of the film characters like Poe and Phasma (also bring back BB-8). There are a number of things to think about before the series returns in the Fall but I will only have a simple, important question on my mind: did Opeepit the janitor get his floor sweeper back?