Resistance: “The High Tower” Review

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Those fans who dismiss Star Wars Resistance as “childish” are missing on a show with real spirit of Star Wars, as has been proven again this week. The latest episode, “The High Tower”, also touches a couple of interesting topics: the price of fame, a “class division” between those who live in the “High Tower” and those who don’t, and the value of friendship with further hint that not all relationships between a boy and a girl of the same age need to be romantic.

The High-Up Residence

Let’s start with the High Tower itself. The location where most of the episode’s plot takes place inside the Doza tower, where the station’s commander and the Aces reside. Contrary to the bleak interior of the rest of the platform (especially during power outage), the tower is clean, well-lit and everything has pleasant round angles. The Aces sit in a comfortable lounge, served by droids whose paint scheme resembles tuxedos. The Captain himself wears a prim and proper blue uniform, perhaps a nod to Cloud City officers in The Empire Strikes Back. Lando Calrissian was also a responsible entrepreneur in charge of a (mining) platform, and he was forced to strike a deal with the Empire to protect its citizens. Coincidence?

As we learn, Torra Doza lives here as well (as she’s the Captain’s daughter). I should remark on that the design of her room is spectacular – the creators really did a great job here. It shows how sheltered and privileged she is (the room is large and has very personal touch compared to for example even Yeager’s quarters that we have seen in previous episodes), while at the same time expressing a lot of Torra’s identity. There are many toys (from plush ewoks to the same shuttle miniature Luke is seen playing with in A New Hope) and even a poster of Sabine Wren’s firebird art (or perhaps it is a piece by the now renowned artist herself?). The attention to detail is commendable.

A Boy and a Girl

In “The High Tower”, Kaz accidentally runs into Torra’s room while hiding from stormtroopers. The ensuing conversation, among other things, defies (at least for now) the simple stereotype of “the hero gets the girl”. It is Torra who assumes Kaz is visiting her because he has a crush on her, and hastens to ensure him that she has no feelings for him. Kazuda, at the same time, is completely clueless about this and it does not seem that it had even occurred to him to think about Torra in that way.

Maybe it isn’t that subversive after all, because it isn’t the first time Dave Filoni has done this: in Star Wars Rebels, Ezra Bridger and Sabine Wren also didn’t “become a thing”, contrary to the classic trope. Filoni himself had stated back then that he intentionally subverted the trope, that “everybody’s knee-jerk reaction is to ship the two” just because they are a boy and a girl of similar age, and that it was important “to show boys and girls being friends and supportive of one another” without the necessity of a romantic dimension in the relationship.

That brings us to the next remarkable relationship sketched out in this episode: that of Tam and Hype Fazon, the Rodian ace pilot. We learn that they used to be very close until Hype let himself be swept off his feet by fame and stardom. Once again we are showed the contrast between Hype’s style, now that he’s among the privileged, and Tam’s slightly scruffy look (and are left wondering how this division will be addressed in the future). I was very pleased that the show gave so much space to a secondary character’s relationship with another secondary character (neither of whom are the “poster characters”, if you know what I mean). As a sidenote, the energetic Rodian’s design was one of the rare cases when Dave Filoni designed a character based on the actor (his voice actor Donald Faison, in this case).

I did not leave much space to talk about the plot – because it was, after all, quite simple; nevertheless entertaining to watch (even Kaz’s “Super Mario” platform jumping stunts, giving the low-class onlookers something to entertain themselves with). I have also noticed a pattern that Kaz, contrary to expectations, tends to be essentially right about things (the same way he was right about the Neimoidian merchant being in league with First Order, or the pirates associated with it). That’s not to say he doesn’t mess everything up in the process.

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Rostislav Kurka
Rostislav is a Protestant theologian and a self-trained Sith, counting Jan Hus, Dorothee Sölle, Darth Revan and Darth Traya among his main influences. He hails from the hundred-towered city of Prague, where he had spent a large part of his life creating worlds and inspiring young generations to roleplay. His involvement in organising children's camps led him to accidentally writing a Lord of the Rings musical, which made him temporarily famous, and a Three Musketeer-Jedi fanfilm, which didn't. He has recently moved to the frozen waste of Finland, because that's it, the Rebels are there.