Those who know that Elijah Wood (probably still best known for his role of Frodo in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings) is a Star Wars fan would not be as surprised by his appearance in Resistance. Its entire third episode was more or less focused on Kaz’s relationship with his new friend, the pilot Jace Rucklin – voiced by Elijah Wood himself.
The story is once again well-built, even though the episode’s main point seems to be to establish yet another network of relationships on the Colossus station. As a bonus, it gives some hints about Yeager’s past as Rebel pilot, further shedding light on his acquaintance with Poe Dameron. “Fuel For the Fire” feels more like setting up the scene than progressing the actual plot, but that is fine. We are just at that stage where it seems appropriate.
A Living Platform
What the episode does well is showing that there are more teams than just Yeager’s on the platform. As minor characters go, Jace’s team (Lin and Gorrak) are fairly well-created. It is objectively nice that both represent “common working people” in the strictest sense: it makes the Colossus seem more lifelike and realistic. It should go without saying, but I still believe the creators deserve some credit for not making Lin a conventionally pretty girl who just happens to be amazing mechanic, as is often the case in cinema. Lin seems like a real person (and we aren’t convinced she is in any way special).
As for Jace, frankly, if it wasn’t for Elijah Wood voicing him, I wouldn’t consider his character that remarkable: he’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Thanks to his appearance, I also got the instant feeling he’s going to be a “space Draco Malfoy”. That may have been intentional, and it is just as well.
I should remark that I love the way Star Wars Resistance introduces its characters, and many shows could take a lesson from its book. Take Garma, the elderly blue alien. In the previous episode, she appeared briefly walking in a corridor with her stick, enough for us to notice her. In “Fuel for the Fire”, she briefly talks to Kaz and we already feel like we know her. I expect we might see her playing increasingly more important role as the story progresses. Incidentally: her presence further helps in making the Colossus feel real; as an old person, she helps to show that there are people and aliens of all ages living on the platform.
Corellian Hyperfuel, Battle of Jakku
There are a few more things in the episode that deserve mentioning. “Fuel for the Fire” does a nice job of showing some elements from the expanded universe and the new films, which is one of the things I have been praising Dave Filoni’s team for. The appearance of Corellian hyperfuel provides a connection to Solo: A Star Wars Story, whereas mention of Yeager’s participation in the Battle of Jakku reminds us of the downed shipwrecks on Rey’s home planet in The Force Awakens, as well as giving a nod to the novels dealing with the topic (such as Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath).
What Of The Future?
One cannot help but see a pattern forming: Kaz seems to develop enemies in every episode. Currently, I predict two possible endings for the entire season. One, Kaz ends up thrown out of the Colossus by joint effort of all its residents – something between Murder in Orient Express and “this is Sparta”. Option two is that in an unexpected plot twist, all people who hate Kaz for one reason or another are going to join the Resistance or at least help Kaz against the common enemy, forgetting their grudges in the face of First Order’s threat. I’m betting for the latter, but I’m also not ruling out the former as an event preceding it.