Prelude to Episode VII. That’s what Star Wars Resistance is turning into with its last episodes. After the fluff that usually accompanies Season 1 of any series, it comes as a shock that we are merely weeks (days?) from the moment when Poe Dameron hits Jakku, Finn refuses to shoot civilians and BB-8 runs into the desert to meet with Rey.
The show begins to look accordingly. The plots of both “The Core Problem” and “The Disappeared” intend to show the gravity (pun not intended) of the situation, and they succeed fairly well. While “The Core Problem” is a classic space adventure culminating with starfighter chase through planetary debris, “The Disappeared” is yet another political commentary – or however we should call it.
I can’t stress enough how well Resistance manages to portray the oppressive regime of the First Order. For a series that is also a “children’s show”, it does so in a refreshingly complex manner. Just like in the previous episodes, Tam is the apologetic voice defending the First Order: “sometimes, you need to make sacrifices to maintain security”. Yes, the First Order is still portrayed as clearly bad, but the show makes it clear that not everyone needs to see it that way.
The practices of totalitarian governments are another thing portrayed very well in this show. The whole plot of “The Disappeared” revolves around the First Order making dissenting citizens “disappear” by snatching them and secretly deporting them off the station (we are left to speculate whether into labour camps or elsewhere). This is done subtly in a way that even the closest friends have no clue as to what happened, and most citizens aren’t even aware of the extent of it. When Aunt Z, the bartender, gets “disappeared”, many of her customers don’t seem to notice. The disappearance of Hype Fazon, the star Ace, gets a simple cover story, and even his friend Torra needs to see for her own eyes the proof that his ship is still docked to be sure that something is wrong.
The entire situation also makes the audience understand the First Order’s motives and tactics better. They are not simply the bad guys who come and are “being evil”, we get to understand how this “being evil” looks like, how are they getting more recruits and how are they spreading their propaganda.
Poe’s Last Adventure
“The Core Problem”‘s plot accomplished two things: offering a peek behind the scenes of Starkiller Base’s construction and showing Poe’s last mission with Kaz. It is a very different thing to have a random cameo of Poe or BB-8, and a different thing having him show to pick up BB-8 while knowing that he is going to Jakku. Everything is put into perspective.
“The Core Problem” also showed the solar system destroyed by the First Order in the process of making the Starkiller. I liked it because it, too, shows that the superweapon did not pop up overnight. You can see the hand of Dave Filoni’s team here: just like in The Clone Wars and in Rebels, they are filling in what the films did not have the time to explain, making things more believable by giving them depth.
“The Core Problem” also included some beautiful visuals, the ruined planets, the eerie atmosphere of a world whose sun has been drained, the planetoid with a drilled core.
I finished watching with one question: are we going to see Kaz in Episode IX? They have become good friends with Poe, so even a simple acknowledgment would go a long way. I am imagining a big final battle, where instead of dull and vague “black five standing by”, Poe remarks something like “Kaz old buddy, are you ready?” Let’s keep our fingers crossed.