With “The Escape”, the second and final season of Star Wars Resistance has been concluded. The double-length episode has reunited all major heroes and villains for one last encounter.
The Turncoat and Kylo Ren
The forty-five minutes are well spent. The story kicks off immediately with the First Order’s return to Aeos and bombing the native population. This is the last drop for Tam, and her decision to finally leave the First Order sets the stage for the rest of the episode.
The stakes are further raised by Kylo Ren appearing to put pressure on Commander Pyre and agent Tierny to find the Colossus. This was probably one of the best scenes of the episode, if not the whole season. It would be almost worth re-creating in live-action, Tierny’s dread as she was Force-forced to point her blaster at Pyre (whose face remained hidden behind the helmet, but probably had a similar expression) was very convincing even in the animation, and one almost felt sorry for her.
As befits the final episode, emotions ran high in multiple scenes besides this one. Kaz’s reunion with Tam was just as sweet as we had hoped, to be repeated in the very end on the Colossus with the rest of Team Fireball. Kaz, Yeager’s and Tam’s near-sacrifice for the sake of the people of the Colossus, and their subsequent response, were equally touching.
We Believe In Democracy
Nothing less was expected, but what was not as expected was Doza’s final call for vote of all Colossus’s inhabitants whether to save Kaz and co. and to stand up against the First Order. Obviously, the theme of Colossus as one big family has always been present in the show, as well as the matter of showing the point of view of “common, working people” and the occasional tension with Doza as the somewhat detached high-up.
Given the Star Wars franchise’s ever-present focus on the topic of democracy vs. dictatorship, the scene of vote at Aunt Z’s cantina was actually the best storytelling inclusion in the final episode. In many ways, this was the point that the show has been heading towards from the beginning, the natural conclusion of the story. The average, common folk of the Colossus deciding to actually become the Resistance.
This Is The Resistance
Is there anything to say against the finale? Well, perhaps it was not as epic as it could have been. Technically, the plot was “we are surrounded by First Order and we need to escape” and that is nothing new. Granted, as I have just pointed out, the difference this time lay in the decision to finally not just run, but stand and fight back. But purely in terms of execution, there could have been more: perhaps Kylo Ren himself, perhaps at least something more epic (for example involving the children of Tehar).
But then again, perhaps not. Perhaps this was just right for the theme of Star Wars Resistance: no great heroic feats, no first-class enemies. Only a bunch of people on the fringes of the Galaxy with their personal enemies; the crew of one Star Destroyer chasing them. The story of the Colossus alone has no meaning for the Galaxy at large, the fate of the Resistance or the First Order would not be altered by its destruction or victory.
But ten, a hundred, a thousand of the same stories, and you have the Resistance: and that is what the story of Star Wars Resistance represents. It allows us to zoom in and to see a fraction of what we usually view only as the background to a main hero’s story, but without which the hero would not succeed. Except in Resistance, the “background” are the heroes. It is very fitting that in The Rise of Skywalker, two of the 14 000 ships in the Battle of Exegol are the Fireball and Torra’s fighter.
This Is The Good Ending
Perhaps there is nothing to criticise about “The Escape” after all. It concluded what the show set out to do, both in plot terms and in regard to the individual characters. I have praised Tam’s story arc sufficiently in my previous reviews, and the fact that this ending was to be predicted does not lessen its impact. The end of agent Tierny was equally satisfying (if one can use such word without sounding morbid) – and I find it nice that it was left to our imagination whether it was Kylo Ren who executed her, or whether she simply died in the ship’s explosion alongside Commander Pyre and Jace Rucklin (that one was a bit of a surprise, I admit).
Or did they die? After all, we did not see them die on-screen…