“Blend in, find out who’s loyal to the good guys and who isn’t.”
We got the first look on the upcoming Star Wars animated series. I have been looking forward to “Resistance” for several reasons. One, it is created by the same person who has proven himself a thousand times over with Rebels and The Clone Wars – Dave Filoni. Two, it is the first full-length SW animated series in anime-inspired style. Three, it will show us the background to the Resistance and the First Order and the beginning of their conflict – something the newest trilogy has successfully ignored so far. Four, it will feature a lot of pilots and flying.
The main hero, Kazuda Xiono (or Kaz), has a dream of becoming an ace pilot. In the trailer, we watch him getting recruited by Poe Dameron (voiced by Oscar Isaac) to a spy mission for the Resistance. Kaz is tasked to infiltrate the Colossus, a refueling platform on an outer rim ocean world, to learn more about the growing threat of the First Order. He is helped by Poe’s old friend, the veteran pilot Yeager, who runs a starship repair shop together with his crew: Tam Ryvora, Neeku and an old astromech droid called Bucket.
First Looks Are Just First Looks
With the first trailer we finally have an idea what to expect. The animation style, on first sight, doesn’t look particularly amazing, but not bad, either. Personally, I prefer this more classic style to the models from Clone Wars and Rebels. The characters don’t have much detail, but the backgrounds definitely look pretty.
I am fully aware there are thousands of “critics” out there who would hate the series for no constructive reason simply because “it’s Disney”, “it’s a cartoon” or “it’s for kids”. Therefore, I don’t want to add more fuel to the fire. I am looking forward to Resistance, I am willing to give it a chance and personally, I expect it to be great because of Dave Filoni’s involvement. It’s the content, not the looks nor the first impressions (at this moment, we still know literally nothing. The first trailer is made in such a way that it can tease the public in the most generic way possible. Further teasers might show us completely different content with completely different vibe).
Yet, I must criticise some things that are already apparent. And all are circling around the same point: the show sits too comfortably on several basic stereotypes.
Just Like In Rebels?
First: WHY is the main character a typical cocky young white (or at least not clearly otherwise) guy? Would it be such a bother to have a little variety? I understand why a young protagonist was chosen. Even though I believe that if it came to that, even young people would equally well relate to, say, a grandpa who decided to finally do something thrilling in his life (one example for all – Bilbo Baggins!). I also understand that a reckless character can more easily get into trouble than a wiser and more careful one, which helps the plot. But I am getting tired of cocky idiots. Aang in The Last Airbender, for instance, had all the quirks of an unruly child, but he possessed for example humility – something heroes rarely exhibit until they get slapped in the face (and then they apologise and often relapse to their cocky manners). Of course, this all can still develop (and I hope it will) – Ezra Bridger in Rebels started the same, and turned out much more enjoyable character than I would have expected.
But that is precisely my point. Ezra Bridger was literally the same archetype (or so it seems – maybe the trailer misportrays Kaz). Why can’t we have a hero who doesn’t start from the same archetype? And why does he have to be a guy? (I am not even starting on the ethnicity part.) For the same reason, why is the mentor, Yeager (something between Kanan Jarrus and Uncle Iroh) the same archetypal (male) mentor? Where is Hera Syndulla, the best pilot in the galaxy (now a granny) to instruct young fighters? And I am similarly suspicious of the girl pilot who seems to fill the same niche as Sabine Wren in Rebels. I only hope that like with Sabine, the writers will avoid the cliché romance between chief male and female protagonist.
But everything is open so far. I am looking forward to more trailers to analyse, more things to learn about the upcoming series. Because we know preciously little. I kind of hope the final animation may look a bit better (the backgrounds seem to be pretty enough, however), but I will survive if it doesn’t; and the only thing I actually pity is the missed opportunity to have different archetypes for the main characters. I am still hoping for something subversive as we learn more.