“The First Order Occupation” and “The New Trooper” Review

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The story of Star Wars Resistance has officially entered the stage where First Order is moving towards endgame. After the events of “The Doza Dilemma”, First Order troopers have finally established their presence on the Colossus. “The First Order Occupation” and “The New Trooper” dealt with this changed situation.

I would not say that there has been a notable change of tone. The First Order’s threat only became manifest. Its presence on the Colossus has shuffled the cards, and as expected, the first change concerned Synara. Being identified as pirate spy, she was (lawfully) targeted by the First Order.

Kaz’s apparent crush on Synara is refreshing: it merely helps to make him more empathetic towards her. It reminds of Ezra’s crush on Sabine in “Rebels”.

I appreciate the nuances in portrayal of the First Order’s occupation, what is “lafwul”, what is “just” and what is “morally right”. By law, Synara is a criminal and the First Order are doing commendable “police work” in trying to apprehend her. Kaz, by helping her, is also breaking the law. On the other hand, he sees Synara for who she is and gives her a chance – and more than that.

Only Heroes Think Evil Is Clearly Visible

This variety of angles was explored further in “New Trooper”. It underlines Tam’s point of view that the First Order’s presence is something positive. Tam represents one of the several attitudes amongst the Colossus’s residents. Hers, and other “common people’s” point of view is much closer to reality than that of the “heroes” like Kaz, who live in a clear-cut universe. For Kaz, First Order is evil because it is his cause’s enemy, and he is surprised that not everyone feels the same way. But the rest of the Colossus don’t have the negative experiences (or evidence) that Kaz has. It takes the children of Tehar’s witness account of the First Order’s brutality to make Tam aware of its misdeeds (and even then she is trying to rationalise, “they must have had a reason”).

Resistance manages to get across a deeper message: the rise of a totalitarian regime is not an obvious evil to everyone. In the show, Captain Doza and others see First Order occupation it as price for being safe from outside and inside threat. And even those of the common folk who begin to resent the troopers do so not for some ideals, but for very tangible reasons (for example, for Opeepit – the yellow big-headed alien – it starts when his floor-scrubber gets confiscated).

Strategic Plans For The Future

In “New Trooper”, Kaz also finally learns the reason why the First Order wanted the platform so badly: as a strategic place to refuel their fleet. They are preparing for war.

Trooper CS-515 ends up being sent for reconditioning: the fate that, in The Force Awakens, had been prepared for Finn, but that he managed to avoid.

Kaz and Yeager will soon need to do something – at the least, to inform Poe Dameron about what they have learned. If they are forced to reveal themselves to their friends, they will run into problems. Torra knows Kaz has been hiding something ever since she saw him sneaking around the tower. Tam’s belief that the First Order is here to help has been shaken, but not yet dismissed. And Synara is now back with the pirates: what will her conscience make her do? We may not see all these questions resolved immediately, but presumably soon.

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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.