When Disney announced Star Wars Resistance was airing a two-part episode this past weekend, I was cautiously optimistic. Let’s face it: The second, and final, season to this point has been a letdown. The story hasn’t really gone anywhere, the characters haven’t changed much, and even the big cliffhangers teased at the end of the first season haven’t been explored much. It felt like the show was waiting for something. Well, that something may have just happened.
In the first episode, “The New World,” the people of the Colossus finally think they’ve found a planet to call home again. Last season ended with the ship leaving Castilon and it’s been jetting all over space since, avoiding the First Order and looking for a new home. And it seemed like it found one on Aeos, a remote, serene, water-based planet. After a tense, episode-long run-in with the Aeosians, it seemed all was going to be well.
But not for Kazuda Xiono.
At the start of the second episode, “No Safe Place,” Kaz realises if the First Order can even infiltrate the remote, seemingly peaceful planet of Aeos, it can’t be stopped. He decides he doesn’t want to run or hide. He wants to fight. To do so, he must leave the Colossus.
With that one decision, Resistance flipped on a dime and upped its game. A character learned something and evolved. Other characters had emotional reactions to that decision. There were stakes. And the spinning wheels of the past several episodes this season all became backstory in service of getting Kaz to this point: for him to realise his job as a spy on the Colossus is done. He’s got to join the fight.
Meanwhile, after their last run-in with the Colossus, the First Order is as anxious as ever to find the ship, so they send out orbital probes to scour the galaxy. Basically, the show is borrowing a little story beat from The Empire Strikes Back, which is never a bad idea.
The timing of Kaz leaving and the probe droids arriving ends up being good for the First Order but bad for Kaz. One of the droids spots him leaving Aeos, resulting in a fun space action scene, which is a rarity for Resistance. Mid-battle, Kaz is faced with a choice: Warn his friends on the Colossus or meet up with the Resistance as planned. (Oh, side note, the Resistance rendezvous point is near Batuu, aka Disney Parks’ Galaxy’s Edge.) Obviously, Kaz chooses the former, dashing our dreams of seeing animated Batuu but setting up another exciting showdown with the First Order on Aeos.
Meanwhile, Tam is one of the soldiers on the Star Destroyer that is now on its way to destroy the Colossus. You remember Tam, right? Former Colossus mechanic, and good friend of Yeager and Kaz who defected to the First Order at the end of the first season? Whose story has been touched upon, but not really explored, so far in season two? She and the First Order intercept the Colossus and another battle ensues, this one bigger than the last. Mid-dogfight, Tam gets Kaz in her sights and...doesn’t shoot him. We don’t know if it’s on purpose or what’s going through her head but she purposefully doesn’t shoot him. Instead, Kaz shoots a missile at the Star Destroyer and Tam is able to stop it, saving her commanders and become the hero, resulting in a promotion.
I almost cheered at the end of “No Safe Place” because that was exactly what I was hoping for from Resistance this year. Tam struggling between the two ideologies. Kaz growing up and maybe, finally, living up to the title of the show by resisting. Bigger battles. Higher emotions. All of it. So far, the story has been mostly floating around aimlessly like the Colossus itself. Finally, though, just as Colossus found an all-too-brief home, so too did Resistance. It gave us an episode that one almost wishes was the first or second of this season, just so things could have kept building from there.
At least they can now. “The New World” and “No Safe Place” set up Resistance beautifully for the home stretch of the series. The only downside is that now, again, after two very good episodes, the Colossus is back where it started, off in space. Maybe next week it goes to that Resistance rendezvous point Kaz knows about? That would be cool. I’m sure everyone aboard could use a Ronto Wrap.