And just like that, it was over.
Star Wars Resistance ended its two-season run Sunday night with an hour-long finale called “The Escape.” It was a rousing, entertaining, emotional episode that tied up the season’s main storylines in a very satisfying fashion. It was also, in a way, the ultimate episode of Star Wars Resistance. Not just because of everything it showed, but because of everything it didn’t show, despite hints to the contrary.
All season, the team on the Colossus has been evading the First Order while also mourning the fact one of their own, Tam Ryvora, defected. But in the finale, Tam finally has had enough of the evil organisation and tries to defect back. The whole thing gets bungled, though, and her escape results in an end-all-be-all battle between the First Order Star Destroyer that has been tracking the Colossus all season and the Colossus itself. Ultimately, the Colossus is victorious. They take down the Star Destroyer, Tam is welcomed back, and that’s how the series ends.
Tam’s return provided the show with more emotion than usual, especially in her reunions with Yeager and Neeku. These were moments the show earned by developing all these characters and their personalities over two seasons. Unfortunately, as the credits rolled on the series, I couldn’t help but feel a little let down.
The show was called “Star Wars Resistance,” and yet at no point was the series ever fully about the Resistance. The group was a part of it, of course. Kaz joining the Resistance is what sets the whole series in motion and he remains loyal to them throughout the series. However, in the finale’s climactic battle, the other Colossus characters specifically discuss not wanting to be part of the Resistance. They say they’ll fight the First Order for their friends and their home but that’s it (which is certainly a nice message and in line with the rest of the show). Save for the main characters, no one on the Colossus was ever interested in getting involved with the war. They just want to live. So to see them take up arms, albeit it briefly, was an inspiring slice of Star Wars.
Somehow though, it felt like a few minutes were missing at the end. By leaving the show where it ended, Resistance never got back to Kaz’s relationship with Poe, which kicked off the series. Or General Organa. Or any mention of the depleted Resistance after the Battle of Crait from The Last Jedi. None of that is ever mentioned, though it’s occurring during the run of this season. The closest the finale got to connecting the films and larger franchise story was when Kylo Ren told Commander Pyre and Agent Tierny he was disappointed that they hadn’t destroyed the Colossus yet and, eventually, just murdered Tierny for gross incompetence. That’s how tertiary the show was to the larger story we know. Soon after the Resistance’s main enemy finally acknowledges the show’s existence, he decides the characters are unworthy and gets rid of them. Like they were nothing. Like they didn’t matter.
Which, you could say, is the case with Resistance as a whole. Maybe it didn’t matter. It absolutely didn’t matter if you’re talking about it in terms of giving us a greater understanding of the events in the films, despite crossing over with them on numerous occasions. Where it did matter though was showing that Star Wars doesn’t necessarily need the films to be successful. There are so many possibilities for fun stories, new planets, alien races, and emotional connections in the overall universe that the show made us consider whether Star Wars needs the well-defined good guy Rebellion/Resistance, bad guy Empire/First Order, X-Wings, or TIE Fighters and lightsabers.
Of course, that stuff really helps. Without the First Order as an adversary, Tam’s arc would not have been nearly as interesting. Without the Resistance existing, Kaz wouldn’t have had a purpose. And by mentioning the Force and Jedi only two or three times tops, the show denied itself of the grand mythology that makes Star Wars so unique. We have yet to see a Star Wars story that does not have some base of that in its DNA, and maybe we never will, but Resistance was the closest thing yet, and it gave us plenty of pros and cons.
With the show now over, though, you can’t help but think of how many stories were left to be told. Yes, there’s what’s next for the Colossus and if they joined the Resistance, etc. (though the Colossus is rumoured to be one of the many ships in The Rise of Skywalker’s Battle of Exegol). But we also never really dove too deep into Kaz’s upbringing, how all the Aces ended up on the Colossus, what happened on Tehar, or where the kids Kel and Eila are from. There was no real exploration of Jedi relic hunter Mika Grey or Yeager’s brother Marcus Speedstar. Not to mention, tons of Colossus characters were ultimately shortchanged. That includes, maybe especially, Orka and Flix, proudly decreed as Star Wars’ first gay couple...who then barely had a single story about them the rest of the series.
It feels like all of those characters were intended to play larger roles if the show continued. At some point after season one, though, season two was announced as the last and all of that went away. We still don’t know exactly why that happened—the producers told us last year they just felt it was the right time. But there’s little doubt season one set up way more stories than season two told, and we’ll probably never get to see them play out, at least on TV.
That’s the problem these days, though. So often we judge something on what it isn’t instead of what it is. And I’m certainly guilty of that at this moment. I wanted more out of Star Wars Resistance. I expect better from Star Wars. I expect better from animated Star Wars. And yet, on its own, Resistance always kept me interested. It always made me curious. I was never bored and even when I was frustrated, there was a simple, basic enjoyment in the great characters and settings that were created.
It’ll be years before we know the true legacy of Star Wars Resistance, if there even is one. For now, it’s a blip on the radar of Star Wars that you can choose to investigate or not. It didn’t have the scope of The Clone Wars or the mythology of Rebels but it did give fans 30 minutes a week to watch a new Star Wars story. Parts of it were amazing, parts of it were not, and it was always brimming with untapped potential. And that’s why “The Escape” was the perfect finale for the show. It had everything you wanted, but didn’t come close to giving you enough, which is an excellent way to describe Resistance as a whole.