Star Wars Resistance midseason review: Fun adventures in hyperspace


The newest animated entry in the Star Wars universe may not look like much, but Star Wars Resistance has got the emotion and intrigue where it counts.

When I heard about a new animated Star Wars show, I can’t say I was all that enthused.

Unlike the previous two popular and successful animated shows – Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels­ ­- Star Wars Resistance debuted in October this year in the midst of a renaissance for the galaxy far, far away; fans now have a new film to look forward to every year, so what could this little show do differently?

A lot, apparently, as we have seen in the first half of the show’s premiere season.

Set prior to the events of JJ Abrams’ 2015 film, Star Wars: A Force Awakens, the show follows rookie spy Kazuda Xiono (Christopher Sean) as he navigates the fueling station, the Colossus, in the hopes of finding vital information about the First Order.

In Star Wars Resistance, the existence of the First Order is still debatable, which makes it hard for the Resistance to cultivate the network of spies and informants who can help General Leia Organa’s cause.

Kaz is recruited by Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), who has much more faith in the boy than Kaz has in himself.

On the Colossus, Kaz has to muster new skills and plenty of courage to convincingly get by as a mechanic, while he also snoops about for Intel with the help of Poe’s trusty droid, BB-8. Along the way, Kaz makes friends, enemies, and becomes one helluva good pilot!

The premise of Star Wars Resistance is refreshingly simple as is its structure. While there is a central theme of the First Order’s insidious dealings on the Colossus that runs through most of the episodes, the first season’s plots were episodic with one-off adventures allowing Kaz to grow as a character and as a spy.

Watching the show, it is evident that the creators made it for children – it’s more cartoon than an animated show. Having said that, us adults ended up loving it too!

And why shouldn’t we? As a child, I would have loved it if my favorite cartoons had as diverse a cast of characters as Star Wars Resistance.

How great is it that Japanese-American actor Christopher Sean voices Kaz, a character who very obviously looks like he has Japanese features? Then there’s Jarek Yeager, Kaz’s boss and mentor, who would have been drawn as a white character not so long ago, but is clearly modeled on his voice-actor, Scott Lawrence.

While the show could do with more female protagonists, in characters like Suzie McGrath’s Tam Ryvora, Myrna Velasco’s Torra Doza and Nazneen Contractor’s Synara San, we have three female characters who are competent and complex, and not written only as potential love interests for the male characters.

There are also a number of supporting female characters like Aunt Z, ace pilot Freya Fenris, General Leia, and 4D-M1N (a female droid) who add to the dynamic landscape of the Colossus.

Star Wars Resistance has already attracted quite a star cast. Oscar Isaac reprises his role as Poe Dameron, as does Gwendoline Christie, who returns as the menacing Captain Phasma.

Alongside them, Elijah Wood, Donald Faison, Tzi Ma and Liam McIntyre are the other known names who lend their voices to the show. Hopefully, we will be hearing more from them when the season returns.

The story so far has been a laugh riot, especially given how inept Kaz usually is – but he isn’t written as a bumbling buffoon. Kaz is a more adorable dork and a Dianoga-out-of-water, but he is also quick on his feet, clever and self-less. He has thrown himself into countless sticky situations in an effort to help people and that’s what makes him even more endearing. I love a character with a big heart.

STAR WARS RESISTANCE – “The Triple Dark” – Kaz and BB-8 uncover information on an imminent pirate attack and must find a way to stop it. This episode of “Star Wars Resistance” airs Sunday, October 14 (10:00 – 10:30 P.M EDT) on Disney Channel. (Lucasfilm)


Admittedly, some viewers may find the action overwrought, which is a fair criticism, especially when the writers stretch out a reveal over an entire episode instead of getting to the point (like in episode 8, ‘The Platform Classic’).

The animation is also not the same quality as fans have become used to. The aesthetic is very much classic Disney cartoon than Lucasfilm production. But the character designs are unique and there’s no denying the detail the artists have included to make Star Wars Resistance look and feel like it belongs in Star Wars.

What I loved most was the sound design; it is top-notch and really captures the ambiance of the universe. From the sound of ship engines, racers, blaster fire, BB-8’s beeps and more, you are swiftly eased back into that world.

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Disney is doing everything in its power to keep the Star Wars PR machine grinding away, releasing new content (or at the very least, news about new content) as often as they can to fill the cinematic void, especially after Solo: A Star Wars Story bombed at the box office.

Despite a little bit of controversy, thankfully, Star Wars Resistance is the right kind of escapist fare fans can enjoy in between the long wait for the next film in the franchise. I, for one, can’t wait to see what Kaz gets up to next on the Colossus.

Episode 11 of Star Wars Resistance season 1 is set to return on Jan 11, 2019, on the Disney Channel.