Star Wars Resistance premiered last Sunday with its first episode, “The Recruit.” Showcasing a diverse cast of characters, the episode gives us a glimpse of the universe just as the First Order is coming into power. The episode starts with a bang as Kaz, a young pilot delivering important information to the Resistance, is intercepted by a flight of swift moving red tie fighters. Right out of the gate we get a taste of classic Star Wars space combat, and a hint of things to come. The animation style is crisp and colorful, harkening to a comic book or anime feel. We also get a treat in that Poe Dameron is featured fairly heavily here, as he saves Kaz and eventually invites him into the Resistance. There’s other familiar Star Wars characters in the mix, which we will be sure to delight fans.
We get some clues as to Kaz’ background, for he worries over whether his father will allow him to become a hot shot pilot, which he has long dreamed of. Unlike most Star Wars’ heroes, Kaz seems to have come from a privileged upbringing. Events lead him and Poe to the planet Castilon, where the Colossus, a massive, floating facility, is residence to many great pilots, reportedly including both former Imperials and Rebels. Its revealed to be a rough and tumble place, and Kaz initially has a hard time fitting in. The episode eventually finds him getting involved in a race for his life, and meeting various secondary characters.
A new alien character, Neeku, whose characteristics reminded me of a Vulcan from that other “Star” franchise, seems benevolent in nature, but inadvertently gets Kaz in hot water with a large, aggressive patron of the local dive. (That particular problem is soon resolved with a bargain.) Its evident that Neeku is going to provide comic relief as well a gateway to some sticky situations, for he seems to take everything literally, and has no problem vocalizing his somewhat skewed viewpoints.
Kaz’ race rival turned out to be Torra Doza, an expert pilot and the daughter of the man who runs the Colossus. Her character was a bit puzzling to me as although she came across as sweet and endearing, she had a big smile on her face upon announcing that all her previous rivals had perished in crashes during their races with her. I couldn’t determine whether she was diabolical or it was all tongue in cheek; a little strange for the generally lighthearted tone of the show, but captivating in that it raised the stakes for Kaz.
While the episode featured a nice look into a lot of the new characters, I felt the second half dragged on just a tad. But this is a first episode, designed to give us a feel of the cast and locales, and the final race sequences were satisfactorily entertaining. We also had the chance to meet more characters, including Jarek, a mechanic who hints that his past was wound up in the Rebellion; and Major Vonreg, the tie pilot from the beginning of the episode, who reports back to the foreboding Starkiller base, which entices us into wondering about the scope of what adventures are in store for Kaz and his new friends.
With a diverse cast of characters, a whole bunch of cool, classic Star Wars influenced vehicles and ships, the introductory episode of Star Wars Resistance was a fresh and engaging starting point! I’m looking forward to more.
You can check out Star Wars Resistance on the Disney Channel.