Sunday, June 23, 2024

The First Order Is Here with A New Trooper

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After we saw the First Order gain control of The Colossus, we had to get ready for some people acting against it. It’s Newton’s law, after all: every action causes reaction of equal measure. And as the series is titled Star Wars: Resistance, it’s fairly obvious we will see that reaction.

So, the key moment is not the reaction per se; it’s how we’ll be made to know about it.

Recap: Becoming One with The Enemy Force

star wars resistance

Naturally, when we saw two children from a wiped out village (and possibly a planet, too) arrive at The Colossus and make themselves at home there, we all understood this would cause a conflict once the First Order gains at least partial control over the station.

And, well, it happened. Caught during a session of creative fishing, the children knock a stormtrooper out, giving Kaz a chance to play pretend and cosplay as one. But before all the fun starts we need to know a little more about the characters and their view of what’s happening.

As children of peacetime, most of the characters have little personal understanding of what the stormtroopers represent. Those who grew up in the Republic, grew up to fear and hate them. Those who grew up elsewhere, grew up to look at them as their protection and the symbol of global organization. Both sides know nothing; both sides act as they were taught to act.

Despite feeling bitter towards Kaz, Tam is ready to help the little kids. She sees turning themselves in as the best course of action, though. But as nobody agrees with her, she goes along with the plan to impersonate the trooper so no one understands he’s not actually present and Kaz has an opportunity to erase any data about the Tehar children.

Which brings Kaz to see both the human and non-human sides of the First Order coin…on which I’ll muse a bit later on. For now, let’s just focus on what he sees. Like a little market riot. The non-human people from The Colossus are the first to taste the downside of promised protection: not just a tighter grip but one obviously biased agains non-humans.

Meanwhile, the poor guy who really is a trooper is repeatedly knocked down. I feel for him, really. No one deserves this amount of potential brain damage, evil mooks notwithstanding.

Using his military training, Kaz’s cosplay is good enough to get into the transport and take a look of the mission logs. He is distracted from his spy work by a First Order version of BB-8, though, and has to fight it to get the data he wants.

And then he’s brought to commander Pyre and learns that troopers are often subjected to mind wipes and reconditioning. Sweet. Of course Kaz has enough plot armor to escape it and provide a real trooper as his substitute. And of course the random datarod he captures contains some really useful data…

Review: On Meat Droids

star wars resistance

Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Almost too harsh. Yet it is the truth we can see in Star Wars: Resistance. While initially applied to clones of the Clone Wars time, this monicker has much more weight here when we talk about First Order.

Of course, clones were literally created as a substitute for droids. Of course they had their loyalty chips, their conditioning, and their DNA-coded submission. But compared to those troopers we meet here, they were at least allowed to pretend that they were normal humans. They were allowed individuality, identity, even free speech.

Well, as we know from Extended Canon, Hux’s father was not that impressed and thought clones had too much personhood. And that’s how we got the troopers we know: obedient, unthinking, ever ready to execute their orders or whoever their commander needs executed. (Lame pun, I know.)

They are dealt with as droids even to the extent of regular memory wipes. And what bothers me the most? Well, that the series made its first wrong step. When creating child-oriented content, you have to follow through not only on your personal logic but also on what lesson would be for the audience.

So you can either show the humane side of stormtroopers (showing one of them without armor, letting them have a normal conversation) or use an unconscious person whose personhood you harp on the entire episode as slapstick fodder no one seems to care for.

Even pro-FO Tam Ryvora.

And I didn’t like it. Not a little bit.

Moments, Thoughts, Theory Fuel

  • Tam sees Yeager’s recollection of his and Galaxy’s life under Imperial rule as him supporting Kaz over her for no reason but favoritism. Apart from being yet another hint at common people’s mindset, Tam has every reason to see it that exact way given Yeager always cuts Kaz too much slack.
  • Stormtrooper commander sees nothing unusual in one of his subordinates behaving erratically and just orders a renewal of the conditioning. Make of that what you will.
  • Did Eila make an attempt to mind trick the poor trooper or am I reading too much into it?
  • Being a good boy, Kaz learned how to impersonate a trooper very fast compared to his previous exploits.
  • Is there any political joke implied by constantly addressing the stormtroopers as the ‘peacemaker corps’? Even if not intentional, it’s hard not to see it that way.
  • The nonchalance we see in Pyre making Doza leave his own office was something.
  • Why Jedha and Twon Ketee?

Images Courtesy Disney Lucasfilm

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