Last episode we saw our heroes trying to protect the Tehar children as the First Order tightens its grip on The Colossus—and local inhabitants starting to fight against this grip. Certainly Star Wars: Resistance remembers its canon and Leia’s brave assertion to Tarkin.
With this episode we are reminded that the wider Galaxy has to deal with the same problems, yet on a much different scale. As the show moves to catch up with The Force Avakens, we’re treated to a preview of things to come as Starkiller makes its entrance.
Review: What a Cored Planet Is
Yet again we have to remember that the things we learned from the larger franchise and things the characters have to learn from experience really do differ. We, the audience, know that the First Order is making weapons and preparing a giant fleet to strike. The characters don’t. They have no foreknowledge of things to come. They have to deal with them one at a time.
And though some may find certain things the characters learned in “Station Theta Black” or even last episode underwhelming, it’s important to remember that these things aren’t a “big reveal” for us. It’s only a reveal for them. And for the audience? It’s a moment of suspense: we know what has to happen and we get a hint it will happen soon.
All the while the characters are dealing with that reveal. Kaz feels he needs to inform the Resistance about enemy forces he saw on the map. Poe comes to get back his trusty BB-8 before going to Jakku for a very special mission. Yeager is busy making sure the First Order doesn’t catch either Poe or Kaz (and that they don’t strike his business as a punishment).
Surprisingly (not quite), Kaz has managed to get some actual intel that can make an actual difference for the Resistance. Poe thinks it’s good enough to take Kaz and follow up on some of his intel en route to Jakku.
Thus, we get to see some really beautiful yet frightening imagery of a cored planetary system with no sun. Neither Kaz no Poe have any idea how and why this happened, so they go to investigate things more closely. After narrowly escaping the gravity well caused by coring a planet, they receive some sort of a signal and follow it to a small moon that somehow escaped the fate of its neighbors. They find an abandoned settlement there–and are found by a First Order probe droid.
Inside a temple-like building they find a tooka doll. Kaz is shocked when he understands what exactly happened in the temple. Poe, being both more mature and more experienced in seeing what First Order leaves behind, is less distracted and thus notices they were followed. A brief shooting match ensues as Kaz reminds us he’s not very precise with a blaster but certainly very lucky. Too late: the probe has sent a distress call and Vonreg is right here.
A bit of expert (and beautifully animated, I must add) flying later, they shake off their enemies and swap droids. Poe has his friend back, and Kaz gives BB-8 a heartfelt farewell. The older pilot sets his course for Jakku and Episode VII. The younger one and his new droid friend get back to The Colossus.
We get to see Yeager’s workers react to a sudden departure and equally sudden appearance of Kaz, lacking BB-8 but accompanied by a new droid. Plus, the rift between Yeager and Tam grows even bigger due to the latter never being told anything and always being denied any explanation.
Review: A Filler by Any Other Name
I may be the only one to feel this way, I know. On the surface this episode looks like it’s essential and interesting. We see Poe come back for BB-8, we see destroyed planets and a starless system, we see Tam growing even more disgruntled with Yeager…and I liked it all, I must say.
But looking from a plot and character development angle nothing has happened. The series checklisted several lingering questions, yes–but it was nothing but checklisting and glorious visuals to cover it up.
Did I enjoy Poe and Kaz interacting? Of course I did. Those two are tailor-made to be great partners on screen. Both in script and in voice acting they perfectly bounce off each other, creating a great picture of a slightly uneven yet cordial friendship that includes mutual respect and interest.
But where does it lead us? Nowhere. They were equally good together in “Station Theta Black.” They had already built a relationship there, yet they won’t meet again at least until the next season. I can’t escape from the implication that whatever happened this episode existed only to flaunt Oscar Isaac and offer up some fanservice for those waiting for it.
Same with every story bit in this episode: everything we see has either already happened or bears no influence on the bigger plot whatsoever.
But at least we’ve got some good visuals, yeah. I liked them very much. It’s just that for me, no visuals can substitute for plot and characters, you know?
Moments, Thoughts, Theory Fuel
- We get an explanation as to why the First Order wants The Colossus. While there are many refueling platforms, this one is the last on the edge of the Unknown Regions. More importantly, they believe it must never fall into Resistance’s hands.
- The flight acrobatics Poe performs to avoid the First Order scans is a real sight for sore eyes; at least if you like the “unrealistic but fun” approach traditional to Star Wars.
- Another sight for sore eyes: haunting imagery of a destroyed planetary system.
- I facepalmed at the sight of Poe and Kaz walking on the sunless planet in their usual gear and feeling only a bit cold, but then I remembered Episode V and went on with it.
- So, we are going to get a timeline of Episode VII events at last! If Poe is on Jakku now and the Hosnian System destruction is yet to come, we’ll be able to understand how much time passed between those two events based on how much time passes for Kaz!