This is not a review of Star Wars: Resistance.
I don’t have a great deal to say about the series I’ve seen so far: other than that I really like the animation style. Apart from that, Resistance is a markedly underwhelming show so far – highly forgettable from episode to episode.
What confused me from the very beginning of this series was why this setting/premise was being used at all.
There is so much potential all over the SW timeline and galaxy to create an animated series. I get that the idea was to have something set firmly in the Sequel Trilogy era (and not he prequel era or the OT): which is great and this makes perfect sense.
But I just don’t get this premise. Some kid has been placed by Poe Dameron on a random planet to spy on the emerging First Order. Fine: but seven or eight episodes in and he’s barely found anything out.
There seems to be nothing happening.
The narrative is progressing either really slowly or not at all – giving the impression that we’re just getting lots of filler because the actual story plan is so thin. I might be wrong: but it makes you wonder why this is the premise they settled on for a series.
Even if it absolutely needed to be a series set within the framework of the Sequel Trilogy, there are a dozen better ideas that came to me just off the top of my head (I literally only thought about it for, like, thirty seconds).
Why not do a story designed to lead us into Episode IX? Literally something designed to fill in some of the story between The Last Jedi and whatever Episode IX is going to be? With Episode IX due for release a year from now, the timing would be perfect. And, in all likelihood, Episode IX is going to be set quite some time after TLJ – so there would be a lot of space there to fill in the narrative.
This would perhaps work along similar lines to the original Tartokovsy Clone Wars series in 2003, which filled in the space between Episodes II and III.
So why give us a series totally unconnected to Episode IX and have it set before even The Force Awakens? Is this indicating that the story for Episode IX hasn’t really been worked out yet at the time Resistance was going into production?
They’ve just missed a massive trick there – by not making Resistance something that plays directly into the upcoming film. It makes no sense. We’re being told Episode IX is the final ‘saga’ film – which is kind of a big deal. All the more reason then to build it up even better by having a lead-in animated series.
But, ok, they decided not to do that. Even if they didn’t want to do that, but still wanted a series set in the Sequel Trilogy era, I can still think of a dozen better possibilities.
How about a series following Rey’s life on Jakku? Jakku seemed pretty interesting, right? And we want to know more about Rey, right? So, why not a series in that setting, exploring Rey’s childhood or even her life leading up to the events of TFA? We’d be following her adventures as a scavenger, exploring the Graveyard of Ships, etc.
I read a book on Rey and Jakku from when TFA came out (I think it was called ‘Rey’s Survival Guide’): and I can tell you that Rey/Jakku would provide fertile ground for an animated series.
Ok, what about a series centered on Poe Dameron? Since Poe is already in Resistance (from time to time) and Oscar Isaac even provides the voice-acting, why not just do a series with Poe and BB8 getting into scrapes while trying to investigate the emergence of the First Order? It kind of makes more sense that having Poe leave BB8 with ‘Kaz’ for a really long time.
Ok, how about this? If one of the big selling points of Resistance is the setting, why not set a series at Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodanna? I mean it’s right there in TFA, staring us in the face. The implication was that Maz’s Castle is a really interesting place that’s “been there for a thousand years” and lots of interesting characters and situations passed through it all the time. Why couldn’t that have been the setting for this series? Poe could’ve just placed ‘Kaz’ on Takodanna to find out about the First Order from there.
This way, you get a proper direct tie-in to TFA, and you get Maz as a regular character. You could even mix it up with stories from the past – glimpses of some tall tales from the thousand years that Maz and her watering hole have been there, including even little things from the prequel era and the OT era. Hell, we might even find out where Maz got Luke’s blue lightaber from.
Ok, what about something exploring the origins or inception of the First Order itself? Something that could include the origin of Snoke, as well as characters like Phasma, Hux, etc. This series could’ve filled in a lot of the missing or poorly-explained backstory to the political situation, the status of the Republic, the creation of the Resistance, the reasons for the First Order’s rise, the origins of the Starkiller Base, and so on and so forth.
When you consider how much the Clone Wars series filled in or expanded on the narrative of the prequel trilogy, a more serious series like this could’ve done wonders for fleshing out the Sequel Trilogy’s gaps and omissions.
The irony is that the prequel trilogy didn’t even need that much elaboration – but it got it anyway and it made everything substantially better: so we can consider that something fleshing out the galaxy in the Sequel Trilogy era would do the same.
That’s just off the top of my head – a handful of ideas that would’ve meant something more and would’ve provided a richer basis for storytelling.
As it is, we’ve just got this kind of random-feeling setting that only ties into the films in the most minimal way: and worse, the first seven or eight episodes don’t really seem to have anything going on anyway.
I just don’t understand the logic: or what Resistance is supposed to add to the equation.
All of that being said, it’s not terrible.
Like I said, I like the animation style a lot. And I like some of the background details of familiar aliens and the like: that aspect of it feels very Star Wars. I also like the idea of having a series set entirely in one location. I just don’t get why it’s this location.
Or why they’ve bothered making a series with so little ambition or scope in its opening eight or nine episodes.