Star Wars Resistance – “Station Theta Black”

Hello there!

Welcome to my latest review for Star Wars Resistance. It took me a few weeks to get into the show, but by the end of “The High Tower” I knew that I was in for the long haul and have decided to start writing about it. This post will be focusing on episode 11: “Station Theta Black”

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Plot Summary

Kaz meets up with Poe, Leia and the Resistance to deliver the information he downloaded from Captain Doza’s datapad in the last episode. Leia tells Kaz that the Resistance has found a mysterious outpost, Poe is going to scout the outpost out and invites Kaz along as his wingman.

The pair find the outpost Station Theta Black in an asteroid field, BB-8 and CB-23 don’t sense any signs of life or droids present so they go in to get more information, taking BB-8 with them while CB-23 takes the X-wings to a safe distance. The pair find that the station is abandoned as it is scheduled for demolition, but they also find that it has been part of a mining operation to acquire dedlanite, which is required for creating blasters. They also come across a sentry droid, which Poe takes out, however their actions have set off an alarm on Starkiller Base. Phasma and Major Vonreg accompany the demolition team.

“Power down to avoid detection. Let’s drift in, they’ll think we’re asteroids.”

As they are trying to find a way out, Kaz and Poe run into some of the stormtroopers. They eventually escape with CB-23 bringing in the fighters, but come under attack from Vonreg and his squad. Poe destroys one of the fighters and the remainder pull away on Phasma’s order as the station is destroyed. Kaz and Poe attempt to escape from the explosion. Poe makes it to safety but Kaz is struggling due to his X-wing having taken a hit during the dogfight and appears to have been caught in the blast, until Poe finds that he has shielded himself on the other side of an asteroid.

The pair return to Leia and shows her the evidence that the First Order are making lots of weapons. Kaz states that if other senators are like his father, this will not be enough evidence to make them see the First Order as a threat. Leia agrees but also states that it will be important to her efforts and the two discuss how more people would be willing to help the Resistance if they knew the stakes.

Review

On the whole, this was a good episode, but I did feel that it was a little flat for a mid-season finale. It was great to have Poe, Phasma and Leia all featuring in the episode as well as seeing a return for Vonreg, but it did not feel like there were giant stakes in the same way as the Rebels season 4 episode “Rebel Assault”. It is difficult when the only “good guys” were Kaz (the show’s main protagonist) and Poe (who we know survives as he is in the movies) and I wonder if it would have benefited from having a third member of the Resistance who could have been introduced in this episode – or even one of the earlier episodes with Poe – and then killed at some point in the escape just to add to the tension, though I do understand this is a show made predominantly for children so that may have been too much.

“Power on, we’re gonna land.”

“Whoa whoa whoa whoa! General Organa said ‘surveillance only’, remember?”

“We are doing surveillance… from the inside.”

For the same reason as above, I think it harmed the characters of Vonreg and Phasma. These are meant to be 2 of the First Order elite, and yet Vonreg has a whole 0 kills from 2 dogfights so far, while Phasma and her troopers were also unable to hit anyone. Again, I think the use of an extra Resistance member to be killed helps here.

I really enjoy the dynamic between Kaz and Poe on the whole and I always get the idea that Poe is pushing the boundaries of what he should do not just because he feels it is the right thing but also because it is a chance to show off in front of someone who clearly looks up to him. There also appears to be the odd moment where he realises just how unprepared Kaz is for espionage and I wonder if he regrets his choice of spy. It was also great to have Leia in this episode as she is a clear inspiration and her speech to Kaz at the end about how it is not “her” Resistance was lovely. The voice acting from Carolyn Hennesy – brought in to replace Rachel Butera after her dismissal following a video of her mocking Christine Blasey Ford – was close enough to Carrie Fisher that I wasn’t taken out of the episode at all, which is high praise given the importance of Leia to Star Wars and Carrie to so many of us.

“There he is! BB-8, I told you Kaz wouldn’t blow up as long as you were around!”

“Yeah… wait, what?”

As for the story, I felt that it was on the whole a good one. This felt like a direct follow-on from the last episode with Kaz handing over the information he had downloaded in the previous episode. Poe’s willingness to take a risk by going into the station for more information after finding it deserted felt natural to the character, while it also made sense that the First Order would be preparing to destroy the station once it had outlived its use in order to stop the Resistance getting any information as to their plans. I liked Phasma’s decision to bring Vonreg and a couple of fighters to take out anyone who escaped, but again I just wish there had been at least some success on the part of the First Order. I also liked how Kaz may have been almost-useless fighting the stromtroopers but still had the brains to find a way to save Poe, but then once in their X-wings he was much more accomplished – making a clever decision to use an asteroid to shelter from the blast – but still not as good as Poe, the “best pilot in the Resistance”. I do feel that the scene at the start with Yeager and Tam and the following scene with Kaz struggling in the Fireball felt unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, though a final scene showing Kaz returning to the Colossus (possibly with a fixed Fireball if Poe’s comment that he would have some mechanics look at the ship) would have helped tie it into the rest of the episode. I also really liked the sequence where Poe and Kaz first ran into the stormtroopers and both groups tried to get the other to not attack as canonically it fits with the two parties not being at open war, however it did feel out of place with other parts of the show considering we have seen the stormtroopers shoot at Kaz on the Colossus (somewhere much more public) and then the very clear attempts by the First Order to kill Kaz and Poe after Poe set off the explosives.

“Oh! Hello.”

“Lower your blasters!”

“Take it easy fellas, I don’t wanna engage you.”

“I said lower your blasters now!”

“Not engaging you. Not engaging you. Just pointing my blaster at these explosives.”

“I think that’s technically engaging if you shoot the explosives!”

“Final warning! Put your blasters down, now!”

“Kaz?”

“Yeah?”

“Prepare to engage.”

With this being the mid-season finale, I feel that an extra 5-10 minutes would have really benefited the episode as they could have show Kaz’s return to the Colossus to tie back to the start of the episode, made a bit more of a point about Kaz’s X-wing taking a hit that was slowing him down and stopping him outrunning the blast and also brought in an extra Resistance character to help raise the stakes for the good guys.

Moving forward, I think that Kaz’s role on the Colossus may change slightly into trying to find support for the Resistance. Yeager has appeared to warm towards him and the news that the First Order are creating large numbers of weapons could bring him back into the fold, while Kaz could also be tasked with becoming an Ace in order to get them on the Resistance’s side, which could put the at odds with Pyre and the First Order if Captain Doza accepts their offer. I just hope we’re not left waiting too long to find out!

Moments in canon

  • The sentry droid model seen in this episode has featured in the background of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, while also being one of Captain Phasma’s abilities in Star Wars Battlefront II
  • Kaz not appearing on Poe’s scanners when he is attached to the asteroid mimics a number of similar situations through the canon:
    • The Millennium Falcon attaches to the Star Destroyer Avenger in the escape from the asteroid field during The Empire Strikes Back to escape the chasing Imperials
    • Obi-Wan attaches to one of the rocks in Geonosis’ planetary ring to make Jango Fett believe he’s been killed during Attack of the Clones
    • Captain Rex and a brigade of AT-TEs hide on an asteroid, allowing them to attack General Grievous’ fleet from behind near the start of “Downfall of a Droid” from season 1 of The Clone Wars
  • Leia mentions some of the New Republic senators will be benefiting from the First Order creating weapons, Claudia Gray’s novel Bloodline shows that some of the Centrists were working for the First Order
  • Poe calls Station Theta Black the biggest installation he’s seen the First Order build yet, when first taken on board the Finalizer (much bigger than this station) after being capture in The Force Awakens he appeared shocked at the scale of everything

What did you think about the episode? Thanks for reading and May the Force be with you…

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