I’m back with another episode review for Star Wars Resistance. This is the second and final season of the third animated show in canon, focusing on Kazuda Xiono and his friends on the Colossus as they attempt to get away from the First Order and find the Resistance. These will take a very similar format to previously: an overview of the plot (so it goes without saying, there will be spoilers!), my thoughts on the episode and a few Moments in Canon – things I picked up on that linked to other stories or the larger galaxy as a whole. Today, I will be looking at episode 9: “The Voxx Vortex 5000”
Captain Doza and Yeager meet Hype in the Aces Lounge for a meeting, where they find some of the Aces fighting. Hype explains that the Aces are going crazy not being able to race, but has an idea that would alleviate the boredom and get money for the Colossus to use on supplies. He explains that his old friend Vranki has a deluxe racing circuit, where the Colossus could take advantage of the Aces to win some big money. Needing money for supplies, Doza agrees.
“I want you back, Hype.”
The Aces, Neeku, Doza and Yeager arrive at Vranki’s hotel and casino and meet with the Hutt, but find that the casino is almost empty. They explain they want to race, Vranki tells Hype that he wants him back so makes a wager: if Hype wins, the Colossus gets 25,000 credits; if he loses, he must stay to work for Vranki again. Hype agrees to the terms and goes to his race: 1v1 with the first through the final hoop being named the winger. Hype looks set to win, until his opponent is revealed to be a droid, which attaches to Hype’s racer and slows it down, before releasing it to take the victory.
Hype accuses Vranki of cheating by using a racing droid, and the group go to leave before being stopped by the casino security, leaving Doza to find a way to renegotiate. Neeku has been playing a hologame that is almost impossible to win due to the way the algorithms are set. Kaz recognises that the game has been modelled on the course Hype just raced and Hype, guessing that the racing droids and the games will run off the same core, tasks Neeku with finding a way to hack into the system to beat the racers.
“We need the credits, but I can’t afford to lose you.”
Vranki suggests a new race: another Ace against one of his racing droids, a win for the Aces gets Hype back, whereas a loss sees them also become Vranki’s. Doza initially refuses but agrees after Kaz takes him to one side and tells him of their plan. Freya runs the race but loses after being rammed by the droid. Vranki allows the group to try again with another racer on the same terms. Bo Keevil is looking good until Vranki deploys magnetic mines, leading to Bo having to take evasive action to escape them and losing the race – which Doza is not happy about as Vranki had promised the use of no weapons. Griff runs the race next and is looking good until Vranki activates hidden laser cannons on the asteroids, again causing him to take evasive action and lose.
Torra and Kaz up the ante and propose a new wager: they race a 2v2 relay, with the Colossus as collateral, to which Vranki agrees to add an extra 500,000 credits and return all the Aces if they win. Torra runs the first leg and is initially leading, until her opponent starts shooting at her and hits the Blue Ace, forcing her to limp to the hoop well behind her opponent. Kaz starts to catch his opponent, dealing with magnetic mines and his opponent having rear-facing blasters. With the racers neck and neck, Vranki activates laser cannons on the final hoop, but Kaz shields himself below the other racer until Neeku manages to deactivate the canons, at which point Kaz accelerates through the hoop for the win.
“Deal’s a deal. Take your money. And your Aces.”
Celebrating the victory, the group makes their way back to the Colossus with their winnings – and all the Aces.
Oh boy. I’ve never really seen watching Star Wars as a chore, but right now I’m really starting to struggle with Resistance. I have generally found with The Clone Wars and Rebels that the show improved after the first season, but Resistance is really struggling to keep that trend going.
We are now 9 episodes into a 19-episode series, but it feels like we have barely moved on in progressing the story since episode 2! I don’t even know what the Colossus crew are trying to do anymore, as recent episodes have really suggested that they are not interested in finding the Resistance and are instead just trying to hide somewhere remote. After last season’s finale, I was excited for what season 2 would bring, but right now I’m even more bored than the Aces who are fighting each other.
“Did we all just lose our minds?!”
On that note, why are they bored? Yes they are not able to race, but they have repeatedly been shown to be outmatched by the First Order’s TIE squadrons, so why are they not training or at the very least savouring the moments of safety. After the way that the Aces were marketed before the show began, I think that they have been treated very badly, as this episode featured them more than most, but they were still largely relegated to a background role. They are meant to be star pilots, but suddenly the talk becomes how they are just great racers, and even Freya wasn’t really that! I really feel that this episode would have had a much better impact if we had been able to get to know all the Aces better over the prior episodes.
This show is at its best when we see the Colossus coming into contact with the First Order, but unfortunately we are barely seeing that and are instead stuck with episodes like this that see them undergoing isolated missions (if they can even be called that) that don’t even progress the story. I’m starting to worry that with so much of the season over, we’ll struggle to get a fulfilling story from what is left.
“You didn’t say I’d be racing a droid!”
I also couldn’t understand the need for all of our main characters to to to the casino. With all of the Aces, Yeager, Doza and Neeku all away from the Colossus, it doesn’t feel like there is any real protection left for the platform. Neeku didn’t really appear to help that much in the episode despite the show suggesting he would have a key role in the Aces winning, while there was no point Yeager being in the group as he didn’t get involved in either the racing or the negotiations. It almost feels as if everyone was pushed into the episode so that they still felt relevant to the story.
While this has been a largely negative review, I do want to mention some positives. I have frequently stated that the show is at its best when we are flying, so to have the races be the main focus of the episode gave us a great visual experience, while I really liked the design of the racer droids, which looked like a more more advanced version of the vulture droids. This was also one of the best Kaz episodes so far in the season, as he was able to stay serious when required in the casino, before coming into his own in the cockpit. This is the Kaz that I was hoping to see after the events of the season 1 finale, hopefully he’s here to stay.
“Out here, you’re either a great racer, or you’re a goner.”
A few final thoughts:
- I’m not sure about the portrayal of Vranki. It was very different to anything we have seen before with the Hutts and as such just didn’t feel right as part of the universe
- As goofy as it is, I can’t help but enjoy how over the top Hype is in this show – including his squeals of fear. While it sometimes doesn’t feel right for Kaz, as someone who has been larger than life since Day 1, it really works for Hype
Moments in Canon
- Most of Vranki’s rich patrons have moved onto Canto Bight casino
- Kowakian monkey-lizards and Kowakian ape-lizards are apparently capable of learning enough to be used as casino staff
What did you think about the episode?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…