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 17: “Rebuilding the Resistance”
Kaz, Neeku and Yeager are in the Colossus‘ hangar when a group of Resistance X-wings arrive. Torra and Doza arrive in the hangar and the X-wing pilots are revealed to include Venisa Doza, Norath Kev and Hugh Sion, one of Kaz’s former wingmen Hugh Sion. All the familiar parties have fond reunions. Hugh and Norath tell Kaz that a number of systems have been surrendering to the First Order, and that they are all that remains of Venisa’s Jade Squadron.
Venisa speaks with Doza in his office and explains that they have a mission to evacuate Resistance recruits from Dantooine, which has fallen under First Order control. Venisa is hoping to temporarily bring the recruits to the Colossus, to which Doza agrees. He tells Venisa that they tried running and hiding but it didn’t work, so offers 3 Aces to join the Resistance. Kaz and Torra, who have been eavesdropping, instantly volunteer and Hype is selected as the third Ace.
“Whoa! Resistance X-wings! What are they doing here?”
“No idea, but it probably means trouble.”
As the Aces and Jade Squadron prepare to leave on the mission, Venisa tells Yeager that she saw Tam. She tells him that Tam was conflicted but needs time to sort things out on her own.
Jade Squadron, the Fireball, Blue Ace and Green Ace make their way to the Dantooine system and take out a patrolling squadron of TIE fighters. With the air clear, Venisa contacts the Resistance shuttles and tells them to begin their departure.
Tam is present on the bridge of Pyre’s Star Destroyer with Tierny, Pyre and Galek when reports come through of Resistance activity on Dantooine and shuttles carrying Resistance recruits trying to leave the planet. Noting that they have lost contact with their TIE patrol there, Pyre orders Galek to set a course for Dantooine and ready her squad to destroy the transports. Tam notes that the transports are unarmed, but Galek orders her to be silent.
“Kaz? Oh, you’ve gotta be kidding me!”
While the Star Destroyer is on its way to Dantooine, Tam is called to Tierny’s office. Tierny asks if Tam is alright as she appears agitated. Tam denies this and claims that things are great as she is now in command of her squadron. Tierny shows Tam the comlink she handed over after leaving the Colossus and tells her that it was this act that stopped Tierny doubting Tam’s loyalty. Tierny explains that she wasn’t born into the First Order but spent her early years scraping to survive under the New Republic. Tierny says that she knew she was meant for more and that it was seeing this in Tam that made her bring Tam over. Tierny says that Tam has exceeded her expectations and warns her to keep doing so, and not to let her down.
Jade Squadron meets with the 3 Resistance transports in Dantooine’s upper atmosphere but before everyone can jump away, Pyre’s Star Destroyer arrives and launches its TIE fighter squadrons, led by Galek. Tam’s TIE is hit and she lags behind the dogfight as she struggles to fix and restart her fighter. Shuttle Two is hit in the rear, damaging the hyperdrive and slowing the group’s escape. The TIEs begin to take heavy losses – including Galek, which puts Tam in charge – but Rucklin manages to destroy one of Shuttle Two’s engines, causing it to plummet to the planet surface. Venisa orders everyone remaining to jump to hyperspace and the remaining shuttles escape with Jade Squadron and the Aces. Tam orders the remaining TIEs to return to the hangar.
“Lieutenant Galek is gone. You’re in charge now, 533. What are we gonna do?”
Tierny meets Tam outside of her TIE, reassuring her that even thought he mission was a failure, one of the shuttles was destroyed under her command. Tierny believes Tam’s sadness is at the loss of Galek and announces to Tam that with Galek’s death, she has been promoted to Squadron Leader. Tierny departs and Rucklin shows his jealousy at Tam’s promotion as he was the one who shot down the shuttle. Tam says that she did not ask for the promotion, but Rucklin notes that it always works out for her.
Back at the Colossus, Jade Squadron and the remaining shuttles land in the hangar with the Aces. Kaz, Torra and Hype blame themselves for the loss of Shuttle Two, but Yeager, Doza and Venisa tell them that there will always be losses in war and that they only truly fail when they lose hope. As Kaz, Torra and Hype go to greet the Resistance recruits, Venisa promises to have the recruits off the Colossus within a few days, but Doza tells her that he is allowing the recruits and Jade Squadron to stay on the station as he is done running from the fight.
There may be a hint of recency bias, but I really think that this was the best episode of the season. As I’ve said quite a few times recently, I think that the series would have worked better with the Colossus joining the Resistance a few episodes after escaping D’Qar. This did not have to be an active role with the main group (though I would have loved that) but even just as a mobile base for a small squadron, which is effectively what this episode gave us.
“I can’t believe you’re still flying around in this old rust bucket, Venisa. It has seen better days.”
“Haha. So have you, Jarek, but you’re still top of the line.”
I have frequently stated that Resistance is at its best when the characters are in their cockpits, so to have that be the main focus of this episode put it in a great position, while the choice to have the two dogfights in different zones – one in space and one in atmosphere – led to great variety and some stunning visuals as the Star Destroyer and TIEs appeared through the clouds. But what this episode also did really well was the stuff on the ships, with some wonderful reunions for characters like the Dozas, Yeager and Venisa, and Kaz and Hugh. I didn’t expect to see Hugh again after his appearance at the start of the opening episode of the series, but I thought that it was a clever idea to bring him back as the story swapping allowed for the new pilots to easily integrate with the Aces. As the closest we have to a redshirt in the Resistance however, I do worry about his chances in the 2-part finale.
So my thoughts on where Tam’s allegiance will ultimately lie seems to change with every episode that features her, but following this episode I am now certain that she will be coming back to the good side. I do think its a little strange that shooting at a couple of unarmed transports is what has pushed her over the edge considering she is working for a force that destroyed an entire system of planets, but the set-up for her defection int he next episode was clear here, with her being able to see exactly where Tierny was keeping her one way to contact the Colossus directly. I did however feel that Rucklin’s jealousy was a little rushed and think that again this would have benefited from a better paced season that saw him slowly growing in jealousy. Right now I feel that Tam is going to try to get her comlink back from Tierny’s office and be turned in by Rucklin, who will be looking for any dirt on her to try furthering his position int he First Order at her expense.
While I think that the season on the whole has been poorly paced, with too many inconsequential episodes in the first half, what it has done nicely is create an arc for Doza, which was paid off at the end of this episode. He started barely trusting Kaz, but has grown to trust him over the season and also be willing to trust Torra going into dangerous situations rather than being overprotective. He has tried to run for far too long as he did not want to get into another war, but he has now realised that he can’t keep running and will have to resist. I really hope that the Dozas get a happy ending int his series.
“Torch seems happy to be home.”
“He’s not the only one. But we’re not here for a social fly-by.”
“We’re helping Venisa’s squadron on a mission… for the Resistance.”
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- I loved the talk of hope from Venisa to inspire the Aces. This has been a recurring theme for both the Rebellion and Resistance in new-era Star Wars and I thought that it worked really well here
- Seeing Bucket and Torch interacting was lovely. I really wish that we had gotten more from the droids this season
- I wish that one of the Aces had taken out Galek to help build on the arc of them improving as fighter pilots. With Torra getting a chance to show Venisa how good a pilot she has become, this was a perfect opportunity
- 4 X-wings arrived at the Colossus but we only ever see Venisa, Hugh and Norath. All 4 go on the mission yet dialogue amongst Jade Squadron continually suggests there were only 3 X-wings. Though there appears to be 4 X-Wings at the beginning of the second dogfight, only 3 jump away, but there is no moment where one is clearly destroyed… so what was the deal with the 4ᵗʰ pilot?!
Moments in Canon
- Hugh and Norath refer back to Poe saving Kaz from Major Vonreg in the opening episode of the series
- Like Kaz, Hugh has transitioned from the New Republic Navy to fighting for the Resistance
- A number of systems were said to have surrendered to the First Order, as Black Squadron discovered on Siroc
What did you think about the episode?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…