Star Wars Resistance review: Kaz and Poe’s recon mission


Kaz and Poe come face to face with Captain Phasma and her troopers in the mid-season finale after discovering an intriguing First Order secret.

“Station Theta Black” is the final episode of the first half of the season, so we won’t be getting new episodes until 2019. While there was a lot of action and high-flying stunts in this episode, we didn’t get the cliffhanger we had been hoping to see. We also expected more before going on winter break.

With Kaz narrowly escaping the First Order’s clutches in previous episodes, we thought the mid-season finale was going to end with Kaz stuck in a life or death situation. He came close, but it was quickly resolved and he came out unscathed.

We think it would have spiced things up some more had something more serious happened. Then again, since this episode wasn’t officially labeled a mid-season finale, it should just be considered another fast-paced episode with a few interesting nuggets of information included here and there.

Meeting General Organa

Kaz borrows the Fireball in order to meet up with Poe and the Resistance. As the ship starts to fall apart, Poe arrives just in time to save him and BB-8. They have debriefing with General Organa, and Poe offers Kaz the opportunity to be his wingman for a new mission.

Kaz taking the Fireball with him might not have been the best idea, but now that the ship is in the hands of Resistance mechanics, maybe it’ll get enough repairs to make it run properly without exploding. While Tam is angry about Kaz taking the ship at the beginning of the episode, we get the idea she’ll be more than elated to see the Fireball up and running the next time Kaz comes back to the Colossus.

There’s also concept art of Tam in a Fireball helmet, so this is setting us up for a future episode in which Tam might finally show us what she’s made of.

Additionally, it’s great to see General Organa in the mix. Carolyn Hennesy does a fantastic job of voicing an older Leia. It’s funny how she gives Poe specific instructions because she knows how he can go overboard during his missions, but Poe ends up finding loopholes or going about it another way. We love the pseudo-mom and son relationship between them in the movies and it definitely comes through in the show.

Surveillance from the inside

Poe and Kaz head out to a location in the Unknown Regions, where they discover a mining station. Even though their mission was meant to be a simple reconnaissance, Poe takes the opportunity to infiltrate the abandoned facility and learn more about it.

Kaz and Poe are the perfect duo for this kind of mission because they balance each other out pretty well. Although Kaz comes across as scared and willing to run away at the first chance he gets, he also acts as a conscience to Poe by questioning his every move. Poe, on the other hand, pushes Kaz to think outside the box and to not give up easily.

As a result of their different approaches, they have amusing interactions with each other. A favorite scene that comes to mind is when Poe says, “Worse things could happen.” Soon after, BB-8 informs them of some bad news and Poe responds with, “Worse things just happened.” It’s such an “I told you so” moment and it comes off so naturally between them.

Creating weapons

After Poe and Kaz activate an alarm, Captain Phasma and Major Vonreg arrive. This motivates Poe and Kaz to quickly find the control room in order to locate what the First Order has been up to. They discover the First Order has been mining the asteroids for raw material used to build blasters.

This is an interesting detail. When the First Order originally came up in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, one of the questions that came to mind was where did the First Order get their ships, armor, and weapons. While some of that has been answered in supplementary material, such as the Bloodline novel by Claudia Gray, now we know the First Order also mined for the raw minerals in the Unknown Regions.

Additionally, we also know certain people in the Senate have been profiting from these activities. This is another reason why the Senate chose to ignore the First Order as a threat because some of the members have been pocketing the money. It’s both illuminating and sickening because it’s not so different from our current real world affairs.

While it may not be necessary for an older audience, we appreciate how Star Wars Resistance continues to flesh out these little details and paint a clearer picture for those who don’t follow the supplementary material, such as comics and novels.

Engaging the enemy

Even though General Organa stressed the importance of not engaging the First Order, Poe engages anyway. Both he and Kaz make a run for it with First Order troopers chasing after the them. In an attempt to get to the hangar, Poe bumps into Phasma, but Kaz comes to the rescue when he activates the station and puts some distance between Poe and the First Order.

Gwendoline Christie’s voice as Captain Phasma is like music to our ears, but we kind of expected more from her character in this episode. Instead of her sliding down the catwalk with the rest of the stormtroopers, we think it would have been more intimidating for her to hold on and pull herself up to where Kaz and Poe were standing. She could have had an epic Vader-like moment from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and watched as Poe and Kaz left in their X-wings. Instead, she was set up with another loss.

That said, there is a moment when she yells at Vonreg right as they’re abandoning the station. That sent chills down our spines. Again, Christie does a fantastic job voicing that character, but we wish more could be done to show Phasma as an imposing and ruthless leader. Capturing Kaz would have done it for sure, but the good guys escape yet again.

Escaping the explosion

As they attempt to dodge Major Vonreg and his squadron, Phasma gives the order to destroy the station. The explosion forces Poe and Kaz to accelerate, but Kaz falls behind. After the explosion dies down, Poe goes back for Kaz and BB-8 only to discover that Kaz used an asteroid for cover.

This is another part we wish could have ended differently. Since this episode marks the end of the first half of the season, it would have been the perfect cliffhanger to leave Poe in the rubble as he desperately searched for Kaz and BB-8. We know BB-8 would have survived, but Kaz could have suffered a major injury during the explosion. It could have shaken things up, but instead, Kaz and BB-8 come out of the deadly situation unscathed.

We like it when shows keep the audience on their toes and guessing as to what comes next, but the bow was wrapped too quickly at the end of this episode. As the audience, we know the First Order is coming and that the destruction of the Hosnian system is right around the corner. In that case, the surprises have to come through the original characters.

It’s a missed opportunity to have Kaz come out of this with not even a scratch. He’s made it a habit of narrowly escaping deadly situations in the past, so it would have stirred things up to have fate catch up to him. We’re not talking about anything too serious, but maybe a broken arm, another visible scar, or something to remind him his line of work has consequences. Even Ezra Bridger in Star Wars Rebels came away with a scar on his cheek during the first season.

Debrief with General Organa

Poe and Kaz hand over the intel to Leia, but it won’t be enough to convince the Senate about the First Order’s wrongdoings. Nevertheless, the information is valuable to the cause, especially since they’re going to need all the help they can get.

With the exception of the senators profiting from the production of weapons, we don’t really learn anything new during this final exchange between Leia, Kaz, and Poe. Again, we know what’s coming. We know Leia needs more help. We know that even after the destruction of the Hosnian system, the Resistance’s numbers don’t grow. We see this play out in the movies. While Star Wars Resistance is great at emphasizing these points, the show needs to start moving things forward into newer territory instead of treading on things we already know.

Lastly, Kaz doesn’t go through any serious character development in this episode. He’s good at thinking under pressure, but he’s still the same Kaz from the start of the series. Ezra midway season 1 is not the same Ezra from the series premiere of Star Wars Rebels. Kaz needs to start showing more development. Otherwise, he’ll continue to be the bumbling, scared-out-of-his-wits type of character we were introduced to in the first episode.

All that said, will Kaz start to show more growth from his experiences? Will we learn more about what’s happening in the galaxy outside of what we’ve seen in the movies? Here’s hoping things start to change in the second half of the season as we get closer and closer to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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What are your thoughts on the mid-season finale? Did you expect more to happen? What do you hope to see in the second half of the season?

Star Wars Resistance airs Sundays on the Disney Channel at 10 p.m. EST and DisneyNOW.