Recently there has been a lot of talk about fan-favorite shows like The Mandalorian and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. However, another one of Star Wars productions has been largely ignored. Star Wars: Resistance was a short-run animated TV series that ran from 2018-2020 and starts shortly before Star Wars: The Force Awakens and culminates shortly before Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Star Wars: Resistance possesses something different than the rest of Star Wars. It shows what happens when people strive to create a community.
In Star Wars, we often see the communities already formed, whether it be the Rebellion, the Jedi Order, or even the Clone Army. On the Colossus, the refueling station where the series is set, Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono starts the series as a spy. In terms of the strength of a position, that is pretty much the bottom of the totem pole. However, Kaz builds a strong relationship with the lower and upper social strata throughout the series. These relationships help lead the crew of the Colossus and her people to fight for the Resistance eventually. This little band of Resistance fighters comes to include racers, pirates, former Imperials, Resistance members, and intrepid droids. Despite their origins, by the end, they stand as one – not just as a band of five, but as a community bound together.
The story of a band of Resistance fighters does not stand out in the whole of the Star Wars narrative. The uniqueness comes from the total lack of Force users. Some may find that lack of Force-users uninteresting, but it provides the series with an opportunity. While Jedi, Sith, and all that lie in-between are central figures in many Star Wars narratives, the lack of Force users creates a level of approachability that other Star Wars narratives lack. While ordinary people cannot move Star Destroyers with their minds, they can connect to those around them. These human and sometimes alien stories may seem covered in the trappings of sometimes childish humor, but the core of Star Wars Resistance tells us that supernatural heroes are not required. Instead anyone, regardless of where they came from, can fight for what is right.
Another key theme of the series is that of loss. Kazuda loses his father during the First Order’s destruction of Hosnian Prime, Tamara Ryvora lost her career as a racer, and former Imperial Captain Doza lost his wife to the Resistance. These losses are familiar to many, as we care desperately for our careers, our dreams, and our families. While sci-fi tropes such as losing a hand and getting a robotic replacement are iconically Star Wars, the losses we see in Resistance are things that everyone can relate to. Often loss is only portrayed in terms of epic losses with little reference to the common person but that can distance the narrative away from the audience. In contrast, relatable losses help move Star Wars toward the everyday so that everyone can enjoy Star Wars.
Despite these decisions to stray away from the norm, Resistance still appeals to the Star Wars devotee on a number of levels. Not only does it provide a look into the ordinary person’s perspective of the tragedy that the imperialism of the First Order brings, but it provides a detailed look into the desperation of the Resistance.
The Resistance looks even to teenagers and pirates to save the people of the galaxy. In this desperation, we see many well-known people and events unfold. We see General Organa, Phasma, Kylo Ren, and Poe Dameron. These characters seem to be titans from the eyes of people such as Kaz, but we also see a new relationship that could be missed otherwise. These titans have histories, and there are previously unknown shades of gray in the First Order. These new details, such as the expansion and recruitment tactics of the First Order, enrich the whole Star Wars narrative and make things that previously seemed nonsensical totally logical. For a true fan, this can help change the perception that you previously had of this New Order. In that way, Resistance serves a similar function to that of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Star Wars Resistance shows that being a Jedi is not a prerequisite to saving the galaxy. Bravery and comradery for family can save the galaxy as well. Regardless of all these beneficial qualities, Resistance only lasted two seasons.
While that is regrettable, the two seasons it lasted gave us our best in-depth look into the times leading up to the First Order’s expansion. While Star Wars Resistance takes a different approach to the classic Star Wars formula, this approach is necessary to expand the Star Wars Universe to a new audience. Even for the veteran hand who has seen almost everything, Resistance is more than worth your time.
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