Star Wars Resistance: “The High Tower” review

Star Wars: Resistance really picked up the plot in the fourth episode of the first season, “The Dark Tower,” as the First Order arrived at the Colossus and immediately ratcheted up the tension.

In the previous two episodes we’ve seen Kazuda Xiono struggling with his mission as a spy while undercover as a mechanic, as he’s been eager to spy and has missed the mechanic part of things.  But in this episode, Kaz hardly does anything as a mechanic and instead truly gets to spy on the First Order for the first time.

It was a very good episode that leaves you eager to see more and find out what happens next.  Let’s dive in to it.

Summary:

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The episode begins as the Colossus has lost power, and Captain Doza announces to the station that they must operate with as little power as possible until more fuel arrives.  Team Fireball, unable to do any work, heads to Aunt Z’s to get drinks, and while there Aunt Z mentions to Kaz that the power being out isn’t accidental: Captain Doza is a part of the First Order, and this is a cover for their arrival.  This of course piques Kaz’s attention, and he wants to infiltrate the tower.  Hype Fazon arrives at Aunt Z’s, much to Tam’s disgust, but Kaz introduces himself to Hype and talks with him.  Hype makes it clear that the First Order has indeed arrived, and that’s why he’s at the cantina: he doesn’t want anything to do with them.  Kaz wants to know what the First Order is doing there and sneaks out to watch the other Aces (minus Hype) bring in a transport to the tower.  He wonders aloud what they’re doing there, which prompts Neeku to go ask them.  He does so and Kaz, Tam, Neeku, and BB-8 awkwardly stand by as the First Order troopers move past.

It is revealed that Tam Ryvora has a history with Hype Fazon: Tam wanted to get to the tower (where the Aces live) when she arrived at the station and befriended Hype, who wanted the same thing, but since Hype got it he has seemingly forgotten Tam.  Hype arrives and wants to talk with Tam, inviting her and Kaz to the Aces’ Lounge.  Kaz immediately accepts the invitation as a way to infiltrate the tower and find out what the First Order is up to, and Tam begrudgingly goes along.  While she is talking with Hype, Kaz sneaks off to spy.  He sneaks a comlink onto a tray and listens in as Major Vonreg talks with Captain Doza.  Vonreg attempts to convince Doza that he needs the First ORder’s help and provision to fight back against the pirates and to keep the station fueled, but Doza isn’t quite as sure and contemplates the offer – as both sides try to blackmail the other with threats of reporting sins to the New Republic.

As the First Order leaves, however, the proximity feedback on Kaz’s comlinks alerts the soldiers to a spy.  Vonreg orders to stormtroopers to capture Kaz, and the Resistance spy is chased through the hallways.  He finds refuge in Torra Doza’s room (she thinks he’s there because of a romantic interest), but when the stormtroopers want in Torra helps Kaz escape through the window.  This leaves Kaz shuffling along the edge of the platform outside, which the patrons at Aunt Z’s (including Tam and Neeku) see and begin wagering on whether he’ll fall.  As Kaz moves along the ledge the stormtroopers arrive and begin firing at him, and Kaz narrowly escapes as BB-8 opens a door to let Kaz in to safety.  He tells the droid that he has a lot to report to Poe.  Meanwhile, the stormtroopers report back to Vonreg, and Captain Doza (accompanied by Torra) meets them.  Torra explains that it was just one of her friends who got lost, and Captain Doza vouches for his daughter, saying he knows everything that happens on the platform, and tells Vonreg to leave.  As the episode ends, however, Doza watches the First Order leave and then looks up the surveillance video of Kaz escaping, openly wondering, “Who are you?”

Review:

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This episode was a great one, and it featured the First Order’s arrival on the station, Kaz’s first true spying experience, a pretty great escape sequence, more character development, and plenty of intrigue moving forward.

As we learned a few weeks ago, the First Order’s plan is to collaborate with the pirates to make the Colossus desire their protection and leadership.  So sure enough, in this episode, Major Vonreg arrives to meet with Captain Doza to offer protection and help against the pirate attacks.  Doing so would seemingly give the station over to the First Order more than Doza would like, however.  And it’s worth noting that both Doza and Vonreg threaten the other about reporting them to the New Republic.  Doza threatens to report the First Order’s coercion to the New Republic, while Vonreg then counters that he would report Doza’s trade activity that violates New Republic regulations.

I find it incredibly interesting how everyone reacts to the First Order.  Though others on the platform believe that Captain Doza is aligned with the First Order, his meeting with Vonreg seems to indicate that while Doza isn’t exactly in league with them, he’s not exactly opposed to them either.  And from what we saw in the episode, it seems like there are plenty of people who tolerate the First Order’s existence too.  We learn that the First Order has been showing up frequently, and the Aces seemingly treat it as just another visit.  Hype Fazon is the only one who doesn’t like it, but even he accepts it (though it’s possible it’s just because he has no other option).  He has an understanding with Doza that he won’t be there when the First Order arrives, and he thinks they’ve been showing up too much recently.  I’m interested in finding out more about what Hype’s issue with the First Order is, but I can’t help but wonder if it has something to do with the fact that he’s an alien.  Regardless of Hype’s reasoning, however, I think the larger picture here is that the residents of the Colossus (like Aunt Z, for instance), the Aces, and even Captain Doza don’t really treat the First Order as anything special.  They’re simply used to the existence of the First Order and don’t think much of it.  Perhaps that’s because they’re just viewed as the last remnants of the old way, or perhaps it’s because they just don’t know how large the First Order is, but it’s interesting to see more of the state of the galaxy in the months leading up to the sequel trilogy.

Moving forward, we should begin to see a lot more of the First Order and what they’re up to, and the impact it will have on Kaz.  Because one thing is very clear: he’s not a good spy.  He did find out some important information for Poe (that Captain Doza is working with the First Order), but in the process he nearly got himself caught, and now both Major Vonreg and Captain Doza are on to him.  Vonreg thinks Kaz is a spy (which he is, of course), while Doza is suspiciously curious of who Kaz actually is.  I imagine that pretty soon this will have to catch up with Kaz – and that Yeager probably won’t be too happy about his mechanic’s growing reputation.

Another thing I’ll mention about this episode is that I loved that it gave us a bit more information about Tam Ryvora.  We knew already that she wants to fly but can’t since she doesn’t have a workable ship, and this episode revealed that she has a history with Hype Fazon – and is bitter that, once Hype got into the Aces, he forgot about her.  Hype, though, upon seeing Tam again seems to want to talk things over, though clearly they’re still not on great terms.  I want to find out more about Tam’s history and what happened between them.  I was also surprised to find Hype as interesting of a character as he was in this episode.  I thought he might just be there to be the ‘cool pilot’ type, but we now know that not only does he have a history with Tam and not only is he a great pilot, but he’s also not a fan of the First Order.  Why is that?  Hopefully we’ll learn more as this season goes on.

I also loved the sequence of Kaz’s escape from the tower.  The patrons at Aunt Z’s starting to bet on whether he’d fall or not was funny and didn’t take away from the moment, and the First Order pursued Kaz before BB-8 saved the day.  This scene was really well done.

Overall, I really enjoyed this episode.  Like I mentioned already, the First Order’s involvement really increases the tension on this show, especially now that both Vonreg and Doza are on to Kaz.  What does that mean moving forward?  We’ll have to wait and see.

My grade: 9.1/10 

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