Star Wars Resistance: “The Children from Tehar” review

The fifth episode of Star Wars: Resistance premiered yesterday, and it followed Kaz’s efforts to save two children from the First Order.

It was another very well-done and entertaining episode, and I’m really enjoying Resistance even more than I though I would.  Let’s jump in to this week’s episode review.

Summary:

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As the episode begins, Tam and Neeku are working on repairing a ship and working on the compensator.  Tam initially doesn’t want Kaz to help, since it’s an important repair, but soon realizes that they could use the extra set of hands.  Kaz manages to screw it up, however, damaging the compensator.  Tam is furious and Kaz offers to buy a new compensator, but he realizes he doesn’t have the money to do so – in fact, he doesn’t even have enough money to buy himself a drink at Aunt Z’s, needing Neeku to pay for him.  But he overhears of two children with a large bounty, and he assumes that they are lost and need help getting back home.  Kaz naturally assumes that the heroic thing to do would be to help them get home, and in doing so he’d also get a significant payday.  Win-win.

As luck would have it, Kaz, Neeku, and BB-8 run into the children at the Colossus market, and they try to convince the children that they’re friendly… but the children get away.  Kaz wants to find them, so Neeku introduces Kaz to his friends the chelidae, who are turtle-like creatures native to Castilon who dwell in the lower regions of the station and keep things operational – albeit very slowly.  Because of their role, they have eyes and ears all over the station, and they agree to keep a look out for these children.  Meanwhile, Captain Doza summons Kaz to his office to meet with him, a follow-up to what happened in last week’s episode.  Doza briefly interrogates Kaz about the two children, and in the process learns that the children are on the station as Kaz reveals he has a symbol that he accidentally took from them.  Doza asks Kaz whether the kid ever wondered why or who would put such a large bounty on two children, and Kaz admits that he didn’t.  After Kaz, Neeku, and BB-8 leave, Doza contacts Captain Phasma and informs her that the children were spotted on the Colossus.  He does so as a token of good favor toward the First Order in hopes of helping their relations, but he makes it clear to Phasma that the soldiers she sends will be on his station and have to follow his rules.

Soon enough the chelidae do find the children and alert Kaz and Neeku, who find them in the chelidae’s dwelling deep in the station.  They talk with them, Kel and Eila, about what’s going on.  Kaz promises to help them get home to Tehar, but the children explain that they’re not lost but instead ran away, and that there’s no one left for them to go home to.  A man dressed all in black named Kylo Ren commanded an army that destroyed their entire village, and Kel and Eila were the only ones who escaped, doing so by stowing away on a transport.  Kaz tells the children that it was the First Order, and promises to keep them safe.  Eila needs medical attention for an injured leg, however, so Kaz, Neeku, BB-8, and Kel go into the marketplace to get something to help.  While there, though, they realize that Commander Pyre and two First Order stormtroopers are there looking for the children.  Kaz leads the gang down a chute (which he fell down a few episodes ago by accident), but the First Order spots them.  They chase them down to the chelidae’s lair, and there Kaz devises a plan upon realizing that the First Order won’t stop as long as the kids are alive.  So when the First Order breaks into the room, the children promise never to join them and jump out an opening in the floor, plunging seemingly to their deaths in the cold waters below.  The First Order troopers hear a splash and rush to look, and one of the troopers uses gear to detect fading life signs.  Pyre, assuming the children dead, contacts Phasma and reports, having completed his mission.  They leave to head back to Starkiller Base.  Kaz’s plan had worked, and he, Neeku, BB-8, and some of the chelidae had stowed away under the lair and caught the kids as they jumped, while two chelidae had jumped into the water and lowered their vital signs.  The children were safe, and the chelidae offered for them to live with them for as long as needed – and they fixed Tam’s compensator!

Kaz brings the fixed compensator back to Tam, and then he gets away to contact the Resistance to report.  He talks with Ello Asty, who is taking reports while Poe Dameron is away on a mission, and tells Asty about what had happened.  He also reports that a man named Kylo Ren is apparently running the First Order army, asking Asty if that name means anything.  Asty tells Kaz that you could say it does mean something and that General Organa will want to know this info right away, and Asty tells Kaz that he’s doing good work as a spy.

Review:

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The First Order being very involved the past two weeks has helped things pick up considerably, and this was another strong episode in which we saw continued growth from Kaz and continued intrigue regarding the First Order.

On the topic of Kaz’s growth, he’s still very naive, still not a good mechanic, and still not quite great at this spying thing (since, after all, in his first mission last week he was spotted by both the First Order and Captain Doza).  But he’s learning.  He seems more eager to improve as a mechanic in this episode than he did even a few episodes ago, and he seems a bit more competent as a spy.  His plan to save the children from Commander Pyre and the First Order was a legitimately good idea that worked really well: it worked really well without making the First Order look completely incompetent and without coming from nowhere.  The aspects of Kaz’s plan (such as the chute they go down he experienced in a previous episode or the chelidae he met earlier) were all built on things we had already known in the show, which made it work much better.  And I appreciated how it wasn’t about making the First Order look stupid so much as it was Kaz genuinely outsmarting them.  I was really impressed by the ending of the episode and the resolution that the writers found for the tension.

Kaz is certainly growing, and part of that is also seen in the way he continues to learn the realities of the First Order.  At first in this episode he is totally trusting and assumes that these children simply got lost… but quickly learns that there was much more to the story than he first assumed.  He’s coming to realize that not everybody in the galaxy is as privileged as he has been, and that not everywhere in the galaxy is as comfortable as Hosnian Prime.  These are realities that have been evident as the show has gone along, but the more Kaz is growing the more he is becoming aware of these things – which should, in turn, make him an even better asset to the Resistance in their fight against the First Order.

And of course the First Order continues to play a major presence in this show, and we’re seeing different aspects of them.  This was our first introduction to Commander Pyre, a stormtrooper commander who wears golden armor to stand out.  But we’ve also met Major Vonreg, and Captain Phasma plays a key role in the show as well, as both Vonreg and Pyre seem to report to her.  But the main thing that we learned about the First Order in this episode was in association with a major name drop: KYLO REN.  The dual-protagonist of the sequel trilogy, Kylo Ren is mentioned having commanded the First Order troops in wiping out a village on Tehar.  That’s nothing new, since we saw the same thing happen to the Tuanul, the village on Jakku where Lor San Tekka was living at the time of The Force Awakens.  But it’s still very noteworthy that Kylo Ren is doing this to other villages, too.  And why is that?  It seemed evident by Phasma’s comments to Pyre that the intention was so that the Resistance wouldn’t find out what the First Order was doing.  Did that mean that they wanted the children in order to keep the news from spreading about the horrific massacre, or did that mean that there was someone in the village that was going to leak information?  Either way, Kylo Ren was name-dropped, which is pretty cool – and makes me wonder if we’ll be seeing him make a cameo appearance in the show at some point down the road.

On the subject of Kylo Ren, it was also interesting to see how the others reacted to that name.  Neeku had obviously never heard of Kylo Ren, and Kaz wasn’t familiar with it either.  So it seems that Kylo Ren still might be a bit of a mysterious enigma around the galaxy, but Ello Asty definitely knew who he was.  When Kaz asked him if that name meant anything to him, Asty replied that you could say that it does and that General Organa would want to hear about this right away.  That leads me to believe that it is not necessarily a secret around the Resistance that Kylo Ren is the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo.  It’s possible that Asty doesn’t know that, but given what we know as the audience and the way Asty responded, it makes me think that at least some members within the Resistance are aware of Leia’s personal tragedy and connection.  I hope we get to see Leia’s reaction to these growing reports of her son leading the First Order army, though I am sure it would be heartbreaking to see.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, and I think with the First Order getting more and more involved in the show things are really starting to pick up even more than they already were.

My grade: 8.8/10 

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