Star Wars Resistance was back this week with the episode titled, “The Engineer,” and I thought it was yet another very strong episode!
Let’s dive in to our review.
While Captain Doza, Yeager, Kaz, and Neeku are busy at work trying to fix the many problems with the Colossus, Neeku comes across a distress signal from someone claiming to have been attacked by the First Order. The heroes recognize that it might be a trap, but decide that they have to help this person anyway, as otherwise she will die. Yeager orders Kaz to take someone who can actually use a blaster, so Kaz takes Synara with him to respond to this distress call of a stranded ship in space.
Kaz and Synara board the ship and encounter an alien woman named Nena, who shares that her ship was attacked by the First Order and that she is an engineer. Knowing that the Colossus could use engineering help, Kaz offers to help repair her ship if she will help them repair theirs. So they bring Nena back to the Colossus, where she very quickly fixes everything. Neeku strikes up a friendship with her as they work together, and the two wind up sharing their stories: Neeku’s parents were bantha herders who didn’t understand his love for engineering, while Nena was sold into slavery by pirates at a young age until she escaped.
This is the reason for Nena’s dislike of pirates, including the pirates on board the Colossus – whom she accuses of stealing much of the station’s power. The pirates deny this, but Doza and Yeager send Kaz to find out more information late at night. Synara catches him, however, and raises questions about Nena. Kaz and Synara infiltrate Nena’s ship and discover that she actually has been working for the First Order! Kaz tries to warn Neeku, but is too late: the ship loses power and Nena contacts the First Order. Kaz pursues her, and she opens fire – which is what convinces Neeku that Kaz is actually telling the truth. A heartbroken Neeku confronts Nena, who pleads with him to join her, saying that the Resistance has already lost. Neeku refuses, and Nena flees in her ship as the First Order arrives.
Commander Pyre sends TIE Fighters to attack the defenseless Colossus, and Neeku and Kaz desperately rush to get the ship’s power restored. Neeku works from the command center while Kaz goes to various places on the station per Neeku’s orders, including to the pirates. Kaz apologizes for accusing them of stealing power, and they let Kaz unplug their power to help the Colossus escape. They do, and Agent Tierny tells Pyre that the next time they encounter Nena they will execute her. Neeku, meanwhile, tells Kaz that he is his bestest friend.
This was another fantastic episode. The intrigue with Nena was legitimately quite good. Initially, she just seemed like another victim of the First Order, but you knew that there had to be something more than that to drive the episode. So when she expressed such a reluctance to help the pirates I thought that was a clue, and then her accusing the pirates of stealing power made me think that the primary conflict of the episode would be between the Colossus leaders and the pirates. And when Nena explained her story to Neeku, it perfectly explained why she disliked pirates so much – and it made a ton of sense.
But the one who was suspicious of Nena was a pirate, Synara, and she discovers that Nena is actually working for the First Order. The episode had done such an incredible job of building up this intrigue as it went along so that the viewer was left wondering who Nena really is. Even once we found out she was working with the First Order, I wondered whether her relationship with Neeku would make her change her mind and help them escape. But nope. She wanted Neeku to leave with her and did like him, but in the end she’s just out for herself. She was just in this to get paid by the First Order.
And that’s such a contrast to what we see of Kaz and the Colossus leaders in this episode. When they receive the distress call, they are quite aware that it could be a trap. As a side note, that’s a great touch, because it shows that our heroes are aware that it could be a trap but decide that they have to try to help anyway. That’s part of what makes them the good guys: they’re acting to help others. Contrast that with Nena, who in this episode turns out to only be out to help herself, and I think that’s a pretty compelling difference.
But I also really appreciated that this episode focused on Neeku a bit more, and things were actually emotional at times. We learned more about Neeku’s family and history, and he developed a close relationship with Nena. To see him realize that she lied to him and was leaving was heartbreaking, especially when you consider that the same thing happened to him in season one with Bibo (though obviously on a less personal and emotional level). And then Neeku and Kaz having a heartwarming moment at the end as Neeku tells him that he is now his bestest friend was great.
I have a feeling that we’ll see Nena again at some point, and I hope so, because I found her to be a very interesting character. But in this episode, at least, her actions served to highlight yet again that the First Order is bearing down on the Colossus and is an ever-present threat in the minds of Doza and Yeager – they could literally arrive at any time. We didn’t get much of the First Order in this episode, but we got enough to remember that they’re a real threat. I hope we’ll pick up a bigger focus on them soon, but I really enjoyed this week’s episode.
My grade: 9.1/10