In appreciation of Star Wars Resistance

A year ago today, Star Wars Resistance came to an end.

It feels like a lot longer than that, but that’s probably because of how much our world has changed in the time since then, as well as how much Star Wars content we’ve gotten in the past year. The seventh and final season of The Clone Wars premiered last spring, and then the second season of The Mandalorian dropped last fall. Once that wrapped up, Star Wars fans turned their attention to The High Republic publishing project, as well as the excitement about more than ten new Star Wars shows coming within the next few years!

But with all of that, Resistance got buried – like it seemingly did during its brief two year run. And that’s a shame.

No, it’s not The Clone Wars or Rebels, both of which emerged not just as successful TV shows in their own right but also as some of the best Star Wars content ever created – but maybe part of that is that Resistance didn’t last half as long as those other shows. It ran for just two seasons, spanning forty episodes, and that made it feel like little more than a segue in-between animated projects.

Created by Dave Filoni and run by Athena Portillo, Justin Ridge, and Brandon Auman, the show focused on a young pilot named Kazuda Xiono. He flies with the New Republic Defense Fleet but is recruited by the Resistance for a top-secret spy mission aboard the Colossus, a station located on the remote water world of Castilon. Along the way he befriends Jarek Yeager (a former Rebel pilot now running a mechanic shop), Tam Ryvora (an aspiring pilot working for Yeager), Neeku Vozo (an innocent and kind-hearted mechanic for Yeager), Torra Doza (an ace pilot and the daughter of the station’s captain), BB-8 and CB-23 (Resistance droids), Poe Dameron (yes, that Poe Dameron), and many more. Kaz and the crew stumble upon the rising threat of the First Order, and it results in a number of tense moments, close calls, and fighting.

The show began very strongly, finding its footing rather quickly. The first season was relatively self-contained, focusing on the events on the Colossus and on these select main characters, but the second season blew things open by revealing that the Colossus was not just a station but was a spaceship. Traveling the galaxy, the crew wound up working with the Resistance and fighting the First Order, getting involved in a larger galactic fight that much of the galaxy nonetheless didn’t know about.

As such, Resistance didn’t feature too many huge, galaxy-shattering reveals (though there were a few important ones) but rather focused in on its characters, and that made it all the stronger. In particular, Yeager and Tam stood out to me as especially compelling characters who received a lot of attention and nuance as things went on. But at its heart, this is a show about people wanting to do good and fight evil, and trying to figure out how best to do that. They might not be the best or most qualified at it, but so long as there are good people in the galaxy willing to stand for what’s right, there’s always hope, and the light will always prevail. This show drove that home.

It also, particularly in the second season, dealt with themes of family and forgiveness, on facing the consequences of one’s actions and yet not allowing that to determine one’s future moving forward. Kaz, Yeager, and Tam all have to deal with this, and in the end, they recognize that their family – the crew of Yeager’s shop – is what truly matters, and that’s what is worth fighting for.

In these ways, the show provides a living example of the words of Rose Tico that might as well sum up the Resistance: “That’s how we’re gonna win. Not by fighting what we hate, but saving what we love.”

Resistance never garnered the following that other Star Wars shows did, nor did it reach the stunning heights that others have, but it is far more overlooked and underrated amongst Star Wars fans. It’s a fun, enjoyable, and heartwarming story that is worth remembering and celebrating on this one-year anniversary.

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