Preemptive opinions of Star Wars Resistance have been flooding the inter-web. Is the series as bad and ugly as “they” say — or does it deliver on what fans have come to expect from Dave Filoni and Star Wars animation?
Created by Filoni, Star Wars Resistance is following the same path Star Wars Rebels did under the Disney and Lucasfilm banner. Filoni, however, isn’t flying the ship this time. Instead, the series is directed by Amy Beth Christenson and includes Athena Portillo, Justin Ridge, and Brandon Auman as Executive Producers.
Like Star Wars Rebels, the “Disney” influence is scattered throughout Resistance. Not that it’s a bad thing. The story follows the lead protagonist Kazuda Xiono (Christopher Sean), a pilot with big dreams. Son of a wealthy Senator in the New Republic, Kaz serves in the New Republic military. That is until he stumbles into Poe Dameron. Call it the Force, or classic Star Wars writing, Kaz quickly finds himself working with the Resistance as they try to uncover a spy feeding the First Order information.
Star Wars Resistance follows a story much like Luke’s, without Force abilities. Kaz is young, adventurous, and dare we say — cocky? Don’t get the wrong idea, Kaz isn’t Luke, it’s his path towards being something more than a nobody which is similar. And to be honest, it’s the best part about Star Wars Resistance. Not that the series doesn’t have a few issues.
But it’s Star Wars, and that’s what sucks you in.
Minor Spoilers Ahead! Proceed with caution.
Before diving too deep into Star Wars Resistance, it needs to be clarified that this is a Disney Channel animated show. So, if you’re not a fan of Disney, their humor, and style of art — Resistance likely won’t be a show worth investing time in. However, anyone who is a fan of the parks and Disney’s overall body of work will find this new Star Wars animated series intriguing. Heck, even my 19-year-old son got sucked into the hour opening of “The Recruit.” And he’s more into dark-fantasy anime than watching something on the Disney Channel.
The Good Parts Of Star Wars Resistance
The opening of Resistance dives right in without having to explain much. While some might find this jarring, it allows the writers and the plot to move quickly from space to the Colossus. The events taking place draw from information fans already know, thanks to The Force Awakens. It also allowed the series to introduce two already established characters in the new trilogy (Poe and General Organa). The approach proved effective, moving Kaz from the military to Colossus quickly and efficiently.
The art style of Star Wars Resistance contains tones and lines which resemble Japanese animation, but the artwork is primarily Western. It is, however, a nice change of pace following Rebels. To put it bluntly, the overall animation look is unique. Neither good nor bad, it has moments of stunning beauty followed by times when it looks like it drawn up for a toddler’s book. The racing on Colossus contains the best moments in “The Recruit”, while the X-Wings and TIE fighters in space looked a tad off.
Colossus, the spaceship-like truck stop in the middle of nowhere, is really a giant racing station. Which might end up being my favorite part of the series. It’s got the classic cantina, albeit “Disney style”, and always has a wide variety of species coming and going. I found the Colossus interesting and am curious to see how the series continues to develop it moving forward.
Character-wise, there isn’t much depth explored in “The Recruit,” except for Kaz. Not that there’s much time in an hour opening. Instead, the episode solely focuses on Kaz while introducing various characters here and there. Some might find this alarming, but after watching how Filoni did the same with Ezra in Rebels, I’m not overly concerned.
The Not-So-Good Parts Of Star Wars Resistance
The story within Star Wars Resistance has A New Hope feel to it. Sadly, it also suffers in the dialog department as the Prequels did. The interactions between characters come off forced and choppy. This stems from too much information being shoved into the first two episodes. Unlike typical anime style shows, Resistance might have come out of the gate swinging a tad too hard.
But now that “The Recruit” is out of the way, the show will likely settle in for a smoother pace, focusing on various characters while continuing to move Kaz’s arc forward. Hopefully, the dialog also improves.
Despite there being an abundance of new and old characters shoved into the “The Recruit,” very little is revealed regarding the First Order. We learn the information Kaz retrieved states the First Order is planning a large-scale attack against the Republic. Or, as most Star Wars fans know, the events of The Force Awakens. The final scene of “The Recruit” does reveal Starkiller base, along with several Star Destroyers circling it. It’s impressive, and dare I say, slightly nostalgic. Hopefully, the series will develop more upon the First Order, instead of making them a typical generic style villain.
Another flaw in “The Recruit” is the lack of attention given to various new characters. Jarek Yeager (Scott Lawrence) and Neeku Vozo (Josh Brener) are the only ones to have more than a handful of lines. Torra Doza (Myrna Velasco) makes an appearance near the end, however, only her abundantly bubbly personality and skills as a pilot are revealed. The other characters failed to leave a lasting impression, likely because they’ll only play minor roles throughout the series.
Overall Rating for The Recruit
Animation gets a 4 out of 5.
Story lands a solid 4.5 out of 5.
Direction, for now, is a 4 out of 5
Voice talent is also a 4 out of 5
Giving “The Recruit” a solid 4 out of 5.
Did you enjoy Star Wars Resistance? Let us know in the comments below!
The next episode of Star Wars Resistance, “The Triple Dark,” airs October 14th. “May the Force be with you, always.”