SPOILERS Colossus Communiques: Star Wars Resistance: The First Order Occupation Review
The ability to convey stakes without much direct physical danger to be present is one of Resistance’s greatest strength, and The First Order Occupation is perhaps the finest example of this. The episode is essentially a series of chases as Kaz tries to navigate through the First Order security in order to find Synara and then get her to safety.
The previous episode had set up that Kaz is on to the fact that Synara is the pirate spy, and right away we are seeing that thread come to fruition. Mere days after the First Order has settled a small security force, the station is already beginning to change - giving us a fantastic look into how the common folk really view the First Order.
We see some treat them with joy, others with annoyance over them getting in their way, and still those like Tam who insist that they are “just doing their job”. The threat of the First Order hits so close to home for many of us as they are not showing up guns ablazing, but rather are supported in their oppression of others by a hand-wave and a mumble of something about security. That is much more terrifying for those of us that are in our 20s and younger than the Empire is.
Nothing the First Order does is particularly out-of-bounds, so they’re "just imposing the curfew, or just doing a routine stop and frisk, and so on and so on. The brief scene we get of Doza shows his lack of moral fiber though this subject, with his complaint to Pyre being more that his own personal sense of control is lost, than that his citizens freedoms are being trampled.
As for the main plot of the episode, the constant chasing around and same reused corridor could so easily be tiring, but it never does. This is mostly owing to the fact that we really get to see Kaz, BB, Neeku, and Synara innovate as the episode continues; with there being a lot of room for characterization to be conveyed through their individual actions. No speeches, or telegraphed themes, just very natural character reactions to a present danger.
Synara is off the Colossus by the end of the episode, with only Neeku really being let in on what is going on with Kaz. The First Order knows Synara is the spy now, but they are unaware of Kaz;s involvement beyond them both being involved in Torra’s rescue.
It is doubtful this is the last we will see of Synara this season, but this was still an effective way to write her out of the main cast. She was brought onto the station by Kaz’s blind faith in people and seeming lack of responsibility, and she leaves the show with Kaz’s faith tested and mostly proven, but with him wholly taking responsibility for his actions. Kaz is vindicated that Synara is a good person more or less, but he is also shown that even good people can willfully do bad, or, like Tam, be oblivious to the suffering of others.
The First Order occupation was written by duo Chris Wyatt and Kevin Burke, who continue their trend from Triple Dark and Platform Classic, with another episode showcasing Kaz’s empathy in spite of dealing with very flawed people. He is not one to ignore wrongdoing, but he is still always trying to see the best in others. The director was once again Bosco Ng who by now I should expect to be behind any episode that blows me away visually.
Resistance is moving closer and closer to zero hour, and The First Order Occupation provides another great look at a singular event that will push the station close and close into the hands of the First Order. I did not go into it, but Neeku and Yeager both factor into this story, with them taking more direct roles in Kaz’s dealings with the FO. Neeku liking them but helping Kaz help Synara, and Yeager hating them, but telling Kaz to lie low for the mission’s sake.