SPOILERS Colossus Communiques Star Wars Resistance: No Escape Part 1 Review

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Resistance sure knows how to hammer in the emotions in order to break your heart doesn’t it? No Escape part 1 is full of great gags, and solid actions; all with the goal of tearing to shreds all of that confidence both Kaz and the audience have built up.

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Right away Doza loses his cool again and ends up getting arrested after 4D and him try to fight off Pyre’s men. Doza is a hotheaded fool, and I really like that. You have to buy that this person would sell everyone’s freedoms to the First Order, and thus having his ego and need to be in control eclipse everything sells that idea perfectly.

Captain Doza could so easily have been the guy on the inside, but he ruined all of that to yell at Pyre over something that had already essentially happened again and again. When there was a chance to do something he instead let to First Order in, and now postures about contacting the New Republic once it is now more advantageous for him to get them to help. Before he was worried about his illegal dealings, and so he only wants the help when those consequences will be better than being controlled by the First Order. Doza is such an uncomfortably real authoritarian and enabler.

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Meanwhile those willing to fight for more than their own skin are discussing how to save the station. Yet again this show does tactics discussions really well, in this case it is not even so much a battle plan, as what they should do for the others on the station. Kaz, Eila, and Kel agree that they cannot help everyone and thus their best hope is getting Republic reinforcements. Thus begins the slow and sad process of seeing Kaz’s faith in the Republic being able to save them keep him going.

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One of the main goals of this episode seems to be to establish Kaz’s confidence and drive. We saw his growing skill throughout the season, and lat episode in particular; however the final step in that is to have Kaz be secure in his abilities and have faith in his mission. He takes control and goes back up to the tower, and even when chased back by aqua-troopers, he seems completely in control and not panicky like he would be previously.

Neeku and the kids spend most of the episode managing the controls from the lower levels, which gives Neeku the chance for some great gags as he tries to figure out the controls. Proving how good of a director he is, Steward Lee uses this gag of Neeku messing up, to show Kaz adapt to all the differing mistakes and confusion.

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Kax’s ideas don’t always work, but that is not the point. The intention is to showcase Kaz adapting in the moment and not breaking under literal pressure. The underwater fight in the corridor not only looks beautiful, but also offers a chance to showcase the setting’s ability to make the exact same location diverse. The corridor is the same one that we have seen time and time again, but with the simple change of it being underwater, it feels totally different and provides a unique setting for an action scene.

Serving as comic relief and facilitating Kaz’s development is not Neeku’s only role however, as he and the kids find that the Colossus has a class 2 hyperdrive. Star Wars Explained called it. The potential for the Colossus to serve as a mobile Resistance base moving forward is just awesome.

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The episode is not all forward momentum though, it takes a break to show how some of our supporting cast out dealing with the occupation. Kaz finds Flix and Orka, along with Bitey and GL-N hiding out in a crate waiting to be shipped off world to safety. As always the two are incredibly endearing, asking Kaz if he wants to get in with them and wait to be shipped offworld. And when it comes to waiting in a crate in a station that is underwater, or going with Kaz to fight the First Order, they politely choose to get back in their crate. Its these little excursions that tie everything together.

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Torra enters the plot after having sent Buggles to find Kaz. Her plan is to save Yeager and her father, but not before CB gets to utterly wreck and coldly murder the First Order BB unit that has been hanging around. It feels like preemptive revenge upon BB-9E from The Last Jedi.

Before I get to the ending I need to talk about Tam’s arc, her move towards the First Order is progressing faster and faster with her now being flat out offered the chance to join. Tierny reveals that Yeager confessed that he was the one spying and that he just dragged Kaz into all of this. Tam rightly understands that Yeager is lying, but that frankly makes things almost worse for her; it means that Yeager let Kaz convince him to put everyone else at risk.

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Yeager being secretly a spy would perhaps be less hurtful, than the idea that Yeager would lie to her based on the proposition of someone he does not even know, working for a faction he is not even part of. When Tam gets a brief chance to confront Yeager she goes off on him about this, and his only response is that she is being manipulated. While he is correct, this is certainly not what Tam wants to hear; another excuse that she just “wouldn’t understand”.

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Much as Yeager cares about Neeku and Tam, he still has a tendency to shelter them. Even now he does not fully understand why Tam is upset and feels betrayed. The First Order may be trying to steer her to their side, but everything they are saying is true, and more than that, Yeager and Kaz defend themselves by ignoring the fact that Tam is growing more and more resentful of being left behind and stuck on the ground. Her ambition to fly is reminding me of Han quite a bit, not wanting to be a hero like Luke and Rey did, but just wanting to be free of her life and enjoy piloting.

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All things must come back to the flashpoint event our characters are unknowingly a part of: the destruction of the New Republic. We knew it was coming due to the trailer, but man was I not emotionally prepared for this. Kaz and Torra see Hux’s speech, but keep moving thinking it is just posturing, only to look back when Kaz hears the end of the speech.

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The entire scene is almost entirely just Kaz’s facial expressions and a few lines, which are easily Christopher Sean’s finest moments thus far, which is saying a lot. The destruction of Hosnian felt rushed, poorly done, emotional exploitative, ripped off, and just empty in The Force Awakens; but Resistance even without having shown us the place has made it feel real, and made the tragedy cut deep.

Instead of following up with a fun action scene and Poe returning like TFA did, Resistance allows the moment to sink in for Kaz as he can barely even comprehend what just happened emotionally. He had had faith in the Republic as his savior this entire time, he saw his job in the Resistance as serving to help his beloved Republic. He called the New Republic the only world he has ever known when we first met him. Here he is now, a spy, a hero, important, confident, and utterly alone with the very thing he was fighting for; HIS home, gone in a moment.

Brandon Auman’s writing for this episode accomplished so much with so few lines, and as I said before, Steward Lee’s directing managed to conjure up more emotions than TFA did, or A New Hope did for Alderaan. That is the advantage of having a show, but also of focusing on a more personal story. Resistance has a larger goal, but at the end of the day the show’s plot can stop and let something like this sink in completely as we are not in front-line of the action..

All that is left to say is that I am eager to see how all of this finishes, and want nothing more than to give Kaz a hug. He better reunite with Poe and BB-8 by the end of the season, he needs that; hell I need that.

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