Star Wars Resistance Episode 11 Review: Station Theta Black

Star Wars Resistance provides an exciting if perfunctory action-filled episode, but it does give more nuance to its “Resistance” name.

This Star Wars Resistance review contains spoilers.

Star Wars Resistance Episode 11

At this point in Star Wars Resistance’s run, I’m actually trying to understand what, exactly, this show is supposed to be about. Is it about a naive young adult struggling to find his calling in this new universe? Is it about this large, strange base and its diverse inhabitants and environments? Is it an allegory about the haves and have-nots, with the Aces as the haves and… everyone else as the have-nots? Or is it about the rise of the First Order and the fallout of a world that failed to pay much attention it? I think it wants to be about all these things, but Resistance is way too scattered and age-appropriately focus-grouped to handle a lot of those ideas with any weight or insight.

That wouldn’t be too much of an issue if Resistance was singularly entertaining, and to certain extent, the show knows this. And while the jury is still out on that point (I was leaning yes but now, I’m not so sure), “Station Theta Black” is solely focused on being an action romp, with shoot-outs, wild stunts, foot chases, aerial chases, and explosions. It is a fun episode, although it’s a little too basic, which kind of leaves me with little to discuss.

Except for the intro, which… well, one of the things you kind of have to accept with Star Wars shows is that inciting incidents are usually always filled with random sci-fi technological terminology, which would be fine if they took the time to establish their logical importance or narrative stakes. 

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Several episodes this season began with vague ship parts being broken or missing, with Kazuda needing to find them, and it’s just hard to engage in any of that because all of it has the same tone/rhythms/responses, for lack of better words. Tam gets angry, Kazuda screws up, Neeku is unconcerned, Yeager becomes stoically annoyed. In “Station Theta Black,” it’s more of the same, but kind of worse, since I find it hard to believe that Yeager would just let Kazuda fly off in a ship that’s still being repaired and not know it’s missing its “stabilizers.” It’s a weak way to create tension in the cold opening, and, it’s not even necessary.

But Kazuda finds himself back with the Resistance, and with Poe again, and Oscar Isaac returns to voice the pilot as he and Kazuda head to an abandoned First Order base called Station Theta Black. Unlike “Signal From Sector Six,” which at least provided somewhat of an oppressive and suspenseful atmosphere (before the lame monkey creatures turned it into slapstick), “Station Theta Black” doesn’t even try for that. It’s just an empty base with no sense of tension. A singular droid is the main danger, but they take it out over the course of a commercial break. 

There’s a lot of back and forth between Kazuda and Poe, which I think is supposed to suggest a budding camaraderie between them, but it never congeals; to this day, I can’t figure out what the heck Poe sees in Kazuda to be bringing him along on all these missions. I get the sense that this is Disney-mandated; a forced attempt to connect this show directly to the new trilogy without the actual showrunners really buying into it.

As for the rest of the episode, it’s pretty run by numbers, although those are fine numbers. The First Order arrives when an alarm is tripped. Poe and Kazuda investigate further and find out the base was for mining a particular mineral for blasters–a lot of them. A fairly tense (if not exemplary) action sequence unfolds as the two run away from First Order soldiers. (Admittedly a nifty moment occurs when Kazuda uses a crane to destroy a catwalk). Back on their ships, another cool if perfunctory space battle occurs. And then the two escape in the nick of time as the base, which was scheduled to be destroyed, finally explodes. (Kazuda uses an asteroid as a shield but… what suggests that the asteroid was study enough to survive the blast?)

Kazuda and Poe present their findings to Leia Organa, and there’s a bittersweet tinge here, simply due to the reminder that the great Carrie Fisher is gone. Also, there’s a sort of real world parallel, in which the three discuss the concept of a growing radical group that has been acquiring weapons, and the struggle in convincing the rest of the universe that they indeed are a real threat. 

Star Wars has always had a semi-loose grip on real-world issues (yes, even the prequels), so I admire that Resistance is starting to touch upon them. The term “Resistance” is an important phrase these days, and even though the show only seems to be spending a scant amount of time on the topic, it does seem aware of its connection to our reality. That alone gives “Station Theta Black” a bit of a grade bump, even though everything else is simply straightforward and generic.

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Rating:

3 out of 5