This Star Wars Resistance review contains spoilers.
Star Wars Resistance Episode 12
Star Wars Resistance is back, and with the news of the show’s renewal, it’s probably a good idea to try and reassess where the show is, and attempt to get a general idea of where it’s going. “Bibo” in a lot of ways does that. It provides a simple, almost-inane inciting incident that allows the show to pop in with the various characters that have been introduced so far. Star Wars Resistance kind of has the vibe of being an ensemble show, of sorts. While it’s missing a more distinct sense of place (Colossus still feels vaguely defined besides have a “top” and a “bottom”), there are enough characters of various alignments that could tilt the show in unique directions.
Synara recovers a ship from salvage, but inside it is a small, cute creature that eats everything and anything, and smells terrible. Everyone hates it–except for Neeku, who takes a shine to the creature and names it Bibo. It’s immediately clear that this isn’t enough for an episode, and there’s the deep worry that a lot of filler would be spent running around chasing this chaotic pest while Neeku frets and dotes over it. The first third of the episode is mostly that. Yet there is a more admirable attempt to wring some character development from the situation; that it fails for the most part is disappointing, but they try.
For example: how does “Bibo” explain Neeku’s sudden and deep relationship with Bibo? He makes an errant comment that Bibo reminds him of a pet he had when he was a hatchling, but the episode never goes beyond that comment to thread the emotional needle. Neeku is inherently a sensitive character, but the kind of compulsion he shows towards the creature needs more context, especially when he’s 100 percent willing to quit his job (and later, take on an entire mob) instead of simply parting with it.
There are a lot of interesting threads here, such as both Neeku and Tam mentioning to Yeager how Neeku never asks for anything from his boss, and the fairly empathetic concern that Kaz and Tam (and eventually Yaeger) shows Neeku during his distraught time. There’s a lot of history that needs to be explained, particularly about Neeku’s past and how he perched himself onto Colossus and in Yeager’s employ, but it never arrives.
The second, perhaps more interesting, development is the maybe-relationship that seems to be occurring between Kazuda and Synara. Synara is still secretly a spy for the pirates, but the events in “Synara’s Score” suggest that her sympathies may be shifting. I’ll give the show credit: it underplays the dynamics Kaz and Synara have with each other, like it did with Torra Doza back in “Secrets and Holograms,” focusing on goofy, clumsy interplay instead of the usual “crush” tropes. It’s cute, and it doesn’t feel forced, even if the narrative around them usually does. Synara is still clearly fishing for information about the Resistance pilots that saved her back in “Signal from Sector Six,” but there’s enough subtext to muddle whether her behavior is manipulative or sincere.
But Kaz and Synara run into a sea monster! It’s approaching Colossus, and Kaz and Synara try to warn the citizens of the base of its approaching dangers. But it’s too late. Weirdly enough, when Tam and Neeku head to engineering to speak with the Chelidae to track down a runaway Bibo, the two children that were saved in “The Children of Tehar” are also present, warning everyone about the upcoming dangers.
If you noticed that I’ve been name dropping a heck of lot of past episodes, it’s because there are a lot of established characters that appear–again, all for what feels to be the show’s attempt in summarizing who folks are and “where” they’re all situated. Even Jace Rucklin, the punk from “Fuel for the Fire,” makes a one sentence appearance!
Beyond that, though, it’s a pretty obvious conclusion. The sea monster attacks the base and while the Ace pilots (and Kaz, for some reason) fly off to attack the beast, it’s ultimately subdued when Neeku realizes that Bibo is the creature’s child. Handing him back to the beast curtails its anger and sends it back into the depths, and while the episode plays the moment emotionally, it’s unearned since, again, the episode never provides the basis for Neeku’s emotional attachment.
The reactions from all the surrounding characters feel a lot more substantial though, a nice bit of rallying behind a character who’s optimism, dedication, and warm innocence deserves some support. Star Wars Resistance still struggles to prop up its characters with histories and/or dimensions, but it understands them in the now, and hasn’t forgotten about them. Which is something.