Star Wars Resistance Episode 19 Review: Descent

An engaging, if imperfect, Star Wars Resistance raises the stakes with brisk action, low-key revelations, and one heck of a third act.

This Star Wars Resistance episode contains spoilers.

Star Wars Resistance Episode 19

When I saw that this week’s episode was titled “Descent,” I thought it would be about how Yaeger, Neeku, and Kaz had to run down further and further into the depths of the Colossus while being pursued by the First Order. I didn’t expect it to be about the literal descent of the entire Colossus.

Yes, the full, crazy-even-by-Star-Wars-standards plan to lower the entire base into the ocean so they can “swim” to the top of the tower to disable the communication jammer is, to use the cliche, indeed crazy enough to work. For all of my opinions and thoughts on Resistance as a show so far, it definitely needs to start embracing these kinds of more outlandish ideas. Kaz himself is kind of a ridiculous character, so why not make the show more ridiculous? (It would help to sell some of the humor, too).

“Descent” is about revelations, about characters confronted with weird, startling, unbelievable truths and dealing with the consequences of learning them. Or… it tries to be. Bucket manages to cause a smoke-filled distraction so the Fireball crew can escape the First Order, and as they slink around the grates under the floors, Kaz finally tells Neeku he’s a spy.

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Neeku can’t believe it and in fact thinks he’s joking. He doesn’t grasp the truth until the end of the episode, which fits his character just fine, but also adds to the frustration about him. It’s hard to grasp him as anything other that an odd joke machine more so than as an odd character; that is, we don’t really get a moment for him to take in this new knowledge. He can’t believe it, then a “joke” happens, and then suddenly he can. There’s nothing really to take from this.

further Reading: How Star Wars Resistance Tells Unique Stories

Tam, on the other hand, is more interesting, and can’t help but see the entire thing as a wild misunderstanding, giving herself up so she can attempt to explain all the confusion. I’m less frustrated with Tam. Her approach is way more understandable since no one told her the truth, and she believes that deep down, the First Order are a net good.

So after a bit of roughing up, here comes Tierny, a First Order leader that provides Tam her take on the truth about Kaz, along with the kind of easygoing, comforting, and very manipulative attention that always masks ill intentions. With this information coming from her, we can expect some fireworks between Tam and Kaz/Yeager within the final two episodes of the season (and maybe she’ll even join them?). Still, it’s disappointing that we don’t see any of Tam after Tierny shows her Kaz’s New Republic service record, so that fallout is still up in the air.

The overall episode is fine because it moves at a brisk pace, with little filler or overplayed gags to pad for time. There’s enough tension in watching Kaz, Neeku, and Yeager dodging and avoiding Stormtroopers, and Kel and Elia saving them, with the help of the Chelidae, is a nice touch for the midpoint. Tierny is yet another Star Wars character that arrives and seems dangerously ominous, but so far she hasn’t done much but suspiciously get Tam on her side.

The sinking of The Colossus is very cool though, the show returning to their third act, high-octane set pieces, which have been missing for a while. And while Kaz and Yeager manage to indeed get a message out to the Resistance concerning the encroaching power of the First Order, Yeager gets captured, leaving Kaz and Neeku the remaining free “fighters” on the base. And then, worse news arrives: the Resistance can’t spare any of their soldiers to help them. (But there’s “promising” news: the pirates, including Synara, intercept the message.)

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Kaz never struck me as an inspirational leader type. His whole “spy power” is being almost too silly to be taken seriously. So Kaz giving determined, rousing speeches about taking back the Colossus (a place he doesn’t even really love) and fighting the First Order seem both out of character and uninspiring. Still, with two episodes left this season, Star Wars Resistance turning the corner and embracing that battling, aggressive spirit for its endgame is the right call, even if it has to completely redefine characters to get to that point.

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Kevin Johnson is a writer who loves cartoons and animation. He has written for The AVClub and Topless Robot, and has more content at his own blog here. You can also follow him on Twitter.

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3.5 out of 5