Star Wars Resistance Episode 21 Review: No Escape Part 2

Star Wars Resistance Season 1 comes to a close with a lot of fun action, although it never quite amounts to anything more.

Star Wars Resistance Episode 21 No Escape Part 2

This Star Wars Resistance review contains spoilers.

Star Wars Resistance Episode 21

And so it goes: the first season finale of Star Wars Resistance ends with an admittedly pretty outlandish and audacious moment: the entire Colossus warping at light-speed to an unknown part of the galaxy. I forgot to mention this last week: yes, the Colossus is not just a base but an actual ship, and one of the reasons I forgot to mention that is because the episode didn’t make it seem like a big deal. 

Seeing that revelation applied here is weirdly underwhelming as well. I think the issue is that the third act, which usually excels in showcasing awe-inspiring moments, focused too much on the aerial battle (which was good, to be fair) and not on the signature experience of an entire base – the home of which appears to be thousands of people – blasting out of the water, into space, and then rocketing off into the great beyond. What do the rest of the citizens think about this? Why are so few people shocked by this? The scale of this event –both literally and figuratively–feels undercooked.

Backing up a bit: “No Escape, part 2” follows the moment in which Kaz watched the First Order destroy his home. Space is provided for the weight of that moment to hit: the episode provides Kaz two moments of melancholic reflection. Not as much as I would like, but it’s there, and it feels proper enough for a solid motivator for Kaz’s new-found call to action. 

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Speculating here a second, but what if the show spent one episode charting Kaz’s grief, leading to said new found call to action instead? It would much better explain his turn to inspirational leader. What then follows is a kind of silly if effective plan: distract the various Stormtroopers while flooding the hallways to flush them out. It works, but it’s also kinda clunky handled, if only because it’s weirdly structured, too easily accomplished, and never escalates in difficulty. In the end, it all just works out.

further Reading: How Star Wars Resistance Tells Unique Stories

What doesn’t work out is Kaz’s and Yeager’s attempts to convince Tam to stay with them. After Kaz and Torra rescue Yeager and Captain Doza from prison, Kaz and Yeager run into Tam just as she’s about to blast off with Tierny to whatever First Order base is out there. A rough back and forth occurs among the three, and it’s a pretty weak attempt by Kaz and Yeager to be honest. It’s hard to tell if its because Kaz and Yeager are just bad motivational speakers who struggle with honesty (which is plausible) or if it’s just clunky writing. I doubt it’s the former, though. 

There’s just something off about how Kaz and Yeager apologize that sounds insincere, and neither one even tries to explain why they lied to her all this time, but it doesn’t click visually/narratively that they’re just bad at it. Also, Tam’s angered response is justified but also somewhat forced. She claims that Yeager was “like a father to her,” but, cliche aside, at no point during the entire season do Tam and Yeager connect in a sibling/parent way. It’s a pretty standoffish if respectable, professional relationship. So when Tam does join Tierny on that ship, it’s not only predictable (if a narratively bold choice), but lacks the emotional impact it should.

And there’s the final fight, which is, as I mentioned at the beginning, a lot of fun, and filled with a lot of nice surprises, but just never quite reaches the heights of the show’s best third-act work. I don’t think it’s a matter of there being too much going on, per se: the Colossus rises into the sky, the Aces are busted out of prison and immediately get back into their ships to defend the base, Hype and Aunt Z arrive in a new ship with guns blazing, the pirates arrive to help out, Kaz performs a neat aerial trick to save Yeager from a First Trooper ship. 

It’s more of a matter of each “cool” moment lacking the requisite time to make those cool moments worth it. There are no awestruck public reactions to the Colossus blasting off into space. We never learned about three of the five aces so they just vaguely shoot bad guys in the background. Hype and Aunt Z’s return is welcome, but they kind of get lost in the fray. The pirates return is cool, too, and it’s great to see Synara taking control, but again, after a few shots, we never hear from her or them again. 

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And Kaz flying through a tight area of the Colossus to save Yeager is neat, but it’s hard to gauge how hard it was to actually do, and therefore, even more difficult to determine if he deserves Yeager’s “great pilot” accolade. There are a lot nifty moments, but nothing awe-inspiring or memorable.

That’s the overall experience of this first season of Star Wars Resistance in a nutshell: lots of nifty, strong moments, but mostly average to middling entertainment. As Kaz and the crew, minus Tam, blast off into the great galactic unknown, there’s sure to be some really interesting creative choices to be had in its already-confirmed second season. I don’t know what to expect, and to be honest I’m not exactly excited about it, but there’s enough mysterious potential here that will bring me back.

Keep up with Star Wars Resistance news and reviews here.

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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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Rating:

2.5 out of 5