This Star Wars: Resistance review contains spoilers.
Star Wars: Resistance Episode 3
Kazuda is a pilot! Kazuda is a mechanic! Kazuda is a spy! At some level, Star Wars Resistance is about a kid who has no idea what to do in his life. With a distant, scolding father, and a bunch of strangers ordering him around, I can understand why Kazuda throws himself into spycraft role–since the only person who showed him any real faith was Poe. Deep down, he believes he’s a pilot. In practice, he is a terrible mechanic. Might as well try to find the First Order, right?
A story of a young person thrown among an assortment of gigs seem like a good thematic idea on paper: butting up against what people want him to do versus what he wants to do (because, you see, “Resistance” has more than one meaning). On the screen? “The Triple Dark” is too eager to go for broad, goofy jokes. (And also, “The Triple Dark” as a title has more than one meaning, too!)
I’m not opposed to the humor. Star Wars can, and should be, funny! But at times the show leans too hard on the jokeness of its joke, spending a bit too much time setting them up and laying them out. The episode doesn’t get going until he confronts Greval (the small, big-headed, purple alien that seems to be a crime boss of some sort), but that ends up being an elaborate chase-scene gag; the episode really doesn’t get going until the pirates arrive. But until then, we have to deal with Neeku being electrocuted like cartoon character, Kazuda sneaking around the Colossus market like Elmer Fudd hunting for Bugs Bunny, and Kazuda being chased by Greval and his goons as if this was an episode of Animaniacs.
The animation kind of supports these broad visual gags, with classic cartoon rules in play: eyes pop open larger than possible, squash-and-stretch mechanics are visible when characters are surprised, and Christopher Sean goes broad with his line reads when reacting to everyone and everything around him. I’m not sure if those types of cartoonish gags work for something like Star Wars, where things like ironic juxtapositions, smarmy characters, and snappy dialogue function much better, humor-wise, than wacky, physical comedy.
The bigger concern though is, much like the first episode, Kazuda is still all over the place as a character. I’m willing to watch Kazuda be clumsy and terrible at being both a mechanic and a spy, but there’s making mistakes, and then there’s being an idiot. His poor, distracted attempts at sussing out First Order spies leads to Neeku getting shocked and him being chased by Greval, but it’s all not the result of him genuinely trying and failing, it’s just the writers forcing him to act silly to make conflict and comedy happen.
Kazuda is less conflicted and more… dumb, and it makes for a frustrating watch. Especially when, at the end, he shows some real wit and bravery! Realizing Hallion is a spy; he grabs the pirate spy’s dropped communicator and uses some loud feedback to disrupt a pirate attack. Yet later, he arrogantly tries to show that he fixed up the Fireball, but he doesn’t, and I’m confused why suddenly he thinks he’s good at fixing things (when repeatedly during the episode he admits he’s no mechanic), and why he’s doing it in a conceited way. I like that he admits to Jaeger he has a lot to learn but I’m lost to how the episodes tracks him to this point.
Some of the bigger ideas here fair slightly better. I sort of liked that people on the Colossus don’t seem to care too much about the pirate attack and that there are spies for them. The causal way that stranger describes Triple Dark storms to Kazuda, and how Jaeger ignores Kazuda’s revelations of what he learned seem to suggest this, but it’s unclear if such attacks are just part of the normality on the base. (I get no one caring about the Resistance or the First Order, but not caring about pirate attacks seem really odd, but I suppose that will be more relevant later, as its revealed the pirates are working with said First Order).
Kazuda admiring the Aces in action gets to his desire to be a pilot, but I kind of wish that the episode never cut to those pilots in action–keeping everything at Kazuda’s point of view showcases the breadth of what his ambitions are aiming for, and how far he has to go. A lot of that is symbolically represented in that lucky trophy he carries around, which, at a crucial point, is crushed–but not destroyed. Ironically enough, that’s also a reflection of how I feel about this show so far.
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