This Star Wars Resistance review contains spoilers.
Star Wars Resistance Episode 7
“Signal from Sector Six” is a odd, aloof episode of Star Wars Resistance–a weird and tangential excursion into an unknown spaceship for what largely amounts to an excuse to introduce a new character. It’s also primarily meant to bring back Oscar Isaac’s Poe for an extended cameo, to solidify and justify its connection to the newest iteration of Star Wars, but that may have been the wrong move.
For one thing, even though Isaac did a passable job in the pilot with his hands-off mentoring role, putting him in a situation where the actor needs to push more personality and emotions into the character by only his voice clearly shows one of his limitations. And taking us away from The Colossus, after the very welcome snippets of information and development about that base, feels like an attempt to change the scenery, but the bland, barely-tense thrills on this ship only makes you miss the sprawling, absurdly layered complexity of The Colossus, especially we still don’t know much about it.
The setup for this wasn’t all that well handled, either. Yaeger forces Kazuda to wake up early for mysterious reasons, but really it’s so he can meet with Poe several miles away from The Colossus. The claim is that needed to be done so Kazuda can update Poe on his spy work, but what’s weird is that just in the previous episode, Kazuda already updated the Resistance, about the First Order and their nebulous plans for The Colossus. Why reiterate to Poe all the same information, with nothing new?
I think the intention was to show Poe “checking” up on Kazuda, like a father figure whose a lot more attentive that his actual father. But it feels odd for Poe to be this attentive to Kazuda, especially with the whole other Resistance out there (unless Resistance pulls some nonsense like the two are related somehow). I suppose it’s nice to see Poe let Kazuda fly around a bit, and to actually teach him a thing or two. Unless Poe is recurring, though, this feels superfluous; Poe may have given Kazuda a job (and therefore, some direction in life), but this relationship doesn’t strike me as something that the show can develop any further or deeper.
During their aerial hang-out sesh, they pick up a distress signal from a nearby ship. Always ready to help those in need, Poe and Kazuda head off to check it out. I’ll take this moment to say that one thing that Star Wars should try to do more often is something akin to a space horror/thriller.
Dead Space allusions aside, the few times any Star Wars commodity dabbled in this genre tend to be quite impressive: the Geonosis arc from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, particularly the episodes “Legacy of Terror” and “Brain Invaders” were one of that show’s strongest, and scariest, and the few times Star Wars Rebels did a “creepy, unknown threat on a desolate spaceship” narrative, the use of dark, confusing corridors and creaky, ominous noises created a real sense of a different type of tension.
When Kazuda and Poe first enter the ship with its mysterious open cages and terrifying background growls, and witness the last few survivors get eradicated by some unknown monster, things feel like it’s escalating in such a horrifying, thrilling way.
And then the monkey-creatures come out. Then the PG-esque music starts playing. Then the quips, such as Poe’s refrain of hating monkeys, come out. And all that tension is gone. The monkey-creatures are more annoying than threatening, the ship goes from being a scary labyrinth into a goofy maze, and the final creature reveal turns the whole encounter from a suspenseful mystery into a shrug-worthy monster-of-the-week.
The creature is still a threat, but Poe and Kazuda just kinda run from it, and eventually escape it. There’s little, if any, twists or real obstacles that occur; even carrying out the lone survivor lacks any complications. The entire venture goes from potentially harrowing to run-of-the-mill, and as mentioned above, Oscar Isaac never infuses his character any real emotion in anything outside the quips. I get that Poe is supposed to be cool and collected at all times, but he could still, you know, yell or scream.
The survivor is named Synara, who is poised to be the kind of enigmatic survivor that has the potential to shake up the dynamics of everything we know so far. But Resistance inexplicably plays its hand early by revealing that Synara is a pirate, connected to the pirates we’ve seen so far.
And while I like the idea that Synara only happened to find herself in this situation–a planned raid gone wrong, leading to her rescue, as opposed to some super-detailed planned-from-the-beginning type thing–it still feels like a missed opportunity. “Signal From Sector Six” is pulsating with ideas and potential, but consistently drops the signal every chance it gets.