This Star Wars Resistance review contains spoilers.
Star Wars Resistance Season 2 Episode 14
Last week, I had mentioned how Star Wars Resistance has gotten particularly lazy with its dialogue, rhythms, and reactions. There’s no better example of this than the cold opening in “The Mutiny,” with Kragan meeting off-world with one Sidon Ithano to procure some attack droids. He greets his buyer with the generic, passive-aggressive pleasantries. His buyer shuts it down with cold indifference, jumping straight to the sale.
Kragan claims something is wrong with the droids, but a threatening stance from Sidon immediately shuts him up. The money is exchanged. The buyer leaves, and then Kragan vaguely monologues his plans. It’s the most cliche, rote scene in history. There isn’t a single beat that feels new, fresh, or even revealing. In fact, Kragan backing down from his threat actually is a step down from a character who always basked in bloviating aggression.
Kragan, who earlier this season stood on the cusp of inciting a riot on board the Colossus, is barely an obstacle here. The mutiny referenced in the title doesn’t occur until the third act, and boy, it’s a pretty sad one, and rather baffling in its execution. A lot of the episode is confusing to be honest, and it’s clear the (obvious) twist was conceived before the creative team thought about the logistics of getting to that point.
A good example is the part where, upon landing with the droids, Kragan has his men tie up the crates and… place them outside the hangar bay doors, dangling like the cans on the back of a JUST MARRIED limo. This is, I guess, meant to “hide” his dangerous cargo as Captain Doza does a surprise(?) raid on the pirate’s ship after Kragan returns, but it beguiles belief that Doza would miss a bizarre cable sticking out of the bay doors, or the ship’s scanners not picking up on it. It’s awkwardly staged, looks odd, and is clumsily handled.
The idea that there could be an overt and covert clash for power and influence between Doza and Kragan was always ripe with potential. That never comes to pass. There are some tense words and glances that occur between these two, but the episode never delves deeper than that. Instead it spends two-thirds on a kind of wonky frenemy-comedy set up, in which Doza gets Neeku to play up his naivete to infiltrate Kragan’s crew as an engineer, mostly to figure out what the pirate is up to.
It’s a predictable, mostly fine series of events (the episode’s narrative is supposed to make it vague on what Neeku’s role is when courted by Kragan, but I don’t think thematically it’s meant to be all that secret). But what throws everything off is how Doza is emphatically focused on protecting his people, but allows Neeku enough leeway to let Kragan’s mutiny unfold, hurting who knows how many people in the process. Also, Kragan only received like six or eight attack droids, all rusty and broken down, and while I don’t doubt Neeku’s ability to restore them to working order, the execution of the mutiny seems silly, what with these few droids somehow taking over the entire base. This thing is HUGE. Sure, Kragan mostly focuses his attack on the Captain’s quarters, but there’s this logistical dissonance in how it all comes together. I’m not sure how he’s able to get up to said tower so easily. Where are the other defense droids, or what happened to the defense doors? Also, it seems like the Colossus was weirdly empty.
There are degrees of self-awareness (like last week) which nominally function as comedy but mostly muddles things further. The relative weakness of the mutiny is emphasized when Kragan and his droids fire upon the bar, but an older patron and Aunt Z look at them, shrug, and go right back to working/drinking. A keener show should make this bit work–a Colossus under siege so often that even its citizens don’t care anymore–but it falls flat here because it reflects more on Kragan’s sad attempt than on the Colossus foibles as a whole. There’s also a running bit where Kaz gets “offended” when Doza reaches out to Neeku for spying purposes instead of him.
Neeku assuages Kaz’s ego for a second when he mentions he learned everything about spying from him, only to then rattle off some clear negative traits as positive (pretend to be inept, naive, clumsy, silly, incompetant). It’s the show calling out its own inconsistency to the Kaz character and his role as a spy, but it really just emphasizes the show’s overall inconsistency and lack of clarity on what it was even trying to accomplish.
The “twist,” just to clarify, was that Neeku didn’t betray the Colossus, but was just pretending to, and while on the “inside” managed to restore a B1 battle droid (the clankers from the prequel trilogy), which had the override command to control all the other B2 battle droids. Again, it’s not clear why Neeku waited until the last minute (after so many people would have been attacked) to get the B1 to shut the B2s down, other than it makes for a neat climax.
There are some dramatic beats between Synara and Kragan here and there, and admittedly the subtle moments of Kragan purposely leaving her out of his plans is a nice touch, emphasizing Kragan’s awareness of Synara’s wavering loyalty without him or her needing to explicitly saying it. The episode tries to parallel Synara’s exclusion with Kaz’s, but the connection doesn’t work.
Sidelining Kaz is mostly relegated as a joke, and Neeku is objectively the better option; Synara’s blackballing has an underdeveloped but distinct history. Synara accepts her new family as she rejects Kragan and watches the pirate captain and his crew get kicked off the Colossus. It isn’t clear if it’s the last we see of Kragan, but regardless, this was a pretty poor showing for him. Could he show up for one last final hurrah to save some kind of face? We shall see.