This Star Wars Resistance review contains spoilers.
Star Wars Resistance Season 2 Episode 2
“A Quick Salvage Run” is definitely a stronger episode than the Star Wars Resistance season 2 premiere – mainly because of how quickly most of the conflicts and obstacles that were only hinted at and mentioned in the first installment are pushed to the forefront.
“Salvage Run” is not without its issues though. Rucklin, the little antagonistic git who mostly got in Kazuda’s way, is suddenly revealed to be a soldier in the First Order. I’m also still a bit wary on how the occupants of the Colossus are taking to their new-found predicament: I like that “drinking at the bar” is the general response for the citizens, but the scene is portrayed mostly for gags instead of the sad, desperate cover that it really is.
After all, they make clear that supplies are running low, including the “not-booze” booze. Are the people close to rioting? Are they struggling to feed themselves? The episode never says. It focuses more on the pirates, portrayed as a rambunctious lot, but never beyond that.
But otherwise, “A Quick Salvage Run” quickly runs through the salvage of plotlines thus far established on the show (see what I did there?). We learn that Kaz’s family survived the destruction of their planet, only for his father to shout an ominous warning about the state of the Resistance so far. Their arrival at the D’Qar (the planet of the former Resistance base from The Force Awakens) confirms that warning: the Resistance has been destroyed by the First Order in some type of devastating battle, and are long gone.
The lack of supplies and fuel forces Kaz and Neeku to join with the rowdy pirates to salvage a destroyed dreadnought for fuel, right as the First Order arrives, using Kaz’s desperate message to Tam to track them down (which also brings up questions of loyalty and trust, and sets up potential interpersonal fallout if and when it’s revealed that Kaz reached out to Tam). The episode is an all-out race against time to snag the fuel, get back on board, carefully install the highly unstable, explosive, substance, and high-tail it out of there before the Colossus is destroyed.
It’s things both large and small that allows this episode to be as entertaining as it is. On the larger scale, the action and tension of the various scenes, particularly in the third act, are quite solid. The pirate ship escaping right as the destroyed dreadnought exploded was such a well-animated scene, and the moment where the Aces had to come in “hot” as the Colossus was in motion was such a slickly-done scene that it serves as a sad reminder how little we got to see the Aces really in action. Plus, as dopey as it appears, watching Neeku delicately install the fuel for the hyperdrive is pretty intense.
But some smaller scale elements work in the episode’s favor as well. Rucklin’s bizarre appearance aside, I love the subtle smirks and glances that both he and Tam showcase here. Rucklin’s minute expressions are genuinely pleased as he forces Tam to reveal her Kazuda communications to Tierny (backend enjoyment in getting revenge on his hated rival), while Tam lets out a sly, off-to-the-side smile when the Colossus hyperdrive-escapes right before being annihilated.
Even deeper are Tierny’s words and actions towards Tam: she very knowingly teases Tam into vexatious situations–prodding at her sense of betrayal, making her watch her friends’ almost-destruction–in order to keep Tam on an awkward, emotionally unstable level. Commander Pyre demands loyalty, but Tierny opts to keep Tam uncomfortably conflicted, to best manipulate her as best she sees fit.
All those points keep the episode moving at a decent, watchable clip, surpassing even the weaker elements–namely, Neeku’s sudden desire to want to be a pirate. It’s a random bit mostly there to set up the “comedic” visual of Neeku holding way too many cases. It just too much of a distraction, more so than the broader idea of the “pirates still being pirates” concept that defines their behavior. As somewhat misguided as that beat is, it still suggests that their pillaging allowed them to acquire at least nominal supplies that could help the Colossus, or cause yet another layer of conflict if they turn out to be stingy about sharing.
While I have my doubts, “A Quick Salvage Run” suggest that the show isn’t afraid to ramp up the stakes, with minimal filler, in this final season. After all, the Colossus has blasted off into some other unknown location in the end, so there’s bound to be way more problems on the intergalactic horizon.