This Star Wars Resistance review contains spoilers.
Star Wars Resistance Season 2 Episode 4
For a little while, “Hunt On Celsor 3” begins to finally showcase the growing frustrations and desperations of the regular citizens on the Colossus. The food (and drinks) are all but depleted, and people are shouting angrily in the streets, with Aunt Z more or less leading the would-be mob. Captain Doza is doing his best to quell the hostility, but threats of leaving the base/ship begin to rise.
The people protest in simplistic terms, but while they have an idea of their pursuit by their First Order, they don’t seem to be aware of their full danger. Aunt Z says she’ll take her chances “out there,” and Captain Doza can’t really blame them, but then again, none of them really faced the First Order alone. The last battle with them was a huge, multi-team effort, with the entire base shooting off into the sky, and they barely survived that.
So far, so good. Then someone mentions the idea to hunt that creature on the ice world from “Live Fire” (I don’t know how to spell its name, but it sounds like they call it the “Ja-cuse”?), which Aunt Z says she can cook up for the people. It’s a tough mission, but the pirates offer to take up the calling. Torra (who has become such a great character in the last four episodes, making smart, if rash, decisions to try and keep people in line) recognize the pirates are looking to undermine her father’s authority and gain some power. Captain Doza is trying to keep it all together, but you can see in his eyes and hear in his voice his growing nervousness. Torra and Kaz tag along with the pirates to “help,” but really to keep an eye on them.
A fun, tense sequence facing that beast follows, with the pirates trying and failing to catch and kill it. For a while it looks like the beast will become the Moby Dick to Kragan’s Captain Ahab, the pirate leader barely refusing to retreat until the last minute. He fumes on board back at the Colossus, and you can’t help but think that the next narrative beat will be Kragan perfomring more and more desperate, dangerous moves to capture the beast, risking the lives of not only his crew but everyone on the Colossus as well.
That does not happen.
In perhaps the most nonsensical narrative swerve ever conceived on Star Wars Resistance, the remaining two-thirds of the episode is just Kaz and Torra going after the beast themselves while also losing Torra’s pet in the snow? After discussing what to do next in Torra’s room, the two hatch a plan and head out, but Buggles follows them and stowaway on Kaz’s ship. It’s all silly, but that it has absolutely nothing to do with anything that occurred in the first act is extra baffling.
I guess you could chalk it up as an attempt to be a bold narrative move, a huge misdirect that makes viewers recalibrate their expectations (even the episode synopsis fails to mention this plot point). But to what end? At best it suggest Torra and Kaz’s camaraderie is stronger than Kragan’s go-at-it-head-on mentality, but that’s a stretch of a read. It just creates a different vibe, a whole different set of conflicts that lacks the quiet intensity that a crazed pirate captain would create in a series of escalating attempts to catch the creature and assume a certain degree of authority, with the cooler heads of Kaz and Torra trying to stop him (along with the backdrop of a starving citizenry). What we do get is a goofy lost dog scenario, with the kind of Kaz-attacking bickering that hinders Torra’s promising development as a character. Kragan doesn’t appear at all.
And it isn’t as if the missing dog angle isn’t all that bad! In its execution, trying to find Buggles while also preparing the cannon to take out the ice creature has a certain level of tension and verve. Two miniscule, hapless people trapped on a frozen tundra (two pirates steal their ships) up against such a massive creature while an innocent companion disappears into the blizzard has enough heft for an episode all its own.
It possesses a solid climax and a fulfilling ending–they indeed kill the creature, they feed the people for days, Captain Doza expresses renewed confidence and commitment to protecting everyone, and even Neeku provides a holographic vision of the open blush sky to provide an illusionary but hopeful sense of freedom and openness. Yet despite all its good parts, “Hunt on Celsor 3” feels like two episodes forced together, creating a whiplash that harms and diminishes both narratives since neither one is provided quite enough time to breathe.