This Star Wars Resistance review contains spoilers.
Star Wars Resistance Season 2 Episode 6
There needs to be some kind of symposium or convention or conference or something to generalize the meaning or purpose of nonsensical sci-fi words. You know, those invented, fictional terms that scientists or engineers or doctors spit out in elaborate word salads to explain feats of scientific majesty? Like “flux capacitors” or “thorium compressor.” I’m being facetious, but mainly because “From Below” uses the term “stabilizers” three different times in this episode for different reasons, and it sort of boggles my mind that the writers couldn’t come up with other words for the various situations.
Spaceships and elevators are two wholly different things, but both seem to lose control because something goes wrong with “the stabilizers,” and while I guess in context it sort of makes sense (broken stabilizers imply the mode of transportation is no longer “stable”), it seems like any other word, like brakes, could do. Speaking of which, that elevator had some of the worst safety measures I’ve ever seen. I know mining work is dangerous, but you would think in a galaxy far, far away, even the most low-class of operations would have emergency brakes beyond a lever.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
Anyway, “From Below” is a fine, fun episode. It’s not really pertinent to the long-term story being told here, save for the fact that the Colossus desperately needs fuel, and by the end of the episode, Kaz, Torra, Orka and Flix procure some. It’s mostly a pretty cliché episode in which said team visits a certain planet where Flix’s family lives in order to request said fuel, only to discover Flix’s cousins don’t particularly like him. Flix’s kin own and control a fuel refinery, but Flix left to be a catina singer (more on this later), which triggered the estrangement. Plus, there is some weird legend about dragons living below the surface, which is why Flix’s elders never drilled too deep. So of course, Fix’s brother, Flanx, (voiced by the perfectly cast Paul F. Tompkins) starts to drill too deep. And the beast awakens.
Again, it’s nothing new or special here, but there are a few points in the episode’s favor. Once again, Torra stands out. She doesn’t do much, but she feels whole–last season, she would get excited over a near crash. But here, she buckles down and does the work needed to land the ship safely. The back and forth between Fiix and Flanx works well, never going too overboard, joke-wise or drama-wise. Jim Rash and Paul F. Tompkins find the sweet spot to salvage some of the clunkier parts of the dialogue, voicing the bickering in a way that sounds very specific to their lives and upbringing.
It’s not super hostile–you can tell there’s still love there–but there’s still animosity, and it wavers between petty and sincere, just like family arguments do. When a very clearly visible large creature damages the elevator and almost plummets everyone to their doom, Flanx still refuses to believe in it, which feels rooted more in the type of person Flanx is, and not a forced narrative beat from the script.
I also kind of like it when Star Wars gets a little weird. It’s a franchise so huge and vast that it’s surprising that it doesn’t get weird more often. Back in the Clone War days, you had witches and zombies and interdimensional Force/Sith deities, so a legend about underground dragons sort of fits. It’s a little disappointing then that it’s really just big, chompy reptilian beasts. Not to say they aren’t dangerous, though. They’re genuine threats, if a bit odd (it has Flanx in its mouth but doesn’t eat him because…?), and no one acts particularly too dumb in trying to avoid or run from them. It takes a bit too long for Kaz to realize they can’t sense movement (especially since that’s exactly how Kaz survives his first encounter with one), but beyond that, it’s a straight-forward, acceptable thriller.
We’re almost at the halfway point of the season though, which means “acceptable” can only count for so long. The ending to “From Below” has some solid, heart-warming beats–the reaffirmation of Flix’s and Flanx’s relationship, a great gag/line reading from Jim Rash as he swiftly dismisses any reference to his catina-singer goals, and even, if you squint, some potential Flix/Orka shipping, if that’s your pleasure. “From Below” is Star Wars Resistance at its most “slightly above average,” which is fine. But there’s too much at stake and too much potential waiting in the wings, and it’s almost time to bring them to the surface.
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