Star Wars: Resistance #2 The Triple Dark

Star Wars: Resistance “Triple Dark” is the first actual episode after the show starter “The Recruit”. In this spoiler-review I will give you a brief overview of its goodies without spoiling all the fun! The series continues as good as it had started off in episode 1.

The daily business of spying

In the season-starter we saw how Poe Dameron recruited Kazuda to the Resistance and how this lead to Kazuda’s first mission: finding the First-Order infiltrators on the station where he is based. With his sheepish enthusiasm that got him into all kinds of trouble in the first episode, he now wants to go about the business of spying.

It is perhaps unnecessary to say but Kazuda is not a natural born spy. The episode starts out with a comedic sequence that removes any doubt concerning this matter. Screenshot (36)At the start of that sequence however there is a cute brief scene between Kazuda and BB-8 that not only immediately establishes that, like with Rey in The Force Awakens, the little ball-droid connects really easily with people but also throws up a hint at Kazuda’s past. A victory memorial of some past racing achievement shows up among his stuff. He is evidently attached to it and this point is made over and over again in the subsequent developments as this little memorial plays an interesting role. But the story-telling message is clear: we might not know Kazuda yet, but he is no rookie and he has a life and achievements … behind him.

Compared to Star Wars: Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars it seems as if  Star Wars: Rebels wants to be more sparse with giving us details of a back-story but it doesn’t forget that ultimately it will be those back-story aspects that will keep us hooked, or not. In the first episode we learned that Kazuda has a father who is a high-ranking official in the New Republic, one with whom Kazuda has difficulty communicating and negotiating Kazuda’s own choices about his life. Now we learn Kazuda is indeed an achieved pilot. Perhaps no Solo or Anakin Skywalker, but one who was awarded for it and to whom that memory is so precious that he will not part from the little memorial of it.

That’s interesting, after Ahsoka and Ezra we now get a third character who has also arrived at a fork in his life’s road. Unlike Ahsoka, who could look back on a successful and happy time as a Padawan-learner in the Coruscant Jedi Temple, unlike Ezra who was scarred by the loss of his parents and lived a life turned independent street-fighter, Kazuda is now seeking that independence, while feeling both strong attachment to his past as well as the mixed emotions that made him decide to join the Resistance.

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Spies abound

So Kazuda in his eagerness to spy around, immediately catches ‘scent’ of a dark secret lurking behind the façade of the first customer of the day in the ship-repair workshop in which he now works as a mechanic. Although he spends quite some time blustering in an attempt to avoid showing he has no real talent for the job at hand, his actual first spy-hunch will later turn out to be correct.

Before we arrive at that point however a series of hilarious events, that come in part with pay-offs Screenshot (40)on things that were set-up in the first episode, fill much of the first half of this 22 minute episode. Just like the bar brawl of the first episode this is all really entertaining and framed with a good dose of slapstick. If you don’t like that kind of humour it may put you off but I would recommend you to hang on as the second half will reward the patient viewers. But I thoroughly enjoy such sequences. Unlike in Star Wars: Rebels, where we saw the story develop through the eyes of a family, coalesced around Hera and Kanan, that Ezra grows into, Kazuda is now part of a less tight group. The first of the side characters that has been ‘coming alive’ for me in this episode is Niku, Kazuda’s friend.

Niku played a pivotal role in the first episode where he was both the cause as well as much of the mitigation of Kazuda’s trouble. Their friendship now in episode two feels real enough and their characters are different enough to create plenty of funny moments. To me it seems that Niku is the “Samwise Gamgee” of Star Wars: Resistance. He doesn’t come across as the smartest guy, has a definite sense of humor and a deep, unreasonably deep loyalty to our main character. Just as Samwise allows Frodo’s character to reveal important traits by how he interacts with Samwise, so do we see parts of Kazuda not through what he says or does but simply through how he responds to Niku. Niku and Kazuda have only a few shared scenes in this episode, but they count.

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The pirate attack

The second half of the episode depicts a gathering storm referred to as the titular Triple Dark. This is also the moment where Kazuda realizes that a conversation he has overheard concerning the client of his workshop actually contained hints of an imminent pirate attack on the base. The client is evidently on the pirate’s pay-roll.

The pirate attack itself is interesting and exciting. We see that the team of race-pilots that we met in the first episode, Screenshot (42)without really much exposition about any one of them, also acts as the base’s aerial defence force. The dog-fight that ensues as soon as these pilots have launched is great. The interplay between flak-fire from the station’s batteries and the one-on-one fights between the 10 ships in the sky is exciting to watch and has a feel that we know of more famous battles in the Star Wars universe. Star Wars: Rebels had only very few dog-fight scenes like these while Star Wars: The Clone Wars had many more and also more dark. Don’t compare this first season of Star Wars: Resistance to the  best of Clone Wars seasons 5 and 6, but it surely holds up to some of the season 2 episodes of that series.

The pirates are interesting although we initially don’t learn much about them. Like in the first episodes it is very nice to see a couple of familiar species again,Screenshot (43) such as the transdosian pilot. But it is also fun to see new species amongst them that we haven’t encountered before. At the end of the episode you will however experience a reveal that, although not necessarily very dramatic, informs you of the actual stakes behind this pirate attack. I really like about Star Wars: Resistance so far that only two episodes in we are already engaging in a story with strong connections to the wider post-Return of the Jedi conflict in the Galaxy. So if you were worried that we were going to get episodes like Ezra and Zeb’s shopping run (which I personally liked a lot) then I you should start to feel more relaxed after this one. So far there has been good action and proper stakes in each episode, even if sometimes these stakes were only revealed afterwards.
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I enjoyed this episode very much. I liked how the precious memorial of Kazuda was being used to tell a story about him without revealing anything, how it also does end up ‘scrapped’ in a sense for a greater good, which also tells us a lot about Kazuda without saying it explicitly. I thought with this second episode the series has really been making a good start. Kazuda is a very likable and nice character, enough of a rookie to have fun with, but clearly with a sense of past and sum of past achievement behind him. I look forward to the next episode

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