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Kaz goes undercover in the latest Star Wars Resistance

By Preeti Chhibber & Swapna Krishna
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We’re back with another exciting episode of Star Wars Resistance. In “The New Trooper,” we’re back with the young refugees, Kal and Elia, who have been discovered by a First Order stormtrooper on the lower levels of the base. After knocking him out, they ask for Neeku and Kaz’s help. Tam tags along, and Kaz goes undercover as a stormtrooper in the First Order to make sure his friends are safe. He manages to infiltrate their system, and learns more about their ultimate objective of stripping the base of its populace and making it a military outpost for their armies.

Preeti: I thought this was a really great episode, the tension was high and we got to learn a little about how the view of the Empire might be more complex than the films had us believe.

Swapna: This episode was full of interesting information; with everything that happened, it felt much longer than 20 minutes (in a good way).

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Preeti: It was jam-packed! I definitely want to discuss Tam, and her belief in the First Order. I appreciate the writers giving us a character who was impacted in a positive way, or at least, in a way she thought was positive by the Empire. It allows us insight into why they were able to stay in power for so long, beyond just having Darth Vader.

Swapna: I think that perspective is necessary, especially to underline the fact that there are shades of gray in a universe of black and white. Tam’s grandfather chose to work for the Empire rather than letting his family starve, so she sees them as a good. It’s especially interesting because, from the expanded universe, we know a little about how many of the Empire’s atrocities were hidden from the galaxy’s population. They were just ... a government to a lot of people. And those people were often willing to turn a blind eye to or make excuses for hints of suffering. I’m glad Tam had to confront the children face to face and hear their story of what the First Order did to their planet.

Preeti: That was a brilliant moment, because even then, she doesn’t immediately acquiesce to the idea that the First Order was bad, but goes to protect her own belief system. It was a very real moment from a cartoon. I’m also thrilled that they’re bringing her further into Kaz’s story, I think we’re a short while away from her getting to be in on the mission itself.

Swapna: I agree. I also was really impressed with Kaz this episode, specifically the way he was able to make an excuse to put on the First Order trooper’s armor and get some recon without tipping off Tam or Neeku to his Resistance mission. It’s another example of the quick cleverness that Poe saw in Kaz from the beginning.

Preeti: They managed to keep his physical comedy to a minimum in this episode, which makes sense when he needs to at least sort of look the part of a trooper. I loved the little moment of him copying the trooper ahead of him in formation, though. I laughed out loud. But those minor funny moments evened out the anxiety of having Kaz in such a dangerous position. Impersonating a trooper is Star Wars legacy, but it’s still no joke.

Swapna: Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

But I agree, this episode showed great balance.

Preeti: LOL, I’d expect nothing less.

Really though, Kaz made it into a room full of troopers, including Commander Pyre and survived. Oh! Speaking of Pyre … Doza gave up his office so easily, I want to see him be more forceful. I loved that tense little moment when Pyre asks what made Doza walk away from the Empire. I’d like to see more direct connecting between the First Order and the Empire, to be honest.

Swapna:  The threads are there for the viewers to connect, but I wish more characters would connect them as well! The Doza stuff was really interesting to me. The implication for me was that he left the Empire because he didn’t agree with what the Empire was doing, which is something Pyre — a First Order devotee — wouldn’t understand. Did you get that sense as well?

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Preeti: Honestly, the moment was so quick, and he glossed over it so quickly that yes I agree that it was probably because he disagreed with their actions, but it doesn’t seem as if he has the desire to be vocal about it now. He’s someone who experienced both the Empire and the rise of the First Order, so he’s in a prime position to see the similarities between the two. I don’t know that the character has the strength to do anything about it, though. I want more from him, for whatever reason.

Swapna: He seems so ... defeated. Like, when he left the office without a fight! If we knew that he was plotting something behind the First Order’s back, it might be easier, but I agree. I want more from him, and I expect more from him. And I’m not sure I can tell you why.

Preeti: Maybe because story-wise, he’s in a prime position to be able to do something. And he’s shown that he’s wary of an increased presence of the Order. He’s also shown himself to be smart. He has the makings of a great reluctant leader, but I think he’s going to need to see Torra in actual danger in order to be pushed to do anything at all to resist.

Swapna: That’s true. He took the most decisive action he has so far this season when Torra was in danger from the pirates. I hate that it’s that selfish though, considering that he’s responsible for the well-being of everyone on the platform, not just his daughter.

Preeti: I’m torn between being impressed that the character is subverting my expectations and irritated that he’s not doing what I want him to do, ha!

Swapna: Agreed, I think that’s a sign of good writing!!

It looks like we’ve solved the mystery of the fuel — the First Order is setting up military lines for its massive fleet which, until now, it looks like the Resistance wasn’t aware of.

Preeti: Yeah, that reveal at the end of the episode was a tad lackluster for me. It’s important, but it’s such a banal, militaristic type thing that I was a little blah about it all.

Swapna: And it’s something we already knew from the movies! I wanted something a little juicier.

Preeti: This is where they need to figure out how to make the cartoon enhance the information we know from the movies, rather than get diluted because that information already exists.

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Swapna: YEP. Now that they’re aware of the First Order’s plans, though, the question is how Kaz’s mission might change. Poe wanted to know why the First Order was interested in the Colossus. And now they know. Will Kaz be asked to sabotage the First Order’s plans? Or keep an eye on the occupation and see what he learns? Knowing Kaz, it’ll probably be a bit of both.

Preeti: I guess we’ll find out more next week!

Swapna: But we haven’t mentioned the most important part of the episode: At the beginning, was Yeager, in fact, eating a blue fruit roll up?