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The Aces are off to the races in this week's Star Wars: Resistance

By Preeti Chhibber & Swapna Krishna
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We might be coming off a holiday break, but Star Wars: Resistance didn’t take a vacation from the drama in this week’s episode. The Colossus is running low on credits and, well, things to do. Ace Pilot Hype Fazon has a suggestion: head to his old stomping grounds at a Vranki’s Casino and pick up some money in the races. What they find is an empty casino desperate for a new draw. Vranki the Hutt cheats his way into getting nearly all of Doza’s Aces, but Neeku, Kaz, and Tora have a thing or two to say about it. 

Warning: This recap will contain spoilers for Season 2, Episode 9 of Star Wars: Resistance.

Preeti: I have to say, this was not my favorite episode. It felt like the characters were making decisions that didn’t make sense, and forcing conflict for the sake of conflict rather than anything truly purposeful. 

Swapna: From the beginning, this episode had “THIS IS A BAD IDEA” stamped across it. Even in the first scenes, when Hype was proposing visiting the casino to Doza, I feel like Doza should have known better. Hype has a history of making bad decisions and thinking he can’t lose. Why would you put the future of the Colossus in his hands?

Preeti: I love Hype as a character but our guy can be a capital-M mess. So, of course, he grew up in a casino being trained by a Hutt. A Hutt who now clearly has too much to gain to play fairly. 

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Swapna: And I can’t understand why they were surprised when he kept cheating! 

Preeti: It was so frustrating! These characters are so much smarter than that — if I’m being generous, we could chalk it up to desperation, but I would have liked to see more of that on-screen. Like, this is really their only option and so it has to work. But the show didn’t do enough of that work at the top to warrant the absurdity of their good faith in the middle. 

Swapna: I could have bought it if there was more desperation. Also, I wish the Hutt had a little more development, weird as that sounds. Like he seemed to be cheating just to cheat, and I would have preferred more of, “The war’s on, the casino has no visitors, and this is the first fun I’ve had in months.” I guess my entire commentary on the episode is that I needed more motivation on both sides.

Preeti: Absolutely. Vranki makes it a point early on to say that he’s “not like other Hutts” — they could have used that more. It felt like the entire episode was there to make Kaz look the most competent he’s ever been. Which is frustrating in its own right because Kaz is a great character who has the potential for competency when the stakes feel real and like they matter. 

Swapna: Yes! I definitely love the leadership role Kaz had in this episode, but the way to do that isn’t to make the other characters act so rashly that Kaz looks brilliant. I will say, though, that I did love the trust that Doza put in Neeku. Too many people — including some of the aces — underestimate him because of his earnestness.

Preeti: I just wish they’d let him really succeed, though. His most impactful moment was pressing the button to disengage the guns just before Kaz goes through the winning hoop. I really think you hit the nail on the head, though, with the idea that the other characters had to act in a way that didn’t make sense for Kaz to come out looking great. That’s the crux of my issue. Or even if they had been hustling Vranki all along! I almost expected that to be the story at the end. That they’d known how to beat him and just needed to get to the point where it would be worth the credits. 

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Swapna: I feel like the entire plot was from an early '90s cartoon, just revamped to be Star Wars

Preeti: This is definitely the first time in two seasons that I really haven’t understood the why of it — and I guess every show has to have its filler episodes, but my expectations for Resistance are higher because I know what the show is capable of being. 

Swapna: Yes, and that it feels like (to the audience at least) there’s an urgency because this is the last season of the show, as we keep mentioning. Shouldn’t the show be moving toward a point — or troublingly, is there even a point to get to? That’s what episodes like this have me asking.

Preeti: It’s been a few episodes since the one about the Force objects (one of the strongest episodes of the show, period, I’d say) and it feels like we’ve barely moved forward. I agree, I’m not sure where the show is going to end up. It’s ending after the release of The Rise of Skywalker, but so far we haven’t seen much of what the show actually wants to say. It’s unfair to keep comparing it to Rebels, but… 

Swapna: Exactly. I want this show to stand on its own two feet, but the fact that it’s within the Star Wars universe, set at such a pivotal time within that universe, and will only be two seasons long make my expectations higher. Maybe they shouldn’t be, though.

Preeti: I think it comes down to what story are they trying to tell, and I’m not entirely sure — the first season had a strong arc with Kaz’s growth and understanding of his place as a Resistance spy. But now, this season has had trouble finding that point of view, so to speak. It’s kind of about finding a new home for the Resistance, it’s also just kind of aimlessly wandering through space taking things day by day. There’s a lot of potential plot, but I don’t know that they’ve followed through on the threads: mutiny, Tam’s eventual (hopefully) rejection of the first order, joining up with the rest of the Resistance, or even Kaz’s family. 

Swapna: And I’d argue that part of the second season is supposed to be the monotony of trying to find a new home because they’re just flying through space — but that hasn’t really been a central point either. So it’s just hard to see the bigger picture here.

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Preeti: We’ve still got several episodes left in the season, I’m curious to see how a mid-season finale holds up against the season finales of The Mandalorian and the end of the Skywalker saga. And I have to say, even with this episode, I do really, really love Kaz. I was cheering for him when he beat that droid if we’re being real. 

Swapna: Definitely! I don’t want anyone to think that our criticism means we don’t like the show — we love it, and that’s why we want more out of it! Kaz is a great character, and I love the way last season was about him accepting his role in the Resistance and this one seems to be about him becoming a leader in his own right. It’s inspiring.