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From the beginning, Star Wars has always been a franchise that remembers the little guy in the midst of grand galactic conflict. That's an apt description of Disney XD's Star Wars Resistance, the animated series filling the void while the nine-film Skywalker Saga prepares for its grand finale. The first season of the animated series served as a companion story to the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will end with its second season, premiering Sunday, October 6, with a narrative running alongside what happens in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
"We feel the two seasons that we have is a good conclusion, leading up to The Rise of Skywalker," executive producer Justin Ridge tells SYFY WIRE. "It fits nicely in that timeline. So we thought that was the perfect time to conclude."
Christopher Sean — who voices the lead character, pilot and Resistance spy Kaz — says "the series finale, let's be realistic here, falls perfectly into the sequel trilogy. With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker coming out in December, it only seemed right for our series to end with this series trilogy, the sequel trilogy."
It's not going to be an ideally timed conclusion, because Resistance episodes will keep airing all the way into 2020, past the premiere of Skywalker. "It would have been nice if we were wrapped up perfectly fine. But yeah, that was the plan," executive producer Brandon Auman says.
But it all fits into the grander Lucasfilm plan. The producers explained that at the beginning of each season they had met with the Lucasfilm story group, which executive producer Athena Portillo refers to as "our encyclopedia of sorts, because they know everything that's happening with other shows — whether it's live action, other animation, or the publications."
"They can help us fact-check to make sure continuity is working, you know, the little details that we might not know in the moment," Ridge says.
But the team still spearheads the narrative thrust of the season, which sees the ramshackle team traveling on the flying station Colossus facing the new power of the First Order after the events of Episode VII. Which offers an interesting story complication, as Resistance is designated for a TV-Y7 audience, which isn't necessarily ready for a PG-13 narrative like The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi. Not only that, but the narrative complexity demands that the viewer is able to understand how both the movies and the TV show are happening at the same time, within this universe.
"We're hoping that it stands alone enough that, even if you don't watch any of the movies, you still know what's going on," Auman says. "Even from the beginning, we try to really frame the story so that even if you've never seen a single Star Wars movie, you can still watch this series and enjoy it on its own."
Portillo agrees, saying that "We wanted to create a completely different universe that was not part of Star Wars lore at the time. [Executive producer] David Filoni always wanted to create something where it was not dealing with Jedi, not dealing with that kind of war. He wanted to focus it on new characters that we hadn't seen before."
"A slice-of-life [drama]," Auman adds. "They're just people trying to survive at the edge of the galaxy. And then they get caught up in this bigger thing."
"And if kids are interested in the series," Ridge continues, "they can be like, well, who are the First Order? You know, where else are they? Then they can look at the movies if they're not familiar, and see how it all ties together. But it should by itself stand alone."
Just because Resistance is ending doesn't mean there isn't the potential for "other avenues" for the show's characters in additional mediums. "But as far as where the seasons are now, in terms of story and how they relate to the saga, I would say, it's pretty much done," Portillo says.
For the actors, saying goodbye won't necessarily be easy, especially given how much of an impact joining the franchise had for them. "I don't think I saw what Orca and Flix looked like until my first day of recording. And I cried," Resistance voice actor Bobby Moynihan says.
Why? "Because you're in Star Wars. To walk into a room and have someone go, here is the character you're going to play in Star Wars — it meant a lot to me."
Moynihan, though, had previous experience to draw on when it came to accepting the show's end. "I was on Saturday Night Live for nine years and I didn't want to leave, but you have to at some point, you know. And Star Wars is like SNL in the way that these characters are not gone. They're in the world, they will live on," he says. "That's the best part, to see one character from one Star Wars show up in another place."
He adds, "I keep pitching Orka and Flix as a spinoff."
Sean was relatively philosophical about it. "I mean, to be a part of Star Wars in itself was an honor and a gift. Anything more? Of course, it would be a cherry on top, I would absolutely love to continue to join in the Kaz escapades," Sean says. "However, if it is it, it's been more than enough for me. I mean, I'm a part of the canonical Star Wars family."
And, he adds, "I wouldn't say it's the end of Kaz's story. Because it's Star Wars, and energy never dies."