On this week's episode of Star Wars: Resistance, "Live Fire," Kaz finally becomes one of the aces of the Colossus. The pilots didn't exactly do well fighting the First Order, so it's up to Kaz and Yeager to get them into tip-top fighting shape. Meanwhile, Tam is training to be a First Order pilot, and she finds that the values of the organization don't quite square with her own priorities.
Warning: This recap will contain spoilers for Episode 2, Season 3 of Star Wars Resistance.
Swapna: I feel like this was the episode we've been waiting for in terms of Kaz's abilities. We've been hearing he's a great pilot and all that over and over again. Poe and Yeager saw something in him, but you and I had both discussed that they weren't really showing that quality on-screen. But in this episode, Kaz's talent and abilities really were at the center.
Preeti: Yes! I loved that about this episode — side note: How did neither of us come up with Kaztastrophe???? I am ashamed.
Overall, I loved how this episode centered on Kaz's skill without centering it, if that makes sense? Because really the episode is about the juxtaposition between how The First Order trains and how the Resistance trains. One's about teamwork and the other is every man for himself in service of the Order. But by using that conceit, we learned so much. Can we talk about the bomb drop of the dude who was like "I was in the Empire" / "That's how we lost"?????
Swapna: First of all, I CACKLED when Hype said "Kaztastrophe," because that is 100 percent something you'd come up with.
And oh my god, yes, I was just like, "Wait, what, did I hear that correctly?" when that guy said he was formerly part of the Empire, and his follow-up was equally jaw-dropping. What does it say here that this former Imperial pilot is currently training to fight the First Order?
Preeti: It felt like such a big moment slid in so nonchalantly. Because agreed! What does this mean for history? And will we be seeing more veterans of the Empire show up like this? So far, we have Doza, but Yeager is former Rebellion. I can't help but liken it to the way Clone Wars veterans show up in Rebels, but it feels even bigger somehow because a lot of the Imperial soldiers didn't have the clone brain chip order, right? (Though they did have conditioning, I think.)
Swapna: I think what a lot of the Expanded Universe stuff (I'm specifically thinking of Claudia Gray's Lost Stars and Christie Golden's Inferno Squadron, which introduced Iden Versio) shows us is that the Empire was relatively quiet about the atrocities it committed and the rot at its core. What a lot of the soldiers wanted was order and peace after the utter dysfunction of the Galactic Republic. It's not an excuse, but it's interesting to see in this case, where clearly here's a person who made a choice to serve the Empire and then a choice to oppose its successor.
Preeti: I don't love the framing of their loss as a result of a lack of teamwork, that feels oversimplified — though this is where the animated nature of a Star Wars show is interesting, because of course, we want to be able to show the necessity of working with your fellow Resistors, and how the First Order doesn't care about the individual...This is an instance where we could write an entire piece on just those two lines, but there was so much more that happened this week! Elijah Wood almost died! Tam saved him!
Swapna: I will admit I would not have been sad if Tam had been unsuccessful, but I think Tam showed her true colors in this episode. The fact that she was punished for it will have repercussions for her in the future, I think. I think she made a choice in the heat of anger, and she's really starting to see that the First Order isn't the place for her. But I also agree with what you've said in the past, I want to see and hear her reckon with that — so far, Tam has been pretty quiet about everything except her anger at Kaz.
Preeti: I found her to be less frustrating in this episode because they didn't make her actions about Kaz, finally. This will be the beginning of her reckoning, hopefully. Though I'm thinking of the moment in last week's episode when they specifically decide not to recondition her, and now I wonder if this is just playing directly into the Order's hands.
Swapna: Yep. They're definitely using her, but the question is for what? She's already led them to the Colossus, and Kaz probably isn't going to try and contact her a second time. I wonder if they know she might reach out to her friends eventually, because if Tam asks Kaz for a rescue, you know he'll show up for her.
Preeti: I hope it's in some way that's completely unexpected. I'm looking forward to Resistance showing us exactly how the Order differs from the Empire — they've already started doing that in writing in specifics of training, and how they're planning ahead in terms of the Colossus. I like that they're letting us feel uncomfortable as viewers, like we're not sure how it's going go wrong, even though we know it will.
Swapna: Definitely. We haven't really talked about flying lessons for the aces yet! That went about how I'd expected it would, but I'm glad Hype came through at the end. Also, can I just say that Torra is really good at dealing with people?
Preeti: Oh, heck yes! I had a moment when the Order's training was happening that I got a little irritated that the women in leadership all seemed to be on the side of the Order while the Resistance has felt very male-dominated — but then the scene with Torra and Hype in the bar happened and she felt like more of a leader at that moment than Yaeger or Kaz. She knew how to talk to her teammate in a way that would help the whole squadron. This episode really was about showcasing skills! (Also shout-out to Donald Faison who is clearly having the time of his life voicing Hype Fazon).
Swapna: Yes! I hope we see Torra in some sort of post-The Rise of Skywalker Expanded Universe role as a leader in her own right because she very much has earned it.
Preeti: I do want to see more from her, for sure. I also hope we get to see more of the relationship and history between Hype and Tam because as much as I love Kaz, there's a depth in Hype and Tam's shared history that could work to the benefit of getting her back.
Swapna: This season is off to a great start, and I can't wait to see what comes next!