In “Secrets and Holograms,” the First Order arrives at the Colossus. While Kaz is trying to sneak into the tower, Torra is sick of her dad’s overprotectiveness and decides to break out of the tower. After spending some time together in the marketplace, Torra helps Kaz back in, where he discovers something unexpected about Captain Doza.
Preeti: I loved this episode. I loved the pacing, I loved the story, I loved the movement forward in the plot.
Swapna: I completely agree. This might be the best episode of the series so far. It balanced so many aspects of the series that I love.
Preeti: And they finally created a dynamic between characters that doesn’t feel uneven. With the mechanic crew, they haven’t quite figured out the balance of chemistry and camaraderie, if that makes sense. With Torra and Kaz, we got to see a partnership developing and Tora felt just as important to the narrative as Kaz. It was refreshing!
Swapna: Torra was her own character with her own motivations, rather than just reacting to or playing off of Kaz. She felt much more fully fleshed out after this episode.
Preeti: I’m wondering why this hasn’t worked as well with the other characters, and I think it’s because while they are all important characters, we’re grounded in Kaz’s world, so they need to develop alongside our point of entry to the show… which is Kaz. And then they can spin off into storylines of their own… I also appreciated that we got hints of Torra’s frustration, but they’re going to let that fester a little. There was no clean wrap-up at the end.
Swapna: Yes, this is going to be an ongoing tension for Torra. I also thought it was so interesting that she covered for Kaz, yet is starting to question his motivations. When she asked “Are you a spy?” I panicked a little! She sees that there’s more going on with him than meets the eye, yet is still willing to trust the friend he’s become.
Preeti: I appreciated that, because we’ve asked before what Poe saw in Kaz and how Kaz ended up in this situation. I think seeing Torra’s reaction to him gives us insight into how compelling Kaz is as a person. Tam and Yeager don’t have that same immediate connection with him, and so I’ve been struggling a little as to why Poe is the only one who sees more in this kid. Torra’s trust solidified Poe’s decision a little bit more for me.
Swapna: Yes, I totally agree. And Kaz showed how resourceful he is by getting into Captain Doza’s office (who, by the way, still hasn’t made a decision about allying with the First Order) and made a big discovery: Doza has an Imperial uniform in his office closet.
Preeti: IN REAL LIFE GASP at that reveal!
Swapna: I KNOW.
Preeti: They actually set it up really well, because we don’t know a lot about Doza, but I was so thrown by his interaction with Jace Rucklin (Elijah Wood’s pilot who swore revenge on Kaz). He’s so dismissive and rude, it was unsettling. So that interaction combined with Kaz’s revelation of Doza potentially being an Imperial veteran was amazing.
Swapna: I think the potential for this storyline is huge. We haven’t really explored on screen what it meant to be a former Imperial officer in the post-Empire galaxy. From what we know of the new canon, the Empire wasn’t exactly advertising the terrible atrocities it committed. Even Luke Skywalker was planning on attending the Imperial Academy. But….can you be a part of the Empire without being complicit? It’s a huge question that has barely been discussed, and I really hope they get into this question on Resistance (while also being cognizant of the fact that it is partially aimed at kids.)
Preeti: The closest I can think of, in terms of Imperial officers being humanized, is the governor of Naboo in Leia: Princess of Alderaan. I think Claudia Gray described in him in a way that Leia thought he might be open to conversation, which is the most basic thing you could hope for, but I do remember reading it and being struck by anyone in the Empire being open to conversation. So, the potential of getting to see a truly complex idea of what it means for someone to have served the Empire and survived it is interesting. Though, I hope they don’t go too far in the other direction because honestly, if you were a part of that machine, you were absolutely complicit. (Cue the “only a Sith deals in absolute, but that is an absolute joke.”)
Swapna: Yeah! I think there’s a lot of nuance there that can be explored, and I’m curious to see how well the show explores it. Especially because Doza is clearly distrustful of the First Order, given how hesitant he is to accept their help. Is that a lesson he learned from serving the Empire? The idea that he keeps an Imperial uniform in his closet feels almost reverential. It’s just odd, and it’s a nice twist to keep us guessing.
Preeti: You’re right. And of course, this could all be a massive misdirection. We’re making the same assumptions Kaz is making, which I’m sure is the intention of the writers. But maybe Doza’s held onto that uniform as a reminder, or for some other … plausible reason, ha.
Swapna: Maybe he’s a Battle of Jakku re-enactor.
Preeti: I would go watch Star Wars battle reenactments for fun.
Swapna: I’d absolutely spend my Saturday doing that.
Preeti: Especially if Elijah Wood was one of the reenactors. Which in this dream scenario, he would be. Obviously.
Can we talk about the character of Jace for a second? His character was the only part of this episode that I couldn’t quite get a handle on. He’s relegated to serving in the high-class bar, and taking Doza’s trash, and he’s clearly angry about it (anger which is unfairly directed at Kaz), but that last shot of him taking out the trash was so sad. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to feel sorry for him, or revel in his reduced circumstance.
Swapna: Him showing up was a surprise, but it looks like he’s being set up as a bit of a nemesis for Kaz. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He certainly made his own bed with his circumstances, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel for him a little.
Preeti: See, I don’t know if he’s being set up as a nemesis? He clearly had this anger and need for revenge, but Kaz doesn’t react to Jace at all, really.
Swapna: I think nemesis was a bad word choice! I think it’s more, there’s now someone in the tower who has it OUT for Kaz, and is going to make his job as a spy even harder. Which, until now, it’s not that his job has been easy, but it hasn’t exactly been difficult to sneak around, plus Torra has covered for him multiple times.
Preeti: True! I guess I just love the idea of this angry blonde boy muttering about Kaz to himself, stalking around the tower going on about revenge, and Kaz is just blissfully doing his own thing, ha ha. But, I agree, having Jace up there is going to make Kaz’s life more difficult.
Swapna: Now the question is this: Will Doza accept the First Order’s protection? If so, life on the platform is going to change drastically. And if he doesn’t, I’m guessing the pirate attacks will get worse, plus the Order may retaliate. Either way, I think Kaz and his crew are in for a rough ride.
Preeti: I think he’s going to accept it, or he won’t and First Order will, ahem, force their way onto the platform regardless of his wishes.
Swapna: Either way, I’m looking forward to next week’s episode!
Preeti: Same! I do want to give a special shout-out to Donald Faison in this episode, and the animators for letting us see him do a little Michael Jackson dance in the middle of his story. (I always want more Donald Faison, to be honest.)