Star Wars Resistance is a television show unlike anything else you've seen in the animated Star Wars world. Unlike Star Wars: The Clone Wars, it doesn't revolve around a massive war — it's set before the real with the First Order begins. Unlike Star Wars Rebels, there's not much to rebel against. In Resistance, the New Republic is well-established and the First Order is but a whisper on the lips of those who believe it exists.
Most significantly, there doesn't seem to be a Jedi — or even a Force user — anywhere in sight.
So what can we expect of Resistance? SYFY WIRE spoke with some of the series' creators, producers, and actor Bobby Moynihan to get to the bottom of what makes Resistance such a different story compared to others set in a galaxy far, far away.
Series previews have been pretty explicit about its focus on pilots. But what will those pilots be doing?
Racing. Lots of racing.
Racing is vital to the Star Wars universe. Podracing, introduced in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, brought us the first taste of sports in Star Wars and, after his retirement as a general, Han Solo took up ship racing in the years before his son turned to the dark side. But in Resistance, that's what life revolves around. The series revolves around Colossus, which cast member Bobby Moynihan described to SYFY WIRE as a kind of galactic truck stop.
"It's like a floating Cantina... It's just like this place where you fix your ship, you go get gas, you go get food," Moynihan says. "All of the Star Wars we've seen before is about the Force and the Skywalker family in some capacity, and this is about all the guys that will drink at the cantina afterward."
The show definitely has a lot of deep cuts from the canon, both as joke references and serious moments. For example, Greg Proops, who portrayed half of the double-headed podracing announcer Fode and Beed in The Phantom Menace, comes back to announce races on the Colossus as a character named Jak Sivrak. Jak Sivrak is a play on the name Lak Sivrak, the wolf man from the Cantina scene in A New Hope who was replaced in the Special Edition of the movie.
Moynihan himself plays a character named Orka, a Chadra Fan, which is the same species as the little bat-like creature Kabe from A New Hope.
"We're nerds," series executive producer Athena Portillo said in reference to those truly deep deep cuts.
Head writer Brandon Auman says, "When we had the chance to do that, to get Greg Proops to come in and do an announcer voice as an homage to Phantom Menace, it was like why not?"
With jokes this specific on a show that feels aimed for younger kids, we asked Portillo who the show is actually targeting. "We're targeting ages six to 12, but honestly, it's more like six to 70 because I'm in my forties and I watched the show and I still crack up," she says.
The choice for the timeline of the show, set six months before the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was a decision based on the target audience, too.
"It's a little hard for the younger fans to wrap their heads around it if it was, say 15 years before The Force Awakens," Auman explains. "Then it's a very nebulous timeline. You're kind of not sure. The fact that we've got Poe Dameron and BB-8 from the very beginning — kids and any fan of any age automatically just know... 'This is the new movies, this is where it's gonna take place,' so it's just easier. And it was just fun to kind of roll in and back up a little bit instead of just trying to follow exactly where the movies are at."
"This is actually an interesting timeline," series producer Justin Ridge says, "because you have all this old tech that's still around, and some of the old droids and things that are still working, but you have all the new tech from the new movies. It's a cool hybrid of old and new. Even though it has more the lighthearted tone to it, there are still stakes. This is still Star Wars, there's still good guys and bad guys, it's just there's not a war going on at this point, so we don't start off heavy with conflict, we have to see how the First Order is building up. This is part of [series lead] Kaz Xiono's mission: to figure out what that is and report it to the Resistance."
This isn't to say we won't be seeing the war at all. Perhaps the most tantalizing bit of information Ridge dropped during the course of the interview was that the show would get to overlap with the events of The Force Awakens. That certainly changes the stakes for every character involved.
And that's an exciting thing to think about.
Star Wars Resistance premieres on October 7 on the Disney Channel.