Five Thoughts on Star Wars: Resistance’s “The Escape”

By | January 28th, 2020
Posted in Television | % Comments

Well folks, we’ve reached the end of the road of season 2, but also of Star Wars: Resistance itself. While an undeniably flawed series, Resistance has certainly had its moments and the series/season finale was no different. Still, the overarching theme for me as a viewer remains “missed opportunities.” Good series finales should always leave you wanting more. They shouldn’t, however, leave you feeling rushed, like you missed half of the lead up to the final events.

Overall, “The Escape” was a great episode, but was Star Wars: Resistance a great series? Maybe not. But, like I said, it had its moments, and for all of its faults, Dave Filoni and team ultimately give us exactly what we want out of the series: Rucklin getting punched in the face.

It’s been a pleasure recapping for you this season. Let’s enjoy the ride one last time. You already know this, but it always bears repeating: beware of spoilers ahead.

1. Longform works

“The Escape” was arguably the best episode of the season, a fact that I think has much to do with the creators having ample space to tell the story they wanted. Everything about this episode felt fleshed out, unlike a lot of the previous ones which felt rushed. I mean, listen, having to tell a full story, coupled with the added challenge of making it age-appropriate, in 22 minutes is difficult and it’s no wonder that (at least for this adult viewer) a lot of the storylines fell flat. There also was a lot at stake in this finale; exploring it in just 22 minutes would have done the entire series a disservice. Even a two-parter with a cliffhanger in the middle wouldn’t have worked entirely. Instead, what we got was a 1 hour mini-movie. It was a great decision on Filoni and the crew’s part. While I’ve found a lot to complain about this past season, it allowed them to leave on a high note by flexing the creative muscles that we know they have. It’s just unfortunate that we had to wait until the finale to see it.

It’s also unfortunate that we didn’t at least get another episode or two between this and the previous episode, which left the impression that the times were a’changing. It would have been nice to see a bit more build up to Tam’s defection, rather than just spring it on us. I assumed that’s what they would do all season long anyway, but it would have been nice to have been proven wrong. Ah, well. C’est la vie.

2. Tam wants out

Perhaps surprising no one, the series finale centers around Tam’s decision to leave the First Order and the subsequent daring escape aided by, who else, Kaz and Yeager. Like I said, we’ve been building to this moment all season long, so it’s not much of a surprise that this is where we end up.

One of my main complaints for most of the season is that there should have been a lot more Tam, because hers was the most interesting story to tell. But instead we focused on Kaz, who’s conflicts really amount to him being too much of a hero, goofy and ineffectual as he may be sometimes. The good guy underdog fighting against the terrible Empire — I’m sorry, First Order — that’s undoubtedly evil personified and always in the wrong, while he’s always in the right… What’s so interesting about that? Honestly, this is an overarching issue with the entire sequel trilogy era Star Wars universe and not just Resistance. For whatever reason, Disney is hellbent on ignoring the compelling stories at its fingertips in favor of rehashing the old tropes. Tam’s redemption came through in the end, but I think there were multiple missed opportunities over the course of the season to really explore what it all meant to her and not just Kaz and the Colossus. Hers was the story to tell. This, to me, is the biggest mistake this series made; the entirety of season 2 suffered because of it.

Speaking of Tam, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge her First Order Yeager stand in, Agent Tierney, who meets her fateful end towards the end of the hour-long episode (either at the hands of Kylo Ren or in the destruction of the Star Destroyer, the choice is up to you). She’s understandably perturbed at Tam’s betrayal and more than a little hurt, I think. I regret that we weren’t able to explore her character further in the end, especially her relationship with Tam. Why did Tam remind her of herself? Did that create a conflict for her? Why didn’t she destroy Tam’s comm from the Colossus? Was it her plan all along for Tam to steal it back (didn’t seem like it!)? Most importantly, what was her and Pyre’s plan to manipulate Tam into helping them destroy the Colossus?! We never got an answer to that beyond their villain monologuing that never gave any details other than some vague existence of a plan. It seemed to me that Tam’s sussing the Colossus out by trying to return to it would be exactly the plan they had, but judging by their surprise/anger at this turn of events, it almost certainly was not.

Continued below

I guess we’ll never know.

3. Do you remember the time

Finally we get to witness Kaz acting as a competent soldier! It only took all season (series, ha). To me, this had a lot to do with Yeager being his partner on the mission. Kaz always seems to benefit from teaming up with vets of the Galactic Civil War, their competence and experience rubbing off on him. It was actually kind of a nice foil to see the old generation and new generation fighting together against their common enemy. Very symbolic, really.

This being a series finale episode, there was a fair share of reminiscing and reflection going on. Yeager, Kaz, and Tam effectively end things where it all began, back on Castillon, reuniting on the busted ring that Kaz crashed his ship into a lifetime ago. That and Tam’s First Order trooper suit are a poignant reminder of how far these characters have come, but it also shows that no matter how messy things get, you can always come home. Tam messed up, but still they welcome her back with open arms (and a few choice words from Yeager, who is still hurting over the betrayal). Is it a simplified redemption message? Sure it is, but it’s a redemption message nonetheless, important for the kid and adult viewers alike. Tam will have a long way to go to make up for her mistake, but the important thing here is that it was just that, a mistake. Her friends and makeshift family still love her regardless.

4. All for one, one for all

That’s not to say that her return isn’t met with some resistance (ha) at first.

Doza, who’s really come into his own in the past episode or two (I’m really disappointed we’ll never get the chance to truly explore this rebellious personality of his), calls a meeting of the entire Colossus once it’s clear that Yeager and Kaz are going to need a little help on this adventure of there’s, captured as they are by the First Order. Understandably, they aren’t too into the idea of risking their lives for traitor Tam, but that quickly changes once they receive an incoming transmission from Kaz. After he explains that Rucklin sold out the coordinates of the Colossus to the First Order, Tam jumps in to give a heartfelt apology to her former makeshift family. The transmission ends with the plea that they save themselves, forget about the three of them, and we see what appears to be a fierce firefight between them and the troopers who have them surrounded. It feels very dire, and as the transmission ends the mood on the Colossus is grim. Of course they can’t let their friends die. They’re determined to fight back.

It’s a nice moment to see all of the faces we’ve grown to know and love come together for a common cause. Resistance purposefully makes it a who’s who of the Colossus, including some friends we haven’t seen in a while like Flix and Orka, leading up to and during the final battle with the Star Destroyer. Jade Squadron and the Aces take to the sky while the rest of the Colossus defends their home from the First Order boarding party. It’s a really great sequence of events, filled with a lot of action. Of course the Colossus ultimately prevails to no one’s surprise, but that doesn’t make it feel any less fraught while you’re watching.

5. A final final

The last thing I want to talk about “The Escape” is the strength of the animation, which really shines throughout the entire hour. There are a lot of moving parts to this final plot, and potentially more action than we’ve seen in a while in a single episode, but the animators really pull it off flawlessly. This episode, to me, felt like Star Wars, from the tone to the choice of scenes and everything in between. That really has a great deal to do with the way it’s animated, as well as the writing. It’s a strong script brought to life by strong animators. Why couldn’t the entire season have been like this? “The Escape” gives us a glimpse at what the season could have been and left me wanting more, but I think ultimately it’s better that we end here with Tam and the Colossus reunited.

Star Wars: Resistance wasn’t the strongest of series, but it had heart in its cute and sometimes annoying, sometimes amusing antics. While I’ll be happy to have my Sunday evenings back, there is a small part of me that’s going to miss these goofballs.

Yes, even Kaz.

//TAGS | Star Wars: Resistance

Kerry Erlanger

Kerry Erlanger is a writer from New York whose accolades include being named Time Person of the Year 2006. She can be found on Twitter at @hellokerry.


  • -->