“It’s a film for 12-year-olds. This is what we stand for. You’re about to enter the real world. You’re moving away from your parents. You’re probably scared, you don’t know what’s going to happen. Here’s what you should pay attention to: Friendships, honesty, trust, doing the right thing.” -George Lucas
He’s right, you know? Star Wars was always designed to be stories for young people. Many of the fans out there are people who discovered it when they young and as we’ve heard them say so many times, had it capture their imagination. Fans grow older, life gets more complicated and some expect their old childhood buddy Star Wars to grow and get more complicated with them. Time to go out, get a job and pay your taxes, Star Wars! Depending on what story you watch and from what perspective you view it with, the galaxy far far away may have actually gotten more layered for a older viewing audience. Heck we just had that a little movie who’s big lesson was one of observing failure as one of life’s greatest teachings tools. But often the best way to view the saga is through the eyes of the young.
Star Wars Resistance, the latest show from Lucasfilm animation embraces the whole “for the 12 year olds” thing like a Wookiee hug. It’s a fast paced, candy colored story about a likeable goofball named Kaz Xiono who is tasked with pretending to be a new hot shot pilot so he can secretly spy on the growing sinister First Order. Kaz, like many of the characters and much like Ezra Bridger in Star Wars Rebels, can sometimes come on a little too strong, even for a kids show. Star Wars is always about the underdog becoming the hero but the idea of yet another show about a slightly whiny, slightly bratty dark haired young guy being our focal point for a series makes me sigh a little.
The show does shine with the fact that at least right now Kaz’s mission is refreshing small in it’s scope. The fate of the entire galaxy is not resting on his shoulders which is rare for a Star Wars main character. There’s no Jedi here (yet), no lightsabers, and not one mention of The Force. We are able to have episodes just letting us get to know the interesting folks sound Kaz, the cool aliens that live and work on the Colossus and just focus on some seriously fun ship racing moments.
It’s always been my thought that the Star Wars galaxy is big enough and diverse enough to tell all kinds of stories about all kinds of characters and Resistance is a big step in that direction. The animation here is fluid and bright and is a perfect match to the show’s breezy tone and the sound work by the pros at Skywalker Sound is especially exceptional. And most important of all, the aliens and creatures on display pull from the backgrounds of the prequels, sequels and some lesser seen OT classics. It’s a nice marriage of the entire saga and you can feel the affection for the universe coming from every frame of the show.
Both of the previous Star Wars animated shows started with fairly basic introductions to their worlds and characters and grew much more complex over time and I have a feeling the same is true with Resistance. If what we see in series opener The Recruit is any example, Kaz and the this story of ace pilots and the Resistance will be with us for a while and will be a welcome addition to the saga.