Resistance Reviews – Signal from Sector Six

Resistance Reviews
“Signal from Sector Six”


I’m starting to see a pattern in these Resistance episodes.  In just about every one of them so far, there’s some weird stuff, some awkward stuff, some almost awesome stuff and some stuff that makes me wonder if I should keep watching it.  Every time that happens,  I’m constantly just reminding myself that this is the sixth episode of the first season of a show that is admittedly made for an audience much younger then I am. Resistance can be enjoyed by everyone but in the end,  the crowd this show is reaching for may not be the same one the Cassian Andor spy adventures show will be.  Unless Cassian screams and falls down a hole in every episode.

Signal from Sector Six sees the welcome return of Poe Dameron as he and resident goofball Kaz go over the ongoing spy mission, fly some X-Wings and eventually get all Alien movie as they investigate a spooky abandoned freighter ship in space.  Once on there, the episode takes a odd and oddly satisfying detour as we learn the ship is the home to a gigantic, buff Kowakian ape.  I’ll save you the trip to Wookieepedia and let you know that a Kowakian ape is basically a big mean Salacious Crumb.  It’s 2018 and finally my dreams have started to come true.

Once Poe and Kaz start to escape they discover a mysterious person named Synara hiding in the ship and decide to bring her back to the Colossus.  After she gets there we learn (gasp!) she’s got dealings with the pirates from a few episodes back and she could be an actual spy for them and could bring the First Order into the station!  Oh and also there’s a touching droid heart to heart moment between BB-8 and the other BB unit droid, CB-23.  And did I mention that we learn that Poe hates monkeys?

Thinking back to how jam packed with the crazy this episode is makes me appreciate it a little bit more then when I first watched it.   Is it the best 22 minutes of television you’ll ever watch?  Definitely no.  It does let Oscar Isaac shine in a downright silly Poe Dameron performance and it has a giant pissed off Salacious Crumb.  And I may be wrong, but while Kaz still acted like an idiot a lot, he didn’t fall down once in this one. So I guess I’m not complaining ?


Resistance Reviews – The Children from Tehar

Resistance Reviews
“The Children from Tehar”


Let’s sit down and talk.  Just you and me, Resistance.   I’m trying really, REALLY hard to appreciate you.  I know you are going out of your way to give me me what I like with all the Space Turtle engineers, a sly Kylo Ren shoutout, an Asty cameo… but I swear that goofball Kaz tripped over things 7 times in 22 minutes.  7 TIMES!  Why?  I’m clumsy but I don’t trip and fall seven times a day! Can Kaz maybe, just maybe get a clue?  And for the love of Yoda, can he stop falling down all the dang time?

The Children of Tehar starts with a Kaz screwing up yet another project (imagine that) and he goes off to drown his sorrows in a glass of water at Z’s bar.   Once there he sees a hologram of some missing kids that if he found, he’d get a huge reward.  So he and Neeku fall down a couple times and eventually with the help of those fantastic Space Turtles, find the lost kids.  Who to nobody’s surprise, would rather not be found.  Seems these kids just escaped from the planet Tehar which just saw the mighty Kylo Ren wipe out a whole town of people and everyone these kids know.

In an effort to save these kids from a cool gold plated First Order trooper, Kaz’s character thankfully shows his first glimpses of being not being just a clumsy guy in a jacket who knows NOTHING about engineering.  Though he still screws up a lot in the process, as soon as Kaz hears about Kylo busting up their town, he springs into action to do anything to try and keep them safe.  It was good to see and it may be a hint of what’s eventually to come once the First Order does much much worse to everyone HE cares about.

While Children from Tehar is a much better episode then the blond kid episode or the nighttime biker gang episode, it’s still sad that just a namedrop of a film character like Kylo Ren can make a whole episode come alive.  When Kaz was talking to Ello Asty at the end, I almost passed out and I completely forgot all about plight of the runaway kids. The show is good but the original characters just aren’t there yet.   These new shows always take time, but I feel like by Rebels episode 5, we already knew we liked Hera, Zeb and Kanan.  Kaz just isn’t doing it for me and wonder if anyone is actually laughing at his constant buffoonery?

I’m sticking with you Resistance because you have promise and I feel like you’re building towards something.  Maybe it’s Hosian Prime blowing up, the discovery of Neeku being the First Order spy, a cameo from King Prana, a song by Asty or maybe it’s just Kaz falling down some more?  Either way, I’m still on board for now.


Resistance Reviews – The High Tower

Resistance Reviews
“The High Tower”


High Tower is a real mixed bag of an episode.  It’s like a bag of Chex Mix but there’s a lot of the weird bread things and not as many cereal squares.  Isn’t that always how it goes though?  Thankfully, the episode moves at a brisk and breezy pace and really stands out storywise compared to the last couple of bits of the story we’ve gotten. Sadly,  it also fails yet again to connect the viewer with the main character at all and often feels slightly uneven.  Kinda like a handful of Chex Mix.

A lot actually happens in this episode to move the show forward.  Like, A LOT.  We are finally introduced to one of the ace pilots, the charming Rodian named Hype Fazon.  We get our first idea on how the First Order is using the Colossus, and who’s dealing with them. We get to see some real relationships between Hype, Tam and Torra, and the elite in the High Tower are first made aware of the bumbling spy that is Kaz.  It’s a lot crammed into 22 minutes and once the cool red armored stormtrooper person shows up, it’s hard to really feel bad for Kaz as he goofs through his latest failed spy mission.

As I watched Tam and Hype talk about past regrets and attempt to make amends, I realized that those two characters right there and that story was a lot more engaging than our main character’s has been so far.  In two or three exchanged lines, I wanted to know way more about them then see Kaz mug and scream his way down a hallway while being chased by stormtroopers.

I know we are only on the 4th or 5th episode of the first season and the show is for kids and that Star Wars has been and will always be for kids (from a certain point of view) but Kaz so far is like the Uber-Ezra.  These shows don’t always need a main character who is constantly in over his head and messing up for kids to be into it.  Kaz needs to figure out what he’s really doing and the show needs to figure Kaz out before I begin the letter writing campaign to make the whole show about Tam and Torra.   Now I’ll go back to my Chex Mix.

B – 

Resistance Reviews – Fuel for the Fire

Resistance Reviews
“Fuel for the Fire”


In some ways, in a lot of ways, this third episode of Resistance should have had warning signs pasted all over it.  This week we have resident goof Kaz meeting a gang of cool troublemakers led by the Star Wars Ken doll looking guy Jace Rucklin (voiced by Elijah Wood).  This gang of hooligans (which contains a Sullustan I wanted to know more about) want Kaz to steal some Corellian Hyperfuel (nice Solo shout out!!) from his goodhearted boss, Yaeger.  If that sounds like it’s going to have about  as much as a heavy handed learn your lesson as a very special episode of Punky Brewster, you’re absolutely right it does.

Somehow through that predictable story line, Fuel for the Fire manages to soar in ways last week’s The Triple Dark crashed.  This episode’s not so subtle lesson actually allows Kaz to grow the tiniest bit as a character this time.  He runs off with these rough and tumble pilots as he feels like he’s just … kinda… useless doing anything else.   He’s just about admits he’s not good a spying so far or pretending to be mechanic.  The guy is a pilot and here comes some weirdos saying, “hey, screw the man and that lousy job!  Let’s go fly!”  And he jumps at it!  Now of course these rascals want to steal and they cheat and all that stuff and we know how all that will naturally end up.

By the end of this episode, Kaz starts to realize that he has it pretty good on the Colossus.  He’s got friends, a sympathetic boss, a support system, a loyal BB unit and an important mission from the best pilot in the Resistance who also has the best jackets and hair.

It’ll be interesting to see where Kaz now goes in the upcoming episodes.  Will he revert back to a  “I don’t know why I’m here” or will he start to work with his team some more?  Regardless,  Fuel for the Fire is a pretty nice step in the right direction.


Resistance Review – The Triple Dark

Resistance Reviews
“The Triple Dark”


Ah, the second episode.  The party of the big series premier is done, Poe Dameron is gone, the cake and ice cream has to go away and we have to start getting into what this show is actually really about.  We know the basic premise that this goofball from the New Republic, Kaz is pretending to be a pilot/mechanic on this big space aircraft carrier thing while actually Leia and Poe want him there figuring out who is a spy for the First Order.   Got that?  Okay, so does this this story actually get its feet in the Crait salt and take us on our first steps into a larger world here?  Well, yes and no.

While The Triple Dark features a bit more of a look at the day to day life on the continually fascinating Colossus, the biggest thing weighing it down is once again our main character, Kaz.  I know it’s only the second episode, but the fact that he suffers from Ezra syndrome and he’s kinda whiny, kinda an idiot, not a good fake mechanic and not a good for real spy make me wonder just what is he good at and why is he our main character?  The show picks up energy whenever Yeager or Tam are on screen because so far they’re a heck of a lot more interesting then the kid who is walking into poles and electrocuting people.   Those two have had hints of interesting backstories that tie to The Saga and frankly their not walking around slipping on banana peels all the time.

I’m not saying everything in this episode is a misstep though.  I love the Triple Dark pirate marauders, the grumpy Neimoidian is beautiful and the scene when the station’s pilots suit up and get in their fighters to defend the Colossus is Star Wars Gold.

Resistance so far is still like a new pair of shoes that look great but might just might be rubbing against my heel a little weird right now.  Maybe they’ll stretch out and I’m sure they will get more comfortable over time.   BUT  if this keeps up with the “I’m Kaz and I have no clue what I’m doing” stuff by the time Hosnian Prime blows up then me and these cool new shoes may have issues.   I gotta remind myself that Clone Wars started a little weird and the first few regular episodes of Rebels were extremely off.  So far Resistance is finding its groove at it’s own pace.  I just better not get a blister.



Resistance Review – The Recruit

Resistance Reviews
“The Recruit”


“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.


Star Wars and the Power of Costume

Blast Points was at the Detroit Institute of Arts this week to see a preview of the Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume exhibit.

It was a spectacular exhibit showcasing a wide range of star wars costumes and a surprising amount of original concept art.  Look out for this weeks episode to hear Jason and Gabe lose their minds as they freak out over the fan favorites and dig into the deep cuts the exhibit had to offer.

If you are in the Detroit area or willing to make the drive we highly recommend you come and check it out.

Take a unique journey into the Star Wars™ universe as characters are brought to life through a dramatic presentation of more than 60 original costumes. Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume will closely examine the captivating process of costume design for iconic outfits featured in the first seven films of the Star Wars saga—from Queen Amidala’s lavish gowns to Darth Vader’s imposing black armor.

This exhibition goes beyond the chronological, literary, or filmic order often used to chronicle Star Wars™. It focuses instead on the creative process, encompassing the essence of George Lucas’ vision and the exciting challenge of translating his iconic characters into a dynamic reality.

For more information: Detroit Institute of Art


Queen Jamillia Concept Art, 1999, Iain McCaig, ink, graphite pencil, and paint on paper. © & ™ 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.

Padmé Amidala, Lake Retreat Dining Gown with Feathered Cape. Star Wars™: Attack of the Clones. © & ™ 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.

Darth Vader Concept Art, 1976, John Mollo, graphite pencil, colored pencil and ink on paper. © & ™ 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.

Mas Amedda, Senate Robes. Star Wars™: Revenge of the Sith. © & ™ 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.

R2-D2 Concept Art, About 1975, Ralph McQuarrie, graphite pencil on paper. © & ™ 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.


Rebels Review – “Wolves and a Door” “A World Between Worlds”

“Wolves and a Door” “A World Between Worlds”


“Through the Force, things you will see. Other places. The future…the past. Old friends long gone.”

Shortly after these episodes aired, there was a lot of online chatter on how THESE STAR WARS REBELS CHANGE EVERYTHING or STAR WARS INTRODUCED SOME THING NEW AND IT WILL NEVER BE THE SAME and possibly maybe even SHOW BASED ON POPULAR SPACE WIZARDS MOVIES JUST DID ANOTHER WEIRD THING.   Did these two episodes get kinda bug out freak out crazy?  Sure.  Is it a radical new thing departure from what we’ve seen in Star Wars before? Especially when just a couple months ago we had a bearded Luke Skywalker meditating and floating over a rock while his projection talked smack to his greasy haired nephew? Not at all.  In my opinion, Star Wars is at its best when it is wacky weird.  Give me Star Wars when it steps outside the Boba Fett is a Badass comfort zone and delves deep into that mystical energy field.  So often the stories filled with heroes, villains, religious and mythic allegories are when it shines the brightest.  Like an angry Lucas once said, “it’s not about spaceships.”  I feel like Rebels show runner and obvious wolf superfan Dave Filoni might agree with that.   He wrote this stuff and watching these two episodes is like being at his house on a Saturday night after he’s had a whole bottle of champagne and he’s talking Star Wars.  It’s a little loopy, a little off the rails but it’s a rockin’ visual representation of what Star Wars has been dancing around for decades.

The whole thing starts out as the Rebels crew decides to find out what’s up with the mysterious jedi temple that the giant maybe Kanan Wolf wanted them to see.  As if that wasn’t already weird enough, they then ride the giant wolves across half of Lothal in some sort of ground hyperspace portal.  Once they get there they see that the Empire has gone all Raiders of the Lost Ark on the temple as they dig around it in a quest to use its power for evil reasons.

Here we are introduced to a creepy old Sith devotee named Minister Hyden who is voiced by the great Malcolm McDowell.  This little guy with a cool hat is obsessed with discovering the secrets of the temple so his master, Emperor Palpatine can better rule the galaxy.  As a sadistic and oddly sympathetic tool of a Sith Lord, Hyden is a more interesting bad guy in his 15 minutes of screen time then Thrawn has been for multiple seasons.

Once there and with a lot of help from Sabine, Ezra figures out how to get in the temple and then the show really kicks into high gear.  As he walks around the star filled space bridges, we hear dialog that spans everything from Force Awakens to A New Hope.  It’s a nice eerie touch as Ezra quickly realizes this Force place is an area beyond time and space made up of portals where you can enter and view other of major moments of history.

Ezra goes to a portal where he sees Ashoka’s battle with Lord Vader and at the last second, he explains what happened to Tano during the fight as he quickly pulls her out of there.  Ezra then does Ezra by acting clueless and he whining a lot about how he can stop people from dying.  It’s a little distracting as Ezra seemingly still doesn’t have a clue on not only how to be a Jedi but also how to function as a person. Finally, the former Padawan learner becomes the teacher as Ashoka reminds Ezra that he has to chill out and that he can not change the past and he must learn to let go of his former master.

This is where people seemed to freak out thinking time travel is now a thing in Star Wars.  It’s not.  It’s not suddenly Back to the Future or something and no Rey isn’t going back in time in Episode 9.  What Ezra enters is a physical version of an area of the Force.  He sees events from HIS past.  He’s not seeing Anakin and Obi-Wan fight on Mustafar or the death of Qui-Gon Jinn, it’s only what he knows.

This kind of mystical thing is an extension of what Rey experienced when she touched the Skywalker saber and traveled “through time”, when Luke saw himself in Vader’s mask in the cave or even Rey’s reflection cave in Last Jedi.  What is all that?  It doesn’t have a name or a clear cut answer because it shouldn’t.  The Force should remain weird and mystical and by introducing a not really new element to it all, just underlines that we, like even the masters in the films and shows, can’t categorize the Force and nobody will ever be able to fully understand it.  That frustrates some who want the Force to be as simple as Superman’s powers but i am sorry, that’s just not how the Force works.  People like Dave Filoni are the esteemed professors at Lucas college and this episode is like the introductory course in Keeping Star Wars Weird.  This Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars animation doing what it does best and these episodes come highly recommended.

Final grade : A 

Rebels Review – ”Jedi Night” ”Dume”

“Jedi Night” “Dume”



Let’s just put it right out in the open.  These two episodes of Star Wars Rebels are some of the best stuff the show has ever done.  No, no young Master Codebreaker is not in it.  And no, it doesn’t feature a two hour tribute to Admiral Raddus’ face. It does however somehow manage to take almost all the awkward stuff that has plagued season four so far and perform a Jedi mind trick on us and made it all suddenly kinda awesome.  I’m still not sure who the bootleg Anakin kid is that’s hanging out on Lothal is or why I should care about Clancy Brown’s space Santa character but dammit who cares right now.   This is some mighty fine Star Wars action and I wanna talk about it.

The action starts as everyone is getting ready to go rescue Hera.  Kanan tells Ezra he should lead this mission and Sabine and Zeb put together some hang gliders so they can sneak into the Imperial base.  Kanan decides to go full Legend of Billie Jean at this moment and use a knife to cut his hair.  After debuting his new punk samurai new wave look, they head out to Governor Irina “Pryce” Spalko’s torture pad where she’s trying to get Hera to tell her where that Rebel hidden base is. After rescuing her, Spalko Pryce has the bright idea of stopping them by blowing up the fuel that’s pretty much bankrolling Thawn’s crazy TIE Fighter project.  The whole thing goes boom and Kanan has one final act of true Jedi selflessness as he saves his friends from the fiery explosion but not himself.

Kanan’s death is definitely the major moment of these two episodes and it is done absolutely perfectly.  We all knew the dude was probably doomed from day one but his actions during this whole episode justify him basically meditating through the rest of the season. Just like us, the guy knew this moment was coming and he would finally prove, mostly to himself that he was a Jedi Knight.   It’s an instant classic moment for Star Wars animation with breathtaking visuals and a score by Kevin Kiner that is a reminder that he’s a strong candidate to eventually score some Star Wars cinema.

That moment ripples through the next episode as everyone does their best to move on in whatever way they can.  Sabine and Zeb go off to try and stick one to the Empire, Hera and Chopper mourn and Ezra gets lost (again) and talks to a giant wolf who may or may not be the spirit of Kanan.  Eventually the huge wolf tells Ezra that he’s gotta go back to the Jedi Temple on Lothal and with that promise of some wacky Force stuff to come, we are left hanging until next week.

Is the reason this episode is able to soar when so many before have floundered simply because it actually handles actual consequences and real growth for the characters?  Something this show has gravely struggled with in the past?  As DJ would say, “maybe..?”  However, even before Kanan’s massive final moment, we are given a simple sense of fun and some easy breezy Star Wars magic that has eluded the show so many times before.  Even the effortless scene of the rebels flying around on homemade gliders made this sometimes grumpy Rebels viewer smile.

This is Star Wars Rebels firing at maximum firepower, finally making giant talking wolves interesting, giving hope for actually Ezra doing something and hopefully, HOPEFULLY slapping my wrist for ever doubting Dave Filoni. Bravo Rebels and I can’t wait to see where the next few episodes go.

Final grade :A


Rebels Review – ”Rebel Assault”

”Rebel Assault”



A few things were made abundantly clear while watching Rebel Assault :

1.  don’t mess with Hera.

2.  X-Wing have been and will forever be cool

3.   I don’t think that Force Wolf is saying “Dume” anymore.  It might actually now be saying “doom” as in Kanan is totally doomed in this thing.

Rebel Assault starts out with some non-stop super  Star Wars action and wastes no time by giving the audience exactly what they want.  Christmas comes early as we are given a fairly awesome X-Wing battle led by the fearless butt kicking space mom Hera. Speaking of Hera and Christmas, where’s a Hera Forces of Destiny figure/doll?!?!? Hasbro you’re missing out with that one. Anyways, while it’s hard to top the still very fresh and dizzying space battles seen in last year’s Rogue One, this opening does its darndest to pump up the show an early shot of adrenaline.   Even the inclusion of former space waffle eating pirate kid now hotshot almost bootleg Wedge Rebel Pilot Mart Mattin didn’t ruin the party!

Thrawn of course is there watching the whole thing almost and letting yet another victory slip from his fingers.  On the ground while all this is happening,  Ezra, Kanan and crew are on exciting Lothal putting bombs on gun turrets and blowing stuff up real good.  

Pretty soon the Rebel fleet gets beat up and Hera crashes in what obviously is the one and only neighborhood in Lothal where everything happens.  She’s captured by Irina “Governor Pryce” Spalko who may think that Hera has the illusive crystal skull of Akator. Once Kanan senses that Hera is in trouble, he turns his speeder bike around to save her and is stopped by that giant Force Wolf.  Is it a warning? A sign that this isn’t going to end well for Kanan?  Is the Wolf hungry and just wants a biscuit?  Is it the world’s biggest She’s All That fan and wants to know what Rachael Leigh Cook is REALLY like? Maybe all of the above but we will have to wait until January to find out as this is the big mid season finale for Rebels.

While Rebel Assault is definitely an improvement on what’s come before and is possibly the best episode of season four so far, the lackluster quality of the season has made it almost difficult to care about what’s going on here.  Yeah it’s pretty clear that Kanan’s days are numbered and a giant sacrifice for Hera and the crew may be happening soon, but this kind of business is how the season should have started.  We’re getting to the real meat and potatoes of season four here and we’ve only got a handful of episodes left to tie this whole thing up.

This is a season that has felt off from the first episode and has relied on nostalgia both new and old to carry episodes.  The X-Wing sequence could have fallen into that “Hey look everyone, X-WINGS!!!” category but it totally works in this one.  The building relationship between Kanan and Hera feels like it’s going somewhere and the selfless decision Kanan makes here will sure lay the groundwork for the series’ impending conclusion.  This may yet be when Rebels season four got it’s groove back.  A few more episodes like this and I’ll forgive the Bossks with electric whips and Ezra smiling as a Bossk gets burned alive.  Maybe.


Final grade : B+