Descent beneath the waves. Descent into conflict. The latest from Star Wars Resistance, “The Descent,” brings us a literal call to arms by Kaz Xiono and the initiation of full out resistance against the First Order occupation of the platform. For many watching the show, it’s the long-awaited payoff for much of the show’s first season, which has opted to take its time to this titular moment, pausing along the way to introduce us to the Colossus and its residents before the First Order takeover. With only the two-part conclusion remaining, undoubtedly to end on a cliffhanger following the destruction of the Hosnian system (if not the entirety of The Force Awakens’ events), Resistance has everything in place for a blockbuster season finale.
“The Descent” begins from the cliffhanger of last week’s “The Disappeared,” with Kaz finding Commander Pyre and a squad of stormtroopers in Yeager’s garage ready to make arrests. In the ensuing firefight, almost everyone makes a fast getaway. Top mechanic Tam, confused over why the First Order wants Kaz in the first place, essentially surrenders to handcuffs. Tam’s tale introduces Agent Tierney of the First Order Security Bureau, who arrives to clean up a mess Pyre allowed to happen under his watch. Incidentally, the conversation between Tierney and Tam, in which Tierney breaks the news about Kaz’s true background, passes the Bechdel Test, which is always a good starting point for representation. Before Tam has a chance to absorb everything, though, Resistance breaks away, undoubtedly leaving her reaction for next week’s episode. Meanwhile, news of Kaz’s espionage reduces Neeku to laughter in a rare breaking of the fourth wall, with the character joining in with the audience in the comical depictions of Kaz Xiono, Resistance spy. It isn’t until after our favorite kids from Tehar show up to rescue Yeager, Kaz, and Neeku that the jolly green alien finally accepts the truth.
The safety provided by the First Order refugees is a temporary one. Kaz and Yeager determine the next course of action must be to disable a communication jammer array located near the top of Doza’s tower. The lofty location of the array guarantees its protection by the occupying First Order forces. The only solution, our hero Kaz decides, is to bring the array to them by sinking the platform. In this regard, there’s a bit of an issue of how Kaz learned the Colossus could sink as it does? The sinking of the platform is as incredible as it sounds, and nearly distracts from that logic problem. As if a little bird whispered deus ex machina in his ear, the idea actually works, allowing CB-23 to propel Kaz and Yeager underwater to the array. They successfully disable the jamming and send a call for help to the Resistance. Yeager is subsequently captured, but Kaz escapes with a recording of the prompt reply from General Leia.
The reply isn’t quite one to inspire hope and confidence. In fact, it’s rather depressing news for Kaz and company: Sorry, can’t spare a single ship, but feel free to join up with us later! At least it’s delivered by Leia, notably sporting the same ring she wears in The Last Jedi. Based on the timing of General Hux’s impending speech, it seems likely Rey, Finn, and Han Solo are somewhere en route to Maz’s castle or avoiding the hungry rathtars, and Leia as yet has no news on Luke’s whereabouts or the demonstration of Starkiller Base that will necessitate her throwing all her ships toward defeating the superweapon. The lack of outside help, however, does accomplish one thing: it pushes Kaz into accepting his role as a leader to those who want to resist the First Order on the Colossus. This symbolically had started with Yeager acknowledging Kaz’s plan to sink the platform, and now literally, as Kaz announces the formation of a resistance.
On this precipice, we go into next week’s first part of the season finale asking ourselves, what will the fallout be for Tam Ryvora? Will she join the First Order based on Agent Tierney’s sales pitch of ending chaos through order? This line from Tierney may be one of the most significant moments in the sequel era of Star Wars because it calls back to the true believer ethos that inspired people like Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, who saw the Galactic Empire as an agency of good in the galaxy. Tierney arguably for the first time reveals this pure thought still remained, something never voiced by any First Order enemy previously. Beyond Tam’s fate, we can hope for the best that former rebel pilot Yeager will be rescued, and perhaps, just perhaps, we will get a glimpse of the galaxy elsewhere in the days after The Last Jedi.
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