The first three episodes of Resistance’s second season have in a large part had the same equation: the Colossus crew dealing with their new reality, fixing equipment, replacing parts, and so on, balanced against the fascinating personal journey of Tam Ryvora. Despite the new obstacles before our main characters, nothing has pushed them to change. They remain static versions of themselves in contrast to the first season, where Kaz had to mature into his role as Resistance operative, Torra fought to be recognized as an adult by her father, and Synara transitioned away from heartless pirate. Not every episode from the first season addressed a character’s growth, but for Season Two this aspect has been unilaterally the role of Tam Ryvora. Her initial acquiescence to a life in the ranks of the First Order slowly developing microfissures of indecision has made the first three episodes immensely more enjoyable. In “Hunt on Celsor 3,” though, Tam is absent, and the main Colossus characters are pretty much just there to do something to fill the minutes of the episode.
Food is virtually gone on the Colossus, cut off from the natural opportunities of the oceans of Castilon and the constant traffic of galactic commerce. Aunt Z threatens to leave, sparking a wave of concurring sentiment, and the problem of the episode – how do we feed the people on the platform? – is revealed. This unto itself could be fine, if it served as the doorway to understand characters better or have them take steps forward on an arc. It doesn’t happen. Pirates agree to hunt down the massive flying beast from “Live Fire,” now named a jakoosk, and thus hope to sway public sentiment toward them and away from Captain Doza. The idea of an uprising or piratical takeover is interesting, but only briefly addressed. Despite warnings of how hard this task would be, pirate Captain Kragan throws everything he and the pirates have at the creature, only to be driven away.
Kaz and Torra, however, who had been witnesses to the miserable failure of a hunt, have their own plan to put in motion: “Shoot its bottom half.” This they do with a cannon engineered by Tam prior to her departure, the only mention of Ryvora in the episode. It’s during the final act that “Hunt on Celor 3” begins to feel like the writers were not comfortable with placing Kaz and Torra in the high stakes game of giant winged monster killing. Instead of writing their interactions and experiences in an interesting way, the writers inexplicably opted to have Buggles, Torra’s six legged furry friend, sneak aboard the extremely cramped Fireball, remain hidden until Kaz lands, and then run loose on the planet’s surface. Buggles offers nothing, except maybe a reason for Torra and Kaz to become separated, something that could have been accomplished in any number of ways. The useless escapade tarnishes the final act with a shade of “why is this happening?” that renders “Hunt on Celsor 3” the least enjoyable of the second season’s episodes to date.
The inclusion of Buggles also raises questions about the role the writers chose for Synara, one of the more interesting characters on the show and who had been developing some form of friendship with Tam prior to her absconding to the First Order. Rather than having Kaz freak out over Torra’s adorable furry companion, that time could have been spent on a genuine conversation between Synara and Kaz about Tam, opening a window of insight into both characters. Instead, Synara is present for the initial hunt, but mostly a non-player, and only returns to chide the pirates for their behavior at the end of the episode in a matronly manner. More so, she only operates through the entire episode as a voice of reason and conscience for her fellow pirates. The missed opportunity is unfortunate.
“Hunt on Celsor 3” is still entertaining. At one moment near the end, Michael Tavera’s music truly begins to shine in a way that indicates a bit more freedom or independent spirit that was missing from much of the first season. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the episode. The animation is flawless, including the trademark Lucasfilm lighting, such as the hazy light of Aunt Z’s diner that helped set the atmosphere of an institution in the last hours of its operation. One obvious trait that every episode of Resistance has had this season is interconnectivity. Episode one’s apology message played a major role in episode two, episode two’s battle between fighters extended to episode three’s training on Celsor 3, and it all comes to a head with a giant, flying space manta ray. Hopefully, the events in “Hunt on Celsor 3” will pay off in the next episode to make its underwhelming story feel much more important.
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