“The Engineer” offers a glimpse of a galaxy without hope. The episode is narratively positioned in the Star Wars Resistance story when the First Order is still clearly on the victory march following the destruction of the New Republic and flight from D’qar. In this context, the crew of the Colossus find themselves responding to a distress call while in the midst of the ship itself threatening to fall apart. Objectively, Neeku is the character at the center of episode, and it’s his abject sincerity which serves as a foil for the inhabitant of the distressed ship: an engineer named Nena. Within the interpersonal dynamic between the two, there arises a depiction of hope and despair. It begins with a cry for help.
“The Engineer” finds Neeku, referred to as the best mechanic on the Colossus, trying to fix one problem after another on the bridge of the fueling platform. In the midst of this chaos, the ship receives a distress signal, a voice in the darkness seeking help. Kaz successfully argues that it’s worth the risk to rescue this individual, despite the chance it is a First Order trap. Kaz along with Synara end up finding a humanoid named Nena. Once Nena’s status as an engineer is discovered, she is asked to remedy the problems of the Colossus; embarking on a cross platform adventure with Neeku to solve one problem after another. In the process, we learn that Nena’s life was one of tragedy, abducted by pirates and sold into Hutt enslavement. At the same time, we also watch her develop a fondness for the ever-optimistic Neeku, who admits that his desire to become a mechanic was not shared by his parents, but who nevertheless, sold a bantha to pay for his education.
Problems come to a head when Nena attempts to frame the Colossus’s resident pirates for stealing excessive energy, a plot that backfires when Synara convinces Kaz to investigate it more fully. Very quickly, Nena is exposed as an agent of the First Order. She proclaims that it’s useless to fight the monstrous child of the Galactic Empire and then reveals that the entire time she has been sabotaging the platform, leaving it a sitting duck for the First Order. She invites Neeku to join her, a fleeting attempt for some happiness in a dark galaxy; but he declines her invitation. It’s Nena’s fatalism at this moment, contrasted against Neeku’s positive world view, that sells “The Engineer,” as an entertaining (and notably, Tam Ryvora-less) episode. Nena represents the galaxy that failed to respond to General Leia’s call for help on Crait, while Neeku represents the Resistance, itself. In a previous episode, Neeku literally sacrifices his belongings to give light and hope to the residents of the Colossus, here his eternal optimism refuses to allow him to simply give up in the face of the adversity created by Nena.
In the end, Neeku manages to reverse the damage inflicted by the wayward engineer, and the heroes jump to lightspeed, away from Major Pyre’s and Agent Tierney’s Star Destroyer. Nena, for her dark outlook on the galaxy, is condemned to die by Tierney over her failure to incapacitate the Colossus. Neeku, meanwhile, wraps up the episode happily walking on the promenade of the Colossus, under the artificial sun and sky brought forth into existence through his own hope and good will. “The Engineer” is one of the best episodes so far in this season of Resistance because it offered a glimpse of the galaxy in desperate need of saving, of how people will act when they believe there is no hope, all the while underlining the need to persevere in the darkest circumstances.
For more on this episode, check out StarWars.com.