Star Wars Resistance: “Secrets and Holograms” Review
Surrounded by a sea of water, instead of sand, an ace pilot grumbles against a father figure’s condemnation of her desires to do more than simply sit around. Torra Doza is the focus of Resistance’s “Secrets and Holograms” and represents a continuing breath of fresh air into the show. Unfortunately, in the process Kazuno Xiono, while taking a big step toward being the spy that Poe Dameron believed him to be, continues to suffer from an inexplicable odd writing decisions, i.e., a New Republic pilot who’s scared of virtually everything. “Secrets and Holograms” succeeds with the Doza family and advancing the matter of First Order machinations.
The first act of the episode belongs exclusively to the Doza family. Suffering from cabin fever, Torra is ordered to stay in her room by an overprotective father, who is busy meeting with Commander Pyre to discuss the plans of a “temporary” First Order occupation of the Colossus. In these opening minutes, Torra reminds the viewer of another young Star Wars denizen with dreams to be anywhere but where they are, Luke Skywalker. The similarities are thematic, to be sure, but familiar and welcomed. The hero of A New Hope resonated with many fans because he stood in for them, a figurative nobody waiting for something, anything, to happen to bring adventure into his life. While Torra has the adrenaline-pumping job of ace pilot, it’s one her father has temporarily stripped her of while the First Order visits. Without it, she’s just one more bored teen stuck in her room playing video games. It’s a fate she rejects by sneaking out to explore the platform. In the course of that exploration, she bumps into Kaz and the second act.
The pair wander the marketplace, where more time is given to examining the life of Torra Doza through the interactions with other Colossus residents. A vendor quadruples the price of his wares because her father can afford the increase. A passerby questions her about her father’s activities, while another complains about the lack of recent races. Our favorite gorg merchant threatens her over the impact of her father’s decisions on his business. In short, the life of Captain Doza’s daughter is not an easy one, especially when everyone’s perception of you is filtered through what they think and believe of your father. When Kaz identifies with Torra, it’s a welcome distraction and relief for the young pilot, and both return to the tower to play flight simulator games. It’s left to our interpretation whether Kaz feigns interest entirely to get into the tower or, more benevolently, was excited about both prospects. One missed opportunity here was a deeper commiseration between Kaz and Torra regarding their fathers. Kaz most definitely has a father problem, but it’s one that has been ignored since the first episode. Outside of Kaz’s interactions with his coworkers, very little has been explored of the character, regrettably.
The return to the tower offers another glimpse at the privileged life of the ace pilots and of Elijah Wood’s blue eyed, blond haired bitter racer wannabe, Jace Rucklin. In this case, Rucklin has taken on a second job to save up for another starfighter, while building up his resentment over the guy who quite literally saved his life in perhaps one of the bravest moments allowed for our hero in the show so far. After a short foray into hologram game play, Kaz makes it into Captain Doza’s office, where he not only finds the First Order plans to protect the Colossus from pirates, but also an old Imperial uniform hanging in Doza’s private closet. It’s a hint at Doza’s past, and one we will likely learn more about. One question to be raised: why hold on to the uniform of a defunct dictatorship from 30 years ago? Rucklin doesn’t allow Kaz time to ponder it, as he alerts Captain Doza of the possible intruder.
Kaz is saved by Torra’s intervention, followed by a trip into one of the platform’s garbage incinerators. Nothing says Star Wars like an incredibly inefficient means to deal with refuse, such as random laser blasts to vaporize items. Dodging the blasts, Torra and Kaz escape. Kaz evades a second dilemma when Torra confronts him on being a spy. His unconvincing answer isn’t challenged, but we are left to believe Torra knows the answer. Kaz vanishes from the episode and Torra finds herself back inside her room, albeit more content than when we first found her.
“Secrets and Holograms” is Torra Doza’s episode, one that Kaz falls into and eventually departs, and it’s a welcome glimpse into the life and character of another of the show’s women. This and “Synara’s Score” represent some of the better episodes of Resistance. “Secrets and Holograms” also represents a real feeling that the larger story is moving forward: the First Order’s ambitions for the platform and whatever efforts the Resistance will take to counter them. For a show titled Resistance, there has been very little Resistance versus First Order, something that will add another dimension to the show and its characters. Things are starting to feel fun and shifting the spotlight to more of its women characters may certainly be why.
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