Why Resistance Needed Three Seasons Part Two: The Story

Welcome back to “Why Resistance Needed Three Seasons.” In part one, I discussed how the characters of Star Wars Resistance would have thrived if the animated show had been given an extra season. In part two, I’m going to discuss the overall narrative of Star Wars Resistance and possible storylines that could have been explored.

Just as a reminder or if you didn’t read part one, the reason I started this discussion comes from an article I wrote earlier this year called “One Big Question” discussing whether the show was always supposed to be two seasons or if it got cut short. I later found an interview from Resistance producers Athena Portillo, Justin Ridge and Brandon Auman confirming it was always planned to be two seasons. Personally, I always felt the show needed at least three seasons for the story it was trying to tell.

Let’s jump into the “What If” realm and look at the possibilities of what could have happened in a third season of Resistance.

 

I loved the slower pace of Resistance season one working with a more episodic format instead of serial episodes like Star Wars Rebels. It allowed for character driven stories to tell the narrative, a lot like how Clone Wars focuses on characters over plot. While I said in my One Big Question article that if this show was always supposed to be two seasons then they needed to make changes back in season one, I’m retracting that argument. Season one is damn near perfect in execution and in the story that it wants to tell. I wouldn’t want to touch it at all.

Therefore, I turn my focus onto season two. I won’t lie. I’m very critical of this season (out of love). Season one set a really high bar that season two never came close to clearing. From “Into the Unknown” to “Kaz’s Curse,” it feels like the beginning of season two. But from “Station to Station” to the finale, it feels like what should be the end of season three. It’s like there should be an entire season’s worth of stories in between that space that’s just not there. Season two is full of dropped storylines, pacing issues, confusing emotional beats and more. In their interview, the producers stated they wanted the show to end alongside The Rise of Skywalker:

“It just made sense for us, timeline-wise,” Ridge noted, ”to end along with Rise of Skywalker”

Ending Resistance with the Skywalker Saga

Why did Star Wars Resistance have to end alongside of TROS? I understand there was a feeling that they wanted to cap off an era of Star Wars. On paper, it made sense to tie in the Sequel Trilogy animated show with the final Skywalker film. But to me, Resistance suffered greatly with its shortened time frame. There are several choices in season two that I don’t understand when looking back on the show as a whole. There are character story arcs that suffer from lack of opportunity to be on screen. The endgame is rushed.

This idea that Resistance had to end with the Skywalker Saga is probably the biggest misstep. The beauty of Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels is that they had the gift of time on their side. Season one of Resistance feels a lot like season one of Rebels by giving a lot of set up for the overall story. But unlike Rebels which had three more seasons to grow and unpack everything, Resistance got stunted. Filoniverse shows are at their best when they have space to do their own thing. It took about three seasons for Clone Wars to find its footing. Rebels began to thrive in season two.

But Resistance never got that chance. There’s no story reason why the show had to end with the second season. This was an active choice made by the creators which, to me, is what stopped Resistance from growing into its full potential.

So if Resistance did have a third season, how would this effect the story?

 

Exploring Emotional Beats

Star Wars animation has always been so good at writing emotionally charged stories. Rebels especially knew how to weave those personal stories from the main cast in with the bigger narrative. Resistance does this to a lesser extent, but it could have gone further.

I didn’t talk much about Kaz when I discussed characters in part one of this series, because he has a great arc overall. But there was one story thread that was dropped which was he destruction of his home planet, Hosnian Prime, in the season one finale. That is probably the most emotionally charged moment of the entire show. That’s when Resistance hit its peak. That is the game changing moment for both the narrative and for Kaz as a person.

And it gets dropped from the show after the episode “A Quick Salvage Run.”

In the opening of season two, Kaz is understandably devastated after his home world gets destroyed. He has no idea if his family is alive. His friends and everything he’s ever known is gone in an instant. He lashes out at Neeku and Torra. Both of his friends are very patient, understanding that Kaz is going through something unimaginable. Kaz is almost manic as he throws himself in trying to fix the Colossus. He needs to have something to do to keep his mind away from this massive trauma dealt to him. Then in “A Quick Salvage Run,” Kaz finds out his family is okay when his father Hamato contacts him. They just so happened to have been off world at the time when Hosnian Prime was destroyed. And suddenly, Kaz is back to normal like nothing happened. Hosnian Prime is mentioned only one other time in the series after that.

They could have done something truly beautiful with Kaz’s trauma if they put the time into building that story. Star Wars Animation is very good at writing trauma into their stories like in Clone Wars and Rebels. Characters like Ahsoka, Kanan, Captain Rex, and heck, even Chopper have been written with PTSD. We’ve seen the mental toll of war take hold of Ezra and Sabine who are child soldiers. There’s mourning, loss, and pain. We know these creators can write these stories. But it’s not here for Kaz who witnessed the genocide of his own planet. If there had been three seasons, I would have loved to see Kaz take on a Princess Leia like role. After the destruction of her planet, Leia used Alderaan as her motivation to fight the Empire. This is especially prominent in Star Wars books and comics. In Rogue One, the destruction of Jedha was a rallying cry for the Rebellion.

Kaz’s story could have taken this path too. Even though his family is okay, he still lost his home. He could have used Hosnian Prime every chance he got to recruit people. That should have been his best tactic to inspire the people of the Colossus. There could even be a subplot where the very idea of Hosnian’s destruction could scare people away. Kaz would then have to figure out a new strategy. It would be a great analysis of his psyche. Even though he’s in pain, Kaz chooses to see the light and be his bright happy self. And when Kaz struggled, he should have struggled hard to the point of knowing when to ask for help. Still to this day, I wish Kaz and Leia had a conversation about Hosnian Prime. She is the only person in the galaxy who knows what he’s going through.

The destruction of Hosnian Prime could have helped Yeager and Captain Doza to have an active mentor role in season two. Kaz, Torra, Tam, and Neeku are all unique characters; they were all raised in a time of peace unlike Ezra, Ahsoka, and Sabine from previous series who were raised in war. Season two could have allowed Yeager and Doza to addressed their mixed feelings about returning to fight. They could have sat down and explained to the young protagonists what they were truly getting into by joining the Resistance. The destruction of Hosnian Prime is their example. And then season three could have been so stellar as Kaz, Torra, Neeku, and Tam would have truly matured and come into their own like Ezra did in season three of Rebels.

This is just one example, but there were so many emotional threads that could have been explored with the addition of a third season.

 

Dropped Stories and Rushed Pacing

Like with the emotional beats around Hosnian Prime, Resistance lost plot points along the way too. Probably the biggest one of all was the very premise of the show. In the opening episode, Poe Dameron specifically recruits Kaz with the mission to find a First Order spy on the Colossus. This point was even in the promotional material. Towards the end of the first season, it became more obvious that the “Find the First Order spy” story wasn’t the focus anymore. This becomes confusing. Was it always supposed to be a red herring to mask Tam’s descent into the First Order? Or did the story naturally shift away from this plot and this got left behind? I personally think it’s a little of both.

Still, losing this story threw so much mud right into the middle of the narrative. As a viewer, I was confused if I should care or not about this plot. It split my focus watching the show.

If there had been a third season, it would have been really cool if they brought this thread back up again. We could be so focused on the main plot with the Colossus crew and Tam in the First Order, that a sudden spy showing up would completely blindside the audience. It would make us go back and rewatch the earlier seasons to try and find those hints. Also if it was an established character, it would make it so much more emotional. I mentioned in part one, Bo and Freya had no plot whatsoever. One of them could have been a spy the entire time, playing a long slow game for years. That would have been an excellent use of either character.

Another narrative side effect with two seasons is the rushed pacing. But Resistance also has weirdly slow pacing too. Let me explain.

As I mentioned at the top, “Into the Unknown” to “Kaz’s Curse” felt like the beginning of season two. It’s because of the pacing. That span of episodes moves so slow, just like the show did in season one. It doesn’t feel like it is aware that it’s the final season. I almost wish they hadn’t announced that the show was ending before season two. Because with this knowledge, it gave an expectation that big things would be moving and happening. Instead, the characters were on supply runs looking for parts and food. There was no urgency in the first half of the season. Then in “Station to Station,” the plot suddenly broke into a sprint and didn’t stop into the finale. So much is crammed into those final eight episodes. There’s no time for the characters to breath. It feels frantic, like the creators were trying to resolve everything at once. Pacing was a big issue for season two.

Especially for Tam. I actually love Tam’s story. She’s the best written character in the show. I really like her story arc other than the fact that it moves so fast in those last eight episodes. If there had been a third season, they could have really dived into her psyche and motivations. Like how Kaz experienced the horrors of war on the hero side, they could have explored Tam’s point of view with the villains. Does she even know that Hosnian Prime was destroyed? How did she feel about that knowledge, knowing that it was Kaz’s home? Knowing that the group she had joined committed genocide? As I mentioned in part one, they could have set her up on a season three story with General Hux. Together, they could have teamed up to be spies together. Tam’s story is great, but it could have been really stellar with more time given to it. This is just one example of multiple stories in the show that needed more time.

Because I could also use way more Venisa Doza too.

Let Resistance Build into TROS

One of the main criticisms I’ve discussed with fellow fans is why the show is called “Resistance” in the first place. The focus of the show isn’t about the Resistance. It’s about the people of the Colossus. Skytalkers even joked on their podcast that it should be named “Star Wars: Colossus.” I absolutely agree with this sentiment. While Poe and Leia make appearances in the show and Kaz is a Resistance spy, that’s not the focus of the series. It’s about the people on the Colossus learning to survive in a time of war. It’s about them, as a group, learning how to fight for a bigger cause. Yes, they fight the First Order. But it’s to survive being hunted by the baddies. When the citizens come together, it’s to defend their home, not to free the rest of the galaxy from tyranny like the bigger Resistance. If Pyre and Tierny gave up their chase, the Colossus probably would have bowed out of the war. We saw precedence for this in the episode “No Safe Place” as the Colossus was settling in a possible new home.

Season two ends with the citizens fighting off the First Order and saving their home. Everyone is reunited for a happy ending. But then shortly after The Rise of Skywalker came out, concept art of the Fireball, Torra, and Yeager’s ships were released. It confirmed they were at the Battle of Exegol, the final confrontation of the Skywalker Saga.

So far in this What If game, I’ve been talking about extending the plot of Resistance into three seasons. But if they wanted to keep the show exactly as it is, then season three could have been the buildup into TROS. The citizens of the Colossus could now want to fight against tyranny. Orka and Flix could be smugglers. The Aces could train and gather more fighters. They could house refugees on the Colossus. Kaz could have gotten back in touch with Poe and the rest of the Resistance. The Colossus could have been a portable base for the cause. With Tam back with the heroes, she has knowledge of the inner workings of the First Order. She learned their tactics and fighters. She could redeem herself by becoming the most important characters of the series.

And in the final moments of the show, it could be Kaz and Torra joining the citizens fleet at Exegol. And instead of Yeager, Tam could be the one who is flying in Yeager’s ship. The final shot of Resistance could be their first person point of view looking out at the fight. The Millennium Falcon in front of them, the Ghost on their side, their allies behind them, and the enemy in front of them. Kaz says one last silly line, and they fly into battle. Then it fades to black.

Then watching TROS, we know how the story ends.

 

I can only hope that we’ll see these characters again in the future. I love everyone in this show. I love the story. The reason I wrote these editorials in the first place is because I wanted more. There’s no reason why Star Wars Resistance had to only be two seasons other than the creators wanted to line it up with the end of the Skywalker Saga. To me, that was their biggest mistake. This choice not only hurt the character work of the series, it also hurt the narrative. Without the supporting material in books and comics like Clone Wars and Rebels has been blessed with, Resistance sits by itself full of so much wasted potential. It was never given the chance to fully come into its own.

 

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