A nonlinear narrative is something Star Wars as a franchise has been dealing with for decades now. As soon as George Lucas decided to start his story already in progress there was always going to be context that needed explaining. He created a fictional world that was thousands of years old and that backstory became the lifeblood of the Extended Universe and the entire saga.
The decision by post-Lucas Lucasfilm back in 2015 to pick up 30 years after the events in Return of the Jedi created another huge void which needed to be filled. When The Force Awakens came out, it gave us a galaxyís worth of new characters, events and worlds that needed backstories and context.
The company has gotten pretty good at filling in the blanks, mostly with comic books and novels, and of course shows like The Clone Wars. Finally, last fall we got our first up-to-date series in the form of Star Wars Resistance. The animated series, which stars mostly brand-new characters, kicks things off just before the events in The Force Awakens, and if youíve watched the show then youíll know just how close.
Already in just 11 episodes weíve seen Captain Phasma and the First Order, General Organa, Poe Dameron and the Starkiller Base, and we know the First Order has amassed its military might. We knew most of that ahead of time when the casting announcements came out but with some of these characters in place years ahead of where The Force Awakens picks up, there was no definitive point on the timeline offered.
But we just got a new trailer for the second half of this rookie season and it revealed two things of great significance. One was Poe and Kaz on some kind of fact finding mission where they discover a system with no star. Second, we get a snippet of a grave and ominous speech by none other than General Armitage HuxÖ
ďÖand will remember this, as the last day of the Republic.Ē
That speech by Hux contains the same language as the one he spewed in The Force Awakens right before the Starkiller Base fired at and destroyed Hosnian Prime. How likely is it he gave the same speech resulting in the destruction of another very populated system on some other occasion? Not likely at all.
Is it possible the starless system Poe and Kaz arrive at is the scraps left behind by the Starkiller Base after it's charged its weapon for the Hosnian attack? We know it consumed at least one sun before moving into position to fire on Hosnian Prime, so is this the one? And although we donít exactly know where Poe was when the Starkiller weapon was fired, he did lead Black Squadron in an assault on Takodana very shortly after. Would he have had time to check out the damage of a nearby system with Kaz and then make his way back to the Resistance in time to lead the assault?
We were led to believe the firing of the Starkiller Base weapon in The Force Awakens was its first, so it looks as though we are really into the meat of The Force Awakens by the end of this season. The destruction of the Hosnian system and the death of Kazís parents is some pretty heavy stuff to show this early in the series. Because of that Iím willing to bet the speech by Hux will occur at the end of the season, leaving us in ruin until Season 2 starts in the fall.
Whatever the case, whether they get to that point right away or by episode twenty-two, it brings up a bit of a conundrum. Where do they go from there? We know what happens to Leia, Poe and the Resistance after that and Kaz isnít part of it, none of the new characters are. So the show will have to explain where they are at some point in the same way the Star Wars Rebels epilogue did for their surviving characters.
Surely if Colossus, Kaz, Yeager, Tam and the rest were around and willing to help, the Resistance would want to lean on that resource. The Resistance isnít flush with anything these days and if there were ships, a base and pilots sympathetic to the cause then they would have no choice but to utilize that valuable commodity, wouldnít they?
So, Iím left wondering if maybe they started this series too close to the events in Episode VII. Should they have given the series a couple of year head start so they could play the long game a bit better? Without being privy to the long-term plans at Lucasfilm I can only guess that this series isnít designed to last very long. As a fan of the show I would naturally like to see it have a good run so why not give it a chance to breathe a little before the heaviness of the single biggest war of this time period?
Even looking back now, at shows such as Star Wars Rebels, the writing was on the wall from day one, as the pace in that series was swiftly running face first into history. With the events in Rogue One and Star Wars getting closer and closer, and having to explain the whereabouts of so many characters, that show had almost no choice but to end when it did.
Star Wars Resistance will have the same problem, only it looks like much sooner than four seasons. The characters we are already familiar with, Poe, Leia, Phasma, Hux, etc., will be very busy in the immediate future and whether Kaz and the rest stay involved in the war will be a decision the show runners will have to make, or have already made. Like any show, it will need conflict to create drama and high stakes for the lead characters, where will that come from once Kaz's mission is unnecessary and Poe takes BB-8 from him?
The First Order is quite large and could easily leave behind Vonreg, Pyre and some troopers to maintain their stranglehold on the fuelling station, but that looks to be in jeopardy as well according to the trailer.
Of course, it is a big galaxy and there are plenty of planets and people who have nothing to do with whatís going on between the Resistance and the First Order, but thatís not much of a show is it? And that certainly doesnít describe this one. No, these people were brought together for a reason and it isnít to sit on the sidelines and watch tyranny rule.
Background character motivations aside, Kaz is there because he is already part of the Resistance. The death of his parents at the hands of the First Order isnít going to change that; it will only make his resolve that much stronger.
And even though Iíve seen some fans asking for the inclusion of Kaz in Episode IX, the final sequel film isnít going to retcon anything that happens on Resistance so where does that leave this show? It seems by design to have a finite number of episodes in its future and thatís even if it became suddenly immensely popular.
One option is that if by the end of Episode IX there is a safe place left in the galaxy for these characters, then Lucasfilm could just have them sit out the war for personal or philosophical reasons. Jarek Yeager is on Colossus because he took a sort of non-Jedi Barash vow, deciding to avoid the galaxyís conflicts. So, perhaps he will convince the others, Tam, Neeku, etc., to find some peace elsewhere in the galaxy and lay low while the two sides hash things out. They could then reappear in a comic book or novel somewhere down the road. But again, it doesnít seem like something these characters would do. When push comes to shove, they seem like honorable people, they seem like fighters.
Thereís always the chance Lucasfilm could just end the series after the just announced Season Two and leave it at that. Keep in mind they still have yet to do anything with the surviving Rebels characters that were left in much more precarious and open-ended situations, namely Ahsoka Tano, Sabine Wren and Ezra Bridger.
Thereís so much that could happen between now and then, that commenting on the situation is obviously pure speculation, but it is a familiar one. As Disney/Lucasfilm keeps pushing the timeline forward at a pretty good rate they will only create more holes to fill as they introduce new characters from the existing timeline.
Right now, Iím just struggling to imagine how this great show could run another 3 or 4 seasons once we reach the point of no return in The Force Awakens. Poe, BB-8, Organa, Phasma and Hux will disappear from the show, it is inevitable, and it looks like that could be sooner rather than later.
The only thing I am sure of is that Star Wars Resistance will run exactly the number of seasons Lucasfilm intends to run it.
Till next time...MTFBWY.
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