With the recent announcement of the new animated series, “Star Wars Resistance”, Dave Filoni and company will have the arduous task of trying to keep a lid on things until the premiere later this year.
With a press release going out the other day, Lucasfilm and Disney did give us a little taste of what we can expect…
“Production has begun on “Star Wars Resistance”, an exciting new animated adventure series about Kazuda Xiono, a young pilot recruited by the Resistance and tasked with a top-secret mission to spy on the growing threat of the First Order.
Featuring the high-flying adventure that audiences of all ages have come to expect from Star Wars, “Star Wars Resistance” will feature the beloved droid BB-8 alongside ace pilots, colorful new characters and appearances by fan favorites including Poe Dameron and Captain Phasma, voiced by actors Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie.”
While the timeline and title has been making the rounds for some time, it’s a little surprising given the ambiguous ending to Star Wars Rebels. Many thought the way that show ended laid out a clear path for the next animated series, however with this announcement that seems highly unlikely now.
How close on the timeline this series takes place prior to The Force Awakens we just don’t know yet but we can look to some already released Star Wars media for an idea of what events we might see and which characters we may run in to.
The first and perhaps most obvious book is the Claudia Gray novel “Bloodline” which takes us right up to the formation of the Resistance by Leia Organa Solo so it makes sense the show would start sometime after that. That novel took place around 28 ABY so if this show features the Resistance as stated then it would have to start around that time and end perhaps before the start of The Force Awakens which takes place during 34 ABY. That gives the show a good 6 years or so to tell their story, which is plenty of time for Dave Filoni and company. Politics and the general state of the galaxy is a major theme in that novel as Centrists and Populists battle for control so it'll be interesting to see if Filoni perhaps incorporates that restlessness and mistrust of the government into the show.
This also begs to ask the question, will we see General Organa Solo in the new series? Tough to imagine them being able to skirt around that issue since Leia started the Resistance and was very hands on, especially in the beginning. Surely her name will be uttered but will we see her depicted on screen? It wouldn’t be the first time for Dave Filoni who has animated her before in Star Wars Rebels during Season 2 in an episode called “The Princess on Lothal”.
Next we’ve got Chuck Wendig’s “Aftermath” trilogy which took place from 4 ABY – 5 ABY and mostly centered around the Battle of Jakku. While there’s almost no chance we’ll see these events specifically there is a chance we could see some ancillary characters appear. Temmin “Snap” Wexley has already appeared in the “Bloodline” novel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the Poe Dameron Marvel Comics series so it makes sense he would make an appearance as one of the Resistance’s best pilots. This could also apply to another Claudia Gray book, "Lost Stars", which introduced us to two characters who played vital roles in big events on Jakku and elsewhere. Star crossed lovers Commander Ciena Ree and Rebel Pilot Thane Kyrell are the Romeo and Juliet of the galaxy and are both immensely popular and could easily fit into this timeline somehow.
It's because of these two books, "Aftermath" and "Lost Stars", we now know it was the Battle of Jakku that would be the Empire's last formal skirmish and it indirectly led to the beginning stages of the First Order. This probably means an off the cuff mention of Jakku is at the very least in the cards.
The series also brought one of the Empire’s most popular characters to the forefront. Most any fan who has read “Aftermath”, and "A New Dawn", has been eager for Grand Admiral Rae Sloane to finally make her debut but with the timeline the way it is, this seems unlikely. She did not appear nor was mentioned in The Force Awakens which makes sense since by that time she would have been around 75 years of age. It is noteworthy however that she was part of the original three, the other two being Brendol Hux and Armitage Hux, who were assigned to the Unknown Regions by the Emperor in the event of his death. The purpose of their mission was to resurrect the Empire under a new banner and philosophy in the Unknown Regions.
So having said that how much of this show will focus on the materialization and expansion of the First Order? It’s way too early to tell but it seems very plausible since Xiono’s mission is to, “…spy on the growing threat of the First Order.” For example, will they use this opportunity to provide some backstory to Supreme Leader Snoke who we know almost nothing about? While the focus on Rebels was primarily the Phoenix Squadron, Filoni used the show to also depict the comings and goings of the Empire so he could employ the same strategy here and give us a peek behind the curtain of the machinations of the First Order.
Another novel that could be a good resource, especially since the announcement of Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) making an appearance, is the “Phasma” novel by Delilah S. Dawson. Similar to a Poe Dameron, she will likely be the face of the First Order at the beginning of the show with occasional appearances by General Hux and/or Supreme Leader Snoke. If any storyline is to involve the build-up of the First Order military, surely Phasma will have a large part to play.
Also announced and likely to do some heavy lifting of his own, leadership wise, for the Resistance is Commander Poe Dameron who will be voiced by Oscar Isaac. He is the Resistance’s best pilot and de facto leader and in a show about pilots and squadrons it makes the most sense that he would feature heavily. As Dave Filoni has said about the show...
“The idea for Star Wars Resistance came out of my interest in World War II aircraft and fighter pilots.”
This will be familiar territory for fans of the Poe Dameron Marvel Comics series’ but those who are not; this will be a great opportunity for fans to see a different side of Poe, interacting with other pilots who likely see him as a hero.
As for the new cast, well that’s a different story because other than Christopher Sean playing the lead role of Kazuda Xiono, we know nothing else about the characters we will be introduced to. Some of the cast may be familiar to you with names such as Bobby Moynihan (SNL, DuckTales), Donald Faison (Scrubs), Suzie McGrath (East Enders) and of course Star Wars voice alumni Scott Lawrence. If you didn’t know, Lawrence has provided the voice of Darth Vader for thirteen Star Wars videogames to date. Of course, don’t expect Darth Vader to show up in this series.
Now we get to Jacen Syndulla. Jacen is the offspring of Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla and was born after the liberation of Lothal and before the Battle of Yavin. During the epilogue of Star Wars Rebels Jacen is seen flying with his mother after the Battle of Endor and appears to be around six years old. This would make him very age appropriate for the Resistance series timeline and as Sabine Wren stated, “Born to fly, just like his mother…”
It’s rumored the folks at Lucasfilm are very interested in some type of Jacen Syndulla appearance in the future but whether that’s Resistance or some other show, we’ll just have to wait. There are theories Jacen will the follow the path of his father, Kanan, and become a Jedi. If that's the case then we're getting into Luke Skywalker/Ben Solo territory and I doubt the show will swim in those waters.
No matter what happens I’m sure the next few months leading up to the fall will be filled with rumors, theories and hyperbole. I would expect nothing less from a fandom obsessed with knowing every little detail about Star Wars and in turn I would expect not a single detail to come from the lips of Dave Filoni and company.
It’s going to be an interesting rest of the year.
Till next time…MTFBWY.
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