The Ace’s team-up with Venisa Doza’s Jade squadron to escort resistance recruits off of Dantooine and away from the First Order.
This article contains plot points from Star Wars Resistance Rebuilding the Resistance.
The penultimate episode of Star Wars Resistance appropriately titled Rebuilding the Resistance sees the return of Venisa Doza and Hugh Sion (voiced by Sam Witwer), Kaz’s wingmate from the very first episode of Star Wars Resistance. In this episode, Venisa arrives on the Colossus on a mission from the resistance. Resistance recruits need an escort off of Dantooine, which is now under the control of the First Order. With nowhere else for the recruits to go safely, Venisa wants to temporarily bring the recruits to the Colossus, safely out of harm’s way until she can find another location.
The stakes continue to rise in Rebuilding the Resistance. The Colossus is done hiding from the First Order and now stands with the resistance against cruelty and oppression. For most of this season, Resistance episodes were very light-hearted and inconsistent at times. But things have sure turned around over the last month. Kaz has seen the horrors of war and his growth and maturity are evident of that. He’s found his place and is ready to contribute to the effort.
In this episode, the First Order has created a blockade around the planet Dantooine, cutting off all long-range communications. Three resistance shuttles carrying new recruits are attempting to escape to join the resistance cause. Venisa, Hugh, and Norath Kev, with the help of Kaz, Torra, and Hype, will escort the shuttles back to the Colossus all under the nose of the First Order.
Venisa’s rousing speech reminds the pilots that they were recruits at one time. She knows exactly how to use past experiences to motivate people. “Some have lost everything,” Venisa says as she looks at Kaz. “Others want to fight to protect the ones they love,” she says to Imanual. Leaders don’t just need skill in battle, they also need to know how to talk to the soldiers on a one-to-one level. Whether it’s the rebellion, the resistance, or American colonials, heartfelt speeches are great tools for solidarity. “We are the spark” seems to be the new slogan on resistance propaganda posters. It’s a term that’s been heard in comic books and television series since The Last Jedi.
After Venisa’s impersonation of Matt Foley: motivational speaker, she tells Yeager she ran into Tam. Yeager’s concern for Tam is quite apparent. Instead of asking where or when she saw Tam, Yeager asks how she’s doing. Venisa tells Yeager she’s doing fine, but what’s more interesting is that Yeager goes to ask another question, but before he does, Venisa admits that she is conflicted. Yeager doesn’t want to know if she’s conflicted, he wants to know if Tam is fully committed to the First Order. One way or another, that information will help determine if she’s worth saving. In No Place Safe, Yeager told Kaz it might be necessary to take Tam out. Now that Yeager knows Tam is still conflicted, the chances of her returning are high…very high.
The mission begins. Four resistance X-wings and three Ace pilots take off for Dantooine. Where did the fourth X-wing come from? It looks like at one point, there were going to be four resistance pilots, but that got reduced to three except the fourth X-wing got left in. Oh well, it happens. Dantooine has been an obscure part of Star Wars lore since 1977. In A New Hope, Princess Leia tried to divert attention away from her homeworld of Alderaan by telling Grand Moff Tarkin the rebel base was on Dantooine. In Star Wars Rebels, Dantooine is seen from space. This is the first time the surface of Dantooine is shown. Little known fact, but Dantooine nearly made it into Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Eventually, the fighter escorts are intercepted by several TIE fighters. Venisa orders the fighters to break off into pairs. Kind of hard to do that when there is an odd number of fighters. But who’s counting? The dogfighting scenes were exciting to watch. As the panels rapidly toggled back and forth between pilots, it’s difficult not to be reminded of the trench run battle in A New Hope. X-wings and TIE’s chasing each other, swooping back and forth, exchanging laser fire, the interior cockpit dialogue. Kaz and Hype’s relationship has come a long way. It’s nice to see Hype’s bravado fade. He finally feels comfortable enough to ask for help, to rely on his friends for support. Kaz, on the other hand, is now confident enough to lend a hand when needed.
Meanwhile, Agent Tierny, Commander Pyre, and Lt. Galek learn of the escaping shuttles and make haste for Dantooine. The space battle above Dantooine is tense! The music, the animation, and the emotional connections between several of the pilots make this one of the best scenes in the whole series. Lt. Galek goes the way of Major Vonreg and dies in battle. Another loud-mouthed, cocky First Order pilot who unceremoniously dies in battle.
Everything that’s transpiring has a profound effect on Kaz and Tam. On the one hand, Kaz watches helplessly as Rucklin destroys one of the shuttles, knowing so many innocents have just perished. Similarly, Tam realizes the side she’s joined murders without hesitation. “What am I doing?’ Tam says. That’s the last straw for Tam. And to add salt to the wound, Agent Tierny promotes Tam to squadron leader after Galek’s death. It’s such a First Order move. Describing Galek as a good commander, but ultimately a failure. Which, in turn, leads to an opportunity for Tam. If “we are the spark” is the slogan for the resistance, “cold and heartless” is the First Order’s.
Venisa is such a great leader and role model. She knows Kaz, Torra, and Hype are upset at the loss of so many lives, but she assures them that no matter how hard they try, they can’t save everyone. Venisa also tells Kaz that if Tam were among one of the TIE’s that she will see what the First Order truly is. There is a good chance that’s the case, Tam has had enough of the First Order. Venisa describes the resistance as resilient. Such is the case here and ultimately will ring true again at the Battle of Exogel.
Star Wars Resistance hasn’t always been the best Star Wars, but when it’s firing on all cylinders, it’s right up there with The Clone Wars and Rebels. Witnessing the gathering of resistance cells at the end, Rebuilding the Resistance brings back the excitement of oneness of Rebels when Phoenix squadron joined other rebel cells.
That’s it. Next week is the series finale. The story of the Colossus and Kazuda Xiono reaches the end in The Escape. Kylo Ren is due to make his appearance, and whatever else happens, it should be an emotional and exciting end for a series that is ending too soon.