Kaz gets his first taste of undercover action since arriving on Colossus Station in “The Triple Dark!”
After Kaz’s introduction in the two-part series premiere, “The Triple Dark” opens with the first opportunity for Kazuda Xiono to show Poe Dameron and the Resistance just what he’s got.
Maintaining his cover as a mechanic for Jarek Yeager, Xiono is tasked with acquiring parts to repair a newly arrived ship. The owner, Hallion Nark, is adamant that the repairs are made as quickly as possible. He needs to leave within the hour. After some “concerns” about the skills of Team Fireball, he tells Yeager he has business to attend to and that he’ll be back later. Yeager then sends Kaz to the Office of Acquisitions for spare parts to finish repairing Hallion’s craft. Instead Kaz, accompanied by BB-8, use the excursion as an opportunity to trail Hallion and begin the search for First Order spies.
It doesn’t go exactly as Kaz had hoped, and after several troubling run-ins with the locals, he ends up in the Office of Acquisitions and purchases the needed parts. Fellow Yeager mechanic Tam Ryvora confronts Kaz here and reminds him that he needs to get back to work immediately and helps him do so. While repairing the ship Kaz eavesdrops in on a comlink conversation between Hallion and someone named Kragan Gorr. Hallion assures Kragan that they are all clear for a “triple dark”. After the repairs are made and the ship departs Kaz takes some time to himself to relax outside just as it starts raining. A Rodian named Glem talks to Kaz and warns him of the approaching “triple dark” storm on its way. He also imparts that pirates like Kragan Gorr love riding in under the cover of these storms to attack Colossus Station. Kaz begins to connect the dots between Hallion and Kragan just as the pirates arrive.
The pilots of Ace Squadron take to their fighters and begin their defense of the station. Rushing back to the repair shop Kaz uses the comlink that Hallion had dropped earlier to send audio feedback to the pirates ships. This distracts the marauders and jams some of their critical systems. This, along with the fierce flying defense from the Ace Squadron, sends the pirates fleeing for their lives.
Since getting recruited to seek out vital intel regarding the whereabouts and plans of the dreaded First Order Kaz has been thrust into unknown territory, both in the literal and metaphorical sense, and is definitely out of his element. “The Triple Dark” builds off details learned in “The Recruit” regarding where Kaz is from and begins the process of his character development. Kazuda Xiono hails from Hosnian Prime and was recruited by none other than Poe Dameron himself. The son of a New Republic Senator, Kaz was enrolled with the Starfighter Corps, and has an intense love of racing. His past is very important to him and it’s evident in the way he clings to an Aurodium trophy he received from his very first race. Twice in the episode he had a chance to part with it, whether to settle a debt with Grevel, or to live a more comfortable life while on Colossus Station.
His refusal to part with this self-described “good luck charm” speaks volumes. He might not know exactly where he’s headed but he knows who he is and where he’s from. Kaz’s main fault is only that, desperate to aid the Resistance, he has developed a case of tunnel vision. His eyes are on the prize but he risks the important pieces in that process. Maintaining relationships on Colossus, his cover as a mechanic, Yeager’s faith in him, while all important, don’t come across as glamorous to someone trying to save the galaxy single-handedly. Learning to set aside his own ego is going to be a work in progress but one he’ll need overcome to complete the mission at hand.
The Hunt for the First Order
After setting up a bit of Kaz’s background and skills as a pilot in the premiere “The Triple Dark” is the first episode to dive into the premise of the series—gaining intel on the First Order.
Not knowing exactly where to start is the problem for Kaz, especially in an unfamiliar environment like on the platform. This is his first real Bantha rodeo. Spying on various humanoids and aliens in the market proves to be dangerous to his health. A run in with a pair of Snivvians he suspected were up to no good leads right into another confrontation with Grevel. They have some unfinished business from the last episode to tie up, none of which has anything to do with the First Order. It appears that during this era, approximately six months prior to The Force Awakens, the First Order and their actions are not common knowledge. Everyday citizens of the galaxy are unaware that trouble is brewing beyond the horizon. Even Kaz and Neeku seem unsure in a conversation they have about just what they would see beneath a stormtrooper’s helmet.
It’s a shadowy threat that may only be on the Resistance’s radar for now.
The end of the episode is where some details begin to emerge. After the failed attack on Colossus Station, Kragan Gorr contacts via holo Major Elrik Vonreg, the red-armored TIE Pilot seen in “The Recruit.” Vonreg is disappointed in Gorr and his pirates for their failure. Gorr blames the loss on Hallion who is shown to be bound and awaiting punishment. It is here that Captain Phasma herself makes her Star Wars Resistance debut. Voiced by live-action Phasma actor Gwendoline Christie she expresses her displeasure with what she foresaw as a wasted bargain between the First Order and this band of pirates. Kragan promises that he will keep up his end of the bargain and that the administrator of the facility, Imanuel Doza, will soon be begging the First Order for assistance.
The Triple Dark is a great mix of new and old from multiple eras of the galaxy far, far away. Newer Star Wars content has come under scrutiny for shying away from those familiar faces from the original era of the franchise. Definitely not the case here. This episode is full of them! Of course there is Neeku who is a Nikto, a species first seen in Return of the Jedi. Another Return of the Jedi species, a Klatoonian, features prominently here as Bolza Grool. He also has some business to finish with Xiono but in “The Triple Dark” he unwittingly, thanks to BB-8, comes to Kaz’s rescue. Lead pirate Kragan Gorr should also look familiar. A Quarren first seen in Return of the Jedi. One of the other pirates, a Trandoshan, is thrown in for good measure too. A crafty eye can also spot at least four more species from way back in A New Hope. An Ithorian, a Gotal, a Rodian and a pair of arguing Snivvians. They’ve come along way from being lovingly referred to as Hammerhead and Snaggletooth!
If you’re a prequel fan (c’mon, who isn’t!?) there are some species here who originated in that era as well. Hallion Nark is a member of the Neimodian species whose first appearance was in 1999’s The Phantom Menace. They’ve played a big part in the prequel trilogy and continued to do so in the The Clone Wars series. Grevel, who had the score to settle with Kaz, is an Aleena. First developed for The Phantom Menace in the form of star podracer Ratts Tyerell. Synara San, another of Gorr’s pirate crew, is a Miralan. Her species was first designed for Attack of the Clones and is the same as Jedi Master Luminara Unduli and her Padawan Bariss Offee.
When the platform comes under attack from Gorr and his band Kaz is facing off against Grevel over credits owed and can’t immediately assist in fending of the pirates, it’s up to the renowned Ace Squadron to take to their respective ships and bring the fight out over the sea and away from the platform.
What follows is a fast and intense dogfight between the opposing forces and some impressive flying from Ace Squadron. Pilot Torra Doza returns in”The Triple Dark”alongside Red Ace pilot Freya Fenris and they make a formidable team. Previously the pilots were only portrayed as just that; pilots. Here it appears that they also play a major role in the defense of their home in what is undoubtedly not the first time they’ve faced off against Gorr. Not much is known yet about the pilots themselves. Where do they come from? Why are they here? As the series progresses more will be revealed and it’s a safe bet to assume they will help guide the direction of the show.
Mike Harris hails from the suburbs of Chicago and has been a fan for most of his life. Working as an industrial radiographer and raising a family with his wife take up most of his time, but there’s always room for Star Wars books and podcasts! Just looking to give back to Star Wars and the fan community, it’s been a source of fun and learning for him for so long.