After 40 episodes, the series finale for Star Wars: Resistance aired, closing the show in a very strange way. We’ve only seen one proper animated series finale in the modern era of Star Wars animation. The reason the Star Wars: Rebels sequel series rumor got so much traction is because it was a deftly executed series. The characters met with all the important figures of the early Rebellion. The ending left just enough questions for fans to want more. We will also see the proper finale of The Clone Wars when the final season debuts on Disney+. Yet, the series finale of Star Wars: Resistance feels like the final episode of a series cancelled without warning. (Maybe it was?) Though, this disconnect is a hallmark of this series and its relation to the larger Star Wars galaxy.
On the surface, it appears that this series is not tied to the larger film mythology the way the previous two animated series were. The characters do find themselves crossing over with events and locations in the movies. But it doesn’t matter, at least not in the way you’d expect. Poe Dameron, the film character who appeared most in this series, forgets these guys exist. General Hux and Kylo Ren make appearances, but they think very little of their agents in the field. In fact, the last scene with Kylo Ren truly emphasizes how unimportant these characters are to the larger story.
Yet, the hero characters, and their main desire, is representative of why the Resistance remains so depleted at the beginning of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. This show is actually about a group of people who don’t want to resist the First Order any more than they have to.
The Star Wars: Resistance Series Finale Has Little to Do with the Resistance
Image via Lucasfilm
This show has little to do with the Resistance, the sequel trilogy’s rebranding of the Rebel Alliance. One character is a spy who works with Poe Dameron and BB-8 for much of the first season. Yet, he’s stationed on an Outer Rim refueling station that doubles as a massive spaceship. The place is full of colorful, silly characters, because this is a show for very young children. There is very little in the series that relates to the larger struggle taking place in the sequel trilogy. The separation almost makes sense in the first season. But the second season takes place after the events of The Last Jedi. One would think that the struggling Resistance could use a mobile homebase like the Colossus. Instead, the status quo set up in the second season premiere persists, keeping the story’s focus very narrow.
The show moves even further from the events of the galactic war as the season goes on. The First Order still chases them, though the reason why is unclear. They are not fighting the bad guys or even out there saving people. Instead most plots focus on the heroes’ hunt for supplies. The bad guys show up, try to get them, and they flee. The series finale of Star Wars: Resistance sees the heroes barely take down a single Star Destroyer. It all feels anti-climactic, if you watched this show hoping to learn something about the larger Star Wars universe. The individual character stories are mostly wrapped up nicely. If you love the crew of the Colossus, the story reaches a satisfying end. Still, there are threads left hanging. Perhaps the rest of their stories will be told in a series of animated specials, possibly for Disney+.
Star Wars: Resistance Wants to Be Its Own Thing, and That’s Okay
Image via Lucasfilm
The show is rated TV-Y7 in the U.S., which is the same rating that Star Wars: Rebels had. Yet, the tone of the two series couldn’t be more different. Rebels is like the Ewoks, cute for the kids but capable of some very grown-up violence. Resistance is like Jar Jar Binks, silly and unserious, but possessing a charm the intended audience sees even if grown-up fans don’t. Like older fans bristled at the galaxy’s most famous Gungan, so do older fans bristle at this series. Yet, the adventures of the Colossus crew are likely very relatable to younger viewers. They are often the cause of their own problems, with a big focus on personal/emotional failure. Whereas other Star Wars films are about fighting evil, this series focused mostly on just surviving it.
In Rebels and The Clone Wars the series’ protagonists typically put themselves in danger to help save people they don’t know. In both series, the protagonists are fighting the (perceived) yoke of oppression. Yet, in Resistance, they aren’t really oppressed but not exactly comfortable in larger society. The individual stories serve a larger narrative. This is not so with Star Wars: Resistance. The episodes are very personal and full of slapstick, cartoonish comedy. The themes are mostly about believing in yourself and your friends. It’s the sort of message a very young audience would latch onto easily. Yet, there is also something here for fans of the saga as a whole. It’s partly why this series doesn’t really feel like Star Wars as older fans know it.
How the Animated Series’ Philosophies Differ
Image via Lucasfilm
One of the biggest departures in this series from previous Star Wars animated fare is that these folks aren’t heroic. They are brave, sure. They fight the bad guys, and they try to save people whenever it’s convenient. But instead of bringing the fight to the villains, most of the characters just want to hide. It’s a point-of-view that would seem selfish in the context of another Star Wars story. Since the people who live on the Colossus can pick and up flee when things get hairy, the rest of the galaxy can hang as far as they are concerned.
These are people who found themselves on the outskirts of the New Republic society. When it was destroyed by the First Order, these folks didn’t care to stand up in its defense. The conflict has always been very personal, so it makes sense that the Star Wars: Resistance series finale resolution was as well. They lose their specific tail, rescue their specific friend, and then sail off into the sunset (so to speak). However their priority isn’t defeating the First Order or vanquishing the Dark Side. No, they just want to go somewhere to live in peace without being bothered. Most folks can’t do that, but their mobile spaceship home can.
The Star Wars: Resistance series finale shows us how the galaxy-at-large may feel in the wake of the First Order takeover. Instead of coming together to fight the second Galactic War in three decades, they just retreated and took care of their own. The Star Wars: Resistance series finale tells us a story about how good people might decide not to fight, but to hide.
What’s Next for the Star Wars: Resistance Characters After the Series Finale
Image via Lucasfilm
The first season of the show was all prologue. The second season was the story of how their found family ended up separated and then back together. The question that remains is what’s next for these characters? We know that the Colossus was at the big, final battle in Rise of Skywalker. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess what these characters did. Still, there are two things we feel we can guess for certain.
First, there will definitely be more stories about these characters. Star Wars doesn’t waste good characters, and the crew of the Colossus has the sort of diversity that the films often lack. There were plenty of characters, such as a Jedi relic hunter or a pair of Force sensitive twins, whose story threads are left dangling. The story told in the Resistance series is complete. But there are countless new stories waiting to be told. Second, whatever stories these characters have awaiting them will be equally aimed at the youngest Star Wars fans. They will introduce Star Wars concepts like the Force, the Jedi, and so on in stories that are easily digestible by young kids.
What do you think of Star Wars: Resistance and its series finale? Do you think we’ll see more from these characters or is Disney moving on because they aren’t landing with fans like they wanted? Share your theories in the comments below.
Featured image via Lucasfilm
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.