Is Star Wars Resistance Good?

Star Wars Resistance was the second Lucasfilm Animation series to come out under the Disney era. Following Star Wars Rebels‘ footsteps, the show explored the story with brand-new characters instead of using recognizable movie characters. Where it differed from Rebels was how the show functions at its core.

Is Star Wars Resistance worth watching, though? This article will tackle this question by looking at what the show is, its place in Star Wars canon, and what kind of story it is trying to tell. After that, you can decide whether or not it is for you.

What is Star Wars Resistance?

A Happy Ending Star Wars Resistance
Image Credit Lucasfilm.

Star Wars Resistance is the third series to be created by Lucasfilm Animation, following The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. The show aired on Disney Channel and Disney XD from October 2018 to January 2020. It was created by Dave Filoni, who served as an executive producer alongside Athena Portillo, Justin Ridge, and Brandon Auman.

The series starred Christopher Sean, Josh Brener, Scott Lawrence, Suzie McGrath, and Myrna Velasco, with recurring roles by Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie, Elijah Wood, Donald Faison, Bobby Moynihan, Jim Rash, Liam McIntyre, and Sumalee Montano. The composer for the series was Michael Tavera, and one of the primary inspirations for the show was the classic anime Robotech. Over its two seasons, it received two Primetime Emmy nominations and won a Saturn Award for Best Animated Series.

Star Wars Resistance Behind the Scenes

Kylo Ren Star Wars Resistance
Image Credit Lucasfilm.

Unlike Lucasfilm Animation’s previous shows, Star Wars Resistance faced unique challenges which hinder its growth. Rebels and The Clone Wars were created in periods of Star Wars canon that was complete with a known ending. Their canon had defined parameters they could not change. Star Wars Resistance was created while The Last Jedi was filming and finished before The Rise of Skywalker was even written. It didn’t have a solid canon foundation to stand on like the previous shows, as it didn’t know how the Sequel Trilogy would end.

This point is why many fans push for a third season to complete the story now that it’s known how The Rise of Skywalker ends, especially as Resistance characters were at the Battle of Exegol in the finale scene.

The media environment Resistance released in is also something to note, which kept the series from reaching a broader fan base. The Clone Wars‘ original run on Cartoon Network was at a time when cable was king. When Rebels aired on cable, the season two finale had one of the highest ratings for the channel Disney XD. Still, behind the scenes, a movement of cord-cutting had begun. Throughout Rebels' run, audiences moving from cable to streaming services were less than 24 million viewers.

Resistance did not get this same fate; from 2018-2020, during its run, cord-cutting jumped from 33 million to 45 million viewers. Also, Resistance aired on Disney XD, a premium channel for which subscribers pay extra. As the series wrapped up its run, it was also announced that Disney would have a new streaming service called Disney+. One of the flagship shows for Disney+ would be season seven of The Clone Wars.

All these factors together hurt Resistance’s chance to grow as its predecessors. It didn’t have the seven seasons like The Clone Wars to find its footing, and it didn’t have a set end point like Rebels which knew it was working towards the Original Trilogy. Resistance had to do its own thing and break the mold away from the shows that came before it.

Why Resistance is Unique

Jace Rucklin Star Wars Resistance Elijah Wood
Image Credit Star Wars.

Star Wars Resistance‘s circumstances meant it needed to function differently from The Clone Wars and Rebels. It couldn’t have a similar format to its predecessors, unable to fill in the gaps between movies still being written.

So, Resistance functions differently as it does not try to change the canon like Clone Wars and Rebels. Instead, it works more like a character study of what happens when a fascist government invades a peaceful community. Look at it more like a living Star Wars novel on screen. Star Wars books (minus significant projects like the High Republic era) often focus on one adventure in one character’s life. For example, a book about Obi-Wan Kenobi can only do so much plot-wise as certain things in canon cannot change.

These books tend to focus on Obi-Wan’s character, his emotions, and what he thinks about the situation around him. Resistance works this way, focusing on character work, exploring moral themes, and world-building in the Sequel Trilogy.

It does answer some questions, like how the First Order invades so quickly in the Sequel Trilogy and why people don’t take them as a threat. It looks at the lack of trust in the New Republic, exploring ideas like that. Overall, though, Resistance functions differently from The Clone Wars and Rebels, making it a unique series.

What is Resistance About?

Agent Tierny Star Wars Resistance Sumalee Montano
Image Credit Lucasfilm.

Star Wars Resistance begins one year before The Force Awakens. Most of season one takes place on the ocean planet Castilon, located on the edge of the Outer Rim and Wild Space. A refueling station called the Colossus is home to a community of people living a humble, blue-collar life. The platform is also known for ship racing, with the best racers called the Aces doubling as the Colossus’ protectors.

The main character is Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono, the son of a senator who is a skilled pilot but clumsy in everything else he does. Poe Dameron recruits him to join the Resistance and spy on the Colossus. In the beginning, Kaz sees the Resistance as a cool club and doesn’t take his work seriously. But as the First Order begins to invade the refueling station, Kaz realizes what the cost of war truly is.

Why is Resistance Important?

Norath Kev Star Wars Resistance Daveed Diggs
Image Credit Lucasfilm.

Resistance is Andor for kids. The first season of Resistance is almost the same plotline as Andor, tackling themes of invading fascist governments, the perils of walking the middle ground, how radicalization works, torture, and genocide. Only Resistance presents these themes in a way a younger demographic can understand, never shying away from the heavy material. It balances these stories with slapstick comedy, mainly from the character of Kaz, to keep this show from being as dour as Andor.

One key difference is Resistance has a wide cast of alien characters, allowing for an exploration of storytelling based on how xenophobia works and evoking Holocaust-coded stories. A few examples are the aliens talking about how they were persecuted under the Empire or only these characters being rounded up by the First Order to be put in shipping containers to be sent off to work camps, never to be seen again.

Resistance is historical too. The two men who run the Office of Acquisitions are Orka and Flix, voiced by Moynihan and Rash. It was revealed that they are a romantic couple, making them the first on-screen queer couple in Star Wars. This reveal was a significant step in representation, paving the way for other LGBTQIA+ couples like Vel and Cinta in Andor.

While Resistance hasn’t been around as long as The Clone Wars and Rebels, it is beginning to ripple through the canon. For example, a group of senators in the Ahsoka trailer stands with Mon Mothma. Fans sleuthed out that one of those senators was Kaz’s father, Hamato Xiono.

This series might not have set out to change canon like its predecessors, but the groundwork Resistance set down is being built on.

Is Star Wars Resistance Worth Watching?

General Leia Organa Star Wars Resistance Carolyn Hennessy
Image Credit Lucasfilm.

After all of this, this is for you to decide. Resistance is a different kind of series; like all shows, it has pros and cons. The slapstick humor isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. What carries the show is the character building, the wholesome fun, and the stunning visuals. The set pieces of Resistance is some of the most gorgeous work Lucasfilm Animation has ever produced.

This show is a unique ride that is not afraid to experiment. Resistance always swings for the fences. It doesn’t always hit a home run, but it tried something new rather than being safe and not trying to push boundaries at all. If you are looking for a show different from the Star Wars norm, try Resistance.

Hope Mullinax is a freelance writer with over ten years of experience working for various publications. She’s the Site Expert at Dork Side of the Force, a Freelance News Writer for Collider, and the Animation Staff Writer at The Geeky Waffle. When she’s not writing, she loves on her cats, collects Pokémon cards, and rolls dice on For Light and Dice, a Star Wars TTRPG podcast.