Everyone knows that there is no "I" in "Team." This week, on the Disney Channel Lucasfilm Animation series Star Wars Resistance, both the Colossus and the First Order teams have something much more valuable: fresh meat. In "Live Fire," Yeager (Scott Lawrence) and Kazuda Xiono (Christopher Sean) teach the Aces to go against their racing instincts and work together to defend the Colossus. Meanwhile, Tam Ryvora (Suzie McGrath) learns that being a part of the First Order means working under a whole new set of rules. For the first time, viewers understand why the cast of characters in Resistance is so large. Rather than a group of poorly defined characters, the Aces become a diverse group trying to work together. As a result, character development is finally a priority. Better late than never?
Spoilers set to stun.
The biggest overall fault with Season 1 of Star Wars Resistance is the lack of character development. Viewers were introduced to dozens of new characters, but given little reason to care for them. In fact, you could barely tell them apart. Not enough time was dedicated to showing viewers who is aboard the Colossus, and telling their stories. At the beginning of Season 2, main characters such as the Aces and Rucklin (Elijah Wood) remained mysteries. This week's episode, "Live Fire," marks the first time viewers really met the Aces, learning who they are and what they want.
Yeager and Kaz take the Aces through several practice dogfights. Predictably, the two trained fighter pilots wipe the sky with the Aces. Once again, Kaz is a different person in the cockpit. He and Yeager, trained in the same tactics, seamlessly work together. The shared language of their past experiences helps them school the hot-headed racers. Why did it take so long to get these two in the air and working together? Their shared mission, and the drive they have to protect the Colossus, gives the episode direction. For the first time in Season 2, Resistance is not as aimless as the Colossus.
Hype Fazon (Donald Faison) tries to blow it for everyone. He considers walking away and letting the Aces fend for themselves. Torra Doza (Myrna Velasco) saves the day with impressive psychological maneuvering. She uses the right balance of sucking-up and teasing to get Fazon and his tampon droid back on board. And not a minute too soon, as he enables the team to save Yeager from the jaws of a frozen flying sting ray. For the first time, "Kaztastrophe's" awkwardness on the ground does not prevent him from completing his mission. More flying time will hopefully increase his character's likeability.
Meanwhile, in First Order controlled space, Tam's fighter pilot training has begun. After being caught without her helmet, and asking impertinent questions, Tam is on a mission to prove herself. She starts out strong, using her stills to upstage the other cadets. But, when Rucklin gets shot, Tam abandons her mission to save him. No one is impressed. In the First Order, the mission comes first. Pilots are expendable. And bad pilots should be "culled" for the good of the First Order. Tam is faced with the reality of her position in the First Order: the bottom. She wants to be a part of something larger than herself, but she may not like putting the mission before her life and those of her friends. Will her conscience outlast her anger at Kaz?
"Live Fire" does exactly what it is supposed to do. The episode lights a fire under the various characters, urging them to pick a side and work as a team. However, only time will tell if the fire will inspire them to greatness, or burn them to a crisp. While fresh meat may be abundant for the First Order, the Colossus is running out of star pilots. This week's episode also injects some fire into Resistance's second season. After simply going through the motions over the past two episodes, the show is finally breathing on its own.
The next episode of Star Wars Resistance, "Hunt On Celsor 3," airs Sunday October 27 at 10PM on The Disney Channel.