Disney and Lucasfilm just announced a new animated series set to debut in the fall called Star Wars Resistance. It is set just a little before The Force Awakens and will follow a pilot named Kazuda Xiono working for the Resistance against the First Order. Apparently it will also feature characters from the movies like Poe Dameron, BB-8 and Captain Phasma. It’s being made by Dave Filoni and other veterans of The Clone Wars and Rebels.
I’m trying hard to reserve judgement until I actually see the show, but it’s tough. On the one hand, I loved Clone Wars and really liked Rebels, so Dave Filoni has built up a lot of good will with me. On the other hand, I’m highly skeptical that anything good can be made in the giant trash compactor that is the J.J. Abrams version of Star Wars.
On the good side, Dave Filoni has demonstrated an ability to plot stories and develop characters. Both of those things were missing from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, so there’s reason for optimism that Resistance can correct some of those flaws. It should be visually interesting. Both of Filoni’s previous shows have delivered in that area. This is supposed to be in an anime-inspired style. I’m looking forward to seeing the dog fights. And, perhaps most importantly, there is no coherent way to put Luke Skywalker or Han Solo into this show. The Disney movies have so thoroughly messed them up that we’re all better off without them.
I’m nervous that the bad side is stronger in this case. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any coherent way to keep Leia out of this show. Granted, the new movies didn’t treat Leia as badly as Han and Luke, but that’s mostly because she was almost completely sidelined. If you actually think about what happens in the films, there’s no way for her to look good. The choice of already established characters to feature in this show is unfortunate. Neither Poe, BB-8 nor Phasma are even a little bit interesting. Poe and Phasma are straight up incompetent and kind of annoying. Maybe the show can retrofit them somehow, but if it needs to stay consistent with the movies, that’s going to be tough.
But the worst thing, the thing that makes me most nervous of all, is the setting. The new movies have been lousy for lots of reasons. (I don’t have time to go into all of them here. Maybe after Episode IX (If Episode IX is as bad) I’ll write a book-length post about everything wrong with the movies.) But as a lifelong Star Wars fan, the most unforgivable problem is making these movies a continuation of the events of Return of the Jedi. It doesn’t make any sense at all to even have a First Order and a Resistance. If we try really hard to make it make sense, the only way is to assume that everyone we cared about in Jedi is unimaginably, colossally stupid. And I mean everyone from Han, Luke and Leia to Lando (whatever happened to Lando?) to Admiral Akbar and Mon Mothma to Wedge, R2-D2 and C-3PO and probably even Yoda and Obi-Wan (Luke would have asked for their advice, right?). They made the Allies peace after World War I look wildly successful. They apparently didn’t even suspend the Storm Trooper program or decommission any of the Empire’s war machine. This new show is going to be about the Resistance fighting the First Order, two things that don’t make sense. How can the show be expected to make sense? I hate the idea of a show where we need to ignore the basic premise to make it work.
That being said, I’m sure I’ll at least watch the first few episodes of Resistance. I owe Dave Filoni at least that much. I just have very little confidence that I’ll make it beyond that.