To many Star Wars fans, the primary appeal of Resistance will no doubt lie in the search for its connections to the current live-action trilogy, underscored by appearances by Poe Dameron, Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma, voiced by the original actors, and General Organa. And there will no doubt be plenty to uncover. However, the show's relatively straightforward setup and more modest scope also may allow room to more fully explore the new characters, and the "culture" of the stationary primary setting.
There's a lot to recommend in both. While nothing will replace the Ghost crew in the hearts of the Star Wars Rebels faithful, the diverse cast introduced in Resistance's premiere holds an undeniable charm. Voiced by Christopher Sean (Hawaii Five-0, Days of Our Lives), Kazudo is a familiar character type in a franchise that loves its starry-eyed young heroes, pilots in particular. But there are enough variations on the theme -- the son of a senator, Kaz is from a privileged background, and clearly out of his depths on the Colossus -- to keep it interesting. Thanks in no small part to Sean's earnest performance, we're quickly invested in Kazuda's goal, whether that's to become the best pilot or to fulfill the mission given to him by Poe.
The rest of the central cast feels similarly familiar, which may be part of the appeal. These feel like characters we've met before in the franchise, even if they're not. There's Neeku Vozo, the endlessly optimistic mechanic who quickly becomes Kazuda's biggest supporter; Jarek Yeager, the former Rebel pilot turned repair-shop owner who wants nothing to do with the coming war, but nevertheless agrees to hire Kazuda to provide him with cover; Tam Ryvora, the inventive mechanic who dreams of becoming a pilot; 15-year-old Torra Doza, the best pilot among the Aces, who genuinely wants Kazuda to succeed; and Bucket (R1-J5), the battered, eccentric astromech droid whose temperament appears to have more in common with Chopper than with R2-D2.
As enjoyable as it might be to simply watch Kazuda interact with his new co-workers and surrounding, interrupted by the occasional race, the looming threat of the First Order will no doubt fuel the overarching plot of Star Wars Resistance, as the young pilot turned spy faces a ticking clock to fulfill his mission, whether he knows it or not. While it's difficult to imagine Lucasfilm stretching a span of six months over multiple seasons, between the series premiere and the promos, we're presented with clues to enough intrigue to keep viewers entertained for a while: Who on the Colossus is allied with the First Order? Who's supporting the pirates? And who is the mysterious pilot of the red TIE Fighter that's so harassed the New Republic Navy and the Resistance while receiving nary a scratch itself?
Just think of the latter as a sinister Racer X to Kazuda's Speed Racer.
Premiering Sunday, Oct. 7, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel before moving to Disney XD, Star Wars Resistance stars Christopher Sean as Kazuda Xiono, Suzie McGrath as Tam Ryvora, Scott Lawrence as Jarek Yeager, Myrna Velasco as Torra Doza, Josh Brener as Neeku Vozo, Donald Faison as Hype Fazon, Jim Rash as Flix, Bobby Moynihan as Orka, and Rachel Butera as General Leia Organa, with Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma and Elijah Wood as Jace Rucklin.