WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the first season of Star Wars Resistance.
Despite knowing that Star Wars Resistance cartoon series will end with its second season on the Disney Channel, the reason for the show's ending was never totally clear. Unlike most TV series, it wasn't canceled because of low ratings.
In an interview with CBR and other media outlets, executive producers Athena Portillo, Justin Ridge and Brandon Auman explained that the show was always planned to tell a two-season story that was intertwined with other goings on in the Star Wars universe, specifically the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
"We developed the roadmap from the very beginning," Portillo said. "It takes about a year to put the writer's conference together and into production. The Rise of Skywalker is finishing up the saga. So we always meet with the Star Wars Story Group to make sure we're still within continuity or making sure we're not messing with [J.J. Abrams] or [Dave Filoni's] vision."
The show's creative team determined that Resistance would be set six months before the events of The Force Awakens, during the cold war period between the remnants of the Empire that had secretly morphed into the First Order and the Resistance, a splinter group led by Leia Organa after she resigned from the New Republic Senate and dedicated herself to investigating and deterring the First Order's plans.
In the show's pilot, Poe Dameron recruits Kaz, the protagonist, to infiltrate the Colossus refueling station and snuff out First Order sympathizers. Along the way, Kaz makes friends and allies, including Tam, who felt so betrayed by Kaz's lies and her static position that she ended up joining the First Order to become a pilot at the end of the first season. The season's finale featured General Hux hologram giving a speech right before giving the order to destroy the Hosnian System, and it coincides with the mid-point of The Force Awakens.
Judging by Portillo's comments, it looks like the second season of Resistance will cover the same period as The Last Jedi, where just a week passed in-universe between the destruction of the Hosnian system and the film's finale at Crait. However, the series will also cover the year between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. This was later confirmed by Ridge, who noted that "It just made sense for us, timeline-wise to end along with The Rise of Skywalker."
The second season takes the show's protagonists out of Colossus and into Wild Space, as they try to stay ahead of the First Order on a race against time and resources.
"In [the first season], we're in [one location], you only have your issues with the First Order," Portillo said. "But now they're in space, they're on the run, they don't know where they're going or who they're going to run into."
Other than Poe Dameron and Armitage Hux, Star Wars Resistance has already had cameos from Phasma and Leia. The next season is set to feature Kylo Ren, who appeared as a hologram in the trailer for Season 2. Although the exact date of his appearance is unclear, as in the trailer, he appears without a mask, as Snoke ordered at the beginning of The Last Jedi, and is sporting the angry scar that Rey gave him in The Force Awakens.
Even though just because Star Wars Resistance is set to end after its second season, Portillo, Ridge, and Auman haven' shut the door on revisiting the series in some capacity.
"We were just talking about that in terms of everyone having a backstory which we would love to explore," Portillo said, before Ridge added, "We have so many characters with so many stories, we could do so much."
Returning to Disney Channel on Sunday, Oct. 6, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, 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, Elijah Wood as Rucklin, Jim Rash and Bobby Moynihan as Flix and Orka, Liam McIntyre as Commander Pyre, Jason Hightower as Captain Doza, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma and Sumalee Montano as Agent Tierny. Also joining the cast are for Season 2 are Joe Manganiello as Ax Tagrin, Daveed Diggs as Norath Kev, Matthew Wood as Kylo Ren and Lucy Lawless as the Aeosian Queen.