The fourth episode of Star Wars Resistance puts world building on the back burner to take some much needed time to focus on its lead character, Kaz (Christopher Sean). Having learned in the previous episode that he needs to slow down a little and focus on his cover as a mechanic, rather than his mission as a spy, Kaz struggles to keep that focus, wanting to revel in the exciting life of the racers on the Colossus rather than the skills of the trade.
Unfortunately, Kaz is still a young man and his attention isn’t the best. He quickly falls afoul of the manipulations of a rival racing team led by Jace Rucklin (Elijah Wood). It’s obvious from the beginning that Jace and his gang, Lin Gaava (Rachael MacFarlane) and Gorrak Wiles (Eric Bauza), are out to take advantage of Kaz, but at least they do something to earn his trust and respect. Saving his life during an ‘accident’ is a pretty good plan as far as these kinds of episodes, but you can’t help but feel that Kaz is being something of an idiot.
By the end of the episode Kaz figures out that he has been used by Jace, in this case in order to steal experimental fuel, and chooses to do the right thing and rescue Jace from a fiery death. Kaz realises that he’s been used, yet risks his life for the person that betrayed his trust. This is the Kaz that Poe (Oscar Isaac) saw when he first met him; the brave man hidden within the brash kid. It’s this that appears to have finally earned the respect of Yeager (Scott Lawrence).
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Despite the focus on Kaz, we do learn a little more about Yeager here too. We were told that Yeager was in the Rebel Alliance in the first episode, but now we get confirmation that he was also an X-Wing pilot that served during the Battle of Jakku, the final battle against the Galactic Empire as depicted in Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Star Wars Aftermath: Empire’s End. However, most intriguingly is that Jeager had a wife and child. As there’s been no mention of his family to date in the show, it’s probably a safe bet that he’s since lost them and that this will play into why he doesn’t want to be a part of the Resistance. Personally, it’s the most fascinating story element in the season so far; and one that I’m looking forward to seeing explored further.
The animation in this episode looks particularly great too. The speeder-bike race across the surface of the ocean is some of the best that Star Wars Resistance has given. With so much of the show being set within the sky or the cramped corridors and hangers of the Colossus, it’s hard to appreciate how beautiful the new animation style can be. Hopefully the series will explore some more varied environments again at some point so that we can have more of this.
‘Fuel For The Fire’ feels like a much smaller episode in a lot of ways and definitely benefits from this. The attention to character is a welcome change of pace and introduces a number of elements that the show can continue to explore as the season progresses.