'Star Wars Resistance' Series Finale "The Escape" Feels Both Finished And Unfinished

The ending of Star Wars Resistance feels like a paradox, finished and unfinished. So many opportunities have been untouched in the previous season, yet so much has unraveled in the finale that provides a closure that feels decisive and open-ended without being a cliffhanger. All the little humanities in the past bubble up into emotional highs in the finale "The Escape."

Tam Ryvora (Susie McGrath) and Jace Rucklin (Elijah Wood) observe as the First Order lay waste on the Aeosians, who allied briefly with the Colossus in "The New World." The genocide horrifies Tam but pleases Rucklin. Using her old comlink, Tam relays a coded message to Team Fireball back on the Colossus. Kaz (Christopher Sean) and Neeku (Josh Brener) decode it and surmise Tam wants to come home.

Returning Home

Several strategic compromises and cautions enrich the diverse thought processes of each character. Kaz's chipper self is happy to hone in on the hope that Tam wants to come back, but he has also grown up to exercise caution at the idea. Note how he runs an idea through Yeager and Captain Doza (Jason Hightower) rather than headlong make the decision for himself. Yeager (Scott Lawrence) is skeptical despite wanting Tam back. Despite being a reformed ex-Empire officer, Doza rejects the idea of rescuing a presumably defecting Tam because he reasonably knows the potential trap. Still, he hears Venisa (Tasia Valenza) out and lays his caveat that Yeager and Kaz must take a First Order shuttle.

Tam's coded message mentions Neeku's former pet "Bibo" (which I hold as one of the best season one episodes due to its slice-of-life breeziness) and brings forth nostalgia for Team Fireball to face. Resistance's attention to setting accentuates emotions when Kaz and Yeager decide to meet Tam at the first racing ring Kaz crashed into. They discuss the good ole' days, a stark reflection of the simplicity of life the First Order had stolen from them.

Villain Intrigue

The villain stakes for Agent Tierny (Sumalee Montano) and Commander Pyre (Liam McIntyre) are set by the holo-appearance of Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (voiced not by Adam Driver but Matthew Wood). His terrifying use of the Force feels like fan service, since this is the first time the terrifying potential of the Force is ever seen on Resistance, and stretches its internal logic (other than Kel and Elia hinted to be Force-sensitive).

The First Order ends up ending itself. Tierny meets her thematic end where she submits to the institution that has pampered her and now left her to perish. Despite being weighed as hopeful, Jace sinks into irredeemable territory and he receives a "What comes around goes around" karma; Tam realizes that some people are worth leaving behind. These moments where the First Order self-sabotages suggest that perhaps it has undone itself more than the Resistance ever could, albeit without the context of Rise of Skywalker.

The Colossus Fights Back

Resistance banks on that spark that made it special from other Lucasfilm productions: a closeness to civilian dynamics. Doza coming down from his tower to reveal Kaz and Yeager's mission to the civilians ends up rewarding the civilian morale, who have varying sentiments. The selfish Grevel (Dee Bradley Baker) is set on leaving them behind, but Aunt Z (Tovah Feldshuh), who owed a lot to Kaz, rallies them. The civilians do not join for a Resistance cause, but they're willing to defend their own. Everyone in the Colossus community, the barmaid, Flix and Orka (Jim Rash and Bobby Moynihan), the puff-headed janitor known as Opeepit, the Gorg seller Bolza, Synara, Mika Grey, Kel and Eila, and every other anonymous face all pool their weight.

Finished and Unfinished

There's a feeling of "that's it?" the moment Resistance cuts to black. Resistance gives no epilogue—perhaps to cautiously avoid bypassing the Rise of Skywalker timeline since the Lucasfilm Story Group likely won't release it—and no sense of 100% safety. There's still a mess being cleaned up aboard the Colossus ("That's the price of freedom," Aunt Z says). While their main threat may be gone, they're still in the middle of a war and the First Order exists out there. Resistance doesn't tease direct continuing arcs—though it never drops a cliffhanger or insinuates loose threads. It just leaves the Colossus still in a position where it's still on the run.

This makes its cuts to black somehow an achievement because it doesn't dismiss reasonable inquisitions by emphasizing the importance of a moment. Yeager doesn't fess up to Tam why he stalled on lending a promised racing ship and it's an unexamined patriarchal choice. Kaz does not contemplate his Hosnian Prime family or the wider Resistance, and the knowledge of indigenous Aeosian annihilation would be something that should weigh upon Captain Doza (see below). But even as those questions aren't meditated on, the decisive cut-to-black is prudent and never renders lingering uncertainties irrelevant. Some might derive dissatisfaction. It can feel like a midseason finale rather than a series finale.

But the final image makes it worth it. There's a striking subtlety when Tam stares at Venisa Doza and asks, "Permission to come on board?" as if still conditioned by the First Order bureaucracy. I said before in season one I contemplated how Tam's integration in the First Order would pan out, and now I wonder about her reintegration into her home. There's the most comforting final shot: Just Tam and her found family grabbing drinks. That's survival. Welcome home.

Tidbits and Loose ends

  • While there wasn't an immediate story reason for Doza to know about the Aeosians' (implied) fate, the non-malicious Colossus magnetizing trouble to the Aeosian community warrants an introspection.
  • I assumed Nena would resurface at one point since her fate was up in the air.
  • While only keen-eyed viewers will catch it, Jace and Lin's alien friend was left on the Colossus. I can only assume that Jace and Lin are both dead.
  • I'm bummed out that B1 and his Separatist droids didn't pop up in the final battle, considering Neeku's repair skills.
  • I complained before about the underdeveloped Tam and Neeku dynamic so I squeed when overtures are made of their history when Neeku recognizes her coded message and they have their reunion.