A new chapter in the Star Wars saga begins this weekend when Star Wars Resistance debuts on the Disney Channel (followed by regular airings on Disney XD). The series takes place after the events of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi but before Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making it the first animated series (not including a few episodes of Star Wars: Forces of Destiny) to be set between these two trilogies.
For the most part, Star Wars Resistance focuses on Kazuda "Kaz" Xiono and the other pilots of the Colossus refueling station as they compete in dangerous but thrilling starship races. But there's another reason Kaz in on Colossus - he's a Resistance spy on orders from Poe Dameron to sniff out who supports their cause, and who supports the First Order.
Though Star Wars Resistance is a more straightforward, lighthearted cartoon than either The Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels, it still holds the potential to shed some light on a mostly unexplored period of the Star Wars saga. So when, exactly, does Resistance take place?
When Is Star Wars Resistance Set?
Star Wars Resistance is set just six months prior to the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, placing the start of the series early in the year 34 ABY of the Galactic Standard Calendar (where ABY stands for After the Battle of Yavin). This is near the end of a period known as the Cold War, where the remnants of the Empire and the New Republic are stuck in a 20-year stalemate following the end of the Galactic Civil War. During this stalemate, these Imperial remnants form the First Order, and in 34 ABY, they officially reveal themselves to the galaxy by destroying the Hosnian System, and with it, much of the New Republic government.
The Resistance, however, is not a part of the New Republic. Rather, it is a splinter group formed by Senator Leia Organa after she resigns from the Galactic Senate in 28 ABY (as depicted in the novel, Bloodline). Its purpose is to fight the growing threat of the First Order which the New Republic foolishly chose to ignore. During the Cold War, many in the New Republic consider the Resistance nothing more than terrorists and they aren't in any way officially sanctioned or recognized by the government. Yet, there are those within the New Republic who believe in the Resistance - like the young pilot, Kaz.
How Does It Connect To The Force Awakens?
Being set so close in time to the events of The Force Awakens, there are certainly many ways in which Star Wars Resistance can tie into the film. Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, for instance, appears in the series' two-part premiere and it's him who recruits the young Kaz to the cause - suggesting that during this time, the Resistance is actively seeking new members. General Leia Organa will appear as she continues building her coalition and BB-8 is there, too. In fact, Poe leaves his faithful little droid behind on the Colossus to look after Kaz. On the villain's side, Captain Phasma can be seen in the trailer and she is sure to have an important role to play in the series as the First Orders starts planning their first move.
Besides including characters from the movies, there are events from The Force Awakens and other Star Wars media which may also be referenced. For example, Resistance might include mention of Luke Skywalker's disappearance, Poe's search for Lor San Tekka, or even show the destruction of the Hosnian System by Starkiller Base, should the show catch up to the events of The Force Awakens. There is even potential for some crossover with Marvel's Poe Dameron comic seeing as that series is set during the same period of time as Star Wars Resistance. This means that whenever Poe turns back up on Resistance, he might bring some members of the Black Squadron along with him.
The Importance Of Starkiller Base
Of all the nods to the larger Star Wars saga in Star Wars Resistance, the inclusion of Starkiller Base is by far the most interesting. Much like those fools in the New Republic, viewers are still very much in the dark about the First Order. But by visiting Starkiller Base at an earlier point in time than when it appears in The Force Awakens, it might just be possible that Resistance will shed some light on who came up with the idea for the planet-battle station and how it was constructed. From this, we may also learn more about the First Order itself, including its creation and how it functions differently/similarly to the Empire.
Additionally, by revealing to audiences the existence of Starkiller Base before it's been unveiled to the galaxy teases yet another mystery for Resistance to explore - Supreme Leader Snoke. No character (besides perhaps Rey) has led to more theories and speculation about who they really are or where they came from. Resistance is the chance to dive into Snoke's history, explaining how he rose to prominence within the First Order and how he came to be so powerful in the Force. As of the moment, there's been no evidence that Snoke will actually appear on Star Wars Resistance, but it's certainly a prime opportunity to finally receive some answers.
Star Wars Resistance premieres this Sunday at 10pm/9c on the Disney Channel, with subsequent episodes airing on Disney XD.