Whoa boy I’ve got a lot of stuff to write about on this one! I mean seriously I think I almost could write two blogs, ’cause The New Trooper delves into everything from galactic politics to space waffles! Let’s see if I can get all this organized right…
Contains spoilers from Resistance episode The New Trooper and elements from the first season thus far. Also some minor spoilers from Episode IV.
Star Wars has taught me a lot over the years; one of those things is that war is complicated. Resistance isn’t the first time we’ve encountered this reality — just watch The Clone Wars or Rogue One, or read James Luceno’s Tarkin. However, this series is the first time in my Star Wars experience that I’ve been able to sit down and really explore the average Joes’ and Janes’ thoughts on war, both the one of the past and the one to come. We’ve seen hints of Kaz’s on-fire Rebel heart and Tam’s respect for stormtroopers in past episodes, but in The New Trooper we watch these perspectives clash and emotions rise in a surprisingly volatile way I was not expecting.
I think it’s very easy for young people to get caught up in taking sides on an issue without actually knowing all the facts (I certainly have been there). The actual nuances of political matters can be super boring, while the energy of a heated debate can be an attractive force. But fierce passion without knowledge has a tendency to lead to shouting matches and hurt feelings. I know that’s not entirely the case with Kaz and Tam here; they both have strong reasons for believing what they do. Much of the problem is that there’s more arguing going on than there is listening or discussing. But I get it — it’s so much easier to stick to what you know and refuse to even think about there being multiple sides to an issue.
And this growing battle with Kaz and Tam has even more complications than stubbornness alone. Kaz knows things that would support his concerns with the First Order, like their interest in dedlanite and that powerful phase connector, but he can’t say much beyond references to his history lessons. Tam, on the other hand, has family who had a very different experience with the Empire, and her personal experience with the First Order so far has been positive. I can see, from her perspective, how it would seem dumb to accuse the local police of wrongdoing just because a similar set of troops did something wrong decades ago. Were I an ordinary galactic citizen (minus all my experience and knowledge as a Star Wars fan IRL), I might have agreed with Tam. At least, until I was faced with proof that said otherwise. Proof like Kel and Eila. I don’t know about you, but anyone being cruel to children would make me lose respect real fast! And since Tam is friends with these kids, I don’t think she can ignore this red flag so easily. It’ll be interesting to see what impact they may ultimately have on her perspective.
I think the biggest takeaway from this episode is that, no matter how complicated things get, we have to be wise and discerning with whatever we support and fight for. Even when some issues seem awash in a sea of gray, truth is still truth, and we shouldn’t stand quietly if darkness begins to outweigh the light. We have to dig for this truth so we can know when, where, and how to fight for what’s really right. And we need to constantly remind ourselves in every battle we approach, large or small, that the people we disagree with are still human under the helmets we mentally assign to them.
Maybe this song will explain this better than I can alone…
– Hey look! Normal, non-zappy fishing (slinging?) poles exist! It makes sense, but still fascinating to learn.
– Look how happy the Tehar kiddos are! They deserve to be happy for a change of pace! So YOU BUCKETHEADS BETTER LEAVE THE POOR CHILDRENZ ALONE!
– Ah the old weaponizing-the-food trick! Well played, Padawan Kell. And yes I’m still on the train of thought that these kids are Force-sensitive…
– OK I can’t get past the blue jerky right there. It looks more like Fruit By The Foot than meat! Does it turn your tongue and lips blue, too? (Author’s note: I later found out this is puffer pig bacon, so I guess it probably would have the consistency of Fruit By The Foot!)
– You know what guys? I just realized I’m sitting here watching a Star Wars family breakfast! Kind of like I drew for Rebels four years ago! Ah that’s kinda cool!! 😀
– And safe from what exactly, Tam? You’ve never struck me the type to appreciate someone’s protection. Perhaps some connection to her past and family here? I mean, yes, there was a pirate problem earlier, but… how much damage did they really do long-term?
– But forget the deep political discussions WE’VE GOT SPACE WAFFLES AGAIN!!!! YAYYYY!!!
– Also I love that the possibility of helping his big sis is the best thing ever to Neeku :3
– Is Yeager eating ration sticks? Do they still make those these days? I guess they’re like granola bars — fast and nutritious. Whether they taste as good as most granola bars, though, I’m not sure. Apologies for all the food talk, but this is fun stuff for me!
– Some days I wonder how Yeager’s Repairs ever gets anything done! I guess it’s just that the boring workdays don’t make it onto the show.
– Wow those helmets really are useless. Perhaps, like i imagine Palpatine did before him, Snoke is devoting more of the FO finances to his yacht and fancy sweater than strong armor XP
– OHMYGOSH. ARE WE ALLOWED TO TAKE STORMTROOPER HELMETS OFF AND SEE THEIR FACES BEFORE FINN’S CAME OFF?! I THOUGHT THAT WAS A BIG RULE IN CANON STAR WARS! I guess they figured we’re used to the idea by now? It’s not a huge-huge deal, I guess, but I’ve been so used to that element in storytelling we’ve seen in Rebels (you know, where they’d casually angle the camera so you didn’t see the trooper’s face as Ezra punched the bucket off him) that it came as a bit of a shock to me. Perhaps there’s more to this decision than I know, though…
– That was a beautiful acting job, Kaz! Just as splendidly awkward as Han’s “How are you?” thirty-odd years back! I give it two thumbs way, way up! And hey, the other trooper fell for it, so he’s not doing a bad job, even without the Ezra-style use of accents.
– We’ve seen a lot of great stormtrooper switcharoos, but I think Kaz is the awkwardest fake ‘trooper we’ve ever had don the armor. I’m kind of amazed the other CSs haven’t noticed the totally non-rigid, noodle-y way he moves!
– OK dumb costume-related question: Kaz is apparently wearing the full bodysuit under his confiscated armor. But the original CS-515 still has a full bodysuit. Do storms wear double layers? Unless this is a continuity error of some sort, it seems to be the case. If so, that answers a lot of questions I had back on Rebels when they were stealing white armor left and right and I was a little grossed out at the thought they were leaving the soldiers, well… not wearing much, let’s just say. So *phew* that’s reassuring!
– Still having a tough time getting used to a face attached to that voice (as in, the “stormtrooper” voice in general, not Steve Blum!). I mean, yes, I’ve always known there are people under those buckets. But it’s still so easy to forget that they’re human (or more apropos to this galaxy, sentient beings… although stormtroopers are all human far as I know), especially with our (or at least my) limited knowledge of the First Order troops. They’re bred to be perfect, unfeeling soldiers who shoot when commanded to and keep their helmets on. But yet, they do have some personality and opinions on things, like the other CS complaining about his workload from earlier, and of course our good friend TR-8R who was plumb mad at Finn. It gets you thinking, right? I wonder what these guys will do with their lives should Rey and the Res defeat the First Order for good.
– Also there’s something profoundly sweet about the way Kel and Eila try to calm 515. Perhaps they now see the sad soul that was buried in that inhuman armor, and aren’t so scared of him anymore.
– Trust him, Neeku’s a doctor! XD
– My literal response when Kaz successfully beheaded the ball-droid was “OH MY GOSH!” Partly because I was really expecting Kaz to be the one to suffer a debilitating injury, but also ’cause I felt bad for the little angry dude. But it’s OK it looks like their heads are detachable anyway. They kind of need to be so they can keep rollin’ I guess.
– I don’t know what in the world Kaz was thinking waving at Torra while undercover, but it cracks me up nonetheless XD
– Doza should’ve said “Well then, you can just take your troops out to the snack bar!” Then all the storms would want to go to the snack bar and Pyre would lose all order XD
Keep the peace,