Star Wars: Resistance ended its first season Sunday night with an unsettling twist — one of the heroes is drawn into the dark side.
EW spoke with the creators about why this happened and where things go from here.
Since there are spoilers ahead, let’s guard these secrets by exploring them on the next page ….
If you’ve seen the season finale of Star Wars: Resistance and know that Tam Ryvora (Suzie McGrath), a mechanic on the refueling station Colossus who has a good heart but suspicious nature, decided to side with The First Order.
This wasn’t something she sought out. She was clearly manipulated by the First Order security officer Agent Tierney (Sumalee Montano), who revealed last episode that she had good reason to doubt her fellow mechanic Kaz Xiono (Christopher Sean) — he’s a Resistance spy.
When you don’t trust someone, it’s hard for them to trust you back. So, Tam takes this news hard. Now that she knows her friend has been lying to her, Agent Tierney has her hooked. In the end, a confused and isolated Tam takes her hand and joins up with the bad guys.
We saw seduction to the dark side in the prequels as Anakin Skywalker fell to the machinations of Emperor Palpatine, but this is an otherwise unusual turn for a Star Wars story, especially one aimed at younger fans.
First, let’s watch. Then we’ll hear from Resistance executive producers Brandon Auman, Athena Portillo, and Justin Ridge.
Entertainment Weekly: Tam has been kept in the dark by her friends, now she has been lured to the darkness by her enemies. What led you to this choice?
Justin Ridge: It’s a very interesting situation, because of Tam’s background and with her grandfather working for an Imperial Factory back in the day. She doesn’t really view the First Order as a threat. She views them more like the police force. They’re just doing their job, they’re keeping things safe, security is the best it’s ever been on the Colossus. So, in her eyes, she really doesn’t see them as a bad thing.
Brandon Auman: The Empire obviously was before her time and her grandfather probably told her that back then, the galaxy was safe and secure and that really influenced her outlook on The First Order.
Justin Ridge: It also doesn’t help that through the season we see that Yeager and Kaz are keeping secrets from her, and she knows that she’s not being told the whole story.
Athena Portillo: While Yeager promised she will have the opportunity to fly once she’s fixed the Fireball, he wasn’t necessarily ready to let her go out on her own, especially in an unreliable ship. Instead, he allowed Kaz to utilize the ship on necessary secret missions that she wasn’t privy to, giving Tam the perception that she was not important to Yeager.
They had good reason, but the tragedy is that they don’t trust her enough to explain. The First Order welcomes her and gives her that trust instead.
Athena Portillo: Her disappointment and confusion grew throughout the season, so when Agent Tierny showed interest in her and presented her with the opportunity to live her dream, you can understand why she decided to join the First Order.
Brandon Auman: Here’s this new mechanic showing up and sort of taking a position on their team and flying the Fireball. And here’s Yeager taking this new stranger under his wing, and Tam just never trusted Kaz to begin with. That’s compounded over the season. When he keeps doing these shady things, disappears mysteriously, and Yeager seems to be going along with this guy, that just rouses her suspicions. Agent Tierney uses that to her advantage to manipulate her.
How much responsibility does Tam have for her own choices, though?
Athena Portillo: Sadly, it was a series of misperceptions and hurt feelings that have now dragged Tam away from being with her family, her heart. Instead of focusing on what matters most, like fighting for her team, she selfishly chooses to go with what matters most to her in that moment, self-gratification.
Justin Ridge: It was also very fascinating to us to have characters that had different viewpoints. You know, the audience, for the most part, understands who the good guys and who the bad guys are. But I think it’s more interesting in a story that not everyone on the Colossus thinks the First Order’s bad.
As the season ends, we see that it overlaps with The Force Awakens, when The First Order used Starkiller Base to destroy the Republic’s home planets. Shouldn’t that horrify her?
Justin Ridge: We never really framed it where Tam was aware of what they did. Torra and Kaz saw the hologram transmission that the Stormtroopers were watching, but that happens as Tierney is basically seducing and manipulating Tam to come with her. I don’t think Tam was aware of exactly what they were doing.
Should we be thinking of Tam as a villain now — or a victim?
Justin Ridge: I’d love for fans to shout, “No!” You know, like, “Don’t do it, Tam! This is not the right choice!”
Brandon Auman: Tam isn’t … She’s not an evil character at all. She’s just manipulated and they’re using that to their advantage.
Justin Ridge: She feels like this is the right choice to make. Now, whether or not that’s a good idea or not, we’ll see in season two.
Speaking of season 2, you end with Kaz and Team Fireball firing up the Colossus and taking it into space. For a moment, it seems like they are going to rendezvous with the heart of the Resistance, but a miscalculation sends them warping to an unknown point. Why keep them separated?
Justin Ridge: In season 2, it’s “What do they do? How do they evade The First Order? How do they try to join up with the Resistance?” Having the base, the Colossus, be a ship is such a cool moment at the end of season 1. I think a lot of the citizens on the Colossus knew it was a Starship. Like, of course. But to Kaz, he had no idea. He just thought that this was some gas station that’s stuck in the middle of the ocean, so it’s kind, of a cool reveal.
They also fight back The First Order with the help of local pirates, and those pirates escape with them. But they don’t have the same values and goals, do they?
Brandon Auman: It’s kind of interesting to put the pirates into the mix, to see how that’s going to toss up the living situation being stuck out in space, on the run. Now we’ve got this sort of unpredictable factor. But they’re all really just trying to survive together at this point. We don’t want to give away too much about what’s going to happen in season 2, obviously, but it’s definitely going to make things interesting for the residents of The Colossus. To now deal with, not only being on the run but having pirates on the ship.
Justin Ridge: It gives a lot of fun opportunities for internal drama. How everyone can get along, or maybe not get along? And the Colossus is kind of vulnerable out in space, you know? They got badly damaged as they were trying to escape. So, what does that mean as they’re on the run?