Star Wars Resistance is only days away from hitting the airwaves on Disney Channel, and it promises to deliver Star Wars action to the small screen, help fill in some blanks in the current timeline of that galaxy far, far away, and explain what happened to some of those former Rebel and Imperial pilots after the events of the original trilogy. It is actually set in a time and place that has been largely unexplored by other projects in the saga: before The Force Awakens and in the Outer Rim.
Resistance executive producer Justin Ridge spoke with CinemaBlend about all things Resistance (including how it was impacted by previous series The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels), and he had this to say about why the new show is set before the devastating events of The Force Awakens:
I think we really wanted to have this show feel like it fit snugly into the timeline between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Having those events occur in The Force Awakens, we wanted to make sure that this felt canon to Star Wars in that having characters like Poe Dameron and Captain Phasma organically intertwined with our main characters, I think it just felt right that we wanted it to play up into what happens with Starkiller Base.
As many Resistance viewers will undoubtedly know thanks to The Force Awakens, the galaxy is in for a devastating tragedy when the First Order unleashes Starkiller Base on the New Republic. The show isn't just set at a random place in the decades between the happy ending of Return of the Jedi and the dark beginning of The Force Awakens. Its placement in the timeline means that it can tie into the events of the first movie of the sequel trilogy, featuring characters like Poe and Captain Phasm and even BB-8 along with the newcomers like Kaz and The Aces.
Interestingly, the state of affairs being revealed in Resistance can be directly relevant to the sequel trilogy, especially since The Last Jedi takes place so soon after The Force Awakens. Justin Ridge also clarified how soon ahead of The Force Awakens that Resistance kicks off:
I would say this is within maybe three to six months before The Force Awakens. It's pretty close behind the events that take place.
Poor Kaz and his new friends (and rivals) don't have all that much time left before the First Order unleashes Starkiller Base on the galaxy, although it's worth noting that not all of the news will be terrible. When Poe isn't dropping by Star Wars Resistance, he'll be busy helping Leia and the other Resistance leaders. While the Resistance (and Kaz) obviously won't be able to prevent Starkiller Base's upcoming strike against the New Republic, Poe will take it down, and we have to hope that Kaz and Co. will have contributed to that victory.
As is clear from the exciting trailers for Star Wars Resistance, the new show will be focusing on pilots and non-Force sensitive characters, meaning there will be some key fundamental differences between Resistance and the two shows that came before it. Poe's victory against Starkiller Base proves that the non-Jedi characters are vital to fighting the good fight of the sequel trilogy era, even if the titles of the first two movies directly reference the Force and the Jedi. Justin Ridge explained why Resistance is focused on non-Jedi characters:
Star Wars has up to this point told many stories of Force-sensitive characters and focusing more on the Jedi and on the Skywalkers and things. And even Ezra Bridger. This show was a chance for us to kind of explore a different group of characters. It's a different timeline. So it was kind of a new thing for us. Well, what is it like during this time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens for the pilots and some of the working class people in the galaxy? And we just kind of started from there.
Naturally, a big question that will be on the minds of Star Wars fans is whether Resistance's place so soon ahead of The Force Awakens means that the show could eventually extend into the timeline of the movies. After all, both The Clone Wars and Rebels spanned multiple years before coming to their ends, although Rebels notably ended shortly before the original trilogy began, and showrunner Dave Filoni explained his understandable reasons why. Time will tell if the new batch of Clone Wars episodes will advance into the time of or beyond Revenge of the Sith.
When I asked Justin Ridge whether we could see Kaz's story extend into the movie timeline, here's what he had to say:
It could! I don't want to spoil too much but we definitely have some stories to tell.
Star Wars Resistance premieres with a one-hour event on Sunday, October 7 at 10 p.m. ET on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW. It's only one of the two upcoming Star Wars shows that will be set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Be sure to tune in to meet some fun new characters in a truly unique location in the Outer Rim.