Episode 14 of Star Wars Resistance opens at the Starkiller Base with First Order Commander Pyre (Liam McIntyre) expressing his impatience with pirate boss Kragan Gorr (Gary Anthony Williams). There's no mistaking it: Things are about to get real.
The pirates' regular attacks on the Colossus, a refueling platform in the galaxy's Outer Rim, haven't convinced platform leader Capt. Doza (Jason Hightower) to accept the First Order's "protection," a clear ruse designed to let the militant group take over and a plot point that's been percolating for a while.
The episode reveals how clever the First Order really is and leaves Resistance spy Kazuda Xiono (AKA Kaz, played by Christopher Sean) with a new set of problems.
The First Order is playing both sides
Pyre and his boss, Capt. Phasma, appear to play along when Kragan demands triple pay to continue his campaign against Colossus. However, a subtle nod from Phasma to Pyre hints that there's something else afoot.
Kragan is ordered to kidnap Torra Doza (Myrna Velasco), daughter of the Colossus boss, to convince him that he needs the First Order's help. Pirates Valik (Jennifer Hale) and Drell (David Shaughnessy) grab the teenager and bring her back to Kragan's ship.
The First Order's Maj. Vonreg (Lex Lang) arrives to take custody of the hostage, but betrays the pirates and brings Torra home. Vonreg takes advantage of Doza's vulnerability after nearly losing his daughter, and leaves two stormtroopers for additional security.
That pair will no doubt cause trouble in the future!
Synara's a wild card
Synara San (Nazneen Contractor), a pirate sleeper agent, manages to earn Torra's trust to the point where she gets the security code to access the teen's home at will. Still, it's clear that a genuine friendship has developed.
Kragan suspects that she's getting too friendly with the people of the Colossus, to the point where he doesn't let her in on the plan to snatch Torra. And he's right -- Synara is horrified and rushes to warn Kaz.
After the pirates are betrayed by the First Order, it seems like Synara could be left adrift. What will she do the next time she's asked to put her new friends in danger?
The Resistance spy spots Synara interacting with Valik and Drell, then she reveals their plan after Torra is taken. This allows Kaz to spot the First Order "saving" her, so he figures out that the group was working with the pirates.
Synara's lame excuse for talking to the pirate pair also makes Kaz finally realize that she's one of them, but what will he do with this nugget of information? She put Torra and the others in serious danger -- he shouldn't forgive her too readily.
Kragan has a super cool pirate ship
The pirate ship is seriously impressive, especially as it comes out of the fog. Kragan and most of the pirates survive the First Order's treachery, so we'll likely see it again.
This episode is a step up for the show. There's real tension regarding Torra's fate, the chase to catch the pirates is excellent and the First Order's bold move injects the narrative with a whole new energy. Hopefully it continues at this level.
Star Wars Resistance airs Sundays at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Disney Channel, DisneyNOW and Disney Channel VOD.
Watch this: Star Wars told by a CNET intern who's never seen it