I’ve been watching Star Wars Resistance even though I keep forgetting about it. The only reason I remember to watch it is because of YouTuber, Star Wars Explained’s reviews showing up in my feed. It’s definitely a kid’s show and it’s definitely a Disney show, and for that I’ve given it a lot of leeway. But the episode, “The Engineer,” kinda rubbed me the wrong way.
Almost every episode has a moment that makes me reflect on something or another that Kreia says throughout Knights of the Old Republic 2. One quote in particular, however, stands out above the rest when it comes to the characters.
How many times are characters going to wholeheartedly trust strangers only to be betrayed? How many times does it make it now with this engineer? Of course with Kaz being the worst offender. He seems compelled to never learn this lesson.
Here’s the premise: They’re in a mobile aircraft refueling station, the Colossus. And they’re on the run with The New Order in hot pursuit. The ship’s falling apart and they’re best mechanic is a fool named Neeku. Who’s just as blindly trusting of strangers as Kaz, possibly more so. One day they pick up a distress call and they go to investigate. Once there they dock with a small ship and find an engineer inside. They take her back to the ship, and she starts to “fix” things.
It took Synara, a pirate, to finally be the voice of reason and ask: What do you know about her? Doesn’t this feel like a too good to be true kind of situation? Questions that were screaming inside me since the moment she was introduced.
One short examination of the engineer’s ship computer and they were able to deduce that she’s working for The First Order. She was practically begging to get found out. So why wasn’t this the first thing they did?
After they find out, they try to hatch a plan. Kaz mentions how difficult it would be to convince Neeku, who’s basically falling in love with this engineer. And yet, that’s the first person he runs to. Not the captain, or any kind of security. He makes a b-line to the one person who, for whatever reason, increases the volume of his voice particularly when discussing sensitive information. Hell, Kaz didn’t even bother to grab his blaster real quick. So of course the inevitable betrayal happens.
The engineer jumps into her fully functional ship, flies away, gets paid, and jumps into hyperspace. Meanwhile the colossus crew realizes that their ships been disabled. By all accounts, they should have died here. But of course that would mean that the show’s over, and a kids show can’t exactly end on such a realistic downer. So instead they quickly figure out a way to reverse the engineer’s work and jump into hyperspace.
There’s a lot that they could have done differently. If it was from Kreia’s perspective, then the following is one way I think they could have manipulated the situation to their favor.
Once they get the distress call, they need to understand that it’s only due to a recent windfall, of sorts, that they’re able to feed everyone. More people means more consumption. But at the very least, if they find a ship and everyone’s dead, they can at least strip it for parts. It’s a risk but they could also use some more personal either way, maybe people who can be trained to help Neeku. So fine, go investigate.
They find exactly one person, and she just happens to be an engineer, exactly the profession you need right now. Bring her on board, along with her ship. Once she’s up on the bridge making her acquaintance with the captain and such, have someone search her ship. You’ll find out that she’s working for The First Order but don’t tell her and don’t tell Neeku either. Let them work.
Meanwhile you make sure that her ship is completely disabled, and make sure there aren’t any other viable ships in the hangar. That’s only a precaution, but better safe than sorry. At this point, you better hope that she betrays you and soon. But we all know it’s coming.
Have some armed people on standby near her ship, but not in the way. You don’t have to tell them that she’s a saboteur. Keep that info to as small a circle as possible. Just tell them that we have to be careful about who we trust. After all, we’ve been burned before. But capture her, don’t kill her.
Once she eventually betrays you and The First Order attacks, she’ll naturally run to her ship. She’ll come to find that it’s disabled. That’s when the guards surround her ship and force her to surrender.
The First Order, being what they are, will open fire on the colossus whether their saboteur is off the station or not. It’s obvious that she doesn’t hate the people of the colossus or what they stand for, except maybe the pirates. But even so, she’s just trying to look out for herself by working for the Order. This makes it pretty easy to bend her to your will. Another factor is how close she and Neeku have become. This offers another avenue of possible manipulation.
“Look, lady. This station’s about to get torn to pieces because of you did. You’re stuck here, and if you’re only looking out for yourself then know that you’re going to die too. But also, think of Neeku. Does he deserve this? Should both of you die here? For what? You may be a saboteur, but our interests are now aligned. It’s in your best interest to fix the station.”
“The ability to persuade others is a powerful weapon. Perhaps more so than any lightsaber.”
Mostly Logos and a little bit of Pathos arguments to convince her. She may respond with questions like: “And what about after we’re out of here? What then? You’re just gonna let me go?” This is when you hit her with the Kairos: “You wanna argue and get blown up or do you wanna get out of here?”
After she fixes the issue and you jump into hyperspace, you might think that this is when you kill her. But no, not quite. Remember, you are in need of an engineer.
At this point she’ll return to the previous question of whether or not you’ll just let her go. This is where you’ll tell her that she’s going to stay by her own free will. Remind her of how the First Order operates. At this point they’ve assumed that she’s betrayed them. And even if they didn’t, she still failed them. They will find her, and they will kill her. So if she wants to leave, be my guest. She won’t.
But we’ll still be keeping an eye on her. She really doesn’t like those pirates. All you have to do is mention that you wonder why that is and Neeku will sing like a canary. She told him that she was captured by pirates and sold into slavery.
“You don’t say? Well then step out of line just once, and you may find yourself getting real acquainted with Captain Kragan and his friends.” You don’t really have to mean any this, the threat alone should be enough. But be prepared to do what you have to.
On a side note, using her skills to make it seem like the pirates are stealing power, causing some infighting and taking the heat off herself? Brilliant.
There’s another character, named Tam, who felt betrayed by Kaz and the crew. In response she joined The First Order. It was a terrible choice going to such an extreme, but at least I can say that she’s trying to learn something. Much like the Galactic Empire and the Sith, the First Order has no qualms about betrayal and will tell to your face that if you can advance your career by treacherous means, then you’re pretty much expected to do it.
The following is not what’s going to happen, only what I wish would happen. I would like to see Tam be fully broken into the New Order. And I want Kaz to be put in a situation where he either kills Tam or she kills everyone on the colossus. To kill someone you hate is easy, it takes strength to kill those you love. I want him to learn that lesson of strength and I want him to learn it the hard way.
Papito Qinn is into the whole YouTube thing, is the winner of the 2016 SpookTAYcular Scary Story Contest, and a twitter incompetent. “I’ll watch the mandalorian. I wonder if they’ll tackle the issue of how the mandalorian culture is dying a slow death.”