“The Voxx Vortex 5000” is a rather breezy episode in the second season of Star Wars Resistance. Bored by the absence of racing aboard the Colossus, the lead Ace, Hype Fazon (Donald Faison), proposes that the Colossus pay a visit to a floating space-station casino owned by a hutt known as Vranki the Blue (John DiMaggio), his former employer, so he can race again as well as earn money for the Colossus.
Hype wagers himself to Vranki, confident he can traverse the hazardous asteroid-littered racing course. If he wins, he gets the money. But if he loses, he works for Vranki. At first, Hype’s run on the asteroid belt goes fine, but he discovers that Vranki deployed racing droids that play dirty and sabotage Hype’s run. Not only that, Vranki has seeded fatal obstacles into the racecourse.
Eventually, the Aces are forced to bet themselves one-by-one. With Neeku’s (Josh Brener) brains and knowledge of computer algorithms, they set out to bypass the rigged race to get Hype back.
Other than some cool action, jingly, neon setpieces of slots, character interaction, edge-of-your-seat racing across the asteroid belt, there’s not much else that stands out.
Racing was not a particularly compelling point of the first season, but it inhabited the cultural consciousness of the Colossus world, with racing illustrated as a means of morale for the Colossus community and a glimpse into the post-war lives of pilots like Yeager (Scott Lawrence). Written by Gavin Hignight and directed by Stewart Lee, “The Voxx Vortex 5000” is engrossing with intense high-stakes race action, but it leaves something to be desired when it comes to having a personal core like “The Platform Classic,” arguably the strongest racing episode.
The location and his relations with Vranki represent a part of Hype’s past, but they don’t drop impactful insight into his psyche unlike “Live Fire.” If Vranki’s proposition for Hype to stay came off as a genuine temptation to Hype, it would have personalized the tension. Otherwise, the Aces’ personalities–and others’–have room to pop. Freya Fenris (Mary Elizabeth McGlynn) has an outburst, Griff Halloran (Stephen Stanton) shows off his aggression on the field, Torra Dorra (Myrna Velasco) gets to shine, and Kaz (Christopher Sean) is well-integrated into the Aces. Neeku does a swell job putting his tech-savviness to use. Yeager and Captain Doza (Jason Hightower) have solid chemistry as two disagreeing leaders. The only one left out is Bo Keevil (Dave Filoni), with not a lot given for him to do.
Also, those droid pilots with deployable limbs? They’re neat and reveal the scary side of potential flight tech in the galaxy.
How Are Those Common People Doing?
The conspicuous absence of Colossus common people and their voices have festered into a pointed problem. How do the Colossus citizens feel about this? How has keeping them in the dark affected them? “Hunt on Celsor 3” brought front-and-center the feelings of the Colossus citizens and how Doza must work to earn good relations with his charges. So it’s a counterproductive decision to leave the Colossus citizens out of any say or presence–especially considering how the racing culture nurtured their morale.
Even though the last episode, “Rendezvous Point,” is hands-down one of the strongest episodes, it also ignored how the Colossus citizens would respond to higher-ups’ decisions that lead to the First Order firing at them. When Torra willingly wagers the Colossus as the stakes close in, they sidestep the issue, not once bringing up “What will the citizens think of the Colossus being converted into a casino or losing their defense squad?”
Time will tell whether future episodes bank on these conspicuous shortcomings. Otherwise, this episode is as enjoyable as it is just incidental.
- “All the rich people fled to Canto Bight.” I see what you did there. Here’s a joke, maybe considering what happens in The Last Jedi, the rich will come running back to your casino.
- More Kowakian monkey-lizard shenanigans!
- When Torra and Kaz sampled the treats, I was expecting a gag where the treats didn’t come from something savory.
The post ‘Star Wars Resistance’ Gets Back to Racing in “The Voxx Vortex 5000” appeared first on /Film.