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There’s about to be an awakening. Will you feel it?

Star Wars Resistance has shown viewers young and young-at-heart a new side of the galaxy far, far way. It is peacetime in the official sense, but an arms race between the villainous First Order and the noble Resistance is building, with the New Republic foolishly ignoring all warning signs of a new galactic conflict.

BB-8 moves around a dead, cored planet using his cable system in “The Core Problem”. © Disney 2019 All Rights Reserved.

However, as we follow Kazuda “Kaz” Xiono (Christopher Sean) in his mission as a Resistance spy, this brewing battle is mostly relegated to the background. There are, of course, appearances by heroes and villains of the films, including Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), and General Leia Organa (here portrayed by Carolyn Hennesy), not to mention a hint of Kylo Ren in the form of two children with mysterious powers on the run after he terrorized their village. Despite this, when compared to The Clone Wars, which featured the protagonists of the prequels more prominently than anyone, or even to Star Wars Rebels, which featured stormtroopers, TIE fighters, and Star Destroyers with more frequency than Resistance, the new series feels somewhat detached from the cinematic Skywalker saga.

But it seems this tide will begin to change come Sunday night, when “The Core Problem” airs, because as the clip below indicates…

…we’re literally one day away from the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Poe, Kaz, and Yeager study the mysterious stolen map in “The Core Problem”. © Disney 2019 All Rights Reserved.

At the close of the last episode, The New Trooper, Kaz and Jarek Yeager (Scott Lawrence) were analyzing a star map stolen from the First Order. It wasn’t noted in the dialogue, but people nerdy enough to read the in-universe Aurebesh writing (like your friendly neighborhood SCIFI.radio writer here) might have noted that the planets on the map included Jakku, significant to The Force Awakens, of course, but also Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s ruined moon of Jedha (an ancient site sacred to the Jedi), Maz Kanata’s stronghold of Takodana (said to be the site of an ancient clash between Jedi and Sith), Yoda’s hideout of Dagobah, and Yavin (home to the Massassi, a race of Sith slaves), among others. It would not be a stretch to conclude that the search for Luke Skywalker is in full effect, and Kaz is finally caught up in it.

The official synopsis from Lucasfilm for The Core Problem” reads, “Poe and Kaz seek out an area of the Unknown Regions that their intel on the First Order is pointing to. After the unsettling discovery of multiple cored and broken planets, they must evade a series of First Order pilots in order to make it back alive.”

Poe and Kaz survey the destruction wrought by the First Order’s war machine in “The Core Problem”. © Disney 2019 All Rights Reserved.

Obviously, the First Order is coring planets for some purpose related to Starkiller Base, which has loomed over the first season of this series since the onset. If Starkiller is powered by kyber crystals like its Death Star predecessors, the inclusion of Jedha on the map might point in that direction, but it could still be possible locations for leads on Luke Skywalker’s whereabouts. The ending of the original campaign for 2017’s Battlefront II video game indicates that Kylo Ren traveled around quite a bit in his search for the map to the first Jedi Temple that serves as The Force Awakens‘ MacGuffin.

Poe struggles to grab hold of the Fireball in a daring aerial maneuver in “The Core Problem”. © Disney 2019 All Rights Reserved.

Resistance is already preparing to lap the first film of the sequel trilogy in its journey through the Star Wars timeline. This, as an infamous Senator once said, is, “A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.” While The Clone Wars is likely to run into the timeframe of Revenge of the Sith and the epilogue of Star Wars Rebels took us to the aftermath of the original trilogy, it’s interesting that this series is making this jump this early in its run. On one hand, it could be interesting to explore the pre-The Force Awakens era in more depth, because a cold war is largely unprecedented in the Star Wars canon. At the same time, though, it’s not called Star Tense-Peacetime, and the aftermath of Starkiller Base’s destruction of the Hosnian system means more X-wings and TIE fighters and pew-pew, so sign me up!

The Core Problem, the next episode of Star Wars Resistance, airs Sunday, February 17 at 10 PM ET/PT on Disney Channel and goes live on the DisneyNOW app and Disney Channel VOD at 12:01 AM that same day.

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Ryan Miorelli
Ryan Miorelli
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