KAZUDA XIONO AND FOUND FAMILY
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
Star Wars gives us many examples of family and the dynamics involved. Star Wars Resistance gives us a group of people who, while not biologically related, over time form bonds, understandings, and beliefs in each other that makes them as strong as any family. I believe this is largely thanks to Kazuda Xiono.
In the beginning, Kaz continuously faces challenges from Colossus citizens being against him, which earns him the nickname “Kaz-tastrophe.” Not knowing the skills of the mechanic job he takes on, conflict quickly arises between him and Tam. Kaz spends most of his early days on the Colossus arguing against his situation and wondering why he's training to be a mechanic rather than a pilot.
Despite Kaz’s discouragement, Yeager urges him to consider those around him and realize there's more to his situation than his spy mission from Poe Dameron. If Kaz isn’t careful, he puts everyone at risk and neglects possible relationships. Despite, Kaz’s lack of mechanical skills, Yeager tells him he sees and values him for his good heart.
This will pay off as Kaz learns to look out for others and see his successes and failures in a new light, which ultimately helps him with his mission and leads him to find family with those around him, uniting them all.
Success and Balance
With each of Kaz's spy mission, the most important element of his accomplishments is the how. Kaz has chaotic spy skills, but it's actually when he looks out for others that he learns the most and truly succeeds.
A notable example is whenever he helps Kel and Eila. At first Kaz only goes after them for money to help Tam, and while this shows care for Tam, he still isn’t fully looking at the situation. He immediately jumps at the first opportunity for an easy solution to solve his problems. Yet, in the course, of this episode he learns to look more at why the situation is the way it is and helps the children from Tehar. During that time, he learns about Kylo Ren’s attack on their homeworld, which ends up being valuable information for his mission. When he later helps them in "The New Trooper," though, he does so out of the kindness of his heart, and his mission's success comes unexpectedly.
When his plans work out, Kaz still learns to examine each situation fully and not abuse the relationships he’s formed. Initially, Kaz views Torra's friendship as a way to gain access to the Doza Tower, but in spending time with her in episodes such "Secrets and Holograms," we see him look at her as a person rather than a means to an end. Just as with Kel and Eila, Kaz gains new clarity on the situation. It's no longer just about just Doza’s office; it's now about Torra as he works to cheer her up.
We also see Kaz finding balance with his new life situation as we see him work to improve his mechanic skills. Over time, he doesn't want to just to watch races and spy, but he also genuinely wants to succeed, prove he is capable, and help those around him. Despite some failures along the way, he continuously improves and is acknowledged by others, which helps him earn some respect and admiration that he previously had little of.
Reaching Towards Others
The Colossus' atmosphere is full of mindsets of completion and self-survival. Activities revolve around the races where the Aces are constantly competing and other citizens onboard work only in their self interest and success to the point of bar fights and a constant competitive attitude. This only worsens with the First Order occupation as the citizens become upset with the resulting changes. Despite all this, Kaz coming aboard brings a change over time.
I think the humor really helps them grow closer and much of this comes back to Kaz with his chaotic and upbeat spirit. A big factor is bonding over Kaz’s lack of mechanical skills. We especially see this in the season two finale when the characters constantly bring up and joke about these "old days." While Kaz’s chaotic nature may be judged negatively by Colossus citizens, we can see how Kaz's brightness and laughter brings the characters grow closer.
Synara is also a great example of the value of Kaz reaching out to those around him. Synara is a pirate (a.k.a an enemy of the Colossus), but Kaz reaching out to her ends up having many positive effects for the Colossus community. We see how this allows them to connect, and we also see Tam open up about her past. In return, we see how much of an effect Tam risking her life for Synara has on her later in the episode. When the pirates work to kidnap Torra, we can see how much Synara has grown to care for her as she goes against the pirates to join the Colossus crew in the rescue effort.
When Kaz discovers who Synara truly is, he tells her that she is a good person, despite what she is and the mistakes she’s made. We see Synara continue to question her loyalty towards the pirates and help Team Colossus many times. This shows just how valuable Kaz reaching out to her was even though she started as an enemy she becomes someone valued as a part of the found family of Team Colossus.
We also can see what the opposite does when Kaz does not reach out to Tam with honesty about his past and allegiance to the Resistance. This situation allows Tam to be manipulated into turning against Kaz and joining The First Order. She largely does this to achieve her dream of flying, with everything coming back to the idea of the self-survival mentality. When others aren’t reaching out to you, it allows you to make mistakes and feel like the only thing worth fighting for is you.
In “No Escape,” Kaz constantly puts the need to rescue Tam over anything else. I love how this conveys the ways in which Kaz has learned to look out for others and how close they have become. It also shows how detrimental it was that he didn’t reach out to her with honesty. Even if you are trying to protect someone, sometimes it’s more valuable to take a risk and reach out.
In season two, Kaz sends an apology to Tam despite knowing the risk it holds in constantly trying to have faith that she’ll come back. Even though she cuts him off immediately in the premiere episode, I think seeing Tam again start to listen to Kaz’s apology message and seeing how hurt she looks in the following episode really shows how much she cares for her friends on the Colossus. Instead of submitting completely to the First Order and her pain, she instead again faces it in this moment and many others in the future.
Care is reflected back by Tam as she continues to struggle with how helping the First Order put her friends in danger and how she helps Kaz and Neeku escape in “Station to Station.” I like how this conveys that despite having disagreements or being hurt there is still so much importance with how you care for those you’ve grown close to and how conflict is not the end-all of a relationship.
As the First Order continues to rain terror upon them, the citizens are at odds with each other. Despite this, we still see how much they are growing to care for each other in many instances. One example is when they come together to celebrate Torra’s birthday and cheer her up in “Rendezvous Point.” Even though everyone is upset with Captain Doza, they come together to support his daughter. No matter how the First Order tries to tear the galaxy apart, you can find hope and happiness in reaching out to others.
In a Galaxy so divided with the impending conflict, working with others is imperative and Resistance really allows us to see that. As I discussed earlier, there was already a lot of division on board the Colossus: mindsets of competition and self survival. This comes to be a detriment once The First Order is chasing after them because it causes them to turn towards their self-survival mode and fear, turning further against Doza. Despite this, Kaz really helps bring people together at this time and shows them the importance of working together.
Facing fear allows the citizens of the Colossus to come together, and seeing Kaz’s leadership becomes a springboard for this. On top of stepping up with his mechanic role of helping with repairs, Kaz also starts taking on a leadership role both on missions like those in “A Quick Salvage Run.” Doza slowly becomes more open to facing the conflict and willing to join the fight with the Resistance, largely thanks to Kaz’s leadership. Kaz, and others like Torra, start putting themselves in more dangerous situations to work to keep their family together as fear from the conflict is working to tear them apart.
There are many situations which show the importance of working together, a huge part of what Kaz with his leadership is working for. An example of this is when Kaz and Yeager train the Aces. We see that the Aces are used to only looking out for themselves and their own success, which becomes very detrimental to them in this new combative situation as they’re unable to work with each other.
As a result, Yeager and Kaz work to teach them the importance of teamwork. Hype Fazon struggles with this and ends up quitting. However, when Torra goes to talk to him, she acknowledges how things have changed, the fear that comes with it, and why working together is so important. Hype then also acknowledges the situation even comparing it to growing up with The Empire. Torra says she understands but that Hype shouldn't let fear cause him to walk away, especially when he’s already took a risk with putting himself back in the action with how he and Aunt Z came back to aid the Colossus in the season one finale.
“You already had a chance to run and you came back. And the fact is we’re all stronger when we’re together.”
In the end, Hype learns the importance of working with others and acknowledging the state of things; he even welcomes and accepts Kaz as one of the Aces! We also see how well the training with learning to work together pays off in episodes like “Rebuilding the Resistance.”
At the same time we see how The First Order works to tear down Tam’s family teamwork mentality. She is reprimanded for helping others in training in “Live Fire.” Situations like this that show The First Order not looking out for others cause Tam to continuously question them, but still holds onto the notion that they are helping her achieve her dreams. Situations like this showing The First Order’s true workings and intentions mixed with the struggle of putting her friends in danger. When we see how much she still cares for them, it wears on her, causing her to question her decision and what the cost of her achieving her dreams in this way is.
It all comes to a head when she witnesses the First Order bombarding the people of Aeos. Tam, once again, sees The First Order not caring for others, but hurting those not involved in the conflict. It helps her see both the true intentions of the people she's fighting for but also how their intentions lack care for anyone but themselves. It goes back to how we first see Tam talking about The First Order in season one, as we see her constantly defending them by saying how they are working to look out for others and keep them safe. Now she is seeing how far from the truth that is.
It's finding The First Order's lack of care for others that gives Tam the push to go back to her friends as she realizes she’ll never find family within The First Order. While they may be allowing her to become a pilot, they will never care about her in the ways her friends do; they will only use her for her talents. She comes to learn that she would rather continue working towards her dreams with those she cares about and who care about her in return than get what she wants only for the purpose of aiding people who have no care for others.
Coming Together Finding Forgiveness
When Kaz announces he is leaving for the Resistance in “No Place Safe,” everyone is upset. The people who once thought Kaz was nothing but a catastrophe now want him to stay, showing how big of an impact Kaz has had in a number of ways. But despite how much everyone has grown to work together and accept each other, the state of the galaxy and fractures in relationships still make things a challenge for the citizens of the Colossus. I think the biggest factor that helped with that final push was learning to face their fear for others and find forgiveness and understanding with their actions.
Forgiveness is seen a number of times, one of the first cases is when Kaz encourages Yeager to forgive his brother. Marcus argues how people are capable of change and in his case he’s learned to look out for others more and even when he struggled with that, he still cared about others. In the end, Yeager takes Kaz’s advice and reconciles with his brother while saying that they aren’t good yet but they can be, acknowledging that while it is important to forgive others, it doesn’t immediately wipe away what happened. The important thing is giving people a chance to prove they’ve changed and work towards rebuilding a relationship.
“It’s important to forgive people. When you don’t, nobody wins.”
This is one of many cases of forgiveness that extend beyond biological family to the found family of the Colossus.
It all comes back to the comm link that showed Tam that Kaz was willing to risk so much to apologize and work to right his wrongs. In the end, that action helps allow her to find some level of forgiveness for him in return. Tam reaches out to Kaz in the finale, taking her own risk in return.
When Doza is reluctant to take action with rescuing Tam, Kaz argues that everyone like Tam is capable of a change of heart. Yeager then reminds Doza that he changed when he left The Empire, making Tam just as capable of doing so. This helps him see that the risk is worth taking.
There is acknowledgment that everyone is capable of making mistakes and learning from them. While Kaz acknowledges his part in the situations they’ve been put into, Doza also acknowledges his own mistakes that led to where they are now. All the characters acknowledge mistakes and how everyone is capable of making them and finding forgiveness.
“We all make mistakes Tam. Some are more cataclysmic than others but it is ok.”
A big factor that plays into creating division is fear. Just like Tam, facing that fear is an important step everyone else must take. While we see many instances of characters facing fear, the Colossus citizens still find themselves falling back on self-survival tendencies.
When Kaz, Yeager, CB-23, and Tam are stuck on the Star Destroyer, Doza tells the residents of the Colossus that despite how Kaz helped carry them into the action he also helped bring them together and keep them safe. He acknowledges Kaz’s growth and strength and now is encouraging everyone to find their own. When Kaz tells them to run, the citizens at first agree as they fall back into their self-survival mode. But once they see the fear the people which they have grown to care about are facing, it helps give them the strength to face their own. Just like Yeager’s brother, they’ve always cared about others, but now they’re willing to take the risk and look beyond themselves.
Similar to how Hera tells Ezra in Star Wars Rebels, “If all you do is fight for your own life, then your life is worth nothing,” the citizens of The Colossus come to realize just how much their community matters. They learn it’s worth it to risk everything and that really shows how far they’ve come. They acknowledge the care they have for everyone, including Kaz.
Although Kaz has a rough start, it’s his journey, growth, dedication, and care that helps bring the unity of this found family. Through his leadership and determination, Kaz gains the respect and admiration of those around him. He passes on encouragement of accepting and forgiving others, working with others, being willing to take risks, and bringing a bright chaotic personality that helps everyone grow closer. They all learn that by reaching out to others and working together they can face their fears and find forgiveness.
It allows them to come together just as Tam says in celebration of what they have: a family.