When Disney gave the Star Wars Expanded Universe the boot, nearly everything outside of the movies found itself on the chopping block. This included the idea of the New Republic, the government formed in the aftermath of the original trilogy’s civil war.
What’s the New Republic?
The New Republic was a creation of the novels, and was basically the successor to the Rebel Alliance after the fall of the Empire. It was meant to be a return to the ways of the Republic of the prequel-era (sans Palpatine of course), ruled by a representative parliament rather than a supreme leader.
Last week though, we found out that in The Force Awakens, instead of Rebels vs Empire, it would the Resistance against the First Order. Having seen that, a lot of us assumed that this was the going nomenclature, and that the idea of a New Republic was officially legacy material.
That is, until EA quietly, and perhaps accidentally, mentioned it in an official piece of marketing.
EA released a ton of info on their upcoming video game, Star Wars Battlefront, this past week at Celebration. Among the announcements was the fact that a piece of free DLC would feature Jakku (the desert planet from the movie teasers); and more specifically, a giant battle that took place there.
Here is an excerpt from the official description for the Battle of Jakku DLC. See if you notice anything weird:
Fans who pre-order Star Wars Battlefront will be among the first players to experience the Battle of Jakku, the pivotal moment when the New Republic confronted key Imperial holdouts on a remote desert planet on the Outer Rim. Taking place in the aftermath of the Rebel victory in the Battle of Endor, players will experience the events that created the massive, battle-scarred landscape of Jakku shown in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
A battle between Imperial holdouts and, wait, the New Republic?
So there is officially a New Republic in The Force Awakens?
Unless this was an awful typo on the part of EA’s promotional department, it would appear that is the case.
What’s all this business with “The Resistance” then?
If this description is canon-accurate (again, if), then it would appear that the political landscape in the Star Wars universe is much more complex than the simple Rebel vs Empire dynamic of the original trilogy.
If, hypothetically, I required a crazy theory that will more than likely be wrong, could you give me one?
Well, since you asked so nicely…
What if the death of the Emperor really did shatter the Empire’s grip on the galaxy, eventually leading to the formation of the New Republic? In the thirty years since then, maybe that New Republic, once a shining beacon for peace and freedom, became corrupted by the same power and bureaucracy that felled the original Republic in the prequel movies. It would be an interesting thematic arc, a repeating cycle of rebellion and tyranny.
Maybe that Star Destroyer we saw wasn’t a First Order ship… maybe it was the New Republic (it could even turn out to be the Star Destroyer that Han Solo is rumored to be commanding).
Building off of that, perhaps the Resistance is a movement inside of the New Republic itself, meant to combat corruption and abuses of power. We know for sure that Poe Dameron, the X-Wing pilot from the trailers, is on a “secret mission” from Princess Leia herself. Why is his mission a secret? Perhaps because he was sent to root out an enemy within their own ranks, perhaps even a dark side presence among the New Republic leadership itself…
Alternatively, it’s possible that the war between the Empire (now reorganized as the First Order) and the New Republic is still ongoing three decades later (space is big after all), but it’s reached a sort of stale-mate, a Cold War situation if you will. In that case, it’s possible that the Resistance is a group of New Republic sympathizers operating in First Order space.
That would explain the name change, as well as how it can exist alongside a full-on New Republic. Thoughts?