Star Wars Speculation: What If The New Republic And The Empire Still Exist In The Force Awakens?

The Star Wars galaxy we know and love is changing. New characters are being introduced, new conflicts are being established, and new planets will be visited. However, there’s a theory going around that not all is as it seems in the promotional material. What if the First Order and the Resistance aren’t the only powers in the galaxy? What if the New Republic and the Empire still exist and just don’t know about it yet?

*SPECULATION AND POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR THE FORCE AWAKENS*

How is that possible? Wouldn’t they still be at war?

Hear me out. First, we know for a fact there is a New Republic after the Battle of Endor in the current continuity. The theory states that the New Republic gained a temporary upper hand after the Emperor’s death, but eventually its war with the Empire ground to a halt.

Why did the fighting stop?

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Well, the Empire is a vast entity. It’s the combination of all the Republic star systems plus those of the Confederacy of Independent Systems (aka the Separatists) and some territory they’ve acquired through expansion. In thirty years, it’s impossible for something the size of the Rebellion to defeat something that vast. In addition, it’s also a bit strange to introduce the New Republic into the post Return of the Jedi canon only to supplant it later down the line with the Resistance.

… so what happened?

The rumor is that both sides have developed Death Star-esque super weapons that have forced a peace through mutually assured destruction. One side won’t attack the other because the result will be annihilation on a galactic scale.

So… how do The First Order and the Resistance fit in?

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This is where it gets interesting. If you remember your 20th Century history, you’ll recall that while the Soviet Union and the United States were on tenuous terms, their hostilities never escalated to open warfare because each side possessed nuclear weapons. Therefore, any grabs for power were conducted through proxy wars that took place in places such as Afghanistan, Korea, and Vietnam. Each side armed small players in the conflict to advance their interests without being an official ally of their respective side. The United States armed the Afghan Resistance Fighters and the South Vietnamese, while the Soviet Union supported the North Vietnamese and North Korea (though China).

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The theory states that the Resistance and the First Order are like those proxy groups from the Cold War. It’s already clearly evident that the First Order have a certain religious zealotry to them, not to mention they’re seen attacking places and people numerous times in the footage we’ve seen. It makes sense that an extremist group could have broken away from the Empire and is causing problems. Since they have no official ties to the current Imperial government, their actions don’t have the same chances of igniting a way between sides in the Galactic Cold War.

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As for the Resistance, they would act as the New Republic’s counter to the extremist cell of The First Order. As with their counterparts, the Resistance is technically not affiliated with the New Republic despite they’re working to advance their interests.

So, where can the story go given this set up?

Well, if the theory is indeed true, something is most likely going to happen in The Force Awakens that will make the Cold War go hot. Either the Resistance or the First Order will take an operation too far, tipping the scales and igniting a full scale Galactic conflict… and it’ll be up to our heroes to stop it.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments what you think of the theory.

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