We’re starting to get a clearer image.
So, we’re known for a while now that there were two main factions in The Force Awakens: The First Order and the Resistance. It’s become increasingly obvious that the First Order was created from the remains of the Empire after the post-Return of the Jedi fighting.
However, we’ve known for a while that in the new continuity the Rebel Alliance becomes the New Republic shortly after their victory at Endor, much like it did in the Expanded Universe. However, the real mystery is how the New Republic becomes the Resistance that will be front and center in the upcoming film. Thanks to many of the new novels and comics coming out including Shattered Empire, Aftermath, and Lost Stars, we have more answers.
Well, the answer to that question is… maybe.
Could you elaborate on that?
Certainly. When the New Republic was born, a new Senate was formed on Chandrilla, the homeworld of Mon Mothma who became Chancellor. In a questionable move, the new government was mostly based on the Old Republic. In fact, one of the first actions Mon Mothma took as Chancellor was to strip back a majority of the New Republic’s armed forces, which was replaced by individual armies of the New Republic’s sovereign worlds.
Under Admiral Ackbar, the remaining New Republic forces served mainly as peacekeepers much like United Nations forces.
So, where does the Resistance come in?
The New Republic continued to beat back the remainder of Empire’s forces. The climactic Battle of Jakku broke the Imperial Navy, not only depleting their forces but also destroying their last remaining Super Star Destroyer, the Ravager.
A peace treaty was signed, and the Empire retreated to the Outer Rim to lick its wounds. However, the New Republic kept an eye on them… ready to bring their fleet led by Admiral Ackbar and General Leia Organa.
We know that Leia has sent Poe Dameron, a Resistance pilot, on his mission in The Force Awakens. Therefore, there are a few conclusions we can possibly draw:
- Ackbar and Leia’s peacekeeping force is called the Resistance by the time of the film. We’re not sure what that means for the rest of the New Republic, as Resistances are typically small. Are they all that’s left of the New Republic after the First Order unleashed the power of Starkiller base?
- Ackbar and Leia broke away from the New Republic and started a new band of Rebels called the Resistance in order to deal with the First Order in a more autonomous manner. That way, if the Resistance does something that could be considered an act of war, it won’t spark a conflict with the New Republic.
Either way, it’s clear that the remains of the Empire are a very real threat that our characters need to take seriously… which is what the Resistance is all about.