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The Resistance and The Republic


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Is this a flaw in the story telling that Lucasfilm decided to live with? For the average person The First Order is the new Empire. Cut and dry, not much else needed. To the people I talk to at work or family and friends I've had to answer a lot of questions.

 

Is the Resistance the new rebellion?

Kinda, but no.

 

Didn't the Empire end after they blew up the second Death Star?

Nope.

 

What happened to the Empire?

How much time you got?

 

Did the First Order blow up the planet from TPM?

No.(of course I didn't know that at first either)

 

Why weren't they crippled after the destruction of Starkiller Base?

Why wasn't the Empire crippled after the destruction of the Death Star? They were bigger than that one base.

 

Why didn't the Republic come when the Resistance called for help?

They got blowed up remember. Besides the Republic had no military.

 

I thought they were the same?

No. The Resistance was a separate faction of the Republic.

 

Why didn't they have a military?

Because if that lady from ROTJ.

 

Well that was dumb.

Isn't it though?

 

That's just a few. Point is if you haven't read the new EU it is very confusing as to the current state of the Star Wars Galaxy.

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I would like some insight into the galactic political situation as of TFA/TLJ, but not enough to read an EU novel for it. The movies are over-reacting to the PT depth of coverage of politics. The OT has a happy medium, but also the convenience of shorthand concepts of Empire and Senate.

 

I am surprised that a New Republic was possible to establish anyway. Why would any cultures want to submit to a central governing authority so soon after kicking the Empire out?

 

I imagine the galaxy is in the midst of a dark age, with most interplanetary institutions gone or ineffective. The First Order is filling a power vacuum, but will they be able to retain control? The old Empire only had to nationalize pre-existing institutions and bureaucracies of the Republic. Would a successor state, either First Order or New Republic, be able to use the old infrastructure or would they have to start from scratch?

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One thing I took from TFA was the idea of a tight focus in the story on the main characters. This is why I was so sure we'd get little or no new info on Snoke. When you look at the OT alot of people's favorite movie is Empire. Look at that movie and even into Jedi. After the battle of Hoth we don't see the Rebellion at all for like 2 hours of movie time. The rest of Empire and not until after the opening on Tatooine in Jedi, other than the very last scene of ESB which is a minute long and really gives us no info anyway. For all that time we only see what is happening with our main characters, the overall Rebellion could be doing anything. We have no idea. And no one cares.

 

When it comes down to it the OT isn't so much about the story of the Rebellion against the Empire as much as it's about Luke, Han and Leia's role in that Rebellion. For long stretches they are completely away from the Rebellion at other times their story intersects with the major events of the larger war.

 

Same applies here, now TLJ sort of merges them by having a couple important characters liek Poe and Leia never leave the Resistance in this movie. However the story being told is not the story of The First Order vs The Resistance, its the story of Rey, Poe and Finn's involvement in that war. Where Snoke came from, don't matter. The exact relation of the First Order to the Empire dont matter. The exact way the New Republic worked, dont matter.

 

It's like if you watch Saving Private Ryan, you don't need to know how Hitler rose to power to watch the movie. It;s the story of that group of men inside the whole mess of WWII.

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I won't read any ding dang book, but what I put together ended up being what was explained in the EU post TFA.

 

- Post ROTJ the Empire was in shambles, and the Republic was restored to power

 

- Because a standing Republic military is what allowed Palpatine to take over, the New Republic went back to the old ways of each system having it's own military force

 

- The Alliance stayed active long enough to beat the Empire back until they retreated to some corner of space. After a decade or two the rebuilt their numbers and started up their war machine; Snoke came along and gave them purpose and dogma

 

- Under Snoke the Empire was reborn as The First Order and begin to push back, taking control of several star systems

 

- The Republic didn't want another war, so they let the First Order go unchecked

 

- Leia called BS on that, and with secret support from the Republic went into First Order territory to form a resistance movement

 

- with the Republic leadership now toast, and the resistance reduced to a handful of people, the First Order is now the biggest power in the galaxy

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George RR Martin has said one of his Inspirations for Game of Thrones was his interest in how Society, Commerce, Etc worked in Lord of the Rings. The nuts and bolts of it. To his surprise, he discovered a lot of fans are interested in that too. These are the people the EU services. That's why I no longer regard the EU with contempt. Because the movies most definitely need to explain more because this shit was confusing.

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For ANH it was fun to learn these things along the way as it was part of an ongoing adventure and the past was like a myth. It came in a vacuum so it worked. JJ wanted the same feels for TFA but it’s harder to pull off when we know what came before, and it doesn’t line up with the now.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

The main problem I have is having to look up some of this stuff. Wikis have been my friend. I did it to get some back story, but I have zero interest in reading the new EU books. I get that the sequel trilogy is trying to recreate that mythic feel of ANH (namely mentioning the Clone Wars, or the senate), but for the ST it is not appropriate, and it feels like you missed several movies when these points are mentioned in passing.

 

The other big issue I have is no explanation of who Snoke is, where he came from, and how he came to power. He just is, and then they literally Darth Maul him. I am sure this will also be explained in a book, but I won't read it. So I guess I will have to consult a wiki on that, too, when the info is available.

 

 

But the most frustrating thing of all is that NONE of this is necessary. EVERYTHING, from how the republic was structured, how the Empire ended, how the First Order rose, where Snoke came from, and how Snoke came to power...ALL of it could have been explained with short, simple lines by characters. Opening crawls, voice overs by characters as scenes open or close could also have been used. HELL, Lor San Tekka was supposed to be a wise man and old compatriot of Leia. I mean that was Max von Sydow, who is a renowned actor! Total missed opportunity. They could have given him more than the two seconds of screen time, where he explained some of this to Poe at the beginning of TFA, and made a comment on how Snoke rose to power and how he corrupted Ben Solo (instead of the vague "this will begin to make things right" line), to Kylo just before Kylo kills him (almost in a wry way like Obi Wan retorts to Vader in ANH, that he is only a master of evil)!

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we only see what is happening with our main characters, the overall Rebellion could be doing anything. We have no idea. And no one cares.

This is exactly one of my issues with TLJ and you are the first person to say it here. Part of the charm to the OT was that Luke, Leia and Han's adventures were tangential to the actual war that was going on. We don't know what Admiral Ackbar and Crix Madine are up to throughout the story, because who cares? Our heroes are doing other crazy things (which end up being the things that win the war in the end), but we're not watching a war strategy movie.

 

TLJ throws that out (except for Rey) and we have a movie where the war, that should be the backdrop for our heroes, is in the foreground and the key players in the conflict are our heroes.

 

It might have still worked if other things in the movie had gone right, but it's one element that felt 'off' for me.

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Sorta agree, but when you're dealing with a story based 30 years after the originals you wonder about the world that the main characters altered the first time around. Sure it's more important to wonder what happened to Luke, but what happened to the Republic does have a bearing on what's going on now.

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I keep Star Wars politics simple in my mind. I'll admit it was a little hazy in TFA, but I agree with the decision not to have Basil Exposition in the war room.

 

The First Order was composed of the remnants of the Empire.

 

The Resistance are not "rebels" because the FO is not official government, The Republic is. So they are a resistance force for this warring aggressor.

 

Once the FO destroys the Republic, they seized power in a military coup, so now The Resistance are technically rebels. RJ makes a point of saying so.

 

 

So pretty much what Tank said.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

I understand the desire to have these explanations, but I have always appreciated that Star Wars does not get bogged down in world building. It's not Game of Thrones, it's a swashbuckling adventure.

I'm not arguing world building. Just a few simple sentences here and there.

 

Just as an example (I'm not a writer, but you get the idea):

 

Teka to Poe: The republic has been stalemated for 20 years with a cold war with the First Order. These plans will help end this stalemate, and bring back Luke Skywalker to usher in a new age of peace.

 

Leia to Rey: The republic wouldn't listen to me. So I formed the resistance to stand against the First Order, because I have seen what happens when good people do nothing.

 

Teka to Kylo: Snoke rose to power through trickery and deceit. You are just a means to an end. I know your true heritage you have forgotten. Come back with me to Leia.

 

Kylo to teka: Snoke has lived 1000 years (or however long), you foolish old man. He is wise and powerful, and was the true power behind the Emperor. One, day I will be HIS master.

 

Teka to Kylo: Perhaps. But only a master of evil and destruction, Ren!

 

 

Those are just examples, and they didn't need to be that exactly, but give us a hell of a lot more info that we got!

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Well, if get it from the First Order's perspective of calling them "rebels." IF the First Order is just the reorganized remains of the Empire, from their point of view, the Republic is an illegitimate government, and the resistance ARE rebels.

 

But when the Resistance calls themselves Rebels, does that mean they concede that the First Order has already WON the Cold War between the Republic and First Order with the destruction of the Hosnian System, then?

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I think a Resistance is just that, trying to resist, slow down, be a thorn in the First Order's side until someone, the Republic or whoever comes to their senses and fights the First Order. The French Resistance wasn't trying to overthrow the Nazi's as much as they were just trying to prevent them from doing what they wanted to do.

 

A rebellion on the other hand is flat out trying to defeat and overthrow the First Order.

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The distinction, as I explained before, is about who is in power. In the first movie the Republic was in power so the good guys were not rebels.

 

In the second movie, having blown the Republic up, the First Order is now in power, so they are technically REBELling against the current government (however officially recognized or not).

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