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What's the point of the Resistance?

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They didn't support the New Republic (now destroyed).

They obviously don't support the First Order.

What are they advocating?

What are they going to do that's different than the New Republic?

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The First Order and the Republic have a ceasefire after Jakku. Both sides essentially are supposed to leave each other alone.

Senator Organa didn't trust them as far as she could throw them, and kept advocating for keeping a closer watch, and for intervening, or forcing them to disarm properly, or whatever. This (a) got on the generally war-tired senate's nerves because they didn't want to, and (b) specifically got on the nerves of those industries helping the first order rebuild (particularly those secretly helping them rearm!) because it made doing business much harder and less profitable. So she more or less got ignored.

When it came out that the darling of the Rebellion was actually Darth Vader's daughter, she essentially ended up getting forced out of the senate by the resulting political scandal, and decided to take more direct action by doing what she'd done best all her life - forming and running a paramilitary group....

The Republic, officially, has nothing to do with the resistance, which is a totally independent bunch of freedom fighters/terrorists trying to stop the first order oppressing the heck out of the various independent planets in the outer rim. Sympathetic fleet officers certainly didn't supply it with supposedly decommissioned T-70 starfighters and maybe some officially-retired-from-duty combat pilots.....

(This is why Hux's rant describes the Republic as 'supporting terrorists' when talking about the resistance - from his perspective they're going back on the cease-fire 'deal').

 

Essentially, think of the Cold War - picture the Republic/First Order as the US/USSR, and the Resistance as a 'proxy force' like the Viet Cong in Vietnam or Mujahideen in Afghanistan.

 

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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But why is it called the resistence???

You can't resist a fringe faction that's not in power, you resist tyrannical regimes.

Names should of been reversed, being the republic's first order of defence would of made sense, as would resisting the ineffectual rule of a corrupt republic.

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31 minutes ago, Hobojebus said:

But why is it called the resistence???

You can't resist a fringe faction that's not in power, you resist tyrannical regimes

On the outer rim, on the other side of the 'truce line' between the First Order and the Republic, they are the people in power.

The fact that that's not a huge proportion of the galaxy as a whole is irrelevant; within that sphere of space, they are the tyrannical regime (obviously Cardinal would disagree, but hey).

 

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1 hour ago, Hobojebus said:

But why is it called the resistence???

You can't resist a fringe faction that's not in power, you resist tyrannical regimes.

Names should of been reversed, being the republic's first order of defence would of made sense, as would resisting the ineffectual rule of a corrupt republic.

Magnus Grendel's thoughtful and reasonable explanations aside it is "The Resistance" because that is most like "The Rebellion" without being "The Rebellion."

All the explanation and sorting out the whats and whys came after the naming. TFA was just a shortcut to return everything back to Empire and Rebels in a single movie without needing to put too much thought into the whole thing and most importantly without outraging everyone with something that resembled or even just smelled a little of Episodes I-III. 

I read the Poe Dameron comic (set before TFA) and it is always funny when they need to talk about some sort of broader context in the exposition for Poe's next adventure. The context gets very hand wavy and "please don't think too hard about this." 

The entire setup is threadbare and requires quite a bit of torturing or not thinking to hard about. Funnily though the idea about industry being okay with the conflict because of Rule of Acquisition #34 becomes the only good idea in TLJ. But even that starts getting tenuous quickly. 

It is all quite ham-fisted. 

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15 hours ago, patox said:

They didn't support the New Republic (now destroyed).

They obviously don't support the First Order.

What are they advocating?

What are they going to do that's different than the New Republic?

Like most resistance movements.....

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10 hours ago, Hobojebus said:

But why is it called the resistence???

You can't resist a fringe faction that's not in power, you resist tyrannical regimes.

Names should of been reversed, being the republic's first order of defence would of made sense, as would resisting the ineffectual rule of a corrupt republic.

The Resistance a Rebel by any other name...

I get the distinct feeling they went with Resistance since it was close to Rebel and well they wanted to reinstate the OT dynamic of a small band of rebels fighting against a large imposing empire. Despite the fact that they really haven't made it clear how big the FO is around the time of TFA. We were led to think it was some small seditious force out there that was mostly hiding in the unknown regions but at this point it looks like they are trying to effectively just make it the empire with reverse color schemes for their fighters. 

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11 hours ago, Magnus Grendel said:

On the outer rim, on the other side of the 'truce line' between the First Order and the Republic, they are the people in power.

The fact that that's not a huge proportion of the galaxy as a whole is irrelevant; within that sphere of space, they are the tyrannical regime (obviously Cardinal would disagree, but hey).

 

But it wasn't in the film.

If you're reliant on other media people may never read to explain stuff you've failed at world building.

Loads of people thought the entire first order was on deathstar III after watching tfa, they never felt like a galaxy spanning threat.

Problem was carried over in tlj if the fo is powerful enough to conquer the galaxy nearly overnight why are they wasting the leaders time on the single squadron of resistance fighters? Surely you need to consolidate power first then deal with the 400 malcontents you can track at will.

They made the galaxy feel tiny while explaining so little.

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2 minutes ago, Hobojebus said:

But it wasn't in the film.

If you're reliant on other media people may never read to explain stuff you've failed at world building.

Loads of people thought the entire first order was on deathstar III after watching tfa, they never felt like a galaxy spanning threat..

Gotta agree with Hobo on this one. Almost 3 years after TFA came out and I still don’t have a clue who the FO are, where they came from, what their thing is, etc...  I’m still not even 100% clear on what, exactly starkiller base destroyed. 

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Just now, Forgottenlore said:

By the time ESB came out, reasonably so. Not the details covered in the prequels obviously, but the broad strokes of the corrupt democratic republic taken over by the empire, yeah. 

You probably weren't, not really. You wouldn't have had anything to go on. All we get from the OT is "The emperor has dissolved the last of the senate. Planetary governors will now have direct control" and that's about it. We see the Empire/Emperor in ESB, but have no concept of whether republic=good or corrupt or useless or complicit in war crimes or whatever. We just know the Emperor decided he doesn't need it anymore. The real gist of the Rebellion gets fleshed out much later through novels and stuff.

Having said that, TLJ didn't do a good job of explaining the politics. It wasn't until I read some of the associated novels that the picture really filled in for me, and as Hobo says that's not a great statement on the world building ability of the movie. 

But yeah, basically the new republic is a (largely) non-military body of governance and regulation, much like our modern UN. The First Order was very militant and aggressive and not playing by the rules, but the Republic was powerless to do anything about it. So Leia, disgraced by the public knowledge of her parentage, set up the resistance as a paramilitary organisation to take a direct approach to thwarting the First Order wherever possible. Which is all quite realistic (IMO) and actually very interesting, but you don't get any of it from the movie. Just watching the movie it's easy to make the mistake of thinking that the New Republic should be a galaxy spanning military power, using their soldiers for good, not evil, and that the First Order should be a tiny splinter of fanatics rather than a still formidable political and military entity. So when you see Leia turn up in some beat-up old transport you're like "huh?" and it's not clear why they're called the resistance instead of the republic, because it's not clear that these are separate organisations, or why they would have to be separate organisations.

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I think the ot did it better with names because when you hear empire you thing big far reaching organisations, first order lacks context makes you wonder if there are other orders that are part of something else.

Had they just used imperial remnants or something you'd have a better clue, and a resistance inside imperial space trying to overthrow the remnant would of worked better.

Could of then had an aspect of the resistance provoking the war then the old crew has to come back from retirement to save what they built.

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8 hours ago, Hobojebus said:

But it wasn't in the film.

If you're reliant on other media people may never read to explain stuff you've failed at world building.

Loads of people thought the entire first order was on deathstar III after watching tfa, they never felt like a galaxy spanning threat.

Problem was carried over in tlj if the fo is powerful enough to conquer the galaxy nearly overnight why are they wasting the leaders time on the single squadron of resistance fighters? Surely you need to consolidate power first then deal with the 400 malcontents you can track at will.

They made the galaxy feel tiny while explaining so little.

Agreed. The thing is, it suffered from trying to be an 'in' for a new audience and a sequel for an old audience at the same time. Trying to set up lil' guy versus big guy when someone who saw the last trilogy is standing next to you saying "didn't we just win that war?" is always going to be awkward.

I agree that the world building was a bit of a failure. I think the problem is that one lesson that was taken (justifiably or not) from the prequel trilogy was 'No politics! People get bored and can't cope!' which probably explains the sliced-out Leia/Republic storyline. Which is a shame, because I suspect I'd have liked to see that bit. Plus simon pegg getting his arms pulled off.  

The thing with the prequels was that whilst the storyline may had been a bit....questionable? The world-building was by comparison pretty impressive. You were left with a pretty good feel of what the republic was, how it worked (or didn't) and when the seperatists were introduced in a one-liner in the second film crawl, they didn't feel out of character at all.

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The idea of the prequels were sound it's just that Lucas can't write an interesting political plot, is a lazy director, had actors on green screen so they have nothing to play off and clearly had no one around with the guts to say no to him.

Cap America 2 shows how good a properly written and directed political adventure film can be.

But yeah phantom was extremely boring which is the worst sin a film can commit.

 

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I think @Hobojebus hit the nail on the head.

Take the Poe Dameron comics, the Aftermath series, Phasma, the deleted Leia scenes from The Force Awakens, Star Wars Battlefront II, Crimson Squadron and a few other things I can't remember, and The Force Awakens' universe, Resistance, Republic, First Order, et al, pretty much makes sense.

 

I go through books, comics and ebooks like our spaniel goes through barbeque leftovers, so for me, it's fine.

But you can't have all that as the prerequisite for a film to 'work' when it's trying to be a film for a potentially new audience.

 

Someone who's never seen a marvel film going to watch Avengers: Infinity War will probably be going "the heck is going on?"  but that is emphatically a film that's film number god-knows-what-now of a contiguous series that's been running, continuously, for a decade. The viewer might easily miss one or two Marvel films and still enjoy it, but if they've seen none they kind of only have themselves to blame.

 

By comparison, even if you've seen every star wars film - and even all the animated series as well - prior to The Force Awakens, you're still missing context.

 

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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7 hours ago, Chucknuckle said:

"The emperor has dissolved the last of the senate. Planetary governors will now have direct control" and that's about it. We see the Empire/Emperor in ESB, but have no concept of whether republic=good or corrupt or useless or complicit in war crimes or whatever. We just know the Emperor decided he doesn't need it anymore. The real gist of the Rebellion gets fleshed out much later through novels and stuff.

But at the time of Star Wars you did know that Republic was good and regional governors were bad. Regional governors was something Americans got rid of at the founding of the nation. The good bad of all that is something people just "knew." A senate is the foundation of a republic. It goes back to commonly understood and taught forms of government and history. An Emperor dissolving a Senate is bad. That's the definition of tyranny. The corollary to Rome in that scene with Tarkin are quite clear. It doesn't need fleshed out because what the Empire stands for is quite clear. 

 

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This is very true, but the question wasn't "which ones are the bad guys" it was "who are the bad guys and where did they come from?".

TFA makes it abundantly clear in the opening sequence that the First Order are the bad guys and the Resistance are the good guys. The question is more "Wait, I thought the Empire lost after the last movie? Why is there still a resistance if the good guys won? What's going on?"

You don't get any of that line of thought in ANH or ESB because it doesn't actually matter at that point. Who cares how the Emperor came to be Emperor, and what the story with the senate was? He the bad guy. That's all we need to know. But by the time TFA rolls around we're invested, there's been thirty years of speculation and (now) legends material written about the subject, so we were all curious, and we basically got nothing. It DOES all get fleshed out for us evetually, but only once you read the expanded material in the novels and comics etc.

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I'm with Hobo on this.  The whole of TLJ I could not get my head around the concept of the F/O, why does this handful of resistance(?!?) members matter, and how if the New Republic spanned a fair chunk of the galaxy... why were they not already in the fight after having their capital destroyed.  Your telling me every single soldier/spaceship/cop/militia member/civilian with a gun was on those handful of planets?!?  That no one else in a galaxy where even the tramp shuttles seem to pack decent firepower... took up the fight?

Pacifying dirt poor pajama wearers in a small corner of our one planet is hard enough.  The F/O just rolls up and the very last of any group of peoples to suppress happens to be this small band?

They did apparently have enough screen time to explain that the real 'bad guys' are people who make and sell weapons... but never the politicians/statists who wield them or governments that willfully/woefully ignore external/internal threats.  They could have left their own political bias (its the gun's fault, I mean X-Wing's fault) out of the film and given me an idea of who the F/O is, WTF the republic is doing/not doing/&why, and why is Gollum running the F/O?

Edited by Cr0aker

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2 hours ago, Chucknuckle said:

This is very true, but the question wasn't "which ones are the bad guys" it was "who are the bad guys and where did they come from?".

TFA makes it abundantly clear in the opening sequence that the First Order are the bad guys and the Resistance are the good guys. The question is more "Wait, I thought the Empire lost after the last movie? Why is there still a resistance if the good guys won? What's going on?"

You don't get any of that line of thought in ANH or ESB because it doesn't actually matter at that point. Who cares how the Emperor came to be Emperor, and what the story with the senate was? He the bad guy. That's all we need to know. But by the time TFA rolls around we're invested, there's been thirty years of speculation and (now) legends material written about the subject, so we were all curious, and we basically got nothing. It DOES all get fleshed out for us evetually, but only once you read the expanded material in the novels and comics etc.

It has to be on the screen or it has to be grounded in the commonly held understandings of the audience. The situation presented in TFA is not. We are told who we're supposed to root for and who we're supposed to root against but the why of that isn't rooted in anything we can get our heads around. When we try to get out heads around the premise it all comes apart pretty quickly. I've followed some of the newer version EU stuff and while they try to make sense of the mess it often is coming apart for those creators as well. They frequently have to hand-wave things or push the limits of their characters's credibility to get this all to fit the threadbare setup that hack JJ gave us. 

 

 

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I will admit my own bias, which comes off thick in the off topic form.

I like good story telling.  The OT, for it's corny parts, was good story telling.

Timothy Zhan knows good story telling.  I would have much rather them used their Tarkin esq CGI and made the Heir to the Empire trilogy than what we got.  You could still have had Fisher and Ford and Mark do all (most) the voice acting.  I guess I can still hope for an animated version someday.

Edited by Cr0aker

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38 minutes ago, Cr0aker said:

I will admit my own bias which comes off thick in the off topic form.

I like good story telling.  The OT, for it's corny parts, was good story telling.

Timothy Zhan knows good story telling.  I would have much rather them used their Tarkin esq CGI and made the Heir to the Empire trilogy than what we got.  You could still have had Fisher and Ford and Mark do all (most) the voice acting.  I guess I can still hope for an animated version someday.

The thing is the Disney era creators aren't trying to tell a story. They're making a product. 

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