Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

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Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-04-09 06:33pm

In The Last Jedi, we see the entirety of the Resistance, the Raddus, a huge cruiser, a medical transport, the Ninka, a 'bunker buster' meant for bombing from orbit, a wing of A-wings and X-wings, and the very slow bombers.

It's stated that this is the summation of the Resistance, and that they have no other forces available. Only allies that they hope will pick them up on Crait if everything goes right.

Why is the Resistance so undermanned? Compare this to the Rebel Alliance, in which they had dozens of ships, fighters, bases, cells, etc. So, why is the Resistance so pitiful in comparison? What caused this?

Discuss.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-04-09 06:43pm

Based on what I recall from TFA and TLJ, probably a combination of a lot of things. The New Republic has been at peace for decades, the First Order are apparently seen as just a nasty rumour and the Resistance largely seems to be based on Leia's belief the FO are a threat and/or her paranoia that the Empire isn't as dead as it seemed.

Then the FO turn up and vaporise an entire star system, the entire NR government and apparently a large chunk of their fleet and start steamrolling over the rest of the galaxy with dozens of new, larger, more powerful Star Destroyers. Sure Starkiller Base gets taken out, but do the rest of the galaxy actually know that?

I suspect most people are probably thinking "well we're fucked but there's sod-all we can do, let's party instead" and also "I sure don't want to piss off those guys with the galactic-range, anti-star-system weapon."
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Coop D'etat » 2019-04-09 11:16pm

The Resistance is an elite project. Disaffected old Rebels trying to re-live their glory days and young Rebel cosplayers who want to try their hand at their parent's generation's war. They see their purpose as a Headquarters Cell to coordinate a larger force of allies and take on high profile missions, presumably in the same role Mon Mothma's group did in the Rebel Alliance.

They could focus on small scale dearing do and pretend to be the Rebel Alliance of old when the First Order's moves were checked by the New Republic fleet, but that all changed when fleet got superweaponed away. Episode VIII on the military/political scale is all about how they need to transition from being a small elite guerrilla group into an effective mass insurrection movement but completely failiing to build the necessary political narrative to do so until Ghost Luke trolls Kylo and makes him look like a punk.

As Shroomie has so well aluded to in the other thread, their Maoist revolutionary doctrine is lacking, its the painful lessons of eight that starts them on the path of doing things right after they spent a movie collapsing into defeat from their own inadequacy.

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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Solauren » 2019-04-09 11:32pm

According to the novelization (which I have not read, but have seen the odd quote from it), that Resistance allowed to operate, with absolutely minimal funding, by the Republic, for the politicos to shut Leia up, and get her out of their hair. If they happen to turn up something, great, the backers look good. If not, and Leia is captured, whatever, she went rogue.

So it was pitful because the Republic WANTED it to be pitiful.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-10 02:20am

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-04-09 06:33pm
In The Last Jedi, we see the entirety of the Resistance, the Raddus, a huge cruiser, a medical transport, the Ninka, a 'bunker buster' meant for bombing from orbit, a wing of A-wings and X-wings, and the very slow bombers.

It's stated that this is the summation of the Resistance, and that they have no other forces available. Only allies that they hope will pick them up on Crait if everything goes right.

Why is the Resistance so undermanned? Compare this to the Rebel Alliance, in which they had dozens of ships, fighters, bases, cells, etc. So, why is the Resistance so pitiful in comparison? What caused this?

Discuss.
What Solauren said, basically.

Also, while the forces we see in TLJ may be the entirety of the Resistance proper, there are those allies you mentioned. It might be best to think of the Resistance as just a single cell in a larger network (albeit the most central and vital one)- sort of like the Lothal cell or the Alderan cell before the Alliance was formed.

How long has the Resistance been around and active, compared to the Rebel Alliance in the Original Trilogy?
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2019-04-10 11:19am

Plus the lack of an actual Empire of concrete visible massive bad guys, a decentralized New Republic of dubious competence with a demilitarized galaxy presumably defended by just the NR fleet at the capital (that got nuked) and local system defense forces (akin to the Naboo forces we see in TPM) means that... yeah, as people said, we get the small limited Resistance because there's no big romantic force to oppose, no great clash, and no revolutionary theory and doctrine behind it. The FO previously operating underground means both official Republic opposition and common mass resistance that translates into the Resistance movement... won't really exist.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Coop D'etat » 2019-04-10 07:08pm

There are also very good reasons for the New Republic itself to be minimally militarized. The Old Republic was more space UN or space EU than a space United States, without standing military forces of any appreciable strength. It forming a standing force was a step the precipitated the formation of the Galactic Empire, which tried to turn the Galactic Republic into an actual state rather than a very lose confederation. Under these circumstances, it makes a lot of sense that member states of the New Republic aren't willing to vote the New Republic the ability to have more than a centralized rapid reaction force to counter (percieved) minor threats like the FO and not to give the central government the power to rule member states by force like the Empire tried to do.

In general, the New and Old Republics don't act like organizations with the resources of countless worlds to command. They act like a tiny superstructure over the galaxy that pools a tiny fraction of taxable wealth of the territory under their nominal authority.

The degree to which the FO was an actual threat rather than a bunch of wannabes on the fringes probably was not apparent until they changed the equation via superweapon. The South American Nazi analogy on their ability to do so never held much water with me either. The Empire wasn't a Nazi Germany pummelled into submission by stronger outside states, they were undone by internal rebellion which resulted from the fundamental difficulty of ruling as large a territory as they had by military force. The states that replaced the Empire were never the superpowers that the victors of WW2 were.

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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-11 12:27am

Coop D'etat wrote:
2019-04-10 07:08pm
There are also very good reasons for the New Republic itself to be minimally militarized. The Old Republic was more space UN or space EU than a space United States, without standing military forces of any appreciable strength. It forming a standing force was a step the precipitated the formation of the Galactic Empire, which tried to turn the Galactic Republic into an actual state rather than a very lose confederation. Under these circumstances, it makes a lot of sense that member states of the New Republic aren't willing to vote the New Republic the ability to have more than a centralized rapid reaction force to counter (percieved) minor threats like the FO and not to give the central government the power to rule member states by force like the Empire tried to do.
It made no sense to have a powerful centralized standing military when there were no comparable outside enemies (EU nonsense about super powerful invaders from the fringes of the galaxy notwithstanding). The only threats were internal, and the problem there was that private companies who were hostile to the state were allowed to build up powerful private militaries, while the Jedi, who the OR depended on to nip problems in the bud, were weakened by the Sith.

The NR then compounded this by trying to recreate the Old Republic (presumably due to ideological reasons and a desire to differentiate themselves from the Empire, and it having been the only alternative to Sith despotism as a galactic government for millenia), but trying to recreate it while actually facing powerful external threats, without effective control of the whole galaxy, and without the one thing that made the OR work above all else- a strong Jedi Order.
In general, the New and Old Republics don't act like organizations with the resources of countless worlds to command. They act like a tiny superstructure over the galaxy that pools a tiny fraction of taxable wealth of the territory under their nominal authority.
To some extent that's true, yes.
The degree to which the FO was an actual threat rather than a bunch of wannabes on the fringes probably was not apparent until they changed the equation via superweapon. The South American Nazi analogy on their ability to do so never held much water with me either. The Empire wasn't a Nazi Germany pummelled into submission by stronger outside states, they were undone by internal rebellion which resulted from the fundamental difficulty of ruling as large a territory as they had by military force. The states that replaced the Empire were never the superpowers that the victors of WW2 were.
Indeed.

The FO strikes me as North Korea, basically- a poor backwater state that can hit above its weight class because it puts almost everything it has into its military. Only stronger because it exists in a world where there is no global superpower to enforce sanctions on it or crush it if it starts a war.

Of course, for that analogy to hold, the FO would have to be fundamentally poor and unstable, and probably not able to sustain a long war after an impressive first strike. I suspect that if the NR hadn't folded so fast, the First Order would have begun to lose ground (and presumably will in the next film). But the NR is clearly deeply divided on whether to even fight at all, between the pro-Resistance faction, the pacifist faction, and the Neo-Imperialist faction.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Rogue 9 » 2019-04-11 11:31pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-04-09 06:33pm
It's stated that this is the summation of the Resistance, and that they have no other forces available. Only allies that they hope will pick them up on Crait if everything goes right.
Where is this stated? I casually wondered where the Resistance got the X-wings that appear in the promo poster announcing the trailer tomorrow and an acquaintance came down on me like I was an idiot because the galaxy is big and obviously they have other forces that were just logistically unavailable. I'm pretty sure the movie clearly implied this is not the case, but if someone came out and said it that's an entirely different matter.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-04-12 01:54am

Rogue 9 wrote:
2019-04-11 11:31pm
FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-04-09 06:33pm
It's stated that this is the summation of the Resistance, and that they have no other forces available. Only allies that they hope will pick them up on Crait if everything goes right.
Where is this stated? I casually wondered where the Resistance got the X-wings that appear in the promo poster announcing the trailer tomorrow and an acquaintance came down on me like I was an idiot because the galaxy is big and obviously they have other forces that were just logistically unavailable. I'm pretty sure the movie clearly implied this is not the case, but if someone came out and said it that's an entirely different matter.
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Unless she's lying.....which is a horrible lie to tell people who are on the brink of desertion and mutiny. And as we see with DJ's scene with Finn on the yacht, there's arms dealers who sell X-wings to the good guys and TIE fighters to the bad guys. So yeah, unless you think Holdo is full of shit, that's it when it comes to the Resistance.



So, unless DJ whipped up an X-wing on the fly, the Resistance/Rebellion bought X-wings off of arms dealers.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2019-04-12 05:45am

Obviously the Resistance is paltry because the bulk of the people's fighters who will finally take action to redeem the galaxy are with... The Partisans! /cue Rogue One sirens
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Vympel » 2019-04-13 06:14am

The Resistance wasn't meant to be the Rebellion. They were a catspaw for sympathetic political factions in the New Republic, and were never intended to act as some sort of sole military opposition to the Empire. If war was ever going to break out between the NR and FO in the ordinary course, the Resistance would've been promptly folded into the New Republic's forces. That didn't happen and they're left scrambling.

The TLJ novelization indicates that it was the NR home fleet that was destroyed. There are other forces, but they're individually weak planetary defence fleets that came under the jurisdiction of individual republic members. After Hosnian Prime was destroyed, they scattered like roaches to defend their own territory. It was Leia's intent (also stated in the novel) to reach out to such forces and combine them into an actual Rebellion.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-13 06:16am

Yeah, that all actually makes a fair amount of sense.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2019-04-13 08:34am

I surmised that as well.

An individual system's local defense forces are probably puny like Naboo's in TPM, or maybe it's formidable like Correlia's probably is, or Kuat's with Mandators. Heck, I surmise it was similar pre-PT when the Republic had no standing arms, there were probably treaties limiting the capabilities of local system forces - Kuat can build gigantic Mandators but only if they lacked long-range capabilities (like how B-1s had their bomb bays artificially shrunk by bulkheads, and Tu-22Ms had their in-flight refueling capabilities removed, to conform with START), long range force-projecting conventional naval capabilities were probably limited for member systems, only the central government could have a modest but well-armed force with long enough reach, and so on. Measures to prevent inter-system arms races, maintain security against minor threats like pirates and insurrectionists, while disputes are mediated by the Senate or by Jedi and other parties to prevent actual interstellar war or even larger-scale conflicts.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-04-13 08:52am

That explains why pirates like Hondo were able to operate so freely and without concern back in the prequel era. There was no real way to stop him from just setting up shop somewhere, and doing whatever he wanted to a backwater village if he wanted to.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Knife » 2019-04-13 10:54am

Why was the Resistance so pitiful? Act of plot and bad writing.

The only thing that makes sense is that the organization is fairly new. Perhaps General Solo thought the FO was getting to big for their britches and while the NR didn't want to take them seriously, she pulled enough strings to get an old cruiser, some support ships and a couple wings of starfighters. I'm sure some in the NR thought they would appease her with this and sent her to the galactic corner to play with her toys. Leia probably sneered at them and started to set up a Resistance but the FO moved quickly and first before she could expand the organization.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Q99 » 2019-04-13 12:37pm

Knife wrote:
2019-04-13 10:54am
Why was the Resistance so pitiful? Act of plot and bad writing.

I mean, people just provided a couple of pretty in-depth explanations, but if you want to go with pithy dismissal instead....

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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-14 02:09am

Q99 wrote:
2019-04-13 12:37pm
Knife wrote:
2019-04-13 10:54am
Why was the Resistance so pitiful? Act of plot and bad writing.

I mean, people just provided a couple of pretty in-depth explanations, but if you want to go with pithy dismissal instead....
Hell, he just provided a decent explanation himself.

The problem is that none of these explanations are explicitly stated in the films, and while I rather enjoy filling in the gaps in a film's plot, and don't really feel that the reason for the Resistance's size is crucial information that's worth slowing down the film to exposite on (unlike, say, the security issues on the Raadus or the details of Kylo and Luke's falls, which should have been further elaborated on because they're much more directly plot-relevant), others evidently feel that the film should have laid it out.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Steve » 2019-04-14 08:27am

I think the issue with these explanations is the movie offers none. We're given very little information on what's going on given the aversion to repeating the prequel trilogy's supposedly-despised "political stuff". And because they wanted to go "back to basics" with OT-style storytelling, including the Vietnam allegory of plucky ragtag rebels versus massive military with superior hardware.

Then TLJ went even further with trying to make the Resistance/Rebels look ragtag and outmatched.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Vympel » 2019-04-14 09:38am

Steve wrote:
2019-04-14 08:27am
I think the issue with these explanations is the movie offers none. We're given very little information on what's going on given the aversion to repeating the prequel trilogy's supposedly-despised "political stuff". And because they wanted to go "back to basics" with OT-style storytelling, including the Vietnam allegory of plucky ragtag rebels versus massive military with superior hardware.

Then TLJ went even further with trying to make the Resistance/Rebels look ragtag and outmatched.
I don't really see that TLJ went meaningfully further. TFA showed us a Resistance with even less forces than the Rebellion had in ANH - just a squadron of X-Wings. There was no hint in ANH that they had meaningfully larger forces and TESB didn't do much on that front either - presenting us with just Yavin, the Sequel at the start of the movie and a tiny fleet of greebles with a single ship the fraction of the size of a Star Destroyer at its centre. Suddenly, in ROTJ they have a fleet.

TLJ arguably one-upped TESB by giving them a much more impressive flagship, IMO.

Now in TRoS, it looks like they've got at least one commandeered ISD Mk 1. 8)
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-14 10:10am

Interesting if, as mentioned above (or was it the trailer thread?), the ISD has Republic markings. Maybe some of the Republic fleet didn't just role over for the First Order after all?
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-04-14 10:37am

Maybe Wedge Antilles is leading a holdout fleet somewhere :)
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-14 10:40am

Eternal_Freedom wrote:
2019-04-14 10:37am
Maybe Wedge Antilles is leading a holdout fleet somewhere :)
Would be cool. But I seem to recall that Wedge's actor refused point black to return back when they filmed TFA.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2019-04-14 10:43am

That would indeed be a shame, I like Dennis Lawson's work.
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Re: Why is the Resistance so pitiful?

Post by Vympel » 2019-04-14 10:45am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-14 10:10am
Interesting if, as mentioned above (or was it the trailer thread?), the ISD has Republic markings. Maybe some of the Republic fleet didn't just role over for the First Order after all?
It was the trailer thread, but yeah it definitely appears to have red/gold markings ala Republic Star Destroyers. I doubt the film will tell us anything but the inevitable ICS/Visual Dictionary will.
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