Per the opening scroll of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Rebel Alliance of the original trilogy have rebranded to "The Resistance".

My question is, why did they rename themselves? "Rebel Alliance" had been in use since at least the time of Star Wars: Rebels, which is quite a long time; it seems like a rename would only be suitable once they restored the Republic.


4 Answers 4


The Rebel Alliance was officially called The Alliance to Restore the Republic. Now that they have achieved that aim they are known as The (new) Republic. The Empire seems to have retained some systems and are officially at peace with the Republic, who are believed to be secretly supporting the Resistance.

  • 12
    I thought it was "The People's Front of The Republic", or maybe "The Republic People's Front".
    – Liesmith
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 21:25

The Rebel Alliance and the Resistance are two separate entities. The Rebel Alliance was renamed the Republic, and now Princess Leia commands the Resistance which is supported by the Republic.

  • So the Resistance is like the military for the new Republic?
    – user1027
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 16:22
  • I believe that the republic had it's own fleet. The Rebbel Allance was not quite renamed the republic. It allowed the republic to reform, having been dissolved by the empire. Like the allied forces in WWII, didn't become the EU Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 16:48
  • 11
    I think it's more like the New Republic is a governing entity, and the Resistance is a freedom fighter group who is targeting the First Order, while the New Republic is busy governing the systems under the New Republic. Kind of like the US funding the Afghani rebels when the Russians were trying to take over Afghanistan in the 1970's.
    – Nate
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 16:51
  • @Nate - good analogy! Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 1:18
  • @DVK that's not an analogy; it's a simile. >. <
    – Nate
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 10:01

There are four main factions shown in TFA:

The New Republic - formed from what was the Rebel Alliance, since they are no longer rebelling, they have won.

The planet that gets destroyed by Starkiller base is the New Republic's current senate headquarters (the senate rotates planets, like the Olympics)

The Empire - still controls some systems, but is at peace with the Republic now and has been supposedly de-militarized. (not directly shown in the movie)

The First Order - formed from remnants of the Empire who didn't want to give up fighting, they operate illegally from the shadows.

The Resistance - Princess Leia left the Republic to fight the First Order, but officially doesn't have Republic support (unofficially is perhaps a different matter). EDIT: To clarify further, this is therefore a new faction, with many former Rebel Alliance members in it perhaps, but with a different goal than the Rebel Alliance (defeat First Order, instead of restore the Republic), hence the new name.

(Source: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary)

  • You may want to clarify that the name change would be due to her lack of official backing of The Republic since that is the question at hand.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 19:20
  • @FuzzyBoots The point I was trying to make was that it wasn't a case of name-change, more of a case of Leia leaving the Rebel Alliance (now Republic) and starting up a new faction. So she wouldn't use the same name for this new faction, since that was the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
    – TVann
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 21:55
  • +1 Adding direct quotes/screenshots from the Visual Dictionary would make this a better answer.
    – RedCaio
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 23:39

They do not rebel against the current government (the New Republic), so they are no longer rebels.

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