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As far as I understand it in TFA we have three major political forces:

  • The New Republic
  • The First Order
  • The Resistance

Do we know -- is The Resistance part of the Republic, just the part that is engaging in the fight against The First Order? Or is the Resistance adjacent to the Republic somehow?

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    The First Order and the Republic are both nations. Each has their own territory. The Resistance is a guerilla organization operating in First Order territory, with the covert assistance of the Republic. – Harry Johnston Dec 21 '15 at 20:53
32

The Visual Dictionary covers that:

It is NOT part of the Republic officially. It's a private organization run by General Organa.

enter image description here

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    why do half of the statemnets remind me of the senate in episode 1? – Thomas Dec 21 '15 at 18:42
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    This makes a lot of sense, and also fits Leia's personality. "Would it help if I got out and pushed?" -- apparently she did! – zipquincy Dec 21 '15 at 18:45
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    That must be why it's entire military force consists of an X-Wing squadron lol – Robert Wertz Dec 21 '15 at 20:49
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    @Thomas the number of parallels and role reversals between the episodes can be rather interesting to point out. – user12183 Dec 22 '15 at 5:32
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    For real-life parallels of private/volunteer armies fighting fascistic powers, loosely supported by governments reluctant to get their hands dirty, consider the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War, or the Kurdish Peshmerga, the Free Syrian Army and various others fighting ISIS and others in Iraq and Syria, or countless armies in proxy wars in the Cold War. – user568458 Dec 27 '15 at 22:31
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My guess is that the Resistance is part of the New Republic, but it's a separate sect run by General Leia Organa. It probably was created by the New Republic to defend against the Empires Followers, aka The First Order, while TNR rebuilt its political/economical stance in a galaxy far far away. :)

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