From this question, we can see that the Resistance is like a splinter faction that doesn't want to wait for the Republic's slow bureaucracy to take action against the First Order - a war that the Republic is reluctant to fight.

When Starkiller base targeted the Resistance's base, Resistance base staff mentioned that no help can be expected from the Republic fleet following the previous attack on the Republican system. If the relationship between the Republic and the Resistance are as such, why would the Republic fleet as potential aid even be a talking point, as though the fleet would have come to their aid if the attack on the Republic's worlds had not happened?

  • 3
    Because the Republic had been the first target?
    – Sobrique
    Dec 28, 2015 at 17:06
  • 1
    the reason they expect no help from the Republic is because of what just happened to the Republic; normally the Republic would have helped the resistance, if they could.
    – KutuluMike
    Dec 28, 2015 at 17:29

5 Answers 5


At the point in the movie where that comment was made, the bulk of the Republic fleet was gone. That had been the very first target of Starkiller base.

We learned from the opening crawl that the Republic has secretly been aiding the Resistance against the First Order. Officially, the Republic and First Order have a non-aggression pact. The Republic can't been seen openly fighting the First Order or it violates it's own treaty. So, they have been surreptitiously aiding the Resistance by giving supplies, weapons, and the assistance of their military ships whenever they can -- as long as they maintain "plausible deniability".

General Hux makes this point pretty clearly in his big speech before the weapon fires the first time. They're destroying the Republic and it's fleet of ships so they can no longer help the Resistance.

So when the Resistance decides to launch a counter attack, they know they're on their own. There's no help coming from the Republic because, for all intents and purposes, the Republic has been eliminated.

  • I'm recalling from memory here, obviously, but I think Han's suggestion comes after the comment that the Resistance can't rely on the New Republic Starfleet for protection. Just picking nits as to why they mentioned it (for protection rather than for assistance in the attack against the First Order).
    – TylerH
    Dec 28, 2015 at 18:41

First of all, in the opening crawl, it's stated that "With the support of the Republic, General Leia Organa leads a brave Resistance."


That seems to be contradicted by everything else we're told about the relationship between the Republic and the Resistance, but there you go...

According to the novelization (as filtered through this daily dot article, but hopefully someone who's read the book can back me up) Leia had just sent an envoy, Korr Sella, to petition the Senate on behalf of the Resistance.

Korr Sella

She was the Resistance's hope for aid from the Republic Fleet, so since she perished on Hosnian Prime (visible in the balcony shot) and the fleet was destroyed (visible in the long shot of the planets exploding), that would motivate the comment you referenced in the question.

2) There's someone important on that Republic Senate balcony

Just before Starkiller Base destroys the Hosnian System—including Hosnian Prime, the capital of the Republic—the camera pushes in on a balcony full of well-dressed people, including a young black woman in a uniform. Although the movie doesn't explain who that is, the novelization reveals that the character, played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers, is Korr Sella, General Leia Organa's envoy to the Senate.

Before the discovery of Starkiller Base, Leia, the head of the Resistance, sends Sella to petition the Republic for help in the fight against the First Order. Leia can't go herself, she tells Sella, because the Republic capital world isn't safe for a political pariah like her. (The Republic, which signed a treaty with the First Order after Return of the Jedi, publicly disavows the Resistance's unsanctioned conflict with it.)

"I would have a terrible 'accident,' or become the victim of some 'deranged' radical," Leia says. "Or I would eat something that didn’t agree with me. Or encounter someone who didn’t agree with me."

  • Nice one! I kinda alluded to that in my second bullet but this expands it very well. +1 Dec 28, 2015 at 19:34
  • @DVK this daily dot article is probably the closest I'm gonna get to reading the book (besides slowly piecing it together quote by quote from your answers ;-P
    – dunraven
    Dec 28, 2015 at 19:39
  • the book is out on Kindle edition on Amazon already. amazon.com/Force-Awakens-Star-Wars-ebook/dp/B00WCXL1JW Dec 28, 2015 at 19:44
  • @DVK but then I'd have to, like, read it
    – dunraven
    Dec 28, 2015 at 19:45
  • 3
    SW novelizations are pretty good. Ep3 novelization was clearlly superior to the film script. And so far I am strongly leaning to claiming the same for Ep7 novelization. It fixes all of J.J. Abrams mistakes. Dec 28, 2015 at 20:36

The First Order has an accord with the New Republic borne from when they were still just the remnants of the Galactic Empire, as mentioned in the Visual Dictionary and the novelization. This accord, called the Galactic Concordance, includes terms of non-aggression.

Blowing up a planet or annihilating life in a whole system would definitely violate an accord of non-aggression, so if the New Republic's Fleet were still around, the Resistance (officially a "reconnaissance" organization keeping tabs on The First Order) would ostensibly rely on it for protection against the First Order.

This makes sense when you consider that the Resistance operates on D'Qar, a planet that was used by the Alliance to Restore the Republic (a fancy term for the Rebel Alliance in films IV - VI). Therefore, it makes sense that the New Republic would likely consider at least cursory protection of D'Qar from the First Order a reasonable request.

There are some who think the Resistance is secretly supported by the New Republic as mentioned in the opening crawl, but this is incorrect, and is merely an assumption based on dialogue from a First Order general about crushing the Republic to weaken the Resistance and make it harder for them to hide. In fact, the opening crawl only says "With the support of the Republic, General Leia Organa leads a brave Resistance". We cannot infer with any confidence what kind of support the Republic is giving based on the opening crawl.

  • According to Visual Dictionary (quote TBP), the first thing New Republic passed was Demilitarization Act. They are basically a mix of a bunch of tree-hugging hippie pacifists, and "war is bad for business" Ferengi (V.D. explicitly notes that the leader of New Republic is extremely concerned with trade, like he's still stuck in Episode I scrolling titles)

  • According to the novelization, the Senators for most part don't trust Leia Organa and disagree with her that First Order is a threat.

  • Moreover, even if they wanted to help (which as we can see from above, they don't), pretty much all their fleet is destroyed by the FIRST attack of Starkiller weapon:

    Expanding outward from the explosion, a tremendous burst of heat tore through the Hosnian system’s other worlds, searing their surfaces clean of life and incidentally obliterating all settlements, installations, and outposts, as well as the hundreds of ships belonging to the Republic fleet. In its wake, the detonation left behind a blazing, spherical mass. The home of the Republic had become a new binary system: one utterly devoid of life. (TFA novelization by Foster)

    • To top that off, there was nobody in New Republic to give the order - the moment Starkiller fired, an officer on the Resistance base explicitly said that "Republic Command all gone silent". First Order took out the operational center of that fleet, not just the ships.

      "General, the Republic Command — the entire Hosnian system — it's all...gone."

  • Please note that my second bullet point is expanded pretty well in an answer by @dunraven Dec 28, 2015 at 19:33

The reason is easy the republic did not want to fight. The Resistance was made up of people who did still believe that the first order is a threat to the democracy and all free people. That is why they still fought and that with the resources that sympathizers within the republic could get them.

Thus it is more or less a proxy war on the republics side. A one sided from how it sounds as the first order seemingly was more defensive than anything. As it makes sense when the Republic is not in an open war and the Resistance is coming out of Republic systems to harrass the first order.

Thus as soon as the first order would counterattack...they would have to attack a republic world and that would mean that the republic would have to act even if they don't want to (at least to save their face).

So the republic fleet WOULD have helped them out. Latest when they knew about starkiller base the republic would have had no choice than to do that anyway. As they knew what the empire did to Alderan they knew that the first order would do the same.

So the first order attacked the Republic AND in the process took most of the Republics fleet out of the picture in the process. And that is the only reason why the republic fleet could no longer help the Resistance there.

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