After viewing the movie again, I was wondering : Since the Starkiller base can target multiples planets at once, why didn't they fire at the first time towards the Resistance base?

With Poe captive, they could have "extracted" from him the location at the same time they learned from him about BB-8's existence. If the base was already targeting the max number of targets, why not target one less dangerous republic planet and destroy the resistance?

  • 1
    I don't have the information for a full answer, but the Resistance base isn't in the same star system as Hosnian Prime. Starkiller base can only target planets in the same star system. The movie makes the planets look a lot closer than they are. May 11 '16 at 21:07
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    movies.stackexchange.com/a/45277/7812 - They didn't find out the location of the Resistance base until later, when they tracked a Resistance Scout ship back to its home planet.
    – Valorum
    May 11 '16 at 21:10
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    I think the better question is "Why didn't Ren extract the location of the Resistance base?"
    – Valorum
    May 11 '16 at 21:24
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    @DaaaahWhoosh incorrect. per star wars databank: "The deadly Starkiller harvests energy from its system’s star, contains it within magnetic fields inside its base’s planetary core, and then converts that energy into an ultra-powerful beam that blasts through hyperspace, able to sterilize the worlds of a distant star system with a single shot. "
    – phantom42
    May 11 '16 at 21:41
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    @phantom42 Oh, sorry, that's what I meant. The planets it destroys have to be in the same system as each other, Starkiller base can be anywhere. But it still can't destroy planets in a third system. May 12 '16 at 2:35
  1. The weapon needed to be recharged before shots

    From WGA script:

    (eyes on datacard)
    The First Order: they're charging
    the weapon again, now.

    (then, heart sinking)
    Our system is the next target.

    Note that they don't fire the weapon until AFTER Snoke's order (see #3 below) and a lot of time passed since that order - the whole adventure on Starkiller happens, with Rey's rescue, Resistance attack, Kylo Ren murdering the spoiler, Kylo fighting Finn and Rey, and Resistance finally blowing up the planet and escaping.

  2. First Order didn't know where the Resistance base was, until AFTER the Resistance sent the scout to Starkiller (the scout was tracked back), and the scout was of course only sent after Hosnian Prime was destroyed. From the script:

    GENERAL HUX We have their location. We tracked
    their reconnaissance ship to the
    Ileenium system.
    Good. Then we will crush them once
    and for all. Prepare the weapon.

  3. The Resistance didn't become an urgent priority to destroy with Starkiller (as opposed to simply defeat later after Republic is no longer around to fund them), ...

    GENERAL HUX The weapon. It is ready. I believe
    the time has come to use it. We
    shall destroy the government that
    supports the Resistance
    , the Republic.
    Without their friends to protect
    them, the Resistance will be
    vulnerable, and we will stop them
    before they reach Skywalker
    Snoke considers. Almost seems to die for a moment. Then:
    Go. Oversee preparations.

    until Snoke learned that the Resistance has Skywalker map. He ordered the shot because he needed to destroy them before they left to find Skywalker.

    HUX: ... As a result, the droid has most likely
    been returned to the hands of the
    enemy. They may have the map already.
    Snoke is visibly furious.
    Then the Resistance must be destroyed
    before they get to Skywalker.


Here are a couple of possibilities (or maybe it's a combination of a few of these):

Perhaps Starkiller base is limited to one system. In this case, that would be the Hosnian System.

The only information they wanted from Poe was the location of the map.

The Republic was funding the Resistance, so without the support of the Republic, perhaps the First Order expects that Resistance failure is imminent.

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