11

As per this question, Snoke's Star Destroyer completely dwarfs any other, including even Palpatine's.

Granted, much of the empire budget back then probably went into R&D for the Death Star, but the size and equipment on the Supremacy must have cost a huge amount of money.

So my question; How could Snoke (or the entire first order) afford a Mega-class destroyer when the Empire couldn't?

6

Because the Empire was rich, and as its successor, they inherited much if its wealth.

We learn in The Force Awakens that many of the Empire's resources ended up falling to the First Order, who pretty much control their own regions of space outside the Republic, and for the most part leave each other alone (until TFA). With much of the Empire's old funds combined with what they've been able to build up themselves in the intervening years, it's certainly not insignificant.

In The Last Jedi, we also learn that there are arms dealers developing new tech and working both sides. While the First Order likely develops at least some of their own tech as well, the fact that the dealers had blueprints for some of their major tools like Tie Fighters shows that their involvement is deeply entrenched.

Arms dealers profit best during war time. Given the technological advancements that came in the span in between Episodes 6 & 7, and combined with the resources the First Order had at its disposal (enough to turn a planet into essentially a super death star), a ship the size of Snoke's isn't really that significant.

Furthermore, it's not that the Empire couldn't afford a ship of that size. Like you pointed out, the Death Star is evidence that they could. Rather, they simply chose to invest in other things instead.

  • 5
    Do you have a source that the Empires funds went to the First Order? Seems like the rebels would've claimed some of it for it's new Republic and salvaged what the could. – Edlothiad Dec 18 '17 at 9:34
  • Interesting points... We're told in the crawl that they "rose from the ashes of the empire" - but that doesn't tell us much about what wealth they inherited, if any. Although arms dealers indeed make their money in war, the first order are buyers rather than manufacturers - so they would be losing money rather than gaining it from arms, right? – Shadow Dec 18 '17 at 10:52
  • @Edlothiad "The New Republic’s rise reduced the once-mighty Empire to a rump state hemmed in by strict disarmament treaties and punishing reparations. But in the galaxy’s Unknown Regions, former Imperial officers, nobles and technologists plotted a return to power, building fleets and armies in secret." (from the official Star Wars databank on the First Order). It implies the First Order was a continuation of the Empire rather than a new entity, and that while diminished, still had many of the same people/resources involved as the Empire. – Mwr247 Dec 18 '17 at 16:06
  • @Shadow Addressed the inheritance part in my last comment. As far as payment to arms dealers: I don't think we see whether or not the dealers produced the actual technology, or simply developed it and sold the designs. Either way, yes, the flow of funds would be one-directional. But credits aren't the only currency, and the First Order has other resources (including promises of power) to reward those who aid their cause. If Dooku could amass the funds for a clone army plus equipment, we have every reason to believe the Empire's successor would have the means to build theirs up in that time. – Mwr247 Dec 18 '17 at 16:18
2

Snoke took over a considerable amount of Imperial equipment and supplies when the Empire fell. Some was contained in the fleets of ships that fled into his territory but even more had been deliberately hidden in the uncharted regions of the Galaxy by Palpatine.

Palpatine had engineered the Contingency to simultaneously destroy his Empire and ensure its rebirth, ruthlessly winnowing its ranks and rebuilding them with who and what survived. The rebuilding was to take place in the Unknown Regions, secretly explored by Imperial scouts and seeded with shipyards, laboratories, and storehouses—an enormously expensive effort that had taken decades, and been kept hidden from all but the elect.

The Last Jedi: Official Novelisation

The Imperial forces that fled from the Core Worlds and Outer Rim after the Battle of Jakku (and other skirmishes) were sitting ducks. Largely incapable of traveling at hyperspace velocities and easy targets for raiders and simple transit mishaps. Snoke and his attendants were able to forge new hyperspace lanes through the uncharted regions and used this advantage to pick off the leaders of the remaining Imperial forces one by one, ultimately inheriting the Empire's secret dockyards as well as the remnant fleets.

But the Imperial refugees’ military preparations had been insufficient bulwarks against the terrors of the Unknown Regions. Grasping in the dark among strange stars, they had come perilously close to destruction, and it had not been military might that saved them.

The Last Jedi: Official Novelisation

  • Interesting. I hadn't realised that Snoke's inheritance was gained through hostile means... – Shadow Mar 7 '18 at 23:02

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