In the Last Jedi, the First Order fleet, commanded by General Hux is...

... chasing Resistance fleet led by the ship Raddus. The Resistance fleet is faster than the large First Order ships so Hux decides to just slowly chase them, waiting for them to run out of fuel.

Why didn't Hux just order one or more of the Star Destroyers jump slightly ahead of the Raddus and attack them from multiple angles? How is a chase situation possible when the chaser has multiple ships with hyperspace technology?

  • Thank you @Machavity for changing "warp" to "jump"! I think the answer might lie in how hyperspace jumps work. – Luke Dec 20 '17 at 18:03
  • Or why didn't Hux command another First Order ship, or fleet of ships, from the closest system to make a hyperspace jump to a location on the other side of the Resistance fleet? We know FTL communications is possible in the Star Wars universe. And presumably the First Order has hundreds, if not thousands of ships in the galaxy. Surely they could have spared a few more to wipe out the Resistance. – RobertF Sep 20 '18 at 4:38

In space, there's not exactly an "ahead." When considering ground vehicles on a road, the road only goes in one direction. There, it's obvious which direction a vehicle you're trying to intercept is going. But a spacecraft can go in any direction, in three dimensions.

It was also established that the First Order did not know where the Resistance's destination was. So they could not try to jump directly between the Resistance and there. Perhaps it would have been wise for them to jump in a sphere formation around the Resistance to trap them. But they might not have had enough ships for that.

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    There most definitely is an “ahead” the direction you’re travelling, if you and the person you’re following are following the same line, and you end up in front of them, you’re now ahead of them. – Edlothiad Dec 20 '17 at 18:12
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    That assumes you know where they're going. The First Order didn't know. Perhaps the Resistance were traveling in a straight line towards something. Then the First Order could have figured it out. But I didn't get the impression the Resistance had a particular destination in mind until after the First Order jumped right behind them. They very well might not have been going in a straight line in that case. – Kai Dec 20 '17 at 18:16
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    these ships don’t change direction instantly, as evidenced by the Holdo manoeuvre, furthermore, you’re assuming that “ahead” is defined, when it is not. Ahead is dependent on the observer, and therefore even in space, there exists and ahead. – Edlothiad Dec 20 '17 at 18:33
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    Regardless of how you define ahead, any deviation of the Rebel fleet's course from a straight line would mathematically reduce the distance the FO would have to travel to intercept them. Do this a few times and they could significantly reduce the gap and bring the rebels back into range. Of course, we learn the Rebels were heading in a straight line to a predetermined destination - if the FO had even attempted to cut them off it could have been the end of the Rebels. – delinear Dec 22 '17 at 12:48
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    We also don't know what the minimum jump distance is - jumping ahead might have put them so far away as to not matter. – sirjonsnow Dec 27 '17 at 16:03

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