In The Last Jedi:

The Resistance fleet is tracked through hyperspace by the First Order after they make their jump away from their old base.

As soon as the FO ships appear, the Resistance immediately come to the (correct) conclusion as to the tech that was used.

Why would they assume the use of this tech, that they have never encountered before, as opposed to the more common technique of

tracking a ship through the use of a homing beacon.

  • 3
    They got there pretty quickly, it is shown travelling through hyperspace takes time. As light speed tracking is new I expect homing beacons never used to work in hyperspace. As such it would take them longer to get there if they used a homing beacon. That is pure speculation though.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Dec 21, 2017 at 11:22
  • How else would they show up such a short time afterwards? They would have to be tracking them while themselves flying through hyperspace, otherwise they'd have to wait for the Resistance to exit hyperspace, get their location and then chase them.
    – Edlothiad
    Dec 21, 2017 at 11:43
  • @Edlothiad Seems a good explanation. Why not write this up as an answer and I'll accept it? Dec 21, 2017 at 11:49
  • 2
    @Edlothiad AFAIK there's nothing in A New Hope to suggest that the Imperials couldn't track the Falcon through hyperspace using the beacon aboard. Unless this is addressed directly in the comics/books, I believe any answer would be pure speculation. Dec 21, 2017 at 12:17
  • 1
    @Rapscallion and hence why I'm still a comment ;) I don't think we have enough information for some of these questions, and if I had my way, they'd be on hold till we at least get more of an insight from the novelisations or until Ep: IX is done and dusted.
    – Edlothiad
    Dec 21, 2017 at 13:09

1 Answer 1


It is shown throughout the films that moving through hyperspace is not an instant process. They also state that tracking through hyperspace has never been seen before and we know homing beacons have been used before as one was placed on the Millennium Falcon. As such it appears that homing beacons don't work in hyperspace.

All of this together means that if they weren't tracking them through hyperspace they would have had to wait for the rebellion to exit and then start tracking them down which would have taken a longer amount of time.

Essentially they worked it out because from all the information it was the only logical conclusion.

  • 1
    "As such it appears that homing beacons don't work in hyperspace." - Do you have a source on that? Just because the Imperials didn't chase the Rebels immediately doesn't mean that they had to wait for them to exit hyperspace before the homing beacon revealed their location e.g. maybe it just took a long time to spool up the Death Star hyperdrive. Dec 21, 2017 at 12:19
  • @Rapscallion No I don't but homing beacons aren't a new technology and given the surprise that the First Order tracked them through hyperspace it comes clear that they wouldn't work. That's my interpretation of the events of the films though. It may be wrong but it seems logical to me.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Dec 21, 2017 at 12:23
  • It's a safe assumption for the audience to make, sure. It's still strange that the characters themselves jump straight to the conclusion that the FO are using a new practically unheard-of tech rather than first eliminating the possibility of a homing beacon or a spy onboard. Dec 21, 2017 at 12:28
  • @Rapscallion They've travelled a potential large distance, that travel takes time. The FO appear at practically the same time i.e. there was no way for them to get there that fast if they weren't travelling with them at the same time.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Dec 21, 2017 at 12:30
  • Dont you need to know where a ship is going in order to follow them in hyperspace? Even if a beacon worked in hyperspace, it still wouldnt enable the imperials to automatically follow them as they dont know the destination
    – Mart10
    Jan 25, 2018 at 14:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.