14

  Shortly before Battle of Crait we see Resistance soldiers occupying trenches and gun emplacements ahead of the large armored base door.

Later those positions were attacked by Tie fighters, but the Millennium Falcon draws them away. It doesn't look like they were destroyed, especially since Poe, after his failed run on battering ram cannon, manages to run to them and finds them still occupied. Also, after breaching the base door, the First Order opens fire on Luke, but not on those positions.

What happened to those soldiers ?

It is highly unlikely they were evacuated in small Millennium Falcon, the only Resistance craft still operational after the battle.

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  • I think the DVD extras will answer this – Andrey Jan 10 '18 at 20:00
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    They were killed. Including Rian Johnson. That's why they have to bring in JJ Abrams for Ep IX. – ThePopMachine Jan 10 '18 at 20:42
  • I (new to Star Wars) found this episode startling if not jarring: most fighting in the film had a certain distance or detachment, and suddenly this suggestion of the horrors of World War I to remind one who unpleasant it in fact is. – PJTraill Jan 11 '18 at 20:18
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Although I can't provide any source information as of right now.

We see them running out of the trenches back into the base.

There was never much ground fighting going on on Crait, unlike on Hoth, and although the First Order had shot at the Resistance, after Poe's slide into the trenches, it appears they return to the base.

If not then, when Luke carried out his final stand (appearing to have walked past the trenches with no one left outside) the survivors would've had time to return to the main base and flee on the Millennium Falcon.

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  • 1
    You also see them getting shot at by the fighters so it's safe to assume a few of them would have been killed. – TheLethalCarrot Jan 10 '18 at 9:14
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    @Edlothiad, answer is incomplete. There were around several hundred soldiers in trenches (standing practically shoulder to shoulder) . If they were not killed in battle, what happened to them ? Millennium Falcon is relatively small (35 meters) and in the end only handful of people escaped (around 20) on it. – rs.29 Jan 10 '18 at 18:17
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    @rs.29 I'd estimate there were more like several dozen soldiers, and the Millenium Falcon, being a smuggling ship, has much more room than the space we saw at the end of the film. – DaaaahWhoosh Jan 10 '18 at 18:43
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    @rs.29 the answer is not incomplete. The soldiers either got on the Millennium Falcon or died in the trenches/in the base. As we never see any flee (and as far as we know there was no where to flee to, and the First Order clears the caves (of which we know there's only two entrances). I also agree with DaaaahWhoosh that you seem to be over estimating how many people there were, given that only a handful of ships made it to Crait (from the original 25 or so) and there only seemed to be around 20 people per ship. – Edlothiad Jan 10 '18 at 21:25
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    We know that there were fewer than 400 people who boarded the transports to Crait; many, if not most, of those transports were blown into atoms on approach. It's entirely possible that less than 80 people made it to the surface (of which ~12 went out in skimmers, and most of the rest into the trenches). Losses in the fight were significant, so it could easily be that only 20-30 made it out. – Jeff Jan 11 '18 at 19:09
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This is addressed in the film's junior novelisation. Those that survived the aerial bombardment ran away while Ren was distracted.

Ren fumed. He had been goaded by a ghost. And now the trenches were vacant. The Resistance soldiers had fled into the mines. Skywalker had tried to distract him to give them time to get away.

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