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In The Last Jedi, the Resistance has been tracked through hyperspace by the First Order and is running out of fuel.

The Resistance works out that only one ship can track them. This begs the question, why didn't the Resistance scatter the fleet?

By this, I mean:

  • Send one ship into hyperspace
  • It is tracked and followed by one First Order ship
  • Then, jump the ship again. It can't be tracked as only Snoke's ship was doing the tracking
  • You saved a ship. Repeat with the next ship
  • The last ship is sacrificed with a skeleton crew of droids, so most of the fleet is safe
  • I'm not exactly sure how your plan would work to stop the tracking. They jump, then jump again. How would that stop the tracking? – TheLethalCarrot Apr 17 '18 at 8:55
  • Do you know that only Snoke's ship could track them? This idea is covered quite extensively here. Further, they state quite explicitly in the film that they only had fuel for one jump. – Edlothiad Apr 17 '18 at 8:56
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    You won't really find a satisfying answer. The scenario simply isn't written well. They wanted a long ship chase and by golly that's what they were going to get, internal consistency and plausibility be damned. – Harabeck Apr 17 '18 at 21:47
  • @Harabeck I figured I'd covered the points in my answer for why the OP's plan would not work. Is there anything missing from it that I can add to make it "satisfying"? – TheLethalCarrot Apr 18 '18 at 8:04
  • @Harabeck They should have watched BSG, they really set up such a chase properly and with touching a nice relevant moral question and all of that in 33 minutes. ^^ Definitely more worth of attention and cinema screen time than this wild ride. – Frank Hopkins Apr 21 at 14:51
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I'm not entirely sure I understand how your plan is supposed to work but here's two reasons why it wouldn't work. (Apologies for any inconsistencies in the transcript I'm using a version that isn't annotated and it's been a while since I've seen the film, let me know if there are any mistakes and I'll update accordingly.)

Fuel

It's stated quite clearly that the Resistance is low on fuel and in fact they apparently only have enough fuel left for one jump or an extended chase through space.

Poe Dameron: Can we jump to lightspeed?
Leia Organa: We have enough fuel for just one jump.
Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi

The Tracker

They may have only been using one ship to track at a time but all of the ships had the capability to track through hyperspace. This is why Finn and Rose's plan was so complicated and involved only turning the tracker off for one system cycle.

Poe Dameron: Just give it to me one more time, but simpler.
Finn: So the First Order's only tracking us from one Destroyer, the main one.
Poe Dameron: So we make blow that one up?
Finn: I like where you're heading, but no.
Rose Tico: They'd only start tracking us from another Destroyer.
Finn: If we sneak onboard into the main Destroyer and we turn off the tracker without them realizing, then we can...
ibid

As for the main plan of why they didn't scatter the fleet, well, I think it boils down to the same thing. The First Order would just send there's to follow each one and track each respectively. They might have a bigger chance i.e. one ship versus one ship but it'd still likely be doomed to failure.

  • Well, given the knowledge that they used only one tracker, splitting the fleet completely up would mean they would only follow one ship, likely the base ship. Thus they could have sacrificed the base ship for most people. Same as Finn and Poe's plan though it hinges on the "using only one tracker" assumption / dummy move... (and my assumption that you can only properly follow one direction with one tracker). – Frank Hopkins Apr 21 at 14:56
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  Minor plot hole in "Last Jedi" Swiss cheese

As we all know, Rose and Finn did go to their little joy ride in one of these. They certainly planned to return, so they had fuel for another jump. They even managed to remain undetected by First Order, due to ship's small size. It could be argued that bulk of Resistance personnel could be saved (instead of being senselessly slaughtered) by fueling such small ships and scattering in various directions, either one by one or in mass.

Of course, this plan would sacrifice all or almost of capital ships, since La Resistance didn't have much fuel available. From military standpoint this would be catastrophic if they had a workable plan by which they could save booth the crews and major ships. But since it turned out that their "great" and so secretive plan was to hole up in planetary base, they already decided to abandon capital ships. So, idea to scatter would actually be much better, but you know, Disney story group etc ...

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