Who has the upper hand going into ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII?’

Star Wars the Force Awakens  was without a doubt a massive movie spectacle.  The film has broken numerous box office records especially when the movie tickets initially went on sale.  Not including the prequels, this film actually felt like a  Star Wars  film should.  It had the right story with great characters and humor sprinkled throughout.  No film is without its faults and  The Force Awakens  is no exception.  In one of my previous articles, I had written a list of five things I was most disappointed with in the film.

One of the issues the film had in my opinion was the fact that Starkiller Base was basically another “Death Star” and did not last in more than one film.  However I have seen the film three more times and I have to say that every time I re-watch it, I enjoy the movie even more.  Problems aside, Starkiller Base proved a formidable force (pardon the pun) for the Resistance to take down.  Yes they had a plan similar to  A New Hope,  but it could have easily gone the other way.

Sure the Resistance may have pulled off another Death Star attack, but what side was actually victorious in the end?  The answer may surprise you.

If you recall in  A New Hope,  the first Death Star exploded killing many lives that were aboard.  Many of Vader’s senior officers including the great Grand Moff Tarkin were obliterated in the explosion.  This appeared to take a toll on the Empire except when you take into consideration how many Star Destroyers the Empire actually have including Vader’s  Executor. 

In the sequel,  The Empire Strikes Back,  Vader and the Empire came back with a vengeance.  They threw everything they had at the Rebels especially once the Empire found the Rebel location on the planet Hoth.  The Battle of Hoth was clearly a big loss to the Rebels since most of their resources were based on that planet.

Little did the Rebellion know that immediately after the destruction of the original Death Star, the Empire already planned on creating a bigger second Death Star.  This Death Star would be much larger and hold more ships, officers, and storm troopers.  The Empire had a backup plan whereas the Rebellion, not so much.  The Rebels had to constantly maneuver away from the devastating attacks of the Empire and therefore never really had a base they were safe from Imperial attacks.

On the other hand, the Empire has facilities all over the galaxy.  That’s what happens when the Empire is able to control other planets and have an arsenal of ships at their disposal giving them the upper hand.  The Rebels were always the underdogs and this even showed in the  The Force Awakens. 

In  The Force Awakens,  the Resistance had to deal with Starkiller Base which was a base built into an actual planet.  This base obtained its power through the sun and unleashed its source of power through its central core.  Unfortunately for the Republic, Starkiller Base aimed at them directly and destroyed the ENTIRE Hosnian Prime System.  According to the  Star Wars The Force Awakens: Visual Dictionary,  Hosnian Prime:

“serves as the current ‘New Republic’ capital.  Moving the Senate from Coruscant did much to convince the many disaffected systems that had tried to withdraw from the Republic prior to the ‘Clone Wars.’  The New Republic fleet is the largest defense force in the galaxy, but nevertheless is a fraction of what it was during the ‘Clone Wars.’”

So there you have it.  All of the New Republics resources including ships, infantry, and other types of weapons were all housed in Hosnian Prime.  Most importantly, the New Republic lost their core government.  Now that the First Order has completely destroyed it, it is now up to General Leia and the Resistance to combat the First Order.  Much like Hoth, the Resistance has to continue to hide from the First Order and are now settling on the planet D’Qar.  The New Republic and Resistance have been decimated so much so that their infantry contains mainly anyone they can find including scanner technicians, droid programmers, and starship mechanics.  This crew may not have the proper training but that won’t stop them from being asked to pick up a rifle and fight.

On the other side of the coin, the First Order’s Starkiller Base blew up just like the previous Death Star’s before it.  While losing this base struck a major blow to the First Order, this wasn’t the ONLY base the First Order has.  In fact it’s one of many.

According to the  Visual Dictionary,  “Starkiller Base is the largest known deployment of First Order military forces, and yet it cannot truly be considered the headquarters of the emergent power, as Supreme Leader Snoke keeps his command center mobile.”

Like previous films, the Empire had multiple ships and bases throughout the galaxy.  The First Order is no exception.  Sure Starkiller Base was the largest base for the First Order, it’s certainly not the only one.  But according to the Supreme Leader Snoke Starkiller Base wasn’t considered the “headquarters” of the emergent power.  That phrase tells me that the First Order has other plans and Snoke prepared everything that way.  He is the new “Emperor” if you will of this franchise and the First Order will be ready for the Resistance’s next move.

Once again the Resistance is at a loss.  Sure they were able to over come the odds again by blowing up Starkiller Base however their own government and military took a MAJOR hit.  We are now going into Episode VIII with what’s left of the Resistance who’s currently based on D’Qar.  It seems the next film may follow in the footsteps of  The Empire Strikes Back.  John Boyega recently announced that it will be much darker than  The Force Awakens.  The sequel has a lot to live up to if it is to compete against one of the greatest sequels ever made.

So what are your thoughts on both the Resistance and the First Order moving forward?  Who do you think has the upper hand and how do you think both sides will recuperate from their devastating losses?  I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comment section below and please share!

Sources:  Star Wars The Force Awakens: Visual Dictionary 

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