There were many things to like about the premiere for Star Wars: Resistance, but one of them that is particularly interesting is the New Republic.
In The Force Awakens, we are introduced to the New Republic, but really only through the dialogue of others. Perhaps the most significant of these is actually in a speech by the First Order’s General Hux, on Starkiller Base, right before the destruction of the Hosnian system. He says:
Today is the end of the Republic. The end of a regime that acquiesces to disorder. At this very moment, in a system far from here the New Republic lies to the galaxy while secretly supporting the treachery of the loathsome Resistance.
So we get the idea that the New Republic supports the Resistance, and through other media (books, etc.) we get a better understanding of the state of the New Republic – which, of course, caused Leia Organa to start the Resistance in the first place.
But in this first episode of Resistance, we see the New Republic logo on-screen for the first time, and we get our first on-screen look at them in action – while it also provides us with some context for the tenuous relationship between the New Republic and the Resistance.
X-Wings, Logo, and Pilots!
We get our first on-screen look at a number of aspects of the New Republic.
Firstly, we get to see the New Republic logo on-screen. It has been featured in books before, but this is the first on-screen appearance. You can, for instance, see it in this shot below on both Kaz’s helmet (front and center) and his sleeve (right below the shoulder), while in other shots the logo is apparent on the wing of the X-Wings.
Speaking of the X-Wings, this is also very exciting: it is our first look period at the T-85 X-Wings that are used by the New Republic! These ships were confirmed to be the T-85s by the “Bucket’s List” recap of the episode. The T-85s are the newest and most advanced model of X-Wing starfighter, as the Rebellion used T-65s and the Resistance uses T-70s. These look beautiful, and we finally get a chance to see them in action and see what they look like. Check out the below pictures for a better look at them. You can see the New Republic logo on the wings, a slightly different wing and nose design, the writing labeling it as New Republic navy, etc.
We also get a look at some pilots of the New Republic. Obviously, Kazuda Xiono is a pilot in the New Republic Navy, but we also get a look at two other New Republic pilots. You can note that they have different jump suits on, so perhaps that denotes a difference in rank or position.
And lastly, it is worth pointing out what ships the Resistance is using. When Poe Dameron arrives, he is piloting a T-70 X-Wing. He’s not in his usual Black One because it is likely undergoing repairs after some events in the Poe Dameron comic line, but the larger point is that the Resistance is using the slightly older X-Wings. This is because the T-70s were mass produced for use by the New Republic after the Galactic Civil War but were eventually replaced by the newer T-85s. The Resistance, however, got their hands on the now-slightly-outdated models, which were invaluable and cheaper. So that’s why Poe arrives in a T-70. Furthermore, a Rebel Blockade Runner arrives to meet Poe and Kaz, and Poe tells Kaz that the ship flew from the Battle of Scarif to the Battle of Jakku. It’s cool to simply hear those battles referenced, but it also is another indication that the Resistance is left with older ships while the New Republic has the newer models.
Relationship between New Republic and Resistance:
While those things are cool, the most important information that we get about the New Republic comes in the slight exploration of their relationship with the Resistance. What we knew already was that the New Republic supported the Resistance somewhat (as evidenced by General Hux’s comments in TFA), but that the New Republic largely thought that Leia Organa was overreacting to the threat of the First Order and that they didn’t take it seriously enough.
So we get a little bit more exploration of their relationship right away – because Kaz’s mission, along with the other two New Republic pilots, is to deliver intel to the Resistance. Kaz says, “We can’t retreat! New Republic command says we have to deliver this intel to the Resistance. … Well, we’re being shot at, so it seems pretty important!” It seems, then, that the New Republic high command at least has a working relationship with the Resistance, because they’re supplying Leia’s organization with information. That information proves to be quite important.
“That intel you gave us?” Poe explains to Kaz after discussing things with Leia. “That was a message from a secret source. It confirms what we’ve been afraid of. The First Order is planning a full-scale attack on the New Republic. … My orders are to find out where that attack is going to come from, and when.”
So the New Republic gave the Resistance information about a coming First Order attack on the New Republic. That’s interesting. At this point we can only speculate, but it’s possible that there are some who take the threat of the First Order more seriously than others in the New Republic, so that Leia still has allies (which she mentions in a deleted scene from TFA).
The existence of the Resistance doesn’t appear to be a secret, however. Firstly, Kaz tells Poe that, “You’re the pilot everybody talks about back home!” Kaz’s home world is Hosnian Prime, and it seems that word has gotten around about the hotshot pilot who left the New Republic Navy to join Leia Organa’s Resistance. Additionally, it is made pretty clear what at least some in the New Republic think of the Resistance through Kaz’s relationship with his father. He tells Poe that his father wouldn’t approve of him joining the Resistance, as his father is a Senator and has a whole plan for his son. When Kaz talks with his father shortly thereafter to inform him that he’s with the Resistance now, his father responds, “The Resistance? Those extremists? What have you gotten yourself mixed up in this time?”
So that is very helpful in giving us insight as to how Leia Organa and the Resistance are viewed in the New Republic. It seems that they are viewed as overreacting to the threat of the First Order and desiring war, so they might not be the most popular among New Republic leadership. Nevertheless, we do see that the government has a working relationship with Leia Organa’s organization, which is cool to see.
Hopefully, we get to see more of the New Republic and their relationship to the Resistance as the show moves forward.