In the final episode of Star Wars: Resistance before the show takes a midseason break, “Station Theta Black,” we learned some pretty intriguing information about why some New Republic Senators don’t take the threat of the First Order seriously: money.
We have long known that General Leia Organa was one of few people in the Senate to actually take seriously the threat of the rising First Order, and when her political career came crashing down and when she realized that other Senators weren’t going to do anything, she started the Resistance. Despite her best efforts to make the Senate aware of the rising First Order, few listened. She did have some allies, but she never managed to get the Senators to take seriously this threat. They perceived Leia as a warmonger and a radical, overreacting to all of this.
But, as is often the case in politics, it turns out that there was more to it than just that. In the latest episode of Star Wars: Resistance, Poe Dameron and Kazuda Xiono sneak into an abandoned First Order base built into an asteroid looking for information. They find more than they bargained for, as Captain Phasma and the First Order show up to find the intruders and destroy the base, as had been scheduled. Poe and Kaz learn that the base is actually a mining and processing plant, with the First Order having stripped the asteroid of dedlanite, which is used for making blasters. And with how much the First Order must have taken from this asteroid, it’s explained that they could make a lot of weapons.
So Poe and Kaz eventually report back to General Leia Organa with this information. Here’s how the exchange goes:
POE: “So, as you can see from the intel we gathered, the First Order is clearly making weapons. A lot of weapons.”
LEIA: “It would seem so.”
KAZ: “If the other senators are anything like my father, there is no way they are going to believe the First Order is a threat just because of this intel.”
LEIA: “You’re right, Kazuda, considering so many of them are profiting from the creation of these weapons. But while this information might not be important to the Senate, it’s invaluable to me and my efforts.”
Note that there are a couple things of interest there. First of all, it is the Resistance receiving confirmation that the First Order is clearly making a lot of weapons. Now, as far as we know, they still don’t know about the biggest weapon of them all (Starkiller Base), but they do know that the First Order forces are bigger than most others think. Secondly, we get further confirmation that Kaz’s father is one of those Senators who doesn’t take the First Order threat seriously. We got hints of that in the first episode, when Kaz’s father made it clear that he didn’t agree with Leia or the Resistance, but Kaz here is openly making it apparent that his father is one of those many Senators unwilling to take action. As I’ve said before: this is setting up for a very interesting series of events when Hosnian Prime is destroyed, regardless of what happens to Kaz’s father.
But third, and I think most importantly for our purposes right now, Leia acknowledges that the reason many Senators aren’t listening is because they’re actually making a profit from the manufacturing of weapons. This means that there are many New Republic Senators who are either directly or indirectly involved in the production of weapons that are used to arm the First Order forces. And considering how large these forces are, that’s probably a considerable profit to be had.
This idea actually has some similarities to the one that D.J. brought up in The Last Jedi, as he explained to Finn that the same people sell weapons to both the good guys and the bad guys. In other words, the weapons dealers of the galaxy (who are the rich in the galaxy and seem to frequent Cantonica, according to Rose Tico) aren’t looking out for a particular cause but rather their own financial wellbeing. Having those people in the New Republic Senate has to cause great cracks and divisions in the government, as no longer are people most motivated to preserve and protect the New Republic but are instead interested in preserving and protecting themselves. So, for example, when a threat is brought to their attention, they’re not going to act out of what is best for their government but rather what will protect their profits. And the easiest way for them to do so is to convince people that the reports aren’t really true and that Leia is simply overreacting and exaggerating… as a matter of fact, that sounds pretty similar to what a certain government party wants to do in our world, too, but I digress.
This is an important revelation, because it shows us that the New Republic government is far more corrupted than we thought. Their reasoning for not doing more about the First Order isn’t due to negligence, it’s due to selfishness.