The State of the Galaxy Prior to The Last Jedi
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi is one of the saga's most polarising movies to date. On one hand, the critics absolutely love it. On the other – well, let's just say casual viewers and hardcore fans alike are a little more sceptical. Part of the reason for such a divide is due to the film's many twists and turns. And I'm not just talking about a particular scene involving Snoke, and a certain reveal regarding Rey. Seriously, I can't be the only one surprised by the opening crawl's opening line?! Sure, destroying the current seat of the New Republic is a big deal, but how can the First Order possibly reign supreme after the loss of Starkiller Base?! Better yet, in what state does this shift in power leave the galaxy as a whole? Well, let's find out!
To kick us off, let's venture back to a galaxy still reeling from decades of conflict – a galaxy ruled by a superpower only in name. In fairness, the New Republic tried their absolute best to reshape and reform all that the Galactic Empire had so cruelly destroyed. Yet they could never quite reach the same heights as the Old Republic. Even before the atomisation of both its capital and starfleet, many worlds worlds began to favour the First Order and its promise of security. So when Starkiller Base triggered the Hosnian Cataclysm, an explosion that tore the very fabric of hyperspace, those who hadn't turned their backs upon the New Republic already immediately surrendered out of sheer panic and fear. And while its superweapon was later destroyed by the Resistance, the First Order never allowed themselves to wallow in defeat. In fact, believing the war to be as good as won, it simply sought to locate and destroy the last Jedi, Luke Skywalker – thus eliminating the very embodiment of hope. As for the Resistance – well, they were left rather worse for wear. Not only were they unable to finally open the Galactic Senate's eyes to threat of the First Order, but they had lost a number of top military commanders, as well as any allies they could possibly think of. And this leads us to present day, or rather the events of Star Wars: Episode VIII. So rather than stand her ground and face the First Order head-on, General Leia Organa must evacuate her troops so that the Resistance can live to fight another day...
So there is a detailed look at the state of the galaxy prior to The Last Jedi, as well as an explanation behind the First Order's sudden rise to power. Let me know in the comments below whether you enjoy this somewhat rehashed dynamic, or if you are a little tired of seeing underdog factions taking on an almighty superpower.