The Beginning of the Resistance As Told in Star Wars Bloodline

Princess Leia at the Resistance base in The Force Awakens, with C-3PO and Admiral Statura alongside her (Photo Credit: David James) ©Lucasfilm 2015

Princess Leia at the Resistance base in The Force Awakens, with C-3PO and Admiral Statura alongside her (Photo Credit: David James) ©Lucasfilm 2015
Princess Leia at the Resistance base in The Force Awakens
©Lucasfilm 2015

With the release of The Force Awakens, there was a lot to fill in about the New Republic, the First Order, and the Resistance, amongst other significant entities. With the release of Star Wars Bloodline (which I discussed previously), some of the story has begun to become filled-in. We learn about some aspects of the growth of the First Order, albeit somewhat peripherally, and we witness, firsthand, the beginning of the Resistance. {Warning: spoilers ahead}

After her frustrations with the Senate of the New Republic, Princess Leia was planning, anyways, on leaving the Senate. However, despite her initial intentions in simply flying around the galaxy with Han Solo, perhaps in a carefree manner, Princess Leia realizes she needs to do something about the growing threat the galaxy faces. Of course, having her father’s identity revealed in a most public manner also serves as a catalyst for her getting out of the Senate.

BloodlineWhile she doesn’t know yet the name of the First Order, she does recognize the threat and, more worrisome, is that the Senate is too deadlocked to actually do anything about it. She knows she needs to do something:

If the princess was right, other paramilitary groups were out there, preparing to take the galaxy to the brink of war. The Senate showed no sign of being willing or able to take action against those groups, itself.

Apparently, the princess thought a day would come when they might have to take a stand against these groups on their own. When that day arrived, they’d need to be armed. (314)

It turns out, that they had a full shipload of thermal detonators, so they decided to stash them in a storage unit, especially since it’s definitely a good start to arming themselves. However, at this point, Princess Leia had only stored them in case of needing them. It was not until shortly after that that she came to the conclusion that she would need them:

Despite her long disillusionment with the political process, Leia only now realized the Senate was doomed no matter what she did.

War had become inevitable. (328)

Now that she knows she needs to do something and perhaps something bold, we read in the final pages of the book how the beginning of the Resistance plays out, with Princess Leia heading

toward a little-used hangar on the edge of the capital city, one she’d signed an exclusive lease on the day before.

The hangar wouldn’t serve their purposes for long. She would have to thing bigger, hide deeper, and go farther. For now, however, they only needed a place to begin.

When Leia walked inside, she saw that everyone she’d contacted was already there; she’d been early, but they came even earlier. In the back were those who had traveled farthest to help her – Nien Nunb, Ematt, and even Admiral Ackbar, standing straight, ready to serve. To the side was Harter Kalonia, who hadn’t hesitated to accept Leia’s invitation, and thank goodness; it was always good to have a doctor on hand who knew how to keep a secret. Clustered closer were the young pilots she’d recruited, chosen from either those she had worked with personally – such as Joph Seastriker, who stood at the very front – or those Joph and the other pilots had vouched for, such as Snap Wexley and Zari Bangel. (330-331)

So, this is the core of the Resistance, shaping up at its temporary beginning on Hosnian Prime, with Nien Numb, Ematt, Admiral Ackbar, Dr. Harter Kalonia, and a bunch of pilots. In the first address to this core of the Resistance, Princess Leia begins

“Thank you, everyone, for coming tonight,” Leia began. “Whether you’re an old friend or a new one, you’re here because you’ve shown courage. You’ve shown initiative. You’ve seen the coming danger, and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to protect the peaceful worlds of this galaxy from war.”

She warned, “Don’t speak too soon. Every one of you has to fully understand that this movement, this organization, is not sanctioned by the Galactic Senate. For now, and possibly forever, we operate beyond governmental control. That may mean bending some laws, and breaking others.” (331)

Amusingly, without missing a beat, Admiral Ackbar interjects: “‘Never stopped us before,’ Ackbar rasped” (332). Continuing on,

Leia scanned the room and saw no doubts, no hesitation. These people trusted her. They were ready. Finally, she was ready, too.

“The sun is setting on the New Republic,” Leia said. “It’s time for the Resistance to rise.” (332)

The first thing that is striking with this last line is that she articulates that the New Republic will soon meet its demise, although she is not one to help it get there. The second thing of interest is that it is only in this last line – the final line of the book – in which the term “Resistance” is used.

What we see in Star Wars Bloodline about what gives rise to the Resistance is Princess Leia’s perceptions of the weaknesses of the Senate in the New Republic and the rise of paramilitary groups operating without being checked. Now I’m curious to read about the rise of the Resistance prior to The Force Awakens….

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