One of the most complicated aspects of Star Wars is the political landscape. Galactic government is messy, and that’s definitely true of The New Republic that was established after the fall of the Empire.
When Luke Skywalker defeated Darth Sidious, or Emperor Palpatine, and Darth Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi, the impacts were felt across the galaxy. That moment was the catalyst for the fall of the Empire and the rise of The New Republic. But where did things go from there?
What happened to The New Republic?
When The New Republic began, the first Chancellor chosen was the former leader of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, or the Rebel Alliance. Chancellor Mon Mothma took charge leading The New Republic, and her first action was to give up the emergency wartime powers that had previously been granted to Chancellor Palpatine during Revenge of the Sith.
Instead, Mon Mothma chose to drastically demilitarize this new government. She reduced their military capacity by 90 percent, signaling this was a time of peace, and entrusted civil defense to individual member worlds of The New Republic. Unfortunately, this ultimately led to the downfall of The New Republic.
While the Empire had definitively fallen after Return of the Jedi, there were still Imperial sympathizers and sleeper agents that went into hiding in the far reaches of the galaxy. They began recruiting stormtroopers and building their own navy, which was in direct defiance of a ban that set down by Chancellor Mon Mothma.
The Rise of The First Order
As those remnants of Imperial control, which would eventually become The First Order, persisted throughout the galaxy and began to bide their time, there was plenty of politics at play as well. The Amaxine Warriors, a crime syndicate, took part in a plot to stir controversy in the Galactic Senate by publicly exposing Senator Leia Organa as the daughter of Darth Vader.
Simultaneously, the disarray within the politics of The Republic caused several worlds that sympathized with The First Order to formally secede from the and side with the growing First Order. These events and the general inaction of the Galactic Senate caused Leia Organa to retire from her seat and form The Resistance, a paramilitary organization that would actually take action against the rise of The First Order. Unfortunately, their actions were not enough to stop what had already been set in motion.
In The Force Awakens, the end of The New Republic was already in motion, but The First Order put the final nail in the coffin. With the newly operational Starkiller Base, The First Order annihilated the New Republic Defense Fleet and the Hosnian system, which at the time was home to Chancellor Villecham and The New Republic Senate. Thus, The New Republic that had begun just three decades earlier was no more.