Warning: SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Below!
When it comes to their weapons of war, the First Order still thinks bigger is better in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which only exacerbates an ongoing superweapon problem with the franchise.
Fans can breathe a sigh of relief that at least Rian Johnson didn't follow J.J. Abrams' footsteps and introduce yet another Death Star-like super weapon to menace the Galaxy. Though it's hard to imagine coming up with something even bigger than Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens; a planet that eats the power of a sun and can destroy multiple worlds in entire star systems.
However, the First Order, like the Empire that preceded it, still equates size with power and intimidation. True, they lost Starkiller Base in the previous film, but in The Last Jedi, the evil military powerhouse led by Supreme Leader Snoke flaunted plenty of other over-sized and "unbeatable" superweapons. How did Snoke's massive new toys fare against the ragtag Resistance led by General Leia Organa? As well as you'd expect.
The First Order was sure the Resistance was finished when they interrupted the heroes' evacuation of their base on D'Qar with the Dreadnought. A massive battlecruiser, the Mandalor IV-class Siege Dreadnought, designated the Fulminatrix according to Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary, was equipped with bombardment cannons which was supposed to annihilate the Resistance base from orbit.
Instead, a lone X-Wing piloted by Poe Dameron befuddled the First Order's pride and joy, systematically taking out its surface cannons and paving the way for the Resistance Bomber fleet to bring the mighty Dreadnought down. Another gigantic, unstoppable superweapon bites the dust resulting another a huge embarrassment to the First Order.
The Dreadnought was big, but had nothing on the Supremacy. Reflecting the oversized ego of Supreme Leader Snoke, the Supremacy was the flagship of the First Order's fleet. The sole Mega-class Star Destroyer ever made, the Supremacy was a 60-kilometer wing large enough to contain several Star Destroyers within it. The Supremacy was Snoke's headquarters, where he ruled the First Order from his red-walled throne room flanked by his Praetorian Guard.
And guess what happened to the biggest Star Destroyer ever? It also went down in flames when Vice Admiral Holdo performed a ramming maneuver and jumped the Resistance's flagship the Raddus into hyperspace through the Supremacy. At least Snoke was no longer alive to see his fearsome pride and joy ripped in half.
THE BATTERING RAM CANNON
If you thought a Star Wars movie wouldn't end with the Resistance risking all to take out a final superweapon, think again. Flanked by a squad of gigantic AT-M6 walkers, the First Order unveiled their enormous Battering Ram Cannon on Crait. Also known as the Superlaser Siege Cannon, this superweapon uses miniaturized Death Star technology to emit a force beam that would blast through the massive wall of the Rebellion's abandoned secret base.
The Battering Ram Cannon did work as designed! It melted a huge hole in the armored base wall, but by the time the First Order stormed the base, the heroes were long gone, thanks to the stalling tactics of Luke Skywalker and his confrontation with Kylo Ren.
It seems like the First Order will never learn the lesson that 'size doesn't matter', just like the Empire never did. No matter how huge and intimidating their superweapons are, the rebels always find a way to take them out. Regardless, it'll be back to the old drawing board for the First Order, and we'll see what ridiculously scaled, "unbeatable" superweapon they come up with for Episode IX.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019