Stephen Colbert Presents His Own Star Wars: The Force Awakens Fan Theory

Our verdict? Plausible. Unlikely, but plausible. A slightly spoiler-filled analysis below.

While Colbert seems to have nailed the “New New Hope” feel of this film, I doubt that we’re going to see the Rebel Alliance and the Empire actually switch roles. Simply because that doesn’t fit anything else we’ve seen. Which is what makes this clip from last night’s Late Night With Stephen Colbert kind of strange: the theory’s not out there enough to be a parody, but it’s not informed enough to feel true.

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Maybe they don’t switch roles so much as take each others’ places, but I can see something like that happening:

When the Rebels defeated the Emperor and Vader and the second Death Star, they essentially created a power vacuum in the galaxy. The majority of the infrastructure remained, but there was no clear leadership. With the emperor gone, were the war-time rules that consolidated his power still in place, and if so, who was next in line? Or did it convert back to the Senate system?

Now you have thousands of star systems represented in the Senate, with different ones holding more power depending on how much Empire infrastructure was left in their possession and control. Now, as the leader of the Rebellion, Princess Leia has the daunting task of fighting off the Emperor’s loyalists while uniting the galaxy under a new government. Depending on what lengths Leia had to go to maintain peace and democracy, some of the more outlying systems might feel slighted, as the Rebels had been before.

Now you have multiple outer rim systems, with leftover Empire influence, working together to fight back against what they see as a repressive government. They want to go back to life under the Empire, where there was mostly order. Now, the First Order has gained steam and is making a push back into the galaxy from the outside. The Rebellion (now considered the Resistance which is still, 30 years later, trying to eliminate the Emperor’s system) sees this as a resurgence of the Empire, and fights back. But in this instance, the Resistance is the larger force, and the First Order is the under dog.

Except, you know, for that Ice Planet Star Killer Base.