The destruction of Hosnian Prime by the First Order in the Force Awakens also wiped out the last few memorials to Alderaan and its people.
Early in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Starkiller Base obliterates Hosnian Prime and, by that token, some of the last memorials to Alderaan. The First Order followed in its predecessor’s footsteps by creating yet another planet-destroying base (despite the first two ending in failure). Nevertheless, it took a single blast from Starkiller Base to make this planet destroyer more successful than both of the Empire’s Death Stars combined. The first Death Star only managed to destroy Alderaan before the Rebellion took it down, and the Second Death Star didn’t get the chance to destroy any planets. However, Starkiller Base was able to destroy five whole planets in the Hosnian system—including Hosnian Prime.
The series Obi-Wan Kenobi made Alderaan’s destruction far worse by showing how beautiful the planet was. In addition to the Death Star destroying the gorgeous scenery, about two billion people were killed as well. This number completely pales in comparison to how many people died on Hosnian Prime and its surrounding system—which was roughly 100 times the amount of people living on Alderaan. Hosnian Prime—the capital of the New Republic—had memorials to Alderaan and some of those who perished in its destruction. Hundreds of thousands of people passed these memorials to Alderaan’s fallen without even realizing that they were about to suffer the same fate.
Hosnian Prime’s Destruction Signified The Empire’s Return
The destruction of Hosnian Prime brought Alderaan’s sad fate in Star Wars back into the minds of everyone in the galaxy. Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy by Pablo Hidalgo reveals that there actually was a dedicatory statue to Bail Organa in the Senate Square. Created by a Bith artist named Janyor, this statue was perhaps one of the last remembrances of Bail left in the galaxy—aside from the remains of the planet itself. Not only did the First Order wipe out Hosnian Prime and the New Republic in one blow, but it erased the last few memories of Alderaan along with it.
Despite their obliteration being similar, there are also striking differences when comparing how the Empire and the First Order went about destroying their enemies. Alderaan’s destruction was Palpatine’s mistake since he underestimated how the galaxy would react. In his haste to make a statement of power, he revealed his superweapon too soon, resulting in its destruction. On the other hand, the First Order cut right to the chase by obliterating the capital of the New Republic, effectively silencing their enemies from the beginning.
Hosnian Prime’s Destruction Was A Subtle Attack At Leia Organa
Having been a senator in the New Republic and having served on Hosnian Prime before, Leia undoubtedly knew about the statutes dedicated to her adoptive father and her homeworld. When the First Order destroyed Hosnian Prime, she must have come to the sad realization that she was one of the few people left who remembered Bail Organa and what Alderaan was like. By decimating Hosnian Prime, Star Wars improves the tragedy of Alderaan by reminding Leia of one of the darkest moments in her life. Despite the abundance of callbacks to A New Hope in The Force Awakens, the destruction of the New Republic is by far the most chilling.
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