One of the first questions I wanted General Flux to sniff out for me was who are the new cast members playing? I have been able to get some info out of him regarding a few of the new cast additions including Laura Dern. Most Star Wars fans will probably recognize her from Jurassic Park. While that might be Dern’s claim to fame she has actually appeared in quite a number of other things as well.
From what GF has learned, Dern is a political/diplomat figure named Chancellor Valara, who is part of the Republic. She (obviously) was not present during the First Order’s attack on the Hosnian system as were several other Republic representatives. I’m told while the the Republic fleet was near completely destroyed and probably something like 85% of it’s key members killed, the Republic is still hanging on by the skin of it’s teeth.
Leia and some of her most trusted Resistance members will be part of a memorial early in the film where Leia is attacked (more info on that here). Before the attack occurs, Leia has words with Valara whom she apparently already knows quite well. Valara asks for added military force from the Resistance as the Republic is left more vulnerable than ever before. After the attack on Leia leaves Finn and other members of the resistance in pursuit of Leia’s would be assassin, Poe escorts Valara and a few other surviving Republic members to the Resistance’s new digs. It has been stated online previously that Valara takes over for Leia while she is in a comatose state. This is false. Poe leads the Resistance while Valara (with the help of BDT’s character as previously mentioned) instructs the remaining Republic military forces to work with the Resistance. General Flux tells me this will setup a Resistance/Republic vs. The First Order Space battle later in the film. Get hyped.