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This might contain spoilers. Don't read if you haven't seen The Last Jedi yet.

In the latest part of the franchise Star Wars - The Last Jedi,

The First Order was able to track the Resistance through lightspeed.

My question is: How exactly were they (First Order) able to do so? Has there been an indication of this in the past parts? Am I missing something?

  • My guess is they will make a new movie explaining it. – Yu Zhang Dec 15 '17 at 19:30
  • I hope so. And have you seen it yet? What a movie! – HardikT Dec 15 '17 at 19:31
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    Better than I expected, it turns out Star Wars movies can be made without destroying another death star. – Yu Zhang Dec 15 '17 at 19:33
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    Haha, true. And the ending! Much better then expected! – HardikT Dec 15 '17 at 19:36
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    In The Last Jedi, someone in the Resistance just describes the ability as "new tech". – BrettFromLA Dec 15 '17 at 20:34
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I don't think they actually explain the technology fully.

Rose refers to some concept called "Active Tracking", which Finn recognizes and immediately agrees that they're only being tracked by the lead ship. Clearly there's some existing technology that requires a single ship to be "the tracker". Perhaps it's an atmospheric technique (based on air movement) that has been adapted to work in space?

(Don't bother commenting about how there's no air in space, I get that. Maybe they discovered Star Trek's subspace and somehow that leaves a trail... or, maybe it's the force?)

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The 'Active Tracking' tech is discussed by Rose and Finn as the culprit, but it isn't really explained and seems to only serve as a mcguffin for their journey. Likely, this is the ace in the hole that General Hux was so smug about in his meeting with Snoke. It is worth noting that engine signature tracking is a common space sci-fi concept.

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