- "What our mothers and fathers fought for, we will not let die. Today we make our last stand. For the galaxy. For Leia. For everyone we've lost."
"They've taken enough of us. Now we take the war to them."
- ―Poe Dameron and Finn
The First Order/Resistance War was a pan-galactic war between the First Order and the Resistance that erupted following the First Order's destruction of the New Republic. While the First Order sought to conquer the entirety of the galaxy and restore the fallen Galactic Empire, the Resistance fought to restore the democracy brought about by the New Republic after their previous struggle against the Empire.
The war officially began in the year 34 ABY, three decades after the Battle of Endor, when the First Order fired its planet-sized superweapon on Starkiller Base on the Republic capital of Hosnian Prime, destroying the Hosnian system, and with it the New Republic Senate and Defense Fleet. Shortly afterwards, the Resistance launched an assault on the First Order stronghold, ending the Starkiller crisis with the destruction of the superweapon. Nonetheless, the New Republic collapsed, and the First Order moved in to seize military control over the galaxy, escalating a Cold War into full scale open warfare.
With the New Republic destroyed, the Resistance had to survive on its own. Forced to depart from D'Qar, the Resistance fled across space from the First Order, though both factions suffered from losses. During the pursuit, Supreme Leader Snoke, the leader of the First Order, was killed by his apprentice, Kylo Ren, who appointed himself the new Supreme Leader. Meanwhile, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker was convinced to return in the fight for galactic freedom. Skywalker sacrificed himself at the Battle of Crait to buy time for the Resistance to escape and live to fight another day, though much of its forces had been decimated by the First Order.
In the following year, Supreme Leader Ren discovered the reborn Darth Sidious, the former Emperor and last Sith Lord, on Exegol, along with a cult of Sith loyalists, the Sith Eternal. From their hidden world, the Sith Eternal had constructed a massive fleet of planet-destroying Star Destroyers, the Final Order, in order to bolster the forces of the First Order and transform it into a new Sith Empire. Ren ultimately abandoned the First Order, but Allegiant General Enric Pryde, a veteran of the Old Empire, joined forces with the Sith. At the Battle of Exegol, the Resistance was joined by a citizens' fleet, and together, they defeated the Sith fleet, while Rey, the last Jedi, defeated the Dark Lord with the strength of the past Jedi; a redeemed Ben Solo then gave his life to revive Rey. Their victory sparked an uprising against the First Order by the people of the galaxy.
- 1 Prelude
- 2 The war
- 2.1 A declaration of war
- 2.2 Battle of Vardos
- 2.3 Mission Aboard Retribution
- 2.4 Response to the Hosnian Cataclysm
- 2.5 Escape of the Colossus
- 2.6 Pursuit
- 2.7 The Resistance's stand at Crait
- 2.8 The wider war
- 2.9 Sidious' return
- 2.10 Stopping the Final Order
- 2.11 The spark is lit
- 3 Behind the scenes
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Sources
- 6 Notes and references
The Galactic Civil War
- "When we look back upon the war against the Empire—upon the billions of lives lost—sometimes it seems as though nothing could ever have been worth the terrible price we paid. But when we think of those people who perished in the conflict, let us remember that they died for justice. For liberty. For the extraordinary peace we now enjoy. This is what we fought for."
- ―Tai-Lin Garr
At the end of the Clone Wars in 19 BBY, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, who was secretly in fact the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, declared himself Emperor and reorganized the democratic Galactic Republic, which had governed the galaxy for over a millennium, into the first Galactic Empire, replacing the Galactic Senate with the Imperial Senate. The Emperor had his new Sith apprentice, the fallen Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker turned Sith Lord Darth Vader, oversee the deaths of the remaining Separatist leaders and the purging of the remaining Jedi that had survived Order 66 and the march on the Jedi Temple, leaving the Jedi Order destroyed.
Despite the promises of security and order that the Old Republic had failed to provide, the Empire eventually faced early rebellion that came to consolidate into the Alliance to Restore the Republic. The Rebel Alliance and the Empire soon came into conflict in the form of the Galactic Civil War, with the former securing a major victory at the Battle of Yavin where the Death Star was destroyed. Four years later, in 4 ABY, the Emperor used himself and the second Death Star as bait to lure out the Alliance Fleet and Luke Skywalker, a new age Jedi and son of Darth Vader whom the Emperor sought to replace. However, at the Battle of Endor, Vader turned on the Emperor and killed him, saving his son and redeeming himself, fulfilling the prophecy of the Chosen One and leaving the Sith extinct. Anakin died in his son's arms moments later, though Luke was able to escape as the second Death Star exploded.
The war between the New Republic and the Empire culminated at the Battle of Jakku one year later in 5 ABY. Though the Republic was victorious in battle, many select Imperial officers, nobles, and soldiers were able to retreat into the Unknown Regions as part of a secret Contingency plan devised by the late Emperor to rebuild the Empire, though the plot to destroy Jakku and thus cripple both the Old Empire and the New Republic had failed. Imperial remnants that continued to persist in the known galaxy agreed to the Imperial Instruments of Surrender and signed the Galactic Concordance with the New Republic.
The cold war
- "We're on the brink of war again—one we may not survive."
- ―Leia Organa
coIn the aftermath of the war, the New Republic made an earnest effort to rebuild what was lost over the course of the five-year conflict, also taking steps to ensure that nothing on that scale would ever happen again. The Galactic Senate passed the Military Disarmament Act, heavily demilitarizing the New Republic Defense Force and instead pressuring individual planets and star systems to rely on their local planetary defense forces. Despite the subsidized military, the New Republic was still faced with threats sizable in proportion.
Choosing to ignore the stipulations of the Galactic Concordance, some united remnants of the Empire refused to yield, culminating in a Cold War between the New Republic and the Empire remnant. Another Imperial remnant state was confined to predetermined borders in the Core and Inner Rim while on the former capital world of Coruscant, the central Imperial government was replaced by a provisional government led by Grand Vizier Mas Amedda that was monitored by Republic observers. The Empire was reduced to a mere rump state hemmed in by strict disarmament treaties and punishing reparations and was totally dissolved. By 28 ABY, Coruscant had become a full member of the Republic.
Over the years, Imperial factions and remnants inhabited a wing of Republic politics while, hidden in the Unknown Regions, other Imperial loyalists plotted their return to power, forming the First Order. The First Order colonized planets in the Unknown Regions and rapidly expanded its military power, rebuilding Imperial fleets and mobilizing stormtrooper forces within its armies, with the hopes of restoring Imperial glory. Tensions between Imperial sympathizers, many of whom were Centrists, and Republic loyalists, many of whom were Populists, eventually caused many former Imperials to secede from the Republic and join a growing First Order. While the notion was supported by many, others feared that, without Republic oversight, former Imperials would return to the draconian ways of the fallen Empire.
Senator Leia Organa, the sister of Luke Skywalker, petitioned the Galactic Senate and New Republic Command to take action, but found herself sidelined by the political realm of the New Republic, especially after the revelation that Darth Vader was her and Luke's father in a political scandal between the Centrists and the Populists. With the Republic seeking to avoid another galactic war at all costs and not viewing the First Order as a credible threat to galactic peace and freedom, Princess Leia stepped down from her political office in 28 ABY and formed the breakaway Resistance, where she held the rank of General. Though not officially supported by the Republic, the Resistance was tolerated, and secretly, some within the Galactic Senate assisted in funding the private military force.
During this time, the First Order enlisted Captain Kragan Gorr and his Warbird gang of pirates to raid the Colossus on the ocean planet of Castilon. Commander Pyre and Major Vonreg hoped Gorr's attacks would force the Colossus's captain, Imanuel Doza, to accept their aid. At first, Doza refused Vonreg's offer to protect the platform. However, after another raid and the kidnapping of Doza's daughter, Torra, Doza agreed to Pyre's offer. Unbeknownst to Doza and the First Order, Poe Dameron and General Organa had sent Kazuda Xiono to the platform to find out the First Order's plans.
After discovering the Corvus abandoned on Pillio, Iden Versio and Zay Versio began searching for Del Meeko. This led to them to Athulla where they went into combat with a Jinata Secuirty fleet led by Leema Kai. During the Battle, Leemai Kai was killed and the Jinata Security Fleet surrendered.
Xiono learned about the First Order's plans for the Colossus and Ren's attack on Tehar. He also discovered that the First Order was preparing for war with mining operations and other operations in the Dassal system.
The search for Skywalker
- "Lor San Tekka. An explorer. He's been all over the galaxy—there's not a sacred site or Jedi ruin he hasn't seen. He's supposed to be dead, but this holovid you intercepted shows him alive, and older than the last time I saw him. He could still be out there, and if he is, he's our best hope for finding Luke."
- ―Leia Organa
Shortly before the war between First Order and the Resistance formally began, Resistance pilot Poe Dameron was sent on a mission to find Lor San Tekka, ally of General Organa, in hopes that he could lead them to the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi. Skywalker had resided in self-exile since the destruction of his Jedi Order by Ben Solo, his nephew and the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo. Ben Solo became the First Order enforcer known as Kylo Ren, the master of the Knights of Ren, student to Supreme Leader Snoke. The search for San Tekka eventually led Dameron to Tuanul village on Jakku, where he found the old ally and retrieved a portion of a map that would lead the Resistance to Skywalker. However, before Dameron could escape, the First Order arrived also in search of San Tekka and the map. With no other choice, Dameron elected to leave the map inside his droid BB-8 and sent him away to safety. With the map now out of the village, Kylo Ren arrived on the scene, killing San Tekka and capturing Dameron, and the First Order Stormtroopers led by Captain Phasma executed all of the villagers. Dameron, after being tortured by Kylo Ren, gave up the location of the map, and the First Order began a hunt to find BB-8. During the attack on Tuanul a stormtrooper, FN-2187, became disillusioned and proceeded to help Dameron escape captivity aboard the Finalizer. Their escape led them back to Jakku, where BB-8 had already befriended the Force-sensitive scavenger Rey and would soon begin his journey back to the Resistance.
A declaration of war
- "Today is the end of the Republic. The end of a regime that acquiesces to disorder. At this very moment in a system far from here, the New Republic lies to the galaxy while secretly supporting the treachery of the loathsome Resistance. This fierce machine which you have built, upon which we stand, will bring an end to the Senate, to their cherished fleet. All remaining systems will bow to the First Order and will remember this as the last day of the Republic!"
- ―Armitage Hux
With conflict rising between the First Order and the Resistance, the government of the New Republic under Chancellor Lanever Villecham chose to focus more on trade relations with neutral regions of the galaxy such as the Trans-Hydian Borderlands, unaware of the actual danger that they were in. In 34 ABY, the war began with what became known as the Starkiller crisis; the First Order, long hidden away in the shadows of the Unknown Regions, used its superweapon built into Starkiller Base to target and destroy the Hosnian system, where the Republic capital of Hosnian Prime was located, resulting in the Hosnian Cataclysm. The Galactic Senate and home fleet of the Defense Fleet were completely obliterated, and the Republic subsequently collapsed with the loss of its leadership and the majority of its Defense Fleet.
Battle of Vardos
Meanwhile, on Vardos, Shriv and Iden confronted Gideon Hask, who had killed Protectorate Glib. The two were interrogated and were going to be executed, when fighting broke out between Jinata Security and the First Order. Soon most of the city was in combat with the First Order deploying armored and air units and Jinata Security doing likewise. Hask's Star destroyer, the Retribution, shot down the Corvus. Shriv and Iden were able to make it to one of the escape pods and found Zay in a sniper nest. They fought their way through the city and stole two fighters and made it way into the exhaust port by the engines. 
Mission Aboard Retribution
The trio fought their way to the engineering room, which contained the schematics for the Mandator IV-class Siege Dreadnought. Unable to escape off the ship while in hyperspace, the trio sabatoged the reactor to throw the ship out of Hyperspace. Iden had Dio reroute reinforcements to deal with less troopers. Just as Iden was arming the last explosive, Hask snuck up behind them and held Zay at gunpoint. However, Zay was able to break free and knock Hask down. Zay was thrown off the platform, but was caught by Iden at the last moment. Zay tossed the blaster to Iden who shot and killed Hask. However, Iden died from her wounds shortly after. Shriv and Zay detonated the explosives, ripping the ship out of hyperspace as Starkiller Base was destroyed. Shriv and Zay escaped on a TIE/sf fighter and contacted Leia Organa who sent them on a Mission to the Outer Rim.
Response to the Hosnian Cataclysm
- "General, the Republic command—the entire Hosnian system—it's all—gone."
- ―Taslin Brance, to Leia Organa
In the immediate aftermath of the attack on the Hosnian system and the collapse of the New Republic, a battle broke out between the First Order and the Resistance at pirate queen Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana. The First Order attacked the castle to capture BB-8 while the Resistance sought to retrieve him. The short battle resulted in a Resistance victory with BB-8 being reclaimed, but Rey, who, with the help of ex-stormtrooper Finn, had saved BB-8 on Jakku, was captured by Kylo Ren and Kanata's castle was destroyed. Once back at the Resistance base on D'Qar, the Resistance formulated a plan to attack the First Order's Starkiller Base before it could be used again. They launched a successful assault on Starkiller Base, destroying the planetary superweapon and dealing a significant blow to the new war machine engineered by the First Order.
Open warfare had begun. But there was hope for the Resistance: using archival data inside the droid R2-D2 and the portion of the map the droid BB-8 had, they were able to complete the map to Skywalker. With this information, General Organa sent Rey to Ahch-To to find Luke.
Despite the devastating loss of Starkiller Base, the First Order stood ready to begin its campaign of conquest of the known galaxy from the Unknown Regions as the peaceful Republic had been decapitated, its political and military leadership wiped out. Rey told Luke after finding the Jedi that all the major systems would fall within weeks to the First Order. Eventually, the First Order achieved enough victories that Supreme Leader Snoke, long hidden away aboard his flagship, the Supremacy, in the Unknown Regions, decided to risk coming out of the shadows to personally lead the First Order to potential dominance over the Resistance.
Escape of the Colossus
Following Hosnian Prime's destruction, Resistance agent, Kazuda Xiono, former Rebel pilot Jarek Yeager's and his Team Fireball were able to end the First Order's occupation of the Colossus on Castilon. With the help of Ace Squadron, the Colossus was able to escape from Commander Pyre's Star Destroyer.
Trapping the Resistance
- "I have my orders from Supreme Leader Snoke himself. This is where we snuff out the Resistance once and for all."
- ―Armitage Hux
As Supreme Leader Snoke deployed his legions to seize military control of the galaxy, General Armitage Hux led a fleet of the First Order Navy to D'Qar, where the Resistance was evacuating its base. General Hux's fleet intercepted the fleeing Resistance fleet above the planet. His Star Destroyers and TIE fighters were accompanied by a Siege Dreadnought commanded by Captain Moden Canady, a veteran of the Galactic Empire. The Siege Dreadnought used its two orbital autocannons to obliterate the Resistance base on the planet surface, though all of its personnel had evacuated. Meanwhile, Wing Commander Poe Dameron flew his Black One X-wing fighter to the First Order Dreadnought with his upgraded engine, kicking it into high speed. He took out the dreadnought's defensive turbolaser emplacements, all the while evading TIE fighters, while his astromech droid BB-8 repaired his starfighter. With the Resistance forces now joined with their fleet, General Leia Organa ordered Dameron to disengage, but he disobeyed, seeing an opportunity to take out a First Order Dreadnought. Dameron's actions created an opening for MG-100 StarFortress SF-17 bombers to unleash payloads on the First Order Dreadnought, accompanied by Blue Leader Tallissan Lintra and her escort starfighters. However, all of the Resistance bombers were destroyed, save for one where Paige Tico served as gunner. With the rest of the crew dead and with herself injured, Paige unleashed the payload on the First Order Dreadnought, creating a chain reaction of explosions that ultimately consumed her and her ship. Nonetheless, her sacrifice allowed the Resistance pilots to return to their fleet and jump into hyperspace. However, because of his rash and dangerous actions, and because that stunt killed many much needed Resistance pilots, Organa demoted Dameron to Captain.
Following the evacuation, the Colossus arrived and found debris left from both the Resistance and First Order forces during the battle. The Resistance operatives and the Warbird gang found the Fulminatrix's coaxium and escaped before Commander Pyre's Star Destroyer arrived.
Attacking the fleet
- "They've tracked us through light speed."
"Yes, and they've done it."
- ―Leia Organa and Finn
General Hux was reprimanded by Supreme Leader Snoke for his repeated failure, after he made contact with Snoke aboard the Supremacy, the flagship of the shadowy Supreme Leader. Hux revealed his plan to track the Resistance fleet through hyperspace using new technology, which was done through the Supremacy. When the Resistance fleet exited hyperspace in the Oetchi system, Hux's fleet arrived, reinforced by the Supremacy itself, which opened a barrage of fire on the Resistance cruisers. The attack on the Resistance fleet by the First Order ultimately cornered the fleeing Resistance, as it was unable to jump into hyperspace again without burning all of the fleet's remaining fuel, which would be meaningless since the First Order would track them anyway, wherever they would go. Kylo Ren and three wingmen engaged in strafing runs on the Resistance flagship Raddus, destroying its hangar and burning away most of the Resistance Starfighter Corps. However, Ren was unable to destroy the bridge of the Raddus, as his mother was still on board. His wingmen took shots instead, destroying the bridge and crippling the Resistance command, among them Admiral Gial Ackbar. General Organa was able to use the Force to survive, but was in critical condition when the Resistance recovered her. The chain of command passed down to Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, an old friend and student of Organa. Dameron came into conflict with the Vice Admiral; as the new leader of the Resistance, Holdo was disinclined to reveal her strategy to the demoted pilot.
Mission to Canto Bight
- "So, the First Order is only tracking us from one Destroyer, the lead one. […] But if we sneak on board the lead Destroyer, without them realizing, then we can..."
"They won't realize it's off for one system cycle. About six minutes."
"Sneak on board. Disable the tracker. Our fleet escapes before they realize."
- ―Finn and Rose Tico, to Poe Dameron
While attempting to desert the Raddus, stormtrooper defector Finn, who, along with Poe Dameron, Rey, Han Solo, and Chewbacca, had been instrumental in destroying Starkiller Base, was caught by mechanic Rose Tico. Rose initially intended to hand him over to custody for attempting desertion, but when Finn revealed to her that they were being tracked through hyperspace, a new and foreign technology, she devised a plan to destroy its source. Finn and Rose proposed this to Poe, who informally approved of it. They reached out to Maz Kanata, who directed them to find a Master Codebreaker on the casino city Canto Bight on Cantonica. Finn, Rose, and BB-8 thus undertook a secret mission to Canto Bight, but were arrested by local police officers for illegal parking on a public beach. In their cell, they met the mysterious slicer DJ, who opened the cell's doors through his own skill in code breaking. They evaded Canto Bight police as they rode fathiers through the city. When they found themselves trapped on a cliff, DJ and BB-8 arrived in a stolen ship, whose arms dealer had sold both to the First Order and the Resistance, as did most of the greedy, ultra-rich residents of and travelers to Canto Bight.
Seeking to buy time for Finn and Rose's mission, Poe went on to attempt a mutiny against Holdo when he discovered that she aimed to abandon the Raddus, relieving her of her command and seizing the bridge. However, he was ultimately stunned by a reawakened Leia. He and the rest of the mutineers, including Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix, were arrested and loaded onto the U-55 orbital loadlifter transports. Admiral Holdo decided to remain behind in order to pilot the Raddus.
Fighting on the Supremacy
- "It's time to let old things die. Snoke, Skywalker. The Sith, the Jedi, the rebels. Let it all die. Rey. I want you to join me. We can rule together and bring a new order to the galaxy."
- ―Kylo Ren, to Rey
Finn, Tico, DJ, and BB-8 jumped to hyperspace and arrived in the Crait system, where DJ snuck them aboard the Supremacy, disguised in First Order officer uniforms. BB-8, who was covered by a box, was identified by the First Order droid BB-9E, who proceeded to alert the First Order of their presence. DJ managed to slice into the room where the hyperspace tracker was stored, but the three were caught by First Order Security Bureau officer Ansiv Garmuth and a group of stormtroopers. The stormtroopers took Finn and Tico before General Hux and Phasma, who previously had been humiliated and left to die on Starkiller Base by Finn. With Hux's authorization, Phasma gave full payment to DJ, who revealed that he had betrayed the Resistance by revealing that their transport ships were discreetly fleeing to the mineral salt world of Crait. General Hux ordered for the Supremacy to open fire on the Resistance transports, while Captain Phasma brought forward two stormtrooper executioners to execute Finn and Tico by beheading for treason.
Meanwhile, Rey, who had been training with Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi and twin brother of General Leia Organa, arrived aboard the Supremacy, where she was greeted by Kylo Ren, whom she had been sharing a bond in the Force with. Kylo had two stormtroopers place Rey in handcuffs, and then brought her before his dark side master, Supreme Leader Snoke, who was seated upon his throne and flanked by his eight Elite Praetorian Guard in his throne room. Snoke revealed that he bridged Rey and Kylo's minds in order to draw her out, and proceeded to mentally torture her for the location of Luke Skywalker. Once he found Luke's location and revealed his intention to obliterate the entire Temple Island, Rey reacted by attempting to grab her lightsaber, though Snoke held on to it. He showed her to an oculus viewing scope, where she was made to watch as the Supremacy destroyed the Resistance transports one by one. She used the Force to grab Kylo Ren's lightsaber and charged Snoke, but he threw her once more across the room to Kylo and sentenced her to death at Kylo's hand for having the spirit of a true Jedi. As Kylo reached for his lightsaber and picked it up, Snoke taunted Rey for believing she could turn his apprentice. The overconfident Snoke watched Kylo's mind as he readied the lightsaber to strike down his true enemy, unaware that he himself was, in fact, Kylo's true enemy. Kylo used the Force to subtly turn Skywalker's lightsaber and sliced through Snoke, cutting the Supreme Leader in half and releasing Rey from his grip.
Rey stood, taking Skywalker's lightsaber while Kylo activated his as they were surrounded by the eight Elite Praetorian Guard, ready to avenge the Supreme Leader. The two warriors engaged in a brutal melee with Snoke's guards, and ultimately overcame them, working together to kill them one by one until the last fell when Rey threw Skywalker's lightsaber to Kylo, allowing him to stab the guardsman through his eye. Rey, still calling him Ben, urged Kylo to order the First Order to stop firing on the Resistance fleet, but Kylo instead had his eyes on Snoke's corpse. He turned to Rey and urged her to let go of the past: Snoke, Skywalker, the Sith, the Jedi, the rebels, all of it. He sought to build a new order for the galaxy with Rey by his side, but a teary eyed Rey instead reached for Skywalker's lightsaber. The two used the Force to fight for it, ultimately causing it to snap in half and explode, the resulting shockwave pushing them back.
With the Supremacy opening fire on the transports, Admiral Holdo, still on board the Raddus, acted quickly. Taking control of the heavy cruiser, she re-positioned the starship towards the Supremacy and its escort Star Destroyers and jumped into hyperspace, slicing through the Mega-Destroyer in half and at least twenty Resurgent Star Destroyers, sacrificing herself. The distraction and resulting chaos saved Finn and Tico from execution and allowed Rey to escape aboard Snoke's escape craft and rendezvous with Chewbacca, R2-D2, and the Millennium Falcon. BB-8 hijacked a First Order AT-ST walker and began open firing on stormtroopers while Finn engaged in a melee with Captain Phasma. Though Phasma knocked him down, Finn gained the upper hand when he landed on an elevating platform, knocking back the surprised Phasma as she was taking shots at Tico. Phasma cursed Finn one last time as the floor around her collapsed, and she fell into the remains of the ship to her fiery death. Finn and Tico escaped on BB-8's hijacked AT-ST and reached a transport shuttle, taking flight to Crait.
When Hux entered the Supreme Leader's throne room, he found the corpses of Snoke and his Elite Praetorian Guard, as well as Ren lying on the ground, unconscious. Hux reached for his blaster pistol to kill his rival, but Ren regained consciousness before Hux could do so. Ren told Hux that it was Rey who had killed Snoke, and ordered him to ready their forces, which were relatively unscathed, to march on Crait. An angered Hux questioned Ren's authority to command him and was still reeling from shock that their Supreme Leader was dead, but Ren Force choked the general into obedience, allowing Ren to usurp the title of Supreme Leader for himself.
The Resistance's stand at Crait
- "The Rebellion is reborn today. The war is just beginning. And I will not be the last Jedi."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Resistance forces regrouped in an abandoned base from the days of the Rebellion on the salt mineral world of Crait, protected by several outposts and a massive door, and dug in trenches where Resistance troopers held their ground. Supreme Leader Kylo Ren took personal command of the Battle of Crait himself from his command shuttle alongside General Hux. The First Order deployed TIE fighters, AT-M6 walkers, and AT-AT walkers to escort their superlaser siege cannon, hauled across the salty dunes by All Terrain Heavy Haulers. In response, Resistance troopers opened fire while surviving Resistance pilots and other fighters piloted rebel V-4X-D ski speeders salvaged from the abandoned base, among them Poe, Finn, and Rose. TIE fighters were able to take out several ski speeders but were drawn away when the Millennium Falcon arrived, piloted by Chewbacca and gunned by Rey. Nevertheless, the ski speeders were unable to reach the superlaser siege cannon on time and were ordered by Poe to fall back. Finn attempted to fly straight into the siege cannon before it could fire to stop it, but Rose stopped him from sacrificing himself by crashing into him, later justifying that they would win the war not by fighting the things they hate, but by saving the things that they love. Finn soon returned to the base dragging along an unconscious Rose.
The surviving Resistance troops fell back to the base, which had a new opening as the superlaser siege cannon fired on it. With their allies in the Outer Rim not responding, the few remaining Resistance forces were demoralized, among them General Leia Organa, who declared that the galaxy had lost all hope. However, in that moment, the long lost Jedi Master, Luke Skywalker, twin brother of General Organa, suddenly arrived. Skywalker reunited with Organa and told her that he came to face her son, Kylo Ren. Organa confessed she knew her son was gone, though Skywalker replied that none were truly ever gone before handing her husband's dice.
Skywalker walked out alone onto the battlefield to face the First Order. Ren ordered all available guns to open fire on Skywalker. He allowed his emotions to overcome him as the First Order walkers fired on the Jedi, demanding for heavier firepower, though General Hux eventually called it off. They were stunned, however, to find Skywalker had survived without a scratch. Ren went down to face his uncle alone, ordering his forces to stay behind, buying time for the few surviving Resistance fighters to escape. Led by Poe, they followed native vulptices to the back of the base where they were fleeing, but they found themselves trapped from the outside by a mountain of rocks.
Meanwhile, Ren and Skywalker ignited their lightsabers. Ren took the first strike at Skywalker but missed. He attempted to strike Skywalker a second time, but he was able to dodge his plasma blade and evade Ren. Skywalker apologized to his nephew for failing him, but Ren didn't accept it, telling Skywalker that the Resistance was dead and the war had ended, and that when he will slay his uncle, he will slay the last Jedi. Skywalker responded, however, that the rebellion was reborn, the war was just beginning, and that he would not be the last Jedi. Meanwhile, Chewbacca landed near the rubble of rocks, and Rey used the Force to lift them away, allowing the Resistance to flee and escape onto the Millennium Falcon. When Skywalker reminded Ren of his father, Ren launched himself towards his uncle again, this time not missing, yet inexplicably Skywalker had lived. Ren walked up to his uncle and stuck his lightsaber through his chest, revealing that Skywalker was in fact using the Force to project himself. Skywalker told his nephew he would see him again before disappearing.
Kylo Ren, General Hux, and their snowtroopers marched onto the base only to find it abandoned once more. The few remaining survivors of the Resistance had escaped aboard the Millennium Falcon, saved by the Jedi. Finn comforted an unconscious Rose while Leia and Rey, the latter holding the broken Skywalker lightsaber, discussed feeling Luke Skywalker passing away, having become one with the Force after his projection. Rey worried that they would not be able to rebuild the Resistance with so few left, however Leia told her that they had everything that they needed in order to do so.
The wider war
- "The New Republic's home fleet is destroyed, and its surviving senators have dissolved the remaining task forces to protect their homeworlds. Their division makes them defenseless. No power in the galaxy can stand against us, Supreme Leader."
- ―Armitage Hux, to Snoke
As the First Order army advanced, the New Republic's surviving senators dissolved the remaining task forces in a effort to protect their own homeworlds, making what was left of the Republic defenseless against the First Order. The galaxy itself as a whole stood divided. Some planetary leaders, such as King Siroc, acknowledged the overwhelming might of the regime and refused to stand up. On other planets, such as Ikkrukk, sympathizers and resisters fought amongst themselves.
- "I will not suffer the existence of any Resistance cell. No matter how small."
- ―Kylo Ren
Despite their stunning escape from Crait, the Resistance was still reduced to a handful of personnel and equipment. With the Millennium Falcon running low on fuel, Organa decided to land and refuel at Ryloth, one of the few places she felt was safe from the First Order and where she hoped to recruit some allies. The Falcon arrived at Ryloth, where they were quickly intercepted and guided to a secret location by an unknown militia. The militia revealed itself to be the Ryloth Defense Authority, an autonomous army operating with full permission from the Ryloth government. From there Organa met with the leader of the Authority, Yendor, who explained that after Ryloth's history of subjugation the Authority was formed in response.
Yendor told Organa that the First Order had been placing pressure on Ryloth and their trade, and, while it was unlikely that the capitol would betray them, the Resistance's time on Ryloth was limited to a few days. Organa then ordered the Resistance members spread out across the galaxy to convene on Ryloth, and to bring with them any allies and resources they were able to acquire. Jessika Pava and Suralinda Javos were able to bring Teza Nasz, a former Imperial turned warlord, while Temmin Wexley and Karé Kun brought with them a handful of pilots led by Wedge Antilles and Norra Wexley. Finally, Inferno Squad arrived with Carlist Rieekan and a handful of ex-Imperials. Dameron, while unable to recruit either Maz Kanata or Grist, informed Organa that the First Order was rounding up Resistance sympathizers and that they had a list of more sympathizers.
While Organa wanted to pursue the list, she also knew that without more ships the Resistance would not be able to continue its war effort. That was when Kanata contacted the Resistance, informing them that an organization known as the Collective was selling the Resistance list to the highest bidder on Corellia. Dameron decided to split their resources between the two objectives, with Inferno Squad going to Bracca in order to acquire ships while he and Wedge led a team to Corellia for the list and more ships.
The mission to Bracca was ultimately successful, with the Resistance suffering minimal casualties and stealing a handful of X-wing starfighter models. The mission to Corellia got more complicated when the First Order raided the auction that the list was being sold at, though Finn and Dameron were able to save their Collective contact and the list she had. At the Corellian shipyard, Antilles and Wexley managed to rescue several political prisoners and steal a CR90 corvette. The two teams met and fled Corellia, buying the list from the Collective.
Meanwhile, on Ryloth, the Resistance was attacked by the First Order after the capitol caved in and gave up their location. The Resistance, along with Yendor and the Authority, fled the planet and rendezvoused with the Corellian and Bracca teams at a Collective safe house. With the list in their hands and more ships at their disposal, Organa sent the Resistance back out into the galaxy in order to find, protect and recruit the people on the list, ensuring that the Resistance had a future to rebuild.
Pursuing the Resistance
In the time following Crait, the First Order began attacking planets that had even the remotest of contact with the Resistance. Destroying the neutral planet of Tah'Nuhna for hosting the Resistance briefly and taking over the Fondor Shipyards for communicating with the Resistance, despite the latter rejecting the fledgling rebellion. Unable to stand the tragedy the First Order was causing across the galaxy, Organa decided to plead the Resistance's cause to Mon Cala. With Rey, Rose and C-3PO went to Mon Cala, where they were hostility greeted. They were unable to convince King Ech-Char and Nossor Ri of their cause, but after being attacked by Quarren extremists and being informed that the First Order was coming the King and Nossor reluctantly joined the Resistance. With Nossor Ri sacrificing himself, the Resistance fled with a small fleet of ships and Aftab Ackbar. The First Order descended upon Mon Cala for their support of the Resistance, with Hux ominously stating that they would show the galaxy what happens to those who supported the Resistance.
At the same time. the First Order was offering bounties in the millions for known Resistance heroes like Finn and Poe. On their mission to acquire weapons for the Resistance they ran into the Kendoh Gang. The Kendoh Gang, however, were unable to capture Finn and Dameron, who escaped with the weapons.
With the Resistance in a better place post-Crait, they started taking larger strides in their fight against the First Order. Like their mission to Tevel where they liberated the Bacta production plant from First Order occupation. Or their mission to Minfar where they prevented the First Order from acquiring the superweapon known as the Echo Horn.
As the months progressed, the Resistance traveled to the planet Garel, in the Lothal sector. There, R2-D2, BB-8, and others succeeded at pushing the First Order back on the planet. At another point, Dameron, Finn, and the reformed thief Gannis Ducain traveled to Horizon Base in an effort to recruit a group of Oruan warriors to their cause. Although their leader, Mezlo, refused to support them at that time, he assisted them in fending off First Order forces on the base and promised that his people would aid the Resistance when the time was right.
At the galaxy's edge
Resistance spy Vi Moradi was tasked by Leia to build a Resistance base that was well hidden from the First Order, Vi chose the planet Batuu as it was out of the way and isolated from the rest of the galaxy. Vi, accompanied by former First Order captain Archex, after some bumps acquired some land and equipment to build the base. However, things were complicated by the arrival of Lieutenant Kath and his First Order squad. Vi was able to turn the tables on the First Order, with Archex sacrificing himself to kill Kath, tricking them into thinking that she died and that the Resistance had no interest in Batuu. With the First Order gone, the Resistance base flourished for four months. With recruitment and training being highly successful, Vi considered expanding the base to include landing pads for Resistance ships in need of fuel. Before she could go through with those plans, Vi was informed by Green Leader that the First Order was returning to Batuu with the 709th Legion and Supreme Leader Kylo Ren.
- "At last the work of generations is complete. The great error is corrected. The day of victory is at hand. The day of revenge. The day of the Sith."
- ―Darth Sidious' message
Discovering the Final Order
- "We've decoded the intel from the First Order spy and it confirms the worst. Somehow Palpatine returned. […] He's been planning his revenge. His followers have been building something for years. The largest fleet the galaxy has ever known. He calls it the Final Order. In sixteen hours, attacks on all free worlds begin. The Emperor and his fleet have been hiding in the Unknown Regions on a world called Exegol."
- ―Poe Dameron
Sometime in 35 ABY, a broadcast was put out to the galaxy using the voice of the thought-to-be dead Emperor Sheev Palpatine, the public identity of Darth Sidious, which promised revenge. Supreme Leader Kylo Ren undertook a mission to Mustafar, where he obtained a Sith wayfinder device that led him to the hidden world of the Sith, Exegol, in the Unknown Regions. There, he found Darth Sidious, who had somehow returned from his apparent death, and discovered that he had amassed followers who had spent years building a massive fleet of Xyston-class Star Destroyers, the Final Order. Sidious planned to unleash his forces on the free worlds of the galaxy and create a new Sith Empire. He then offered Kylo Ren the fleet if he killed Rey, the last Jedi.
Resistance agents Poe Dameron, Finn, and Chewbacca obtained intelligence from Boolio, an Ovissian middleman for a mole in the First Order, at their mission to the Sinta Glacier Colony. They escaped the First Order and returned to their new base on Ajan Kloss, where they decoded the intel and learned that Sidious had returned with a massive fleet and was planning to attack the free worlds from a planet called Exegol. Rey recognized the name from the journals of her late master, Luke Skywalker, who was searching for the world. Leia sent her, Finn, Poe, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and BB-8 on a mission to Pasaana, where she believed that an old ally was located who could point them on a path.
The First Order killed Boolio, and Kylo Ren presented his head before the Supreme Council on his new Star Destroyer flagship, the Steadfast. One officer expressed his distrust of the Sith Eternal, but Allegiant General Enric Pryde believed allying with the Sith fleet would be beneficial as it would increase their forces ten thousandfold in preparation towards their ultimate push for galactic conquest. Kylo Ren silenced the dissenting officer and ordered his councilors to subjugate any worlds that defied them before announcing that he was going hunting for Rey with the Knights of Ren.
Hunting the scavenger
- "This fleet, what is it, a gift? What is [Palpatine] asking for in return?"
"Prepare to crush any worlds that defy us. My Knights and I are going hunting for the scavenger."
- ―Domaric Quinn and Kylo Ren, before the Supreme Council
The Resistance team arrived on Pasaana amidst the Festival of the Ancestors that occurred once every 42 years, and were found by General Lando Calrissian. He explained that he and Skywalker were tracking down a Jedi hunter named Ochi, and he abandoned his ship in the desert. The team left Calrissian, who said his days of fighting were over, and sped into the desert on commandeered speeders, but Kylo Ren tracked Rey there after opening their Force-bond. The team were pursued by First Order jet troopers, who destroyed their speeders over a sinkhole near Ochi's ship, the Bestoon Legacy, causing the team to sink beneath the sand. There, Rey used the Force to heal an injured worm and found Ochi's remains with a dagger. With the Millennium Falcon confiscated by the First Order, they instead took the Bestoon Legacy, but Chewbacca was captured by the Knights of Ren. Rey confronted Ren in the desert; the two fought over a First Order transport with the Force, and Rey accidentally destroyed it with Force lightning. She escaped with Finn, Poe, C-3PO, and BB-8, who believed Chewbacca was dead, but he was actually on another transport. While on Ochi's ship, BB-8 recharged the droid D-O, which Ochi had mistreated.
C-3PO's programming forbid him from translating the Sith inscription on Ochi's dagger, which revealed the location of another Sith wayfinder device leading to Exegol, so the team traveled to Kijimi, where Poe knew a droidsmith. They were caught by Zorii Bliss and the Spice Runners of Kijimi, which Poe used to be a member of, but Bliss agreed to help them after a brief scuffle with Rey. The droidsmith Babu Frik bypassed C-3PO's forbidden databank, and they learned that the Emperor possessed a wayfinder device in his throne room on the second Death Star in the Endor system. Meanwhile, the Knights of Ren tracked down the Resistance to Kijimi, and Kylo Ren with his Star Destroyer and launched a massive manhunt for the Resistance in the city. Rey sensed Chewbacca through the Force on the Steadfast, so the team decided to mount a rescue.
Using a captain's medallion provided by Bliss, Poe, Rey, and Finn infiltrated the Steadfast. Poe and Finn rescued Chewbacca while Rey recovered Ochi's dagger and Chewbacca's belongings in Ren's quarters, during which time Ren initiated their bond. The two briefly dueled, during which time Ren told Rey that Darth Sidious had her parents killed by Ochi. Poe, Finn, and Chewbacca were captured by stormtroopers and brought before General Armitage Hux to be executed, but Hux saved their lives, revealing himself to be the spy. Hux brought them to the Millennium Falcon while Ren confronted Rey in another hangar, where he further revealed to her that she was Sidious' granddaughter through his son. He also revealed that together they were a Force dyad, two that are one in the Force, and offered his hand again as he wanted her to join him to overthrow Sidious and take the Throne of the Sith together. Rey hesitated but then escaped aboard the Falcon with Poe, Finn, Chewbacca, and the droids. Hux attempted to fabricate a story to Pryde, but the Allegiant General saw through the young general's lies and summarily executed him for treason. Sidious communed with Supreme Leader Ren over the Force, threatening to turn his fleet against the First Order if Ren betrayed him, but Ren responded that he knew where Rey was going.
Finding the Emperor's wayfinder
- "The only way you're getting to Exegol is with me."
- ―Kylo Ren, to Rey
Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, Chewbacca, and the droids C-3PO, BB-8, and D-O crash landed on Kef Bir, the ocean moon of Endor. Upon finding the ruins of the Death Star in the moon's seas and using Ochi's dagger to pinpoint the precise location of the Emperor's Sith wayfinder, the Resistance members were surrounded by Jannah and her tribe of Orbak riders, but after learning they were with the Resistance, Jannah agreed to aid them in their mission. She warned that they would need to wait until the next day for the tides to calm, and the team went to repair the Falcon, during which time Finn learned that Jannah and her tribe were actually a company of First Order stormtroopers who refused to fire on civilians and promptly deserted like he did.
Rey impatiently took a skiff and piloted to the Death Star ruins anyway. In a side room located within the Emperor's throne room, Rey found the Sith wayfinder, but also confronted a vision of her dark side self. In the throne room, Kylo Ren awaited her; as she stumbled back into the throne room, Ren took the wayfinder and destroyed it, leaving Rey with no other option to Exegol but Ren. Enraged, Rey fought Ren in a duel among the Death Star ruins; Finn and Jannah tried to intervene, but Rey pushed them away. Ren nearly bested Rey until he felt his mother, Leia Organa, reach out to him as she passed away. Rey stabbed the distraught Ren with his lightsaber before sensing her mentor's death. Regretting her actions, she healed Ren with the Force, telling him that she wanted to take the hand of Ben Solo, not Kylo Ren, before leaving in his TIE whisper with his Sith wayfinder.
Finn, Dameron, Chewbacca, the droids, and Jannah and her tribe returned to the Resistance base on Ajan Kloss, where they learned of Organa's passing away and that Poe was named acting general in her stead. During this time, Darth Sidious contacted Allegiant General Pryde, who, as a veteran of the Old Empire, joined forces with the former Emperor to collect the Sith fleet. Sidious sent one of his Star Destroyers, the Derriphan, to General Pryde and ordered him to have a planet with Resistance ties destroyed as a warning and example; Pryde had Kijimi destroyed with the Sith Star Destroyer, revealing to the galaxy that the Star Destroyers of the Sith fleet were capable of destroying planets like the old Death Stars and Starkiller Base.
General Lando Calrissian traveled to the Resistance base and consoled Dameron, telling the young general that he, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Leia Organa had been able to defeat the Empire years earlier because they had each other. Dameron named Finn general with him, and through D-O, the Resistance gathered enough intel on Exegol to develop a plan of attack while Calrissian and Chewbacca were sent to the Core Worlds on the Falcon to call out for allies. Rey took a brief detour to the first Jedi Temple on Ahch-To, but was encouraged by the spirit of her old master, Luke Skywalker, to confront her fear, that being not her grandfather, but also herself and her potential for the dark side. After Skywalker lifted his T-65B X-wing, Red Five, from beneath Ahch-To's seas, Rey departed in it; she plotted her course to Exegol and transmitted it to the Resistance, allowing them to navigate through hyperspace in the Unknown Regions towards Exegol.
Still on the Death Star ruins, Kylo Ren experienced a vision of the memory of his father, Han Solo. Ren was encouraged by the memory to cut ties with the dark side and return to the light. After witnessing Rey's kindness and confession, and receiving the love of his mother and father, an emotional Ren threw his lightsaber far towards the sea, renouncing the dark side and becoming Ben Solo once more.
Stopping the Final Order
- "She will take her revenge, and with a stroke of her saber, the Sith will be reborn! The Jedi are dead!"
- ―Darth Sidious, to Rey and the Sith Eternal cultists
Rey landed on Exegol and ventured to the Sith Citadel, where the Throne of the Sith was located before a massive amphitheater filled with the Emperor's followers: the cultists of the Sith Eternal. Darth Sidious explained to his granddaughter that all the Sith spirits lived in him, and demanded that she sacrifice him so that the spirits, his among them, could transfer into her, making her a Sith and fully restoring the Sith Order. Meanwhile, the Resistance arrived, beginning the battle of Exegol. The Resistance air team targeted a navigation tower containing a signal that the Sith fleet needed to deploy from Exegol, but Allegiant General Pryde had the source of the navigation signal switched to his ship to guide the Sith fleet out themselves. Finn realized that the communications signal was transferred to the Steadfast; Dameron and the air team covered the ground team as they made landing on the Resurgent Star Destroyer to knock out the tower.
Opening the amphitheater, Sidious showed Rey the unfolding battle above, and told her that the only way she could save her friends was by killing him, taking the Sith throne, reigning over the new Sith Empire, and taking command of the Sith fleet. Rey drew Skywalker's lightsaber and prepared to strike at her grandfather, but through their bond, she instead slipped it to Ben Solo, who had arrived on Exegol using a TIE scout from the Death Star. Solo used his family lightsaber to defeat the Knights of Ren while Rey used Leia Organa's lightsaber to defeat Sith guards closing around her. Solo and Rey soon united, raising their lightsabers as they confronted the Sith Lord. Angry, Sidious grabbed the two using the Force and inadvertently drew some of their life energy; realizing that they were a dyad in the Force, a fact that Solo had realized but hid from the Emperor, Sidious proceeded to siphon more of the life energy of the dyad, healing and rejuvenating himself while weakening them. The Dark Lord was fully healed as his followers chanted on in support, and he took his revenge on the Skywalkers by tossing Solo down a nearby ravine.
The ground team boarded the hull of the Steadfast with the Orbak Tribe covering the Resistance troopers as they exchanged fire with Sith troopers and Sith jet troopers sent from the Star Destroyers of the Sith fleet. Finn and Jannah shut down the beacon by tossing thermal detonators down a reinforced hatch, but the setback was only temporary as Pryde's crew reset the antennae. Realizing that they had to destroy the entire command ship, Finn and Jannah stayed on board the vessel's hull while Rose Tico, Beaumont Kin, Kaydel Ko Connix, and the rest of the ground team retreated. Meanwhile, the Resistance's air team was being cut down by TIE/dg starfighters, with Temmin Wexley being among those shot down. Gravely outnumbered, Dameron apologized for leading the Resistance to what seemed to be their doom, but General Calrissian spoke over the comms and informed them that they outnumbered the Sith Eternal forces: his and Chewbacca's mission to the Core systems was successful, and the combined forces of the citizens' fleet moved in to reinforce the Resistance.
- "You are nothing! A scavenger girl who is no match for the power in me. I am all the Sith!"
" And I… am all the Jedi."
- ―Darth Sidious and Rey
Darth Sidious sat on the throne, from where he unleashed Force lightning into Exegol's atmosphere, electrifying the Resistance forces and the fleet and causing their systems to fry and ships to free fall. Rey, however, reached out to the voices of the past Jedi, who strengthened her. Rising, Rey grabbed Leia's lightsaber in defiance of the Dark Lord. Sidious targeted his granddaughter with his Force lightning; Rey defended herself with her master's lightsaber as the Sith Lord mocked her, telling her that her power was no match for the power of the Sith that all lived in him. Rey responded by telling him that the Jedi all lived in her, and she used the Force to grab Luke Skywalker's lightsaber and ignited it, causing the Emperor's lightning to deflect back and disintegrate him. Darth Sidious was killed, preventing the rebirth of the Sith and sending out an explosion that caused the Sith Citadel to crumble.
With the Emperor's lightning attacks ended thanks to Rey, the Resistance and the fleet pursued their attack, targeting the planet-destroying ventral cannons equipped on each of the Sith Star Destroyers. Meanwhile, Finn and Jannah took control over the turbolaser cannons on the command ship and fired them at the bridge of the Steadfast, killing Pryde and destroying the tower. The Steadfast began to explode and descended towards the ground of Exegol with Finn and Jannah still on board, but they were rescued by Calrissian and Chewbacca onboard the Falcon.
The shockwave resulting from Sidious' destruction caused Rey to collapse to the ground, dead, her death being felt by Finn. However, Solo climbed out of the abyss and found Rey's lifeless body. Cradling her corpse, Solo decided to sacrifice himself to revive her by pouring his life force into her. Rey was resurrected and the two kissed, but as a consequence of the effort, Solo vanished in her arms. With the Sith fleet unable to leave Exegol, the Resistance and the fleet fled. Finn identified Red Five in the air and realized that Rey was alive. The Falcon regrouped with the rest of the fleet as they jumped ship from Exegol, having won the battle.
The spark is lit
- "People are rising up all over the galaxy. Poe, we did it."
"We did it."
- ―Finn and Poe Dameron
The Resistance and citizens' fleet returned to the Resistance base on Ajan Kloss, where they celebrated their triumph. During their retreat from Exegol, the Resistance learned that across the galaxy, uprisings were erupting against the First Order, which had begun to collapse without their Sith allies to reinforce them; among these worlds were Bespin, Corellia, Coruscant, Endor, Jakku, Lothal, Naboo, and Thyferra. In doing so, the Resistance achieved their ultimate goal of being the spark to light the fire to burn the First Order down.
Behind the scenes
The First Order/Resistance War is the main conflict of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. It first appeared in the 2015 film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, and was first identified as such in the 2021 reference book Star Wars: Battles that Changed the Galaxy, by Jason Fry, Cole Horton, Chris Kempshall, and Amy Ratcliffe.
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