- "The First Order is not the Empire. We are purer. We have been through the crucible and emerged stronger."
The First Order (–35 ABY), also known simply as the Order, was an autocratic military junta that formed from the remnants of the Galactic Empire during the New Republic Era. Born in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy, the First Order claimed legitimacy as a successor state to the Empire. As with its predecessor, the fascist state was dominated by a ruling political and military human elite. As a polity, the First Order was ruled by a Supreme Leader from their mobile headquarters instead of a traditional planetary capital. It grew from a hermit state to the dominant galactic power, having gradually colonized large swathes of the Unknown Regions and boosted by secessionists from the New Republic, annexing the territory that would serve a crucial role in the regime's plan to eventually seize the galaxy at large. Yet despite their conquest of the major star systems, the First Order's military rule was met with resistance and rebellion.
The First Order had emerged in unexplored space following the Empire's defeat in the Galactic Civil War. The Contingency, a secret plan crafted by Galactic Emperor Darth Sidious before his demise, ensured the Empire's destruction as well as its rebirth as the First Order through a cadre of Imperial officers, nobles, and technologists. The First Order drew inspiration and power from a dark and ancient legacy, whereas the New Republic endeavored to create a democratic and demilitarized galaxy. Though its ranks initially consisted of former Imperial personnel, a new generation of young zealous officers, including General Armitage Hux and Captain Phasma, rose to power under the patronage of Supreme Leader Snoke, supplanting the old guard which consisted of Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, General Brendol Hux, and Captain Cardinal.
In 29 ABY, the Centrists—a coalition of worlds that advocated for centralized rule—joined the secretive and enigmatic First Order after seceding from the New Republic. Sparking the Cold War that ensued between the two galactic powers culminated in the Hosnian Cataclysm of 34 ABY. Having transformed the planet Ilum into a superweapon known as Starkiller Base, the First Order launched a preemptive strike against the Republic Senate, annihilating Hosnian Prime along with other worlds in the Hosnian system. Though the Resistance succeeded in destroying Starkiller, the fledgling group was vastly outnumbered by the First Order's fleets and armies, which featured Resurgent-class Star Destroyers and new-generation stormtroopers.
Kylo Ren, the grandson of Darth Vader, became the new Supreme Leader after he assassinated Snoke in 34 ABY. Supported by Allegiant General Enric Pryde, Ren led the First Order on a campaign of galactic conquest and hunted the remnants of the Resistance. In 35 ABY, the Sith Eternal, a cult of Sith loyalists who served the reborn Emperor Darth Sidious, revealed themselves as the force behind the First Order's rise to power. With the Final Order's Xyston-class Star Destroyers, the First Order nearly completed its transformation into a true empire. However, the Resistance defeated the Sith fleet with the help of a citizens' fleet at the Battle of Exegol. Without reinforcements, the First Order's military rule began to crumble under widespread galactic rebellion.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Origins
- 1.2 The Contingency
- 1.3 Rise of the Supreme Leader
- 1.4 Weakening the New Republic
- 1.5 Cold War
- 1.6 First Order/Resistance War
- 1.7 Uprisings
- 2 Organization
- 3 Society and culture
- 4 Economy
- 5 Infrastructure
- 6 Astrography
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Appearances
- 9 Sources
- 10 Notes and references
- "If an Empire cannot protect its Emperor then that Empire must be deemed a failure. It collapses not only because its central figure is gone, but because it must not be allowed to remain!"
- ―Darth Sidious, to Gallius Rax
For roughly a thousand years, the Galactic Republic maintained peace and stability within the galaxy, aided by the efforts of the monastic Jedi Order and the Republic Judicial Forces. With the believed extinction of the Sith—ancient enemies of the Jedi and the Republic—the ruling Dark Lord Darth Sidious secretly plotted to overthrow the Republic with the formation of his own Sith Empire.
Sidious, along with his apprentice Darth Tyranus, orchestrated a secessionist movement by fomenting political chaos across the galaxy. Through his apprentice, Sidious secretly commanded a rival galactic government known as the Confederacy of Independent Systems throughout the destructive three-year period that was the Clone Wars, while he remained the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic as Sheev Palpatine long beyond the expiration of his term. Gradually amassing far more emergency powers than would be ordinarily allowed through the Galactic Senate, along with radically amending the Galactic Constitution, Sidious eventually oversaw the destruction of the Jedi Order and the defeat of the Separatists through his new apprentice, Darth Vader. Sidious, as Chancellor Palpatine, then issued the proclamation of the New Order, officially transforming the thousand-year-old democracy into the Galactic Empire and installing himself as the first Galactic Emperor with the support of the Senate.
With the purge of the Jedi and a massive military to enforce his will, Sidious remained largely unchallenged as Emperor throughout the initial nineteen years of his reign, embarking on a gradual conquest of the galaxy. Eventually, the Alliance to Restore the Republic was formed to oppose his aggressive expansion and genocidal actions, resulting in the outbreak of the Galactic Civil War that spanned five years of galactic history.[source?] Four years after the destruction of the first Death Star by Luke Skywalker, the Empire suffered a decisive defeat at the Battle of Endor, where the more powerful DS-2 Death Star II Mobile Battle Station was destroyed, and along with it, the Emperor and his apprentice, Darth Vader.
- "It's time to start over. That is our first order. To begin again. And to get it right, this time."
- ―Rae Sloane
Unknown to anyone but a select few, however, the Emperor had long been sending Imperial scouts and other constructive efforts to the Unknown Regions of space. Over the course of decades, the Unknown Regions had been seeded with shipyards, laboratories, and storehouses that would serve to prepare for the Empire's rebirth as part of Sidious' Contingency in the rare event of his death. His plan was to ensure the Galactic Empire's destruction as he believed that an Empire should not outlive its Emperor. However, he also planned the creation of a new Empire beyond the borders of known space; resources and select personnel were discreetly funneled to the Unknown Regions, where the Empire could begin anew. Sidious entrusted the task of executing the Contingency to his protégé, Gallius Rax.
Following another year of bloody conflict, the fractured Empire made its last stand over the sandy wastes of Jakku, which had become a rallying point for retreating Imperials, against the New Republic, resulting in many casualties on both sides of the conflict as part of the Battle of Jakku. On Jakku, a secret Imperial research base, the Jakku Observatory, housed ancient computers which plotted out computerised routes through the Unknown Regions. These computers used information derived from Grand Admiral Thrawn, who hailed from the Chiss Ascendancy, and the survey teams and probe droids that the Emperor had previously sent to explore these routes. Jakku came to serve as a jumping-off point for Imperial warships heading into the Unknown Regions, and the retreating Imperials destroyed the research base before the New Republic could reach it.
As part of the Contingency, Rax's secret objective in the Battle of Jakku was to destroy the planet to cripple both the remnants of the Empire and the New Republic; however, he was prevented from carrying out this phase by Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, who killed Rax. In his dying words, Rax urged Sloane to take his place in the Contingency with Commandant Brendol Hux, his son Armitage Hux, and their child soldiers aboard the starship Imperialis and rendezvous with the Emperor's flagship, the Super Star Destroyer Eclipse, which had been dispatched in advance to the Unknown Regions. Their journey took several months and consisted of many short hyperspace jumps, during which time Sloane discovered that the Imperialis had been transmitting coordinates to other Imperial fleets. Upon regrouping with the Eclipse, Sloane ordered the Sentinel piloting the Imperialis to bring the ship in and rejoin with the others. There, she intended to board and saw an opportunity to rebuild the Empire; one that was stronger and purer, and not given to the backstabbing and incest of the Galactic Empire.
Defeated at Jakku and facing severe internal unrest, the Empire was forced to sign the Galactic Concordance, severely limiting its ability to wage war and ushering in its transformation into a mere rump state. Imperial Grand Vizier Mas Amedda and New Republic Chancellor Mon Mothma signed the Galactic Concordance, which called for the dissolution of the Galactic Empire. Chancellor Mothma then issued another declaration designating all surviving Imperial officers as war criminals, while the Empire had began to break into remnants. A remnant of Imperial vessels was confined to predetermined boundaries by the New Republic in the Core and Inner Rim while a provisional government led by Amedda was established on Coruscant, the former capital of the Old Republic and throneworld of the Empire, where it was overseen by Republic observers.
After the signing of the Galactic Concordance, the New Republic arrived in systems still under Imperial control to announce the signing of the historic peace treaty. However, by the time the Republic reached these systems, Imperial fleets had already retreated to the Unknown Regions. The battle's end at Jakku was marked by the sudden departure of the surviving Imperial warships into the Unknown Regions following the announcement of the treaty, where they had seemingly disappeared.
Following the Battle of Jakku, former Imperial officers, nobles, technologists, and warlords fled the Empire into the galaxy's Unknown Regions in an effort to escape the prying eyes of the New Republic as part of an exodus. There, they plotted a return to power, beginning a movement to build fleets and armies in secret to reclaim the Imperial legacy. The Old Empire gradually withered away into a remnant of political hardliners locked in a cold war with the New Republic before breaking away into the Unknown Regions, where they reformed into what became the mysterious First Order, a military junta influenced by the principles of the fallen Empire. Sloane and Hux became part of a first set of leaders of the First Order.
At some point, a cargo ship was ambushed containing military gear which the ship's crew claimed was meant for the First Order. Among the possessions seized was a set of stormtrooper armor which was later presented to Terex, a former Imperial stormtrooper and, at the time, a crime lord of the Ranc gang. Terex immediately became curious about the modern design and confirmed that it was not of Imperial design. After Terex asked of its origin, he continued to think about the implications of this new information. Sometime later, he subsequently joined the ranks of the First Order Security Bureau.
Rise of the Supreme Leader
- "The First Order was just the beginning."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Kylo Ren
Just as many of the Emperor's servants carried the Old Empire's greatest military secrets to the Unknown Regions, so too did the mysterious Snoke, who rose to become the Supreme Leader of the First Order. Had it not been for the ancient hyperspace trails blazed through the Unknown Regions by Snoke's Attendants, most of the former Imperial officers would have likely perished crossing into the uncharted realm. Snoke was, in fact, a puppet created by the resurrected Emperor to serve as a proxy ruler. The First Order did not know of Snoke's true origins, though some came to peer behind the veil of secrecy and realized that he was subservient to some unseen force.
The Emperor's resurrection, the existence of his followers, the Sith Eternal, and their hidden base of operations, Exegol, were all secrets unknown to even the highest echelons of the First Order. Much of the First Order was even unaware of the Contingency itself nor their ultimate purpose in it, for as the First Order served as its military wing, the Sith Eternal lay at its spiritual heart. The true leadership of the First Order operated from behind a veil of secrecy, driven by the tenets of the dark side of the Force and the ancient ways of the Sith. From afar, the phantom Emperor, working from the shadows, forged the remnants of the Empire into the First Order as he plotted his return to power.
Gallius Rax, Rae Sloane, Ormes Apolin, and Brendol Hux were originally seen as potential leaders of the Empire's remnants by the admirals and generals who had survived the implosion of the Empire and the New Republic's wrath, but they were sidelined, co-opted, or destroyed by Snoke. Brendol's son, Armitage Hux, was spared in the long term by Snoke in order to use him as a political tool in his rise to power.
Supreme Leader Snoke initiated a vast rearmament program, which would go on to produce a technologically superior military over the one that once existed under the Galactic Empire, and began subverting the Republic, as the First Order was keenly aware that it lacked the superior numbers and support of the former Imperial state.
As part of this turnover, Phasma and Armitage Hux conspired to assassinate the latter's father, Brendol Hux, agreeing that it was time for Brendol to die; Armitage had been abused by his father from his youth, while Phasma sought to cover up her past. Armitage left the actual murder up to Phasma with his only instruction being to make it untraceable.
Phasma carried out the killing of Brendol Hux using the toxin from the bite of a Parnassos beetle. Armitage Hux then gave a brief address to Captain Cardinal and the Stormtrooper Corps informing them of Brendol's passing and ascended to his leadership role in the military, taking over from his late father. Meanwhile, the First Order had to contend with several threats that lurked within the Unknown Regions: hermetic kingdoms which were confronted by the Order. On Supreme Leader Snoke's instruction, the new military undertook a major offensive against several of these kingdoms to seize their worlds and resources to fuel their rise. Phasma herself led from the front as the First Order charted through the wilderness of the Unknown Regions.
Weakening the New Republic
- "Do you no longer wish to restore what we lost with the Empire? Have you abandoned the First Order completely?"
- ―Carise Sindian, to Arliz Hadrassian
The First Order then turned its attention beyond the Unknown Regions towards the Core Worlds, seeking to both weaken the New Republic and to generate funding to build up the First Order Navy. The First Order had used a militia group called the Amaxine warriors as proxies to fund the Nikto crime lord Rinnrivin Di's cartel to achieve this. Seven years prior to the "Napkin Bombing" at the New Republic senatorial complex on Hosnian Prime, the First Order used the Amaxines to inject billions of credits as start-up capital into Rinnrivin's cartel, turning the hitherto minor cartel into a major crime syndicate. Establishing a mutual relationship with the Amaxines, Rinnrivin embarked on lucrative smuggling and gambling operations with the proceeds being channeled through shadowy corporations and Centrist sources back to the First Order, which used the money to rebuild its fleet. In addition, the Order also recruited several Centrist senators like Lady Carise Sindian as clandestine agents who worked to subvert the Republic from within. Many Centrists, an informal faction who were the rivals to the Populists in the Republic's Galactic Senate, and who favored a greater central government and military, admired the Old Empire's leaders and practices. Another proxy of the First Order was Arliz Hadrassian, a former TIE fighter pilot who had become the leader of the Amaxine warriors. While Hadrassian saw the Amaxines as the vanguard of the First Order, Lady Carise regarded her as too volatile to manage. Hadrassian in return was impatient with the Centrists for refusing to secede from the Republic.
The First Order's operations were almost exposed when Rinnrivin Di's criminal activities began to exact a devastating toll on the planet Ryloth's off-world trade. In response, the New Republic senators Leia Organa and Ransolm Casterfo embarked on an investigation which uncovered Rinnrivin's links to the Amaxine warriors. However, the two senators failed to discover the Order's linkages to the Amaxines and Rinnrivin's cartel. In an attempt to sow chaos, Arliz Hadrassian bombed the New Republic's senatorial complex. This set in motion a chain of events that led to the death of Rinnrivin and the destruction of most of the Amaxine warriors' forces on the planet Sibensko. Hadrassian killed herself after assassinating the Republic senator Tai-Lin Garr. While most Republic senators and the media believed that the demise of Rinnrivin's cartel and the Amaxines eliminated all threats to the Republic, Senator Organa disagreed with the New Republic's complacency. However, she was sidelined from the political process following a political scandal that led to the public relevation that her father was Darth Vader, which discredited Organa and forced her to resign from the Senate.
After the assassination of Tai-Lin Garr, Lady Carise and her Centrist counterparts began preparing a motion to secede from the New Republic in order to join and support the First Order. The Centrists formally withdrew from the New Republic and joined the First Order in 29 ABY, marking the official formation of the First Order as a regime and beginning the Cold War between the First Order and the New Republic.
Preparations for war
- "You see, the Republic spent decades doing nothing. And all along… we were preparing… for this day."
- ―Gideon Hask
The First Order emerged from the Unknown Regions and precipitated the return of fascism and militarism. In defiance of the Galactic Concordance, First Order forces frequently crossed the Trans-Hydian Borderlands, launching several incursions into both Republic space and other sectors. The term "cold war" was used because there was no direct, large-scale fighting, but instead occasional minor skirmishes. Despite mounting First Order aggression, the New Republic refused to take forceful military action against the Order, seeking to avoid provoking another devastating galactic war at all costs.
During this time, the Resistance, an offshoot of the New Republic Defense Force, was founded by General Leia Organa, who realized that the Senate could not protect the New Republic, alongside her few remaining allies, like Gial Ackbar, C-3PO, Joph Seastriker, and Temmin Wexley. The Resistance acted as a check on the military designs of the First Order. General Organa released the Grace Report to the New Republic Senate, which publicly claimed that the Order was building hidden shipyards, armories, research-and-development labs, and academies, detailing the fact that facilities were working day and night on the massive military buildup. Meanwhile, the First Order began to expand and took over star systems with ease.
The New Republic Senate believed that the First Order posed no real, credible threat to the galaxy at large and the hard-won galactic peace. Echoing these sentiments, Chancellor Lanever Villecham argued there was no need for concern as long as the Order adhered to the dictates of the Galactic Concordance. Despite this, the First Order blatantly defied the accords by ushering in the mass mobilization of superior stormtrooper forces, along with violating Republic bans on the sale of weapons to the First Order. Testing the resolve of the New Republic, small skirmishes occasionally erupted between the First Order and Republic, all while the Starkiller operation sought a suitable planet for implementation.
With the First Order's growing threat and rapid mobilization for war, prominent members of the Republic voiced concern over the Imperial successor state, with the most vocal being former Senator Leia Organa. Scoffed at by the Senate at large for being an alarmist and warmonger, Organa used her influence as a prominent member of the former Rebel Alliance to recruit many former military officers who had been left forgotten by the Military Disarmament Act passed by the Galactic Senate. Funded by like-minded senators who shared Organa's fears about the First Order, the Resistance came to serve as the opposing force to the Order's growing power, sparking a new phase of the continued Cold War.
Meanwhile, the Republic Senate had become mired in corruption and bureaucracy, amplified by the political gridlock caused by the divide between the Populists and the Centrists. Some senators like Erudo Ro-Kiintor colluded with the First Order for promises of wealth and power, with large sums of credits being discreetly transferred to him through the Corporate Sector Authority. As a result, the Resistance was forced to work on its own until it could obtain irrefutable evidence of First Order violations of the peace that could be presented to New Republic Command. During Operation: Sabre Strike, Resistance pilot Poe Dameron and General Organa discovered that Senator Erudo had been colluding with the First Order and that he had valuable information about Lor San Tekka, whom Organa believed could lead them to her brother, Luke Skywalker, who had gone into self-exile.
The First Order began an occupation of the Colossus refueling station on the planet Castilon as part of their preparations for their planned war against the rest of the galaxy. The First Order occupied the Colossus under the guise of peacekeepers in wake of several pirate raids on the platform, which the Order itself had secretly manufactured as a pretext of intervention so that the Colossus could be used as a staging ground.
The First Order had prior interest on the station; it had placed a large bounty of twenty thousand credits on Kel and Eila, which the Order claimed were members of a high-ranking First Order family from outside its military hierarchy. In actuality, Kel and Eila were orphaned survivors of the First Order's aggressive actions against the people on Tehar.
The First Order's presence was welcomed by some civilians on the Colossus, but others opposed the Order's measures, leading to a riot among the alien population. In response, the First Order targeted residents who opposed or defied their control and placed them under arrest to be sent offworld under the pretext of an interest in security.
Search for the last Jedi
- "If Skywalker returns, the new Jedi will rise."
In response to an aftermath of one First Order incursion into New Republic space, Operation: Sabre Strike, Captain Phasma dispatched Agent Terex to recover the information that Poe Dameron obtained from Senator Erudo. Terex's First Order strike force pursued Dameron and his Black Squadron to the planet Ovanis. With the help of the unwilling spy, Oddy Muva, Terex planted a tracker on Dameron's T-70 X-wing starfighter. A skirmish took place on the skies over Ovanis and the Cave of the Crèche, which was complicated by the presence of the Crèche cult and the hatching of two winged creatures. Ultimately, Terex and his landing force were defeated. The Crèche elder gave the information on Tekka to Dameron. To avoid war between the First Order and the New Republic, Terex and his surviving men were allowed to leave on their Maxima-A class heavy cruiser.
Terex later obtained intelligence that Black Squadron were traveling to Megalox prison on the high-gravity world of Megalox Beta. Dameron traveled to the prison world to question Grakkus the Hutt about his knowledge of Lor San Tekka's whereabouts. Terex bribed Warden Luta into abandoning Black Squadron to the prison population. Though Grakkus had made a deal with Terex to disclose the information, Grakkus changed his mind and decided to sell the information to whoever got him out first. Incensed at Grakkus' double-cross, Terex hired the crime lords Isin, Kan Be, and Toren to use their gangs to storm Grakkus' fortress and kill Black Squadron. He planned to interrogate Grakkus and then kill him. Grakkus' plan was, however, foiled by Black Squadron's astromech droids including BB-8, who deactivated Megalox's gravity shield. While Black Squadron and Grakkus escaped, Terex and his mercenaries were pinned down by the high gravity. Terex managed to escape aboard the Carrion Spike and attacked the Megalox space station, seeking to punish Luta for letting Black Squadron escape. His ship blasted several shuttles but was forced to retreat when Black Squadron turned around and inflicted considerable damage on the Carrion Spike. Captain Phasma summoned Terex back to First Order space to report for debriefing, but Terex instead chose to pursue his nemesis Dameron.
Later, the Galaxy Beacon journalist and former New Republic Starfleet member Suralinda Javos discovered that the First Order was building military installations, shipyards, weapons research facilities, and "something bigger" in violation of the Galactic Concordance. She met with Dameron on the Inner Rim gas giant of Pheryon, hoping to sell the information to the Resistance in order to boost her journalistic career. However, the First Order Security Bureau Agent Weel and his stormtroopers captured Javos and Dameron. During interrogation, Javos managed to kill Weel and free Dameron. After escaping, Javos decided to join the Resistance. Instead of returning to First Order space, Terex traveled to the crime haven of Kaddak. There, he retook control of the Ranc gang, which he had helped create after the Battle of Jakku. Against Captain Phasma's orders, Terex decided to use his Ranc gang to destroy Poe and the Resistance. His plan involved giving false intelligence on the First Order to the Resistance droid spy N1-ZX and tracking Dameron back to the Resistance base. Terex wanted to destroy the Resistance once and for all to aid the First Order's conquest of the galaxy. Terex's plans were upended when Dameron realized the deception and led Terex's Ranc gang fleet to a remote desert planet.
In addition, Oddy decided to break Terex's leverage on him by rescuing his wife Sowa Chuan and several slaves from Terex's flagship, Carrion Spike. While Terex led a landing party in pursuit of Dameron and the droids, Black Squadron assailed Terex's ship and armada of "Uglies." Oddy and most of the slaves managed to escape in escape pods while Black Squadron provided firing cover. Terex's landing party was also wiped out by N1-ZX, who had been reprogrammed with Mister Bones's droid personality template. Terex also fought with Dameron and BB-8 but was disarmed following a struggle. The battle came to an end when First Order forces under Commander Malarus arrived and wiped out Terex's Ranc gang fleet and flagship Carrion Spike. Malarus had been dispatched by the First Order to arrest Terex, whose rogue mission violated Supreme Leader Snoke's directive to avoid open conflict with the New Republic and New Republic-aligned forces such as the Resistance. Malarus also led a landing party who met with Poe and took the captive Terex into custody. Malarus and Terex then went to Abednedo to capture Oddy Muva. While onboard a transport, she had Terex interrogate Muva for information on the Resistance. Malarus however lost Muva with the aid of Dameron and Wexley, Malarus was then forced to watched as Muva made a suicide run on the Enshado and followed by her escape into hyperspace. Malarus then went to Cato Neimoidia where she fought with Dameron. She was confronted by an official of House Reya, who arrested her and said they would give her a trial.
Seeking to locate a fragment of a map that led to Jedi Master Luke Skywalker—who had gone into self-imposed exile following the failed resurrection of the Jedi Order, for which he blamed himself—Supreme Leader Snoke believed that if Skywalker were to ever return, the new Jedi would rise, which would threaten the First Order's rise to power. As a result, the Supreme Leader deployed the Starkiller commanding triumvirate—General Hux, Captain Phasma, and his dark side apprentice, Kylo Ren—to Jakku, where Dameron and BB-8 had recovered the star map fragment from Lor San Tekka, an old ally of General Organa. Seeking to capture the droid, the First Order assaulted the Church of the Force settlement of Tuanul where Tekka resided, but BB-8 was able to escape with the piece of the map. The villagers of Tuanul fought back but were defeated; the survivors were then herded into a large group while Tekka was brought to Ren himself, who demanded he turn over information on the map to the First Order. Tekka claimed that Ren could not deny the truth that was his own family, causing Ren to slay the old man with his lightsaber. Dameron then fired on Ren in retaliation, but the dark warrior caught the blast while his stormtroopers captured the pilot and brought him to their flagship, the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer Finalizer. Captain Phasma and her stormtroopers—except for FN-2187—executed the remaining villagers on Ren's orders.
FN-2187 and Dameron escaped the Finalizer aboard a stolen TIE/sf space superiority fighter though not before Ren tortured Dameron and discovered the map fragment to be in a BB-unit droid back on Jakku. During their escape, Dameron dubbed the renegade stormtrooper Finn. The pair crash landed in the Goazon Badlands on Jakku, where Finn presumed Dameron deceased. Finn eventually found BB-8 alongside a scavenger named Rey, but the First Order also found them, leading them to mark Rey as well and pursue the three across Jakku. However, Rey, Finn, and BB-8 were able to escape Jakku aboard the Millennium Falcon. They eventually stumbled on Rebellion war heroes and smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca in space, and the five of them traveled to Takodana, where they sought the help of Maz Kanata in order to deliver BB-8 and the map fragment to General Organa at the Resistance base.
On the First Order's secret Starkiller Base, General Hux informed Supreme Leader Snoke that their superweapon was ready and proposed using it on the New Republic in order to draw out the Resistance. Supreme Leader Snoke authorized the operation and dismissed Hux before he conferred with Kylo Ren, with whom he discussed an apparent awakening in the Force. The Supreme Leader then informed his dark apprentice that the droid had fallen into the hands of his father, Han Solo, before cutting his holographic transmission to Starkiller Base.
First Order/Resistance 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
On the very eve of the planned war, General Hux delivered a speech to the legions of stormtroopers under his command who assembled to witness the destructive firepower of the weapon. Hux declared that the day would mark the end of the New Republic and denounced the Republic for lying to the galaxy, claiming that the Republic secretly supported the Resistance.
After proclaiming that the remaining systems would bow to the First Order, General Hux commanded that the weapon be fired, and massive beams of energy were fired across the galaxy from Ilum towards the Hosnian system. When the beams arrived, the astronomical bodies of the system were destroyed, including the galactic capital of Hosnian Prime, and with it, the New Republic Senate and a portion of its Defense Fleet.
As the First Order rose to power, it continued the hunt for the map to Skywalker, seeking to prevent the rise of the new Jedi. Its forces swiftly laid siege to Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana and leveled it. Rey fled into the forests surrounding the castle, but Ren deployed stormtroopers to the woods before heading into the woods himself, hunting Rey down and eventually finding and capturing her. He probed her mind with the Force and realized that she had seen the map. Ren then decided that he would not need the droid, believing that he could instead interrogate her to find out what she had seen. Ren was notified of a Resistance surprise attack by a stormtrooper officer, who requested more troops, but Ren instead ordered the First Order division to pull out, claiming that they had what they came for. First Order troops then boarded their ships and withdrew, taking the unconscious Rey along with them.
Aided by the deserter FN-2187 "Finn," Solo and Chewbacca infiltrated Starkiller Base to rescue Rey and disable the planetary shields, allowing a Resistance strike to destroy the planet-converted superweapon. With the First Order minutes away from destroying the Resistance base on D'Qar, the team achieved their objectives, although Solo died in the process while trying to reconcile with Ren, his son with Organa. Escaping the planet with seconds to spare, the First Order's sun-harvesting superweapon was destroyed by the Resistance Starfighter Corps, forming a new star where the planet once was. Supreme Leader Snoke ordered General Hux to leave the planet and come to him with Kylo Ren in order to complete his training. As Starkiller blew up, the damaged Retribution that was under the command of Gideon Hask pulled out of hyperspace, its hyperdrive destroyed by Resistance agents Iden Versio, Zay Versio, and Shriv Suurgav, who were on a mission to learn more about the First Order's Project Resurrection.
Chasing the Resistance
- "They can't get away, Supreme Leader. We have them tied on the end of a string."
- ―Armitage Hux, to Snoke
The First Order fleet had in large numbers regrouped for the new galactic war after the fall of Starkiller. Phasma returned from chasing down and dispatching the true culprit on Luprora who she blamed for being behind the one who had turned off the shields at Starkiller Base. She named Lieutenant Sol Rivas as the perpetrator to General Hux. The surviving Starkiller aerial defense force pilots, such as Poldin LeHuse, were re-integrated into the fleet. They expressed a desire for vengeance and to prove themselves after failing to save the superweapon.
Despite the loss of Starkiller Base, the First Order still possessed a secure and intact chain of command and massive military strength in the form of hundreds of battle-cruisers and millions of troops, emerging from the shadows to seize control of the galaxy by force. Following the loss of the Galactic Senate and the Hosnian system, the New Republic lost its leadership and its entire home fleet, which, due to the Military Disarmament Act, had been the majority of the Republic military.
Because of this imbalance, the New Republic was virtually helpless as First Order fleets spread across the galaxy. These events quickly led to the collapse of the New Republic's authority over the galaxy as individual planets and governments began looking to their own interests. Surviving senators dissolved the Republic's remaining task forces in an effort to protect their own homeworlds while other worlds capitulated to the First Order in order to avoid direct military confrontation. As a result, the galaxy, as a whole, became divided.
The few Republic military forces that remained were completely outclassed and destroyed by the First Order, which had spent thirty years training and preparing for the war, while the New Republic military stagnated in peace. This convinced many Republic member worlds to surrender to the First Order without a fight, rather than risk defeat and devastation. This was also a result of Republic political infighting and corruption, as Centrist senators and worlds enacted a long-planned mass secession from the New Republic to the First Order. At the same time, many Outer Rim worlds that had been left defenseless and forgotten by the New Republic quickly became incited by the Order's promise of protection from the pirates and criminal cartels that preyed on them.[source?]
The mobile supertanker fuel depot, the Colossus, shortly arrived in the aftermath of the D'Qar evacuation and tried to retrieve coaxium from the wreckage of the Fulminatrix. Phasma tasked Pyre and Agent Tierny with recovering the station or destroying it if recovery proved impossible due to its strategic importance and sought to prevent them from gaining the fuel, however this effort failed and the Resistance was able to successfully recovers coaxium and flee. Pyre and Tierny vowed to hunt for the Colossus. Soon afterwards, Nikto engineer Nenavakasa Nalor was sent sabotage the platform. Posing as a stranded spacer, but was discovered as a First Order spy. Though Nena escaped, they were able to managed to undo her sabotage and escape First Order forces.
The core Resistance group found itself greatly outmatched by the First Order, though the First Order also had to contend with other Resistance cells. The First Order failed to prevent the loss of intelligence on the specifications of the Mandator IV-class Siege Dreadnought, and further lost its grip over the Colossus, which escaped Castilon into space. However, with the loss of the New Republic and its unofficial support of their forces, the Resistance only possessed a few military ships and a few hundred soldiers. This led General Leia Organa to order the complete [evacuation of the Resistance base on D'Qar while a First Order fleet led by General Hux was on its way to destroy the Resistance once and for all. Setting their sights on the Resistance base, General Hux's forces arrived in battle and destroyed the base, but the Resistance was able to escape before the First Order could finish them off. Despite escaping, the Resistance's speedy evacuation had cost them the vast majority of their remaining fleet and left them as fugitives wandering in space. Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Snoke summoned his apprentice, Kylo Ren, to his throne room on the Supremacy, the First Order flagship, and mocked him for his failure at Starkiller Base and his ambitions to emulate Darth Vader.
Using hyperspace tracking, a newly developed technology descended and finally perfected from the Empire's Tarkin Initiative, the First Order tracked the Resistance to the Oetchi system, catching them completely off guard and destroying one of their cruisers instantly. Kylo Ren, leading a TIE squadron in his personal fighter, attacked the Resistance's command ship Raddus and blew up its hangar bay, taking out all of the Resistance's remaining fighters before he set his sights on the ship's bridge, where his mother, General Leia Organa, was. Though Ren was ultimately unable to bring himself to fire, his wingmen had no such qualms and fired on the bridge, exposing it to the vacuum of space and killing the majority of the Resistance's leadership, including Admiral Gial Ackbar. Organa was able to use the Force to pull herself back aboard, but she was left incapacitated. The Resistance's chain of command fell onto Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, who oversaw their outrunning of the First Order, but their fuel supplies were dangerously low, and one by one their other ships were running dry and being destroyed by the Supremacy's turbolasers.
Once the Raddus was almost out of fuel, the Resistance began to fragment as desertions dramatically increased as members saw the struggle against the First Order as a lost cause. Later, a full-blown mutiny occurred as two sides formed among the crew: those who wanted to escape and hide from the enemy, and those who wanted to fight. This mutiny, led by Poe Dameron, was put down by the recovered General Organa, and the Resistance attempted to slip down to the former Rebel world of Crait. However, due to the capture of the Resistance infiltration team on the Supremacy, the First Order learned of the plan when the team code breaker DJ betrayed the Resistance for his freedom and payment. This led the Supremacy to fire on the unarmed and unarmored U-55 orbital loadlifters, destroying roughly half of them. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren brought Rey to Snoke's throne room onboard the Supremacy, but Snoke's short reign over the galaxy ended as Ren killed his master along with his guards, while in a desperate sacrificial gamble to save the Resistance, Vice Admiral Holdo aimed the Raddus at the Supremacy and entered lightspeed. As a result, the ship collided with the First Order flagship and cleaved it and several Resurgent-class Star Destroyers in half, saving the Resistance remnant and causing heavy damage to the First Order fleet.
Kylo Ren had risen as Supreme Leader after the demise of Snoke. Ren envisioned himself as the head of a new galactic order—one that would be characterized by a new ideology that rid away all that had come before. The First Order's forces quickly recovered, and, under the orders of the newly proclaimed Supreme Leader, sent an invading force of All Terrain Armored Transport and All Terrain MegaCaliber Six walkers down to the abandoned rebel base on Crait where the Resistance was taking shelter. Ren personally led the siege of the Resistance's forces at the Battle of Crait.
During the battle, the Millennium Falcon, piloted by Chewbacca and Rey, arrived and attacked the First Order's TIE fighters, drawing them away from the battlefield. Even so, the battle led to the continued deaths of many of the remaining Resistance soldiers and personnel and the further depletion of its equipment. In addition, the Resistance's allies in the Outer Rim were called on for reinforcements, but did not arrive. However, Luke Skywalker unexpectedly appeared and confronted the First Order alone on the battlefield. Ren ordered all of the walkers to open fire on Skywalker in an attempt to destroy him. However, Skywalker miraculously emerged unscathed, and Ren went down to the surface to personally face his old Jedi Master. During their duel, Ren realized he was actually fighting a Force projection of Skywalker, who was still on Ahch-To. Skywalker's projection vanished, leaving Ren furious as the distraction bought time for the remaining few dozen Resistance personnel to flee aboard the Millennium Falcon with Rey's help.
Conquering the galaxy
- "The First Order is on the verge of bringing unprecedented peace to the galaxy. An era of harmony once unimaginable amid the corruption and chaos of the New Republic."
- ―A stormtrooper sergeant, 709th Legion
In the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Crait, the newly-christened Supreme Leader Kylo Ren set forth to establish his dominion over the galaxy. The First Order had taken possession of the Outer Rim world of Bracca and even the Core World of Corellia with little resistance as the galaxy having been left largely defenseless following the Starkiller incident. An emergency election on Akiva resulted in the victory of a pro-First Order merchant while the First Order arrived on Ryloth, giving the Ryloth shipping guild five days to tithe before the shipping lanes would be blockaded. The Resistance had fled to Ryloth, setting up in a Ryloth Defense Authority base, until a resident of Lessu betrayed them to the First Order. Despite a First Order attack on the base, the Resistance escaped the planet.
Sometime later, General Hux was informed of a sighting of Resistance operative Finn, but he dismissed it and told the lieutenant who had given him the information that the First Order wouldn't listen to every little word somebody said about the Resistance. Right then, Supreme Leader Ren came up to the bridge of the Finalizer and chastised Hux in front of the lieutenant, informing him that the First Order would in fact do anything to destroy the Resistance. To set an example, the First Order launched an assault that resulted in the destruction of the neutral world of Tah'Nuhna for assisting the Resistance after their escape from Crait.
Meanwhile, Mika Grey, a traveler searching for Sith artifacts to keep them out of the First Order's hands, was being tracked by Agent Raith and a squad of First Order Raiders, stormtroopers commissioned by their commander, Supreme Leader Ren, with hunting down ancient Sith artifacts. The Raiders were searching for a Sith relic from a buried temple on Ashas Ree, where they encountered the Colossus Resistance cell, who were also looking to acquire the relic. However, the First Order Raiders failed to acquire it and perished when the Sith relic unleashed an explosive wave of energy that incinerated Raith and his troops.
The First Order then went to neutral world of Fondor where a Resistance party had been spotted. A thorough, brutal interrogation of a Fondor official revealed that while the Resistance group went through the system, the official wouldn't lend any assistance. However, Supreme Leader Ren declared that even mere contact with the enemy was treason, and it gave him the excuse that he needed to put the Fondor Shipyards under complete First Order control. Ren then personally beheaded the official for this perceived treason with a swipe of his lightsaber—stating that the Empire had been too lenient.
The First Order then prepared to make an example of Mon Cala after a fleet of at least twelve Resurgent-class warships arrived over Mon Cala acting on intelligence that the Resistance was there. There, a fleet of Mon Cala warships led by Aftab Ackbar managed to escape the planet's surface from the far side and jump to hyperspace, making the First Order aware that the Mon Calamari and Quarrens had chosen not to remain neutral and instead had given their support to the Resistance. By then, the First Order had already had established a presence on Corellia.
As the war progressed, the First Order launched a manhunt for the surviving members of the Resistance, deploying forces to various locations across the galaxy. Ren personally oversaw the search for Resistance fugitives at the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, having traveled to the remote installation via a TIE/es assault shuttle after receiving word that Rey had apparently been sighted on Batuu. Upon his arrival at Docking Bay 9, Ren was greeted by a First Order officer whom he deemed incompetent, and consequently strangled the officer by way of the Force.
Sometime later, First Order forces gained control of a bacta production plant on Tevel, but it was retaken by the Resistance and the Tevellans. Sometime later, the First Order light cruiser, the Ladara Vex, was dispatched to Minfar in order to obtain a weapon that could control the Zixon known as the Echo Horn, but it was destroyed by Resistance member sympathizers.
An unholy alliance
- "Forgive me, sir, but these allies on Exegol, they sound like a cult. Conjurers and soothsayers."
"They've conjured legions of Star Destroyers. The Sith fleet will increase our resources ten thousand fold. Such range and power will correct the error of Starkiller Base."
- ―Domaric Quinn and Enric Pryde
In 35 ABY, the Sith Eternal, a secret cult of Sith loyalists, revealed itself to the galaxy by broadcasting a message that declared revenge using the voice of Emperor Palpatine, the widely known identity of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious, who was believed to be dead. After this event, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, who was determined to destroy any potential threats to his rule over the galaxy, found a Sith wayfinder on Mustafar owned by his grandfather, Darth Vader, which had been imbued by means of the Force with coordinates. Ren used the wayfinder to travel alone to its destination, where he discovered the hidden world of the Sith, Exegol, in the Unknown Regions. At the Sith Citadel, Sidious revealed himself to Supreme Leader Ren and divulged that he had created the former Supreme Leader Snoke. The Sith Lord called the First Order "just the beginning" and revealed to Ren the so-called Final Order, a massive fleet of planet-destroying Xyston-class Star Destroyers, alongside an army of Sith troopers, all of which had been created by the phantom Emperor's followers for a generation in order to restore the Sith and bring about a new Sith Empire. The former Emperor advised Ren that he could use the fleet to rule all the galaxy as the new Emperor and offered him command of it on one condition: he kill Rey, the last Jedi, and finish what his grandfather, Vader, could not. The Dark Lord then warned Ren that Rey was, in fact, his granddaughter, and thus a Palpatine herself.
At a meeting of the Supreme Council on the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer Steadfast, Ren informed the First Order officers of what he had found on Exegol, stating that it would transform the First Order into a true Empire, and revealed that there was a spy in their ranks who had relayed this information to the Resistance. General Domaric Quinn expressed distrust over the Sith Eternal, denouncing them as a cult of conjurers and soothsayers. Allegiant General Enric Pryde countered that the Sith fleet would increase their resources ten thousandfold, and added that it would correct the "error" of Starkiller Base while glaring at General Hux. Ren choked General Quinn after he openly questioned the Supreme Leader as to what the former Emperor was asking for in return. He then ordered the council to crush any worlds that defied them, and announced that he and his Knights of Ren were going hunting for "the scavenger," Rey.
The First Order found Rey, alongside Finn, Poe Dameron, and Chewbacca, on Pasaana and alerted the local garrison. First Order jet troopers pursued them into the desert plains of Pasaana as the First Order arrived to Pasaana; the group escaped, though Chewbacca was captured by the Knights of Ren and brought on board Ren's Star Destroyer while Rey and Ren confronted each other in the desert. Later, the Knights of Ren tracked the group to Kijimi, a world occupied by the First Order. Ren arrived to Kijimi on his Star Destroyer and locked down the city. Finn and Poe Dameron were captured and, alongside Chewbacca, sentenced to execution, but General Armitage Hux freed them, revealing himself to be the spy. The group liberated the Millennium Falcon and escaped, though not before Ren revealed to Rey that she was the granddaughter of Darth Sidious and that they formed a Force dyad. Allegiant General Pryde deduced General Hux to be the spy and executed him on sight with a blaster rifle. Ren meanwhile conferred with Darth Sidious over the Force; the Sith Lord threatened to turn his fleet against Ren's if he betrayed their agreement, but Ren told Sidious he knew where Rey was going.
Battle of Exegol
- "As I served you in the old wars, I serve you now."
- ―Enric Pryde, to Darth Sidious
Ren confronted Rey alone among the ruins of the second Death Star on Kef Bir, an ocean moon of Endor. The two fought in a lightsaber duel; Ren bested Rey, but was distracted when his mother, General Leia Organa, reached out to him through the Force, allowing Rey to stab him with his own lightsaber before realizing Leia's presence. Rey healed her archenemy with the Force before leaving with his ship. Motivated by a memory of his late father, Han Solo, Ren renounced the dark side and reclaimed his identity as Ben Solo. Sidious had realized that Leia's sacrifice had caused Ben Solo to abandon the dark side, but he was not deterred and instead refocused his efforts towards his granddaughter, Rey. Sidious and Allegiant General Pryde contacted each other over hologram during which time Pryde, a veteran of the Empire, pledged himself to the former Emperor from the Steadfast. This action officially allied the Sith Eternal and First Order. With Pryde's support, the Emperor decided that the time had come to deploy the Final Order throughout the galaxy. He ordered General Pryde to Exegol and sent him a ship from the fleet, the Derriphan, in order to use it to destroy a planet as a show of force against the Resistance. Kijimi was subsequently destroyed and its destruction broadcast across the galaxy.
Allegiant General Pryde and the Steadfast arrived to Exegol to guide out the Sith fleet. The Sith Eternal forces fought in a battle above Exegol against the Resistance and their rallied reinforcements, the citizens' fleet. During the battle, General Pryde had the source of a navigation signal that the Sith fleet needed to deploy off world switched from a navigation tower on Exegol to a beacon on his command ship. However, a Resistance landing team made landing on Pryde's command ship. Former stormtroopers of Company 77 covered Resistance troopers from their orbaks as they fought against Sith troopers that landed to defend the ship. The landing team succesfully knocked out the navigation tower and retreated, but the Sith Eternal was able to reset it. Former stormtroopers Finn and Jannah stayed behind on the hull of the ship and turned the ship's own turbolasers against the it, killing Pryde and destroying the Steadfast, and with it, the navigation signal, preventing the remaining Sith Star Destroyers from launching off of Exegol and reinforcing the First Order. Finn and Jannah narrowly escaped aboard the Millennium Falcon with the help of Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca as the Steadfast exploded and plunged to Exegol's surface.
- "People are rising up all over the galaxy. Poe. We did it."
"We did it."
- ―Finn and Poe Dameron
In the aftermath of the Battle of Exegol, the First Order's forces came under attack by the populations that they had subjugated. Inspired by the victory of the Resistance and their rallied citizens' fleet, people rose up all over the galaxy against the First Order, including on Bespin, Endor, Jakku, Coruscant, Naboo, Corellia, Lothal, and Thyferra. The First Order fell across the galaxy, and was ultimately defeated in the war.
- "The Supreme Leader is dead."
"Long live the Supreme Leader."
- ―Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux
The Supreme Leader was a self-appointed position with absolute power over the First Order and its military hierarchy. The Supreme Leader delegated power to a number of high-ranking officers and advisors, effectively removing any distinction between military and state. This formed an upper cadre of high-ranking officials, the First Order High Command, who had the authority to govern the First Order in the Supreme Leader's name.
As Supreme Leader, Snoke was content to focus on spiritual matters, ceding control of military matters to generals and the shaping of the First Order's public image to propaganda masterminds. However, any and all alterations to the strategy required the Supreme Leader's approval, with personal interests regarded as secondary to orders from the Supreme Leader, while a "commanding triumvirate" of the First Order existed consisting of Kylo Ren, General Armitage Hux, and Captain Phasma, the leaders of Starkiller Base.
Unbeknownst to even the highest echelons of the First Order, however, Snoke was in fact an artificial creation engineered by a hidden Sith cult, the Sith Eternal, under the directive of their master, a returned Darth Sidious, the former Emperor of the Old Empire. Several addition clones of Snoke were stored on their hidden redoubt world, Exegol. Snoke served Sidious and the Sith Eternal as a means to groom Ben Solo as Kylo Ren. Snoke kept his homeworld and origins concealed from the First Order so as to avoid revealing himself to be an artificial creation; nonetheless, some came to realize that Snoke was subservient to an unseen force and master.
Due to the Supreme Leader's status in the First Order, an officer who had direct access to his person effectively wielded greater authority than their military rank would indicate. They oversaw the colonization of the Unknown Regions and destruction of the last Jedi. Much like Darth Vader in the former Empire, Kylo Ren existed outside the formal command structure of the First Order and frequently came into conflict with military officials owing to his agenda consistently trumping military objectives. Kylo's placement in the hierarchy not only maintained fear within the Order's upper ranks but also intentionally resembled that of Darth Vader's during the reign of the Old Empire. It was the prerogative of the Supreme Leader to summon his subordinates at his pleasure, as well as to administer punishment to those who failed him.
The Supreme Council was established under Supreme Leader Kylo Ren as an advisory board to replace the former triumvirate. It was formed by high-ranking members of High Command who served as aides to Ren and had direct access to the highest levels of authority in the First Order, including the Supreme Leader.
The council's purpose was to chart and implement the ongoing galactic conquest and plan the future of governing the galaxy. It was composed of Allegiant General Enric Pryde, Admiral Frantis Griss, and Generals Amret Engell, Armitage Hux, Bellava Parnadee, and Domaric Quinn, allowing Ren to focus on spiritual matters as his predecessor had.
Ren anticipated the council would be filled with infighting, to which he considered it good for his reign, as he preferred that they direct their energies against each other, thereby diminishing their chances of uniting against him.
The First Order lacked an official capital planet, as the Supreme Leader constantly moved his base of operations; thus administration of the government existed on an amalgam of planets within First Order territory. With the construction of Starkiller Base on Ilum, the Order possessed an unofficial capital for its expanding power. Although various officers and allies of the First Order argued for a planet to act as their capital, Snoke rejected this idea and refused to designate capital command to a world either under direct First Order control or within the Unknown Regions, instead opting to command his underlings from his mobile command post, the Mega-class Star Dreadnought Supremacy, making it the First Order's capital.
- "My men are exceptionally trained, programmed from birth."
- ―Armitage Hux
With its rapidly expanding military in clear violation of the Galactic Concordance and Republic laws, the massive militarization effort of the First Order continued throughout its tenure in the Unknown Regions. There, military bases and shipyards were constructed to churn out some of the technologically superior weapons and starfighters utilized by the Order's military. To avoid treaty restrictions banning the sale of weapons to the First Order, galactic arms manufacturers BlasTech Industries and Merr-Sonn Munitions, Inc. spun off a subsidiary known as the Sonn-Blas Corporation, which manufactured much of the First Order's weaponry within First Order space. Sienar-Jaemus Fleet Systems also helped produce vessels such as the Upsilon-class command shuttle and TIE/fo space superiority fighter, along with its two-seated variant the TIE/sf space superiority fighter. Sienar-Jaemus Army Systems manufactured the widely used AAL, which could ferry twenty stormtroopers into combat, while the Aratech-Loratus Corporation developed the LIUV; On ground, the First Order also used a wide range of four-legged walkers similar to Imperial AT-ATs. In violation of New Republic laws regarding capital ships, Kuat-Entralla Engineering developed the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer, which featured more than 1,500 turbolasers, point-defense laser cannons and ion cannons, and was specifically designed to evoke the fearful image of the Old Empire's Imperial-class Star Destroyers. Though smaller than the Imperial Navy at its height, the First Order Navy became a formidable concentration of spaceborne destructive power. Owing to the New Republic's disarmament efforts, the First Order's fleets of Star Destroyers stood almost unchallenged.
Like its predecessor, the First Order Stormtrooper Corps was a component of the military that employed the use of stormtroopers, including variants such as snowtroopers. It also utilized specialists including megablaster heavy assault troopers, flametroopers, and riot control stormtroopers and selectively had one of the three variants placed in every ten-member stormtrooper squad. Unlike the inconsistent academy standards of the previous Galactic Empire, training of the new generation of stormtroopers emphasized improvisation and counter-insurgency operations, including guerrilla tactics. With the First Order lacking the numerical superiority of the Galactic Empire, better-equipped and -trained soldiers resulted in higher trooper proficiency than the previous Galactic Empire. Soldiers were often trained on capital ships and underwent vivid simulations to create the most loyal soldiers, which was an extension of the ideas of Commandant Brendol Hux and his Commandant's Cadets. It was strictly forbidden for a stormtrooper to initiate any contact with a officer in line with the First Order view on hierarchy.
One of its primary bases of operations was Starkiller Base, an ice planet converted into a stronghold. Seeking to rule the galaxy through fear, the base housed a superweapon capable of destroying entire star systems by firing a planet-destroying beam through hyperspace, and was led by an unofficial triumvirate of General Armitage Hux, Kylo Ren, and Captain Phasma until it was destroyed in the Assault on Starkiller Base.
The scale of the First Order's military operation shocked complacent New Republic observers, who had believed such shows of force were merely part of local defense forces and ceremonial guards.
With the rapid expansion of the First Order's stormtrooper ranks and military capabilities, the Resistance believed that more trooper specializations were yet to be discovered, and ships even larger than the Resurgent-class Star Destroyers existed, such as the Mandator IV-class Siege Dreadnought and the Mega-class Star Dreadnought.
- "We have learned from the mistakes of the Empire—They were too lenient."
- ―Kylo Ren
The First Order despised the New Republic as an illegitimate regime that tolerated disorder in the galaxy, while the Republic did not officially recognize the First Order as a government, and instead viewed the Order as an ill-organized, poorly equipped, and badly funded group of Imperial loyalists.. As a result, the Republic maintained an almost non-existent relationship with the First Order, resulting in ignored diplomatic protests and observers being denied access; an example of this was during the First Order blockade of the Otomok system to which the galactic government objected but the Order informed them it was an internal affair, which the Republic accepted.
In an effort to subvert the New Republic, the First Order also channeled funds through shell and third-party corporations in the Corporate Sector to corrupt Republic senators like Erudo Ro-Kiintor, who blocked motions advocating sanctions against the First Order and increasing support for the New Republic Starfleet. Consequently, the First Order's main military adversary was the Resistance, a private military organization founded by General Leia Organa in response to the Republic's unwillingness to take action against the Order. The First Order saw its primary mission as restoring order to a lawless galaxy and viewed the Republic and Resistance as obstacles to achieving these goals. About thirty years after the Battle of Endor, the First Order launched a preemptive attack on the Hosnian system in order to destroy the Republic and force the wider galaxy into submission. Later, the First Order successfully destroyed the Resistance's base on D'Qar. However, the remaining Resistance forces were able to evacuate and continue their fight against the First Order.
- "Our goal is galactic peace through absolute order."
There was no line between the military and justice in the First Order, which had a merciless attitude towards treason among other things, where it dispensed final justice on anyone with even slight loyalty issues per day; this was done as several public executions with the executioners coming from the ranks of the Stormtrooper Corps anonymously in rotations, with it being considered an effective method of stormtrooper training. Unlike most stormtrooper variants, they were not from a specialist unit, but were instead randomly picked among regular stormtroopers for that day depending on various assignments and their identity was left anonymous.
Assigned to keep order on worlds within First Order territory, a specialized variant of the standard stormtrooper were trained in riot-control tactics and given non-lethal equipment to suppress any disorder, as well as some lethal weapons, such as the Sonn-Blas F-11D blaster rifle, in case situations spiraled out of control.
The First Order also used cybernetics as a form of punishment by turning someone into a cyborg to ensure loyalty, as was the case with rogue agent Terex. The First Order would also dismiss any strike action and would send in stormtroopers to enforce and "restore order" as part of a law and order operation, and would simply kill any negotiators to resolve any strike.
The First Order made it illegal to even communicate with the Resistance and considered it an act of treason that would result in being executed, and the act of speaking ill of the Supreme Leader was determined as a crime.
The First Order continued the research into dark energy translations and hyperspace tunneling that had began under the Empire, where they repurposed an ice world for the development of a mobile superweapon called Starkiller Base, which used a dark energy called "quintessence" as it offered a virtual unlimited power source, this was made possible after securing logs from secret Imperial laboratories detailing a suitable planet needed with the correct specifications for what would become Starkiller Base with the colossal superlaser array itself built into the planetary crust and would to the Order represent a technological step forward in power.
The Order also developed the hyperspace tracker which was a type of active tracker with the ability to detect starships traveling through hyperspace developed by First Order scientists. Originally studied by the Tarkin Initiative during the reign of the Empire, the technology was not established for several more decades when a team assembled by General Armitage Hux discovered how to implement the technology. A complex static hyperspace field generator, which enveloped arrays of databanks and computers in a localized hyperspace field that accelerated their calculation speeds to unimaginable rates. While also constricting a superlaser siege cannon, that was a form of miniaturized Death Star technology that was capable of firing a devastating energy pulse along a targeting tracer beam to cause a powerful detonation upon impact. Being a two-hundred-meter cannon, it required support, such as having vehicles that were able to maneuver it into position during a siege and could be deployed to have a retractable stabilizing outrigger to ground its bulk. The First Order had also developed huge data banks loaded with centuries of combat reports and astrogation data. This was aided by a static hyperspace field that accelerated their processing power to an unprecedented level, which was overseen by the Shipboard Tracking Control Complex that was the size of a planetary intelligence hub.
Society and culture
- "It is the task of the First Order to remove the disorder from our own existence, so that civilization may be returned to the stability that promotes progress. A stability that existed under the Empire, was reduced to anarchy by the Rebellion, was inherited in turn by the so-called Republic, and will be restored by us. Future historians will look upon this as the time when a strong hand brought the rule of law back to civilization."
- ―Kylo Ren
The First Order was an ethnocentric xenophobic regime controlled by a human ruling class in both military and non-military positions. A large number of individuals in the First Order were non-human aliens who were effectively second-class citizens. This was apparent in the First Order propaganda and labor policies.
Growing up in isolation on the far side of the Unknown Regions gave these human officers and citizens of the First Order an Imperially-skewed version of galactic history. Under the guidance of Imperial veterans, along with approved literature, vids, and mandatory viewings of morale sessions twice a day for stormtrooper cadets, officers learned of their glorious past and how they had been robbed of it by terrorists and rebels, who later called themselves the New Republic. Many believed only they could have the power necessary to wrest the galaxy from a path of chaos and corruption. This claim was not without some basis. The New Republic's corruption and ineffectiveness was plain to see across the galaxy, from its citizens to the Resistance and the First Order. In fact, this corruption was one of the First Order's most potent weapons, as they ensured their agenda met with no interference from the Senate. The First Order's citizens saw this as proof the Rebellion was built on false promises, and that rebels could only tear down a government, not build one.
Pre-recorded speeches often filled the airwaves, in which General Armitage Hux commented on instances of the Republic's depravity, including famines on Ibaar and Adarlon, the brutal suppression of the people of Balamak, and unchecked alien advances throughout the Outer Rim. Following these reports were stories of First Order victories such as liberating labor camps on Iktotch or winning a fleet battle in the Bormea sector. Despite these patriotic functions and rallies, the First Order heavily relied on the brutal suppression of dissent and unpatriotic activities. Riot control stormtroopers were specially trained to quash insurrection, with live-fire dispersal of protesters permitted. Industrial unrest such as the Strike at Pressy's Tumble were blamed on New Republic agents. According to the First Order, the Jedi were officially extinct, and it was forbidden to pronounce Kylo Ren's birth name by order of Supreme Leader Snoke. To boost morale, the First Order utilized a commemorative rank insignia system, issuing armbands bearing the names of famous units and heroes of the Galactic Civil War. Many in the military believed that despite being outnumbered by the New Republic Starfleet, their technological superiority was so complete that even their smaller navy stood virtually unchallenged.
The First Order had no qualms with inducting children into direct combat. The most infamous example of the latter was the stormtroopers of the First Order, which forcibly subjected any children of worlds conquered by the First Order to military training. Because the First Order trained its soldiers from birth, several members had very high ranks despite their youth technically making them closer to junior officers, in contrast to the Empire's Sub-Adult Group, which promoted patriotism without subjecting its members to direct combat.
However brutal, the First Order's recruitment methods were lauded by their personnel and even by some of their conscripts. Many of the children the First Order recruited came from poor, impoverished Outer Rim worlds, where lawlessness was rampant and the residents had few to no prospects in life. Due to these horrific conditions, many of the people happily surrendered their children to the First Order willingly, either hoping they would have a better life or simply desiring payment and one fewer mouth to feed. Some freelance recruiters for the First Order agreed these children were better off under the First Order than on their homeworlds; one bragged that Athulla was such a "nightmare" the First Order was doing its children a favor. One of these impoverished children inducted into the First Order's ranks, from the desert world of Jakku, would rise to become a respected officer in the First Order: Captain Cardinal.
Once recruited, citizens and soldiers of the First Order were indoctrinated to have a strong sense of duty, loyalty, and obedience to the state, and taught to forgo their personal desires for the greater good of the First Order. To this end, recruits abandon their previous lives and identities upon their induction into the First Order and submit to being identified by a numerical code. Senior officers and distinguished members of the Stormtrooper Corps, such as Phasma and Cardinal, were not expected to do so. First Order citizens were educated to believe it had been the pursuit of individual selfishness and desires that led the Rebel Alliance to topple the galaxy-uniting Empire. They were also taught that the Rebels were short-sighted terrorists who could not see the benefit of the Empire, and instead started a war that forced the Empire to crack down on personal liberties in response. Despite this doctrine, First Order military training heavily emphasized individual strength and improvisation, both physically and mentally. Training programs that were mandatory for all recruits beginning at a young age became progressively more severe as they grew to adulthood. The First Order, like the Empire before it, believed the strong naturally rose to power, while the weaker were left to serve their natural leaders.
The First Order economy was tightly controlled, partly due to treaty restrictions that prevented major galactic corporations from selling arms to the First Order, owing to it Imperial origins. Nevertheless, they had dealings with the Aratech-Loratus Corporation, Rebaxan Columni, Sienar-Jaemus Fleet Systems, Kuat-Entralla Engineering and Sonn-Blas Corporation—a subsidiary of the First Order military's major arms manufacturers, Merr-Sonn Munitions, Inc. and BlasTech Industries. The First Order plundered the worlds within its domain in order to fill its coffers with various currencies, particularly coins minted from precious metals such as aurei, peggats and zemids, all of which had universal value as they could be melted down. The credit was also a recognized currency in the First Order economy, although by then coinage made from valuable metals was considered preferable to electronic currencies, especially in an era of instability.
Having amassed a vast treasury through conquest and plunder, the First Order used its profits to purchase weapons from war profiteers on Cantonica in the Corporate Sector. They also channeled large sums of money through shells and third-party corporations with help from the Corporate Sector Authority.
To avoid the terms of the Galactic Concordance which included the sale of weapons to the Order, arms manufacturers BlasTech Industries and Merr-Sonn Munitions, Inc. opted to bypass these restrictions by forming a subsidiary known as the Sonn-Blas Corporation, which manufactured all weapons within First Order space, while Sienar-Jaemus Army Systems and Aratech-Loratus Corporation would develop spacecraft and vehicles to the Order.
The airwaves infrastructure in the First Order was under full state oversight and had tight restrictions and censorship imposed on it, which were often filled with pre recorded speeches in line with military objectives, this was there-for used by the ruling junta to maintain its control of the masses by using propaganda. The First Order utilized a form of holographic technology that could show the user in full color and lacked any scan lines as part of its communications systems.
The Supremacy communication complex was used to watch HoloNet traffic throughout the galaxy, this was to help identify trends and weaknesses that the First Order could use to further their goals, it could also be used to dispatched orders to agents operating within both New Republic and independent space. The Supremacy also held industrial capabilities including research labs and factories onboard, this housed departments for conception, research and well-stocked raw materials reserves, eight durasteel foundries as well as an asteroid mining complex for harvesting raw materials directly from asteroid fields, as well as state-of-the-art production lines that could not be cut off from supply lines. It also had at least eight droid manufacturing facilities.
- "The First Order will control all the major systems within weeks."
The First Order claimed the large, unexplored region beyond the frontier to the west of the Core as its heartland, with the emergent power expanding across the vast swaths of space left untouched for millennia by galactic explorers, including Demir, as well as a handful of sectors claimed by the First Order in the Outer Rim Territories. The First Order undertook a major offensive against several of these kingdoms to seize their worlds and resources to fuel their rise.
Numerous shipyards, bases, and research facilities were also built on newly explored star systems and colonized worlds as the Order slowly expanded and plotted its eventual return to the galaxy at large.
The First Order's domain expanded into the known galaxy through the annexation of a bloc of star systems that seceded from the New Republic. The Centrists, a political faction in the Galactic Senate, wanted a more centralized government than the one offered by the New Republic. As a result, the systems that identified with Centrist politics joined the First Order, marking its official formation as a galactic government. At the time when the Centrists called for secession, the planets that supported their political goals included Arkanis, Comra, Coruscant, Daxam IV, Hevurion, Kuat, Orinda, and Riosa.
A narrow region of neutral systems known as the Trans-Hydian Borderlands existed between New Republic and First Order space as a result of the Cold War between the two galactic powers. Despite frequent First Order incursions into Republic space, the Galactic Senate did not wish to spark a conflict, and thus was limited to formal diplomatic protest.
The First Order increased its territorial extent through galactic conquest after the New Republic's destruction. Its military presence extended to various inhabited worlds, including Bespin, Jakku, and Endor. Kijimi was also conquered and placed under military occupation. No longer required to observe treaties with a fallen government, the First Order deployed its stormtroopers across the galaxy, making the white-armored soldier a common sight once more.
Behind the scenes
- "That all came out of conversations about what would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again? What could be born of that? Could The First Order exist as a group that actually admired The Empire? Could the work of The Empire be seen as unfulfilled? And could Vader be a martyr? Could there be a need to see through what didn't get done?"
- ―J.J. Abrams
The First Order was created for the 2015 film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens and was developed through conversations amongst the production team. According to J.J. Abrams, the film's director, the team wondered what would have happened if the Nazis who went into hiding in Argentina after World War II started working together again. Abrams hinted that the First Order would therefore be a group that admired the Galactic Empire and felt that its work was unfulfilled.
The First Order's exact nature during the development of the film was kept secret since the film's announcement. On August 10, 2015, the official Star Wars Twitter and GooglePlus accounts unveiled an image of the First Order congregating at Starkiller Base.
Costume designer Michael Kaplan said the First Order uniforms were designed to look severe, "very hard edge, very broad shoulders, very angular, geometric." He cited inspiration from French fashion designer Thierry Mugler.
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