- "My men are exceptionally trained, programmed from birth."
- ―Armitage Hux
The First Order military comprised the various branches of the armed forces of the First Order, such as the First Order Army and First Order Navy and the Stormtrooper Corps, as well as Special Forces. Forged from elements of the former Imperial Military that withdrew into the Unknown Regions during the collapse of the Galactic Empire, and undertook a vast militarization program and developed a technologically superior military.
It was overseen by First Order High Command, along with Snoke, who was the Supreme Leader until Kylo Ren killed him and took his place. The First Order fleet stood almost unchallenged due to the New Republic's push for galactic disarmament.
- "Through my manipulation of Snoke, I began gathering forces, building an army capable of opposing the New Republic that had arisen in my absence. Through Snoke, I would make certain that the First Order would be mine to control."
- ―Darth Sidious
Over the years following the defeat of the Galactic Empire, elements of the former Imperial Military founded the First Order, located in the far corners of the Unknown Regions, and began rapidly rearming— intending to eventually reclaim the galaxy from the New Republic—in clear violation of the Galactic Concordance and Republic laws. Within the Unknown Regions, military bases and shipyards were constructed to churn out some of the technologically superior weapons and starfighters utilized by the military, with many of the Old Empire's greatest secrets falling into the hands of the First Order. To avoid treaty restrictions banning the sale of weaponry 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, while Sienar-Jaemus Army Systems and Aratech-Loratus Corporation provided spacecraft and vehicles to the Order.
The road to rearmament
- "They're flying state-of-the-art TIEs, they're using commando boarding parties and latest generation attack shuttles in clear violation of the Galactic Concordance."
- ―Poe Dameron
In violation of New Republic laws regarding capital ships, the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer was developed by Kuat-Entralla Engineering. It 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. Although the First Order's military might had been suspected to be significantly large, not even General Leia Organa's worst-case estimates conceived of just how large the First Order built up their military.
Thirty years after the Battle of Endor one of the military's primary bases of operations was the Starkiller Base, an ice planet converted into a First Order stronghold. Utilizing it as their unofficial headquarters, the base was armed with a superweapon capable of destroying entire star systems by firing a planet-destroying beam through hyperspace. By then, the military was led by a triumvirate of General Armitage Hux, Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma.
First Order/Resistance War
A new galactic 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
A First Order fleet then attacked the Resistance base at D'Qar. Although their dreadnought, the Fulminatrix, was destroyed, the First Order annihilated the base, destroyed the Resistance's entire bombing fleet, and forced them to flee to the Crait system. General Hux then used new hyperspace trackers to confront the Resistance with their massive flagship, the Supremacy. Attacks by Ren and his squad of TIE fighters destroyed the Resistance's starfighter squadrons, including Poe Dameron's own Black One, and its entire leadership team with the exception of General Leia Organa. They also destroyed their medical frigate and the Ninka.
Although former stormtrooper Finn and Resistance mechanic Rose Tico tried to deactivate the main hyperspace tracker on the Supremacy, with the help of the thief DJ, they were captured by First Order security bureau officers and stormtroopers. DJ later told General Hux about the Resistance's plan to flee in cloaked transports in exchange for money, who, upon which confirming the information, ordered the Supremacy to destroy the transports.
However, Admiral Amilyn Holdo turned the cruiser Raddus towards the Supremacy and made a hyperspace jump that cleaved the ship in half. This also stopped the execution of Finn and Rose, who later escaped on a stolen shuttle after defeating Captain Phasma and a few dozen stormtroopers. This sacrifice allowed the remaining Resistance transports to flee to the old Rebel outpost of Crait.
Meanwhile, Ren brought the Force-sensitive scavenger Rey to Snoke in his Throne Room, upon which Snoke tried to get the location of Luke Skywalker out of her. Despite her resistance to his methods, including torture, Snoke ordered Ren to kill the restrained scavenger. However, Ren ignited Luke's lightsaber into Snoke's side and pulled it towards Rey, thus killing him and chopping his body in half. After defeating Snoke's guard, Rey rejected Ren's offer of ruling the galaxy together, instead trying to take Luke's lightsaber. The lightsaber split in two, but Rey recovered both parts and escaped the Supremacy. Meanwhile, Ren declared himself new Supreme Leader after Force-choking Hux. He then ordered the First Order to assault the Resistance base on Crait.
The First Order brought a massive superlaser siege cannon to destroy the massive door. Despite a desperate Resistance counterattack with ski-speeders, the door was destroyed. However, a Force projection of Luke Skywalker delayed First Order forces by confronting Ren, which allowed time for the Resistance to escape on the Millennium Falcon.
- "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-thousandfold. Such range and power will correct the error of Starkiller Base."
- ―Domaric Quinn, to Kylo Ren, and Enric Pryde, to Domaric Quinn
In 35 ABY, Darth Sidious—the architect of the "Old Empire," who had returned from the dead via cloning a new body for his spirit—issued a broadcast to the galaxy, vowing revenge. Supreme Leader Kylo Ren tracked Sidious to the hidden Sith world of Exegol where the the Emperor and his Sith Eternal cultists had built a massive armada of Xyston-class Star Destroyers known as the Final Order. The Emperor offered the Final Order and his position to Ren in return for killing his granddaughter Rey.
After Kylo Ren pledged allegiance to the Emperor, the First Order's military forces were merged into the Final Order. Since Ren's flagship Finalizer had sustained damage over Batuu, another Resurgent Star Destroyer Steadfast became Ren's flagship. First Order military forces attempted to capture a Resistance team led by Poe Dameron on two occasions at the Sinta Glacier Colony and Pasaana. Though they failed to prevent the Resistance from learning about the Emperor's return, they captured Chewbacca on Pasaana after sustaining several casualties. Later, Chewbacca's comrades include Finn, Poe, and Rey rescued him with the aid of the disaffected General Hux, who resented Ren's leadership.
After Ren returned to the light side of the Force and embraced his former identity as Ben Solo, Allegiant General Enric Pryde committed the First Order's military forces into the Emperor's service. To demonstrate his loyalty, Pryde dispatched the Xyston-class Star Destroyer Derriphan to destroy the planet Kijimi as a show of military force. The combined First and Final Orders' forces saw action against the Resistance and the Citizens' Fleet during the Battle of Exegol, which saw the deaths of the Emperor and the redeemed Solo. The Steadfast along with the entire Sith Eternal's armada was destroyed during the battle. Following the Battle of Exegol, various worlds, including Endor, Jakku, and Bespin rose up in rebellion against the Final Order, leading to the destruction of several Resurgent-class Star Destroyers.
Like its predecessor, the First Order employed 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 counterinsurgency 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.
In addition to its stormtroopers and ground tactics like maneuver 0927, the First Order utilized differing vehicles to help their infantry in various environments. For snowy terrain the Order deployed Light Infantry Utility Vehicles and fast snowspeeders, while they used 125-Z treadspeeder bikes for desert environments. More armored were the All Terrain Mobile Artillery used, for example, on Starkiller Base.
- "You will see how the First Order has created state-of-the-art TIE fighters, attack craft, and new classes of Star Destroyers that not only enforce its will in First Order space, but also threaten neutral worlds in the galactic borderlands."
- ―Leia Organa
The First Order Navy was mainly based on battle cruisers like its Imperial predecessor, with the Navy at its height constructing capital ships numbering well into the hundreds through Project Resurrection. Resurgent-class Star Destroyers were the threatening capital ships deployed against the First Order's targets, but the Resistance believed that vessels even larger than them existed. The First Order also used older Imperial-class Star Destroyers and smaller ships compared to Resurgent-class Star Destroyers, as Lancer-class frigates, Maxima-A class heavy cruisers, Dissident-class light cruisers and Nebulon-K frigates.
For ground assaults the Order made a great use of Atmospheric Assault Landers; a hundred of them could be carried by Resurgent-class Star Destroyers. They also used Upsilon-class command shuttles. To achieve space superiority the Order deployed TIEs in two variants: TIE/fo space superiority fighters and its two-seated version, the TIE/sf space superiority fighter, this one used by the First Order's Special Forces.
- "We can and will chase every rumor, every scrap, every vapor trail across the galaxy! We will mobilize every bounty hunter and informant and turn over every rock to find all of them…and wipe every one of them out of existence!"
- ―Kylo Ren, to Armitage Hux
Although its military acted as the face of the First Order, proxy elements such as double agents, hired thugs, and spies helped to spread its influence to an even greater extent.
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- Before the Awakening
- TIE Fighter Owners' Workshop Manual
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: The Secrets of the Sith
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary dates the events of Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker to one year after the Starkiller Incident, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 34 ABY. Therefore, the events of Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker must take place in 35 ABY.
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- "Pest Control"—Star Wars Adventures (2017) 3
- The Last Jedi: Bomber Command
- Allegiance 1