- "…You will lead these children. They will serve you. And one day soon your father will pass down his teachings to you, and you will learn to do what he did. It will be your life's work to take children like these savages and hammer their malleable minds into whatever shape you so require. They will be tools built for the work at hand. This is my gift to you, boy. One day your father will die. One day soon, I fear. And you will take his place."
- ―Gallius Rax, to Armitage Hux
Prior to the Battle of Jakku, the Counselor to the Empire Gallius Rax recruited two dozen local Jakku orphans as child soldiers. Rax placed them under the command of Armitage Hux, who trained the children to become the First Order's initial squad of stormtroopers.
- "That's where most of the kids are kept. Nobody wants children running underfoot when you have a heavy-gauge blast-drill blowing chunks of canyon wall apart. So they dump them there, with the anchorites and their nurse-women. I would've never let my kids go there."
- ―Bartender describing the origins of the child soldiers to Rae Sloane
Gallius Rax's child soldiers consisted of roughly two dozen children taken from small villages and the makeshift orphanages run by the Anchorites on the planet Jakku. At the time of the Battle of Jakku, most of the children were in their pre-teen or early adolescent years. They wore plain white uniforms that resembled nightclothes, and wielded improvised knives and blasters. Several known members included a tall girl with her hair shorn to the scalp, a boy about Armitage Hux's age with tar-dark hair and sun-marked skin, and another boy with sandy hair and sallow cheeks. They were trained to obey the orders of Gallius Rax, Brendol Hux, and his son Armitage.
- "The Empire must be fertile and young. Children are crucial to our success. Many of our officers are old. We need that kind of vitality. That brand of energy you get with the young. The Empire needs children."
- ―Gallius Rax
Before the Battle of Jakku, Gallius Rax recruited two dozen orphans from Jakku to become child soldiers. These orphans were kidnapped by the Hutt crime lady Niima, who forged an agreement with Rax in return for receiving weapons. Rax targeted the orphanages run by the Anchorites due to his animus to his former master Kolob. Rax's subordinate, the former Commandant Brendol Hux, trained these orphans into a fearsome force of child soldiers and assassins who were loyal to Rax. Rax used these orphans to assassinate the propagandist Ferric Obdur and later to execute an entire unit of stormtroopers. These killings were part of the Emperor Palpatine's posthumous Contingency plan to tear down the Galactic Empire in the event of his death.
Rax planned to take these child soldiers along with Hux, his son Armitage, and several other worthy Imperial commanders into the Unknown Regions to start a new Empire. Prior to his death, Rax gave the young Armitage command of the child soldiers and tasked him with leading them. Following the Battle of Jakku, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, who inherited the Contingency plan from Rax, struck a deal with Armitage to protect the boy from his father if he would ensure that the child soldiers did not attack her during the voyage. After months of travel, the child soldiers along with the Hux's and Sloane rendezvoused in uncharted space with the Emperor's flagship Eclipse.
The child soldiers' leader Armitage later became a General in the First Order and modeled its stormtrooper training regime after techniques that his father developed while he was a Commandant at the Arkanis Academy.
Behind the scenes
Gallius Rax's child soldiers first appeared in Chuck Wendig's 2017 novel Aftermath: Empire's End, the last installment in Star Wars: The Aftermath Trilogy. It is strongly hinted in the text that these child soldiers became the First Order's first stormtroopers. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, it is mentioned that General Hux and his father were part of the Imperial exodus that fled into the Unknown Regions following the Battle of Jakku and the signing of the Galactic Concordance. The younger Hux is credited with modelling the First Order's stormtrooper training regiment using techniques that his father had developed at the Arkanis Academy.
- Aftermath: Empire's End (First appearance)
- Aftermath: Empire's End audiobook
- Phasma (Mentioned only)
- Phasma audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Galaxy's Edge: Black Spire (Indirect mention only)
- Galaxy's Edge: Black Spire audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- (Indirect mention only)