- "The Supreme Leader is dead."
"Long live the Supreme Leader."
- ―Kylo Ren and Armitage Hux
The Supreme Leader was the ruler of the First Order, a hermit state that rose to power in the years after the fall of the Galactic Empire. Invested with absolute power, the Supreme Leader controlled every aspect of First Order policy but could also delegate authority to officers that acted on his behalf. The technological war machine that the First Order engineered to conquer the galaxy was under the Supreme Leader's control. As such, all who lived under the First Order's rule were required to render unquestioning loyalty and obedience to the Supreme Leader. This was especially the case with First Order stormtroopers, who were trained since birth to become an army of super-soldiers loyal to the Supreme Leader.
During the New Republic Era, Snoke—a mysterious being with a powerful connection to the dark side of the Force—gained control of the First Order by becoming the Supreme Leader. Under his rule, the First Order completed its military buildup in secret, its activities hidden in the Unknown Regions, beyond the veil of the galactic frontier. As a ruler, Snoke governed his dominion from the Mega-class Star Dreadnought Supremacy, which served as a mobile capital for the First Order in lieu of a planetary seat of government. He used both holoprojectors and propaganda to project himself as an omnipresent leader in the minds of his subjects, but also relied on a select few individuals who were trusted to lead in his name, specifically General Armitage Hux and the dark warrior Kylo Ren.
By 34 ABY, the First Order was locked in a cold war with the New Republic as well as the Resistance. With the Starkiller Base operational, Supreme Leader Snoke granted General Hux permission to deploy the superweapon's full power against the Republic capital in the Hosnian system. After decapitating the Republic leadership, the Supreme Leader deployed his fleets and armies to conquer the galaxy. He also oversaw the First Order's retaliation against the Resistance in response to the destruction of Starkiller Base. However, Snoke's reign was brought to an end with his death at the hands of his ambitious apprentice Kylo Ren, who saw himself as his grandfather's heir and the rightful ruler of the galaxy. Ren declared himself the new Supreme Leader as he set forth to end the war with the Resistance and forge a new galactic order.
- "Our strategy must now change."
"The weapon. It is ready."
- ―Snoke and Armitage Hux
The Supreme Leader was the ruler of the First Order, a hermit state that sought to reclaim the legacy of the Galactic Empire. Acting as the head of the military apparatus, the Supreme Leader was responsible for the organization's strategy but could also entrust the execution of his plans to an upper cadre of high-ranking officials by delegating authority to them. Any alterations to the First Order's strategy required the Supreme Leader's approval.
The authority of the Supreme Leader was considered absolute within the ranks of the First Order, with personal interests regarded as secondary to orders from the Supreme Leader. 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. 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 rank would indicate.
While the First Order wasn't officially recognized as a government, the act of speaking ill of the Supreme Leader was determined as a crime during the war between the First Order and the Resistance.
- "The Empire is ended. A new one must begin."
- ―Gallius Rax
A successor to the Galactic Empire in all but name, the First Order was ruled by the Supreme Leader, an office invested with absolute power not unlike the authority wielded by Emperor Palpatine. With the Emperor's death, however, a new era dawned in which the New Republic rose to power. After defeating the remnants of the Empire at the Battle of Jakku, the nascent democracy concentrated on restoring peace and stability to the galaxy while Imperial holdovers escaped into exile in the Unknown Regions, refusing to accept the conditions of the Empire's surrender or the peace treaty that ended the Galactic Civil War.
The exodus of Imperial officers, nobles, and scientists ultimately led to the reorganisation of the Empire into the First Order—a new government but one inspired by the old regime's ideology—fulfilling the mandate of Counselor Gallius Rax who sought to build a new empire upon the ruins of its predecessor. Rejecting the treaties and war reparations that reduced the once mighty Empire to a rump state, the First Order secretly adopted a rearmament policy in order to create new fleets and armies. Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and Commandant Brendol Hux were among the officers who fled from known space, and it was initially believed that one of them would serve as leader of the new empire emerging in the Unknown Regions.
Reign of SnokeEdit
- "Darkness rises, and light to meet it."
Contrary to the beliefs held by some that either Sloane or Hux would lead the First Order, it was Snoke—a mysterious being with a strong connection to the Force, the dark side in particular—who outmaneuvered his rivals and secured absolute power as Supreme Leader. His reputation as the First Order's master preceded him by the last days of the cold war between his regime and the New Republic. During his reign, he remained steadfast in his refusal to designate a planet as the First Order's capital, having chosen to rule his dominion from a mobile command center. An ambitious ruler, Snoke was not content to rule a handful of sectors claimed by the First Order in the Outer Rim Territories, nor was he satisfied by colonizing clusters of worlds beyond the frontier. In his view, ambitions limited in scope would have made the First Order no different than the various nonaligned states that emerged in the wake of the Empire's collapse, or the hermetic kingdoms in the Unknown Regions that had been dismantled or destroyed by the First Order during its secret rise.
Ultimately, it was Snoke's desire to see the First Order reclaim the galaxy that the Empire lost in its war with the Rebel Alliance. The Supreme Leader would then build on that rebuilt foundation, taking the First Order beyond what the Empire achieved in its time. Until that goal was achieved, however, the Supreme Leader wanted to keep the First Order's capital mobile. He therefore chose to rule from his throne room in the Supremacy, the first in a line of gargantuan warships known as the Mega-class Star Dreadnought.
Snoke's authority was uncontested, although he did designate General Armitage Hux and Kylo Ren—Brendol Hux's illegitimate son and Snoke's dark apprentice, respectively—as his chief commanders, allowing them to lead the First Order's armies in his name. As such, they were both among the few individuals who could contact the Supreme Leader directly, and as rivals they competed for Snoke's approval. At times they were required to work together despite their rivalry; however, their objectives were different insofar as Hux oversaw the First Order's militarization program on the Supreme Leader's behalf; and Ren pursued his personal quest to destroy the last Jedi, his former Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.
While they both projected the airs of loyal and obedient lieutenants in the presence of their master, in secret Ren and Hux coveted the title of Supreme Leader. Hux was especially careful to never hint at his ambitions, knowing the Supreme Leader had spies spread throughout the First Order, and only went so far as to imagine himself as Snoke's successor. Nevertheless, possessing the Supreme Leader's favor granted him greater authority than his rank as general would indicate. He therefore requested the title of Grand Marshal, but his request was denied by the Supreme Leader.
Upon completing the construction of Starkiller Base in 34 ABY, Hux persuaded Snoke to authorize the superweapon's use on the Hosnian system, reasoning that a direct attack on the capital of Hosnian Prime would destroy the New Republic's leaders, including the Galactic Senate and Chancellor Lanever Villecham. Agreeing with his general's plan, Snoke permitted Hux to carry out the attack, resulting in the system's annihilation and the fall of the New Republic.
Although Starkiller Base was subsequently destroyed by the Resistance, a paramilitary group founded by General Leia Organa, the First Order felt confident that victory was inevitable. At Snoke's direction, the First Order deployed its vast military forces across the galaxy with the intent of seizing control over the major systems. He also continued to pursue his objectives of eliminating the surviving members of the Resistance, as well as hunting and killing Skywalker. Using Hux's hyperspace tracker, Snoke personally oversaw the First Order Navy's assault on the Resistance fleet. At the same time, he used his mastery of the Force to create a Force-bond between his apprentice and Rey, a Force-sensitive Jakku scavenger who sought to learn the Jedi arts under Skywalker. Having gained new insights into Ren's inner conflict through their bond, Rey ultimately left Skywalker to seek out the fallen Jedi, determined to turn the tide of the war by restoring Kylo Ren to his former persona of Ben Solo.
Rise of Kylo RenEdit
- "You think you can turn him? Pathetic child. I cannot be betrayed; I cannot be beaten. I see his mind; I see his every intent. Yes… I see him turning the lightsaber to strike true! And now, foolish child, he ignites it and kills his true enemy!"
- ―Snoke's last words, said to Rey
However, Snoke anticipated Rey's intentions and used the bond to lure her to him. After successfully probing her mind for the location of Skywalker, Snoke commanded Ren to execute Rey. Although he previously berated Ren, calling him a child and unworthy of his grandfather's legacy, Snoke was confident that his apprentice had now fully embraced the dark side—no longer sensing weakness but strength and resolve emanating from his apprentice. To his shock, Ren used Rey's lightsaber to bisect Snoke at the waist, killing his master and saving Rey in the process. After defeating Snoke's personal bodyguards, Rey urged Ren to save her allies but the First Order warlord came to believe that the Resistance had to be destroyed along with all reminders of his past in order to usher the galaxy in a new era under his rule. To this end, he invited Rey to rule the galaxy at his side, but she ultimately rejected his offer and fled to help the Resistance, causing Ren to blame Snoke's death on her.
Knowing that the last of the Resistance would make their stand on the planet Crait, Ren ordered Hux to send their forces in pursuit of the survivors. Hux was initially opposed to following orders from his rival, leading Ren to silence the general's protests by asphyxiating him through the Force. Unable to breathe, Hux was intimidated into proclaiming Ren as the new Supreme Leader. Under Ren's leadership, the First Order all but destroyed the Resistance at the Battle of Crait, but due to the intervention of Luke Skywalker a handful of survivors were able to escape with the assistance of Rey.
Style of officeEdit
- "Perhaps Leader Snoke should consider using a clone army."
- ―Kylo Ren, referring to the Supreme Leader
As master of the First Order, Snoke was addressed by his official title, "Supreme Leader," or as "Leader Snoke" by his subordinates such as Kylo Ren and General Armitage Hux. Following the demise of Snoke, Ren was henceforth referred to as Supreme Leader due to his status as Snoke's successor. Though initially opposed to following orders from his rival, Hux was forced to acknowledge Ren's authority and therefore began addressing the knight by his new title.
- "And, uh, if the price is right I can break you into old man Snoke's boudoir."
- ―DJ, referring to the Supremacy
The Supremacy, the first Mega-class Star Dreadnought, was the de facto capital of the First Order during the reign of Supreme Leader Snoke. A gargantuan capital ship spanning more than sixty kilometers wide, the Supremacy was also a warship equipped with considerable firepower. In addition to housing shipyards, production lines and R&D labs, and army training grounds, the ship contained a throne room where Snoke would broadcast his image across the territories of the First Order through holographic technology. Although various officers and allies argued for a planet to act as their capital, Snoke insisted on using the Supremacy as his headquarters, and refused to establish a planetary capital until the galaxy was under the First Order's control.
Access to the throne room was limited to the Supreme Leader's alien Attendants and elite guards as well as his top commanders General Hux and Kylo Ren. The throne room sustained extensive damage in the wake of Snoke's assassination, around the same time when the Supremacy was cut in half by the Resistance flagship Raddus, which rammed through the First Order battleship at lightspeed.
The Elite Praetorian Guard was a cohort of eight sentinels, heavily armored and well-trained in melee combat. Following in the example of Emperor Palpatine's Imperial Royal Guard, the Praetorian Guard served as Supreme Leader Snoke's personal bodyguards, and therefore, tasked with protecting him against any threat to his safety. The Guard as a whole was divided into four pairs, each brandishing their own unique melee weapons such as vibro-voulges, electro-bisentos, and vibro-arbir blades.
In the aftermath of Starkiller Base's annihilation, Kylo Ren was summoned to the Supremacy throne room where his master scolded him for his failure in the presence of the Praetorian Guard. The apprentice rose to his feat in a fit of anger, causing the Praetorians to snap into an attack formation although the Supreme Leader swiftly subdued Ren with his Force powers before signaling the Guard to stand down. Later, Ren returned to the throne room and presented the prisoner Rey to Snoke. The young Jedi hopeful made an attempt on the Supreme Leader's life, to which the Praetorians again responded by taking an offensive stance only to stand down once more at their master's command. After overpowering Rey through the Force, Snoke implored his apprentice to take the life of Rey. Using guile and subterfuge, however, Ren assassinated his master, causing the Praetorians to engage both him and Rey in an attempt to avenge their slain leader. In spite of their efforts, the entire Praetorian Guard was destroyed by Ren and Rey.
Supreme Leader Kylo Ren utilized a personal Upsilon-class command shuttle, a line of shuttles inspired by the ones in the Old Empire, such as the Lambda-class T-4a shuttle which used to carry Emperor Palpatine. Ren's shuttle functioned as his mobile command station during the Battle of Crait, shortly after his ascension as Supreme Leader. The distinguishing feature of the Upsilon-class shuttle was its advanced sensor suites and military-focused design, making it more than a mere pleasure craft or luxury starship.
List of Supreme LeadersEdit
Behind the scenesEdit
- LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Appears in hologram)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- ↑ Phasma takes place a few weeks before the beginning of Galaxy's Edge: Black Spire which begins during the events of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, which is dated to 34 ABY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. As the title Supreme Leader is mentioned in a chapter set ten years before the main story of Phasma, it can be deduced that the title was established by around 24 ABY.
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ Resistance Reborn
- ↑ Star Wars Battlefront II
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Aftermath: Empire's End
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 12.9 Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Expanded Edition
- ↑ (Slide 22)
- ↑ 14.0 14.1
- ↑ 16.0 16.1
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Supreme leader on Wikipedia