Empire At War First Order [EXCLUSIVE]
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According to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary (2015) and the novel Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy by Chuck Wendig, after the Galactic Empire was defeated in Return of the Jedi at the climactic Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, thousands of worlds rose up to join the Rebel Alliance and destroy the disorganized Empire, which fell victim to warlordism. The Alliance formally reorganized itself as the New Republic, and retook the Core Worlds, including the galactic capital Coruscant. One year after Endor, the remaining Imperial fleet made a final, massive attempt at a counter-offensive which came to a climax at the planet Jakku, the biggest battle in the war since Endor. The Imperial counter-offensive was decisively defeated. The remaining Imperial forces were pushed back to a handful of sectors on the fringe of the Outer Rim, containing only a small fraction of the galaxy's population and industrial base. These sectors were a heavily fortified final redoubt, and the New Republic deemed that they posed too small a threat to justify the high cost in life that liberating them would require. The New Republic forced the Empire to settle for the Galactic Concordance, a humiliating armistice agreement which imposed strict disarmament plans and punishing reparations on the remaining Imperials. The Aftermath trilogy establishes Imperial Admiral Rae Sloane, introduced as a captain in John Jackson Miller's 2014 novel A New Dawn, as well as Commandant Brendol Hux as the de facto founders of the First Order, with Sloane, after achieving the rank of Grand Admiral, coining the term "First Order" as she establishes the reborn empire that will eventually take that name. She is additionally inferred as a future mentor figure for General Hux, who appears as a child in Empire's End.
Over time, elements of the Imperial Remnant reorganized themselves, becoming a firmly entrenched and isolationist hermit kingdom, which spent the next three decades instigating a "cold war" against the New Republic, gradually rebuilding its military strength and secretly re-arming in violation of its armistice agreements. The vestigial Empire secretly expanded from its original few sectors (in the galactic north), aggressively pushing into the Unknown Regions (the unexplored swaths of territory in the galactic west) to seize new undeveloped worlds in order to supplement their resource base, as well as build new shipyards and industrial infrastructure far from the eyes of the New Republic.
The 2016 novel Star Wars: Bloodline explained how this faction officially reorganized into the "First Order", and that this final transition only occurred about six years before The Force Awakens. By that time, the New Republic Senate had become divided into two parties: the Populists led by Leia Organa, who wanted to decentralize authority, and the Centrists, who wanted power to remain concentrated in a strong central government. Many of the Centrists were former Imperials who admired the old Empire for bringing order to the galaxy, and who feared that without strong central control the New Republic would become as weak and ineffectual as the Old Republic. Ultimately, many Centrist worlds seceded from the New Republic to reunite with the holdout Imperial remnants on the fringe of the galaxy, and formally combined into a new government called "the First Order". First Order conspirators publicly revealed that Leia was in fact the daughter of Darth Vader, severely harming her political standing among the remaining Populists.
The new "First Order" came to be ruled by the mysterious Force-wielder known as Supreme Leader Snoke, who was secretly created by the resurrected Emperor Palpatine to control the First Order after purging its previous leadership. Through Snoke, Palpatine seduced Leia's own son Ben Solo to the dark side of the Force, who renamed himself "Kylo Ren". On his turn to the dark side, Ben/Kylo slaughtered most of his uncle Luke Skywalker's other Jedi apprentices (with the rest joining him) and destroyed his new academy. Blaming himself, Luke fled into self-imposed exile to search for the ancient first Jedi Temple. Kylo Ren, meanwhile, took on a position as Snoke's right hand within the First Order's military.
With her political standing severely weakened, and the New Republic Senate gridlocked and unwilling to recognize the First Order's military buildup, Leia Organa decides to withdraw and form her own small private army, known as the Resistance, to fight the First Order within its own borders. She is joined by other members of the former Rebel Alliance such as Admiral Ackbar. Publicly the New Republic continues to disavow direct association with the Resistance to maintain plausible deniability, and though the majority of the Senate does not want to intervene against the First Order, several Senators privately channel funds and resources to the Resistance. This state of affairs continued on for the next six years until the events of The Force Awakens. Comic book writer Charles Soule, creator of the 2015 Marvel Comics series Star Wars: Poe Dameron, explained that immediately prior to the events of The Force Awakens, "The New Republic and the First Order are in a position of detente, and while there have been a few small skirmishes between the Resistance and the First Order, it's very much a sort of cold war."
A major plot point in The Last Jedi is that the First Order has developed new "hyperspace tracking" technology, allowing them to continue to chase enemy vessels through hyperspace from one jump to the next (until one or the other runs out of fuel). This technology was first mentioned in passing in Rogue One as another research project the Empire was starting to develop almost forty years before. However, it appears that such technology existed at the time of A New Hope, as Darth Vader was able to track the Tantive IV from Scarif to Tatooine even through hyperspace.
The First Order employs a quality-over-quantity philosophy with its soldiers and personnel. Unable to conscript quadrillions of soldiers to fill its stormtrooper ranks yet unwilling to invest huge resources in breeding a rapidly produced clone army, First Order stormtroopers are kidnapped from their home worlds and trained from birth, raised their entire lives for no other purpose. First Order soldiers and crews have constantly trained for combat in war games and simulations, making them much more effective one-on-one than the endless waves of stormtrooper conscripts fielded by the old Empire. First Order stormtroopers are regularly put through mental indoctrination and propaganda programs, to make sure that they remain fanatically loyal and never hesitate or question orders. Soldiers are not even given individual names for themselves but merely serial numbers, such as "FN-2187".
Kylo is searching for Luke, who vanished some years earlier. Snoke believes that as long as Luke lives, a new generation of Jedi Knights can rise again. The First Order launches a preemptive strike on Hosnian Prime, the New Republic's current capital world (as well as Hosnian Prime's Sun and the other planets in the 'Hosnian system' (Hosnian Prime's solar system), as well as the New Republic starships there), by demonstrating the Starkiller's firepower. This devastating first strike takes the New Republic completely by surprise, not only killing most of its leadership in the Galactic Senate but wiping out a substantial portion of the New Republic's core military fleets. This paves the way for a resulting Blitzkrieg of the rest of the galaxy by the First Order, using the disproportionately powerful military it has rebuilt over the past three decades.
Kylo begins to scour the galaxy for Rey. The Resistance acquires information on Palpatine's location and embarks on a quest to find Exegol. Hux is revealed to have been a spy inside the First Order, due to his contempt for Kylo Ren. He is found out by Pryde and executed for treason. Rey confronts Kylo Ren on Kef Bir at the wreckage of the second Death Star. She impales Kylo after he is distracted by Leia calling out to him through the Force. Rey heals Kylo and flees. Afterward, Kylo sees a vision of his father, Han Solo, through a memory. This causes Kylo to abandon the dark side and reclaim his identity as Ben Solo. Palpatine orders Pryde to send a Sith Star Destroyer to obliterate Kijimi as a show of force and tells him to come to Exegol, effectively making Pryde de facto leader of the First Order and a commanding officer of the Sith fleet.
The Resistance started off very small at first, but eventually grew in ranks and entered into a war with the First Order. This came to a head when Palpatine finally revealed himself to the galaxy, intending on reclaiming his place as Emperor of a Final Order.
As a successor to the Galactic Empire, the First Order quickly proved themselves to be a considerable threat in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Their first appearance on Jakku in The Force Awakens quickly established their evil ways. As the films continued and more about the First Order was revealed in Star Wars Resistance, novels, comics, and video games, fans have gained a greater understanding of how truly ruthless they can be.
Forcing civilians to mine their planet's resources to create weapons is already an evil step of the First Order. It gets even worse when they then fire those weapons on the civilians who mined the resources in the first place as a way to test them. This is what happened to the people on Rose and Paige Tico's home planet Hays Minor.
The First Order is an organization formed by the Imperial forces after the deaths of Palpatine and Darth Vader, continuing the Empire's mission to bring the galaxy under the rule of the dark side while using a different name in order to restore the Galactic Empire to its former glory. They were led by Supreme Leader Snoke until he was killed by his apprentice, Kylo Ren, who assumed leadership. 2b1af7f3a8