The Cold war was an intense twenty-nine year standoff between the First Order and the New Republic after 5 ABY. The Galactic Concordance ended the Galactic Civil War, sealing the New Republic's victory and beginning the process of the restoration of democracy to the galaxy. Peace was secured, but tensions between the remnants of the Galactic Empire and the Republic remained high. The events of the cold war saw the emergence of the First Order, a military junta that was inspired by principles of the Galactic Empire, in the Unknown Regions, and the Resistance, a splinter cell of the New Republic military that was formed by former Senator Leia Organa to act as a check on the designs of the First Order where the Republic did not deem it to be a credible threat to galactic peace.
At the end of the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, who was in actuality the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, reorganized the Republic into the first Galactic Empire and declared himself the Galactic Emperor. The Emperor also declared the Jedi to be enemies of the state, and launched a campaign that nearly led to the Order's extinction. Eventually, conflict between the Empire and various rebel cells, which had united into a single military alliance, led to an all out war.
The Empire suffered a critical defeat at the Battle of Endor at the hands of the Rebel Alliance with the deaths of the Emperor, his chief enforcer and apprentice Darth Vader, and the destruction of the Sith.
The defeat of the Galactic Empire at the Battle of Jakku one year after the Battle of Endor, and the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War in 5 ABY marked the beginning of a cold war between the New Republic and a remnant of the Galactic Empire. In addition to a provisional government on Coruscant, the Empire survived as several remnants in spite of the Galactic Concordance and the dissolution of the Imperial government, a few of which opted to become assimilated into the New Republic. What remained of the Imperial establishment ordered what fleets that were still loyal to be recalled into the Core and Inner Rim, in adherence to the treaty. Imperial borders were redrawn and a successor state was founded that would ultimately agree to the stipulations. Despite the reluctant agreement, the Empire remained at odds with the New Republic and would be for years. One of the remnant factions consisted of political hardliners who opposed the Republic during the cold war, before eventually retreating to the Unknown Regions of the galaxy where the First Order, a military junta which admired the policies and principles of the "Old Empire," was ultimately formed.
- "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
In 34 ABY, thirty years after the Battle of Endor, an uneasy peace existed between the New Republic and the First Order, the latter of which had been formed from the remnants of the "Old Empire." In defiance of the Galactic Concordance, the First Order began rebuilding its military and acquiring advanced weapons and starships. First Order forces also frequently crossed the Trans-Hydian Borderlands and launched several incursions into Republic space. Despite mounting reports of First Order re-militarization and aggression, the Galactic Senate and Republic Command refused to take forceful military action against the Order. The New Republic Starfleet was ordered not to seek engagement with First Order forces and to patrol Republic space.
While patrolling the Mirrin sector, the New Republic starfighter commander Poe Dameron and his Rapier Squadron responded to a distress call from the freighter Yissira Zyde above Suraz 4. The freighter was carrying a cargo of 46 high-powered charging arrays, which could be easily converted to military use. During the ensuing Suraz engagement, Rapier Squadron managed to shoot down several First Order starfighters but were unable to prevent the hijacked freighter from jumping into hyperspace. One pilot Muran was also killed during the dogfight. In response, Dameron reported the skirmish to Major Lonno Deso and advocated tracking down the ship and investigating why the First Order was interested in it. Deso, however, ordered Poe not to pursue the First Order, citing the New Republic military's purely defensive policies.
Defying Major Deso's orders, Poe undertook an unsanctioned mission to track down the Yissira Zyde. Facing sanction from the Republic military for disobeying orders, Poe left the Republic Starfleet and joined the Resistance at the advice of General Leia Organa. Poe was also joined by his remaining Rapier pilots Karé Kun and Iolo Arana, who shared his sentiments. Later, General Organa obtained intelligence that the Hevurion senator Erudo Ro-Kiintor was secretly colluding with the First Order by sabotaging motions in the Galactic Senate. Lacking hard evidence, Leia dispatched Poe and his former Rapier Squadron colleagues on a covert mission to steal Ro-Kiintor's starship Hevurion Grace and obtain its computers. Despite opposition from the First Order, the Resistance pilots managed to steal the Hevurion Grace and expose Ro-Kiintor's collaboration with the First Order. In addition, Leia found information leading to her brother Luke and sent Poe on a quest to find Lor San Tekka.
Search for Lor San TekkaEdit
- "I'm hoping Lor San Tekka knows where to find my brother, Poe. And Luke Skywalker may be the only hope we have left."
- ―General Leia Organa, to Poe Dameron
Following the events of Operation: Sabre Strike, Poe Dameron was ordered by General Organa to form a small squadron of no more than four pilots and a technician. Dameron formed his Black Squadron, consisting of himself, Captains Karé Kun and Temmin Wexley, the Duros L'ulo L'ampar, Jessika Pava and the Abednedo technician Oddy Muva. Tracing Lor San Tekka's whereabouts, Black Squadron traveled to the planet Ovanis where he encountered the Crèche cult, who worshiped a large blue egg. The Crèche elder told Poe that Tekka had visited them a long time ago.
However, the First Order learned of their presence on Ovanis and dispatched Agent Terex to recover the information that Poe had obtained from Senator Ro-Kiintor. Black Squadron was subsequently caught up in a dogfight with First Order stormtroopers and TIE fighters. Amidst the fighting, the Crèche egg hatched an unleashed two large winged creatures that fought each other. Poe gained the upper hand over Terex in a fight and managed to force the First Order Security Bureau agent to call off his forces. Unwilling to provoke a war between the First Order and the New Republic, Poe reluctantly released Terex after the Crèche had departed with one of the creatures to find a new home.
Continuing their search for Lor San Tekka, Poe and Black Squadron bribed their way into Megalox prison on the high gravity world of Megalox Beta. They wanted to question Grakkus the Hutt, who had encountered Lor San Tekka a long time ago. However, the First Order learned of their presence and dispatch Terex to obtain the information first. Grakkus agreed to give the information but only to whoever broke him out first. Despite Terex convincing the local crime bosses Papa Toren, Kan Be, and Isin to recruit gangsters into storming Grakkus' fortress, Poe managed to shut down the gravity field around Megalox with the help of BB-8 and the astromech droids.
Donning gravity belts, Poe and Black Squadron managed to rescue Grakkus and escape offworld. On the way, they stopped a vengeful Terex from attacking the prison's space station and shuttles with his starship Carrion Spike; which had once belonged to Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin. After returning to D'Qar, Grakkus provided the Resistance with information on Tekka's last known whereabouts. While Poe wanted to resume the search for the explorer, General Organa instructed Poe to investigate how the First Order had learnt of their trip to Megalox Beta.
Later, the Squamatan Galaxy Beacon journalist and former New Republic Starfleet member Suralinda Javos discovered that the First Order was illegally building military installations, shipyards, weapons research facilities and a mysterious project in violation of the Galactic Concordance. She arranged to meet with Poe on the Inner Rim gas giant of Pheryon for a meeting. She wanted Poe to bring him to General Organa so that she could sell her the information in order to boost her journalistic career. However, Poe and Javos were ambushed and captured by the First Order intelligence agent Lieutenant Weel and his stormtroopers. Javos was captured but managed to kill Weel and free Poe. During the return journey, Javos experienced a change of heart and decided to join the Resistance.
At the request of General Organa's spymaster C-3PO, Poe along with BB-8 and the technician Oddy Muva embarked on a mission to Kaddak to retrieve a member of the Resistance droid spy network who had obtained information on the First Order including the location of Supreme Leader Snoke. Unknown to Poe, Oddy Muva was an unwilling spy who had been blackmailed by Terex into spying on the Resistance. Terex had taken Oddy's wife Sowa Chuan captive aboard his flagship Carrion Spike. Terex also returned to Kaddak and retook control of the Ranc gang.
Against the orders of Captain Phasma, Terex embarked on a rogue mission to destroy Poe and the Resistance. His plan involved feeding the Resistance BX-series droid commando N1-ZX with false intelligence and following Poe's ship back to the Resistance base. Terex planned to use the Ranc gang to wipe out the Resistance, eliminating a major threat to the First Order. As planned, Poe and his team recovered N1-ZX and escaped Kaddak. Oddy then embarked on a mission to rescue his wife and infiltrated the Carrion Spike. While traveling through hyperspace, Poe rightfully suspected that Terex had planted the information and traveled instead to a remote desert planet.
Terex and his Ranc pursued Poe's T-70 X-wing fighter to the desert world. After crash-landing, Poe and the droids fled into the caves. Terex led a landing party while Oddy freed Sowa and the other slaves. Shortly later, Poe's Black Squadron mates arrived and engaged in a dogfight with Terex's fleet of "Uglies". With Temmin's help, Poe managed to install Mister Bones's personality template into N1-ZX, who killed Terex's landing party before being disintegrated by Terex himself. In space, Black Squadron provided covering fire for Oddy and the slaves' escape pods. L'ulo L'ampar was killed during the dogfight. The tide of the battle soon turned in Black Squadron's favor when First Order forces under Commander Malarus arrived and wiped out Terex's Ranc gang fleet. Malarus had arrived to apprehend Terex for disobeying orders. With both sides seeking to avoid open warfare, Poe allowed Commander Malarus to arrest Terex.
Search for the droidEdit
- "The map to Skywalker. We know you've found it, and now you're going to give it to the First Order."
"The First Order rose from the dark side. You did not."
"I'll show you the dark side."
"You may try, but you cannot deny the truth that is your family."
"You're so right."
- ―Kylo Ren and Lor San Tekka, moments before the latter's death
Dameron eventually discovered Lor San Tekka was living in the village of Tuanul on the planet of Jakku and went to meet with him. Lor San Tekka entrusted him with a piece of the map leading to Luke. However, the First Order tracked them down to the planet and dispatched several assault landers to the planet. The local villagers, who were members of the Church of the Force, made a valiant effort to fight off the attackers but were massacred by the First Order. Dameron gave the piece of the map to his droid BB-8 telling him to get as far as away from the village as possible and that Dameron would come back for him. After the villagers had been subdued, Kylo Ren himself arrived on the planet and had Lor San Tekka executed after he did not reveal the location of the map.
Angered, Poe attempted to shoot Kylo Ren, but his laser was held off by Kylo Ren's use of the Force, and he was captured. Kylo Ren then ordered the massacre of all of the villagers, with the First Order stormtroopers firing on them and burning down their houses with flamethrowers; stormtrooper FN-2187 did not fire any shots, and he became disillusioned with the First Order. Dameron refused to give up any details under torture while aboard the Resurgent-class Battlecruiser Finalizer, but Kylo Ren eventually figured out that the map was in the droid. He dispatched some stormtroopers to Jakku to locate and capture the droid. Unbeknownst to both Dameron and the First Order, the droid had fallen into the hands of a scavenger named Rey.
Eventually, Dameron was able to escape with the assistance of FN-2187, who told him that he was rescuing him because he was doing what was right. FN-2187's decision to aid Dameron was influenced by a moral dilemma he had encountered during an earlier First Order operation to put down a strike at Pressy's Tumble. FN-2187 assisted Dameron in reaching a TIE fighter, and they shot their way out of the hangar while also destroying the cannons on the bottom of the Finalizer. During this action, Dameron decided to call FN-2187 by a nickname, "Finn", which he adopted as his name. They succeeded in escaping to Jakku, but their TIE fighter crashed in two separate areas. The main body of the fighter crashed in a sink-hole, leading Finn to believe that Poe was dead.
He wandered towards the nearest village, where Rey was fighting off some thugs who set out to steal the valuable droid BB-8 for their boss. BB-8 noticed that Finn was wearing Dameron's jacket, so he identified him as a thief, leading to Rey attacking him. However, Finn lied and told her that he was with the Resistance, and that the droid contained a piece of a map that needed to reach them. Just then, TIE fighters and stormtroopers arrived and began to attack. The two of them bypassed the old "Millennium Falcon" to reach another ship, but when that ship was destroyed, they entered the "Falcon" and tried to escape. Rey and Finn succeeded in destroying the pursuing TIE fighters and left the planet with BB-8, but before they could leave the system, they were sucked into the freighter Eravana by Han Solo and Chewbacca, the original owners of the ship. The duo met Rey and Finn, with Han Solo originally being opposed to taking part in the conflict and giving them help, but he later agreed.
While aboard the Eravana, the quartet ran into trouble when the Kanjiklub and the Guavian Death Gang confronted Han Solo about his debts, and this led to a stand-off. Rey decided to close the blast doors to separate Han Solo from the two gangs, but she accidentally released 3 Rathtars, giant monsters that had killed most of Han's crew when he captured them. Han, Chewbacca, Rey, Finn, and BB-8 narrowly escaped, with Finn almost being eaten by one. The four of them left the ship as the Rathtars attacked the gangsters, but not before Bala-Tik reported Han Solo's escape to the First Order.
- "People are counting on us! The galaxy is counting on us!"
- ―Han Solo to Finn
Han Solo took them to Takodana to meet the pirate Maz Kanata, who could help them with reaching the Resistance. During this visit, Finn decided that he would flee to the far end of the galaxy when Han Solo warned him that Rey would find out about his lies, and Finn revealed his true identity when Rey tried to convince him to stay. Rey was shown by Maz the lightsaber of Luke Skywalker while Finn was preparing to leave, but she had a vision of death and sadness, worsening her mood. She told Maz that she would not go anywhere near the lightsaber again, and she left for the woods, running away with BB-8 and a pistol that Han had given her.
The First Order finished building Starkiller Base, a facility much larger than the Death Star that had the capability of destroying whole systems. General Armitage Hux gained the permission of Supreme Leader Snoke to test the weapon, and he gave a speech to the First Order's army, announcing that the New Republic would be destroyed with the new weapon. The weapon destroyed the Galactic Senate at Hosnian Prime and four other planets in the Hosnian system, showing the capabilities of the superweapon. This was also able to destroy a significant portion of the New Republic Starfleet, and the destruction of the planets could be seen from Takodana below. A First Order spy on the planet alerted the First Order to the presence of the droid, so Kylo Ren dispatched several stormtroopers and TIE fighters to the planet. They destroyed much of the castle and killed several people, and Maz Kanata decided to entrust Luke's lightsaber to Finn. Rey, Han, Chewbacca, and Finn fought against the stormtroopers until X-wings of the Resistance arrived and destroyed many starfighters. Rey was captured by the First Order, however, and the First Order took her back with them to Starkiller Base. Dameron was able to reunite with Finn, embracing each other as friends. Kylo Ren decided that the droid was unimportant, as Rey had seen the map; he abandoned the search for the droid and decided to interrogate her. However, she resisted his torture, and read into his head instead. Meanwhile, Han, Chewbacca, Finn, and Dameron all headed to the Resistance base on D'Qar to meet with General Organa for a counter-attack against Starkiller Base, while Finn sought to rescue his friend.
On D'Qar, Organa, Gial Ackbar, and other Resistance leaders were planning an attack on the Starkiller Station to prevent other systems from being destroyed. Finn made a special request to Organa, asking her to rescue Rey. She allowed Han, Chewbacca, and Finn to embark on this mission, which would also include destroying the shields so that the X-wings could destroy the base. The three of them were inserted onto the cold planet, and they captured Captain Phasma and forced her to shut down the shields. This allowed for the X-wings to begin their attack, and the trio set out to find Rey. They met up with her after she escaped, having used a mind trick to force a stormtrooper to let her escape with a weapon. They planted explosives in the base, but as they were about to leave, Han encountered Kylo Ren, Han seemingly convinced Kylo Ren to rejoin him, but Kylo Ren impaled him with his lightsaber, and Han fell into the abyss below. Chewbacca wounded Kylo Ren with a bowcaster shot, and he detonated his explosives after killing many stormtroopers. Chewbacca, Rey, and Finn made it out of the base, and Ren went after Rey and Finn. They engaged in a duel, with Rey being injured and Finn fighting Ren with Luke's old lightsaber; later, Finn was slashed on the back, forcing Rey to fight Ren. At the same time, the X-wings went in and destroyed the weak center of the base, leading to the base using its own abilities against itself as the planet quaked. General Hux was ordered by Snoke's hologram to get Kylo Ren and flee the base; Kylo Ren dueled Rey and failed to convince her to join the dark side. Rey slashed Kylo Ren and nearly killed him, but an earthquake separated them. Chewbacca arrived in the Falcon and rescued the injured Finn and Rey, and they left the planet with the X-wing squadron as the planet exploded. The resulting Resistance victory escalated the conflict between the First Order and the Resistance into open warfare.
Finding Luke SkywalkerEdit
- "The map! It is complete!"
- ―C-3PO and Leia Organa
They returned to the base, with the happiness of victory being replaced by despair over Han's death. General Organa embraced Rey. Finn was taken to a medical center and regained a heartbeat, and R2-D2 woke up for the first time since Luke's disappearance to show an incomplete galactic map. BB-8 revealed the missing piece, pinpointing Luke's location to the Resistance; Rey, along with the mourning Chewbacca, set out with the Millennium Falcon to the location. She found Luke on an island on Ahch-To, an ocean planet that she had dreamed about, and she silently took out Luke's lightsaber and offered it to him, with Luke turning around and considering it.
Behind the scenesEdit
The cold war was first indirectly mentioned in Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure, formally mentioned in the 2015 reference book Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, and made its first appearance in Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, where it transitions into open warfare between the First Order and the Resistance.
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