- "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, expressing his views on recent galactic history and the goals of the First Order
The First Order, or simply "the Order," was a political and military faction that came into existence as a result of the fall of the Galactic Empire. In the aftermath of the Battle of Jakku, the Empire formally surrendered to the New Republic by signing the Galactic Concordance, a peace treaty that marked the end of the Galactic Civil War in 5 ABY. In spite of the Empire's collapse, its legacy survived in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy, where former members of the Imperial Military plotted their return to power. Their cause was supported by some Imperial sympathizers who briefly inhabited a wing of Republic politics before abandoning the nascent democracy to join the Imperial-based movement in the Unknown Regions. Inspired by the ideals of the Empire, this movement sought to improve upon that regime by avoiding its weaknesses and flaws, ultimately resulting in the formation of the First Order.
In the decades that followed the Empire's defeat, the First Order gradually built its strength through the secret mobilization of new fleets and armies in violation of the Galactic Concordance and Republic law. Despite further acts of defiance to the treaty, the Galactic Senate did not regard the First Order as a serious threat to the Republic. However, the Senate's inaction motivated the Rebel veteran Princess Leia Organa to found the Resistance. Although the First Order became entangled in a conflict with Organa's group, the Republic remained its primary target. After thirty years of plotting their revenge against the government that overthrew the Empire, the First Order test-fired the superweapon of Starkiller Base on the Hosnian system and thereby destroyed Hosnian Prime, the capital world of the Republic. Shortly thereafter, the Resistance launched a counterattack that resulted in the base's destruction.
Swiftly rallying, the First Order deployed their previously hidden flotillas against the known galaxy, forcibly seizing military control of thousands of systems and being poised to seize all major systems within weeks. Desiring to crush their opposition, the First Order attacked the Resistance base on D'Qar during their evacuation and then pursued them using their new hyperspace tracking to the Crait system, where Supreme Leader Snoke perished at the hands of his apprentice, Kylo Ren, who usurped his master's throne by becoming the new Supreme Leader. The surviving Resistance fighters fled to an abandoned Rebel base on Crait, where the First Order launched an assault to mercilessly annihilate the Resistance. However, the sudden appearance of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, via a Force projection, distracted the First Order forces under Ren's command long enough for the Resistance survivors to escape, an event that inspired hope against the rising darkness.
- "Through the ages I've seen evil take many forms. The Sith. The Empire. Today, it is the First Order."
- ―Maz Kanata
For roughly a thousand years, the Galactic Republic maintained peace and stability within the galaxy, aided by the efforts of the monastic Jedi Order and the Republic Judicial Forces. With the believed extinction of the Sith—ancient enemies of the Jedi Order and the Republic—the ruling Dark Lord Darth Sidious secretly plotted to overthrow the Republic with the formation of his own Sith Empire.
Sidious, along with his apprentice Count Dooku, orchestrated a secessionist movement by fomenting political chaos across the galaxy. Sidious secretly commanded a rival galactic government known as the Confederacy of Independent Systems in the destructive three-year Clone Wars, while ensuring himself elected as the next Supreme Chancellor of the Republic. Gradually amassing far more emergency powers than would be ordinarily allowed, along with changing the Galactic Constitution, Sidious eventually issued the Proclamation of the New Order, officially transforming the thousand-year-old democracy into the Galactic Empire in an instant and installing himself as the first Galactic Emperor.
With the destruction of the Jedi Order and a massive military machine to enforce his will, Sidious remained largely unchallenged throughout the initial nineteen years of his reign, embarking on the gradual conquest of the known galaxy. Eventually, the Alliance to Restore the Republic was formed to oppose his aggressive expansion and genocidal actions, resulting in the destructive five-year Galactic Civil War. Four years after the destruction of its First Death Star by the hands of Luke Skywalker, the Empire suffered a decisive defeat at the Battle of Endor, where its second and more powerful Death Star II was destroyed and along with it, Emperor Palpatine and his right-hand man Darth Vader.
Unknown to anyone but an elect, however, Emperor Palpatine had long been sending Imperial scouts and other constructive efforts to the Unknown Regions of space. Over the course of decades, the Unknown Regions had been seeded with shipyards, laboratories, and storehouses that would serve to prepare for the Empire's rebirth as part of Palpatine's Contingency in the rare event of his death.
Following another year of bloody conflict, the fractured Empire made its last stand over the sandy wastes of Jakku against the New Republic, resulting in many casualties on both sides. Defeated and facing severe internal unrest, the Empire was forced to sign the Galactic Concordance, severely limiting its ability to wage war and ushering in its transformation into a mere rump state.
- "It's time to start over. That is our first order. To begin again. And to get it right, this time."
- ―Rae Sloane, to Brendol Hux
Following the Battle of Jakku, Grand Vizier Mas Amedda and the New Republic Chancellor Mon Mothma signed the Galactic Concordance, which dissolved the central Imperial government. Chancellor Mothma then issued another declaration designating all surviving Imperial officers as war criminals. In response, many Imperial nobles, technologists, warlords, and officers fled the Empire into the Unknown Regions in an effort to escape the prying eyes of the New Republic. They used information derived from Grand Admiral Thrawn who hailed from the Chiss Ascendancy, and the survey teams and droids that Emperor Sheev Palpatine had sent to explore the Unknown Regions. At the request of the dying Counselor to the Empire Gallius Rax, who had been in charge of executing the Contingency, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and Commandant Brendol Hux rendezvoused with the Super Star Destroyer Eclipse in the Unknown Regions. There, Sloane saw an opportunity to rebuild the Empire.
The Galactic Empire lay in ashes, but the First Order had risen from its embers. There, isolated from the known galaxy, the military junta was influenced by the principles of the fallen government. With the New Republic now the dominant force in the galaxy, it continuously stressed upholding the values of democracy throughout the stars. In spite of such, however, the Republic was not without its critics, many of them disgruntled sympathizers of the old Imperial ways, some of whom were apart of the political structure. Once disagreements between the loyalists and Imperial sympathizers became too severe, the latter group seceded, whereupon they joined the rising First Order in the Unknown Regions. While some in the Galactic Senate applauded the notion, others realized that without New Republic supervision, the former Imperials would return to the draconian ways of their predecessors. Because it descended from the Empire in ideology, the First Order, upon being formed within the Unknown Regions alongside various former Imperial officers, technologists, nobles, and other pro-Imperial supporters, intended to reclaim their legacy.
A growing orderEdit
With many of the Emperor's servants carrying some of the old regime's greatest military secrets to the Unknown Regions, the First Order began a massive militarization effort to produce a technologically superior military over the one that once existed under the Galactic Empire, keenly aware that it lacked the superior numbers and support of the former state. Numerous shipyards, bases, and research facilities were built on newly explored star systems and colonized worlds as the Order slowly expanded and plotted its eventual return to the galaxy at large. To avoid the terms of the Galactic Concordance which included the sale of weaponry to the Order, arms manufacturers BlasTech Industries and Merr-Sonn Munitions, Inc. opted to bypass these restrictions by forming a subsidiary known as the Sonn-Blas Corporation, which manufactured all weaponry within First Order space, while Sienar-Jaemus Army Systems and Aratech-Loratus Corporation would develop spacecraft and vehicles to the Order.
At some point, a cargo ship was ambushed containing military gear which the ship's crew claimed was meant for the First Order. Among the possessions seized was a set of stormtrooper armor which was later presented to Terex, a former Imperial stormtrooper and, at the time, a crime lord of the Ranc gang. Terex immediately became curious about the modern design and confirmed that it was not of Imperial design. After Terex asked of its origin, he continued to think over the implications of this new information. Sometime later, he subsequently joined the ranks of the First Order as a member of its Security Bureau.
Growing in size and strength, the First Order unexpectedly came under the command of Snoke, a powerful dark side user who became the Supreme Leader of the First Order. Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, Ormes Apolin, General Brendol Hux, and others among the last of the Imperial leadership had not foreseen the rise of Snoke to power and were surprised by it. Brendol's son, Armitage, would be spared in the long term by Snoke in order to use him as a political tool in his rise to power.
Meanwhile, Brendol Hux would, at some point, go on a mission to recruit the strongest warriors in the galaxy to the First Order military. However, his yacht was shot down by the automated defense system of the planet Parnassos. Hux then found himself shipwrecked and sent out a distress signal. On Parnassos, Hux met Phasma, who had observed the starship crashing and lead her Scyre warriors into Claw territory to meet Hux. His son, Armitage Hux, meanwhile responded to the signal and went to Parnassos to rescue his father. Hux arrived at the crash site, where he greeted his father. Hux then accepted Phasma, as well as Frey, into the growing First Order. Armitage Hux shortly after informed his father that his disappearance had caused concern in the higher ranks of the First Order and that he was to return immediately, as the Supreme Leader had many things to discuss with him.
Sometime later, Phasma and Armitage conspired to assassinate the latter's father, Brendol Hux, agreeing that it was time for Brendol to die; Armitage had been abused by his father from his youth, while Phasma sought to cover up her past. Armitage left the actual murder up to Phasma with his only instruction being to make it untraceable. Phasma carried out the killing of Brendol using the toxin from the bite of a Parnassos beetle. Armitage then gave a brief address to Captain Cardinal and the Stormtrooper Corps informing them of Brendol's passing and ascended to his leadership role in the military, taking over from his late father.
Subverting the New RepublicEdit
- "Do you no longer wish to restore what we lost with the Empire? Have you abandoned the First Order completely?"
- ―Carise Sindian, questioning Arliz Hadrassian's loyalty to the First Order
In the years leading up to the destruction of the Hosnian system, the First Order quietly bid its time preparing for its eventual war with the New Republic. To generate funding to refit and rearm the former Imperial fleet, the First Order used a militia group called the Amaxine warriors as proxies to fund the Nikto crime lord Rinnrivin Di's cartel. Seven years prior to the "Napkin Bombing" at the New Republic senatorial complex on Hosnian Prime, the First Order used the Amaxines to inject billions of credits as start-up capital into Rinnrivin's cartel, turning the hitherto minor cartel into a major crime syndicate. Establishing a mutual relationship with the Amaxines, Rinnrivin embarked on lucrative smuggling and gambling operations with the proceeds being channeled through shadowy corporations and Centrist sources back to the First Order, which used the money to rebuild its fleet.
In addition, the Order also recruited several Centrist senators like Lady Carise Sindian as clandestine agents who worked to subvert the Republic from within. Many Centrists, an informal faction who were the rivals to the Populists in the Republic's Galactic Senate, and who favored a stronger central government and military, admired the Old Empire's leaders and practices. Another proxy of the First Order was Arliz Hadrassian, a former TIE fighter pilot who had become the leader of the Amaxine warriors. While Hadrassian saw the Amaxines as the vanguard of the First Order, Lady Carise regarded her as too volatile to manage. Hadrassian in return was impatient with the Centrists for refusing to secede from the Republic.
The First Order's operations were almost exposed when Rinnrivin Di's criminal activities began to exact a devastating toll on the planet Ryloth's offworld trade. In response, the New Republic senators Leia Organa and Ransolm Casterfo embarked on an investigation which uncovered Rinnrivin's links to the Amaxine warriors. However, the two senators failed to discover the Order's linkages to the Amaxines and Rinnrivin's cartel. In an attempt to sow chaos, Arliz Hadrassian bombed the New Republic's senatorial complex. This set in motion a chain of events that led to the death of Rinnrivin and the destruction of most of the Amaxine warriors' forces on the planet Sibensko. Hadrassian killed herself after assassinating the Republic senator Tai-Lin Garr. While most Republic senators and media believed that the demise of Rinnrivin's cartel and the Amaxines eliminated all threats to the Republic, Leia disagreed and established the Resistance in response to the New Republic's complacency.
Following the assassination of Tai-Lin Garr, Lady Carise and her Centrist counterparts began preparing a motion to secede from the New Republic in order to join and support the First Order.
Preparing for warEdit
While the First Order began preparing for war, the New Republic Senate believed that the Order posed no real threat to the galaxy at large. Echoing these sentiments, Chancellor Lanever Villecham argued there was no need for concern as long as the Order adhered to the dictates of the Galactic Concordance. Despite this, the First Order blatantly defied the accords by ushering in the mass mobilization of superior stormtrooper forces, along with violating Republic bans on the sale of weaponry to the First Order and its rules governing capital ships. Testing the resolve of the New Republic, small skirmishes occasionally erupted between the First Order and Republic, all while the Starkiller operation sought a suitable planet for implementation.
With the First Order's growing threat and rapid mobilization for war, prominent members of the Republic voiced concern over this successor state, with the most vocal being former Senator Leia Organa. Scoffed at by the Senate at large for being an alarmist and warmonger, Organa used her influence as a prominent member of the former Rebel Alliance to recruit many former military officers left forgotten by the Military Disarmament Act passed by the Galactic Senate. Funded by like-minded senators who shared Organa's fears about the First Order, the Resistance came to serve as the opposing force and check to the Order's growing power, sparking a new phase of the continued cold war.
Despite this, many members of the Republic Senate were mired in corruption and bureaucracy, with senators such as Erudo Ro-Kiintor colluding with the First Order for promises of wealth and power, with large sums of credits being discretely transferred to him through the Corporate Sector Authority. As a result, the Resistance was forced to work on its own until it could obtain irrefutable evidence of First Order violations of the peace that could be presented to Republic Command. During Operation: Sabre Strike, the Resistance pilot Poe Dameron and General Organa discovered that Senator Erudo had been colluding with the First Order and that he had valuable information about Lor San Tekka, whom Organa believed could lead them to her brother, Luke Skywalker, who had gone into self-exile.
Leader Snoke had during this period come to be served by a new apprentice, Kylo Ren. Manipulated to the dark side by Snoke when he was still Ben Solo, Ren had been instrumental in preventing Luke Skywalker's attempt to rebuild the Jedi Order. Joined by his Knights of Ren, Kylo conducted subsequent purges and hunts of those with Force affinity, much as the Inquisitorius of the Old Empire had done.
In response to Operation: Sabre Strike, Captain Phasma dispatched Agent Terex to recover the information that Poe had obtained from Senator Erudo. Terex and his First Order strike force pursued Poe and his Black Squadron to the planet Ovanis. With the help of the unwilling spy Oddy Muva, Terex planted a tracker on Poe's T-70 X-wing fighter. A skirmish took place on the skies over Ovanis and the Cave of the Crèche, which was complicated by the presence of the Crèche cult and the hatching of two winged creatures. Ultimately, Terex and his landing force were defeated. The Crèche elder gave the information on Tekka to Poe. To avoid war between the First Order and the New Republic, Terex and his surviving men were allowed to leave on their Maxima-A class heavy cruiser.
Terex later obtained intelligence that Poe and his Black Squadron were traveling to Megalox prison on the high-gravity world of Megalox Beta. Poe had traveled to the prison world to question Grakkus the Hutt about his knowledge of Lor San Tekka's whereabouts. Terex bribed Warden Luta into abandoning Black Squadron to the prison population. Though Grakkus had made a deal with Terex to disclose the information, Grakkus changed his mind and decided to sell the information to whoever got him out first. Incensed at Grakkus' double-cross, Terex hired the crime lords Isin, Kan Be, and Toren to use their gangs to storm Grakkus' fortress and kill Black Squadron. He planned to interrogate Grakkus and then kill him.
Grakkus' plan was, however, foiled by Black Squadron's astromech droids including BB-8, who deactivated Megalox's gravity shield. While Black Squadron and Grakkus escaped, Terex and his mercenaries were pinned down by the high gravity. Terex managed to escape aboard the Carrion Spike and attacked the Megalox space station, seeking to punish Luta for letting Black Squadron escape. His ship blasted several shuttles but was forced to retreat when Black Squadron turned around and inflicted considerable damage on the Carrion Spike. Captain Phasma summoned Terex back to First Order space to report for debriefing, but Terex instead chose to pursue his nemesis Poe.
Later, the Galaxy Beacon journalist and former New Republic Starfleet member Suralinda Javos discovered that the First Order was building military installations, shipyards, weapons research facilities, and "something bigger" in violation of the Galactic Concordance. She met with Poe on the Inner Rim gas giant of Pheryon, hoping to sell the information to the Resistance in order to boost her journalistic career. However, the First Order Security Bureau Agent Weel and his stormtroopers captured Javos and Poe. During interrogation, Javos managed to kill Weel and free Poe. After escaping, Javos decided to join the Resistance.
Instead of returning to First Order space, Terex traveled to the crime haven of Kaddak. There, he retook control of the Ranc gang, which he had helped create after the Battle of Jakku. Against Captain Phasma's orders, Terex decided to use his Ranc gang to destroy Poe and the Resistance. His plan involved giving false intelligence on the First Order to the Resistance droid spy N1-ZX and tracking Poe back to the Resistance base. Terex wanted to destroy the Resistance once and for all to aid the First Order's conquest of the galaxy.
Terex's plans were upended when Poe realized the deception and led Terex's Ranc gang fleet to a remote desert planet. In addition, Oddy decided to break Terex's leverage on him by rescuing his wife Sowa Chuan and several slaves from Terex's flagship, Carrion Spike. While Terex led a landing party in pursuit of Poe and the droids, Black Squadron assailed Terex's ship and armada of "Uglies." Oddy and most of the slaves managed to escape in escape pods while Black Squadron provided firing cover. Terex's landing party was also wiped out by N1-ZX, who had been reprogrammed with Mister Bones's droid personality template. Terex also fought with Poe and BB-8 but was disarmed following a struggle.
The battle came to an end when First Order forces under Commander Malarus arrived and wiped out Terex's Ranc gang fleet and flagship Carrion Spike. Malarus had been dispatched by the First Order to arrest Terex, whose rogue mission violated Supreme Leader Snoke's directive to avoid open conflict with the New Republic and New Republic-aligned forces such as the Resistance. Malarus also led a landing party who met with Poe and took the captive Terex into custody.
Malarus and Terex then went to Abednedo to capture Oddy Muva. While onboard a transport, she had Terex interrogate Muva for information on the Resistance. Malarus however lost Muva with the aid of Dameron and Wexley, Malarus was then forced to watched as Muva made a suicide run on the Enshado and followed by her escape into hyperspace. Malarus then went to Cato Neimoidia and went to head to head with Poe Dameron. She was confronted by a official of House Reya, who arrested her and said they would give her a trial.
It was during this time that Resistance leader Organa released the Grace Report to the New Republic Senate, publicly claiming the Empire was building hidden shipyards, armories, research-and-development labs, and academies, detailing the fact facilities were working day and night on the massive military buildup, one far larger than the First Order would need to defend its member worlds. It also included accounts of testimony from refugees who fled from First Order space to warn the Resistance of what life is under their rule with stories about property seized, populations relocated, children kidnapped, and dissentors exterminated and accusing the Order cooperation agreements with the neutral systems being enforced by the business end of blasters as well as threatening the neutral worlds in the galactic borderlands. And that the First Order calls to civilize the galactic frontier were all but a story they told to cover their colonization of star systems.
Height of the OrderEdit
- "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!"
- ―General Armitage Hux speech before the Hosnian Cataclysm
Seeking to locate a fragment of a map that led to Jedi Master Luke Skywalker—who had gone into self-imposed exile following the failed resurrection of the Jedi Order, for which he blamed himself—the First Order deployed the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer Finalizer to Jakku, where a BB-unit and ace Resistance pilot Poe Dameron had recovered a fragment of the map. Seeking to capture the droid and destroy the last Jedi, an assault was launched on the outlying settlement of Tuanul, but not before BB-8 had escaped with the map. Following an unlikely alliance of deserting stormtrooper FN-2187 and an unknowingly Force-sensitive girl named Rey, the First Order ultimately chased the pair and famous smuggler Han Solo and Chewbacca to Takodana, where they sought refuge. Following a climactic battle between the Order and Resistance, who were both informed of the group's presence through undercover spies, Kylo Ren kidnapped Rey, who, having seen the map, could be interrogated until she revealed Luke's location.
Meanwhile, the First Order would declare war on the the New Republic and would destroy the Hosnian system, seeking to end its unofficial support of the Resistance with a new superweapon dubbed Starkiller Base, which could fire a planet-shattering beam through hyperspace, and destroy an entire star system. With the destruction of the Republic's capital and a portion of its fleet, the First Order stood poised to destroy both the New Republic and the Resistance.
Much to its chagrin, deserter FN-2187—now known as Finn—along with Han Solo and Chewbacca arrived at the Starkiller Base in an attempt to disable its shields and allow a Resistance strike to destroy the battle-station-converted planet. With the First Order fifteen minutes away from destroying the Resistance's base on D'Qar, the trio managed to not only shut off the planet's shields but also rescue Rey after a lightsaber duel with Kylo Ren. Escaping the planet with seconds to spare, the First Order's sun-harvesting superweapon was destroyed by the Resistance's Starfighter Corps, forming a new star where the planet once was. Despite this major setback, the First Order's resolve towards galactic conquest only increased, with Snoke deciding to finish Kylo Ren's training and re-group after the destruction of his superweapon.
Concurrently, the Resistance sent Iden Versio, Zay and Shriv Suurgav aboard Commander Gideon Hask's Resurgent-class Star Destroyer, the Retribution in order to retrieve vital intelligence on the Order and eliminate Hask for Del Meeko death on Pillio. The First Order tried to prevent the raid, however Hask was killed and the Resistance was able to gain intelligence on the specifications on the Mandator IV-class Siege Dreadnought.
Despite the loss of Starkiller Base, the First Order still possessed a secure and intact chain of command and massive military strength in the form of hundreds of batttlecruisers and millions of troops, emerging from the shadows to seize control of the galaxy by force. At the same time, with the loss of the senate and the Hosnian System, the New Republic lost its leadership and its entire home fleet, which, due to the Military Disarmament Act, was the majority of the Republic military.
Because of this military and political imbalance, the New Republic was virtually helpless as the First Order fleet spread across the galaxy. The few Republic military forces that remained were completely outclassed and destroyed by the First Order, which had spend 30 years training and preparing for this war, while the New Republic military stagnated in peace. This clearly one-sided conflict convinced many Republic member worlds to surrender to the First Order without a fight, rather than risk defeat and devastation. This was also a result of Republic political infighting and corruption, as Centrist senators and worlds enacted a long-planned mass secession from the New Republic to the First Order. At the same time, many Outer Rim worlds that had been left defenseless and forgotten by the New Republic quickly became incited by the Order's promise of protection from the pirates and criminal cartels that preyed on them. These events quickly fragmented the New Republic, as individual planets and governments began looking to their own interests.
Meanwhile, the Resistance found itself greatly outmatched by the First Order. With the loss of the New Republic and its unofficial support of the Resistance forces, the organization only possessed a few military ships and a few hundred soldiers. This hopeless imbalance led General Leia Organa to order the complete evacuation of the Resistance base on D'Qar, as a First Order fleet was on its way to destroy the Resistance once and for all.
Setting their sights on the Resistance base, General Hux's forces arrived and destroyed the base, but the Resistance was able to evacuate in time. However, this escape cost the Resistance the vast majority of its remaining fleet, and left them as wandering fugitives. Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Snoke summoned his apprentice, Kylo Ren, to his throne room on the Supremacy, the First Order flagship, and mocked him for his failure at Starkiller Base and his ambitions to emulate Darth Vader before ordering him to find Rey and destroy the Jedi.
Using hyperspace tracking, the First Order traced the Resistance to the Crait system, catching them completely off guard and destroying one of their cruisers instantly. Kylo Ren, leading a TIE squadron in his personal fighter, attacked the command ship Raddus and blew up its hangar bay, taking out all of the Resistance's remaining fighters before he set his sights on the ship's bridge, where his mother, Leia Organa, was. Though Ren was ultimately unable to bring himself to fire, his wingmen had no such qualms and fired on the bridge, exposing it to the vacuum of space and killing the majority of the Resistance's leadership, including Admiral Gial Ackbar. Leia was able to use the Force to pull herself back aboard, but she was left incapacitated. The Resistance, now commanded by Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, continued to outrun the First Order, but their fuel supplies were dangerously low, and one by one the other ships ran dry and were destroyed by the Supremacy's turbolasers.
Once the Raddus was almost out of fuel, the Resistance began to fragment as desertions dramatically increased as members saw the struggle against the First Order as a lost cause. Later, a full-blown mutiny occurred as two sides formed among the crew: those who wanted to escape and hide from the enemy, and those who wanted to fight. This mutiny, led by Poe Dameron, was put down by the recovered General Organa, and the Resistance attempted to slip down to the former Rebel world of Crait.
However, due to the capture of the Resistance infiltration team on the Supremacy, the First Order learned of the plan when the team code breaker DJ betrayed the Resistance for his freedom and payment. This led the Supremacy to fire on the unarmed and unarmored U-55 orbital loadlifters, destroying roughly half of them. In a desperate sacrificial gamble to save the Resistance, Vice Admiral Holdo aimed the Raddus at the Supremacy and entered lightspeed. As a result, the ship collided with the First Order flagship and cleaved it and several Resurgent-class Star Destroyers in half, saving the Resistance remnant and causing heavy damage to the First Order fleet.
However, the First Order forces quickly recovered and, under the orders of the newly proclaimed Supreme Leader, Kylo Ren, sent an invading force of All Terrain Armored Transport and All Terrain MegaCaliber Six walkers down to the abandoned rebel base in which the Resistance was taking shelter. The battle let to the death of many of the remaining Resistance soldiers and the loss of its remaining equipment. In addition, the Resistance's Outer Rim allies were called on for reinforcements, but failed to send aid in time. However the remaining few dozen Resistance soldiers were able to flee aboard the Millennium Falcon, leaving the First Order victorious on Crait.
- "The First Order is not the Empire. We are purer. We have been through the crucible and emerged stronger."
The First Order was a military junta inspired by the former Galactic Empire. It was led by Supreme Leader Snoke until he was killed by his right-hand man Kylo Ren who assumed the title of Supreme Leader of the First Order. The office of Supreme Leader is one that wields ultimate authority over the entire First Order. Snoke delegated power to a number of high-ranking officers and advisers, effectively removing any distinction between military and state. They oversaw the colonization of the Unknown Regions and destruction of the last Jedi. Much like Darth Vader in the former Empire, Kylo Ren existed outside the formal command structure of the First Order, and frequently came into conflict with military officials owing to his agenda consistently trumping military objectives. Kylo's placement in the hierarchy not only maintained fear within the Order's upper ranks, but also intentionally resembled that of Darth Vader's during the reign of the Old Empire. Despite having Force-sensitives within its ranks, the First Order did not employ Sith or Inquisitors like its predecessor.
The First Order lacked an official capital, as its Supreme Leader constantly moved his base of operations; thus administration of the government existed on an amalgam of planets within First Order territory. With the construction of Starkiller Base, the Order possessed an unofficial headquarters for its expanding power.
The First Order was one of the remnants of the Old Empire that had emerged in the wake of the Galactic Concordance. Since the Concordance limited the Empire's ability to wage war by imposing strict disarmament treaties and punishing reparations, the First Order despised the New Republic as an illegitimate regime that tolerated disorder in the galaxy. Despite the First Order's frequent violations of the Galactic Concordance by intruding into Republic space and building illegal weapons, the New Republic did not believe that the Order posed a threat. Despite intelligence reports to the contrary, several Republic politicians in the Senate Intelligence Committee and senior military leaders such as Major Lonno Deso dismissed the First Order as an ill-organized, poorly equipped, and badly funded group of Imperial loyalists who used propaganda and fear to exaggerate their strength and power.
In an effort to subvert the New Republic, the First Order also channeled funds through shell and third-party corporations in the Corporate Sector to corrupt Republic senators like Erudo Ro-Kiintor, who blocked motions advocating sanctions against the First Order and increasing support for the New Republic Starfleet. Consequently, the First Order's main military adversary was the Resistance, a private military organization founded by General Leia Organa in response to the Republic's unwillingness to take action against the Order. The First Order saw its primary mission as restoring order to a lawless galaxy and viewed the Republic and Resistance as obstacles to achieving these goals. About thirty years after the Battle of Endor, the First Order launched a preemptive attack on the Hosnian system in order to destroy the Republic and force the wider galaxy into submission. Later, the First Order successfully destroyed the Resistance's base on D'Qar. However, the remaining Resistance forces were able to evacuate.
- "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."
- ―Commander Poe Dameron, regarding the First Order's military strength
With its rapidly expanding military in clear violation of the Galactic Concordance and Republic laws, the massive militarization effort of the First Order continued throughout its tenure in the Unknown Regions. There, military bases and shipyards were constructed to churn out some of the technologically superior weapons and starfighters utilized by the Order's military. 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. Sienar-Jaemus Fleet Systems also helped produce vessels such as the Upsilon-class command shuttle and TIE/fo space superiority fighter, along with its two-seated variant the TIE/sf space superiority fighter. Sienar-Jaemus Army Systems manufactured the widely used AAL, which could ferry twenty stormtroopers into combat, while the Aratech-Loratus Corporation developed the LIUV; on ground the First Order also used a wide range of four-legged walkers similar to Imperial AT-ATs. In violation of New Republic laws regarding capital ships, Kuat-Entralla Engineering developed the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer, which featured more than three thousand turbolasers and ion cannons, and was specifically designed to evoke the fearful image of the Old Empire's Imperial-class Star Destroyers.
Like its predecessor, the First Order employed the use of 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 counter-insurgency 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.
One of its primary bases of operations was Starkiller Base, an ice planet converted into a stronghold. Seeking to rule the galaxy through fear, the base housed a superweapon capable of destroying entire star systems by firing a planet-destroying beam through hyperspace, and was led by an unofficial triumvirate of General Armitage Hux, Kylo Ren, and Captain Phasma until it was destroyed in the Assault on Starkiller Base.
The scale of the First Order's military operation shocked complacent New Republic observers, who had believed such shows of force were merely part of local defense forces and ceremonial guards. With the rapid expansion of the First Order's stormtrooper ranks and military capabilities, the Resistance believed that more trooper specializations were yet to be discovered, and ships even larger than the Resurgent-class Star Destroyers existed, such as the Mandator IV-class Siege Dreadnought and the Mega-class Star Dreadnought.
Society and cultureEdit
Growing up on the far side of the Unknown Regions gave the officers and citizens of the First Order an Imperially skewed version of galactic history. Under the guidance of Imperial veterans, along with approved literature, vids and mandatory viewings of morale sessions twice a day for stormtrooper cadets, officers learned of their glorious past and how it had been robbed by terrorists and rebels, who later called themselves the New Republic. Many believed that only they could have the power necessary to wrest the galaxy from a path of chaos and corruption. This claim was not without some basis in fact. The corruption and ineffectiveness of the New Republic was plain to see across the galaxy, to the citizens, the Resistance, and the First Order. In fact, this corruption was one of the First Order's most potent weapons, as they ensured that their agenda was met with no interference from the Senate. The First Order citizens saw this as proof that the Rebellion was built on false promises and that rebels can only tear down a government, not build one.
Prerecorded speeches often filled the airwaves, in which General Armitage Hux often commented on the depravity of the Republic with famines on Ibaar and Adarlon, the brutal suppression of the people of Balamak, and unchecked alien advances throughout the Outer Rim. Following these reports were stories of First Order victories such as liberating labor camps on Iktotch or winning a fleet battle in the Bormea sector. Despite these patriotic functions and rallies, the First Order relied on the brutal suppression of dissent and unpatriotic activities. Riot control stormtroopers were specially trained to quash insurrection, while live-fire dispersal of protesters was permitted. Industrial unrest like the Strike at Pressy's Tumble were blamed on New Republic agents. According to the First Order, the Jedi were officially extinct, while it was forbidden to pronounce Kylo Ren's birth name by order of Supreme Leader Snoke. Within many of the labor camps and mining operations in First Order space, a large number of individuals were from alien species.
To boost morale, the First Order utilized a commemorative rank insignia system, issuing armbands bearing the names of famous units and heroes of the Galactic Civil War. Many within the military believed that despite being outnumbered by the New Republic Starfleet, their technological superiority was so complete that even their smaller navy stood virtually unchallenged.
In addition, the First Order looted various currencies across the galaxy, including peggats, aureis, and zemids, and melted them down as "blood money" due to their universal value, and had no qualms with inducting children into direct combat. The most infamous example of the latter was the stormtroopers of the First Order, which forcibly subjected any children of worlds conquered by the First Order to military training. Because the First Order trained its soldiers since birth, several members had very high ranks despite their age technically making them closer to junior officers, in contrast to the Empire's Sub-Adult Group, which while promoting patriotism never subjected its members to direct combat.
However, the First Order's recruitment methods were seen differently by their personnel and by some in the galaxy at large. A large number of the children that the First Order recruited came from poor and impoverished worlds on the Outer Rim, worlds where lawlessness was rampant and the residents had little to no prospects in life. Because of these horrific conditions, many of the people were happy to give their children to the First Order willingly, either in the hopes of them having a better life, or simply for payment and one less mouth to feed. Even the freelance recruiters that the First Order used agreed; one of them stated that one such planet, Athulla, was a "nightmare" and that the First Order was doing the children a favor. In fact one of these improvised children from the desert world of Jakku would rise to become a respected officer in the First Order; Captain Cardinal.
Once recruited the citizens and soldiers of the First Order were raised on a strong sense of duty, loyalty and obedience to the state, and were taught that one must subjugate their personal desires to the greater good of the First Order. To this end, they are expected to surrender their previous life and identity upon their recruitment into the First Order, instead being identified by a numerical code. However this was not expected with senior officers and distinguished members of the Stormtrooper core, such as Phasma and Cardinal. The citizens were educated to believe that it was the pursuit of individual selflessness and desires, rather than the unified whole, that led the Rebel Alliance to rise up to topple the galaxy-uniting Empire. They were also taught that the Rebels were short-sighted terrorists that could not see the benefit of the Empire and instead started a war that forced the Empire to crack down security and restrict personal liberties to combat it.
The First Order placed heavy emphasis on individual strength and training in both physical and mental categories. This was shown in the training programs that were mandatory for all recruits from a young age and progressed to more severe training as they progressed to adulthood. The Order, like the Empire before it, believed that the strong naturally rose to power, while the weaker were left to serve their natural leaders.
The First Order claimed the large, unexplored region to the west of the Core as its heartland, with the emergent power expanding across the vast swaths of space left untouched for millennia by galactic explorers. The result of a cold war between the New Republic and First Order, a narrow region of neutral systems known as the Trans-Hydian Borderlands existed between New Republic and First Order space. Despite frequent First Order incursions into Republic space, the Galactic Senate did not wish to spark a conflict, and thus was limited to formal diplomatic protest. Nonetheless, by thirty years after Endor, the Order operated mines in the artificial asteroid field known as Pressy's Tumble and controlled the Atterra system in the Outer Rim Territories. It also controlled Vodran in Hutt Space.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "That all came out of conversations about what would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again? What could be born of that? Could The First Order exist as a group that actually admired The Empire? Could the work of The Empire be seen as unfulfilled? And could Vader be a martyr? Could there be a need to see through what didn't get done?"
- ―J.J. Abrams
The First Order was created for the 2015 film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens and was developed through conversations amongst the production team. According to J.J. Abrams, the film's director, the team wondered what would have happened if the Nazis who went into hiding in Argentina after World War II started working together again. Abrams hinted that the First Order would therefore be a group that admired the Galactic Empire and felt that its work was unfulfilled.
The First Order's exact nature during the development of the film was kept secret since the film's announcement. On August 10, 2015, the official Star Wars Twitter and GooglePlus accounts unveiled an image of the First Order congregating at Starkiller Base.
Costume designer Michael Kaplan said the First Order uniforms were designed to look severe, "very hard edge, very broad shoulders, very angular, geometric." He cited inspiration from French fashion designer Thierry Mugler.
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