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When the second Death Star was destroyed at the end of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and the Empire was sent running, it looked like the galaxy far, far away would finally experience peace again. And it did… for a time. However, just several decades later, The First Order emerged from the remnants of the Empire to wreak its own kind of havoc. As it turns out though, this dictatorship also has roots from within The New Republic itself.
There’s a collection of fresh facts for Star Wars fans to absorb thanks to the newly-released The Star Wars Book, which delves into all sorts of character, histories, different types of technology, etc, across over 200 pages. Here’s an intriguing entry located within the book concerning The First Order, as shared by the official Star Wars site:
While we know that the military might of the First Order was built up in the Unknown Regions by the escaping Imperial leadership in the decades after the Battle of Jakku, the First Order also had its start inside the New Republic. Agents of the First Order helped push for a stronger centralized role of the New Republic government, which in turn caused a political stalemate, forcing systems that fear losing control of their autonomy to break away from the New Republic — in a coalition called the First Order.
Even for the Star Wars fans who don’t engage in the supplemental material churned out by Lucasfilm, like books and comic book series, it was clear The First Order was closely tied to the Empire, from stormtroopers making up its ranks to relying on various types of planet-destroyers. Even some of The First Order’s most senior officers originally served in The Empire, such as Allegiant General Pryde from The Rise of Skywalker.
To be sure, if those Imperial forces who survived The Battle of Endor and the subsequent skirmishes with the Rebellion hadn’t fled to the Unknown Regions and reconsolidated their forces, then we wouldn’t have a First Order. However, thanks to this new information, we now know The First Order also had operatives who subtly pushed for division within The New Republic, resulting The First Order being boosted by the systems that were afraid that that The New Republic would seize their autonomy.
In a way, this is reminiscent of the divide that occurred within the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy era, which culminated in the Clone Wars unfolding between the Old Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems. That conflict culminated with the rise of the Empire, whereas following The First Order’s rise to power, the Resistance splintered off from The New Republic to combat this autocratic organization.
As seen in The Force Awakens, The New Republic was eventually wiped away entirely once Starkiller Base destroyed its capital planet, Hosnian Prime. By the time The Rise of Skywalker rolled around, The First Order merged its forces with Palpatine’s to form The Final Order, and it looked like this dictatorship would finally take control of the entire galaxy and rule it as a Sith Empire. Fortunately, the remnants of The Resistance were aided by last-minute reinforcements and were able to bring down The Final Order for good, meaning the galaxy is once again at peace… for now.