First Order (Star Wars)
The First Order is a government that features in Star Wars.
The First Order was a government that consisted of the surviving remnants of the Galactic Empire following its collapse after the Battle of Endor when Emperor Palpatine was killed on the Death Star. In the aftermath, the New Republic came to rise in power with the Empire falling in size and being forced to sign a strict disarmament treaty along with punishing reparations. However, it was in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy that former Imperial soldiers along with nobles and technologists plotted a return to power. They built fleets and armies in secret with this movement becoming known as the First Order that came under the control of Supreme Leader Snoke with this faction looking to reclaim their lost Imperial power. In secret from the Unknown Regions, they constructed a planet sized superweapon known as Starkiller Base that was to be critical in their role in taking over the galaxy from the Republic
In preparation for eventual war, the Order established mining facilities such as Station Theta Black that gathered large quantities of dedlanite that was a mineral used to create blasters. As part of their plans, they sought to expand their influence with them looking to take over the planet Castilon. Major Vonreg and Commander Pyre offered a strategy of them funding pirate operations to strike against the Colossus that was on the world. This was done so with the intention of the First Order offering their protection against the raids on the platform. As peacekeepers, they used the incident as a pretext for intervention but ultimately they occupied the Colossus for use as a staging ground. At first, some of the civilian populace welcomed this aid but eventually riots began to form among the alien population due to the actions of the First Order.
Kylo Ren headed an initiative by the Order in finding the location of the missing Luke Skywalker. A map containing the coordinates of the Jedi Master was present on the planet Jakku with the First Order arriving on the world to recover it. During the raid, a Resistance pilot was discovered named Poe Dameron who had been dispatched by Leia Organa with finding the map but was captured though he entrusted the information in his astromech droid BB-8. Dameron was taken to the Star Destroyer in orbit but a Stormtrooper named Finn had a change of heart and sought to defect. He freed Poe with the pair escaping on a TIE Fighter where they crashed back on the surface of Jakku with the First Order attempting to recover them.
During their onslaught, the First Order fleet departed for D'Qar that was the site of the Resistance's headquarters where they intended to eliminate their foe.
Whilst torturing Rey, Snoke was unaware that Kylo Ren was using the Force to control the lightsabres that he used to assassinate the Supreme Leader. Seeing their leader killed, the Elite Praetorian Guard sought to eliminate his killer and Rey forcing the two to work together. Despite them working together, Kylo Ren had no intention of turning from the Dark Side and instead claimed that Rey had killed Snoke. Thus, he took control of the First Order and assumed the position of Supreme Leader where he decided to continue the assault against the Resistance that had gathered on the planet Crait.
Around this time, a mysterious transmission began to emerge that was seemingly the Galactic Emperor Palpatine who had survived the destruction of the Death Star. This attracted the attention of Supreme Leader Ren who began a search to hunt down what he believed was an imposter. Kylo Ren managed to find a Sith Wayfinder relic that took him to the hidden world of Exegol where he discovered that Emperor Palpatine was indeed still alive. He had amassed a massive army that he called the Final Order and was to represent his final domination of the galaxy. The Sith Lord offered this power to the Supreme Leader but he had to hunt down the last Jedi Rey whilst his own forces prepared for the final onslaught to eliminate the Resistance.
In appearance, the First Order was an interstellar government that resembled many of the traits of its predecessor that was the Galactic Empire. The leader of the Order took the title of Supreme Leader. They were protected by the crimson-clad Elite Praetorian Guard who served as guardians and loyal protectors that wore ornate armor with them being skilled fighters who protected their leader from danger. It consisted largely of former Imperial officers, nobles and technologists that sought a return to power. A high ranking position within the military was that of the Allegiant-General.
Its military followed the structure of its parent namely the Imperial military of the Galactic Empire with Stormtroopers being the staple of their armed forces. It operated effectively through the absolute loyalty of its followers with any soldier found guilt of treason being executed by a special branch among the Stormtroopers. Children were taken from their families when they were young where they spent their entire lives training to be become loyal soldiers of the First Order. They were not given names and were instead assigned a alphanumerical code as a means of identification.
There were a number of specialist divisions within the Stormtroopers that included:
- Tech Stormtroopers : specialised soldiers that were trained to extract, decrypt and analyse heavily protected data ranging from droid memory cores to other databanks.
- Flametroopers : were units that advanced in conjunction with standard infantry who were equipped with backpack-style propellant tanks along with special helmets and temperate control body gloves beneath their armor. Flametroopers were armed with D-93 incinerators which they used to flush out entrenched enemies.
- SCUBA troopers : one of the specialised forces of the First Order that used specially-equipped underwater blasters and breathing equipment allowing them to perform in aquatic environments.
- Jet Troopers : rocket-pack equipped soldiers that were able to fly and used their blasters along with rocket-launcher attachment to attack enemies.
- Raiders : an elite specialised trooper that wore a dark grey armour where they were deployed on assignments that involved the recovery of relics and other items of note.
- Sith Troopers : elite soldiers that drew inspiration and power from the ancient dark legacy of the Sith and were part of Emperor Palpatine's Final Order.
Troopers that were seen as being erratic were taken away for mental conditioning and mind wipes to bring them back in line.
Unlike pilots of the Galactic Empire, the First Order treated its pilots as important elements of their war machine and were not considered expendable. Potential pilots were identified as children and given rigorous training that sometimes involved operating within the corridors of a warship. They were tested ruthlessly throughout their careers in order to hone their reflexes, visual acuity and coordination. Those that became exceptionally skilled were assigned as elite Special Forces fighter pilots that were identified by the red flashes on their helmets and they reported to the upper echelons of the First Orders hierarchy. Elite pilots within the First Order were able to gain titles such as that of Baron.
Security was maintained by the First Order Security Bureau that was responsible for interrogating spies and routing out dissent.
It was said that the goal of the First Order was to bring about peace through absolute order. Citizens under the First Order were expected to follow orders and commands. Any dissension were grounds for arrest with detainees shipped away. They believed in survival of the fittest and frowned on their soldiers that attempted to be heroes. Instead, they believed that those unfit survive deserved to be culled even if it was one of their own. Thus, they believed that those that showed strength were able to climb up the ranks.
The Supreme Leader was protected by a cadre of crimson-armored elite warriors known as the Elite Praetorian Guard that responded to any threat. These eight guardians were similar to Imperial Royal Guard and were divided into four parts with each armed with unique weapons.
The territories of the First Order primary resided within the Unknown Regions.
The First Order began to test a variety of new weapons of mass destruction in order to maintain security within the Unknown Regions.
Among the droid models used by the First Order included:
- BB-series Astromech Droid :
- Imperial Sentry Droids : these squat machines were placed on high-level stations, bases and ships where they were inactive until they detected an intruder. They stood tall where they had a pair of blasters and electro-shock arms to stun enemies.
- Probe Droids : these were used for effective surveillance where their man sensors were used to find intruders whereupon they notified the First Order. Typically, they engaged in evasive action if discovered and released a number of spherical armed remote units that protected the central 'mother' unit. These smaller probes were tasked with the elimination of any threat that was experienced by the main droid with them deployed from an internal compartment. If the droid was disturbed or destroyed then it tended to emit a distress signal that summoned First Order forces that were sent to examine the nature of the disturbance.
Armaments used by the First Order included:
- Z6 Riot Control Baton :
- D-93 Incinerator Flamethrower :
Infantry armour was all linked allowing them to track their location through scanners.
Their ground forces made use of bipedal walkers that assisted their infantry in engagements with these including:
- Treadspeeders : rugged, shielded patrol bikes with a design that grants greater traction on unstable terrain and had countermeasures that jammed traditional speeders.
- AT-HH Walker : the All-Terrain Heavy Hauler or tug walker were crustacean-like vehicles that utilised many sets of legs allowing it to remain functional even when taking battle damage.
- AT-ST Walker : the All-Terrain Scout Walker that was similar to the design used by the Galactic Empire with these bipedal machines having a more armoured look when compared to their predecessors.
- UA-TT Walker : the Urban Assault Triped Transport was a three-legged walker design that was used in pacification operations on conquered worlds.
- AT-AT Walker : All-Terrain Armored Transport Walkers were based on the design used by the Empire though improved technology allowed for quicker weapon recharge and better armor.
- AT-M6 Walker a lumbering more powerful walker armored vehicles that operated as enormous transports that aided in securing worlds for the First Order's expanding territories. One element of their army forces was a slow moving siege cannon that was developed from miniaturised Death Star technology. This weapon was dragged across landscapes until it approached its target where it fired its superlaser to break through barricades and defensive lines.
- Battering Ram Cannon : designed on miniaturised Death Star superlaser technology that was placed on a cylindrical housing allowing it to be dropped on the battlefield where it was used to break through any barrier.
For support, they made use of the latest generation of the TIE line that it was inherited from the Imperial Navy that resembled its predecessor. These included:
- TIE/FO : the TIE Fighter had improved cells along with higher-capacity convertors that made them much more deadlier than their Imperial era ancestors. In addition, they had on-board deflector shields as the First Order valued its pilots as key military assets thus leading to dedicated protection for them.
- TIE/SF : a special two-seater strike fighter variant that utilised by the First Order's elite Special Forces pilots. These were more powerful than standard TIE's with them having laser cannons, a heavy turret and a warhead launcher. Special Forces TIE Fighters also had their own hyperdrives, deflector shields and high-yield cells to provide additional power requirements for their on-board systems. This allowed them to be used as versatile attacks ships of the First Order with a range of mission profiles from reconnaissance to combat operations.
- TIE Whisper :
- TIE Dagger : a new generation of TIE Fighter developed by the Sith whose triangular wings and sleek profile gave it a menacing look.
- TIE Silencer :
- TIE Echelon : an assault shuttle manufactured by Sienar-Jaemus Fleet Systems as part of the TIE line with these primarily used for small troop or cargo transport. They were equipped with twin clusters of three ion engines on each side. In terms of equipment, they were armed with heavy lasers cannons and protected by a shield generator with them also being outfitted with advanced sensors to monitor or scan enemy communications to allow them to avoid hostile encounters. A turret was also situated in he cockpit allowing the shuttle to customise its armaments as needed. The TIE Echelon could accommodate twelve crew members along with additional cargo.
A version of the TIE Interceptor was utilised by the First Order that was given to their most elite pilots. These fighters were equipped with shields and had hyperdrives allowing them to operate without a command ship.
Other craft used by the Order were:
- Atmospheric Assault Landers : these transports were designed to deliver Stormtroopers onto the battlefield for ground operations and were able to deploy 20 troopers. The lander itself had a pilot that guided it to the drop zone with them situated in an elevated cockpit whilst a gunner protected the craft during its final approach.
- Upsilon-class Command Shuttles : these were used by the top officers within the First Order with these shuttles resembling grim birds of prey with their massive wings that were equipped with defensive systems to protect their passengers. Advanced sensor suites were situated in the upper wings that allowed them to scan enemies whilst the lower wings housed efficient shield projectors along with powerful jammers. When landing, the wings rose up from flight mode and retracted thus encasing the upper wings sensor arrays in thick armor.
In terms of capital ships, the First Order used:
- Resurgent-Class Star Destroyer : a new series of Star Destroyer that were central to their fleets with these being a clear violation of treaties with the New Republic. These starships had heavy weapons with turbolasers more powerful as well as faster recharge rate compared to Imperial era weapons along with a compliment of two starfighter wings, hundreds of assault craft and an entire legion of Stormtroopers.
- Mandator IV-class Siege Dreadnoughts : a more powerful vessel in their arsenal were these Dreadnoughts that were massive ships described as fleet killers which were armed with massive central auto-cannons that could devastate targets with the orbital bombardment cannons able to penetrate planetary shields. These ships were equipped with point defense cannons to protect them from fighter attacks as concentrated assaults from bombers could destroy them.
- Mega-class Star Dreadnought : a massive vessel that served as the mobile headquarters of the First Order.
A central facility of the Order was Starkiller Base that was a superweapon the size of a planet. The fortified ice planet was capable of fire a destructive energy beam that were able to destroy entire star systems from a great distance.
The First Order developed the technology for active tracking allowing equipped ships to follow targets through hyperspace.
- Snoke : a mysterious male Force user who came to head the First Order and held the position of Supreme Leader until his assassination by Kylo Ren.
- Kylo Ren : a male Force user who was the Master of the Knights of Ren with his true identity being Ben Solo where he became a disciple of Snoke until he slayed his leader and took his position as ruler of the First Order.
- Enric Pryde : a male human who once served in the Galactic Empire where he eventually operated in the First Order where he attained the rank of Allegiant-General.
- Armitage Hux :
- Ansiv Garmuth :
- Phasma : a female human who rose to the position of Captain of the Stormtrooper Corps where she wore a distinct chrome armour.
- Vonreg : a male Major Baron elite TIE pilot who wore a distinctive red armour.
- Pyre : a male human who rose to the position of Commander of the Stormtrooper Corps where he served under Captain Phasma and wore a distinctive gold armour.
- Tierny : a female officer that was a member of the First Order Security Bureau.
- Galek : a female human lieutenant who served as a flight instructor for new TIE Pilot recruits.
- Raith : Agent Raith was a male First Order Raider that was dispatched by the Supreme Leader to recover a Sith relic but was killed when the object was set on overload by Mica Grey with the blast killing him and his squad.
- TZ-1719 : a black female Stormtrooper who was abducted as a child and conditioned to serve in the First Orders military. This was until she and her contingent were ordered to fire on civilians but instead they could not do so and laid down their arms. The unit then went rogue and escaped the First Order on a cruise where they lived in secrecy on an ocean moon in the Endor system where she took the name Jannah.
- FN-2187 : a black male Stormtrooper who had been abducted as a child and conditioned to serve as a Stormtrooper under Captain Phasma's command. This was until one assignment where he was horrified at the massacre of civilians and he abandoned his post by freeing Poe Dameron from the First Order. Eventually, he came to join the Resistance and later served as a General against the First Order.
- The First Order were introduced as antagonists in the third trilogy starting with Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens.
In other media
- In Star Wars: Battlefront II, the First Order featured in the campaign mode of the video game with players also able to play as Stormtroopers and officers in the multiplayer mode. It was shown in the campaign mode that they formed after the collapse of the Galactic Empire following the Battle of Jakku. Gideon Hask survived that time to join their ranks with the First Order preparing for an eventual take over of the galaxy. Part of this process saw the creation of Project Resurrection that was a secret initiative in kidnapping children and indoctrinating them into the tenets of the First Order with them being conscripted as Stormtroopers.
- Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens: (2015)
- Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi: (2017)
- Star Wars: Resistance:
- Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker: (2019)