- "The war is just beginning."
- ―Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, to Kylo Ren
The war between the First Order and the Resistance began upon the escalation of the cold war into full scale open warfare between the two factions for control over the galaxy. While the First Order, the successor to the fallen Galactic Empire, sought to conquer the known galaxy from the Unknown Regions, the Resistance sought to preserve the democracy restored by the shattered New Republic after their struggle against the Empire thirty years prior.
The war officially began in the year 34 ABY when the First Order fired its planet-sized superweapon on Starkiller Base on the Republic capital of Hosnian Prime, destroying the Hosnian system, and with it the Galactic Senate and New Republic Defense Fleet. Shortly afterwards, the Resistance launched an assault on the stronghold, resulting in its destruction and the beginning of open warfare.
The Galactic Civil WarEdit
- "When we look back upon the war against the Empire—upon the billions of lives lost—sometimes it seems as though nothing could ever have been worth the terrible price we paid. But when we think of those people who perished in the conflict, let us remember that they died for justice. For liberty. For the extraordinary peace we now enjoy. This is what we fought for."
- ―Senator Tai-Lin Garr
At the end of the Clone Wars in 19 BBY, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, who was secretly in fact the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, declared himself Emperor and reorganized the democratic Galactic Republic, which had governed the galaxy for a millennium, into the first Galactic Empire, replacing the Galactic Senate with the Imperial Senate. The Emperor had his new apprentice, the fallen Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, now Darth Vader, oversee the deaths of the remaining Separatist leaders and the purging of the remaining Jedi that had survived Order 66 and the march on the Jedi Temple, leaving the Jedi Order destroyed.
Despite the promises of security and order that the Old Republic had failed to provide, the Empire eventually faced early rebellion that came to consolidate into the Alliance to Restore the Republic. The Rebel Alliance and the Empire soon came into conflict in the form of the Galactic Civil War, with the former securing a major victory at the Battle of Yavin where the Death Star was destroyed. Four years later, in 4 ABY, the Emperor used himself and the second Death Star as bait to lure out the Alliance Fleet and Luke Skywalker, a new age Jedi and son of Darth Vader whom the Emperor sought to replace. However, at the Battle of Endor, Vader turned on the Emperor and killed him, saving his son and redeeming himself, fulfilling the prophecy of the Chosen One and leaving the Sith extinct. Anakin died in his son's arms moments later, though Luke was able to escape as the second Death Star exploded.Battle of Jakku one year later in 5 ABY. Though the Republic was victorious in battle, many select Imperial officers, nobles, and soldiers were able to retreat into the Unknown Regions as part of a secret Contingency plan devised by the late Emperor to rebuild the Empire, though the plot to destroy Jakku and thus cripple both the Old Empire and the New Republic had failed. Imperial remnants that continued to persist in the known galaxy agreed to the Imperial Instruments of Surrender and signed the Galactic Concordance with the New Republic.
The cold warEdit
- "We're on the brink of war again—one we may not survive."
- ―General Leia Organa
In the aftermath of the war, the New Republic made an earnest effort to rebuild what was lost over the course of the five year conflict, also taking steps to ensure that nothing on that scale would ever happen again. The Galactic Senate passed the Military Disarmament Act, heavily demilitarizing the New Republic military and instead pressuring individual planets and star systems to rely on their local planetary defense forces. Despite the subsidized military, the New Republic was still faced with threats sizable in proportion. Choosing to ignore the stipulations of the Galactic Concordance, some united remnants of the Empire refused to yield, culminating in a cold war between the New Republic and Empire.
Over the years, Imperial factions and remnants would briefly inhabit a wing of Republic politics while, hidden away in the Unknown Regions, other Imperial loyalists plotted their return to power, forming the First Order. The First Order colonized planets in the Unknown Regions and rapidly expanded their military power, rebuilding Imperial fleets and mobilizing stormtrooper forces within its armies, with the hopes of restoring Imperial glory. Tensions between Imperial sympathizers, many of whom were Centrists, and Republic loyalists, many of whom were Populists, would eventually reach an all time high that would cause many former Imperials to secede from the Republic and join with a growing First Order. While the notion was supported by many, others feared that, without Republic oversight, former Imperials would return to the draconian ways of the fallen Empire.
Senator Leia Organa, the sister of Luke Skywalker, petitioned the Galactic Senate and Republic Command to take action, but found herself sidelined by the political realm of the New Republic, especially after the revelation that Darth Vader was in fact her and Luke's father in a political scandal between the Centrists and the Populists. With the Republic seeking to avoid another galactic war at all costs and not viewing the First Order as a credible threat to galactic peace and freedom, Princess Leia stepped down from her political office in 28 ABY and formed the breakaway Resistance, where she held the rank of General. Though not officially supported by the Republic, the Resistance was tolerated, and secretly some within the Galactic Senate assisted in funding the private military force.
The search for SkywalkerEdit
- "Lor San Tekka. An explorer. He's been all over the galaxy—there's not a sacred site or Jedi ruin he hasn't seen. He's supposed to be dead, but this holovid you intercepted shows him alive, and older than the last time I saw him. He could still be out there, and if he is, he's our best hope for finding Luke."
- ―General Leia Organa
Shortly before the war between First Order and the Resistance formally began, Resistance pilot Poe Dameron was sent on a mission to find Lor San Tekka, ally of General Organa, in hopes that he could lead them to the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi, who resided in self-exile after the destruction of his Jedi students some years earlier at the hands of First Order enforcer Kylo Ren, the master of the Knights of Ren, student to Supreme Leader Snoke, and son of Leia Organa and Han Solo.. The search for San Tekka eventually led Dameron to Tuanul village on Jakku where he found the old ally and retrieved a portion of a map that would lead the Resistance to Skywalker. However, before Dameron could escape, the First Order arrived also in search for San Tekka and the map. With no other choice, Dameron elected to leave the map inside his droid BB-8 and sent him away to safety. With the map now out of the village, Kylo Ren arrived on the scene, killing San Tekka and capturing Dameron and the First Order Stormtroopers led by Captain Phasma executed all of the villagers. Dameron, after being tortured by Kylo Ren, would give up the location of the map and the First Order would begin a hunt to find BB-8. During the attack on Tuanul a stormtrooper, FN-2187 became disillusioned and proceeded to help Dameron escape captivity aboard the Finalizer. Their escape would lead them back to Jakku, where BB-8 had already befriended the scavenger Rey and would soon begin his journey back to the Resistance.
The war beginsEdit
A declaration of warEdit
- "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
With conflict rising between the First Order and the Resistance, the government of the New Republic under Chancellor Lanever Villecham chose to focus more on trade relations with neutral regions of the galaxy such as the Trans-Hydian Borderlands, unaware of the actual danger that they were in. In 34 ABY, the First Order, long hidden away in the shadows of the Unknown Regions, used its superweapon built into Starkiller Base to target and destroy the Hosnian system, where the Republic capital of Hosnian Prime was located, resulting in the Hosnian Cataclysm. The Galactic Senate and Defense Fleet were completely obliterated, and the Republic was shattered.
Response to the Hosnian CataclysmEdit
- "The First Order: they're charging the weapon again, now.... our system is the next target."
- ―General Leia Organa
In the immediate aftermath of the attack on the Hosnian System, a battle broke out between forces of the First Order the Resistance at pirate queen Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana, the First Order attacking the castle to capture BB-8 and the Resistance trying to retrieve him. The short battle resulted in a Resistance victory with BB-8 being reclaimed, but the Force-sensitive scavenger Rey, who with the help of ex-stormtrooper Finn had saved BB-8 on Jakku, was captured and Kanata's castle was destroyed. Once back at the Resistance base on D'Qar, the Resistance formulated a plan to retaliate against the First Order's destruction of the New Republic. They launched a successful assault on Starkiller Base, destroying the planetary superweapon and dealing a significant blow to the new war machine engineered by the First Order.
Open warfare had begun. But there was hope: using archival data inside the droid R2-D2 and the portion of the map the droid BB-8 had, they were able to complete the map to Skywalker. With this information, General Organa sent Rey to Ahch-To to find Luke.
Despite the devastating loss of Starkiller Base, the First Order stood ready to begin its campaign of conquest of the known galaxy as the peaceful Republic had been decimated, its leadership decapitated. It was predicted that all major systems would fall in weeks to the rising First Order in its invasion of the known galaxy from the Unknown Regions. Eventually, the First Order achieved enough victories that Supreme Leader Snoke, long hidden away aboard the Supremacy in the Unknown Regions, decided to risk coming out of the shadows to personally lead the First Order to potential dominance over the Resistance.
Trapping the ResistanceEdit
- "I have my orders from Supreme Leader Snoke himself. This is where we snuff out the Resistance once and for all."
- ―General Armitage Hux
As Supreme Leader Snoke deployed his legions to seize military control of the galaxy, General Armitage Hux led a fleet of the First Order Navy to D'Qar, where the Resistance was evacuating. General Hux's fleet intercepted the fleeing Resistance fleet above the planet. His Star Destroyers and TIE fighters were accompanied by a Siege Dreadnought commanded by Captain Moden Canady, a veteran of the Galactic Empire. The Siege Dreadnought used its two orbital autocannons to obliterate the Resistance base on the planet surface, though all of its personnel had evacuated. Meanwhile, Wing Commander Poe Dameron flew his Black One X-wing fighter to the First Order Dreadnought with his upgraded engine, kicking it into high speed. He took out the dreadnought's defensive turbolaser emplacements, all the while evading TIE fighters, while his astromech droid BB-8 repaired his starfighter. With the Resistance forces now joined with their fleet, General Leia Organa ordered Poe to disengage, but he disobeyed, seeing an opportunity to take out a First Order Dreadnought. Poe's actions created an opening for MG-100 StarFortress SF-17 bombers to unleash payloads on the First Order Dreadnought, accompanied by Blue Leader Tallissan Lintra and her escort starfighters. However, all of the Resistance bombers were destroyed, save for one where Paige Tico served as gunner. With the rest of crew dead and herself injured, Paige unleashed the payload on the First Order Dreadnought, creating a chain reaction of explosions that ultimately consumed her and her ship. Nonetheless, her sacrifice allowed the Resistance pilots to return to the fleet and jump into hyperspace. Because of his rash and dangerous actions, however, that still killed many much needed Resistance pilots, Leia demoted Poe to Captain.
Attacking the FleetEdit
- "They've tracked us through light speed."
"Yes, and they've done it."
- ―General Leia Organa and Finn
General Hux was reprimanded by Supreme Leader Snoke for his repeated failure, but General Hux made contact with Snoke aboard the Supremacy, the flagship of the shadowy Supreme Leader. General Hux revealed his plan to track the Resistance fleet through hyperspace using new technology, which was done through the Supremacy. When the Resistance exited hyperspace in the Crait system, General Hux's fleet arrived, reinforced by the Supremacy itself, which opened a barrage of fire on the Resistance cruisers. The attack on the Resistance fleet ultimately cornered the fleeing Resistance as it was unable to jump into hyperspace again without burning all of their remaining fuel, which would be meaningless since the First Order would track them anyway. Kylo Ren and three wingmen engaged in strafing runs on the Raddus, destroying its hangar and burning away most of the Resistance Starfighter Corps. Kylo was unable to destroy the bridge of the Raddus, however, as his mother was still on board. His wingmen took shots instead, destroying the bridge and crippling the Resistance command, among them Admiral Gial Ackbar. General Leia Organa was able to use the Force to survive, but was in critical condition when the Resistance recovered her. The chain of command passed down to the strange Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, an old friend and student of Leia. Holdo came into conflict with Poe due to her lack of transparency, reminding him of his demotion.
Mission to Canto BightEdit
While attempting to desert, stormtrooper defector Finn, who, along with Poe Dameron, Rey, Han Solo, and Chewbacca, had been instrumental in destroying Starkiller Base, was caught by mechanic Rose Tico. Rose initially intended to hand him over to custody for attempting desertion, but when Finn revealed to her that they were being tracked through hyperspace, a new and foreign technology, she devised a plan to destroy its source. Finn and Rose proposed this to Poe, who informally approved of it. They reached out to Maz Kanata, who directed them to find a Master Codebreaker on the casino city Canto Bight on Cantonica. Finn, Rose, and BB-8 thus undertook a secret mission to Canto Bight, but were arrested by its police officers for illegal parking on a public beach. In their cell, they met the mysterious slicer DJ, who opened the cell's doors through his own skill in code breaking. They evaded the cops as they rode fathiers through the city. When they found themselves trapped on a cliff, DJ and BB-8 arrived in a stolen ship, whose arms dealer had sold both to the First Order and the Resistance, as did most of the greedy, ultra-rich residents of and travelers to Canto Bight.
Seeking to buy time for Finn and Rose's mission, Poe went on to attempt a mutiny against Holdo when he discovered that she aimed to abandon the Raddus, relieving her of her command and seizing the bridge. However, he was ultimately stunned by a reawakened Leia. He and the rest of the mutineers were arrested and loaded onto the U-55 orbital loadlifter transports. Admiral Holdo decided to remain behind in order to pilot the Raddus.
Fighting on the SupremacyEdit
Finn, Rose, DJ, and BB-8 jumped to hyperspace and arrived in the Crait system, where DJ snuck them aboard the Supremacy, disguised in First Order officer uniforms. BB-8, who was covered by a box, was identified by BB-9E, who proceeded to alert the First Order of their presence. DJ managed to slice into the room where the hyperspace tracker was stored, but the three were caught by First Order Security Bureau officer Ansiv Garmuth and a group of stormtroopers. The stormtroopers took Finn and Rose before General Hux and Captain Phasma, who previously had been humiliated and left to die on Starkiller Base by Finn. Phasma gave full payment to DJ with Hux's authorization, who revealed that he had betrayed the Resistance by revealing that their transport ships were discreetly fleeing to the mineral salt world of Crait. General Hux ordered for the Supremacy to open fire on the transports while Captain Phasma brought forward two stormtrooper executioners to execute Finn and Rose for treason.
Meanwhile, Rey, who had been training with Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi and twin brother of General Leia Organa, arrived aboard the Supremacy, where she was greeted by Kylo Ren, whom she had been sharing a bond in the Force with. Kylo had two stormtroopers place Rey in handcuffs, and then brought her before his dark side master, Supreme Leader Snoke, who was seated upon his throne and flanked by his eight Elite Praetorian Guard in his throne room. Snoke revealed that he bridged Rey and Kylo's minds in order to draw her out, and proceeded to mentally torture her for the location of Luke Skywalker. Once he found Luke's location and revealed his intention to obliterate the entire temple island, Rey reacted by attempting to grab Skywalker's lightsaber, though Snoke held on to it. He showed her to an oculus viewing scope, where she was made to watch as the Supremacy picked off the Resistance transports one by one. She used the Force to grab Kylo Ren's lightsaber and charged Snoke, but he threw her once more across the room to Kylo and sentenced her to death at Kylo's hand for having the spirit of a true Jedi. As Kylo reached for his lightsaber and picked it up, Snoke taunted Rey for believing she could turn his apprentice. The overconfident Snoke watched Kylo's mind as he readied the lightsaber to strike down his true enemy, unaware that he himself was, in fact, Kylo's true enemy. Kylo used the Force to subtly turn Skywalker's lightsaber and sliced through Snoke, cutting the Supreme Leader in half and releasing Rey from his grip.
Rey stood, taking Skywalker's lightsaber while Kylo activated his as they were surrounded by the eight Elite Praetorian Guard, ready to avenge the Supreme Leader. The two warriors engaged in a brutal melee with Snoke's guard, and ultimately overcame them, working together to kill them one by one until the last fell when Rey threw Skywalker's lightsaber to Kylo, allowing him to stab the guardsman through his eye. Rey, still calling him Ben, urged Kylo to order the First Order to stop firing on the Resistance fleet, but Kylo instead had his eyes on Snoke's throne. He turned to Rey and urged her to let go of the past: Snoke, Skywalker, the Sith, the Jedi, the rebels, all of it. He sought to build a new order for the galaxy with Rey by his side, but a teary eyed Rey instead reached for Skywalker's lightsaber. The two used the Force to fight for it, ultimately causing it to snap in half and explode, the resulting shockwave pushing them back.
With the Supremacy opening fire on the transports, Admiral Holdo, still on board the Raddus, acted quickly. Taking control of the heavy cruiser, she repositioned the starship towards the Supremacy and its escort Star Destroyers and jumped into hyperspace, punching a hole through the Supremacy and several of the Star Destroyers, sacrificing herself. The distraction saved Finn and Rose from their executions and allowed Rey to escape aboard Snoke's escape craft and rendezvous with Chewbacca, R2-D2, and the Millennium Falcon. BB-8 hijacked an AT-ST walker and began open firing on stormtroopers while Finn engaged in a melee with Captain Phasma. Though Phasma knocked him down, Finn gained the upper hand when he landed on an elevating platform, knocking back the surprised Phasma as she was taking shots at Rose. Phasma cursed Finn one last time as the floor around her collapsed, and she was consumed by the fire below. Finn and Rose escaped on BB-8's hijacked AT-ST and reached a transport shuttle, taking flight to Crait.
General Hux arrived to Snoke's throne room, where he found the corpses of Supreme Leader Snoke and his Elite Praetorian Guard, as well as Kylo Ren lying on the ground, unconscious. Hux reached for his blaster pistol to kill the dark warrior that was once Snoke's apprentice, but Kylo regained consciousness before Hux could do so. Kylo told Hux that it was the girl who had killed Snoke, and to ready their forces, which were relatively unscathed, to march on Crait. An angered Hux questioned Kylo Ren's authority to command him and was still reeling from shock that their Supreme Leader was dead, but Kylo Force choked General Hux into obedience, allowing Kylo to usurp the title of Supreme Leader for himself.
Battle of CraitEdit
- "We are the spark that will light the fire that will burn the First Order down. Skywalker's doing this so that we can escape."
- ―Poe Dameron
Resistance forces regrouped in an abandoned base from the days of the Rebellion on the salt mineral world of Crait, protected by several outposts and a massive door, and dug in trenches where Resistance troopers held their ground. Supreme Leader Kylo Ren took personal command of the Battle of Crait himself from his command shuttle alongside General Hux. The First Order deployed TIE fighters, AT-M6 walkers, and AT-AT walkers to escort their superlaser siege cannon, hauled across the salty dunes by All Terrain Heavy Haulers. In response, Resistance troopers opened fire while surviving Resistance pilots and other fighters piloted rebel V-4X-D ski speeders salvaged from the abandoned base, among them Poe, Finn, and Rose. TIE fighters were able to take out several ski speeders but were drawn away when the Millennium Falcon arrived, piloted by Chewbacca and gunned by Rey. Nevertheless, the ski speeders were unable to reach the superlaser siege cannon on time and were ordered by Poe to fall back. Finn attempted to fly straight into the siege cannon before it could fire to stop it, but Rose stopped him from sacrificing himself by crashing into him, later justifying that they would win the war not by fighting the things they hate, but by saving the things that they love. Finn soon returned to the base dragging along an unconscious Rose.
The surviving Resistance troops fell back to the base, which had a new opening as the superlaser siege cannon fired on it. With their allies in the Outer Rim not responding, the few remaining Resistance forces were demoralized, among them General Leia Organa, who declared that the galaxy had lost all hope. However, in that moment, the long lost Jedi Master, Luke Skywalker, twin brother of General Organa, suddenly arrived. Skywalker reunited with Organa and told her that he came to face her son, Kylo Ren. Organa confessed she knew her son was gone, though Skywalker replied that none were truly ever gone before handing her husband's dice.
Skywalker walked out alone onto the battlefield to face the First Order. Ren ordered all available guns to open fire on Skywalker. He allowed his emotions to overcome him as the First Order walkers fired on the Jedi, demanding for heavier firepower, though General Hux eventually called it off. They were stunned, however, to find Skywalker had survived without a scratch. Ren went down to face his uncle alone, ordering his forces to stay behind, buying time for the few surviving Resistance fighters to escape. Led by Poe, they followed native vulptices to the back of the base where they were fleeing, but they found themselves trapped from the outside by a mountain of rocks.
Meanwhile, Ren and Skywalker ignited their lightsabers. Ren took the first strike at Skywalker but missed. He attempted to strike Skywalker a second time, but he was able to dodge his plasma blade and evade Ren. Skywalker apologized to his nephew for failing him, but Ren didn't accept it, telling Skywalker that the Resistance was dead and the war had ended, and that when he will slay his uncle, he will slay the last Jedi. Skywalker responded, however, that the rebellion was reborn, the war was just beginning, and that he would not be the last Jedi. Meanwhile, Chewbacca landed near the rubble of rocks, and Rey used the Force to lift them away, allowing the Resistance to flee and escape onto the Millennium Falcon. When Skywalker reminded Ren of his father, Ren launched himself towards his uncle again, this time not missing, yet inexplicably Skywalker had lived. Ren walked up to his uncle and stuck his lightsaber through his chest, revealing that Skywalker was in fact using the Force to project himself. Skywalker told his nephew he would see him again before disappearing.
Kylo Ren, General Hux, and their snowtroopers marched onto the base only to find it abandoned once more. The few remaining survivors of the Resistance had escaped aboard the Millennium Falcon, saved by the Jedi. Finn comforted an unconscious Rose while Leia and Rey, the latter holding the broken Skywalker lightsaber, discussed feeling Luke Skywalker passing away, having become one with the Force after his projection. Rey worried that they would not be able to rebuild the Resistance with so few left, but Leia told her that they had everything that they needed in order to do so.
Behind the scenesEdit
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- ↑ Star Wars Battlefront II
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- ↑ A Leader Named Leia
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- ↑ Star Wars Rebels – "Secret Cargo"
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- ↑ Aftermath
- ↑ Shattered Empire, Part IV
- ↑ Aftermath: Empire's End
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
- ↑ Bloodline
- ↑ Before the Awakening
- ↑ BB-9E on the Star Wars App-Enabled Droids by Sphero (Screenshots: 1)
- ↑ Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary