The First Order (–35 ABY), also known simply as the Order, was an autocratic military junta that formed from the remnants of the Galactic Empire during the New Republic Era. Born in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy, the First Order claimed legitimacy as a successor state to the Empire. As with its predecessor, the fascist state was dominated by a ruling political and military human elite. As a polity, the First Order was ruled by a Supreme Leader from their mobile headquarters instead of a traditional planetary capital. It grew from a hermit state to the dominant galactic power, having gradually colonized large swathes of the Unknown Regions and boosted by secessionists from the New Republic, annexing the territory that would serve a crucial role in the regime’s plan to eventually seize the galaxy at large. Yet despite their conquest of the major star systems, the First Order’s military rule was met with resistance and rebellion.
The First Order had emerged in unexplored space following the Empire’s defeat in the Galactic Civil War. The Contingency, a secret plan crafted by Galactic Emperor Darth Sidious before his demise, ensured the Empire’s destruction as well as its rebirth as the First Order through a cadre of Imperial officers, nobles, and technologists. The First Order drew inspiration and power from a dark and ancient legacy, whereas the New Republic endeavored to create a democratic and demilitarized galaxy. Though its ranks initially consisted of former Imperial personnel, a new generation of young zealous officers, including General Armitage Hux and Captain Phasma, rose to power under the patronage of Supreme Leader Snoke, supplanting the old guard which consisted of Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, General Brendol Hux, and Captain Cardinal.
In 29 ABY, the Centrists—a coalition of worlds that advocated for centralized rule—joined the secretive and enigmatic First Order after seceding from the New Republic. Sparking the Cold War that ensued between the two galactic powers culminated in the Hosnian Cataclysm of 34 ABY. Having transformed the planet Ilum into a superweapon known as Starkiller Base, the First Order launched a preemptive strike against the Republic Senate, annihilating Hosnian Prime along with other worlds in the Hosnian system. Though the Resistance succeeded in destroying Starkiller, the fledgling group was vastly outnumbered by the First Order’s fleets and armies, which featured Resurgent-class Star Destroyers and new-generation stormtroopers.
Kylo Ren, the grandson of Darth Vader, became the new Supreme Leader after he assassinated Snoke in 34 ABY. Supported by Allegiant General Enric Pryde, Ren led the First Order on a campaign of galactic conquest and hunted the remnants of the Resistance. In 35 ABY, the Sith Eternal, a cult of Sith loyalists who served the reborn Emperor Darth Sidious, revealed themselves as the force behind the First Order’s rise to power. With the Final Order‘s Xyston-class Star Destroyers, the First Order nearly completed its transformation into a true empire. However, the Resistance defeated the Sith fleet with the help of a citizens’ fleet at the Battle of Exegol. Without reinforcements, the First Order’s military rule began to crumble under widespread galactic rebellion.