How did the First Order rise, and how did it fall?

Andy Serkis in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017). Photo: Lucasfilm.
Andy Serkis in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017). Photo: Lucasfilm. /

The First Order was seen as the main antagonizing faction in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. It has been the villainous force behind most of the destruction in the galaxy, seen in Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi and Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.

But how exactly did this mysterious group rise to power, and who was pulling the strings behind all of the action?

Read on to learn more about the rise and fall of the First Order in the Star Wars universe.

How did the First Order come to power?

In the aftermath of the Galactic Empire’s fall, the victorious Rebel Alliance eventually established the democratic New Republic in order to secure a prosperous and free government for its inhabitants. The galaxy was finally at peace, and the Imperial leader, the evil Emperor Palpatine, was dead. Or so everyone thought.

As it turns out, Palpatine, who in reality was the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, used all of his knowledge of the Dark Side to send his consciousness to a cloned body on the Sith homeworld of Exegol. There, Palpatine slowly regenerated his power, building a new army and awaiting his eventual return to take revenge on the galaxy.

Palpatine engineered a puppet ruler, Supreme Leader Snoke, who gathered the remaining high brass from the old Empire and eventually created a new group: the First Order. With Snoke as the dictatorial figurehead, Palpatine controlled the First Order and eventually grew its ranks to massive numbers.

Through Snoke, Palpatine secretly manipulated Ben Solo, the son of Rebellion heroes Han Solo and Princess Leia. Ben eventually fell to the Dark Side, taking up the mantle of Kylo Ren and becoming the First Order’s right-hand man.

How did the First Order fall?

With Kylo Ren and Snoke at the helm, the First Order eventually destroyed the planets of the New Republic, allowing them to take over control of the galaxy. However, the remaining Rebels from the old Imperial days soon formed a Resistance to fight the First Order.

The Resistance started off very small at first, but eventually grew in ranks and entered into a war with the First Order. This came to a head when Palpatine finally revealed himself to the galaxy, intending on reclaiming his place as Emperor of a Final Order.

However, this was not to be. The Resistance converged on Exegol in a final, massive battle. Kylo Ren was turned back to the light side, and he, along with Palpatine’s granddaughter, Rey, teamed up to vanquish Palpatine once and for all.

After the Resistance’s decisive victory, planets across the galaxy began rising up against the Order. Without any support from Palpatine or his rebuilt army, the First Order soon fell apart completely, and the galaxy was at peace once again.

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