New Star Wars book reveals highlights the origin of the First Order

(Image credit: Disney)

Star Wars’ canon is a sprawling behemoth that isn’t only made up of the movies. Plenty of facts and stories that have a lot of importance to the galaxy far, far away can only be found in the novels, comic books, video games and more that make up the Star Wars universe (which even includes a theme park).

Now, a new book has revealed a bit more information about the villainous First Order.

We first saw the First Order in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The regime seemed to have sprung from the ashes of the Empire – they shared stormtroopers, Star Destroyers, helmet-clad Force users, and mysterious, powerful leaders, to name a few resemblances. However, nothing was really confirmed for certain throughout the entire sequel trilogy. 

A new Star Wars book – aptly titled The Star Wars Book – by Pablo Hidalgo, Cole Horton, and Dan Zehr clears up some of the shadows around the First Order’s origin.

It’s already been shared that the First Order grew in strength after Imperials fled to the Unknown Regions in the years following the Battle of Jakku. Now, thanks to The Star Wars Book and some info from the official Star Wars site, we also know how the First Order grew within the New Republic.

Essentially, members of the First Order tried to make the New Republic government more powerful. This led to a political impasse, which then prompted space systems that were worried about losing their freedom to leave the New Republic and join the emerging group known as the First Order.

It’s all a bit complicated, but it’s also pretty similar to Emperor Palpatine’s power grab in the prequel trilogy – he also played the Republic’s political system to his favour.

Considering the reception to the prequel trilogy’s focus on the politics of the saga, it’s probably a good thing that the sequel movies didn’t go into a lot of depth about the First Order’s origins. Still, this is a fascinating tidbit that explains how a threat so similar to the Empire could grow right under the New Republic’s nose.

If untangling the Star Wars canon is your thing, check out our Star Wars timeline with every major event in the galaxy in chronological order.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.