Maz Kanata is more than a thousand years old, a diminutive being with vast experience at surviving in the underworld. From her castle on Takodana, Maz has seen galactic powers rise and fall and felt the Force ebb and flow, seeking an elusive balance between darkness and light. She has given many a young smuggler a start by offering credits, equipment or connections, and helped many an old friend rediscover a lost path.
A lush green world in the galaxy’s Western Reaches, Takodana has long served as the base of operations for the diminutive pirate queen Maz Kanata, whose ancient castle is a haven for smugglers, brigands, scouts and spies from numerous worlds. Takodana has been largely spared war over the centuries, remaining neutral as galaxy-ruling regimes come and go around it.
Smuggler. Scoundrel. Hero. Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, was one of the great leaders of the Rebel Alliance. He and his co-pilot Chewbacca came to believe in the cause of galactic freedom, joining Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa in the fight against the Empire. But after the Battle of Endor, Han would face difficult times in a galaxy plagued by chaos and uncertainty.
Rey is a Jakku scavenger, a survivor toughened by life on a harsh desert planet. When the fugitive droid BB-8 appeals to her for help, Rey finds herself drawn into a galaxy-spanning conflict. Despite dismissing herself as “no one,” she learns that her life is being shaped by the mysterious power of the Force. She seeks out Luke Skywalker, the lost Jedi Master, in hopes that he will aid the Resistance against the First Order and help her learn to control her powers.
The son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, Ben Solo was seduced by the dark side of the Force and renamed himself Kylo Ren, becoming the First Order’s champion and Supreme Leader Snoke’s student. Kylo killed his father and seeks to destroy his mother’s Resistance and the remnants of the Jedi Order. Though a servant of the dark side, he still struggles against the pull of the light side of the Force.
The First Order’s infantry units wear stark white armor derived from that worn by the Republic’s clone troopers and the Empire’s stormtroopers. Members of this new generation of stormtroopers are trained from birth, growing up with unit designations instead of names and fed a steady diet of First Order propaganda to ensure absolute loyalty. Where the Empire opted for numbing routine, the First Order’s training simulations and live-fire drills encourage improvisation on the battlefield, making these stormtroopers more dangerous than their Imperial predecessors.