Poe Dameron is a commander in the Resistance’s Starfighter Corps and one of Leia Organa’s most-trusted operatives. The son of a rebel fighter pilot and a rebel commando, Poe grew up on stories of Alliance campaigns. A decorated X-wing pilot, he can fly anything – which is fortunate given how often his headstrong nature leads him into trouble.
A brave young Resistance pilot, Jess, or "Testor" as she is also called, grew up idolizing the legendary pilots of previous generations, such as Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles. Jess gets her own chance at glory when the Resistance attacks Starkiller Base, flying alongside Poe Dameron and Snap Wexley under the call sign Blue Three.
A small, secretive private military force, the Resistance was founded by rebel hero Leia Organa to monitor the actions of the First Order. Most New Republic power brokers tolerate the Resistance while regarding Organa and her fighters as dead-enders with an unfortunate fixation on the past. Organa’s cash-strapped movement relies on credits, ships and equipment quietly funneled to it from the few senators who share her concerns.
The Incom T-70 X-wing is the latest incarnation of a classic design, and the signature combat craft of the Resistance’s Starfighter Corps. Faster than the Alliance-era T-65s, Resistance X-wings are maneuverable enough to engage TIE fighters in dogfights, but powerful enough to take down capital ships. The credit-strapped Resistance relies on X-wings donated or lent by sympathetic New Republic senators and local security forces. During the assault on Starkiller Base, Poe Dameron flies a customized, dark-hulled X-wing under the call sign Black Leader.
Deep in the Unknown Regions, the First Order has constructed a superweapon that uses an entire planet as its weapons platform. The deadly Starkiller harvests energy from its system’s star, contains it within magnetic fields inside its base’s planetary core, and then converts that energy into an ultra-powerful beam that blasts through hyperspace, able to sterilize the worlds of a distant star system with a single shot. The icy world that houses the Starkiller is the First Order’s greatest secret, and essential to its plan to conquer the galaxy.
Rather than use flesh-and-blood warriors, the Separatists prefer mindlessly loyal soldiers that are easily controlled. The soulless ranks of their armies are dominated by tall, thin B1 battle droids built as mechanical imitations of their Geonosian designers. Battle droids can be controlled by centralized command centers such as the Trade Federation’s enormous Droid Control Ships, or programmed for independent action. They often suffer programming glitches that manifest as personality quirks. Battle droids are dim-witted and no match for clone troopers or Jedi, but they weren’t designed to be smart – they were designed to overwhelm Republic civilians through sheer numbers, something they do very effectively.