The Rebel Alliance became the New Republic after its victory over the Empire at the Battle of Endor. Eager to win over the war-weary citizens of the galaxy, the New Republic revived the Senate, signed a peace treaty – the Galactic Concordance – with the Empire’s remnants, and drastically reduced its military capabilities. That policy aroused the ire of rebel hero Leia Organa, who warned that elements of the Empire were still seeking power. Sidelined from the political process, Organa founded the Resistance to oppose the Empire’s successor state, the mysterious First Order.
At the height of its rule, the Galactic Republic was governed by a body of Senators representing the many worlds of the galaxy. Within the cavernous Senate rotunda, hundreds of politicians would fill the viewing platforms that lined the curved walls. The Senate’s power gradually eroded after it voted emergency powers to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine during the Clone Wars, and the body was sharply divided between supporters of the war and those seeking peace. After Palpatine declared himself Emperor, power was increasingly wielded by regional governors. Shortly before the Battle of Yavin, Palpatine disbanded the Senate.
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. Resistance starfighters destroyed Starkiller Base, but the First Order’s retaliatory attack on D’Qar reduced its forces to a handful of brave freedom fighters.
Princess Leia Organa was one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders, fearless on the battlefield and dedicated to ending the tyranny of the Empire. Daughter of Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker, sister of Luke Skywalker, and with a soft spot for scoundrels, Leia ranks among the galaxy’s great heroes. But life under the New Republic has not been easy for Leia. Sidelined by a new generation of political leaders, she struck out on her own to oppose the First Order as founder of the Resistance. These setbacks in her political career have been accompanied by more personal losses.
The New Republic’s rise reduced the once-mighty Empire to a rump state hemmed in by strict disarmament treaties and punishing reparations. But in the galaxy’s Unknown Regions, former Imperial officers, nobles and technologists plotted a return to power, building fleets and armies in secret. This movement became the First Order, ruled by Supreme Leader Snoke, and is now ready to reclaim the Imperial legacy.
Deep in the Unknown Regions, the First Order constructed a superweapon that used an entire planet as its weapons platform. The deadly Starkiller harvested energy from its system’s star, contained it within magnetic fields inside the planetary core, and then converted that energy into an ultra-powerful beam that blasted through hyperspace, able to sterilize the worlds of a distant star system with a single shot. Starkiller Base’s first shot obliterated the New Republic capital of Hosnian Prime. The planet was then destroyed in a daring Resistance raid.