THE FIRST ORDER
A dark side warrior with a mysterious past, Kylo Ren was neither Jedi nor Sith, but a product of both sides’ teachings. Once an apprentice of Luke Skywalker’s, he killed his fellow students and drove Skywalker into exile, becoming a First Order warlord and servant of Supreme Leader Snoke. Kylo was determined to destroy the last remnants of the Jedi, fulfilling the legacy of Darth Vader.
Both the First Order and the Resistance were determined to locate Lor San Tekka, a galactic scout rumored to know how to find Skywalker. Kylo found San Tekka on Jakku and killed him, but not before San Tekka gave a bit of a star map to the Resistance pilot Poe Dameron. When Kylo captured Poe, he discovered the map was now in the memory banks of BB-8, an astromech on Jakku. By finding the lost droid, the First Order could locate Skywalker and extinguish the Resistance’s last hope.
Snoke warned Kylo that there had been an awakening in the Force, and his apprentice would face a test when he confronted his father. Kylo swore his loyalties were only to Snoke. But he was intrigued when he captured Rey, a Jakku scavenger whose Force abilities were raw but very powerful. A mysterious connection seemed to link the two.
Kylo faced his father inside the First Order’s Starkiller Base, and struck Han down with his lightsaber. But this shocking act of patricide didn’t make the former Ben Solo feel stronger – somehow he felt weaker. Rey then bested Kylo in a lightsaber duel, sparing his life. Kylo Ren had hoped to end the conflicts that caused him so such pain, but found he remained at war with himself, more lost than ever.
Castigated by Snoke as weak and sentimental, Kylo led a mission to destroy Leia Organa’s Resistance flagship, but found himself unable to fire on his mother. He was also confused by an increasingly strong Force connection with Rey, who had sought out Luke Skywalker to train her in the ways of the Force.
Kylo saw Rey as an ally in destroying the past he hated, and exulted when she left Ahch-To to join him aboard the Supremacy. When Snoke ordered Kylo to kill Rey, he activated Luke’s lightsaber with the Force and struck down his master instead. But Rey refused Kylo’s entreaty to rule a new galactic order and fled. Kylo told Hux that Rey had murdered Snoke, and declared himself the First Order’s new Supreme Leader.
Kylo led the attack on the Resistance’s hideout on Crait, but was lured into a confrontation with Luke Skywalker. Luke apologized to Kylo for failing him, but warned his nephew that if he struck him down he’d always be with him – like Han Solo. Kylo ran Luke through with his blade, only to discover he’d been fooled into fighting a Force projection. Meanwhile, Rey had helped Leia and the surviving Resistance members escape Crait.
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.
The Supreme Leader of the First Order, the mysterious Snoke has no permanent base of operations, preferring to contact his underlings from a mobile command post. Snoke is powerful with the dark side of the Force, and seduced Ben Solo into abandoning the Jedi path to become his apprentice. But Snoke also commands General Hux and the technological war machine the First Order has engineered to destroy the New Republic and Leia Organa’s Resistance. Snoke used the Force to connect Ben and Rey in hopes of finding Luke Skywalker’s planet of exile. His plan succeeded, but Ben turned on him, cleaving him in two with Skywalker’s lightsaber.
Han Solo rose from an impoverished childhood on the mean streets of Corellia to become one of the heroes of the Rebel Alliance. As captain of the Millennium Falcon, Han and his co-pilot Chewbacca eventually came to believe in the cause of galactic freedom, joining Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa in the fight against the Empire. After the Battle of Endor, Han faced difficult times in a chaotic galaxy, leading to a shattering confrontation with his estranged son Ben.
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.
A scavenger toughened by life in Jakku’s harsh deserts, Rey has been drawn into a galaxy-spanning conflict and learned 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 control her growing powers. But when that quest ends in disappointment, Rey must find a new way forward.
Kylo Ren’s crossguard lightsaber is an ancient design that recalls weapons seen millennia ago during the Great Scourge of Malachor. The crossguard blades, or quillons, emerge from focusing crystal activators that split the lightsaber’s plasma stream into three channels, with the quillons appearing after the main blade ignites. The crossguard blades allow Ren’s saber to operate safely – his weapon is constructed around a dangerously flawed kyber crystal, which would be overloaded if not for the lateral plasma vents that create the quillons.