New Star Wars Novel Reveals How The Empire Became The First Order

Image via LucasFilm/Disney

Now that Disney appears to have settled on a formula that works for Star Wars following its disappointing Sequel Trilogy, hardcore fans are once more eager to be whisked away on grand adventures set in a galaxy far, far away. With that said, however, Episode’s VII through IX still contain several gaping plot holes and poor storytelling choices that many would like to see resolved or retconned through expanded material which, short of essentially wiping the slate clean and pretending the saga never happened, will likely never be an achievable goal.

There’s certainly been no lack of trying, however, and various novels considered to be official canon have been released over the last few years, each attempting to fill in the gaps largely resulting from troubled production and clashes of creative vision. One of these loose ends, of course, concerns how the Galactic Empire, which spanned the entire Inner Rim Territories at its height and was subsequently dismantled by the Rebel Alliance following the events of Episode III, came to be the First Order by the time of The Force Awakens.

In the final installment of his Alphabet Squadron trilogy, Victory’s Price, author Alexander Freed details how Palpatine, prior to his death, had attempted to exert his twisted beliefs to every sentient being in the galaxy. Recording the population’s deeds via a supercomputer hidden on Coruscant, Sheev intentionally coerced individuals believed to be inclined towards the dark side of the Force to carry out unspeakable acts. Those who defected would eventually rejoin society, with the remainder ultimately becoming a collective responsible for founding the First Order.

As ScreenRant notes:

Palpatine deliberately created a system where it was impossible for even an ordinary civilian to live without becoming complicit in corruption at best, atrocities at worst. He had a huge chunk of Coruscant’s undercity transformed into a powerful computer to analyze every individual’s actions, in order to keep a record of their complicity. And this subtly explains why the Empire was not so easily defeated.

Palpatine’s approach ensured the dominance of the dark side of the Force, because he had created a system where every single person was forced to make everyday decisions steeped in darkness. [This] means there were far too many people who were complicit in the Empire’s atrocity, who had justified the deeds they had committed to themselves, and who would find it almost impossible to acclimatize to the New Republic. Thus the Empire’s return – as the First Order – was inevitable.

The retroactive explanation certainly explains why members of the loyalty exhibit fervent loyalty to a dictatorship long gone, then, but you can let us know what you think of all this in the usual place below.

Star Wars: Victory’s Price is available now.