Home Entertainment The Galactic Empire and the Rebels have new names in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

The Galactic Empire and the Rebels have new names in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

2 min read


Yes, we’re still buzzing about the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and all the geeky goodness that came along with it at the Star Wars Celebration kickoff panel. At the time of writing this, I’ve already watched the trailer about 6 times, and by the time this gets published, I expect that figure to have increased exponentially. And with all that watching you notice things, specifically one particular shot in which we see a squadron of new Stormtroopers standing in front of a red flag adorned with a symbol that doesn’t resemble anything we know from the Galactic Empire or the Rebels. And that’s because the Galactic Empire and Rebels no longer exist.

Although it wasn’t mentioned once in any of the official panels or the footage and images released thus far, it turns out that the two opposing political factions in the Star Wars universe have had name changes (does the ANC run the Star Wars Universe as well now?!). i09 picked up on it while wandering the convention floor, and noticed that several props and costumes belonging to the two factions were now being attributed to The First Order and the Resistance.

Firstly, The First Order is just a terrific, terrifying name for the Empire now, and secondly, the fact that the Rebels are called the Resistance reveals a hell of a lot about the state of the universe at the time of The Force Awakens. As many suspected would be the case, defeating the Emperor and destroying the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi didn’t magically make the hundred of thousands of other Imperials just suddenly surrender and thus the war against the Empire is still raging on decades later.

What’s most intriguing to me about about the new names, is that “The First Order” has a very Sith-like tone to it, while “Resistance” seemingly implies that the old Rebels really haven’t got that far in overthrowing the old Empire at all. We’ve been hearing rumours that Princess Leia will now be referred to as Queen Leia, but queen of what? It clearly isn’t a new government.

This is of course the exact opposite of how things played out in the original Star Wars Expanded Universe, as there the Rebels became the New Republic government, while it was the Imperials who became what could be termed as the resistance, retreating to and fighting from pocket enclaves all over the galaxy. However, I can’t help but notice one similarity though: In the Star Wars Legacy books, set approximately 130 years after Return of the Jedi, a Sith Lord named Darth Krayt sits on the throne and refers to his empire as the New Sith Order. Could Star Wars: The Force Awakens perhaps be pulling something similar, but only 100 years earlier? If that is the case, then I sense a disturbance in the Force my pants.


Last Updated: April 17, 2015

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