In 2015, Star Wars returned in a big way. The Force Awakens introduced fans to a galaxy at war once again, this time against the relentless might of the First Order. It quickly became clear that the First Order had weapons on a scale even the Empire would be envious of. Starkiller Base obliterated an entire system before it was destroyed; The Last Jedi followed up on this with the galaxy's first Mega-class Star Destroyer, the Supremacy.
The First Order has clearly inherited the Empire's love of superweapons. With both Starkiller Base and the Supremacy destroyed, fans could be forgiven for thinking the First Order's superweapons are a thing of the past. But the official novelization of The Last Jedi has revealed there may be more dangerous weapons out there, on a scale the galaxy has never seen before.
The First Order Has Been Preparing
The novelization revealed that Palpatine had prepared the Contingency for the event of his death. He'd secretly explored the Unknown Regions, seeding vast tracts of space with shipyards, laboratories, and storehouses. After the Battle of Jakku, the last remnants of the Empire fled to the Unknown Regions, initiating the Contingency, and beginning to prepare for their return. It was in the Unknown Regions that the Empire encountered Snoke, and he ultimately took control.
The Resistance have no idea what weapons the First Order has been preparing. They didn't know about Starkiller Base; it turns out they didn't know about the Supremacy either. In one scene, the novelization reveals that Finn knew - and he's aware of other things, too.
"Finn realized he felt guilty. He'd known what the Resistance hadn't; that the Supremacy was out there somewhere, lurking in the Unknown Regions of the galaxy. Just as he'd known about so many other things he'd seen in his years of First Order service."
But the Resistance had never had a chance to debrief Finn. No sooner had he defected than Finn was drawn into the action on Starkiller Base. Badly injured, Finn was left in Bacta treatment until after the First Order's attack on D'Qar.
There May Be More Superweapons
Another scene offers a disturbing hint as to the scale of the First Order's weapons and resources. Reflecting disdainfully on his former-Imperial allies, General Hux observes that the destruction of Starkiller Base wasn't as big a setback as some would have been believed.
"And in the meantime, the First Order had no shortage of other weapons - including ones Imperial commanders such as Peavey had only dreamed of."
Hux's thoughts make clear that Starkiller was their greatest weapon, but there are others out there. Most concerningly, it's clear even generals in the First Order have no idea what powers can be brought to bear. The book offers tantalizing hints of Snoke's thoughts too, suggesting he armed the First Order with ancient secrets lost in the mists of time. That could easily include long-forgotten superweapons "of unimaginable power," referred to by Yoda in The Clone Wars. It's worth remembering the Clone Wars episode 'The Big Bang' revealed that the ancient Sith had known about the power of the Kyber Crystals; the Empire essentially rediscovered these secrets.
So, the First Order has other formidable weapons, possibly even superweapons. The Resistance destroyed their most formidable when they took out Starkiller Base, but Kylo Ren could still be commanding weapons the likes of which the Star Wars Saga has never seen before.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019