While the rest of the Star Wars world has focused on Rian Johnson’s contributions to Bloodline, I have continued to ponder what the First Order’s plans to take over galaxy were. I mentioned this in the article on Bloodline we did last week and I it has been on my mind ever since. The more I think about the tiny hints in the book the more I realize that the First Order had plans that much more Machiavellian than we ended up seeing in The Force Awakens. Stop reading now to avoid spoilers from Bloodline.
If the Centrists could gain a vote on this question today, regardless of the outcome, that had to count as a victory. Even raising the idea of a First Senator would start the conversation among peoples of the galaxy, readying them for future unity and greatness.(Emphasis is mine)
–Lady Carise on the vote for a First Senator in Bloodline by Claudia Gray
I did not notice this line when I first read Bloodline however after reading the book a second time it stood out like a beacon. Lady Carise is a Senator of the Republic and secretly a supporter of the First Order, based on her actions in the book she is fairly high up in the chain of command in Republic’s First Order sympathizers and is in charge of helping to set the Republic up for the First Order. She has intimate knowledge of both the Amaxine warriors and Rinnrivin Di’s operations and issues orders and give suggestions. When talking to Arliz Hadrassian, leader of the Amaxine warriors and former member Imperial Security Bureau, she thinks on how the First Order will be in charge in just a few short years. She knows the plans of the First Order, is a part of the plans, and knows other Senators are also with her as seen here.
How she had fought to be the one to make this statement. Her allies in the Senate had been hungry for this glory as well. But she had won, and this was her moment.
–Lady Carise on the suggestion for a First Senator in Bloodline by Claudia Gray
All of this tells us the First Order had a plan to take over the Galaxy. Senators like Carise are part of it by enacting certain measures and keeping people like Hadrassian and Rinnrivin focused on the end goal. People like Hadrassian and Rinnrivin are fronts for the First Order in Galaxy for when direct action is needed and to generate funds and control aspects of the economy. The book tells that the Amaxine have just recently(last few years) begun to pick up large numbers in both men and equipment, and they were recruited and encouraged by Carise and others for having similar ideals. Rinnrivin is being used by the same Senators to funnel money to the First Order. All this leads to the question: What was the First Order’s original plan?
The First Order was not going to attempt an attack on the Republic. It was not going to try to destroy the Republic, but instead take over without firing a shot at the Republic. First they would have the Senate elect a First Senator, hopefully someone that would be sympathetic to their cause, a Centrist, ideally a Centrist under their control. However, this would not be absolutely necessary as the next phase would encourage the actions the want either way. Next would be the destruction of the Jedi, Luke has been private and kept his actions hidden so this may not go noticed, or it would be covered by the next phase. Next, the Amaxine warriors would begin to attack Republic worlds, most likely Populist worlds more than Centrist but still both. This would encourage both groups to want to stop the Amaxine threat and they would acknowledge that the small defense forces of each planet and the small Republic fleet were not up to the task.
Once the Amaxines had caused enough damage and confusion the First Order itself could finally emerge from hiding to claim its rightful place, with lost vessels of the Imperial fleet as it true fighting force.
–Lady Carise on the First Order in Bloodline by Claudia Gray
This is when the First Order would come into play, as a savior. A Senator friendly to the First Order would introduce an ambassador to the Republic from a group that has dealt with the Amaxine already. The First Order ambassador would then state their case. Stating the Amaxine were their fault as the First Order chased them from their space and did not pursue them into Republic space out of respect for the treaty signed by the remnants of the Empire. They would offer their fleet and fighters to help the Republic. Once they become the saviors of the Republic they voices warning of what the Empire once was are ignored and the Centrists have won the day philosophically and politically. The First Order has de facto taken over the Republic.
Why then would the First Order have been building Starkiller base? To keep the systems in line once the takeover was complete. Unlike the Death Star, Starkiller doesn’t have to travel to its target and can be much more effective in deterring unrest. The goal is to bring back the Empire and that is a sentiment that many of the Centrists, even those not affiliated with the First Order, share. However, everything went wrong for them and it started during the actions of Bloodline.
The Amaxine warriors were destroyed by Han and Leia while in their secret base, which had been discovered due to their errors to begin with. While this meant that they were no longer a threat, it didn’t mean the First Order couldn’t still use other forces to as their false flag. Through the work of Carise, framing another Senator and making the threat seem as though it was halted, they were also able to keep almost all of the Senators blind to the true threat behind the Amaxine warriors. However it did not make them all blind and the resistance was formed. Later when the attack on Luke’s Jedi happened it missed one: Luke. One Jedi can dramatically change a situation and is a huge concern of the First Order which throws another wrench in their plan. Finally at some point the First Order and Snoke will become known to the Republic. Once this occurs the plan must change to one of direct attack rather than the original subterfuge. And that is how we get to the start of The Force Awakens.