‘Star Wars’ Empire Name Change: Say Hello To ‘The First Order,’ Also New Name For Rebels Revealed

The Star Wars Empire name change is a small but significant detail you may have missed during all the excitement over the newly released trailer for Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

While purists may be a little turned off by the fact that they can no longer refer to the bad guys as the Empire, those using a little logic will find the change an easy one to digest.

After all, it has been 30 years since the fall of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. Naturally, the Empire would have been in shambles after such a seismic event — and the loss of two Death Stars — as the Rebel Alliance gained power throughout the galaxy.

According to io9, a rummage through the props and clothing at Star Wars Celebration revealed that the J.J. Abrams-led Star Wars Universe has allowed things to evolve.

Now the group represented by stormtroopers and Sith Kylo Ren will be known as “The First Order.”

The website got this from a placard next to a new X-Wing fighter that read as follows.

“The modern incarnation of a classic design, the incom T-70 X-wing fighter is the signature combat craft of the Resistance forces in their fight against the First Order.”

And not to bury a lede, but you’ll notice in that inscription that the X-Wing fighter is said to belong to “the Resistance.”

That’s right. It’s no longer the “Rebel Alliance,” but “the Resistance.”

So not only do we have a Star Wars Empire name change, we’ve also got one for Team Skywalker.

What will be interesting is to see how these new versions of each “camp” have reinvented themselves. Obviously, Sith are bad and Jedi are good, but are there any guarantees that the political scene of the Star Wars Universe won’t be a bit more muddled with shades of gray?

That is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the latest installment to the popular film franchise. What happens when the good guys aren’t all good and the bad guys aren’t all bad?

Return of the Jedi gave us a small but significant glimpse of this, at least from the Empire (sorry, First Order) point of view when Vader turned on Palpatine and saved Luke’s life.

But to date we really haven’t seen anyone on the Rebel/Resistance side of things exhibit outright evil qualities. Personally, I think we’re going to see that when Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens opens in theaters this December. Kylo Ren may be the central antagonist, but someone “in the light” will be pulling the strings, mark my words.

Do you think the Star Wars Empire name change hints at a blurring of the lines between good and evil? Speculate away in our comments section below.