This past September, the 'Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens' campaign began. With it came a bevy of new books, comics, and other clues that have begun to bridge the specific gap of 30 or so years that occurs between Return of the Jedi and [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158).
Quietly released alongside all of this new media was an incredible mobile game called Star Wars: Uprising, which follows the story of a smuggler who assists the Rebels when one remnant of the Empire -- the fanatical and power-hungry Commander Bragh -- builds a blockade around the Anoat sector, sectioning off like Hoth and Bespin (as well as a few new places: Burnin Konn, Anoat, and a former Hutt world called Mataou) from the rest of the galaxy.
The game is completely canon, and while players will only go down in Star Wars history as "the smuggler", there are wonderful new hints at the future of our favorite galaxy far, far away. One such hint was first found by MakingStarWars reader, Shi, and which inspired me to go on a little hunt during an assault mission on Hoth. Here's what I found:
On the snowy planet of Hoth, campsites have been set up in the years following the Rebels' terrible defeat in Empire Strikes Back. Amongst the debris, it seems as though the seedlings of the First Order have begun to spring forward. In case you missed it, here's a closer look:
In the new Star Wars: Aftermath novel by Chuck Wendig, it's revealed that the Empire is retreating to the outer reaches of space ("beyond the Outer Rim") to reestablish themselves and, for one former ally of Emperor Palpatine, seek out the origins of the Dark Side that the Sith Lord had reportedly sent his acolytes to find before his death. The Anoat sector is located in the Outer Rim, and with Sith-obsessed Imperials moving outward, it's not too farfetched to guess that the last commanders of the Empire have begun establishing a base there.
Which leads me to ask: Is this the beginning of Starkiller Base?
While very few people seem to want to see the same planets we've seen before, what if the Hoth we used to know was radically different by the time of The Force Awakens, and not even addressed as Hoth anymore? It seems as though, while the frenzy of the Anoat sector battles raged on, the First Order began on Hoth, branched out, and could possibly be returning to base in Episode 7 in hopes of defeating the Resistance in a way the Empire never could.
It's just a theory, and in the end, Starkiller Base could exist on a completely separate planet. But to me, it seems as though the First Order is returning to Hoth for the same glory their predecessors once experienced on the day that Luke Skywalker's bright-eyed co-pilot, Dak, took his final flight.