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The First Order is the latest incarnation of the Empire from the Star Wars universe and so photographer Toy_Spectre takes us on a journey exploring the various components that make them such a major adversary to contend with in the new Star Wars continuum.

A closer look at the First Order by way of Toy Photography

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when hearing ‘Star Wars Villains’?  Sith Lords, Galactic Empire, Bounty Hunters, and perhaps even the Hutt Clan.  All these fractions consist characters and stories we know and love since our childhood. But now we also have a new band of villainy; THE FIRST ORDER. Today in the Exclu Collective’s Villains Week let’s look at these rogues of new era by exploring different aspects, and their potential via illustrations of Toy photography.

Peace Through Chaos


One of my favorite scenes from The Force Awakens is the opening itself; they don’t spend long to show the ferocity of the First Order and the lengths they would go to achieve their goals. How they destroyed an entire village, rounded up survivors only to terminate them as well, feels like an allusion to moments of our own world history.  Not to mention obliterating an entire star system with one swift stroke. This Flame-trooper symbolises that merciless brutality, with ashes of the destruction surrounds him.

An Army Bred For War


Unlike their predecessors, this new iteration of Storm-troopers are infants taken from their homes, brainwashed to devote themselves to the Order and follow any command given to them. They’re trained in both melee and ranged combat in the most rigorous exercises. This results an army of impassive foot soldiers who can engage in full scale battles in the most harshest of environments and storm forward no matter who falls beside them.

Who knows, perhaps even finally put an end to the joke of “Stormtroopers can’t hit anything”…

Strength In Numbers


In Battle of Hoth we witnessed the true might of Galactic Empire; An Armada of Star Destroyers, AT-AT Walkers, and Infantry breaking through defences of enemy base. Even though First Order themselves had a Planet that can blow up entire star systems, they are still a mere fraction of what they once were, fighting against forces of both Republic and the Resistance. With this shot I wanted to give a sense of isolation of an inhabited planet, with troops steadily advancing as a single unit; Like a pack of wolves on the hunt.

Intimidation by Design

4-Captain Phasma

Star Wars always has a way with expressing stories and personalities simply by character designs. The Dark  helmeted figure in white hallways of Tantive IV, the mysterious Bounty Hunter in pursuit, and even strange creatures of Mos Eisley; We didn’t know much about them at the time, but we had a certain idea simply by their appearance. Captain Phasma is the most recent in the line of mystery characters. Though we know barely anything about her, with towering height, shining silver armour and cape, we get the vibe of uniqueness, authority, law and order from this faceless character.

Hopefully her story would live up to her number of merchandise.

Hope For A Better Galaxy

5-Kylo Ren

They say each one of us is the hero of our own stories. Same goes in minds of most villains as well. No matter the pain and destruction they cause, they believe it’s necessary for the greater good. As the front face of the Order, Kylo Ren is burdened not only with the desire to reach the greatness of his grandfather, but also the responsibility to inspire and lead these men and women who would sacrifice their lives for what they believe is right.

Only time will tell how they will be handled in upcoming movies and related media. Will they be a force to be reckon with or a pale imitation of those who came before? Either way, the great thing about Toy photography is we can use our imagination to create our own adventures, and give a fresh breath of life to all these amazing characters in a galaxy far far away…

Its always fascinating to gain an insight into a photographers creative process especially when its coupled with a narrative or factual project such as this one so a huge thank you goes to @toy_Spectre for taking the time to work on this content and be sure to head over to Instagram to stay up-to-date on all of his work.


Last modified: May 5, 2017

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