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In the original trilogy the Galactic Empire was built upon the Republic, so the newly created Imperial Military had all the Republic's immense resources and finances to completely reform army and navy, to be able to produce high-end machinery (like Star Destroyers or AT-ATs) and even to build two Death Stars.

But the First Order doesn't seem to have such a big industrial power behind it, yet somehow it manages to be able to train a considerable number of troops from an early age (which would require having large boarding schools and quite a lot of money and time to train the boys properly), to afford at least one Star Destroyer-class ship with a trained crew, a fleet of advanced TIE-fighters and even to be able to convert a whole planet into a Death Star III. All that is just impossible for a small "order", even if it may be founded on the remains of scattered Imperial Military. So the question is - are there any explanations as to where does the funding come from? Are there any major corporations or even whole sectors of the galaxy who sympathize the cause and are ready to finance the Order?

marked as duplicate by Valorum star-wars Mar 7 '18 at 21:46

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    The First Order controls a vast swathe of the Galaxy, uncounted Star Systems and a large chunk of the (former) Imperial Fleet. My guess is that they're busily taxing hyperspace routes and imposing levies on planets in their sphere of influence in order to fund their daft schemes. – Valorum Apr 11 '16 at 22:40
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    We know, because of Aftermath, that the Empire had nearly emptied it's coffers at the time, so it had to have been recently generated. – Hatandboots Apr 12 '16 at 1:22
  • Relevant: disneyrewards.com/starwarscard – Chris B. Behrens Dec 20 '17 at 17:57
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There's actually a real world corollary: ISIS. It's not a state but it acts like one. The way ISIS funds itself is through taxation and seizure of assets from controlled territories. In the same way, think of Bespin and Lando's "deal" with Vader that, presumably, included them not seizing Bespin's assets.

It's pretty safe to say that not all of the Empire was liberated (it held pretty sizable territories when the Emperor died) so there would still be a sizable base to draw from. Add in that, by the time TFA starts, you have an ascendant First Order (the opening scroll implies the First Order is notorious). In fact, a secondary benefit of destroying the Hosnian System is that they could now easily expand their tax base. Systems paying tax to the First Order would not face their wrath.

  • This sounds reasonable, though in this case the Order would get too much attention from the Republic and be seen as a real threat (as you mentioned, it is already considered notorious). So it's not just a band of well-equipped and well-trained terrorists with a Death Star as I first thought, but a really powerful military force that might do a lot of damage to the Republic. Thank you for the explanation :) – AngrySquid Apr 12 '16 at 7:08
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Most likely the order is funded in a similar way to the separatists. As you said, they inherited the remnants of the Empire, and therefore were probably able to secure some of their remaining funds, as well as those of some of the former imperial officers. It's safe to assume that many amongst them were working with the new republic and betrayed them. These operatives could easily have secured significant funds from the new republic's vaults (or where ever they store their credits). As has been stated, they could also be gaining credits from systems that support them (similarly to the separatists), as well as from corporations looking to profit from a good war. All of these factors together could explain the source of their apparently vast funds.

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