Kylo Ren leads the charge against the Resistance and Jedi in The Force Awakens, but there is another enemy alongside him. General Hux, played by Domhnall Gleeson, is a single-minded and driven leader of the First Order. His is also, perhaps, an even more dangerous figure.
Born about five years before the climactic battle of Endor between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire, Hux (no first name known as of yet) was born to Brendol Hux, a Commandant for the Imperial Academy on Arkanis. While growing up, young Hux continually imagined himself as ruling the galaxy, and thought it was his destiny. After the Empire signed a treaty and surrendered, Hux grew up hearing of daring Imperial agents and incredible military victories against the Rebels, and grew up thinking the New Republic was weak and inferior, leading him, ex-imperial officers, and other sympathizers, to flee to unknown regions of the galaxy and begin a junta. Using powerful technology he rose to become a general. He utilized an idea of his father to create intensely loyal soldiers using mental simulations (this is why Finn’s betrayal in The Force Awakens raises so many eyebrows).
Answering only to Supreme Leader Snoke, Hux became the Commander of Starkiller Base, the First Order’s primary base of operations. He, along with Sith Lord Kylo Ren, led the hunt for the last Jedi Luke Skywalker, whom Snoke deemed an enemy of the Order. This leads to the events of The Force Awakens, in which Hux fires the Starkiller on the Hosnian system, destroying the Republic capital and senate. Just before destroying the Resistance’s home planet a Resistance attack downs the Starkiller’s destructive power, leading to a collapse of the planet. Hux barely escapes, taking the humiliated Kylo Ren with him to harry the Jedi in the next movie.
Created for the 2015 The Force Awakens, Gleeson’s character was described as an obsessive character who didn’t get a lot of sleep, and was dedicated to gaining and retaining power at all costs. His appearance—pale, dark eyes—was created with this description in mind. Gleeson stated Hux “would just like a little bit more order in the universe,” and would do whatever it takes for that end.
Hux’s father, Brendol, actually appears in the young reader’s book Servants of the Empire: The Secret Academy, who’s ambition is to create an army of loyal soldiers trained from infancy. The connection was made while The Force Awakens was still in development. The idea in the story was then used as General Hux seeing his father’s idea brought to fruition.
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