General Hux demonstrates exactly how he rose to power in the First Order in Star Wars: Age of Resistance – General Hux #1.
Warning: This article contains plot points for Star Wars: Age of Resistance – General Hux #1
Star Wars: Age of Resistance – General Hux #1
Story: Tom Taylor | Pencils: Leonard Kirk | Inks: Cory Hamscher | Color: Guru-eFX | Lettering: VC’s Travis Lanham | Cover Artist: Phil Noto | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia
Perception is not always reality. The weak and oppressed possess a hidden strength that they may unleash in horrible ways. These two themes best describe General Armitage Hux. The bastard son of the First Order’s military commander, Hux was an afterthought and a nuisance. Despite that, he rose to power in the First Order despite the irritation and annoyance individuals such as Kylo Ren displayed for him. Age of Resistance: General Hux #1 demonstrates why Hux has been successful in an oppressive regime and how he has risen to power and kept it.
The opening pages of General Hux #1 portray a younger Armitage Hux receiving a reprimand from his father after spilling a meal in the officer’s quarters. Armitage is something of an embarrassment for his father, Brendol, who reacts poorly to criticism directed at him for Armitage’s actions. The First Order isn’t a nourishing or forgiving environment. When Admiral Brooks witnesses Armitage’s accident and criticizes Armitage, Brendol takes the criticism personally. However, instead of standing up for his son, Brendol attempts deflection and further chastises Armitage. This is a moment that stuck with Armitage, and reflects on and pursues later in General Hux #1.
Disdain by Peers
The story of Genera Hux #1 proceeds as Hux wakes up from his remembrance to find that the shuttle he and Kylo Ren are on is crashing into an unknown world. Although he and Kylo survive, Armitage is soon reminded by Kylo himself the disdain with which so many hold him. For one, Kylo admits to only saving Hux’s life because he was in Kylo’s vicinity when he saved himself. Second, Kylo remarks that any sabotage to their shuttle was inflicted by Hux’s army and that is a sign of how much they hate him. Third, Kylo remarks his inability to understand why Snoke keeps him around.
Despite Kylo’s taunts and insults in General Hux #1, Armitage doesn’t back down. He throws it back into Kylo’s face that the army hates him even more. Second, he isn’t afraid of Kylo’s threats because he knows Snoke would punish Kylo for any action he took. Armitage has a strength that comes from endurance. He endured his father’s insults and abuse for years. In addition, Armitage is observant and smart. He is adept at observing what is going on around him and figuring out where he has power. Instead of crumbling and withering away from bullies, he learned how to resist. These skills serve him well in the First Order and in General Hux #1.
The Worth of a Cur
Shortly after their crash landing, beasts tamed by a survivor from Alderaan attack Kylo and Hux. Initially, Kylo holds them at bay with the power of the Force and his lightsaber, but the beasts eventually overwhelm him. Hux had initially fled, but is summoned from his hiding place by this mysterious survivor from Alderaan who was a royal guard prior to Alderaan’s destruction. Hux confronts the survivor who has no idea of the Empire’s fall decades before. Demonstrating his cleverness, Hux uses Kylo’s parentage to impress this survivor and gain his trust long enough to use the communications gear he has to summon help from the First Order. Alas, the First Order’s arrival doesn’t go well for the Alderaanian, and Hux demonstrates the cruelty he learned from his father and others in the First Order by abandoning him on this planet with a threat to have Starkiller Base blow it up later.
When they return to the First Order, Hux requested from Snoke, over Kylo’s objection, that he be allowed to punish the saboteur. Snoke grants him leave to do so, and Kylo then asks Snoke why he keeps Hux around. Snoke then explains over the next several panels of General Hux #1, that men like Hux are useful. Hux’s past taught him how to set aside his pride without letting go of the wrongs committed against him. Hux learned patience, but he never learned forgiveness. That makes him vicious and useful to Snoke.
Concluding Thoughts on General Hux #1
Genearal Hux #1 concludes with Hux hunting down and slaying Admiral Brooks. The technician that sabotaged his shuttle reported to Brooks, and Hux is using this moment for some good, old-fashioned revenge. It matters not to him whether Brooks ultimately had any knowledge of the sabotage. It only matters that the incident gave Hux justification to do what he has wanted to do for years: eliminate Brooks for the embarrassment he suffered years ago. It is a darkly beautiful moment. Hux explains to Brooks that although everyone thinks him weak, he isn’t. Instead, he is patient, and he will outlive everyone and eventually control everything.
Armitage should make readers very uncomfortable. On the one hand, the abuses he suffered as a child arouse sympathy. However, his using his past as motivation and revenge is chilling. Hux’s story is not so different from the real world stories of the abused child that takes mental and physical abuse for so long until they can no longer stand it. Those children sometimes, although rarely, enact a lethal revenge on their tormentors. The difference here is that Hux finds himself within a regime that finds value in his actions, revenge, and murderous intent. Snoke reminds Kylo that Hux is a useful cur in The Last Jedi afterall.
General Hux #1 is a well-crafted and well-told story. Taylor did an amazing job writing a history that succinctly explains why Armitage Hux is exactly the way he is. Hux doesn’t have a plethora of materials that explain his backstory like many other characters (see the characters of Age of Resistance: Special #1) in Star Wars do. In one single issue of Age of Resistance, Taylor distilled Hux down to his essence. The reader can’t help but come away with a disturbing understanding of who Hux is and what he is capable of.
Dennis Keithly is a graduate of the University of Missouri, North Texas attorney, husband, father of two, and co-host of Starships, Sabers, and Scoundrels. In addition to Star Wars, Dennis is a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and super heroes in general. When not engaged in fictional universes, Dennis is reading a good book or watching the NHL, football, or studying the NFL draft.