This is a question that has interested me, particularly after reading the Thrawn novel. In the minds of a lot of people- including its creators, I think- the First Order is nothing more than a continuation, and natural successor, to the Empire. Therefore, it's natural to think that those who supported the Empire would also support the First Order. However, I can't help but see a fundamental difference between the two. The Empire, while founded by a megalomaniacal evil wizard, was ultimately committed to imposing order on the galaxy, even if that order did happen to come in a tyrannical, freedom snuffing way. The Empire fought the Rebellion because they felt they needed to. The First Order, in contrast, comes off to me like a big terrorist organization, one that is fighting purely out of some sense of revenge, and even in just the first movie, are arguably seen to jump more quickly to the acts of brutality than the Empire is. The First Order are a force for terror, and they seem to have no problem with it at all. After all, there's no way they can come into a new system, destroy a planet or two, and expect people to want to be ruled by them. Which brings me to Thrawn. The Thrawn novel reemphasized something that has always been a core trait of Thrawn: he is a morally ambiguous villain. He does not seem to like the Empire, so much as he sees it as preferable to the alternative, of a slow moving, ineffectual government that would be helpless against an outside invader. Assuming that Thrawn is indeed afraid of the Yuuzhan Vong- it could be Snoke, but I have a hard time buying that, as outside of the First Order Snoke does not seem to have an army of any kind- it makes sense that he would want to build up the most powerful military force that he can, in order to protect the galaxy from extinction. All the terrible things the Empire does he justifies as being worth it in the long run, all while holding on to a hope that he can help steer the Empire in a more benevolent direction after the apparently aging Emperor passes (oh, if only he knew). It seems that Thrawn's ultimate vision of the Empire was closer to Fel's Empire that we see in the Legacy comics: a force of somewhat stiff and inflexible order, but ultimately a good intentioned one. Would he, however, extend the same benefit of the doubt to the First Order, the same way other loyal Imperials, such as Rae Sloane, apparently do? I personally do not think so at all. I feel like he would see the First Order as an impediment to order, a group of blowhards that, to paraphrase another favorite fantasy series, would be perfectly fine burning the galaxy to the ground, as long as they could rule the ashes. And, depending on whether the Vong ever strike in this continuity, he would see them as divided the forces necessary to combat whatever is out in the Unknown Regions (and even if they have already dealt with that, they're still ultimately making the galaxy weaker in a protracted war, not stronger). So, say Thrawn was alive in the ST era, and forced to deal with deciding between a somewhat weak, divided, and ultimately ineffectual (at least in matters of military) New Republic, versus a violent, insurgent Force intent on taking the galaxy at all costs, even if it meant destroying a portion of it: who would Thrawn side with? It's clear that he wouldn't like either side all that much. Maybe he would just say screw the galaxy, and he and Pellaeon would hop on a ship and go on an intimate road trip through the Unknown Regions. Tl;dr version: would Thrawn support the First Order, or would he consider them a terrorist group that needs to be wiped out?