Okay here's the timeline for the confused people: set during/after the movie, The fierce-some first order, lead by Snoke and Kylo Ren has taken over in galactic wide domination. The resistance is a small group of freedom fighters lead by General Leia Organa. ((YOU CAN BE EITHER SIDE)) The First Order is using a Starkiller Base (Powered by a sun) to kill innocents and try to cease the revolution. But they will not go out without a fight.
EW has revealed that Forest Whitaker will be playing Saw Gerrera, an extremist freedom fighter against the resistance who actually made his first appearance in the fifth season of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.