So why have the heroes of the original Star Wars been banished to strange planets / luxury Californian estates? Both Luke and Lucas tried to follow up their successes with another project and screwed up royally. Lucas made three craptacular movies, while Luke started a new Jedi Order but ended up teaching a new Space Hitler how to murder people with laser swords. Hard to say which is worse.
Lucas. It's Lucas.
So following this logic, the First Order represents the prequels, which totally makes sense, as they both really, really suck. For one thing, they're called "THE FIRST ORDER" -- you know, as in I, II, Revenge Of The Sith? They're also the only ones who reference the prequels, bringing up the clone armies you were hoping to forget about ...
And while a lot of the movie utilizes good old-fashioned practical effects, the big bad guy is a CGI blob who easily could have been from the prequels: