A Recap of What Happened in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…


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As we all know, the newest installment of the Star Wars franchise, “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” debuts on December 18. So for those of you who don’t know what Star Wars is about, or you just need a refresher, here is a quick summary of the entire Star wars saga in a nutshell.

So let’s begin chronologically with the prequel trilogy (Episodes I-III). While not as good as the original trilogy (Episodes IV-VI), the prequel trilogy does give some insight and character background into the people and events leading up to the original trilogy. The prequel especially focuses on Anakin Skywalker and his transition to the dark side of the Force.

Important Vocabulary:

  • Jedi: Knight of the Republic tasked with keeping the peace
  • Padawan: Jedi in training
  • The Force: an energy field present in all living things that gives the Jedi their power
  • Sith: evil Jedi, use the dark side of the Force

Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

  • The evil Trade Federation plots to take over the planet Naboo.
  • The Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn and his padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi try to warn the ruler of Naboo, Queen Amidala, but they’re too late.
  • The Jedi save the Queen and her court from the invasion
  • This is where we are introduced to Padme, who at first we believe is the Queen’s handmaiden but eventually we come to realize that she is actually the Queen herself
  • During the escape from Naboo, their ship is damaged and they are forced to land on the desert planet Tatooine to find new parts
  • This is where we meet Anakin Skywalker, a 10-year-old slave boy who lives on Tatooine with his mother.
  • Upon meeting Anakin, Jedi master Qui-Gon senses that Anakin has a really strong connection to the force
  • However, Yoda fears he will turn to the dark side which, spoiler alert, he does
  • Nevertheless, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan free Anakin from his slavery in the hopes of making him a Jedi anyway.
  • After fixing their ship they return to Naboo and fight the invaders and are successful; however, Jedi Qui-Gon dies after being killed by a sith
  • Despite this tragedy, Obi-Wan carries on and becomes a Jedi Master and makes Anakin his Padawan

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

  • Takes place 10 years after Episode I
  • Anakin has become a very skilled Jedi knight and Padme is now a senator for her home planet Naboo
  • Padme is nearly assassinated, causing the Republic to assign Obi-Wan and Anakin to look after and protect her.
  • The Republic running low on Jedi knights to keep the peace, they enlist the help of Jango Fett who creates a clone army to help protect the Republic
  • This clone army creates a lot of tension between them and the Jedi Knights and by the end of the episode the Republic is on the brink of Civil war because of it
  • While this is happening, Anakin and Padme start to fall hard for each other but since Anakin is a Jedi and isn’t allowed to fall in love, and Padme is a Senator, their love can never be. However, they eventually disregard this rule and get married secretly at the end of the episode.
  • This episode also includes a pivotal turning point for Anakin. During this episode, he has dreams about his mother dying which later end up coming true. Upon realizing his mom died, he remorselessly slaughters the people responsible and their families–thus beginning his descent into the dark side.

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

  • Padme tells Anakin she’s pregnant
  • Anakin is having dreams similar to the ones about his mom before she died except this time it’s about Padme
  • Anakin freaks out and searches desperately for a way to save her
  • At the same time, Chancellor Palpatine, a shady politician in the eyes of the Jedi council, has befriended Anakin and in Anakin’s desperation, he convinces him that the only way to save Padme is through joining the dark side–which he then does
  • During this time, the Chancellor is able to convince the senate to give him control of the Republic, thus turning it into the evil Galactic Empire
  • As the ruler, the Chancellor convinces Anakin and the clone army that the Jedi are evil and they must be killed
  • So all of the Jedi are hunted down and killed, including the young padawans, whom Anakin personally slaughters himself
  • The only Jedi able to escape were Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi. It is at this point that Anakin becomes known as Darth Vader.
  • Padme finally hears about what is happening and learns the truth about Anakin
  • Anakin in his anger nearly chokes her to death using the Force but then is stopped by Obi-Wan
  • They then commence with an epic battle which eventually results in Anakin losing his legs and eventually catching on fire and almost dying. Anakin is saved by the chancellor, who at this point has become the evil Sith Emperor
  • Since Anakin was so damaged by the battle, they had to rebuild him using animatronics (This is why Darth Vader sports that robotic black armor)
  • We are left with Padme almost dead having to give birth to her babies, which she names Luke and Leia.
  • Padme dies shortly after childbirth
  • Obi-wan and Yoda take it upon themselves to decide what happens to the children.
  • They are split up so Vader can’t find them–Leia goes to a royal family and Luke goes to live with on Tatooine with his “aunt and uncle,” which leads us to where the original trilogy starts

Episode IV: A New Hope

  • This episode was the very first of the Star Wars franchise, released in 1977
  • The Galactic Empire has become so terrible that a rebellion has sparked
  • One among the Rebellion is Princess Leia who was recently captured by the Galactic empire but is still able to send out a message for help through the astrodroid R2D2
  • Luke, a young boy on Tatooine, happens to buy the droids R2D2 and C3PO and receives the message
  • He, along with old Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Captain Han Solo, and the Wookie Chewbacca travel to rescue the princess
  • In the process of saving the princess, Darth Vader kills Obi-Wan but not until he establishes Luke’s connection to the force
  • After saving the princess, Luke, Leia and Han help the Rebellion defeat the Galactic Empire by destroying the Empire’s new superweapon–the Death Star
  • Luke ends up being the one who destroys the Death Star by using the force and delivering a direct hit to the Death Star’s one weak point
  • The episode ends with them celebrating that the Death Star is destroyed, however it is clear that the empire is not finished yet

Episode V: Empire Strikes Back

  • Luke, Leia and Han are stationed at a Rebel Base on the ice planet Hoth which is being attacked by the Galactic Empire
  • They make it out, but shortly after they decide to split up
  • Luke ventures to the Dagobah System where he looks for the Jedi master Yoda to train him in the ways of the Force and become a Jedi while Leia and Han Solo visit Han’s old gambling friend who ends up turning on them and giving them to the Galactic empire.
  • Upon hearing this, Luke decides to quit his training with Yoda, prematurely leaving him susceptible to the dark Side
  • Luke is eventually able to infiltrate the Empire and frees Han and Leia, but ends up having to face Darth Vader, who reveals to him that he is his father (something which we know from the prequel trilogy)
  • Darth Vader tries to convince Luke to come to the Dark Side but Luke doesn’t and Vader nearly kills him and cuts off his hand
  • Leia, Han, and Chewbacca are prisoners of the Galactic Empire
  • Empire keeps Han and lets the others go. They then freeze Han in Carbonite and sell him to Jabba the Hut

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

  • Luke is now a Jedi master
  • Luke and his squad then unfreeze Han and rescue him from Jabba
  • While rescuing Han, they kill Jabba
  • Luke returns to the Dagobah System to complete his training with Yoda
  • Yoda says he doesn’t need any more training and then Yoda dies
  • The Empire is in the midst of building a new Death Star
  • Luke and squad go to destroy the Death Star
  • Once on the Death Star, Luke finally faces Vader
  • Luke almost dies while facing Vader
  • Chancellor Palpatine (the Sith Lord) tries to convince Luke to go to the Dark side, Luke refuses
  • Chancellor Palpatine then almost kills Luke but then Vader saves him and kills the  Chancellor
  • Vader returns to good side and apologizes to Luke but then dies
  • The Rebellion is victorious in destroying the Death Star and the Empire crumbles