Galactic history lesson: The ‘Star Wars’ series so far

CTW features | December 1st, 2017 12:57 pm

‘Star Wars’

Released: 1977

Director: George Lucas

Writer: George Lucas

After Rebel leader Princess Leia Organa is captured by the powerful Sith lord Darth Vader, Tatooine farm boy Luke Skywalker becomes embroiled in the galactic conflict between good and evil. After teaming up with reclusive Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and smuggler and scoundrel Han Solo, the heroes rescue the princes from the hands of the dreaded Empire. All seems lost when Vader defeats Obi-Wan in a lightsaber duel, but Luke discovers the mysterious power of the Force and destroys the Death Star.

‘The Empire Strikes Back’

Released: 1980

Director: Irvin Kershner

Writers: Leigh Brackett and

Lawrence Kasdan

Following the Death Star’s destruction, Rebel forces scatter across the galaxy as Vader pursues them with cold malice. After being forced from to flee the remote ice world Hoth, Luke travels of Dagobah to train with the diminutive Jedi Master Yoda. Meanwhile, Han and Leia find refuge – and romance – on the mining world of Bespin. Vader discovers them and plans to use the heroes as bait to turn Luke to the dark side. While Luke and Vader fight, the Sith lord reveals that he is actually Luke’s father, Anakin Skywalker.

‘Return of the Jedi’

Released: 1983

Director: Richard Marquand

Writers: George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan

Leia leads a risky operation to free Han from the clutches of slug-like gangster Jabba the Hutt. With the heroes reunited, the Rebel learns of a chance to destroy the Empire once and for all when the Emperor himself travels to the construction site of a second, more powerful Death Star. Han and Leia work together to aid the assault, while Luke finds himself face-to-face with the Force-wielding Emperor. During the climactic confrontation, Darth Vader chooses his son Luke over his loyalty to the Empire and helps to bring about the evil Empire’s destruction.

‘Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace’

Released: 1999

Director: George Lucas

Writer: George Lucas

Set thirty years before the original “Star Wars,” the prequel saga begins when Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi rescue Queen Padmé Amidala of Naboo when her planet is invaded by the evil Trade Federation. Along the way, the Jedi knights discover Anakin Skywalker, a 9-year-old slave unusually strong in the Force. After the boy wins his freedom in a lightning-fast pod race, the heroes find themselves confronted by the Sith, the ancient enemy of the Jedi Order. After Obi-Wan defeats Darth Maul in a thrilling lightsaber battle that claims Qui-Gon’s life, Jedi master Yoda senses that there is something troubling about young Anakin’s future.

‘Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones’

Released: 2002

Director: George Lucas

Writers: George Lucas and Jonathan Hales

Now a young man and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker finds himself drawn toward Padme when her life is threatened by assassins. His growing feelings for her are in conflict with his vows as a Jedi, which forbid romantic attachments of any kind. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan investigates the mysterious world of Kamino, where a clone army is being bred in secret. After he is captured by the Sith lord Count Dooku, Anakin and Padme race to save Obi-Wan from the evil Separatists. The film ends with the secret wedding of Padme and Anakin – his first break with the Jedi Order.

‘Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith’

Released: 2005

Director: George Lucas

Writer: George Lucas

In the midst of the galaxy-spanning Clone Wars, the Jedi Order leads the forces of the Republic against the evil Separatists. Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker’s love for Padme proves to be his undoing. After seeing visions in the Force of her future death, he chooses to join the dark side of the Force in order to find a power to save her. But the dark side proves too powerful to resist, and he becomes the evil Sith lord Darth Vader. As the Republic falls and becomes the Empire, the galaxy’s last hope rests Anakin and Padme’s newborn children, born in secret – twins who will one day be heroes.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

Released: 2015

Director: J.J. Abrams

Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt

Thirty years after joining forces with Darth Vader to defeat the Emperor, Jedi hero Luke Skywalker has mysteriously vanished from the galaxy. In his absence a new face to the dark side has arisen: the First Order, led by Supreme Leader Snoke and the Force-wielding Kylo Ren. Only General Leia Organa’s rag-tag Resistance opposes them in the fight for good. Into this new conflict step two nobodies – a back-water scavenger named Rey and a deserting stormtrooper named Finn – who realize that they have a part to play in finding Luke and restoring hope to a galaxy in crisis.


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‘Star Wars’‘Star Wars’
‘The Empire Strikes Back’‘The Empire Strikes Back’
‘Return of the Jedi’‘Return of the Jedi’
‘Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace’‘Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace’
‘Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones’‘Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones’
‘Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith’‘Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith’
’Star Wars: The Force Awakens’’Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
Before ‘The Last Jedi’ arrives, check in with the series so far

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