“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” opens nationwide this weekend and if you are not one of the faithful fans of Luke, Darth, Leia & company, we’ve got you covered.
“The Last Jedi” marks the 9th film in the canon saga if you count “Rogue One” in the timeline, even though it’s a standalone film. That’s a lot of history to absorb, but we’ve shortened it here in case you don’t feel like binging movies all day before seeing the latest flick from a galaxy far, far away!
Here are eight short recaps of the other films in the “Star Wars” universe.
The order of the films can also be a little confusing since episodes IV, V and VI came out decades ago, with episodes I, II, and III coming out more recently. But all that will be explained in detail.
“Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” (1999)
This movie came out before the turn of the millennium, but is the very first “Star Wars” movie, where we meet a young boy, who will eventually become one of the scariest villains in history.
A young Jedi apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi and his master Qui-Gon Jinn are caught up in a battle between the Trade Federation and the world of Naboo, led by Queen Amidala. The two Jedi fight to keep the Queen safe from harm and in the process end up on the planet of Tatooine, where they meet a talented boy, Anakin Skywalker, who was born under mysterious circumstances and the Force seems to be strong in him.
They free the boy, who leaves his mother Shmi behind. At the climax of the film, Obi-Wan must watch as a Sith Lord Darth Maul kills his master, but he eventually takes out the Sith. On a promise to his master, Obi-Wan vows to train the young boy Anakin, though the Jedi Council oppose this choice because there’s a lot of fear and anger inside him. Boy, do they have it right.
Also, during a vote of no confidence for the current Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, Naboo’s Senator Palpatine is elected the new ruler. This will become important in future films.
“Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” (2002)
Set 10 years after “Phantom Menace,” Count Dooku is now leading the charge against the Republic. Padmé Amidala is no longer a queen but now a senator and there has been an attempt on her life. Obi-Wan and his apprentice Anakin are told to watch over her. While protecting her, Anakin reveals his love for Amidala, even referring to a kiss she gave him in the first movie.
Meanwhile, Obi-Wan searches for who tried to kill Amidala and discovers a clone army has been built for the Republic by copying bounty hunter Jango Fett. Jango has kept one of the clones for himself, which he calls his son Boba.
Anakin starts to have premonitions about his mother, whom he left behind on Tatooine in the first movie. He sees her in pain, even dying, so he travels back to Tatooine to save her. He ends up slaughtering Tusken Raiders who kidnapped her. she eventually dies, but his outburst is the first sign of the dark side and not becoming of a Jedi.
Later, Obi-Wan tracks down Dooku, who is behind the assassination attempt on Amidala and is leading a droid army. Obi-Wan transmits a message to Anakin, who tries to save his master, but is captured as well. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is given greater power over the Republic and a team of Jedi are sent to rescue Anakin, Obi-Wan and Amidala. Master Yoda eventually joins the Jedi with the clones and they destroy the droids. Jango is also killed.
Toward the end of the movie, Dooku battles Obi-Wan and Anakin, cutting off Skywalker’s arm. Yoda steps in and saves the duo and Dooku leaves with the Death Star plans for his Sith master Darth Sidious, who is hooded and hidden. The movie ends with Anakin marrying his love Padme in secret. This illicit affair will come into play in the next film.
“Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” (2005)
The movie opens with Anakin and Obi-Wan saving Palpatine from General Grievous and Dooku. In the process, Anakin, at the prompting of Palpatine, kills an unarmed Dooku. His turn to the Dark Side is moving further along.
We then find out Padme is pregnant and Anakin starts to have dreams that she dies in child birth. Palpatine then tells the young Jedi that he knows ways to save people, starting to reveal he knows ways of the Dark Side. Anakin later figures out Palpatine is the Sith lord and he reports this to Mace Windu and other Jedi.
Windu takes down Palpatine, but Anakin stops him, even cuts off his arm and allows Windu to be killed by Palpatine. He then realizes what he’s done and there’s no turning back. Anakin pledges his allegiance to Palpatine and becomes Darth Vader.
The emperor orders the killing of all the Jedi left, even the young ones. Vader helps, but Obi-Wan and Yoda survive. The Republic becomes the Galactic Empire and Palpatine, who is now disfigured from his battle with Windu, is the emperor.
Padme tracks down her husband and when he thinks she has turned against him, Vader uses his death choke, but she doesn’t die, she is only knocked out. Obi-Wan and Vader duel until the new Sith lord overestimates his powers. Obi-Wan defeats Vader, cutting off his legs and arm, then watches him burn as Vader gets too close to lava.
Padme gives birth to Luke and Leia, then dies. Vader is discovered alive but badly disfigured and is outfitted with the robotic armor you…
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