Whether you’re a newbie or not, before watching the phenomenal 'The Rise of Skywalker' film, here are the 11 basic things you need to know.
1. The "original" trilogy movies that came out before the three "prequel" movies. Spinoffs "Solo" and "Rogue One" take place between them. The “sequel” new movies take place after them, and TROS is the last episode of the sequel movies.
The first "Star Wars" (later subtitled "A New Hope") made its debut in 1977. Then two films follow up: "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) and "Return of the Jedi" (1983). The main characters of the original trilogy are Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford). The original trilogy depicts how the three main characters fight with the villain Darth Vader (David Prowse) with the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) and Master Yoda (Frank Oz). The storyline also revealed the mystery of their identities.
The Original Trilogy
There was a 16-year gap before the next "Star Wars" film, "The Phantom Menace" (1999), the first of three prequels. Two more films followed: "Attack of the Clones" (2002) and "Revenge of the Sith" (2005). The prequels are Episodes I, II and III, and they focus on Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd and then Hayden Christensen), Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor, who's also in the original films played by Alec Guinness) and Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). This time, the storyline tells how Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) turned to the dark side.
The Prequel Trilogy
Chronologically, 2015's "The Force Awakens," aka Episode VII, is set about 30 years after "Return of the Jedi." That movie centers on Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and an older Han and Leia. "The Last Jedi," also referred to as "Episode VIII," is set immediately after "The Force Awakens" and continues to follow Rey and Finn, along with Leia (by now a general), Luke (he's been hiding away on an island), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and new character Rose (Kelly Marie Tran). "The Rise of Skywalker" (aka Episode IX) comes next with new characters including Zorii (Keri Russell), after Luke goes out like a champ.
The Sequel Trilogy
2. The title crawl is the signature way "Star Wars" films open.
Every Star Wars saga starts with "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away……", then continues with scrolling text that explains what happens right before the movie begins. In "Star Wars: A New Hope," the opening crawl starts like this:
"It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet."
3. The Storyline focuses on the skywalker family. Luke and Leia, in the original films, are the children of Padmé and Anakin, from the prequels. Kylo Ren & Rey are the main characters in sequels.
There are so many characters in the Star Wars saga that people would often get confused. Here we provide you character map which will help to better understand their relationship.
Star Wars Main Characters' Relationship Map
4. The Force
"The Force" is perhaps the most important term you should get familiar with when it comes to Star Wars. This spiritual power is used by an elite group, both good and evil, it is the driving force behind the films. It can be inherited to some extent, but to be fully realized, the person must seriously train.
5. 'May the Force be with you.'
This phrase is often used as a salutation among "Star Wars" fans. It is a way to say "goodbye and good luck." On fan holiday Star Wars Day, which takes place on May 4, Jedi faithful say "May the 4th be with you." Get it?
May the Fourth be with You
6. Jedi & Sith
The Jedi Order is the light side of the Force, or the good guys, and they dedicate their lives to the attainment of peace while rocking robes. Their lightsabers are normally green or blue. The Sith Order is the dark side of the Force (the bad guys), and they choose to use their powers for evil, personal use, since they believe the dark side is much stronger. Their lightsabers are normally red. As the Jedi strive for calm tranquility to maintain inner and societal peace, the Sith power comes from a self-destructive passion, which leads to very different goals than what the Jedi Order would find acceptable. This is why Yoda famously warns, "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering."
The Sith Order vs. The Jedi Order
7. Boba Fett
There's no doubt that Boba Fett is one of the most popular and mysterious figures in Star Wars Universe. This much-feared, deadly bounty hunter appears in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and he actually has only 5 lines in the whole series. Given that he’s barely in the original trilogy, some may wonder why he’s so popular. So we’ll say it again: Intergalactic. Bounty. Hunter. Throw in the armor and the rocket launcher, and it’s no wonder that Lucas felt compelled to make the Fett family so integral to the prequels.
8. The Galactic Empire vs. the Rebel Alliance
There are also two warring factions: the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance. The Empire is the evil government whose leaders favor the dark side, and the Rebels are an uprising dedicated to getting rid of the Empire so the democratic Galactic Republic can be reinstated. In episodes four, five, and six, Luke is the only Jedi fighting with the Rebels since Darth Vader exterminated the rest of them (except for Obi-Wan Kenobi) way back in episode three.
9. Famous Quotes
“The Force will be with you. Always.”
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.”
“No. I am your father.”
“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
“I’ll never turn to the dark side. You’ve failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”
10. There's a debate about whether "Han Solo shot first."
Han Solo, a smuggler-turned-good guy in the original films, is introduced about halfway through "A New Hope" in a cantina. While in the cantina, he's approached by a bounty hunter called Greedo and the two have a confrontation. In the 1977 theatrical version of "Star Wars," Han fires before Greedo gets the chance to shoot at Han. In later versions of the movie, the scene is changed to show the two shooting at the same time, or Greedo firing a split-second before Han. And in Disney+ version of the movie, the two appear to shoot at the same time, with Greedo inexplicably saying, "Maclunkey."
This edited scene has spurred much debate among "Star Wars" fans, because many think that it's important for Han to have shot first, in order for his character arc (going from not-so-nice guy to hero) to be better.
11. The storyline comes from the Japanese Movie “the Hidden fortress”. George Lucas used many Japanese elements in the movie saga.
George Lucas has acknowledged the heavy influence of The Hidden Fortress on Star Wars, particularly in the technique of telling the story from the perspective of the film's lowliest characters, C-3PO and R2-D2. Lucas's original plot outline for Star Wars also had a strong resemblance to the plot of The Hidden Fortress. The influence of Samurai on Jedi, the usage of lightsaber are also the reflections of Japanese cultural elements. Last fun thing to know is, the word “Jedi” actually comes from Japanese 時代劇 (jidaigeki) (meaning 'period drama' motion pictures about samurai)
Star Wars and the Hidden Fortress
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May the Force be with You!