Star Wars is the biggest movie franchise of all time (6 films have already released). There are few, if any, movies in history that can claim to have an iconic status similar to that of Star Wars. With the 7th installment aka Star Wars: The Force Awakens all set to hit cinemas this Christmas on in India, the excitement has hit fever pitch!
And just in case you are one of the newbies to the franchise or managed to live under a rock and need a quick guide to the biggest franchise, here is our Dummies Guide to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the ‘Star Wars’ saga!!
How many films have released in the franchise?
The Original Trilogy
Star Wars is made up of three trilogies that were (illogically) made out of order.First came episodes IV, V and VI. That’sStar Wars: A New Hope in 1977, The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983. In that trilogy the good guys (the Rebellion and the Jedi) fight the bad guys (the Empire ruled by the Sith). When people refer to the “original trilogy” they are referring to these movies. Most of this glossary will deal with these films since they are widely considered far superior to the prequels.
The prequels were Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). This chronicles the story of how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, the main bad guy in the earlier (but actually later) trilogy. Both the first and second trilogies were directed by George Lucas.
The New Films
The new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the first installment in the new trilogy. It was directed by J.J. Abrams and includes the stars of the original cast, Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker). It will be followed by two more Star Wars films, now being called just episodes VIII and IX.
And as if that weren’t enough, Disney and Lucasfilm are also planning a number of Star Wars spinoff films, one of which will be called Rogue One and another of which focuses on a younger version of Han Solo, the Harrison Ford character.
Film titles and numbers
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens onin India. and is directed by J.J. Abrams; The cast includes original trilogy actors Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Warwick Davis. New-to-the-saga cast members include Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis and Max von Sydow. “The Force Awakens” is the saga’s seventh live-action film and seventh episode.
The seven live-action films’ full titles, in episodic order, followed by original U.S. release date and director:
“Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” (May 19, 1999)
“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” (May 16, 2002)
“Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” (May 19, 2005)
“Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (May 25, 1977)
“Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” (May 21, 1980)
“Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” (May 25, 1983)
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015)
What is the story?
The events depicted in Star Wars media take place in a fictional galaxy. Many species of alien creatures (often humanoid) are depicted. Robotic droids are also commonplace and are generally built to serve their owners. Space travel is common, and many planets in the galaxy are members of a Galactic Republic, later reorganized as the Galactic Empire.
One of the prominent elements of Star Wars is the "Force", an omnipresent energy that can be harnessed by those with that ability, known as Force-sensitives. It is described in the first produced film as "an energy field created by all living things [that] surrounds us, penetrates us, [and] binds the galaxy together." The Force allows users to perform various supernatural feats (such as telekinesis, clairvoyance,
precognition, and mind control) and can amplify certain physical traits, such as speed and reflexes; these abilities vary between characters and can be improved through training. While the Force can be used for good, it has a dark side that, when pursued, imbues users with hatred, aggression, and malevolence.
The films feature the Jedi, who use the Force for good, and the Sith, who use the dark side for evil in an attempt to take over the galaxy. Hence the use of the famous quote, “May The Force Be With You”
Here’s how the movie explains it: “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” Basically, certain people can use their mind to move objects, to control what people do and think, and more, all using microscopic organisms called midi-chlorians. Not everyone can use the Force, but those who can can use it for good or evil. The Jedi use the light side, the Sith the dark side.
Long ago, there used to be many Jedi Knights who kept the peace and fought the Sith. Eventually, however, the Sith took over and killed all but a few Jedi. In episodes IV, V and VI, the Jedi join forces with the Rebellion to defeat the Empire. Someone in training to become a Jedi, known as a Padawan or a Jedi apprentice, trains one-on-one with a Jedi Master.
A blade made of pure energy wielded by those who can use the force. Generally speaking, Sith use red blades.
A space station that Darth Vader uses to blow up planet. The Rebellion destroys it at the beginning of Episode IV, but the empire builds another one for Episode VI (which the rebels also destroy).
The Millennium Falcon
Han Solo’s dirty but awesome ship.
These are soldiers in white body armor who work for the Empire.
A robot with artificial intelligence.
Soldiers of the Republic, the governing body in episodes I, II and III.
Luke Skywalker rose from humble beginnings to becoming one of the greatest Jedi knights the galaxy has ever seen. Along with his friends Princess Leia and Han Solo, Luke battled the evil Galactic Empire and discovered the truth of his parentage, thus ending the tyranny of the Sith.
Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
Once a heroic Jedi Knight, Darth Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force (because they have cookies). He became a Sith Lord and led the Empire’s eradication of the Jedi Order. He changed his name to Darth Vader (meaning Shadow warrior) from Anakin Skywalker and is the father of Luke and Leia!
Princess Leia Organa
Princess Leia is one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders, fearless on the battlefield and dedicated to ending the absolute power of the Empire. Daughter of Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker, sister of Luke Skywalker, Leia ranks amongst the galaxy’s greatest heroes.
Yoda was a legendary Jedi Master. Small in size but very wise and powerful, he trained Jedi knights for over 800 years, playing important roles in the Clone Wars and the instruction of Luke Skywalker, thus unlocking the path to immortality.
Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, was one of the great leaders of the Rebel Alliance. He and his co-pilot and friend Chewbacca joined Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa in the fight against the Empire. He’s a hero.
Legendary Wookiee warrior and Han Solo’s co-pilot, Chewbacca was part of a core group of Rebels who helped restore freedom to the galaxy. Known for his short temper, Chewie also has a big heart — and is unswerving in his loyalty to his friends.
A legendary Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi was a noble man and gifted in the ways of the Force. He trained Anakin Skywalker, served as a general in the Republic Army during the Clone Wars, and guided Luke Skywalker as a mentor. Youthful Kenobi remains a figure of moral and physical courage, despite being clearly doomed by dark events to bitter loss and solitude.
A deadly, agile Sith Lord trained by the evil Darth Sidious, Darth Maul was a formidable warrior and scheming mastermind. He fell in battle against Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Zabrak from Dathomir would prove to be much harder to destroy than originally believed.
A resourceful astromech droid, R2-D2 served Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker in turn, showing great bravery in rescuing his masters and their friends from many perils.
Built by the heroic Jedi Anakin Skywalker, and a constant companion to astromech R2-D2. Over the years, he was involved in some of the galaxy’s most defining moments and thrilling battles -- and is fluent in more than seven million forms of communication.