Okay, I am a major Star Wars franchise fan and it breaks my heart when someone says it’s boring or simply not “their cup of tea.” Did you know there is a book The World According to Star Wars by Cass Sunstein, explaining why this phenomenon became so popular and appealing to many generations?
So here is my way of paying tribute to an epic space opera Star Wars and preparing you to watch a new episode Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The Proper Way to Watch Star Wars Movies
The first thing you have to remember is the order of movies being released is not what one expects. The 1st episode released was IV, followed by V and VI, and only then going back to I, II and III episodes. Then goes the rest, of course.
There are several methods of watching Star Wars and millions of fans are arguing about the correct one. I will stick with canonical one - the production order. And no matter what George Lucas says, I still believe that for uninitiated people this order feels better, as it doesn’t throw you back and forth with the change of cinematic effect and approaches. So, I’ll walk you through episodes explaining main events happening in every episode with my personal comments made.
Star Wars: Episode IV - a New Hope
Being the first movie shoot, it throws us to the very suburbs of the Galaxy - planet Tatooine. The episode begins with a grappling of a spaceship followed by imprisonment of Princess Leia (who manages to send a message with a two robots capsule sent to Tatooine). C3PO and R2-D2 (a dynamic robot duo) are captured by Tuskens (a.k.a. Sand People) and later being sold to Luke Skywalker (a good guy). He receives Leia’s message and as a noble gentleman rushes to rescue. Accompanied by Obi-Wan Kenobi (his teacher), two hired pilots Han Solo and Chewbacca. They will save Princess, join Resistance and will try to Destroy the Death Star (a powerful weapon that destroys planets).
Comment: The Force is a mystical energy that empowers everything and may be controlled by some people. Did you know that the common phrase “may the force be with you” was then converted into the holiday on May 4th?
Also, remember that there are good guys - Jedi Knights and the bad ones - Sith.
Star Wars: Episode V - the Empire Strikes Back
The next movie shows a rebellion new base and Luke being enlightened to seek training from Yoda, the old Jedi master who lives on the planet Dagobah. As he gets away, rebels are surrounded by Imperial Forces on their ice planet Hoth. Han, Leia, C3PO and Chewbacca escape only to be caught by Darth Vader in his attempt to lure Luke to meet him (as bad guy promised his boss Emperor he will try and convert Luke to the Dark Side.) Luke has a vision of Leia and Han being tortured and rushes to help them. By the time he gets there, Han Solo is already frozen and given to bounty hunter.
Luke tries to help everyone, but he does know little. In a fight with Darth Vader, he loses his wrist and learns an awful family secret. Vader tries to convince him to join Dark Side, but Luke's rather die. He did not, after all, and was saved by Leia.
In the final scene, rebels are running away to lick their wounds and think of a new plan while trying to save Solo.
Comment: despite the romantic moment of Leia declaring her love for Han, this episode is nowhere near a rom-com. It also brought a notorious phrase which will be so often misinterpreted and twisted “No, I am your father.”
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
This was supposed to be an ending part of this saga, so, as you can guess, it has a fairly happy ending, but wait till we get there!
Luke and the gang decide to try to save Han solo from space gangster Jabba the Hut. Meanwhile, Emperor is working on next Death Star (twice as big and powerful as the previous one) and searches for rebels. While good guys are saving Solo, Leia gets trapped and Jabba uses her as another “display of art.” While Jabba is trying to execute them, Luke saves the day with his new saber and helps the rest of the crew.
In the battle of rebels and Empire, Luke faces Vader and almost loses it, when unexpectedly Vader turns his back on Emperor and tries to save his son (but he has to pay with his own life instead). Empire and Sith are destroyed and the galaxy is free.
Comment: this episode can be called great, just for the classic outfit of Leia being imprisoned (trust me, several generations of geeks and people who watched this saga known what Leia’s golden bikini looks like) and some great moments throughout the movie.
Star Wars: Episode I - the Phantom Menace
And we’re back to square one, I mean Episode 1. This is a prequel to the saga, picturing Qui-Gon (master) and Obi-Wan who are trying to help Queen Amidala resolve the conflict with Trade Federation. Being attacked, they are forced to visit the planet and find the Queen. Understanding there is no peaceful way to solve the clash, they are trying to escape on the broken ship and land on Tatooine, where they meet a young slave Anakin Skywalker. After some troubles and a deathful race, they reach Senate just to be thrown away. Queen decides to return to her planet to save her people on her own.
Moving on, we behold a major fight, where young boy saves the day by accidentally destroying the droid control ship's reactor. Qui-Gon dies fighting Darth Maul, the Sith (a bad guy) and tells Obi-Wan to train young Skywalker. This episode ends with the funeral of Qui-Gon and discussion between Yoda and Obi-Wan on Anakin’s future.
Comment: this episode was important as it set the story of Anakin Skywalker, who will become Darth Vader in future, and explains this was just a first battle in a sinister war.
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Set ten years after events in episode I, we face Padmé Amidala being assassinated and receiving a personal bodyguard assigned to protect her (yeah, the young padawan Anakin Skywalker). Following the assassination investigation, Obi-Wan Kenobi follows the lead just to find an army of clones that were ordered to be the army of Republic. Meanwhile, back on Tatooine Anakin holds in a forbidden romance with Padmé; who will join him as he goes back to save his mother tortured by Sand People. The moments after she dies, Skywalker slaughters the whole Tusken village. Then he receives an SOS-message from Kenobi and bolts to rescue.
Back on Geonosis, manipulative Count Dooku tries to convince Obi-Wan to join him. Upon arrival of Anakin and Padmé, a great battle erupts between clone forces (good ones) and droid army (bad guys). Everyone is pretty much okay afterward, and Obi-Wan informs Jedi Council about Darth Sidious, but no-one seems to believe him. We are left in the atmosphere of mistrust and dismay.
Comment: here we realize something is terribly wrong with Anakin (who kills many Tuskens and secretly marries Padmé, despite the Jedi code) and the fact the War has begun (according to Sith).
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
Why is this movie so great and frightful at the same time? Half of the movies we see fights and battles all over the galaxy. Anakin is supposed to protect senator Palpatine (who, btw secretly manipulates Skywalker and grows his mistrust to Jedi.) Padmé is pregnant, however, Anakin has premonitions similar to those he had about his mother. Along with Anakin being seduced and fallen for the Dark Side (the moment he turns into Darth Vader), we watch most Jedi being exterminated, and Galactic Empire rising from the ashes of former Republic.
As Yoda and Obi-Wan find out the truth, they decide to find and kill Vader. Meanwhile, Padmé tries to convince Vader to come out with her, but he sees Obi-Wan getting out of Padmé’s ship and believes she betrayed him and nearly kills her.
And while Obi-Wan fights Darth Vader, cutting off his hand and legs, Padmé is giving birth to the twins and dies in labor. Vader suffered major burns but is saved by Darth Sidious. The final moment of the episode reveals that twins Luke and Leia are separated, but remain the only hope for the Galaxy.
Comment: In this episode, we can see the greatest fight between Anakin Skywalker with Obi-Wan Kenobi (as well as Yoda and Emperor) and a great closing scene with twin Suns.
Star Wars: Episode VII - the Force Awakenes
Thirty years after the Empire was vanquished, there is a new threat to peace in the Galaxy. Rey, a scavenger from Tatooine, finds a BB-8 droid who has information on where to find a Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. She teams up with a former stormtrooper, Han Solo, and Chewbacca to be caught in the middle of a battle between Resistance and First Order.
After a great battle and during the final moment of a grand fight between Rey and this episode bad guy Kylo Ren, Chewbaka saves Rey from a collapsing planet, after she discovered her talent to use Force. Chewy and Rey deliver the map to Resistance Base, where R2-D2 awakens and complete the missing part of the map. Of course, they are going to find Luke on a remote planer, where during the last moment Rey will find Luke and will mutely offer him a lightsaber.
Comment: this movie brings one of the cutest characters BB-8 (a whats-and-orange robot that looks somewhat like a little snowman)
I won’t be talking about Rough One, as it was a separate movie and it doesn’t bear any significant meaning to the main plot.
So, this is pretty much everything you need to know about Star Wars. You can also check out this family tree chart, just in case, you feel confused about any family connections.
Have a great time watching a new episode of Star Wars and may the force be with you!