Star Wars for Dummies

With a new Star Wars movie due out soon, some may need an overview or refresher about the series.


A new Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, is coming out in December. While diehard fans are already speculating on what will happen, for those who have not seen any or all of the movies the intricate and vast realm of Star Wars can be confusing. Between three different planet-destroying weapons in space, light swords, crazy magic tricks that make people submissive, and a whole lot of alien races beating each other up, it can seem overwhelming.

Allow this to be your guide, as this is…



Star Wars oddly began with Episode 4: A New Hope, and the rest of the movies were released 5,6,1,2,3,7, Rogue One (still in theaters).

The reason Episode 4,  Star Wars: A New Hope, is first, is that George Lucas, the Star Wars creator, labeled it as such to leave room to create prequels (which he did not do until two decades later). Rogue One is considered the last prequel.


Episodes 4, 5 and 6 are the original trilogy. During Episode 4: A New Hope, the first Death Star blows up due to Luke and the rebels doing a bombing run. Ben Kenobi, Luke’s master, is stricken down during a battle with the evil Darth Vader, and we are introduced to the Force (the good guys), who battle the Jedi and Sith, who currently hold the reigns of the Galactic Empire, Emperor Palpatine, and Darth Vader.

The next entry, The Empire Strikes Back, is considered to be the best movie in the series. In this movie, we are given the biggest plot twist of all Star Wars history. Darth Vader is revealed as Luke’s father after their duel, during which Luke’s hand gets severed by Vader. Also, Leia is revealed as Luke’s twin sister, and Han Solo gets frozen in carbonite.

Now onto Return of the Jedi, the final entry of the original trilogy. In this movie, Luke gets his iconic green light saber, rather than having his father’s old blue one (which was lost when his hand was severed), and the movie starts with a great fight scene between Luke and an unfrozen Han Solo, against Boba Fett, who gets thrown into the Sarlacc Pit.

The second Death Star is discovered, and the SECOND most important scene in the series occurs in this movie: Darth Vader and Luke duel again, and Emperor Palpatine sits in the shadows watching. Luke begins to get enraged and taps into his dark emotions, overpowering his father. Luke cuts off Vader’s hand, and sees that his father has a prosthetic hand just like him. Luke realizes that if he continues this, he will fall down the same path as his father. Palpatine tries to seduce Luke to the Dark Side, telling him to kill his father and take his place. Luke refuses, and faces the wrath of tons of Force lightning. Vader gets up and surprise attacks not Luke but Palpatine, throwing him down a pit, redeeming himself in the Light Side of the force.  Darth Vader exchanges a meaningful conversation with his son before his passing, and then Luke escapes the second Death Star, which is blown up shortly after.


Lucas wrote and released the prequels in the early 2000s, explaining how the original trilogy began. Many people do not like the prequels and find them useless to understand Star Wars. They explain how Darth Vader became Darth Vader, how Darth Sidious became emperor, and how Luke and Leia got to where they are now.

The prequels start with Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. We are introduced to two Jedi (Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi) who serve as ambassadors for the senate. Not much happens until they try to get away from the separatists on Naboo and end up on Tatooine.

While there, the Jedi master (Qui-Gon Jinn) goes to find a new hyper drive, but instead he finds the “Chosen one”, Anakin Skywalker, who does not have a father and is born from the force. Anakin is special because he has a higher midichlorian count than Grand Master Yoda. “Midichlorians are microscopic organisms that live inside your cells” is what Jinn tells young Anakin.

At the end of the film is a great battle between the Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi against the Sith assassin, Darth Maul. Darth Maul manages to kill Qui-Gon Jinn while Obi-Wan is watching. When Obi-Wan makes it to Darth Maul, a fierce battle erupts with Obi-Wan using a more aggressive fighting style with no specific form to it. Obi-Wan wins the battle against Maul by cutting him in half, and afterwards Obi-Wan becomes a master and trains Anakin to be a Jedi.

In Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, Anakin and Obi-wan have grown up. Anakin is back on Tatooine, looking for his mother, when he finds out she was taken by Sand People. Anakin searches for her day and night, and when he finally finds her she dies in his arms and it makes him sad then really angry, which causes him to lash out and kill the Sand People, using the Dark Side of the force.

Anakin and Padme, Anakin’s girlfriend, end up on Geonosis where they fight to try and get to Obi-Wan, but Obi-Wan is talking to Count Dooku (who is Qui-Gon’s former master). There is a battle on Geonosis between the droids and the Jedi, ending with the Jedi leaving the battle to stop The Federation from growing its force. Obi-wan and Anakin fight Dooku, which leads to Anakin losing his right arm, then Yoda coming in and battling Dooku. Anakin then slips away, getting away with the plans for the Death Star. The final scene shows Anakin and Padme getting married.

Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith starts off with a battle in space, then leads into Obi-Wan and Anakin trying to save Chancellor Palpatine. Dooku, Obi-Wan and Anakin have a duel, which ends in the death of Dooku. Then, Anakin is granted a seat on the Jedi council but not the rank of Master, which angers Anakin. He starts to lose his trust in the Jedi but tells Mace Windu that Palpatine is a Sith lord. Mace and other Jedi confront him about this, which leads to the three other Jedi being killed and only Mace surviving. Anakin comes in and cuts off Mace’s hand, then Palpatine sends Mace flying but does not kill him. Then, Order 66 is executed where all the Jedi are hunted down and killed, leading Anakin to the Jedi temple where he kills the younglings and other Jedi. Padme goes to see Anakin while he is on Mustafar, but she gets injured. Obi-Wan and Anakin have a fierce battle, ending in Anakin losing his limbs and being forced to put on on his infamous helmet, fully embracing as Darth Vader. Padme gives birth to Luke and Leia, but dies soon after due to the strain of childbirth and a broken heart.