A beginner’s guide to Star Wars

Photo courtesy of Independent

If you’re an uncultured swine like me (well, that is until last winter break) and haven’t seen any of George Lucas’ blockbuster movies in the Star Wars franchise, here is some helpful background info so you don’t have to be that guy who talks during the whole movie.

The first Star Wars movie, Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope, debuted in 1977 and had people begging for more. The setting for this movie is in an unnamed intergalactic universe, and a dictatorship known as the Galactic Empire has arisen to control the galaxy. The Empire is headed by Sith Lord Darth Vader, who has a firm grasp over the heroic faction in the series, the Jedi, who are headed by Master Yoda and are fighting to end the Sith regime. Both of these opposing forces harness supernatural abilities known as “the Force.” The Sith use it in evil ways, and the Jedi use it for good.

The original trilogy focuses on the conflict between a revolutionary force known as the Rebel Alliance attempting to topple the Empire.

Luke Skywalker, a native of the planet Tatooine, makes contact with an enigma and legendary Jedi Master Obi-Wan (Ben) Kenobi after he finds a message encoded inside a droid addressed to Kenobi from Princess Leia, the leader of the Rebel Alliance. Kenobi reveals to Luke that he was a good friend of his father’s before he was slaughtered by Darth Vader.

Despite some reluctance, Skywalker, eventually joins Kenobi to rendezvous with the rebel force and save Princess Leia, who is being held hostage aboard the Death Star, which is the main ship of the Empire. Kenobi wants Skywalker to accompany him so that he can learn the Jedi ways of the Force and bestows the gift of his father’s lightsaber onto Luke. Basically, Skywalker is one of the only people you would want to bring a sword to a gun fight.

Before the pair heads off to Alderaan, the home planet of the princess, the pair recruits goods smuggler Han Solo and his furry Wookie companion, Chewbacca, to take them to the planet. After some mishaps, they take off on Solo’s ship, the Millenium Falcon.

The original trilogy follows Skywalker and his band of pals as they work endlessly to defeat the brutal Darth Vader.

After about a 15-year hiatus, Lucas brought the franchise back and created the prequel trilogy beginning in 1999 with Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

This trilogy follows the young Obi-Wan Kenobi and the training of his Padawan Anakin Skywalker to become a Jedi Knight. This series takes the viewer through the background story of the original trilogy and finally eclipsing with the Clone Wars that ultimately results in turning a brash and power-hungry Anakin to the Dark Side of the Force to become Darth Vader.

The Sequel trilogy which is the newest installment, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is a part of, kicked off in 2015 with Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

In this movie, a new main cast of characters is introduced. However, familiar faces such as Princess Leia, Han Solo and (SPOILER) eventually Luke Skywalker return.

The Force Awakens takes place 30 years after the events of Episode VI. The conflict still ensues, but this time, the First Order is trying to eliminate the New Republic after the fall of the Galactic Empire. Princess Leia, now a general of the resistance movement, is on a constant search for the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker, who has gone missing.

This film features a new characters Rey, an independent scavenger with a mysterious background, and Finn, a ex-clone in the First Orders’ army who joins the rebel cause after making contact with resistance pilot Poe Dameron. The heroes are fighting against a Vader-like enemy in Kylo Ren.

Episode VIII: The Last Jedi picks up directly after the events in The Force Awakens. Rey has successfully located Luke Skywalker and is training to be a Jedi herself to take down the new First Order and restore peace to the Republic. As far as the cast is concerned, many of the same faces will be returning to the screen. The film is set to be released in theaters Dec. 15.

By: Luke Feliciano ~Sports Editor~