Categories: Entertainment

Where To Start: A Beginner’s Guide To Star Wars

I Am One With The Force

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….”

The world-wide, cultural phenomenon that is Star Wars may seem intimidating at first, with all the movies, characters, and collectibles, but I am here to give you a quick beginner’s guide! From the creator to the stories to the infamous lightsabers, my hope is to give a clear understanding of the basics. You didn’t have to grow up with it to be a fan and Star Wars has evolved to be meant for everyone. Even now, there is new content coming out and there is never a bad time to give it a chance. So, with that said, away we go!


Lucas Film

George Lucas, born 1944 in California, formed his own company Lucas Film Ltd. in 1971. After his film American Graffiti, (1973), won the Golden Globe and garnered five Academy Award nominations, this gave him the clout he needed for his next daring adventure – Star Wars: A New Hope. From 1973 to 1974, he began writing the screenplay for Episode IV, (A New Hope). In 1975, he established ILM. (Industrial Light & Magic) to produce the visual effects needed for the movie. Another company called Sprocket Systems was established to edit and mix Star Wars and later becomes known as Skywalker Sound. His movie was turned down by several studios until 20th Century Fox gave him a chance. George Lucas agreed to forego his directing salary in exchange for 40% of the film’s box-office take and all merchandising rights. The movie went on to break all box office records and earned seven Academy Awards. It redefined the term “blockbuster” and the rest is history.


The Original Trilogy

Starring – Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, and Harrison Ford as Han Solo.

The War – The Empire versus The Rebel Alliance.

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

“Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from The Empire’s world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.”

“The Imperial Forces — under orders from cruel Darth Vader — hold Princess Leia hostage, in their efforts to quell The Rebellion against The Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, work together with the companionable droid duo R2-D2 and C-3PO to rescue the beautiful princess, help The Rebel Alliance, and restore freedom and justice to the galaxy.”

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

“After the Rebels are brutally overpowered by The Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader and a bounty hunter named Boba Fett all over the galaxy.”

“The adventure continues in this Star Wars sequel. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Chewbacca face attack by The Imperial forces and its AT-AT walkers on the ice planet Hoth. While Han and Leia escape in the Millennium Falcon, Luke travels to Dagobah in search of Yoda. Only with the Jedi Master’s help will Luke survive when the Dark Side of The Force beckons him into the ultimate duel with Darth Vader.”

SPOILER: This is when Luke, (and the audience), finds out that Darth Vader is Luke’s father.

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return Of The Jedi (1983)

“After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, The Rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy the second Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor’s trap.”

“Luke Skywalker battles horrible Jabba the Hut and cruel Darth Vader to save his comrades in The Rebel Alliance and triumph over The Galactic Empire. Han Solo and Princess Leia reaffirm their love and team with Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, the Ewoks, and the androids C-3PO and R2-D2 to aid in the disruption of the Dark Side and the defeat of the evil emperor.”


The Force

Note: Jedi’s are Light Side (“good”) and Sith are Dark Side (“evil”).

The Force, as introduced in The Original Trilogy, is seen almost like The Jedi’s religion. There are people who question Darth Vader and his abilities, just as Han Solo is dismissive of Luke and his Force powers, (as he is more comfortable with his blaster). In this case, The Force is supposed to be energy that everyone and everything has moving through it, and Force users, such as Jedi and Sith, can manipulate and control that energy. Manipulate and controlling The Force – again, the energy that everything has – can be seen with the iconic “magical” movement of objects and “sensing” other Force users or objects. In The Prequel Trilogy, The Force is explained more thoroughly and we see that it is more well-known, more understood, and that Force users are more commonplace.


The Prequel Trilogy

Starring – Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, Natalie Portman as Padme Amidala, and Ewan McGregor as Obi-wan Kenobi.

The War – The Republic versus The Separatists.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

“Two Jedi escape a hostile blockade to find allies and come across a young boy who may bring balance to The Force, but the long dormant Sith resurface to claim their original glory.”

“Obi-Wan Kenobi is a young apprentice Jedi Knight under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn; Anakin Skywalker, (who will later father Luke Skywalker and become known as Darth Vader), is just a 9-year-old boy. When the Trade Federation cuts off all routes to the planet Naboo, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are assigned to settle the matter.”

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones (2002)

“Ten years after initially meeting, Anakin Skywalker shares a forbidden romance with Padmé Amidala, while Obi-Wan Kenobi investigates an assassination attempt on the senator and discovers a secret clone army crafted for the Jedi.”

“Set ten years after the events of The Phantom Menace, The Republic continues to be mired in strife and chaos. A Separatist movement encompassing hundreds of planets and powerful corporate alliances poses new threats to the galaxy that even the Jedi cannot stem. These moves, long-planned by an as yet unrevealed and powerful force, lead to the beginning of The Clone Wars — and the beginning of the end of The Republic.”

Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith (2005)

“Three years into The Clone Wars, the Jedi rescue Palpatine from Count Dooku. As Obi-Wan pursues a new threat, Anakin acts as a double agent between the Jedi Council and Palpatine and is lured into a sinister plan to rule the galaxy.”

“It has been three years since The Clone Wars began. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker rescue Chancellor Palpatine from General Grievous, the commander of the droid armies, but Grievous escapes. Suspicions are raised within the Jedi Council concerning Chancellor Palpatine, with whom Anakin has formed a bond. Asked to spy on the chancellor, and full of bitterness toward the Jedi Council, Anakin embraces the Dark Side, turning him into Darth Vader.”



Lightsabers are literally sabers – a.k.a. swords – of light.

A “Padawan”, or child training to be a Jedi Knight, would be taken by their Jedi Master to get their Kyber Crystal and build their own lightsaber.

With Disney’s acquisition of Lucas Film Ltd. and Star Wars, (which we will talk about later), for a Jedi or Padawan to get a red Kyber Crystal on their path to the Dark Side, they would need to kill a Jedi, take their crystal, and pour all of their hatred and fury into it, making it “bleed”, and therefore turn red. Then, with this red crystal, they would build their Dark Side lightsaber.

With Disney, as well, Kyber Crystals are said to be sentient – meaning, they are able to connect with their Force users and “feel” thoughts and emotions.


Broadening The Edge Of The Galaxy

As mentioned above, Disney acquired Lucas Film Ltd. in 2012, which includes all of Star Wars. Disney quickly made work of dismissing everything except the movies and Clone Wars tv show. (This means, that everything else is no longer accepted as cannon.) So! You really only need to pay attention to the movies listed above and everything Disney has done since 2012. Including, but not limited to, The Sequel Trilogy, the additional movies, additional tv shows, new novels, comic books, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in both Disneyland and Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World.


The Sequel Trilogy

Starring – Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Daisy Ridley as Rey, and John Boyega as Finn.

The War – The First Order versus The Resistance.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)

“As a new threat to the galaxy rises, Rey, a desert scavenger, and Finn, an ex-Stormtrooper, must join Han Solo and Chewbacca to search for the one hope of restoring peace.”

“Set thirty years after Return of the JediThe Force Awakens follows Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and Han Solo’s search for Luke Skywalker and their fight in The Resistance, led by General Leia Organa and veterans of The Rebel Alliance, against Kylo Ren and The First Order, a successor to The Galactic Empire.”

SPOILER: This is when the audience finds out that Kylo Ren is Ben Solo – Leia and Han’s son.

See Also

Star Wars: Episode – The Last Jedi VIII (2017)

“Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, The Resistance prepares for battle with The First Order.”

“Luke Skywalker’s peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he encounters Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of The Force. Her desire to learn the ways of the Jedi forces Luke to make a decision that changes their lives forever. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren and General Hux lead The First Order in an all-out assault against Leia and The Resistance for supremacy of the galaxy.”

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise Of Skywalker (2019)

“The surviving members of The Resistance face The First Order once again, and the legendary conflict between Jedi and Sith reaches its peak bringing The Skywalker Saga to its end.”

“When it’s discovered that the evil Emperor Palpatine did not die at the hands of Darth Vader, the veterans of The Rebel Alliance and the new Resistance must race against the clock to find out his whereabouts. Finn and Poe lead The Resistance to put a stop to The First Order’s plans to form a new Empire, while Rey anticipates her inevitable confrontation with Kylo Ren.”

SPOILER: Kylo Ren/Ben Solo and Rey are “dyads” – two pieces of one whole, supposed to bring balance to The Force, and they are in-love.


Add Ons

In chronological order:

Between Episode II and III

Clone Wars (2008) – tv show available on Disney+

“Jedi Knights lead the Grand Army of The Republic against the droid army of The Separatists.”

Between Episode III and IV

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

“During an adventure into the criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining The Rebellion.”

Rouge One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

“The daughter of an Imperial scientist joins The Rebel Alliance in a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star.”

After Episode VI

The Mandalorian (2019) – tv show on Disney+

“The travels of a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.”


Disney Plus

All of the movies and tv shows listen above, but also the shows Rebels, Resistance, various Lego series, and specials.


And The Force Is With Me

Hopefully, this article has sparked your interest and you’re willing to give Star Wars a chance. It is more than science fiction movies, it is more than what people cosplay at conventions, it is more than a hero’s journey. Star Wars is about humanity, about inner struggle, and above all, about hope. May The Force be with you, always.
Molly Lynn Robinson

Author | English Major | #RealLifeBelle | Academic Romance | "This was no accident, this was a therapeutic chain of events." |

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