The Star Wars saga will be coming to an end on December 19th, 2019 after over 40 years of being a successful movie franchise and having a cultural impact on TV, movies, theme park attractions, toys, video games, and everything in between. Creator George Lucas began the franchise in 1977 with the release of Star Wars later titled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope followed by the very successful The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Lucas started with episodes four, five, and six and then in 1999 Lucas released episode one The Phantom Menace starting the very controversial prequel films. These included the pre-mentioned Phantom Menace and Episode II Attack of the Clones, which is then completed with Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Before we review the newest and final film, let’s review the stories in order:
The Star Wars trilogy begins with the Phantom Menace which sets the plot for the next episodes to come. In the Phantom Menace jedi master Qui-Gon and young apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi were on a mission to open back up all routes to planet Naboo. On route to settle these differences to shut down the Trade Federation, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon accidentally fall off course and crash landed on Tatooine. There they would stumble upon a young Anakin Skywalker who is very strong and connected to the force. During the final battle of the movie, Qui-Gon is fighting the evil Darth Maul and Darth Maul would end up taking the Jedi’s life. Obi-Wan would then end up killing Darth Maul and is set out to train Anikan to become a Jedi Master.
In episode two, Attack of the Clones, the movie is set ten years after the Phantom Menace and the Republic is still in shambles and falling apart completely. The galaxy is threatened by a Separatist movement which was organized by former Jedi, Count Dookoo. Padme Amidala would create an army to help serve and fight with the Jedi, Anakin and Obi-Wan. Anakin ended up saving Padme from a bounty hunter and took her back to Naboo where Anakin confessed his love to her. Jengo Fett, another top bounty hunter would eventually be cloned in order to create the new clone army that was set out to destroy the Republic. After capturing Master Obi-Wan, Dookoo also captures Anakin and Padme as they were attempting to free Obi-Wan. They are tied up in a colosseum with wild deadly animals and used for entertainment as they were supposed to be killed. They fight off the monsters and Master Yoda and other Jedi come to the rescue as they wreak havoc on the last of the droid army. Dookoo escapes after Jango Fett is killed leaving his son Boba an orphan. Anakin and Obi-Wan find Dookoo and have an epic battle resulting in Anakin losing his right hand and Yoda coming in to finish off the fight. Dookoo once again escapes death and meets with Darth Sidious to discuss their plan to take over the galaxy. Anakin receives a new hand and he and Padme are married.
Up next is Revenge of the Sith, episode three. This movie starts in the middle of the war, as Anakin and Obi-Wan are on their way to save Chancellor Palpatine from the Sith. While saving Palpatine, Count Dookoo came to stop the two Jedis from rescuing him. Count Dookoo would end up being killed by Anakin after he sliced his head. The Jedi council let Anakin join the council but he was ordered to follow the Chancellor and spy on him because the Jedi’s didn’t trust him and thought he was up to no good. Anakin starts to have nightmares of his wife Padme dying during childbirth. Anakin is then approached by Palpatine and he confesses to Anakin that he knows the ways of the Dark side and that he was the Sith leader the Jedi were searching for. After Anakin confesses to the Jedi council that Palpatine was the Sith leader, Mace Windu and a couple of other Jedi’s set out to kill Palpatine. Anakin would come and save him and give his allegiance to Palpatine and that’s when Anakin turned to the Dark side and became Darth Vadar. Darth Vadar would set out to kill all young Jedi apprentices and all the Jedi so the Sith could take over the galaxy. He would go over to the Sith base camp and wipe everyone out there and take full control of the Sith. Obi-Wan and his wife Padme are going to try and offer Darth Vadar help. In the process he chokes Padme until she passes out. Obi-Wan and Darth Vadar start fighting and Obi-Wan ends up slicing him in half and taking Darth Vadar’s left arm with him. The lava would eventually light him on fire and his whole body would become seriously burnt.
Episode four, A New Hope. The movie starts on a rebellion ship that is being invaded by the empire. With the stormtroopers is Darth Vadar the leader of the Empire. He is attacking the ship in search of Princess Leia who is seeking the location of the new rebellion base. After Lord Vadar and the stormtroopers wipe all the rebellions on the ship he finally gets to Princess Leia and kidnaps her. Also on this ship is R2D2 and C3PO, who are both on an escape mission to the planet Tatooine in search of general and Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi, who is to report an urgent message to Princess Leia. Once they land on the planet they are in desperate search for Obi-Wan but are stopped by scrappers who kidnap them. They would eventually be sold to a young Luke Skywalker. R2 being very impatient would eventually run away from Luke and C3PO looking for Obi-Wan. In the morning, Luke C3PO would go looking for R2. While they are searching they are kidnapped by the sand people. Obi-Wan would come in and scare off the sand people and rescue Luke and the droids. Obi-Wan would eventually explain that he is the Jedi master that R2 was looking for. Obi-Wan would bring them all back to his home where he would grant Luke a gift from his father. The gift was his old lightsaber. R2 would then show the very famous hologram message Princess Leia to Obi-Wan saying “General Kenobi. Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to present my father’s request to you in person, but my ship has fallen under attack and I’m afraid my mission to bring you to Alderaan has failed. I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You must see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”
Obi-Wan then offers his help and training to teach Luke the ways of the force so he can become a master Jedi and defeat Darth Vadar. Luke was anxious and didn’t see himself as worthy to become a Jedi and said he needed to help his uncle on the farm. When Luke returns back to his home to see both his aunt and uncle dead in cold blood and all that was left was their corpses. Luke then knew what he had to go with Obi-Wan and learn the ways of the force so he could avenge his aunt uncle and father. Luke and Obi-Wan go and look for ship and captain that could take them to the imperial star destroyer to save Leia. This is when they meet Han Solo and Chewbacca, Han is a smuggler who would make deals with people and then break the deal so he could take all the money himself. Chewbacca is a wookie that is good friends with Jedi master Yoda. While they are talking Han starts to tell them about the Millennium Falcon, which is Han’s ship. Han agrees to fly them to the Imperial Star Destroyer to save Leia. When Luke and Obi-Wan leave a guy who works for Jabba the Hut comes for Han because he owes Jabba money. Han would eventually getting out of this bounty for extra fifteen percent of the money he owes him. Storm Troopers have tracked down all the rebellions and they are trying to take down the Millennium Falcon but they manage to get off the planet but are being tracked down by Imperial Star Destroyers. Once they escaped the ships they are pulled in by the Death Star. On that ship is where this find Princess Leia. On the escape mission Obi-Wan confronts Darth Vadar. With Luke and all the rebels watching Darth Vadar kills Obi-Wan. They escaped the Death Star and they make it back to the New Rebellion base. Once they got back to the rebellion base they all come for a meeting about how to destroy the Death Star. Once the plan was set out Luke and two other pilots go in to execute the plan to blow up the Death Star. Darth Vadar would get into one of his spaceships and take out two of the pilots. Luke then hears a voice calling to him and that voice is Obi-Wan. Ben Kenobi tells Luke to use the force when he shoots the shot to blow up the Death Star. This is when Luke makes a real connection to the force and becomes apart of it. He then takes the shot and it was perfect shot. The Death Star blew up and Luke is the hero and the Rebellion has brought peace to the galaxy… for now.
After the events of A New Hope, the Empire quickly begins to start a plan for a new Death Star. The Rebels hide out from the Empire on a frigid ice planet Hoth, and so begins The Empire Strikes Back. Han Solo and Leia begin to grow their love for each other but not before Han decides he will leave the Rebellion to go back to his old ways of smuggling due to a big piece over his head. Before he can go Han is informed about his friend Luke going missing on the planet after he was scouting out the area and attacked by a snow monster and saved as a snack for the beast to eat later. Luke’s lightsaber is buried in the snow as Luke is hanging from his feet from the cave. He channels the force and the lightsaber goes to his hand and he cuts himself free then kills the snow monster. Stuck alone in the snow Luke tredges through trying to find his way back to the Rebel base. Han searches for him and eventually finds him, both have to spend the night inside of the warm body of their tauntaun that had died from the cold. Han and Luke are rescued in the morning just in time for the Empire to find the rebellion and send down their best men to try and destroy the last of the rebellion. The Empire sends down fighters and imperial walkers to take down the base. While the rebels fend off the Empire, the other rebels escape the planet on a cruiser. Luke and the other pilots take down the walker and goes to Dagobah to meet Master Yoda while Han, Leia, Chewy, and C3PO leave on the Millenium Falcon. Luke meets Yoda and begins to learn the ways of the force to take on the evil Darth Vader, meanwhile the Falcon is being chased down by the Empire and Boba Fett to pick up the bounty of Han. The gang in the Falcon escaped to Cloud City with the help of Lando who really was a two face liar and setup Han to be frozen in carbonite and Luke set to be next. Luke learns the force and trains for Vader with the help of Master Yoda and when he senses his friends in trouble heads to Cloud City. When Luke arrives at Cloud City he meets Vader and shows off his skills in the force. Vader and Luke battle it out as the gang now without Han Solo prepare to leave Cloud City. Vader eventually cuts off Luke’s right hand and tells him that he is his father which surprises him. Luke in shock falls to what would presumably be his death. As his friends are leaving, Luke channels the force and connects to Leia telling her to come back. They rescue Luke and he receives a new hand. The rebellion is in despair and the movie ends in peril.
The next time we see our heroes is on the planet Tatooine, the same planet that young farm-boy Luke was born and raised. Episode 6 Return of the Jedi starts out at Jabba’s palace when R2-D2 and C3PO roll up to begin the plan to get the frozen Han Solo free. The droids are taken captive after showing a holographic message of Luke Skywalker telling them to free Han or pay a price. Leia arrives the next day disguised as a bounty hunter and frees Han and that only leads to Leia being held as a servant to Jabba and Han put in the dungeon where he is reunited with Chewy. Luke arrives to save the day but is dropped into the dungeon where he kills a giant rancor monster and are then sent to be killed by getting dropped into a pit that eats people. Luke gets his lightsaber from R2 and they start wreaking havoc. Boba Fett is killed by Han and Leia kills Jabba with her chains he locked her up in. The gang escapes all ok and go to Endor to destroy the last Empire base. Luke goes to Dagobah to see Yoda and Yoda tells him he can kill Vader and then peacefully turns into a spirit. Vader speaks to Luke and tells him to join the dark side. Luke goes to the new under construction Death Star with Vader to confront the Emperor. Leia, Han, Chewy, and many ewoks team up to take down the Empire base and the Rebel fleet go to the Death Star to blow it up. Luke and Vader have another clash as the emperor tries to turn Luke to the Dark Side. In the meantime the Rebel fleet in their spaceships go to end the Death Star II lead by Lando in the Millenium Falcon. Luke doesn’t give in to the Dark Side and the Emperor electrocutes him with the force until Vader lifts him up and throws down a bottomless pit. Luke takes the wounded Vader and takes off his helmet so Vader now back to Light Side gazes upon Luke with his own eyes. They leave the Death Star and return to Endor while the Rebel fleet to finish the job. Death Star II is destroyed and the Empire has fallen leaving the galaxy at peace for once and for all.
Many had believed that the saga would have concluded after 6 episodes but were proven wrong after Disney purchased Lucasfilm Ltd. in late October of 2012. Following the purchase by Disney, a new trilogy was announced that would follow up on the events of the original saga 30 years later, when the galaxy had fallen out of peace and the newly formed First Order lead by Kylo Ren and General Hux took form. A new ragtag group of rebels called the Resistance rise up to try and bring the galaxy into peace.
The new trilogy begins with episode VII The Force Awakens which set up the trilogy like the original did. This one follows the story of new heroes Finn, Rey, and Poe Dameron who all become brave leaders of the Resistance. Old favorites Leia, Han Solo, and Chewbaca return as the newcomers attempt to destroy the newly built StarKiller Base built by the First Order with the power to destroy planets. The Resistance takes down the base and Rey takes the Millenium Falcon to search for Luke Sykwalker who exiled himself after Kylo Ren had turned to the dark side of the force. Episode VII ends with Rey finding Luke and then cutting to black.
Following the events of The Force Awakens comes episode VIII The Last Jedi. This film has been referred to as the worst one of the saga so far. The movie follows up on the events of The Force Awakens as the Resistance and First Order continue their disagreements. As a Resistance cruiser carries the last members of the Resistance and all of the leaders. A fleet of First Order Star Destroyers including one with Kylo Ren, General Hux, and Supreme Leader Snoke the leader of the First Order that had trained Kylo Ren in the ways of the dark side of the force. Meanwhile Rey and Chewbaca are face to face with Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and Rey must convince him to train her in the force. Luke is hesitant at first but comes across his old friend R2-D2 who plays an old hologram of Luke’s sister Leia in her young days pleaded for help from Obi-Wan. Luke agrees to then train Rey in the force. Up in space a standstill is on between the Resistance and First Order but Finn and Resistance soldier Rose escape to a nearby planet to attempt to get more fuel, they get the fuel and return to the shuttle. Rey becomes stronger in the force and goes to the Star Destroyer to face off with Ren. Ren still having senses of the light side helps Rey take out the guards in the throne room and eventually kills Snoke, the Resistance escapes to a new discrete base but is soon met by the First Order once again. Luke shows up at the base but as a force projection of himself and Kylo Ren sends all of his power and time to kill Luke but it was all just a distraction as the Resistance escapes and they begin to rebuild and devise a new plan to destroy the First Order and bring the galaxy to peace once and for all.
Now, what we’ve all been waiting for – the day has finally arrived, The Rise of Skywalker is out in theaters and the saga has come to an end. This movie was terrific and had all sorts of twists and turns. All of the plot holes from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were filled. The movie had poor reviews by critics but the film really was terrific. It brought back old characters and introduced fun new ones that really made the conclusion of the series a great success. Overall we give the film an 8.7 out of 10 for everything it did well and the great story it told. We are sad about the conclusion of the of but thrilled with the result of episode IX.