The Star Wars Saga
The immensely popular science fiction setting created by George Lucas. The setting is a cultural touchstone in the United States and Canada, but is also well-known throughout the world. It combines science fiction with elements of fantasy and adventure.
George Lucas is a director and producer best known for Star Wars. He also directed American Graffiti and THX 1138. Lucas only directed the first film of the original trilogy, though he was the producer of all three movies. George Lucas directed all three of the prequel films.
The “Saga” is the main story of the Star Wars universe, told across six movies in two trilogies. The trilogies were released in reverse chronological order. Episodes 4 to 6 comprise the original trilogy, while episodes 1 to 3 were released as a prequel years later. It focuses on Anakin Skywalker’s fall to evil and the rise of his son, Luke Skywalker.
Much of the story revolves around the Force, Jedi, and Sith. The Force is considered a universal energy that permits all living beings in the universe. The Jedi and Sith can manipulate the Force, providing a wide variety of supernatural powers, most notably telekinesis and mind control.
Jedi have a philosophy valuing life, order, and self-control. The awareness and control of emotions is a major facet of Jedi practice. Advanced followers of the Jedi way are warrior-priests called Jedi knights. For much of history, the Jedi were widespread and exerted great influence over the Old Republic. By the time of the original trilogy, the Jedi and their religion were almost wiped out.
Sith follow a religion that exalts the self, strength, and emotional indulgence. Powerful emotions are cultivated and harnessed for their power. Sith are said to embrace the “dark side” of the Force.
The Phantom Menace deals with the return of the Sith. The Trade Federation imposes a trade blockade on the prosperous planet of Naboo. In response, the Republic sends two Jedi Knights. They meet a young Anakin and recognize his potential.
Attack of the Clones is set 10 years after Episode I: Attack of the Clones. The Republic is beginning to fall. Count Dooku, once a powerful Jedi Knight, heads a Separatist movement with a massive droid army. The Jedi Council discovers that an elder Jedi ordered the production of a clone army years in the past. They reluctantly activate the clone army to combat the Separatist’s droid forces.
Revenge of the Sith follows Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side of the Force. Anakin and Padme, Queen of Naboo, have secretly married and hide their relationship, which is forbidden under Jedi rules. The war rages between the clone army of the Republic and droid forces of the Separatists. After receiving a secret order, the clones turn on their Jedi masters nearly wiping out the Jedi in one fell swoop.
A New Hope is focused on Luke Skywalker’s discovery that he has a talent for the Force and that his father was a Jedi Knight. He is told his father was killed by Darth Vader, the Sith Lord that oversees the Galactic Empire on behalf of his master, the Emperor Darth Sidious. Luke joins the Rebels against the Empire and is instrumental in destroying a planet destroying weapon called the Death Star.
The Empire Strikes Back chronicles the aftermath of Episode IV: A New Hope. The Galactic Empire has pushed hard against the Rebel forces. The Rebels are driven into hiding, constantly dealing with the threat of discovery by the Empire. Darth Vader reveals that he is Anakin, Luke’s father. The movie ends after Luke is seriously injured and barely escapes his confrontation with Vader.
Return of the Jedi shows the Empire building a new Death Star with additional security measures. Luke comes into his own as a Jedi Knight. Luke Skywalker confronts Darth Vader and the Emperor while the rebels attack the moon of Endor to disable the shield protecting the new Death Star. As Luke is being viciously tortured by the Emperor, a glimmer of humanity awakens in Vader who rushes to defend his son. Darth Vader kills the Emperor but has been fatally wounded. However, he dies redeemed.