Star Wars: The Force Awakens is finally here, making fanboys drool, faint, wet their pants or possibly do all those things at the same time. A lot of people have been waiting years—nay, decades—for a film after Return of the Jedi, and we’re not talking about the crap-tastic prequels.
Yep, they’re excruciatingly bad.
While everyone else is foaming at the mouth upon the new movie’s release, there’s also a considerable size of the population who don’t know who Chewbacca is. These uncultured people should be ashamed of themselves. They should crawl back under the rock they came from. Just kidding.
There’s a good reason why the Star Wars series is one of the most beloved pop-culture universes of all time and jumping into it will be a rewarding experience. What’s great is that The Force Awakens CAN be a good jumping point for people new to the Star Wars universe, what with introduction of new characters and all. So, for you guys who want to know more about the film’s lore, we’ve got you covered.
Here are a few things you need to know prior to the new film’s release. Take it away, Ewoks!
In a nutshell, Star Wars is an epic space fantasy set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. The franchise chronicles the battle between good and evil. The original trilogy that were released in 1977 (A New Hope), 1980 (The Empire Strikes Back) and 1983 (Return of the Jedi) tells the story of a war between the Galactic Empire who wanted to conquer the universe, and the Rebel Alliance who sought for peace across the realm. It’s simply much more than that and the movies are something to be experienced.
This is the first sequel to the last Star Wars film in canon, which as mentioned earlier, was released in 1983. That’s over three decades. Returning actors are playing their iconic roles. To add to that, the trailer didn’t give a lot of the story away, so we still have no idea what to expect. All we know is that our bodies are ready.
As the great Jedi Obi Wan-Kenobi once said, “The Force is what gives the Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.”
In a nutshell, the Force is an omnipresent, metaphysical power used by two factions. There’s the Jedi (think of them as noble warriors) who uses the Force for good, and the Sith (think of them as unpleasant assholes) who uses the Force to punch people in the gonads, hurt people’s feelings, aside from enacting all sorts of evil-doings such as wanting to conquer the universe.
As a result, the Jedi and Sith have been locked in a timeless battle on who can out-kick each other’s asses.
The Star Wars expanded universe encompassed all of previous officially-licensed stories outside of the original six movies. These stories included novels, cartoons, comics, video games and more.
Notice we said “previous?” That’s because after Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise in 2012, previous material were declared to have no relation or impact to future Star Wars projects. So with that, more than 30 years of canon were rendered useless. In the dissolution of the original expanded universe’s place would be new material that would complement Disney’s plan for the franchise.
That’s a good question. Take it away, Michael Scott:
Though it had its moments (Samuel L. Jackson as a Jedi and Wookies kicking ass are priceless) and told the story of Anakin Skywalker, the prequels The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2001) and Revenge of the Sith (2005) was not well received by critics and fans alike for its writing and use of CGI. Plus, it also introduced the world to the horrible abomination that is Jar Jar Binks:
Watch the prequels for Vader’s story, or watch it in Machete order (watch IV, V, II, III, VI and then I). However, if you stick to the original trilogy and you’ll also be fine!
Star Wars is a franchise that’s rich in memorable characters. Here’s a few of them who took center stage in the original trilogy:
- Luke Skywalker – Luke is the protagonist. Thinking his parents were killed, he is raised by his aunt and uncle in the desert planet Tatooine. He gets involved in the intergalactic war by the legendary Jedi Knight Obi Wan-Kenobi who also teaches him how to become a Jedi.
- Darth Vader – Once heralded as a Jedi who would bring balance to the force, the man known as Anakin Skywalker would eventually give in to the Dark Side. He then became reborn as Darth Vader and would end up working for the Empire.
- Princess Leia Organa – Princess of planet Alderaan, member of the Imperial Senate and a member of the Rebel Alliance: Princess Leia is a bonafide badass.
- Han Solo – Badass smuggler, pilot of the infamous Millennium Falcon and without a doubt one of the most awesome movie characters of all time. His best friend is his co-pilot, a lovable Wookie named Chewbacca. He also later forms a relationship with Princess Leia.
- R2-D2 and C-3PO – The lovable, clumsy odd couple of droids who help and rescue our heroes in the original trilogy.
They’re called lightsabers. Call them anything else and you risk being called a stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerf herder. The lightsaber is a Jedi or Sith’s weapon of choice. They are hand-built for their training regimen, and what they really are are blades of energy that can cut through most substances like a hot knife through butter.
How about you? What were your favorite parts from the earlier Star Wars movies? What are you expecting from The Force Awakens? Don’t be a nerf-herder and let us know in the comments section!