The “Star Wars” universe is confusing to begin with, but it’s made all the more complicated by the fact the movies hit theaters entirely out of order.
From the primary trilogy in the '70s and '80s, to the prequels, to the latest trio, to all the in-between prequels and sequels, and whatever else, here are all the “Star Wars” movies in chronological order.
Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
Little Anakin Skywalker is the best way to remember that this film comes first of all in the “Star Wars” chronology. That and the awesome pod race.
Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
Set 10 years after “Episode I,” “Attack of the Clones” premiered just three years later. It reveals the creation of a clone army based on Jango Fett, father of Boba, which gives you another timeline marker. It shows Anakin (now played by Hayden Christensen), Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor), and Padme (Natalie Portman) aging as well.
Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
“Episode III” follows directly from the events of “Episode II.” Anakin falls to the dark side and becomes Darth Vader (oh, sorry, spoiler), senator Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) is revealed as Darth Sidious (aka, the emperor), and the clone army mostly wipes out the Jedi.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
“Rogue One” is perhaps the easiest to slot in chronologically, since it ends with the first shot of “Episode IV,” despite the fact it premiered nearly four decades later. The characters, lovable as they are, are less important than the plot, which explains how the Death Star came about and how the rebels learned its fatal flaw.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Right on track after “Episode IV,” “Episode V” includes a bunch of famous lines, plot points, and such a sad cliffhanger. We see the return of Lando (now played by Billy Dee Williams). This is arguably the best of all the movies.
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
Another “Star Wars” movie, another Death Star. The gang gets back together, rescues Han from Jabba the Hutt, sends Boba Fett into the Sarlacc Pit, and saves the galaxy again.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)
The most recent trilogy begins with “Episode VII,” where fans first meet Rey (Daisy Ridley), the heroine of episodes VII-IX. She teams up with Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega) to fight off the newest baddie, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Han (played by a well-aged Harrison Ford) and Chewie (looking young and spiffy as ever) come back as well.
Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
“Episode IX” finally provides the big finale. Old friends (Luke) and foes (Emperor Palpatine) show up to test Rey and Kylo Ren. It all works out.