11 Parsecs Temple Archives -
Original Trilogy (Episodes IV-VI)
The Star Wars franchise began in 1977 with the release of Episode IV: A New Hope, directed and created by George Lucas. It became a cultural phenomenon and introduced audiences to Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo, along with iconic antagonist Darth Vader. The film follows a young farm boy, Luke, who along with Leia, Han and the Jedi mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, battles the evil Galactic Empire, led by Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader.
The second movie in the original trilogy, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, released in 1980, deepened the story and unveiled surprising revelations, most notably that Darth Vader is actually Luke's father, Anakin Skywalker. The Empire Strikes Back sees our heroes facing numerous challenges as they struggle to fight the Empire and its new AT-AT walkers. It ends with a somber tone that promised further dark consequences in the next installment.
The trilogy concluded in 1983 with Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. This film sees the redemption of Anakin Skywalker and the destruction of both the Galactic Empire and the second Death Star. Iconic characters such as Yoda and Boba Fett make appearances as the heroes confront their Destiny.
Prequel Trilogy (Episodes I-III)
In 1999, George Lucas returned with Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the first film of the prequel trilogy. This trilogy aimed to explore the origins of Darth Vader (Anakin) and his journey from a slave boy to one of the most powerful Sith Lords in the galaxy. The Phantom Menace introduces young Anakin, as well as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Padmé Amidala and new mentor Qui-Gon Jinn. The movie also features the Sith Lord, Darth Maul, and a focus on the intergalactic politics involving the mysterious Trade Federation.
Episode II: Attack of the Clones, released in 2002, continues the story with an older Anakin Skywalker undergoing Jedi Training under Obi-Wan Kenobi. Anakin's growing attraction to Padmé Amidala, political intrigue, and the increasing threat of the Separatist movement led by Count Dooku set the stage for the beginning of the infamous Clone Wars. The film also reveals the creation of the Clone Army, which would later become the foundation for the Empire's Stormtroopers.
The prequel trilogy concluded with Episode III: Revenge of the Sith in 2005. It follows Anakin's dramatic fall to the dark side, influenced by Emperor Palpatine, and ultimately becoming the dreaded Darth Vader. Concurrently, The Clone Wars come to an end, and the Galactic Empire is born, solidifying Palpatine's reign of terror. Tragically, Anakin's choices lead to the near extinction of the Jedi Order.
Sequel Trilogy (Episodes VII-IX)
The sequel trilogy began in 2015 with the release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens under the direction of J.J. Abrams. Set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, new characters Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron join the legendary heroes to battle the remnants of the Galactic Empire, now known as the First Order, led by Kylo Ren, the grandson of Darth Vader. The film pays homage to the original trilogy while introducing new plotlines and captivating characters.
In 2017, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi was released, directed by Rian Johnson. The film delves deeper into the struggle between the Resistance and the powerful First Order, along with the conflicts within Rey and Kylo Ren. The Last Jedi features the return of Luke Skywalker and the loss of beloved characters, setting the stage for an epic conclusion to the sequels.
Concluding the sequel trilogy and overall Skywalker saga, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, directed by J.J. Abrams, was released in 2019. The film ties up loose ends from the previous films while revealing significant revelations, such as Rey's ancestry and the return of Emperor Palpatine. The finale stands as a celebration of the entire Star Wars saga and a closure to an epic, decades-long journey.
Mentions on Podcast Episodes:
5. - (32 BBY) Darth Maul Miniseries #5 & Age of Republic - Darth Maul
6. - (32 BBY) The Phantom Menace
13. - (22 BBY) Attack of the Clones
17. - (22 BBY) Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie
33. - (21 BBY) Clone Wars Season 2 Episodes 8 and 9
34. - (21 BBY) Clone Wars Season 2 Episodes 10, 11 and 12