What you need to know before you see Star Wars: The Force Awakens

December 17, 2015

The first three Star Wars movies were released in the order of; A New Hope in 1977, The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, and Return of the Jedi in 1983. This trilogy produced a memorable storyline that many older adults still enjoy watching. Some of the iconic characters featured in these movies include Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. These characters were played by actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, Alec Guinness and David Prowse.

Episodes IV-VI

A New Hope, introduces viewers to the character Luke Skywalker and to the story of how he rose to power as a Jedi knight. The movie tells the story of how Skywalker met Kenobi and how Kenobi recognized that Skywalker’s control over the force could be the difference between the Rebellion succeeding or the Empire forever reigning over the galaxy. Skywalker also crosses the paths of Solo and his trusted co-pilot, Chewbacca (Chewy). Chewy was a Wookiee Warrior that turned to assisting the aviating maverick, Solo. This movie also introduces viewers to Skywalker’s long lost sister, Organa. The two were separated at birth and do not know they are siblings… yet.

The Empire Strikes Back is set three years after A New Hope. This movie focuses on Skywalker’s development of the force and his relationships with Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2. They find themselves in trouble on the ice planet of Hoth and band together in an effort to take down the Galactic Empire. Skywalker then travels to the Dagobah system in search of the legendary Jedi master, Yoda. As soon as Skywalker arrives, Yoda puts him through vigerous training exercises, preparing for the ultimate duel with Darth Vader.

Return of the Jedi features a polished Skywalker as he looks to end the reign of Darth Sidious and Vader. This movie starts off with Skywalker saving Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia from Jabba the Hut. With the help of one of Solo’s old friends, Lando Calrissian, the Rebel leaders discover a second Death Star beyond the planet of Endor. On Endor, the Rebellion overtakes the Imperial Stormtroopers with the help of the crafty Ewoks. While they battle it out on Endor, Skywalker duels with Vader on the Death Star II. This duel ends with Vader turning on his master, Sidious, and revealing he was Skywalker’s father, all just before passing away.

Episodes I-III

Star_Wars for LukeThe newest Star Wars trilogy was released as a prequel to the original trilogy. The movies released in the order of; The Phantom Menace in 1999, Attack of the Clones in 2002, and Revenge of the Sith in 2005. This trilogy shares many of the same concepts as the previous, however, they only share a handful of the same characters. The characters featured in both trilogies are; Obi-Won Kenobi, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Yoda and Emperor Palpatine. In this trilogy, Kenobi was played by a younger actor, Ewan McGregor.

The Phantom Menace introduces viewers to a seasoned Jedi knight, Qui-Gon Jinn, and his young apprentice, Kenobi. They are assigned to resolve the problem of the Trade Federation cutting off all routes to the planet of Naboo. When on Naboo, Darth Sidious attempts to kill them by launching an attack on Naboo. The two Jedis rescue Amidala and flee to the planet of Tatooine. While on Tatooine, they encounter a nine year old Anakin Skywalker, who is currently working as a slave. Jinn is quick to come to the conclusion that Skywalker is the chosen one, the person who is supposed to bring balance back to the force.

Attack of the Clones is set ten years after The Phantom Menace and features an outstandingly skilled Kenobi with his powerful apprentice, Skywalker. Skywalker is well on his way to fulfilling the prophecy of being the chosen one when Kenobi and him become occupied with tracking down the bounty hunter, Boba Fett. While on one of their tracking missions, Kenobi is captured, and when Skywalker and Palpatine attempt to save him, they fall into a trap made by the Separatists. This mission led to the unveiling of the clone troopers.

Revenge of the Sith is set only two years after Attack of the Clones. Kenobi and Skywalker have a seemingly unbreakable bond as they fight side by side against the Separatists. This dynamic duo saves Palpatine and Skywalker beheads Count Dooku, the Separatist leader, on the Emperor’s order. This creates a point of friction between Kenobi and Skywalker and slowly causes their relationship to turn into a heated rivalry. After alliances shift, Skywalker pledges his allegiance to Sidious (Emperor Palpatine) and turns on his fellow Jedi knights. The movie ends in an intense duel between Kenobi and Skywalker on the planet of Mustafar.

Where we left off

With the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie coming out on Dec. 17, there are a few details about the film viewers need to know. First, the movie will be dropping in almost every movie theater across the United States and will include a handful of recognizable characters, as well as plenty of new characters. Returning to the big screen, from the original trilogy are Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca. The newly featured actors and actresses are John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron and Andy Serkis as the Supreme Leader. This mix of old and new characters will certainly create a unique dynamic to this movie.

The plot is focused around a stormtrooper named Finn. Finn’s journey throughout the film as a stormtrooper leads him on a course that causes him to meet the characters Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. After the characters realize they all share a common enemy, they work together to take down the Sith Lord, Kylo Ren. All other details and concepts of this movie remain a mystery until the film’s showing, but the original trilogy, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, contain important scene setting information, regarding The Force Awakens film. The movie will be playing at the Northwoods Cinema 10 movie theater beginning Thursday, Dec. 17.

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