‘Star Wars’ for Dummies

Disney’s new release “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has caused a revival among the dedicated fans of the beloved franchise. People both young and old eagerly anticipated the arrival of the continuation of George Lucas’ sci-fi saga. However, for those of you who have yet to enter this intergalactic world, here are a few key things to know before embarking on this epic adventure.

What is ‘Star Wars’?

From the genius of George Lucas, “Star Wars” was born with its cult-like following. According to the book series on which the movies are based, all events are said to have taken place millions of years ago in a neighboring galaxy far, far away.

The original movie series was released from the late 70s to early 80s (“A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”). The prequel films (“Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” “Episode II: Attack of the Clones” and “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”) were later released from 1999 to 2005.

The Force

“May the Force be with you” is perhaps one of the most iconic quotes from “Star Wars.”
The Force is the spiritual power that can only be channeled by the chosen elite, both good and evil, and is the driving force behind the films. The Force can be inherited, but to fully master the Force, one must endure intense training.


Let’s be honest. If you could choose any weapon to carry around, who wouldn’t want a glowing laser beam? A lightsaber is a blade made of energy that can only be wielded by Force-users. Jedis’ lightsabers are typically blue or green beams, and the Sith’s lightsabers are usually red.

The Millennium Falcon

The Millennium Falcon (pictured) is the most iconic starship in the galaxy, though she may not look it. Piloted by the arrogant Han Solo, this battered starship is a huge player in the success of the Rebel Alliance against the Empire and is the home of Han and his pal Chewie.

Jedi Order v. Sith Order

The Jedi Order is the light side of the Force (the good guys). They are the champions of prosperity within the galaxy. Their mission is to defend the galaxy against the Sith Order while maintaining both inner peace and societal stability.

The dark side of the Force is represented by the Sith Order (the bad guys) who have given into their negative emotions. This results in using the Force for personal gain and ultimately their own destruction.

Both the Jedi Order and the Sith Order represent the chosen elite and are the only people with the ability to harness the power of the Force.

Galactic Empire v. Rebel Alliance

The Galactic Empire is at war with the Rebel Alliance. The Empire is the evil government whose leaders rule over the galaxy and tend to favor the dark side. The Rebels are an uprising in the galaxy determined to overthrow the Empire with the help of Jedi warriors.

‘Star Wars’ Characters to Know

Han Solo and Chewbacca: This dynamic duo co-pilots their trusty Millennium Falcon with pride. Han (right), the cunning and clever con man, and ‘Chewie’, the large hairy Wookiee, work together to aid the Rebels.

R2-D2: R2-D2 is a small, loveable, blue and white droid who has the ability to transfer information across the galaxy.

Darth Vader: One of cinemas greatest villains of all time, Darth Vader begins as a brave Jedi Knight, but he is then seduced to the dark side of the Force and becomes a Sith Lord.

The Emperor/Darth Sidious/Palpatine:  He is a man of many names who has one clear mission: eradicate the Jedi Order. Leading a double life as a Sith Lord and Naboo Senator in the Galactic Republic, the Emperor attempts to destroy the Order from within and ultimately overthrow the Republic.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Obi-Wan Kenobi is the master of all Jedi who not only trains Luke but also was good friends with Luke’s Father, Anakin.

Luke Skywalker: It is a classic rags to riches story for Luke, a poor farm boy from the planet Tatooine who becomes one of the greatest Jedi in the galaxy.

Princess Leia: Leia is a strong Rebel leader who can rock the side buns.

C-3PO: C-3PO is a tall, golden robot who idolizes Luke and tends to complain about everything.

Yoda: Don’t let his small appearance fool you. Yoda may be tiny and green, but he is the wisest and powerful Jedi master.

Disney will release “Star Wars: Episode VIII” Dec. 15, 2017.

Emily Day is a junior journalism major and arts & entertainment editor for Cedars. She is an avid reader, runner and is a general Disney enthusiast.

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