Star Wars Timeline: The Ultimate Guide
Edraw Content Team
Star Wars is an American movie franchise about epic space battles against the dark forces. George Lucas created it, and it was released in 1977, quickly becoming a success. Since its inception, the franchise has released more than 20 movies.
There are many reasons for Star Wars to be so popular, that includes:
- A great story: Star Wars pictures a great epic space adventure that is full of puzzles, and the viewer can't wait to see what happens next.
- Characters that we care about: Star Wars characters have always been a fan favourite because we can relate to most of them and see each other in them.
- Good writing: When George Lucas wrote the script, he had in mind other movies coming, so he wrote the plot to span several movies, which created a sort of world on its own. Plus, very credible dialogue.
This article talks about the Star Wars timeline, and so it contains spoilers about every movie that has been released!!! If you have yet to watch any of the movies, tread lightly.
If you have already watched the movies, then watching them in chronological order might be a fun experience for you. However, if you have not, it is best to choose the release order because this order will spoil the Darth Vader reveal.
- Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-2020, TV series + Disney Plus)
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch (2021, Disney Plus)
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
- Obi-Wan Kenobi series (2022, Disney Plus)
- Star Wars Rebels (2014-2018)
- Rogue One series: Andor (2021, Disney Plus)
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
- Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
- Star Wars Resistance (2018, TV series)
- The Mandalorian (2019, Disney Plus)
- The Book of Boba Fett (2021, Disney Plus)
- Ahsoka (TBA, Disney Plus)
- Rangers of the New Republic (TBA, Disney Plus)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (32 BBY)
This movie is the beginning of the prequel trilogy. It also works as a beginning of the Star Wars timeline. As a young apprentice of the Jedi Order, Obi-Wan Kenobi, under the wing of Qui-Gon Jinn starts revealing himself as a great soldier. Luke Skywalker, later becoming the powerful and feared Darth Vader, is a young 9-year-old boy, when the Trade Federation blocks all routes to his planet, Naboo. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn are sent to investigate the problem, but soon find out there is a lot more to the story that is revealed on the surface.
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (22 BBY)
After a whole decade since the first movie, Anakin Skywalker grew up, and he is now 19 years old. The Republic continues to be dragged into chaos and destruction, as a separate movement, joined by hundreds of other planets and alliances, reveals itself as a new power ready to conquer the galaxy that not even the Jedi Order might be able to stop. This movement, under the command of an unveiled character at that point, leads the way to the beginning of the wars and the most probable ending of the Republic in the hands of the new forces. Only a reunited Jedi Order will be able to halt it.
Clone Wars (22 BBy - 19 BBY)
This show was meant to be released as a connection between the previous movie and the sequels to come. As the Clone Wars progress and more planets get destroyed, the Jedi Knights have their hands full in trying to keep the order. Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi fight the Dark Forces, while Anakin and Padawan Ahsoka Tano go on their own mission to encounter Jabba the Hutt. Count Dooku and his apprentice Asajj Ventress are against them, and they will do anything to stop the Jedi Knights. They will plot to win against the Republic and get back control of the galaxy.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (22 BBY)
After the success of the tv show, a Clone wars movie was made to continue the story and explore in further depth many characters. It is set slightly before the series and lays the foundation and backstory for characters to come, for example, Ahsoka Tano. In the first year of the wars, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi control a battalion of Republic Clone soldiers against the separatist group led by Dooku on a planet called Christophsis. Obi-Wan Kenobi, after being made aware by Anakin Skywalker goes to planet Teth to fight assassin Asajj Ventress. He defeats her in a lightsaber duel.
Star Wars Forces of Destiny (22 BBY - 35 ABY)
Although this show is not really set in the Star Wars universe, it is still important to watch it to understand the timeline. Star Wars Forces of Destiny is a web series released through the Youtube Channel of Disney and made by LucasFilm. It follows various female characters through different eras of the Star Wars universe. It follows characters like Sabine Wren, Jyn Erso, Rose Tico, Padme Amidala, Princess Leia Organa, Rey Skywalker, Hera Syndulla and Ahsoka Tano. However, there is the return of many fan-favourite characters. It is a compilation of short stories. Most episodes do not last more than 3 minutes.
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (19 BBY)
On the last instalment of this trilogy, after watching the shows and movies prior, this movie fits in perfectly with the timeline. The Clone Wars had started three years before the setting of this movie. After rescuing General Palpatine from General Grievous, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker try to arrest the General, but he escapes. Anakin Skywalker turns to the Dark Forces and against the Jedi Council after the Council raises concerns about Chancellor Palpatine. This movie also features the birth of Leia and Luke and the start of a brand new era in the Star Wars universe that will lay the ground for the next trilogy.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch (19 BBY)
This is another show spin-off that is yet to be released. Not much is known about it yet, but it will start at the beginning of BBY 19. The Bad Batch squad or Clone Force 99 runs away from the Empire after disobeying orders from Admiral Tarkin and consequently turning Crosshair on his own clones. Someone activates Order 66. They then go on mercenary missions after the Clone Wars. Initially, the Bad Batch squad is composed of Hunter, Tech, Wrecker, Crosshair and Echo, a cyborg clone, before things turn very wrong, very fast after finding out about an enhanced inhibitor chip.
Star Wars: Droids (15 BBY)
Being one of the first tv shows ever made for the franchise, Star Wars: Droids takes place just before another big installment in the series. This show follows R2-D2 and C-3PO as they fight against gangsters, bounty hunters, pirates and other criminals. During the show, they are under the service of several new masters and in plenty of other strange and hard adventures. The series is also set between two major Star Wars movies feature-length, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of The Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and it is also set in a nineteen-year period.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (10 BBY)
It is set when Leia and Luke were only kids and Han was slightly older. This movie follows his story and gives the audience some set-up for upcoming characters. Han Solo joins a group of galactic smugglers and an old Wookie called Chewbacca. When Han was looking for a fast spaceship, he met Lando Calrissian, owner of the infamous Millennium Falcon. The crew sets up a plan to steal coaxium, a valuable material because they are in debt with a gangster named Dryden Vos. This movie sets in motion the story of one of the most important and famous characters in the whole of the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi (9 BBY)
This new show is about the beloved character Obi-Wan Kenobi; although this show is yet to be released, we already know where it will take place. The show will consist of six episodes, nine years before New Hope and around the same time as Solo: A Star Wars Story. What we know so far is Obi-Wan Kenobi will be watching Luke Skywalker on the planet Tatooine, a decade later what happened in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and will take Luke through a very rough adventure. Darth Vader will be represented in the show, as well as Beru Whitesun Lars.
Star Wars: Andor (5 BBY)
Star Wars: Andor is another show that is still to be released. It will explore the life of Cassian Andor. The series will be a spy thriller and it will take place five years before the events of the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It will also show the first years of the formation of the Rebellion. Confirmed characters on the show are, besides the above mentioned Cassian Andor, Mon Mothma, Saw Gerrera and K-2SO. It has also been disclosed that the series will have 12 episodes in the first season, but there are no plans to create any other.
Star Wars Rebels (5 BBY - 0 BBY)
This show, chronologically close to the main battle, introduces characters like Ezra Bridger. The show follows the adventures of a group of rebels living aboard a spaceship named Ghost as they fight off the Galactic Empire. The rebels on the ship are characters like Ezra Bridger, Kanan Jarrus, a survivor of the Order 66; Hera Syndulla, a veteran pilot for the Resistance; Sabine Wren an explosive technician; Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, a legendary warrior; and the droid C1-10P, known as Chopper. The objective of this group is to help raise the Rebel Alliance. The series is set five years before A New Hope.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (0 BBY)
We live the battle itself and a period of civil war against the Galactic Empire in this installment. Galen Erso, his wife and daughter, Jyn live on a farm, but his peaceful life comes to an end when Orson Krennic takes him away. After many years, Galen Erso becomes the lead engineer for the Empire’s Death Star, a weapon that can destroy planets. Jyn, knowing her father is an important person for the Empire, joins resistance fighters to get hold of the plans of the space station. It is not until it is too late that she finds out the entire truth.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (0 BBY/ 0ABY)
What happens in this movie serves as the beginning of an epoch. It also coincides with the first Star Wars movie released. Under the forces of Darth Vader, the imperial forces arrest Princess Leia and make her a hostage. Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, aboard the Millennium Falcon, embark on an adventure to rescue Princess Leia. With the help of C-3PO and R2-D2, they will try to bring justice to the galaxy and freedom to all the citizens. As the rebels succeed in stealing the plans of the Death Star striking from an enclosed base, they also celebrate the very first victory against the evil Empire.
Star Wars Holiday Special (1 ABY)
Although no one really gives much credit to this movie, it fits perfectly on the canon and in the timeline. When Han Solo and Chewbacca go to the Wookiee home planet of Kashyyyk, they are followed by the Galactic Empire because they are famous Rebel agents. An imperial officer aboard the Star Destroyer tells Darth Vader about the rebels. The Galactic Empire then invades Chewbacca’s home. The TV special uses a series of musical acts and celebrity appearances, among other numbers to tell the story. The TV series has songs and comedy shows from celebrities from the ’70s, like Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Jefferson Starship and Harvey Korman.
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (3 ABY)
This movie takes place only three years after the great battle. It is also highly regarded as one of the best movies in the franchise. To locate Princess Leia, Darth Vader commands Probe Droids across the galaxy. After one probe finds the base on the planet of Hoth, Luke Skywalker investigates it. The Force spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi tells Luke to go to the planet of Dagobah and train with Master Yoda. Leia tells Han Solo that she loves him before becoming frozen by carbonite. After Lando frees Chewbacca and Leia, they try to leave the city. Luke fights Darth Vader, but when Vader cuts off his right hand and asks him to join him in running the galaxy, Luke refuses. That’s when Darth Vader reveals himself as Luke’s father.
Caravan Of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (3 ABY)
This instalment explores further the life of Ewoks and introduces characters like Wicket the Ewok, Weechee, Logray, Deej, Widdle, Kaink and Shodu. When a spaceship transporting a family falls on the forest moon of Endor, the oldest son, Mace and his little sister, Cindel get separated from their parents. The kids find the Ewoks, the inhabitants of the planet Endor. They then go on a mission with the Ewoks to find their parents and try to rescue them from an evil monster called Gorax, that has been terrorizing the planet for a long time. After the rescue, the Towanis family stays with the Ewoks until they fix their spaceship.
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (3 ABY)
Again exploring the life of Ewoks, this movie follows the life of Wicket the Ewok. It was written to be a sequel to Ewoks: The Battle for Endor and it is set six months after the events of the first movie. When the spaceship is almost ready and the Towanis family is ready to leave, the village is attacked by a group of Marauders being led by Terak, a powerful witch. Cindel and Wicket run away. When Terak follows them, Noa installs an energy cell. After the Ewoks are beaten, it was by the time Noa managed to power the energy cell. Cindel tries to save Wicket and it is captured by Terak. Noa and Wicket join forces and kill Terak.
Star Wars: Ewok (3.5 ABY)
It follows some of the most important Ewok characters and paves the way to Return of the Jedi. The story follows Wicket and some of his friends from the forest moon of Endor. The main villains on this show are Morag the Tulgah, mainly because she holds a grudge against the shaman of the Ewoks tribe, Master Logray. And also the Duloks, a similar species to Ewoks that happen to live in the same territory. Some episodes of the show have the Empire using Endor as a base of operations, connecting directly with the movie Star Wars VI Return of The Jedi.
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of The Jedi (4 ABY)
This movie is the built-up moment the Star Wars franchise has been trying to create. It takes place four years after the battle of Yavin. Luke Skywalker fights Jabba the Hutt and Darth Vader to free his friends on the Rebel side. Han Solo is unfrozen by Princess Leia, but she gets caught. Luke Skywalker arrives and after much struggle with Jabba the Hutt he frees his comrades. Han Solo teams up with Chewbacca and restates his love for the beautiful Princess Leia. While that happens, C-3PO, R2-D2, Lando Calrissian and the Ewoks help to battle the Dark side once again and win over the emperor.
This show was very successful, and it introduced new characters for the first time and other appearances from well-known characters. It is set after the defeat of the Empire, but before the First Order was created. It follows the adventures of a bounty hunter far away from the command of the New Republic. The Mandalorian stops in Tatooine to repair his ship. However, because he does not have money to pay for the repairs he starts working for a cantina, where he meets soon-to-be bounty hunter Toro Calican, who is following Fennec Shand. That kicks off the adventure of the two.
The Book of Boba Fett (9ABY)
The iconic character Boba Fett will star on his own show. The infamous bounty hunter and his good pal Fennec Shand, a ruthless mercenary and assassin, adventure through the black market of the galaxy. They return to the deserts of Tatooine to ask for their share of the territory that was once commanded by Jabba the Hutt and his comrades. This series comes after Boba Fett is again introduced in The Mandalorian show and characters might crossover in certain episodes. Besides Boba Fett and his buddy Fennec Shand, there are other confirmed characters, like Jango Fett, the bounty hunter’s son.
Star Wars: Ahsoka (9 ABY)
Another character that will return to the universe of Star Wars is Ahsoka Tano. This is also a show that is yet to be released. Ahsoka Tano is tracking Grand Admiral Thrawn, hoping to help locate Ezra Bridger, a Jedi that went missing with Thrawn. Some of the characters that will appear in the show are Hera, Chopper, the droid and Zeb, apart from the missing Ezra Bridger and Ahsoka Tano herself. Ahsoka will be following the Chiss tactician that seems to be a dangerous character. It is rumoured that this will be linked with another new show called Rangers of the New Republic.
Rangers of The New Republic (9 ABY)
That is not much known about this TV show yet. We know that will fall in line with Ahsoka, the Mandalorian and the Book of Boba Fett shows and they will be intertwined. It will show the events after the end of the Galactic War, the Republic, after bringing peace back and how they maintain it. After the war the authority's defense shrunk and divided into different sectors, becoming and following orders independently. Apart from all the crime and abuse by syndicates on poor planets, some Imperial Remnants were still committing violations, and the New Republic was not ready to deal with that.
Star Wars Resistance (33 ABY - 35 ABY)
This tv show was created to give a better understanding of the Sequel trilogy. Kazuda Xiono is a pilot for the New Republic, who is then recruited by the Resistance to investigate the threat of the First Order. Kazuda Xiono races against another young pilot named Torra Doza, but he soon finds out that she is yet to be defeated in competition. Although Kazuda does a great race, he crushes when he pushes his spaceship to the limit. Some of the relevant characters that appear on the show are; Jarek Yeager, owner of a repair shop, Neeku Vozo, a good technician, and Hype Fazon, who is the leader of the Ace Squadron.
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (34 ABY)
This is the first instalment of the Sequel Trilogy and takes place 34 years after the battle of Yavin. The movie follows the adventures of Rey, Poe Dameron, Finn and Han Solo. In their mission, they try to locate Luke Skywalker and their struggle in their fight in the Resistance, which is now commanded by General Leia Organa and other experienced workers of the Rebel Alliance. Their villain is Kylo Ren and the continuation of the Galactic Empire, now called First Order. This movie brings back many of the characters that made the Star Wars universe popular and mixes it with brand new characters for the younger generations.
Star Wars Blips (34 ABY)
This web series follows BB-8, R2-D2 and Chewbacca. This Youtube web series introduces many droids, creatures and porgs, like 2BB-2, BB-4 or BB9E. The show has a comedic style and most of the episodes follow one of the droids interacting with their surroundings, for example, an R2-D2 appearing in front of a dozen stormtroopers and trying to find its way out of that situation. Or a long interaction between the droid BB-8 and the droid R2-D2, where they talk in strange sounds but seem to understand one another. It has a total of eight episodes and it mostly served as a promotion for the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (34 ABY)
This movie follows just after the incidents in the first movie of the Sequel Trilogy. Luke Skywalker’s peaceful life ends abruptly as he finds Rey, a girl that demonstrates a strong power with the Force. Rey intended to learn the ways of the Jedi and so Luke Skywalker decides to help her, changing both their lives forever. While that happens, General Hux and Kylo Ren are in charge of the First Order when they assault the Resistance and General Leia Organa to try to restore their power throughout the galaxy. In the end, Luke Skywalker dies, but once again helped bring peace to the galaxy.
Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (35 ABY)
The last movie in the Star Wars timeline so far. It finishes the main story, and if you watch from the first chronological order, it has been 67 years. Emperor Palpatine did not die when Darth Vader tried to kill him and now the rebels are trying to find him. Poe Dameron and Finn command the Resistance to halt the progress of the First Order that plots to create a new Empire. In the meanwhile, Rey trains to fight against Kylo Ren again. After Rey finds out who she is, she goes back to Tatooine where she buries Luke’s and Leia’s lightsaber.
There are plenty of upcoming shows that will leave the viewer more than attached to the screen—especially the expansion after the battle of Yavin. In addition, shows like The Mandalorian, the Book of Boba Fett or Ahsoka will explore further these characters and world. For next year, The Mandalorian season 3 is expected, however, there is no date announced yet. The Book of Boba Fett is confirmed to come during Christmas of 2021, being first announced after the end of The Mandalorian season 2. Andor is set to be released at some point in 2022, but a date is yet to be announced. Many other shows have been confirmed, but are so early in production that not much information came out yet. For example, Star Wars: Rangers of the New Republic, The Acolyte, and Lando. In the literature side of the Universe, Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil will arrive on November 16. It will be the last book in Thrawn's prequel trilogy. It tells the story of Chiss Ascendancy going to war. Thrawn is then pushed to reveal dark secrets if he wants to save his home planet. An excerpt of the book is already available for the more curious ones that do not want to lose time and want to start unveiling the plot.
Image Source: starwars.fandom.com