Beginner’s Guide to Star Wars Franchise

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It’s true. All of it.

Finally. The long-awaited sequel to the Star Wars saga has hit the theaters. (This is me trying to compose myself to not go on a full-on fan mode. Notice the absence of exclamation marks?)

And as the Internet has been exploding with Star Wars talk (that will surely continue for months to come), I am embarking on an important mission here to familiarize the non-fans with the world of Star Wars. (Don’t worry, no spoilers here about the Force Awakens.)

I know that there are still people whose knowledge of the Star Wars universe is close to nil, and it’s holding them back from seeing the awesomeness that is the Force Awakens. That should not be.

You know it’s not too late to watch it but let me give you a crash course first of the most basic stuff you have to know:

What is The Force?

It’s some kind of mysterious energy that characters in the Star Wars mythology are supposed to possess — for either good or bad. Harnessing the Force can give them enhanced combat skills, telepathy, levitation or telekenisis, depending on their training. Some decide to use it for good (Jedi) while some wield it for the dark side.

Jedi? Dark side?

Well, a Jedi is a knight of sorts who fights for order and peace. On the other side is the Sith who’s in constant war with the Jedi. Basically, the Sith’s goal in life is to obliterate the Jedi and, well, rule the universe.

I’m aware that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father, but who are they in the first place?

Okay, so you’ve heard it mentioned in countless films/TV series/gags as probably the most recognizable pop culture reference but you’re not sure why you should care. That revelation is the most shocking twist in the history of film at the time that the original trilogy was shown. It took everyone by surprise because Darth Vader is the main bad guy and Luke Skywalker is like the main good guy so, yeah.

Bonus: Darth Vader is a former Jedi by the name of Anakin Skywalker who married princess Padme Amidala against the rules of the Jedi. He’s then lured to the dark side by Darth Sidious and trained as the Sith apprentice. Padme gave birth to twins, Luke and Leia but died shortly after.

Why are they going crazy about Han Solo?

Oh, because he’s cool and charming and… Aside from being the captain of the cool spaceship Millenium Falcon? He’s just an all-around badass and wisecracker who went from a selfish smuggler to a loyal and brave hero. It’s more convincing when you watch the movie, trust me.

Wait, isn’t Star Wars supposed to be an ancient franchise? Why is there suddenly a new movie?

It’s timeless my dear. And that’s why we fans are all rejoicing! The Force Awakens is basically the sequel of the canon trilogy which ended in 1983 so, it’s about time. All I can say is, three decades of waiting is absolutely worth it. Props to you JJ Abrams!

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they come through with that new Han Solo spin-off movie, too.

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