Looking to get into Star Wars lore, but don’t know where to start? It is considered to be among the best sci-fi movies and franchises. This list features all the movies and shows in order with a quick, spoiler-free synopsis of each to acquaint you with the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars Canon
All Movies and Series, in Chronological Order
- The Phantom Menace
- Attack of the Clones
- The Clone Wars Animated Series (Seasons 1-6)
- Revenge of the Sith & Clone Wars (Season 7)
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars: Rebels
- Rogue One
- A New Hope
- The Empire Strikes Back
- Return of the Jedi
- The Mandalorian
- The Force Awakens
- The Last Jedi
- The Rise of Skywalker
The Phantom Menace
In 32 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin), you’ll meet Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn, and his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The two are ambassadors representing the Supreme Chancellor for the Republic, in an attempt to negotiate with the Separatists about their blockade over the planet Naboo.
When they find themselves in a trap, they descend to the planet to warn the people about the droid army they’ve discovered.
The two Jedi manage to escape the blockade, along with a few representatives, to seek help from the Republic on Coruscant.
On the way, they meet a young and force-sensitive boy, Anakin Skywalker, who Qui Gon believes is the chosen one who will bring balance to the force.
The two Jedi bring him to Coruscant, to see if he can be trained as a Jedi.
Attack of the Clones
In 22 BBY, Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padawan Anakin Skywalker are tasked with protecting Senator Padme Amidala, after an assassination attempt is made on her life.
Obi-Wan goes off to investigate her assailant, but stumbles upon a secret army created for the republic by a past Jedi: Sifo-Dyas.
Meanwhile, Anakin takes Senator Amidala back to Naboo to protect her. The two struggle to contain their feelings for each other, until Anakin senses his mother is in danger.
The Clone Wars Animated Series, Seasons 1-6
Old and new characters return in the Clone Wars: Animated Series.
Anakin Skywalker gains a new apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, and experiences a growing relationship with Obi-Wan.
You’ll also see the soldiers in the clone army fight alongside the Jedi against the separatist alliance.
Revenge of the Sith & Clone Wars Season 7
The year is 19 BBY.
Ahsoka Tano is tasked with capturing Maul, to free the planet of Mandalore from his rule.
Meanwhile, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is kidnapped by General Grievous and Count Dooku.
After rescuing Chancellor Palpatine, Obi-Wan is tasked with tracking down the escaped General Grievous.
At the same time, Anakin is told by the Jedi Council to spy on Chancellor Palpatine.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
This story takes place between 13 BBY to 7 BBY. Follow Han Solo as he befriends Chewbacca and a colorful cast of thieves and smugglers.
Star Wars: Rebels
Star Wars: Rebels takes place between 5 BBY and 0 BBY. It follows Ezra Bridger as he joins Spectre Team, a rogue troupe turned rebel alliance squadron.
Ezra learns the ways of the Jedi, and travels the galaxy to fight the tyrannous Galactic Empire.
Rogue One takes place just moments before the events of A New Hope.
Jyn Erso, whose father designed the plans for the Death Star—and created its singular but infamous weakness—helps to create Rogue Squadron, to take the Death Star plans and deliver them to rebel sympathizers from Alderaan.
A New Hope
In 0 BBY, audiences meet Luke Skywalker, a young moisture farmer on the planet Tatooine.
When Luke unknowingly picks up two rebel droids, he discovers they are looking for Old Ben Kenobi to deliver a distress call.
Kenobi teaches Luke a bit about his past, and the ways of the force.
They hire two smugglers, Han Solo and Chewbacca, to board the Death Star and rescue the Princess of Alderaan, Leia Organa, and the Death Star plans.
The Empire Strikes Back
The time is now 3 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin).
Seeking revenge on the Rebel Alliance, Darth Vader attacks their outpost on the planet Hoth. However, they manage to escape safely.
Luke Skywalker travels to the Dagobah system to learn the ways of the force from an ancient Jedi Master.
Meanwhile, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO head to Cloud City for repairs on the Millenium Falcon, courtesy of Han’s old friend, Lando Calrissian.
Return of the Jedi
In the year 4 ABY, Luke Skywalker returns to his home planet of Tatooine to rescue his friends from the clutches of crime boss Jabba The Hut.
Once reunited with his friends, Luke becomes a complete Jedi.
Together, the group works to take down the Empire once and for all.
The Mandalorian takes place in 9 ABY—5 years after the Battle of Endor.
Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin receives a job from members of the Empire.
When Din discovers the job is to kidnap a child (“baby Yoda,” as the internet has famously, but inaccurately, nicknamed him) who is force sensitive, he decides to take the child and reunite him with his people.
This series takes place in 34 ABY. Though short and overlooked by some Star Wars fans, it still adheres to canon and shouldn’t be ignored, if you want a full, rich understanding of the franchise’s lore.
New Republic pilot Kazuda Xiono is recruited by the Resistance, to spy on the growing threat of the First Order.
The Force Awakens
Resistance pilot Poe Dameron is captured by Kylo Ren, a commander of the First Order.
Former First Order trooper FN-2187—also known as Fin—breaks him out, but soon crash lands on the desert planet Jakku.
Meanwhile, a young scavenger girl named Rey finds a droid named BB-8, and takes her to team up with Fin.
The three of them take the Millennium Falcon, to outrun the First Order. When the ship starts to malfunction, they are rescued by Han Solo and Chewbacca.
Following the repairs, Han and Chewie take Rey, Fin, and BB-8 to someone that can tell them where the Resistance is.
The Last Jedi
Immediately after the events of The Force Awakens, Rey goes to Luke Skywalker to convince him to help fight for the Resistance, while communicating with Kylo Ren via the force.
Meanwhile, Poe doesn’t trust the new commanding officer. As a result, he sends Fin and Rose on a secret mission to recover a codebreaker on the planet Canto Bight. Their goal: sneak them on the First Order Dreadnaught, and disable a tracker.
The Rise of Skywalker
In the year 35 ABY, Emperor Palpatine returns and recruits Kylo Ren to build an army.
Rey completes her Jedi training with Princess Leia, then teams up with Fin and Poe to take down Palpatine on the Planet Exegol.
Star Wars canon is often confusing to newcomers—and even a few longtime fans—due to the nonlinear release schedule of the movies and shows in the franchise.
When enjoyed in their chronological order, however, the content weaves a riveting story filled with diverse, three-dimensional characters, and a world you can’t help but get lost in. Plus, those epic lightsaber fights carry more meaning and weight.
While the Star Wars lore is long and can take some time to complete, be sure to add the best sci-fi books to your library to reads while you’re winding down before bedtime.