Star Wars Characters, Cast, History & Trivia

Star Wars Timeline Infographic

"The Phantom Menace", released in 1999, shows a much younger set of heroes and villains. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is a Jedi apprentice to Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), aka Darth Vader, is a boy of nine. It shows how Qui-Gon Jinn meets the young Anakin for the first time. Jinn becomes convinced that Skywalker is the Jedi leader of prophesy but he has to bargain for Skywalker's freedom while he guards the queen of Naboo, Amidala (Natalie Portman). Viewers were introduced to Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu, Jedi Master and serious butt-kicker.

The second movie, "Star Wars: Episode 2- Attack of the Clones", was released in 2002. The audience flashes forward ten years with the storyline to meet the 20 year old Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). He and Obi-wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) are guarding Amidala (Natalie Portman), now a representative in the Galactic Senate, against an assassination threat. Obi-Wan and Skywalker are separated and Amidala goes with Skywalker. They fall in love as Obi-Wan goes to Kamino and Geonosis, chasing the source of clones. The Jedi and clones fight the droids built by Jedi Count Dooku (Christopher Lee).

"Star Wars: Episode 3- Revenge of the Sith" was released in 2005. Anakin (Hayden Christensen) is corrupted by the plotting Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) when Obi-Wan and Anakin save the chancellor from Count Dooku and his evil droids. Anakin has secretly married Amidala (Natalie Portman) and is expecting their first child. With visions of her death and doubts about joining the Jedi force, Anakin grows more confused. He feels used by the Republic and the Jedis. Torn, he slowly surrenders to the dark side. Yoda (Frank Oz) returns with C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker).

Originally released in 1977, "Star Wars: Episode 4- A New Hope" is the fourth in the story's timeline but the first "Star Wars" movie ever released. It is set 19 years after episode four. Episode five introduces Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the son of Anakin and Amidala. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) trains him so they can rescue Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) from Vader. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) joins the fight. Luke destroys the Death Star and Obi-Wan loses his battle with Darth Vader (David Prowse).

"Star Wars: Episode 5- Empire Strikes Back" is the fifth on the timeline and the second movie, released in 1980. It is set three years after the Death Star is destroyed, showing a struggling Rebel Alliance being hunted by Imperial minions. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) leaves the Rebellion to complete the training he started under Obi-Wan Kenobi (Sir Alec Guinness). Yoda, the beloved but grumpy Jedi Master trains him on Dagobah. Luke is tricked into going to Bespin where Darth Vader (David Prowse) hopes the Palpatine (Clive Revill) will kill him in the Cloud City. This is where Luke discovers Vader is Anakin Skywalker and his father.

"Star Wars: Episode 6- Return of the Jedi" is the last installment on the "Star Wars" saga. It is the sixth on the story's timeline and the third in the original trilogy. This shows the Rebellion losing the fight to the Empire. It looks as if the heroes will finally be conquered but a duel between Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and his father, Darth Vader (David Prowse), changes everything. Finally, Vader makes a fatherly decision by sparing Luke, resulting in his death. It is the end of the Emperor (Ian McDiarmid) and the Empire. Anakin Skywalker ( Sebastian Shaw) is redeemed and accepted by the Force and the heroes are free to live in peace.