Posted: Jan 22 2015
by: Neal Haworth

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The Ultimate Guide To Star Wars

Setting

The Star Wars franchise takes place in a fictional galaxy (not the Earth's Milky Way), with the Galactic Republic, Jedi, and the Sith residing here. So, just how many alien species can you expect to find in the Star Wars galaxy? The galaxy is reportedly 120,000 light years across and consists of 400 billion stars and 180 billion habitable planets. Roughly 10% of these habitable planets developed life, of which 1% developed sentient life. In case math isn't your strong suit, that comes out to about 20 million advanced civilizations within the Star Wars galaxy.

At the very center of the Star Wars galaxy is a collection of some 30 billion stars known as the Deep Core, as well as a supermassive black hole. The intense gravitational pull of the Deep Core makes hyperspace travel incredibly difficult. In fact, it was initially thought to be inaccessible until Emporor Palpatine discovered functional hyperlanes within the region.

In the outer areas of the Deep Core is the Core Worlds, a collection of the most advanced and heavily populated planets in the galaxy. It's believed that humans originated from this part of the Star Wars galaxy before spreading out to other regions.

Plot Overview

We could write an entire novel (or several) on the “plot” of Star Wars, but we're just going to cover the basics in this blog post. The original Star Wars trilogy starts with the Galactic Empire making the final touches on its superweapon, the Death Star. With a diameter stretching over 100 kilometers, the Death Star is a massively intimidating structure. Aside from its blood-curdling name, though, what makes the Galactic Empire's superweapon truly frightening is its ability to destroy entire planets in the blind of an eye.

Emperor Palpatine launched the Death Star project as a means of crushing the Rebel Alliance. Darth Vader, the emperor's Sith apprentice, captures the rebel princess Leia, who has in her possession construction blueprints of the Death Star. While aboard the Galactic Empire's ship, Leai's two androids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, escape to the planet Tatooine. Once here, a farm boy named Luke Skywalker purchases the androids, later discovering an SoS message from the kidnapped Princess Leia embedded in R2-D.

Luke proceeds to meet with the Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, whom was named in the SoS message. When Luke asks Obi-Wan Kenobi about his father, the legendary Jedi says his father, Anakin Skywalker, was betrayed and murdered by Darth Vader. The duo and their droids then hire the illegal smuggler Han Solo to fly them to Princess Leia's home world of Alderaan, which they discover was destroyed by the Galactic Empire's Dearth Star.

With Alderaan destroyed, Luke an Han rescue the kidnapped Princess Leia while Obi-Wan is killed during a battle with Darth Vader. Thanks to his sacrifice, however, Luke and the team of rebels successfully destroy the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin. Luke uses the Force to guide his X-Wing through the Death Star before firing a shot that causes it to implode.

But the Galactic Empire didn't give up its highly destructive Death Star project. Instead, they begin construction on a second one. Before this occurs, however, Luke meets with the Jedi Master Yoda to receive training in the swamplands of Dagobah. Luke is lured into a trap, however, during which it's revealed that Darth Vader is actually Luke's father. The Rebels later make an attack on the second Death Star while Luke simultaneously battles Darth Vadar in a lightsaber duel while the emperor watches. When the emperor attempts to kill Luke, Vadar retaliates, mortally wounding the emperor in the process. Vader dies in Luke's arms and the Rebels destroy the second Death Star.

The aforementioned plot synopsis only involves the first three Star Wars films (the original trilogy). The next trilogy to follow is a prequel that tells more of Anakin Skywalker's story.

The Force

The Force is a mysterious, binding power that affects both the Jedi and Sith within the Star Wars universe. It's become an integral element of all Star Wars films, spinoffs, video games, comic books, novels and other media. George Lucas compared the Force to an abstract film produced by Arthur Lipsett, during which Warren S. McCulloch and Roman Kroitor describe a feeling of contemplation of nature and communication with living things.

The Force can enhance a Jedi or Sith's natural, mental and physical abilities, allowing him or her to perform feats that would otherwise not be possible. One such ability is the Force Jump, which as the name suggests is an exceptionally high jump. Other Force powers and abilities described in the Star Wars universe include telekinesis, levitation, hypnosis, enhanced empathy, reflexes, precognition, and speed. Of course, the Jedi have access to a special Force power known as the Jedi mind trick, which allows them to influence and control the minds of other beings (assuming they don't have the Force).

Being that the Force is an energy field created by all living organisms, disturbances can be felt by Jedi and Sith when large-scale suffering or destruction occurs. During the first Star Wars film, for instance, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi experiences a disturbance in the Force when Alderaan is destroyed by the Death Star. When Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn land on Tatooine in The Phantom Menance, they also sense a disturbance in the Force, presumably from the presence of young Anakin Skywalker.

The Lightsaber

No other weapon in the Star Wars universe received as much attention in the iconic lightsaber. Designed with both function and style in mind, this handheld weapon contains a powered core in the hilt which creates a powerful laser via looped energy – at least that's our scientific understanding of the lightsaber. The intense power created by the lightsaber allows it to cut through pretty much anything, although its speed slows down in dense objects. It's important to note that lightsaber injuries rarely bleed – a phenemmonon that's caused by the automatic cauterizing of the wound (the lightsaber’s heat seals the wound).

“The components are fairly simple. Every lightsaber has a standard power source, the same type used in small blasters, even in glowpanels. They last a long time, though, because Jedi should rarely use their lightsaber, “said Skywalker. “One of the other crucial pieces is a focusing crystal. The most powerful and sought-after gems are rare Kaiburr crystals.”

Star Wars Was Created To Make You Think

There's a reason why Star Wars has become one of the most iconic sci-fi movies of all time: because it entices the viewer to think – a rare trait among modern-day films. During an interview with Ty Burr, George Lucas made this revelation, saying that the film was designed to encourage young children to think outside the box.

The original film was designed to allow young people to think outside the box. It was designed for 12-year-olds, adolescents, kids who were starting to think outside the box anyway, as a way of saying, 'Let your fantasies run free, because this is the time to do it.' That was one of the original purposes of Star Wars,” said Lucus during the interview.

List of Star Films Films

  • Star Wars (released May 25, 1977)
  • The Empire Strikes Back (released May 21, 1980)
  • Return of the Jedi (release May 25, 1983)
  • Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (released May 19, 1999)
  • Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones (released May 16, 2002)
  • Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (released May 19, 2005)
  • Star Wars : The Clone Wars (released August 15, 2008)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (released December 18, 2005)
  • Star Wars Episode XIII (2017)
  • Star Wars Episode IX (2019)

Awards

The first six films of the Star Wars franchise received 25 Academy Award nominations, of which they won ten. The first film, Star Wars (later renamed A New Hope) won Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Special Achievement Award (for alien, creature and robot voices). The Empire Strikes Back also won Best Visual Effects and Best Special Achievement Award.

Are you a Star Wars fan? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

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