Update from editor: We have been overwhelmed by fans all over the world who were appalled by the mansplaining angle this article took, and we acknowledge that we had underestimated how strong the Force is with the Star Wars female fan base. After reading what everybody had to say, we pledged to do better next time, starting with this open-ended quiz contributed by Singaporean Star Wars fan Amelia Silva. Post your answers in a comment under the correct thread on our Facebook page, and stand to win a pair of limited edition Star Wars EZ-Link cards!

So you think you’ve found someone who gets you, like, really gets you, and you love each other to bits. But if you’re a hardcore Star Wars geek, it’s likely that your love won’t be complete until she understands your obsession.

She may find BB-8 adorable and her favourite character is Poe, but how do you explain to her why it’s so important that Han Solo and Chewbacca got back in that hokey old circular spaceship (it’s called the Millennium Falcon, by the way)?

To prep her before you two go and watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi, you could sit her down to watch seven films (technically there are eight films and one Christmas Special, but only seven are important), which would take about 15 hours and 15 minutes, not including all the Blu-ray specials; or you could simply ask her to read our thoughtful summation on everything she needs to know about Star Wars.
Only then will she truly understand what you mean when you tell her that you love her to the planet Tatooine and back.

Before we begin

Star Wars is the grandaddy of all film franchises. Unlike Fifty Shades, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or even the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Star Wars movies came before all the novels, games, toys, and cartoons.

That’s not the only reason why it holds a special spot in film lore. George Lucas created Star Wars by basing it off his favourite comics/cartoons/stories, like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers – which also happened to be favourites of most pop culture fans during the 1970s. Have you seen the resemblance between Doctor Doom of the Fantastic 4 and Darth Vader, the big bad of the Star Wars series?

Maybe they would have been Darth Doom or Doctor Vader. Credit: Inverse Entertainment

Maybe they would have been Darth Doom or Doctor Vader. Credit: Inverse Entertainment

After George Lucas made the first Star Wars trilogy (retroactively named Episodes 4, 5, and 6) and realised how popular Darth Vader was, he had a slight problem.

Darth Vader was dead. How could he tell more stories?

Why, by making prequels about Darth Vader, of course! So Episode 1, 2, and 3 came out after Episodes 4, 5, and 6, telling the story of a teenage, pre-evil Darth Vader. These are commonly known as the prequel trilogy.

In 2012, Disney bought over the entire Star Wars franchise from George Lucas at $4 billion. It made sense for Disney to continue the saga of the Skywalkers to get more out of this multi-billion dollar franchise. So, two years ago, Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out – which takes place after the above-mentioned six movies, in a post-Darth Vader era. And last year there was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, whose story timeline takes place in between episodes 3 and 4, but that doesn’t really matter.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Credit: IMP Awards

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Credit: IMP Awards

The story, its main characters, and the droids

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, was a 19-year-old young man named Luke Skywalker. To put this in context of the film sequence for you, we have gone back in time to 1977, when the first Star Wars movie Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope was released. (Yes, this is episode 4 even though it’s the first movie. Don’t forget that Lucas later wrote prequels to extend the storyline, so the “Episode IV” was retroactively added to the film title.)

Luke Skywalker’s pastoral upbringing completely belied his destiny as not only a Jedi (a space wizard-knight who fights for what is right and keeps the peace), but the Jedi who was key in thwarting the evil Emperor Palpatine’s plans.

Star Wars: A New Hope. Credit: Milner's Blog

Star Wars: A New Hope. Credit: Milner’s Blog

Palpatine is a Sith Lord (the archenemies of the Jedi, basically evil wizard-knights) and the tyrant of the Galactic Empire, ruling over all with his army of Stormtroopers. But the Rebel Alliance, headed by the irrepressible Princess Leia (the late Carrie Fisher), is determined to overthrow it. Luke joins the Rebel Alliance, and along the way crosses paths with R2D2, a cute blue robot, and C3PO, a neurotic, talking, gold-coloured android. R2D2 plays an encoded message meant for another old Jedi, and that leads them to Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness). When they meet, Obi-Wan gives Luke a lightsaber that once belonged to Luke’s father.

Stormtroopers. Credit: Overmental

Stormtroopers. Credit: Overmental

Obi-Wan and Luke hire smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (a hairy bear-like alien), who own the iconic Millennium Falcon spaceship. They need to send R2D2 back to the Rebel Alliance’s base. Along the way, Obi-Wan teaches Luke the basics of being a Jedi, including how to use lightsabers (laser swords) and the Force (magic).

Unfortunately, they get captured by Darth Vader (guy in black with mask and sounds like he speaks through a fan) on board his giant spherical space fortress, the Death Star. They escape and along the way rescue Princess Leia, who was also Darth Vader’s captive.

They discover why the Death Star is thus named – it had a laser cannon superweapon that can destroy a planet. The Death Star blows up Leia’s home planet. Obi-Wan holds off Darth Vader long enough for everyone else to escape to the Rebel Alliance’s base, but is killed by him in the process.

With R2D2 back among the Rebel Alliance, they learn the weak spot of the Death Star. Luke pilots an X-Wing (good space fighter plane) and with the help of the Force manages to destroy the Death Star. Darth Vader is sent hurtling into space in his TIE Fighter (evil space fighter place).

But this does not spell the end of the Galactic Empire, because three years later, the Rebel Alliance is still battling the Galactic Empire in Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Credit: Mod DB

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Credit: Mod DB

Darth Vader hires some bounty hunters, including Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch), to track down the Rebels, and succeeds in capturing them all. His intention is to bait his real target, Luke Skywalker, who has departed to look for Yoda, the tiny green leader of the Jedi (and their most powerful member), to finish his Jedi training.

Halfway through his training with Yoda on a deserted swamp planet, he learns that his friends are in danger and leaves to rescue his friends. He saves them but is cornered into a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader.

Darth Vader wants Luke to join him, and become a Sith, and overthrow Emperor Palpatine. Luke refuses, Darth Vader cuts off his arm, and – JENG JENG JENG – reveals that he is Luke’s father! Luke manages to escape, and the movie ends on a cliffhanger.

Of note in this episode: Han Solo and Leia fall in love; Luke and Leia share a romantic kiss that is never ever mentioned again because George Lucas didn’t plan for them to be siblings when he wrote this instalment.

In the next film, Star Wars Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), one of the rescue scenes somehow involves Leia dressing up as a skimpily clad slave dancer, an image that imprinted a rather different Carrie Fisher in people’s minds back then.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Credit: IMDB

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Credit: IMDB

Luke returns to Yoda to complete his Jedi training, but can’t because Yoda is dying of old age. Luke and Leia learn that they are siblings. Meanwhile, the Rebel Alliance discovers that Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader are building the Death Star II – a bigger, better, and deadlier Death Star. They join forces with the Ewoks, cute alien teddy bears from another planet, and battle the Galactic Empire.

Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader have a showdown in the throne room of Emperor Palpatine. Luke defeats Darth Vader and cuts off his arm in revenge. Palpatine tries to sway Luke into killing Darth Vader and becoming a Sith but fails, so he uses Force lightning to electrocute Luke to death. But Darth Vader, seeing his son dying, turns against Emperor Palpatine and throws him down a giant rubbish chute, sustaining grievous injuries from Palpatine’s Force lightning in the process.

Darth Vader dies in the arms of his son, having finally turned away from the Dark Side with this act of self-sacrifice, and Luke cremates him. The Death Star II is destroyed. The Rebel Alliance is victorious. The galaxy is saved. For now (i.e. between 1983 to 2015).

In the meantime, between 1999 to 2005, George Lucas decides to sell tell the backstory of Darth Vader in a prequel trilogy.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Credit: Coffee with Kenobi

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Credit: Coffee with Kenobi

In Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), we learn that Darth Vader was born as Anakin Skywalker, a boy conceived without a father on the planet Naboo. Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), who is Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor)’s teacher, recognises that young Anakin has the potential to become a very powerful Jedi, and wants to take him under his wing.

But before that can happen, Qui-Gon Jinn is killed by Darth Maul (Ray Park), a Sith, who were long thought to be extinct. Obi-Wan manages to defeat Darth Maul. It now falls to Obi-Wan to carry out his master’s final wishes, and train Anakin to become a Jedi. (Yes, this explains why Obi-Wan had Luke’s father’s lightsaber in A New Hope, and yes, Anakin a.k.a. Darth Vader would later kill his own teacher.)

The episode also introduces the young politician Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) and bumbling fool of an alien politician, Jar Jar Binks, who subsequently have a greater role in Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002).

It is 10 years later, and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is now a handsome, formidable but angsty Jedi, and Obi-Wan Kenobi is now a Jedi Master. A civil war rages in the Galactic Republic against the Separatists, led by the evil Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). To bolster their forces, the Galactic Republic commissions an army of Clone Troopers, made from the genetic material (ew) of skilled bounter hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison). These Clone Troopers eventually become part of the Stormtrooper army later on.

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Credit: Wookiepedia

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Credit: Wookiepedia

Anakin befriends one of the political leaders of the Galactic Republic, Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) (yes he later becomes Emperor Palpatine), marries his secret girlfriend Padme Amidala (yep, she’s much older than him and Jedi are supposed to be celibate), and witnesses his mother’s death.

Yoda and highly-skilled purple lightsaber-wielding Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) lead the Jedi in a battle to stop Count Dooku (who turns out to be a Sith) and his Separatists. They’re eventually victorious, but Count Dooku cuts off Anakin’s arm in battle (he gets a new robotic one). Jango Fett is killed in battle in front of his son Boba Fett (who eventually grows up to be a bounty hunter too and is hired by Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back).

The civil war continues, allowing Chancellor Palpatine to manipulate his way into effectively becoming the ruler of the Galactic Republic (which is supposed to be a democracy) – with the help of the dim-witted Jar Jar Binks.

Three years later in Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), the civil war has escalated, and the Jedi are spread thin trying to contain the threat. Anakin brutally executes Count Dooku, then gets angry that Yoda and the other Jedi do not want to anoint him as a Jedi Master (and sit on Jedi Council). He goes to confide in his buddy Palpatine – who turns out to be Darth Sidious, the leader of the Sith, the teacher of Darth Maul and Count Dooku, and the mastermind of the events in the previous two movies. Meanwhile, Anakin’s wife, Padme is heavily pregnant with twins (a boy and a girl).

Chancellor Palpatine finally reveals his true objectives and declares himself Emperor Palpatine of the Galactic Republic, now christened the Galactic Empire, and turns Anakin against the Jedi, who massacres them all. Mace Windu attempts to stop Palpatine, but is betrayed and defeated by Anakin.

Yoda tries to stop Palpatine, but the fight is a draw and Yoda flees. Anakin’s wife tries to convince him to turn away from evil, but ends up being severely injured by her husband. Obi-Wan has no choice but to defeat Anakin and cut off his remaining limbs, but doesn’t have the heart to kill his Padawan (disciple), and leaves him to die instead.

Palplatine rescues Anakin and revives him, turning him into Darth Vader. Yoda and Obi-Wan, the only two surviving members of the Jedi, regroup with Anakin’s wife, who dies in childbirth. With her dying breath, she names the boy Luke and the girl, Leia. To hide their existence from Darth Vader, Obi-Wan takes Luke to the desert planet of Tatooine (the space equivalent of Joo Koon) to be raised by farmers and Leia is given to a royal family. Yoda goes into self-exile.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Credit: movieposter.com

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Credit: movieposter.com

Still with us? Now let’s pick up the storyline again from the time Luke Skywalker defeated Palpatine, destroyed the Death Star II and saved the galaxy, and fast forward 30 years to the events in Star Wars Episode VIII – The Force Awakens (2015).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens poster. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

The galaxy is sort of at peace under the New Republic. Unfortunately, the First Order has arisen from the ashes of the Galactic Empire, led by Supreme Leader Snoke (we only see a hologram of him) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), an emo Darth Vader super fan who’s creepily kept the former villain’s helmet. Combating this new threat is the Resistance, led by General Leia. She’s also looking for Luke, who started a new Jedi Order, but went missing after one of his students turned evil and killed everyone else.

Rey (Daisy Ridley), a girl who has great potential to be a Jedi, meets BB-8, a cute robot ball, Finn (John Boyega), a First Order stormtrooper who switched sides, Han Solo, and Chewbacca. As they make their way to the Resistance in the Millennium Falcon, they find Luke’s old lightsaber but Rey gets captured by Kylo Ren.

The new characters finally meet the old characters (including R2D2 and C3PO), and it’s revealed that Han and Leia had a son – who turns out to be Kylo Ren, the former student of Luke who went bad. They learn that the First Order has built Starkiller Base – an even bigger version of the Death Star II, which can fire multiple planet-destroying space lasers simultaneously. It is not explained how the bad guys have the money to repeatedly build planet-sized superweapons while the good guys remain as poor scrappy disorganised rebels.

Starkiller Base destroys the capital of the New Republic (and several other planets), prompting the Resistance to launch an attack on the First Order. Ace pilot Poe Damaron (Oscar Isaac) joins the gang as they take the fight to Starkiller Base, but Leia stays behind to co-ordinate the attack.

Han confronts his son, Kylo Ren, in an attempt to turn him good – and is stabbed to death. 🙁 🙁 🙁

Kylo Ren defeats Finn, but is somehow defeated by Rey. Starkiller Base is destroyed by the Resistance. Everyone escapes, and the good guys mourn Han’s death (while Harrison Ford celebrates off screen). They discover where Luke has been hiding all this time, and the film ends with Rey finally meeting Luke.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Who’s Rey? Who’s Snoke? Why did Kylo Ren turn evil? These are the questions that Star Wars fans have been asking for the last two years, and they’re finally going to be answered in Star Wars: The Last Jedi! In the next epic instalment of the Star Wars franchise, we’ll (hopefully) finally learn the answers to all these mysteries, and also the identity of the last Jedi. It also features the final appearance of Princess/General Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, who passed away late last year.

Rest in peace, Carrie Fisher. May the Force be with you.

RIP, Carrie Fisher. Credit: Zero Hedge

RIP, Carrie Fisher. Credit: Zero Hedge

Want to be one of the first people to catch Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Then book your tickets for the Star Wars Marathon, which will screen Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi back-to-back!

You’ll also get a Lightsaber Umbrella (either Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader, so better come early to get your Darth Vader brolly!), crispy wings, and a free-flow popcorn combo at the Star Wars Marathon! So you don’t have to worry about being hungry at the Star Wars Marathon (just make sure you empty your bladder before going in)!

Star Wars Marathon. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Star Wars Marathon. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Finally, we’re going to learn if Rey is really Luke Skywalker’s daughter, if Snoke is somehow Emperor Palpatine, and what’s up with Kylo Ren’s emoness!

May the Force be with you!

Credits: Zero Hedge, Golden Village Cinemas, Coffee with Kenobi, Wookiepedia, movieposter.com, Milner’s Blog, Mod DB, IMDB, Inverse Entertainment, Star Wars, IMP Awards, Overmental