Star Wars Plot Summaries – Episodes I-VI

The original Star Wars trilogy (Episodes IV, V, and VI) told the story of Luke Skywalker, a young farmboy who became a hero in the struggle to overthrow an evil empire and had to confront one of the Empire’s staunchest henchmen, Darth Vader, who held the terrible secret of his father’s fate.

The new Star Wars trilogy will go back in time a full generation to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker, the innocent boy who will one day become the dreaded Darth Vader.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace
In Episode I, Luke Skywalker’s father is just a hopeful 9-year-old boy named Anakin, who knows nothing of his eventual fate as a Dark Lord in years to come. In this earlier time, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a determined young Jedi Knight. Qui-Gon Jinn is Obi-Wan’s venerable Jedi master, trying to teach the Jedi way to his apprentice as their world begins to unravel in political turmoil. Episode I will take audiences through extraordinary realms and adventures, from the desert planet of Tatooine to the galactic capital world of Coruscant (with its Jedi Temple), the green world of Naboo, and beyond. Familiar Star Wars characters Yoda, R2-D2, C-3PO, and Jabba the Hutt are along for the ride. This first chapter in the Star Wars saga follows young Anakin Skywalker’s journey as he pursues his dreams and confronts his fears in the midst of a galaxy in crisis.

Episode II: Attack of the Clones
The Star Wars saga continues in Episode II, as Anakin Skywalker grows into a teenager, learning the ways of the Force under the tutelage of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and falling in love with the beautiful and captivating Queen Amidala of the Naboo – a love that is eventually doomed as young Anakin begins his journey towards The Dark Side.

Ten years after the events of The Phantom Menace, not only has the galaxy undergone significant change, but so have our familiar heroes Obi-Wan Kenobi, Padm�© Amidala and Anakin Skywalker as they are thrown together again for the first time since the Trade Federation invasion of Naboo. Anakin has grown into the accomplished Jedi apprentice of Obi-Wan, who himself has transitioned from student to teacher. The two Jedi are assigned to protect Padm�© whose life is threatened by a faction of political separatists. As relationships form and powerful forces collide, these heroes face choices that will impact not only their own fates, but the destiny of the Republic.

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
The story opens with Anakin and Obi-Wan returning from a space mission to find Coruscant under attack by a Separatist fleet under the command of General Grievous and Count Dooku, and that Chancellor Palpatine has been kidnapped. They fight their way onto the ship, fight across the ship, and then fight Count Dooku, who is holding Palpatine. Obi-Wan is knocked out, and then Palpatine (whom we the audience have finally learned really is Darth Sidious, but Anakin has not) urges Anakin on in his fight against Dooku. Anakin kills Dooku in the duel.

There’s some more running around, and a confrontation with Grievous (who then escapes) before Anakin flies the remnants of the ship into a controlled crash on the planet. Anakin, Obi-Wan and Palpatine all walk away (though Palpatine’s plan was to have Obi-Wan die in front of Anakin).

Palpatine is calling for even more powers, and the Senate is prepared to give them to him. He wants, in particular, immediate and direct control over the Grand Army of the Republic and control of the Jedi. The Jedi, of course, don’t want to let him have either, and are trying to find ways to stymie him. A group of Senators, led by Padme Amidala, is also trying to reign in Palpatine’s powers, and presents him with a petition asking him to return his powers to the Senate. Palpatine names Anakin as his representative on the Jedi Council, which makes everyone more unhappy and increases tensions.

Grievous is discovered to be on an out-of-the-way planet on the Rim, and Obi-Wan is sent, alone, to bring him in. Anakin is annoyed that the “team” is being broken up. Yoda is also sent out on a mission, to the Wookiees’ planet. The war would seem to be winding down, but Palpatine shows no signs of allowing that, and wants to turn the screws tighter — he rejects Jedi calls for peace negotiations.
Anakin has been distracted since he’s had prophetic dreams of Padme dying in childbirth, and his previous dreams have always come true. Palpatine strings Anakin along with stories of great Sith knowledge, and the potential to save her life, and eventually reveals himself as Darth Sidious.

Anakin returns to the Jedi Temple and tells Mace Windu who Palpatine really is. Windu immediately grabs the three strongest Jedi there, and goes off to “arrest” Palpatine. Palpatine tapes the confrontation, making himself seem weak and helpless, then kills the four Jedi and starts his immediate purge of the Jedi, getting Anakin to do much of the work at the Jedi Temple, backed up by clone soldiers, who across the galaxy are having their secret “kill all Jedi” orders revealed. Palpatine stuns the Senate the next morning with news of what he calls a Jedi attempt on his life, and declares the beginning of the first Galactic Empire.

Obi-Wan and Yoda both survive, though no other Jedi are seen to live through the assault. They both make their way back to Coruscant, where Obi-Wan meets with a practically-in-labor Padme. Anakin has, at the same time, been sent off to yet another hole-in-the-wall planet to kill the remaining Separatist leadership. Obi-Wan rushes off to confront him, while Yoda confronts Palpatine simultaneously. Yoda is defeated by Palpatine but manages to escape, with the help of Senator Bail Organa. Padme had chased Anakin to his planet, and they are quickly joined by Obi-Wan.

Anakin is jealous of Obi-Wan, who he thinks might have something going on, on the side, with Padme. Padme is left unconscious, and the two Jedi fight. Obi-Wan eventually wins, with Anakin left legless and armless near a lava flow. But Obi-Wan has to flee, because Palpatine is rapidly approaching in his ship. He runs away with Padme, who gives birth to twins and dies on board Bail Organa’s ship. Organa will take the female twin, Leia, to raise as his own daughter. Obi-Wan takes the boy, Luke, to live with Anakin’s relatives on Tatooine. Yoda insists that they not be trained as Jedi in any way whatsoever.

Episode IV: Star Wars: A New Hope(original 1977)
A Princess – and member of the rebellion – calls upon the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi to deliver secret plans of the Empire’s newly created battle station to her home world of Alderaan. Kenobi (now in his 60’s) enlists the help of Luke Skywalker (Anakin’s son), pilots Han Solo and Chewbacca, and droids – R2-D2 and C-3PO – to deliver the plans to Alderaan but their trip is slightly altered when they find themselves trapped inside the Empire’s Death Star and Kenobi finds himself in the presence of Darth Vader one last time.

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
Vader locates the Rebel base on the ice world of Hoth and prepares a full-scale attack. The rebels however are alerted to their presence and begin the evacuation. While Luke escapes successfully to meet his newly assigned Jedi Master, Yoda, on Dagobah; Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia aren’t so lucky as they’re pursued constantly by Darth Vader and his Imperial army.

Episode VI: Return of the JedI
While our rebel heroes attempt to rescue their friend Han Solo from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt, the tyrannical Empire has begun construction on a second and more powerful Death Star. Luke Skywalker in the meantime, still struggling to come to terms with his past, must resist the will of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine in turning him to the Dark Side.

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