With the recent release of Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian, many people have wondered about the Star Wars timeline. You might have even asked yourself at some point, “What are all the Star Wars movies in order?”
It’s actually not as straightforward as some people may expect. But, there is an Official Star Wars Timeline. Disney released it so that we, the fans, can know exactly how the chronology plays out a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
The Full List of Movies in the Star Wars Timeline
Before we get started, let’s just take a look at the movies themselves.
You may be wondering what films (not including the TV shows) are in the official Star Wars narrative timeline. In other words, the Star Wars movies in order, from start to finish.
Here is the list, in order, with the shortest possible plot summaries for each film.
(Note: No real spoilers, unless you’ve been hiding from everything Star Wars since the late seventies. 😉
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
In this prequel to the original trilogy, we’re introduced to some of the well-known characters from the later movies as younger versions of themselves.
This includes Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), R2-D2, and a child with whom the Force is quite strong: Anakin Skywalker. Anakin (who builds and introduces us to C-3P0) of course goes on to become the iconic Darth Vader.
Here, we also meet the pivotal character of Queen Padmé Amidala, played by Natalie Portman.
While not exactly beloved as much as Obi-Wan or Anakin, Jar Jar Binks springs into action during the events Episode I as well.
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
The second Star Wars prequel follows the rise of Anakin Skywalker as he continues down the path to the Dark Side.
The galaxy hangs in the balance, as unrest foments a civil war.
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
In the final prequel, before we get into the OG trilogy, Anakin’s fate is sealed. We see him essentially turn into Darth Vader before our very eyes.
While the prequels (all three films) are not widely heralded as cinematic masterpieces, they are technically part of the Star Wars timeline canon.
As such, they’re still sort of required viewing if you want to get the whole picture.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
This is the second of the one-off “Star Wars Story” films produced. However, it actually takes place just before the events of Rogue One, which was the first one-off to hit movie theaters.
Solo follows, you guessed it, Han Solo. We get to see him becoming the man we all know him to be, the character that Harrison Ford made famous decades ago.
Personally, I loved this movie. It wasn’t a box office hit, but it’s one of the Star Wars movies that I rewatch the most, actually. To me, it feels like “Indiana Jones in Space”, and that’s a BIG WIN in my book.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One follows the events that take place immediately before the action of Episode IV. In this film, we’re able to see the group of rebels that goes on a top-secert mission to steal the Death Star plans.
Being the Empire’s ultimate weapon of mass destruction, retrieving these plans will have major consequences for the entire galaxy — especially for the Rebellion.
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode IV is actually the first Star Wars film ever made. George Lucas and company produced this film back in 1977, with the idea of nine feature-length films for the saga.
As we know by now, this “space opera” tells us the story of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Darth Vader, and many others.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The saga continues in Episode V. Here we get to follow the journey of the main characters to Hoth, Dagobah, and more. And one of the most quoted film scenes of all time!
Importantly, this is the film where Luke travels across the galaxy to find Yoda, the Jedi Master, and one of the most beloved movie characters of all time.
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
A new Death Star? Boba Fett? The startling conclusion to the original Star Wars Trilogy?!
Yes. This one has it all…
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
After a long sabbatical, the Star Wars timeline and movie franchise pick up again with all-new characters.
Even the actors are new faces! Unknowns, just like Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford largely were in their own time (with the possible exception of the latter).
Here, the Star Wars movies return to their roots (with JJ Abrams at the helm). Thus begins what is widely considered a much better series of films than the prequels. (Don’t at me!)
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
The penultimate film in The Skywalker Saga comes by way of The Last Jedi. We get to follow the main characters from the previous installment — Rey, Finn, and Poe — along with BB-8 and other cute droid and animal characters.
Will we see Luke again? Is Rey a Jedi? What’s up with Kylo Ren? This film answers questions and then asks a few of its own…
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
Finally, the finishing touch. This movie capped off one of the greatest and most epic tales of all time. Truly, the Star Wars story is one of the best ever told, and Episode IX tried to wrap up every storyline with a bow.
As you might expect, this did not come easily. But, it is incredibly enjoyable (in my opinion) and very much worth seeing to get a sense of finality for the whole Star Wars story timeline.
The Full List of TV Shows in the Star Wars Timeline
Now that we’ve seen what movies make up the Star Wars canon timeline, let’s see which TV shows made the official cut.
One quick note for those of you that might not be familiar with the Star Wars television shows. Until the launch of Disney+, every single Star Wars TV show in the official canon was animated. Now, we also have The Mandalorian, which is live-action, but that’s the exception to the rule up to this point.
Okay, let’s see those TV shows!
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Right now, you’re probably thinking, “Wait, this sounds very familiar.” And guess what? You’re absolutely, 100% right!
The second prequel was entitled Attack of the Clones. The storyline for this animated TV series takes place from that film all the way up to the third prequel, Revenge of the Sith.
Being a series, it would be truly impossible to do the whole thing justice with a short plot outline, but just know that it follows the Jedi Knights (including a young Anakin, while he was still a good guy!).
I’ve seen quite a bit of this series and the whole thing is great. I highly recommend it. Great for the younger Padawans and Jedis among us, too!
It’s in the news again as of late because the final season debuts on Disney+ beginning February 21st, 2020.
Star Wars Rebels
This is the only installment — film or television — in the Star Wars Universe which I have yet to see. Because of this, I’ll take a page out of the Wookieepedia and quote a sentence from the short summary listed there:
The series follows a motley group of rebels who live aboard the starship Ghost as they fight against the evil Galactic Empire.
Chronologically, the Star Wars Rebels takes place between the narrative action of two Star Wars films, Episode III and Episode IV.
The Mandalorian is currently the only live-action TV show (so far) in the Star Wars Universe.
The action takes place after Return of the Jedi, so we know that the character that appears to be Baby Yoda most likely is not, unless some sort of Jedi reincarnation has taken place. I, for one, am not counting that out!
Better known by some fans as The Baby Yoda Show, this story follows a character that looks a lot like Boba Fett and another character that looks a lot like Yoda, only in baby form.
Though the episodes came out weekly, instead of all at once in binge-mode, they’re all out now for the first season.
Season 1 is streaming all episodes on Disney+.
Star Wars Resistance
While I haven’t seen much of this series, what I have seen is phenomenal. The animation is very interesting and beautifully made, and I can say I highly recommend giving it a shot.
In terms of the Star Wars Timeline, Star Wars Resistance happens between the Star Wars films of Episode VI and VII.
In other words, it takes place between the events of the last film of the original trilogy and the first film of the most recent trilogy.
Note: If you’re wondering, yes, the above lists are the Star Wars movies and TV shows in order according to Disney, chronologically with the fictional narrative, and not the order in which they were released.
The Official Star Wars Order According to Disney
Okay, that’s a lot to take in. I know. The Star Wars canon timeline can be a bit overwhelming (in the best way).
So, let’s now take a look at a shortened version of the Star Wars movie timeline, as provided by Disney. Their Disney+ Twitter account posted a tweet with all the films and TV shows in order, and it’s honestly pretty fantastic.
Note: At the time of this writing, two (2) of these Star Wars movies are not on the Disney Plus platform yet (Solo and Rise of Skywalker), though they are coming soon!
According to The Walt Disney Company itself, which of course owns the Star Wars franchise, there is an official chronological order. This includes everything, even the one-offs like Solo and Rogue One, as well as every single television show in the Star Wars canon.
Considering the sheer number of movies and TV episodes out there, it makes sense that people would be at least a little confused. I know I was at first!
It’s a lot of story material, and it spans such a long time. So many characters, so many plots, so much pew-pew-pew!
Even so, an official list does exist, and it just came out from Disney. Here is the Star Wars timeline, from the very beginning to the very end.
Note: Remember, this includes movies and TV shows, so there may be some you haven’t seen or even heard of. But it’s all part of the canon of the official Star Wars Universe.
The Star Wars Movies and TV Shows in Order from Start to Finish
Wow. This has been quite a journey! Before we wrap up, though, I want to take a moment to list all the films and shows one more time.
Below, you can see the full list as well as which ones are currently on Disney+, as of this writing.
- The Phantom Menace (Disney+)
- Attack of the Clones (Disney+)
- The Clone Wars (Disney+)
- Revenge of the Sith (Disney+)
- Solo (Available for Purchase Only)
- Star Wars Rebels (Disney+)
- Rogue One (Disney+)
- A New Hope (Disney+)
- The Empire Strikes Back (Disney+)
- Return of the Jedi (Disney+)
- The Mandalorian (Disney+)
- Star Wars Resistance (Disney+)
- The Force Awakens (Disney+)
- The Last Jedi (Disney+)
- The Rise of Skywalker (Available for Purchase Only)
What’s Next for Star Wars?
After all 15 films and TV shows that we already have, what’s next for the Star Wars Galaxy?
Well, the internet is nothing if not a rumor mill, and that goes especially true for Star Wars fans.
If you’re wondering what all that means and where this rumor comes from, take a look at this short video from Making Star Wars.
Pretty cool, right? I’m super excited to see where the Star Wars timeline goes next.
Star Wars Movie and TV Show Wrap-Up
WOW. We’ve covered a whole lot of ground. And this doesn’t even include all the books and video games and comics and everything else that exists in the Star Wars entertainment world!
I’ll leave all that for another day.
What do you think of the Star Wars Timeline? What do you want Disney to do next with the Star Wars franchise? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!
May the Force be with you!
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Neal Tucker is one of the world’s most engaging Disney influencers, with thousands of views and responses across his blog, podcast, and social media profiles every month.
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