How to become a ‘Star Wars’ fan in 5 minutes or less

Quick facts a non-fan should know before seeing The Force Awakens.

1:00 pm EST, December 15, 2015

It’s tough not being a Star Wars fan during a time when everyone around you is talking about Star Wars. It all sounds like gibberish and you can’t keep up with the conversations. As usual, Hypable has you covered.

It is possible for you to watch a new Star Wars film without having to put in the 12 hours required to watch the previous films. This handy guide will quickly bring you up to speed on what you really need to know to seem like a believable Star Wars fan.

The Basics

star wars jedi order

You’re probably familiar with the phrase, “May the Force be with you,” so let’s start there. The Force is a metaphysical power found in all living things, but can only be used by those who are Force-sensitive, for both good and bad purposes. Like any skill or ability, one must train to use the Force, and hone their abilities. There are multiple organizations dedicated to training those who are Force-sensitive, but the two main ones are the Jedi Order and the Sith.

The Jedi are the good guys. They use the light side of the Force. The Sith are the bad guys. They use the dark side of the Force. When the Sith rose up and defeated the Jedi, the Galactic Republic then became known as the Galactic Empire, aka the New Order, aka the Order, aka the Empire. The Jedi Order, aka the Rebel Alliance, found and trained new Jedi in an effort to defeat the Empire.

Both Orders use lightsabers in combat (although the Jedi are more synonymous with lightsabers). A lightsaber is a laser sword, and can cut through almost anything.

Who in the Galactic is that?

Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader:

star wars anakin skywalker darth vader

Anakin was one of the young Jedi (and an incredibly gifted one at that) trained to serve the Galactic Republic. He was the apprentice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and eventually married Padmé Amidala. After Padmé became pregnant, Anakin began having visions of her dying in childbirth, and in an effort to keep her safe, he was driven to the dark side, ultimately supporting Palpatine aka Darth Sidious. After Padmé and Kenobi refused to join his side, Padmé lost the will to live and ultimately did die in childbirth. Kenobi and Anakin battled it out, resulting in Kenobi cutting off Anakin’s legs and left him for dead.

Except Anakin didn’t die. He became Sith Lord Darth Vader, and, unable to live unaided, had to wear life-supporting armor for the rest of his life. His death finally came during the Battle of Endor, in a fight against Luke Skywalker, his son. Luke got the best of Vader but wouldn’t kill him. Then when Sidious tried to kill Luke, Vader sacrificed himself.

Padmé Amidala

star wars padme amidala

Padmé was a politician of the Galactic Republic, first as Queen, then as Senator when her two terms were over. She fell in love with Anakin Skywalker and the two eventually married in secret. When she became pregnant, Anakin started having visions of her dying in childbirth. His efforts to protect her led him to the dark side, and unable to bring him back to the light, Padmé lost the will to live and died giving birth to twins: Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.

Luke Skywalker

star wars luke skywalker

Luke is the son of Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker, and twin brother of Princess Leia. Luke was trained in the ways of the Force, first by Obi-Wan Kenobi, then later by Yoda. He then spent the next few years helping the Rebel Alliance defeat the Empire. In the end, Luke dueled his father, ultimately defeating him but refused to kill him. After Luke was attacked by Sidious, Vader regained his light status by sacrificing himself and destroying Sidious.

Princess Leia

star wars princess leia

Leia is the daughter of Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker, twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and lover of Han Solo. She has participated in multiple missions of the Rebel Alliance to help bring down the Empire. Even after the New Republic was formed after the downfall of the Empire, Leia continued to help prevent Imperial forces from rising up again.

Han Solo

star wars han solo

Solo is a smuggler who eventually joined the Rebel Alliance. He’s the lover of Princess Leia, and his closest friend is a Wookiee, named Chewbacca. His ship of choice is a Millennium Falcon. Solo later becomes a General after his achievements in various battles against the Empire.

Miscellaneous

star wars stormtrooper droids

Stormtroopers (above left) serve in the Imperial Army of the Galactic Empire, and stem from clone troopers, but are not clones. They’re mostly highly-trained cadets. There can be women stormtroopers, but it’s rare. Subgroups of stormtroopers include: Snowtroopers, sandtroopers, and spacetroopers.

The robotic beings are droids. Droids are not human, thus are artificially made, but most are self-aware and some have been known to feel fear. Well-known droids include R2-D2 (above middle), C-3PO (above right), and BB-8.

Lastly, always remember, Han shot first.

And if you’re feeling ambitious, here’s episodes 1-6 in 99 seconds (in song)!

Now you’re a Star Wars fan! Go forth and venture into the galaxy far, far away!

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