The Star Wars franchise has been a staple of pop culture for decades, with its epic space battles, memorable characters, and timeless storytelling. But for all its popularity, one question has long puzzled fans: just how many Star Wars movies are there?
From the original trilogy to the prequels, the sequels, and the various spin-offs, the Star Wars universe has expanded exponentially over the years. But which movies can truly be considered part of the official Star Wars canon? And what about the many other spin-offs and adaptations that have been released over the years?
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of Star Wars and unravel the mystery of just how many movies there are. So grab your lightsabers and join us on this epic journey through a galaxy far, far away!
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, there are 12 main Star Wars movies in the saga, which includes the original trilogy (Episodes IV-VI), the prequel trilogy (Episodes I-III), and the sequel trilogy (Episodes VII-IX). However, it’s worth noting that the Star Wars universe is vast and includes numerous spin-offs, TV series, and other media, so the total number of Star Wars movies may vary depending on how one defines a “movie.”
A Galaxy of Star Wars Films
The Original Trilogy
The Original Trilogy, consisting of Episode IV: A New Hope, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, is a beloved series of films that first introduced audiences to the Star Wars universe.
Episode IV: A New Hope
- Release Date: May 25, 1977
- Director: George Lucas
- Screenplay: George Lucas
- Story: George Lucas
- Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, and more.
Plot Summary: A young farm boy named Luke Skywalker joins forces with a rogue smuggler named Han Solo and a Princess named Leia Organa to destroy the Death Star, a powerful space station capable of destroying entire planets, and rescue her kidnapped father, Darth Vader.
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- Release Date: May 21, 1980
- Director: Irvin Kershner
- Screenplay: Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan
- Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Frank Oz, and more.
Plot Summary: After the destruction of the Death Star, the Galactic Empire regroups and launches a massive attack on the Rebel Alliance, forcing them to retreat to the planet Hoth. There, Luke Skywalker discovers the existence of a mysterious energy field known as the Force and begins his training under the wise Jedi Master Yoda. Meanwhile, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa are separated from the Rebel Alliance and forced to flee to the planet Bespin, where they encounter the cunning crime lord Darth Vader.
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
- Release Date: May 25, 1983
- Director: Richard Marquand
- Screenplay: Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas
- Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Ian McDiarmid, and more.
Plot Summary: The final installment of the Original Trilogy sees the Rebel Alliance preparing to launch a final assault on the Galactic Empire’s new weapon, the Death Star, while Luke Skywalker continues his training in the ways of the Force. Meanwhile, Han Solo is frozen in carbonite and taken by Darth Vader to the planet Endor, where the Rebel Alliance launches a daring assault on the Empire’s secret weapon. The fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance as the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire clash in an epic battle for control.
The Prequel Trilogy
The Prequel Trilogy, consisting of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, serves as a bridge between the original Star Wars trilogy and the sequel trilogy. Set 32 years before the events of the first Star Wars film, this trilogy explores the formative years of Anakin Skywalker, who would later become Darth Vader.
The Phantom Menace
- Release Date: May 19, 1999
- Director: George Lucas
- Plot Summary:
- The film begins with the trade dispute between the planet Naboo and the Trade Federation.
- Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi are sent to negotiate, but their diplomatic mission is sabotaged.
- They escape to Naboo with the young boy Anakin Skywalker, his mother, and a Gungan named Jar Jar Binks.
- The group joins the Naboo in their fight against the Trade Federation, leading to the eventual discovery of the Sith Lord Darth Maul.
- Anakin shows exceptional skill in piloting and the Force, leading Qui-Gon to believe he might be the Chosen One, a prophesied Jedi who would bring balance to the Force.
Attack of the Clones
- Release Date: May 16, 2002
- Ten years after the events of The Phantom Menace, Anakin Skywalker is now a teenager.
- The galaxy is in turmoil as a group called the Separatists, led by the mysterious Count Dooku, attempts to secede from the Galactic Republic.
- Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are sent to negotiate a peaceful resolution, but their diplomatic mission is sabotaged by an assassination attempt on Senator Amidala.
- This leads to the start of the Clone Wars, with the Jedi Order fighting alongside the Republic to quell the Separatist uprising.
- Anakin and Padmé Amidala begin a romantic relationship, while Obi-Wan discovers a plot to create a new droid army capable of being controlled by the dark side of the Force.
Revenge of the Sith
- Release Date: April 28, 2005
- The Clone Wars continue to ravage the galaxy, with both sides suffering heavy losses.
- Anakin Skywalker becomes increasingly disillusioned with the Jedi Order, feeling they do not trust him and that they are hiding the truth about the existence of a greater Force.
- Chancellor Palpatine, sensing Anakin’s growing discontent, manipulates him to join the dark side of the Force.
- Anakin betrays the Jedi Order and kills the younglings in their temple, while Mace Windu attempts to arrest Palpatine for his crimes.
- In the ensuing struggle, Anakin is badly wounded and left with severe burns.
- Palpatine declares the Jedi Order to be traitors and begins the Great Jedi Purge, issuing Order 66 to exterminate the Jedi.
- Anakin is discovered by Palpatine, who reveals the truth about the dark side and the power of the Sith.
- Anakin’s transformation into Darth Vader is complete, and he becomes a powerful agent of the
The Sequel Trilogy
The Sequel Trilogy is a collection of three films that serve as the continuation of the original Star Wars saga. These films follow the adventures of the heroes of the original trilogy, as well as new characters, as they navigate the complexities of the galaxy far, far away.
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
- Directed by J.J. Abrams
- Released in 2015
- Starring John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and Harrison Ford
- The first film in the Sequel Trilogy, The Force Awakens follows Rey, a scavenger on the desert planet of Jakku, as she encounters BB-8, a droid carrying a map to the location of the missing Luke Skywalker. As she embarks on a quest to find Luke, she crosses paths with Finn, a former stormtrooper, and Han Solo and Chewbacca, who are drawn back into the fight against the First Order.
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
- Directed by Rian Johnson
- Released in 2017
- Starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, and Daisy Ridley
- The Last Jedi continues the story of Rey, Finn, and the other heroes as they struggle against the oppressive First Order. The film introduces new characters, including Vice Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern, and Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran, as well as delving deeper into the mysteries of the Force.
Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
- Released in 2019
- Starring Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, and Daisy Ridley
- The final film in the Sequel Trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker sees the heroes facing their greatest challenge yet as the First Order, now under the command of the mysterious and powerful Palpatine, seeks to crush all opposition. As the heroes struggle to rally their forces and stop the First Order once and for all, they are aided by new allies and forced to confront the darkest aspects of their own pasts.
The Spinoff Films
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Released in 2018, Solo: A Star Wars Story is a standalone film that focuses on the early years of the iconic smuggler, Han Solo. The film follows Solo as he teams up with his future co-pilot, Chewbacca, and navigates the dangerous criminal underworld of the galaxy.
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Released in 2016, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is another standalone film set in the Star Wars universe. This film takes place between the events of the original Star Wars film and its sequel, and follows a group of rebels on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.
- The Book of Boba Fett
- As of my knowledge cutoff in 2021, The Book of Boba Fett is an upcoming spinoff series set to premiere on Disney+ in December 2022. The series will follow the legendary bounty hunter, Boba Fett, and his journey after his escape from the Sarlacc pit in the original Star Wars film. The series will also introduce new characters and expand the Star Wars universe further.
Expanding the Star Wars Universe
- Introduction to The Mandalorian
- A live-action series set in the Star Wars universe
- Released on Disney+ in 2019
- Features a lone bounty hunter as the main character
- The Mandalorian’s Storyline
- The series follows the adventures of the titular character, played by Pedro Pascal, as he takes on various bounty hunting missions throughout the galaxy.
- The show’s first season consists of eight episodes, each with its own self-contained story, while later seasons introduce recurring plotlines and characters.
- The Mandalorian’s quest leads him to encounter a variety of characters from the Star Wars universe, including familiar faces such as Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) and Cara Dune (Gina Carano), as well as new characters like The Child (a.k.a. Baby Yoda).
- The Mandalorian’s Unique Features
- Unlike the main Star Wars films, The Mandalorian is a TV series that showcases a more grounded, realistic take on the galaxy far, far away.
- The show’s use of practical effects and puppetry for The Child adds a distinct visual charm to the series.
- The Mandalorian’s first season was praised for its directing, writing, and performances, with several episodes being directed by renowned filmmakers such as Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, and Bryce Dallas Howard.
- The series also explores themes of parenthood, loyalty, and redemption, as the titular character navigates his way through the dangerous galaxy while protecting The Child.
- The Mandalorian’s Connection to the Star Wars Universe
- The Mandalorian takes place after the fall of the Empire but before the rise of the First Order, filling a gap in the Star Wars timeline that had not been explored in detail before.
- The show features several connections to the larger Star Wars universe, including appearances by familiar characters, references to previous events, and connections to the greater mythology of the galaxy.
- The Mandalorian has also inspired several spin-offs and tie-in media, including the animated series The Book of Boba Fett and the live-action series Ahsoka, both of which further expand the Star Wars universe.
The Bad Batch
The Bad Batch is an animated series set in the Star Wars universe, created by Dave Filoni and produced by Lucasfilm Animation. It follows the adventures of a group of elite and experimental clones of the Republic Army, known as the Bad Batch, after the events of the Clone Wars.
The series is set in the aftermath of the Clone Wars, where the Bad Batch, a group of clone troopers with unique genetic mutations, are sent on a dangerous mission to retrieve a valuable asset for the Republic. As they embark on this mission, they encounter new challenges and must navigate the complexities of the galaxy’s political landscape.
The Bad Batch consists of five clones, each with their own unique abilities and personalities:
- Hunter: The leader of the Bad Batch, Hunter is a strong and fearless warrior with enhanced senses.
- Wrecker: A brutish and powerful fighter with immense strength and durability.
- Crosshair: A cunning and ruthless strategist with a keen eye for detail.
- Echo: A skilled tracker and infiltrator with enhanced speed and agility.
- Tech: A brilliant engineer and hacker with exceptional technical knowledge.
The Bad Batch explores themes of loyalty, friendship, and identity, as the clones struggle to find their place in a galaxy that is rapidly changing. The series also delves into the darker aspects of the Star Wars universe, including political corruption and the consequences of war.
The Bad Batch has been praised for its strong storytelling, engaging characters, and stunning animation. Fans of the Star Wars franchise have welcomed the series as an exciting addition to the expanding universe, providing a fresh perspective on the clones and their ongoing struggles.
The Cassian Andor Series
A Prequel to Rogue One
The Cassian Andor series is a prequel to the popular 2016 film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It will explore the origins of the character Cassian Andor, a rebel spy played by Diego Luna in the movie. The series will delve into the events that led up to Cassian’s involvement in the mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.
Exploring the Rebellion
The Cassian Andor series will offer a unique perspective on the early days of the rebellion against the Empire. It will provide insight into the inner workings of the rebellion and the people who were instrumental in its formation.
Meet the Characters
The series will introduce new characters, as well as familiar faces from the Star Wars universe. It will also delve deeper into the relationships between Cassian and other key characters, such as Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones in Rogue One.
The Fight for Freedom
The Cassian Andor series will showcase the struggle for freedom and the sacrifices made by those who fought against the Empire. It will offer a fresh perspective on the Star Wars universe and its ongoing battle between good and evil.
The Cassian Andor series will be filmed in a variety of locations, including Pinewood Studios in the UK and other locations around the world. The series will make use of cutting-edge technology to bring the world of Star Wars to life in a way that has never been seen before.
The Cassian Andor series has generated a great deal of excitement among Star Wars fans around the world. With its focus on the early days of the rebellion and its exploration of the inner workings of the rebellion, it promises to be a thrilling addition to the Star Wars universe.
Details about the release date, cast, and crew of the Cassian Andor series are still under wraps, but fans can rest assured that they will be kept up to date on all the latest developments. The Cassian Andor series is sure to be a hit among Star Wars fans and will add a new dimension to the ongoing saga of the galaxy far, far away.
Other Upcoming Projects
- Ahsoka – A live-action series featuring Ahsoka Tano, a former Jedi Padawan.
- Ahsoka Tano is a fan-favorite character from the animated series “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels.”
- She is a Togruta, a species of reptilian humanoids, with distinctive blue and white facial markings.
- Ahsoka was once a loyal apprentice to Anakin Skywalker, but she eventually left the Jedi Order to pursue her own path.
- The live-action series will explore her journey as she navigates the galaxy and faces new challenges.
- The Acolyte – A mystery-thriller series set in the final days of the High Republic era.
- The High Republic is a time of peace and prosperity in the galaxy, several hundred years before the events of the Skywalker Saga.
- The Acolyte is set during the twilight of this era, as a new dark age approaches.
- The series follows a group of mysterious strangers, who are seeking enlightenment and redemption, as they become embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens the galaxy.
- The Acolyte promises to be a thrilling and suspenseful series, exploring the darker side of the Star Wars universe.
1. How many Star Wars movies are there?
There are a total of twelve Star Wars movies, including the original trilogy, prequel trilogy, and sequel trilogy. The original trilogy consists of the first three movies, which were released in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The prequel trilogy consists of the next three movies, which were released in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The sequel trilogy consists of the most recent three movies, which were released in the 2010s.
2. Are there any other Star Wars movies besides the ones in the trilogies?
Yes, there are other Star Wars movies that are not part of the trilogies. These include the spin-off movies, such as “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story”, which focus on different characters and events in the Star Wars universe. There are also various animated series and TV shows that are part of the Star Wars franchise.
3. Is there a specific order to watch the Star Wars movies in?
While there is no strict order to watch the Star Wars movies in, there are recommended viewing orders that can help make sense of the overall story. The chronological order, which is the order in which the events of the movies take place, is one option. Another option is the release order, which is the order in which the movies were released. Ultimately, it is up to the viewer to decide which order works best for them.
4. How many more Star Wars movies are going to be released?
There are currently no plans to release any new Star Wars movies beyond the ones that have already been announced. However, the Star Wars franchise is always evolving, so it is possible that new movies could be added to the lineup in the future. For now, fans can look forward to the upcoming spin-off movies and TV shows that are set in the Star Wars universe.