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Star Wars: your guide to the saga in order of release

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In the immortal words of Darth Vader, the circle is complete this December when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in Cineworld.

Director J.J. Abrams returns to the franchise to conclude the generation-spanning Skywalker saga, in which we've all been invested since George Lucas inaugurated the Star Wars franchise back in 1977.

As we prepare to close this momentous chapter in film history, we're taking you across the galaxy on a recap of the world-changing series. This is the Star Wars series in chronological order of release.


THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS TRILOGY:


Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
(1977)

The Hollywood blockbuster gained fresh impetus, and pop culture was forever transformed, when George Lucas introduced us to the adventures of Luke, Han and Leia in a galaxy far, far away.

Find out more about Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.



Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The Star Wars saga intensified and darkened with this, considered by many to be the finest movie in the series. Replete with shocking revelations, ambitious action sequences, important new characters and fine performances, there's no denying Empire stands up brilliantly to this day.

Read our breakdown of The Empire Strikes Back.



Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

A powerful story of father and son, or Muppets in Space? A satisfying resolution to the original Star Wars trilogy, or a mess of successful and childish ideas? There's no denying Return of the Jedi continues to divide opinion.

Read our breakdown of Return of the Jedi.



THE STAR WARS PREQUEL TRILOGY:

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

The first Star Wars movie in 16 years acted as the opening chapter to the origin story of Darth Vader.

Find out more about The Phantom Menace.



Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

Anakin Skywalker grows up, falls in love with Padme and struggles with the allure of the dark side – but is this George Lucas movie a noticeable improvement on The Phantom Menace?

Find out more about Attack of the Clones.




Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
(2005)

The prequel trilogy concludes, and George Lucas helms his final Star Wars movie, with this critical chapter exploring the collapse of Anakin Skywalker, and the birth of Darth Vader.

Find out more about Revenge of the Sith.



THE LATEST STAR WARS TRILOGY:


Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

After a 10 year absence, Star Wars roared back onto the big screen under the direction of JJ Abrams, who delivered an entertaining blast of nostalgia while expanding the series mythology.

Find out more about The Force Awakens.



Stay tuned to this post over the coming weeks and months as we revisit all the Star Wars movies, and click here to book your tickets for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The movie is released in Cineworld cinemas on 19th December.