Star Wars: 3 lessons from watching every film in chronological order

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., All Rights Reserved
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd., All Rights Reserved /
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LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 13: Felicity Jones attends the launch event and reception for Lucasfilm’s highly anticipated, first-ever, standalone Star Wars adventure “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” at the Tate Modern on December 13, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Disney) /

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Lesson Three: Rebellions are built on hope

The final lesson, and the most optimistic, comes from a singular line in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Jyn Erso may be a character that only appears in a standalone film and is absent from all core films, but this simple five-word statement encapsulates so much of what makes Star Wars special.

In reality, while Jyn’s delivery of the line is most remembered, it originally comes from Rebellion Captain Cassian Andor earlier in the same film. Before Jyn Erso has fully committed to the Rebellion, it was Cassian’s words that made Jyn reconsider the role she was meant to play.

At the climax of Rogue One, we lose basically every single beloved character in the film. They all give their lives for the Rebellion, and did so to deliver the stolen Death Star plans to Princess Leia Organa. When asked what they’ve received, Leia simply replies “hope.”

As far back as The Phantom Menace, we see the power that hope can provide. During the invasion of Naboo, there seems to be no way the people could successfully defend against a full-fledged droid army. The Trade Federation seems to have already won.

However, the Jedi and the people of Naboo held onto hope. They joined forces with the Gungans, and hoped their way all the way to victory. Unfortunately, their faith in that hope seems to waver. Things continue to worsen through the end of Revenge of the Sith, at which point there seems to be no hope left in the galaxy.

The Galactic Empire is in firm control of the galaxy. The Jedi have been nearly wiped out at the hands of Anakin Skywalker and a clone army that was once under the command of the Jedi themselves. In Solo and Rogue One, we see the spark of hope being reignited.

By the time things finally reach Leia in A New Hope, it is that spark that lights a fire under the Rebellion. In Empire Strikes Back, it is the hope of Darth Vader’s defeat that carries things forward. In Return of the Jedi, hope in the goodness within Vader helps Luke turn him away from Darth Sidious and finally defeat the Empire.

Decades later, we see hope back at play as The Resistance seeks to fight the rise of the First Order. However, there have been many times along the way where some have struggled to see that hope, but the truth is that those times are just as important.

In The Last Jedi, Vice Admiral Haldo quotes Leia saying, “Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it, you’ll never make it through the night.” These words ring out at a moment when Resistance Captain Poe Dameron struggles to see even the slightest bit of hope in the success or survival of The Resistance.

Even when things look most bleak, we must stay hopeful and know that the dawn is coming. As The Last Jedi comes to a close, the hope of The Resistance has been reignited in a way none could have seen coming.

Skywalker’s last stand against Kylo Ren and The First Order allows The Resistance an opportunity to escape and remain hopeful for the future. On top of that, Rey has shown us that Luke Skywalker will not be “The Last Jedi.”

There are plenty of theories about just what kind of fire this spark will ignite to burn The First Order down in The Rise of Skywalker, but the lesson rings true. Rebellions are built on hope, and that hope will carry them to victory. Eventually.

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