Star Wars fans enjoyed a host of announcements and trailers for the galaxy far, far away on Disney+ Day this year. However, there was a notable lack of movie news for the franchise.
In fact, we learned recently that the upcoming film Rogue Squadron has had its release date pulled entirely, meaning that any future pieces of Star Wars cinema are still a while away at least.
For now, let’s take a look back at the Star Wars movies that we’ve already enjoyed thus far and reflect on how old (and young) they all are.
The Phantom Menace – 23 years
After a 16-year absence from cinemas, Star Wars returned to the big screen and thus began the prequel era. Although fans were torn about this new era of the galaxy, the passage of time has softened hearts and Episode I is now firmly ground into pop-culture and in Star Wars fans minds as a unique and fun experience of late 90’s cinema.
Attack of the Clones – 20 years
This year heralds the two-decade anniversary of Episode II. The event was marked at Star Wars Celebration with a panel discussing the film’s legacy, in which Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen made surprise live appearances as well as a brief video message from The Maker himself, George Lucas, remarking on his experience directing the film.
Revenge of the Sith – 17 years
Sometimes it’s hard to believe the prequel era ended 17 whole years ago. Of course, the Clone Wars saga continued in many forms but will always end with the fall of the Jedi Order in the ruthless events of Order 66. The films events were recently highlighted with the follow up series Obi-Wan Kenobi that take place after the rise of the Empire which occurred during Episode III
A New Hope 45 years
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
With those words, cinema and the world were changed forever and there was no going back. It’s been close to half a century since it all started and what a journey it’s been. In a few short years’ time, fans will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the franchise, meaning that Lucasfilm better be prepared to bring out the big guns to mark the important anniversary.
The Empire Strikes Back – 42 years
Fans would have to wait 3 years to get a sequel to the movie that rewrote all the rules. How could anything top what they had already witnessed? It’s hard to imagine a world before the words “I am your father” were a part of the fabric of modern culture, but it had to start somewhere.
Return of the Jedi – 39 years
The original trilogy came to an end just shy of 40 years ago. These days, fans have lucked out with fresh Star Wars material of some kind on a more or less weekly basis. But the end of the original trilogy would begin the longest stretch between films until the dawn of the prequel trilogy 16 years later.
The Force Awakens – 7 years
The idea of Episode VII has existed longer than most Star Wars fans have been alive. Finally, after decades of waiting, the future of the Star Wars saga was revealed with the return of old favorites and the introduction of new ones. The Force Awakens marked the first real test of Disney’s stewardship over the beloved series.
The Last Jedi – 5 years
Despite half a decade having passed since the release of The Last Jedi, not a day goes by without the film being hotly debated. Despite being the “middle-child” of a trilogy, episode VIII has cemented itself into Star Wars in spectacular fashion.
The Rise of Skywalker – 3 years
The saga is complete… again… Still the most recently released film in the series, The Rise of Skywalker brought the sequel trilogy to a close. The nine-movie arc of the episodic films is hereafter known as the “Skywalker Saga” marking the end of a 42 year long journey through cinema.
And let’s not forget the non-episodic films too!
The Clone Wars – 14 years
During the decade long break between live actions films, fans were treated to the mega-pilot for The Clone Wars animated series with this 2008 films that introduced fans to the conflict that took place in between Episodes II and III that would reshape the galaxy and introduce to the world the fan favorite character, Ahsoka Tano who is receiving her own live action show next year.
Rogue One – 6 years
The first live action Star Wars film to depart from the episodic tradition. Rogue One has been experiencing renewed interest recently with the imminent release of Andor, which serves as a prequel series to this prequel movie that reveals how the Rebel Alliance took possession of the Death Star plans used to destroy the battle station in Episode IV.
Solo – 4 years
This fun, refreshing, low-stakes adventure of the young Han Solo is the second and so far, latest of the non-episodic “Star Wars stories” that offer fans independent one-off adventures that depart from the central events of the Skywalker Saga. Despite a tumultuous and expensive production, Solo is remembered fondly by moviegoers and has even spawned the ever-present hashtag for the faithfuls: #makesolo2happen
How much longer we will have to wait for this list to grow is anyone’s guess. Remember that aside from the many shows that are forthcoming there is also an ever-growing list of films planned too. None of them may have release dates as of yet but a new Star Wars cinema experience can’t be too long away.
What’s your favorite movie on this list? Let us know in the comment section below! For all things Star Wars, check our Dork Side of the Force!