Never seen 'Star Wars'? Or just need a refresh before ‘The Force Awakens’? If you don't have 13 hours to catch up with the back catalogue, here’s everything you need to know about the ‘Star Wars’ universe in under a minute.
‘Star Wars’: A guide in Gifs
Robots! Spaceships! Lightsabers! Incest! A blow-by-blow guide to the 'Star Wars' saga
This is a Gungan called Jar Jar Binks. Imagine a stand-up-comic seahorse doing an impersonation of Roger Rabbit speaking patois, only less fun.
And here’s Anakin Skywalker, an obnoxious little brat who’ll grow up to be the most evil force in the universe.
Anakin becomes a Jedi and shacks up with Natalie Portman, a queen and part-time birthday clown.
Their best friend is Obi-Wan Kenobi, whose history of heroin abuse makes him the perfect intergalactic drugs counsellor.
Boss of all the Jedi is Yoda, who’s small, green and made of pixels. He turns out to be pretty nails at swordfighting.
Unfortunately for everyone, this wrinkly douchebag Palpatine is determined to have the last maniacal laugh.
Palpatine persuades Anakin to attack his BFF and become evil, which doesn’t take much work because he’s already a preening little creep.
Following an accident at work involving a river of hot lava, Anakin is required to wear a shiny black helmet and is renamed Darth Vader.
Poor Natalie dies giving birth to twins – she got knocked up by Anakin before the whole river-of-lava, shiny-black-helmet incident. Palpatine takes over the universe.
Here are the twins about 18 years later. The blonde one is Luke, the small flickering blueish one is Leia (it’s a projection, she doesn’t look like that in real life). And look, here are R2-D2 and C-3PO, who are droids. Artoo is short, helpful and beeps, whereas Threepio is tall, fussy and about as much use as tits on a gundark.
They hook up with Obi-Wan – remember him? – who’s now all old and wise, and also Han Solo, the cheekiest, chestiest space pilot in the galaxy.
Luke joins the Rebel Alliance and is recruited to attack the massive Death Star in a teeny tiny spaceship. He signs up eagerly, because he’s not that bright.
Our heroes blow up the Death Star, rescue the Princess (who’s Luke’s sister but we don’t know that yet) and are richly rewarded for their cunning, bravery, heroism and amazing hair.
The ‘Star Wars’ series was hailed for its groundbreaking portrayal of incest, as seen here. The big hairy Peeping Tom is called Chewbacca – he’s a Wookiee and has natural flares.
Aware that dating his sister is a no-no even in space, Luke goes off to train as a Jedi under the direction of Yoda, who is still small and green but is now made of felt, and is getting silly in his old age.
This is Lando Calrissian, the coolest and only black guy in the universe. He’s untrustworthy because racism, but soon mends his ways because backlash.
Leia is no longer able to resist Han’s chesty charms, and in a noble gesture she decides to put all thoughts of her brother aside. Han is cool with this.
Darth tracks Luke down, lops his hand off, tells him he’s his Dad then asks him to join the family firm of Evil Galactic Rulers Inc. Luke decides to jump into an enormous hole instead, which seems fair enough.
These are Ewoks. Everyone thought they were quite annoying until Jar Jar Binks came along.
There’s a big space battle and this fish yells ‘It’s a trap!’, to which everyone cheers.
Luke takes another crack at his Dad, this time in the presence of our old cackling chum Palpatine, aka the Emperor. This time his patricidal efforts are more successful.
The second Death Star, which was built because the baddies and the filmmakers both happened to run out of ideas at the same time, is blown up by the goodies. Everyone cheers again.
Luke sets his Dad on fire, then he has a good old laugh because the galaxy has been liberated. Or has it?
Now acquaint yourself with the best ‘Star Wars’ characters
'Star Wars' is the closest thing cinema has to a unifying faith: no cultural phenomenon has ever inspired such devotion, such passion, such – for want of a better term – extreme nerdiness. Even those of us who worship at the shrine of Skywalker find our devotion difficult to explain – but we reckon a lot of it has to do with the characters. They can be heroic or evil, alluring or repulsive, robotic or cuddly – but they're always memorable. So here, in an entirely personal list, Time Out’s resident Gonk-geek Tom Huddleston presents the 50 best ‘Star Wars’ characters in order of greatness.
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