Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, it has added a bunch of projects to the Star Wars franchise: a sequel trilogy set 30 years after the fall of the Empire, two “Anthology” movies set before the 1977 original movie, and a streaming series set a couple of years after Return of the Jedi.
With the Mouse House jumping all over the timeline, it can be difficult to keep track of when each movie and TV show takes place, at least for a Star Wars layman. So, here are all the movies and TV shows in the Star Wars saga, in chronological order.
20 Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Jar Jar Binks may have disappointed some fans who’d waited for 16 years after Return of the Jedi to see another entry in the saga, but The Phantom Menace has plenty of merit: Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s back-and-forth is a lot of fun, “Duel of the Fates” is mesmerizing, there are plenty of spectacular set-pieces (from the pod race to the climactic lightsaber duel), and Darth Maul is a terrifying villain.
19 Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (2002)
A popular choice for the worst entry in the saga before the sequel trilogy divided Star Wars fans further, Attack of the Clones reaches its climax with the Republic and the Separatists going to war and Anakin secretly marrying Padmé on Naboo. This set the stage nicely for the Clone Wars-related movie and TV shows that followed.
18 Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003-2005)
The Clone Wars era is where it gets complicated. The 2D animated series, which was developed and drawn by Samurai Jack’s Genndy Tartakovsky, takes place before the 3D animated movie and subsequent TV series, although its final four episodes take place toward the end of the war.
17 Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
The theatrically released Clone Wars movie was created as a pilot episode for the computer-animated series, which turned out to be a lot more enjoyable than the movie.
The plan to hook viewers with the movie backfired, because the movie was panned by critics upon release and Star Wars fans had to be convinced to watch the series in spite of the movie, as opposed to watching it because they loved the movie.
16 Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-2020)
After a 2D animated series that failed to really catch on and a backdoor-pilot movie that fans hated, the Star Wars team finally nailed Clone Wars-era stories with a computer-animated series that deepened the prequel trilogy’s conflicts and the characters’ development.
15 Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith (2005)
The final part of the prequel trilogy is widely regarded to be the best. All the trilogy’s conflicts came to a head as Palpatine swayed Anakin to the dark side, the Great Jedi Purge took place, and Obi-Wan took Luke and Leia into hiding as babies.
14 Star Wars: Droids (1985-1986)
George Lucas decided to tell Star Wars from the perspective of the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO after seeing Akira Kurosawa telling the story of The Hidden Fortress through the eyes of peasants Matashichi and Tahei.
However, it turned out that Artoo and Threepio couldn’t carry a story entirely on their own, as the short-lived animated series Star Wars: Droids can attest to.
13 Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Despite the clunky backstories for Han’s name, jacket, dice, ship, and friendship with Chewie, Solo: A Star Wars Story was a fun trip to everyone’s favorite galaxy far, far away. There’s no replacing Harrison Ford as Han, but Alden Ehrenreich did a fine job with the role.
12 Star Wars: Rebels (2014–2018)
As the Empire tightens its grip on the galaxy and searches for the last surviving Jedi, the Rebel Alliance rises up against them.
11 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Both of Disney’s “Anthology” movies have taken place between the prequel and original trilogies. Rogue One neatly filled in a gap in the timeline, telling the tale of the Rebel Alliance’s theft of the Death Star plans.
Gareth Edwards’ movie has a surprisingly bleak ending for a Star Wars movie, and provided a handful of unforgettable new Vader moments.
10 Star Wars (1977)
After mapping out a six-part story, George Lucas decided to start with the fourth chapter, figuring it to be the one with the most traditional structure. It could stand on its own if there was never a sequel.
Although Fox tried to bury the movie on its release and had no faith in it, Star Wars set the world on fire and became the highest-grossing movie of all time.
9 The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
Jon Favreau has said a bunch of times that he’d love to reboot The Star Wars Holiday Special for Disney+. He even referenced “Life Day” in The Mandalorian’s first episode. At this point, Disney should just let him take a crack at it. What’s the harm?
8 The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Considered by many Star Wars fans to be the best movie in the saga, The Empire Strikes Back is notable for significantly darkening the tone of the saga.
7 Ewoks (1985-1987)
If you thought the Ewoks were sickeningly cute in Return of the Jedi, don’t bother checking out this even schmaltzier animated series about Wicket’s teenage years before the Battle of Endor.
6 Return Of The Jedi (1983)
Thanks to the Ewoks and recycled Death Star plot, Return of the Jedi is easily the worst movie in the original trilogy. But there’s still plenty to enjoy: the Jabba’s palace set piece, the resolution of Han and Leia’s romance, the redemption of Darth Vader.
5 The Mandalorian (2019-Present)
The Mandalorian’s intergalactic adventures with the Child, commonly referred to as “Baby Yoda,” take place five years after Return of the Jedi.
In the background of the show, the effects of Return of the Jedi’s victory – including the rise of the New Republic (with militarized former Rebel pilots) and the fall of the Empire (Stormtrooper helmets paving the streets) – are depicted in more depth than the sequel trilogy.
4 Star Wars: Resistance (2018-Present)
Set at a time when the First Order is a growing threat in the galaxy, Star Wars: Resistance takes us back before the sequel trilogy to show the rise of the Resistance.
3 The Force Awakens (2015)
Every plot point from Return of the Jedi – establishing the New Republic, Leia’s Force sensitivity, the literal return of the Jedi – was ignored by J.J. Abrams in favor of just copying everything from the original trilogy for the purposes of selling nostalgia.
2 The Last Jedi (2017)
After J.J. Abrams was criticized for being too derivative with The Force Awakens, Rian Johnson was criticized for boldly throwing the Star Wars rulebook out the window with The Last Jedi.
Abrams’ film played it too safe, but Johnson’s film went too far the other way with a cynical Luke and Leia flying through space like Peter Pan.
1 The Rise Of Skywalker (2019)
There was no way that J.J. Abrams could’ve stuck the landing with the final chapter of the Skywalker saga in a way that truly satisfied fans.
Anyone who went in with rock-bottom expectations wasn’t too bitterly disappointed, but ignoring The Last Jedi’s plot points and dragging The Force Awakens’ ideas back into the mix made the sequel trilogy even less cohesive than it already was.
Star Wars has done 20 TV shows and movies over its long history. But keeping them in chronological order can be tough, so we do it for you here.