Star Wars Episodes IV-VI: Plot Overview | SparkNotes (2023)

Episode IV: A New Hope

Far away in a galaxy far, far away, Princess Leia, a young member of the Imperial Senate, has his spaceship intercepted by a huge Imperial Star Destroyer during a secret mission. An Imperial boarding party storms the captured ship, and after a bitter gun battle, the crew of Leia's ship is crushed. The dark, forbidding figure of Darth Vader appears, brutally interrogates the crew and orders his stormtroopers to search the ship for those secret documents he believes it carries: the technical readouts for the Empire's most powerful weapon - a planet-sized one Battle station called the Death Star. In the confusion, Princess Leia slips away, hiding the secret documents and a recorded cry for help in the mind of R2-D2, a maintenance droid (robot). Leia is captured, but R2 escapes in an escape pod along with his best friend, the protocol droid C-3PO. After crash-landing on the planet below, a barren desert world called Tatooine, the droids set out in search of civilization, but soon find themselves at odds over the path. R2 insists he has a mission to complete, but C-3PO refuses to take part in such an adventure.

The two droids go their separate ways, but are soon reunited when they are both captured by Jawas, childish scavengers who deal in droids and technological junk. The Jawas sell the droids to Owen Lars, a moisture farmer on a remote homestead. Owen's nephew, young Luke Skywalker, is cleaning the droids and comes across part of the message Princess Leia had hidden in R2. The holographic message is addressed to "Obi-Wan Kenobi" and Luke, fascinated by the beautiful princess, wonders if she means Ben Kenobi, a mysterious hermit who lives in the wilderness of the desert. However, R2 refuses to reveal more of the message. When Luke asks his uncle about Obi-Wan's identity, Owen is reluctant to even discuss the subject, but he does drop a tantalizing clue: Obi-Wan was a friend of Luke's father, whom Luke never knew. Luke mentions his desire to leave home to attend Imperial Star Pilot Academy, but Uncle Owen is discouraging, much to Luke's frustration. When Luke's aunt, Berure, reminds Owen that Luke is too much like his father to stay on the farm, Owen replies that that's exactly what he fears.

During the night, R2-D2 sneaks away to find Obi-Wan and complete his mission. Luke goes in search of the Truant droid the next morning and takes C-3PO with him. They soon find R2 but are ambushed by Sand People, barbaric tribal creatures who attack anyone who trespasses on their realm. Luke is knocked unconscious but saved by the timely appearance of old Ben Kenobi, who frightens the Sand People and takes the group back to his humble shelter. There, Ben explains that he was called Obi-Wan back when he was a Jedi Knight of an ancient order of warriors fighting for peace and justice during the Old Republic era, before the evil Galactic Empire emerged. He also informs Luke that Luke's father was also a Jedi, one of Ben's closest friends, and that his father was killed by Darth Vader, a former student of Ben who turned to the dark side of the Force. The Force, Ben explains, is the source of a Jedi's power. It is an energy field created and maintained by life itself, and it flows through and binds the universe together. Through training, a Jedi is able to tap into the Force and gain great power and wisdom, but as the example of Vader shows, there is a seductive, evil path to power.

Ben gives Luke his father's lightsaber, a Jedi's traditional weapon. After reading the entire message from Leia, Ben says that he intends to join the Rebel Alliance challenging the Empire and bring them the plans hidden in R2's memory. He urges Luke to join him and learn the ways of the Force, but Luke, echoing his uncle, is reluctant to get involved. Meanwhile, Princess Leia was captured on the Death Star. There, Leiais is repeatedly interrogated by Darth Vader about the whereabouts of the hidden Rebel base, but she steadfastly refuses to crack. When Vader is brazenly challenged by the Death Star's commander, he demonstrates his mastery of the Force by choking the officer into submission by merely raising his finger until he is restrained by Grand Moff Tarkin, the Imperial Governor. Back on Tattooine, Luke and Ben discover that the Jawas have been slaughtered by Imperial troops pursuing the droids. Fearing for his aunt and uncle, Luke runs home only to find them murdered and the farm on fire. With nothing left to keep him on Tattooine, Luke decides to join Benand in becoming a Jedi.

With the droids in tow, Ben and Luke travel to the Mos Eisley spaceport in search of a ship to take them to Alderaan, the princess's home planet. The Mos Eisley cantina, where the best pilots are found, is a rough place, and Ben is forced to act with deadly speed to defend Luke from a few thugs. Despite this, the two manage to hire Han Solo, a brazen smuggler, and his co-pilot, the WookieChewbacca, to take them to Alderaan without drawing the attention of the Empire. After the deal is finalized, Han Solo is cornered by Greedo, a Jabba the Hutt lackey and a mobster who is angry at Solo for dumping one of his shipments. Solo picks his way out of the confrontation, but is forced to talk his way past Jabba as he returns to the hangar where his ship, the ugly-but-fast, is parkedMillennium Falcon,is docked. Solo and Chewbacca are surprised when Imperial troops show up and fire on the ship to retake the droidsFalconbarely makes it from Tatooine to hyperspace en route to Alderaan.

Meanwhile, on the Death Star, Tarkin has decided to break Leia by threatening destruction on her home planet, Alderaan. Faced with this horrific dilemma, Leia reveals the location of the hidden base, only to have Tarkin proceed with the attack on Alderaan just to demonstrate the power of the Death Star. On board theMillennium Falcon, Ben is shaken and feels the death of Alderaan as a massive tremor of power. Luke trains with his lightsaber, even as Han scoffs at Ben's faith in the Force. Ben responds by having Luke fight blindly against a floating target, and Luke is able to defend himself by sensing the remote with his feelings alone, taking his first steps Ben says into "a bigger world." The ship exits hyperspace where Alderaan should be, only to find the planet missing and an asteroid field in its place. Ben realizes the terrifying truth when they see the Death Star nearby, and theMillennium Falconis quickly grasped. The group manages to hide from the guards in Han's smuggling compartments, but Vader senses his old master Obi-Wan's presence.

The ship can't escape the Death Star while the station's tractor beam is operational, so Ben sets off alone to disable it. In his absence, the others learn that PrincessLeia is aboard the station, and Luke convinces her to attempt a rescue. Han and Luke disguise themselves as stormtroopers and free Leia from her cell while the droids are hooked up to the station's computers. Unfortunately, their activities are soon discovered, and the rescue takes a detour through a giant, monster-infested trash compactor and several corridors and pitfalls swarming with Imperial troops. Leia is unfazed by her rescuers' planning and soon begins giving the orders, much to Han's chagrin. As the group fights their way back to theFalcon,Ben secretly disables the tractor beam. On his way to the ship, Ben is confronted by Darth Vader, who can't wait to face his old master. Vader and Benduel wield lightsabers, and the fight draws the guards' attention. Realizing that he is trapped and doesn't want to endanger his friends, Ben allows Vader to knock him out, only to disappear before Vader's punch hits, merging his consciousness with the Force. Luke is horrified and lashes out, but the others force him to the groundFalconand make your escape.

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The fleeing ship is pursued by Imperial fighters but eventually escapes, despite Leia's belief that they are being pursued, which they are indeed. The group travels to the Rebel base, with the Death Star directly behind. A quick scan of the blueprints provided by R2 offers a slim chance: the Death Star has an Achilles heel. A direct hit on a small, easily missed thermal haven will destroy the station if only a fighter can get close enough to engage it. Luke signs up for the desperate attack, but is disappointed that Han, after receiving his payment, plans to leave immediately. With the Rebel Commando anxiously watching, the fleet of small, single-pilot fighters race toward the massive, impregnable Death Star. As the station slowly moves into position to wipe out the rebels, the pilots maneuver down a narrow ditch along the station's equator, where the thermal harbor lies hidden. Darth Vader himself leads the counterattack, destroying many of the rebels, including Luke's childhood friend Biggs, in ship-to-ship combat. Eventually it's up to Luke himself to run towards the target and he is saved from Vader at the last minute by Han Solo, who returns just in time and spins Vader off the station. Luke pays attention to Ben's disembodied voice, shuts down his computer, and uses the Force to guide his aim. Against all odds, Luke manages to destroy the Death Star, inflict a major defeat on the Empire, and set out on his journey to becoming a Jedi Knight.

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

After the Death Star's destruction, the Empire quickly regroups and begins searching for the new location of the Rebel base. Imperial probe droids swarm across various star systems, and one lands on the surface of the frigid planet Hoth. On the surface of Hoth, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker patrol near the newly hidden Rebel base. Luke sees the Imperial probe hitting the surface and sets out to search on his own. Before he can identify the probe, Luke is attacked and knocked unconscious by a giant yeti-like creature. Meanwhile, after returning to base, Han orders Chewbaccato to get the sick man readyMillennium Falconto leave. Han explains to the rebel general that he feels compelled to leave because of the bounty hunters that Jabba the Hutt sent after him. Han tries to get Leiato to admit that she has more personal reasons for him staying, but she refuses and the two argue.

Learning that Luke still hasn't gotten in touch, Han sets off into deadly Hoth night to find him. In the lair of the creature that attacked him, Luke was bound by ice but is able to fight his way back to the surface using the Force and his lightsaber. While wandering blindly in a snowstorm, Luke has a vision of Ben Kenobi telling Luke he must seek out Yoda, the Jedi Master, to train him in the ways of the Force. When Luke collapses, Han appears from the night to save him. Luke recovers after a brief stay in the infirmary, and Han and Leia discover that the Imperial probe has located the Rebel base. Aboard his command ship, Darth Vader sees the probe's transmission and, recognizing the Rebel base immediately, orders his fleet to the Hoth system. However, Admiral Ozzel brings the fleet out of hyperspace in such a way that the rebels are alerted and have time to prepare an evacuation. Enraged, Vader uses the Force to strangle Ozzel and promotes Piettin to his place.

Luke leads the counterattack, attempting to repel the approaching Imperial army of massive armored walking transports while the rebels hastily flee the base. Leia and C-3PO are forced to go with HanFalcon,while Luke and R2 make their way to the Dagobah system where Yoda can be found. Unfortunately, the hyperdrive is on theMillennium Falconis broken, and Han and Leia are being closely pursued by the Imperial fleet. In a desperate maneuver, Han flies into an asteroid field to escape pursuit, narrowly avoiding being crushed or shot down, eventually finding shelter in a cave on one of the larger asteroids. Luke lands on Dagobah, a swampy planet teeming with wildlife but with no settlements or other signs of civilization. Luke and Artoo set up camp and are interrupted by the intrusion of an annoying older little creature who pokes around, steals food and offers to take Luke to Yoda. Luke reluctantly accompanies the creature to his home for dinner, but quickly becomes impatient and angry at the delay. At this, the creature, which is of course Yoda himself, sighs and says that it cannot train someone so ruthless and angry. To his surprise, Luke hears Ben's voice defending him and urging Yoda to accept Luke as an apprentice. Luke asks Yoda for another chance, and Yoda agrees, warning Luke that what is to come will be the greatest challenge he has ever faced.

Just as he is hiring a group of bounty hunters to find Han and the others, Darth Vader receives a call from the Emperor, who sensed that Luke has started his Jedi training. Vader is given the mission to lure Luke to him so Luke can either be claimed for the dark side of the Force or destroyed. As the Imperial fleet searches the asteroid field, Han and the others work to get the asteroidsFalconrepaired. Han and Leia have a tender moment together, and Leia admits that she's attracted to Han when he's not acting like a villain, an expression that suits Han immensely. However, the brief moment of peace is interrupted when Han realizes that the "cave" they took refuge in is actually the maw of a giant, worm-like monster. Han dashes out of the creature's maw back into the asteroid field, and back into the sights of the Imperial fleet. Still unable to jump into hyperspace, Han improvises and hides themFalconby directly clinging to one of the Star Destroyers. Assuming the ship escaped, the captain of the StarDestroyer apologizes to Vader and pays for his mistake with his life. Meanwhile, Han solves theFalconwhen the larger ship dumps its garbage and swims away unseen with the wreckage.

Han decides to travel to the nearby planet Bespin, where an old friend, Lando Calrissian, runs an independent mining station. However, Han himself doesn't realize that his stealthy maneuver was expected by bounty hunter Boba Fett, who is hot on his heels. On Dagobah, Luke's training pushes him to the brink of physical and mental exhaustion. As Luke and Yoda rest in front of a spooky cave, Yoda tells Luke that the place is connected to the dark side and that Luke needs to go inside and see what he finds. Luke enters the cave only to see a vision of Darth Vader approaching. Luke fights Vader and cuts off his head, but the face he sees in Vader's destroyed mask is his own. Later, while practicing rock levitation, Luke is distracted by the sound of his ship sinking further into the swamp where it crashed. Yoda encourages Luke to levitate the ship out of the water, but Luke is convinced such a feat is impossible. Luke tries, but he doubts himself and therefore fails. Luke is frustrated and angry, but quickly impressed by the ease with which Yoda then pulls the ship out of the water.

Han and Leia arrive in Cloud City on Bespin, where they are greeted by Lando, who initially pretends to be angry with Han. Leia still doesn't trust him, sensing something odd about the situation. C-3PO wanders off alone and disappears, only to be later found in pieces by Chewbacca. Before Chewbacca can reassemble C-3PO and figure out what happened, he, Han, and Leia are taken to a banquet by Lando. To her horror, Lando has betrayed her and Darth Vader is waiting for her in the dining room. The three are captured, and Han and Chewbacca are tortured, though seemingly to no purpose. Back on Dagobah, Luke has another vision, this time of his friends' suffering. Yoda tells Luke that what he saw could actually happen, but he warns Luke not to act hastily. Luke insists on rescuing his friends, despite both Ben and Yoda urging him not to face Vader until his training is complete. As Luke and R2 leave Dagobah, Yoda reminds Ben that even if Luke fails, "there is another".

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Meanwhile, Lando regrets the decision he made to keep his settlement independent. Obviously, Vader has no intention of fulfilling his side of the bargain and plans to do as he pleases. Vader's goal is to lure Luke to him so he can be captured and brought before the Emperor, but first he must test one final part of his plan. Vader orders Han to be put into a "carbon freeze," a sort of suspended animation so Vader can be sure the process he has in store for Luke is non-fatal. As Han is lowered into the freezer, Leia finally admits that she loves him, to which he replies, "I know." Han is safely frozen and turned over to Boba Fett. When Luke arrives, Vader is waiting and Lando decides to free the others. Luke is ushered into Vader's presence and the two finally face each other. Lando's men surprise the Imperial troops and free Leia and an enraged Chewbacca, who nearly kills Lando with his bare hands. Lando convinces her there is still time to save Han and they run away.

Meanwhile, Luke and Vader duel deep within the mining complex. Luke is clearly outclassed by Vader, despite fighting valiantly and avoiding the carbon freeze ambush. However, Vader is relentless and keeps pushing Luke, slowly increasing the intensity of his attacks. Eventually, Luke is covered in blood and distraught, and is now simply struggling to escape. However, Vader is too strong and cuts off Luke's hand. Though defeated, Luke angrily rejects Vader's offer to join him on the dark side, saying he could never join the man who killed his father. Luke is devastated by Vader's next revelation: He, Vader, is Luke's father. Unable to deny what the Force is telling him, Luke falls off the bridge they are standing on. Leia, meanwhile, narrowly missed Boba Fett, who escaped with Han as a prisoner. Lando orders the town to be evacuated, and he, Leia, and Chewbacca set offMillennium Falcon, connected by R2-D2 and C-3PO. Holding onto a weathervane beneath the floating city, Luke mentally calls out to Leia, who hears him and orders Lando to fly back for him. Luke is rescued but shattered by what he has learned. The hyperdrive on theFalconis still not operational as Vader has ordered the disconnect. Fortunately, R2 is aware of the problem and connects it just in time for the friends of the pursuing fleet to escape. Once reunited with the rebels, Luke is given a spare cybernetic hand. Luke, Leia and the droids watch as Lando and Chewbacca go in search of Han.

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

C-3PO and R2-D2 approach the imposing grounds of Jabbathe Hutt. At the gate, C-3PO explains that they were sent by their master with a message for Jabba. Despite some resistance, the droids talk their way into the mighty gangster's throne room, where he wallows in the presence of his monstrous alien cronies. Artoo delivers the message from Luke, who now claims to be a Jedi Knight. Luke simply asks Jabba to negotiate for Han Solo's life and offers Jabba the droids as a goodwill gesture. Jabba accepts the droids' gift (to C-3PO's horror), but flatly refuses to talk about Han, whom he, still in carbon freeze, uses as a decoration in the throne room. Assigned as translator, C-3PO is soon called upon to interpret for a masked bounty hunter who arrives with Chewbacca in tow. The bounty hunter negotiates dangerously with Jabba and earns his respect. Chewbacca is taken to Jabba's dungeon while the bounty hunter joins the ongoing party.

Later that evening, while the others are sleeping, the mysterious bounty hunter secretly approaches the frozen Han. The bounty hunter frees Han, weakened and temporarily blinded by his hibernation. Just as the bounty hunter reveals himself to be none other than Leia in disguise, Jabba, who has been watching all along, reveals himself and captures her. Leia becomes Jabba's personal slave and Han is reunited with Chewbacca in the dungeons. Luke soon appears in front of Jabba, calmly striding past the guards whom he gestures to immobilize. Luke attempts to use his Jedi powers to influence Jabba, but Jabba's mind is far too strong for such tricks. Jaabba uses a trapdoor to send Luke to his pet, the giant rancor, but to Jabba's surprise, Luke manages to kill the beast. Jabbade decides to execute Han, Luke, and Chewbacca together by throwing them down the Maw of the Sarlacc, a monster that's something of a cross between a sand lion and a giant squid. Luke is unimpressed, although Han is less optimistic about their chances. As they hover over Sarlacc's pit, Luke snaps his trap shut. R2 aboard Jabba's barge throws Luke's new lightsaber at him and Lando, who was undercover as one of Jabba's guards, helps free Han and Chewbacca. Luke uses his Jedi abilities to deadly effect, sending many of Jabba's henchmen, including Boba Fett, into the Sarlacc's belly. Leia takes advantage of the confusion of the fight to strangle Jabba with her chains. In the end, the friends escape after destroying Jabba and freeing Han, Chewbacca, and the droids.

Meanwhile, Darth Vader pays a surprise visit to the new Death Star, where construction is behind schedule. Vader tells the commander that he intends to get them back on schedule before the Emperor himself arrives to inspect the works. Appropriately frightened, the commander redoubles his efforts. Luke travels back to Dagobah, where Yoda tells him his training is almost complete. All that remains is Luke to face his father, Darth Vader, one more time. Luke tells Yoda that he still felt a spark of goodness in Vader and that he could be awakened. Luke watches as Yoda dies and becomes one with the Force. Ben appears in his ghostly form and states that what he told Luke is true, in the sense that the man who was Anakin Skywalker was killed when he became Darth Vader. Ben then reveals that Luke also has a sister, and Luke immediately knows he means Leia.

In the meantime, the Rebel Alliance has received word of where the new Death Star is located, and also that the Emperor himself plans to visit the site soon. The rebel leaders hastily hatch a plan: Lando and Admiral Ackbar will lead a direct assault on the Death Star while it is still unfinished and vulnerable. At the same time, Han will lead a commando attack on the nearby moon of Endor to shut down the force field generator that is the Death Star's only protection. Leia, Chewbacca, and the droids volunteer for the mission, as does Luke, who arrives from Dagobah at the last minute. As the commando group makes their way to the forest moon, Luke senses Vader's presence nearby, just as Vader senses him. Soon the Emperor comes aboard the Death Star and Vader informs him of Luke's presence on the moon below. The Emperor orders Vader to bring Luke in front of him and Vader leaves.

The commando group, meanwhile, soon encounter Imperial scouts speeding away on hoverbikes. Luke and Leia follow and are separated through the trees after a chaotic running fight. Luke returns safely, but Leia encounters Wicket, an Ewok - a creature that looks more like a teddy bear - who helps her defeat the stormtrooper she was chasing, and she takes him to his village. Han, Luke, Chewbacca and the droids soon encounter their own Ewoks when Chewbacca sets off a trap and they are all captured. The primitive Ewoks regard C-3PO as a god and prepare to cook the others as part of a feast in his honor. Luke uses his powers and her mistaken belief that C-3PO is a deity to scare the Ewoks into releasing her. Leia soon rejoins the group and they spend the night at the Ewok Village. As C-3PO entertains the tribe with tales of the group's adventures, Luke tells Leia that he intends to face Vader and that if he is killed, she, his sister, must carry on the Jedi legacy. Luke then sets off to seek out Vader. Han sees Luke and Leia deep in discussion and becomes jealous. Leia comforts him without explaining.

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Luke faces the Imperial forces and is soon with Vader. Luke tells Vader that he intends to turn him away from the dark side of the Force, but Vader dismisses the idea, albeit with some regret. Meanwhile, the rebel fleet has assembled and is moving into hyperspace for the attack. Han's command team is taken by the Ewoks to a "back door" to the shield generator, where they quickly break in and begin setting their explosives. Luke soon faces the Emperor, the master of the dark side. The Emperor explains to Luke that the whole situation was a trap: he anticipated the approach of the rebel fleet and set Han's group a trap on Endor. Endor falls into the Emperor's trap as Imperial Stormtroopers appear out of nowhere and overwhelm the Commandos. However, the Ewoks see what is going on and decide to act themselves and suddenly attack the Imperial troops.

The Rebel fleet emerge from hyperspace, only to find the shield still open and a fleet of Star Destroyers waiting for them. Lando, aboard theMillennium Falcon, convinces Ackbar to stay and fight, trusting Han to bring down the shield before they are all destroyed. The Emperor then shares his final surprise with Luke: the Death Star, while structurally incomplete, is fully functional. The Emperor gives the order and the Death Star begins to blast the Rebel fleet to pieces. Lando and Ackbar bring their ships directly between the Star Destroyers, hoping to use them as shields against the Death Star's overwhelming power. Meanwhile, Luke struggles for self-control as the Emperor tries to get him to act out of anger and hatred, which will lead him to the dark side. Luke jumps into action and retrieves his lightsaber. The Emperor watches with delight as father and son begin to duel before him, knowing that the survivor will remain his servant.

On Endor, the Ewoks fight valiantly, using their primitive spears and slingshots to surprisingly good effect against the heavily armoured, well-trained, and vastly superior in technology of the Imperial forces. Eventually, Han is able to use the confusion the Ewoks are causing to lure the Imperial officers out of the bunker and capture them. They then destroy the shield generator, leaving the Death Star open to attack. Luke controls himself and refuses to aggressively fight Vader, simply defending against attacks. However, Luke is forced to attack when Vader is able to read his feelings and learns for the first time that Luke has a twin sister. To save Leia, Luke attacks and defeats Vader while the Emperor spurs him on. However, Luke doesn't kill Vader when given the chance. Instead, he throws away his lightsaber and faces the Emperor, fully in control and now a true Jedi.

Lando and several fighters fly straight into the Death Star's superstructure and blow up the main reactor, narrowly escaping the resulting explosion. Enraged at the loss of Luke, the Emperor hits him with crimson bolts of pure dark side energy, slowly killing him as Vader looks on. Eventually something shatters inside Vader and he throws the Emperor incarnate into a chasm where he is torn apart by the Death Star generators. Luke has one last talk with his father, now Anakin Skywalker again, and sees his shattered face before dying. Luke escapes with his father's body just before the Death Star explodes. The friends are reunited on Endor where Luke and Leia's relationship is explained to Han. As celebrations break out across the galaxy, Luke sees the ghostly forms of Ben, Yoda and now Anakin on Endor smiling at him.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

In the final days of the Galactic Republic, discord is spreading across the galaxy and in the halls of the Republic Senate at the hands of the Trade Federation, a scheming cartel that has blocked the planet Naboo in hopes of getting its inhabitants to sign an exploitative treaty to force . Jedi Knights, defenders of peace and justice in the galaxy, are sent to negotiate an end to the conflict before it escalates further. However, almost as soon as the Jedi ambassadors, Master Qui-Gon Jin, and his "Padawan" or apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, board the Trade Federation's command ship, they are attacked by Nute Gunray's droid (robot) soldiers. Viceroy of the Trade Federation. Gunray acts at the command of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, a shadowy figure who manipulates events on the surface of Naboo for his own sinister purposes. The Jedi hope to find Queen Amidala, leader of the Naboo, who rejected the terms of the Trade Federation but still hopes to avert war.

On the surface of Naboo, Qui-Gon saves Jar-Jar Binks, a friendly but clumsy (and rather stupid) native of the planet, from being crushed by a droid tank. Jar-Jar is a Gungan, a member of an amphibian race that shares the planet with the human Naboo. In gratitude, despite being banished himself, Jar-Jar offers to take Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to the safety of the underwater city of Gungan, despite Qui-Gon using his Jedi son of power, Boss Nass, the Gungan leader, to get a fumbling out transportation. With Jar-Jar as their navigator, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan embark on a harrowing, monster-ridden journey through the planet's core and emerge in front of Queen Amidala's palace. The palace has already been invaded by the droid army, and Qui-Gon acts quickly to free the queen before she can be imprisoned or forced to sign the treaty. The Queen flees the planet along with the Jedi, but her ship is damaged as they pass through the Federation blockade and only escapes thanks to the efforts of R2-D2, a brave astromech droid (maintenance robot).

The Queen's ship makes an emergency landing on the planet Tatooine, a remote desert planet where the Trade Federation has no presence. Qui-Gon, R2, and Padme, one of Amidala's servants, go to the nearby town to look for replacement parts for the damaged ship. In the shop of Watto, a winged alien motivated only by greed, they meet a boy named Anakin Skywalker who has a remarkable ability with machines after building his own protocol droid, the unfinished C-3PO. Watto has the parts Qui-Gon needs, but refuses to accept Republic credits as payment. When young Anakin acts boldly to save Jar-Jar from an alien hoodlum named Sebulba, Qui-Gon notes that the boy seems to have an extraordinary connection to the Force - the energy field created by life itself and the Jedi create theirs gives power. Determined to investigate the boy, Qui-Gon visits his home and meets his mother, who, like her son, is a slave of Watto's. Padme accompanies Qui-Gon and quickly befriends the bright little boy. Qui-Gon learns from Anakin's mother that Anakin has no father, as he appears to have been miraculously conceived. Thanks to Anakin's miraculous conception and the extremely high levels of midichlor ions in Anakin's blood (midichlor ions are microscopic life forms that bind organisms to the Force), Qui-Gonis is now convinced that Anakin is the "Chosen One", a mysterious figure in Jedi prophecy , designed to balance the Force.

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Qui-Gon plans to gain Anakin's freedom by taking Anakin in a pod race, an incredibly dangerous competition involving jet-powered speeders. As Anakin defeats the other racers, including the villainous Sebulba, Qui-Gon gains both the parts he needs and Anakin's freedom from Watto. Anakin is reluctant to leave his mother behind, but she urges Anakin to seek his true destiny with the Jedi. As the group prepares to leave Tatooine, they are attacked by Darth Maul, Sidious' apprentice who was sent to kill Queen Amidala. Qui-Gon fights him off and they make the escape. The Queen and her Jedi escort head to the planet Coruscant, which is a vast city and the capital of the Republic. There, she learns from her representative, Senator Palpatine, that the Senate is deadlocked by intrigue and corruption and will not act to save Naboo. Meanwhile, Qui-Gon reports his disturbing findings to the Jedi Council: not only have the Jedi's old enemies, the Sith, resurfaced, but Anakin, an untrained boy, appears to be the chosen one. The Jedi Council, led by Masters Yoda and Mace Windu, do not want to train Anakin, but Qui-Gon vows to train the boy himself if they don't.

Debate stalls in the Senate, just as Palpatine predicted. In a last-ditch effort to spur the Senate into action, Amidala calls for a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Velorum, the Senate's ineffective leader. As a result, Palpatine himself is now well placed to assume the position of Chancellor. Despite this victory, Amidala fears it is too late for a political solution to the crisis on her homeworld, and immediately returns to face events alongside her people. Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Anakin accompany Amidala to the Gungan camp, whom she hopes to recruit to her cause. At the ensuing meeting, Padme reveals that she is in fact none other than the Queen herself, having used a series of similar-looking decoys for security reasons and to allow herself greater freedom. Padme enlists the Gungans' help, assuring them that the Naboo do not see them as inferior, as the Gungans have always believed. The plan Padme proposes has the Gungan army draw the Federation droids into a battle outside of the city so Padme's smaller group can sneak into the palace and capture the Viceroy. Boss Nass not only agrees to help, he also promotes Jar-Jar to General in recognition of his help in merging the two races.

After a tremendous struggle, the Gungans are finally forced to surrender and all seems lost. In the meantime, however, Padme's soldiers attack the palace and send a fleet of fighters to destroy the main ship that remotely controls the droids. Padme is able to capture the Viceroy, and little Anakin joins the battle when the battleship he's hiding in takes off on autopilot. Anakin takes control with R2's help and, through a combination of luck and natural abilities, manages to destroy the ship that controls Thedroid. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the palace, a smaller but no less intense battle rages on when the fearsome Darth Maul reemerges and faces off against Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan together. Obi-Wan watches as Maul takes down his master, Qui-Gon, but Obi-Wan is eventually able to defeat Darth Maul after a furious lightsaber duel. With the control ship destroyed, the droid army arrives and the Trade Federation is forced to surrender. Naboo is free and united, Obi-Wanis has been made a Jedi Knight, and Anakin is his new Padawan, though the Republic remains under a mysterious, growing shadow.

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

A Separatist group of star systems has seceded from the Republic, led by Count Dooku, a former Jedi. Padme Amidala, now the Republican Senator from Naboo, returns to Coruscant to debate the creation of a Republic Army to meet this new challenge. However, when Padme's ship lands on Coruscant, it is blown up in an assassination attempt. Padme survives thanks to the Naboo custom of using decoys and doubles. Chancellor Palpatine, however, insists that Padme be given an extra guard command: Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan Anakin have now grown from a small boy to a brash young man. Anakin is the most gifted Jedi of his time, but he is also ruthless and headstrong, challenging Obi-Wan's authority despite looking up to him as a father figure. Anakin has never forgotten his early friendship with the beautiful Padme and is now completely in love with her. As they guard Padme's bedroom, Obi-Wan advises Anakin to control his emotions and reminds him that he pledged his life to the Jedi.

An assassin, taking orders from a mysterious bounty hunter, attempts to kill Padme using poisonous centipede-like creatures. Obi-Wan and Anakin foil the conspiracy and track the droid the assassin sent to their hideout. After a frenzied speeder chase through the skies of Coruscant, Obi-Wan takes a detour and captures the assassin at a nightclub. Before Obi-Wan and Anakin have a chance to interrogate her, however, the assassin herself is killed by the bounty hunter who hired her, who then escapes. In response to this new development, the Jedi Council asks Obi-Wan to investigate the assassination attempts, while Anakin is tasked with escorting Padme home and guarding her once she gets there. In addition to these political matters, the Jedi are concerned that as the dark side grows more powerful, their own grip on the Force seems to be waning. As Anakin and Padme travel incognito, they grow closer, with Anakin explaining the ways of the Jedi to Padme and having increasing difficulty hiding his affection for her.

Obi-Wan learns from his sources that the bounty hunter's poison came from a distant planet outside of the Republic called Kamino. Obi-Wan discovers that somehow and for unknown reasons, Kamino was wiped off the charts in the Jedi Archives, as if to keep the system hidden. At Yoda's urging, Obi-Wan travels to Kamino, where he discovers that the world's master cloners have been busy building a massive clone army at the request of the Republic and Jedi, or so it is said. However, when Obi-Wan asks the leaders of the Jedi Council about this army, they are surprised to learn of its existence. Back on Naboo, Anakin's crush on Padme evolves into a full-fledged love affair, despite Padme's initial reluctance. However, Padme and Anakin's idyllic time together is disrupted both by the knowledge that their love is forbidden and by a vision Anakin has of his mother's suffering on Tatooine. Padme and Anakin travel to Tatooine together so Anakin can examine his vision.

On Kamino, Obi-Wan inspects the clone army and learns that the model for the clones is none other than Jango Fett, the bounty hunter he's been tracking all along. Obi-Wan interrogates Jango and his clone son, Boba, with little result. Jango then attempts to sneak off the planet, but Obi-Wan catches him and, after a brief but violent collision, tracks him through space to the planet Geonosis, where Dooku's Separatist movement is based. There, Obi-Wan finds another massive army under construction, made up of droids. Obi-Wan sends Anakin a message relaying his findings to the Jedi Council, and then Obi-Wan is captured. On Tatooine, Anakin and Padme learn that Anakin's mother, Shmi, was sold by Watto to a man named Cliegg Lars, who later fell in love with her and married her. Anakin now has a stepbrother, Owen, and also meets his old droid, C-3PO, but he's more concerned about finding Shmi, who has been kidnapped by the Sand People. Anakin tracks down the Sand People and finds his mother, but it's too late and she dies in his arms. Enraged, Anakin slaughters the Sand People, including the women and children, as he later confesses to Padme. Padme is troubled by this admission and by Anakin's desire for power big enough to stop death itself, though she tries to remind him that there is good in him as well.

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In response to Obi-Wan's message, Padme and Anakin travel to Geonosis to rescue him, taking C-3PO with them. Count Dooku tries to get Obi-Wan on his side by telling him that the Sith have somehow gained control of the Senate and are manipulating events, but Obi-Wan refuses. On Coruscant, Jar-Jar Binks, acting in Padme's stead and under the influence of Chancellor Palpatine, calls a vote to grant the Chancellor emergency powers. Thanks to this vote, Palpatinenov has unprecedented influence over the Republic and vows to put an end to the Separatist movement. After a dangerous battle at the Geonosian robot factory, Padme and Anakin are captured and sentenced to execution along with Obi-Wan in a giant arena. Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme fight the giant creatures sent to kill them, albeit with little hope. The sudden arrival of Mace Windu and a Jedi Knight strike team changes the situation. The Jedi free the prisoners and Mace Windu himself kills Jango Fett, but soon even the Jedi's skills are overwhelmed by the endless waves of droid soldiers Count Dooku commands.

At the last second, rescue arrives in the form of the clone army, commanded by Yoda. Yoda evacuates the surviving Jedi and leads the clone army in an all-out assault on the Separatist base. The Jedi and their new army defeat the Separatists, although most of the Separatist leadership escapes. Anakin and Obi-Wan follow the fleeing Dooku to his hangar, where they eventually confront him. Anakin foolishly attacks Dooku alone, and Dooku is able to take on everyone in turn, defeating first Obi-Wan and then Anakin, severing Anakin's arm in the process. However, Yoda reappears, forcing Dooku to flee after a spectacular lightsaber duel. Dooku returns to Coruscant, where he is greeted as Darth Tyranus by the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who actually orchestrated this chain of events. Yoda reminds his followers that despite triumphing on the battlefield, there is no victory as the clone wars have now begun. Padme and Anakin, equipped with a cybernetic arm, are secretly married. They face an uncertain future.


What happens in Star Wars Episode 4 6? ›

Leia makes use of the confusion of the battle to strangle Jabba with her chains. In the end, the friends escape after having destroyed Jabba and freeing Han, Chewbacca, and the droids. Meanwhile, Darth Vader pays a surprise visit to the new Death Star, where construction is running behind schedule.

What is the plot of Star Wars Episode 4? ›

What was Anakin's last words before Vader? ›

Anakin Skywalker, in one last digged-effort, before his imprisonment as Darth Vader for the next 23 years, cries out for help. He yearns for his beloved Padme, with the words, “Padme, help me.”

What were Anakin's last words to Luke? ›

Darth Vader spoke his last words to his son, Luke, after being redeemed as Anakin Skywalker. He told Luke, “You were right about me” and asked him to tell his sister that he had been right all along. Then he succumbed to his injuries after his life support suit was shorted out by Force lightning.

Who took over after Palpatine's death? ›

Emperor Palpatine's official heir would normally be Lord Darth Vader, as he was his Sith apprentice and the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Forces.

Who is the main villain in Star Wars Episode 4? ›

Who is Darth Vader? Darth Vader is a lead villain in the science fiction franchise Star Wars. He appears primarily in Star Wars (1977, retitled Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope), Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Star Wars: Episode VI—Return of the Jedi (1983).


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