J.J. Abrams’ second (and presumably last) movie in the Star Wars universe not only concludes the Rey/Finn/Poe trilogy that started with 2015’s The Force Awakens, but it also closes the door on the Skywalker Saga, which started more than 40 years ago with A New Hope. It is a legacy that expands across nine core theatrical releases, two feature spinoffs, and several in-canon TV series, occurring in both the past and the future. As 2019 becomes another milestone year in the franchise, we’ve put together the key events from the entirety of Star Wars canon leading up to The Rise of Skywalker.
Note: Star Wars fans know how we keep track of the timeline here, but just in case you’ve been living inside an ice cave on Hoth: BBY means “Before the Battle of Yavin” and ABY is “After the Battle of Yavin.” Said “Battle of Yavin” is, of course, the major battle that led to the destruction of the first Death Star; it acts as a sort of anchor point in time for the franchise. And this timeline only focuses on in-canon animated series; theatrical movies (including all three trilogies and the spinoff films); the upcoming film(s) from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and Rian Johnson; and the pending Disney+ live-action series. (Sorry fans of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Cartoon Network miniseries, Clone Wars.)
The following timeline explainer features contributions from Phil Pirrello and Dave Trumbore. Big thanks to Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wiki for doing the heavy lifting, exhaustively citing your sources, and being awesome Star Wars fans! And here’s a handy link to all of the titles, in order, if you just want a list without all the content.
For additional fan-friendly timelines, check out these extensive write-ups:
- MCU Timeline Explained: From Infinity Stones to Infinity War, Endgame, and Beyond
- IT Movie Timeline Explained: A Complete History of Pennywise, the Losers & Derry’s Horrors
- ‘Lord of the Rings’ Timeline Explained: Middle-earth from ‘The Silmarillion’ to ‘The Hobbit’ & Beyond