Episode I: The Phantom Menace
This takes place 32 years “before the Battle of Yavin” (BBY) and kicks off the Skywalker Saga, with the discovery of 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine. Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn finds him to be unusually strong in the Force — the energy field that connects all life in the universe and that the Jedi tap into — and suspects he may be the Chosen One, destined to bring balance to the Force.
Meanwhile, Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord aligned with the dark side of the Force, works in secret to destroy the Jedi and manipulate the Galactic Republic’s political system.
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
We jump forward 10 years to 22 BBY for the second movie in the Skywalker Saga. At this point, Anakin is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi apprentice and quite the moody teenager. Even though it’s against the rules of the Jedi Order, he’s also falling in love with Padmé Amidala.
Meanwhile, renegade Jedi Count Dooku is convincing star systems to leave the Republic and join his Confederacy of Independent Systems. Dooku is secretly the Sith apprentice of Darth Sidious, who’s working within the Republic and creating political chaos.
The Clone Wars
This CGI animated series (consisting of one movie and six TV seasons) spans 22 to 19 BBY, telling the tale of the intergalactic hostilities that broke out at the end of Attack of the Clones, and focusing on Anakin’s apprentice Ahsoka Tano. It isn’t part of the Skywalker Saga, so no episode number here.
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
It’s 19 BBY at the end of the Clone Wars and Darth Sidious is taking the final step in his plan to take over the galaxy — the Republic becomes the Galactic Empire as Sidious declares himself Emperor. Anakin turns to the dark side and becomes Sidious’ apprentice, Darth Vader, as the pair virtually wipe out the Jedi Order.
Unbeknownst to the Sith Lords, Padmé gives birth to Anakin’s twins Leia and Luke.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
This standalone movie adventure takes place around 13-10 BBY, and reveals the early days of roguish ace pilot Han Solo before he meets the Skywalkers. Not a part of the Skywalker Saga.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Another standalone movie, this one takes place in 0 BBY. It shows the Rebel Alliance’s first major victory against the Empire as a team gets hold of the plans for its superweapon, the Death Star. It’s also a prologue for…
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode 4 of the Skywalker Saga and the original Star Wars movie happens in 0 BBY. Darth Vader is determined to track down the stolen Death Star plans and captures Princess Leia, kicking off a series of events that see Luke Skywalker and Han Solo joining the Rebel Alliance. Leia is rescued and the Death Star is destroyed.
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
We rejoin Leia, Luke and Han in 3 ABY, with the Rebel Alliance on the run from a very angry Empire. Luke learns the ways of the Force as he tries to become a Jedi, only to discover Darth Vader is his father.
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
One year later, in 4 ABY, the Rebel Alliance attacks the second Death Star. Luke faces Darth Vader on the second Death Star and the Emperor tries to get him to turn to the dark side. This effort fails when Vader’s love for Luke brings him back to the light side of the Force and he kills the Emperor.
Leia discovers that she’s Luke’s twin sister and the daughter of Darth Vader. The Rebel Alliance destroys the second Death Star and kicks off the Empire’s downfall.
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
This one takes place immediately after The Force Awakens, and it sees Kylo Ren seizing control of the First Order. Having found Luke, Rey learns the ways of the Force and is determined to bring Kylo Ren back to the light. This effort apparently fails, and the Resistance is nearly wiped out.