23 May 2005

Star Wars: The story so far ...

I passed this on to some friends, to prep them for Episode III. They found it useful, and recommended that I post it here.

For those of you who lack vivid, detailed memories of the last two Star Wars installments — or who simply blocked them out, to dull the pain — I offer this little synopsis of the story so far.

Episode I

The Trade Federation places the beautiful planet Naboo under seige, overrunning the planet with a droid army.

Senator Palpetine and young Queen Amidala of Naboo plead their planet's case before the Galactic Senate on the city-planet Coruscant ... but the Senate, unwieldy with its thousands of senators, is slow to act against the Trade Federation.

Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Jedi Padawan (apprentice) Obi-Wan Kenobi discover that the child Annikin Skywalker, enslaved on the desert planet Tattooine, has an unprecedented amount of “midichlorians,” meaning that he has the potential to be a very powerful Jedi knight. They free Annikin, but cannot free his mother Shimi, who says that her son was immaculately conceived.

Jinn, Kenobi, and Amidala raise a local army on Naboo and, in a stroke of luck, defeat the Trade Federation.

Jinn and Kenobi defeat lightsaber-weilding assasin Darth Maul, but Jinn also dies in the fight. Yoda realizes that Maul is a Sith, a student of the dark side of the Force. The Sith order was thought to have died out long ago, but the appearance of Maul reveals that they have survived. This implies a lone surviving Sith, as it is their practice to have a single Sith Master training a single Sith Apprentice at any given time. The Jedi resolve to keep an eye out for this surviving Sith Lord.

Senate Chancellor Valorum loses his seat over the Galactic Federation's bungling of the Naboo crisis. The Senate, belatedly sympathetic to Naboo's plight, selects Naboo's Senator Palpetine as the new Chancellor.

Kenobi presents Annikin Skywalker to the Jedi Council for training. In spite of signs that Annikin is the fulfillment of a prophecy that a Chosen One will come to balance the light and dark sides of the Force, Yoda is skeptical that the Jedi should train him. But Kenobi insists on taking Annikin as his apprentice.

Episode II

About ten years have passed. Amidala, now Senator for Naboo, suffers a series of assasination attempts. Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his headstrong apprentice Annikin Skywalker are assigned to protect her.

In the course of detective work to understand who lies behind the assasination attempts, Kenobi discovers that someone has commissioned an army of clone mercinaries for the Galactic Republic.

Spurred by visions of his mother's death, Annikin Skywalker returns to Tattooine, but is too late to save her from torture and death at the hands of Tuskan raiders. Annikin freaks out and murders all the Tuskan raiders he can lay his lightsaber on.

Kenobi's detective work leads him to the stronghold of the Separatist movement, including the Trade Federation, lead by Count Dooku. Kenobi is captured, and Annikin (with Amidala in tow) rushes to his rescue. They too are captured, but the Jedi knights come to their rescue. The Jedi are outnumbered, but the clone army, under Yoda's command, comes to their rescue.

Annikin and Obi-Wan confront Count Dooku, who reveals that he has powers deriving from the dark side of the Force. Annikin, reckless in the ensuing fight, loses an arm. Dooku and the other Separatist leaders escape.

In the face of the threat from the Separatist movement and its droid armies, the Senate votes Chancellor Palpetine emergency war powers. He uses these powers to raise an Army of the Republic composed of clone soldiers.

Annikin, now with a prosthetic arm, weds Amidala in secret on Naboo. Revealation of their marriage would mean Annikin's expulsion from the celibate Jedi order.

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