The latest Star Wars movie is seemingly always right around the corner. Which means it's time to focus on what you need to know before seeing The Rise of Skywalker, especially since fan theories will only take you so far. What exactly constitutes as Star Wars canon changed dramatically in 2012 after Disney purchased the rights to the film franchise. All but the existing films and television shows were effectively purged, deeming everything else as unofficial sources in the Star Wars Extended Universe, classifying these "unofficial" sources as Star Wars Legends.
That left a whole lot of unexplained stretches in the overall Star Wars timeline, most notably in the roughly three decades between the conclusion of Return of the Jedi and the start of The Force Awakens. All of this can be very confusing, especially as the Star Wars universe expands further and further with more spinoffs in the works.
It's hard enough to remember all the movies' characters and plot lines, let alone read and play all the comics, books, and games. But the 30-odd years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens was not a vast empty space, and there is much we can glean from the new continuity to prep for Episode IX, not to mention to add to one's understanding of The Force Awakens and The last Jedi. Here are the essential details of the Star Wars timeline and the history of the Jedi to enhance any viewing of Star Wars movies.
Princess Leia And Han Solo Are MarriedPhoto: Empire Strikes Back / Disney
The Empire Enacts A Devastating Contingency Plan To Try To Hold Onto PowerPhoto: Star Wars Battlefront II / EA
The Rebel Alliance Officially Becomes The New RepublicPhoto: Revenge of the Sith / Disney
A Civil War Breaks Out On CoruscantPhoto: Return of the Jedi / Disney