Star Wars timeline: Every major event in chronological order

Richard Edwards
·13-min read
 The Star Wars timeline
The Star Wars timeline

Few fictional creations have as much lore as Star Wars. As a result, the Star Wars timeline has become a difficult beast to tame. So much has happened in that galaxy far, far away, that you would be forgiven for forgetting a few of the events that unfolded, especially if you have yet to dive into the animated shows such as Star Wars: Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Whether you're a newcomer to the series, discovering the bountiful world of Star Wars after enjoying The Mandalorian, or a veteran, our guide to the Star Wars timeline is here to help you understand what's been happening with the Jedi and the Sith over the years. 

Want to just watch the movies?

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Here's how to watch the Star Wars movies in order

We should note, however, that although this is a comprehensive Star Wars timeline, we have not included absolutely every event. Does anybody really need to know when Dexter Jettster opened his diner on Coruscant? Our timeline deals with all the major events from the movies and shows, and touches upon some of the major comic-books and novels included within the canon. We have also listed which movie/TV show/book each event appears in just in case you want to go back and see The Trade Federation deciding to blockade Naboo…

As for the calendar, everything in the Star Wars galaxy is dated relative to the Battle of Yavin, where Luke Skywalker blew up the first Death Star. So Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, which takes place 19 years ahead of Star Wars: A New Hope, is set 19 years Before the Battle of Yavin (in 19 BBY). Meanwhile, Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes place 34 years After the Battle of Yavin (in 34 ABY). Now that all that's taken care of, let's start with an at-a-glance guide to the Star Wars timeline.

WARNING: Spoilers for every Star Wars movie and TV show released to date.

The Star Wars timeline contains spoilers
The Star Wars timeline contains spoilers

Star Wars movies and TV shows in chronological order

Star Wars timeline

~900 BBY - Yoda is born, though nobody ever thought to ask what species he belongs to. (Return of the Jedi)

~200 BBY - The Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order are at their zenith. this is the golden age of the Jedi, before their downfall to the Sith... (The High Republic novels and comic-book series)

41 BBY - Anakin Skywalker is somehow conceived by the Midichlorians and his mother, Shmi. (referenced The Phantom Menace) 

Also around this time, a young Yoda-like creature is born to mystery parents. (referenced in The Mandalorian)

32 BBY - The Trade Federation escalates a scintillating trade dispute by blockading Naboo. C-3PO and R2-D2 meet for the first time. Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi discover Force-sensitive Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine and save him from slavery. Yippee! 

Queen Padme Amidala leads the liberation of Naboo, where Obi-Wan slices Darth Maul in two – sending him tumbling to his apparent death. Palpatine is elected Chancellor of the Republic, while Anakin starts his Jedi training. Galaxy watches both their careers with great interest. (The Phantom Menace)

Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas commissions Kaminoan cloners to build an army for the Republic. (mentioned in Attack of the Clones)

22 BBY - Separatists make a couple of attempts on Senator Amidala’s life. Obi-Wan’s investigations into the assassin’s identity lead him to Kamino, where he discovers a fully-fledged Clone Army. Anakin slaughters an entire village of Tusken Raiders (men, women and children) in revenge for the death of his mother. Padme becomes strangely attracted to him.

Naboo Senate Representative Jar Jar Binks calls for Supreme Chancellor Palpatine to be given emergency powers to bring the Clone Army into service – those Clone Troopers subsequently follow the Jedi into action against Separatist forces on Geonosis. Jango Fett killed in the battle. Separatist leader Count Dooku is revealed to be Sith Lord Darth Tyranus, and chops off Anakin’s arm in a lightsaber duel. Geonosian leader Poggle the Lesser hands the Separatists’ Death Star plans to Count Dooku. Anakin and Padme marry in secret. The Clone Wars begin. (Attack of the Clones)

22 BBY - Anakin takes on Ahsoka Tano as his apprentice. (The Clone Wars)

21 ABY - The young Boba Fett infiltrates a Republic Star Destroyer in an effort to take revenge on Mace Windu for dad Jango’s death. (The Clone Wars)

~21 BBY - Brilliant energy scientist Galen Erso is captured by Separatist forces and subsequently rescued by Orson Krennic (at this point a Republic officer) – it will later turn out Krennic has an ulterior motive involving a certain planet-killing superweapon… (Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel)

20 BBY - Darth Sidious orders Count Dooku to eliminate Asajj Ventress, the Dark Side apprentice Dooku’s been training in secret. Presumed-dead former Sith Lord Darth Maul is discovered – half the man he used to be – by his brother Savage Opress on Lotho Minor. Anakin, Ahsoka and Obi-Wan train meet and train future insurgent Saw Gerrera to fight against the Separatists on Onderon. Construction of Death Star begins above Geonosis. (The Clone Wars)

19 BBY - Maul and Opress join forces with criminal gangs and Mandalorian hardliners Death Watch to overthrow and kill Mandalore’s peaceful leader (and Obi-Wan love interest) Duchess Satine Kryze. Darth Sidious clears up the mess, killing Opress and capturing Maul. 

Wrongly framed for murder, Ahsoka quits the Jedi Order and disappears. She later ventures to Mandalore to battle Maul, where the Siege of Mandalore takes place. She manages a lucky escape from Order 66 with the Clone trooper Rex. (The Clone Wars) 

Supreme Chancellor Palpatine kidnapped by Separatist forces, Count Dooku executed by Anakin during the rescue. Obi-Wan kills the Separatists’ cyborg military commander General Grievous. Palpatine is revealed to be Darth Sidious. Anakin seduced by the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. Palpatine declares himself Emperor and the Galactic Republic becomes the Galactic Empire. Order 66 prompts the Clone Troopers to turn on the Jedi and all-but wipe them out. Darth Vader slaughters the remaining Separatist leaders on Mustafar. Obi-Wan defeats Vader in a duel, critically injuring him and leaving him dependent on an iconic cybernetic life support suit. Padme dies giving birth to twins. Luke is left with his step-uncle/aunt Owen and Beru Lars on Tatooine, Leia with Senator Bail Organa on Alderaan. Obi-Wan and Yoda go into hiding, on Tatooine and Dagobah, respectively. (Revenge of the Sith)

17 BBY - Galen Erso, forced to work on the Death Star, does a runner with wife Lyra and daughter Jyn from their home on Coruscant, with help from Saw Gerrera. (Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel)

13 BBY - Krennic tracks down Erso family on Lah’mu. Lyra dies, Galen goes back to work on the Death Star, leaving Jyn to get an, er, unconventional upbringing with Saw. (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)

Han Solo escapes captivity on Corellia, enlists in the Imperial Navy and bags himself a surname. (Solo: A Star Wars Story)

10 BBY - Han Solo meets hairy BFF Chewbacca, defects from the Empire and joins Tobias Beckett’s criminal gang. Rebellious L3-37 initiates a droid uprising on Kessel. Solo completes a Kessel Run in the Millennium Falcon in a record-breaking 12 parsecs – he’s so impressed he later wins the Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a game of Sabacc. Solo helps out Enfys Nest’s proto-Rebels, but declines to join the cause. Qi’ra assumes day-to-day control of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate, answering directly to Maul. (Solo: A Star Wars Story)

5 BBY - Force-sensitive Ezra Bridger joins the crew of Rebel vessel the Ghost. Fugitive Jedi Kanan Jarrus takes him on as his Padawan. (Star Wars Rebels)

4 BBY - Rebel informant Fulcrum revealed to be Ahsoka Tano. Empire commences Siege of Lothal. The Emperor unleashes Darth Vader to sort out growing Rebel problem. Former Clone Troopers Rex, Wolffe and Gregor join Rebel cause. (Star Wars Rebels) 

3 BBY - Maul blinds Kanan Jarrus in battle. Ahsoka faces Vader for the first time since she was Anakin’s apprentice. (Star Wars Rebels)

2 BBY - Obi-Wan Kenobi belatedly finishes the job of killing Maul on Tatooine. Mon Mothma resigns from Imperial Senate, and calls for the formation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic (aka Rebel Alliance). Chopper Base on Atollon destroyed by Admiral Thrawn’s forces, forcing the Rebels to relocate to Yavin 4. (Star Wars Rebels)

1 BBY - Kanan Jarrus killed, sacrificing himself to save the rest of the Ghost crew. Ezra Bridger has an audience with the Emperor, before he and Grand Admiral Thrawn go missing in action. Bo-Katan Kryze takes Mandalorian throne, after Sabine Wren gives her the ceremonial Darksaber. (Star Wars Rebels)

0 BBY - Rebels secure their first significant victory over the Empire at Scarif – though in the ultimate downer, everybody involved in recovering the Death Star plans dies. (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)

Princess Leia Organa is eventually captured by Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker meets C-3PO and R2-D2, and takes Death Star plans hidden in R2 to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke begins Jedi training, meets Han Solo and Chewbacca. Alderaan destroyed by Death Star. Leia rescued. Obi-Wan Kenobi dies. The Death Star destroyed. (A New Hope)

0-3 ABY - Darth Vader recruits Boba Fett to help hunt down the Force-sensitive young pilot who blew up the Death Star. (Darth Vader comic)

Rebel Alliance relocates to Echo Base on the distinctly chilly Hoth. (The Empire Strikes Back)

Han Solo runs into an unknown bounty hunter on Ord Mantell. (referenced in The Empire Strikes Back)

3 ABY - The Rebels evacuate Hoth after the Empire discovers Echo Base. Luke Skywalker begins formal Jedi training with Yoda on Dagobah. Darth Vader captures Han, Leia and Chewbacca at Bespin. Han frozen in Carbonite and taken to Jabba the Hutt by Boba Fett. Luke faces Darth Vader, loses a hand and learns the Sith Lord is his father. Noooooooo! (The Empire Strikes Back)

3-4 ABY - Many Bothans die getting information on Death Star 2. (mentioned in Return of the Jedi)

4 ABY - Han Solo rescued from Jabba the Hutt – with Leia killing Jabba in the process. Yoda dies. Luke learns that Leia is his twin sister – awkward! Imperial forces intercept Rebellion’s secret assault on Endor – it’s a trap! Luke faces Darth Vader again, this time in the presence of the Emperor. Vader turns back to the good side and kills the Emperor. Death Star destroyed – despite Ewok involvement. Yub nub! (Return of the Jedi)

5 ABY - Han Solo helps Chewbacca to liberate Kashyyyk from Imperial rule. The New Republic secures a final victory over the remains of the Empire at the Battle of Jakku. Mon Mothma signs the Galactic Concordance and the Empire is dissolved. A faction of top Imperials, led by Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and General Hux’s dad Brendol, travel through the Unknown Regions to start the First Order. Ben Solo is born. (Star Wars: Aftermath novel trilogy)

9 ABY - A lone gunfighter – The Mandalorian – makes his way through the outer reaches of the galaxy where stumbles upon a young-ish green creature, known outside of the galaxy far, far away as "Baby Yoda". The warrior goes on the run, hoping to keep the creature away from harm, and ends up adopting the young creature as his own. (The Mandalorian)

21 ABY - The First Order starts using crime syndicates to fund its increasing military activities. (Star Wars: Bloodline novel)

28 ABY - The truth about Leia’s Sithy parentage is leaked by political enemies, engulfing her in a scandal that forces her to resign from the Senate. Sensing the threat of an increasingly active First Order, she forms the Resistance to keep them in check. (Star Wars: Bloodline)

28 ABY-34 ABY - Ben Solo is persuaded by Supreme Leader Snoke to turn to the Dark Side. He trashes Luke Skywalker’s new Jedi school, kills most of his fellow students, and renames himself Kylo Ren. Luke goes into exile on Ahch-To and switches himself off from the Force. (Mentioned in The Force Awakens)

Kazuda Xiono goes undercover as a Resistance spy at the Colossus outpost. (Star Wars Resistance)

34 ABY - Poe Dameron finds map containing details of Luke Skywalker’s whereabouts. Trooper FN-2187, AKA Finn, defects from First Order, gets Poe’s jacket and meets Rey on Jakku. The pair steal the Millennium Falcon, and hook up with Han Solo and Chewbacca. The First Order uses Starkiller base to destroy the entire Hosnian system, wiping out the whole of the New Republic’s government. Kylo Ren kills Han Solo. Starkiller base destroyed. Rey tracks down Luke on Ahch-To. (The Force Awakens)

The Resistance evacuate their base on D’Qar and go on the run from the First Order. Kylo Ren kills Supreme Leader Snoke and declares himself Supreme Leader. First Order flagship the Supremacy destroyed when Vice-Admiral Holdo pilots the Raddus through it at hyperspace. Luke creates a Force projection of himself to face Kylo Ren and dies in the effort. The last few survivors of the Resistance escape on the Millennium Falcon. (The Last Jedi)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

35 ABY - With Snoke vanquished, an old evil returns... Palpatine. The Emperor has been building a huge Sith army all these years, and they have been awoken on Exegol, a Sith stronghold in the uncharted area of the galaxy. 

The Resistance has made some headway in their fight back against the First Order, who have now rebranded themselves the Final Order under Palpatine's leadership. Kylo goes on the hunt for Rey, the granddaughter of Palpatine. When they meet, Rey stabs Kylo with a lightsaber but uses the Force to keep him alive. General Leia passes as she helps keep Kylo, her son, alive. 

After Rey discovers the location of Exegol, she travels there in Luke Skywalker's old X-Wing. She lays trackers so that the Resistance can follow her there. She then confronts her grandfather, while the Resistance, who – with the help of Lando – have brought together an army filled with people who despise the Final Order.

Palpatine soon has the upper hand on Rey, wanting her to "strike him down" so the Sith can live on in her. However, Kylo Ren comes to help, and the pair attack Palpatine. The Emperor overpowers them and takes their life-force. All the fallen Jedi then come to Rey and help her overthrow Palpatine, and he is disintegrated.

The galaxy celebrates victory over the Final Order. Rey buries Luke and Leia's lightsabers on Tatooine. The two suns set. Balance is restored. (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)

What comes next?

There are currently no public plans from LucasFilm about what will come next in the Star Wars timeline. However, we do know about a bunch of projects the studio is planning, which you can read all about in our article on all the upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows.