Lucasfilm

'The Force Awakens' Recap You Need To Read Before Seeing 'The Last Jedi'

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Did you hear that? The sound of blaring trumpets? It's the Star Wars theme song, and it's going to be the soundtrack to this Christmas, as Episode VIII, The Last Jedi, steamrolls into theaters like the movie empire it is. While the holiday season has now bowed down to Disney's Lucasfilm as the Supreme Leader in entertainment for three years running, it's been a while since its opening salvo, Episode VII, The Force Awakens was on the big screen. So before you head to see The Last Jedi, let's review with our Star Wars: The Force Awakens recap.

But first: Once upon a time....

There was a young boy named Anakin, son of Shmi Skywalker. Born into slavery, he was freed by two Jedi, Qui-Gon Jinn and Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi, who declared the boy "the chosen one." The latter attempted to train Anakin himself, but failed miserably. The young man did everything he shouldn't, including secretly marrying Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo. Anakin then joined with the Dark Side and Emperor Palpatine, and slaughtered all the Jedi. His fight with Obi-Wan left him injured to the point that he had to wear a life support suit, and became known as Darth Vader.

Ad failed to load

Meanwhile, despite it being far in the future with amazing technology, Padmé died in childbirth. Her twins, Luke and Leia, were hidden away from their father; one became the daughter of a senator, the other the son of a farmer. They found each other anyway, via some plans in an R2 Unit that were stolen by the cast of a completely different movie, plus an aging Obi-Wan and a smuggler named Han Solo (who Leia later married.) Together, they joined the rebellion, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and brought down the Death Star and the empire.

The Finn Revolution

George Masonski on YouTube
Ad failed to load

When we rejoin the story, it is 30 years later, and once again, there is a rebellion (now a "Resistance"), smuggling plans, and a pilot named Poe Dameron who has just been captured. But one Storm Trooper, Finn, seems really not OK with his whole "evil peon" lifestyle. In order to escape, he frees Poe and together they flee.

Rey Of Light

YouTube
Ad failed to load

Down on Jakku, there's a young woman named Rey NoLastName who makes her living as a junk peddler, harvesting parts from old star cruisers and living in other random space props left lying around after the first six movies ended. And she's just made friends with an odd little unit that calls itself BB-8.

Escape From Jakku

YouTube
Ad failed to load

Finn wakes up to see Poe is gone from their crashed capsule, and assumes him dead. He stumbles into town, only to find the BB-8 unit and Rey. They get chased by Storm Troopers, and in their rush to get away, they wind up jumping in a pile of space junk that just so happens to be the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo's old ship.

Finding Solo

Craig Rees on YouTube
Ad failed to load

Rey and Finn aren't gone for too long before Solo and his old pal Chewie come grab their ship. (And then have to run for it when several people they owe money to turn up as well.) With Solo's arrival, BB-8 reveals his stolen data: It's a map to find Luke Skywalker.

The Man In The Kylo Mask

YouTube
Ad failed to load

Meanwhile, under a new Dark Lord emperor named Snoke, we meet Kylo Ren, the son of Han Solo and Leia, and all around wannabe Darth Vader. He and his pal Hux are rebuilding the empire as "the First Order." And they're plenty mad about losing that BB-8 unit.

Hakuna Maz-Kanata

YouTube
Ad failed to load

Han takes Finn and Rey to meet Maz Kanata, with the plan to get a new ship, and offload Finn, who has decided to make like Southwest Airlines and get away. These plans fail completely, since spies report their arrival. But before the First Order lands on their heads and destroys Maz's abode, Rey accidentally finds Luke's lightsaber, and sees visions of their pasts.

Starkiller Incorporated

YouTube
Ad failed to load

Kylo Ren, it turns out, is having a good day. First he takes the Starkiller base on a test run and randomly destroys a few planets full of extras, and Doctor Who's companion Martha Jones. Then, though he fails to get the BB-8 unit, he does capture Rey, who it turns out is the more valuable target.

Gramps Is In The Resistance

Dwiky Marchellino on YouTube
Ad failed to load

Everyone else gets rescued by the Resistance team, which flies in and takes them home. We finally get a Han and Leia reunion, and learn Poe survived, before everyone heads back out to rescue Rey, take down the Starkiller Base and have a nice movie climax.

Han Falls

StarWarsTiggy on YouTube
Ad failed to load

While Rey is doing the self-rescuing princess routine, Finn and Han and Chewie wander around the station cracking wise and putting Gwen Christie's shiny Chrome Trooper in a garbage chute. When they finally all meet up, it's Han vs Kylo time, and we learn Kylo's real name is Ben (after Obi-Wan, awww.) That "awww" is short lived though, since Kylo then murders his father.

Ren Vs Rey

Dark Ren on YouTube
Ad failed to load

The movie major moment comes as Poe leads the team to take down the Starkiller base while Rey and Kylo Ren have it out lightsaber-a-lightsaber, with Finn lying knocked out cold in the snow. Rey bests Ren, leaving him with a scar across his face to remember her by, and all our heroes fly away home.

Luke Skywalker

That One Yokel on YouTube
Ad failed to load

The movie ends with Rey and company putting the two halves of the map together. (The first half was in that damned R2 Unit, go fig.) She flies out with Chewie, who is now *her* copilot in the Falcon, to find the mystery man, and learn more about these force sensitive feelings she's been having. The movie ends as she walks up to him on his abandoned planet, and hands him his long missing lightsaber.

What happens now? We'll find out when Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

3 Important Red Flags To Watch Out For When You're Dating Someone Older Than You

My first serious relationship was with someone almost ten years my senior. We got together during my first semester of college (after meeting through mutual friends) and I'd be lying if I said our breakup didn't have anything to do with our significa…
By Sydnee Lyons

These "Millennial Cruises" Will Make Your Next Friend Group Vacation So Lit

If you're a millennial right now, consider yourself lucky. If you're a millennial with the travel bug, consider yourself luckier. I know, you might be thinking, "But... money!" Trust me, I get it. Plane tickets and hotels can get expensive as you cou…
By Amanda Fama

5 Trends From The '90s Are Making A Serious Comeback, So Somebody Page Cher Horowitz

I was born in the '90s and my childhood was one Caboodles train case packed with scrunchies and butterfly clips after another. If you could believe it, early '90s fashion is already considered vintage (I officially feel old AF) and according to sprin…
By Stephanie Montes

5 Social Things You Can Do To Feel Less Lonely If You’re Single

Being single and being lonely don’t have to go hand-in-hand. Just because you don’t have a significant other, doesn’t mean you aren’t surrounded by wonderful people who love and care about you. But once in a while (especially if you’ve been single fo…
By Veronica Lopez

6 Subtle Red Flags That Could Mean You’re Sleeping Way Too Much

Have you ever woken up after an unusually long night of sleep and felt, well, kind of awful? Whether you roll out of bed feeling super dehydrated, nursing a throbbing a headache, or you simply feel stiff as a board, there are reasons why your body mi…
By Annakeara Stinson

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas