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The Entire Star Wars Story Finally Explained

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a farm boy on a desert planet dreamed of joining a rebellion and saving a princess from a dark lord, and thus, one of the most successful cinematic sagas of all time was born. What began with one space opera in 1977 quickly grew into a media empire that included toys, comic books, video games, TV series, and memorabilia in every possible form. Today, more than 40 years after it first arrived, Star Wars remains a global pop culture phenomenon, and the story still isn't over. 

Because of its vast reach, wide web of characters, and ongoing story with multiple threads and subplots, the Star Wars saga as we know it has become a sprawling epic, spanning numerous planets, alien races, and massive cosmic battles. In fact, there's so much stuff happening that sometimes it's hard to keep it all straight in your head. Well, we're here to help. Whether you're new to this whole Star Wars thing or you just want a refresher on one plot point or another, we're here to explain the entire Star Wars story

The story starts with a dark lord rising

The Star Wars story all began, ironically enough, during a period of relative peace in the galaxy. A thousand years before the events of the Skywalker Saga, the Jedi Order defeated the Dark Side Force users in the Sith Order, and for a little bit, it seemed the Sith were gone for good. "Seemed" is the key word here.

While the Jedi became the keepers of peace in the Galactic Republic, the surviving Sith secretly began plotting to overthrow them, working with only two members at a time in the shadows of Republican prosperity. It was near the end of this millennium of peace that Darth Sidious, a Sith Lord who was also secretly Senator Sheev Palpatine of Naboo, set in motion his plan to eradicate the Jedi and simultaneously seize control of the Republic's government. 

But just few years before Palpatine's plan began to gain steam, a seemingly inconsequential event occurred that would eventually affect the whole galaxy. A boy was born to a slave woman named Shmi Skywalker, and she claimed her son hadn't been conceived with a father. She named the kid Anakin, and by the time he was a toddler, he and his mother were both owned by a Toydarian named Watto, and the trio lived on the desert planet called Tatooine. Of course, this Jesus figure wouldn't be stuck on a sand planet for very long.

A special boy and a new threat

As part of his plan for galactic domination, Sidious acted as a secret advisor to the greedy Trade Federation, and he ordered them to blockade and ultimately invade the peaceful planet of Naboo. Once the Trade Federation arrived on the planet, Sidious slipped back into his Senator Palpatine disguise and advised Naboo's queen, Padme Amidala, that the current chancellor of the Republic wasn't acting in their best interests when it came to fending off this invading army of droids.  

Working with his his Sith apprentice, Darth Maul, Sidious was able to manipulate and manufacture tensions in the Republic from both sides. Palpatine was elected chancellor at Amidala's urging, granting him a place of unprecedented power to further his plans. The Trade Federation was ultimately defeated on Naboo, but the underlying damage was done.

Meanwhile, on a mission to protect Amidala, two Jedi Knights — Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi — happened upon a young Anakin Skywalker while repairing their starship on Tatooine. Qui-Gon discovered potentially unprecedented levels of Force sensitivity in the boy, who was already an accomplished podracer and mechanic despite his young age. Qui-Gon urged the Jedi Council to train Anakin, but the Jedi were reluctant. But after Qui-Gon's death at the hands of Darth Maul (whose short-lived arrival revealed the return of the Sith), the Council accepted Anakin as Obi-Wan's new apprentice, setting the stage for Skywalker's rise.

The Jedi discover a clone conspiracy

Three key things happened in the ten years between the events of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. First off, tensions within the Republic continued to rise under Palpatine's leadership. Secondly, Anakin Skywalker grew into a young Jedi Knight of considerable Force talents. And finally, Darth Sidious took on a new apprentice — former Jedi Count Dooku, who adopted the Sith name "Darth Tyranus." 

Dooku, at Sidious' urging, created some serious tension in the Republic by forming the Separatists, a movement that rapidly gained support. As numerous star systems threatened secession, now-Senator Padme Amidala fought to keep the Republic together, and was nearly assassinated for her trouble. Obi-Wan was dispatched by the Jedi Council to find out who was behind the attempt on her life, while Anakin stayed behind as her bodyguard. 

Obi-Wan's investigation uncovered an army of clones, seemingly ordered for the Republic by a dead Jedi Knight and all created from the DNA of a bounty hunter named Jango Fett. This discovery led Obi-Wan to discover a Separatist gathering on the planet Geonosis, while back on the Republic capital of Coruscant, Chancellor Palpatine was granted emergency powers to use the newly discovered clones in the fight against the Separatists, launching the Clone Wars ... which Palpatine was secretly controlling from both sides.

Meanwhile, Anakin and Padme fell in love, and Anakin's own internal anger grew as he discovered the death of his mother on Tatooine. As a result, he vowed he'd never let a loved one die again, and that's not a creepy thing to say at all.

The Clone Wars rock the Star Wars universe

The Clone Wars raged for three years, with Dooku as the figurehead of the Separatist movement and Palpatine as the increasingly powerful chancellor of the Republic. But of course, Sidious was really the secret master of both sides, bossing around Dooku and pulling strings in the Senate.

The war raged across the galaxy, consuming system after system as everyone picked sides. The Jedi Order, who considered themselves peacekeepers rather than soldiers, were tasked with joining the conflict as generals of the clone armies discovered during Attack of the Clones. Jedi Council leaders including Yoda, Mace Windu, and Ki-Adi-Mundi were drawn out of Coruscant to fight on the front lines, hampering their already-clouded vision and judgement as Sidious continued to scheme behind the scenes. 

As the conflict raged, Padme remained a force in the Senate, working for unity while believing she could trust Palpatine and his use of emergency powers to end the conflict. As for Obi-Wan and Anakin, they fought on the front lines, and Anakin even took on a Jedi apprentice named Ahsoka Tano. Of course, this whole time, he and Padme fell deeper in love, and they married in secret due to Jedi restrictions on romantic attachments. But as the war went on, Skywalker's darker tendencies grew, particularly when it came to protecting his loved ones, including Tano, who went into exile after growing weary of the Jedi.

The Sith Lord revealed

Ready for the final stage of his plan, Sidious (acting as Chancellor Palpatine) allowed himself to be taken prisoner by Separatist General Grievous. This kickstarted a major rescue mission, and in the following space battle over Coruscant, Obi-Wan and Anakin infiltrated Grievous' ship to rescue Palpatine. Once inside, they found Dooku, and in the battle with the Sith — who took Anakin's hand the last time they fought — Skywalker killed the Separatist leader at Palpatine's behest. Even though he didn't know it yet, Anakin had basically just made himself Sidious' new apprentice.

With Palpatine rescued, the Republic pressed their advantage in the war, and Yoda and Obi-Wan were both sent to the front lines in an effort to finish the conflict once and for all. Back on Coruscant, Padme informed Anakin that she was pregnant, and his dreams became troubled by visions of his wife dying in childbirth. Meanwhile, Anakin was also drawn into a game of espionage between Palpatine and the Jedi. The chancellor appointed him as his liaison on the Jedi Council, a group that requested Anakin spy on the chancellor, who they distrusted. This didn't sit well with Anakin, who grew even closer to Palpatine, especially after the chancellor hinted he might have knowledge that could prevent Padme from dying during childbirth ... or ever.

To push his plan into its final stages, Sidious revealed himself as a Sith Lord to Anakin, while also promising him knowledge. Anakin reported Sidious to Mace Windu, who attempted to arrest the Sith Lord. But naturally, Sidious fought back, and during the battle, Anakin chose to save the Sith and murder Mace Windu, all in the hopes that Sidious could save Padme's life.

The fall of the Jedi

With Mace Windu dead, Anakin pledged himself to the service of Darth Sidious in the hope he could prevent Amidala's death, the one he'd seen in his dreams. Sidious dubbed his new enforcer "Darth Vader," and then ordered him to slaughter everybody inside the Jedi Temple.

This began the Great Jedi Purge under Sidious' Order 66, which required all clone troopers to terminate their Jedi generals on sight. Only a handful of Jedi, like Obi-Wan and Yoda, were able to fend off their attackers. Meanwhile in the Senate, Palpatine used his power to declare the Jedi outlaws, and making matters even worse, he turned the Republic into the Galactic Empire. 

To end his self-orchestrated war, Sidious sent Vader to the planet Mustafar to kill all remaining Separatist leaders and shut down the clone army. And that's when Obi-Wan and Yoda made their move, with Kenobi going to fight Vader on Mustafar and Yoda confronting Sidious on Coruscant. Unfortunately, Padme reached Vader first, and when she tried to convince him to see the error of his ways, he nearly choked her to death. In a pair of Force duels, Sidious fought Yoda to a stalemate, while Obi-Wan gained the high ground and defeated Vader by severing his legs and leaving him to die near a lava flow. Big mistake, Obi-Wan, big mistake.

The Star Wars heroes are forced into exile

After facing the Sith, Obi-Wan and Yoda regrouped with Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan, after Kenobi returned from Mustafar with an unconscious Padme. Clinging to life after her husband nearly killed her, Padme gave birth to twins named Luke and Leia before passing away, leaving the children effectively orphaned. Yoda suggested splitting the twins up and placing them in hiding. Leia was adopted by Organa and his wife, while Luke was sent to Tatooine to live with Schmi Skywalker's relatives, the Lars family.

Obi-Wan and Yoda were, as far as they knew, the last remaining Jedi in the galaxy, and both were shaken by how quickly and effectively Sidious had been able to seize power from under their noses. Both went into exile to reflect on this and to plan for an eventual resurgence of the Jedi. Obi-Wan moved to Tatooine to keep watch over Luke, while Yoda moved to the swamps of Dagobah to live in solitude and reflect on a defeat he never saw coming. 

In the absence of the Jedi, Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine quickly consolidated his vast power with Vader (now wearing a black, armored life-support suit) by his side, eliminating political opponents as necessary and turning the Empire into a military dictatorship. Even as he celebrated, though, a small group of leaders — among them Bail Organa and Mon Mothma — were already sowing the seeds of rebellion.

Meet Han Solo, a rebel without a cause

Though much of the main thrust of the Star Wars story so far has revolved around the exploits of the Skywalker family, one key player got involved in the struggle to come through a decidedly different path. Han Solo was a Corellian orphan living on the streets and working for a local crime lord when a failed attempt to escape the planet with his girlfriend, Qi'ra, led him to enlist in the Imperial Navy. After three years of service to the Empire, during which time he was expelled from the flight academy and was made an infantryman, Solo deserted and joined up with an outlaw named Beckett in an effort to earn a new life for himself as a pilot. 

His path through the underworld of the Outer Rim led him to reunite with Qi'ra, now a trusted lieutenant in the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate. Together they embarked on a journey to steal a valuable shipment of coaxium fuel for Crimson Dawn boss, Dryden Vos. Along the way, Solo met his best friend, Chewbacca, and he obtained his trademark ship, the Millennium Falcon. Plus, he saw the first traces of the Rebellion taking root. At the end of the job, Qi'ra chose to betray and leave Han, leaving him disillusioned and prepared to trust only himself. He would remain a smuggler for the next decade.

Rise of the rebels

In the years after the Great Jedi Purge, Palpatine continued to obsessively pursue any potential leads on former Jedi who were in hiding, and he created an order of elite warriors known as Inquisitors to further this goal, dispatching them throughout the galaxy. Vader also continued this pursuit and remained one of Palpatine's chief enforcers. Even worse, Palpatine also began constructing a massive battle station with the power to wipe out a whole planet. 

Meanwhile, a small band of resistance leaders grew more and more organized, and the Rebel Alliance began to take root. The movement was initially a small guerrilla affair with very little chance against the Empire in an open fight, but nearly two decades after the fall of the Jedi, there was a breakthrough thanks to Galen Erso, a Rebel sympathizer who'd been forced to work on the battle station now known as the Death Star. Erso planted a key flaw in the design of the Death Star that would allow the Rebels to destroy it, and he got a message through to his daughter Jyn to let her know about the weak spot. During an all-out battle at Scarif, Jyn Erso and Captain Cassian Andor gave their lives to steal the Death Star plans, giving the struggling Alliance hope.

The Star Wars story gets a bit more hopeful

Nearly 20 years passed between the end of the Clone Wars and the Battle of Scarif, and during that time, Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker had both grown up on their adoptive homeworlds with no knowledge of their true parentage. Leia, now princess of Alderaan, was a key member of the Alliance and managed to flee Scarif with the Death Star plans. When Vader, who had no idea he was dealing with his own daughter, showed up to capture her, she hid the plans in a droid named R2-D2, who escaped to Tatooine in a pod with his counterpart, C-3PO.

On Tatooine the plans fell into the hands of Luke, now a farm boy with dreams of being a Rebel pilot and only a vague awareness of who his father was. After viewing a message from Leia directed at Obi-Wan Kenobi, he sought out the old man, and when the two met up, Obi-Wan revealed he was once a Jedi Knight ... although he kept Vader's identity a secret.

Determined to get the plans to Alderaan, Luke and Obi-Wan booked passage aboard the Millennium Falcon, the ship piloted by Han Solo, only to find the planet had been obliterated, courtesy of the Death Star's commander, Grand Moff Tarkin. And unfortunately for our heroes, the moon-sized battle station was way too close for comfort.

Taking out the Death Star

After our heroes found Alderaan destroyed, the Millennium Falcon was pulled into the Death Star's tractor beam, giving Obi-Wan, Luke, Han, and Han's co-pilot, Chewbacca, the opportunity to sneak aboard and infiltrate the station in search of Leia. While they searched for the princess, Obi-Wan went to disable the station's tractor beam, and Vader sensed his presence. A battle ensued as Luke, Han, Chewie, and Leia shot their way out of the station, and Obi-Wan dueled Vader in a long-awaited rematch. Sadly, the Sith Lord took his revenge on his former master, killing him in front of Luke. 

Back at the Rebel base on Yavin IV, the Alliance formed a plan to assault the Death Star and exploit its fatal flaw given to them by Galen Erso. Luke volunteered to join the fight, while Han left with the reward money he earned rescuing the princess. The assault commenced even as Tarkin sent the Death Star toward Yavin to destroy the Alliance once and for all, while Vader joined the counterattack in his own fighter. At the last moment, Han returned to help in the battle, shooting Vader out of the sky and leaving Luke free to destroy the Death Star. With the help of the Force, Luke saved the Rebel base and handed the Empire its biggest defeat yet in the Galactic Civil War.

The story takes a turn with a major revelation

Three years passed and the Galactic Civil War raged on while Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewie became a more cohesive unit of freedom fighters, carrying out missions on behalf of the Alliance, which moved its base to the remote ice planet of Hoth. After thoroughly searching the galaxy, Vader finally located the base and launched a full-scale assault, prompting a Rebel evacuation. Han, Leia, Chewie and C-3PO fled in the Falcon, while Luke left with R2-D2 in his X-Wing after receiving a message from Obi-Wan's ghost, telling him to seek Jedi training from Yoda on Dagobah

While Luke trained and grew stronger in the Force, Palpatine sensed his potential as an ally, while Vader realized who Luke truly was and decided to convert him to the Dark Side. Vader also obsessed over finding the Millennium Falcon, and he dispatched a gang of bounty hunters to do just that. As romantic tension simmered between Han and Leia, the Falcon made its way to the gas planet of Bespin, where Solo met his old friend, Lando Calrissian ... who unwillingly gave the Falcon and her crew up to Vader. Luke, sensing his friends were in danger, went to Bespin against Yoda's wishes to save them. 

While the bounty hunter Boba Fett froze Han Solo in carbonite to take him to Jabba the Hutt (a gangster Han owed money to), Vader and Luke threw down in an epic lightsaber duel. During the fight, Vader cut off Luke's hand and revealed that he was his father. Devastated and heartbroken, Luke attempted suicide rather than join the Dark Side, but fortunately, he was rescued by Leia, Lando, and Chewie. And soon after, the heroes started plotting to rescue Han.

Rescuing Han Solo

Months passed as Leia, Luke, Chewie, the droids, and Lando developed a plot to rescue Han. (Plus, Luke was busy refining his skills as a Jedi.) Both Leia and Lando infiltrated Jabba the Hutt's palace while in disguise, but Leia was captured after defrosting her boyfriend. Luke then began his phase of the plan, sending C-3PO and R2-D2 ahead as "gifts" for Jabba, then entering himself. Jabba managed to capture Luke, as well, and tried to have both Luke and Han executed by throwing them into a Sarlacc pit. But that's when Luke revealed that he'd hidden his new lightsaber in R2-D2's body, and with the help of Han, Chewie, and Lando, Luke absolutely annihilated Jabba's bodyguards. As for Leia — who'd been turned into Jabba's slave — she strangled the giant worm with her own chains.

After rescuing Han, Luke returned to Dagobah to find Yoda dying. Before his death, Yoda confirmed that Vader was indeed Luke's father, and after Yoda's passing, Obi-Wan's Force ghost informed Luke that Leia was his sister. Determined to complete his training and restore the Jedi, Luke returned to his friends. But in the midst of the war, the Empire had constructed a second Death Star, and Palpatine himself had arrived to oversee its completion and prevent another catastrophe. Seeing a time to strike, the Rebels decided it was time to launch a major attack.

The redemption of Anakin Skywalker

The Death Star II was fitted with a shield around its entire exterior, generated by a satellite dish located on the forest moon of Endor. So the Rebel strike included a covert attack to destroy this shield generator, along with a full-scale fleet assault to destroy the Death Star itself once the shield was down. Luke, Han, Leia, and Chewie led the Endor team, while Lando, Admiral Ackbar, and Wedge Antilles led the fleet strike. Of course, Luke had bigger fish to try, and early in the mission, after revealing to Leia that they were siblings, he turned himself in to Vader so he could face his father alone.

As the battle commenced on the ground and in space, Vader brought Luke before the Emperor, who began attempting to convert the young Jedi. Luke resisted until he reached for his lightsaber, launching a duel with Vader. The two fought until Luke overpowered his father with anger, but after realizing he was becoming just like his dad, Luke refused to kill Vader. 

Enraged by this, the Emperor began torturing Luke with Force lightning, which led Vader to pick up his master and throw him into the station's reactor core, apparently killing him and redeeming Anakin Skywalker in the process. On Endor, Han and Leia destroyed the shield generator with help from the native Ewoks, and the Rebel fleet completed its mission, destroying the Death Star and effectively ending the Galactic Empire. During the celebration, Luke quietly burned his father's body, and then witnessed Anakin's Force ghost joining Obi-Wan and Yoda on the Light Side again at last.

New villains arise in the Star Wars story

The deaths of Palpatine and Vader caused celebrations to break out across the galaxy, sending the remnants of the Empire into what ultimately became a semi-organized retreat. There were a few battles left to fight in the Civil War, but the Battle of Jakku a year after the Battle of Endor marked the last major conflict, as the Imperial loyalists were defeated and their military prowess crippled. 

As the New Galactic Republic began to form with help from major Rebel Alliance figures like Leia and Mon Mothma, the remains of the Empire retreated to the Outer Rim as part of a contingency plan developed by Palpatine. There, they ultimately fell under the command of a mysterious Force user named Snoke, who had a passion for the Dark Side and key knowledge of both the Empire and the Skywalker bloodline. The ashes of the Empire then gave birth to the First Order.

Meanwhile, Han and Leia had a son, Ben Solo, who showed the Force prowess of the Skywalker bloodline. Luke made good on his promise to rebuild the Jedi and started a temple where Ben was a student. Unfortunately, Snoke began to influence Ben's darker tendencies from afar, and the young Jedi turned on Luke, converting some students and slaughtering others. Heartbroken, Luke went into exile. Sensing the threat of Snoke and the First Order, Leia formed an underground movement separate from the Republic, a group known as the Resistance.

Where is Luke Skywalker?

Snoke ultimately brought the First Order out of the shadows three decades after the defeat of the Empire, with the goal of taking over the galaxy and exterminating the last remaining Jedi, Luke Skywalker. With his military commander, General Armitage Hux, Snoke developed a massive system-killing weapon known as Starkiller Base. Meanwhile, through Ben Solo — now a powerful Dark Side warrior known as Kylo Ren — he sought to find Luke Skywalker. 

Skywalker's location was secreted away on a piece of starmap obtained by Resistance pilot Poe Dameron and hidden in his droid BB-8. The droid was ultimately found by a Jakku scavenger named Rey, who realized its importance when the First Order came looking for it. Teaming with a First Order deserter (though she didn't know it at the time) named Finn, Rey stole the long-dormant Millennium Falcon and left Jakku, only to run into Han Solo and Chewbacca. 

With Han and Chewie's help, Rey and Finn were able to return Luke's map to Leia and the Resistance, but not before Starkiller Base was activated, wiping out the capital of the New Republic and sending the galaxy into a new wave of political chaos. Meanwhile, Rey came across Anakin Skywalker's original lightsaber, which was lost when Darth Vader cut Luke Skywalker's hand off during their duel on Bespin, and that discovery changed the young woman's life forever.

The next hope

With little time to mourn the Republic, General Leia Organa, Han Solo, Finn, and the Resistance launched a desperate attack to destroy Starkiller Base. While there, Han confronted his son, Ben, but this didn't end well. Hoping to prove to Snoke that he'd truly turned to the Dark Side, Kylo Ren murdered his dad. Yeah, the Rebels were able to destroy Starkiller Base ... but at a tremendous cost. 

Up on the surface of the base's planet, Rey took up Anakin's lightsaber and dueled Kylo, fulfilling her own suspicion that she could wield the Force after discovering her gifts while in First Order captivity. She defeated Kylo Ren but didn't kill him, and Hux and Kylo evacuated the base to return to Snoke.

After the battle, R2-D2 — who'd been powered down ever since Luke disappeared — revealed that he could complete the partial map which had been hidden in BB-8. Armed with her fledgling Force knowledge, Rey journeyed with R2-D2 and Chewbacca to a remote island on the planet Ahch-To, prepared to ask Luke for help in teaching her the ways of the Force and in destroying the First Order.

Luke is a reluctant master

The First Order wasted no time in attempting to wipe out the Resistance after the destruction of Starkiller Base, sending a fleet to their base on D'Qar as the Resistance attempted to evacuate. Poe Dameron led a massive attack on the First Order fleet against Organa's wishes, and while the Resistance did evacuate, they lost a great many ships and pilots in the process. 

While the Resistance fled the First Order fleet, Rey found Luke was unwilling to offer her any assistance, and that he was determined to simply stay on Ahch-To in solitude until he died, believing the hubris of the Jedi is what doomed the galaxy to darkness in the first place. Rey was ultimately able to convince Luke to help her, but even as he taught her the ways of the Force, Rey began sharing secret, Force-connected conversations with Kylo that were secretly engineered by Snoke.

Luke and Rey ultimately had a falling out when she tried to convince him that Kylo, who he'd almost killed years earlier, was capable of redemption. Rey fled the island while Force Ghost Yoda used Force lightning to burn down the first Jedi Temple, signaling an end to the old ways of the Jedi Order.

The last Jedi?

While Rey struggled to learn from Luke, the First Order continued its pursuit of the Resistance, which rapidly ran out of ships and nearly lost Leia during a fighter attack. Amid a number of struggles, including a mutiny by Poe Dameron, Leia and Vice Admiral Holdo staged a last-ditch effort to preserve the Resistance as the remaining fighters made for a hidden base on the planet Crait. 

On Snoke's flagship, Rey allowed herself to be captured so she could try to convert Kylo, who initially seemed to be on her side. He even killed Snoke rather than watch Rey die. But after fighting Snoke's guards together, Kylo asked Rey to join him in ruling the galaxy. Rey, heartbroken, declined and fled to the Resistance on Crait. 

After Vice Admiral Holdo flew the Resistance flagship into the First Order fleet, crippling their starships, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren led a ground assault on the last of the Resistance on Crait, only to be confronted by Luke Skywalker. Luke faced down the First Order assault and bought the Resistance time to escape on the Millennium Falcon. Luke even declared, "I will not be the last Jedi," suggesting Rey would rise further in the Force. And that's when Luke revealed himself to be a Force projection, with the real Skywalker back on Ahch-To. The strain of projecting his consciousness across the galaxy was too much, and while the Resistance lived to fight on, Luke died peacefully, becoming one with the Force after years of closing himself off from it.

"The dead speak!"

After the Battle of Crait saved the last remnants of the Resistance, the situation was still dire. As Rey trained with Leia to develop her Jedi abilities, other Resistance operatives searched for new allies — and they found one via a secret First Order spy who confirmed the rumors that gripped much of the galaxy: Emperor Palpatine had returned, announcing his intentions to exact vengeance on the galaxy via a mysterious broadcast. This broadcast infuriated Kylo Ren, who sought to hunt Palpatine down on the hidden Sith world of Exegol. The Supreme Leader found the old Emperor, where Palpatine made him an offer: Kylo could rule the galaxy as a new Emperor with the help of a long-hidden fleet of planet killers, if he agreed to kill Rey.

Meanwhile the Resistance went in search of a Sith Wayfinder which could point the way to Palpatine and stop his "Final Order" fleet before it launched in a matter of hours. This journey led them across several planets, where they fought everyone from Ren himself to the Knights of Ren, and along the way Rey grew increasingly wary of her place in the world. This wariness only increased when the group's search led them to a Sith dagger which caused Rey to have horrifying visions. As her anxiety built, Rey discovered a new layer of darkness in her, while Finn and Poe struggled to hold the mission together. 

All of the Sith vs. All of the Jedi

Rey's anxieties over who she was built to a peak when Kylo Ren told her that he knew her true heritage: She was the granddaughter of Palpatine himself, which explained both her darkness and her strength in the Force. After learning the truth Rey nearly killed Kylo in battle, but healed him after Leia Organa intervened to save her son with her dying breath. After this, Rey considered going into exile, but was talked into returning to the fight by the spirit of Luke Skywalker, and journeyed to Exegol to confront Palpatine. There, the revived Emperor revealed his true plan: To convert her to become the new Empress and leader of the Sith. Rey refused his offer and fought Palpatine with the help of a redeemed Kylo Ren. When all seemed lost, Rey drew on the power of the spirits of all the Jedi who came before, and helped her to counter the strength of Palpatine, who represented the spirits of all Sith. Outside the Emperor's fortress, a Resistance fleet composed of thousands of random ships fought as one to save the galaxy from the Final Order fleet. In the end, both the Emperor and the fleet were defeated, and the galaxy was saved. 

In the aftermath of the battle, Rey forged her own lightsaber and buried those of her teachers in the Tatooine desert. Finally, she revealed that she had taken a new name: Rey Skywalker.