The 'Star Wars' timeline is confusing. Here's when 'The Mandalorian,' 'Ahsoka' and more take place | CNN (2024)


Star Wars” fans have much to look forward to in terms of new content.

The problem? All the stories take place at different points of time in the galaxy far, far away. “The Mandalorian” is set between the original film trilogy and the latest sequels. “Andor” is a prequel to “Rogue One,” itself a prequel to “A New Hope.” And the forthcoming Disney+ series “The Acolyte” takes place hundreds of years before the Skywalker saga.

Worry not, padawans: CNN has laid out a comprehensive timeline of the “Star Wars” canon so you can follow all of the franchise’s time-jumps without getting lost in space.

These details are pulled from the official “Star Wars” resources “Ultimate Star Wars” and “Star Wars Character Encyclopedia,” as well as experts from outlets like USA Today and the AV Club. Omitted from this timeline are anthology series like “Star Wars Visions.”

Many “Star Wars” diehards mark the passage of time in the galaxy by the Battle of Yavin, the fateful fight in “A New Hope” in which the first iteration of the Death Star is destroyed. “The Phantom Menace” takes place more than 30 years before this battle. But for “Star Wars” fans who are still working out the differences between the Republic, the Rebellion and the Resistance, we’ll measure in plain old Earth time.

The prequels

‘Episode I: The Phantom Menace’

The 'Star Wars' timeline is confusing. Here's when 'The Mandalorian,' 'Ahsoka' and more take place | CNN (1)

Qui-Gon Jin, R2-D2, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi have a fateful meeting in "The Phantom Menace."

The Skywalker saga begins! Anakin Skywalker is around 9 years old when we meet him in the first prequel film. Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Padawan to Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jin, who’s obsessed with young Anakin’s off-the-charts midi-chlorian count. Darth Maul, pupil of Sith double agent Senator Palpatine/Darth Sidious, kills Qui-Gon and is cut in half by Obi-Wan (though he appears in animated series and cameos in “Solo” with mechanical spider legs). Anakin also meets the teenage queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala, with whom he falls in love.

‘Episode II: Attack of the Clones’

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In "Attack of the Clones," Anakin woos Padmé by revealing how much he hates sand.

If Anakin is 9 when we meet him in ‘The Phantom Menace,” then “Attack of the Clones” takes place around a decade later, according to USA Today. Our hero has grown up into a whiny, troublemaking teenager who tends to break rules (like marrying Padmé, now a galactic senator) and generally irritate his Jedi Master, Obi-Wan, who loves him like a pesky younger brother. The Republic is starting to crumble under the influence of separatists like Count Dooku, a former Jedi turned Sith, and the Republic makes use of a Clone army to keep the galaxy together (for a short while).

‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ (animated series)

The 'Star Wars' timeline is confusing. Here's when 'The Mandalorian,' 'Ahsoka' and more take place | CNN (3)

Ahsoka is Anakin's padawan in "The Clone Wars," and he lovingly calls her "Snips."

This animated series is mostly set between “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” (during which about three years pass). This series ends at the same time “Revenge of the Sith” does – fan-favorite heroine Ahsoka Tano leaves the Jedi Order and barely escapes Order 66, the command that turns nearly every clone in the galaxy to Darth Sidious’ side thanks to chips implanted in their skulls.

‘Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’

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Anakin is nearly burned alive and reborn as Darth Vader in "Revenge of the Sith."

So, that Clone Army? Yeah, it didn’t take long for them to turn on the Jedi – about three years after “Attack of the Clones,” or as long as it takes Anakin to grow out his hair. In this dark installment, Sidious executes Order 66 and snuffs out almost all living Jedi. Anakin commits to the Dark Side full-time, adopting the moniker of Darth Vader. Padmé dies shortly after giving birth to twins, Luke and Leia, who are separated and kept secret from Vader. Palpatine/Sidious is now emperor, and the reign of the Empire begins.

In between ‘Episodes III’ and ‘IV’

Several of Disney’s most recent “Star Wars” series take place in between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope,” when the Empire runs the galaxy with an iron fist and surviving Jedi live in hiding.

‘The Bad Batch’

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Crosshair, Echo, Wrecker, Hunter and Tech (plus Omega, not pictured) make up the Bad Batch.

This animated series takes place in the immediate aftermath of Order 66, impacting nearly every clone except for the members of the “Bad Batch,” rogues whose quirks separate them from the rest of the clones – one is a tech wiz, another is a hulking strongman, yet another is a young girl. Unlike the rest of the clone army, the chips in their brains malfunctioned so they didn’t blindly start murdering Jedi under Sidious’ command – and their individuality makes them targets of the Empire.

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

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"Solo" shows how Han and Chewie became best friends.

We meet the beloved scoundrel Han Solo as a teen in “Solo,” initially as an orphan trained to pilfer. Thrillist surmised that “Solo” must take place about eight or nine years after “Revenge of the Sith,” since Han is a few years older than Luke and Leia, and would have needed time to develop galaxy-wide infamy. We also, crucially, meet Han’s cape-loving frenemy, Lando Calrissian.

‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’

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Obi-Wan is still racked with guilt in his titular series.

About a decade has passed since the events of “Revenge of the Sith”: Luke and Leia are around 10 years old; Darth Vader employs Force-sensitive Inquisitors to hunt Obi-Wan; and our favorite Jedi Master is floundering on Tatooine. Bail Organa tasks Obi-Wan with recovering Leia, his adopted daughter, and the young princess finally meets the Jedi master she’ll call upon at the beginning of “A New Hope.” This reignites Obi-Wan’s hope in the Skywalker children and the future of the galaxy they’ll inherit.

‘Star Wars Rebels’

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Kanan Jarrus, Zeb Orrelios and Sabine Wren take on the Empire in "Star Wars Rebels."

A ragtag team of former Jedi, a Mandalorian native, a rambunctious droid and top-notch pilots make up some of the first members of the fledgling rebellion. Their animated adventures take place about 14 years after the events of the “Clone Wars” series, per Den of Geek, and conclude just before “A New Hope” begins.


The 'Star Wars' timeline is confusing. Here's when 'The Mandalorian,' 'Ahsoka' and more take place | CNN (9)

Cassian Andor finds his footing in the galaxy in "Andor."

This series introduces the “Rogue One” rebel Cassian Andor when he was still a nonbeliever. But over the course of the season, set about 14 years after “Revenge of the Sith” and around five years before “Rogue One,” per the AV Club, we witness Andor’s radicalization as he becomes a leader of the rebellion. We also see Mon Mothma use her position as a wealthy senator to cover her secret funding of the rebellion’s efforts.

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

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Heroes attempt to find the plans to blow up the Death Star in "Rogue One."

The action of “Rogue One” takes place in the weeks leading up to “A New Hope.” In it, Jyn Erso, whose father was forced by the Empire to develop the Death Star, joins the Rebellion in an effort to retrieve the plans to eventually destroy the Death Star. Along with Cassian Andor, the droid K-2SO and an Imperial pilot turncoat, Jyn dies but successfully sends the plans to the Rebel fleet. “Rogue One” ends just moments after Darth Vader boards Princess Leia’s ship and the Alderanean adoptee records her fateful message to Obi-Wan, delivered by R2-D2.

The original trilogy

The films that started it all, these three are situated smack-dab in the middle of the Skywalker saga, starring Anakin and Padmé’s kids.

‘Episode IV: A New Hope’

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Luke, Leia and Han develop an odd love triangle in "A New Hope."

Many “Star Wars” fans believe Luke and Leia are around 19 during “A New Hope,” meaning the film takes place nearly two decades after “Revenge of the Sith.” Luke is called to adventure on Tatooine after the droid R2-D2, formerly part of Luke’s late mother’s Naboo crew, transmits a message for Obi-Wan (or Old Ben, as he’s called by Luke and others). Vader defeats Obi-Wan – or does he? – and the Rebels destroy the Death Star in the Battle of Yavin.

‘Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’

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Yoda, now older and slightly unhinged, shares indispensable advice with Luke.

About three years after “A New Hope,” per USA Today, Luke begins his Jedi training on Dagobah with a batty old Yoda. Lando double-crosses Han, who winds up frozen in carbonite. And Luke faces off against Darth Vader, during which he loses a hand and learns that the Sith Lord is, in fact, his father. Yikes!

‘Episode VI: Return of the Jedi’

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Luke reunites with Han and Leia and forgives his father in "Return of the Jedi."

And one year after Luke gets his hand sliced off, Leia and Han escape the clutches of Jabba the Hutt. Yoda, at the ripe age of 900, finally dies. And Vader kills Sidious and redeems himself shortly before dying and earning Luke’s respect. The film ends on the Forest Moon of Endor, where our heroes (and an army of Ewoks) defeat the Empire once and for all.

Between ‘Episode VI’ and ‘Episode VII’

At least three Disney+ series are set in the previously unexplored time period of the post-Empire, pre-First Order galaxy.

‘The Mandalorian’

The 'Star Wars' timeline is confusing. Here's when 'The Mandalorian,' 'Ahsoka' and more take place | CNN (14)

Grogu and the Mandalorian might be the most well-adjusted father-son duo in the galaxy.

When we meet Mando and Grogu, the New Republic is technically leading the Galaxy after the Empire’s defeat in the Battle of Endor. But we soon learn how lawless much of the galaxy, particularly the Outer Rim, remains. And while the New Republic’s bureaucratic progress moves at a glacial pace, former imperials are forming a new evil superpower – a fascist government that will eventually become the First Order and take over the galaxy.

‘The Book of Boba Fett’

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The son of Jango Fett is unmasked at last in "The Book of Boba Fett."

This miniseries about the once-inept bounty hunter flitted back and forth through time, from the period after Boba escaped the Sarlacc pit in “Return of the Jedi” to Din Jarin’s adventures in “The Mandalorian.” It’s also in this series that we see Grogu training with Luke and Ahsoka before abandoning his studies to rejoin his adopted dad. Boba, meanwhile, fills the power vacuum left by Jabba the Hutt.


This series, which premiered in August 2023, takes place around the same time as “The Mandalorian,” or around five years after the end of “Return of the Jedi,” according to Rotten Tomatoes. It stars many live-action versions of characters from “Star Wars Rebels,” like Sabine Wren, Ezra Bridger, Hera Syndulla and the feared Grand Admiral Thrawn.

The Skywalker saga sequels

The final three films in the Skywalker saga (for now, that is) take place in a tighter period of time than its predecessors: According to USA Today, all of them take place within the same year. That means, within that time, Rey connects with the Force, Kylo Ren becomes Supreme Leader, Darth Sidious returns, the First Order is soundly defeated and Han, Luke and Leia die. Phew!

‘Episode VII: The Force Awakens’

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"Star Wars" loves a good sunset vista, like this one from "The Force Awakens."

About 30 years have passed since the Battle of Endor, per USA Today. Leia, now a general with the Resistance, and Han have a son, Kylo Ren, whom many fans believe is not yet 30 years old when we meet him. According to the “Star Wars Character Encyclopedia,” Rey, an enterprising orphan on the desert planet Jakku, is 19, the same age as Luke in “A New Hope.” After she befriends former stormtrooper Finn and discovers her Force sensitivity, she faces Kylo, who kills his father.

‘Episode VIII: The Last Jedi’

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Finn faces his demons -- like former tormentor Captain Phasma -- in "The Last Jedi."

“The Last Jedi” begins moments after the end of “The Force Awakens,” when Rey finds Luke on the island planet Ahch-To and he promptly tosses his lightsaber. He reveals that he took on a teenage Kylo Ren, his nephew, as a tutee. That ended poorly – Kylo absconded with some of Luke’s other pupils and killed the rest, destroying Luke’s hope in the future of the Jedi. Luke dies at the end of the film, Leia leads a small Rebel cell to safety and Kylo kills Snoke, the series’ villainous MacGuffin, to save Rey.

‘Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker’

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Finn, Rey, C3PO and their pilot pal Poe are reunited in "The Rise of Skywalker."

The final chapter of the Skywalker saga sees the surviving Skywalkers die: Leia passes in peace and Kylo sacrifices himself for Rey. Oh, and the clone of Emperor Palpatine (who somehow returned) dies, too, or so we’re led to believe. Rey, who’s told by the zombified Sith Lord that she’s a Palpatine, too, adopts the Skywalker moniker.

Upcoming projects

There are a few new “Star Wars” films and series in the works. One film covers the dawn of the Jedi and another will tie up the various storylines started in “The Mandalorian” and “Ahsoka,” and Jude Law will star in a mysterious show called “Skeleton Crew.” We have a better idea of what the following films and series entail.

‘The Acolyte’

Details on this series, set to debut sometime in 2024, are slim, but showrunner Leslye Headland did let slip that the series takes place about 100 years before the events of “Phantom Menace.” Maybe we’ll see a young, spry Yoda in his late 700s or early 800s?

Untitled Rey film

Rey returns! Daisy Ridley will reprise her role in an upcoming film that sees her trying to rebuild the Jedi Order about 15 years after “The Rise of Skywalker,” per Variety. Here’s hoping we see much more of that yellow lightsaber.

As an AI language model, I have access to a wide range of information and can provide insights on various topics, including "Star Wars." I can help answer questions, provide explanations, and engage in discussions related to the "Star Wars" franchise.

In the provided article from CNN, the author discusses the different timelines and events within the "Star Wars" canon. The article mentions several series and films, each taking place at different points in the "Star Wars" universe. To provide accurate information, I will break down the concepts mentioned in the article and provide details about each one.

Prequel Trilogy:

  • Episode I: The Phantom Menace: This film introduces Anakin Skywalker as a young boy and follows his journey as he becomes a Jedi Knight. It also introduces characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Padmé Amidala.
  • Episode II: Attack of the Clones: Set around ten years after "The Phantom Menace," this film explores Anakin's growth as a Jedi Knight and his relationship with Padmé Amidala. It also delves into the political turmoil of the Republic and the rise of the Clone Army.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (animated series): This animated series takes place between "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith." It focuses on the events of the Clone Wars and the experiences of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and their allies.
  • Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: The final film in the prequel trilogy, "Revenge of the Sith," depicts the fall of Anakin Skywalker to the dark side, his transformation into Darth Vader, and the rise of the Galactic Empire.

Original Trilogy:

  • Episode IV: A New Hope: This film is the starting point of the original trilogy. It introduces Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and other iconic characters. The story follows the Rebel Alliance's fight against the oppressive Galactic Empire.
  • Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back: The second film in the original trilogy, "The Empire Strikes Back," continues the story of the Rebel Alliance's struggle against the Empire. It reveals the truth about Darth Vader's identity and features the iconic battle on the ice planet Hoth.
  • Episode VI: Return of the Jedi: The final film in the original trilogy, "Return of the Jedi," concludes the story of Luke Skywalker's journey to become a Jedi Knight and the ultimate defeat of the Emperor and Darth Vader.

Sequel Trilogy:

  • Episode VII: The Force Awakens: Set approximately 30 years after the events of "Return of the Jedi," this film introduces new characters like Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren. It follows their journey as they become entangled in a new conflict between the Resistance and the First Order.
  • Episode VIII: The Last Jedi: Continuing the story from "The Force Awakens," "The Last Jedi" explores the training of Rey by Luke Skywalker and the ongoing conflict between the Resistance and the First Order.
  • Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker: The final film in the Skywalker saga, "The Rise of Skywalker," concludes the story of Rey, Kylo Ren, and the battle between the Resistance and the First Order.

Other Series and Films:

  • The Mandalorian: This series takes place after the fall of the Empire and follows the adventures of a bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy.
  • The Book of Boba Fett: This miniseries focuses on the character Boba Fett and his journey after escaping the Sarlacc pit.
  • Ahsoka: This series, set around five years after "Return of the Jedi," features the character Ahsoka Tano and her experiences in the post-Empire galaxy.
  • Andor: This series serves as a prequel to "Rogue One" and explores the backstory of the character Cassian Andor.
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: This film is a standalone story that leads directly into the events of "A New Hope."

Upcoming Projects:

  • The Acolyte: This series, set to debut in 2024, takes place about 100 years before the events of "The Phantom Menace."
  • Untitled Rey Film: This upcoming film sees Rey trying to rebuild the Jedi Order about 15 years after "The Rise of Skywalker."

Please note that the information provided above is based on the details mentioned in the CNN article. For more specific information or further details, it is recommended to refer to official "Star Wars" resources or watch the films and series themselves.

The 'Star Wars' timeline is confusing. Here's when 'The Mandalorian,' 'Ahsoka' and more take place | CNN (2024)
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