In case you haven’t paid attention to your social media feed, the internet, or general conversation the last few months (few years for some), this weekend is a pretty epic one for the Box Office. That’s right, Alvin and the Chipmunks “Road Chip” comes out tomorrow. And it goes without saying that people have been lined up since Wednesday to snag a seat at their local multiplex, dressed as the infamous characters, and arguing over plot lines, potential theories, and whether or not Alvin can actually sing.
Ok ok this article is not about Alvin, nor is it about me still figuring out how Jason Lee is still employed. Because he’s awesome that’s why.
I am actually currently writing this while waiting in line to see an early screening of the VII installment of the popular franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that sold $100M in tickets before people walked into a theater. They even have their own freaking wikipedia. Not a page. An entire site. And no I’m not dressed as Han, but I am trying to help you fit in with the engineers at the office party when you don’t know what a stormtrooper is. You’re welcome. Below are nine (ish) helpful tips for the non Star Wars fan, to get in with the cool kids.
- Not many people like the prequels, except for the true fans. But to better break it down, “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenger of the Sith” all took place before the first ever “Star Wars” movie in 1977. While they were made afterwards, the chronology of the “Star Wars” universe goes as follows:
- “The Phantom Menace” (1999)
- “Attack of the Clones” (2001)
- “Revenge of the Sith” (2005)
- “A New Hope” (1977)
- “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)
- “Return of the Jedi” (1983)
- “The Force Awakens” (2015)
- You should probably never mention Jar Jar Binks. Some people don’t mind the unique character, but many people have an issue with him. So best to maybe steer clear.
- The Good Guys: The Rebel Alliance, made up of Jedi and allies, who are basically like medieval knights. Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill in the original films) , brother to Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher), and friends with smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford), is the ultimate Jedi. Once, there were many Jedi, and they kept the Sith (the really bad guys) at bay for years — until one regained control. Chancellor Palpatine, the Emperor, exterminated all but a handful of the Jedi with the help of Anakin Skywalker under Order 66, completing Anakin’s path to the dark side becoming Darth Vader (Spoiler alert: Anakin made this deal to save his children, Luke and Leia).
- Yoda is the master of all Jedi.
- The Bad Guys: The Galactic Empire, more often referred to as just “The Empire.” Basically the GOP of the galaxy.
- The Really Bad Guys: The Sith. Led by Darth Vader and the Emperor Palpatine who have taken command of the Galactic Empire.
- The Force: As Obi-Wan Kenobi (who trained both Anakin and Luke for the Galactic Republic) explains it to Luke: “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” The Force can be used for good or for evil: The Jedi use the light side, and the Sith use the dark side.
- A Wookie is a big, furry creature from the planet of Kashyyyk, and an Ewok is a small, furry one from the Forest Moon of Endor. Han Solo’s partner Chewbacca is a Wookie, for example, and Ewoks are the native tribe that helped out Luke, Leia and their Rebel friends in the final battle of Episode VI. Basically Chewbacca is a wookie
- Light sabers are the weapon of choice for those with The Force. Good guys have blue or green light sabers, and the Dark Side usually has orange or red ones.
Ok fine that was probably a few more than nine, but you’re lucky I didn’t ramble more. And just in case you didn’t know, George Lucas is the creator of this entire epic space opera. Why is he truly a genius? Well not only is he responsible for creating Star Wars, but he also brought audiences the Indiana Jones series with his friend and often collaborator Steven Spielberg. On top of that? When the first Star Wars film (name it!) was going excessively over-budget, and the strange plot and even stranger characters led studio execs and even Lucas himself to believe that it would be a major Box Office flop, Lucas gave up his director fee for the rights to all of the merchandising rights for the film. That’s right. Every nerf gun, every light saber, every Millenium Falcon toy all goes to Lucas, giving him a personal net worth of about $3.6 Billion. Sure.
And now with this one in the hands of the Emperor of film geekdom, J.J. Abrams, maybe you’ll finally get in on the game and see it this weekend with the rest of the planet, now that you’re all caught up on what a deathstar is. Just watch the below and may the force be with you.