Star Wars for Dummies: 60 Star Wars Terms & Star Wars Characters & Ships



If you have been alive anytime within the last 40 years, you have heard of Star Wars.

It has grown into much more than just a movie; it is a cultural phenomenon that changed the movie industry, and revolutionized the science fiction/fantasy genre on screen. It’s a story of bravery, redemption, power struggles, and hope.

This is a very simplified list of common words and phrases that are referenced in today’s global culture when people talk about Star Wars. You can use it for a basic foundation of English Star Wars vocabulary.

However, this does not substitute watching the seven current Star Wars Episodes. If you have not yet seen them, you need to set aside a weekend and catch up with the rest of the world. It’s up to you to decide in which order you watch them.

It seems George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, had the intention of his audience to watch Episodes IV-VI first, and later Episodes I-III, Episodes III, IV, and VI being my personal favorites.

So, review the vocabulary, watch the films, and…

“may the Force be with you.”

Star Wars:

the popular fantasy/science fiction movie series that describes an intergalactic civil war; the story depicts action, adventure, romance, survival, and fighting for what you believe in

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away:
the famous credit openings of each Star Wars film

a system in space made up of stars, planets, gas, and dust held together by gravity

a mass in space orbiting around a star; the planets in Star Wars are important parts of the unfolding story

a type of transportation in space; the most famous spaceship in the Star Wars series may be the Millennium Falcon

a set of three, Episodes IV through VI of Star Wars are often called “The Original Trilogy”

The Force:
an energy that connects all things in the Star Wars galaxy, and can be used or manipulated by certain gifted people sensitive to it. When wishing someone luck or the best outcome, the phrase “May the Force be with you,” is often used.

Mind trick:
sometimes called the “Jedi mind trick”, the ability to change or confuse someone’s thoughts through use of the Force

the ability to move objects with one’s mind

the weapon of choice used by Jedi and Sith, wielded like a sword, and comes in different colors and shapes; Jedi and Sith could often be recognized by their lightsaber. For example, Mace Windu had a unique purple lightsaber.

enforcers of peace and justice in the galaxy, and practice the light side of the

Force; the Jedi are righteous, and many people look to them for guidance and direction. It is a title of great honor and responsibility, and they are forbidden from taking on attachments, such as marriages and families.

a Jedi in training; they were often young and assigned to a Jedi Knight or Jedi Master as an apprentice, and wore a Padawan braid in their hair to signify their ranking

Jedi Knight:
a member of the Jedi Order who has successfully completed their Jedi training

Jedi Master:
a high ranking of the Jedi Order, only given to powerful Jedi, seen as leaders amongst Jedi; Yoda was the most senior Jedi Master, and second to him was Mace Windu.

one of the most respected and powerful Jedi Master; Yoda, trained Luke Skywalker on planet Dagobah.

The Chosen One:
an ancient Jedi prophecy that believes one person, “the Chosen One,” will destroy the Sith and restore balance to the Force; Anakin was believed to be this person, and later Luke.

those who practice the dark side of the Force; it can be a luring energy for those who just dabble in the dark side, pulling them deeper and deeper

Sith Lord:
a title of ranking of power among Sith; Darth Sidious and his apprentice, Darth Vader were both powerful Sith Lords

the story before a current story; Episodes I-III lay out the prequel of the Star Wars Original Trilogy, explaining the important part Anakin Skywalker has in the unfolding, and how the Jedi Order had disappeared after centuries of rule.

Anakin Skywalker:
an important part of the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire; he was a prodigy of the Force from the planet of Tatooine and discovered and freed from slavery by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Episode I.

He was conceived with no father and believed to be the Chosen One of Jedi Prophecy to destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force… However, later in life as a result of fear, envy, hatred, lust for power, and grieving the loss of a loved one, he became Darth Vader.

Obi-Wan Kenobi:
a Jedi Master who trained Anakin Skywalker; they became as close as brothers before Anakin chose a path of betrayal. Obi-Wan later became a mentor to Luke Skywalker, and was also referred to as “Ben” in the original trilogy.

Darth Maul:
of the Dathomirian Zabrak, an aggressive species, known for his double-sided red lightsaber, red and black face, with red eyes, and five horns; a Sith Lord who was trained by Darth Sidious

General Grievous:
commander of the droid army and recruited by Count Dooku during the Clone Wars; he was originally a Kaleesh warrior from the planet Kalee, but he received cyborg implants to make him a more powerful fighter and opponent

copies or duplicates of a being; the clonetroopers were soldier clones of Jango Fett during the Clone Wars

Clone Trooper:
soldiers that fight for the Republic, but were made on a planet

Komino and cloned from Jango Fett to create a large army; they were later programmed to follow orders of the Galactic Empire without hesitation, and helped unfold Order 66.

Clone Wars:
a three-year war between the Galactic Empire and the Confederacy of Independent Systems; a defining war that intended to destroy the Jedi Order, and led to the Order of Sith Lords controlling the galactic government

Great Jedi Purge (Order 66):
Order 66, ordered by Chancellor Palpatine, named Jedi as traitors of the Republic and ordered clone troopers to hunt and execute all Jedi to their extinction; this nearly annihilated all Jedi, some fought back until their death, others, like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda went into hiding. It was a major part of the Clone Wars and led to the fall of the Jedi Order to allow the Galactic Empire to take power

Galactic Empire:
the empire that overthrew the Jedi Order, and is led by the Sith (the bad guys); George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, modeled the uniforms, insignia, and organization of the Galactic Empire after the Nazi German Army.

meaning “dark”, a title given to Dark Lords of the Sith Order, such as Darth Vader and Darth Sidious

Darth Vader:
meaning “dark father”, the main villain and Sith Lord of the original trilogy, Episodes IV-VI; Darth Vader is the famous black-masked and caped Sith Lord. Originally, Anakin Skywalker, but was christened Darth Vader by Darth Sidious after betraying the Jedi Order.

In a battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi on the planet Mustafar, Anakin lost all of his limbs except his cybernetic arm, leaving him extremely crippled and dependent on machines sustaining him for the rest of his life. His black armor is his life support; he needs it to survive.

Death Star:
a history-changing powerful weapon that can destroy entire planets; it was essentially a genocide weapon, because it could destroy a whole planet and an entire species with it.

the police force of the Galactic Empire; they’re the bulk of the Empire’s army, but some are weak-minded, and susceptible to Jedi mind tricks.

Rebel Alliance/Army:
the army fighting against the Imperial Empire and its injustice (the good guys); thousands of rebel fighters sacrificed their lives for the good of the Rebel Alliance.

Luke Skywalker:
the main hero of the original Star Wars trilogy, finds himself leading the fight against the Galactic Empire, and the origin of the New Jedi Order

Princess Leia:
a princess who was a key part of the Resistance, and later became a respected General; her famous hairstyle from the Original Trilogy were the two braided buns on each side of her head.

Han Solo:
an intergalactic smuggler, outlaw who befriends Luke Skywalker; he’s been described as a cowboy in space.

Millennium Falcon:
Han Solo and Chewbacca’s trusty starship, a Corellian light freighter; it’s frequently breaking down, but Han and Chewie keep it together.

species from Kashyyk planet, with tall, hairy bodies; their weapon of choice is often a handcrafted bowcaster.

a wookie, closest friend of Han Solo, who became a resistance fighter; also known as “Chewie”; he is debatably the best Star Wars character of the whole series and most recognizable by his wookie call.

robot; they can be simple-minded or more intelligent and loyal, sometimes with a sense of humor

a small blue and silver trusty side-kick droid of Anakin and later Luke Skywalker

a gold droid who was often the worrier of the group

Boba Fett:
a famous bounty hunter, a person who captures fugitives for money, in the galaxy, he was a clone of Jango Fett, but raised more like his son. He was hired for his reputation by Darth Vader and Jabba the Hutt.

TIE Fighter:
a common one-man Imperial ship designed for fighter VS fighter combat

X-shaped rebel spaceship

Y-shaped rebel spaceship

Star Destroyer:
the largest and most dangerous ship of the Imperial navy

a species that is short, furry, loyal, and bear-like; they played a very important role in the Battle of Endor and helping to fight against the Galactic Empire, since Endor is their native planet

Battle of Endor:
the final battle of Episode VI, which was thought to have finally brought balance to the Force; it was an important part and ending to the Galactic Civil War. The rebels fought the empire on the ground of Endor, in space, and on the surface of the moon of Endor. This was the battle that brought an end to Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader and destroyed the Empire’s plans to construct a second Death Star, the planet destroying weapon.

The New Republic:
the main, democratic government of the Star Wars universe that was restored after the Galactic Civil War and the Galactic Empire surrendered

First Order:
a military dictatorship in the Star Wars universe that emerged from the fall of the Galactic Empire, led by Supreme Leader Snoke, and appears in the film, The Force Awakens, Episode VII

a secret, independent military force, founded by General Leia to monitor the First Order, but doesn’t appear until later in Leia’s life in the film, The Force Awakens, Episode VII

Poe Dameron:
a pilot for the Resistance; is described as an extremely talented “one hell of a pilot!”, and first appears in Episode VII, The Force Awakens

a scavenger from the Planet Jakku, introduced in Episode VII, The Force Awakens, and realizes she has gifted abilities with the Force

a trained stormtrooper for the First Order, who decides to take a different path for his conscience and eventually teams up with Rey

Kylo Ren:
son of Han Solo and Princess Leia, a Jedi Trainee under Luke Skywalker, who was exploited as a young person to join the Dark Side. He really idolizes Darth Vader and hopes to finish what he started.

Captain Phasma:
a female stormtrooper commander of the First Order; oversaw training of the First Order military and stormtrooper ranks

Poe’s small, spherical orange and white droid with a sense of humor

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