Star Wars Canon Timeline
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but people really like Star Wars. Thing is, though, that Disney is currently purchasing all the entertainment in the world. When they bought Lucasarts in 2012, they binned 40-odd years of expanded Star Wars continuity with all the ceremony of Darth Vader detonating Alderaan.
What this means is that there’s a current continuity that incorporates bits of the old one and a bunch of new stuff overseen by the Lucasfilm Story Group. And then there’s the old canon, helpfully rebranded as “Legends”, which still exists in a weird pocket dimension and from which characters and events can be plucked and inserted into the current timeline. It’s really just a big fucking mess.
Luckily, here I am. What follows is a moderately comprehensive timeline of Star Wars media that is currently considered canon. It’ll gradually populate with links as I work my way through it and review all the various films, comic books, television shows and novels.
BBY – Before Battle of Yavin
ABY – After Battle of Yavin
33 BBY | Darth Maul | Comic
This comic book covers Darth Maul’s younger years before his first appearance in The Phantom Menace. It sees him training under Darth Sidious and not being particularly patient.
32 BBY | Episode I: The Phantom Menace | Film
I don’t think this requires any introduction. It’s the first of the prequel trilogy, and was perhaps the most anticipated film of all time – which makes it probably the most disappointing film of all time, logically. It follows the exploits of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, a young boy who can’t act, and a goggle-eyed bumbling CGI frog man.
29 BBY | Obi-Wan & Anakin | Comic
This is a comic series focusing on the early days of Anakin Skywalker’s training under Obi-Wan, set 3-ish years after the events of The Phantom Menace. It has them respond to a distress signal on a strange, ruined planet.
22 BBY | Episode II: Attack of the Clones | Film
This is the one about sand. It also kicks off the Clone Wars, which is kind of important.
22 BBY | Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel | Novel
This is a prequel to Rogue One, introducing readers to the Erso family, Orson Krennic, and the troubled history of the Empire’s Death Star. It jumps around the timeline a little bit, but it starts here, in the early days of the war.
22 BBY | Jedi of the Republic: Mace Windu | Comic
In the early days of the Clone Wars, baldy motherfucker Mace Windu leads a small unit of Jedi into a comic book.
21 BBY | The Clone Wars | Film
This is the animated film that introduced the animated series that made the Clone Wars important and interesting. This isn’t very good, but it does introduce important characters like Ahsoka Tano, Anakin’s padawan, and serve as a starting point for a show that would eventually become awesome.
21 BBY | The Clone Wars | Series
The Clone Wars spans six seasons between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. It gives Anakin a proper arc and everything.
19 BBY | Dark Disciple | Novel
Based on unproduced scripts from The Clone Wars, this novel follows two popular characters from the show as they attempt to fuck up Count Dooku.
19 BBY | Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir | Comic
Also based on unproduced scripts from The Clone Wars, this comic series continues to follow Darth Maul’s quest to become the finest interpretive dancer the galaxy has ever known.
19 BBY | Episode III: Revenge of the Sith | Film
Anakin has a bit of a paddy in this one.
19 BBY | Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith | Comic
This Vader-centric series picks up immediately after that awful “Nooooo!” moment from Episode III and chronicle’s Vader’s embracing of the Dark Side and cardiovascular workouts.
18 BBY | Ahsoka | Novel
This book follows the exploits of Ahsoka Tano after her departure from the Jedi Order and the execution of Order 66.
18 BBY | Kanan: The Last Padawan | Comic
This six-issue series gives some insight into what Kanan Jarrus was doing before he turned up in Rebels.
14 BBY | Tarkin | Novel
This novel fleshes out the backstory of notorious snakey weasel man Grand Moff Tarkin, who has been whispering in the Emperor’s shrivelled ears since way back in Episode IV. Thankfully, we don’t see him composited in CGI.
14 BBY | Lords of the Sith | Novel
Here, we get a light-hearted buddy-cop adventure when the Emperor and Darth Vader are shot down on a hostile planet.
13 BBY | Rebel Rising | Novel
Another written prequel to Rogue One, this one sees Jyn Erso falling into favour with Saw Gerrera, who teaches her the art of rebel shenanigans and has her questioning who she is and how far she’s willing to go for the cause.
11 BBY | Thrawn | Novel
Yeah, Thrawn is canon again. No, I don’t know if the original Thrawn trilogy is canon again. It’s all a mystery. Either way, this novel explores the earlier days of everyone’s favourite blue-skinned, red-eyed aesthete as he rises through the Empire.
11 BBY | Thrawn: Alliances | Novel
Sequel to the above. It isn’t out yet, but when it is it’ll sit somewhere around here.
11 BBY | A New Dawn | Novel
This novel serves as a prequel to the Rebels series, and was kind of the point where the new continuity really kicked off.
11 BBY | Lost Stars | Novel
A romance story that spans the entire galaxy and most of the continuity, as two old friends fall in love and have it tested by their opposing allegiances. Plus they can’t ever agree on who should wash up.
10 BBY | Solo: A Star Wars Story | Film
It isn’t out yet, but when it is it’ll fit here. The film will explore the origins of the infamous smuggler Han Solo.
5 BBY | Rebels | Series
Another animated series, this one following Jedi Knight Kanan and his Scooby gang as they meddle with the Empire’s dealings and raise questioning eyebrows at exactly what is considered canon after each episode.
3 BBY | Leia: Princess of Alderaan | Novel
This story revolves around the famous princess as she turns 16, becomes interested in boys and cheerleading, and discovers her parents are involved in a plot to overthrow the Empire.
1 BBY | Rogue One: Cassian & K-2SO | Comic
Another Rogue One prequel, this one detailing the unlikely partnership between Cassian and K-2SO, who you’ll remember as the cool kids from that movie.
0 BBY | Guardians of the Whills | Novel
I’m a bit fuzzy about where exactly this falls in the timeline, but either way it’s another book with ties to Rogue One that involves Saw Gerrera and Donnie Yen’s competitive martial arts backround. Speaking of which…
0 BBY | Rogue One: A Star Wars Story | Film
The first “anthology” film in the Star Wars continuity, this one told the story of how the Rebel Alliance acquired the plans to the Empire’s Death Star that allowed them to blow the fuck out of it in Episode IV. Which means that next up is…
0 BBY | Episode IV: A New Hope | Film
A good old-fashioned fairytale about a local boy done good, laser swords and exploding planets. Here we meet Luke Skywalker, who’s a bit of a whiny little baby in this but is nonetheless good at stuff. I think that’s called being “strong with the Force.”
0 BBY | From a Certain Point of View | Novel
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, this anthology book collected 40 stories from 40 authors exploring the various oddities of a galaxy far, far away.
0 BBY | Battlefront: Twilight Company | Novel
This novel follows a group of Rebel soldiers known as Twilight Company as they fight on the frontlines against the Empire.
0 BBY | Battlefront II: Inferno Squad | Novel
Another one of these following another squad, Inferno, only this time they’re Imperial troops dealing with the immediate fallout of the Death Star’s destruction.
THE BATTLE OF YAVIN
1 ABY | Princess Leia | Comic
This series catches up with Leia immediately following the destruction of both her home planet and the Death Star.
1 ABY | Darth Vader | Comic
Another comic series, this one checking out what Vader was up to between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. This might be a spoiler, but I bet he was proper pissed off.
1 ABY | Heir to the Jedi | Novel
Leia and Vader got a comic – Luke got a novel. Go figure. This one sees him working for the Rebel Alliance while grappling with his newfound talents as a wielder of laser swords and a player of space chess.
1 ABY | Marvel’s Star Wars | Comic
This huge series follows all the major Original Trilogy characters as they get up to mischief between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. And maybe beyond that. I honestly haven’t read this far yet.
1 ABY | Chewbacca | Comic
This 5-part series chronicles a mission for the Rebel Alliance which required Chewie to use his considerable skills as an orator to escape a planet and defeat Imperials.
1 ABY | Vader Down | Comic
More Vader comics? Christ. This one intersects with the other one and also Marvel’s Star Wars run, which makes it interesting but also kind of obnoxious. As though this continuity wasn’t convoluted enough.
1 ABY | Lando | Comic
Have you ever wondered what Lando Calrissian was up to before The Empire Strikes Back? Yes, of course you have. Now you can find out!
1 ABY | Doctor Aphra | Comic
This spins off from the Darth Vader series and is about a shady archaeologist who has pissed off the Dark Lord himself.
1 ABY | The Screaming Citadel | Comic
Getting a bit complicated now – this story intersects with Marvel’s Star Wars and Doctor Aphra as Luke Skywalker involves himself in a bit of business with the good doctor. Man, comics are weird.
2 ABY | Weapon of a Jedi | Junior Novel
A junior novel is a fancy way of saying “shorter novel for younger readers”, but don’t worry about that. Some of them are really good and pretty heavy on plot. This one is about Luke Skywalker saving a young girl on a strange planet at the behest of the Rebel Alliance.
2 ABY | Smuggler’s Run | Junior Novel
Another junior novel about a secret Rebel Alliance mission, this one to be carried out by Han Solo and Chewie.
2 ABY | Han Solo | Comic
This comic series focuses on everyone’s favourite dick-slinging smuggler as he goes on secret missions and slings galaxy-wide dick.
3 ABY | Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back | Film
No introduction necessary. No piece of Star Wars media ever has or ever will surpass The Empire Strikes Back. Jedi training, love, loss, betrayal, and questionable parenting. This film has it all.
4 ABY | Moving Target | Junior Novel
Another junior novel. This one’s about Leia.
4 ABY | Episode VI: Return of the Jedi | Film
It was a long time coming, but in Return of the Jedi we finally got to see the Empire get fucked up. There’s partial redemption, some dodgy CGI ghosts, and Leia in a weird metal bikini that dorks throughout the world have masturbated to more times than any of us could possibly count.
4 ABY | Battlefront 2 | Video Game
The single-player portion of the game follows Inferno Squad (remember those guys) as they attempt to avenge the Emperor’s death in a story that spans 30-odd years. There are also lootboxes.
4 ABY | Shattered Empire | Comic
In this comic series, our favourite Original Trilogy heroes begin to realise that the battle is far from won, and that on the horizon are many more movies that need an Empire to pluck antagonists from. Things are getting meta.
5 ABY | Aftermath | Novel
In this novel, the Imperials try to regroup after getting smashed about in Return of the Jedi and attempt to come up with a new way of thwarting “The New Republic”, as the Rebel Alliance have taken to calling themselves.
5 ABY | Aftermath: Life Debt | Novel
As you can probably guess from the title, this novel involves Wookies – including Chewbacca.
5 ABY | Aftermath: Empire’s End | Novel
In the conclusion of the Aftermath trilogy, the Empire finally ends. I sure hope they’re not supplanted by a very similar galactic dictatorship in time for the next major movie in the cycle. That’d be weird, wouldn’t it?
5 ABY | Uprising | Video Game
This is a mobile game that has since had its servers shut down, so fuck knows what I’m going to do here.
28 ABY | Bloodline | Novel
This novel sees Leia as a senator attempting to defend the New Republic Senate while the truth about her frankly questionable parentage leads to some complications.
30 ABY | Phasma | Novel
Given the events of The Last Jedi this novel, which explores the backstory of First Order Captain Phasma, seems a bit pointless. Still, continuity and all that.
34 ABY | C-3PO | Comic
A single-issue story explaining the origins of the protocol droid’s red arm, which we first saw in The Force Awakens.
34 ABY | Poe Dameron | Comic
This on-going comic series digs into the backstory of Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, including his relationship with that suspiciously cute and merchandiseable droid, BB-8.
34 ABY | Before the Awakening | Junior Novel
Another junior novel, this one focusing on the lives of Finn, Poe and Rey before they all met and became the best of chums in The Force Awakens.
34 ABY | Episode VII: The Force Awakens | Film
Set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens introduces us to the ruthless First Order, the emotional Kylo Ren, and a new trio of heroes as they all search for the missing Luke Skywalker, who’s sulking in the furthest reaches of the galaxy.
34 ABY | Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens – Volume 1 | Anthology
This anthology collects six stories about random aliens we glimpsed in The Force Awakens.
34 ABY | Captain Phasma | Comic
This series lets us in on what happened to Captain Phasma, aka Brienne of Tarth, immediately following the destruction of Starkiller Base.
34 ABY | The Legends of Luke Skywalker | Junior Novel
This junior novel follows a group of passengers aboard a cargo ship on the way to Canto Bight who all swap stories about Luke Skywalker. Truth? Fiction? Who knows, but they’re really trying to make us love Canto Bight, aren’t they?
34 ABY | Canto Bight | Novella
Yep, really trying to make us love it. This novella collects some stories from the decadent casino’s clientele.
34 ABY | Cobalt Squadron | Junior Novel
This junior novel introduces new characters from the Resistance, including Rose Tico, who everyone hated in The Last Jedi.
34 ABY | Episode VIII: The Last Jedi | Film
And this is as much as we know. Our current knowledge of Star Wars canon culminates in one of the saga’s finest films, and I’ll physically fight anyone who suggests otherwise.