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In a universe as vast and ever-expanding as Star Wars, with so much content to consume, it would be easy for someone to get confused or forget exactly how all the various pieces of the story line up. For those curious, there are plenty of resources available, and some light googling can show what movies take place when, but it’s always nice to have something official. Fortunately, Disney is revealing the full timeline for the Star Wars franchise. Take a look:
With the Season 7 premiere of Star Wars: The Clone Wars arriving on Disney+ tomorrow, February 21, the official Disney+ Twitter account tweeted out this timeline to let everyone know where the series takes place. So that’s a good place to start. Most Star Wars fans know that Star Wars: The Clone Wars is about well, The Clone Wars, and covers the time period between Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
In the story, there is a three-year gap between the events of those two Prequel Trilogy films, and that is where The Clone Wars plays. As you can see from this timeline, Star Wars: The Clone Wars buts up against each of those films and covers that entire period.
I think there had been a question among fans about how close Season 7 of The Clone Wars would get to Revenge of the Sith. The trailer for Season 7 indicated some overlap between the two and that we would see some things like Order 66 in Star Wars: The Clone Wars this season. This timeline supports that the film and the series cover the same time period.
This timeline also shows where Solo: A Star Wars Story fits between the Prequels and the Original Trilogy, and how the other spinoff film. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, takes place right before Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. It's also made clear where Disney+’s The Mandalorian takes place in the timeline.
One thing Star Wars largely avoids is giving any sort of dates in the movies, and while this timeline doesn’t provide any, it does show the order of all the pieces. The timeline is obviously not to scale though, because there is a gap between Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi when the latter film picks up immediately after the former.
This timeline only includes the theatrical films and the in-canon television series, ignoring all of the ancillary new canon materials like the comics, video games, novels, etc. Which, while not offering a complete and comprehensive view of the canon, makes sense. Such an approach would require a much bigger and more detailed timeline.
This narrative timeline stars with the beginning of the Skywalker Saga and ends with that saga’s conclusion in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and the biggest gaps are between each trilogy in the saga. The time period between the Prequel Trilogy and the Original Trilogy, and the Original Trilogy and the Sequel Trilogy, is the most fertile ground for future storytelling, at least within this overall time period.
We will see future additions to this timeline with the Obi-Wan Disney+ series and the Cassian Andor Disney+ series slotting in after Revenge of the Sith and before A New Hope. It will be interesting to see whether The Mandalorian stays in that spot or if future seasons result in it covering a larger time period, like Star Wars: Resistance and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Getting closer to Star Wars: The Force Awakens would raise some intriguing questions.
The biggest question is where the next Star Wars film or trilogy winds up on this timeline. Most indications are that the Star Wars narrative timeline will extend out beyond the Skywalker Saga in a major way to cover an entirely different time period, likely in the past if the rumors of a High Republic series prove true.
The final season of Star Wars: The Clones Wars premieres on Disney+ on February 21. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see the timeline of all the movies headed to theaters this year.