How Many Years Pass In Each Star Wars Trilogy

Return of the Jedi

The three Star Wars trilogies are some of the most-watched movies of all time. Ever since A New Hope smashed into theaters in 1977, they’ve been a huge part of the cultural landscape, with each generation having their own set of films to enjoy. Now known as the Skywalker Saga, they comprise a nine-movie epic that begins with Anakin Skywalker’s childhood and concludes with Rey Skywalker’s triumph over the resurrected Emperor.

One especially interesting facet is the ways they fit together and how many years each trilogy takes to complete. Using the BBY/ABY timeframe, which puts A New Hope‘s Battle of Yavin as the turning point in the two chronologies, we know that the time from The Phantom Menace to The Rise of Skywalker comprises 67 years. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the trilogies are equally spaced out.

For example, The Phantom Menace begins in 32 BBY, Attack of the Clones in 22 BBY and Revenge of the Sith in 19 BBY, for a total of 13 years. That’s a pretty decent timeframe for a story about one evil dude executing a manipulative master plan to take down the entire Galactic system of government. It also lets us grow up with Anakin Skywalker, making his fall to the Dark Side that much more moving (on paper at least).

Things get a lot more compressed and speedy as we move into the Original Trilogy, which happens over four years. This means that Luke Skywalker goes from 19-year-old aw-shucks Tatooine farm boy to badass Jedi Knight at 23. We know from the prequels that full Jedi training usually takes much longer, but we also know that Luke continued to train and study after Return of the Jedi.

By comparison, the Sequel Trilogy positively zips through its events, with the three films taking place over the course of one very busy year. While I admire the speediness of the story, it makes Rey’s ascent way too fast for my liking. Going from desert scavenger to powerful Jedi in under a year just doesn’t feel right. Perhaps the flubbed finale of The Rise of Skywalker might have landed better if the movies had stopped to take a breath once in a while?

I’m sure that the ongoing core saga will continue at some point, presumably around the time Disney decides they need to get a new generation invested in Star WarsLet’s hope that those movies are given some space to stretch out though, as I think cramming everything in the Sequel Trilogy into one year doesn’t really work.