Since The Force Awakens is the most anticipated movie to hit theaters since ever, everybody is talking about Star Wars. All of a sudden, everyone’s a Star Wars stan, as even casual moviegoers have booked a pre-sale ticket. In reality, everyone just wants to feel included in the conversation. The force of the FOMO is strong with this one, so don’t feel ashamed. How can you compete with the Jedi superfans? We’re here to help you get by with some working knowledge about the franchise. Here are 10 tips to fake your way through a conversation about Star Wars.
Don’t forget that Episode IV: A New Hope was the first Star Wars movie to be released.20th Century Fox
Getting this wrong would be like forgetting your name on the SATs. The franchise kicks off with orphaned-poor-boy-with-a-destiny Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) teaming up with Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Obi Wan Kenobi (important note: the one played by Alec Guinness, NOT Ewan McGregor), and Chewbacca (the big hairy Bigfoot) to save Princess Leia (Carey Fisher) and destroy the evil Galactic Empire’s main station, the Death Star, and its evil Darth Vader (the all-black-everything dude with the gas-mask face). Basic plot: check.
Keep saying that Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is indisputably the best of the franchise (so far).20th Century Fox
Without getting into specifics, just spew these out for reasons why: it’s the darkest of the trilogy, Vader is front and center, it’s the most action-packed, Han and Leia toy with sexual tension, and the biggest of all, Darth Vader reveals that he’s Luke’s IRL father.
Remember that nobody really likes Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.20th Century Fox
Dodge every other reason and just keep repeating this: “Those stupid Ewoks!” Some fans think that Lucas diminished the edginess of Empire by dulling it with these cutesy fuzzy creatures. Others argue that he added the creatures to pander to children and sell merchandise. And others will hold that the Ewoks’ unbearable “Yub Nub” song at the end of Jedi made their ears bleed.
Keep talking about how trash the first three episodes were.20th Century Fox
Simply put, they weren’t as good as the originals, and people expected them to be mind-blowing. Bullet points to keep repeating: Anakin Skywalker (unfortunately played by Hayden Christensen) is a simplistic dud of character who has superficial ties to other characters, the green screen execution is embarrassing, Lucas sacrifices plot and emotional weight for absolutely ridiculous light saber battles, and Jar Jar Binks exists. Which leads us to…
Embellish on how racist Jay Jar Binks was.
It’s clear as day, Jar Jar Binks is a racial stereotype of black people. From the ears like dreads to the pseudo-Jamaican accent and pidgin English, viewers were quick to point out how incredibly offensive this character truly is. While Lucasfilm has stated that the character was never racially motivated, it’s hard to deny when you can also intrepret the evil Viceroy of the Federation Nute Gunray as an Asian stereotype, and Watto, Anakin’s slave owner with a Middle Eastern accent and all, as an Arab stereotype.
Acknowledge that Star Wars stans generally hate George Lucas.Getty Images
While there were little nitpicky things that irked fans–like Yoda’s awful puppetry in Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and, of course, the Ewoks–what really did him in was blaming the fans for ending the franchise. In a 2012 NY Times interview, when asked if he’d make any more Star Wars movies, Lucas stated, “Why would I make any more when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?” Ouch.
Speculate on another Ewoks TV series.ABC
If you really want to get inside-baseball here, name-drop Ewoks. For two seasons between 1985-86, Lucasfilm ran an Ewoks animated series on ABC. Think of it as Care Bears: Gone Wild. By name-dropping the series, you can continue the ruse and joke about possible plot points for an updated version, which will completely take the heat of you going into specifics about the actual movies.
Agree on how gross Luke and Leia’s kiss was.20th Century Fox
Clarification: Luke and Leia are never actually romantic. The sexual tension has always been between Han Solo and Leia. That said, Leia kissing Luke was purely to piss off Han. However, that doesn’t change the fact that Obi Wan Kenobi confirms that Leia is Luke’s twin sister in Return of the Jedi. Sure, the characters had no knowledge of their relationship before their kiss, but damn is it skeevy to think of in retrospect. WTF Lucas? Was this always the plan?
Just keep saying “Han shot first.”
In the original version of A New Hope, Han and a bounty hunter named Greedo are in a stand-off. As Greedo antagonizes him, Han shoots first before Greedo can get to him. In the remastered version of the film, which Lucas released to coincide with the Phantom Menace in 1999, the scene is altered so that Greedo shoots first, and Han basically retaliates in self-defense. According to Lucas in THR, the “clarification” of the scene was meant to prove Han isn’t a cold-blooded killer. Still, Han shot first.
Don’t get it twisted: The Force Awakens is Episode VII.Walt Disney Studios
This is an important note if you were thinking of binge-watching the most recent three episodes to catch up to the first one. No, this follows Return of the Jedi. Rumor has it, The Force Awakens’ main protagonist Rey (Daisy Ridley) is actually the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia. No spoilers here though. Now go see the movie to fit in, just like the rest of the world.