Star Wars (Weekender)

Daisy Ridley, right, as Rey, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," directed by J.J. Abrams. 

Associated Press

If you're like some of us at the Weekender, you're debating whether you're going to watch the newly released seventh installment of the "Star Wars" franchise, "The Force Awakens."

Some of you may only want to remember the original, untouched trilogy as the true "Star Wars" or maybe you were left with a bad taste in your mouth after a certain duck-billed character got nearly all the screen time in the revitalized prequels.

Or maybe you're one of the select few who never showed any real interest in the "Star Wars" films. Maybe you know nothing about the phenomenon that spawned a culture of adults hoarding every piece of "Star Wars" memorabilia in hopes of one day cashing it in for the big bucks. Maybe, just maybe, there are people who have literally lived under a rock for most of their lives.

Perhaps those same people are curious about "The Force Awakens" and wish to know more about the previous films without actually having to do any real work. Well, you've come to the right place.

Thanks to ACME Comics & Collectibles owner Fran McGarry, we present you all with a list of tips and general "Star War" knowledge so that even the most clueless "Star Wars" viewer could blend in with the hardcore fans during "The Force Awakens" premier.

Memorize the film titles

It's an easy step that could easily be overlooked. Know that "The Phantom Menace," "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith" are the prequels and most recent films. Yeah, for some reason creator George Lucas made the films out of order. We don't get it either.

The "original" trilogy is made up of "A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." These films were released first, beginning in 1977. McGarry said knowing these titles would be more important before seeing "The Force Awakens."

"Truthfully, all they would have to have done is watch the first three movies that were released," said McGarry. "If you’ve seen 'A New Hope,' 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi,' you’ll be able to walk right into the new one."

Make note of the older characters

Specifically Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO. All of which were the "good guys" in Episodes IV, V and VI.

"As long as you know that they defeated the bad guy, which is Darth Vader, then you're going to be OK," said McGarry.

Pick up on the "Star Wars" jargon

This may seem daunting at first, but it's actually rather simple. Guns are called blasters. Robots are called droids. And those cool laser swords are called light sabers.

Since the characters are so unique, it's rather easy to picked up on their names. The shriveled up elf with pointy ears and green skin is Yoda. The tall, brooding guy in black armor with a respirator is Darth Vader. And those guys in white armor are known as Stormtroopers.

Be prepared to talk "Star Wars" (or not)

"[Fans] love to talk 'Star Wars,'" said McGarry. "They will be very, very passionate. You may hear more than you want to on a subject."

You've been warned.

Don't mix up the franchises

The last thing you want to do at "The Force Awakens" premier is to flash a Vulcan salute and spout the words, "Live long and prosper." There's a chance you may be pummeled by plastic light sabers.

McGarry suggests knowing the difference between "Star Trek" and "Star Wars." This is coming from an avid fan of both franchises, so you all better listen. It's a rivalry you don't want to get mixed up in.

"It's like the argument over which is better -- Marvel or DC," she said. "You don't want to get into that argument."

Don't say anything positive about Jar Jar Binks

Who's Jar Jar Binks you ask? He's probably the most hated character in the entire "Star Wars" universe, especially by the older fans. The less you know about Jar Jar the better.

Mention to fans that Jar Jar should be met with any kind of bodily harm and you will be welcomed with open arms.

The controversy between Greedo and Han Solo

So there's this scene in "A New Hope" where a green alien bounty hunter named Greedo points a gun at Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford, intending to turn him in for a reward. After a short exchange of blaster fire, Greedo winds up dead.

After the film was re-released and digitally remastered, creator George Lucas altered the scene and depicted Greedo firing his weapon first, while Solo dodges the blast and fires the killing blow. Fans were split as to who shot who first.

Just save yourself the time and say, "Han shot first."


Weekender reporter

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