With the most recent Star Wars installment opening a decade ago, it’s understandable if you need a series refresher. However, now that the countdown to the opening of The Force Awakens has finally reached single digits, you’ll be hard-pressed to fit in all six preceding films between now and December 18. Fortunately, the Internet has got you covered. YouTube user Eclectric Method has put together a recap entitled Star Wars So Far, giving viewers a basic overview of the first two trilogies in about three minutes.
The video manages to pare down over 13 hours of viewing into an easily manageable size. The story line is presented in chronological order, making it easy to follow. To say the least, it’s a very different viewing experience than starting with the original trilogy and following with its prequels, but it serves its purpose of providing a clear and quick primer.
Needless to say, there’s a lot that gets left out when you take this many films — and long ones, at that — and condense them so thoroughly. You may be glad to see Jar Jar Binks and the ewoks left out, but a more unfortunate consequence is that Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) barely make the cut. The video gives just glimpses of them, completely eliminating Han’s dry wit.
Another downside to the short format is that it gives more focus to the first three episodes of the seriesthan many people would prefer. This does provide necessary backstory, but let’s face it: those films hardly compare to the original trilogy. Nonetheless, Star Wars So Far is fun and for many will prove useful — even if it’s no substitute for actually watching the movies. We’ll leave it to you to decide whether you want to watch the video or clear your schedule for a true marathon.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18.