Franchise / Star Wars

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Are you hearing the Fanfare just looking at this? If not, then you should.

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."

The Star Wars saga is the Space Opera.

It is a tale of good versus evil, corruption and redemption, set on alien worlds and aboard starships, in a universe of hi-tech super-weapons and lightsaber duels, that raised the bar for special effects in cinema. It is also a juggernaut of a franchise which made its creator George Lucas one of the most powerful men in the film and entertainment industries. It kickstarted brands like THX, Industrial Light and Magic, and Pixar, and, years later, allowed the Walt Disney Company to become an even more influential media empire.

The main saga is split into series of movies set in their own eras, all following a Myth Arc about the Jedi, the Dark Side, and the battle to restore peace to the Galaxy. Three of these sets of films are trilogies, while a series of spin-off films serve as side-stories unrelated to the overall story of the Skywalker bloodline.

The Original Trilogy

Opening with a tale of a brave rebellion fighting the evil empire, the story centers on Luke Skywalker, a simple Farm Boy who finds himself drawn into that conflict when some robot buddies show up at his doorstep with some important information. On his three film long Hero's Journey, he meets many now-legendary characters like Princess Leia, the Lovable Rogue Han Solo and the Old Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.

With guidance from Obi-Wan and later Yoda, Luke learns the ways of mystic powers of the Jedi and brings down The Empire. Along the way, he famously discovers that Darth Vader, the chief enforcer of the Emperor, is his father Anakin Skywalker, and the (not) love-interest Princess is his twin sister.

Prequel Trilogy

The second trilogy centers on Luke's father, Anakin Skywalker, and his growth from a young slave on a remote planet into a powerful Jedi Knight, and then into a Sith Lord. It showed how Senator/Chancellor Palpatine (the Big Bad of the Original Trilogy) gained supreme power through complex schemes, and Anakin's corruption at his hands. It also showed Obi-Wan's story in training Anakin and the fall of the Jedi Order, with Obi-Wan and Yoda becoming the last of their kind.

Sequel Trilogy

Following The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, the company put a sequel trilogy into production. Its story opens 32 years after Return of the Jedi, and revolves around a scavenger, an Imperial deserter, an X-wing pilot, a ball-shaped droid and a number of other Unlikely Heroes becoming involved in the conflict between an Imperial remnant known as the First Order and an offshoot of the former Rebel Alliance called the Resistance. Along the way, they cross paths with numerous characters from the Original Trilogy, including Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2.

Anthology Series

Disney has put into production several Spin-Off movies under the Star Wars Anthology banner. The Anthology films revolve around characters outside the Skywalker family. Early films in the Anthology series include ideas that George Lucas was interested in developing prior to his retirement.
  • Rogue One (December 16, 2016)
  • Untitled Han Solo film (May 25, 2018)note 
  • Untitled Star Wars Anthology film (2020)note 

In addition to all of this, there are preliminary plans for movies for 2021 and beyond as of 2016, even prior to the release of Rogue One.

Its inspiration includes the 1930s serials and comic strips of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. The story goes that after Lucas made American Graffiti he wanted to make a Flash Gordon remake, and upon being denied the rights to the property (a film was already in the works) he set out to create his own pulp sci-fi universe. After multiple incarnations, some of the names and concepts of which he repurposed in the universe later, Lucas formed the basic story of the first film. The overarching story continued to evolve for the sequels and later the prequels. But from the beginning it was always meant to be just one story in a vast galaxy.

Lucas had also derived inspiration from Akira Kurosawa's mystical samurai heroes and bumbling sidekicks. Kurosawa's films The Hidden Fortress and Yojimbo were particularly influential on the first movie; an early draft was basically "The Hidden Fortress IN SPACE!" and Lucas even considered buying the rights for a Remake before developing the story further. The Jedi and their rivals the Sith were originally imagined as samurai-like warriors without superhuman abilities, and the name "Jedi" is taken from the jidai-geki genre featuring feudal Japan.

The films also have some predecessors in Sci-Fi literature. There are echoes of Isaac Asimov's Foundation in the decaying Galactic Empire. Frank Herbert's first few Dune novels provided some inspiration, notably for the desert planet Tatooine. Also, The concept of a superpowered psychic galactic police force is taken from E. E. “Doc” Smith's pulp SF series Lensman, as is (arguably) much of the technology - Arthur C Clarke stated that "Smith holds all the original Star Wars patents", and he has a point.

The Force itself has analogues in many works like "the Cosmic All" from the Lensman series and the Source from Jack Kirby's New Gods. Mark Hamill, who plays Luke, once asked Lucas where he got the idea and Lucas answered, "it's in about 450 old science fiction novels". The Force can also be traced to the post-hippy atmosphere of the The '70s, and ultimately to Eastern philosophy.

Depictions of World War II naval battles also influenced Lucas, with the bombing run sequence from the first movie inspired by the Royal Air Force movie The Dam Busters.

Though many tropes did not originate with Star Wars, it has popularized dozens of them, to the point numerous modern Space Opera and Sci-Fi works contain homages to the franchise. Even this site has made the franchise a Trope Namer for fifty odd tropes, listed here. You can vote for your favorite movie here.

Expanded Universe

The Star Wars Expanded Universe is massive, probably one of the largest, spanning novels, comics, made-For-TV films, radio dramas, video games, toys, even pinball machines. This universe was famous for how much effort was given to make it as internally consistent as they could, as such a single person at Lucasfilm, Leland Chee, was tasked with making every bit of continuity fit together in some way.

From the creation of Lucasfilm up until the Disney buyout they created a tier-based system that made certain elements a higher canon priority than others, with anything handled personally by Lucas at (or close to) the top. While not perfect and prone to its own Continuity Snarls, the system was embraced by fans as containing a running continuity (even between different authors) and being more consistent in tone than other EUs and thus, more believable as a genuine expansion of the canon. After the buyout this system was reorganized, anything not handled personally by Lucas was declared non-canon on April 25, 2014. Anything associated with the original EU has been renamed Star Wars Legends, in effect becoming Alternate Continuity.

For the foreseeable future any EU material created is handled by a new Story Team that will ensure everything made in conjunction with and after these movies will be iron-clad capital-C Canon, disregarding the older system entirely and creating a new official Star Wars Expanded Universe. Characters, stories and other ideas from Legends may, and in some cases have been, reintegrated into the new canon, but only partially and selectively.

Many of the initial canon book and comic book releases under the new Star Wars canon focus on bridging two major gaps in Star Wars continuity: events between the Prequel and the Original Trilogy and between the Original and the Sequel Trilogy.

Also has a 100,000+ article large wiki here, that covers every conceivable aspect of Star Wars, both in fiction and fact.

All characters tropes should go on the Star Wars character pages. If there's a Star Wars character, they are in that index somewhere.

May the Tropes be with us:

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  • Action Figure File Card: Some of the 1990s toys had them.
  • Adult Fear: Anakin falls to the Dark Side because of the fear of losing Padmé after already witnessing his mother die.
  • Advanced Ancient Humans: Excluding the non canon legends material which had a lot of this, you'd probably have to wonder how seriously long it took for this galaxy to be so big.
  • Aerith and Bob: Compare fantastical names like "Qui-Gon Jinn," "Beru" "Kylo Ren," and "Poe Dameron" to average Western names like "Jessika", "Luke," "Orson," "Owen," and "Finn." There are also cases where non-English, but equally real and normal names are used, like the Indonesian "Rumi Paramita" and the Japanese "Jun Sato."
  • The Aesthetics of Technology: Over the two film trilogies nearly every variant prevalent in sci-fi is applied:
    • The architecture of Coruscant and the fleet of Naboo are in Raygun Gothic style, featuring elongated buildings and Shiny-Looking Spaceships with sleek curved outlines.
    • The Trade Federation and the Separatists go for the darker take on Raygun Gothic with vessels such as shark-like assault frigates and hover tanks, and droids mostly looking like arthropods, skeletons or zombies, tanks walking on four legs or just evil-looking Killer Robots with red eyes.
    • The Grand Army of the Republic goes mostly from the sleek, modern style (in Attack of the Clones, owing to a strong Kaminoan influence) to the more blocky and rectangular one in Revenge of the Sith. However, the vehicles and ships still maintain a segmented, "trustworthy, built by humans like us" look and are colorful and friendly-looking. At the end of the movie the ships are repainted gray, becoming fully this trope.
    • The Galactic Empire maintains the interior sleek and shiny, while on the outside it retains the basic shape the ships had at the time at the Republic, only making it more streamlined and monolithic, composed of basic geometric shapes: triangles, hexagons, rectangles and spheres. Note that The Death Star was of Separatist design and their Lucrehulk ships are a visual call-back/foreshadowing to it. They also change the color scheme to dull gray, sinister black and bone-white.
    • The Rebel Alliance mostly has worn-out equipment at their disposal. A notable example are the Y-Wing bombers which are stripped of their plating and in much worse shape thanthey were at the time of the Clone Wars.
  • Affectionate Parody: The popularity of the series has led to many parodies and spoofs, including:
  • Agony Beam: One of the most powerful abilities someone can gain from using the Dark Side of the Force is Force Lightning, a continuous lightning bolt used for extreme torture and painful executions.
  • Airstrike Impossible:
    • The Rebels and their successor the Resistance sure love flying into extremely dangerous spaces to destroy anti-planet weapons:
      • In A New Hope, Luke and his wingmen dive into the Death Star's trench to fire proton torpedoes into the exhaust port, with the explanation for the tactic being that the port's shielded from above.
      • In The Empire Strikes Back, the Rebel's snow speeders lack the firepower to take down the Imperial AT-AT walkers, so they opt for firing tow cables and flying circles around the walkers (which are trying to shoot the speeders down, mind) to trip the walkers.
      • In Return of the Jedi, Wedge in his X-Wing and Lando in the Millenium Falcon fly through ventilation ducts to reach the core of the Death Star II and destroy it.
      • The Force Awakens uses a combination of the above two, with Poe flying through the trench of Starkiller Base with his wingmen and then flying into the weapon itself to destroy the oscillator and destabilize the weapon and the planet it's built into.
      • Rogue One has Blue Squadron diving through an opening in a planet's forcefield, in order to provide air support and reinforcements for Rogue One's commando raid on the Imperial data storage facility. The entire squadron is destroyed in the battle.
  • Aliens Speaking English (well, Basic): Subverted. Many aliens speak their own languages, and it is not unusual to see multilingual conversations where a human speaks English and the alien speaks a different language. This is also why C-3PO is fluent in over six million forms of communication.
  • All According to Plan: Many bad guys throughout the series use this phrase, most notably the Emperor.
  • Alternate Continuity: Lucas's personal vision or "Canon" of Star Wars only includes the movies, making "the movies + the Star Wars Expanded Universe" an alternate continuity from a certain point of view. Following their acquisition of the franchise, Disney declared that all Expanded Universe content released before April 25, 2014 is considered to be non-canon, and all future material is considered to be canon with the movies and TV series. But the old content will still be available, in effect falling into an alternative continuity known as Star Wars Legends.
  • Alternative Calendar: The Galactic Standard Calendar consists of a year being 368 24-hour-days. Calendar eras used are BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) and ABY (After the Battle of Yavin) since the Battle of Yavin marked a crucial turning point in the galaxy's history. Revenge of the Sith, for example, took place in 19 BBY (19 years before the Battle of Yavin) while Return of the Jedi took place 4ABY (4 years after).
  • Always Save the Girl: Anakin's fears for (first, his mother's, then his wife's) safety take precedence over everything else, including his loyalties to the Jedi order and in the end his attempts to save her dooms Padmé. Yeah, nice going there!
  • A Master Makes Their Own Tools: Technology abounds everywhere, and yet the Jedi are asked to acquire all of the parts for and assemble their own lightsaber by hand from scavenged parts they find over their travels and are expected to have a personal connection with the crystal specifically.
  • Amusing Alien: Many appear in the various works, but Jar-Jar Binks is the most known and most visible example.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Jedi and Sith frequently lose limbs in lightsaber combat due to their Absurdly Sharp Blade quality. Also happens to various other characters for non-lightsaber related reasons.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Ancient Ewok legend recalls them being visited by a "golden god", who is implied to be a protocol droid, and certainly not C3-PO.
  • Anti Gravity: Arbitrarily employed with wanton abandon, yet seemingly at random. Things as small as camera drones and as large as entire cities float around and nobody seems to find it weird that, for example, there are floating landing platforms for spaceships which you need yet another repulsorlift-equipped vehicle to get to and from.
  • The Apprentice:
    • The Jedi Order is founded on the concept of apprenticeship, with students (Padawan) trained primarily by a single Jedi Master before taking on the rank of Jedi Knight, then going on to take an apprentice themselves. The Sith use a variant: there is always a single master and a single apprentice in the Galaxy at any time, with the principle that the apprentice will eventually seek to overcome his master and will either succeed or die in the attempt.
    • Though if the Expanded Universe is to be believed, there have been certain eras throughout Sith history where Sith apprenticeship mirrored that of the Jedi counterparts to an extent. Multiple masters trained apprentices, though the Sith ideology remained the same
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account:
    • Exactly how the Jedi Order is funded is a complete mystery. Their temple on Coruscant was quite spectacular and they have lots of cool starships and other toys. Also, for some reason, nobody seems to question how the late Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas was supposedly able to order up an entire clone army and fleet of warships without anyone noticing some kind of budget appropriation.
    • For that matter, the Empire itself. Legions of stormtroopers, the largest warships seen in the galaxy up until that time, thousands of disposable TIE Fighters, orbital weapons platforms, and two moon-sized planet-killing space stations. What budget crisis?
    • Skeptics in the New Republic doubt that the First Order is threat because they are supposedly nothing but a bunch of poorly-funded fanatics — who hollowed out a planet and turned it into a weapon whole orders of magnitude more powerful than the Death Stars!
  • Arc Words: Two of the most famous:
    • "I've got a bad feeling about this."
    • "May the Force be with you."
    • As well, over/underestimating the power of something/the Force/the Dark Side.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Lightsabers. As noted by stunt coordinator Nick Gillard in a DVD featurette for Attack of the Clones, "[the Jedi have] chosen a sword in a time of, you know, laser guns, so they'd better be damn good with it." Jedi and Sith get away with it because the blade goes through anything and reflects blaster fire, and because the wielder has limited precognition along with a variety of other powers and is extensively trained to handle the weapon and its very bizarre weight and balance characteristics. Anyone else who tries to use a lightsaber is more likely to dice himself into neat chunks.
  • Armored Coffins:
    • Basic TIE fighters have neither ejection seats nor shields. (Expanded Universe material somewhat justifies this in that the TIE is extremely cheap to manufacture, and the Empire is depending on their overwhelming numbers rather than their sturdiness. Pilots are also relatively easy to come by in a galaxy this well-populated). Later versions modeled after Vader's TIE Advanced prototype did get shields, after the TIE corps sustained massive losses at the hands of shielded Rebel craft.
    • The First Order have rectified this as it appears their TIE Fighters are equipped with ejector seats.
    • A more serious problem though is how, exactly, do Rebel/Resistance pilots eject? Unlike their Imperial/First Order counterparts, who have what look to be vacuum-sealed flight suits, all the Rebel pilots wear open-face helmets and jumpsuits. This can be inconvenient in space...
  • Artifact Alias: In the original trilogy but especially in the first film, even after Luke learns that the hermit "Old Ben Kenobi" is really the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke continues to call him Ben. An odd example as it's unclear where the name "Ben" comes from; it's certainly not likely to fool any Imperials who come knocking. The EU stated that he once used the disguise of Ben and liked it so much he kept using it.
  • Artificial Script: Aurebesh is a fictional alphabet used to transcribe "Galactic Basic," which is Star Wars's equivalent to spoken English.
  • Ascended Extra: With how much Expanded Universe material is being written, we're well on our way to every single background character from the films getting names and thorough backstories. The winners for this are Wedge Antilles and Boba Fett.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Although Return of the Jedi vaguely seems to imply that defeating the Emperor defeated the Empire (see this article for why it wouldn't) the both the non-canonical Star Wars Legends and the distant sequel The Force Awakens make it clear that the Empire left behind strong remnants that continued to wage war on the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
  • Asteroid Thicket: The asteroid chase from The Empire Strikes Back; revisited in Attack of the Clones with the rings of Geonosis.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha:
  • Author Appeal: A society of warrior-sages who, as per Word of God, can have all the sex they want so long as they don't get too attached.
  • Author Catchphrase: Characters will frequently utter"I've got a bad feeling about this" right before a situation goes south.
    • A New Hope: Luke says it before entering the Death Star, and Han Solo repeats it just before the walls of the trash compactor start to crush him.
    • The Empire Strikes Back: As Leia and Han walk out into a dark meteor to investigate a loud noise, Leia mouths off the phrase just before an alien pest attacks her.
    • Return of the Jedi: C3-PO says it just before he and R2-D2 walk into Jabba's Palace to be held captive. An act later, Han Solo repeats it as the Ewoks carry him off to be burned alive.
    • The Phantom Menace: This is Obi-Wan's first line, as he hears the ship he and his master arrived on be destroyed by their hosts.
    • Attack of the Clones: Anakin mentions the bad feeling he has as three giant monsters are released into the arena to eat him and his chained friends.
    • Revenge of the Sith: At the end of the opening dogfight scene, Obi-Wan repeats the phrase as he and Anakin fly into a spaceship as it's doors begin to close.
    • The Force Awakens: Han Solos gets another shot at the phrase when his Rathtars are released and begin to roar.
    • Rogue One: Subverted Trope. K2-SO gets halfway through "this" before his friends tell him to shut up, on account of the fact that they're trying to sneak into an enemy base.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Super Star Destroyers. They're very powerful, but they can still be destroyed by a less expensive fleet. It's outright stated that their purpose is psychological warfare; you can build a bigger fleet for the same cost, but nothing inspires the same amount of terror as a Super Star Destroyer showing up on your doorstep.
    • Regular Star Destroyers certainly make a strong impression, but they fall into being a warship version of Master of None. Part battleship, part fighter carrier, and part troop transport, they aren't a proper match for most ships that are dedicated to a specific area of focus. EU works explain that this is because conventional Imperial military thinking viewed Star Destroyers as mobile fortresses. They're overbuilt like they are because the intent was that they operate independently and police entire star systems singlehandedly. As the Rebellion moved more into open combat against the Empire rather than an insurgency, the flaws in the Star Destroyer design became more apparent.
    • Any planet-destroying superweapons may it be a Death Star or Starkiller Base definitely isn't worth the time and resources. While a superweapon can instantly wipe out an entire planet, the charge times for the main weapon is lethargic, the movement speed is slow, and the cost in manpower and supplies is expensive. Even their psychological potential is considered ineffective as the destruction of Alderaan by the first Death Star only increased Rebellion support by inciting outrage instead of fear. The worst part is that a destroyed planet can't even be harvested for its resources, whereas a orbital bombardment or planetary occupation would avoid unnecessary collateral damage and ensure that the intact planet is still usable.
    • Lightsabers, deliberately so. While deadly in the hands of a Jedi, to anyone who lacks a Jedi's discipline, training, and command of the Force, they're too difficult to use and dangerous to their user to make them practical. The Jedi use them precisely because of the great amount of skill needed to wield them effectively, it serves to heighten their discipline and control. The Sith like them because they're good at cutting things. Though that really only applies to the prequels. Luke uses a lightsaber before being properly trained, and so do Finn and Rey. In the OT, they were just treated as a unique weapon of the Jedi and there was never any indication that the force was needed to wield one - it helped, but it wasn't required.
    • Doubly so for Maul's double-bladed lightsaber: its range is embarrassingly short, since extending an attack with one blade past a certain point would cause the other end to injure the user. Additionally, its defensive capabilities are nearly non-existent; since it can only (barely) block attacks from the sides, it leaves the user wide-open in the front.
  • Badass Army: The Jedi and Sith, and the Grand Army of the Republic, when they aren't being put through Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy.
  • Battle Couple: Han and Leia, and Anakin and Padmé in Attack of the Clones.
  • The Battlestar: Most large capital ships carry fighter squadrons as well as their own heavy armament. Star Destroyers and their counterparts, the Mon Calamari Cruisers, are the basic examples.
  • Being Watched: Jedi can detect this.
    "You feel like what?"
    "Like we're being watched!"
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Han and Leia.
  • Best Friends In Law: Since Han and Leia get married, Luke and Han become this.
  • Big Bad:
    • Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine manipulates the conflicts of the galaxy from The Phantom Menace until The Return of the Jedi.
    • After the Empire's fall, Supreme Leader Snoke becomes the most powerful force for the Dark Side in the galaxy through his leadership of the First Order.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Han's return to save Luke in A New Hope is probably the best-known example, but there are many.
  • Big "NO!": In every movie.
  • Bilingual Bonus: This happens due to the "alien" languages being often pieced together from various obscure Earth languages.
    • Polish-speaking fans will noticed that C-3PO asks " Chee too mishkah Jabba du Hat? (czy tu mieszka Jabba the Hutt)", which means "Does Jabba the Hutt live here?" in Polish.
    • The TV miniseries Star Wars: Clone Wars has some Nelvaanians speaking Russian.
    • One of the most famous examples was in Return of the Jedi where Lando's Sullustan co-pilot, Nien Nunb, was actually speaking an obscure Kenyan dialect with lines that were perfectly in context.
    • Anyone who speaks Sanskrit will understand the chanting in Duel of the Fates.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: Han apparently speaks (or at least understands) a variety of languages, including Huttese, Rodian, and Wookiee. Lando and Nien Numb communicate this way in Return of the Jedi. R2-D2 does this constantly, since he only speaks Binary.
  • Bittersweet Ending: A staple of the series. A New Hope has the closest to a happy ending, but even that wouldn't have happened without the Heroic Sacrifice of both Obi-Wan and the X-Wing pilots.
    • Even A New Hope is rather bittersweet. Sure, the Death Star is destroyed and the Rebel base is safe (for now), but Darth Vader escaped, the Empire still has its entire starfleet, army, and stormtroopers, and as soon as Vader can make a phone call, the Empire knows where to find the Rebels. In the Star Wars: Princess Leia comic, the Rebels went directly from the award ceremony to arranging the evacuation of the base.
    • The Phantom Menace- The Battle of Naboo is a success, but Qui-Gon Jinn is killed in a duel that only proves the Sith still exist.
    • Attack of the Clones - The Republic wins the Battle of Geonosis, but now has a galactic-scale war on its hands. Anakin and Padmé get married. Count Dooku escapes.
    • Revenge of the Sith - The Empire takes over the galaxy, Padmé dies, and Anakin becomes Darth Vader. Obi-Wan and Yoda go into hiding. The only hopeful part is that Luke and Leia are born and will become powerful opponents of the Empire someday.
    • The Empire Strikes Back - The heroes escape from Cloud City, but Han is still frozen in carbonite and they are unable to stop Boba Fett from taking him to Jabba the Hutt. Luke learns Vader is his father, casting doubt on everything he knew.
    • Return of the Jedi- Darth Vader does a Heel–Face Turn and dies killing the Emperor, leaving Luke feeling like he failed in some way and all alone as the last Jedi. Mitigated significantly by destroying the Death Star, along with a celebration, but Luke's story does have a somber tone.
    • The Force Awakens- Starkiller Base has been destroyed and Rey finally finds Luke, but the Republic senate and starfleet have been destroyed, Finn is injured, Kylo Ren escapes, Snoke is still out there, and Han is dead.
    • Rogue One- The Death Star plans are successfully stolen and acquired by Princess Leia, which will eventually lead to its destruction, but the entire Rogue One team is killed in action to get them, along with numerous other Rebel soldiers and pilots.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Several near-human or rubber-forehead species, as described in the Expanded Universe. There's some even more bizarre stuff in the EU.
  • Bizarre Human Biology: Humans, as well as all other living species in The Verse, possess "midi-chlorians", mysterious organelles which have some intricate connection to The Force.
  • Black and White Morality: With the exception of those games where you play for (or start for) the Empire, the Sith or both. Helps that most villains are Obviously Evil.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: Justified by the lightsabers. With their lack of a physical blade and weight confined to the device itself, they wouldn't have that much in the way of momentum to stop outside of the amount from the users' arm swinging.
  • Bloodbath Villain Origin: Anakin's first task after being christened Darth Vader is to lead the attack on the Jedi Temple.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The franchise shows virtually no blood, thanks (in canon) to blasters and lightsabers instantly cauterizing the wounds they make. The prequel trilogy also has a large number of droid combatants who obviously can't bleed.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: The Imperial guard are the sign-of-office type, since their bosses are Sith Lords.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: Would you believe that the iconic Fanfare was originally called "Luke's Theme"?
  • Bottomless Pits: Every single movie shows how greatly beloved these are by architects throughout the galaxy. Whether in private quarters, underground power plants or moon-sized killer space stations, expect to see a lot of these. For added fun, Floating Platforms and a complete absence of safety railings are added in. The outdoor equivalent is the Skyscraper City, often with open balconies (and no railings). Entire cities have been built in bottomless pits. The Emperor is particularly fond of them and dies when Vader throws him into one.
  • Broad Strokes:
    • The entire saga was built upon having millions of stories being told while we are only seeing a few.
      • There was a tier-based system of how Star Wars Canon works: Movies, and anything originating from George Lucas (eg. production notes, Word of God, adaptations, etc.) > Television (specifically, the CGI Clone Wars series, and the in-production live action series) > Original story Comic Books / Literature / Video Games / Other material > Older material (subject to be ignored) > What If? stories, Alternate Endings and items not meant to be taken seriously.
      • Following Disney's acquisition of the franchise, the approach now is that everything released after April 25, 2014 is presented as canonical unless it obviously does not fit in (like the Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars Special).
      • Material previously released is still being distributed under the "Legends" banner, and being treated as an alternate continuity.
  • Broken Bird: Anakin's reaction when he found out Padme died speaks for itself.
    • As for Padme herself, she was not the same when dying at the birthing table.
    • Summarizes Rey's life on Jakku in the Force Awakens.
  • Bromantic Foil: Naive farmboy and cynical drug smuggler turned mercenary? Naturally they'll be the two guys competing over Leia.
  • Call Forward: Stories set before the first Star Wars film made, A New Hope can't help but make references to it and foreshadow it's events. There are so many examples of referencing future events that Star Wars has a page dedicated to these references.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • Lucas himself has disavowed the The Star Wars Holiday Special, saying that he would smash every last existing copy with a sledgehammer if he could. Despite this, ll of the elements from it, such as Chewbacca's relatives, Life Day, and Kashyyyk's architecture have still remained part of the canon, although the events of the Special itself haven't been referenced anywhere else.
    • Since Disney's acquisition of LucasFilm, they have retroactively declared any Expanded Universe media to be non-canon. To enforce this, existing properties will now be filed under the banner "Star Wars Legends".
  • Canon Immigrant: Nearly thirty years of Expanded Universe stories have left quite an impression on fans all over the world. Even with the recent story reboot by Disney, a number of places, people, ships and events from the now non-canon Expanded Universehave become official canon. Examples of this go on Star Wars'sCanon Immigrant page.
  • Cartesian Karma: The realization of this was the most likely factor in Darth Vader's acceptance of his death at the end of the trilogy. He had already had the majority of his body burned off and was encased in an armor that as well as being his life support, was also a symbol for tyranny and fear for people everywhere. It's also hard to imagine the rebels or improvised government not trying or condemning him after.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Very casual. Traveling at the Speed of Plot in fact. Depending on what's going on, a trip between the Core Worlds and the Outer Rim of the galaxy can take mere hours, in ships the size of private jets!
  • Catch Phrase:
  • Category Traitor: Characters are accused of being traitors many times.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: You have a relatively lighthearted first film with some tense action scenes, a sequel that does a total 180 in tone, a third installment that takes a best of both worlds approach to the tone of the previous films, a prequel that is even more lighthearted than the first film, and then two more prequels that get both as dark, and in some cases, even darker, than Empire Strikes Back. This is followed by a distant sequel that continues the dark trend, and an even darker standalone prequel to the first movie. If Episode VIII is indeed Darker and Edgier than The Force Awakens as John Boyega claims, then the franchise will have moved into outright Cerebus Syndrome.
  • Cheated Angle: The Death Star is always shown so the superlaser dish is facing the viewer. The only exception is the occasional view from behind when the superlaser is firing, but it's never shown without the laser visible in an establishing shot.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Han's debt to Jabba is brought up in A New Hope, only to pay off The Empire Strikes Back when Boba Fett takes Han Solo in order to pay Jabba the Hutt's bounty. The whole conflict gets resolved in the first act of Return of the Jedi.
  • Child Soldiers: Types One and Two. The Jedi and the Clone troopers are trained from birth to have a single-minded devotion to their duty, forbidden or discouraged from any "attachments" deeper than casual acquaintances or work colleagues, handed massive amounts of planet-destroying weaponry, and sent off to "save" the galaxy. (And they ''wonder'why so many Jedi go insane and fall?!) The movies gloss over this big time. The Expanded Universe treatment of this depends on the writer. While the clones themselves appear to be adults when sent into combat, they have been genetically modified to reach adulthood in half the time of a normal human. So while they are supposed to be at most, 18-20 in appearance and ability, their actual biological age is half of that, and they are in reality 9-10.
  • Choke Holds: The Force Choke is a slow, unpleasant, unstoppable choke from a distance that uses the telekinetic power of the Dark Side of the Force.
  • Civil War: In the Original Trilogy of Star Wars, a Galactic civil war that pits the all-powerful, diabolical Empire against a small alliance of Rebels who want to restore freedom and democracy.
  • Clingy Costume: Darth Vader's armor is also a life-support system, and cannot be removed outside a special chamber.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Vader's torture of Princess Leia in the first movie, Han Solo and Chewbacca in the second and the Emperor's use of electrical torture on Luke in the third.
  • Collectible Card Game: Four of them, the most successful being the Star Wars Customizable Card Game
  • Colon Cancer: As described on the page, this franchise is known for subtitles.
    • The Star Wars Omnibus titles are running into this issue. Consider the first one released, which is Star Wars: Omnibus: X-Wing: Rogue Squadron: Volume 1.
    • Kyle Katarn's series receives the most attention, with the latest installment being joked as needing the full title Star Wars: Dark Forces IV: Jedi Knight III: Jedi Outcast II: Jedi Academy
    • The original proposed title for the first movie was "The Adventures of Luke Starkiller, As Taken From the Journal of the Whills, Saga 1: The Star Wars"!
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • In space battles, Rebel lasers are red, and Imperial lasers are green. In the prequels, Republic shots were blue, Separatist shots were red.
    • Rebels seems to codify the colors for Lightsabers to: Green or blue = Jedi, Gold = Jedi Sentinels, Red = Sith, White = non-affiliated, Purple = Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: How Force-sensitives can perform seemingly impossible feats of Super Reflexes — they're already reacting to things before they actually happen. At least when the Force is feeling like giving them a heads-up...
  • Combat Parkour: This technique is used mainly by Jedi when they duel, each dueler trying to gain the upper hand by attacking from a different angle or trying to throw off their opponent by leading or chasing them into a new battleground. For smaller Jedi like Yoda, all the jumping around is necessary for him to fight larger opponents (in other words, everybody else).
  • Common Tongue: Basic for humans (and by extension the Republic/Empire) and individual languages for each species.
  • Continuity Drift: Concepts such as Luke's parentage, Obi-Wan's master and Leia's relatives. The events of the films and their novelizations don't match up all that well; rife with Early Installment Weirdness from early drafts (Dogs on Tatooine, Luke's wingman on Hoth performing a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the shield generator from being blown up, and Yoda being blue instead of green, for example).
  • Continuity Lockout: Not too bad with the first six movies, but an issue if you came in late to the party for the novels, which now number into the many dozens, and which were (at least until recently) considered canonical with the movies.
  • Converging-Stream Weapon: The Death Star is the Trope Codifier, since it uses nearly 27 smaller lasers to power it's central, planet-destroying laser.
  • Corporate Warfare: The prequel trilogy showed that many mercantile organizations such as the Trade Federation, Banking Clan, and Techno Union had massive droid armies.
  • Cosmetically Advanced Prequel: The galaxy has sleeker and more elaborate technology in the time of the Prequel Trilogy than it will have thirty years later, during the time of the Original Trilogy.
  • Creepy Cleanliness: The Empire's ships are always spotless and shiny, emphasizing their coldness and sterility. The Alliance's are always used and lived-in. (George Lucas had fights with the unionized cleaning staff, who kept trying to clean the Alliance sets up for contractual reasons after he had them deliberately dirtied.)
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Force. Although it's the Crystal Dragon Tao (or Dao, depending on which transliteration you prefer). The Force, the Jedi, and the Sith are space-Taoism. The Jedi become one with the Force, and live in Harmony with the nature of the universe. The Sith reject this and disrupt the harmony of the Force. Thus, Anakin was to restore balance by restoring harmony, by eliminating the disruption of the Dark Side.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Notably Coruscant, which is the capital of the Republic and the headquarters of the Jedi.
  • Cute Machines: Primarily, R2-D2 and BB-8, but many of the series' droids can exhibit this from time to time.
  • The Cycle of Empires: The prequels cover the decline of the Republic and its transformation into the Empire. The original trilogy covers the fall of the Empire. Much of the Expanded Universe is dedicated to the Long Night.
  • Darker and Edgier: Since the prequel trilogy was following Anakin, Revenge of the Sith had to be darker by default. As such, it was the only film in the series to garner a PG-13 rating. The Empire Strikes Back is also noticeably darker in tone than its predecessor. The upcoming live-action TV series is also reported by Rick McCallum to be "much darker, much grittier" and Lucas describing the series as "bare-bones" and "action-heavy". There's a brief scene in A New Hope that's darker than the rest of the film, and the darkness of that scene was deliberate on the part of the director.
  • Death-Activated Superpower: How "Force Ghosts" are created.
  • Decade Dissonance: A bit of a clash between the prequel's and the original trilogies' style for technology.
  • Deceptive Legacy: Obi-Wan tells Luke his father is dead. It all depends on your point of view. The audience knows he turns out to be Darth Vader; but from Obi-Wan's point of view, his friend Anakin died (and was mourned) after the events of Revenge of the Sith.
  • Defanged Horrors: Each movie gave us a new, different creature for our heroes to go up against.
    • A New Hope had the Dianoga, the monster in the trash compactor scene.
    • Empire had the Wampa, as well as a brief glimpse of some swamp creature, and the space slug on the asteroid. Deep-freezing Solo could also be considered unsettling.
    • ROTJ had the Rancor and the Sarlacc, two man-eating monsters that are used in two failed executions of the heroes.
    • The Jedi faced three underwater beasts in The Phantom Menace.
    • The arena scene in Attack of the Clones also had three creatures, each trying to kill one of the heroes.
    • Revenge of the Sith, oddly, had no creature feature, unless you count the lizard-dog Obi rode during the attack on Grievous. There was originally supposed to be something waiting for Obi-Wan after he fell into the canyon during Order 66, but the idea of interrupting the most heartbreaking and emotional scene in the whole movie with Obi-Wan sneaking past a Loch Ness monster probably came off as a bad idea to George Lucas. All that aside, the way Anakin becomes Darth Vader (being mutilated and burnt almost to death while screaming to Obi-Wan "I hate you!") is definitely disturbing to watch.
    • The Force Awakens introduces us to the Rathtars, who are delightfully charming creatures. How did Han and Chewie get three on their freighter? They used to have a larger crew.
  • Democracy Is Bad:
    • By Revenge of the Sith Palpatine has been granted greater and greater political power by vote of the Senate. When he finally goes all-out and proclaims that he is "reorganizing" the Republic into a Galactic Empire, the response from the Senate is thunderous applause. Never mind that when they first started granting him emergency powers, he specifically promised to give them up when the Separatist crisis had passed. Instead, he proclaimed himself Emperor.
    • It only gets worse in the Expanded Universe. It is virtually a trope in its own right that the post-Imperial governments of the New Republic (which lasts only a single generation) and the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances which succeeds it are so absurdly dysfunctional that they cannot respond adequately to any crisis, collapse under the slightest pressure and can easily be taken over by any moderately organized Sith Lord. While this provides a backdrop for the heroic actions of individual characters, it nevertheless leaves the impression that the galaxy simply cannot be run by any kind of representative government because politicians are just inherently unreliable.
    • The Force Awakens carries on the tradition by having New Republic senators ignore the looming threat of the First Order, forcing Leia Organa to form her own private army, the Resistance, to fight them. This results in the First Order using a superweapon to destroy the star system containing the Republic's capital.
  • Democracy Is Flawed:
    • Then-Senator Palpatine uses the political mire of the Galactic Senate to ignite his scheme of overthrowing the Jedi and Senate to establish a Sith Empire.
    • The Expanded Universe works set prior to the prequels use this. The Republic means well, but is trying to balance the needs and desires of hundreds of species, thousands of worlds, and a ton of competing interests. This would be hard enough without The Empire breathing down its neck at every opportunity.
    • This trope explains how the New Republic let the First Order thrive right under their noses. The Republic thought the war was over, and wanting a "peace dividend," disbanded much of the Republic military, over Leia's strong warnings that another power base was rising.
  • Depending on the Writer: The movies try to have some sense of balance and limitation to the technology and the abilities of Force users. In the Expanded Universe, you will find all sorts of battleship weapons more powerful than the Death Star, and Jedi of either the current time period or in the distant past who could be considered forces of nature with what they are able to do.
  • Despite the Plan:
    Han: So, how we doin'?
    Luke: Same as always.
    Han: That bad, huh?
  • Determined Homesteader: Pretty much all the moisture farmers on Tatooine. The planet lacks a centralized government, being effectively ruled by a Hutt crimelord who has no interest in settlers. The environment is so harsh that it prematurely ages humans. Finally, they are subject to the constant threat of attacks by native Sand People. Yet only the most recent generation seems to have made a serious effort to seek lives offworld.
  • Digital Destruction:
    • The 2004 DVD set, despite being billed as "restored", received terrible color alternation, desaturating the soft, fantasy like colors of the original films into darker, more realistic lighting in vogue with the Prequel Trilogy, and much of the clarity and detail of the original prints is lost in the process. This was the result of Lucasfilm ordering this to be done in a breakneck page of 30 days.
    • The 2011 Blu-rays have the brightness turned up a teeny bit, and a few lightsaber fixes- mostly in Return of the Jedi- but that's about it. Colours are still all over the shop, lightsaber in Empire Strikes Back often look terrible, and a lot of the detail in the darker parts of the picture are still lost.
  • Disney Fication:
  • Divine Chessboard: The Light Side versus the Dark Side of the force, through the Jedi and Sith.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Midichlorians, which a lot of fans perceived as an attempt to introduce a scientific explanation for why some beings can use the Force and others cannot.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The Empire Strikes Back- Probably the biggest downer ending in the series: The Empire storms the Rebellion's hidden base and drives the entire Rebel fleet into hiding, Luke gets his hand cut off and finds out that Darth Vader is his father, and Han Solo gets frozen in carbonite after confessing his love to Leia.
    • The Phantom Menace might have one. As stated above, it could be considered a Bittersweet Ending with Qui-Gon dead, but the battle of Naboo having been won. Though the purpose of Naboo's invasion was to make Sidious Supreme Chancellor of the Republic. The Good Guys celebrate their pointless victory, not knowing that the Big Bad has actually succeeded and is standing there among them as Palpatine. The Bad Guy Wins, the Good Guys just don't know.
    • Attack of the Clones- Featured a Jedi massacre and the start of the Clone Wars.
      Yoda:Victory? Victory, you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen. Begun, the Clone War has.
    • Revenge of the Sith- Drops a ton of bombs on us. The purge of the Jedi Order. Anakin fully becomes Darth Vader after sustaining grievous injuries and burns in a battle with his closest friend, Obi-Wan. Padmé dies, orphaning newborns Luke and Leia Skywalker. Palpatine takes over the galaxy and forms the Empire.
    • The Force Awakens — While Starkiller Base has been destroyed, and Luke is found, it's still after only the deaths of potentially billions on Hosnian Prime, the Republic thrown into chaos, The loss of a large portion of the Resistance's fighter fleet and the death of Han Solo and crippling of Finn. And the First Order still is still a major fighting force.
  • Dress-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The Jedi wear brown robes while the Sith wear black.
    • In the prequels, Anakin, the deeply conflicted Jedi Knight, wears black to foreshadow his fate of becoming Darth Vader.
    • Stormtroopers wear distinctive white armour and Imperial pilots wear black uniforms, emphasizing their sterility and lack of humanity, while Rebel soldiers wear various green, grey, tan and blue tones, and Rebel pilots wear orange jumpsuits.
  • Drop Pod: Many factions use these, and some video games let you do it yourself.
  • Due to the Dead:
    • The Jedi burn their dead in funeral pyres, with few exceptions (including, but not limited to, Jedi that become one with the Force, most notably Obi-Wan and Yoda).
    • Also, as a minor background event, C-3PO helps Obi-Wan burn a bunch of slaughtered Jawas in a funeral pyre in one scene in A New Hope as Luke returns from discovering his aunt and uncle's charred remains.
    • In Revenge of the Sith, we only see Padmé's funeral procession to the amphitheatre where Qui-Gon's funeral was held, though as inferred from Yoda's dialogue before the scene her body is subsequently buried along with a keepsake of her husband Anakin following the funeral proper.
    • In Attack of the Clones, after recovering her remains from a Sandpeople village (and leaving the village in shambles in his wake because of the torture they had put her through), Anakin lays his mother to rest in a small cemetery in the Tatooine desert, with Padmé, Cliegg, Owen, Beru, C-3PO, and R2-D2 in attendance at the small funeral.
  • During the War: Well, it's right in the title. And they're a lot of different wars, most notably the Galactic Civil War (original trilogy) and Clone Wars (episodes II-III).
  • Dub Name Change: The French and Italian dubs of the original trilogy changed many of the character, location and ship names. This became more inconsistent later on, even more so in French Canada where they got their own local dubs of material from The Phantom Menace onwards.
  • Ears as Hair: Several alien species do this at times, including the Togrutas, the Twi'leks, and the Gungans.
  • Emerald Power: The green-skinned Yoda is one of the strongest Jedi there is. There's also an awful lot of green lightsabers used throughout the series.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: Why Jedi are good and Sith are evil, though in the Expanded Universe, stoicism is treated a bit less kindly, as the New Jedi Order by Luke is less rigid.
  • Energy Weapons: Nearly every weaponnote  in Star Wars uses lasers and plasma instead of kinetic material like metal and wood.
  • Epic Movie: One of the most prominent sources of this genre in science fiction.
  • Establishing Character Music:
    • A New Hope: Darth Vader is first seen on the Tantive IV accompanied by an ominous trumpet chord which, combined with his black, skull-like mask and helmet, marks him as the villain. Later when we first see Luke the main theme is heard briefly, marking him as The Hero.
    • Return of the Jedi: The first time we see the Emperor in person we hear first a bombastic Imperial March as his forces are assembled in a grand spectacle as Vader kneels before his master, then as Palpatine descends his shuttle's ramp a low men's chorus takes over with a tune of quiet malice.
    • The Force Awakens: When Rey is first introduced we have about two minutes without dialogue of her just going through her routine while her theme plays, a light feminine piece, but with an inner strength that gets more pronounced as it goes on.
  • Everything Is Better With Spinning:
    • The spinning background that occurs in A New Hope after the Millennium Falcon first jumps into Hyperspace. See it here.
    • Lightsaber duels are full of flashy spinning moves, especially in the prequel trilogy, with Yoda's acrobatic fighting style as the most prominent example.
  • Excessive Steam Syndrome:
    • How can anyone forget the scenes, where Darth Vader walks dramatically through steam exhausts that for some reason are set around the ship's main entrance. Made even weirder, though more badass, in the novelizations, which claim that the steam is burning hot and that normal people won't exit until it's evaporated. This is actually lampshaded as a security feature to prevent assaults or sabotage when docking.
    • Also the carbon freezing chamber where Luke and Vader fight for the first time. Sort of justified because they're in the industrial underbelly of Cloud City., but mainly it just looks cool with the lightsabers and all.
  • Expanded Universe:
    • From it's debut in 1979 until April 25th, 2014, Star Wars accumulated hundreds of novels, cartoons, comic books, and video games based around both minor and major characters from all six original movies alongside new content set in the millennia before the end of the Jedi in The Phantom Menace and in the decades following the heroes' victory in Return of the Jedi. Now, these stories are called Star Wars Legends, because they were declared non-canon by Disney in order to allow a theatrical sequel to Return of the Jedi.
    • The new Star Wars Expanded Universe encompasses the nine Star Wars episodes currently planned, Rogue One, two TV shows (Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels), and many novels, comic books, and video games. All these stories are approved by Lucasfilm's Story Group, which is attempting to maintain a seamless continuity between all Star Wars content created by Disney.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    • From the first (or fourth, depending on how you look at it) film, "But if they traced the robots here, they may have learned who they sold them to, and that would lead them back... home!".
    • From Return of the Jedi, "But how could they be jamming us if they don't know... we're coming?"
  • Eye Color Change: There's the phenomenon of "Sith eyes", related to the Dark Side of the Force. They usually aren't permanent and usually manifest when the dark Force-user is enraged (Count Dooku, always calm and collected, never manifests them). Only Darth Maul, who is more or less always belligerent, sports permanent Sith eyes.
  • Failsafe Failure: As a rule, if you destroy a single control console for some piece of technology, that technology will immediately and completely fail. This can range from door/bridge controls (A New Hope), to the absolutely crucial deflector shields protecting a mining outpost on a volcanic planet (Revenge of the Sith). In Return of the Jedi, the 19 kilometer-long super-star-destroyer Executor goes into an instant nosedive when its main bridge gets destroyed by a rebel fighter, with the thousands of crew members scattered throughout the ship apparently unable to do anything to prevent it.
  • False Flag Operation: The Clone Wars were engineered by Darth Sidious/Chancellor Palpatine so he could secure enough power for himself to become an Emperor and then purge the Jedi.
  • Fanfare:
  • Fantastic Fighting Style: Lightsaber combat. The EU describes the different styles (called "forms") in detail as well as which characters specialize in them.
    • Form I, Shii-Cho, is rudimentary swordsmanship, with wide, sweeping, simplistic attacks generally comparable to those of a green swordsman of most styles, but most similar to Japanese and German styles in strike zones. It is the first style taught to Jedi apprentices. Luke Skywalker, for example, starts out learning it from Obi-Wan Kenobi.
    • Form II, Makashi, is a fencing-based style, emphasizing precision strikes, thrusts, feints, and parry-ripostes, often with a one-handed grip, at the cost of power. Because it is intended solely for dueling (which it excels at), it is not very useful against blasters. Makashi is practiced by Count Dooku.
    • Form III, Soresu, is thoroughly defensive, with an ideology and style similar to English and Italian swordsmanship, defending and countering when the enemy lowers their guard, and only then. Obi-Wan Kenobi is considered to be the master of Soresu, which he learned after seeing his master get killed in battle.
    • Form IV, Ataru, can best be described as agile and fast-paced, favoring speed and acrobatic attacks over a grounded stance and endurance, comparable to the wild, agile movements of Shaolin Breeze Sword style. Ataru lends itself to Jedi and Sith of small stature, such as Yoda. Qui-Gon Jinn also used this style, minus the acrobatics, as did Obi-Wan Kenobi in his youth.
    • Form V, Shien/Djem So, is derived from Form III, being an more aggressive and power-focused variant of it. Shien is mostly used for reflecting blaster shots back at enemies, while Djem So is meant for dueling and uses parry-strike combinations and power blows to overpower the enemy. It is closely analogous to German longsword fencing, which favors aggression and parrying within the strike. Anakin Skywalker favors this style, as does his son Luke.
    • Form VI, Niman, is a generalized, easy to use style often favored by Jedi who primarily wield the Force, or otherwise find little time for lightsaber combat. A blend of all the prior styles, it can be considered to be based on "self-defense" swordfighting styles prevalent in Renaissance Europe. Many rank-and-file Jedi used this form, such as many of those who fought in the Battle of Geonosis.
    • Form VII, Juyo/Vaapad, can be summed up in three words: Attack! Attack! Attack!. It is the most aggressive form and focuses on sudden and unpredictable attacks, forcing the enemy to constantly defend until they can't keep up. It is is based on Kenjutsu, in particular the Jigen Ryu school. Darth Maul is a master of Juyo, and the Sith as a whole favor it more than the Jedi, who consider it something of a Dangerous Forbidden Technique. Vaapad was developed by Mace Windu as a more Jedi-like version of Juyo.
  • Fantastic Fragility: The Death Star, both versions, have weak points that endanger the entirety of their operations.
  • Fantastic Honorifics: The Grand Moffs lean more into Fantastic Rank System, but there are also the Jedi honorifics of "Padawan learner" and so on.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Much more common in the non canon EU. However, It is used differently being set in a different universe, but we see this a lot in Star Wars. From Dragons (Dewbacks, thought they dont breathe fire sadly, unless you count the mechanical fire breathers from the Clone Wars), Dwarves (Jawas and Ewoks), Elves (Yoda, as is not so oblivious), Gods (The Ones from The Clone Wars), Giants (The Gorax and Phlogs from the Expanded Universe), Wolfmen (some were seen in the cantina until special editions threw them away), Wizards wielding magic swords, Western gunslingers (Han Solo), and a few others.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Anakin towards the Sand People. In the EU, human supremacy is the policy of the Empire, to explain why there were no Imperial aliens in the movies.
    • The droid-hating bartender from A New Hope, as well as the Imperial officer that calls Chewbacca a "thing". As well, the Imperials on Endor refer to the Ewoks as "bear creatures". Droids, despite most of them seeming to be quite sentient and intelligent, are barely given the same degree of respect as living creatures. Luke is generally a bit kinder, but Jawas (of all creatures) round them up like stray animals and quite clearly sell them into slavery. Ironically, this is where the word "robot" comes from, but droids are never referred to as such.
    • Except for the spy that followed Luke and Obi-wan in A New Hope. Also, no aliens are seen among the Rebel troops until Return of the Jedi. From a non-EU perspective, there may be no systemic racism in the Empire at all; like the Rebellion, its military may simply be dominated by humans.
    • Even the good guys can get in on this on occasion, as seen when Finn refer to an alien like Chewbacca as a "thing." Somewhat justified by the fact that Finn is an ex-Stormtrooper and has been hand-fed First Order propaganda his entire life.
    Finn: (to Han, referring to Chewie): You can understand that thing?
    Han: Yeah, and "that thing" can understand you, so watch it!
  • Fantastic Rank System: The Empire's rank system includes Moffs and Grand Moffs. The Expanded Universe adds more fantasy ranks.
  • Feudal Future: Popularized the concept of a "used universe" which has inspired Firefly and countless other franchises. Many planets are also ruled by monarchy (albeit, many of them are elected monarchs) and inherited nobility.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: The Death Star's planet-killing superlaser.
  • Flynning:
    • The lightsaber battles from the original trilogy, dubbed "budget kendo" in some circles. The original idea behind the lightsabers was that they were difficult to handle, which limited their choreography to mostly slashes and parries. There were technical limitations involved as well as skill limitations. Every duel in the Original Trilogy involves Darth Vader. The Vader mask left David Prowse with such a restricted field of view that he had trouble even seeing the person he was dueling with, never mind trying to fight. The props themselves were also fragile, preventing the use of more aggressive and intense strikes.
    • For the prequels', George Lucas specifically stated that the battles of the original trilogy were fought by "old men, feeble cyborgs and young kids" and he wanted the prequels to highlight a more sophisticated fighting style. They are more technically impressive and faster paced, but still use common tricks associated with flynning such as time-wasting flourishes, obviously not aiming strikes at their opponents, and keeping at too far a distance to hit each other. It's a bit more downplayed compared to most other times this trope comes into play, however, as not only does the Force make all the more acrobatic, inefficient moves more applicable, most of the time the opposing duelists are aiming at each other, rather than eachother's blade. However, as a single lightsaber strike means certain amputation and/or death in most instances, lightsaber combat is based as much around countering your opponents moves as it is around quickly killing/ disarming the opponent.
    • The expanded universe elaborates on lightsaber combat, based partially on the forms developed by stunt coordinator Nick Gillard and he made unique styles as a fingerprint for each character. Wookieepedia spells it all out, and Gillard himself said the styles were meant to evoke that the Jedi use an Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age and thus have to be really good at it. There are also handwaves that the sheer lethality of lightsaber blades mean that it isn't enough to get the killing blow, you have to make sure you won't be hit even slightly as your enemy drops their weapon.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Happens a lot, both in the movies as well as in the Expanded Universe. The exact capabilities of the Jedi (and other Force-users) are very inconsistently depicted, with their abilities varying scene to scene depending on the needs of the plot.
  • Full-Contact Magic: While it is possible to use the Force without moving, such as when a user is tied up, most Jedi, Sith, and assorted Force users use hand motions to control the energy field that binds us all. It helps the audience understand what they're trying to do and can end up looking pretty sick.
  • Functional Magic: While the films generally depict the Force in a manner analogous to Psychic Powers, the Expanded Universe frequently diversifies Force powers into more explicitly magical forms, such as "Sith Sorcery", which involves actual spellcasting and the creation of unusual effects not normally available to conventional Force wielders such as the Jedi. There are also many examples of magical items and Magitek. As a rule of thumb, Force traditions originating from pre-industrial societies, such as Dathomir and the ancient Sith, tend to have the "magic" look and feel, and the "ultra-modern" ones tend to be Psychic Powers.
  • Futuristic Superhighway: The prequel trilogy shows flying cars driving in seemingly designated "lanes" on Coruscant.
  • Gag Dub: Star Wars: Storm in a Glass by Dmitry Puchkov.
  • Galactic Superpower: In chronological order: the Galactic Republic, the Galactic Empire, and finally the New Republic. After that the First Order rose up and began to rival the New Republic for control of the galaxy.
  • Gambit Pileup: Palpatine's intricate plans are legendary throughout the series, but there are others that famously compete with his. Specifically, Vader, Luke, and the Rebel leaders all run their own gambits in Return of the Jedi. In order, the Rebels and Vader are Out-Gambitted by Palpatine, who is in turn Out-Gambitted by Luke.
  • Game Changer:
    • This is the meaning behind the title of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. Without Luke's involvement helping to bring down the Sith, including learning the ways of the force and bringing back the Jedi Order, the Rebellion would never have won.
    • Rescuing Leia is a game-changer. The Empire knew that Leia knew where the rebel base was and Leia knew the Empire would know this and track her. They let her go and Leia had no choice but to bring the Death Star plans (and the bugged Falcon) to the rebels.
    • Destroying the first Death Star counts as one in the series/franchise, but as the last act of the movie it is the finale to the climax.
    • From Obi-Wan and Yoda's perspective, Luke starting on the path to become a Jedi is the real game changer in order to defeat the Sith. The premise of the original trilogy remained "Rebellion vs. Empire."
    • The Clone Troopers in Attack of the Clones are TGC when they arrive on Geonosis to rescue the overwhelmed Jedi. They become Nothing Is the Same Anymore when they obey General Order 66 and eradicate the Jedi, leaving Emperor Palpatine as Lord And Master of the Galaxy.
  • Generican Empire: The Galactic Republic, replaced by the Galactic Empire, replaced by the New Republic...
  • Generational Saga: The Star Wars movie saga is the story of the rise of a man from absolute poverty to absolute power and his downfall, intersected with the rise of his son from that of a simple farmer to galactic hero. And then how Anakin's grandson makes the same fall as he did.
  • Genre-Busting: Part science fiction, part fantasy, part western, part samurai movie, part World War II film....
  • Genre Deconstruction: The Prequel Trilogy can be viewed as a deconstruction of the Original Trilogy. The OT was standard Space Opera with all of its tropes played straight. The PT, however, is far more morally complex and ambiguous. In Revenge of the Sith, every victory that the heroes attained in the previous two films (and for the first part of that one) was in fact the villain's plan all along. Anakin becomes a near perfect deconstruction of the Messianic Archetype. Obi-Wan's bold statement of "Only the Sith speak in absolutes" is the exact opposite of what the everything else in the film depicts about the nature of the Sith and Jedi and their worldviews.
  • Good Old Ways: Of the Jedi. Obi-Wan's quote on lightsabers, the Jedi weapon ("an elegant weapon for a more civilized age") provides the trope page's quote.
  • Good Republic, Evil Empire: The old Republic is seen as a golden age even though it became corrupt and fell. The Empire, headed by the Dark Lord of the Sith and right Manipulative Bastard Emperor Palpatine, is not above planet-destroying genocide to maintain its reign of terror. The Rebel Alliance then overthrow the Empire and form the New Republic.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Anakin gains a prominent scar on his face somewhere between Episodes II and III, and several more when he becomes Darth Vader. Luke has one in The Empire Strikes Back from the wampa attack on Hoth.(in reality, this was from a car accident prior to filming).
  • Goth Girls Know Magic: Females who switch to the Dark Side gain the power to use the dark side of the Force and are often accompanied by an Evil Costume Switch that garbs them in black and makes them look like a Goth Dominatrix.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol:
    • Used in The Phantom Menace to enter the palace on Naboo.
    • Luke uses one to destroy an Imperial walker in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • G-Rated Sex: Word of God says in the commentary for ESB that, for the adults, a kiss between Han and Leia was supposed to have the same effect as two characters having sex in any other movie.
  • Graying Morality: The first trilogy. A New Hope has mostly clear-cut heroes and villains (except for Lovable Rogue Han Solo). In The Empire Strikes Back, we learn that Obi-Wan lied to Luke about his father. In Return of the Jedi, Luke is told that he must kill his own father or the Emperor will win.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Dark Side is a textbook example; is the ultimate source of evil in the Galaxy, but is an impersonal, metaphysical power rather than an actual character.
  • Great Offscreen War: There are several mentions of wars and other conflicts which are never actually shown; the aftermath of several such conflicts is shown, however.
    • Some of these conflicts occurred in the distant past. These include several conflicts between the Jedi and the Sith, including the Hundred-Year Darkness of the original schism between the orders, and the Great Scourge of Malachor (whose aftermath is shown); the war between the Jedi and the Mandalorians; and the fall of the Old Republic.
    • Some of these conflicts occurred during time periods which have been shown, but the conflicts themselves are not shown. This mainly includes much of the Clone Wars (for example, where many of the principal Jedi were); and most of the war between the Rebellion and the Empire that doesn't directly involve the main characters. These examples crossover into Hero of Another Story.
  • Gunship Rescue: Attack of the Clones has one of the archetypal depictions of this (which is a Big Damn Heroes moment too) but it is certainly not limited to any single movie, show, comic or book.
  • Harmony Versus Discipline: The Force = The Way of Harmony and The Dark Side = The Path of Discipline, in theory with Jedi trying to be one with the Force and the Sith trying to control it by channeling their desires. In practice the Jedi believe in only using The Force with a focus on self-control, while the Sith seek domination through discipline.
  • Hated Hometown: Luke and Anakin both feel this way about Tatooine, a corrupt desert planet which offered nothing to fulfill the boys' dreams.
  • Have a Gay Old Time:
    • There's a whole page of lines that sound sexual but aren't on Wookieepedia.
    • Kevin J. Anderson's Jabba's Palace anthology series mentions something called a "jizz band." Wow. Just...wow.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest: While it is possible to use the Force to heal, it is apparently a very specialized skill, possibly requiring innate aptitude on the part of the healer. Most Force users, Light or Dark side, never seem to exhibit this ability to any significant degree. Anakin goes over to the Dark Side specifically because he thinks that he will need such a power to save Padmé from dying in childbirth, and yet despite his extraordinary potential, he does not believe that he can learn the necessary technique from the Jedi Order.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Darth Vader's iconic breathing sound.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Palpatine, and to a degree that verges on being a Plot Hole. On a small scale, he is the one who shapes Anakin into Darth Vader, who eventually overthrows him. On a much larger scale, he is able to completely take control of the galaxy in the prequel trilogy...and then, apparently unable to quit while he's ahead, launches an unnecessary genocide upon the Jedi, thus permanently turning the few surviving Jedi against him and triggering an epic chain of events that would eventually culminate in his being overthrown. (If the title "Revenge of the Sith" is any indication, he did this mainly to settle an old score between the Sith and the Jedi.) While the Jedi were no fans of his even before The Purge, they weren't much of a threat to him either, particularly in light of his being supreme ruler of the Republic. This is even coyly lampshaded in the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, where it's stated that the Jedi are actively searching for the Big Bad, but don't consider Palpatine a suspect because he already rules the galaxy, and thus would have literally nothing else to gain by getting up to any Sith-related shenanigans.
  • Hollywood Healing: Luke and Anakin are very active for people with prosthetics. Medical technology in the Republic is far superior to anything we have today.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Used repeatedly by the Rebels, who have grossly inferior forces and really have no other options. This is directly mentioned in the novelization of Return of the Jedi: the Rebels know going head to head with an enemy fleet is the one thing a guerrilla force is never supposed to do.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Several seen throughout the series:
    • Tauntauns, white-haired lizards native to Hoth, were used by the Rebel Alliance as mounts while based on the planet.
    • Bantha, elephant-sized hairy horned mammals native to Tatooine, used by Tusken Raiders as mounts and for haulage.
    • Dewbacks, large reptiles native to Tatooine, used by many inhabitants of the planet, but noted for their use by Imperial Sandtroopers.
    • Ronto, very tall saurian reptiles, used by Jawas for transport and haulage. Apparently native to Tatooine, but it has been suggested in the Expanded Universe they were in fact imported from Nubia, where they are also found.
  • Hospital Surprise: Both Luke and Anakin end up stranded and injured, and are shuttled to a hospital.
  • How Can Santa Deliver All Those Toys?: This was brought up in a concept album, not the holiday special.
  • Human Aliens: Near-human aliens, some of which have a common ancestry.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Most major alien species in Star Wars have two eyes, two legs, two arms, a head, and a good enough physique to swing around a lightsaber efficiently, but enough inhuman characteristics to distinguish themselves. Example's range from the fur-covered Wookiees, antennaed Rodians, pancaked-faced Sullustans, Zygerrians, fish-based Mon Calimari, lizard-like Trandoshan, bug-like Geonosians, reptile-like Clawdites, horned Zabraks, and the short, green aliens that make up Yoda's species.
  • Humans Are White:
    • Generally the more non-white your accent or facial features, the more likely you are to be a Rubber-Forehead Alien, space jew or green skinned alien babe at best. The EU has a system of Fantastic Racism where humans are privileged above all alien species especially in the Empire.
    • There are precisely two black people in the original trilogy: Lando, and Grizz Fix, an X-wing pilot who gets a quarter second of screen time (dying) in Jedi. The prequels are slightly better about this. Slightly. Blue skin is still more common than black, but at least there's Mace Windu, the galaxy's second most senior Jedi, among the black characters.
    • This is largely rectified in The Force Awakens, which had a racially and ethnically diverse cast, including a black actor and a Latino actor as two parts of the new Power Trio.
  • Humongous Mecha: The AT-series walkers are essentially tanks on legs, ranging from AT-ST walkers the size of a large tree to AT-AT walkers which can tower over most buildings.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Although only in the sense that if you are space travelling through that high speed method, you have to have your navigational computer work out a safe route first or you could likely collide with something like a star and be destroyed.

    I-Q 
  • If You Can Read This: The prequels do this quite frequently...in an alien alphabet, called Aurebesh. If you transcribe each character for its Roman equivalent, it is just plain English. Some examples make sense in context (such as the screen of Anakin's Naboo Starfighter in Phantom Menace) but most are simply inside jokes made by the creators of the material.
  • Illegal Religion: During the reign of the Galactic Empire, the Jedi were hunted down and driven to near-extinction by Imperial forces, their religion dwindling from universally recognized to often ridiculed as old superstition. Emperor Palpatine and his right hand Darth Vader were members of the evil Sith order, the ancient enemies of the Jedi.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: About half the weapons in the movies, but the lightsabers and the Death Stars especially.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Amidala's regal outfits, which are so expensive Obi-Wan suggests bargaining with them to buy parts for her ship's hyperdrive.
  • Incest Subtext: Luke and Leia flirting and kissing has traces of this when you find out they're really brother and sister.
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: In the expanded universe, it is strongly implied that Vader was planning to betray Palpatine, and that Palpatine was looking for a sufficiently talented replacement so that he could kill Vader off. For less personal reasons, every sith lord/apprentice pair also fits; Sith apprentices are expected to kill and supplant their masters, or die trying.
  • Inexplicable Cultural Ties: Many proper names are English or Latin lexical words.
  • Inhumanly Beautiful Race: The Diathim from the moons of Iego are known as "angels" and Anakin describes them as "the most beautiful creatures in the universe" (relaying stories he'd heard from spacers).
  • In the Future, We Still Have Roombas: Several examples, including the little skittery mouse droid that Chewie growls at and the pit droids in The Phantom Menace.
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: All the stories are set "a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away". Planet Earth has never even been mentioned.
  • Invisible Means Undodgeable: The Force, to Muggles at least. Lightsabers and dodging skills can block all sorts of force powers, such as Force Lightning. The moment someone starts a Force Choke, though, it's over.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • The scene where Vader has to choose between saving Luke or letting him die is a mirror of the scene with Mace in the Chancellor's office, and the consequences both large and small scale are also identical.
    • Also, Anakin killing count Dooku is echoed in Luke's defeat of Darth Vader.
    • Severed limbs are a recurring theme, and most of them are symbolic on some level.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: For both Anakin and Luke.
  • I Will Tear Your Arms Off: According to Han, Wookiees have a tendency to do this when they lose at games.
  • It's a Small World After All: Why does everything important in galactic history happen to such a small group of people? It must be the will of The Force.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: In the original trilogy, Palpatine may have been the Big Bad all along, but was barely on screen for most of it and only referred to. All the real emotional investment for Luke was with Vader.
  • Jacob Marley Warning: Obi-Wan and Yoda to Luke before leaving to face Vader. Also, Vader himself is this to Luke when he realizes how closely Anakin's history mirrors his own.
  • Join or Die: In The Empire Strikes Back, Vader tells the Emperor that this will be the choice he will give Luke. Vader instead gives Luke a We Can Rule Together. In Return of the Jedi, The Emperor makes the same offer to Luke.
  • Jump Physics: A common feature of any fight involving the Jedi and/or the Sith. Especially useful since the standard architecture of the Star Wars galaxy features more Bottomless Pits and Floating Platforms than most video games.
  • Kuleshov Effect: The characterizations of C-3PO, R2-D2, and Vader all rely on it.
  • Laser Blade: The superpowered characters in this setting fight using lightsabers, small handles that generate a sustained laser about the size of a sword and the Trope Codifiers. The laser cuts through nearly everything, deflects laser fire, and cauterizes wounds, so that lightsaber fights in the franchise involve very little blood. Good guys tend to wield blue and green sabers while villains get red ones, although purple, yellow, white, and black lightsabers aren't unheard of.
  • Leitmotif: Almost every major character has one, including Vader (the Imperial March), Leia, Yoda, Jabba and Palpatine. Strangely, Luke doesn't have his own theme but the Force Theme is used for him, which also represents the Jedi in general. The Rebels have their own theme music too.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: In the prequel trilogy, Senator Palpatine uses fear of the Separatist movement to gain authority and establish an empire.
  • Licensed Pinball Tables: So many, we have an entire page listing them.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Whilst the EU sports many of these kinds of characters, the most notable are the Jedi and Sith, seeing as they can boost their physical attributes to superhuman levels (seeing as they're basically wielding swords in a laser gun time, they'd have to be this in order to survive). The biggest example undoubtedly is Darth Vader himself since he's had a successful 20+ year run of slaying Jedi, all of whom are presumably faster, and not to mention the fact that his suit is a glorified life support machine, he'd most certainly have to be an incredible Lightning Bruiser.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Lightsabers are Laser Blades that can cut through almost any physical object, but can be stopped in their tracts upon contact with another lightsaber, which they can never cut through.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Even in the basic seven films alone, there are quite a lot of recurring characters.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: This was standard policy with Luke and Leia... that is, until The Reveal rendered it a null point.
  • Love Theme: Han and Leia have their own theme in the original trilogy, and Anakin and Padmé have "Across the Stars" in the prequels.
  • Made of Phlebotinum: Star Wars could nominally be considered this trope, especially a planet like Coruscant, for example. Hyperdrive, The Force, levitating vehicles, laser weapons and swords...there wouldn't be much left to this 'verse if you subtracted the Phlebotinum.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The films largely limit force users to telekinesis, precognition, empathy, and ghosts. The expanded universe, however, tends to make up New Powers as the Plot Demands, giving us witches and voodoo and zombies and... pretty much anything you can name.
  • Magic by Any Other Name: The Force is probably the most famous example.
  • Magitek: Jedi and Sith Holocrons cannot apparently be duplicated by regular technology alone and instead require the powers of a Force-user to operate.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain:
    • The Jedi: Yoda > Count Dooku > Qui-Gon Jinn > Obi-Wan Kenobi > Anakin & Luke Skywalker > Ben Solo.
    • The Sith: Darth Bane > Thousands of others > Darth Plagueis > Darth Sidious > Darths Maul, Tyranus, and Vader > Savage Oppress, Asajj Ventress, and Ashoka Tano, respectively.
    • Becoming a Fore Ghost: Qui-Gon Jinn > Yoda > Obi-Wan Kenobi > Luke Skywalker (implied in the movie, spelled out in the novelization)
  • Meaningful Name: Ever notice how some of the Sith names take a sinister word starting with "in" and just chop the "in" off? (in)vader, (in)sidious? Coincidence? I don't think so!
    • Most/all Sith names are some form of a sinister word.
    • Also, "vader" is Dutch for "father".
    • And then there's Darth Maul...who has no personality to speak of and is a blunt instrument...
    • It's not just the Sith. The smuggler who at first wants the war to leave him alone is named "Solo," Leia is Assyrian for "ruler," and the kid who wants to leave his hick planet and travel the galaxy is named "Skywalker." And later, we get the gambler named Lando — on Earth, a shortened form of Orlando, meaning "Land of Gold."
    • Given the Biblical overtones of the series (desert setting, virgin birth etc.) perhaps it's not surprising that the main character is named Luke.
  • Medieval Stasis:
    • The franchise takes place over tens of thousands of years (e.g. Knights of the Old Republic is set four thousand years before The Phantom Menace) and yet there is little to no technological or cultural development in that time. note 
    • Endor and Dathomir are prominent examples, while they do contain incriments of high technology, fall far behind compared tot he rest of the galaxy. Tatooine somewhat fits into this trope, Justified being a very hot world. Also Justified with Dathomir, as they dont need it due to the awesome power of magicks.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: The series is now 3 for 3 in having a mentor archetype die towards the end of the first episode in a trilogy - Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original trilogy, Qui-Gon Jinn in the prequel trilogy, and Han Solo in the sequel trilogy.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The franchise may not have started that way, but it definitely ended up there. There are about six different versions of the medical droid that works on Luke at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Merchant City: There's a reason Mos Eisley attracts scum and villainy of all types.
  • The Metric System Is Here to Stay: A two-meter target.
  • The Milky Way Is the Only Way: Even with the ability to travel through hyperspace, the prospect of intergalactic travel is never considered, not even by the Emperor.
  • Mind over Manners: The Jedi's responsible use of their suggestion and telepathy powers.
  • Mini-Mecha: Some of the walkers, such as the AT-RT from Revenge of the Sith.
  • Model Planning: The Death Star attack planning sessions in both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi are holographic versions of this trope.
  • Modern Stasis: Technology and culture has been the same in the galaxy for over 10,000 years. The only thing that's changed are political boundaries and some forms of technology.
  • Monochrome Apparition: Force ghosts are blue.
  • Monowheel Mayhem: The Wheel Bikes.
  • Mood Whiplash: Only applicable if you watch the films in chronological order: Revenge of the Sith is a dark tragedy in which an already-tainted hero turns evil, kills children and is mutilated by his former best friend while A New Hope is a straight-up action adventure with wisecracking heroes. Going from the former to the latter is a bit jarring. Even more so when one considers that The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are nowhere near as campy.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: The Organas and the Larses for Leia and Luke respectively.
  • Muggles Do It Better:
    • Despite the prominence of the Jedi, Sith and The Force in the story, it could easily be argued that ordinary people and advanced technology can get as much done as Force-users, especially if limited to the power levels from the films, as opposed to the Munchkin stuff from the Expanded Universe.
    • Luke and Anakin are touted as awesome pilots because of their Force powers, and they are. But so is Han (who can navigate an Asteroid Thicket) or Lando and Wedge (who flew a high-speed chase through the inside of the second Death Star) without any Force intuition to guide them. Poe Dameron beats everyone, at one point destroying ten TIE fighters in a single pass!
    • In Attack of the Clones a huge group of Jedi is taken completely by surprise and quickly slaughtered by battle droids. Also, Jango Fett is able to give Jedi Master Obi-Wan a real run for his money thanks to his armor and weapons. General Grievous, a cyborg, apparently killed quite a few Jedi using their own preferred weapon and fighting styles.
    • The Force is not a replacement for technology, even among its most powerful practitioners. Rather than Telepathy, Jedi and Sith alike rely on commlinks and the HoloNet to communicate. In Attack of the Clones Obi-Wan plants a tracking device on Jango's ship so that he can follow it. In Return of the Jedi, when Leia goes missing Luke does not even try to use the Force to locate or communicate with her, instead insisting that they will need Artoo's scanners. Palpatine clearly does not believe that his powers will allow him to maintain control of the galaxy, which is why he gathers a massive Standard Sci-Fi Fleet and orders the creation of the Death Stars.
    • Also in Return of the Jedi, when you pause to consider it, the climatic battle between Force-users on the Death Star served little purpose beyond redeeming Vader. It was the Rebel Alliance that actually brought down the shield, flew ships inside the Death Star and blew it up - an outcome that would have happened regardless of whether or not Luke had been successfully seduced to the Dark Side.
    • This tends to be the result of Force Users constantly forgetting to use their powers against Non-Force Users and failing to use them very effectively when they do use them.
  • Multiple-Choice Chosen: In the original trilogy, there are only two Force-sensitive individuals among the younger generation: Luke Skywalker and his sister Leia. But Obi-Wan chooses to send Luke to Yoda for training, and does not seem to consider the other. Yoda is mindful of the other option though, just in case Luke falls to the Dark Side or dies.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: The series has many elements to appeal to people of all ages, including action scenes, comic relief characters and some of the romantic storylines, plus some of the actor casting choices.
  • Multi-Stage Battle: The climactic lightsaber duels in — coincidentally enough — all the odd-numbered movies.
  • Myopic Architecture: The Death Star, with the two-meter-wide chute straight to instant death and self-destruction.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: The Essential Guide To Warfare implies that the reason several of the citizens in The Empire, while not liking its policies, remain sided with the Empire was because they feared that the Alliance to Restore the Republic was no different from the Separatists.
  • National Weapon: The Jedi Order uses lightsabers. The various incarnations of the Sith Order also use lightsabers, universally colored red.
  • Nemesis Weapon: Both the heroic Jedi and the evil Sith wield the iconic lightsaber. A lightsaber can only be constructed precisely enough to function with the aid of The Force, and in the hands of a Force-user it's the ultimate personal weapon. The core element is the focusing crystal; Jedi usually use natural crystals of various kinds, producing a variety of different colors and blade forms, while Sith all use a kind of synthetic crystal made using The Dark Side that produces a red blade.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: Averted. In three of the films, the central plot is to destroy whatever huge planet-destroying weapon the Empire has cooked up. The Empire is really bent on destroying big things.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: At the end of Return of the Jedi Palpatine torturing Luke, which drives Vader to intervene and kill Palpatine to save his son's life.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: From the original trilogy, Luke (nice), Han (mean) and Leia (in-between).
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male:
    • Han is the Roguish Male and Luke the Noble Male.
    • In the prequel trilogy, Anakin is the Rogue and Obi-Wan is the Noble.
  • No Body Left Behind: Obi-Wan and Yoda fade away when they die, leaving behind empty robes. Notably, Vader's body does not disappear. However, it's implied that while his body was in the funeral pyre, Vader learned from either Obi-Wan, Yoda, or Qui-Gon (the latter who learned the trick years after his own death) how to become one with the Force, so his burning body might have simply faded away during the funeral pyre instead of turning into ashes (though a trailer for The Force Awakens implies that he managed to leave at least his helmet behind, similar to how Obi-Wan's robe didn't fade away with him when he was bisected). This theory is supported when Anakin's Force ghost appears with those of Obi-Wan and Yoda.
  • No OSHA Compliance: We've lost count of how many catwalks and platforms lack safety rails of any kind. Combined with the fact that Bottomless Pits are the most popular feature of galactic architectural design this probably makes vertigo or poor balance life-threatening medical conditions in the galaxy.
  • Notable Original Music: The most famous composition from John Williams. Considering that John Williams has a career based around this trope and is one of the most famous film composers ever, that's saying a lot.
  • Not So Omniscient After All: Despite a lot of boasting about their precognitive abilities, Jedi and Sith alike are quite prone to be as surprised as anyone else by events. The Jedi never saw the Clone Wars coming, much less their own fate under Order 66. Palpatine failed to foresee his own demise or the destruction of either Death Star.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Galactic Senate, both past and present. In the prequels they are paralyzed by infighting and the only thing they manage to accomplish is to voluntarily elect the Supreme Chancellor (secretly a Sith Lord and leader of the Separatists) as dictator. In The Force Awakens they are no better, actively shouting down anybody who tries to warn them about the threat of the First Order — until most of them are killed when their current capital gets obliterated by Starkiller Base.
  • No Transhumanism Allowed: In fact, it's kind of considered to be evil or at the very least repugnant.
  • Not So Different: Luke and Vader, and by extension the Jedi and the Sith. Palpatine lectures Anakin about this.
  • Off with His Head!: Several characters are decapitated in battle, notably Jango Fett, Dooku and the apparition of himself as Darth Vader that Luke fights in the cave on Dagobah.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The lyrics to "Duel of the Fates" are actually in Sanskrit, but it fits this trope in spirit.
  • Omniglot: Many characters seem to understand a bewildering array of languages, although due to physiological differences they may not actually be able to speak all of them.
  • Once an Episode: Every film features a gigantic space battle and at least one lightsaber duel, which is usually around a pit of some sort.
  • Once Upon a Time: The opening card is this, just in its own words.
  • One-Product Planet: As with any good space opera, Star Wars provides plenty of examples of this: Coruscant is a Capital, Bespin and Kessel are Mines, Endor houses a Superweapon, the First Death Star itself was a Superweapon, Genosis is a Factory world, Tatooine is a minor Underworld, and Yavin and Hoth were Strategic locations. Naboo was Blockaded for a while.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: How the Jedi knights tend to be deployed, often acting as singles or pairs (usually a Master and his Padawan apprentice), at least in the Prequels. Justified in that they act as Ambadassadors for situations where force is not yet required, and that the local authorities are more often than not willing to provide their own manpower to support them. Starting from the end of Attack of the Clones, the Jedi will often scout out the situation before calling in The Cavalry.
    • The one time the Jedi deployed as a large unsupported force, they got slaughtered before Yoda showed up with the Clone Troopers.
  • Opening Scroll: Trope Codifier. All seven numbered films begin with a yellow, upwards-scrolling text wall that explains the situation the galaxy is in during the events of the film. They're all accompanied by the same bombastic theme that has become synonymous with the series.
  • Opposed Mentors: Anakin Skywalker has to choose between following the wise monk Obi-Wan Kenobi and the powerful Sith Lord Palpatine. Eventually, he chooses power over peace and turns to the Dark Side with Palpatine as his master.
  • The Order: The Jedi Order, naturally. The Sith may count as an evil Order depending on how cooperative they're feeling at the moment; sometimes they're gathering in huge armies, sometimes there's only one or two of them working together.
  • Orwellian Retcon: One of the most famous examples - beginning with the 1997 Special Edition versions, the creator has made ever-more-extensive changes to each subsequent release of the films - even the Prequel Trilogy received notable changes when released on video. The only time that the unaltered Original Trilogy was ever released on DVD, it was neither restored nor remastered in any way, and thus of extremely poor video and audio quality - every restored version has been altered.
  • Our Doors Are Different: Indeed, they seem to vary in size, shape, and mechanism even within a given movie.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: AT-ATs have thick armor impervious to the blasters on rebel fighters. However, due to their being very top-heavy, a simple harpoon and tow cable can bring them down with ease.
  • Palette-Swapped Alien Food: A feature of the universe is blue milk, which makes notable appearances in A New Hope and Rogue One.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: Darth Vader/Anakin and Darth Tyranus/Count Dooku.
  • Passion Is Evil: The Dark Side of The Force embodies passion—specifically rage, lust, and similarly selfish desires. But, this trope is subverted according to Lucas. Contrary to how some writers portray it, the Light Side does NOT embody stoicism and cold logic. Jedi can feel positive emotions like love, duty, honor, and joy, but must be careful not to let them overcome them and twist them into the darker emotions that lead to the Dark Side. This only makes sense, as an order of protectors so superior as to somehow never go through the same feelings, motivations, temptations, etc. as the people they're meant to protect would make them too detached and unrelatable to be very uplifting as heroes either in-universe or out.
  • People Jars: The B'Omar monks specialize in cutting out their most enlightened members' brains and putting them in these so that they escape the "distractions of the flesh." But hey, a brain has to get out once in a while, so they also create giant mechanical spider droids that they can use to walk around occasionally.
  • Phlebotinum-Handling Requirements: Lightsabers can be effectively wielded only by Force-users, with very few exceptions. This is explained by the weapon's very counter-intuitive balance and preternatural quickness needed to wield it. Only one such exception is in the film canon, General Grievous, and he's a cyborg, with his mechanical precision of movements preventing him from julienning himself with the energy blades. The other film canon non-Force user who tries to handle a lightsaber, Han Solo, is wise enough to only use it as a tool (cutting open a dead tauntaun). Although true for the original six movies, this rule seems to have gone out the window in The Force Awakens, since Finn and Rey (neither of whom are Jedi and only one of whom is Force-sensitive) both use a lightsaber with no training.
  • Photoprotoneutron Torpedo: Proton torpedos as well as the ion cannon from Empire Strikes Back.
  • Physical Religion: The Force. It's not exactly a deity, but it is treated as a semi-divine, mystical presence revered by an order of warrior monks. Anyone dismissing it as superstition had better hope they never meet Darth Vader.
  • A Planet Named Zok: There are surprisingly little of these throughout the series, but there are a few. Most notably Kashyyyk.
  • Planet Spaceship: The infamous Death Star is a moon-sized superweapon which is the original source of the That's No Moon! trope. The Starkiller is an actual planet housing an even more powerful superweapon.
  • Planet Ville: Averted with the planet of Naboo: we see a swamp which also has an underwater city inside it, a regular city, and some villas in "Lake Country." Played pretty straight everywhere else.
  • Precision F-Strike: Star Wars has mostly clean language, which is why its few moments of swearing are so special.
    • A New Hope has the following conversation between Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi:
    Han: Even if I could take off, I'd never get past the tractor beam.
    Obi-Wan: Leave that to me.
    Han: Damn fool, I knew you'd say that.
    • Obi-Wan himself gets his only profanity in the entire series in the same film when he uses the term "damn fool idealistic crusade" to describe what Uncle Owen thinks of his mission as he introduces Luke to the Jedi religion.
    • Also, Han to Leia: "What the hell are you doing?!"
    • The Empire Strikes Back also has the following between Han and a rebel technician.
    Rebel technician: Sir, your tauntaun will freeze before you reach the first marker.
    Han: Then I'll see you in hell!
  • Precursors: Most prominently the Celestials who built Centerpoint (as well as the entire Corellian system) and the Maw, and the Rakata who created the first true galaxy-spanning civilization with Infinite Empire and are responsible for modern galactic civilization having the hyperdrive. Many other lesser examples such as the Killiks, who we now know were one of the slave races that the Celestials used to make Centerpoint Qolaraloq and the Maw.
  • Prequel in the Lost Age: The prequels are set before and during the Clone Wars and the downfall of the Old Republic, and feature the Jedi Order as it was before the Purge.
  • Product Displacement: After Disney acquired digital distribution rights to the sequels and prequels, the 20th Century Fox Vanity Plate disappeared from the opening, and what little remained of their fanfare was replaced by an excerpt of Empire Strikes Back end credits music. A New Hope still has the Fox logo on its digital copies, since Fox owns perpetual distribution rights to that.
  • Psychic Powers: The way that the Force is generally depicted, especially in the films.
  • Psychic Radar: The Jedi and the Sith both get to use their mental powers to look for people; usually each other. The most famous example is Darth Vader sensing the presence of Obi-Wan on the Death Star. Actual range varies depending on the medium. In the films this actually plays far less of a role than in the Expanded Universe, and only seems to work at very close range, if at all.
  • Psychic Strangle: A reasonably common use of telekinetic Force powers, primarily by darksiders (especially Vader).
  • Putting on the Reich: The Empire, including Fantastic Racism, jackbooted stormtroopers and planetary-level genocide.
  • Quality Over Quantity: The good guys tend to subscribe to this philosophy: a highly trained and well-equipped clone army in the prequels, and better-armed and -defended fighters in the original trilogy and EU.

    R-Z 
  • Randomly Gifted: Force sensitivity can run in families but is essentially random.
  • Ray Gun: Blasters and the turbo lasers.
  • Raygun Gothic: Certain aesthetic elements of the ships and various other technologies of the Prequel Trilogy fit this.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: Throughout the franchise, Chewbacca and R2-D2 are usually only comprehensible to their counterparts, Han Solo and C-3PO.
  • Recurring Element: The Prequel Trilogy has several intentional call backs to the Original Trilogy in terms of character dynamics and events.
    • The first movie has Old Master Qui-gon/Obi-wan's convictions about The Force lead to recruiting an untested Skywalker and training him to be a Jedi, only to die before the training is complete. They later master an ability to retain consciousness after death.
    • The pure-hearted hero Obi-wan/Luke watches the old master get struck down in a lightsaber duel in the first movie. Spends most of the second movie on a solo mission, and ends up confronting a Sith, Dooku/Vader that pleads with him to join the Dark Side, the temptation stronger as in another life they could've been a mentor to them anyway, and duels and defeats Darth Vader in the third movie, but can't bring himself to deliver the killing blow.
    • The pure hearted hero Obi wan/Luke and the Old Master Qui-gon/Obi-Wan rescue queen/princess Padme/Leia in the first movie, and she ends up falling in love with The Lancer Anakin/Han in the second movie.
    • Other general parallels, Jar Jar to Chewie as an odd alien from a Proud Warrior Race that owes another character a life debt. 3PO and R2 to themselves. The closing ceremonies in Episodes I and IV, etc. etc.
  • Red Right Hand: The yellow eyes of the Sith, and Palpatine's epithelial deformity.
  • Retcon:
    • The majority of the expanded universe after Disney purchased the franchise and introduced the sequel trilogy. However, even before the Disney purchase retcons weren't uncommon in vast, old expanded universe, with new works often conflicting with and taking precedence over the older, established canon.
    • Before the prequel trilogy, or even Return of the Jedi, most of what we knew about characters' histories or life before the Empire came from books and the movie novelizations approved by George Lucas.
      • Luke and Leia were originally four years old when their mother died and their father turned to the dark side and Anakin wasn't even aware that his wife ever pregnant.
      • Lightsabers originally enjoyed widespread use by the public, not just the Jedi Order.
      • Darth Vader originally was said to have lost his hand, and nearly his life, during a brutal punishment by the emperor for the Death Star's destruction.
      • Jabba the Hut was originally described as a shaggy, bipedal creature.
      • That members of the Jedi Order were prohibited from having long-term relationships, and especially from marrying, was not explicitly stated until Attack of the Clones, and many people, including Expanded Universe authors, had assumed that Jedi could marry and that there were entire Jedi families.
      • Virtually every single line of Obi-Wan's first conversation with Luke in A New Hope would later be directly contradicted by the events depicted in the prequels. This caused a lot of turmoil among fans because it made Obi-Wan look like he manipulated Luke.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Anakin slaughters the whole Tusken tribe that tortured his mother to death in Attack of the Clones.
  • Robotic Torture Device: The interrogator droid in A New Hope, and the device used on Han in Empire.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: Ostensibly in the Prequel Trilogy with live-action actors sharing scenes with countless CGI characters. Downplayed with the re-released editions of the Classic Trilogy.
  • Royal Mess: Naboo has an elected queen.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Twi'lek, Cereans, Chevs, Zabrak, Khommites, etc.
  • Sapient Tank: Basically, any tank that looks more or less like a vehicle is crewed, but stuff that looks like giant mechanical spiders or big roller-wheel thingies are AI-controlled big honking droids.
  • Saved for the Sequel: The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones both end with several plot points dangling to be picked up in the next installment. Technically, even Revenge of the Sith ends with dangling plotlines... which were already resolved in the original Star Wars trilogy.
  • Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink: Ancient Technology, City covered worlds, flying airships, holograms, etc, all dominate in the GFFA.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Mostly to preserve the Rule of Cool in the visuals.
    • Virtually all spaceships have windows as their primary external view. As a rule, most objects more than a few miles away are progressively harder to see. Yet even warship commanders stand perched by the windows at the front of their ship's bridges. Note that this is what makes the That's No Moon! trope possible.
    • Something with the mass of the Death Star should never have been able to maintain such a low geostationary orbit over Endor, and even if it could, the gravitational effects on the moon should have been enormous.
    • Likewise, the amount of energy required to completely consume something as massive as the Death Star should have burned the atmosphere right off of Endor when it exploded. But instead it all just miraculously dissipated a short distance beyond the Death Star's radius.
  • Schizo Tech: Ooh, yeah. Especially obvious in the prequels. Most civilizations in this universe appear to discover flying transports before the wheel, based on how many floating carts are drawn by pack animals.
  • Secret Art: The Force, and how to build a lightsaber.
  • Secret War: In the original trilogy, the general folks of the galaxy are well aware of the war between The Empire and the rebel alliance, but not about the war between the last Jedi and Sith. Most of their fights take place in closed quarters with little or no witnesses (Darth Vader vs. Obi Wan, Darth Vader vs. Luke, Luke vs. Darth Sidious), and most of the people involved are unknown or shadowy people (Obi Wan is an hermit, Yoda lives in a swamp, and the emperor never displayed his powers in public). For the general public, Jedi ceased to be a thing at the end of the Clone Wars, a generation ago.
  • Seers: Most Force-sensitives exhibit at least some degree of this.
  • Sensor Character: Anyone Force-sensitive can sense the presence of other Jedi, Sith, etc., as well as powerful emotional outbursts from normal people.
  • Sentient Cosmic Force: The Force is this.
  • Separated at Birth: Luke and Leia are revealed to be this in Return of the Jedi... after she kissed him in the previous movie.
  • Serkis Folk: In the prequels and the various re-edits of the original trilogy, several characters were incorporated that were made entirely with imagery generated by computers with reference to actors using motion capture technology.
  • Shout-Out: There are a few shout outs to the Oz books. Namely Princess Leia's hairbuns which are based on Princess Ozma's hair poppys and the Ewoks are based on the Teddy Bear tribe. Jedi comes from jidaigeki, or samurai movies. Order 66 is a shout out to The Godfather, and the medal ceremony is very similar to Triumph of the Will. The attack on the Death Star in A New Hope is a Shout-Out to The Dam Busters. Additionally, look up The Hidden Fortress by Akira Kurosawa and read the first part of the plot. If you don't get it, then substitute "peasants" with "droids".
  • Signature Team Transport: The Millennium Falcon.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Every planet besides Naboo: Tatooine (desert planet), Hoth (arctic planet), Coruscant (urbanized planet).
  • Sinister Geometry: The Death Star, the Imperial Star Destroyers.
  • Slave Mooks: The clones, in some people's point of view, and droids. An intelligent, self-aware, disposable, engineered worker race who must be brain wiped every few months else they get uppity.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: The main films (both the original trilogy and the prequels) are all extremely silly, though in The Empire Strikes Back it has been toned down a bit. Expanded universe works, however, usually have a much more serious tone.
  • Society-on-Edge Episode: The prequel trilogy provides an interesting variation on this; the galaxy was under imperial control in the original trilogy, but the prequel trilogy focuses on explaining the instability that led to such imperial control. Due to the nature of the storyline, however, the feel of a society-on-edge episode still comes through.
  • Space Cadet Academy:
    • The Jedi Temple, serving to train potential Jedi Knights. "Younglings" and "Padawan" not only learned to master the force, but also included flight lessons.
    • The Imperial Academy; it trains TIE Fighter pilots. Luke wished to go there (the fact that Luke, who claims to hate the Empire, is planning to go there shows just how desperate he is to leave the desert world he grew up on), and Biggs actually trained there (then defected). The Expanded Universe reveals that Han Solo also trained there.
    • In the Expanded Universe, once the New Republic was set up, they had their version of the Academy.
  • Space Fighter: A New Hope was the Trope Codifier that influenced all subsequent designs to one extent or another. The basic designs of the most famous fighters are instantly recognizable to anyone with even a passing knowledge of pop culture.
  • Space Is Air: Star Wars throws out the whole physics rulebook of how space travel actually works in favor of old school dogfighting and interstellar travel thats as casual as going on a Sunday drive.
  • Space Is Noisy: And those noises are very iconic in pop culture.
  • Space Opera: The Trope Codifier. While hardly the first (being partly an homage to Flash Gordon), it's certainly the first franchise thought of when the trope is invoked.
  • Space Police: Once you get past the metaphysics, this is what the Jedi are for the Republic.
  • Space Western: Has certain Western elements to it, such as bounty hunters and outlaw bandits, sandwiched together with Swords And Sorcery (see below)
  • Spanner in the Works: The Imperial officer who orders his compatriot to hold his fire as the escape pod passes simply because he believed there was no way to verify if a living being was inside the pod and, thus, whether the pod was launched by accident or by design.
  • Special Effect Branding:
    • Red lightsabers are Evil, Blue and Green are Good. Purple ones are apparently reserved for bad motherfuckers.
    • A separate example is the colour of blaster and turbolaser weapons. In the original trilogy, this trope was used in the space battle scenes (where the Empire used green and the Rebels used red, an interesting reverse of the usual lightsabre colour branding) but was not used in ground fights, where all bolts were red. The prequel trilogy on the other hand used it for ground battles as well, the Naboo using green, the Trade Federation using red and the Republic using blue (confusing some Expanded Universe fans who were used to the games colouring ion-cannon fire blue.
    • A further example is in the Geonosis battle at the end of Attack of the Clones with the rockets: good rockets leave white trails of smoke while evil rockets leave black ones.
  • Spiritual Successor: The series in general is an updated version of the old Buck Rogers serials.
  • Standard Evil Empire Hierarchy
    • Galactic Empire:
      • The Emperor: Palpatine
      • The Right Hand/The Evil Counterpart: Vader
      • The General: Admiral Piett
      • The Guard: Grand Moff Tarkin
      • The Oddball: Boba Fett
    • Confederation of Independent Systems:
    • The First Order
      • The Emperor: Supreme Leader Snoke
      • The Right Hand: Kylo Ren.
      • The General: General Armitage Hux
      • The Guard: Captain Phasma
      • The Oddball: FN-2199, aka "Nines"
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: In both trilogies. The Republic/Empire, Rebel Alliance and Separatists all field these. The Expanded Universe continues this trope, with any significant military power having at least one, sometimes more.
  • Standard Sci-Fi History: The trope is invoked in the movies, with the Decline and Fall of the Republic, Interregnum of the Galactic Empire, and with the Empire's end the Formation of the New Republic.
  • Standard Starship Scuffle: Especially in the space battles in Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi, but present to some extent in many of the films.
  • Starfish Robots: While many droids come in varieties more akin to the humanoid C3-PO, others look like the strange "trash bin on wheels" R2-D2, while still others have such surreal designs that it's difficult to compare them to any real life object.
  • Start of Darkness: The Prequel Trilogy focuses on how the evil Magic Knight from the original movies gained his powers, earned the trust of the heroic Jedi, and slaughtered his Jedi friends upon taking the name "Darth Vader."
  • Stealth in Space: Han's successful attempts at hiding from Star Destroyers in The Empire Strikes Back. Somewhat realistic, as he simply turns off most of the power to the ship which makes it incredibly difficult to detect.
  • Step into the Blinding Fight: In one of the movies, Jedis train The Younglings to fight blind/using only the Force by using the special darkness helmets.
  • Stock Scream: Every film features the Wilhelm scream.
  • Stock Shout-Outs: Sooner or later, every science fiction work makes at least one reference to Star Wars.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: An interesting inversion, since the first three films released were Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. However, the prequels began including the chapter number from the Opening Crawl, so you have titles like Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and retroactively re-titling the original three films names like Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. For a while, Star Wars was even called just A New Hope. Now, it seems to be reverting again slowly, with the first chronological film just being referred to as Star Wars again, while the prequels are just being called The Phantom Menace and so on.
  • Straightfor The Commander: When the Jedi are not leading from the back, or a Frontline General, they engage in this type of mission. General Grievous also likes to do this against Jedi.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: The powers granted by the Force can be rather vague and ambiguous in their use. Sometimes it can allow someone read a person's mind and other times people can lie straight to their face without them realizing it. Sometimes they can sense people who are planets away and other times people can hide from Force users in the same room as them. It can allow Jedi and Sith to move around spaceships, but they still have to fight their opponents with lightsabers and blasters instead of just lobbing them into a wall.
  • Subspace Ansible: The HoloNet, which provides real-time voice and holographic video communications throughout most of the galaxy. It functions much like the real world cellular network in that relay stations allow HoloNet transmitters/receivers to connect to the network from anywhere within range of a relay. It can also be used to locate users. Hence, in The Phantom Menace Qui-Gon warns the Naboo not to accept any transmissions when they are on the run from the Trade Federation.
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: Anakin, from the perspective of anyone who watches the movies in internal chronological order.
  • Summer Blockbuster: The Trope Codifier, along with Steven Spielberg's Jaws.
  • Summon to Hand: The iconic scene in Empire, after which this was used in the prequel films as well.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: A lot of the Force powers.
  • Super Reflexes: A common ability for Force users.
  • Swords And Sorcery: The entire saga is basically a knightly adventure tale but In Space, sandwiched together with Space Western.
  • Sword and Fist: Practitioners of the acrobatic Ataru combat form in the prequels, like Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, complement their lightsaber technique with Force-powered kicks and telekinetic punches.
  • Sword Sparks: Lightsabers have their own version of it in that they make electronic clashing noises when their blades contact. Also, they create sparks when they carve through walls and floors.
  • Symbolic Mutilation: May or may not be the case with George Lucas' apparent obsession with having the two protagonist's hands chopped off.
  • Tableau: The Star Wars films all end with a dialogue-free, static shot:
  • Target The Audience: The posters for A New Hope and Return of the Jedi.
  • Technology Marches On: In-Universe. In the sequel trilogy, astromech droids have gone from "dustbins on legs" to a trackball-looking thing with an R2-unit's dome head, and the famously crappy holograms are now almost photoreal. The TIE fighters, which were Armored Coffins with only a pair of blasters in the original trilogy; devoid of shielding or even basic life support in the name of agility and quick manufacture, now has both, with EMP cannons and proton torpedoes besides in a ship that's only bigger to accomodate a Guy in Back.
  • Tell Me About My Father: Luke asks Obi-Wan about his father but is only given the facts From a Certain Point of View. Later, Luke's Calling the Old Man Out forces him to acknowledge this was wrong and tell the whole truth. (It is also implied, in A New Hope, that Luke's desire for knowledge about is father is a point of contention between Luke and his restrictive relatives.)
  • Tempting Fate: Plenty of examples throughout the series, but Motti's "this station is now the ultimate power in the universe" remark takes the cake; and Tarkin's "I think you overestimate their chances" must earn a close second.
  • Theme Naming:
    • After Lucas decided to label the second film "Episode V", the label "Episode IV: A New Hope" was retroactively added to the first film in its published screenplay and first home video release. Many casual fans refer to it as simply Star Wars, even though all the films carry the same title/subtitle pattern now.
    • As part of the marketing for the prequels they were referred to more often by episode number rather than the episode name. In fact many did not catch on to the name of Episode I being The Phantom Menace. Episode III is an anomaly, where fans refer to it equally by both episode number and the name Revenge of the Sith.
  • There Are No Therapists: Galactic medical science is pretty advanced — when it comes to purely physical ailments. But the vast majority of the plot is driven by characters with glaring psychological problems who seem to have no formal support mechanisms whatsoever. The closest that the old Jedi Order had was Yoda, who generally seems to have counseled troubled Jedi to become The Spock and not allow their emotions to get to them. The Dark Side thrives thanks to this.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Jabba tries to execute a Jedi Knight. Yeah.
    • Palpatine attempts to kill Vader's son right in front of him.
    • Dooku taunts Anakin during their last fight, which only makes him madder and more aggressive.
    • Greedo sits there monologuing about how much he's going to enjoy killing Han, giving him the opportunity—and indeed, the justification—to take out his own gun and blast him under the table before he can get off a single shot.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: Not everyone is "strong in the Force"; a Badass Normal like Han Solo could meditate on hokey ancient religions all he liked, but it would be no match for a good blaster at his side. Without training, most Force-sensitives can use their powers only unconsciously, rendering them lucky in ways subtle enough to only be identified through (for example) statistical analysis of gambling patterns, or enhance their reflexes in ways that render them not much different from a Badass Normal. With training, they can do all the flashy quasi-magical Jedi tricks we see in the films, novels, video games, etc.
  • Tree Top Town: The Ewok village on Endor and the Wookiees' dwellings on Kashyyyk.
  • Triang Relations:
    • Luke/Leia/Han are either type 4 or type 7. (Does Leia like Luke or not?) Lando also likes Leia, but it doesn't appear to be reciprocated.
    • On the non-romantic front, except in Fanon, Obi-wan/Padmé/Anakin is type 7, with the Jedi code (as drilled into him by Obi-Wan) telling Anakin his feelings for Padmé are wrong. Fanon puts them in... all the situations where there is at least one mutual attraction.
  • Troperiffic: It could be said that the whole purpose of the Genre Throwback is to celebrate tropes. The entire series is Trope Overdosed.
  • Try and Follow:
    • A New Hope: Han gets to back up his Ace Pilot bravado by not only evading the attempts of several Imperial Star Destroyers to shoot him down, but also manages to lead the massive starships to collide with each other in their failed attempt to pursue him.
    • The Empire Strikes Back: Han once again finds himself trying to escape Imperial pursuit, and this time elects to race into the nearest Asteroid Thicket. His only defense of the tactic is that the Imperial pilots would be crazy to try and follow him (it turns out, they are that crazy, but lack his piloting skill, and the Imperial fighter pilots all die in the attempt).
    • Return of the Jedi: Pretty much any speeder chase in the thick forests of Endor are made of this trope, with Imperial scout troopers racing full throttle to try and escape a Rebel strike team they've discovered, and later trying to pursue the Ewoks. Along the way speeders crash into trees, get clotheslined by ropes strung across the clearings, get lassoed by Ewoks, or simply shot down.
    • The Force Awakens, Rey flies the Falcon into the wreck of a Super Star Destroyer to evade TIE Fighters. Rey is familiar with the wreck since she scavenges for parts there, whereas the TIE fighter pilots are just following her. She avoids being caught by utilizing this knowledge twice. Interestingly enough, it doesn't work, and the First Order pilots are still on her tail when they all come out of the other side of the wreck.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Luke's adoptive parents and later his Jedi mentors fear this will happen.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The second film in both trilogies is this.
  • Two-Part Trilogy: Both the original and prequel trilogies qualify, even though the latter was planned as a three-part story from the beginning.
    • Original: A New Hope is clearly written to stand on its own, as it ends on a happy note with Luke destroying the Death Star, but it left the door open for further sequels chronicling the war against the Empire and Luke's growth as a Jedi. The Empire Strikes Back ends with a clear Sequel Hook, with Luke discovering Vader's identity and planning to rescue Han from Jabba.
    • Prequel: The Phantom Menace deals with a largely standalone arc involving Naboo's war with the Trade Federation and Padmé's reign as Queen, and it's separated from the rest of the trilogy by a ten-year Time Skip. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are much more obviously interconnected, as they follow several continuing arcs involving the Clone Wars, Anakin's friendship with Obi-Wan, his love affair with Padmé, his descent into the Dark Side, and Palpatine's machinations as Chancellor.
  • Two Roads Before You: Luke has to choose between staying on Dagobah and completing his training with Yoda, or going to rescue his friends on Cloud City.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Palpatine gradually does this throughout the prequels, culminating with him declaring himself Emperor in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Undercrank: Used in the early movies where CG would be used in the later ones. The alarmingly fast doors on the Death Star 1 are almost certainly undercranked.
  • Underlighting: Arguably, the lightsabers could be said to use a kind of underlighting; the boundary between pre-CGI special effect scene composition and underlit animation can be blurry.
  • Unintentional Backup Plan: Over the course of the movies. Qui-Gon's original plan was for Anakin to bring balance to The Force. However, he ends up falling to the Dark Side and it seems that he won't. In Return of the Jedi, however, he does bring balance to the Force by ensuring that the last of the evil aspect of the Dark Side of the Force dies (and subsequently burns) with him; his son destroys the last vestiges of Vader by burning him on a funeral pyre according to Jedi customs (and it's implied that Anakin's body simply faded away under a minute after the pyre was lit).
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Not exactly a character, but the Millenium Falcon is an example; it's one of the most iconic spaceships in science fiction, but seen as an old piece of junk In-Universe.
  • Unreliable Narrator: George Lucas has mentioned that there's an unshown framing story about how the movies are the story as told by R2 to an alien race, which is why he makes a point of including R2 in almost every significant event. This might explain why he gets so many really cool scenes with no witnesses or only C-3PO pre-memory wipe, and why a suspiciously high number of crises turn on him hacking a computer.
  • Unto Us a Son and Daughter Are Born: Luke and Leia in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Updated Re-release: The original trilogy was released to theaters again in 1997 for the 20th Anniversary, featuring a few new special effects, cleaning up a few perceived Special Effects Failures, added some deleted scenes and tweaked some original scenes. The films were slightly tweaked once more for the 2004 DVD release and changed to better match the Prequels by replacing Boba Fett's voice with Jango Fett's, replacing Clive Revill as the Emperor with Ian MacDiarmid, and replacing Sebastian Shaw as Anakin's ghost with Hayden Christiansen.
  • Used Future: The original Trilogy is the Trope Codifier. To quote the page: "Star Wars more or less defines the trope". See Creepy Cleanliness, above.
  • Villains Never Lie: Palpatine never lies. Nor does Dooku. Or more accurately, they tell the truth in a way that makes you believe a lie.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Emperor and Vader towards Luke, from Luke's POV.
  • War Is Glorious: The Empire glorifies militarism. The Jedi don't.
    Luke: I'm looking for a great warrior.
    Yoda: Ohh, great warrior. Wars not make one great.
  • Warrior Monks: The Jedi.
  • We Are as Mayflies: "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter..."
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Numerous characters replace severed limbs with artificial ones, and Vader ends up with all of his limbs being replaced. In the prequels, General Grievous takes this Up to Eleven, in that the only organic parts of him left are his brain and some organs.
  • We Can Rule Together: Anakin/Vader offers this first to Padmé and then to Luke. Dooku also offers this to Obi-Wan. All of them refuse.
  • We Will All Fly in the Future: Even dirt-poor moisture farmers can afford Skyhoppers.
  • We Will Wear Armor in the Future: Stormtroopers and Bounty Hunters go around wearing plastic armour that would make a medieval knight blush. It helps make them look robotic and anonymous but never helps in stopping a main character's blaster fire.
  • We Will Use Lasers in the Future: Ubiquitous variety.
  • What's a Secret Four: The original trilogy has it in spades: What's the Kessel Run? What's a womp rat? What does that droid do? What are those aliens? What was Aunt Beru cooking there? However, over thirty years of fandom and the Expanded Universe have filled in details for virtually anything that appears on the screen.
  • With Friends Like These...: R2-D2 and C-3P0. Although the Bilingual Dialogue means we don't know just how much hostility R2 reciprocates, occasionally C-3P0 quotes him: "Don't call me a 'mindless philosopher'...", and tells him to watch his language.
  • World of Ham: A whole Galaxy of it. Blame it on Palpatine.
  • World of Snark: Any worthy installment of the franchise will have characters making sarcastic quips at every opportunity. Special mention goes to Han and Leia.
  • Wuxia: One of the genres that inspired the franchise. The whole concept of the Jedi and The Force practically makes the franchise a Wuxia saga in space, especially the Prequel Trilogy.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The Clone Wars. After all the sacrifices on both sides of the war, Palpatine's plan would have given him full power whether the Republic and Jedi won or lost.
  • X Meets Y:
    • The T-65X wing is the Z-95 Headhunter meets the ARC-170
    • The Tie Hunter is the Tie series meets The X-wing.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: Obi-Wan to Anakin, after the latter turns to the Dark Side.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: One slavegirl in the background of Jabba's palace had white hair with a blue streak. This is more true in the novels, comics, and video games.
  • Younger Than They Look:
    • Seemingly every human (and perhaps some aliens) living on Tatooine. The harsh environment appears to take a serious toll on their health and people such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, as well as Owen and Beru Lars, look a good deal older than they actually are. Shmi Skywalker's age was unclear, but she definitely had a weathered look about her.
    • The clone troopers are altered to grow twice as fast in order to be battle-ready sooner. The Star Wars Expanded Universe features a Jedi being confused because she senses a child in the Force, but sees a grown man.
    • In Revenge of the Sith, the soon-to-be-Emperor Palpatine ages to about 110 in a matter of seconds (he was really 63). The Expanded Universe came up with the idea that it was his normal appearance (after years of Dark Side corruption), but he was disguised in some way, and the stress of his battle with Windu broke that beyond repair.
    • Padme in The Phantom Menace is a fourteen year old queen wears a lot of ceremonial makeup and elaborate costumes, apparently to disguise the fact that she's so young. Even still, she's actually the elected leader, so the people must be well aware of her age.
    • There was a point in the Clone Wars where some Separatists were cloning Nikto, presumably to supplement the droids. The facility was discovered and went under seige, and the cloners decided to respond by bumping up the growth rate to get as many new adults as possible. This didn't work out too well in the end.
  • Your Eyes Can Deceive You: Subverted despite the fact that Star Wars is basically the trope namer. There are numerous instances throughout the films in which Jedi and Sith alike are taken completely by surprise by something they could not see and/or hear, or cannot find something/someone using the Force, even if the subject is nearby.
  • Youth Center: Luke hangs out in one in a deleted scene from A New Hope.
  • Zeerust:
    • Ships capable of destroying planets are less impressive when you realize just how easy it is to do so. (All you need is enough energy to accelerate the entire planet to escape velocity.) Other stuff, such as antigravity, is what Michio Kaku calls a Class II impossibility, yet it is commonly seen. (Han's even carried out on an antigravity gurney after he's frozen in carbonite.)
    • On the "looks old" end of things, we have the motif of cybernetic hands now that we're entering the age of embryonic stem cells, and the vector graphics on the tactical display and targeting computer in A New Hope.
    • In-universe, this is painfully apparent in the prequel films. C-3P0 and R2-D2 look dated and completely out of place when juxtaposed with sleeker, agile looking droids. The technology gradually gets more dated-looking as the prequels progress too, naturally because it's supposed to tie itself in with the Original Trilogy. Streamlined ships in The Phantom Menace slowly evolve into clunky ships by Revenge of the Sith. Sleek control panels seen at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith somehow become overshadowed by a plethora of clunky buttons and dials by the end. Imagine if iPhones suddenly had receivers and rotary dials in the future. Justified. Word of God states that Phantom was a time of artisans, and they valued style over everything. As time went on, and the Republic was launched into war, it became a question of utility over attractiveness.
  • Zerg Rush: The Empire's TIE Fighters, and both the clone and droid armies in Attack of the Clones as well.


May the Force be with you.
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