So there's a new Star Wars movie coming out this week, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I think plenty of people know that. But what exactly is this Star Wars movie? I've had a lot of people ask me if it's Episode VIII; and no, it's not Episode VIII.

But wait...if it's not a sequel to Episode VIII, then what exactly is going on? Allow me to provide a crash course for all of you non-nerds out there, explaining what Rogue One is and when it takes place.


"Wait a minute, I saw Darth Vader in that trailer, isn't he dead already?" Yes, but not in this movie.

The first thing that must be understood about Rogue One is that it is not connected to the Star Wars movies that have come before it, for the most part at least. Rogue One is a Star Wars spinoff movie; it is it's own story, and will not have a sequel. This is a one and done deal. You will not see these characters in Episode VIII, Episode IX, or beyond. They exist in their movie that takes place in another time in the galaxy far, far away. And judging by Darth Vader's appearance alone, I'm sure most of you can deduce when it does take place.

Yes, Rogue One takes place around the same time period as the original trilogy. In fact, it takes place right before Episode IV: A new Hope. So this is why you see Darth Vader alive and well on the Dark Side. And this leads into the plot of Rogue One, which will require me to expose some of my extreme needinesses to explain.

As I said before, this movie takes place right before A New Hope. So get that time frame into mind: Darth Vader, the Empire, the Rebels, and the original Death Star that Luke Skywalker would go on to blow up. Those of us that are more extreme Star Wars fanatics will recall that A New Hope kicked off with Princess Leia trying to protect Imperial Death Star plans that had been hijacked by the Rebels. She places them in the care of R2-D2, who crash lands onto Tatooine with C-3PO, where the two meet Luke Skywalker, who takes them to Old Ben Kenobi, who ends up leading them all on the original space adventure with Han Solo and Chewbacca. But it all began with those Death Star plans that Leia was trying to protect and that Darth Vader was trying to steal back when he took over her spaceship at the beginning of the movie. As I said earlier, those Death Star plans that kicked off the entire Star Wars saga were stolen by the Rebels from the Empire; and this is the basic story behind Rogue One: how the Rebels stole those Death Star plans.

Does that make sense? I know it's kind of confusing at first; and while I'm a huge Star Wars fan, I don't think that the marketing campaign for Rogue One has helped clear things up at all. I hope this little 101 explanation of the movie has helped, though. The initial reviews and reactions are raving about how good the movie is, so hopefully this will help all of you normal people on the planet enjoy it with understanding as to where it fits in the Star Wars universe.

May the Force be with you!