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In Star Wars, time is measured as being before or after the Battle of Yavin, when the original Death Star is destroyed by Luke Skywalker at the end of "Star Wars: A New Hope." This battle was a turning point in the struggle between the Empire (which had replaced the Republic) and the Rebellion.

Year Movie Event(s)
57 BBY   Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi is born. He grows up to become an apprentice (padawan) to Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn and a hero during the Battle of Naboo and the Clone Wars.
46 BBY   Queen Amidala is born. The ruler of Naboo is around 14 when "Phantom Menace" begins. Unlike most queens, she has been elected by her people and her first crisis is the attack on Naboo by the forces led by Darth Maul and his mysterious hooded mentor. By the time "Attack of the Clones" begins, Amidala's term as queen has passed, but she continues to serve Naboo as a Galactic Senator.
41 BBY   Anakin Skywalker is born. The central figure of the "Star Wars" mythology and clearly a child of destiny, he eventually marries, fathers Luke and Leia, turns to the dark side of the Force and becomes Darth Vader.
32 BBY Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
(released in 1999)
The Trade Federation invades the planet Naboo to protest taxation of inter-galactic trade routes. A joint effort between the Naboo people, the Gungans, Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and a young Anakin Skywalker defeat the invaders and liberate the planet.
31 BBY   Lando Calrissian is born.
29 BBY   Han Solo is born.
22 BBY Episode II: Attack of the Clones
(released in 2002)
Anakin and Amidala become romantically involved. The Clone Wars begin. Anakin and Amidala are married.
20 BBY Episode III
(to be released 2005)
Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who first appears as a senator in "Menace," dissolves the ancient Galactic Republic, and creates the Galactic Empire. He declares himself Emperor and orders extermination of the Jedi Knights. Anakin becomes Darth Vader.
20 BBY
18 BBY
  Twins Luke and Leia are born to Anakin and Amidala, but they are separated and hidden from their father. Amidala later dies.
5 BBY   A young Imperial Navy lieutenant, Han Solo, frees Wookiee slave Chewbacca but loses his commission. The two become smuggling partners.
4 BBY   Han wins the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a card game. The Rebellion begins against the Empire. The Emperor approves Death Star construction.
3 BBY   The Rebel Alliance forms. Princess Leia joins the Imperial Senate, but she becomes a Rebel sympathizer.
0 Episode IV: Star Wars - A New Hope
(released in 1977)
Princess Leia is arrested and imprisoned at the now-completed Death Star. She's rescued by Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Han Solo, but Darth Vader kills Obi-Wan. Luke assisted by the Force, destroys the Death Star.
3 ABY Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
(released in 1980)
Destruction of the Rebel base forces Han and Leia to flee from Imperial forces. A romance between them develops. Luke begins Jedi training with Yoda, but holds it off to save Han, Leia, and the others. While rescuing his friends, Luke confronts Vader and learns Vader is his father. Luke and his friends elude capture, but Han is taken to Jabba the Hutt.
4 ABY Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
(released in 1983)
Luke and Leia lead a rescue of Han from Jabba the Hutt. Yoda dies. Luke and Leia discover they are twins. Vader kill the Emperor to save Luke, but Vader dies in the process. The Rebel Alliance succeeds in defeating the Empire with the destruction of the second Death Star and Emperor. The New Republic arises.

The above is based on a publication in the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, Friday, May 17, 2002, pp. W22f.
which was based on Christopher McElroy's Timetales: A Star Wars Chronology at (timetales -- not timetables) and Stephen Sansweet's "Star Wars Encyclopedia."

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