When does Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker take place in the Star Wars timeline? Lucasfilm has divided the Star Wars timeline into three roughly-defined sections: the Age of Republic (the Prequels), the Age of Rebellion (the Original Trilogy), and the Age of Resistance (the Sequel Trilogy). Events are usually dated in relation to the Battle of Yavin 4, in the first Star Wars movie.
The Age of Resistance really begins with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is set 34 years after the battle of Yavin (ABY). A single shot of Starkiller Base destroyed the New Republic, eliminating its political and military leadership. Star Wars: The Last Jedi picked up straight after, with the First Order launching a devastating blitzkrieg and successfully conquering the galaxy. The Resistance's leaders only survived because of Luke Skywalker's sacrifice - and it was clearly going to take some time for the movement to get back on its feet, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker confirmed to have a time jump.
Bringing both the battle between the Resistance and the First Order and the entire Skywalker Saga to a dramatic end, Star Wars 9 is set one year after the events of The Last Jedi. That means it takes place 35 years ABY, the furthest forward the timeline has gone to date.
This is a comparatively modest time jump, which seems surprising given the state of the Resistance at the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Still, tie-in novels have already revealed General Organa's strategy for rebuilding the Resistance. She sent operatives across the galaxy to create a network of Resistance cells; there was even one on Batuu, the fictional planet featured at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. These cells quietly expanded, using the legends of the Rebellion to encourage people to join up, and secretly build up their own small fleets. It was the same strategy Leia saw her father use with the Rebellion - but with one notable difference. Unlike Bail Organa, Leia remained in contact with the different cells, in order to launch a single counter-strike against the First Order across the entire galaxy.
It's still unclear what has happened to the First Order during that one-year time jump. Supreme Leader Snoke was executed in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, with Kylo Ren replacing him on the First Order's gilded throne. Unfortunately, Kylo Ren's reign didn't exactly get off to an auspicious start, when he wasted time fighting a Force projection and unwittingly allowed the Resistance leaders to escape. It remains to be seen whether he's proven to be a competent leader. And meanwhile, the shadow of Emperor Palpatine looms over the galaxy in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. No doubt the greatest of the Sith Lords has been up to his old tricks as well.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019