Part I of the series begins with a karate tournament at Angel Grove's Youth Center. Competition in sparring has been eliminated down to two final contestants: Jason Lee Scott, the Red Ranger, and newcomer Tommy Oliver. Tommy quickly takes a 4-2 lead, but Jason battles back to end the match in a 4-4 draw. Jason is impressed with Tommy, as are Zack Taylor, the Black Ranger, and Billy Cranston, the Blue Ranger. Kimberly Hart, the Pink Ranger, also shows some interest in Tommy, a fact her best friend, Yellow Ranger Trini Kwan, is quick to pick up on.
The next day at school, Tommy stands up to Bulk and Skull, the school bullies, when they harass Kimberly. She is further impressed and invites him to a study date at Ernie's Juice Bar.
But Rita Repulsa, also impressed with Tommy's abilities, sends a squad of Putties to attack him while he is on his way to meet Kimberly. When he defeats them, she captures him and takes him back to her palace on the moon. There she coats his body with magical wax and casts a spell on him, brainwashing him into becoming her servant. He swears allegiance to his "empress", and she assigns him to destroy Zordon, the Command Center, and the Power Rangers. To fulfill the mission, she gives him the Dragon Power Coin, and he morphs into the Green Ranger.
The Evil Green Ranger goes first to the Command Center, which he can enter since he possesses the Dragon Power Coin. He finds Alpha 5 recharging, and inserts a CD-ROM containing a computer virus, causing the droid to convulse and stumble all over the Command Center. Zordon, who was in a meditative state when Tommy entered, demands that the intruder reveal himself. Tommy does, boasting of his newly acquired power. Then, despite Zordon's offer to help him break the spell, he breaks the dimension contact with Zordon, tearing the Command Center's computers to pieces and ripping up the circuitry.
In spite of the virus, Alpha manages to make contact with the other Rangers, who were cleaning Billy's car, the RADBUG. His erratic talking and the failure of the communicators and the teleporter mechanisms alerts the Rangers to the fact that there is something seriously wrong. They take the RADBUG to the Command Center, where they are shocked to find the place totalled, Alpha staggering around talking gibberish, and Zordon gone. Billy removes the CD-ROM from Alpha's system, rendering him semi-operational, and try to figure out what happened. But Alpha can tell them nothing, since the virus scrambled his memory banks.
Meanwhile, Rita uses her magic wand to grow Goldar to gigantic size. After a brief battle with some Putties, the Rangers summon their Dinozords, combine them into the Megazord, and draw the Power Sword to fight Goldar. Suddenly, Goldar disappears, and the Green Ranger breaks into Megazord's control center, kicking the other Rangers out to the ground below. He then single-handedly defeats all five Rangers in combat.
They return to the Command Center, stunned at the beating they took from this "guy in a green costume." Suddenly, Alpha lurches, falls forward, and shuts down; the virus is still in his system. Jason grimly warns the others that they have only been through round one of what will be a major battle. They end the episode watching the Viewing Globe as Green Ranger vows their downfall.
Part II begins in the Command Center, as the Rangers debate their options on how to deal with the Green Ranger. Billy and Trini finish repairing Alpha, eradicating the virus from his circuits. While the Blue and Yellow Rangers set to work repairing the computers, the others return to town.
Tommy returns to the earth with orders from Rita to stay put until she calls for him again. After she leaves, he encounters Bulk and Skull, who want revenge for the way he humiliated them earlier. They demand an apology from him. Tommy's eyes, glowing an evil green, shoot sparks at Bulk and Skull's feet, scaring them silly and causing them to jump into a dumpster for cover. After Tommy leaves, they both agree that Tommy needs his eyes checked, wondering what is going on with him.
Jason, his pride hurt from his encounter with the Green Ranger, is taking out his frustration on a punching bag at the Youth Center. Slowly it dawns on both him and Zack that it must have been the Green Ranger who wrecked the Command Center. Meanwhile, Kimberly, who goes to ask Tommy why he never showed for the study date, notices a change in Tommy's personality. He rudely tells her he doesn't need her to worry about him and that she is not the center of his universe. Kimberly is offended and brokenhearted, and she expresses her feelings to Zack. Zack tells her to forget about Tommy for the time being, since they have "bigger problems to worry about".
Back on the moon, at Goldar's suggestion Rita decides to put Tommy through one final test: if he can defeat another band of Putties using only his natural karate skills, he will be given the Sword of Darkness, a legendary weapon which Rita's forces used against Zordon's Rangers millennia ago. Rita wants to give him this weapon because, as Finster explains, it will allow Rita to maintain control of Tommy forever, provided the Sword is not destroyed. The only one who knows of its power is Zordon, and he is not around to tell the other Rangers to destroy it. Rita and her minions go down to earth together to watch Tommy battle the Putties. Tommy soundly defeats them, exceeding Rita and Goldar's expectations, and is rewarded with the Sword.
Later, Jason meets Tommy and tells him that a workout session between the two of them will have to wait due to an "emergency". Tommy says he understands, and Jason turns to leave. Then Tommy zaps Jason with his Power Coin and sends him to Rita's Dark Dimension. There the Red Ranger encounters Goldar, who has stolen his morpher. Jason finds himself in a desperate struggle to regain his morpher and stay alive.
Zack and Kimberly decide to go back to the Command Center in the RADBUG and rejoin Billy and Trini, who have by now repaired the computers and restored them to partial power. Attempts to regain contact with Zordon fail. The Rangers become highly concerned about Jason's disappearance. Jason continues his struggle to get his morpher back from Goldar, who beats him around with sadistic pleasure.
The Green Ranger reappears and taunts the Rangers. In Jason's absence, Zack decides that they will go into battle to try to learn his indentity. But with Jason gone and the Green Ranger armed with the Sword of Darkness, he dispatches them even more easily than before. However, they call on the Megazord and force him to retreat. Rita is highly annoyed by this setback until Squatt and Baboo remind her that Jason is still their prisoner. The episode ends with Jason at the mercy of Goldar, who has received orders from Rita to finish him.
While the Power Rangers attempt to find Jason and renew contact with Zordon, Jason continues his desperate confrontation with Goldar, trying to hide in the Dark Dimension's mist. Kimberly continues her search for Jason at Ernie's Juice Bar. When Bulk and Skull offer to help, demanding a kiss as payment, quick-thinking Kimberly tricks Skull into kissing Bulk! Leaving the dimwitted duo to argue with each other, Kimberly resumes her search and encounters Tommy. She tries to ask Tommy about Jason, but he replies that Jason didn't show up for a practice session they had scheduled, taunts her for being a worry-wart, and walks off. She and Zack go to ask Tommy about Jason again; but Rita, realizing that they might suspect him of being the Green Ranger, sends a squad of Putties to attack. This gives Tommy time to slip away. Zack and Kimberly wonder why the Putties didn't attack him, but suspect nothing.
The Green Ranger, his secret out of danger, gains Rita's permission to take Goldar's place in the Dark Dimension and kill Jason. Goldar leaves, jealous of being deprived of the honor. Words are exchanged between the Red and Green Rangers. The fight begins anew. Jason grabs his morpher, but before he can use it, the Green Ranger pins him to the ground and takes a moment to gloat over his victory. But just before he can strike the final blow with the Sword of Darkness, Billy, who has repaired the communicators and teleportation devices, finally isolates Jason's whereabouts and teleports him back to the Command Center.
Goldar, furious, harshly reprimands the Green Ranger, who begs for another chance. Goldar replies that he'll have to check with Rita and leaves the Green Ranger in the Dark Dimension for the time being. The Green Ranger undergoes further practice with his karate skills in preparation for another battle with the Power Rangers. When he does ask Rita for another chance, Rita tells him to be patient because the time is not right.
The reunited Rangers discuss Jason's experience, compare notes, and realize that Tommy isn't being honest with them, but they still don't draw any connection between Tommy and the Green Ranger. And they are no closer to finding Zordon.
Meanwhile, Scorpina, one of Rita's most dangerous minions, rejoins Rita after 10,000 years, and she is sent to attack Angel Grove. The Rangers do battle with her, further taxing themselves until she is recalled. While the Rangers recover in the Command Center, Alpha 5 finally finds a way to track down Zordon. He is beginning to renew contact when Rita sends a giganticized Goldar to attack the city, intending to force the Rangers to summon the Megazord, all the while cooking up a spell to cause a solar eclipse and drain the Megazord, energized by solar power, of it's energy. The Rangers end the episode watching desperately on the Viewing Globe as Goldar destroys several buildings in downtown Angel Grove.
Realizing that they have no choice but to fight yet again, the Rangers draw their morphers. However, when they try to morph, sparks fly and the Command Center blacks out. Apparently, focusing the energy on finding Zordon drained power from the Morphing Grid, and nothing (morphers, Zords, communicators, and most of the lights in the Command Center) works. Goldar manages to tear a section of Angel Grove apart before Billy reconfigures the Command Center and restores power. The Rangers morph and go to fight Goldar.
After a short exchange with Scorpina, some Putties, and the giant Goldar, the Rangers have a brief confrontation with Rita. She sends Goldar to the beach, carrying a bus with Bulk and Skull, who were trying to flee the city, in one hand. The Rangers teleport after him, trying to save the troublesome duo. After a few tense moments of watching Putties pushing the bus toward a cliff, the Rangers call on their Zords, and the Megazord catches the bus just before it falls, depositing an overjoyed Bulk and Skull back on the cliff.
Meanwhile, Rita again sends Tommy, who has been practicing swordplay in the Dark Dimension, to the Command Center, this time to get rid of Zordon for good. He pulls the plug on Alpha, exchanges words with a partially restored Zordon, and then presses a few buttons to undo all of Alpha's work in bringing him back. He is just about to leave when, much to his surprise, Alpha reactivates. Having accessed his "backup power generators", the quick-thinking robot traps him in a force field. Unfortunately, all the progress made in finding Zordon is lost, to the dismay of Alpha and the glee of the Green Ranger. Alpha indignantly sets into motion a program to learn Green Ranger's indentity.
The Megazord, which is dealing a heavy beating to Goldar, suddenly finds itself fighting Scorpina as well, who has also been enlarged and now sports a hideous appearance. Furthermore, Rita's solar eclipse begins and drains the Megazord of its power, so that it is overwhelmed by the dual attack and knocked to the ground. Jason calls for the Power Sword to give the Megazord a power boost. It works, and the Megazord is immediately back on its feet when it grabs the sword, going on the offensive again. Rita, determined not to lose the fight, uses a spell to free Green Ranger from the Command Center force field (to Alpha's consternation), grows him to giant size, and sends him into battle as well. The Megazord is surrounded by Goldar, Scorpina, and the Green Ranger, and doesn't have enough power to finish the battle. Scorpina further weakens Megazord by electrocuting it with her stinging tail, while Goldar and the Green Ranger combine their swords to deal Megazord a crippling shockwave The Rangers are thrown out from the exploding Megazord, demorph involuntarily, and watch helplessly in shock as the defeated Zords fall into a crevice in the earth and are consumed by lava.
Back in the Command Center, all the Rangers except Jason are considering surrender, with Jason and Alpha 5 desperately trying to persuade them otherwise. But with the Zords totalled and the chances of finding Zordon under ten percent, there isn't much hope. However, Alpha does have some good news; while Green Ranger was trapped in the force field, the computer learned his identity. The episode ends with the Rangers looking into the Viewing Globe and reacting in utter disbelief upon discovering that their nemesis is, in fact, Tommy.
Upon discovering that Tommy is the Green Ranger, the Power Rangers are at first in shock and denial. But once they face the facts, they split up to find him, on a quest to save him from Rita's power.
Kimberly goes to the Youth Center and finds Ernie, Bulk and Skull watching the news reports of the last battle. Bulk and Skull are making ridiculous claims about being the ones who scared Goldar away; to this Kimberly responds, "Dream on!" Then she asks Ernie if Tommy is around, and he directs her to the weight machines where Tommy is working out. She tells him that she knows his Green Ranger identity. She is left speechless when he glares at her with eyes glowing green, addresses her as the Pink Ranger, and threatens to destroy her and the other Rangers and bring the world under Rita's rule.
Meanwhile, toasting her victory over the Megazord in her palace on the moon, Rita decides to complete the destruction of the Power Rangers by reviving the Dragonzord, dormant for 10,000 years. She gives Tommy the Dragon Dagger, and he assumes control of this new Zord and wreaks havoc on downtown Angel Grove.
The Rangers are discussing Kimberly's encounter with Tommy when Trini frantically bursts in and tells them about this new assault on their city. The Rangers morph into action, but without their Zords, they can do nothing to stop the Dragonzord.
As the Rangers fight a losing battle with Tommy, desperately trying to convince him that he doesn't know what he's doing, Alpha finally succeeds in his search for Zordon. When Zordon returns to the Command Center, he and Alpha revive the damaged Dinozords from their lava prison and return them to the Rangers. Zordon also tells Jason that he must destroy the Sword of Darkness to break Rita's grip on Tommy's mind. Rita, upon seeing the Zords resurrected, gets one of her famous headaches.
A one-on-one duel ensues between Tommy, controlling the Dragonzord, and Jason in the Tyrannosaurus. When the Dragonzord is beaten down, the Rangers call on the Megazord to finish it off. Megazord succeeds and hurls the Dragonzord into the side a mountain.
Once the Dragonzord is disabled, Jason, who has received orders from Zordon to destroy the Sword of Darkness to break the spell, leaps from the Megazord to fight Tommy in person. The Red and Green Rangers battle back and forth in an evenly matched duel. Green Ranger activates his golden chest armor, the Dragon Shield, to ward off Jason's attacks. Just when it appears Green Ranger will win, Jason finally throws his Power Sword at Tommy, knocking the Dragon Dagger and Sword of Darkness out of his hands. Green Ranger, unprepared for this blow, is thrown on his back. Jason draws his blade blaster, says, "It's all over, Tommy!", and shoots and destroys the Sword of Darkness. Rita's spell is broken, and Tommy involuntarily demorphs.
When Tommy revives, he is remorseful over what he has done. But Jason and the other Rangers are quick to forgive him, taking into account that he was under an evil spell, and Jason invites him to join the team as the sixth and final Ranger. Tommy is reluctant at first, but the others convince him that he belongs with them and can use his powers against Rita. At that, Tommy agrees to join the team.
From the Command Center, Zordon and Alpha watch what Zordon calls the fulfillment of a historic prophecy, that the Sixth Ranger would fight for justice rather than evil. Rita and her minions, meanwhile, are enraged that they lost the battle when everything was going so well for them, and Goldar promises vengeance.
Meanwhile, Zordon summons the six Rangers back to the Command Center. He praises Alpha for displaying leadership in his absence, and commends the five main Rangers for their refusal to give up when the odds were against them. He then confirms Tommy as the Green Ranger, and Tommy promises to obey the Rangers' three main rules. He also tells them that Dragonzord can go into Battle-Mode by combining with the Mastodon, Triceratops, and Saber-Toothed Tiger Dinozords. Finally, Billy presents Tommy with his own wrist-communicator, Jason and Tommy shake hands in friendship, and the six Rangers huddle up for a Power Ranger high-five.
The opening crawl reveals that the Trade Federation has blockaded the planet of Naboo in hope of resolving a galactic trade dispute. Chancellor Valorum of the Galactic Republic secretly sends two Jedi Knights - Qui-Gon Jinn and his padawan learner Obi-Wan Kenobi - to meet with the Trade Federation to settle the crisis. Unknown to them, the Trade Federation is in league with the mysterious Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who orders them to invade Naboo with their immense droid army as well as kill the two Jedi. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan escape and flee to the surface of Naboo, where they meet local Gungan outcast Jar Jar Binks. As Jar Jar brings them to an underwater Gungan settlement, the Trade Federation captures Naboo's leader, Queen Amidala. Through a Jedi mind trick, Qui-Gon secures a submarine, which he, Obi-Wan, and Jar Jar use to reach the capital of Naboo and rescue Queen Amidala and her escort. The group departs for Coruscant, the Galactic Republic's capital planet, to seek help from the Senate.
During the escape, the ship is attacked by the Federation blockade, forcing R2-D2, one of the ship's droids, to fix the shields. The attack damages the ship's hyperdrive, forcing the party to land on the desert planet of Tatooine for repairs. While searching for needed parts, Qui-Gon and a handmaiden named Padmé befriend young Anakin Skywalker, a nine-year-old human slave gifted in piloting and mechanics. Qui-Gon senses a strong presence of the Force in Anakin, and feels that he may be the "Chosen One" - an individual the Jedi believe will fulfill a prophecy by bringing balance to the Force. At Anakin's insistence, Qui-Gon enters Anakin into the Boonta Eve Podrace in a bet with Anakin's master, Watto, to gain the needed parts as well as Anakin's freedom. Anakin eludes several obstacles-including rival racer Sebulba-to win the race, gaining his freedom and bankrupting Watto. After hesitation, Anakin leaves his mother and his droid (C-3PO) behind on Tatooine to go with the Jedi. As the group prepares to depart, they are attacked by the Sith apprentice Darth Maul, who battles Qui-Gon until the heroes escape. On Coruscant, Qui-Gon informs the Jedi Council of the mysterious, well-trained attacker. The Council becomes concerned that this may indicate the reappearance of the Sith, an opposing order that followed the dark side of the Force. Qui-Gon informs the Council about Anakin, hoping that he can be trained as a Jedi. After testing the boy the Council refuses, worried that he is too old for training and that the fear and anger that he harbors will damage his future. Meanwhile, Senator Palpatine, begins to put his plans into effect. He persuades Amidala to call a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Valorum. The vote removes Valorum from power and leads to Palpatine's nomination for the position, which Amidala considers too late to be effective. To stop the Federation invasion by herself, the Queen decides to return to Naboo with her security team, the two Jedi, R2-D2, Anakin, and Jar Jar.
On Naboo, Amidala forms an alliance with the Gungans for the battle against the Trade Federation. The Gungans march into battle to divert the Federation army away from the capital, allowing the others to infiltrate the palace. Once inside the palace hangar, the Jedi free several Naboo pilots, who regain their starfighters and assault the Federation droid ship. As they make their way to the throne room, the infiltration team is confronted by Darth Maul. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan engage Maul while the others take an alternative route. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan duel with the Sith amongst the catwalks of a massive power-generating reactor core. Obi-Wan is briefly delayed, separating him from Qui-Gon and Maul. Meanwhile, Queen Amidala and her forces fight their way into the palace and capture Nute Gunray, Viceroy of the Trade Federation. Anakin - inadvertently joining the fight in space - destroys the droid-control ship's reactor with proton torpedoes, which deactivates the droid army in the midst of taking Gungan prisoners. In the reactor core, Qui-Gon re-engages Darth Maul singlehandedly, but is mortally wounded. Obi-Wan catches up with Maul and kills him in another lightsaber battle, cutting him in half. Obi-Wan approaches his dying master, who uses his final breath to instruct him to train Anakin to become a Jedi.
In the aftermath, the newly elected Chancellor Palpatine congratulates Queen Amidala on her victory and promises to watch Anakin's career with great interest. Meanwhile, the Jedi Council promotes Obi-Wan to the level of Jedi Knight, and Yoda reluctantly accepts Obi-Wan's request to train Anakin as his padawan. During Qui-Gon's funeral, Mace Windu and Yoda agree that Maul was indeed a Sith. However, because there are always two Sith at any given time (a master and an apprentice), they believe that another Sith still exists, although who that Sith is remains uncertain. A large celebration is held on Naboo to celebrate the world's liberation and the newborn alliance between the Naboo and the Gungans.
The opening crawl reveals that the Galactic Republic is in crisis. A separatist movement, led by former Jedi Master Count Dooku, has threatened the peace. Senator Padmé Amidala, former Queen of Naboo, returns to the Galactic Senate to vote against the creation of an Army of the Republic. Upon her arrival at Coruscant, she narrowly escapes an assassination attempt, a bomb placed on her ship. As a result, Chancellor Palpatine requests that she be put under the protection of Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. That night, Zam Wesell, a bounty hunter, makes another attempt on Padmé's life, but Wesell is herself killed (to silence her) just after Obi-Wan and Anakin capture her. The Jedi Council sends Obi-Wan to investigate the murder, while Anakin is to protect Padmé by escorting her to Naboo. Anakin welcomes the opportunity; he often becomes angry at and frustrated with Obi-Wan's criticism, and is glad to have an opportunity to be alone with Padmé. Representative Jar Jar Binks assumes the Senator's duties in her absence.
The investigation leads Obi-Wan to the planet of Kamino, where he discovers that a secret clone army is being developed for the Republic. The Kaminoan Prime Minister tells him that this army was ordered some ten years ago by a Jedi Master named Sifo-Dyas, whom the Jedi Council believes to have been killed around the same time. A bounty hunter named Jango Fett had been hired to be the template for the clone. Obi-Wan meets Jango on Kamino, and believes that he is the killer he has been tracking. After unsuccessfully trying to capture Jango Fett, Obi-Wan places a tracking device on his ship and follows him to the planet of Geonosis. Meanwhile, Anakin and Padmé spend time together on Naboo, and Anakin reveals his love for her. Padmé resists, explaining that it would be impossible for the two of them to be together; she is a respected Senator, and the Jedi Code forbids marriage or any other form of attachment. Anakin is soon troubled by dreams in which his mother, Shmi, is in danger and dying. He asks Padmé to accompany him to Tatooine. Upon arriving, he learns that his mother had been kidnapped one month earlier by local Tusken Raiders. Anakin tracks her to a Tusken camp, where he finds her in poor condition, and within moments she dies in his arms. In a fit of rage, he slaughters the entire Tusken community, including the women and children (Master Yoda hears the voice of the deceased Qui Gon Jinn trying vainly to dissuade Anakin from the slaughter). Anakin brings his mother's body back to her home, where her funeral is held.
On Geonosis, Obi-Wan learns that Count Dooku and Nute Gunray have built a new droid army and that Gunray has ordered the assassination of Padmé. Just before being captured, Obi-Wan relays this information to Anakin so that he can relay it to the Jedi Council on Coruscant. Once the Jedi learn of Dooku's army, Jedi Master Mace Windu leads a team to Geonosis. Meanwhile, Jar Jar Binks calls for Chancellor Palpatine to be given emergency powers, with which he can call the recently discovered clone army into battle. Back on Geonosis, Count Dooku tries to persuade Obi-Wan to join him, warning him that the Senate is secretly under the control of a mysterious Sith Lord by the name of Darth Sidious. Obi-Wan refuses to believe him, saying that the Jedi would have known if that was the case. Upon learning that Obi-Wan is in trouble, Anakin and Padmé go to Geonosis, but they are captured during their infiltration of a droid factory, despite Anakin's valiant efforts. They join Obi-Wan in an arena-like complex where three monstrous creatures (a Reek, a Nexu and an Acklay) are unleashed on them for their execution. During their struggle against the beasts, Mace Windu arrives with the Jedi, and they battle the droid army. Combat begins with Windu and Jango Fett dueling (in which Windu beheads Fett). Just as defeat for the Jedi seems imminent, Yoda arrives with the Republic's new clone army.
A large battle erupts between the Republic's clone forces and the Separatists' droid army. Count Dooku attempts to escape, but Obi-Wan and Anakin track him to a secret hangar, where they engage him in combat. Dooku quickly injures Obi-Wan and cuts off Anakin's right arm. Yoda arrives and engages Dooku in lightsaber combat. Dooku, realizing he may be outmatched, causes a support pylon to nearly fall on Anakin and Obi-Wan; Yoda uses the Force to stop this, allowing Dooku to escape with the plans for a new weapon, the Death Star. In a desolate industrial district on Coruscant, he meets with his master, Darth Sidious, who is pleased that the war has begun "as planned". Dooku is revealed to be the apprentice Sith Lord, Darth Tyranus. On Coruscant, Obi-Wan informs the Jedi Council of Dooku's warning that Darth Sidious is controlling the Senate. All of them, including Yoda, are hesitant to believe this, stating that the Sith's traits have them creating fear and mistrust. Yoda and Windu also agree that the Dark Side is now clouding everything, and that they should closely monitor the Senate. Meanwhile, Palpatine oversees the launching of a massive clone trooper force. On Naboo, Anakin (with a new mechanical hand) and Padmé hold a secret wedding, to which only the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 are witnesses.
The opening crawl reveals that the galaxy is in the midst of the Clone Wars. Chancellor Palpatine has been kidnapped by the Separatists' second-in-command, General Grievous. Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi lead a mission to rescue him. After Skywalker kills Sith Lord Count Dooku and the two Jedi free the Chancellor, they attempt to escape, but are captured by Grievous. Skywalker and Kenobi manage to break free with Palpatine, but Grievous escapes and traps them inside the severely damaged cruiser. Anakin is forced to crash-land the ship on one of Coruscant's landing tracks.
Upon his return, Anakin is reunited with his wife, Padmé Amidala, who tells him that she is pregnant. Despite Padmé's worries over their secret marriage, Anakin is overjoyed at this news, and the couple makes plans to raise their child on the planet Naboo. However, Anakin is troubled by visions of Padmé dying during childbirth, visions similar to those he had of his mother just before she died. Palpatine then appoints Anakin to be his representative on the Jedi council. The council reluctantly accepts Skywalker but refuses to grant him the rank of "Master", which outrages him. He also resents Kenobi when he delivers the council's order to spy on the Chancellor. Subsequently, Skywalker develops a close relationship with Palpatine, who subtly manipulates him in their conversations, making him distrust the Jedi and raising his interest in the powers of the Sith.
While Kenobi is on Utapau, where he engages and kills General Grievous, Palpatine reveals himself to Skywalker as the Sith Lord Darth Sidious who has been controlling the Separatist movement. He fails to tempt Skywalker with the power to save his Amidala from death, and Skywalker leaves to expose him to the Jedi Council. Jedi Master Mace Windu arrives at the Chancellor's office shortly thereafter to arrest the Palpatine. The two duel and Sidious eventually feigns defeat, just as Skywalker arrives. Skywalker pleads with Windu to spare Palpatine and allow him to stand trial, but as Windu insists on killing the chancellor who is too great a threat. Skywalker, believing Palpatine can save his wife, cuts off Windu's hand, which gives Palpatine the chance to use Force lightning to send Windu out the window to his death. Emotionally drained, Skywalker submits to the dark side of the Force and becomes the Sith apprentice Darth Vader. Palpatine orders Vader to kill all Jedi inside the Jedi Temple, and then eliminate the Separatist leaders in the Mustafar system.
Meanwhile, Palpatine informs the Senate of a Jedi plot to overthrow the Republic, and announces that the Republic will be reorganized into the Galactic Empire. He also orders clone troopers across the galaxy to turn against their Jedi Generals by enacting a pre-programmed directive, Order 66. Numerous Jedi across the galaxy are ambushed and killed, although both Yoda and Kenobi survive and are rescued by Senator Bail Organa. He brings them to the Jedi Temple before heading to the Senate building. Kenobi is horrified to see Skywalker killing other Jedi in Temple's security recordings. Kenobi meets with Amidala, who refuses to believe his claims about Skywalker's fall to the dark side: Kenobi deduces her reluctance to help him is a result of Skywalker being the father of her child. When she departs to find her husband on Mustafar, Kenobi secretly stows away onboard.
When the couple is reunited, a tearful Amidala begs Skywalker to settle privately with her, but he refuses, believing that he can overthrow Sidious so that he and Amidala can rule the galaxy together. Kenobi then emerged from Amidala's ship, and Skywalker accuses her of betraying him. Enraged, he chokes her into unconsciousness using the Force. Kenobi and Skywalker break into a vicious lightsaber duel. The duel brings them out of the facility to unprotected areas of the volcano planet. Back on Coruscant, Yoda confronts Palpatine and they engage in their own lightsaber duel in the senate building. Yoda is forced to retreat when Palpatine's soldiers arrive. Kenobi, meanwhile, eventually gains the advantage of higher ground, and when Skywalker attempts to attack again, Kenobi slices off both of his legs and his left arm. Anakin rolls down the bank to the edge of the lava. He is immolated, sustaining near-fatal burns. Kenobi leaves Mustafar with Amidala, reluctantly leaving Skywalker to die. However, Palpatine arrives and rescues his apprentice.
Amidala is given medical assistance, but she dies shortly after delivering twins; a boy and a girl, named them Luke and Leia respectively. On Coruscant, Anakin's missing limbs and damaged body parts are replaced by cybernetic prostheses and implants. He is put into a full suit of black armor and is sealed in a respirator mask, which will allow him to survive his injuries. When he inquires about Amidala, Palpatine tells him that he killed her in his anger. Vader unleashes a furious scream of mournful rage and destroys droids and equipment throughout the room with the Force while Palpatine looks on with an evil grin. Later, Vader and Palpatine oversee the construction of the first Death Star.
Aboard the Tantive IV, Kenobi, Yoda, and Bail Organa agree to keep the children hidden and separated. Kenobi and Yoda will watch and wait until the time is ready for the Skywalker children to do their part in the battle against the Sith. Leia is taken to Alderaan to live with the Queen and Bail Organa, and Luke is brought to Tatooine to live with Owen and Beru, his closest living relatives.
An opening crawl reveals that the galaxy is in a state of civil war. The Rebel Alliance has stolen plans to the Galactic Empire's Death Star, a space station capable of annihilating a planet. Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan has possession of the plans, and before she is captured by the Empire on her ship, she hides them, along with a holographic recording, in a "droid" named R2-D2. The small droid escapes with his humanoid partner C-3PO to the surface of the desert planet Tatooine below. On Tatooine, the droids are captured by Jawas, who sell them to moisture farmer Owen Lars and his nephew, Luke Skywalker. While Luke cleans R2-D2, he accidentally triggers part of a holographic message, in which Princess Leia requests the help of "Obi-Wan Kenobi". The only Kenobi he knows is Ben Kenobi, a hermit who lives in the nearby hills, but Uncle Owen dismisses any connection.
Later, R2-D2 escapes, looking for Obi-Wan. This causes Luke and C-3PO to go out after him. Luke is attacked by Tusken Raiders (or Sand People) and knocked unconscious. He is saved by the "old wizard" Ben Kenobi, who reveals himself to be Obi-Wan. He takes them back to his hut and tells of his days as a Jedi Knight, and explains to Luke about a mysterious energy field called "the Force". He also tells Luke about his father, Anakin Skywalker, gives him his father's lightsaber, and tells him that Anakin had been "betrayed and murdered" by Obi-Wan's former pupil, Darth Vader. Obi-Wan then views Princess Leia's message, in which she begs him to take R2-D2 and the Death Star plans to Alderaan, where her father will be able to retrieve and analyze them. Obi-Wan asks Luke to accompany him to Alderaan and to learn the ways of the Force. After discovering that his home has been destroyed and his aunt and uncle killed by Imperial stormtroopers, Luke agrees to go with Obi-Wan to Alderaan, and to learn to become a Jedi like his father. At the seedy Mos Eisley Spaceport, the group finds a smuggler named Han Solo and his Wookiee friend Chewbacca, who agree to transport them on their ship, the Millennium Falcon. Attacked by stormtroopers as they board the ship, they make a hasty escape and prepare for a hyperspace leap to Alderaan.
Meanwhile, Leia has been imprisoned on the Death Star and has resisted interrogation. Grand Moff Tarkin, the Death Star's commanding officer, destroys her home planet of Alderaan as a means of demonstrating the power of the Empire's new weapon. The planet's destruction is felt by Obi-Wan aboard the Millennium Falcon while he is instructing Luke about the Force. Arriving at the coordinates for the planet, they are bombarded instead by rubble from the explosion. Following a TIE Fighter toward what appears to be a small moon, they are captured by the Death Star's tractor beam. Using hidden compartments to surprise Imperial stormtroopers and donning their armor as disguises, Han and Luke escape to a command room to wait while Obi-Wan attempts to disable the tractor beam. While they are there, R2-D2 discovers that Princess Leia is scheduled for termination. Han and Luke stage a rescue on the cell block but their escape route is cut off and they are forced down a garbage chute into a compactor. About to be crushed by the walls closing in, they are saved by R2-D2's last-second shutdown of the compactor. Making their way back to the Millennium Falcon, their path is cleared by the spectacle of a lightsaber duel between Darth Vader and his former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Warning the Dark Lord that he will become "more powerful than you can possibly imagine," the old Jedi allows himself to be struck down as the others escape toward a hidden rebel base. A beacon hidden aboard the ship allows the Empire to track their route.
After landing on Yavin IV, the Death Star plans are analyzed by the Rebel Alliance and a potential weakness is found, one which will require the use of single-man fighters to slip past the Death Star's formidable defenses. Luke joins the assault team while Han collects his reward for the Princess' rescue. The attack proceeds as planned but suffers heavy losses without a successful torpedo hit in the small thermal exhaust port which would create a chain reaction. During Luke's run, Darth Vader engages the Rebels in ship-to-ship combat, but before he can destroy Luke, the Millennium Falcon appears and destroys one of Vader's wingmen. The other wingman, attempting to veer away from the Falcon, collides with Vader's fighter and crashes into the trench wall. Vader is last seen spinning out of control into outer space. Guided by the voice of Obi-Wan to "use the Force," Luke shuts off his targeting computer and fires the successful shot which destroys the Death Star seconds before it could attack the Rebel base. At a grand ceremony, Princess Leia awards medals to Luke and Han for their heroism in the battle.
The opening crawl reveals that, despite the Rebel success in destroying the Death Star, the Galactic Empire has pursued the Rebel Alliance across the galaxy, forcing them to establish a secret base on the remote ice planet Hoth. The Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader sends robotic probes in search of Luke Skywalker, who has been promoted to the rank of Commander. While Luke is patrolling near the base, he is knocked unconscious by an indigenous predator, the Wampa. Back at the base, the smuggler-pilot Han Solo announces his intention to leave the Rebels and pay the debt he owes to the gangster Jabba the Hutt, much to the displeasure of Princess Leia Organa. After Han discovers that Luke has not returned from patrol, he delays his departure and leaves the base to search for him. After escaping the creature's lair, Luke is overcome by the cold and has a vision of his late mentor, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, who instructs him to receive training from Jedi Master Yoda on the planet Dagobah. Han finds Luke, and provides him shelter until they are rescued the following morning. Meanwhile, an Imperial Probe Droid transmits the location of the base to the Imperial fleet. Darth Vader orders an attack while the Rebels, who have discovered the Imperial Probe Droid, prepare to evacuate. The Rebels set up infantry trenches and an energy shield to protect them from the Empire's orbital bombardment while they can get transports ready.
The Imperial forces land their ground assault walkers beyond the energy shield and Luke leads his squadron of flying speeders into battle. However, the Imperial forces eventually overpower the Rebels and destroy the generator powering the energy shield, capturing the Rebel base. Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and their droid C-3PO flee on board the Millennium Falcon. However, the Falcon hyperdrive is damaged and it cannot escape the Imperial blockade in space. To evade pursuit, Han Solo enters an asteroid field and lands inside an asteroid crater. Furious at the loss of his prey, Darth Vader turns to several notorious bounty hunters to assist the Empire in finding the Millennium Falcon.
Meanwhile, Luke and his astro-droid R2-D2 escape Hoth in Luke's X-wing fighter. After a crash landing on Dagobah, Luke meets a wizened, green little creature who reveals himself to be Yoda. Meanwhile, inside the asteroid cave, Han Solo and Princess Leia argue while repairing the ship, eventually leading to a tender kiss. However, they are forced to escape what they thought was a "cave," which is actually the belly of a gigantic space slug. Forced to escape the beast and reveal themselves to the imperial armada, Solo makes a mock attack-run and attaches the Millennium Falcon to the superstructure of a Star Destroyer, hiding from detection until they are able to mingle with its space-dumped garbage. Solo sets course for Cloud City, a mining colony in the Bespin system run by Han's former friend, Lando Calrissian, but the Falcon is followed stealthily by bounty-hunter Boba Fett, who has anticipated their escape strategy.
On Dagobah, Luke undergoes a crash course on Yoda's rigorous lessons about the metaphysical nature of the Force. Luke has a vision of Han and Leia in danger and agony. Luke wants to rescue them, but Yoda and the vision of Obi-Wan warn of the dangers of leaving rashly, because Luke is still susceptible to the powerful temptation of the Dark Side. Nevertheless, Luke departs from Dagobah and promises Yoda he will return to complete his training. Upon arrival at Cloud City, Han's party is welcomed by Lando Calrissian. After agreeing to help Han repair his ship, Lando invites him and the others to a meal. When they enter the dining room, they are captured by Darth Vader. Lando insists he was forced to conspire with the Empire to prevent them from invading and occupying the city.
In captivity, Luke's friends are used as bait to lure Luke to the city. Vader orders a carbon-freezing chamber prepared to freeze Luke, which will hold him in suspended animation for transport to the Emperor. The process is tested on Han Solo. As Han is lowered into the machine, Leia declares her love for him. He is frozen in carbonite and handed over to bounty hunter Boba Fett, who intends to return his quarry to Jabba the Hutt for a large reward. Meanwhile, Luke lands at Cloud City and is tricked into entering the carbon-freezing chamber. Luke meets Vader and engages him in combat. While escorting their prisoners, Vader's Imperial troopers are captured by Lando's private security force, who set Leia and the others free. Lando, despite nearly being killed by a furious Chewbacca, insists that there is still a chance to save Han, and along the way they find R2-D2. The group pursues Boba Fett and Han's frozen form through Cloud City, but arrive just as the bounty hunter's ship flies away. After a desperate chase, Leia, Chewbacca, Lando, and the two droids make their escape on the Millennium Falcon. Meanwhile, Vader and Luke's fierce lightsaber duel brings them to a narrow platform above the city's central air shaft. After gaining the advantage, Vader cuts off Luke's duelling hand along with his lightsaber. With Luke cornered and defenceless, Vader informs Luke that he does not yet know the truth about his father. Luke claims that Vader killed him. Vader answers:
“ No, I am your father ”
Luke screams in denial. Vader tries to persuade Luke to join him, embrace the Dark Side of the Force, and overthrow the Emperor with him. Luke refuses, lets go, and falls off the platform into the abyss, signifying that he would rather die than join him. In freefall, Luke is sucked into an air vent, shoots out of the underbelly of the floating city, and lands on an antenna hanging beneath. In desperation, Luke calls out to Leia, who senses Luke's distress aboard the Millennium Falcon and orders Lando to pilot them back to Cloud City. After saving Luke and leaving the planet, they are pursued by Darth Vader's flagship. R2-D2, who discovered that the hyperdrive was merely de-activated while searching the city's central computer, reactivates it and the Falcon escapes into hyperspace. Aboard a Rebel medical frigate, Luke is fitted with an artificial hand as Lando and Chewbacca set out in the Falcon to locate Han Solo.
The opening crawl reveals that the Galactic Empire has been working on the construction of a new armored space station which is to be even larger and more powerful than the first Death Star. Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Princess Leia Organa, C-3PO, and R2-D2 return to Tatooine in an attempt to rescue Han Solo from the gangster Jabba the Hutt. Leia, disguised as a bounty hunter, attempts to secretly free Solo, who is still encased in carbonite. She succeeds, only to be discovered and captured by Jabba, who makes her his personal slave. Several days later Luke arrives to make one final plea to Jabba to release Solo. Luke is then captured by Jabba's guards and dropped into a dungeon to battle a rancor. After defeating the rancor he is sent along with Han Solo and Chewbacca to the Great Pit of Carkoon to be slowly consumed by the Sarlacc. With the help of R2-D2, Luke escapes and a large battle erupts; during the chaos, Leia strangles Jabba to death with her slave chains, and Han accidentally knocks Boba Fett, the bounty hunter who brought him to Jabba, into the pit where he is eaten alive by the Sarlacc. Following this, Luke blasts Jabba's sail barge with its own deck cannon, and all of the heroes manage to escape before it explodes.
Luke then returns to Dagobah to complete his Jedi training. However, upon arriving, he finds Yoda is languishing. Yoda tells Luke that no other training is required, but that he will not truly be a Jedi until he confronts Darth Vader who, Yoda confirms, is Luke's father. Yoda then dies, but not before telling Luke that "there is another Skywalker". The spirit form of Obi-Wan Kenobi then appears and confirms that Vader was once Anakin Skywalker, a former Jedi who was turned to the dark side of the Force. Though he initially seemed to imply that Vader was merely another Jedi who betrayed and murdered Anakin, Obi-Wan explains that Vader truly did this in the sense of the dark side consuming Anakin's mind, apparently destroying the good man who was Luke's father and replacing him as Vader. Luke asks Obi-Wan about the "other" Skywalker Yoda mentioned-Obi-Wan reveals that this "other" is his twin sister, hidden from Anakin and separated at birth to protect them both from the Emperor. Using his intuition, Luke quickly deduces that, to Obi-Wan's confirmation, his sister is Leia.
Meanwhile, the entire Rebel Alliance is meeting to devise an attack strategy. As part of the attack, Han is elected to lead a strike team to deactivate the shield generator on the forest moon of Endor which is projecting a protective shield up to the orbiting and incomplete Death Star. Luke, having returned from Dagobah, joins him and Leia for this mission; however, he soon fears that, after sensing Vader's presence within the nearby Imperial Fleet, his own presence may endanger the mission. On Endor, Luke and his companions encounter a tribe of Ewoks, primitive yet intelligent indigenous forest creatures of Endor. With the help of C-3PO, whom the Ewoks believe is a god, they are able to forge an alliance with the forest creatures. Later, Luke decides that the time has come for him to face Vader. He confesses to Leia the truth about her and Vader, and that he has to try to save the man who was once their father. He surrenders peacefully to Vader and unsuccessfully tries to convince his father to abandon the dark side. They go to the Death Star and meet the Emperor, who reveals that he knew of the attack before, and that the Rebel Alliance is walking into a trap. On the forest moon, the Rebels - led by Solo and Leia - enter the shield generator control facility only to be taken prisoner by waiting Imperial forces. Once they are led out of the bunker, however, the Ewoks spring a surprise counterattack. A desperate ground battle begins with the Rebels and Ewoks fighting the Imperial forces. The Rebels eventually gain the upper hand, due in large part to a stolen Imperial AT-ST Walker.
During the strike team's assault, the Rebel fleet, led by Lando, emerges from hyperspace for the battle over Endor, only to discover that the shield of the Death Star is still functioning. An intense space battle takes place as the Rebel fleet battles to give the surface party more time to complete their mission of deactivating the Death Star's shield. During the battle, the Death Star is revealed to be operational; its superlaser is fired at the Rebel fleet and obliterates two Rebel star cruisers. This forces a rethinking of strategy and the fleet closes with the Imperial star destroyers to prevent the superlaser from firing on the Rebel fleet.
On the Death Star, the Emperor tempts Luke to give in to his anger. A ferocious lightsaber duel erupts between Luke and his father. In the midst of combat, Vader reads Luke's feelings and learns that Luke has a twin sister. When Vader toys with the notion of turning Leia to the dark side, Luke gives in to his anger and brutally overpowers his father, eventually slicing off Vader's robotic right hand. However, despite the Emperor's goading, Luke refuses to kill his father, realizing that he is traveling down his father's path towards the dark side. He declares himself a Jedi, like his father before him. Upon realizing that Luke cannot be turned, the Emperor tortures and slowly kills him with Force lightning; in unspeakable pain, Luke begs his father for help. Facing a moral crisis as he sees his son dying before his own eyes, Vader finally repents in return of his former self, Anakin Skywalker, and turns on the Emperor, grabbing him over his shoulder and throwing him down a reactor shaft to his death. At the same time, however, the life support system in his suit is damaged beyond repair by the Emperor's lightning. Moments from death, he begs Luke to take off his breath mask to see him with his own eyes. Luke does so, and finally sees his father's true face: that of a pale, withered man ravaged by the dark side. He entreats Luke to leave him and save himself, and to tell Leia that there was some good left in him after all. With those last words, Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker dies, finally at peace.
Back on Endor, the strike team finally destroys the shield generator. The Rebel fleet seizes the opportunity to launch a final assault on the Death Star in space. Lando leads Wedge Antilles and his fighter group into the interior of the Death Star and they fire at the main reactor, causing its collapse. Luke escapes the Death Star with his father's body in an Imperial shuttle. Moments later, Wedge in his X-Wing and Lando in the Millennium Falcon emerge from the Death Star as well, just as it explodes. Back on Endor, Leia senses that Luke had escaped the station before it exploded. Han believes that she loves Luke and is prepared to let her go, but Leia reassures Han of her love for him and reveals (to his surprise and relief) that Luke is actually her brother. That evening, Luke cremates the remains of his father in his black armor on a funeral pyre on Endor.
The entire galaxy celebrates the fall of the Empire and the Rebellion's victory. On Endor, Luke, Leia, Han, Lando, and the rest of the Rebellion, along with the Ewoks, celebrate the victory as well. During the celebration, Luke catches sight of the spirit figures of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and the redeemed Anakin Skywalker, who watch over them with pride.