The saga begins with a child Anakin Skywalker, the future Darth Vader, being discovered by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, who senses the boys' enormous potential. It is here that Skywalker first encounters the legendary Obi-Wan Kenobi, who himself is still but a pupil. As the first film unfolds, key characters appear, such as Padmé Amidala, R2-D2, C-3PO, Yoda, and the villainous Palpatine, who is a mere Senator in the Galactic Republic at the time. After a debate with the Jedi Council, one which includes the possible resurface of the Sith in addition to Skywalker, it is decided that Anakin will not be trained as a Jedi. At the end of the film, the Sith, Darth Maul, leads an attack against the Jedi on Naboo, and only the tragic death of Qui-Gon at his hands persuades the Jedi to reconcile their decision. Anakin Skywalker then becomes Obi-Wan's apprentice in the ways of the Force.
Over the course of the next two films, the Clone Wars begins; a raging war between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The film starts with the mysterious want for Padmé Amidala's life. While Obi-Wan Kenobi investigates the attacker, Anakin takes Padmé off Coruscant and heads to her home planet of Naboo. During the course of her protection, the two become entwined in a romantic relationship, furthering Anakin's future fall from the Jedi ways. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan discovers that, for years, Clones have been growing and training for use by the Republic. This discovery also brings Jango Fett and his son Boba out of hiding. The two escape to Geonosis, where Obi-Wan follows them and discovers the leaders of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, including fallen Jedi Master, Count Dooku.
Anakin, after his mother is brutally murdered by Tusken Raiders on Tatooine, feels the pull of the dark side growing stronger in himself and his surroundings. On Geonosis, Obi-Wan is captured, and the Jedi ask Anakin and Padmé to remain where they are. Padmé, however, decides to go aid Obi-Wan despite the contrary urgings of the Council, leaving Anakin forced to follow her. They are also captured after a brief scuffle, and the trio are nearly executed in the arena. Moments before this, many Jedi appear and begin attacking the native Geonosians and Battle Droids alike.
The newly appointed Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is given emergency powers to raise an army of clones (cloned from the notorious bounty hunter Jango Fett) to combat the rising Separatist threat. These clones are also dispatched to Geonosis to attack the Confederacy. While the major battle unfolds, describing what the Clone Wars will become, Count Dooku escapes, the clones become the grand army of the Republic, and Anakin and Padmé fall in love, a love that must be kept hidden from the Jedi, including Obi-Wan.
The film opens with a brutal attack on Coruscant. General Grievous leads the attack, while Count Dooku holds the Supreme Chancellor hostage. When Clone War veterans Skywalker and Kenobi are dispatched to rescue him, Dooku is killed but the droid general escapes. Palpatine has managed to gain almost unlimited power over the Galactic Senate and Anakin, who is pushed closer and closer to the dark side of the Force, has become close friends with him, deeply troubling his fellow Jedi. His wife, Padmé Amidala, is pregnant and stays at her apartment on Coruscant as Obi-Wan leaves for the Utapau system to search for Grievous. Leading an army of Clones, Kenobi finds and destroys the droid general.
The Jedi bring this news to Palpatine, who is discovered to be the Sith Lord controlling the Senate. Master Mace Windu attempts to arrest the Supreme Chancellor, but is killed at the hands of Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker, who with this act becomes Darth Vader. Thinking the Jedi are behind the treachery, Anakin is ordered to begin the destruction of the Jedi Order (Order 66). After Order 66 is given, Obi-Wan learns of Anakin's and Padmé's marriage, but more crucially of Padmé's pregnancy. Padmé, afraid for Anakin, leaves for the volcanic world of Mustafar, where Skywalker has just been sent to assassinate the remaining Separatist leaders, effectively ending the war. After sneaking on board Padmé's ship, Obi-Wan confronts Anakin on Mustafar. The two engage in an epic duel, which results in Anakin, now Darth Vader, suffering the loss of his limbs, severe burns, and damage to his lungs. Obi-Wan leaves his long-time friend for dead, and takes the critically injured Padmé Amidala with him.
Following this, Vader is rescued by Palpatine and encased in a life support suit. Padmé dies in childbirth and the Skywalker twins, Luke and Leia, are separated. Leia is adopted by Senator Bail Organa and his wife, while Luke is taken under the wing of Beru and Owen Lars. (Owen was the son of Cliegg Lars, the man who freed and then married Shmi, Anakin's mother.) Back on Naboo, Padmé Amidala's mourning people carry their old, beloved queen through the streets of Theed. Clutched in the beautiful, caring woman's hands is the carving Anakin gave to her when he was a young boy, and she is buried still clinging to the Anakin Skywalker she knew and loved.The remaining Jedi, Obi-Wan and Yoda, go into exile while Palpatine and Vader take control of the galaxy with the iron-fisted Galactic Empire. The two Sith oversee the construction of the first Death Star, a glimpse of the dark times to come.