December 11, 2015 8:00 AM EST

Ahead of the hotly anticipated The Force Awakens, TIME asked filmmaker Oscar Boyson to create a video exploring one crucial question: What makes Star Wars, well, Star Wars? Boyson, known for his high-pace editing style, took up the challenge, resulting in the video above. For more The Force Awakens coverage, read TIME’s cover story, How J.J. Abrams Brought Back Star Wars, by Lev Grossman. The movie hits theaters nationwide Dec. 18.

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