With the 8th Star Wars feature film coming out soon (Rogue One), it’s time to start thinking about doing the obligatory Star Wars marathon before a new film comes out. The only question is: In what order should you watch the 7 films?
There are two things most fans would agree upon:
- Episode VII, The Force Awakens, should be watched last
- Episode I, The Phantom Menace, is the worst film of the bunch
With that in mind, the question that remains is what about the other five films: II (Attack of the Clones), III (Revenge of the Sith), IV (A New Hope), V (The Empire Strikes Back) and VI (Return of the Jedi).
Watch by in-Universe chronology
This one makes sense, as it simply has the events follow each other in a mostly logical order. Which means watching the second trilogy (I-II-III) first, followed by the original trilogy, and then for dessert, The Force Awakens.
Watch by release chronology
The order that I found to be the more popular among people, maybe because it makes more sense in their heads: Watching what they came to know first before the newer stuff. The original trilogy might portray a later time in the galaxy’s history, but they look older (even with the late 90’s “fixes”), and seem to make sense to watch first.
Mix it up: IV-V-I-II-III-VI…. and VII
This order comes with a little bit storytelling narrative of its own. It begins in the midst of the action: A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, the two best films of the trilogy according to most, before doing some pre quelling and exposing the backstory before the conclusion of the second story. It’s not such a bad idea, and before The Force Awakens, that’s how I watched the films. It gives the whole binge watching the happy conclusion, and putting the Rise of Vader in a much more central position of the timeline.
Skip The Phantom Menace
A lot of people do this, and they joked about it in The Big Bang Theory. The order is like in the ‘mix it up’ suggestion, only without The Phantom Menace, who many feel doesn’t really add much to the overall story. It cuts most of Jar Jar, pod racing and Qui Gon.
Skip the Prequel Trilogy Altogether
A bit extreme isn’t it? Well, many saw The Force Awakens and mentioned how it has almost nothing to do with the prequel films, as if it was a big F U from J.J. Abrams, Disney and whoever was involved in making the film to George Lucas for making that “abomination”. It does make it for a much less exhausting binge/marathon experience, which will be three films (IV-V-VI) and The Force Awakens.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story comes out on December 16. To make your viewing experience better, get a Star Wars shirt to wear for the cinema. And if you need to catch up on previous films, no matter the order, now’s the time to buy the DVDs/Blu-Rays/Streams.