Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens has been seen now by millions of people and the reviews are amazing. However, Episode VII means there are 6 more movies before the new one. Many people have been watching the original trilogy along with the most recent trilogy as a sort of refresher course before seeing Episode VII. In the nerd world that I personally live in, there has been a debate for some time now – what order should you watch the Star Wars movies in. Should you really start from Episode One and work your way through?
It’s a completely subjective question though there is a way to watch the Star Wars movies in order that is the most popular.
The most popular order to watch Star Wars movies in was coined by a computer blogger back in 2011 named Rod Hilton. The sequence is called, “The Machete” order, and it could be the best way to watch all of the Star Wars movies in order. Here’s the thing, if you were at the movie theater when the original trilogy trickled out, then you may not agree, even if you were only there for the newest trilogy you might feel the same. However, there is a logical explanation for the order so let’s break it down. Since the original trilogy and the second trilogy have both been out for years, we will be talking about spoilers from those two trilogies. We are operating under the assumption that you’ve seen them and want to know what the best order is to rewatch or introduce the films to your children.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Machete Order is meant to tell the story of Luke Skywalker and is perfect the way it is. However, some people may wonder, where does Rogue One fit? Well, Timeline wise, Rogue One takes place just before the events that take place in A New Hope. That being said, if you’relooking for a timeline based answer as to where Rogue One fits, it’s here, before all the rest. Just remember, the Machete Order is about Luke Skywalker, not the Resistance. Which means, Rogue One has nothing to do with Luke and isn’t included in the “official” Machete Order. That doesn’t mean you can’t go “Rogue” and watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story first.
Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope
Yes, we start with the original Star Wars. Why not start with Episode I The Phantom Menace? Well if you recall, there is a big parental twist in the original trilogy. If you start with the newer trilogy, you will lose the emotion behind that famous, “Nooooooo!” Even deeper than that, who do you think Star Wars is about? We’ll get back to that question later.
Star Wars Episode V Empire Strikes Back
Now, of course, this makes sense. Watch Episode IV the V because that is the order, but after this, it is going to get a little wonky. There is a purpose, remember that question above? Keep it in mind.
In this film, you get that major twist, and you get a sort of cliffhanger at the end. We all know what happens when a series leaves a cliff hanger, it’s time to go back and tell how we got here.
Star Wars Episode II Attack of The Clones
This is where we will just get a little back story as to how Darth Vader became a father, turned to the dark side and who was behind it all. There is not much more to be said about why you will be watching this movie in this spot, it’s just to answer some questions that surely would’ve come up if you saw the Empire Strikes Back in theaters.
Star Wars Episode III Revenge of The Sith
This wraps up your almost 5 hours worth of flashbacks to the past. Surely now you will have all the answers to the questions that developed in Episode IV and V. Who is Darth Vader, how is he a dad, who is the guy in the hood, how did they rise to power, where are all the Jedis?
- Still remember that question from above? Almost there.
Star Wars Episode VI Return of The Jedi
The Jedi has returned in this, Episode VI, but who is that Jedi, was it Darth Vader returning to the light side when he did that thing or was it Luke Skywalker when he brought new life to the Jedi religion by being the only Jedi alive? This is the last movie you want to watch in the Machete Order because, believe it or not, it sets up Episode VII very nicely. It also brings everything to a pretty nice close. While we’re here, let’s get back to that question from above, who is the star in Star Wars, the main character? The answer is Luke Skywalker, plain and simple. That is why we don’t include the Phantom Menace in this order because it’s just unnecessary. Luke is the character that we focus on in the original trilogy for a reason, and there’s a reason he is back in the next trilogy, the story was about him and always about him.
Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens
Once you’ve watched the originals and the prequels in the Machete Order, it’s time to start the new trilogy. The Force Awakens fits perfectly into the order at the very end. The story picks up 30 years after Return of The Jedi but makes perfect sense. Some old characters return and we are introduced to the new characters that will continue to carry us through the Star Wars universe for years to come.
This order, the “Machete Order” was put together with a lot of thought behind it and it is the best way to watch the Star Wars movies in order. You’ll notice that Episode I is missing from the order, that is intentional. Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace does nothing important to the Star Wars Saga. Plus, not everyone is a big fan of Jar Jar Binks, and in the Machete order you get way less of him. So before you head out to see Star Wars Episode VI The Force Awakens, try watching the older films in this order. You’ll be surprised how nicely it works. After you’ve seen The Force Awakens, check out our spoiler review of The Force Awakens. as always, may the Force be with you.