News Ticker

The ‘Proper’ way to watch the Star Wars movies

As we draw nearer to the opening of The Force Awakens, many fans are celebrating by going to movie marathons or having one for themselves and friends.  Ever since the prequels came out, there has been a debate on the proper order on how to watch them.  While some prefer to watch them in sequence from I through VI, others have had ideas on how to watch them in order to get the best from the story especially from those who are actually new to the series.

There are no right or wrong answers, everyone has their way to best watch them.

Below, some of us share our views on how we would approach this:

Harry:  IV, V, then I, II, III, and then VI

So, I have done at least one viewing in chronological order and while it may have made sense to do so, in my point of view, the pacing was a bit off.  While in chronological order you get the progression, you lose out on the impact of Vader’s revelation to Luke. Furthermore, the order lessens Luke’s choice to attempt to rehabilitate his father.

A New Hope  didn’t give a lot of backstory on how everything came about and vader’s familial revelation to Luke in The Empire Strikes Back is pretty much defined as one of the biggest WTF moments in sci-fi history.  I have always felt like there was so much left untold in the original movies that by the time the prequels came along, love them or hate them, they filled in a lot of holes (and created a few more in the process)  to understand the current state of the Star Wars universe.  I think that with the order I have, especially with someone who is new, they once they watch ANH and TESB first, the prequels would serve as a flashback which reveals of course how Anakin’s choices led him to become Vader.

I think with this order, once a viewer gets to Return of the Jedi, the scenes with Luke and Vader are much more meaningful with the order as prescribed.

Yes, I know about the “Machete Order” and one may ask as to why I included Episode I in my list.  I feel that without 1, you still miss important cues as to what Palpatine was doing behind the scenes especially once AotC opens up with Amidala’s assassination attempt as well as why Jar Jar is in the movie.  Yes, a LOT of people do not like Jar Jar but he is crucial to the story as he is pivotal in Palaptine’s rise to emperor.  If you omit TPM, Jar Jar’s  actions later on, makes no sense.  If you are going to tell a story, tell the whole thing.

Sadly, I am the only dissenting voice!


Noura , Patricia,  and Jon:  IV,V,VI and then I, II, III


With Star Wars VII coming out, many people are beginning to rewatch the first six movies to prepare for the most awaited movie of the year. Thus, the question must be asked: what is the best way to watch Star Wars? Do you watch 4,5,6 then 1,2,3, or 1,2,3,4,5,6. I’m an advocate for watching them in the order that they came out: 4,5,6 then 1,2,3. There are three reasons that this is the way you should watch the movies:
1. When Star Wars: A New Hope was released, the world stopped to listen. Children wanted to be Jedi; boys wanted to be Luke or Han and girls had a new princess to look up to. The movie was a hit. When George Lucas first created the movie, he had no intention of making a second, let alone five more. However, the movie was an absolute hit, so he continued with the franchise. As characters developed, he realized the audience needed more of a backstory. BUT THIS WAS NOT HIS ORIGINAL INTENTION. Star Wars IV: A New Hope is a masterpiece that COULD stand alone but Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace could not. My point here is that you should watch them in the order George Lucas presented them; rather than in the order in which they happened.
2. Star Wars is a discovery. When you watch it, you slowly uncover information. If you’re handed most of that information beforehand by watching the prequels, it kind of takes out half the fun of it.
3. The prequels kind of sucked. There are good moments, and they’re absolutely necessary for any Star Wars fan to experience, but in comparison to the godliness that comes of the first three movies, the prequels are a joke. Therefore, watch them last, watch them while you knit, watch them while you cook, I really don’t care. If you start with one, you may lose interest. But if you start with four, you’re hooked.
Mostly importantly, REWATCH THE MOVIES! Prepare yourself for Star Wars Seven! This is a huge moment in history – don’t miss out.
My opinion is likely influenced by the fact that I’m old enough that it’s the way I saw them, but for my money, the best order in which to see the Star Wars films is IV, V, VI, I, II, III. For one thing, it’s the order in which they were released. Perhaps there were factors other than artistic intent that led to this, but when possible, I try to experience art the way the artist intended. It’s a reasonable decision to have made: some stories are best told by starting in the middle. The bigger consideration here, though, is that Star Wars is all about the struggle between the dark and light side; it’s the focus on the broad scale – The Empire vs The Rebels, Sith vs Jedi, Darth vs Luke – and also within the characters themselves, onscreen proxies for each of us struggling with the unending tension between our most selfish desires and our better angels. We see played out, 20 feet tall in Technicolor, the results of each path. Will Luke find and follow the path of the Jedi? Will Leia give up the Rebel Alliance to save Alderaan?  Will Han come back and fight with the resistance? The central mythos and moral world of Star Wars unfolds in the original 3 films; the “first” 3 provide interesting, if poorly executed, backstory to the main event. Sure, these themes play out in all of the films – most particularly in the evolution of Anakin Skywalker – but nowhere are they better and more powerfully depicted than in A New Hope. And let’s face it: there’s a reason that, nearly 40 years later, you get 100 times the Darth Vaders at your door at Halloween than Anakins. You just don’t get better than the Vader archetype. He’s what gets you coming back for more.
People ask me, “so, I am going to introduce my kid to Star Wars, which movie do I start with?” There are only two options, and only one of them is right. You ALWAYS start with Episode IV (A New Hope or ANH for short). That is where it all began, and it helps to create the sense of wonder and awe that this series of films has awoken (see what I did there?) in so many over the years. Starting with Ep I might well ruin the entire experience for someone! So the correct Original Order is IV, V, VI, I, II, III. There is also “Machete Order”, which is IV, V, II, III, VI and which I understand but can not subscribe to. No, the classic Original Order is the way to go, and frankly you can skip Episodes I and II and not miss much. Just watch all of the seasons of The Clone Wars, and you’ll have all you need.
So, in the comments, please tell us what is your preferred order for watching.


About Armand (1262 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill
%d bloggers like this: