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What's the Best Order to Watch the Star Wars Movies?

If you’re brand-new to Star Wars, this article contains only VERY LIGHT spoilers. You might not know what I’m talking about a couple times, but that’s okay — I’m here to help you. I want you to love Star Wars. Here are five options so you can choose the best order to watch Star Wars in!

1. Machete Order

machete order png
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4, 5, 2, 3, 6, 7, Rogue One

Machete Order is glorious. It starts the series off with the best introduction to the Star Wars universe — A New Hope, followed by Empire Strikes Back. Then, it cuts to the prequels before Return of the Jedi to add drama and stakes to Luke’s story. Going back to see Anakin’s story intensifies Empire‘s cliffhanger. Plus, this order lets you skip The Phantom Menace, because it sucks and is unnecessary. All other new movies are watched after Jedi (refer to the graphic). When my girlfriend and I started dating, she’d never seen any Star Wars movies and we watched them in Machete Order over two days and now she’s a huge fan. After it was all over she asked what was in Episode 1 and I said, “Anakin as a kid,” and she was like, “Oh yeah, I don’t need to see that.”

2. Chronological Order

episode one gif
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1, 2, 3, Rogue One, 4, 5, 6, 7

This is how George Lucas wants you to watch the Star Wars movies, but that doesn’t make it right. There are a couple big flaws with this Chronological Order: first, you start off the series with the worst movie. Second, this spoils one of the best reveals in film history. However, if you’re watching with a little kid, Chronological Order may be the way to go. Little kids have a hard time feeling interested in older movies and a lot of them love kid Anakin?

3. Production Order

princess leia gif
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4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 7, Rogue One

The advantage of Production Order is that you’re watching the Star Wars movies in the order you’d have seen them if you watched them since the beginning. This is the OG Star Wars fan’s viewing order and there’s something to be said for tradition. This is how I originally watched the movies. Well, technically I watched them New Hope, Empire, Jedi (repeat over and over again), , Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith (repeat watching them all over again in various orders for years), The Force Awakens, Rogue One.

4. Godfather, Part II Order

bb8 flame gif
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4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, Rogue One

Godfather, Part II Order is similar to Machete Order, except it includes The Phantom Menace. If you can’t stand to miss any of the films, even the sh*tty ones, this may be the order for you. You get to start the movies off with the best ones, go back and revisit the story of Anakin’s turn to the dark side, then come back for the climactic conclusion of the original films. Continue on with The Force Awakens and Rogue One, or watch Rogue One and then The Force Awakens if you feel like it. It won’t make a huge difference.

5. Flashback Mode

rogue one gif
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4, Rogue One, 5, (1 – optional), 2, 3, 6, 7

I call this Flashback Mode because, well, it has two flashbacks. You start with A New Hope because it’s the best introduction to the series before flashing back to Rogue One. Then you flash forward to Empire, flash backward again to the prequels, before finally flashing forward one more time to Jedi and The Force Awakens. The benefits of Production Order is that you focus on the main story, which is Luke’s journey (then Rey’s journey), using flashbacks to fill out the universe. The cons? It could get confusing, time-wise.

What order do you think is best for a newcomer? What’s your favorite order to watch the Star Wars movies in? Tweet at me and let me know @erikaheidewald!

Contributor: 
Erika Heidewald
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machete order png
rogue one gif
bb8 flame gif
princess leia gif
episode one gif

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