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3 Ways to Watch the Star Wars Movies

Updated on April 6, 2017

Best Way to Watch the Star Wars Movies

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Ways to watch the Star Wars Movies

When the first Star Wars movie was released in 1977, I was 10, and instantly a fan. I went to the movies each time a new movie was released, so theatrical release is the only order I know. When you could start buying the movies on VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray, you could watch the movies in episode order and so the debate began. However, there is a third way to sequence the movies for those who have never seen them.

Hopefully, I will be able to do this without giving away too much, or at least some of the major suspense features of the movies.

Return of the Jedi movie poster
Return of the Jedi movie poster | Source

Episode Order

Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace - 1999

Episode 2 - Attack of the Clones - 2002

Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith - 2005

Non-Episode - Rogue One - 2016

Episode 4 - A New Hope - 1977

Episode 5 - The Empire Strikes Back - 1980

Episode 6 - Return of the Jedi - 1983

Episode 7 - The Force Awakens - 2015

Episode 8 - The Last Jedi - 2017

Episode order is another great way to watch the movies, but only after you have watched them in release order or the order I suggest below. This is the way to watch the movies if you want to watch them from the perspective of the Jedi, the Emperor, Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, R2-D2, C3PO, or Obi-wan Kenobi.

Theater Release Order

Episode 4 - A New Hope - 1977

Episode 5 - The Empire Strikes Back - 1980

Episode 6 - Return of the Jedi - 1983

Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace - 1999

Episode 2 - Attack of the Clones - 2002

Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith - 2005

Episode 7 - The Force Awakens - 2015

Non-Episode - Rogue One - 2016

Episode 8 - The Last Jedi - 2017

The original release order is the way all the original Star Wars fans, including me, had to watch the Star Wars movies, waiting until each movie was released to enjoy the next chapter. Watch it this was from the perspective of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, or Han Solo.

The Force Awakens movie poster
The Force Awakens movie poster | Source

The Third Order - The Skywalker Family Order

By mixing the eight movies, I believe there is a better way for those that have never seen the Star Wars movies to enjoy this series. The main reasoning for this order is that it keeps the original story line surprises towards the end of the series. I'm going to call this the Skywalker Family Order.

Here's the order:

Non-Episode - Rogue One - As this doesn't have any of the original surprises in it and finishes with the first scene from Episode 4, this would be the first movie I would watch.

Episode 4 - A New Hope - I think you still start with the story of Luke Skywalker. This will setup the Skywalker story, and you want to learn about Luke's father Anakin and how Obi-wan Kenobi knew Luke's father. We learn about the dark side.

Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace - This begin's the story of Luke's father, Anakin Skywalker, and how Anakin becomes a Jedi. Lots of information about the Jedi knights.

Episode 2 - Attack of the Clones - Who does Anakin marry, and who is Luke's mother?

Episode 5 - The Empire Strikes Back - Here's the 1st big reveal. I'm not sure about waiting 3 movies for this reveal, but I like it here as it sets up the final two movies.

Episode 3 - Revenge of the Sith - The 2nd big reveal. This movie also confirms the 1st big reveal.

Episode 6 - Return of the Jedi - You learn more about the 2nd big reveal in this movie.

Episode 7 - The Force Awakens - This movie builds on the previous seven, so it's a great one to finish on.

Episode 8 - The Last Jedi - More to come when this is released in 2017.

I know this order goes back and forth from one generation to another, but I feel, neither the movie release order or chronological order are the best way to watch these six movies as you prepare for the release of The Force Awakens.

Whatever order you watch the first six movies, you'll want to see them all prior to the seventh.

What is your optimal order for watching the six Star Wars movies?

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