Where should someone new to the Star Wars series start watching the movies?
Should they start with Star Wars IV: A New Hope or Star Wars: The Phantom Menace?
Ideally they should start at The Phantom menace but really they was a load of pants the prequels, so it's best to view them in order of when they came out first as that was the way you will know that the prequel movies were utter garbage!
I would encourage people to simply watch the original versions of the original films, and not bother with those awful prequels, the same applies with the special editions.
Begin with IV, A New Hope, followed by The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Phantom Menace, The Clone Wars, finally end with Revenge of the Sith.
I believe this will make the best of your Star Wars experience than starting from Phantom Menace. I hope this helps
As a fan of the Star Wars movies since released in 1977, I recommend you watch the Star Wars movie series in the order they were originally released.
This is also the order George Lucas preferred people view his work: 1) Star Wars - later titled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), 2) The Empire Strikes Back (1980), 3) Return of the Jedi (1983), 4) The Phantom Menace (1999), 5) Attack of the Clones (2002), 6) Revenge of the Sith (2005) and 7) The Clone Wars (2008).
By channelin Master Yoda I would say-"At the begining start you must"-
"Absurd to me starting in the middle seems .".
As much as I love the prequels (I really do!), you have to start with, "A New Hope," for which I believe the original title was merely, "Star Wars," when it was released and not, "Episode IV, A New Hope." I say watch the originals for the Vader reveal moment (of course even someone who lives on the moon and has never watched them, probably knows the story), plus to fall in love with the entire Star Wars galaxy. The prequels kind of cap it off, although the idea that it took twenty years for the first Death Star to be built is kind of ridiculous. And although I am a huge fan of, "Revenge of the Sith," I was disappointed that Vader's transformation was so sudden. It doesn't mesh with Obi Wan's statement, "he's more machine than man now," indicating that Vader had gradually become more machine like as the years passed from the time of his betrayal to the time of New Hope instead of a sudden transformation. I would think that the scary mask would have been his doing and he would have evolved that over time as he became more evil.
Start with ANH, definitely. If they just want to see Star Wars, then they can stop after ANH, since that movie was originally just called 'Star Wars', it tells a perfectly fine self-contained story, and with any luck, it will interest them in watching ESB and ROTJ. Ta-da, they've seen Star Wars! (The ones that matter, anyway.)
If they want to see 'the whole story', I suggest Machete Order: IV, V, II, III, VI. Yes, there are only 5 movies listed there--Episode I is just a giant lead weight dragging the entire series down. Nobody really wants to see Darth Vader when he was an annoying little rugrat played by the kid from Jingle All The Way. Nobody really wants to see an acting juggernaut like Liam Neeson have to deliver physically painful lines about midi-chlorians. Nobody really wants to watch a movie where the plot is about tax law. If you take out Episode I and show II and III as a duology in between V and VI, then we see the story of Anakin Skywalker the Jedi, and see how he fell to the Dark Side, and then we see Luke defeat Vader and the Emperor, redeem his father, and save the Galaxy from the Empire.
Then if they still want to see Episode I after all of that, you can show it to them, and they'll understand just how awful it is. Or show it to them in the context of other 'kid's stuff' like the comics, some of the novels, the Clone Wars movie, etc. (Though to be fair, the Clone Wars CGI series is pretty good, and runs on both Cartoon Network's daytime programming and on Adult Swim, which should indicate something about the series. If the person you're showing Star Wars to really enjoyed the movies, show them the series. It's way better than Episode I.)
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