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The four best ways to rewatch all the Star Wars movies

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Now that the Skywalker Saga has ended with The Rise of Skywalker, you might be gearing up to rewatch all the Star Wars movies. Or maybe you want to take advantage of the fact that they’re all on Disney+ to get a family member or a friend hooked on this great saga. Regardless of your reasons for revisiting these incredible adventures, we’ve come up with four possible orders for you to watch them in. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of each order and recommended the best ones for seasoned fans and newbies.

Remember, with the exception of The Rise of Skywalker, all these movies and series are available on the recently launched Disney+. The free one-week trial of this comprehensive streaming platform is plenty of time to have a Star Wars marathon using some of these orders!

Option 1: Release-date order

Okay, let’s go with the obvious choice first. It’s still the best option for newcomers to the saga, because you slowly learn about the world and characters of Star Wars. In that sense, it’s perfect for introducing the saga to kids. The classic trilogy is free of scenes of political maneuvering and such, which they might find confusing or boring. Also, you avoid spoilers, such as finding out Darth Vader is Luke’s father, or that Obi Wan Kenobi trained him before the days of the Empire. And finally, it’s an option that quickly gets you to the brilliant The Empire Strikes Back, one of the highlights of the saga.

That said, this order has its drawbacks. First, the people you want to introduce Star Wars to may not tolerate the style and presentation of “old” movies (that is, pre-’90s films). If so, this option will only get them to associate Star Wars with “stuff for old people that’s no longer fun.” The other disadvantage is that A New Hope hasn’t aged well. The pace is a bit erratic, and it’s obvious that most of the acting is a bit wooden (Alec Guinness’ general facial expression is “I don’t know what I’m doing”). These details could be off-putting for some people.

If you choose this option, the order is as follows:

A New Hope

The Empire Strikes Back

Return of the Jedi

The Phantom Menace

Attack of the Clones

Revenge of the Sith

The Force Awakens

Rogue One

The Last Jedi

Solo

The Rise of Skywalker

Option 2: Chronological order

Do you have youngsters at home who can’t stand old movies, as we mentioned above? This option could be your salvation. The Phantom Menace, the first movie in this order, is the one most oriented to children. The jokes are quite infantile, one of the main characters (Anakin) is a child (so it will be easy to identify with him), and Jar Jar Binks is the “pet” on duty. It’s also an excellent way to introduce Star Wars to people who demand a linear story, or who are passionate about special effects. Finally, it’s a good option for saga experts who need a change of pace (that is, always using option 1).

The disadvantages? Although The Phantom Menace is the most kid-oriented film, it has moments that even adults will struggle to tolerate. We’re referring to the endless talk about the Trade Federation, the political maneuvering… And it’s immediately followed by Attack of the Clones, one of the weakest movies in the saga. Also, we don’t recommend this order if you’re a fan of plot twists, mysteries and surprises; it will totally ruin episodes 4-6 for you. Another problem is that you’ll take a long time to reach the classic trilogy, the main course, with the addition of the two most recent prequels: Solo and Rogue One.

If you choose this option, the order is as follows:

The Phantom Menace

Attack of the Clones

Revenge of the Sith

Solo

Rogue One

A New Hope

The Empire Strikes Back

Return of the Jedi

The Force Awakens

The Last Jedi

The Rise of Skywalker

Option 3: The Machete Order

Here’s where the fun begins. They say this order, created by Rod Hilton in 2011, is perfect for both fans of the saga and newbies. The idea is to start with A New Hope and continue with The Empire Strikes Back, but then go back and watch two of the three prequels (Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith) to learn about Darth Vader’s background. It’s a logical leap backwards, because we just found out Vader is Luke’s father and we’re surely wondering what happened to make him a villain. This order skips The Phantom Menace because Anakin is very minor in it, and it makes the flashback too long. And then, with the right information and having watched both movies, we are ready to return to the “present” and prepare for the final battle in Return of the Jedi. It’s a near-perfect order because it focuses on Luke’s story, which has the most substance, and finds a quick, fun way to introduce the prequels. Also, it heightens the tension of the Luke vs. Darth Vader fight, because we now know about the villain’s baggage and everything at stake. Although many believe it’s the perfect order for everyone, we prefer to recommend it to veterans for the following reasons.

The first is that the Machete Order is out of date. It was created in 2011, before Disney acquired the franchise. So it doesn’t include the new trilogy. Maybe we could start with The Force Awakens and then, when we see Luke defeated, jump to Episodes 4-6 to explore his younger days? That could work, but… what about the trilogy of prequels? The second reason it’s better to use this order if you have already seen the movies is Machete has no room for Rogue One or Solo, since they’re not films focused on the Skywalkers. As a result, out of 11 movies you only end up watching 5, fewer than half! Newbies will get a very minimal taste of what Star Wars is about.

If you choose this option, the order is as follows:

A New Hope

The Empire Strikes Back

Attack of the Clones

Revenge of the Sith

Return of the Jedi

Option 4: The complete order

Now that Disney+ is here, you can go all out and watch absolutely everything related to Star Wars. Because this platform lets you enjoy not only all the movies (with The Rise of Skywalker pending release) but also the animated series and the excellent show The Mandalorian. This option is 100% for fans, and it takes time (many mini-marathons), but as a reward, you’ll have the most comprehensive vision of the universe. Also, you’ll get to know all the secondary characters who have yet to appear in the movies.

The drawbacks? For starters, your family and friends won’t see you for days. We hope you won’t blame it on us! The other disadvantage concerns the series. Although Clone Wars and Rebels are terrific shows with cool story arcs and likeable characters, you may get overwhelmed by so many episodes. No worries if you decide to skip the filler and go straight to the most important moments of each series. That won’t happen with the last show, The Mandalorian. It has only eight episodes, and they’re packed with action and suspense – they’ll fly by!

If you pick this option, here’s what you have to watch (you choose the order!)

A New Hope

The Empire Strikes Back

Return of the Jedi

The Phantom Menace

Attack of the Clones

Revenge of the Sith

The Force Awakens

Rogue One

The Last Jedi

Solo

The Rise of Skywalker

The Clone Wars series (if you’re really lost, watch The Clone Wars movie first)

Rebels

Resistance

The Mandalorian

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