Star Wars Order: In Which Order You Should Watch Star Wars?

It’s not like the simple MCU universe when you’re watching the Star Wars movies in chronological order. Deciding what to watch next was simple when there was only the Original Trilogy to choose from.

However, today’s Star Wars landscape is a (sonic) minefield of films, television episodes, books, & comic books that collectively comprise a large, encompassing canon of stories.

In fact, there are so many ways to experience George Lucas’ galaxy that it can be overwhelming for a beginner.

It might be tough to figure out how to view the Star Wars films in chronological order because there are so many alternatives – and so many movies – to choose from.

Do you follow the franchise in chronological sequence, or do you integrate the prequels as flashbacks? And how do you fit in the spin-offs? These are difficult questions to answer, but I have compiled all the information you’ll need to organize your next movie marathon just here.

Here’s a definitive guide to watching the Star Wars films in the proper order, whether this is your first time seeing them or you are settling down for another re-watching session.

Several Star Wars movies and television shows are available for fans to watch. So what is the best way? 

Opinions fluctuate, but the following are the most prominent alternatives.

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Chronological Order

The most straightforward viewing order in terms of in-universe events is, obviously, the chronological order of the episodes.

A genuine feeling of Star Wars’ generational aspect is conveyed by this technique, which begins by placing a significant emphasis on Anakin Skywalker and then passes the torch to Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa before concluding with Rey and Kylo Ren.

The situation is made worse by the fact that Star Wars: The Clone Wars went through its arcs in conceptual terms rather than chronologically, complicating matters.

However, an altered viewing sequence really works well for this show since it highlights the remarkable consistency of the episodes while also providing an excellent narrative reward as the series rises to a climax.

In the case of The Clone Wars, fortunately, Lucasfilm has provided a recommended viewing order, which appears to be a tacit acknowledgment that the program works best after going through a “normalization” process.

Also Read: 10 Things You Didn’t Notice In Squid Game Season 1.

Moving on to the sequel trilogy era, Star Wars Resistance begins before the films. Still, by season 1, episode 20, it catches up with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the destruction of Hosnian Prime is a key aspect of the episode.

Season 2 of Star Wars: The Last Jedi begins concurrently with, and then continues beyond, the film’s events.

The biggest flaw with this method for the franchise is that audiences lose any genuine feeling of surprise that they could have had in the first three films.

When Darth Vader revealed his actual identity to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back, the audience was left in a state of disbelief and stunned.

Return of the Jedi, on the other hand, had yet another surprise waiting when it was revealed that Leia is, in fact, Luke’s sister.

To be fair, though, most people will be fully aware of these two twists, so it shouldn’t be a significant issue.

Here’s the list:

  • Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars Rebels
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • Return of the Jedi
  • The Mandalorian
  • Star Wars Resistance
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Release Order

The brilliance of this order is that you can observe events unfold as they “take place”. You have a comprehensive understanding of the occurrences and their ramifications.

It’ll help you understand the story of the Skywalker family from their ascent within the Jedi line from Anakin leading to the downfall and all the events making a perfect narrative to end at The Last Jedi.

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On the whole, it allows you to properly appreciate the Skywalker saga, replete with additional context provided by the animated film and anthology.

However, it isn’t always the best order to watch the episodes. You may feel that the one-off movies are interfering with the overall flow of the tale.

  • 1977 – Star Wars
  • 1980 – The Empire Strikes Back
  • 1983 – Return of the Jedi
  • 1999 – Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
  • 2002 – Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
  • 2005 – Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
  • 2015 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • 2016 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • 2017 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • 2018 – Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • 2019 – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Machete Order

When Rod Hilton came up with the Machete Order, it quickly became a well-known watching order. It’s basically a means of seeing the Star Wars films without having to watch The Phantom Menace, and so it changes the way the tale is conveyed.

It concentrates exclusively on Luke Skywalker’s narrative, with the goal being that it will maintain the great Darth Vader-shaped twist from The Empire Strikes Back.

Isn’t it true that missing Episode I wasn’t a negative thing?

This order starts with the ‘New Hope’, and then you need to watch ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, which works as a flashback to Anakin’s story before getting back to the final battle in Return Of The Jedi, completing the Trilogy.

Also Read: Is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Connected to What If…?

Unlike the other Star Wars lists on this page, this one is much more of an acquired taste, but it’s still worth looking at.

  • Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  • Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

Ernst Rister Order

The Ernst Rister order, named after the Star Wars forum member who proposed it, presents the prequel trilogy as just a prolonged flashback sequence portraying Darth Vader’s journey from childhood to adulthood.

That means that the critically significant Vader twist is retained and, in some ways, enhanced by the subsequent flashbacks.

  • A New Hope
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • The Phantom Menace
  • Attack of the Clones
  • Revenge of the Sith
  • Return of the Jedi
  • The Force Awakens
  • The Last Jedi
  • The Rise of Skywalker

In this sequence, the narrative remains centered on Luke, making it considerably more approachable than most others, and the mystery behind Vader is preserved.

Between Empire and Return, there is also a significant length of time, which means that being separated from the original trilogy doesn’t really feel too abrupt.

In addition, you begin with the original film, which is considered to be one of the best films of all time.

Skywalker Saga Order

While this sequence differs from the Skywalker saga’s chronological progression between Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi, it provides a much stronger background for Anakin’s heroics during the Clone Wars.

It also sets up his redemption moment of partnering with Luke against Emperor Palpatine. As you progress through the new trilogy, Luke continues to be the central character.

  • Star Wars: A New Hope
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
  • The Clone Wars animated movie
  • The Clone Wars animated series
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars Rebels animated series
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
  • The Mandalorian season 1
  • The Mandalorian season 2
  • The Book of Boba Fett
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch
  • Star Wars Resistance Season 1
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Star Wars Resistance Season 2
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

So, What is the best order to watch Star Wars?

Well, the most obvious answer is that there is no perfect order; it depends on your choices or preferences.

If you want to go through the entire franchise, you must choose the release order, or if you wish to understand the storyline within the linear timeline, then the chronological order is the best.

Some of you would want to cut down the number of the movies without losing the context or story, and then you can go with the Machete order.

However, the chronological order is my favorite, where you can experience the inception of the story and enjoy the major aspects unfolding.

And I also suggest you to extend your Star Wars adventure to the shows including Mandalorians and Bobba Fett to enjoy a more thrilling experience. 

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