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Star Wars: A Different Order

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With the recent release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I know several friends who are already planning on re-watching the series once more – similar to what they did with The Force Awakens.

While discussing the franchise however, a topic emerged that I didn’t really expect at first: the order of the movies.

It sounds stupid, I know, but each person had their own way of going about it. One friend said they were going to watch them in numerical order, another said they were going to watch them as they were released—with the prequels following the original trilogy, and the last said they were going to skip over the prequel trilogy entirely.

It turned out to be a pretty interesting conversation, and over the years, I developed my own opinion on what order to watch Star Wars.

This is how everything fits canonically, but I have a different method.

Okay, now stick with me: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (optional), 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.

This order, although complicated, I think is a viable way to watch the Star Wars movies. Let me explain:

1?) Rouge One: Not necessary, but it leads into Episode IV pretty smoothly and we get a basic foundation on how the Rebellion gained momentum against the Empire.

1) Episode IV: You are introduced to the major hero of the story and see the start of his training, you get illusions from Ben Kenobi about the Jedi as well as their fall in a war they faced against the Sith. The Rebellion gains more of an advantage against the Empire with the destruction of the Death Star.

2) Episode V: A continuation of Episode IV, we see that the Rebellion is now hiding from the Empire (kind of a plot hole from the end of the last movie that I wish was better explained); we see a connection between Luke and Leia and the beginnings of a relationship between Leia and Han. We also see Luke officially start his training to become a Jedi, and the revelation of who Luke’s father really is.

3) Episode II: Now that we know who Luke’s father is, this and the next movie serves to show us Anakin Skywalker’s origins as a Jedi Apprentice and the beginning of what would be known as the Clone Wars – a war that was only previously hinted at. Meanwhile, we skip over Episode I, mostly because the movie is completely unnecessary. Most of the things covered in this movie either turn up unimportant later on or are re-explained in greater detail as they become important in later movies.

4) Episode III: This is the last of the Prequel Trilogy and, as so, they cram a bunch in this movie in order to set up the Original Trilogy. We get a back story to the Sith; Anakin’s slow decent into the Sith, a reveal as to who the Emperor really is and how he impacted the Clones Wars, we hear of a prophecy in which Anakin was supposed to be the end of the Sith, we see the Jedi fall, the power of having the high ground, the birth of Leia and Luke (kind of a spoiler there, but I like to think of it as dramatic irony), and the origin of Darth Vader.

5) Episode VI: After seeing Anakin’s backstory and being left in suspense at the state of our heroes; we can get a satisfying conclusion of all of the stories. We see the defeat of the Empire at the hands of the Rebellion, the heel turn of Darth Vader in order to protect his son, the fulfillment of seeing Anakin finally accomplish his destiny and redeem himself, and the romance between Han and Leia finally coming to fruition.

6) Episode VII: It’s the first of the Sequel Trilogy, so it makes sense that it’s the first to watch after the conclusion of the Original Trilogy. You are re-introduced to the universe and several characters many years after the previous war, as well as bringing several new characters into the light with a new enemy to face.

7) Episode VIII: No explanation needed; it’s after the last movie.

What order would you chose?

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1 Comment

One Response to “Star Wars: A Different Order”

  1. James Moore on January 10th, 2018 11:23 am

    Great article! This has helped me appreciate the storyline of Star Wars. Having seen the originals when I was a kid, it was difficult for me to connect with the prequels. Especially, when different actors were used and so many years had passed. This article served as a much needed recap for me.

    Thank you

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