Here's the only right way to watch the 'Star Wars' movies

Perhaps you’re planning to binge all of the “Star Wars” movies in preparation for the latest, “The Last Jedi,” coming later in 2017. But there are so many these days that you have no idea where to start.

Do you watch the original trilogy first? Do you watch the prequels first, and then get instantly upset with yourself for watching them because they ruined your¬†unbridled love of “Star Wars”?

And where does the standalone “Rogue One” fit into the marathon? And when the new Han Solo spin-off comes out, where will that fit in?

It turns out a lot of people have opinions about the right order in which to watch the “Star Wars” movies.

Here’s the¬†right way to watch the “Star Wars” movies — and why:

By watching the original trilogy first, you get to experience the films the same way the rest of the world did.

We're assuming you've seen the movies before. But if you're showing them to someone who has been living in a bunker for the past 40 years or if you're showing the movies to your kids for the first time, the original trilogy is the right way to immerse them into the universe. Don't spoil it for them right off the bat.

'A New Hope' -- along with the other two films in the original trilogy -- immerse you in the world and gradually introduce you to beloved characters and mythology.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

In 2015, Vulture asked some famous people what they think is the right way to watch 'Star Wars':

Lin Manuel-Miranda said 'chronologically, when it was released. Absolutely. I had a pretty good time experiencing it that way. Linear is the best way to do it.'

(It should be noted that in the chronology of the 'Star Wars' fictional world, however, the prequels come before the events of 'A New Hope.')

Dennis Quaid agreed. 'See the first one that was out, and then watch them in order. That way you get the whole experience, just as we earthlings did. I was actually at the very first night of the very first 'Star Wars.' We weren't really aware what we were watching. All I remember is seeing that big, huge spacecraft going across the scene, going across the screen. It just kept going and going. It was like the greatest special effect ever. The whole audience was in then.'

The prequels just aren't as immersive and magical as the original films. And the problem with watching them first is that they were made with the understanding that everyone knew that Anakin was going to turn into Darth Vader.

Fox screencap

Not knowing what Anakin becomes from the beginning makes the movies even more boring than they already are.

Then you're left with the Trade Federation 'drama' that sucks all of the fun out of 'The Phantom Menace.'

But going prequels first is popular among younger people who weren't alive when the original trilogy came out.

Star Wars: Phantom Menace/Lucasfilm

'I would say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, because for a young person it's easier to understand the chronology.' 'The Force Awakens' star Daisy Ridley said.

'In order, episodically. That's the way I watched them. And I can't wait for the new one,' Gina Rodriguez, star of 'Jane the Virgin,' told Vulture.

George Lucas is also a fan of starting with the prequels.

20th Century Fox

George Lucas told Vulture, 'Start with one. That's the way to do it right: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. That's the way they're supposed to be done. Just because it took a long time to film it doesn't mean you don't do it in order.'

Lucas must really, really want people to witness the majesty that is Sith Lord Jar Jar Binks.

Still, most 'Star Wars' fans hate the prequels and will avoid watching them completely.

Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones

The last time I watched 'Attack of the Clones,' it took me three days. So plan accordingly. These prequels (especially 'Attack of the Clones') are very hard to get through.

But the prequels are worth it if you only watch the scenes with Ewan McGregor, who is a dream and the only saving grace of this trilogy.

20th Century Fox

We sincerely hope that McGregor gets a standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi movie, because he never gets enough praise for turning his wooden dialogue into pure charm. Not even Natalie Portman (reminder: an Oscar winner) could do that.

Another good thing about the prequels is 'Duel of the Fates,' which is on the 'Phantom Menace' soundtrack.

The infamous sand scene is good reason to watch the prequels as well, but for other reasons.


'I don't like sand,' Anakin says. 'It's coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere.'

(video provider='youtube' id='hi5jjXTPtyY' size='xlarge' align='center')

Skipping the prequels completely will save you about 418 minutes of pain.


If the prequels are really important to you (or you just have time to kill), you can try the impossible task of getting your hands on Topher Grace's 85-minute edit of the prequels.


Grace's version has never seen the light of day, save for a few private screenings, to avoid copyright infringement. But there are plenty of other fan-made edits on YouTube.

You can also watch the films in what is known as Machete Order.


Machete Order = 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6, 8

Machete Order is meant to keep the story centered on Luke, and helps keep the whole arc a little more engaging.


When Luke is left at the end of 'Empire' to ponder how Darth Vader could be his father, seeing the prequels right after answer all of the questions helps you feel more emphathy toward Anakin/Darth Vader.

Now, you could watch 'Rogue One' before the original trilogy.


'Rogue One' was a great movie, but also a bit sad in the end. But following it with 'A New Hope,' a more fun film, will lighten up the mood a bit.

With more and more movies coming out in the franchise including the solo Han Solo movie in 2018, the marathon order will always be up for debate.


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