Before you sit down to watch the newest Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, it’s important to know where you should begin your viewing experience and in what order. For example, do you start with Episode I and go chronologically from there? Or do you start with the most recent movies in order to fully appreciate the storyline? The answer may not be as obvious as you think, so let’s take a look at why these questions are even important and how they can impact the way you see Star Wars.
It all started with a little movie called Star Wars. Now, over 40 years later, the franchise has grown into a global phenomenon with fans of all ages. Whether you’re a die-hard fan who’s seen every movie and knows all the characters, or someone who’s just getting into the series, there’s no wrong way to watch the Star Wars movies. However, if you want to watch them in order, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to do it right!
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… In chronological order: The Phantom Menace Attack of the Clones Revenge of the Sith The Clone Wars The Force Awakens Rogue One A New Hope Return of the Jedi The Empire Strikes Back Return of the Jedi Revenge of the Sith Attack of the Clones The Phantom Menace 1) A Long Time Ago (long title)
2) Attack of the Clones
3) Revenge of the Sith
4) The Clone Wars (I only saw this one, but it should be in between 2 and 3 since they are both episodes 2 and 3 respectively.)
5) Rogue One (I only saw this one, but I don’t think that makes sense because is was before 4 and after 1.) 6) A New Hope (if this is not first then Episode IV should not be Episode IV.)
7) Return of the Jedi
8) The Empire Strikes Back
9) Return of the Jedi
So there you have it, a list of ways you can watch all nine Star Wars movies. How will you watch them? What order will you choose? Get on social media and tell everyone how excited you are! Now that we’ve covered how to watch them, it’s time for us, as fans, to wait patiently for December 18th when Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is released. May the force be with us all.
- Start with The Phantom Menace. This is the first movie chronologically, and it sets up the story of Anakin Skywalker – the future Darth Vader.
- Next, watch Attack of the Clones. This movie introduces a lot of important characters, including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala.
- Revenge of the Sith is next. This is where Anakin becomes Darth Vader, and it’s a pretty essential piece of the puzzle.
- Now you can watch A New Hope, which is actually Episode IV. This is where Luke Skywalker becomes a Jedi Knight and defeats Darth Vader (for now).
- The next movie is The Empire Strikes Back, which is widely considered to be the best movie in the series. If you only have time for one Star Wars movie, this should probably be it.
- Return of the Jedi concludes the original trilogy with an epic showdown between good and evil forces.
- There are also three movies that take place after Return of the Jedi: Episodes I through III (aka the prequels) as well as Rogue One and Solo. These movies are not crucial to understanding what happens in the original trilogy, but they give more background on some key characters who show up there later on. Personally, I think it’s worth watching them if you want to get the full Star Wars experience.
A Visual Guide
- Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
- Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
- Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
- Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
- Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
- Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
- Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Where to Watch Them
If you want to watch the Star Wars movies in order, you have a few options. You can either watch them in release order, which is how they were meant to be seen, or you can watch them in chronological order, which is how they actually happened. In this guide, we’ll go through both ways so that you can decide what’s best for you. For simplicity, I’m going to refer to release order as watching the movies according to their numbered placement and chronological order as watching them according to their story time (when they happen). When watching the Star Wars movies in chronological order, there are three changes you need to know about: 1) The introduction of A New Hope from 1977; 2) skipping Episode III: Revenge of the Sith from 2005; 3) adding Episode III: Revenge of the Sith from 2005. Depending on your preferences, these changes may not bother you too much. After all, most people probably only remember Luke Skywalker rescuing Princess Leia with R2-D2 and C-3PO on Tatooine, but don’t recall the prequel trilogy at all. With that said, if you do enjoy an episodic timeline or like knowing how long ago something happened then it might be worth it to watch in release order instead.
What About Rogue One?
With Rogue One, there’s a bit of a different story. Rogue One is technically set before A New Hope, but it features characters and events that are mentioned in A New Hope. Because of this, some people recommend watching Rogue One after you’ve seen A New Hope. However, others believe that it’s best to watch Rogue One first, since it will enhance your understanding of A New Hope. Ultimately, it’s up to you. If you’re someone who likes their movies chronologically, then go ahead and watch Rogue One first. If you like having things explained as they happen on screen, then save Rogue One for last. However, if you want to get all of the references and easter eggs from Rogue One without spoiling anything about A New Hope beforehand, then watch Rogue One before watching A New Hope.