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The ultimate viewing order for Star Wars films

Web Watch does enjoy the movies, and our friends take great pride in being able to unironically throw out movie quotes or other references when the moment requires it.

One oft-debated topic between us is what to do with today’s kids when it comes to introducing them to one of the most acclaimed and iconic film series of our generation, STAR WARS.

By now, Web Watch hopes that our readers are aware that Star Wars consists of six films – the first trilogy that was released being the 4th, 5th, and 6th films in the series; and the second trilogy consisting of the introductory 1st, 2nd, and 3rd films.

Weird, we know – but to Star Wars fans, everything made sense at the time.

And yes, we’re purposefully leaving out all the novels from the Star Wars universe that really mucked up the master plotline (Web Watch is looking at you, Alan Dean Foster, for jumping the gun on dysfunctional family relationships within the Vadar family in Splinter of the Mind’s Eye).

A friend of ours was concerned about raising his son correctly by not revealing any key plot points in the 5th and 6th films that would minimize the enjoyment of watching the films anew with his son.  The element of surprise is so important, you know.   He was really concerned about kids at the playground spilling the beans as well.   Yes, our friend does seem to be trying to raise a sheltered child in this regard, but he means well – so don’t judge. 

But since the first three films also delve into that critically important plot device, our friend was torn as to what to do regarding how to introduce his son to the Star Wars universe.


Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI)
Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI)

So Web Watch stepped up to help, by introducing our friend to the MACHETE ORDER OF STAR WARS VIEWING.

Machete Order is designed to maximize the overall enjoyment of the Star Wars saga by putting the films into a more watchable, logical order than what George Lucas intended.

You’ll need to go read all the analysis that was done to justify the Machete version, but suffice it to say that Web Watch agrees wholeheartedly with this new viewing order and the reasons given.

What Machete proposes is not to watch the films in order – whether by the dates the films were released (episodes 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3) or by their episode order (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 – for those of  you who couldn’t count).

Rather, the suggested order of watching the films is this:

  • Episode 4 – A New Hope
  • Episode 5 – The Empire Strikes Back
  • Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones
  • Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith
  • Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi

We KNOW!  There’s no Episode #1 on this list (The Phantom Menace). 

Frankly, the only thing we can appreciate about The Phantom Menace is that the pod racing scenes are really good examples for showing off your home theater audio/video experience.

The core concept of watching the Star Wars films in this order is that it reinforces how awesome the original 2 films were, then gives the viewer the entire backstory of why the Empire is evil, before concluding with the triumph of Good over Evil.

This is a change we can believe in, and makes us excited for wanting to watch a 5-film Star Wars marathon on a rainy Saturday afternoon when we have absolutely nothing else planned. 

We suggest you do the same.