Now that the entire Skywalker Saga is available for Disney+, watching all Star Wars has to offer has never been easier. There’s hardly been a better time for new fans to get invested as well, as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge had just completely opened before the COVID-19 pandemic. There is still some time before the reopening date of the Disney theme parks, which is perfect for absorbing all the Star Wars films.
If you’re new, knowing where to start can be tricky when the films’ numbering doesn’t match the release order. While chronological and release order are great ways to watch the film, there’s one that proves even better through testing, as it makes the beginning more approachable, and the conclusions more impactful. Here’s how to get into Star Wars using the machete order:
It might sound crazy, but this list doesn’t start with the mainline films. For the most part, this list will take place chronologically, aside from a flashback, and this portion is no exception. The first film is the most approachable of all the Star Wars films, and introduces audiences to Han Solo. It isn’t as serious as the rest of the films, and plays out more like a heist movie than an epic space opera. The next film is one of the greatest and most artistic in the franchise, and leads directly into the main films. So, to start off, watch:
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Stort
Starting with the previous films leads to just minutes before the first-released movie in the franchise. It’s followed immediately by the franchise’s best film, which ends with its most iconic moment. If you’re one of the few who don’t know about it, I won’t spoil it, but it’s a treat.
- Episode IV: A New Hope
- Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Prequels Flashback
To be clear, the prequels are by no means actual flashbacks, but because of the twist in the previous film in this order, they act that way. Through these films, you’ll get to see an important character’s origins, and get a better idea on the stakes riding with the war that has been unfolding the entire time.
- Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
The Original Conclusion
Once those end, you’ll be back in the “present,” and will watch the conclusion to all the events so far. This one film picks up right after Episode V, and if it sounds confusing now, it’ll make sense and feel natural through watching. This is the most impactful way to reach the original conclusion of the franchise, and has by far been my personal favorite way of watching the movies.
- Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
The Sequel Trilogy
Released after Disney’s acquisition of the franchise, these three make the watchlist a lot simpler. Just watch them in the order they were released, as they all take place after the original trilogy and star mostly new characters.
- Episode VII: The Force Awakens
- Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
- Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
Following the conclusion of that trilogy, you’ll be completely caught up on the films, and ready to take on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge with newfound knowledge. There are additional series available on Disney+, such as The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Clone Wars and more. Each are phenomenal, but aren’t required viewing in a larger sense, and can be watched afterward and in any order.