‘Star Wars’: A unique franchise in many ways, but there is one species in which it is unmatched by any other saga in or out of the genre. From its first bars, back in 1979, it starts in the middle. A ‘Chapter IV’ that would be followed by ‘V’ and ‘VI’ and in a few years, with the arrival of the prequel trilogy (parts ‘I’, ‘II’ and ‘III’), that numbering would become form an official part of the titles of each chapter. With that, George Lucas made it clear that the original films were only part of a much longer story.
That perspective has not been lost over time. Now it is practically impossible to face new installments of the saga, series, or movies, without wondering at what point in the chronology of the series they enter. Before or after Luke Skywalker? Before Obi-Wan, or even before? Although Disney tried to clean up the Star Wars chronology by wiping out a good number of stories generated in comics and novels, only with the official movies and series are we facing a respectable chronological mess?
Therefore, today we are going to explain in what order you have to watch the ‘Star Wars movies and series according to different criteria. We will talk about the canonical chronology, the machete order, the order of the story, the completist order, and others. Be careful, because the viewing experience differs completely between one and the other options. We are going to bring order to this galactic universe.
Where to watch all the movies
On Disney+ you have the complete saga. Through this category dedicated to Star Wars, you have all the material dedicated to the series. Within it, there are several subcategories dedicated to original Disney+ material, series, movies, shorts, and a vintage category with non-canon 80s products. It only remains for them to decide to show us the Christmas Special. Now, let’s go with how you can enjoy them.
1. Official chronological order
We have three large blocks: the original trilogy, the three prequels, and the three recently released sequels. In between, a few additional series can be injected at very specific times, although it is not always easy. This is the chronological order of the saga:
Rise of the empire
- ‘ The Jedi Chronicles ‘: Episodes 2, 3, and 1, in that order, of T1
- ‘ Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace ‘
- ‘The Jedi Chronicles’: Episode 4 of T1
- ‘ Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones ‘
- ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Movie)
- ‘ Star Wars: The Clone Wars ‘ (Series)
- ‘The Jedi Chronicles’: Episode 5 of T1
- ‘ Star Wars: The Bad Consignment ‘ (Series)
- ‘The Jedi Chronicles’: Episode 6 of T1
- ‘ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith ‘
- ‘ Han Solo: A Star Wars Story ‘
- ‘ Obi-Wan Kenobi ‘
- ‘ Star Wars: Rebels ‘ (Series)
- ‘ Andor ‘ (Series)
- ‘ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ‘
- ‘ Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope ‘
- ‘ Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back ‘
- ‘ Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi ‘
New Republic / First Order
- ‘ The Mandalorian ‘ (Series)
- ‘ The Book of Boba Fett ‘ (Series)
- ‘ Star Wars: Resistance ‘ T1 (Series)
- ‘ Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens ‘
- ‘ Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi ‘
- ‘Star Wars: Resistance’ T2 (Series)
- ‘ Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker ‘
‘Star Wars Force of Destiny’ could also be included, an anthology web series that follows several of the female characters in the saga, but each episode is located at a different time in the franchise.
And what is left out? When Disney decided to kill the Expanded Universe, all of this was removed from that timeline (although some products, like Tartakovsky’s series, are among the best of the franchise), and became the “Star Wars Legends” line.
- ‘ The Clone Wars ‘ (Genndy Tartakovsky’s web series; between ‘Episode II’ and ‘Episode III’). Officially it’s out of the timeline, but ‘The Clone Wars’ in CGI can be understood as a remake of it.
- ‘Droids: The Adventures of R2D2 and C3PO’ (series; before ‘Episode IV’)
- ‘ Star Wars: Holiday Special ‘ (after ‘Episode IV’)
- ‘Star Wars: The Ewoks’ (series; between ‘Episode IV’ and ‘Episode VI’)
- ‘The Adventure of the Ewoks’ (before ‘Episode VI’)
- ‘The Ewoks’ Battle of the Planet’ (before ‘Episode VI’)
- ‘ Star Wars: Visions ‘: Completely out of chronology as they are timeless reinventions of concepts from the saga.
2. The Machete Order
This singular way of seeing the movies considers Darth Vader as the narrative core of the whole story (it is not nonsense, considering that the prequels were about him), and it solves one of the big problems if you decide to enjoy the movies in chronological order. That is: one of the big revelations of the saga, that Vader is the father of Luke, has no impact if we have previously seen the entire story of Anakin becoming Vader and fathering Luke Skywalker.
The solution is to turn the prequels into a long flashback inserted before ‘Return of the Jedi’. We’d leave out ‘The Phantom Menace’ for not linking Anakin and Luke, and even Vader-linked movies like ‘Rogue One’ would be considered standalone spin-offs. This would be the order:
- First of all, episodes ‘IV’ and ‘V’
- We go back to episodes ‘II’ and ‘III’
- We jump to Episode ‘VI’
- From there you can see all the movies in order, including the last three episodes, all the spin-offs like ‘Rogue One or ‘Han Solo’ and, to round off, ‘Episode I’
An alternative version to the Machete order is the Ernst Rister, which is named after the first Internet user who proposed it in a forum, and proposes to keep the release order until the end of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. but go back including ‘Episode I’.
3. The Story Order
A curious proposal that raises the entire saga as if it were a huge flashback in the form of a story that Luke and Rey tell each other in ‘Episode VII’, almost like an oral history with traces of legend. In this way, we could also include the two spin-offs and, respecting the chronology of the official order, the series. Conor this order is nothing more than a nice eccentricity, we include only the movies.
- We start with ‘Episode VII’
- We go back and start from the beginning, with episodes ‘I’, ‘II’ and ‘III’
- We interspersed ‘Han Solo’ and ‘Rogue One
- We continue the chronological order: episodes ‘IV’, ‘V’, ‘VI’, ‘VIII’, ‘IX’
4. The Time Machine Order
For many, nonsense without a head or tail from a narrative point of view. For others, the final order. It consists of going back in time, to May 25, 1977, to see the original trilogy in its original cuts, where Han Solo shoots first and there is no nightmare Jabba made by CGI. This would be the order:
- Original montages of episodes ‘IV’, ‘V’ and ‘VI’
- We move on to the first three episodes, ‘I’, ‘II’, and ‘III’
- As an optional point, we can see the three original episodes under its first remastering, in 1997.
- Finally, we have episodes ‘VII’, ‘VIII’ and ‘IX’
Of course, since the editions of the original cuts are extremely out of print after their 2006 DVD editions, you will have to get fan recuts like the Silver Screen Edition or the Despecialized Editions by methods of dubious legality.
Sharlene Meriel is an avid gamer with a knack for technology. He has been writing about the latest technologies for the past 5 years. His contribution in technology journalism has been noteworthy. He is also a day trader with interest in the Forex market.