How To Watch Star Wars
We breakdown the best ways to watch the Star Wars films!
1. Start with the Original Trilogy
Starting with the original trilogy is extremely important especially to someone who hasn't seen any Star Wars movies before. Audiences received Episode IV: A New Hope with fervor back in 1977 and it's been the same for everyone ever since. It's a joy to watch the journey Luke Skywalker takes with his friends as they confront their vile enemies and forge new important alliances. These three movies tell one completely satisfying story. However, it's not the end, in fact, it's not even the beginning. These films are now available on Blu-ray.
2. Actually Watch the Prequels
While these are some of the most maligned films in recent memory, most of that is due to the fact that they were probably the most highly anticipated movies of all time. Even if these films were masterpieces they couldn't have lived up to the hype. They certainly are the weakest parts of the Star Wars saga, but they still have merit because, while they don't tell a full story themselves, they do give greater context and deeper meaning to everything we see in the original films and the sequels. Surprisingly, the prequel trilogy is actually about the failure of the Jedi as emotionless monks who compromise to a corrupt government which is being taken over by their worst enemies, the selfish Sith. It also tracks the downfall of Anakin Skywalker who is seduced by the Dark Side of the Force and becomes the most feared being in the galaxy. These movies are available on Blu-ray.
3. Don't Skip The Clone Wars
Unfortunately, most people don't pay attention to the various Star Wars TV series out there, and this is one of the best. In The Clone Wars, we really get to know who Anakin and Obi-Wan are and develop their relationship much further, while we're also introduced to one of the best characters in the galaxy far, far away, Anakin's headstrong padawan Ahsoka Tano. This series gives us episodes with our heroes while we also spending time with plenty of new characters, as well as some you only see in the background of some of the movies. Important story arcs include the Mortis trilogy, Maul's arc, the Jedi Temple Bombing arc, the Biochip Conspiracy arc, and The Living Force arc. If you have the time, watch all six seasons, it's well worth it. Find this series also on Blu-ray.
4. Rebels Is A Must See
You have to see the newest animated series, Star Wars Rebels. It's only four seasons so it's shorter than The Clone Wars, but no less important for fans of the saga. It brings us many brand new characters while some old favorite make appearances too. This is the story of a ragtag band of rebels on the run from the Empire who help form the Rebel Alliance and fight the tyrannical regime of the evil Emperor. This group of disparate and desperate characters become a family and fight for a common cause while growing and developing into who they're meant to be. It's a blast to watch this show with the whole family. Some of the must-see episodes include The Siege of Lothal, Twilight of the Apprentice, and Twin Suns. This entire series is on Blu-ray now.
5. Wait for the (Incomplete) Sequel Trilogy
The sequel trilogy is not yet complete as Episode IX arrives in 2019, but the first two installments should be seen after you've watched everything else. They build on this expansive universe and connect all of it together while also forging a new path forward. It's amazing to watch the new characters mix it up with those who were there from the beginning. There's limitless potential with this new trilogy and where it will end up is anyone's guess. Check these out after you've seen the rest of the franchise. Both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi are now available on Blu-ray, and Episode IX arrives in theaters next year.
6. Take or Leave the Anthology Films
Along with the sequel trilogy, Lucasfilm announced Anthology films would be made which could take place in any time era and focus on any character in this galaxy. So far, the studio has played it safe which is understandable when you're trying to reinvigorate a franchise. Rogue One told the story of the heroic rebel spies who stole the plans to the Death Star while the newest standalone film focused on a young Han Solo, showing us how he became a criminal smuggler, won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian and met Chewbacca. Rogue One was good, not great, relying too heavily on fan service and the films that came before it, but Solo was a step in the right direction as it told a story that works well on it's own while also giving some nods to the rest of the vast Star Wars universe. However, I'd still like to see them explore unheard of planets, unique storylines, new characters, and different time eras. It seems like they'll be doing just that with The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson's new trilogy, as well as the series of films from Games of Thrones creators Benioff and Weiss. You can find Rogue One and Solo now on Blu-ray.
8. Enjoy Forces of Destiny & Galaxy of Adventures
The criminally underseen Forces of Destiny animated shorts are so much fun. These are the ones you should be showing the kids as each of them focuses on one or two characters we know as they learn important lessons in an action-packed adventure. It's a perfect example of Star Wars and a great way to introduce these worlds to younger viewers. They also help fill in the blanks between scenes in the movies and TV series which is fun for fans of all ages. Find it on DVD and the Disney YouTube channel. Also, check out the new Star Wars Kids YouTube channel for more fun animated shorts with Galaxy of Adventures.
7. The Clone Wars Micro Series Is Unecessary
You don't have to watch Samurai Jack creator Genny Tartakovsky's animated Star Wars show, but you should. It's an action-driven and intense take on the fateful Clone Wars. What a blast it is to see so many Jedi ignite their lightsabers and go to town on hundreds of droids. There are some excellent character introductions here from General Grievous to Asajj Ventress and great voice acting too. It only takes two hours to watch the entire series since it's a micro series with episodes only lasting five minutes each and it expands on Anakin and Obi-Wan's relationship and personal journeys. Find it on DVD now.
9. Various Viewing Orders
There are numerous ways to watch the Star Wars movies, but here we'll take a look at the best ones. Chronological takes the films and puts them in the order George Lucas claims they were meant to be seen chronologically. Release places the films in order of how they were released into theaters. Finally, Ristner is a mixed up order created by a fan who begins with Rogue One and tells the story from there using the prequels as flashbacks between Episodes V and VI.
10. The Complete Guide
However you watch these films, the important thing is that you enjoy it with someone you love. It's a family saga, so it's always best to watch it with the people you're related to. Have fun and check out our comprehensive guide to Star Wars canon below.
The Complete Guide:
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Star Wars Rebels
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi