Star Wars is more than just a movie franchise, it is a cultural phenomenon that has influenced pop culture for over four decades. With over eleven movies, television series, and spin-offs, newcomers to the franchise can easily get lost. In this article, we will discuss the chronological order of the Star Wars movies, and the order you should watch them in to better understand the Star Wars story.
What Star Wars Are Best To Watch In Order?
While there are different ways to watch the Star Wars movies, we recommend the chronological order. This means starting with the prequel trilogy, then the original trilogy, followed by the sequel trilogy, and finally The Mandalorian and Rogue One.
1. The Prequel Trilogy
The prequel trilogy consists of episodes one to three released between 1999 and 2005. The movies showcase the origin story of Darth Vader, the rise of the Empire, and the fall of the Jedi Order. Here is the order to watch them in:
a. Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
b. Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
c. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
While the prequel trilogy received a mixed response from fans when it was first released, it has since gained a new appreciation. The movies set up the backstory of the original trilogy and provide insight into the characters that fans love.
2. The Original Trilogy
The original trilogy consists of episodes four to six, released between 1977 and 1983. These movies follow the story of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo as they fight against the Empire to save the galaxy. Here is the order to watch them in:
a. Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
b. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
c. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
The original trilogy is the heart of the Star Wars franchise and is what started the cultural phenomenon. These movies inspired generations and introduced viewers to iconic characters like Darth Vader, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
3. The Sequel Trilogy
The sequel trilogy consists of episodes seven to nine released between 2015 and 2019. These movies take place thirty years after the events of the original trilogy and follow new characters, Rey, Finn, and Poe, as they fight against the First Order. Here is the order to watch them in:
a. Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
b. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)
c. Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
The sequel trilogy has been a point of debate among fans since its release. While some praised the new characters and direction of the story, others criticized the lack of continuity with the original trilogy. Regardless of opinions, the sequel trilogy provides a conclusion to the Skywalker saga.
4. The Mandalorian and Rogue One
While not part of the main Star Wars movies sequence, these two spin-offs are essential to the Star Wars story. The Mandalorian is a television series that takes place five years after the events of Return of the Jedi. It follows the story of a lone bounty hunter and his quest to protect a young child of a mysterious species. Rogue One is a spin-off movie that takes place just before the events of A New Hope. It follows the story of a group of rebels as they steal the plans for the Death Star. Here is the order to watch them in:
a. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
b. The Mandalorian (2019)
1. Can I watch the Star Wars movies in any order?
While you can technically watch the movies in any order, we recommend watching them in chronological order to better understand the story. Watching them in release order can also work, but it can lead to confusion as the prequels were released after the original trilogy.
2. What is the best way to watch the Star Wars movies?
The best way to watch the Star Wars movies is up to personal preference. However, we recommend watching them on a high-quality screen with good sound to fully immerse yourself in the Star Wars universe.
3. Are there any Star Wars movies I should skip?
Every Star Wars movie is essential to the story, but some fans find the spin-off movies, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and The Rise of Skywalker less enjoyable. However, we recommend watching them all to have a full understanding of the Star Wars story.
4. Are there any Star Wars movies coming out soon?
The future of Star Wars is bright, with a new trilogy in development by Rian Johnson and multiple television series in the works. The Bad Batch is a new animated series released in May 2021, and the Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen is set to release in 2022.
The Star Wars franchise is a cultural phenomenon that has shaped pop culture for over four decades. Watching the movies in chronological order is the best way to understand the Star Wars story and appreciate the characters and events that have inspired countless fans around the world. Whether you are a long-time fan or new to the franchise, there is no better time to dive into the Star Wars universe. May the Force be with you.