It’s Time To End The Star Wars Viewing Order Debate

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Star Wars is one of the greatest franchises of all time. A series with movies and TV shows spanning all throughout the galaxy far far away. As the galaxy continues expanding, having a correct Star Wars viewing order should not be a big deal. Unfortunately, it is.

The Star Wars Saga’s viewing order is such a big deal that there are currently seven viewing orders. To the toxic fans, only one viewing order is correct, Theatrical order. To them this is proving that people are real fans of Star Wars.

Star Wars fans go all out making fun of those that choose to watch the Saga in Chronological order. They have turned the fandom toxic with memes and cruel jokes, even asking straight out if someone is a fan solely on how they are watching Star Wars.

Meme found on Pinterest

Ignore the toxic fandom

The fan belief is ridiculous. It should not be anyone’s business how one chooses to watch Star Wars. Viewing order is not what makes a fan. Unfortunately, to some it does. Remember, the correct Star Wars viewing order is not based on fact, the passion lies in nostalgia.

Over the years, as far back as 1977, to recent super fans began the journey as the films were being released. To them, it makes sense, which is fine. This is how the Saga was first introduced. But being that the Saga is numbered, the Theatrical order should not be considered the only correct Star Wars viewing order. And it should not be what makes the fan.

Being a fan relies on a lot of different things. Anyone can be a fan of the movies, story arc, characters, or even just one aspect. Therefore if it is enjoyed you are a fan. And so no one should say otherwise. This is a fandom, not the Galactic Empire.

Now with the Skywalker Saga completed, watching the series in Chronological order should not be the wrong way. And those that do watch the Saga in episode order should not be considered a fake fan. And because of the addition of stand alone movies and TV series, the debate should be over.

Disney+ official lineup of upcoming Star Wars series

As the TV series roll out, the order of release is the obvious way to view the new content. This is because of the filming schedules, release dates, and overall series run. As the series wrap up there is no reason not to view the complete Saga in Chronological order. This setup gives both orders merit. Remember, Star Wars is an epic story that has a beginning, middle, and end.

A Unique Viewing Experience

Part of the beauty of the Star Wars Saga’s setup is its viewing options. The Saga is created in a way that it can be mixed up. Meaning that there is no correct Star Wars viewing order. This setup is designed to make each viewing order a different experience.

Viewing order all depends on taste. Whether you want to go back in time and see how it all began or watch as the events unfold, the Star Wars Saga can be watched in either order, and still be amazing. How anyone enjoys viewing the Star Wars Saga is ok. It should be by preference. Not by fandom influence.

Unfortunately the fandom has taken viewing order to another level. There are currently seven options, most created by fans, that go beyond the main two orders. Theatrical order, Chronological order, Rogue One order, Machete order, the Godfather order, the Complete Star Wars Saga order, and the Time Machine order.

Star Wars Viewing Orders

Official posters by Lucasfilm Ltd

Theatrical Order :

    Note: ** equal side stories that are not part of the Skywalker Saga

Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

**Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)**

Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

**Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)**

Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

There is nothing wrong with watching Star Wars in the Theatrical order. And yes, for those who grew up watching Star Wars as the Skywalker Saga continued growing it has a special place. As great as the Theatrical order is, it is ok for newcomers or anyone to watch the series in Chronological order. Without being ridiculed. Star Wars is not a secret club with a set understanding or enjoyment of story order.

Official posters by Lucasfilm Ltd

Chronological Order

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

**Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)**

**Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)**

Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Chronological order is actually a great way to introduce the next generation to the Star Wars universe, with the omission of the TV series. It is a fun odyssey that spans across generations. And it is fun watching the galactic history unfold in a forward fashion.

Fan Created Viewing Orders

star-wars-viewing-order
Official poster Lucasfilm Ltd and The Walt Disney Company

The Rogue One Order

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

The mishmash Rogue One order has been cooked up by Reddit users with the intention of introducing viewers to the side stories. And has the intention of preserving the big twist in The Empire Strikes Back.

Screenshot from Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Lucasfilm Ltd

The Machete Order

Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

The Machete order purposely omits Episode I: The Phantom Menace and was created by blogger Rod Hilton in 2011. The Machete order omits the negative aspects of Star Wars by removing Episode I: The Phantom Menace so that all the good the Saga has to offer could be enhanced.

Screenshot from Episode V: The Empier Strikes Back. Lucasfilm Ltd

The Godfather Order

Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

     The Godfather order is designed to take viewers back to Darth Vader’s past after the big reveal in The Empire Strikes Back. This is with the intention of adding depth to the climax in Return of the Jedi.

The Ultimate Order

Official posters Lucasfilm Ltd and The Walt Disney Company

The Complete Star Wars Saga Order

Note: * equal side stories and *** equal TV series

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

***The Clone Wars (2008-2020)***

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

*Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)*

***Star Wars Rebels (2014-2018)***

*Rogue One (2016)*

Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

***The Mandalorian (2019-2020)***

***Star Wars Resistance (2018–)***

Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

*There are a few other shows and specials that have been ommited that are part of the Star Wars canon. Including the Lego stories, other cartoons, and the infamous Holiday Special.*

The Complete Saga viewing is a fun winter break or summer vacation way to watch the entirety of the galactic history of the galaxy far far away.

Official poster Lucasfilm Ltd

The Time Machine Order

Episode IV-VI (original cuts)

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

This order was created as a way to watch George Lucas’s original masterpiece. Giving fans a way to watch the movies as they were before the recent edits. It involves having a copy of the theatrical format of Episodes IV-VI.

Clearly, the viewing order debate has gotten out of hand, with far too many options towards the ultimate enjoyment of the Saga. It has gone beyond the creator and morphed into an entity of its own. It is all fan input. This is why how anyone chooses to watch the greatest space opera ever made should be their own choice. It should not be how the fan base says to. There is no correct Star Wars viewing order. Remember, “Star Wars is for everyone,” isn’t it?

May the Force be with you.

Star Wars is available to stream on Disney+

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