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STAR WARS Viewing Order – Updated for 2017

STAR WARS Viewing Order – Updated for 2017

by Christopher DillardMay 4, 2017

We all love watching Star Wars, right? But after 40 years, we’re now up to 8 full Star Wars films and more people are being born every day who haven’t seen this cultural phenomenon! To help celebrate May the 4th (be with you), ComicUI is delivering our favorite viewing order for all current Star Wars films.

This is by no means the only way to watch them, but we think its the smartest one with all the films we now have. If your Wookie friend has a different order to watch these movies, then by all means…let the Wookie win. Lets get into it!

A New Hope (Episode 4)

Episode 4 is where the movies truly started. We meet a lot of the main characters and sets us up for this sprawling adventure through time and space. Any one would be remiss to not start with A New Hope and get drawn into the mystery and ways of the force.

The Empire Strikes Back (Episode 5)

By far my favorite movie of all the Star Wars options, The Empire Strikes Back is a lesson in cinema, scope, and storytelling that will be heralded for years to come. Following up from A New Hope, this only takes Star Wars to the next level.

The Phantom Menace (Episode 1)(Optional)

We consider The Phantom Menace optional, because hardly any characters from this carry over. We love the music and the introduction of the Sith proper, especially Darth Maul, but overall you can skip this film and not lose too much sleep.

Attack of the Clones (Episode 2)

But guys! Why go backwards in time to The Clone Wars after Empire? This is a great point to go back and learn about Anakin Skywalker and how he became Darth Vader, as we learned in Empire. The cliff hanger ending of that, coupled with actually learning about the Clone Wars from New Hope, make this a great time to fill in some gaps.

Revenge of the Sith (Episode 3)

Following up from The Clone Wars, this is the transformative point of how the Republic fell into the Empire, when Anakin was lost to the dark side, and how all the Jedi came to be myths of old. Revenge only faults to setup the original trilogy at the end so fast, its a bit dizzying, but thats ok! A new film has appeared to alleviate this jump.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One tells us the story of how the Rebel Alliance came together to steal the Death Star plans, ultimately leading directly into A New Hope. While most people feel this could be the first film, it does rely on basic knowledge of the characters and mythos surrounding Star Wars. It leads directly into A New Hope, but serves its purpose telling more of Darth Vader and how some Return of the Jedi characters came to be.

Return of the Jedi (Episode 6)

Return of the Jedi wraps up the first two trilogies and Rogue One very well. It tells of Anakin Skywalker’s fall and return to the Jedi, as well as giving us some more world building throughout. Many people consider this their favorite film, but we respectfully disagree. Ewoks aren’t our absolute favorite addition to the universe.

The Force Awakens (Episode 7)

Lastly, The Force Awakens picks up nearly 30 years after Return of the Jedi. Our characters have aged, grown apart, and experienced hardships over the decades leading up to this. It introduces us to new characters to kick off this brand new trilogy, as well as providing swan songs for older ones. You may feel a bit of A New Hope’s vibes throughout the film, which is to be expected.

There’s the ComicUI Star Wars viewing format! Agree to disagree with us and tell us YOUR favorite viewing order! As always, May the 4th be with you!

About The Author
Christopher Dillard
Author for Nerdtraffic, co-host of Superhero Slate podcast, and co-founder of ComicUI. I love Marvel, Star Wars, Halo, and the Muppets. Just your run-of-the-mill nerd.