Later this year, we’ll be returning to a galaxy far, far away in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise Of Skywalker. The franchise’s ninth instalment will be the last based around the Skywalker story that began way back in 1977 and, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger, it will also be the last theatrical film for a while.
With Star Wars Day coming up this weekend, we think it’s the perfect time for you to revisit all the adventures of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Rey, Finn, R2-D2, C-3P0 and BB-8. Where to start? Here, we breakdown all the Star Wars films and TV shows you need to watch to prepare for the final adventure in December.
While the prequels are perhaps the worst reviewed era of Star Wars, they establish how a young boy (Anakin Skywalker) becomes the most feared villain (Darth Vader) in all the galaxy.
Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
The Clone Wars (film)
The Clone Wars (season 1 – 6)
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Have you watched the original trilogy and wondered how Han Solo met Chewie or how he became the reckless smuggler with the sarcastic wit? Or, perhaps, you’ve always wanted to know how the Rebel Alliance got those Death Star plans? The Star Wars spin-off films and TV shows transport you back in time to answer all the questions your imagination couldn’t.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Star Wars Rebels (season 1 – 4)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Where it all began, the original trilogy continues to be praised as the greatest era of Star Wars films.
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
The New Order
Set 30 years after the events of The Return of the Jedi, there’s a new big-bad on the scene, the First Order, and a team of new characters – Rey and Finn – to save the day. The Force Awakens was a welcome addition to the franchise while the Last Jedi was met with mixed reviews, after many argued that it didn’t feel like a traditional Star Wars film.
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
The Viewing Order:
There are several ways to watch the Star Wars saga.
First there’s the ‘Production Order’, i.e. watching the films in the order they were released in theatres. This means watching the original trilogy, beginning with Episode IV: A New Hope and on through The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, before moving on to the prequel trilogy of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Next, it’s onto 2015’s Episode VII: The Force Awakens, 2016’s stand-alone prequel Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and finally Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.
A second order – the ‘Machete Order’. Blogger Rod Hilton is the mastermind behind this viewing order. The order he suggests, which predates the release of Episode VII and Rogue One, and Episode VIII, is this: begin with Episode IV and Episode V. Next up, Episode II and Episode III before moving onto Episode VI. ‘Effectively, this order keeps the story Luke’s tale,’ writes Hilton. ‘Just when our main man Luke is left with the burning question ‘’did my father really become Darth Vader?’’ we take an extended flashback to explain that it’s true. Once we understand how his father turned to the dark side, we go back to the main storyline and see how Luke is able to rescue hum from it and salvage the good in hm, which is the only way to destroy the Empire.’