The big movie is out THIS WEEK! I can’t say how excited I am to get to see a new Star Wars movie in the theater. It will be legendary.
Such a legendary occasion cannot just happen. It needs preparation; time to get the mind and body ready to endure the absolute epicness of this mega colossal astronomical event. (Thank you thesaurus.)
It’s such a monumental occasion that you can’t just go to the movie. You have to prepare.
And this weekend, prepare we did.
An elite group of Jedi, one of which I suspect may actually be Sith that I haven’t seen in years, did what few would even attempt. A Star Wars marathon. It was as epic as you would expect, and made for an extremely long day. We did take a few breaks to play some Battlefront and put chains on a truck, but for over twelve hours we indulged in a galaxy far, far, away.
Before starting on such an epic journey, a decision must be made.
What order to watch the movies in? Release order, or episode order? Or, something else?
Last year I found the Machete order where, in an extremely long detailed post, it is suggested that the best way to watch the movies is Episode 4 and 5, then take from that series to watch Episode 2 and 3, then finish off with Episode 6. Interesting suggestion, and I’m not going to bore you with all of the details. If you want that, you can check out the original post.
This article is going to be focused on my reaction to watching Star Wars in the Machete order. Even as a long time fan of that world, I really did see things a little differently.
It’s about Luke and Anakin
The largest thing that stood out when watching in this order was the main focus of the story.
Watching in release order makes it seem like much of the story is about the Empire and rebellion, and how one hero, Luke, is able to help overthrow that Empire. Then when you go watch the prequels, you see how the Empire, and Vader, are formed.
Watching in the Machete order, however, shifts the focus to being all about the Skywalkers. You see Luke finding out about the force (a great introduction to the force, by the way, letting the viewer ease into this mystical energy field), then starting his training under Yoda and ending with a face off with the bad guy, Darth Vader, who we shockingly find out is Luke’s father.
Then you step back from that story and start on Episode 2 and 3, where you find Anakin, a whiny yet powerful Jedi, and you follow his path to the dark side, ending with him killing younglings, getting cooked well done on Mustafar, and ultimately turning into Darth Vader.
Then you come back to the original story with Episode 6, where Luke has to face Vader, after making many of the same mistakes you just saw Anakin make 2 hours earlier, and the threat of Luke turning to the dark side seems more real. Luke realizes this and resists, ultimately ending with Vader’s redemption.
For this fact alone it was worth watching in this order.
Rise of the Empire
This order also tells the story of the empire in an interesting way. In Episode 4 you hear that the emperor just dissolved the senate, and then, in Empire Strikes Back, you get introduced to the Emperor as a giant hologram head. After you know what this Empire is about, and who the Emperor is, you go back to Episode 2 and 3 and find out way more than you wanted about how an intergalactic senate works, followed by who the Emperor really is and how he came to power. Finally, in Return of the Jedi, he gets destroyed.
It’s interesting how this order starts to bring up questions just in time to go get the back story that fills you in as you need it, instead of setting you up with all this information you don’t care about first and then getting into why it’s important much later.
Why skip Episode 1?
Well, there were a few reasons for this. First of all, we spent over 12 hours watching Star Wars movies (with a few short breaks between films) with just those 5! That’s a lot of movie to watch, and if we could do it and legitimately skip one, all the better.
Episode one really doesn’t add to the story in any way that is important. All of the characters and plots that you need to know about in Episode Two are reintroduced in that film, so the viewer isn’t lost by skipping a movie that adds a lot of weirdness. By skipping The Phantom Menace you skip out on all these memorably weird and bad moments:
- Jar Jar Binks (almost entirely cut from the series)
- Weird pedophile relationship between little boy Annie and a much older Padme
- Trade Negotiations
- Jar Jar Binks
Granted, you do miss out on one of the best lightsaber battles in the series, and an awesome Jedi played by Liam Neeson, and some would argue the podrace scene would be missed, but, those don’t really add to the story. They don’t add anything to the Luke and Darth Vader story, or to either war that’s going on. Everything you need to know about the Trade Federation is already re-explained in Episode 2.
So yeah, watching the movies in this order was not only a lot of fun, but it was also refreshing and, almost, new.
And now, I have just THIRTY SIX HOURS until I get to go see Episode 7, The Force Awakens!
Just to make sure I really like the movie and have a purely objective opinion of it, I will have to watch it multiple times. The things I do for my readers. 🙂
What about you? What are you doing to get ready for the new movie, and what order do you prefer to watch Star Wars in? Let me know in the comments!