The Perfect Order to Watch the Star Wars Movies
Introducing the Lasagna Order!
I have had Star Wars on the brain recently with Star Wars Day happening just a few weeks ago, and recently, it was the 40th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back, my all-time favorite Star Wars movie and one of my favorite films of all time.
While rewatching it, I realized there had not yet been a perfect order to view the Star Wars movies. About two years ago, I endorsed the Machete Order, which recommended watching them in this order: 4, 5, 2, 3, 6. However, as I watched Empire, I started to think of a better order to see these fantastic movies for the first time.
In the past, I've created two watch orders: the Spaghetti Order for the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and the Cannoli Order for the X-Men movies. Now that it's May 25th, the 43rd anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars, I figured it would be the perfect time to introduce my brand new order for the Star Wars movies.
Introducing the Lasagna Order!
Why am I calling it the Lasagna Order? Well, I'm keeping up with my theme of naming movie watch orders after Italian cuisine, so I don't know if this will catch on, but it's worth a shot.
Here is the Lasagna 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)
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
- Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
- Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)
- Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
What is the reasoning for this order? I'll tell you in a second, but for me to do so, I'm going to have to delve into a few SPOILERS. If you have not yet seen the Star Wars movies, copy and paste that into your notes, and I am now going to delve into why I believe this is the perfect order to watch the Star Wars films.
Some have recommended watching them in release order, but my issue with this has always been the ending of Return of the Jedi when we see a young Anakin Skywalker appear as a Force ghost. We don't know who that person is yet, because if we had just watched the original trilogy, we had not seen what Darth Vader looked like as a young man.
Others have recommended chronological order, viewing Episodes 1-9 in their intended order. However, this spoils the twist of The Empire Strikes Back when we discover that Anakin is Darth Vader. This order ruins the greatest plot twist in cinematic history. While the commonly misquoted, "No, I am your father," is very well-known, children viewing it for the first time are unfamiliar with pop culture, so it remains a surprise.
And we also have the two anthology films: Rogue One and Solo. How do we fit these standalone Star Wars movies into the overarching "episodes"? Well, this order solves all of these issues.
We begin with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This movie gives us little teasers for the characters we can expect to see in the original trilogy: Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin, Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2. It gives a great introduction to the conflict between the Rebels and the Empire while also being centered around the Death Star.
Rogue One also gives us a much more epic introduction to Darth Vader with his iconic hallway massacre sequence. As we know, this film ends with Leia receiving the Death Star plans, leading right into A New Hope, when she puts them into R2-D2.
Hope gives us our proper introductions to our main players that we only received a glimpse of in Rogue One: C-3PO, R2-D2, and Leia. We also meet Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and all these iconic characters, and The Empire Strikes Back is the follow-up to their story.
At the end of Empire, we discover that Darth Vader is Luke's father. After this, we have the prequel trilogy. Yes, there is a significant decline in quality between Empire and The Phantom Menace, and while Menace is my least favorite Star Wars movie, it has Duel of the Fates and an introduction to Darth Maul.
This movie also shows us C-3PO's origin while also giving us the first time he and R2-D2 meet. After this, we have Attack of the Clones, which provides the audience with a hint of Anakin's anger when he murders the Sandpeople for killing his mother. Revenge of the Sith then shows us a proper origin for the Galactic Empire, Darth Vader, and Emperor Palpatine.
Sith makes the relationship between Vader and Palpatine much more evident, and the bridge between Sith and Return of the Jedi is surprisingly stable. Sith ends with Luke on Tatooine, which is where Luke begins his story in Jedi. At the end of Sith, the Empire is building a Death Star, just as they are at the beginning of Jedi.
We also discover Luke and Leia are siblings when Padmé names them. When we find out Padmé is carrying twins, that lets us know Luke has a sibling we didn't know about. She calls the boy Luke, and then the next one is a girl, who she names Leia.
Jedi gives us the culmination of the conflict between Vader and Palpatine, ending with Vader turning on his master and throwing him down the shaft of the Death Star II. What comes next? How do we bridge the gap between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy? Solo: A Star Wars Story.
This is the perfect position for this standalone story, as it gives us an origin for Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, who both had prominent roles in Jedi. As we see their journey, we have a cameo by Darth Maul, who we were already introduced to in Menace.
The Force Awakens begins our sequel trilogy, introducing us to all these new characters and showing us the return of Han, Chewbacca, and the Falcon, who were all in the final scene of Solo. Han's death becomes more emotional, as we had just seen his origin, and we are now witnessing his death.
After this, we just have to finish the sequels. The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker give us the conclusion to the Star Wars franchise, and that, my friends, is the Lasagna Order.
I think this is the best order for watching the Star Wars series in a way that tells the story effectively with the least amount of confusion. It weaves everything together in an order that makes sense, and if you try it out, let me know what you think on Twitter. I'm @TheJonathanSim.