Please try this order:
- Despecialized Original Trilogy
- For newcomers or veterans who haven’t watched the prequels in a while, something that shows why the prequels suck
- The Force Awakens
- Star Wars Rebels
- The to-be-released Star Wars movies when they are released
The quality of the prequels is neccessary to understand the story decisions of Rebels and the Force Awakens.
It seems strange to skip all prequels, but they are inherently flawed even if they are enjoyable and improved by fans. The original trilogy thrived on its mysteries.
When the Clone Wars was spoken of by Luke and Obi Wan, the reference was organic. The characters acted like if events in a universe were real and the Clone Wars were organically left unexplained and to the imagination. If they explained it, it would be like two adults explaining World War II to each other mid-conversation. The world was immersive and seemed real.
Darth Vader is the ultimate example of less-is-more. The character is so evil that it is extremely difficult to give him both good motivations, agency, and a role as a protagonist, but we do see how deeply he was affected by his past. He’s a half machine monster who could not believe in himself, refers to himself in the third person, and attacks his own son.
If the movies were released chronologically, there would not be any problems like this and the prequels could be viewed, but they weren’t.