With Disney+ now live with just about all the Star Wars films, and in anticipation of The Rise of Skywalker hitting theaters next month, many casual and diehard fans will probably do a deep Star Wars dive and are wondering what order to watch the Star Wars saga. Needless to say, there are a lot of established orders already out there (release, chronological, Machete, etc.).
Forgive me if somebody on here has already come up with this viewing order, but I think it’s the definitive one that I call the “Flashback Order.” It’s an expansion of the famous Machete Order, but allows for almost all the films to fit in that makes some kind of whole narrative cohesion. Here it is, which I’ll explain below:
- A New Hope
- Rogue One
- The Empire Strikes Back
- Revenge of the Sith
- Return of the Jedi
- “The Mandalorian”
- The Force Awakens
- The Last Jedi
- The Rise of Skywalker
As you can see, almost all the films in the Skywalker Saga have a “flashback” film in between. This allows the story room to breathe and enhances character development.
You should always start with A New Hope, whether you’re a diehard fan or first time viewer. It’s what started it all and is about as perfect an introduction into this world as it gets.
Next up is where it gets interesting. You then watch the immediate “flashback” that is Rogue One, which does a good job in filling in some of this new world you’ve now found yourself in and creates even more mystery and tension. Even though it was filmed relatively recently, It spoils nothing about what comes after in the saga.
We follow with Empire Strikes Back. Then, like reasoned in the Machete Order, we go to the prequels. But unlike Machete who only omits The Phantom Menace, I’ll go even further and don’t even think Attack of the Clones is necessary. IMO, it’s by far the worst Star Wars movie. Just watch Revenge of the Sith as the one “Lucas Prequel” film that counts as a flashback, which gives the only essential background on the Skywalkers’ past and enhances the next film in the saga, Return of the Jedi.
Now that we have finished that part of the saga, let’s breathe a little and watch the side-story that is the self-contained “The Mandalorian”, which is where it fits chronologically.
Then next up is Solo because it will fill in a lot of details about Han and make a more sympathetic portrait of the character, setting up who is perhaps the prime figure of The Force Awakens.
As there are no more “flashback” films produced, that’s where it ends and we continue with the Disney Trilogy uninterrupted. But with the Ewan McGregor “Obi-Wan” prequel show currently in production, I think that would fit in nicely right before The Last Jedi, as Obi-Wan’s story will likely be a great parallel what we see with Luke’s story and perhaps create a more interesting watch.
What do you guys think? Would you watch this order?