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What is Your Preferred Watch Order, and Which Versions (Fan edits/official releases)?

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Personally, this is me (assuming I have to watch all the live-action, theatrical releases):

‘Phase 1’
Star Wars (4K77 or Despecialized)
Empire Strikes Back (4K80 (when released) or Despecialized.)
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (octoroxx’s ‘Sanded Down’.)
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (HAL9000’s ‘Labyrinth of Evil’.)
Return of the Jedi (4k83 or Despecialized.)

‘Phase 2’
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (HAL9000’s Cloak of Deception.)
Solo: A Star Wars Story (Theatrical/Bluray)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Theatrical/Bluray)

‘Phase 3’
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Theatrical/Bluray)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Theatrical/Bluray)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Theatrical/Bluray)

If I’m doing a marathon, I have a little break between phases. Phase 2 is skippable, especially since I don’t like Solo at all.


Phase 1 - Star Wars
Experience the story of Luke Skywalker, his journey from farm boy, to war hero, to Jedi Knight. Witness the shattering revelation that Luke’s own father is the dark lord Darth Vader, the man who was once Anakin Skywalker. See Anakin’s tragic fall, and his final redemption at the hands of his son.

[This is the ‘main story’ of Luke Skywalker, with a delve into the prequels to answer all the questions we are left with at the end of Empire. This is the classic Machete Order.]


Phase 2 - Star Wars Stories
How did Anakin, powerful Jedi and dark lord of the Sith, come to join the Jedi order? How did the Rebels acquire those fateful Death Star plans? How did Han and Chewie come to meet? In these films, we delve into those areas of the Star Wars universe unexplored by the central films.

[If I want to watch all the films, this is where I put the odd ones out. It effectively distances those with different tones (Solo, Rogue One) to the saga films, and it means you don’t have to derail the Machete Order by watching Episode I. It also puts a bit of distance between the ‘main story’ and the Sequels, which reckon with the originals in a way that is more impactful if a bit of time is spent between 6 and 7. ]


Phase 3 - Star Wars Legacy
After the destruction of the Empire, tales of heroes and of the force have faded into myth. A new threat presents itself, and new heroes must reckon with the legacy of the old.

[I personally don’t like TRoS, and can happily end with TLJ as a ‘and some stay the battle continues today - the light will always resist the darkness’ kind of ending. I’m looking forward to Lifeincontext’s The Last Jedi: A ST One-Film Edit as a very promising solution to my Sequel problems.]

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I usually prefer to watch each trilogy as its own self-contained three-part story. So:

The main story:
Star Wars (4K77)
Empire Strikes Back (4K80)
Return of the Jedi (4K83)

(Optional stopping point)

The backstory:
The Phantom Menace (Blu-ray or 4K99)
Attack of the Clones (Blu-ray)
Revenge of the Sith (Blu-ray)

(Optional stopping point)

The appendices:
Rogue One (Blu-ray), Solo (Blu-ray), Kenobi, Mandalorian, etc. (Order doesn’t really matter here.)

(Optional stopping point)

The legacy era:
The Force Awakens (Blu-ray)
The Last Jedi (Blu-ray)
Rise of Skywalker (Blu-ray)

Basically, I just watch the OT first, then watch the rest of the films in more-or-less chronological order. I enjoy watching fan edits, but I usually don’t include them in a saga marathon.

If I’m watching the Special Editions of the OT, then I’ll usually watch the episodes in chronological order (with Rogue One sometimes placed between RotS and ANH), though I think I’ll try Machete Order next time to see if I like it.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

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I usually watch the films in chronological order, excluding both the Sequel Trilogy and Solo. So:

The Phantom Menace (Blu-ray)
Attack of the Clones (Blu-ray)
Revenge of the Sith (Blu-ray)
Rogue One (Blu-ray)
A New Hope (2011 Special Edition)
The Empire Strikes Back (2011 Special Edition)
Return of the Jedi (2011 Special Edition)

Sometimes I also like to watch the films in the Machete Order (without excluding The Phantom Menace), but most of the time I watch them in chronological order, because I am a very meticulous person and I prefer the chronological order.

«This is where the fun begins!»
(Anakin Skywalker)

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Here’s how I’d subject a complete newcomer, mythical creature though they be.

ANH (OOT)
(wait like a week)
ESB (OOT)
(wait like a week)
ROTJ (OOT)
(wait like a week)

Then wait a few months or something. Let it sink in.

Ep1 (my edit, I guess)
Ep2 (my edit, I guess)
Clone Wars microseries part 1
The shortest run-through of EddieDean’s TCW project
Clone Wars microseries part 2
Ep3 (my edit, I guess)
Kenobi series
Solo
Rogue One
ANH (my custom SE)
ESB (my custom SE)
ROTJ (my custom SE)
Mandalorian Trilogy (?) (smudger9’s film edits of Mandalorian and TBOBF)
TFA (my edit, I guess, but Nev’s works)
TLJ (my edit, I guess)
TROS (my edit for sure)
The Holiday Special

I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently.

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Darth Malgus said:

I usually watch the films in chronological order, excluding both the Sequel Trilogy and Solo. So:

The Phantom Menace (Blu-ray)
Attack of the Clones (Blu-ray)
Revenge of the Sith (Blu-ray)
Rogue One (Blu-ray)
A New Hope (2011 Special Edition)
The Empire Strikes Back (2011 Special Edition)
Return of the Jedi (2011 Special Edition)

Sometimes I also like to watch the films in the Machete Order (without excluding The Phantom Menace), but most of the time I watch them in chronological order, because I am a very meticulous person and I prefer the chronological order.

Out of curiosity, why the 2011 Special Editions, specifically? Is it just that they’re the ones you happen to own, or do you consider those in particular to be the best/definitive versions?

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

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Out of curiosity, why the 2011 Special Editions, specifically? Is it just that they’re the ones you happen to own, or do you consider those in particular to be the best/definitive versions?

I prefer the Special Editions of 2011 because they are the most recent ones, and also because they are the first Special Editions I watched, so I’m more fond of them. I think despite some small bad changes the Special Editions of 2011 are the best ones.

«This is where the fun begins!»
(Anakin Skywalker)

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Darth Malgus said:

Out of curiosity, why the 2011 Special Editions, specifically? Is it just that they’re the ones you happen to own, or do you consider those in particular to be the best/definitive versions?

I prefer the Special Editions of 2011 because they are the most recent ones, and also because they are the first Special Editions I watched, so I’m more fond of them. I think despite some small bad changes the Special Editions of 2011 are the best ones.

The 2019 versions are the most recent ones. The “maclunkey” versions.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

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I don’t know if this is my “preferred” order, but one experimental order I’ve come up with recently is watching the theatrical OT, followed by the entire rest of the franchise (including the Special Editions) in chronological order. This is how it goes:

Star Wars (theatrical)
Empire Strikes Back (theatrical)
Return of the Jedi (theatrical)
The Phantom Menace
Attack of the Clones
The Clone Wars (until s7e9)
Revenge of the Sith
The Clone Wars (s7e10 onward)
The Bad Batch
Solo
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Andor (when it comes out)
Rebels
Rogue One
A New Hope (SE)
Empire Strikes Back (SE)
Return of the Jedi (SE)
The Mandalorian (s1 and s2)
Book of Boba Fett
The Mandalorian (s3, when it comes out)
Ahsoka (when it comes out)

This way, you get to see the Oscar-winning original classics in isolation, followed by the massive movie and TV universe that Disney has made based on those classics. The sequel trilogy can go in three different places: at the end of the viewing order to continue the chronological theme, after the theatrical trilogy to emphasize the nostalgic inspiration the filmmakers took from those movies, or removed completely to have the era that Disney is currently focusing on (Mando and its spinoffs) be at the end of the chronology.

My preferred Skywalker Saga experience:
I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX

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I think at the moment the best order for a hypothetical newbie is the OT (theatrical or an edit that makes the SEs less awful), then the PT (theatrical - I love fanedits but I feel like you have to see the originals first), and then just everything else in chronological order, from TCW through to TROS.

I don’t really think leaving ROTS until after TCW does either any favours. TCW pretty much assumes you’ve seen I-VI, with the Order 66 arc especially relying on the dramatic irony of knowing what Fives has stumbled upon and that he must therefore inevitably fail to stop it, and it also has a few other spoilery moments like the depiction of Anakin’s future in the Mortis arc. ROTS (at no fault of its own due to the limitations of linear time) doesn’t really line up with the characterisation of Anakin we get in TCW, and the lack of any nods whatsoever towards Ahsoka, Satine, Maul, and so on would be more jarring if you’ve just come off of watching TCW. It works much better, IMO, as a sequel to AOTC than it does as a finale to TCW. It also just feels more authentic to how those movies were originally intended by Lucas and seen by audiences.

There are admittedly a few other little niggles with watching the post-Lucas content in chronological order rather than release order, like how if you meet Hera first in Bad Batch you might be a little thrown as to why so much screentime is being dedicated to a random little Twi’lek girl, or how seeing the Inquisitors first in Obi-Wan Kenobi is probably a tad abrupt (I’ve seen a lot of people who skipped Rebels disliking them), but generally I think it works pretty well. Tales From the Jedi and The Acolyte will make it much worse though, since they feature content chronologically earlier than TCW - in the former’s case that means seeing really good modern animation and then jumping to shitty 2008 animation, and in the latter’s case that means jumping back in time to before the PT for a presumably standalone story before then returning to the PT characters… I’m sure twenty years from now when I’m showing my children Star Wars I’ll have to do some insane calculus to work out the perfect order for two hundred Disney Plus shows, lol.

I do stand by showing a newcomer the ST after all the other new content, though. I don’t even dislike (2/3) of those movies, it’s just I think the “Mandoverse” stuff will probably enhance them more if you see it before you see where’s it all leading to. I see them as an epilogue, to a degree. Also, the more Star Wars you can be exposed to before you watch TROS the better, I think - not just so you can recognise the voice cameos, but so that it forms a smaller part of your overall view of the franchise, and because I’m hoping we’ll eventually get a show that better grounds its total left-field twists like the Sith Eternal better into the larger canon. My opinion on that may change though depending on what future content we get.

For rewatches I just jump around; there’s way too much for any kind of marathon at this point IMO, it’d become some kind of long unnecessary project instead.

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Servii said:

Darth Malgus said:

Out of curiosity, why the 2011 Special Editions, specifically? Is it just that they’re the ones you happen to own, or do you consider those in particular to be the best/definitive versions?

I prefer the Special Editions of 2011 because they are the most recent ones, and also because they are the first Special Editions I watched, so I’m more fond of them. I think despite some small bad changes the Special Editions of 2011 are the best ones.

The 2019 versions are the most recent ones. The “maclunkey” versions.

Are there 2019 Special Editions? 😮

«This is where the fun begins!»
(Anakin Skywalker)

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Darth Malgus said:

Servii said:

Darth Malgus said:

Out of curiosity, why the 2011 Special Editions, specifically? Is it just that they’re the ones you happen to own, or do you consider those in particular to be the best/definitive versions?

I prefer the Special Editions of 2011 because they are the most recent ones, and also because they are the first Special Editions I watched, so I’m more fond of them. I think despite some small bad changes the Special Editions of 2011 are the best ones.

The 2019 versions are the most recent ones. The “maclunkey” versions.

Are there 2019 Special Editions? 😮

Yeah, they’re the ones that are on Disney+ and on the 4K disc versions. The changes are mostly minor tweaks that were made by George in 2012 in preparation for the 3D releases of Star Wars, so they’re still George’s versions. Besides that, the color grading is very different from the 2011 versions, and is generally a big improvement visually.

But we can’t turn back. Fear is their greatest defense. I doubt if the actual security there is any greater than it was on Aquilae or Sullust. And what there is is most likely directed towards a large-scale assault.

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This is something I have spent a lot of time thinking about (much like the vast majority of users here) since I have two young children now who in a few years will be ready to experience “Star Wars” for the first time. To say I can’t wait for that day when the “A long time ago…” text comes on screen and it’s mere moments until that blast of the John Williams music and it all begins is an understatement!

I’m not really a fan of the prequel movies as-is but I can see the massive potential in them and the story that GL was trying to tell, which for my money is brilliant but flawed due to some of the questionable decisions made during the making of those movies.

But they are part of the story and from the mind of the man who created it all so I absolutely intend to show them to my kids. To that end, I have sourced the L8wrtr copies of the Prequel Trilogy and either the Harmy Despecialized editions of the Original Trilogy or the Adywan Revisited Original Trilogy movies. For the latter, I’m patiently waiting for his update to “A New Hope” and desperately hoping he manages to complete “Return of the Jedi” in a shorter amount of time than his “The Empire Strikes Back” edit did (though it is pretty masterful!) My boys are only 3.5 and 1 so I have some time yet.

I keep changing my mind as to whether to go 4-5-6 and then 1-2-3 or the often recommended “flashback” viewing order of 4-5-1-2-3-6. I think I need to try and watch all the movies again with that order in mind and do my best to clear my mind of any prior Star Wars knowledge and just pretend I am watching it as though for the first time. But if I decide that it works I’ll definitely go with the “flashback” viewing order since I think it will lend much more weight to the redemption of Vader in ROTJ and choosing a different path.

So to that end, my choice would be:

Episode 4: “A New Hope” (Revisited HD) by Adywan
Episode 5: “The Empire Strikes Back” (Revisited) by Adywan
Episode 1: “Shadow of the Sith” by L8wrtr
Episode 2: “The Republic Divided” by L8wrtr
Episode 3: “Rise of the Empire” by L8wrtr
Episode 6: “Return of the Jedi” (Revisted) by Adywan

And then finally, on second viewing I will introduce “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”. I don’t think you can really get as much out of “Rogue One” if you haven’t at least seen “A New Hope” first. I also don’t think it’s the best movie to start with since the Skywalker story is the main one and there are no Skywalkers (Leia cameo notwithstanding) in “Rogue One”.

I would also someday like to have an Obi-Wan Kenobi fanedit sandwiched in between Episode 3 and 4 but by that point my kids will hopefully be very familiar with the world and characters of Star Wars that a 1-2-3-RO-OWK-4-5-6 viewing order would work fine as they’d already know all the big reveals.

Oh and as far as I’m concerned, the story ends with “Return of the Jedi”. The Disney sequels serve no narrative purpose whatsoever so I won’t bother with them. I tried, honestly I did, but my heart broke after “The Last Jedi” and by all accounts everything I have seen and heard of “The Rise of Skywalker” is absolute crap. They don’t come from the mind of George Lucas and therefore aren’t proper canon in my opinion.

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Originals:

Star Wars (4K 77 or Desp)
ESB (4K 80 or Desp)
ROTJ (4K 83 or Desp)

Prequels:
TPM (fanedit)

AOTC (fanedit)

Clone Wars 2003 (4K reconstruction)

ROTS (The New Canon Cut)

Other:

Star Wars The Force Unleashed (You Tube complied cinematic)

Rouge One (theatrical)

I’m just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe.

Star Wars has 3 eras:The eras are 1977-1983(pre Expanded Universe), (1983-2014) expanded universe or (2014- now) Disney bought version. Each are valid.

Important voice tool:
https://originaltrilogy.com/post/id/1472151/action/topic#1472151

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Hmmm , not sure I have a preferred order as it depends on my mood but I am currently thinking …

  1. Rogue One ,Blu Ray or dvd depending on which display I am watching on
  2. Star Wars , any theatrical version I currently have access to , Despecialized , GOUT , 92 Widescreen VHS
    3.The Empire Strikes Back , same sources as 2
    3.Vader’s Memories Fan edit , but stop right before the credits roll as the cabana music is out of place with the dark electronic score used throughout the movie …https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1AcBBpjkDg
    4.Return Of The Jedi , same sources as 2 and 3
    5.The Force Awakens Blu Ray or DVD depending on which display I am watching on
    6.Solo A Star Wars Story dvd or blu ray
    7.The Last Jedi ,dvd or blu ray
    8.This motion comic which uses the comic art by fan comics artist Andrew Winegarner and the fan audio drama /script reading of the Duel Of The Fates script by Colin Treverrow …https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLthocxgVxm_yDA4lO355UzA-fgHvZqvNn

I will probably put Andor at the beginning when the show is complete .May even wait until then to do this watch order .

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

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Here’s another experimental order, heavily inspired by ScreamsInTheVoid’s post above. For this one, the focus is on a more “modern” introduction to the franchise for newcomers, while still showing the entire franchise as-is:

  1. Andor (gradually introduces the classic Star Wars concepts in a more mature, modern way)
  2. Rogue One (resolves Cassian’s story, and sets the stage for the OT)
  3. A New Hope (the most natural follow-up from Rogue One)
  4. The Empire Strikes Back (the most natural follow-up from ANH)
  5. The Phantom Menace (begins a lengthy “flashback” series after the ESB revelation)
  6. Attack of the Clones (the most natural follow-up from TPM)
  7. Revenge of the Sith (the most natural follow-up from AOTC)
  8. Obi-Wan Kenobi (bridges the gap between ROTS and the OT)
  9. Return of the Jedi (resolves both the OT and flashback plotlines)
  10. The Clone Wars (fleshes out the flashback timeline and begins the “Filoni-verse”)
  11. The Bad Batch (the most natural follow-up from TCW)
  12. Solo (only here because I didn’t know where else to put it)
  13. Rebels (continues plotlines from TCW and sets up new ones)
  14. The Mandalorian s1-s2 (continues plotlines from TCW and Rebels)
  15. The Book of Boba Fett (basically season 2.5 of Mandalorian)
  16. The Mandalorian s3 (the most natural follow-up from BOBF)
  17. Ahsoka (continues TCW and Rebels plotlines even further)
  18. The Force Awakens (the start of the grand finale)
  19. The Last Jedi (the most natural follow-up from TFA)
  20. The Rise of Skywalker (the “end of the franchise”, both thematically and chronologically)

My preferred Skywalker Saga experience:
I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX

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I just go chronologically through with things I’ve already seen.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
For the prequel trilogy, sometimes I’ll watch the official releases, sometimes the HAL9000 versions

Rogue One
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
For the OT, I usually watch Despecialized or Revisited

I skip the sequel trilogy entirely. If I’m including tv shows in my playthrough, then they’ll go where they fit chronologically.

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My preferred watch order is chronological. As for versions… I’m thinking about doing the following marathon soon:

Phantom Menace Faster, More Intense
The Approaching Storm
Labyrinth of Evil
The Coaxium Heist
Rogue One: Where Rebels Dare
An Obi-Wan Kenobi edit that edits it into a movie
4k77
4k80
4k83
Journal of the Whills (my own sequel trilogy edit, which wraps up the saga nicely)

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Originally it would have been just the official releases from 2003 and the release dates of the PT on DVD and these days I don’t usually have a preferred viewing order but if I do a marathon then it’s always in Episode order I-III, Solo, Rogue One, IV-VI, VII-VIII lol I always skip TROS for obvious reasons.
As in what versions I watch now since finding OT site it’s
Episode I - Hal 9000
Episode II - Octorox
Episode III - Hal 9000
Solo - Official Release
Rogue One - Hal 9000
Episode IV - Hal 9000
Episode V - Hal 9000
Episode VI - Hal 9000
The sequel trilogy is a tough one because just when I think I have found the perfect edit for myself personally I read about another edit and every edit seems to fix something that the previous edit hadn’t (Personal Preference) so this is having me think should I just download my favourite version of each edit and go from dipping in my toes to putting my foot in lol.

After writing this and previewing my post just realised I should have just put Hal 9000 all edits 🤣🤦