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Release Order or Story Order - How Do You Watch the Star Wars Saga?

Discussion in 'SWNN News Feed' started by SWNN Probe, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. SWNN Probe

    SWNN Probe Seeker

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    [​IMG]

    The day has finally come for all of you Star Wars fans holding out for the physical release...The Rise of Skywalker is out on 4k and Blu-ray today!



    Now that your shaking hands are holding the cases to all the films, I thought it would be fun to talk about which way you plan on watching the complete Star Wars Skywalker saga. There is no right or wrong way, no right or wrong answer. Whether you watch all the live-action films in release order, story order, add The Clone Wars, or even omit a film or two, or six, join the discussion. We want to know how YOU enjoy watching Star Wars!



    Our planet is experiencing an unprecedented time of fear and uncertainty with the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus. There is no doubt that in doing your Earthly duty of social distancing you will have a lot of free time on your hands. Sure, there may be plenty of chores and home projects to do, but there is also plenty of time to binge watch all your favorite cinematic universes and TV shows.



    I, myself, have been running through the Star Wars films the last two days in anticipation of the physical release today.  Historically, I've always received my pre-ordered 4k Blu-rays the weekend before the physical release, but with everything going on, I can understand.



    Star Wars fans are the most passionate fans in the world. The way each one of us experience the films is unique and deeply personal. That is both a gift and a curse as expectations of how the story should play out in our own minds is often not met. Now, I am an unapologetic fan of all Star Wars films. I'm sorry, that's just who I am. Don't get me wrong, I have issues with certain aspects of many of the films, from wooden dialogue, to Leia flying through space, to wishing that the sequel trilogy had a fleshed out arc between the three films...but, I love them all and will never omit any of them when re-watching the saga.



    That being said, I watch Star Wars in story order, the eleven live-action films only. No animated or TV shows. I do really enjoy The Mandalorian, The Clone Wars and Rebels, but separately and in a different light. I will explain my Star Wars story and why I watch them in this order after I list the films...now, I know I don't have to tell you this but the order goes as follows:
    • Episode I - The Phantom Menace
    [​IMG]


    • Episode II - Attack of the Clones
    [​IMG]


    • Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
    [​IMG]


    • Solo - A Star Wars Story
    [​IMG]


    • Rogue One - A Star Wars Story
    [​IMG]


    • Episode IV - A New Hope
    [​IMG]


    • Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
    [​IMG]


    • Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
    [​IMG]


    • Episode VII - The Force Awakens
    [​IMG]


    • Episode VIII - The Last Jedi
    [​IMG]


    • Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker
    [​IMG]



    My love for Star Wars began at a very young age. My dad was a fan (still is), so my siblings and I all became big fans and in turn I made sure my daughter became a big fan. Growing up I remember watching our (taped off network TV) Star Wars VHS tapes. I loved the movies then but didn't become obsessed until I was 15 years old in 1997 when my aunt took us to see A New Hope: Special Edition in theaters. I was completely blown away. This was my first experience seeing a Star Wars film in theaters and all of the new scenes were an amazing improvement. It was my equivalent to the older generation seeing Star Wars for the first time. After that I started following any news I could about Star Wars on the internet, which at that time was in its infancy. You can imagine how excited I was to find out Lucas was making Episode I.



    Being born smack in between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, I grew up with the original trilogy but was still a kid when the special editions arrived and was only a junior in high-school when The Phantom Menace came out (still a kid). I got to experience the prequels with that wide-eyed, childlike wonder, and yet was still young enough to accept the changes to the originals as a positive. Anyone born around the same time can agree that we can call two trilogies 'our Star Wars' from our childhood.



    History repeated itself in 2003 with my daughter being born smack in between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Getting to pass on my love of Star Wars with her when she was little was a joy I cannot describe in words. By 2005 Star Wars was forever cemented in my entire being, and believing that my age is a huge factor, it's a passion that will always accept new Star Wars with an open heart and mind, not angry and resentful.



    In 2012 when news of Disney purchasing Lucasfilm hit, I became my 1997 self again and with shaking hands went online. The first site I found was StarWarsNewsNet, which became the site I went to for my Star Wars news. I enjoyed every movie that Lucasfilm released since the acquisition. It was new Star Wars and such an exciting time to be a fan. That Vader scene at the end of Rogue One was something I have waited 35 years to see. I was crying for goodness sake!



    My fiancee and I hosted countdown parties in which a bunch of friends came over once a week to watch a Star Wars film starting at the exact number of weeks before the new film's release date...starting with The Phantom Menace. I feel the originals have been polished up enough to smoothly watch the films in story order without being taken out of the fantasy because of the difference in age and effects. Have you seen the 4K versions of the films on Disney Plus? Unbelievable...the originals look even better!



    Now, I know people who rigidly watch the films in release order. I totally understand that way of watching, but honestly, unless there is a person who (spoiler alert) doesn't know that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father, in my mind, it just makes more sense to watch them in story order. With the addition of Solo and Rogue One (if you include them) the story jumps back and forth in time which can be confusing to someone you are introducing to Star Wars.



    That's my story...but I want to know yours. How do you watch Star Wars, and how did you come to love that galaxy far, far away? Stay safe, stay distant (for now), and may the Force be with you.



    Click HERE to check out and comment on this topic on our main site
     
    #1 SWNN Probe, Mar 31, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
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  2. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel General

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    Narratively Chronological Order is the official order, which makes it the "correct" order as determined by those parties responsible for the franchise's existence.

    I personally separate the 'Story' films from the Skywaker Saga films, though.
     
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  3. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    For first-time viewing, I strongly advice watching the Skywalker Saga in chronological release order with no anthology sidestories. Keep it a focused Skywalker affair and let the story unfold in the way it was originally told.

    For consecutive viewings, I advice whatever order you want. Personally, I tend to watch the Skywalker Saga in narative chronologival order, interspersed with Solo:ASWS & Rogue One as extra spice.
     
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  4. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel General

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    The Skywalker Saga story isn't meant to unfold in "chronological release order", so introducing people to it that way doesn't make any sense when the alternative of letting them experience it as narratively intended - Episodes 1 to 9 in numerical order - exists.
     
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  5. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    I completely disagree. If you watch the Skywalker Saga for the first time in episodic order you spoil many set-ups & pay-offs in the OT since the PT assumes knowledge of the OT. The search for and reveal of Yoda, as an example, falls completely flat as first time viewing mystery if you already know who the little frog-guy is because you watched the PT before the OT. Things like that. I maintain that for first-time viewing, the best way to go about it is to watch the Skywalker movies in chronological release order.
     
    #6 Angelman, Mar 31, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
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  6. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel General

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    Only if you assume that there are things in the OT that have to come as "surprises" to the audience.

    Introducing someone to Star Wars for the first time should not be done based on preconceived ideas or prejudices.
     
  7. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    No, introducing somene to Star Wars should be done with goal to bring maximum immersion and effect out of each individual movie, letting each film shine at it's very best.

    But this is becoming a useless discussion of circular arguments and nothing is more pointless than that, so. I'm done.
     
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  8. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel General

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    I agree with you... and introducing the films to someone in Narrative Chronological Order is (in my mind and in the minds of the people at Lucasfilm both now and in the past) the best way to accomplish this because it lets people experience the story as it unfolds and as it was ultimately intended to unfold.
     
  9. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    As I said, circular argument. We're back to where we strated 4 posts ago. Anyone interested in seeing a repete of our exchange can just start from the top again. I'm good.
     
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  10. The Hero With No Fear

    The Hero With No Fear Jedi General

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    I’m with @Angelman. You should watch it in order of release during your first viewing of the films, then watch it in chronological order for subsequent viewings. A New Hope may not be chronologically first in the narrative, but it was the first to be made; thus, it sets up the ground rules for Star Wars better than any of the other movies. If you’re starting with The Phantom Menace, you get little explanation for the Force or the Jedi or anything really (other than Qui-Gon’s line about midi-chlorians, but those barely ever get brought up again). Plus, part of the fun of watching the prequels is knowing where everything and everyone lies up in the end.

    As for what I include in my Star Wars marathons, it often varies. Sometimes I’ll just watch the Skywalker Saga and sometimes times I’ll include the spin-off films. I’ve even included The Clone Wars series into some of my past marathons, even skipping Episodes 1 and 2 and starting off with that series on one or two occasions.

    Once this new season of The Clone Wars wraps up, I’ll do a mega marathon of that, Rebels, Resistance, and The Mandalorian interspersed with the saga and standalone films.
     
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  11. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel General

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    Lucasfilm says otherwise.

    Yes, George Lucas made the films out-of-sequence, but he always maintained that the order in which he made them was not in fact the way he wanted them to be experienced.
     
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  12. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    That's easy. Release order of course. Anything else doesn't really make sense.

    The Prequel Trilogy was created with the intention to improve the Original Trilogy. So, you have to watch the PT with the knowledge of the OT, that's the use of prequels after all.

    Watching R1 or/and Solo prior ANH doesn't do anything but confuse the audience. You don't know the story or characters yet. Furthermore in the case of Solo, it ruins Han's perfect introduction as a character in ANH.

    Chronical story order (if you can even call it that way because there are dozen stories with flashbacks) only makes sense if you already watched all the movies.
     
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  13. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel General

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    ^ All of these "release order only" statements are opinions that are directly countermanded by everything George Lucas has ever said as well as what Lucasfilm's officially stated position on the subject is.
     
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  14. Angelman

    Angelman Servant to the Whills & Slave to the Muses
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    So? Unless one is living in a totalitarian dictatorship, one are allowed to think for oneself. Whatever Mr. Lucas might have said on the matter, it doesn't change the fact that ANH & OT sets up the universe and story, and, say... Obi-Wan's exposition on what the Force and the Jedi are is knowledge viewers of the PT are obviously assumed to possess. You don't get the exposition in TPM because we've already seen it in ANH.

    Why are we even arguing about this? If you want to watch the Skywalker Saga in episode order, then do that. Arguing over pointless things on the internet is boring, even when there's a global plague going on.

    See, there I went and argued circularly again... I'm going to stop now, I promise.
     
    #15 Angelman, Apr 1, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
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  15. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel General

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    Recommended" viewing or reading orders - especially those imposed by the creators of a given property - exist for a reason.

    One is free to ignore such "recommended orders", but choosing to ignore them is far different from trying to impose an absolute requirement that is countermanded by them.

    To insist that a Star Wars newbie must experience the franchise in release order in defiance of George Lucas and Lucasfilm's officially stated position that the films are best experienced in Narrative Chronological Order is to put one's own thinking above those individuals responsible for the franchise's existence and insist that their officially stated position is wrong.
     
  16. Master_Farkaz

    Master_Farkaz Jedi General

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    [​IMG]

    However, that is not the question is it? You were asked for your personal preference and if you vary during subsequent viewings.

    I wholehartedly agree with you!

    Relax my friend, you'll sprain somethimg...

    Exactly!

    Not much assuming is needed, especially in "Empire" there are the introduction of Yoda with the joke that luke is looking for this "great warrior" and the reveal Darth Vader is Luke's father!

    Yup!

    Yeah, this is becoming rediculous.

    And for subsequent viewings it is the best way to view the whole saga, but when introducing Star Wars to someone, the release-order ensures the reveals of both Yoda turning out to be the affore- mentioned warrior and Luke's daddy-issues, are not spoiled.

    Come on man... just breathe! The galaxy will not implode when we differ in opinion.

    Well said!

    As you might have guessed... My choice is: Release-order to introduce to new viewers and chronological story-order for subsequent viewing (including Solo and R1).
     
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  17. deadmanwalkin009

    deadmanwalkin009 Rebel Official

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    I honestly use the machete order. I think that works well with first time watchers and repeatedly viewings. You watch Episodes 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 ,8, 9. Since Episode 5 ends on a cliffhanger, you can go back and re-watch the 1 through 3 without loosing any surprises that the OT has and you can treat 1 through 3 as a "flashback" I think that's a good middle ground and alternative way for viewing Chronological and watching theatrical order.
     
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  18. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel General

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    If "preserving things like Yoda's introduction and the reveal of Vader being Luke's father" was actually narratively important, George Lucas and Lucasfilm's official "recommended viewing order" would not be Narratively Chronological. It is only fans who think these things are important.
     
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  19. Porco Azzurro

    Porco Azzurro Force Attuned

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    The possible combinations for which order to watch Star Wars is in mind-boggling huge at this point, depending what you include. Personally I (now) favour the ‘official’ / narrative order but good luck to anyone who likes any other order. It seems a little odd to me for any long-term fans to be too strident/militant about it though, given that the films themselves were not released in the order now regarded as the official way to watch...

    I think if you are introducing Star Wars to someone it’s best to try and ask them what order they want to watch it in, explaining the main options in as unbiased a way as possible. I think there are good arguments for numerous orders.

    “There are heroes on both sides”. :)
     
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