Blog: The optimal "Star Wars" viewing experience
Published: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 11:11pm
Some of the movies at the top of my movie bucket list are those in the "Star Wars" series, and recently I decided to get to work watching those. But I had a big dilemma: what order do I watch them in?
There are six movies in the series, but "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace," "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones," and "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" were produced twenty-some years after the original three movies ("Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope," Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back," and "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi"), and they are intended as prequels to the original trilogy.
I started my search for the solution to my problem online. Entering "best order to watch star wars movies in" on Google yielded an interesting plethora of results, and I found an extremely detailed opinion piece evaluating all the pros and cons of the different viewing methods. (Warning: there are rude spoilers in that article--as I found out!)
One of the problems with watching the series in numerical order is visual continuity; the special effects in Episodes I, II, and III are much better than those in IV, V, and VI. Another problem is that the prequels spoil some of the plot surprises in Episodes IV, V, and VI.
Watching the movies chronologically by production date also has its faults -- the climactic ending in Episode VI ends up right in the middle of your viewing experience. But this viewing method is the order in which they came out, and director of the series, George Lucas, has stated that is his preferred viewing method.
After all this research, I still couldn't decide which movie to start with. I was not about to get cheated out of the perfect viewing experience. So I asked a friend who is a hardcore "Star Wars" fan, and after much debate she recommended watching the movies chronologically by production date, because watching the original trilogy changes the way you watch the prequels and allows you to see the sadness in them.
I've only watched Episode IV at this point in my "Star Wars" movie watching quest. While writing this blog, I asked my fellow journalism students which method they recommended, which sparked some impassioned discussions about the merits of each one.
I've already chosen the order in which I'm going to be introduced to the "Star Wars" series but what do you guys think? What is the magic order in which to watch the "Star Wars" movies?