How to watch the Star Wars movies: any way you want

There are plenty of discussions about Star Wars viewing order, but I don’t really think it matters. Star Wars fans have become the fans they are through a variety of paths. Some saw the original film when it first came out; others have become fans with each new theatrical release. Some came to the films with the classic trilogy first, and others had their first exposure to the prequels. Some became fans based on the television shows or books or video games. And I suppose some have probably become fans after someone had them watch the movies in an arbitrary sequential order.

My own development as a fan was rather gradual. I vaguely remember watching the movies on LaserDisc, probably with my dad, when I was four or five. I liked them, I think, but what I most remember of watching them then were the Ewoks (really). I was mostly into dinosaurs, Batman, and Disney movies as a little kid, and I don’t think I got interested in watching the Star Wars movies again until the marketing blitz for Shadows of the Empire and the Special Edition releases. I don’t believe I saw any of the Special Editions in theaters, but my mom bought me a VHS collection at some point, and I played and watched hours of the Shadows of the Empire game at a friend’s house, and I seemed to somehow accumulate  picture books and source guides. By age nine, reading and games were my passions and the easiest entry points into Star Wars. One of my favorite books from back then was The Illustrated Star Wars Universe, written with an in-universe perspective and populated with gorgeous art.

I think Star Wars has always appealed to me because of the sense that there is always something more, something deeper, something peripheral to the scope of the films or books or whatever else. It felt more than real, something to be explored and studied and revered. I dumped so much money into source books, especially the Wizards of the Coast roleplaying game books, to be able to explore that world, to decipher that lore.

I grew to love the movies more and more the older I got; which one’s my favorite has shifted a lot over the years, but there are many things I like about all of them. But the sequential viewing order has never mattered much to me.

Sequential orders will become sillier as even more Star Wars films are produced. Prequels then Sequels? Sequels then Prequels? Machete Order? How do any of those methods work with the new trilogy, or with the spin-off films? And given that these movies were not released in a single mad rush, why must we consume them over marathon sessions or rapid-fire multi-night viewings?

I guess some people continue to watch the films in a particular sequence, and I honestly don’t have any problem with that. I suppose I try it on occasion, but even if it’s my intention, it often doesn’t work out that way. I typically just watch whichever film I want to watch. That turns out fine, I think.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s