What is the correct order to watch the Star Wars films in?

A friend of mine recently announced on Twitter that he was introducing his wife to Star Wars, however to my shock and horror he said he would be starting off with Episode 1 which just seemed so wrong…

What is the correct order to watch the Star Wars films in?

I’ll be starting my eldest daughter off on the first Star Wars film (Episode 4) soon too, it just seems like the natural order. When I had calmed down and stopped frothing at the mouth I explained my worries to him and he asked for references.

Every conversation I have ever had on the subject of the correct order to watch the Star Wars movies in has resulted in an agreement that 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3 is the correct order, but I never got it in writing so I decided it was time to get evidence, from Twitter!

The first response was direct to me in IRC:

17:01 Caius: 4,5,6,1,2,3
17:01 Caius: *IF* you let them watch 1,2,3

That’s fairly standard, it’s often debated wether bothering with Episodes 1, 2 and 3 is worth it, though I think I will show 4, 5 and 6 to my daughters eventually. The rest of the responses came quickly on Twitter:

Well that was the sort of response I was expecting, except the one person who suggested Episodes 4, 5 then 6 followed by the Christmas Special@mibly, you’re sick! Here is the response as a pie-chart to better illustrate the responses:

Not a single person out of my highly representative sample group voted for Episode 1, 2 then 3 first. I kind of agree with @prettierpixels that the in-jokes will be missed if Episodes 1, 2 and 3 are watched first, but I just have a sort of deep-down intuitive feeling that Star Wars will be spoiled if Episodes 4, 5 then 6 aren’t watched first.

Got an opinion? Post it in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “What is the correct order to watch the Star Wars films in?

  1. David Graham says:

    4,5,6 – but make sure you watch the original version(s) of these as some CGI / corrections were made for the “special editions”..

    Can’t remember off the top of my head what they were. But if you’re going to watch a classic, its best to watch it as it was released at the time!

  2. John Leach says:

    The review I saw the other day was this:

    in 7 parts, pretty funny though :)

  3. Will says:

    John: I watched that review too (all 7 parts). Really funny and has some good points. Well worth a watch.

  4. Lenary says:

    You left out the option that i’m going for:

    1,2,3,4,5,6,1,2,3

    so i get both the storyline order and the made in order, with minimal repetition. I have spent too long thinking about this…

  5. Will says:

    Lenary: Bleargh!

    There’s also 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6 as an option with 1, 2 and 3 as a sort of ‘flashback’ interlude.

    But now we’re getting crazy.

  6. Bruce says:

    You left out the option that i’m going for:

    1,2,3,4,5,6,1,2,3

    so i get both the storyline order and the made in order, with minimal repetition. I have spent too long thinking about this…

  7. Justin M says:

    4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6 is the right answer.

    That’s because Episode 5 ends on a cliffhanger. Then you can go back and see where it all came from. Then watch the finale to the whole saga, 6.

    It’s similar in some ways to the way The Godfather I and II was arranged, where The Godfather II is both a prequel and a sequel in one movie.

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