Welcome! Let me tell you about watching Star Wars
Hello Friends! My name is Rich and you may know me as the co-host of the Castles, Capes & Clones Podcast along with my cousin Loren. Now, I’m also a contributing writer for the Castles Capes & Clones Blog site. We actually have a bunch of cool plans for the blog site, the podcast and beyond. In time, we’ll tell you all about it but for now, I’d like to introduce you all to a new “section” of this blog called “The Clones Cantina”! If you’ve listened to the podcast, Loren likes to bring up the fact that I’m the resident Star Wars expert. What does that mean though? Well, between the two of us, I’m more immersed in the Star Wars Universe and I view it as a rich collection of history, mysticism and fantasy. I’ve pretty much grew up with Star Wars from when I was born. The first movie I went to was… well, it was Grease, but the second movie I went to was Star Wars, during it’s 1978 re-release (yeah, they did that back then). Since then, I’ve watched the movies a gillion times, bought the toys, Halloween costumes, ate the cereal, read the books, read the comics and watched the TV shows, played the PC and Console games, played the RPG, the card game and even played some Star Wars RPG via Yahoo Groups (remember those? Yeah, me too… I was just… asking). I have even contributed to the official Star Wars Website via a film project called Star Wars: Empire Uncut (https://www.starwars.com/esbuncut)!
I won’t pretend to know everything. I’m catching up on a lot of content but I have a pretty good knowledge of both what is considered Canon and what is now considered Legend.
The Clone’s Cantina will feature articles about… you guessed it...Star Wars. We’ll have reviews, share experiences, feature editorials, and take you on adventures as we explore the Star Wars Universe!
To kick things off, I’m going to talk a little about the movies. That is… different ways on how to watch them.
Um, you just, pop them in the 'ol DVD player and watch them Rich! True, that is how you watch them… but in what order should you watch them? I think there are 2 really good ways to watch… well 3… but that gets crazy.
Most of the fandom will probably say watch the original trilogy, then the prequel trilogy then the sequel trilogy… essentially release order. You could do that sure, but there are better ways to enjoy the story
The Machete Order
For years there has been something called the “machete” order. Why it’s called that, I’m not quite sure, but it goes like this: A New Hope > The Empire Stikes Back > Phantom Menace > Attack of the Clones > Revenge of the Sith > Return of the Jedi This order actually does a few things. It enhances the Skywalker Saga and solidifies Luke’s role as the true chosen one. It’s really his journey. We start with Luke in A New Hope, then we go through his training in Empire and the reveal, at the end, that Vader (spoiiiilers) is his father. Instead of going to The Empire Strikes Back, we flashback to Phantom Menace and see just how Anakin becomes Vader with viewing the prequels. After Revenge of the Sith, we cut back to the Original Trilogy with The Empire Strikes Back in which Luke saves Anakin. This order also keeps the Vader reveal intact.
Before the Disney Era, I’d say this is the way to go. Now it gets a bit more complicated because we have a sequel trilogy. The saga movies are no longer Luke’s story, but Skywalker's story. You could simply tack on Episode VII, VIII and IX after watching Episode V but maybe there can be a “new” Machete Order. A lot will depend on how the story ends in Episode IX, but you can argue for the new order to be… The Force Awakens > The Last Jedi > A New Hope > Empire Strikes Back > The Phantom Menace > Attack of the Clones > Revenge of the Sith > Return of the Jedi > Episode IX Why? This makes the Saga about the Skywalkers. We start out with a universe where Luke is a legend, and what I see as the birth of a new kind of Jedi Order. We have a build up to finding Luke. Then in The Last Jedi, we meet him and he’s not what we expect. Then he saves the rebels with his sacrifice and then we go into his story… which has the meta part of also telling Anakin’s Story then we end with Episode IX in hopes that it’s a nice wrap up. That of course may be a bit convoluted for most.
This may be the easiest and more "sensical" way to watch the movies. That is of course to watch them in order according to the timeline. This does make the universe richer and also sets up some expectations that some did not seem ready for with the sequel trilogy.
The Saga starts out with what is in it’s essence, a political thriller. You have this great conflict going on with an uneasy presence looking over everything. We are also introduced to three heroes. Obi-wan, Anakin and Padme. We go through the rise of the Emperor and the Sith and we also witness the rise and fall of one of our heroes along with one’s death. The next chapter in the trilogy shoots us forward almost 20 years with the story of Anakin’s kids. Separated at birth, their lives are vastly different from each others, but also mirror’s that of their parents. We see them both become heroes as the heroes of the past are lost. In the end, Luke redeems his father despite both the Jedi and Sith not thinking it possible. The next trilogy yet again jumps into the future. Like his mentors, Luke doesn’t completely learn from the Jedi’s mistakes. He tries to recreate it without heeding the lessons he learned from his encounter with the Emperor and Vader. Instead, he withdraws from that life, much like Obi-wan and Yoda. He also sees things in absolutes. The conflict in the galaxy is the fault of the Jedi. His proof is the fall of his nephew. But we then get a new hero who seemingly is not of the Skywalker family. Like Anakin and Luke, she is brought to the brink of being a Sith or a Jedi. She chooses the Jedi way, but not fully. She does show that there is another path. Without knowing how this story ends, it’s still safe to say this is an effective viewing order, which is taken in, really sets up the expectations, at least story wise for the sequel trilogy.
I could get more in depth about that, but that is an article in and of itself.
Then, of course, you could throw in Rogue One and Solo for good measure. I’d say Rogue One enhances the story a bit before watching A New Hope… Solo… is just a fun movie, but doesn’t really contribute anything meaningful to the saga.
So, there we go - two ways to view the saga. Me? I’m going to try out the new Machete order and see if it works or not.
Oh, I also forgot, There is an EPIC way to view the saga… and that is to include the Clone Wars Animated Series. I’ll get into how the series enhances the prequels 10 fold, but know that at it’s basic, it makes the story of Anakin so much better.
That’s it for now, stay tuned for more!
May the Force Be With You… Always
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