Tag Archives: Starwars


(by Jonathan D. Kindall) The story of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and a galaxy far, far away has been with us for nearly 50 years now, and with 11 movies, a hit television show, and a number of animated spin-offs available to watch, it’s certainly an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan. But with all the Star Wars content out there (and so much more planned for release in the coming years) it can be hard to know where to start, especially if you’re new to the franchise. We’re here to help though! In this article, we’ll highlight the can’t-miss Star Wars movies, tell you which order you should watch them in, and teach you how you can watch alongside your friends with Stream Party!

What is Star Wars About?

Beginning in 1977 with a single science-fiction movie, Star Wars is a pop-culture entity now known worldwide. In the 42 years since the first movie’s release, the universe and characters within it have become one of the biggest media franchises of all time, with the film series alone making more than $10 billion. Featuring humans, aliens and robots living in a world where space travel is common, the Star Wars franchise follows a number of characters, some with powerful skills and gifts, as they fight for survival and good in a universe that’s nothing like our own.

How Can I Watch the Star Wars Movies With My Friends?

All Star Wars content—including live-action movies, shows, and animated cartoons—is available to watch on Disney + right now. If you want to watch with your friends and family in person, you need only to have a TV with Disney + access to do so. But what if you want to watch with friends across the world? One option is Stream Party, a service that lets you watch your favorite shows with friends no matter where you are. Free to use, Stream Party lets you synchronize video and chat with your friends as you watch, and services like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and YouTube are all supported! So read on, text your friends and get ready to start that Star Wars marathon today!

In What Order Should You Watch the Star Wars Movies?

As of April 2020, there have been eleven live-action Star Wars feature films released—nine in the main “Skywalker Saga” and two anthology films that connect to the wider universe. The first movie, Star Wars: A New Hope, was released in 1977 and the most recent, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, was released in 2019. So, if you’re new to the Star Wars franchise, you’d think to just start with A New Hope and watch the films in the order they were released, right? Well, as most all Star Wars fans know, it’s not quite that simple.

When Star Wars: A New Hope was released 42 years ago in 1977, it was marketed simply as Star Wars, with no subtitle at all. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that the numbering and subtitle began to appear in promotional materials and in new copies of the film. But even then, viewers noticed something curious. The subtitle read Episode IV: A New Hope. Episode four? Had they somehow missed the first three movies? Were they supposed to know more about what was going on?

Not at all. George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars films and director of many of the movies, had sweeping, epic plans for the Star Wars universe from the very beginning, but when the cast and crew made the first film, no one knew if it would even make any money, let alone spawn a decades-long media franchise. So, while Lucas dreamed of making dozens of Star Wars movies—constantly writing scripts for what came before and what would come next—he chose to make the movie he thought would be most appealing to audiences first.

If you watch A New Hope then you’ll notice references to a bigger universe all over the place. Things like The Clone Wars or the Jedi Order are talked about and referenced throughout, but the film gives little to no context as to what these things actually are. Instead, it throws the audience into the middle of the action—the middle of the universe—and lets them experience it all for themselves. Not only did this ensure that Star Wars: A New Hope was a roaring success at the box office, but it also set the stage for Lucas to later go back and add as much context as he wanted to the Star Wars universe. And that’s exactly what he did.

A New Hope was followed up three years later by Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, which picked up soon after the events of the first film and continued the story of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, characters introduced in A New Hope. After another three years, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was released in May of 1983.

16 years later, Lucas would return to the Star Wars Universe as a director to finally make Episode I, titled The Phantom Menace. This film and the two that follow (Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones & Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith) tell the story of the young Jedi Anakin Skywalker, and how he becomes the terrifying villain Darth Vader we see in the original films. With these three movies, collectively referred to as the prequel trilogy, Lucas was finally able to add the context he had planned on from the very beginning.

It doesn’t stop there though. After Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise for more than $4 billion in 2012, the media giant released three new films in the storyline: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, and Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. These films take place after the events of Return of the Jedi and feature older, wiser iterations of the characters in the original movies. These films (known as the “sequel” trilogy) also introduce a number of new, younger characters—a new generation of galaxy-saving heroes for a new generation of moviegoers.

So there you have it: the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, and the sequel trilogy. Nine movies collectively referred to as The Skywalker Saga. Add in Rogue One and Solo, two anthology films produced by Disney, and you have all 11 Star Wars feature films.

But we still haven’t answered the initial question—what’s the best order to watch them?

Release Order or Chronological?

Among Star Wars fans, there are two main arguments for the order in which you should watch the Star Wars movies. On one side are fans who believe that the best way to watch is in release order, starting with A New Hope and ending with Rise of Skywalker. On the other side are fans who believe watching the films chronologically is the best, starting with Episode I and ending with Episode IX. Here are the pros and cons of both:

Release Order

This is the order in which the films were released, and if you’re looking to experience the Star Wars universe in the same way that many fans have since 1977, this is the way for you. Watching the films in release order is arguably the way that George Lucas intended, and if you’re watching with someone completely new to the franchise, release order is probably best, as it makes sure that the franchise’s biggest twists and turns are not spoiled for new viewers. The two anthology films, Rogue One and Solo, can be watched at any point in this structure, either in the order listed above or simply tacked onto the end.

Chronological Order

This order follows the chronological timeline of when the movies are supposed to take place within the Star Wars universe. Starting with Episode I, fans who watch in chronological order will see Vader’s origin story before his fight against his son and the Rebellion. They too will then finish with the Disney films. Once again, Rogue One and Solo are not essential here, but if you wish to include them they fall between Episodes III and IV.

When watched in this order, fans are able to see the full arc of Anakin Skywalker’s story—his rise, fall and subsequent redemption. There’s real merit to this, as watching the prequels completely changes the way in which one understands the original trilogy. Seeing the epic space opera in this way truly makes it feel like the characters grow and change on their journey.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks to watching chronologically. The first is that going from a film made in 2005 (Episode III) to a film made in 1977 (Episode IV) can be rather jarring, as the visual and special effects are noticeably worse. This is again apparent when jumping from Episode VI to Episode VII. Additionally, watching the films in this order all but ensures that the mysteries and plot twists of the original trilogy are spoiled before you get to them. However, if you’re looking for a distinct beginning, middle and end to the Star Wars story, chronological is probably your best bet.

So Which Order Should I Pick?

The real answer here is that it depends! Both structures have their merits, and while the two viewing orders both have staunch defenders on the internet, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. If you’ve seen the films one way, perhaps try watching them the other the next time you view. If you’ve never seen the films before though, or if you’re watching them with a friend completely new to the Star Wars universe, perhaps consider release order—if for no other reason than to see the look on their face when it’s revealed who Darth Vader really is! Either way though, now that you know the pros and cons of both methods, you can decide with your friends which viewing order you want to try first. In the end, it’s up to you!

Which Star Wars Movies Is The Best?

As is the case with any major franchise, there are lots of debates within the Star Wars community as to which of the 11 films are the best. Ask any Star Wars fan, and they’re sure to have a ranking different from the person beside them.

Generally though, the original trilogy (Episodes IV, V & VI) are considered the best films in the Star Wars canon. These movies are all a piece of film history in their own right now, and many Star Wars fans consider the original trilogy to be untouchable in quality.

The same cannot be said for the prequel trilogy however. Even though filmmaking technology had improved quite a bit between 1983 and 1999, many fans walked away from Episodes I, III, & III disappointed. The prequels have since regained a bit of a cult following on the internet, but the general consensus among critics and fans alike is that the prequel trilogy does not quite match the heights of the original films.

Reception of the five Disney-released Star Wars films has been mixed. Many fans are happy to have Star Wars back at all, and the stories that these new movies tell are indeed exciting, sleek and fresh. But some find Episodes VII, VII & IX to be too derivative or lacking the heart of the originals and prequels. Others criticize them for being too “Disney-fied” complaining that the steady stream of releases is oversaturating the Star Wars market.

Just like with the viewing order though, which Star Wars movie is best is completely up to you. Each of three trilogies have their own distinctive style and feel, and it’s highly likely that one of those styles will appeal to you more than the others. As you watch the Star Wars movies, consider keeping track of which ones you like and which ones you don’t. Perhaps even start a ranked list, and compare with your friends as you watch over Stream Party!