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How To Watch Star Wars

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Mar 03 2012 · 203 views

Star Wars
To get things out of the way, if you're one of the frightening large number of people I've encountered who have never seen Star Wars, this entry is not for you. Instead, go find someone who has and tell them to read this, and then they will help you watch Star Wars.

Since Episode I made its way into our lives in 1999, a new issue has been raised in the land of Star Wars fandom - what is the right way to watch the movies? And furthermore, how would you show them to your kids/someone who has never seen them?

I have thus far been a staunch supporter of IV, V, VI, I, II, III. This is the way the movies were released. If you watch the prequels first, it ruins the surprise of just about everything in the original trilogy. You know Darth Vader is Luke's father, you know who that crazy-sounding Muppet is, you know all about Palpatine. So better to watch the originals first, be surprised by that, and then learn more about how things got to where they were through the prequels.

Others out there champion an order of I, II, III, IV, V, VI, since matches the movies' internal chronology. I can see some additional reasons behind that. If you watch the original trilogy first, you know where everything in the prequels is leading up to. You know Anakin will become Darth Vader, that Padme will die, and that Obi Wan will end up in Tatooine and Yoda on Dagobah. I argue, however, that from a cinematic perspective, the storytelling in the originals is much better and the revelations you see there are more startling than those in the prequels, which tend to be pretty heavily foreshadowed. (I mean, who didn't see that Palpatine was Darth Sidious?) Maybe my perspective is skewed though since I had seen the originals and read a lot of the books before the prequels were even announced.

I was contemplating these two points of view recently, and came upon a possible compromise. Perhaps it would be too confusing for someone who has never seen the movies, but if they were able to stick with it I think it could have a lot of potential: I, IV, II, V, III, VI.

Think about it.

You watch The Phantom Menace; you're introduced to this little boy and Obi Wan, silly adventures occur and then there's an amazing lightsaber duel.

You watch A New Hope - hey how did Obi Wan get so old all of the sudden, who is this Darth Vader character? Oh my goodness he kills that little boy from the first movie (obviously not while he's a boy, but still)?

You watch Attack of the Clones. Oh hey there's that Clone War Obi Wan was just talking about. Another crazy lightsaber duel.

You watch The Empire Strikes Back - WAIT! Anakin is Darth Vader? But he was just taking on the insurrectionists!?

You watch Revenge of the Sith; oh, so that's what happened. Man that was a ridiculously quick fall to the dark side (sorry, it was!). Palpatine is Sidious (okay so you probably already figured that one out). Ah, so that's how all those things from IV got set into motion.

Finally, you watch Return of the Jedi. Anakin redeems himself! Good wins! Teddy bears taking out trained military forces!

I think it could work.

Does anyone know someone we could test it on?

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You know what? I agree with this. This is possibly the most logical way to introduce the series to someone. It allows one to begin the movie where Lucas "intended" it, and end it where Lucas "intended" it. Plus, you don't lose any information between films.

I honestly like this. It -works-.
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Wow, That is a really good point. Because either way, If you watch one trilogy, the other is revealed. This way, It's like in lord of the rings, when "half" of the 2nd or third book is for legolas, gimli, etc. and the other half is of frodo and sam (in the books) which keeps you on hte edge of your seat, wondering how things work out for your otehr set of main characters in the middle of their quest. and Then, after watching revenge of the sith, you realize how it play out when you watch return of the jedi, because if ou waztched it with the original trilogy first, the when you watch the prequels, you would realize "oh, so thats how it goes" but if you keep the endings of each trilogy to watch basically side by side, you wouldn't know the ending of it yet, and hten hte final conclusion would be even better, because you already know how darth vader came to be and what happened to him in his early years.

I can't wait to try this out and see how it flows (even though I already watched the movies) in a week or two when I get the complete saga on blu ray.

This is really getting me excited about star wars now.
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Toa of Dancing
Mar 03 2012 03:55 PM
This just might work. Visual effect whiplash might drive people away, though. =P
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That's the most genius thing I've ever read.
I was introduced in the: I, II, III, IV, V, VI order, and have regreted it ever sense.
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xD I think that could work.
I still prefer having them watch the OT, then the new ones.

Or be like me, and see, I, IV, V, VI, II, then III. =P
(But that was partly because II hadn't come out when I got the OT)
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Legolover-361
Mar 03 2012 04:41 PM
I still support watching the films in their chronological orders -- I, II, III, IV, V, VI -- but your idea sounds good, too.
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I personally am a staunch supporter of IV, V, VI, and nothing else. Hey, someone had to say it eventually. :P

In all honestly, If I ever have kids of my own, I have no intention of showing them the disasters that are the prequels unless they personally beg me to. And if that happens, I'll have to rent them, because my personal Star Wars movie collection will be limited to the earliest VHS versions of the original trilogy I can find. I'll still probably never be able to avoid the horrors of Greedo shooting first, but at least I won't have to put up with most of the other needless changes.
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I personally am a staunch supporter of IV, V, VI, and nothing else. Hey, someone had to say it eventually. :P

In all honestly, If I ever have kids of my own, I have no intention of showing them the disasters that are the prequels unless they personally beg me to. And if that happens, I'll have to rent them, because my personal Star Wars movie collection will be limited to the earliest VHS versions of the original trilogy I can find. I'll still probably never be able to avoid the horrors of Greedo shooting first, but at least I won't have to put up with most of the other needless changes.

I know what you mean, and to a degree, I concur. It's hard to avoid the fact that the prequels exist though.

You should have picked up the DVDs they had a couple years ago - they each came with a second disc that included the original theatrical cut of the original. Those are the ones I watch when I want to see Star Wars.
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I was a IV-V-VI-I-II-IIIer. Phantom Menace came out when I was three, and I saw II and III in theaters.

Of the two main orders, I prefer the way I was introduced to the films, but really, I don't think Star Wars can be "ruined" either way.
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Seriously, what is it that you guys hate from the prequel trilogy? Granted, Binks was a bit silly but the Ewoks were much sillier. Like, seriously. You´ve said it yourself. Tiny teddy bears defeating trained military forces which were literally created for the sole reason of being soldiers is much more ridiculous than some weird clumsy guy. Personally, I enjoyed the entire saga very much and episode 3 is in fact one of the best movies I have watched.

~Gata. ;)
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-Toa Lhikevikk-
Mar 03 2012 06:12 PM
I watched them in the rather bizarre II-V-I-IV-III-VI order. Given that I already knew the basic plot of each film by then, there wasn't much left to be spoiled by the format. :P
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I'm undecided, I've tried both ways, 123456 and 456123. I've enjoyed both ways. But the way you propose sounds intriguing, might try that.

I honestly don't mind the prequels that much. But then again I'm not the SW fan I used to be either, don't enjoy it as much as before.

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Ta-metru_defender
Mar 03 2012 06:49 PM
I was actually talking about this very subject with a friend last week (when we have kids, in what order do we suggest watching these movies?). He had an interesting idea, watch them IV V I II II VI. His reasoning is that this way you watch the good movies, then you get a flashback to all the backstory, then the grand finale.

It actually makes a lot of sense and I'm heavily tempted to test it out on a friend of mine who hasn't seen Star Wars (rather than watching the Holy Trilogy first and then the new ones).
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It does sound rather good, I saw them in I,II,III,IV,V,VI order, but to be honest these days I'm not sure the order matters much as far as being surprised, Star Wars is referenced so much in other things. I already new Darth Vader was Lukes father before I'd seen any of the films, simply because it came up in the Simpsons.

But perhaps your order would work on someone who doesn't watch a lot of TV, who hasn't been exposed to the many SW references out there...
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I think watching them in the order they were released lets you appreciate them the most for their artistic merit. After all, IV, V, and VI were the inspiration for I, II, and III.

But your suggestion is definitely a good compromise, although it would require much more care and attention from the viewer than the typical movie-watching experience, since they have to be able to remember the events from two movies ago to fully place the one they're watching in the continuity. It would be a great experiment!

The only question is whether the experiment is ethical. Some people would argue that if a person doesn't watch the movies in the ideal order, Star Wars may be ruined for them forever. But I don't think that's as big a deal as some would make it out to be.
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Interesting. The idea makes sense. Although I would probably promote OT first then prequels, but this is a decent compromise.

:music:
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How did I see Star Wars? Let me think... I believe it went IV, V, I, VI, II, III. Don't ask me why.

But the order you're talking about sounds pretty good. I have heard of it before, and it seems to get the best of both worlds.
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This is actually an interesting idea, possibly even a good one. And since I just met some people that haven't seen any of them yet (horror of horrors) I just might try it out.
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Seriously, what is it that you guys hate from the prequel trilogy? Granted, Binks was a bit silly but the Ewoks were much sillier. Like, seriously. You´ve said it yourself. Tiny teddy bears defeating trained military forces which were literally created for the sole reason of being soldiers is much more ridiculous than some weird clumsy guy. Personally, I enjoyed the entire saga very much and episode 3 is in fact one of the best movies I have watched.~Gata. ;)

What don't I like? There's a lot of things, some from a cinematic but mostly from a story perspective.
  • Hayden Christiansen's acting (or lack thereof)
  • The annoying-ness of Jar Jar (yes the Ewoks were silly and contrived, but they weren't annoying and you only had to deal with them for part of one movie instead of three).
  • The ways they needlessly rewrote things (Boba Fett's origin, R2-D2's rockets)
  • Anakin's twenty-second fall to the dark side
  • Everything in Revenge of the Sith after Anakin is defeated (the whole blatant setup of everything for A New Hope)
I'm probably just jaded because I grew up with the Original Trilogy and the Expanded Universe, and then the Prequels just went back and changed so much of it and were internally inconsistent. And for what? I don't think adding Midichlorians made the movies any better, and probably made them a little sillier and worse.

Okay, I'll stop ranting now.
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What on earth is wrong with Jar-Jar Binks?
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