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22.1.18 0037
The W - Movies & TV - Dumb Star Wars question from an old man
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Deacon Jim

Since: 11.12.03
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 1900 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.44
Believe it or not, but I am 49 years old and have never seen any of the Star Wars movies. It wasn't that I didn't want to, it's just that once I missed the first, I didn't want to see the second one until I had seen the first, etc.

I actually went to see the first one at a drive-inn, but beer and heavy petting ensued so I really didn't know what happened.

Now, through the magic of Tivo I have all 6 movies. So, my question is this, should I watch them in episodic order or in the order in which they were released? My first instinct is to start watching them in the order of release in order to have the same viewing experiences as the rest of the world. But, if someone suggests that I would be better off watching starting at Episode I, I might be up for that.

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Packman V2

Since: 16.3.04
From: Albuquerque, NM

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.21
Good question, if you watch from 1-6, then you get the events as they unfold, and as they happen. if you watch 4-6, then 1-3, you get the original story, and then the why and how come of 4-6.

I would say watch 4-6 first. This way you get to see Darth Vader in action, then go back and watch 1-3, and see how Darth Vader came to be Darth Vader.

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Spaceman Spiff

Since: 2.1.02
From: Philly Suburbs

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
Watch 4-6 first because, frankly (and this is coming from a big Star Wars nerd), the prequels aren't very good when compared to the original trilogy.

For the OT, will you be viewing the original versions, or the special edition versions? Or, even worse, the re-realease versions that came out most recently? While I've got all versions on DVD, if I'm going to pop 1 in, it's going to be the original version. Certain changes/additions I refuse to accept.

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Lap cheong

Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

Since last post: 1558 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.21
I watched them all chronologically back around the time when Episode 3 came out. I knew the basic story, mostly from seeing parodies in other movies and shows, but had no idea what was actually going on. I rented 1 and 2, saw 3 in the theatre, and then borrowed 4, 5, and 6.

A few of my friends are huge Star Wars geeks and through conversations with them, I've decided that I'm glad I did it this way. Instead of seeing Darth Vader as this super evil robot guy in the original trilogy, I got to see him as the tragic figure he is. It makes the "shwoooooooo shhhhhhhhhh" breathing seem sad rather than menacing. Some might say that you can just re-watch 4-6 after watching 1-3 and get the same effect, but watching scenes a second time is never the same.

One of these aforementioned geek friends ended up writing a paper on the matter for a film class, using my experience as the basis for most of the "watch them in chronological order" side. It came out pretty interesting (though, frankly, the actual writing kinda sucked).

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Since: 26.3.03
From: Glendale, CA

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.07
I haven't done it myself yet, but I was thinking of this order as a standard:

1. IV
2. V
3. !
4. II
5. III
6. VI

This way, the prequels are essentially one long flashback explaining the revelation at the end of Empire, and after "Sith", we flash forward to the final battle in "Jedi".

The only thing that throws this off is Luke and Obi-Wan's conversation on Dagobah in "Jedi".

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Lap cheong

Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

Since last post: 295 days
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.40
I agree with Spaceman, I can only recommend watching 4-6. Then, only if you are desperate for more Star Wars, try 1-3. But know that 1-3 is not even in the same league as 4-6, at least not in my opinion.

(edited by ges7184 on 24.2.07 2142)

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Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.72
    Originally posted by Qui-Gon in Episode I
    Anakin Skywalker, meet Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The gravity of this quote is only relevant if you've seen 4-6 first. It's one of the examples of why I think you have to see them in the order they were released - the order they were meant to be seen in.

That said, the 4-5-1-2-3-6 idea is kind of cool too.

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Mr. Boffo

Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 1638 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
I want to bring up something that is somewhat related to this.

A while back, I found this link

It is an re-examination of the events from Episodes 4 - 6 in terms of what we saw in the prequels. I thought it was pretty interesting.

For instance, it alleges that R2-D2 and Chewbacca were both pivotal spies for the rebels (and in turn that C3PO and Han Solo are their respective patsies), and that Obi-Wan spends all his time in the desert watching Luke in order to decide whether they're going to have to kill him or not (if it looks like he could turn to the dark side like his father).

I don't know if this analysis makes sense to other people (and I personally don't believe George Lucas had much planned out for the sequels, so I would say it is a fortunate coincidence at best), and I know it probably contradicts Expanded Universe canon, but I still find it interesting.

With that in mind, I would probably watch them chronologically. As samoflange said, it could give you a different perspective than most people are able to achieve. Of course, I will leave it up to someone else to decide whether that perspective would be better or worse.

Lap cheong

Since: 24.2.02

Since last post: 209 days
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.01
Definitely watch IV-VI first. Then watch I-III. Then let that be the totality of your consumption of Star Wars fiction.

Oh, wait, hold up.

After you watch episode II, hunt down a copy of the Clone Wars series that aired on cartoon network. It's pretty cool, and it introduces a minor villain from episode III.

but do what you can to avoid any sort of Extended Universe work, unless you really feel like reading up on how every rubber suit alien is actually the secret hero of the Rebellion or somesuch shit.
Tribal Prophet

Since: 9.1.02
From: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Since last post: 679 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30
All I can say is ABSOLUTELY watch 4-6 first. If you start with 1-3, you may never finish getting through the 2nd one unless you force yourself to sit there watching something that frankly will make no sense to you and isn't very good even when it does.

And while seeing Darth Vader as a criple may be interesting (and I admit I thought it was very intersting to watch 4-6 again one day, comparing themes and such) I think you'd be missing too much of the same feelings that caused so many people to fall in love with the trilogy.

Tribal Prophet
Jim Smith

Since: 17.10.04
From: Bloomington, IL

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.13
Everybody here seems to be saying you should watch 4-6 first because they're the better movies. But that's assuming that if you watch one you don't like you'll give up on the whole series.

If you're already committed to slogging through all six movies no matter what (and it sounds like you are), I see no reason not to go 1-6 in numerical order. For one thing, it may heighten your experience of 1-3 because you won't have as much of an idea what happens to all of those characters. Plus you'll be saving the better movies for later and ending on a high note--it's been my experience that every time I watch Episode III I have a compulsive urge to watch IV, V, and VI to see everything turn out all right for the galaxy.

Since: 28.4.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 251 days
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.15
I also think that if you don't have a huge sentimental attachment to the Star Wars films, the prequels really aren't going to be that offensive. Well, Jar-Jar probably still will be, but at least you'll be getting him out of the way early. I say go I-VI and then let us know what you think about seeing the movies from a unique perspective.

EDIT: Fair disclosure, I also think both Episode II and III are very entertaining movies, horrible Anakin/Padme scenes notwithstanding.

(edited by OlFuzzyBastard on 25.2.07 0151)
Lap cheong

Since: 4.4.03
From: Nitro WV

Since last post: 503 days
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.51
Odd this question popped up. Considering for two months last year the On Demand channel of Cinamax carried all six movies and I actually took the chance to watch them in order.

I'm not an overly obsessed, sci-fi, Star Wars fan but watching it I-VI made it seem like it fit together much better. It's all opinion.

Just out curiosity I did check out the expanded universe and I liked some things that happen after movies take place but if you stick strictly the movies it all seem pretty linear. Just to keep out of any confusion of linage.

(edited by jwrestle on 1.3.07 2327)

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Potato korv

Since: 8.5.02
From: Milan-Ann Arbor, MI

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.24
Ok, here's the deal. IV-VI are the better movies. III is damned good, especially with the performances of Ewan McGregor(Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Ian MacDiarmid(Palpatine). But if you are attempting to get the whole story...well, it's tough.

Go IV-VI if you want to acknowledge Darth Vader as the fallen hero/villain he is, with avoiding the special editions to get Han Solo as the callous anti-hero the character is meant to be, then watch the prequels.

Go I-VI to get the entire story in one fell swoop, with Anakin Skywalker as the tragic hero akin MacBeth with all the effects as Lucas "wanted them" to be.

(edited by BoromirMark on 25.2.07 0318)

(edited by BoromirMark on 25.2.07 0319)


Since: 7.11.02
From: Riderville, SK

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.33
IV-VI provide necessary exposition that is not provided in I-III. If you watch the prequels, you are expected to already completely understand the concept of "The Force". There's a good chance you'll be lost if you start with I-III.

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Word Up, Thome

Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.40
It's also worth noting that IV was made in the 70s, and thus has the much more primitive special effects, so I'd think if you watched I-III first, you'd probably think IV was kind of weak by comparison.

    Originally posted by jwrestle
    Just out curiosity I did check out the expanded universe and I liked some things that happen after movies take place but if you stick strictly the movies I would stick to the movies. Just to keep out of any confusion.

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Deacon Jim

Since: 11.12.03
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 1900 days
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.44
Thanks for the input. I guess I'll go with IV, V VI, I, II, III. But, it does sound as if 1 - 6 would be fine as well.

I will check to see which versions I have, they are the ones most recently shown on the HBO networks.

formerly known as Von Erich
Spaceman Spiff

Since: 2.1.02
From: Philly Suburbs

Since last post: 61 days
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
Those are the ones that were most recently released on DVD. Kind of a special-edition-plus version, as it takes the "special edition" versions and adds/changes a few things to fit stuff from the prequels (with most changes in the "not for the better" category - I'm looking at YOU, Vader/Palpatine conversation from ESB).


Since: 6.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 15 days
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.62
    Originally posted by hansen9j
    IV-VI provide necessary exposition that is not provided in I-III. If you watch the prequels, you are expected to already completely understand the concept of "The Force". There's a good chance you'll be lost if you start with I-III.

Yes exactly. Most of the people here who are telling you to watch I - VI in order saw IV - VI first and then I - III and don't realize that if you watch the Star Wars series for the very first time starting with I then you aren't explained things you need to know until Episode IV and you don't know what the hell is going on in I - III.

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Lap cheong

Since: 20.3.02
From: California

Since last post: 10 days
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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.94
Not to beat a dead horse, but I can never resist a Star Wars thread. Both ways are fine, but I would recommend 4-6, 1-3.

Mainly because, IMO, it's the prequels that have added meaning from the last three movies, and not the other way around. The ending to Episode III is a better way to close out watching the saga as oppose to Episode VI. Everything comes full circle that way (the end is the beginning, the beginning is the end).
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