How To Watch The Star Wars Movies In Order

How To Watch The Star Wars Movies In Order
By Eoin Harrington

It can be hard to know where to start with the Star Wars series. If you're a newbie, do you start with the original movies released in the '70s and '80s, or the newest ones, or the ones in between? There is of course some debate among purists of the series as to how you should watch them - which we'll address - but we have you sorted with the Star Wars movies in chronological order, at least.

Because the originals were released first, followed by the prequels, sequels and spin-offs, it can be hard to know how the stories line up chronologically, so we've gone through all of the live-action Star Wars movies and TV series and lined them up in chronological order to help your viewing.

Star Wars movies in order: The chronological order to watch the series in

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD7bpG-zDJQ

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd

Plot:

Two Jedi unearth a mysterious boy named Anakin with a prodigious connection with the Force, just as unease reigns across the galaxy.

Rating: 51% (Rotten Tomatoes)

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Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYbW1F_c9eM

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Christopher Lee

Plot:

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Set ten years after the events of The Phantom Menace, Anakin shares a forbidden romance with Padmé Amidala. Meanwhile, Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi investigates suspicious goings on, as war threatens to break out.

Rating: 66% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UnjrG_N8hU

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Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid

Plot:

Anakin attempts to unearth a Sith lord hidden in the shadows. The events put in motion will have devastating effects for Anakin, Obi-Wan, the Jedi, and the Galaxy.

Rating: 79% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Obi-Wan Kenobi (TV series, 2022)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yh_6_zItPU

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Moses Ingram, Vivien Lyra Blair, Hayden Christensen

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Plot:

Obi-Wan, now living in isolation, must save a kidnapped princess from the Empire - but he must confront a dangerous old foe along the way.

Rating: 81% (Rotten Tomatoes)

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Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPEYpryMp2s

Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover

Plot:

The story of the rise of Han Solo in the world of "scum and villainy".

Rating: 69% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frdj1zb9sMY

Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen

Plot:

A rag-tag bunch of antiheroes attempt to halt the Empire's plans to build a devastating weapon, the scale of which the Galaxy has never seen.

Rating: 84% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ734NWnAHA

Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Plot:

An aging Obi-Wan Kenobi and new hero Luke Skywalker team up with Han Solo to rescue Princess Leia, who has been taken hostage by the Empire. Their adventure will bring them face to face with the menacing Sith lord Darth Vader.

Rating: 93% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Star Wars Episode IV: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNwNXF9Y6kY

Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Plot:

Shocking revelations are in store for Luke, as the mighty Empire and Darth Vader fight back against the resistance of the Rebel force.

Rating: 94% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L8p7_SLzvU

Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Plot:

Luke faces down with Darth Vader, with the fate of the galaxy resting on their duel.

Rating: 83% (Rotten Tomatoes)

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The Mandalorian (TV series, 2019- )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOC8E8z_ifw

Cast: Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito

Plot:

A bounty hunter discovers is pursued by evil forces after discovering a mysterious creature.

Rating: 93% (Rotten Tomatoes)

The Book of Boba Fett (TV series, 2021- )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOJ1cw6mohw

Cast: Temura Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, Frank Trigg

Plot:

Bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigate the underworld when they return to Tatooine to claim Jabba the Hutt's old turf.

Rating: 66% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGbxmsDFVnE

Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Adam Driver

Plot:

Set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, a new generation of heroes stumble upon an old legend, and begin the galaxy-wide hunt for Jedi Luke Skywalker. The imposing First Order rises from the ashes of the Empire.

Rating: 93% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0CbN8sfihY

Cast: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher

Plot:

The Resistance bravely hold off the First Order, while Rey learns the ways of the Force from Luke.

Rating: 91% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qn_spdM5Zg

Cast: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher

Plot: 

The epic final showdown between the Dark Side and the Light.

Rating: 52% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Star Wars movies in order: Alternative ways to watch

Above you have the essential run-down of how to watch the live-action movies and series from the Star Wars universe in chronological order, but there are alternative ways to watch them.

One suggested way is to simply watch them in order of release - for the movies, that would mean going Episode IV, V, VI, I, II, III, VII, Rogue One, Episode VIII, Solo, Episode IX. You won't quite get the same continuity as you will above, but it will preserve the surprise of one of the series' great plot twists.

An intriguing alternative is the much discussed Machete Order. This only takes in the movies in the main series, and to watch in this order you would follow: Episode IV, V, I, II, III, VI, VII, VIII, IX. It essentially cuts the original trilogy just after Empire Strikes Back and returns to the prequel storyline to give some context before the epic finale in Return of the Jedi.

You're spoilt for choice here, and have some great viewing ahead, regardless of which order you watch the Star Wars movies in.

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