With Solo: A Star Wars Story dropping into cinemas in the early hours of tomorrow morning, there’s just a few hours left to get in a quick re-watch of the previous Star Wars films. Sure, you might not get them all in, but you can get in a few, right?

But which one’s do you watch and which order do you watch them in?

Good question! And this leads me onto that age-old conundrum: What is the best order to watch the Star Wars movies?

Everyone has a different opinion on this – what’s yours?

A New Hope

Image: ©Lucasfilm

For some, the best viewing order is the order in which they were produced, starting with Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) and running through to Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017). The argument being, that each subsequent film works better having had knowledge of everything that came before.

If you follow the production order then you watch the movies as follows:

  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Personally I don’t subscribe to this order, because you start zipping about the timeline too much.

The Phantom Menace

Some people – myself included – prefer to watch the movies in chronological order, beginning with Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and running through to Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. The argument here is that this is the way the story is meant to be told and with each new addition to the series, movies need to be slotted in accordingly.

The chronological order runs as follows:

  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

For me, this order works the best. Episodes I to VI create a story for Anakin; the pairing of Rogue One & A New Hope creates a mini-story; and The Force Awakens starts off a new journey.

Rogue One

I’m aware that other fans watch the movies in a different order again – sticking to production order, with one exception – Rogue One. As Rogue One is so closely linked visually and thematically to A New Hope, some fans like to begin their Star Wars journey with Rogue One and then switch to production order moving forward.

This order runs as follows:

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

I appreciate things are starting to get a little confusing now and none of the three lists above take into account any of the animated shows, the Ewok movies or Solo: A Star Wars Story!

So, to clear things up once and for all: What is the best order to watch the Star Wars movies?