Here's the best order to rewatch all released Star Wars movies ahead of the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Over four decades of Star Wars movies have been leading to this climactic finale to the Skywalker Saga, which makes another viewing of the films all the more pertinent.
Between the Originals, the Prequels, and the Sequel Trilogy, there is a lot of Star Wars to re-visit. Due to the nonlinear release order of the series, a Star Wars marathon requires some thought as to where to begin. There are a number of different viewing orders debated by fans, all of which highlight different characteristics of the overarching story. Is the original release order the best way to view them, or is it better to see them in chronological order?
The best way to go about an epic marathon leading up to Star Wars 9 is to start at the very beginning in chronological order. Upcoming fans watching the films for the first time might benefit from seeing them in release order, but chronologically is the best way to watch the series for repeating viewings since it's the order the story goes in, from the rise of Darth Vader to Luke's journey, Vader's redemption, and then the beginnings of Rey & Co. Here's the best order to rewatch the Star Wars movies:
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars: A New Hope
- The Empire Strikes Back
- Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi
This viewing order starts the story off slowly and gradually builds everything to greatness, but it's important to go back to the very beginning in order to get the full scope of the Skywalker Saga, rather than just Luke's part of the story. Star Wars 9 is going to tie all nine movies together, so it's important to re-familiarize yourself with the Prequel Trilogy as well as the Original Trilogy, and starting in this order makes more sense because, well, it's the order the story goes in. Even though they are not a direct part of the Skywalker Saga, Solo and Rogue One are important for the development they provide for the Original Trilogy, from key characters such as Han and Lando to answering questions about the Death Star and giving even more weight to the Rebels in A New Hope.
If you are pushed for time, then A New Hope and beyond is where the essential viewing begins. The story of Luke Skywalker, despite being four decades old, remains the best Star Wars has been so far, and it's the start of the Skywalker Saga in terms of release. Finally, as The Rise of Skywalker is the end of Sequel Trilogy, it's essential to catch up on its two predecessors. While Disney's Star Wars movies have proved controversial, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi are crucial to the story and characters of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, such as Rey and Kylo Ren.