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What is the best way to watch the films? (viewing order)
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griff
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have put a lot of thought into this:

Episode 4
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 5
Episode 3
Episode 6

Why. In a new hope you get to know everyone and some of the back story. Then you see the back story before you know that Anakin is Darth Vader, then you learn that Anakin is Darth Vader in Empire, see how that finally happens in Sith, and you see anakin's redemption in Jedi.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very divisive subject among Star Wars fans and has been discussed here before. I'm of the original generation who saw them in the order they were released. I do feel that the prequel trilogy, especially RotS, enhances the drama of the classic trilogy, especially RotJ. I have thought a lot about it too, and I've changed on the proper first time viewing order for my son since I first considered this before he was born.

When my wife and I had started dating in 2005, she was a huge fantasy fan who had never seen any SW films. She had no idea who most of the characters even were. So I thought I would use her as an experiment and show them in chronological order. She lost all sympathy for Anakin in RotS and was actually rooting for Obi-Wan to kill that Jedi-killing ba@st@rd. And knowing that Vader was Anakin actually enhanced the drama of ANH for her, like when Vader was holding Leia, his own daughter although neither of them knew it, back from Tarkin when he gave the order to destroy Alderaan (and was even saddened by the loss of "Jimmy Smit" who she assumed was on the planet). She despised Vader when he was picking off the Rebel pilots in the Battle of Yavin, and Luke's trench run was intensely dramatic for her as Vader was about to kill his own son. TESB is the episode most spoiled by the prequels, but she was still entertained by Yoda even though she knew he was Yoda before he revealed it to Luke. She still felt Luke's pain from Vader's revelation even though she already knew. And she had no clue that Anakin would redeem himself in RotJ - She was expecting Luke to kill Vader. Luke throwing away his lightsaber was a real WTH? moment for her because she knew the Sith lightning was coming next and Luke couldn't hold it back like Mace Windu had back in RotS. She was on the edge of her seat when Luke was getting electrocuted, but noticed when Vader started looking back and forth from Sidious to Luke. Could it be?... Yes! That evil b@st@rd is finally doing the right thing! She recalled the prophecy of the Chosen One who would destroy the Sith, and instantly understood that the titular Jedi who returned was Anakin.

In the end, she doesn't care for AotC because Anakin is too whiny and annoying, and she can't watch RotS because Anakin's betrayal is too much for her to bear. She likes I, IV, V and VI. TESB is her favorite episode of those four, despite all the prequel-hating 1st gen fans that warned me she wouldn't appreciate it after watching the prequels first. Yoda is her favorite character, CG and muppet both. She likes Jar Jar and the Ewoks. So in summary, chronological order is not a bad order to watch them in if you don't know anything about the classic movies. You don't already know that any of the characters will even live - their lives are in jeopardy in every episode. You don't know that Palpatine is Sidious until RotS. And TESB can still be dramatic even if you already know Vader is Luke's father.

However, I am faced with a new consideration with what order to show them to my son. With Anakin's mother dying in his arms, his beheading of Sand People in rage, his dark revelation to Padme that he massacred the entire tribe including the women and children, and Mace Windu's decapitation of Jango Fett with his son's reaction shot, AotC is the second most mature of the episodes. RotS is the most mature with Anakin's betrayal, the strong suggestion of the murders of human children, the immolation scene, and the death of the mother of twin babies. So a child may not be able to handle Episodes II and III as early as the others. If showing them in chronological order, there would be no classic trilogy until he was old enough handle to RotS. There could even be a couple years age difference in required maturity.

A blog I read described his children's reactions to watching the films in this order: 4 5, 1 2 3, 6. He didn't want to spoil TESB with the prequels, so after TESB they watched the entire prequel trilogy as an extended flashback, and then went back to the conclusion of the entire saga (thus far). The prequels do enhance the drama of RotJ, and in this order they watched RotS with all of its delightful parallels right before watching RotJ. He feels strongly that RotJ is the end of the story, and I share that sentiment. However his children watched them all within a 5 or 6 week period.

My son is now 4 and a half and he loves everything Star Wars. He has SW books, action figures, legos, the Droids and Ewoks cartoon DVDs and the first two Star Wars lego "movie" DVDs. I also have the live action Ewok movies to give to him when he is a little older. My son already knows who Yoda is so he will know before Luke finds out in TESB. He already knows young Obi-Wan won't die in the prequels because he knows Obi-Wan will grow old. He knows that Anakin is Luke's father and Padme is Leia's mother, but doesn't know Luke and Leia are siblings. He does believe that Anakin and Vader are two separate characters - In my action figure display on top of my bookshelves, I even have Anakin and Vader figures in a lightsaber battle with each other, which is "true", from a certain point of view. Wink

If I still hold RotJ until the very end and the last two prequels until he is old enough, what would be the best order when he is old enough to start them? I don't see that TPM really spoils anything for the classic movies, so I don't see any reason not to show this one first. With the final battle having outdoor ground, indoor ground, space and lightsaber battles, TPM really is the quintessential SW episode, in a way. If I then show ANH, he will get the generational time sense of the overall story and he will learn that Vader betrayed and murdered Anakin but not know how. If I then show TESB, he gets Vader's revelation like I did, and still won't know for sure if Vader is lying or not. It should be obvious that the Emperor in TESB is Darth Sidious from TPM, but he will still not know Palpatine from the prequels is Sidious/Emperor at this point. Then when he is old enough I could go back to II and then later III, the latter of which will provide the confirmation of Anakin being Vader, the revelation that Palpatine is Sidious/Emperor, and the knowledge that Luke and Leia are siblings (possibly even remembering Yoda's reference to "another" in TESB). And then after RotS watch RotJ for the conclusion to the overall story.

So right now I'm thinking the order for my son will be 1, 4, 5, 2, 3, 6. Of course these won't be back to back. The first three of those films may be spread out be over the course of a summer, and then II a year or more later, and then III a ways after that. Of course once he is old enough for III, we can then go strait to VI. And of course we will rewatch any chronologically preceding episodes before moving on to a new one for maximum context. One he watches a new episode, I will give it to him a copy for him to rewatch at will until ready to move on to the next one with Daddy.

And I did also consider live editing his first viewing of II (leaving in Shmi's death but taking strategic restroom/snack breaks to skip the other mature aspects from his initial viewing), so he can watch that episode a little sooner and I can give him the Clone Wars DVDs (first cartoon series) to watch at will instead, until a little older when he can watch the unedited version of II. When my son is finally old enough for III, we will probably "trilogize" - watch the prequel trilogy all in one day and then a week later watch the classic films all in one day, thus concluding both trilogies. I have no desire to ever watch all six films in one day.

What's my personal viewing order? I did use to follow chronological order each time I watched one, remembering the last one I watched, until I got RotS on DVD. Since then I've watched that one the most (and sometimes consecutively, occasionally watching another episode here and there in no order). I watched the blu-rays in chronological order when I first got them, but haven't watched Star Wars that much since.
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DarthOmega
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, nice story Whill! The fact that you got to vicariously see the movies for the first time through your wife must have been an awesome experience, one that sadly (or not, depending on how you look at it) I was not able to have myself since my wife saw ANH in the theaters during its original run. I wasn't even born yet (my wife is 9 years older than I am). In fact the only Star Wars movie we got to see in the theaters together was RotS. This was why I was hoping the 3D conversions would have been successful because we were planning on watching all of them together as they were released.

I hope your son enjoys them as well. A new generation of Star Wars fans is a good thing and keeps the franchise alive. All of my step kids except one LOVES Star Wars. Both the boys love it, and the youngest will even be joining us at the table for my Star Wars games (he's playing a wookiee warrior). My daughter likes the movies well enough but its not one of her big fandoms.

As for order? Me personally, I watch them in episode order. Every time. I've been meaning to try out the Machete Order (but re-adding TPM back in because I actually like that movie), but I can never bring myself to do it. Darn OCD just won't let me. It's going to be worse with Clone Wars on Netflix now. I'll have a compulsion to watch TPM, AotC, The Clone Wars series in its entirety, RotS, ANH, ESB, and then RotJ. And once Rebels runs its multi-season course (I don't count it when I can't watch the whole thing, luckily my OCD has limits) it'll be even WORSE. Then add in more movies...? I love Star Wars, but I have a feeling that my Star Wars marathon weekends are going to turn into Star Wars marathon months...

We won't even get started on reading the novels...that messes with my OCD on levels that I don't think anyone can understand since they keep adding books that come BEFORE this novel, but AFTER that one and series that happen kind of in this time frame but it's nebulous as to exactly when...ARGH!
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DougRed4
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story, Whill! Your explanation makes a lot of sense, and makes me consider watching the films in the machete order for the first time. I would always include EI, as I great enjoy that movie (and agree it's probably the most illustrative, having so many theaters of conflict happening simultaneously). I think it's wise to be careful when letting your son watch things; I probably let my kids watch stuff a little earlier than I should have. The beautiful thing is you have his whole life ahead of him to watch SW together! Very Happy

BTW, what is the "immolation" scene?

DarthOmega, I can be a little OCD at times, too. I like to call it CDO, though, putting it in its proper alphabetical order. Wink
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DarthOmega
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol, mine can get that bad sometimes, it all depends on the situation I think.

As for the immolation scene, I think he's talking when Anakin was cut into pieces by Obi-Wan during RotS and he starting burning when the magma caught him. I can see that being a bit iffy for younger children. I personally tend to follow movie guidelines, and the Star Wars movies I believe are all PG-13. Though how Lucas has managed to sneak things like barely veiled female nudity and still get a PG-13 rating is beyond me lol.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually the only movie that is PG-13 is RotS, and rightfully so due to the immolation scene alone. The fallen hero gets his legs and non-cybernetic arm cut off, and with evil Sith-yellow eyes he yells up at Obi-Wan, "I HATE YOU!" before his body catches on fire while crying out in immense pain and suffering, then his hair burns off and skin gets all melty. Probably Hayden Christensen's finest performance in Star Wars, but yeah, that alone is not for little kids. Dooku also gets decapitated by Anakin at the beginning of the film and the mother of babies dies at the end.

IMO, AotC is really pushing the PG rating with the protagonist decapitating aliens in rage out of revenge for his mother dying in his arms, and then later Mace Windu decapitating Jango Fett with his 10-year-old son watching. But PG or PG-13, it all means parental guidance.

In my current intended order for my son, I'll start with TPM but it still shows a beloved protagonist (Qui-Gon) being killed, and this one doesn't have his Force-voice in the movie showing he is still around in some form. Darth Maul can be a little fearsome and menacing.

Then ANH is step up from that because it shows Luke finding his parents' charred skeletal remains (and still smoking). I was 6 when I first saw that, so I'm guessing that is probably what it will be for my son. Yeah Obi-Wan dies too but at least his body mysteriously disappears and we do hear his voice later. And Obi-Wan cuts off an alien's arm with completely unnecessary blood splatter on the floor around it.

All the movies except TESB have the death of significant characters in them, but TESB does have the shocking I am your father revelation with Luke reacting very badly to the news, after getting his hand cut off. Han briefly gets tortured before being frozen and taken away by a bad guy.

So I will tread carefully as my son and I venture into each movie based on his development.
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Last edited by Whill on Sun May 04, 2014 2:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DarthOmega
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh absolutely, and you are no doubt a good parent by doing that. In fact I'd go so far as to say that you're a great parent in this day and age. Most parents don't care what their kids watch on TV or what video games they play, as long as it babysits them with little to no work on the parent's part.

Now that you've pointed all that out, and noted that all except one are PG, I'm a bit surprised by that. Given all that happens in them violence wise (and in some case gruesome violence at that) as you've pointed out, plus the couple of scenes throughout that has near female nudity...I'm surprised that they're only PG and not PG-13, thus my figuring that they WERE PG-13.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enslaved Princess Liea? They show far more sexualized content on primetime TV. (Man, how I love those Victoria Secrets commercials!)

I feel any concerns regarding immodesty anywhere in Star Wars are trumped by Qui-Gon getting killed by Maul, so that will be the first benchmark. When my son is old enough to handle that, we can start watching the main saga. And RotJ will be last in my son's order, so if he is old enough for the immolation scene in RotS, he is old enough for metal bikinis.
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griff
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Original Trilogy was made before the PG-13 rating. Red Dawn was the first movie to have the PG-13 rating. But not to mention Oola's Nip-slip just before she was eaten by the Rancor. That got past a lot of people for a very long time. I think it was finally fix on the Blue-Ray.
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DarthOmega
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
Enslaved Princess Liea? They show far more sexualized content on primetime TV. (Man, how I love those Victoria Secrets commercials!)

I feel any concerns regarding immodesty anywhere in Star Wars are trumped by Qui-Gon getting killed by Maul, so that will be the first benchmark. When my son is old enough to handle that, we can start watching the main saga. And RotJ will be last in my son's order, so if he is old enough for the immolation scene in RotS, he is old enough for metal bikinis.


Actually I was more referring to Oola, who is pretty much naked (that whole outfit is see-through), and a couple of women that are pretty much wearing just about nothing or see-through clothing in the scene on Coruscant in AotC in the cantina (when Elan tries to sell Obi-Wan deathsticks).

Yes, they are rather obscure and/or quick scenes, but they're there regardless. Honestly while I point them out, they aren't that big of a deal, as I never even noticed them until I was old enough to notice that stuff on my own anyway (and by the time AotC came out I was definitely old enough). My point was how George manages a PG rating while still sneaking those sort of scenes in.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me also echo (and affirm) that you're being a great (and wise) parent, Whill.

As for ratings and movies, back before the PG-13 rating (1981), the original Clash of the Titans has quite a bit of nudity; until they were pointed out here I didn't even realize there was any in Star Wars. They're pretty tame by comparison.
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Red 331
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My vote is ANH, TESB, ROTJ, and then burn the tv. Prequels? What's a prequel? Is that something you take before going to bed? Very Happy

Sorry to those who like the more recent films. They have a few moments, but they're just on a whole other plane of existence, in my opinion.

Several of you mentioned the slower pacing of the OT. That's one of the reasons I enjoy it much more. It actually takes some time to tell a story, to work on character development, and rely on acting over CG. I sure hope the new movies carry at least some of those attributes, but after seeing J.J.'s first Star Trek movie (didn't see the darkness one), I'm fearful that the pacing will not follow the OT style. We'll see.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Into Darkness was a really fun action movie with about two sentences worth of plot (as in the plot only functioned to get you to the next action sequence).

I hate what J.J. has done with Trek, and I pray he does better with Star Wars.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmanski wrote:
Into Darkness was a really fun action movie with about two sentences worth of plot (as in the plot only functioned to get you to the next action sequence).

I hate what J.J. has done with Trek, and I pray he does better with Star Wars.


To be fair, JJ was told to make the new Star Trek movies "accessible" to the everyman, not just fans of the franchise, so that's a good portion as to why they turned out the way they did. Despite everything you have to hand it to Benedict Cumberbatch, who did an awesome job as the villain, and Zachery Quinto who is still spot on as a younger Spock. I can see why Nimoy hand picked him.

Luckily when it comes to the new Star Wars films, Disney usually has a very hands off approach, just look at the Marvel movies, especially Avengers for proof of that. JJ is actually REALLY good at building characters, stories, and pacing. Watch Fringe sometime if you want to see what he can really do if given the opportunity. I think the new trilogy is in good hands if they let him do what he wants.

@DougRed - You know I hadn't thought of Clash, but you're right. I never said that the scenes in Star Wars were a big deal, not to my mind anyway. I'm sure some people would freak out if it was pointed out to them (I know my mother would. She would lament ever letting me watch the movies as child if she knew).

In this day and age where even a shot of a naked male butt or a split second shot of a sideboob gets you an 'R' rating, I have to wonder what RotJ and even AotC would get rated these days. I know AotC isn't very old, but censorship in our country when it comes to nudity has gotten really strict in the last few years.

To the topic at hand...I wonder if any new movie watching orders will come about after the new movies are released, or if the spin-off movies that are supposed to happen come to fruition.
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Red 331
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably the most important issue that needs to be resolved in this thread is, of course:

Where, in the viewing order, do you introduce the Star Wars Holiday Special?
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