Saturday, February 14, 2015

Star Wars: Watching The Machete Order

STAR WARS!  I love Star Wars!  It's easily the fictional universe that I'm most invested in.  I've read almost all of the novels in the Extended Universe (even though that storyline has been wiped out to make room for Episode VII).  I've played every Star Wars video game I can get my hands on.  I consume Star Wars lore, stories, and experiences whenever I can.

So this holiday season when I finally got around to buying my first Blu Ray set I picked up Star Wars: The Complete Saga.  It was really affordable around Black Friday and while I'm in the Star Wars universe a lot via different media, I don't actually watch the movies all that often.  It was finally time to pick up a modern version of the flims.  Part of my motivation is that I wanted to rewatch them and finally try out the Machete Order.

You may be asking yourself, "What is the Machete Order?"  Well, it's the order that you can watch the Star Wars movies in to keep all of the big plot reveals and twists intact.  There are things in the original trilogy that spoil parts of the prequel trilogy and vice versa.  The idea behind the Machete Order is to preserve all the spoilers while having a story that makes sense and has biggest impact on the viewer.  It also helps viewers draw a lot of comparisons between the trilogies that are lost if the movies are watched in chronological order.  It's supposedly the ideal way to watch for someone who has never watched any of the films before.

Here's the Order:

Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Conspicuously absent is Episode I.  The hard truth is that it actually adds nothing to the overall narrative of Anakin and Luke.  They are the ones that these trilogies are really about.  It does have a podrace scene and lightsaber duel that are cool, but none of the important plot points in the series occur in Episode I.

By watching in The Machete Order you get the beginning of Luke's story while breaking away from it after the big cliffhanger at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.  Then you flashback in time to see Anakin's fall to the dark side and how he becomes Vader.  Finally, you get the conclusion of both of their stories together in Return of the Jedi.

It's an interesting watching order and I've wanted to try it out since I first heard about it.  My wife and I are currently through Attack of the Clones and so far the movie order is working really well.

I know it's often talked about, but watching the movies mixed together like this really brings to light how much better the original trilogy is.  The acting, story, character development, and practical effects are just so good in the original trilogy.  Then you jump over to the prequels and get some cool CG and lightsaber battles... but not much else.

Let's also give credit where it's due.  The Machete Order is called that because it was first proposed by Machete over at his site in 2011.

I'm really interested to see how I feel about this viewing order once I finish it.  I'll definitely let you know!

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