The optimal way to watch the Star Wars films: The Machete Order

may the 4th be with youIt’s May the 4th, also known as Star Wars Day, thanks to the fact the “May the 4th be with you” is a pretty good pun on the Jedi catchphrase.

According to Wikipedia, the “May the 4th” pun was first used in mass media on May 4th, 1979 as a way of congratulating British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on her taking the office. The first organized Star Wars Day celebration was co-organized in 2011 in Toronto by my friend Sean Ward at the Toronto Underground Cinema, and in 2013, Disney Parks started celebrating the event.

I’m celebrating by joining some friends in a game of Edge of the Empire (in my opinion, a vast improvement over previous Star Wars role-playing games) and posting some Star Wars-related stuff on the blog. Enjoy, and remember: let the wookiee win!

IV, V, II, III, VI: The Machete Order

machete order

Rod Hilton, on his site, No Machete Juggling, like most sensible people, considers episodes I, II, and III to be of little value. However, they’re part of the canon now, and you can be sure that they’ll be referenced in the upcoming episodes helmed by JJ “Lens Flare” Abrams. He’s come up with the optimal way to watch the movies if you must include both trilogies: The Machete Order. It’s pictured above, and spelled out below:

  1. Episode IV: A New Hope. Meet the most interesting characters and see the story that got the ball rolling.
  2. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. The best of the bunch, with some of the most memorable lines, including “Do, or do not. There is no try.”
  3. Episode II: Attack of the Clones. If you thought Luke was whiny, wait till you meet his dad! There’s some symmetry between episodes II and V, which makes the transition from 1980s cinematography and effects to 2000s filmmaking a little less jarring.
  4. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. “The Chancellor’s all ‘dark side’ this and ‘Sith’ that. I think he’s trying to tell me something.” Anakin becomes Darth Vader, the Jedi Order is destroyed, and we know how the Republic became the Empire, which leads us to…
  5. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Ewoks. Ewoks everywhere. Yub nub!

Note that Episode I: The Phantom Menace is skipped entirely. In a single stroke, it eliminates a lot of the spaghetti that George Lucas threw against the wall and didn’t stick: the fact that Star Wars is all about a trade dispute, Jar Jar Binks, Jake “Spinning! I’ll try that!” Lloyd, immaculate conception, and the pod race. It also minimizes mention of midichlorians, and cuts the number of times the Empire is defatead by flying into their base and shooting at the weak spot from half the films to one-third.

Want to know more? Hilton goes into detail about his logic on his page about The Machete Order.

One reply on “The optimal way to watch the Star Wars films: The Machete Order”

Episode I could be watched with the three upcoming Star Wars spin-offs as an extra origin story. One of the spin-offs will be about Mace Windu, so it would make sense to watch Episode I with the canon spin-offs when they are released.

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