Star Wars viewing order for fresh eyes

Talk about canons on the competitions board led to Dannii posting a link to someone’s musings on a viewing order for Star Wars films that works for newcomers: … ing-order/

I’d never thought of much of what the author points out from the perspective of someone trying to start now, having seen none of them. It’s a good article on that front, and the order is interesting. At least the Rister order. I don’t like the Machete order because I switch off for the extended part of the article dumping on Episode I, which I’ve come to like. I also find Phantom Menace to be the most enjoyably rewatchable of the prequels because of its big meandering world and sights. Sith is too intense to watch a lot, and it rocks, but as for Clones…

My least favourite film now that all the dust has settled is Attack of the Clones. The relationships start to become important in that film but the performances and dialogue are the worst, to my eyes. Episode I’s multi character, low intimacy story doesn’t have that problem. I think Clones looks pretty bad at times, too. EG The shot of Padme lying on the desert sand is TV quality - like a crummy pile of sand that is just enough to fill the shot.

  • Wade

Very interesting. I support his way in every way.

The best part:

Fatality. You win.

You partly spare her Jar-Jar but entirely deny her Darth Maul.

  • Wade

Darth Maul sucks.

The Star Wars prequels taught me an invaluable lesson: is is much more fun to watch two guys in a cardboard set slowly swinging fluorescent lamps at each other than watching gorgeously rendered computer-generated characters swinging four light sabres around faster than the eye can follow.

This can also be read as a parable.

Nah, I like all 3 prequel light saber setpieces. Each one has a different quality. Phantom Menace has the clearest, most exciting choreography. Attack has that more abstract, lights-spinning-in-the-dark in closeup fight between Anakin and Dooku. Sith has that really aggressive final fight, capped off by the rather agonising legs off / immolation.

PS - Marco, you need to do more writing up of Andromeda results and less bagging of Darth Maul, one of the great badasses of cinema!

  • Wade

Wade, I support you in saying that my timeline is a bit too crowded. I will (eventually) complete my self assignment this evening. We have some roxxorz to do.


Darth Maul sucks.

But his tattoos are so cool!

I thought that was his skin?

That only makes it cooler.

Darth Maul is a fantastic Halloween costume. Does he even have any lines in the movie?

I try to avoid geeking out on Star Wars, but I was totally sold on this article. I’m lukewarm about all 3 of the prequels, but I like the idea that this order creates a complete story arc. I am seriously considering showing the films to my kids in this order, but including the delayed showing of Episode 1.

I think that’s how his fans are able to believe he’s secretly cool. The Boba Fettishists enjoy something similar, I believe. Few lines + cool costume + died like a bitch + retconned in the EU so it only looked like he died like a bitch + did I mention cool costume? = fans free to bestow badassitude, depth, awesomeness on character despite bland/sad/goofy nature of on-screen role.

Mostly true on the phenomenon that Star Wars characters can generate by doing little volume-wise, apart from the ‘died like a bitch’ part where DM is concerned. Boba Fett certainly did die crummily for the sake of a cheap laugh. You can’t say that about Darth Maul, who also had a whole setpiece around him.

I think DM has two lines in the film, both starting with 'At last… (we can reveal ourselves to the Jedi… and something else he can do at last along similar lines, said adjacent to the other.)

Fett, at least, managed to fall into his pit-of-cheap-laughs in a single piece (where he’ll be slowly marketed for a thousand years). Though that’s less a difference in character than in convenient SFX, I suppose. Had it been comparably feasible at the time, someone would have probably sliced Fett in half for a chuckle, too.

Any discussion of The Phantom Menace and/or lightsabers always compels me to post a link to this video: The (Totally) Phantom Menace.

That video is enjoyable, but not completely accurate. In some scenes it ignores foreshortening. In others, sadly, it’s all too correct. That said, the Yoda fight is the worst offender in that regard, while the best would still be the duel in Empire Strikes Back.

Amazingly enough I happen to know an adult who has never seen a single Star Wars movie: my wife. I think I’ll try to get her to watch the “machete” order (4, 5, 2, 3, 6)