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How to watch the star wars movies in order

How to Watch the Star Wars Movies in Order


Force fans unite! With a seemingly endless steady stream of movies and TV shows coming out of Lucasfilm, there has never been a better time to be a Star Wars lover (Book of Boba Fett aside). Whether you’re the most experienced Jedi aficionado or have only just started dipping your toes into the intergalactic cultural phenomenon, there is an absolutely astounding wealth of content to enjoy, but where do you start with Star Wars?

As we all know, the film series wasn’t exactly released in order. When creator George Lucas released Star Wars in 1977, the sci-fi movie spawned an incredible array of sequels, prequels, spin-offs and origin stories. Retroactively renamed as Star Wars IV: A New Hope, the first film to be released is a modern marvel of movie-making and character exploration, but it isn’t where the series leads officially leads off, not chronologically at least. New prequels and the intellectual property’s move over to Disney have changed the way that we view the iconic space opera and the characters that inhabit it. With new seasons of The Mandalorian on the way, not to mention a new release pretty much every other year, the franchise is certainly in no danger of becoming stagnant, unlike Han Solo at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

Watching the films in theatrical order will allow you to see the series as it was released to the public, but it doesn’t give you a full scope of the entire franchise as a whole. If you want to want to watch Star Wars movies in order, it will involve a bit of jumping around. The easiest way is to split Star Wars into three sections; the originals, the prequels and the sequels.

'Episode IV: A New Hope' | Image: LucasFilm
‘Episode IV: A New Hope’ | Image: LucasFilm

Original Series

The original trilogy, which kicked off with the release of the 1977’s retroactively named Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is the benchmark for modern sci-fi films. The space-age odyssey follows young hero Luke Skywalker and his newly acquired team of misfit rebels Han Solo, R2-D2, Chewbacca and C-3PO as they attempt to free Princess Leia, the leader of the Rebel Alliance from Darth Vader and a powerful weapon created by the Galactic Empire.

The space-age civil war plot was ground-breaking for the time and prompted film studio 20th Century Fox to invest in a full film series. The second instalment, entitled Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is set three years after the events of the first film. Darth Vader relentlessly pursues Luke Skywalker and the rebel alliance, desperate to turn him to the dark side. However, under the instruction of Master Yoda, Luke trains to become a Jedi Knight while his friends try to fend off the Imperial fleet.

The Empire Strikes Back is a film that took the original’s success and doubled it. With more refined special effects and a more immersive and developed universe, Lucas was able to create a larger than life cinematic structure that provided some of the most iconic lines in film history.

The final film in the original Star Wars trilogy is Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Set one year after Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi is a continuation of the Skywalker/Vader story. With new revelations uncovered and battles raging, this 1983 instalment is an action-packed adventure.

The first trilogy in George Lucas’s Star Wars series is by far the most famous of the lot, as it introduced the world to Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and the iconic breathing apparatus known as Darth Vadar. But as amazing as the story was, Lucas wasn’t done after just three. Years after Return of the Jedi hit cinemas, Star Wars would be back on the big screen in a huge way.

Prequels

Legend goes that Lucas had always imagined a set of three prequels to be released retroactively after the first trilogy. In 1999, Lucas’ vision finally hit cinemas with the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. While critically panned, the film introduced us to a wealth of new characters, storylines and Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Following The Phantom Menace came Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which were released in 2002 and 2005 respectively. But once again, Lucas wasn’t finished.

Sequels

In 2015, the third trilogy began with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In this series, we see a new order threaten to destroy the New Republic. Familiar characters and new faces collide in this continuation of the classic series.

After The Force Awakens came Star Wars: The Last Jedi, where we see the new era of Jedi begin to take shape. The third trilogy was completed with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. In addition to the three trilogies, Star Wars has also birthed a number of TV shows and shorts, many of which are animated.

The Best Way to Watch Star Wars Movies in Order – Chronological Order

Now, that’s a lot to take it. With three trilogies and wealth of TV shows to get through this May fourth, you might be struggling to know where to begin. Don’t worry, the answer is simple. The best way to watch Star Wars in order is to watch Star Wars in chronological order. Easy, right?

With 27 different films and movies to compute, we don’t blame you for asking for help, and the team here at Man of Many are more than happy to accommodate. We’ve taken the guesswork out and put together the ultimate guide on how to watch Star Wars in chronological order. Here is a guide on how to watch all the Star Wars movies in order.

Star wars the acolyte
‘The Acolyte’ | Image: Disney+

1. The Acolyte

First episode date: 2024 (USA)
Based on: Star Wars; by George Lucas
Cinematography: James Friend
Created by: Leslye Headland
Original network: Disney+
Producers: Rayne Roberts; Damian Anderson

While still in its early stages, the new Disney+ release The Acolyte will apparently take the reins as the first piece in the Star Wars puzzle. According to reports, the new series will explore the birth of the shadow dark-side powers that first came to light in the final days of the High Republic era. Set prior to the events of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, viewers will follow a former Padawan reunited with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes. However, they soon discover that the forces they confront are more sinister than they ever anticipated.

Emmy Award-winner and Squid Game lead Lee Jung-jae will make a welcome return to our screens, along with Manny Jacinto (The Good Place), Dafne Keen (who played Hugh Jackman’s violently gifted protégé in Logan), and Queen & Slim’s Jodie Turner-Smith. Also joining the cast are Rebecca Henderson from Russian Doll, Dean-Charles Chapman (1917 and Game of Thrones) and The Matrix icon Carrie-Anne Moss.

Natalie Portman in 'Episode I: The Phantom Menace' (1999) | Image: LucasFilm
Natalie Portman in ‘Episode I: The Phantom Menace’ (1999) | Image: LucasFilm

2. Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Release date: 3 June 1999 (Australia)
Director: George Lucas
Box office: 1.027 billion USD
Featured song: Duel of the Fates
Budget: 115 million USD

The first of the prequel films, The Phantom Menace is a must-watch for all Star Wars fans. A long-anticipated release, the film introduced viewers to Liam Neeson’s Qui-Gon, the Jedi Master tasked with training Obi-Wan Kenobi and a young Anakin Skywalker. The prequel movie does have its moments, particularly in the pod racing scenes, however, it failed to live up to the lofty heights of the original trilogy. By all accounts, Lucas was not happy with how The Phantom Menace turned out and tried desperately to salvage the film before its release.

Looking back, the hate that The Phantom Menace received was largely unnecessary. The prequel still has a lot of the heart that made the first trilogy a hit and the musical score is among the best in the franchise. We’ll leave Jar Jar Binks up to you. In this film, you’ll get an understanding of the Star Wars universe, while learning the inner workings of the Jedi Order.

Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman in 'Episode II: Attack of the Clones' (2002) | Image: LucasFilm
Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman in ‘Episode II: Attack of the Clones’ (2002) | Image: LucasFilm

3. Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Release date: 16 May 2002 (Australia)
Director: George Lucas
Box office: $653 million
Budget: 120 million USD
Film series: Star Wars

In this, the second prequel in the ‘Skywalker Series’, you learn more about the sinister plot that threatens to unravel the Republic. Here, we begin to catch a glimpse of the darker side of the Star Wars galaxy. Set 10 years after the events of The Phantom Menace, the film explores the separatist movement engulfing hundreds of planets across the galaxy. As a result, a series of powerful corporate alliances spring up, threatening to derail intergalactic peace and foreshadowing the beginning of the Clone Wars — and the beginning of the end of the Republic. Of course, it’s up to the Jedi to bring balance to the universe, but with the young Anakin displaying signs of inner turmoil, Obi-Wan’s worries turn to real fears.

As far as the prequel series goes, Attach of the Clones is one of the more labour-intensive watches. Playing out more like a political drama than your stock-standard space opera, this film effectively works as an important, albeit not always entertaining bridge between series. Much of the blame for this film’s negative reviews came at the expense of Hayden Christensen, who played Anakin in the film. Fans were a little perturbed by his moody teenage performance, but in retrospect, it’s not nearly as bad as the initial reaction would lead you to believe.

'Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles' | Image: LucasFilm
‘Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles’ | Image: LucasFilm

4. Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles (2013 to 2014)

First episode date: 29 May 2013
Final episode date: 23 November 2014
Network: Cartoon Network
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Children’s television series, Action fiction

Next comes The Yoda Chronicles; the first non-live action film in our guide to watching every Star Wars movie in order list. While LEGO films have been pretty successful over the last few years, they really found their stride with Star Wars. Fans of the space opera are notoriously choosy when it comes to canon, so it’s high praise that this tale of Yoda and the Jedi Temple Academy has been accepted into the fold.

'Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace' (2011) | Image: LucasFilm
‘Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace’ (2011) | Image: LucasFilm

5. Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace (2011)

Initial release: 22 July 2011
Director: David Scott
Music composed by: John Williams
Producer: Mark Thorley

Following The Yoda Chronicles comes the television special, The Padawan Menace. In this LEGO short, we see Ian, a young boy, Commander Cody and Yoda on a journey to rescue secret battle plans. While it’s only a few minutes long not at all serious, Lego Star Wars: The Padawan Menace is actually well worth a watch. It manages to fall perfectly into canon, giving you a little something to chew on without getting too deep.

'The Clone Wars' | Image: Disney
‘The Clone Wars’ | Image: Disney

6. The Clone Wars (2008 to 2014)

Final episode date: 7 March 2014 Trending
First episode date: 3 October 2008
No. of episodes: 131 (list of episodes)
Narrated by: Tom Kane

Now, we’re getting into some deep viewing. Don’t expect to get through all seven seasons of The Clone Wars in one day, these shows are extremely detailed and phenomenally well-executed. This animated series, which showcases the events that stem from the Separatist Crisis is one of the highest-rated releases in the Star Wars universe. Importantly, The Clone Wars also gave birth to some of the saga’s most interesting characters, including Ahsoka Tano, who is now copping her own spinoff.

Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor in 'Episode III: Revenge of the Sith' (2005) | Image: LucasFilm
Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor in ‘Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’ (2005) | Image: LucasFilm

7. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Release date: 19 May 2005 (Australia)
Director: George Lucas
Box office: $868.4 million
Featured song: Anakin vs. Obi-Wan
Budget: USD$113 million

From here, we move back to the prequel trilogy with Revenge of the Sith. In this film, we see Anakin join forces with Obi-Wan to set Palpatine free from the evil clutches of Count Doku. However, temptation rears its ugly head. With an excellent performance from Ewan McGregor and tonne of CGI that still holds up today, Revenge of the Sith is arguably the best of the prequel series.

Throughout the film, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker grapple with double-crosses, moles and increasingly hostile droid armies, which makes for some pretty interesting viewing. Here, Lucas and the team really nailed the modern lightsaber battle and while Revenge of the Sith ultimately falls into predictable territory, the film does an excellent job of tying the original franchise with the prequel series.

'Star Wars: The Bad Batch' | Image: Disney
‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch’ | Image: Disney

8. Star Wars: The Bad Batch (2022-)

Release date: 4 May 2021
Creators: Jennifer Corbett; Dave Filoni
No. of episodes: 16

Taking place during what Obi-Wan Kenobi would call “the dark times” (i.e. when the Empire had taken control of the galaxy), this animated series follows a squad of clone troopers as they make their way through the most dangerous parts of the Star Wars universe and try to discover why all the other clone troopers suddenly turned on their Jedi generals. The series first hit streaming service Disney+ in 2021 and has continued to be a relative hit for a younger audience.

'Solo: A Star Wars Story' (2018) | Image: LucasFilm
‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ (2018) | Image: LucasFilm

9. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Release date: 24 May 2018 (Australia)
Director: Ron Howard
Box office: 393.2 million USD
Budget: $275–300 million
Screenplay: Lawrence Kasdan, Jonathan Kasdan

Released in 2018, this semi-spin-off film Solo introduces us to Han Solo, one of the main protagonists from the original trilogy. In this film, we explore the bounty hunter aspect of Solo’s backstory, as he gets involved in a large-scale heist within the criminal underworld. As a film, Solo is fun and filled with quality action scenes, however, it falls short of being a great Star Wars flick. It doesn’t exactly advance the legacy of the franchise and at times it works against itself, making you dislike the most lovable character from the original trilogy, but that may have something to do with the apparent lack of Harrison Ford.

If you’ve never seen the franchise before, this playful film will kick-start your interest in Han Solo before you get into the originals. Essential viewing for anyone looking to watch the Star Wars movies in chronological order.

Ewan McGregor in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi ' (2022) | Image: Disney
Ewan McGregor in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi ‘ (2022) | Image: Disney

10. Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022)

First episode date: 27 May 2022
Production location(s): Boston, UK; El Segundo, California; Los Angeles, California
No. of episodes: 6
Directed by: Deborah Chow

How did Ewan McGregor transform into Alec Guinness? That Tatooine desert sure takes its toll. Following the adventures of Obi-Wan while he’s meant to be keeping a close eye on a young Luke Skywalker, this series fills out the relationship between Kenobi and his former padawan, the now diabolically evil Darth Vader. Clearly, he has too much on his plate to properly moisturise.

Obi-Wan Kenobi kicks off ten years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, where Obi-Wan Kenobi suffered his greatest defeat  – the downfall of his best friend and apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. In the one-season series, we witness Obi-Wan Kenobi keeping a watchful eye on a young Luke Skywalker as he fends off the Grand Inquisitor’s quest to crush the remaining Jedi. In this newer series from Disney+, McGregor returns as the iconic Jedi Master, alongside Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader.

'Star Wars Rebels' | Image: LucasFilm
‘Star Wars Rebels’ | Image: LucasFilm

11. Star Wars Rebels (2014 to 2018)

First episode date: 3 October 2014
Final episode date: 5 March 2018
No. of episodes: 75

Another animated series, Star Wars Rebels is the next instalment in our guide on how to watch Star Wars in order. When an Empire secures its hold on the galaxy, a starship crew decides to stand up against it. Across 75 episodes, the series celebrating the unique nature of the resistance, while shining a light on some unknown characters in the process. Best of all, it didn’t go unheralded.

The series garnered praise for its writing and voice acting, with Rebels nominated for the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Animated Series and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program. In 2016, the series became the first recipient of the Saturn Award for Best Animated Series on Television, before backing it up again in 2017.

Diego Luna in 'Andor' | Image: Disney/Lucasfilm
Diego Luna in ‘Andor’ | Image: Disney/Lucasfilm

12. Andor (2022-present)

First episode date: 21 September 2022 (USA)
Based on: Star Wars; by George Lucas
Cinematography: Adriano Goldman; Frank Lamm; Damián García; Jonathan Freeman
Composer: Nicholas Britell
Editors: John Gilroy; Tim Porter; Hazel Baillie; Dan Roberts; Frances Parker; Matthew Cannings; Simon Smith; Yan Miles

Released in 2022, Andor is one of the most recent additions to the Star Wars franchise. The Disney-led series Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor as he starts off on his journey of rebellion against the Empire. A prequel to his Rogue One appearance, where he met an untimely end, Andor tells the tale of a simple man who becomes instrumental in the rise of the Rebellion. Alongside his interesting backstory, the series also shows a glimpse of the Galactic Senate that was teased in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. While Andor was certainly a strange choice of character for a spinoff, lead Diego Luna revealed there was a lot happening behind the scenes that made him a plausible hero.

“The film can only tell you so much,” Luna said. “There are many questions about who these characters are, even though there are moments in the film where Cassian talks about his recent past and what he’s gone through and why he’s making the choice of going all the way. But, with this show, we have the chance to be very specific in telling the story of how a revolution starts, in what triggers this clarity, this conviction. There’s room for subtle and different layers that bring richness to what you’re seeing.”

As we mentioned in our review, however, the real highlights are the sideburns on display, the likes of which haven’t been seen in the Star Wars universe since Don Henderson was choked by Darth Vader all the way back in 1977.

Read more about ‘Andor’

'Rogue One' (2016) | Image: LucasFilm
‘Rogue One’ (2016) | Image: LucasFilm

13. Rogue One (2016)

Release date: 15 December 2016 (Australia)
Director: Gareth Edwards
Box office: 1.056 billion USD
Music composed by: Michael Giacchino
Budget: $200-265 million

Released in 2016, Rogue One is a newer addition to the universe, but an early feature if you want to watch the Star Wars movies in chronological order. The film follows rebel fighter Jyn as she joins a group of resistance fighters who aim to steal the Empire’s blueprints. Excitingly, Rogue One saw a welcomed return back to the retro-styling of the original trilogy, giving fans a few Easter Eggs to look out for along the way.

Featuring a star-studded cast that includes Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Alan Tudyk and Mads Mikkelsen, Rogue One has no shortage of fire-power at its disposal. For the most part, it uses it well, but at times Rogue One falls a little flat. The storyline is a little hard to believe and many of the ideas that feature feel completely out of place but remarkably, it isn’t enough to derail the flick entirely. In fact, film critic Roger Ebert said that despite its flaws, the film ‘manages to succeed as both super-nerdy fan service and the first entry since the 1977 original that will satisfy people who have never seen a “Star Wars” film.’

'Star Wars: Droids' | Image: Disney
‘Star Wars: Droids’ | Image: Disney

14. Star Wars: Droids (1985 to 1986)

First episode date: 7 September 1985
Final episode date: 7 June 1986
No. of episodes: 13 (1 Special)
Number of seasons: 1

One of the older animated features in the Star Wars portfolio, Droids is a collection of episodes released in 1985 and 1986. The series follows R2-D2 and C-3PO as they find themselves in the service of successive new masters.

Harrison Ford in 'Episode IV: A New Hope' | Image: LucasFilm
Harrison Ford in ‘Episode IV: A New Hope’ (1977) | Image: LucasFilm

15. Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

Release date: 27 October 1977 (Australia)
Director: George Lucas
Budget: 11 million USD
Box office: 775.5 million USD
Music composed by: John Williams

The first film ever released, A New Hope comes in at number 15 in our guide on how to watch Star Wars in chronological order. The film introduces us to the iconic cast, such as Harrison Ford as Han Solo and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. A watershed moment for film and sci-fi, A New Hope explodes onto the screen with a bevy of scenes and quips that have gone on to become pop-culture icons. From ‘Help me Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope’ to the endless debate over who shot first, the opening 10 minutes of the flick are enough to satisfy your nerd quota for an entire month.

As Roger Ebert described back in 1997: “Star Wars” melded a new generation of special effects with the high-energy action picture; it linked space opera and soap opera, fairy tales and legend, and packaged them as a wild visual ride.”

As he aptly describes, Star Wars brought to an end the early-1970s personal filmmaking and birthed a love of big-budget special-effects blockbusters. In many ways, George Lucas’ first outing was the prototype for every Marvel film we see today and whether you think that’s a good thing or not, you can’t deny the impact it has had.

'Star Wars: Holiday Special' (1978) | Image: LucasFim
‘Star Wars: Holiday Special’ (1978) | Image: Lucasfilm

16. Star Wars: Holiday Special (1978)

Initial release: 17 November 1978
Director: Steve Binder
First episode date: 17 November 1978
Final episode date: 31 March 1979
Budget: 1 million USD

This often-forgotten spin-off film is set between the events of the original film and The Empire Strikes Back, making it a must-see bridging episode for those who want to watch Star Wars movies in order. While it’s certainly not the incredible piece of filmmaking that the first and second ones were, this Holiday Special is more a fun bit of nostalgia for uber-fans.

'Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out' (2012) | Image: LucasFilm
‘Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out’ (2012) | Image: LucasFilm

17. Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out (2012)

Initial release: 26 September 2012
Director: Guy Vasilovich
Casting director: Heidi Klein
Film series: Lego Star Wars

The next film in the Star Wars chronological order series is another LEGO instalment. The Empire Strikes Out begins immediately after the events that close out A New Hope. The film follows Luke Skywalker and Han Solo as they attempt to fly back to the rebel base on Yavin 4.

Mark Hamill in 'Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back' (1980) | Image: LucasFilm
Mark Hamill in ‘Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980) | Image: LucasFilm

18. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Release date: 7 August 1980 (Australia)
Director: Irvin Kershner
Budget: 18 million USD
Box office: 547.9 million USD
Screenplay: Lawrence Kasdan, Leigh Brackett

If you’re watching Star Wars in order, this is the one you’ve been waiting for. The Empire Strikes Back is probably the most iconic film in the series. Here, we see Yoda train Luke Skywalker on the art of the Jedi while Darth Vader desperately tries to turn him to the dark side. Widely regarded as the greatest sci-fi ever produced, The Empire Strikes Back details a brooding battle for power and freedom, set to the undeniably exciting sounds of X-wings and lightsabers.

While it will perhaps best be remembered for Darth Vader’s paternal admission, the film is probably Lucas’ most ambitious. Across two blistering hours, the filmmaker hits us with loss, battle scenes, marching AT-ATs, and even a metaphorical dream womb, which Empire’s Ian Nathan suggested was “a representation of his unacknowledged fears”. Whatever the case, The Empire Strikes Back delivers nonstop action and entertainment, proving once and for all that the original space opera simply cannot be beaten.

'Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi' (1983) | Image: LucasFilm
‘Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi’ (1983) | Image: LucasFilm

19. Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi (1983)

Release date: 27 October 1983 (Australia)
Director: Richard Marquand
Initial DVD release: 12 September 2006
Box office: 475.3 million USD
Featured song: Jedi Rocks

The next film in the Star Wars chronological run was actually the next film to be released theatrically as well. The Return of Jedi sees the dangers of the Dark Side rise up, testing Luke Skywalker and his team. Also, keep an eye out for those delightful Ewoks. Far from the lofty heights of The Empire Strikes Back, this continuation of the story manages to wrap things up nicely without straying too far from the beaten path. Sure, it’s a fun ride and it works well as a conclusion, but The Return of Jedi falls a little short of a masterpiece. ironically, it’s probably the one film in the original trilogy that you’re least likely to return to.

'Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures' | Image: Disney
‘Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures’ | Image: Disney

20. Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures (2016 to 2017)

First episode date: 20 June 2016
Final episode date: 16 August 2017
Network: Disney XD

First released back in 2016, The Freemaker Adventures tells the story of the Freemaker siblings, who head out into space in search of debris that they can use to design and build new vehicles. The short-lived animated series wasn’t a huge winner ratings-wise, but it does add some much-need light-heartedness after you’ve sat through some heavy themes on your way to watching Star Wars in order.

'Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales' (2015) | Image: Disney
‘Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales’ (2015) | Image: Disney

21. Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales (2015)

First episode date: 6 July 2015
Final episode date: 2 November 2015
Network: Disney XD

If you’ve been wanting to watch all the Star Wars movies in chronological order, but don’t have the time, Droid Tales will give you a run-down in warp speed. The saga is retold from the perspectives of R2-D2 and C-3PO in this animated series. The show only ran for one season, but you can see what they were trying to do with the Star Wars in chronological order theme.

'Ewoks' | Image: Netflix
‘Ewoks’ | Image: Netflix

22. Ewoks (1985 to 1986)

Release date: 24 November 1985 (Australia)
Director: Ken and Jim Wheats

Two forgotten gems of the Star Wars universe, the Ewoks movies were strangely successful additions to the zeitgeist. The two straight-to-television films follow orphan Cindel Towani as she joins the Ewoks to protect their village and defeat the marauders who have taken control of the Endor Moon. To be honest, Ewoks is a hard watch nowadays. The animation style, while cute, is oddly reminiscent of the Care Bears and it doesn’t help that the plot is targeted towards a very young audience. While you could chuck it on for the kids, it’s unlikely Ewoks will be able to compete with today’s uber-popular kids shows such as Bluey and Paw Patrol.

'The Mandalorian' | Image: Disney+
‘The Mandalorian’ | Image: Disney+

23. The Mandalorian (2019-)

First episode date: 12 November 2019
Production location(s): Los Angeles, California
No. of episodes: 16
Directed by: Dave Filoni; Rick Famuyiwa; Deborah Chow; Bryce Dallas Howard; Taika Waititi

Next in our guide on how to watch every TV series and Star Wars movie in order is perhaps the best-loved addition to land in recent years. Released in 2019 on Disney+, The Mandalorian tells the story of a lone gunfighter who makes his way through the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic. Featuring an all-star cast led by The Last of Us heartthrob Pedro Pascal, the series has amassed a cult-like following and remains one of the franchise’s most critically acclaimed iterations.

Now three seasons in, The Mandalorian is working to expand the Star Wars lore, enriching the backstory of Yoda and indeed the wider cast of characters. For the upcoming edition, Grogu and Djarin find themselves visiting new places, meeting unfamiliar faces, and even running into some old ones as they try to make things right. With The Mandalorian currently has possession of the legendary Darksaber, which apparently makes him worthy to rule all over Mandalore, the story is far from over.

'The Book of Boba Fett' (2021) | Image: Disney
‘The Book of Boba Fett’ (2021) | Image: Disney

24. The Book of Boba Fett (2021)

First episode date: 29 December 2021
Production location(s): Los Angeles, California
No. of episodes: 7
Directed by: Robert Rodriguez; Steph Green; Kevin Tancharoen; Bryce Dallas Howard; Dave Filoni

After years of clamouring from fans that the green-armoured bounty hunter should get his own starring vehicle, The Book of Boba Fett launched onto Disney+ and took place shortly after The Mandalorian season two. While it’s a little toothless considering Fett’s fearsome reputation (“No disintegrations”), the show did finally put Jango Jr in the spotlight.

Rosario Dawson in 'Ahsoka' | Image: Disney
Rosario Dawson in ‘Ahsoka’ | Image: Disney

25. Ahsoka (2023-)

Based on: Star Wars; by George Lucas
Cinematography: Eric Steelberg; Quyen Tran
Composer: Kevin Kiner
Genre: Action-adventure; Drama; Science fiction
Original network: Disney+
Production company: Lucasfilm

Another yet-to-release addition to the Star Wars saga, Ahsoka takes a lot of cues from The Mandalorian, which is certainly promising. Helmed by Jon Favreau, the man who masterminded the much-loved spin-off, Ahsoka follows the Jedi Padawan as she investigates an emerging threat to the galaxy following the fall of the Empire. According to Disney, the series takes place around the same time as The Mandalorian and its other interconnected spin-offs following the events of Return of the Jedi. It will also serve as a continuation of the animated series Star Wars Rebels.

'Star Wars: Skeleton Crew' | Image: Disney
‘Star Wars: Skeleton Crew’ | Image: Disney

26. Skeleton Crew (2023-)

First episode date: 2023 (USA)
Based on: Star Wars; by George Lucas
Created by: Jon Watts; Christopher Ford
Production company: Lucasfilm
Production location: Los Angeles, California

Set to release in 2023, Star Wars: Skeleton Crew is the newest addition to make waves amongst fans. Created by Jon Watts and Christopher Ford for  Disney+, Skeleton Crew takes place in the same time frame as The Mandalorian and follows four children who wind up on an intergalactic adventure after getting lost in the galaxy. Following a discovery they make on their home planet, they must band together to find their way home. While not a huge amount is known about the series, Disney has confirmed that Jude Law will be starring in the series, which is set to be released in 2023.

'Star Wars: Resistance' | Image: Disney
‘Star Wars: Resistance’ | Image: Disney

27. Star Wars: Resistance (2018 to 2020)

First episode date: 7 October 2018
Final episode date: 26 January 2020
Composer(s): Michael Tavera; (Based on themes by John Williams)

Another animated series, Star Wars: Resistance ran from 2018 before wrapping up in 2020. The series introduces a bunch of new characters, some of which are alluded to in the following live-action sequels. While not essential viewing if you’re looking to watch Star Wars in order, Resistance is a bit of family-friendly fun.

'Lego Star Wars: The Resistance Rises' (2016) | Image: Disney
‘Lego Star Wars: The Resistance Rises’ (2016) | Image: Disney

28. Lego Star Wars: The Resistance Rises (2016)

First episode date: 15 February 2016
Final episode date: 4 May 2016
Network: Disney XD
Genres: Animation, Short

In this 2016 animated series, we see original characters Han Solo, Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian join forces with new characters Rey and Finn to overcome obstacles. This series, while short-lived introduced us to some new and vitally important members of the franchise, ready for The Force Awakens.

'Episode VII: The Force Awakens' (2016) | Image: LucasFilm
‘Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ (2016) | Image: LucasFilm

29. Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2016)

Release date: 17 December 2015 (Australia)
Director: J.J. Abrams
Box office: 2.066 billion USD
Budget: 306 million USD (2014)

The initial film in the third trilogy, The Force Awakens is essential viewing for anyone looking to watch Star Wars in order. This film sees newly-introduced characters Rey, Finn and Poe on the hunt to find the last remaining Jedi, Luke Skywalker. An intriguing premise, The Force Awakens does a steady job of reviving the Star Wars lore while introducing new characters, villains and some truly meme-worthy shots of Adam Driver shirtless.

Set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the 2016 flick arrives with a surprising amount of nuance. At times funny and altogether light-hearted, The Force Awakens differs greatly from the brooding and dark prequel series, despite its sombre undertones. Of course, there are nods to the Star Wars legacy, including additions to the Skywalker mythology and a new Death Star-esque threat, so even fans of the original series have something to cling to.

One thing that is quite interesting about this newer instalment, which was helmed by JJ Abrams, is the conscious effort to correct some of George Lucas’ original flaws. A self-aware adventure, The Force Awakens tries valiantly to explore the Star Wars lore in detail, while bringing some much-needed diversity to the series. Abrams and co-writers, Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt, focused the film on a young woman (played by Daisy Ridley) and a man of colour (John Boyega), giving new life to a somewhat overplayed story. Throw in a new villain with a cool red lightsaber and you’ve got a recipe for an action-adventure. While The Force Awakens certainly isn’t

'Episode VIII: The Last Jedi' (2017) | Image: LucasFilm
‘Episode VIII: The Last Jedi’ (2017) | Image: LucasFilm

30. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Release date: 14 December 2017 (Australia)
Director: Rian Johnson
Box office: 1.321 billion USD
Budget: $200–317 million
Screenplay: Rian Johnson

We’re nearing the end of the Star Wars movies in order guide and number 3o is the second in the sequel trilogy, The Last Jedi. In this film, we see Rey learning the ways of the Jedi under Luke Skywalker, as they attempt to reinvigorate the Resistance’s war against the First Order. Important to note, after JJ Abrams managed to squeeze a new storyline out of the franchise, the reins were handed over to Knives Out filmmaker Rian Johnson. Johnson’s take is vastly different from what Abrams presumably envisioned and at time, The Last Jedi suffers for it.

John Boyega’s Finn slowly works his way into the background, while Diasy Ridley’s Rey takes centre stage, the crux of her issues remaining an undying quest to find her parents. Admittedly, family mythology has underpinned the Star Wars franchise since the very beginning but The Last Jedi seems intent on making this the focus, intermingling it with spacecraft fights and some long shots of Mark Hamill staring into the distance.

'Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker' (2019) | Image: LucasFilm
‘Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker’ (2019) | Image: LucasFilm

31. Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Release date: 19 December 2019 (Australia)
Director: J.J. Abrams
Box office: $1.074 billion
Budget: 275 million USD
Screenplay: J.J. Abrams, Chris Terrio

Now, if you’re 30 films deep and thousands of hours through the Star Wars universe, don’t give up, you’re coming ever closer to completing the Star Wars movies in order. Next up is The Rise of Skywalker, the 2019 epic continuation of the third trilogy. An all-out battle that rivals any seen before headlines this episode, which is chock-full of surprises, reveals and lightsaber duels. Awesome viewing and a must-watch for anyone who wants to check out the Star Wars movies in chronological order.

For this film, JJ Abrams returned to the director’s seat, delivering non-stop action over two hours and 20 minutes. While the reviews aren’t exactly kind (some labelled it ‘A cinematic disaster that wholly fails to justify its own existence and that of the trilogy as a whole’), The Rise of Skywalker takes thins back to the heyday of explosions, fight scenes and beautiful foreign landscapes. A more rough-and-tumble instalment of the franchise, this film works perfectly as Sunday afternoon casual viewing.

'Star Wars: Forces of Destiny' | Image: Disney
‘Star Wars: Forces of Destiny’ | Image: Disney

32. Star Wars: Forces of Destiny (2017 to Present)

First episode date: 3 July 2017
No. of episodes: 32 (list of episodes)
Narrated by: Lupita Nyong’o

The final stage in watching every television series and Star Wars film in order isn’t a movie, but, you guessed it, another series. Forces of Destiny is a YouTube series that provides a further continuation of the characters introduced in the latest trilogy. Once you’ve watched all 32 episodes of this, you’ll be completely across the entire franchise, from beginning to end.

Harrison Ford in 'Episode IV: A New Hope' | Image: LucasFilm
Harrison Ford in ‘Episode IV: A New Hope’ | Image: LucasFilm

Star Wars Theatrical Release Order

If you are looking for a different order to watch Star Wars, you could always go for the original theatrical release order. This sequence involves watching all of the films as they are introduced. While all over the shop, this order can give you a sense of what it was like to view things the first time around. The Star Wars theatrical release order is;

  1. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
  2. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  3. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  4. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  5. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
  6. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  7. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
  8. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  9. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)
  10. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
  11. Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Star Wars Machete Order

Another popular order to watch Star Wars in is the Machete Order. This sequence was put together by blogger Rod Hilton in 2011. Obviously, due to the age of the post, it doesn’t take into account the more recent sequels, however, it is still a great order. The Machete Order cuts The Phantom Menace entirely and keeps Star Wars’ biggest reveal until the final film. This order works best if you haven’t seen the series before, but nevertheless, it is still a great way to watch the Star Wars movies in order. The Machete Order is;

  1. Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
  2. Episode V: Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  3. Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
  4. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  5. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Mark Hamill in 'Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back' (1980) | Image: LucasFilm
Mark Hamill in ‘Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980) | Image: LucasFilm

Where To Watch Star Wars Movies In Chronological Order

As some of these films are quite old, chances are you might already have them on DVD or Blu-Ray, but if not, don’t stress, you can still stream them all. In Australia, all of the existing Star Wars movies can be streamed on the Disney+ service now.

In the UK, you can watch both the original and prequel trilogies (as well as Solo) on Sky, as well as purchase them through Amazon Prime Video. That will no doubt change in the future, as Disney strengthens its stranglehold on the Star Wars franchise. Right now, your best bet for watching the Star Wars movies in order is by grabbing a Disney+ subscription.

If you choose to watch all the TV series, animated shorts and Star Wars movies in order or not, you’ve got to hand it to Lucas and the team. They’ve built an incredible world filled with some amazing and intricate stories and characters. So, this Star Wars day, settle in, grab the popcorn and open yourself up to the magic of the iconic film franchise. May the Fourth be with you!

How to Watch the Star Wars Movies in Order FAQs

Why was Star Wars out of order?

Legend has it when Star Wars creator George Lucas wanted to make more movies, he didn't have any firm plans for the first the movies. He did, however, have ideas for the next six, so when they made Empire Strikes it was titled Episode V. Essentially, Lucas chose to make the movies in non-sequential order.

What is the Machete order?

The Machete order is a sequence in which you can watch the Star Wars film compiled by a Star Wars blogger. The order cuts The Phantom Menace from the list and keeps many of the key reveals secret until the final moments.

Where should I Start with Star Wars?

You can watch Star Wars in a number of different orders. The best ways to watch Star Wars movies is in either chronological order, starting with The Phantom Menace, or in release order, starting with A New Hope.