Why You Must Watch Superstar Wars within the Unsuitable Order Earlier than ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’


When the brand new Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries hits Disney Plus Friday, it’s going to supply an immediate bridge between the prequels and the unique trilogy.  Which means that now’s the easiest time to rediscover the unique Superstar Wars motion pictures.

It is more uncomplicated than ever to pay money for the entire run of Superstar Wars motion pictures: they are all on Disney Plus or to be had to hire and purchase. However you face a catch 22 situation: when you watch them within the order they had been made, you get the unique (and perfect) trilogy out of the way in which first and it is just about downhill from there.

However, when you watch the prequel trilogy first, you do not get the large twist.

That is the place a Superstar Wars-loving genius named Rod Hilton is available in. A couple of years in the past, this faithful fan got here up with some way of maintaining the twist and saving the most productive bits, by way of merely observing the flicks in a special order. He named his approach ‘the Machete Order‘, after his weblog.

Hilton argues that the Superstar Wars saga is the tale of Luke Skywalker, and the tale introduced within the prequels is simplest related the place it supplies background to Luke’s adventure. So he suggests observing the flicks within the following order:

  • Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Episode V: The Empire Moves Again
  • Episode II: Assault of the Clones
  • Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Episode VI: Go back of the Jedi

Were given that? We commence initially of Luke’s adventure; then on the midpoint cliffhanger we flash again to the prequels to be informed the background of the large twist. Then, in the end, we go back to Luke’s tale for the large climax. That leads completely into The Power Awakens, which alternatives up some 30-odd years after the top of Go back of the Jedi.

You might have noticed one thing lacking. Sure, the Machete Order totally ignores The Phantom Threat. It is because the unusually self-contained Phantom Threat does not upload to the overarching tale, and it in reality makes some issues extra difficult or complicated. Plus, it is lovely horrible.

However does the Machete Order paintings? It used to be CNET editor Donald Bell’s best choice out of 5 imaginable observing orders; there are refined indications in CNET colleague Jeff Sparkman’s Information to Would possibly the 4th that he prefers it as smartly. However I had to see for myself. I cleared my time table, set my WhatsApp standing to busy and devoted myself to observing all 5 motion pictures within the order specified above, as a result of that is simply the type of brave investigative journalist I’m.

That is what I discovered…

The galaxy used to be lovely terrible even earlier than the Empire

Even earlier than the evil Empire is established, issues will also be lovely bleak in that there galaxy a long way, a long way away. Between the venal Hutts and the greedy Industry Federation, the prequels display that greed used to be probably the most tough forces within the galaxy. There is even slavery, which the Jedi are unusually sit back about.

Shedding Jar Jar is price dropping Darth Maul

Some of the many criticisms of The Phantom Threat used to be the large quantity of display screen time for painfully unfunny CGI sidekick Jar Jar Binks. Thankfully he is slightly within the different two prequels, so while you minimize Threat you most commonly minimize out Jar Jar, in addition to the stultifying political subplots and cringingly mishandled portrayal of Anakin Skywalker as a floppy-haired moppet. Unfortunately you additionally minimize the searingly cool Darth Maul, however watch this video and you may have noticed the whole thing you want to look:

Within the pastime of journalistic rigour I watched Phantom Threat one by one when I used to be executed with the Machete Order, and the truth I fell asleep midway thru proves you don’t seem to be lacking anything else.

You most likely do not wish to watch the prequels in any respect, most certainly

Revenge of the Sith is well the most productive of the prequels, just because it is so bleak. It is in point of fact intense and violent and bloodthirsty, and it is vastly gratifying to look Anakin embody the darkish facet as he lightsabers his manner thru principally everybody within the solid. I’d advise you to press Prevent the instant you first pay attention that particular hiss, on the other hand, as a result of the previous couple of mins are a bit of foolish.

Seeing as we’ve got already chucked out The Phantom Threat, why no longer chuck out Assault of the Clones as smartly and simply stay Revenge? Smartly, Clones does numerous heavy lifting in relation to the tale, however in case you are ready to gloss over the origins of the Stormtrooper clone military you’ll want to simply ditch it too. Even though frankly, you do not in point of fact want Revenge of the Sith both…

You will have to observe The Phantom Threat in spite of everything

That stated, The Phantom Threat is technically the primary time we meet a tender Skywalker on Tatooine, because of this it tees up one of the stuff we will see in Obi-Wan Kenobi. The collection will draw parallels between younger Anakin and younger Luke, each marooned within the wasteland and dreaming of being pilots.

Ewan McGregor looks handsome in a beard and scruffy robes in Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney Plus.

Obi-Wan Kenobi returns to Tatooine between the prequels and authentic trilogy.

Disney Plus

The prequels are a neglected alternative

If we began selecting holes within the prequels we might be right here all day, so I’m going to skip immediately to my greatest drawback: they spend numerous time and numerous effort explaining issues we already know from the unique motion pictures, after which inexplicably gloss over many stuff we do not know. Similar to, who in reality are the villainous Sith? When Darth Maul says, “Eventually we can have revenge,” revenge for what? Why is Palpatine so evil?

Those and lots of different questions are surely replied within the numerous books, comics and different no-longer-canonical Expanded Universe tales that encompass the flicks, however for me, the most important failing of the prequels is that they do not take the chance so as to add new data to reinforce our viewing of the vintage trilogy.

However they’re, like, utterly related lately

It is arduous to get serious about the prequel’s political subplot in a taxation dispute, however if you ditch Phantom Threat then the evil scheme is in reality unusually related to our international. The prequels give us a political candidate manipulating an exterior risk to be able to usher society to battle, decreasing freedom whilst claiming to be making sure the ones very freedoms, and promising that the brand new totalitarian regime guarantees “safety” and “peace”. Makes you, like, assume, y’know?

The Empire did not design the Loss of life Superstar

Able to destroying an entire planet in a single obscene technological stroke, the Loss of life Superstar is the embodiment of the Empire’s hate-filled, unnatural creed. However a scene in Assault of the Clones means that it used to be in reality concept up by way of random CGI extraterrestrial beings the Geonosians, suggesting that one in all Palpatine’s motives for the entire scheme used to be to get his palms at the plans.

Superstar Wars is gloriously daft

What’s the Jawas’ industry type? Are there in point of fact that many droids misplaced within the wasteland? What do the asteroid monster and the Sarlacc devour to get so large? Do the Ewoks run a logging operation, as a result of they positive have numerous trees at hand? Why does Princess Leia have a unusual British accessory in a single scene and one scene simplest? And why does the operating gag the place an alien says one thing unintelligible and the human actor replies in English nonetheless make me chortle each and every time?

Puppets are nice

Unusually, the unique motion pictures from the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties have — to my eyes no less than — dated higher than the prequels from the Nineties and 2000s. Each units of flicks have a particular glance to their results, with the bodily puppetry and type paintings of the originals, and the computer-generated imagery of the prequels. Positive, the originals don’t seem to be highest — the speeder chase in Go back of the Jedi is especially shonky when seen lately — however the unique jerkiness of the vintage results comes with a physicality that makes them really feel very actual.

By means of comparability, the CGI sheen of the prequels is horribly unconvincing. The in depth use of CGI to create even easy units manner every now and then the prequels can not even persuade you the folks you might be seeing are status in an actual room.

You’ll be able to see the adaptation within the personality of Yoda. Within the originals, he would possibly transfer a bit of stiffly, however that turns into a part of his character. Within the prequels, he is a caricature personality. Take a look at the Stormtroopers, too. Within the originals they are a military of scarily faceless squaddies. Within the prequels, they bob about within the background like nonplayable characters in a online game.

Kenny Baker, who introduced R2-D2 to lifestyles from the interior.


One of the jarring moments comes close to the top of Revenge of the Sith, when Obi-Wan forums the starship noticed within the opening moments of A New Hope. After two motion pictures’ price of CGI units, we are unexpectedly on a correct bodily set and the adaptation is palpable.

C-3PO is superb

I by no means in point of fact spotted C-3PO as a child, however as an grownup I discovered him hilarious. “Do not name me a senseless thinker, you obese glob of grease!” Talking of which…

R2-D2 is the whole thing

Critically. Saving the day on numerous events, the plucky R2-D2 is a bin on legs and but remains to be probably the most relatable characters in cinema historical past.

The Millennium Falcon could be alive

Whilst we are when it comes to droids with personalities, in Empire Moves Again, C-3PO is dispatched to speak to the Millennium Falcon, a spaceship, to determine what is improper with it. C-3PO says, “I do not know the place your send discovered to keep in touch, however it has probably the most unusual dialect.” Perhaps droids and spaceships are a part of the Power too? Most likely in a galaxy that incorporates the Power there is not the similar difference between inanimate generation and herbal lifestyles as in our international. That may give an explanation for why such a lot of droids are cowards and Common Grievous has a cough.

That is my dumb idea, anyway. As a result of rewatching the flicks lets you evaluation fan theories, just like the recommendation that everybody within the Superstar Wars universe is illiterate or that Jar Jar Binks is the actual evil mastermind at the back of the whole thing that is going on.

Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor and Samuel L. Jackson get their Jedi on within the Superstar Wars prequels.

Keith Hamshere/Lucasfilm

The particular editions don’t seem to be very particular

Virtual variations of the flicks are in accordance with 1997’s Particular Version releases, which inserted deleted scenes and up to date some results. A number of of the brand new CGI results stick out like a sore thumb, maximum egregiously the musical series crowbarred into the start of “Go back of the Jedi”. On the other hand, observing within the Machete Order, the inserted intergalactic celebrations on the finish of “Jedi” do tie the overall movie at the side of the prequels.

Characters are the whole thing

Impressive particular results are cool, however you’ll’t beat just right characters. So whilst it is lovely a laugh to look the Jedi wade en masse into a military of robots with lightsabers flashing in “Assault of the Clones”, that long fight series is nowhere close to as compelling as the fewer visually spectacular however nonetheless heart-stopping duels between Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker — as a result of we care who wins.

The casting is fantastic

Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill simply are Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker — no marvel everyone seems to be so excited for his or her go back in “The Power Awakens”. Anthony Daniels, Frank Ounces and James Earl Jones all do improbable voice paintings, whilst Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness and Ian McDiarmid deliver gravitas to the complaints.

Best possible casting: Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher aboard the Millennium Falcon.


And casting is most certainly the most important part within the want of the prequels too. Ewan McGregor as a more youthful model of Alec Guinness? Samuel L Jackson as a Jedi? Christopher Lee because the baddie? Sure please. And that is the reason no longer together with Phantom Threat stars Brian Blessed, Liam Neeson and Terence Stamp.

Unfortunately, they are most commonly wasted. Samuel L Jackson does not get to do very a lot both and Christopher Lee is simply in it. Ewan MacGregor has publicly lamented the trouble of performing on a inexperienced display screen, however he used to be additionally let down by way of the strange determination to make Obi-Wan a comic book personality — however that adjustments within the 2022 miniseries.

Jonny Briggs’ dad is in it

The good casting does not forestall on the major gamers. US audience will surely recognise Cliff from “Cheers” as one of the vital riot pilots. However British audience can revel in recognizing a bunch of actors from in style UK television tube of the ’80s and ’90s, regularly dressed in an Imperial uniform and wearing spectacular sideburns. The ones ‘I do know that man!’ faces come with Julian Glover and Michael Sheard, who each seemed in Indiana Jones and the Final Campaign, in addition to Leslie Schofield, TV perennial who used to be a villain in sci-fi vintage Blake’s 7 and performed the dad in mid-’80s kids’s display Jonny Briggs.

My favorite needs to be Barrie Holland, on the other hand. No longer as a result of he is a well known face — each and every section he is ever performed is indexed on IMDB as “uncredited” — however as a result of in “Go back of the Jedi” he delivers the immortal line “You riot scum!” with actually applause-worthy relish. In reality, most of the extras and bit gamers have interesting tales of their very own, a few of which might be advised within the pleasant documentary Elstree 1976.

They had been making it up as they went alongside

George Lucas may declare he all the time had a grand plan, however it is lovely evident he used to be winging numerous it. Luke and Leia’s kiss, Leia remembering her mom, Obi-Wan no longer recognising C-3PO and R2-D2, the Empire emerging up in like two decades throughout which period Obi-Wan becomes an previous guy, Han’s skepticism to the Power when he used to be obviously alive when the Jedi had been nonetheless round, Luke and Leia hidden in the obvious puts ever… the checklist is going on.

And it is utterly tremendous! As a result of…

Superstar Wars is good

It in point of fact is. Like many enthusiasts, I might constructed up an enormous quantity of emotional and psychological luggage round Superstar Wars, despite the fact that I hadn’t in reality watched the flicks for a few years. Creating a aware effort to sit down down and watch them with a blank slate, particularly within the recontextualised Machete Order, allowed me to revel in them in some way I by no means had earlier than, and take into account all of the issues I and such a lot of other folks love.

Rediscovering Superstar Wars has been an absolute pleasure. For this fan, the Power is easily and actually reawakened.


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