Okay, people! I'm here to spread the joy of the Star Wars Machete Order!
Are you ready for this?
Until recently, when pondering the best order in which to watch the Star Wars films, the only options seemed to be either 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3 or 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Or, you know, some people choose just 4, 5, 6 and leave it at that.
But then I came across this blog post, which offers a very different alternative. And this option? Well, it pretty much blew my mind.
To sum up, the author of the blog suggests watching the movies in the order of 4, 5, 2, 3, 6 and skipping #1 altogether. What this amounts to is: "Two films of Luke’s story, two films of Anakin’s story, then a single film that intertwines and ends both stories."
It's long, but you should absolutely check out the full blog post if you're interested in learning why this viewing order works so well. It's very well-put together and interesting! (Oh, but beware spoilers for the entire series, if you happen to be someone who hasn't yet seen them all and you want to be surprised.)
After reading about this order, I had to try it. Despite my husband's misgivings about mixing things up in such a strange way (perhaps he had a bad feeling about this!), we watched A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back on Sunday. Then on Tuesday: Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and Return of the Jedi. I have to say, I was very pleased with the results. I'm not sure that Dwayne was entirely sold on skipping The Phantom Menace (he thinks that seeing more of Anakin's relationship with his mother onscreen would have be helpful; I think he might have preferred that we try 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6), but we both agree with the creator of the Machete Order's overall assessment:
"[W]atching Revenge of the Sith makes Return of the Jedi a better, more effective film."
And that, for me, equated to a pretty satisfying experience overall.
Now, I can't say that someone who hates the prequel movies with every fiber of their being will appreciate a rewatch, even if it is in this revised order. The romance parts are no less eye-roll inducing than they ever were and the changes/inconsistencies/annoying bits can be very frustrating. I burst out laughing at parts that weren't meant to be funny. I also shouted "WHY?" at my TV/George Lucas a number of times. Dwayne flipped off the TV when Greedo shot first, because seriously. SERIOUSLY. (We're lucky, though, because we have the original trilogy on VHS, so the floaty part at the end of Return of the Jedi doesn't include 22-year-old Anakin . . . if you know what I mean.) But without Episode 1 mucking things up, I really do feel that the 2 and 3 held up, you know, not too badly.
So, do it! Watch the Star Wars saga in Machete Order!
(Not entirely on topic, but another thing that I found interesting is that now having watched every episode of the cartoon, Star Wars: The Clones Wars, the going-ons near the end of Revenge of the Sith were so much more emotional for me this time around. To have spent so many hours with these characters in animated form, and to then be reminded of how things were going to end up for them was actually pretty sad.)