Rod Hilton 's rants about software development, technology, and sometimes Star Wars. Brace yourselves, what follows is a disturbingly long post about the best order in which to watch Star Wars. Since people still link and check this post occasionally, I wanted to mention Project 4K77 which has taken a copy of the original theatrical negative and scanned it in 4K, releasing versions with and without digital noise reduction. So, with that out of the way, what can you do if you do wish to involve the prequel trilogy?
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Hell, maybe you actually like the prequels seriously? Whatever your reason, if you are showing someone the official editions of Star Wars for the first time, you have to make a decision about which order to watch the films. There are two critical flaws with both of these orders, unfortunately, that prevent either from being appropriate. If a newcomer to the series has managed to avoid having it spoiled for them, watching the films in Episode Order would be like watching the ending of The Sixth Sense first.
Unfortunately, Release Order also suffers from a problem , created by a single shot. This moment robs the most important moment from the ending of Return of the Jedi from its emotional impact. How can you ensure that a viewing keeps the twists a surprise, while introducing young Anakin before the end of Return of the Jedi? You may notice Episode I is gone.
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Anakin is, at this point in the story, a personified proxy for the entire galaxy. Saving Anakin from the Dark Side just puts a human face on saving the Galaxy from the Empire, and it proves Luke right for his unwillingness to give up on his father, even though his attempts to save him risk the entire mission.
Once we understand how his father turned to the dark side, we go back to the main storyline and see how Luke is able to rescue him from it and salvage the good in him, which is the only way to destroy the Empire. The prequel backstory comes at the perfect time, because The Empire Strikes Back ends on a huge cliffhanger. Delaying the resolution of this cliffhanger makes it all the more satisfying when Return of the Jedi is watched.
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Seriously, think about it for a minute. Name as many things as you can that happen in Episode I and actually help flesh out the story in any subsequent episode. Does it ever matter that Palpatine had an apprentice before Count Dooku? Nope, Darth Maul is killed by the end of Episode I and never referenced again.
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You may as well just start with the assumption that Dooku was the only apprentice. Does it ever matter that Obi-Wan was being trained by Qui-Gon? Search your feelings, you know it to be true! You can start the prequels with Episode II and miss absolutely nothing. The opening crawl of Episode II establishes everything you need to know about the prequels: a bunch of systems want to leave the Republic, they are led by Count Dooku, and Senator Amidala is a senator who is going to vote on whether the Republic is going to create an army.
As I mentioned, this creates a lot of tension after the cliffhanger ending of Episode V. It also uses the original trilogy as a framing device for the prequel trilogy. When Empire first came out, lots of people thought Vader was lying to Luke. It also starts the series off with the two strongest films, and allows you to never have to either start or end your viewing experience with a shitty movie.
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Beyond this, Episode I establishes Anakin as a innocent little kid. But Episode II quickly establishes him as impulsive and power-hungry, which keeps his character consistent with eventually becoming Darth Vader. Obi-Wan never really seems to have any control over Anakin, struggling between treating him as a friend their very first conversation together in Episode II and treating him as an apprentice their second conversation, with Padme. It makes much more sense for Anakin to have always been this way.
This completely hides the totally weird age gap between them from Episode I, and lends a lot of believability to the subsequent romance. Scenes in which they fall for each other seem to build on a childhood friendship that we never see but can assume is there. Obi-Wan now always has a beard for the entire duration of the series, and Anakin Skywalker always wears black. Read more from the Study Guide. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. Copyrights Season of the Machete from BookRags.
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