Neuman’s Movie Monday – The Star Wars Machete Order
There is a lot of debate on what order to watch the Star Wars films. The Machete Order may be the best one.
When it comes to the order of what Star Wars movies to watch, some would say you start with episode one and go in sequential order. Others would say that since George Lucas started with episode 4, so should you. Well The Machete Order changes everything.
The story of Star Wars is all about if Luke will stay on the light side of the force or turn to the dark side. He is the crux of the story. Regardless of the prequels being about the story of Anakin, this is all about Luke.
Also, this is not my idea. I wish I could take credit for The Machete Order. I first heard about it before episode 7, and Rogue One came out, so I am expanding on it.
SPOILER ALERT! To explain this in detail, there are going to be spoilers. I have a hard time believing that anyone reading this hasn't seen Star Wars but still, if you haven't seen them, this is a good way to watch the series. This is also a good way for you to introduce this story to children to get them into Star Wars.
The first thing you do for the Machete Order is to take Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace and (if you have a car) go on a major highway and throw this useless movie out the window. It has no baring on the story at all. There is one cool Pod Race and one lightsaber battle and that's it. Skip this movie and there... I just saved you 2 and half Jar Jar Binks-less hours of your life.
There is also a coin-flip between if you want to start with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Some experts would say that you would start here and see how the Rebellion Alliance stole the Death Star plans. Others say that you need to know the Star Wars story to understand what's going on. So this movie is kind of an outlier. If you know the story, this is a great place to start. If you are watching Star Wars for the first time, you might want to watch this separately.
The first "must-watch" movie that you watch is Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
We get introduced to Luke and his start to becoming a Jedi. He is ready to join the rebellion and starts to learn the ways of the force. A New Hope is a great start to get a basis of the light side/dark side decision.
Then watch Star Wars: Episode 5 - The Empire Strikes Back
Now Luke is becoming more of a Jedi while training with Yoda and learning more of the force. Luke is feeling more of connection with Darth Vader and then we get one of the best reveals in movie history. SPOILER ALERT: Darth Vader reveals to Luke that he is his father. Here Luke thinks that Darth Vader killed his father but instead learns that he is his father. This will be this biggest thing that will sway Luke to the dark side but will he?
To continue the suspense of Luke's decision, next watch Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
The reason we jump back to episode 2 is because now that we know that Luke's father Anakin turns to the dark side, it's time to see how and why. We skip episode 1 where Anakin is a little kid, so we go right to where he is an adult (by age not personality) and how he starts to fall in love with Luke (and Leia's) mother.
Now it's time to see the transformation from Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
The pull of the dark side is too great for Anakin. We see the battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi that led to Anakin losing his legs and becoming burned and saved by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. Using their advanced technology, Anakin becomes Darth Vader and the full dark side transformation is complete.
Now back to Luke. We've seen the strength of the dark side, so let's see what Luke chooses in Star Wars: Episode VI - The Return of the Jedi
Now we get to see the climax of the original story. The rebellion is in full affect against the empire and Luke as finished his Jedi training with Yoda. He just needs to confront Darth Vader. Luke is definitely afraid of being vulnerable to the dark side and even is wearing black throughout the film. We see after the battle that he was able to stay true to the light side and even sway Darth Vader to turn good in the final moments of his life quietly returning to Anakin.
Now we get to continue the story with Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
It's 30 years later and now there's a new leader of the dark side. A defected stormtrooper meets a new prodigy and she has the force. But she needs the help of the droids to find a missing Luke Skywalker so she can train to be a Jedi.
That is The Machete Order. The trailer for Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi debuts Monday night 10/9 during Monday Football on ESPN.