Star Wars marathon timeSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

For the last 40 years, we have been consuming Star Wars movies in any way we could. With the release of the latest trilogy and the advent of digital streaming through Disney+, we now have a whole new generation ready and willing to watch the entire saga in the best way possible.

There are several different ways that Star Wars fans can watch the entire saga. You may want to watch the main Skywalker Saga, or add the anthology movies — Solo and Rogue One — for a more completed viewing experience. There is no wrong way to consume your Star Wars, but we have some ideas on how to make the experience better.

Machete Order (recommended)

This is likely my favorite way of introducing people to Star Wars. It's the way I did it for my children, and they seemed to enjoy it. If you think of the first six episodes as the story of Anakin Skywalker, then the machete order allows you to feel the full impact of that story arc.

The highs and lows of the Skywalker family are laid bare using the machete order, and it brings the family into the foreground. This is a new machete order, one that takes into account the anthology movies and the original trilogy

As you can see, there are a few optional movies in the machete order. That's because it focuses on the Skywalker family, with Anakin specifically. The anthology movies aren't central to that story, so they can be watched either at the end or not at all. I like to watch Rogue One first as it sets the scene for A New Hope. This is a dirty war, and the galaxy is in turmoil. It's the perfect backdrop to meet the Skywalkers.

The Phantom Menace is also optional in the machete order as it exists in a little bit of a bubble. Nothing that happens in this movie particularly informs the other films, and Attack of the Clones is set several years after The Phantom Menace. Hence, it has to reintroduce those characters again. I like Menace, though a lot of people don't, and I think you would be sad to miss out on the Duel of Fates, perhaps the best lightsaber fight in all of Star Wars canon.

Release Order

There are plenty of people who believe the original order of release is the best way to watch the movies, but I'm not one of them. While it's nostalgic for those who are old enough to have watched them in that order initially, it isn't the best narrative flow. It is a popular way, though, so we have compiled the list of movies in the order you'll need to watch them.

As you can see, by watching them in release order, you are breaking up the main storyline in odd ways. If this is your first time watching the Star Wars saga, this is probably not the way you want to do it. The only good thing about watching in this way is you can forgive the movies that look old, with poor visuals, because you know they came first.

Chronological Order

A more traditional way to watch any set of movies is in chronological order based on how time flows in the films. In this way, you see the story unfold in a much more linear approach. In Star Wars, this sets up the Saga as an ongoing war movie. It also means you get the anthology movies squarely in the middle of the main saga.

I like the chronological way of watching, especially if it's your first time. It allows you to experience the entire saga in a very linear way. The only jarring thing is moving from the beautiful and well-produced Rogue One to A New Hope from 1977. Visually they are very different. Happily, those changes will melt away as you get into the story, and the original trilogy has been remastered to help make up for the outdated visuals.

I recommend the machete order for all new viewers because it brings to life the rise, fall, and redemption of Anakin Skywalker. In Empire, we get a huge reveal, and by going back to the prequels instead of moving on, we can see how this fantastic surprise came about and why we should feel such empathy for Anakin. Then, once the prequels have played out, we go back to The Return of the Jedi and get to experience the full impact of the redemption sequence.

The central figure in the entire saga is Anakin. It is his story that we are seeing played out, and the machete order is the best way to experience it.

The force is strong with this one

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