How to Watch Star Wars Movies and Shows in Order: Release Date, Chronological, Machete, Disney Timeline

For over four decades now, Star Wars has been a part of our lives. There are a lot of movies, even a show that's part of this wonderful universe created by George Lucas. So, let's figure out the best way to watch the Star Wars movies and shows!

It all started in 1977 when George Lucas released the first Star Wars movie into the world. In no time, it became a pop-culture phenomenon. Nowadays, the franchise doesn't just feature movies and shows, but also video games, novels, comic books, theme park attractions, LEGOs, and lots more. In fact, it is estimated that the entire franchise is now valued at about $70 billion. 

While the whole thing was marked under Lucas Film in the beginning, nowadays, the Star Wars universe is owned by Disney, following the sale of the company in 2012. 

Who's Part of the Star Wars Movies and Shows?

Over more than four decades, the cast for the movies has changed quite a bit, but we're going to mention a few of the names that have become synonymous with their roles on this franchise. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, James Earl Jones, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac are just some of the artists we encounter in the movies. 

How to Watch Star Wars Movies and Shows by Release Date?

If you want to experience the Star Wars movies and shows in the same way the whole world did, then you can jump in and watch them as so:

  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope - 1977
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back - 1980
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - 1983
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace - 1999
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones - 2002
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - 2005
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens - 2015
  • Rogue One - 2016
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi - 2017
  • Solo - 2018
  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker - 2019
  • The Mandalorian - 2019- (ongoing)

We do have to mention that Rogue One and Solo are part of the Star Wars anthology movies, and they're not necessarily vital to the story. 

How to Watch Star Wars Movies and Shows in Chronological Order

Instead of watching the titles by their release date, you can also go for the chronological order. Basically, we're going to base the list on when the movies are supposed to take place. 

  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Solo 
  • Rogue One 
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • The Mandalorian* 
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

While it's going to be somewhat weird to jump from modern-day movies to some made back in the '70s and '80s, enjoying the Star Wars movies in this way is supposed to help you have a more linear knowledge of what's happening with the Republic, how the Jedi fight the Empire, and so on. You'll also get a better understanding of how some characters evolve while others devolve. 

*Watching the Mandalorian is not essential for the story here, but the timeline does put the series after Return of the Jedi.

How to Watch Star Wars Movies and Shows by Machete 

One of the most popular orders you can watch the Star Wars movies and shows was proposed by a fan. They believe that watching them by release order or by episode order is wrong. The reasons for this are that the episode order (or chronological) will put new viewers to sleep before they even get to the good, action-packed movies. 

As for the Release order, things get complicated due to the way the timeline moves back in time after the first three movies, which may get confusing. 

So, the Machete order seeks to fix this problem, cutting out Phantom Menace since the action has no effect on other prequels. 

  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Solo (optional)
  • Rogue One (optional)

How to Watch Star Wars Movies and Shows by Disney's Narrative Timeline?

There's another (and final) way you can be watching these movies. Besides the action films and the series we already know about, they've also pushed out some animated series, which take place in between some of the movies.

So, if we're to follow Disney's official timeline, it would look like this: 

  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (film)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Solo
  • Star Wars: Rebels
  • Rogue One
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • The Mandalorian
  • Star Wars: Resistance
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

And there you have it! It's complicated, and once you do choose one of these, we suggest you stick to it. 

Incoming Star Wars Movies and Shows

The Star Wars universe is nowhere near done - after all, it's still making the big bucks. So, let's see what other titles they have planned out. 

  • Ahsoka - takes place at the same time as The Mandalorian, features Rosario Dawson
  • Andor - prequel to Rogue One, stars Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk
  • The Bad Batch - takes place after Revenge of the Sith
  • The Acolyte - takes place after The Phantom Menace
  • Lando - follow the popular character
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi - set a decade after Revenge of the Sith, we get to watch Ewan McGregor and a returning Hayden Christensen
  • A Droid Story - starring C-3PO and R2-D2
  • The Book of Boba Fett - a spinoff to The Mandalorian
  • Rangers of the New Republic - another spinoff to The Mandalorian
  • Rogue Squadron - movie scheduled for 2023
  • Star Wars: Visions - animated shorts

Where to Watch Star Wars Movies and Series?

The new home of Star Wars movies and series is Disney Plus. Since the company owns the franchise, you'll be able to stream all content over on Disney Plus. In fact, reaching everything is as easy as launching Disney+ and tapping on a button on the main page.

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