If You Must Watch the Star Wars Prequels…

Quick backstory: I was in middle school when I heard about the prequels and, too young to know any better, I spent the next few years in breathless anticipation. (Yes, years in breathless anticipation. It’s a miracle I survived, but I had Magic: The Gathering to tide me over.) When tickets for the first movie came out, I got my sleeping bag and hopped into line in position #5. I played Star Wars Trivial Pursuit in that line and I won, in that line. So yeah, I’ve got my Star Wars credentials.

Then I watched Episode I in the theaters six times, willing myself with fervent desire to enjoy the films. I couldn’t.

Then I went on my mission and let the go.

I have watched some weird iMax version of Episode II that apparently skipped several bits and I did end up watching Episode III because, you know, might as well. Both were pretty terrible, and I’d essentially given up on the entire franchise forever. (The only Star Wars novels I like are the Timothy Zahn ones, and I haven’t played any of the video games since the 1990s either.)

But with the announcement that Disney has purchased Star Wars and there are going to be some new films, I’ve allowed a faint flicker of hope to be rekindled. I’m not exactly excited, but I’m not pretending Star Wars doesn’t exist any more either. I want to give Disney a chance, but I also don’t want to get my hopes up.

So, now that I”m reading articles on Star Wars again, here’s a good article about the “correct” order in which to watch the series if–for some reason–you insist on watching the prequels: IV, V, II, III, VI.

I’ll let the article explain the reasoning  behind that order, but I’m pretty convinced. My kids will be ready to watch the movies in a couple of years, and this is probably the order we’ll watch them in.

Bonus: did you know these exist?

Painstakingly recreated by fans, these are 720p versions of the original theatrical release. I must have them, unless Disney does us all a favor and releases 1080p restored versions from that vault of theirs.

I did not.

4 thoughts on “If You Must Watch the Star Wars Prequels…”

  1. Yes, yes, yes! The article you linked to about the order to watch the films was really great. I’m fairly certain that Riley (6) does not know the Darth Vader/Luke connection although he is familiar with the films from seeing clips on TV. I am absolutely going to show him IV, V, II, III, VI. I agree with all of the reasons to exclude Episode I. I think I will actually start this week :) Thanks so much for the info!
    PS. Those despecialized editions sound awesome!

  2. Sadly, my oldest son has already seen the prequels. My husband brought all six home after another law student gave them to him. I asked him why he had to subject us to the prequels. My son was so obsessed with Star Wars for a while that I could barely stand it, given that the prequels were mixed in with this love. He hasn’t seen enough movies in his life yet to understand quality. So my husband and I have quietly transitioned him over to The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, and these movies have become his new main focus. I am only sad that he did not get to read the books first, but he will read them eventually. He’s a smart eight-year-old, but Tolkien is still a little in the future. He started reading The Chronicles of Narnia when he was six, so at least he will tackle those books before he sees the movies. :) He’s an avid reader, and we try to focus more on books than movies. But movies are a lot of fun for some quality family time after the littlest ones go to bed.

  3. Let me know how the viewing goes, Chris! I think my kids are still a little too young. Sophie could probably do it, but then Caleb would want to watch too…

    My oldest is just 6, Liz, so I was really interested in reading your comments. She came home a few weeks ago bound and determined to watch Star Wars ’cause the kids at school were talking about it so much, but I managed to distract her for a couple of days until she forgot about it. Truth is, I don’t think I even own any of the movies. I pretty much swore of all things Star Wars after the prequels.

    She hasn’t really started reading books on her own yet, but I know that the Narnia books are at the top of my list for what I’m looking forward to her reading. :-)

  4. Well, I actually started the process :) We have watched “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back.” He was flabbergasted when Darth Vader had his reveal. He was like, “What? Then Obi Wan was his master? How did he become good again?!?” Lol. He thinks Obi Wan used to be bad when he trained Darth Vader.
    I was so glad that he hadn’t heard about Darth Vader and Luke’s connection. And of course he has no idea about Leia or Senator Palpatine. He’s kinda disappointed that we aren’t going to find out what happens next until we watch Episode II and III. I’m taking the advice to not even include Episode I.
    He is only 6 1/2 but he seemed to really get into it about halfway through Episode IV. When I said we are going to watch how Darth Vader became bad, he was like, “Well, Yoda said that when you get angry, you turn to the dark side, so was Darth Vader angry a lot?” Yay! He is paying attention!

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