If you’re in the mood to marathon the Star Wars movies in order, then good news: in this guide we’ll explain every Star Wars order, including chronological and release orders. The Skywalker Saga of nine movies itself is relatively easy to watch these days, since it’s all available on Disney Plus. You can watch the Star Wars movies in chronological order by starting with The Phantom Menace, then ending with The Rise of Skywalker.

When you throw in spin-offs like Rogue One and The Mandalorian, though, the Star Wars order gets a little trickier, and that’s where this article comes in handy.

Here, we’ll show you how to watch Star Wars movies in order in every possible way, explaining how the Star Wars timeline works. As mentioned, we’ll detail how to watch the Star Wars movies in both chronological and release orders, and also in the internet-famous Machete Order. We’ll also rank the Star Wars movies from best to worst, in case you want to skip a couple of the bad ones, and explain which films are on Disney Plus right now in 4K and HDR. 

Let’s start, then: here’s how you watch the Star Wars movies in order. We begin with the Trade Federation blockade of Naboo, and we end with Rey versus Palpatine. The Star Wars marathon begins a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Star Wars movies in chronological order

The Star Wars chronological order is lovely and simple, if you just stick to the movies. In this list, we’ve included every Skywalker Saga movie and the two spin-offs movies, Solo and Rogue One, into one simple Star Wars order.

Here’s how to watch the Star Wars movies in chronological order:

  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (set 32 years before A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (22 years before)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (19 years before)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (about a decade before)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (ends moments before ANH)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (three years after A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (four years after)
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (34 years after)
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (34 years after)
  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (35 years after)

This list focuses exclusively on live-action movies, and we’ve used A New Hope as the anchor point in this list, which is in-keeping with the traditional way the Star Wars timeline is measured.

If you want to watch all of the canonical TV shows, try our Ultimate Order list further below. Just so you know, The Clone Wars animated movie and series are set between Episodes II and III, and end they during Revenge of the Sith (or slightly after, in the case of The Clone Wars’ final Darth Vader scene). Star Wars: Rebels is essentially set between Episodes III and IV. The Mandalorian is obviously set between Episodes VI and VII.  

The upcoming Obi-Wan series will be set between Episodes III and IV. The upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story spin-off about Cassian Andor is confirmed to be set five years before Rogue One, and therefore after the prequels and before the original trilogy. The Resistance animated series is set in the sequel trilogy time period, so it runs concurrently with The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Again, check out our ultimate Star Wars viewing order below for a full breakdown. 

Star Wars movies in release order

You probably don’t need to watch the Star Wars movies in release order, since the prequels came out after the original trilogy but before the sequel trilogy, meaning the story makes less sense, but for trivia purposes you might find it useful. If you’re in the mood, here are the Star Wars movies in release order. A New Hope, shockingly, is 43 years old now. Gulp.

  • 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: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Today’s best Star Wars The Skywalker Saga 4k Blu-Ray deals

The ultimate Star Wars viewing order, including TV shows

Star Wars timeline
The official Star Wars timeline, from Disney Plus.  (Image credit: Disney Plus)

When Disney bought Lucasfilm and the rights to Star Wars, it reset the Expanded Universe continuity that had ticked away in the background in the years since the first movie’s release. That meant only the Prequel Trilogy, Original Trilogy and The Clone Wars CG animated series remained canonical. 

Since then, Disney has added significantly to the canon, with books, games, comics and more. For ease, below we’ve created a viewing order guide that just includes the movies and TV shows, but will take a long time to watch. We’ll add the newer Disney Plus Star Wars shows like Obi-Wan and Cassian Andor to this when we know exactly when they’re set (don’t expect them until 2021 or later, though). 

  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (set 32 years before A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (set 22 years before A New Hope)
  • The Clone Wars animated series (begins 22 years before A New Hope, ends 19 years before)
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (set 19 years before A New Hope)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (set about a decade before A New Hope)
  • Star Wars: Rebels animated series (set five years before A New Hope, with an epilogue set much later)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (ends moments before A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (set three years after A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (set four years after A New Hope)
  • The Mandalorian (set around nine years after A New Hope)
  • Star Wars: Resistance animated series (set 34 years after A New Hope onwards)
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (set 34 years after A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (set 34 years after A New Hope)
  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (set 35 years after A New Hope)

Star Wars: The Machete Order explained

The Machete Order, created by Rod Hilton in 2011, is a viewing order with no Phantom Menace at all, focusing instead on Luke Skywalker’s story. The theory is that the Machete Order maintains The Empire Strikes Back’s big twist, which the prequels naturally give away.

You begin the Machete Order with A New Hope, move on to The Empire Strikes Back, then watch two of the three prequels as a flashback to Anakin’s story, before returning for the final confrontation in Return of the Jedi. Evidently, the Machete Order works best if you’ve never seen Star Wars before, although we’re always happy to skip Episode I if given the option…

  • Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

To continue the Machete Order from there, watch the sequel saga, too:

  • Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  • Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

What’s the best Star Wars order?

We think chronological viewing is the best Star Wars viewing order, for a few reasons. For one, it doesn’t take as long to watch as the ultimate order, which requires a massive time commitment that’ll be a little much for most people. 11 movies is enough for a solid Star Wars marathon, and the two spin-offs, Rogue One and Solo, add texture to the universe that you won’t necessarily get from the main Star Wars movies. That’s the Star Wars order we’d pick in 2020. 

Star Wars movies on Disney Plus

Disney Plus has pretty much every Star Wars movie available to stream, including The Rise of Skywalker. Worldwide, Disney Plus streams every single Star Wars movie, except in the US, where Solo isn’t available until July 9, 2020 (which is very soon!). After that, Disney Plus will be the only place you can stream every Star Wars movie, past, present and future. You can also watch animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels on Disney Plus, which is a huge bonus.

  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace 
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones 
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back 
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi 
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens 
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  • Star Wars Episode IX: Rise of Skywalker 
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (coming July 9, 2020 – available now on Netflix US)

Outside the US, in places like the UK and Australia, every Star Wars movie can be streamed now.

The best Star Wars movies, ranked

Most Star Wars fans have a pretty clear opinion on which films in the series are the best, but in case there’s any argument, we’ve put together a guide ranking the Star Wars movies based on IMDB user scores. Your mileage may vary, and surely no movie featuring the word ‘Younglings’ is better than The Last Jedi or Solo. 

The Rise of Skywalker score has settled on a 6.7, which seems about right. 

Source https://www.techradar.com/how-to/how-to-watch-the-star-wars-movies-in-order