What Is the Best Star Wars Movie to Watch First?

If you’re new to the Star Wars universe, it can be overwhelming to decide which movie to start with. With over 11 movies, TV shows, and spin-offs, it’s easy to get lost in the vastness of this franchise.

However, fear not! We’re here to guide you through the process of picking the perfect Star Wars movie to start with.

The Chronological Order

One way to watch Star Wars is in chronological order. This means starting with Episode I: The Phantom Menace and ending with Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. While this may seem like the most logical way to watch the films, it can actually be a bit confusing for newcomers.

The prequel trilogy (Episodes I-III) was released after the original trilogy (Episodes IV-VI), but takes place before them chronologically. This means that if you start with The Phantom Menace, you may miss out on some of the references and nods to the original trilogy that are present in Episodes I-III.

The Release Order

A better option for first-time viewers is to watch the movies in release order. This means starting with Episode IV: A New Hope and ending with Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. This order allows you to experience Star Wars as it was originally intended by its creator, George Lucas.

Watching in release order also allows you to see how the franchise evolved over time. You’ll witness how the special effects improved from 1977’s A New Hope to 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker.

The Machete Order

There is also a viewing order known as “The Machete Order,” which is gaining popularity among fans as a great way to introduce newcomers to Star Wars. This order was created by computer programmer Rod Hilton and involves watching Episodes IV and V, then skipping ahead to Episode II before finishing with Episodes III, VI, and VII.

The Machete Order is designed to preserve the surprise of the plot twist in The Empire Strikes Back, which is considered one of the greatest plot twists in cinematic history. By watching A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back first, you’ll experience the reveal that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father without any prior knowledge or foreshadowing from Episode I.

The Standalone Films

If you’re not ready to commit to watching all nine main saga films, there are also standalone films that can be watched on their own. These include Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Solo: A Star Wars Story. While these movies are set within the Star Wars universe, they don’t necessarily rely on knowledge from the main saga films.


In conclusion, there’s no right or wrong way to watch Star Wars for the first time. However, we recommend starting with the release order or The Machete Order if you want a unique viewing experience. And if you’re not ready to commit to watching all nine main saga films just yet, give Rogue One or Solo a try.

No matter how you choose to watch Star Wars, may the Force be with you!