Machete Order: A New Way to Watch Star Wars

Geek Culture

Machete OrderMachete Order

"Machete Order" – notice anything missing?

I have a confession to make: my kids (ages 8 and 5) haven’t watched Star Wars yet. I’m sure many of you think this is much too late — as one parent in this helpful PSA says, “It’s never too early to introduce your child to Star Wars.” In my defense, my older daughter is a bit timid, who has in the past had nightmares from watching Winnie the Pooh and The Muppet Show (talking furniture — don’t ask), so we tend to wait on things that might freak her out.

Of course, my wife and I have always agreed on this point: Episode IV comes first. They can watch the prequel trilogy later, we thought, but they should really start with the originals. After all, we don’t want to spoil the Darth Vader surprise, right?

Well, today Matt Blum pointed me to a blog post by Rod Hilton, who has a new suggestion he’s calling “Machete Order.” He notes the issue of watching them in episode order (namely, that the Darth Vader reveal is spoiled) but also mentions some issues that arise if you watch them in release order which hadn’t occurred to me. He suggests instead, watching them in this order:

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

Episode I: The Phantom Menace is noticeably absent, but I think he makes a pretty good case for it, too. Very little Jar-Jar, no annoying Jake Lloyd and talk of mitochondria midichlorians, and it uses the original trilogy as a framing story for the weaker prequels. Since my kids haven’t watched any of the movies (old or new) yet, I think I’ll give this a shot. (And if I do, I’ll report back later on how well it worked…)

What do you think? Would you introduce somebody to the Star Wars universe in this order?

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