May 4th has got a bit out of hand now that it seems to be celebrated as an actual holiday every year. That said, I do like to watch Star Wars fairly regularly1 and so I often get a Tatooine style yearning at this time. However, the question that used to always pop up was “which order do you watch them in”2. It used to be that I’d do the old “IV, V, VI, I, II, III” sequence but that was until I learned about the “Machete Order”:
Next time you want to introduce someone to Star Wars for the first time, watch the films with them in this order: IV, V, II, III, VI
Notice something? Yeah, Episode I is gone.
The full post explains it more thoroughly (along with benefits and drawbacks) but the basic idea is that you treat episodes II and III as flashbacks whilst The Phantom Menace is relegated to being an “expanded universe” kind of deal similar to The Clone Wars animated series or video games like The Force Unleashed. I’ve watched the films in this order a couple of times now and it really does work a lot better. It also works great if you are introducing the films to someone for the first time (i.e. kids).
I’m probably not going to watch them this year, but if you do, give the Machete Order a try. You won’t regret it.