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Curious about the hype around The Mandalorian and the upcoming Disney Plus shows, but put off by its long history Star WarsThe science fiction saga is one of those expansive, long-running franchises that social media is getting wildly excited about but can feel intimidating for the first time. What’s even a Jedi? Why are these not? the droids
you’re looking for? And who is the big hairy man flying that spaceship?
Do not you worry. Like it James Bond and Star TrekContinuing to be a major cultural touchstone, Star Wars offers excellent escapism (space combat! Classic bad guys! Handsome heroes!), So it’s totally worth diving in. Fortunately, all canon movies and shows available to stream On Disney PlusLet’s take a look at the easiest ways to get into different aspects of this rich, almost 43 years old universe.
How to watch the Star Wars movies in sequence
There are 11 Star Wars movies in total: the three trilogies that make up the Skywalker Saga, plus two spin-offs. The best entry point is it Original trilogy, Which consists out of:
These are some of the most beloved films of all time and deal with the Rebel Alliance’s struggle against the totalitarian Galactic Empire, along with the pivotal role of the Skywalker family in these events.
You should at least check out A new hope – the first release, from 1977, when it was simply known as Star Wars. The visual effects may look a little dated, but it’s a thrilling adventure, gently leading you into a rich sci-fi universe and introducing some of the cinema ‘s most enduring and beloved characters.
If you like A New Hope, check it out The Empire Strikes BackThis 1980 sequel is better in almost every way, expanding the universe from the previous film and increasing the stakes for our heroes and villains.
Return of the JedI finished this first trilogy in 1983. It’s not quite as good as the previous two, but it’s still worth your time and provides a satisfying end to this era of the franchise.
You may hear people talking about different versions of these movies – ignore all of that at first. They all tell the same story, so just check out the most recent releases and find out the alternative cuts later if you’re intrigued.
All Star Wars movies, from cheap to big, ranked
Now that the original trilogy is ready, you have two more to discover: the prequels and the sequels. I recommend you go for the follow-up trilogy, which consists of:
They came out in 2015, 2017 and 2019 respectively, so the images are spectacular and still fresh in people’s minds. Set 30 years after the originals, these films introduce a new generation of heroes and villains alongside older characters.
You may have seen wildly different reactions to these movies on social media – forget all about that and make up your mind.
The prequel trilogy is often considered a weak link in the franchise, but there is still a lot to love if you love this universe, and it set the trend for modern blockbusters through its groundbreaking use of computer-generated visuals . It consists of:
These films were released in 1999, 2002 and 2005 and are set in the decades leading up to the original trilogy. They take you to the era that led to the rise of the Galactic Empire.
Which brings us to the two spin-off films:
They take place between the prequels and the original trilogy and are not part of the main Skywalker Saga. Rogue One came out in 2016 and reveals the events leading up to A New Hope, while the one in 2018 Solo is an origin story for the charismatic smuggler Han Solo.
Neither is as important to the franchise as the Skywalker Saga movies, but they are better movies than the prequels and tell compelling stories about other aspects of the universe.
Watch TV shows, from The Clone Wars to The Mandalorian
You’ve probably heard of it The Mandalorian, the franchise’s first live action show, which hit Disney Plus in late 2019. This show created a huge social media buzz, mainly targeting a very cute character
The first two seasons consist of eight episodes each and are set a few years after Return of the Jedi. It introduces the titular armored bounty hunter and the ridiculously popular Baby Yoda to tell a mostly self-contained story so you could watch it without any prior knowledge and it would make sense. However, you’ll get more out of it if you’ve seen the original trilogy at least.
The Clone Wars is a CGI animated series depicting the intergalactic conflict between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the SithIt started with a pretty dubious movie in 2008, but developed wonderfully over seven seasons. In fact, some of the most beloved characters appear in real life in The Mandalorian season 2.
With 133 episodes, it may seem daunting, but this show tells us some of the best Star Wars stories ever after it got underway in Season 2. You will want to check out the prequels before diving into this.
If you like The Clone Wars, check out the sequel CGI series Rebels, that jumps to the years before A New Hope. You don’t have to have seen The Clone Wars to understand it – you could watch Rebels after watching the Original Trilogy. It introduces characters from The Clone Wars over the course of the four series, but mainly focuses on a group of rebels fighting the Empire.
Sideshow’s life-size The Child is the Baby Yoda collectible you’ve been waiting for
Star Wars video games
The Star Wars franchise has spawned decades of video games ranging from the sublime to the horrible, but only three are currently part of the narrative canon.
The 2017 single player campaign Battlefront 2, which is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, is set after Return of the Jedi. You want to see the original trilogy before playing. You also get one fun online multiplayer shooter that there are still many people playing every day, and sometimes it is available for free
Jedi: Fallen Order, which came out in 2019, is also canon. This third person lightsaber swinging adventure takes place between the prequels and the original trilogy.
The third game is from 2020 SquadronsThis starfighter game (which has some useful VR functions) includes a short story campaign that takes place after Return of the Jedi.
Star Wars canon books and comic books
Literature has been a big part of Star Wars since the franchise’s inception, but only stories that have appeared since 2014 have still considered canonThe books and comics often delve into dark corners of the universe, but I’ll recommend an author to look out for in any medium.
In terms of recent novels, Claudia Gray’s work stands out:
Bloodline (political thriller prior to The Force Awakens)
Master and apprentice (Jedi adventure leading to The Phantom Menace)
On the comic side, the series written by Charles Soule stands head and shoulders above everything else. The two big ones are:
Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith (about his early days, just after Revenge of the Sith)
The Rise of Kylo Ren (four-track origin story, set before The Force Awakens)
If Soule’s Work Is Your Jam, His First Star Wars Novel, Light of the Jedi, was released in early 2021. It is the first big story to take place The Age of the High Republic, 200 years before The Phantom Menace.
That should be enough to help you dip your toe into the franchise – you should pretty much start with the original trilogy and move on from there. Just know that once you hit the Star Wars path, it will dominate your destiny forever.