The Force Awakens https://scienceblogs.com/ en Spoiler Alert: Rogue One https://scienceblogs.com/seed/2017/01/11/spoiler-alert-rogue-one <span>Spoiler Alert: Rogue One</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Serving as an immediate prelude to the very first Star Wars film (<em>A New Hope</em>), <em>Rogue One</em> restores a measure of gravitas to the Star Wars canon that was seriously undermined by <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/seed/2016/01/11/dumbing-down-star-wars-in-the-force-awakens/">the goofiness of 2015's <em>The Force Awakens</em></a>. <em>Rogue One</em> is still a remarkable nostalgia trip, thanks to the digital recreation of familiar Rebel and Imperial hardware along with <a href="http://www.indiewire.com/2017/01/rogue-one-visual-effects-ilm-digital-grand-moff-tarkin-cgi-princess-leia-1201766597/">the likenesses of actors </a>who first appeared in the original 1977 film. But without the need to consider future franchise opportunities for its stars, <em>Rogue One</em> is free to kill off <em>all</em> of its major characters, marking a narrative structure that is unprecedented for blockbusters in general and Disney piffle in particular. Self-sacrifice inspires a strong emotional response from the audience—see, for example, Obi-Wan Kenobi posing peacefully in <em>A New Hope</em> before Darth Vader strikes him down. The several heroes in <em>Rogue One</em> sacrifice themselves one by one until all that's left is a floppy disk in the hands of a princess. This is powerful plotting, and all credit to the film's writers. Perhaps there is hope for the fictional far-far-away galaxy after all.</p> <p>Image via <a href="http://thoroughlyreviewed.com">ThoroughlyReviewed.com</a></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/milhayser" lang="" about="/author/milhayser" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">milhayser</a></span> <span>Wed, 01/11/2017 - 10:39</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/misc" hreflang="en">Misc</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/death-star" hreflang="en">Death Star</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/digital-actors" hreflang="en">Digital Actors</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/disney" hreflang="en">Disney</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/jedi" hreflang="en">Jedi</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/motion-capture" hreflang="en">Motion Capture</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/narrative-structure" hreflang="en">Narrative Structure</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/princess-leia" hreflang="en">Princess Leia</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/rogue-one" hreflang="en">Rogue One</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/self-sacrifice" hreflang="en">Self-Sacrifice</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/star-wars" hreflang="en">star wars</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/force-awakens" hreflang="en">The Force Awakens</a></div> </div> </div> <section> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/seed/2017/01/11/spoiler-alert-rogue-one%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Wed, 11 Jan 2017 15:39:18 +0000 milhayser 69278 at https://scienceblogs.com Dumbing Down Star Wars in The Force Awakens https://scienceblogs.com/seed/2016/01/11/dumbing-down-star-wars-in-the-force-awakens <span>Dumbing Down Star Wars in The Force Awakens</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It was high times for the Rebel Alliance at the end of <em>Return of the Jedi</em> (1983). Across the galaxy, crowds rejoiced at the destruction of the second Death Star and the apparent defeat of Emperor Palpatine. Princess Leia Organa, who two films earlier had seen her home planet exploded for sport, was re-united with a twin brother she never knew she had, becoming aware of her own Force sensitivity, and in love with a swashbuckling hero who would later father her son. It was a resounding victory, and deservedly so, even if Ewoks had to help.</p> <p><em>The Force Awakens</em> begins thirty years later, yet reveals nothing about the consequences of the Rebellion's victory. One might think democracy was restored and the title scroll refers quickly to "THE REPUBLIC" before never mentioning it again. The original Republic, of course, existed in the time of the prequel trilogy and was transformed into the first Galactic Empire through the machinations of Palpatine, a dark lord of the Sith. But now, without any political backdrop, Leia and her band of good guys are called "The Resistance" and the masked jerks with Star Destroyers are called "The First Order." Where, exactly, is the New Republic in all this? We never find out.</p> <p>Instead the entire film propels itself in pursuit of a particularly foolish MacGuffin (an object, for example, that everyone wants to get their hands on.) This is a common technique in action films and was used in <em>A New Hope</em> (1977) as the Empire tries to recover stolen Death Star plans. In <em>The Force Awakens</em>, the object everyone desires is a map to Luke Skywalker, who has gone into hiding because he messed up as a Jedi Master and created a pitiful gothic monster in the form of his nephew, Kylo Ren. The whole idea of following a map across the galaxy in order to find a planet is embarrassing—space is 3-D and wide open; all ones needs are coordinates. Instead we are shown a meandering orange trail that stretches for tens of thousands of light-years. What if you're coming from a different direction? I don't know, fly casual?</p> <p>Luke is only in the film for about a minute, and he has no dialogue. The MacGuffin, despite being relied upon <em>throughout the entire film</em>, is only a tease. Where else can we look for an actual story? There is Leia, who is now a General with the Resistance. Her situation must be painfully tragic. Not only is she a woman without a home or a family, but the rebellion she led so fiercely has failed to change much at all. She seems not to have been trained in the Force, and she is separated from Han Solo, who cruises the galaxy with his Wookiee bro looking for their junky old spaceship. Leia and Han's son, Kylo Ren, has run away to apprentice for an evil mastermind and wants to murder Leia's brother. And yet the film doesn't explore Leia's potential pathos at all. It mostly places her in the background. Although, for Leia, the worst is yet to come.</p> <h3>Han Solo's Death Wish</h3> <p>Harrison Ford was ready for Han Solo to die in <em>Return of the Jedi</em>, although he didn't get his wish. He was tired of his character and maybe George Lucas as well; it's probably only because of the latter's departure (and Disney's deep pockets) that Ford reprised the role at all. Still, he was only in it for a last hurrah, and so Disney needed to kill off his character. Han Solo was always a cagey, wily, brave and lucky bastard; despite what George Lucas later revised, Han <em>did</em> shoot first, because he knew if he didn't, Greedo would fry his ass. Han Solo is nobody's fool, and neither is his brother-in-arms Chewbacca, who hardly even loses at chess.</p> <p>Yet Han's death in the film is hard to understand. After many years he has been reunited with the <em>Millennium Falcon</em>, he has seen Leia again and they agree that he should ask young Kylo to come home. So Han flies to Starkiller base, where Ren likes to brood, and confronts him. Han walks out onto the longest, narrowest, most railing-less, most pointless catwalk in the galaxy, above an abyss that is undoubtedly bottomless. He says, kiddo, please, let me help you? And Kylo agrees by switching on his lightsaber. These two may be father and son, but could Han really be so credulous, so naive, have such a blind spot to let himself be murdered by a well-known psychotic, without even a contingency plan? To let down everyone who has ever loved him? While Han's death is the core of the film's narrative, it's also meaningless, because we know nothing about the relationship Han and Kylo once had.</p> <p>Kylo Ren turns out to be a kind of metaphor for the whole movie: a clueless newcomer who idolizes the remains of Darth Vader and wants to get rid of the characters we love.</p> <p>Consider also Chewbacca, who was once a rather menacing (if big-hearted) presence. In <em>The Force Awakens</em> he just mugs for the camera. And the droids, who George Lucas envisioned as the point of view for all of Star Wars, are likewise relegated to the sidelines; R2-D2 is asleep for most of the movie, and C-3P0 only gets in somebody's way once.</p> <h3>Diverse New Idols</h3> <p>Of course, this film is supposed to be about the new characters, not the old ones. Disney made a very clear nod to gender and racial equality in casting their lead actors. The unfortunate thing is that neither of these characters is given any substantial backstory or character development. They demonstrate no internal conflict or struggle. They experience no defeat, and little growth. It seems to be within these two that the Force has "awakened," since it gets them out of every jam with killer, invincible instinct. Rey, although she begins the film as a poor desert scavenger, is purely virtuous and physically adept from the beginning: she excels at hand-to-hand combat, won't sell out a friend for money, magically flies a spaceship for the first time, magically wields a lightsaber for the first time, etc. Her basic attribute is that she kicks ass and while that's always fun, she's little more than an totem, and therefore a stereotype. The film tells us nothing about her personal history or relationships, except that she has been waiting in the desert for someone to return.</p> <p>Meanwhile Finn the black Stormtrooper begins the film by having a panic attack in battle. He witnesses his fellow Stormtrooper killed and bloodied, and refuses to fire on the enemy. He soon defects from the First Order and joins up with Rey for mindless hijinx. Finn's moment of truth is presented as a moral revelation: he realizes that killing is wrong and refuses to do so. And yet, once he joins the good guys, he has no problem turning around and shooting his former comrades. Finn says that he was kidnapped as a child and indoctrinated as a soldier all his life—presumably those other Stormtroopers were too. Finn ought to have immense sympathy for them; he should be deeply conflicted about his actions and his future. Instead, he's a happy-go-lucky blaster jockey: another totem. Both actors are partially wasted in this film because their roles are meaningless. And that is not what women or racial minorities (or anyone) needs.</p> <p>Furthermore, the giftedness of these characters undermines everything the other films have taught us about the Force. These new heroes don't have to learn anything; it comes to them naturally. This is the only Star Wars film without a line of dialogue spoken by a Jedi Master. Star Wars has always been about learning and discovering the difference between dark and light, but here that sense of erudition and discovery is wholly lacking.</p> <h3>Um, That's Not How Starkilling Works</h3> <p>Even if the technology in speculative fiction is more advanced than our own, the rules of physics still usually apply. Even <em>magic</em> such as the Force is plausible as long as it operates according to a set of rules. But when writers make lazy shortcuts, it's hard to take their storytelling seriously.</p> <p>Consider the First Order's headquarters, Starkiller Base. Although <em>The Force Awakens</em> is dead-set on recreating every iconic element of the original trilogy, someone in Hollywood must have thought that after two Death Stars with highly vulnerable shafts, it was time for for the First Order to up the ante. The result is Starkiller Base, an entire planet that has been hollowed out and turned into a weapon that sucks up the mass of a star and fires it across the galaxy. It basically does the same job as a Death Star, except from longer range. Honestly a Death Star would be much more economical, if only someone could design some good grates.</p> <p>The first time Starkiller Base fires its weapon, we see a cinematic technique J.J. Abrams used previously in <em>Star Trek</em> (2009). Here, people on one planet look up in the sky just in time to see another planet destroyed, in broad daylight. And they go, OMG! Now the speed of light is not a limiting factor in the Star Wars universe; spacecraft can exceed it. But the beam fired by Starkiller Base is not traveling faster than light, and likewise appears to consist of matter rather than radiation, meaning it is traveling much slower. So how many years should it take to reach its target, if ever? And once its target is destroyed, how many years until the light from that event reaches another solar system? I don't know why Abrams insists on making galaxies feel so tiny when we know they are truly epic.</p> <h3>I Have a Bad Feeling About This...</h3> <p>In fact the whole film is an a-causal jumble of narrative serendipity: a steady stream of nostalgic, unconnected tropes that we can expect to see again and again as the franchise rolls forward. We know the Force works in mysterious ways, and so we can accept that Rey stumbles upon the <em>Millennium Falcon</em> sitting under a tarp, collecting dust in a junkyard on the planet where she lives. What is harder to believe is that on a world full of scavengers, she is able to walk onto the ship, power it up, and fly it away without a key. <em>Everything</em> is there for the characters when they need it.</p> <p>Repetition of elements also defines Star Wars; George Lucas said of the prequel trilogy that it was supposed to mirror the original. Disney obviously had no problem with this concept, but rather than crafting a variation on a theme, they hack up every element from the original trilogy that they can. <em>The Empire Strikes Back</em> (1980) reveals a great secret: Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father and Leia's as well. One can expect a similar bombshell will drop in Episode VIII, and will almost certainly involve Rey and the mysterious figure she was waiting for in the desert. I wager that Rey is Luke's daughter, or Kylo's sister, or even Leia's clone. She must be a Skywalker; she appears to be more gifted than even Anakin. Her <s>midichlorian</s> count must be through the roof.</p> <p>Now, like everyone else who loved Star Wars and was excited for the prequel trilogy, I was bewildered by <em>The Phantom Menace </em>(1999). Aliens are argue about economics, the acting is stilted, the dialogue is poorly written, the plot is inscrutable, Jar-Jar Binks tries to coin a catchphrase, and everybody dies a little inside. <em>Attack of the Clones</em> (2002) generates more narrative interest; Anakin is old enough to discover himself and his love for Padme; he shows flashes of the lust and rage that will ultimately lead him into desolation. And <em>Revenge of the Sith</em> (2005) features some truly incredible moments, as Palpatine pulls the strings of his trap together and Obi-Wan tries to convince Anakin to come back to the light. Aside from from their special effects, the prequels make for poor viewing, but underneath their obscure, indiosyncratic presentation, there is an interesting story about good and evil. The prequel trilogy burns brightly in my imagination (if not onscreen). Meanwhile, <em>The Force Awakens</em> is just the opposite. It is an exciting movie to watch. But it has no compelling storyline, no character development, and no moral. It's obviously a set-up for larger plot elements to follow, but still this is supposed to be cinema, not a television pilot.</p> <p>They also made X-Wings uglier. Two stars.</p> <p>See also: <strong><a href="http://scienceblogs.com/aardvarchaeology/2015/12/20/notes-on-the-new-star-wars-movie/">Notes on the new Star Wars Movie</a></strong> on <strong>Aardvarchaeology</strong></p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/milhayser" lang="" about="/author/milhayser" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">milhayser</a></span> <span>Mon, 01/11/2016 - 08:54</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/misc" hreflang="en">Misc</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/attack-clones" hreflang="en">Attack of the Clones</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/cinema" hreflang="en">Cinema</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/criticism" hreflang="en">criticism</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/disney" hreflang="en">Disney</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/george-lucas" hreflang="en">George Lucas</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/harrison-ford" hreflang="en">Harrison Ford</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/jj-abrams" hreflang="en">J.J. Abrams</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/midichlorians" hreflang="en">Midichlorians</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/mysticism" hreflang="en">Mysticism</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/prequel-trilogy" hreflang="en">Prequel Trilogy</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/return-jedi" hreflang="en">Return of the Jedi</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/revenge-sith" hreflang="en">Revenge of the Sith</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/rip-0" hreflang="en">Rip-Off</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/star-trek" hreflang="en">Star Trek</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/star-wars" hreflang="en">star wars</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/storytelling" hreflang="en">storytelling</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/force-0" hreflang="en">The Force</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/force-awakens" hreflang="en">The Force Awakens</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/phantom-menace" hreflang="en">The Phantom Menace</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Categories</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/channel/technology" hreflang="en">Technology</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1899997" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1452612022"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The other things you need to remember about the Star Wars universe is that it is a post-apocalyptic slave empire, with tacked-on metaphysical crap. Droids are always present, but at some point in the past someone has had a nasty experience with artificial intelligences, and now droids are kept enslaved very carefully, and only a few places make them. We know that AI works in this universe, and that it can be trusted not to kill people, but it isn't exploited anywhere as much as it could be.</p> <p>Consider: there are no sentient starships. There should be, AI is a good way to run a big, complex machine like a Star Destroyer, especially as once emplaced a master AI and a number of sub-minds can run the entire enterprise as a machine ecosystem. Similarly drone swarms manufactured by vast automated orbital factories would seem a much more efficient and effective way to make and run military machines. Yet, the manufacturing is by inefficient biological organisms on the ground.</p> <p>In thirty years, neither the relic empire nor the resistance have advanced much in their technology. Basically, this is a post-apocalyptic universe, much like that of Frank Herbert's Dune. They used to have advancing technology, but after whatever nasty shock they had with AI happened (possibly the machines revolted), the advancement stopped. The entire scenario is not a technologically vibrant society, but scavengers living in the rubble of such a society.</p> <p>Presumably as well there was a species which wasn't technological, but which specialised towards Force manipulation. This would explain species which seem to exhibit natural resistance to Force manipulation; we could posit the rarity of Force users is because once again, Force technology has at some time in the past been hideously over-utilised just like AI, and this universe is similarly living in a post-Force Tech scenario, where Force users are rare freaks. There may even by a natural biological reason for Force users to be rare like this; we are not told.</p> <p>I rather concur with what you said: pile of crap.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1899997&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="mL5-wjD8-dRs-iG1_-zBTtINWwPOScN6xBcuPbhRhPQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dan H. (not verified)</span> on 12 Jan 2016 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/8060/feed#comment-1899997">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="103" id="comment-1899998" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1452627139"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Dan, those are very interesting insights. The only thing I would say is that the Republic is apparently extremely well organized in the prequel trilogy, if not exactly coordinated. I also wonder where the character of Lobot (Lando Calrissian's cyborg) fits in with the power of AI and the acceptability of slavery.</p> <p>I do hope we some interesting development of Star Wars' history!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1899998&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="2K9DBaIIJOKOrwqn38D1eaxIyxs-tb-NLnVNO60m_DU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/milhayser" lang="" about="/author/milhayser" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">milhayser</a> on 12 Jan 2016 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/8060/feed#comment-1899998">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/milhayser"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/milhayser" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1899999" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1452699092"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Thank you for the review. With many of the points criticized, I agree wholeheartedly.<br /> I was very weary of the new StarWars, ever since I heard Abrams would direct, because I downright hated his StarTrek.<br /> For me this time, I am still surprised to say, it worked.<br /> I greatly enjoyed The Force Awakens, notwithstanding ridiculus "physics", coincidences and other flaws.<br /> For an explanation why that is see <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W27dtFbBGRg">this</a> review.<br /> In short, what gave me the hardest time enjoying Episode VII, would also have kept me from enjoying Episode IV, had I been 30 years older when first seeing it.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1899999&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="ITXman5OxU1NWkPTH_n15fBlrSbuUrAFR_wllQYSjnw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Sinapis (not verified)</span> on 13 Jan 2016 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/8060/feed#comment-1899999">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/seed/2016/01/11/dumbing-down-star-wars-in-the-force-awakens%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Mon, 11 Jan 2016 13:54:31 +0000 milhayser 69250 at https://scienceblogs.com What order should you watch Star Wars in? https://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/12/15/what-order-should-you-watch-star-wars-in <span>What order should you watch Star Wars in?</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>With the imminent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you might want to refresh your memory by watching the earlier Star Wars films, or even the films and other related productions.</p> <p>There are two or three philosophies on this. The most obvious is to watch the films in chronological order, or story order, so you are seeing the historical development of the things that happened. This is simple. Watch Episode I first, and work your way in order through Episode VI. </p> <p>There are objections to this method, however, because the way the story was told, out of historical sequence, involves certain reveals that would be ruined if you watched them in historical order. </p> <p>The release order of the films, which presumably reflects the intentions of the artist, is:</p> <p>Episode IV<br /> Episode V<br /> Episode VI<br /> Episode I<br /> Episode II<br /> Episode III</p> <p>Then, of course, Episode VII, and eventually Episodes VIII and IX</p> <p>Software expert Rod Hilton developed what come to be known as the "Machete Order" (called that because his blog is named "Absolutely No Machete Juggling"). Hiton argues, as noted, that the historical order (he calls it the "episode order") ruins a key reveal that so and so is so and so's father. Hilton rightly notes that this is a key feature of the entire story, and it is not a good idea to ruin that. If anyone watching the films does not know about this reveal, then watching them in historical, or episode, order is the wrong thing to do. </p> <p>He also argues that the release order is fine for the first three films has its problems as well. His suggestion is a different order from either historical or episode, and it runs like this:</p> <p>Episode IV<br /> Episode V<br /> Episode II<br /> Episode III<br /> Episode VI</p> <p>Notably, you don't watch Episode I at all. The reason? It sucks. <a href="http://www.nomachetejuggling.com/2011/11/11/the-star-wars-saga-suggested-viewing-order/">Read the original</a> (well, updated) blog post for all the reasons. </p> <p>Another dude, Ernest Rister, <a href="http://metro.co.uk/2015/12/14/star-wars-the-force-awakens-this-is-the-order-you-should-watch-the-first-six-films-in-5564223/">suggests</a> the same order but he leaves in Episode I, so you get this:</p> <p>1. Episode IV: A New Hope<br /> 2. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back<br /> 3. Episode I: The Phantom Menace<br /> 4. Episode II: Attack of the Clones<br /> 5. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith<br /> 6. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi</p> <p>You can get the digital version of the existing films at Amazon: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VJ04TH0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00VJ04TH0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=grlasbl0a-20&amp;linkId=AQ6TSNC5XBJZYNMY">Star Wars: The Digital Movie Collection</a><img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=grlasbl0a-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B00VJ04TH0" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />, or if you prefer hard copies, <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015AJOKFG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B015AJOKFG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=grlasbl0a-20&amp;linkId=O7SWEYGHHRMD7GIS">Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) in Blu-ray</a><img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=grlasbl0a-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B015AJOKFG" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />. There is also a <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0186R6PHA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0186R6PHA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=grlasbl0a-20&amp;linkId=TDMGEOZL2HKE5IDE">non blue-ray version </a><img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=grlasbl0a-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B0186R6PHA" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" /> but since it is an import, I'm not sure if you want that for your DVD player.</p> <p>You might want to go totally crazy and also watch and read the other things that are parts of the story but not in those movies, such as the TV series <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E8G5H0K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00E8G5H0K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=grlasbl0a-20&amp;linkId=DLACPTTQIDPIMMR5">Star Wars: The Clone Wars</a><img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=grlasbl0a-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=B00E8G5H0K" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />, or the book <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/055339147X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=055339147X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=grlasbl0a-20&amp;linkId=PM735BJJCTANPKXU">A New Dawn</a><img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=grlasbl0a-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=055339147X" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />. If you want to get those things in the right order, <a href="http://www.techtimes.com/articles/94895/20151014/star-wars-complete-chronology-new-canon.htm">Tech Times has a list</a>. </p> <p>By the way, John Abraham wrote a review of the recently published novel, "Dark Disciple," which fits near the beginning of the cannon, <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/07/07/a-new-novel-star-wars-dark-disciple/">here</a>. </p> </div> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a></span> <span>Tue, 12/15/2015 - 04:09</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/uncategorized" hreflang="en">Uncategorized</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/episode-order" hreflang="en">Episode Order</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/machete-order" hreflang="en">Machete Order</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/order" hreflang="en">order</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/star-wars" hreflang="en">star wars</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/tag/force-awakens" hreflang="en">The Force Awakens</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1468697" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1450177866"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I always watch in historical order. The whose father bit is silly I figured that from the 1st!!! Its a cliche of the highest order! The brother/sister thing was my surprise!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1468697&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="moyKt6_OSs2wsailvl-RAUwfu7jUW-WpDrT0bVyiAt0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">L.Long (not verified)</span> on 15 Dec 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/8060/feed#comment-1468697">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1468698" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1450178300"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>"I prefer to let George Lucas disappoint me in the order he intended."<br /> ~ Sheldon Cooper</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1468698&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="jL9zcG0OO3BPUqlL4tGCZRsK1n4YTK-zFC5n7P1N05M"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="Obstreperous Applesauce">Obstreperous A… (not verified)</span> on 15 Dec 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/8060/feed#comment-1468698">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="31" id="comment-1468699" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1450178928"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>LOL</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1468699&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="4NKMnUUz8_nXAdYdU1fLJRRl6OPU32Pt7GeUPd-uzUw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <a title="View user profile." href="/author/gregladen" lang="" about="/author/gregladen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">gregladen</a> on 15 Dec 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/8060/feed#comment-1468699">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/author/gregladen"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/author/gregladen" hreflang="en"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/pictures/HumanEvolutionIcon350-120x120.jpg?itok=Tg7drSR8" width="100" height="100" alt="Profile picture for user gregladen" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1468700" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1450187603"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>It will be an interesting weekend. Some time ago my college-age son bought all four of us tickets to see it at our local Alamo Drafthouse theater this Saturday. He thought about getting tickets for the midnight viewing opening day but "figured you and mom would be falling asleep in the theater that late). I'm looking forward to it. The two boys are looking forward to it. My wife has never seen any of the first movies and says 'I have no idea what to expect.'</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1468700&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="vY_DvSZM0tCY8K74QIsnIxuFhNHE-VACnOKe5QPsqAU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">dean (not verified)</span> on 15 Dec 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/8060/feed#comment-1468700">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1468701" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1450192516"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I have to say I am all for watching them in the order released if for no other reason than "historical accuracy" -- i.e. it gives a better feel for how Lucas was evolving (or not, as the case may be) as a director/ visionary. (I know, he only directed four of the six). </p> <p>Honestly the other thing that I think makes that a good order is the nice comparison between what was possible in the 70s and 80s and what came later. But I coudl see not everyone is so interested in that. (Me, it's because I think Lucas' best work was when he had strict budgetary limits. See American Graffiti as exhibit A).</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1468701&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="L-UIGXvsx5_ACJTcQzhG_7b_mvrRrmG0Z6meSn_P8eI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Jesse (not verified)</span> on 15 Dec 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/8060/feed#comment-1468701">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1468702" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1450762131"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Well there's also the option of watching in order IV, V, VII as I did as a kid .. </p> <p><i>(Almost. Actually not really first movie I recall seeing was the RotJ and, no kidding it gave my Mum nightmares afterwards because of Jabba's palace.</i></p> <p>I don't recall the order I watched the next two, suspect it was NH then ESB but not sure. Pretty close together and on VCR -v ideo tape with actual tape - anyhow.) </p> <p>..Then NOT watching any others. </p> <p>Till VIII maybe - dunno haven't yet seen no spoilers please!) </p> <p>But sadly I didn't and did see the prequels which cannot be unseen once seen. </p> <p>Although actually, guilty admission here, I didn't think they were all that bad albeit not up to the emotional and powerful standard and hype stemming from the originals. </p> <p>Their music always works anyhow and hey these are <i>Star Wars</i> movies so take them for what they are. All of them. </p> <p>Which I say as someone who really loves this 'verse. </p> <p>.. And whose all-time fave SF series is <i>'Babylon 5'</i> FWIW</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1468702&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="4P4Vv5mDYtmODf6dkde9MoS-9wIzlZWtpKVS-o7b1gI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">StevoR (not verified)</span> on 22 Dec 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/8060/feed#comment-1468702">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1468703" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1450762228"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>^ Err.. that's VI and VII intended in the opening line - as may be if typos are corrected. D'oh!</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1468703&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="8VlJjZovKdozLz5D3ag66tWyJjF1H49vzAjyZtjmi3E"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">StevoR (not verified)</span> on 22 Dec 2015 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/8060/feed#comment-1468703">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> <article data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-1468704" class="js-comment comment-wrapper clearfix"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1468975555"></mark> <div class="well"> <strong></strong> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>you can also download star wars ringtones here.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1468704&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="bU7PWjzMF8iJOyj8nVN1NOEqqoAez-r_0N-NTvdY1_k"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <em>By <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">star wars ringtone (not verified)</span> on 19 Jul 2016 <a href="https://scienceblogs.com/taxonomy/term/8060/feed#comment-1468704">#permalink</a></em> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0" hreflang="und"><img src="/files/styles/thumbnail/public/default_images/icon-user.png?itok=yQw_eG_q" width="100" height="100" alt="User Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> </footer> </article> </section> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-forbidden"><a href="/user/login?destination=/gregladen/2015/12/15/what-order-should-you-watch-star-wars-in%23comment-form">Log in</a> to post comments</li></ul> Tue, 15 Dec 2015 09:09:06 +0000 gregladen 33782 at https://scienceblogs.com