Saga If introducing someone new to SW. Which trilogy would you have them watch first?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Jcuk, Mar 31, 2013.

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  1. Darth Raiden Jedi Grand Master

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    Aug 28, 2013
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    yeah the closest to the machete order I did was watch 3 then 6, to be honest I think its a bit much going back and forth on the order.
  2. Barbecue17 Jedi Grand Master

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    Nov 11, 2013
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    The Machete order kind of reminds me of some of the things Tolkien did with The Lord of the Rings where at key points you jump back and tell key pieces of the back story that in the story context enlighten other characters while also enlightening the audience. It was an homage to medieval storytelling and I think it can be effective when done correctly. I really like the ways that it juxtaposes Luke and Anakin's struggles and growth while also preserving the Empire/ Jedi gap. The whole notion of presenting the prequels as examples of an "idealized" past really makes sense, too, and I think seems like a very Lucasian ideas, especially with his love for classic cinema and the 1950s. Look at American Graffiti- very much an "idealized" and loving tribute to the 1950s (as well as being a darn fine movie).
  3. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    That's just a silly reason. Yes, the stuff didn't exist back then, but that's still a lousy reason. The more practical way to deal with that is to accept that this is a time of war. Note that in AOTC and ROTS, the ships are leaning more towards what they are in the OT. Less shiny and more practical. Especially in a war torn galaxy. You're not going to need the Naboo starships since they're designed for luxury travel and not going up against battle cruisers and starfighters. Even on Tatooine, the vehicles are consistent with ANH and ROTJ. Only ships from Naboo standout.
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  4. sharkymcshark Jedi Grand Master

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    Dec 12, 2013
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    It is an admittedly slightly tenuous reason - the main justifications are covered on the Machete website and I didn't just want to paraphrase them here, and instead threw in my own as well.

    The galaxy was at war in AOTC and ROTS - though one of my main gripes with those films is that you never actually really see this beyond the Battle over Coruscant and the Battle for Kashyyk and are basically just told that it's definitely happening off screen and is really terrible (admittedly that is a debate for another thread). The crawl for ROTS literally starts with "War! The Republic is crumbling".
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  5. Barbecue17 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2013
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    I just read the Machete order blog and I think I'm going to try to watch the films in that order. I'm not thrilled with the idea of leaving out Ep1 though(I kind of have a soft spot for it, even though it bounces around with AOTC for being my least favorite Star Wars movie) but I think the guy makes some strong points about how showing the prequels between ESB and ROTJ preserves the Vader reveal, the Palpatine reveal, and even makes the twins reveal more dramatic. I really like the idea that it also very much leaves us wondering about Luke's motivations at the beginning of ROTJ. I hope the ST trilogy really and clearly works best after the OT and PT. Otherwise, things could get confusing!
  6. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    We also saw Utapau, Felucia, Saleucami, Mygeeto and Cato Neimoidia. So we definitely saw the war. The bulk of it was meant for the cartoon series and the EU.

    That's another one because a lot of stuff gets set up in TPM and regardless of Jar Jar's antics and Anakin's sweetness, it is vital to watch.
    Last edited by darth-sinister, Dec 14, 2013
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  7. -NaTaLie- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    The problem with Machete order (or any other order that skips an episode or two) as a way of introduction is that it's very arrogant. It presumes that your friends/family will have the same preferences that you have. But what it they don't? What if they actually like Episode I the most of all the prequels? Or (gasp!) won't pick TESB as their favorite installment? This is especially true about children (the actual target audience). Do the children really care about acting, writing and directing? Are they really annoyed with Jar-Jar? In fact, if I had kids I'd actually introduce them to Star Wars via TCW as I think it's more accessible and plain fun.

    Either trilogy is a legitimate start, just don't skip the episodes because you think you know better what the other person will like or dislike.
  8. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

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    Apr 16, 2008
    star 4
    Agreed. No matter what order you show it in, skipping Episodes all together is really arrogant.
  9. Barbecue17 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2013
    star 2
    Yeah, I don't want to skip any of the films. I do, however, think there's a legitimate challenge to deciding on a best order to view these films that retains as many surprises as possible. While I know lots of people seem to push for a simple 1-6 watching order, I think it's important to remember that that viewing order has been available to fans for less then 10 years. Unless you you only first saw the films in the last ten years or waited long amounts of time to watch them in order, your Star Wars experience, by necessity, had to be different from a straight 1 to 6 run.

    I have a 3 month old (I just finished reading her Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker) so I have a vested interest in this endeavor! [face_laugh] This matters to me! I kind of like the idea of interspersing the prequels with the original films as it also interweaves them together more. Yes, I realize this is completely anecdotal, but it's interesting to talk to first time watchers who feel that the OT is too dated or that the PT is too ....whatever. Anyways, maybe showing someone these mixed together would be a much more cohesive experience. Of course, if Disney sticks to a three year schedule between movies, by the time Ep VIII is out my daughter will be five and ready to see one of the movies in theaters. By then the viewing order that people suggest might change again! [face_laugh]

    I think I'll stick Phantom Menace after A New Hope- then you get to learn a little about Anakin without going too far- you learn about his relationship with Obi-Wan, his piloting skills, his intro to Jedi training, an introduction to the Sith. Darn, that spoils the awesome Yoda reveal on Dagobah, though. Hmm.... I do like that both ANH and TPM end with the celebration scenes, though- very parallel. Maybe TPM last? Kind of a look back as Anakin as a young man juxtaposed with the Sith Lord we've just watched redeemed in Jedi. Almost like a history lesson or research done bu Luke which may lead nicely into the ST. Now my head hurts....
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  10. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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  11. Team Padme Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    Honestly I think I'd do the prequels first and then after they've watched all of them I'd put on the originals.
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  12. Samnz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    I like both @PiettsHat 's and @Visivious Drakarn 's suggestions.

    I would like to offer another option for discussion:
    IV - I - II - V - III - VI

    It starts with ANH as an entry to the Saga, it's the same introduction that was there in 1977. ANH introduces the universe and Ben tells the story of the past, Luke's father Anakin, his own youth, the Jedi and the Clone Wars to Luke. So let's go back to TPM as well as AOTC to introduce backstory to Anakin's origins, Anakin and Obi-Wan as Jedi und the Clone Wars! Newcomers could still speculate and wonder when this guy called Vader might show up and kill Luke's father, Anakin. Then, TESB offers another possibility: Is Darth Vader indeed Anakin? It could be both. Watch ROTS and find out it is in fact true! ROTS would discover Palpatine as Sidious (since Anakin turning dark has been revealed before), though. ROTJ completes the journey, finally.
    Last edited by Samnz, Dec 18, 2013
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  13. Barbecue17 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2013
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    @Samnz,

    Not a bad order either. Honestly, if I were watching them in that order for the first time, I might be lead to believe that Count Dooku would become Vader, especially after the duel at the end of Episode 2. I'm tempted to put Ep 1 after IV but still keep Ep2 after V, but then again I do like Dooku as being a red herring that he might be Darth Vader.

    I've been thinking of what the Star Wars spoilers/ reveals that I want to preserve for a first time viewer:

    Palpatine is Sidious / Ep 3- I realize that many viewers make this connection in Ep 1, but it's definitely a nice payoff for through three films)

    Anakin is Vader/ Ep 5 (Yes, we learn this in III but if the viewer hasn't met Vader or Luke, the reveal has less context.

    Luke meeting Yoda- the Yoda reveal/ Ep 5 (Yoda was kept very secret in 1980, so Lucas obviously considered this reveal also to be a big deal)

    Luke and Leia as siblings/ Ep 6 or Ep 3- If we know who Luke and Leia are by the time Ep 3 is viewed, I think it's as much of a reveal there as it is in Jedi.
    Last edited by Barbecue17, Dec 18, 2013
  14. Jair Crawford Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 1
    It has nothing to do with dislike of episodes. The issue is, with chronological order, if you watch ROTS before the OT, you ruin the big reveal in TESB.

    If you watch OT first, PT last, then, well... you know everything that's going to happen. That's why I think saving episode 6 for last is best. No spoilers that way!

    Start with 4 and then 5 (I am your father!) Great place to go to the beginning and see 1, 2, and 3 (Oh crap, Anakin is Darth Vader, and Luke and Leia are twins!) Then 6. (Holy crap! Vader killed the emperor to save his son! Did he just become a Force Ghost?! Mind... blown...)

    See, it's all about preserving as many surprises as possible. Not just skipping episodes because they aren't as good.
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  15. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    True, it changes the revelation, but it creates a different drama. Such as will Luke find out and will he kill his own father.
  16. Visivious Drakarn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2013
    star 2
    As far as I'm concerned, watching the saga in surprises order undermines the whole drama purpose, and consequently, the filmmaker's intent for the movies to be about the characters' journey and self-revelations for the viewers along the way. Spending 12 hours in random - surprise - order seems rather empty and self-sufficient.
  17. Jair Crawford Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 1
    Surprises order is only intended for the first viewing, though. After that, I'd watch it in chronological order.
  18. Mystery Roach Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2004
    star 4
    If I were going to mix them up for "surprises", I'd use the parallel structure...

    Episode I - Introduces the Republic, Jedi Order, Anakin the Chosen One, Obi-Wan, Sith Lord Darth Sidious, etc.

    Episode IV - Suddenly the Republic is an Empire, The Jedi are extinct, Anakin was killed by Sith Lord Darth Vader, has a son, something about Clone Wars, etc. How did this happen? Who's this Emperor?

    Episode II - We learn how the Clone Wars started, Stormtroopers are clones, See romance leading to Luke's birth, Jango and Boba Fett, etc.

    Episode V - More Boba Fett, Sidious is the Emperor, Darth Vader is Anakin!

    Episode III - See how the Republic, Jedi, and Anakin fell. Leia is Luke's sister!

    Episode VI - Anakin turns good again and kills Sidious. Jedi Order is restored.

    On top of preserving all of these surprises, this order highlights the parallels between the trilogies, of which there are many, and how each act of one trilogy relates to the corresponding act of the other.
    Last edited by Mystery_Roach, Dec 18, 2013
  19. MOC Yak Face Manager

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    I'm not talking about the narrative elements of the two films. With the rose-tinted goggles removed, 3 and 4, despite all the tinkering, feel a million miles apart as far as film making is concerned. ROTS is a 21st century technological wonder, with effects inserted at every opportunity. Lava surfing, somersaulting octogenarian Sith apprentices etc. ANH is, largely out of necessity, a technologically minimalist film by comparison. That's not necessarily a criticism of either, but it's a massive difference. Look at the two Vader v Obiwan duels. You can talk about age and physical limitations all you like, but in reality one doesn't follow the other at all well.

    Regarding 'huh?', if a new viewer was to watch episode 4 first and 5 second, I'd imagine they'd then enjoy going back to see the explanation of the paternity revelation via the PT, before then watching the conclusion of episode 6.
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  20. Mystery Roach Chosen One

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    To me, the transition between 3 and 4 works well. For one thing, while this is one large story, it's structurally divided into trilogies and there's nothing wrong with keeping that in mind while watching. So after the first comes to a climax, we take a step back and hit the reset button to start another while still keeping the larger story moving forward. The films slow down to introduce new characters in a very different time period where life has slowed down to a crawl, especially on the planet where the protagonist is stuck. Stylistically, I think the difference between the kinetic CG laden Episode III and the much simpler and (I hate to use the word) grittier Episode IV illustrates thematically the state that the galaxy is in after the takeover of the Empire, which is now a much more colorless and motionless place overall. Sure it could be a bit jarring, but that's kind of the point. It only heightens the dramatic impact of the galaxy being such a different place under the Empire IMO.
    Last edited by Mystery_Roach, Dec 18, 2013
  21. Darth Raiden Jedi Grand Master

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    That was beautiful =D=
  22. MOC Yak Face Manager

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    But upon its release, wasn't ANH considered to be fast paced and technologically cutting edge? So isn't the interpretation of slower pace and less technology as thematic and dramatic reading a degree of artistic intent when really all that's there was the passing of 30 years worth of film making technological advancement and changes of sensibility?

    For me, moving from 3 to 4 remains like jumping out of GTA and watching Taxi Driver.
    They both have cars and guns but...

    I do agree with the contention that viewing the saga as 2 distinct trilogies enhances the enjoyment of all of the films.
  23. Mystery Roach Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2004
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    I see the trilogies as distinct but not separate. They enhance each other in their similarities as well as their differences. Yes the primary stylistic differences between them are in large part due to technological reasons rather than storytelling ones, so maybe it's just a happy accident (although I believe some of it is very much intentional), but I think those technological differences happen to compliment each other very nicely within the context of this particular story.
    Last edited by Mystery_Roach, Dec 18, 2013
  24. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 28, 2001
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    How? If all you're focusing on is the technology, then you're missing out on the grander part of the story. Mystery Roach gets it.

    "It's a downer, the saving grace is that if you watch the other three movies, then you know everything ends happily ever after. Nevertheless, I now have to make a movie that works by itself but which also works with this six-hour movie and this overall twelve-hour movie. I'll have two six-hour trilogies, and the two will beat against each other: One's the fall, one's the redemption. They have different tonalities but it's meant to be one experience of twelve hours."

    --George Lucas, The Making Of Revenge Of The Sith, page 62


    As we see, it is a different situation when ANH begins and takes the story in a familiar, but slightly different direction. Sure, you just came from one duel where Vader and Obi-wan fought on a lava planet and now they're in the corridor of the Death Star. That was always going to be jarring before CGI came about. And in terms of emotional content, that's because they're intentionally different. Lucas had the emotion in ROTS translate into a physical smackdown between Anakin and Obi-wan as thirteen years of compassion, laughter, resentment, anger and brotherhood came crashing down around the two of them. Whereas in ANH, the duel is less emotional because they've had twenty years apart from each other. Obi-wan is more emotionally centered now than he was on Mustafar and Vader has matured in many ways since then. Regardless of the methods used in 76, the duel was never going to be as big as what Lucas, Kershner and Marquand went for in the two sequels that followed. It's purpose in the story was to get the Jedi Master to buy time for the others to get to the ship and get away.

    It's not about rose tinted glasses. It's not about CGI. It's about seeing the emotional content of the story.
  25. Carbon1985 Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 23, 2013
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    @Darth Sinister

    I can't find the part in the quote where Lucas talks about the ST and how its 9 part saga?
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