Mark Hamill: Watch the Star Wars films in this order

As Star Wars: Episode IX approaches, do your movie rewatching in the Luke Skywalker-approved order.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

Why so bummed, Luke? Did someone tell you about the prequels?


Who better to determine the proper order for watching the Star Wars films than Luke Skywalker himself?

Mark Hamill  spoke with Collider in April 2018 and was quizzed about his preferred timeline for watching all the  Star Wars movies. There are eight films in the main saga, plus Rogue One, and now Solo: A Star Wars Story. (Solo didn't figure into Hamill's order because it hadn't come out when he was asked.) And now that we're just over eight months from Star Wars: Episode IX, maybe it's time to get that rewatch started. You can watch one every few weeks and be all caught up by the time the new film hits theaters in December.

Those of us who were of moviegoing age in 1977 and thus saw them all in release order (get off my space lawn) might find this an odd question. Watch them in the order of release, like we had to, right? But maybe there's some benefit to starting with the prequels and watching them in episode order.

Hamill at first went old-school, saying, "I always think, the way they were chronologically released." (Score one for the AARP set.)

But then he admitted watching them in the order they take place has its merits, and after first reciting the movies in episode order, one through eight, changed his mind and came up with a new lineup.

"I mean... wait a second. Rogue One comes before four," Hamill said. "Yeah so you go: one, two, three, Rogue One, four, five, six, seven, eight."

He also said he had asked creator George Lucas back in 1977 why the first film was labeled Episode IV. 

"Well, the prequels are pretty dark," Lucas told him. "It's a darker story. This one, he said, is more commercial."

Hamill didn't comment on the Machete Order, which is a way of watching the films that preserves a certain big twist involving Luke's relationship to you-know-who, but our CNET critic Richard Trenholm tried it out.

Once you've conquered the galaxy, if you want to watch all the Marvel films in the proper order, well, we've got a guide to that, too.

Star Wars: Episode IX comes to UK and Australia theaters on Dec. 19, and US theaters on Dec. 20

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