Oh boy! By asking that question you have really opened a can of worms. If you ask 100 people that same question you will get 100 answers as to what the correct order of the Star Wars movies is.

Of course, if you are looking to just determine the Star Wars movies in order of release dates, then that is an easy answer. If you are looking for a recommendation as to what order to watch them in, well that is an entirely different question….

Star Wars Movies in Order of Release

Many people will say the best way to watch the Star Wars movies, is in the order that they were released:


  1. A New Hope (1977)
  2. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  3. Return of the Jedi (1983)
  4. The Phantom Menace (1999)
  5. Attack of the Clones (2002)
  6. Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  7. The Force Awakens (2015)
  8. The Last Jedi (2017)
  9. The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

This method is simple, easy, and best of all: no arguments.

Star Wars Movies List in Order to Watch

With 9 movies broken into 3 trilogies, your darn right there are a lot of differing opinions on how to watch them.

The 3 most popular order to watch the movies are:

  1. Release order
  2. Chronological order
  3. Machete Order

Release Order

This is likely the best order to watch the Star Wars movies. Not only are you watching in the same way it was released to the world, many of the secrets and surprises are maintained, where as if you watch in chronological order many of the “big reveals” would be spoiled.

  1. A New Hope (1977)
  2. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  3. Return of the Jedi (1983)
  4. The Phantom Menace (1999)
  5. Attack of the Clones (2002)
  6. Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  7. The Force Awakens (2015)
  8. The Last Jedi (2017)
  9. The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Chronological Order

In watching the films in chronological order, you get see the roots of some of the main character first, and get an introduction to the political climate. You get a better understanding of the Star Wars world before diving deep into the story.

  1. The Phantom Menace (1999)
  2. Attack of the Clones (2002)
  3. Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  4. A New Hope (1977)
  5. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  6. Return of the Jedi (1983)
  7. The Force Awakens (2015)
  8. The Last Jedi (2017)
  9. The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Machete Order

This order was suggested in 2001 by Rod Hilton. While there is a very long explanation of Machete Order, the short version is that it sets up story in a better way, makes some of the “big reveals” all that much better, and creates a cliffhanger after watching The Empire Strikes Back. You will notice from the list below that it also removed Episode 1. According to the creator of Machete Order, the reason is that Episode 1 does not really advance the story all that much

  1. A New Hope (1977)
  2. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  3. Attack of the Clones (2002)
  4. Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  5. Return of the Jedi (1983)
  6. The Force Awakens (2015)
  7. The Last Jedi (2017)
  8. The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

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