With yesterday's unofficial-official Star Wars Day behind us it only seems fitting that such an iconic film series should have its own sequel. After all, the Saga is legendary, having transformed how people watch movies by both pushing forward the technolgies used in filmmaking and in birthing the modern blockbuster.
Two sequels, three prequels, a TV series and an instantly recognizable brand name visible at nearly every retailer in our galaxy, the franchise is still running strong. When's the last time you walked down a Walmart toy aisle without seeing numerous empty pegs where characters from the films once sat for mere minutes before collectors and kids snatched them all up?
The Empire Strikes Back (arguably the best in the series - ask any fan) and Return of the Jedi are case enough to give us a second day of celebration, even if day two is named after one of the prequel films.
And speaking of prequels - no, we don't want May 1, 2 and 3 to be Star Wars Days also - the three films that creator George Lucas went back and made to tell the backstory of Anakin Skywalker and his descent to the Dark Side of the Force and ultimate turn to Darth Vader don't hold up the same way that the original trilogy does, but a website called nomachetejuggling.com suggests a new way to watch the films.
Should you watch them in the order they were released? Or by their episodic number? Release order would ruin the big reveal at the end of Empire, where Luke Skywalker learns that Darth Vader is his father. Episodic order, as the site makes a strong claim about, comes down to one scene that Lucas re-edited at the end of Jedi which would leave viewers (assuming you're watching it for the first time) scratching their heads.
In one of Lucas' edits for the 2004 DVD release of the series, the director replaced actor Sebastian Shaw (who played Vader unmasked) with Hayden Christensen (who played Anakin in he prequels), who stands with the ghosts of Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The first time viewer would have no clue who that ghost is.
"How can you ensure that a viewing keeps the Vader reveal a surprise, while introducing young Anakin before the end of Return of the Jedi?" The site asks.
Enter the "Machete Order", which presents an interesting order to watch the six films in which viewers might benefit more. Actually, that would be five films as they've deemed Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace completely unnecessary to the progression of the story.
Start with Star Wars, followed by Emire, and then watch Episodes II and III - Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, followed by Jedi.
The new order "uses the original trilogy as a framing device for the prequel trilogy. Vader drops this huge bomb that he’s Luke’s father, then we spend two movies proving he’s telling the truth, then we see how it gets resolved."
No Jar Jar Binks or 'midichlorians'? We're in.
Check out all the in-depth reasoning and why the new order might actually make some sense over at nomachetejuggling.com!