Rewatching Star Wars: Phantom + Machete

So I’m re-watching the Star Wars movies in preparation for new movie and naturally the issue of what order to watch them in arises. I’ve decided to go for Phantom + Machete order.

For those who don’t know, Machete order was first suggested here: and the case is made compellingly. Essentially the order suggested is this:

  1. Episode 4: A New Hope aka Star Wars. Start with where the story actually starts.
  2. Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back aka Everybody’s Favorite. OMG! Darth Vader is ….
  3. Episode 2: The Clone Wars. The story goes into flashback mode to explain the big reveal at the end of Episode 5.
  4. Episode 3: The Revenge of the Sith. We learn about the Emperor and we see Darth Vader come into being.
  5. Episode 6: Return of the Jedi. Han is rescued. The Emperor is killed. Vader is redeemed.

The order is clever because it keeps major twists and surprises from the first trilogy as twists and surprises and it all makes dramatic sense. The problem is The Phantom Menace doesn’t sit well anywhere in that order, mainly because it isn’t terribly relevant to most of the story. Obi-Wan is introduced better in Episode 4, Anakin has to be re-introduced all over again in Episode 2 because he is now grown up. Qui-Gon and Darth Maul die and don’t appear again. Really only Padme is introduced as a reoccurring character played by the same actor and even with her she has a different role (Senator) in Episodes 2 & 3 than in 1 (where she is a Queen Amidala).

So I’m treating The Phantom Menace as a introductory film – a prologue to the main story. In it we learn about the Republic and Jedis and the Skywalker family. The only twist spoiled by The Phantom Menace is that the weird green muppet guy in Episode 5 is the Jedi Master Yoda. I think we will cope.


2 responses to “Rewatching Star Wars: Phantom + Machete”

  1. No, no, The Phantom Menace has to be treated as an Appendix, not as a Prologue. If you watch it as an introductory one, it kind of ruins the entire point of the Machete Order, which is that not seeing II and III until after IV and V means that the big reveals of V aren’t spoiled. And whilst there isn’t much in TPM that does spoil things, there is enough that it seems better to simply hold it until afterwards. (Personally, I think there’s a lot in TPM to enjoy, and it provides huge resources for deeper critical analyses of the series, but it makes no sense as anything other than unnecessary-but-interesting background if you are watching Star Wars simply as a story.)


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