Have you ever had a friend or child that was new to Star Wars but you didn’t want them to start with Episode 1: The Phantom Menace because those STUPID midichlorians or the computer generated comedy relief known as Jar-Jar Binks? Or, maybe you are worried that showing Episodes 4 – 6 first will give away the ending? Ever hear of the Machete Order?
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No, the Machete Order is not some cult following of the Danny Trejo or his films. It is the brainchild of Rod Hilton. A new way of watching Star Wars in an order that allows the viewer to see exactly how certain events from the original trilogy unfold, without giving away key surprises until the very end.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching Star Wars in this order and think I will continue watching in this order for years to come.
The viewing order is Episode 4: A New Hope, Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back, Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith, and finally Episode 6: Return of the Jedi.
“What is missing?” you might ask:
· No comedic relief Jar-Jar Binks: He only has five lines in Episode 2 as a well-mannered Senator.
· No Midichlorians: There is only one instance where the evil word is uttered but doesn’t explain what they are.
· No Little Orphan Ani: No more “Are you an Angel?”. (See The Emperor’s Back, from 2:15 to 2:50)
· No Padme/Queen decoys: Only one gets killed at the very beginning of Episode 2 as a substitute Senator Amidala.
· No confusing master-apprentice relationships: Darth Sidious trains Count Dooku, Obi-Wan trains Anakin.
· No Trade Federation: They are mentioned once or twice, then briefly show up right before Anakin kills them. And there was much rejoicing, “yah”.
· No pod racing: We no longer have a pointless action sequence, just to show how good a pilot Anakin is…HE WAS A KID, not a pilot!
· No immaculate conception: Palpatine makes reference to Anakin’s birth but without the original context it sounds more like he is referring to himself in the Expanded Universe.
· No Qui-Gon Jinn: There is mention of him in Episodes 2 and 3, along with a disembodied voice. This is unfortunate but still worth it to get rid of Episode 1.
· The prophecy of "The One": Episodes 2 and 3 mention the prophecy, along with the original trilogy. This is also unfortunate but in Episode 3 Yoda states the prophecy may have been misinterpreted.
· Creation of C3P0: He just shows up on Tatooine as if he had always been there, then joins R2D2 and Anakin for the remainder of the prequels.
· Anakin’s slave mother: Anakin goes back to Tatooine to save his mother after a vision, that’s it, no references before this because Episode 1 is missing. Oops.
What follows is a brief summary of how each movie pans out so you can get an idea of why the Machete Order is good for n00bs.
Episode 4: A New Hope
Within a few minutes of the opening scene Princess Leia leaves a holo-recording for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke meets up with Ol’ Ben Kenobi after a scuffle with Sand People. He tells Luke his father served with him in the Clone Wars and they were good friends. He also reveals Darth Vader betrayed him and killed Luke's father. They watch Princess Leia’s holo-recording. Uncle Soon Dead, aka Owen Lars, and Aunt Gonna Bite It, aka Beru Lars are killed (see Thumb Wars from 8:43 to 9:36). Luke and Obi-Wan head off into space with Han Solo and Chewbacca. Obi-Wan is killed, willingly, and joins the Force. You find that Luke is a good pilot after an interaction with an old friend. You get a small glimpse of Luke's back story as Darth Vader, and the newly revealed master, announced Luke is the son of Anakin Skywalker, a great Jedi. Luke helps the rebels and blows up the Death Star using the Force. Luke and Han get medals. End Credits.
Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back
The rebels are now on planet Hoth, an ice planet. Luke is visited by Obi-Wan's ghost, while freezing to death, telling him to learn more about the Force from Yoda. Luke recovers and shows off more of his piloting skills as the Empire attacks the rebel base. They escape the planet and Luke goes to see Yoda. He learns more about the Force and has a vision of the future. His friends are in danger, a trap to capture Luke. Han becomes a large Carboncicle, and the Bounty Hunter, Boba Fett, takes him back to Jabba the Hutt. Luke gets into a fight with Darth Vader even after warnings from Yoda and Obi-Wan's ghosts. It is later revealed Luke is Darth Vader's son. WAT!?! "THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!" According to Obi-Wan, Darth Vader killed Anakin! Luke gets his right hand sliced off, replaced by a robot one. End Credits.
Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
Flash back to before the Evil Empire. You meet Padme Amidala, a former queen, and now a Senator for the great Republic. She gets blown up, oh, wait…it was a decoy. Obi-Wan and the young Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, help protect Padme from another assassination attempt. You get a glimpse of Anakin and Obi-Wan's former friendship. Obi-Wan makes joking reference to what turns out to be a future event by saying "Why do I get the feeling you're going to be the death of me?", which we witnessed in Episode 4. Amidala's would be killer is assassinated by someone resembling Boba Fett. WAT!?!
Senator Palpatine shows interest in Anakin's abilities to use the Force. Anakin is assigned to help Padme escape the planet while Obi-Wan investigates the assassination attempts. It's discovered that a Jedi secretly ordered clones for the Republic, but that Jedi has been dead for years and couldn’t have ordered them. The clones are none other than Jango Fett's, father of Boba Fett. WAT!?! Jango reveals a man named Tyranus is paying him for his services. Obi-Wan finds out Tyranus is Count Dooku, a Separatist. It's revealed that Anakin's mom, a slave, was sold to Cliegg Lars, Owen Lars father. Owen was previously revealed to be Luke Skywalker's Uncle. You also find C3P0 there as he was in Episode 1 which we skipped over completely, for good reason.
Anakin reveals his dark side because of his anger toward his mother's violent death. Anakin and Padme get closer and closer. The Separatists threaten the peace of the Republic. Senator Palpatine is given special power over the Senate to allow an army to be created, in which they use the previously created Clone Army. The Dark Side may be at work here. The clones help Obi-Wan, Anakin, Padme, and several Jedi attacked Dooku and his Separatist army of Battle Droids. You catch a glimpse of the Death Star plans. Anakin's right arm gets cut off by Dooku. Dooku speaks to a mysterious Master Sidious who says "Everything is going as planned.". Anakin and Padme get married in secret. End Credits.
Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith
Above Coruscant the Jedi are at war with the Separatist continuing to use the Clone Army against the onslaught of the Battle Droids. A new villian enters the scene, General Grievous, cross between flesh and robot, a cyborg. Senator Palpatine was captured by Count Dooku. Dooku, we learned earlier, is a Sith Lord. Anakin makes quick work of him by slicing off his hands, then his head after Palpatine requests it. Grievous escapes a distroyed ship. Padme reveals she is pregnant. Anakin has a nightmare vision of Padme in pain during childbirth. He reveals that she dies during birth.
Palpatine gains more power over the Senate and Obi-Wan warns Anakin to be cautious of Palpatine's interests in him. Palpatine requests Anakin to become a Master Jedi and a voice for Palpatine on the counsel. They deny his request to become a Master but still give him a seat on the counsel because Palpatine's trust in him. Yoda heads out to see the Wookies concerning the war, and is later revealed to be friends with Chewbacca. Palpatine plants a lie in Anakin's head that the Jedi want to rule the Republic and overthrow the Senate. Palpatine informs Anakin of Darth Plagueis, a Sith that learned how to keep people from dying. He taught his apprentice this power and the apprentice killed Plagueis in his sleep. How would Palpatine know of this story, and why would he have mentioned it? Anakin's tells Padme that he wants more power than being a Jedi will teach him so he can save her life.
General Grievous and Obi-Wan fight. The dude has FOUR ARMS! WAT!?! Palpatine reveals to Anakin that he knows the ways of the Dark Side yet Anakin doesn't kill him because he can teach him to save Padme. The Jedi go after Palpatine after Anakin tells them what he is. Palpatine wins against Mace Windu after Anakin interferes. Anakin joins Palpatine so he can save Padme and dons the new name Darth Vader. The Jedi are now his enemy and proceeds to kill everyone in the Jedi temple. Emperor Palpatine give the clones an order to kill all Jedi they find, turning the tide of the war toward the Separatist. WAT!?! Think back to Episode 2 concerning who ordered the creation of the clones. Palpatine used an alias and was their true master. WAT!?! Yoda gets the Senate thrown at him, literaly. Darth Vader and Obi-Wan get into a tiff. Obi-Wan wins and cuts off Darth Vader’s other arm and both legs. Padme gives birth to twins and reveals Leia is one of them. WAT!?! Emperor Palpatine fixes up Darth Vader and shows us the suit we all know and love, enter FrankenVader. The Death Star begins construction. Senitor Organa gets Leia, Owen Lars gets Luke. End Credits.
Episode 6: Return of the Jedi
A masked Bounty Hunter brings Chewbacca to Jabba the Hutt. The Bounty Hunter, who is soon revealed as Leia, frees Han Solo from his Carbonite prison, and becomes a slave. Luke Skywalker goes to see Jabba and gets dropped into a Rancor dungeon. He kills the Rancor and is captured. Several of our beloved heroes are then placed above a Sarlacc pit but with the help of R2D2, and a previously masked Lando Calrissian, Luke makes quick work of the situation and frees the gold plated bikini babe from her captor. Boba Fett attempts to kill Luke and is accidentally sent flying into the Sarlacc pit by a still blind Han Solo. The Emperor, which we now know is Palpatine, arrives on the second Death Star. Luke is back on Daghoba to see Yoda and learns he has a sister, Leia. WAT!?! Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca head to Endor to disable the shield around the unfinished Death Star. Luke and Leia on speeder bikes, nuff said. Luke and Darth Vader meet again and Luke is brought to the Emperor.
Leia is befriended by little chibi bears known as Ewoks. Luke tells Leia of their relationship, that Darth Vader is their father and that she also possesses the power of the Force. Leia responds that she somehow always knew they were related. The Ewoks assist the rebels in deactivating the shield. The Emperor is betrayed after Darth Vader sees his son in pain from a Force beat down. Darth Vader dies a Jedi instead of a Sith. The new Death Star is destroyed, celebration ensues. You see the young ghost of Anakin Skywalker, the original Obi Wan, and Yoda. This now makes more sense as a new person to Star Wars wouldn’t recognize the older Anakin. End Credits.