The third-highest grossing film series of all time, (behind only the James Bond and Harry Potter films), "Star Wars" has been a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon since 1977 when the original film was released. Because the series was released "out of order" (IV, V and VI being released in the late 70's/early 80's and the prequels I, II and III being released 16 years later), there are conflicting opinions about which way to watch these movies. Some say chronologically by year of release (IV, V, VI, I, II, III), some say in numerical order (I, II, III, IV, V, VI)-- a unique way to view them is to watch I, II and III as a "flashback" in the middle of the original three movies.
Begin with "Star Wars IV: A New Hope." Technically the fourth in the series of six, this one is ideal to start with because it takes you back to where it all began in 1977. Get acquainted with Luke, Leia, Yoda, Obi Wan, Darth Vader, Han Solo, C3PO, and R2D2, the characters that have become so iconic today, as Luke Skywalker leaves his home planet and tries to save Princess Leia from the evil clutches of Darth Vader.
Next, watch "Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back." The fifth in the series, Empire is the first sequel to the original and showcases Luke advancing in his Jedi training with Yoda while Leia, Han, R2D2, and C3PO are captured by Darth Vader.
Move on to "Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace." By watching this one after V, you'll be taken to the start of the flashback episodes (I, II and III) as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn are sent to confront the leaders of the evil Trade Federation that are planning to take over Naboo. They head off with Jar Jar Binks to warn Queen Amidala, and their journeys put them in Tatooine, encountering a young Anakin Skywalker, and the relationships developed in IV and V are starting to get pieced together.
Continue your flashback journey with "Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones." Anakin Skywalker enters into a a forbidden romance with Queen Amidala while Obi-Wan Kenobi makes an investigation of an assassination attempt on her--and this leads to the discovery of a secret Republican clone army.
Next, watch "Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith." After fighting in the Clone Wars for three years, Anakin Skywalker concludes his journey towards the Dark Side of the Force, a decision which puts both his friendship with Obi Wan Kenobi and his marriage to Amidala at risk.
Conclude with "Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi.' After saving Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, Luke Skywalker tries to bring his father back to the Light Side of the Force as the Rebels attempt to destroy the second Death Star. Since this is the sixth and final episode of the series, the conclusion resounds that much stronger due to your knowledge recently received in I, II and III.
Angela DeFini works as a production editor, and takes online classes through MediaBistro.com to enhance both her writing and copy editing skills. She has been writing for Demand Studios since December 2007. DeFini graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a minor in English literature.