How to watch “Star Wars”

Generations have debated on which way to watch the “Star Wars” movies. I believe that to get the full experience, viewers should start their marathon with the prequels.

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How to watch “Star Wars”

by Lilly Frisch, Writer/Page Designer

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It’s Dec. 20 and everyone’s at home. My sister’s back from college, my brothers no longer have to go to soccer practices, my dad is making snacks in the kitchen and my mom is rustling the pine tree branches trying to get the lights to perfection. It is now time to start the best 18 hours of the year. 

This marathon has been a Frisch Family tradition for years. Sitting on our couch, wrapped up in blankets to protect us from the bitter cold, is the perfect way to spend time together. The memories made during the 18-hour binge are memories that I always cherish and look back on fondly. But, with every “Star Wars” marathon comes the question: which movie do you start with? Is it better to watch them in numerical order, starting with “Episode I: The Phantom Menace” (1999)? Or should you watch in the order they were originally released, starting with “Episode IV: A New Hope” (1977)?

 Our binge-watching session will most likely happen over 2-3 days but one thing is for sure, it will always start with the prequels. When watching the originals first, viewers easily root for the death of Darth Vader before completely understanding his character. When I watch the originals first, I feel as though I skipped the beginning of the story.

Many argue that you should watch the original movies first due to director, George Lucas who created the originals prior to the prequels, unaware the series would be such a phenomenon. The opposing side, such as my dad, gives the argument that at the time of the release, people did not have the option to watch it in chronological order. He argues that if he had the option to do so when he was younger, he would have.

My whole family agrees that when you begin with the prequels you get a much better experience. You get to see the themes develop slowly throughout the movies that eventually lead to the final battles of the original trilogy. When you watch these movies in chronological order, viewers are able to get a sense of a beginning, middle and end. You go on a journey with the characters, following them from birth to death and watch them develop and change over time. 

The three prequels begin with the rise, fall and eventual redemption of Anakin Skywalker the boy who became Darth Vader.  The first time I saw the “Star Wars” movies, I already knew that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father. However, I did not know the dramatic and emotional love story that made it happen.

You will find yourself caring for and even rooting for the inevitable villain of the next three movies. When you see him as Darth Vader, you know his whole backstory and are able to understand why he turned out the way he did. Watching the prequels first illustrated the “Star Wars” world before our heroes were even born. 

It helped me understand how exceptional Luke Skywalker was able to make it out of his small town and become one of the universe’s mightiest heroes. The characters are given more background and personality when you know where they came from. When you are introduced to Leia and Luke in the fourth film, you may have just met them as young adults, but you have already experienced their birth. 

When Darth Vader delivers the iconic “Luke, I am your father” line, you are able to fully experience the disbelief of Luke. When all the movies come to an end, you experience the full circle of two generations of Skywalkers. You lived through every moment of each character’s life. So next time you watch this worldwide pop culture phenomenon make sure you start with the prequels to get the best experience.

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