Want to see something that will blow your mind? Watch the Star Wars movies in the following order:
A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Attack Of The Clones, Revenge Of The Sith, Return Of The Jedi.
That's called the Machete Order. It was created by Rod Hilton, a software programmer from Colorado. By removing The Phantom Menace entirely and moving the remaining prequels between The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, a few things happen:
1) It cuts a great big chunk of fat from the series.
2) The "No. I am your father!" spoiler remains intact.
3) Anakin's entire backstory is treated like a flashback, which gives his ultimate fate in Return Of The Jedi a more immediate impact.
4) It raises the stakes for Luke's story, showing the audience what could happen to him if he chooses poorly.
The Machete Order is a fantastic way to catch up before The Force Awakens. I recommend it. I'm also very jealous of it. I should have been able to come up with it myself as a quick fix for the series' woes. It seems so obvious now. So, in an embarrassing and very insecure effort to top someone else's great idea that I felt like I should have had first, I tried coming up with my own Star Wars viewing orders to see if they could be better than the Machete Order.
Are mine any better? Let's find out ...
4Meeting In The Middle
Look, the road to creative brilliance is a bumpy one. You're going to misstep a few times. Watching the movies from the ends and meeting in the center was my first mistake -- probably the first of many. I have to accept this failure, move on, and hope that I'll strike gold on the next attempt.
Beginning with Phantom Menace and following it with Return Of The Jedi is like reading the first chapter of a book, then jumping to the final page. I didn't need to watch the movies in the middle. The little blond kid grows up to become a rotting melon in a tricked-out HAZMAT suit. End of story.
"I had the mask fitted with a harmonica so I can jam whenever I want."
At some point while watching the movies in this order, I had a thought: Was there a sexist element to the Empire pre-The Force Awakens? The Empire is, from top to bottom, nothing but men in every single position, as far as we're told in the movies.* There isn't a woman among them. Meanwhile, two of the Rebellion's most important figures are women: Leia and Mon Mothma.
Mon Mothma is the one who gave off that sexy nun vibe.
The Empire read your college thesis about military enrollment acting as the ultimate expression of feminism, and it wiped its ass with it. "Fuck them hoes. Their periods give them space madness," thought the Emperor, while looking at his powdery shriveled cock that hadn't been ridden in decades.
To be honest, I couldn't make it through this viewing order. It's so scattered and stupid. It's a waste of time. Do not attempt it. Let's just forget about it and move on. I apologize for wasting your time with this entry, and I promise to not get distracted with side thoughts again.
*The Expanded Universe changes the "no women" thing, but let's focus on the slice of Star Wars an overwhelming majority of people will always be more familiar with.
3Reverse Chronological Order
Don't do this. I thought starting with Return Of The Jedi and then working backwards until I've ended with The Phantom Menace would Memento the series -- Tarantino it, at the least. Nope. Instead, the viewing of a movie ruins the impact of the one after it, which is actually the one before it, chronologically. That's the more intellectual way of saying it. A simpler way to put it is to just call it stupid. This is a four-entry column, and I've already failed twice. Goddamn it.
Watching the series in this order puts a spotlight on a continuity error that couldn't be helped. It was a byproduct of the decades that passed between making the two trilogies. The originals were made in the 1970s and '80s, and all the guys either had bad facial hair, fluffy sideburns, shaggy haircuts, or some combo of the three.
Check. Check. And Check. General Madine's head is wet egg that fell in Labrador fur.
In the prequels, everyone has modern hairstyles, like Anakin's closely cropped 'do. There's hardly a trace of the 1970s in anyone's hair. Where were your balls, George Lucas? Why didn't you make everyone in the prequels look like they were contestants on The Dating Game? Hardly any of the aesthetics change throughout the six movies; the hairstyles are the only thing in this galaxy of billions that seem to have changed in 20 years.
After the Empire took over, every free man in the galaxy admitted defeat and grew a porn mustache and lived in them like they were little self-imposed prisons on their faces.
Biggs is already an excellent porn name.
I bet there isn't a single porn-stache in The Force Awakens. When the Death Star blew up everyone whipped out their lightsaber Gillette razors and dug their faces from beneath the hair follicles of oppression. The galaxy has been blissfully free of mustaches since. In the sequel trilogy, the Empire is back as a kind of space-insurgency. So if real-world facial hair styles worm their way into the sequel trilogy, prepare for a lot of ironic mustaches used to mock traditional symbols of manhood, because no one remembers what it's like to have it bad and to truly need a creepy mustache to cope.
And I just realized that I got distracted again. Let's move on before I start writing mustache fanfic. Note to self: Add "beardsaber" to your personal fanfic notes.