- Created By: George Lucas
- Launched On: May 25, 1977
- Owner: Disney
- Tagline: A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away
How To Watch Star Wars In Chronological Order
With the possibility of more Star Wars movies coming sooner than later as well as the franchise’s series ramping up, it’s time to schedule a rewatch of the entire franchise. But the order in which things were released is not the order in which they happen on the Star Wars timeline.
So we’ve put together the entire saga of Star Wars in chronological order, including movies that don’t fit into the nine-episode series but are part of the Star Wars universe, as well as the animated series and yes, the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special.
This is how to watch Star Wars in chronological order.
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
While A New Hope was the first movie released in the series, The Phantom Menace is the saga’s actual chronological beginning. The story is set 32 years before A New Hope and introduces fans to a young Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) as he is being trained in all things Jedi by Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson).
This is also our first introduction to Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) a nine-year-old who, as we all know, eventually becomes Darth Vader. Natalie Portman joins the series here Queen Padmé Amidala.
The Phantom Menace is a movie busy with politics. The Trade Federation has cut off every route to the planet Naboo, so Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are assigned to settle this issue, and they stumble upon Anakin along the way. Phantom Menace is perhaps best remembered, infamously, as the place we met one of the most reviled characters in Star Wars history: Jar Jar Binks.
- Average Viewer Rating – 6.5
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Attack of the Clones is set 10 years after The Phantom Menace and 22 years before A New Hope. 10 years is a long time and Anakin is now a young man. Both he and Obi-Wan are called upon after an assassination attempt on Senator Padmé Amidala.
After a second attempt on her life, Anakin is tasked to guard Padmé as she travels back to Naboo while Obi-Wan is sent to investigate the attempts on Padmé’s life. Obi-Wan ends up on Kamino, where he discovers the Republic is producing a clone army.
There may be too much going on in Attack of the Clones, where the love story between Padmé and Anakin seems stilted and wooden at best. But for all its negatives, it does set up the beginning of Anakin’s turn toward the dark side.
- Average Viewer Rating – 6.6
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-2014, 2020)
Clone Wars is an animated series that first began as a theatrical release and then went on to the Cartoon Network where it ran for 5 seasons. A sixth season was produced and aired on Netflix. Lucasfilm announced at the San Diego Comic-con in 2018 that the series would be coming back for a 7th season to be shown on Disney+.
If you’re watching Star Wars in chronological order then this story is set during the three years between Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
The series began by telling many stand-alone stories that captured the flavor for the time in between Episode II and III. As the seasons moved on, the stories had a little more diplomatic feel to them moving away from the battleground. All along though, the series moved Anakin closer and closer to the dark side.
- Average Viewer Rating – 8.1
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Episode III begins three years after the events of Attack of the Clones and is set 19 years before A New Hope. While the title calls for revenge, this story is about many beginnings. It has Palpatine’s revelation that he is Sith Lord Darth Sidious. It has the birth of Darth Vader at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi. It has the construction of the Death Star, and it has the birth of Luke and Leia, taking us to the middle three stories we all know and love.
- Average Viewer Rating – 7.5
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
This project saw many changes before audiences made it the lowest-grossing Star Wars franchise film. The story is set about a decade before A New Hope and tells how Han Solo met Chewbacca and won the Millennium Falcon from smuggler Lando Calrissian. The film is also noteworthy for showing Han’s famous Kessel Run. If you’re watching Star Wars in chronological order then this is your first look at Han Solo.
- Average Viewer Rating – 6.9
Star Wars: Rebels (2014-2018)
Star Wars: Rebels is another animated Star Wars series introducing a whole new set of characters who don’t show up in any of the live-action Star Wars movies. It is set five years before A New Hope filling in the gap between Episode III and IV. The story is about young rebels who come together on the starship Ghost. They learn together and travel the galaxy together to fight the Empire.
- Average Viewer Rating – 8.0
If Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a winner in your book, then Andor will be as well. The 12-episode Disney+ series is a prequel to Rogue One and is set five years prior to those events and also those of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
Here we get a more gritty look at Star Wars as we are reintroduced to Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna. When we first meet Andor, he is a thief who is reluctant to get himself involved with the Rebellion. But as events quickly unfold, we get to see how Andor goes from a jaded thief to a revolutionary and the man who gives everything for the cause.
Andor shows a side of Star Wars that we’ve rarely seen, which in this case, is a good thing.
- Average Viewer Rating – 6.5
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Rogue One is another stand-alone Star Wars and another which required extensive reshoots. The final product, though, received much better fanfare than Solo did as it told the story of Jyn, whose father became the lead engineer on the Empire’s Death Star.
Understanding the power of the planet-destroying Death Star, Jyn, along with intelligence officer Cassian Andor, begin a race to destroy the Death Star before it can become complete. If you’re looking at Star Wars in chronological order then this story ends moments before A New Hope and introduces both Princess Leia and Darth Vader.
- Average Viewer Rating – 7.8
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
The one that started it all. This movie has everything. Heroes, villains, romance, action, and adventure. This is the story that started the Skywalker Saga and introduced the world to a Wookie.
Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie were the talk of the town back in 1977 as George Lucas introduced us to a spectacle of special effects and edge-of-the-seat excitement.
This is the story of the Rebel Alliance and its quest to defeat the Empire. Luke is brought in as his power with the force is unmatched. Well, Darth Vader may have something to say about that.
- Average Viewer Rating – 8.6
Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
Seriously, what were they thinking?
This Holiday Special was made for TV and was intended to bridge the gap between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. It starred the main cast from A New Hope and it also introduced the world to the character of bounty hunter and fan favorite, Boba Fett.
The story followed Han Solo and Chewie as they attempt to visit Chewie’s homeworld to celebrate “Life Day”. The world was also introduced to Chewie’s father Itchy and his wife, Malla. They also met Chewie’s son, Lumpy. Was it that bad? Unfortunately yes, yes it was, but it’s part of watching Star Wars in chronological order.
- Average Viewer Rating – 2.1
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The series got back on track with what most consider the best entry in the entire franchise. Set three years after A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back brings Luke, Leia, and Han back together along with Chewie, C3PO, and R2D2.
The Death Star has been destroyed but that hasn’t stopped Darth Vader. Vader continues his search of Leia’s Rebel Alliance while Luke finds himself on the planet Dagobah, where he learns the ways of the Force from Yoda.
This all leads to the climactic battle between Luke and Vader, where Vader reveals to Luke, “I am your father.” This Star Wars entry introduced the original owner of the Millenium Falcon, Lando Calrissian.
- Average Viewer Rating – 8.7
Star Wars: Ewok Adventures (1984-85)
The Ewok Adventures were comprised of two made-for-TV movies, Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. The first, Caravan of Courage, tells the story of a family whose spaceship crashes on Endor. The two children find themselves separated from their parents, who have been taken by a vicious monster called the Gorax. The kids encounter the Ewoks and convince them to help rescue their parents.
The second, The Battle for Endor, follows one child from the first Ewok adventure, Cindel, as she helps the Ewoks retrieve a power supply stolen by marauders, who think the power supply is magical. Both TV movies were met with a lukewarm response but are considered part of the Star Wars family and fit into the chronology.
- Average Viewer Rating – 5.5
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
The culmination of Episodes IV and V is told in this final entry of the original trilogy set four years after A New Hope. A second Death Star is being built to destroy the Rebel Alliance for good.
But Luke and friends have other plans. Luke first must battle Jabba the Hut and his group of monsters before he can help destroy the second Death Star. More romance, action and adventure await our heroes.
The battle between light and dark with Luke plays large in this story as Luke also attempts to turn Vader away from the dark side.
- Average Viewer Rating – 8.3
The Mandalorian (2019)
Hailed by many as a return to the original spirit of Star Wars, this Jon Faverau-created series for Disney+ is a hit. The Mandalorian is set around nine years after A New Hope and revolves around the Mandalorian, a bounty hunter who looks a lot like Boba Fett but is not Boba Fett.
The series is on-going and has taken the Mandalorian to many places and many adventures. His first “job” was to track down a bounty that turned out to be a baby from the same species as Yoda. Thus the Baby Yoda memes were born.
The first season comprises eight episodes and it has already been greenlit for a second season which will no doubt fit right after this first season, if you’re watching Star Wars in chronological order.
- Average Viewer Rating – 9.0
The Book of Boba Fett (2021)
It is amazing how far we have come with a Star Wars character that barely registered a blip in the original Star Wars trilogy. Yet, somehow, Boba Fett caught the attention of many and now, fans get their wish with The Book of Boba Fett.
The series brings our favorite (sorry Han) bounty hunter back from the depths of the Sarlacc pit to claim what he feels is rightfully his – the territory once controlled by the infamous Jabba the Hut.
Temuera Morrison stars as Boba Fett, a clone of his father Jengo Fett (Morrison played Jengo Fett in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones). The Book of Boba Fett is set between the events of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi and the second season of The Mandalorian.
It tells how Fett, along with Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), goes about taking over Jabba’s territory. The only complaint with this series, surprisingly, is that there wasn’t enough Boba Fett.
- Average Viewer Rating – 6.4
Star Wars: Resistance (2018)
Another animated series set in the Star Wars universe, Resistance finds itself 34 years after A New Hope. The series of shorts brings in Resistance Commander Poe Dameron, from the new trilogy, as he recruits a young New Republic pilot, Kazuda Xiono, for missions to help bring down the First Order.
- Average Viewer Rating – 4.8
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Set 34 years after A New Hope, the new trilogy was expected to bring big things to the Star Wars universe. Financially it did, but the storyline and the death of Han Solo didn’t sit well with many Star Wars fans who felt its story was simply a rehash of A New Hope. Many others weren’t enamored with the new characters introduced and the lack of a strong villain angered fans.
But, over 2 billion dollars is hard to argue with and this JJ Abrams-directed film was received with great critical praise. The Force Awakens story follows a new group of characters as they battle the First Order. Leia returns and is searching for her brother Luke, who has been missing for a long time.
- Average Viewer Rating – 7.9
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)
In what may be the most divisive film in the entire series, The Last Jedi is set 34 years after A New Hope. Following Rey’s meeting with Luke, Luke must decide how much a part he wants to play in helping the Resistance against the First Order. This film won over critics but did not sit well with fans. Rian Johnson (Knives Out) wrote and directed a story that many felt took away from the spirit of the original trilogy.
The controversial ending to The Last Jedi only sets up what’s to come next.
- Average Viewer Rating – 7.9
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Rise of Skywalker is the conclusion of the current Star Wars chapter. Set 35 years after A New Hope it sees the return of Rey, Cameron Poe, Finn, and bad guy Kylo Ren. Our review of the film called it “a wildly mixed bag” and says that “while some arcs conclude in a satisfying fashion, others are hasty, don’t stick the landing, or try to please everyone.”
Latest Star Wars News
Twilight Zone, Doctor Who, And More Are Delightfully Square In Pop Culture Art Show
We’re big fans of the Los Angeles-based Gallery 1988 here at GFR. The gallery is dedicated to celebrating pop culture in all its forms, and over the years they’ve hosted exhibits honoring Ghostbusters’ 30th anniversary and Joey Spiotto’s awesome “Golden Books” twists on beloved movies such as Back to the Future and Alien. Now they’ve …
Continue reading “Twilight Zone, Doctor Who, And More Are Delightfully Square In Pop Culture Art Show”
Star Wars: Episode VII Cast And Crew Take The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
If you’ve been anywhere near social media in the past few weeks, you’ve almost certainly seen at least one of the so-called “ice bucket challenge” videos. Give or take a thousand. The idea is that the challenged has 24 hours to either donate $100 to ALS research or to record and post video of them …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Episode VII Cast And Crew Take The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge”
George Lucas Originally Wanted No Part Of Frank Oz’s Yoda Voice
A genius, George Lucas isn’t always. Star Wars is one of the world’s most popular film franchises ever, but in the years since the first film’s release, the man behind the movies has repeatedly proven that the series became a massive hit often in spite of his wishes, rather than because of them. While this …
Continue reading “George Lucas Originally Wanted No Part Of Frank Oz’s Yoda Voice”
Star Wars: Episode VII Rumor Has An Iconic Villain Making His Return
Rumors about Star Wars: Episode VII have been flying fast and furious, ranging from plot details to how the new canon is going to take shape in the long run and everything in between. Lately there has been a lot of attention paid to who the villains may be. There is an old familiar face …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Episode VII Rumor Has An Iconic Villain Making His Return”
Star Wars Plans To Redefine Longform Storytelling Moving Forward
Despite being 16 months away, and still in the middle of production, Star Wars: Episode VII is always going to be a hot topic of conversation. The very fact that they’re making new movies is cause for excitement, though our enthusiasm is cautious at this point, we’ve been burned too many times. We hope that …
Continue reading “Star Wars Plans To Redefine Longform Storytelling Moving Forward”
Star Wars Rebels Drops Three New TV Spots And A Zeb Character Short
In reality, we’re not all that far away from seeing a new addition to the Star Wars universe. It’s not J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, which is what we’re most excited about, but the animated series Star Wars Rebels is set to premiere this October, and from what we’ve seen, it’s looking better and …
Continue reading “Star Wars Rebels Drops Three New TV Spots And A Zeb Character Short”
Firefly, Ghostbusters, And More Get Kid-ified In Art That Will Make You Go Dawwwww
Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the few true box office saviors this summer, so have having raked in $425 million worldwide so far. While moviegoers might be getting weary of seeing superhero origin stories, Guardians’ tale of how Star-Lord, Rocket, and the rest became a team was so damn charming and funny that …
Continue reading “Firefly, Ghostbusters, And More Get Kid-ified In Art That Will Make You Go Dawwwww”
Star Wars: Episode VII: Adam Driver Talks About His Experience On Set
For an actor, it probably feels pretty damn good to get a part, any part, but especially one in a big movie. If it’s a good, meaty role, or important to the story, that’s even better. But then there are those once in a lifetime roles, the pinnacle, the top of the top that, if …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Episode VII: Adam Driver Talks About His Experience On Set”
Star Wars Rebels Sets Its Official Premiere Date
Since Disney bought out Lucasfilm for a whopping $4 billion back in 2012 we’ve been patiently (sort of) waiting for new additions to the Star Wars franchise. We’ve known that the animated series Star Wars Rebels is going to be the first official canon release, but now we know exactly when we’ll see it. Disney …
Continue reading “Star Wars Rebels Sets Its Official Premiere Date”
Scientists Reveal Their Favorite Works Of Science Fiction
Here at GFR we cover anything that fits under the umbrella of our twin loves: science and science fiction. And just as the bleeding edge of our scientific understanding is forever pushing the boundaries of our science fiction, SF is itself inspiring fans to take transform their love of starships, robots, and the like into …
Continue reading “Scientists Reveal Their Favorite Works Of Science Fiction”
Star Wars Rebels Short Attacks The Empire With Art And Explosions
Last week, amidst the deluge of Star Wars: Episode VII rumors that sprouted up online, Lucasfilm dropped a new short film for Star Wars Rebels. The upcoming animated series is going to be the first new addition to the canon since the Disney buy out, and considering some of the reports we heard, is sounds …
Continue reading “Star Wars Rebels Short Attacks The Empire With Art And Explosions”
Disney May Release Unmodifed Star Wars Trilogy On Blu-ray, But Probably Not
There are so many rumors swirling around involving J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII that someone will probably need to build a second Internet to contain them all. And while we ponder who the Inquisitors are and what Han Solo is going to look like, an old chestnut of a rumor has resurfaced to provoke …
Continue reading “Disney May Release Unmodifed Star Wars Trilogy On Blu-ray, But Probably Not”
Star Wars: Rian Johnson Talks Pressure And Episode VII’s Practical Effects
You may be burnt out on all of the Star Wars: Episode VII news (read: rumors) that has dropped over the course of the last couple of days, but what about Star Wars: Episode VIII news? We know even less about Episode VIII, which will reportedly hit theaters in 2017, than we do about Episode …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Rian Johnson Talks Pressure And Episode VII’s Practical Effects”
Star Wars: Episode VII: Han Solo May Have A Kick-Ass New Ship
Let the deluge of Star Wars: Episode VII rumors continue. Yesterday we got our first look at the redesigned stormtrooper helmets, a peek at a couple of Han Solo’s possible costumes from the J.J. Abrams-directed space opera, hints about important flashbacks, and rumors about who the villain(s) might be (including a concept artist’s rendition of …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Episode VII: Han Solo May Have A Kick-Ass New Ship”
Star Wars: Episode VII: This May Be Our First Look At The Film’s Main Villain
We can’t promise that this will be the last post related to Star Wars: Episode VII for the day, but given the sheer amount we’ve already written about it so far over the last few hours, including one last night, if there is any more we might just start pulling out our own hair. We’ve …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Episode VII: This May Be Our First Look At The Film’s Main Villain”
Star Wars: Episode VII’s Villains Step Out Of The Shadows
The last day or so has been big for news on the Star Wars: Episode VII front. We get a look at a redesigned stormtrooper helmet, as well as an idea of what Han Solo might wear on his adventures come December 18, 2015. And now we’ve got some potential details about the villains of …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Episode VII’s Villains Step Out Of The Shadows”
Star Wars: Episode VII Photos Show What Han Solo Could Look Like
At this point, we don’t know much about J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, and odds are we won’t get much concrete detail until the movie actually opens on December 18, 2015. One thing we all suspect, however, is that Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, that loveable rogue, that scruffy looking Nerf Herder, will play …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Episode VII Photos Show What Han Solo Could Look Like”
Star Wars: Episode VII Leaked Images Show Alleged Stormtrooper Redesign
Find out what these guys might look like in Episode VII.
Star Wars: Episode VII: Mark Hamill Shows Of His Bushy New Beard
We don’t know much about J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, but we do know that Luke Skywalker is going to very, very different than he used to. Gone is the baby-faced Mark Hamill we all know from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. And this new photo …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Episode VII: Mark Hamill Shows Of His Bushy New Beard”
Star Wars: Episode VII Will Get Production Moving Again Later This Month
Getting details out of the set of Star Wars: Episode VII is a little bit like pulling teeth from the mouth of an angry tiger. One concrete fact we did learn is that the production hit a snag when returning franchise star Harrison Ford broke his leg on set back in June. Director J.J. Abrams …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Episode VII Will Get Production Moving Again Later This Month”
Star Wars Rebels Short The Machine In The Ghost Brings The Action And Sound Effects
We won’t actually see the upcoming Star Wars Rebels, the first post-Disney buyout of Lucasfilm addition to the Star Wars canon, until October. We’ve seen clips and trailers, but now there’s a quick little short film to keep you occupied for a while longer. Called “The Machine in the Ghost,” the action centers on the …
Continue reading “Star Wars Rebels Short The Machine In The Ghost Brings The Action And Sound Effects”
Star Wars: Force For Change Wraps Ups And J.J. Abrams Gives Fans A Hand
A while back we talked about “Force for Change,” a charity tie-in with the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, where fans could win a small role in the film for donating money to UNICEF and their continuing efforts around the globe. Director J.J. Abrams appeared in a couple of videos that not only revealed the …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Force For Change Wraps Ups And J.J. Abrams Gives Fans A Hand”
C-3PO Channels His Inner Dark Knight In This Star Wars/Batman Mashup
Over the last few weeks, the folks surrounding J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII and Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, two of most anticipated movies of the next few years, have been engaging in a good-natured mash-up battle. The two sides have been tweeting back and forth, sending pictures like the …
Continue reading “C-3PO Channels His Inner Dark Knight In This Star Wars/Batman Mashup”
Star Wars: Episode VII’s Daisy Ridley Will Be Around For The Whole Trilogy
Get ready to see a lot more of Daisy Ridley. A relative unknown who is one of the new faces we’ll see in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII—which is honestly all I know about her, I wouldn’t recognize her if she sat down next to me at a bar and introduced herself—she apparently …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Episode VII’s Daisy Ridley Will Be Around For The Whole Trilogy”
Star Wars: Rebels Reveals Seven Minutes Worth Of Footage
A long time ago…
Zack Snyder And J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Are Having A DC/Star Wars Tweet-Off
They’re two of the biggest pop culture events on the horizon. Zack Snyder is attempting not only to serve up a sequel to the high-grossing but controversial Man of Steel, he’s kicking off an ambitious planned series of interlinked DC films designed to rival Marvel’s massively successful Cinematic Universe. And then there’s J.J. Abrams, also …
Continue reading “Zack Snyder And J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Are Having A DC/Star Wars Tweet-Off”
Josh Trank Had A Little Help From A Friend Landing That Star Wars Job
Production is in full swing on the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: Episode VII, and we’ll see our first official post-Disney buyout addition to the canon this fall, with the animated series Star Wars Rebels. True to form, all things Star Wars are shrouded in secrecy and mystery, and that extends to the standalone additions to …
Continue reading “Josh Trank Had A Little Help From A Friend Landing That Star Wars Job”
Star Wars Rebels Producers Talk How The Series Fits In And Maintaining Surprise
Star Wars: Episode VII has a difficult task in front of it. J.J. Abrams’ film is tasked with adding new chapters to the beloved space opera saga, with continuing the story in new and interesting ways. Given the intense fan interest and scrutiny that is not going to be easy. The upcoming animated series Star …
Continue reading “Star Wars Rebels Producers Talk How The Series Fits In And Maintaining Surprise”
Star Wars: Episode VII: This May Be The Most Bizarre Rumor Yet
Hi kids, it’s weird-ass Star Wars rumor time, but don’t worry, there’s actually some factual information here as well. It recently came out that J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII would film on the lovely island Skellig Michael off the coast of Ireland. That much is true, as is the fact that Luke Skywalker himself, …
Continue reading “Star Wars: Episode VII: This May Be The Most Bizarre Rumor Yet”
The Star Wars Prequels As Seen From R2-D2’s Point Of View
R2-D2 and C-3PO are the unifying thread that runs through all six of the Star Wars films (and soon to be nine). They’re the Star Wars version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, or maybe Forrest Gump — forever in the middle of huge, heroic events that reshape the galaxy. Sometimes they’re just serving as witness. Other …
Continue reading “The Star Wars Prequels As Seen From R2-D2’s Point Of View”