Where Does 'Rogue One' Fit Into the Machete Order?

I am one with the Force. And the Force is with me.

Two months ago, I wrote an article called "How You Should Show Your Family and Friends 'Star Wars'!", where I talked about the Machete Order, which says the Star Wars films should be watched in this order:

  1. Episode IV: A New Hope
  2. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  3. Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  4. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  5. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  6. Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  7. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

I highlighted why Episode I: The Phantom Menace is useless, and how this provides the best possible Star Wars experience.

But that just covers the official episodes. There are going to be several new Star Wars trilogies, one by Rian Johnson, one by the Game of Thrones creators, and there are also some anthology films.

Rogue One was released in 2016, and that takes place right before A New Hope. And this May, Solo will be released and that will just be the story of Han and Lando before the main trilogy. So, how do these films fit into the Machete Order?

**SPOILERS for Rogue One***

Well, some have suggested that the films get watched in this order: Rogue One, 4, 5, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8.

But I don't think this is a good idea, because like the prequels, Rogue One is a set-up film for the original trilogy. There's no epic opening crawl at the beginning, and it's just backstory for A New Hope.

Not only that, but this just isn't a very good movie. It's not a very good way to start off your Star Wars experience if every main character in the movie dies before the end.

So, yeah, A New Hope needs to remain the very first Star Wars movie you watch. Another possible way to watch it is the 4, 5, 2, 3, 6, Rogue One, and then the sequel trilogy (7, 8, 9).

But that's not a very good way, either, because at the end of Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader reforms himself, and dies. And then, all of a sudden, we see him in Rogue One as this evil Sith lord again.

And the quite powerful, badass Sith lord, to be specific.

So, in terms of the narrative, that doesn't really work very well.

But another possible way is 4, 5, 2, 3, Rogue One, 6, 7, 8. And this is a pretty good way because after Episode III, Anakin transforms into Darth Vader and we see the Death Star being built.

This is where Vader is at the height of his power, and chronologically, Rogue One takes place after 2 and 3 in the timeline.

But Darth Vader doesn't have a very prominent role in Rogue One, and though we are seeing him as an awesome Sith lord, this means that you have to watch THREE episodes of film after The Empire Strikes Back and before Return of the Jedi.

I mean, that's almost SEVEN hours of "meh" Star Wars movies after The Empire Strikes Back before you finally get the conclusion of the original trilogy.

So, watching it in this order has some problems as well. Out of all three possibilities, watching it in the order (4, 5, 2, 3, Rogue One, 6, 7, 8) is the least problematic, but with me, personally, I think you should watch Rogue One AFTER you've watched the original films, the two prequel films, and the sequel films.

And the same goes with Solo. They're just films that aren't really required in order to enjoy Star Wars. The same goes with Episode I,  Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars Rebels.

They may be watchable, and you may want to watch all of them, but they're optional. So, if you want to watch everything, I say watch it in this order:

  1. Episode IV: A New Hope
  2. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  3. Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  4. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  5. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  6. Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  7. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  8. Episode IX
  9. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  10. Solo: A Star Wars Story
  11. Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  12. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV show)
  13. Star Wars Rebels

Of course, that'll be for when everything comes out, including Solo and Episode IX. Anyways, that's it.

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