s Star Wars fans, the question we get asked the most at Youtini is: how do I start watching Star Wars? There is just so much content out there now, spanning several decades and mediums, especially since the Disney acquisition. Which is awesome! More Star Wars content means more people becoming Star Wars fans, which is our mission here at Youtini. But it also means that with each new show, cartoon, or movie, the question of how to watch Star Wars becomes trickier and trickier.
Do you stick to the chronological order that Disney+ provides? What about the cartoons that span across multiple movies or that don’t even fit in the timeline at all? Heck, even with just the nine Skywalker Saga movies, it can be difficult to pick the best order to watch. That’s why we’ve polled the Youtini team and devised our ultimate Star Wars watch order.
But before we move into the order, let’s get one exclaimer out there: this is most certainly not the only order to watch Star Wars content in. This is just what we recommend for people who are totally new to the galaxy far, far away, and for longtime fans who are looking to do a complete rewatch in a cohesive way.
The Ultimate Watch Order
A New Hope (1977)
This list won’t be a perfect release order list of Star Wars content, but we do think that A New Hope is the perfect place to start. This movie was the first piece of Star Wars visual media ever released, and it paved the way for everything that has been made since. So many iconic moments from the franchise either come directly from this movie or are set up here, which is why we believe this is the best starting place in our ultimate watch order.
Give yourself the pleasure of meeting Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie—and so many more of our favorite characters—before diving into any of the “extra” content available on Disney+. And if you just can’t get enough of these heroes, check out the 75-issue comic Star Wars (2015), which picks up immediately after the end of this movie.
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
If you don’t spend much time immersed in the Star Wars fan community, you may not realize this, but The Empire Strikes Back is widely regarded as the best Star Wars film by many people. With Rebel battles on the ice planet Hoth, difficult Force trials on the swamp planet Dagobah, and Imperial trouble in the Cloud City on Bespin, even just the sheer diversity of environments in this movie is awesome.
The revelations that The Empire Strikes Back provides, along with the incredible score composed by John Williams, make this film so worth its 124-minute runtime.
Return of the Jedi (1983)
What could come next after The Empire Strikes Back except Return of the Jedi? Finishing out this Original Trilogy is satisfying in every way you need it to be. This makes complete sense, considering for sixteen years, this movie was “the end” of Star Wars films. Even though we now have the Sequel Trilogy—and many, many novels and comics—to tell us what Luke and his crew got up to after this movie, this is still such a magnificent end to the story. The Original Trilogy is where it all started, where we got to know the heroes and villains of Star Wars, and where every other piece of content sprouts from.
The Phantom Menace (1999)
Once you’ve finished the Original Trilogy, it’s time to move backward. The Phantom Menace takes place about 32 years before the events of A New Hope, and the only familiar Original Trilogy characters present are Obi-Wan, R2-D2, and C-3PO. Everyone else gets a totally fresh start, and we get to see the Jedi as never before—a cohesive, united group of warriors trying their best to protect the Republic while also maintaining their own peaceful philosophy.
With beloved, fearsome characters such as Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul, this episodic entry to the Star Wars universe is incredibly enjoyable and will make you hungry for more as you continue your watch order journey.
Attack of the Clones (2002)
Ten years after The Phantom Menace, Anakin Skywalker is now a young Padawan to Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. As we watch Anakin grow into the man we know he will inevitably become, Attack of the Clones sets up so many important pieces to the chronology that we will get more into later in this guide.
One thing that we love most about this movie is that it shows us two sides of the same coin in a parallel frame. We watch as Anakin and Padmé fall deeply in love, while Obi-Wan simultaneously works to uncover the origin of a massive clone army that has somehow been gifted to the Republic at the most opportune time.
Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Just like Return of the Jedi, Revenge of the Sith is such a perfect ending to its trilogy that we think you’ll have just as much fun as watching the Original Trilogy. Though this ending is much more tragic, as it has to lead into A New Hope, it still speaks to the resiliency of the Light and of the Force. When all hope is lost at the end of this episode, Luke and Leia become the new sources of hope for a galaxy wrought with tyranny and suffering.
Finishing out these six movies gives you a perfect sense of what Star Wars is and prepares you for the rest of the Skywalker Saga and everything beyond.
The Force Awakens (2015)
After ten years with no new Star Wars films, we were starving for more, and through The Force Awakens we were introduced to a galaxy once again war-torn and fighting for peace. The characters in this movie are some of our favorites across the entire timeline, and we think you’ll feel the same way.
We recommend picking up a copy of Bloodline by Claudia Gray to lead you into the era of the First Order and get you familiar with a few of the key players in the Sequel Trilogy. It’s certainly not required reading, but it does alleviate any confusion you might have about how the New Republic fell to the First Order.
The Last Jedi (2017)
The Last Jedi is, without a doubt, one of the most visually stunning Star Wars films created so far, and it was an incredible second installment to the Sequel Trilogy. In this movie, we watch as Rey furthers her journey in the Force with Luke—a very reluctant teacher. Kylo Ren continues the internal fight between light and dark as his mother, Princess Leia Organa Solo, continues to push forward with the hope of the Resistance resting squarely on her shoulders.
You’ll enjoy this one just as much as we do, and it will keep you hungry for Star Wars content.
The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
The Rise of Skywalker finished out the Skywalker Saga with a bang and (for now, at least) wrapped up the stories of our Sequel Trilogy heroes Rey, Finn, Poe, and Rose. This movie is a must-watch for Star Wars fans because it not only finishes the saga; it launches you into the realm of all other Star Wars content! Finishing The Rise of Skywalker means that it’s time to get started on the awesome shows and movies that finish out this list.
Strap in and get ready for intense lightsaber battles, starship dogfights, and friends who will put everything at risk to save the galaxy.
Rogue One (2016)
You made it through the Skywalker Saga! Now it is time for one of the greatest Star Wars movies of all time, Rogue One. This movie leads into the events of the very first entry on this list, A New Hope, and it features characters that show up all over this list, both in live-action and animation.
This is the story of Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor, two Rebels who are willing to lay down their lives to destroy the Empire. They have lived most of their lives under the oppression of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, and they simply refuse to continue on that journey. If you enjoy Rogue One as much as we think you will, you’ll love the Disney+ show Andor, which tells the story of Cassian Andor before he met Jyn.
Solo rounds out the live-action Star Wars films that we’ve gotten so far, and even though it is at the end of this list, it is still a remarkably fun ride. Featuring a much younger Han and Chewie, Solo shows us exactly how our two favorite scoundrels met and forged the friendship that lasts for decades.
This movie also introduced us to Qi’ra, one of Han’s earliest love interests and a serious threat to contend with on her own. If you’d like to get more of her story after you’ve watched Solo, check out our reading collection on Qi’ra!
The Clone Wars (2008)
It is now time to move into the awesome and vast world of Star Wars animated content. There’s just something so fun and comforting about cartoons, and the ones on this list are no different. However, before you dive into the animated shows on this list, you really need to watch The Clone Wars movie that was released in 2008, just a few months before the show of the same name. This movie does tend toward a younger audience than the other Star Wars movies, but it is still a fun, easy-going ride.
The Clone Wars is the intro of a character who has become massively loved in the Star Wars community, Ahsoka Tano. So even if you’re unsure about the younger target audience, give this one a try before you start making your way through the other animated content on this list.
The Clone Wars (2008–2020)
Now that you’ve had your intro into the Clone Wars era, it’s time to watch the show. There is so much to say about The Clone Wars that we just don’t have enough space here to get through it all, so we recommend checking out our Essential Guide.
This show means so much to the community, and if you haven’t watched it yet, it really deserves a chance. It faced many hardships throughout its airtime, but the creators really pulled things together to give us a satisfying story that leads perfectly into the events of the rest of the timeline. This show provides vital information to fill in the Clone Wars era and give context to the events of the Prequel Trilogy.
Following The Clone Wars, there are a few characters you’ll want to catch up with and a few questions that you’ll still want answered. That is where Rebels comes in. The Ghost crew, headed up by Hera Syndulla and Kanan Jarrus, take us on a journey through the Rebellion where we meet many new and familiar faces.
Rebels takes a look at the Rebellion in a new way that we haven’t quite seen before in the Original Trilogy. With more focus on some of the background players, this show gives us a behind-the-scenes view of what exactly it took to overthrow the Empire. And if that’s not enough to get you excited about Rebels, it also brought one of the most beloved and feared characters from the EU into the limelight of visual content.
The Bad Batch (2021–Present)
Once you have finished all of The Clone Wars, you could really go either way in choosing between Rebels and The Bad Batch. The order of those two shows on this list was a bit of a toss-up, but we finally chose to let TBB follow Rebels. It’s a great follow-up to the final season of The Clone Wars, as you originally meet the main characters in that show.
The Bad Batch is a fun journey right off the bat, and it refills that desire you might be having for more Clone Wars-era content after finishing TCW. Plus, unlike anything else on this list that we’ve covered so far, this is an ongoing project, which means that you can enjoy the hype of each episode drop alongside the rest of the community.
The Mandalorian (2019–Present)
Let’s get on to the growing list of live-action shows that are featured on Disney+! The Mandalorian did what no other Star Wars content had done so far—it was the first live-action Star Wars show ever created. And we are so glad that it exists. The show follows a Mandalorian first working to capture and then later protect a youngling of the same species as Yoda. A youngling who swept pop culture as Baby Yoda but whose true name is revealed later in the show.
This show is full of cute moments, action-packed fights, Mandalorian lore, Force lore, and so, so much more. It started the trend of live-action Star Wars shows, and because of The Mandalorian’s success, we have so much live-action content to enjoy and look forward to.
The Book of Boba Fett (2021)
With the success of The Mandalorian, Disney brought on more of what us fans wanted with this miniseries showcasing one of the most iconic characters of the Original Trilogy, Boba Fett. The last time we saw Boba onscreen, he fell into the sarlacc pit on Tatooine, presumably to his death. But this miniseries shows us the man he has become since that incident: resilient, loyal, and fierce.
Even though this is just a miniseries rather than an ongoing TV show, The Book of Boba Fett provides a lot of insight that we wouldn’t have otherwise and continues to build the now sizable foundation of Mandalorian lore that we’ve collected between animated and live-action content.
Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022)
By now, you know about Obi-Wan’s connections to Mandalore, but it’s time to shift away from the heavy Mandalorian-based shows and move into some more Jedi content. Obi-Wan Kenobi is the miniseries that followed The Book of Boba Fett’s release, and it fulfilled the desire that fans had had for more Obi-Wan content for years. With the return of Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen in their iconic roles, this miniseries is sure to fill you with nostalgia.
After you’ve watched this show, we recommend reading the Legends novel Kenobi by John Jackson Miller. It is one of the most highly rated Legends books on our site and one of the greatest standalone Star Wars novels of all time.
If you’re active in any Star Wars groups online, then you have heard the incredible hype surrounding the ongoing show Andor. And all of that hype is extremely warranted. To many Youtini team members, Andor is everything they have ever wanted in Star Wars content—and that is an incredible feat considering there aren’t even any Jedi in the show! More than anything else, Andor is a political drama.
It chronicles the years of struggle leading up to the events of Rogue One through the perspective (mainly) of Cassian Andor. We also get plenty of Mon Mothma moments, which is yet another reason this show is so popular.
Tales of the Jedi (2022)
We are now entering the final entries of this list, but even the last three shows here are truly incredible in their own right. Tales of the Jedi is a series of six shorts that focus on two characters: Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku. Even though the runtime of the entire series is less than two hours, these shorts add so much context to the Clone Wars era and to the Prequel Trilogy as a whole. They are absolutely worth your time.
If you are looking for more content like what these shorts provide, check out Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston and Dooku: Jedi Lost by Cavan Scott. Each book gives much more insight into its titular character.
This series is probably the least talked about piece of content in our Ultimate Watch Order, but it absolutely deserves to be more well-known across the Star Wars fan community. Resistance focuses much more on the women of Star Wars than any other show/movie, and it is written toward a slightly younger audience.
It is set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and it shows the formation and growth of the Resistance, the group that rises up in opposition to the First Order.
Visions is, without a doubt, one of the coolest things happening in Star Wars visual media right now. Structured as an episodic anthology, the show features episodes created by different animation studios, and they seem to have free reign on the stories they want to tell and how those stories are told. With a wide range of animation styles, characters, and eras, Visions has something for everyone.
Once you’ve watched the first episode of season one, “The Duel,” we recommend reading Ronin by Emma Mieko Candon. The novel—like Visions itself—is not technically Canon but viewed as more of a myth or legend of the universe. It’s unlike any other Star Wars book, and it accompanies the show perfectly.
Following the Ultimate Watch Order
Do I have to follow this watch order?
As we discussed a little bit in the introduction to this guide, you do not have to stick to this watch order to still enjoy Star Wars in a way that makes sense. If you watch the Prequel Trilogy and just can’t wait for more Obi-Wan content, go ahead and skip ahead to his miniseries! Our mission at Youtini is to bring more people into this community, not to burn people out on Star Wars as a whole.
Even with the Skywalker Saga movies, there are huge debates around the perfect watch order. So above all else, do what feels correct to you. This is just the order that we, as very dedicated Star Wars fans, have put together for other fans.
Should I watch new content as it premieres?
There is definitely something to be said about watching new content as it premieres so that you can participate in the hype alongside your fellow fans. Do not let this list discourage you from doing that! If you’re caught up with The Mandalorian and want to watch the newest episodes with your friends but haven’t watched Rogue One yet, go enjoy the show with your friends!
Maybe even consider joining our Discord to get acquainted with even more Star Wars-loving pals!
What about the Star Wars content not on this list?
If you’re paying close attention to Disney+, you may notice some Star Wars content that does not appear on our Ultimate Watch Order. For instance: the animated Lego Star Wars movies, the 2D Clone Wars series, the Star Wars Holiday Special, cartoons from the ’80s, etc.
We chose to include the content on this list that you see because it is simply a bit more relevant to your experience overall as a Star Wars fan. The Holiday Special and Lego movies are fun—and worth watching if you’re interested—but they don’t hold much relevance to the overall chronology or the story that Star Wars tells. So don’t let their exclusion from this list deter you from watching if you want to, but also don’t feel like that content is required viewing to get a full picture of Star Wars.
That was a lot to cover, so we want to thank you for holding on as we pilot this starship through both space and time! Star Wars has so much to offer fans that there is bound to be something out there that you will enjoy for years to come. With this Ultimate Watch Order, you can follow your favorite Jedi, Mandalorians, droids, Politicians, and Sith throughout a galaxy far, far away. Enjoy, and may the Force be with you!