What's the Proper Order to Watch All 12 Star Wars Movies for the Ultimate Viewing Experience?

Caution: Spoiler Alert. . .

In the nearly five decades since its debut in 1977, Star Wars has emerged as one of the most beloved and enduring movie franchises globally. With a dedicated fanbase and an extensive array of spin-off content including shows, books, and games, the Star Wars universe has evolved into a rich tapestry of lore spanning an expansive timeline.

While exploring the vast expanse of the Star Wars galaxy would be an enticing journey, let's start with the essentials. Over the years, the core narrative of the Star Wars saga has grown, introducing numerous new characters and captivating audiences worldwide. For those just beginning their exploration of this captivating universe, we've curated a comprehensive, chronological list of all the movies.

From the origins of Anakin Skywalker to the adventures of Luke, Leia, and Rey, our curated list offers an opportunity to experience the iconic stories as they were originally envisioned. Whether you're a newcomer or a seasoned fan, join us as we embark on an epic journey through the Star Wars universe.

Table of Contents: 

  • How to Watch the Star Wars Movies in Chronological Order
  • Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
  • Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
  • How Long Does It Take to Watch All Star Wars Movies? A. The total runtime of all Star Wars movies to date, including the main saga and sequels, is approximately 1,258 minutes
  • Discover Star Wars Toys Now at World Of Kidz
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How Do I Watch Star Wars Movies in the Right Chronological Order?

The narrative of Star Wars spans three separate trilogies, tracing the journey from the emergence of Jedi prodigy Anakin Skywalker to his descent into darkness as Darth Vader. Following his story is the heroic saga of Luke Skywalker, another Jedi apprentice, as he battles the forces of the Galactic Empire. The tale culminates in a distant future where we meet Rey, an orphaned scavenger, navigating the remnants of the Jedi order while discovering her own identity.

However, the release order of the films does not align with the chronological timeline of the story. Interestingly, the "prequel" trilogy, released in the late 1990s and early 2000s, actually serves as the starting point of the narrative, providing crucial context and backstory two decades after the original films debuted.

While some may prefer to watch the movies in the order they were released to capture the experience of longtime fans, others may opt for chronological order to follow the story as it unfolds. For those seeking the latter, here's a guide to watching the films in sequential order.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) - Duration: 2h 16m

In "Episode I: The Phantom Menace," we witness the journey of Obi-Wan Kenobi (portrayed by Ewan McGregor), a young Jedi apprentice, alongside his mentor Qui-Gon Jinn (played by Liam Neeson). Their fateful encounter with a 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker (portrayed by Jake Lloyd) unfolds as they venture on a mission to resolve tensions with the Trade Federation, who have enforced a blockade on the planet Naboo.

Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) - Duration: 2h 22m

In "Attack of the Clones," the story unfolds a decade after the events depicted in "The Phantom Menace." Amidst the ongoing turmoil within the Galactic Republic, disorder still reigns supreme. Across the galaxy, planets and formidable alliances unite to form a separatist movement, spearheaded by an enigmatic and formidable adversary whose identity remains shrouded in mystery. This newfound threat poses unprecedented challenges to the stability of the galaxy, leaving even the Jedi Order grappling to maintain control. As these nefarious schemes gradually come to fruition, they ultimately catalyse the onset of the Clone Wars, signaling the beginning of the republic's downfall.

The timeline between Episode II and III unfolds seamlessly throughout the animated series "The Clone Wars." This series delves into the arduous trials faced by the Jedi Knights as they strive to uphold peace and stability across the galaxy. Additionally, it explores the burgeoning relationship between Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan learner, Ahsoka Tano.

Together, they confront formidable adversaries, including the notorious Jabba the Hutt, while navigating the complexities of their roles within the Jedi Order. Through a tapestry of thrilling adventures, "The Clone Wars" enriches the narrative, offering deeper insights into the events leading up to Episode III.

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) - Duration: 2h 20m

Three years have elapsed since the inception of the Clone Wars, a pivotal period in galactic history. Amidst the conflict, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (portrayed by Ewan McGregor) and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker (played by Hayden Christensen) undertakes a mission to retrieve Chancellor Palpatine (portrayed by Ian McDiarmid) from the clutches of the droid army commander, General Grievous. However, their effort is thwarted as Grievous manages to elude their grasp. As murmurs of apprehension ripple through the Jedi Council regarding Chancellor Palpatine's intentions, a profound bond begins to form between him and the impressionable Anakin. Feeling disenfranchised by the Jedi Council and entrusted with the role of a spy, Anakin succumbs to bitterness and gradually succumbs to the allure of the Dark Side.

After Anakin's transition to the Dark Side, numerous spin-off series and movies emerge to bridge the narrative gap between episodes I-III and IV-VI. These include "Solo: A Star Wars Story" (movie), "Obi-Wan Kenobi" (series), and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" (movie). For those eager to dig deeper into the extensive Star Wars canon, watching these additional installments is highly recommended.

However, if your aim is to grasp the overarching story, fear not! Viewing the original six movies alone will suffice in providing a comprehensive understanding of the saga.

Watch Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (Episode III) | Disney+

Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) - Duration: 2h 1m

The imposing figure of Darth Vader, alongside the formidable Galactic Empire, casts a shadow of chaos and devastation across the galaxy. Princess Leia, held captive by the Imperial Forces, becomes a focal point in their relentless pursuit to quash the rebellion. Amidst this turmoil, an unlikely alliance forms between the determined Luke Skywalker and the roguish captain of the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo. Together with the trusty droids C-3PO and R2-D2, they join forces to aid the Rebel Alliance, liberate the princess, and strive to restore peace, freedom, and justice to the galaxy.

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Duration: 2h 4m

In this chapter of the saga, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Chewbacca find themselves on the icy terrain of Hoth, facing a relentless assault from the Imperial forces and their imposing AT-AT walkers.

Amidst the chaos, Han and Leia embark on a daring escape, while Luke sets out on a quest to locate the legendary Jedi Master Yoda in the murky swamps of Dagobah. With Yoda's guidance, Luke must confront the temptations of the Dark Side and confront the menacing presence of Darth Vader to emerge victorious.

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) - Duration: 2h 11m


In the climactic conclusion of the original trilogy, Luke Skywalker finds himself thrust into the heart of conflict, facing off against the vile Jabba the Hutt and his formidable foe, Darth Vader, in a daring bid to rescue his fellow members of the Rebel Alliance. With newfound resolve and unity, Leia and Han Solo, joined by Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and their loyal droids C-3PO and R2-D2, rally together. Alongside the indigenous Ewoks, they set out on a courageous mission to topple the tyrannical rule of Emperor Palpatine and bring an end to the reign of the Dark Side once and for all.

Following the collapse of the Empire, viewers are treated to a rich tapestry of Star Wars lore with the acclaimed spin-off series "The Mandalorian," along with "The Book of Boba Fett" and "Ahsoka." These compelling series probe deeper into the galaxy far, far away, providing answers to lingering questions while expanding upon the canon established in the main Star Wars movie saga.


Luke Skywalker | Wookieepedia | Fandom

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) - Duration: 2h 16m

Jumping ahead three decades following the downfall of the Galactic Empire, a fresh peril emerges in the formidable figure of Kylo Ren (portrayed by Adam Driver) and the resurgence of the separatist movement, now known as the First Order. Amidst the turmoil, Finn (played by John Boyega) makes a daring defection from the ranks of the First Order, crash-landing on the desolate terrain of Jakku. There, he encounters Rey (portrayed by Daisy Ridley), a resourceful scavenger whose droid holds a crucial secret map. Teaming up with the legendary Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford), the trio work together to ensure vital intelligence reaches the troubled Resistance. Their objective: to locate the long-lost Luke Skywalker (portrayed by Mark Hamill), the last hope as the galaxy's sole surviving Jedi Knight.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) - Duration: 2h 32m

Luke Skywalker's tranquil life takes a dramatic turn when he discovers Rey, who shows promising signs of Force sensitivity and expresses a fervent desire to embrace the Jedi teachings. This pivotal moment prompts Luke to make a life-altering decision that will resonate across the galaxy. Meanwhile, the menacing forces of the First Order, spearheaded by Kylo Ren and General Hux, launch a relentless assault on General Leia Organa and the valiant Resistance. Their relentless pursuit of dominance threatens to plunge the galaxy into darkness once more.

Palpatine's control over Kylo Ren goes back farther than we knew

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) - Duration: 2h 22m

The startling revelation of Emperor Palpatine's survival, contrary to Darth Vader's apparent victory, sends shockwaves through the ranks of the Resistance. Now, they are compelled to swiftly uncover his hidden whereabouts. Finn (John Boyega), alongside the skilled pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), takes charge of the Resistance's mission to thwart the First Order's scheme of resurrecting the Empire. Meanwhile, Rey braces herself for the inevitable showdown with her formidable adversary, Kylo Ren.

How Much Time Do You Need for a Star Wars Movie Marathon?

The Rise of Skywalker marks the epic conclusion to the beloved Star Wars movie saga, bringing the total number of films in the series to 12 (excluding spin-offs and holiday specials). If you were to engage and (board a Star ship) on a marathon viewing session, watching all 12 movies consecutively, you'd be in for an impressive cinematic journey spanning 14 hours and 4 minutes. It's a testament to the enduring legacy and captivating storytelling of the Star Wars universe.


Discover Star Wars Toys Collectibles at World Of Kidz

As you come to the end of your Star Wars adventure, it's inevitable that your young ones will clamor for their own piece of the galaxy far, far away. Fortunately, we've curated a vast collection of Star Wars toys waiting for you to explore right here at World Of Kidz (Toys and Collectibles). From beloved characters to iconic spacecraft models, our online catalogue boasts an array of treasures to delight fans of all ages. Let the adventure continue with our stellar selection!

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