Recent Dorkiness

Star Wars Machete Order: Introduction

So there’s this thing called “Machete Order.” It’s a suggested viewing order for the Star Wars movies that its creator, Rod Hilton, claims makes the whole series work better. It goes as follows:

1. Star Wars (Episode IV)
2. Empire Strikes Back (Episode V)
3. Attack of the Clones (Episode II)
4. Revenge of the Sith (Episode III)
5. Return of the Jedi (Episode VI)

You might notice that there’s only five movies there. You might also notice that they’re a bit jumbled up. There are a multitude of reasons for this, which you can find outlined in great detail at the link above, but for now I’ll just give you the basics. The idea is that this order allows a newcomer to Star Wars to get into things with the fast-moving, crowd-pleasing part of the saga. All the primary characters and situations are introduced in the first two films, which end with a shocking twist (SPOILER: Darth Vader is Luke’s dad!) and a cliffhanger (HAN! Nooo!) to keep you watching. Then, once you’re hooked, you’re ready to flash back to the darker, more complicated, slowly-paced prequels. There, you see how Anakin became Vader, how his development parallels Luke’s, and how the Empire came into being. Then, the backstory fully filled in, you proceed on to the final film in the series to see how it all wraps up.

Oh, and the missing film? Well… Let’s just say that lots of people hate Jar-Jar Binks, and leave it at that.

“Meesa kill da franchise!”

Okay, no, actually… Jar-Jar IS a great reason for skipping Phantom Menace, but he’s not the only one. You also get to skip Kid Vader entirely (yippee!), and any discussion of the even-more-hated-than-Jar-Jar midichlorians. Hilton further argues that Phantom Menace adds nothing to the overall story. All the important elements are reintroduced in Clones, and the plot is little more than a sideline to the core story of the Star Wars saga. I would argue that it establishes exactly how insanely far-reaching and long-term the Emperor’s plots are, and that it’s important to get a feel for Qui-Gon Jin as a person and a Jedi. I might even argue that the midichlorians (sucky as they are) feed into a couple of the prequel trilogy’s themes and plotlines. But I’m following Hilton’s script here, so it’s out. Plus, you know… I really, REALLY hate Jar-Jar, so I’m not really crying all that hard…

Which means that, yes. Intrigued with Hilton’s ideas, I (with my movie-watching compatriots from Top 50 SF) have embarked on Machete Order, doing my best to keep my mind clear of preconceptions and pretending, as much as possible, that this was the order in which the films were made. We’re watching one film a week, and my impressions have been building and percolating to the point that they’ve overflowed from my brain and I must write about them or risk them soiling my carpets.

I’ll get my impressions on Star Wars up soon, and proceed from there. Like our other series here on the Dork Forty (Wrestling With Tolkien, Modern-Day Kirbys, others I’ve no doubt forgotten), this one will probably come in dribs and drabs, so please bear with me. I’ll get to them all eventually…

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About Mark Brett (432 Articles)
Shaved Yeti. Alien. Writer of stuff. Read my fiction at http://reportsfromthefieldblog.wordpress.com/. Read my thoughts on comic books and other dork culture ephemera at https://dorkforty.wordpress.com/.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Machete Episode One: Star Wars « Dork Forty!
  2. Machete Episode Two: The Empire Strikes Back « Dork Forty!

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