A different Star Wars watch order: The Nesting Order

Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019). Photo by Lucasfilm/Lucasfilm Ltd. - © 2019 and TM Lucasfilm Ltd.
Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019). Photo by Lucasfilm/Lucasfilm Ltd. - © 2019 and TM Lucasfilm Ltd. /

One of many ongoing debates among Star Wars fans that will never find a resolution relates to the best Star Wars watch order. Do you watch them chronologically? In the order in which they were released? Do you follow up the iconic “I am your father” twist with a trip back to the prequels?

There’s one Star Wars watch order you may not have heard of – and it could show you the beloved saga from a completely new angle.

The Skytalkers podcast calls it the Star Wars Nesting Viewing Order, and created it as an opportunity to view the Skywalker Saga from a new perspective. In a way, it allows fans to see key events from the saga from Rey’s point of view as she reflects on the Force, the Skywalker legacy, and what it means to be a Jedi.

The official Nesting Order is as follows:

  • Episode VII – The Force Awakens
  • Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
  • Episode IV – A New  Hope
  • Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
  • Episode I – The Phantom Menace
  • Episode II – Attack of the Clones
  • Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
  • Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
  • Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker

Now that the sequels have been released in full and have had some time to sink in, this watch order may be the first that starts with 2015’s The Force Awakens. Because the movie was designed to both bring in new fans as well as cater to long-time Star Wars viewers, it’s possible and maybe even beneficial to start here whether it’s your first watch or your thousandth.

After the first two sequel films and the first two original trilogy films, similar to the popular Machete Order, viewers jump from The Empire Strikes Back to the prequels to view Anakin’s fall to the dark side just before his redemption in Return of the Jedi.

However, instead of focusing on Luke – who’s gotten plenty of attention at this point, let’s be honest – this order focuses on the Force, both how it’s used for good and for evil. The final trio of films allows for a unique focus on Palpatine and his ongoing quest for power and immortality.

There’s no one “right” way to watch the Star Wars movies – many watch order recommendations don’t include the anthology films, for example; some leave out The Phantom Menace and The Clone Wars movie is almost always tragically left out of the equation.

The beautiful thing about these films is that you can watch them in any order you want – not once, but dozens of times over, time and again until you get tired of them. Chances are if you’re reading this, though, you never will.

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What’s your favorite Star Wars watch order?