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Star Wars Movies In Order: Chronologically And Release Date


Star Wars Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars is one of the longest running film franchises in history. Originally, there were only three films: The original trilogy, and the subsequent prequel films. But after Disney acquired LucasFilm in 2012, the House of Mouse began production on a wide assortment of Star Wars movies and TV shows.

Now, there are nearly two dozen Star Wars movies and TV shows to catch up on.

For new fans to the franchise, it can be quite confusing to work out which films came first. So, where should you start? In this article, we’ll be ordering all the Star Wars films and TV shows, first in chronological order for their events, and then in the order of their release. This should give new Star Wars fans a better look at how these films were intended to be watched.

Star Wars films in order of release

Kylo Ren Star Wars

The original trilogy, or episodes four through six, is where the franchise first began. Then, George Lucas returned to direct three more films, now called “the prequel trilogy.” Since then, Disney has nearly doubled the number of movies available to watch.

Here’s the full list of released Star Wars films, from 1977 to the late 2010s.

  • Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Plenty of TV series fill the gaps between each of the films and provide more context for fans to learn about the wider Star Wars universe. Here is a list including those series as they were released.

  • Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Star Wars: Droids (1985)
  • Star Wars: Ewoks (1985)
  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
  • Star Wars: Rebels (2014)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Star Wars: Forces of Destiny (2017)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
  • Star Wars: Resistance (2018)
  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures (2018)
  • The Mandalorian (2019)
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch (2021)

Watching the series in its released order provides the clearest connection between films. The story begins with Luke Skywalker’s journey into Jedi mastery, Darth Vader’s relationship with Luke, and the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire. Then, the series shifts to Anakin’s story, the end of the Galactic Republic, and the rise of Darth Vader. Finally, the series concludes with Rey’s story as she takes on the First Order, the Galactic Empire’s successor.

LucasFilm purposefully released its films in this order as part of a larger story about the Empire’s rise, galactic politics’ impact on the world, the Force’s role in world events, and the Skywalker family’s powerful legacy across three generations.

Star Wars films in chronological order

Anakin and Padmé's picnic on Naboo

For those who plan on taking in the events of the franchise as they unfold within the universe, you’re going to need to watch the films in a completely different order. Here is how you should go about it.

  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Here’s the list again with the Star Wars TV series weaved in.

  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
  • Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch (2021)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
  • Star Wars: Droids (1985)
  • Star Wars: Ewoks (1985)
  • Star Wars: Rebels (2014)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  • Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
  • Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • The Mandalorian (2019)
  • Star Wars: Resistance (2018)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

The following TV series take place across the entire Star Wars canon and don’t fit neatly into a chronological list.

  • Star Wars: Forces of Destiny (2017)
  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures (2018)

In this order, viewers watch as Anakin Skywalker comes to power, aids in the destruction of the Galactic Republic, and becomes the Emperor’s right-hand in the Galactic Empire. Luke then emerges, works with the Rebel Alliance to destroy the Galactic Empire, and paves the way for Rey’s emergence as the First Order grows.

Watching the series this way provides a clear progression of the Star Wars universe and how the Skywalker family’s long-term generational story fits into the world.

While this is the preferred way to watch the series for some, it’s not without its small issues. The original trilogy is flanked by both the prequels, the sequels, and Disney’s spin-off films, which each work off existing Star Wars lore and round out the larger galactic universe. In comparison, the original trilogy was created without any prior lore available from previous productions, which means the original three films may feel slightly distant from the more recent Disney spin-offs and Lucas prequels, ironically.

Still, chronological order provides a crash course through Star Wars history—even if the original release order tells the larger Star Wars tale as it was intended.

About the author

Benvenisti Eyal

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