Watch ‘Star Wars’ the right way
It’s Nerd Night and you and your friend want to have a “Star Wars” marathon but you guys can’t agree on which movie to start. There are two kinds of people in the world: those that start chronologically on “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” and those that start with the movie that was released first, “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.”
“A New Hope” was released in 1977.
Fun fact: according to the Internet Movie Database, the original movie was titled just “Star Wars.” George Lucas was so certain the film was going to be a bust, he didn’t even attend the premier. Instead, he went on vacation to Hawaii with Stephen Spielberg. “Episode IV – A New Hope” wasn’t added until after the movie was released.
However, George Lucas has said he always had the ideas of episodes one through three, even when “A New Hope” was released. So my question is, “Why didn’t he start with ‘A Phantom Menace?’” He likely had a reason for starting with Luke’s story instead of Anakin’s.
Through my searching, I haven’t been able to find his reason for starting with Luke. However, speaking from an author’s perspective, he likely did have a reason for starting where he did. He also likely had a reason for naming the movies the way he did, instead of labeling “The Phantom Menace” and the two following it as prequels.
George Lucas wouldn’t be the first person to produce something and then follow it later with a prequel or prequels. Authors do it all the time. One of the most famous?
Chronologically, “The Magician’s Nephew” comes before “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.” However, “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,” was published first. C.S. Lewis didn’t publish “The Magician’s Nephew” until five years later. There was a reason for this; a lot of the things in “The Magician’s Nephew” don’t make sense if you haven’t read “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.”
Something else to consider: “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” was made into a movie first. They haven’t even made a movie of “The Magician’s Nephew.”
The “Underworld” series functions the same way. Most of the explanations about vampires and lycans occur in “Underworld.” However, chronologically, “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” happens first. But if you watch that first, you’re missing out on a lot of the crucial information that you receive in “Underworld.”
Authors don’t explain things as well in a prequel because you’re expected to already know the basics of the world’s specifics since they were already explained in the original series.
It’s the same with George Lucas. There’s a reason “A New Hope” was created before “The Phantom Menace.” Just because you know the stories and the specifics now, doesn’t mean you should be let off the hook.
For those who are just starting the series, I always say they should start with “A New Hope” and watch Luke’s story before going back and learning about Anakin’s story.
That’s the way my father showed me the movies and that’s the way George Lucas released the movies, therefore, it’s pretty safe to assume that’s the way he intended for them to be watched.
Just because you know the storyline now and don’t need the explanations that come in the original series, doesn’t mean you should be able to just cast aside what the author or director had in mind when they were telling the story.
Keep those things in mind when you go to decide the order in which you and your friend intend to watch your “Star Wars” marathon on Nerd Night.
Luke’s story came first.
And then Anakin’s.
And now they’re starting on Rey’s.
But none of the new things change the fact that Luke still came first.