How to watch the Star Wars movies in order — and the shows too

Darth Vader raises a hand in frustration in The Empire Strikes Back
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

You don't need the Millennium Falcon to travel to a galaxy far, far away. To watch all the Star Wars movies in order again, all you need is a Disney Plus subscription. So, whether you're waiting for Andor season 2 or the next film, Star Wars movies and classic shows are all there to get you into hyperspace.

Our guide to watching the Star Wars movies in order (which can help you rank the Star Wars movies and TV shows) also includes the live-action TV shows and animated series as well. The films are also available in crisp 4K HDR, so keep your VHS and DVD copies pristine in storage to preserve the original, unedited versions. 

You can watch the Star Wars movies in order of release if you want to see how the films evolved (and arguably devolved) over time. Others who want to see the history of the Star Wars universe can go through the Skywalker Saga's three distinct trilogies and the ancillary shows and films and watch the Star Wars movies in chronological manner. 

But some pople like to pretend that certain episodes didn't exist. With that in mind, we’ve outlined the most popular Star Wars viewing orders for your intergalactic binging pleasure. 

Where to watch the Star Wars movies in order (and shows too)

If you’re looking for the easiest and most affordable way to watch the Star Wars movies in order (as well as the shows), you should sign up for Disney Plus ($13.99 without ads, $7.99 with ads / £7.99 per month). 

Disney’s streaming service has the entire Skywalker Saga (Episodes I-IX) as well as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Solo. It also has all of the small-screen Star Wars offerings, including all seven seasons of The Clone Wars animated show, the Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries, The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, and more. 

Disney Plus

Disney Plus is the home of most of the Star Wars movies. Starting at $7.99 per month, Disney Plus is cheaper than most streaming services and boasts an enormous library that also includes Marvel movies and series, classic animated films and newer hits like The Mandalorian.

Of course, you can also purchase or rent the Star Wars movies a la carte on Amazon, iTunes and Google Play

Star Wars movies in chronological order of story timeline (with shows, too)

Obi-Wan Kenobi pensively looks as he rubs his hands together in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

The Star Wars saga kicked off with Episode IV through VI, then got a prequel trilogy (I - III) before getting a sequel trilogy (VII - IX), so the storyline is inherently out of order. Chronological order lets you see Star Wars' characters evolve in real time, including Anakin Skywalker's journey from a bright-eyed kid to a troubled warrior and Obi-Wan Kenobi's transformation from reluctant apprentice to sage Jedi runaway. 

If you’d prefer to see the Skywalker Saga from its chronological beginnings, here are the Star Wars movies in order of chronological events. 

In parentheses next to each movie, we list when the movie took place before or after the Battle of Yavin. So when we say Episode II — Attack of the Clones is 22 BBY, that means it took place 22 years before the Battle of Yavin. 

And, to help prevent confusion: Rogue One takes place immediately before A New Hope, and The Last Jedi takes place in the direct aftermath of The Force Awakens. Natasha Liu Bordizzo, who plays Sabine Wren in Ahsoka, told our sister site GamesRadar that the series takes place alongside The Mandalorian season 3, which would be 9 BBY.

Note that the Star Wars Visions anime is not part of the official Star Wars canon, so you won't see it on the list below. But it's definitely worth a watch on Disney Plus for its inventive new spin on a well-worn franchise.

  • The Acolyte (132 BBY) (live-action series)
  • Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace (32 BBY) (movie)
  • Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (22 BBY) (movie)
  • The Clone Wars (22 BBY) (animated series)
  • The Clone Wars (22 - 19 BBY) (animated movie)
  • Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (19 BBY) (movie)
  • The Bad Batch (19 BBY) (animated series)
  • The Bad Batch season 2 (19 BBY) (animated series)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (13 - 10 BBY) (movie)
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (9 BBY) (live-action series)
  • Star Wars Rebels (5 - 0 BBY) (animated series)
  • Andor (5 - 0 BBY) (live-action series)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (0 BBY) (movie)
  • Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (0 BBY/0 ABY) (movie)
  • Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (3 ABY) (movie)
  • Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (4 ABY) (movie)
  • The Mandalorian (9 - 11 ABY) (live-action series)
  • The Book of Boba Fett (9 ABY) (live-action series)
  • Ahsoka (9 ABY) (live-action series)
  • Star Wars: Resistance (34 ABY) (animated series)
  • Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (34 ABY) (movie) 
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII —The Last Jedi (34 ABY) (movie)
  • Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (35 ABY) (movie)

Star Wars movies in order of release date (with shows, too)

Han, shooting first, in Star Wars: A New Hope

(Image credit: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty)

If you want to experience the Star Wars movies as they came out, release order is the way to go. I’d personally recommend this order for new fans, as you get to witness the natural evolution of the Star Wars saga complete with all of its ups and downs. 

From the classic 80s sci-fi of the original trilogy, to the messy CGI and questionable acting of the prequels, to the modern glory of The Force Awakens and its divisive sequel, here’s every Star Wars movie in order of release: 

  • Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977) (movie)
  • Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (movie)
  • Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983) (movie)
  • Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace (1999) (movie)
  • Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2002) (movie)
  • Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (2005) (movie)
  • The Clone Wars (2008) (animated movie)
  • The Clone Wars season 1 (2008) (animated show)
  • The Clone Wars season 2 (2009) (animated show)
  • The Clone Wars season 3 (2010) (animated show)
  • The Clone Wars season 4 (2011) (animated show) 
  • The Clone Wars season 5 (2012) (animated show)
  • The Clone Wars season 6 (2014) (animated show)
  • Rebels shorts (and then) season 1 (2014) (animated show)
  • Rebels season 2 (2015) (animated show)
  • Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (2015) (movie)
  • Rebels season 3 (2016) (animated show)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) (movie)
  • Rebels season 4 (2017) (animated show)
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII —The Last Jedi (2017) (movie)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) (movie)
  • Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (2019) (movie)
  • The Mandalorian season 1 (2019) (live-action series)
  • The Clone Wars season 7 (2020) (animated show)
  • The Mandalorian season 2 (2020) (live-action series)
  • The Bad Batch season 1 (2021) (animated show)
  • The Book of Boba Fett (2021) (live-action series)
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) (live-action series)
  • Andor (2022) (live-action series)
  • Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi (2022) (animated anthology series)
  • The Bad Batch season 2 (2023) (animated show)
  • The Mandalorian season 3 (2023) (live-action series)
  • Ahsoka (2023) (live-action series)
  • The Acolyte (June 2024) (live-action series)

Star Wars movies in machete order

First suggested by fan Rod Hilton, “machete order” uses a mix of release and chronological order in order to preserve the big twist in The Empire Strikes Back while still providing some backstory via the prequels. 

Machete order starts with A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, dips back into Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith for Darth Vader’s origins, and then returns to the present to end the original trilogy in dramatic fashion with Return of the Jedi.

Yes, this order skips The Phantom Menace entirely, as some fans don’t consider the film to be essential to the plot (sorry, Jar Jar). It’s worth keeping in mind that this order was created many years ago, so it doesn’t factor in the sequel trilogy or spin-off films (not to mention later Star Wars series on TV and Disney Plus — more on that below). 

  • Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977)
  • Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983)

Upcoming Star Wars movies

The topic of upcoming Star Wars movies went from hazy to slightly less hazy at the Star Wars Celebration 2023. There, we learned of three new Star Wars films coming from directors James Mangold, Dave Filoni and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. 

Of the three, Filoni's likely the most familiar name to Star Wars fans, as he's worked with Star Wars properties since he was hired to help George Lucas develop an animated series based on Star Wars. Mangold is directing the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and Obaid-Chinoy is a Canadian journalist known for films that focus on the inequality faced by women. 

Mangold will helm a movie about the origins of the Jedi, while Filoni's film will be the end of the current stories told in The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka and other Disney Plus shows.

Obaid-Chinoy's film will basically be a sequel to Episode IX, and it sees Daisy Ridley return as Rey. Here, she's back to build a new Jedi Order.

Those three films may be the films tied to the three newly announced Star Wars movie release dates:

  • May 22, 2026
  • Dec. 18, 2026
  • Dec. 18, 2027

The film slated for May 22, 2026 has been confirmed to be the Mandalorian and his tiny friend Grogu's leap to the big screen in a movie directed by Jon Favreau of MCU fame and produced by Favreau, Kathleen Kennedy, and Dave Filoni.

Also, Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok) is still working on a Star Wars feature-length film, and he may in fact have a part in it. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy updating Variety on that movie, saying Waititi is still working on the script, and "we’re going to make that [movie] one day." Previously, The Daily Record reported that production has begun already, and rumors hit that screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns (Last Night in Soho) was attached to the film.

A Variety report revealed a ton of changes to the future upcoming Star Wars movies. The December 2024 and 2026 release windows are now gone. As for the stories those movies will tell, and their directors, some of the deals are locked in, but not all details are official. Here's what we know:

Remember when Patty Jenkins was to direct Star Wars: Rogue Squadron? Well, "sources with knowledge of the production say it is no longer in active development at the studio," which wasn't a surprise after it'd fallen off of Disney's calendar. That said, Jenkins herself confirmed that rumors of her departure from the film are incorrect.

Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi) was rumored to be a possible director for a full new Star Wars trilogy, though that might ruffle the feathers of those who vocally expressed their negative views about TLJ. But while reports suggest those movies are now shelved, Kennedy told the press that "we're not actively involved in anything at the moment," and that Johnson still wants to "step back into the space,"

Marvel film president Kevin Feige was supposedly going to produce a Star Wars film, but that's basically gone into limbo. He's busy.

Shawn Levy (Stranger Things, Free Guy) told Syfy in late 2022 that he is working on a TBA Star Wars movie. Specifically, he stated "We’re in pretty early development still, but my goal is to make a Star Wars movie that is like a lot of my movies, which is visual spectacle and a healthy dose of wish fulfillment, levity, and big heart," he told us on a phone call over Zoom.

J.D. Dillard (Sleight) and Matt Owens (Luke Cage) are reportedly working on a new Star Wars project that could be in theaters or on Disney Plus. No word on this has come out since Feb. 2020.

Solo 2 is not even confirmed, but fans have been asking for it. Reports suggest it won't be a Disney Plus project.

Last summer, Disney announced it had tapped Donald and Stephen Glover to replace Justin Simien (Dear White People) to create a Lando Star Wars series. Lucasfilm later confirmed to Variety that the series has been upgraded to a feature film. Details are still thin for this project, and we don't even know if Billy Dee Williams or Donald Glover will reprise their role as the charming rogue. 

Old and upcoming Star Wars TV shows

Din Djarin and a hand-cuffed The Mythrol walk in The Mandalorian

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Of course, the Star Wars universe isn’t limited to just the movies, and there are a variety of live-action and animated TV series that serve as canonical entries in the timeline. Better yet, all of them are available on Disney Plus. Here’s a breakdown of where some of the key shows fit in:

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: This popular animated series is set between Episodes II and III, and follows the adventures of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka Tano during the Clone Wars. All seven seasons are on Disney Plus.

Star Wars: Rebels: A follow-up to Clone Wars, Rebels sees a rag-tag group of fighters including Kannan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger and Hera Syndulla battle a fledgling Galactic Empire between Episodes III and IV. 

Star Wars: The Bad Batch: This animated series follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch, who were first introduced in Clone Wars. The Bad Batch season 2 debuted in January 2023.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Find out what Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) was up to between Episodes III and IV following the slaughter of the Jedi at the hands of the Empire. The show also brought back Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. 

Star Wars: Andor: This Rogue One prequel focuses on the adventures of Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and his sassy droid pal K2S0 (Alan Tudyk). It begins 5 years before Rogue One.

The Mandalorian: Taking place five years after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, this Western-tinged drama focuses on a lone bounty hunter as he explores a murky post-Empire universe. 

Star Wars: Ahsoka: Anakin's former Jedi padawan, Ahsoka Tano, debuted in live-action form (played by Rosario Dawson) in The Mandalorian. Now, she gets her own show. 

The Book of Boba Fett: The OG bounty hunter made an impressive cameo on The Mandalorian; this spinoff follows Boba and partner-in-buttkicking Fennec Shand. Reviews were mixed, to say the least.

And if you don't have enough new Star Wars to watch, maybe consider canceling Disney Plus (which you could also do by calling up Disney Plus customer service).

There's no wrong way to watch the Star Wars movies in order

We mentioned the multiple ways of watching the Star Wars movies in order, because there's no truly correct way to consume the franchise. Some fans prefer to view them in release order, others prefer chronological timeline order and certain fans enjoy a hybrid of both. Either way, as noted above, it's much easier than watching all of the Marvel movies in order.

Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.

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