What Order Should You Watch All the Star Wars Movies and TV Shows?

To watch all the Star Wars movies and TV shows in the right order, you must understand the concept of BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) and ABY (After the Battle of Yavin). It’s kind of like using B.C. and A.D. when you write out a date for historical accuracy (like 341 B.C. or 665 A.D.), only this is the history of Star Wars events. The Battle of Yavin is the most important event in the Star Wars history, so you just need to remember BBY is before that major battle, and ABY is after it. Make sense? Warning: spoilers abound!

star wars movies:

For example, in the dating system, “year zero” represents a time period marked by the destruction of the first Death Star during the Battle of Yavin depicted in the original 1977 Star Wars film. Events before the battle are dated BBY. Everything after year zero is dated ABY. With that in mind, the proper sequence is as follows:

star wars movies: the phantom menance

1. Episode I: The Phantom Menace – 32 BBY

Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi are on Planet Naboo to help settle a dispute over taxation between the Galactic Republic and the Trade Federation. Finding themselves as targets of assassination, they flee the negotiation venue and reach a safe place with help from Jar Jar Binks. When they are leaving the planet, a Federation battleship attacks their starship. Due to the damage, they are forced to land on a nearby planet known as Tatooine where they come across a boy named Anakin Skywalker. Qui-Gon decides to train Anakin, but Darth Maul kills the Jedi Master soon afterwards. Obi-Wan Kenobi is now responsible for Anakin’s safety and training.

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2. Episode II: Attack of the Clones – 22 BBY

Anakin Skywalker is no longer a child. He is a Padawan to Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. Somewhere along his education, he falls in love with Padme Amidala. According to the code of the Jedi order, such a thing is forbidden. On the bigger scheme of things, the Republic is now in conflict with a separatist movement led by Count Dooku. Obi-Wan Kenobi discovers that clones are created on Planet Kamino based on the template of Jango Fett, a bounty hunter. Jango has a clone son named Boba Fett. On Planet Geonosis, the clones help the Jedi win a difficult battle against a massive army of droids. 

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3. The Clone Wars (movie) – 22 BBY

The big stories in the film include an evil plan by the Separatists to kidnap Jabba the Hutt’s son and frame the Jedi for the crime. Anakin Skywalker has his own Padawan named Ahsoka Tano. The Clone Wars movie doesn’t have much to offer except that it expands the conflict between the Republic and the Separatists. It’s a film that functions mainly as a lead-in to an animated series of the same name.

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4. The Clone Wars (TV series) – 22 BBY to 19 BBY

Events in The Clone Wars, both the film and the series, take place between the latter part of Attack of the Clones and the conclusion of Revenge of the Sith, encompassing a timeline of approximately three years. Main characters include Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, although the major storyline revolves around the transformation of Ahsoka Tano from a mere Padawan into a hero – it takes seven seasons to explain. Other characters include Jabba the Hutt, Bo-Katan Kryze, Saw Gerrera, and Cad Bane. The series also introduces Tarkin to the franchise. The Clone Wars is the first weekly animated series from Lucasfilm, and still stands today as one of the finest of them all.

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star wars movies: revenge of the sith

5. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – 19 BBY

Three years after Attack of the Clones concludes, Revenge of the Sith happens. Almost all events in RotS run parallel to The Clone Wars. Among the biggest excitements in the film is Anakin’s plummeting state-of-mind, which eventually causes him to join the dark side, where he transforms from a Jedi into Darth Vader. Senator Palpatine, the person behind the Anakin-to-Vader scheme, activates “Order 66” to turn clone troopers against the Jedi. At this point, the Republic is just a small step away from victory. Padme gives birth to twins Luke and Leia. The Jedi Order crumbles to the point where Obi-Wan and Yoda must run and hide, but not before making sure the twins are safe.

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6. Solo: A Star Wars Story – 13 BBY to 10 BBY

As the title suggests, the film tells the origin story of Han Solo. Events in the film are set during the time when the Empire reigns supreme. The Rebel Alliance is still scattered into many factions. Even if there was a resistance, young Han probably wouldn’t give it a second thought anyway. Han is nothing but a scoundrel, a smuggler, and a petty criminal on the streets of Corellia. Things begin to take a more dramatic turn after an encounter with Chewbacca, a 190-year-old Wookie. When Han needs a fast vessel to get a mission done, he contacts Lando Calrissian – the proud owner of the infamous Millennium Falcon.

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7. Star Wars Rebels – 5 BBY to 1 BBY

This is where the battle between the Resistance and the Empire starts to get serious. Star Wars Rebels tells a series of events starting five years after Solo: A Star Wars Story and encompasses five years of the timeline. The story takes place during the early days of the Rebel Alliance in the struggle to cope with the power of the Empire. It’s a perfect time for the Empire to crush the Resistance because the rebels haven’t figured out a way to effectively join their forces. Soon enough, they grow stronger and become a real threat that the Empire cannot ignore. At the end of the fourth and final season, both sides are at the brink of an all-out encounter.

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8. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 0 BBY

The Death Star must be destroyed, and an attack from the inside is the most effective way to do it. A strike to a vulnerable spot should start a destructive chain effect and reduce the super-weapon to ruins. Before all that, the rebels must figure out whether there is indeed a vulnerability. A plan to steal the blueprint of the Death Star goes out of control, and the Rebel Alliance fleet is nearly obliterated. The film ends with an impressive Darth Vader scene and the escape of Princess Leia Organa, establishing a link to the 1977 original.  

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star wars movies: a new hope

9. Episode IV: A New Hope – 0 ABY

It’s fascinating that the original Star Wars film, the first to hit cinemas, comes at number nine in the timeline. The journey into the galactic history begins here in Year Zero. Episode IV: A New Hope shares the adventures of major characters in the Resistance, primarily Leia and Luke (all grown-up at this point), and Han Solo in the battle against the Empire. The time has come for Luke Skywalker, under the guidance of Obi-Wan Kenobi, to take the leading role in the war. Together with a roguish and reluctant Han Solo, they embark on a mission to save a damsel in distress (Princess Leia) and defeat a monster (Darth Vader).

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10. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – 3 ABY

In addition to familiar faces from the first film, The Empire Strikes Back introduces a band of new characters to the original trilogy, including Yoda, Boba Fett, and Lando Calrissian. Now that Obi-Wan Kenobi is no longer directly involved (at least physically) in the battle, Yoda takes his place as Luke’s mentor. The struggle continues, especially with the even more powerful and ruthless Darth Vader. This is the film where Luke learns that Vader is his father.

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11. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi – 4 ABY

Immediately following the events in the previous episode, Return of the Jedi chronicles Luke’s attempt to bring his father back to the light side of the force, from Darth Vader into Anakin Skywalker. At the same time the Emperor also is trying to lure Luke to turn against the Resistance. Episode VI marks the conclusion of the final part of the original trilogy. At the end of the day, Darth Vader regains his sense as Anakin before his last breath. The death of the Emperor is the beginning of the end of the Galactic Civil War. 

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12. The Mandalorian – 9 ABY

Events in The Mandalorian are set five years after Episode VI. The death of the Emperor does not necessarily mean the end of the Empire. The remnants of the Imperial force are now on the hunt for a creature of the same species as Yoda who died in 4 ABY at the age of 900. Din Djarin, a long gunfighter from Planet Mandalore, is tasked to secure the creature named Grogu, sometimes referred to as “Baby Yoda” due to the striking resemblance to the late Jedi Grandmaster. After retrieving Grogu, Djarin decides to protect the creature from the Imperial forces instead. 

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star wars movies: the book of boba fett

13. The Book of Boba Fett – approximately 9 ABY

Most events in The Book of Boba Fett happen around the same time as The Mandalorian and are depicted through flashbacks. Everything is connected to a scene in Return on the Jedi in which Boba falls into the Sarlacc pit. Since Boba is now here, it means somehow the pit failed to kill him. He has taken over Jabba the Hutt’s palace and is now attempting to keep the territory under his control. 

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14. Star Wars Resistance – 34 ABY

Poe Dameron and Captain Phasma are in the show, but the main focus here is the journey of Kazudo Xiono, a new pilot in the Resistance. There are only two seasons of Star Wars Resistance, but the events in the storyline take place across the entire sequel trilogy. It begins just months before The Force Awakens and naturally crosses over with film’s timeline during the latter episodes. The second and final season crosses over with The Last Jedi before leading to the events just before The Rise of Skywalker. 

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star wars movies: the force awakens

15. Episode VII: The Force Awakens – 34 ABY

The remnants of the Empire keep getting stronger after the conclusion of Episode VI. Over a period of 30 years following the death of the Emperor and Darth Vader, there is a new autocratic military force known as the First Order. Supreme Leader Snoke is sitting at the top of the chain of command, whereas Kylo Ren is his most trusted operative. General Leia Organa leads the Resistance. Luke Skywalker is missing. A young Force-sensitive girl named Rey is set on a journey to find him. Also, Han Solo dies. 

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star wars movies: the last jedi

16. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi – 34 ABY

Taking place almost immediately after the previous installment, The Last Jedi portrays how the First Order becomes too powerful for the Resistance to handle, especially without Luke. Much like Darth Vader in the original trilogy, Kylo Ren used to train in the way of the Jedi before defecting to the dark side. Luke must return to save the Resistance from total annihilation.

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17. Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker – 35 ABY

After decades of radio (or hologram) silence, the Emperor comes back. The First Order is about to go all-out to obliterate the Resistance once and for all. Again, the Emperor tries to lure a Jedi into the dark side; this time the target is Rey who turns out to be his granddaughter. Things get even more complicated as Rey insists on taking Kylo Ren back to the light side instead of just killing him on sight.

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The Star Wars franchise has evolved into a deep and fascinating interconnected wave of stories that so many of us love to watch. Are you a Star Wars fan? Have you seen all the shows and movies? Which part of the series is your favorite? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

Things you might want to know about:

Star Wars movies ranked from worst to best according to IGN.com.

11. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

10. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

9. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

8. Solo: A Star Wars Story

7. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

3. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

2. Star Wars: A New Hope

  1. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

How long would it take to watch every Star Wars movie and shows?

According to lifehacker.com.au just the movies would take about 27 hours and 15 minutes. The Mandalorian would take about 11 hours. The Book of Boba Fett would take about 5 hours and 30 minutes. The Bad Batch about 8 hours. Clone Wars about 2 days-18 and 30 minutes. Star Wars Rebels about 13 hours and 30 minutes. All together it would take about 131 hours and 45 minutes (just about 5 and a half days). 

Who are some of the early Star Wars cast members?

The website wonderwall.com did a great job letting fans know about early cast members and what they are doing these days. Here are a few of the actors that we have loved since Star Wars began.

Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) has been on Broadway and has done many voiceovers over the years. He married Marilou York in 1978 and they have 3 children. He has returned to play Skywalker several times.

Harrison Ford (Han Solo) has been in many iconic movies since playing Solo, including Indiana Jones, Blade Runner, and Witness. He married Calista Flockhart in 2010. 

Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia Organa) acted in movies after Star Wars and did many things behind the scenes like being a script doctor. She was on Broadway with her one-woman play that she wrote called “Wishful Drinking.” Her mother was Debbie Reynolds. She suffered from bipolar disorder and addiction over the year. She died of cardiac arrest in 2016 at the age of 60.