It recently came to life that my wife has missed out on what some would consider to be major movies. We’ve watched each James Bond, according to canon, in chronological order together. The Back to The Future trilogy is also done. However, the George Lucas/Stephen Spielberg classics of the 80s are left unwatched.
How can the wife of a self professed nerd not have seen a frame of Indiana Jones or Star Wars!
We’ve set out to remedy this. It does, however, raise some age old debates about what is, and isn’t, proper within these series. Indiana Jones is easier; the most recent 4th installment isn’t on the radar. It’s not considered remotely canon in this house and will be omitted. Star Wars, however, is a different story.
Personally the most recent iterations, episodes I through III, are special effects filled glitz fests and lacking in substantial story or character development. But, and this is a redeeming but if there ever was one, the stories do contain valuable pre-information leading up to the chronological predecessors IV, V and VI. The first one does at least. Admittedly I’ve never seen episodes II and III. But the modernization of a story that relied on simple effects and complex character acting and development seems to cheapen the series. The temptation is to simply stick to the vanilla, original trilogy. But those new to the series don’t have many of the biases those of us who grew up with it do. Heck, they may even enjoy them
Which ones to watch is simply the first of two major decisions. The second is which order do you watch them in? Are you looking to view the story chronologically, or watch the films in order of quality? The traditional and typical order is I through VI, if you choose to include the first three at all. For a first time viewer, this may be the best way simply to preserve storyline. Many have made the argument to present the films in a pseudo-chronological order, omitting certain films (Episode II) from the order. The story remains mostly intact, but the flow and quality of the films leaves a much better taste in your mouth.
One thing that you cannot do is watch any of the newly released, heavily modified versions. These are blasphemous.