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Do I need to watch the James Bond movies starring Daniel Craig (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace) before watching Skyfall to understand the plot and characters?

  • 2
    You might want to specify your question a little. Are you asking if you need to watch it to understand the plot and characters? This question surely can work, but it could use a little more substance, I think. – Napoleon Wilson May 28 '15 at 16:48
  • I'd argue the plot wasn't all that understandable in Skyfall period. Enjoy it for the chase scenes. – DA. Jul 13 '15 at 22:35
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Yes... and no.

Contrary to popular belief, and to every other Bond movie ever produced, it is entirely necessary to possess foreknowledge of the previous Daniel Craig Bond movies to garner the appropriate amount of appreciation for what is occurring.

The Daniel Craig Bond movies represent a canonical reboot, in which during the first film Bond earns his 00 status - a part of his history every single other pre-Craig film has been chronologically set beyond.

The Craig films aren't a prequel, they are a total reboot. The first two films (Casino Royal and Quantum of Solace) make a bigger proposition of linking the narratives together, but Skyfall is a direct continuation from this film.

On the other hand...

The diegesis of Skyfall is relatively self contained, and isn't directly dependent on individual plot elements from the previous films. There are no recurring characters that add momentum to the plot, and (as with previous Bond installments) no need for direct knowledge. The experience gained from the first two films is hugely advantageous in understanding the character's development, motivation and of course...

why he's over emotional about the death of his boss, who has been an advocate and mentor in the past two films

to put it on the Lucas scale: the modern James Bond films are closer to Indiana Jones than Star Wars... Indiana Jones is a character central franchise, in which each installment contributes to the overall construction and understanding of a specific individual, but each iteration is not totally dependent on foreknowledge of the last...

  • Thanks, I understand what you mean. I decided to watch the first two movies before Skyfall. – musicinmusic May 28 '15 at 20:12
  • I'm glad you chose to, and hope you've appreciated the way the story 'plays out' in lieu. – John Smith Optional May 28 '15 at 20:48
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    Thanks for this answer, perfectly to the point and covered all details. And I was already upset when an inferior answer was already accepted after 3 seconds, good that you didn't let yourself be mislead therefrom. (And let's just hope Spectre is not gonna be Bond's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, or at least not Craig's, Brosnan already had his afterall.) ;-) – Napoleon Wilson May 29 '15 at 7:37
  • @NapoleonWilson, I'm so Sad that Spectre was Bond's ...Crystal Skull. What a shame! – John Smith Optional Oct 28 '15 at 21:45
6

No, it is not necessary to watch the modern bond movies in sequence, nor is it necessary to watch any of the James Bond films in any particular order. A previous bond film was only referenced by a later film once in the entire series, and each movie can essentially be considered isolated from the others.

  • 12
    Though, I'd definitely not sign that for Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, they directly build upon each other. But in general, yeah, you're right, I guess. – Napoleon Wilson May 28 '15 at 16:49
  • Sorry but this is not true. 4 (>1) references come to mind: 'For Your Eyes Only' dossier, and mention of 007's 'licence to kill' each appear (I believe) in the film immediately prior to that of each of those titles. After Bond's wife Tracy dies in OHMSS, and of course revenge is sought in DAF. Finally, Bond lays flowers at her grave in FYEO. Those are just what come to mind -- I'm sure there are more wife-related references even aside from any others. – OJFord May 28 '15 at 21:58
  • Actually IIRC licence to kill has a reference to bond being married once, and being quite affected by it when someone mentioned it. I'd consider all the movies from OHMSS to dalton's movies to be part of the same continuity. Brosnan's movies were... strange (a pity). While M carries on to the Craig movies, its definitely a reboot – Journeyman Geek May 29 '15 at 2:57
  • There were actually two Casino Royales... – copper.hat May 29 '15 at 4:26
  • @copper.hat But only one in the "official" Eon line of Bond movies. – Napoleon Wilson May 29 '15 at 7:41
0

No it is not necessary for any Bond film. Each can be enjoyed on its own.

There are some generic aspects ('Q', 'M', innuendo, etc.) that one becomes accustomed to, but prior knowledge is unnecessary.

While I enjoy the light hearted approach of the early films, the Craig generation are closer in spirit to the relative darkness of the Bond character in the Fleming series.

  • 2
    Did you read the accepted answer? If you're going to disagree with it, could you explain why? He makes a very strong argument for why it's important to watch the newer ones in sequence. – Catija May 29 '15 at 5:00
  • @Catija: Well, I agree with all of the accepted answer except the necessary part. Seeing the others provides additional context which will add to the enjoyment, but I believe the movie is sufficiently self contained. Like le Carré, previous history is addiitional sauce, but each novel is a meal in itself. As an aside, at present I am watching the older Bonds with my 6th grade son & 8th grade daughter in what ever order takes our fancy. Each is delightful on many levels and stands alone. Craig marks a departure, but not in terms of stand alone quality. My opinion, of course :-). – copper.hat May 29 '15 at 5:19
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    That's really a nice statement... you should consider adding it to your answer rather than leaving it as a comment. :) – Catija May 29 '15 at 5:22
  • @Catija: I think our comments are footnotes for the interested :-). I am an unmitigated Bond fan. My dad used to bring me when they were considered vaguely risqué (imagine Ireland in the '60s). Big step up from The Saint :-). – copper.hat May 29 '15 at 5:26
  • "I think our comments are footnotes for the interested" - No, they can vanish at any point. Anything that elaborates on the answer and actually gives it substance belongs into the answer. – Napoleon Wilson May 29 '15 at 7:44
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I know I'm late but to set the record strait Daniel's bond is not stand alone. Notice how he is, when he first gets his 00 status he's wreckless and makes plenty mistakes he also learns his lessons that make him the man he is in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. And in Skyfall he has moved on and is a more experienced James Bond them he looses female M and meets Moneypenny and male M, therefore setting him up as the original James Bond we first saw with Connery. His Bond films are connected as you can see in Spectre also with the return of Mister White saying "I always knew death would wear a familiar face". This is referencing back to when Bond destroyed Quantum but White got away and now Bond will see the true cause of all his pain.

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