Last time I watched all Star Wars movies in one go was a couple of years ago. I then watched them in the Machete Order, which is IV, V, II, III, VI. Then I watched Episode VII, without seeing any of the others again.

Now my girlfriend is up to watching the whole saga. I know we won't make it in one go but still I want to give the Machete Order, since it's the best order, another go.

With the new movie released, we could sneak in a session in the cinema. I wanted to stay spoiler free, so I didn't look into the movie at all. Now the only question left is where to put it? Should we put it at the very start? Or between V and II?

Where in the Machete Order does Rogue One fit?

  • 23
    Since it takes place immediately before EpIV, that would seem the logical place to put it.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 13:00
  • 10
    Why VTCs? Machete order is rather objective and well-agrued, as SQB's answer shows
    – DVK
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 15:17
  • @DVK I was wondering the same thing... Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 20:13
  • 2
    Machete Order is nonsensical and terrible, why would you force that on someone who's never seen them? Let them decide their own taste for the franchise. Either watch them (all) in theatrical release order or chronological order. That part of the question is sad and harmful to her experience, but isn't really relevant to the question. I'd suggest you remove it.
    – TylerH
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 16:02
  • 4
    Who is forcing anyone to do anything, again?
    – hobbs
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 16:17

5 Answers 5


Rod Hilton, the originator of Machete Order, answered this very question in his follow-up post to Machete Order. He includes a helpful diagram as his answer to this and future questions like it:

Where Does Rogue One fit?

"Since Rogue One is basically a prequel to IV, should Machete Order start with it?"

Every time a new Star Wars movie comes out, I get a bunch of tweets and e-mails asking where it fits in Machete Order. It's flattering people care so much, but my answer is probably going to always be the same. So I'm going to try and answer it once and for all.

Official Machete Order, fixed (modified slightly per request)

He follows the diagram with several paragraphs of justification, but essentially, his point is that, although Rogue One provides background on the events leading up to Episode IV, that movie has been beloved for 40 years without needing this additional background. As a result, it is unnecessary to the story of the original 5 "Machete Order" movies.

  • 16
    I like this answer overall, but I'm afraid I can't upvote it with the mention of the Holiday Special. May I suggest some red freehand circles to blot the abomination out? :P
    – DJMcMayhem
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 21:22
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    Man, I thought the red line was from Rod Hilton ;) Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 13:48
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    I'd really recommend against that kind of modification. It's like quoting someone and putting a strikethrough across part of their quote, just with the quoted text in an image. You wouldn't modify an ordinary quote that way - it's putting words in someone else's mouth, even if you put in a little note that it's modified. Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 7:29
  • 4
    When modifying citations, one usually adds stuff like [...] which is the very thing I'd put above said abomination (not that I ever watched it, I took the internet's word for it for once) Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 9:12
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    @user2357112 I see this as similar to an "emphasis mine" statement, except in this case instead of emphasis it is de-emphasis.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 14:39

Nowhere at all

As the originator of the Machete Order wrote after the release of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens:

The point of Machete Order is not, and has never been, ignoring Episode I because it's bad. It's been about skipping it because it's not relevant to Luke's journey. Episodes II and III are, because we see how his father falls to the Dark Side, and we see elements of his path that are mirroring his father's.


Clone Wars, Episode I, Rogue Squadron, Young Han Solo, The Adventures of Yoda, Boba Fett's Big Day, and whatever other movies come out that aren't part of the numerical "Episode" structure, can all pretty much be viewed in any order, as supplemental material outside of the "main saga" which I suggest viewing in the above order. Before watching any of those movies, you just say "this takes place between X and Y" and you're done.

In other words, the Machete Order was devised to tell Luke's journey in the best possible way, without spoiling any dramatic reveals beforehand and still keeping the dramatic conclusion in place.

Rogue One is not a part of Luke's journey and is therefore not a part of the Machete Order.

The blog post I linked to has been updated to include Rogue One:

In my opinion, it doesn't matter that Rogue One takes place right before A New Hope. The purpose of Machete Order was and always will be to refocus the story of the Orig­i­nal and Prequel Trilo­gies to be about Luke's journey. Episodes II and III aren't in­cluded for all their mythos and world-build­ing, they're in­cluded because Anakin's fall is di­rectly rel­e­vant to Luke's path.

  • 18
    This really should be the accepted answer.
    – MattD
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 16:37
  • 12
    @MichaelRichardson - One does not edit quotations, especially not to suit one's own biases. Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 1:13
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    I fail to see how Rogue One is not relevant to Luke's journey. It explains how and why the Death Star plans and the Droids ended up over Tatooine. Without that, Luke might never have left home. Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 1:15
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    @Xavon_Wrentaile it is relevant to Luke's journey, but not part of Luke's journey.
    – SQB
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 5:38
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    @Xavon_Wrentaile Which is why I didn't actually try to edit it. I also don't really feel that way... mostly. Thought it might inject a bit of levity. Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 14:40

The plot of Rogue One is referenced directly in the opening crawl of A New Hope (Episode IV). Since Rogue One was developed as a standalone film, no prior experience with the Star Wars saga is required. So, in the new Machete order, Rogue One should be first!

  • 22
    "Rouge One"? Is that about an evil-but-saucy galactic empire of French windmill-builders? Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 15:31
  • 3
    You know, I double check the spelling of that dang word every time! And I probably still get it wrong half the time! ;)
    – TG01
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 16:09
  • 3
    Since I haven't seen Rogue One yet, I can't answer, but does it have any spoilers in it that would screw up machete order. Such as the Emperor's last name or Vader's real name?
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 18:53
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    Machete Order is not chronological order. Why would you expect it to automatically go before Episode IV?
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 21:07
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit - re "Rouge One": Damn, that's one heck of a crossover! I'm simultaneously desperate to see it and horrified at the thought. On the bright side, at least we can be pretty sure it'll have Obi-Wan McGregor in it. I've got a mental image of the Duke of Monroth with a lightsaber in the Cantina bar while a troupe of ewoks do a caberet number. Yikes. Eeek. You've scarred me forever now! :-D
    – Simba
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 12:15

I would watch Rogue One (R1) first...I feel it really sets up this "are Jedi just a hokie religion" question in ANH because there are people that obviously believe in Jedi...a city dedicated to Jedi, but until the last Vader scene the beginning of Jedi power isn't show.

Add the droids, the lead in to ANH and the demise of red 5, and it leads right in.

I'd go with the rest of the machete order to save the big Vader surprise (not so much after Luke's story), and you don't have to watch the worst rated movies until you are already quite invested in the universe/characters.

(8.0, 8.7, 8.8, 6.7, 7.6, 8.4, 8.1 - IMDb ratings)

  • Seeing Vader act in Rogue One sort of answers the "are Jedi just a hokie religion" question, doesn't it? That might actually be a spoiler if the question left first time viewers wondering.
    – Umbrella
    Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 20:22

I don't think Rogue One should be watched before episode 4. If Rogue One is your first Star Wars movie then its ending won't be as special/cool/nostalgic to you. It was the best part for me and that's because I had seen the other movies first. I think the best order would probably be:

Rogue One
Han Solo movie

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