This brings us back to the proposed Machete Order of 2011, IV, V, II, III, VI. The idea here is that after experiencing the fatherhood plot twist and thrilling cliffhanger at the end of “Empire,” you’ll jump into the prequels and watch them as if they were one big flashback, exploring Anakin’s descent to the dark side and tying it back to Luke’s own hero’s journey as you transition back into “Return.” Not only does it retroactively fix all the issues with previous viewing methods, it also adds much more depth and drama to both trilogies. You can tangibly feel the time jump between “Empire” and “Return”. The Order 66 scenes in “Revenge of the Sith” now feel a lot less grim and desperate as Luke breaks the cycle of violence, and the generational political allegory of “Star Wars” feels a lot more cohesive.
However, since this watch order was developed in 2011, there are some notable flaws with the original Machete Order. You may have noticed here that “The Phantom Menace” is excluded from this list, as Hilton argued that the events of the first prequel film are largely irrelevant to the rest of the saga.
As much as it’s galling to sit through Jar-Jar Binks, Watto, and the drawn-out podrace scene, I don’t agree with Hilton’s decision to scrap “Phantom.” It’s extremely important from a thematic point of view that we see the origins of little Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship. Darth Maul isn’t just a cool villain to watch, his defeat of Qui-Gon Jinn is what sets the whole “Star Wars” story in motion; as Dave Filoni once explained, the fate of the galaxy was decided in this battle. between Jedi and Sith.