I read this blog post during the past week proposing a new order in which to watch the 'Star Wars' movies. The order proposed is this: IV, V, II, III, and then VI (with I being skipped over). Watching them in this order means that IV is the introduction to the 'Star Wars' universe, consistent with the films' theatrical release dates, and that the shocker in V that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father is not spoilt by III (for the benefit of the two people in the universe who don't know this already). Under this order, Luke and not Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader is to be considered the central character of the movies. II and III are viewed as an extended flashback of Anakin Skywalker's story, coming after Luke learns that Anakin is his father and turned to the Dark Side, and then VI picks up Luke's story again as he wrestles with his own demons. I is dropped altogether on the basis that you don't really need it to understand the other episodes (and you get considerably less Jar-Jar Binks).
|What - ?! Mesa gone!|
Frankly, this is so perfect I don't why it hasn't been thought of sooner! Both the chronological order and the numerical order seemed slightly unsatisfactory for the reasons given in the post, and I agree this ordering makes the series much stronger. At least I agree in theory - I haven't tried it out myself yet, but I'm particularly intrigued as to whether the perceived potential for Luke to turn to the Dark Side becomes much clearer if you watch VI straight after III. And the idea that the prequels should be seen as a extended flashback seems a more natural fit for them - although maybe I'm just extrapolating from The Godfather Part II.