As our collectively-linked dad boners are telling us through giant, blue-veined throbs and pant-shredding splits, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is like minutes away from ushering in a whole new universe of catchphrases, toys, cartoons, (more) movies, books, comics, stuff, stuff and more stuff. And lightsabers, possibly in new colors.
But if you somehow managed to live with Star Wars virgins in your household for this many years without mundanely crapping out vital plotpoints to them when your smug Star Wars jokes that killed in college have been falling flat on their Alderaanian asses at the dinner table, then you’ve been shaking your fist at your obviously inferior family members, threatening them with showing them the movies “IN THE CORRECT ORDER” before they’re “allowed” to see The Force Awakens.
But what you don’t realize, you big dummy, is that you’re still probably introducing your family — the loved ones that put up with your shit — to the Star Wars franchise the empirically wrong way. That’s because you’re not showing them A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi on VHS or LaserDisc.
I realize that some of you actually are doing this, and the Force is totally with you, so move the hell along and let me yell at the rest of the general public. But let’s catch up later and have super-animated conversations about Han Solo shooting first. I’d like that.
Back to the rest of you nerf herders.
I’m remedying the whole “Star Wars viewing order” argument in one fell swoop; the trilogy came out on in theaters. It came out on VHS. Later, it came out on LaserDisc. Buy one of those sets, then watch them in this order:
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Now you don’t have to watch it in release order (IV, V, VI, I, II, III), episode order (I, II, III, IV, V, VI), Machete order (IV, V, II, III, VI). all six at once (removed – doh!), Despecialized, or whatever neckbeard order there is, where you’ve got to keep a god damned drawer of dewey decimal system cards open as you watch so you can skip around and reference correctly.
The benefits of the stodgy VHS/LD method are strong with the Force:
- No worrying about all the different editions on DVD and Blu-ray!
- Han always shoots first!
- You never have to hear young Anakin squee “yipee!”
- You never have to hear young Anakin declare, “now THIS is podracing!”
- You never have to hear young Anakin!
- Darth Vader is simply accepted as a giant monster of intergalactic terror!
- The effects aren’t pretty, but they weren’t when you fell in love with Star Wars!
- Boba Fett is bad ass and mysterious!
- You don’t have to remember that Darth Maul was also bad ass and killed off way too soon (spoiler alert)!
- No Jar Jar!
- No “Jedi Rocks“!
- You not only get “Yub Nub” back, but also get original Anakin’s ghost during it (spoiler alert)!
- You don’t wake up tomorrow feeling like “oh god, am I a failbag?“
Best of all, you can still watch the prequel movies (shit, that’s “best” of all?). You get to enjoy the prequels the same way that you enjoy the old Dark Horse Star Wars comics, and the same way that you get to enjoy playing with all of your now-non-canon action figures.
There’s only one drawback to the stodgy VHS/LD method:
- Fewer limbs are cut off, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens comes out, like super soon. So if you’re SO EXCITED about showing your family the Star Wars universe for their first time, care enough to let them fall in love with it the way you fell in love with it.
I mean, unless you want people to think that you’re not a true fan. It’s almost as if you don’t want your kids to respect you or something.