It’s “Star Wars” day and fans far and wide are looking to celebrate one of the most beloved days in the fandom by binge-watching some of their favorite installments in the ever-growing franchise.
What started out as a clever pun (“May the fourth be with you”) has blossomed into a full-on annual celebration of the “Star Wars” franchise every year on May 4. It’s a time for people across the world to bond over their fandom. That used to mean binge-watching three movies, but over the years the canonical “Skywalker Saga” has ballooned into nine movies as well as a myriad of spinoff film and TV projects.
This often leaves many wondering what to watch in order to celebrate the big day and where to find it. Fortunately, thanks to the launch of its very own streaming service, the Disney-owned franchise can be found in its entirety on Disney+.
However, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to figure out what to watch. Traditionalists may opt to check out the canonical “Skywalker Saga,” which includes “A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” “Revenge of the Sith,” “The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi” and “The Rise of Skywalker.” Although many debate the correct order in which to watch them.
While those are a worthwhile endeavor for anyone interested in the genre, it’s hardly the only way to celebrate the franchise in 2021.
On the film side of things, Lucasfilm hit the throttle with spinoffs like “Rogue One” and “Solo,” which tell stories on the outskirts of the main plotline such as how the Rebels stole plans for The Death Star and the origin of everyone’s favorite rogue, Han Solo. Meanwhile, it’s never been a better time to be both a TV fanatic and a “Star Wars” fan as Disney+ has consolidated older shows like “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels” into one convenient place.
In addition, the Mouse House has doubled down on the franchise by creating shows like “The Mandalorian,” which currently has two seasons up and expects a myriad of spinoffs all its own. The streaming service is even going as far as to celebrate “Star Wars” day with the release of a brand new animated series, “The Bad Batch,” which follows a select, elite group of clone troopers at the onset of the rise of the Empire.
While all of these options are great for anyone who wants to immerse themselves further in the world created by George Lucas all those years ago, production enthusiasts can expect to find some worthwhile documentaries simply about the making of shows like “The Mandalorian” and the impact “Star Wars” has had on pop culture available on Disney’s only streaming platform as well.
In short, if you have a Disney+ subscription, there’s no wrong answers when it comes to “Star Wars” content, so simply dive in and let the Force be your guide. However, if you’re eager to celebrate the big day and don’t have a subscription, there’s still hope.
Many may opt to dust off their old hard copies to watch. However, not all DVD and Blu-ray versions of the original trilogy are created equal.
As WIRED notes, Lucasfilm has released several different remastered versions of the movies since the first one hit theaters in 1977. The first movie, for example, was previously revised in 1981 to add “A New Hope” to the title. In 1997 special editions of the film were released with tweaks as well. The year 2004 saw the largest digital remastering of the first three films for home viewers followed by yet another in 2011 when they were released in 1080p for Blu-ray players.
So, if you find yourself an old copy of “Star Wars” and want to see if your DVD or Blu-ray player still works, it might be worth checking the date on the box to see what version of the movies you’re about to watch.
With all that said, any “Star Wars” fan will tell you that May 4 is less about what you watch and more about bonding with every other fan of the franchise in some way or another. So, May the fourth be with you on your binge.