A year ago this month, the official Star Wars website made sweeping changes to the Star Wars canon. Immediately, what once was known as the “Expanded Universe” would forever become “Star Wars Legends.” All of this was done to make way for possibly the most anticipated science fiction movie of all time, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
The sudden change was to give new writers, filmmakers, and animators the maximum amount of creative freedom. From this point on, the six episodes and The Clone Wars television show were the only bodies of work to be considered canon. Moving forward, Star Wars would only have one all encompassing universe that stretched among all mediums, movies, television, books, comics, and even short stories.
A year later, we are just a few days from Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. There will be a ton of new announcements. We will most likely see a new Force Awakens trailer. The first episode of Star Wars Rebels: Season 2 will be previewed. With that in mind, here is a definitive guide to catch the fans up on how they can watch and read the new Star Wars canon in chronological order.
With the recent release of the Star Wars Digital Collection, it is easier than ever to get started making your way through Star Wars canon. Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Episode II: Attack of the Clones is where you would begin, of course. From this point if you don’t pay attention, things can get a little complicated.
The critically acclaimed Star Wars: The Clone Wars began as a feature-length theatrical movie that became a television show that lasted for six seasons. To truly follow this portion of the Star Wars Universe chronologically, you need to watch two episodes of the television show before the movie, the sixteenth episode of Season 2 and then the sixteenth episode of Season 1. Are you confused yet? Last March, StarWars.com was kind enough to shed a little light on how to watch the show the chronologically.
Before jumping into Episode III, we need to take care of a few narratives if we want to stay true to the quest of viewing the Star Wars canon in order. While watching Season 5, you need to read Darth Maul: Sons of Dathomir. This is the only Dark Horse Comics story arc to make official canon. As a side note, you should read Star Wars: Dark Disciple. It comes out in July, but you need to read it at this point.
Feel free to call up Revenge of the Sith on your iPad or digital device. Following this, Kanan the Last Padawan, No. 1, from Marvel Comics is where you need to go. This follows directly after Order 66 was given by the emperor. Now, move to recently published books. Tarkin chronicles the further rise of the Wilhuff Tarkin. April 28, Lords of the Sith will be available. That book belongs here, as well.
At this point in the narrative, Kanan the Last Padawan has grown up, and he will be a central character in A New Dawn, a book by Del Rey Publishing. We jump back in to the small screen with Star Wars Rebels: Season 1. If you want to be a completest, pick up middle grade books Servants of the Empire Nos. 1 and 2, as well as Ezra’s Gamble by Disney Press.
Finally, we get to the original trilogy movies. After watching Episode IV: A New Hope, you need to read Marvel Comics’ Star Wars, Darth Vader, and Princess Leia. To finish, read Star Wars: Heir to the Empire. Last but certainly not least, watch Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I know. Two days is not near enough time to get through this list. Fortunately, the next mega run of Star Wars canon does not hit until September, so you have some time.
It’s interesting. A few years ago, fans believed they may have seen the last of some of the most beloved characters. Now, fans fear they may be seeing too much. What are your feelings about the recent influx of Star Wars canon? Is it too much or not enough? Let us know below.
BONUS: If you really want to call yourself the “Ultimate Crazed Out Star Wars Fan,” go on a treasure hunt to find Star Wars Insider 149 and the magazines moving forward. The short stories contained in them are officially Star Wars canon. Good luck!