So, that movie that everyone's talking about is coming out today. (Useful tip: the real film nerds among you should probably try to see it here.) Every media outlet is riding the Star Wars bandwagon like it's some sort of randy bantha, and Mostly Film isn't going to pass up the chance to do likewise.
Yesterday, a bunch of us - Indy Datta, Mr Moth and yours truly - collaborated on a piece looking back at various aspects of Star Wars history, entitled Boring Conversation Anyway. (My own contribution looks at the Star Wars Holiday Special, and if you don't know what that is, consider yourself blessed.) And hopefully Moth should be back there tomorrow with a hot-from-the-multiplex review of The Force Awakens, because obviously they don't invite oiks like us to press screenings of things like that.
Do you fancy seeing The Force Awakens this weekend, but need a crash course in all the films that came before it? Then this associated Red Button Bonus Content should be helpful.
Hilton discussed these inconsistencies in some detail, and came up with a radical solution that he called Machete Order (after the blog). In brief, and without the inevitable spoilers contained in his explanation, it's this - watch 4 and 5 to take you up to the point where the Big Surprising Thing happens: then watch 2 and 3 as a flashback that explains how the Big Surprising Thing came to be: and then go back to 6 to pick up on the fallout from the Big Surprising Thing and how it drives us towards the epic climax. (Meanwhile, throw 1 in the bin, as it doesn't contain anything relevant to the overall story at all. He does have a point there, which makes the existence of this page a little awkward for me nowadays.)
It seems like a brilliant idea, but I've never had the time to try it with the movies. So let's compromise, and try it with the trailers instead. (And the original release trailers too, none of this Special Edition bullshit.) Plus, let's throw in the Episode 7 trailer at the end to see if it continues to hang together. Got fifteen minutes to spare? Then press play.