How 'Rogue One' Fits Into The Machete Order

How 'Rogue One' Fits Into The Machete Order

The newest Star Wars film may cut up the franchise more than it already has been.

If you're a "Star Wars" fan, you probably have at least some opinion on what order is the best to watch all of the movies in. Some prefer to watch in chronological order, starting with the prequels and moving forward, while some think watching in order of production makes more sense. Neither of these orders are ideal, since one requires starting with the prequels and introducing "Star Wars" with what most agree are the worst movies of the series, and the other requires coming up on "The Force Awakens" on the depressing note "Revenge of the Sith" leaves behind. So, in an effort to figure out how to make the prequels fit into the series in a tasteful way, "Star Wars" fans created the Machete Order, or watching the movies in the best order to emphasize Luke's storyline: 4, 5, (1), 2, 3, 6, 7, presumably followed by 8 and 9, once they are released (Episode 1 is optional, as it is both bad and doesn't include details necessary to understanding Luke's story, unlike Episode 2, which, unfortunately, is necessary). This order lets "The Empire Strikes Back" end on a cliffhanger and uses the prequels as a flashback that emphasizes the parallels between Anakin's fall to the dark side and the path Luke is on in the present, making Luke's first appearance in "Revenge of the Sith," face hidden by black robes as he uses the force to choke Jabba's guards, far more poignant. The order allows the prequels to add to the story rather than bog it down and has become a fan-favorite, especially as a way of introducing someone to "Star Wars" who has never seen the films before.

Before "Rogue One" came out, most fans assumed it wouldn't be included in the Machete Order, since it's a stand-alone film and wouldn't be necessary to Luke's storyline in the same way Episode 1 isn't. When the movie was released last week, though, those fans began to realize that the movie was worth including when rewatching the series, unlike Episode 1, meaning "Rogue One" has to be worked into the watch order somehow. Since the movie doesn't have an effect on Luke's character arc, the film either has to be placed at the end of the standard episodes or the idea of organizing the films based on their relation to Luke must be abandoned so that the film can be placed into the watch order in the way that makes the most narrative sense.

The most obvious way to incorporate it would be to place it before Episode 4, since the events of "Rogue One" lead straight up to the very beginning of "A New Hope" and fills in gaps and holes in the film. "Rogue One" serves as an exciting and enjoyable start to the series, which is essential when beginning any watch order, especially for the first time. However, though this may work for those who have already seen "Star Wars," it may not be the best introduction to the entire franchise for a newcomer. Yes, it does work as a film on its own and function well as an introduction to the two sides of the war, the Empire and the Rebel Alliance, but it's a rather clumsy introduction to aspects of "Star Wars" that will become important later on, like the Force and the Jedi. It also feels so completely different from the rest of the "Star Wars" films that I assume it would be a little strange to be introduced to the series through "Rogue One" only to have the rest of the films be so separate. "Rogue One" may be the best place to start as someone who has already seen the films and can function as an introduction to the series in some cases, it may not be the best choice.

The best alternative to this may be to watch "Rogue One" after Episode 3 and before Episode 6. This way, the film allows the audience to see the creation of Darth Vader and then get to see him in his prime after "Revenge of the Sith," and also acts as a crossover and reintroduction to the original trilogy from the prequels, since it takes place between them. It does distract from the main storyline a bit and may take away from the impact of seeing Luke in the same dark robes in "Return of the Jedi" as his father in the end of "Revenge of the Sith" since there is an entire film placed between them, but if "Rogue One" isn't placed at the beginning or end of the series, this is the best solution I can think of. Once "Rogue One" comes out on DVD and can be tossed around the order once its made available, the best way to watch the films will hopefully become clearer. Until then, and most likely even after, the best way to join "Rogue One" with the Machete Order may remain up for debate.

Cover Image Credit: Lucasfilm

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The Key To Ending Your First Draft Blues

Or at least getting through the next chapter with your hair intact

Ah, the first draft. We’ve all been there as writers. The day we decide to turn a blank word document into a 70,000 word (or more) masterpiece. Or, at least, that’s always the aim. Often as first-time writers, we go into the experience blind, learning as we go, and never really knowing whether what we’re doing is right or wrong.

It can be frustrating at times, as most first drafts are a test of sanity. As somebody who had written ten first draft books (nearing eleven) in six years, I have had my fair share of ups and downs when it comes to first drafts.

My first book ever took me four years just to write it, I started at the age of sixteen and finished by the time I was twenty. A year later I had written another. I then wrote one in thirty days, and nowadays I write about three to four books a year.

My point is, there is no science to writing. It is all about learning how to do it, and finding the methods that suit you best. I just wish I could have had someone to tell me all of that when I started.

With that in mind, here are my five pieces of advice on how to write your first draft:

#5 Embrace the Terribleness

The first draft is always the worst version of any story. The sooner you accept it, the easier it is to move forward with your work. So you misspell a few words so bad that even Word can't help you. That shouldn't stop you from going with the flow. Your dialogue will feel hammier than a "Star Wars" film, but you'll clean it up the second time around. You're not expected to create a masterpiece on the first go, so just enjoy the ride.

#4 Suffer for your Art

Writing can be hard. I've said it enough times already, but it's true. You have to be prepared to suffer for it. The reason my first book took four years to write was because I didn't commit to it. The reason I wrote 80,000 words in thirty days was because I committed myself to write at least 1,000 words a day. Now I average 3,000 daily. Is it painful to force 3,000 words to the page every day? Yes, but that's what you have to do to get the draft finished.

#3 Take your Time

Now I know this goes against what I just said, but it's important that you go at the pace you want to. I was happier writing 1,000 words a day, but I was eighteen then. At twenty-three, I'll never get everything done going at 1,000 words a day. Commit yourself to writing every day, even if its only 200 words. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. You'll get to the finishing line quicker if you jog a steady pace rather than adopting a sprint and rest mentality.

#2 Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Yes, it's important to remember what colour your character's hair is, which one is taller, and what weapon they are carrying. Although with that said, it is important to keep going forward. In my editing, I go over everything with a fine comb, often with a character profile at my side. Don't get bogged down giving every little detail the first time around, you'll have time for that later. The hardest thing is getting it down the first time.

#1 Keep the Story Going at All Costs

This kind of goes without saying, but it is by far the most important step for me. You have to keep moving forward. It doesn't matter if you have to use the biggest Deus ex machina to get your plot going again, you can always edit it away in the re-draft. I use a technique called automatic writing, which means that I don't plan every detail of a chapter. I simply write it as I go. This allows me to give my characters natural reactions as events often come as a surprise to me too.

Obviously it is good to have a rough idea of what is meant to happen, but as long as you can get your characters from A to B, then you are half way there. The other half will be polishing it to the point you can see your reflection.

Good luck, and happy writing.

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4 Steps To Writing a Haiku

It's Fun I Promise

You've probably had to write a haiku for English sometime in your school career. You most likely found it boring, or difficult, or just plain stupid. I am going to try and show you a more fun way to write a haiku.

1. The Basics: What You Should Know

In case you don't know, a haiku is a Japanese poem that is only three lines long. It is usually taught that the syllables in each line should go 5-7-5. But really, as long as there are 17 syllables or less in the three lines, it's a haiku.

2. Write to Get a Reaction

When you write a haiku, you are aiming to get one of three reactions: Aaaahhh, aha!, or ha ha! For example...

Aaahhh: Laying in bed/dog next to me under blanket/my furry heater

Aha!: Life is too short to love people/who do not deserve/your whole heart

Ha ha!: I'm on the toilet/and my stomach drops/the roll is empty

3. Create an Image

In your writing, you want to create a new image in your readers mind with each line. Take my first haiku for example. I first talk about laying in bed. Then, I say there is a dog next to me under the blanket, so you picture a lump under the covers. In my last line, I call him a furry heater so you imagine a heater covered in fur. The image you create is more important than the syllables.

4. Performing

Lastly, you need to think about performing your haiku. As always, when you're speaking in front of a room of people, you need to project so the whole room can hear you and you need to make eye contact. Another thing to remember is the tone of your voice while you are saying your poem. Dramatic pauses can keep people on the edge of their seat, waiting for what you're going to say next. You also have to remember to be confident! And if you're not confident, fake it till you make it!

Cover Image Credit: Imgur

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