Where to watch the Star Wars movies in New Zealand

A long time ago, it used to be relatively simple to binge the entire Star Wars saga: three movies if you like it classic, six if you’re a completionist or a sadist. Boom.

But now, with an additional three films from the sequel trilogy, a few feature-length spin-offs, and a rapidly growing TV canon, undertaking a Star Wars marathon is a task of Jedi-like will and endurance. At least all the Star Wars titles in existence can be streamed in the one place: on Disney+, the home of George Lucas’ pop culture phenomenon.

The story began in 1977 with A New Hope, then just titled “Star Wars”, and only got better with The Empire Strikes Back, still popularly considered the greatest film in the franchise. Luke Skywalker’s (first) arc concluded with the also-pretty-good Return of the Jedi in 1983.

Fanboy hype built up to galactic levels until 1999, when The Phantom Menace took us back in time to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s training days. The film was a ghastly critical flop, and Attack of the Clones didn’t soothe fan rage with its irritating romantic plot between Anakin and Padme. Finally bridging the divide between then and now, Revenge of the Sith made a lot of improvements and helped the prequel trilogy go down smoother.

Once Disney bought the rights to the space opera saga and announced a sparkly new set of sequels, contemporary fandom would never be the same. Fans ate up the scene-setting, fairly predictable The Force Awakens, were furious at the apparent slander of Luke Skywalker’s return in The Last Jedi, and ultimately seemed to get a bit sick of Star Wars with limp trilogy conclusion The Rise of Skywalker.

Did that stop the interplanetary merch train chuggin’ along? Nope, as the “Star Wars stories” Rogue One (a gritty resistance heist) and Solo (a confused Han Solo backstory) proved.

If you prefer your Jedis and Siths in an episodic, made-for-small-screen format, Disney+ is also the home of way too many Star Wars series. The Clone Wars, The Bad Batch and Visions are all animated, whilst The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and this year’s Obi-Wan Kenobi reintroduce us to beloved live-action figures of sequels past.

Just as Jedis need the Force, Star Wars fans need a Disney+ subscription to (legally, at least) witness every lightsaber clash and TIE fighter woosh in the franchise’s history. May the monthly subscription fee be with you.