Yesterday, my brother & his wife hosted a marathon showing of the so-called 'Prequels' of the Star Wars movies, Episode I,II, & III. He played it on the projector screen & we had a fun time. We are anticipating the release of "The Force Awakens" this month with viewings of the existing saga.
It was the first time some of the girls there had ever seen any Star Wars movies. My girlfriend is watching the series in 'machete' order. On our own, we've watched Episode IV: "A New Hope" & Espisode V: "Empire Strikes Back". Yesterday she had to do work for nursing classes, so she missed Episode I- but watched II & III. She was resistant to the whole "Star Wars" mass culture phenomenon, at first. With only "Return of the Jedi" left to see, she has come to enjoy them, especially Yoda. "Return of the Jedi" is my favorite movie of the original trilogy, with the culmination of the Skywalker/Vader story. Missing Episode I: "The Phantom Menace" did not take away from her experience. That is my least favorite movie of the entire saga, so far, so I didn't think she'd be missing too much. Besides the horrible Jar-Jar character (unless he's a secret Sith Lord), Episode I is just okay.
The prequels get progressively better. Despite my love for the movies, I've criticized many of George Lucas's descisions. However, I don't agree with people who criticize the prequels to the point of not wanting to recognize them at all. Even after watching them again, I personally think Episode II: "Attack of the Clones" is a great movie, and Episode III: "Revenge of the Sith" is an awesome movie. The tragic story of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader is one of the most compelling hero journeys in fictional history.
It will be interesting to see how the Star Wars story is continued in the future films that Disney plans to produce.