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What order to watch "Star Wars" before seeing "The Force Awakens"

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will soon grace the big screen -- but before you settle into your theater seat, you may want to re-watch (or perhaps even watch for the first time) the hit franchise.

But, with six films -- spanning decades -- in which order should you see the films? We have a recommended run-down below.

Happy viewing, and may the Force be with you!

The first trilogy is a must-watch:

1- "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope"

"Star Wars," or "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope," is the first film in the long-running franchise from George Lucas. Released in 1977, the space epic stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, Anthony Daniels, Peter Cushing, Kenny Baker and Peter Mayhew. This installment centers on the Rebel Alliance, led by Princess Leia (Fisher), and its attempt to destroy the Galactic Empire's space station, the Death Star.

2- Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

"The Empire Strikes Back," a fan favorite in the franchise, soared into theaters in 1980 with Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Frank Oz. Directed by Irvin Kershner, the movie was written by "Star Wars" creator George Lucas.

Set three years after "Episode IV," this second installment follows the villainous Darth Vader and the Emperor Palpatine, who are in pursuit of Luke Skywalker and the rest of the Rebel Alliance. In 2010, "The Empire Strikes Back" was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

3- "Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi"

Directed by Richard Marquand, 1983's "Return of the Jedi" is the third film in the space saga, also written and executive produced by George Lucas. Set a year after "The Empire Strikes Back," the movie stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Frank Oz. It was the first film to use THX technology. In this edition, the evil Galactic Empire, under the direction of the ruthless Emperor Palpatine, is constructing a second Death Star with the hopes of crushing the Rebel Alliance for good.

Then there are the prequels, which came years later. "Star Wars" aficionados are mixed on these thre films, and many would even say they are skip-worthy. But they do provide some background information, includingthe stories behind the Jedi and Dark Vader.

4- "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones"

George Lucas was back in the director's seat for this 2002 prequel, starring Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and Frank Oz. "Episode II" is the second installment of the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, set 10 years after the events in "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace," when the galaxy is on the verge of civil war.

5- "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith"

In 2005, came "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," written and directed by George Lucas. The third installment of the prequel trilogy stars Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and Frank Oz. Set three years after the start of Clone Wars, the Jedi Knights are spread out across the galaxy leading a major clone army in the war against the Separatists.

Short on time? Skip: "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace"

Released in 1999, 16 years after "Return of the Jedi," "Episode I" stars Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Pernilla August and Frank Oz. It takes place 32 years before the original film and follows Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, as they protect Queen Amidala, in hopes of a peaceful end to trade dispute.

If you want to watch the franchise chronologically, then go for it! In that case, the order is as follows: Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

And when you're done with all that, you'll be ready for "The Force Awakens," in theaters wide on Friday.

Directed, co-produced and co-written by J. J. Abrams, the seventh installment stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Max von Sydow. It marks the first movie in the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy. Which means there's plenty more to come...