If you're like me, you've considered how you would show the films to your loved ones that haven't seen them. In particular, I've considered how I'll be showing the movies to my kids when they're old enough. I've weighed the pros and cons and in my head between having the prequels or the original trilogy first, and I just could never land on a perfect solution for myself.
I came upon the website below that breaks down the main viewing method pros and cons, as well as introducing an all new method to me. I'll be using this new order myself with this Blu-ray set (which I've only just received), but it sounds like it solves many of the issues I have with the other orders. What do you think?
"The Prequels as Flashback
This viewing order is really interesting. You begin with the Original Trilogy and watch Episode IV, 'A New Hope' followed by Episode V, 'The Empire Strikes Back'. But instead of watching Return of the Jedi, you hold off and instead watch the three Prequels. Only after you have finished the prequels do you watch Return of the Jedi to cap off your marathon.
Why it works: This approach tries to reconcile the biggest problems with the chronological and episodic viewing orders: plot and cinematic continuity. The oldest episodes are placed first in the viewing order while the newer episodes are nested in the middle. The climactic finale provided by Episode VI, however, is still retained. Additionally, some of the key dramatic twists are still preserved such as the surprise revelation in Empire Strikes Back about Luke's parentage. The prequel is preceded by a nice cliffhanger from episode V and episode III also serves as a nice cliffhanger before the final culmination of episode VI. The special effects continuity is mostly contained since episodes IV and V have the most dated appearance (episode VI holds up relatively well against the space battles from the Prequels).
Where it fails: In this viewing order the Prequels represent a flashback. This device might be a bit confusing to some viewers. The fact that the flashback is not a short sequence but a full-extended trilogy might also present some problems. One workaround would be to skip Episode I entirely so that the flashback only lasts for two films."