There are casual fans of the Star Wars films, and then there are those for which Star Wars is more than a film franchise — it’s a way of life. Whether you fall into one camp or the other, chances are pretty good that no matter whether you stick to the classics or you can’t get enough of the recent releases in the series, you want to watch them all more than once.
If you own the films on Blu-ray or UHD Blu-ray, this isn’t a problem, but what if you prefer your movies not to take up any space in your living room? It wasn’t all that long ago that it was nearly impossible to watch anything with Star Wars in its name online, unless you were watching a parody video on YouTube. Fortunately, things have changed, and while you may need to look to different services depending on the movie you want to see, it’s possible to watch all the Star Wars you could possibly want using a TV and your internet connection. Let’s run through your options.
(Note: These recommendations are for U.S. residents. International availability varies by region.)
Streaming via subscription
It would be great if we could all just log into our Netflix accounts and queue up our favorite Star Wars films. Unfortunately, Disney/Lucasfilm knows how valuable the franchise is, and only a few of its movies are available via the popular service. In fact, Disney is creating its own streaming service, set to debut this year, to further cash in on the franchise, among its many other properties. Once that’s up, we expect all (or at least most) of the Star Wars movies to be available there.
Fortunately, if you’re looking to watch some of the latest entries in the series, you’re in luck. Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi is available on the service currently, along with Solo: A Star Wars Story, which became available on the service earlier this year.
As far as streaming platforms go, that’s about it. Sadly, none of the Star Wars films are available with subscriptions to Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, PlayStation Vue, or Sling TV. If you want ’em, you’re gonna have to buy ’em.
Let’s backtrack a little bit: none of the Star Wars films are available on other streaming networks yet. In November 2019, Disney will release Disney Plus, its own exclusive streaming platform, and that is going to be absolutely full of Star Wars content.
You’ll be able to watch the first six Star Wars movies and Rogue One on Disney Plus at launch, with the sequel trilogy and Solo arriving sometime within the service’s first year. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg, though. Disney Plus will also be the only place where you can find The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars television series, the Diego Luna-led Rogue One prequel series, and the latest season of The Clone Wars.
Presumably, you’ll also be able to watch Rebels and Resistance on Disney Plus, too — we already know that other Disney Channel and Disney XD programming will be there — and Disney says that it has some behind-the-scenes documentaries in the works as well. Disney seems to be positioning Disney Plus as the go-to place for Star Wars content while the theatrical movies take a little break, so if you’re a dedicated fan, Disney Plus is more or less a necessity.
Like most cable companies, DirecTV allows customers to stream content on demand in addition to watching it live on television. With a DirecTV account, you can stream Disney’s animated Star Wars Rebels at no additional cost. The service offers 58 episodes total — most of the first three seasons, plus a bit of the fourth — 57 of which are available online, so you can almost binge your way through the whole series. DirecTV has a section for Star Wars Resistance, too, but it’s fairly empty; as of this writing, there’s only one random episode available to watch online. At least it’s a pretty good one!
If you’re a cable or satellite customer, but you don’t have DirecTV, there’s another option for watching Star Wars Rebels: Straight from the source. Head over to Disney’s XD page, sign in with your cable or satellite provider (assuming you pay for a package that gets the XD channel), and voilà! You’re now able to watch every Rebels episode ever aired, save the four “shorts” released in 2014 ahead of the series premiere.
This also holds true for the recent Star Wars Resistance animated series, which is available on the Disney Now app or Disney XD website. The entire first season is available to stream exclusively through Disney.
Now that we’ve covered all of the (limited) options for streaming Star Wars content, let’s move on to the most feasible method: Just buying it. If you’re a big fan, purchasing the films digitally isn’t such a bad idea — if you’re going to watch them every year or so, the investment will eventually pay off. If not, well, you don’t really have a choice — although sites like iTunes and Amazon usually offer movie rentals, the first six Star Wars movies are noticeably nowhere to be found (the newest films can be rented in some places). Evidently, Disney decided that offering rentals wasn’t in its best interests.
That said, the Movies Anywhere initiative allows users to watch any Disney films purchased digitally from one platform, regardless of where you buy them. It’s a cool program for library consolidation purposes, though we expect that if you’re buying one movie from Amazon, you probably buy most movies from Amazon. Still, with Microsoft recently joining Movies Anywhere, it means you can buy from any of the sites below, with the exception of YouTube, and watch wherever you want.
Amazon is the first place most people go to buy stuff online, and it’s a fine choice for Star Wars fans, too. Each of the nine feature-length films is available for digital purchase; pricing for HD purchases ranges from $15 to $20, depending which movie you want and which version you want (bonus content, etc.).
You can also buy the animated series —— via Amazon for $3 per episode or by season (prices vary), or rent the four most recent films ($3 to $6).
YouTube’s Movies section also offers all the official Star Wars content for purchase. Despite our earlier comments, you can actually rent some Star Wars films from YouTube — unfortunately, you can only rent Episode VII, Episode VIII, Rogue One, and Solo for between $4 and $6. Otherwise, you’ll have to take the plunge and buy. As with Amazon, pricing varies between $15 and $20.
If you want to watch Rebels, YouTube is a good place to get it — the whole series is available for purchase, either by season or by episode. High-definition is a bit more expensive, as you might expect. Clone Wars is also here, as is Resistance’s first season. Someone also uploaded a compilation of the 2003 Clone Wars series, created by Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack) — it’s not canon, but you can watch it here for free.
Like Amazon and YouTube, Google has all nine movies for you to buy — in HD, they’re all between $15 and $20 — plus the option to rent Rogue One, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and Solo. Rebels is also here — all four seasons — for $3 per episode, or you can buy full seasons for slight discounts. The same goes for Clone Wars and Resistance.
Just like the other options above, you can buy all the movies via iTunes, as well as Clone Wars, Rebels, and Resistance or you can rent one of the four newest films (note that Solo is slightly more expensive than the rest). Not all the content is available in standard definition, though.
As you’ve probably surmised by now, most of the options here are fairly similar — it simply depends which ecosystem you prefer to invest in. Microsoft’s store is actually a bit more limited; none of the animated series are available here, though all nine films are at similar pricing as the choices mentioned above. Microsoft also has a six-film bundle that includes Episode I through Episode VI for $90, which is $30 cheaper than buying them all individually (other services used to offer similar deals, but outside of Microsoft), it looks like they’re no longer available
- The future of Star Wars: All the known movies and TV series coming your way
- Disney confirms it will take a break from Star Wars movies after Episode IX
- Everything we know about the rumored Obi-Wan Kenobi movie
- The Mandalorian: What we know about Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series
- Disney Plus: Our first look at Disney’s impressive new $7 streamer