Ah, Star Wars. One of the most popular franchises of all time, and one that has grown to massive heights ever since its debut in 1977. And on today, May the Fourth, in order to honor the franchise, I shall be reviewing and ranking all of the movies that have been broadcast, from worst to best.
Let’s begin, and may the force be with you.
14. Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (1984)
Yes, I know this is technically “non-canon”, but you know what, it’s on Disney Plus, it has Ewoks, and it was officially made, so I’m counting it.
This film is a very strange addition to the Star Wars universe, featuring a narration, and not a mention of a lightsaber or Jedi in sight. And sadly, it’s not very good either. Bad child acting, indeed, bad human acting in general, a story without a sense of urgency until the final part and flat characters makes the movie a chore to sit through.
At least the music manages to have somewhat of a Star Wars feel. And as for the titular Ewoks, they actually may be the best part of the movie, in spite of the issues.
13. The Phantom Menace (1999)
What more is there to say, that hasn’t already been said? The first prequel of the franchise may have a few nice moments here and there, but it’s plagued with slow pacing, bad jokes, and a lack of the “war” that makes up the franchise. Even fans of the prequels can admit that the film is not exactly the best of the bunch.
12. The Clone Wars (2008)
The television show of The Clone Wars is one of the greatest pieces of Star Wars media to have ever been produced. In particular, Seasons Three to Seven contain some of the best storytelling that I’ve seen in the universe. The movie that started it all however, isn’t exactly the greatest. The humor doesn’t land well at all, and the story feels lackluster in comparison to what came before and what is to come.
However, the movie does deliver on action, and introduces us to some of the best characters in the TV show, even if they aren’t quite fully formed yet.
11. The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
The final film in the sequel trilogy is unfortunately the worst of the three, an opinion often shared by both fans and critics of the series. With forced retcons, a messy storyline, the sidling of Rose Tico, and an ending that adds nothing new to the story, the movie unfortunately won’t stick besides a couple of hours of popcorn entertainment.
10. Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985)
Despite having a more fantasy based story in place of science fiction (the main villains base in an actual castle), the sequel to Caravan of Courage manages to improve on the original, and feels more like a Star Wars movie. Although the acting still has problems, the darker tone, shock twist at the beginning, and more streamlined story make this film a much easier watch.
9. Attack of the Clones (2002)
While some of the more rough elements of the prequels still exist in the film, it’s ultimately much more exciting then its predecessor, with a pretty good third act. And while “I hate sand” may be a terrible line, the memes that it has produced more than make up for it.
8. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
It’s not a bad film by any means, but it doesn’t quite manage to fully stick the landing. It does give us some time with Han Solo, and has some good, exciting action sequences, but it doesn’t quite manage to reach the same level as Rogue One.
7. The Last Jedi (2017)
Ah, The Last Jedi. Perhaps the most controversial Star Wars film ever made, with some praising it to high heavens, and others declaring it to be the embodiment of Satan. As for me, I have two views on the film. On one hand, it’s nice to see a more indie perspective on Star Wars, and to have the film go into some new directions and territory.
On the other hand, however, it does have its pacing problems, and it derails the entire character arc of Finn, leaving a bit of a bad taste behind.
It’s a complicated movie, and one which I still don’t quite have a definitive opinion on, but I do believe that neither side, both positive and negative, is completely correct in their assessment.
6. The Force Awakens (2015)
While it gets a few points taken off for being a re-tread of A New Hope, the film does manage to bring a new dynamic of characters, and is an entertaining movie on its own. Finn in particular manages to bring a new perspective to the Star Wars universe, that makes the whole film worthwhile.
5. A New Hope (1977)
The one and only original, this movie has definitely earned its status as a classic. It provides a new take on science fiction, and has a style that revolutionized the genre. Even though I don’t consider it my favorite movie of the series, it is certainly the most influential, and indeed, the soul of the entire story.
4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
While it does feel a little messy at times, it’s a good film that provides a new perspective on the universe. Combine that with a surprise ending for the main characters that no other Star Wars movie ever has done, the movie is among some of the best.
3. Revenge of the Sith (2005)
The last of the prequel trilogy, and undoubtedly the best of it. The jump in quality is simply amazing to see, and this film provides a dark and brutal end to the three films that makes the other two worthwhile.
And of course, who can forget the many memes that the movie has spawned? That alone gives it multiple points in my book.
2. Return of the Jedi (1983)
The final act of the original trilogy, and an exciting one at that. Delivering on a satisfying closure, it’s a movie that every Star Wars fan should see at least once.
1.The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Some may prefer A New Hope, but even they can’t deny the fact that The Empire Strikes Back is a sequel that manages to faithfully build on the original, while also providing something new. Giving us a darker look at the universe, providing us with new characters that have become fan favorites, and a twist that has become engrained into our pop culture, the movie stands as one of the greatest of the franchise, perhaps even cinema itself.