I have been a devout Star Wars super fan since I was about 10 years old. I was first introduced to Star Wars in 1997 when the special editions were released on VHS. I can remember opening up that gold Darth Vader boxset and watching the movies over and over and over again. My brother and I would watch it so much that my grandmother actually told my parents to get us a new movie to watch! Sorry granny! With the ‘The Last Jedi’ now less than 100 days from hitting cinemas, my Star Wars geek flag is out and proud! And then it occurred to me. Ever since Rogue One was released on DVD, I’ve never watched the movies in chronological order! Now that I have, it’s time to rank every Star Wars movie from best to worst.
Episode II: Attack Of The Clones
I rank Attack of the Clones as my least favourite in the Star Wars franchise because it suffers the most from the prequels biggest flaw – bad acting. The other prequels get away with it more because the story is a lot more fast paced, jumping from one set piece to the next. Attack of the Clones has a very slow middle act in order to build on the blossoming romance between Anakin Skywalker and Senator Amidala. I don’t really think it’s the actors faults to be honest. The franchise has some incredible actors such as Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor and they do their best with what they are given. It’s just unfortunately very wooden and at times cringe-worthy to watch. It’s not all bad though – the Coruscant chase scene is great as is following Obi-Wan as he investigates the assassination attempts on Senator Amidala. And then there is of course, the massive battle at the end that begins the Clone Wars. There is some dodgy CG (you see the same generic Jedi performing the same moves in the background) and you don’t see any of the Jedi council bar the main ones fight but it’s still exhilarating nonetheless.
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
I can remember the first time I saw The Phantom Menace. My parents bought it on video for me and my brother and I think we watched it on loop for days on end. It was an absolute thrill from beginning to end. I was about twelve at the time and now that I’m older, I can see the flaws that people has issue with. But let’s focus on the good first. Firstly, I love that The Phantom Menace is very much it’s own movie. There are subtle references to the other films but it’s story is very unique and I love that. I also love the vibe of the movie – the diverse planets from the bright lights of Coruscant to the rolling greens of Naboo. And then there are the action scenes which are still some of the best in the franchise. The final fight between Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul? Best in the franchise by far. So let’s now talk about the elephant in the room – Jar Jar Binks. Look, I get it. He’s awful. What on earth was going on in George Lucas’ mind? He’s the worst character in the entire franchise by far but I did like the Gungans as a whole, just not Jar Jar.
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
There is a lot of stuff that I really like about The Force Awakens. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are great new protagonists for the franchise as Rey and Finn. They have good chemistry with one another and are capable actors. It’s also amazing to see the old cast again – in particular Leia who is totally my favourite. My issue with The Force Awakens is that it’s not a very fresh story. The bad guys are looking for a droid that has valuable information, the main hero from a desert planet gets caught in the fight and is revealed to have Jedi abilities. There’s also a massive super weapon called Starkiller Base so basically a super duper Death Star. I understand why they played it safe but did it really need to rehash so much of A New Hope?
Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith
Revenge of the Sith is by far the best of the prequel movies. Why? Well it’s a lot darker than the other movies, losing much of the light and humour of the first two. And it needs that, it’s the end of the Jedi and the rise of the Sith after all. The Battle of Coruscant is fun to watch and Hayden Christensen is a lot better in the role of Anakin Skywalker here. You can see the turmoil in him building throughout the movie which ultimately leads him to fall to the Dark Side of the Force. There are still some dodgy scenes (mainly the Anakin/Padmé scenes) but they are still a lot better here. Revenge of the Sith truly excels though from the middle act onwards when Palpatine reveals himself to the Jedi, kills Mace Windu and enacts Order 66. Seeing the Jedi be murdered across the galaxy is such a sad and shocking moment although you’d expect them to put up more of a fight tbh (I’m looking at you Aayla Secura). The two final fights between Obi-Wan and Anakin/Yoda and Palpatine are pure popcorn brilliance. Yoda could have totally won if he hadn’t lost his lightsaber tbh. They also pack quite a lot in at the end – the Death Star construction, Alderaan and the death of Padmé. It’s all quite sad actually seeing evil win although we know that they don’t stay winning for that long.
Episode IV: A New Hope
That first moment where you see the Star Destroyer fill your TV screen and go on and on and on is still one of the finest moments in the franchise. From that single scene, you realise the scale of the Star Wars franchise. As the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope will always hold a special place in everyones hearts. Luke, Leia and Han are the best trio of protagonists in any movie franchise ever with Vader being the most iconic building. I haven’t actually seen the original version of the movie, only the 1997 re-release but I like most of the new additions bar the dodgy Jabba CG. AND HAN SHOT FIRST!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The only movie currently that is outside of the main saga movies and boy, Rogue One has set the bar high. For some, the issue that it’s about the Death Star feels unoriginal but I actually really like that this movie is telling you the story of what happened just before A New Hope. How did the Rebels get the plans to the Death Star? There’s a lot of planet hopping at the start but once the characters are introduced, it’s just one brilliant set piece to the next. One of my favourite scenes is when the Death Star blocks out the sun on Jedha before using it’s laser to destroy Jedha City. It’s fantastic artistry. But the film truly excels in the final 3rd act when the Rebels infiltrate Scarif – from the exciting space battle to the fighting on the planet, it’s balls to the wall brilliance.
Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi
The final movie in the original trilogy and most people’s least favourite of the three but I love it. A lot of people had issue with the Ewoks but I actually thought it was a really good idea. The Empire spent decades exterminating and abusing alien species so it was great to then see a relatively primitive race defeat Imperial forces in the battle of Endor. The space battle is my favourite in the franchise, I stan so hard for the Rebel Fleet. It was good to also finally meet the Emperor who is totally more evil than Vader. Although I’m still mad that Lucas added in that awful ‘NOOOOOOO’ when Vader kills the Emperor! Before you could sense the turmoil in Vader, there was absolutely no need to add that in!
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
As if it was going to be anything else? The Empire Strikes Back is not only the absolute ultimate Star Wars movie, it’s the ultimate movie ever! It takes everything that worked from the first movie that worked and ranks it up to an eleven. You are fully invested in the relationships between characters and the action never really lets up. The Battle of Hoth is iconic and it still amazes me that they were able to do that without the use of CG. But the true iconic moment of this movie is the feelings between Leia and Han. They have such great chemistry between one another. That scene where Leia tells Han she loves him and he responds with ‘I know’ – amazing and heartbreaking. Just brilliant.
With The Last Jedi only a couple of months away and the Han Solo movie due in 2018, it’s likely that this ordering will change. But that’s not a bad thing, I just want more Star Wars in my life. What are your favourite Star Wars movies? Let me know in the comments below and as always, thanks for reading.