After watching all of the Star Wars films over the last couple of weeks, leading up to and including The Last Jedi, here are my official Star Wars rankings of all the films, from worst to best. This list only includes the main films (Episodes I–VIII and Rogue One), and not the smaller television films (I don’t love Star Wars that much to hunt them down and watch them. 🙂
The first in the timeline is also the first in my list, and this is for one reason and one reason only: Jar Jar Binks. There really isn’t much separating The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, but just the inclusion and importance of Jar Jar Binks sneaks Attack of the Clones marginally above this one. Poor acting, poor dialogue, a poor story, poor characters, poor film. However it does look and sound beautiful, so . . . silver linings.
It was a difficult choice: did I hate Jar Jar Binks or Hayden Christensen more. I went with Jar Jar so this gets a nod above, but my God is Hayden Christensen poor in this film. Not only his acting but the dialogue and story they give him (from hating sand because it ‘gets everywhere’ and stalking Padme throughout the film) is simply awful. Ewan McGregor is alright, I suppose, but he’s opposite Hayden Christensen so any actor would surely look good by comparison. A film with too much talking, too much Hayden Christensen, too much Jar Jar Binks (even his two scenes are too much) and too much nothingness happening for lengthy periods.
I started these films in timeline order and it was quite impressive how each film bettered the last. But it doesn’t take much to better any of these films. Revenge of the Sith actually has a half-decent story (with Anakin’s turn to the dark side) albeit oddly paced with too much nothingness still happening and Hayden Christensen still there. If his acting score in Attack of the Clones was a score of 0.5/10, then in Revenge of the Sith he’s at about 0.6/10. Better, but barely. Easily the best of the prequel trilogy, but still a poor film.
While the final instalment in the prequel trilogy was the greatest of those three, the final instalment in the original trilogy is unfortunately the worst. I didn’t care much for the opening scene of rescuing Han Solo taking 35 minutes, and a lot thereafter is given too much time on certain scenes where the battle between good and evil should have been the focus. And Ewoks.
There really isn’t much separating Return of the Jedi and Rogue One to me; Jedi has much more investible characters yet Rogue One has a much greater scene, and ultimately the battle scene at Scarif made the decision for me. Rogue One was pretty mediocre for the first half, mainly due to the lack of characters to care about, but the final act’s battle on Scarif was brilliant, so it gets the nod in a close-fought race.
A very entertaining return to the Star Wars franchise, as the first of the sequel trilogy reintroduces a new generation of fans to the franchise. Its biggest criticism from me is its similarities to A New Hope, but while I absolutely loved Daisy Ridley and Rey, the whole unit in A New Hope matched that, and the fact that The Force Awakens blows up another death star with the use of another droid holding another secret before the villain with another family drama just helps A New Hope pip this out of the top 3.
The very first Star Wars film, later known as the first instalment in the original trilogy, A New Hope introduces us to Luke, Leia, Han Solo and Darth Vader, as well as a whole bunch of others, and some of them are still the focus of the movies to this day. The story is entertaining, the characters are fun and the score and visual effects are beautiful. A very fun film.
The most recent film released, The Last Jedi is a fantastic action-adventure film elaborating on all the characters and their emotions that The Force Awakens introduced us to. Beautiful soundtrack, beautiful visual effects, Daisy Ridley is once-again fantastic and, further to that point, is the best-acted film in the franchise. A very close second-place.
The greatest Star Wars movie, and a lot of people hold the same opinion, The Empire Strikes Back is an action-filled jam-packed beautiful adventure. It perfectly builds on the world created by A New Hope while setting up the ultimately underwhelming Return of the Jedi, with amazing characters, fine acting and a story that never lets up. It will take a fantastic, fantastic entry into this list to top this film.
What’s your Star Wars rankings? 🙂