Now that the “Skywalker saga” (who decided we were calling it that?) has “ended” and Disney has put its Star Wars films “on hiatus”, seems like an ideal time to review which are the best, yes? So here they are: my Star Wars movie rankings.
These are my favourite movies, the ones I enjoy watching the most (and least). It’s not a list based on filmmaking or technical prowess or anything other than “I like it.”
11. Attack of the Clones
There can’t possibly be any argument here, can there?
10. Revenge of the Sith
I think most Star Wars movie rankings would have this movie as the best of the prequels, and maybe it is, but it also had the most potential of any of them and completely squandered it. We’re supposed to see Anakin Skywalker become the most fearsome villain in the galaxy (finally!) and instead all we get is 10 seconds of him screaming “nooo” like a nine-year-old throwing a temper tantrum. Come on, man.
9. The Phantom Menace
This is a terrible movie and yet I can forgive a lot more of it than I can the other two prequels; the expectations were so sky-high, nothing was ever going to live up to it, and George Lucas just decided “fuck it, this is the story I want to tell” and he went for it. And hey, the lightsaber fight is cool. And “Duel of the Fates“!
8. Solo: A Star Wars Story
I remain convinced that this cast could have made a good Han Solo Star Wars film. Unfortunately this isn’t it. Did anyone ask for a greatest hits montage of all the things we know about Han Solo’s past? Why not just, I don’t know… tell a good story? Sigh. Unfortunately this film’s box office “failure” means this cast won’t get a chance to make it right, and that’s a bummer.
7. The Rise of Skywalker
JJ Abrams said of Emperor Palpatine, ” his absence entirely from the third trilogy would be conspicuous. It would be very weird.” And I say… weird to whom!? Guess what: He’s not in the five best films on this list. And features heavily in the three worst. And wouldn’t it be weirder for him to be in the third film of the trilogy when he’s not even mentioned in the first two? Sigh. Read more of my The Rise of Skywalker thoughts here.
6. Return of the Jedi
Most people dislike Return of the Jedi because of the Ewoks. I don’t hate Ewoks! The “smallest people are the most easily overlooked” is a classic fantasy trope and I’m fine with it being part of Star Wars. I don’t like the gags and kiddie humour Lucas injected into them, but that’s not their fault. If we want to get into things I hate, well, the musical number in Jabba’s palace would be a good place to start…
5. Rogue One
Rogue One and The Last Jedi are neck-and-neck here. I think the only reason The Last Jedi gets the nod is that this one takes a little while to get going. The second half is incredibly entertaining, however. Although I still think it should have ended with Darth Vader looking at Princess Leia’s ship escaping, rather than with CGI Princess Leia.
4. The Last Jedi
If Rian Johnson never makes another Star Wars film because Lucasfilm decided to kowtow to a bunch of online shitheads, that will be a real shame. This movie kicks ass.
3. The Force Awakens
Unlike The Last Jedi, which has the entire Canto Bight side quest, there is not one part of this film I don’t enjoy watching. I think it’s probably the most fun Star Wars film. It’s like pure joy to me.
2. The Empire Strikes Back
It’s the best film, and it’s not worth even arguing about. It’s light-years ahead of anything else on the list…
1. Star Wars
… But the original is still my favourite. As great as The Empire Strikes Back is, as much as I love The Force Awakens, nothing transports me back to the galaxy far, far away like the original. When I was maybe five years old, we recorded this on TV — on our betamax VCR, of course — and I (too young to work the VCR) asked my mom to “put Star Wars on for me” pretty much every single day, for probably three straight months. That sense of wonder kept me going back there over and over back then, and still does today.
There you have it, my Star Wars movie rankings. When we will get another film to add to the list? Who knows, but it looks like I’ll have the opportunity to do a Star Wars TV show ranking before then! (Star Wars: Rebels forever!)