Ranking The Star Wars Films

Now I get it. If you have watched Two Beers Deep in the past (which you should have) one of my articles was a ranking of the Star Wars films. However, I had not seen Rise of Skywalker until this past weekend and now I feel like I have a clean slate to work with and finish this ranking. I also re-watched the other films (because I have no life) and took down some more notes on certain aspects.

Their are 11 films in total so enough of the talking. You don’t wanna hear me yap. You wanna know which Star Wars movies are the worst and which are the best. So without further ado, let’s get started. Oh and if you haven’t seen these films yet because you were hiding under a rock or something here is your warning.

*Spoiler Alert*

11.) Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Let’s start from the ground and work our way up. The Phantom Menace comes in dead last simply because it is the worst of the entire franchise. The whole movie has a lot of trade negotiations and exposition, but not a lot of anything else. There is no tension to this film at all. The dialogue was bad, the special effects look very outdated and it honestly just felt like Lucas was explaining everything to us because he thinks we are too stupid to understand any of this. Oh and Jar Jar… I am just leaving it at that. Darth Maul and the Podracer scene still are the best parts of this movie, but overall this was a huge letdown for everything waiting for the Prequel Series to start.

10.) Episode II: Attack of the Clones

The prequel slum continues as at number ten we find Episode II: Attack of the Clones a runner up for last place. The only reason this beats out the Phantom Menace was because Jar Jar was severely limited in terms of dialogue, the ending Jedi scene was incredible and Jango Fett was awesome in this movie. No matter what the critics said. However, this movie followed the same programmed formula from George Lucas as the first one. A lot of exposition and talking with some of the worst acting from Hayden Christensen. I mean him alone just made this movie suck with his bratty/whiny attitude and creepy love for Padme. How could this be Darth Vader? Awful…

9.) Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

By far my least favorite of the new franchise. This movie is literally nothing, but a giant chase scene with added story line pieces that just didn’t quite intrigue me as a normal Star Wars film would. Granted seeing how Ben Solo became Kylo Ren was interesting and Rey’s training with Luke was also fun to see, but overall I did not like the feel of this movie as much as other candidates. Maybe if the directors would just agree on a simple story instead of trying to make their own films then maybe this would be a better one, but sadly it is not.

8.) Solo: A Star Wars Story

My original rank had this movie dead last, but after watching it I gained a better respect for it. To be fair, the main reason why this film is near the bottom and not the top is because they don’t really go into detail on Solo at all. Sure you see that he met Chewbacca and Lando and how he got the Falcon and the famous run it went on, but the character development wasn’t there for me at all. You just see them going on adventures and while that might seem cool to others, it just wasn’t in my ballpark of what I expected.

7.) Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

I finally was able to see this movie this past weekend, and it felt like a proper ending to the saga. There are some great moments in this film such as the internal struggle in both Rey and Ben Solo (aka Kylo Ren), having Leia and Ben die together was poetic and well received by myself, and the lightsaber fight between Rey and Ben was incredible.

However, there are some huge plot holes in this film. The big one being how did Palpetine survive? It clearly looked like he blew up in Episode VI, but instead they have him looking like a zombie hooked up to a machine. Also, he just kept that fleet of Star Destroyers in the ice this whole time? Seems unlikely. Finally, to me this film felt a little rushed almost like playing an adventure mode in a video game with having to find certain items to lead to a location only to face the final boss at the end. It was good, but not better than the ones on the rest of this ranking.

6.) Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Probably an unfavorable one, but I’ll explain. There were a lot of issues I had with this film looking at it now to when I was growing up. As a kid, I loved this movie and thought it was one of the best. I look at it differently as an adult. First, Why build another Death Star when the first one didn’t work out? Two, while the Storm Troopers miss a lot when shooting, there is no way in hell they would be overrun by the little furry creatures known as Ewoks. Three, they just kill Boba Fett like that? He’s gonna fall in a giant mouth in the sand and get swallowed up. An interesting approach, but one that I certainly wasn’t a fan of.

However, there were really great moments in this film. Seeing Luke internally struggle with facing Vader knowing he’s his father was marvelous and seeing Vader come to his senses and help “kill” Palpetine was a sight to see. Overall, probably my least favorite of the original trilogy so that is why it stands at six.

5.) Episode VII: The Force Awakens

While there were some little issues I have with the film, it turned out to be a great addition and an awesome start to a very later confusing trilogy of films. A new villain Kylo Ren leads the new rising empire “The First Order” trying to snuff out the Resistance. We find a stormtrooper “Finn” betrays the empire and runs into Rey a scavenger from the Planet Jakku. Together with the droid BB-8, they look to bring a piece of the unfinished map to find Luke Skywalker to the Resistance. It is there they run into Han Solo, Chewbacca and eventually Leia.

This movie had great moments like when the audience realized Rey was set to become the Jedi and not Finn despite Finn having the lightsaber in a good bit of the film. Also Kylo killing his father Han was a heartbreaking moment for fans. The reason it is lower than expected is because to me it kinda feels like a re-run of A New Hope which many might disagree, but that is my take.

4.) Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

This was by far the greatest of the prequel trilogy and my personal favorite of that particular saga. Episode III had some problems, but overall it was a crazy experience to see it especially in theaters. The story picks up where the original mini Clone Wars series took place with the Separatists capturing Chancellor Palpetine and we see Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker race to the rescue to save him.

From then on you had some great moments. Like the reveal that Palpatine was the Sith Lord the Jedi have been searching for, the multiple lightsaber battles, and Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side. Probably the most heart pounding moment came with Order 66. With this I witnessed the Jedi Order being destroyed having been betrayed and murdered by the Clones that once served them. Finally, the greatest moment came with the lightsaber battle between Obi-Wan and Anakin with Obi-Wan coming out on top cutting down Anakin until he is rebuilt as Darth Vader.

There was one thing that I had trouble accepting though after watching it a few times though and that was Anakin’s actual turn to the Dark Side. Seems like he just didn’t put up a fight and accepted it after Mace Windu was murdered. I wish they could have built on that a little bit better.

3.) Rogue One

Simply put, you either loved this movie or you hated it and I loved it. You could tell because it seemed different than other Star Wars films, but it had a purpose. This movie was connecting the lines between Episode III and Episode IV as to how the rebels acquired the Death Star plans in the first place. There were no lightsaber battles, and it seemed almost incomplete when you thought about it at first until you watched the film.

Hands down the greatest moment in this film was seeing how the rebels transferred the plans from the main ship to the ship we see in Episode IV. All you hear in the dark at one point is Vader breathing and then his lightsaber ignites and he full on gashes the rebels. Ultimately, he is unsuccessful retrieving the plans leading to Episode IV. There was also great character development in a new set of rebels that we actually believed they might make it out in the end. Sadly, they don’t and they make the ultimate sacrifice in the saga with their efforts in this film.

2.) Episode IV: A New Hope

The one that started it all. Episode IV was groundbreaking for the time and launched memories that would last until now and honestly probably later on as well. The story tells of a rebel alliance fighting a war against a galactic empire set on ruling the galaxy and crushing all that oppose them. Led by their leader, Darth Vader the Empire looks to secure a set of plans to destroy their ultimate weapon; The Death Star, a station that can destroy entire planets. The plans get secured with two droids who end up falling into the hands of the protagonist, a young farm boy named Luke. From then on we meet multiple characters like Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Ben Kenobi as they with the rebels try to oppose the Empire.

I loved this film. A war in space are you kidding me? That is freaking awesome. There were some great moments in this movie. Obi-Wan and Darth Vader battling one last time, the developments with all the characters and the space battle was un-freaking real. The only reason it is two is because in my mind it can’t compete with our number one even though there is virtually nothing wrong with it.

1.) Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Did anyone think this wasn’t gonna make number one man? Damn this probably isn’t only the best Star Wars movie, but it is in the runnings for my favorite film of all time. The plot comes after the Death Star is destroyed with the rebels hiding on Hoth. Vader discovers them and sends his forces having our heroes flee on their separate journeys. Luke to train with Yoda and the rest of the crew trying to escape the Empire.

Like I said this is one of my favorite films of all time and there are many great moments in this to explain why. The Hoth battle scenes against the Imperial Walkers, the lightsaber battles, the dialogue, the fighter scene in the asteroid field, Boba Fett, the finale on Bespin etc… Everything was amazing in this film.

The main things I enjoyed however were the character developments being expanded in not just Luke with his training with Yoda, but the relationship between Han and Leia as well as the anger and brutality growing within Darth Vader. Absolutely brilliant.

Another aspect of this film I enjoyed was how dark it was. The first movie was very fun while adventurous, but this one was very tense and made you think wow they could all die here. The one thing we took as an audience though was that Vader never killed Luke’s father, he was Vader’s father. It was the best twist in cinema history and hands down why this is the best Star Wars movie ever.

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