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From Bad to Great: Ranking the Star Wars Movies

Ranking all twelve installments in the Star Wars Franchise!

No one hates Star Wars like a Star Wars fan, truly. I've never had so much to complain about from something I love so much. Let's get into it: these are all the Star Wars movies, ranked.

Some Ground Rules

I know this list is bound to make someone angry. Whether you're a prequel apologist or a original trilogy gatekeeper, everyone's got something to say. But look: this is my opinion, just mine. That doesn't mean anything except that your opinion is wrong.

I won't be including TV shows or other side media like Clone Wars and The Mandalorian. This is purely the films.

Also, there are a lot of spoilers ahead. If you haven't seen Star Wars, I'm not sure why you clicked on this, but if you decide to read on, that's on you.

12.  The Rise of Skywalker

What the hell happened? That isn't rhetorical, I'm genuinely curious as to what actually happened in this movie. Do you know? Does anyone?

Rather than answer all the plot holes that The Last Jedi ignored or did away with, or even try to complete the series in some sensible manner, The Rise of Skywalker decided to introduce about 8,000 new plot points that got half filled lazily throughout the film.

If you took my brain off my ADHD meds and plugged me into a camera, it would probably look something like this movie. What happened to Finn being in love with Rey? Why did Kylo and Rey kiss? What was Palpatine doing there? Was that really better than following through on Snoke? I thought Finn was force sensitive, where did that go?

This wasn't even a movie, it was four hours of visual stimuli. Thumbs down.

11. Attack of the Clones

Attack of the Clones suffered from poor execution on an incredible concept, as did the rest of the prequels. The plot of Attack of the Clones is very enticing. But the writing is poor, the CGI looks dated even for the early 2000s (compare their CGI to Lord of the Rings, which came out around the same time, doesn't even come close), and there should be an investigation into how Hayden Christensen became a paid actor.

If there was one word to summarize this movie, it would be corny. It's corny. The writing is corny, the CGI makes everything look goofy, and once again, a really cool bounty hunter was introduced only to be murdered as soon as humanly possible.

Thumbs down, but not as much of a thumbs down.

10. The Clone Wars

This movie wasn't great. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. This came out in 2008, when Star Wars fans still had the bitter disappointment of the prequels in their mouth, and no one was really having it. This film grossed $68 million compared to $849 million for Revenge of the Sith.

It gets more hate than it deserves, but it's still below average. The only reason it sits above the films it sits above of is that this lead into the Clone Wars animated series, which was incredible.

9. The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi, in a vacuum, is not a bad movie at all. In fact, it's extremely well executed. The issue with The Last Jedi is plot inconsistencies. JJ Abrams left us with all these salivating questions following The Force Awakens, and rather than answer them, The Last Jedi completely ignores them to make room for new creative direction that just simply wasn't necessary.

Snoke, the Palpatine-esque question mark fans had been theorizing about for years to be perhaps the most powerful Sith who ever lived, was murdered immediately. Rey and Kylo had that weird force connection thing that didn't really make sense.

The Last Jedi also failed to keep us attached to any of the supporting characters of the original film. Like Finn, who had perhaps the most compelling arc The Force Awakens had to offer, was swept to the side. And that other guy, the fake Han Solo guy with the jacket. I don't even remember his name. At least Luke and Chewie came back.

8. The Phantom Menace

This is the second best prequel, and really a good movie. Qui-Gon Jinn dying followed the great Star Wars tradition of creating amazing characters then killing them off as soon as possible. Same with Darth Maul.

Overall, I feel like where The Phantom Menace fell short was in its convolution. If you don't know Star Wars, this is a really confusing movie. What's a midichlorian, for example? I know, but if you don't, among some other details, it's very easy for this movie to get wrapped up in its own devotion to details. But, if you know that stuff, this movie is well above average.

Also, I'm tired of Jar Jar slander. I get it, he was sort of unnecessary and irritating, just get over it, it's been 22 years.

7. Solo: A Star Wars Story

Now we're getting into the realm of genuinely good movies. Solo for me just sort of sits in the middle ground. There was nothing wrong with it, but nothing particularly compelling about it. I can watch Solo, and enjoy it, but it doesn't leave me with the thirst for curiosity and endless fan theories and Wikipedia rabbit holes and the like that other movies in the franchise can.

Solo was a great movie, it just answered questions we didn't really need answered.

6. The Force Awakens

Say it with me: The Force Awakens is not bad, the sequels are bad. The failure of the newest trilogy does not at all fall on the shoulders of this film. This film set up some very compelling characters, plots left open to leave us waiting for the next installment, and countless references back to A New Hope that left me with a fuzzy feeling inside.

Han's death was tragic, but it was perfectly executed. The mysteriousness of Snoke, the compelling story of Finn, Rey's journey to becoming a Jedi starting, it was all great. And then it got ruined. But this movie did not do the ruining.

My problem with this movie is not this movie, it's the promises this movie made that failed to be delivered.

5. Return of the Jedi

Are you surprised to see the original trilogy this low? Well Return of the Jedi is the worst one. Which isn't really an insult, because it's still an incredible film.

It has some awesome, unforgettable moments. It's maybe the most quotable and memorable film in the entire franchise. The death of Yoda, Vader becoming Anakin again, Han and Leia falling in love, everything was great.

I have two critiques of this movie. One, stop killing cool characters. Boba Fett was awesome. He had a jetpack and a dope helmet, why did he have to die so early, and in such a lame way? There was so crazy duel between the menacing bounty hunter and our lovable Han Solo, he just sort of fell, because a blind Han happened to shoot him. It was unsatisfying.

The other is apparently, rather than Endor, the Death Star shield was meant to be operated from the Wookie home planet of Kashyyyk, with Wookies, rather than Ewoks, fighting the Empire alongside the Millenium Falcon. I wish they had gone with the Wookies, it would have been way better.

Return of the Jedi is a fantastic movie, just not as well executed as the rest of this list.

4. Revenge of the Sith

Revenge of the Sith almost made up for the movies that lead up to it. Almost. But this was executed perfectly. The story came around and finally all the puzzle pieces fit together. Star Wars films can have a penchant for wasted space, but I'm happy to report zero fat on this movie. Everything that goes around comes around, and tells this story the way it was meant to be told.

The lightsaber duels are the best we've seen from the franchise to date, Order 66 was as heartbreaking as it should have been, and Anakin's inevitable transformation into Darth Vader was left hanging until the very last second, when Palpatine's plotting finally came together.

3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

You wanna talk about a good movie? This is a GOOD movie. Watching this in theaters, there's a point in this film where you realize everyone is going to die, and you reach a sort of acceptance that fills you with sadness at the true cruelty of the Empire.

The way this movie perfectly ties itself directly into A New Hope is inspired. It's a story of unsung heroes who gave their lives for what they believed in, and every second is worth your time.

2. A New Hope

No surprises here, but the first installment of Star Wars still holds up from 1977. I don't need to explain myself here. We all know it, we all remember it. It was the start of almost fifty years of a galaxy far far away, and it holds a very special place in my heart.

1. The Empire Strikes Back

If you have a different number one, you've probably suffered head trauma in the last 24 hours, and should seek medical aid.

Empire is the universal number one on the franchise list for a reason. There's no hopping on the bandwagon here, go back and watch it again and tell me one thing wrong with this movie. You can't. It's the best.

By the way, he says, "I am your father" not "Luke, I am your father" which is weird, right?

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